The Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC/VT) is partnering with the Regional Planning Commissions to connect the state’s cities and towns with contractors, materials and equipment for critical reconstruction projects in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. AGC/VT is a statewide contractor association with more than 150 members representing road and highway contractors, bridge contractors, commercial builders and quarries, as well as engineers and architects. ‘All of these skills will be needed as we rebuild,’ said Cathy Voyer, Executive Vice President of AGC/VT. ‘While the State of Vermont has already mounted an impressive response, many of the towns that can usually call on state construction resources are now on their own to solicit bids and materials. We at AGC/VT decided to help by acting as a clearing house to connect towns and contractors quickly.’ Towns should contact AGC/VT by 802-223-2374 or [email protected](link sends e-mail) and notify them of their project needs. AGC/VT will then provide that information to their member contractors, and the contractors will respond directly to the towns. AGC/VT is also assisting contractors who may be looking for additional personnel. Any individuals who have construction skills and experience should e-mail their resume and information to AGC/VT at [email protected](link sends e-mail), and AGC will pass that along to companies who are hiring. Lt. Governor Phil Scott, who is also a former president of AGC/VT, was involved in some of the initial conversations to get the association involved. ‘As I’ve traveled the state in the last 10 days, some of the hardest-hit roads and bridges I’ve seen have been the town-owned back roads, not the major state highways,’ Scott said. ‘We have a very short time window to get a lot of work done before winter, and time is of the essence. With the State having to prioritize the major highways, I thought the towns needed help, and AGC is an ideal partner.’ In fact, AGC/VT has already made connections between towns and contractors. The Town of Duxbury was one of the first to benefit from AGC’s matchmaking services, for the reconstruction of a road in their town. According to Richard Chirland, Duxbury Selectboard member, ‘With just one phone call to AGC/VTâ ¦I’ve already received inquiries from 3 contractors. What a great idea for them to facilitate this process for us. The response we received eliminated my having to make numerous telephone calls not knowing which contractors had this expertise’
Like the gear we’re rockin’? Check out some of the brands featured in the images above that support this program! La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, ENO, Farm to Feet, IceMule Coolers. On Saturday, April 9th, Jess and I headed for Tallulah Fest, a small kayaking festival hosted by BBB Paddling in Long Creek, South Carolina that celebrates the Tallulah and Chattooga rivers.When you go to a paddling festival, you would assume that paddling would be the main topic of conversation, right? I pictured beer-slinging boaters dazzling us with stories of their epic lines and gnarly carnage, but we quickly found that Tallulah Fest brought with it a much more diverse crowd. We met hikers and cyclists, kids and adults, outdoor enthusiasts from every walk of life. The event marked the beginning of Blue Ridge Outdoors and Elevation Outdoors Magazines’ 2016 Live Outside and Play tour, so we were anxious to iron out the wrinkles of our newly acquired festival set-up.Along with the festival, we also had a river clean up on the Chattooga River scheduled for the following day. We mustered as many folks as we could for a Sunday morning, given the late night shenanigans and the anticipation to paddle. You can imagine how difficult it is to get people excited to pick up trash with the Tallulah Gorge going off. We were able to recruit 5 enthusiastic stewards though, and together we travelled to the Route 76 Bridge just downstream of the Bull Sluice rapid on the Chattooga River. Well-used local beaches, parking areas, and trails were in dire need of some attention.It’s a strange feeling to pick up other people’s trash. I constantly ask myself what must be running through the minds of the people who let litter fly wherever they see fit. Does it get easier to throw a bottle into the woods or roll a tire off a cliff? Does it ever feel wrong to flick a cigarette butt along the trail? After two hours of wrestling overgrown brush and thorns, we collected 10 bags of trash, a tire, a mangled pile of rusty metal, a traffic cone, an oil pan, and a bagful of dirty diapers. We were fortunate to meet local spectators of the Chattooga River who graciously offered to load their flatbed truck and haul the trash to the county dump for us.There’s nothing glorious about picking up trash out of the woods, but as boaters and locals shouted “thanks” as they passed by, we couldn’t help but feel like we were making some difference, no matter how small.Big thanks goes out to our trash crew Grayson, Meg, Drew, Jordan, and Kev, Tallulah Fest, and Farm to Feet for supporting our efforts.– Adam R. Stay up-to-date with all-things Live Outside and Play by following our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds! Coming soon to a mountain town near you.
