Red Cross closes last Irene shelter in Vermont

first_imgThe Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross announced today the closing of the last of their thirteen emergency shelters that were opened around the state in response to Tropical Storm Irene.  Longer term housing arrangements have been made for the last few residents at the Red Cross shelter at the Hartford High School in White River Junction and it officially closed as of noon. The widespread flooding and destruction from Irene forced many residents from their homes, and many took refuge in the thirteen Red Cross shelters that were opened after Irene hit Vermont on August 28, 2011.  These Red Cross shelters were staffed with trained volunteers to meet the needs of the people staying there, including a safe place to stay, hot meals, emotional support and other assistance in response to the disaster.   Now that water levels have receded and roads are being reopened, residents are able to return to their homes or to other longer-term housing arrangements.  Red Cross emergency response vehicles have criss-crossed the state delivering food and clean-up supplies to residents after the storm, and Red Cross outreach teams have canvassed affected neighborhoods doing damage assessment and contacting residents to ascertain their emergency disaster relief needs.  As the nature of the disaster response changes from immediate storm relief to longer term recovery efforts, the role of the Red Cross is also changing.  The Red Cross will continue to provide disaster relief to those affected by Irene, and will also work with our disaster relief partner agencies in the longer term recovery for the state. ‘The American Red Cross is dedicated to providing disaster relief whenever storms such as Tropical Storm Irene impact our communities,’ said Timothy Stetson, Chief Response officer of the Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross.  ‘Opening and staffing these shelters is just one of the many ways that the Red Cross helps our friends and neighbors every day.’   Stetson added that the Tropical Storm Irene response has been a huge disaster affecting thousands across multiple states, and the Red Cross response will cost millions of dollars. He asks if anyone would like to assist the Red Cross in helping others to consider making a donation.      About the American Red Cross:The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization ‘ not a government agency ‘ and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org(link is external) or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org(link is external). please click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.   Visit www.redcross.org(link is external) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.   Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. 9.13.2011last_img read more

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“MAKE ME CARE” as the main philosophy in tourism

first_img“Make me care” is a well-known Disney philosophy, which is one of the basics in tourism, or should be because it is about service and care for guests.So at breakfast before the trip, ie leaving the Arena Hospitality Group Park Plaza Verudela in Pula, I received free coffee as a sign of attention with the sentence: “As you hit the road, we treat you to a coffee to stay awake and better monitor traffic. Happy journey and come to us again. “This is not about free coffee or money, but a sign of attention. A sign of attention I didn’t expect. They bought me forever with one “ordinary” coffee. In procurement with a “cost” of one kuna, if not less. This is called effective marketing.The people on the front line of defense are the hotel brand, not the Management. From receptionists, waiters, maids, etc.… they are the real brand of every hotel. And it is precisely this example that is proof of this thesis. That is why this whole situation about the lack of workers in tourism is both ridiculous and tragic. I wonder how we in Croatia got into a situation where people just fell on the scale of values ​​to the last line. The entire tourist system not only examined the last limits of extensibility, but consciously, with all the alarms and alarms, squeezed the gas to the end. The worker, ie the man who is the most valuable resource as well as the key to success in tourism, was at the very bottom of the value.That is exactly why the labor force problem arose. Due to poor working conditions, disrespect for workers, man as well as low wages. People are the key to success in tourism, and in Croatia they are still a cost, so it is imperative to find as cheap labor as possible. Preferably Filipinos, Indians… when we no longer have robots to replace people in hotels. The working atmosphere, respect and working conditions are more important than the amount of salary, but we have fallen at all levels. People are the key to success, and their performance can be above expectations if they are satisfied and happy with working conditions and salary levels. Also, if employees are satisfied with the working environment and atmosphere, they will not go to the competition for “100 kuna” higher salary.Most hoteliers would view this famous coffee as an expense rather than an investment. Of course, if we look at an excel spreadsheet from an office in London, certainly how bookkeeping that coffee is is an expense. But the excel spreadsheet has no emotions and experiences, and there is a big difference from tourism and the real estate business i.e. the tourism industry that watches and draws profits to its limits and then resell the real estate and go to a new locationThe best marketing is peopleTo make things funnier, they bought me one plain coffee.Last year we made over 100 million overnight stays, we had customers in our showroom, did we buy them? Have we met or exceeded their expectations? Have we sold them a story, ie given the motive for their arrival to return to the pre- and post-season? So the season is extended, our guests are there, in our controlled conditions. We just have to tell them the story and it’s nice to wrap up. Also, that’s how tourist spending goes up, you know the story of why there are chocolates and those “little things” right next to the cash register in supermarkets. When you have already spent hundreds of kunas, you still do not see those few kunas as a big expense.It is cheapest to return a strict guest, and that is imperative. Have as many returning guests as possible who are loyal. They are free, there is no cost of marketing and commission, and they are still our brand ambassadors. Of course, this is a long-term process, to complete the whole story, not a sure return on investment in two or three years. But it is also a question of what kind of investors we want in our tourism or what kind of tourism and tourist product we want to have.A sign of attention, the “Make me care” philosophy must be the basis of business in tourism. Let you care about the guests. Let them feel like people, not like numbers. That is exactly the message of this story. It is the best possible marketing, the cheapest and most efficient. People make a difference, while the quality of accommodation is understood according to the categorization of the hotel. And finally, as life sometimes tells strange stories that incredibly match and complement each other, just yesterday a friend called me to recommend him where to spend his summer in Pula. You know my answer – Park Plaza Verudela. Thus, the investment of one kuna is multiplied, all thanks to the people who are at the forefront of the defense of every hotel and the most important resource in tourism.last_img read more

