Quebec raising minimum wage to 12 as of May 1

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec will raise the province’s minimum wage to $12 an hour as of May 1, Labour Minister Dominique Vien announced Wednesday.More than 352,000 workers stand to benefit from the 75-cent increase, the largest hike in Quebec history.Vien said in a statement the rise is in line with a four-year plan to have the minimum wage equivalent to 50 per cent of the average provincial hourly wage by 2020, without exceeding that level.Quebec’s thriving economy has also helped the average hourly salary rise more quickly than anticipated, she added.“The good economic performance of Quebec allows us to substantially raise the minimum wage,” Vien said.“This increase will improve the quality of life for low-income workers as well as promote the incentive to work, raise the amount of disposable income and contribute to lowering the rate of poverty, without harming the job market and competitiveness of our businesses.”The raise represents between $462 and $979 in the pocketbooks of minimum wage earners, depending on hours worked and family situation.At $12, Quebec’s minimum wage would be the third highest in the country behind Alberta’s and Ontario’s.Ontario raised its minimum hourly wage to $14 per hour on Jan. 1 and plans another increase to $15 next January.Alberta’s minimum wage is expected to rise to $15 later this year.Daniel Boyer, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, which represents about 600,000 workers, said the province could have done better.The labour organization was behind a fight that began in May 2016 for a $15 minimum wage in the province — something Quebec wouldn’t commit to.Employer groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business expressed concern with the sudden hike, adding it hoped Quebec would stick with its initial plan.“It’s a bit unexpected,” said Martine Hebert, the group’s senior vice-president. “We would have preferred the government follow its original game plan.”In January 2017, Vien had mapped out increases of 50, 35 and 35 cents between 2018 and 2020, bringing the minimum salary to $12.45 by 2020.But she cautioned at the time the increases could change depending on the economic situation.Workers who make minimum age with tips will see their hourly pay climb by 35 cents to $9.80 an hour, also on May 1.last_img read more

Kellogg cutting 150 jobs as part of Keebler sale

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Kellogg Co. is cutting 150 salaried jobs across North America as part of the previously announced sale of its cookie and fruit snack businesses.The Battle Creek-based company said Tuesday the action will result in pretax charges of approximately $35 million, including $20 million in severance and termination benefits.Kellogg announced in April that it was selling its Keebler and Famous Amos cookie brands — as well as its fruit snack, pie crust and ice cream cone businesses — to Italy’s Ferraro International for $1.3 billion.That sale is expected to close at the end of July. Kellogg said its job cuts and staff reorganization will be complete by the end of 2020.Kellogg’s shares fell 1.5% to $55.69 in late morning trading.The Associated Press read more

Temporary foreign workers not the answer to meatplant labour shortage minister

EDMONTON – Skills training and better recruiting — not hiring more temporary foreign workers — are the best way to deal with a chronic labour shortage in Canadian meat plants, says federal Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk.The Canadian Meat Council says a shortage of about 1,000 meat cutters and other staff is preventing companies from operating at full capacity or increasing exports.The industry group has been lobbying Ottawa to make it easier for companies to bring in semi-skilled workers from abroad to work in slaughterhouses and processing plants.With tens of thousands of layoffs, mainly in Alberta, it makes sense to hire closer to home, Mihychuk said in an interview.“In the present circumstance, where we are seeing such economic hard times across the Prairies, it would be a very unusual circumstance where we had to resort to temporary foreign workers to fill a position,” she said.“Our focus is to provide more funding for Canadians to get the skills, to help companies recruit Canadians, landed immigrants, refugees that are coming into our country so that they can fill those posts.”Anna Gainey, president of the Liberal Party of Canada, told the meat council in a letter before the Oct. 19 federal election that a Liberal government would fix the temporary foreign worker program to ensure it could fill jobs when qualified Canadians cannot be found.Some meat companies say that despite the economic downturn, they can’t find enough Canadians willing to work on the kill floor or to carve beef and pork carcasses in their plants.Ray Price, president of Sunterra Group, said his pork-processing company near Trochu, Alta., needs at least 20 workers and he could hire 25 more if he could find them.“We have lots of export opportunities that we could capitalize on, but we are not even looking at them because we just don’t have the people,” he said.Werner Siegrist, general manager of Canadian Premium Meats in Lacombe, Alta., said unemployed oilpatch workers who were making $40 an hour aren’t interested in working in a slaughterhouse for half that.“We have people who walk away after a couple of hours,” he said.Price and Siegrest said Ottawa should make it easier for companies to bring in workers from Eastern Europe and the Philippines.Quebec-based Olymel hired a recruiting firm last year to help it find new workers for some of its meat plants after the previous Conservative government imposed restrictions on hiring foreign workers.The recruiter managed to find enough Canadian employees to fill positions at Olymel’s pork plant in Red Deer, Alta.Richard Vigneault, a company spokesman, said Olymel could double production in Red Deer if it could find more employees and hogs.One new source of meat plant workers could be Syrian refugees coming to Canada.The meat council said federal and provincial governments should do everything possible to settle some refugees in smaller rural communities in Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada where their labour is most needed.Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI) said it is willing to consider hiring some qualified refugees for vacant jobs at its plants in Brandon, Man., and Lethbridge, Alta. by John Cotter, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 7, 2016 11:46 am MDT Last Updated Jan 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Temporary foreign workers not the answer to meat-plant labour shortage: minister read more

