Army paratrooper lands at Law School

first_imgHarvard Law Today profiles students in the incoming class who held leadership positions in the armed forces and later decided to pursue law. The four chosen were Steven Kerns, J.D. ’20, U.S. Army; Jenna Reed, LL.M. ’18, U.S. Marine Corps; Nathan Jester, J.D. ’20, U.S. Marine Corps; and Isabel Marin, J.D. ’20, U.S. Marine Corps. Kerns is profiled here; to read the remaining profiles, visit Harvard Law Today’s website.Steven Kerns was a high school dropout, a self-described “rebel without a cause” from Long Beach, Calif., when he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager looking for adventure, with vague notions of changing the world. As soon as he deployed to Afghanistan and entered the war zone in May 2007, his romanticism was knocked out of him.A soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team — Kerns chose to become a paratrooper to overcome his fear of heights — he was assigned to the notoriously dangerous Kunar and Nuristan provinces. On Nov. 9, 2007, two squads out on foot patrol were caught in a vicious ambush and came under assault from rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. Kerns’ base was also brutally attacked, forcing him and his fellow soldiers to fight for their lives.When the attack on the base was finally repelled, Kerns and his comrades there were ordered to stay put; the risks of trying to help the squads under ambush were too high. “I knew my friends were being killed,” Kerns said. As he later wrote in his personal essay to Harvard Law School (HLS), “Their voices haunted our radios.”Although Sgt. Kyle J. White received the Medal of Honor for saving lives during the ambush, five men from Chosen Company and a Marine adviser were killed. Chosen Company had spent more than a year together in Vicenza, Italy, so each death was a piercing loss, Kerns said. But the death of 23-year-old Cpl. Sean K.A. Langevin, whose wife was due to give birth to their daughter Zoe a few days later, had a huge impact on Kerns. It was the impetus for his journey into “post-traumatic growth,” he says.“Although I’ve never met Zoe, this little girl has inspired me to do everything I can in my power to be a better person,” said Kerns, “so that one day when I do meet her, I can tell her, ‘I knew your dad, and he is a better man than me.’”Over the following months, the base endured constant attacks. When Kerns finally left and landed at Bagram Air Base in relative safety, he felt a wave of unimaginable relief. But it was fleeting. Minutes later, he learned that nine men from 2nd Platoon in Chosen Company had been killed in the Battle of Wanat, often described as the deadliest battle in the war. “We lost nine guys just four days before we left for home,” including Kerns’ best friend from basic training, Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling. “I entered the deepest numb of my life. I was out of touch with my emotions for a long time,” Kerns said.Kerns, a sergeant, fulfilled the rest of his military commitment at Fort Irwin National Training Center in California. Three days after leaving the Army, armed with newfound resolve, he started classes at Long Beach Community College, where he soared academically and began to put his quiet promise to Zoe into action. “Leading people toward a better world required me to trade in my rifle for books and replace the unfocused ambition of my youth for the dedication of my life,” he wrote in his HLS essay.Kerns decided to spearhead an effort to build a memorial bench honoring Sgt. Israel Garcia, who had been killed at Wanat and who, like Kerns, had attended Long Beach Poly High School. Despite initial resistance from the school, Kerns organized a diverse group that included artists, musicians, government officials, and veterans to raise money to build the bench. “This experience allowed me to begin leaving the war behind me as I knew that I could lead people to positive change in our society,” he wrote.After community college, Kerns enrolled at California State University in Long Beach, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in environmental science and policy, and receiving the Outstanding Graduate Award in his major. As an intern for a California congressman, Kerns assisted local veterans with their VA claims, and he also worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. As part of a National Science Foundation program, he designed and executed a six-week experiment in the Costa Rica rainforest, where the devastation of deforestation fueled his interest in environmental preservation. After college, he spent a year as an AmeriCorps CivicSpark Water Action Fellow in Chino Hills, Calif., where he helped design plans for storm water runoff and strategic drought resistance.With an eye on a career in environmental law and policy, he was accepted to several very good law schools. But he was reluctant to apply to HLS — with an LSAT score of 163, he was sure he’d be rejected. His girlfriend insisted that he apply, and not long after an interview with the HLS admissions office, the former high school dropout got a phone call he had never expected. When he learned he’d been admitted the class of 2020, Kerns said, “I got this wave of relief. I knew I was one step closer to making good on that promise to Zoe.”Having served among soldiers he considers heroes, including those who lost their lives, Kerns downplays his own military contribution.“But I’m so happy to have been in that arena with those people. Just being part of that whole thing fundamentally changed my life. I think it’s true for so many of the Chosen soldiers I was with, that the platitudes you get told in basic [training, for a moment came true, and we lived what warrior culture espoused,” he said. “It imprints you, and I’m deeply grateful for that. We paid a heavy price, one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You could offer me $1 billion to wipe my mind and I wouldn’t.”Kerns said he’s come full cycle from youthful romanticism to its loss amid the horror of war to finding a new sense of purpose. “I replaced my teenaged idealism with the dedication of adult life,” he said.Today, Kerns wants to focus on environmental law and its intersection with national security. “What’s the point of my friends sacrificing if we’re destroying the planet?” he said. “I have that desire to protect our country and make my friends’ sacrifice worth it.” Once he is a second-year, he also plans to do pro bono legal work for military veterans through the HLS Veterans Law and Disability Clinic.Kerns said he’s met a few HLS students who have told him they’d never known a soldier, which confirms his belief that putting a human face on the military is something America needs right now.“If you don’t have humanization of the military, then you get a bunch of policy decisions I don’t support,” he said. “If the blood of an American soldier is cheap in this country, then the blood of an Afghan is cheaper, and cheaper still is the blood of a person killed by a drone strike in-country that doesn’t make the news.“When blood is cheap, then perpetual war is easy, and if that’s the case, then who or what are we serving for?”last_img read more

