ND launches mobile app

first_imgNotre Dame students will soon be able to check dinner menus, find the nearest ATM, look up their accounting grades, confirm what time the basketball team is playing and even check if washing machines are free to use in their dorm with Notre Dame’s official app, MobileND, available for download now.The main goal of the app was to bring users what they needed quickly and easily, Matt Willmore, MobileND program manager for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), said.“We know that students have their smartphones with them 24/7 and want information quickly and often, and we have worked to deliver that to students,” Willmore said. “We also know that if the app isn’t useful, students won’t use it. Everything we build into the app is driven by the same question: How useful will this be?”Notre Dame partnered with Modo Labs, which has built similar apps for Harvard University and Princeton University, to design the app, which launched April 11.“Working with them allowed us to focus on the content and to bring this to campus much faster than building it from scratch,” Willmore said. “It also meant we could deliver the same experience for iOS, Android and to m.nd.edu simultaneously.”Willmore said usability was the priority when designing the app.“Things like how many taps it takes to get some information are really important for us, as well as how the app is arranged,” he said.At the bottom of the screen, app users can select their “edition,” and there is an edition designed specifically for students, Willmore said.The app opens to a menu page that links students to campus maps, dining hall menus and hours, news sources on campus, information about every athletic team, a campus directory, weather updates, a campus calendar and more.Willmore said the app will help improve the lives of students by helping to answer questions that come up throughout the day, such as “Where can I go study right now?” or “What’s happening on campus tonight?”“The most exciting feature to me, though, is the flexibility of the app’s platform,” Willmore said. “As the needs of campus change, the app can change with it. We can add modules for campus events like back-to-school just when they’re relevant.”Although there is a large array of options, Willmore said he hopes everyone on campus will make use of at least one feature within the app, especially since people’s needs vary over time.Much of this information is now scattered across webpages, but Willmore said he envisioned aggregating the information in one place that is “built for convenience.”“I can say from personal experience that an app like this would have been amazing when I was in college,” he said.Willmore said any cell phone with Internet capabilities can access the content on MobileND. While the app is mostly geared towards students, he said Notre Dame anticipates people using the app when they visit campus. To accommodate those interests, the app includes a visitor-parking map. He said MobileND plans to add content to enhance campus visits in the future.Visit the AppStore to download MobileND. Feedback about improvements and content can be mailed to mobile@nd.edu Tags: MobileND, Office of Information Technologylast_img read more

Broadway.com & CBS Join Forces for Tony Wrap-Up Special

first_img‘Broadway.com 2016 Tony Awards Special’ Broadway.com has once again teamed up with CBS, this time to bring you a wrap-up TV show about the Great White Way’s biggest night. Broadway.com 2016 Tony Awards Special with Imogen Lloyd Webber is set to air on CBS 2 New York this Sunday, June 19 at 8:30AM.From host James Corden’s brilliant shenanigans to the revolutionary acceptance speeches, live musical performances that had the audience on its feet, red carpet interviews and exclusive behind-the-scenes segments with the Tony winning actors and designers, the Broadway.com 2016 Tony Awards Special with Imogen Lloyd Webber is your first class ticket on the aisle to getting all the buzz.Our previous special, Broadway.com Presents At The Tonys with Imogen Lloyd Webber, is now available to view on Broadway.com as well as the newly launched Broadway Channel App, which you can access by visiting the Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku online stores. View Commentslast_img read more

John Goodman Talks The Front Page & Forgetting Lines

first_img Related Shows John Goodman has returned to Broadway for The Front Page, marking an on-stage reunion with Nathan Lane. While on The Tonight Show, the Emmy winner revealed the two appeared together in a disco version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream back in the ‘70s. Audiences can now catch them together at the Broadhurst Theatre, albeit with decidedly less funk. Goodman also recalled his even earlier tales from the stage, taking us back to a time when an eighth grade Goodman played the grandpa in You Can’t Take It With You. Struck with nerves, he forgot his lines and had to be consoled by his director/drama teacher, who he happened to have the hots for. We suspect he knows his lines now, but who would say no to a hug from Jack O’Brien? John Goodman John Goodman View Commentscenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 29, 2017 The Front Page Star Fileslast_img read more