Rajant appoints SCAN RF as distributor in Africa

first_imgRajant and SCAN RF Projects today announced that SCAN RF Projects will serve as distributor of Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh wireless networking solutions for its rapidly growing list of resellers and clients throughout Africa. As a leading distributor and integrator of wireless network equipment in Africa, SCAN RF Projects designs, delivers and services wireless licensed and unlicensed band networks for a diverse range of sectors including mining.Rajant stated: “With the addition of Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh technology, SCAN RF Projects now offers a proven, scalable, fully mobile broadband networking solution to its mining customers and mining channel partners throughout the burgeoning African mining industry. Rajant’s BreadCrumb wireless, portable mesh network nodes with InstaMesh software enable continuous and instantaneous routing of wireless and wired connections. This dynamic frequency utilisation capability allows for total network mobility with robust fault tolerance, high throughput and low latency. Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh technology is used extensively today in demanding military and mining operations to provide reliable networking for remote monitoring, tracking assets, voice and data communications, and video feeds.”“Africa continues to gain momentum as a high-growth region in the global mining market, and SCAN RF Projects is a trusted provider of solutions to African mining operations,” said Rajant CEO Bob Schena. “Mining operators throughout Africa can see immediate benefits from the inherent power of Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networking solutions. As a full-service distributor, SCAN RF is an important ally, and will provide the critical in-country presence and inventory that discerning customers demand, in addition to managing distribution of Rajant solutions through its network of resellers. SCAN RF’s portfolio of value-added services, such as network design, project management, implementation, and technical support, further position the company as a strategic regional resource for Rajant.”last_img read more

7 life hacks to use around the house

first_imgWE ALL LOVE simple tips and tricks that make our lives easier.And wouldn’t it be nice if household chores were a bit easier?Well, we’re here to help.Toothbrush holderA portable, handy and incredibly simple way to make your own toothbrush holder. That’s right. A PEG!Image: Francesco MugnaiMoney for old soapDon’t know what to do with that old sliver of soap in the bathroom? Simply add it to the next bar. No waste.Image: View MixedPlaying ketchupHaving people over? Whether it’s dips or condiments, a baking tray with bun inserts is perfect to hold all your party favours. PLUS – minimal clean-up. Image: Life HackerLost and foundLost something tiny around the house, like an earring? Nightmare. But never fear, you don’t have to scrabble around on the floor squinting for it. Cover the top of your Hoover nozzle with a pair of tights and use the suction to find small items easily.Image: Proper PrimThey grow up so fastGot an old crib that you have no use for any longer? (Sob.) Well here’s a creative use for that old piece of furniture – incredibly handy.Image: Just Life TipsNo fuss no mussGot little messy eaters around the house? Or are you one yourself? Well, for sunny days with ice pops, simply pop a bun case on the stick to avoid sticky drips.Image: TumblrAnd finally…Want to know how to peel a potato in 30 seconds – without a knife or a peeler? Here’s how.WHOA. Time saved. Mind blown.Read: 19 incredibly simple hacks to improve your life>Read: 7 everyday things you are actually doing wrong>last_img read more