You say John, I say Paul. But what does stylometry say?

first_imgMark Glickman is Fixing a Hole in Beatles lore.A senior lecturer in statistics, Glickman worked with Ryan Song, a former statistics student at Harvard, and Jason Brown, a professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, to tackle an enduring Beatles mystery — who wrote “In My Life”?As most Beatles fans know, John Lennon and Paul McCartney disagreed over who authored the classic from the 1965 album “Rubber Soul,” but mathematics seems to have finally settled the dispute.The answer might make McCartney’s fans Cry Baby Cry. That’s Because the evidence strongly suggests that the song was written by Lennon.“We found that the musical content was much, much more consistent with John’s style,” Glickman said. “According to our model, it was quite likely to have been written by him. What that means is … if you compare ‘In My Life’ to Lennon songs from that period and McCartney songs from that period, it is just much more consistent with Lennon.”But for McCartney fans saying Wait, all hope is not lost.When the researchers separated the song’s verses from the bridge — what Lennon used to call the “middle eight” — they found Something interesting.“There was some question about whether McCartney wrote the bridge,” he said. “And it turns out that it’s close to a 50 percent chance that the middle eight was written by him, and the rest is likely to have been written by John.”To determine which Beatle wrote the song, the researchers spent A Hard Day’s Night developing an algorithm to apply “stylometry” — the use of statistical tools to determine authorship — to the band’s catalog.“In the context of textual analysis, the way this works is we have a bunch of documents that were written by one author, and a bunch written by another author,” Glickman explained. “The basic strategy in the analysis is to examine the frequency of certain kinds of words in those documents. In the songwriting context … the way we’re doing it is we’re treating songs as two parallel streams of ‘text’ to analyze the melody line and the chords or harmonic structure.”Interestingly, Glickman said, when the team began looking for the musical characteristics that could Carry That Weight for their analysis, what stood out were pairs of notes and pairs of chords.“We found pairs of melodic notes and chord pairs to be particularly distinguishing,” he said. “For example, one chord pair that tends to be much more common in a Lennon song than a McCartney song is going from the tonic to the minor sixth, which is a fairly standard rock motif — it’s going from the major tonic chord to its relative minor.”The tools developed for the study could easily be applied Here, There and Everywhere, he added.“I think the novelty of this kind of work, to some extent, is the realization that you can apply these kinds of existing tools … to music,” he said. “That really hasn’t been done before. And while the Beatles are the sandbox where we were using these techniques, these methods can be used more generally.“For example, if you were able to come up with a musical fingerprint of a songwriter or composer, you might be able to use these sorts of tools to make inferences about influence, almost like a phylogenetic tree, but for music.”last_img read more

