After housing authority murder, Hoboken councilmen touting improvements

first_img Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Previous articleVainieri, Sacco, DeGise announce $4M restoration project at Braddock ParkNext articleIndicted ex-Jersey City cop to receive $93k in unused time after court battle John Heinis CarePoint Health reaches deal for Cigna Health Insurance to join their network After housing authority murder, Hoboken councilmen touting improvements February 3, 2017 8:40 am at 8:40 am RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Bayonne Bayonne man pepper sprayed, arrested after punching cop in the face, authorities say Facebook Twitter By John Heinis – February 2, 2017 6:14 pm 1 Police: 45-year-old man arrested for attempting to have sex with 15-year-old girl in Secaucus center_img HobokenNews In response to a Hoboken resident speaking out about the recent murder of 18-year-old Adrian Rivera, Councilmen Ruben Ramos and David Mello touted the ongoing improvements at the housing authority. [fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUNU_HHA0BI&feature=youtu.be[/fve]“I’m here today to talk about the growing divide between the city and the Hoboken Housing Authority. As you all know, last week was the fourth shooting in the 4th Ward since September and the second this month,” HHA resident Nick Lenzi said during the public portion of last night’s council meeting.“I planned on being here at the last meeting but I wasn’t able to make it. Now, I deeply regret not speaking up sooner because now there’s [been] a fourth shooting, and this time, a fatality.”According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Rivera was fatally shot at 300 Marshall Dr. on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 24 by two men from Jersey City: Khalif Geiger, 20, and a 17-year-old minor.Virtually no details surrounding the circumstances of his death have been released yet and the murder remains under investigation.“I’m concerned that three of the four shooting have occurred within 100 yards of a now shut down police precinct. Last Tuesday, while I was at work, I was alarmed to hear what sounded like 15 police cars racing by our office – we had no idea what was going on,” Lenzi continued.He further stated that given the city’s “incredible communication capability,” residents should be notified when an active shooter is on the loose, also questioning why no media associated with the city ever provided updates on the situation.Lenzi concluded by stating he feels that the housing authority is being “neglected” and that he’d like to help be part of a positive change in the neighborhood.Ramos, a lifelong resident of the 4th Ward, heard the message loud and clear and wanted residents to know that the recent murder and drug activity at the HHA has led to important discussions among city officials.“Lots has been done at the housing authority, but not enough. And you can never do enough to try and alleviate an issue that’s been going on for far too long, and every time we do make strides, there have been setbacks,” explained Ramos.The former Assemblyman added that the council recently had “a great dialogue” revolving around drug activity at the housing authority and other parts of the city. He concluded by inviting everyone to a public meeting at 221 Jackson St. at 7 p.m. on Monday.Mayor Dawn Zimmer, County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Johnson, as well as members of the council and housing authority board are all expected to be in attendance to address resident’s concerns.Mello, who is also a commissioner on the HHA board, praised the efforts of Executive Director Marc Recko and said he anticipates many improvements coming to the housing authority in the near future.“Things that are gonna be coming in front of the board of commissioners at the housing authority: plans for extremely secure doors, more cameras, an employee at the housing authority that will monitor what does violations [sic],” stated Mello.Mello also expressed great satisfaction in everyone working together to get the necessary funding for the aforementioned amenities.“If anything positive has come out of this incredibly tragic event, it’s that people have gotten in the same room and received nothing but positive feedback [from] this city: every entity that can possibly provide money or help to acquire money for those improvements.” Crime TAGSdavid mellohoboken city councilHoboken Housing Authorityruben ramos SHARE Bayonne Comments are closed. Great article. Thank you for bringing this to light. Angie 1 COMMENTlast_img read more

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Watch: Florida Paramedic Spreads Positive Message in Song

first_imgLee County (Fla.) paramedic Lorenzo Hogans II is trying to get a positive message out. “Super Medic,” his new music video, shows the battle with death in a creative way — something first responders do on a daily basis, he says. “It’s also a lyrical representation of faith and love, which would be the message: Hold on to your faith and continue to love,” Hogans told JEMS.last_img

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North American Exclusive! Eco-Friendly Steel Cuts Coal Use and Emissions

