This Week’s Picks! Harry Connick Jr., New Les Miz Stars & More

first_imgHey, you, staring longingly at your tropical island screen saver! There is no need to be depressed, not with all the great stuff this frigid (but still enchanting) city has to offer. So bundle up, stuff your pockets with tissues, and hit the town. We have a concert with Harry Connick Jr., new additions to Les Miz and Beautiful, and a solo show from a beloved Broadway gypsy. Here come this week’s picks! Enjoy On the Town at Home Available March 3 One of the many reasons why the revival of On the Town is such a hot ticket is its fabulous, brassy music. (You just hummed “New York, New York” didn’t you?) Now you can enjoy it anywhere, as a two-disc cast album finally gets released. Just don’t get so carried away that you try replicating the silky smooth choreography of Megan Fairchild and Tony Yazbeck. Your core will snap like a dry twig. View Comments See Les Miz’ Nouveau Additions Begins March 3 at the Imperial Theatre Les Miserables says bonjour to new leads galore. Ready? Here’s who is joining the revolution, so to speak: Tony and Olivier Award nominee Gavin Lee as Thenardier, ensemble member Chris McCarrell as Marius, Broadway vet Wallace Smith as Enjolras, Erika Henningsen as Fantine, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, and Rachel Izen as Madame Thenardier. And there are also new kiddo cast members! That’s another reason to use an exclamation point! Click for tickets! Welcome Back Harry Connick Jr. March 7 at Avery Fisher Hall Harry Connick Jr. is a busy guy, what with American Idol, acting, recording songs, and doing whatever is required to look foxy in middle-age. Seriously, the dude looks like he’s aging in reverse. So, the charismatic piano man doesn’t get to New York too often. When Connick Jr. does, he puts on a show. That makes attending this one-night-only concert—featuring numbers from his expansive musical repertoire— a priority. Click for tickets! Hail the New Carole King Begins March 7 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre All good things must come to an end. Fortunately, that means another good thing can start. Stage vet Chilina Kennedy, who played Mary Magdalene in the most recent revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, takes over for the departed, Tony-winning Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. We’ll miss you, Jessie, but if her “I Don’t Know How To Love HIm” is any indication, Chilina will be awesome too. Click for tickets! Settle Down with Kirsten Wyatt March 6 at 54 Below Spend any time on Broadway and you’ve probably seen Kirsten Wyatt in a show, mostly likely playing a tramp (High Fidelity, Annie), elf (Shrek, A Christmas Story), or some variation thereof. How does “a wee character woman with a squeaky voice” thrive amidst the shuffling and slim categorization? Instead of waiting for an incongruous revelation on Broadway Nosh, see Gypsies, Tramps, and Elves, her solo debut—with special guests!—at 54 Below. Click for tickets!last_img read more


Expo Exhibit

first_imgVisitors to the largest farm show in the Southeast can learn a lot about what the University of Georgia is doing for them atthe College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences tent.”Many of the things we do are quite apparent. But most of what we do is verysubtle,” said CAES Dean and Director Gale Buchanan.”But it’s very important. We support farmers and agriculture in Georgia, which haseverything to do with the food you eat and many of the clothes you wear.”The CAES tent at the Sunbelt Expo Oct. 20-22 near Moultrie, Ga., will show off some newfarm technologies. And it’s not just for farmers. “A lot of the work we do benefitshomeowners, too,” Buchanan said.CAES scientists can answer your questions about water quality, insects, pollutionprevention and student programs at the UGA agricultural college.The Farm/Home*A*Systprogram on display at Sunbelt helps Georgians protect themselves against improper chemicaluse.”We have a survey that asks about everything from yard fertilizer to wellheadprotection,” said Lisa Ann Kelley,a CAES pollution prevention specialist. “From that survey, we can help you make yourhome safer.”Kelley said the first 50 visitors who take home a survey from the pollution preventionexhibit will get a coupon for free water testing when they return the survey and a watersample.A CAES program that can help farmers and homeowners is Distance Diagnostics throughDigital Imaging. Throughout Georgia, 31 counties already have digital cameras, microscopesand computers with Internet connections. These stations make it possible to get quickanswers to plant problems.Project manager Julian Beckwith said this systemlets scientists diagnose disease and insect problems and get back to the farmer orhomeowner almost immediately.”It’s making a dramatic difference in how quickly a plant disease or insectproblem can be treated,” he said. “In many cases, it has saved the crop. Thespecialist could positively identify the problem and recommend a treatment in just a fewhours.”A working station of this system will be at the CAES tent. Beckwith said a few sampleswill be sent to scientists via the World Wide Web for diagnosis and treatmentrecommendations.The tent will have exhibits, too, on weather and agriculture, precision farming, agalumni and student recruitment. It will also house “The World of Insects: fire ants,honey bees, termites, roaches and a butterfly garden.”Buchanan said he’s excited about being part of the Sunbelt Expo.”This is a tremendous opportunity for Georgians to see what’s happening inagriculture,” he said. “There are so many new ways to approach everydayproblems. And we’re researching them and getting that information to the people who canuse it.”last_img read more


