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Toronto’s Porter Airlines taps Vermont as new winter destination

first_imgPorter Airlines is launching seasonal service to Burlington, Vermont, this winter, expanding its US network and adding a new destination for passengers looking to enjoy a season on the ski hills. With twice-weekly roundtrip flights from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Burlington International Airport beginning on Dec. 15 until April 8, passengers can enjoy easy access to some of Vermont’s best skiing and a rich assortment of local attractions.”This is a great partnership that will boost tourism in Vermont and provide an economic boost to our ski areas,” said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.In a joint statement, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch said, “Porter Airlines, Ski Vermont, Governor Shumlin, the Burlington International Airport and Customs and Border Protection came together to introduce the people of Toronto to the best skiing and riding in the U.S.A.  This announcement underscores the ‘international’ in Burlington International Airport, creating seasonal scheduled nonstop service between Toronto and Burlington.  While it will offer a much-needed influx of visitors to the state this winter, especially needed following the devastating blow of Hurricane Irene, it will also give Vermonters an unprecedented opportunity to visit and do business in Toronto.” Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch wrote to Porter Airlines this summer inviting them to begin service between Toronto and Burlington.  This fall, the lawmakers have worked with the airport and other stakeholders to help iron out details surrounding clearing international visitors at the airport.  “Our new service to Vermont is a perfect complement to our current winter schedule already featuring prime destinations such as Mont Tremblant and Quebec City,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Burlington offers access to an incredible array of spectacular ski hills, and a vibrant community to explore.”The Burlington schedule includes weekly roundtrips on Thursdays and Sundays, with the exception of long weekends which offer Thursday and Monday roundtrip options. One-way fares start as low as $99, plus applicable fees and taxes.Special Porter ski packages from Stowe Mountain Resort, Jay Peak, Smugglers Notch and Sugarbush will be offered at the Ski, Snowboard & Travel show in Toronto, October 13-16, and at www.skivermont.com(link is external) in the coming week.About Porter Airlines Porter Airlines is Canada’s third-largest scheduled carrier, based at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.  Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating® by Skytrax, committed to offering speed, convenience and service as part of a premium travel experience. A refined journey begins on the ground with comfortable airport lounges and service-oriented team members.  The experience continues seamlessly in the air with spacious interiors and well-appointed crew.  Passengers enjoy complimentary services, including free in-flight wine, beer and premium snacks, all aboard modern aircraft.The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s,Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston(Logan), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.Join VIPorter frequent flyer program to earn a free flight after as few as five one-way trips. www.flyporter.com(link is external) SOURCE Porter Airlines Inc. TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswirelast_img read more

Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson not satisfied with promising rookie season

