Revealed: Colleges’ property investments worth £1.5 billion

first_imgLorain Buckle, a 65-year-old Brent resident, whose house is owned by the college, said: “My house is a leasehold so I pay the ground rent to the college every year – it’s about £8. They are not active as a landlord and operate through a company… it’s only really recently that I realised it was them that owned it.“Any money the University has should definitely be going towards getting a wider pool of applicants.”Should colleges be allocating more of their funds to access work?Write for Cherwell and have your say – send a 150-word pitch to our comment editors.The oldest property owned by any college is Buittle Castle in south-west Scotland, which was built in the 12th century and given to the Scottish nobleman John de Balliol, who, with his wife, Lady Dervorguilla, founded Balliol College, in 1263.The castle was later captured by Robert the Bruce in the 14th century, before reverted to the crown, and is now owned by Balliol again.Some of the more unlikely holdings include the Ageas Bowl cricket ground near Southampton, which is owned by Queen’s College, and Millwall Football Club’s training ground, of which St John’s College is the landlord.St John’s, Oxford’s wealthiest college, is one of several colleges to have received agricultural subsidies amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).The figure includes £117,000 paid to Waterside farm in Berkshire, which St John’s owns, in common agricultural policy subsidies paid in 2016.The tenant farmer received the grants, which are supposed to conserve the environment by protecting wildlife and maintaining rural landscapes, despite the local council putting forward plans to extract 200,000 tons of gravel from the farm, which is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty.Local residents reacted furiously to the council’s plans, with one writing a letter to St John’s which aimed to “highlight the damage that [the] College is intent on inflicting on the environment, the ecosystem, the neighbourhood, the town, and not least, the residents.”The College declined to comment.The Guardian’s investigation also revealed that Oxford and Cambridge colleges collectively own 126,000 acres of land, an area four times the size of Manchester, and more land than is owned by the Church of England.An Oxford University spokesperson said: “The central university’s strong balance sheet allows us to fund new initiatives for our students, staff and outstanding teaching and research.”Additional reporting: Xavier Greenwood Oxford colleges’ property investments are worth over £1.5 billion, Cherwell can reveal.An investigation by The Guardian revealed that Oxford colleges’ property holdings include a Scottish castle captured by Robert the Bruce, an international cricket ground, and a betting shop in one of London’s poorest boroughs.The estimated £1.521 billion valuation of colleges’ property investments is more than the total funding for all universities and higher education institutions for the next academic year.The figure excludes the majority of college sites, as most are not valued, and most  historic assets accrued before 1999. Colleges’ holdings encompass some 85,364 acres, an area bigger than the Mediterranean island of Malta (78,090 acres).The college with the largest portfolio in terms of area is Merton, whose property holdings and land stretches over 14,074 acres.The two other biggest landowners are Christ Church (10,664 acres) and All Souls College (9,272.67 acres). The holdings of those three colleges alone are valued at around £460 million. Cherwell can reveal that Merton’s holdings include a Buckinghamshire golf course, several Lincolnshire farms, and two Oxford pubs (Turf Tavern and St. Aldate’s Tavern).Christ Church owns over 1,000 acres of land in both Yorkshire and Northamptonshire, while All Souls’ portfolio includes the Kingston-upon-Thames branch of Jack Wills and a private members tennis club in Middlesex.All Souls, which is Oxford’s second-wealthiest college, despite the fact it does not admit any undergraduates, also owns over 300 properties in Brent, a deprived borough in North-West London.The College owns the freehold of a Ladbrokes branch, as well as the leasehold on Zam’s Chicken and Pizza, among other properties in the borough.Brent has one of the highest poverty rates of any London borough, and several of those living and working in All Souls-owned buildings told The Guardian they hoped any money made from its holdings in the area would go towards access work.An employee at Zam’s Chicken and Pizza said: “[It seems] unusual for a university to have so many buildings, but I suppose it’s good to have assets. They probably should use the money to make the student population more diverse.”last_img read more

