Can iBuying go the distance?

first_imgWhen George Schneider decided to sell his home this spring, Opendoor made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.Schneider had paid $76,750 for his three-bedroom stucco house in the Phoenix suburbs a decade earlier. Opendoor, the iBuying startup backed by SoftBank and Lennar, was willing to pay him $225,000, all-cash. The deal closed in August. After a paint job and minor repairs, Opendoor turned around and sold the property for $265,000, making $40,000 before expenses. But $40,000 doesn’t go too far when you’ve got to pay broker fees, taxes, interest and holding costs. iBuying, the catchy handle for algorithmically driven instant-homebuying, is one of the biggest wagers seen in the residential real estate industry over the past five years. Established giants like Zillow have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into developing their platforms, while startups like Opendoor and Offerpad have relied on venture capital firepower to compete. Last year, iBuyers purchased $8.1 billion worth of homes — so far just 0.5 percent of the U.S. housing market but twice the volume of the year prior. Since 2015, the number of players in the space has gone from two to two dozen. The goal is a lofty one: to institutionalize the U.S. single-family home business, one of the world’s largest and most fragmented marketplaces.Read related story: This many wants to make your home a commoditySellers get speed and the certainty of an immediate offer, benefits for which many give up the premium they could have got from the standard selling process. But for iBuyers, the financial burden is tremendous, and the path to profitability deeply uncertain. Last year, Zillow lost more than $300 million on iBuying. Opendoor, which is set to go public in a $4.8 billion merger with a blank-check company, has lost nearly $1 billion since it launched in 2013. In 2019, Glenn Kelman, CEO of online brokerage Redfin, which had dipped its toes into iBuying, called the business a “race to the bottom.” And increased competition could make profitability even more unlikely. “When those guys [iBuyers] start competing and making offers,” said Gilles Duranton, a real estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, “the seller is going to sell to the iBuyer with the best offer, to whoever is making the biggest mistake on price.” From eBay to Amazon Homes are traditionally valued using “comps,” or an analysis of how much similar homes in the same area traded for. Comps, iBuyers argue, fail to take into account the unique characteristics of each property. iBuying uses algorithms to generate what they claim are far more accurate assessments of value by analyzing hundreds of different data points — everything from whether a home has granite or Formica countertops to the size of a home’s outdoor space.The iBuyer will then make an offer for the home based on this value and collect fees of between 6 and 10 percent. The aim is to make minimal necessary repairs and quickly sell the home at a profit. “Agents who dismiss the iBuyers as ‘flippers,’ I think they’re doing that at their own peril,” said Lane Hornung, founder of zavvie, a Denver-based startup that aggregates different iBuyer offers for sellers. Brendan Wallace, a managing partner of real-estate focused Fifth Wall Ventures and an investor in Opendoor, described the current U.S. residential landscape as the “largest peer-to-peer market on earth.” “It’s a gigantic eBay for homes, the most expensive asset most consumers ever purchased,” Wallace said in May. “And as a result, the information, the transparency, the speed of transactions are all suboptimal.” A company like Opendoor, Wallace said, “can capture data, provide transparency around the sale. So you just have a higher level of quality, a higher level of experience.” iBuyers can also standardize other aspects of the homebuying process that are currently cumbersome and opaque, such as title insurance. But others feel iBuying can be detrimental to consumers. “What ends up happening is, sellers sell for less than they could have gotten, and buyers pay above market rate,” said Shaival Shah, co-founder and CEO of Ribbon, a startup that helps buyers make all-cash offers. Some said the model is viable when home prices are rising, but given its razor-thin margins, will be tested if the market turns. “Suppose they buy at a 3.6 percent discount and sell at a 1 percent premium,” said Tomasz Piskorski, a professor of real estate at Columbia Business School. “If housing prices drop by 5 percent, it erodes their ability to make money.” Nima Wedlake, an investor at Thomvest Ventures, which has backed startups such as SoFi, Ladder and Lending Club, said he considered investing in several iBuyers but was deterred by their  constant need for capital. “We didn’t fully grok the model,” he said.Mayday in MarchBy late March, with Covid at its height in the U.S., all of the major iBuyers suspended activities, citing massive uncertainty around pricing and fearing a housing bust. But that meant suspending a key (and, for Opendoor, only) source of revenue. “The effect is akin to an airline losing both engines while in flight,” industry analyst Mike DelPrete wrote at the time. The pain was acute, and the repercussions swift. Within weeks, Zillow slashed expenses by 25 percent, Redfin furloughed 41 percent of agents, and Opendoor laid off 600 employees, or 35 percent of its workforce. (Click to enlarge)In retrospect, the freeze worked to iBuyers’ advantage, allowing them to avoid racking up too much inventory while nonessential businesses, including brokerages, were closed and home showings impossible. Between February and July, Opendoor reduced its inventory to $172 million worth of homes, down from over $1 billion, according to its financial statements. Then the housing market rebounded with surprising ferocity. By May, Redfin said demand was up 17 percent compared to pre-Covid levels. July home sales surged 24.7 percent month-over-month, the largest gain since 1968, according to the National Association of Realtors. Last month, Opendoor announced that it was going public through a merger with a blank-check company run by noted investor Chamath Palihapitiya. “This is my next big 10x idea,” Palihapitiya, who took Virgin Galactic public in April and has invested in firms like Slack and Yammer, tweeted at the time. Opendoor declined to comment for this story, citing a quiet period before going public. Trojan horseiBuyers have taken pains to emphasize that they are not here to replace residential agents. “Last year, we paid tens of millions of dollars in agent commissions,” Opendoor notes on its website. Zillow, too, has stressed that agents remain central to the homebuying process.But last month, Zillow said it would start employing salaried agents, who would represent Zillow in its home purchases. In those transactions, Zillow Homes will be the broker of record, the company said. Atlanta, Phoenix and Tucson are first on deck with plans to expand to other cities later next year.The move incensed agents, who spent nearly $1 billion last year advertising on Zillow. “I’ve heard agents today saying, ‘Well, why am I buying leads from my competitor?’” said Hoby Hanna, president of Howard Hanna Real estate, a family-owned  firm with $22.5 billion in sales last year according to research firm  Real Trends. Zillow tried to set the record straight. “Let me address one thing right off the bat,” Errol Samuelson, the company’s chief industry development officer, said in a video message at the time of the announcement. “We are not recruiting agents from other brokerages.”But Wall Street liked what it saw. On the day of the announcement, Zillow’s stock price hit a record $100 per share. (It was at $105 per share as of press time.) And several analysts raised the company’s price target, suggesting they think the company’s value will go up. “The move should help Zillow improve unit economics,” Deutsche Bank’s Lloyd Walmsley wrote in a Sept. 23 note. He did not think the pivot would hurt Zillow’s lucrative Premier Agent business. “In order to operate such a business at scale, it will be essential to drive as many costs out of the process as possible,” said Yousuf Hafuda, an analyst at Morningstar. The full-court press on iBuying plays to what Rich Barton, who took back the CEO reins from Spencer Rascoff at Zillow last year, sees as essential to his company’s long-term prospects.iBuying was “an existential threat because if it works and we don’t do it, we get displaced as the marketplace, theoretically,” he told the tech news website the Information last October.   Zillow’s cash cow had historically been agent advertising, but Barton said home purchases had  “a mindbogglingly larger TAM [total addressable market]—$1.8 trillion of secondary market transactions happen a year in the U.S. of homes.”That figure, however, may not be wholly relevant. In order to buy homes sight-unseen, iBuyers have strict criteria for homes they will purchase. In general, they look for cookie-cutter homes in good condition priced between $200,000 around $600,000. According to Columbia Business School’s Piskorski, the TAM for iBuyers is something like $300 billion — meaning the major players are fighting over a much smaller pot than advertised.Piskorski also pointed to holding costs as a significant risk. “Owning an empty home is costly,” he said. Zillow declined to comment for this story. As the two dominant players, Zillow and Opendoor are racing to add ancillary services to boost revenue, including mortgage, title and escrow services. In a Sept. 15 investor presentation, Opendoor itemized the contribution margin, on a per-home basis, for a menu of services, including title ($1,750), home loans ($5,000) and listing your old home with an Opendoor agent ($3,750). Eventually, it plans to launch services related to home warranties, remodeling, insurance and moving, which could bring in another $7,500 per home. DelPrete was skeptical the additions would be a silver bullet. “That’s a whopping 60 percent revenue increase from what they’re currently getting,” he said on a recent webinar. “If it was easy, it would be done already.” And the financial strains are immense. In 2019, Opendoor lost $339 million, up 41 percent year-over-year from $240 million, it revealed during its presentation. Revenues last year hit $4.7 billion — this year, projected revenue is $2.5 billion, a drop of over $2 billion. DelPrete noted that Opendoor had recently lowered its iBuying fee to 6 percent of the home price. “If Zillow wants to compete, they’re going to have to lower their fees,” he said. “It’s almost like a game of chicken, profitability chicken. … Opendoor is going for it.”last_img read more

