City Leaders Planning ‘Reverse’ Jamestown Christmas Parade

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Fantastic idea! People who are elderly or unable to stand for a parade will be able to participate, and no worries about babies being cold. It will be great to have this to look forward to! Image by Matt Hummel / WNY News Now.JAMESTOWN – COVID-19 concerns canceled this year’s Jamestown Christmas Parade, however, local leaders are planning a similar festive event to ring in holiday cheer.Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, speaking at Thursday’s City Council Public Safety Committee Meeting, says a “reverse” Christmas parade will be taking place instead.He says city officials will be encouraging businesses and organizations to decorate parking spaces along Third Street, similar to how they would build a float.Then, residents would be encouraged to drive down the street to view the displays from the safety of their vehicles. The annual lighting of the Christmas Tree, a traditional Santa Clause and music will also take place.The Mayor says the idea originates from Geneva, New York, which hosted a similar event on Halloween.Businesses who want to participate would need to fill out an application online.The modified parade will be held Friday, December 4, from 6 p.m.  to 7:30 p.m. with the tree lighting taking place beforhand.The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Jamestown Renaissance Cooperation will help contribute to the event as well, the Mayor says.last_img read more

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GMP: Winds knocked out power to 4,500, phones affected

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,High winds caused significant outages throughout Vermont Wednesday night, with multiple utilities reporting a total of 33,000 customers without power. At the peak of the storm, 4,500 of Green Mountain Power customers were without power. Compounding the difficulties of the power outages was a regional phone issue that affected the ability of Green Mountain Power customers to report power outages.‘Due to disruptions in the regional phone system, our customer service representatives were unable to hear customers when they called,’ said Dorothy Schnure, GMP spokesperson. ‘We were able to return the calls to many of them, but regret the inconvenience our customers experienced as a result of the phone issue.’Green Mountain Power linecrews were able to continue restoring power throughout the evening. As of 11 pm Wednesday, 1,800 GMP customers were still without power, with all utilities reporting 24,000 out statewide.Other utilities reported similar issues with phone calls. Source: GMP 12.1 2010last_img read more

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GMP orders wind turbines for Lowell project

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Vestas has received a 65 MW order from Green Mountain Power for 21, V112-3.0 MW wind turbines for the Kingdom Community Wind project near Lowell, Vermont, USA. This is the first order for V112-3.0 MW turbines in North America.The contract includes delivery and commissioning, and a 15-year service and maintenance agreement. Delivery is scheduled for mid- 2012 and commissioning is expected by the end of 2012.‘The V112-3.0 MW turbine features our latest technologies and is designed for wind speeds such as those found in this particular area,’ said Martha Wyrsch, President of Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc. ‘Because of its large swept area, the turbine delivers high productivity. It’s designed for improved rotor efficiency, reliability and serviceability. We look forward to working with our new customer, Green Mountain Power, to install the first Vestas turbines in Vermont.’The V112-3.0 MW includes a new blade profile, nacelle design and cooling-system to maximize electricity generation. It also features GridStreamerâ ¢ technology that provides high, stable plant output that complies with most stringent grid requirements worldwide.This order will become the first manufacturing project for Vestas’ blade factory in Brighton, Colorado, which will focus on building 55-meter blades for the V112-3.0 MW. Vestas’ newest manufacturing facility is expected to begin blade production in late 2011. Vestas has three other Colorado factories ‘ a facility in Windsor that produces 44- and 49-meter blades, a tower factory in Pueblo and a nacelle-assembly factory in Brighton.For the Kingdom Community Wind project, the service agreement includes Vestas’ Active Output Management (AOM) 4000 maintenance program. The AOM 4000 program includes all planned and unplanned maintenance services along with continuous remote monitoring and surveillance of the project via the VestasOnline® SCADA system.Once finished, the Kingdom Community Wind project will provide enough electricity to power more than 24,000 Vermont homes. It also will create jobs in construction and turbine maintenance.For more information on the V112-3.0 MW turbine, visit V112.vestas.com.About VestasVestas is the world leader in supplying high-tech wind power systems, and a preferred provider of wind turbines, services and solutions in North America. Since 1979, Vestas has an industry-leading installed base of more than 44,000 wind turbines in 66 countries. Vestas, which employs more than 3,000 people in the United States, sold its first wind turbine in North America in 1981 and since has supplied more than 12,000 in North America. Vestas’ North American manufacturing operations are located in Colorado while its technology research centers are in Texas, Massachusetts and Colorado. Vestas’ North American headquarters is located in Portland, Ore., while its global headquarters is in Randers, Denmark.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. It serves more than 96,000 customers.Learn more at www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external).Vestas. 10.6.2011last_img read more

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Sweets of the East

first_imgOn a brisk 20-degree Saturday in February, the parking lot at Fayette Station in the New River Gorge is shadowed in silence. During the rafting season, the lot teems with school buses idling side by side as guides shout commands and stack rafts to the frenzied buzz of customers pouring from the riverside. Recreational boaters are lucky to find a parking spot amid the sea of yellow paddles and blue plastic helmets and sun-bleached PFDs.But in the dead of winter, the parking lot remains mostly empty except on the sunniest of days, and even then, most locals have already hung up their paddles for skis. Yet for nearly every weekend this past winter, the parking lot has regularly seen four raft guides donning drysuits and braving the elements in the name of competition. Meet the Sweets of the East.The “Sweets” are an all-female rafting team based out of Fayetteville, W.Va. They’re also the sole East Coast competitive rafting team, male or female, vying for the chance to represent the U.S. at the International Rafting Federation (IRF) World Rafting Championships (WRC) next year in Japan.“The international rafting scene is much bigger than I thought it was,” says 2015 WRC Team USA alternate and Sweets team member Jo-Beth Stamm. “The competitive rafting culture here in the U.S. is tiny. It’s such a fringe sport. But in these other countries, it’s extremely competitive and there are even countries that pay their athletes. It kinda allows [the athletes] to treat it as their job, and they take it super seriously.”Last December, Stamm joined Team USA at Worlds, which took place on the Citarik River in Indonesia. Out of 16 women’s teams, Team USA placed eighth. Though she didn’t see the podium, getting a taste of the international stage was enough to light the fire in Stamm’s belly. When she returned to Fayetteville, Stamm set to work forming a team with fellow guide Sherry Spilker, a two-time National Championship contender. Together, Stamm, 33, and Spilker, 31, enlisted Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) guides Margaret Cadmus, 31, and Hannah Vogt, 24, to form their four-person, or r-4, team.“Honestly, it’s about time that we’ve had someone from the East go out and race in these races,” Cadmus says.DCIM100GOPRO“Fayetteville is small, but we’re such a hub,” adds Vogt. “We have two amazing rivers, so we should be producing athletes that are nationally and world renowned. There’s no reason not to.”Historically, the teams at Nationals hail from whitewater hotbeds like California, Colorado, and Oregon. But in 2003, Spilker joined a Fayetteville-based women’s team, one of the few in the town’s history, as an alternate at Nationals in Colorado, at which the team placed second. Spilker again competed at Nationals in 2014, and again the Fayetteville team ranked second. This past April, the Sweets competed at the 2016 Nationals in southern Oregon and placed third. For Spilker and the rest of the Sweets, the time to take home the gold is now.“The New and Gauley are truly world-class rivers,” says Dave Arnold, Vice President and co-founder of AOTG. “For the last 20 or 30 years, if you see a list in any publication, the Gauley especially is in the top five. A person who has been trained on the Gauley and the New who is a five- or 10-year guide, they’re as good as you get.”Earlier this year, AOTG announced its sponsorship of the Sweets, providing public relations, marketing, and fundraising assistance to the team. Despite the New and Gauley’s renown, for Arnold, who has spent 41 years in the whitewater industry, the Sweets represent a long overdue opportunity to put Fayetteville in the international spotlight.“There are plenty of people in this state who could compete on the world class stage,” Arnold says, “but it’s a huge commitment of time and energy and passion and finances. [These women] are amazingly committed. They’re amazing at reading whitewater and working as a team, and the added benefit is, they’re really smart and pretty and they speak well. They love West Virginia, and if you compound all of that together, it’s kind of a dream team.”Fayetteville is no stranger to the competitive rafting scene. For 25 years, the local Animal River Race on the Upper Gauley has attracted hundreds of kayakers, rafters, and even open boaters, though according to Stamm, “The Animal Race isn’t something you train for. You just show up and chug a beer and race.”But back in 2001, Fayetteville hosted the only WRC to be held on United States soil on the Gauley River, drawing rafting teams from over 20 countries. While the event proved fruitful in showcasing the area’s whitewater resources to a niche international community, its significance was overshadowed in the wake of 9/11. Arnold hopes that the Sweets will not only breathe new life into Fayetteville’s whitewater reputation, but that they will also serve as role models for up and coming raft guides.