Wicked winter

first_imgThis winter was unusually cold and wet across Georgia, causing the heating demand for buildings to soar.Climatological winter runs from December 1 to the last day in February. This winter was typical of an El Niño one for Georgia — but on hyperdrive. The average mean daily temperature was extremely cold statewide. The daily mean temperature is calculated by taking the daily maximum temperature plus the daily minimum temperature then dividing the sum by two.This past winter will be remembered for its long periods of below-normal temperatures. It wasn’t that Georgia experienced long periods of bitterly cold temperatures in the single digits. It was the lack of the typical warm periods between the cold periods.The average mean temperature in north Georgia this winter was near the fourth percentile, depending on the location. Locations in south Georgia experienced mean winter temperatures near the seventh percentile. At the fourth percentile, 96 out of 100 winters would be warmer. At the seventh percentile, 93 out of 100 winters would be warmer.The average daily minimum temperatures for the winter were around the tenth percentile statewide, except around Savannah, where the average minimum temperatures were near the fifth percentile. At the tenth percentile, 90 out of 100 winters would be warmer. While the daily minimum temperatures were on average cold, it was the daily maximum temperatures that were the most impressively cold. At locations across the southern half of Georgia, the average daily maximum temperatures were either the first or second percentiles. At the first percentile, 99 years out of 100 would be warmer. Across the northern half of Georgia, the average daily maximum temperatures were around the fifth percentile, depending on location. The winter as a whole was very wet across the state, especially in December. In January and February, south Georgia was abnormally wet. However, rainfall for January and February across the northern half of the state was near normal to slightly below normal.Because of the cold temperatures, heating demand was much higher than normal.Across north Georgia, heating demand for Athens was 20 percent above normal. Atlanta was 22 percent above normal. Compared to last winter, heating demand in Athens was 32 percent higher and in Atlanta 36 percent higher.The heating demand is based on heating degree days, which reflects the amount of energy needed to heat a building to a comfortable level considering the daily outside temperature.In middle Georgia, heating demand for this winter was 32 percent above normal in Columbus, 23 percent above normal in Macon and 19 percent above normal in Augusta. Compared to last winter, heating demand in Columbus was 42 percent higher, 42 percent higher in Macon and 40 percent higher in Augusta.Along the Georgia coast, heating demand for this past winter was 15 percent above normal in Savannah and 24 percent above normal in Brunswick. Compared to last year, heating demand in Savannah was 35 percent higher and 46 percent higher in Brunswick.The heating demand in Alma, in south Georgia, was 40 percent higher than normal and 38 percent higher than last year. Up-to-date weather information is available at University of Georgia automated weather station network Web site www.georgiaweather.net. Historic climate data is available from the State Climate Office Web site climate.engr.uga.edu.last_img read more

