Aussie travellers tight with sticky fingers

first_imgAustralian travellers are not the most travelled, budget conscious, can’t switch off when travelling and one in five have sticky fingers, according to a recent LivingSocial survey that included 400 Australians and 5,200 additional respondents in the US, Canada, Ireland and UK.  The survey crushes the myth that Aussies are the most travelled tourists, with Australian’s on average visiting nine countries, falling behind the Irish (nine countries) and British (seven countries) counterparts.“Australians are big travellers but we can’t claim to be the most active globetrotters. Despite this, we should be proud of our exploring ways; six countries is impressive, especially given we have to travel overseas to get to another country,” LivingSocial Australia and New Zealand VP Marketing, Anu Mohan said.The survey also revealed that Australians are more budget conscious than other countries, with more travellers holding onto their dollars while searching for the cheapest food, hotel, and transportation when travelling.One in five Australian’s have admitted to stealing from hotels during a visit and while towels were the most popular item stolen from hotels, bathrobes (admitted by 5 per cent) and perhaps more obvious is walking out with the pillows (which 3 per cent admitted to) or, less obvious, batteries (which 3 per cent admitted to) and the remote control (which 2 per cent admitted to). Sadly, two thirds of respondents (66 per cent) said they find it hard to switch off while travelling, and will check their email or mobile phone while holidaying.Other components of the survey included holiday horror stories, with the top three horrors being overcharged by a salesperson, getting extremely lost and hit by bad weather; Worlds worst tourists ranking the United States, China and India; Favourite holiday activities including shopping, visiting historical sites or ruins and relaxing on the beach; and the top three dream destinations being Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Great Barrier Reef in Australia and The Great Wall of China. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Indonesia Paradise on Earth

first_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = Indonesia: Paradise on Earth When we think of Aussie tourists in Indonesia, we immediately think Bali. And there’s is a good reason for this, Bali is an amazing holiday destination, especially on the Aussie dollar.With a population of over 240 million people, Indonesia is set to overtake the USA’s population in a few decades. Indonesia has made serious inroads into increasing the living standards of its poor; and tourism is in some responsible.Steeped in history; both turbulent and peaceful, Indonesia achieved independence in 1945. With a wide and diverse cultural and ethnic population, Inbdonesia strives to achieve their moto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (“Unity in Diversity”).Bali’s blend of deeply spiritual unique culture, pristine beaches, highland regions, and aquatic diversity sets it up as a top destination for global travellers (both backpackers and the wealthy). Its literally a paradise with most visitors to Indonesia solely visiting Bali.Definitely worth visiting, is Indonesia capital, Jakarta. The cultural, economic, and polital centre the city is again, a melting pot of cultural difference. Comprised of 6 districts (Central, West, South, East, North & Thousand Islands), each has its own flavour.With friendly taxi drivers, and locals, the Jakarta population is friendly and always willing to help out a visitor. In Jakarta, visit the National Museum, Bundaran HI (hotel traffic circle – shopping heaven), and Jakartas oldest town Jakarta Kota Tua; full of Dutch influence.Bali: one of 17,000 Islands, its a worldwide tourist hotspot. Visit pura puseh (temple of origin), and the Ulun Danu Temple complex at Lake Bratan, for some culture away from the beach resorts.roomsXML has 1092 Properties in BaliJakarta: visit Chinatown, the National Museum, the street vendors in Kemang, and Indonesia largest integrated tourism area with the Dufan theme park.roomsXML has 243 Properties in Jakartacenter_img roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Thanks for Wikitravel for the tips.last_img read more