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe process of manufacturing environmentally friendly steel not only reduces coal use by one-third, it also salvages plastic waste from garbage dumps, cooking it at such intense temperatures that carbon emissions and energy consumption are cut dramatically. Developed in Australia, this breakthrough advancement of turning plastic waste into steel has now commenced commercial production at a Sydney steel plant. (Read more of this Good News Network North American exclusive…) Six years ago, Indian-born Professor Veena Sahajwalla was staring into a steel-making furnace in Indianapolis when suddenly something clicked. What if she tried mixing waste plastic with the coal at intense temperatures? Could she invent new ‘green steel’? The science behind the question was elegantly simple. In electric arc furnace steelmaking, coal or coke is needed to trigger carbon reactions at intense temperatures. But carbon reactions, she theorized, could just as easily be generated using plastic that would otherwise be building up in landfills. Steel can’t tell where the carbon comes from so the end product would be identical. Today, Professor Sahajwalla is the Director of Sustainable Materials Processing at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney and her green dream is about to become a commercial reality. Australian steelmaker Onesteel has just obtained a worldwide license, in conjunction with UNSW’s commercial arm, NewSouth Innovations (NSi), for the manufacturing of plastic-injected low-emissions steel. Onesteel’s Sydney plant has already commenced production. The new electric arc furnace process substitutes about 30 percent of coal and coke with polyethylene plastic waste; reducing pressure on garbage dumps. But, much more significant was the discovery that the plastic mix in creates a more efficient steelmaking process, promising to reduce emissions in one of the world’s dirtiest, but most essential, industrial processes. After years of laboratory testing, Professor Sahajwalla discovered that her initial hunch during a sabbatical year spent in the United States, ‘up close, hot and dirty’ with the steelmaking industry, was correct. Carbon derived from plastic can be used in steelmaking, thus reducing the amount of coal inside a furnace. But, the realization that the plastic waste ‘mix in’ was actually more efficient than conventional electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking — which runs off large amounts of electricity — was an added bonus. Annually, the world produces about 1.1 billion tons of steel, about 40 percent of that in EAFs. Cutting electricity demand for industrial steel production represents major environmental and cost savings. Social Benefits for Poor Societies Beyond the environmental benefits, Professor Sahajwalla is looking forward to a social spin-off close to her heart. Born and raised in Bombay, India, she learnt very early that poor societies cannot afford waste. Everything is reused and recycled in India’s slums and poor rural communities, she says. The idea that polyethylene plastic — found in everything from shopping bags, to plastic packaging and plastic pipes — will become a valuable raw material for steelmaking could lift the economic prospects of the wretchedly poor, who live off picking over the third world’s rubbish dumps. “The idea I find exciting is the possibility of up-cycling waste, giving it a higher value. In this process we have actually added value to waste. You have rubbish everywhere, this turns it into a whole new business venture.” From a scientific point of view, the fact that carbon reactions are more efficient when plastic is added to the process is a compelling mystery which Professor Sahajwalla’s UNSW teams are still trying to unravel. It seems the plastic aids the “slag foaming” process and may improve furnace efficiency by sitting on top of molten steel like an insulating blanket. “No one has looked at the uses of plastics at steelmaking temperatures of 1600 degrees C, and you can imagine the challenges of working with these temperatures in a lab are enormous. A lot of these reactions are being carried out for the first time,” she says. The Big Aim: To Turn Trash into a Science Her long-term goal is to develop ‘recycling science.’ “We have never really looked at waste with the respect it deserves. We shouldn’t look at rubbish as waste, but as just another resource and we need to develop the science to match.” However, she is optimistic the momentum for environmental change is now unstoppable. “The environmental tide has turned,” she says. In the meantime, Onesteel has the right to sub-license the technology to more than 300 EAF steelmakers around the world. Onesteel has been testing the commercial viability of the process for two years and found the process reduces energy consumption at a rate of 11.1 kilowatt hours per charge ton. Professor Sahajwalla’s own fascination for materials, and the industrial processes which produce them, began during her childhood in India. She was, she says, an “unusual girl” drawn to big machinery and furnaces. As an undergraduate in India, she was the only girl in her class, always bettering the grades of her male peers. As a post-graduate she went to Canada and the United States before being recruited by the CSIRO in Australia, and later by the University of New South Wales. (Louise Williams is Associate Director of University of New South Wales International) THANKS to Kay from Australia for submitting this story idea to the Good News Network! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Some Say Bypassing a Higher Education is Smarter Than Paying for a Degree