SURVEY: Why Canadians visit Burlington

first_imgChurch Street Marketplace RESEARCH REPORT: Intercept Interviews of French-Speaking Quebec visitorsLabor Day Weekend, 2008 (Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4, 2008)Introduction: The Greater Montréal, Quebec Market: More than three and one-half million people live just two hours north of Burlington, Vermont. Montréal is Quebec’s largest city and Canada’s second largest next to Toronto. The 2007 Canadian Census (Statistics Canada, Population of census metropolitan areas), reported 1.6 million people residing in the city of Montréal proper. More than 3.6 million live in the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (Greater Montréal Area). French is the language spoken by 70.5% of the population (as of the 2006 census). Montréal is the largest French-speaking city in North America; second in the world after Paris. (STATCAN)Understanding French-speaking Quebecois: French-speaking Quebecois’ consumer behavior reflects continental French lifestyles in many ways. In general, French-speaking Quebecois spend relatively more money on food for home consumption, clothing, personal care and health items, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages (versus other Canadians).Why do Quebecois visit and shop in Burlington? Taxes and variety. In Quebec, two taxes are applicable on goods and services: the GST (5% Goods and Services Tax) and the PST (7.9 5% Provincial Sales Tax). Whenever the Canadian dollar moves close to parity with our dollar, American goods (minus a GST and PST) offer Canadians a better value. The size of the US market also plays a part in Quebec’s attraction to Vermont and the U.S., as our national stores, in particular, can offer a greater variety and depth of products.French-speaking Quebecois on Church Street: French-speaking Quebecois have always frequented Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace. But cross-border shopping by all Canadians, according to Statistics Canada, began increasing “significantly” in the last half of 2007 as Canada’s dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar. Businesses on the Church Street Marketplace witnessed a dramatic increase in Quebec shoppers and diners throughout the summer of 2008.Intercept Interviews with French-speaking Quebecers over Labor Day Weekend, 2008: The Church Street Marketplace conducted 80 intercept interviews of Quebec visitors on its Mall block, between Bank and Cherry Streets during Labor Day Weekend, 2008 – Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4. Here are the results (Source Questions 1 & 2 below):QUESTION # 3 What is the purpose of your visit? Tourism and shopping were the two largest responses gathered. Many people said they came to Burlington for the day to shop, dine and explore.Airport (1)Ambience (1)Boating (1)Camping (4)Dining (3)Events: Burlington Criterium/Bicycle Race (2)Go to beach (1)Hockey tournament (1)Concert: @ Fairgrounds (1)On Motorcycle Tour (1)Outdoor Sports (2)Shopping (15)Tourism (52)Visit with Family, Friends (7)Wedding, relatives, etc. (1)QUESTION # 4.What specific purchases did you make? French-speaking Quebecois visiting September 1-4 were either brand conscious, coming to the Street to purchase specific clothing brands not available in Canada, or price conscious, seeking out lower prices and bargains.Abercrombie (4)Advertise pizza restaurantsAeropostale (2)Ann TaylorArt suppliesBanana Republic (3)Bargains (4)Barnes & NobleBCBG OutletBen & Jerry’sBirkenstockBooksBooks, Gardener’s supplyBordersCappucino, boating suppliesCheddar CheeseChicoClothes (7)Electronics storesEMSFoodFood at Farmer’s MarketFoot LockerGood prices (4)Groceries (2)Hardware ACEHollister (2)HurleyJ. CrewJC PenneyJewelry (2)Kiss the CookLevisLindt Chocolate (3)Lots of stores not found in CanadaMacy’s (6)Men’s clothingNorth Face (2)Not so sweet iced teaOutdoor Gear (3)School Supplies for kidsScuffer RestaurantShoesShopping (14)SouvenirsSouvenirsTeenage brandsTimberlandToys, BeddingVictoria’s secret (2)WaterfrontWomen’s Clothes Yankee CandleQUESTION 5What can we do different or better to encourage you to return? Following are comments from those individuals surveyed. While those surveyed often responded about a number topics, individual responses have been separated out and categorized to identify trends and priorities.a. WAYFINDING SIGNAGE / INFORMATION / INFO IN FRENCH: This category elicited the most responses. Respondents suggested more wayfinding signage, particularly getting to and around the downtown. Signage in French was viewed as recognition of and appreciation for French-speaking Quebecois in the downtown. Requests for regional information on Church Street (hiking, biking, recreation) were also identified.