The Rees Hotel Queenstown achieves rare dual Qualmark Gold

first_imgThe Rees Hotel Queenstown Achieves Rare Dual Qualmark Gold Second Year RunningThe Rees Hotel Queenstown achieves rare dual Qualmark GoldTwo of the tourism sector’s highest official marks of quality, the ‘Qualmark 5 Star Hotel and Gold Tourism Business Sustainability Award’ have been achieved for the second year running by The Rees Hotel, Luxury Apartments & Lakeside Residences.It’s the first time the independently owned luxury operator has been assessed across all three of its different accommodation offerings. Situated overlooking Lake Wakatipu, the property has 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and 5 brand new private lakeside residences that opened in December 2017.The Rees is one of only 5 hotels amongst 900 accommodation providers in New Zealand to receive both awards – 5 Star and Gold Sustainability certification, that encompasses the triple bottom line (social, environmental and financial performance). According to Qualmark only ten percent of total Qualmark license holders (1837 internationally ready tourism businesses) have ever received Gold Status.A year ago the tourism rating system received a rigorous makeover after being considerably upgraded. Back then The Rees was one of only two hotels in the South Island that won the gold seal of approval signifying it met the standard for reaching the most high-quality experience New Zealand has to offer.After being benchmarked twelve months later for best practice against all other top hotel operators across the country, the Gold Qualmark sustainability award is particularly satisfying for The Rees CEO, Mark Rose.He believes it’s an “important tool from a very relevant organisation that ensures our New Zealand offerings are world class, safe and sustainable”.The Rees team he says have consciously focused on being responsible operators through leaving a “light footprint” through many staff-initiated actions that both reduce the impact on the natural environment and preserve it.“This Gold status underlines our total commitment to our environment, for both our visitors and the generations to follow us – we all need to do whatever we can to protect our pristine country” Rose says.“Being audited by an independent assessor who is able to compare us with the best hotels across New Zealand is such an important tool. Every day we put a huge amount of effort in to keep The Rees in the best condition with the most up to date offerings and services – so to be officially recognised with a 5 Star rating is terrific” says Rose.The Rees Lakeside ResidencesDuring peak season, while running at high occupancy The Rees was subjected to an on-site assessment and document audit by Amanda Cushen, a Tourism Business Advisor at Qualmark New Zealand.In her report, she rated The Rees as being at the forefront of the industry leading by example and continuously improving noting “excellent examples of robust systems and procedures in place that are underpinned by documented processes that continue to add value”.Using an expansive brief, Cushen scored The Rees performance across a wide range of areas such as; operational sustainability practices, cultural interpretation and integration, service standards and product knowledge, team culture, health and safety systems, décor and cleanliness.“The Rees within the industry are seen as leaders with some outstanding practices in place so every area is evolving, not just one in particular. Excellent systems are embedded within the business like the Optii housekeeping software that has improved efficiency. It’s also an employer of choice with strong team relationships. It is obvious staff are selected very carefully as they all have a very welcoming and friendly manner. Never complacent, they’re always on the lookout to improve as excellence is a journey, not a destination” she says.A Gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences. A Gold Sustainable Award identifies businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industryaworld class sustainable visitor destination.The Rees polled hundreds of travellers in March about how important sustainable practices were to them. 65 percent said it was “very important” which matches figures released in a global study by showing that 65 percent of travellers seek out green accommodation – nearly double that of last year and forty five percent consider themselves a sustainable traveller.The top initiatives travellers’ rated in order of preference in the Rees survey were recycling and paperless communications, followed by recycling towels daily. In its Qualmark Award The Rees was recognised for its many environmental and social practices on-site including Bees at The Rees (the hotel’s apiary operation), native tree planting, electric car charging station, waste management and philanthropic social community commitments.Qualmark was first established in 1997 and is wholly owned by Tourism New Zealand. It is the tourism industry’s official quality assurance organisation for accommodation providers, and an endorsement programme for attractions and leisure activities.The Rees Hotel Queenstown blends chic five-star accommodation with all the comforts of home and the service and facilities of an elite international hotel. Situated on the absolute lakefront, The Rees’ terraced construction delivers complete privacy and showcases panoramic views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand.Its landmark restaurant is the True South Dining Room. Source = The Rees Hotel Queenstownlast_img read more

Accor adds 15 hotels to Singapore Network

first_imgFragrance Hotel Selegie rooftop poolAccor adds 15 hotels to Singapore NetworkCements leadership position and takes network to 30 hotels and 7600+ rooms in SingaporeAlready the number one hotel operator in Singapore, Accor announces it will add a further 15 hotels to its network, after inking a deal with Global Premium Hotels Limited (“GPHL”) to franchise 15 hotels, 13 of which were trading under the existing Fragrance Hotel brand and two trading under Parc Sovereign Hotel brand. This will bring Accor’s network to 30 hotels and 7625 rooms in Singapore, firmly cementing the group’s leadership position.GPHL is the owner of one of the largest Singapore-owned hotel chains and has been providing quality, affordable accommodation in strategic city and city-fringe locations since 1998, building a strong reputation with local and regional travellers. It owns and manages the Parc Sovereign Hotel Brand and Fragrance Hotel Brand.The 15 hotels will undergo asset enhancement initiatives to be in line with Accor global standards and will be rebranded to become one Mercure, one Ibis Styles and thirteen Ibis Budget hotels. The deal will greatly expand Accor’s footprint across the city and give travellers to Singapore a greater selection of international-standard, quality accommodation with the added assurance of globally renowned brands.“We are delighted to be entrusted by Global Premium Hotels Limited with these hotels and look forward to offering visitors and locals a winning combination of great price, location and service,” said Michael Issenberg, Chairman & CEO Accor Asia Pacific. “Accor’s strong presence in and understanding of the Singapore market will be complemented by these additional hotels and with our proven expertise in mid-tier and economy hotel operations, we hope to bring added value to the owners. This deal is a great moment for our group as we are able to increase our Singapore presence significantly overnight with the addition of these 15 hotels/1621 rooms.”GPHL owner Dr James Koh, said, “With a buzzing hotel scene these few years, and especially the mid-tier hotel segment enjoying increasing popularity and strong growth figures, this partnership is indeed timely. We are excited to strengthen our relationship with Accor and are confident that this deal will further optimise the performance of our hotels while attracting a greater international audience via Accor’s global distribution and world-renowned brands. We are proud to have been providing quality accommodation and great value to visitors to Singapore for over 20 years. This deal certainly marks another milestone achieved for our group, as well as signalling a global brand’s strong confidence in the hotel scene for Singapore.”With the finalized deal, Accor will have 3357 rooms in the luxury and premium space in Singapore, 1840 in midscale and 2428 in economy.The Ibis, Ibis Styles and Mercure brands are three of the key brands of Accor. Ibis offers over 1200 hotels in 67 countries and provides fully equipped rooms, innovative bedding and 24-hour reception services to provide well-being at the best price. Ibis Styles provides design, pop culture and energy at over 500 hotels in 49 countries. Meanwhile, Mercure is in harmony with people and places, with hotels that are firmly rooted in their local environment to provide an authentic experience at over 800 hotels in 62 countries.Source = AccorHotelslast_img read more