Opening eyes on higher education

first_img Seeing firsthand the variety of roles in an organization can give young people a whole new perspective When Lenora Fuaga got called to the office at Highline High School in Burien, Wash., she was worried she was in trouble (she wasn’t). And when she found out the real reason, she thought it was a joke (it wasn’t).In fact, Fuaga had been accepted into the Harvard Club of Seattle Crimson Achievement Program (CAP), a new initiative that provides mentorship and other resources to support a path to college for high-achieving, low-income high school students from western Washington (known as CAP scholars), starting in ninth grade.“When I applied, I thought I wouldn’t get in,” said Fuaga, who is one of eight Highline ninth-graders in the initial cohort of CAP scholars. “So when they told me I got accepted, I was like, ‘Can you say that again?’ My dad was really proud because he’s always pushed me to have a better education than he did.”As part of the program, the CAP scholars recently flew to Boston for a five-day spring break field trip to visit Harvard and MIT. Accompanied by two Highline staff chaperones, the students toured both campuses, learned about admissions and financial aid, sat in on classes, and met with first-generation Harvard and MIT students, as well as with their Harvard undergraduate mentors (known as CAP mentors). They also squeezed in excursions to the Freedom Trail, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Fenway Park, where they watched the Red Sox pull out a walk-off victory.Reflecting on the group’s whirlwind visit, CAP scholar Saul Machuca summed it up in one word: adventurous.Mauricio Majano, college and career access specialist at Highline Public Schools and one of the trip chaperones, was struck by the students’ energy when they were on campus, especially during the lectures they attended. “They were eager to go to the next lecture, even though it was optional,” he said.Fuaga echoed this enthusiasm: “It was fun to see what an actual class would be like if you were to go to Harvard — how the professor works, how the students ask questions, how they take notes.”Harvard Club of Seattle President Alexis Wheeler, J.D. ’09, said being able to experience classes and other elements of campus life firsthand gives the CAP scholars a “tactile connection” that they wouldn’t get just thinking about college in the abstract.“I’m hoping they get a sense of the benefits and values of going to college, as well as a clearer understanding of how to get there,” she said. “That’s something I wish I had thought more about when I was young.”Wheeler’s family fell on hard times when she was in high school in Bellevue, Wash., about 15 miles northeast of Highline. Inspired by her father, who was the youngest of seven and the first in his family to go to college, Wheeler saw academic achievement as a route to a life unconstrained by family circumstance. Her efforts earned her a full scholarship to the University of Washington, and, later, graduate degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Westminster in London, but she acknowledges that she had it easier than some because she went to a well-resourced high school.,“If you’re at an elite private school or a magnet public school where going to a four-year college is the norm, then you can basically follow the current,” Wheeler said. “But if that’s not the norm, you’re often left looking on your own or vying for overstretched advising resources and support.”Despite the tireless efforts of under-resourced school districts, this often translates to lower college attendance rates. Across the Highline district, for example, of the roughly 80 percent of students who graduate, about a third go on to a four-year college within a year.Even among students who do attend college, studies have found that they are less likely than higher-income peers to apply to selective colleges, even though those institutions are often more affordable due to their generous financial aid programs. Many factors contribute to this trend, and Wheeler believes lack of awareness and lack of individualized support are prominent among them.“In collaboration with district staff, we’re trying to make sure that students are as savvy about the process as possible, as early as possible,” she said.Mentorship is an integral part of that mission. Throughout their week in Boston, the CAP scholars spent time with current Harvard College students who volunteered to serve as mentors. Outside of the trip, the Highline students receive ongoing guidance from both undergraduate and recent graduate mentors from Washington.,One of those mentors, CAP chair Michael Bervell ’19, said it’s vital for the CAP scholars to connect with people from similar backgrounds who went on to success in college and beyond, which shows them that it can be done.“I see the purpose as twofold: One, to give the students the social capital to know who to talk to about all the questions they have about college; and two, to give them the social awareness of what it means to go to college and what that could look like for them,” he said.For Bervell, whose parents both went to college in Ghana, that go-to person was his sister, Rachel, who graduated Harvard College in 2013. Now that he’s on the cusp of graduating himself, he’s proud to be able to serve as a role model to students from his home state, whether they end up at Harvard or another college.“The power of being brave, being bold, and being willing to take risks if you want something to happen — that’s what I want my mentee and all the other CAP scholars to learn,” said Bervell, who will return to the Seattle area after graduation to start a job at Microsoft.CAP scholar Christian Ramos Ochoa has taken a similar lesson from his experience in the program thus far. When he was considering applying, he assumed he wouldn’t be accepted, but he decided to try anyway, and it paid off. Months later, sitting in Annenberg Hall at the tail end of the group’s visit to Harvard, his advice to his fellow students back at Highline was simple: “Take advantage of your chances.”The 2019 CAP scholars are David Duong, Lenora Fuaga, Saul Machuca, Kathleen Nguyen, Christian Ramos Ochoa, Lesli Pablo, Juliana Sanchez, and Anni Tadesse.The 2019 CAP mentors are Michael Bervell ’19 (chair), Simone Abegunrin ’18, T.J. Hazen ’20, Margaret Ho ’15, Floriane Kameni ’18, Ethan Medlin ’21, Jennifer Niemi ’22, Sandra Ojeaburu ’20, Emily Prentice ’20, Joseph Winters ’20, and Tessa Wood ’21. Relatedcenter_img Demystifying the workplacelast_img read more

