3 Guerrilla Filmmaking Locations That Increase Production Value Every Time

first_imgIndie productions need to be picky with their locations in order to keep production value high. These easy-to-shoot guerrilla filmmaking locations will work wonders for filmmakers on a budget.Top image from Sherif MokbelSeeing an independent feature through from A to Z is one of the more exhausting tasks filmmakers will ever face. Specifically, the challenge of keeping the production value high when working with very little (if any) budget is extremely daunting to say the least. Personally, I always recommend working with a production designer if you can afford one. That said, if you don’t have the budget to bring a production designer on board, never rely on yourself to take on that task because your project will suffer.In my opinion, a wiser course of action would be to find low cost locations that require little or no production design. And as an indie filmmaker working on a very tight budget, chances are your crew is small, which means you have one benefit working for you: you can shoot guerrilla-style if you need to.Always know that when you shoot guerrilla-style (without permits), you’re doing so at your own risk, and you need to know the legalities and penalties associated with doing so wherever you’re shooting. With that said, if you’re going to go down that path, the three locations below will allow you to shoot easily without breaking the bank.1. Downtown City StreetsImage from Made in L.A.Shooting in the downtown core of just about any city can add a lot of production value to your piece. Rather than limiting your sets to interiors or quick generic-looking establishing shots, if you’re able to get away with shooting in a downtown core, your production design has been taken care of before you even step on set.Not to mention, there are some logistical benefits to shooting this way too. One example is the fact that skyscrapers create massive shadows on city streets which can be extremely helpful for lighting (or not lighting) your talent when shooting in the middle of the day.2. BeachesImage from Maya Vision InternationalIf you’re going for eye candy, there’s nothing like a beautiful beach shot to add production value to your scene. Beaches are typically very easy to shoot at, and this is especially true if you’re working at golden hour when lighting isn’t a major issue. Typically the biggest issue you might run into when shooting on a beach is sound (from the wind and water), but with regards to production value and production design, your work is once again done for you.Not all stories necessarily call for a beach setting, but if your film has a dialogue scene that could take place anywhere (a park, coffee shop, etc) consider setting it somewhere like a beach to add quality without breaking the bank.3. Rustic or Abandoned PropertiesI wouldn’t ever recommend shooting on an abandoned property of any type without permission, but I’m still including it on this list as it’s very possible to get permits for abandoned properties for little or no money at all. The same goes for working properties that are run down (such as an old house or factory).Having a lot of production value doesn’t always mean that your sets need to look expensive, it just means that they need to look authentic and detailed. So if your film calls for a more gritty aesthetic and you’re seeking out a rustic looking property — chances are you’ll be able to get legal permission to shoot there for next to nothing.If you’re interested in a few more guerrilla filmmaking dos and don’ts, check out this video from Ryan Connolly and the Film Riot crew.Got any other tips for guerrilla filmmakers? Share them in the comments below!last_img read more


first_imgPaes said Somdev and Yuki were capable of winning against their Czech opponents. He said he followed the New Zealand tie and they did a great job there but reminded that conditions will be too tough in Delhi. “In sport, margins are very small. It could be just one shot, not one rally or a set. The conditions are going to be benefiting the team which is better mentally and physically,” he said. Talking about Radek Stepanek with whom he has won two Grand Slams, Paes said the doubles match against him will be very tough. “Radek is one of my dear friends. He is an athlete I have tremendous respect for. To welcome Radek to India is special to me. Quality of tennis on Saturday is going to be very high. He wil be coming out in full force to get scalp of me in my own country. I am going to be ready for that.” Paes said he was eyeing not only mens doubles but also mixed doubles at the Rio Olympic Games but more importantly he wants to stay fit and prepare well. “Preparations for Rio are going well, I won three Grand Slams on the trot, a bit short of winning all four and that would have been unbelievable year. Playing with Rohan in September showed we can produce results. Rio will be on hard courts, a surface both of us are very comfortable. I have already won one (Olympic medal) in singles and if I can add one more to that it would be fantastic,” said Paes. “More important is to get to Rio in 100 percent conditions. Everybody is talking about who will be playing but for me preparation is important,” he said. PTI AT PDS ATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Broadcasting Ban on TV’s “E” for Racist Comments against Antetokounmpo

first_imgThe Greek National Council for Radio and Television (ESR) imposed on TV channel “E” a 24-hour broadcasting ban scheduled for January 10, 2019, it was announced on Tuesday, as penalty for the offensive comments made by Dimitris Tsoukalas during his show in relation to basketball player Thanassis Antetokounmpo.E channel is also made to pay 30,000 euros for broadcasting racist statements and low-quality programming. The ESR took into consideration when determining the fine the remorse shown by the channel and the fact that the program in question has already been discontinued, both of which were seen as mitigating factors.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Report: Real Madrid 3 Las Palmas 0

