NAHBS 2012 – Paul Brodie’s Whippet, Victoria, Ventus, Dominguez & Pitz

first_imgVictoria CyclesThe name Victoria Cycles’ may conjure up historic posters of pinup girls on bikes, but the modern incarnation is named after builder Dave Hill’s wife. His bikes are brazed and lugged steel and often feature curved and/or twin tubes. A couple that caught my eye were the classic tandem above and mountain bike below.VentusVentus Cycles’ builder Mark Kargol builds titanium bikes alongside custom paint work for frames, components and helmets. This road bike sported a very classic look thanks to excellent component selection, but the frame is thoroughly modern and the drivetrain is brand new…it’s a current generation Campagnolo group polished to match the retro theme. Paul Brodie’s Whippet caught plenty of eyeballs. It’s a replica 1888 Whippet bicycle, designed with seven pivot points to help insulate the rider from road shock before the invention of pneumatic tires. Lots of photos and the story, plus bikes from Victoria, Ventus, Dominguez and Pitz, further down…center_img DominguezVincent Dominguez had a few interesting bits on his lone display bike, like flattened chainstays right at the rear……dual seat post bolts and some long internal shift cable tunnels springing out of the downtube.Pitz!Pitz! is a small Italian builder that works solely with steel. Their road bike was fairly straightforward with a small flourish to accentuate their logo:last_img read more

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VSECU: 2015 Holiday spending not resulting in significant debt for Vermonters

first_imgVermont Business Magazine VSECU, a statewide credit union based in Montpelier, today released new data detailing 2015 holiday spending trends amongst Vermonters, finding that Vermont consumers were more likely to finance holiday spending with cash than with credit. VSECU’s analysis showed that 2015 holiday spending via cash and debit increased compared to 2014, while credit card spending decreased by 8.8 percent. Analyzing more than 5.6 million anonymized account transactions in 2015, VSECU also found that both number of purchases and average monthly spending increased in the months of November and December, compared to all other months. However, the majority of those spending increases were financed with consumers’ cash on hand, rather than amassing greater debt on credit cards. Average monthly debit spending increased nearly 10 percent in November and December, while average credit card spending rose only 5.9 percent for those same months.“At VSECU we’re always working to help members and Vermont communities improve financial literacy, from debt management to proper budgeting, so we’re glad to see a decline in holiday debt this year,” said Yvonne Garand, Senior Vice President Marketing & Business Development for VSECU. “But with holiday gifting, charitable giving, college tuition, and property taxes, the end of the year continues to pose a significant budgeting challenge for most consumers.”Though credit card spending was down this year, paying off any end-of-the-year debt is a critical step for financial health, and VSECU is offering the following tips to help Vermonters manage debt in the new year.Assess the damage – Determine your collective debt across credit cards and what you can afford to pay on a monthly basis. Personal finance calculators are available online, including one from VSECU(link is external), and can help you determine how long it will take to pay off your balance.  Develop a plan – It’s always easier to accomplish goals when you have a plan in place, and written plans are even more effective. Write down a list of actions you can take to pay down your debt, from payment schedules to enlisting a professional financial planner, and reference the plan frequently.Set milestones – Set milestones to help you achieve your goals, and think positively, believing you can achieve those goals. When you achieve a goal, recognize your accomplishment and set a new one. With every achievement, you will feel more and more confident, which will give you energy to continue.Pay off your balance before your savings account – Regularly adding to your savings account is financially smart, but if you’re carrying credit card debt, paying that off before putting money into a savings account often results in higher savings. Current interest rates on savings are typically less than 1 percent, compared to the average variable credit card rate of 15 percent. By paying off your credit card balance, you are essentially earning a 15x greater return on your money.Learn and adapt – As your 2015 holiday debt dwindles, acknowledge the holiday spending habits that put you in debt and how you can plan for 2016. Using credit can cause you to overspend and result in costly interest charges. By saving for holiday expenditures throughout the year, you will have the funds available to you and can avoid credit card spending over the holidays. This approach will start you off on strong financial footing for 2017.For more budgeting strategies and financial tips, visit the VSECU Blog at http://blog.vsecu.com/(link is external).  MONTPELIER, VT, JANUARY 13, 2016 – VSECUlast_img read more

