Conserving Baby Turtles at The Ritz-Carlton, BaliConserving Baby Turtles at The Ritz-Carlton, BaliImagine watching a baby turtle as it crawls and slides over the sand until it reaches the ocean and with a splash of its tiny flippers begins life in the ocean. Witnessing a creature in that magical moment when it finds freedom is a joyful experience and guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali are invited to participate in our ongoing turtle conservation program.Turtle Release events are particularly popular with the resort’s younger guests and a buzz of excitement infuses Ritz Kids Club during hatch season, with turtle themed decorations and the opportunity to learn about the importance of protecting sea turtles and the environment. Helping to save a life by being an active participant in the turtle release is a memory they will never forget.Each year, nesting sea turtles flock to the pristine white sand beach of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali to lay their eggs. The hatchling turtles face many predators, and the resort is dedicated to protecting these incredible creatures that are critically endangered. Working in conjunction with the Bali Sea Turtle Society, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the resort watch out for the arrival of sea turtles on the shore. Once the eggs are laid a fence is erected around the nest, and when the baby hatchlings emerge they are transferred to a safe “temporary home” where they are guarded from predators around the clock. When they are deemed strong enough, they are then released to the nourishing waters of the Indian Ocean. Guests of all ages are invited to participate in this inspiring and heartening experience. Children are given unique ‘front row’ privileges as they race to the ocean alongside the turtles, witnessing first-hand the wonder of nature and the positive results of conservation projects.“The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is dedicated to protecting the natural environment for generations to come and guests are welcomed to join us in conservation efforts. The turtle release is one of our most loved activities, giving guests a unique and wonderful opportunity to experience that incredible moment when baby turtles swim to their new habitat,” says General Manager, Karim Tayach.The conservation program is run in tandem with the Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints program, a brand-wide social and environmental responsibility strategy. Sea turtle hatching season in Bali is from March to September each year and guests are invited to participate whenever there is an active hatch, a memory that will last a lifetime. About The Ritz-Carlton, BaliLocated on a stunning beachfront combining with a dramatic clifftop setting, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is a luxurious resort offering an elegant tropical ambience. Featuring tranquil views over the azure waters of the Indian Ocean the resort has 279 spacious suites and 34 expansive villas, providing the sheerest of contemporary Balinese luxury. Along the foreshore are The Ritz-Carlton Club®, six stylish dining venues, an indulgent and exotic marine-inspired Spa, and fun, recreational activities for children of all ages at Ritz Kids. A glamorous beachfront wedding chapel, makes an idyllic setting for destination weddings, while a range of outdoor event venue and extravagant spaces provide the perfect scene for celebratory events and wedding reception in Bali. Well-appointed conference venues, luxurious meeting spaces, customizable residential packages and experienced organizers also entice those looking to create inspired MICE Tourism events in Bali. Whether work, pleasure or romance is on the agenda, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is the place to make memories that last a lifetime. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn.
March 13, 2014 507 Views Homebuilders Mortgage Bankers Association New Home Sales 2014-03-13 Tory Barringer Builder application data from February suggests another increase in new home sales, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Thursday.According to MBA’s Builder Applications Survey (BAS), which tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders, applications for new home purchases increased 12 percent in February, pointing to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 533,000 (up 1 percent from January).On an unadjusted basis, the association estimates there were 43,000 new home sales in February, up 13 percent from the prior month.While MBA overshot the mark with its initial January estimate of 543,000 new home sales, its prediction of a spike was correct: The Census Bureau estimates sales in January ran at a seasonally adjusted rate of 468,000, a monthly increase of 9.6 percent.By product type, MBA reports conventional loans made up 65.1 percent of February applications. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) composed 16.5 percent; loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs accounted for 13 percent; and rural loans composed 5.3 percent.The average loan size of new homes was up, meanwhile, rising more than $5,000 to $295,008. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination Share February Data Indicates Continued Gains in New Home Sales
andBeyond Phinda Rock LodgeandBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal has also reopened with a brand new look – an earthy soft grey palette and the interiors that are raw and natural but still convey a sense of luxury and elegance.All outdoor decks have been reconfigured to allow plenty of space for al fresco dining, with stretched canvas shades for protection from the sun and a new rooftop terrace provides the ideal venue for dining beneath the stars.Guest suites have received a similar treatment, with all rooms provided with easier access to their own verandas and views onto the valley below. Bathrooms have been completely refurbished to feature raw timber slabs and handsome granite surfaces. New features include:hot coffee served by expertly trained baristas from the camp’s interactive food and coffee bardining areas in neutral colours that feature the clever use of mirrors to bring the outside inopen air boma encircled by a rugged wooden fence on the very edge of the Delta and set in the mottled shade of the camp’s massive ebony treesmeticulously stocked new Safari Shop renewed pool area with salas for shade and comfortable loungers positioned to make the most of the beautiful Okavango Delta views a dedicated massage sala Keeping to the spirit of Phinda Rock Lodge, the refurbishment has retained the sense of intimacy integral to this small and exclusive lodge. Glamorous new touches retain a sense of place, deep in the heart of Zululand.TOP IMAGE: New look Bar at andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented CampWith the second, and final, phase of refurbishments completed at andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp, in Botswana, the camp has now reopened with a new glamorous, light and earthy look, and a sophisticated safari style that offers a contemporary spin on the traditional tented camp. Guest area andBeyondlodgeluxurysafaritented camp
Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidayscruise Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidays has launched a massive Alaska cruise sale where clients can save up to $3,000 per couple when booking one of the qualifying packages from ocean cruise lines to expedition small ship cruising, and can be easily combined with overland itineraries. Bookings are valid from 5 March 2018 to 31 March 2018.
