Banks to ‘cherry pick’ loans

first_imgNZ Herald 22 August 2013New loan restrictions mean the “poor middle-class” hoping to buy their first home will be left out in the cold as banks cherry pick their ideal customers, mortgage brokers say.However, borrowers wanting low deposit loans are being told not to panic because there are ways of getting around the Reserve Bank’s policy.First home buyers with less than a 20 per cent deposit – considered a high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) – is about 12 per cent of banks’ new loans.Overall, low equity loans comprise 29 per cent of the major banks’ lending. However, under the new limits, to come into effect on October 1, banks would have to restrict these loans to just 10 per cent of their new lending.Commentators have predicted other banks will follow Kiwibank’s lead in prioritising first home buyers because they were valuable long-term customers.But a Herald survey of the five major banks found only two – Kiwibank and ASB – would commit to who they would prioritise. Kiwibank said it would put first home buyers at the top of the queue and ASB said their first priority would likely be their existing customers.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11112310last_img read more

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Central Maine Bassers put fishing skills on display at Branch Lake

first_imgAnglers weigh their catches following the conclusion of the tournament. The 10 teams brought back 40 fish that totaled 107 pounds, 15 ounces. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLELLSWORTH — Before any of the other fishing boats on Branch Lake could pull up to the western shoreline on Saturday, Randy Burton and Jim Drinkwater were there shaking their heads.It had been a long day on the water for the two fishermen, but they hadn’t had much luck. As the club’s other members were still out catching their limits out on the lake, the duo had called it a day after just one small bass between the two of them.“Wait ‘till they see what we hauled in,” Drinkwater joked to his partner. “I don’t think anyone can beat it.”With nine other teams present at the Central Maine Bassers’ third bass fishing contest of the year, Burton and Drinkwater were extremely unlikely to win with one small fish. Still, that wasn’t going to stop them from enjoying themselves in the process.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“We got a whopper!” Drinkwater said to some of the other anglers as the other boats started to file in. “I don’t think the scale can hold this thing.”Burton and Drinkwater, of course, are fine anglers who take the craft seriously. Yet fishing is a fickle sport that can frustrate even the best of the best on a given day, and where one team of two can fail, others are sure to succeed. The dozens of impressive fish the Central Maine Bassers brought back are proof it does the latter far more often than not.“We’re just a group of guys who love our fishing,” said Jim Lacadie, a club member who also served as its president prior to this year. “There’s nothing like the outdoors and being on the water when it’s beautiful out like this, and it’s even better when you can bring a bunch of nice fish back.”The Central Maine Bassers are a Bangor-based club that holds around 10 contests every year at various locations in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Kennebec counties. Many club members are from the Bangor and Downeast areas of Maine, but others come from as far away as Greenville and Gray.Members of the Central Maine Bassers compete in teams of two people per boat. A team can keep a limit of five fish but is penalized if any of the fish are dead at weigh-in time. The team whose fish combine for the largest total weight is declared the winner and receives a cash prize, as does the individual who catches the largest individual fish on the day.The only bass that can be found on Branch Lake is the smallmouth bass, but largemouth bass are also popular throughout the other lakes on which the club fishes. The two are the most popular freshwater game fish in the United States, and although they don’t grow as large in Maine as they do in other parts of the country, they’re still plentiful throughout and the state.“Ellsworth is a really nice place to catch bass because there are so many good bodies of water,” Lacadie said. “You can catch some really big fish over at Graham [Lake], and here at Branch is also a nice spot. I was a bit surprised when I found out this was our only contest at Branch this year, but you’ve got to protect the fisheries.”Some of the club’s fishermen hook into other species on occasion — chain pickerel are numerous on Branch Lake — but bass are the only ones to be measured and kept. The species, sizes and number of dead fish are then reported to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.“Statistically, we lose very few fish,” Lacadie said. “I’d say it’s less than 1 percent [of the ones weighed and measured], and it’s even less than that when you consider the fish people catch and don’t bring back with them.”All in all, the 10 teams brought back 40 fish that totaled 107 pounds, 15 ounces. The biggest catch of the day this time was a fish of 4 pounds, 15 ounces caught by Jason Paradis. Paradis and teammate Ryan Rivera also finished as the top overall team with a total of 19.99 pounds, less than one-fifth of an ounce short of the 20-pound mark.Despite their victory, the two weren’t about to leave without the others making a joke or two at their expense.“It figures you weren’t good enough to hit 20 [pounds],” one of the other fishermen sarcastically told Paradis. “Maybe you should’ve put some rocks on the scale.”Paradis laughed back. Even those who have beaten the most experienced fishermen can’t escape the ribbing.“You can be the best there is, but you’re still going to get that,” Lacadie said. “That’s part of what adds to the fun of it.”Before long, the boats left and the shore cleared out. No day on the water lasts forever, but as long as Branch Lake is home to some of the finest game fish around, the Central Maine Bassers will never be too far away. MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Latest Postscenter_img Bio Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020last_img read more

