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  • The measurement of daily energy expenditure—an evaluation of some techniques

    first_imgAn energy balance survey was conducted on an Antarctic base on 12 individuals for periods varying between 6 and 12 months. Energy expenditure was estimated using two activity/dairy card techniques and mean 24-hr heart rate used in conjunction with a variety of derived heart rate/energy expenditure regression equations. The accuracy of the various techniques was determined by comparison with estimates obtained using energy intakes and changes in body fat. No method of measuring energy expenditure was accurate enough to predict fat gain or loss. Errors in individuals were large and random but the mean error in the estimation of energy expenditure of the community was reasonable. When using the dairy card there was no difference between using measured values for energy costs of specific activities and using values taken from the literature. Using heart rate was no less accurate than the diary card if energy expenditure was predicted from a regression line derived from heart rate and log energy expenditure, and the technique was more acceptable to the subjects.last_img read more

  • Britain’s Best Bakery is back

    first_imgThe search for Britain’s Best Bakery is on again as ITV gears up to screen the second series of the popular show, starting next Monday (6 January).Last year saw Hambleton Bakery, in Rutland, named as the top bakery in Britain, and now six weeks of competition are about to begin in order to find the next winner of that accolade.Sixty bakeries have been selected from across Britain, and will be scrutinised by judges Mich Turner and Peter Sidwell. They will undergo a series of challenges, including baking a Bakers’ Table of their best produce, a Wild Card Bake, and the Bakers’ Dozen.Bakeries from across five designated regions will compete against each other. From Monday to Thursday three bakeries from a particular region will go head-to-head, before the regional final on Friday, during which one bakery will be chosen to take part in National Finals Week.During the regional final, the week’s four winning bakeries will be required to make an afternoon tea, comprising at least five sweet and savoury items, as well as producing the Judge’s Choice Cake, where the bakeries are handed the same ingredients and tasked with making the same technically demanding cake.Week one will see the judges visit Yorkshire, Northumberland, Co Durham, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Edinburgh and Perthshire.last_img read more

  • Release of Five FARC Hostages Enters Final Stage

    first_imgBy Dialogo January 13, 2011 The process leading to the unilateral release of five hostages kidnapped by the FARC has entered its final stage with the design of security protocols involving Colombia, Brazil, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in order to receive the hostages probably in the next two weeks. We are in “the antechamber waiting to be able to begin operations” for the reception – probably in the middle of the country’s jungles – of two civilians and three uniformed personnel held as hostages by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerrilla group, Eduardo Pizarro, the government’s delegate for this process, said on 11 January. “The ball is in the FARC’s court, because everything necessary for the releases is ready. We’re simply waiting for the coordinates of the places where the releases are going to take place,” he added in remarks to Bogotá radio station Caracol. Pizarro emphasized that the security protocols are fundamental to guaranteeing a successful outcome for the releases. “Progress is being made on signing an agreement with the International Red Cross and the Brazilian government, so that the insignia of the International Red Cross is placed on the Brazilian helicopters at the Colombian border, and so that these helicopters are coordinated by the ICRC and the Brazilian pilots,” Pizarro explained. This will be the third time that Brazil participates in an operation of this kind; on two previous occasions, it did so by providing helicopters and crews. In order to guarantee the five liberations, it will be necessary that the Colombian Armed Forces and the FARC “pause their military operations for thirty-six hours in the areas where the liberations will take place,” Christophe Beney, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia, told reporters. “The ICRC would never carry out a detainee-release operation without a complete suspension of all military activities, because this could endanger the lives of the individuals released, of our delegates, and of the people in the location,” he emphasized. On 11 January, Beney met with Pizarro, the delegate of the Brazilian embassy, and former Liberal senator Piedad Córdoba, designated by the FARC to receive the kidnapping victims. Beney specified that the operation would begin “a week or ten days” after the FARC give Córdoba the coordinates where they will turn over the hostages. On 13 January, there will be another meeting at the Defense Ministry to study the security measures, a spokesperson told AFP. Pizarro nonetheless warned that “acts that disturb public order do not make things easier,” in a tacit allusion to the violent actions that the FARC have committed so far this year. In any event, he considered the release of the five hostages, announced by the FARC on 8 December, to be an “irreversible fact.” The FARC, Colombia’s chief guerrilla group, announced on that date that they would unilaterally release Police Maj. Guillermo Solórzano, Army Cpl. Salín Sanmiguel, Marine Henry López Martínez, and town councillors Marcos Vaquero and Armando Acuña, kidnapped between 2007 and 2010. The uniformed personnel are part of a group of nineteen police and military personnel in the FARC’s power, some for as long as thirteen years, while the two politicians are the only civilians whom the FARC admits to holding among the kidnapping victims it uses for extortion.last_img read more

