Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments Share “There’s a concern that the more the U.S. builds up its military posture in the Western Pacific as part of President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia, the higher the risk that the U.S.-China relationship will become more competitive, more adversarial, more hostile, and that pushes Australia close to the point of having to make a choice between the U.S. and China, and that’s something we badly want to avoid,” he said.The U.S. in recent decades has had three exclusive military intelligence communication bases in Australia. But they were targeted by protesters, and with pressure from Australian governments became joint U.S.-Australian facilities.The only one remaining is the top secret Joint Defense Space Research Facility at Pine Gap in central Australia.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Check your body, save your life But Defense Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday that while negotiations were under way to increase U.S. navy access to Australia’s Indian Ocean base, HMAS Stirling, it would never become a U.S. military base.“We have made it crystal clear from the first moment _ we don’t have United States military bases in Australia. We don’t see the need for that,” Smith told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.Smith said the think tank’s proposal was not endorsed by the U.S. government.“It’s a suggestion by an independent think tank. It’s not one we’re proposing to take up,” he said.The report said more than $1 billion would need to be spent to make HMAS Stirling capable of becoming a home port to a nuclear carrier that would become the flagship of a carrier strike group.Such a group would typically include two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, two nuclear-powered submarines, a supply ship and up to nine squadrons of aircraft.The Australian base would give the United States a second carrier strike group in the Asia-Pacific, the first with an existing Japanese home port in Yokosuka.Washington has been forging closer military ties with countries in the region and has announced that 60 percent of the U.S. Navy’s fleet will be based in the Asia-Pacific by 2020, up from less than 55 percent now. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Australia is a staunch U.S. ally and the only country to fight alongside the Unites States in every major conflict since the start of the 20th century.Washington and Canberra announced late last year an agreement on closer military cooperation in which up to 2,500 U.S. Marines would rotate through a joint military training hub in the northern Australian city of Darwin. The U.S. Air Force will also make greater use of airfields and bombing ranges in the Australian Outback.China _ Australia’s most important trade partner _ has blasted the closer bilateral military ties as a return the Cold War divisions that risked the peace and security of the region.Hugh White, head of Australian National University’s Strategic and Defense Studies Center, noted that American combat troops had not been based in Australia since World War II and said that was unlikely to change in the future.He said Chinese objections were the major reason why Australia was unlikely to ever allow U.S. bases on its soil.“The government was surprised that China reacted as negatively as it has to the decision to have Marines rotate deployments through Darwin, and I think they’ll be very careful not to risk further displeasure from China by doing anything that suggests they’re supporting a U.S. military buildup in Asia,” White said. Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia on Thursday rejected a proposal by a Washington-based think tank to base a nuclear aircraft carrier strike group on Australia’s west coast as part of a shift of U.S. military might to the Asia-Pacific region.A Pentagon-commissioned report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on repositioning U.S. forces in the region suggested relocating an aircraft carrier from the U.S. East Coast to an Australian naval base south of the city of Perth.
Comments Share Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistani police say an explosion at a fireworks shop in a residential neighborhood has killed at least five people in a city in the center of the country.Multan city police officer Mohammed Aslam said several people were also wounded Saturday, and the roofs of two homes caved in because of the blast.He says it was unclear what set off the explosives and officers were still investigating.Poor safety procedures in handling and storing fireworks and their ingredients often cause such incidents in Pakistan. Firework displays are popular at weddings, religious and cultural celebrations. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BERLIN (AP) — Scientists successfully restarted experiments at the world’s biggest particle collider Wednesday, after a two-year shutdown and upgrade that allows it to smash together atoms with almost double the energy used in its first run.The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said the Large Hadron Collider will now run around the clock for the next three years, producing vast amounts of data for scientists to scour. “We have seen the first data beginning to flow,” said CERN’s director, Rolf Heuer. “Let’s see what they will reveal to us about how our universe works.”The collider underwent a $150 million upgrade after its first run, which produced results that helped confirm the existence of an elusive subatomic particle, the Higgs boson.Heuer said physicists hope the new run might lead to discoveries that could help “explain remaining mysteries such as dark matter.”The LHC, located in a 27-kilometer (16.8-mile) tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border, is now smashing together protons at 13 trillion electronvolts.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories ErrorOK ErrorOK Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The risks of default are that it could unsettle confidence among Greeks and cause bank runs. The banks are currently supported with emergency credit allowed by the European Central Bank. If Greece can’t pay its creditors, the government debt lenders use as collateral for their ECB loans would become worthless and the ECB could withdraw its support.Greece would have to then support the banks itself — but it doesn’t have the money to do so. It would theoretically then have to start printing its own money to get cash flowing through the economy again. Doing so, it would effectively be leaving the euro.___LONGER-TERM ISSUESGreece’s problems will not be solved forever with those 7.2 billion euros. The money would only cover its debt repayments for a few months. So Greece and its creditors need to find a longer-term solution.Because most of Greece’s debts consist of bailout loans, the country would be helped if its creditors agreed to make the terms of those loans easier — either by reducing the interest Greece has to pay on them or extending their repayment date.Creditors had promised last year to consider this. But they say a decision can be taken only after Greece has fulfilled the reforms demanded in exchange for the 7.2 billion euros in loans. Greece wants such a decision on lightening its debt terms now. Comments Share FILE – A Thursday, June 11, 2015 file photo showing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looking at his watch as he departs the EU-CELAC summit in Brussels. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continued his diplomatic offensive on Thursday to try to convince European creditors to pay out the bailout loans the country needs to avoid default. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men ___NO BOND MARKETGreece needs loans because it cannot borrow on bond markets at affordable rates, as other countries do to finance their spending. Greece’s bond rates — effectively what international investors demand in return for lending the country money — spiked higher in late 2009 when Greece revealed that its public deficit was far higher than expected.