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Vermont schools get $500,000 for solar energyVermont schools get $500,000 for solar energy

first_imgSenator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that he secured $500,000 for Vermont public schools to install solar panels, the latest development in the senator s ongoing campaign to transform Vermont s energy system. We must move, as aggressively as possible, to become energy independent, to address the crisis of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and, in the process, create millions of new jobs over a period of years in the clean-energy field, Sanders said. In my view, this is one of the transformational issues of our time and I very much hope that Vermont will be a national leader in this area.The school solar grants designed to help lower electric bills and teach students about alternative energy will be distributed by the Vermont Department of Education to about 10 schools. The truth is that in Vermont solar energy can become an important part of our energy mix and it s vital that we begin that process as soon as possible, said Sanders, chairman of the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee.A member of both the energy and environment committees, Sanders said Vermont has made important strides toward energy efficiency, but the state has not been as forward-thinking about power generated from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other sources of sustainable energy. I am working hard to try and change that, he said. The need to transform our energy system by moving away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy is of huge consequence to Vermont and the nation.Over the next several years, millions of dollars for sustainable energy projects will flow to Vermont. The funds will be in addition to $10.3 million for Vermont that was included in the economic stimulus bill to fund an energy block grant program that Sanders helped create. Other energy initiatives that Sanders has won for Vermont include:The largest sustainable energy project in the state s history, a $5 million program with the Vermont National Guard.  My hope is that, within a few years, the Vermont National Guard will have the greenest Guard base in America and will be able to set an example for bases around the country, Sanders said. A $260,000 solar project at the Camels Hump Middle School in Richmond. A 75-kilowatt array of solar photovoltaic cells combined with energy-efficiency measures will substantially reduce the school s use of electricity.More than $300,000 going to four state colleges for greener campuses, including Vermont Technical College for a wood pellet boiler, Lyndon State College for a solar array, Johnson State College for building efficiency improvements, and Castleton State College for an energy efficiency metering initiative. A $500,000 allotment for installation of solar hot water heaters in hundreds of public housing units in Barre, Bennington, Brattleboro and Burlington.Source: Senator Sanders officelast_img read more

Good service is the new “Purple Cow”Good service is the new “Purple Cow”

first_img 42SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bradley Blue No matter what Brad were to say about himself in this bio, it would be easy to find the truth about him with a simple google search. This applies to … Details Being a purple cow is great if you want to get attention, but don’t expect anyone to drink your milk.I’m a big fan of Seth Godin and his book Purple Cow, but so many credit union marketers have misinterpreted the point of the book as “be different” when the actual advice is “be remarkable.”The titular example Mr. Godin gives to introduce the book doesn’t help:“When my family and I were driving through France a few years ago, we were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway. For dozens of kilometers, we all gazed out the window, marveling about how beautiful everything was.Then, within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were just like the old cows, and what once was amazing was now common. Worse than common. It was boring.Cows, after you’ve seen them for a while, are boring. They may be perfect cows, attractive cows, cows with great personalities, cows lit by beautiful light, but they’re still boring.A Purple Cow, though. Now that would be interesting. (For a while.)”He concludes that it should be the goal of every marketer to add “Purple Cow” to the 4 “P”s of marketing to make sure our traditional advertisements don’t vanish in a sea of brown cows.But is our goal to simply get attention? It’s humorous that the example of a cow is used because cows produce milk – a near commodity product which generally relies upon homogenization for sales. One would think twice about drinking milk from abnormally muscular or fragile cow, let alone a purple one. Moreover, you can differentiate by being a purple cow, but you can also differentiate by being a brown parrot. Different is not always better. The little quirks and oddities which make a new airline or gadget appealing can become liabilities when talking about milk or money. We all want to trust our milk.In banking, it’s easy to spot a few true purple cows – remarkable companies which are looking at our industry in exciting new ways and making inroads against traditional banks by inventing new technology, simplifying processes, or creating exciting brands. But then again, it’s easy to miss traditional banks and credit unions making the same inroads by being really great at doing the simple things larger banks ignore. In fact, while having an exciting brand or an uncommon way of doing things might appeal to early adopters, the masses are simply looking for accessible branches, good rates, and good service. And this is where “purple cow” marketing is hurting credit unions.In the book, Godin says “Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable.” It seems that, in 2003 when Purple Cow was written, plain old good service and rates weren’t remarkable enough to get you ahead. Certainly not when your brand had to be different enough to stand out among the loud advertisements of industry leaders. But the modern shopper uses the internet to find businesses, and frequently reads online reviews before making buying decisions.Consider a consumer who is moving to a new city. She will likely search something like “CityName Credit Unions” or “Banks in CityName” when investigating local services. So “Purple Cow Credit Union” is already at a disadvantage.  Then, if the consumer is like 78% of Americans, she’ll make her buying decision, at least in part, based on online reviews. Know what’s remarkable in the financial industry? Being a financial institution people actually trust and enough to write a positive review.Credit unions are not just different, but remarkable when they:Are transparent: Wall Street works behind closed doors. Transparency is remarkable.Pay dividends: Profiteering defines our industry. Dividends are remarkable.Promote annual meetings: Imposition and compliance are status quo. Participation and cooperation are remarkable.Provide great service: Apathy is rampant in banking. Service is remarkable.In the end, instead of asking if we’re a purple cow, we should be asking if our milk tastes better. With the help of consumer voices online, remarkable service is all the differentiation we need.I never saw a Purple Cow,I never hope to see one;But I can tell you, anyhow,I’d rather see than be one.Galett Burgess – 1895last_img read more

