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US DOT: $72.8 million for Massachusetts to cut travel time 30 minutes on Vermonter

first_imgUS Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced travel time on Amtrak’s Vermonter line will be cut by nearly 30 minutes through a $72.8 million grant to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  The project will restore a rail line, improving 50 miles of track and infrastructure on a direct route from Springfield to East Northfield, MA, along the Connecticut River Valley. ‘Thanks to President Obama’s commitment to create jobs and strengthen our manufacturing sector, these dollars are delivering more than 200 new jobs along with the purchase of 50 miles of American-made steel rails,’ said Secretary Ray LaHood.  ‘Coupled with previous federal investments along the Vermonter line, these improvements will bring almost a one hour reduction in travel time for passengers traveling in Vermont and Massachusetts.’ With more than a 16 percent ridership increase in 2010, the Vermonter line operates between St. Albans, VT and Washington, DC.  The Massachusetts portion of the rail line dates back to the mid-1800’s.  After track conditions deteriorated in the 1980’s, Amtrak service was shifted to a rail line farther east.  Work to restore the original passenger route on Pan Am Southern Railway’s Connecticut River mainline also includes construction of two new stations in Greenfield and Northampton, MA. Progress on the Vermonter service began last year with a $50 million grant to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, improving 190 miles of track between St. Albans and Vernon, shaving 30 minutes off of travel time within Vermont.  Long-term, the investments in Vermont and Massachusetts will also increase reliability and for future expansion of service to Montreal, Quebec.  Until September, however the trip will require Vermonters to take an Amtrak bus, as work continues to upgrade the line.Source: US DOT. 7.1.2011last_img read more

Mangano, Suozzi Clash in First Nassau Exec Debate

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (Left) faces off against Democrat Tom Suozzi (Right) who is vying for his old position.Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his Democratic predecessor, Tom Suozzi, who’s running for his old job, clashed in their first debate of their rematch four weeks before Election Day.The current and former county executives accused each other of lying before the boisterous crowd that frequently heckled both candidates as they discussed topics ranging from affordable housing, policing and Nassau’s troubled finances.“Tom, I would just ask…that you stick to the facts and don’t make them up,” Mangano said in his closing remarks after Suozzi alleged Mangano forced 19-percent property tax hikes through the assessment system—a claim Mangano interrupted Suozzi when he first mentioned it, calling it “an outright lie.”“We all know that this administration is in serious financial trouble and leading us down a road of ruin,” Suozzi said during his closing in which he asked Mangano if he supports a Shinnecock Indian Nation casino at Nassau Coliseum, which Mangano proposed years ago but hasn’t materialized.Hundreds of Mangano and Suozzi supporters—taking turns cheering their candidate and booing their opponent—filled the auditorium Tuesday evening at The Wheatley School in Old Westbury for the debate moderated by the Nassau County Village Officials Association.Despite the politically charged atmosphere, there was one point on which both sides agreed: the need to lobby against New York State enacting more unfunded mandates—state laws that force local governments to spend more without providing new revenue.They also agreed that the county needs more affordable housing in downtowns near public transit to stem the so-called Brain Drain, the term for Long Island’s college graduates increasingly moving away, although they parted ways on how to go about building such housing.On the topic of the police department, Mangano touted “eliminating duplicative administrative heads” and intelligence-led investigations, although he did not mention his controversial merging of eight precincts into four—a plan that was left incomplete, leaving five precincts.For his part, Suozzi conceded in his response to the question on county police that his old style was too combative and that, if returned to office, he would try to be more collaborative.Once the topic turned back to county finances—most notably the Nassau Interim Finance Authority tightening its control when Mangano took over in 2010—the gloves came off.Mangano reiterated his argument that NIFA held him to stricter standards, which he said should be taken into consideration when comparing their records. Suozzi maintained that his record includes 13 bond upgrades versus three bond downgrades under Mangano.But, when Suozzi quoted newspaper editorials blasting Mangano—specifically Newsday, whose parent company, Cablevision Systems Corp., hired him after he was unseated in 2009—one heckler shouted: “Did you write it?”last_img read more

Marketing lessons your credit union can learn from Snoop Dogg

first_imgHe has never won a Grammy. In fact, he has never managed to receive a single nomination for Best Rap Album. Hell, Puff Daddy was able to win the damn thing! So why should we look to the “D-O-double-G” for marketing advice? Because awards aren’t everything. Success is.At 44 years old, Snoop has about $145 million in the bank. He can charge upwards of $100k per concert. He is preparing to feature in his 36th (yes, 36th) feature film — a sequel to Straight Outta Compton. Unlike his rapper counterparts, he hasn’t sold any companies but he has managed to attain something much more impressive than a spot in the Billionaire Rappers Club— he’s attained permanent cultural relevancy. How has he done it? What can you learn from him?Bringing it to MarketStrategy, mainly collaboration with different artists, is fast becoming Snoop’s go-to way to gain attention from followers. How often do you launch a new product or service, with little notice or fanfare, only to be disappointed six months later when members are still acting surprised about this great new thing you’re offering?  Smaller credit unions should pay particularly close attention to partnering with others, especially since “Snoop Dogg marketing” costs few dollars and only needs some elbow grease to get going.An example of this is the “Great Gas Giveaway” we helped organize with about a dozen marketers and the South Carolina Credit Union League. We announced free gas to the first 100 people who showed up at a particular gas station. We tipped the media off the evening before to have almost every media outlet in town covering the event and talking about this great thing the local credit unions were doing. For $2,000 in gas money, we earned over $50,000 in free press for the Credit Unions of South Carolina. What new product or service are you offering that needs some free press, and a lot of it?Leverage the Big DoggsThere is no other rapper better at leveraging other people for marketing than Snoop Dogg. After rapping for more than 20 years, nobody has been able to match his hustle or work with as many people. Snoop Dogg has been featured on more songs than any other rapper. By collaborating with other musical artists of various genres, Snoop can introduce his music to people who would have never listened to him in the first place. What a creative way to find new fans!Often times, when we’re looking to increase member-growth at one of our credit unions, we’ll choose a well-organized non-profit organization with a huge following. Then we present a collaborative promotion to them. It could be as simple as “for every auto loan we do in X month, we’ll donate $25 to your organization.” The catch? We ask the non-profit to promote this to their followers and supporters as well. You could easily replace auto loans with new memberships, checking accounts, or debit card swipes. The important thing is to expose new eyes to your brand by associating it with something positive.How can you sum up Snoop’s successful marketing idea? “The best marketing tactic is not to ask, but to give.” Stop begging for auto loans or new members. Start collaborating and giving. Soon you’ll start receiving. 56SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: yourmarketing.co Detailslast_img read more