TP Mazembe on course for Champions League final

first_imgHolders TP Mazembe kept alive their hopes of retaining the Champions League trophy after defeating Algeria’s JS Kabylie 3-1 in the first leg of the semi final on Sunday.Six-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt will take a narrow 2-1 lead into the second leg of their clash with Esperance of Tunisia in Tunis.The home side took a two-goal lead with goals from Mohamed Fadl and Ahmed Fathi at the Cairo Stadium.But Esperance captain Oussama Darragi took advantage of a mistake from Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami to reduce the arrears.Meanwhile, Two goals from striker Alain Kaluyituka Dioko helped the DR Congo side to seal the victory in Lubumbashi.Dioko put the home side in the lead after ten minutes when he diverted a pass from Patou Kabangu to beat the Algerian keeper. Mazembe dominated the game before the break but JS Kabylie improved their play after the break and deservedly drew level in the 70th minute through striker Nabil Yalaoui.The coach of the home side Lamine Ndiaye reacted to the quick passing strategy adopted by Kabylie and made some changes.The decision paid off as substitute Kasongo Ngandu restored the home side’s lead in the 83rd minute before Dioko’s header late in the game sealed the victory.Mazembe are playing in the competition without their influential playmaker Mputu Mabi because of a one-year suspension slapped on him by Fifa.On the evidence of their performance this after, Mazembe fans must confident that even without Mputu they can get the desired result in the return leg in two weeks’ time to reach the final. The second leg of the semi-final will take place in two weeks’ time.Source: BBClast_img read more

Success for Kinvara, St Gabriels and Corofin in Football Feile Finals

first_imgAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Results Were: U14 Football Feile Shield B Kinvara3-71-1Killererin An Spidéal2-34-9St. Gabriels Corofin3-31-5Salthill-Knocknacarra U14 Football Feile Shield Acenter_img There was success for Kinvara, St Gabriels and Corofin in the Football Feile Finals held in Tuam Stadium on Sunday last. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email U14 Football Feile 2017 Kevin Dwyer Reportslast_img