5 unusual ways to reach very special Irish places

first_imgBy 120 steep steps:You have to don a hard hat and descend 120 steps to see the longest free-hanging stalactite in the northern hemisphere but it’s worth the stress on the knees. The stalactite is in Doolin Cave in Clare – it is 23 feet long:(Image: Simon Frost/Flickr/Creative Commons)By sandbar:If you want to walk to Inishkeel island off the coast of Tramore Strand, at Narin, near Portnoo, Co Donegal, you can do so – but you have to wait for the tide to go out, and this only applies in spring tides. When it does, it exposes a sandbar linking the strand to the island.Be careful – it’s easy to get cut off – but there are some 12th century monastic ruins on Inishkeel to look at if you have time to kill. St Conal founded a monastery there in the 6th century, say the good folks at Megalithic Ireland, and the sandbar route has traditionally been a pilgrimage passage since that time.This Google Maps satellite image of the coastline off Portnoo and Narin shows Inishkeel marked with a blue balloon – and the sandbar clearly visible.By rope bridge:The tiny island of Carrick-a-rede outside Ballintoy, Co Antrim is reached by a very famous rope bridge. Why would you want to cross an 80-foot deep chasm with nothing but a few slats and ropes between you and gravity? Well spare a thought for the fishermen who used to cross to the salmon-fishing grounds off the island on a much less secure structure than the one used by visitors today – it used to be a single handrail bridge with very widely-spaced slats.According to the Causeway coastal route tourist website, “although no-one has ever been injured falling off the old bridge, there have been many instances of visitors being unable to face the return walk back across the bridge, resulting in them being taken off the island by boat”. For shame.(This image is by Julien Behal/PA Wire – it shows the Olympic flame being carried across the rope bridge earlier this year. Cover article image was by Alan Bruce/Flickr) ONE GOOD THING we got from the boom was the roads – isn’t that what we always hear?There are, however, some more unorthodox methods of getting to specific places in Ireland that have stood the test of time (in one instance, since the 6th century).Have you visited any of these? If you know of other interesting hard-to-get-to places, let us know in the comments.By cable car:Ireland’s only operating cable car system has been bringing visitors and residents (and sheep) across to the sparsely populated island since 1969. It crosses the treacherous Dursey Sound just at the tip of the Beara Peninsula, near Allihies village. The island itself has a long and colourful history – a great primer is Penelope Durrell’s Discover Dursey which is often found for sale in local shops in the area.(Image: globalreachent/Flickr/Creative Commons)By Napoleonic-era causeway:Aughinish Island is an interesting geographical anomaly. While it is officially in Co Clare, the only way to reach it is by a causeway road from Co Galway. Pre-1755, it was joined to Co Clare at New Quay but a tsunami which hit the south of Ireland following the great earthquake off Lisbon in that year, drowned that land link. According to and David Walsh: For a time Aughinish remained an unattached island. But then the military constructed the Martello Tower (1804-1810) in fear of Napoleonic invasion. For access, they built a road across a causeway at M295-133 from the E, in County Galway.last_img read more

6 of the best kids tantrums of all time

first_imgTsquiggs123 / YouTubeIn honour of Angry Unicorn Girl, here are some other videos of kids having their own diva moments:1. The girl who got her hair cutThe fact that her mother tries to reference Hamlet’s Ophelia may be lost on her toddlerKristina Phoneix-Artinian / YouTube2. The baby who doesn’t like Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USAWell she’s wrong because it’s amazing, but this is funnySuperDaddy3523. The tantrum that only happens when somebody is watchingDoes this kid realise how much entertainment he’s giving his parents?FunnyFuse / YouTube4. The temper tantrum that involves sliding to the floor and staying thereThis little girl falls and stays there for maximum tantrum effecthellonwheels00 / YouTube5. The tantrum over your singing skillsThis is something of a classicBadSideofHeaven / YouTube6. This infamous girl from Toddlers and Tiaras“LEAVE ME ALONE PEOPLE”kiyokotown / YouTubeGlobal Kids Fashion Week is actually a thing>VIDEOS: What makes Dublin “Uniquely Dublin”?> THE THING ABOUT kids is that they are sometimes prone to throwing tantrums.Ideally we all grow out of throwing an absolute strop when things don’t go our way but kids don’t have to worry about that too much.This video of a girl flipping out over not being able to have her own unicorn (!) has gone viral todaylast_img read more

