Dad, Please Never Stop Going To Music Festivals: An Open Letter

first_imgFor six years and counting, I have attended the Wanee Music Festival with my father and ten of his long-time companions and fellow music-loving friends. While the tradition has resumed after over thirty years of friendship for them, my induction to the crew came to wait until I was at least eighteen years old. My situation is unique, having grown up around the definitive treats of rock and roll since I was very young; though hanging at a music festival with your dad and his friends on their one weekend out of the year dedicated to their escape from “real life” is definitely a right one must earn. And from them, I have learned.There are three levels of music festival attendees: the first-timer, who quietly keeps anxious thoughts to themselves as the weekend turns them into reckless riots of thanks and praise; the seasoned professional, who has since learned from their mistakes and plans according to the go of the flow; and the master, who after years of experience, knows the “when” and the “how” to every little situation.Festival wisdom is like an acquired taste, you don’t always want to do what you know you have to do in order to get the job done. These are things I’ve learned from my dad and his friends, who after a weekend of using up all the water resorted to half-empty beer cans to brush their teeth and spit out the toothpaste in the morning. The same guys who have found themselves standing in porta potties holding two brews for the better half of an hour with their ears pressed against the cracks, just to hear the music while it’s torrentially pouring outside. These, my friends, are legends…the kind every young person should learn from.I wish I could tell you everything, but I won’t. Beyond the superfluous life-hacks are the insurmountable life lessons. I take it upon my duty as a young writer, now well versed in the festival lives of 50+ year-old grown men, to pass on the ten reasons you should continue going to music festivals when you grow up. I supplement these thanks with an ode of gratitude.10. Like all concert-goers, you, too, deserve the right to escape reality for a few days.Everyone has responsibilities at home. One of the best things about music festivals is that none of those responsibilities matter while you’re there. No one is thinking about paying bills, or scheduling doctors appointments, or what to get their boss for the holidays when they are surrounded by thousands of like-minded individuals gallivanting in the midst of a musical dream. The most important thing to remember is that whatever responsibilities are left at home will still be there upon return, so your time can only best be spent when used as an opportunity to rest the mind and enjoy yourself thoroughly. Then, bring your kids.9. Upgrading to VIP is totally justifiable. Hell, it’s recommended.Ditch the tent. If you’ve made a living for yourself and you are planning to attend a music festival, do it right. Do it big. Whether in an RV, a bus, or a hotel, you can finally afford to get a good night’s rest. Sleep is of the most important methods of survival when dedicating multiple days to music and arts in an uncivilized campground. So ball out like you’ve always wanted to; do what you have to do to ensure a comfortable sleep. Chances are your wallet won’t feel it as much as the 20-something-year-olds who’s budgeting exists to satisfy the weekend experience.8. It’s healthy to unleash your inner-child.“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” The statement speaks for itself, as a memory of my glowstick crown-wearing adult friend skips up to the pizza stand for last call at 3AM, knowing full-well that there are still hours of fun to be had before the sunrise greets the sheets and another epic adventure ensues. Campfire hangs, befriending strangers, going against the whims of normalcy– these are all part of the experiences that make a music festival so special. It’s about what happens after the music stops that resonates a sense of familiarity, as we re-engage with humanity on a level outside of reality.7. You can never have enough new experiences.The universe is here for us to try new things, and share those experiences with others. Traditions like “The Acoustic Ambush,” where we gather between two golf carts and slowly peruse the campgrounds with guitars, amps, percussion instruments, and the chords of our vocals, will forever welcome new experiences that are sometimes meant to be chosen over the scheduled acts themselves. We meander through tents until we catch the attention of fellow campers, entertain them for 3/4 of a song, then slowly continue on, leaving them with nothing but a faint memory of sing-a-long songs. It is the art of the impromptu jam, the freestyle lyrics, and the directionless paths that color our memories with the unique feathers that keep us coming back each year. Remember us?Proof, found on random Facebook page:6. The 70’s were awesome, but there’s some really great music now too.Music is a tradition that gets passed on. Each style is a re-presentation of some previous form of another. While the older music listeners remain faithful to their record store finds, the avid millennial festival-goer is a book of knowledge when it comes to past and present music trends. The best is when those two worlds collide, like when Susan Tedeschi, Eric Krasno, and the Tedeschi Trucks horn section joined Break Science on the Mushroom Stage two years ago, or when jamtronica bands like Conspirator redefine Jimi Hendrix tunes at 2AM before crowds of un-experienced listeners. Music is awesome, and is meant to be shared.5. Music festivals are a great way to bring families together.Despite what one might remember from Woodstock, music festivals are family-oriented gatherings fueled by passion and togetherness for all ages. The community comes together bearing life’s most valuable moral codes: be nice to everyone, and they will be nice to you; smile to the world, and the world will smile back; money only gets you what life can’t on it’s own; it’s not an experience if you can’t bring someone along; make friends with strangers, and the good vibes will ripple back. Teach your children young, show them the way of life, love, and endless laughter!4. Adults who attend music festivals give youth hope in their own future.There’s nothing better than seeing a 55-year-old man shotgun a beer at 8AM. On top of that, they have an authentic relationship with music that keeps them attending concerts for all these years. They understand things differently than young people do, because the stories from the last 50+ years of music history is part of their childhood memories, and they bear wisdom of it’s weight in the contemporary moment. Beyond that, they show incredible wits of expertise in their unparalleled abilities to withstand a weekend of music without waking up on the wrong side of the bed. These legends are heroes, worthy of endless praise.3. Adults, too, might learn something from the youth.There’s a lot of new music out there, and the players are just as monumentally important to know about as the pioneers. “Where’d the chick on drums go?,” one asks me while watching Dumpstaphunk, remembering Nikki Glaspie from previous years. Only a my-timer can respond happily to inform that she is touring with her new band The Nth Power, and follow it up with a link to their new CD. In addition to our knowledge of contemporary music, we might have a few tricks up our sleeves on how to survive the weekend too: like how to make a warm beer cold in under 5 minutes using just a paper towel, some water, and a cooler. 2. Old-timers, more than anyone else in the crowd, deserve to see the music- as they’ve been supporters since the very beginning.Seniority is real, just ask any Deadhead or Phish Phan. While newcomers are more than encouraged to join in on the fun, those who have been there since the warehouse days are worthy of the best seats in the house. Like the musicians, the fans, too, have grown into themselves as products of the musical times that have led them there. Respect.1. The weekend experience will revitalize you for an entire year.Muscles may ache for days after the weekend, but the memories will keep you sane as you return to “real life,” giving everyone something to look forward to for twelve, or less, months to come. It’s weekends like these, where friends come together and bond over the unique shared experience of a music festival, picking right back up wherever they last left off, that life is really about– no matter the age.[Photos by Jeremy Driesen]last_img read more

