OTM’s ‘one other portal’ rule stifling transactions

first_imgHome » News » Marketing » OTM’s ‘one other portal’ rule stifling transactions OTM’s ‘one other portal’ rule stifling transactions11th November 20150587 Views A well-respected figure in the estate agency sector has written an open letter in conjunction with his business partner to Ian Springett (left), CEO OnTheMarket (OTM), urging him to drop the portal’s “One Other Portal” rule.OTM is attempting to break the so-called duopoly held by Rightmove and Zoopla with its ‘one other portal’ rule preventing their member agents from advertising on both Rightmove and Zoopla, with a view to saving agents money.The duopoly of the current two biggest portals means that prices of listing on the two portals have increased significantly in recent years, but to prevent further growth, OTM launched earlier this year with a view to saving agents money overtime.But with traffic to OTM failing to attract anywhere near the level of website traffic being generated by Rightmove and Zoopla, the number of leads being generated for some agents is falling, contributing to the current decline in transaction volumes in the UK, according to estate agency Consultant and Trainer, Richard Rawlings (right) and his business partner Bradley Payne.In an open letter to OTM’s CEO, one behalf of “the approx. 1,000 agency branches we serve, as well as the wider industry”, Rawlings and his business partner, Bradley Payne, who holds a Doctorate of Statistics, insist that OTM’s ‘one other portal’ policy is directly contributing to the current decline in transaction volumes in the UK, “albeit inadvertently”, and is now calling on Springett to scrap the rule “for the sake of our industry and prospective home-movers alike”. Here is the letter in full:I write as an estate agency consultant, trainer and marketeer of 25 years in conjunction with my business partner, Bradley Payne, who holds a Doctorate of Statistics. On behalf of the approx 1000 agency branches we serve, as well as the wider industry, we believe we have identified that On The Market’s “one other portal” policy is directly contributing to the current decline in transaction volumes in the UK, albeit inadvertently, and we would call on you, without other agenda, to withdraw it for the sake of our industry and prospective home-movers alike.The current situation:Sales transactions have been down every single month of this year compared with the corresponding month of last year, dropping 4% across England and Wales on an annual basis, and 10% for London. (Source HMLR).Instruction levels have plummeted by 8% this year (Source Rightmove).Widely reported portal traffic figures show that visitor sessions on the property portals are down year on year by nearly 29% (Aug/Sept 2014 vs Aug/Sept 2015).Pre-OTM, buyers assumed that most properties would appear on either Rightmove or Zoopla and there was therefore no need to “portal-hop”. This is borne out by the fact that, according to research by Nielsen, a whopping 80% of homebuyers only use one portal to conduct their property search. (Just as people might use Google or Bing to search for information on-line, but are unlikely to use both). This was not a problem when most properties appeared on both sites. Consumers had not been conditioned to think that they need to go on multiple portals to check out every property.However, it is a problem now! This is because the OTM one other portal rule has meant that far fewer properties are now duplicated on both Rightmove and Zoopla. Yet nobody told the consumer! Such a fundamental shift in consumer conditioning can take a decade to influence. The excellent OTM awareness campaign has only served to suggest that OTM is an alternative, not an “as well as”.The effect of this is that buyers are simply not being exposed to the same number of properties that they would have seen pre-OTM. This has led, not only to a decline in transactions, but also to a decline in new instructions because many people are not bringing their house to market (or are withdrawing it) simply because they do not believe they will find anywhere to buy. This has led to a vicious circle verging on a confidence crisis. And confidence is the one thing on which property markets thrive.I am not suggesting that OTM is a bad thing – it’s a great site. However other contemporary disruptors such as Uber, AirBNB, Amazon Prime, etc all started from the position of “consumer first”. A “by the agent- for the agent approach” has unwittingly failed to recognise the driving forces behind the proposition and in doing so has shot the industry it seeks to serve, along with the consumer, in the foot.This problem could be quickly corrected if the one other portal rule were to be lifted, and on behalf of the industry and consumer alike, I would urge you to drop it to prevent further disruption to the industry and restore normal market conditions.Yours sincerely,Richard Rawlings and Dr.Bradley Payne.———-RationaleIn 2014 there were two portals used by the majority of homebuyers, Rightmove and Zoopla. For argument sake let us assume both had 85% of the listings and 50% of homebuyers went to each portal. That would mean 100% of the home buying public saw 85% of stock available. (Of course there is an overlap as 15% of the listings were not on Rightmove and vice-versa).Then in 2015 a third portal, On the Market (OTM), launches and its stock and visitor levels are understandably quite a lot lower than RM and Z. Based on the condition set by OTM, that an agent may only use one other portal in addition to OTM, results in a reduction in the number of listings in the two main portals used by the largest proportion of homebuyers.Effect 1Start with limited public awareness of OTM and assume that 50% of searches are still on RM and 50% are on Z, but 10% of stock has moved off each to OTM results in:RM has 75% of listings with 50% trafficZ has 75% of listings with 50% traffic.Then listings viewed with the potential of a transaction have dropped from 85% to 75%.Effect 2Moving forward where awareness of OTM in the public grows and assume that 20% of homebuyers decide to use OTM instead of the other two portals (some of course will continue to use both or even 3 portals, but we need to account for a proportion who will only use 1 portal).So 40% of searches are on RM and 40% are on Z, but now as 20% of the stock has moved off each to OTM then the net effect will be;RM has 65% of listings with 50% trafficZ has 65% of listings with 50% traffic.OTM has 20% of listings with 20% traffic.The result is that listings viewed with the potential of a transaction have now dropped considerably.Rightmove One Other Portal rule OnTheMarket open letter OTM portals property portals Zoopla 2015-11-11The Negotiator Related articles “Millions have been thrown against the top portals for years with no effect”30th April 2021 Rightmove property listing lands estate agency in NIMBY hot water29th April 2021 OTM or Boomin? Agents won’t pay for four portals, warns industry leader28th April 2021What’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more