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Experts see a stronger year in Phoenix housing market

first_imgThe spring weather isn’t the only thing that’s favorable in Arizona.“The biggest overall trend we see in residential real estate is the market trending upward from relief to optimism,” says Matt Widdows, founder of HomeSmart International. “We are continuing to see an uptake in the market across the board. Housing prices are on the rise and so is the rental market.  We are seeing very early signs of multiple offers, which could possibly be an indication of the return of a seller’s market.”According to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, all signs point to the Phoenix area housing market having having better results in 2015, compared with 2014. Here are the highlights of that report on Maricopa and Pinal counties for January:The median single-family-home sales price went up 5.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015 — $197,000 to $208,000.• The average price per square foot gained 5.1 percent from January 2014 to January 2015.• Condos and townhomes continue to gain a larger share of the market. Their median price up 11.6 percent – from $121,000 to $135,000February figures show demand about to boom, with the number of homes under contract dramatically rising.“January is always a quiet month, but we believe this was a lull before the storm,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School. “We have already seen early signs of much stronger activity from buyers in February and March. Looking at the number of homes going under contract, there was significantly increased demand in the lower and middle price ranges.”According to the Fannie Mae February 2015 Housing Survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they believe the economy is headed in the right direction. Likewise, the share of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage today rose to 54 percent, another record survey high.“Population growth is on the rise and home values, after a few years of steady growth, are now providing homeowners with more flexible equity positions,” according to Doug Reynolds, vice president, loan officer and division manager at Washington Federal Bank. “These improvements, along with long-term rates staying low and financing remaining readily available, should continue to be positive drivers of new construction and increased values.”Orr notes that listings for non-distressed homes under contract in the Phoenix area were up 26 percent from last year on a typical day in February. Listings from $150,000 to $600,000 were up more than 30 percent. He attributes this largely to lenders starting to relax their tight loan-underwriting guidelines and “boomerang buyers” who went through foreclosure or short sale being able to come back into the market.“I’m noticing a lot more showings at all of my listings, which is a sign of activity in the market,” says Mike D’Elena, a Realtor with HomeSmart and co-owner of Northgate Group. “Most of the buyers out looking right now are new buyers just beginning their search. I’m also working with a lot of move-up buyers — these are people who have recognized that rates are trending upwards and want to take advantage of current low rates and get a bigger home.”Experts says supply is an issue when it comes to all types of homes, including affordably priced rentals, which Orr says are at the lowest level he has seen in 14 years. But Tom Davis, vice president at Pioneer Title Agency, says in some areas, pending listings are up as much as 33 percent and this appears to be the trend throughout the Valley. Davis is quick to add that we are still in somewhat of a sellers’ market, with only about a six week inventory of homes on the MLS.“Supply remains relatively low except at the high end of the market,” Orr says. “At the moment, we are seeing early signs that demand is likely to recover quite a bit faster than supply. It would only take a modest increase in first-time home buyer demand to overwhelm the current weak level of supply, making it tougher to find affordable homes for sale.”Orr says home builders aren’t enjoying 2015 much yet. In January, newly built single-family homes hit their lowest monthly sales total in three years. However, most experts expect that trend to reverse, too.“Traffic is running about the same as it has been, but sales are substantially up,” says Dennis Webb, vice president of operations for Fulton Homes. “We are seeing more buyers that have experienced a short sale or foreclosure and now want to move into a new home again. We are also seeing people who have a home to sell being able to move up because the value of their existing home has increased.”last_img read more

