Playing catch-up on marijuana

first_img Professor has Ed Portal audience vote on legalization of marijuana Pros and cons of controversial Question 4 examined With marijuana legalization advancing in several states, including Massachusetts, scientists are working to answer questions about the drug’s effectiveness as a medicine and its impact on health and the brain.In doing so, they face a disconnect between state and federal policy, including marijuana’s continued categorization as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. Staci Gruber, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the MIND program (Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery) at McLean Hospital, has explored the effects of both recreational and medical marijuana. She thinks state marijuana legalization policy has run ahead of science.The Gazette talked to Gruber about the limits of marijuana research and the roadblocks scientists face in their quest to learn more. GAZETTE: Is the science on the health effects of marijuana settled enough for lawmakers to make informed public health decisions about recreational and medical marijuana?GRUBER: The question “Is the science settled enough?” is a good one and the answer in my mind at this point is “No, not yet.”There is an awful lot that we don’t know. What we do know primarily comes from studies of chronic, recreational marijuana users. There is still a lot left to learn about the effects of less frequent, casual use. Also, there are a number of differences between recreational and medical marijuana use. Recreational and medical users very often differ quite strikingly with regard to what they use, how they use, etc. Some of the products may overlap but the indications for use and what they expect to get out of using marijuana are usually very, very different. Frequency and magnitude are often very different, as is mode of use. A lot of recreational users might, for example, enjoy using concentrates. It’s less common in medical users, who are not looking for super high THC-containing products all the time.When we think about legalization we always like to have science inform policy. In this particular case, it seems to me that policy has outpaced science. These products are widely available but to date, we have no studies on the direct impact of concentrates versus flower products on our recreational or medical users — which is important, especially given concerns for our youngest users.There’s been an awful lot of excitement — and much of it is well founded — about the potential for medical cannabis use. [But] there’s a striking paucity of research on the use of medical cannabis, and it’s been around since at least 2700 or so B.C. It’s not that there’s nothing out there, it’s that there’s no large, clear, clinical, or empirically sound research trials that tell us what I would consider everything we need to know. That is why we started the MIND program here at McLean Hospital.GAZETTE: You published a study in October on medical marijuana and one thing I found surprising is the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. You found what looked like striking differences in their effects on executive functions. Could you talk a little bit about your findings and also about the chemical differences between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana?GRUBER: For the better part of two decades, we’ve been looking at the effects of recreational marijuana on measures of cognitive performance, specifically executive functions, those that are mediated by the frontal part of the brain.“I’ve heard a lot of people express concern [that] we’re going to substitute an opioid addiction for a marijuana use problem,” said Associate Professor Staci Gruber. “We’d need studies to prove that and so far that’s not what we’re seeing at all in the medical marijuana patients.” Photo by Patrick EcclesineIn general, what we’ve been able to glean from those research studies, along with the work of many colleagues across the country and across the world, is that overall, individuals who use marijuana look different from those who don’t in very specific cognitive domains. The most striking differences, however, are between those with early onset of use — people who use regularly prior to age 16 — versus those who use later. When you group marijuana users together — regardless of their age of onset — you may or may not see differences between them compared to control subjects. [But] once you separate the marijuana users into those with early versus late onset and then compare to controls, almost all the differences with regard to executive function are driven by the early onset group.GAZETTE: Why is that?GRUBER: Probably because the brain of an adolescent is still neurodevelopmentally immature; it is still under construction. And when you expose something that is neurodevelopmentally immature to exogenous or outside cannabinoids that interact with our own endocannabinoid system in the developing brain, you can alter the developmental trajectory of the brain. This is also true for other drugs and alcohol.We also see the same types of differences in measures of brain function and structure, so it’s a consistent picture. It’s not that recreational marijuana consumers do terribly across the board in every cognitive domain. Specifically, with regard to executive function, the early onset users look worse than controls and definitely different from those with later onset in many cases.The first study from the MIND program looked at a group of medical marijuana patients who were certified for medical marijuana use for a number of indications