READERS FORUM OCTOBER 4, 2016

first_imgWHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays READERS POLL question is: Are you getting sick and tired of our elected and appointed City officials playing political games with our hard earn tax dollars?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] County Observer has been serving our community for 15 years.Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribute.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Posthumous Music Video Of Leonard Cohen Is Released [Watch]

first_imgOf the many greats to pass away in 2016 was singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. He passed away just one month after his final release You Want It Darker. Son Adam Cohen and creative collaborator Sammy Slabbinck composed a lyric video for the track “Traveling Light” that sees Leonard Cohen growing older and learning to understand it. The footage is all real, and includes previously unseen clips and home videos of Cohen.The album was Cohen’s way of coping with his ongoing sickness, and became a therapeutic process for him, according to Rolling Stone. Watch the newly released video below:last_img

A historic year for Harvard admissions

first_imgFor the first time in Harvard’s history, more than 30,000 students applied to the College, leading to an admission rate of 6.9 percent for the Class of 2014. Letters of admission (and e-mail notifications) were sent on April 1 to 2,110 of the 30,489 applicants. More than 60 percent of the admitted students will receive need-based scholarships averaging $40,000, benefiting from a record $158 million in financial aid. Families with students on scholarship are expected to contribute an average of $11,500 annually toward the cost of a Harvard education.A number of factors contributed to such unprecedented results. “In these uncertain economic times, prospective students and their families have been particularly drawn to the excellence of Harvard’s faculty and students, and its remarkable academic programs,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Harvard’s new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has underscored Harvard’s commitment to expanding opportunities in engineering and all the sciences. The University is also highly focused on fostering closer relationships between the College and Harvard’s rich array of graduate and professional Schools, as well as its numerous research and regional centers. These University resources, many of which focus on national and international public policy issues, greatly expand and enrich the experience for Harvard College students,” he said.Applications to Harvard have doubled since 1994, and about half the increase has come since the University implemented a series of financial aid initiatives over the past five years to ensure that a Harvard education remains accessible and affordable for the best students from all economic backgrounds. “Financial aid has never been more important to students aspiring to higher education,” said Fitzsimmons. “The unwavering commitment of President Drew Faust, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael Smith, and Dean of the College Evelynn Hammonds to keeping Harvard’s doors open to all talented students sends a powerful message that reaches far beyond our campus,” he said. Seventy percent of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.In 2004, Harvard introduced the first in a series of financial aid initiatives that have greatly expanded its appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For the first time, more than 25 percent of admitted students are eligible for this program that asks for no parental contribution from those with annual incomes under $60,000, and reduces contributions from families with incomes of $60,000 to $80,000. “The search for talented students from modest economic backgrounds is more intense than ever before — a public policy result that is of significant benefit to our nation,” said  Fitzsimmons. “We hope the current economic environment, which is particularly challenging for families of modest means and for the school districts in which many of them live, will not discourage students from reaching their full potential and slow the progress evidenced in the past few years.”Many additional students are eligible for the expanded aid, announced in December 2007, for middle- and upper-middle income families. Families with incomes up to $180,000 a year and typical assets are now asked to contribute from zero to 10 percent of their income; home equity is removed from financial aid calculations; and loans have been eliminated for all students.By standard measures of academic talent, including test scores and academic performance, this year’s applicant pool reflects an unprecedented level of excellence. For example, more than 3,000 applicants scored a perfect 800 on the SAT Critical Reading Test; 4,100 scored 800 on the SAT Math Test; and nearly 3,600 were ranked first in their high school classes.More than half of the applicant pool and more than half (52.4 percent) of those admitted are men. Last year, both the pool and the admitted group were also comprised of more males, but the matriculating class had slightly more women, because a higher percentage of them accepted their offer of admission.Minority representation remained strong in this year’s admitted group, and similar to last year’s numbers, although it is difficult to make precise comparisons to previous years because of changes in federal requirements concerning the collection and reporting of race and ethnicity information. A total of 18.2 percent of the admitted students indicated they were Asian-American (17.5 percent last year), 11.3 