World No.1 Roger Federer eased past Jeremy Chardy 7-5 6-4 to breeze into the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells on Wednesday.The 36-year-old surrendered just three points on serve in the opening set and took control of the second with a crosscourt backhand winner that broke Chardy when tied at 4-4.”I like his play. He hits it big, has a big serve, big forehand,” said Federer, a five-time champion at Indian Wells.”The wind picked up, so you never know what’s going to happen. But I think we played really good tennis for most of the match.”Federer needed just one hour and 22 minutes to move to 15-0 for the year. The last time he began a season 15-0 was 2006 when he would finish the year with 12 titles and three Grand Slams.Federer will next face South Korea’s Chung Hyeon, who defeated Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-1 6-3. It will be a rematch of their Australian Open semi-final in January when Chung had to retire due to blistered feet.Juan Martin del Potro, a runner-up in Indian Wells in 2013, battled a bad back to outlast Leonardo Mayer 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3.”I was surprised by Mayer’s level today,” del Potro said. “I think I was very smart during the tiebreak. After that I turned the match around and took control of the points.”Next up for the Argentine is Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, who advanced with a 6-4 7-6(1) win over France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert.Kevin Anderson beat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 6-3 7-6(6), the South African recording 16 aces in a victory that took him to a last eight tie against Croatian Borna Coric, who defeated American Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-7(6) 6-4.advertisementSam Querrey, the lone American remaining in the men’s draw, reached the quarters with a 6-3 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez of Spain.(With inputs from Reuters)
I went back to 2007 to see how coaches and AP voters treat OSU in the preseason and how OSU responds throughout the year, the results were interesting…Oklahoma State[table id=15 /]On average they’ve been underrated by about 10 spots in the AP poll and 11 spots in the Coaches Poll [1. The high rankings (48s and 50s) are accounted by polls carrying out the “others receiving votes” and just going ahead and ranking them. In one instance (2008) they were “not ranked” so I went ahead and gave them the first spot after the last team receiving a vote (#52). I also did this with Texas for the 2010 season.]Let’s look at a few other schools for context.OU[table id=16 /] OU is overrated by about eight spots in each poll.Here’s your other favorite team to mock as overrated.Texas[table id=17 /]And they have been, by eight spots, very similarly to OU.I will say, it’s pretty tough when you’re one of these schools to measure up to expectations every year. This is more of an indictment of voters having too much faith in name schools than it is these schools underperforming. Plus one crazy bad year destroys your average when you start in the top five (OSU saw a little of that in 2009 but these guys stare at it every single year).It should also be noted that in all but one of these years (last year) OU has finished higher than OSU in the final AP poll. Same for Texas in all but two years. All in all, this data shows what you would expect: that OSU is traditionally (and again, relatively) underrated and OU and Texas somewhat (relatively) overrated on a year by year basis. We might not be a top five powerhouse but I think this is just the way we like it.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Posted on May 11, 2018May 14, 2018By: Staff, Maternal Health Task ForceClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaAdvisor, Social and Behavior Change Communication: Save the Children; Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaInternational Consultant – OB/GYN (Obstetrician/Gynecologist) [specialization in fistula treatment]: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); EritreaMaternal and Newborn Health Advisor: Jhpiego; LiberiaASIAAsia Regional Program Coordinator: EngenderHealth; New Delhi, IndiaProgramme Analyst, Maternal Health: UNFPA; Jakarta, IndonesiaEUROPEEvidence, Insights and Evaluation Manager: Marie Stopes International (MSI); London, United KingdomTechnical Officer: World Health Organization; Copenhagen, DenmarkNorth AmericaAdvisor, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings: Save the Children; Washington, DCAdvisor, Newborn Health: Save the Children; Washington, DCAssociate Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Seattle, WADirector of International Research: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NYGlobal Maternal and Child Health Research Associate: Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA (with significant travel and time in Ethiopia)Program Manager, Health Systems and Financing: ThinkWell; Washington, DCProvincial Director, Clinical Education and Quality Improvement: Provincial Health Services Authority; Vancouver, BC, CanadaService Provision Assessment (SPA) Specialist, Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition: PATH; Rockville, MDSexual, Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Senior Director: CARE; Atlanta, GA—Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Hector Bellerin has billed Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos as “one of the best players I’ve seen in my career”.The highly-rated Spaniard has linked up with the Gunners on a season-long agreement.With competition for places fierce at parent club Real Madrid, the 23-year-old has been freed to find regular game time and a new challenge away from the Santiago Bernabeu. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? He has arrived in England with a big reputation and with the potential to slip seamlessly into Arsenal’s ball-playing philosophy.Early outings have been encouraging, with his most recent display against Burnley earning plenty of plaudits as he played a part in both of the Gunners’ goals in a 2-1 win. Based in the UK? Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass for just £8.99!More is expected from the talented playmaker as he becomes better adjusted to the demands of the Premier League, with fellow countryman Bellerin backing him to star.The Arsenal full-back told the club’s official website: “I think Dani’s one of the best players I’ve seen in my career.”I’ve played with him since we were like 18 or 19 years old. We’ve played in the under-21s, we get on really well off the pitch.”He’s a great player, I think he’s going to be a great addition to the team and the Premier League is going to be very different to any other league, but he’s shown in training that he’s ready for it.”He’s up for it and he’s a player who will go through thick and thin to do the best for his team. He’s got a great heart and he plays for everyone around him. I think he’s a great addition.”Bellerin is not the only one to have sung Ceballos’ praises and saluted the immediate impact he has made in north London.Joe Willock is another of those to have been impressed by a player he can take plenty of lessons from.The 20-year-old midfielder has said: “Dani’s a top player. We see it every day in training, he’s just brilliant. He’s very technical.“He showed on Saturday how good he is going to be and what he will bring to the team. It was a good performance from him. He was top class.“And every day he’s getting fitter, every day he’s getting better.”Arsenal will be hoping to see Ceballos at his creative best on Saturday when Unai Emery’s side take in a testing trip to Liverpool. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
“The Liverpool fans were singing a song today I’ve never heard before,” one Burnley fan said to another as they made their way back into town from Turf Moor. Burnley were beaten, 3-0, by the European champions. It was the most destructive visit paid to Burnley in the Premier League for nearly a year, since Everton scored with practically every shot they had here on Boxing Day.A little further along the road, two groups of Liverpool fans encountered one another. “Si Senor, give the ball to Bobby he will score.” No hellos, no nods, just the arms-up elation that comes with a few beers and an away win like this. The song passes for a greeting these days and it was the one the Burnley fan had heard from the away end earlier in the day.It’s not unpleasant, and it’s persistent. A little like the man himself. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Roberto Firmino is the first Brazil player to score 50 goals in the Premier League. It’s taken him four years, a fact which suggests that he’s not exactly prolific.A year before they’d lost Luis Suarez and didn’t really know what to do without him. They had come so close to winning the title with Suarez in the team and subsequently lost their way. Brendan Rodgers might well have fared better if he’d put his hands up after that title run and said: “Don’t thank me, it was him.”The Uruguayan left Liverpool a legend, listed among the greatest players ever to play for the club. But he didn’t win anything and, after joining from Ajax, always gave the impression that he was passing through to bigger and better things.Much of what Jurgen Klopp has done in his four years at the club is to turn that perspective around. He has helped make Liverpool a destination club in itself, making world-class players out of some of those he inherited and some of those signed at his behest, in conjunction with sporting director Michael Edwards.Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are among those signed under Klopp for a purpose. It goes without saying that Virgil van Dijk and Alisson are in that category as well; perfect players for the system. Firmino is one of those who has grown along with Liverpool.Liverpool became the second-best team in English football history and the European champions with Firmino as the centre-piece.“With his work-rate, his technique, his goals and his all-round play, I don’t think there’s anyone like him,” team-mate Andy Robertson says. “People will say there are better strikers, but for me what he does is so important to our team. We’d be lost without him. He’s world class.”Salah and Mane are the superstars in the front three. Firmino still flies a little under the radar. But he is a remarkable player. He is not a No.10 but he can play through balls. He is not a midfielder but can often be found with the ball at his feet and his head up in the centre circle. He is not an outright poacher but takes plenty of the chances that come his way; those 50 Premier League goals are evidence enough for that.“He does everything, and that’s the beauty of Bobby,” says Robertson. “He can do it all. He’s our first line of defence, and I’ve not seen anybody better at doing that. He presses the defenders and doesn’t give them a minute. He comes back and nicks the ball in midfield for us.“He’s so important defensively for us, then he goes up the park and scores goals and makes assists. That’s what we need him to do.”Burnley decided on Saturday to go with a traditional 4-4-2. With a player like Firmino in the other team, it was asking for trouble. The problem with 4-4-2 is that it leaves no space for a holding midfielder to step back between the lines and make sure no opposition player is loitering. And that’s where Firmino wreaks havoc.We have become used to a certain archetype of a No.9. You know the one; he’ll play passes only in the hope of getting one back closer to goal. He’s a poacher, all about runs in behind that will bring a chance. He is selfish, in a good way.If that kind of No.9 plays for himself, Firmino is another thing altogether. He is the best all-round forward operating anywhere in world football. He is confident enough in his own ability to drift, allowing Salah to come in off the right for a wander. He forces the centre-backs to make a decision; go with or pass on. He finds his way into the gaps, like that earworm of a song finds its way into your brain.He scored one and assisted another against Burnley; his second goal and second assist of the season. The one he set up for Mane found him capitalising on a Ben Mee mistake and finding a perfectly-weighted through ball for his strike partner. The one he scored saw him pick up the ball in midfield in yet another Burnley breakdown. It was his pass that set Salah on the path to goal.Salah doesn’t deliberately assist much; it’s more a case that he cannot score one for himself as the ball escapes his dribble. That kind of selfishness means he will always be in the mix for goals but it tests the patience of his fellow forwards, Mane in particular. He was seen to be upset on the bench when substituted because a little earlier in the game Salah had neglected to pass when Mane had a good opportunity to score from the edge of the box.It’s not a problem with Firmino; he simply finds the run or the feet of his partners. He knows what he should do, and he does it. In one second, he was attempting to play Salah in and the next he was on the edge of the box to sweep home a shot, clean as a whistle.And that’s goal 50, in the same year he became a Champions League winner, in the same year he became a continental champion at the Copa America. These are things that don’t come easily.Using the raw measurement of success, he is a better Liverpool forward than Suarez and a better Brazil forward than Neymar. That kind of player attracts a lot more attention while Firmino quietly gets on with his business.