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Justin Kreutzmann Shares Home Video From Grateful Dead’s White House Visit In 2009

first_imgIt will remain one of life’s great ironies how artists and the generation which supports them are loathed by governments and the establishment one day, only to have said artists be welcomed into the royal palaces and state houses with open arms years later. Yet, that’s where members of the Grateful Dead somehow found themselves back in 2009 during the Barack Obama administration when the band was invited to take a private visit of the White House.Justin Kreutzmann, the filmmaking son of Dead drummer Billy Kreutzmann, was on hand to document the day’s events, which were of course filled with an abundance of weirdness. This was back when the surviving members of the Grateful Dead were simply known as The Dead, and featured Warren Haynes on lead guitar and future Dead & Company member Jeff Chimenti playing keyboards.The music heard playing throughout the two-minute clip features a loop of verbal-based audio pulled from an Obama speech from drummer Mickey Hart, which the band would use as a sample during the “Drums” portion of their show on that tour. In typical Prankster fashion, Hart can be seen wearing a Wavy Gravy-esque clown nose with a giant grin across his face as he and the band approach the White House. It is a rather hilarious irony that the house band for Ken Kesey‘s Acid Tests was welcomed to the government headquarters with open arms. What a long strange trip indeed.The members can all be seen sharing a laugh and having fun with one another in the newly shared video seen below. There’s even footage of Obama explaining how Queen Victoria built the desk that sat in his White House Oval Office.The Dead 2009 White House Visit Home Video[Video: Justin Kretuzmann]Related: Grateful Dead Fan Timothy Tyler Has Been Granted Clemency By President Barack ObamaTheir visit in 2009 came shortly after the historic election of Barack Obama as the country’s first African-American President. Although they remained apolitical throughout their 30-year lifespan, the members of the Grateful Dead have been outspoken in their support for certain politicians in more recent years. The band helped campaign for Obama in hopes of getting him some California votes during the state’s 2008 primary, and were asked to perform at the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball following his inauguration in January 2009.Obama graciously welcomed the band and their fans to his former home in Chicago with a letter shared during the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well reunion in 2015.last_img read more