The Roanoke Valley is well known for its cycling opportunities, both on-road and off, but the scenic back roads of neighboring Botetourt County have been a well-kept secret…until now.Everything changes on October 14, with the inaugural Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo. Cyclists have route options of 30, 50, and 80 miles, so there’s something for everyone. Each route is carefully crafted to showcase Botetourt’s rich, scenic beauty and warm, welcoming communities. Riders will enjoy the area’s lovely rolling terrain, open farmland, forested mountains, and James River. Each route will also feature memorable aid stations and charming small towns. The start/finish will be at Ballast Point Brewing Company in Daleville, so you’ll definitely want to hang around for the post-ride party, which will be catered by Ballast Point and is included with registration.Need a few more reasons to sign up? We’ve got ‘em.Leave the killer climbs for another dayOnly the 80-mile “Mountain Ride” has a serious mountain in it, and you’ll be richly rewarded with a thrilling, fast, twisty descent and instant street cred (the climb was used by the pros in an early version of the Tour DuPont). The other two rides have plenty of hills, but Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo is more about gorgeous fall scenery, amazing aid stations, and smooth back roads than huge elevation gains. The surrounding mountains are almost always visible, though!Be our guestWarm, welcoming communities are Botetourt County’s greatest asset. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo prides itself on being a community event and happily offers you a glimpse into small-town life in rural Botetourt. The aid stations in Fincastle, Eagle Rock, and Buchanan will be hosted by enthusiastic volunteers from these vibrant, historic communities. Stop at each unique aid station and visit awhile!Go Outside, then go for a rideWith the Roanoke Go Outside Festival the same weekend, you can easily make this the perfect fall get-away. Hang out at Go Fest in downtown Roanoke Friday evening and Saturday, then stretch your legs at the VBR Gran Fondo on Sunday. Bring the family – the world class Greenfield Disc Golf course is just minutes from Ballast Point.Sound good?You don’t want to miss out on this unique new event and listen to your friends remind you of how much fun it was all year long. Registration ranges from $60-$90 and includes a VBR Gran Fondo t-shirt (guaranteed if registered by 9/14), a post-ride meal and beverage catered by Ballast Point, and fully-stocked aid stations. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo is an awe-inspiring new fall ride you’ll want to treat yourself to year after year.
On August 30, the National Parks Service announced a new policy allowing e-bikes on its park trails and roads in hopes of increasing access to parks as well as decrease environmental impact. National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said in an official statement that this new policy is for “people who want to ride a bicycle but might not otherwise do so because of physical fitness, age, disability, or convenience.” Water levels have the potential of reaching 3-5 feet along with a predicted 3-9 inches of rain. Surge-related flooding is possible and can rise “well in advance” of strong winds, possibly causing life-threatening flash floods, depending on how close Dorian spins towards the coast. Tornadoes are also a possible result. Kemp urges people to take the storm seriously in order to prevent injury and death. Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday expanded a state of emergency to include nine additional counties: Appling, Bacon, Bullock, Clinch, Echols, Evans, Screven, Tattnall and Ware counties are now included as Hurrican Dorian approaches, bringing the total to 21 counties. The Category 2 hurricane is expected to veer northwest to Georgia coast through tonight, the National Hurricane Center warned in an advisory at 8 a.m. The Department of Labor claims that the coal was mined in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and shouldn’t be moved until miners are paid. There will be a two-day hearing happening today and tomorrow that will likely determine the fate of the blockaded coal. State of Emergency Expanded as Dorian Approaches Georgia Coast National Parks Service to Allow E-Bikes on Its Trails and Roads Unpaid Miners of Harlan County have been Blocking Coal on a Kentucky Railroad Track for 38 Days The policy limits e-bikes to 750 watts of assistance, and states that the motor can only be used to help aid the user in pedaling. With this being a new policy, the NPS urges e-bike riders to check with individual parks before riding to ensure safety and awareness of specific rules to the park. With no warning, the nation’s sixth-largest coal company, Blackjewel LLC, declared bankruptcy on July 1st, leaving 1,700 employees out of work, in debt, and unpaid.