“The best in the world is Bobby Firmino,” as the song goes. They’re not exaggerating. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)The new Coaches’ Poll has been released following a not-so-eventful Week 5 of the 2019 regular season.There weren’t too many surprising results on Saturday, outside of No. 1 Clemson’s narrow defeat of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.Ohio State’s blowout of Nebraska garnered much of the attention on Saturday. The Buckeyes topped the Huskers, 48-7, in Lincoln.There’s been a small shakeup in the rankings following Week 5. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Week 6 Coaches’ Poll top 25AlabamaClemsonGeorgiaOklahomaOhio StateLSUAuburnFloridaWisconsinNotre DamePenn StateTexasOregonIowaBoise StateWashingtonUtahMichiganUCFWake ForestTexas A&MVirginiaMichigan StateMemphisOklahoma StateWeek 6 will be highlighted by Florida’s home game against Auburn. We also get Michigan-Iowa, Ohio State-Michigan State and Oregon-Cal.The new AP Poll top 25 will be out at 2 p.m. E.T.
According to Major Wager, the updated betting line has the Buckeyes favored by 13.5 points over the Wolverines on the road.That’s a massive 17-point shift in the spread for this matchup.Jim Harbaugh hasn’t defeated Ohio State in his time at Michigan. The hope for the Wolverines was that Urban Meyer’s departure would make that challenge a little easier this fall.Unless the Wolverines take major strides of improvement over the next few weeks, the odds will remain in the Buckeyes’ favor. Ryan Day has done a marvelous job keeping the program in the playoff picture in his first year as the head coach.Do you think the current betting line is accurate? COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 24: Ohio State fans celebrate in the fourth quarter after the Buckeyes added another touchdown as Michigan Wolverines fans watch at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Michigan 62-39. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)We’re still over a month away from this year’s showdown between Ohio State and Michigan, and yet the betting line for that game has shifted in a major way.The Wolverines actually entered this season with higher expectations than the Buckeyes. It hasn’t taken long for that to change.Michigan has struggled this season, losing to Wisconsin and almost suffering an upset loss to Army. Ohio State, on the other hand, has dominated every opponent its faced so far.The initial betting line for this rivalry game had Michigan as 3.5-point favorites over Ohio State.
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 30: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions on the sidelines during the first half of the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against the Washington Huskies at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Nittany Lions defeated the Huskies 35-28. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Penn State notched a big home win on Saturday night, taking down Michigan at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions remain undefeated on the season.It was a huge win for PSU, which is looking like a legitimate College Football Playoff contender and potential Big Ten champion.Penn State head coach James Franklin knows his team can play better, though.Franklin doesn’t think the Nittany Lions played very well in any of the game’s three phases (offense, defense, special teams). “We didn’t play our best in all three phases today. But we played well enough to win the game,” Franklin said. “Guys made plays when they needed to. It was a chess match all night long.”Penn State jumped out to a nice lead in the first half, going up 14-0 on Michigan. The Wolverines then cut it to a touchdown multiple times in the second half. The Nittany Lions were able to hold on for the win.Franklin added that his team continues to win and that’s all that matters.“We’re 1-0. That’s always the goal,” Franklin added. “There are a lot of teams that aren’t 1-0 this week.”Penn State is now 7-0 on the season. The Nittany Lions are set to play Michigan State next weekend before getting a bye week.
Cristiano Ronaldo says he does not live thinking about individual prizes after being asked about the Ballon d’Or following his stunning four-goal haul for Portugal in Euro 2020 qualifying.Ronaldo made history as his four goals led European champions Portugal to a 5-1 rout of Lithuania in Tuesday’s Group B clash in Vilnius.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner became the all-time leading scorer in European Championship qualifiers after improving his tally to 25 goals, surpassing Robbie Keane in the process. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Juventus superstar Ronaldo also took his international record to 93 goals after scoring his eighth hat-trick for Fernando Santos’ Portugal.Ronaldo – who is on the final shortlist for FIFA’s The Best award – was asked about his chances of winning a sixth Ballon d’Or on Tuesday and stressed it’s not something that’s on his mind. “As I always say, I don’t live thinking about individual prizes,” Ronaldo said. “This is a consequence of what we collectively won. But it’s good, I won’t lie. The important thing was to help the team.”I scored a goal against Serbia and four here and I’m very happy We have to dismiss this moment and what I want most is to continue like this.”Ronaldo scored 21 Serie A goals last season – and 28 in all competitions – as Juventus won an eighth consecutive Scudetto.This season, Ronaldo has already scored once for Juventus, who are level on points with Inter and Torino atop the Serie A table.Now within touching distance of Ali Daei’s record for most international goals scored by a player , the 34-year-old confirmed he’s still eager to continue helping and hopefully scoring for his country. “I’m having a good time, but the team was doing very well too,” Ronaldo told reporters.”I am happy and enjoying this moment, not because I scored the goals, but because of the level we have been able to demonstrate in recent years.”It is up to me to continue helping the national team.”After drawing their first two games of Euro 2020 qualifying, Portugal have now won their past two and sit second in Group B, five points behind Ukraine but with a game in hand. Santos’ side will next play Luxembourg and Ukraine during the next international break in October.