Categories: Infographics,News,Pure Michigan,Reinventing MI Craft beer is a growing industry in Michigan, having rapidly expanded during the last 20 years. Breweries from Bellaire to Holland to Commerce Township have eagerly awaited the passage of House Bills 4709-11, which authorize increased craft beer output and permit establishment of new locations for existing breweries.Bill 4709 increases the barrel threshold for micro-brewers from 30,000 to 60,000 annually.House Bill 4710 permits a brewpub to have up to 6 locations, up from 3 under current law.House Bill 4711 allows brewers to expand from one tasting room to two.Nearly a dozen Michigan craft beer companies have announced plans to expand as soon as these bills are signed into law. The plans vary, but one thing they all have in common is that they will create new jobs. Our economy will see an immediate positive impact once these bills take effect.For more information, read House Bills 4709-4711 or see bill sponsor Rep. Peter MacGregor’s statement on the package. 14Nov Michigan is brewing jobs
Categories: Blog Features,Hughes News,News A conversation four years ago at a visitation in Muskegon County continues to serve as a reminder to state Rep. Holly Hughes as she fights for her constituents at the state Capitol.“Holly, I want a bus bill,” she heard in December 2011. “I don’t want this happening to any more kids.”The request came from Bruce Privacky to Hughes after the visitation for Bruce’s only grandchildren, Bruce and Antonia “Toni” Privacky. The teenagers died from injuries sustained in a school bus-automobile accident.In one of her first actions after being sworn into office in January 2015, Rep. Hughes introduced legislation to enhance lighting on the rear section of new school buses.“The bill is named after the children – the ‘Privacky Law,’” Rep. Hughes said. “We do not want Bruce and Toni’s loss of their lives to be in vain. This bill is a chance to save other children’s lives.”Rep. Hughes talked about the legislation’s importance during a mid-October news conference in Ravenna while displaying an illuminated sign that has been installed on school bus rear exit doors. It tells drivers when to stop for a school bus. The event announced a survey of bus drivers, which would note the number of vehicles being driven past a stopped bus. Illegal pass-bys happen frequently, despite the bus signal lights being on while students are entering or exiting the bus.“We need our kids to be safe,” she said. “Originally we were just going to have Ravenna install new lighting on the back of the bus for the October bus pilot program. Ten schools, spread across the state, are participating in the study. It will give us a good sampling of how the lighting will impact drivers’ actual driving habits.”Five states have similar legislation enacted as law. The law seeks to make clear to other drivers what to do when a bus’s yellow and red signal lights are engaged.Safety is always the goal for Rep. Hughes and the Privacky family.“We hope this helps somebody and prevents this from happening again,” said Nancee Privacky, the mother of Bruce and Antonia “Toni” Privacky. 17Nov Rep. Hughes advocating for positive reforms after tragic accident in Muskegon County
20Mar Rep. Bellino’s credit freeze bill signed into law State Rep. Joseph Bellino’s plan to better protect Michigan residents from fraud by providing free credit freezes has been signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. ÂWhen a security freeze is placed on a credit report through a consumer credit-reporting agency, those looking to engage in fraud are unable to open a credit card, mortgage or other form of credit in the name of the individual they are trying to impersonate. Lenders typically require access to credit information before approving a loan and are shut off from pulling needed data with a freeze in place.“Consumers in Michigan can now feel better protected from individuals who are out there looking to use personal information for fraudulent purposes,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “This measure was about increased security when dealing with a reporting agency, in light of news over the past year.”Nearly 700,000 people had private information stolen during a breach that affected reporting agency Equifax last year. Customers supplied a database with personal information to verify their identities when disputing credit reports, including their driver’s license, Social Security number, address and bank information.House Bill 5094, which previously advanced overwhelmingly through the Michigan House and Senate before becoming Public Act 76 of 2018, addresses the fees often charged by reporting agencies for actions that a consumer takes related to secure their credit. Examples include one charge for imposing a freeze, another to discontinue it and additional fees if a freeze is needed to be put back in place.“I took issue with the fact that individuals are charged fees to put a freeze on their credit and those same individuals have no control as to where their information has been shared previously or who has looked at it,” Bellino said. “Data breaches are unfortunately a part of today’s technological world. This is a service that better protects people financially and should be a free service offered by businesses to protect the customer.” Categories: Bellino News,News
State Rep. Aaron Miller of Sturgis today announced his monthly in-district office hours with local residents.“I enjoy connecting with the people in my community and hear what matters most to them,” Rep. Miller said. “It is important that I am accessible to everyone.”Rep. Miller will hold office hours at the following times and locations:March 276 to 7:30 a.m. at Yoder’s County Market, 375 Eleanor Drive in Centreville;8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Shell Gas Station , 465 W. Main St. in Mendon; and No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Miller’s office at (517) 373-0832 or AaronMiller@house.mi.gov. 21Mar Rep. Miller announces March office hours Categories: Miller News March 285 to 6:30 p.m. at Mama Mia’s Pizza, 241 S. 3rd in Burr Oak.
Share2TweetShareEmail2 SharesApril 12, 2017; The HillPerhaps it’s that the GOP has some time on its hands—so little is going on of any urgency—but The Hill is reporting that two top Republicans on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee are asking for a federal Department of Justice investigation into the earlier DOJ investigation of Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS’s tax-exempt division.The request last week, made by committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and 16 other Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee, urged President Trump to dump John Koskinen, the current IRS commissioner, alleging he impeded congressional investigations into the targeting of conservative groups.The previous investigation pursued the charge, based in large part on a 2013 inspector general’s report, that the IRS was targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, subjecting them to greater scrutiny and delays than other applicants. Lerner was placed on leave in 2013 and subsequently retired, admitting that she had mishandled the issue. The letter from Brady, Roskam, and the other 16 House Republicans urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take a “fresh look…in order to assure the American people that DOJ’s prior investigation was handled fairly and to restore taxpayers’ trust in the IRS.”In 2014, the Ways and Means Committee sent the DOJ a letter asking for it to launch a criminal investigation, but in 2015, the DOJ declined to file criminal charges, stating it found no evidence of IRS employees acting with political motives. The DOJ said it had found “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.”Another letter was sent by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Jason Chaffetz and more than 30 other House GOP members. Koskinen’s term as IRS commissioner ends in November, and he has said he has no plans to leave before then.—Ruth McCambridgeShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
European radio spectrum policy is threatened by moves being made at the current World Radio Conference (WRC-12) in Geneva, according to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).The EBU has warned that the EU’s Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP), which is due to be approved this week by the European Parliament, is under threat because of moves by African and Arab regional administrations at the WRC to have the 700MHz spectrum band, used in Europe for broadcasting, to mobile services, according to the EBU.“With the RSPP, the EU has adopted a balanced approach in spectrum management. This approach should not be put at risk during ongoing parallel discussions at this year’s World Radio Conference in Geneva,” said Jean-Paul Philippot president of the EBU.Allocation of the 700MHz spectrum was not originally on the agenda for WRC-12, but pressure from the African and Arab delegates has resulted in discussion of its use for mobile applications. According to the EBU, this would cause significant disruption to digital broadcast services in Europe, where the 700MHz band is used for terrestrial broadcasting with, in many cases, long-term licences already in place. Use of this spectrum is also seen as crucial to the future development of the terrestrial platform.The RSPP proposes a European spectrum inventory that identifies spectrum whose use could be improved, re-allocated or shared. According to the EBU, any mobile allocation in the 700MHz band would preclude the outcome of the spectrum inventory.The previous WRC in 2007 had allocated the so-called digital dividend spectrum in the 800MHz band to be made available for mobile services after digital switchover. However, in Africa and the Middle East, the 800MHz band is already widely used for government applications, while few countries have implemented digital-terrestrial broadcasting. A number of national regulators in Asia and the Americas have already allocated 700MHz spectrum for mobile broadband services, following WRC 2007.WRC-12 is set to conclude at the end of this week.