Learning as he works Craig Brown, aged 22, is training to be a baker with an apprenticeship at Macleans Highland Bakery in Scotland. He highlights some of the challenges he faces

first_imgWe don’t have many bakery courses in Scotland which is why a training advisor from the Scottish Association of Master Bakers visits my bakery – Macleans Highland Bakery in Forres – once a month.I work full-time and fit in essay-writing and practical exercises around the job. My advisor, Graham Shewan, keeps a folder containing the different course units and has watched me finishing products to make sure I have the necessary skills. My bakery manager has been great during the course too, and makes sure that I’m working on the right things when Graham comes to visit. So far I’ve studied confectionery, finishing and piping cakes, as well as dough production, baking and proving.I feel that I’ve got as much from the experience as students who go to college as I’m always learning something while I’m working. I think it’s easier than just finishing a college course and then trying to prove to an employer you can do the job, when you don’t know what it’s like to work full-time.So far during the apprenticeship, I have worked on confectionery at the bakery and also learnt dough production on the night shift and was promoted to savoury supervisor recently.I’m doing NVQ Level 3 now which is a more functional management course and hope to finish the apprenticeship by the end of the year, which will mean I can take on a supervisory role. I’ve enjoyed most of it, such as placing orders and stock-taking, apart from the modules on health.I started at the bakery in a dispatch role when I was 17 and worked the night shift on Friday when they offered me an apprenticeship on leaving school. I didn’t mind missing nights out with my friends.== early starts ==Some part-time workers grumble when you ask them to do things, which I never did. I know that baking is a challenging job for a lot of people as you have to start early, but it’s so important that we get young people involved.I like the variety here as you’re doing something different every day. I love moulding and shaping loaves like wheatsheafs and wouldn’t want to go back to slicing bread. I also love confectionery as it’s so creative. People always appreciate it when you’ve made a sweet treat. You are more hands-on in a small bakery and it’s nice doing things from scratch. Our bakery is particularly up-and-coming with 60 staff and three shops.I’d like to have my own bakery one day, in a local high street, which is part of the community, but I don’t usually think that far ahead as I’m happy here. I’ll take it a small step at a time.It’s a battle for small bakers who are developing tasty products while the supermarkets bring out cheap rolls. But if you can make a more expensive loaf that tastes 10 times better then I think people will be willing to pay for it. It’s very important to offer choice. We’ve got a big Tesco superstore near us, which we compete against but we also supply them with rolls.Getting a ’highly commended’ in the Student Baker of the Year competition was great as it’s put our bakery on the map and my boss was really chuffed. I was pleased to get commended but I really wanted to win. It makes me want to try even harder. nlast_img read more

Omega-3s tied to lower risk of irregular heartbeat

first_imgPeople with higher-than-average levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood may be roughly 30 percent less likely than those with the lowest levels to develop atrial fibrillation, according to new Harvard School of Public Health research. Atrial fibrillation is a dangerous condition that tends to strike the elderly and can lead to stroke or heart failure.“A 30 percent lower risk of the most common chronic arrhythmia in the United States population is a pretty big effect,” Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and senior author of the report, told Reuters.The study, led by epidemiology department research fellow Jason Wu, was published online in the journal Circulation, Jan. 26, 2012. The researchers took blood samples from more than 3,300 adults over age 65 and tracked their health over 14 years to see how many developed atrial fibrillation.The omega-3 fatty acids measured in the study are found in oily fish, fish oil supplements, and in some enriched foods, like eggs. While many health experts recommend eating fish at least twice a week, Mozaffarian told Reuters that most Americans don’t meet those goals. But he said the new study “should change people’s motivation.”last_img read more

Managing Federal Data at the Rugged Edge

first_imgThe Federal government collects and manages more data outside of traditional data centers than ever before from sources including mobile units, sensors, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Teams need to manage data efficiently and securely across the full continuum – from edge to core to cloud.In some cases, operating at the edge means space-constrained, remote, and harsh environments – with limited technical support. Our new Dell EMC VxRail D Series delivers a fully-automated, ruggedized hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) – ideal for demanding federal and military use cases. VxRail is the only HCI appliance developed with, and fully optimized for, VMware environments. We built the solution working side by side with the VMware team. Both administrators and end users get a consistent environment, including fully automated lifecycle management to ensure continuously validated states. How? More than 100 team members dedicated to testing and quality assurance, and 25,000 test run hours for each major release. Users can manage traditional and cloud-native applications across a consistent infrastructure – in winds up to 70 mph, temperatures hot enough to fry an egg and cold enough to freeze water, and 40 miles-per-hour sandstorms. Whether you are managing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or mission-critical applications in the field, your team can take advantage of HCI benefits and ease of use.As Federal teams collect and manage more data, they also have to be able to put that data (structured and unstructured) to work, creating new insights to help leaders deploy the right resources to the right place, anticipate problems more effectively, and achieve new insights. Dell Technologies recently announced a new PowerScale family, combining the industry’s number one network-attached storage (NAS) file system, OneFS, with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, at a starting point of 11.5 terabytes raw and the capability to scale to multi-petabytes. PowerScale nodes include the F200 (all-flash), F600 (all-NVME), and Isilon nodes. End users can manage PowerScale and Isilon nodes in the same cluster, with a consistent user experience – simplicity at scale. Federal teams – from FEMA managing disaster relief, to the Department of Justice working on law enforcement programs, to the Department of Defense managing military operations, can start small and grow easily on demand. PowerScale is OEM-Ready – meaning debranding and custom branding is supported, while VxRail D Series is MIL-STD-810G certified and is available in a STIG hardening package. Both PowerScale and VxRail D Series enjoy the Dell Technologies secure supply chain, dedicated engineering, and project management support.As the Federal government continues to deploy emerging technology, and collect and manage more and more data outside of the data center, government and industry need to collaborate to continue to drive innovation at the edge, so we can take secure computing capabilities where the mission is – whether that’s a submarine, a field in Kansas, a tent in the desert, or a dining room table.Learn more about Design Solutions for military & defense and our storage-specific capabilities. Follow us on Twitter @delltechdesign.Join our LinkedIn Dell Technologies Design Solutions Showcase page here.last_img read more