and conditions. We have patients who are using marijuana for anxiety, for chronic pain, for PTSD, for sleep dysfunction. What we found was that at the three-month visit, individuals did not look worse on measures of cognitive function, despite the fact that they had started using medical marijuana. In fact they looked better. They showed some improvements in measures of executive functions. They also had some improvements in sleep quality and some measures of mood and quality of life.Cognitive performance may be better because their symptoms have been addressed. We saw improvements in a subset of people who were using for chronic pain. If you feel better, it may be that the part of the brain that is processing painful stimuli all of the time is now able to do other things. So maybe you complete these cognitive tasks more efficiently.We also saw a decrease in use of conventional medications — for example, a 42 percent reduction in opiate use. It’s a tiny sample size but that’s important because it means subjects didn’t need the same level of conventional treatment if they were also using a cannabinoid-based product.To your point about the actual product used, it is a well-known fact that recreational users are interested in products that contain THC. That’s the main psychoactive constituent of the plant, which binds to receptors in the brain and is responsible for altering your state of being. It’s what gets you high, in other words. We have samples of patients’ products analyzed and a number of our patients are taking products that are high in CBD [cannabidiol] and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.It is very possible that one reason we don’t see decrements in executive performance — thus far — is because, one, the average age [of the study’s medical marijuana users] is about 49. At this age, patients are generally beyond the critical neurodevelopmental stages, which occur from childhood throughout your 20s. Number two, they’re using products that are not exclusively high in THC. In fact, as I mentioned, they’re often high in other cannabinoids that are not psychoactive, which are also less likely to exert a deleterious effect on brain function and may in some cases even be neuroprotective. Related GAZETTE: Given the pain-alleviation qualities of medical marijuana and the fact that your study showed a decline in the use of opioids, is it possible that medical marijuana could be an alternative?GRUBER: There’s every reason to be hopeful that at least adjunctive therapy, if not substitution therapy, with cannabinoids or cannabinoid-based products could be extraordinarily helpful for individuals who are currently on opioids. We’ve seen individuals who’ve stopped using opioids altogether. Now, is that going to be true for everyone? Probably not. Will it depend on the condition? The magnitude of the pain? The severity? Probably. But that doesn’t mean it’s something that shouldn’t be exploited and explored.I’ve heard a lot of people express concern, “Well, we’re basically going to exchange one problem for another. We’re going to substitute an opioid addiction for a marijuana use problem.” I’m not sure that’s true. We’d need studies to prove that and so far that’s not what we’re seeing at all in the medical marijuana patients.GAZETTE: How big a hurdle to research is the fact that the federal government is keeping marijuana a Schedule I substance?GRUBER: Its current classification as a Schedule I substance makes clinical trials difficult. Currently, if you want to do a clinical trial of a cannabinoid or a cannabinoid-based product, you have to have your material sourced by the National Institutes of Drug Abuse. Here’s one potential problem: If you really want to understand the effects of cannabis or cannabinoids on the brain, on cognition, on brain structure, function, mood, sleep, sex — I don’t care what the variable is — it’s helpful to study what it is that people are actually using. As it stands, people can use all sorts of products I simply can’t study in a clinical trial model, which is a bit of a problem. I think a lot of people would be interested to know if their products actually work.GAZETTE: With legalization looming here in Massachusetts, what do you think the most important thing is for the public to know?GRUBER: I think the most important thing for the public to remember is that we are extraordinarily vulnerable creatures, not just to marijuana, but to alcohol, to injury, to illness — to lots of things — up to a certain age. Adolescents and young adults are neurodevelopmentally immature and it’s very important to keep that in mind. It’s important to keep an open dialogue with our most vulnerable consumers — our kids, our adolescents, our emerging adults. In our community outreach, we say, “Don’t tell your kids never,” because messages of abstinence don’t work. Instead of that, we say, “Just not yet. It’s worth the wait. Give your brain a chance to get to a point where it’s less likely to [be impacted] negatively.”If it’s widely available, we have to be mindful of how people are educated and what they know. My goal as a scientist is to provide the right information — the truth — and let them make informed decisions. I would like all people, regardless of recreational or medical status, to be able to understand what’s in their weed or medicine. What exactly are you getting and what can you expect from it? That’s really the most important part: education and open dialogue. No judgment, that’s the thing.Harvard Medical School’s Labcast interviewed Staci Gruber about her research into medical marijuana on Oct. 21, 2016.last_img read more