___DEAL HURDLESGreece is having trouble reaching a deal with creditors because a new government, elected in January, says it will not abide by the terms that previous governments have accepted for years. Those terms include cuts to pensions, wages, public sector jobs as well as higher taxes.Such budget ‘austerity’ measures aim to reduce the budget deficit but have also hurt the economy by increasing unemployment, making Greeks poorer and reducing the amount of disposable income Greeks have.The current government, led by the radical left Syriza party, says it will not make more such measures. Creditors are insisting it should if it wants more loans, because they are worried that if Greece doesn’t get its public finances back in shape, they’ll never get their money back.___DEFAULT DANGER Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is struggling to get a deal with its financial rescue creditors to get more loans. Without one, it could default on its debts, which could be the first step in a chain reaction that sees the country fall out of the euro currency union.Here is a broad look at the key issues in the crisis:___CURRENT ISSUEThe Greeks must make a 1.6 billion-euro loan payment to the International Monetary Fund this month. They don’t have the money. They’re negotiating with the IMF and the other eurozone countries to get 7.2 billion euros in loans — the last installment in a bailout package expiring this month. Without that money, Greece will likely default on the IMF loan. Even bigger payments come due later this summer. Its creditors are demanding that Greece slash public pensions and reform its tax system before releasing the money. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of How men can have a healthy 2019
Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 BERLIN (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a Sunday newspaper interview that French and German presidents applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.Blatter told Welt am Sonntag that “there were two political interventions” from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German counterpart Christian Wulff before the hosts were announced on Dec. 2, 2010. “Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it,” said Blatter, who said he was tired of taking the blame for something he had no control over.“I act on the leadership principal. If a majority of the executive committee wants a World Cup in Qatar then I have to accept that,” Blatter said.He suggested that the German football federation (DFB) received a recommendation from Wulff “to vote for Qatar out of economic interests.”Former DFB president Theo Zwanziger wrote in his book that Wulff had asked about Qatar’s chances but he denied it had had any influence. Franz Beckenbauer, an executive committee member at the time, has never indicated which country he voted for.Blatter accepted no responsibly for the plight of migrant laborers building stadiums in Qatar amid reports of human rights abuses.“Look at the German companies!” he said before naming railway and construction firms. “Deutsche Bahn, Hochtief and many more had projects in Qatar even before the World Cup was awarded.”Blatter was instead concentrating on saving FIFA, which has been rocked by a widening American corruption probe that alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “Until everything is clarified I won’t take any travel risks,” Blatter said.However, he will be traveling to Russia for the qualification draw on July 25 for the 2018 World Cup.Blatter has found support from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has accused American authorities of meddling in soccer affairs.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “I’m there now to fight. Not for myself but for FIFA,” said Blatter, who added he was on the right path and had no doubts. “Self-doubt is a leader’s greatest enemy.”Blatter announced his intention to leave office on June 2, four days after he was re-elected for a fifth four-year term, as pressure built from the American case and a separate Swiss federal investigation focused on possible money laundering linked to the awarding of the World Cups to Russia and Qatar.But he remains defiant despite the scandal engulfing world soccer’s governing body.“Is FIFA responsible from the top down for everything in football, what happens in some village somewhere around the world?” asked Blatter, also a target of the American investigation.“Everyone has fears, for example of death, but with regard to my work at FIFA I have no fear. I’ve nothing to be afraid of,” said Blatter.“I’m afraid that they want to wreck FIFA, a work that I helped create,” the 79-year-old said.Blatter said he accepts criticism but “what hurts are hateful tirades. They come from envy.”Blatter cannot be extradited from his native Switzerland to the U.S. without his consent but he risks arrest in many countries. He was not travelling to Canada for the Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver on Sunday. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
The mighty long weekend is almost over for thousands of Qantas passengers stranded at airports across the globe as the carrier’s chief executive declares that “all industrial action is now over”.Speaking to media this morning Alan Joyce said Fair Work Australia made the decision early this morning to terminate all strikes between the Australian flag carrier and the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Australian International Pilots Association.As a result the carrier’s head said subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the airline will resume flights by mid-afternoon today and expects that operations will “return to business as usual over the next 24 hours”.He explained that from here-on-out Qantas will continue negotiations with unions for up to 21 days, after which an extension of another 21 days will awarded or if no agreement is reached the issue will be resolved by “binding arbitration under the control of the industrial umpire”.“The important thing is that all industrial action is now over and we have certainty,” Mr Joyce told media.“Certainty for our employees, certainty for our customers and certainty for our shareholders.”To meet overwhelming demand from the 68,000 passengers disrupted by the cancellation of up to 447 flights over the weekend, Mr Joyce said the carrier would add extra staff at airports to assist customers.“We are assessing our ability to put on supplementary services to clear the backlog,” he said.“We have four international supplementary services ready to go.”Mr Joyce stressed that the carrier remains committed to serving its customers as well as building a stronger and stable carrier.Dispelling reports of issues with the staff, the carrier’s head added up to 35,000 staff stayed on Team Qantas throughout industrial disputes.“We have been a very good employer and we’ll stay that way,” he said.“We now look forward to the conclusion of agreements with the remaining three unions.“Finally I want to say that this industrial relations situation has obviously been a massively consuming issue for Qantas management and for our operations.“Now we can move on with certainty.”Are you ready to fly Qantas or does your faith in the Australian flag carrier stay grounded? Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H …… India is just 8 years away from becoming one of the world’s top three markets, a report has forecast. Image: The Hindu Based on recent burgeoning passenger growth, a new report has predicted that India will become one of the world’s largest aviation markets by 2020. According to The Times of India, the FICCI-PxC report claimed that if the nation’s civil aviation sector continued to grow as quickly as it had done in recent times, it would soon be amongst the world’s top three markets. Domestic traffic in India grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent between 2009 and 2011, the paper reported. Titled ‘Indian Aviation: Spreading its Wings’, the report said that solid market growth “coupled with infrastructure expansion will help the sector back on its feet as the economy recovers”.It also said that now would be a good time for global players to invest in a largely underserved market. Optimism however, was tempered by a warning that “volatility in fuel prices combined with the highest tax on aviation turbine fuel and other national policy related issues” would continue to challenge growth in the sector.