Galway GAA Fixtures

first_imgUnder 13 C Championship, Venue: The Prairie, (Semi Final 2), Salthill-Knocknacarra V Tommy Larkins 20:00, Ref: David Earls Wed 18 Jul Senior Hurling League Group 1, Venue: Kilnadeema Pitch, (Round 3), Kilnadeema-Leitrim V Killimordaly 19:30, Ref: Peter MurphySenior Hurling League Group 1, Venue: Craughwell, (Round 3), Craughwell V Ahascragh/Fohenagh 19:30, Ref: John KeaneSenior Hurling League Group 1, Venue: Castlegar Pitch, (Round 3), Castlegar V Turloughmore 19:30, Ref: Shane HynesSenior Hurling League Group 2, Venue: Mullagh Hurling Club Grounds, (Round 3), Mullagh V St Mary’s GAA Athenry 19:30, Ref: Liam GordonSenior Hurling League Group 2, Venue: Bullaun, (Round 3), Sarsfields V Pádraig Pearses 19:30, Ref: Michael ConwayU14 Football Division 3, Venue: Williamstown GAA Club, (Round 2), Northern Gaels V Cortoon Shamrocks 19:45, Ref: Tom RyderJohn Dunne Cup, Venue: Páirc Na bhForbacha, (Semi-Final), Barna V An Cheathrú Rua 19:45, Ref: Brenadan KinneavyU12 Football Group 9, Venue: TBC, (League Final), Mountbellew/Moylough V Menlough 19:00, Ref: TBCJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Kilbeacanty, (Round 5), Kilbeacanty V Sylane 19:30, Ref: John McDonaghArd Ri Hotel Division 8A League (North), Venue: Tuam Stadium, (Final), Loughrea Gaelic Football V Mountbellew/Moylough 20:00, Ref: Anthony CoyneCar Parts Warehouse Division 8 (West), Venue: An Spideal, (Final), Killannin V Micheál Breathnach 20:00, Ref: Tom NallyThu 19 Jul Under 13 B1 Championship, Venue: Mullagh, (Semi Final 2), Mullagh/Kiltormer V Portumna 18:30, Ref: Seamus GoldrickJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 3, Venue: Kilbeacanty, (Round 5), Tommy Larkins V Bearna-Na Forbacha 19:30, Ref: Kevin EganJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 3, Venue: Duggan Park , (Round 5), Turloughmore V Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 19:30, Ref: Christopher BrowneJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 3, Venue: Killimor, (Round 5), Meelick-Eyrecourt V St Thomas 19:30, Ref: Liam GordonFri 20 Jul U14 Football Division 1 North, Venue: Caherlistrane, (Round 2), Caherlistrane V Monivea-Abbey 19:00, Ref: Thomas MurphyU14 Football Division 1 North, Venue: Ballinasloe, (Round 2), Ballinasloe V Tuam Stars 19:00, Ref: Martin FlahertyU14 Football Division 1 North, Venue: Mountbellew, (Round 2), Mountbellew/Moylough V Corofin 19:00, Ref: P.J. RabbitteU14 Football Division 1 West, Venue: Cregg, (Round 2), Annaghdown V St. James 19:00, Ref: Martin CollinsU14 Football Division 1 West, Venue: Claregalway Lakeview, (Round 2), Claregalway V Oranmore-Maree 19:00, Ref: Richard McNicholasU14 Football Division 2 North, Venue: St Brendan’s Loughrea, (Round 7), Loughrea V Kinvara 19:00, Ref: Paul QuinnU14 Football Division 2 West, Venue: Páirc an Chathánaigh, (Round 5), An Cheathrú Rua V An Spidéal 19:00, Ref: Brenadan KinneavyDivision 1 League, Venue: The Prairie, (Round 7), Salthill-Knocknacarra V Corofin 20:00, Ref: Anthony CoyneIntermediate Hurling League, Venue: Kilbeacanty, (Round 7), Kilbeacanty V Rahoon-Newcastle 19:30, Ref: Noel QuinnJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Duggan Park, (Round 5), Gort V Ballygar 19:30, Ref: Seamus MoranJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Gort, (Round 5), Kilnadeema-Leitrim V Liam Mellows 19:30, Ref: John McDonaghJunior A Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Carnmore, (Round 5), Clarinbridge V Micheál Breathnach 19:30, Ref: Paul FahyU13 Football Division 1B, Venue: Páirc Maigh Cuilinn, (Round 6), Moycullen V Clifden 19:00, Ref: Mark GannonU13 Football Division 1B, Venue: St Michael’s, (Round 6), St Michael’s V Salthill-Knocknacarra 19:00, Ref: Ger CahillU13 Football Division 1B, Venue: Páirc na bhForbacha, (Round 6), Barna V Killannin 19:00, Ref: Noel CumminsU13 Football Division 4, Venue: Corofin GAA Pitch, (Round 6), Corofin V Salthill-Knocknacarra 19:00, Ref: Pat HansberryJunior Championship North – Group A, Venue: Mountbellew, (Round 1), Mountbellew/Moylough V Ballinasloe 20:00, Ref: Martin FlahertyJunior Championship North – Group B, Venue: Caherlistrane, (Round 1), Caherlistrane V Tuam Stars 20:00, Ref: Richard Mc NicholasJunior A Championship North – Group A, Venue: Barnaderg, (Round 1), Killererin V Caltra 20:00, Ref: Martin CollinsJunior A Championship North – Group B, Venue: Dunmore, (Round 1), Dunmore MacHales V Pádraig Pearses 20:00, Ref: Tony KeatingJunior A Championship North – Group B, Venue: Glinsk G.A.A.Pitch, (Round 1), Glinsk V St Mary’s GAA Athenry 20:00, Ref: Sean LyonsJunior B Hurling Championship – Group 4, Venue: Ballinderreen, (Round 5), Ballinderreen V Carnmore 19:30, Ref: Kevin EganJunior B Championship North – Group A, Venue: Headford, (Round 1), Headford V Menlough 20:00, Ref: Thomas MurphyCar Parts Warehouse Division 7 (West), Venue: Indreabhán, (Final), Oranmore-Maree V An Cheathrú Rua 20:00, Ref: Christopher RyanSat 21 Jul Under 13 A1 Championship, Venue: Castlegar Pitch, (Semi Final 1), Castlegar V Kinvara 11:00, Ref: John KeaneUnder 13 A1 Championship, Venue: Kilnadeema Pitch, (Semi Final 2), Kilnadeema-Leitrim V Meelick-Eyrecourt 11:00, Ref: Christopher BrowneUnder 13 A1 Shield, Venue: Gort GAA Grounds, (Semi Final 1), Gort V Killimordaly 11:00, Ref: Martin McGrathUnder 13 A1 Shield, Venue: Ahascragh, (Semi Final 2), Ahascragh/Fohenagh V Michael Cusacks 11:00, Ref: Vincent BurkeUnder 13 B Shield, Venue: Barna, (Semi Final 1), Cois Fharraige V Sylane 11:00, Ref: Pat McGrathUnder 13 B Shield, Venue: Skehana, (Semi Final 2), Skehana-Mountbellew/Moylough V Cappataggle 11:00, Ref: Vincent EarlsUnder 13 B1 Championship, Venue: Tynagh, (Semi Final 1), Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry V Kilconieron 11:00, Ref: Micheal KellyUnder 13 B1 Shield, Venue: Castledaly, (Semi Final 1), St Thomas V Liam