first_imgReal Madrid 3 Las Palmas 0: Zidane’s men bounce back from Tottenham defeat Ryan Benson 05:36 11/6/17 asensio-croopped Getty Images Goals from Casemiro, Marco Asensio and Isco secured Real Madrid an easy 3-0 win over Las Palmas in LaLiga on Sunday. Real Madrid bounced back from consecutive defeats to Girona and Tottenham by producing a commanding display to beat Las Palmas 3-0 in LaLiga on Sunday, with Marco Asensio’s stunning goal stealing the show.Zinedine Zidane’s men could ill-afford another loss after Barcelona went 11 points clear of them by beating Sevilla 2-1 on Saturday, but they rarely looked in trouble, showing a significant improvement from their Champions League loss to Spurs on Wednesday.Madrid spent much of the first half on the front foot and created a host of chances, with Karim Benzema wasting a glorious opportunity early on and Cristiano Ronaldo – who endured another frustrating day in front of goal in LaLiga – going on to hit the post. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Las Palmas’ resistance was finally ended by Casemiro just before the break, with the Brazilian’s goal the first header scored by Madrid in any competition this season.1 – Casemiro is the first Real Madrid player to score a headed goal this season in all competitions. Strange. pic.twitter.com/dEZTmAZpLt— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 5, 2017Asensio effectively wrapped things up early in the second half with a ferocious effort from 25 yards.And Isco completed the scoring with an easy finish from Ronaldo’s cross in the 74th minute, handing Las Palmas a seventh successive league defeat, while Madrid moved back up to third.It took just four minutes for Zidane’s side to carve the visitors open and create the first chance, but Benzema’s finish was one of a player lacking confidence, as the French striker shot straight at Raul Lizoain when one-on-one.Las Palmas almost made them pay for that miss a few moments later, Vitolo charging into the right side of the area and forcing Kiko Casilla into an important stop.The hosts remained the dominant force, however, and felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty in the 24th minute when Isco’s chipped pass appeared to strike the arm of Ximo Navarro.Las Palmas then had the frame of the goal to thank shortly after, as Ronaldo saw his curling left-footed effort clip the outside of the left-hand post from 18 yards.The breakthrough eventually came four minutes before half-time, Casemiro heading in from six yards after a corner was deflected through to him.Las Palmas were more purposeful at the start of the second half and felt they should have had a penalty when Vitolo appeared to be pulled back by Casemiro.And Madrid took full advantage of that let-off in stunning fashion just before the hour mark.The visitors cleared a free-kick as far as the lurking Asensio and he lashed an unstoppable half-volley into the top-left corner from 25 yards. What a rocket by @marcoasensio10!#RealMadrid 2-0 @UDLP_Oficial pic.twitter.com/jgt379OCMF— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) November 5, 2017Ronaldo showed signs of frustration as his poor league form in front of goal continued, but he did make a telling contribution 16 minutes from time, crossing in for Isco to tuck in a third.Madrid probably should have been awarded a late penalty when Mauricio Lemos tripped Nacho Fernandez in the box, but it had no impact on the end result, as the hosts confidently secured all three points. read morelast_img read more

Lower Charter Rate for Diana’s Medusa

first_imgzoom Greek dry bulk ship owner and operator Diana Shipping has entered into a time charter contract with Switzerland-based firm Quadra Commodities S.A. for one of its Kamsarmax dry bulk vessels, the m/v Medusa, with much lower charter rate compared to the employment of the ship in 2015.The gross charter rate is USD 6,300 per day for a period of up to minimum March 15, 2017 to maximum July 30, 2017. Diana Shipping says the employment is to generate approx. USD 2.15 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period.In comparison with 2015, when Medusa’s gross charter rate was USD 7,450 per day, the price has fallen due to turbulent times for the dry bulk market.Built in 2010, Medusa (formerly Torm Island) joined Diana’s fleet in 2015 and was chartered out immediately to Clearlake Shipping Pte from Singapore.Diana Shipping’s fleet currently consists of 45 dry bulk vessels.last_img read more

Le ministre lève le drapeau à loccasion de la Fête nationale des

first_imgDes familles de toutes les régions de la province montrent de façon spéciale leur fierté acadienne et francophone à l’occasion de la Fête nationale des Acadiens qui se tient aujourd’hui, 15 août. Le ministre des Affaires acadiennes, David Wilson, était accompagné de membres de la communauté acadienne et francophone pour le lever du drapeau acadien à Province House. « La Fête nationale des Acadiens est vraiment une célébration de la vitalité culturelle et du patrimoine durable du peuple acadien, de dire M. Wilson. L’histoire du peuple acadien en est une de grande résilience et je suis fier de souligner l’effet extraordinaire que la culture acadienne et francophone a eu sur notre province. » « La Fête nationale des Acadiens est l’occasion idéale de célébrer nos réalisations, notre patrimoine et notre contribution au développement de la Nouvelle-Écosse, précise Justin Mury, président de la Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Nous souhaitons à tous les gens de descendance acadienne et à notre communauté élargie une très belle Fête des Acadiens. » À titre de division du ministère des Communautés, de la Culture et du Patrimoine, les Affaires acadiennes contribuent à la préservation et à l’essor des collectivités acadiennes et francophones en conseillant le gouvernement et en soutenant ses efforts pour offrir des services en français. Pour des photos de l’activité, suivez la Province en français sur Twitter @GouvNE.last_img read more

