Students looking for off-campus housing may have extra incentive to do so now. Rent Like a Champion is raffling off a hot air balloon ride for anyone who signs a lease prior to May 1. “Essentially anyone who signs a lease with us from now until the end of the school year will be put in a drawing,” Mike Doyle, Vice President of Business Development, said. “The winner gets a free hot air balloon ride around Notre Dame with two friends.” Doyle said the company wanted a unique promotion students would find attractive, finding it in Michiana Balloon Rides. “A lot of companies do promotions where they’ll give you cash or an object if you sign a lease, but we were trying to think of something that would be a cool experience that we could provide that students might not otherwise have the opportunity to do,” Doyle said. The idea for Rent Like a Champion took shape under the leadership of three 2001 Notre Dame graduates, he said. “It started out with them buying properties within a mile of campus,” he said. “They’d renovate them and rent them out to students.” While most properties were rented to students, several remained untaken. Doyle said the business decided to offer those empty properties for rental to fans coming into town on football weekends. “[The houses] were sitting empty, and we rented them out for football weekends, and that idea kind of caught on, and other people started asking us to help rent out their houses as well,” he said. Doyle said the business now has two sides: renting properties to students and weekend rentals for events like home football games. “We have about 15 student properties that we own and that we rent out on a yearly basis to students,” he said. “On the other side, we have about 150 properties to rent for football weekends and graduation.” The company now owns furnished homes which range from two-bedroom to six-bedroom properties . “We have places right by campus and places a little farther out, really anything that people could want,” he said. “A lot of them come with really cool stuff in them like TVs or pool tables. Those are really popular, especially for larger groups.” In order to improve the rental properties, Doyle said the company often renovates its properties and hires Notre Dame students throughout the school year to better understand what appeals to students. “We try to have our houses have really big common spaces, big, fenced-in yards, so that the houses get better and better every year,” he said. The company hopes to expand the number of properties available to rent around campus. He said Rent Like a Champion is now in the process of expanding football-weekend rentals to other schools like Alabama and Florida State. Those who live around those campuses will have the opportunity to list their residences for rent on the Rent Like a Champion website. “We don’t own those homes; we’re more of a listing service website. People will list with us, and we’ll help them rent,” Doyle said. “That side is expanding very fast, and that’s definitely exciting.” Contact Catherine Owers at email@example.com
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:America’s energy storage market just had its biggest first quarter in history, and is growing exponentially with GTM Research projecting it to reach roughly 2.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 – almost 12 times total 2016 market size, with surging deployment in the utility-scale storage projects. This growth opens up tremendous opportunity for storage developers worth $3.2 billion in 2022 and $11 billion cumulatively from 2017-2022, according to GTM Research, while also opening up incredible opportunity for utilities seeking to integrate renewables, smooth ramping requirements, and optimize their system to boost grid reliability.Today, most utility-scale storage projects are in the 10-megawatt (MW) and greater range, but that’s changing fast. Innovative new designs and technologies have made storage – especially when paired with solar photovoltaics (PV) – fully dispatchable and cheaper than building a new natural gas-fired peaker plant, today. Navigant Research forecasts hybrid energy storage system (combined storage and generation) capacity will grow from 78.6 megawatts in 2017 to 2.1 GW in 2026, meaning for utilities, the storage future is here.America’s energy storage market just had its biggest first quarter in history, and is growing exponentially with GTM Research projecting it to reach roughly 2.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 – almost 12 times total 2016 market size, with surging deployment in the utility-scale storage projects. This growth opens up tremendous opportunity for storage developers worth $3.2 billion in 2022 and $11 billion cumulatively from 2017-2022, according to GTM Research, while also opening up incredible opportunity for utilities seeking to integrate renewables, smooth ramping requirements, and optimize their system to boost grid reliability.Today, most utility-scale storage projects are in the 10-megawatt (MW) and greater range, but that’s changing fast. Innovative new designs and technologies have made storage – especially when paired with solar photovoltaics (PV) – fully dispatchable and cheaper than building a new natural gas-fired peaker plant, today. Navigant Research forecasts hybrid energy storage system (combined storage and generation) capacity will grow from 78.6 megawatts in 2017 to 2.1 GW in 2026, meaning for utilities, the storage future is here.More: Is the future finally here for utility-scale solar-plus-storage? On the Blogs: ‘For Utilities, the Storage Future Is Here’
