Dan Cohen AUTHOR YesOceana, Virginia Beach’s innovative program to roll back encroachment threatening Naval Air Station Oceana, has been named a co-winner in its category for the 2016 Community Economic Development Awards presented by the Virginia Economic Developers Association.After NAS Oceana was threatened with closure following the last BRAC round, Virginia Beach developed a comprehensive initiative to reduce encroachment in the base’s clear zone and Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1) through an aggressive incentive program targeting commercial businesses. YesOceana was designed to recruit and retain conforming businesses — such as wholesale trade, distribution and manufacturing operations — in APZ-1 and relocate nonconforming businesses from APZ-1 to other areas in Virginia Beach.Through fiscal 2015, the city has eliminated 53 nonconforming commercial properties, and it has committed $2.4 million to 31 businesses to promote compatible uses within the district. Incentives include a 90 percent rebate of the business licenses tax and/or real estate tax abatement for nonconforming properties that are rehabilitated, renovated or improved to a conforming use. Conforming businesses also may be reimbursed for fees associated with building permits, site plan applications, and water and sewer connections.By providing financial encouragement, Virginia Beach has been able to spur economic development in a way that is compatible with the mission of the base, according to a news release from the city.“With the support of other city departments and city leadership, we developed a program that serves as a vital economic development tool and strengthens our relationship with the Navy,” stated Michelle Chapleau, APZ-1 business development manager.YesOceana is now a catalyst for redevelopment of several major corridors in Virginia Beach. And its neighbors Hampton and Chesapeake are establishing similar programs to limit incompatible development outside Langley AFB and Fentress Landing Field, respectively. Virginia Beach split state funds it received last year for YesOceana with Chesapeake to support its program.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked top officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Metro to be personally present in court to explain the work done by them to clean up Dwarka sub-city.A division bench of Justice B.D Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva summoned DDA’s chief engineer, Dwarka, SDMC’s chief engineer, DEMS, and Delhi Metro’s deputy general manager, civil, on February 25. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe court’s direction came after noting that the agencies are not doing anything to make the area clear despite its directions.“We thought in this small area, you (various agencies) will so some work. But nothing is happening,” the bench observed. Ebbani Aggarwal, a law student and resident of Dwarka, who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) told the court that the markets, roads, footpaths and open vacant land and other places in Dwarka sub-city were full of litter, filth, rubbish, solid waste and remains of construction material.
Kolkata: Passengers at Shalimar Station can now download a book or stream music of their choice, have an overview of their destination, or simply browse through news without interruption thanks to South Eastern Railway for making the station a free WiFi zone.The WiFi facility has been commissioned by RailTel, rendering free high-speed world class internet service to the commuters. “There is a rising trend of WiFi usage among passengers waiting at different stations of SER. Keeping this in mind, nine more stations under SER’s jurisdiction will have free WiFi connectivity within the current financial year 2018-19. The stations include Chakulia, Haldia, Tamluk, Dantan, Midnapur, Mecheda, Santragachi, Bagnan and Panskura,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalSER has so far commissioned WiFi services at 14 stations enabling lakhs of rail passengers to log on to the free internet facility. Apart from Shalimar, the 13 SER stations that are already equipped with the WiFi facility are Kharagpur, Ranchi, Digha, Purulia, Hatia, Bokaro, Tatanagar, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Mahalimarup, Barabamboo and Tiruldih. Under Indian Railways, altogether 746 railway stations have been provided with free internet, proving to be very useful to the general public. Indian Railways has plans to extend this facility to at least 2,000 stations across the country in near future and ultimately covering all stations under the Union government’s Digital India initiatives.
While decorating house, one often forgets about the fifth wall – the ceiling. Even though a simple white ceilings looks perfect, but there are many ideas to decorate the ceiling of your living space to make it look good. Experts share some tips on decorating ceiling this festive season. -Stencil work for a custom look: Stencils works well on smooth ceilings, and give the rooms a feeling of wallpaper. It acts as a special ingredient, which adds an individual touch to our living space. The stencil arts give the room a custom look and a sense of luxury. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA painted stencil is an economical way to renovate a space with a beautiful decorative element. If you want, you can appoint a professional to stencil your ceiling, but it’s also a Do It Yourself (DIY) project for a person with a good eye and a steady hand. The only limitation is the gravity working against you. -Simply paint it: If you are worried about the ceiling designs, then the simplest way to decorate your ceiling is by painting it. This costs very less. You can each time add a different colour to the ceiling. If the colour of the walls is light, then paint your ceiling darker with a contrasting colour or vise-versa. In case you have a small room, then paint the ceilings in same colour as the walls or one shade lighter. When you do this, it will create an illusion of a large space and your room will appear much larger. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive-Give a luxury touch with lightings: Ceiling are also a good location to add ambient lighting. Deciding on a ceiling lighting fixture is a very important process, especially when you are planning to decorate your room’s ceiling. They are not just an evident decoration on your ceiling, but also a significant component of the quality of light throughout your living space. Thus, buying proper lightings for your ceilings is very important. -Go with roof hanging décor items: Décor items which are hung from the ceiling add shape and style to your room. The best way is to use airy suspended gardens to beautify your room in a natural way. Many people have opted for these airplants that have their own universe in which they thrive. It can also be an indoor solution for air pollution. This could be a DIY craft where you can use kokedama to decorate your ceiling. Use wood moldings for ceiling: Small decorative wood moldings are inexpensive, and with a bit of paint or stain and a touch of hot glue, you can easily transform a ceiling into the most interesting feature or an accent ceiling of the room.