Notre Dame News: Things to Know

first_imgUniversity in national spotlight over sexual assault cases In 2015, CNN released a documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” which examined how colleges and universities mishandle sexual assault cases. Featuring Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, the documentary highlighted multiple cases where the University and the College failed to respond to reports by Saint Mary’s students who accused Notre Dame students of sexual assault. The documentary inspired activism by students, faculty and alumni to urge the College and the University to change their practices regarding sexual assault. In 2017, “The Hunting Ground” producer Amy Ziering spoke on campus at a Student Union Board event.University involved in legal battles In 2012, the University sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeking an exemption from the Obamacare requirement that employers provide contraceptive access. The suit and its appeals were ultimately unsuccessful. In 2015, ESPN sued the University for access to police records on student athletes accused of crimes. An appellate court sided with ESPN, saying NDSP was a public agency subject to open records laws, but it is unclear which records the network will get and when. As a result of the suit, a bill was introduced in the Indiana state legislature intended to clarify open records laws, but was vetoed by then-Governor Mike Pence.First official LGBT student organization formedIn 2013, campus saw the first meetings of PrismND, Notre Dame’s first official organization for LGBT students. Students had been attempting to start such an organization for decades, and after a months-long review of resources for the LGBT community at Notre Dame — resulting in a pastoral plan — PrismND was approved.Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who built ND for 50 years, dies in 2015 During Hesburgh’s 30-year presidency, women were admitted to the University and laypeople to the board of trustees, and Notre Dame’s national profile rose. The Holy Cross priest — who was photographed arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King Jr. and said a Mass in the then-Soviet Union, was a campus institution — students considered it an honor to visit his office on the 14th floor of the library named after him. When he died at 97, U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize winners offered condolences. He left a legacy of civil rights activism and academic freedom in Catholic education, as well as a premier Catholic research university.Football team goes to 2013 national championship  After years of mediocre football at Notre Dame Stadium, the storyline changed dramatically in 2012, when the Irish posted a perfect regular season en route to a BCS National Championship Game loss to Alabama. A lights-out defense, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up linebacker Manti Te’o, propelled the Irish to the title game, but Notre Dame failed to mount a challenge in South Florida, falling 42-14 to the Crimson Tide on the season’s biggest stage.University starts new construction projectsThe past several years saw much construction and renovation. Campus Crossroads, a $400-million project that added academic departments and student spaces to the football stadium, began in 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. In 2015, Hesburgh Library began a renovation which gave several floors a more open plan. Two new dorm buildings, Flaherty and Dunne Halls, were built, as was McCourtney Hall, a research building. Jenkins Hall, which will house the Keough School of Global Affairs, is slated to open in Fall 2017.New college created for the first time in decadesIn 2014, the University announced the creation of the Keough School of Global Affairs, which will offer academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, work with Notre Dame’s centers abroad and other internationally-focused institutes and offer a new Masters in Global Affairs.University adjusts Notre Dame Core CurriculumEvery 10 years, the University reviews its Core Curriculum, the set of courses that every student must take. The process began in 2014, briefly sparking fears that the University theology requirement would be reduced or eliminated. A Core Curriculum committee solicited ideas and feedback from the Notre Dame community and in November 2015 released its recommendations, proposing a revision that would reduce the total number of core courses and require students to take classes in broader categories such as “quantitative analysis” and “aesthetic analysis,” as opposed to math or fine arts. The University released a final report of changes to be implemented for the freshman class of 2022 in the fall of 2018. PE course replaced with Moreau First-Year Experience For decades, Notre Dame required its freshmen to pass a swim test or take swimming lessons, as well as complete a physical education course. For the incoming class of 2019 those requirements were eliminated to some controversy. The replacement was the Moreau First-Year Experience, a one-credit class that addressed aspects of wellness, cultural competence and student life.Biden, Boehner receive prestigious Laetare Medal amid outcry The Laetare Medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards for American Catholics. The 2016 medal was jointly awarded to Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner, a gesture by University President Fr. John Jenkins to encourage bipartisan dialogue. The award sparked an outcry among students, alumni and conservative groups, who criticized the decision to award the pro-choice Vice President and the pro-death penalty Speaker. Both politicians attended the 2016 commencement ceremony and received the medal.Vice President Mike Pence speaks to 2017 graduates, students walk out in protestRather than hosting the sitting president as Notre Dame’s Commencement speaker during his first year in office — a decision that ignited controversy when Barack Obama spoke in 2009 — the University invited current Vice President and former Governor of Indiana Mike Pence to be its 2017 Commencement speaker. The selection of Pence as Commencement speaker was met with widespread protest across campus. Students cited Pence’s record on LGBT issues as a particular point of contention and organized a rainbow pride flag drive to show solidarity against Pence. These flags, a symbol of the LGBT community, were hung from windows throughout campus. During the Commencement ceremony, approximately 100 graduates stood and exited Notre Dame stadium as Pence began his address.Tags: Barack Obama, Campus Crossroads Project, Core Curriculum, ESPN lawsuit, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, Keough School of Global Affairs, Laetare Medal, Mike Pence, Moreau First Year Experience, PrismND, The Hunting Ground, Welcome Weekend, Welcome Weekend 2017last_img read more

