Department of Defense's DARPA branch- with a $3.2 billion budget of its own -will be hosting a conference in the Northwest June 29 thru July 1. DARPA's office is located in Alexandria, VA. Most of its federal employees live either there or in the neighboring DC area. But, the temptation to recklessly spend taxpayer dollars made a conference in that location untenable. Instead, the conference attendees will be flying across the continent and into the Portland Airport next week. I'd like to say there was some attempt on the organizers part at having a conscience by holding the event at a nearby airport hotel with conference room. Sadly, no. Individual fed employees will rent cars, drive one hour east up the Columbia and stay at the luxury resort Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington.
And, why were those specific dates chosen? Not only will June 29 thru July 1 be a paid vacation/conference for them, but a three-day July 4th fed holiday follows right after. I'm not suggesting those following three days- July 2 thru Juyl 4 -will be paid for by us. But, in all likelihood, the fed employees have their paid round-trip tickets already and can return July 5th, so those extra three days to explore our great Nortwest is a bonus.
Here's more info on the conference: