Ocean City wants to continue an upward trend in tourism in 2020. By MADDY VITALEAfter coming off one of their most successful summers ever, Ocean City business leaders will look to sustain the momentum by holding an economic summit headlined by the state’s tourism director.The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its annual business summit at the Flanders Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 a.m. to discuss the summer of 2019, strategize for the future and listen to the advice of a top leader in tourism, Jeff Vasser, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism. Michele Gillian, executive director of the Chamber, said of the importance of the summit, “Tourism is the No. 1 industry in Ocean City. When we have a blockbuster summer like we just had, it certainly helps small family businesses to reinvest and help improve the Ocean City experience. It also helps stabilize our year-round community.”Vasser will be discussing trends in tourism, visitor spending, the economy, and key local, regional and state issues to watch. Umbrellas dot the Ocean City beaches on a busy August day.“It will be beneficial to all our Chamber members to attend and hear from the director of our state Division of Travel and Tourism,” Gillian said. “We want to keep the momentum going from our great summer season and Jeff will be presenting valuable tools for our businesses to work with.”Ocean City’s Tourism Commission has a comprehensive marketing campaign with a budget of more than $620,000. Each year the commission invests in social media, billboards, TV, internet, postcards and other ways to attract visitors.Marketing is “an integral part of how we get people to come across the bridge and vacation in Ocean City,” Gillian said.She pointed out that Vasser is a key person to provide the best, most current and critical information on the state’s tourism.“He is a vital part to N.J.’s tourism, as well as Cape May County, and especially Ocean City. With his wisdom and experience in a seashore community, he understands the tourism cycle of seasonal businesses,” Gillian explained. She continued, “Having Jeff represent tourism for the state of New Jersey gives us a seat at the table in marketing Ocean City. He has the ear of the governor, relaying important issues related to tourism from a small business perspective.” The downtown bustles with shoppers on a July day.Vasser has served in several leadership roles. He served as president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority for 11 years, overseeing the daily operations of the public authority responsible for two major convention and event facilities and marketing the destination that anchors the region’s $8 billion tourism industry. The breakfast meeting is $20 at the Flanders Hotel, located at 719 E. 11th Street in Ocean City. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 609-399-1412 or email [email protected] Sturdy Savings Bank is sponsoring the event.
Thank you Mr President. First, let me join others in thanking SRSG Kubis both for his report and for all the work he has done over the last three years and nine months as SRSG in Iraq. We are grateful for your leadership of UNAMI and also for the significant contribution you have made to Iraq during this pivotal period in its history. We look forward to welcoming your successor Jeanine Hennis-Plaaschaert in December and to working with her to build on all the progress that you have made.Mr President, like the Netherlands, today I would like to touch on three issues: government formation, accountability, and the question of missing Kuwaiti persons and property.First, the United Kingdom joins other Council members in congratulating Iraq on the conclusion of the 2018 electoral process. Our congratulations go especially to President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Abdul Medhi, and Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and to the Kurdistan Democratic Party following the Kurdistan region parliamentary elections. We welcome the formation of the cabinet that is well underway and encourage the appointment of the remaining cabinet members in an inclusive manner within constitutional timelines. However, like Poland and the Netherlands and others, we do share the disappointment in a lack of female members in those appointed to the cabinet to date and we would encourage the Iraqi government in its efforts to address this issue and promote the participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making in Iraq.Once the government has been fully formed the United Kingdom looks forward to working with it to support it as it tackles the challenges that Iraq faces, that the SRSG has outlined for us today. These include: promoting effective governance; security sector reform and economic reform; social protection from vulnerable groups, including internally displaced people; and improvement in the business environment. Recent events that the SRSG has highlighted, particularly in southern Iraq, demonstrate the importance of providing basic services, including water and electricity for all Iraqis.Mr President, women have a vital role to play in all of the areas that I’ve just mentioned, as well as in national reconciliation efforts. We note the encouraging progress in this regard. In particular we welcome the introduction of the Inter-Agency Gender-Based Violence Standard Operating Procedures in Southern Iraq which will provide essential support services for survivors of gender-based violence, and the United Kingdom encourages the incoming government to ensure the full implementation of Iraq’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.Mr President, several speakers this morning have spoken about the importance of accountability in Iraq. The scale of the challenges facing the new Iraqi government are clear. For example, the recent discovery of over 200 mass grave sites demonstrates the importance of achieving justice for the victims of Da’esh crimes in Iraq. These graves must be protected to ensure that the evidence can be properly collected and stored. The United Kingdom welcomes the continued strong support from both the government of Iraq and UNAMI for the important work of the UN investigative team for Da’esh accountability. I would also like to extend my own congratulations to Nadia Murad for her well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize. Efforts must continue to locate those still missing following their brutal kidnapping by Da’esh.Mr President, thirdly and finally, the United Kingdom would like to thank the Secretary-General for his latest report on Security Council Resolution 2107 on the issue of missing Kuwaiti persons and property. The UK welcomes UNAMI’s ongoing support on this important file. We hope that the new government of Iraq will make progress on locating and identifying missing Kuwaiti persons and property. In this regard, the United Kingdom welcomes the visit by the Iraqi president to Kuwait on 12 November 2018 and in particular the transfer that took place of one instalment of retrieved Kuwaiti property. It’s very important that this chapter of Iraq and Kuwait’s history can be closed and relations between these two neighbours further strengthened.Thank you.
Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and saxophone extraordinaire Skerik have announced a late-night show during the first weekend of Jazz Fest, dubbed “Stanton & Skerik’s 20th Jazz Fest”. The special late-night performance will take place on Sunday, April 28th (technically Monday, April 29th) at New Orleans’ Tipitina’s, as Moore and Skerik will be joined by keyboardist Robert Walter, guitarist Scott Metzger, and bassist Andy Hess.On the heels of their recently announced purchase of New Orleans’ legendary Tipitina’s nightclub, funk outfit Galactic will play a three-night run of shows over Mardi Gras, set to take place on March 1st, 2nd, and 4th at Tip’s. The exciting news revolving around Galactic never ends, as the band also has a new album on the way, Already Ready Already, due out on Friday, February 8th via Tchoup-Zilla Records.Tickets for “Stanton & Skerik’s 20th Jazz Fest” late-night are on sale now here.For more information, head to the event page.
Several months after “The Social Network” pushed Facebook’s Harvard origins into the national spotlight, Harvard President Drew Faust visited the company’s headquarters in California to discuss how social networking could and should shape the future of higher education.Faust spoke at Facebook’s Palo Alto campus on June 16 at an event hosted by Elliot Schrage ’81, J.D. ’86, M.P.P. ’86, Facebook’s vice president of global communications, marketing, and public policy. In a candid dialogue with the company’s staff and interns — many of them Harvard alumni or current students — Faust fielded questions on an array of topics, from the state of public schools to the “Harvard brand” to the value of a liberal arts education.Although some critics see social networking as a distraction from the classroom, Faust argued that Facebook and the University share a similar focus in the age of information overload.“In a sense, Harvard and Facebook both serve as filters of information,” Faust said. “You filter information through social graphs. We try to teach people to be interpreters [and] critical evaluators of information, to identify how to use information.”Harvard has embraced tools of online learning, she said. Harvard students use Facebook to form study groups and learn from one another outside the classroom. Michael Sandel, Harvard’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, has become an intellectual rock star in Asia in no small part because the University broadcasts his popular Justice course for free online.“Universities don’t have walls anymore,” she said. “Knowledge is global and the way it is reaching out is global.”Social networks like Facebook play a large role in breaking down those barriers. “Virtual information and interchange builds on and encourages face-to-face” interactions, she said.What Harvard must do, Faust said, is adapt to the new culture of openness and flexibility brought about by the Internet. Gap years and international travel, both of which the University encourages, have become more popular options for undergraduates, she said. Taking a year off from Harvard — to start a company or follow an opportunity abroad, for example — no longer carries the stigma it once did.“I really believe universities should not have fixed ideas about what students should do or where they should go,” Faust said. “Instead we should give them the intellectual and other resources of advice and support and information that enable them to make the choices that are best for them and best for the world in which they’re going to live.”Still, Faust said, a liberal arts education is ideally suited for a rapidly changing world. “That’s the education that provides the foundation for being an improviser,” she said. And the door remains open for those who would like to return to finish their degrees — including Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who left Harvard in 2004 after his sophomore year to work on the site.“When I talked to Mark in January he said he still has his Harvard email, so he’s still on leave,” Faust joked.
Anyone who thinks of EMC in terms of our storage portfolio won’t be surprised to find out that we typically have about 1,000 storage conversations every quarter through our WW Executive Briefing Center program.But it might surprise you to hear that we are also having about 1,000 customer conversations every quarter on various aspects of private cloud, ITaaS, and overall IT Transformation.And these discussions often get the highest ratings we’ve seen in terms of quality and impact.But we almost always end up with a question rather than an answer: “What are our next steps to help us accelerate our transformation?”And –Is our IT Transformation program ahead or behind the competition?How are we doing against our best-in-class competition?What are the top priorities that will accelerate our progress?It seems the #1 thing mid-size and large enterprises are most interested in is, “How are we doing relative to everyone else?” It’s human nature—wanting to be better than the other guy. But it’s also driven by the desire to gain a competitive advantage by making IT more relevant to the business.To get to the answers, EMC has an emerging “best practice” that we’ve been sharing with customers for the past several months. It’s a different kind of Executive Briefing that we run either at your site or ours: a half-day working session we’re calling the IT Transformation Workshop. You can learn more about it here.The purpose of the (free) workshop is to share our experiences helping other customers transform their IT models in an effort to help more enterprise IT organizations prioritize their own IT initiatives and accelerate their transformations. It provides a structured review of your readiness to transform at the infrastructure, application, operation, and IT Service Strategy level. The key is in assessing where you are today versus where you want to be, and then comparing that to industry peer benchmarks based on data from about 1,000 customers that we’ve collected across a variety of industries.Here’s how it works:First, prior to the workshop, there’s a simple survey designed to capture your organization’s current level of readiness for delivering IT as a Service along the dimensions of service strategy, infrastructure, applications, and operations. From here, we’ll prepare a benchmark report that shows your current state of readiness against your own target state, as well as industry averages and best-in-class peer groups.Next, during the workshop itself, we’ll use the benchmark results to facilitate an interactive discussion, and then present findings and recommendations.Finally, after the workshop, we’ll generate a report that includes the benchmark data, along with results of the workshop prioritization and recommendations for next steps.Based on some of the workshops we’ve already done, the topic areas will span a fairly broad range, including strategic areas such as:Establishing service-based costing to provide financial transparencyAnalyzing the impact of converged infrastructure on Capex and OpexSegmenting end users to determine best targets for desktop virtualizationTraining developers in modern application development processes and toolsIntegrating management tools with the virtualized environment for greater automationConducting a skills audit to drive career path decisionsThese are just a few recent priorities that we’ve surfaced during workshop sessions. The net result for customers is an action plan with specific recommendations to help make IT more relevant to the business. If you’re interested in learning more—share your comments below and let me know!
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo January 03, 2017 On November 21st, the Bolivian Special Anti-Narcotics Forces (FELCN, per its Spanish acronym) seized 105 kilograms of marijuana and 47 kilograms of cocaine in the department of Santa Cruz. The FELCN operation prevented drug traffickers from using a traditional drug trafficking route to smuggle some of the drugs into the Argentine province of Salta. Such efforts have been reinforced by the growing anti-drug cooperation between the Argentine and Bolivian air forces. The prime example of this mutual agreement is the Joint Exercise Árbol I (Tree in English), carried out from October 24-29 along their shared border. During the exercise, light Argentine and Bolivian aircraft were used to implement rules of coordination and information transfer regarding unlawful air traffic. “The army sought to maintain a common language and to establish procedures for both air forces, as Brazil and Uruguay have already done,” Commodore Fernando Rubio, head of the Argentine Air Force (FAA, per its Spanish acronym) Training and Preparedness Command Planning and Programs Department and co-commander of Exercise Árbol, told Diálogo. “By these measures, we’ll establish better communication between the two air forces, which will allow project continuity between the two countries.” The Bolivian Minister of Defense, Reymi Ferreira, highlighted the importance of Exercise Árbol to security and defense cooperation. “(The exercise) is aimed at optimizing control over unlawful air traffic along the border between the two countries in faithful observance of the constitutional mandate regarding airspace defense,” Ferreira said in a press release issued by the Bolivian Information Agency. “These types of activities strengthen coordination and cooperation in the fight against crime and drug trafficking, and also potentially with respect to humanitarian aid in natural disasters and emergencies,” concluded Ferreira. Unlawful traffic simulation For the joint exercise, the Argentine and Bolivian militaries employed aircraft, detection technology, communication systems, and command and control mechanisms. “A simulation of unlawful air traffic was jointly performed by the Argentine Air Force and the Bolivian Air Force (FAB, per its Spanish acronym),” said Cmdre. Rubio. “Argentine planes crossed into Bolivian territory, and Bolivian planes crossed into Argentina.” The FAA aircraft were positioned at the Tartagal Airport in Salta. The FAB aircraft were part of the IV Air Brigade of Tarija, in the south of Bolivia. The officers expressed satisfaction with the results. “Exercise Árbol allowed for the establishment and testing of rules of coordination and cooperation for control of unlawful aircraft activity along the border between the two countries,” said Cmdre. Rubio. 3D radar Exercise Tree also employed an Argentine 3D primary radar, a long-range device manufactured in Argentina, which is of particular importance in the fight against drug trafficking. “We’ve been working arduously on the issue (of the radar) since the execution of the agreement between the Military Manufacturing Directorate General and the government enterprise Investigaciones Aplicadas in the Argentine province of Rio Negro, which allowed for the development of this technology to begin in this country,” said Cmdre. Rubio. The agreement, signed in 2011, called for the production of six 3D long-range primary radars for the FAA. “Today, we have 3D radars with a range of 400 kilometers, which form part of the National Airspace Surveillance and Control System,” said Cmdre. Rubio. “The fact that all this technology came from a national company is cause for pride and a source of sovereignty that provides regional and worldwide distinction.” Regional cooperation Exercise Árbol also allowed for the tightening of bonds and the exchange of experiences between the two air forces. According to Cmdre. Rubio, working with the FAB was very gratifying. “Bolivia’s airspace command is still in its embryonic stage. Argentina’s was implemented several years ago. Because of this, the exercise allowed Bolivia to gain training in how to put together such an airspace defense structure.” “In this case, the FAB appeared very grateful and satisfied. This was the initial starting point for them to begin creating a structure that could respond to various scenarios,” added the Exercise Tree’s co-commander. “Without a doubt, the exercise was held at a level congruent with the requirements imposed, and attracted the interest of the neighboring country’s high authorities.” Air Major General Celier Aparicio, commander of the FAB, said that the fundamental idea behind all these exercises is the interdiction and removal of the unlawful vector. “What is meant by ‘unlawful vector’? It could be an aircraft flying for purposes of drug trafficking. This is in the fundamental interest of the Argentine and Bolivian people,” Maj. Gen. Aparicio said in a statement published in Bolivian digital daily La Razón Digital.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Why has the SPAC board cut the New York City Ballet for the third time since 2004? Money isn’t the answer, since no other classical programs are ever cut.SPAC was built in 1966 to be the summer home of the NYC Ballet, arguably the greatest ballet company in the world. Saratoga has the honor of being the only summer home of any ballet company in the world.SPAC and its board keep raising ticket prices for the ballet, allow no community input, and then complain when ballet fans can no longer afford to attend performances as often as they would like. SPAC is housed in Saratoga Spa State Park, which is paid for by the taxpayers, who aren’t allowed to have input about what goes on there. If SPAC board members are unwilling to raise funds to have the NYC Ballet two to four weeks a year, they should resign.Louise J. GoldsteinSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