percent African-American (10.4 percent last year), 10.3 percent Latino (10.6 percent last year), 2.7 percent Native American (1.1 percent last year) and 0.4 percent Native Hawaiian (0.2 percent last year).Geographic representation remained similar to last year’s figures. Nearly 24 percent of the admitted students are from the mid-Atlantic states, 21 percent from the Western and Mountain states, 18 percent from the South, 16 percent from New England, 11 percent from the Midwest, and 10 percent from the U.S. territories and abroad.Foreign citizens make up 9 percent of the admitted students. In addition, a significant number of other entering students will bring an international perspective, including 135 U.S. dual citizens, 92 U.S. permanent residents, and many Americans who have lived abroad. Together, foreign citizens, U.S. duals, and U.S. permanent residents constitute nearly 20 percent of the class. There are 79 countries represented in the Class of 2014. “Students with international living experiences add immensely to the education of their college classmates,” said Robin M. Worth, director of international admissions.[chart data=”24.9,12.2,21.3,24.3,8.3,6.8,2,0.2″ labels=”Humanities|Engineering|Social Sciences|Biological Sciences|Physical Sciences|Mathematics|Computer Sciences|Undecided” size=”500×200″ colors=”a6cee3,1f78b4,b2df8a,33a02c,fb9a99,e31a1c,fdbf6f,ff7f00″ title =”2010 Concentrations” type=”pie”] Students’ academic interests shifted somewhat this year. Nearly one-quarter (24.9 percent) of the admitted students intend to concentrate in the humanities, compared with  22.7 percent last year. Engineering attracted 12.2 percent, (10.2 percent last year), while students expressing an interest in the social sciences constituted 21.3 percent, (24.6 percent last year). Other choices remained similar to those made last year, with 24.3 percent planning a biological sciences concentration, 8.3 percent physical sciences, 6.8 percent mathematics, 2 percent computer science, and 0.2 percent undecided.The Class of 2014 will bring extraordinary extracurricular talents to Harvard across a wide range of endeavors. Major activities cited by students as extracurricular interests are music and other expressive and performing arts (46 percent), debate and political activities, including student government (34 percent), writing and journalism (21 percent), and social service (21 percent). In addition, 58 percent of the class expects to participate in recreational, intramural, or intercollegiate athletics.“The help of alumni/ae interviewers is more important than ever as the Admissions Committee chooses a small number of students from an ever-increasing applicant pool,” said Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions. “Personal qualities and character remain central to each and every admissions decision. Our 10,000 alumni/ae volunteers around the world make a huge difference to us in many other ways as well — attending college nights, visiting schools, and calling newly admitted students and hosting gatherings for them in April. We can never thank them enough for their loyalty and devotion to Harvard,” she said. Added James Wigdahl, liaison to the Alumni/ae Schools and Scholarship Committees, “We are particularly grateful to our alumni/ae volunteers for their patience and hard work in making our new electronic system function so well, a change that enabled interviews to be submitted in a much more timely and effective manner, even as the number of applications has risen.”Recruitment is the foundation of Harvard’s strength. Nearly 70 percent of all admitted students and 90 percent of minority students appeared on the original College Board Search List that helped launch Harvard’s outreach program for the Class of 2014. Staff will visit 60 cities this spring, targeting the high school juniors who may eventually join the Class of 2015. Joint travel trips will be conducted with Duke, Georgetown, Penn, and Stanford universities. “Joint travel is the fundamental element of our recruitment. Last spring and fall, Harvard admissions officers visited all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, where we saw 40,000 high school students and parents. We also met with more than 3,000 high school guidance counselors,” said Angela Flygh, director of the Joint Travel Program. In addition, Harvard students visited some of these areas and others to speak at high schools.Eliminating Early Action two years ago allowed more time in the fall for staff to communicate with students who might not have otherwise thought about applying to Harvard. Joint outreach events with Princeton University and the University of Virginia (both of which also eliminated early admission) met with an overwhelming reception in November, previously a time when all three institutions were off the road conducting early-admission selection meetings. Harvard once again will visit nearly 20 cities with this group.“Undergraduate recruitment has a long and distinguished history at Harvard,” said Roger Banks, director of undergraduate recruitment. “Members of the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program [UMRP] and the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative [HFAI] played a crucial role in attracting this year’s record pool of admitted students.” Members of both organizations telephoned and sent e-mail messages and letters to prospective applicants. They also conducted recruitment trips to various parts of the country and met with middle school and high school student groups who visited campus.