03 Asparagus

first_imgAsparagus produces male and female flowers on separate plants. Aherbaceous perennial, it produces shoots from buds formed on arooted crown. These shoots, called spears, are the edible part.They’re harvested for many seasons after plants are established.Both male and female plants produce spears. The female produceslarger spears, but male plants are preferred, since they producehigher yields and have greater longevity. Along the spears aretriangular bracts, which are the true leaves.Modified stems, called cladophylls, make up the highly visiblefern growth. The fruit is a red berry with one to five seeds.Birds feed on the seed pods and can distribute the seeds.Cool veggieAsparagus is considered a cool-season plant but grows in manyenvironments. Average day-night temperatures of 70-50 are ideal,but it’s climatically well suited to most of Georgia.Since asparagus plantings have a long life, site selection iscritical. Choose a spot out of the way of normal garden jobs andin full sunlight, where the soil is loose and well-drained. Eastor north ends of the garden are best so as not to shade lowgrowing crops.Any soil type will work for asparagus. But it won’t tolerate wetsoil, and it needs 8 to 10 inches of topsoil. If you don’t havesuch a spot, you may grow asparagus in raised beds where youprovide the required soil and nutrients.Add organic matter and lime (to a pH of 6.2 to 6.8) severalmonths before you plant. Animal manure or decomposed organicmatter, such as leaves or old sawdust, can be used. Add 3 to 4pounds of 34-0-0 per 100 row feet, too, to feed the bacteria thatbreak down organic matter.Getting startedSeveral varieties produce well. Newer varieties such as JerseyKing, Jersey Knight and Jersey General have resistance toasparagus rust and are adapted to warmer climates. Asparagus canbe started from seed or crowns. One-year-old crowns are best.Fertilize according to soil test recommendations for phosphorousand potassium. In general, broadcast and incorporate 1 to 2pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer (or the equivalent) per 100 squarefeet and mix well with the soil.Then prepare a trench 12 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide.Fill the bottom 4 inches with organic material and cover with alayer of soil.Space crowns 10 to 12 inches apart, in rows 4 to 5 feet apart.Lay crowns on their side at the bottom of the furrow 6 to 8inches deep and cover with 1 to 3 inches of soil. Gradually fillin the trench with soil as the ferns grow, but don’t cover thegrowing tip.In raised beds, space crowns 24 inches apart in all directionsand cover the same way. Add another 1 to 2 pounds of 10-10-10 inlate summer or early fall. Water enough to soak the soil to crowndepth.How to harvestHarvest only two or three times in the spring one year afterplanting. You should be able to harvest for about two months insucceeding years.Cut spears about an inch below the soil surface when they’re 6 to8 inches long and the heads are tight. After you stop cutting,allow the tops to develop and produce ferns.Use shallow cultivation to remove weeds in successive seasons.Top-dress each year with 5-10-15 by broadcasting 4 to 5 pounds offertilizer in late February to early March for each 100 squarefeet. Apply again just after harvest ends.Cut the tops to ground level after they die back.(Terry Kelley is an Extension horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXXNumber 1Page 3 By William Terry KelleyUniversity ofGeorgiaThe early bird may get the worm, but early gardeners get theasparagus — if they plan ahead. This popular, winter-hardyvegetable is one of the first crops ready for harvest in earlyspring.last_img read more