Sikkim aims to attract 12 lakh tourists by 2025

first_imgThe Sikkim government has set a target of attracting 12 lakh tourists to the state by 2025.“Sikkim with highest forest cover of 47% in the country is most favourite tourist destination in entire north eastern region and its tourist arrival has doubled in last ten years,” said, Pawan Kumar Chamling, Chief Minister, Sikkim.Sikkim registered  3,47,650 domestic tourist arrival in the year 2005 which increased to 7,05,023 in the year 2015 while 16,518 foreign tourist arrivals were registered in the year 2005 which increased to 38,479 in the year 2015.Moreover, Sikkim’s Kanchenjunga National Park (KNP) has now been inscribed as India’s first ‘Mixed World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO. KNP located in eastern Himalayan region was set up in 850 sq km area in August, 1977, and was subsequently extended to 1784 sq km in May, 1997, by including surrounding areas for the purpose of protecting and developing wildlife. It had been on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites since 2006.KNP has the widest altitudinal range of all the protected areas of the world. This park has an enviable altitudinal variation varying from 1220 m to 8586 m within an aerial distance of just 42 kilometres with permanently snowcapped mountains, glaciers, high altitude lakes, grasslands, cold deserts and varied forest types and consequent floral and faunal diversity to delight the visitors. With an altitudinal range of 7,366 metres within an area of only 1784 sq km, KNP is endowed with one of the highest ecosystems in the world.last_img read more

Novotel debuts in Hainans capital city

first_imgNovotel, AccorHotels’ midscale brand, announces its debut in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan province. Ideally located on Xinbu Island, a newly developed area in the northeast part of Haikou city, Novotel Haikou Xinbudao is expected to quickly become a favourite on Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province.Access is easy, about 40 minutes’ drive from the hotel to Haikou Meilan International Airport and 90 minutes by high speed train to Sanya. It’s a five-minute taxi ride to Haikou’s downtown area with its 700-year-old arcade and streets featuring local delicacies. The capital’s scenic spots including Five Ancestral Temple, East Harbour Mangrove Nature Park and Baishamen Park are easily reached from the hotel.“As the first Novotel in Hainan province and the brand’s 27th hotel in Greater China, Novotel Haikou Xinbudao is opening at the right time when Haikou is set for a starring role in recently-announced plans for the island’s transformation into China’s largest free-trade zone, which will fuel Hainan’s development and bring substantial new business opportunities,” said Gary Rosen, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels Greater China. “As the first international brand of AccorHotels, Novotel continues to enjoy preference amongst consumers, owners and developers alike, which is demonstrated by the international and regional awards including the recent ‘Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in the World’ by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific and ‘Most Popular International Brand by Chinese Families’ by Global Times,” Gary added.The U-shaped building has 141 guest rooms, which include 15 deluxe rooms with spacious balconies with an ocean view. Décor features the coconut tree image, an iconic feature of local culture. Blue is the predominant colour as it emphasizes the island’s ocean heritage.Dining options include Square – dine at your leisure restaurant. Six VIP private rooms are available for small gatherings and business meetings. The Lobby Lounge serves a wide selection of beverages complemented by a menu of savoury snacks in a classic setting.Function space includes three versatile meeting rooms. The 800 sq m pillar-less ballroom can host up to 600 guests. The hotel also features a terrace which is ideally suited to outdoor events and wedding ceremonies.An easy and comfortable living experience is enhanced by the hotel’s advanced facilities, including the signature In Balance by Novotel fitness as well as kids’ club, an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court.“Our superb location combined with our ambiance of understated hospitality to make people feel welcome defines our uniqueness,” said Jack Lin, General Manager of Novotel Haikou Xinbudao. “Novotel’s ‘Easy Modern Living’ philosophy and it’s up-to-the-minute facilities will make us the perfect choice for a business traveller in search of convenience, or a leisure traveller seeking a peaceful getaway destination for relaxation.”last_img read more

Personal Income Soars in November Q4 Still Looks Weak

first_img Personal income jumped 0.6 percent in November–twice what economists forecast–improving $85.8 billion, while spending rose a hefty 0.4 percent, the “”Bureau of Economic Analysis””: (BEA) reported Friday. The growth in spending matched economists├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó forecasts.[IMAGE]The jump in spending reversed a $6.6 billion decline in October but fell short of the $86.2 increase in consumption recorded in September. The growth in income was the strongest monthly change since February, when personal income rose $86.3 billion. BEA had estimated superstorm Sandy reduced wages–about 51 percent of income–by $18 billion in October. The report still suggests a weakened fourth quarter compared the third. Personal consumption expenditures rose a net $34.7 billion in the first two months of the fourth quarter compared with $77.7 billion in the first two months of the third quarter. Personal consumption spending accounts for more than 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).The November report marked the second time since June in which income exceeded spending.[COLUMN_BREAK]About half the jump income came from growth in wages and salaries. Personal interest income–despite low savings rates–improved $20.0 billion for the second straight month. Government transfer payments increased $7.1 billion largely on the strength of Social Security payments, reflecting the calendar (since December 1 fell on a Saturday, December Social Security payments were made on November 30). Unemployment insurance payments rose $1 billion, the first month-over-month increase since October 2011, due to the surge in unemployment insurance claims following Sandy.Personal savings improved in terms of dollar amount, increasing $32.1 billion. The personal savings rate also increased, sliding to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent in October.Consumer spending on durable goods–often a sign of confidence since they are big ticket items paid for through borrowed funds–rose $32.5 billion, reversing a $14.0 billion drop in October. Spending on non-durable goods fell $24.9 billion after slipping $3.3 billion in October. Spending on services (including rents and mortgage payments) increased $33.6 billion.Personal interest payments–excluding mortgage interest–increased $1.1 billion, the fifth consecutive month-to-month increase, reflecting an increased consumer reliance on borrowing.Inflation (as measured by personal consumption expenditures) considered the Federal Reserve’s favored gauge, was 1.4 percent, down from 1.7 percent in October. Core inflation–excluding food and energy–was 1.5 percent, down from 1.6 percent in October._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:40 am and again at 9:40 eastern time._ Share in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Personal Income Soars in November, Q4 Still Looks Weakcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP Inflation Investors Lenders & Servicers Payrolls Personal income Processing Service Providers 2012-12-21 Mark Lieberman December 21, 2012 406 Views last_img read more