Harry Kane will be feeling “frustrated” at Tottenham, admits Michael Brown, but there has been no indication that he is starting to consider his future at the club just yet.It has been suggested that major silverware will be required in north London if key men are to be kept from the exits.The likes of Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen are already running their contracts down towards free agency, while transfer talk has been sparked around other members of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Kane has seen the odd whisper surface, with one of the most prolific strikers in world football the kind of player that any club would want on their books, and the 26-year-old’s ambition may see his head turned at some stage.“You look at Kyle Walker leaving and going to win titles [at Manchester City]. That’s what these players want to do,” former Spurs midfielder Brown told Goal.“I was interested to see his quote in the Champions League, when he said ‘we’re not young players anymore , we are used to playing at this level’. It was a little bit of a dig, an indication that Harry Kane is getting understandably frustrated when his team are giving away leads and he wants the best for them.“He will be frustrated that he’s not winning things, but it has been a big development for Spurs. You have to look and accept that there’s a new stadium, the Champions League final was an amazing ending last season.“They haven’t won any cups of late but we are seeing a bit of spirit in there where they are able to fight back and recover, as they did in adversity last season when they got through that Champions League group from nowhere. Now they are going to get tested again.”Amid the questions of certain members of the playing staff at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino is also being linked with a move elsewhere.The highly-rated Argentine coach has been mooted as a potential Real Madrid manager of the future, with the 47-year-old admitting that he may have been tempted to walk away at the end of last season had Spurs not come up short in a Champions League final clash with Liverpool.Pressed on whether he expects Pochettino to be in his current post for 2020-21, Brown said: “It’s a strange one again.“He said that the players invited him for dinner, which is great and they had a bit of bonding away from work and hopefully that has done them a bit of good. But he has got frustrated. You look at the quotes that are coming out of there, I think they just need to manage it a little bit better than they are.”Spurs have collected just three wins through nine Premier League games this season, with a 12-point haul leaving them in seventh spot.They have also suffered setbacks in Europe, with a humbling 7-2 defeat to Bayern Munich once again leaving them with work to do in order to make it out of the group stage.Michael Brown was a pundit on EFL on Quest live from The University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday, the home of Bolton Wanderers. Watch all the highlights every Saturday at 9pm. Also available via desktop and app on QuestOD.
BELLEVUE, WASH. – April 20, 2017 – Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to announce that celebrity Chef Massimo Capra will join The Gauguin’s September 23, 2017, Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage, for a lecture and culinary demonstration, along with meet-and-greet photo opportunities. Italian native Capra has been delighting food lovers through his fine dining establishments, TV appearances, and award-winning cookbooks. Capra began his culinary career in a famous trattoria near Venice before turning his talents to the hotel industry in northern Italy. In 1982, he relocated to Toronto, Canada, where he began working at a restaurant owned by a family member. From there, he became an acclaimed chef at Prego della Piazza restaurant, where he remained for nine years. His next venture occurred in 1997, when he joined forces with Paolo Paolini to open Mistura Restaurant of Toronto, offering upscale Italian dining. Sopra Upper Lounge, an exclusive event venue located above Mistura, opened in 2006. Chef Capra’s culinary empire continued to expand in 2010, when he licensed his name to the famous Rainbow Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. More recently, he became chef/brand owner of Boccone Trattoria Veloce and Boccone Pronto at Pearson airport in Toronto and of Soprafino Restaurant at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. And last year, he opened Capra’s Kitchen—a casual Italian eatery with a heavy emphasis on pasta, pizza, and antipasto—in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. In addition to his restaurant empire, Chef Capra is also a cookbook author. Three Chefs: The Kitchen Men, which he co-wrote with Michael Bonacini and Jason Parsons, took the gold in the cookbook category of the Canadian Culinary Book Awards (now called Taste Canada—The Food Writing Awards), and he is also the author of One Pot Italian Cooking. He also serves as the food editor for Canadian Home Trends magazine. And he is a familiar face on Canadian television, serving as the host of his own show, Gourmet Escapes, and as a regular guest expert on the long-running CityLine talk and lifestyle show, chef host of the hit series Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network, and now a judge on the hit show Chopped Canada. For more information about Paul Gauguin Cruises, please contact a Travel Professional, call 800-848-6172, or visit www.pgcruises.com. To learn more about Chef Capra, please visit www.SapphireTalentLab.com.