Angry farmers storm India’s Red Fort in challenge to Modi

first_imgNEW DELHI (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesting farmers have marched, rode horses and drove long lines of tractors into India’s capital, breaking through police barricades to storm the historic Red Fort. It was a deeply symbolic act that revealed the scale of their challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. They waved farm union and religious flags from the ramparts of the fort, where prime ministers annually hoist the national flag on the country’s August independence day holiday. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons and set up barricades in attempt to hold back the protesters Tuesday. The farmers have been demanding the withdrawal of new laws that they say will favor large corporate farms and devastate the earnings of smaller scale farmers.last_img read more

Gordon County Ag Service Center

first_imgWith the opening of the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center this month, farmers in northwest Georgia now have a one-stop shop for information and help. The new 14,000 square foot facility, located on five acres off of SR 53 Spur in Calhoun, houses the Gordon County office of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, UGA research and education staff, representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission and the Gordon County Young Farmers. The new building is adjacent to the Northwest Georgia Livestock Pavillion, which hosts the annual UGA Calhoun Bull Test Sale and many other agriculture related events. Gordon County officials built the $2.5 million ag service center on five acres provided by the Gordon County Development Authority. “We are very lucky to have a county that has shown its commitment to agriculture in the county; one that understands how important agriculture is to the county and to the community,” said Greg Bowman, Gordon County UGA Extension coordinator. Community members, as well as state leader Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Rep. Jack Meadows of Calhoun filled the building’s auditorium on Oct. 23 for the dedication. In addition to representatives from local, state and federal governments, several farmers attended to see the new space. “I think the one-stop concept where a producer can come to one place and get all the information that they need is very helpful,” Bowman said. “For young farmers, it eliminates questions like, ‘Where do I need to go to apply for this or sign up for this? “For the older producers, it helps them because they may have had to make two or three trips, they can just come to one place and handle all of their business.” The new facility should also allow Gordon County to host regional producers meetings on a more regular basis. The new center’s auditorium should seat about 200 people. Bowman hopes that sharing a building with the regional agricultural offices will lead to collaboration between the agencies and better services for farmers in northwest Georgia.last_img read more

A Welcome Outlier in the Age of Ultralite: High Sierra Lightning 35 Pack

first_imgIt’s happening again. It’s only a day-hike with the family, you say, pulling that ultralight daypack out of the closet. Yet here you are, struggling with a bag full of diapers, granola bars, cartoon-shaped fruit snacks, rain gear (just in case the 0% precipitation forecast is wrong – because your partner insisted), your 10 essentials (good for you, seriously), and maybe some dog food since Ruffwear doesn’t come in SilNy under 1 lb.And this lightweight daypack is not cutting it. You might as well be using a bindle because your hip, ultralite bag has about as much structure and all those diapers, clean and dirty, are sitting right on your shoulders.Lightning strikes. In the age of ultralight, the High Sierra Lightning 35 is a stalwart workhorse that makes no compromise to cut weight, and for the $60 price tag currently available on High Sierra’s site, I shouldn’t have to say more. This “full-service” pack served me well on a dozen daytrips to the crag as well as a few overnights. I cannot find any significant fault, and if I’m being honest, I hit the trail looking for trouble because I have my own loyalties within the pack industry.The Lightning boasts pockets in all the right places including my favorite snack stash on the hipstrap, a built in rain fly so you can think about more important things, and a hydration system pocket. There are even a few extras you don’t really need like the classic shoulder-strap camera/phone pocket for all the dad’s out there who realize you can’t wear a pack and a fannypack at the same time. These are pretty standard features. But most importantly – the lightning has the structural support to carry heavy loads despite being a lower volume pack. It is overpowered in a good way. At 4 pounds and change, it doesn’t pretend to compete with that GoLite Jam that you brag about to friends (leaving out the part about how sore it makes you every time). That extra weight more than makes up for itself on the trail in terms of support. I’ve owned a number of daypacks in this volume range but none of them could hold a candle to the grace with which the lightning held heavier loads.Some of that weight, too, comes from sturdier materials. I dragged this bag all over Appalachia, probably threw it around a few times, and might even have given it a few kicks for kicks. All I’ve been able to do to it is separate the sheath from a drawstring – a simple fix, remove the sheath, the strength of the cord is in the core anyway – and put a small tear in the bag cramming a rack of cams deep in the bag. At $60, I’m not complaining and neither is my back.High Sierra Lightning 35 Backpack, MSRP $60last_img read more

