5 Ways the Government Shutdown is Affecting Outdoor Recreation in Southern Appalachia

first_imgFor the fist time since the fall of 2013, America is in the throes of a dreaded government shutdown. Turn on cable news or rifle through your Facebook feed, and you’ll quickly be reminded of the type of partisan hysteria that ensues during a hugely consequential political stunt like the one we are currently facing.While both the Democrats and the Republicans are busy pointing the finger of blame directly at the face of their nearest partisan counterpart, folks in real world—folks who love to hike, climb, mountain bike, fly fish and otherwise enjoy our outdoor rich region’s vast network of public lands—are wondering how this shutdown will affect places like Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks,  the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, and the Blue Ridge Parkway that connects all of them.Here’s what you need to know about public lands and the government shutdown in a nutshell.1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will remain open. Sort of. According the Knoxville News Sentinel, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Park, which draws more annual visitors than any other park in the country, will strive to keep roads and trails accessible, but don’t count on any NPS employees being around if you should need them. Park restrooms, campgrounds, and visitor centers that are normally open during the winter months with be shuttered and no backcountry camping permits will be issued.2. Certain parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed. While you can still drive on the parkway during this latest government shutdown, certain parts that were closed due to recent snow and ice storms will not be reopened until our staggering legislature gets its collective act together. Services and facilities such as bathroom and visitor centers will also be closed along the parkway. According to NPS, which administers the famous byway, access to various sections of the parkway may change without notice.3. What about Shenandoah? According to a local news station out of Roanoke, Virginia, Shenadoah National Park will also be affected by the shutdown, as a recording from park headquarters in Luray said visitors can go to the park at their own risk, but no park rangers will be on site to assist if there is an emergency.4. Skyline DriveAlso managed under the auspices of NPS, Skyline Drive will remain open for the foreseeable future.5. Pisgah and Nantahala National ForestsTogether, these two national forests comprise more than one million acres of the western North Carolina mountains and provide the bulk of the region’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Luckily, the feds aren’t trying to keep people off of this beloved swath of public land, but they are shutting down the bathrooms and visitor centers. According to the Asheville Citizen Times, only essential forest service employees such as law enforcement and firefighters will remain on the USFS payroll during the shutdown.last_img read more

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Consumers prefer community financial institutions—but they won’t switch

first_imgAccording to a new study, most Americans hold favorable views of community financial institutions (CFIs) and would rather do business with a credit union than a megabank. Unfortunately, those preferences alone aren’t enough to drive consumers to switch to a CFI anytime soon.The 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study, commissioned by BancVue and conducted online by Harris Poll in January among more than 1,000 U.S. adults, found that, if all things were equal, 2 out of 3 U.S. adults (66 percent) would rather bank at a credit union than one of the big national banks. Fully 64 percent of consumers think CFIs have better personal service than the big national banks. And 1 in 4 megabank customers* (25 percent) say they sometimes feel guilty for banking with a big bank.Yet, market share continues to diminish for CFIs, which had more than 70 percent share of the deposit market in the mid 1990s yet now have less than 30 percent The fact is that most people aren’t planning to switch to CFIs anytime soon. Only 23 percent—less than a quarter—of those who don’t have a checking account at a community financial institution say they’re at least somewhat likely to switch this year. We also assume that the fraction of consumers who actually do make the switch will be far lower than those that claim they might.Why the disparity? While many consumers feel positively about CFIs, they worry that CFIs don’t offer competitive products and services. The study found that 31 percent of megabank customers say they want to use a CFI but feel those institutions lack the products they need. And 71 percent of U.S. adults say access to the latest banking products are more important when choosing a bank than the banking institution that provides them.Additionally, many consumers simply don’t know about CFIs. Among consumers who don’t have a checking account with a CFI, 34 percent said it was because they haven’t thought about it (30 percent) and/or are unaware of their options (11 percent).It’s clear, then, that CFIs must improve their product lineups and marketing efforts in order to grow. Today’s consumers are looking for banking products that also provide things like rewards, cash-back options and ATM fee refunds.Simply offering better products isn’t enough, though. Those efforts must be coupled with branding, advertising and marketing initiatives that raise consumer awareness about local banking options. For 71 percent of consumers, a recognizable brand name is at least somewhat important when choosing a bank.Improved products and marketing efforts are especially key when it comes to attracting the next generation of consumers. Among Millennials, 91 percent identified cash back options as at least somewhat important. Additionally, Millennials who don’t have an account with a CFI are more than twice as likely to say they don’t use a local CFI because they are unaware of their options (18 percent), than 35-54 year olds (8 percent) and adults 55 and up (7 percent).Fortunately, there are easy ways CFIs can improve both their products and their marketing initiatives. Some credit unions have begun partnering with each other on joint marketing efforts, leveraging their budgets to reach more people. There are also third-party providers out there that offer nationally branded products to CFIs with features including rewards, ATM fee refunds and cash-back options.CFIs have a great reputation for personal service, but that will only get you so far. In order to capitalize on consumers’ positive feelings about credit unions, CFIs must offer better products and improve their marketing efforts to better compete with megabanks.*Throughout this article “megabank customers” are checking account holders who consider one of the big national banks to be their primary banking institution and “credit union members” are those who consider a local credit union to be their primary banking institution. “Consumers” are defined as U.S. adults ages 18 and up who have a checking account at a financial institution. 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Gabe Krajicek Gabe Krajicek is the chief executive officer of BancVue, the leader in branded, community-powered banking products.BancVue’s innovative Kasasa® suite connects breakthrough products with world-class marketing, data-driven consulting, and … Web: www.bancvue.com Detailslast_img read more

