The Best Outdoor City

first_img Coolidge Park on the banks of the Tennessee River A river runs through it: From Lookout Mountain, the Tennessee River snakes through the cityBEST OUTDOOR CITY: CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEEThe city Walter Cronkite famously called the dirtiest in America in 1969 has reinvented itself into the outdoor mecca of the South and a model for green transformation. How did this traditionally industrial city once known as the “Pittsburgh of the South” accomplish such a feat? Turns out it’s because of its historical manufacturing background, not despite it.Spreading out from Moccasin Bend on the mighty Tennessee River, Chattanooga has always been a gateway to both the South and the West. The site was a hub of commerce as far back as the 17th century when French trappers established trade routes on the banks of the Tennessee. Chattanooga also played major roles in the French and Indian, Revolutionary, and Civil wars, a testament to its historical significance as a linchpin city. The steel and coal industries helped the city earn its dirty reputation, but then a funny thing happened: Chattanooga’s leaders woke up.Community businessmen realized that the city’s trajectory was not economically or environmentally sustainable. We are talking about a downtown in which workers had to change their shirts at lunch due to the grit and grime in the air, where you could barely make out the surrounding mountains due to the smog. Chattanooga reached a cultural and socioeconomic low-point in the 1980s as de-industrialization decimated its population. From those ashes, both figurative and literal, rose an idea to revitalize the downtown area with a $120 million investment in a riverwalk complete with paths, pocket parks, river access, and music venues centered around the Tennessee Aquarium and downtown art museum in one of the largest public/private development projects in the nation. Philip Grymes, executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga, says the changes not only affected the urban landscape, but the community atmosphere of the city as well.“Downtown Chattanooga was once a sleepy town you didn’t want to come into; once the doors closed at 5 o’clock it was like a runway to get out,” he said. “The community design has really changed. It’s no longer about how can we get people in and out of the city quickly. It’s more about how we can get people to enjoy the city and get out of their cars and walk around and get on a bike.”Those efforts include a progressive citywide bike share program, a model for larger cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, and because the public had significant input in the planning process, there is a sense of responsibility for the downtown area that was lacking before.“Collective ownership of this city has evolved so much over the last 10 years,” said Fynn Glover, who was born and raised in Chattanooga and is the founder of RootsRated, an outdoor startup providing grassroots trail reviews. “Chattanooga has a lot of very passionate citizens who are working very hard to continue the economic growth here in a way that does not lose our connection with our natural resources. People know that this playground is the most important thing. It’s what makes Chattanooga an attractive place to do business, an attractive place to live, and an attractive place to raise a family.”Spiral out from the revitalized downtown and it’s easy to see how the city has put in the effort to re-label itself as a model for the outdoor lifestyle. The Rim Trail on Lookout Mountain and the new Stringer’s Ridge system two minutes from downtown offer some of the best trail running in the nation. Mountain biking at Raccoon Mountain and Five Points on Lookout each boast over 20 miles of classic singletrack. The Cumberland Trail over Signal Mountain and the soon to be completed Cloudland Connector Trail are long distance hiking trails with stunning views. Need something more extreme? Learn to hang glide at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. The fact that Chattanooga will host the U.S. Cycling Championships from 2013-15 along with established events like Riverbend, a nine-day riverside music festival, only add to the city’s reputation.The recreation opportunities, Rock City, and Ruby Falls have always been there, only now the city attracts the outdoors enthusiast to not only visit, but also to stay. Those people include two of its greatest outdoor ambassadors. Grymes visited Chattanooga from western North Carolina with no plans to settle down; that was in 1996. Al Smith, the general manager at the Southside hostel The Crash Pad, came to Chattanooga for the extensive climbing opportunities at places like the famous Tennessee Wall and Sunset Rock, both 20 minutes from downtown.“You don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere,” Smith said. “You can live in the middle of a busy metropolitan city and still go rock climbing nearly every day. It’s a really easy urban lifestyle here, and it’s not too expensive. Chattanooga is like a giant summer camp. It has a lot to offer many different types of people, not just the outdoorsy person but the artist, student, and entrepreneur as well.”As more and more people come to Chattanooga because of the culture and vibe, the city has grown an extensive community of citizens who are willing to put in the work building multi-use trails at places like the Lulu Lake Land Trust and Prentice Cooper State Park. Connecting all those hundreds of miles of trails within different systems is now the name of the game, says Grymes.