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIf you crunch the numbers, some experts say, college is a bad investment while there are cheaper and better ways to get an education: pursue a dream — travel, do something creative or start a business.(READ the story in the Washington Post)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Adam Chanler-Berat, Tavi Gevinson & Andy Grotelueschen Join Assassins Revival at Classic Stage

first_img Brandon Uranowitz Three New York stage regulars have been added to the cast of Classic Stage Company’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s 1990 musical Assassins. The previously announced off-Broadway production, directed by CSC Artistic Director John Doyle, will run from April through May 2020.New to the cast are Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal, Amélie) as John Hinckley Jr., Tavi Gevinson (The Crucible, This Is Our Youth) as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Tony nominee Andy Grotelueschen (Tootsie, Into the Woods) as Samuel Byck.They join the previously announced Steven Pasquale as John Wilkes Booth, four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn as Sara Jane Moore, Tony nominee Will Swenson as Charles Guiteau, three-time Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz as Leon Czolgosz and Wesley Taylor as Giuseppe Zangara.Assassins explores the lives of nine men and women who either killed (or tried to kill) one of the Presidents of the United States. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and beyond, the stories of our country’s most successful and would-be assassins intersect in unexpected ways, creating a powerful, yet unnervingly funny look at some of the most shocking moments in U.S. history. Will Swenson Steven Pasquale Assassins View Comments Andy Grotelueschen View All (6) Star Files Adam Chanler-Berat Wesley Taylor Adam Chanler-Berat, Tavi Gevinson & Andy Grotelueschen(Photos: Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Related Showslast_img read more

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‘Defending Our Democracy’ with Secretary of State Jim Condos, Thursday

first_imgVermont Business Magazine On Thursday, April 19th from 4pm to 6pm Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos will be hosting a forum on election cybersecurity at the Pavilion Auditorium, located at 109 State Street(link is external) in Montpelier. The presentation will cover background information on recent events impacting election cybersecurity and the safeguards in place protecting Vermont’s voter registration and election systems. There will be dedicated time for questions from attendees. The forum is open to all and no registration is required.“Elections are the core of our democracy, and ensuring the security and integrity of our elections is a top priority” said Secretary Condos. “In this age of technological advances and the growing cyber threat posed by foreign adversaries, ensuring free and fair elections has become increasingly complicated. I’d like to invite members of the public, the media, state or local officials, and any other interested individuals to attend and learn about what we’re doing in Vermont to safeguard your vote.”Secretary Condos will be joined by Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters, Elections Director Will Senning and Matt McCann from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a national partner with Vermont in election cybersecurity efforts.“The Department of Homeland Security values our partnership with Secretary Condos as we work together to improve the security of the election process” said DHS Senior Cybersecurity Advisor Matt Masterson. “Secretary Condos and the local election officials across the state are committed to providing secure and resilient elections to the voters of Vermont. We will continue to work with Secretary Condos and state and local officials across the nation to provide the support necessary to ensure a smooth and secure election process.”Source: Secretary of State Condoslast_img read more

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Franklin County Economic Report: A long road back to the pre-pandemic