“HFAI is one of Harvard’s highest priorities, and once again we were able to attract outstanding students from families with annual incomes under $60,000 and $80,000,” said Patrick Griffin, director of HFAI. Precious Eboigbe, HFAI assistant director, noted, “Undergraduates worked closely with staff and alumni/ae, forming a partnership that enabled us to reach out to talented students from modest economic backgrounds.” Monica Del Toro-Brown, the other assistant director, added, “HFAI opens up new worlds that many students never dreamed were possible.”Fitzsimmons and McGrath again praised the efforts of the Undergraduate Admissions Council (UAC) and the undergraduate tour guides and greeters who work throughout the year with visitors to Cambridge — leading tours, hosting prospective applicants overnight, and visiting high schools. David L. Evans, director of the UAC, noted that “prospective students are extremely interested in meeting current undergraduates to learn firsthand about the Harvard experience.” Added Elise Eggart, UAC associate director, “UAC members extend a warm welcome to students interested in Harvard. Their hospitality and thoughtfulness are greatly appreciated, both by prospective students and their families.”Elizabeth Pabst, director of the Undergraduate Tour Program, said, “Our tour guides and greeters welcome students to campus throughout the year. They love to share personal anecdotes about life at Harvard, both inside and outside the classroom. They often are the first Harvard students a prospective applicant meets, and they introduce college life with grace, humor, and enthusiasm.” Added Devery Doran, assistant director of the program, “Rain or shine, in small groups or large, you’ll find them walking backward through Harvard Yard, leading groups of prospective students and their families from around the world.”McGrath emphasized the important role of the teaching faculty in the admissions process. Faculty members speak with many prospective students in person or on the phone and answer their letters and e-mail inquiries. “Faculty accessibility is a clear demonstration of Harvard’s commitment to undergraduate education. In addition, faculty members read hundreds of applications, evaluate academic research of all kinds, and assess portfolios across a range of academic disciplines,” she said.Members of the teaching faculty serving on the Admissions Committee are: Peter J. Burgard, John E. Dowling, Edward L. Glaeser, Benedict H. Gross, Guido Guidotti, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Joseph D. Harris, J. Woodland Hastings, Eric N. Jacobsen, Thomas Jehn, Harry R. Lewis, Richard M. Losick, David R. McCann, Michael D. Mitzenmacher, Cherry Murray, Richard J. O’Connell, Orlando Patterson, Frans Spaepen, Christopher Stubbs, Steven C. Wofsy, Robert M. Woollacott, and Amir Yacoby.Personal contact with admitted students will be important over the next few weeks. Members of the Undergraduate Admissions Council, the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, the admissions and financial aid staff, and the teaching faculty will telephone and meet with admitted students.For the seventh year, the Admissions Office hosted message boards for students throughout the year. In addition, chat sessions in April will provide an opportunity for admitted students to speak with Harvard undergraduates and one another. Danielle Early, director of Internet communications, said, “The chat sessions and message boards extend our outreach and recruitment to students across the world.” Prospective Harvard students can post questions to Harvard undergraduates and admissions representatives on the message board. “The boards provide yet another way for students to meet and make connections with future classmates,” said Early.To give admitted students the opportunity to experience Harvard life and meet their future professors and classmates, a Visiting Program for admitted students is scheduled for April 24-26. In addition to visiting classes, students will attend faculty panel discussions, concerts, receptions, department open houses, symposia, and dozens of events organized by extracurricular organizations. More than 1,300 admitted students will visit during April, and 1,100 will be here during the Visiting Program. “We know that contact with current undergraduates and faculty is critically important to students as they evaluate their college options. Students often cite the Visiting Program as pivotal in their decision to choose Harvard,” said Visiting Program Director Valerie Beilenson.Sarah C. Donahue, director of financial aid, and her colleagues will be available to talk with admitted students and their families on weekdays during April from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. “Especially in these challenging economic times, we look forward to talking with students and parents who have concerns or questions about how to finance a Harvard education, including families who may not have applied for financial aid but who are interested in the wide range of available payment options. Our program offers assistance to all students and families, ranging from full financial aid to a number of financing alternatives: a monthly payment plan, the opportunity to prepay tuition at current rates, and a variety of parent loan programs that extend payments up to 15 years,” she said.“Students and their families should know that there are other forms of financial assistance, such as the Faculty Aide Program, the Harvard College Research Program, and the Dean’s Summer Research Program, which enable students to create paid partnerships with faculty members on academic projects of mutual interest,” said Meg Brooks Swift, director of student employment and the Harvard College Research Program.Admitted students have until May 1 to accept their offers of admission.last_img read more

