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  10/6/05: Google has moved beyond the realm of an online service to a complete multi-media force with such incredible clout that it will soon affect almost every aspect of our lives. The latest news–that Google will team up with NASA to develop more than a million square feet of office space at the Ames Research Center in California–has far-reaching consequences that should be examined. Yes, in the short run this is a win for the real estate industry as well as for the country’s space program. The commingling of private interests with government agencies is not a new phenomenon; it’s really part of our nation’s heritage. However, now we’re seeing an overlap of mindshare between private and public entities. Obviously this is a trend that will continue until it’s determined that not knowing the difference between the government and the corporations that they’re supposed to regulate may not be in the country’s best interest. Google is a great service, but I don’t know if that’s where I want my tax dollars going.

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BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB  (NATICK, MA) BJ’s Wholesale Club announced that Richard Wilson has been named senior vice president of general merchandise. Wilson joined BJ’s Wholesale as vice president, divisional merchandise manager, in May 2005, from Federated Department Stores’ Macy’s division.
ANN TAYLOR  (NEW YORK CITY) Ann Taylor Stores Corp. announced that it has named Laura A. Weil as chief operating officer of the company. Weil comes to Ann Taylor from American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., where she has served as chief financial officer and executive vice president since 1995.
MCDONALD’S CORP.  (OAK BROOK, IL) McDonald’s Corp.announced that Mary Dillon has been named executive vice president and global chief marketing officer for the company. Dillon was president of Quaker Foods, a Chicago-based division of PepsiCo Corporation.
ARBY’S RESTAURANT GROUP  (ATLANTA) Don Zimmerman has joined Arby’s Restaurant Group as senior vice president and chief information officer. In his new position, Zimmerman will oversee the strategic and operational IT infrastructure of the company. Zimmerman most recently served as vice president of IT for the Sears Information Technology organization.
SHEA PROPERTIES (ALISO VIEJO, CA) Shea Properties, the commercial development and investment arm of the J.F. Shea Co. family of companies, has appointed Jon P. Stephani to the position of retail construction director.
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