400K of loose change left in US airports during 2010

first_imgI can say with quite a bit of certainty that at some point during our lives, each and every one of us will accidentally drop some change out of a pocket. Such an event is usually followed by the muttering of some unrepeatable words and a few minutes of trying to pick up those coins that always roll away and underneath something.Apparently, if you visit an airport in the U.S. its highly likely you won’t just drop change, you will leave it there too. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has revealed just how much loose change they collect every year, and the figure is pretty unbelievable.In 2010, the TSA banked $409,085.56 in loose change that had just been left in airports across the U.S. It’s quite incredible that such an amount would just be left for the TSA to claim as their own, but it goes beyond just dropping coins out of a pocket. Travelers also leave behind rather a lot of foreign currency because they have to remove the change from their pockets at security checkpoints to go through the machines. Inevitably coins get left behind in the plastic bins as they drop to the bottom below your carry-ons.At the end of every day the forgotten coins are collected up and sent to the TSA finance office. These extra funds are then put to good use paying for consumables such as light bulbs, or helping to fund replacement computers etc. It can’t be officially made part of the budget as the amount collected isn’t known before hand. If the 400K figure surprises you, what may surprise you even more is the fact it seems to be an increasing amount of income for the TSA every year. In 2008 the total came to $364,000, that then rose to $399,000 in 2009. 2011 is sure to be in the region of $420,000 if it mirrors 2010’s gains.If you don’t feel like giving the TSA any extra money this year, then may I suggest you take a little more time checking those plastic bins before leaving the security area on your next trip. You may just find some coinage.More at NBC San Diegolast_img read more

Turkey backpedals on Aegean military drill

first_imgTurkey backpedaled on plans to reserve a big chunk of air space over the Aegean Sea for military manoeuvres until the end of the year, Greek officials said, following what appeared to be a reaction from the NATO alliance.Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras said that Turkey had withdrawn an earlier Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) reserving an extensive area of air space over the Aegean from March 2 to December 31. Greece – which claims that the Turkish move intruded into Greek air space, interfered with traffic to two regional airports and affected two international traffic routes – had over the weekend lodged complaints with NATO, the European Union, the United Nations, and the International Civil Aviation Authority.Earlier, Ankara issued a modified NOTAM excluding the island of Lemnos from the reserved area. However, this was also not acceptable to Athens.Diplomatic sources in Athens said that NATO had played a key role in de-escalating the tension after endorsing Athens’s complaint. According to the text presented by Greece’s Permanent Representative to NATO in Brussels Michail-Christos Diamesis to the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Ankara’s move had threatened to undermine NATO’s cohesion during a crucial geopolitical period.Commenting on recent developments, Deputy Defence Minister Nikos Toskas said that Turkey, also a NATO member, was trying to take advantage of Greece’s economic woes for geopolitical gain.There had been no official reaction from Ankara by late Monday.Greece’s opposition parties were united in condemning the Turkish assertiveness.However, a decision by New Democracy to request a meeting of the National Council of Foreign Policy for a briefing on Greek-Turkish relations and conservative chief Antonis Samaras’s decision to contact the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), Michail Kostarakos, prompted a reaction from the government.Meanwhile in Nicosia, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades criticised Turkey for seeking to set a precedent in the Aegean, urging the EU, the UN and NATO to take action on the issue.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Forage en Guyane Shell assure vouloir protéger lenvironnement

first_imgForage en Guyane : Shell assure vouloir protéger l’environnementLe patron de Shell France, Patrick Roméo, a assuré que son groupe faisait de la sécurité et de la protection de l’environnement ses priorités, tout du moins pour la campagne de forages qu’il s’apprête à lancer au large de la Guyane.Le groupe Shell, qui s’apprête à procéder à quatre forages d’ici à juin 2013 au large de la Guyane française, a assuré que sa “priorité, c’est le zéro accident et la protection maximale de l’environnement”. Si le premier forage doit s’étaler sur trois mois, selon le patron de Shell France, Patrick Roméo, c’est parce que “la priorité, c’est la sécurité”. Il estime ainsi que “ce n’est pas la vitesse qui doit l’emporter”.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Il assure également que la société a “fait tous les choix qui permettent de minimiser l’impact environnemental” de ces opérations. Mais pas de quoi rassurer suffisamment les ONG que les projets de forages inquiètent. D’autant que la ministre de l’Ecologie, Nicole Bricq, qui avait voulu suspendre cette campagne de forages, a été remplacée la semaine dernière par Delphine Batho.Interrogé sur la question, le patron de Shell France assure n’y être pour rien. Il a indiqué que “aucune compagnie ne pourrait avoir la prétention d’influer sur le choix des hommes et des femmes d’un gouvernement”. Il précise par ailleurs avoir reçu “un soutien très fort des élus guyanais”, excepté le représentant de EELV, farouchement opposé à ces forages.Shell a reçu vendredi deux arrêtés préfectoraux qui l’autorisent à lancer une campagne de forages exploratoires au large de la Guyane et à mener des études sismiques qui permettront de continuer à évaluer le potentiel guyanais en hydrocarbures, après la découverte l’an dernier d’or noir par 6.000 mètres de profondeur, rappelle l’AFP.Le 26 juin 2012 à 18:32 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