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New study explores mental health impact of U.S. stay-at-home orders during coronavirus pandemic

first_imgShare on Twitter Share Share on Facebook An online survey questioned 500 U.S. adults from 45 states who were between the ages of 20 to 74. Subjects completed a unique 20-item measure of “COVID-19 related experiences and stressors” which included an assessment of perceived impact of the virus. Participants were asked, “To what extent has the situation associated with COVID-19 affected the way you live your life?” Subjects also completed assessments of health anxiety, depression, financial worry, perceived social support, and loneliness.The majority (82%) of respondents reported living in an area with stay-at-home orders currently in place. The quarantine orders had been in place for an average of 5.71 days. Results showed that those under stay-at-home orders showed increased health anxiety, loneliness, and financial worry.As researchers predicted, the extent to which subjects felt their lives had been affected by the coronavirus was correlated with increased health anxiety and financial worry. Surprisingly, the perceived impact of the pandemic was also associated with increased social support and decreased loneliness.The researchers say that this finding suggests that “one potential positive outcome of this pandemic may be an increase in social support seeking or connectedness as individuals try to adjust to changes in daily life.” They express that this falls in line with previous research that suggests that the shared experience of the pandemic may lead to increased “closeness and social cohesion (Courtet et al., 2020).”Level of income was negatively related to health anxiety, financial worry, and loneliness, but positively related to social support. The authors note that low-income individuals may be a group especially at-risk of experiencing negative outcomes during the pandemic and suggest “widespread interventions focused on promoting mental health and well-being (including a sense of connection) among less financially secure individuals.”The researchers address the limited scope of their study as it captured psychological outcomes only at the early stages of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak. They suggest that future studies delve into long-term outcomes as well as possible maladaptive behaviors that might emerge as a result of the pandemic.While past research suggests that the mental health effects of pandemics tend to decrease with time, the authors suggest this may not be the case with the impact of COVID-19. “Given the relatively high mortality rate associated with COVID-19, the lack of adequate testing in some countries, and the absence of effective pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19, it remains to be seen whether a similar trajectory will occur with the current pandemic.”The study, “Psychological Outcomes Associated with Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Daily Life”, was authored by Matthew T. Tull, Keith A. Edmonds, Kayla Scamaldo, Julia R. Richmond, Jason P. Rose, and Kim L. Gratz. Emailcenter_img Pinterest A recent survey has linked quarantine orders to increased health anxiety, loneliness, and financial worry in the U.S. population. Interestingly, the survey also found that the perceived impact of COVID-19 was associated with greater social support and a lower level of loneliness. The study was published in Psychiatry Research.Given the recent emergence of COVID-19, studies on the psychological impact of the outbreak are minimal. However, early studies from China point to increased anxiety, depression, and stress during China’s late January outbreak.In many countries, unprecedented social distancing measures have been put in place in order to slow the spread of the virus. In the U.S., the majority of states have implemented quarantine orders. Study authors Tull and colleagues express that although these measures are vital for public health, the associated psychological impact is not yet understood. The researchers aimed to assess the impact of quarantine measures as well as the perceived impact of COVID-19 on mental health outcomes in the U.S. population. LinkedInlast_img read more

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BMJ, European group criticize WHO pandemic actions

