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Portico expands short-term lettings

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Portico expands short-term lettings previous nextAgencies & PeoplePortico expands short-term lettingsThe Negotiator26th March 20190514 Views London agency, Portico, has expanded into the North West of England, launching its short term letting service, Portico Host, in Manchester and Liverpool.Its first venture outside the Capital, Portico Host has tied up with local coffee shops to bring short term letting services to landlords and property management to Airbnb hosts in a more relaxed setting.In Manchester, Portico has partnered with Pot Kettle Black in Barton Arcade. In Liverpool, the Portico team will be based remotely, planning to tie up with a coffee retailer.In 2018, Portico became one of only four UK letting agents to be appointed to Airbnb’s professional co-host programme, which will share with Portico best practices, provide support and enable further technical integration.New Business Director Fiona Patterson said, “The lettings industry is evolving, we intend to change with it. After the success of Portico Host in London and our appointment to the Airbnb professional co-host programme, it’s natural to bring our award-winning service to the best place for landlords to invest in the UK.“The venture is led by Rachel Dickman, Regional Manager, North West who has experience at YOPA and agency Portico short-term lettings March 26, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’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.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Council pledges £50 million to retrofit homes

first_imgOxford City Council is set to spend over £50 million in order to retrofit council homes, it has been announced.  The funding for the scheme, which comes on top of £7 million already pledged to tackle environmental issues, will be financed by a mixture of council borrowing and government funding linked to the Clean Growth Strategy. This project is looking at “decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy through the 2020s” and ensuring that the whole country can “benefit from low carbon opportunities, while meeting national and international commitments to tackle climate change”. Councillor Tom Hayes, deputy leader and cabinet member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, expressed his support for the initiative, saying that “Oxford can’t deal with our carbon problem until we deal with our building emissions problem. Councillor Mike Rowley, the cabinet minister for affordable housing, has also noted the need to balance reducing emissions with tackling the homelessness crisis in Oxford. Commenting on the scheme, he said: “Our homes are essential for a successful society. They provide shelter and a safe space for us. But those homes need to be fit for purpose. They need to be ready for the challenges we face over the coming decades.  “Despite the impacts of the pandemic on our council’s finances, we will be making huge investments in our 7,800 council homes. We want to work with tenants to make their homes more energy efficient, reduce emissions, and save them money. By showing leadership, we want private landlords and homeowners to join with us in making retrofitting investments in their own homes.” Oxford City Council is aiming to create a zero carbon city by 2040. A key part of ensuring this happens is retrofitting homes, given that residential buildings are the single largest contributor to total emissions.  The scheme is going ahead as part of the council’s Local Plan and aims to ensure that all Oxford council tenants’ properties meet the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C standard as a minimum by 2030. At the moment just 50% of properties have reached this level. “We will lead the way in retrofitting our council housing stock to create better environments for people – and we will work with our tenants every step of the way. The measures being implemented will see tenants benefitting from lower energy bills. This will be supported by our ongoing commitment to developing further homes for the Oxford community by way of Oxford City Housing Limited.” Image: Christine Westerbank. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.last_img read more

Summer 2020 Beach Tag Sales End Strong

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEDespite the pandemic and a temporary shutdown of beaches and businesses during the 2020 summer season, Ocean City beach tag sales were solid, officials said.The final official beach tag revenue number was $3.83 million, Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said Monday. In 2019, the figure was $4.03 million.In the unusual spring and summer season, when wearing face coverings was the norm and social distancing became a term used routinely to denote six feet of separation between strangers, summer tourism remained busy, officials said.Parking revenue dipped in 2020, ending about $1 million off the 2019 season: $2.28 million for 2020 versus $3.3 million in 2019. However, Bergen explained some observations of the overall season.“With restrictions on restaurants, retail and rides, parking got off to a slow start in May and June, and never really recovered,” he said.Bergen continued, “One takeaway is that it appeared to be a strong enough year among residents, property owners and vacation rentals, but less so among the transient day-trip population.”Families line up to buy discounted seasonal beach tags for 2020 over Memorial Day weekend.By mid-May when Gov. Phil Murphy officially lifted restrictions to allow sunbathing on the state’s beaches, tourists flocked to Ocean City.Ocean City extended the discounted price for beach tags through June, from $25 for a seasonal tag to $20 and people took advantage of the discounts.The end of the discounted rate is typically the end of May. June ended up being a banner month for tag sales.Ocean City’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato said of the season that while parking was “well off usual,” beach tag sales “hung in there.”“In looking at the tag sales by type, seasonal sales were actually a bit stronger than the past several years, but both the daily and weekly sales were off,” Donato said.Looking ahead at a better summer season, visitors to the resort as well as residents can take advantage of discounted beach tag sales for 2021 on sale now for $20. The sale price will remain in effect through May 31, 2021. On June 1, the price increases to $25.Only seasonal beach tags can be purchased at this time. Weekly and daily tags will be available for purchase during the season.To buy seasonal tags visit the city’s website by clicking here. People may also buy the tags at the following locations throughout the resort.Ocean City’s 2021 beach tags are available online with just a few clicks.City Hall (861 Asbury Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Music Pier (Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace): Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Rt. 52 Welcome Center: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Henry Knight Building (12th and Haven Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Aquatic & Fitness Center (17th and Simpson Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.People must adhere to social distancing guidelines, stay six feet apart in line and wear a mask.For additional information call 609-399-6111. People flocked to Ocean City to get away from the pandemic fears and enjoy the outdoors, while maintaining social distancing.last_img read more

