USC studies impact of housing prices on businesses

first_imgAn ongoing study from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has found that a lack of affordable housing can be a burden for employees and the businesses looking to hire them in Los Angeles.The study was commissioned by the Los Angeles Business Council and is led by Raphael Bostic, a professor at Price who focuses on urban issues and economic development, and his team of graduate students. The team is surveying 30 businesses spanning the private and public sectors in fields such as health care, education and banking in Los Angeles to determine how a high cost of living affects their ability to hire high-skilled workers.Preliminary findings of the study, which have already been released, were presented last Friday at the Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit to show the issues ahead of the election, Bostic said. Housing affordability initiatives such as Measure JJJ, which would impose minimum affordable housing requirements and labor regulations on new developments, are on the ballot on Nov. 8.“We wanted to give people a heads-up that the survey was taking place, and we wanted to give a flavor of some of the things that we have started to find as we talk to employers across the region,” Bostic said. “We wanted to get it out in the context of this election, because there are a number of things going on in the ballot that are relevant to this context.”Research from organizations such as California Forward shows that L.A. residents face a high cost of living, as 44 percent of households use more than 30 percent of their income on housing. But while this does not strongly impact high-level managers and other higher-paid employees, for whom salaries are adjusted based on housing prices, lower-level, unionized employees are having to leave their jobs and move away to more affordable areas.“We don’t see the same sorts of packages being offered to people at lower levels,” Bostic said.The study found that some businesses are “feeling the pinch” of employee losses. Bostic hypothesized that housing prices could be the reason, but as companies aren’t required to ask employees why they leave, it is difficult to determine the exact reason.On the other hand, some of the respondents in the Price’s survey said that they had no trouble enticing employees to work in expensive areas, according to Bostic. Despite concerns about housing, the L.A. metropolitan area added 93,000 jobs last year, on average with most major metropolitan areas in the United States.“They don’t find it difficult to find employees, and that there is a very competitive market,” Bostic said. “On some levels, it’s a buyer’s market when it comes to finding employees.”With this survey, Bostic hopes to get a better sense of the barriers that exist for employees so that businesses can find ways to lessen the burden of increased housing prices. Bostic said that employees are most burdened by long commutes to work to escape areas where housing affordability is an issue. Firms are aware of this issue, and in Bostic’s survey some businesses said 30 to 50 percent of the people they employ are in the car for more than 45 minutes on their way to work. And as home values are expected to increase by 4 percent per year until 2020, according to a report conducted by Beacon Economics, the issue will remain pressing in the near future.Bostic and his team have interviewed 14 out of the 30 businesses they selected for the survey. He hopes to finish the study by December.Funding for the project comes from JPMorgan Chase & Co., California Community Foundation, Enterprise   Community   Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Habitat   for    Humanity,  according to an LABC press release.last_img read more

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Chelsea tipped to offer in excess of £30m for Morocco star Benatia

first_imgChelsea are set to table a bid of just over £30m for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, La Gazzetta Dello Sport claim.Manchester United have also been linked with the 27-year-old Morocco international, with reports suggesting he is potentially for sale.And the Blues have been tipped to offer €38m for Benatia, which Roma are said to be inclined to accept.Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants Benatia, it is claimedMeanwhile, QPR are close to completing a deal to sign Jonathan de Guzman from Villarreal, Spanish newspaper Marca has reported.The Netherlands midfielder, 26, has been on loan at Swansea for the last two seasons and they are keen to sign him permanently.But Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was alerted to his potential availability when it became apparent Swansea were struggling to agree a deal.Rangers are willing to pay £7m and Marca say Villarreal are ready to complete the transfer. Related West London Sport story (9 August): QPR ready to agree £7m De Guzman dealQPR have indicated they will pay £7m for De GuzmanAC Milan plan to offer QPR £3m for Adel Taarabt, Sky Sport Italia have reported.Taarabt ended last season on loan at the Italian club and is desperate to join them on a permanent basis.And it is claimed that Kia Joorabchian, who has advised QPR on various transfer deals and acts as Taarabt’s representative, is due to meet Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani on Tuesday to discuss a potential deal.Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, who sold Taarabt to the R’s when he was Tottenham boss, has indicated that the player is determined to move on.Taarabt’s future is uncertain following his return to Rangers.Spurs would be entitled to a significant share of any transfer fee under the terms of the deal that took Taarabt to Loftus Road in the summer of 2010. Related West London Sport story (11 August): No cut-price Taarabt deal, QPR boss insists Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Takeaways: Giants suffer double dose of pain with loss of Joe Panik, game