The airline has not updated the public on its structural review, which could involve the sale of its minority stake in its frequent flyer program. Qantas’ largest shareholder has lifted its equity stake in the airline, in what is a confidence booster among much public discussion about the airline’s future. BEM, as part of the Franklin Group of funds now owns 17.48 per cent of the airline, but consists of fund managers that vote separately. During the time that BEM purchased shares, Qantas was trading between AUD $1.08 and AUD $1.13 per share and are now trading around AUD $1.15. Balanced Equity Management (BEM) has raised its stake in the airline by 0.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent since late March, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Source = Destination NSW The University of Sydney has been transformed into a glittering canvas of light, live performance and inspiring ideas as Vivid Sydney continues to amaze visitors with the official launch of Vivid Path to the Future.NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said: “This evening I was delighted to join University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence to launch this year’s Vivid Path to the Future program, which has returned with expanded programming touching on Vivid’s three creative pillars – light, music and ideas.“Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect, and with exceptional academic staff and students across each of these three areas, it is only natural that Australia’s oldest university plays a big role in this year’s festival and I encourage everyone to explore this exciting Vivid Sydney precinct,” he said.Throughout the next week, the university’s Quadrangle façade will come alive with vibrant 3D –mapped light projections, created by more than 40 local and international artists, including staff, students and local collaborators. An impressive light walk features along the main promenade and the Sea of Hands, an interactive installation, will grow throughout the festival.In addition to the light installations and projections, the University’s program features a series of music performances at the Seymour Centre, Musify and Gamify – home for the most innovative new ideas in Australian music.“The University of Sydney is thrilled to be part of Vivid for a second year. This is a wonderful opportunity for our talented staff and students to collaborate and showcase new ideas and directions in art, music and technology. The University looks forward to welcoming and inspiring the Sydney community with a dynamic program of lights, music and ideas over the next seven days,” said Dr Michael Spence.Sydney Visit NSW
Current room at Phachara Suites, which will be rejuvenated with the refurbishmentFirst PARKROYAL property to open in BangkokPan Pacific Hotels Group signed its first PARKROYAL Serviced Suites in Bangkok, Thailand with Phachara Suites Co. Ltd today. PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will be opening in Q2 2019 and will be the Group’s first property in the market.PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will join Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s portfolio of serviced suites in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ningbo and soon to open in Jakarta and Johor, strengthening the Group’s footprint and offerings in this accommodation category. Pan Pacific Hotels Group was recently named Top 5 Serviced Residences in the region by the readers of DestinAsian, a leading consumer travel publication.The 194-unit PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok is located at Sukhumvit Soi 6, a prime location off Sukhumvit Road, the main artery of Bangkok running through its tourist, commercial and residential areas. The nearest station, Nana BTS skytrain station, is a 3 to 5-minute walk from the property, which is also within walking distance to some of the city’s newest shopping malls, including Central Embassy and Terminal 21 (both 1 km away).Sharing the same Sukhumvit Line as Siam BTS – the largest and busiest station on the BTS, Nana BTS station is a 6-minute train ride to the retail heart of Bangkok. This is where one can find the widest selection of fashionable shops and restaurants in upscale malls such as Siam Paragon, Central World, EmQuartier and Emporium – all easily accessible by elevated walkways from Siam BTS.PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will be a conversion from the current Phachara Suites and will undergo a thorough refurbishment to meet the brand standards and offerings that PARKROYAL guests are familiar with. When it reopens, the property will offer 194 thoughtfully-designed and spacious suites, featuring Executive Studios (50 square metres) and Two-Bedroom Executive units (130 square metres), which are popular with both solo and family travellers.With an all-day dining restaurant, meeting facilities, fitness facilities including a beautiful swimming pool, PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok is more than a serviced apartment or hotel. True to PARKROYAL’s service philosophy, every guest will be received warmly as an individual, even in a city which receives more visitors than any other city in the world. Guests are welcome to stay longer, whether for business or leisure, and truly enjoy the convenience and comfort of a home as all apartments equipped with a kitchenette, washer and dryer.Thanin and Nuanswat Laohapiengsak, Principals, Phachara Suites Co Ltd, said, “We’re delighted to own the first PARKROYAL-branded property in Bangkok. We love the energy of the brand, which resonates with this city of a thousand smiles. The PARKROYAL brand is about warm and passionate people who genuinely care for others, and to us, this is key to helping our guests feel a sense of belonging. The rebranding to PARKROYAL will breathe new life into the property, and we’re excited to see PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok grow into one of the most people-centric places to stay in Bangkok.”Mr Lothar Nessmann, Chief Executive Officer, , said, “PARKROYAL is rapidly growing in Southeast Asia – besides Singapore, we operate properties in capital cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, and Ho Chi Minh, along with planned openings in Jakarta. We are excited to see the popularity of our brand, which is all about our people and the real connections they forge with our guests. It’s great to return to this city, where we once operated a hugely-successful Pan Pacific serviced suites product, and look forward to creating more joyful experiences for travellers to Bangkok.”Scheduled for opening in 2019, the 205-unit Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Puteri Harbour will cater to the needs of short- and extended-stay professionals and expatriates working in the Iskandar region of Johor, Malaysia. The property is a 10-minute drive from Singapore via Tuas Second Link, with major attractions and developments, including the Ascendas Nusajaya Tech Park, Pinewood Studios, and Legoland in the vicinity. Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Jakarta, comprising 181 units, will open in 2020 in Indonesia 1, the tallest twin tower in the country. It is located along Jalan Thamrin, which runs through the city’s central business district. By 2022,PARKROYAL Hotel Jakarta and PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Jakarta will open as part of a new mixed-use development in Thamrin Nine, a prestigious address in central Jakarta.Source = Pan Pacific Hotels Group
I am very pleased that TTF is happening in Hyderabad. Last year when Telangana was born as a State, we participated in TTF as a Host State in TTF Hyderabad also. We would like to create a brand for Telangana Tourism all over the world. With so many states, nations and private operators under one roof, tourism is bound to develop faster in our State. I hope TTF grows in future and hope to see everyone back next year in Hyderabad.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently announced the 37th edition of Thailand’s largest domestic tourism fair- the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), which will be held at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park.The Festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during January 25-29, 2017. It is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90% of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue.Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT said, “Thailand has so much to offer visitors and domestic tourists, and we want this year’s Thailand Tourism Festival to showcase the unique local experiences and attractions to be found in all parts of the nation. By visiting Lumpini Park, visitors can enjoy a taste of the foods, festivals and culture found in all five regions before they choose where to travel. They can also enjoy live music, cultural shows, lucky draws, and a wonderful holiday atmosphere with the best of Thailand on show in the heart of Bangkok.”Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai, said, “We are delighted to announce the popular TTF which will give all our tourists and travellers something to look forward to in the New Year. The festival will see Lumpini Park transformed into a mini representation of the kingdom with replicas of landmarks and instances of cultural events from all the regions along with musical performances and Thai cuisine.”
