Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and two local organizations last month unveiled a plaque at the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB) commemorating the base’s history and its impact on the Midcoast region of Maine.The plaque, which was donated by the Brunswick Rotary Club and Village Heritage Society, was installed at Brunswick Landing’s P-3 Park, where a P-3 Orion is displayed. P-3 aircraft based at Brunswick conducted anti-submarine and maritime surveillance missions over the North Atlantic during World War II. The air station initially was established in 1943 to train U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian pilots of the British Naval Command, reported the Portland Press Herald.After the war, the air station became the major shore command center supplying logistics and personnel support to on- and off-base Navy commands, including the Navy’s supervisor of shipbuilding center at Bath Iron Works.“NASB held a strong and personal relationship with local communities and substantially contributed to the regional economy over its 68 years,” the plaque reads. The installation closed in 2011 following the last BRAC round.“I think it’s significant to remember the sacrifices that our young men and women have made for our country and Naval Air Station Brunswick was a cornerstone to that sacrifice,” said Steve Levesque, the LRA’s executive director.
There has been unnecessary criticism of the formatSAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty ImagesMagnanimity in victory and grace in defeat are essential qualities for a sportsperson. The Indian team and Virat Kohli haven’t lacked either usually. But after this team suffered a loss in the semi-final of 2019 World Cup, among the fans and in the media, there have been unnecessary discussions about the format of the tournament.People have questioned why a team like India, which finished atop the points table and lost just one game in the league stage, is out of the tournament just because of having one bad day, and New Zealand into the final despite suffering three losses in a row at the back end of their league journey.This argument is incredibly stupid as tournaments like World Cup, across sporting disciplines, tend to have a knock-out format in their latter stages. Whether its football, handball or hockey, no major sports decides its world champion through a league format. So, what’s the big deal about India getting knocked out after losing the semi-final? Kiwis rose to the occassion while India didn’t on the big stageTwitter/Cricket World CupThen, there is the argument that World Cup should have an IPL-style format where instead of semis, there should be play-offs. Now, have you ever heard anyone suggesting that a similar format be used in football World Cups? Most probably, no.It just seems that Indians are unwilling to come to terms with the idea that there team has been knocked out. The argument that this format made India’s achievement of finishing atop points table irrelevant is equally flawed. It is because of being at no. 1 in points table that India got to play the weakest among the four semi-finalists – New Zealand.Just recall the exuberance among Indian supporters when Australia lost to South Africa and ensured that Men in Blue won’t be facing either England – the only team that defeated them in the league stage – or Australia – the second most formidable-looking side in the tournament. If the Kiwis proved too tough to beat for India, then it’s not the fault of the format that they are out of the tournament. India would have faced England if they hand’t finished atop the tableAlso, knockout matches have their own unique atmosphere and dynamics. Rising to the occasion in a semi-final or final is something that turns cricketers into legend. In fact, it is in these matches that the temperament and character of players is tested to the hilt. If a team manages to win all its matches in the preliminary stage but falls apart when it matters the most, why should that team not suffer.In short, India’s defeat and New Zealand’s win were fair and square. It’s time to congratulate the Kiwis for rising from the ashes and delivering on the big stage. Indian fans should rue things like a batting line-up overly reliant on Kohli and Rohit Sharma and a middle-order that isn’t able to deal with good spinners. These are the reasons that India is out of the event and not the format.
Engaging students who have considerable influence over their peers can lead up to 30 per cent reduction in bullying incidents in schools, says a new study.“We think the best way to change social norms is to have these student influencers speak in their own voices. Encouraging their messages to bubble up from the bottom using a grassroots approach can be very powerful,” said lead author Elizabeth Paluck from Princeton University in New Jersey, US.The researchers engaged groups of influential students in 56 New Jersey middle schools to spread messages about the dangers of bullying and school conflict. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Using messaging platforms such as Instagram, print posters and colourful wristbands, the selected students were encouraged to discuss in their own voices positive ways to handle conflict, using terms with which their peers could identify. The research team wanted to test whether certain students, who they label “social referents” or social influencers, have an outsized influence over school climate or the social norms and behavioural patterns in their schools. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThese social referents were not necessarily the most popular kids school-wide, but rather students who demonstrate influence within their smaller peer group. All activities were designed to test whether, by making their anti-conflict stance well known, these social influencers could shape their peers’ behaviours and social norms.The study was published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Thursday, January 11, 2018 Share California’s Montecito is devastated by mudslides By: Marcio Jose Sanchez and Robert JablonSource: The Associated Press MONTECITO, Calif. — The number of people missing since mudslides engulfed this wealthy coastal town surged to 48 Thursday as hundreds of rescue workers slogged through knee-deep ooze and used long poles to probe for bodies. The number of confirmed dead stood at 17.The huge increase in those unaccounted for came as authorities investigated missing-persons reports, said Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson.The number has fluctuated since the disaster struck in the early morning darkness Tuesday and was as low as 16 Wednesday evening. The new count raised fears that the disaster was far worse than authorities imagined.Family members have been anxiously awaiting word on loved ones as the search goes on.“It’s just waiting and not knowing, and the more I haven’t heard from them _ we have to find them,” said Kelly Weimer, whose elderly parents’ home was wrecked. The couple, Jim and Alice Mitchell, did not heed a voluntary evacuation warning and stayed home to celebrate Jim Mitchell’s 89th birthday.As search dogs clambered on heaps of wood that used to be homes, mud-spattered rescue teams from all over California worked their way through the ruins of Montecito, an enclave of 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.It was left covered with thick muck, boulders, wrecked cars, splintered lumber and tree limbs in a scene Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown likened to a World War I battlefield.More news: Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyAfter a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 59 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 446.Overall, 28 people were injured. Twelve remained hospitalized, four in critical condition.By Wednesday, some 500 searchers had covered about 75 per cent of the inundated area, authorities said. They had a long slog ahead, filled with hazards seen and unseen.