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Good neighbor, great office

first_imgWhen the local transit authority began looking at allU.S. Credit Union’s current headquarters as the site for a new station, the CU went shopping for its next location. The $37 million credit union serving 3,700 members found a nice spot in the heart of Salinas, Calif.-and an opportunity to be a great neighbor.By prepaying its 40-year lease on the city-owned lot, allU.S. Credit Union effectively fronted the local library (the CU’s new neighbor) $1.4 million for a much-needed expansion. “We have plenty of equity, so why not use it for a good purpose?” says CEO Patrick Redo, a CUES member.The arrangement afforded the credit union “great PR,” Redo says, as well as a prime location in the heart of the retail district and the opportunity to introduce a new model of “dialogue banking.”The CU’s current office is located next to a Laundromat, which draws 50 to 60 people a day in foot traffic. In contrast, the library serves up to 1,000 people daily, and the new allU.S. CU office will offer its meeting room for community use, which will further increase exposure for the CU, which recently expanded its membership. The credit union also plans to offer financial education for local residents in partnership with its new neighbor, especially for the largely unbanked immigrants who live and work in the area. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Top Fueler wrestlers place at section championship

first_imgTop Fueler wrestlers placed at Nor-Cal Jr. High Section Championship at Foothill High School in Redding recently. Brendon Blanchard took 4th, Dakota Bunn was 1st, Kadin Blanchard was 3rd. Not pictured is Duncan Pryatel, who finished 4th. 175Care about your community? We do, too.Sign up for our Morning Report newsletter Something went wrong. Please try again.SIGN UPCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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2019 Precision University: Ag tech for in-season management

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Trey Colley, John Fulton, Jenna Lee, and Elizabeth HawkinsDigital agriculture technologies, connected devices, and sensor networks have enabled data-based decision making to be implemented at the farm level. The farm of the future will have increasing access to data and real-time analyses, allowing new insights related to in-season crop protection and nutrition management. Farmers of today already have many of these data sources at their fingertips through the use of connected smart phones.Implementation of these digital tools and services during the growing season can potentially reduce the time needed to assess crop health, scout for disease, and evaluate cropping system performance. A recent infusion of in-field sensor systems are beginning to change the game for such in-season decisions through irrigation management, real-time soil nutrient assessment, and site-specific application of cropping inputs. Additionally, advanced scouting tools such as apps with geo-location features, and aerial imagery are being adopted to assist in crop nutrition and crop protection applications.Spray technologies for in-season crop protection have also undergone recent developments even at the nozzle level. Pulse-width modulated (PWM) control for individual nozzles allow for reduction of spray overlap, skips, and drift during application at high speeds. Additionally, machine vision systems have proven see-and-spray technologies can reduce herbicide application by almost 90% in initial testing. These vision-based spray technologies use machine learning algorithms to detect both the type of weed and density of weed pressure to apply only a prescribed amount of herbicide to the identified area.How can you use these data sources paired with sound agronomic knowledge to make informed management decisions? Find out at the 2019 Precision University Event on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2019 at Beck’s Hybrids in London. This year’s focus will be related to all practices and technologies used for crop management after planting. Topics of using imagery for scouting, as-applied spray documentation, and sense-and-spray technologies will be highlighted in speaking sessions of the day. Additionally, breakout sessions of “Decision making with aerial imagery,” and “Latest in nozzle technology” headline the afternoon session. For more information and to register at $50 per person, visit go.osu.edu/PrecisionU by Jan. 2, 2019. CCA/CEU credits are available.last_img read more

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5 Reasons Foursquare Is Losing The Social Local Mobile Revolution