SMC workshop to explore strengths

first_imgSaint Mary’s students and parents will get to learn about each other’s strengths at the third annual StrengthsQuest workshop tomorrow as part of Sophomore Parent’s Weekend. The workshop, hosted by Saint Mary’s Cross Currents program, is based on positive psychology techniques developed by the Gallup Organization. Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office (CCO), said the workshop is an enjoyable way for parents and their daughters to discover more about one another. “We have different activities that they go through such as assessing their own strengths and then sharing their results with their family,” Jeffirs said. “We then have a scavenger hunt where participants look for others with the same strengths as theirs and then learn how others use those similar strengths.” Jeffirs said 34 possible strengths exist and range from “achiever” to “strategic.” The strengths are combinations of a participant’s talent, knowledge and skills. “You go through a series of questions and pick words or phrases that best describe you,” Jeffirs said. “At the end, you are then given your top five strengths with descriptions and activities to help validate and better understand your results.” Participants also learn how to apply their strengths after the event ends, Jeffirs said. “StrengthsQuest is great for sophomore students to help them in looking for internships, career planning and networking,” Jeffirs said. Though this weekend’s workshop is only offered to sophomores and their parents, Jeffirs encouraged other students to contact the CCO to take the StrengthsQuest assessment. “Ideally, we would love to get first years and sophomores to take the assessment because learning about yourself early on in your college career is really beneficial,” Jeffirs said. “However, I even see seniors who take the assessment more as a validation of the direction they are heading in or when they are beginning to have doubts.” The StrengthsQuest workshop will be held in conference rooms D, E and F in the lower level of the Student Center tomorrow from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sophomores interested in the StrengthsQuest workshop who did not register can e-mail Sandy Zielinski at [email protected] by 4 p.m. today.last_img read more