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Giants lost Joe Panik and another game on Tuesday, falling 5-3 to the Washington Nationals.It was the Giants’ eighth loss in 12 games after a 17-3 stretch into late July and it leaves them now seventh in the race for the two National League wild-card spots, 3 1/2 games out of the No. 2 slot and just a game ahead of Cincinnati.Here are the takeaways:No Panik, no panicThe Giants took on the Nationals just hours after popular second baseman Joe Panik was released. Buster …last_img

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Evolution Back on Federal Funding List

first_imgBoy, that was a close call.  Evolution research almost got dropped from federal funding.  Turns out it was an accidental oversight.  Science Daily reported that the oversight “sparked heated protests from academics and evolution supporters” who “expressed fears that the omission might have been part of an attack on Darwinian evolution by religious groups.”    The U.S. Department of Education quickly acted to reinstate evolutionary biology to the list eligible for federal grants for undergraduate research.  Evolutionists welcomed the quick response: “If (the omission) was deliberate, it is certainly the case that when it came to light, wiser heads prevailed,” said Becky Timmons of the American Council on Education.  Laurence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University used the occasion to point out the danger: “There are well-funded efforts in this country that have been inappropriately attempting to attack the teaching of evolutionary biology on what appear to be religious grounds.”Need we point out to Dr. Krauss that the funding for these “attacks” (note the fear-mongering in the militaristic terminology) is from private sources?  And that these “attacks” are only concerned with allowing fair and honest investigation of the truth claims of Darwinism, which, under the DODO monopoly (i.e., Darwin-Only-Darwin-Only), are immune from scrutiny?  This is quite unlike the plunder of taxpayers’ pockets to support something they do not agree with.  And the private funding for “teaching the controversy” is not well.  It is a shoestring compared to the river of dollars flowing down the drain into Darwinian pork barrels (see quote on top right of this page).    This paranoia by the Darwinists begs the question of whether evolutionary theory actually produces anything useful to the taxpayers who have to pay for it (see the important quote in the 08/30/2006 entry, and the 08/04/2006 revelation), or whether its fruits are beneficial to society (see yesterday’s entry).  This is a good occasion to remember David Berlinski’s comment a year ago (see Evolution News):For scientists forever banging their crutches against the trough of public funding, any form of criticism represents an alarming turn of events, the more so when it affects their traditional claims to speak with authority on matters of culture, faith and morals.  They are right to be alarmed.  A great many people have come to regard Darwinism as tedious, illiterate, uninformed and tendentious.  Darwin’s theories seem destined to disappear by negative selection, an interesting but rare example of a Darwinian process reaching a sound conclusion.If Darwinian pseudoscientific research is so essential, according to all those “wiser heads,” let it be self-supporting, the way all science had to operate before World War II.  Surely there are enough reliable supporters in the country to keep the Darwin Party in bright lights.  Look at all the glazed-eyed zombies at the slot machines in Las Vegas, for instance.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Proteins Can Tie Knots