Press release: Van driver’s sentence is extended after cyclist is killed

first_imgA man who killed a cyclist after colliding with him in his transit van will spend longer in prison after Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP referred his original sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient.Joseph Bills, 22, was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he crashed into David Thorman, 35. Bills then left the scene, despite the victim being alive at that point, before returning an hour later and turning himself into the police.In a prepared statement the morning after the crime, Bills admitted to having consumed beer and Sambuca before driving, as well as cocaine the night before. Police then confirmed that Bills was one and a half times over the alcohol limit.Bills originally received a sentence of 3 years and 4 months in prison at Canterbury Crown Court, reduced from 5 years for an early guilty plea. The Court of Appeal agreed that this was too lenient and increased his sentence to 4 years and 4 months.Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said: A man’s life was ended abruptly because of Joseph Bills’ totally avoidable recklessness. The original sentence neglected to take into account the severity of the crime as well as the offender’s actions directly after he committed it. I’m pleased that the Court of Appeal has extended his sentence. I hope that this brings some solace to the victim’s family.last_img read more

Kingsmill to fund community projects

first_imgAllied Bakeries is launching a campaign under its Kingsmill brand to offer grants to retailers to help fund community-driven projects.The campaign, which launches on 14 April at the National Convenience Show (NCS), is offering one lucky retailer the chance to secure £2,000-worth of funding to be used for something to benefit their own local community. Two runners-up will also receive £500 each as a grant towards a community-driven project.As part of the initiative, Allied Bakeries will have a panel of expert retailers on its stand (J11) at the NCS to offer advice, and attendees will also be able to complete entry forms for the competition on the day.Guy Shepherd, category director at Allied Bakeries, said: “Retailers are at the heart of the local community and events such as The Big Lunch provide them with a great opportunity to build relations and drive footfall. In doing so, retailers can now take on the role of ‘community champions’ – asking their shoppers what they would like to see in their town or village to bring the neighbourhood together. “This campaign aims to help retailers drive loyalty amongst shoppers and position themselves as the community lynchpin.” Retailers can also enter after the NCS by emailing [email protected] to request an entry form, with submissions closing on Monday 10 June. Winners will be contacted by Allied Bakeries by Thursday 20 July.last_img read more

Watch Greensky’s Paul Hoffman Lead “Forever Young” At Last Waltz Tribute Show In Colorado

first_imgEvery November for the last 12 years, an array of musicians from Colorado have come together to celebrate The Band’s famed final concert, The Last Waltz. Dubbed “The Last Waltz Revisited,” the show serves not only as a star-studded tribute, but also as an important benefit for the Denver Rescue Mission. With the 40th anniversary of The Last Waltz coming up in a matter of days, it was all hands on deck as an all-star lineup of musicians joined forces for the occasion.Among those performing were The Dyrty Byrds, Bridget Law, Eric Martinez, and surprise guest, Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass. Hoffman joined on mandolin for a number of songs, and lent lead vocals to a beautiful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” Thanks to Ted Rockwell on YouTube, we can watch this Dylan cover below.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Getting fresh with Mollie

