As the fall foliage season shifts into high gear, AAA is working with Vermont’s tourism industry leaders to disseminate information nationwide through its travel offices. The resources will be used by AAA’s travel counselors to help direct motorists and encourage them to travel the Green Mountain State.Tom Williams, Regional Manager of AAA Northern New England, noted, ‘We have a golden opportunity to provide up-to-date, practical information to members across the country. In the great majority of areas hit by the storm, visitors will find roadways with smooth pavement and bright lines. It is our role to make sure that people who are interested in coming to Vermont get the information they need.’ In a communication sent earlier this week to all AAA offices in the United States, AAA states, ‘In late August, the State of Vermont made headlines across the nation as flood waters from Hurricane Irene caused major damage to the states highways and bridges. Within weeks after Irene, Vermont rebuilt at an unprecedented rate. Now 95% of Vermont roads are open, with final touches being made every day.’Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing (VDTM) Deputy Commissioner Steve Cook works with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Ski Vermont on the ‘Foliage Force,’ a team which has been promoting Vermont’s vibrant foliage season in the wake of Irene. Cook noted, ‘The foliage season has begun, and all indications are that it will be as vibrant and beautiful as ever. We are delighted that AAA has taken a proactive role in informing people about Vermont, and our recovery from the storm. This is a testament to AAA’s confidence in our state, and the resilience of our tourism businesses.’The bulletin refers travel counselors to road repair resources provided by VTrans, as well as planning information supplied by VDTM, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Ski Vermont. It concludes that AAA Northern New England branch offices in Montpelier, Rutland and Williston are well prepared to help motorists navigate the state of Vermont. Vermont Dept of Travel and Tourism. 9.28.2011
How should cities develop? Historically, the process has often been haphazard, driven by factors such as trade and population flows. As cities grow larger, the interactions between cities located close to each other start to become more important.Countries across Europe have seen this effect in regional groupings: for example, the four largest cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) form the Randstad, while the Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany consists of 11 cities with populations of more than 200,000.In China, the phenomenon of the ‘clustering’ of cities to form regional powerhouses is being taken to a whole new dimension, driven by two forces that European countries do not possess: a huge population and a highly centralised administration.Gary Smith, managing director at the Barings Investment Institute, has produced a fascinating paper outlining the goals and impact of China’s ambitious plans to set up 19 city clusters – expected to be home to 800m people – by 2030. Shanghai has a population of 26m people – and could have as many as 34m by 2035, according to StatistaThere are many reasons that could account for this. Suppliers located closer together can offer a more diverse and less expensive range of products, while common infrastructure and transportation framework costs can be shared. The larger and more diverse labour pool also helps firms and workers find a better match for one another, and innovations are shared more easily and diffused more quickly. Clusters of smaller cities may also be able to support a university or large factory that a single city may not be large enough to support.AgglomerationThere is, however, a competing force that Smith also describes: the “agglomeration shadow effects”, whereby competition between cities limits growth. In China, it appears that “borrowed size” benefits have been more powerful than “shadow effects” in China’s cluster cities, he says.The three leading clusters are Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze river delta cluster around Shanghai, and the Greater Bay Area encompassing Hong Kong, Shenzen, Macau and Guangzhou. The size of the populations is staggering. The numbers are larger than the populations of most European countries, with 130m in the Beijing cluster, 152m in the Yangtze river delta, and 65m in the Greater Bay area.As Smith points out, many other nations have urban regions of comparable scale to those in China, but they do not have governance coordination that is as centralised as in China. That has been key to China’s implementation of a successful national industrial policy, and the building out of extensive public infrastructure projects.By contrast, European countries struggle to implement long-term infrastructure projects and, arguably, any long-term developmental plans. If concentrations of urban activity produce synergies that drive growth, can concentrations of cities deliver bigger benefits? “The answer is an unequivocal ‘sometimes’,” says Smith.Rudiger Ahrend – head of the urban programme at the OECD’s directorate for public governance and territorial development – estimates that doubling a city’s population should boost productivity by 2-5%. Source: Alex NeedhamA ‘maglev’ train coming out of Pudong International Airport, ShanghaiThe flip side to this is that there is also the significant potential in China for waste, with “white elephant” projects proliferating, driven by political reasons rather than economics. The maglev train from Pudong airport is a joy to travel in, but it is difficult to see how it could be profitable when it appears to be only half full and drops passengers off only in the outskirts of Shanghai.Barings’ Smith cites an OECD study that describes the Chengdu-Chongqing cluster in the centre of China as “forced”, with two largely independent cities separated by 300km of largely unoccupied and hilly land.Smith also focuses on the 55km link connecting Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai on the mainland, incorporating two artificial islands and a 7.7km tunnel that is hardly used – although Smith admits that traffic numbers will increase as regulations are eased. However, political objectives may have trumped any economic considerations in its construction.As Smith argues, it is difficult to see which other countries have the appetite and the administrative tools to replicate the policies that China has put in place. As a result, the Chinese experiment in creating mega-city clusters might turn out to be unique. But it may still have lessons for Europe and the US as a casebook study of the competing forces of synergies and agglomeration shadow effects when it comes to generating economic growth in regions.
IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds – 1. Ryan Roath, Phoenix, Ariz., 453; 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz., 451; 3. Tim Ward, Gilbert, Ariz., 443; 4. Larry Hood, Bakersfield, Calif., 324; 5. Jesse Sobbing, Glenwood, Iowa, and Chris Olexiewicz, Chandler, Ariz., both 318; 7. Brian Schultz, Casa Grande, Ariz., 292; 8. Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif., 285; 9. Donald Robinson, Underwood, N.D., 259; 10. Jason Noll, Peoria, Ariz., 251; 11. Chaz Baca, Mesa, Ariz., 231; 12. Spencer Wilson, Minot, N.D., 221; 13. Steve Streeter, Madera, Calif., 213; 14. Jesse Williamson, Coburg, Ore., 207; 15. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M., 198; 16. Jason Briese, Cleghorn, Iowa, 189; 17. Mike Jergens, Plover, Iowa, 188; 18. Eric Center, Mesa, Ariz., 185; 19. Ty Rogers, Somerton, Ariz., 184; 20. Nate Warren, Phoenix, Ariz., 180.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Colby Deming, Hobbs, N.M., 125; 2. Michael Sheen, Lamesa, Texas, 122; 3. Gabe Tucker, Carbon, Texas, and Jody York, Lubbock, Texas, both 109; 5. Travis Graves, Wolfforth, Texas, 99; 6. Michael Therwhanger, Seminole, Texas, 98; 7. Mart Wampler, Snyder, Texas, 94; 8. Kyle Clough, Wallace, Neb., 93; 9. Tristan Carman, Killeen, Texas, 91; 10. Matt Guillaume, Haslet, Texas, and Andrew Altenburg, Truman, Minn., both 89; 12. Kirk Martin, Weatherford, Texas, 88; 13. J.C. Howell, Mabank, Texas, 87; 14. Duain Pritchett, Combine, Texas, 79; 15. Keith Cagle, Odonnell, Texas, 78; 16. Aaron Corley, Meadow, Texas, 76; 17. Terry Wojtek, Sterling City, Texas, 72; 18. Billy Wade, San Angelo, Texas, 69; 19. Tyler Muirhead, Mabank, Texas, 67; 20. Colin Deming, Hobbs, N.M., 65.