Brazilian Military Renowned for Jungle Warfare Training

first_imgThe training unfolds in three phases, which are known as Jungle Life, Special Techniques, and Jungle Operations. Conducted at six of the seven bases scattered throughout a closed jungle area measuring 1,152 km² with a 95 percent preservation rate, the course takes place in a region known as the “Cursed Square” in Manaus, capital city of the State of Amazonas. If legions of foreign troops were to invade Brazil and attempt to occupy the rivers and villages of the Amazon, warriors trained in jungle combat would silently advance upon the enemy, using the jungle as their ally. At nightfall, the warriors would attack the enemy’s main bases and then return to the depths of the jungle, while the invading force would never even know that the local jungle experts were waiting for them all along. CIGS trains jungle warriors for irregular combat, rather than defending a fixed point, as most conventional Military units would do. For instance, trainees are taught to impede enemy Soldiers by using booby traps and launching furtive attacks. CIGS warriors learn how to use their knowledge of the jungle and technological tools, such as communications equipment, to prevail in jungle combat. For students, completing the program and earning the Seal of the Jaguar and the Jungle Warrior’s Saber is difficult. The course is intense and teaches service members how to obtain from the things they need from the jungle to survive and fight successfully. “The Army was very happy with the choice of Maj. Teixeira as the first commander. He served in the Parachutist Division Core, he was deployed abroad, and when he returned, he created CIGS out of nothing,” said Colonel Nilton Correa Lampert, the 11th commander, who was a student for the first CIGS course. The school is currently located in the same area where the accident occurred. Two years after its establishment by presidential decree, CIGS conducted its first training course, with a class for officers and another one for Army sergeants major and other sergeants. Then-Artillery Major Jorge Teixeira de Oliveira, known as Teixeirão, was the CIGS’s first commander and became the school’s patron. “Once in Brazil, I learned the majority of the officers attending trained for well over six months in order to be ready for the course,” said Alejandro. “[The course] is very physically demanding, and not being used to the weather [average temperature 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity) could determine whether you made it through the first week of training.” Training for jungle combat CIGS trains jungle warriors for irregular combat, rather than defending a fixed point, as most conventional Military units would do. For instance, trainees are taught to impede enemy Soldiers by using booby traps and launching furtive attacks. CIGS warriors learn how to use their knowledge of the jungle and technological tools, such as communications equipment, to prevail in jungle combat. CIGS conducts two 12-week training sessions a year offering seven different categories of jungle operations courses. “CIGS is a fundamental tool for military training for the largest and most unusual jungle biosphere in the world,” said Major Marcus Vinícius, CIGS Jungle Operations Chief. “The candidates for this training course are subjected to regular medical exams, physical, and cognitive tests.” In the jungle, a single mistake by an enemy Soldier sets off an ambush by the jungle warriors, who attack with machine guns as well as by dropping logs on their adversaries’ heads from tree branches above. In the second phase, during the second, third, and fourth weeks, students learn topography, how to install and operate communications antennae, the use of explosives, how to launch ambushes, and how to conduct operations using helicopters and ships. During this phase, students spend a lot of time on the firing range, where they use nearly 1,000 cartridges of ammunition. “[In all training phases, the students] wake up at 0450 and receive Military physical training at 0500. Students have breakfast at 0600, attend class from 0700 to 1150, have lunch at noon, attend more classes from 1300 to 1750 and have dinner at 1800,” said Maj. Vinícius. “Finally, students attend their last classes from 1900 to 2250 and then have supper, complete a sanitation inspection (personal hygiene), and perform weapons maintenance at 2300. They go to sleep at midnight. This routine is repeated for 10 weeks.” By Dialogo February 11, 2015 In addition to the Army, other service members also participate in the course, from the Navy, Air Force, auxiliary forces (Military Police and Firefighters), and military officers from 28 partner nations, including United States Special Operations Forces. In the jungle, a single mistake by an enemy Soldier sets off an ambush by the jungle warriors, who attack with machine guns as well as by dropping logs on their adversaries’ heads from tree branches above. The Special Operations Command site highlighted that Alejandro’s opportunity to train next to Brazilian counterparts had been valuable in expanding an important relationship between the Brazilian Armed Forces and the U.S. Military. In addition to the Army, other service members also participate in the course, from the Navy, Air Force, auxiliary forces (Military Police and Firefighters), and military officers from 28 partner nations, including United States Special Operations Forces. The school is currently located in the same area where the accident occurred. Two years after its establishment by presidential decree, CIGS conducted its first training course, with a class for officers and another one for Army sergeants major and other sergeants. Then-Artillery Major Jorge Teixeira de Oliveira, known as Teixeirão, was the CIGS’s first commander and became the school’s patron. Training for jungle combat The Brazilian Military created the CIGS in 1964 after considering they lacked in having an operational unit capable of utilizing Brazil’s thick Amazon jungle to their benefit. Since then jungle warfare training conducted by CIGS is widely considered to be the best in the world. U.S. Special Operations Warrant Officer Javier Alejandro, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, graduated from the demanding course in 2009. Since the first class graduated in 1966, a total of 5,766 students have completed the program successfully, including the 2014 graduates, according to information from the center. The origin of the expression, “Jungle!” The training, an intensive and physically and mentally challenging period, concludes with a non-war operation in the municipalities of Tabatinga and São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the State of Amazonas; and Boa Vista, in the State of Roraima. “Until the mid-1960s, the Brazilian Army did not have Troops or service members specializing in jungle combat,” Maj. Vinícius said. “This fact was made clear by the enormous difficulties encountered in recovering the bodies of victims of an airplane accident involving a Panair Brasil Constellation flight in 1962. Fifty people died, and the operation took over a week.” The Special Operations Command site highlighted that Alejandro’s opportunity to train next to Brazilian counterparts had been valuable in expanding an important relationship between the Brazilian Armed Forces and the U.S. Military. The Brazilian Military created the CIGS in 1964 after considering they lacked in having an operational unit capable of utilizing Brazil’s thick Amazon jungle to their benefit. Since then jungle warfare training conducted by CIGS is widely considered to be the best in the world. The selection process is rigorous and divides the students into two 50-student shifts commanded by 40 instructors – 20 officers and 20 sergeants. If legions of foreign troops were to invade Brazil and attempt to occupy the rivers and villages of the Amazon, warriors trained in jungle combat would silently advance upon the enemy, using the jungle as their ally. At nightfall, the warriors would attack the enemy’s main bases and then return to the depths of the jungle, while the invading force would never even know that the local jungle experts were waiting for them all along. After passing the first two phases, students complete a series of missions during weeks five through 10 of the program, during which they use all they have learned up to that point. For students, completing the program and earning the Seal of the Jaguar and the Jungle Warrior’s Saber is difficult. The course is intense and teaches service members how to obtain from the things they need from the jungle to survive and fight successfully. Conducted at six of the seven bases scattered throughout a closed jungle area measuring 1,152 km² with a 95 percent preservation rate, the course takes place in a region known as the “Cursed Square” in Manaus, capital city of the State of Amazonas. In 1969, CIGS was divided into three initial categories: A ( for senior officers), B (for captains and lieutenants), and C (for sergeants major and other sergeants). But, in 2010, it was further divided into categories D (for sergeants major and sergeants first class), E (for medical officers), F (for medical sergeants major and other sergeants) and G (for cadets). U.S. Special Operations Warrant Officer Javier Alejandro, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, graduated from the demanding course in 2009. In total, 26 countries’ military forces have taken part in the Jungle Warfare course, with a total of 444 international graduates, according to a report by Brazilian website G1.Globo.com. Of those, 15 are neighboring countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay. CIGS