30 Jan 2012 Tree triumphs in South Africa Toby Tree, a member of the England boys’ squad, gained his first individual triumph on foreign soil when he won the Gauteng North Open at Pecanwood Golf Club in South Africa. A closing round of 70 for 271, 17 under par, left him two strokes ahead of Zander Lombard and four clear of another Springbok in Brandon Stone. Tree (picture © Tom Ward), the 17 year old from the Worthing club in Sussex, bettered par in all four rounds over the course situated north of Johannesburg. An English victory looked remote when his opening 69 left him eight strokes behind Scotsman Paul Shields, who shot a sensational 61. But while Shields added a second round 75, Tree secured two eagles including a two at the 18th hole, to romp round in 66 for 135 which left him a shot behind the new leader Lombard, who added 68 to his opening 66. Round three saw Tree sign for eight birdies, three coming at the closing three holes, in another 66 for 201, which saw him edge a shot in front of Lombard going into the final day. Then, despite an eagle and four birdies, he carded 70 yet increased his advantage over Lombard who returned 71. Overall, the England boy international and former English under 14 and under 16 Champion, had three eagles and 21 birdies in his four rounds. Leading final scores: 271 T Tree (Eng) 69 66 66 70 273 Z Lombard (SA) 66 68 68 71 275 B Stone (SA) 67 72 67 69
The Fraser Valley Phantom made it a Female Midget AAA Champion Three-peat by sweeping the Thompson/Okanagan Rockets in the best-of-three league final Saturday in Langley. The Phantom will now advance to the 2014 Esso Cup, April 20 – 23 in Stoney Creek, Ontario.Chelsea Wilson and Kaely McMurty scored singles in Fraser Valley’s 2-0 win Friday to open the series. Saturday, Kirsten Martin scored the only goal as the Phantom pulled out the narrow 1-0 victory.Valencia Yordanov and Rachel Fontinha each posted shutouts for Fraser Valley.Fraser Valley defeated West Coast Avalanche in three games to advance to the final while the Rockets edged out Northern Cougars, also in three games.The Avs got past Kootenay Wildcats in two games in quarter final playoff action. The Cats, 6-19-5, finished the regular season in fifth place in the six-team league.The Female Midget AAA League was initiated in the 2007-2008 season in response to the membership’s desire to provide an opportunity for elite female hockey players to come together on zone teams to challenge other elite Female Midget teams. Since its inception, the FMAAA league has had over 50 players go on to play at post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States.
LOCAL RUNNERS SAN ONOFRE, WILD DUDE & COASTLINE ALL PROMINENT, ALONG WITH MIDWEST INVADER SUBTLE INDIAN, IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 KONA GOLD STAKES AT 6 ½ FURLONGS
WILD DUDE: One of three Jerry Hollendorfer-trained entrants, this 6-year-old Florida-bred horse by Wildcat Heir was second, beaten one length by San Onofre, as the even money favorite in the Los Angeles Stakes April 16 with Kent Desormeaux up. He’ll be reunited with Rafael Bejarano on Saturday, and although he drew the rail, he is a perfect two for two from that post and will hope for a lively pace. A winner of the Grade I, six furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship four starts back on Oct. 3, Wild Dude is a four-time graded stakes winning sprinter who also took Del Mar’s Grade I, six furlong Bing Crosby Stakes on July 26. A nationally prominent sprinter dating back to February, 2014, Wild Dude, who is owned by Hollendorfer and Green Smith, Jr., is 21-7-5-4 overall with earnings of $975,232. DREAM SATURDAY: Owned by Top Racing, LLC, he’s been away since Aug. 9 at Saratoga and will be making his first start for Hollendorfer on Saturday. Third, beaten 2 ¼ lengths three starts back in the Grade I, seven furlong Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 4, this 5-year-old horse by Any Given Saturday has an impressive local work tab to his credit as he seeks his initial stakes win with Mike Smith aboard for the first time. With a win from two starts at 6 ½ furlongs, Dream Saturday is 12-4-2-1 overall with earnings of $198,156. SUBTLE INDIAN: A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Indian Charlie, Subtle Indian comes off a huge gate to wire win in the Grade III, six furlong Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 10. Trained by Robertino Diodoro and owned by Mercedes Stables, LLC, Subtle Indian, who broke from the rail in a field of nine, won the Count Fleet by 3 ¾ lengths and dating back to Jan. 15, rattled off four consecutive sprint wins at Oaklawn. With seven wins from nine overall starts, Subtle Indian figures to be well-backed in the betting with