ONCF Pledges to Improve Quality After Long Train Delays

Rabat – Morocco’s railways operator ONCF has pledged to improve quality after technical problems caused long delays.ONCF said in a statement that technical problems and construction work caused long delays in the arrival of trains and has vowed to implement an “immediate action plan” to improve the quality of its services.The company said that delays were caused by technical problems at the overhead cable system in the El Mansouria station on Wednesday May 12th, and that it is being renewed (progress rate 70 per cent). Disruptions were also due to the fact that part of the company’s fleet is being maintained and renovated in preparation for the summer period, in addition to construction work on the two existing tracks and overhead cable system on the Kenitra-Casablanca axis (progress rate: 65 per cent).Renovating signaling installation and improving security of the rail network (constructing footbridges and wall fences) also caused delays, the company added.Therefore, ONCF has promised to improve punctuality, comfort, availability of equipment and the flow of travelers. It also said it will not reduce the number of daily trains and will mobilize teams to conduct maintenance work during the night. read more

Road Maps success depends on Israelis Palestinians staying the course UN official

“The Road Map implementation process will not likely be easy, but its goal, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, is too important for the parties to be deterred from by early difficulties,” Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Danilo Türk said in an open briefing to the Council on developments since 19 March.The Road Map, a plan put forward by the diplomatic Quartet – the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States – which calls for parallel responses by the Israelis and Palestinians to security, political, economic and humanitarian issues, will be presented to the parties once the Palestinian Cabinet has been confirmed, Mr. Türk noted.He also stressed that in the face of the grim reality on the ground, with continuing terrorist attacks on the Israelis and the deepening humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the path ahead represented the only realistic hope for ending the current cycle of violence and counter-violence.On the political front, Mr. Türk said the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, should receive the full, active cooperation of the international community as he works to curb terrorism and continue the reform process.”We hope that Abu Mazen will be empowered to continue and extend the Palestinian reform process,” Mr. Türk told the Council. “He must prove to be a leader who will provide the Palestinian people with the transparent, effective government they deserve. He must also provide the Israelis with the partner in peace that they need.”Turning to the Government of Israel, Mr. Türk said that it had an important role to play in ensuring the success of the new Palestinian Government. Crucial first steps would include facilitating the reform process and minimizing the effects of security measures on the people of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Removal of internal closures and lifting of curfews would be welcome developments. Such steps would empower the Palestinian Authority and Abu Mazen to take action against terrorists.”Recent statements by Prime Minister (Ariel) Sharon in support of a peace process in which he acknowledges that Israel might need to make ‘painful concessions,’ including the removal of some settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, are to be welcomed,” Mr. Türk said. “Israel’s early embrace of the Road Map and active implementation of the process would seem to be an essential manifestation of the support expressed by Mr. Sharon.” read more

Women call for studies of health impact of environmental degradation

Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme “Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE),” some 140 women representing 60 countries at the Global Women’s Assembly on the Environment also recommended pinpointing the roles of women in the environmental recovery of war-torn zones.The WAVE assembly, sponsored by the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the New York-based Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), included environment ministers from Iran, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Sweden.The manifesto, which will be given to governments attending UNEP’s Governing Council in February 2005 for action, said, “Globalization, militarization, fundamentalism, and the market-driven economic model have undermined the achievement of the agreed goals.”It included expressions of similar deep concern over “the ever-widening gap between rich and poor,” “unsustainable levels of production and consumption” and the “culture of fear and threat, with its many conflicts and increasing levels of violence and militarization.”The Network of Women Ministers for the Environment, chaired by Lena Sommestad of Sweden and Rejoice Madubafhasi of South Africa, drafted a separate declaration for presentation at the 2005 Governing Council meeting, which has as its theme gender equality and empowerment.The WAVE assembly aimed to put women’s issues at the centre of the global effort to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty and integrate them into the World Summit on Sustainable Development’s Plan of Implementation.UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said, “In the past, the role of women and their know-how has often been sidelined. I sincerely hope that our assembly signals an end to this gender apartheid. All too often women are treated like second-class citizens, with fewer rights and lower status than men. I hope we have now started a WAVE that will wash away the inequities of the past and bring women into the centre of environment and development issues.”Ms. Sommestad said the delegates had been inspired by the presence of Prof. Wangari Maathai, this year’s Nobel Peace Laureate and Kenya’s deputy environment minister, who addressed the assembly’s opening ceremony. read more