conducts two 12-week training sessions a year offering seven different categories of jungle operations courses. “Amazônia Legal is a region that covers more than half of Brazil’s territory, with approximately 12,000 km of the land border and 1,000 km of the coast,” Colonel Alfredo José Ferreira Dias, commander of the CIGS, told the Brazilian Army’s Verde-Oliva magazine in its October 2014 edition. “All of this, from a Military point of view, underscores the importance of CIGS, whose primary mission is to train Special Forces in jungle warfare, while also conducting doctrinal research and experiments to defend and protect the Amazon and Brazil.” The training, an intensive and physically and mentally challenging period, concludes with a non-war operation in the municipalities of Tabatinga and São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the State of Amazonas; and Boa Vista, in the State of Roraima. This scenario is an example of how jungle warriors, who are Military service members trained by the Brazilian Army’s Jungle Warfare Training Center (CIGS), could respond to an invasion. Physical challenges The surviving invaders might try to request back-up, but the thick jungle brush prevents any radio communication. And if they try to flee, they would be stopped by the poison darts fired on them by indigenous Soldiers on trees. The surviving invaders might try to request back-up, but the thick jungle brush prevents any radio communication. And if they try to flee, they would be stopped by the poison darts fired on them by indigenous Soldiers on trees. Selected for his fluency in Portuguese, the experienced Green Beret was privileged and honored to be nominated to the course, according to U.S. Special Operations website news.soc.mil. After passing the first two phases, students complete a series of missions during weeks five through 10 of the program, during which they use all they have learned up to that point. “Amazônia Legal is a region that covers more than half of Brazil’s territory, with approximately 12,000 km of the land border and 1,000 km of the coast,” Colonel Alfredo José Ferreira Dias, commander of the CIGS, told the Brazilian Army’s Verde-Oliva magazine in its October 2014 edition. “All of this, from a Military point of view, underscores the importance of CIGS, whose primary mission is to train Special Forces in jungle warfare, while also conducting doctrinal research and experiments to defend and protect the Amazon and Brazil.” “CIGS is a fundamental tool for military training for the largest and most unusual jungle biosphere in the world,” said Major Marcus Vinícius, CIGS Jungle Operations Chief. “The candidates for this training course are subjected to regular medical exams, physical, and cognitive tests.” “Once in Brazil, I learned the majority of the officers attending trained for well over six months in order to be ready for the course,” said Alejandro. “[The course] is very physically demanding, and not being used to the weather [average temperature 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity) could determine whether you made it through the first week of training.” The selection process is rigorous and divides the students into two 50-student shifts commanded by 40 instructors – 20 officers and 20 sergeants. Preparing students for jungle combat is important, considering the large amount of forest land in the country. Selected for his fluency in Portuguese, the experienced Green Beret was privileged and honored to be nominated to the course, according to U.S. Special Operations website news.soc.mil. This scenario is an example of how jungle warriors, who are Military service members trained by the Brazilian Army’s Jungle Warfare Training Center (CIGS), could respond to an invasion. Since the first class graduated in 1966, a total of 5,766 students have completed the program successfully, including the 2014 graduates, according to information from the center. Preparing students for jungle combat is important, considering the large amount of forest land in the country. Students also must prove their physical aptitude by swimming and crossing a portion of the Rio Negro while carrying a backpack, a rifle, and other equipment. Maj. Teixeira created the expression “Jungle!” (Selva) which is used by Army Soldiers throughout the Amazon. It is used both as a greeting and as a warning. “The Army was very happy with the choice of Maj. Teixeira as the first commander. He served in the Parachutist Division Core, he was deployed abroad, and when he returned, he created CIGS out of nothing,” said Colonel Nilton Correa Lampert, the 11th commander, who was a student for the first CIGS course. “[In all training phases, the students] wake up at 0450 and receive Military physical training at 0500. Students have breakfast at 0600, attend class from 0700 to 1150, have lunch at noon, attend more classes from 1300 to 1750 and have dinner at 1800,” said Maj. Vinícius. “Finally, students attend their last classes from 1900 to 2250 and then have supper, complete a sanitation inspection (personal hygiene), and perform weapons maintenance at 2300. They go to sleep at midnight. This routine is repeated for 10 weeks.” The training unfolds in three phases, which are known as Jungle Life, Special Techniques, and Jungle Operations. The first phase, which takes place during the first week of the program, is considered to be the most challenging. Students learn to become psychologically stronger, avoid tropical diseases, and find food and water in the jungle. Students also learn to identify dangerous plants and animals and receive physical military training. The origin of the expression, “Jungle!” The CIGS has a rich and colorful history. “Until the mid-1960s, the Brazilian Army did not have Troops or service members specializing in jungle combat,” Maj. Vinícius said. “This fact was made clear by the enormous difficulties encountered in recovering the bodies of victims of an airplane accident involving a Panair Brasil Constellation flight in 1962. Fifty people died, and the operation took over a week.” In the second phase, during the second, third, and fourth weeks, students learn topography, how to install and operate communications antennae, the use of explosives, how to launch ambushes, and how to conduct operations using helicopters and ships. During this phase, students spend a lot of time on the firing range, where they use nearly 1,000 cartridges of ammunition. The program is limited to 100 candidates per training session, of whom about 80 percent complete the course, while about 10 percent withdraw, according to CIGS. Students also must prove their physical aptitude by swimming and crossing a portion of the Rio Negro while carrying a backpack, a rifle, and other equipment. Maj. Teixeira created the expression “Jungle!” (Selva) which is used by Army Soldiers throughout the Amazon. It is used both as a greeting and as a warning. Physical challenges In 1969, CIGS was divided into three initial categories: A ( for senior officers), B (for captains and lieutenants), and C (for sergeants major and other sergeants). But, in 2010, it was further divided into categories D (for sergeants major and sergeants first class), E (for medical officers), F (for medical sergeants major and other sergeants) and G (for cadets). The first phase, which takes place during the first week of the program, is considered to be the most challenging. Students learn to become psychologically stronger, avoid tropical diseases, and find food and water in the jungle. Students also learn to identify dangerous plants and animals and receive physical military training. The program is limited to 100 candidates per training session, of whom about 80 percent complete the course, while about 10 percent withdraw, according to CIGS. The CIGS has a rich and colorful history. In total, 26 countries’ military forces have taken part in the Jungle Warfare course, with a total of 444 international graduates, according to a report by Brazilian website G1.Globo.com. Of those, 15 are neighboring countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay. Very nice page. I like it a lot. I was a servicemember and did this course in ’81. There’s nothing like it. There’s no use being well prepared. Incidents occur, so the military needs to drop the course, which to me, is something unrealistic. It was a huge drain on my son, who lost 10kg in only 15 days. He was well prepared and injured his knee. He had to drop out of the course, and he was second in his class! I AM AN ARGENTINE POLICEMAN AND I HAD THE HONOR OF SERVING WITH MEN FROM THE POLICE FORCE WHO TOOK THE COURSE… THEY RECEIVED THE BEST OF MEMORIES AND GREAT INSTRUCTION IN THIS COURSE…I WOULD GIVE EVERYTHING TO GO TO THIS COURSE…IF THE PERSON IN CHARGE WOULD ALLOW IT…JUNGLE!!!!! Good evening. My son is doing the Class of 2015 course on war in the jungle. Are there any readers on this page who also have a relative doing this course? I am anxious about doing this course to prepare for the worst. SELVA is more than just a course. It transforms man into a true warrior. For those who say that Brazil is on the little weak side, well the truth is that we are simply the world’s best jungle fighters, not to mention our commandos, who are one of the most lethal, elite groups in the world. I would like to take this course. As someone who was there during the early days of CIGS, I had the honor of serving jazz to Teixeirão and Tamaturgo and their legacies and our EB’s honorable chief and I don’t know if Gen. Bueno is still alive and I served with him here in the QG Army urban military sector and congratulations for this work and the CIGS is a brilliant school. Selva… Which war did you fight ?last_img read more