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Defense pitches shutout while freshmen shine against UMass

first_imgBy the time the Wisconsin defense trotted out onto the Camp Randall field for the first time in 2013, it was already blessed with a seven-point lead. Although 38 more were given throughout the remaining 57 minutes, those first seven were all that was needed as it shutout UMass 45-0 Saturday afternoon.And it wasn’t long after those first seven Wisconsin points that the defense made a statement. After a Badgers penalty granted UMass a free first down, Minutemen running back Stacey Bedell cut forward, slowed at the line of scrimmage. With Bedell spinning for an extra yard, Brendan Kelly popped the ball loose for Wisconsin’s first turnover of the season.Although it was followed on the next play by a Joel Stave interception, it was that flocking defense that stood out to head coach Gary Andersen during his Wisconsin debut.“Defensively, they swarmed the ball. I thought they did a nice job,” Andersen said. “I’m very impressed with them overall. There’s a lot to work on, especially with some zone coverages and a little bit of communications, but they were solid; they were physical.”The shutout came in not only the debut of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but also his 3-4 defensive scheme, also new to the Wisconsin program. Known as a more aggressive style defense with blitzes coming from different players and positions, forcing a turnover early in the first game was significant for a team that was slim on forcing turnovers a year ago.“It’s been a big stress during fall camp, so we’ve chartered it,” senior linebacker Chris Borland said. “We wanted to get three today, came up a little short, but it’s a good sign that we got them early.”Although turnovers tend to shine brightest for a defense’s success, the more telling stats of Wisconsin’s dominance were the yardage totals, especially since they didn’t record a single sack or tackle for loss.Massachusetts garnered just 212 yards of total offense Saturday, 100 rushing and 112 passing, but the Badgers largely escaped surrendering the big play. The longest run of the day for the Minutemen tallied just 11 yards, less than the per rush average of both James White and Melvin Gordon.UMass gained most of their yardage on quick plays to the flat or outside the tackles, limiting the effectiveness of Wisconsin’s pressure, though the Badgers applied enough to force quarterback Mike Wegzyn to miss-throw his receivers, many times five yards or more from the target. In their first game displaying the 3-4 defense, the 45-0 effort seemed perfect to Borland.“It was a lot of fun,” Borland said. “I think we could kind of sense the confusion on the other team’s side … It was good for us that we were able to be aggressive but still not show a lot.”It was Wisconsin’s first shutout since 2011 when they topped Oregon State 35-0, but it likely wouldn’t have been the case if not for an ill-timed timeout by UMass had coach Charley Monar as kicker Blake Lucas converted his 47-yard try. Redoing the try after the timeout, Lucas pulled his kick left, conserving the shutout midway through the second quarter.Pair of freshmen stand outA bright spot of the shutout was the play of the inexperienced Wisconsin secondary, likely the biggest question facing the defense in 2013. The youthful concerns surrounded true freshman Sojourn Shelton, starting at cornerback opposite sophomore Darius Hilary.The big stage of Camp Randall in his first college game could have consumed Shelton, but he played solid from start to finish, recording a secondary-best four tackles.“Sojourn, I thought, handled it as a starter good,” Andersen said. “Those kids on the outside for UMass, I thought ran pretty good. They challenged him with a lot of different coverages and some things he was doing. He was not starry-eyed. He was ready to go from the first snap.”Shelton also recorded a quarterback hurry late in the first half, but made his presence known halfway through the third quarter when he picked off Wegzyn to halt a Minutemen scoring opportunity.An ill-advised throw from the start, Wegzyn tried to thread a pass near the sideline where three Badgers and just one Minuteman were within reach. Glued to the backside of the receiver, Shelton vaulted himself in front of both the target and his patiently salivating teammate, grabbing his first career interception.“It’s big time, for the first game ever to get a pick,” senior safety Dezmen Southward said. “It was kind of triple coverage there, but you know what, he went up and he made the play.”And Shelton wasn’t the only freshman to make a big play Saturday. On the other side of the ball, running back Corey Clement took what he could get from his third string position, which ended up being more then most were expecting.Clement got his first touches late in the third quarter but his big play came minutes later in the fourth after the team and stadium had jumped around. The 5-foot-11 frosh broke his handoff out wide beating the pursuing defenders 23 yards to the corner and the eventually the endzone.But he wasn’t done there. Clement continued to take most of the finishing snaps – amassing a team-high 16 for the game, racking up 102 yards – exciting the remaining Camp Randall crowd by turning an inside handoff into a scamper, leaping a grounded teammate in the process and twisting his way just yards short of a second touchdown.Clement became the first Badger to rush for 100 yards in his debut since P.J. Hill tallied 130 in 2006. In the end he was pretty happy with his start, topping the century mark with a score. He won’t soon forget his first trip to the Camp Randall endzone. Smiling wide enough to connect the headphones draped around his neck, Clement likened it to another favorite moment.“It felt like Christmas when I was five years old, when I got every present I asked for.”last_img read more