VTrans gets $10 million in stimulus funding for local transportation projects

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced that The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will award more than $10 million in Federal Economic Stimulus funds to improve roadways, sidewalks, bridges and other transportation infrastructure owned by 30 Vermont municipalities and non profits. The money will be distributed in three ways: 10 communities will receive paving grants ranging from $300,000 to $750,000, eight communities or non profits will receive transportation enhancement grants ranging from $52,000 to $240,000, while the Vermont Agency of Transportation will expend up to $5 million in Stimulus funds to repair 12 structurally deficient town highway bridges. These funds will ensure that Vermont towns and villages receive the benefit of transportation stimulus funding distributed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Governor Douglas said. Not only will these funds create jobs in towns across Vermont, it will also repair a dozen structurally deficient bridges, build sidewalks and pave miles of town roads that otherwise would not receive attention.Paving grants were issued to the following communities: TownPaving ProjectEstimateAlburghWest Shore Road/Isle Lamotte Bridge$411,750 BartonTH #1 (VT 16)$578,250 BerlinPaine Turnpike North (Berlin Four Corners)$365,612 City of NewportLake Road $362,163 HardwickCenter Road$450,000 LincolnRiver Road, encompassing West River Rd, East River Rd, Gap Road to the National Forest.$300,000 MiltonLake Road$370,530 StraffordRoute 132 $750,000 TopshamPowder Spring Road$675,000 Town of West RutlandMarble St, Whipple Hollow Road$709,413 Town highway bridges will be repaired in these communities:TownBridgeEstimate(This is a planning estimate only)BarnetTH 81 (Garland Hill), bridge #42$135,000 BensonTH 2 (VT 144), bridge #17$220,000 BelvidereTown Highway 3, bridge #12 $75,000 BethelTH 79 (Old Route 12), bridge #48$195,000 BraintreeTown Highway 23, bridge #12$750,000 EnosburgTH 7 (Longley Bridge Road), bridge #9$135,000 Greensboro TH 4 (Main Street), bridge #26$245,000 NewburyTH 50 (Peach Brook Road), bridge #65$145,000 NewfaneTown Highway 47, bridge #50$170,000 Rutland TownTH 11 (McKinley Avenue), bridge #9$450,000 St. JohnsburyUS 2, bridge #104 (Portland Street)$1,060,000 WardsboroTown Highway 1 (FAS 114), bridge #11$720,000 The Transportation Enhancement Grant Committee awarded Transportation Enhancement Grants to the following projects:TownEnhancement Project EstimateFranklinSafe Routes to School Sidewalk $84,000 Groton Kettle Pond ADA$52,000 MontpelierVine Street Pedestrian Bridge$168,000 North HeroKnight Point State Park ADA Trail$12,000 Pawlet/PoultneyD&H Rail Trail $184,000 ShelburneMount Philo Road Sidewalk STPWalk(26) $156,870 So. BurlingtonSo. Burlington Bike Path Project Repaving$158,948 Town of EssexVT15 Sidewalk Project$240,000 The paving grants were issued on a competitive basis, while enhancement grants were issued to communities or nonprofit organizations that demonstrated projects were shovel ready. VTrans selected the bridges for repair based on structural deficiency and an ability to complete repairs within the deadlines stipulated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.last_img read more

Hawaiian Electric Plans $150 Million Battery Storage Investment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Pacific Business News:Hawaiian Electric Company will invest close to $150 million in two new energy storage projects on Oahu. The Honolulu-based utility on Wednesday announced plans for two gird-scale projects on the island’s west side. They include a 20 megawatt system to support the 20 MW West Loch solar system, which is currently under construction at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s West Loch Annex, and a 100 MW system at Hawaiian Electric’s Campbell Industrial Park generating station.“These projects will improve resilience and reliability while helping stabilize costs for our customers,” Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for operations, said in a statement. “As Hawaiian Electric progresses toward 100 percent renewable energy, these storage projects will reduce our fossil fuel use by enabling more solar and wind integration into the grid.”At West Loch, the utility plans to own and operate a 20 MW battery capable of storing 80 megawatt-hour of energy at a cost of $43.5 million. The solar-plus-battery project is being built on land leased from the U.S. Navy. The company said it hopes to start construction by October 2019 with the system in service by February 2020. Due to the storage component, the project will be eligible for the federal Investment Tax Credit that will save customers 30 percent of the cost.The Campbell Industrial Park project is also expected to start construction in October 2019 with the battery set to enter service by October 2020 at an estimated cost of $104 million.The two battery storage projects will reduce the need for conventional, oil-fired generation during the evening peak and at night, reducing fossil fuel use and lowering carbon emissions, according to the utility.More: Hawaiian Electric Company Will Invest Close To $150 Million In Two New Energy Storage Projects On Oahu Hawaiian Electric Plans $150 Million Battery Storage Investmentlast_img read more

