Friday March 8th Local Sports

first_imgMADISON, Wis. (AP) — Ethan Happ had 21 points and 14 rebounds in his final home game to help No. 21 Wisconsin beat Iowa 65-45. Fellow senior Khalil Iverson added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Bohannon, who averages nearly 13 points a game, and Ryan Kriener led Iowa with eight apiece. DES MOINES — Bowen Born scored 32 points to help Norwalk rally for a 61-54 win over Clear Lake in the semifinal round of the Class 3A boys state basketball tournament on Thursday afternoon, as you heard on AM-1490 & 96.7-FM KRIB. Clear Lake took a 47-40 lead into the fourth quarter, but Norwalk outscored the Lions 21-7 in the final frame to advance to the championship game. Clear Lake coach Jeremey Ainley says it simply was the lack of execution in the fourth quarter that doomed the Lions.Ainley says Born showed why he’s one of the top junior basketball players in the state.Ainley says they’ll try to bounce back and win this morning’s consolation game.Drew Enke led Clear Lake with 20 pointsAndrew Formanek came off the bench to score 13 points as well as have five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.Senior co-captain Tate Storbeck was held to only six points in the game.Clear Lake drops to 24-1 on the season and will face Winterset in the 3A consolation game at 10:20 this morning, with the pre-game starting at about 9:50 on KRIB. Winterset fell to Oskaloosa 48-43 in Thursday’s other 3A semifinal. – AM-1300 KGLO, kgloam.com — Region XI championship game — NIACC men at Kirkwood — 3:00 === SATURDAY– AM-1300 KGLO, kgloam.com — Region XI semifinals — NIACC women vs. Iowa Central — pre-game 12:45, tipoff 1:00 === SUNDAY– AM-1300 KGLO, kgloam.com — Region XI championship game with NIACC women if playing — pre-game 12:45, tipoff 1:00 == 4A semfinals last nightCedar Falls 35, North Scott 27Dubuque Senior 57, Waukee 55 (OT) THIS WEEKEND:=== FRIDAY– AM-1490/96.7-FM KRIB, kribam.com — 3A boys state basketball consolation game — Clear Lake vs. Winterset — pre-game 9:50 AM, tipoff 10:20 INDIANAPOLIS — The Iowa Hawkeye women open the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis Friday night against Indiana. The Hawkeyes are the two seed and coach Lisa Bluder likes the way her team prepared.Bluder says the Hawkeyes have plenty to play for.Bluder says her players are not thinking about seeding for the NCAA Tournament,Indiana beat Minnesota 66-58 Thursday night. It was a loss to the Hoosiers that cost the Hawkeyes a share of the Big Ten title. You can hear the Iowa-Indiana game on AM-1300 KGLO starting at 5:15. MASON CITY — The Region XI women’s final four takes place on the NIACC campus this weekend. Top-seed NIACC will host the fifth-seed Iowa Central at 1 o’clock on Saturday afternoon in the first regional semifinal. The Lady Trojans won both meetings this season, 79-62 at home on January 9th and 74-63 in Fort Dodge on February 6th. You can hear the NIACC-Iowa Central game on AM-1300 KGLO starting at about 12:45 with the pre-game Saturday afternoon. The other regional semifinal has second-seed Kirkwood facing third-seed DMACC. The regional championship game will take place on Sunday at 1 o’clock at the NIACC gym. MASON CITY — The NIACC men’s basketball team won their school-record 25th game last night and advanced to the Region XI championship game for the first time since 1995 with a 90-82 win over Iowa Lakes, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. Trojans coach Mark Mohl says his team played a quality game.NIACC moves into Saturday’s regional final at Kirkwood. The two teams split in the regular season with each team winning on their home court. Mohl says he knows it will be a big challenge for his team.Kyle Lang led NIACC with 20 points off the bench while Trey Sampson also came in to score 14. You can hear the NIACC-Kirkwood game on Saturday on AM-1300 KGLO starting at 3 o’clock. – AM-1300 KGLO — Iowa women vs. Indiana in Big Ten Tournament — pre-game 5:15, tipoff 5:30 == Championship games today1A — 2:10 — Grand View Christian vs. Alburnett2A — 4:10 — North Linn vs. Boyden-Hull3A — 6:35 — Norwalk vs. Oskaloosa4A — 8:35 — Cedar Falls vs. Dubuque Senior – AM-1300 KGLO — Twins spring training baseball — 12:00last_img read more

Win, Lose or Draw…Pitt is still it! B-9 (March 13)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier BILL NEAL:10—Man, this past Saturday, March 9, was a walk down ole memory lane. Hit the floor at 6 a.m. “Sun was shining—plenty of light” (Temptations—“Since I Lost My Baby”—1964—try to keep up). Anyway, I got that old Pitt Field House feeling. Wanted to get going, get to the game, get the party started. Remember the Glory Days, Billy Knight, Kirk Bruce, Larry Harris, Sam Clancy, Clyde Vaughn, Charles Smith. An endless list of superstars and of course “Coach Girg.” Man-oh-man, those were the days. The Golden Panther breakfast, the sell-out crowds and most of all, the great times. Well, I can tell ya for a fact the good times are back. No, they may not equal the level that was produced when Billy was clearly “The Knight,” when Jerome “Owned the Glass,” before Charles was “the Toast of New York” and, when Sam “brought the Bam!” Nonetheless, these young men—“not kids”—are playing good old school basketball. A lot of energy, hard-nosed defense and a too-legit-to-quit attitude. You saw some good signs with Pitt defeating Notre Dame, 56-53, in the final home game of the year on March 9. The Pitt Panther basketball program is back on the map. Coach Jeff Capel has brought that Duke winning mentality to the ‘Burgh and given all that’s been accomplished along with the next recruiting class, the best is yet to come.:09—For the record, the best team in town just might be the Duquesne Dukes women’s basketball team. Check out the Lady Dukes as they host the A-10 tournament this year.:08—BTW…the Pens will make the playoffs and will challenge for the Stanley Cup. That’s all I can tell ya. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to tell you more but, as you well know, when it comes to the hockey puck, I don’t know more.:07—Here’s your newly established “Idiot of the Week” listing. #1. And still holding onto first place after a two-year run—Donald Trump. #2. And, all by his sick self—R. Kelly…and look, this is when you know you’re sick…when you actually believe the stuff coming out of your mouth. And locking down #3—your boy—not mine—Antonio Brown. (Keep this to yourself. I don’t want it to get out that I said it, but I hope they trade him to a team in the new AAF football league. I am just saying!:06—Here’s your movie tip, and this week is easy. No stars, no basketballs, just silly and funny. Go see “Madea’s Family Funeral” and just laugh. That’s it!:05—For the conversation of it all, can someone please explain to me just one more time why Sam Clancy’s uniform is not retired and hanging on this wall at the Pete? Along with several other legends they’ve overlooked…Jennifer Bruce, former all-time scoring leader, Larry Harris, current all-time scoring leader. C’mon Man!:04—This just in, the folks in “The Locker Room” want me to tell our editor and publisher, Mr. Rod Doss and our new managing editor, Rob Taylor, that they want four weeks in the paper, not three. I ain’t telling them nothin’. I know exactly where my bread is buttered. Now shut up, Locker Room! (Oh yea, speaking of the Locker, let’s welcome my man Greg Down at the Kingsley Center in the Room. Keep on reading, my brother…):03—Be reminded…please direct your donations to the R. Kelly Defense Fund to “I Am Going To Hell For Sure.com…”:02—Achieving Greatness Inc., Attorney Jack Goodrich and Champions Live Sports Talk show hosted an award presentation celebration for the Penn Hills High School 5A State Championship Football Team.:01—At the buzzer…I mean no disrespect to the Panthers’ defensive effort, but, Pitt won over Notre Dame, 56-53, because I wore the Tony Dorsett “Classic Throwback” shirt. The only one in the building…coincidence??? I think not. To which it tells me I should have worn my Chuck Cooper throwback to the Duquesne games, they got slapped by Dayton, 78-67.:00—GAME OVER.last_img read more

Ambrose: Windies must rebound

first_img DECLINING FORTUNES Their fortunes have declined steadily since then, however, and they now also face the prospect of failing to qualify automatically for the 2019 Cricket World Cup Only hosts England and the remaining top seven sides by the September 30 cut-off date will secure automatic spots with the remaining sides forced to play a qualifying tournament for a chance at the remaining two slots. Sir Curtly, who until last year served as a bowling consultant to West Indies, believes consistency is the big hurdle the regional side has to overcome. “Potential and talent have never been the question. It’s just we’ve not kept the results that we want. From time to time, there have been some good performances, but we’re not consistent enough,” explained the Antiguan, who took 405 wickets from 98 Tests and 225 scalps from 176 one-dayers. HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC): Legendary former fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose has urged West Indies to use the disappointment of missing out on next month’s ICC Champions Trophy to return to the top of world cricket. The tournament, referred to as the mini World Cup, features the cricket world’s top eight sides, with West Indies missing out on the June 1-18 showpiece in England because of to their lowly number nine ranking. “It’s really a shame. It is sad. I never thought the time would come when we, as a West Indies team, would miss a Champions Trophy,” Sir Curtly told the Royal Gazette. “It’s not a nice feeling at all, but that’s the way it is. We are not playing as well as we can, so it’s up to us as a nation, and the cricketers themselves, to bring back this tradition we have to get West Indies cricket near the top again.” West Indies were good enough to win the tournament back in 2004 in England when they beat the hosts in a dramatic final at the Oval.last_img read more

Major cycling coup for South Africa