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Celebrating 10 Years of Trail Mix

first_imgWhat do you think of when you hear the words “Blue Ridge?” We think of sweet tea and boiled peanuts. Swollen rivers. Rhododendron tunnels. Humid summers. Greens so green they almost glow. Black bears roaming. The patter of rain falling. Swirls of neon orange and hot pink decorating the late evening sky.And, of course, we think of the foot stompin’, hair raisin’, soulful front porch pickin’ that was born right here in these hills.That’s where Dave Stallard comes in.A freelance writer, blogger, and music-finder, Dave has been with us for the last decade of our 20-year-existence, and we can’t imagine this magazine without him. His witty writing and entertaining interviews have introduced big name artists and up-and-coming musicians to our readers’ musical world.But what about the man behind the scenes? Where did his love of music come from? Does he boogie when he jams? What are some of his favorite artists and interviews? We asked Dave that, and then some, in honor of the man who’s been providing you with free tunes for over ten years. Thanks Dave!BRO: How long have you been writing our Trail Mix department/compiling the monthly Trail Mix playlist?DS: I have spent the last ten years or so, in some form or fashion, writing about music for BRO. Trail Mix began in 2009, as I was driving home from work and wondering why, after the magazine had spent so much time covering so many great artists, we didn’t have some sort of online playlist. In the past, the magazine had put out a great compilation disc, and it just seemed natural that a monthly playlist would work.BRO: How was the process of acquiring songs, music, or blog ideas different back then (if it was at all)?DS: Not much has changed regarding the process of gathering songs for Trail Mix over the last six years. I am constantly looking, reaching out to artists, getting recommendations from friends, and watching social media. I can say, though, that the process has gotten easier, now that Trail Mix has established itself with our listeners and publicists around the country. We are featuring a lot more songs now than back when I started, when it was a struggle to just come up with ten tracks. Now, on a big month, we offer upwards of 30 tunes.BRO: Who are some of the top artists you’ve interviewed?DS: I have been fortunate enough to chat with many artists that I admire and respect. Patterson Hood, Tim O’Brien, and Warren Haynes are some biggies that come to mind.BRO: Who have been some of your favorite interviews?DS: Getting to chat with Del McCoury was a big treat. The man is a legend in the music world, and I was pretty nervous while dialing the phone. Del proved to be incredibly gracious and thanked me repeatedly for taking the time to talk to him. I also interviewed Rick Miller, of Southern Culture On The Skids, a few years ago. That was a big thrill for me, simply because SCOTS has been one of my favorite bands for over twenty years.BRO: What new music have you discovered through Trail Mix that now ranks among your favorite artists or tracks?DS: Goodness. How much time do you have? Each and every month, there are artists that I have never heard before that blow me away. I am lucky in that there are regularly records waiting on me in my mailbox. Much of the time, these records are from artists new to me. A couple names that come to mind are Chris Smither and Andrew Duhon. I had never listened to either of these guys, but now, thanks to discs I got because of Trail Mix, I can’t imagine a musical world without them.BRO: Why music? Where does your passion come from?DS: As long as I can remember, I have loved music. I can remember getting my first cassette tapes as a kid – Queen’s The Game and Village People’s Cruisin’. As a kid, I can remember sitting in my room and spinning records or listening to tapes. To this day, specific songs or albums rekindle almost tangible memories. Now, as an adult, I satisfy my musical obsessions with Trail Mix and concert/festival promotions. It’s a serious habit. I might even have a problem. My wife thinks so!BRO: What do you think makes music from the “Blue Ridge” so unique?DS: Though we give the region one name, it is home to a disparate variety of music. You have the bluegrass of Appalachia, the Piedmont blues of North Carolina, the blues of the Deep South, and so much more. And, of course, because musicians draw from so many different well springs, those different influences get blended up to create new and exciting sounds. Our region is a musical hotbed, and it is exciting to consider what is going to come next.BRO: When you sit down to listen to an album for the first time, what’s your standard operating procedure? Special room? Special drink? Your favorite recliner and best pair of headphones?DS: More often than not, the first time I hear a new record is in my car. My drive to work takes about fifteen minutes, so I often toss in those new discs for the ride. When one hooks