first_imgPeople can argue endlessly about what the right food choices are — and will. But iconic cookbook author Mollie Katzen used a visit to Harvard to serve up a better idea: Don’t argue about categories.Joining the food fight “separates us from the food and one another,” she said during a lecture-lunch Tuesday (Oct. 19). “I’m trying to encourage a big-tent attitude toward food.”Katzen’s four-day visit (Oct. 18-21) included one class and at least three formal meals with undergraduates, at Quincy and Adams Houses and at Annenberg Hall. There was a Katzen-cooked meal at a new community dining table at Harvard Divinity School. And there were two lecture-lunches, one in Lehman Hall, upstairs from the Dudley Café, and the other at the Harvard School of Public Health, where Katzen is a charter member of the Nutrition Roundtable.Medical audiences are a favorite with Katzen, who lives on the West Coast and is the author of 11 books, with 5 million in print. “People eating healthily,” she said, “is good business.” And it’s good business to talk to physicians, too, said Katzen, given that so few medical schools require training in nutrition.Most of the wisdom of medicine is “in modernity,” she said, but “in food we’re really moving backwards” toward an “old-fashioned and simple” time of fresh food and home preparation.At the Lehman Hall luncheon, a sold-out audience sat on folding chairs, ate a $5 vegetarian meal, and listened as Katzen unspooled lessons in menu strategies, kitchen lore, nutrition, home cooking, and the joy of fresh food. Lunch was vegetarian, including tofu cutlets, black bean burgers, bulgur pilaf, and steamed squash with a maple-mustard glaze.But Katzen, author of the seminal “The Moosewood Cookbook” (1978), said her menu is still meant for a big tent: “I’m not here to tell people to never eat meat.” Food-choice categories tend to be pretty flexible these days anyway, she said. “My favorite is Häagen-Dazsian vegan” — a vegan who avoids all dairy except ice cream.Still, Katzen’s basic message is to encourage her listeners and readers to favor plant foods, “to eat lower on the food chain,” she said, where healthy diets mostly reside. She lives by a mantra-like summary found in Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” (2008): “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”This “haiku,” as Katzen called it, contains a puzzle for many people, who wonder what food from plants really is. She quoted a frustrated listener: “Am I supposed to eat my lawn?”And within any question about vegetarian food, there is always one other: Where do you get your protein?Katzen does luncheon-lectures at Harvard twice a year, each with a theme. Last time it was herbs; this time it was vegetarian sources of protein, what Katzen called “gatherer proteins,” as opposed to the kind hunters bring to the table.The secret is to eat a variety of plant foods, “an incremental protein plan” that over days or weeks assures that vegetarians are getting the medley of amino acids they need. To illustrate, Katzen pointed to the long table of buffet choices in the lunch prepared by Dudley Café chef Jeff Cota. “The modular protein collaboration of all these items really adds up beautifully,” she said.First there was the hummus, a store-bought brand that Cota dressed up with roasted garlic and blender-chopped chickpeas to give it more texture. Slather hummus on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise, said Katzen, and “it gives you a protein boost right then and there.”The protein-rich spread is easy to make, said Katzen, but “don’t feel like a bad person if you’re buying your hummus.”The marinated broccoli with mushrooms and walnuts offered its own lessons. The walnuts bring protein to the table, but they are also rich in essential fatty acids, said Katzen — “essential” because they are not made by the body.Don’t count total grams of fat in your meals, she said. Count the quality of the fats you use, and the best of these include the oils in walnuts and olives.At that point, Katzen made a confession: that her original “Moosewood” cookbook included a lot of butter and cheese, ingredients that were part of her “insecurity cuisine” at the time — a fear that taste was only guaranteed by rich ingredients.While Katzen talked, white-coated chef Martin Breslin was next to her, busily demonstrating how to assemble and cook the black bean burgers that were the menu’s most explicit source of protein. Breslin is director for culinary operations at Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services, where Katzen is on the advisory board.The lessons that these “sliders” offered were less about nutrition and more about cooking technique. The longer onions cook, the sweeter they get, said Katzen. Don’t add salt to simmering beans, because it toughens their skins. Avoid nonstick pans, but make your own (in effect) by adding “cold, cold oil” to a very hot pan, she said. “The oil will slick easily.” Add a potato masher to your kitchen arsenal. They are low-tech and efficient, said Katzen, and “the sound effects are terrific.”The menu’s spice-crusted tofu cutlets added other lessons in kitchen lore. To make the tofu even firmer, simmer it in boiling water. To flavor it, press it into a spice blend and heat it in a dry pan without oil. Use a good spatula, thin and made of metal.The roasted squash offered up other lessons. When cutting it, said Katzen, “a sharp knife is a safe knife.” When roasting it, lay it in the pan in a single layer; piling the squash up will only steam it. Bake it very hot to bring out the natural sweetness of inner juices. “Your seasoning,” she said, “is the heat itself.”Cota served the menu’s bulgur pilaf on halves of poblano chili pepper. Use these or just bell peppers, she said, and “you feel like you’ve had an entrée.”As for menus in everyday life, Katzen said people are less in need of new recipes and more in need of strategies for coping with food.Some of those strategies are simply practical. She explained how to manage the daunting volume of fresh vegetables — those broom-size bunches of kale and other challenges. Her answer is blanching, a quick immersion in boiling water that reduces the volume of hearty greens, and doubles their shelf life.Other food strategies offer perspective. Don’t try to learn cooking by mastering a book full of dishes. Mastering one will do to start, said Katzen, whose mission is to make everyone a home cook.  “Cut through the noise,” she said. “Cook at home. That’s my diatribe.”Part of the “noise” is the argument about what to buy, said Katzen: organic produce from far away, or conventional produce from a local farm? It’s a conundrum she called “the conflicting halos,” and the answer is simply to buy good food, mostly plants, and cook it at home.Home cooking  can build a sense of community. “Take time on a Sunday,” said Katzen, “and make it something you do with people.” Food preparation can be like doing “small crafts projects,” she said.Slowing down and being creative are all part of the picture too, said Katzen. When she had her own cooking show on television, “my model was Mr. Rogers.” But TV cooking shows now are “more like a gladiator sport, with a lot of sadism and tension,” she said. “I see this as adding to the worry.”Later that afternoon, Katzen was still worry-free, serving up samples of a kale and garlic sauté she tossed with olive oil and salt on an outdoor burner at the farmers’ market outside the Science Center, one of two sponsored weekly by Harvard’s Food Literacy Project.No dish is ever perfect, she said, wielding a big spoon from behind sunglasses. “But if you run across perfect, I’m not against it.”last_img read more