Message orchestration across the customer lifecycle

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brad Banyas Brad Banyas is CEO of OMI, a leading cloud-based customer communication management service and platform provider. OMI delivers cost-effective solutions for marketers and brand managers to connect with customers through … Web: www.omi.co Details Three tactics to maximize marketing successThe notion of “Customer Lifetime Value” is a concept and calculation that helps executives determine the dollar value associated with the long-term relationship of any customer, determining just how much that customer relationship is worth. Used by marketing managers and CMOs, customer lifetime value is a prediction of the net profit associated with the entire relationship with a customer. The notion is an important one because it encourages financial firms to shift their focus from customer acquisition to the long-term health of their customer and member relationships.Why Should CMO’s Care?More and more financial institutions are retooling their efforts to more ardently optimize customer lifetime value, but it can be an uphill battle. According to Ernst & Young, the world’s third largest professional advisory firm, just 25% of US consumers consider brand loyalty as something that impacts their buying behavior. Research from Nielsen, the global marketing research firm, found that 78% of consumers are not loyal to any particular brand. As a result, it is becoming more and more important for businesses to communicate with their customers in a more orchestrated and personalized way in order to build brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.Campaign ReinventionWith so many communication channels and marketing tools available it can be difficult to know which strategies and tactics to adopt, and easy to slip back into more comfortable and traditional approaches to marketing and customer communications. But a new report from Forrester Research argues that marketing campaigns must be re-invented. Instead of relying on big-gun campaigns, leading brands are adopting a marketing orchestration approach across multiple channels with campaigns and communications that get results in new and more profitable ways.A Post-Campaign EraForrester calls marketing orchestration “the appropriate approach for the Post-Campaign Era” and many iconic brands are leading the way. Organizations are moving beyond single channel marketing with the goal to provide every consumer with a highly personalized experience that maps to each individual’s journey with the company from discovery to purchase to re-purchase. Engaging customers with relevant messaging and meaningful content is not only what customers expect, it’s what they demand; and a requirement to compete in today’s marketplace.Customer-Centric Mindset Financial institutions can no longer afford to retain a campaign-centric instead of a customer-centric mindset. The benefit of marketing orchestration is that it focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns, but instead on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up an individualized customer experience. Leading firms are adopting this approach and orchestrating marketing across all touch points – social, mobile, online, in print, in advertising – since customers are no longer interacting in a sequential or linear way — its multi-channel, multi-device and much more interactive than ever before.Multi-Channel and MobileMost consumers today use at least three devices, one of which is mobile. It’s hard to deny that we live in an age of mobile computing: 58% of American adults use a smartphone, over 40% own a tablet, and mobile computing grew by over 80% just last year alone. Indeed, there are more smartphones out there in the world than there are personal computers. As a result, Forrester predicts that already half of all online adults on the planet are “always-addressable,” meaning they own and use at least three web-connected devices, go online multiple times per day, and go online from multiple physical locations. These numbers will only increase over the next few years and for marketers the message is clear: Orchestrating your message across these technical and social channels is essential in order to compete.Three Tactics for Marketing Orchestration SuccessHow can financial institutions better orchestrate their message across the customer lifecycle? Here are three tactics and best practices for maximum results.#1. Establish a Single Identity – Marketing orchestration can deliver a superior and more individualized customer experience while returning higher revenue, increased loyalty and greater internal efficiency to the marketer. But a key component is establishing a single identity for customers that spans across interactions. This means using cookies, sign-ons, email addresses, mobile IDs and other techniques, and then merging these multiple instances into one identity. A single, cloud-based customer communication tool helps make message orchestration easier by providing a single platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. Online, mobile, social, print – each are a critical component of the entire marketing ecosystem.#2. Leverage Customer-Facing Communications – Marketers must work quickly to evolve from single-channel marketing campaigns with customers treated as groups, to single-channel campaign automation based on customer events and actions. One way to do that is through the many customer-facing communications that you already send. Renewals, acknowledgements, statements, and a host of other every day documents are on the front line of how companies retain customers and build relationships. Customer-facing communications are opened and read by 90% of recipients. What other form of marketing communication can claim that kind of customer-open rate?#3. Integrate and Orchestrate – Today’s financial services marketing landscape is multi-channel and digitally-driven, so it is important to manage all interactions from all channels, including both internal and third-party sources. Campaign management across multiple channels is one of the most difficult areas to execute for marketers and brand managers. Multiple constituents from creative, agency, copyright to internal marketing staff all impact time to market. What is needed is real-time and adaptive marketing platforms and solutions that work as a powerful market differentiator.Moving ForwardIt is easy to conceptualize these principles, but the danger is falling back on traditional campaign approaches that simply amp up the volume and not customer lifetime value. Rather than increase the level of noise by increasing investments in mass and untargeted media, marketing orchestration keeps focused on a total messaging strategy designed for each customer or member. As a result, banks, credit unions and financial services firms of all sizes and types find value by reevaluating and reworking their existing communication processes with a different view of customer-facing communications and message orchestration across the customer lifecycle.last_img read more