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Citing the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation, a California judge ruled Tuesday that tenure and the traditional “last in, first out” teacher employment practices support an unequal public education system that violates the Constitution.Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu determined in Vergara v. State of California that the protections of tenure and seniority should not apply because ineffective teachers were being concentrated in California’s low income/high minority areas. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports the ruling, calling it a “mandate to fix these problems.” But critics, such as National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel, called the decision “deeply flawed.”“Today’s ruling would make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms,” Van Roekel said in a press release, adding that it “ignores all research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching.”The implications of this court decision are far-reaching, teachers advocates say, because federal education reforms, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, place teachers—and their unions—under enormous pressure to perform to “effective” standards. These standards are determined in part by controversial state standardized tests, such as the Common Core curriculum.Professor Mark Naison, co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association and the chairman of the African and African-American Studies Department at Fordham University, said: “This is a sign of a nation that has lost its moral compass.”He called the ruling a “declaration of war on teachers around the county who depend on tenure to protect them from abusive administrators, self-interested parents and intolerable interference with their jobs from elected officials. It will help drive the best teachers out of the profession and make recruiting talented people to the profession far more difficult. Children will suffer while teachers work in fear!”New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) spokesman Carl Korn called it a “horrendous decision.” He said it’s important for people to understand what tenure means for public school teachers.“It’s not a guaranteed job for life,” he told the Press. “For the first three years, a teacher is on probation and can be terminated for [almost] any reason. Tenure simply means that if a district wants to bring charges against a teacher, those teachers are entitled to due process.”The California Teachers Association has said it will appeal the ruling. Korn believes that it will be successful in appealing this “meritless” decision when a more “even-handed judge” weighs in. NYSUT doesn’t want New York lawmakers to follow suit and weaken tenure protections here.“Especially in New York, with all of the protests [over the Common Core curriculum and education cutbacks], how can a teacher speak out about public concerns over the budget?” Korn asked. “How could they speak out to challenge the [state] commissioner of education if they could be fired at the whim of their administrators? Without this protection, what’s to stop administrators from firing their most highly paid teachers? How does that benefit children?”Judge Treu said he was ruling in behalf of disadvantaged children, but how striking down teachers’ tenure will help them in the classroom is far from clear.
Booking.com, a global leader in connecting travelers to the widest selection of amazing accommodations, rewards its partners, property owners who continuously provide guests with a great user experience and awards them the 2017 Guest Review Award.To win the prize, the facilities must have an average rating of 8,0 or more based on at least 5 reviews, and the review of the facility may only be written by Booking.com users who have stayed in the facility. After checking out of the facility, they receive a form to rate their user experience in six categories: cleanliness, comfort, location, facilities, staff and value for money. And since the Guest Review Award 2017 is based on an impressive 140 million reviews and the evaluation of the guests themselves, it is certainly a relevant recognition and great success of all hosts.”More than 140 million reviews available on Booking.com are authentic experiences of real guests. They not only help travelers find the ideal accommodation, but also provide accommodation owners with up-to-date and fresh feedback that can positively impact their business.Says Peter Verhoeven, Global Director of Partner Services at Booking.com, adding that the awards are intended to congratulate, thank and honor all the service heroes who work hard every day to provide all passengers with a great user experience and precious memories. from the tripCroatia is among the TOP 10 countries with the most awardsOld Town Rooms Deluxe Suite, ZadarThis year, the award goes to 549 accommodation facilities in 937 countries and territories, including several new countries this year: Cuba, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia. The countries with the highest awards are Italy (218), France (81), the United States (603), Spain (33), Germany (500), Croatia (24), United Kingdom (21), Poland (655), Russia (18) and Greece (391).For the first time, apartments take first place in front of the hotel as the most awarded type of accommodation and account for 30% of all awarded facilities in 2017. In fact, four of the five most awarded types of accommodation do not include a traditional hotel: apartmani (165), Hotels (876), private accommodation (63 697), bed and breakfasts (55) i cottages (29 634)This continued user interest in unique stays and experiences is also visible in a recent survey conducted by Booking.com on a sample of 19.000 travelers from 26 countries, in which one in three (33%) travelers said they would prefer to stay in private accommodation in 2018 than in a hotel. Also, one in five (21%) travelers say they would consider adding their own home to their accommodation booking page in the coming year. With 40% of travelers in 2018 wanting to stay in a type of accommodation they have not been to before, the demand and interest in a diverse selection of accommodation remains strong.Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Zagreb are in the top 20 most awarded cities in the worldPolai Panorama Apartments, PulaIn Croatia 24 395 objects of all types received the award with a total average review rating of 9,0. Also, 243 facilities achieved a perfect rating of 10, which shows their commitment to the goal of making their stay unforgettable. In the top 20 most awarded cities, Croatia found itself with as many as four – Split, which is in second place just after Rome, Zadar and Dubrovnik, which are in 9th and 10th place, and Zagreb, which is in 19th place. According to the number of awards received, Croatia climbed from 9th (2016) to 6th place this year.