Selected for the National Bravery Award, 25 children from different parts of the country were invited to a mesmerising sound and light show organised by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) Ltd at Purana Qila, New Delhi.The kids who received the National Bravery awards, for their outstanding acts of gallantry, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Republic Day were invited to showcase the incredible 1000 years journey of rise, fall and shaping of the capital city through a spectacular Sound & Light show ‘Ishq-e-Dilli’.Anil Kumar Gupta, General Manager, Sound and Light Show Division, ITDC, said, “It is irresistible to see the courage and bravery these kids have portrayed, fighting their fears to protect other life’s and some of them lost their life to save others. These kids are true role models who inspire others; it was an honour to host, meet and interact with these brave souls at the Son Et Lumiere (Show).”This year, the Indian Council for child Welfare has selected 25 children for National Bravery Awards. Out of 25, four of the awards were posthumous. These children hailing from different geographical regions were also a part of the Republic Day Parade.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Confidence Consumer spending Homebuilders Investors Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Loan Officers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Processing S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices Service Providers Unemployment 2013-09-06 Mark Lieberman Commentary: Truth… and Consequences in Data, Government, Origination Like Diogenes’ quest for an honest man, seeking truth–or even consistency–in the monthly employment situation report may prove an endless task.[IMAGE]Friday’s report on the August employment situation at the same time confounded analysts twice with a less than robust 169,000 month-over-month increase in payrolls and a staggering 58,000 reduction in the initial report on payrolls for July.For those who keep track, June payrolls were initially reported to have increased 195,000 but with Friday’s report have now been revised down twice: first to 188,000 and Friday to 172,000. Who knows how low the July (or the August) payroll numbers could go.Payroll report revisions are, to be sure, nothing new. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) initially reported payrolls for March had increased by 88,000 in the release issued at the beginning of April. One month, later March payrolls were reported to have increased 138,000, and one month after that 142,000.That said, the 58,000 downward revision is unusual. The initial payroll report hasn’t been reduced by that much since June 2010, when the initial payroll estimate of a loss of 125,000 was changed to a drop of 221,000 jobs and then, one month later, to a loss of 175,000 jobs–suggesting it’s no easier to count going down than it is going up.BLS said 74.1 percent of payroll surveys were returned in time for the Employment Situation release with the first set of July numbers. The collection rate was lower for January (72.4 percent) and for August (also 72.4 percent). January’s report of 157,000 new payroll jobs was reduced to 119,000 in the first revision before settling at 148,000 in the final report.The “”final”” report may not be final. BLS said it would release its annual “”benchmark”” revisions at the end of September, which will change the numbers yet again.[COLUMN_BREAK]While it may not be easy to reconcile the numbers in the employment situation report with themselves, it is even more difficult to reconcile them with other economic indicators.For example, builder confidence, according to the Housing Market Index of the National Association of Home Builders, has increased 34 percent in the last three months, vaulting into positive (above 50 on a scale of 1 to 100) territory in June for the first time since April 2006. In those same three months, residential construction employment is down 0.2 percent, a loss of about 1,100 jobs. And, even though data on residential permits and starts show gains only in multifamily activity, jobs in the multifamily contractor sector are also down.BLS numbers don’t seem to square with recent surges in sales of new and existing single-family homes. While new home sales are up on average better than 20 percent year-over-year and existing-home sales up about 12 percent, the number of mortgage brokers has increased just about 10 percent and appraisers just about 6 percent. The number of underwriters is up just 1.2 percent.If those numbers aren’t enough to raise questions about the depth of the housing recovery, consider that in the last three months, payrolls have climbed an aggregate 445,000, while at the same time, the number of multiple jobholders has increased 147,000, which would mean the new payroll jobs themselves didn’t do as much to reduce unemployment.Of the new jobs, about 221,000, almost 50 percent, were in the two lowest paying industry sectors–leisure and hospitality (83,000) and retail (138,000) with average weekly earnings of $352 and $523, respectively–numbers and earnings far from enough to support a housing recovery.The August employment situation report wasn’t the first set of data to suggest trouble on the horizon for the housing recovery. The Case-Shiller home price index for June–the most recent–showed continuing, albeit slower, house price gains, pushing affordable homeownership still further from low paid workers.That is, until the numbers change again._Hear Mark Lieberman on POTUS (Sirius-XM 124) Friday at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._*_Want to write an opinion piece for publication on our site? Send your submission to_* “”MReportEditor@TheMReport.com.””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.com September 6, 2013 415 Views Share
Negative Equity Rate Approaches Single Digits in Q3 2014 Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News January 8, 2015 507 Views CoreLogic Home Equity Home Values Underwater 2015-01-08 Tory Barringer The third quarter of 2014 saw more than a quarter of a million American homes return to positive equity, leaving about one in 10 still underwater, CoreLogic said Thursday.According to the company’s latest estimates, an additional 273,000 U.S. homes recovered to a positive equity position in Q3, bringing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to approximately 44.6 million—about 90 percent of all mortgaged properties in the nation.As home values rise and borrowers continue to gain equity, CoreLogic’s analysis indicates that nearly 5.1 million properties are still upside-down on their mortgage. That figure represents about 10.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage compared to about 13.3 percent the year prior.”Negative equity continued to decrease in the third quarter as did the level of homes mired in the foreclosure process. This should hopefully translate into less friction in the housing market as we move forward,” said CoreLogic president and CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Better fundamentals supporting homeownership in the face of higher rents should attract more first-time homebuyers to the market this year and next.”With home prices expected to appreciate about 5 percent in the next year, CoreLogic economist Sam Khater predicts the national negative equity rate should fall another 2 percentage points to roughly 8 percent—”still above average, but approaching the pre-crisis level.”The bulk of home equity recovered in the last few years has been at the high end of the housing market, CoreLogic said. The company’s report shows 94 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000 are in positive equity, while 85 percent of homes below that threshold are in the same position.Declines in negative equity in the third quarter were concentrated in a handful of states, with Nevada, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida seeing some of the biggest improvements. However, those states are still experiencing higher than average levels of underwater mortgages. The problem is worst in Nevada and Florida, which both topped the list of states with the highest negative equity rates (at 25.4 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively).Furthermore, out of the nearly 45 million mortgage properties that are above water, CoreLogic estimates that 9.4 million (19 percent) have less than 20 percent equity, while 1.3 million (close to 3 percent) have less than 5 percent equity.These under-equitied and near-negative equitied properties still present a challenge to the housing market, as those borrowers are likely to have a difficult time refinancing or selling their home. They’re also at risk of slipping back underwater should home prices see a surprise reversal.