Top UN peacekeeper hopeful of resumption of talks in GeorgianAbkhaz conflict

“Although differences on substantive issues remain, I found a willingness on both sides to address them in a practical and pragmatic way,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno said yesterday at the end of a visit during which he had held “constructive discussions” with leaders on both sides, who showed an openness to reengage and resume the peace process.Talks between the sides were frozen for much of last year, in part due to protracted elections in Abkhazia, and no progress has been made on the core issue of the political status of Abkhazia within Georgia since the Abkhaz side has for the past several years invoked its unilateral “declaration of independence” of 1999.Mr. Guéhenno said he was hopeful the openness he found would lead to more substantive exchanges and eventually produce concrete results in the three priority areas – political and security matters, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and economic cooperation.He noted that a spring meeting in Geneva of the so-called Group of the Friends of the Secretary-General (Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), who are assisting in seeking a solution, provided a fresh opportunity for both sides to meet.“I feel quite confident about the willingness of both sides to consider further steps towards a peaceful resolution,” he added.In his latest report on the situation last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) remained vital in preventing a flare-up of hostilities, and the Security Council extended its mandate for a further six months until 31 July, calling for a settlement that fully respected Georgia’s territorial integrity.UNOMIG, which consists of 130 uniformed personnel, including 119 military observers and 11 civilian police supported by 103 international civilian personnel and 184 local civilian staff, was established in 1994 after an accord reached in Moscow ended the fighting in Georgia’s northwestern corner. read more

Maple Leaf Q4 profit soars to 546M despite slight decline in sales

Maple Leaf Q4 profit soars to $54.6M despite slight decline in sales revenue by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 26, 2013 9:13 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX: MFI) is raising prices due to cost increases caused by the droughts last year, chief executive Michael McCain said Tuesday as the company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $54.6 million.The company has already increased some and warned that lower hog production will likely cause higher hog and meat prices in first half of this year.McCain said the higher prices will likely lead to some short-term earnings volatility in the first half of the year.“We’ve demonstrated over time that we have the pricing power to pass through those economics, but there can be some unpredictable volatility over a quarter or two as we go through that process,” he told a conference call with financial analysts.The company said its profit amounted to 38 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $8.4 million or six cents per diluted share in the same 2011 quarter. Revenue fell 3.3 per cent to $1.2 billion from $1.24 billion.Maple Leaf said lower restructuring costs and higher gross margins were among reasons for the more than six-fold increase in its fourth-quarter profit.Adjusted earnings were 38 cents per share in the quarter, compared with 21 cents a year ago.Revenue was slightly below the average estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters, but Maple Leaf’s profit beat estimates of 31 cents per share of adjusted earnings and 27 cents per share of net income.McCain said this year will see significant changes as the company opens several new operations and overhauls others as part of Maple Leaf’s restructuring. The company expects to spend about $139 million on restructuring costs between this year and 2015.In its outlook for 2013, the company said it expected $425 million in capital expenditures, up from $306 million in 2012.Last month the company sold a potato processing product facility in Lethbridge, Alta., to Cavendish Farms for $57.8 million and announced plans to close a bakery in Grand Falls, N.B., and another in Edmonton.Maple Leaf expects to take a $6.3-million restructuring charge before taxes related to the closures.For all of 2012, the company earned $115.3 million or 81 cents per diluted share on sales of $4.86 billion, compared with $82.1 million or 58 cents per diluted share on sales of $4.89 billion in 2011.McCain said the results “reflect steady, ongoing progress in realizing earnings growth.”“The challenging market conditions in primary pork processing margins and consumer bread demand were significant headwinds for the year,” McCain said.The company’s meat products and agribusiness operations reported sales of $814.2 million in the fourth quarter, down from $845.3 million last year. For the full year, sales for the Group totalled about $3.3 billion, roughly the same as 2011.Adjusted operating earnings grew to $60.8 million for the quarter, up from $42.2 million a year ago, while they totalled $189.7 million for the year, up from $177.9 million.Maple Leaf’s bakery business, which includes the Dempster’s, Tenderflake, and Olivieri brands, saw fourth-quarter sales slip to $390.6 million compared to $400 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales for all of 2012 for the group amounted to $1.57 billion, down from $1.59 billion for 2011.The unit reported adjusted operating earnings for the fourth quarter grew to $31.4 million from $16.1 million in the last three months of 2011 as growth in the fresh bakery and North American frozen bakery businesses was partly offset by lower earnings in the fresh pasta business.For the full year, the bakery group earned an adjusted operating profit of $97.6 million, up from $86.3 million in 2011.The company has some 20,000 employees at operations in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia is a leading value-added meat, meals and bakery company. read more