The wonderfully misleading box art of the original Atari 2600 games

first_imgWhile graphics continue to get better and we move into immersive worlds that trick our brains into accepting technical realities. Undoubtedly we will spend long periods of time in these new games, but you got to ask yourself, how much of this technological advancement is necessary. 40 years ago, people would spend the same amount of time pushing single pixels across the screen and deriving the same amount of pleasure that we do today. So maybe those expensive processors aren’t what game designers should be trying to tap into, but instead they should be looking at the human imagination. It is more powerful than any computer we can make now, it is upgradable and most important, it comes standard on all people. Air-Sea Battle1/9Are you ready for an epic battle that allows you to simulate combat between modern armed forces? Well then, behold the pixelated glory of your mighty military. At first glance you might scoff at the simplicity of Air-Sea Battle, but it is actually a really fun head-to-head shooter that emphasizes skill and timing, which are the hallmarks of modern shooters.<><> The Atari 2600 had a lot going for it when it launched. It was affordable, easy to use and, unlike many other systems that came before it, was capable of playing games on removable cartridges. The system became the ecosystem for an avalanche of over 500 games of varying quality. A vast marketing machine would grow around the advertising and release of them. When the Atari came out though, it only had nine games. Nine games that were basically abstract concepts represented by a couple of pixels on the screen with a few beeps thrown in for good measure. How do you make those games compelling?You do it by using your packaging to tell a bigger story about what the game is about and asking your consumer to use their imagination. No small feat, but luckily Atari had an ace in the hole. They hired talented artists like Cliff Spohn, Jaekel, Rick Guidice, and George Opperman to design the packaging and cartridge art. All of these talented people had varied backgrounds, from commercial art to concept art for NASA, but they all had one thing in common. They could take a simple idea and translate it into a visual reality that the consumer could use to enhance their gameplay experience.Some might say that this practice “misleading”. While I agree that to a modern eye, this art misrepresents what you are going to be playing, but it makes total sense when you look at the art in the context of the time it was released and try to understand how it was useful to gamers during this period.Modern audiences who have grown up with realistic graphics scoff at these simpler times, but that is because they lack insight into how these games were consumed. When you were driving a pixel block around a track that was supposed to represent a car, you were using your imagination to picture an Indy race car. This took added creativity by the players of the game, but coming up with your vision for the game along with a complete backstory and narrative just made the game that much more endearing. Here is where the art comes in, it gave you a nudge in the right direction. Not showing what you would see, but what you should see when you play the game.Unfortunately no amount of amazing art will make a game playable and the original lineup of for the Atari 2600, like many consoles, had a few duds. At least with the Atari we still got some wonderful packaging to stare at after the game was thrown in a box never to be played again.Here’s the box art for the nine launch titles of the Atari 2600 along with a screenshot of the gameplay. Maybe seeing them side by side will jar some great memories, or if you never played these games before, give you some insight into how early gamers dealt with the disadvantages of early technology.last_img read more

Health department seeks award nominees

first_imgClark County Public Health is seeking nominations for its annual Public Health Community Award.The award recognizes an individual and organization in Clark County for “outstanding contributions to promoting and protecting community health,” according to public health.Nomination forms are available on the public health website, Completed forms can be submitted online, by mail or in person. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. April 4.A committee of public health staff and Public Health Advisory Council members will review nominations and select the winners. The committee will give special consideration to individuals and organizations that work to prevent health problems, forge partnerships and strive for communitywide outcomes.The awards will be presented at 8:30 a.m. April 25 at the Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., during a Board of Health meeting.last_img read more