Bottom-tier housing prices are escalating at rates competitive with top-tier properties, and in some cases surpassing them greatly, according to according to the May Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, released Friday.Nationally, the bottom third of the market is seeing fewer price cuts on listed homes and faster growing home values than more expensive homes. May’s numbers showed that while top-tier prices have cooled to a steady 4 percent growth, bottom-tier prices were up 8 percent in May.However, these month-over-month changes are starkly different from year-over-year figures. Compared to last May, top-tier price growth is down by half a percent and bottom-tier price growth is almost 9 percent lower, according to Zillow.In some markets, the gulf between those rate-increase percentages in May was notably larger. The Dallas-Fort Worth market had the largest gains in bottom-tier growth (21.6 percent) in a market that saw 9.5 percent growth in top-tier prices and a 12.5 percent appreciation in middle-tier prices. D-FW’s average home value of $187,900 is also close to the U.S. average of $186,100, according to Zillow.Similarly, Denver reported 8.2 percent growth at the top and nearly 18 percent growth at the top, while Houston saw 2.4 percent growth at the top and 13.4 percent growth at the bottom.In most markets, bottom-tier growth in May was higher than top-tier growth, though a few metros, such as Boston, Virginia Beach, Baltimore, and Seattle, saw nearly identical growth at both ends. New York/Northern New Jersey saw higher top-tier growth than bottom-tier, posting 5.1 percent and 3 percent rates, respectively.Only Indianapolis showed negative growth, posting a 1.8 percent decrease in top-tier prices and a 3.3 percent decrease in middle-tier prices. Information for bottom-tier properties was not recorded.For buyers, according to Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, the demand for lower-tier houses could create a lot of bidding wars, and Zillow has, correspondingly, seen buyers turn toward higher-end properties, where growth rates availability have stabilized.“The number of homes for sale at the top of the market has remained flat over the past year, while inventory in the bottom-third is down almost 9 percent,” Gudell said. “Some markets are worse than others‒‒in Portland, there are almost 40 percent fewer entry-level homes for sale than a year ago.” Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Growth Rates Climbing In Lower-End Home Prices Home Prices Housing Market Zillow 2016-06-24 Seth Welborn June 24, 2016 470 Views
Share Default Servicing military lending Quandis Inc. 2019-02-22 Radhika Ojha in Headlines, News, REO, Servicing A New Feature for SCRA Compliance California-based Quandis Inc., a default management mortgage technology provider has incorporated a new functionality into its Military Search service that empowers clients with the ability to easily customize real-time monitoring data analysis that is more explicitly and inclusive in nature. The new functionality returns the most granular searches in the industry for active military personnel along with detailed reporting.Called the Quandis Military Search (QMS), the solution verifies up-to-the-second information on active duty military status to help organizations comply with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 2003, which has stringent rules and processes that must be followed before starting mortgage foreclosure proceedings on borrowers that hold active duty status in the United States military. Stiff fines, penalties, and lawsuits can result from active military personnel that is improperly pursued in the default process.“Our development of QMS monitoring takes SCRA compliance adherence a step further by putting users in full control of their data and preferences as to how, when and to what degree of finality they would like to execute searches,” explained Greg Kent, vice president of data services at Quandis. “Our clients no longer require IT resources to compare and detect SCRA status changes.”The new functionality works by providing organizations with the ability to define “monitoring cycles” for their data, which automatically runs SCRA searches using both client-defined criteria and schedules. The continual search cycles allow for comparison of key SCRA data points over time thus identifying any changes in SCRA eligibility. The expanded functionality reports on specific data points as defined by unique client needs.QMS automates bulk as well as individual searches and can be used as a standalone solution or as integrated with leading attorney case management systems (CMS), servicing platforms and legacy applications to return and populate search certificates along with relevant data. The solution is being successfully leveraged by foreclosure attorneys, servicers, lenders, banks, and third-party outsourcing providers. February 22, 2019 895 Views
November 29 , 2018 You might also be interested in South Africa: Jupiter Group upgrades practices, fa … From the pages of Produce Business UKIt’s been an impressive year for the family-run Jupiter Group, based in Shropshire, the UK. In April, the company joined forces with breeder ARD to pioneer late-season ARRA table grape production in Greece, as part of a wider goal to bring to the international market new grape varieties supplied year-round from Chile, Greece and India. In June, The Sunday Times ranked Jupiter 17th in its International Track 200 league table, which recognizes Britain’s fastest-growing, private mid-market businesses based on international sales. That was followed, in October, with the award for ‘Best Fresh Produce Company 2018’ from Lux Life magazine, and the launch of Global Roots, Jupiter’s quarterly digital magazine.Then, just this month, the firm announced its acquisition of South African grower Bonaire – renamed Jupiter South Africa – whose future plans include trialing new citrus, grape and stonefruit varieties.To discover the driving force of this progressive and innovative company, PBUK spoke with Yvonne Tweddle, a director at Jupiter and the wife of Mark Tweddle, Jupiter’s CEO and Managing Director.Transformational growthA lot has changed since Jupiter was established in 2003 with just “a blank sheet of paper, a pen and a telephone.” Operating as Jupiter Marketing, the firm began importing produce to the UK before branching out into international sales in 2008. Now, rather than buying fresh produce, Jupiter is the grower. “In the last five years, we’ve become more serious as a business; we’ve changed our service provision to become an international provider,” Tweddle explains.