regular rider Ramon Vazquez shipping in for what his connections hope will be his fifth consecutive win. With six of his seven wins coming at Oaklawn Park, Subtle Indian has earnings of $500,300. KAFISTER: Trained by David Bernstein, this 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Kafwain is a nose shy of having won three starts in a row. A game nose winner of a six furlong classified allowance here on March 25, Kafister, who was claimed by Bernstein for $20,000 some 16 starts back in March, 2014, has been in the money in his last seven starts, winning his last two. Owned by longtime clients Alan Aidekman and Gaylord Ailshie, Kafister is razor sharp, but will be making his first added money start since running fourth in his third career start, Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Kafister, who will be ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, is 26-11-3-4 overall with earnings of $324,450. THE GRADE II KONA GOLD STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 9 (of 11) ARCADIA, Calif. (May 18, 2016)–With recent graded stakes winner San Onofre leading the way, several locally based sprinters such as Wild Dude, Coastline, Cherubim, Sahara Sky and Kafister, along with out of state invaders Subtle Indian and Dream Saturday, all loom dangerous in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes, for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs. Named for trainer Bruce Headley’s Eclipse Award winning sprinter (2000), the Kona Gold has attracted a wide-open field of 10. Wild Dude–Rafael Bejarano–122Souper Knight–Abel Lezcano–120Cautious Knight–Santiago Gonzalez–120Coastline–Tyler Baze–120Cherubim–Tiago Pereira–120Dream Saturday–Mike Smith–120Subtle Indian–Ramon Vazquez–120Kafister–Flavien Prat–120Sahara Sky–Martin Garcia–120San Onofre–Edwin Maldonado–120Saturday is Preakness Day at Santa Anita. Admission gates will open early at 8 a.m. First live race post time is at 12 noon. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. SAN ONOFRE: Trained by Karen Headley, bred by her father, trainer Bruce Headley and owned by the family’s Matson Racing, San Onofre relished his outside post position in the Grade III, 5 ½ furlong Los Angeles Stakes on April 16, as he stalked a fast pace and went on to an authoritative one length win under Edwin Maldonado. A 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Surf Cat, San Onofre will again break from the far outside and will hope for a similar trip in the Kona Gold. With four wins and as many seconds from 11 starts at Santa Anita, San Onofre has six wins from 13 overall starts and earnings of $402,385. SAHARA SKY: Trained and owned in-part by Hollendorfer and Kim Lloyd’s Sweetwater Stable, this 8-year-old son of Pleasant Tap gained national acclaim when he won the prestigious Grade I Metropolitan (Mile) Handicap at Belmont Park in May, 2013. A dedicated deep closer, Sahara Sky’s last win came eight starts back in Santa Anita’s Grade II, seven furlong San Carlos Stakes in March, 2014. Third, beaten one length in the Kona Gold 13 months ago, Sahara Sky, who is now based with Hollendorfer at Golden Gate Fields, was likely in need of his a last race there, as he had been away nine months prior to finishing fifth in a six furlong classified allowance on April 23. Classy Sahara Sky, who will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia, has three wins from seven starts at 6 ½ furlongs and is 25-8-4 overall, with earnings of $1,180,238. COASTLINE: One of two Phil D’Amato-trained horses in the lineup, this 5-year-old horse by Speightstown comes off a good second, beaten a length and a quarter, by top sprinter Kobe’s Back here in the Grade II, seven furlong San Carlos Stakes on March 12. Originally based in the Midwest, Coastline, who is owned by Agave Racing Stable or Jaam Racing, Inc., won the restricted Clockers’ Corner Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf two starts back and will be making his fourth start for D’Amato in the Kona Gold. In his first-ever start at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt, Coastline should be mid-pack early with Tyler Baze riding him back. A winner of five of 20 overall starts, he has earnings of $396,806. CHERUBIM: Trained by D’Amato, this 5-year-old Henny Hughes gelding posted a game nose victory in a 6 ½ furlong classified allowance at Los Alamitos on April 22 but will take a steep raise in class in the Kona Gold. Prior to his win at Los Alamitos, Cherubim had been idle since running second in the restricted Pirate’s Bounty Stakes going six furlongs at Del Mar on Sept. 7. Owned by Gerald Frankel, Cherubim, who is 13-3-5-1 overall, will be making his first graded stakes assignment with regular rider Tiago Pereira set to ride back.
Bafana Bafana has captured the hearts ofSouth Africans.(Image: Bongani Nkosi) Vuvuzelas blared from the residential block of flats in Sunnyside, Pretoria’s lively, cosmopolitan suburb. South Africans hung out of their windows and burst from the corridors to celebrate and blow their favourite plastic trumpets. It was a short-lived moment, but one I had been expecting.South Africa’s national football squad Bafana Bafana was playing Denmark in a friendly match that day, 5 June, and I had decided to go loll at a park in nearby Troy Street – I was against the idea of being glued to a television screen.I knew the noise made by the throng of football fans in the area would be a pretty good indication of the score: I anticipated a spirited round of vuvuzela toots for every Bafana goal, and a collective sigh of “aaaaahs” if our opponent scored.I was kept in suspense for some time, but eventually I heard the eruption of noise. I knew very well our boys had scored a critical goal – the only one of the match. It came in the 76th minute from striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela.The celebrations went on for about three minutes at that stage, but the lasting sense of excitement came as the referee blew the final whistle. We had won.The vuvuzelas were out again, and the hubbub resonated throughout central Pretoria. Masses of young football fans, clad in their Bafana gear, celebrated the victory with their trumpets, song and dance. And cars whizzing past showed their support too, with mini South African flags attached to their roof tops.It’s scenes like these that show the pride in the 23-man national squad, which will play the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in a few days’ time.“We’re very elated and excited about what see throughout the country every day. Scores of people are wearing the Bafana jersey,” the team’s media officer Matlhomola Morake said.“[South Africans] are giving us courage,” Morake added. “We’d like to thank them and hope that this support will continue throughout the World Cup.”Support for Bafana is streaming in through various channels countrywide, as fans’ good-luck wishes are publicised on television, radio, newspapers, online social network sites and mobile phones. “That’s ayoba,” my colleague, Lesego Madumo, would say.‘We’re behind you’A day before the Demark clash, friends Mzukisi Zuzile and Masanda Nomeva joined hundreds of other South Africans outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg to show their confidence in Bafana Bafana. And they weren’t shy about where their allegiances lay: “We’ll support them up until the end of the World Cup. South Africans will stand by them,” Nomeva said.“Bafana Bafana must play their hearts out, knowing very well that the nation is behind them,” Zuzile added.The team has gone without a loss in its last 12 matches, making the craze well-deserved. Notable wins include the 5 June Denmark friendly and a 5-0 record defeat of Thailand a few days’ before.The group stage matches involving Bafana were sold out even before World Cup ticket collection centres were opened, another indication of strong belief in the national side.This also means that vuvuzelas will be out in full force. “We need the vuvuzela – it is our 12th man, and it will help us a lot,” Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said during his announcement of the final player selection on 1 June.The national team has been drawn into Group A to face Mexico, France and Uruguay. It’s been tipped to pick up at least six points, but must win the first clash against Mexico to achieve this, experts say.Promise of victoryPresident of the South African Football Association Kirsten Nematandani has promised the nation that Bafana will make it proud. He is confident that the team is well-prepared and ready to tackle the stiff competition.“The boys are ready … they will make us proud,” he said during the celebrations at Luthuli House.“Come the 11 June, Mexico won’t know what hit them.”South African politicians are showing they’re not immune to the Bafana frenzy either, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, both sending out messages of support.“Bafana, you carry the hopes and aspirations of all South Africans …” said ANC chairperson Baleka Mbethe, on behalf of her party. “We have complete confidence and trust in you.”Good dose of Madiba MagicPresident Jacob Zuma and Fifa head Sepp Blatter are among the legions of World Cup fans who are hoping that Nelson Mandela will make it to the tournament’s opening ceremony at Soccer City on 11 June.It’s still not entirely clear whether the frail, 91-year-old statesman will be there, but Zuma has said it will be a bonus if he is.“We have hope that Mandela will be there,” said Mbethe.Mandela’s presence will undoubtedly give Bafana Bafana a good dose of “Madiba Magic” ¬– a term coined during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, when the then-president donned a replica of the captain’s jersey to spread national pride and show his support for the host team.He did the same during the African Cup of Nations a year later, and many say this helped inspire the South Africans to win both tournaments. In recent years South Africans have increasingly used Madiba, Mandela’s clan name, as a fond term of reference.The Bafana World Cup squad was introduced to their former president on 3 June at a gathering at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. On this day too, Mandela chose to wear the captain’s jersey.
Tags:#Google Glass brian ford Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Google Glass is now “unofficially officially” out in the wild, early reviews are in, and they’re not spectacular. I’ve been a Glass skeptic from the start, but now I’m just going to come right out and say it: If the developer version is at all an accurate representation of what Glass will look like as a finished product, it’s going to fail.Here’s why.No One Likes To Wear GlassesIf people liked wearing glasses, we wouldn’t live in a world where many people opt to wear contacts. I actually don’t like wearing contacts (my eyes are sensitive) and because my insurance covers the cost of buying glasses I dutifully trot in, excited by the prospect that this time, I’m going to find the perfect pair.(See also: Google Glass Unboxing Photo Gallery: Meet The Future Of Mobile)An unboxing and overview of what’s in the box with Google Glass, a moonshot project that might just be crazy enough to catch on. I speak from experience: No matter how well they’re fitted, glasses slip. They pinch. They’re easy to forget. They cause headaches. They’re inconvenient when they’re on and even more so when we need to take them off. Put simply, glasses are a hassle and despite my best intentions I give up on wearing them after only a couple months.No matter your level of respect for Google, it won’t have solved these problems. If anything, they’re only going to be exacerbated by the fact that Glass will need to fit perfectly in order to work perfectly. Also by the fact that people who like to wear glasses can’t currently wear Glass, because it doesn’t work with… glasses!(See also: Google Glass: What Do You Want To Know About Google’s Internet Eyewear?)Whether we like wearing glasses or not, we definitely don’t like wearing ugly glasses and Google Glass is nothing if not ugly. (Take a look at any picture that doesn’t feature a professional model at a professional photo shoot and tell me I’m wrong.)Those of us who are forced to wear corrective glasses are pretty particular about what we’ll wear, and Google says we can have any design we like as long as it’s ugly.Google Glass Is Already A Parody Of ItselfThe iPad elicited pre-release chuckles because we’re all children and we think feminine hygiene products are hilarious. Apple put an end to our juvenile japes by releasing a product that worked well. More important, perhaps, the iPad was announced and then it was released and reviewed as a finished product.As a result, we were able to walk into a store, buy one and draw our own conclusions. And we did. Millions of times, collectively.Not so with Google Glass. The devices are out there, yes, but most of us will never know someone who owns a pre-release pair. Many of us already understand that wearing prescription glasses kind of sucks, and even if we have no real idea what it’s like to meld a tiny screen to that experience, adding to bad doesn’t often make good.This means we’ll spend the next several months forming our opinions based on preconceived notions, reviews, word-of-mouth and, yes, Saturday Night Live skits.The Reviews Have Been TerribleWhether it’s battery life, how well they function, the price to value ratio, or build quality, no one seems to have much nice to say about Google Glass in its current form. (ReadWrite’s Taylor Hatmaker is one exception.) You might retort that it’s unfair to review a beta product, but Google could have released Glass alongside an NDA or an embargo, and it didn’t do that. It unconditionally put the “future of tech” in the hands of any journalist who was willing to shell out $1500 and hoped for the best.Is it possible that Google will completely overhaul their flagship next-generation mobile computer in an effort to address these issues? Sure it is. I think it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Does it matter? Is “Joe Average” going to spend his money on a first-of-its-kind product that was savaged in early reviews? Not likely.Word-Of-Mouth Has Been TerribleGlasshole. It’s not terribly clever — okay, it’s actually sort of clever — but it caught on. And it makes a strong and succinct point that if you wear these, you’re kind of a dick. This isn’t a jab at the product, it’s a commentary about the person wearing the product. If you’re wearing them, that person is you.That’s the kiss of death for any device, let alone an expensive product that also happens to be getting so-so reviews at best. (Maybe Glass won’t be expensive once it’s actually released. But Google is cultivating the idea that the device will be expensive by keeping silent about the eventual price.)Live from New York: Google Glass Is Terrible!If Glass were well-reviewed, I’d leave this alone. The problem isn’t that Saturday Night Live is making fun of a new tech product; they do that all the time. The problem is that Saturday Night live is parodying a product and it’s hard to tell that it’s a parody. I’ve seen videos of people wearing Glass and they’re experiencing all the issues that Fred Armisen sends up in his sketch.The joke is that his character is going out of the way to seem enthusiastic about Glass despite all the glitches, and therein lies the difference between parody and reality: Most of the “real” reviewers seem to be just as confounded by things like poor speech recognition, but far from being enthusiastic, they seem mostly disappointed that “the future” is so wonky.Google needs an army of disciples who will evangelize despite flaws, and thus far, it seems like they’ve just got Robert Scoble. (This is a good time, I think, to bring up my point about professional models again.)Google needs to get out in front of the impression that Glass doesn’t work well, and it has yet to do so.Wear No EvilAdd to all that my ongoing concerns about wearer discomfort, the potential for long-term negative impacts on our vision, inevitable privacy issues, and the likelihood that businesses will ban the use of Google Glass outright.Maybe Google is giving us a preview of the future. Maybe we should all be excited that Google is willing push the envelope by trying something new.For now, though, maybe we should all come to terms with the idea that Google is facing a failure of epic proportions.Related stories10 Compelling Ways People Plan To Use Google Glass5 Socially Unacceptable Things You’ll Do With Google GlassGoogle Glass: Way Too Much Google For Its Own GoodWhy Google Glass Is Way More Important Than Any SmartwatchWhy Google Glass Needs A Style InfusionLead image via Taylor Hatmaker
UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’ PLAY LIST 02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games It was already Belga’s sixth flagrant foul and seventh technical foul for this season.The Sorsogon native will serve his suspension on the Elasto Painters’ game against TNT on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netRain or Shine center Beau Belga has been slapped a P17,500 fine and a one-game suspension following his ejection on Sunday.Already charged with a technical foul early in the game, the burly big man was whistled with a flagrant foul penalty one after a skirmish with Kia center Jason Ballesteros midway through the third quarter which led to his ouster.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES NCAA: Perpetual Help extends Arellano’s slide Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ
NEW YORK — Stocks are wobbling ahead of the highly-anticipating trade meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. Investors have long hoped the two will use their meeting at the Group of 20 summit to start resolving the trade dispute between the two countries. Energy companies sank as crude oil dropped under $50 a barrel for the first time since September 2017.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,740 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 25,318. The Nasdaq composite gained 4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,277. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 1 point, or 0.1 per cent, to 1,526.Stocks have rallied this week after falling to a six-month low last Friday. The S&P 500 is up 1 per cent this month, but it’s still 6.5 per cent away from the all-time high it set in late September. While the U.S. and China have been sparring for months over technology policy and other trade issues, in the last two months investors have become more pessimistic that the two sides will be able to resolve their differences without causing damage to the global economy.The U.S. has announced tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports so far, with the tax rate on many products set to rise Jan. 1, while China is taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods. Wall Street is concerned that the lingering questions about tariffs and other trade issues will keep businesses from spending money.UNWANTED GUEST: Marriott said the information of as many as 500 million guests at Starwood hotels has been compromised by a data breach that started in 2014 and September 2018. The company said the credit card information of some guests may have been taken, along with other personal details. The company’s stock lost 5.8 per cent to $114.80.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell sank 3 per cent to $49.92 a barrel in New York, which put crude on track to fall for the eighth week in a row. Brent crude fell 2.5 per cent to $58.40 a barrel in London. Oil prices have plunged as supplies have built up, partly because the U.S. agreed to hold off on sanctions for countries that import oil from Iran. Investors are also worried that a slowdown in global economic growth will reduce demand for fuels.Oil and gas drilling services company Schlumberger lost 2.5 per cent to $44.78 and Chevron fell 0.9 per cent to $117.78 while ConocoPhillips lost 1.6 per cent to $65.82.TESTING, TESTING: Medical lab company LabCorp skidded 10.6 per cent to $144.58 after cutting its profit and sales forecasts. On Thursday LabCorp fell 2 per cent and rival Quest Diagnostics dropped 9.3 per cent after Quest did the same, saying testing volumes were down. Quest fell 1.8 per cent to $86.37 Friday.GAME OVER: Video game retailer GameStop skidded 9.8 per cent to $13.20 after it cut its annual profit and sales forecasts. The company said some key titles didn’t sell as well as it hoped, and promotions and sales of used games weren’t as strong as expected.BONDS: Bond prices rose further. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.01 per cent from 3.03 per cent.OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index in Britain shed 0.6 per cent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 per cent while France’s CAC40 gave up 0.1 per cent.Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 per cent.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.59 yen from 113.43 yen. The euro fell to $1.1344 from $1.1389.____AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAPMarley Jay, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Realtor Ash Alles wanted to throw an open house to remember.So, he catered a food truck.“Food is what drives people in,” said Alles, a real estate agent at Sutton Group Summit Realty in Mississauga, Ont. “We’re trying to make it an event, as opposed to a traditional open house.”The open house at the townhouse in Burlington, Ont., west of Toronto, last May drew in more than 200 people over four hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were free tacos, music, and people were encouraged to bring their babies and dogs along.Although the eventual buyer wasn’t at the open house, billed as a “Cinco de Mayo Neighbourhood Fiesta,” Alles still considered the party a success.So much so that since the spring, he has hired a food truck for five other open houses.Alles spends about $5,000 out of pocket each time for the food truck, much higher than the typical $250 a realtor usually spends to run an open house.“I want my listings to stand out. We want buyers to come to our listings. We want to sell our listings,” he said. “Whatever we can do to drive traffic is worth doing. Yes you have to spend a little more money but that is what marketing is and that is what is going to get the house sold at the end of the day.”From food trucks to iPad giveaways to private wine and cheese nights, realtors are upping their game in a bid to lure potential homebuyers to an open house, a feat that may become more difficult with real estate markets across the country continuing to show signs of softening.“There has been an evolution of what an open house can look like,” says Ryan Hartlen, a Halifax broker who’s been in the business for 15 years.“Back in the day, you put a sign out, advertise in the paper and see who shows up.”Nowadays, those who attend open houses can expect anything from cookies and charcuterie boards to colouring books for the children to giveaways of foodie baskets.Although the eventual homebuyer may not be the nosy neighbour down the street or the dogwalker who decided to pop in to the open house, most realtors see it as an opportunity to showcase the property to as many people as possible.But if you ask Brett Starke, a sales rep with PSR Brokerage in downtown Toronto, he has a different strategy to running an open house.“I don’t do water or coffee or anything like that,” said Starke, who specializes in sales of downtown condominiums and homes in west Toronto. “I just do straight information (about the property).”He says it’s more important to him to get the right kind of person into a client’s open house, one that is serious about the property, rather than aim to attract anybody off the street.“There is a difference between drawing people in and drawing in a buyer,” said Starke.To him, a successful open house is getting six to 10 people and being able to give them individual attention and answer all their questions.“We want to spend the right time with the right people,” he said. “You’re not going to buy a condo or house because someone gave you a $20 bottle of wine, or the people who come for the free food, they’re not going to be one ones who buy the house.”Starke says agents who employ these “gimmicky” tactics are doing a disservice to their clients, when the extra money spent on the open house could instead be put towards research and marketing directly to the right demographic of buyers.And what about those nosy neighbours often seen at open houses? His tip is to hold a VIP event before the public open house so they don’t distract actual potential buyers.