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BREAKING NEWS: SPURS ARE FAVOURITES TO LAND SHAY

first_imgTottenham are the new favourites to land goalkeeper Shay Given, it has emerged tonight.UK bookmakers Skybet were quoting the Lifford man at 12/1 less than three weeks ago but after seeing plenty of interest at that price the firk subsequently cut the odds to 6/1. Today, however, the company halved that price yet again and now only go 3/1 about Given moving to White Hart Lane.A move abroad could also be on the cards, with Italian side, Roma, next in the betting at 4/1. Celtic are 9/2 while Fulham(5=1) and Aston Villa(6-1)are next in the list. BREAKING NEWS: SPURS ARE FAVOURITES TO LAND SHAY was last modified: January 13th, 2011 by gregShare 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)last_img read more

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Stromatolites Can Form By Non-Biological Processes

first_imgExclusive  Stromatolites have been Exhibit A for stories of the rise of life on the early earth.  These column-shaped rocks found in Precambrian strata are usually assumed to be evidence of microbial mats that grew upward as sediment slowly accumulated on top of them.  Scene 1 is usually Shark’s Bay in Australia, where stromatolites form in shallow coastal lagoons.  Scene 2 might be a place like Transvaal Supergroup in South Africa, where fossil stromatolites are assumed to preserve a record of the earliest life on earth.    Scientists at Caltech decided to investigate the origin of stromatolites.  Dr. John Grotzinger1 gave a presentation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on March 21 in which he shared some surprising findings.  When the Opportunity rover on Mars found a structure resembling a stromatolite, he was not ready to jump to the conclusion it was evidence for life.  He and his colleagues decided to take a neutral stance on whether they are biogenic, and find mechanisms that might produce these structures under inorganic conditions.  (A number of Mars rover scientists were present in the audience.)    The problem with the biogenic theory, he said, is that there is no way to demonstrate it.  Plus, in the classic field cases that compare Shark’s Bay with Transvaal, the cross-sections of these structures are completely different.  Grotzinger and his team used both theory and experiment to show how stromatolites can arise by chemical and geological processes alone.  Crystals growing upward from regularly-spaced starting points, for instance, will eventually interfere and form convex tops.  As sediments become entrained between the fronds of the crystal, new lenses of crystal and sediment will continue to grow upward, resulting in side-by-side columns.  Occasionally, higher fluxes of sediment will flatten the upper surface, and the process can begin again.  This is apparently what happened at the Transvaal site.    Employing an original mathematical model, Grotzinger showed how stromatolites can originate on a flat surface.  If crystals begin growing upward, any points slightly higher will attract more sediment, while the sides will interfere with nearby crystals.  The growing points will amplify the column height.  There are probably many circumstances where this can happen – life or no life.  In his opinion, the type sections for stromatolites are not microbial mats, but travertine springs or playa lakes.    By contrast, he showed areas where current microbial mats possessing what would seem ideal conditions for stromatolite growth are not producing stromatolites.  He said a researcher is in a “fool’s paradise” to just observe the morphology of these structures to understand them.  “Don’t start with biology,” he said; “start with the rock.”  Understand its diagenetic history, then reconstruct the primary texture, then evaluate the sediment accretion process, and consider the biological contribution last.    In the rock record, therefore, do radical changes in morphology of the rock necessarily indicate radical changes in biology?  No; he preferred to call these unusual structures “environmental dipsticks” rather than “evolutionary mileposts.”1See an earlier publication of this work at:Grotzinger, J.P., and Knoll, A.H., 1999, Stromatolites in Precambrian carbonates: Evolutionary mileposts or environmental dipsticks?: Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science, v. 27, p. 313-358.One of the lessons from this talk was how assumptions can subtly influence the scientist’s approach.  Dr. Grotzinger showed conflicting definitions of stromatolites, one that began, “organogenic structures….” – in other words, there was a biological bias built into the very definition of the word.  Interestingly, the NASA Astrobiology Student Focus website says that stromatolites were formerly defined as “laminated organo-sedimentary structures formed by the trapping and binding, and/or precipitation of minerals by microorganisms,” but then does not provide a more neutral definition, and goes on to portray stromatolites as evidences for life.  Biased definitions like these could send a graduate student off in a prejudiced direction to assume they were made biologically, and just as easily influence a TV producer working on a script about the early earth.    Dr. Grotzinger and his team are to be commended for shaking off this bias and trying to look at the data objectively.  Unfortunately, in other parts of his talk, he accepted other aspects of the geo-biological evolution story without question: the geological column, Milankovich cycles, dating methods, etc.  At least this talk indicated progress away from one evolutionary assumption.  Now, how do we clean up the textbooks, museums and documentaries?(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Elgar gets SA cricket contract as Smith retires

