Source = Destination Wollongong “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming the maiden voyage of Radiance of the Seas into Port Kembla in October”.“Royal Caribbean has displayed a very clear vision for growth in Wollongong from the moment we started discussions and we look forward to a very exciting future with the cruise industry”.“Given the incremental growth of cruise numbers in Australia and the capacity limits being met in Sydney Harbour, Wollongong is perfectly positioned to help the state government meet the aspirational target of doubling the overnight visitor economy by 2020 by facilitating growth in a sector that is otherwise constrained.Being located only 73km from Sydney International Airport, Port Kembla provides a viable alternative for cruise lines looking to turn cruise ships around in the highly competitive Sydney market.”“Additionally, the incredible range of world class, commercial tourism product available within a 60km drive of the port opens up opportunities for everyone from grandparents to young children to have a day out in Wollongong they will never forget.”Guests will have had the opportunity to pre purchase tours and will spend the day soaking up the myriad natural wonders and attractions the area has to offer. A diverse showcase has been curated for their selection including a trip to meet the local wildlife at Symbio Wildlife Park, tour of the lush Southern Highlands and coastal beauty Kiama and a spiritual journey to experience the cultural significance of the Nan Tien Temple – the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere.Now, with just over six weeks to go, it’s all-hands-on-deck as Royal Caribbean International and the City of Wollongong toast to an exciting sea change on the horizon. Radiance of the SeasWollongong in shipshape form ahead of RCI maiden visitThe buzz has been building in Wollongong, NSW, as the Illawarra region prepares for its very first cruise ship call when Royal Caribbean’s megaliner Radiance of the Seas arrives on October 30, 2016.Known as an innovative player within cruising circles, the interest of Miami-headquartered Royal Caribbean International could open Wollongong to cruise tourism long-term. When Radiance of the Seas berths at Port Kembla in October, the one-day visit is set to be a significant and game-changing event across all sectors of the region’s economy.Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director in Australia and New Zealand, Adam Armstrong, said the visit will be just the first step in a new partnership between the cruise line and the port.“I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will bring one of the largest and most feature packed megaliners in Australian waters to the South Coast of NSW, when Port Kembla becomes the newest destination for Radiance of the Seas.”“We hope that this will be the first of many calls for Royal Caribbean – we’ve already confirmed two further calls from Explorer of the Seas for 2018 – and we believe there is a real opportunity here for Wollongong and Port Kembla to entice the wider cruising industry,” Armstrong commented.“Including Wollongong on our itineraries has already produced an incredible level of excitement amongst our guests and crew for the newest Royal Caribbean destination. At the same time, we look forward to exploring Port Kembla as an alternative port to manage overflow to congestion in Sydney Harbour,” Armstrong concluded.The 293m long and 32m wide cruise ship will make its visit to Wollongong, docking at Port Kembla at 8am and leaving at 5pm. Radiance of the Seas will bring 2,400 guests and 700 crew, who will be disembarking from 8.15am, after an enthusiastic welcome from locals at vantage points in Port Kembla and the area’s beaches.General Manager of Destination Wollongong, Mark Sleigh, is confident that this will be the first, of many, future visits of cruise lines into Port Kembla.
Hawaiian Airlines expands popular Business Class Auction Upgrade program to AustraliaHawaiian Airlines expands popular Business Class Auction Upgrade program to AustraliaEffective 3 August 2017, Hawaiian Airlines will introduce its extremely popular “Bid Up by Hawaiian Airlines” program to the Australian market.Bid Up by Hawaiian Airlines is an auction upgrade service allowing guests to elevate their in-flight experience by bidding on available Business Class seats. It was first launched for guests travelling traveling between Hawai‘i and North America in June 2016.From 3 August, Bid Up by Hawaiian Airlines will be available to all economy class guests flying on at least one Hawaiian Airlines operated flights between Australia and Hawaii and North America.“We’re delighted to introduce Bid Up to our Australian guests,” said Gai Tyrrell, Hawaiian Airlines Regional Director Australia.“It provides our passengers with an appealing option to try our new Lie Flat Business Class planning travel from Australia to Hawaiʻi,” she said.Eligible guests will receive a Bid Up email approximately 10 days prior to departure inviting them to bid for available Business Class seats on Hawaiian Airlines. Successful bidders will be notified 48 hours prior to departure.Guests taking advantage of Bid Up will enjoy the many benefits of Hawaiian’s Business Class including: Two complimentary checked bags with Priority Baggage handling; expedited check-in lines; access to Hawaiian Airlines Premier Clubs; priority pre-boarding; award-winning regional cuisine from acclaimed Chef Chai Chaowasaree; unlimited in-flight beverage service; free access to the latest movies, hours of TV and music programming; and much more.The expansion of the Bid Up by Hawaiian program means Australian economy class travellers have a chance to bid for an upgrade to the airline’s outstanding new fully lie-flat Business Class seating. Hawaiian’s wide-body, twin-aisle A330-200 aircraft seat 278 passengers, with 18 in the Premium Cabin, 68 in Extra Comfort and 192 in the Main Cabin. Seat pitch in the Main Cabin will remain a roomy 31 inches.For more information, please CLICK HERE Source = Hawaiian Airlines