first_imgJun 4, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – An article published by the British Medical Journal says three scientists who helped frame World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on pandemic influenza preparedness had consulted for pharmaceutical companies that stood to profit from the WHO guidance and that the WHO did not disclose the scientists’ industry ties.The lengthy report, published online yesterday, says the scientists had declared their industry connections in other publications, but the WHO did not reveal them in its guidance document, WHO Guidelines on the Use of Antivirals and Vaccines During an Influenza Pandemic, issued in 2004.The report also raises other questions about the WHO’s transparency and its management of potential conflicts of interest. In particular, it is critical of the WHO’s refusal to reveal the names of the members of its Emergency Committee, which was set up to help guide the WHO response to the H1N1 pandemic, including when to change pandemic alert phases. The secrecy fuels conspiracy theories about issues such as the triggering of vaccine contracts, the article says.In related developments, a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today approved a report that denounced the response of the WHO and European national health agencies to the pandemic as an “unjustified scare” that led to a waste of public resources, according to a Council of Europe press release. PACE’s social, health, and family affairs committee approved the report in Paris today, setting the stage for a debate on Jun 24 during PACE’s summer session.The WHO in recent months has repeatedly rejected charges of undue pharmaceutical company influence on its pandemic preparations and response and has said it has appropriate procedures for managing potential conflicts of interest. The agency recently commissioned a group of independent experts to review the WHO response to the pandemic.WHO advisors namedThe BMJ article was written by the journal’s features editor, Deborah Cohen, and Philip Carter, a journalist with the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.The article lists the three experts who helped develop the WHO guidance as Fred Hayden, of the University of Virginia and the Wellcome Trust; Arnold Monto of the University of Michigan, and Karl Nicholson of the University of Leicester, England.Hayden authored the part of the 2004 guidance document dealing with the use of antivirals in a pandemic, the article says. He told the BMJ that he was being paid by Roche, maker of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), for lectures and consulting when the guidance was produced. The guidance advised governments to consider making plans to ensure they would have a supply of antivirals in the event of a pandemic.The article says Monto wrote an annex to the WHO guidance that covered vaccine usage in a pandemic. At the time, he was declaring receiving honorariums, consulting fees, and/or research support form three companies, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and ViroPharma, according to the report.Nicholson wrote another annex, “Pandemic Influenza,” to the WHO guidance, the article says. According to declarations he made in BMJ and The Lancet in 2003, he had received travel funding and honoraria from Roche and GSK for consulting and for speaking at medical conferences.All three experts told the BMJ that the WHO required experts attending agency meetings to complete declarations of interest. But the article adds, “WHO itself did not publicly disclose any of these conflicts of interest when it published the 2004 guidance. It is not known whether information about these conflicts of interest was relayed privately to governments around the world when they were considering the advice contained in the guidelines.”The BMJ writers say they asked the WHO for the conflict-of-interest declarations for the meeting that launched the development of the 2004 guidance document. The request was turned down by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.Since 2004, according to the BMJ, the WHO has produced additional pandemic guidance prepared by experts who had received payments from manufacturers of antivirals and vaccines. These activities included a global preparedness plan in 2005 and an interim Pandemic Influenza Task Force in 2006.The article also contends that the WHO is inconsistent in its approach to transparency and its management of possible conflicts of interest. While it has kept secret the names of its Emergency Committee members, the names of its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization are public knowledge, and the agency publishes summaries of their declarations of interest.Following a Jun 1 meeting of the Emergency Committee, the WHO yesterday announced it would maintain the current phase 6 pandemic alert for the time being. In the announcement, Chan said the agency guards the names of the committee members “to protect the integrity and independence of the members while doing this crucial work,” but promised to reveal them eventually.The agency told the BMJ it protects the names of the Emergency Committee members to shield them from being influenced or targeted by industry.The BMJ article also raises questions about the quality and disclosure of data that led to the licensing of oseltamivir and zanamavir (Relenza) in Europe and the United States, a topic that the journal covered in a review in December. At that time the journal said it couldn’t get access to manufacturer data on the two drugs. Since then, staff members of the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have said the two agencies struggled with the “paucity” of data on zanamivir and oseltamivir, respectively, during the licensing process, the article says.Call for transparency supportedSteven Miles, MD, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, said the BMJ article shows that the WHO needs to be more transparent about its advisors’ potential conflicts of interest and the data it relies on.”The bottom line is that the WHO is looked to for health policy by the world community, including many countries which do not have the capacity to evaluate the health policy and technical questions that they turn to the WHO for guidance on,” he said.”For this reason the WHO has to have the strongest possible standard both with regard to managing conflicts of interest and transparency regarding