Austin home market seen as hottest of 2021

first_img(iStock)It could be a transformative year for Austin’s residential market.A recent survey from Zillow and data from Redfin suggest that home prices could increase beyond the national average and outpace prices in top-tier metros, according to Inman.Zillow’s quarterly survey on home price expectations found 84 percent of industry experts, economists, and investors believed that price increases in Austin would exceed the national average.That consensus was the strongest about any city, either positive or negative.Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York were on the other end of the spectrum. A majority of respondents believed home prices would rise slower in those three expensive cities than the national average.Besides pandemic-induced slowdowns, that could be because prices in those markets are already among the highest in the nation, so there’s less room to grow. Prices have still hit record highs in L.A. this year, for example.Austin topped the same Zillow survey last year and that consensus proved correct: The median list price in the metro area in December was up 23.6 percent year-over-year, more than in any of the 50 largest U.S. markets.Demand from out-of-town shoppers is a factor. Around 43 percent of Redfin home searches in Austin in the fourth quarter were from out-of-towners.A third of those queries came from San Francisco alone. Some of the Bay Area’s biggest businesspeople are moving to Austin and employees seem ready to follow.High-tech industries have grown by 25 percent over the past five years in Austin, where about 16% of all jobs are in that sector. Oracle recently announced it was moving its headquarters there. PayPal, eBay, Microsoft, Facebook, Cirrus Logic, National Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Emerson, Dell, Samsung, ChemWest, InnoTech, Data Foundry and Orion Novotus already have offices in and around the city.Home shoppers have expanded their searches overall — a record 30 percent of Redfin.com users were searching for homes in other metro areas, a 16 percent year-over-year increase. [Inman] — Dennis Lynch  Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsCoronavirusTexaslast_img read more

Alcohol stolen from Hugh’s charity event

first_imgEight bottles of cava were stolen from a St Hugh’s charity event last Friday.The bottles, which were meant to be used for the champagne reception of their RAG ball, had been stored in the JCR committee room, which was left unlocked.Charities and Communities rep, Amy Ertan, who organised the event, told Cherwell, “It is very unfortunate that our champagne was stolen, and we hope to recover the lost cava soon. However it should not be forgotten that in spite of this, the Casino Royale Ball was a roaring success and this should not detract from that.”One St Hugh’s student, Rebecca Davies, told Cherwell, “I think that the whole committee was shocked by what happened, because the bottles were taken from the JCR committee room, where nobody would really expect for them to be stored.”Another student agreed, stating, “I think this is pretty low, especially considering that the bottles which were stolen were meant to be for a champagne reception for the St Hugh’s RAG ball, so whoever stole them were effectively stealing from a charitable cause.”In other news, St Hugh’s has enforced a blanket ban on students bringing their own bottle to formal, following an incident last Tuesday where an unnamed individual vomited in hall. The college has offered to supply wine at a price of around £8, and a cheaper option between £6.50 and £7.A statement from the St Hugh’s JCR committee said, “I would like to point out that this is not an ideal situation, and the response to this problem is not one that I, or the rest of the JCR committee, agree with. We are hoping that this change of policy can be reviewed in the near future, and we can come to a more agreeable solution for all, but for now this is the only option.”A number of St Hugh’s students have expressed their discontent at the new measures. One third year commented, “I don’t feel its entirely fair. College authorities seem to have taken this action in response to one incident of vomit following formal this term, and one other in Trinity. These are isolated incidents, in my opinion.”Another St Hugh’s undergraduate said, “I think this goes against a tradition at St Hugh’s of being laid back and informal. We don’t wear gowns to formal, and we can walk on the grass in the gardens, I don’t see why we should scrap BYOB if the vast majority of people play by the rules.”last_img read more