Sales, service, or success?

first_img“We need to establish a sales culture…We don’t sell, we educate…Our outstanding service will lead to sales.” All are common phrases expressed through credit unions describing the retail delivery of products and services. All are correct, in their own manner. All can be questioned, in their own perspective, too. As credit unions connect the gap between service and sales, one aspect remains constant and undeniable: when the member succeeds, the credit union succeeds.Perhaps a “Success Culture” provides the necessary balance.Focusing on success for the member, through sales and service, introduces a trading of value. For the most part, the credit union trades a set of well-priced products and, over time, the member exchanges value through increases in product use and purchases.Success can certainly come through sales – new loans, additional deposits, insurance purchases, etc. But, too much focus on sales can create a “pushy” experience where members hear a pitch at the smallest hint of opportunity.Success can undeniably happen through service – fast transactions, technological options, error resolution, etc. But, too much focus on service can make it easy to overlook growth prospects in the quest for an experience that doesn’t feel overly ambitious to the member.How does a success culture balance the short-term need to serve with the long-term need to grow revenue? It begins with an outlook that ensures members are getting the most from their current set of products; continues with information introduced to illustrate how members can experience more success with the credit union; and, concludes with an attitude of action that guarantees all opportunities for success are fulfilled (i.e., moving the look-to-book ratio forward).Front line leaders in a success culture need to see every member interaction as an opportunity to extend the long-term nature of a business relationship. This occurs with a twofold commitment: first, to serving the immediate need at hand; and second, to continuously showing members the tangible value they are receiving and how they might receive more. It’s as simple as remembering that the credit union does not succeed until the member succeeds. So, focus on member success. And maintain that each member understands that success, in the near- and long-term, is the goal.Measuring a success culture is as balanced as its execution. Growth and performance measures might include new members, member retention, new loans, and cross-sales. Service measures such as Net Promoter Score, Member Effort Score, and post-transaction feedback provide insights into relationships where revenues will be achieved gradually over time. Incentives and rewards should be just as balanced, with perhaps 25 percent dependent upon revenue initiatives and 75 percent supported by service-focused measures.As front-line leaders earn trust, members will invite them to participate in more in-depth conversations. This gives front line leaders insights for recommending a path to value, regardless of whether that course includes added revenue right away. Looking out for the member is the focus. This kind of attention allows front line leaders to explain more about value to their members, creating a positive impression that results in the member driving more business to the credit union. The outcome is a win for the credit union, with success seen on the balance sheet and income statement.As long as the member succeeds first. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Rendel Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates … Web: www.risingaboveenterprises.com Detailslast_img read more

The Croatian hotel market is stagnating in the development of the offer, shows the global report of Horwath HTL

