New program offers economic aid; State wants to help small, rural communities with projects

Most municipalities in Colfax County are eligible to apply for a new economic development assistance program passed by the Legislature this year and signed by the governor in late March.

The Frontier Communities Initiative is being administered by the New Mexico MainStreet program, although the program is for small communities that are not MainStreet members. Any incorporated community with a population of less than 7,500 can apply as long as it does not currently have New Mexico MainStreet program status or status as a New Mexico Arts and Cultural District. Raton is part of both of those programs so is not eligible for the Frontier Communities Initiative, but Colfax County’s other municipalities are eligible.

New Mexico MainStreet, which operates as part of the state Economic Development Department, is now accepting applications for the Frontier Communities Initiative, which is designed to be a community economic development partnership that allows the state to provide small, rural communities with assistance in economic development projects.
The new initiative is intended to provide professional technical support as a community develops what New Mexico MainStreet calls “a catalytic economic development project within a traditional or historic commercial district such as a courthouse square or village plaza.” Other potential projects listed in information about the new program include improvements to historic buildings, cleaning up commercial property storefronts, developing and aiding community parks within a historic or cultural district, adding pedestrian safety amenities, establishing an entrepreneur or business development project, and branding and marketing of a destination.

The proposed projects “should demonstrate their positive impact on job creation, business development or enhancing the local economic environment,” according to MainStreet. A community may nominate only one project in its application.

State MainStreet officials will select communities to participate in the Frontier Communities Initiative through the current application process. Officials noted the initiative is not a grant program, and direct funding for selected projects is not included with services and resources provided for the project.

The legislation that created the initiative appropriated $100,000 from the state’s general fund to New Mexico MainStreet for the purpose of providing the services to selected communities during the state’s next fiscal year that begins July 1.

According to a Legislative Finance Committee report on the bill issued during this year’s legislative session, the small communities that are eligible for this program historically have “not had local capacity to meet National Trust MainStreet Center standards for the MainStreet program,” although “the need for commercial revitalization remains a clear economic need and goal in rural ‘frontier’ communities in New Mexico.” This legislation established a program for all of the state’s small communities — regardless of whether MainStreet status is held — “tailored to the needs of smaller New Mexican communities that can benefit from the services provided by MainStreet to promote economic development,” according to the report.

Applications for the inaugural Frontier Communities Initiative are due by June 21 at 2 p.m. Selection of communities for the program will be completed in early summer with selected projects to begin in late summer or fall of this year.

Information about the Frontier Communities Initiative, including application details, is found at www.gonm.biz/Frontier_Communities.aspx or by contacting Rich Williams at rich.williams@state.nm.us
or (505) 827-0168.

Fun Things to Do in New York City in the Winter

Winter in the Big Apple can be a lot of fun, even during the cold winter months that cause other cities to go dormant. Winter visitors know they can stave off the winter chill with a Broadway show or by celebrating the New Year in Time’s Square alongside other revelers. But there’s plenty more to do. From November to February, the ground may be frozen, but visitors find that New York City is still very much alive.

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center may have the single most recognizable Christmas tree in America. If possible, be there for the official lighting ceremony in late November or early December. Even if you miss the lighting event, take time out to visit the tree and snap a photo or two if you are there before the tree is taken down in early January. (See “Resources” below.)

Window Shopping
The Big Apple is a shopper’s heaven, but for those who only wish and window shop, the city offers the perfect opportunity during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Most of the bigger retailers in New York, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, create breathtaking holiday window displays. They might just entice you to break the bank and do a little shopping while you’re in town.

Take Up Ice Skating
Ice skating is an NYC winter favorite. Central Park has a great ice skating rink, as does Rockefeller Center. Bryant Park is also a popular spot. The ice gets packed with skaters of all ages and skill levels, so don’t be afraid to fall if you have never ice skated before.

For those who would like to ice skate in places that are a little less well-known, consider checking out the Polar Rink near the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Tickets are $8-$10 for adults and children.

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers offers ice skating year-round at 23rd Street and the Hudson River. Admission for adults is $12.50; helmet and skate rentals are available for $3.

MLK Day Parade
Martin Luther King Day is a large celebration in New York City. Each year a parade is held to honor the memory of Dr. King and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. It begins at 1 p.m. at Fifth Avenue and 61st Street and proceeds down Fifth Avenue to 86th Street.

The NYC parade often includes more than 25,000 participants and even more spectators (see “References” below). Prepare to pack in with thousands of others for this Big Apple tradition. Whether you participate or just look on from the sidelines, the MLK Day celebration is bound to be unlike any other celebration you have attended.