VIRUS TODAY: GOP offers alternative COVID-19 relief plan

first_imgA group of 10 Senate Republicans have sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for him to meet with them to negotiate over his proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Meanwhile, frustration is growing at long-term care facilities over the pace of COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Home operators and residents’ relatives across the country have grown more irritated as states open vaccine eligibility to other populations before work is complete at long-term care homes. In other virus news, Biden’s goal to reopen K-8 classrooms by late April could leave out millions of students even if it happens. Many of the omitted students are minorities in urban areas.last_img read more

Troop treats

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaWhen I was 12 years old, my brother was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Yep, Sgt. Peppers. He was stationed in Germany, guarding the border between East Germany and West Germany. As Christmas neared, we worried he’d be lonely there without the usual hubbub of our house at the holidays. So, we baked all of his favorite holiday treats to ship to him so he could still be a part of our holiday season. My mother got women in our neighborhood to make batches of their secret recipes that were his favorites. One neighbor made her famous peanut butter cookies that he loved. Another baked her special spicy cheese straws. I made my super-specialty: slice-and-bake sugar cookies straight from their premade refrigerated tube. Hey, I added fancy sprinkles.We carefully packed them in wax paper and holiday tins. Then my mother took them to the local post office to be shipped. A few weeks later we got a funny letter from my brother. He described how much he and his friends enjoyed our neighbor’s peanut butter cookies, but by the time they got them they were just a pile of crumbs they had to eat with a spoon. It was, indeed, the thought that counted.The east-west German border is long gone, but the tradition of shipping holiday treats to men and women who serve our country in the military is alive and well. Good intentions aren’t always enough. Getting those treats there fresh and in one piece takes time and planning. To make sure your treats make it safely, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension food safety specialist Elizabeth Andress recommends: Sending heavy cakes, fudge, nut bars and cookies high in sugar and shortening. Avoiding cookies with cream or custard fillings or moist cookies. They may mold in humid climates. Certain cream and particularly custard fillings could also make someone sick. Sending other items that ship well like coffees, dried foods, nuts, teas and mixed cereal snacks.Pay particular attention to packaging. It’s important to get the gift there in peak condition. She says to: Place foods and gifts in clean boxes or metal tins and put that box inside a packing box. Place packing materials like newspaper, foam pieces or bubble wrap around the first box. Take into account the military and each country’s customs regulations. Size and weight may be an issue, too.If baking and shipping sounds precarious, but you still want to contribute, check with local Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. Both offer options for buying cookies and popcorn that they will ship to troops for you. Also, many organizations online, in your community or through the United Service Organizations need volunteers and donations to make gift boxes for the troops. Mail delivery to troops overseas is often spotty. The shipping deadline for a mid-December arrival is late November to early December. Check with the local U.S. Postal Service or other shipping companies for exact deadlines.When the smell of fresh-baked goodies fills your house this holiday season, it’s only natural to want to share the joy with your loved ones or neighbors who are serving in the military. A better option may be personal items like sunscreen, lip balm, playing cards, books and baby wipes, which can be just as big a treat as a tin full of homemade cookie crumbs. (Faith Peppers is a news editor for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Brazilian Army Takes the Offensive Against Environmental Crimes