12L acre under Sagar likely to get water for kharif

first_imgGuntur: Farmers of Nagarjunasagar Right Canal ayacut covering 12 lakh acre in Guntur and Prakasam districts are likely to get water for kharif season this year. At present, Srisailam reservoir is getting 2 lakh cusecs of inflows per day. If the same inflows, continue, water level in Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs may reach to their full capacity. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us According to Irrigation department officials, at present Srisailam reservoir is getting 2 lakh cusecs water per day. If the same inflows continue, the water level in the reservoir is expected to touch its full capacity in four days as there are heavy rains in the catchment area. After filing Srisailam reservoir, water will be released to Nagarjunasagarr. The government is expecting good rains in the next few days. Taking this into consideration, the government is considering the proposal to release water from Nagarjunasagar Right Canal ayacut of Guntur and Prakasam districts. Also Read – AP Cabinet to meet on September 4 Advertise With Us YSRCP MLAs in the Palnadu region are mounting pressure on the government to release water for Guntur and Prakasam districts. At present government is releasing 10 tmc feet level water to Nagarjunasagar Right Canal to fill the drinking water tanks and summer storage tanks. Full water storage capacity of Srisailam Reservoir is 215.81 tmc feet, at present it has 174.90 tmc feet. This reservoir is expected to get full capacity of water within two or four -days. Full capacity of Nagarjunasagar Reservoir is 312.05 tmc feet and it has 138.91 tmc feet as on Thursday. Nagarjunasagar Right canal Superintendent Engineer CH P GangaRaju said, “Water level in the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs are expected to reach full capacity in the coming weeks. The government is likely to release irrigation water for NS Right Canal ayacut area of Guntur and Prakasam districts for kharif.”last_img read more

India Israel launch 40million innovation fund

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend an Innovation conference with Israeli and Indian CEOs in Tel Aviv on July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Oded BaliltyFurther deepening their ties on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, India and Israel have established a $40-million joint innovation initiative fund to increase economic cooperation and boost research and development within both countries, according to a Reuters report.The agreement was signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel. The three-day trip, which ended Thursday, was meant to help deepen commercial ties. It was the first time a sitting Indian prime minister came to Israel, Reuters reported.Each country will allocate $4 million per year over a five-year period for the fund’s activities, Israel’s Ministry of Economy said in a statement carried by Reuters. It will be run by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology.Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are looking to increase bilateral trade and share technological know-how, particularly in the fields of water management and agriculture.last_img read more

3 Ways SelfDriving Cars Could Change Austin Forever

first_imgMIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR.A prototype of Google’s self-driving car was unveiled at the Thinkery in Austin in 2015.A few years ago, self-driving cars seemed like something out of The Jetsons. Now, they’re here (at least in prototype). Their proliferation promises easier commutes and fewer accidents. But, that’s just the start.Autonomous cars could forever change how cities like Austin look – and how they operate – in some major ways.RevenueAs self-driving cars proliferate. The need for parking as we know it could end, slashing millions from city transportation budgets. More than $36 million could be lost in Austin alone, according to a report from Governing Magazine, and that’s not counting other revenue sources like speeding tickets.“The cities that are thinking about this are expecting their enforcement to go to almost zero, which is a huge, huge deal,” says Phil Lasley, a researcher at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.Robert Spillar, director of Austin’s Transportation Department, says he understands that revenue disruption could be coming down the road, but he sees it a long way off. He estimates it’ll likely be 20 or 30 years before the city sees any major impact.Spillar says the problem is kind of like what planners faced as vehicles became more fuel efficient and gas tax revenue dropped off. That led to charging for use of the roads themselves through tolls, for example, which he says could be an option in the future.“Certainly, some type of user fee is one option,” he says. “I think other states are looking at a mileage-based fee, so we’ve heard about odometer fees at the federal government level to replace the gas tax.”But, he says, it’s all very speculative. In the long run, the drop in parking revenue might be one of the lesser impacts of self-driving cars. After all, they could upend our entire urban landscape.“People may be able to afford living farther away and might tolerate longer commutes, if they want to,” Lasley says.If that happens in Austin, which already suffers from massive urban sprawl, the city could kiss more of its tax base goodbye.Land-Use“You’ll see gas stations go away, and car dealerships go away, and repair shops go away,” Lasley says. “And what you’ll see is some of that prime real estate will be developed for other things.”Probably one of the most dramatic examples of property that may become fully obsolete goes back to parking – specifically, multilevel garages.Spillar says it can take up to 60 years to see a full return on investment from a large parking project. So, even if it takes 40 years for autonomous vehicles to take over the streets, they’re already complicating projects that break ground today.“That’s really where, right now, developers and city investors and bankers ought to start thinking about ‘Wow, do we need all that parking?’” he says.And, Lasely says, developers are already considering that prospect. “Instead of having sloped parking garages, they’ll have what’s called flat floor parking garages, where you can actually put a skin on the building and remove these garages in the future and turn it into office space.”What happens to underground garages? He says they could become gyms or data-storage centers. But the bottom line is that a lot more land could open up relatively quickly, which may not be good for city planning.NightlifeLet’s say you’re at a bar, but you’re not drinking because you need to drive home. Self-driving vehicles could make that concern a thing of the past.“There’s actually a lot [of research] on that,” says Lasley. “Could bars stay open longer? Could people stay out later? Are they going to be spending more money on things like that?”In fact, investors have begun speculating on self-driving technology’s “adjacencies” – the commodities people may consume more often in a driverless world.Chief among those, some have speculated, is alcohol. (Others may argue Austinites don’t need any help in the drinking department.)The Road AheadUltimately, self-driving cars could revolutionize energy use and improve air quality (depending on how you generate your electricity). They could relieve traffic congestion or increase it. There are so many potential impacts – and so many uncertainties – that it can seem pointless to try to unwind the possibilities.But it’s probably time to start.“A lot of cities aren’t thinking about this right now,” Lasley says. “That’s frightening, but it’s not surprising.” Sharelast_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Monday August 28