Mellows 11:00, Ref: Cathal McMahonUnder 13 B1 Shield, Venue: Cregg, (Semi Final 2), Annaghdown V Ballygar 11:00, Ref: Mike TarpeyUnder 13 C Championship, Venue: Killimor, (Semi Final 1), Killimor V Rahoon-Newcastle 11:00, Ref: Darragh KellyDivision 1 League, Venue: Mervue, (Round 7), St. James V Killannin 19:00, Ref: Shane HehirDivision 2 League, Venue: Menlough, (Round 7), Menlough V Moycullen 19:00, Ref: Noel DempseyDivision 2 League, Venue: Westside, (Round 7), St Michael’s V Caherlistrane 19:00, Ref: Ronan McNultyDivision 3 League, Venue: Monivea, (Round 7), Monivea-Abbey V Killererin 19:00, Ref: Austin O’ConnellDivision 4 League, Venue: Athenry, (Round 7), St Mary’s GAA Athenry V Clifden 19:00, Ref: Richard McNicholasJunior B Hurling Championship – Group 4, Venue: Castlegar Pitch, (Round 5), Castlegar V Kinvara 18:00, Ref: Conor QuinlanJunior B Championship North – Group A, Venue: Tuam Stars, (Round 1), Tuam Stars V Kilconly 19:30, Ref: Tom RyderJunior B Championship North – Group B, Venue: Brownesgrove, (Round 2), Cortoon Shamrocks V Williamstown 19:00, Ref: P.J. RabbitteJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Sylane, (Round 6), Sylane V Menlo Emmetts 18:00, Ref: David StauntonJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Oranmore-Maree, (Round 6), Oranmore-Maree V Craughwell 18:00, Ref: Paschal SheehanJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Ballinasloe, (Round 6), Ballinasloe V Kilbeacanty 18:00, Ref: Peter CampbellJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Turloughmore, (Round 6), Turloughmore V Ballygar 18:00, Ref: Karol CollinsJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Ballinderreen, (Round 6), Ballinderreen V Tommy Larkins 18:00, Ref: Ger O’ConnorJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Clarinbridge, (Round 6), Clarinbridge V Sarsfields 18:00, Ref: Kevin EganJunior C Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Ballyloughane, (Round 6), Liam Mellows V Meelick-Eyrecourt 18:00, Ref: Adrian MooneyJunior C Championship North – Group A, Venue: Loughrea, (Round 1), Loughrea V Annaghdown 19:00, Ref: Lloyd KellyJunior C Championship North – Group A, Venue: Ballygar, (Round 1), St Brendan’s V Mountbellew/Moylough 19:00, Ref: Gerry MooreJunior C1 Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Ahascragh Sportsfield, (Round 6), Ahascragh/Fohenagh V Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 18:00, Ref: Gerry HurleyJunior C1 Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: Kilnadeema Pitch, (Round 6), Kilnadeema-Leitrim V Skehana-Mountbellew/Moylough 18:00, Ref: Peter MurphyJunior C1 Hurling Championship – Group 1, Venue: An Spideal, (Round 6), An Spidéal V Moycullen 18:00, Ref: Murt CualinJunior C1 Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Cregg, (Round 5), Annaghdown V Rahoon-Newcastle 18:00, Ref: Stephen DoyleCar Parts Warehouse Division 6 (West), Venue: An Spideal, (Final), Barna V Micheál Breathnach 19:00, Ref: Ger CahillMon 23 Jul U12 Group 4 Cup, Venue: Kilconieron, (Playoff), Kilconieron V Ballinasloe 18:45, Ref: TBCU12 Group 5 Cup, Venue: Skehana, (Playoff 1), Skehana V Four Roads 18:45, Ref: TBCU16 B1 Hurling Championship, Venue: Duggan Park, (Final Replay), Ahascragh/Fohenagh V Killimor 18:45, Ref: Eoin ShaughnessyUnder 13 B Championship, Venue: Ballinderreen, (Semi Final 1), Ballinderreen V Craughwell 18:45, Ref: John Mc DonaghUnder 13 B Championship, Venue: Ballymacward, (Semi Final 2), Pádraig Pearses V Moycullen 18:45, Ref: James HoadeTue 24 Jul U16 Football Division 3, Venue: Ballygar, (Round 8), St Brendan’s V Kilkerrin-Clonberne 19:00, Ref: John RosneyU16 Football Division 3, Venue: Mountbellew, (Round 8), Mountbellew/Moylough V Cortoon Shamrocks 19:00, Ref: Sean LyonsU16 Football Division 3, Venue: Headford, (Round 8), Headford V Menlough 19:00, Ref: John MitchellU15 Division 1 North, Venue: Monivea-Abbey, (Round 5), Monivea-Abbey V Corofin 19:00, Ref: John FahyU15 Division 1 North, Venue: Kilconly, (Round 5), Kilconly V St Gabriel’s 19:00, Ref: Tony KeatingU15 Division 1 North, Venue: Cregg, (Round 5), Annaghdown V Oranmore-Maree 19:00, Ref: John DonovanU15 Division 1 West, Venue: Barna, (Round 5), Barna V Moycullen 19:00, Ref: Mark GannonU15 Division 1 West, Venue: Claregalway Knockdoemore, (Round 5), Claregalway V St Michael’s 19:00, Ref: Frank KinneenU15 Division 1 West, Venue: Mervue, (Round 5), St. James V Salthill-Knocknacarra 19:00, Ref: Maura ConneelyU15 Division 2 North, Venue: Clarinbridge, (Round 5), Clarinbridge V Loughrea 19:00, Ref: TBCU15 Division 2 North, Venue: Dunmore MacHales, (Round 5), Dunmore MacHales V Tuam Stars 19:00, Ref: Pat HansberryU15 Division 2 North, Venue: Caherlistrane, (Round 5), Caherlistrane V Mountbellew/Moylough 19:00, Ref: John DevlinU15 Division 2 West, Venue: Páirc an Chnoic, (Round 5), Micheal Breathnach V Carna-Caiseal/Na Piarsaigh 19:00, Ref: Pádraig MacDonnachaU15 Division 2 West, Venue: Killannin Community Pitch, (Round 5), Killannin V Oughterard 19:00, Ref: Alan CarrU15 Division 2 West, Venue: Leitir Mór, (Round 5), Naomh Anna, Leitir Mór V An Spidéal 19:00, Ref: Mairtin Ó MaininU15 Division 3 , Venue: St Brendan’s, (Round 4), St Brendan’s V Kinvara 19:00, Ref: Martin GavinU15 Division 3 , Venue: Killererin GAA Pitch, (Round 4), Killererin V Kilkerrin-Clonberne 19:00, Ref: Mike TarpeyU15 Division 3 , Venue: Caltra Pitch, (Round 4), Caltra V Cortoon Shamrocks 19:00, Ref: Noel LarkinJunior Championship North – Group B, Venue: Clonberne, (Round 1), Kilkerrin-Clonberne V Corofin 20:00, Ref: Padraic KellyWed 25 Jul Senior Hurling League Group 1, Venue: Clarinbridge, (Round 4), Clarinbridge V Tommy Larkins 19:30, Ref: John McDonaghJunior C1 Hurling Championship – Group 2, Venue: Kinvara, (Round 5), Kinvara V St Thomas 19:30, Ref: Karol Collinsprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