Spring a ripe time to buy for house flippersSpring a ripe time to buy for house flippers

first_imgCity’s house prices expected to rise over next three yearsCity apartments cheapest in over a decadeMr Nicholson said doing research on the house and coming up with a budget was essential and that people should be cautious not to rush out and buy the first thing they see. “You need to buy it with a budget in mind and figure out how much you will need to spend to do it up,” Mr Nicholson said. First National Real Estate chief executive Ray Ellis said spring is a ripe time for buyers to score a property to flip, with more stock often available in the warmer months. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“Spring is often rife with opportunity,” Mr Ellis said. “With more properties to choose from for buyers, there’s also more chance the level of competition for each offering might be diluted, opening up the possibility of a great flipping buy.” Wayne Nicholson, REIQ Townsville zone Chairman. Picture: Shae Beplate.Ray Ellis’ Tips for house flipping in the warmer months:— Know the area’s advantages and disadvantages, its best and poorest locations as well as incoming infrastructure.— Know the next buyer — don’t ever let personal taste get in the way. You’re not making a statement, you’re making money.— Don’t overcapitalise, try to find properties that are cosmetically challenged rather than in need of major change.— Invest in a professional inspection if you aren’t in the business of construction as major defects of a property from a faulty foundation to antiquated electrical wiring can be missed.— Research the market so you know the latest sales results and the time it is taking to sell homes in the area.— Consider the time it will take for you to fix the property up — do you have the necessary time and skills to project manage trades?— Set a budget and stick to it — and expect the unexpected when it comes to costs. RELATED STORIES: center_img WITH the Townsville property market low and more stock expected to hit the market for spring selling season, now could be an opportunity for property flippers to buy.Managing director at First National Real Estate and REIQ Townsville zone chairman Wayne Nicholson said the most important thing for house flippers to know was their market. “In the last 12 months flipping has been difficult in Townsville with the market being quite flat,” he said. “I recommend people buy now while the market is low and rent the property for 12 months so they’re still making an income on it. “Then in a year, if the market has moved like people are predicting, they should do it up and flip it for more.” last_img read more

Codd will stay on as Tipp senior football captainCodd will stay on as Tipp senior football captain

first_imgRobbie Kiely has also retained the vice-captaincy role. The Tipp senior footballers will kick their season off on Sunday when they take on Cork in Clonmel.Manager Peter Creedon says it is important to get a good seventy minutes into the players legs, but he won’t read too much into the result. That game will throw-in at 2 o’clock.  TippFM Sport will bring you live updates.last_img


first_imgFlooding in Oldtown, Letterkenny. Pic Scott Duncan for Donegal DailySTORMWATCH UPDATE: MOTORISTS are warned to be extra careful on the roads overnight after a number of storm-related incidents.* The N3 between Ballyshannon and Belleek has re-opened.* A tree has struck a car on the Milford to Kilmacrennan Road. The driver has escaped injury – diversions are in place. * A tree has blocked the main N56 near Creeslough* The pier area of Donegal Town is flooded* Reader Niamh Campbell writes: Hi just after leaving Kilmacrennan!! There’s a small tree fallen on the side of the road at the beginning of blue banks if you’re headed into Kilmacrennan it’s on a corner so people should take it slow near there in case it’s blown out into road!The N56 – pic from Peader McFaddenThe pier in Donegal Town: Pic Oisin McLaughlin    STORMWATCH UPDATE IN YOUR PICTURES: ROAD CLOSURES, TREE FALLS AND FLOODS was last modified: December 19th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Dailystorm updates donegallast_img read more