first_img10 July 2008The face of professional road cycling in South Africa is set to change dramatically. This follows an announcement that the World’s View Challenge has been invited to be part of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI’s) ProTour from 2010.The World’s View Challenge is only the second event outside of Europe to be considered for the ProTour. It is currently staged at at Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) UCI 1.1 level in Pietermaritzburg, but with its enhanced status, the event will see the best pro cycling teams in the world competing in South Africa for the first time.Stated in other terms, those teams people love watching in the Tour de France will be the teams that are expected to take part in the race.Inaugural raceThe inaugural World’s View Challenge, which is owned and managed by Treble Entertainment, was made up of five one-day races staged in February this year.ProTour teams, Liquigas and Milram, were included in the event alongside other international teams, such as Team Barloworld and Pezula Racing; they did battle against the best that South Africa and Africa had to offer.The 2009 event is again scheduled as a series of UCI 1.1 races with three one-day races, from 13 February to 15 February, and will again be staged in Pietermaritzburg.The UCI ProTourThe UCI ProTour was initiated in 2005, when the top 27 events and the top 18 professional cycling teams were awarded UCI ProTour licences. This ensures that the best international riders and teams participate in the most prestigious events in the world.Initially all events in the series were staged in Europe, but in 2008 the Tour Down Under in Australia was added to the list and now the World’s View Challenge has been invited to join.‘An amazing development’Event Director, Alec Lenferna, was upbeat about the invitation: “This really is an amazing development, especially if you consider that we have only staged one edition of the event to date. However, we know that the event was a great success, a first for this country, and one which impressed the top teams and resulted in positive feedback to the pro peloton in Europe, as well as the UCI.“It is an honour to be asked to join the UCI ProTour and we will go back with renewed vigour and stage the 2009 event to meet the exacting standards, demands and regulations outlined by the UCI,” he added.“I am confident that our capabilities are comparable with the best in the world.”PietermaritzburgLenferna went on to say: “The level of support and enthusiasm the City of Pietermaritzburg has given to the international cycling events programme exceeds any other city’s input and they are now starting to see the benefits.“We would not have been successful without their fantastic buy-in and they are an example of how a bit of faith and foresight can work for you.”Treble Entertainment is also the organizer of the 2009 UCI BMX World Cup and UCI MTB World Cup, as well as the 2010 UCI MTB World Cup and 2010 UCI BMX World Championships – all to be staged in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.Big event organiserLenferna is no stranger to organising big cycling events. He was event manager of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour – the world’s largest individually timed cycling event – from 2000 to 2003. He then left to join the UCI, world cycling’s governing body.During his time with the UCI he was responsible for the elite Golden Bike Series (of which the Argus Cycle Tour is a part), the Masters World Championships (which, back then, included the Juniors), and the Men’s and Women’s Road World Cups. He was also part of the design team for the UCI ProTour.World ChampionshipsLast year, Lenferna’s Treble Entertainment organised the UCI ‘B’ World Championships in Cape Town. This year they have organised the UCI Junior World Championships, which take place in the Mother City from 12 July to 20 July.Despite Lenferna’s fine list of achievements, this – having the World’s View Challenge invited to be part of the UCI ProTour after only one year of the event – might take the cake.What a coup!SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Creating chances for South Africa’s youngsters

first_imgThe hospitality and ecotourism sectorshave gained 142 skilled Umzi Wethugraduates since 2006. Proud Umzi graduates have an 85%success rate at finding employment.(Images: Umzi Wethu)MEDIA CONTACTS • Pinky KondloUmzi Wethu Project Office+27 41 374 0746Emily van RijswijckA unique Eastern Cape social intervention programme aimed at young people affected in one way or another by the HIV/Aids pandemic is using the hospitality and ecotourism industries as a springboard for skills development and employment opportunities.The Umzi Wethu (isiXhosa, meaning “our homestead”) Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth programme gives promising youngsters, who have no access to training and jobs because of their circumstances, a chance to gain hands-on experience, with the eventual aim of finding employment or becoming self-employed.Since 2006, when the project was formally launched, 142 young people have graduated from the hospitality academy in Port Elizabeth and conservation academy in Somerset East, some 165km away.The project’s success in placing its graduates is impressive, with 85% of students finding permanent employment.Among these are Simphiwe Mantile, now a junior sous chef at the prestigious Shamwari Private Game Reserve and Simphiwe Ngubane, who is employed as a marine field ranger at Addo Elephant National Park.