NeYo Encourages Young Voters to Move Forward

first_img‘Forward’, a new song performed by Grammy Award winning R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, the Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznik, music legend Herbie Hancock, Delta Rae and Natasha Bedingfield, has been released as a grassroots effort to motivate and inspire nationwide voter participation in the upcoming 2012 Presidential election.The song was written and created by hit songwriters Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois of the The New Radicals, and Fred Goldring, who was behind the 2008 multiple award-winning grassroots music video ‘Yes We Can’ with will.i.am. Grammy Award winning producer John Shanks produced the record, and the powerful music video for the song was produced and directed by Graham Henman and his team at Hello and Company.The song is available for free download at www.forwardsong.com and sold on iTunes with net proceeds being donated to Ne-Yo’s Compound Foundation and to Arts Education programs focused on turning around arts and music based programs in public schools.Video: “Forward” (Official Video), Benefitting the Compound Foundationlast_img read more

Stars Help USO Celebrate 75 Years

first_imgTo mark its 75th anniversary, the USO welcomed tour veterans, Medal of Honor recipients, military leaders, corporate partners and members of the USO Congressional Caucus to a reception earlier this month at The Hay-Adams, a historic hotel and Washington, D.C., landmark.Dr. Jill Biden delivered remarks to kick off the evening and Tina Tchen, first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, read a letter from President Barack Obama honoring the USO on its anniversary.Actor Dennis Haysbert hosted the evening’s festivities and shared a few anecdotes from his USO tour experiences before introducing Retired Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., the chairman of the USO Board of Governors. Casey, the 36th Army Chief of Staff, recognized Bob Hope’s daughter, Linda, and thanked her for her family’s continued commitment to the organization.“We will never forget your dad and the way he boosted the morale of American service members around the world and brought those brave men and women home to us by televising his USO tours,” Casey said.USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered heartfelt remarks before “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek talked about connecting with service members in isolated locations during his 13 USO tours.Five-time USO tour veteran Craig Morgan sang for the crowd of more than 300 while fellow tour veterans Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs and Carla Hall looked on.To read the full article and to see photos, click here.Source:USOlast_img read more