The unspoken holiday problem (and how to help your account holders address it)

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Somewhere along the way (perhaps, not-so-coincidentally, as we each made the transition from child to adult) the holiday season became one big ball of pressure—with financial worry at its core. Statistics seem to support that spending (and, often, overspending) plays a significant role in our lives at this time of year:Holiday shoppers plan to spend $1,047 this year—4% more than last year (National Retail Federation)9% of Americans are still paying off their holiday expenses from 2018 (YouGov)51% of Americans feel pressure to spend more than they’re comfortable with on holiday gifts (Bankrate)49% of Americans have no holiday spending budget (YouGov)And yet, it’s not something that our society talks about much; the spending just continues while many panic in silence. While it’s certainly up to each individual how they want to approach the financial aspects of the holidays—gift giving, charitable donations, social events, travel—it’s comforting to know that their bank or credit union is on their side. continue reading »last_img read more

Arsenal fans giddy as William Saliba and Gabriel train together for the first time

first_imgThe sheer size of Saliba and Gabriel…Oh boy!! #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/T9bi3RMOCv— Bernard Jo Garrett (@IamJoDboss) September 8, 2020 Advertisement Arsenal begin the 2020/21 campaign with a trip to London rivals Fulham (Picture: Getty)There were some bold predictions as giddy fans got their first glimpse of Saliba and Gabriel on the training ground together – could these two help lead Arsenal into a new era under Arteta? The next #Campbell and #Toure#Saliba #Gabriel #AFCGO #AFC #COYG #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/9xANxrBWYr— AFC GO (@TheAFCGo) September 8, 2020 Arsenal fans giddy as William Saliba and Gabriel train together for the first time Comment They are hereAnd they are perfect 😍😍🤩Arsenal new CB pairing William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes in training#AFC #arsenal pic.twitter.com/t8L625EmnT— KT SWINGS (@kt_leftie) September 8, 2020 Huge pressure and expectation on the shoulders of Saliba & Gabriel this season. Confident they will shine ! ✨ pic.twitter.com/6LOXmaeiCq— Osman (@OsmanZtheGooner) September 8, 2020Gabriel, who will be wearing the No.6 shirt at Arsenal, is looking forward to playing alongside Saliba and is confident the young Frenchman has the quality to become a key player for the club. ‘I know Saliba is a talented young player and if he is joining Arsenal it is because of his quality,’ he told Arsenal’s official website.‘We have a few friends in common and I did play against him before.‘He is a great player and I am sure we will get along very well.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe Brazilian is also relishing the chance to team up with fellow countryman David Luiz, who he idolised as a youngster making his way in the game.‘For sure David is an example, he is a player I admire very much,’ Gabriel added.‘I was always a big fan of him and everything he achieved.‘I watched him since I was a kid, I played video games with his character and today it is a dream come true to be here with him and hopefully play next to him soon.’Which player will have a bigger future at Arsenal?William Saliba0%Gabriel0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Willian ‘wooed’ by Mikel Arteta’s plan for ArsenalMORE: How Julian Draxler has reacted to Leeds United transfer interest GABRIEL AND SALIBAAAAAAAAAAAQ https://t.co/eKsLYwTQSJ pic.twitter.com/SUlu5JzIcQ— saliba szn⚡️ (@hayatelseedd) September 8, 2020center_img William Saliba x Gabriel Magalhaes Keeping the most clean sheets next season. Save this tweet. pic.twitter.com/MDsGaLwkPy— WelBeast (@WelBeast) September 8, 2020 The Saliba x Gabriel decade starts now pic.twitter.com/c8ynKd7X8F— C. (@afcwrld) September 8, 2020 Arsenal’s first-team squad were put through their paces on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)Arsenal conceded 48 goals in the Premier League last season and supporters are hopeful their two new arrivals will help fix the side’s leaky defence.