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“The policy of working, studying and worshipping at home has caused a reduction in waste, especially from commercial sources such as hotels, malls, restaurants and tourist destinations,” Andono said.He advised residents to keep reducing, sorting and recycling waste while in self-quarantine.Furthermore, he encouraged residents to practice the eco-friendly waste management.“We have to know and be aware of what we are consuming. If it produces excess waste, we should choose other options,” he said. Topics : Jakarta’s daily trash output has decreased by over 40 percent ever since local residents began working and studying from home to curb the spread of COVID-19, the city’s environment agency announced Thursday.In a statement on Thursday, Jakarta Environment Agency head Andono Warih said the amount of trash sent to the Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java, had decreased to around 620 tons daily in the two weeks since the stay-at-home instruction was announced on March 16. According to a Bekasi Environment Agency report in January, the Bantar Gebang landfill received approximately 1,500 tons of trash each day.
This Noosa holding is just one of the homes Nicole Marshall selected as prime property.NICOLE Marshall has the Midas touch.In her role as union product manager for RSL Art Union, Ms Marshall is tasked with finding prize-home properties that turn everyday Aussies into instant multi-millionaires.“I have the best job in the world,” Ms Marshall said.“My job is to scout, choose, buy, build or develop millions of dollars of dream homes every year,” she said.Over the past eight years, Ms Marshall’s skills have helped see over $171 million in prime real estate won by 85 Australians.Ms Marshal said highly-desirable locations, iconic views and an indoor/outdoor lifestyle are the secrets to buying prize-worthy property.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour ago“I look for areas that have seen growth or have enormous potential and where there is demand from our ticket buyers,” she said.The RSL’s latest giveaway is designed to triple the benefits of property ownership by providing dream homes across three states. The Potts Point apartment Ms Marshall chose for the next RSL Art Union prize“All three locations have seen double digit growth over the past five years, with Potts Point realising a massive 74 per cent growth,” Ms Marshall said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair A unit in this Melbourne complex is part of the triple-prize on offer from the RSL Art UnionThe $3.4 million prize includes a three-bedroom apartment in Noosa, a two-bedroom apartment in Potts Point and a one bedder in Port Melbourne.
Hedge funds are facing a ‘critical period’ in wake of US pension fund’s decision to divest from asset class, writes Christopher O’DeaThe recent decision by US benchmark public-employee pension fund CalPERS to eliminate its entire $4bn (€3.1bn) hedge fund allocation signals the potential review of hedge fund holdings at all pension funds at a time when the vehicles are struggling to improve sluggish returns and reduce volatility that’s unsettling investors looking to them to dampen fluctuations in portfolios.While hedge funds represent only about 2% of CalPERS’ portfolio, the fund’s investing strategy is a widely watched barometer for how public-employee funds allocate their assets.“Hedge funds are certainly a viable strategy for some, but, at the end of the day, when judged against their complexity, cost and the lack of ability to scale at CalPERS’ size, the Absolute Return Strategies programme is no longer warranted,” said Ted Eliopoulos, CIO. CalPERS’ move has been in the making since this spring, when Eliopoulos took over as interim CIO, replacing his predecessor, Joe Dear, who died earlier this year. Eliopoulos, who joined CalPERS in January 2007 as senior investment officer for real assets, was named CIO just days after CalPERS announced it was terminating its hedge fund programme.The change will result in asset withdrawals from 24 hedge funds and six funds of hedge funds. CalPERS says it will take about a year to exit the funds in a manner that does not result in a negative impact on the value of its holdings.But CalPERS’ decision has already put a spotlight on the value of hedge funds to pension portfolios, says Frederick Rowe, vice-chairman of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and general partner at Greenbrier Partners, a money management firm in Dallas. Rowe believes it’s time for all pension funds to weigh the contribution of alternatives against the cost of holding hedge funds. “I think they should look,” he says.Meanwhile, Donald Steinbrugge, CFA and managing partner of hedge fund consultancy Agecroft Partners, says investors, as a result of the CalPERS news, can expect continued downward pressure on hedge fund fees for large mandates.Over the last five years, “there has been a strong trend of hedge funds increasingly offering fee breaks for large pension funds and the clients of institutional consulting firms”, he says.Managers initially discounted management fees only, but now discount performance fees as well.“For a typical hedge fund with a 2-and-20 fee structure, the discount is often 25% off standard fees,” he says. But he adds that, on average, pension funds will continue to increase their allocations to hedge funds.That’s because most institutions currently target an after-fee return assumption of 4-7% for a diversified portfolio of hedge funds – compared with core fixed income at only 2.5-3%.