All Aboard for the Polar Express

As you know, we have been talking about the train to Lake Placid and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad a lot.


A blogger we enjoy is Phyllis Zimmerman.  She just published a great blog on a trip a few years ago on the Polar Express.
The Express runs between Utica’s Union Station and “The North Pole,” otherwise known as Holland Patent. At the North Pole, Santa comes aboard and listens to the wish list of every little girl and boy on the way back to Utica.
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Nick Faldo’s an ‘a**hole,’ Ryder Cup stalwart Sam Torrance says

Already had some mouthfuls from the US Ryder Cup, now for the European team:

Nick Faldo “only opens his mouth to change feet,” Sam Torrance says of his “pathetic” eight-time Ryder Cup teammate’s describing Sergio Garcia as “useless.”
Sam Torrance
Sam Torrance

While it has been all Sturm und Drang in the American camp since Team Europe routed the U.S. squad in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, there has been nothing but a love fest for captain Paul McGinley and all things Euro since his team’s convincing victory in September.

Turns out, with 2014 Euro vice captain Sam Torrance lashing out at Nick Faldo for calling Sergio Garcia “useless” during the recent competition, the U.S. no longer holds exclusive rights to Ryder Cup disgruntlement.

“To say that right in the middle of the Ryder Cup, what was the a***hole thinking about?” Torrance said in the latest issue of Bunkered magazine. “The reaction in the team room was magnificent. The guys rallied round Garcia.”

Until now, Faldo had provided the only hint of a controversy not aimed at Tom Watson and his charges when he took a swipe at Sergio Garcia. In his role as TV analyst during the competition at Gleneagles, the 2008 European captain off-handedly threw Garcia under the golf cart when he criticized his performance as a member of his team.

Garcia refused to engage in a war of words with Faldo, who led Europe to its only loss since 1999, and the mini-firestorm burned itself out.

Until Torrance stirred the embers by torching his eight-time Ryder Cup teammate.

“Really, it was pathetic from Faldo,” Torrance, who was just warming up, continued. “He’s an a***hole … He just opens his mouth to change feet.”

Torrance termed Garcia one of Europe’s “best team players … an incredible kid, with the heart of a lion,” a terrific guy in the team room, and blasted Faldo for saying otherwise.

“Garcia’s not a team player?” Torrance asked rhetorically. “Have a look in the mirror, pal.”

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I’m not a job seeker. I love writing and consulting. Been there and done it with the hiring process. Which means I know a lot about the hiring process too. Was hired to select a location for a New York office for a start up “social website”, as well as discover what else would be required to staff it and open it. That, to me, meant concise hiring requirements (for others to execute).

I’m not a job seeker. I love writing and consulting. Been there and done it with the hiring process. Which means I know a lot about the hiring process too. Was hired to select a location for a New York office for a start up “social website”, as well as discover what else would be required to staff it and open it. That, to me, meant concise hiring requirements (for others to execute).
The office part was easy. I like “art deco” buildings, so I found one. I had a huge concern that a stupid employee application form or a flawed hiring process would give the company a “black eye” all over the “Web”. First decision was easy: only two individuals from the company will be involved; the hiring manager and the hiring manager’s manager.

Found a great article on LinkedIn by Liz Ryan that surfaced a lot of things not to do and to watch out for.

For years we had been hearing about slooooow interview processes. We had been hearing about endless delays and interruptions in what should be a straightforward hiring exercise”. While a lot of the technical positions are outsourced, many Supply Chain Management positions are not. Most of the positions we will be hiring for are already defined such as an EDI analyst or a supply chain planner. There is little to no room to question or change these job specifications. There should be no obstacles like additional forms to fill out …. that should have been covered on the single employee application (if that is designed correctly). 

My policy: a “no excuses” three day time limit from first interview to hiring decision. Company has video co

My policy: a “no excuses” three day time limit from first interview to hiring decision. Company has video coagers will set the hiring process in concrete and caution about delays, changing the process at the last minute and other “tactics”.

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Train to Lake Placid: New York State Travel Corridor

NYS DOT Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau,
My family has has property in the Adirondacks since 1971, and right out of High School I spent two years up there working on 1980 Winter Olympics facilities including the Olympic Bobsled Run, the Lake Placid Hilton, and the Adirondack Physicians and Surgeons Building. I am still active in the area and would love to see Lake Placid and Montreal bid for a future Olympics as it definitely would impact the area and further help with the advancement of rail transportation in the Adirondacks. The recent prominence and dispute between rail enthusiasts and conversion-to-trail advocates along the Remsen – Lake Placid corridor is very interesting. The option of a trail-rail combination seems logical and mutually beneficial. The corridor is generally 100 feet wide and with the right design, planning and especially budget enhanced by federal funds allocated for an Olympic event, it could work.