Wheels of Change

first_imgThe rising sun hangs low in the sky, forcing you to squint from the glare. There’s a honk from behind. You nudge forward, brake, stop, nudge forward again. A red Mazda cuts you off, spiking your annoyance. You hit another red light. Another honk. An hour passes.Just beyond your windshield is a concrete circus, a parade of taillights inching along to hammers and drills that fire like gunshots from behind blaze orange barriers. The rhythmic beep of a dump truck in reverse pierces the disorderly day like a metronome.Your phone vibrates, reminding you of a meeting that will start, with or without you, in 15 minutes. Your exit is in sight, the dotted line to freedom within a few hundred yards, but you’re gridlocked in, surrounded on all sides by bumper-to-bumper traffic.You’re stressed, irritated, anxious. And it’s just 8 o’clock on a Monday.Sound familiar? If you’re like three-fourths of the American population, this is the daily commute. Whether your drive to work is three miles or 30, on average, people spend just over an hour a day in the car.That number is on the rise, too. Back in 2001, researchers found that Americans spent 10% more time in their cars between the years 1995 and 2001 but traveled about the same number of miles. And that was only 15 years ago. Today, there are 2.28 vehicles per household, or about five vehicles for every four drivers, with 76% of the population driving alone to work. That means more cars on the road and more time in the car for you.In 2009, the IBM Corporation performed a study that concluded this increase in congestion is bad news for all—environmental impacts aside, 44% of drivers felt that traffic increased stress, 25% admitted to becoming angry, 16% said their commute negatively impacted their work performance, while 11% believed all of those effects combined made them lose precious hours of sleep.When you take into account that the average household annually spends three months’ pay on transportation, and that for every hour spent behind the wheel, your odds of being obese increase by six percent, it’s no wonder the majority of our population is strung-out, overweight, and late.How did things get so bad?After World War II, the car became a symbol of American fortitude, of freedom and wealth and independence, as integral to the American Dream as the white picket fence. The government supported that vision, too, embarking on the largest public works project to date, the Interstate Highway System, which joined the nation in more than 40,000 miles of pavement.Since then, the country has continued that trend of development, creating over 22,000 new lane-miles every year since 1980. Our forefathers dreamed of a connected nation, an intricate web of roadways spanning the country. They achieved that dream, all right, but neglected to consider the implications of urban sprawl to the American people.In 2009, the nation unsurprisingly ranked the automobile as its most important possession with 88% of the population claiming it a necessity, not a luxury. Minimal public transportation opportunities have made owning a car imperative if you live outside of any major U.S. city and don’t work at or close to home. For just over a quarter of the American workforce making minimum wage, this means having a vehicle is not only a necessity but also a financial straitjacket.Today, upwards of 204 million cars are clogging your commute every morning. Considering there are just 318 million people in the country, it should come as no surprise, then, that the U.S. alone is responsible for a quarter of the world’s oil consumption.As dismal as these statistics may sound, there’s a silver lining to it all—the tides are changing. Last year, the country consumed the lowest amount of fuel in 30 years and drove roughly six percent fewer miles than what was recorded a decade ago. While those numbers are on the decline, two new trends are starting to take root—an increase in households without cars entirely and an increase in bike commuting. Perhaps it was the recession or more environmental awareness, the reality of student loans or maybe a simple generational shift in values. Whatever the reason, Millennials are moving to the city to walk more, ride more, and ultimately, drive less.As bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Louisville Metro Department, Rolf Eisinger is being tasked with tackling this change in attitude. A former elite road racer, Eisinger says he was pleasantly surprised to see Kentucky’s largest city, which ranks 28th in the top 30 most populous cities in America, so young and active.IMG_6445_FIX“There’s always some kind of marathon or mini marathon or biking race going on downtown,” Eisinger says. “The Louisville Bicycle Club has over 1,300 active members and hosts rides every day of the year, most days more than one.”The biking culture isn’t new to the area. The Louisville Bicycle Club’s history stems as far back as the late 19th century when the club existed as the League of American Wheelmen. Yet since the year 2005, when the local administration hosted its first bike summit, the city’s two-wheeled scene has exploded. There’s a city bike team, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, plans for a 100-mile “Louisville Loop” park system, and in 2013, the city hosted the first World Cyclocross Championship to ever grace U.S. soil. Even the city’s namesake university has embraced the cycling culture, earning a silver level ranking for bike friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists.“It’s an eye-opening town to me,” says Scott Martin, Parks Director for The Parklands of Floyds Fork, “almost like a mirror city of Richmond except instead of a NASCAR track we have Churchill Downs.”That, along with a nationally recognized food scene, a vibrant bluegrass culture, and the world’s only Underground Bike Park. It’s no wonder the city is flourishing. The creation of more green spaces and additional bike safe havens like the Parklands are boosting that drive, too. When completed, the Parklands will provide 4,000 acres, over 50 miles of linear trail experiences, and another world-class bike park to Louisville residents and visitors. And the interesting part? The park was entirely funded through private donations, all 130 million dollars of it.“And that was in the depths of the recession,” Martin adds. “It’s neat to see this population get out and get active. You don’t have to go to Portland or Boulder to do it. When you provide the infrastructure, even in the KFC belt, people will use it the same way they use it out West.”By “infrastructure,” Martin means bike lanes and neighborways, or “bike boulevards.” Louisville has installed over 40 miles of bike infrastructure during the past few years. In 2014 alone, the city put in five roadway reconfigurations, converting four lanes into two-lane streets with designated turning and buffered bike lanes.“I didn’t see as much bicycle riding as a form of transportation when I first moved here,” Eisinger says. “I feel like every year, there seems to be more and more of that.”That’s something which Atlanta native and Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association’s (SORBA) Atlanta chapter president Brett Davidson wishes his hometown had already addressed. Later this year, Atlanta will finally install over 50 bike share stations. Though locals overwhelmingly support the program, the milestone comes nearly three years behind some of the city’s southern counterparts, like Chattanooga and Charlotte. Remember the “snowpocalypse” of 2014? Atlanta, of all cities, could surely stand to lose a few cars from the commute, but concerns for safety have kept cyclists off the roads and in the woods for the last 15 years.“We have a great mountain bike scene,” Davidson says. “We have tons of great riders that travel throughout the Southeast and race, but a lot of what they’re doing is leaving town. We’re just now getting to the point that people are realizing, hey, I don’t want to necessarily sit in my car and go an hour out to a trail system and back just to get a ride in.”Yet if you look at a map of Atlanta, that’s precisely what cyclists are being forced to do. The nearest mountain biking, Sope Creek, is at the outermost edge of Interstate 285, and it takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes just to reach its trailhead. Though completion of the BeltLine and in-town portion of the Silver Comet Trail will expand commuter cycling, Atlanta proper is still lacking legal singletrack.“We have a lot of wooded space in Atlanta that is run by the park system and doesn’t really have anything going on,” Davidson says. “This is a ball and bat culture and a rec center culture, so we’ve kinda had to sell outdoor recreation.”Those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Earlier this summer, SORBA Atlanta received a $25,000 grant from REI to develop an in-town, beginner-friendly trail at Southside Park. It will be the first purpose-built mountain bike trail system in the city of Atlanta and easily accessible by bike. According to Davidson, the timing couldn’t be better. Just a decade ago, Atlanta was losing 500 acres of open space to development per week. Yet as more and more young professionals and families move within city limits, an increased interest in nearby recreational opportunities is putting pressure on Atlanta to change its thinking.“Atlanta’s a city that consistently reinvents itself every 20 years,” Davidson says. “Our symbol is a phoenix rising from the flames. We’re not gonna be the LA of the South. What people want closer to where they live is more of the incredible outdoor resources we already have in town.”Just a couple hours north of Atlanta, the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., is seeing the impacts of investing in those outdoor resources. A quarter the size of Atlanta, Chattanooga has come a long way since being proclaimed the “dirtiest city in America” in the late ‘60s.