Eurosport has extended the reach of its Eurosport 2 channel to all 11 CIS countries including Russia and Ukraine.The feed enhances Eurosport 2’s existing international programming offer in the region with six live football matches from the German Bundesliga each week.The launch in the CIS also covers former member Georgia and means that the Bundesliga is now broadcast on Eurosport 2 in 35 territories. Coverage is exclusive in all territories except the Netherlands, Georgia, Albania and the CIS.
Technicolor and Dreamworks’ multiscreen video service M-Go has launched on Samsung smart TVs in the US, marking its first smart TV deployment to date.The free app is available now through Samsung’s Smart Hub store on 2012 models of Samsung TVs, with users able to rent movies and TV shows through the service on a per-title basis.“Providing easier access to the movies and TV shows people care about is M-Go’s mission. Going live on Samsung Smart TVs is a huge milestone in giving consumers the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment at their fingertips on the big screen at home,” said M-Go CEO John Batter.M-Go has content deals with Hollywood’s major studios, but for content it doesn’t store, it directs viewers to other media stores including Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix and Vudu in a bid to take “the hassle out of watching great digital entertainment quickly and easily.”M-Go is also available on Android and iOS tablets, online on computers and via selected Google TV devices.
Microsoft’s quarterly earnings missed analyst estimates as the firm took a US$900 million (€690 million) hit from poor sales of its Surface RT tablet.Microsoft said the charge related to “inventory adjustments” for the device in the three months ending June 30 had a US$0.07 negative impact to diluted earnings per share.However, its Entertainment and Devices Division – which includes Microsoft’s Xbox games console and Xbox Live entertainment service – did well, with revenues growing 8% in the fiscal fourth quarter.“Xbox Live transaction revenue grew nearly 20% and is providing economic opportunities for publishers in this soft console market” said Microsoft general manager of investor relations, Chris Suh, on the firm’s earnings call.Overall, the firm’s revenues for the quarter came in at US$19.9 billion, up 10% year-over-year, but below Bloomberg estimates of US$20.7 billion. Profits were US$0.59 per share, compared to a US$0.06 loss last year, but were also short of expectations.“While our fourth quarter results were impacted by the decline in the PC market, we continue to see strong demand for our enterprise and cloud offerings, resulting in a record unearned revenue balance this quarter. We also saw increasing consumer demand for services like Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, and Xbox LIVE,” said Amy Hood, chief financial officer at Microsoft.CEO Steve Ballmer added: “We are working hard to deliver compelling new devices and high value experiences from Microsoft and our partners in the coming months, including new Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs.”“Our new products and the strategic realignment we announced last week position us well for long-term success, as we focus our energy and resources on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value the most,” he said.
Dutch telco KPN has named Erik Hoving to the new post of group chief technology officer.Hoving was previously head of KPN’s strategy, innovation and technology office, after serving as CTO of KPN Mobile International.KPN CEO Eelco Blok said the new position highlighted the importance of technology and innovation for KPN.
Global market research agency GfK has made a strategic investment in UK-based viewer data specialist Genius Digital.According to the company, the investment will provide global reach for Genius Digital and will give GfK clients acess to its data capture and collection technology, which will be fed into GfK’s audience measurement services and complement its existing TV, digital and mobile measurement technologies.Genius Digital’s Insight platform is a data analytics solution for capturing, analysing and applying data for content providers and operators.Jonathan Sykes, executive chairman, Genius Digital, said: “We saw the need to maximise the potential of viewer data in the TV industry a while ago and acted on it, delivering a complete analytics solution that is video centric and TV relevant. We are delighted that GfK has recognised the strength of our team, our offering and customer engagements. “Securing this strategic investment will provide a further significant boost to our long term plans, our technical capabilities and our ability to gain traction in new markets.”
