San Pedro condos to be leased

first_imgBush said it is anticipated that the units will go up for sale later, after the housing market rebounds. Those with leases would have first right of refusal to buy. Some nearby residents worry the conversion will mean even more traffic for already heavily impacted Western Avenue. “If you look at traffic studies, apartments generate more traffic than condos,” said Diana Nave of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council. Most observers chalk the move up to bad timing for condominiums that are coming online during a nationwide housing slump. “It’s a sign of what’s happening with real estate right now,” said John Greenwood, a real estate broker with ERA Golden West Realty in San Pedro. “We had a developer who worked with our office, and he did the same thing. He rented them out, and then in two or three years he sold them. It’s not an unusual thing to happen, but it’s a sign of the market.” But others say the development didn’t live up to its brochures. “It wouldn’t surprise me if people saw it and what they were asking and said, `Wait a minute,”‘ said Dan Dixon, president of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council. “It’s a monstrosity,” Nave said. The four-story Seaport development, dubbed “The Monster” by critics because of its stacked, high-density appearance from the street, is going up on Western Avenue at Fitness Drive, just south of the proposed Ponte Vista project. Two underground stories will be used as parking. “I don’t think you can quite tell (what they’ll look like) until they’re finished,” Bush said. “We’ve done our best to follow all the requirements.” Even though the neighborhood council approved the development several years ago, Dixon said the vote would come out differently if held now that the units are under construction. The homes are being “rammed into a very small area,” he said. “It’s a foolish development in the wrong place,” he said. The Seaport units are wedged between two existing condominium projects, the 64-unit Tennis Club to the west and the 130-unit Casa Verde Estates to the east. Bob Bisno, who wants to build a 1,950-home project on nearly 62 acres directly to the north of Seaport, said the Seaport development site is better suited for apartments than condominiums. “Their development looks more like an apartment than condominiums,” Bisno said. John Long, president of the Casa Verde Homeowners Association, said his condominium has more than tripled in value since he purchased it in 1997. He said the Seaport units next door will look nice when they’re finished. “I’m pretty sure (the new condominiums) will raise the property values,” he said. Some nearby residents, however, continue to worry about the growing density and how it will affect traffic, schools and other quality-of-life issues. In a March 11 letter to the editor to the Daily Breeze, local resident April Sandell called Seaport “a poster-child for poor traffic planning and density gone wild.” The only vehicle access to all three developments built in a row is Fitness Drive, a narrow, private road off Western where there is no traffic signal. There could be as many as 400 residents in all three developments when they’re filled. There have been discussions with Bisno about building a new access road on the vacant parcel in front of Seaport that Bisno owns. Bisno’s plans for Ponte Vista, meanwhile, are still going through city planning reviews. Mark Wells, a blogger who has opposed the Ponte Vista development, fears that what happened to Seaport could be repeated at Ponte Vista, a much larger project. “If Seaport had to go with leases, what makes anyone truly believe that Ponte Vista (won’t) suffer the same fate ? ?” Wells wrote. That won’t happen, Bisno said. “Our capital structure and partners aren’t the same” as Seaport’s, Bisno said. “It would be irrational for us.” Ponte Vista also will offer a very different product than Seaport, according to Bisno spokeswoman Elise Swanson. Ponte Vista, she said, will include a resort-style design with lots of open space and park-like amenities. “I’m a dyed-in-the-wool optimist,” Bisno said. “I’m confident that by next summer we will have seen the bottom (of the real estate market slump) and we will be on the mend.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOUSING: Market woes and slow sales cause a major shift in the project’s direction. By Donna Littlejohn STAFF WRITER The sluggish real estate market is taking its toll on one San Pedro condominium project that’s still under construction. Seaport Homes on Western Avenue will now lease out its 136 units rather than sell them. Billed as luxury condominiums and priced from the $400,000s for the smallest one-bedroom homes, Seaport Homes reportedly sold only about 15 percent of the units in advance of the scheduled opening in January. “Mainly the market’s not good,” Seaport spokeswoman Nancy Bush said. “It’s hard for people to get a loan, so we thought we’d let people try it out on a lease with a purchase option first, to kick the tires, see how they like it.” Open house signs have come down on the property. Rents will range from $1,500 for a one-bedroom, one-bath to $2,750 for three bedrooms and three baths, according to Seaport’s Web site, www.seaport-homes.com. No information was posted about the length of leases or other terms. last_img