first_imgYour job today is to invent a chain that can tie itself in a knot.  The chain can contain little magnets and electrical parts, but when you let go of the ends, a knot will spontaneously form.  This means that one end must form a loop and the other end must thread the loop.  Give up?  Maybe you should learn how cells do it.    There are certain chains of amino acids coming out of the ribosome translation machine that will tie a perfect trefoil knot (picture) every time.  This knot becomes embedded deep within the overall structure of the protein.  A trio of women scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine tried to figure this out.  Writing in PNAS,1 they only made small progress.  All they could say was that the knot tying seems to occur early on, when the chain is loose.  The tightening of the knot and the rest of the folding occurs slowly thereafter.  They mutated certain amino acids to watch what happened but that’s about all they could figure out at this point.    The protein they studied, YibK, is one of the simplest knot-tying proteins.  They mentioned others with even bigger tricks:The alpha/beta-knot methyltransferases (MTases) are a family of homodimeric proteins that exhibit an unusual trefoil knot deep within in their native structure.  Such knots are particularly impressive because they are defined by the path of the polypeptide backbone alone and therefore require that a considerable segment of protein chain (at least 40 residues) has threaded through a loop.  The question of how such complex topologies arise during protein folding is an intriguing one, and is of growing importance with the increasing number and complexity of knotted structures observed.  In addition to trefoil knots, a highly intricate figure-of-eight knot and a knotted structure with 5 projected crossings have been observed.  Consequently, when contemplating how a given polypeptide chain might fold, the possibility that it might knot must also be considered; if a global solution to the protein-folding problem is to be found, the puzzle of how such knotted structures form must be solved.Evolutionary theory played no role in their investigation.1.  Anna L. Mallam, Elizabeth R. Morris, and Sophie E. Jackson, “Exploring knotting mechanisms in protein folding,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, published online before print November 17, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806697105.A protein that can tie a figure-of-eight knot (picture) blindfolded with no hands: amazing.  The Darwinians can’t even do that eyes-open with their baloney.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Games to pay

first_imgAugust this year was a moment of validation for gamers and eSports athletes. Tirth Mehta from Bhuj, Gujarat, took the bronze medal in the eSports demonstration tournament at the Asian Games 2018. Tirth goes by the gamer name ‘gcttirth’. He began competitive gaming with Dota, moved to StarCraft for lack,August this year was a moment of validation for gamers and eSports athletes. Tirth Mehta from Bhuj, Gujarat, took the bronze medal in the eSports demonstration tournament at the Asian Games 2018. Tirth goes by the gamer name ‘gcttirth’. He began competitive gaming with Dota, moved to StarCraft for lack of a good internet connection and a string team and, eventually, to Hearthstone which is more strategy and less button mashing. He has since been an active eSports gamer, playing through nights in international tournaments while simultaneously working on his skills as a gameplay programmer and pursuing a degree in science and information technology.It may be inconceivable to some that an activity blamed for turning a generation of kids into nearsighted diabetics with muscular thumbs is now an international sport. But India’s bronze medal at the Asian Games is just the latest sign that so-called eSports are here to stay.ESports athletes like Akhil Gupta of AFK Gaming say serious competition began to take off around 2014-15. Tournament gaming on a small non-professional scale has been popular since the days of FIFA, Counter Strike, Street Fighter and StarCraft. But big league gaming with commensurate prize money began in 2016, with the entrance of the eSports League and tournaments hosted by Flipkart and the Indian Gaming League.Serious money is now at stake. The largest Indian tournament, the ESL Premiership, pays a total of Rs 1 crore in prizes. So there’s an argument to be made that fiddling with that controller isn’t a waste of time, says Sahil Viradia alias MiCrO, an eSports athlete from Team Jukes on You. “That was the time when all the couch gamers realised that they could make a career out of this,” says Viradia, who competes in Dota (once known as Defence of the Ancients) tournaments. “ESL India Premiership tops the list with three seasons a year and the biggest prize money.”advertisementIndia now boasts a fairly complex structure of organised teams.Shounak Sengupta (alias Gambit) of AFK Gaming explains that players participate in tournaments at the amateur, semi professional and professional levels. “Amateurs can afford to invest much less than others in terms or preparation, as most will have real-life commitments,” Sengupta says. “Semi-pro teams might have some minimal backing behind them to cover for costs like travelling and staying during tournaments. More often than not, these teams get together and practise at internet cafes. Professional teams will have a dedicated boot camp where they practise before major tournaments.” At these boot camps, professional eSports gamers get spending money and room and board while they practise together as a team for the final tournament. Just as football team has defenders, goalkeepers, midfielders and so on, a Dota team has “carries”, “supports”, “nukers” and other specialists. A Nuker, for instance, can use high damage spells to kill enemies super fast while Junglers can sustain high damage from an onslaught. In CS:GO (Counterstrike Global Offensive), specialists include Fraggers, AWPers, Lurkers and Riflers. The names might not suggest it, but it is serious work. “Often teams train and play for 12 hours a day before big tournaments,” Sengupta says.Games like Dota 2 and CS:GO are very popular in India and offer some of the biggest money. Other familiar names that are popular in tournament gaming are FIFA, Hearthstone and Call of Duty. On the international circuit, League of Legends and StarCraft offer prizes upwards of seven figures, in US dollars.India’s Entity Gaming and Signify sponsor Dota teams compete internationally. And smaller teams playing primarily on national or regional level.So how do these athletes feel about the prospect of eSports earning a spot at the Olympic Games, following its inclusion as a demonstration sport at the Asian Games? If chess can qualify, why not Dota? INDIA’S TOP ESPORTSClash Royale – Two teams attempt to destroy the ‘towers’ of the other, with each playable unit represented as a card. The game remains extremely popular although the tournaments offer very little prize money.Dota 2 – Dota 2 is a free to play game and therefore found many takers. Two teams of five members each, with specified player roles, attempt to destroy a structure called the ‘Ancient’ in the enemy’s camp.Hearthstone – The tournament that got India the Asian Games bronze this year, Hearthstone is also a free to play collectible card game. Unlike Dota and CS:GO, only two opponents fight to destroy the other by playing through a deck of 30 cards.FIFA – Based on the Football World Cup, FIFA is a long-term favourite with professional and couch-bound gamers even though it costs a bomb on the PlayStation. Tournaments offer lower prizes than Dota 2 or CS:Go competitions.advertisementCS:GO – Two teams compete to kill each other (in avatar form). The free to play online version got many hooked. CS:GO soon became one of the most popular tournaments in India and most boot camps have either a CS:GO or a Dota 2 team or both. Timeline/Serious Fun: ESports2012: Counter Strike: Global Offensive is released2013: Dota 2 is released. CSGO and Dota 2 become the most popular tournament games in India2016: Esports League (ESL) comes to India in partnership with Nodwin Gaming2018: India hosts it first televised Esports Tournament U Cypher with MTV. Twitter goes viral with #HumGamerHain2018: India’s Tirth Mehta wins a bronze at Hearthstone at the Asiadlast_img read more