“The ultimate goal of Umzi Wethu is to have a seamless transition from being a student to being employed,” says Pinky Kondlo, director of the project office.Kondlo says she still gets a thrill from seeing once shy and uncertain students developing into confident employees guiding tourists and talking knowledgeably about a variety of subjects.“I can see they have a sense of purpose now. Those moments are breathtaking.”Wilderness FoundationThe Umzi Wethu programme is an initiative of the Wilderness Foundation.In 2008 it received international recognition when the foundation’s executive director and the creator of the programme, Andrew Muir, won a prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise. The Rolex awards recognise individual efforts that have had a profound effect on people or the environment, and Muir is one of only a handful of South Africans to have received the accolade.According to its website, “Umzi Wethu has two parallel ambitions: to close the skills gap that exists within Southern Africa and to provide hope and employment to some of the region’s most vulnerable people.”Every year about 20 students are selected from groups of contenders identified by Umzi Wethu’s partners, among them the Ubuntu Education Fund and the loveLife Campaign.“The selection process is rigorous and stringent,” says Kondlo. “We are not big on numbers and would rather focus on quality.”The emphasis of the programme is on skills, with academic learning just one part of the overall approach. Students live in residences at the academies, are supervised by a housemother and are given three meals a day.For some of these students, most of whom come from an extremely poor and difficult environment, the programme and residence life literally become home, says Kondlo.Nature, nurture, futureLike Pride and Imbewu, two more of the foundation’s social programmes, Umzi Wethu’s emphasis is on the environment.The programme’s pay-off line is nature, nurture, future, and before any actual learning takes place students are taken on a wilderness trail to experience nature at first hand. For most of the students this is their first encounter with the natural environment.“Wow, the programme has changed my life inside out.” These are the frank words of 24-year-old Lwazi Xinwa. His deep voice exudes confidence as he speaks of his newfound belief in himself and his future.Xinwa is now employed at the Umzi Wethu Hospitality Academy where he wears many hats, but there was a time in his life when things looked bleak.Abandoned at birth, he spent his first years in an orphanage and was then adopted, but had to deal with a few more blows when he lost his adopted father and, just before graduation, his mother. There was a point, after matric, when he even considered becoming a gangster, he says.Xinwa says that going back to “school” was not part of his plans when he first entered the hospitality academy in Port Elizabeth for a year-long course. Completely new to both conservation and hospitality, he joined the programme because he was desperate for a job, not knowing that it would involve much more than just employment.He admits that for the first six months he only stuck it out for his mother’s sake, but it wasn’t long before his interest in and passion for cooking began to grow.“I also began to understand how we are all so connected with nature.”While he became quite accomplished in the kitchen and in the managerial aspects of the trade, it is his passion for social work that is now coming to the fore, as he often stands in as housefather, lending his emphatic ear to new students.Encouraging entrepreneurshipThe Umzi Wethu programme itself has gone through a natural and spontaneous growth process since its inception. After feeling the squeeze of the economic recession the hospitality programme was extended, and now has a thriving catering division which forms part of the hospitality students’ hands-on training.Students also work in the coffee shop on site, a joint venture between Umzi Wethu and the Eastern Province Child and Youth Care Centre.In 2011 the Wilderness Foundation came up with a new initiative which complements the existing programme and, in time, will be used as to broaden opportunities for job creation for its graduates.The first of what is likely to be a growing brand of small, niche coffee shops linked to heritage, cultural, and green urban spaces opened on Heritage Day, 24 September 2011, in the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth.The pilot coffee shop project is a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency and Port Elizabeth Tourism.It is hoped that similar coffee shops will be rolled out as franchises around the country, with Umzi Wethu graduates as the registered owners. The branding of the coffee shop model is still under development.The coffee shop project in the Donkin is entirely run by Umzi graduates and gives them that real-life exposure, says Jean Rigby, coordinator for Umzi Wethu in the project. Students are gaining in confidence daily, she says, remembering a time when the coffee shop kitchen had only a fridge and a microwave.“They saw how we had to start small and make progress gradually. It has taught them a lot about basic business principles and good work ethics.”The Donkin Coffee Shop offers a full catering service, with head chef Sonwabile Tobi “really coming into his own”, says Rigby. All packaging for takeaways is fully recyclable and in time the shop will add organic options to its menu.“Ultimately, we want to see an Umzi Wethu graduate owning his or her own business,” concludes Kondlo.last_img read more