Winter Restaurant Week
New York City restaurants host two official Restaurant Weeks each year (see “Resources” below). One is during the summer and the other is in the winter. This is a time to sample some of the best fare that the Big Apple has to offer at deeply discounted prices. Make the most of this opportunity by trying something new, whether a dish or a cuisine. The event takes place at participating restaurants around town.

What€™s Wrong with Theme Parks

What€™s Wrong with Theme Parks

I am writing this while traveling back from the ultra-theme park vacation for our family. We had a great time with plenty of fun had all around. Needless to say, I also came back with several rants as well.

This trip is the most commercial, materialistic vacation we have ever taken as a family. Not that we are necessarily opposed to the much-hyped tourist destinations, but typically we are the type to go camping or visit a national park for our outings. We enjoy the great outdoors and enriching our kids’ lives, and ours with a little history whenever possible. That said, I do feel like it is a great experience for kids to see Disneyland at least once in their lives. Call me a sucker for the advertising.

What€™s Wrong with Theme Parks

Before going, we ordered and received the complimentary Disney vacation DVD they send out to get you “prepared” for your visit. It showed out kids a little of what was coming, but be warned this is basically an advertisement for their hotels and an invitation to spend as much as possible with the options that are conveniently located within the park. What really struck me about the Disney message though, and quite frankly rubbed me the wrong way, is the whole idea of “Where your dreams come true.” Is this the message I want my kids believing in? Ok, I don’t really think they are going to believe it, but there is some heavy brainwashing going on throughout the mini-movie. In fact, at one point they actually say “Disneyland “ the only place where your dreams come true.” Let me repeat that”¦only place“¦yikes!

Ok, that little bit of griping about their marketing aside, Disney is a sensory overload for kids that they absolutely love. Like a local carnival on steroids times 10, there is simply no way to get everything in the kids to want in a 2-day park hopper pass as we did. That’s a good thing, though. Getting in loads of fun, but leave the kids realizing there was even more fun to be had. We did hit several of the big rides more than once though, so we didn’t do too bad.

My biggest complaint is the price of food. Not only is it overpriced and only so-so quality, but they essentially force it on you. You are prohibited from bringing in outside food beyond a water bottle and snack items, and they even search your bags on the way in under the guise of security. Sure you are looking for a bomb, especially when you poked through the little mini cooler we had for cheese sticks and milk for our baby. Did I happen to mention the food was overpriced? We already paid a fortune to get in this place, now we need to use that home equity loan to feed the family a meal to get through the day.

What€™s Wrong with Theme Parks

My next thought is more of a funny one than complaining. We arrived early to be at the gates right when they open. We were 5 families back or so at our gate, so we had a jump on things. We had our plan in hand ready to rush to the first ride and get going with a bang. The gates opened ~15 minutes early, so we felt like we had won a prize for being the early birds, but it was not so. We rushed ahead past the shops which were open, only to be greeted by a rope barrier and some friendly security guards keeping us in the main street shopping area until the last second before opening. Yep, we had to wait in what would be our second of oh so many lines of the day, even before getting on our first ride. I figured they wanted to entice to shop right at the get-go, but they had another plan in mind. Right at the top of the hour a big announcement came on welcoming us to the park and essentially releasing the hounds in one big hyped moment. It worked, our kids were jazzed to take off from the starting line and rush out to our first ride. Those Disney marketing folks know what they are doing.

Lines, need I say more? Lines stink, but I have admitted we had our timing about as perfect as it could be. Most of our lines were short because we went on off days and an off-peak week. I shudder to think of what it would have been like during the peak times.

What€™s Wrong with Theme Parks

We did miss out on a couple of the big name rides, particularly Splash Mountain and the Aladdin stage show. That is the price you pay for being there in off-peak times.

We did the rounds since we had already traveled such a long distance to get to these oases of fun. First Legoland, which is only for the young kids; then Sea World followed by a day at the beach to take a break; finally a two-day finale at Disney and California Park Adventure. I am “parked” out now, but we have created some significant, fun memories for the kids. That’s what it’s all about, right?

So, with my little complaints aside, would I do it again? You bet. Every year with the kids, not a chance. Maybe in 4 or 5 years when my youngest is old enough to have her own set of memories to cherish; then she can get her adventure with Mickey and the gang.