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KooGa Launches New TEK IV Polo

first_imgAs an introductory offer there will be no set up charges for logo embroidery, which is a saving of over $150.00, and includes the following benefits:·         No minimum order quantity·         No logo set up charge·         $21.50 each plus GST – No embroidery·         $27.00 each plus GST – Left chest logo with text underneath the logo·         2 week lead time Please find attached a document with the stock colour options. This offer is available until 31 December 2011. For more information or to take advantage of this deal, please contact Ed Cherry at [email protected] or on 0430 031 926. Related Filestech_iv_polo__final-pdflast_img

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19 days agoDavid Luiz: I wanted out of Chelsea BEFORE Arsenal bid

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say David Luiz: I wanted out of Chelsea BEFORE Arsenal bidby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal defender David Luiz says a rift with manager Frank Lampard led to him leaving Chelsea.The 32-year-old joined the Gunners on deadline day for £8million, with the Brazilian claiming he “didn’t think twice” about signing for the North London giants.Asked by Brazilian journalist Mauro Cezar about why he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge, Luiz explained how the lure of Arsenal proved to be too much.He said: “It was an individual decision made through honest conversation – between me and Frank Lampard, no one else.”We had a different idea of the future of the game and that’s why I chose to take a new path.”It’s always very difficult because of the rivalry, but I made the decision to leave Chelsea even before receiving Arsenal’s bid.”As soon as I decided to leave Chelsea – after a few days – Arsenal’s proposal came, and as it was another great club, I didn’t think twice.”It’s hard for rivalry, yes, but I couldn’t help but live a new story, in a new place, in a big club just because of the rivalry.” last_img read more

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