To Cure What Ails the Island’s Economy, Let’s Put New Rental Housing Where We Need It Most

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Ann GolobHere’s how to cure Long Island’s current economic stagnation: expand the biomedical industry and multi-family housing simultaneously.If that’s done, according to a recent report by the Long Island Index, between 44,500 and 73,000 new jobs would be created by 2040 and between $9.5 billion and $15.1 billion would be added in new gross regional product at the same time. It would be a big jolt that our region needs.To understand just how important these two changes could be, the Long Island Index looked closely at the state of rental housing on Long Island and especially whether the recent momentum in announced multifamily developments shows them taking place where the report recommends: in downtown areas and especially transit-oriented ones. It’s a crucial question because, to be most effective as an economic stimulus, the multifamily housing must offer a variety of types and costs of housing–and, in particular, a style of downtown living–that will attract the young talent that the biomedical and other high-tech industries covet. If young people don’t see attractive and affordable housing options on Long Island, there is the danger of these industries locating elsewhere.Our latest, just completed, research is not yet encouraging, but it’s extremely valuable because it further underscores where Long Island should be heading.Long Island has not always had as deep a deficiency of rental housing as it does today. In the 1960s and 1970s the building of garden apartments was brisk. In fact, 44 percent of today’s rentals were built during this 20-year period.That, however, led to a backlash and a push to tighten zoning, specify height limitations, and limit density. Rental apartment development came to an almost complete halt. In the 1980s, the availability of rental apartments was further limited by the conversion of more than 22,000 units from rentals to coops or condos, and by the expansion in the number of coop or condo units built compared to rentals. The result is the current hole of insufficient multifamily housing that is driving away not only our young people but also our seniors who would prefer to remain where they live today if they had the option.How many rental apartments does Long Island have in multifamily buildings? Today Long Island has a total of 1,500 rental apartment buildings spread across the two counties with a total of almost 88,000 apartment units.Looking forward, Long Island is planning to build more units than have been constructed in decades. Counting up projects that have been proposed, that are going through the approvals process, or are actually under construction, there are 72 rental projects, which could add another 21,425 apartment units to our region. But before we break open the champagne bottles to celebrate a brighter future, consider that 78 percent of these projects are still in the proposal stage and, even if they do get built, many are not located where they are needed most.Examining data on the rental buildings in the two counties now, the Long Island Index geocoded their locations and determined how many are situated within half a mile of a downtown center–near transit, restaurants and other amenities. For the two counties combined, almost half of the buildings are within the downtown radius. But when you look at the number of units, it is much more skewed–with only 35 percent in the downtowns. Why? Because smaller buildings with fewer units tend to be built in the downtowns.Is the story any better looking ahead? Unfortunately not.  While half of all the new buildings in the pipeline are in the downtown area, they are smaller buildings with the result that 70 percent of the total apartment units being created are more than half a mile away from the center where there is transit, stores, restaurants and more.It’s ironic that Long Island is still not moving more quickly to address the need for more housing options downtown, when a recent Long Island Index survey of Long Islanders shows that the demand is there. The survey, released last December, showed that a majority (60 percent) of Long Islanders said that they have at least some difficulty in meeting their monthly rent and mortgage payments, due to the Island’s persistently high housing costs, and more than half (52 percent) of Long Island residents could imagine themselves or an immediate family member living in an apartment, a condo or a townhouse in a local Long Island downtown.Long Island has a wonderful opportunity to turn around its current economic stagnation and create prosperity that will enhance the economic prospects of all Long Islanders. To seize the initiative, we need to build more downtown housing. The latest research by the Long Island Index shows that we are moving in the right direction but not nearly fast enough.Ann Golob is director of the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation. The Index’s research is publicly available at www.longislandindex.orglast_img read more