“A lot of the street signs are gone, the roads are impassable. It all has to be done on foot,” said Deputy Dan Page, chief of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department rescue team.Rescue crews worked up to 12 hours a day and risked stepping on nails or shattered glass, or being exposed to raw sewage, or dealing with leaking gas, Page said.“We’ve gotten multiple reports of rescuers falling through manholes that were covered with mud, swimming pools that were covered up with mud,” said Anthony Buzzerio, a Los Angeles County fire battalion chief. “The mud is acting like a candy shell on ice cream. It’s crusty on top but soft underneath, so we’re having to be very careful.”Crews marked where bodies were found, often far away from a home, and used that information to guess where other victims might have ended up as the surging mud carried or buried them.People in Montecito had counted themselves lucky last month after the biggest wildfire in California history spared the town. But it was the fire that led to the mudslide, by burning away vegetation.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passenger“We totally thought we were out of the woods,” said Jennifer Markham, whose home escaped damage in both disasters. “I was frozen yesterday morning thinking, ‘This is a million times worse than that fire ever was.”’The mudslides were already occurring when Santa Barbara County officials first sent emergency alerts to cellphones in the area, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.For days, the county had issued repeated warnings via social media, news media and emails about the potential for mudslides. But county emergency manager Jeff Gater said officials decided not to use the cellphone push alert system until 3:50 a.m. Tuesday out of concern it might not be taken seriously.Only an estimated 10 to 15 per cent of residents fled when ordered, and much of the damage occurred where evacuations were voluntary.It could take days or even longer before the work is finished.“That’s always our mentality: ‘Hey, we’re going to find someone alive,”’ Page said. “You never really know. You never know exactly what the human body is capable of.”In 2014, a mudslide in rural Oso in Washington state killed 43 people. The last body was found four months later. << Previous PostNext Post >>
Remember when 1-800 numbers were cause for concern? Tripcentral.ca has seen it all Tuesday, May 29, 2018 About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Tags: Travelweek, Tripcentral.ca Kathryn Folliott This story originally ran in the May 10th, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Tripcentral.ca is looking to grow with new locations in Western Canada and in Quebec but timing is everything and the travel agency chain, now with 26 storefronts in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, says getting its expansion ‘right’ is more important than getting it ‘right away’.Growth into Quebec would be either a strategic acquisition or partnership, says Tripcentral.ca President Richard Vanderlubbe, adding, “out West would be fun too. We do better when we have a presence on the ground, but the distance is bigger and we’d need to do it carefully. We’re not in particular hurry – if the timing is right, you never know. Each location and opportunity is evaluated uniquely, since our locations are not only a place for our agents to work, but also a live billboard for the website and a trust factor for a geographic market.”That website, Tripcentral.ca, is the travel agency’s calling card in the consumer market, and one of the original online travel sites, going back to the very early days of OTAs. The site was launched in 1996, the same year Expedia and Travelocity got their start. When Tripcentral.ca launched, seven years after the travel agency was founded in 1989, very few travel agencies had their own domain name, much less a functioning site. “It started with Microsoft Access 1.0 and my ex-wife literally keying last minute package specials faxed to us into a database,” said Vanderlubbe. “We eventually made that database public on the web in 1996. From there we were able to eventually have all Toronto departures, not just last-minutes, and then national. The site was branded tripcentral.ca in 2001, and we branded our locations tripcentral.ca in 2003.” These days Vanderlubbe and industry veteran Paul Foster own and operate all 26 of the company’s storefront locations in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.While the Tripcentral.ca site has become a powerhouse, the majority of the company’s sales still come through the bricks-and-mortar agencies. “People will be surprised that most of our volume is through our traditional channels but our website is not in competition with our agents. We use the multi-channelled approach because that is what customers want. They want the convenience of web shopping and booking at any time, and they like the trust and knowledge of our agents.”Tripcentral.ca’s agents are credited back web bookings when they have been in recent two-way contact. There’s overlap, and that works to the company’s advantage, says Vanderlubbe, with each point of contact building brand recognition for the other points of contact. “It becomes very hard to determine exactly what is online, local phone, or web-influenced … and there is strong action to call an agent and interact on the phone or over chat.”The ratio of pure, unassisted online bookings to non-online bookings hasn’t changed much for the company, he adds. “Today we are not heavy into the flight-only marketing. If we decide to, our flight-only transactions would likely have a much higher online percentage. When people are going to spend a week or more of their precious holiday time, they usually have a lot of questions.”While Tripcentral.ca certainly isn’t the only retail travel agency to have a website, Vanderlubbe says Tripcentral.ca’s vertical integration with online and bricks-and-mortar, going back more than 20 years, has given the company a multi-channel experience that is an entirely different model from lead-generating sites where agents make bids for would-be bookings. “Those businesses would not necessarily have the consistency of customer experience as Tripcentral.ca.”Back in the mid-1990s, bricks-and-mortar and online seemed like two increasingly at-war camps. Then came the realization that travel agencies needed to be everywhere their clients were, and that included the web. “I’ve always said, the Internet is not a channel of distribution. It is a channel of communication, just like walk in, phone, etc. You never saw a travel agency that only dealt in person and not by phone,” says Vanderlubbe. “In the 1980s and 1990s there were not ‘fax only agencies’.” He adds: “Back in my early days, it was 1-800 numbers everyone was freaked about. Customers are customers who want value for their money and a trusted place to book. That has not changed.”