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Foursquare#iPhone brian s hall Related Posts Foursquare has been the darling of the burgeoning “SoLoMo“(social-local-mobile) revolution ever since the company burst onto the scene at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2009. The company’s financial fortunes, however, have not been so sweet. According to BusinessWeek, Foursquare brought in a paltry $2 million in revenue for all of 2012. Perhaps that’s why after raking in $71 million in three major funding rounds, Foursquare’s lastest funding comes in the form of $41 million in debt.Still, that’s a lot of money, and with the new cash stash, the company is shifting its business focus away from check-ins toward selling its trove of user location and behavior data to businesses, ad exchanges and others. This may be the company’s last, best chance to succeed. What went wrong?Here are five primary reasons why Foursquare failed to capitalize on the disruptive market potential of social-local-mobile — despite its early mover advantage.1. Gamification Doesn’t ScaleFrom the beginning, Foursquare incorporated gamification elements deep within the user experience. Users could earn virtual points, garner “badges” and become, say, the “mayor” of the local donut shop. Gamification, according to Wikipedia, is the use of “game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems.” But Foursquare showed that gamification may not terribly relevant to smartphone users — nor much of a revenue generator. In its latest iteration, Foursquare has shifted the user focus away from the app’s traditional gamification elements to make local search and discovery more prominent.2. The Business Model Remains ElusiveWhat is Foursquare? Does the company itself know, even now? Foursquare currently bills itself as:a free app that helps you and your friends make the most of where you are. When you’re out and about, use Foursquare to share and save the places you visit. And, when you’re looking for inspiration for what to do next, we’ll give you personalized recommendations and deals based on where you, your friends, and people with your tastes have been. Whether you’re setting off on a trip around the world, coordinating a night out with friends, or trying to pick out the best dish at your local restaurant, Foursquare is the perfect companion.That’s a lot of different things. Which ones are going to pay the bills? Foursquare, an early mover in social-local-mobile, is still searching for proven business model. And numerous companies now focus on this space. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Path, Groupon, LivingSocial and a slew of others are all aggressively seeking to profit from the ongoing integration of offline and online retail, marketing and advertising, and the merging of social, local and mobile data.Google offers Reviews, Google+ recommendations and advertised links within Maps, along with search. Facebook’s local Check-In feature has no doubt already limited Foursquare’s potential.How is Foursquare going to compete? The company has long allowed select businesses to buy promoted listings and sponsor special offers inside the app. Now, the company is allowing any merchant to purchase an ad. If users check-in to a coffee shop, for example, they may receive an ad from a competing establishment. Foursquare’s unique user behavior and location data make this possible, but users may find these kinds of ads intrusive. And both consumers and marketers now have plenty of alternatives.3. Yelp Is BetterFoursquare’s new direction takes it into direct competition with Yelp — a battle Foursquare will have trouble winning. Yelp simply does a better job at gauging and responding to real-time, location-based user intent.Yelp users, for example, typically start searching for establishments when they are interested in a particular time and place. Yelp makes it easy for them to filter within specific categories and by personal preference. No matter the quality of its data, Foursquare’s “search and discovery” recommendations will always have trouble competing with user-driven intent. The two companies also expose a core divergence over value of data that offers personalized recommendations versus data that aggregates the wisdom of the crowd. Compared to Yelp, Foursquare does a far better job telling you that a friend has recommended a particular neighborhood bar, for example. It may be far more important to you, however, to know that a nearby bar has been recommended by more than 100 people, even if they’re mostly strangers. This is the Yelp model. While recommendation algorithms and anticipatory systems may someday prove more valuable, so far Yelp’s aggregate data model has proven far more popular. 4. Better Design Isn’t EnoughThe new Foursquare app incorporates crisp, visible fonts; real-time mapping; colorful icons; and user pictures. It makes adequate use of touchscreen swiping to move across the app’s core functions. It’s slick, but a bit confusing. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The app’s home page, for example, includes a bookmark tab, chat function, search bar, small map, information on the user’s last check-in, data on “places nearby” — without details — trending topics and a large floating button that pops up a short list of nearby businesses. It’s hard to see how the new design will drive engagement or draw in new users. The app’s design seems to mirror Foursquare’s mash-up of old and new business models — an apt metaphor for the company’s struggles.5. Selling Data Isn’t A Slam DunkIntegrating offline and online, merging social, mobile and local — in real-time — seems to be the sweet spot for the future of commerce. Foursquare lives in this space. It’s user base, billions of check-ins and location data, including across the thousands of apps it’s linked to, may in fact be the single best collection of social and local personal data currently available. The value of all that data, however, remains unproven. Plus, Foursquare can’t just only on the existing database, it has to continually inject new information from new users to remain relevant. Even then, while some ad agency executives recently quoted in AdAge called Foursquare’s “unique and proprietary data incredibly valuable,” others suggested that Foursquare’s data didn’t offer anything they could not already get elsewhere.  Positive Signs?Foursquare is forging ahead regardless. On the plus side, the company’s non-financial metrics are quite impressive:30 million users worldwide3.5 billion check-ins1 million businesses signed-up  API integration with 40,000 apps – including with Facebook, Instagram, Vine and TwitterWith its latest $41 million infusion, the company plans to increase its sales staff from 10 people to 40. The company claims that ad-related click-throughs on its app run 3% to 5%, far higher than the industry standard of 1% or less. These are all positive signs.Will it be enough? Despite its popularity, for the past four years, Foursquare has failed to fully capitalize on the social-local-mobile opportunity. The move from check-ins to data mining is a huge gamble. One that Foursquare has to win, as it won’t likely get another chance.Lead image from Foursquarelast_img read more