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd announces new terminal at Port MiamiNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today unveiled the design of the new and dedicated Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at PortMiami. The terminal at PortMiami represents the continued relationship and strong ties between Norwegian and Miami, which has been the company’s home since its launch in 1966. Pending the final approval by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the project will commence in May 2018, and is scheduled for completion by the North-American autumn of 2019, as Norwegian Encore, the newest ship of the Breakaway Plus class, makes her debut in Miami with seasonal cruises to the Caribbean.“Norwegian has been sailing from Miami for over fifty years, longer than any other cruise line, and we are honoured to be partnering with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to construct an iconic terminal that will contribute to Miami’s world famous skyline and strengthen its position as the Cruise Capital of the World,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This terminal marks the latest step in our continual efforts to strengthen our presence in strategic home ports around the world. We look forward to welcoming Norwegian Encore and the thousands of guests sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line and her sister brands to this state-of-the-art terminal.”Norwegian is widely recognised for introducing modern-day cruising more than 50 years ago, by transforming a common means of transportation to a new style of holiday with its first Caribbean voyages out of the port of Miami and launching the city’s status as the “cruising capital of the world.” As a result of the continued relationship, Miami-Dade County will invest US$100 million to build a new terminal dedicated to Norwegian CruiseLine, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. augmenting the county’s allocated funds with its own contribution to PortMiami, as was unveiled today at a press conference held at the 2018 Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition.“Investing in PortMiami’s infrastructure positions Miami as a global destination for visitors,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The construction of a new cruise terminal with the capacity to berth an additional 5,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community. We are grateful for Norwegian Cruise Line’s continued partnership.”“PortMiami is proud to be recognised as the Cruise Capital of the World, welcoming more passengers than any other port in the world,” said Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. “Norwegian Cruise Line’s partnership is a big win for the growth and expansion of tourism in Miami-Dade County. We are honoured by our partner’s commitment to PortMiami and Miami-Dade County.”Globally recognised for their award-winning designs and projects around the world, the Miami-based firm of Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc., was selected to design the new terminal. The project will be constructed to LEED Silver standards, focusing on innovation in design and terminal operation to create a platform that will optimise energy performance, indoor air quality, water efficiencies and maximize the use of local materials and resources. After the press conference, attendees were able to get a close-up look of the new terminal through an interactive 3D virtual reality experience and model on display.“The new Norwegian terminal will set the standard for passenger comfort and experience and will become an iconic building on Miami’s waterfront, a true representation of the role that Norwegian and PortMiami played as the pioneers of modern cruising,” says Luis Ajamil, president and chief executive officer of Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc.The modern terminal draws its inspiration from a nautilus, with its spiralled and multi-level façade, opening up to grand ocean views. Once complete it will be the new “pearl” of Miami, redefining the landscape of the city’s skyline. Innovative lighting, inviting indoor and outdoor waiting areas and other guest-centric elements will enhance the overall passenger experience. At nearly 166,500 square feet, the debuting Norwegian terminal will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers, and feature new technology to support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in. A dedicated lounge and service area will facilitate a warm and welcoming sense of arrival for large groups and charters, and a new parking garage, and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal and lounge are also scheduled to be completed.Norwegian Cruise Line maintains an ongoing commitment to Miami, offering new and enhanced itineraries and ships for guests to discover year round with the freedom and flexibility they can only experience with Norwegian at sea.For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line visit www.ncl.com, contact the brands dedicated local contact centre in Australia on 1300 255 200 or in New Zealand on 0800 969 283; or follow us on the following social channels for the latest company news & exclusive content: Facebook, Instagram and Youtube: @NorwegianCruiseLine; Twitter, Periscope and Snapchat: @CruiseNorwegian.Source = Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd
IHG introduces voco™ to Sydney’s CBDIHG introduces voco™ to Sydney’s CBDIHG has signed its fifth voco™ in Australia since the brand’s global launch in June of 2018, partnering with Linzhu Australia Pty Ltd to open voco Sydney Central by 2020.Part of Linzhu Australia’s 430 Pitt Street mixed-use development, the property boasts a stunning seventeen-storey tower with a sloping roof featuring unique “green waterfalls”. Guests will be treated to the ultimate upscale voco experience, that celebrates the individuality of the hotel, stunning location and local people, with each stay tailored to deliver a unique and memorable experience.The property was originally slated as a Holiday Inn in 2017, however as the growing precinct continues to develop and there is more of a need for quality accommodation options for business and leisure travellers in Sydney CBD, it became clear that it was taking shape as an upscale hotel with a very distinctive character.Jinwen Lin, Chairman at Linzhu Australia, said: “After attending the voco launch event in Sydney, I immediately fell in love with the brand. I realised that voco was a perfect fit for the property in Sydney Central. We look forward to adding another memorable and distinctive property to the voco portfolio. We are delighted to be able to add upscale, indulgent room features and facilities to the property for our guests for the complete voco™ experience.”For voco™ Sydney Central, all the elements of the voco life will be on offer, including 301 guest rooms that are designed around the ‘Me Time’ concept with premium beds for a quality sleep experience, superior showers, innovative lighting and user-friendly technology. Beyond guest rooms, the hotel will feature an all-day design-led restaurant and bar, and guest gym.Abhijay Sandilya, IHG’s Senior Director of Development – Australasia, added: “We are thrilled to continue this journey with Linzhu Australia to bring the fifth voco to the iconic Sydney CBD landscape. voco celebrates the individuality of the hotel, stunning location and local people, with each stay tailored to deliver a unique and memorable experience to Sydneysiders, Australians and guests from all around the world. The signing continues the rapid growth of the voco brand since it launched in June 2018, complementing voco Gold Coast, voco Yarra Valley, voco Kirkton Park and voco Melbourne Central.”voco Sydney Central will be located on 430 Pitt Street, an enviable location in the heart of Sydney CBD, just moments away from the iconic Capitol Theatre, with easy access to George Street light rail, Central Station and Sydney’s new Convention Centre.Launched in June of last year, the voco brand is growing in momentum across Australia, now with a leisure beach destination in the Gold Coast, two locations in desirable the wine regions of the Hunter and Yarra Valley and, with the addition of Sydney CBD, soon to be two central CBD locations in Australia’s largest cities. This distinctive brand will offer owners the ability to drive higher returns by delivering a compelling guest experience and leveraging IHG’s powerful systems.Holiday Inn also continues to go from strength to strength as IHG has put a focus on regional growth in Australia and New Zealand. There have been several recent Holiday Inn signings across ANZ, including in Queenstown, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne Dandenong, Geelong, Melbourne Ringwood, Melbourne Coburg and Melbourne Werribee, which are all new build properties that will set a benchmark for the brand in the region.IHG currently has 49 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, voco and Holiday Inn Express, with another 29 in the pipeline.*Numbers correct as at end March 2019Source = IHG
Royal Nepal Airlines (RNA) is considering restarting operations from Kolkata again next year onwards. Initially, it has plans to start operations with three flights a week. Currently, Air India is the only airline that connects Kathmandu with Kolkata, operating four flights a week.“We have been doing feasibility studies for a while. There is a good demand from tourists who are keen to travel to Nepal from the east, but are unable to do so due to lack of flight options. The airline is likely to begin flight services between Kathmandu and Kolkata again from the first quarter of 2016,” an RNA official said.RNA last departed from Kolkata around the year 2000. Since then, several private airline carriers from Nepal, including Necon Air, Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Everest Air, tried to start operations from Kolkata but never took off.RNA plans to operate an Airbus A320-200 aircraft with 150 economy and eight business class seats. The official said the airline had been advised to fly into Kolkata on days on which there would not be any Air India flight to Kathmandu to ensure good passenger load right from the beginning.While the airline will primarily target tourist traffic, it is also eyeing the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions traffic. Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), eastern region Chairman, Anil Punjabi said the sector was expected to do great business as Nepal was inexpensive, offered great scenic destinations, had pleasant weather all year round and Indians did not require travel documents to visit the country. Casinos were an added attraction. Punjabi further suggested that the airline can keep return tickets to Kathmandu below Rs 10,000 to attract passengers.
Chile has witnessed a 35% rise in cruise ship passenger arrivals in 2015-16 with a record number of 414,000.Nine ports in Chile received 217 visitors by foreign-flagged cruise ships during the six months ending on March 31. Such an increase has been fuelled by a fee reduction for lighthouses, prompting large vessels like the U.S.-based Norwegian Cruise Line to return to the southern waters.Punta Arenas, to the extreme south of Chile, had 30% more cruise visitors with 109.746 cruise passengers and crew members.In the period 2014-15, 78.908 cruise visitors landed at the destination, while the number of cruise vessel calls which visited mostly Punta Arenas increased from 48 to 54.According to The Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (CNC), cruise ship visitors spent $80 ($A105.21) a day on average in the northern port of Arica, with the figure rising to $120 ($A157.81) a day in Puerto Montt in the south.The cruise ship sector is anticipating a growth between three to four percent worldwide in the following season.