  • Travel Diary: 2nd Annual Lexus Road Trip To Sag Harbor

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantPossessing all the characteristic checkboxes of the choice road trip destination, and then some, is none other than Long Island’s very own Sag Harbor, and with September right around the corner, it’s time once again for the annual Lexus Road Trip to Sag Harbor! Once a sprawling whaling oil port that in 1789 Congress declared the United States’ first official port of entry, this (not-so) secret village by the sea is rich in history, rife with natural beauty, and offers adventure-seeking travelers everything from breathtaking views and beaches to myriad shops, art galleries, museums, and absolute food-and-drink galore.Sag Harbor is also known as a writer’s colony, with such past residents including William Demby and John Steinbeck, and was the birthplace of poet George Sterling. When he’s not wowing audiences during sold-out gigs at Madison Square Garden, The Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, calls this seaside oasis home, and even docks his famous boat Downeastern Alexa at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club.For all these reasons and so many more, you simply cannot roll into a magical realm of this magnitude in just any old ride, dear auto aficionados. Well, you can, but why would you? No good justification. You need a worthy pair of wheels to transport you and your loved ones to the bountiful joy that surely awaits you here. Yes, you need an ultra-special chariot for this ultra-special journey. A ride unlike no other. Some wheels that will not only get you there in comfort, but will turn heads upon arrival. With its distinct and stunning elegance, style and reputation, yes, you’ll need a 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid. This beauty is the epitome of cutting-edge aerodynamics and luxury—while with a 40 MPG combined rating, it’s also easier on the environment.Visit NY Auto Giant and drive home your very own Lexus today!What’s that you say? You’ll be hungry once you arrive? Well worry not, for great food is definitely on the menu in Sag Harbor. So is excitement, sheer, splendid wonder, and of course, truly remarkable, absolutely memorable times. Swing by Bay Burger on your way into town and enjoy a delicious, homemade beef, turkey or fish burger, accompanied with some “loaded Fries-N-Tots” (Yes, those scrumptious lil tattlers!) sprinkled with crumbled bacon and melted chee, along with a shake or two. B-Squared churns their own ice cream, too, so dig into a tub of Joe & Liza’s many flavors while you’re here as well! Each tender morsel and gooey spoonful consists of all-natural and local ingredients!Stop by Cappelletti Restaurant for some amazing “Original Focaccia Sandwiches,” veal cutlet parm, pasta, pizza and calzones and leave s-a-t-i-s-f-i-e-d. For dinner and lunch the next day, change it up and take your pick: Doppio, Il Capuccino, Page At 63 Main or Muse In The Harbor—you can’t go wrong! Muse offers a must-devour brunch menu, touting such beautific creations as the “Smoked Salmon Stack,” “Tuna Menage A Trois” and “Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast.” [Editor’s Note: Ummm. Must we really finish this blurb? Are we really expected to sit here and describe this stuff and not hop in the car and hit this, like, right now!? Yummm!! Sorry.]There’s simply too much to do and experience in this treasure trove of fun, so stay overnight at B&Bs Forever Cottage, just steps from Main Street, the equally charming Harborwoods Guesthouse, or any of the Saggler’s hotels and motels: Forever Bungalows, Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor Inn and the historic The American Hotel, among them. You’ll also want to mosey on down to the Bay Street Theatre, home to countless show-stopping performances—Billy Joel made a surprise appearance here just last month! Of course, no such viewing would be complete without an ice-cold fresh brew of java at the ready (perhaps even two), so you’ll also want to shimmy and shake your way into The Golden Pear Café and/or BuddaBerry Frozen Yogurt & Waffle Bar (What a combo!) for a sweet, refreshing caffeine interlude. Hold your loved one’s hand as you stroll Sag Harbor’s quaint, vibrant Main Street, lined with shops and restaurants and brimming with life. Walk along the water, gentle breeze at your back, full, shining sun on your face and skin and the eminence of the hazy hot sun sprinkling sparkling slivers of sunlight dancing atop the waves and rippling magnificent tiny swirling vortex-miracles that make you question how such a paradise can exist so close to New York City, yet truly be so very far away.Pick up a copy of the award-winning Sag Harbor Express, peruse its pages and learn a little about the people, the places and the politics [Yuck!] that make this village what it is. Click Here To Learn More About NY Auto GiantIf history is your thing, then you are in for a grand treat, indeed. Head up the hill to the Old Burying Ground and Old Whaler’s Church—the former the scene of a raid during the American Revolutionary War and the latter once boasting a 168-foot-high steeple, formerly the tallest structure on Long Island, which collapsed in the Great Hurricane of 1938, aka “The Long Island Express.”Visit the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum—which in addition to its many artifacts, houses a nearly 160-year-old Masonic Lodge—and genuflect before The Broken Mast Monument in nearby Oakland Cemetery, one of many memorials to those sailors who lost their lives at sea in the pursuit of those majestic sea mammals. [Fun Sag Harbor factoid: The village is actually mentioned in Moby Dick!] A lil sleepy from all the chompin’ and explorin’? Take a lil nappler on any one of Sag Harbor’s many gorgeous beaches as the soft splashing waves upon the pristine shores lull you to slumber: Sagg Main Beach, W. Scott Cameron Beach and Havens Beach are but a few. When you awake, check out the mysterious critters abounding at the 187-acre Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, hike the diverse Long Pond Greenbelt—an 1,100-acre nature preserve—and/or wander Emma Rose Elliston Park, located along the shore of Big Fresh Pond! Mark your calendars, too, because Harborfest Weekend arrives in Sag Harbor on September 12 & 13,featuring an arts and crafts fair, farmers market, boat races, vendors and music!To drive home your very own Lexus—hybrid or not—call Leonard Cafarelli at Lexus of Massapequa or Keith Drago at Lexus of Rockville Centre!last_img read more