first_imgMost of the leading domestic chains have become involved in the portfolio branding process by increasing the total number of domestic brands in the market. This trend is in line with developments in the European market, but the motives for these processes are not yet entirely clear (for example, portfolio sales or regional expansion). The report showed that the Croatian hotel market is stagnating in the development of the offer mainly because the current market is favorable for the development of private accommodation (low taxes, regulatory environment), but also because of low incentives for hotel development, which is the key reason for dominance of domestic hotel chains – 9 percent of hotel companies generate 85 percent of total industry revenue. The annual global report of the consulting company Horwath HTL on hotel chains “European Chains & Hotels Report 2019” covers 22 European countries, including Croatia. Domestic chains as the main drivers of growth The hotel market still relies on the summer season Although Zagreb is on the rise (with three new internationally branded projects planned), the majority of projects are based on coastal areas (as much as 75 percent) and well-known destinations (Hvar, Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Porec). Key statistics for Croatia / Horwath HTL Domestic chains were active in the investment market where the largest hotel chains opened at least one new property in 2018. The top five hotel chains have opened eleven properties, or 2,5 new rooms on the market. Others were primarily based on the development of small hotels. In 2018, growth was recorded, however, with the risk of slowdown that occurs due to the recovery of the Mediterranean region, but also development strategies aimed at earning money without a significant increase in value-added supply, competitiveness begins to lose. On the other hand, pre- and postseason offers significant growth potential that can be captured by smart initiatives and management. In Zagreb, as the only continental destination on the rise, three new hotel chains were opened in 2018, and three are planned. Ranking by degrees and size / Horwath HTL High seasonality and the current level of business in Croatia (ranked 58th and 159th in terms of issuing building permits) remains a major obstacle for international investors, especially in terms of taking development and ownership risks. But there are still positive examples in the market that can boost investor confidence. Horwath’s report to 22 countries cites information that in 2018, there were a total of 146.600 hotels on the market, or over six million rooms. France had the most hotels within the hotel chain, as many as 3885, while Albania had the least branded hotels. Attachment: HORWATH HTL / European Chains & Hotels Report 2019 The report showed that the main potential is off-season offers. In Montenegro, great potential has been recognized due to the favorable conditions it offers to investors and the encouragement of a luxury tourist product. Greece is back in the top 15 world tourist destinations. In 2018, they opened 150 new luxury hotels, which contributed to the fact that one in five Greek hotels falls into the category of four or five stars. And, although on shaky ground over Brexit, the United Kingdom has invested almost € 4 billion in its hotel sector. Ratio of international and domestic brands / Horwath HTL New brands of domestic chains Ranking by destinations / Horwath HTLlast_img read more

Loose social distancing rules point to slow Indonesian recovery

first_img“The Indonesian government’s response to Covid-19 has been slow, unclear and fractured,” Fitch Solutions said in a report. “Given the late containment efforts in Indonesia, we believe that the Covid-19 outbreak will likely last longer compared to other countries in the region. As such, containment measures and border closures will also remain in place for longer.”Jokowi has rejected calls for a complete lockdown, citing the impact on jobs and businesses. But he’s pushing for stricter social distancing and this week banned an annual ritual of millions of Muslims traveling to hometowns and villages ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival. He held back on the ban until the government rolled out billions of dollars in food and social assistance programs to shield millions left jobless.Jokowi has denied charges of being slow to respond to the pandemic, saying his administration had started preparing for it as early as January but was hamstrung by “brutal competition” among nations to secure the supply of test kits and other medical equipment.Testing failure Indonesia opted for less punishing social-distancing measures than its neighbors to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Now analysts are warning its economy will take much longer to recover than others in Southeast Asia.With the peak of the pandemic expected in late May, President Joko Widodo is recalibrating his strategy of large-scale social distancing rules and calling for a ramp-up of testing to contain the impact of the virus that’s been the deadliest in Asia after China and India. While more cities are opting for partial lockdowns, more than two-thirds of the country’s 270 million population remain only under voluntary isolation, fanning infections now to more than 260 cities across the archipelago.The president’s approach to the crisis stands in sharp contrast to the nationwide lockdowns in countries like India and Malaysia, which are now set to relax some curbs. Indonesian officials estimate the disease will infect about 95,000 people before easing. Jokowi, as Widodo is known, may need to add to the $28 billion in stimulus to fight the economic shock from the pandemic. A failure to conduct mass testing in the early period of the outbreak means there may be as many as 60,000 people needing treatment by the end of May, according to Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia. The virus has infected almost 7,800 people and killed 647 even with the enforcement of some social distancing rules for more than a month.“Our estimate right now is that 86% of the infections out there are asymptomatic,” Riono said, adding the government can contain the number of people needing medical attention to about 12,000 at its peak by adopting stricter social distancing policy nationally.But concerns are mounting about the cost of protecting the economy. While countries like South Korea and Taiwan have been successful in reining in the pandemic with least disruptions to mobility, others like Japan and Singapore have tightened social distancing rules after shunning strict measures initially.Singapore — a country experienced in handling epidemics — showed it’s possible to be wrong-footed by the coronavirus. It’s now home to Southeast Asia’s largest recorded outbreak and is racing to regain control, with most new cases centered in the crowded accommodation that’s home to more than 200,000 of the city-state’s foreign workers.Indonesian authorities extended the partial lockdown in capital Jakarta for another month, saying the measures haven’t been effective enough to slow the virus spread. Governor Anies Baswedan on Wednesday threatened to slap hefty penalties on violators after authorities filed cases against more than 30 companies for failing to comply with work-from-home orders.The lax enforcement of mobility rules, which bans gatherings of more than five people but allows travel, may point to a longer recovery trajectory for Indonesia, according to Jeffrosenberg Tan, head of investment strategy at PT Sinarmas Sekuritas in Jakarta.“Looking how things are going under the stricter social distancing measures, there’s a risk that Indonesia may not reach the peak of the outbreak by May. It could be beyond June,” Tan said. “It could potentially prolong the lockdown and that would be very destructive for the economy and businesses conditions.”Weakening outlookA prolonged outbreak is weakening the outlook for Southeast Asia’s only $1 trillion economy. The government may need to expand the fiscal stimulus to 1,600 trillion rupiah ($104 billion), or about 10% of gross domestic product, to cushion the economic shock, according to nation’s top business lobby group.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has warned of a dire outcome of a contraction of 0.4% for the economy under a worst-case scenario. The government has suspended a cap on the budget deficit to give itself the leeway to boost spending. But the budget risks prompted S&P Global Ratings last week to downgrade Indonesia’s outlook to negative from stable.“While the government and the central bank have made aggressive moves to stimulate the economy, we believe that these efforts will not be enough to offset the devastating effects the Covid-19 pandemic will have on employment and public health in Indonesia,” Fitch Solutions said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Three houses that sold below the Brisbane median today