Just months ahead of the 2020 Olympics, the jolt to tourism may presage a broader economic impact from the coronavirus for both Japan and the global economy. Japan could be at particular risk because of its increased reliance on Chinese tourism under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies.Nomura Securities had forecast a 240 billion yen (US$2.3 billion) bump from event-related tourism in 2020, which it said would evaporate if the Olympics were cancelled, although organizers have said delaying or moving the games is not an option. Last year, Japan hosted 31.9 million foreign visitors, who spent 4.81 trillion yen.The flu-like virus SARS-CoV-2 has spread to about 80 countries after emerging in central China late last year and has hurt global tourism, air travel and events. About 98,000 people have been infected and 3,300 killed worldwide.Although most cases are in China, more new infections are appearing outside that country. There are no official tourism figures from February yet, but some analysts – and anecdotal evidence from people in the tourism industry – suggest that arrivals from Asia alone are likely to be down by at least half.”You’ve got that negativity that is going to percolate through the system,” said Jesper Koll, a senior adviser at WisdomTree Investments.The hit to economic growth from slowing inbound tourism could be a quarter of a percentage point or more, he said.’Explosive shopping’For Japan, which has seen more than 1,000 confirmed infections, 2020 was supposed to be a record year for foreign arrivals and a boon for an economy already on the brink of recession.About 9.5 million of Japan’s foreign visitors last year were Chinese, a number that has risen more than six-fold over the past seven years.And Chinese visitors spend more than others, accounting for 30% of tourists but 37% of tourist spending last year, according to Japan Tourism Agency data.At a shop near Watanabe’s restaurant, the shelves were lined with rice cookers, sake cups and beauty products such as lipstick usually popular with Chinese tourists, who are known for their “bakugai” or “explosive shopping” sprees.But there were few customers. Shop workers chatted with each other in the nearly empty store.On Wednesday, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the outbreak has hurt consumption through a decline in Chinese tourists.The pain could worsen after Abe on Thursday said the government would suspend existing visas for visitors from China and South Korea and quarantine them for two weeks.Hotels squeezed In the central prefecture of Shizuoka, home to Mt Fuji, Chinese account for as much as 70% of foreign tourists. Some 90,000 people, mostly Chinese, have cancelled hotel and ryokan inn bookings for the first three months of this year, according to the local tourism association.That represents about a third of the total bookings by Chinese tourists during the period.In response, the prefecture has made it easier for tourism-dependent businesses to get loans, said Mitsuhiro Sasamatsu of the local government’s tourism policy division.But some hotels that are dependent on Chinese tourists are temporarily shutting down. “For them, it is better cost-wise to shut down completely than to have the business open for few guests,” Sasamatsu said.About 80,000 new rooms are expected to open in nine major cities between 2019 and 2021, according to a June report from CBRE, a property research firm.Even before the coronavirus, the supply of rooms in all nine was forecast to outstrip demand, according to CBRE.This week, H.I.S. Co, Japan’s largest listed travel agent by revenue, said it expected a full-year loss, rather than a profit, citing the coronavirus impact.Yoshio Adachi, who guides tourists around Yokohama’s bay area in a custom tuk tuk imported from Thailand, reckons the number of Chinese tourists has fallen by as much 60% since the outbreak.He is hoping that a bid to host a casino resort in the city, Japan’s second largest, will pan out and lead to more tourists.”The Olympics will be a one off, so the economy will need to come back after that,” he said. The restaurants at the Exitmelsa shopping centre in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district are usually packed with Chinese tourists. But on a recent weekday, many lunchtime tables were empty, a sign of the toll that the coronavirus is taking on tourism.For Japanese who have grown dependent on Chinese tourists for business, like waiter Kiyotake Watanabe, it marks a disconcerting trend.”People on group tours would gather together at noon, and 10 or 20 of them would come in all at once,” Watanabe, who works at a Chinese restaurant in the shopping center, told Reuters. Those customers evaporated after China in January banned overseas group tours. Topics :
LNG World News Staff Image courtesy of BechtelLNG exports from the three liquefaction plants located on Curtis Island offshore Gladstone reached 1.7 million mt during June, according to the data from the Gladstone Ports Corporation.This represents a 1.4 percent rise compared to the previous month when Gladstone LNG exports reached 1.68 million mt.In comparison to the corresponding month in 2016, when the three projects exported 1.43 million mt, this is a 14.3 percent rise in volumes.China was the top destination for Gladstone LNG exports with 1,03 million mt imported in June, the data shows.The rest of the LNG cargoes went to South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and India.LNG exports from the three terminals totaled 9.86 million mt in the January-June period.The three LNG export plants located on Curtis Island include Shell’s Queensland Curtis LNG, Santos Gladstone LNG and the ConocoPhillips-operated Australia Pacific LNG terminal.