Industry Veterans Launch New Homeowner Alliance

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-09-05 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing September 5, 2013 463 Views Sharecenter_img Industry Veterans Launch New Homeowner Alliance The industry has a new national group dedicated to serving as the voice for homeowners, and membership is now officially open.[IMAGE]Billing itself as the first group of its kind, America’s Homeowner Alliance was launched by a team of industry veterans and an advisory board of housing industry professionals as well as prominent consumer groups and fair housing organizations. Its mission is to protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments of America, from existing homeowners to those aspiring to purchase a house.””In terms of public policy, America’s homeowners have never had a collective voice of their own to promote their best interests. It’s time to take America’s homeowners off the menu and give them a seat at the table,”” said Phil Bracken, Alliance chairman and founder.Bracken is an industry veteran of more than 35 years and has received numerous awards, including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ Eagle Award and the [COLUMN_BREAK]Mortgage Bankers Association’s Andrew Woodward Distinguished Service Award–its highest honor.Also leading the group are Tino Diaz, former chairman of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; Armando Falcon, former director of the Office of Federal Housing Oversight; and Joe Murin, former Ginnie Mae president. Diaz serves as the alliance’s president, while Falcon and Murin are among its advisory board members.””We will focus on examining the policies of both government and private entities so that we can serve as an ‘ombudsman’ for homeowners, providing protection from abusive or bad practices in the marketplace,”” Diaz said. “”And as an added bonus, Alliance members will have the opportunity to enjoy retail and rewards-based purchasing benefits providing discounts on everyday products that are important to homeowners.””For $20 per year, member homeowners will receive access to a rewards purchasing program with more than 1,000 retail outlets, including Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears.On a larger scale, the alliance’s first goals include defending the mortgage interest deduction, preserving low down payment mortgages, ensuring finance availability for responsible consumers, and encouraging more private capital in the industry, among others.””With the support, encouragement and endorsement of individual homeowners, assistance from major consumer groups, diverse segment real estate groups and many other organizations, America’s Homeowner Alliance has launched today to serve as the profound voice for sustainable homeownership and will continue to do so for years to come,”” Bracken said.last_img read more

LRES Names New VP National Sales Manager

first_img LRES, a national firm specializing in residential and commercial valuations and asset management services, announced that Candice Merriweather has joined the team as VP and national sales manager.Merriweather joins LRES from StreetLinks Lender Solutions, where she served as national sales director. Under her guidance, the company increased sales and implemented new strategies by focusing on relationships with C-level executives in the lending space.Her 20-year career also includes leadership positions at Service 1st Valuation and Title, Kirchmeyer & Associates, and the Property Source, among others.At LRES, Merriweather’s responsibilities focus on recruiting and training sales associates, meeting sales goals of profitable revenue, and developing and cultivating client relationships.”Candice’s vast experience in executive-level sales positions at respectable financial institutions across the country will greatly benefit our sales force as we continue to grow our national presence to better serve our valued clients,” said Roger Beane, LRES founder and CEO. January 7, 2015 448 Views LRES Movers & Shakers 2015-01-07 Tory Barringer in Headlines, Newscenter_img Share LRES Names New VP, National Sales Managerlast_img read more