Andy Goldstein Sports Bar daily podcast – Tuesday, June 20

first_imgJoin Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy for the best bits of Tuesday’s Sports Bar show.They take calls on whether sportsmen and sportswomen are role models to young children, tennis correspondent Dave Luddy talks Murray and Maldini, there’s a Love Love Love feature and plenty more!Listen above or click here to subscribe and download from iTunes.last_img

Daniel on the crest of a wave as cruise almost sold out

first_imgDaniel O’Donnell is ‘cruising’ his way into the record books once again.A specially commissioned holiday cruise featuring the singing sensation has almost sold out with more than 1,800 holiday-makers already booked.And with berths on the all-singing and all-dancing trip next February costing up to €3,000 each, the show is already being hailed as a huge success. Fans of the Donegal man will be hoping to get up close and personal to the star on the trip.Daniel will be joined by the likes of Nathan Carter, Michael English and Tony Kenny for the eight-day trip from February 22nd to 29th.Daniel is warning fans keen to get on the trip that there are just 70 cabins left on board the cruiser.He told fans on his Facebook page “Get booking if you haven’t already and I look forward to seeing you on board the ship.” The luxury trip for Daniel’s more wealthy fans, which is being organised by Gertrude Byrne Cruises, sees passengers wined and dined on the luxurious cruise ship the MS Oosterdam.The ship includes luxury spas, swimming pools and private dining areas.Fans of the singer will fly from Dublin to California before traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.A promotion for the cruise claims “The hospitality is exceptional, you feel like relatives rather than customers. The mealtime banter is like being with friends rather than strangers.“It spoils you for any other cruise and the customer satisfaction validation speaks for itself. Record numbers of repeat passengers continue to sail on Gertrude Byrne’s cruises, why, because they know that they never disappoint. If this is your first cruise be prepared to have the best time of your life.” Daniel on the crest of a wave as cruise almost sold out was last modified: August 27th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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