* Better sign for University Suites; run down hotel.* City is bicycle friendly* Maps of bike routes* Need bike path info* More educational signs about town* Improve signage to tell people how to get to Marketplace. Put in French* Information about North Beach on Church Street* Hiking info on Church Street* More French signs on Church Street* Put in cross reference maps in the parking garages so that visitors can find stores and services by category.* Need Walking tours* More signs in French; sales people who speak French* Make area map more user-friendly.b. PARKING & TRANSPORTATION* More garage parking so we don’t have to feed the meter* More parking; clearer direction markings in garages; cross reference maps on street corners so visitors can find stores by category.* Better & less expensive parking* No direct flights from Toronto to Burlington; would like info on busses between Burlington and Montréal ; Burlington & Toronto; Seems to be no coordination between trains, buses, etc.; Need an info clearing house for ground transportation.* Parking for motorhomes close to ferry. Forced to park in Williston; a lot of confusion with recreational vehicles, lost market.* shuttle bus from Colchester to Church Street* parking is well organized; shuttle buses are a help.* Border crossing long; like it here, safe and close by; like the ferry crossingc. RETAIL: Respondents who came to shop were looking for trendy, national brands, good prices and later store hours. Because each retail store on Church Street sets its own business hours, the Street as a whole does not offer the customer uniform hours.)* More chain stores* Stores close too early for Montréalers, even on Saturday* Prices are higher than expected; would like to see lower prices* Tax discount provided in store for being Canadian; 11% at Macy’s who files for tax refund later with Canada* More stores for clothing; more trendy brandsd. ACCOMMODATIONS: Comments received focused on the need for more hotel rooms with lower prices.* Motels expensive and dirty* Need more hotel rooms;* Hotels; too expensive* Would like lower hotel costs; like that you are doing surveye. DINING* More seafood restaurants; not expensive at water’s edge* Need restaurant recommendations* Put in a fried dough stand* Website confusing for Burlington; prices not posted for hotels; map of Burlington on website.* Need Menus in French* Heat Breakwaters for a longer season with outdoor heaters.f. EXCHANGE RATE: For those Labor Day respondents who identified the exchange rate as important, they asked for greater acceptance of the Canadian dollar by Church Street merchants.* Some felt we should accept the Canadian dollar at par;* Many felt that all stores should accept Canadian dollars and calculate the exchange rate as necessary.* Some were quite offended that that was not the case.* Increase acceptance/recognition of Canadian dollar;Many merchants we’ve spoken to after this survey said accepting Canadian at par is problematic; they’re not willing to absorb any losses. This may be due in part to contracting profit margins.g. PUBLIC RESTROOMS* Need more public restrooms, better marked locations* Need street corner rest roomsh. SAFETY: Safe and Non-Threatening. Those who participated in focus groups in Boston and Montreal, as part of the 2007 Burlington Branding Study, described Burlington as safe, non-threatening, and manageable: almost like ‘a city outside America’ and ‘more Canadian’ than even Americanized Toronto.i. PARKS* Need a Downtown playground for children to use while parents shop.* Love the dog parkGENERAL COMMENTS from the Labor Day, 2008 Interviews:* Don’t change. Love the small town feel compared to Montréal. Rural areas are so close by. Love how authentic you are (4 responses compressed, combined)* Need a room-finder service for hotels.* Need Information for vacationing in this country;* Need more Canadian flags displayed as well as discounts, free stuff, Quebec music, teen stuff, giveaways.* Great visit* Happy (21 similar responses)* Good prices* Like the happy, polite sales staff* Just got here. Like the ambience. The “un-Montréal .”* Keep it like it is; Like it fine as is; Like it here; quiet like the beach* Love farmer’s market; friendly, open attitude.* Love the friendly atmosphere of the street; Love the opportunity to sit outside in a clean, safe, fun environment. Street entertainers are excellent; Love the pedestrian mall and all the street vendors* No changes. Like how friendly and informal it is compared to Montréal* Regular visitors once a year* Very happy, love the bilingual signs as a gesture of friendshipTo assist our primary audience- business owners and managers on Church Street who are selling to our Quebec visitors – this report includes excerpts from the 2007 branding study, conducted by Charism Advisors for the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. These findings both validate the Labor Day survey and provide guidance on marketing to French-speaking Quebecers.