The BBC has replaced its “aging” iPlayer infrastructure and moved live processing into the cloud with a new in-house system called Video Factory.In an official blog post, Marina Kalkanis, head of live services, programmes and on-demand for the BBC’s Future Media division, said that the BBC’s previous On Demand Production Service – which was first commissioned by the BBC from Red Bee Media in 2006 – needed replacement and that the flexibility of using the cloud was ideally suited to its new service.Video Factory was developed by engineers in BBC Future Media, in partnership with leading transcoding and packaging providers, and features a number of improvements, according to Kalkanis.The switchover comes as the BBC estimates it will publish around 50,000 hours of TV content and nearly 100,000 clips online on the iPlayer and its news, sport, and programme pages this year.“Video Factory has moved live processing into the cloud. Cloud computing is computing services sold on demand, on the internet, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic – a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time. This means we will have the flexibility to scale (up or down) and only pay for what we use,” said Kalkanis.“The other advantage of using cloud services is we don’t have a fixed amount of storage so we no longer have to limit the hours of content we can process nor do we have to limit the hours of HD content we can handle. And because it is easier to add in new services our system is much more flexible in creating content for new devices.”She added: “Our roadmap for Video Factory is packed with features. We are improving quality, increasing the amount of HD content, greatly expanding the online catalogue and the formats and getting live programmes available much more quickly.”
GomorrahOn-demand service Wuaki.tv has scored a content partnership with UK home entertainment distributor Arrow Films that will hand it shows such as Italian crime series Gomorrah.Wuaki has been building a catalogue of Hollywood and independent titles for its subscription base, and this latest deal means it will offer TV and movie titles from Italian, Norwegian and Israeli producers for the first time.Gomorrah, which first went out through Sky Italia, will be added to a ‘Nordic Noir’ section, which houses other new titles such as The Killing, Wallander and The Bridge.Further TV series from the deal include Keshet’s Prisoners of War, French procedural Braquo and Australian political drama The Code. Films include God’s Pocket, The Stag, Arthur and Mike, A Touch of Sin, A Thousand Times Goodnight and Like Father, Like Son.“Our users aren’t purely interested in the latest Hollywood blockbusters, we see a desire for a more diverse range of genres and movie styles from all over the globe”, said Simon Homent, European content director at Wuaki.tv.“The addition of some of the most popular cult TV series and movies from across Europe will set Wuaki.tv apart in a market that focuses on Hollywood content, and we will continue adding to it in future.”Arrow bills itself as a multiplatform rights distributor.
The BBC has selected comScore to provide analytics for all its digital content – including web, mobile and video content for both its domestic and global services.The BBC has opted for comScore’s Digital Analytix service, which offers analytics and audience demographics, providing data and information about audience characteristics.“In an increasingly fragmented digital media environment, Digital Analytix provides the ability to understand the entire user experience across different consumer devices at a granular level,” said Mike Read, senior vice-president and managing director for comScore in the UK.
Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Ireland’s hospitality services provider unit Bitbuzz has launched a new WiFi service targeting the market, Bitbuzz Go. According to UPC Ireland, Bitbuzz Go offers free and unlimited Wi-Fi to end users while they avail of the services of hotels, cafes, bars and other hospitality businesses.Customers using the service can click on the WiFi logo and follow the steps to activate it, according to the operator, without the need to use vouchers or register user-names and passwords. Hotel internet usage will no longer be subject to a cap, meaning that hotels and other outlets will not have to pay an additional fee when they exceed their maximum usage level.“Today we are launching a new service for the hospitality sector called Bitbuzz Go. It is a brilliant example of the many innovative services now available from Bitbuzz and will play an important role in removing barriers to better connectivity. In addition, our customers get the benefit of being powered by the country’s fastest network through UPC Business and can cleverly meet the changing demands of their customers,” said Russel McQuillan, business development director, Bitbuzz.
Steve McCafferyTurkish cable operator Turksat has chosen Arris to supply its E6000 CCAP converged edge router to prepare for future IP interactive and high-speed broadband services.Turksast chose the E6000 both to support today’s CMTS requirements and to support its strategic transition to the CCAP infrastructure, according to Arris. The E6000 CER will enable the operator to achieve broadband speeds of up to 500Mbps and 1Gbps while future-proofing its headend for eventual service expansion, Arris says.“Turskat is a valued customer, and we’re proud that it continues to turn to Arris for its strategic technology investments,” said Steve McCaffery, senior vice-president, EMEA and Asia Pacific, Arris. “Turksat is extending the E6000 CER’s growing footprint across Europe – taking advantage of its ability to deliver high-speed broadband services and IP content today, while enabling tomorrow’s shift to DOCSIS 3.1 and CCAP.”