Voice-Activated Internet: Text-Free Tweeting, Blogging & MoreVoice-Activated Internet: Text-Free Tweeting, Blogging & More

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jolie odell TweetCallTweetCall was another simple, free and accurate service we tested for posting updates to Twitter. There are many similar apps on the market, including TwitterFone (still in private beta after more than a year and a half since inception), but we appreciated the quick and easy nature of TweetCall.Signing up for the service took no more than a minute, after which we were able to dial (877) TweetCall, enter an optional PIN and leave a message to be transcribed to a 140-character tweet.The service worked just fine, and the text of the message was transcribed beautifully. We were not too surprised to learn that TweetCall is, in fact, powered by QuickTate. We were curious enough to dig around to find out why each product had such quick and accurate transcriptions; we found both are affiliated with iDictate, a long-standing figure in the voice-to-text space that employs actual human beings to get voice messages into text formats.It might not be the most technologically innovative or scalable solution, but these two apps certainly did everything we needed them to, and with a higher degree of accuracy than similar applications that rely on machine transcription of messages.Audio Blogging on TumblrLots of blogging software applications have tools for audio posts, but few are as simple as Tumblr’s. Tumblr has the distinct advantage of giving users a completely free offering, as well.Early last year, Tumblr gave users the ability to post audio entries to their blogs. While this function doesn’t provide any text transcription, it does do the trick for most casual bloggers who might need to call one in on occasion. We tested it out, and weren’t too disappointed. The sound was a little muffled, though, and it’s definitely not a feature that would be of any use to professional or enterprise bloggers.Visual VoicemailFor an extensive and thorough look at voice-to-text voicemail transcription services, check out this post from Baratunde Thurston. I did not test voicemail transcription services because I, dear reader, make a point of not checking my voicemail, ever.Although Google Voice and similar services’ audio message (mis)translations can be humorously wrong, they’re often helpful for getting the gist of a communiqué without having to reroute through the labyrinthine depths of one’s voicemail inbox.Let me know your favorite voice-to-text apps in the comments – I’ll need them while I’m resting up and trying to regenerate my finger down in the basement of ReadWriteLabs. As some of our readers know, I was clumsy enough to hack off a chunk of my finger while making dinner a couple nights ago. This incident has severely curtailed my blogging activity, but it’s led to a fortunate inspiration, as well!For those of you who are differently-abled – temporarily or otherwise – or for those of you who are simply too lazy to type, here are a handful of resources for hands-free Internet use, from blog posting to Twitter updates to straight-up voice-to-text transcription services. I hope you find these apps as useful as I have.JottJott is a transcription service that takes your speech and converts it to text. With tiered subscription plans that run a modest gamut of around $4 per month to $13 per month, and a pay-as-you-go option that seems perfectly geared toward casual users, Jott is competitively priced for both a satisfied userbase and profitability.The site allows users to send in 15- or 30-second snippets of audio to be converted into text. Jott also offers services for consumers (voicemail transcription) and the enterprise (a Salesforce integration), as well.The company started in Seattle in 2006. Since then, they’ve integrated Twitter functions and a suite of mobile apps for various devices.QuickTateA similar service we found is QuickTate. This service allows users to leave audio messages for themselves via phone; the messages are then transcribed to text and delivered to the user via SMS or email depending on one’s account settings. Text messages are also available on the web.QuickTate also allows provides a voicemail transcription service and has a handy iPhone-optimized widget. It too offers tiered subscription plans, with a convenient free option for occasional users and monthly plans ranging from $3.50 to $30 a month for up to 200 transcribed messages.We actually tested this one firsthand and found the vocie-to-text process both quick and extremely accurate – Google Voice transcription this was not. Each word was correctly spelled, and sentences were adequately punctuated.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#Product Reviews#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more