A Clear PATH to Support for Host Agencies Written By: Joanie Ogg, Editor and Co-Founder – Travel Professional NEWS I boarded my flight in San Diego on Sunday, August 19th headed to our Nation’s Capital to attend the 9th Annual PATH Symposium with great enthusiasm as I looked forward to covering this event for Travel Professional NEWS® and FindaHostTravelAgency.com. Having traveled to DC hundreds of times throughout my career, one would think it might not be all that exciting. However, there is just something that grabs my patriotic emotions when I fly into Washington Regan airport. Seeing the Washington Memorial upon approach during the evening sunset is simply magnificent. I stepped off the plane and grabbed an Uber headed to the Washington Hilton ready to see friends, colleagues and enjoy a day of great collaboration. Attending this event was especially exciting as I was one of the initial attendees at an advisory meeting back in 2007 when the concept of creating PATH (The Professional Association of Travel Hosts) had only just begun. The industry needed an association that would represent the top Host Agencies here in the United States and since PATH’s beginning in 2007 it has grown and flourished into a strong and empowering group. They have a strong Code of Ethics for their Host Agency Members with strict operating standards. The PATH Symposium is a day and a half event each year. This year they switched it up a bit and the first day was a meeting comprised of PATH Host Agency Members and their representatives. They spent that day discussing important topics and issues as they relate to operating successful agencies for their independent agents. They also discuss topics focused on the supplier community and the relationship between hosts and suppliers. They all enjoyed a great dinner together that evening. Day 2 began at 8:30am with a lovely informal continental breakfast for all the supplier and host agency participants. Everyone found their seats at the roundtables that were each set for ten and enjoyed some conversation with one another before the official kick off of the meeting. Anita Pagliasso, the President of PATH and owner of A Ticket to Travel, began the day with a warm welcome to the more then 70 industry professionals and gave us a brief overview of how the day would progress. She recognized the PATH Board Members that were in attendance and acknowledged their continued support to the association. Each of us in attendance had the opportunity to introduce ourselves. This was followed by an update from Peter Lobasso, ASTA’s General Counsel where he discussed many of the ASTA initiatives they are currently working on and shared current information on seller of travel regulatory situations. Members of PATH’s Board of Directors, Jackie Friedman, President of Nexion and Drew Daly, GM, Network Engagement & Performance with Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. shared with the group some insight on both business relationships and complexities between the supplier community and host agencies. Everyone had the opportunity to chime in and share their thoughts on topics that were brought up as well as to bring additional topics for conversation and input. It was a lively and very informative session to say the least. Topics were posted on the whiteboard in front of the room and later we would have the opportunity to dig deeper into specific areas of interest to the group. The topics of discussion focused on Best Practices and what is working as it relates the continuing strong relationship between the suppliers, host agencies and their independent agents. We had a quick break then resumed another discussion “Opportunities to Grow Together” which was again moderated by Jackie Friedman and Drew Daly. With a long laundry list of topics as you can see by the photo, we had our work cut out for us after our buffet lunch and quick break. We resumed after lunch and began Breakout Session 1 of 2. Everyone one had been assigned a table for each session. We grabbed our table name cards and headed to our respective tables to begin the lively and very interesting dialogue with our table-mates. Each group at the roundtables consisted of supplier and host agency representatives as well as a couple of us representing the press. We had time to discuss a couple topics in-depth and elected a scribe and a speaker from our table-mates to share our findings with the entire group. We then had a quick break, moved to the next assigned table and hunkered down for Session 2 and again shared findings and intel with the entire group. Some of the topics that were discussed in depth included:Checks from Agents vs. AgencySignatures on Group ContractsSecondary Phone Fields Issues and AnswersUse of Marketing Funds for Agent Engagement vs. Consumer-Facing CampaignsInsurance Licensing IssuesBetter Processes to Work with Sub-AgentsCommunicating with Agents in Varying Host ModelsIdentifying Agents Geographically for EventsAgent Collaboration and NetworkingProfessionalism and EthicsCreating Regional Groups on Social MediaWays to Better Reach Individual IC’s One of the key insights that I found to be of extreme importance was that of the open and willing attitude the supplier companies have to find better and more effective ways to bridge communications between themselves and host agencies. Their desire to work hand in hand to grow with one another was inspiring. This is an amazing turn of events and a credit to PATH for providing a conduit to help make this a reality. Eleven years ago you would