first_imgPhoto: Cows grazing in Franklin, VT. Photo: Andrew Godin.by Joy Choquette, Vermont Business MagazineFamous Vermonter Norman Rockwell once said, “The view of life I communicate in my pictures excludes the sordid and the ugly. I paint life as I would like it to be.” As towns and counties throughout the state reel in the wake of COVID-19 and residents adjust to a “new normal,” this quote is apt.The financial picture in Franklin County isn’t as bright as it was last year at this time, said Mayor Tim Smith.But although challenges abound, Smith has been impressed with the hard-working attitude exhibited by those in the local workforce during the pandemic. He has also been encouraged by some positive steps forward.COVID-19’s Effect on Franklin CountyThe largest challenge to the county during COVID-19, Smith said, was the dismissal of schools in the area. The connectivity and meals that children receive through the school system are essential in many students’ lives. To have those things suddenly disrupted left school administrators, teachers, and parents scrambling to find their footing, Smith noted.Working parents and kids staying home alone when daycares closed earlier this spring were real concerns.“The impact to families and individuals was great,” said Smith.Photo: Tim Smith, Mayor of St. Albans. Courtesy Photo.Additionally, employees who had the option of working at home were responsible for balancing their own regular workload in a new setting. And parents had the additional burden of doing so alongside homeschooling their children.Other challenges in the county continue to crop up, said Smith, after-effects of COVID-19. A major issue recently is the possible impending Homeland Security layoffs.“We have a large employee base here in St Albans,” said Smith. “When you look at laying off 60 to 70 percent of the workforce—the impact on families will be huge.”Vermont’s congressional delegation are among many in Congress that were able to stave off those furloughs, at least for now.In addition, dairy prices have nosedived, and dairy farmers are struggling significantly, said Smith.“The financial packages that are being brought to bear are just a drop in the bucket compared to what they [farmers] are dealing with,” Smith explained.A year ago, milk prices were on the rise and unemployment rates in the area were low. A number of projects were moving forward, said Smith, but now all that has changed.“Now, depending on what happens with immigration and the dairy industry, it may be a long road back,” Smith said.Economic Development Coordinator of the Town of Swanton/Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation, Elisabeth Nance, noted that COVID-19 required nimbleness as employees and employers have had to learn to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.Photo: Elisabeth Nance, economic development coordinator of the Town of Swanton/Franklin County Industrial Corporation. Courtesy Photo.“For employees, it is keeping up with the resources that are available while trying to juggle changes at work and in the home. For employers, it is understanding the various programs that are available and getting in the queue to get funds or other assistance,” said Nance.“From an organizational standpoint, it has been a challenge to effectively communicate what resources are available in a timely manner given the rapid changes while addressing the challenge of working from home,” Nance noted that learning to navigate virtual meetings is a specific challenge. “On the other hand, we’ve seen higher attendance because people don’t have to travel to get to their various meetings,” Nance noted.Economic Successes in Franklin CountyThough the dairy industry in the area has recently taken a hit, as noted by Smith, it also received some good news. The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), kicked off a $30 million investment to its plant in St Albans.This investment includes improvements and upgrades to milk storage, milk handling, receiving, and process and flow within the facility, said Brad Keating, senior vice president, and chief operating officer of DFA’s Northeast Area. A virtual groundbreaking event took place on July 15. The DFA merged with the St Albans Cooperative Creamery last year.Additionally, approximately $10 million has been earmarked for new tractors and trailers to support milk hauling.“We remain committed to keep investing in Vermont and our overall infrastructure to support our members,” said Keating during the virtual groundbreaking event.Governor Phil Scott stated, “This new project in Franklin County is important to our economy, helping farmers and those who make a living off the land, which in the end will help consumers.” He also noted that “By building these new bays and silos, it shows DFAs commitment to the future and our state.”A positive to come out of the pandemic, was seeing residents in the region continue to patronize local businesses as soon as the phases of re-opening occurred, stated Chip Sawyer, director of planning and development for St Albans City.“Many businesses were quick to find ways to get their products to customers or find ways to keep their employees working using whatever means they had and supports provided by the government,” said Sawyer.Also, Sawyer believes that the diverse landscape of businesses in the county is a plus.“In the end, Franklin County still has a good balance of jobs in various sectors, from retail to manufacturing, and a strong base of businesses that contribute to the quality of life.”Photo: DFA improvements to the dairy facility, Federal Street, St. Albans. Courtesy Photo. Economic Challenges in Franklin CountyWhile COVID-19 has presented its own set of very real challenges for business owners, other economic challenges already existed in Franklin County. Companies were challenged with finding workers long before the pandemic, Nance said.In addition, “There are some workers who are currently making more on unemployment than they made at their pre-COVID jobs so they may not yet be looking for work,” said Nance. “Others are faced with needing to transition to another job,” Nance stated, “that takes time and is often uncomfortable.”Adam Paxman, president of the Swanton Chamber of Commerce, agreed. On a county level, getting people back to work has been a challenge.Paxman explained, “There is no incentive to go back when they are making more on unemployment.”The initial federal unemployment benefit expired July 25. But a new program could be authorized by Congress and an executive order by President Trump is likely to backdate up to $400 a week to that time. The details on that plan were still being worked out at VBM’s press time.Not being able to hold social events at an organizational level has been an ongoing hardship.“Community events bring people and commerce into the community and promote the sense of community,” said Paxman. “Organizations which promote these events have not been able to continue their mission of community promotions.”Paxman stated that Act 250 is an ongoing challenge for local businesses. “We say we are business-friendly, but we really are not,” said Paxman. “The education tax we are forced to pay is a weakness all caused by not being business-friendly.”In order to solve this problem, he would like to see schools responsible for their own budgets.“Find another way to pay for the education tax. If the school system is in the red, deal with it and cut the budget,” Paxman said. “That’s the way it works with a household or a business. You cut out the fat in your budget and live simpler so you can afford to keep living.”Nance agreed that Act 250 does create challenges for businesses.“There are a lot of Act 250-related restrictions and time restraints,” she said. “Some of the best places to put businesses aren’t options because of wetlands.”She said that though she appreciates the protection of Vermont’s ecosystem, she believes, “In trying to do the right thing we sometimes go a little overboard.”Sawyer sees what he calls “familiar systematic issues” in the county continuing.“The lack of available modern office, warehouse, and manufacturing space built on spec for businesses that would like to grow or locate to our county,” is number one.Second, “The regionally-coined ‘Formidable Four’ barriers to workforce sustainability: housing, transportation, childcare, and substance use disorder.”Third, “the need to expand broadband access throughout our county—especially now,” Sawyer noted, are all challenges to the county’s economy.Smith concurred. “The number one piece is that there are no vacancies for manufacturing or industrial needs for warehousing.”If there is no tenant in place, getting a lease with the bank is impossible.