A Taste of Donegal: The 9 stands keeping kids happy

first_imgThe Donegal Food Festival has something for every age and every taste this weekend. It’s not just for serious food fans, as young foodies will enjoy exploring the tented village to discover new flavours and activities.If you are bringing the family down this Saturday and Sunday, make sure to add these kid-friendly spots to your list:The big seats of the ‘Chill Out Zone’Huge novelty furniture has been set up at specific places at A Taste of Donegal for relaxing or great photos. The benches and deck chairs are so huge that they will fit all the family! A Taste of Donegal Food Festival Fireworks Display 24th August 2018Big seats at A Taste of DonegalThe Dale Farm Ice-cream Games AreaThis exhibitor van at the main entrance has a fun game that young ice-cream fans will love. All they have to do is spin the wheel for the chance to win a free dessert.The Dale Farm Ice-cream Games AreaHarvey’s PointThe Donegal Town hotel team are flipping great at flipping pancakes, and they’re here all weekend to serve thousands of free sample cakes for all. The mini pancakes will please everyone.The hard-working Harvey’s Point pancake teamRocket’s Ice CreamFun ice-creams of every flavour can be bought here, along with popcorn and candy floss for added sweetness.Rockets at A Taste of Donegal 2018 Clayotic PotteryThis fun multi-coloured stand in the back tent attracts a lot of young visitors. Claylotic is Ireland’s first brand of modelling clay and a great stand to spend time admiring the creations.Ella McNulty enjoying ClayoticChoc AmoreA chocolate fountain flows constantly in the main tent all weekend. Kids will love the hot melted goodies, while parents will be pleased to see there’s a healthy fruit cup option.Choc AmorePaul’s Sweet ShopDonegal Town’s traditional sweet shop has a Taste of Donegal stand to whip up fluffy pink candy floss and serve American sweet treats. There are also helium balloons and wine from the off licence – so young and old are both happy!Paul’s Donegal TownClew Bay CookiesThe sweetie wagon at the entrance greets everyone with a wide selection of goodies – from ice-cream to candy floss, popcorn and organic coffee.Clew Bay CookiesDinky DonutsWarm, delicious, mini doughnuts are prepared here at the outdoor tent. The list of toppings lets the little ones get creative. A very popular spot this year.Dinky DonutsPlus, each day there is live entertainment from street entertainers, mimes, characters and the one and only Mr Majestic! So make sure to bring all the family to A Taste of Donegal 2018. Opening Times:Saturday 25th – 11am to 7pmSunday 26th – 11am to 7pmFor the first time, Donegal Daily will be at the Donegal Food Festival all weekend to bring you video coverage from events. Make sure to follow for online interviews and demos every day! Check out the detailed programme to plan your visit here: A Taste of Donegal: The 9 stands keeping kids happy was last modified: August 25th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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