not have seen this type of commitment on the part of the suppliers toward this distribution channel of hosted agents. As past President of NACTA, I remember so well working diligently from the year 2000 to 2008 to educate the supplier community on the importance of hosts and their independent agents. A sector of the industry that barely existed before the year 2000 is now widely recognized and sought after. Seeing this come full circle and seeing the commitment to this channel makes me very happy and proud to have had a part in seeing the success so many have earned. The day flew by and while we were all on information overload (in a good way) we still had the evening dinner to look forward to. Some of us met up in the lobby and took the scenic walk to Carmines Restaurant and the rest met us there for wine and an amazing dinner. We had a large private room where we were all seated family style to delicious Italian food. I ate far to much, but it was just impossible to say no to any of it!Sincere thanks go to Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President of Norwegian Cruise Line for hosting the wine for all of us during the dinner. PATH, you outdid yourself this year! Anita Pagliasso and the Board of PATH are a dedicated group of industry executives who have created an event that is not to be missed. If you are a host agency and not a member of PATH yet, I encourage you to join and if you are a supplier looking to better understand and connect with hosts and their agency partners, you simply need to be at the 10th Annual PATH Symposium. In closing, I want to share some quotes that both the host and supplier attendees shared with me when asked about the value of the event to their continued success. I think they say it best! “In a world where most businesses look at one another as their competition, at PATH we see each other as peeps in the same business all trying to bolster the travel advisor community. We come together to share best practices and more importantly challenges in the industry, that affect all of us. Collaboratively, we work with suppliers to help make their systems and processes more effective for the entire advisor community. The suppliers are blown away with what they don’t know about our business model and are excited to make the necessary adjustments for the success of all.” Jenn Lee, Vice President of Sales & Marketing Travel Planners International “This is my 4th PATH meeting and each time I am energized by the growth of existing relationships and the opportunity to cultivate new ones. This year I am eager for all of us to take back new ideas to elevate the integrity of our industry through improving business practices and the continuous pursuit of professionalism and etiquette of the advisors and suppliers. The passion and genuine drive of each attendee grows and drives us to a more impactful organization every year and certainly inspires me to examine all the ways that Trisept can better serve the industry!” Beth Kitzman, BDM Agency Channel Trisept Solutions “PATH is a unique organization. It’s a place where the best host agencies share and collaborate to solve problems, set standards and to improve supplier relationships. I’m particularly proud what PATH has accomplished by connecting with suppliers so that suppliers better understand the host agency model and how to effectively work with hosts to improve efficiencies, increase communication and maximize sales.”Connie Miller, Vice President of Development Your Travel Center/Montecito Village Travel
Assessment notices are in the mail today, Feb. 7, to Nova Scotia property owners. In the southern region of Nova Scotia, the value of residential property assessments is more than $6.4 billion, an increase of more than 10.2 per cent from 2006. Commercial property assessments totalled almost $1.7 billion, an increase of almost 3.5 per cent. “These assessments reflect a continuing increase in residential property values and, in particular, with waterfront properties,” said Jeff Caddell, regional manager of the southern assessment office. Property assessment notices for most residential properties will include a personal identification number along with the assessment account number. By entering this information on the assessment website, www.nsassessment.ca, owners can look up assessment information about their property. Those without Internet access can obtain the information and answers to assessment questions by calling 1-800-667-5727. Property owners may appeal the market-value assessment if they do not believe their assessment is a reasonable estimate of market value as of Jan. 1, 2005. To appeal, the form on the bottom of the assessment notice must be filled out and returned to the regional assessment office by midnight Wednesday, Feb. 28. Property owners cannot appeal the capped assessment. Residential property owners who have applied for the 2007 CAP program will know if they received the cap when they get their assessment notice. If they see a value in the capped-value section of their notice, they will be taxed on that value. The CAP rate for the 2007-2008 tax year was set by the province at 10 per cent. Applications for the CAP program for the 2007-2008 tax year were due Sept. 30, 2006. Beginning with the 2008-2009 tax year, the CAP rate will be set at Nova Scotia’s Consumer Price Index. Applications for the CAP program for the 2008-2009 tax year are due Sept. 30. They are available at any assessment office or on-line at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/asmt/cap/ .