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThe Gunners kick off the season at Craven Cottage in just four days’ time and Saliba and Gabriel were put through their paces on Tuesday as Arteta’s players stepped up their preparations to face newly-promoted Fulham. William Saliba and Gabriel took part in drills with their new Arsenal team-mates (Picture: Getty)William Saliba and Gabriel have been pictured training together for the first time at London Colney this week and it’s fair to say Arsenal fans are getting rather excited about their new-look central defence ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. France Under-20 international Saliba was the first of the two to join as he swapped Saint-Etienne for Arsenal back in July 2019 but the 19-year-old returned to the Ligue 1 club on loan last season so is yet to play a competitive match for the Gunners.Mikel Arteta will be delighted to have inherited Saliba from the Unai Emery era but the Spaniard has been determined to further strengthen his options at centre-half this summer – and his wishes were granted last week as Arsenal wrapped up a £27 million agreement with Lille for Gabriel, 22. Look at the size of Gabriel and Saliba. This is what I’m talking about 😍 https://t.co/d17QhA9W7c— Jax Teller (@SVNdombele) September 8, 2020 Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 8 Sep 2020 5:34 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link21.7kShares Advertisementlast_img read more

Rental demand spike: Tenants are fleeing Sydney for Brisbane

first_imgBrisbane’s rental vacancy rate has tightened for the fifth straight month, new data shows.BRISBANE rentals are filling up fast as fed-up southerners flee Sydney for the sunshine state, new data shows.While the nation’s biggest property market becomes littered with empty homes and desperate landlords slash rents to try to hold on to tenants, the Queensland capital’s rental vacancy rate is shrinking as rising demand eats up surplus stock. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The latest figures from property valuation firm SQM Research reveal rental vacancies in Brisbane fell to 2.9 per cent in July — down from 3 per cent in June — marking the fifth straight monthly decline this year. Sydney’s vacancy rate is now the highest in 13 years.Sydney’s vacancy rate is now the highest in 13 years, with 2.8 per cent of the city’s units and houses unoccupied, yet the asking rent for a three-bedroom house in the city is still the highest in the country at $707 a week.SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the data showed many residents were leaving Sydney and heading north in search of more affordable housing and a better standard of living. A SLICE OF THE CARIBBEAN IN QLD Mr Christopher said the gap between Brisbane and Sydney house prices was the largest it had been in at least 15 years.“For southerners, there’s definitely a standard of living benefit through doing the move — provided they can find a job in Brisbane or thereabouts,” Mr Christopher said.“Up until two years ago that was the problem, but the Brisbane economy has been rebounding thanks to the end of the mining downturn and so job creation has increased and it’s become a little bit easier to do that move and find a job that goes with it.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoSQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.Mr Christopher said he expected surplus rental supply in Brisbane to continue to be absorbed in the next 12 to 18 months.“Two years from now, the market will signficantly favour landlords,” he said.Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the online portal had recorded a 12 per cent rise in demand for rental properties in Brisbane in the past 12 months.Demand for houses was up 7.2 per cent and views per apartment listings were 16 per cent higher than a year ago. NO TOILET, NO KITCHEN, ALREADY LANDING OFFERS In Sydney, demand for units and houses had fallen 25 per cent over the same period.“We track rental demand on views per listing and Brisbane is well up, so it’s not surprising we’re seeing this drop in the vacancy rate,” Ms Conisbee said.“There just seems to be this recovery occurring in the Queensland economy and renters are often a better indicator of what’s happening than buyers, because they can be driven by speculation.” A house for rent in Stafford, Brisbane. Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt.An estimated 9886 residential rentals are sitting vacant in Brisbane, compared with nearly 20,000 in Sydney.Despite vacancy rates tightening, rents in Brisbane are holding firm, with surplus stock being absorbed by rising demand, easing concerns about the inner city’s apartment oversupply.The asking rent for a house in Queensland rose 0.1 per cent in July to $452 a week, while unit rents held steady at $370 a week. BRISBANE DEFIES PROPERTY DOWNTURN center_img REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee.Ms Conisbee said the inner suburbs of Newmarket and Windsor in Brisbane’s north and Camp Hill and Holland Park in Brisbane’s south were the most popular among prospective tenants, along with Greenbank in Logan.TOP 5 BRISBANE SUBURBS FOR RENTAL DEMAND1. Holland Park 2. Newmarket 3. Greenbank 4. Camp Hill 5. Windsor (Source: Realestate.com.au, based on views per listing)last_img read more