“These girls are not intimidated, I can tell you that right now,” Arnold adds.“I think it’s going to show other girls that it’s totally possible and hopefully we’ll stir up some competition for ourselves,” says Cadmus.The Sweets aren’t territorial, or even proud, of their sole East Coast team status. In fact, the team would like to see more East Coast teams competing at Nationals, and perhaps even forming their own regional race series. Both Spilker and Stamm have experienced a change in the sport’s vibe from fierce competitiveness to friendly encouragement, and they say that growing the sport, especially for women, is their ultimate goal.“Everybody’s incredibly welcoming and there’s a lot of fantastic camaraderie,” says Stamm on her experience at Worlds. “At one point, I was shooting video when the rest of the girls were doing slalom practice, and the captain of the Brazil team came over and started giving advice, giving tips.”And while the Sweets of course want to stay true to those pillars of support and inclusiveness off the water, when they’re on the water, it’s game time.Guides Guiding GuidesTraining for the Sweets has largely centered around one theme—time in the boat. Be it flatwater practice or downriver runs, the team was on the water every week this past winter, even if it meant sliding the raft down snow-covered banks to the icy river’s edge.“Some days it was so cold our hands and feet would go numb and you’d feel like you’re going to puke,” Spilker recalls.To escape the cold and continue to build strength, the team earned the support of the Holiday Lodge Hotel in nearby Oak Hill, W.Va., where they were able to use the hotel’s indoor pool free of charge. There they would meet twice a week to sit on the side of the pool and paddle in place for hours.“We’re simulating sitting on the side of the raft,” clarifies Stamm. “The pool water isn’t aerated like river water is, so it builds a lot of strength.”The stroke they practiced? The duffek, named after Czechoslovakian slalom paddler Milo Duffek. The duffek, also known as a bow rudder or hanging draw, is the most efficient stroke for entering and exiting eddies, which is the foundation of slalom racing. Commercial rafts are generally steered in the back by ruddering, sweeping, or drawing from one guide, but in races, directional aids like the duffek are given from the front.“The person we call the ‘guide,’ for lack of a better term, is really just the person in the back who has the final say on where we go,” Stamm says. “That way we don’t have four people who all read water a little differently arguing about it.”In effect, the Sweets have a team of guides guiding guides, which seems like a bonafide way to have a world class crew, except that no one person is calling the shots. Raft racing is teamwork at its essence and gaining that trust in one another has been the biggest challenge the Sweets have had to overcome.“We’re all great guides and if you put us in a boat by ourselves, we can get down the river,” says Cadmus. “But some of us guide on the left, some of us guide on the right, some of us set up sooner. We all see different lines, so a lot of what we’re working on is surrendering to other peoples’ ideas and saying, ‘I trust you, I know you are a good guide, I’m going to paddle whenever you say, and we’re going to get there together.’”Fortunately, rafting requires guides to have a sense of humility and respect for the river, so the Sweets are well acquainted with the consequences of hubris. They also recognize the importance of paddling and practicing together, as opposed to individually, to build better bonds between each of the team members.“The National’s team last year didn’t get a practice together until they were at Worlds,” Stamm says. “They trained apart and when they got together, they couldn’t work the little kinks out because they were still working big kinks out. We decided early on that you have to be able to be here [in Fayetteville] if you want to be on the team. The team that paddles together gets to know each other better and how you’re going to react to certain things.”Short of practicing trust, strokes, and sprinting, the team has been taking every opportunity to get on different rivers, or sometimes different sections of river, to increase their efficiency with technical maneuvers. Because the bulk of their training has been in the winter and spring, when river levels on already-big-water runs are higher than normal, the Sweets look to rivers and creeks like the Middle Meadow where tighter lines and more rocks allow them to practice river running skills like ferrying and catching eddies.