Kristen Bell CoHosts The Inaugural Moms Movers Makers Awards

first_imgThe Bump, the definitive voice for millennial parents, today honors and recognizes amazing achievements by moms with The Bump Moms: Movers + Makers Awards, sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company.Whether it’s donating 92 gallons of breast milk to help feed premature babies, showcasing the beauty of postpartum bodies, founding charities that help underprivileged children and families, or creating a modern, innovative breast pump, these women serve as an inspiration that action creates change.Co-hosted by Kristen Bell, a mom of two who is currently starring in the Showtime series House of Lies, The Bump Moms: Movers + Makers Awards luncheon will take place today at the Millwick in Los Angeles to honor moms who are making a difference in the lives of others.In addition to honoring inspiring moms at the awards luncheon, The Bump, through its corporate entity, XO Group Inc., is officially joining forces with I Am That Girl. This non-profit, which Kristen Bell is a proud ambassador of, is a community, support system, and movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be who they are. With this affiliation, XO Group will further its mission of empowering and supporting women, at an even earlier age, as they excel as leaders of their communities. XO Group’s support will be used to create a female empowerment and leadership curriculum that will be given to the local chapters of I Am That Girl, and also provide sponsorship of hundreds of girls within the organization – an act XO Group encourages others to do as well. The Bump Moms: Movers + Makers awards luncheon will feature members of I Am That Girl who will share their stories of how the non-profit has helped them build confidence and become a leader in their communities.“Being a mom is the most difficult role I’ll never get paid to do, and yet it will be my proudest legacy,” said Kristen Bell. “When The Bump approached me to help honor fellow moms who have gone above and beyond their normal mom duties to positively change the lives of others, as well as young girls that are leaders in their communities, I was humbled to be a part of this event.”“The Bump is the go-to resource for millions of women going through pregnancy and parenthood, and every day we’re there to provide guidance, reassurance and inspiration — that means to shine a spotlight on stories about incredible moms,” said Julia Wang, head of digital content for The Bump. “We’re thrilled to have Kristen Bell cohost this event to help us honor future leaders and today’s moms who not only make an impact on their own families, but also change the lives of women and children all over the world.”“As a community of women, we MUST invest in girls and double down to change what isn’t working in the world. The girls in the I AM THAT GIRL community are the future moms, makers, politicians, CEO’s, and leaders of our world – and they need support today,” said Emily Greener, cofounder and CEO of I Am That Girl. “We believe in the idea of lifting while you climb, and we are so grateful XO Group and its community of women have the same heart for inspiring girls to be the best versions of who they are, and who they want to be.”The Bump Moms: Movers + Makers Honorees: • Holly Robinson-Peete, founder of The HollyRod Foundation • Yasmine Delawari Johnson, Jules Leyser, Danika Charity, Emily Lynch and Kelly Zajfen, cofounders of the Alliance of Moms • Jessica Shortall, author, parental leave advocate • Ashlee Wells, founder of the 4th Trimester Bodies Project • Dionne Boldin, cofounder of the Anquan Boldin Foundation • Shazi Visram, founder and CEO of Happy Family • Georgene Huang and Romy Newman, cofounders of Fairygodboss • Hillary Frank, creator of The Longest Shortest Time • Jill Gilbert, producer of Living in Digital Times • Debbie Burbic, Kim Jarrelle, Jessamine Niccoli, cofounders of Clever Medical • Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide • Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, cofounders of The Mother Company • Christine Dodson and Sascha Mayer, cofounders of Mamava • Cara Delzer, Gabrielle Guthrie and Santhi Analytis, cofounders of Moxxly • Elle Walker, Meg Resnikoff and Brooke Mahan, cofounders and partner of What’s Up Moms • Jenny Galluzzo and Gina Hadley, cofounders of The Second Shift • Carly Burson, founder of Tribe Alive • Amy Anderson, breast milk donation advocate • Mylene Yao, cofounder of Univfylast_img read more

Ryan Sheckler Announces Annual Charity Golf Tournament

first_imgProfessional Skateboarder and philanthropist Ryan Sheckler and the Sheckler Foundation are proud to announce the 10th Annual Oakley Charity Golf Tournament and Gala, taking place September 9-10, 2017 in partnership with Monarch Beach Resort & Golf Links in Dana Point, California.Sheckler Golf 2017Year after year, the gala and tournament attract notable athletes and celebrities such as: Klay Thompson, Wilmer Valderrama, Brody Jenner, Josh Duhamel, Kendra Wilkinson, Lil Jon, Kelly Slater and many more to dine, golf and raise money to benefit the Sheckler Foundation’s “Be the Change” initiative — a web-based program designed to help injured action sports athletes and children in need. For more information, click here.The two-day event will kick off Saturday, September 9, 2017, with a gala honoring Steve Astephen, a Sheckler Foundation board member and Ryan’s agent for over 10 years known for managing the world’s top action sports athletes. The gala will welcome guests with a red carpet entrance and cocktail reception featuring a cigar lounge followed by silent and live auctions, dinner, entertainment and much more.The following day, guests will enjoy a vintage nautical themed golf tournament featuring a full-day of hole activations on Monarch’s one-of-a-kind golf course with views of surf breaks at every hole. Golfers can enjoy lunch and entertainment on the green, a sunset cocktail hour, 200-ft. helicopter ball drop, raffles, awards ceremony and more.last_img read more

Your Chance to Win Tickets To Rihannas Diamond Ball

first_imgRihanna fans listen up – you can attend the Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball for just $1.For just a $1 donation, you can enter to win two tickets to the Diamond Ball, airfares and one night in a hotel. The more you donate, the more chances you have to win.The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) was founded in 2012 by Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. CLF is is dedicated to breaking down barriers and transforming the lives of young people globally and is a revolutionary philanthropic space where supporters can join Rihanna’s journey as a global ambassador for education. Current programs include the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program, the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and the Barbados Micro Grants Program.Here’s where your money will go:• $1 – could provide 1 brick to a school in Malawi • $5 – could provide 5 bricks to a school in Malawi • $10 – could provide 10 books • $15 – could provide a girl with essential school supplies • $20 – could provide a month of schooling for a girlTo find out more and make a donation, click herelast_img read more