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: “Sonny” Messiah Jiles, publisher of the Houston Defender joins us live from flood ravaged Houston, Texas, where her family had to to be rescued in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has taken at least eight lives so far. Plus, David Rocah, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Maryland discusses Donald Trump’s ban of transgender members of the military. And we open the phone lines, should transgender people who are willing to serve, fight and die for our country, unlike Trump who in the minds of many was a draft dodger, be banned from military service? Call us: 410.319.8888!These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

Kamala Harris Boosts Outreach to Historically Black Colleges

first_imgBy ERRIN HAINES WHACK Associated PressDemocratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is stepping up her campaign outreach to the Black community.The California senator is seeking to mobilize students and graduates of historically Black colleges and universities — known as HBCUs — as well as the country’s nine Black fraternities and sororities.The effort getting underway Wednesday includes adding a new section to her campaign website that will make it easier for people connected to these groups to organize and to advance her candidacy.In this June 17, 2019, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress presidential forum in Washington. Harris is stepping up her outreach to the black community as she campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Supporters will be encouraged to host events that could feature Harris’ senior campaign members or surrogates.HBCUs and Black Greek organizations are a natural constituency for Harris. She graduated from flagship HBCU Howard University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, America’s oldest sorority started by and for Black women.Since getting into the 2020 race in February, Harris has visited more HBCUs than any other candidate.The new outreach is a recognition that she needs to do more to organize this network of schools and Greek organizations.“As we look to realize the promise of the first African American female president, we must be intentional about organizing these communities to ensure they feel part of this campaign and incentivized to take political action going forward,” Missayr Boker, Harris’ national political director, told The Associated Press.last_img read more

Balkan leaders wary of Macedonia crisis fallout

first_img TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s president and other Balkan leaders expressed concern Tuesday that the ongoing crisis in Macedonia could be a setback for the region’s efforts to add new members to the European Union.President Bujar Nishani told regional leaders meeting in Tirana that the Macedonia crisis showed the “fragility of stability in the region.”Macedonia is grappling with a political crisis triggered by wiretapping allegations against the government, while tension has been stoked by a shootout this month between police and suspected ethnic Albanian militants that left 18 dead. Top Stories The leaders were meeting as part of the 13-nation South-East European Cooperation Process. Five of its members are in the EU, while five others are candidates.“We must preserve a stable region to promote integration,” Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a news conference.Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said the crisis in Macedonia demonstrated the “need to reaffirm our support for the independence and the territorial integrity of the country.”The summit brought together representatives of west Balkan countries with long-troubled relations, including Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.It was held a day ahead of the landmark visit to Tirana by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, the first to Albania by a Serbian premier.Countries at the summit reaffirmed a commitment to support each other’s EU membership drives, and cooperate with a global coalition against violent extremism and terrorismTuesday’s meeting marked the end of Albania’s one-year presidency of the regional body, which passed to Bulgaria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Men’s health affects baby’s health too Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Albanian President Bujar Nishani, left, meets with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in Tirana, Tuesday May 26, 2015, during the South East European Cooperation Process summit, a regional grouping of 13 Balkan and eastern European countries. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)last_img read more