“We see the value in being the grower; as more of the world’s customers want to go direct to source. It gives us more control over what can happen. We’re involved in all aspects of production, from agronomy though to growing and technical.”Today, Jupiter is a global producer-supplier, with a turnover close to £60 million. The company owns year-round production of table grapes (in Chile, Greece, India, Morocco and Namibia), citrus (South Africa and Zimbabwe), and stonefruit (Greece and South Africa). Kiwifruit and top fruit represent other core lines sourced by Jupiter. Produce is delivered direct to retailers, wholesalers and foodservice providers worldwide via Jupiter’s international network of offices that now includes Argentina, Chile, Greece, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the UK. Although Jupiter still supplies the UK, Tweddle says the primary focus is on producing and sourcing fruit to offer a complete ‘root to retail’ solution, selling produce “literally all over the world.” “We haven’t tried to compete on our own doorstep,” she points out. “We’ve looked to other markets as a solution for growth. We’ve taken our story to people, and they’ve liked what they’ve seen. Specifically, we are working a lot in the Far East. Earlier this year, we opened an office in Hong Kong to demonstrate our commitment to the region.” Over the past two years, Jupiter’s global exports have risen sharply from £1.8m in 2015 to £9.42m in 2017, while overall sales have increased dramatically to almost £60m in the past five years. To enable this, Tweddle says everything in the business that could change, has changed. “We’ve changed our processes, our evaluation of processes, our infrastructure, etc.,” she details. “We’ve really looked at whether we’re doing things for the long term or the short term. We’ve asked more questions of what we need and what we need our people to be doing.”Different mindsetImportantly, Tweddle says Jupiter has not been “arrogant” about who it will serve and who it won’t. “We have all spectrums of customers,” she explains. “As long as people are credit-worthy and will pay, then we’ll deliver.” As a result, Jupiter has opened a new international office almost annually for the past five years. Its website is translated into eight languages, and Jupiter is active on the global trade fair scene.But the company’s mindset is perhaps the most crucial aspect. “Where people have said something is impossible, we look upon that as a challenge,” Tweddle indicates. “We don’t look at a problem; we only ever look at the solution.“For example, we were told it would be impossible to take new varieties of grapes or any fresh products to India, and we succeeded. It was a massively complex process regarding phytosanitary access, government agreements, etc. Plus, we had to gain the breeders’ trust and confidence.”Here, Tweddle is referring to the introduction of Chilean grape variety Maylen (or Iniagrape-one), licensed by ANA Chile, which has piqued the interest of global retailers, including UK supermarkets.Currently, Jupiter attests to being the only company in the world to legally take new varieties of table grapes to India, the first to take them in scale to Greece, and the Master License holder to produce those new varieties in both countries.What Tweddle won’t reveal, however, is how Jupiter overcame the challenges, describing the achievement as a “trade secret.”Workplace cultureThe company’s can-do attitude was certainly key to this success, though, and features prominently within its workplace culture.“We encourage and train our staff to really think about how to deal with problems,” Tweddle remarks. “That makes us flexible and reactive, and I think that has helped us.”More broadly speaking, Jupiter operates an inclusive and collaborative working environment that makes for a dynamic and enjoyable workplace.Continuous training is offered. All staff are given the opportunity to openly contribute their views or ideas, either through weekly meetings or by directly contacting the Managing Director. Credit is given to those who generate ideas, too.“Someone at the bottom of our hierarchy can influence the business as much as those at the top,” Tweddle explains. “It takes some building of confidence to get people to contribute ideas but when they’re listened to, it makes a difference.”Tweddle says everything comes back to Jupiter’s core values, which are printed across the walls of its UK office. They include: to be open to new ideas, to help others, to recognize success and to make a difference, as well as integrity, trust, openness, patience and understanding.“Every single employee meets with Mark, our MD, on their first day to explain the company’s core values,” she explains. “We don’t always get it right, but it’s a good benchmark.“The key is to work hard and enjoy life. But we’re not for the faint hearted… if you’re not prepared to roll up your sleeves, you won’t survive here. We’ve all been known to work on the packing line, even the MD.”In a further nod to this inclusive spirit, last month Jupiter launched an e-magazine called ‘Global Roots’ to which all employees can contribute. The idea is to help customers, suppliers, and employees to better understand the firm and its people by sharing and celebrating company news, staff profiles and charity work, in addition to market insight, quizzes and competitions. “It’s something we decided to do,” remarks Tweddle. “There’s a cost to it, and we want to pay that price to communicate about our business. Others may not see the value, but this is about being your own business.” Varietal innovationWhen it comes to making its mark on the world stage, the recent Lux Life award recognised Jupiter as a “leading light and innovator.” Indeed, with an entrepreneur at the helm, Tweddle says no two days are the same, which makes for a “very energetic” team. “We’re always working on innovations and ‘crazy ideas’ as the industry would perhaps term them,” she explains. “We never been afraid to fail, and I think that’s a point of difference for us.” Ultimately, Tweddle claims the innovation has got to appeal, or there’s no point. “It’s understanding how big the benefit is,” she says. “Sometimes it’s the little things that surprise you … and one thing we’ve learnt, is to get the timing right.”For Jupiter, this has meant growing new varieties of grapes, and shortly citrus and stonefruit.“We plant the varieties we believe would work in the market,” Tweddle notes. “Then we can offer retailers both traditional and new varieties with a consistency of standards and processes.”Back in 2012, Jupiter hatched a plan to develop year-round, exclusive production of new and “superior-tasting” table grape varieties across more than 500 hectares of its own vineyards in Chile, Greece and India.To that end, Jupiter is now the sole license holder for ARRA grapes in Greece, where it has pioneered the production of four late-season, seedless white, red and black varieties – ARRA 15, ARRA 19, ARRA28 and ARRA 32. The first yield was harvested last month (October), with the young vineyards described as “very impressive.”