ZERO DIVERSITY AMONG NOMINEES FOR QUEBEC TV VIEWERS CHOICE AWARDS

first_imgActress Sophie Prégent won best actress in a television series at the Gala Artis in 2009. Prégent, president of Quebec’s main artists union, said the homogeneity of the Artis nominees this year is “not a pleasant thing to see.” (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press) Login/Register With: Advertisement Viewers’ choice awards celebrating the most popular stars on Quebec television will be handed out next month, and all of the 70 stars nominated are white.In a province where roughly 15 per cent of the population is from visible minorities — rising to about 25 per cent in the Montreal area — the Artis gala reflects the lack of diversity among the most prominent people on Quebec television.Sophie Prégent, president of Quebec’s main artists union, said the homogeneity of the Artis nominees “makes my heart hurt. It’s not a pleasant thing to see.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook The issue of race and representation in the arts gained wide attention in Quebec last year after the Montreal International Jazz Festival cancelled a show about black slavery from renowned director, Robert Lepage.Activists protested the performances and accused Lepage and the show’s main performer, Betty Bonifassi — both of whom are white — of appropriating black culture.Prégent said Quebecers are becoming increasingly aware of the lack of representation in the province’s arts industry. Having more people of colour in leading, well-paid roles on the most popular shows “is the last step we have to climb,” she said.Reaching that goal will take more of an effort from production companies and the big broadcasters, she said.Quebecor Inc., a dominant player in the province’s cultural industry, is broadcasting this year’s Artis awards. The company did not return requests for comment.Giuseppe Valiante ~ The Canadian Presscenter_img Fabienne Colas is an actress and has founded a number of black film festivals across Canada, including the Montreal Black Film Festival. (Alain-Julien Godbout/Radio-Canada) It’s not as if there aren’t enough people of colour to choose from, she said, noting roughly 15 per cent of her 8,500 active members are second-generation immigrants. The number climbs to 25 per cent if third-generation immigrants are included, she added.There are many actors of colour on Quebec television, Prégent said, but there are very few in leading roles on the most popular shows. Therefore, she explained, those actors aren’t top of mind when Quebecers vote for their favourite stars.The Artis awards are based on the results of a multi-layered poll of 8,000 Quebecers, conducted twice a year by the Leger firm.At the end of November, about 2,000 Quebecers — half online and half by telephone — are asked to spontaneously list their favourite television star in 14 categories, including drama series, sports, news and variety shows.The firm calculates the top five choices and polls another 2,000 Quebecers, asking them to pick their favourites among the names chosen by the first group. Leger repeats the process with another 4,000 people at the end of January.Christian Bourque, Leger’s executive vice-president, said the nominees “tend to be the main characters of the most popular shows because they get the most visibility…. It’s more of a popularity contest.”Keeping up with the timesAnd that’s precisely the problem, said Jérôme Pruneau, head of Diversité artistique Montreal, a group trying to promote cultural diversity in the arts and culture scene in Quebec’s largest city. Through the arts, Quebecers are presented with an identity that is a “white, francophone fantasy,” he said.In the 1960s, when the Quebec nation was shedding its Catholic identity, the arts industry played a major role in the construction of its culture and in the protection of the French language, he said. Today, Pruneau added, the imagined Quebec culture hasn’t kept up with the times.“We have the impression that this is the only identity that represents us,” he said, “and it’s what we see unfortunately on our television shows, in the theatre, in our politics and in the public space — a little bit everywhere.”Haitian-born Quebec actress Fabienne Colas called Monday’s announcement of the Artis nominations “a sad day” for Quebec.“And especially since the majority of the nominees are from Montreal — our city, which is one of the most multi-ethnic in North America.”Her solution is for broadcasters to demand diversity quotas in shows broadcast on their networks.“When there are clear quotas, we have the urgency to find the talent,” she said. “When there aren’t any, we find all the reasons in the world not to integrate diversity.” Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 5 WITH CAITY LOTZ STARTS FILMING NEW SEASON