However, there is a much more important factor no one has addressed, that would not just involve a +/-$20 million repair of the existing tracks, but a complete overhaul, including any design and budget that would enable a trail-rail use of the corridor. What has not been discussed is that the Remsen – Lake Placid corridor as well as rail lines once operated by NY Central & Hudson River Railroad, and the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad and Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad may become the 3rd & 4th tier local service components of the NY State high-speed railway (HSR) system. As you may know from 2008 US DOT maps, the proposed 1st & 2nd tier main lines run south-north from NYC to Montreal thru Albany and east west from Albany to Buffalo (and on to Toronto) thru Utica, Syracuse and other cities along the way. These historic corridors may comprise the local HSR system northern NY service lines from the Utica terminal on the main line thru Tupper Lake and re-connect to the main line at Plattsburgh, and a second line from the Syracuse terminal on the main line thru Malone and on to Montreal. The line will also run south from Utica thru Binghamton and down into Pennsylvania and connect to other main lines. Behind the scenes, a global consortium has been developing a plan and program to design, build, finance, operate, maintain, and transfer (DBFOMT) the HSR system in NY using a public-private partnership (PPP) procurement and finance model. The proposed consortium includes high-speed rail and finance experts from the US, Europe, and China. The enabling PPP legislation has been proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, called the “Innovative Infrastructure Act”. Soon after the legislation has been enacted, the consortium will seek project approval and formally announce the proposed project.

Therefore, the 1996 Remsen – Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan should not be revised to forever exclude rail transportation as it would be detrimental to the high-speed rail system in New York, the revitalization of villages such as Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and many others, the economic growth of the Adirondacks, and the State as a whole. The Adirondack Scenic Railway was just the start of re-establishiment of passenger rail service in northern NY, but it has a very bright future, and the Unit Management Plan should keep that opportunity intact!




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Jim Burdge

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Paul Smiths Rentals

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Fred Couples questions Mickelson’s Ryder Cup benching

Some two-and-a-half months after the Ryder Cup was decided, high-profile critics are still scratching their heads about some of U.S. captain Tom Watson‘s tactical blunders.
In particular, Fred Couples still doesn’t get why Watson sat Phil Mickelson for all of Day 2 at Gleneagles.
“I’m not bashing Tom Watson, but sitting Mickelson, your best team player? Are you kidding me?” Couples asked rhetorically on Thursday while attending the opening of a six-hole golf course in Maricopa, Ariz., according to
Watson benched Mickelson and his preferred partner Keegan Bradley in the Saturday morning fourballs session in Scotland, most thinking it was in an effort to give Mickelson some rest. Then when they weren’t sent out in the afternoon session of alternate-shot, Mickelson’s weakest Ryder Cup format, Watson was almost universally panned.
Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, is good friends with Watson, but has previously been effusive with praise of Mickelson, who was on all three of the victorious Presidents Cup teams Couples captained.
Of the five-time major winner, Couples said in November, “Phil Mickelson has been the best [team] guy on every team I’ve ever been on, by far.”

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South Florida Construction Timetable for All Aboard Florida

In case you missed this, a good summary of Florida


Well now we have the whole big construction schedule that Florida East Coast Railway will be doing for the new All Aboard Florida trains.

See the full article from the Sun-Sentinel.

Florida East Coast Railway construction schedule from Sun-Sentinel Florida East Coast Railway construction schedule from Sun-Sentinel

Some of the most interesting points are:

Railroad crossings, including 115 in Palm Beach County, 67 in Broward and 19 in Miami-Dade, will be rebuilt starting in early 2015 as a second track is laid down and new lights and gates are installed.

We just recently covered how FEC was “getting all its stations in a row

The entire corridor between Miami and West Palm Beach will be double-tracked starting early next year.

Some stretches, such as in downtown Fort Lauderdale, already have two tracks. But the tracks north of Broward Boulevard will shift slightly to accommodate the station.

A third track will be built at both the…

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Oregon Beer is Going WILD

The Facebook page of a local brewery lit up with condemnations: Loyal beer drinkers said the brewers were greedy “sellouts.” Some fans threatened to boycott the brand. One declared he would stop wearing a T-shirt promoting the beer.

What did the brewers do to provoke such a backlash? Change the hops or yeast? Abandon a favorite ale recipe? No, the furor erupted after 10 Barrel Brewing announced last month that it was being bought by the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which to the horror of craft-beer enthusiasts, makes Budweiser and Bud Light.

The acquisition was another example of mega-brewers trying to counter declining sales by tapping into the growth of small craft breweries. And it drew the ire of devoted customers who blasted the corporation as an enemy of the craft beer industry and “the worst guys in the game.”

People in and around Bend take their beer seriously. Since its first craft brewery opened in 1988, this city of 80,000 has grown from a struggling timber town to a trendy destination featuring skiing, golf, fly fishing and mountain biking, all of which can be capped off at the end of the day with a fine, locally brewed craft beer.

The city and the surrounding area now claim nearly 30 breweries, many with owners looking for fulfillment in the beer, not the bottom line.

The owners of 10 Barrel, twin brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox and Garrett Wales, say Anheuser-Busch was already handling their distribution. The idea of selling their operation came up over a few beers.

Read more about Oregon Beer, craft beers and sales to major brewers who are suffering declining sales

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