“Thanks to the efforts of our outdoor community, all the trails will be connected right to downtown,” he said.The mix of urban and outdoor life seems to be ideal in Chattanooga these days. People come for the outdoor recreation opportunities and stay for the urban economy and low cost of living.Best Mountain Town – Chattanooga from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.CHATTANOOGA QUICK HITS5 minutesRent a board and SUP at Ross’ Landing on the flat water of the Tennessee River right downtown. Check out for free clinics and rentals. Rent a bike and pedal the Tennessee Riverwalk over the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges.15 minutesGrab your bike and ride the East Rim Trail on Raccoon Mountain for breathtaking views of the city and access to intermediate and expert trails like MegaWatt and Table Rock. Climb the best rock in the Southeast at Tennessee Wall, or just watch the experts do their thing from solid ground.30 minutesTake a trail run to Lula Lake Falls in the Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain. Get high—2,000 feet high—in a glider at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Chattanooga Bike Statue Coolidge Park Chattanooga Chattanooga will host an IRONMAN triathlon for five consecutive years beginning in 2014. RUNNERS UPRICHMOND, VA.The mighty James River flows through the heart of the city, one of only a few truly urban whitewater runs in the country. The 2.5-mile run from Reedy Creek to 14th Street is a locals’ favorite, featuring Class I-IV whitewater and well known rapids such as Lulu and Hollywood, named after the Hollywood Cemetery that overlooks it – also a great place for a late afternoon run.You can pick up the James River Park system of trails at Belle Island and run, hike, or ride over 10 miles along both banks of the river and in Forest Hill Park. You can also get some urban climbing in at Manchester Wall, a set of four railroad pillars that offer over 40 routes in the 65-foot range. City pocket parks like Powhite and Larus maximize their space with honeycomb trail systems. Head south to Pocahontas State Park for over 40 miles of excellent singletrack surrounding scenic Beaver and Swift Creek lakes.Adding to Richmond’s outdoor cred is that it’s the host of the Xterra East Championship Off-Road Triathlon, which uses the James River trails for its running and biking portions. It will also host the 2015 ICU Road World Championships, one of the world’s premiere cycling races held for the first time in the U.S. since 1986.WASHINGTON, D.CDespite the political gridlock of the District, the city has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, no matter if you are blue or red. In 2010, we named D.C. one of our top Southeastern running towns, thanks to running clubs like the D.C. Road Runners and Washington Runners Club. Runners can hop on the Capital Crescent Trail, a popular rail trail running from Georgetown to Silver Springs or join the Cherry Blossom 10 mile, one of the nation’s most popular races.Just upriver from downtown is Great Falls Park and Mather Gorge, with world class Class II-IV paddling, miles of hiking trails tracing the Falls, and biking for all skill levels. Northwest Branch outside College Park has established bouldering routes or top rope at Carderock in Great Falls. These urban adventures are great, but our founding fathers chose the site of our capital for a reason: its accessibility. Some of the best parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia are just a short drive from the city limits.CLOSE CONTENDERSKNOXVILLE, TENN.This up and comer is starting to embrace its location on the Tennessee, Clinch, and Little Rivers, and investing in the Knoxville urban wilderness with over 40 miles of trails two miles from downtown. With epic biking and climbing in Big South Fork to the north and GSMNP to the south, expect to see Knoxville contend for the top spot in the years to come.CHARLOTTE, N.C.This finance hub is the home of the Charlotte Whitewater Center, training center for Team USA. Just outside of town, climb the summit of Crowders Mountain or head east to the Wood Run mountain bike trails of Uwharrie National Forest.RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C.Tobacco Road may be dominated by hoops fans, but water flows everywhere and this area boasts a thriving music and festival scene. W.B. Umstead State Park contains over 20 miles of secluded hiking trails and is one of the few North Carolina state parks that allows biking. Smallmouth and Roanoke bass fishing can be found just outside of town on the Eno River as it flows through Eno State Park.GREENVILLE, S.C.From downtown paddling to downhill mountain biking, you can pretty much do it all in Greenville, which may become the next Asheville, with its ease of access and cool mountain vibe. The Mountain Lake Wilderness Area holds 50 miles of the best hiking in South Carolina, and the 371,000-acre Sumter National Forest is perfect for a weekend backpacking trip along the Chattooga River.ATLANTA, GA.Hotlanta’s proximity to the mountains of North Georgia make it a hotbed of outdoorsy folks: excellent mountain biking, hiking, and fishing in Chattahoochee National Forest are just an hour north of the city. Meanwhile, Stone Mountain and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area are within city limits. Throw in urban bouldering at Boat Rock and the 1996 Olympic mountain bike course in the suburbs, and some of the world’s top runners in the Atlanta Track Club, and it’s easy to see why Atlanta is one of the region’s best outdoor cities.last_img read more