Nitrogen recommendations for wheat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio State University recommends applying nitrogen between green-up and Feekes Growth Stage 6 (early stem elongation), which is generally the latter part of April. The potential for nitrogen loss will decrease by waiting to apply closer to Feekes 6; however, when we reach greenup, a common sense approach would suggest applying when field conditions allow application equipment, particularly since days available for field activities may be limited between greenup and Feekes 6. Having that green, actively growing, plant in the field does help in holding nitrogen in place.We still suggest following the Tri-State Fertility Recommendations for N rates in wheat. This relies on the yield potential of a field. Once you have set a value for your realistic yield potential, the recommendation may be based on the following table for mineral soils. Nitrogen rate for wheat by yield potential.Yield potentialTotal N ratebu/Alb/A6058758490110105120** 120 is the highest recommended rate. We do not give any credit for the previous soybean or cover crop, since we do not know if that organic N source will be released soon enough for the wheat crop. The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations suggests that you subtract from the total (spring N) any fall applied N up to 20 pounds per acre. When do we need to apply nitrogen to corn?Even though we promote the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations as the tool for setting rates for P and K, not so with nitrogen. Even at the time the Tri- State Recommendations were written the philosophy on N was changing. Today we no longer recommend nitrogen rates based on yield goal. Recommendations today are based on economics and research trials to mange this nutrient.The current tool for nitrogen recommendations in Ohio is the MRTN web-based calculator. MRTN (for the Maximum Return to N), also suggests the most profitable N rate: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilfertility/nrate.aspx. The current recommendation for Ohio with a corn-soybean rotation is about 160 pounds of N per acre. Please go to the website and run your own scenarios. If you read the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for N rates you see there are some efficiencies that can be gained and should still be valid today. I like these tips:For inadequately drained soils with high denitrification potentials, N should be either: applied in a split application; applied as anhydrous ammonia with a nitrification inhibitor; or concentrated in a band to minimize soil contact.Corn grown on coarse-textured/low CEC soils with high leaching potentials may benefit from split or multiple N applications.For soils with greater than 30% residue cover, the majority of applied N should be either: injected below the soil surface; dribbled in bands using N solutions; or broadcast only if the material contains no urea (i.e., ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate).No-till corn, corn planted into cold, wet soils, corn following anhydrous ammonia applied less than two weeks prior to planting, and corn following spring-tilled legumes or cover crops should receive some N at planting — 20 to 40 pounds of N per acre banded near the row.Many of these conditions apply to Ohio soils, so almost every field can benefit from a split N application.And when do we need nitrogen for corn? Some recent work at the University of Illinois shows that corn really doesn’t need much N until well into the growing season. This chart from an article on the www.ipni.net website, titled “Modern Corn Hybrids’ Nutrient Uptake Patterns”, shows when and how N is used by the plant throughout the growing season.This work shows that we can get to V8 or later without a lot of nitrogen. A delayed application of N is more efficient, and less likely to be lost. Lost N costs the farm money, and becomes an environmental concern.Take action on weedsThe United Soybean Board has developed some very nice materials to fight resistant weeds. Mark Loux our Extension Weed Specialist supplemented and printed several thousand of these packets for Ohio – they have been very popular at our winter pesticide re-certification training programs. The campaign to manage resistant weeds is called “Take Action” against herbicide resistant weeds. The website to get more information is http://takeactiononweeds.com. I especially like the Site of Action chart: http://takeactiononweeds.com/understanding-herbicides/site-of-action-lookup/.There are no new herbicides — not quite a true statement, as there are many new names — but it is the active ingredient that is important, the rest is about marketing the name. So the site of action chart will help determine the active ingredient in the commercial product. I still remember as we were discovering the resistant marestail across Ohio, a farmer told me he had the solution to his marestail problem. He had been using “Roundup” until he learned it didn’t work any more — so he switched to “Buccaneer.” Only to learn that Buccaneer has the exact same active ingredient as Roundup. This chart will help avoid those mistakes.last_img read more