Secularists Adrift with Embryonic Ethics

first_img(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 From stem cells to genetically-modified embryos, technology is outpacing ethical rules, and secular ethicists are at a loss what to endorse.The decade-long tug-of-war between advocates of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells continues.  The retraction of Obokata’s quick-and-easy STAP method (Science, Nature; see 1/30/14 entry) for producing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) leaves other production methods unharmed.  In fact, researchers are finding out that there’s untapped potential in the human body, Medical Xpress reported: “adult pluripotent stem cells are located throughout the body and are able to become every tissue, provided these cells receive the right instructions.”  These cells act as a “reserve army for regeneration” in the body.  The Editor of the FASEB journal is optimistic: “As the intersection between cancer and stem cell research becomes closer and clearer, all of today’s medical treatments will begin to look as crude as Civil War medicine.”The CIRM ChroniclesWith this arsenal of ethically-clear cells at the cutting edge of research, why work with human embryos at all?  Proponents of embryonic stem cell research continue their quest—with nothing to show for it.  Nature reports today that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, funded with $3 billion after a hyped ballot initiative promised medical breakthroughs with embryonic stem cells, is “on the line” to back up that hype with hope.  In “Stem cells: hope on the line,” Erica Check Hayden reports,A decade ago, voters in California changed the biomedical research landscape by directly funding embryonic stem-cell research. Now the organization they created needs a hit to survive….Californians voted CIRM into existence in 2004, making it the largest funder of stem-cell work in the world. The money — the proceeds of bond sales that must be repaid with $3 billion in interest by taxpayers — helped to bring 130 scientists to the state, and created several thousand jobs there. It has funded research that led to the publication of more than 1,700 papers, and it has contributed to five early clinical trials.The institute has navigated a difficult path, however. CIRM had to revamp its structure and practices in response to complaints about inefficiency and potential conflicts of interest. It has also had to adapt its mission to seismic shifts in stem-cell science.A decade later, no successful medical treatment has arrived.  The real-estate developer, Robert Klein, who wrote and promoted the initiative and became CIRM’s first chairman of the board (till 2011), is at it again, because CIRM is running out of money.  Promoting “CIRM 2,” he is depicting stem cell funding as warfare between science (i.e., pro-Obama liberalism) and religion (i.e., conservative ethics): “we will protect the freedom of science to ethically pursue knowledge in this country outside of religious ideology.”  (It’s clear he thinks ethics can detach itself from religion.)  With this angle, he hopes to tap another $2 billion from taxpayers to keep CIRM alive past 2017.To stay alive, though, CIRM has had to latch onto the bandwagon of non-embryonic sources: iPSCs and other adult stem cells.  That’s where the real progress has been made outside of CIRM (such as growing cornea tissue from adult stem cells; see Massachusetts Eye and Ear Center).  Despite all the funding to CIRM, “they haven’t cured a patient,” a critic noted.  Klein is backtracking, claiming that his Proposition 71 never promised cures in ten years.  Hayden, though, retorts by quoting ads from the time that promised “curing diseases and saving lives.”  One disillusioned voter says in a callout in the article, “I’m telling you, pal, I would have a hard time voting for it again.”CIRM will “need a home run” to stay viable, Hayden says.  Meanwhile, they’re shifting their hype from hope to attack on the religious right, using fear tactics.  CIRM’s current chairman, Jonathan Thomas, put it this way: “If we don’t take a position now, the next ten years may see a theocratic government at the state and federal level that restricts scientific research in this country for the next 50–100 years.”  So hand over another $2 billion, taxpayers.One would hope that successful research that leads to tangible cures would not have trouble raising money without relying on the government dole.  As for what he and Klein meant by working to “ethically pursue knowledge,” Hayden didn’t say.Embryo PolicyEarlier in June, two scientists in Nature warned that researchers need to “sell help not hope” by regulating the stem cell industry.  “Stem cells are being used as a wedge in calls to allow unproven medical interventions onto the market, warn Paolo Bianco and Douglas Sipp.”  They view with alarm the charlatans in foreign countries who use the phrase “stem cells” as a draw.  Nature’s editors could not point to a single treatment using human embryonic stem cells in its editorial, “Good practice,” advocating freedom to use them.UC San Diego claims that cloned stem cells are better than iPSCs.  The researchers claim that embryonic stem cells are the gold standard; cloned cells (somatic cell nuclear transfer), “in which genetic material from an adult cell is transferred into an empty egg cell” are almost as good, and iPSCs are third best.  Since they involve extraction of an egg, cloned stem cells (championed by Mitalipov last year; see 6/12/13) have some of the same ethical issues as embryonic stem cells, which “have long been limited by ethical and logistical considerations.”  Nature, though, says that “Nuclear transfer is ethically, logistically and technically more difficult” than iPSC work.  “It requires young women to provide eggs and creates an embryo that is then destroyed for research.”One letter-writer to Nature in June made it clear he knows what embryonic research is about.  