First major contract award to take Venetia diamond mine underground

mine

Murray & Roberts Cementation has secured a R2.6 billion (ca US$ 250 million) award at De Beers’ Venetia underground mine project. This award is the first of a series of potential awards to Murray & Roberts Cementation by De Beers to build its multi-billion rand underground mine beneath the operating open pit diamond mine.mine

The Venetia deposit consists of 12 kimberlite pipes. Currently De Beers is mining two of the largest in a single, open pit operation.

The planned investment to convert the open pit into an underground mine is expected to cost some US $2 billion. Open pit operations would continue to 2021 and the conversion to underground mining is expected to extend the life of the mine by 25 years to 2046.

Henry Laas, Group Chief Executive, Murray & Roberts comments “This award by De Beers secures Murray & Roberts Cementation’s first major award at Venetia. The planned total investment by De Beers at Venetia potentially represents the single largest opportunity to Murray & Roberts since the Eskom power build programme.”

mine

The scope of works comprises the building of an entire underground mine, which includes the sinking, equipping and commissioning of a decline shaft and two vertical shafts, horizontal tunnel development to provide access to and the establishment of loading levels, as well as associated ventilation, ground and water handling infrastructure.

Laas continues “This is a flagship project for Murray & Roberts and our local project team has been complimented with project management and operational capacity from our Cementation mining companies in Australia and Canada, demonstrating the breadth of capability and experience available in our Group. The more advanced Canadian shaft sinking methodology will be utilised for sinking the vertical shafts and Cementation Canada, who is recognised as leaders in applying this methodology, will be providing specialist training of the shaft sinking crews.”

mine

Venetia is currently an open pit mine and South Africa’s largest producer of diamonds, contributing 40% of the country’s annual production. The mine is in Limpopo Province in the northeast corner of South Africa.

“The Canadian shaft-sinking model is designed for all activities in the shaft-sinking production cycle to be undertaken in-line. Although good sinking rates are possible with this methodology, the primary drive in the transition to this methodology is improved safety, as no concurrent shaft sinking activities are required,” concludes Laas

Midway Gold closes Pan Gold project financing

Midway Gold closes Pan Gold project financing

Colorado-based Midway Gold announced Monday that it has closed a US$55 million project finance facility with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The loan facility will be used to fund continued development of Midway’s Pan Gold Mine now under construction in western White Pine County, Nevada. Pan’s first gold pour is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Midway Gold closes Pan Gold project financing

Gold will be mined from two separate pits at an average annual production of 81,000 gold ounces at an average cash cost of $584 per ounce and a fully loaded cost of $824/oz.

The operation is expected to have a mine life of nine years with proven and probable reserves of 864,000 gold ounces and 1.13 million measured and indicated ounces.

The loan facility is comprised of two tranches including a project finance facility of US$45 million, plus a cost overrun facility of US$10 million. The facility is secured by all of assets of the Pan project. It also includes an 11% life of mine production hedging program.

Midway Gold closes Pan Gold project financing

Project capex for the open pit, heap leach operation is estimated at $99 million.

The operation will use Ledcor Group as a contract miner.

Midway’s operation is permitted for twice the current size of the Pan mine. Its sister gold project Gold Rock is located eight kilometers away from Pan. Production at Gold Rock is targeted to begin in 2017.

The company is also involved in the Spring Valley Joint Venture with Barrick Gold, which has a 70% interest in the JV. Barrick will fund everything to production.

Hundreds Reopen Road in Beit Dajan

Road in Beit Dajan

The main road to the village of Beit Dajan, south-east of Nablus, has been blocked for the past ten years. At its edge stands a metal gate, bound by a heavy chain that keeps it locked and immoveable. As if to emphasize the fate of this road, a large razor wire barricade stands halfway between the gate and the village. Beyond the shut gate stretches a well-kept road – Route 557 – that begins at the notorious Huwarrah checkpoint at the entrance to Nablus, and ends at entrance gate to the Jewish-only settlement of Elon Moreh. Route 557 is what in Israeli army-speak is called a “sterile road”, meaning Palestinians are not allowed on it.Road in Beit Dajan

Marking the beginning of a campaign to open the village’s main artery to Nablus, hundreds gathered outside the mosque following the Friday midday prayer. The protesters, about three hundred in number, made their way to the razor wire barricade laid halfway through the road, and removed it. From there they marched towards the metal gate waving flags, carrying banners and chanting slogans against the settlements, the theft of their land and water, and demanding the opening of the road.

Road in Beit Dajan

As the protesters neared the gate, soldier immediately came out of the one military jeep that was waiting there, and began immediately throwing tears-gas grenades, demanding that the protesters retreat 200 meters away from the road. One soldier fired several tear-gas projectiles on the ground, dangerously close to protesters who were posing no risk to him. Showers of tear-gas continued for approximately 40 minutes, but due to favorable winds, were not able to break the demonstration. Protesters continued to chant slogans, and occasionally return a smoking tear-gas grenade to its rightful owners.