the origins of its recommendations,” he added. “That includes disclosure not only of conflicts of interest bearing on its experts, but also transparency regarding the data they’re relying on.”In this circumstance it appears that neither was present—that there was no disclosure of industry ties of experts, but also that at least some of the data they were relying on was from industry-funded studies which were under proprietary control.”Miles said the fact that the three experts’ connections with industry were known because of their declarations in other publications doesn’t excuse the WHO from listing those ties in its guidance document.’It’s not enough if you disclose in one location if you don’t disclose in all the locations where you publish,” he said. Also, many of the journals in which the experts publish are not open-source journals, so many of the users of WHO guidelines, such as health officials in countries like Thailand or Nepal, would not have access to the publications in which disclosures were made, he added.In defense of the WHOThe WHO was defended today by Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News.Osterholm said the WHO needs to rely on leading experts on issues such as antivirals, and such experts will often have some ties to industry. He also said the BMJ writers presented no evidence that the industry connections of its advisors led to any inappropriate actions or recommendations by the WHO.”Over the years there’s been a small group of researchers who have concentrated in antiviral treatment and prevention for flu. Why should it be surprising that they may have worked with drug companies on these drugs?” he said. “To exclude them would be to exclude the universe of expertise.””Today it’s very easy to do science witch hunts or character assassination by inference. There’s no evidence whatever that any of these individuals acted improperly, nor did WHO,” Osterholm added.If the WHO wanted authoritative information on the use of antivirals, he said, “I can’t think of anybody in the world who would know more about it” than Hayden. “Is there any evidence that Fred or anyone like him recommended drugs that benefited him financially?”Osterholm said he is very supportive of transparency and disclosure, while asserting that the WHO has systems in place to prevent conflicts of interest from distorting recommendations or votes. Ultimately, he said, the relevant decisions were made by the WHO itself, not by its expert advisors.Council of Europe reportThe PACE committee report denouncing the pandemic response by the WHO and European governments was produced by committee member Paul Flynn, a Labour member of the British parliament.The Council of Europe, a group separate from the European Union, works on issues such as civil rights, economics, and democracy. The group was established after World War II and is made up of elected officials from 47 nations.The committee’s report charges that there were “grave shortcomings” in the transparency of decision making during the pandemic, which they say raises questions about pharmaceutical industry influence. They questioned why the WHO emergency group and European advisory groups didn’t publicize the names and conflict-of-interest declarations of their members.Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, appeared before the committee today to detail the journal’s report that scientists with drug industry ties helped WHO develop guidelines on flu vaccine stockpiling.The PACE committee’s report recommends several measures designed to improve transparency and safeguard against what it says is undue influence. The group also calls for a public fund to support independent research and expert advice, possibly funded by the pharmaceutical industry, and closer collaboration with the media to avoid sensationalistic coverage of public health events.Before and during a PACE committee hearing in January, the WHO defended itself from the accusations. Keiji Fukuda, MD, special advisor on pandemic influenza to the WHO director-general, said the new virus that quickly swept the globe required an unprecedented global cooperation from wide-ranging groups, including pharmaceutical companies.He said the International Health Regulations (IHR) provide an orderly framework for assessing and declaring a pandemic.A pharmaceutical company representative also rejected the committee’s charges at its hearing in January. Dr Luc Hessel, chairman of the European Vaccine Manufacturers Public Health Policy and Advocacy working group, said vaccine companies delivered a safe, effective vaccine in a timely manner, as countries asked them to do, based on the best information they had at the time.He said many governments had preexisting contracts for pandemic vaccine to avoid difficult negotiations and ease the response during a public health emergency. Hessel countered that vaccine companies have shouldered financial risks in advance of the pandemic by expanding production capacity.Several top health officials have defended government and WHO actions in the wake of the PACE committee’s criticisms.  For example, British Heath Secretary Andy Burnham told the House of Commons in January that he would not apologize for preparing to protect the public during a pandemic, and Australia’s chief medical officer, Jim Bishop, in a media report called some of the groups claims “historically and medically inaccurate” and said the WHO made its pandemic decisions based on cases and deaths in Mexico and the United States, not on pharmaceutical industry influence.At the recent World Health Assembly, which wrapped up its work on May 21, representatives from several nations, including France, India, and the United States, also defended the WHO’s pandemic actions, according to media reports. French health minister Roselyne Bachelot called criticism of the WHO’s response unfair.”The vaccine, which was the answer to a real danger, turned into a source of risk in the collective mind,” Bachelot said, according to Agence France-Presse. “The effects of this smear campaign are potentially devastating.”Cohen D, Carter P. Conflicts of interest: WHO and the pandemic flu “conspiracies.” BMJ 2010;340 (published online Jun 3) [Full text]See also:Jun 4 PACE statementJan 14 CIDRAP News story “WHO, vaccine group deny pandemic scare charges”Jan 26 CIDRAP News story “European hearing airs WHO pandemic response, critics’ charges”Jun 3 WHO emergency committee statementlast_img read more