Start managing your firm or pay the consequences

first_img Start managing your firm or pay the consequences Is she over here? Or is he over there? Those partners, they seek them everywhere! Is she a wunderkind? Or is he just full if it? That elusive, perfect associate! LOMAS Practice Management AdvisorIt’s pretty well-recognized among firm administrators and managing partners that the hardest thing is to find good people to work for the firm. So when you have someone reliable whose work you are satisfied with, even if you think you can do better, it’s often best to find a way to keep that person around, because short retention cycles are devastating to a firm’s profitability. The Real Cost of Turnover Regardless of the position within the firm, you have the expense of advertising and interviewing a new person. Then you have to train them and hope they are not worse than the last person. Meanwhile, no matter how good someone is, there is always a learning curve in any new environment during which you’re not going to get your money’s worth. If the person is as good as you hoped, you have to worry they’re so good that they’ll soon be worth more than you are paying, and you’ll be throwing a going-away party when they get hired away. While all of this jockeying around is going on, your unemployment rates are going through the roof because they are variable. You pay between 1 percent and 5.4 percent of the first $7,000 of every employee’s salary for unemployment insurance, based on how many people you fire in every two-and-a-half year period. Let’s say you hire someone and pay them $7,000 before you get so upset over the color of their socks that you fire them. Your firm is going to pay between $70 and $378 in unemployment tax, depending on how often you do this sort of thing. To put it in a real-world context, let’s say your firm employs 11 people (two partners / three associates / six support staff). Your unemployment taxes could range anywhere from $770 to $4,158 per year. So, you fire a couple of bad hires and suddenly, instead of giving the government 1 percent ($770) in unemployment taxes, you could find yourself at the maximum rate 5.4 percent ($4,158). And it can get worse. Remember, you are paying the rate on the first $7,000 you pay to each individual. If you hired 10 people, you’d pay the calculated rate on each individual’s first $7,000. So you ask yourself: Is that loser who’s getting $30,000 really so bad it’s worth another $3,000 in unemployment taxes just to take a chance of getting someone who’s worse? Saving Money Before You Act This advice should be heeded long before you start simmering over the prospect of having to keep someone around to avoid paying higher unemployment insurance rates. Start thinking about where you want your firm to be in five years. Your strategic plan should address its client base, budget, physical facilities, use of technology, marketing, and, yes, employment strategies. Your firm’s employment strategy must support its growth plans. How many lawyers will you have on staff in five years? What services will they offer? How much staff support will be required to deliver those services efficiently? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start to formulate a plan for how to attract, train, and keep your support staff. Here’s a hint: More money is rarely the best solution. Staff Retention If you want to retain staff in today’s job market, you’d better make sure the work is professionally satisfying. Gone are the days when you could hire someone in their late teens or early 20s and buy them a gold watch when they retired from your firm 30 years later. Today, Generation X is in the job market and Generation Y is on the way. Most “Gen X’ers” want more than a paycheck from their employer. They.. . well, we, want personal and professional growth, too. One of the most valuable benefits an employer can offer in today’s market is the opportunity to acquire new skills, not money. Sure, Gen X’ers will take your money, too, and the more the better. But for many of us, that’s not we value most. We may not have been around the block as many times as you, but the blocks we’ve been on may have taught us a thing or two you don’t know. For example, most Gen X’ers grew up in the 1970s and bore witness to massive job layoffs. As impressionable children, we experienced the resignation of President Nixon, the oil embargo and the war in Vietnam. Later, as we prepared to enter the legal job market, we saw 100-year-old firms splitting up and collapsing under the weight of “tradition.” Technology cut our ties to the library and even the office, since most of us can comfortably communicate and exchange information from anywhere in the world. Many of us grew up as latchkey kids and don’t necessarily want or expect anyone to be waiting at home or anywhere else for us.. . and that includes the office. Firms seeking to attract and retain the best support staff and associates need to trade in the commodity of the day if they want to keep us around. Most Gen X’ers value flexibility and opportunities for personal or career growth. Like it or not, we might not share your confidence that the firm will still be around once we’ve paid our dues for senior staff or coveted partnership positions. Generation X In my work as a practice management advisor, I educate managing partners and law firm administrators regarding all facets of running a more profitable, ethical, and professional firm. One of these facets, of course, is staff retention. A big part of my job in this area involves helping Baby Boomer partners and administrators shift their paradigm from manager to coach. A manager tells people what to do and keeps after them until they do it. A coach finds out what motivates a person and uses those internal desires to achieve results. A manager designs a firm in a vacuum and then imposes that design on the staff. A coach investigates what skills, interests, and abilities he or she has to work with and designs a firm around those resources. More than ever before, when law firm administrators become law firm coaches, they are experiencing greater and greater results. Coaching is actually pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. The first thing you do to coach your staff is recognize that they do their jobs for their own reasons, not your reasons. Then you set about finding out what reasons the person has for doing the job you hired them to do. Some people will want or need money so badly that their own personal reasons take a backseat to the paycheck and will do anything you ask of them. Most people on your staff, certainly most Gen X’ers, will not fall into this category. Once you know what reasons each person on your staff has for doing their job, you can start to find out what they’d like to be doing in, let’s say, five years. With that information, you can begin to design a job for that person so that doing it actually serves their needs and your needs, too. This might sound exceedingly difficult. It really isn’t, especially not when compared to the alternative. The Elusive Associate The short answer is that there is no such thing as a “perfect” associate, and anyone who tells you otherwise is, well, let’s just say they’re no wunderkind. Nor is there a perfect firm, manager, or coach. It’s the 21st Century and time to face facts: Running a law firm is not easy. It takes a lot of creative hard work and follow-up. The question you need to ask is whether you’d rather spend your time hiring, training, and firing staff and associates who don’t fit your model, or if you are prepared to start managing in the 21st century? RJon Robins is a lawyer and practice management advisor with the LOMAS program, which is available for on-site consultations and for speaking engagements at local bar meetings. Call (800) 342-8060. September 1, 2001 RJon Robins Regular News Start managing your firm or pay the consequenceslast_img read more