Daring flight removes 2 sick workers from South Pole station

CHILE OUT – NO PUBLICAR EN CHILE – A worker from the U.S. South Pole Amundsen-Scott station arrives at a clinic in Punta Arenas, Chile, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. A small plane with two sick U.S. workers arrived safely in Chile after leaving Antarctica in a daring rescue mission from the remote South Pole research station, officials said. (AP Photo/Joel Estay) by Seth Borenstein And Eva Vergara, The Associated Press Posted Jun 22, 2016 5:56 am MDT Last Updated Jun 23, 2016 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Daring flight removes 2 sick workers from South Pole station SANTIAGO, Chile – Two people who fell ill while working at the U.S. research station at the South Pole have been evacuated by a small plane that made the daring rescue flight in Antarctica’s harsh winter.The National Science Foundation said the two workers arrived safely late Wednesday in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile, after a long trip from the Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole. They stopped for a few hours at a British station on the edge of Antarctica to be put on another plane.“From Punta Arenas, the two patients aboard will be transported to a medical facility that can provide a level of care that is not available at Amundsen-Scott,” said a statement on the National Science Foundation’s Facebook page.The foundation runs Amundsen-Scott and two other centres in Antarctica. It did not identify the sick workers or give their conditions, citing medical privacy. They were described only as seasonal employees of Lockheed Martin, which is the prime contractor for operations and research support for the foundation’s Antarctic program.At Magallanes Clinic in Punta Arenas, nurse Mauricio Seron told The Associated Press that a female patient “with a gastric problem” was the sicker of the two. He said the second was a male patient who had suffered a heart attack. The woman was carried in on a stretcher and the man walked in on his own accord.In a hectic two days of flying, the rescue team flew 3,000 miles roundtrip from Britain’s Rothera station to the South Pole and returned to Rothera with the sick workers Wednesday afternoon, said Peter West, spokesman for the National Science Foundation. The workers were transferred to a second Canadian-owned Twin Otter plane for the flight to Punta Arenas.At Rothera, the temperature was a balmy 27.5 degrees (minus 2.5 Celsius) Wednesday afternoon. That was toasty compared to the South Pole where it was minus 75 (minus 60 Celsius) in the morning.West confirmed that the operation, coming right after the equinox, was the darkest and coldest of all past missions to the South Pole for medical evacuation. He said that the departure of the two workers should not affect the functioning of the base.Before they left, there were 48 people — 39 men and nine women — at the Amundsen-Scott station for the winter.Normally planes don’t go to the U.S. polar outpost from February to October because of the dangers of flying in the pitch-dark and cold. The first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere was Monday — the sun will not rise at the South Pole until the first day of spring in September.Steve Barnet, who works with a University of Wisconsin astronomy team at the polar station but is in the U.S. now, lauded the rescue crew.“The courage of the pilots to make the flight in extremely harsh conditions is incredible and inspiring,” Barnet wrote in an email.The extreme cold affects a lot of things on planes, including fuel, which needs to be warmed before takeoff, batteries and hydraulics, West said. The Twin Otter can fly in temperatures as low as minus 103 degrees (minus 75 degrees Celsius), he said.“The air and Antarctica are unforgiving environments and punishes any slackness very hard,” said Tim Stockings, operations director for the British Antarctic Survey. “If you are complacent it will bite you.”“Things can change very quickly down there” with ice from clouds, high winds and snow, he said.The station has a doctor and a physician’s assistant and is connected to doctors in the U.S. for consultation, West said, but sometimes workers need medical care that can’t be provided at the South Pole. There have been three emergency evacuations from Amundsen-Scott since 1999.The 1999 flight, which was done in Antarctic spring during slightly better conditions, rescued the station’s doctor, Jerri Nielsen, who had breast cancer and had been treating herself. Rescues also were done in 2001 and 2003, both for gallbladder problems.Scientists have had a station at the South Pole since 1956. It does astronomy, physics and environmental science with telescopes, seismographs and instruments that monitor the atmosphere. The foundation runs two other research stations in Antarctica.___Online:National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov___Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein reported this story from Washington, AP writer Eva Vergara reported in Santiago, and AP videographer Joel Estay reported in Punta Arenas.___Seth Borenstein is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/borenbears . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/seth-borenstein . read more