first_img Facebook Advertisement Twitter Cast: Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, Jes Macallan, Matt Ryan, Courtney Ford, Adam Tsekhman.Tala Ashe returns but as a different version of Zari. Advertisement Advertisement The Legends are back to film another wackadoodle season in Vancouver.Filming dates: July 15th to January 29th, 2020. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:last_img

Special needs kids onreserve wait longer for medical services

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s an injustice that erupted onto the public scene eight years ago when Jordan River Anderson died in a Winnipeg hospital without ever living with his family in Norway House Cree Nation.The system that was supposed to be changed so that kids don’t ever again fall between teh cracks while governments quarreled over funding.But concerns persist that the changers aren’t happening fast enough.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot has this story.last_img

Security contractor denies he fired shots from rifle during confrontation with NoDAPL

first_img(Dakota Access Pipeline LLC contractor and U.S. Army veteran Kyle Thompson (right) shakes hands with former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2012. Kyle Thompson Facebook page)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsA security contractor working for the company behind a controversial pipeline project facing fierce resistance from Native Americans in North Dakota denies he fired any shots from his assault rifle before he was detained by Bureau of Indian Affairs agents last Thursday.Kyle Thompson, a U.S. Army veteran and security contractor working for the Dakota Access Pipeline LLC (DAPL), said in a Facebook post he was simply doing his job to photograph burning company equipment when he was confronted by demonstrators.APTN video captured a confrontation between an armed Thompson and demonstrators in shallow water shortly before he was detained by Bureau of Indian Affairs agents (BIA). The agents handed him over to the FBI who transported him into the custody of state authorities. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said Monday he was released without charges. The incident occurred while National Guard and state troopers from several states moved against Native American-led demonstrators.Kyle Thompson, right, confronts demonstrators on Oct. 27. APTN video stillA BIA spokesperson said the agents went to the scene in response to a report that shots had been fired. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued a statement saying Thompson fired shots from his rifle.In his Facebook post, Thompson claims he never fired any shots from his assault rifle and that the FBI agents who transported him could attest to that.“That rifle hasn’t had a single round pass through the barrel in well over three months, the FBI can confirm,” said Thompson, in the Facebook post.He claims his 2500 Chevy truck, which is owned by DAPL, “was disabled and over 300 protestors were rapidly approaching my location, a few had knives and were dead set on using those knives.”Thompson said one of the demonstrators fired a flare at him.“I drew out my rifle after my vehicle was disabled,” he stated. “I slowly retreated into the water so they couldn’t surround me and overtake my rifle to use against me.”Thompson challenged anybody with evidence to the contrary to come forward.“I’m not here to defend myself or others who stood their ground on the opposite side,” said Thompson in his Facebook message, posted on Sunday. “I’m just here to state facts and if anyone has any evidence that negates any of them, I urge you to come forth and present yourself in a professional manner and we will address them accordingly.”Kyle Thompson during deployment in Afghanistan. Kyle Thompson Facebook pageAccording to his Facebook page, Thompson is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2012 and Iraq in 2006 and 2007.According to an article in North Dakota’s Bismarck-Tribune from December 2007, Thompson served with the U.S. Army 1-89th, 2nd Bridge in Iraq. The article said Thompson is Native American and was given the name “War Eagle.” He was greeted with ceremony when he arrived back home from the war.Indianz.com first reported on the Facebook post.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