International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) was recently held in Nassau. R N Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation said that the conference was attended by 106 out of 191 ICAO member countries. India held negotiations with 17 countries and a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was signed with 12.The major issues resolved at these negotiations as per the directions in National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016):1. Increase in traffic rights – India renegotiated traffic rights with Oman increasing the entitlements with 6,258 seats effective from summer 2017 as the existing entitlements were nearly exhausted. India agreed with Saudi Arabia to increase the capacity by 8000 seats per week from IATA season when Indian carrier’s utilisation reaches 80%. India also agreed with Ghana to increase the present allocation of two frequencies to seven frequencies per week to encourage connectivity between the two countries.2. Open Skies agreement as per NCAP 2016 – allows an unlimited number of flights to six metro airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, was signed with six countries namely Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. The new arrangement would encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and these countries.3. New Air Service Agreements were signed with Jamaica and Guyana.4. Code Shares- In the present scenario codeshares provide seamless connectivity to the travelling passengers and make possible connectivity between far off destinations not served by direct flights. As per NCAP 2016 codeshares are to be encouraged and keeping this in view, negotiations were completed with nine countries to enable the legal framework between the governments of these countries to make possible codeshares between the airlines of two sides.5. Resolution of other issues relating to Air Services Agreement was also completed with Ghana, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Hong Kong, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.
Trekking is a sport that is gaining fast popularity in the recent days, so much so that there is a huge community who have come together sharing their love for this alternative sport. Of a lot of places, Maharashtra is one place that has a range of trekking destinations laced in rich history.Panhala to Pawankhind trek is one of the most popular treks. Unlike the other treks, this is a popular trek as the starting point and the end point both are enriched with the bravery of the Marathas. The Maratha army took it on themselves to rescue their Great Maratha Warrior – Shivaji who was held captive in Panhala Fort to Pawankhind. This route has become so popular that the ‘Rugged Sahyadri Ultra Trail Run’ attracts a huge number of participants every year. The route is a complete package with treading village backroads, through thick vegetation and rugged trails. Deepak R Harane, Regional Manager, MTDC Pune stated, “Kolhapur is blessed with rich history and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. The natural beauty, forts, and dam built by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, cascading waterfalls are the great attraction for tourists. Strong and historic fort of Panhala is closer to Kolhapur city, which reverberates with the courage of Bajiprabhu Deshpande. Shivaji Maharaj courageously escaped from the clutches of Siddhi Johar, with the help of Bajiprabhu Deshpande who was martyred during the escape. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is wholeheartedly supporting and assisting the Rugged Sahyadri Ultra Trail Run.”Prabalgad Fort and Irshalgad Fortress are two popular ones in Matheran. Throughout the trekking route, there are about 28 viewpoints in different places around the area. The Prabalgad Fort and the Kalavantin Fort are the two places where the crowd flocks. The Prabalgad Fort was originally called the Murarjan before the Marathas took it over and renamed it, under Shivaji’s rule.Korigad Fort Trek is one based amidst clouds. Located around 20 km far from Lonavala, Korigad Fort has two routes reaching it. One starts from the Peth Shahpur village and the other will take you through the Ambavne village. Akash Korgaonkar, Founder-Director, Ruggedian Lifestyle revealed, “Youngsters love to explore places that have the historical touch to it. They love to walk along the same paths, see the forts, cannons, canals from the times of history. We get hundreds of participants every year for Rugged Sahyadri Ultra Trail Run, especially for the historical route connection.”
Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Existing-Home Sales Rebound from Late-Summer Decline Sales of existing homes rebounded in September following a dip in August, coming back to post their highest annual pace so far this year.Total existing-home sales, including single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops, inched up 2.4 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.17 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday. August sales were at a rate of 5.05 million, down nearly 2 percent from July.”Low interest rates and price gains holding steady led to September’s healthy increase, even with investor activity remaining on par with last month’s marked decline,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Traditional buyers are entering a less competitive market with fewer investors searching for available homes, but may also face a slight decline in choices due to the fact that inventory generally falls heading into winter.”While September’s sales rate marks a 2014 high, transaction volume remained down 1.7 percent compared to last September’s annual sales rate of 5.26 million units.The median home price for all existing housing types last month was $209,700, an increase of 5.6 percent over September 2013 but a step back from August’s reported price of $219,800. Existing-home prices have climbed annually for 31 straight months.With prices on the rise, mortgage rates continue to descend, recently settling in at their lowest level in more than a year, helping to boost affordability. Still, inventory shortages and financial stress are putting a damper on activity from first-time homebuyers, who accounted for 29 percent of September sales. First-time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers for 17 of the past 18 months, NAR says.Meanwhile, all-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in September, up slightly from August but down from approximately one-third in September 2013. Individual investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes last month.Three of the country’s four major regions posted monthly gains in existing-home sales last month. According to NAR, sales were up 1.5 percent in the Northeast to an annual rate of 680,000; 5.0 percent in the South to a rate of 2.12 million; and 7.1 percent in the West to a rate of 1.2 million. Only the Midwest reported a decline, with sales falling 5.6 percent to 1.17 million.Compared to last year, all regions except the South posted decreases. Sales in that region were up 1.4 percent compared to declines of 1.4 percent in the Northeast, 4.9 percent in the Midwest, and 4 percent in the West. October 21, 2014 451 Views Existing-Home Sales National Association of Realtors 2014-10-21 Tory Barringer