  • My Family Was Asked to Do a Reality Show

    first_imgThough her family might not bring the drama that reality TV fans are used to seeing, the Christmas Town actress admitted that producers have floated the idea to her once before.“We were approached for reality [TV], but a long time ago and it just wasn’t something that works for us,” Cameron Bure explained. “I’ve never been approached for Housewives [or] anything, nor have I ever seen a Housewives show. [I] don’t think that one’s for me.”Candace Cameron Bure Reveals Her Family Was Approached About Doing Their Own Reality ShowCandace Cameron Bure Broadimage/ShutterstockThe Dancing With the Stars season 18 alum wed hockey player Valeri Bure in June 1996 after being introduced by her Full House costar Dave Coulier at a charity sports event. The duo went on to welcome three children: daughter Natasha, 22, and sons Lev, 20, and Maksim, 18. While spending time together at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cameron Bure and her family have been trying to make the most of a difficult circumstance.- Advertisement – “It totally tested us, but in the best of ways,” the Dancing Through Life author told Us of her quarantine experience with Valeri, 46. “I’ll be honest because we try. We both travel so much. So we were like, ‘This might be the most amount of time we’ve actually spent together in years. This is either going to make us or break us.’ And you know what? It’s made us.”The Emmy nominee has been “really grateful” for the extra time she’s been able to spend with her husband. After more than 20 years of marriage, the couple has only grown “stronger.”“So many things are put in perspective just being at home and then you talk through a lot of things and you realize, ‘What are the things we have to work on? What are the things that are working well?’” she explained to Us. “I’m so grateful for my family time because I’ve re-evaluated my work schedule, the time that I’m away from my family and realized that that was not a good balance for me.”- Advertisement – While the former The View cohost feels lucky to spend time at home with her loving family, she realizes not everyone is as fortunate. For the third year in a row, she’s working with The Salvation Army to bring Christmas magic to millions of families in need across the country.“They do so much good work throughout the year and this year because of the pandemic and COVID things are, are different,” she told Us. “So we’re asking everyone to go to rescuechristmas.org and donate there, or drop a few dollars in when you do see the red kettle or set up a monthly donation. … It really does make a huge difference.”With reporting by Christina GaribaldiListen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! Sticking to her script. Candace Cameron Bure isn’t sure she and her family are cut out for the reality TV lifestyle.“I don’t think we’re interesting enough to have a reality show around us,” the Fuller House star, 44, joked while speaking to Us Weekly exclusively about her partnership with The Salvation Army. “I think we’re pretty boring.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