Clearboarding Demonstration Attracts Attention

first_img Blighted Homes Clearboarding Polycarbonate SecureView 2016-04-04 Staff Writer Clearboarding Demonstration Attracts Attention April 4, 2016 563 Views Photos by Todd Berger and Erin MooneyAs neighbors and local dignitaries gathered to watch, a squad of Cleveland firefighters employed their full complement of tools—sledgehammers, axes, halligans, chain saws—to try to break into and get out of a blighted property safely.Their noisy assault on this particular house, located in the city’s Slavic Village neighborhood, was prearranged as a demonstration of the new generation of vacant home security for doors and windows: polycarbonate Clearboarding.“I’d love to get their endorsement for Clearboarding,” explained Robert Klein, founder and chairman of Community Blight Solutions, which is based in Cleveland and markets its Clearboarding product nationally through its SecureView Windows division.Klein also heads Slavic Village Recovery LLC, a partnership of Community Blight Solutions, Community Development Corporation Slavic Village Development, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Forest City Enterprises. The partnership formed two years ago to begin testing and promoting Clearboarding over the ubiquitous eyesore plywood boarding.The advantages are extensive. Aesthetically, Clearboarding looks and feels like glass, so vacant homes appear to have regular windows, rather than ugly plywood boards. For thieves and other criminals, that iconic brown boarding is an automatic advertisement, Klein says: “This house is vacant. Come on in!”The extremely durable and difficult to penetrate Clearboarding addresses that concern by keeping people from smashing through the plywood, which then has to be replaced, usually repeatedly. Of the 15,000 properties in 2,300 communities throughout the US that Community Blight Solutions has refitted with Clearboarding, not one has been broken into successfully.This demonstration, however, related to other safety concerns with plywood boarding, since thieves can easily break in and strip homes of piping or wiring, for example, without being seen. Vagrants or others who break in often start fires to keep warm, so if they can’t get in, they can’t start fires that could potentially burn down the house.Moreover, first responders cannot see through plywood, so police or firefighters don’t know who or what is in the house when they arrive. Clearboarding enables them to look directly inside.“The time has come to change the legislation and not allow plywood,” Klein said while standing in front of the demonstration house as firefighters hacked away at the windows. “Plywood is an absolute cancer, and there’s no reason to use it anymore. We have a different, superior way of securing homes now, and this is the proper way to do it.”“The time has come to change the legislation and not allow plywood.”Robert Klein, Chairman, Community Blight SolutionsThe partnership has already rehabbed more than 30 homes within a 1 square mile area, taking homes that would otherwise be demolished or remain vacant, and performing between $40 and $60,000 worth of renovation per home. The refurbished home owners and families get conventional 30-year mortgages and become part of the neighborhood, which helps raise property values and restore confidence for existing home owners.“The partnership has been a big part of getting the houses stable, keeping them safe from a lot of the crime and break-in issues that our vacant homes have and getting them positioned to resell,” said Christopher Alvarado, executive director of Slavic Village Development prior to the demonstration.Matt Zone, a Cleveland City Councilman who heads the Safety Committee and is a VP of the National League of Cities, adds that Clearboarding has helped protect some of Cleveland’s historic properties that were being vandalized. “That’s why we want to see a more durable solution so someone is not breaking into a house 2, 3, 4, 5 times,” he said. “But we also want to make sure that first responders, especially fire or emergency medical staff, have easy and safe access.”Although hammers and halligans didn’t work, the firefighters were able to slice through one of the front windows of polycarbonate, which is also used for motorcycle windshields, fairly easily with a chainsaw. Fortunately, thieves would never use a chainsaw, since the tool’s distinctive racket would draw immediate attention.“I don’t have a problem with that,” Klein said after they cut through. “We want it to be easy for the firefighters to get in and out.” Community Blight Solutions had already re-engineered their product with quick exit escape bars on the inside that firefighters can knock out with the help of an axe or hammer, if they need to remove a window for air flow or to exit.Photos by Todd Berger and Erin MooneyTony Brancatelli, Cleveland Councilman for Ward 12, which includes a majority of Slavic Village, said he appreciates all the success the partnership has accomplished to date: “This neighborhood in 2007, even before the crisis, had the highest foreclosure rate in the United States. One of the key components is the partnership is doing this all with no government subsidies but as part of the private market, so it can work.”Klein is recognized as a national expert in this field, primarily because he founded Safeguard Properties in 1990 and grew the corporation into the largest property preservation company in the U.S. before he retired in 2010 to move into new ventures, including Community Blight Solutions. Safeguard manages monthly an average of 1.2 million property inspections and maintains vacant properties for the mortgage servicing industry.Of course, there was only one choice for covering windows and doors, so he takes credit for being “the culprit” who inflicted plywood boarding on America in the first place.But today, he’s on a mission to rectify that as a highly visible and vocal advocate of polycarbonate boarding.“Right now when you say a boarded-up property, immediately you think plywood,” Klein concludes. “So, we still need to change people’s thinking to when you board up a property, you use polycarbonate Clearboarding.”In addition to the Cleveland Fire Department Ladder Truck 11 company, other attendees of the demonstration included, Tom Schloemer, battalion chief and Wayne Nadia, acting assistant chief from the CFD; Frank Szabo, president, Cleveland Fire Fighters IAFF Local 93; Jeff Raig, project director for Slavic Village Recovery, LLC; Adam Hewit, Government Solutions Group; Mark Nylander, senior advisor for Community Blight Solutions; Todd Berger, creative marketing specialist for Safeguard Properties; along with several employees of SecureView, including Brian Potasiewicz, VP of operations; Heather Best, AVP business development; and Scott Wyland, field service supervisor.center_img in Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

The Week Ahead Checking In on Affordable Housing Markets

first_img Affordability Five Star Institute HOUSING Housing Opportunity Index market Motown Throwdown National Association of Home Builders 2018-02-04 Radhika Ojha The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will release its quarterly NAHB Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, February 8 at 10 a.m. EST. The HOI gauges the affordability of home markets by covering the share of records in a metropolitan area for which the monthly income available for housing is at or above the monthly cost for that unit. The HOI is defined as the share of homes sold in that area that would have been affordable to a family earning the local median income, based on standard mortgage underwriting criteria. The HOI for the third quarter of 2017 indicated that the Los Angeles region was the least affordable market during the quarter, while the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, region in Ohio was the most affordable. Nationally, the data showed that 58.3 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $68,000. This was down from the 59.4 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the second quarter. Here’s what else is scheduled for The Week Ahead:The Five Star Institute’s Motown Throwdown, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.CST, at the Palace Arts Center in Grapevine, TexasMBA Mortgage Applications Survey, Wednesday, 7 a.m. ESTConsumer Credit Report, Wednesday, 3 p.m. ESTJobless Claims, Thursday, 8:30 a.m. ESTFreddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Thursday 9 a.m. ESTFed Balance Sheet, Thursday, 4:30 p.m. EST in Daily Dose, Featured, News Sharecenter_img The Week Ahead: Checking In on Affordable Housing Markets February 4, 2018 534 Views last_img read more