first_img7 March Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday named Dean Elgar as the replacement for Proteas captain Graeme Smith on its national list of contracted players for 2014/15. Smith announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this week.‘Obvious replacement’ “Dean is the obvious replacement and must be excited by the opportunity to emulate the greatness achieved by his recently retired national captain,” CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. “He has all the attributes and qualifies as the next player eligible to be awarded a contract in terms of the new methodology we developed together with the South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca). “As mentioned before, the Board has also agreed to award multi-year contracts to our top players to secure and recognise their value.”Two-year contracts The seven players awarded two-year contracts are Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn. The other 10 nationally contracted players awarded one-year contracts are Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Imran Tahir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Jacques Kallis has been awarded a special contract for one year only. In addition, CSA has announced the 12 Franchise players to receive CSA High Performance Centre (HPC) top-up contracts, also for a one-year period.‘Investment in our future’ “This is investment in our future,” commented CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson. “We are keen to centrally influence the management and close monitoring of these exciting young players so that we can provide the best chance of developing their careers to the full potential. “I am excited by the mix of this group of talented players and it is now up to our programmes to develop these players to one day represent the Proteas as we move into a new era following the retirement of several great players from the Castle Lager test squad. “The HPC players will be managed, developed and monitored quarterly to see that they are fulfilling their potential.”CSA HPC contracted players The CSA HPC contracted players are Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, Simon Harmer, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Eddie Leie, Mangaliso Mosehle, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan van Zyl and Khaya Zondo. CSA Chief Executive Lorgat also confirmed enhancements to the existing BSkyB broadcasting deal that would extend broadcast content into the markets of UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.‘New opportunites’ “It is really exciting to work with our commercial partners to seek new opportunities and even augment existing deals. “Their confidence in South African cricket and our future tours programme is truly rewarding,” he said. SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africalast_img read more

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INPEX First LPG Shipment Departs Ichthys LNG

first_imgINPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project has commenced shipment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the onshore gas liquefaction plant in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.Undertaken by the LPG carrier Hellas Gladiator, the first shipment of LPG departed Darwin on November 16, 2018, and is destined to an Asian buyer, according to INPEX.As informed, the project is scheduled to produce approximately 1.65 million tons of LPG per year along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day, at peak.On October 1, the first shipment of condensate from the Ichthys LNG Project departed from the offshore floating production, storage and offloading facility (FPSO) Ichthys Venturer.The project also commenced shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on October 23, 2018.The Ichthys LNG Project hosted an event in Darwin on November 16, 2018, marking the commencement of project operations. The celebration officially opened the LNG processing facilities of Ichthys LNG.The project is scheduled to gradually increase its LNG production volume and produce approximately 8.9 million tons of LNG per year. As approximately 70% of the LNG produced by the project is scheduled to be supplied to Japanese customers, INPEX said it will further contribute to the stable supply of energy to Japan through the project and continue to respond to the energy demand in Asia and the rest of the world.The Ichthys LNG Project is a large-scale LNG project expected to be operational over a period of 40 years. In 1998, INPEX acquired an exploration permit in the block where the Ichthys Gas-condensate Field is located, and following development studies including exploration, evaluation and FEED work, the company announced its final investment decision (FID) in January 2012.Following the construction of the required facilities, the project commenced production of gas from the wellhead in July 2018 and thereafter commenced shipment of products in sequence.last_img read more

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