Once a CIO, Always a CIO

first_imgWhile bittersweet, career changes are exhilarating.  After nearly five years as EMC’s CIO, I’ve handed the reins over to our newest executive Vic Bhagat and EMC’s award-winning IT team, who proudly and painstakingly built our industry-leading cloud and Big Data foundation.I may have given up the title and business cards, but I believe that once you are a CIO, you are always a CIO.  As I roll up my sleeves to support the Pivotal Initiative led by Paul Maritz; foster the company’s international growth opportunities; and lend a hand with a variety of EMC’s customer activities, I will be relying on many battle-tested lessons from my tenure as CIO.  Here are a few of the most important ones:First, agility is the new currency of the business as it further drives efficiency, strives to innovate and speeds its time to value.  Rather than tactically deploying strong technologies at the whim and/or budget of the business (yes, that can happen!), IT must jointly develop value-driven solutions.  Whether I am in IT or a customer within the business, this drive towards agility requires tight, joint IT/business partnerships; an active and involved executive sponsor; and a strong, vetted and validated business case.  The basics don’t change, they just get more pronounced.Second, agility is also the currency and modus operandi for IT organizations.  At EMC, we are well on our way.  Virtualization and cloud have driven higher utilization and efficiency.  Harnessing and analyzing Big, Fast Data is helping both IT and the business make faster, more informed decisions.  And the software-defined data center promises to take the foundation we built even further by automating the pools of applications and information to make it even easier to acquire, manage and consume IT.  As a “business” customer, I will have even greater IT reliability, flexibility and scalability to be more agile.And the final lesson is to wholeheartedly embrace the leading products and services that we tout and sell to our customers.  Regardless of where I am in the company, I have immense confidence and pride in our products and services because we tested, used and showcased their value day in and day out.  And, we even shared our experiences and best practices with customers and partners through the EMC IT Proven program.  Many of our business units go as far as saying, “it’s not ready until IT has tested or used it.”  I will continue to evangelize this with my colleagues inside and outside of EMC.I’d be lying if I said every day in IT was rosy.  However, the relationships I built, the battles we fought, and the successes we had have made me even more prepared to tackle my new endeavors.  As a former CIO and once again a “business” customer, I’m looking forward to working closely with my colleagues in IT to truly unlock the potential and value of IT to drive business agility.last_img read more

University hosts Shakespeare conferences

first_imgThe Shakespeare at Notre Dame program will host its second “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27.The conference will bring together professionals in both the study and performance of Shakespeare, as well as social justice-directed performance programs, to explore the effect of Shakespeare and theatre in general towards social reform.“We’re holding two big conferences,” Scott Jackson, executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, said. “The first is ‘Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice,’ which is in effect the second Shakespeare in prisons conference. We held the first one here in November of 2013. [And] that rolls right into … the 26th annual Shakespeare Theatre Association Conference, which rotates venues every year.”Jackson said the first “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference came about as the result of the combined efforts of himself, the president of the Shakespeare Association of America, Mario DiGangi, Notre Dame film, television and theatre professor Peter Holland and the founder of the Shakespeare Behind Bars program, Curt Tofteland.“A few years ago [we] got together and said, ‘There’s never been a forum for prison arts and community arts practitioners to come together and talk about the populations they work in with and the work that’s being performed,’” Jackson said, “We wanted to break that silo of isolation from practitioner to practitioner. … We raised some money, and we thought that we’d have 25 or 30 practitioners attend … from the United States, and I had to close registration at 66 because so many people responded. We had people from every corner of the States, we had people attending from South Africa, Australia, Wales, Northern Ireland, England.”The conference in 2013 at Notre Dame was an “incredible experience” for participants, Jackson said, as they shared ideas, resources and stories of individual experiences.“At the end we created what’s called the Shakespeare in Prisons Network as a resource for advocates for this type of work, not only in prisons but also in communities that are marginalized or that are often overlooked by traditional arts and cultural organizations. And that’s become a pretty powerful voice in the movement,” he said. “The timing, as you can imagine, is pretty fortuitous with all the talk about criminal justice reform and everything else, and it’s pretty incredible for Notre Dame to be situated at the center of that conversation right now.”The Shakespeare Behind Bars program, according to its website, offers “theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society.” While national recidivism rates hover around 60 percent, the recidivism rates of inmates who experience the Shakespeare Behind Bars program are 5.1 percent, according to its website.Jackson said Notre Dame’s collaboration with Shakespeare Behind Bars and hosting of the “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference “[shows] what makes Notre Dame special in the world of Shakespeare performance and study. We’re unique from the standpoint that we really bridge this divide between the study and academic pursuits of Shakespeare and the performance and practice of Shakespeare. What sets us even further apart from that is the fact that we are at Notre Dame, and we found a way to connect the broader social justice mission of Notre Dame into our own program.“All of that speaks to a larger commitment to looking at Shakespeare specifically, and the theatre arts more broadly, as a catalyst for positive social change,” Jackson said, “When you’re on stage with someone, all socio-economic, racial, cultural, any sort of societal divides banish between us, and it’s the great equalizer that way. And not only does it do that but it allows us to embody a character and relate and have compassion for that character’s individual existence, the struggles and problems and conflicts that they have in their own lives, and justify them to ourselves internally. So we come out of that with a more well-rounded, compassionate viewpoint on life itself.”This year’s conference is part of a larger initiative celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and his subsequent legacy, Jackson said. “He died in 1616 and this year … will be the world’s largest Shakespeare celebration in history. And Notre Dame is playing a major international role in kicking off these celebrations.”According to Jackson and the Shakespeare at Notre Dame website, the “Shakespeare in Prison: In Practice” conference will be comprised of morning panel sessions followed by afternoon performance workshops.“At the first prisons conference (there were) so many people in the room that we just ended up having panel discussions,” Jackson said, “I made a promise to those delegates that the second prisons conference would be more practically based in terms of approaches to the incarcerated and non-traditional populations, so that’s why the name of this conference is ‘Shakespeare in Prisons: In Practice.’”Attendees will take part in one of four tracks as part of afternoon workshops. The first, “Including the Excluded,” will be taught by Tom Magill, from the Educational Shakespeare Company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will explore working with the mentally ill. A second, “A Taste of the Work of the Actor’s Gang Prison Project,” will be taught by Sabra Williams and Donna Jo Thorndale, members of the California-based theatre group The Actors’ Gang, and will center around working with the incarcerated. A third, “Story Into Song,” will be taught by Ozivell Ecford and Meade Palidofsky from Chicago’s Storycatchers Theatre, and will focus on working with incarcerated juveniles. Finally, the fourth track, “The Bard and the Brain,” will be taught by Nancy and Bill Watson, from the Milwaukee-based program Feast of Crispian, and will center on working with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.“I’m really excited about both the potential of these programs around the world strengthening Notre Dame’s place as an advocate for these works and as an active partner in engaging the social justice mission of Notre Dame to the performing arts,” Jackson said.Tags: Shakespeare NDlast_img read more