Redefining the hotel

first_imgWhen lawyer Bill Kordos came across a photograph of the Water Rat Hotel taken in 1919, he was smitten. With a keen interest in architecture, Bill set out with fellow investor Victor Stroumos to revitalise the historic South Melbourne watering hole. “The culture of the management team is focused on excellence … there’s a very positive energy within the team.”Bill Kordos“It’s been an iconic landmark for over 100 years,” says Bill, who researched the hotel’s history before buying it. “We thought it would be a magnificent opportunity to bring it back to life and create a contemporary fine-dining venue that still resonates in its Victorian grandeur.” And bring it back to life they did. A classy renovation and revamped menu has brought in new customers and kept them coming. Six years after moving into the hospitality business, Bill and Vic’s investment is paying big dividends. Last month the Water Rat won the Best Restaurant (Metropolitan) – Victoria Award given by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA). Along with refurbishing the hotel, the owners made some shrewd appointments to get it where it is today. Offering a menu beyond the usual expectations, created by a chef with imagination and ambition, has been key. Kiwi culinary ace Chris Worley joined the team last year and says realising the Water Rat’s vision is more than making the best chicken parmigiana. “Customers come back for what they try, not for just the standard generic dishes.” While Chris’ menu pays homage to pub favourites, dishes like sun-dried tomato stuffed duck breast with chargrilled vegetable tian and a fig glaze puts some clear blue water between the hotel’s offerings and traditional pub meals. “We’ve gone step by step, it’s about building a relationship with our clients,” says Chris, who points out that since winning the AHA award, prices have remained the same. The business’s commercial success is also down to Lia Spyropoulou, who as Functions and Marketing Manager, alongside chef Chris, make up the only full-time staff. Born in Chalkida in 1987, Lia studied marketing at La Trobe University, before starting at the Water Rat in 2009. Pitched in at the deep end, Lia’s first task was to introduce new cost management systems. Lia’s scope of work not only involves being the public face of the hotel, she also deals with its day to day management, and with 15 front of house staff and four in the kitchen, it’s no small order. “I do all the rosters and daily procedures. I want my own place one day, so this is good experience for me,” says Lia, who won the AHA’s ‘Rising Star’ Award for 2011. Though the Water Rat is Lia’s first job, she’s been a perfect fit. “The culture of the management team is focused on excellence and there’s a very positive energy within the team,” says Bill Kordos. In Lia, that energy is clear to see and hear. “I’ve learned heaps,” admits the young marketing manager, “particularly in terms of dealing with difficult situations and customers.” With an a la carte menu that changes every two months to keep it seasonal, the Water Rat has become known for its wine dinners – six course gastronomic feasts matched with fine wines. “They’re so much fun,” says Lia, who extends her role to be the welcoming host on such occasions. While the restaurant is getting accolades and drawing ever greater numbers, the mainstay of the turnover continues to come from functions. “It’s 60 per cent of our business,” says Lia, “they can be corporate events, birthday parties, engagements, and weddings.There’s a Greek church just two blocks up, so it’s easy for people to come here. We can do 350 stand-ups or 100 for a sit-down dinner.” With no intention of resting on their laurels, Bill Kordos says the next target is already in their sights. “We’re committed to being the premier functions venue in Victoria with a chef’s hat dining rating.” The owners’ passion for the hospitality business is so obviously shared by their staff, and therein lies the reason for the Water Rat Hotel’s recent achievements. “The best restaurant award was a big first step,” says Lia, “but our vision is to be the leading hotel in Victoria. I want us to be the best.” With its winning management team the historic Water Rat Hotel is in good hands, and one of Melbourne’s rising stars in the hospitality industry.The Water Rat Hotel, 256 Moray Street, South Melbourne. Victoria 3205. For bookings call Lia Spyropoulou on (03) 9686 1973 or 0404 10817. www.thewaterrathotel.com.au Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Members of Society for Human Resource Management Pay a Visit to the

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 26, 2017 – Nassau – Members of The Bahamas Society for Human Resource Management called upon Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General, at Government House on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.Pictured at the courtesy call, from left: Lauren Adderley, Tanya Rahming, Chrislyn Benjamin, H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Nekessa Beneby, Edris Davis and Akua Anyane.(BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson) Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

City Council votes 54 to proceed with Housing Navigation Center

first_img KUSI Newsroom City Council votes 5-4 to proceed with Housing Navigation Center KUSI Newsroom, Posted: November 14, 2018 November 14, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council voted, 5-4, Tuesday to proceed with a proposed Housing Navigation Center that will offer services and programs to help homeless residents find housing and obtain medical care, mental health treatment, job training and other supportive services.With the vote, the city enters into a one-year agreement from Dec. 1, 2018 to Nov. 30, 2019 with Family Health Centers of San Diego to operate the center. The agreement includes four optional one-year extensions.The council, acting as the San Diego Housing Authority, also authorized a memorandum of understanding on the roles the city and the San Diego Housing Commission will play in the operation of the navigation center, with the Housing Commission overseeing the day-to-day management and oversight of the facility.“Helping someone transition from homelessness isn’t just about finding an apartment, it is about rebuilding a life” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “A navigation center will be where this starts. Where people can find financial assistance to get back on their feet; where people can reconnect with family; where people can get an ID, assistance from (Veterans Affairs) benefits or access to healthcare from county and federal services.”The council voted unanimously in January to purchase a building in downtown San Diego that will eventually house the navigation center. The city agreed to pay $7.3 million for a building at 1401 Imperial Ave., adjacent to Father Joe’s Villages and a trolley station.Funding for the navigation center is expected to total $1.8 million during the first year and $1.5 million each subsequent year, with $1 million annually coming from the city’s Community Development Block Grant program.The vote could be the council’s last significant one before the three new City Council members are sworn in next month, and it did not lack partisan politics despite the council being technically nonpartisan. Democratic City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole voted with the council’s four Republicans in favor of the proposal, while Democratic City Council members Barbara Bry, Chris Ward, David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez voted against it.Council Democrats noted that the navigation center does not include sorely needed new housing units. Ward, who represents the district the navigation center will be in, argued that the center does nothing new to assist the city’s homeless population.“This no longer aspires to be a one-stop, low-barrier shelter model with access to multiple providers and on-site services, targeting the chronically homeless and those living in encampments,” Ward said. “Instead, this proposal will provide zero additional shelter beds, zero additional housing units, and zero additional services for our vulnerable population.”City officials remain unsure how many homeless residents will use the navigation center each year. The city’s 2018 Point in Time report found San Diego’s unsheltered homeless population at roughly 5,000, with another 3,500 homeless residents in emergency shelters and transitional housing. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Bernie Sanders bringing presidential campaign to San Diego