* Montréalers want to think of Burlington as different: a border crossing to a ‘whole new world.’ For Montréalers: Burlington is a world away, but very accessible. It is the architecture, signage, landscape (“It’s massive,” green, clean, open, wide angle), food, and customs. Burlington is about great shopping. Stores they can’t get in Montréal (Victoria’s Secret) and “great deals.” It can be a stopping off point en route to Southern New England or destination in itself.* Burlington as a Get Away: According to the Branding Study, Montréalers think of Burlington as a “get away” — a place that allows urbanites to escape to the country and to town. Burlington offers escape and relaxation, even while enjoying it’s more urban-like dimensions (food, art, design, music, relative sophistication).* Escape, not Retreat: Quaint and charming came up frequently in focus groups, particularly in reference to Church Street, Inns, and residential architecture. A Montréaler in a focus group said, “It really looks like that!” There is a fantasy, picture-postcard aspect Burlington. It is an escape, but not a retreat. This differentiates Burlington from smaller more rural destinations.* Authenticity: People coming to Burlington are searching for a simpler, cleaner, greener, slower place that is also living, real, contemporaneous, and vital.* Acceptance: Chill not Frosty: Montreal and Boston focus groups described Burlington as welcoming, non-judgmental, supportive, and collaborative. As one Montréaler said, people are chill (vs. “frosty”), and mind their own business. But, when you talk to them or ask for help they are very nice. Being respectfully distant while collaborative, supportive, and accepting of all opinions and lifestyles, creates a very positive climate for our visitors, according to the study.SOURCE QUESTIONS:1. What is your POSTAL CODE? The majority of those visiting from September 1-4 were from Montréal and suburbs south of the city. A smaller portion of those visiting were from the Eastern Townships G0A1H0, Quebec City, QC G1E5M7, Beauport, QC G1L1B1, Quebec City G5Y3R2, St.-Georges-Est, QC G6T5K4, Victoriaville, QC G6V8Z2, Levis, QC H1K4L7, Montréal, QC H1P2N5, Saint-Leonard, QC H1P3E9, Saint-Leonard, QC H2B2P5, Montréal, QC H2B2V9, Montréal, QC H2E1M3, Montréal, QC H2E2Z1, Montréal, QC H2G2H1, Montréal, QC H2V3W1, Outremont, QC H2X3R4, Montréal, QC H3H1H5, Montréal , QC H3P2J3, Mont-Royal, QC H3R2N7 Mont-Royal, QC H3Y2K9, Westmount, QC H3Y2T5, Westmount, QC H3Y3A4, Westmount, QC H3Z1M2, Westmount, QC H4A1H1, Montréal, QC H4A1L8, Montréal, QC H4A3N3, Montréal, QC H4B1Z2, Montréal, QC H4B2W4, Montréal, QC H4H1B5, Verdun, QC H4V1B2, Cote Saint-Luc, QC H4W3H8, Côte-Saint-Luc, QC H7M3B5, Laval, QCH7M5Z2, Laval, QCH7N1B5, Laval, QCH7W4R4, Laval, QCH7X1M2, Laval, QCH8Y2W8, Roxboro, QCH9G2O7, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QCH9H4Z5, Kirkland, QCH9W4R5, Beaconsfield, QCJ0E1A0, Abbotsford, QCJ0E1M0, Dunham, QCJ0E2L0, Valcourt, QCJ0L1B0, Kahnawake, QCJ2K2L6, Cowansville, QCJ3H6J8, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QCJ3L5W1, Chambly, QCJ3P5N3, Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel, QCJ3Y8G8, Saint-Hubert, QCJ4B5S9, Boucherville, QCJ4B8L8, Boucherville, QCJ4G2L2, Longueuil, QCJ4H3G4, Longueuil, QCJ4K2T8, Longueuil, QCJ7R5M1, Saint-Eustache, QCJ7V0G4, Vaudreuil-Dorion, QCK1C1C6, OntarioK1R0A2, OntarioL3P2T5, OntarioL9H2B1, OntarioM2R3E7, OntarioV8S3V4, British ColumbiaV9T4M3, British ColumbiaQUESTION # 2 Description of party: men, women, children: Surveyers asked respondents for the total number of people in their party including men, women and children. We were not specific about age of adults or children. Largest percentages of visitors were women; this may be due to the Street’s dominance in women’s apparel and accessories. Total PercentagesMen/Hommes 96 38%Women/Femmes 117 46%Children/Enfants 40 16%*Total number of people in party surveyed. 253 100%Additional Sources:* Statistics Canada; http://www.statcan.ca/menu-en.htm(link is external)* Bank of Montreal: The State of Retail in Canada:http://www4.bmo.com/popup/0,2284,35490_15688524,00.html(link is external)* Promoting consumer goods and services in Quebec, Canada’s distinct, French-speaking market Business America, Nov 1, 1993 by Julie Snyder. Copyright 1993 U.S. Government Printing Office; Copyright 2004 Gale Group;* Burlington Branding Study, Charism Advisors, January, 2007.Prepared by Ron Redmond, Executive Director, Church Street Marketplace District; Edited by Scott Hendrickson.last_img read more