“The signs are really good,” Tweddle reveals. “I don’t think we’ll achieve year-round supply for 2019, but definitely for 2020 and 2021. Then we can offer retailers around the world a different option; more choice.” The new varieties will also extend availability. “We can bring them to the market sooner and for a longer period which helps the grower, the supermarket, and the consumer,” Tweddle surmises. “Some of the growing seasons vary, which might give us a competitive edge.” Going forward, Jupiter has plans to develop new varieties of citrus, stonefruit and grapes via the recently formed Jupiter South Africa. Varietal trials will begin as part of the acquisition of Bonaire – a local citrus, stonefruit and grape producer. “I can’t say which varieties,” Tweddle states. “Bonaire has a large farm on the Zimbabwean border that produces citrus and we’ll be trialling there. We have similar plans for stonefruit, but I can’t say more!” As for Jupiter’s other next steps, Tweddle says we’ll have to wait and see … Jupiter awards Sahyadri Farms exclusive ARRA table …
Brazilian table grape exports soar in H1 as other … U.K.: Tesco trials removing plastic from fruit and … February 12 , 2019 Miller says the increasing trend towards snacking on fruit in the UK means The Fruitery could supply a range of dried and dehydrated fruits, and other fruit snacking solutions.Prior to breaking ground on The Fruitery, Chambers already researched the growth in food-on-the-go and eating out of home in the UK; working with Kantar Worldpanel on the prepared market, and utilising its membership of British Summer Fruits and Producer Organisation Asplins for berry sales insight.“We’ll dive more into the data on consumer habits once we get some turnover to invest back into the facility,” Miller reveals. “While we do see ourselves as a berry-focused factory, we will adapt our range absolutely to the customers’ needs.”Built to lastTo that end, The Fruitery has been built to last, mirroring the eco-credentials of the wider Chambers fruit business. The building features roof-top solar panels, recycles water where possible, and uses recyclable PET or cellulose packaging for its punnets and pots.“We’re very mindful of our impact on the environment,” Miller explains. “On packaging, we continue to work with customers to reduce our use of plastics, while maintaining the protection for produce. “The use of plastics where they’re not adding a benefit is an issue that does need to be looked at. However, within produce, some plastic packaging can aid shelf-life or have a lower carbon footprint than, say, brown paper bags. There are still a lot of questions.“But there is advanced work on cellulose packaging, which is biodegradable and maintains its structure. And I’m sure at Fruit Logistica, we will see further progress with new innovations on that front.”Future-proofingBeyond plugging a gap in the prepared fruit market, the diversification of the business at a time of political and economic uncertainty in the UK is also designed to future-proof Chambers, which has grown fruit in Kent for generations, and has farming links dating as far back as 1624.“Chambers is a historical, family business, and [chairman] Tim Chambers would say we’ve never really had a time when there hasn’t been political or economic uncertainty,” notes Miller.“The Fruitery is a natural diversification of our farming business, and not too dissimilar to the core. In this way, Chambers is preparing for the uncertainty ahead. We feel we’re in a very strong position.”With labour representing one of the major issues for UK horticulture currently, Miller says The Fruitery puts Chambers in a stronger position since more jobs will be created in a division that complements the company’s existing workforce. Added to that, Chambers is a large, independent grower that already occupies a decent share of the UK’s fresh berry market, and going forward potentially the prepared berry market too.“We’re fortunate to be in a product area [berries] that is increasingly popular,” Miller admits.“We have no doubt that UK and European trends will continue to focus on healthy eating. There are government initiatives regarding fruit and what we eat given the larger socio-economic impact of eating fresh fruit. And, increasingly the trend in the UK tends to be around being time poor and eating on-the-go.“For us to find a product area that enables people to eat fresh fruit at different times of the day – I think that’s a growing trend.”Varietal innovationIn the meantime, varietal innovation continues to be a major focus for Chambers, which grows an extensive range of berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries), redcurrants and cherries, as well as gooseberries and rhubarb.“We want to make sure that we’re continuously improving, that we’re making sure we’re growing and packing the right fruit for flavour, appearance, yield and shelf life,” Miller says.As an independent grower, Chambers works with a number of different breeding groups, and claims to be at the cutting edge of research into experimental new varieties for commercial production. Company chairman Tim Chambers is also Chairman of The Rubus Breeding Consortium, which recently released two new raspberry varieties, Bella and Charm, that are now under production at Chambers. “We’re continuing to work on more varieties,” reveals Millers. “It’s an ongoing process, but there is some final development work that will be released shortly.” You might also be interested in Japan: Pair of premium mangoes sell for record US$ … Leading fruit breeders form alliance to fight risi … From the pages of Produce Business UKIn response to the continued popularity of berries and snacking, Kent-based soft fruit specialist Chambers has unveiled at Fruit Logistica a ‘UK first’ with its new £2 million prepared fruit division. Operational for just six weeks — yet already piquing customer interest — The Fruitery is packing pots and punnets of ready-to-eat, fresh snacking fruit, primarily berries, for retail and foodservice customers. PBUK speaks exclusively with Chambers’ Commercial Director, James Miller, to discover the benefits for UK buyers.Above all, the state-of-the-art facility enables Chambers to directly supply buyers an own-label and high-quality product that has a longer shelf-life, local provenance and lower food miles, according to Miller. This, he says, will enable Chambers’ customers to compete more effectively in the UK’s ever-expanding take-home and on-the-go prepared food markets. “Interestingly, in the UK there’s a gap in the market to produce freshly prepared berries,” Miller tells PBUK, claiming that Chambers, a major berry supplier to the leading UK multiples, is the only specialist fruit grower to have invested in its own prepared fruit facility.