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BCCI has its way, ICC fails to ratify universal DRS

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) again had its way on the contentious Decision Review System (DRS) after ICC failed to ratify its universal application following India’s opposition to the technology.The issue was discussed at the ICC’s Executive Board meeting here on Tuesday night, but was not put to a vote despite perceived support from most of the full member nations.The BCCI had stuck to its stand by objecting to the technology after the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee had recommended mandatory use of the DRS in Tests and one-dayers.The issue was brought up but was not discussed at the meeting, which was chaired by outgoing ICC president Sharad Pawar.The development effectively retained the DRS in its current form — to be used in a mutually agreed arrangement in bilateral series.The motion for the universal application of the DRS was put to the Executive Board by the CEC on Monday, also through a “unanimous” non-vote, with the BCCI’s opposing stance being noted and the matter not being put to vote.The CEC had said it was satisfied with the improvements in technology in the fourth year of the DRS, which included new Hot Spot cameras and independent ball-tracking research.As far as other CEC recommendations were concerned, the ECB opposed the idea of cricket being included in the Olympic Games via the Twenty20 format.The ICC Executive Board will also settle issues regarding a constitutional amendment, the fourth in 16 years, to the process of appointing the ICC president, making the presidency an annual ceremonial term and creating a parallel and more powerful post of chairman.advertisementThe meeting was attended by the Board presidents of the 10 Full Member nations and three representatives of Associate and Affiliate nations, besides ICC vice-president Alan Isaac, outgoing Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and ICC’s principal advisor I S Bindra and Pawar.last_img read more

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Germany’s Miroslav Klose equals Ronaldo’s World Cup goals record

first_imgThe Germany striker clinched his 15th career World Cup goal against Ghana on Sunday Veteran German striker Miroslav Klose has the World Cup goals record after scoring as a substitute against Ghana on Saturday.Statistical Highlights | Match Photos The 36-year-old Klose made it 2-2 for Germany in the 71st minute for his 15th career World Cup goal, equaling the mark set by former Brazil striker Ronaldo.Klose scored just two minutes after coming on as a substitute for goal scorer Mario Goetze.He celebrated the record with an acrobatic flip, cheered on by the predominantly pro-German crowd at Arena Castelao in Fortaleza.Team Lineups(from):Germany: Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng (Shkodran Mustafi, 46th), Per Mertesacker, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Howedes; Sami Khedira (Bastian Schweinsteiger, 70th), Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze (Miroslav Klose, 69th)Ghana: Fatau Dauda; Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah; Kwadwo Asamoah, Sulley Muntari, Mohammed Rabiu (Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, 78th), Christian Atsu (Mubarak Wakaso, 72nd), Andre Ayew; Kevin-Prince Boateng (Jordan Ayew, 52nd), Asamoah Gyanlast_img read more

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Micromax Canvas Nitro launched with octa-core processor at INR 12,900

first_imgMicromax, the secondlargest smartphone player in India has added another product to its line up ofCanvas series with the launch of Canvas Nitro (A310). The device is availableon Snapdeal.com, an online retail store at INR 12,900.Gadgets USP is its 1.7 GHzocta-core MediaTek MT6592 processor coupled with 2 GB RAM. The device sports a5 MP front camera, 13 MP rear camera and a 5 inch HD (720X1280) IPS displaywith an oleophobic coating that reduces its vulnerability to scratches and waterdroplets.  The device supports dualSIM, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity and runs on Android 4.4 Kit Kat operatingsystem. The device lacks 4G LTE and sports only 3G connectivity. Canvas Nitrohas 8GB internal storage capacity which can be pushed to up to 32 GB with thehelp of a microSD card. Canvas Nitro comes packed with a 2500 mAh battery thatdelivers a talk time of 10 hours and a standby of 320 hours.Other than this thesmartphone is also equipped with an accelerometer, ambient light and aproximity sensor.  Canvas Nitro is availablein two colours- Mesmerising Blue and Pristine white.last_img read more