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Jet-set sales for credit unions

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Rendel Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates … Web: www.risingaboveenterprises.com Details Granted, the price of one commercial jet contract is greater than the total assets of many credit unions.  However, the elements of value used in the sales process are applicable to any credit union as it seeks to express its commitment to member service and – as a result – grow the enterprise value of the credit union.  Consider adding and customizing these six statements in the messaging and execution of your sales, service, and growth-focused cultures. Have you ever wondered what particular sales statements of value are necessary to sell a commercial jet? As it turns out; they aren’t that different from the ones vital to selling a credit union product, service, or experience.  In fact, they are legitimately alike.  And, you can apply them with your credit union’s sales professionals and their messaging right away.  Not long ago, an in-flight seatmate of mine happened to be a senior sales executive for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial airplanes.  Admittedly, the commission on the sale of a jet was at the top of my mind; however, of additional interest was the value proposition explained to commercial jet customers in order to differentiate and gain the sale.    Keep in mind that the sales cycle for commercial jets is often years long (one is dealing with airlines and countries) with even more years added for the full delivery of all jets in the contract (which is often modified along the way).  Yet, with all of the changes in that industry, the sales executive shared that he stays true to the same sales elements of value established by his company in the 1930s.  These elements of value separate and distinguish the value each customer is promised and each sales executive delivers.    The six elements of value (with credit union specifics and ideas for communicating):We understand your issues.  Our history and philosophy is focused on people.  We are a financial institution committed to the everyday money management of everyday people.     We know your business.  Our business is the business of households.  We know mortgages, auto loans, checking accounts, savings products, and much more.We know you personally.  Our model is focused on a relationship versus a transaction.  We’re committed to being a partner through all of your financial life.    We can help you financially.  Our credit union’s structure and philosophy allows us to offer you better rates on loans and savings.  And, if we do charge a fee, it’s the lowest in the market and carries the most value.We can execute.  Our decisions are made locally and without a lot of hoops to jump through.  We are truly your local financial institution and can act on your needs right away.  We are different.  In this crowded world of financial services, we exist for one driving purpose – serving the needs of our member-owners.  Every dollar we make in profit is put right back to you and your credit union.last_img read more

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It’s time to promote Hispanic MBLs

first_img continue reading » Credit union interest is growing in offering member business loans, or MBLS, even though strict regulatory limitations still exist. The lending rules are clear, but the amount of MBL dollars available differs based on a credit union’s size and the makeup and performance of its overall loan portfolio.With fewer MBLs available compared to other loans, the ones credit unions do issue should be given to well-performing entrepreneurs with the greatest need, and who can do the greatest good with those funds for their community. In our minds, Hispanic-owned businesses should be top contenders when credit unions make their MBL decisions.Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Hispanics are one of the country’s fastest-growing population segments, and also one of its most entrepreneurial. Moreover, loans to Hispanic-owned businesses are being increasingly targeted by banking industry competitors in a way that is frictionless and culturally relevant.A 2018 Gfk Social and Strategic Research study surveyed Hispanic and non-Hispanic business owners about their beliefs and practices. These results may surprise you. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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HBOR lowered interest rates in order to increase the use of EU funds