Auction.com Existing-Home Sales Google 2014-10-30 Tory Barringer A new estimator of existing-home sales landed on Thursday, and it’s calling for a slight pickup in transactions for October.With help from Internet giant Google, Auction.com announced the launch of “Nowcast,” a new housing report designed to combine industry data, proprietary company transaction data, and Google Trends findings to predict market trends as they’re happening. The result is a statistical report released monthly, weeks before other closely watched real estate data—such as the National Association of Realtors’ existing-home sales survey—comes out.The report is based on data modeling developed by Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, who described Nowcasting as “contemporaneous forecasting.””Google Trends data—which is anonymized, publicly available search information—offers valuable insights into current economic and consumer trends,” Varian said. “By layering industry-specific transactional data and subject matter expertise over that search data, organizations such as Auction.com are able to create powerful predictive models for accurately forecasting buying behavior in the present and for the coming months.”According to Auction.com, internal testing conducted for the months of April–September showed “considerable accuracy” in predicting market performance.Based on data collected for this month, Auction.com predicts existing-home sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual averages of 4.97 and 5.38 million units, with a targeted prediction of 5.19 million. October’s sales rate comes just above September’s rate of 5.10 million (as predicted by Auction.com).Nowcast’s development comes more than half a year after Google’s growth equity fund, Google Capital, invested $50 million into Auction.com. Using that support and Google’s access to data and analytics, the company says it hopes to expand its monthly forecast to also predict new home sales and home pricing trends.”Auction.com’s ability to deliver timely analysis of current market conditions can provide critical insight and enhanced predictability to industry professionals, economists and government entities alike,” said Rick Sharga, EVP for Auction.com. “Since real estate trends play such a vital role in our overall economy, there’s a compelling need for accurate, more timely housing market forecasts, rather than data that comes out two to four weeks later.” Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News October 30, 2014 479 Views Newly Launched Survey Predicts Uptick in Home Sales
In a continuation of its philanthropic efforts, The Five Star Institute, along with Dimont & Associates, Auction.com, and others, participated as a tournament sponsor for the Texas Neurofibromatosis (NF) Foundation’s Texas NF Golf Classic, which took place Monday, November 3, at the picturesque Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving.The Texas NF Golf Classic is an annual charity golf tournament to raise awareness and funding to fight neurofibromatosis (NF), a neurological disease that affects an average of one in every 3,000 people. It is more prevalent than Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy combined. NF occurs equally in both men and women, in all races and ethnic groups. NF particularly affects children and can cause disfigurement, deafness, blindness, brain tumors, cancer, and even death. There is currently no cure or long-term treatment available for this debilitating disease.At the invitation of presenting sponsor Dimont & Associates, Five Star President and CEO Ed Delgado addressed the crowd of golfers, sponsors, and other event attendees during the award luncheon following the tournament on Monday afternoon. Delgado spoke about NF and what the mortgage industry is doing to offer support to the cause of finding a cure. He noted that the long climb toward a cure would take a collective effort.”I would like to thank Five Star, not only for their participation, but for the very wonderful words that Ed Delgado spoke at the event,” said Joe McCloskey, SVP of business development with Dimont. “That’s very important. Thank you, Five Star, for taking such an active role in the charity event and in the fight to find a cure for NF.”The event was a rousing success with greater participation than ever before—88 golfers signed up, the most in the tournament’s history. This was the sixth year in which Dimont & Associates has been a presenting sponsor for the Texas NF Golf Classic.”It is so great that it’s also really a part of an industry effort and a commitment from different people who give very generously to support the charity,” McCloskey said. “It was an event where people stepped outside of their norms and outside of their offices to enjoy themselves collectively as a group. It was really a heartwarming commitment to helping out the charity.”One hundred percent of the net proceeds raised at the Texas NF Golf Classic go toward medical research or to assist those affected by NF. Since 2009, the annual golf tournament has been responsible for raising just under a quarter million dollars for NF research. This year’s tournament resulted in a $50,000 grant funded to Kristine Vogel, Ph.D., the assistant professor of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.”This is a disease that affects so many people, yet there is so little familiarity with the disease itself on a broad social level,” McCloskey said. “It’s really important to be able to highlight that and raise awareness that this is a disease that affects so many people, particularly so many young people. There are many wonderful causes, and this is one of them. The foundation not only works in terms of the commitment to helping research to find a cure, it also provides a lot of support for people who are afflicted by the disease and their families. That’s an important thing because this is a disease which is very demanding. It takes a toll on the people and families that are affected by it. The foundation stands behind those people even as we work to find a cure. It provides opportunities for clinics, for educational seminars, and for broader outreach to the public.”Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and theMReport.com. Share Five Star Institute’s Delgado Delivers Remarks at NF Charity Golf Tournament in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Community Five Star Institute 2014-11-03 Seth Welborn November 3, 2014 470 Views