Funjet Vacations

Funjet Vacations

Funjet vacations has been planning vacation trips since opening in 1974 (Funjet.com). With a corporate headquarters based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and site offices all around the world, Funjet has quickly become the travel agent to call when you want to experience the trip of a lifetime.Funjet Vacations

All-Inclusive Vacation Packages

Looking for a headache-free vacation? Consider one of Funjet’s all-inclusive destinations. Cost of this vacation includes all your beverages and meals, daily activities, entertainment, tips and gratuities as well as room service at the resort or hotel. These offerings, together with airfare, airport fees and hotel fees make an all-inclusive vacation trouble free. Choose from any number of destinations, including Antigua, Jamaica, Aruba and Punta Cana.

Funjet Vacations

Family Vacations That Are Fun for All

Looking for a vacation destination but worried about your budget? Funjet can help with one of their Family Friendly trips. Tell them your financial restrictions and let them find the package that will best provide the fun and excitement you want for this special time with your family. They have hotels that are kid-friendly, providing supervised activities as well as babysitting services, menus that will please the most picky eater and even hotels that have adult-only sections so you can relax while the kids are playing, all in keeping with your budget. Destinations like the Bahamas, Cancun and Aruba as well as San Diego, Tampa and St. Petersburg are ready for you to experience.

Funjet Vacations

Plan the Perfect Romantic Getaway

Consider consulting with Funjet Vacations when planning a honeymoon or romantic retreat. Let them help you create the perfect mood to strike sparks with adult-only hotels, candlelight dinners and spa treatments. Help with planning a destination wedding is also at the tip of your fingers with their wide range of services. Inspirational places such as the beaches of Cozumel or the Champs-Elysees and Tuileries Gardens in Paris will make your special someone’s heart beat faster.

Best Snow Skiing Resorts for Beginners

ski equipment

Many of the best ski resorts for beginners are located in the western United States. Resorts in the Rocky Mountain region feature long, gentle slopes that are perfect for beginners. In addition, these ski resorts offer a number of lessons, regardless of your age or proficiency level. You can choose to take group lessons with other beginners or partake in a one-on-one private lesson with a ski instructor.ski equipment

Buttermilk Mountain

Buttermilk Mountain, part of the Snowmass/Aspen complex, is located 200 miles west of Denver. This beginner-friendly resort features long, wide trails. 35 percent of the runs are designated for beginners and there are no advanced runs at this resort.

Buttermilk Ski Resort: http://www.aspensnowmass.com/buttermilk/default.cfm

Deer Valley

Deer Valley Resort is located 36 miles from Salt Lake City. This resort features a separate area specifically for beginners called “Wide West.”

Deer Valley Resort: http://www.deervalley.com/about.html

Breckenridge

Although known for its intermediate and advanced trails, Breckenridge is also an excellent destination for beginning skiers. Most beginner trails are located on Peak 8, although there are a few beginner trails located on Peak 9 as well. With nearly half of its trails designated as easy or intermediate, Breckenridge is a great place to try advancing from beginner to intermediate skier status.

Breckenridge: http://breckenridge.snow.com/home/

ski equipment

Crested Butte

Crested Butte, located 230 miles southwest of Denver, is known as a place that has managed to retain a low-key mountain ski-town vibe. At Crested Butte, 23 percent of the runs are designated for beginners.

Crested Butte: http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/index.aspx?season=winter

Steamboat

Steamboat is located 155 miles northwest of Denver. Steamboat, known as a family-friendly resort, has 165 trails; 14 percent of the trails are marked for beginners.

Steamboat: http://www.steamboat.com/

ski equipment

Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain is located 75 miles west of Denver. The western slope of Copper is beginner-friendly with a number of long, wide trails. Of the 126 marked trails at Copper, 21 percent are for beginner skiers.

Copper Mountain: http://www.coppercolorado.com/index.htm

Northstar-at-Tahoe

Northstar-at-Tahoe is located 36 miles from Reno in Truckee, California. Although only 13 percent of the runs at Northstar-at-Tahoe are designated as beginner runs, many of the trails marked as intermediate are suitable for beginners as well.

Northstar-at-Tahoe: http://www.northstarattahoe.com/

SLOVENIA

SLOVENIA

Families, businessmen and all those who enjoy active vacations will have a lot to discover in Slovenia. People who are hiking can enjoy the tranquility of the mountains and the climbers, those who practice skiing, canoeing, rowing, fishing, hunting, golf, horse riding and many others can enjoy their favorite sport in a variety of landscapes.