first_imgThe Management Board of HBOR has made a decision on a temporary reduction of the nominal interest rate under the program of lending to EU public sector projects to 2,5 percent, this reduction refers to loans that will be approved by the end of 2018.After the interest rates for lending to EU projects of the private sector and rural development, fisheries and wine envelope were reduced in 2017, a decision was made to temporarily reduce the interest rate for public sector projects.Thus, during this year, EU projects of rural development, fisheries and wine envelopes can be credited at an interest rate of 1,7 percent, EU private sector projects at an interest rate of 2,4 percent, and public sector projects at an interest rate of 2,5, 3 percent. Prior to these reductions, the minimum interest rates on all EU project lending programs were XNUMX percent. “By lowering interest rates while maintaining all other favorable conditions such as long repayment periods, the possibility of granting a grace period and using the grant as our own participation, we want to encourage entrepreneurs to invest and accelerate the dynamics of using available EU funds”Said Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR.Source: HBORSo far, HBOR has supported more than 600 projects with an amount of more than HRK 3,4 billion through the program for lending to EU projects. Loans are approved directly, through commercial banks or according to the risk-sharing model for up to 15 years with the possibility of waiting up to 3 years, or up to 5 years for raising and / or restructuring long-term plantations and for the public sector. An additional advantage is that in certain cases the grant funds can be used to reduce the loan principal, and in the case of direct lending, HBOR can accept up to 70 percent of the grant amount as its own participation, HBOR points out.The interest rate reduction for EU projects of rural development, fisheries and wine envelope and public sector projects is in force for all loans approved until 31 December 12, and for those of the private sector until 2018 June 30. The final interest rate for each final The beneficiary depends on the credit rating as well as the collateral offered.Loans approved under these programs are intended to close the financial structure for project implementation, and can be used to co-finance eligible investments, as well as those investments that are an integral part of the project, but cannot be financed from EU funds.Source: HBORlast_img read more

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Edinburgh drives ScotMet

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Arsenal ‘one step away’ from signing Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid

first_img Comment Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 16 Jul 2019 11:52 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link183Shares Arsenal ‘one step away’ from signing Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid Ceballos only started 13 La Liga games for Real Madrid last season (Getty Images)Ceballos is currently on holiday after being given an extended break following Spain’s success at the European Under-21 Championship earlier this summer but is due to return on July 22.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe midfielder was one of Spain’s star performers during the tournament after being unable to secure a regular role under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.Earlier this month, AS claimed that Tottenham were leading the race to sign Ceballos with Mauricio Pochettino speaking directly to the midfielder in an attempt to persuade him to join Spurs.But it now appears Ceballos is set to join Spurs’ north London rivals on a temporary deal for the upcoming campaign.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CitySpeaking at the end of June, Ceballos admitted he would be open to leaving Madrid on loan in order to get more playing time.‘I don’t want them [Real Madrid] to sell me,’ he told Onda Cero.‘But I want to enjoy myself and feel important, wherever that may be.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Dani Ceballos is reportedly set to join Arsenal on loan (BPI/REX)Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to reports in Spain.The 22-year-old has made it clear that he wants more playing time this season having started just 13 games in La Liga last term.Ceballos has also attracted interest from Tottenham and Liverpool.But according to AS, the midfielder is ‘one step away’ from joining Arsenal on loan.ADVERTISEMENTThe report claims that Unai Emery has played a key role in convincing Ceballos to join the Gunners ahead of their Premier League rivals. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Auctions heat up across the city on Super Saturday

first_imgInside 20 Morley St, ChelmerMr Robson said the location was also a big draw card.“It’s on the highside of Chelmer,” he said.“There’s a lot of love for homes in this area. The home at 33 Bowler St, Paddington.At 33 Bowler St, Paddington, the mood was tense and the crowd remained silent as two bidders fought it out for ownership of the architecturally designed home. Inside 33 Bowler St, PaddingtonThe three-level home sits on a generous 542sq m block less than two minutes walk from the popular restaurant and shopping precinct on Given Tce. On the ground level, there are two bedrooms, a media room, bathroom, wine cellar and two car garage.Upstairs is the main living quarters of the home, where the master suite with walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite opens out onto a balcony that has urban views and city glimpses. Inside 33 Bowler St, PaddingtonThere is also a large living room area and a north, north-east facing covered patio. At the rear, there is an open plan kitchen, dining and library area which flows out onto the covered deck, backyard and pool area. 20 Morley St, ChelmerWITH nearly one hundred homes expected to sell under the auction conditions this Super Saturday, Brisbane was buzzing with nerves and excitement from prospective buyers all across the city. Bidders raise the paddle at the auction of 33 Bowler St, Paddington. Pic Annette DewMr Degn said contemporary homes are hard to come by in Paddington. “There’s a market for new product, but the stock is few, and often sell before listing,” he said.‘People are waiting for these homes, and are ready to pounce.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago Inside 20 Morley St, ChelmerMr Robson said buyers were entranced by the home’s unique style.“It’s very different for Chelmer,” he said.“Most of the homes here are traditional Queenslanders, so to have something as unique as this I think really appealed to a lot of buyers. Inside 33 Bowler St, PaddingtonMarketing agent and auctioneer Andrew Degn of Place Real Estate, Paddington, said it was an unusually “tense and serious” auction. The home at 33 Bowler St, PaddingtonA loft bedroom occupies the third level of the home. Mr Degn said the layout appealed to buyers most. “They loved having the kitchen and dining area open straight out onto the deck, flat grass and pool area,” he said. A tense crowd at the auction of 33 Bowler St, Paddington. Pic Annette DewMore than five minutes of silence went by before an opening bid of $1,950,000 could be persuaded by Mr Degn. The home at 20 Morley St, ChelmerThe home sits on a 602 sq m block close to the river and has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two car garage, as well as high ceilings and an open plan layout which includes a living and dining area that opens out onto the outdoor alfresco deck by the pool. Auctioneer Andrew Degn at Paddington. Pic Annette DewNegotiations between the vendor, Mr Degn and the soon-to-be new owners raised the price to a final result of $2,220,000. The home at 20 Morley St, Chelmer.In Chelmer, this stunning Georgian style home sold under the hammer for a pretty penny.Marketing agent Brad Robson of Place Real Estate, Graceville said the property at 2 Morley St, Chelmer sold to a local couple looking to upsize to accommodate their growing family for $1,675,000. The home at 20 Morley St, ChelmerMr Robson said there was a lot of competition among buyers to secure quality homes in Chelmer. The home at 20 Morley St, Chelmer“If there were more homes to sell, we would sell them,” he said.“There hasn’t been a big swell of properties for sale in Chelmer yet this year. “It’s a sought after area where demand outstrips supply, so yeah buyers are competitive.”last_img read more