Home Sales Inventory RE/MAX National Housing Report 2015-10-15 Staff Writer Home sales in the fall season have cooled down 8.6 percent in September compared to August, but remain 6.8 percent above last years’ levels.A National Housing Report from RE/MAX found that completed transactions in September reached a new peak since the report began in 2008.During the first nine months of 2015, the average year-over-year increase for sales reached 5.9 percent. The last eight months, including September, have each recorded the the highest number of sales in their respective month since the report began.RE/MAX also reported that 45 of the 53 metro areas surveyed recorded higher sales year-over-year, with 22 experiencing double-digit increases.“Home sales usually cool down in the fall and it looks like this year is no exception, but September is falling right in line with the summer months with sales much higher than last year,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, chairman of the Board and Co-Founder.Top Sales Increases:Wichita, Kansas: 22.0 percentManchester, New Hampshire: 21.0 percentBoise, Indiana: 18.8 percentWilmington, Delaware: 17.3 percentRichmond, Virginia: 16.4 percentAccording to the report, the median sales price for all homes in September fell 3.2 percent from August to $209,000, 7.2 percent above the price a year ago. Prices have risen for 44 consecutive months.”Prices are also moderating on a month-to-month basis, and mortgage rates remain low. This translates to more attractive home affordability,” Liniger said.Top Price Increases:Nashville, Tennessee: 13.7 percentDenver, Colorado: 13.0 percentTampa, Florida: 11.5 percentOrlando, Florida: 11.4 percentLas Vegas, Nevada: 10.9 percentRE/MAX also noted that “although prices appear to be dropping as fall begins, low inventory continues to pressure prices on a year-or-year basis.”Inventory of homes for sale remains an issue, with 12.8 percent less homes compared to last year and 3.0 percent less than in August. Homes stayed on the market for an average on 62 days in September, up three days from August. The months supply of inventory was 4.5, up from 4.1 recorded in August and nearly the same as the 4.9 average last September.Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News October 15, 2015 455 Views Home Sales Settle in September, But Remain Higher Than Last Year Share
The housing market is six years into the current recovery, and while banks are generally in good health, worrisome signs of credit risk are still prevalent among these institutions.The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 2015 Annual Report, which is required by Congress to report “a summary of the state and condition” of the national banking system and any recommendations for “any amendment to the laws relative to banking,” found that banks are performing well, but maintaining the influx of growth is becoming challenging.The report showed that banks were generally profitable in 2015 and experienced “steady loan growth and relatively few problem assets.” System-wide profitability reached 10.0 percent in 2015, up from 9.9 percent in 2014, but still well below pre-crisis levels. Both net interest income and noninterest income increased during the first half of 2015 among banks, while net income rose $3 billion year-over-year.”The improving economy stimulated loan growth in the federal banking system in 2015,” the OCC report stated. “The result is a stronger federal banking system than existed before the crisis.”Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, noted that some banks are targeting less creditworthy consumers and easing their lending standards to keep up with growing competition .”If these loans deteriorate, and if banks do not have the appropriate risk management processes and structures in place to measure, monitor, and control the increased credit risk, banks could be forced to curtail lending even to creditworthy customers, adversely affecting the broader economy,” the report said.Banks should consider the meaning of success, both in the short and long term, by rewarding behaviors that contribute to the institution’s long-term safety and soundness and not just those that add to its bottom line in the near term.Curry noted that there are two kinds of competition among banks:Negative competition is the type that can lead to lowering standards and adopting shortcuts in risk management and controls.Positive competition, on the other hand, fosters innovation in product quality, customer service, and managerial efficiency.”Banks that engage in responsible innovation are likely to remain relevant to their customers and secure in their role in the payments and credit systems,” he said.Curry added, “It’s important that banks continue to think outside the box. It’s just as important that their regulators think outside the box as well. In the run-up to the financial crisis, complex products were introduced faster than state and federal regulators could absorb and comprehend them. With hindsight, it’s clear that banks didn’t fully understand the risks some of these products entailed. But then again, neither did their regulators, and that is our responsibility.”Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Origination February 8, 2016 474 Views Banks Credit Risk Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 2016-02-08 Staff Writer OCC: Banks Healthy, but Credit Risk Levels…Not So Much Share
in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Donald TrumpRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been mostly silent about housing during his campaign. But on Thursday, he shared with a crowd of home building professionals that the home building business and housing industry taught him everything he knows.In his speech at the National Association of Home Builders’ 2016 Midyear Board of Directors Meeting in Miami, Florida, Trump focused on the idea that because his father was in the home building business, he learned firsthand with it looks like to work hard saying, “there is no greater thing you can do.”“I have great respect for home builders, because I grew up with a home builder,” said Trump. “He was a really good home builder. And I used to sit at his knee with blocks, and I’d watch my father or listen to my father negotiate on the phone with the plumbers, and the sheetrockers, and the electricians. . all of them. And I learned.”Trump remarked that he really felt like he knew the audience because he understands where they come from. Trump stated that one of the big issues facing the housing industry, though, was regulation. Trump notes that in particular there is no group regulated harder than the housing industry. Trump feels that these regulations kill not just the small businesses but jobs in general. Trump plans to eliminate these regulations and instead implement a method of creating jobs without regulation.