“The rivers are way more narrow than they are here,” Spilker says of runs out west. “Here you’re going for big waves and big hits but it’s more technical over there.”Eyes on the PrizeThe team will see the results of their hard work in just a few weeks at FIBArk, America’s Oldest Whitewater Festival, in Salida, Colo., from June 16-19. For the first year ever, the U.S. Rafting Association will be hosting its 2017 Worlds qualifier one year in advance, as opposed to the year of, to give teams more time to raise money for travel. Due to IRF regulations, which require Worlds to alternate between teams of four and teams of six, two additional rafters, Jillian Rex and Julia Schneider,  will join the Sweets at Nationals in Colorado.Each team must compete in four disciplines. The time trial, or sprint, garners the least amount of points but is by no means easy, requiring teams to paddle hard for a short distance; the head-to-head literally pits two teams against each other in a fast-paced sprint through a rapid; the slalom is the most technically challenging of the events where teams negotiate their rafts through 12 downriver and upriver gates; the downriver race is somewhere in the vicinity of eight miles, or one hour, of racing and usually is a stretch of class IV whitewater. The team with the most overall points wins.The Sweets swap “guides” for each discipline, depending on individual proficiencies. According to Stamm, who captains the raft for the downriver race, the Sweets are prepared to bring the heat, feeling especially confident in the downriver discipline. Considering the downriver race alone accounts for 40 percent of the team’s four-part score, this is a welcome assurance indeed. The Sweets predict that as many as seven women’s teams could be competing for the chance to represent the U.S. at Worlds.“Competition is going to be a little thicker this year, but hopefully West Virginia can come out of second place,” says Spilker.Meet the SweetsJo-Beth StammStarted guiding: 2005Jo-Beth Stamm_FIXFirst memory on a raft: was a youth group trip rafting on the Lower Youghigheny. It was super scary. We flipped at Dimple and I thought it was the scariest thing ever. I said to myself, ‘I’m never rafting again.’ I was 15 or 16.Started guiding because: Brian Jennings told me I should be a raft guide.Most embarrassing moment on a raft: I got my butt kicked by my favorite rapid on the Gauley this year. I felt betrayed by Lost Paddle!Hannah VogtStarted guiding: 2014Hannah Vogt_FIXFirst memory on a raft: was when I was 14. My family came to Fayetteville and we did a family rafting trip. That became a regular family vacation.Started guiding because: I was a leader for Adventure West Virginia at West Virginia University. We would take 22 incoming freshman and travel around the state of West Virginia and go backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. I was down in Fayetteville every other week rafting and got to know a lot of the guides.Most embarrassing moment on a raft: We had really, really low water last year, and there’s a rapid called Lower Railroad. I did not do a move correctly and went way off line. We kinda parked on a rock and I went head over heels in front of at least 10 other boats. There were at least four video boaters who caught it on video. I scraped all the skin off my knuckles.Sherry SpilkerStarted guiding: 2003Sherry Spilker_FIXFirst memory on a raft: When I was 12, my Girl Scout troop went down the New River. It was 12 feet and rising to flood stage, which is every raft guide’s worst nightmare: a group of 12 year-old Girl Scouts when the river is flooding.Started guiding because: my older sister had done it.Most embarrassing moment on a raft: One time I mixed the lemonade wrong. I also won the chubby bunny marshmallow competition, when you stuff marshmallows in your mouth and say chubby bunny and whoever has the most marshmallows in your mouth wins.Margaret CadmusStarted guiding: 2009Margaret Cadmus_FIXFirst memory on a raft: was during college. I had a friend who invited me to come down and camp at a raft outfitter and work for an outdoor photographer. I got to ride along for free and fell in love with it. I asked if I could come back next year and train and I did.Started guiding because: I got addicted.Most embarrassing moment on a raft: One of the first times I ran the Lower Gauley at really high water levels, around 8,000 cfs. As I was coming through Wood’s Ferry, I realized where I should have been just before we went over a giant pourover. I catapulted over the front of the raft. My body actually checked out the guy in the front and I took him with me. Then I went over another giant pourover myself and got sucked under for a full 10 seconds. When I finally popped up I saw my boat flip upstream. It was embarrassing because it was on video. I got several replays.last_img read more

