Jersey City Salutes Police Officer Melvin Santiago

Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens.  Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core.  Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.

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Maintaining Midwestern Goodness in the Big City

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my local Duane Reade/Walgreens — DuaneGreens? — this week trying to suss out exactly how and why the transition between the two merged pharmacies is working in the effect of Balance Rewards.  So far, so good — but there have been a few jukes and flukes.

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Transitioning from Duane Reade Flex Rewards to Walgreens Balance Rewards

Change is inevitable and after Walgreens bought the iconic Duane Reade chain of neighborhood pharmacies in and around New York City — and decided to keep the Duane Reade logo and name even though the stores are all “Walgreens” underneath the advertising sheath — I have been waiting for the official moment when Duane Reade is no longer really Duane Reade.

That moment happened on Sunday when Duane Reade’s excellent “Flex Rewards” program — spend a dollar and get a point — was replaced by Walgreens’ new “Balance Rewards” program where you spend a dollar and get 100 points.  With the Duane Reade card, you hit 500 points and you got $5.00USD; with Walgreens, you have to earn 5,000 points to get the same $5.00USD.  There’s nothing quite like unnecessary complication to help make things less simple — especially when a Duane Reade manager told me this morning that the new national Walgreens reward program was copied from what Duane Reade had been doing regionally.

Continue reading → Transitioning from Duane Reade Flex Rewards to Walgreens Balance Rewards