Stringduster Travis Book Reflects on the Bluegrass, Beer, and Bikes Tour

first_imgIn October of last year, I was driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, headed for a trailhead, windows down, bike on the roof. The leaves were starting to change; there was no one on the road and there would be no one else on the trail—a perfect day. I started thinking about the Parkway, how it tied the Blue Ridge together, and it occurred to me that it would be really amazing if I could take that perfect day and share it. I thought, “I like bikes, and beer, and playing music, and nice drives in the mountains…maybe other people would join me for this sort of thing.” A few days later I was playing music in Charlottesville, and I got to talking with some friends from Blue Ridge Outdoors about this plan I was hatching: 4 days, 4 breweries, 4 great small towns with world class single track.Fast forward to late March: the breweries committed, bike clubs engaged, sponsors acquired, and itinerary set. We were ready to roll on the inaugural Bluegrass, Beer & Bikes Tour—four straight days, moving from Brevard to Boone to back home in Nelson County and concluding in Roanoke. I would lead a group ride each day and play a solo show at a local brewery each night.11027481_10206345367692403_8964661415612178615_nDay 1I enlisted the help of fellow cyclist, logistical genius, and tour manager of my band The Infamous Stringdusters Katrina to come along and keep the train on the tracks. We left Nelson County on a warmWednesday night, arriving in Brevard around midnight. It had been raining, and I had doubts about the group ride the next day but the morning dawned with sunny skies and temps in the low 60’s. Spring had sprung and we were the beneficiaries as about 15 of us rolled out of Oskar Blues Brewery, onto the greenway and into the legendary Pisgah National Forest.We started making friends immediately, common experience is the ultimate bonding opportunity, and we were in it, stomping the pedals up steady climbs, whooping as we banked down newly tuned trails. After a couple hours we retreated to the brewery, dumped some water over our heads (turns out you can have a shower with just a quart of water) and got down to business. Reps from Keen and Farm to Feet socks were on hand, as well as a contingency from the Asheville Blue Ridge Outdoors offices. I played for about 3 hours; we raffled off some great prize packages; I grabbed a growler to go and headed for the hotel.Day 2The morning dawned cold and we knew it was only going to get colder as we drove north, into the mountains to Boone. There were only six hardy souls out for a mid-day, post-snow group ride at Rocky Knob Bike Park, but what we lacked in numbers we more than made up for in enthusiasm. We shot a bunch of footage for a video, lapped a section of kickers/table tops, then retreated to the warmth and safety of the car before catching a quick shower and heading to Appalachian Mountain Brewery. AMB’s business model is built around giving back to the community through fundraising, profit sharing, collaborations, and just good times. Our Yakima rep arrived after a non-stop drive from Texas and he jumped right in, pitching the raffle, talking shop and, most importantly, helping to drink a few beers.Day 3At 7 a.m. I opened the hotel window, two inches of snow on the car and piling up. Rapidly. We had to get to Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Nelson County by noon, so escaping the North Carolina High Country weather made for an early morning race to the gig! Upon arrival in Virginia, temps were in the low 40s, but the sun was shining so we stuck to the plan and threw the party outside. I needed hand warmers in my pockets to keep the fingers moving, but the crowd needed no help in raising almost $2,000 for CAMBC (Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club). They sold CAMBC branded Klean Kanteen pints that included beer, and needless to say it was a successful plan.After the music, about 20 of us got out on the trails around the brewery for a couple laps. Over the last three years, I’ve lived on the property at Devils Backbone (soon to be known as Devils Backbone Basecamp and