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KPK arrests Muara Enim council speaker in bribery case

first_imgThe Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested South Sumatra’s Muara Enim Legislative Council speaker, Aries HB, naming him a suspect in a bribery case pertaining to public works and housing agency projects in the 2019 fiscal year.Graft busters arrested Aries, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, on Sunday at his in-law’s house in the provincial capital of Palembang.KPK investigators also arrested Muara Enim Public Works and Housing Agency acting head Ramlan Suryadiar in the city on the same day. He was also named a suspect in the case. “The two suspects were questioned at the South Sumatra Police headquarters. They were later taken to KPK headquarters [in Jakarta] on Monday,” KPK deputy chairman Alexander Marwata said during a press briefing on Monday.Read also: KPK starts September with series of arrestsThe antigraft body suspected Aries of accepting Rp 3.03 billion (US$195,473) in bribes between May and August last year from businessman Robi Okta Fahlevi as a commitment fee for 16 road construction projects in the regency worth Rp 130 billion.Meanwhile, Ramlan allegedly accepted Rp 1.1 billion in bribes and one smartphone from the businessman.The case came to light with the arrest of Robi, Muara Enim Regent Ahmad Yani as well as a public works agency official Elvyn Muhtar in September last year for their alleged involvement in the case. Ahmad allegedly accepted Rp 13.4 billion from Robi. His trial is still ongoing.Ahmad’s lawyer, Maqdir Ismail, claimed during a hearing that Elvyn had tried to bribe KPK chairman Firli Bahuri with US$35,000 during the latter’s term as South Sumatra Police chief.Topics :last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Provide Unemployment Insurance for an Additional 44,000 Pennsylvanians

first_imgGovernor Wolf Signs Bill to Provide Unemployment Insurance for an Additional 44,000 Pennsylvanians SHARE Email Facebook Twitter November 03, 2016center_img Bill Signing,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 319 into law which will finally provide nearly 44,000 additional people with insurance in the event they lose their job or cannot find work.“This agreement brought together both Republicans and Democrats, as well as advocates in the business community and organized labor, to ensure that we help the unemployed while they try to find work,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We accomplished this while remaining fiscally responsible and good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Once again, this is another example of how people can come together to find real solutions to serious challenges, despite the belief by some that Harrisburg is no longer able to tackle big issues on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania.”Act 144 will help to ensure that seasonal workers and those who need unemployment insurance will have better and more efficient access to those funds. While there are many people who need unemployment insurance to get them through periods of unemployment, seasonal workers in industries such as construction utilize these funds to make it through the winter months.“This well-designed solution prevents what could have been a serious employment and economic problem in many areas of the state, so it comes as a huge relief for tens of thousands of seasonal workers and for their employers,” said Senator Lisa Baker.“Through a strong bipartisan effort, we developed a sound policy to ensure that approximately 44,000 workers will no longer be ineligible for benefits.” Representative John Galloway said. “Thanks to all the legislators and staff who worked together to put the needs of workers as a top priority.”The previous rule mandated that 49.5 percent of wages must be earned outside the highest quarter of earning for an individual to receive unemployment insurance. This percentage was prohibitively high and left many individuals and families of seasonal workers without this important financial bridge to cover leaner work months.The change made in this legislation, lowering that bar to 37 percent of wages earned outside the highest quarter, removes a significant barrier to receiving benefits and will allow Pennsylvania families and workers to receive what they have earned – a stable and reliable unemployment insurance benefit.To pay for this change, the legislation adopts several cost saving changes to ensure that Pennsylvania’s UC trust fund remains financially solvent.  They include:An across the board 2% reduction (reset) in benefits – $44 million in annual savings.Slowed growth in future benefits, beginning in 2020 through 2023 the maximum benefit will growFrom 2024 and thereafter the maximum benefit will grow by 4%, this change will save at least $400 million annually, and is expected to grow each year thereafter.To ensure that the fund’s health continues to improve a series of triggers have been included to address any decline or stalled growth of the funds reserves. The amendment also includes several updates to the laws fraud provisions to further protect the integrity of the system.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