me, that record might become my ride to work soundtrack for three weeks. Looking back at the question, though, a special room, complete with recliner, headphones, and drink sounds so much better.BRO: What have you learned in working with musicians and interviewing artists over the years?DS: The overwhelming majority of musicians that I have interviewed over the years have been kind and humble people, very much appreciative of the time and attention I am giving their work.BRO: Can you name 5-10 “highlights” of the music industry over the past 20 years that you think were game-changers?DS:1) The resurgence of the music festival in the Southeast. Our region, over the last ten to fifteen years, has seen the rise of some of the country’s best music festivals. The Festy, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Floyd Fest, and Red Wing Roots Music Festival are four festivals just here in Virginia that should be on every festival fan’s calendar.2) Spotify. This digital music provider is somewhat controversial, but it is an amazing way to discover new music. I use it regularly, and for a variety of different purposes — searching out bands for Trail Mix, listening to bands that I might book for a show, or just diving into a record that I don’t own. Of course, with Spotify, the goal is to get out there and buy that music that the service provides for free so the artist sees his just reward.3) Classic theaters that have been renovated and now host live music. If you haven’t yet been, check out the Jefferson Theater or Paramount Theater in Charlottesville or the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville. These beautiful old buildings fell into disrepair, only to return to their original grandeur and rival music rooms around the world.4) Home recording technology. As technology advances, more and more artists are able to create professional sounding music from the comforts of home. For evidence, check out Looking Glass, from Chris Pandolfi. This is a stunning record and it was recorded by Chris in his home. Sonically, it stands up to records produced and recorded in big studios.5) The digital medium. Though audiophiles complain about the quality of the music, there can be no denying that being able to carry your entire music catalog on a device the size of your wallet has been an incredible innovation.BRO: Do you dance to the music you listen to?DS: I’m known to boogie down when the music is on, especially while cooking or cleaning the kitchen. Plus, with a seven year old boy and four year old girl in the house, living room dance parties aren’t uncommon.BRO: Do you have different playlists for different activities?DS: I am not too particular about matching my music to my activities. Instead, I often end up getting into a genre and spending a lot of time therein. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of blues and jazz, guys like Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor, Son Seals, John Coltrane, and Charlie Parker. I recently finished binging on singer/songwriters, eighties tunes, and old country. I see diving into Elliot Smith soon, too, as he has recently come across my radar.BRO: Name five things music-related that our readers should do in the 2015 year.DS:1) Pick up an instrument. Any instrument. You are never too old to learn. I started playing the guitar at age 36. I know a few chords and am not really any good, but I love playing with my son, who is much better than I.2) Go see an artist you have never heard of. Get out on a limb and give a new musician a chance. More often than not, you will be pleasantly surprised.3) Shop at a local record store. The staff will be more knowledgeable and interested in your purchase than at a big box. And, most likely, if they don’t have what you want, they will get it for you quickly.4) Share with a friend a song you love. Personal recommendations go a long with me. If one of my friends digs a track or an artist and they share that with me, I will go check it out.5) Take a musical vacation. If you live in Virginia, for example, take a cruise along The Crooked Road. Virginia’s music highway is rich with historical venues and incredible music.BRO: Where do you think the future of music will go? Back to the roots or into more techno-age gadgetry?DS: I don’t know how much farther, technologically speaking, we can go. With the rise of the digital medium and the ability to take music with you via a phone or iPod, I wonder if we have reached a technological apex. If anything, I think the future of music will revisit the past and witness the rebirth of vinyl, which is experiencing a serious comeback. More and more artists are releasing records on vinyl and older recordings are being regularly rereleased. I think music fans are longing for music they can touch and hold, instead of just bits of digital code transferred over a wire.###While you’re at it, head over to this month’s Trail Mix playlist and download March’s free tunes today! Click here to start jammin’ now.last_img read more