“We want access to the outdoors for all,” says Philip Pugliese, Director of Chattanooga’s Active Living & Transportation Network (ALTN). “Having well over 100 miles of singletrack trails within 10 miles of downtown has created special opportunities for the community.”In 2011 and again in 2015, Outside Magazine’s readers voted Chattanooga as the “Best Town Ever.” The once-choking, polluted industrial pit is now known as the “Scenic City,” a hub for outdoor recreation. The city regularly serves as host for big-name events like the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships and has even organized its very own century ride for 28 years running, the 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge.Two years ago, the city’s Sports Committee signed a five-year contract with Ironman, and the first two years of Chattanooga’s triathlons saw such success that Ironman organizers decided last year to add an Ironman 70.3 to the city’s race repertoire. Additionally, Chattanooga is currently among the top three contenders to host the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.“The events that bring cyclists to Chattanooga, whether as a participant or a spectator, really give people an opportunity to see what the community has to offer,” says Pugliese. “People cycling are often seen as an indicating species of a community. If one can see families with children cycling safely through a neighborhood, that creates a sense of well-being, and a sense of that sends a subliminal message to the quality of life in that community.”People walking, jogging, riding bikes. That’s exactly what brought Tabi Cooper 800 miles south from Milwaukee to the city of Greenville, S.C. Cooper and her husband stumbled upon Greenville just a year ago, and, on a whim, decided to throw down some roots in the South. Cooper now runs Greenville Goods, a co-op style business that promotes all-things Greenville.“There is so much to do within just a short distance,” Cooper says. “Greenville is so easy to bike. You can just jump on a trail and ride up to the brewery or the Swamp Rabbit Café.”But Greenville as Cooper knows it is a little different than the city Boyd Johnson, owner of carbon wheel manufacturing company Boyd Cycling, moved to a decade ago. Though the area has always housed an avid road racing community, the opening of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in 2011 created not just another training route for those same road cyclists, but also a safe place to commute and an economic driver for local businesses. In the Greenville Health System’s Three Year Findings survey on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, businesses reported an increase in sales and revenue from as low as 10% to as high as 85%.“Downtown living is expanding like crazy,” Johnson says. “A lot of times towns will put in these types of trails and everyone uses it at first and then participation dies off. Now [the Swamp Rabbit Trail] gets busier and busier.”Johnson relocated his shop to a trailside warehouse just one year after the trail opened, but not for any hopes of increased business—after all, most walk-ins to his shop aren’t going to drop a grand on a set of carbon wheels for their commuter bike. But for Johnson, a father to a three-year-old girl who also likes to ride, the new site affords him the same safety and convenience that kept half a million people coming back to the Swamp Rabbit Trail during its inaugural year.“You have to play the hand you’re dealt, and fortunately, we got a good one,” says Mayor Wayne McCall of Travelers Rest, S.C., or “TR” if you’re from the South. “We’re all about travel and trails and trees. Anything that starts with ‘tr.’”As Mayor McCall likes to say, Travelers Rest is “the front porch” of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. “It begins and ends here, whichever way you want to look at it.”In the last few years, Travelers Rest has made a near 180-degree turnabout, thanks in part to the opening of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Not only does the rail-trail afford an active means of connecting TR to Greenville (a 20-mile ride one way), but it also provides businesses in this once sleepy southern town with a steady stream of visitors. From July 2012 to June 2013, tourists dumped $6.7 million dollars into the TR economy, helping to revitalize the town’s Main Street with new restaurants and mom-and-pop shops.