Governor Douglas Announces First Brownfields Grant

first_imgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:December 29, 2005Contact: David MaceVermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development(802) 828-5229GOVERNOR DOUGLAS AWARDS OVER $301,000 TO CITY OF MONTPELIER FOR BROWNFIELDS CLEANUP AND HOUSING PILOT PROJECTMONTPELIER Governor Jim Douglas announced over $301,000 in Community Development Program grants to the City of Montpelier, including the first grant designed to help clean up and develop contaminated property.Over half of this amount, $194,336, is the first award of Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) funds for the Governors Vermont Brownfields Initiative.”I am very excited that these projects will help clean up a contaminated site for redevelopment within the downtown and create much needed affordable housing,” Governor Douglas said.The Vermont Brownfields Initiative was launched in April 2005 to expedite the clean-up and redevelopment of brownfields sites throughout the state.It is a collaboration of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Agency of Natural Resources to bring together expertise in economic and community development as well as technical environmental review to bring forth well planned, properly financed projects that meet the needs of the community.The brownfields project in Montpelier will be using VCDP funds along with $187,933 in leveraged funds to assist in the clean up of hazardous materials found in the soils of property on Stonecutters Way in downtown Montpelier. Redevelopment and reuse of the cleaned-up property within two years is a requirement of the grant.The other award to the City of Montpelier, $106,700, will be used to initiate a pilot program called the One More Home Campaign, which will provide technical assistance and incentive grants to single family homeowners who are interested in adding accessory apartments within their homes or within a detached structure on their lot.The ultimate goal of the pilot program is to increase the stock of affordable housing throughout the city, consistent with the Governor’s Homes For Vermonters draft proposal.Governor Douglas stressed the dedication of community leaders and volunteers who work cooperatively with the State of Vermont to support and improve the quality of life for Vermonters.The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development awards the competitive grants, based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary Kevin Dorn.2005 Cycle III Implementation Grants$301,036 City of Montpelier: Grant to fund the One More Home Campaign, a public service program to provide technical assistance to single family homeowners to add accessory apartments to their homes. Grant to remediate brownfield sites at the former Salt Shed and adjacent Turntable Park on Stone Cutters Way. The remediation will enable redevelopment and re-use of both sites.For additional information about the Governors Vermont Brownfields Initiative, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: is external). For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: is external)last_img read more

Revision wins exclusive, cross-service protective eyewear contract for German military

first_imgRevision Military Ltd,Revision, the global leader in military protective eyewear solutions, announces its most recent contract award: to supply the Germany military with their ballistic eyewear needs through 2013. The project will see Revision deliver over 256,000 sets of the Sawfly Military Eyewear System for use by Army, Air Force and Navy troops. Revision was selected as the sole-supplier for this contract following a rigorous bid process and extensive in-service user trials including in-theatre use in Afghanistan.‘To have been selected as the standard issue brand following  one of most rigorous bidding processes we’ve seen to date, is a testament to the people, processes and technologies that we employ to advance the science and performance of this vital piece of soldier equipment. We are proud to be the German military’s protective eyewear supplier of choice,’ said Alex Hooper, Vice President, International Sales.In pursuit of this business Revision developed a Germany-specific version of their flagship product, the Sawfly Military Eyewear System. For it, a new lens shape was designed and two specialty lens tints were developed: one for specific-wavelength laser eye protection and the second for high altitude mountain operations. The 256,000 standard issue kits, available in three sizes ‘ small, medium and large, will include clear, solar and vermillion lenses. Additional quantities of laser protective lenses and Prescription (Rx) Carriers are also included in the contract award.In addition to being the only eye protection supplier to Germany, Revision is the sole approved provider of ballistic eyewear to Canadian, British, Dutch, Belgian and Danish forces. The Revision Sawfly continues to be the most widely issued military spectacle amongst NATO nations, dominating the ballistic protective eyewear landscape worldwide.ABOUT REVISIONRevision develops and delivers purpose-built protective soldier equipment for military use worldwide. The company, which began with eyewear, has expanded to face and head protection and continues to develop their capabilities for integrated, performance-enhancing soldier systems. To that end, Revision brings the most advanced expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and finest technical minds. Clients include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defence, the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organization, the Swiss Federal Department of Defence and the UK Ministry of Defence. Privately owned and ISO 9001:2008 certified, Revision’s operational headquarters is located in Essex Junction, Vermont, USA, with international offices in the Netherlands and Canada.Montreal, QC, Canada (August 17, 2011) ‘ Left: The Sawfly Military Eyewear System exceeds military ballistic impact requirements for spectacles: MIL-PRF-31013 clause and EN 166. It features flawless optics and 100% protection from harmful UV rays. Shown here: the German kit configuration. Right: A German SF soldier wearing the Revision Sawfly avoided serious eye injury when the ricochet from a G36 was deflected by his eyewear.last_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia to mend contract scheme to boost green energy projects