  • Trump Pentagon Purge Could Accelerate His Goal to Pull Troops From Afghanistan

    first_imgUpdated Nov. 12, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET “The president has had difficulty finding personnel who would faithfully execute on his preferences,” Mr. Ruger said in an interview on Friday. With the new Pentagon leadership, “the president could really cement a legacy here,” he said, adding that Mr. Trump “could be the leader who ends America’s longest war.”This week, the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller, traveled to Washington on a previously scheduled trip as officials in both countries braced for a possible announcement as early as next week to quickly reduce the 4,500 United States troops still left in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump has said previously that he wants to pull all troops from Afghanistan by Christmas.With his recent flurry of firings and appointments, Mr. Trump has effectively pulled down a majority of the personnel guardrails against a fast withdrawal.- Advertisement – Critics of an accelerated withdrawal point to logistical challenges of the strategy. Several current and former Pentagon officials have noted that a withdrawal within two months — which seems to be Mr. Trump’s goal — would be challenging, given the amount of military equipment that would have to be shipped out to avoid becoming spoils for the Taliban.“Those in the Pentagon will use the logistics argument to slow this down,” said Dan Caldwell, a senior adviser to Concerned Veterans for America, a group that has strongly influenced veterans’ policies under Mr. Trump. “People there have slow-walked this and tried to box the president in and that likely upset the president and did not endear Secretary Esper to him.”Over the last year, the organization has spent over $3 million on advertisements in support of an Afghanistan withdrawal. Conservative news media personalities, including Tucker Carlson, have also advocated the drawdown. If Mr. Trump actually announces an expedited plan, “we are going to go big,” Mr. Caldwell said.Of course with Mr. Trump, strongly expressed intentions concerning troops often do not come to fruition.After announcing a full troop withdrawal from Syria in late 2018 — and abandoning Kurdish allies, for which he was widely criticized — he opted to leave several hundred troops in Syria.He has also told aides he wanted to greatly reduce the 700 American troops in Somalia — most of them Special Operations forces — and so far that has gone nowhere.Mr. Ruger said the pressure would remain when Mr. Biden takes office.“Regardless of who the president is, we will support good policies,” he said. “Getting out of Afghanistan is good policy.”Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting from Kabul. Mr. Trump recently nominated a new ambassador to Afghanistan, William Ruger, the vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute — a vocal and well-financed opponent of current conflicts abroad. Even before any Senate confirmation, which seems unlikely before Inauguration Day, Mr. Ruger maintains a large chair at Mr. Trump’s foreign policy table.- Advertisement – But what many Republicans failed to grasp is that Mr. Trump’s positions on the so-called endless wars were good politics. Rancor toward those conflicts has grown among many conservatives, including those in the Koch circle, as well as libertarians among congressional Republicans and even those on the left, including Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, among others.Last year, VoteVets, the liberal political action committee, and the conservative Concerned Veterans for America teamed up to persuade Congress to revoke authorizations of military force passed after Sept. 11. Mr. Trump also replaced the hawkish John R. Bolton with Robert C. O’Brien as his national security adviser. Mr. O’Brien has said the United States needs to redirect its resources from Afghanistan and toward the competition and possible conflicts with China and Russia.Polls have shown that a majority of veterans have grown disenchanted with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, which helped Mr. Trump earn strong support among veterans who voted in 2016. Many have been disappointed that troops remain deployed in Afghanistan and that other promises to reduce the military presence in other regions have not been fulfilled.Exit polls this month suggest that Mr. Trump won veterans 54 percent to 44 percent; in 2016, the poll found he won veterans 60 percent to 34 percent, a major shift that could stem from a variety of factors including his mixed record on these issues. WASHINGTON — Consistent is not the adjective many would use to describe President Trump’s national security policy. But there is one goal he has nurtured since the 2016 campaign: withdrawing all American troops from Afghanistan.Now, in the waning days of his presidency, Mr. Trump is scrambling to make it so, aided by conservative antiwar forces who see it not only as good policy but also as a linchpin to any future he may seek in politics.- Advertisement –center_img President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will find himself having to address these political dynamics at home and the realities on the ground as progress toward peace between the Taliban and the Afghan government stalls.Critics of a fast withdrawal before the Taliban meet the conditions of a recent peace agreement fear that any attempt to pull all American troops by year’s end would potentially result in deaths on the ground. Citing recent escalating violence across the county, they worry that the Taliban could succeed at seizing more territory, especially in the south, the group’s historic center of power.“It’s irresponsible to make troop reduction your entire political objective,” said Evelyn N. Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. “If you withdraw irresponsibly, you put strategic objectives and military lives at risk.” This week, Mr. Trump dismissed his defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, who had repeatedly expressed reluctance for a fast pullout from Afghanistan, replacing him with Christopher C. Miller, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who may lack the stature and experience to push back effectively on Mr. Trump’s 11th-hour foreign policy actions.Notably, Douglas Macgregor, a retired Army colonel and fierce proponent of ending American involvement in Afghanistan, was named this week as a senior adviser to Mr. Miller. Mr. Trump’s views on reducing the United States’ footprint overseas are long standing and a central component of his “America First” foreign policy agenda. After originally supporting the war in Iraq, he spent years criticizing President George W. Bush for America’s wars in the region. During his 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump astonished fellow Republicans by directly attacking Mr. Bush about the war in Iraq and suggesting he failed to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. – Advertisement –last_img read more