Stratford girls second, boys third at 2015 Marawood South Track Meet

first_imgAuburndale girls third, boys take sixth at PittsvilleBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterPITTSVILLE — The Auburndale girls won three events and placed third in the team standings at the 2015 Marawood Conference South Division Track & Field Meet on Tuesday at Pittsville High School.The Wausau Newman Catholic girls and Marathon boys won the team titles.The Stratford girls were third, followed by Auburndale. The Stratford boys took third, and Auburndale finished sixth out of the seven teams.Winning conference titles for the Auburndale girls were Kali Karl in the 800 meters (2:31.78); the 800 relay team of Rachel Gronemeyer, Hannah Castellano, Ashley Breu, and Josie Stoflet (1:54.53); and the 400 relay team of Gronemeyer, Castellano, Sylviann Momont, and Breu (53.72).The Stratford girls had one victory. The 3,200 relay team of Johnelle Miner, Clare Thompson, Kaylee Hollatz, and Ingrid Bender won in 10:35.78.Newman Catholic had three individuals each win three events to claim the team title. Julianne Barkholz won the long jump and the 100 and 200 meters; Carly Maves took first in the 100 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, and the triple jump; and Mariah Whalen won the high jump, discus, and shot put for the Cardinals.Jacob Zuelke won the 1,600 meters for the Stratford boys, finishing in 4:42.17. Taking second for the Tigers were the 3,200 relay team of Kyle Giebel, Cade Lehman, John Geissinger, and Zuelke (8:48.35) and Giebel in the 800 (2:07.12).Lee Jepsen had the Auburndale boys’ top finish, taking second in the 100 (11.63).Stratford will compete at the WIAA Division 2 regional at Tomahawk, and Auburndale will participate at the WIAA Division 3 regional at Marathon on May 26.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of Marawood Conference South Division Track MeetMay 19, at Pittsville High School GirlsTeam scores: 1. Wausau Newman Catholic 226; 2. Stratford 136.5; 3. Auburndale 107.5; 4. Marathon 104; 5. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 36; 6. Pittsville 35; 7. Northland Lutheran 32.Winners and Stratford and Auburndale finishersPole vault: 1. Emily Heil (MAR) 10-0; 5. Hayley Weister (AUB) 7-0.High jump: 1. Mariah Whalen (WNC) 4-10; 4. Ingrid Bender (ST) 4-8; 7. Emily Hauke (ST) 4-6; 8. Rachael Gronemeyer (AUB) and Amanda Momont (AUB) 4-4; 9. Keyarra Dahl (ST) 4-4.Long jump: 1. Julianne Barkholz (WNC) 16-4.75; 4. Brianna LaSee (ST) 15-9.75; 5. Sylviann Momont (AUB) 15-7; 6. A. Momont (AUB) 15-3.Triple jump: 1. Carly Maves (WNC) 33-7.5; 5. Brooklynn Zawislan (ST) 31-0; 6. Tessa Rauch (ST) 29-9.Discus: 1. Whalen (WNC) 121-3; 3. Holly Huther (ST) 103-2; 6. Lexi Schneider (ST) 96-7; 8. Elizabeth Folz (ST) 86-5; 9. Sam Jensen (AUB) 81-7.Shot put: 1. Whalen (WNC) 34-10.25; 3. Schneider (ST) 34-0; 4. Huther (ST) 32-10.5; 5. Ashley Breu (AUB) 32-3.25.3,200 relay: 1. Stratford (Johnelle Miner, Clare Thompson, Kaylee Hollatz, Bender) 10:35.78; 2. Auburndale (Abby Bauer, Hannah Dorshorst, Katie Leick, Kali Karl) 10:39.49.100 hurdles: 1. Maves (WNC) 17.35; 2. Cassie Mitchell (AUB) 18.58; 4. Brooke Fisher (ST) 19.80; 5. Heather Greenberg (ST) 20.24.100: 1. Barkholz (WNC) 13.33; 3. Hauke (ST) 13.61; 5. A. Momont (AUB) 14.40; 6. Dahl (ST) 14.42; 8. Josie Stoflet (AUB) 14.90.1,600: 1. Anna Buchberger (MAR) 5:36.92; 2. Leick (AUB) 5:54.93; 4. Miner (ST) 5:57.72; 5. Bauer (AUB) 6:05.96.800 relay: 1. Auburndale (Gronemeyer, Hannah Castellano, Breu, Stoflet) 1:54.53; 3. Stratford (Sarah LaBorde, LaSee, Tori Dietel, B. Zawislan) 1:55.03.400: 1. Barkholz (WNC) 1:02.02; 2. Hauke (ST) 1:02.61; 6. Alexis Lapee (ST) 1:06.07; 11. Alyssa Kollross (AUB) 1:15.98; 13. Ana Jepsen (AUB) 1:19.83.400 relay: 1. Auburndale (Gronemeyer, Castellano, S. Momont, Breu) 53.72; 2. Stratford (LaBorde, LaSee, Dietel, Lappe) 54.61.300 hurdles: 1. Maves (WNC) 48.89; 3. Mitchell (AUB) 53.02; 5. H. Greenberg (ST) 53.77.800: 1. Karl (AUB) 2:31.78; 2. Bender (ST) 2:38.14; 6. Hollatz (ST) 2:42.03; 7. Thompson (ST) 2:42.20.200: 1. Barkholz (WNC) 27.23; 3. Hauke (ST) 28.26; 4. S. Momont (AUB) 28.32; 5. Breu (AUB) 29.15.3,200: 1. Buchberger (MAR) 12:06.67; 3. Miner (ST) 12:53.75; 4. Bauer (AUB) 13:24.24; 5. Leick (AUB) 13:48.52; 7. Taya Nett (ST) 14:07.61.1,600 relay: 1. Wausau Newman Catholic (Taylor Hackel, Karina McGucken, Laura Larrain, Rylie Vaughn) 4:23.23; 2. Stratford (Lappe, Bender, H. Greenberg, Dahl) 4:25.58; 4. Auburndale (Gronemeyer, S. Momont, A. Momont, Karl) 4:33.76.—BoysTeam scores: 1. Marathon 207; 2. Wausau Newman Catholic 196; 3. Stratford 80; 4. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 69; 5. Pittsville 62; 6. Auburndale 39; 7. Northland Lutheran 19.Winners and Stratford and Auburndale finishersPole vault: 1. Preston Wirkus (MAR) 12-6; 4. John Geissinger (ST) 11-6; 6. Kyle Giebel (ST) 10-0.High jump: 1. Xavier Lechleitner (MAR) 6-0.Long jump: 1. Jordan Michalske (WNC) 20-0.25; 7. Kyler Haupt (ST) 18-7.25; 8. Carver Empey (AUB) 17-7.Triple jump: 1. Michalske (WNC) 41-2; 5. Empey (AUB) 37-10; 6. Jacob Danen (ST) 36-8; 8. Chris Zuelke (ST) 33-1.5.Discus: 1. Jeff Ford (WNC) 146-0; 4. Matt Lang (AUB) 120-9; 5. Taylor Krall (ST) 120-05; 9. Shane Brandl (AUB) 105-1.Shot put: 1. Ford (WNC) 49-2.5; 5. Josh VanSchoick (AUB) 40-9.25; 6. Krall (ST) 39-2.5; 7. Lang (AUB) 38-7.75.3,200 relay: 1. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption (Isaac Kollock, Trent Kollock, Kolt Linzmeier, Conner Dolan) 8:34.43; 2. Stratford (Giebel, Cade Lehman, J. Geissinger, Jacob Zuelke) 8:48.35.110 hurdles: 1. Matt Matel (MAR) 15.86; 6. Damon Weix (ST) 19.79.100: 1. Jake Gajewski (WNC) 11.53; 2. Lee Jepsen (AUB) 11.63; 6. Jesse Dickmann (ST) 12.44.1,600: 1. J. Zuelke (ST) 4:42.17; 7. Cody Gehrke (AUB) 5:07.35; 9. Michael Geissinger (ST) 5:50.52.800 relay: 1. Wausau Newman Catholic (Nick Thoreson, Justin Damask, Raymond Meyer, Noah Szmanda) 46.36; 3. Stratford (Dickmann, Haupt, A.J. Schoenfuss, Tyler Gilbertson) 47.87; 6. Auburndale (Seth Kundinger, Gage Stoflet, Ryan Patyk, VanSchoick) 58.41.300 hurdles: 1. Matel (MAR) 40.98; 9. Chris Zuelke (ST) 48.79; 10. Weix (ST) 48.88.800: 1. Lechleitner (MAR) 2:04.86; 2. Giebel (ST) 2:07.12; 7. Isaac Guyer (ST) 2:36.15; 9. Darren Kieffer (AUB) 2:45.27.200: 1. Gajewski (WNC) 23.35; 5. Jepsen (AUB) 24.31.3,200: 1. Dolan (WRA) 10:20.41; 4. J. Geissinger (ST) 10:51.50; 6. Gehrke (AUB) 11:15.36.1,600 relay: 1. Marathon (Ethan Seubert, Richard Seubert, Kellen Vetter, Lechleitner) 3:32.38; 4. Stratford (Giebel, J. Zuelke, Hunter Reiff, Gilbertson) 3:47.07; 6. Auburndale (Jepsen, Empey, Brandl, Gehrke) 3:57.38.last_img read more