Meadows) and in that time I’ve (almost) single handedly plotted, cleared, cut and maintained the three miles of beginner-friendly but fun-for-everyone singletrack. Initially commissioned by the brewery to be used as a 5K XC running course, I designed every section with mountain bikes in mind and it’s resulted in a fun and fast trail with some whoops and jumps, twists and turns that leads you on a complete tour of the property. It made me so happy to see so many riders out on the trails. Post ride we convened in the brewery for beers and dinner. It’s rare that a brewery has trails onsite that dump you out at the brewery so we took advantage.Day 4Early to bed, early to rise, and straight south to Roanoke, our final stop. I had a hunch that Sunday at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewery would be the biggest day of the tour and I was right. We had at least 30 riders join us at noon for our group ride, which consisted of a complete tour of Mill Mountain, accessible from downtown. When I planned the tour I’d assumed we’d ride at Carvins Cove, a legendary riding spot west of town, but I also inquired about riding from the brewery. Craig from RIMBA (Roanoke chapter of IMBA) had literally pointed out the window of the brewery toward the giant M and said, “We’re building trails on Mill Mountain as we speak. Let’s earmark the funding for that project and do a tour of those trails.” Perfect.I’d come to realize that one of the major obstacles or barriers to entry that mountain biking faces is accessibility. When I was growing up, before I had a car, I had a bike and I rode it. Everywhere. 15 miles roundtrip to school then straight out my backdoor into the Pike National Forest. If I had to put a bike in a car and get a ride to and from the trailhead, mountain biking wouldn’t have played the pivotal role in my youth that it did. For mountain biking to continue to grow and reach new participants, it needs trails near population centers, like Mill Mountain. It needs trails near landmarks and in multi-use parks like Devils Backbone. It needs parks specifically built and maintained to bring new mountain bikers into the sport and challenge them as they progress, like at Rocky Knob, and it needs entire communities committed to increasing access to the woods and cultivating a cycling culture, like in Brevard.The ride in Roanoke ended late. The expert group I was in couldn’t get enough, so I had about 30 minutes to dump some water over my head, eat a grilled cheese, and get to making music. Soaring Ridge has a beautiful tasting room with tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass, and plenty of room. We wedged at least 200 people in there Sunday afternoon and raised nearly $500, entirely donations, for the ongoing work RIMBA is doing in the community. By 7 p.m. there was nothing left to do but finish my last pint, pack up the banners and the sound system, toss them in the completely disorganized rear half of the 4Runner and head for home. As Katrina and I drove north, with the sun setting on our whirlwind tour, content, happy, and reflective, we both agreed, next year cannot come fast enough.Huge thanks to Blue Ridge Outdoors. Without your enthusiasm and support, this tour wouldn’t have reached a critical mass. Thanks also to the breweries: Oskar Blues in Brevard, Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers in Roanoke, and Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland. They provided the location and context and put up a substantial part of the sponsorship that made this tour possible. We had 5 great sponsors on board who made product available, sent representatives, and helped spread the word. Yakima, Keen, Klean Kanteen, Farm to Feet, and Ride Solutions were all fantastic partners. Special thanks to Jonny at Yakima who joined us for three dates, took two rides, and stayed at my house one night. Finally, everyone who came out to ride, came out to listen, or just helped spread the word about this tour, without you, it’s all meaningless.In 2016, we’re putting the bikes first; Bikes, Bluegrass & Beer. Website coming soon!Check out this Travis Book original preformed for Gondala Sessions in Aspen, CO.last_img read more