first_img“I’d rather be out here playing than sitting at home on the couch watching these games,” Clarkson said. “I want to build chemistry.” A meeting of the mindsThe conversation seemed pointless. NBA mock drafts pegged Clarkson as a late first-round pick after averaging 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game during his junior season at the University of Missouri. The Lakers had the seventh selection of the 2014 NBA Draft and limited assets to secure a pick that could land Clarkson. Yet, Kupchak and Clarkson still met during the pre-draft combine to address an improbable scenario. “I just remember Mitch saying, ‘You never know what can happen in the draft,’” Clarkson recalled. Clarkson laughed as he told the story a year later, aware of the irony surrounding Kupchak’s words. Clarkson said he worked out for most NBA teams representing the draft’s top 25 picks, but that did not include the Lakers.Yet, the Lakers still paid Washington $1.8 million for the 46th pick to secure Clarkson because of what Kupchak described as his “NBA size, NBA speed and athleticism.”The gamble worked. After he sat for 23 of the first 43 games, Clarkson started at point guard amid Bryant’s season-ending injury and inconsistency from Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price. Clarkson averaged 15.8 points on 45.8 percent shooting, five assists and 4.2 rebounds in 32.1 minutes through 38 starts.But when Clarkson met with Kupchak and Scott in his exit meeting, the conversation steered from praise toward critiquing. The Lakers instructed Clarkson to address nearly everything, ranging from improving his outside shot, ball-handling and strength. They advised Clarkson to prepare for playing more off-the-ball, defending perimeter players and becoming a vocal leader. “I don’t want to put limitations on him,” Scott said. “I want him to grow in every area.”Putting in the workIt appears little will inhibit Clarkson from fulfilling those expectations.When Clarkson hosted camps this summer in China and the Philippines, he flew Hanlen out on one trip (China) and followed detailed instructions for the other (Philippines) so he could continue training. Clarkson wanted to reunite with the recently retired Steve Nash just before summer league play started. So Clarkson flew to New York to meet with Nash at his summer residency. Clarkson has wanted to maximize his offseason regiment, so he took only three weeks off before returning to work May 12. Since then, Clarkson has often completed skill workouts with Lakers assistants Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis, weight-training sessions with strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco and more skill workouts with Hanlen. “Some players will do the work, but they think it’s a pain,” DiFrancesco said. “But Jordan really enjoys the process of growing, learning and getting better.” That has played out in numerous ways.DiFrancesco said Clarkson has added 10 to 15 pounds in muscle, increasing his weight from 180 to between 190-195 pounds. Clarkson has completed various strength exercises two days a week, including chin-ups, bench presses, squats, dead lifts and band resistance drills, and focuses two other days on leg exercises.The Lakers believe this will make Clarkson more equipped to defend stronger guards, finish with more efficiency and minimize injury to any tendons. Meanwhile, Clarkson narrowed his focus with Hanlen on three things nearly every day. To improve his outside shooting, Clarkson altered his balance by jumping straight up and tweaked his release point by raising his right elbow.To improve his pick-and-roll execution, Clarkson has dropped his hips and relaxed his chest so that he can move at a more methodical and efficient pace.To improve his finishing at the rim, Clarkson has varied his attempts with both hands. “He’s going to be a stud next season,” Hanlen said of Clarkson. “People will realize last year wasn’t a fluke and wasn’t a byproduct of an unsuccessful team. They will realize his success is because he’s a good basketball player.”Clarkson made many realize that already. After spending last season taking notes from Bryant and Nash, Clarkson has helped Russell and rookie small forward Anthony Brown learn Scott’s Princeton-based offense and temper their pace. Clarkson also deferred to Russell on ball-handling duties, while shifting focus toward scoring and rebounding (3.3 per game). “He’s growing and getting better every day,” Russell said. “It’s amazing for me to see him and witness it. He’s vocally incredible with it. I ask him a question and he has a perfect answer.”The next stepClarkson also delivered the perfect answer when DiFrancesco asked for his grades in four areas.Though he considered his weight training and skill development warranted an “A+,” Clarkson gave himself a “D” in sleep and nutrition. Despite raving about Clarkson’s tireless work ethic, DiFrancesco has advised him to devote more time to recovery. He also noted that Clarkson struggles with avoiding sugary foods. Yet, Clarkson plans to shop for groceries with DiFrancesco following summer league.“It wasn’t him blatantly going out of his way not to be good in those areas,” DiFrancesco said. “He just hasn’t developed those habits. But he has recognized that.”Additional hurdles could loom surrounding Clarkson’s 3-point shooting (25 percent), Russell’s development or Bryant’s presence. But Clarkson has vowed to push through, whether it entailed proving the general public wrong about his draft status or refusing to gloat over the first of possibly many NBA accolades. “My mindset hasn’t changed. I still have the same chip,” Clarkson said. “I’m still a work in progress.”BREAKOUTJordan Clarkson through four summer-league games:July 17: Utah 84, Lakers 7831:29, 6-15 FG, 5 reb, 4 asst, 12 ptsJuly 15: Dallas 88, Lakers 8630:22, 6-13 FG, 5 reb, 2 asst, 17 ptsJuly 13: New York 76, Lakers 6633:57, 3-14 FG, 1 reb, 1 asst, 13 ptsJuly 11: Lakers 68, Philadelphia 6033:44, 8-16 FG, 4 reb, 1 asst, 19 ptsJuly 10: Minnesota 81, Lakers 6832:28, 8-17 FG, 3 reb, 2 asst, 23 pts It makes sense why Clarkson felt that way.The Lakers soon drafted D’Angelo Russell, who will start at point guard and handle most of the ball-handling duties. Kobe Bryant will also return after nursing a right shoulder injury that limited him last season to 35 games.And Lakers coach Byron Scott and general manager Mitch Kupchak challenged Clarkson to prove he can build on his opening act.“We like Jordan Clarkson,” Kupchak said. “He was a good player for us this year on a very bad team. So I don’t know how that’s going to play out. But we think he has a future.”Clarkson made the first step in making Kupchak’s words prophetic, averaging a team-leading 16.8 points in five summer-league games. Clarkson and those around him also argued his accelerated development and promising potential stem from his work behind closed doors. That also could ensure a lucrative deal once Clarkson’s contract expires after the 2015-16 season, one that will pay him the league-minimum $845,059 for a second-year player. The congratulatory text messages flooded Jordan Clarkson’s phone. The Lakers’ guard had just landed on the NBA’s all-rookie first team, a bright spot following a sour team season and a fitting end to a journey that started as an unnoticed second-round pick.Among the well wishers was Clarkson’s personal trainer, Drew Hanlen, who witnessed his client working endlessly to prove his worth in a league that initially doubted him.But instead of basking in his latest achievement, Clarkson responded with a terse message.“‘We got to get better this summer,’” Clarkson wrote back to Hanlen. “‘Let’s go.’”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more