In New Brunswick legalized recreational cannabis seen as green gold

first_imgFREDERICTON – The New Brunswick government is hoping legalized cannabis will help ignite the province’s economy — but a possible change in government after a deadlocked election has created uncertainties about how the retail regime might eventually look.The Liberals under Premier Brian Gallant have seen cannabis as green gold — a chance to create production and retail jobs and rake in profits through the new Crown agency, Cannabis NB.They announced that marijuana is to be a pillar of the province’s economic strategy, developed a community college program for cannabis technicians, and gave financial assistance to a number of cannabis producers to locate in New Brunswick.New Brunswick now has three licensed producers: OrganiGram Inc., Tidal Health Solutions Ltd., and Zenabis Ltd.But the Liberals failed to win a majority in last month’s election and are at risk of being toppled by the Progressive Conservatives when the legislature begins sitting next week.Tory member Ross Wetmore says his party was in favour of privately run cannabis dispensaries instead of a Crown corporation, but will review the contracts if they form government.“We’ve already asked to look at the contracts. We’d review the contracts and see what the cost would be to change the model over,” Wetmore said Monday.“We supported the private model, working with dispensaries. It would have been much cheaper,” he said.Brian Harriman, the president of Cannabis NB, said the model can be changed, but it would take some time.“We are essentially operating under a service agreement with the province of New Brunswick. At the end of the day, if the province were to choose other retailers or to switch to a mixed or private market, it’s an option but not something we could turn on overnight,” he said.Harriman said 6,000 people had applied for 330 Cannabis NB jobs.The provincial Opportunities NB agency, meantime, said Monday it had expected 600 cannabis-related jobs in the province by the end of 2018 — but were pleasantly surprised.“Job growth in this sector has exceed expectations and close to 1,000 cannabis-related jobs have already been created in New Brunswick,” a spokesperson said in a statement Monday.The agency said New Brunswick could have 3,000 cannabis-related jobs by 2022.Ottawa’s decision to delay the start of sales came at a cost to provincial coffers, though. The New Brunswick government originally forecast retail revenues in the first year of $73 million, but with the start delayed from July to October, the forecast is now $45 million.Harriman said with overhead and start-up costs, he hopes the 20 stores will at least break even in their first fiscal year.Those 20 stores — offering weed at prices ranging from $8 to $16 a gram — are a bigger investment than many of the other provinces have made.In neighbouring Nova Scotia, cannabis will be sold in 12 government-operated stores alongside alcohol. Prince Edward Island will have four government-run retail locations as well, while Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to have more than 20 licensed private retailers on day one.Ontario won’t have any locations on Oct. 17, but the recently elected Progressive Conservative government plans to have cannabis in private retail stores by April 1, 2019. British Columbia will only have one location, in Kamloops, at the outset.Quebec is expected to open 12 stores run by the Societe quebecoise du cannabis while the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission has issued 17 interim licences to private retailers.In Saskatchewan, 51 retail licenses have been issued. In Manitoba, four organizations have been approved to operate shops, allowing them to apply for multiple locations.In the north, there will be just six brick-and-mortar locations: none in Nunavut, one in the Yukon, and five outlets in the Northwest Territories where cannabis will be sold alongside alcohol.While New Brunswick has its retail model in place, there’s still work to do on the enforcement side.John Jurcina, assistant deputy minister of Justice and Public Safety, said as of Monday, police forces in the province had 32 drug recognition experts in place, but the target is to have at least 62 by 2022.Another target is to have at least 50 per cent of frontline police officers trained in field sobriety tests.Jurcina said while 49 per cent of municipal police officers have been trained, only 19 per cent of frontline RCMP officers have had the training. He said the RCMP will be prioritized in training this fall.last_img read more