“We have nothing to show businesses interested in coming to the county as far as options for sites,” Smith noted. He believes the solution is straightforward. “Capital investment in facilities and buildings that  would help us recruit new business on a regular basis.”Doing Business in Franklin County NowFranklin County, like every other county in Vermont and most of the country, has been hit hard economically by COVID-19. For months, businesses were closed completely or had to find a new way to offer services or products in order to stay afloat.The bar and restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit. According to the National Restaurant Association, $120 billion in lost revenues had occurred as of the end of May.Tom Murphy is the owner of Twiggs American Gastropub. The restaurant and bar, located on Main Street in downtown St Albans like every other eatery, has undergone extremely stressful changes with the new restrictions in place during COVID-19.Photo: Tom Muphy, owner of Twiggs. Photo: Twiggs.Typically in an average month, Murphy stated that Twiggs earned between $30,000 to $40,000 in alcohol sales alone. That figure dropped down to between $5,000 to $6,000 during the pandemic.Despite the challenges, Murphy called it, “The best thing that’s ever happened to the restaurant. I’m not saying COVID and sickness and death is the best thing that’s ever happened,” Murphy clarified, “but we’ve been two to three times busier than we’ve been in the history of the restaurant.”Murphy coordinated a free spaghetti dinner for the community which fed 1,600 people. Twiggs also began creating family-style meals that were delivered by the restaurant staff.“Waitstaff became delivery drivers, people helped out in the kitchen, everything really came together,” said Murphy. “Our goal was to keep people employed and serve the community.”Despite the positive approach in the face of challenges, Murphy acknowledges that there are very real struggles not only for his business but others in the area as well.“The stories I hear are not great ones,” said Murphy.Predictions by the National Restaurant Association indicate that the revenues lost by restaurants nationwide could rise to as much as $240 billion by the end of 2020.Still, Murphy has chosen to stay positive and focus on what he can control. He believes that the pandemic may teach business owners important lessons, particularly those that work together and are open to learning how to pivot.The four deadly words in business—especially in these challenging times Murphy believes—is “I’ll do it myself.”Working together, sharing ideas, and collaborating are ways in which Murphy believes business owners might come out stronger on the other side of COVID-19.“It seems that everyone is learning from everyone else. The only way we’re going to really figure it out is communicating and the emotional intel of our community together.”Paxman stated that the potential expansion of the Franklin County State Airport, located in Highgate, would be a big help to the county.“If the expansion of this airport comes to fruition it will be a huge positive for economic growth,” said Paxman.The airport could receive more than $2.2 million in federal funds, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The money would be used to support rebuilding the airport’s existing runway and expanding it.Continuing to build relationships between businesses in Franklin County and those directly over the border in Canada—once the borders are reopened—is a big benefit that the county has, said Paxman. He calls the Swanton’s location a huge opportunity.“The environment is ripe to entice new business from Canada,” Paxman said.Outlook for 2020 and BeyondThe county has opportunities that it can capitalize on, stated Sawyer. A solid residential base means that Franklin County can thrive and provide value in nearly every employment sector. This will reduce the need for so many residents to commute out of the area.Also, “There are ongoing efforts to find regional synergies to address the ‘Formidable Four’ barriers to workforce sustainability,” said Sawyer.Cuts and financial hardships at the county’s hospital, Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) along with the proposed furloughs at Homeland Security are big challenges that will need to be addressed carefully.Sawyer noted that these have been and will continue to be hard on the community. He hopes that these major employers will bounce back in when more COVID-related restrictions are lifted and easier phases are in place.“Franklin and Grand Isle counties used to have a very successful workforce investment board,” said Nance. “Due to the loss of state funds the coordinator position was eliminated but bringing someone back into that position would give employers and employees a liaison who could identify necessary skills and the resources available.”The Town of Swanton received $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. These will be loaned to Leader Evaporator to provide working capital while the new president, Jeff Smith, completes the company’s turnaround plan, said Nance.Photo: Recently completed Ace Hardware, just one of a few projects in Swanton’s economic revitalization. Photo by Katie Kittell.The fact that the county’s unemployment rate is 11.6 percent versus the state average of 12.7 percent, gives Nance hope.“That suggests that Franklin County is better situated than some other parts of Vermont. This owes to some migration of people and businesses out of Chittenden County and a strong business base with loyal consumers,” Nance noted.Smith believes community improvement projects in the areas of Enosburg, Richford, and Swanton are going to be very valuable the rest of this year and beyond. He referred to the example that St Albans City set several years ago when it upgraded its downtown area.“These towns are doing a lot of things to improve their communities and I think a lot of that was seeing the example of what St Albans did in the last several years. They’re trying to build on that momentum,” said Smith.Murphy was open about the fact that he was not initially a proponent of the stimulus project in downtown St Albans. He remained skeptical but has been pleasantly surprised in the outcome. He said that he hopes other business owners utilize the opportunities that the stimulus money provided.“I hope it’s directed to the right places,” said Murphy. “That story has yet to be told.”Despite the improved downtown area, Murphy said that he’s still very worried about it.“I’ve been standing on it for 10 years now and more and more businesses are gone. I think we need to look at a different type of business coming to town.”While people open businesses with great ideas and energy, these very often fizzle out months or years later.Murphy stated that he’s seeing more retail and commercial spaces on the ground-floor level of Main Street turned into housing. He himself, recently purchased the building next door to the restaurant and turned it into condos.If this trend continues though, what will draw visitors to the downtown area?“What are you going to bring in that’s going to make it?” Murphy asked. “That’s a real question because you can’t compete with big businesses. I think we’ve got to think of a different way of doing business on small-town Main Street.”Franklin County experienced a .83 percent increase in population growth in 2020. Now 50,249 residents live in the area, according to World Population Review. The county is evenly split between male and female residents, according to The US Census Bureau. The majority of individuals, 90.8 percent, have a high school education and/or college degree.From 2014 to 2018—the most recent statistics captured—the US Census Bureau stated that 69 percent of the population is employed (ages 16 and older). The median income was just over $64,000 per year.There are 16 towns which make up Franklin County: Bakersfield, Berkshire, East Berkshire, Enosburg Falls, Fairfax, Fairfield, Fletcher, Franklin, Georgia, Highgate, Highgate Springs, Montgomery, Richford, Sheldon, St Albans Town and Swanton. St Albans City is the seat of the county.The most recent census data in 2016 indicated that 4,479 places of employment existed in the county. Those numbers have fluctuated slightly in recent times.Due to a strong manufacturing focus in the county, however, many businesses remain less impacted by COVID-19 than in other parts of the state. Businesses are located throughout the 633 square-mile county, with the majority being in the St Albans City and Town areas.Joy Choquette is a freelance writer from Franklin County.last_img read more