“You’re amazing people. You can do amazing things.”Donald Trump, addressing the NAHB“Overregulation, which is a big problem, is costing our economy 2 trillion dollars a year,” said Trump. “Think of that. And you are a big beneficiary of overregulation, because there’s nobody other than, I would say, the energy industry, that is overregulated more than the home building industry. Nobody.”Trump said that he believes unemployment is not 5 percent, but instead is probably 20 or 21 percent and he stated some people think it’s higher. He shared that he believes eliminating regulation is the only way to create jobs and America will benefit from jobs created without regulation.”I learned from a man who knew many things. I learned what I had and what I have from a home builder.” @realDonaldTrump— NAHB (@NAHBhome) August 11, 2016“The U.S. economy today is 25 percent smaller than it would have been without the surge of regulations since 1980,” said Trump. “So many businesses knocked down. We will issue an executive order to impose a temporary regulation moratorium on new agency regulations.”In addition to these points, Trump also zeroed in on his plans to reduce taxes for particularly small businesses saying Hillary Clinton plans announcing her plan to increase taxes but he plans to reduce then by 15 percent in order to let small businesses flourish and find money to invest in expansions.Trump ended his time noting the love he feels towards those in small businesses and particularly the home building industry. “You’re amazing people. You can do amazing things. No go back and build homes and create jobs and we will make, together, America great again.” Share Donald Trump HOUSING National Association of Home Builders 2016-08-11 Seth Welborn At Last, Trump Speaks Out on Housing August 11, 2016 692 Views
Bob Golic once described playing nose guard in the National Football League like being a fire hydrant in the middle of a dog kennel. You’re the object of unwanted attention and treated with indignation and scorn; and it stinks.Cards 1-Technique, Dan Williams, can empathize. Dumpster Dan has been in the middle of the maelstrom since he came into the league in 2010 as a first-round draft pick. And the Cardinals believe he is the fulcrum for their rush defense in 2013. Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Williams has been beat up and banged up in his three years with the Cards, missing eight games during that dispensation, and the difference on the line of scrimmage is palpable when he isn’t playing. Williams is 327 pounds and capable of holding up at the point of attack. He had his most productive season last year, recording 33 solo tackles and 44 combined. He has lost a considerable amount of weight, which allows him to move down the line and make plays via pursuit, but still has the butt and gut to stand in the breach.As the Cards prepare to open their season on the road in St. Louis this Sunday, it’s good to see Williams is practicing and believes he’ll be at full speed by game day. The left ankle that has given him problems throughout his career is healing well and this is great news for Arizona.Although the reports out of St. Louis say the Rams are going to move away from being a run-first team, something their color analyst confirmed on the Doug & Wolf Show, I don’t believe those reports. And, for the record, neither does Williams and teammate Calais Campbell. They told me as much during the Big Red Rage broadcast Wednesday night. Sunday is going to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of this football team. If Williams is healthy, don’t expect their rush defense to be a weakness. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Williams added he’s seen a lot of growth from Peterson over the years and how difficult of a match-up he is for any wide receiver.“I think instinctually he’s gotten a lot better, with pattern reading and things like that,” Williams said. “He’s getting better every year and that’s going to be a challenge for us this Sunday, trying to go up against him and beat him.”In four career games against the Cardinals, Williams has 10 catches for 100 yards and one touchdown. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo When the Arizona Cardinals travel to San Francisco on Sunday, they’ll play a familiar face in 49ers receiver Kyle Williams, a Chaparral High School and Arizona State product. Williams, who missed the end of the 2012 season with a torn ACL, told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Friday he’s always excited to play the Cardinals as he has a connection with a lot of players on their roster. “I’m from there,” Williams told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Friday. “Played college there. I know a lot of the guys over there. I worked out with a lot of the guys over there. [Larry Fitzgerald] is like a big brother to me.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Fitzgerald has said he considers the 49ers to be Arizona’s biggest rival, something Williams understood from his time in the area.“It’s been a rivalry since before I even got on board here and I remember being, not on the other side of it per se, but seeing the other side of it when I lived out there and it’s totally understandable,” Williams said. “Both teams want to win. It’s a very competitive game. It’s one of those games where it doesn’t matter what the records are on either side.”The two teams come in sporting identical 3-2 records, and with second place in the NFC West on the line, the game might feel even bigger, especially for an early season showdown. While Williams at first wouldn’t say who the 49ers considered their top rival to be, he eventually came clean.“At this point, it is Arizona because we’re sitting at the same record and we need this eventually to continue our success and get to where we need to,” Williams said.Williams also talked about going against Arizona’s Patrick Peterson this Sunday and compared the third-year corner with Seattle’s Richard Sherman. “I don’t think that’s any secret that Pat’s more athletic,” Williams said. “Sherman does a lot more talking than Pat, obviously, but Pat’s a specimen out there. He’s a real big corner. Sherman’s big too, but Sherman’s not as fast as Pat is out there.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