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Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Sep 24, 2018

first_imgNew platform to detect and track drug-resistant infections in the worksThe office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) will partner with ILÚM Health Solutions to develop a research program to detect, track, and manage antibiotic-resistant infections at healthcare facilities across the state.According to a press release from the governor’s office, DOH and ILÚM—a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co.—will work together to develop an infectious disease platform and real-time information service that tracks drug-resistant organisms, patients, and outcomes,  delivers relevant insights to help healthcare providers make better treatments decisions, and connects DOH to state facilities. The collected data will also be used to aid in the development of new diagnostic tools.”Through public-private partnerships and investments in advanced research, New York State is working to help curb the spread of infectious diseases,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said in the press release. “This new partnership will make significant strides in detecting and managing infections, helping to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers.”Under the terms of the agreement, ILÚM will invest up to $48.6 million in the project over 5 years, and the New York State Life Sciences Initiative will commit $22.4 million. A pilot program at select facilities will be evaluated for efficiency and efficacy before the program is expanded throughout the state.Sep 24 NY governor’s office press release  CTX-M genes found in E coli isolates from US cattle, retail meat samplesA new study by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researchers has identified and characterized Escherichia coli carrying the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) gene CTX-M in food-producing animals and animal products in the United States. The study was published in the September issue of Microbial Drug Resistance.While CTX-M-producing E coli strains have become increasingly prevalent in hospitals in the United States and around the world and have been identified in bacteria from healthy animals in several countries, there have been fewer reports of CTX-M ESBLs in bacteria from food animals and animal products in the United States. Intestinal carriage of CTX-M–producing bacteria in food-producing animals and contamination of retail meat is a concern because it may contribute to increased incidences of infections with ESBL-producing bacteria in humans.To investigate the presence of CTX-M–carrying E coli in US food animals, the researchers conducted antibiotic susceptibility tests to determine which E coli isolates from cattle, chicken breasts, ground turkey, ground beef, and pork chops collected by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) from 2011 through 2015 were likely ESBL producers. They then performed whole-genome sequencing on the 18 phenotypically positive ESBL E coli isolates to characterize the resistome, plasmids, and resistance genes in all strains.Their analysis revealed that all of the isolates were resistant to at least three antimicrobial classes and carried various CTX-M genes, including blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-14, blaCTX-M-15, blaCTX-M-27, and blaCTX-M-32. Notably, this is the first report of E coli isolates from the NARMS retail meat program carrying blaCTX-M-14 and blaCTX-M-15, the two most frequently identified CTX-M genes worldwide. In addition, conjugation testing performed on seven of the isolates showed the CTX-M genes could be transferred to other E coli strains.The authors conclude, “While the prevalence of these two successful CTX-M enzymes is low from domestic food animal sources, monitoring will continue to help determine whether this mechanism is becoming more widespread among animal and food strains of E. coli in the United States.”Sep 1 Microb Drug Resist studylast_img read more

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Dual PRS push in east London

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Consortium Commercial Developments Limited v ABB Limited (30 July 2015)