“Berries are difficult to produce; they’re volatile in the way they grow, and they’re difficult to handle. That’s our strength. We’re berry growers, and we work with berry growers all year-round. We have the fruit already, so what we’re doing is adding value to an already established supply chain to enable people to eat fresh fruit on-the-go.”Adding valueThe Fruitery marks the culmination of a two-year ambition to fulfil that demand. Located on the company’s existing site near Maidstone, during the UK season (April to December) the high-care facility will process fruit that has arrived within one hour directly from Chambers’ own production, which spans 400ha in Kent.Chambers also hopes to operate the facility year-round; importing fruit during the counter season from its overseas production bases in Iberia, Poland, Peru and Bulgaria, as well as via its network of global partner growers in 17 countries. “What we have at The Fruitery is the ability to select the very finest of berries and the most suitable fruit for the prepared [packing] process, either from our fields or from stock which has been brought in from around the world,” Miller points out.“That is unique in the way that prepared berry pots are being produced in the UK right now. During the UK season, we’ll pick and send fruit from the farm directly into The Fruitery, which is market-leading. It’ll be the quickest process that’s possible.”Indeed, Miller says this will translate into an additional two days of shelf-life because of a shortened supply chain, as well as a reduced carbon footprint, thanks to fewer lorries needed on the road.“The current industry practice requires fruit to be picked and sent to a processor, which could take up to two days alone,” he points out. “Through The Fruitery customers will get a longer shelf-life, which is all important when it comes to food waste. This gives customers a chance to sell the product, with less waste in the store, and gives consumers a longer opportunity to eat it.“Also, we are running the fruit through a process which effectively saves shoppers from having to go home to wash the fruit. You can really eat it on-the-go, which is more convenient.” Piquing interestOperational for just six weeks, The Fruitery is garnering solid interest from a broad customer base who can use either their own labels or The Fruitery branding on the packaging.“I think we’ll have interest from a number of different parties, including those we currently supply,” Miller reveals. “We’ve already received interest from companies in different areas of the market that we’re not necessarily serving right now.“We’re going to be quite flexible in terms of customer specifications. We have the ability to pack for retailers and foodservice companies, however they want. “Plus we’ve had some interest in packing under our own, new brand (The Fruitery) where it fits the requirements of our customers and their final consumers.”The current range comprises a four and five berry medley punnet in 160 gram (g), 220g and 240g variants; an 80g Blueberry snack pot; a Strawberry, Apple and Grape medley in 130g and 160g variants; a Strawberry and Apple medley in 130g and 160g variants; and a Strawberry and Grape medley in 130g and 160g variants.In addition, there is a catering pack (600g, 1kg and 1.5kg) in a variety of medley choices. All the fruit (including the apples) will be sourced from Chambers’ own farms or grower partnerships, apart from the table grapes, which will be imported from traditional overseas sources.Expanding the offerIn the future, Chambers expects to expand the range, and potentially even beyond freshly prepared fruit. Exports are also on the cards.“The Fruitery is very scalable for demand,” explains Miller. “The gap in the market for berry packs will get the excitement initially. But customers will ask, and have already asked, whether we will be expanding the range and adding different products.”
Pink Lady apples “maintained good performance” in … Two days after a fire broke out in a fruit warehouse in this community 19 miles northwest of Wenatchee, a pall of smoke lingered over the town and people wore respiratory masks or scarves outside, according to Capital Press.Portions of a blackened roof hung above a corner of rubble still burning while icicles clung to unburned roofing just a few feet away.The fire at Blue Bird Inc., a fruit cooperative, was reported at 7:06 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters arrived to find the west end of a 35,000-square-foot warehouse on fire. Through the night, firefighters from four fire districts fought the blaze in single-digit temperatures. They lost the warehouse but saved adjoining warehouses and the packing plant containing two pear and one apple packing line.“We couldn’t have asked for anything more from the firefighters. We’re truly grateful for their efforts through the night and into the next day,” said Ron Gonsalves, Blue Bird general manager.The threat to other buildings continued into Monday.“There’s only 80 feet between the building that was on fire and our main packing building. It was an extreme effort. Firefighters saved the whole campus,” Gonsalves said. There were no injuries. The cause is under investigation. Gonsalves said there’s no indication of anything suspicious or of mechanical failure.The warehouse that burned was built in 1982 and contained about 300,000, 44-pound box equivalents of packed d’Anjou pears valued at about $8 million, Gonsalves said.The average asking price of premium d’ Anjou pears in Wenatchee and Yakima was $17 to $25 per box, depending on size, on March 4, according to USDA.The fruit was in 10 of 12 controlled-atmosphere storage rooms and was late-term, meaning it was scheduled for sales from early April to July. It was about one-third of Blue Bird’s total d’Anjou crop, Gonsalves said.The cooperative packs just under 3 million boxes of pears and apples and 1 million, 20-pound boxes of cherries annually, he said.There was smoke and water damage to apples and pears in an adjoining warehouse, he said.To read the full article click here. March 07 , 2019 You might also be interested in NZ horticultural export value grows to NZ$5.5B … U.S.: ‘Apples are often on the tariff carousel’, s … NZ now forecasting smaller apple crop than 2018 du …