When the Arizona Cardinals signed Jared Veldheer to a big five-year, $35 million contract last March, the hope was the veteran would fill the team’s left tackle spot for years.The early returns have been positive for Veldheer and the Cardinals who, at 9-3, own the top seed in the NFC playoff standings.Mike Sando wrote an ESPN.com Insider piece and rated his top veteran acquisitions of the 2014 season, and Veldheer comes in at No. 10 on the list. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals badly needed a left tackle and were willing to pay a premium for Veldheer. They have not regretted the investment. Velheer emerged from Week 13 as the sixth-rated tackle in PFF grading. Predecessor Bradley Sowell ranked 76th out of 76 qualifying tackles in PFF grading last season. That’s a huge upgrade for the Cardinals at a position that had been a weakness for years. Teammate Antonio Cromartie was another consideration for this list.Pro Football Focus also shows that Veldheer is just one of a handful of left tackles in the league that have surrendered one quarterback sack or less in 2014. The website has Veldheer rated as the Cardinals’ top offensive player with a season grade of 12.1. New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis topped Sando’s list, followed by Detroit receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay outside linebacker Julius Peppers. Top Stories Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
It’s official.After a day of speculation, the Arizona Cardinals have bolstered their pass rush by adding veteran outside linebacker Dwight Freeney on a one-year deal.Freeney, a 13-year veteran, spent 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, who took him in the first round (11th overall) out of Syracuse in 2002. Freeney was with San Diego the last two seasons.“I’m so excited,” Freeney told Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “It’s so different because the perspective I’ve had in the last four, five weeks, I’ve been sitting back kind of watching where the chips are falling, seeing who is the great teams and who aren’t, and this is definitely one and I’m excited to be a part of this. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments Share Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “I just love the game and however I’m going to help this team, however they need me to help, I’m here.”The 35-year-old has 111.5 career sacks, which is good for 21st on the all-time list and sixth among active players. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro (2004, 2005 and 2009). Freeney has had seven seasons with 10 or more sacks and led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004.According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, the deal has incentives built in.Source: #Cardinals DE Dwight Freeney has $1M sack incentive. He gets $200K bonus for 4 sacks, $100,000k for each thereafter up to 12 max.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 13, 2015“I think he was top-five in pressures last year,” head coach Bruce Arians told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He only had four sacks, but he’s still around the quarterback a lot and he gives you a lot of edge presence.”The Cardinals also placed linebacker Kenny Demens on injured reserve after the third-year player suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions. San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) points to the stands after intercepting a pass agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact This Patrick Peterson interception was by far the best thing about the Cardinals’ loss to the Bills https://t.co/gLkq3xT5E1 pic.twitter.com/P8ioWOB5ZO— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) September 26, 2016With a 10-0 lead over the Cardinals early in the second quarter, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor boldly fired away from his own 40. While he overthrew Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, the ball ended up right at the cusp of Peterson’s range, allowing him to corral the one-handed pick. The NFL selected 32 plays from the regular season for a vote on the Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year, and a Cardinals’ favorite made the cut.Patrick Peterson’s one-handed interception against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 is the Cardinals’ lone appearance on the list. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories The play helped the Cardinals try and recover from the early deficit, though they eventually ended up losing 33-18. The interception was the second of three Peterson picked up in the 2016 season.Fans can vote for their five favorite plays on NFL.com. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors on the night before Super Bowl LI. Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals not only lost starter Carson Palmer to retirement this offseason but could lose Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley in free agency.Related LinksOther QB options for Cardinals include Bradford, Bridgewater, McCownReports: Vikings expected to land free agent Kirk CousinsArizona was expected to target the hottest name on the quarterback market, Kirk Cousins, but he reportedly will sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Vikings.Free agents Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown are second-tier options for the Cardinals, reports 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki, and they remain so in addition to Glennon. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon will be released when the new league year begins on Wednesday, and that will put another option on the Arizona Cardinals’ board as they begin filling out a vacant quarterback room.It appears it could be a very real option.Reporter Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network that Glennon will be on the Cardinals’ radar.That doesn’t necessarily mean Glennon will be Arizona’s starting quarterback but potentially a backup. Back up role… They need 3/4 quarterbacks on the roster. https://t.co/rhbhRwUez9— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 13, 2018With the Bears, Glennon played in four games to begin the 2017 season after inking a three-year deal worth $43.5 million last offseason.He lost his job to the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, Mitch Trubisky, after completing 66 percent of his passes for 5.95 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and five interceptions.After being drafted in the third round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Glennon threw for 2,608 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 games as a rookie in 2013. He played in six games the following season, didn’t play in 2015 and then only appeared in two games in 2016. Top Stories 39 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact