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Donegal lifeboat lunch returns to raise vital funds for the RNLI

first_imgThe organisers of the RNLI charity lunch have revealed that they raised a total of €700 for 59 Lifeboats, including four in Donegal. The fundraiser, organised by LyIT Killybegs, took place last Thursday on March 14th.The county has a long and proud association with the RNLI which goes back generations. The men and women who volunteer as lifeboat crew come from local communities and give hours of their time and dedication to the charity.First-year Culinary Arts degree students showcased their cooking and hospitality skills, presenting a sumptuous three-course meal to over 20 ticket paying guests on the day.The RNLI placed their thanks to lecturer Patrick Brennan and his students who produced first class food and also thanked Dr. Ciaran O Hanrahan, Head of the College.Donegal lifeboat lunch returns to raise vital funds for the RNLI was last modified: March 20th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:KillybegsLYITRNLIlast_img read more

Putting PE on national property map

first_imgProperty for sale along the city’s main beachfront, like in these gracious old mansion blocks, is quickly snapped up. (Image: Fiona McRae) There is nothing that comes close to property when you’re looking for a good investment – but in tough economic times, you may need to sit on it for a while.So says Port Elizabeth estate agent Jaco Rademeyer, owner and principal of Jaco Rademeyer Estates in the city.At just 28 years of age and with only five years’ experience in the real estate industry, Rademeyer was recently named the Nedbank Property Association’s Property Professional of the Year for 2009/10, beating 15 other finalists from among the country’s more than 40 000 registered estate agents.He was the only Eastern Cape candidate for the award, and the only independent estate agent among the finalists, all the others being from the country’s large property groups.For the year under review for the awards, ending February 2010, Rademeyer sold more than 100 properties in Port Elizabeth and the immediate surrounds, with a turnover of about R100-million (US$14.33-million).The judges considered aspects such as sales and turnover, service ethics, client satisfaction, professionalism, community involvement, marketing and innovation, and commitment to education and leadership, he says.Winning the title was made all the sweeter for Rademeyer by the fact that he had twice previously been a finalist for the award, in 2007 and again last year.He believes he owes his professional success to his “intuitive style and passion for all aspects of the property  business” which have enabled him to “adapt to the changing market dictates of an industry facing tough challenges in the difficult economic climate of recent years”.Indeed, at a time when many agencies were cutting back on advertising to reduce costs, Rademeyer bravely launched an aggressive and highly visible marketing campaign, stamping the Jaco Rademeyer brand on the local property scene.Investment areaSituated on the country’s south-eastern coast, the city forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole, along with the inland towns of Uitenhage and Despatch. Lapped by the clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean and known for its friendly, laid-back lifestyle, it is South Africa’s second-largest city in terms of area and fifth largest in terms of population.Rademeyer is not the only one helping to put Port Elizabeth firmly on the national property map.Local estate agent Debbie Epstein, who specialises in sales in the city’s main beachfront area, recently achieved second position for number of sales and fourth position for value of sales for the year up to March 2010 in the Harcourts property group’s national awards.Epstein competed with more than 600 sales consultants from 120 Harcourts offices around the country, including the larger cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.She has been with the company for the past decade and claims to have consistently sold property worth more than R40-million ($5.73-million) a year – a remarkable achievement given the small area on which she focuses. Although, she explains, the more limited purchase options often mean that any available stock is snapped up faster than in the bigger coastal cities of Cape Town and Durban, where buyers have more choices.In a case of swings and roundabouts, the tough economic climate is forcing some owners to part with holiday properties along Port Elizabeth’s stunning beachfront, providing keen buyers – some of them with millions of rands for a cash purchase – with more options.New buyers in the area include medical and other professionals moving to Port Elizabeth to take up positions in the city, parents seeking accommodation in close proximity to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for their student children, and canny investors looking to acquire properties to take advantage of the student rentals market, Epstein says.She agrees with Rademeyer that while interest from would-be buyers – including out-of-towners using  the internet for their property search – has definitely picked up again after the global slump, many potential purchases are still being scuppered by the banks’ high deposit requirements and strict lending criteria, and buyers’ understandable fear of a long-term financial commitment in these still uncertain economic times.But she has great confidence in the city as an investment area for buyers, both local and from further afield.“Port Elizabeth has it all,” she says. “It offers great opportunities, whether your need be for residential, holiday or industrial property.”Poised for major growthEqually confident of the city’s attraction and value for buyers is Kobie Potgieter, owner broker of RE/MAX Independent Properties in Port Elizabeth, part of the RE/MAX International property group.Herself a former winner of the Nedbank Property Professional of the Year title for 2008/09, and previously RE/MAX International’s top-earning agent in the world (excluding the US and Canada) in terms of commission paid, Potgieter believes Port Elizabeth offers more potential for capital growth in the property market than any other city in South Africa, with larger centres like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town “having already reached their ceiling”.Port Elizabeth has not yet reached its full potential, she says, and further investment and development will be driven by the deep-water harbour at the port of Ngqura and the opportunities offered by the adjacent Coega industrial development zone.“The city is poised for major growth in the residential, industrial and commercial areas,” she says. “The investment by major organisations in Port Elizabeth is proof of their confidence in the city.”Potgieter recently sold a lifestyle property in the coastal area of Lovemore Park, on the outskirts of the city, for an area record price of R10-million ($1.43-million). She believes this tranquil and verdant area will be another growth point for the city, as it offers large pieces of land suitable for the development of up-market residential and lifestyle estates similar to the Zimbali residential and resort estate on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.Looking to the immediate future for a property market that is only now beginning to recover after having been hard-hit by South Africa’s first economic recession in 17 years, Rademeyer says that although there has been quite a turnaround from even just six months ago, he expects the market to remain stagnant for some time to come.Opportunities for astute buyersWhile the Eastern Cape is becoming more enthusiastic and people “are at least signing again”, many prospective buyers are unable to meet banks’ stringent requirements for lending. “The market may be alive again, but there are no fireworks yet,” says Rademeyer.His words of advice for anyone wanting to invest in the property market at the moment? “Commercial property remains a sound investment.”According to Ian Olivier of Ian Olivier Properties and regional chairman of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa, property investments in the Eastern Cape are often driven by the many and diverse opportunities the province offers. Topping the list are some of the country’s most beautiful beach property and the accompanying relaxed, outdoor lifestyle, with Port Elizabeth being positioned as the country’s water sports capital.But the Eastern Cape’s charms also include magnificent inland scenery, from the mountains and forests of the Amatole region to the vast, arid plains of the Karoo. Historic and attractive towns such as Graaff-Reinet, dubbed the Gem of the Karoo, stunning natural splendour, malaria-free Big Five game reserves, and friendly locals with hearts as big as the expansive Karoo sky all add to the province’s melting pot of attractions.Olivier warns that the recovery in the property market will not be immediate or quick, but says there are many opportunities for astute purchasers who are in a position to capitalise on the current conditions that favour buyers.last_img read more

Groundspeak’s ‘Kitchen of Affirmation’

first_imgLetters to Groundspeak The kitchen at Groundspeak is stocked with pretty much the standard condiments and food you’d find in any kitchen.  The fridge is home to ketchup and mustard and some random unlabeled containers.  The corner coffeemaker generates a little morning rush hour traffic as Lackeys clamor for a cup of morning energy.But this week, Lackeys walked into the kitchen recently and walked out with more than coffee. It’s what appeared on the cabinets that gave those leaving, coffee mug in hand, with a feeling of affirmation.Letters taped to the cabinets read, “Once again your donation is making school cool” and “I also want to thank you for donating to our class.  I think it is the sweetest thing anyone did to our class.”Groundspeak donates money for GPS devices to a cause called DonorsChoose.org.  The donations put GPS devices in the hands of students.The Lost & Found video crew visited a Texas, USA class that received a donation of GPS devices.  You can watch how a teacher intertwined a lesson plan about science with the outdoor adventure of geocaching.The students went geocaching.  They solved problems in small groups, learned direction and distance, and engaged with technology.More than 30 letters from different classrooms have arrived at Groundspeak over the past year and we are committed to putting more GPS unites in the hands of students.Letter to GroundspeakA half-dozen thank you letters from students are on display in the kitchen now.  One line from a grade school student reads, “Thank you thank you thank you (1,000,000,000 times) much for donating to our class.”   How the letters are signed may say more.   Some of the chunky grade school writing spells out “thank you” or “your friend” or even “love.”But students aren’t just thanking Lackeys.  They’re not just affirming that geocaching can be a powerful force for learning.  They’re thanking geocachers for making this donation possible.  You fuel Groundspeak.  Those letters of thanks (a 1,000,000,000 times much) are really written to you as well.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedTeaching Geocaching and a Lackey to Complete a 5/5November 22, 2011In “Community”Refer a Friend – Help Kids Learn about GPSMay 25, 2011In “Learn”GeoWoodstock IX 2011 – A Lackey Report from PennsylvaniaAugust 19, 2011In “Community”last_img read more

Trade Contractor Management — Part 4

first_imgIf you just can’t wait to get started on your own trade contractor management program, GBA Pro members can download the full set of checklists here. If you are not a GBA Pro member, and do not want to become one, you can go to my website and buy the full set of checklists. The set includes 26 individual checklists for most standard residential construction trades in Excel format along with a suggested procedure. You can personalize and edit each page as you see fit. Coming up nextYou can check out the image of one of the checklists to see the specifics in each section. Keep in mind that I created these for my business, and while everyone can use some of the ideas, you will likely have specifications that I don’t, you will use different types of trade contractors, and may even have a different work flow.Regardless, you can use this system, alter it to fit your needs, or create a whole new one that works just right for you. In any case, you should have a system in place to save time and money on your projects.Stay tuned for the next post: I’ll be discussing the brainstorming sessions we held to come up with the individual specs for each trade and go over a few individual checklists in detail. They can see immediately what work is still outstanding, and contact the project manager to arrange to complete it. No more partial checks delivered without explanations and fussy trade contractors arguing with accounting clerks about where their money is.After they go back and (hopefully) finish their work, the checklist is reviewed again, signed off as completed by the trade contractor and project manager, and the invoice is resubmitted for payment.Good trade contractors will learn quickly to make sure that their work is complete before invoicing. Weaker ones will have to come back again and again before they are finished and paid in full, and you will have a complete record of how many times they had to come back. You can use this information to evaluate your trade contractors and in your decisions to award work. Those that finish on time without retainage are probably making you the most money with the least effort and should get more of your work. RELATED ARTICLES Trade Contractor Management — Part 1Trade Contractor Management — Part 2Trade Contractor Management — Part 3Trade Contractor Management — Part 5 Keeping bookkeepers happyThe real beauty of this system shows up in tracking payments. The trade contractor receives a copy of the checklist with their check. If there is any retainage, it is broken out for each line item with the project manager’s signature at the bottom. So what’s In these checklists, anyway?Each checklist has five or six sections, depending on the type of work:An introduction with the project and trade contractor name, and the following statement: “This checklist is intended as an aide for you to ensure a quality job. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list. We strongly suggest that you develop your own quality assurance checklist based on your requirements to complement this form. Review all sections of this list before starting work. When you are finished with your work, make sure that your work is complete, meets all applicable codes, and has no defects. Deliver this form to Contractor with your final invoice for the work. Payments will not be issued without this signed and completed form.”A general information section noting that they must be working from a complete set of plans that are released for construction, direct any questions about the scope of work to the project manager, read all instructions and save all product literature, do not discuss the work with the homeowner, do not make any changes without discussing with the project manager, inspect the existing conditions and alert the project manager if there are defects that will affect the quality of their work, keep work area safe and clean, and clean up and dispose of all debris properly.A pre-construction section that covers trade-specific requirements such as checking for level and plumb, correct installation locations, correct materials and accessories on site, and other appropriate issues to address before the work starts.For trades that have a rough and a finish phase — plumbing, HVAC, and electrical, for example — there is a rough completion section for them to confirm that all work is complete and done properly and they have passed any required inspections.A final completion section that includes confirmation of all dimensions, confirming that work is within allowable tolerances of plumb, level, and square, all finish work meets requirements, work area is clean, waste materials discarded and recycled, everything works properly, and, if required, final inspections have passed.A job-specific section where the project manager can list any items unique to a project that the trade contractor must address. It’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of trade contractor management — the control documents — what I refer to as the field checklists. Since these checklists are a key part of a larger process, it is important to understand just how the process works.The checklists are designed so that the trade contractor uses them as a guide to confirm that they have completed their work properly. They must initial each line item, sign the bottom confirming that they have, in fact, inspected the work, and turn in a copy with their invoice. The project manager (or site supervisor) then takes the checklist and walks the jobsite, making sure that the work is in fact done properly.On each line item, the project manager checks “yes” for work that is complete, “N/A” for those that don’t apply, and, most importantly, “no” for work that is incomplete or incorrect. They write in a retainage amount on each line item for incorrect work, and total up the retainage for the project. If the work is complete, they sign off at the bottom to release the full payment. If the work is incomplete, they sign off and list the total amount of retainage until complete. The checklist is sent to accounting along with the invoice for payment.last_img read more

All 67 MLAs in Himachal cast vote

first_imgAll 67 legislators of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal and Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail exercised their franchise in the presidential polls on Monday. The State has a 68-member Assembly but one seat is vacant following the death of Congress MLA Karan Singh.Independent membersSecretary of State Vidhan Sabha Sunder Lal Verma said that 35 Congress MLAs, 28 Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs and four Independent MLAs voted in the polls. Both the BJP and the Congress have claimed support of two Independent members each.Unicameral HouseIn the Unicameral House of the State, each MLA vote has a value of 51 votes and the State has four seats in the Lok Sabha — all occupied by the BJP. It also has three Rajya Sabha seats, one occupied by the BJP and the other two by the Congress. The Congress has a minor edge in the polls if no cross voting takes place.BJP meets GovernorRight after casting their votes, a delegation of the BJP met Governor Acharya Devvrat. Memo submittedThey submitted a memo urging him to dismiss the Virbhadra Singh-led government due to the “worsening law and order situation” in the State. Independent MLAs Balbir Verma and Manohar Dhiman, who recently joined the BJP, were part of the delegation.last_img read more