  • Letters to the Editor for Friday, June 14

    first_imgKerr listens to her Milton constituentsAn important issue that the town of Milton needs to address is the noise from the planet junkyard. My neighbors and I hope something can be done about the noise there. Barbara Kerr has listened to us about our situation, and Barb really cares about our plight. I’m not sure if anything can be done to reduce the noise, but Barb has taken the time to listen to us and understand our problems. Please vote for Barbara Kerr on June 25.Kim WhiteBallston SpaWe must act now to stop bubonic plagueBubonic plague is an acute, severe infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The bacterium is found in fleas and wild rodents such as rats and squirrels, and it is on the horizon.Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City. It’s only a matter of time.Inept, corrupt administrations playing got-you politics with the homeless are pushing the United States to a catastrophe.When the children of the middle class start dying, then maybe someone will wake up.Edmond DayRotterdamPolice try to improve our quality of life According to recent articles by the NYCLU, the police are not going to divulge to everyone what weapons or aids they may carry for defense of the public and themselves.As I recall, Article 35 CPL dictates when deadly physical force is justified in detail. The use of other devices depends on many things. Each call is different. Police officers are not the punching bags for the public. If you assault them, they will respond in force.Schenectady Police Department , I believe, does what I call “selective enforcement.” They go where crimes are being committed to reduce them and improve the quality of life for law-abiding citizens in that part of the community. They are not driven by racial prejudice, as inferred. Legalization of marijuana would be especially bad for students. THC disrupts functioning of brain areas controlling memory, balance, coordination, posture and reaction time. Schenectady schools had the lowest graduation rate in the region (58 percent) last year. Obviously marijuana use impairs thinking and ability to learn and perform complicated tasks. Schenectady police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They are trying to help improve the quality of life for all citizens. Give them your support.Ray WempleSchenectadyThe writer is a retired sergeant with the Schenectady Police Department.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionUse trained dogs to protect school kidsGuns and Noses: Should someone carry concealed weapons in schools? Well, if you are a parent whose child was a victim of some fame-seeking psychopath, you might say, “If only someone…”If you are a member of the gun-control group, you might say, “Over my dead body.”That might be an inappropriate thing to say, however.But, how about this: Put one, just one, highly trained police dog in the hands of a competent hall monitor in every school. Why not? Those dogs are faster than a gun-toting retired or off-duty patrolman. In a New York minute, a German Shepard or a Doberman could run down and hold, literally hold, a perpetrator at bay. And, kids, well most kids, like dogs. The students could name their new hall monitor and its handler. What a mascot for the school. “Hey, you should see our new dog. He’s our friend.”  Oh, yes, I know. We would soon have the ‘No dogs parents’ group bull-horning its way into board of education meetings in protest. But, until then, I’ll bet those fame-seeking cowards who prey on our children might think twice about how they are going to take care of those nasty bite marks on their arms and legs. Just sayin’.Allen R. RemaleySaratoga Springslast_img read more