The Wonderful Company has positioned itself as the

first_img The Wonderful Company has positioned itself as the number-one growth leader among all multibillion-dollar consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies as well as the growth leader in produce in 2017, according to market research firm IRI. In addition, a study released today by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and IRI measuring growth across all CPG categories positions the California-based organization as the top growth leader amongst all midsize companies in the U.S. (US$1-5.5 billion in retail sales).Wonderful ranks in the top five for adding dollars to the entire CPG industry and accounted for five percent of all CPG growth.Wonderful says that its position as the only multibillion-dollar company with double-digit growth at 13 percent reflects the popularity of its convenient nutrition and wellness products. India: Almost 50 children killed by brain disease … June 15 , 2018 You might also be interested in AgTech company’s root heating system ‘significantl … center_img Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples … “More than half of U.S. households already buy a Wonderful product each year, and IRI data in concert with this study clearly demonstrates that our healthy offerings are resonating with consumers,” said Wonderful vice president of marketing Adam Cooper.“The Wonderful Company is relentlessly focused on driving healthier eating options. Over the past 10 years, we’ve invested more than $3 billion in capital and $1 billion in marketing and brand building. With these investments, and consumers increasingly seeking nutritious choices, Wonderful is poised for even more growth in the future.”The report’s findings were based on the growth performance of more than 400 CPG companies with annual U.S. retail sales exceeding US$100 million.The analysis, which covered both public and private companies, focused on what consumers actually buy in measured channels, as opposed to what factories ship. Companies were ranked on a combination of three metrics: dollar sales growth, volume sales growth, and market share gains. The study also analyzed trends that drove performance in the sector.Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Wonderful Company is a privately held US$4 billion global company and owner of several major produce brands including Wonderful Halos – the country’s leading mandarin brand – and pomegranate juice brand POM Peru expects 20% uptick in produce exports this ye …last_img read more

Worlds first automatic mango harvester develope

first_img ‘World’s first’ automatic mango harvester develope … Australia: New project will boost capability to de … You might also be interested in Courtesy of the Australian Federal PoliceNearly 200 kilograms of cocaine has been found in a shipment of bananas in what is New Zealand’s largest cocaine bust, resulting in the arrest of an Australian man.New Zealand police and customs officials said on Friday that the cocaine was contained in five duffel bags on top of bananas in a shipment coming from Panama.The cocaine had an estimated street value of US$28 – 36 million.The cocaine, which had arrived in August and was destined to be distributed in Australia, was replaced with an inert substance so that police could control the delivery.A 41-year-old man from Sydney has been arrested in relation to the case. He was charged with one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia ups efforts against Queensland fruit fly … center_img The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said that they will allege in court that the man was attempting to take possession of approximately 57 kilograms of the substituted cocaine.”Further inquiries are ongoing into the source of the illicit drugs and other potential recipients in Australia,” said AFP.The bust came after the shipment was identified as suspicious following an investigation into an Australia-based organized crime group, New Zealand police said.The maximum penalty for this offense is life imprisonment.”The operation has shown our dedication, both police and Customs, into disrupting organized criminals who are bringing these drugs into our country and causing this devastating effect on our community,” said Detective Inspector Paul Newman of the National Organized Crime Group. November 17 , 2018 Australian veggie exports jump in 2018 … last_img read more

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macaos estab

first_imgTo celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macao’s establishment as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is giving away a limited number of FREE TurboJET tickets to agents and consumers planning a trip to the former Portuguese enclave.The ticket giveaway to the City of Gastronomy, supported by Sun Tak TurboJET, applies to travel from Hong Kong to Macao, or vice versa, for travel before December 31, 2019.To book the free ferry tickets, email macao@worldtradetravel.comIMAGE:Ruins of St Paul’s, Macao ferryfreeHong KongMacaoTurboJETlast_img read more

Cruise Maritime Voyages CMV has launched theme

first_imgCruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has launched themed cruises for its upcoming Australian season, including a seven-night Boutique Gin and Culinary Cruise, a five-night Military History Cruise, and a one-night in-port Fringe World event to take place aboard the newest ship to join the CMV fleet, Vasco da Gama.“We’re always excited to provide new offerings as these can really resonate with our agents’ clients,” says Darren Chigwidden, National Sales Manager (AU & NZ) of CMV Australia.“These themed sailings will provide more incentive for clients to book onto these voyages as guests will have a unique experience on board Vasco da Gama, the newest addition to CMV’s fleet.” To introduce CMV to a local audience who may not be regular cruisers, the ship will host an in-port Festival of the Fringe entertainment in Fremantle on 1 February 2020, with roving performers, live music and DJs into the early hours and overnight accommodation, breakfast and dinner onboard Vasco da Gama.Believed to be the world’s first gin-themed cruise, the Boutique Gin and Culinary Cruise, sails from Adelaide to Fremantle and will showcase the very best local produce from South Australia and Western Australia, with cooking demonstrations, lectures from gin experts and master distiller, and hosted gin tastings.Sailing from Sydney to Adelaide, the Military History Cruise will be a distinctive voyage of heritage and history, with on-board events programmed around Australia’s involvement in past conflicts and the little-known story of how close it was to arriving on our shores. The cruise will also offer shore excursions focussed on visits to historic monuments and memorials in Melbourne, lectures from ex-military personnel, and research workshops with the Virtual War Memorial Australia.*Supplementary charges may apply australiaCMVcruiseCruise & Maritime Voyagesthemed cruiseslast_img read more