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Time to act to secure prime real estate in heart of city

first_imgArtist impression of the pool deck on Vantage on PalmerBUYERS of Townsville’s newest boutique mixed-use residential and commercial development are set to benefit from billions of dollars worth of major infrastructure projects located close to its Palmer Street site.City defining projects including the $250 million Townsville Stadium and recently green-lit $16.5 billion Adani Coal Mine Project Head Quarters are located within a stone’s throw of the development.Colliers International Principal Peter Wheeler said he was seeing increased inquiry for both commercial and residential product lately thanks to a number of project funding announcements including Adani. Artist impression of Vantage on PalmerSet on a picturesque waterfront location on Townsville’s premier dining strip, Vantage on Palmer offers nine modern apartments including a top-floor penthouse and three contemporary commercial spaces on the ground floor.Prices for Vantage on Palmer apartments start from $720,000 and commercial spaces from just $399,000. For more information visit vantageonpalmer.com.au or contact Paul Bow on 0402 028 666 for all residential inquiries. Artist impression of the Penthouse in Vantage on PalmerMore from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“The major projects of interest from investors is definitely the high-profile Townsville Stadium and Adani Carmichael Coal Mine projects,” Mr Wheeler said.“Watpac has estimated that over 2,000 people will have worked on the Townsville Stadium project during design and construction and I have seen forecasts of between 500 to 600 jobs required at the Adani HQ just off Palmer Street.“What this does is create fantastic opportunities for potential buyers in both residential and commercial projects like Vantage on Palmer because with these jobs comes demand for quality product.“The reality is that the site on Palmer Street was acquired by the developer at a good price and the construction costs will probably never be this low again.“Now is the time for buyers to act to get in on the ground-floor. This sentiment is backed up by recent reports that indicate the property clock is on the way up and reaffirmed by these major funding announcements.“My message to prospective residential and commercial buyers is pretty simple. Now is the time to act if you want to get in on the ground floor.”last_img read more

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Diggers move in on $170m project

first_imgInterstate buyers are among those looking to move into the area.“My two sisters will also be within walking distance. I currently have a large area to clean and garden to maintain, so am looking forward to enjoying more ‘me time’ on the weekendsat my terrace home at Vue. “It will be the ultimate lifestyle change for me; moving to a different state and climate.Everything will be new — including my home.”The sales centre is open every day from 10am to 5pm on the corner of East Lane and Stadium Drive, Robina. 71 homes will be built in the first stage.Robina Group sales manager Azura Griffen said stage one was nearing sellout and stage two was more than 50 per cent sold off-the-plan. “New terrace home projects on the Gold Coast are few and far between, limiting the opportunities for buyers wanting to buy brand new in a location at the heart of Robina,” she said. “Vue Terrace Homesis walking distance to incredible offerings including Robina Town Centre and an array of public transport. “This style of living, which combines the most sought-after aspects of an apartment and a house, is proving to be in high demand – as residents look for a low-maintenance option with plenty of room to grow. More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours ago“With terrace homes priced from $599,000, Vue Terrace Homes also offers all the benefits of purchasing a new home at a more affordable price.” Terrace-style living combining unit and house aspects, has become very popular.Melbourne resident Maureen Ryan is preparing to move to the Gold Coast to live closer to family, after purchasing at Vue Terrace Homes. Ms Ryan said she researched online and inspected a number of potential homes on the Gold Coast, before makin her decision.“Upon first inspection, I was impressed by the location and contemporary design, including an airy, open-plan layout, ample storage options and quality fixtures and finishes,” she said.“Vue also boasts advanced security measures, with gated entry to the community, and to individual properties, the safety aspect appealed to me. “The community is close to key infrastructure and services, including public transport, which will be ideal if I take a job in Brisbane, and higher education facilities. center_img The Robina Group has fast tracked the launch of stage two of its $170m Vue Terrace Homes to meet demand.CONSTRUCTION has kicked off on a $170m project that’s expected to see 71 three-bedroom homes built in its first stage.The Vue Terrace Homes development on the Gold Coast was expected to see the first lot of buyers move in by the end of the year.Developer Robina Group appointed Hutchinson Builders to build the first stage of homes, each of which features a multi-use living and study area, European appliances and high quality finishes.Robina Group director Tony Tippett said the start of construction marked an exciting community milestone. More than $60m in homes has already sold at Vue, with both owner-occupiers and investors showing interest in the 6ha gated-community on East Lane, bordered by the 17ha Robina City Parklands. last_img read more