Even though he supports it, he admitted, “Central to the debate is the ethical status of the human embryo between fertilization and implantation.”  Joep Geraedts wrote because he is irked by the “democracy carousel” of citizen campaigns that try to restrict research on human embryos.Nature printed an article by an Arab, Rana Dajani, promoting Jordan’s new policy on research with human embryos:There is no consensus on when human embryonic life begins, but the majority of Muslim scholars consider it to start 40–120 days after conception and therefore hold the view that a fertilized egg up to 5 days old has no soul — it is not ‘human life’ but ‘biological life’. So for many, there is no ethical problem in the Islamic faith with using an early embryo to produce stem cells.There is a problem, of course, in Jewish and Christian theology.  Why, then, should Nature consider this a policy that can “guide the Middle East” where many citizens do not concur with the views of “the majority of Muslim scholars”?Three Parents and a BabyEmbryo researchers continue to push the line.  New to the technology is the concept of “three parents and a baby” – using donor cells to bypass defective mitochondria in biological parents.  The BBC News reported that the technology may be available within 2 years in the UK, making it hard for ethicists to contain a potential Pandora’s box.  “Ethical concerns have been raised and some campaign groups are worried it could be the thin end of the wedge to genetic modification of people,” the article says.  A headline from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna says, “Three parents and a baby – Scientists advise caution with regard to artificial insemination method”.  Even staunchly secular New Scientist asked, “Is the UK being too hasty over three-parent babies?”  In that article, two bioethicists, Donna Dickenson and Marcy Darnovsky, think society needs time; at a recent public conference, “All those who spoke on the issue thought that allowing human trials would be premature.”Key worries include remnants of mutant mitochondrial DNA that persist despite the treatment, and the disruption of complex interactions between mitochondrial genes and those in the cell nucleus. There are also daunting challenges in terms of designing meaningful trials, or safe ones, because pregnancy and childbirth pose major health risks for women with serious mitochondrial disorders.Furthermore, MPs were troubled by a lack of proposals to legally require follow-up studies for a technique that may have implications not only for the children born as a result of it, but for their descendants.Perhaps the headline on an unrelated topic is apropos: “Because we can, does it mean we should?” (The Conversation).  PhysOrg reminds readers of the decades-long negative impacts of China’s forced one-child policy; now the country is attempting to “rebalance” the gender inequality, but it looks like too little, too late.  Two letter-writers to Nature wrote about Germany’s ongoing skittishness with any practices that arouse “residual suspicion of genetic diagnostics after the sinister history of Nazi eugenics” (embryo screening being the current concern).  The long-term impacts of bad ethical choices cannot be ignored.Ronald Reagan famously said that the scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.”  Some might want to replace “government” with “science lab.”If citizens do not keep watch on them, their government and their scientists will get away with whatever they feel like doing.  We are not lab rats for elites.  While there are many honest men and women in these institutions, we need to realize that government officials and scientists act often with mixed motives.  Government should exist by the consent of the governed.  Similarly, scientific research should proceed by the consent of the society.  Only an informed public, well-taught in the principles of ethics, can rein in mad scientists who treat embryos as personal playthings.  And ethics without Biblical theology is like a ship with a short anchor.  It provides some drag, but drifts wherever the helmsman wishes to go.  Some secular “ethicists” don’t even provide drag; they speed up the route to the rocks.last_img read more

Brand South Africa partners with Umalusi for the 12th (SAAEA) 2018 conference

first_imgTsabeng Nthite – Brand South Africa has partnered with Umalusi to contribute to the improvement of assessment methods and processes in the field of education. Umalusi is currently host to the 12th Southern Africa Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA) Conference , in the city of Tshwane.Hosted under the theme “Local context in global context: encouraging diversity in assessment” – the conference aims to engage regional academic stakeholders from the African continent on the following focus areas: sustainable assessment practices and standards; innovative assessment opportunities and challenges; diversifying assessment; assessment and the development of critical thinking; as well as the impact of stake holding on effective assessment. Brand South Africa’s GM for Stakeholder Relations – Mpumi Mabuza said: “Assessment is an integral part of instruction in the field of education, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding. “The ultimate goal, through a series of presentations and panel discussions at the SAAEA Conference is to collaborate on a way forward to solving challenges and identifying opportunities that will further encourage practices and standards in educational assessment.”The partnership is also aligned to South Africa’s National Development Plan which aims to ensure that by 2030 – all South Africans will be enriched by universal early childhood education, high-quality schooling, further education and training that allows them to fulfill their potential, and expanding higher education that accelerates the shift to a knowledge economy.last_img read more