‘Modest’ Gulf of Mexico lease sale attracts $159M in bids

first_imgThe U.S. administration’s latest Gulf of Mexico lease sale has attracted $159,4 million in high bids, a result described as “somewhat modest,” by NOIA.Illustration; A U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil platform – Image source: DOIAccording to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Lease Sale 253 held on Wednesday saw 27 oil companies take part.The companies offered $159,386,761 in high bids for 151 tracts covering 835,006 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.The lease sale included 14,585 offshore blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).The Mississippi Canyon block NH16-10 received four bids, which is the largest number of bids for a block in this lease sale.The highest bid for a single block came from BHP. The Australian company offered $22,5 million for NG15-03 Green Canyon block and was the only company bidding for that block. The second-highest bid came from Chevron for the Mississippi Canyon/937 block – $6.7 millionEquinor submitted the biggest number of bids – 23 in total, for the sum of $16 million. BHP was the highest bidder by the money amount offered – $41 million – across 20 blocks.BP, Shell, Chevron, Anadarko, Hess, Total, Kosmos, Enven, took part as well.Source: BOEMThe U.S. National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Vice President of Communications Nicolette Nye said: “The somewhat modest results of lease sale 253 reflect the cautiously optimistic attitude of an offshore industry still in recovery.”“Bidding activity today may reflect the slower than desired improvement in [oil] prices. There is also uncertainty surrounding pending regulatory actions such as financial assurance and fair market valuation.“Deepwater and ultra-deepwater tracts drew high interest in this sale but shallow water tracts also proved to be attractive. Overall, today’s’ sale demonstrates that the offshore oil and gas industry remains committed to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Each newly leased block represents a chance for further exploration, development and economic and energy opportunity.  The U.S. Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a vital part of America’s economic and energy future,” Nye said.The previous lease sale held in March attracted $244,299,344 in high bids for 227 tracts covering 1,261,133 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Oil giant Shell snapped up the biggest number of blocks – 87 – while Norway’s Equinor submitted the highest bid for a single block – $24,5 million.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Ex-village watchman shot dead

first_imgBacolod City – A man was shot dead in Barangay Lopez Jaena, SagayCity, Negros Occidental. The 28-year-old Virgilio Tingson, aformer village watchman of Barangay Cabahug, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental,died of gunshot wound on the body, a police report showed.    Tingson was rushed to the LopezDistrict Farmers’ Hospital Inc. in Sagay City where the attending physiciandeclared him “dead on arrival.”    According to police investigators,Tingson was driving a motorcycle with Junel Sedoriosa as back rider when anunidentified suspect shot Tingson around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 14. Officers of the Sagay City policestation have yet to identify the suspect and the motive in the incident./PNlast_img read more