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Shawnee Mission will reschedule SMNW, SMN Homecoming dates after conflict with Yom Kippur

first_imgWhen Joyce Rosenberg went to check her kids’ school schedule for the coming semester, she felt like throwing up her hands in exasperation.The Shawnee Mission Northwest Homecoming football game and dance were set to be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29 and 30 — the same days as Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, which families mark with a day of fasting and religious services. Rosenberg has two children who will be students at SM Northwest this coming year, and her youngest will be in the marching band. She had been hoping the whole family would have been able to come out to support her freshman son during the Homecoming game performance.“I just felt like, ‘Okay, really?’” she said Wednesday night. “You really can’t do both, so we’ll have to choose.”And Jewish families at SM Northwest weren’t the only ones who would have been affected by the scheduling conflict. Shawnee Mission North’s Homecoming game and dance were set for the weekend of Sept. 29 as well.However, it now appears that Jewish families at SM Northwest and SM North won’t have to wrestle with the conflicted schedules after all.The district hasn’t addressed how the scheduling error came about — public districts typically receive notice from the local Jewish Community Relations Bureau and American Jewish Committee each year about the scheduling of Jewish holidays — but it did take action to address the conflict once the issue came to administrators’ attention earlier this week. The principals from SM Northwest and SM North met with Marvin Szneler of the JCRB this morning to discuss the best way to address the situation.“After the district became aware of this conversation in our community, we immediately wanted to take the action necessary to ensure that we were serving all our students,” said Interim Shawnee Mission Superintendent Kenny Southwick. “We had a wonderful discussion today with our partners at the Jewish Relations Bureau, and they provided advice on impacts for our Jewish students. With deep respect for all religious and cultural issues, the district will be changing those homecoming dates for both SMNW and SMN. ”Southwick said the dates for the rescheduled Homecomings hasn’t been set, but that the district should be able to announce it in the near future.“[I]t was never the intention of the district to overlap any religious celebrations and our homecoming events,” he said.last_img read more