October 7, 2008 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Nilofer MerchantThese eight secrets will help any midlevel manager in this tough job move ahead and formulate the best possible strategy:1. Use A ProcessEvery strategy must follow a repeatable pattern — a process. These steps are the building blocks of strategy creation. They’re linked, but not rigidly sequential. When you use a process, it means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of past learning and the experience your team has gained in the market — start your strategy off on the right foot by creating a process that you can use over and over again.2. Be Prepared To Get MessyStrategy isn’t neat and tidy — there is no bow wrapping it all up at the end and much that is unknown. Conversations will lead you into places you never thought you’d go. There are lots of ideas, and many of those will have to be killed off. And sometimes strategy creation is mind-boggling and disorienting. Take a compass with you — a North Star so you know where you are. But know it’s a journey that often involves the new. It’s a little like making sausage — the middle steps are often glossed over so no one knows the actual recipe.3. Follow The Leader(s)In any group, there’s a leader. In strategy formation, the operational leader makes sure the right conversation takes place. He or she determines which key conversations must occur, in what sequence, and with whom. This all moves the team toward development of the best ideas, the best single solution. The leader shepherds the process and insists that ideas are well vetted and considered. The leader also makes sure everyone in the group is participating. The operational leader makes the call. That’s the decision-maker. Without that sage wisdom, strategy development can stall. Keep in mind that members of a group may share leadership at various points in the strategy development.4. QuestionsStrategy without questions is like a car without gas. Questions that work for strategy development focus on the overall marketplace topography, capabilities, and weak points of the company, and the impact on current and new customers. If a team were strategizing ways to defend against a competitor, typical questions would include:What have we tried already?What happened when we did it?How did the market get to where it is today?What is our competitor good at?What are we good at?Where are our weaknesses?5. InterviewingIf you approach them right, interviews will glean important quantitative and qualitative information used in strategy formation. Great fact-gathering tools for data, interviews can also provide knowledge and insight. Perform interviews in person wherever possible. Read the look on the interviewee’s face. Notice which topics cause a flinch or a frown — dig deeper. You’ll find questions popping up in the middle of the session that you had no idea you’d be asking. Go with the impulse to ask “off the wall” questions — they can be the pathway that takes the interview to a new place or reveals something new and useful.6. Selecting IntervieweesOrganizations that hire my company typically will hand me a list of people they want us to speak with. Typically, the lists are limited in scope. We ask who else could be included because we want an extended range of data and issues. Hearing dissenting voices is important. We find people who may object, people who may be contrarian. Who you ask shapes what you learn. As information moves farther from its source, it is distilled, distorted, and the nuances are removed. Talk to people who are familiar with the basics of day-to-day operations. Go into the mailroom or the security back office for a viewpoint entirely different from that of the executive VP.7. Organize Facts In A FrameworkInterviews give you facts, but to get the meaning you’ve got to organize the facts in a framework. Use four categories: What you regard as confirmed, what you believe but don’t have enough facts to confirm, what you doubt, and what the relevant outliers are. Items that are confirmed may include hard numbers from validated sources. If you don’t have enough facts for a confirmation, you may be looking at something you know or sense from your experience — it could also be something you’ve heard several others say they believe. Things you doubt might include research that originates from an unreliable source. Outliers would be defined as information only a few people hold or a topic with a surface that’s barely been researched.8. Developing CriteriaNow generate and sort ideas. In this phase, it’s important to know what matters most to the organization — and this is a huge strength for most middle managers. Choose the best idea from among the many. Ask yourself the following questions:Where do we want to be?How will we know when we’re winning?What does success look like?Imagine what the change will look like when it’s successfully implemented. Use concrete language to describe it. “We will be aligned and operating to hit our stretch goal of $132M for fiscal 2010.” Create a detailed picture of exactly what type of success is most desired and what, specifically, it will look like.Middle managers are the hub of any business. They hold the power to make or break the success of the organization. Add these strategy development skills to their already-tremendous knowledge and you’ll reap the benefits.Nilofer Merchant, CEO of Rubicon Consulting, is a global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic adviser for companies such as Adobe, Symantec, and VMware. She publishes and speaks frequently on strategy, innovation, and leadership. 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