Observers gobsmacked at new revelation about lost QuadrigaCX currency

first_imgHALIFAX — The revelation that the embattled QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange recently lost track of more than $460,000 in crypto-coins has left some industry observers reeling with disbelief.“I’m totally gobsmacked … that such a thing could happen,” says Manie Eagar, CEO of Vancouver-based DigitalFutures, a business development consultancy that focuses on digital currency and blockchain technologies.“Whoever took over the reins and is acting as the custodian of these funds should have at least done due diligence to avoid whatever happened.”The court-appointed monitor overseeing the search for $260 million in cash and cryptocurrency owed to QuadrigaCX users revealed on Tuesday that the exchange had access to $902,743 in online digital assets, stored in so-called hot wallets as of Feb. 5.However, Ernst and Young said that on Feb. 6 someone working for QuadrigaCX “inadvertently” transferred 103 Bitcoins valued at $468,675 into a so-called cold wallet that remains beyond the reach of the company.Meanwhile, lawyers were expected to gather Thursday in a Halifax courtroom, where a judge will decide who will represent QuadrigaCX’s creditors.Insolvency expert Tim Hill said the case is highly unusual, given that QuadrigaCX has no offices, no employees and no bank accounts.“We certainly haven’t seen anything like this in Nova Scotia — and nothing in Canada that I’m aware of,” he said in an interview.The Vancouver-based exchange was shut down Jan 28 amid a flurry of speculation about the sudden death of its CEO and lone director, 30-year-old Gerald Cotten, who led his five-year-old virtual business from a home north of Halifax.Court records say Cotten, who died suddenly on Dec. 9 while travelling in India, was the only person with access to the digital keys needed to access $190 million worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.As well, the insolvent company owes about 115,000 affected users another $70 million in cash.“Transferring funds to wallets they can’t retrieve money from is really mind-blowing,” said Samir Saadi, professor of finance at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.“They know they don’t have access to those cold wallets and they still managed to make that terrible mistake …  It tells us a lot about the company’s practices. There’s no backup plans — nothing.”The selection Thursday of representative counsel, which will be overseen by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood, is part of a court-ordered insolvency process that was set in motion when the virtual company was granted protection from its creditors on Feb. 5.The purpose of the federal law is to allow insolvent companies owing more than $5 million to continue to operate while drafting a plan to pay off creditors, thereby avoiding bankruptcy.The court order includes a standard 30-day stay of proceedings, which means creditors are prohibited from filing lawsuits against QuadrigaCX until the order expires. An extension is widely expected to be granted by the court on March 5.Hill, a Halifax lawyer who specializes in insolvency and debt restructuring, said the law firms that will be selected as representative counsel will be paid by QuadrigaCX’s parent company, Quadriga Fintech Solutions.“There’s a real danger here that there’s going to be no money to pay these guys,” said Hill, a member of BoyneClarke’s business litigation team and a former registrar in bankruptcy. “Unless they can move quickly to identify some assets, some money, this may not go on too long. People need to be paid.”The representative counsel will speak for the creditors in court, but there’s nothing stopping creditors from hiring their own lawyers.Lawyers from across the country have expressed an interest in the case.Much of the actual money that is owed to creditors is in the form of bank drafts, which the company has failed to deposit in a financial institution because regular banks remain leery of dealing with cryptocurrency businesses.“That’s obviously going to be a challenge, but at some point the court will be asked to assist with that,” Hill said. “The court has very broad authority in these matters.”One user of the platform, Tong Zou of Orillia, Ont., submitted an affidavit to the court, saying he is owed $560,000.The professional software engineer said he had been using QuadrigaCX since 2017.His statement was part of an application to the court to have two law firms — Toronto-based Bennett Jones and Halifax-based McInnes Cooper — appointed a representative counsel.“After speaking with various affected users, I know that the affected users are very worried, confused and in need of assistance,” Zou said in the affidavit.He said he was aware of several other users who are owed more than $100,000 — but he said they have chosen to remain anonymous.Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Air Canada adding more planes to Rouge for use on domestic routes