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over 37years of living inside this body it’s that there are fewthings that can pick me up faster than the following fourf-words: Family, friends, food, football. Fortunately, despite battling bronchitis and a severelypainful back over the past couple of weeks, I’ve beenlucky to get a healthy dose of that stuff with the last 24hours leaning heavily toward the food & football. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Comments   Share   Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories “As an offense, we can’t give up two touchdowns,” Peterson said. “Coach Whisenhunt really hit that on the head today.”While Peterson and Arizona’s defense held Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in check (12-of-26 for 141 yards), the Cardinals were forced to play from behind all afternoon on Sunday, as a fumble return for a touchdown by Chicago’s Zack Bowman in the first quarter and an interception return for a touchdown by Charles Tillman in the third quarter put Lovie Smith and Co. in the driver’s seat at University of Phoenix Stadium.Although the former No. 5 overall pick had some harsh words for the offense, he didn’t limit his criticism to only one side of the football.“At the end of the day, we can’t let those guys score,” said Peterson. “We have to do a better when the offense does turn the ball over to hold those guys to three points.”The Cardinals’ defense limited Chicago’s offense to only 15 points, but they did allow over 150 yards on the ground.With a week left in their season, the Cardinals sit in the basement of the NFC West, and are much closer to a top 5 draft pick than they are to playoff contention. Despite a forgettable campaign in 2012, Peterson said the team would still try to grow together over their final 60 minutes of play next Sunday. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Patrick Peterson is only two years removed from his college career at LSU, yet the 22-year-old may be the only player on the Arizona Cardinals’ 53-man roster with the authority to call out any of his teammates.After all, he’s done just about everything in 2012. Peterson, who has served as a cornerback, running back, wide receiver, punt returner and gunner this season, displayed that rare cachet after Sunday’s 28-13 to the Chicago Bears. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “We’re a team that never wants to give up,” said Peterson. “We want to play hard until the fourth quarter when that clock says 0:00. That’s our mentality coming into any game, win, lose or draw.”The Cardinals travel to San Francisco to take on the division-leading 49ers next weekend. The game still has plenty of meaning for Jim Harbaugh’s squad, as well. After being blown out 42-13 Sunday night, the 49ers still need a win or a Seattle Seahawks loss in Week 17 to clinch the NFC West. – / 30 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Ford is a speed rusher right now as he doesnt ha