first_img62 Sherwood Road, Rocklea, Qld 4106. $402,000 sold on 21 April 2017. Picture: Realestate.com.auTHESE three houses in Brisbane’s middle ring have sold in the $400,000s today, below the Queensland capital’s median sale price of $515,000.A three bedroom, one bathroom, four car space home at 62 Sherwood Road, Rocklea, in Brisbane’s south has been sold for $402,000 today, according to Realestate.com.au.Agent Kenneth Mow of Jensen Property had marketed it as great for a first home or investment.The home had been renovated throughout, with air-conditioned living and kitchen zones, internal laundry, plus high 2.7 metre ceilings. Three of the car spaces were in large lockup garage that could double as a workshop space for tradies or hobbies.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home6 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours ago41 Gilston Street, Keperra, Qld 4054. $440,000 sold on 21 April 2017. Picture: Realestate.com.auREA also listed a two bedroom, one bathroom home at 41 Gilston Street, Keperra, as having gone under contract today for $440,000.The home had been billed as a “renovator” that could provide a “great opportunity” for anyone willing to put the work into it.“This renovator enjoys an elevated position with leafy views and is only a short walk to local shops and train station,” was how agents Simon Whitehead and Robert Russell of Harcourts Solutions marketed the property. 14 Natasha Street, Wynnum West, Qld 4178: $485,000 sold on 21 April 2017. Picture: Realestate.com.auA three bedder at 14 Natasha Street, Wynnum West, was also among those that sold today, fetching $485,000.Agent Chris Pisani of Johnson Real Estate – Manly West had marketed the one bedroom, two car space home as having “heaps of potential with a great big backyard”.last_img read more