first_imgMONTREAL – Air Canada is looking to cut operating costs and defend against competition from upstart low-cost competitors by adding more planes to its Rouge fleet and flying them on regional routes within Canada.Narrow-body Rouge planes that operate at lower cost could replace smaller regional aircraft operated by airline partners like Jazz on some routes.For example, one of several flights per day on a popular route could be converted to an Airbus plane, industry analysts were told Friday.Rouge aircraft are also available to compete if necessary with ultra low-cost carriers like WestJet’s new Swoop subsidiary, Flair Airlines or Canada Jetlines.“We needed to have the capability of introducing a lower-cost competitive vehicle, both on offence and on defence,” Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said during a conference call about its 2017 results.The increased use of Rouge planes domestically is permitted under changes to the collective agreement with pilots negotiated last year.Several more Rouge planes are being added this summer and once all Boeing 787s are delivered next year there will be no limit on the number or type of single-aisle planes that can be flown by Rouge.Ben Smith, president of passenger airlines at Air Canada, said Rouge Airbus A320s and 321s can be converted to high density single class cabins or possibly another airplane type such as the Boeing 737 Max.Rovinescu also told analysts that a joint venture with Air China expected to be concluded in the coming months would enable it to be more aggressive in the competitive Pacific market.The joint venture would expand the relationship beyond the use of lounges and codesharing as it faces pressures on flights to China and Hong Kong.“It certainly it should certainly be an assistance to us in competing more aggressively,” Rovinescu said.Meanwhile, Air Canada announced Friday a new $250-million cost-cutting plan to be implemented by the end of 2019. That follows the completion of a $500-million plan launched in 2009 that eventually netted about $575 million in savings.The new drive to cut costs comes as the Montreal-based airline looks to maintain margins despite the expected slowing down of its capacity growth with the arrival of its final new large planes.“We showed we can take costs out in bad times but we now need to show we can continue to have that cost discipline in good times,” Rovinescu told analysts.The cost savings are expected to come from procurement, maintenance, aircraft leases, internal engineering, overhead and simplified business processes, added chief financial officer Michael Rousseau.Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital Inc. said the new drive for efficiency is important as Air Canada’s growth slows to about seven per cent in 2018 from nearly 12 per cent in 2017, with more reductions likely in subsequent years.He expects the savings to come from “behind the scenes stuff” that won’t be felt by passengers.Air Canada capped a strong 2017 by earning adjusted net income of $61 million, or 22 cents per share for the quarter — ahead of analyst estimates of 14 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters data.The airline’s operating revenue was $3.82 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $3.43 billion a year earlier and above the estimate of $3.75 billion.Net income was $8 million or two cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, which was an improvement over a 2016 fourth-quarter loss of $179 million but lower than expected.“Overall, we liked what we saw in the Q4 results,” wrote analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Securities in a note to clients.For the full year, it earned $2.04 billion or $7.34 per share, up from $876 million or $3.10 per share in 2016. Adjusted profits also rose five cents per share to $4.11.Revenue grew 10.7 per cent to $16.2 billion as the airline carried a record 48.1 million passengers, up 7.3 per cent from the prior year.This included record revenues from cargo and Air Canada Vacations along with more than $1 billion in ancillary revenues from payments for checked baggage, seats, food and changed bookings.Strong demand and growing connecting traffic through its three hubs in Canada are expected to result in another good year in 2018, said Rovinescu, who added the performance is under appreciated by investors.Air Canada’s shares grew nearly 90 per cent last year and were up 2.3 per cent at $24.88 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)last_img read more

Womens coworking space The Wing set to open first location in Canada