first_img KUSI Newsroom Posted: March 18, 2019 Updated: 9:48 AM Categories: Local San Diego News, Trending FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, center_img March 18, 2019 Bernie Sanders bringing presidential campaign to San Diego 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Bernie Sanders will bring his presidential campaign to San Diego, as California gears up to play a significant role in who the Democrats will select to run against President Trump in 2020.As KUSI’s Steve Bosh reports, this is because California is joining eight other states in moving up its primary to MarchThe traditional campaign strategy is focusing on the Iowa caucus, the first primary in New Hampshire, followed by three other primaries may not work this time around.But can candidates afford not to compete in California?“It has really multiple media markets which means they not only have to invest time in our state cause our delegates are more than all of those states put together”, says Will Rodriguez Kennedy,  Chair of the County Democratic Party. “If you don’t play in California you’re sitting out hundreds of delegates that are critical to where you need to go. You’re going to see a really interesting contest to see if someone gets a majority, and the votes are done proportionally so they’re gonna want to get as many delegates as they can.”We’re also reminded that California’s 55 electoral votes go to the candidate with highest popular vote. Another important reason to campaign here. last_img read more

Landing gear problem halts PDXHouston flight

first_imgPORTLAND — A United Airlines flight from Portland to Houston returned to the airport shortly after takeoff Tuesday morning and landed successfully after the crew was unable to raise the aircraft’s landing gear.Portland International Airport spokesman Steve Johnson said the plane made what looked like a smooth landing about 7 a.m., and there were no reports of injuries.last_img