Vukovar introduced a system of public bicycles

first_imgPublic bicycles are an increasingly popular form of transport in 14 Croatian cities and municipalities, and today Vukovar joined the company and thus became the fifteenth and easternmost city in Croatia to introduce the Nextbike system of public bicycles.After the official presentation of the project, a test ride on public bicycles from the city center to Borovo naselje followed, with a short refreshment at Ina’s station. The Nextbike system of public bicycles in Croatia has 20.500 registered users, significantly reduces emissions, traffic jams, noise and parking problems, and cycling has a positive effect on mental and physical health.But the most important thing is that from today, Vukovar residents and all tourists can combine train, bus and public bicycles and thus travel faster, healthier and cheaper while protecting the environment in which we live – through integrated public transport. “In recent years, to the delight of the citizens, Vukovar has received several bicycle paths, of which the most important is certainly the one that is still under construction, ie the bicycle path along the state road D2 in the part of Kudeljarska and Priljevo streets. This is exactly the route we took on the new public bicycles and which is certainly the most important route because it connects the center of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje. Our citizens have a culture of cycling, so I am convinced that this initiative will be very well received. With the new bicycle path and bicycles in the public transport service, we will improve the connection of all parts of Vukovar and at the same time reduce traffic jams. This project is just one in a series of steps we are taking to raise the quality of life of our fellow citizens, but also to present our city in a new European spirit that will surely meet the approval of both citizens and tourists who see Vukovar as the central destination of the Croatian Danube region., ”Said Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava.This greenest, healthiest and most cost-effective form of public urban transport is fully in line with EU directives and the vision and plans of the City of Vukovar related to sustainable development. Beautiful Vukovar, as the civilizational starting point of Europe in which culture developed for five thousand years and the city that suffered the greatest war destruction, needs projects facing the future. Development is a matter of piety, but also the fact that Vukovar citizens like all citizens of this country want to finally stand by their European neighbors, and this is possible only with continuous investment in sustainable construction, education, employment and sustainable mobility that connect all segments of society.Nextbike provides citizens, students and tourists with the most affordable, fastest, healthiest and most fun transportation. A user who registers nextbike bikes can use them in more than 140 cities around the world. Nextbike is ready to welcome new cities and companies that invest in sustainable mobility and continuously invests in new technologies and improving the user experience, says Krešimir Dvorski, director of the Public Bicycle System, adding that in order to feel safer in traffic, Nextbike organizes several cycling school and encourages cities to improve cycling infrastructure. “Launching a public bicycle system in Vukovar was our great wish a few years ago when we were thinking about how to connect the far east of Croatia with all other major county centers. By combining different forms of public transport, each of us can quickly, easily and conveniently get from point A to point B without owning a car. We thank the City of Vukovar and INA as the general sponsor of the system maintenance for recognizing the importance of the project for the local community. Thanks to them, from today, the people of Vukovar can enjoy all the benefits that the public bicycle system brings them”Dvorski concluded.last_img read more


Greece must launch DC pensions as post-crisis reforms bed in, urge actuaries

first_imgGreece should consider defined contribution (DC) pensions as part of overall retirement provision now that the foundations of its crisis-driven pensions reform have been laid, according to Greek actuaries.In a paper on the Greek pension reform strategy undertaken by the government between 2010 and 2014, Georgios Symeonidis, executive board member of the Hellenic Actuarial Authority (HAA), said this would let people organise their lives better.Symeonidis said: “It is now time for the government to distinguish between welfare and pension, to educate people on the demographic developments and the utmost importance these play on their pension income when they retire in a few decades.In the paper for presentation at the International Actuarial Association Colloquium in Oslo, he added: “Moreover, DC systems should be taken into consideration by the Greek people when allocating money for third age income as they are by many other Europeans.” This did not mean that the existing safety nets should be abolished, but rather that people should be given incentives to invest part of their third-age income into a different kind of system. “This also increases risk spreading and allows people to organise their lives in a much better way,” Symeonidis said.He said that over the last few years, Greece had come a long way towards laying the groundwork for more sustainable pensions, not only in limiting the superfluous, but also in sacrificing part of what was essential.It had been necessary for Greece to make these changes quickly to avoid bankruptcy, he said.“However, since real people lie behind the numbers, it is vital that adequacy is also guaranteed, so that the people reaching the third age are able to manage with integrity and pride,” he said.In 2010, Greece, under the pressure of mounting public debt, was forced to resort to the tripartite committee referred to as the Troika of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).The Troika agreed to provide Greece with financial help, on special terms recorded in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between it and the Greek government.Symeonidis said the pension reform had been one of the most important reforms recorded in the MoU, because the Greek Social Security System had long showed signs of unsustainability and insolvency.He said the reforms had not yet finished, and that it was in any case impossible to reform a system in four years, when nothing had been changed for decades. “The administrative changes have been colossal and the way the social security system is now organised is light years ahead of what it was just a few years ago,” he said, noting that a full system record had now been established.“Based on these analytical data, the actuarial valuations provided by the HAA are now more detailed and involve less uncertainty and a reduced margin of error,” he said.last_img read more