Priyanka Gandhi to campaign in Maharashtra

first_imgMumbai: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will be one of the star campaigners in Maharashtra for the first and second phase of Lok Sabha elections, a party leader said on Tuesday. Though the exact dates and itinerary of Priyanka Gandhi are being finalized, it is likely she might address a public meeting in Mumbai which has six Lok Sabha constituencies, according to party sources. In the first phase on April 11, seven constituencies will go to polls and in the second phase on April 18 polling will be held for 10 seats in Maharashtra. The Congress has named 40 star campaigners. Other heavyweights include Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mohammed Azharuddin. Maharashtra Congress leaders who too will campaign include Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan, Shivraj Patil, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Vilas Muttemwar, Mukul Wasnik, Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam.last_img read more


first_imgVaranasi, the bastion of BJP supremos that has been wrapped in claims and controversy, will be heading to polls on May 19. Current MP and prime minister, Narendra Modi, filed his nomination for the second on April 26, following a massive 7 km roadshow through Kashi’s famed narrow lanes that were brimming with enthusiastic supporters. Unsurprisingly, BJP is blazing all guns to secure a commendable win here. But, unlike 2014, the sailing hasn’t been remarkably smooth. The saffron corridor is visibly fretted for a number of reasons which its MP must tackle face on. Unlike most towns of India, Varanasi (earlier Banaras) isn’t only contoured in political hues. Its cultural richness has attracted global attention. In fact, American author Mark Twain had said, “Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” This overflowing pitcher of culture that differentiated Varanasi from the rest is sadly at stake now. It is believed here that nothing should obstruct Lord Shiva and the sacred river Ganga – the sun’s first rays should reflect off the surface of the river and shine on the summit of the temple. This city of overwhelming historicity is also marked by its labyrinthine lanes that today are witnessing the painful brunt of forced development. Their essence is quickly dissipating as large-scale demolition projects bring down houses and multi-storeyed buildings (about 300) situated at the heart of the city to allow for the construction of the prime minister’s dream Kashi-Vishwanath Corridor. Varanasi, probably, needs no topography. The city has been rising and setting to its stone-slabbed pavements, crude structures and traditional mohallas. More than its current geography, it is imagination and history that make this city so very picturesque. And, once legendary director Satyajit Ray captured Kashi in his classics {Aparajito (1956) and Joi Baba Felunath (1979)}, there was no turning away from the magnetic aura of this ancient city. When these aeons-old buildings were being brought down last year to make way for the corridor, a large number of old temples were found covered in the debris of these houses. Perhaps, the idea of ‘new Varanasi’ created resentment among people. These temples were built in the late-18th and 19th centuries when Varanasi witnessed an unprecedented temple-building spree following the disintegration of the Mughal Empire. The buildings that were brought down belong to the same period. The 45,000 sq. m. area of the religious corridor project has been estimated to cost Rs 600 crore and seeks to create a wide pathway connecting three prominent ghats on Ganga to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, easing access for devotees. Significantly, PM Modi, once an RSS pracharak and propagator of Hindutva, has not even spared the ancient properties of ‘Nirvani Akhara’ and ‘Juna Akhara’, which the priests have refused to allow for demolition. While several ministers have tried to convince them, their resolve has dragged this resistance into a legal battle. A local shopkeeper (desired anonymity) and member of the ‘Dharohar Bachao Samiti, Kashi’ who refused to destroy his house, has been intimidated by project managers; they threaten that they will truncate his access to electricity and water. He took us to a scheduled caste colony near Manikarnika Ghat, where people are frightened to talk. Locals said (refusing to mention their names) that they have been harassed and forced to vacate their ancestral lands. The owners of these demolished houses and shops have of course received some monetary compensation. But Ramakant Misra (70), another owner, explained, “We have received only Rs 23 lakh; with that, we bought land for Rs 14 lakh and the registration cost is Rs. 1.5 lakh. How will we construct our house with the remaining meagre amount?” The land spread between Manikarnika Ghat and Lalita Ghat is being supervised by Ahmedabad-based HCP Design Planning and Management Pvt Ltd. Reportedly, Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Trust is restoring and integrating 43 old temples with the milieu surrounding the ancient Shiva temple. The ethos here, characterised by labyrinthine lanes, flower shops, tea and sweetmeat stalls, shops selling saris, wooden toys and items of religious use, has helped Varanasi acquire its distinctive identity. Incidentally, Modi’s religious corridor project has forsaken communal harmony. In a bid to valorise Vishwanath, the minority community here claims that the administration is conspiring to demolish the centuries-old Gyanvapi Masjid which shares a boundary wall with the famed Kashi Vishwanath temple. Modi’s dream project has not even spared Ved Vyas Peeth. Until August 2017, this was an institute of research. Although the administration claims that enough compensation was paid to the Vyas family – Kedarnath Vyas, the patron of Vyas Peeth, did not get a single paisa as compensation from the government, or even a place to stay. Further, he is now being forced to live in a small four-room rented tenement with his son, Jitendra Vyas, and his family of four. Incidentally, the Vyas progenitors also happen to be owners of both the land of Kashi Viswanath temple and Gyanvapi Masjid. Further, rustic Kashi is also known for its vibrant Banarasi sarees and artisans, besides its religious zeal and tourism. All is not smooth for the saree weavers. The industry is still being buffeted by headwinds: small weavers say their margins have dropped drastically since demonetisation and work has shrunk because of GST, which has increased costs for traders who buy from the weavers. “GST has become a hurdle for us, small traders and bunkars (weavers). Earlier, there was not a single tax in the saree industry. The demand of sarees has dropped by 50 per cent in the last five years,” Sameer, owner of four power looms and a master weaver of Sonarpura said. He also lamented on the lack of education as a big reason for endless suffering. “No government representative ever comes to us. We are not educated enough and it is easy to dupe us. No doubt the government has introduced schemes for us, but we are hardly aware of them,” he mentioned. Some Muslim weavers though are game to give Modi another chance. Sonu Akbar (33), another young Banarasi master weaver and owner of two power looms, feels that five years is not enough to fully implement developmental works, adding, “Modiji should get a second term. I believe the situation will improve.” Wahid Ali, a veteran master weaver, summed up the situation, saying “Work has been undertaken in Varanasi and elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh too – that’s a fact. It is also true that no one can defeat Modi in Varanasi. Who else is there? But when other BJP leaders talk about religious discrimination, it leaves us very worried.” In election speeches or rallies though, the struggling economy of Varanasi doesn’t figure, despite its gnawing problems. If weavers can’t deliver, then the entire trade, which follows an age-old symbiotic structure, suffers. A survey conducted last year shows the decline of Banarasi saree weavers as migration to other cities continues.last_img read more