Buyers guide to car salary sacrifice schemes 2016

first_imgWhat are salary sacrifice company car schemes?Salary sacrifice car schemes have become a popular benefit, allowing employees to sacrifice a portion of their monthly salary in return for a new car.Employees benefit from having a safe, maintenance-free car, while employers go some way to demonstrating compliance with their duty-of-care requirements under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007. These schemes may also help with employee retention, since employees are usually locked into the scheme for a two- or three-year period.What are the origins of salary sacrifice company car schemes?Salary sacrifice on cars was first launched in 2008.Where can employers get more information and advice?More information is available from The Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO) at www.acfo.org and at www.employeebenefits.co.uk/company-cars.What are the costs involved?Scheme provider Tusker has estimated that employees can save an average of £900 a year on income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) and up to £500 a year on fuel, depending on the efficiency of the model they choose, while an employer could save approximately £300 net per employee per year on NICs.What are the legal implications?In the Spending review and autumn statement 2015 policy paper, the government expressed its concern at the growth of salary sacrifice arrangements. With this in mind, employers launching a new scheme would do well to start with a pilot before seeking approval from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which it will only give post-launch. Employers also need to ensure employees do not fall below the national living wage, which will take effect in April 2016, or the existing national minimum wage. This can be a bigger issue when employees have opted into salary sacrifice arrangements for more than one benefit.What are the tax issues?Both employer and employee save on NICs, owing to the reduction in salary, however the employee does attract some tax liability because cars are classed as a benefit-in-kind.What is the annual spend?There are no industry figures collated for the spend on salary sacrifice car schemes.Which providers have the biggest market share?The main providers in the market are Affinity Vehicle Leasing, ALD Automotive, Alphabet, Autoserve, Fleet Evolution, Fleet Hire (including Car Salary Exchange), Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Inchcape Fleet Solutions, Lex Autolease, LeasePlan, Ogilvie Fleet, Pendragon Vehicle Management, SG Fleet (including Novalease), TCH Leasing, Tusker, Venson Automotive Solutions, Zenith (including Leasedrive).Which have increased their market share the most?With no industry figures collated, this is impossible to assess.Salary sacrifice schemes for cars have been increasing in popularity since they first launched in 2008, with research by global strategy consultancy OC&C estimating that 10% of new car sales will be part of a salary sacrifice scheme by 2025.However, employers would be forgiven for being slightly wary when considering setting up a new scheme, with the government flagging its concerns over salary sacrifice more than once in the past year.Car schemes are slightly different to other salary sacrifice schemes because employees also pay a benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax on the vehicle, prompting consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to report that car schemes are tax positive to the Treasury over a long-term basis.But owing to the question mark that lingers over salary sacrifice generally, it is advisable for employers to seek scheme approval from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when setting up a new scheme.The only snag is that HMRC will only give approval after the first transaction has taken place, so it may make sense to introduce the arrangement to a limited number of employees first before rolling a scheme out. For approval to be given, HMRC asks to see evidence of the variation of terms and conditions and pay slips before and after the introduction of the salary sacrifice arrangements.Under salary sacrifice the employee pays less income tax and both employer and employee are eligible for reduced national insurance contributions (NICs). The amount of BIK tax due is calculated according to a number of variables, including the type of fuel used and the official carbon dioxide (CO2) figure of the car. Because more fuel-efficient cars attract less tax, the most popular models offered and taken up are those with low CO2 emissions. Electric cars, which attract no BIK tax, are also becoming more common under these schemes.Those already in salary sacrifice schemes have been reassured that they will not be negatively affected by last year’s Volkswagen scandal, where Volkswagen Group was found to have cheated in emissions tests. HMRC has stated that cars will not be rebranded for BIK duty. According to research by scheme provider Tusker, Volkswagen came seventh in the top 10 manufacturers chosen under salary sacrifice schemes in the first quarter of 2015.Besides the tax benefits of salary sacrifice arrangements for cars, there is the added advantage that employers are assured employees are driving a safe, more environmentally friendly car.By enabling staff to sacrifice a portion of their salary rather than providing a cash option, the employer is less at risk of an employee choosing to drive an older car and spending the cash elsewhere. Under a scheme, the car is regularly maintained and serviced, so providing a car in this way also helps employers meet their legal duty-of-care responsibilities for staff required to drive on business.Despite the benefits, there are some issues to look out for when considering implementing a salary sacrifice scheme. The first relates to parental leave and long-term sickness. When an employee is on maternity or paternity leave, or long-term sick leave the employer is obliged to continue providing the benefit, despite a potential drop in salary, or the individual even being on unpaid leave.Additionally, under salary sacrifice, ownership of the car is retained by the employer, putting them at risk of shouldering an ongoing liability if an employee leaves. The most common way to mitigate against this risk is by adding early termination insurance to the premium or setting up a contingency fund that can be built up through an addition to the premium paid.Another option is novated leasing. Under this model, the contract is between the employee and the provider, not the employer. If the employee leaves, they take the car, and the contract with them.To guard against issues, the salary sacrifice contract should specify what is expected if an employee leaves an organisation and wishes to end the terms of the car scheme early. However, a scheme can also act as a good retention tool, with most contracts lasting for two to three years.Another potential issue is the risk of salary sacrifice taking an employee below the national minimum wage, especially where salary sacrifice is being used by an employee for more than one benefit. Schemes already in place should be reviewed whenever changes take place around the national minimum wage. The same is true of the new national living wage, for workers aged 25 and over, which will take effect from April 2016.Through communications, employees should also be made aware that a reduction in their salary could affect other benefits, such as pension contributions, and things such as mortgage applications, for example.Running the scheme may also result in extra administration, with scheme details and administration potentially requiring an update whenever tax changes occur, especially in terms of changes to value-added tax (VAT), NICs or BIK taxation. Scheme providers should be able to help with these administrative details.last_img read more

Top 10 most read stories this week

first_imgThe top 10 most read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 14 and 20 July 2016:British Gas holiday pay case heard at Court of AppealRos Altmann leaves pensions minister postBritish Airways i360 pays living wage to all staffEmployment tribunal to hear Uber workers’ rights cases37% of financial organisations introduce flexible-working initiativesRichard Harrington to fulfil pensions minister dutiesImperial Chemical Industries Pension Fund completes £750m buy-inTaylor Swift and One Direction top list of highest-paid celebrities57% would attend dental check-ups if they had help with costWatch Employee Benefits Wired: the changing shape of the employee benefits market on demandlast_img read more

FW Partners with Google

first_imgIn a step to further the publisher’s e-commerce strategy, F+W Media has announced a partnership with Google’s Affiliate Network. The deal, F+W said, enables the company to utilize “easy-to-employ” promotional tools and offer revenue incentives to partner sites that drive e-commerce through F+W’s Web stores. In the second half of 2008, F+W launched five e-commerce-focused sites, including WritersDigestStore.com, PopulatWoodworkingShop.com, MyCraftivityShop.com, ArtistsNetworkShop.com and ClearanceBooks.com. Each site includes products for sale such as magazines, books, CDs and DVDs.According to CEO David Nussbaum, F+W has grown its e-commerce revenues more than 140 percent over the last 12 months. “Increased direct-to-consumer online sales through our community-focused Web stores is a priority,” he said. “Adding this revenue opportunity for our partners is the logical next step.”The Google Affiliate Network is operated by DoubleClick Performics, an affiliate network launched in 1998. It was purchased by Google in March 2008.last_img read more