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Brent Wofford, Yuma, Ariz., 203; 2. Craig Ebers, Yuma, Ariz., 200; 3. Brian Johnson, Yuma, Ariz., 191; 4. Brandon Gaddis, Hermleigh, Texas, 149; 5. Brock Beeter, Minot, N.D., 146; 6. April Phillips, Abilene, Texas, 139; 7. Andrew Sebastian, Minot, N.D., 131; 8. Eric Stanton, Carlisle, Iowa, and Jeremy Oliver, Chilton, Texas, both 110; 10. Brad King, Parshall, N.D., 101; 11. Leonard Manos, Yuma, Ariz., 100; 12. Gerald W. Spalding Jr., Abilene, Texas, 96; 13. Jerrad Steele, Andrews, Texas, 78; 14. Garett Rawls, China Spring, Texas, 77; 15. J.R. Patman, Midland, Texas, 75; 16. Colby Dello, Abilene, Texas, 70; 17. Jason Beshears, Yuma, Ariz., 69; 18. Justin Lathram, Hobbs, N.M., 66; 19. Lee Riley, Lubbock, Texas, and Taylor Brisighella, Westmorland, Calif., both 64. Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods – 1. Chris Toth, Holtville, Calif., 224; 2. Josh Wood, Yuma, Ariz., 218; 3. Timmy Reese, Yuma, Ariz., 216; 4. Nick Spainhoward, Bakersfield, Calif., 215; 5. Rick Diaz, Los Banos, Calif., 210; 6. Cody Daffern, Brawley, Calif., and James Dupre, Yuma, Ariz., both 202; 8. Schannon Mohamed, Brawley, Calif., 197; 9. Sean Callens, Brawley, Calif., 184; 10. Keith Smith, Imperial, Calif., 181; 11. Ben Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., 157; 12. Miles Morris, Yuma, Ariz., 137; 13. Cody Brown, Chowchilla, Calif., and Ronald Pegues, Brawley, Calif., both 115; 15. Joshua Cordova, Somerton, Ariz., 111; 16. Ethan Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif., 74; 17. James A. Digiovanni, Morgan Hill, Calif., 67; 18. Wayne Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif., Eric Winemiller, Casa Grande, Ariz., and Marisa Odgers, Mariposa, Calif., each 62.Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods – 1. Chad Hertel, Abilene, Texas, 159; 2. Mark Patterson, Abilene, Texas, 154; 3. Cory Williams, Slaton, Texas, 149; 4. Justin Shaw, Sweetwater, Texas, 110; 5. Gabe Tucker, Carbon, Texas, 105; 6. Kyle Wisdom, Abilene, Texas, 97; 7. Kenneth Graves, Tahoka, Texas, 96; 8. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prairie, Texas, 93; 9. David Goode Jr., Temple, Texas, 80; 10. Robby Crabtree, Clyde, Texas, and Randy Doyle, Killeen, Texas, both 77; 12. Shane Priddy, Merkel, Texas, 75; 13. Michael W. Germany, Lubbock, Texas, 74; 14. Ronnie O’Neal, Midland, Texas, 64; 15. Chase Parson, Abilene, Texas, 62; 16. Roger Armstrong, Carlsbad, N.M., 59; 17. Will Poston, Midland, Texas, Alec Smith, Hobbs, N.M., and Brandon Elkins, Anson, Texas, each 57; 20. Jarrett Roberts, Temple, Texas, 55.
RelatedPostsNo Content Available The Confederation of African Football has picked Senegalese official Issa Sy as referee for next week’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria and Benin Republic in Uyo.Sy will be assisted by compatriots Nouha Bangoura (assistant referee 1), El Hadji Abdoul Aziz Gueye (assistant referee 2) and Fatou Thioune (fourth official) at the encounter scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio Stadium from 5pm.The Day 1 clash in the qualifying series will also see Munkaila Nassam Adam from Ghana as match commissioner, while Kria Samir Bouzareah from Algeria will play the role of referee assessor.Nigeria will welcome back skipper Ahmed Musa from injury, with defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Abdullahi Shehu and Bryan Idowu, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu and forward Samuel Kalu also returning.The Super Eagles, bronze medallists at the 32nd AFCON finals in Egypt this year summer, will then fly to Maseru on November 15 for the Day 2 clash with the Crocodiles of Lesotho, billed for the artificial turf of the Maseru-Setsoto Stadium as from 6pm Lesotho time (5pm Nigeria time) on November 17.Tags: Nouha Bangoura