first_imgFord is a speed rusher right now, as he doesn’t have the pass rushing moves of a player like Mack, but he wins with good anticipation off the snap and a good first step.He is a solid, yet unspectacular player against the run, does a good job of holding up at the point of attack, but isn’t always moving players backwards.Ford’s ability to rush the passer, coupled with his size limitations, will put him in range for the Cardinals to pick him come draft day.Where He’ll Go: Top 25 pickAnthony Barr, OLB, UCLABarr is a better athlete and offers more upside because of it than guys like Ford and Mack, but he’s just not as good of a football player…right now.Barr is a physical specimen with a long, lean build and room to add weight. He plays with a relentless, all-out mentality on the field.He lacks functional game strength right now, meaning he doesn’t play nearly as strong as he is, and he is hesitant at times because of his newness to the defensive side of the ball. Barr, who was recruited to UCLA as an athlete, has only played outside linebacker for two years.What scouts love about Barr is his upside, explosiveness and his ability to create havoc without completely understanding the ins and outs of the position. What worries scouts about Barr is that he will need to be coached up tremendously to ever reach his full potential and be more than a rush linebacker. He has experience dropping into coverage, and played in a 3-4 scheme at Georgia Tech making his transition to the Arizona Cardinals defense seem perfect.However, he doesn’t play with natural instincts, and plays too slow too often.Doesn’t use his natural strength enough, and at times can be physically man handled at the point of attack when he’s trying to read and diagnose a play.Early second roundCarl Bradford, OLB, Arizona StateBradford played big at ASU last season, but there is a concern with his size/speed/strength ratio heading into the NFL.He isn’t overly long, doesn’t use his hands well and is more of a speed rusher, without devastating speed, off the edge.He is a chase linebacker more than a mix-it-up linebacker, and does an excellent job coming off the edge with relentless pursuit.He measures more like an inside linebacker at the next level because of his lack of size, but his natural ability to get around the edge will give him an opportunity to rush the passer at the next level.—-Other names that could draw consideration on day two:• Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford• Christian Jones, DE, Florida State• Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South CarolinaOut of grasp for even one of the better GMs in the NFL in Steve Keim, Clowney may be one of the best NFL prospects to come out on the defensive side of the ball in years.While the numbers were not there in 2013 (only three sacks), his mere presence on the field in every game caused teams to game plan around him.Where he’ll go: Top five pickKhalil Mack, OLB, BuffaloA favorite of the draft community before the 2013 college season started, Mack burst onto the scene with his dominating performance against the Ohio State Buckeyes in week one of the college season.A relentless worker with an array of pass rushing moves, the speed to bend the edge and comfort rushing from either side of the line, Mack is the ideal outside linebacker for Todd Bowles’ 3-4 defense, but he’s likely out of reach for the Cardinals..Where he’ll go: Top ten pickDee Ford, OLB, AuburnThe placement of Ford comes down to the fact that some prefer production to upside.Ford was a dominant player in the SEC for the Auburn Tigers, who lost to Florida State in the BCS Championship Game.He’s a compact, powerfully-built 3-4 linebacker prospect who has experience rushing the passer against some of the best tackles in college. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Where He’ll Go: Top 25 pickRyan Shazier, OLB, Ohio StateA wiry, explosive and violent player, Shazier has all the makings of a star linebacker at the next level.While he wasn’t a rush linebacker at Ohio State, when asked to blitz off the edge he showed a natural ability to bend, dip and explode around the corner.What makes Shazier such a special talent is that he has the room to grow, but also has shown up on the field with huge levels of production.He is probably the best linebacker in coverage on this list, and plays with an a chip on his shoulder.His play is overly aggressive at times, he doesn’t always use his eyes well, as he can get beat because of peeking into the backfield and not reading his keys.Shazier has to learn to break down and tackle in space more consistently, as too often he is looking for a “kill shot” instead of just making the play in front of him.Where He’ll Go: First rounderKony Ealy, DE MissouriA relentless worker who has shown improvement in each of his seasons at Mizzou, Ealy is an intriguing edge prospect.Ealy shows exceptional read and react ability, a good first step and uses his hands as well as anyone not named Khalil Mack in this group. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling When the Arizona Cardinals step to the podium to use the 20th overall selection in the NFL Draft on May 8, there’s a small chance they’ll take one of the players being mocked to them — especially mocks that have occurred in March.With the Cardinals needs being fairly obvious, that leaves figuring out the players that could be available not just in round one, but throughout the draft.Starting with the highest need on the team — as I see it — edge rusher. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Where he struggles: he doesn’t bend the edge all the time, he wins more as a physical pass rusher than a guy with exceptional edge speed.My thought on Ealy: I like him more as a guy who adds weight and bounces down to a 3-4 defensive end rather than a stand up outside linebacker.First rounderKyle Van Noy, OLB, BYUVan Noy shows a succinct understanding of what he needs to do all the time on the football field. The question is: does he possess the raw athleticism to make those plays?Van Noy is an excellent pass rusher despite his lack of burst off the edge, uses his hands well and has a variety of pass rushing moves.However, he doesn’t use enough power in his pass rushing game and doesn’t set the edge consistently in the run game.Van Noy has the look of a secondary pass rusher, in the Sam Acho mold, who will benefit more playing with a dominant pass rusher and cleaning things up rather than wreaking havoc on NFL offenses.Where He’ll Go: Early second roundJeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia TechWhen you watch Attaochu on the edge as a rusher, you see why some people have talked about him as a top-20 draft pick in May.He is an explosive, powerful athlete off the edge who shows a devastating first step and excellent ability to bend and dip around the edge as a rusher. • Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State• Adrian Hubbard, OLB, AlabamaNames on deck to watch for on day two and three of the draft:• Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana• Devon Kennard, OLB, USC• Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota• Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado StateWe’ll be talking edge rushers on the newest edition of the TSHQ Draft podcast Wednesday evening, so if you have questions about any players let me know in the comments. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Following player cuts on Saturday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals have started to claim players off waivers.Tackle Blaine Clausell from the Carolina Panthers, defensive tackle Garrison Smith from the Atlanta Falcons, guard Jeremy Vujnovich of the Indianapolis Colts and defensive end Zach Moore of the Carolina Panthers have all been claimed by Arizona, the Cardinals said in a release on Sunday.To make room, the Cardinals waived defensive end Vontarrius Dora, safety A.J. Howard and released offensive linemen Evan Boehm and Will Holden. Top Stories Denver Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly throws under pressure from Arizona Cardinals defensive end Alec James during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Following the Saturday cut downs, the Cardinals had 10 offensive lineman and nine defensive lineman. They now have an equal amount of 10 lineman on each side of the ball.Related LinksNotable Cardinals cuts include Evan Boehm, veteran wide receiversCardinals wide receiver room down to five after weekend cutsArizona Cardinals announce official 53-man roster on deadlineClausell played college football at Mississippi State and has had stints on five different practice squads since 2015. He has appeared in four regular season games, three with the Redskins in 2016 and one with the Panthers in 2017.Smith played his college football at Georgia and appeared in 11 career games all with the Seattle Seahawks. He has 14 career tackles. Smith signed with the Falcons in April 2018, but was cut on Saturday.Vujnovich was a 16 game starter for the Indianapolis Colts last season at guard but did not make the team in 2018. The Cardinals are Vujnovich’s third NFL franchise after spending time with the Green Bay Packers and Colts.Moore, a sixth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2014, he has appeared in 10 NFL games recording three tackles and 0.5 sacks. The Cardinals are the sixth different NFL franchise Moore has been a part of.The Cardinals re-signed seven players to the practice squad including Alec James, Will House, Charles Kanoff, Elijhaa Penny, Pasoni Tasini, Jalen Tolliver and Andrew Vollert. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Aqua Expeditions has i

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterAqua Expeditions has introduced a family travel promotion in response to the demand for more inspiring, educational and authentic travel experiences for children.Parents are constantly seeking new experiences for their children on holiday. Aqua Expeditions’ latest family activities have been tailored to take families on an unforgettable educational experience down the magnificent Mekong River on board its luxury all-suite vessel Aqua Mekong.To mark the launch of these family-friendly departures this May, Aqua Expeditions is offering an introductory promotion. Children between the age of seven and 12 years old will stay on board the Aqua Mekong for free when sharing with both parents in a triple cabin or accompanied by a single parent.Children can look forward to experiential learning experiences through cycling visits to local fishing villages where they will interact with the community, explore the wet markets, taste local specialities and participate in a special interactive cooking class with the chef. They will also be able to visit a religious mountain monastery for a blessing ceremony with resident Buddhist monks.Further activities and adventures include kayaking, fishing, and even outdoor movie screenings on the observation deck where guests enjoy family-friendly films. There is also an on board library, board games, and foosball table for children to enjoy. All families will have the opportunity to tailor their trip to participate in activities that interest them most.The minimum age to travel on the Aqua Mekong is seven years old. The child will need to share the cabin with his/her parents to be entitled to the promotion.The promotion is valid for departures 6 May to 12 August 2016 and 5 May to 11 August 2017 inclusive. Blackout dates are 24 May to 21 June 2016 and 2 June to 30 June 2017.Customers who meet all the conditions mentioned above but have already made a booking with Aqua Expeditions prior to this announcement will also be entitled to this promotion.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more