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Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Go Above Ground With L-Acoustics at the Caverns

first_imgPELHAM, Tennessee – November 2020 – Home of the Emmy-winning PBS television series Bluegrass Underground, The Caverns is a naturally-occurring subterranean amphitheater at the base of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee’s Pelham valley. Having hosted performances from many of the biggest and fastest-rising names in music, its Big Mouth Cave annually draws more than 50,000 visitors to experience concerts in a truly unique setting with natural acoustics and otherworldly beauty. However, like all other music venues in 2020, even this prehistoric site had to close its “mouth” for the current pandemic. But that didn’t stop Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit from kicking off The Caverns’ new COVID-compliant “Above Ground Concert Series” with a four-night run of outdoor shows on the grounds above the cave with an L-Acoustics K1/K2 system deployed by Escondido, California-based Sound Image. For ten years, Sound Image has been the primary audio provider for The Caverns and was brought in to supply the new Caverns Amphitheater—as the grassy hillside overlooking scenic Payne Cove is now known—with a sound reinforcement system for the four-time Grammy Award-winning artist’s shows, which ran from October 8 to 11. In keeping with CDC and state guidance for large gatherings, audiences watched the gigs from socially distanced “pods”—roped off sections for two, four or six family members or friends—which were at least six feet from each other and 15 feet from the stage. According to Sound Image system tech Chris Demonbreun, the main PA featured left and right hangs of four L-Acoustics K1 enclosures over five K2, with two Kudo cabinets positioned below as frontfills. Two additional ground-stacked K2 were deployed off stage right to address a few of the audience pods not covered by the main arrays. Four groups of three vertically-oriented SB28 subs, each set up in cardioid mode, “kept the low end off of the stage and did some delay steering to maintain smooth low-end coverage throughout the listening area,” he says. The entire system was powered by 15 LA8 amplified controllers located under the stage, driven with AES and analog fallback, while an L-Acoustics P1 processor at FOH provided system processing and control. Demonbreun points to Danny Poland, production manager for The Caverns, as the final decision-maker to use L-Acoustics, “which is always a great idea, in my opinion,” he concurs. “With approximately 750 people each night spread out across the hillside seating, which is 200 feet wide and 400 feet deep, Danny knew that we would be able to get full audience coverage with K1/K2, and that it would sound great.” Cain Hogsed, the band’s FOH engineer, agrees: “Although we typically use existing venue or local PA when touring, L-Acoustics is one of the more common systems we see, and I’m always thankful for it. I’ve enjoyed mixing on K2 and V-DOSC rigs in the past, so when I was told we were going to be on K2 for these shows, I knew we would have plenty of coverage and clarity, and we certainly did.” With all four shows being outdoors, Hogsed notes that weather conditions are always a potential challenge. “Having to deal with wind and rain, my experience was different every night,” he says. “During the second and third shows, I was actually mixing under a tarp while Chris, my system tech, held visqueen over the console. Thankfully, even though the weather was highly unpredictable, the L-Acoustics PA was consistent and balanced.” Aside from praising Hogsed for his “killer mix every night,” Demonbreun chalks up a good part of the system’s success to the resources found in Soundvision. “I believe that this system did better than other competitive PAs would have done thanks to the use of new L-Acoustics autosolver tools like Autofilter and Autoclimate,” he describes. “They allowed me to make sure that the people in the front didn’t get blasted with high end while still allowing those in the back to hear nice, clear, full-range audio. It sounded nearly the same everywhere, within 4dB from the front to the back, which is something that L-Acoustics makes it easy to do.” The Caverns’ general manager, Joe Lurgio, was duly impressed with the results as well. “Personally, I was told repeatedly by the artist team, who were both behind the scenes and in the audience, that they were blown away by the audio—especially for a brand-new venue,” he says. “Without having a dress rehearsal, we were nervous that we might have undersized the rig, but it sounded great from everywhere in the ‘house.’ The amphitheater is a natural bowl shape and allowed for the sound to hit everyone, and Sound Image really delivered with the right loudspeaker setup for these shows. We can’t wait to do more.” Nashville Scene also chimed in on the audio with an article on the final show, which read: “Isbell’s voice was smooth, naturalistic and in fine form Sunday, never having to strain to be heard. For an outdoor space, everything sounded crisp and condensed. That was no small feat…” One dollar from all ticket sales was donated to NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, to benefit music venues currently closed because of the pandemic. Learn more about NIVA at SaveOurStages.com. For more info on The Caverns, visit www.thecaverns.com. Sound Image can likewise be found online at www.sound-image.com.last_img read more