  • Five things you must know before buying Brisbane real estate

    first_imgBuying well in Brisbane takes some insider knowledge. Picture: Tara Croser.Brisbane rocks. We have less severe winters than southern capitals, you can find a carpark within two minutes walk of your destination, dress shorts are acceptable business attire (black thongs for formal wear) and if you jump in your car and pop on Powderfinger’s Double Allergic, you’ll be at the world’s greatest beaches before the hidden track suddenly cuts out.Brisbane property is also a winner. We have a median house price that would barely secure a rancid garage in inner Sydney. In addition, our allotments are so big that scoring a “six and out” in backyard cricket requires a herculean wallop to clear the neighbour’s fence.That said, successfully buying into the Brisbane property market can be perilous without a little insider guidance.Here’s a list of must-knows to help you secure success. Great schools, like Brisbane State High School, add value to surrounding real estate. Photographer: Liam Kidston.4. Schools boost valueState school catchments have never been more important to property investors, Ms Hetherington said.“Public schools that have good reputations, a strong P and C (Parent and Citizens association) and a strong principal. We are finding that there can be upwards of 10 per cent difference from being inside the catchment of those schools rather than outside the catchment.”Ms Hetherington said good examples of desirable state school catchments include Wilston, Bulimba, Brisbane High, Ashgrove, Mansfield and Ironside.5. Brisbane City Plan is a good starting pointBrisbane City Council has thrown open a wealth of information via the City Plan, and it’s all online.“Within the City Plan is a whole lot of information that directly effects and impacts on rentability and future saleability of an investment property,” Ms Hetherington said.“Getting the know how to use that plan and how to interpret the information is one of the best research sources for an out-of-town investor.”City Plan includes information on flooding, overland flows, local zonings and designations as well as planning restrictions and relaxation. Hetherington says aerial photography from 1946 and 2012 can also help confirming what housing is pre- or post-war. Hillside living holds appeal in the capital. Picture: Patria Jannides3. The hills are aliveWhile owners in other cities like the easy stroll afforded by low lying property on a flat topography, Brisbane loves an elevated vantage point. Ms Hetherington said hills are part of Brisbane’s charm with improved airflow and natural light being among the benefits.“So sometimes those areas that are down flat and quite walkable are the areas that might suffer from flooding or rising water.”Orientation and aspect also have a part to play. A north-facing home that catches morning warmth but is shielded from the harsh sunset will always appeal. Ms Hetherington said it even matters if you’re on the north side or south side of town.“South of the river and having that northern view to the city picks up a little more value than perhaps being on the north side with a southern view to the city.”center_img Brisbane’s relaxed lifestyle influences appealing home design: Adam Armstrong1. We live a little differentlyMeighan Hetherington, a director at Property Pursuit Buyers Agent, says investors must avoid imposing out-of-town rules on our Brisbane lifestyle. She says homes that adapt to our love of relaxed outdoor living benefit most.“The important things are the layout of the property and how it flows out to entertaining areas.“We’re also not that fussed about having lockup car accommodation — a carport is quite acceptable. I find a lot of push back from interstate investors not understanding that that’s completely acceptable and won’t negatively impact potential for capital growth or the rentability of a property in Brisbane.”Airconditioning is now essential for owners and renters too, Ms Hetherington said.“Tenants use to be quite satisfied with ceiling fans, but it’s become a must to have it (air conditioning) installed in about the last 18 months.”2. Know your styleCharacter homes differ between Brisbane and the other states Ms Hetherington said.“Brick and tile lowset on concrete slabs are not as well regarded by owner occupiers who are hopefully the future buyer of your property and where your capital growth will come from.Character Queenslanders up on stumps are the most popular, despite potentially higher maintenance costs.“Properties with the tin roofs and the timber walls and the cracks in the walls and the air coming through the window (joinery) — those sorts of properties. While they look like a nightmare to an interstate investor, they’re probably the ones that are most sought after by future buyers,” Ms Hetherington said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agolast_img read more