Medford Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Mom With Ax

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sean FarrellA 24-year-old Medford man who allegedly bludgeoned his mother to death with an ax last month admitted to the gruesome slaying in a tear-filled phone call with his grandmother, according to prosecutors and court documents.Sean Farrell pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Friday at First District Court in Central Islip.His 45-year-old mother, Bonnie Farrell, was a nurse at Angela’s House, a nonprofit that assists children with special needs.Assistant District Attorney Raphael Pearl requested that Farrell be remanded to Suffolk County jail, arguing that Farrell is a flight risk because he allegedly fled the scene of the Dec. 9 murder and checked himself into Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.The judge approved Farrell’s attorney’s request that Farrell be put on suicide watch because his client suffers from “some form of schizophrenia,” said his defense attorney, Daniel Russo.“Anytime you put a 24-year-old kid into the Riverhead Correctional Facility who’s never been there before, who is charged with a crime like this, it’s to err on the side of caution,” Russo told reporters outside the courtroom.About a dozen people, including Farrell’s stepfather, Eric Connelly, who called 911 after finding his wife’s dead body in their bedroom, gathered in the courtroom to witness the arraignment.It’s unclear if they were friends, family, or both. Farrell’s stepfather declined to comment afterward. The couple also have five other children.Prosecutors accused Farrell of “intentionally” striking his mother several times with an ax at their Norway Pine Drive home last month, according to court documents.Both prosecutors and Russo said Farrell admitted himself into Bellvue Hospital after the incident, though they did not say when or how long he was hospitalized.Farrell has no criminal record.Pearl told the judge that Farrell gave an admission to a family member after the alleged murder. Russo argued that the statements were “based on hearsay” and that authorities have not provided any evidence linking his client to the crime.The alleged admission was based on a Dec. 15 phone call to his 69-year-old grandmother that Farrell made from the hospital, according to the grandmother’s sworn statement to police.“He told me he killed his mom, my daughter and that he was selfish and should have killed himself,” Farrell’s grandmother told a Suffolk County police detective inside his parked car one day after the phone call.“Sean told me he was scared and confused,” she said, according to court documents. “He was crying and I told him to talk to his doctors who would help him.”The grandmother told police that her caller ID said the incoming call was placed from Bellevue Hospital. He also inquired about how his two brothers were handling their mother’s death, according to the sworn statement.“He was saying other things but he was crying and I could not understand him,” she said. “I began crying also and we hung up.”Russo characterized Farrell as “calm, scared” before the arraignment. He told reporters that he did not have information regarding Farrell’s relationship with his late mother.last_img read more