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Dutch tax experts warn of lump sum disadvantage

first_img“The option of personal choice is part of a modern pension,” Koolmees said at the time during his presentation of the pensions accord.Tax experts noted that the lump sum would be charged against regular and progressive tax tariffs, and concluded that the impact would be significant for participants earning 150% to 200% of the average income.According to the NOB, members of this tax group taking out a lump sum would be hit by the highest tax tariff of 49.5%, rather than 19.45% for their life-long benefits.In their case, using the existing option of high/low pay outs in drawdown arrangements could possibly be more beneficial, as pensioners could lose means-tested housing and care benefits as a consequence of taking out a lump sum, the order said.The NOB urged the minister to exempt the lump sum for these subsidies.In its response to the consultation, the industry organisation further noted that pensioners would not be allowed to combine the lump sum with the high/low pay out option.The latter enabled pensioners to start with high benefits straight after retirement and a lower payout later, enabling them to receive approximately 8% of their pension during the first years of retirement.In a statement, the minister argued that offering the combined option would increase the risk that a large part of someone’s pension would be taken out too early, which could lead to an insufficient pension later on in retirement.The NOB contended that, because of the progressive tax tariffs, it will hardly make a difference whether a participant opted for a lump sum or the existing option of high/low benefits. A stacking ban would “substantially limit” the effectivity of the new lump sum option, it stated.Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) quoted pensions specialist and lawyer Theo Gommer, of Gommer & Partners Pensioen Advocaten, as describing the minister’s approach as “incomprehensible paternalism”.“In particular lower paid workers, who tend to die earlier, would benefit from stacking lump sum and high/low pay outs,” he said. “People in their 60s should be allowed to take the descision themselves.”According to the FD, the sector organisation for lawyers had suggested to allow stacking, but combining this with a lower limit for the remaining pension. The Dutch order of tax advisers (NOB) suggested that the country’s new option of taking out a lump sum at retirement is unlikely to be beneficial to pensioners, as people could end up in a higher tax band, or lose housing benefits and care subsidies.The statement follows an online consultation on lump sum legislation.As part of the pensions agreement of June, social partners and the government had agreed that pensioners would be allowed to take out up to 10% of their accrued pension entitlements, which could be spent as they wished.Increased freedom of choice is one of the key elements of the pensions paragraph in the election manifesto of the liberal democrats (D66), the polical party of social affairs’ minister Wouter Koolmees.last_img read more

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Old meets new in modern reno

first_imgThe ultra modern extension at the rear of the original houseMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoEntry to the top floor is via staircase on to a covered veranda. A hallway leads to four bedrooms and a family bathroom at the front of the house, a study and the main bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and ensuite.On the upper floor, there is a state of the art kitchen with Quantum Quartz benchtops, a largecentral island bench with bar seating, streamlined cabinets, a glass window splashback and topof the range appliances. Before the renovationMs Mienert said the renovation had been a worthwhile challenge, saying it was important to respect the local heritage.And the results speak for themselves.The architecturally-designed house is now a contemporary six bedroom residence, with four bathrooms. The original living room The kitchen before the reno The new living area in the extensionOther features include ceiling fans in all rooms, ducted airconditioning on level one with the top floor enjoying natural breezes, a mix of timber floorboards, ceramic tiles and carpet, and a carport with storage and rainwater tank.Ms Mienert said they had loved living at the property but had bought another “reno delight” close by.“I must be mad,” she said.She said she would be sad to leave the property, saying it was a “wonderful area to raise a family”.The house is being marketed by Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige. The kitchen now … wow!Wide sliding doors lead from the living area out to a pool, a terrace, and there is another deck with built-in gas barbecue off the kitchen.On the ground level, there is space for three vehicles, a guest bedroom, a second living area, a laundry and bathroom. Look at it now! 31 Brook St in South Brisbane has had a new lease on lifeTHIS cottage, built in the early 1900s, has been fully renovated but if you look closely you can still see some of the old world charm.The six bedroom house at 31 Brook St in South Brisbane is owned by Leah Mienert and her family, and was restored over a year, with a modern extension giving it a new lease on life.“I bought it back in 2011 but it was in a demolition control precinct so we had to maintain the cottage,” she said. “It had been used as a rental and already been extended so it was a bit of rabbit warren.“We stripped it right back and renovated it and I am so glad we did because it really gives it some uniqueness and blends in with the local area.”last_img read more

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