  • Investor surge tipped if Labor wins election

    first_imgThe Gold Coast is also a popular destination for investorsBlackwater Real Estate agent Jason Campbell said the rental market was strengthening, with an increase in investor and owner occupier activity in the area.“We went through a tough period at the end of the resources boom in 2012 and bottomed out in 2017 but values are slowly increasing,” he said. “We are even recommending that leases only be for six months at a time as we are seeing rents increasing.”Mr Campbell said they were seeing an increase in interest from interstate investors due to the affordability of housing and strong commitments from mining companies in the region.But he warned that changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax could have dire consequences for regional towns, which often relied on investors to boost the rental pool.“I think those changes will affect us even more than they (Labor) are suggesting,” he said. “Places like this get a lot of investors and people who come here temporarily so any changes would likely stifle the market and create a housing shortage.”He pointed to the housing shortage and exorbitant rents charged in Moranbah at the height of the mining boom.“For people to come to these area, there needs to be houses and there needs to be investors who provide those houses,” he said.Recent vacancy rate analysis by REIQ showed vacancy rates across many regional towns were trending downwards, including Toowoomba, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Townsville and Cairns. Chelsey worked two jobs while studying law full time to buy her first investment property. She and her partner had planned to buy another one in 12 months, but will fast-track those plans if there is a change of government. Picture: NIGEL HALLETTRecovering mining towns are offering value for investors keen to take a punt on the property market, while some of Brisbane’s most affordable suburbs have come out on top.Buyers agent Daniel Walsh said now was the “hour to invest”.“Unless investors buy new properties — and most smart ones don’t — then that taxation benefit will no longer be around (if Labor wins office),” he said.Brisbane buyers agent Nathan Wunsch of Property Pursuit said he expected to see an increase in investor activity if there was a change of government, with many investors holding off until after the election.“I would say that we might also find some people trying to liquidate their assets, and others trying to get in on the back of that, so it could also be a good time for buyers trying to get in to the market,” he said.MCG Quantity Surveyors managing director Mike Mortlock said the vast majority of investors were families with only one or two properties, often retaining their first home and upsizing or downsizing to another property.They are the “accidental investors”, he said.Terry Ryder of Hotspotting said would-be investors should look at solid markets like the Sunshine Coast, which remained affordable and benefited from a number of major growth drivers. A cartoon from back in 2016 when the policy was first pitched. Cartoon: Warren Brown.The Courier Mail has crunched the numbers, and taken a look at median values, rental yields and vacancy rates across the state. Pauline Hanson dines with voters at the Pit Pony in CollinsvilleCollinsville Real Estate principal Eileen Meyer said she had been seeing increased investor activity over the past six months, and more young families making the move to the Bowen Basin township.“We are seeing more hits (on listings) and people from outside of the region watching our market,” she said. “Those people who already have properties, a lot of them are also hanging on to them because they are getting good rental returns.“Those tenants are contractors looking for long term leases … young families with hubby in the mines not wanting to do the commute anymore and getting rental subsidies to stay locally.”But Ms Meyer warned that new stock would be needed as projects, like Adani, got the green light.“Without it, there will be a shortage of housing,” she said. TBrisbane skyline (REIQ). (AAP Image/Darren England) Local agents pointed to new developments in the area, which are attracting younger tenants and investors.In terms of houses, Richlands came in a close second with a rental yield of 5.2 per cent. The median asking rent in Richlands is $430 a week, with the median house value sitting at an affordable $428,000.But the number of houses available for rent are limited, with only three listed on realestate.com, auThe suburb with the highest median house value in the top 10 was Nudgee with $620,000.Houses in that area have a median asking rent of $575 a week equating to an indicative rental yield of 4.8 per cent.Ray White agent Renee Rennie said the Nudgee-Banyo area was very popular with both local and interstate investors due to its proximity to the airport, major arterials, good schools and amenities. In Brisbane, one of the best performing suburbs for rental yields is also one of the city’s most affordable areas.Ellen Grove, which is about 20km southwest of the CBD, boasts the region’s highest indicative rental yield and one of the lowest median house vales.The median house value is currently $296,500 — the Greater Brisbane median house value is $531,000 — but those houses have a median asking rent of $315 per week, or a rental yield of 5.5 per cent. This Nudgee house is on the market for $664,500She said the majority of interstate investors were “younger generation investors” who could not afford to buy in their home city. Those buyers are often labelled ‘rentvestors’.Local investors, she said, generally lived within the suburb and knew they could get a good rental yield.For units, Robertson, Kuraby and Taigum came out on top, with rental yields between 6.6 per cent and 7 per cent.