Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
From: E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity
Subject: Settlement Agreements
All Settlement Agreements made in connection with EEO matters must be in writing. Effective immediately, Bureaus must use the approved Departmental standard language for Settlement Agreements as provided in the Handbook on Complaints Processing (Appendix 8, 373 DM 5). Additional guidance on settlement agreements can be found in Chapter 5.15 of the Handbook. Any deviation from the approved standard language contained in Appendix 8, must be approved by the Director, OEO, in conjunction with the Office of the Solicitor, prior to presentation to the Complainant, Counsel for the Complainant, Bureau Officials, and/or Union Representatives.
A Settlement Agreement cannot exceed relief that an aggrieved individual would otherwise receive in the U.S. District Court. You are reminded that any agreement for a monetary award exceeding $20,000 in back pay, interest, or damages, or $20,000 in attorney's fees or any combination of the two in excess of $40,000 must be approved by the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity, prior to agreement. Bureau's may seek advice from the Office of the Solicitor in negotiating settlement agreement, and all attorney's fees claims must be reviewed by the Office of the Solicitor prior to payment. Please keep in mind the statutory caps on compensatory damages when drafting Settlement Agreements.
Distribution: All Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Officers
Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity, (202) 208-6120