On April 14th 2016, an earthquake with the magnitude of 7 degrees on the Japanese seismic scale has occurred in the Kumamoto prefecture, located in Japan’s Kyushu region. Even today (April 19th), aftershocks can be felt in the region and the situation is still unstable.In this article we have compiled a series of Multi-lingual Information Sources useful to travelers who are now in Kumamoto and in the Kyushu area.Please use the information in this article to keep safe during your stay in Kyushu or to confirm the safety of your relatives or friends who are in Kyushu right now.We will keep the information updated in all the languages covered by the MATCHA website. Please send us your requests regarding information related to the disaster on our SNS pages and official homepage.Related article: Japanese Encyclopedia: Kyushu RegionThe Kumamoto Earthquake – Present Situation (today, April 19th)April 19th, present.A series of large scale earthquakes with the epicenters in the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures hit the Kyushu region. At present, several transportation routes around Kyushu are closed, making it difficult for supplies to be carried in the affected areas.Kyushu is located in the western part of Japan, being separated by several hundreds of kilometers from the Kantō region, where Tokyo is located, or from the Kansai region , where cities such as Kyotoand Osaka are located. At present, in the areas outside the Kyushu region, the situation is normal.Traffic SituationThe AirportsAt the Kumamoto Airport traffic has been only partially restored, with only arriving planes being allowed at the moment. The other airports in the Kyushu region function almost as usual.Kyushu ShinkansenThe service has been stopped on all the lines.Major JR Lines with the Service SuspendedKagoshima Main Line: Kumamoto – YatsushiroHōhi Main Line: Kumamoto – Bungo TaketaMisumi Line: traffic suspendedHisatsu Line: Yatsushiro – YoshimatsuOther Train LinesMinamiaso Railways: traffic suspendedKumamoto Tramway: traffic suspended on all the linesKumamoto Electric Railway: the traffic is suspended on the interval between Kamikumamoto and Kita-KumamotoFerryboat LinesKyūshō Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27thKumamoto Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27thHighways with suspended trafficKyushu Expressway: Ueki IC – Yatsushiro ICOita Expressway: Kusu IC – Beppu IC, Hiji JCT – Hayami ICKyushu Chūō Expressway: Kashima JCT – Oike Takayama ICOther RegionsIn the other regions of Japan (Kantō, Kansai, Tōkai, Kōshin’etsu, Hokuriku, Tōhoku, Hokkaido,, Chūgoku, Shikoku) the situation is stable and traffic is conducted as usual.Important Information Sources and Media ServicesJNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)The JNTO (The Japan National Tourism Organization) has created an English language website for foreign travelers, publishing daily information related to the area affected by the earthquake in Kumamoto.Official Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.htmlEmergency Calls: 03-3201-3331 or (＋81)3-3201-3331(for international calls) * Support in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language. *During nighttime (from 17:00 to 09:00, Japan time) Japanese and English support only)Safety tips (Smartphone application)A Smartphone application for disaster information, giving alerts for early earthquake and tsunami warnings (available on iPhone and android). Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language versions are available.Download page: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.htmlTokyo Disaster Prevention WebsiteA Disaster Prevention manual made available for free by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It contains information on what to do in case of a large scale earthquake, useful data and emergency call numbers. The English, Chinese and Korean versions of the manual are available for download.Download page: English, Chinese, KoreanHirosaki University – Quick Reference in Easy JapaneseA disaster prevention website created by the Laboratory for Sociolinguistics of the Faculty of Literature, Hirosaki University. It contains a compilation of advice in easy Japanese for language learners, related to what conduct we should adopt in case of natural disasters.Website: http://human.cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp/kokugo/EJ-kuikkurefa.htmlFree Media Service (BeBorn, Inc.)This is a translation service with support in 10 different languages, made available for free all-day round by BeBorn, Inc., a company based in Fukuoka city. Please keep in mind that the use of this service is restricted to emergencies caused by the quake disaster.This service is used by regional authorities, by the Defense Forces, by the staff and volunteers stationed in the emergency shelters, by journalists and tourism officials in order to communicate with foreigners living in Japan.Telephone: 092-687-5137Language support: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Russian.Shelters and other emergency facilitiesKumamoto city has established an emergency shelter for foreign residents and travelers. It is located in the Kumamoto City International Center. Information related to the disaster is available in English and Chinese.Kumamoto City International CenterOpen: 24 hours a dayAddress: Kumamoto, Kumamoto city, Chūō ward, Hanabatakechō 4-18Telephone: 096-359-2020Website: Japanese, English, Chinese*The shelter will be functioning until April 24th, 9 AM.For other emergency shelters please check out the following links:Shelters in Kumamoto and Oita (the orange pins mark the shelters in function at present)https://goo.gl/VXBEFjDialysis Centers in Kumamoto and Oita (the red pins mark facilities where dialysis can be performed)https://goo.gl/u2DcNhDrinkable Water Sources in Kumamoto and Oita (the bottle icon marks places where drinkable water can be obtained)https://goo.gl/WvMFgvOpen Supermarkets (the blue pins mark stores that are open for business)https://goo.gl/1ooSqPGasolin stands (red pins)https://goo.gl/LmCbldDistribution of boiled rice and supplies (the red pins mark places where boiled rice and supplies are distributed at present)https://goo.gl/Uw6kjrOpen public baths and onsen (red pins)https://goo.gl/zvjMpqVoices from the refuge shelter (Japanese only)https://goo.gl/kteRDHToilets (the red pins mark public toilets, the blue pins mark drinkable water sources)https://goo.gl/bstBMlFree WiFi in the Kyushu regionMap of Free