first_imgForgot Password ? Topics : Facebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Renewable energy players are warmly welcoming two proposed changes in a regulation heralded as game changers for the green energy sector.Such players cheered when a government official announced the proposed changes in a discussion in Jakarta on Wednesday, which include the introduction of a feed-in-tariff (FIT) pricing policy and the decompulsorization of the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract scheme.The former guarantees fixed electricity rates for small renewable power plants and thus it ensures certainty of financial returns. The second proposal eliminates a scheme deemed harmful for the bankability of a renewable project.“There will be a FIT scheme. It assures steady prices,” said the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s electrification director general, Rida Mulyana, at the discussion, “Second: BOOT schemes will no longer be compulsory.&… Indonesia energy renewable-energy contract-scheme Energy-Mineral-Resources-Ministry investor bankability Google Linkedin Log in with your social accountlast_img read more

Aerial images show amazing transformation of Queensland’s fastest growing regions

first_imgBEFORE: Aerial image of Upper Coomera taken in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap. BEFORE: Aerial image of Ormeau Hills taken in May 2010. Picture: Nearmap. AFTER: Aerial image of Mango Hill in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap.North Lakes also saw the highest number of house sales in the Brisbane region during the year to April 2017, with 445 houses changing hands, according to property data firm Corelogic.The median house price in the suburb is $475,000 and home values have grown more than 10 per cent in the past five years.Mr Matusik said he wasn’t surprised North Lakes was the fastest growing region in Queensland.“It’s simply that it’s a very large parcel of land,” he said. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE “The developer has a masterplanned estate which they make sure is run like a business. Every year they make sure there is enough supply to cater for the market.”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoMr Matusik said the suburb was appealing to many people because of the infrastructure it now had, such as a Westfield shopping centre, a train station, and the likes of Costco and Ikea.“It’s got those things that come with growth and further that growth.”The Gold Coast is also experiencing speedy growth, with Ormeau-Oxenford the eighth fastest growing region nationally with growth of 28.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016, according to the latest Census.This area includes the suburbs of Pimpama, Ormeau Hills and Upper Coomera, which is a hotspot for urban development. Aerial image of North Lakes taken in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap.AERIAL images of Queensland’s fastest growing suburbs show the amazing pace of urban sprawl on the fringes of Brisbane and the Gold Coast in just five years.The shots, from aerial imagery company Nearmap, show how green space and waste land has been engulfed by building in areas such as North Lakes and Ormeau-Oxenford.North Lakes is the fourth fastest growing region in the country, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, expanding by nearly 40 per cent in five years.This area is about 28km from the Brisbane CBD and includes the suburbs of Mango Hill and Griffin.It’s made up mostly of newly developed housing and a big source of jobs is the North Lakes Business Park, which is being built in the area.The suburb’s population grew by 38.8 per cent from 51,568 to 71,560 people.The booming suburb on Brisbane’s northern fringe gained another 2216 residents in the 2016 financial year — bringing its population to 30,772, according to research by Michael Matusik, director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. AFTER: Aerial image of Pimpama taken in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap.The population of Ormeau-Oxenford has grown 28.5 per cent from 94,056 to 120,883.Mr Matusik said Pimpama’s population was growing at a rate he didn’t believe was sustainable.“It’s a reflection of where land supply is on the Gold Coast at the moment and I think that will calm down,” he said.“But if the Gold Coast is going to continue expanding, those areas will become more like North Lakes in due course.” $5.5b surge in apartment pipeline Buyer pays millions in cash in ‘crazy’ deal Furnished flat less than $40,000 BEFORE: Aerial image of Pimpama taken in November 2011. Picture: Nearmap. BEFORE: Aerial image of Mango Hill taken in May 2011. Picture: Nearmap. AFTER: Aerial image of Ormeau Hills taken in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap.It comes as research released recently by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre reveals increases in housing stock in Brisbane has been insufficient to match the city’s population growth.The report also found all capital cities are failing to provide enough affordable options to manage the country’s housing crisis.But it did find monthly unit approvals surged ahead in Brisbane between 2006 and 2014, which supports current apartment oversupply concerns. AFTER: Aerial image of Upper Coomera taken in June 2017. Picture: Nearmap.last_img read more

