Jim (l) with fellow speaker, William Withuhn, Curator of Transportation, Smithsonian Institution.
Getting rid of garbage and trash is a growing environmental and economic challenge. We are currently conducting research on the history of solid waste management, with particular reference to municipal solid waste challenges facing South Jersey and Burlington County. Preliminary articles have been drafted for local publication, to be followed by a formal presentation and then a more detailed article.
With COVID restrictions having lifted, we have resumed in-person presentations, initially to the Southampton Historical Society and the Burlington County Historical Society.
We have completed a detailed evaluation of the proposal by the Sierra Club and a former site superintendent to rename the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as a National Park. The analysis and conclusions are available here.
Recently we have focused on enhancing the local campus email system and on producing a video of a special celebration of the Lumberton Campus Arboretum.
Additional efforts are being devoted to evaluating the changing nature of continuing care retirement communities, with respect to closing of some and takeovers of others by private sector interests. How these wide trends affect the future stability of the highly respected Medford Leas community going forward is of special interest.
Extensive research is underway on a former Army Nike missile base in Lumberton, NJ. Out of operation since 1974, significant infrastructure elements remain and are being studied. The base was part of a last line of defense against incoming cold war bombers. A video presentation has been prepared, and a major article is underway.
We have just added extensive material regarding the use of Eminent Domain and its impact on the local residents of the Tocks Island Dam project area, as well as the resulting breakdown of law and order. The voices of real people are quoted, as we attempt to place this into perspective.
We have completed 17 years of service to a major client, the Train Collectors Association, and were recognized for successfully attaining this – one among many – quest. Special recognition was made in two of its publications: its Online Magazine TCA e*Train and its National Headquarters News.
We continue working with our major client, maintaining multiple websites, while a new consolidated version is being prepared. In addition, we are administering an online election, and devising methods to allow the client to offer options to members to save dues by participating in multi-year memberships, or digital options.
In addition, extensive remote IT management services are being performed.
On the writing front, we have produced articles on the flight of Charles Lindbergh in 1927, the Carranza flights and memorial of 1928, and the special role of women in the Tocks Island battle.
We are also working on a digital compilation of locally produced publications involving that fight.
We have completed converting this website from its earlier version to WordPress. This has been a test and learning experience to determine applicability of this new method to other sites. We have also recently made all pages secure (https) to enhance security.
Late Fall 2019
Dealing with the Feds: Federal Funding, Idiosyncracies, and Urban Life in the 1960s.
Recollections of how the capital city of New Jersey tried to use Federal beautification funds as an early tool to address urban decay and unrest.
Life and Death on the Old Mine Road reesearch and article completed.
Examines the consequences of the failed Tocks Island Dam Project on a way of live and small New Jersey town few ever heard of. Illustrated lecture available for presentation.
Research on a short railroad in Burlington County, built in 1869 and operating until 1976, has been published. It recounts the local people and circumstances that led to its construction, and places it in the context of wider railroad politics in New Jersey. Illustrated lecture available for presentation.
“Voices on the Rails,” an article written some years ago about the coming of radio to America’s railroads, has been scanned and added.
We have been focusing on a variety of tasks including improving membership communications, website management, the implementation of an online voting system, internal office system enhancements, and providing IT advice related to management processes. By focusing more intensely on a limited client base, customized support is enabled.
In addition, we have been conducting intense research on Burlington County, NJ railroad history, as well as New Jersey’s critical role in the development of railroads and their impact on society.
As of mid-January 2017, we have relocated to Lumberton, NJ. Our services continue to be focused on special clients who warrant our special understanding of their needs.
We continue to explore and implement the capabilities of YourMembership.com, an online Software As Service that allows integration of large membership databases with website services.
We worked closely with the new editor of a major online toy train magazine as she undertook her duties. The previous editor had held the post for over a decade, and we assisted the new editor in learning the processes required for developing successful content for web deployment, as well as the site’s underlying organization. In doing so, we made modifications to the site’s menu system and classification of articles. This is a typical assignment, in which we combine both technical web skills with an understanding of the client’s wishes.
We managed the successful transition of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s online library and archives catalog to a modern new “Discovery” system, based on customized open-source software. The service now allows users substantially greater ability to query the database for desired information on holdings. The project involved coordination with staff, volunteers and a consultant, as well as financial planning. The project was hailed as a breakthrough among the multiple museum sites of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Fall 2014 – Spring 2015
We have concluded the integration of several existing websites with the YourMembership.com SAS membership database system. This required use of different site design methodologies and coordination of several other consultants. The objective was to facilitate improved records and management analysis of member information, as well as providing an easier and more economical user experience. This required major project planning, implementation and transition planning. Additional client benefits are anticipated as the new system becomes integrated into the client’s normal workflow and members take greater advantage of it. Further work continues through Summer and Fall 2015.
In addition, we have worked with several clients to promote increased security in the face of recent flash-drive vulnerabilities, in one case having drafted formal IT rules for employees.
WIFI Installation Management
We managed a process of engaging contractors to plan and install a public WIFI system for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. In conjunction with this, we placed a series of special videos on the museum web site that could be accessed in the museum by scanning QR codes which we created. This allows visitors to see otherwise inaccessible parts of train exhibits.
Jim Receives Innovation Award
Jim received the first Spirit of Innovation award from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. This was in recognition of several decades of leadership in technology, including creation and management of their large web site, building a major local area network, initiating a library and archives catalog and outreach system, and a broad range of other efforts aimed at promoting understanding of railroad history.