“As long as the expected return is higher for hedge funds than fixed income,” he says, “we will continue to see money shift from fixed income to hedge funds.”That’s held true so far. Hedge funds continued to garner assets at a strong pace in August, with more than $12bn flowing into alternatives, pushing total industry AUM to another all-time high of more than $3trn, according to eVestment’s Hedge Fund Asset Flows Report.With US equities at record highs, “alternative exposures to equity and credit markets make a lot of sense for today’s institutional investors”, says Peter Laurelli, eVestment vice-president of research.Yet, despite fee discounting, hedge funds just aren’t getting the job done. Hedge fund returns have lagged the S&P 500 by a wide margin over the last one, three and five-year periods ended in June, according to research firm Preqin.And while institutional investors look to hedge funds to dampen volatility, the sector got off to a rocky start in 2014 – the Preqin All Hedge Fund Benchmark posted a loss in three of the first four months of the year, leaving nearly one-third of respondents in the firm’s second-quarter investor confidence survey dissatisfied with hedge fund performance.While it may take some time for pension investors to alter their alternative allocations, Rowe says the industry has entered a critical period – and hedge funds face a fundamental challenge.“When you have a diversified group of managers,” he says, “it’s going to be hard to beat the market after expenses and fees.”And fee discounting only proves the point. “You start out behind, and it’s hard to catch up.”
The Dutch pensions industry has concluded that the ongoing debate over the discount rate for liabilities and funding ratios is a “dead end”, according to Gerard Riemen, director at the Dutch Pensions Federation.Speaking with local financial news daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), he pointed out that the discount rate was used to calculate, among other things, how much cash a pension fund would need today to pay a pension in 50 years’ time.“There is no objective truth for this, however, as nobody can look into the future,” said Riemen, who recently called on the industry to come up with an alternative to the predominantly defined benefit (DB) system in the Netherlands.At the time, he recommended switching to a collective defined contribution (CDC) system, with individual pensions accrual and as much risk-sharing “as possible”. Contributions should be calibrated to achieve a pension that is 70% of salary, he added.During the FD interview, Riemen highlighted that it was not the recent performance of equity markets that worried the sector but rather the long-term prospect of low interest rates.He said Dutch pension funds had, for all intents and purposes, abandoned their call for a higher discount rate.He argued that last summer’s reduction of the ultimate forward rate – as part of the discount rate – had destabilised the discount rate and hurt coverage ratios.In the opinion of the Pensions Federation, he said, all current pension claims should be converted into CDC arrangements ”as soon as possible”.“If we don’t do this, we will keep having the same problems for decades,” he said.“We don’t want to tell people in their 30s how much exactly their will receive in 40 years’ time because this is totally impossible.”Riemen also took pains to emphasise the urgency for quick decision-making. “If markets remain suppressed this year, and interest rates don’t rise either, we are facing rights cuts for large numbers of participants next year,” he said.“As things stand at the moment, many participants won’t receive any indexation for years, and we risk losing public support for the existing pensions system.”Riemen said he hoped the new government would make a decision on the shape of the new pensions system next year, and fully implement the system no later than 2019.
Prelude FLNG (Image courtesy of Shell)Aberdeen-based mechanical engineering group EnerMech has won a five-year deal for Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project offshore Western Australia.EnerMech did not reveal the value of the deal under which it will supply hose and hose fittings as well as services for the giant FLNG facility.The contract will be administered from EnerMech’s Henderson base in Perth while engineering and service support will be provided from regional facilities across Australia, including Darwin in the Northern Territory, according to a statement by EnerMech.To remind, EnerMech has earlier this year secured a pre-commissioning subcontract by Technip Oceania, a TechnipFMC company, for the Prelude FLNG project.The Prelude facility arrived at its location, the Prelude field, 475km North East of Broome from South Korea late July.Prelude FLNG was secured with sixteen mooring lines in August. The facility is currently undergoing hook-up and commissioning phase which is expected to take between 9-12 months.Once fully commissioned, the FLNG facility is expected to be able to produce 3.6 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.The Prelude project is operated by Shell in a joint venture with Inpex (17.5 percent), Kogas (10 percent) and OPIC (5 percent).