first_imgBy Dialogo September 16, 2011 Brazil is enlisting the help of its armed forces to stop deforestation of the Amazon, whose rainforests are disappearing more rapidly than ever. In May alone, the Amazon rainforest shrank by 268 square miles — a 144 percent increase over May 2010 rates, says Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In the past 12 months, the states of Mato Grosso and Pará have lost 1,649 square miles of vegetation, up from 1,426 square miles in the 12 months ending in July 2010. Such data is collected by DETER (Deforestation in Real Time), a satellite system that detects clearing when at least 61 acres of forest are being destroyed. Despite the current bad news, DETER has had some success stemming deforestation. In 2009, the Brazilian government committed itself to an 80 percent reduction in Amazon deforestation by 2020. Even so, the sudden increase in deforestation last May took the government by surprise, with Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira calling the new data alarming. That has led the military to intensify inspections in the vast region, in collaboration with the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA). Taking the lead on these collaborative efforts is the Joint Command of the Armed Forces (EMCFA), established in August 2010. “The biggest challenge for EMCFA is interoperability,” said the head of EMCFA, Army Gen. José Carlos de Nardi. “We have made gains with each new operation, for instance now with Ágata 1, led directly by us.” EMCFA has participated in two major operations with environmental ramifications: Arco Verde and Ágata. Both are coordinated by the Defense Ministry’s System of Protection of Amazonia (SIPAM). Operation Arco Verde, launched last May, works with locals in the state of Mato Grosso to come up with new models of economic development that subvert the logic of deforestation. Among the entities actively involved in Arco Verde are the Brazilian Army, Air Force, National Security Force, IBAMA, Federal Police, Environmental Military Police, Road Patrol, local jurisdictions and various non-profit organizations. In 60 days of work in northern Mato Grosso, the army set up checkpoints, motorized patrols, aerial surveillance and confiscation of equipment used for illegal activities “In the checkpoints we apprehended trucks that were carrying illegally obtained wood, other vehicles, weapons and several fugitives of the law with open orders of capture,” said an army report. Luciano Guerra Cotta, the head of IBAMA in Mato Grosso, said residents have been advised that all equipment and goods present at the scene of “environmental crimes” would be confiscated, upon orders of the president. “Now, with the support of the army we are in a great position to execute those orders,” said Cotta. “Those infringing on the law are warned: if you continue to clearing the forest, you will lose any property used in the commission of these crimes.” About 35 percent of the clearing detected in May occurred in Mato Grosso, where the military is reinforcing IBAMA’s environmental protection efforts. Army troops provide logistical and operational support to confiscate goods and equipment used for illegal activities. “This makes very clear that the order of the minister of environment to end deforestation in the northern region of Mato Grosso will be followed to the letter,” said Cotta. “This is a priority of the federal government and that’s why the Brazilian Army is with us in the field.” The Strategic Border Plan launched by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in June places major importance on protection of Brazil’s Amazon borders, particularly waterways used by organized crime. Some 11 million Brazilians live in 710 border municipalities, according to IBAMA. The objective of Operation Ágata, focusing on the municipalities of Tabatinga and São Gabriel da Cachoeira, was to crack down on drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, illegal mining, trafficking of wild animals and biopiracy. “We already control the borders, but they are very long,” said the group commander, Col. José Maurilo Machado de Lima. “This operation is the first coordination effort of the Federal Government to intensify the work in the border. We are going to do periodic operations to solidify border control.” One of the more dramatic events of Operation Ágata occurred Aug. 10, when four Brazilian Air Force planes dropped eight 230-kilogram bombs to destroy a clandestine airstrip near the Colombian border. The Army closed the area to ensure the success of the operation as well as the safety of nearby residents. Two Sikorsky H-60 Black Hawk helicopters brought military personnel as well as civilians from IBAMA. The runway wasn’t in use, but the way it was destroyed will make sure it won’t be rebuilt. During the operation, 3,500 military personnel were on active duty along the border with Colombia. The work included naval patrols, interdiction of illegal logging, and the discovery and destruction of three clandestine runways utilized by drug, timber and human traffickers. SIPAM detected the illegal runways and alerted EMCFA, which says the operation was a success and that it will be repeated. “We increased the presence of the Brazilian state in the border area and inhibited the action of criminal organizations that work there,” said Army Gen. João Carlos Vilela Morgero, an official with EMCFA.last_img read more

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