Why southern investors are getting mixed messages

first_imgLandscape Architect Simon Mahar at the playground he designed at the new residential estate Enclave at Earlville. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEANCAIRNS’ unique real estate market has been singled out as a perfect location for southern investors to get great returns for their money in a considerably risk-free environment.The comments came from Urbex general manager of realty Craig Covacich, whose company is building the Enclave housing development at Earlville.“As you know, Cairns vacancy rates are dropping, rental yields are rising and the supply is limited. These are the indicators for a savvy investor to act,” he said.“The credit squeeze and APRA-amended credit regulations has also starved the market of new housing, further fuelling the lack of rental accommodation. A brand new residential estate at Earlville is showing strong interest from both local and international markets. Pictured is Urbex Realty General Manager Craig Covacich, Enclave Project Director Tim Bycroft, and Urbex General Manager Peter Sherrie.“Cairns has a young market who want to rent as their wages restrict home ownership. It’s also a transient workforce so that is further fuelling the demand to rent. On one hand, the subdued housing market and historical low interest rates provides good buying opportunities and the undersupplied rental market pushing up rental rates offers investment opportunities.“An interesting, real-time example of the demand in Cairns is Airbnb. The talk on the street in Cairns is that Airbnb is a prevalent trend that has responded to the need to offer rental accommodation. It’s a good time for investors to look north.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoMr Covacich also said Cairns was unique in its stability. “You don’t quite often see this – the established owners are not in the mood to upgrade or sell but the younger market is if rents are the same as mortgages,” he said.“The thing that worries me is that in Melbourne and Sydney, all we hear about is the subdued market, but the populations in the regions are growing and thriving yet they’re being portrayed as going through an armageddon. “As soon as you go north of Sydney – well is there anything north of Sydney? I fly around the country and the planes are full, the economy is going well. This isn’t a regional city that’s collapsed, it has a demand and a need and it’s about education.”last_img read more

Chevron posts sharp rise in profit ahead of Wheatstone start-up

first_imgChevron has reported a net income of $1,45 billion for the second quarter of the year, a substantial leap from a loss of $1,47 billion a year ago.The result was boosted by an $853 million contribution from the upstream segment, which in 2Q 2016 recorded a loss of $2,46 billion.“Second quarter results improved substantially from a year ago and year-to-date net cash flow is positive,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson. “We’re delivering higher production with lower capital and operating expenditures.”“Oil and gas production was up 10 percent in the second quarter from a year ago,” Watson added. “Our Gorgon LNG Project in Australia closed the quarter running above nameplate capacity and we had record production from our shale and tight resource in the Permian Basin. First production from the Wheatstone LNG Project is expected next month.”The Wheatstone LNG project, labeled as one of Australia’s largest resource projects, will develop the Wheatstone, Iago, Julimar and Brunello offshore gas fields in Australia. The Wheatstone and nearby Iago natural gas resources are located about 200km (124 miles) north of Onslow off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast. The Julimar and Brunello fields will tie back to the central processing platform.Chevron’s partner in the project Woodside earlier this month said final commissioning of onshore LNG Train 1 was “well advanced and nearing completion,” and the start-up was “imminent,” but the company did not say it was going to be in August, as confirmed today by the Chevron CEO.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more