Public WiFi Spots in the Kyushu RegionJapan Connected-free Wi-FiAn application that can be easily used to search for and connect to the free WiFi spots in Japan.Download page:http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/ja.htmlPublic TelephonesIf you cannot connect to the WiFi or the battery of your mobile phone is low, you can use the public telephones in the city. This is a map of the public telephones made available by the NTT West Japan. (Japanese only)Kumamoto prefecturehttps://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/43/Oita prefecturehttps://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/44/How to use the public telephone in an area affected by a natural disaster (English)http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd_e/basis/disaster.htmlInformation on how to support the affected areaGaijinpot has created a website with information on the area affected by the disaster. You can find out where to get help in case of emergency, as well as how you can help the people in the area affected by the earthquake.http://blog.gaijinpot.com/2016-kumamoto-earthquake/Contact Information of Embassies and Consulates*In case of international calls, please replace the first “0” with “＋81” when calling. For example (＋81)3-3224-5003The United States of AmericaTelephone: 03-3224-5000Republic of KoreaTelephone: 03-3452-7611/9People’s Republic of ChinaTelephone: 03-3403-3380ThailandTelephone: 03-5789-2433IndonesiaTelephone: 03-3441-4201The Socialist Republic of Viet NamTelephone: 03-3466-3311/3313/3314PhilippinesTelephone: 03-5562-1600Great BritainTelephone: 093-541-5605AustraliaTelephone: 03-5232-4111GermanyTelephone: 03-5791-7700FranceTelephone: 03-5798-6000SingaporeTelephone: 03-3586-9111/2SpainTelephone: 03-3583-8531/2RussiaTelephone: 03-3583-4224For information on other embasies and consulates please refer to the following website:Embassies and Consulates in Japan (http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/protocol/a-h.html)
Due to a boost in the number of its international flights, Haneda Airport has seen a corresponding increase in the number of visitors to Japan landing there, rather than at Narita Airport.There’s also been an increase in the number of international visitors going to other parts of Japan from Tokyo. So Haneda Airport, which has an extensive network of connections to other airports in the country, is increasingly becoming an important transportation hub for visitors to Japan.When going by bus to the main part of Tokyo from Haneda Airport, it’s more than likely that you’ll experienced traffic jams, which makes it a longer than expected trip.But from now on those worries will disappear. That’s because on March 7th, 2015, a new section of the Metropolitan Expressway opened, ensuring more convenient and comfortable access from Haneda to the center of Tokyo.Haneda Is Now Even Closer With the Shinagawa Line!The new section of the highway is called the Shinagawa Line (Metropolitan Expressway’s Central Circular Route), and consists of a 9.4 kilometer long tunnel (the pink portion in the above picture). The tunnel was finally completed after a lengthy construction period lasting eight years.The good news is that the opening of this new section has dramatically improved access to Haneda Airport from Tokyo’s subcenter areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya. Up until now, the link between Tokyo and both Narita and Haneda Airports was infamous for its poor access.According to an official announcement, the Shinjuku-Haneda Airport route which formerly took about forty minutes by limousine bus, has now been reduced to a mere twenty minutes.Tokyo’s Transportation Network: Now More Comfortable Thanks to the Shinagawa LineWith the opening of the Shinagawa Line, the Metropolitan Expressway circles the Tokyo area in a doughnut-like fashion (see the yellow portion in the picture above). This is referred to as the Central Circular Route.Its role is to disperse the high volume of traffic heading for Tokyo, which helps to alleviate some of the city’s traffic congestion headaches faced by bus and car commuters.See How the Expressway Looked Before It Opened!MATCHA staff took some pictures of the Shinagawa Line before it opened, so today we’ll show you how the tunnel looks. Civil engineering fans probably won’t be able to get enough of these fascinating photos!In the vicinity of Ooi Junction there are factories, office buildings and the train yard for the shinkansen (bullet train) carsThis is Ooi Junction. If you follow this route directly, it will take you in the direction of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Head in the other direction and you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from Haneda Airport!An unusually wide tunnelHere it branches out into into two separate routes: the Shibuya Line which leads to Shibuya and Roppongi, and a straight-through route leading to Ikebukuro.This tunnel sort of resembles oval-shaped eye glasses, doesn’t it?In order to make these two original lines merge into one, the excavation procedure for each tunnel was carried out side by side, and this shape is the end result of the hollowing out of the new section.This unique kind of construction in which all the excavation work was carried out underground, is the first of its kind in the world (referred to as the non-open-cut construction method).The area that’s brightly lit up in orange, is the section where the traffic merges.Now for a bit of trivia. Among Japan’s many expressway toll gates, the Gotanda toll gate inside the Shinagawa Line tunnel, is the country’s one and only underground toll gate.In the event of an accident, disaster prevention measures are firmly in place along the full length of the tunnel areaThanks in part to its highly skilled Japanese engineers and technicians, Tokyo’s city planning is moving forward in a safe and sound mannerThough this article announces the opening of the expressway’s new route, by words alone it’s hard to appreciate how much of a welcome addition this tunnel has been. But by actually hopping aboard a bus going from the airport to the city center, you’ll soon be able to see just how comfortable this route is.You’ll be able to get to Shinjuku and Shibuya from Haneda Airport in only twenty minutes, making this your fastest transportation option.So on your next visit to Japan, how about experiencing firsthand the convenience of the Metropolitan Expressway’s Shinagawa Line?©Metropolitan Expressway Company Limited.