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The National Credit Union Administration will consider raising the Regulatory Flexibility Act definition of small credit union to an asset threshold of $100 million or less at its next board meeting, the agency testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Tuesday.In a full committee hearing dedicated to examining regulatory relief, NCUA Director of Examination and Insurance Larry Fazio told the committee that a proposal on the agency’s Feb. 19 meeting agenda, if approved, would change the definition.“Increasing the threshold from $50 million to $100 million would provide special consideration for regulatory relief for an additional 745 credit unions in future rulemakings,” Fazio said. “Should the board adopt a $100 million threshold, 77% of all credit unions would be covered in future considerations of regulatory relief.”CUNA strongly supports raising the threshold which could make more credit unions eligible for regulatory relief under some of NCUA’s requirements. The Federal Reserve considers a bank to be a small community bank if its assets are under $10 billion. continue reading »
233SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When members walk into your branches, call the contact center or use one of your remote channels, how challenging is it to use your credit union’s product and services? Do members feel as though their experience was easy and they were helped by knowledgeable people? Or, do they walk away feeling as though the experience was a struggle and too difficult? If the answer is the latter, you’ve got a problem. To grow your business and convert new members, impersonal, transactional sales-and-service models have got to go.Consumers have plenty of choice in the financial services marketplace. Strong as they are, your product offerings, savings and marketing won’t be enough to stand out. To truly compete, you need to offer a meaningful member experience at every touch point with the member.Building an experience for your members can lead to significant growth in engagement, revenue and member loyalty. But to get there, it’s critical to take a hard look at your processes, culture and philosophy.At CUNA Member Experience Sales & Service School, we cover a wide range of factors that are important for a member experience, including:Knowledge of member personas and how that information can drive better decisions around the experiencesComprehensive journey mapping Alignment of member engagement and your credit union goalsJudicious hiring and onboarding practices to find and nurture the right teamTechniques for motivating staff to achieve higher performanceYou need to start thinking about your relationship with members as just that—a relationship. And, as in any relationship, success is only possible when both parties benefit, meaning it’s critical to start viewing interactions from both perspectives.You want greater use of your products and services, loyalty and support; members want effortless access to quality services and expert guidance for their financial questions. A successful experience must meet both sides’ needs.In financial services, consumers drive change. Let’s take millennials as an example. They are rapidly growing their demographic share of the financial services market, and they want their credit unions to embody values that matter to them, such as “community” and “cause.” To meet these expectations, you need more than a hashtag. You need to make millennials feel like they’re a part of something—and that’s only possible with a tailored member experience. While that sense of purpose and belonging is especially important to millennials, it is appreciated by all demographics. Your members want to know they’re more than just a customer. Give your members a strong experience and they never will.Learn how to exceed member expectations at every level at CUNA Member Experience Sales & Service School, August 14-16, 2017, in Las Vegas. To learn more and register, please visit training.cuna.org/memberexperience.
In between prepping for back to school and enjoying one last summer getaway, don’t forget to make the most of Labor Day sales.According to RetailMeNot.com, DealNews.com and Esquire, keep an eye out for the best deals on the following:Travel: Look for everything from cheap roundtrip flights to deeply discounted hotel deals. It’s also a good time to make that dream European vacation a reality as flights across the Atlantic are at seasonal lows. According to the CheapAir.com’s Holiday Cheap Flights Report 2018, all fares for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s flights are expected to go up in October. Lock in your Holiday plans early.Clothing and shoes: The change of seasons means stores are motivated to offload some inventory, which is good news for you.Furniture and decor: College students living in cramped quarters should check out Dormify.com, where all orders are 20% off. Those with homes to fill can find up to 75% off at modern furniture online retailer houzz.com.Mattresses: Nearly every mattress retailer is running a Labor Day sale. You’ll be sleeping better than ever knowing you saved up to 75% off your mattress.Vacuums: If you don’t want to wait until Black Friday, now’s a good time to get that Dyson, Shark or iRobot Roomba.Echo: If you still haven’t taken the Alexa plunge, Amazon has Echo speakers on sale, with some models offering $100 off.Appliances: Lowe’s and Best Buy are offering significant discounts on appliances through Labor Day. 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Myriam DiGiovanni After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details
Press Release, Public Health, Public Safety Governor Tom Wolf visited the Susquehanna Township Police headquarters today to discuss the important roles education and understanding play in the enforcement of the various COVID-19 mitigation orders in place across the state.“We have to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a mask and following mitigation orders so our business operate safely,” Gov. Wolf said. “We have the ability to enforce these rules, and we are going to continue to work closely with commonwealth agencies and local officials to enforce public safety orders.”The governor was joined by representatives of commonwealth agencies and local law enforcement involved in mitigation order enforcement, including Secretary of Heath Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. Scott Price, and Susquehanna Township Chief of Police Rob Martin.Each representative focused on the role their agency plays in education and enforcement of the various orders in place to keep Pennsylvanians safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.