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Airmen Honor Military Working Dog

first_img A Belgian Malinois became the first military working dog honored by the 341st Training Squadron for her heroic actions while assigned to a U.S. Special Forces unit in Afghanistan. Layka, an almost 3-year-old female, was recognized on September 12 at Joint Base San Antonio, in Lackland, Texas, for saving several Coalition Forces team members during a June 4 special operations mission. Layka had been dispatched to clear a building of explosives and help look for enemy combatants after a brief fire fight. During her search, the dog was ambushed by one of the assailants. Layka received multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and a limb, which later had to be amputated. Severely wounded, she attacked and subdued the assailant, protecting the lives of her handler and other coalition team members behind her. Once the area was secured, Layka’s handler and a physician’s assistant began treating the injured canine. Layka was then flown to a theater hospital for the first of several surgeries, eventually losing her right front leg. She arrived in San Antonio in early July for rehabilitation at the Daniel Holland Military Working Dog Hospital. “This has never been done before by us, but we wanted to thank Layka,” said Maj. Jason Harris, 341st TRS commander, who presented the dog with a medal of heroism from the unit’s parent organization, the 37th Training Group. The squadron provides trained military working dogs used in patrol, drug and explosive detection, and other specialized mission functions by the Department of Defense and other government agencies. “The medal is unofficial because no decoration exists for military working dogs, but we felt Layka deserved recognition,” Harris said. “What these dogs do, day in and day out, is phenomenal. They do save lives. “Layka was shot and still attacked the person shooting her. She’s been through a lot, and what she did is nothing less than heroic.” Following the ceremony, Layka was flown to Georgia to be reunited with her handler, who is still on active duty. No longer able to serve because of the injuries, Layka has been adopted by her handler, who cannot be identified for reasons of security. “He’s very excited to get her and thankful he had her that day (in Afghanistan),” Harris said. “Layka is very handler-protective, which led to what she did over there.” Tech. Sgt. Joseph Null, the 341st TRS military working dogs adoptions coordinator, said MWDs are invaluable to the armed services. “She surprised the terrorist, who was waiting to lay down fire on the team. I heard from people on the mission that if Layka hadn’t reacted like she did, there was a potential for multiple casualties,” Null said. “Layka needed to be recognized for her sacrifice.” By Dialogo October 19, 2012last_img read more

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NAFCU pushes transparency, relief on eve of NCUA oversight hearing

first_imgNAFCU weighed in yesterday with specific recommendations for achieving NCUA budget transparency and regulatory relief for credit unions in a letter sent ahead of this afternoon’s House subcommittee NCUA oversight hearing, which will feature testimony from agency Chairman Debbie Matz.The hearing, set for 2 p.m. by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, will be viewable online here.Hunt, in last night’s letter, thanked the panel for scheduling today’s hearing and emphasized the credit union industry’s need for more details about a budget they pay for and which continues to grow. “Because NCUA’s budget is funded exclusively by the credit unions it regulates and insures,” Hunt wrote, “it is of the utmost and ever-increasing importance to the credit union industry.”In her letter, Hunt noted the agency’s budget has grown by more than half – by $100 million – since 2008 to a budget now set at $287 million. She noted the larger, more recent increases have come at a time that FDIC is scaling back its own budget. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Is your credit union providing the card fraud protection members expect?

first_imgFraud hurts consumers and merchants alike, but cardholders put an even greater level of trust in their financial institution to protect them and resolve any negative consequences associated with fraud. In fact, an Accenture survey reports that 74 percent of respondents expect fraud protection from their financial institutions. The impact of fraud on financial institutions goes far beyond the concrete dollars and cents and into the even more nebulous and sensitive area of consumer trust.Fighting fraud requires managers to have as much information as possible so they can aggressively identify problems and take steps to mitigate them. A good payments partner can be invaluable in providing information about fraud type (card present, card not present), the point-of-purchase transaction and the cardholder. This information can help formulate a solid fraud prevention strategy by leveraging processes, technology, and human expertise.Prevention ProcessesMaking sure your fraud strategies include streamlined and highly effective processes is the first step toward reliable fraud mitigation. These processes should include, at a minimum, chargeback processing services for every point in the process, management of signature debit disputes, dispute collection from cardholders, and automated reporting of confirmed fraud to the card networks. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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CUNA’s Prather named ‘Top Twenty in 20’ for advocacy