first_imgTORONTO – A co-working space for women that’s drawn the ardour of thousands of Instagrammers and the attention of celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Lena Dunham is set to expand to Canada.The Wing, a New York-based networking and social club, said Tuesday that Toronto is among the six new locations joining its burgeoning pastel-hued chain.The female-focused company is part of a wave of modern sororities geared to female entrepreneurs, merging a fierce can-do motto with feminist ideals tailor-made for a generation of self-starters.It joins several other Canadian ventures that similarly put career women in their sightlines, including Toronto’s exclusive Verity Club and its luxury spa, the co-working and wellness space Shecosystem with its yoga classes and Madonna dance parties, and the pretty and perky penthouse space Make Lemonade. Other spaces include Montreal’s LORI hub, which stands for Ladies of Real Influence.“It’s important to have the space where we all feel comfortable and that this is ours, that we have ownership as well,” Rachel Kelly, Make Lemonade’s founder and owner, says of her inspiration.“If you start exploring a couple of the co-working spaces you’ll notice there is quite a male-dominated culture in a lot of these spaces and that presence is quite overpowering,” she adds.“Just the overall vibe — the bro vibe — is a big thing.”The Wing’s promotional material includes the taglines: “A home base for women on their way,” “Your throne away from home” and “Say goodbye to the old boys’ club.”It was founded by PR exec Audrey Gelman and business partner Lauren Kassan, and was inspired by the women’s social clubs of the early 20th century.It launched in Manhattan’s Flatiron district in October 2016, expanding to SoHo a year later. Then came a third spot in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn in February, and a fourth heads to Washington D.C. this spring.All locations are created by an all-female design and architecture team and feature a menu of food, wine and cocktails created by female chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. There are also showers and lactation rooms.The Wing says its first Canadian outpost is slated to open in early 2019, the address yet to be determined.Other new locations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and London.There certainly appears to be demand in Canada for such a venture.Twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur Kim Kirton says she joined Make Lemonade after souring on more traditional co-working spaces.“Sometimes I would feel uncomfortable just working, just the way people would kind of look at me,” says Kirton, who too often found professional networking opportunities devolve into social pitches.“(Men were) just coming up and usually asking, ‘Oh, what are your plans today?’ or, ‘What are you doing after work?’ versus ‘Oh, what do you do for work?’”Kirton doesn’t suggest she’s experienced any misconduct, stressing that her concerns were primarily focused on finding the best place to run her online wardrobe business, UnCo.“I have a startup here in the city and I’m trying to be like every other entrepreneur and trying to grow my business.”Although none of the members are men, Kelly says they’re certainly welcome to join Make Lemonade, as long as they adhere to an “inclusivity mandate” that bans “sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist or otherwise discriminatory language.”Since launching last September, Kelly says she’s drawn 80 members in various fields including editing, food, publishing, law, fashion and tech. In addition to workspaces, she offers mentoring, workshops, and mixers.But some question whether women-targeted initiatives are the answer.Sarah Kaplan, director of the Institute for Gender + the Economy at the University of Toronto, worries they push women to the sidelines, instead of levelling the playing field.“I’m not a big fan, personally, of cloistered solutions,” she says.“I’m sure it will satisfy the needs of some people who feel like it’s just a more pleasant or safer or more conducive (place) to the kind of work that they want to do. But is this a huge market opportunity because women are so different from men? No. It’s just because the world of work is so gendered masculine that I think the only solution people can come up with is to cloister and I don’t think that’s the right solution.“I think we have to change the world of work. But that’s a bigger project.”Initiatives such as implicit-bias training and diversity workshops clearly have not fixed organizational culture, Kaplan adds.“You have to actually change your processes and practices, you have to change how you think about the work, not just for women but also for men,” she says, seeing the need for men to participate equally at home.She also says corporate and full-time positions must be more accommodating to workers — often women — who need greater flexibility because of family obligations. Many have left the workforce or opted for “Plan B” ventures that have given rise to spaces like The Wing.“They still want to make money and they still want to participate in the economy but they can’t,” says Kaplan, bemoaning a lack of supports such as onsite daycare and lactation rooms.As a young woman, Kirton suggests self-esteem can hold back women, too, admitting, “Outside of certain spaces I definitely feel my self-doubt a lot bigger.”“Men sometimes are a little bit more vocal in their capabilities … or have a high level of confidence. Whereas women, not so much, so I can see why it could be intimidating.”Kaplan doesn’t see the same issues, pointing instead to “a world that isn’t going to fund you.”“Women are plenty confident, it’s just that they’re beaten down,” she says.“We’ve moved beyond mentoring, we know that that’s just giving free advice. What you really need is sponsorship, you need people who are going to stick their neck out, who are going to put their money where their mouth is.”last_img read more