first_imgEven though the lease expired over 4 years ago, the disrepair and failure to re-instate that existed at lease expiry has not been remedied and the case concerned the amount that should be awarded to the landlord in relation to such breaches of covenant. Such damages being limited by S.18 (1) of the landlord and Tenant Act 1927 to the diminution in value caused by the disrepair.By the time of the trial, the parties’ surveyors had agreed that the total costs of remedying the breaches of covenant came to £315,258.77 and that these works would take 12 weeks to undertake. The landlord claimed a further sum of £45,666.24 in relation to loss of rent and rates during this 12 weeks period based upon the previously passing rent of £160,000 per annum and rates at £728.60 per week.The expert valuers for the landlord and the tenant valued the premises in repair at £1.15millon and £775,000 respectively and, in disrepair, at £600,000 and £700,000 respectively.  Accordingly, it was the landlord’s case that the diminution in value was £550,000 whereas the tenant claimed that the diminution in value was only £75,000.Capella House was built in the early 1990s.  It is a detached single-storey glass-fronted building of just under 15,000 sq.ft.  It is a typical B1 hybrid business unit of its era and it is located on a business park on the fringe of the central business district of Milton Keynes. Buildings in the immediate vicinity are primarily used for warehousing or office purposes, whereas buildings somewhat closer to the Town Centre have been redeveloped for out-of-town retail purposes.The property was sublet in 2003 and, when the sub-tenant vacated about 4 years later, it paid the tenant a sum of £160,000 in relation to its dilapidations liabilities. The tenant then sought to relet the property in its unrepaired condition but it remained vacant for the remainder of the term and ever since.  When the lease expired in 2011, the market was weak and the property had very little prospect of being re-let whilst out of repair. However, the landlord did not want to fund the costs of the works without having first recovered the same from the tenant.  Furthermore, it took the view that it would make better sense to wait until the market improved and a better rent was achievable, rather than to incur the costs at this stage and then having to offer the premises at a low rent.In valuing the property, both valuers considered that the best price that would be obtainable would be by way of a sale to an intending owner/occupier rather than to an investor. Based upon what they considered to be relevant comparables, the valuers considered that the property had a rental value of £77.12 psf. (so far as the landlord’s valuer was concerned), and just over £52.00 psf. so far as the tenant’s valuer was concerned.  However, the Judge was critical of the approach of the landlord’s valuer and his lack of proper analysis. He also considered that the tenant’s valuer had not made appropriate adjustments to comparables to reflect the true rental value. The judge based his view of the correct value of the property in repair upon what he considered to be the best comparable. This had a rental value of £54.44 psf.  The judge adjusted this upwards to take account of the advantages that Capella House had over this comparable and he reached a value of just over £60.00 psf. which resulted in Capella House being valued in repair at £900,000.The judge then went on to consider the out of repair value and he accepted that it was not appropriate to approach this on a pound for pound basis i.e. he held a purchaser would not deduct from the sum of £900,000 the full cost of the repairs.The judge approached the calculation of the deduction for disrepair based on the amount a likely purchaser would factor in for works that it would want to undertake and, having considered comparable evidence, the judge considered that a purchaser would seek a reduction based upon £15.00 psf. which would equate to £225,000.  Accordingly, the judge concluded that the value of the property in disrepair was £675,000 and the diminution in value was £225,000.The judge then considered the claim for costs of some £15,000 for re-instatement works that had not yet been undertaken.  The judge concluded that these items did need to be carried out and would be undertaken eventually to help re-let the premises in good condition. Accordingly, the Judge allowed this claim in full. However, the judge was not sympathetic to the claim for loss of  rent and rates.  The Judge did not think it was correct to simply award rent and rates for 12 weeks just because the works would take that long.  The simple fact of the matter is that the property would have been extremely difficult to relet in 2011 in repair and the claimant could not prove that the disrepair had caused it any loss of rent and rates.Finally, the judge went on to consider the rate of interest the tenant should pay on the damages awarded.  The landlord claimed interest at 6% on the basis that the tenant should be penalised for having retained the sum of £160,000 from its sub-tenant and not having paid any sum at all to the landlord.  The Jjdge, though, considered it inappropriate to penalise the tenant and he awarded interest at what he regarded as a commercial rate of 2.5% above base rate i.e. 3% per annum.In conclusion, the landlord recovered approximately 40% of the amount it was claiming and the tenant paid just over three times the amount that it considered it was liable for.  It would seem likely that the parties’ total legal costs exceeded the amount of the damages awarded and it would be interesting to know who has to pay such costs i.e. whether either party successfully protected their position by way of a Part 36 Offer?Jonathan Ross is head of commercial property litigation at Forsters LLPlast_img read more