first_img This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading » The Advocacy Association has selected CUNA State Director of Grassroots Programs Kristen Prather as one of this year’s Top Twenty in 20 in advocacy professionals. The award recognizes the best and brightest practitioners in the advocacy community.“Kristen is a valuable part of our political affairs team, and we’re proud her work overseeing our grassroots efforts at the state and national level has been recognized,” said Richard Gose, CUNA chief political officer. “Her efforts have helped get the word out about many of our campaigns that have benefitted credit union members by bringing attention to important issues, including the passage of S. 2155, Stop the Data Breaches and Don’t Tax My Credit Union.”Prather, who has been with CUNA since 2008, was featured in CQ Roll Call’s Oct. 6 edition with a full-page ad recognizing the inaugural class of awardees. Awardees were honored during a virtual event Oct. 20.center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Rovinj, Omis and Hvar new destinations for tourist running

first_imgThus, after Zagreb, Šibenik, Split, Pula, Opatija, Rovinj, Munich and Graz, the SightRun application for this season is richer for three new racing destinations – Rovinj, Omiš and Hvar. Logically, because when we omit the sun and the sea as the primary motive for coming, what is left for us? We have to ask ourselves the question: Why would someone come to our destination when they can’t swim? Is there content for him? What will work in our destination out of season? What is his motive for coming? A logical and natural conclusion, because we have all the potentials. Different types of terrain in a small area, long coast and islands, many racing events and outdoor festivals, excellent and authentic gastronomy, excellent accommodation, we are well connected, and we have a pleasant climate almost all year round on the Adriatic… Why not take advantage of this racing madness ? Do we want to follow trends? Or better yet, do we want to create trends and be its main ambassadors? Running is just one such activity, and if you’re wondering why running, here’s one interesting fact. Over 50 million people regularly run in the EU, and their annual consumption is estimated at 9.6 billion euros. Some see in this the potential for growth and development, and some do not. Running is one of the fastest growing trends, both in Europe and in the world. This segment was targeted by the team from SightRun, who are also lovers of running, who point out that running after cycling could actually become a new trademark of Croatia, if we try hard enough. CROATIAN FIRST IN THE WORLD RECEIVES RUN FRIENDLY HOTEL CONCEPT – RUN HOTEL Following this track, the startup SightRun mobile tourist running application is entering a new tourist season with new racing destinations and new interesting tours. The SightRun application connects running and sightseeing and is intended for those guests who do not give up running even when they are on the road or on vacation, and especially when they have less time for sightseeing. In this way, the guest runner discovers interesting things about the city and tours the city’s attractions. Most importantly, in order to guess the motive of arrival and encourage him to think, we must think about new tourist products that we can offer to our guests, and which will be available to them throughout the year. SIGHTRUN EXCELLENT NEW TOURIST PRODUCT CONNECTING RUNNING AND TOURISM – TOURIST RUNNING If we want to extend the tourist season, then we must be based on diverse, authentic and quality content and offer, which does not depend exclusively on the sun and the sea, ie swimming. center_img Now, in the end, the question arises again: Do we want to develop tourism in the pre- and post-season? If so, then this great Croatian story and wit is one of the obligatory tools for all our tourist destinations. However, as it happens in Croatia, everything is going too slowly and we should have implemented SightRun as a “small” tourist destination a long time ago, as well as all other great tourist stories. While competition deals with market development and bites, we are stagnant and slow. Why be the last, when we can be the first in something? That is why tourism is generally in our “banana” because we have a short season, low tourist consumption and, unfortunately, through tourism we encourage imports. Sure, SightRun is a great story, but that’s just the beginning of the story of branding a destination as well Runner Friendly destinations. From arranging tours and running tracks, to various racing events and extensions of stories of the same theme. PS Greece, Turkey, Egypt are waking up, ie they have woken up, and the announcements for this season are, at best, that they will be at the same level as last year. And what will happen next year? The SightRun App contains audio racing tours that give the runner navigation instructions and interesting information about the location where they are running. It is enough for the runner to download the desired tour through the application, get to the starting point, put on the headphones and press play. After that, he no longer needs the internet, and he can store his mobile phone and let the application guide him safely through the city. The app uses the GPS of the mobile device and therefore it doesn’t matter how fast the person is moving because the app is actually tracking it. Yes so simple and ingenious, and the SightRun app is completely free for the user and is available on Google Play and the App Store. Or we are good enough like this, so tomorrow SightRun, like many other applications and companies, will find its happiness in markets where market development is valued and encouraged, and those destinations that want to develop and follow global trends. But then not my whining about how short our season is. We have everything, it’s up to the people and ourselves. I wonder what other destinations are waiting for? What are you waiting for to ask the same question, of course only if you want to extend the tourist season, precisely those in charge of tourism development in your destination. You all lose because the season is short. And so don’t be surprised when the tourist season is short and ask your cities and Tourist Boards why we are stagnant? There are really no excuses today in the 21st century, and we have as many opportunities and solutions on the market as we want. Rather, we have them in our backyard, our wit and solutions. You just need to get out of the comfort zone and start dealing with market development, and less politicking. RELATED NEWS:last_img read more

