28 July 2016

2015 Overseas Visitation Estimates Released

So...what is the latest data on visitors to the States?  Check out International Visitation to the United States.  The State of New York was "the most visited state by overseas travelers in 2015. It has been the most visited state for 15 consecutive years. Visitation to the state (10.39 million) increased by two percent."  (I visited my sister in NYC last year, but didn't come from overseas.)

The fact filled report is a easy read and gives you a sense of popular destinations in the US.

23 July 2016

Clear Weather good for Recreation?

Well yes and no.  No rain is certainly a good thing for outdoor recreation.  But clear skies this summer mean no rain and a drought.  Further it means HOT.

Loads of people are outside enjoying clear skies, getting sun burned and drinking lots of beers.   Like driving after midnight, toasted recreationists (pun intended) will hit the roads.

So today folks, enjoy the outside, drinks lots of water, protect against that harmful UV Radiation and stay cool....if you can find a cool spot.

21 July 2016

Republican Convention Tourism cost and benefits

So what are the costs and benefits for a city to host a presidential convention?  Beats me, so I looked up some info on the WWW.

According to the Republican's Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, "While it’s tough to project exactly what this number will be for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, we do know that the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa had an economic impact of more than $200 million in direct spending."

On the other hand, how much does it cost?  The Fiscal Times website finds "The GOP’s Cleveland Host Committee aimed to raise $64 million to fund the event. Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Ohio have collectively contributed $15 million to that total. But, as of last Thursday, the GOP was millions short of their goal after losing $8.1 million from corporations and individuals who revoked their pledges. Among the biggest former donors are David Koch ($1 million), Coca-Cola ($1 million), FedEx ($500,000), Pepsi ($500,000), United Health ($500,000), Apple ($250,000), Visa ($100,000) and BP ($50,000)."

As the event winds down, it is important to note that "As of July 1, 10,867 people were registered to protest with permits to march, rally and demonstrate. But many protestors haven’t bothered to apply for permits. Adding to the security concern is Ohio’s open-carry law, which allows people to walk around with loaded handguns and long guns. Gov. Kasich rejected the Cleveland police’s request that he suspend open-carry for the week, ostensibly because he didn’t have the unilateral authority to waive the law. Members of the New Black Panther Party have announced their intentions to protest in Cleveland with weapons.(my emphasis from The Fiscal Times report).

But rest assured that Cleveland is ready to deal with trouble makers by extending hours of courts to process people.

20 July 2016

This date in 1969

Do you remember what you were doing on this date?  I do!  I was sitting in a tent at summer camp (Broad Creek) listening to the radio as Neil Armstrong was climbing down the ladder to step on the moon.  I remember it took what seemed to be forever and every step was carefully planned.

This is one of those remarkable memories.

19 July 2016

Full time Temp teaching job at Westfield State

The Department of Geography and Regional Planning (GARP), Westfield State University (WSU), invites applications for a one-year temporary Instructor or Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainability  beginning September 2016. Academic load is 12 hours per semester. A strong background in applied urban planning, or sustainability is expected.

Primary Duties/Responsibilities:
Teaching responsibilities include introductory and advanced planning courses.  Supporting the University's common core in geography is also expected.  Responsibilities include the advising of regional planning students.

Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. in planning, geography, urban studies or strongly related field, and experience teaching undergraduates.
ABD candidates are also welcome to apply (at Instructor level).
Professionals with an MRP and experience, and/or AICP plus teaching experience, may apply for the Instructor level.

15 July 2016

Community Preservation Act in Springfield MA?

Plans are in the mix to offer the citizens of Springfield MA to join the numerous communities across the Commonwealth who have adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  The Act, created in 2000, allows community to self tax by adding a small surcharge on real estate taxes. Springfield proponents recommending 1.5%, and that is estimated to add $10 to the tax bill for the average house.

Now, nobody likes taxes, but like death, it is unavoidable. That said, additional funds from the state would be added and this money could in turn be used to preserve open space, historic preservation, enhance recreation and improve community housing.

Ten bucks is worth all of that, and I hope the citizens embrace this opportunity to improve Springfield.  I wrote about the CPA and you can read the paper here.

The towns and cities shown in green on the map below have adopted the Community Preservation Act as of May 2016. Thus far, 228 Massachusetts communities have voted on CPA adoption. Of those, 161 communities (46 percent of the state's municipalities) have passed CPA. This represents a 71 percent adoption success rate.
Communities in green have adopted CPA. Communities in yellow represent upcoming CPA adoption ballots.

14 July 2016

US Airlines Report $25.6 Billion Net Profit in 2015

Data from the US Department or Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports a "U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $25.6 billion in 2015 up from $7.5 billion in 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported ..."


Now, for us, what does that mean?

Air Travel for me is needed to do two things:

Travel Far, and
Get there fast.

Trouble is, that there are places you can't travel to....easily.

Take for an example my interest to fly to Tobago.  And this is in the Caribbean.  We used to be able to fly direct on American from Hartford (BDL) to Puerto Rico (SJU), and from there travel to anywhere in the Caribbean. Now, you need to go through Miami (MIA) and to continue through to Trinidad, you have a 8 hour layover, only to arrive at POS by midnight.  Do you risk catching the small plane to Tobago (TAB), or do you spend the night and catch the morning flight?

The challenge for airlines is to maximize passengers to the markets they desire, in an appropriately sized plane.  Do you fly a Boeing 777 once a day between markets, or do you fly a 737 twice a day?

This is why my trip to Tobago will take 26 hours!

12 July 2016

Henry David Thoreau's Birthday

Celebrate and honor Thoreau today.  To learn more, click this link and this one.  (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)

Walden Pond.

11 July 2016

Blei (2016) Inventing the Beach: The Unnatural History of a Natural Place

Nice report on Smithsonian.Com about our fascination of the beach by Daniela Blei.   These fragile and liminal landscapes are both spatial and temporal, and our interest is fairly recent.  For one reason is that vacations are a recent possibility.  Think Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith best line in the TV series, "What Is a Weekend?"
So for all the folks that head to the Cape of Cod this summer, enjoy your experience, since climate change will likely remove our beaches.

07 July 2016

NPR and The Sound Of America's Best Parks

Check out this report on NPR about sounds in National Parks.  Talk about virtual tourism!  Aren't National Parks great!

03 July 2016

Volunteer Project at Philmont

Kinda' neat to hear about this American Hiking Society project in New Mexico.  I hiked there in (I think) 1972, after recovering from a dislocated hip from a track and field accident.  Further it is neat since I worked with the current Director of the camp back in the late 70's and early 80s.  Pretty cool.

Oh yeah, here is a trail map for Baldy Mountain.