“Open houses have almost become like a Saturday or Sunday social event where people think, ‘Why not go see beautiful properties in the neighbourhood, get design inspiration and spy on our neighbours?,’ he said.“We don’t want the tire kickers in there, complaining about things, when the real buyer could be there too.”Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.Linda Nguyen , The Canadian Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Go Fund Me campaign has started for a Fort St. John family who lost everything due to a house fire on August 5th.Greg Slack, Robyn Carr and their three children were luckily out of the house when the fire occurred at approximately 4:50 on Sunday. Fire crews were able to put out the fire within one hour but due to smoke damage, the house was unsalvagable.Fort St. John Fire Department Captain Marco D’Agostino explained that the fire started in the laundry room likely due to a build-up of lint in the dryer. D’agostino added that the family’s dryer had plastic tubes in the back which when exposed to excessive heat don’t react well. D’agistino went on to warn residents to check dryer lint deposits regularly so this doesn’t happen to their homes in the future.The family lost all their clothes, appliances, personal items, and children’s toys, making them have to effectively start from scratch.Anyone interested in donating to the Go Fund Me can click here.
Barcelona: Four years have passed since Lionel Messi last reached a Champions League semi-final and his drought has become a source of unease for Barcelona ahead of their latest attempt on Tuesday. Manchester United are the ones looking to emulate Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Roma by sending Barca out in the quarters for a fourth year running but for the Catalans, another failure would be unforgivable, not least because of the implications for their captain. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Last season we did the double but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League,” Messi said in August. “We promise this season we will do all we can to bring that beautiful cup back to Camp Nou.” Barcelona’s dominance in Spain has been shaped by Messi, who only this month overtook Iker Casillas as the player with the most La Liga victories, 335, in its history. Those wins have helped them capture seven of the last 10 league titles, a figure that will surely become eight from 11 next month, given their nine-point lead at the top of the table. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThere could be an historic fifth consecutive Copa del Rey too if Ernesto Valverde’s side beat Valencia on May 25. But in Europe, Barca would appear under-marked, with only one success in the last seven years, three in 10 since Pep Guardiola took charge in 2008 and set in motion what has felt, in playing terms at least, like an iconic era. The list of clubs etched onto the cup hoisted at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1 will instead show a decade swallowed up by Real Madrid, whose domestic failings in that period have been exonerated by four Champions League triumphs in five years. “Obviously it’s infuriating,” Luis Suarez said. “Madrid have made history and it’s a thorn in our side.” Messi’s record is similarly unbalanced. He has nine La Liga titles and is by a distance the competition’s top scorer, with an astonishing 414 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, closest in second, has 311. But in the Champions League, Messi has lifted the trophy four times, a relatively modest return given it puts him on a par with 11 current Real Madrid players alone, including Nacho, Casemiro and Dani Carvajal. This year, Ronaldo is hunting his sixth. And while Messi dwarfs the Portuguese for goals in La Liga, the opposite is true in Europe, where Ronaldo has 125 goals to his 108. The game’s most illustrious pair could yet meet in this year’s final, should Barca capitalise on their 1-0 first-leg win over United and then overcome either Liverpool or Porto in the semis. Ronaldo and Juventus, meanwhile, would have to beat Ajax, and then either Manchester City or Tottenham. A showdown in Madrid would throw an even brighter glare on Messi’s record compared to Ronaldo, whose sensational hat-trick against Atletico Madrid last month only enhanced the sense this tournament belongs to him. Messi is not one to complain, particularly given he cannot be blameless in Barca’s underachievements in Europe. But the fans are frustrated, with last season’s double doing little to ease the disappointment of the collapse against Roma.