“Wearing a mask is so important to protecting each other. I implore all Pennsylvanians to do right thing,” Dr. Levine said. “When you wear a mask you are not only telling that person you pass on the street that you care about their safety, you are telling police and other first responders that you care about their safety, too.”“Pennsylvania’s restaurant owners and staff and have delivered for us, putting safe, healthy food on our tables,” Redding said. “We can all deliver for them by wearing a mask and following the COVID-19 measures to keep them safe and healthy.”“As some of the most visible public servants in the commonwealth, the state police will continue working collaboratively with the Department of Health and local police departments to remain at the forefront of law enforcement pandemic response efforts,” said Lieutenant Colonel Price. “We are grateful to the majority of Pennsylvanians who have stepped up to follow mitigation requirements and for all the support our troopers and liquor control enforcement officers have received during the past several months.”Local law enforcement’s role is a collaborative one with state agencies and local officials, and Chief Martin stressed his department’s work to educate businesses and residents, and to refer any suspected violations of the governor and Dr. Levine’s orders to the proper state agency if necessary.“Our citizens in Susquehanna Township have been inspiring. On many occasions they have contacted our police department and our government center for advice, guidance, and our assistance. We wish to meet our citizens where they are and be an educational voice of gentle persuasion,” Martin said. “Of the times that we have had to make referrals to our commonwealth partners, we have been met with cooperation and understanding. I want to thank the commonwealth for being a valued partner, and thank Governor Wolf for his always civil mannered discourse, as what our country needs right now is civility.”The governor also asked local elected officials and business owners to work with local law enforcement to protect their communities and constituents.“I’m calling upon every Pennsylvanian to do their part to help us get as close as we can to 100 percent compliance on masking,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need the help of our business owners to get workers masking. We need the help of our local elected officials to emphasize the importance of masking on keeping the community safe.”According to a recent poll by Franklin & Marshall College, two-thirds of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe it is “extremely important” to wear a mask whenever they leave home.“We need to come together, unified, against COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’m calling upon every Pennsylvanian to do their part to help us get as close as we can to 100 percent compliance on masking.”Ver esta página en español. Wolf Administration, Local Law Enforcement Stress Important Roles Education and Understanding Play in Enforcement of COVID-19 Orders SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 03, 2020
“But, in fact, the final reform draft is nothing less than the full integration of occupational pensions into pensions policy. This might even turn into a fully fledged pension system with a dual core – the state and the companies.”The reform proposals of Nahles, a Social Democrat, have not enjoyed the full support of the CDU, its government coalition partner, particularly with respect to the first pillar.Nahles’s proposal includes a minimum 46% first-pillar replacement rate “for everyone” until 2046 – a minor drop from the present rate of 48%.First-pillar contribution rates, which now stand at around 20% of income before tax, would remain below 25% until 2045.The proposal also recommends a minimum pension for long-term contributors, as well as eventually raising pension levels in former East Germany to those in the west.In the third pillar, Nahles wants to review the cost structures of so-called Riester products and incentivise the industry to produce a standard Riester product to serve as a benchmark.Her proposal also addresses the second pillar – mainly the new law to strengthen occupational pensions, the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz, which the ministry presented a few weeks ago.The aba, in its preliminary response to the draft consultation, argued that the possibility to set up occupational pension plans without guarantees should also be an option for companies that are not part of collective bargaining agreements (Tarifplan).The government’s proposal for new industry-wide pension plans only covers industries that have such agreements on minimum wage and other social standards in place.“It is therefore hard to fathom,” the aba said, “whether the planned measures will lead to a higher coverage at the expected level. An evaluation of the process seems to be in order.”The association also pointed to possible loopholes in the draft that it said could lead to companies being held accountable for deficits in pension plans despite the ‘no-guarantee’ set-up.For its part, the German association of insurers (GDV) welcomed the reform in principle but rejected the idea of a blanket ban for guarantees in new vehicles.“A legal ban on any form of guarantees in the new pension plans is counter-productive,” it said. “It should be up to the social partners in each industry to decide whether they want to allow guarantees.”The GDV also called for freedom of choice for all employers, including those outside industries with bargaining agreements, or those introducing opting-out models.Meanwhile, the association of insurance brokers (Versicherungskaufleute) said it doubted whether social partners had enough expertise to make the right decisions.It said each new pension plan should therefore only be set up under the advice of one of its members.Nahles’s full reform package can be found on the social ministry’s website. German social and labour affairs minister Andrea Nahles has presented her proposal for the comprehensive reform of the country’s pension system.German newspapers and talk shows have already begun to debate the government’s proposals in earnest, but, so far, they have focused almost solely on the first-pillar system, a fact lamented by industry expert Heribert Karch.In a blog, Karch – a board member at MetallRente and chairman of the board at occupational pensions association aba – questioned the absence of occupational pensions from the debate. “Everything else in the country is broadly debated by the public except occupational pensions – these are considered ‘shadow pensions’,” he said.