“Back around 2001, the economy had passed us by,” Mayor McCall says. “We were just a suburb of Greenville. There was no reason for people to stay here. You couldn’t even buy a pair of socks.”Now, you can take a walk downtown and visit a beekeeping supplier, wine shop, moonshine distillery, brewery, even a canoe manufacturer (and yes, there is a place to buy socks). Retired road cyclist George Hincapie, mostly known as Lance Armstrong’s right-hand man, even decided to make Travelers Rest the setting for his boutique, the European-styled Hotel Domestique.But success for TR hasn’t come easy, and as Mayor McCall says, “it’s like catching lightning in a bottle. You have to hitch up to the start when it comes.” Take Chattanooga, for instance. Recognizing its potential within the context of recreational tourism, the city built trails and outdoor infrastructure with the thought that the people will follow.Well, follow they did, and with more than just their bikes and running shoes. Remember that Ironman contract? The city estimates those events will bring in $8 million annually to the local economy—that’s $40 million over the course of the city’s five-year agreement.“If there were no bikes, this area would take a hit. At least 20%,” says Mike Goss, General Manager at Sirianni’s Café in Davis, W.Va. “Biking is an eight-month event. It’s not like skiing where you get three months out of it.”The quaint town of Davis has a long history of mountain biking, its reputation for gnarly singletrack tracing back to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when the sport was new and endurance events were hot. Races like Granny Gear’s 24 Hours of Canaan and the Blackwater 100 annually drew 500 racers to Davis, which is just a few hundred shy of the town’s year-round population.“Bikers support a lot of these shops in town, and it’s not just the touristy bikers—it’s the people that live here and bike, too,” Goss says.Rob Stull is one of those area locals who reside and recreate in Tucker County. Earlier this year, Stull took over ownership of Blackwater Bikes, the bike shop in Davis that opened in 1982 at the peak of 24-hour racing’s heyday. Since then, the area has seen major shifts, both in the world of mountain biking and the closer-to-home issue of land access, but Stull knows the area still boasts some of the best techy mountain biking around.“This is the original place where you went to bike,” Stull says. “The trails here were developed early on and we have a reputation, but it’s going to take a serious commitment and serious level of investment to the point where we can compete against other recreation towns.”There’s no doubt about it—the energy is there. Between professional cyclist Sue Haywood’s kids’ and women’s skills clinics, weekly group rides for all ages, the annual Canaan Valley MTB Fest, and a handful of area races, the place certainly has no shortage of biking opportunities. There’s a vibrant culture in town, too—craft pizza, local beer, and weekly live music at The Purple Fiddle provide plenty for visitors to experience after a day on the trails. The challenge Davis now faces is finding the funds to improve upon family-friendly trail experiences like the unfinished Blackwater Canyon Trail, a rail-trail that, when completed, could rival Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail and Atlanta’s BeltLine system in scenery.“Anybody could move to an Asheville or a Charlotte where this stuff is already happening, but we’re here and we’re building that sense of community and making it happen,” Stull says.Fortunately for people like Stull who want to harness that community interest in fitness and active transportation, the government wants to help. You can thank Oregon’s Rep. Earl Blumenauer for that. In 1996, Blumenauer founded the Bike Caucus, a bipartisan congressional committee that has helped prioritize biking initiatives for the past two decades.Through the support of the Bike Caucus came bills like Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (or MAP-21 as it is mostly known) in 2012, which allocated funds for a “Transportation Alternatives Program” (TAP) that created more off-road and on-road facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Though the budget for those projects has since been reduced, other pending bills like the Bike to Work Act, which provides a tax benefit for commuters, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Improvement Act, continue to be stalled in Congress.In just the last decade, bike commuting has increased 60 percent. Considering fuel prices, obesity rates, and health care costs are also on the rise, this upsurge is a welcome one. People want safe, affordable, and convenient transportation. They want recreation close to home, their daily commute quicker, the air around them cleaner.And while, of course, the car will always hold its place in American households, it’s only a matter of time before the preferred method of daily transportation drops four wheels for two.last_img read more

Credit union best practice: How to respond to comments on social media

first_imgHaving a social media presence and good content is only half the battle. Your credit union should also be utilizing social media as a way to connect and interact with your members. Here are some examples of how your credit union should respond to comments on social media!Answer Questions As Soon as Possible and ThoroughlyWhat differentiates your credit union is your customer service and willingness to help. Millions of people are on social media on a daily basis and some even use it as a primary way of communicating. If you’re not actively monitoring it, you can be missing out on questions from your members.Hubspot is a perfect example of awesome social media support. In this case, a user was unable to reach support on their website, so she turned to social media. Hubspot replied with several ways to contact support, and within 20 minutes her problem was resolved! Now that’s customer service! continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Could card activation campaigns really help your portfolio?

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Aris Jerahian Aris is the AVP of Card Services at Orange County’s Credit Union.  A payment industry executive with more than 15 years of credit, debit portfolio management, consulting and operational … Web: www.orangecountyscu.org Details While we continue to focus on marketing campaigns, it’s easy to forget that no card is profitable until it’s activated and used.Motivating cardholders to activate their new cards is critical to reaching your revenue goals. Yet the challenge remains – how will you increase card activation and capture more loyal cardholders?Make It Part of Your ProcessWhile opening a new debit or credit card is a great start, activation reminders can help generate an additional $20 in revenue per activated card, as reported in June of 2018 by Fiserv. Work with your card processor to identify your non-activated new accounts and help establish a timeline for your communication deployment strategy. On average, a reminder should go out 10 days, 20 days, and finally at 30 days after the card is issued.Offer Something UniquePersonalized offers or incentives are always a great idea however, not all credit unions have access to sophisticated analytics and cardholder data. To offset a lack of data or resources, credit unions can become creative in their offering by:Capitalizing on national promotions or sweepstakes offered by payment networks, like Visa and Mastercard.  Some promotions, such as Mastercard’s Priceless Sweepstakes, are free.Promoting your bill payment or online banking solution as an advantage to encourage the member to activate their card.Promoting the convenience and ease that comes with your digital wallet product, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.Developing a campaign (if you offer a rewards program) that offers members who activate new cards bonus loyalty rewards.Special offers or rewards have strong track records as effective ways to increase activation, however you can also be creative in your campaigns and offer products or services that are appreciated or requested by your members. Leverage the insights about your membership and always continue learning about what matters most to them.Track & MonitorWith every promotion, tracking the results is critical to ensure it’s working and if it requires any adjustments.  With an activation campaign, you must track the following:At each interval (10, 20, and 30 days), track your activation percentage against your history.  Has the number of activated cards increased? Do you need to adjust any of the offerings? Where are you seeing the most engagement?Monitor your cardholders who activated their cards after receiving your promotion.  Monitor their balances and transactions. Are there any trends of increased loyalty?To stand out amongst the bombardment of marketing messages consumers receive daily – comparing perks, benefits, and reasons why this card is better than the other – it’s imperative to make your product offering and experience a relevant one.  While the incentive could be generic, you’ll likely find increased success in a strategy and message that’s personal, delivers to their needs to make a better connection, and ultimately inspires them to take action.last_img read more

A balloon of Varaždin County with Rabuzin’s motif was presented

first_imgVaraždin County, Balloon Club Zagreb and the Croatian national team in hot air ballooning have made one of the most fabulous projects that connect culture, sports and tourism. After Zagorje, as part of the celebration of Varaždin County Day last night in the parking lot of the Varaždin City Sports Hall, a new attraction was presented, the balloon of Varaždin County.Thus, for the first time, a hot air balloon with the registration number 9A-ORA took off, and what makes it exceptional, not only in Croatia, but in the whole world, is that the balloon dome is also a reproduction of one of the most impressive works of Croatian naive art – painting ” Flower Festival ”by the painter Ivan Rabuzin, one of the world’s greatest naive artists, who is a native of Novi Marof.”The whole idea is a combination of tourism, culture and sports. The culture here is represented by the world-famous painter Ivan Rabuzin, who is from our County, and we are proud of him. It should be noted that this is a competitive sport – ballooning – and there is, of course, very important tourism. We expect that as part of the competition and gathering of balloonists around the world, our balloon as a “colorful ambassador” will present Varaždin County and thus bring as many tourists to our county. It is a distinctive, attractive, interesting project, unique in Croatia and in this way our county is presented. We have made a serious step forward in tourism, we are attracting more and more tourists and satisfied citizens to the events and manifestations that we organize.”Said the President of the Tourist Board of Varaždin County, Natalija Martinčević.This balloon, produced by one of the world’s most eminent balloon manufacturers UltraMagic from Catalonia. The balloon is 17,6 meters high and 15,6 meters in diameter and has a volume of almost 2000 m3 and has a capacity of two people. The balloon is adorned with the most modern equipment and performance, and its exceptional appearance makes it currently the only balloon of its kind in the world and is guaranteed to be the center of attention wherever it appears in the world.”Apart from sports, hot air balloons and their gatherings are some of the most attractive tourist attractions and attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, and this balloon is also an announcement of the Varaždin County tourism strategy that will focus efforts in the coming years to bring some of top world pilots and by encouraging this extremely attractive sport and organizing balloon gatherings enriched the tourist offer of Varaždin County, but also Croatia ” stand out from the Balloon Club Zagreb.As a colorful flying ambassador, capture the imagination of spectators and represent Varaždin County and the Republic of Croatia at all major competitions and balloon gatherings around the world, conveying the spirit of Croatia and Varaždin County, its natural beauty and enviable cultural heritage.last_img read more