House prices in Gladstone and Mackay outperform market

first_imgAn aerial view of Gladstone, which has seen a near 12 per cent increase in house prices.HOUSE prices in Gladstone have jumped nearly 12 per cent after hitting rock bottom last quarter as the market recovers from a prolonged property slump.The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland show investors are returning to the central Queensland region as demand outweighs supply in a thriving rental market and the local economy recovers from the mining downturn.Gladstone was the surprise standout performer in the latest REIQ Quarterly Market Monitor — recording quarter on quarter growth of 11.8 per cent in its median sales price. This five-bedroom house at 3 Vincent Street, West Gladstone, is for sale for $449,000.Annually, the city’s median house price rose 3.7 per cent to a still very affordable $280,000.The figures confirm the latest Herron Todd White report, which found Gladstone’s vacancy rate has fallen to 1.8 per cent — the lowest since 2012. The report stated affordability was still a “key driver” of the market and was attracting newcomers.Further north, Mackay also outperformed the rest of the Queensland housing market, with its median house price growing by 3.9 per cent in the September quarter. Mackay house prices increased nearly 4 per cent in the September quarter, according to the REIQ.Home prices also headed north on the Fraser Coast, with the region posting 1.6 per cent annual growth in its median sale price to $325,000.Despite that growth, the REIQ says the region is still on the road to recovery.When it comes to units, Noosa stood out ahead of other regions with a whopping 15.4 per cent growth quarter on quarter in median sales price to $650,000.The unit market’s weakest performers for the quarter included Mackay and Logan, recording quarter on quarter growth of negative 27.6 per cent and negative 10.2 per cent respectively.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoThe state’s rental market tightened at a quicker pace between the June and September quarters this year compared to last year, indicating demand for rental accommodation continues to remain high. REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella. Photo: Claudia Baxter.Brisbane LGA’s vacancy rate tightened to 1.6 per cent — the lowest rate for the region in over a decade. This being an indicator of a highly competitive market where oversupply of new rental stock is quickly taken up.The Greater Brisbane market also recorded its lowest vacancy rate in more than 10 years at 1.7 per cent, placing it well within the tight range.Gympie became the tightest rental market in the September quarter, reporting a vacancy rate of just 0.3 per cent.last_img read more

Liking a lie-in in people’s genes, researchers say

first_img Share 10 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img HealthLifestyle Liking a lie-in in people’s genes, researchers say by: – December 5, 2011 Tweet The study involved more than 10,000 people in a number of European countriesPeople who like a lie-in may now have an excuse – it is at least partly down to their genes, according to experts.Experts, who studied more than 10,000 people across Europe, found those with the gene ABCC9 need around 30 minutes more sleep per night than those without the gene.The gene is carried by one in five Europeans, they say in their study, published in Molecular Psychiatry.The researchers said the finding could help explain “sleep behaviour”.Over 10,000 people took part, each reporting how long they slept and providing a blood sample for DNA analysis.People’s sleep needs can differ significantly.At the extreme, Margaret Thatcher managed on four hours of sleep a night while Albert Einstein needed 11.Fruit fliesPeople from the Orkney Isles, Croatia, the Netherlands, Italy, Estonia and Germany took part in the study.All were asked about their sleep patterns on “free” days, when people did not need to get up for work the next day, take sleeping pills or work shifts. When the researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich compared these figures with the results of the genetic analysis, they found those with a variation of a gene known as ABCC9 needed more sleep than the eight-hour average.They then looked at how the gene works in fruit flies, who also have it and found flies without ABCC9 slept for three hours less than normal.The gene ABCC9 is involved in sensing energy levels of cells in the body. They say this opens up a new line of research in sleep studies, and it is hoped that future work could establish exactly how this gene variant regulates how long people sleep for.Dr Jim Wilson, from the University of Edinburgh’s centre for population health sciences, said: “Humans sleep for approximately one-third of their lifetime. “A tendency to sleep for longer or shorter periods often runs in families despite the fact that the amount of sleep people need can be influenced by age, latitude, season and circadian rhythms. “These insights into the biology of sleep will be important in unravelling the health effects of sleep behaviour.”Sleep expert Neil Stanley said around half a dozen genes had been linked to sleep patterns.He added: “It’s interesting to know about these genes, but in a way our genes are an irrelevance unless you were actually to obey them – but none of us do that.”BBC Newslast_img read more

WPB Woman Gives Birth To Twins Twice in One Year

first_imgOne South Florida woman hit the twin lottery. She gave birth to two sets of twins in one year.Alexzandria Wolliston gave birth to her first set of twin boys, named Mark and Malakhi, in March of this year.On December 27th, the West Palm Beach resident welcomed Kaylen and Kaleb into the world.“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never thought I would have two,’” she said to NBC affiliate WPTV-TV.Wollison said she didn’t think that twins ran in her family until finding out that both her grandmothers had lost a set of twins at birth.“I always say that I feel like my grandmothers gave me their kids,” Wolliston explained. “I feel like they just sent them down for me.”Wollison, who also has a three-year-old daughter at home, recently brought Kaleb home from the NICU and hopes to do the same with Kaylen soon – and does not plan on having any more kids at this time.last_img read more