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Federal government moves to transform inmate segregation in federal prisons

first_imgOTTAWA – Eleven years after a teenager killed herself after spending more than three years in segregation in prison, Ottawa is moving to ban the practice of isolating prisoners who pose risks to security or themselves.Legislation introduced Tuesday by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will eliminate the practice of separating inmates from others in isolated cells for either administrative or disciplinary reasons.Inmates who do pose risks, will instead be moved to new “structured intervention units” where they can be removed from the general inmate population while maintaining their access to rehabilitative programming, interventions and mental-health care.Goodale said the changes are a direct result of recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into the 2007 death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith. The young woman from Moncton, N.B., choked to death from self-strangulation in a segregation cell as prison guards looked on at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont.Smith spent more than 1,000 days in segregation in various corrections’ facilities before her death.An Ontario coroner’s inquest in 2013 ruled her death a homicide, and made 104 recommendations, including the banning of indefinite solitary confinement.“The approach that we’re taking now is entirely different,” Goodale said Tuesday.“Using the structured intervention units, it will allow us to maintain separation where separation is necessary, but at the same time the programming will continue.”Currently, inmates in segregation are restricted to two hours a day outside their cells and do not have access to meaningful interactions with others nor do they benefit from programming or mental health supports.Under Bill C-83 prisoners transferred to structured intervention units will be offered the opportunity to spend four hours a day outside their cell, during which time they would be guaranteed a minimum of two hours to interact with others.Inmates in these units will also be visited daily by a registered health care professional and be provided with access to patient advocates — a measure that was also recommended as part of the Ashley Smith inquest.The Correctional Service of Canada will also have to make sure that considerations unique to Indigenous offenders are factored into all correctional decision-making.Goodale says this is a “world-leading” approach to dealing with troubled inmates, focused more on intervention and rehabilitation rather than segregation and punishment.“Remember that the vast majority of these inmates will at some point serve their sentence and be released into society,” he said.“So the key question is, are they going to be released in a condition where they have some prospect of leading a law abiding life? Or are you just going to leave them in a condition where they will undoubtedly reoffend again and there will be more victims and there will be less safe communities?”This bill will replace another introduced by the Liberals last year to put a cap on the number of days an inmate can be held in solitary confinement. That bill was never debated and will no longer be pursued, a spokesman from Goodale’s office said Tuesday.Both the B.C. Supreme Court and the Ontario Superior Court have delivered decisions saying Canada’s current policies for administrative solitary confinement are inhumane and, in the Ontario decision, unconstitutional if longer than five days.The federal government has appealed the B.C. Supreme Court’s ruling, which was brought jointly by B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society.Goodale said Tuesday these appeals “will go forward” but Ottawa expects all sides will recognize the new legislation addresses the concerns with current policies, which “will make the further pursuit of the litigation unnecessary.”Grace Pastine, litigation director at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said her organization needs time to digest the details of the proposed changes and how it could affect their court case. She said the bill does show the government recognizes the current system of solitary confinement must end.“It’s an important bill and it shows that Canada is waking up to the fact that solitary confinement costs too much, it does nothing to rehabilitate prisoners and it exacerbates mental illness and, in some causes, even causes it in prisoners who are healthy when they enter solitary,” Pastine said.“Will this bill result in meaningful change? I think we just don’t know yet. We need to examine the bill closely and we need to carefully consider how it might be implemented.”—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

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Woman found in Chula Vista with bluntforce facial injuries

first_imgWoman found in Chula Vista with blunt-force facial injuries CHULA VISTA (KUSI) — A woman was found at a downtown Chula Vista intersection with injuries to her face that appeared to be the result of an attack, police said Saturday.She was found about 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of Broadway and F Street, according to Chula Vista Police Lt. Rusty Rea.The woman was taken to a hospital with serious blunt-force injuries, Rea said.No update on her condition was available.There is currently no description of a suspect. KUSI Newsroom, Posted: May 26, 2018 KUSI Newsroom May 26, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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