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IMF reaches staff-agreement with Barbados

first_imgPrime Minister Mia Mottley with IMF officials. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday announced that it had reached a staff-level agreement with Barbados following the review of the island’s Economic Recovery and Transformation program (BERT) under the External fund Facility (EFF).Subject to approval by IMF Executive Board“The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to consider the review in June. Upon completion of the review, about US$49 million will be made available to Barbados, bringing the total disbursement to SDR 70 million (nearly US$98 million), the head of the IMF mission Bert van Selm said.US$290 million packageBarbados has entered into a US$290-million EFF program with the Washington-based financial institution and, following the first review which was completed in December last year, the island received an estimated US$49 million to shore up the once-dangerously low international reserves.The mission Thursday ended a 10-day visit to Bridgetown noting that the island continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.The Mia Mottley government had requested the visit of the team from the Washington-based financial institution to discuss implementation of the BERT.Strong economic progress“Barbados continues to make strong progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. International reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) at end-May 2018, have more than doubled since then,” said van Selm.He said the rapid completion of the domestic part of a debt restructuring has been very helpful in reducing economic uncertainty, and the new terms agreed with creditors have put debt on a clear downward trajectory.“The authorities have started the reform of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) by tightening reporting requirements and shedding excess staff,” he said, adding that “all program targets for end-March under the EFF have been met.The IMF official said that the program target for Net International Reserves was met by a wide margin, as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets (NDA). The targets for the primary surplus, central government grants to SOEs, central government domestic arrears, and social spending were also met.“In March, Parliament adopted the 2019/2020 budget targeting a primary surplus of six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and van Selm said that full year effects of reforms set in motion during the last financial year, including the introduction of several new taxes – an airline travel fee, room levies, a new fuel tax, and a new health service contribution – should help achieve this target.He said a broadening of the base of the value added tax (VAT) and the land tax, adopted in March this year in the context of the 2019/20 budget, will help support revenue.“The budget approved for financial year 2019/20 provides a solid basis for the targeted fiscal consolidation; the authorities stand ready to take additional measures if necessary to reach the targeted 6 percent primary surplus,” he said.The IMF official said that the Barbadian authorities continue to make good progress in implementing structural benchmarks under the EFF, including those that contribute to an improved business climate such as a new Planning and Development Act passed in January 2019 and a Sandbox regime to regulate fintech start-ups set up in October 2018.He said a new Public Financial Management Act passed in January 2019 introduced wide-ranging measures to strengthen fiscal transparency and accountability. The government has also introduced a system for monitoring state-owned enterprises (SOE) arrears on an ongoing basis and has submitted a consolidated report on the performance of SOEs to parliament.““Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process,” van Selm added.last_img read more

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