first_img Tweet Share Dominican nationals who wish to visit the UK for less than six months as a tourist or family visitor will be able to continue to do so without the need for a visa. In July last year, it was announced that the British government was considering placing visa restrictions on Dominicans travelling to the United Kingdom. In response to this news the government of Dominica established a special committee to coordinate Dominica’s response to ensure that all the concerns raised by the UK were dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.At the end of the review period the foreign and commonwealth office and the home office of the United Kingdom determined that Dominica had in fact demonstrated a genuine commitment to put into effect credible and realistic plans, with clear timetables, to reduce risks to the UK. With the improved systems and new legislation in place, the government of Dominica has been assured that the government of the UK will not impose travel restrictions on Dominican citizens wishing to travel to the UK. Improvements to Dominica’s immigration system are on-going and considerable investment in technology and training will be necessary going forward.Source : Emmanuel Joseph GIS News 53 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share LocalNews DOMINICANS WISHING TO VISIT THE UK FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS DO NOT REQUIRE A VISA TO DO SO by: – March 4, 2011 Sharing is caring!last_img read more


3 men jailed for ‘illegal gambling’

first_imgThey were residents Romeo Imperial, RommyDomdom and Rodel Bactol, police said. Recovered the suspect’s possessionwere bet money which amounted to P121 and gambling paraphernalia, a policereport showed. BACOLOD City – Police caught three menengaging in illegal gambling in Barangay 2. Operatives of the Bacolod City PoliceOffice’s (BCPO) Mobile Force Company chanced upon them playing an illegalnumbers game cara y cruz on Dec. 5. The suspects were now under thecustody of the BCPO, facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602,which prescribes stiffer penalties on illegal gambling./PNlast_img read more


OWWA hotel bills for quarantine of OFWs pile up

first_imgTwenty-one hotels and inns here serve as quarantine facilities for returning OFWs, in compliance with health protocols to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19.) More returning OFWs were transported back to their homes on July 22 (1,395); July 23 (1,286); July 24 (2,305); July 25 (2,246); July 26 (2,142); July 27 (3,035); July 28 (2,024); and July 29 (1,223). OWWA made an initial payment of P10 million, Cacdac also told Gasataya. Of the number, the batch from May 25 to 31 recorded the highest number with 25,002, followed by those transported from June 22 to 28 (10,231); July 6 to 12 (10,163); June 29 to July 5 (9,113); and May 15 to 24, (8,922). Gasataya said he was informed by Councilor Israel Salanga, chair of the Action Team on Returning OFWs, that there is a possibility hotels will no longer accommodate OFWs should OWWA fail to settle its financial obligations. BACOLOD City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) vowed to pay its P25-million unpaid bills to hotels here that housed returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had to undergo temporary quarantine. Nationwide as of July 30, a total of 114,291 have been reunited with their families in their respective provinces since the government provided them transportation assistance since mid-May, Cacdac said. OWWA Region 6 director Rizza Moldes approved the travel ban for returning OFWs in this city effective Aug. 3. A total of 8,902 OFWs were transported to their respective homelands from June 1 to 7; some 7,279 OFWs from June 8 to 14; and 6,782 OFWs from June 15 to 21. Cong. Greg Gasataya said he was informed by OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac that the agency will pay the remaining balance this week. The OWWA is part of a 24/7 inter-agency effort that transports and helps OFWs return to their home regions./PN The rest were sent home on July 13 (1,648); July 14 (1,424); July 15 (1,186); July 16 (1,812); July 17 (1,547); July 18 (1,691); July 19 (1,193); July 20 (1,108); and July 21 (1,064). To recall, Councilor Renecito Novero, chairman of the Quarantine Center Action Team (QCAT), asked OWWA for a moratorium on the return of OFWs due to the unsettled bills with hotels.last_img read more


Gambling on TV

first_imgAs I have said before, I like to bet on a horse race or two during the year.  I have a lot of fun watching the races on the horse racing channel on my cable TV set.  Since I bet in $2 increments and rarely, if ever, spend more than $6 on one race, I doubt I would become addicted to gambling if Indiana allowed me to bet through the cable TV on races all over the world.  However, this is not the case for way too many Americans.  This is one reason why certain states still do not allow these types of transactions.  They also do not allow them because, in some cases, the states cannot collect taxes like they can on live racing in their own state.  The real danger comes with the online card games (poker) where, as I know it, there are few limits on how much you can bet.  Most of you have heard of some of the high profile cases like the lady mayor in California who went through a whole inheritance and then some playing online poker.  I wish I had the answer because for those who have self control this is a good form of entertainment.  Especially for the elderly and those who are home bound or unwilling to drive long distances any more.  Unfortunately, as soon as you open any avenue to gambling, there will be that segment who have no control over how much they bet.last_img read more