The value of open innovation at your credit union

first_imgby: Shazia ManusInnovation is an important element to successfully navigating the ever-changing waters of today’s technology-laden financial services environment. Open innovation is a particularly compelling form. With open innovation, one organization partners with another organization or individual who has already developed a specific technology or who is more advanced along the developmental path of that technology.A recent white paper I authored, “Reimagined Banking in the Age of the Consumer,” highlights open innovation as it relates to financial institutions. Below is an excerpt taking a closer look at the value of open innovation.There’s great potential in “the crowd.” We see it in the trends of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, each of which can significantly impact several different areas of a business. Take marketing, for example. In what was an epic success for Doritos, the company went beyond its internal creative army, beyond its external marketing agency, and tapped the American public — arguably the entire world — for its next great Super Bowl commercial. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Patchogue Man Dead After Falling Off Moving Car

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 21-year-old Patchogue man died after falling off of a moving vehicle that he was riding on in Farmingville over the weekend.Suffolk County police said Rafael Acosta-Lemus was riding on the trunk of a friend’s moving Volkswagen four-door sedan in a parking lot on Portion Road when slipped off and fell onto the pavement, striking his head at 1:40 a.m. Saturday.The man behind the wheel, a 20-year-old Brentwood man, was driving slowly for a short distance to a different vehicle parked within the lot at the time, police said.The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.Sixth Squad detectives impounded the car, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident and have not yet been interviewed to call them at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.last_img read more

Manchester United offered Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot as Juventus prepare new bid for Paul Pogba

first_imgJuventus are preparing a new bid for Paul Pogba (Getty Images)Rabiot is also wanted by Arsenal with Mikel Arteta identifying the 24-year-old as a player who can improve his options in midfield.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut following Calum Chambers’ long-term injury, the Gunners have now switched their focus on signing a new central defender as a priority and talks have opened with Bayern Munich over a potential deal for Jerome Boateng. Comment Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 4 Jan 2020 12:19 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link8.7kSharescenter_img Manchester United offered Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot as Juventus prepare new bid for Paul Pogba Juventus are ready to offer Adrien Rabiot to Manchester United (REX)Juventus are prepared to offer Adrien Rabiot to Manchester United as part of their bid to sign Paul Pogba, according to reports.United re-signed Pogba from Juventus for £89 million in 2016 but the France international now wants to leave Old Trafford.Juventus are in the running to sign Pogba for a second time and the Serie A champions are reportedly confident that an agreement can be reached with United.According to The Sun, Juve believe United would accept a deal worth around £85 million to sell Pogba in the January transfer window.ADVERTISEMENTThe report claims that Juve value Rabiot, who was signed on a free transfer last summer, at £25m and are ready to offer an additional £60m cash. Arsenal are also in the running to sign Rabiot (Getty Images)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityJuventus, meanwhile, are open to offloading Rabiot less than a year after his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain.Speaking last month, Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri admitted that the midfielder, who has started just five games in Serie A this season, has struggled to adjust since his move to Turin.‘He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal,’ said Sarri.‘He is also quite introverted, which doesn’t help him to settle.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorslast_img read more