President Trump To Meet With Governor Cuomo Today

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Andrea Hanks, White House / Gabriel López Albarrán, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.WASHINGTON – President Trump is expected to meet with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at the White House today to discuss infrastructure.Cuomo announced the meeting on Tuesday. He wants his state to partner with the federal government to tackle several infrastructure projects.Those include a New Penn Station, a train link to Laguardia Airport, rebuilding train tunnels under the Hudson River, and expanding the Second Avenue Subway.Trump has expressed openness to infrastructure projects amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Trump and Cuomo have known each other for years and have a hot-and-cold relationship.This will be the third time the two leaders have met at the White House this year.last_img read more

Augmenting Director effectiveness

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Vancity has a regular cycle of board assessment.by: Charlene Komar Storey“Our board has an assessment lifecycle,” says Karen Hoffmann, corporate secretary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union–better known as Vancity –in Vancouver, British Columbia.The $17.5 billion, 501,000-member credit union’s annual assessment rotation is overseen by a third-party consultant.Assessments of individual board members are reviewed by the external consultant, the director involved and the board chair.A plan is put together to develop the board member‘s skills and expertise by using suggestions from the consultant and board chair as well as requests from the director. As corporate secretary, Hoffmann works with the chair to ensure the plan is followed.Vancity sets aside a small pool of educational money for directors.“We can help them with ideas and support,” Hoffmann says. “If a director wants or needs more intensive knowledge about a particular subject matter, that may call for attending a conference or a program.” Seminars that are helpful to several board members are often held in house – for instance, ones to enhance their financial fluency. continue reading »last_img read more

Former Florida credit union teller & her boyfriend arrested for theft

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Florida police alleged a former employee for the $8.6 billion VyStar Credit Union and her boyfriend stole nearly $50,000 from two member accounts.Lake City Police arrested Stevlein Stephon Bivins and Jasmine Cassandra Jones on July 12. Jones was a teller at the Jacksonville-based credit union.After reviewing surveillance footage and other evidence, the credit union’s internal affairs officers and police determined that Jones and her boyfriend allegedly began stealing from member accounts in June, and that it continued until a member alerted authorities.Police said Bivins presented himself as a VyStar CU account holder and made transactions at Jones’ teller station. Jones processed withdrawal slips submitted by Bivins and then allegedly provided him with cash.last_img read more

CUNA engaged with administration budget, cybersecurity hearings

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Both chambers of Congress are in session this week and CUNA will engage with several hearings related to the administration’s 2021 budget, monetary policy and cybersecurity, among others. Complete details can be found on CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog.The Senate is expected to consider judicial nominations, and the House is expected to consider an environmental bill and a House resolution on the equal rights amendment.Hearings CUNA will be engaged on include:Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (ET): Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, “What States, Locals and the Business Community Should Know and Do: A Roadmap for Effective Cybersecurity;”last_img read more

Four reasons credit unions should modernize member communication

first_imgWith today’s world gone so fully digital, there has never been a more relevant time to elevate the discussion on effective communication.After all, the growth, success and loyalty of members to your credit union can rise and fall with your ability to communicate. When it comes to your communication strategies, you need to ask yourself the right questions.Do members hear from you at the right times, through the best avenues of delivery?Is your communication personalized, informative and helpful? Is it often enough?Are you using a customer communication management system to streamline communications? Importantly, is that system cost effective and easy to use?At bottom, are you creating an experience that is remarkable and differentiating?The purpose of effectively communicating with your members is adding value to their ongoing experiences, to make their interactions and choices easier. Effective communication centers on presenting the right message to the right people at the right time, in a consistent cadence that meets member needs. This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading »center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more