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OPINION: Future of Education Is Here

first_img Oct 15, 2020 Oct 16, 2020 The world has not planned well for the future. At its worst, education has for too long been underprioritised, and at its best, has been viewed as just one among many competing priorities. Before COVID-19, the funding gap for education in low-income and middle-low income countries – many already plagued with extreme poverty, weak infrastructure, armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement – amounted to $148 billion. This funding gap is now estimated to increase by up to one-third. You may be interested in… Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC NEW YORK, Aug 19 2020 (IPS) – There are moments when the world has no choice but to come together. Those moments become historic turning points. This is one of them. We are now faced with the greatest education emergency of our time. Over one billion children are out of school. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis of such magnitude and depth that the next generation might neither have the capacity and tools, nor the will, to rebuild – let alone build back better. Oct 16, 2020 COVID-19 has laid bare our collective failure to prioritise education. “The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and magnified the global learning crisis. The future of an entire generation is at risk,” warned United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when launching his Policy Brief on Education earlier this month, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history.” More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak St. Lucia records more cases of COVID Oct 15, 2020 Read more at: InterPress Service Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… The number of out-of-school children who may never set foot in a school again is now rapidly escalating. An estimated 30 million children and youth are of immediate concern, according to UNESCO’s assessment. In a letter to the international community, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the Education Cannot Wait’s High Level Steering Group, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, together with 275 world leaders, politicians, academics and civil society, calls for urgent action to address the global education crisis triggered by COVID-19. Call to Action for CARICOM Education Ministers: COVID-19 and EducationIt is evident, that a critical paradigm shift in educational provision is needed; we need to ensure educational resilience through digital transformation. I take this opportunity as the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) to call…April 16, 2020In “Antigua & Barbuda”Use crisis to propel Region into future – business leaderThe COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the Region into the future, as far as the jobs landscape was concerned, regional business leader and author, Mr. Wayne Chen, said Wednesday. He was at the time speaking during a three-hour CARICOM Digital Dialogue hosted by the CARICOM Girls ICT Partnership. It was held…May 28, 2020In “Agriculture”St. Lucia: Considerations for phased school reopeningIn an effort to respond to and prepare for COVID-19, Saint Lucia implemented a number of control measures. Some of these measures included movement restrictions, closure of businesses, travel restrictions, the 24 hour shut down, the institution of curfews and from very early, the closure of schools.Saint Lucia, like many…May 25, 2020In “General”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

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Automotive Icon Jerry Riccioni Passes Away At 63

first_imgDeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. Gerald “Jerry” Riccioni, 63, passed away last week, leaving a legacy of enthusiasm for the automotive aftermarket. Riccioni led the Old World Industries (OWI) national sales team for the past 30 years. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“He was an iconic automotive aftermarket executive whose loss will be felt by the entire industry and will be missed by all,” said Tom Hurvis, founder of Old World Industries, makers of PEAK automotive products.“Jerry was one of the highest energy and most creative people I have worked with in the aftermarket. Jerry didn’t know the word ‘no’; he always found a way to make it work. A true partner in the business and a good friend,” said Ken Klein, vice president of merchandising customer satisfaction at AutoZone.His vision for the retail customer and DIY consumer ignited sales of OWI’s flagship brand, Peak. He is credited with helping launch Peak Wiper Blades, Electronics, Motor Oil and gaining distribution for BlueDEF (diesel exhaust fluid), while also managing acquisitions, including most recently EiKO automotive lighting.Advertisement“Jerry was more than just a supplier to myself and O’Reilly Auto Parts. He was a good friend who truly cared about you as a person and your company. He would always find a way to make everything work out when we had any issues so that our company and Old World continued to grow. He was well-respected in the industry and will be missed not only at Old World, but in the industry as a whole. I will truly miss working with him as I have in the past,” said Tom Seboldt, vice president of merchandise at O’Reilly Auto Parts.Riccioni is survived by his wife Kim Jones, and two stepsons, Michael and Christopher Jones. OWI is planning to honor Riccioni and will be making an announcement in early 2017.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

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