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoFor Greater Brisbane, the entire top 10 list of suburbs for highest rental yields were for units, with Beachmere, Raceview, Caboolture and Woodridge taking out the top five spots.REIQ data shows that Brisbane’s vacancy rate remained steady at 2.5 per cent in the March quarter, while Greater Brisbane saw vacancy rates tighten from 2.3 per cent to 2.2 per cent.The Moreton Bay region had the tightest vacancy rate at 1.7 per cent. A small town southwest of Bowen currently boasts the state’s highest rental yield.Collinsville, which has experienced the highs and lows of the various mining booms, could again be sitting on a property goldmine, with a host of new mining and green energy projects underway or in the pipeline.House values tanked from a high of $250,750 in 2008 to a low of $80,000 in the last quarter, with five homes currently listed for under $100,000 on realestate.com.auThat means landlords who picked up a house for around $80,000 can command a median asking rent of $298 a week — a whopping indicative gross rental yield of 19.3 per cent based on current values.Rents have jumped by $98 a week, up from $200 in 2017, but vacancy rates remain high. *** QUEENSLAND TOP 10 SUBURBS WITH THE HIGHEST INDICATIVE RENTAL YIELDS — GREATER BRISBANE At the peak of the mining boom, some Moranbah houses were being rented for in excess of $1000 a week. This house could be yours for $179,000. A Shorten Labor government would restrict negative gearing to investors who have bought newly built dwellings and halve the capital gains tax. Picture: THINKSTOCKPROPERTY experts are predicting a likely surge in investor activity if Labor wins the federal election — and it’s got nothing to do with buyers supporting their policies.A Shorten Labor government would restrict negative gearing to investors who have bought newly built dwellings and halve the capital gains tax, with the changes expected to start next January.Properties purchased before then will be grandfathered, with industry experts predicting investors will move swiftly to ensure they retain the current concessions. Hotspotting property analyst Terry Ryder.He said Cairns was another place to consider, saying that market “is promising”, and Mackay and some Central Queensland markets were showing signs of recovery.Townsville and Toowoomba were also worth a look, as was Gladstone, which suffered a significant blow during the resources downturn.But he said yield was not the only factor to consider, saying places like Collinsville still had high vacancy rates.“Resources towns are often high risk,” he said. In the southeast, Mr Ryder said Brisbane was “like a car revving strongly with the handbrake on” but it had all of the right ingredients for an upturn.He said Moreton Bay, in general, was a strong performer.*** BRISBANE/GREATER BRISBANE TOP 10 SUBURBS WITH THE HIGHEST INDICATIVE RENTAL YIELDS — BRISBANE- HOUSES Collinsville 2019Snapping at the heels of Collinsville was Beachmere, a bayside suburb north of Brisbane.Popular with retirees and downsizing Baby Boomers, 10 units sold in Beachmere during the last quarter, recording a median value of $91,000.But the majority of those units were located in an over 50s community.Beachmere Real Estate agent Paul Culley said outside of the retirement living sector, there weren’t too many units hitting the local market.“Newer ones tend to get snapped up quickly,” he said.Of the top 20 towns with the highest indicative gross rental yield, many were in resource regions where values have fallen but rents have remained strong.Blackwater — a coal mining town in the Central Highlands — had the third highest rental yield with 14.4 per cent.Median asking rents have increased by $45 a week, rising from $205 in 2017 to $250 last quarter, according to CoreLogic’s Market Trends report.Vacancy rates are at 5.5 per cent and falling.last_img read more

  • NZ First to put forward bill stripping paedophile name suppression

    first_imgStuff co.nz 25 March 2015A new bill to remove name suppression from paedophiles when the victims want their attacker named, is to be introduced to Parliament by NZ First.Leader Winston Peters, who is in Northland campaigning as for the by-election in which he is a candidate, announced the new policy today.He said there had been many cases of sexual violence where the offender hid “behind a cloak of secrecy imposed on the basis that secrecy protects the victim”.“In cases where the victim wants exposure of the crime and not secrecy, the sub-judice rule, name suppression and the legal cone of silence will be removed.“In addition to this measure, we will also introduce a sex offender register, so parents and families can know if one of these offenders is in their community or in their neighbourhood,” Peters said.It’s not yet clear what draft form the legislation is in, or whether it would only apply in cases of child abuse or for all cases of sexual abuse.http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/67503976/NZ-First-to-put-forward-bill-stripping-paedophile-name-suppressionlast_img read more