Ellie Mae Adds New Software Features

first_img In a statement released Thursday, mortgage software provider “”Ellie Mae””: announced new technology and service upgrades to make it easier for mortgage lenders to manage their trade, improve eFolder capabilities, and ensure compliance in their operations.[IMAGE]By incorporating the new upgrades into their “”Encompass360″”: software, users will now be able to apply compound filters that adjust prices for loan trades, according to the statement.””With the industry’s new guidelines and regulations, originators need to change the way they fulfill tasks across the mortgage cycle and they’re understandably concerned about staying compliant,”” said Jonathan Corr, chief strategy officer for “”Ellie Mae””: [COLUMN_BREAK]””These upgrades are based on feedback from our clients and address a wide range of their concerns and requests. This release includes adjustments designed to help address our clients’ concerns about compliance, increase efficiency and enhance the process overall,”” Corr said.Drawing on feedback from “”Encompass360″”:, an e-mortgage solution, “”Ellie””: developed new tools that aim to allow users to track eFolder history, customize an eFolder, and align sales-side lock and trade data.””Ellie””: includes several features that it says will help users understand compliance policies; adjust closed-end loans for the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act; and keep mortgage loans within Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act guidelines ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô something needed in the market, given anticipation that the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””: will crack down on non-compliant lenders and servicers come July.Among other features: the ability to manage revised GFE due dates, calculate for loan term sections of the GFE and HUD-1, and explain calculations for these areas.Offering software variety, “”Ellie Mae””: serves mortgage bankers, community banks, credit unions, and other mortgage lenders. Agents & Brokers Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-07-08 Ryan Schuette in Origination, Servicing, Technology July 8, 2011 489 Views center_img Ellie Mae Adds New Software Features Sharelast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Sheraton Hotels Reso

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterSheraton Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel, located in the heart of bustling business district of Hangzhou, China. The hotel is the first new-build property to join the brand’s premier tier of hotels, selected for their enticing destinations, distinguished designs and excellence in service and guest experiences.Owned by China Yintai Holdings Co., Ltd, Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel is recognised for its spectacular views of the city and the Qiantang River and its premium location. Sheraton Grand is one of many initiatives currently underway for Sheraton 2020, a comprehensive plan designed to solidify Sheraton as a leading global hotel brand of choice, everywhere.“With all eyes on Hangzhou this year as the host of the 2016 G20 summit, China continues to be an extremely important growth market for Sheraton,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel is a true representation of our Sheraton Grand tier and a valued asset to the portfolio.”Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang offers 301 lavishly appointed guestrooms and suites that are steps away from the renowned West Lake and Xiang Lake. Each guestroom features all of the Sheraton brand’s signature amenities and services, including a premium sleep experience, rain shower and luxurious bath amenities. Other facilities at the hotel include Sheraton Fitness Centre with Technogym weight-lifting equipment and on-duty fitness coaches, as well as an indoor heated swimming pool.The hotel offers a wide variety of international dining experiences, including Yue Chinese restaurant, which serves contemporary Cantonese, spicy Sichuan and local Hangzhou cuisines prepared with regional flair; FEAST, the Sheraton brand’s signature restaurant with open kitchen; Lobby Lounge, featuring modern décor providing a large selection of Single Malts and cocktails as well as traditional Tea. As part of the new lobby bar menu Paired – the Sheraton brand’s reinvigorated food and beverage programme – matched small plates, premium wines and craft beers offering a unique experience is available at the Lobby Lounge. The Sheraton Club Lounge serves complimentary breakfast and all-day refreshments with a Qiantang River view.With expansive space to host a variety of events, meeting planners can choose from 11 function rooms, all equipped with independent audio visual facilities, Internet access and multi-functional wireless conference system, as well as a 740-square-metre pillar-less Grand Ballroom that can accommodate up to 500 guests.Situated in the heart of a bustling business district just 12km away from downtown Hangzhou, the Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel is a short drive away from the renowned West Lake and Xiang Lake. The hotel is approximately 23km from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) and 10-minute drive to Hangzhou railway station; and only one hour to Shanghai by high-speed train.Hangzhou is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China and situated between Shanghai and Ningbo. Known for its historic relics and natural beauty, the city’s tourist attractions include the scenic West Lake, the world’s largest tidal bore at Qiantang River, Xixi National Wetland Park, as well as Xianghu Lake.To celebrate the opening, Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel is offering a special opening package valid until 31 December 2016, starting at RMB 798 net for one-night’s stay in a Deluxe Room free Internet access, and double Starpoints for SPG members.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more