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Uncommon customer experience

first_img 35SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Myles Bristowe Myles brings 20 years of executive leadership and practical innovation in the disciplines of digital, mobile, social media and integrated marketing. He leads the Make Your Money Matter movement for … Web: www.pscu.com Details My mother used to say, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”The greatest of marketing masters will tell you they’ve earned their stripes by learning from their biggest mistakes. At least that’s what the honest ones will tell you. As marketers who must measure the metrics, we don’t always get the results we want, so we learn our lessons and become a little smarter each time for the next.  We take big leaps of faith, and try crazy ideas in order to stand out above the rest.  When these ideas work, we become heroes. When our leaps result in belly flops, we become smarter – except of course, when we don’t.Either way, every mistake is a gift bestowed upon you. These learning events are gifts for which you pay dearly, but they also bring us lessons one could never buy.Today’s consideration, however, is not about you, your mistakes, or the vast experience you may have accumulated throughout your career. No. Today is about the experience your prospects are gaining.Unfortunately, learning from mistakes is also true for consumers. Every prospect you capture has been someone else’s customer, and at some point in time, they did not get what they want. Otherwise, they would still be loyal customers of your competition. In fact, they were probably disappointed enough times, by enough other brands, that they have since become fully skeptical of your company and hesitant to trust your marketing. All they really want to get is what they are promised. In fact, they want you to want to give them what they are promised too. So, there is only one thing to do.Keep your promises!Good companies look to eliminate risks, break down barriers, create immediacy and so their marketers sweeten the deal with better pricing. Meanwhile, consumers instinctively assume the fine print of the special offers is somehow concealing a hidden “catch.”Better companies know their prospects are skeptical, and so they work hard to prove their credibility. Meanwhile, prospects suspect that the testimonials posted on the website are staged and scripted.The marketplace is loaded with “step right up” incentives targeted at prospects that distrust these offers and do their best to stay at arm’s length. The more prospects build walls and try to keep their distance, the harder marketers are working to convince them. When you’ve tried those tactics, you’ll find that nothing speaks louder than good performance.The best companies are uncommonly committed to keeping their word and delivering on their marketing promises. They are working to manage advocacy programs rather than scrambling to kick off another race-to-the-bottom price slashing sale or spending their time trying to triage another PR crisis.Finally, when your prospects choose to trust you and become your customer, it is your ultimate mission to give them exactly what you promised. When you do, you create a new experience for your customers unlike most relationships they’ve encountered before.last_img read more

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