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I never coerced KEMSA officials to favour suppliers, Health PS

first_imgMochache had been accused by KEMSA of directing tendering processes at the Authority in an alleged scandal that continues to give COVID-19 management in the country a bad image.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache says at no time did the Ministry of Health coerce the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority to favour certain suppliers.  Susan Mochache moved to clear her name in the ongoing probe when she appeared before the National Assembly Health Committee on alleged misappropriation of public funds at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.Mochache said that contrary to claims made by KEMSA, the authority did, in fact, overspend beyond the Ksh 758 million advised by the Ministry in the purchase of medical supplies meant to combat COVID-19 pandemic.Also Read  SRC moves to address pay disparities   Mochache accused KEMSA of bypassing the Ministry of Health in requesting Treasury to help the Authority offset budgetary deficits despite clear directions from the ministry that KEMSA must limit its spending to the Ksh 758 million made available for the purchase of Medical Supplies.Also Read  Uhuru extends curfew ahead of his address Tuesday next weekHealth Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe told MPs that no item has been physically stolen at KEMSA though the Authority is set to accrue some operational losses due to the procurement of some hard to sell medical supplies.Also Read  PSC to challenge Maraga’s advice to dissolve Parliament over gender ruleThe Ministry of Transport which had also been invited to explain its handling of donations made by Chinese businessman Jack Ma was sent away by the MPs for failing to provide adequate responses to queries made by the lawmakers.MPs say they have reason to believe that funds have been lost at KEMSA, and medical supplies meant for the fight against COVID-19 may have been stolen through some skewed tendering processes.last_img read more

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Governors’ statement a threat to media freedom, Media Council

first_imgMCK said that while it respected the CoG’s right to express its views and opinions on the media, any complaint against any journalist or media enterprise is to be channelled to the Media Complaints Commission operating under the auspices of the Media Council of Kenya for determination and appropriate action.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 “The basis of this regulation is the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya whose provisions are very clear,” the statement noted.MCK in addition stated that both County Governments and the media sector or Fourth Estate have an important role to play in serving and informing the public, respectively, without fear or favour.Also Read  Govt moves to resolve land allocation dispute in East MauGiven the great public interest in the delivery of services at the county-level, MCK said that county governments will by their very position and nature attract media attention, especially on allegations of corruption and impropriety.“The media have every right to question, hold Governors to account and even to hold divergent views than those propagated by their communications machinery,” MCK further stated.The statement by MCK comes after the COG on Wednesday said it had resolved to “immediately cease engaging with NMG merchandise” after the media house published a story it found unfavourable.Also Read  Teachers to report back to school on MondayThe story headlined ‘Eight governors on graft hit list’ highlighted how the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was probing abuse of office and corruption allegations against various Governors.In the story, the publication reported that the anti-graft agency had narrowed down to eight counties in its investigation into corruption.CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya termed the piece a “smear campaign” that portrayed them as corrupt, inept and unable to run their counties. A decision by the Council of Governors (CoG) to stop advertising with the Nation Media Group has drawn sharp criticism from the media regulator.The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) condemned the CoG following a statement saying it will block adverts to the media house after it published a story on the alleged involvement of Governors in corruption.“The Council of Governors’ pronouncement that “…no County Government will advertise…” is meant to intimidate and bully East Africa’s largest media house into submission, and by extension ensure alignment with their agenda by other media houses,” MCK’s statement read in part.Also Read  152 more test positive as Kenya’s COVID-19 cases hit 36,981last_img read more

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