Trending: Financial well-being in the workplace

first_img 129SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lorraine Ranalli Lorraine Ranalli is Chief Storyteller & Communications Director, as well as published author. Her most recent work, Impact: Deliver Effective, Meaningful, and Memorable Presentations, is a pocket book of public … Web: LorraineRanalli.com Details Undue stress has a negative effect on health and a net-negative effect on the workplace. Certified Employee Benefits Specialist Stephen Miller cited a number of studies around the effects of financial stress on the workplace in his 2016 SHRM report “Employees’ Financial Issues Affect Their Job Performance.” When employees are stressed, they are more likely to suffer fatigue and other ailments, resulting in sick days and decreased output. Research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) found these five areas topped employees’ concerns: debt, retirement, children’s education expenses, basic living expenses, and medical costs.According to the National Financial Educators Council, the average U.S. citizen lacks basic financial knowledge required to make qualified financial decisions. The predicament has not gone unnoticed by employers who monitor closely the ebb and flow of production, especially the direct correlation between health and productivity.To offset the ill effects of financial stress on workers and productivity, the workplace trend has an increasing number of large- and mid-sized companies including financial education as part of their wellness benefits offerings. Carla Dearing, CEO of SUM180, labeled 2017 the year of financial wellness. Her sentiment is affirmed by many surveys, including one by the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments reported in Forbes, which found employer-sponsored financial wellness programs up eight percent between 2016 and 2017.By all indications, the trend will continue to grow and evolve. As companies introduce financial wellness to employees, they will want to partner with credible providers that have proven track records without increasing their benefits costs. Unlike insurance and medical programs, there are a bevy of financial wellness programs available at no cost to the employer, most of which are offered by financial institutions that have a staff of subject-matter experts.Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) is one such organization. Long before promoting financial literacy became a core credit union mission under the Federal Credit Union Act, FMFCU lived the credit union philosophy and had as its mantra “leading with education.” Chief Strategy Officer Drew Stanley describes FMFCU’s mission as a win-win for the credit union, its members, and the community at large. “The more financially literate our members are, the better off we are as an institution,” he said. “So, we strive to do our part within the community we serve.”Drexel University in Philadelphia employs about 5,000 people with a diverse demographic background. Wellness Administrator Monica Fauble said Drexel’s wellness program focuses on physical, financial, and emotional well-being. “We want to offer an integrated experience of health and well-being at work,” she said. Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union responded to Drexel’s desire to partner with a financial institution that could tailor education to employees’ needs. “Drexel chose to partner with FMFCU because we already had a turnkey suite of educational courses aimed at a variety of income levels and easily customizable,” Stanley said.Choosing the right program begins with accumulating feedback from employees. Get started by conversing with or surveying employees, and research similar organizations to learn what has worked best for them. Most employers find their employees will attend a class or workshop if they find the topic relevant. Convenience also affects attendance. Although Fauble prefers employees take a break from their workstations, Drexel offers programs in a live setting, often incorporating lunch, and also through livestreams and video archives. Fauble works with FMFCU’s Community Education Division to identify topics that appeal most to employees. She and Beth Manley, FMFCU Adult Education Manager, said the most popular topics are Budgeting, Credit, Social Security, and Fraud Prevention.Social Security is a hot topic for organizations with an aging workforce, but given recent data breaches like the one Equifax experienced, Identity Theft is always popular. “Partner groups like Longwood Gardens, Kennett Country Club, EDiS Construction Company, and West End Neighborhood House appreciate the presentations our fraud experts deliver,” Manley said. “Our partners rely on us to help them bring peace of mind to their employees.”Even though Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union offers financial education at no cost, employers want to measure the return on the investment of time made by all involved. “The fact that we get requests to return and repeat lessons and offer follow up programs speaks volumes,” Manley said.While a small percentage of organizations incentivize employees to attend workshops, most find that employees crave financial education. Fauble finds that Drexel employees not only appreciate it, but they also talk it up to coworkers, resulting in increased attendance and requests for additional workshops. “I see the visible impact, and employees self-report that they are able to apply the knowledge they receive in these workshops. This helps employees lower their overall stress, perform better at work, and feel cared for by their employer,” she said. Happy to share the strides they make, employees tell Fauble about their financial achievements. Fauble also distributes surveys to analyze the workshops, gauge success, and steer future offerings.Fauble finds it helpful that FMFCU has a branch on the Drexel campus because it gives employees direct access to the financial institution they’ve come to trust. “The relationship we created with Drexel enabled us to allow staff to conduct financial transactions on their terms,” Stanley said. “We sealed our educational commitment with a financial commitment by opening a branch on Drexel’s campus in order to meet the needs of employees and the broader University City community. We also provide digital solutions with online and mobile banking.”As benefits enrollment time approaches and employers continue to take a holistic approach to well-being, it is clear financial fitness is more than a trend.last_img read more