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Back to school in China as lockdowns start to ease

first_imgChildren in China’s two most important cities went back to school Monday after more than three months at home, as coronavirus restrictions eased and governments around the world began charting a path out of the pandemic lockdown.Europe’s four worst-affected countries all reported marked drops in their daily death tolls, offering hope that the outbreak may have peaked in some places — at least for now.But leaders and experts remain divided on how quickly to revive shuttered economies while maintaining a delicate balance between freedom and safety. Hide and seek The pandemic has forced more than half of humanity into lockdowns to stop the virus from spreading — upending lives and tipping the global economy toward a recession not seen in decades.Millions of Muslims are marking a Ramadan like no other — under restrictions for a month of dusk-to-dawn fasting that in happier times involves large family meals. Saudi Arabia said it would partially lift its curfew but would maintain a round-the-clock lockdown in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.In Spain, which has had some of the strictest measures in Europe, children ventured outside for the first time since mid-March on Sunday, some wearing small masks and gloves.Six-year-old Ricardo said it felt “very good” to be able to run around with his younger sister. “We played hide and seek, we raced. We found a ladybird that was lost,” he said. ‘Keep your distance’ More than 205,000 coronavirus deaths have been confirmed across the globe — more than a quarter in the United States.Italy has the second highest death toll at 26,000, followed by Spain, France and Britain, all at well over 20,000.But on Sunday Britain’s daily tally was the lowest since March 31, while Italy and Spain’s were the lowest in a month. France’s toll was a drop of more than a third on the previous day’s figures.Those encouraging figures blew relief through a continent frustrated by restrictions designed to slow the spread of the disease.”We cannot continue beyond this lockdown — we risk damaging the country’s socioeconomic fabric too much,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as he unveiled a plan to emerge from Europe’s longest shutdown, in place since early March.People will have to wear masks in public and rigorously observe social distancing measures when the country’s current restrictions are eased on May 4.”If you love Italy, keep your distance from others,” he said.Britain’s leader, Boris Johnson, was to return to work on Monday after being hospitalized by COVID-19, one of nearly three million people known to have been infected worldwide. Vaccine race While cases and deaths plateau, the world remains in wait-and-see mode as scientists race to develop treatments and, eventually, a vaccine for the virus.Some governments are studying measures such as “immunity passports” as one way to get people back to work — but the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that people who survive COVID-19 cannot be certain they will not be hit again.Deborah Birx, the doctor who coordinates the US coronavirus response, said the WHO was being “very cautious”.Several countries, including France and Germany, plan to introduce virus tracing apps to alert users if they are near someone who has tested positive.The technology has already rolled out in Australia, sparking privacy concerns, and has been widely used in Singapore.In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said a first stage of a reopening would start on May 15 if hospitalizations decrease.But for some conservative-led states, that timeframe is too long.Rejecting the advice of top disease experts, the US state of Georgia has allowed thousands of businesses to resume operations, and Oklahoma will let restaurants and cinemas reopen from May 1.”People are still going to get it. But Oklahomans are safe and we’re ready for a measured reopening,” Governor Kevin Stitt told Fox News. Italy and New York laid out partial reopening plans, with France and Spain to follow suit this week, while tens of thousands of students returned to school in Shanghai and Beijing after months of closures.”I’m glad, it’s been too long since I’ve seen my classmates,” 18-year-old Hang Huan said in Shanghai. “I’ve missed them a lot.””At home, it was difficult to be in front of the computer all day and not very good for learning,” she said.Shanghai students in their final year of middle and high school were allowed back into their classrooms on Monday, while in Beijing only high school seniors were back on campus, furiously studying for the make-or-break university entrance exam. Topics : Students must have their temperatures checked at school gates and show “green” health codes on an app that calculates a person’s infection risk, according to China’s Ministry of Education.Virus numbers in China — where the disease first emerged late last year — have dwindled as the country begins to cautiously lift control measures, although fears remain over a potential resurgence and cases imported from abroad.last_img read more