eConveyancing is set to revolutionise the way we trade property

first_imgSolicitor Matthew Ray has become an advocate of online selling. AAP Image/Claudia Baxter.Buying and selling property is set to move into the modern era with a national digitised conveyancing platform to change the way we trade property.Gone will be the days of the long wait for bank cheques to clear and errors holding up settlements, as the industry embraces a modern way to deal with Australia’s $7.2 trillion residential property market.A new platform which allows buyers, sellers, banks and solicitors to exchange and settle on real estate electronically has been created by Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA).According to PEXA group executive, Mike Cameron, the system speeds up many parts of the settlement process.It would allow sellers to receive their money immediately rather than waiting three days for bank cheques to clear.“You’re (buyers) also lodged on the title immediately as opposed to the paper world where it can take up to several weeks before your name is on the title, and you own the property,” he said.Mr Cameron said because information could be shared and cross checked between parties before settlement, the platform removed possible errors that could slow down a property settlement.“Misspelled names or where you can’t settle if the bank cheque is five cents out – in PEXA, that all goes away,’’ he said.He said between 22 per cent and 30 per cent of settlements carried out in the “paper world’’ failed or had to be moved because of the errors that could occur.Mr Cameron tipped that as awareness of the system grew, electronic conveyancing would become much more commonplace. He said the security of the PEXA system was similar to that of the banks.“We are heavily regulated by ARNECC – Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council – and we have to be compliant there from a security perspective, be it cyber process and so forth. It’s audited annually and we have the same protections (as the banking sector has) in place,” he said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by The end game is to see 100 per cent digital across all property transactions, Mr Cameron said.An early adopter of the system was Queensland firm, Craig Ray & Associates.Solicitor Matthew Ray said while the system was available in Queensland now, the movement away from the old paper- only process was taking some time.“We were one of the first 50 subscriber law firms in Australia – I call myself a bit of a PEXA evangelist to other solicitors,” he said.“The limitation with the rollout in Queensland is the legal practitioners.“A large number are registered to use it and have never done a settlement in it,” he said.“It’s a shame because the platform is intuitive and closely mirrors what we call the ‘paper settlement’, so it’s not hard to learn in any way, shape or form, it’s just a bit of an old stuffy profession that’s reluctant to change,” he said.Mr Ray said he doesn’t miss the old system and looked forward to PEXA being broadly adopted.“The old system was riddled with opportunities for human error,” he said.“With the online platform, there is no data entry, there are no figures that can go wrong. “The whole thing balances and checks itself so that settlements happen smoothly, on time and with a much reduced opportunity for human error to play a part in delaying things,” he said.last_img read more

ECON rapporteur sets out stall on investor ESG duties proposal

first_imgPension funds would have to carry out “due diligence” in relation to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors under amendments to a European Commission proposal that have been tabled by the politician leading the European Parliament’s response.According to Paul Tang, a Dutch national in the parliament’s socialists and democrats group, due diligence means “an ongoing process through which investors identify, avoid, mitigate, account for and communicate about how actual or potential adverse ESG factors and risks are integrated in investment decision-making and risk management systems”.Tang is the “rapporteur” on the Commission’s proposal for a regulation “on disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks”, which is part of the implementation of its sustainable finance action plan. He is responsible for leading on the development of the parliament’s position on the Commission’s proposal within the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON).Under Tang’s version of the Commission’s proposal, investors would have to carry out due diligence in line with recommendations set out under the OECD’s “guidelines for multinational enterprises”. Tang’s proposed legislative text states that by carrying out due diligence in the prescribed way, investors would “not only be able to avoid negative impacts of their investments on society and the environment, but also avoid financial and reputational risks, respond to expectations of their clients and beneficiaries, and contribute to global goals on climate and sustainable development”.“In doing so, financial market participants will be obliged to move beyond a merely financial understanding of their investor duties,” the text added. The due diligence processes would have to be published on investors’ websites.More specific obligations – such as minimum standards – would be set out under so-called delegated acts to be adopted by the Commission, according to Tang’s proposal.Member consultation, executive pay Source: PVDAPaul Tang MEPThe member of the European Parliament (MEP) has also proposed that pension funds be required to actively consult beneficiaries when deciding what investments would be in their “best interests”.“Without prejudice to the discretion for trustees or responsible appointees for final choice of investment strategy, and in accordance with due diligence processes… the ‘best interest’ of beneficiaries is to be determined in active consultation with beneficiaries,” Tang wrote.Under Tang’s proposal, this requirement would be introduced by way of an amendment to the prudent person rule set out in IORP II, the revised EU pension fund directive that member states have until mid-January to implement.Proposed changes to pension fund regulations in the UK in relation to members’ views have caused concern at the country’s pension fund association. In the EU context, PensionsEurope and some other industry associations have been critical of calls for pension funds to be required to seek members’ views. The MEP has also proposed more demanding requirements in relation to the pay policies of financial market participants, saying they should be used “as a mechanism to avoid unwanted sustainability risks and to encourage sustainable investments”.Under his version of the regulation, executive directors of financial market participants would be required to “set out sustainable investment targets of minimum 50%” when establishing performance measurement criteria for variable pay.The targets could be based on achieving objectives in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.Under’s Tang’s version of the Commission’s legislative proposal, financial market participants would also face broader disclosure requirements.Other members of the European Parliament’s ECON committee have until 19 September to table their own amendments to the Commission’s proposal. The MEPs will then negotiate on the committee’s position, with a vote scheduled to take place on 5 November.last_img read more