SLOVENIA

Much of the Slovenian cuisine comes from three main cultures – the Pannonian, the Alpine and the Mediterranean. The oldest Slovenian dishes contain flour and cereal grain. The best known is the štruklji bread prepared with the occasion of the holidays, which today is twisted or is shaped like a crown and the Slovenians prepare it in 70 different ways, filled with sweet compositions, meat or vegetables and žganci. A genuine Slovenian specialty is potica, a desert prepared on different holidays, also made with a great variety of fillings.

SLOVENIA

Slovenia is a very young country, but with a very long history and just as interesting. It has a small territory in the form of a chicken. It is bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, more exactly located at the confluence of Western and Eastern Europe. This positioning offers Slovenia the opportunity to summarize a plurality of cultures, customs and traditions. Consequently, the traditions of this country are many and varied and mostly open for exploration. By New Year, the Slovenians make wishes by saying: Srečno Novo Leto!

SLOVENIA

In Slovenia are organized street parties where both tourists and locals gather to have fun. These are usually organized in the big cities. The traditional menus for New Year in Slovenia are rich in pork and contain varied deserts such as Prekmurska Gibanica or Potica.

If you’re in the area, you might want to consider visiting Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia that has one of the oldest and richest traditions in wine productions in the world.

Invention of computer, a boon or a bane?

Hi guys, as this is the first post of this blog and from the heading you might have guessed about what I am going to talk about in this blog. So instead of having a boring introduction to this blog, let’s have an interesting perspective on why should you read this blog more often or what is that we are going to offer that you should not dare to deny.

As I believe in doing things which are necessary to do and one should not procrastinate in doing them, so there is a reason why I am starting this blog post. There are already many blogs concerning this area of problem but even then very few of us read these kinds of blogs. So it is my effort towards society as whole in order to create awareness among people on how important these blogs are or what impact they can have on your life.

So let us first discuss about the problems and then we will come to solutions which is the ultimate aim of this blog. We will cover these problems in the form of questions and answers to make it little interesting.

Q1. Why was computer invented by humans?

You must be thinking what a silly question this is. But still I want you to answer this. So the first basic answer (which is the ultimate one also) will be to reduce human effort in doing routine work so that we can be more productive and efficient in our daily lives. images Computer is simply a machine doing whatever is instructed to do and generally we use it to do work which is repetitious in nature.

In order to use computers more efficiently new developments in software fields were made and various types of innovations in network technologies happened so that we can use our computers to do as much work for us.

Q2. But are we free after the invention of computer or our lives are even worse than before?

Now you tell me one thing, as most of us deal with computers in our day to day life. Have you ever thought how efficient you are while using your computer? Now you can argue that of-course I am efficient as compared to the stone age workers but that is not a fair comparison. As we progress we need to level up our efficiency, so I will tell you one technique in order to judge your efficiency while using your computer.

Just ask yourself these questions:

CHECK IF YOU DO REPEATED KIND OF STUFF WHILE OPERATING YOUR COMPUTER?

Computer are invented for the purpose of reducing the repetition in our life, but is it fulfilling that purpose. Are you even when using computer engaged in doing repetitive kind of stuff for e.g:

  • Are you still deleting hundreds of contacts from your phone one by one manually?
  • Are you still scrolling down the excel sheet rows using down arrow button?
  • Are you still using your mouse to deal with every function except when you type alphabets?
  • Are you still entering data from one application to other in appropriate fields manually?
  • Are you still using the old versions of softwares which keeps on crashing (E.g Internet Explorer) ?
  • Are you still keeping all your secrets or passwords in the small notepad in your wallet ?
  • Are you still taking notes on your notepad and later searching it like anything when required?
  • Are you still doing the kind of stuff the computer can do for you given you have correct knowledge of how to operate it?

So most of us will answering yes to the above questions. If we are doing that much of stuff manually then what’s the point of operating a computer. No doubt that your computer is a extremely powerful machine and it is capable of doing wonders. But the only caveat is you have to instruct it to do so. You need to make your computer your slave not the vice-versa.

Now the question arises, what can we do in order to increase our productive and to make more efficient use of our computer devices?

See there are many ways in which you can save your time performing same tasks on computer with the little knowledge about your computer and the technologies used to operate it.

For example you can start using shortcuts while using your operating system, you can install certain applications which are very helpful or if you are somewhat tech loving person you can also write some code in order to develop custom features.