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Cash aid disbursement fails to meet Idul Fitri target

first_imgIt had ordered state-owned postal service PT Pos Indonesia, which it partnered with to distribute the aid, to take on longer hours for the cause and set up distribution points away from post offices in an effort to reach the intended beneficiaries.However, the need to regularly update and verify the data of intended recipients had slowed the disbursement process, said Social Affairs Ministry secretary-general Hartono Laras.“There are some regions that asked to have the disbursement delayed because they want to update their data. There are also regions whose [proposed list of aid recipients] did not comply with the budget ceiling,” Hartono told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “So we are disbursing to regencies that have asked for additional aid [first].”On Thursday, the ministry said that the cash transfers have reached all 8.32 million intended households, but the number of recipients on the list also grew to 8.73 million. The government initially aimed to disburse the cash transfers to 9 million households outside Greater Jakarta, but only 8.3 million were tagged for disbursement before the Muslim holiday.The acknowledgement of flaws in the system has confirmed the critique of some good governance experts.Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) secretary-general Misbah Hasan said lengthy procedures in updating recipient data had proven to be another obstacle for the social aid program, which had already been complicated by travelers joining the mudik (Idul Fitri exodus) wave over fears of economic fallout.Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara said, however, that the government was on track to conclude disbursements to all households before the end of the week.The cash transfers are just one of the government’s social safety net programs aimed at easing the pains associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, especially among the poor and vulnerable population, whose livelihoods hang in the balance.They are among what the government calls non-regular social assistance programs intended for those unable to benefit from the Social Affairs Ministry’s Family Hope Program (PKH) and staple food cards (Kartu Sembako) program.Aside from cash transfers, the government also provides staple food assistance for 1.9 million households in Greater Jakarta in a bid to prevent people – particularly informal workers who have lost their income – from returning to their hometowns.In total, the government has set aside Rp 6.8 trillion (US$460.6 million) for staple food assistance in Greater Jakarta and another Rp 32.4 trillion for cash transfers for people residing outside of the megapolitan area.Beneficiaries are to receive Rp 600,000 in cash or the equivalent in staple food for three months from April until June, with the possibility of extending the non-regular programs until December at half the amount provided at the moment.Juliari also said the government was mulling over the inclusion of aid recipients from both non-regular programs in the ministry’s Integrated Data for Social Welfare (DTKS) system, the official list of beneficiaries used as the basis for the nationwide distribution of social assistance.“The government will deliberate their inclusion,” Juliari told the Post in a text message on Wednesday.Additionally, the state has instructed village administrations to disburse the same amount of village funds for cash assistance as the non-regular programs. Villagers who have or are vulnerable to falling into poverty due to the COVID-19 restrictions and are not covered by existing social safety net schemes are eligible, so long as they are confirmed by village authorities.Next to acknowledging a lapse in the system, the ministry’s poverty management director general Asep Sasa Purnama said the sheer variety of assistance schemes had also slowed the disbursement process, even though they weren’t meant to overlap.For instance, Asep noted that 31 people in Indramayu, West Java were found to be listed as recipients of cash transfer programs by the ministry and from the village funds.A lack of coordination among state and village authorities has both sides questioning whether a potential beneficiary should be listed under one scheme or another, he said.“Village officials suggested disbursing the aid to people already on the list from the central government, as it was for them a much simpler procedure to change the line-up at the village level,” Asep explained.To improve data management for the DTKS, the government should look into cutting red tape by further empowering local administrations with direct access to the central database, Fitra’s Misbah said.“Villages have the Village Information System (SID); if it can be connected to the central government’s One Data platform, it should cut short the unwieldy bureaucratic process,” he said.Topics : The government missed its self-appointed target of disbursing cash transfer assistance ahead of Idul Fitri on Sunday, as various city and regency administrations still scrambled to fine-tune their beneficiaries data, contributing to ongoing delays.They are part of the state’s program to provide social assistance to millions of ordinary Indonesians who have little means to shield themselves from economic losses borne from the COVID-19 outbreak and its ensuing restrictions.As of Tuesday, the government had disbursed cash transfers to 7.86 million out of the 8.3 million households from outside Greater Jakarta who were registered recipients under the social assistance program, despite going all out to reach its target.last_img read more

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