A Whitsundays island could be yours for the price of a Fig Tree Pocket home

first_imgInside the main residence. How one agent is worming himself into the market The island has its own 700ft runway to cater for small aircraft or helicopter from either Airlie Beach or Bowen. The island has a large home facing the Coral Sea with a second house that was built in the late 1800s. “Being in his nineties, he’s had enough, he’s going to hang around Melbourne and live out his years there I guess.” MORE: Late bookmarker’s home a hot ticket The island was first developed as a commercial property in the 1800s and still has some evidence of its former existence. How Kylie Jenner is cashing in Claudia Karvan warehouse for sale But neither of those options are located on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Australian Islands island and resort specialist Richard Vanhoff said he had already received hundreds of inquiries since the property launched on Monday (October 15).“We’ve had probably well over 1000 inquires so far, which has been huge,” Mr Vanhoff said. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020He said the property, now zoned residential, once had a commercial operation as the first place in Queensland to store frozen meat to be distributed internationally. Its deep water access meant large vessels could call in to collect meat to distribute it up and down the coast and even go overseas. “They live in Melbourne and the kids now no longer want to trek that far to the island, which is often the case with islands, it’s the kids that end up determining whether they keep them or they move them on. MORE: Property market hit by the Tinder effect Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:48Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:48 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels432p432p288p288p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPoole Island01:49FOR the median price of house in Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane, or Minyama on the Sunshine Coast, you can purchase an entire island at the Whitsundays.The 20ha Poole Island has been offered to the market for the first time in 40 years, and you can pick it up for just $1.2 million.To put that in perspective, a one-bedroom unit in Sydney is on the market for $1.16 million.You get a bit more bang for your buck in Melbourne, with a three bedroom unit up for grabs for $1.15 million. “It was quite a substantial operation on the island and it was very exciting,” he saidMr Vanhoff said the 93-year-old owner put the island up for sale as his family no longer visited it.“It’s a place where he brought up his children for holidays and it’s just a family island,” he said. Poole Island in the Whitsundays has hit the market at $1.2 million.Poole Island comes complete with two homes and sheds, an aircraft runway and handmade rock swimming pool.Buyers will have their first opportunity to inspect the island late this Sunday, October 21 and then again on Tuesday, October 23.last_img read more

Married people are happier and fatter 24 October 2013Want to live a long life? Get married.Study after study has shown that married people, particularly married men, live significantly longer than their single friends. Some of the research is overall correlation, while other studies look at specific diseases and possible mechanisms. Doctors at Harvard tossed some more data on the pile last month, showing that married patients were more likely to identify cancer in its early stages and less likely to die from the disease than their unmarried peers. Epidemiologists refer to the well-established correlation between marriage and longevity as the “marriage protection hypothesis.”The marriage protection hypothesis isn’t entirely surprising. Unlike the connection between alcohol and longevity, which still lacks a fully coherent explanation, there are a handful of intuitive and attractive reasons why marriage might extend your life.Having a family gives people something to live for, which may discourage risky behaviours like smoking and riding a motorcycle. Married men commit suicide at lower rates than singles, possibly for the same reason. Your spouse may urge you to get a mammogram, wear sunscreen or have that worrisome mole checked out. A life partner provides an outlet to discuss personal stresses. (One medical argument in favour of the legalisation of same-sex marriage is that gay people have significantly lower stress levels when married.) Married people may remain more intellectually engaged with others, which helps avoid dementia. And healthy people may be more likely to attract a mate and marry than unhealthy people.It’s not all good news for married people, though: marriage also increases obesity rates. Getting married raises the risk of a woman becoming overweight by 3.9 percentage points compared to peers who did not marry, and marriage increases her risk of obesity by 1.4 percentage points. The effect is more pronounced for men. Married men see a 6.1 percentage point rise in the risk of becoming overweight and a 3.3 percentage point increase in the risk of obesity. read more