Boushies family meets federal ministers after acquittal in murder trial

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA – Colten Boushie’s family is in Ottawa meeting federal ministers after a Saskatchewan farmer accused of fatally shooting him was acquitted late last week.Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, said Monday the family has no specific goal beyond building relationships with people who have the power to change the way First Nations people are treated in the criminal justice system.“We’re not in a rush because we want things done right,” Tootoosis said shortly after meeting with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.“We have little to no faith in the justice system. We’re here to talk about that.”On Friday, a jury found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2016 killing of Boushie, a 22-year-old member of the Red Pheasant First Nation.Boushie’s relatives are expected to sit down with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday.Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said justice for Colten would mean a change to the justice system.Chris Murphy, a family friend and lawyer, said the family discussed the issue of jury selection with Bennett.The apparent all-white makeup of the jury has been widely criticized, along with so-called peremptory challenges, which allow lawyers to reject jury candidates without needing to provide a justification.Tootoosis said she would like to see the government do away with peremptory challenges.Wilson-Raybould, who is the country’s first Indigenous justice minister, tweeted Saturday in the wake of the Stanley verdict that Canada “can and must do better.”Aboriginal Sen. Murray Sinclair posted a poem online saying he grieves for First Nations youth “who now see no hope,” and says Indigenous people have been grieving for so long it has become part of their DNA.“I grieve for a family that has not yet seen justice from the moment a handgunned farmer (why does a farmer need such a gun?) pulled the trigger and killed their son,” Sinclair wrote.Kevin Seesequasis, a Cree Nation councillor in Saskatchewan, said both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents are reeling from what he describes as a horrible failure of the criminal justice system.“Colten Boushie was not just the victim of a senseless murder,” Seesequasis said.“If we cannot find some way toward real change for Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, Colten Boushie will also be the victim of a criminal justice system that was stacked against him from the start and a government indifferent to that reality.”Indigenous faculty members and allies sent an open letter to heads of universities across Canada describing the Stanley verdict as “yet another iteration of the systemic violence that Indigenous peoples in this country have faced for over 150 years.”The letter, signed by more than 20 faculty members from schools as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, calls for universities to support anti-oppressive education and enhance institutional accountability towards First Nations communities.last_img read more

Some Inuit women value testifying at MMIWG Inquiry in Iqaluit

first_imgKent DriscollAPTN NewsTuesday marked the second day for the hearings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Iqaluit.Unlike previous hearings, which focused on victims and their stories, these hearings are about history.Two Inuit women giving testimony talked to APTN News about what it meant to them.kdriscoll@aptn.ca@kentdriscolllast_img

Province says women reaching parity on board agency appointments

first_imgEDMONTON – The Alberta government says it is achieving gender parity for those appointed to its agencies, boards, and commissions.Stephanie McLean, the minister for Service Alberta, says one third of board members were women in March 2015.Today, that number is 48 per cent as the government has filled more than 700 positions.McLean says it reflects a government approach to actively recruit more women.There are more than 280 agencies boards and commissions that work at arm’s-length from the government.The province is reviewing the mandates of all boards and has already reduced or amalgamated 26 of them to streamline service and save $33 million.last_img

Packers Plus files appeal of court ruling fracking technology patent is invalid

first_imgCALGARY – Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. has filed an appeal of a Federal Court of Canada ruling in December that declared invalid its patent for a well-completion technology that has helped usher in the shale oil and gas boom in North America.In a filing with the Federal Court of Appeal, the Calgary-based fracking technology company asks that its patent be upheld and that its patent infringement claims be supported.Defendants it names include Houston-based Weatherford International and Baker Hughes, along with producer Harvest Operations Corp. and service firms Essential Energy Services and Resource Well Completion Technologies Inc. of Calgary.In the December decision, the judge ruled that Packers’ patent isn’t valid because it was an “obvious” improvement on existing techniques and had been publicly disclosed before the patent application was filed.Packers’ system, patented in Canada in November 2002, is used to control and separate high-pressure injections of liquids and sand used to break up tight underground rock and free the oil and gas to be produced from horizontal wells, a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.It says in court documents the technology invented by Daniel Themig has been used in more than 10,000 wells since 2001 and has helped Packers grow from 30 employees to almost 1,000.last_img read more

Ontario has work to do to meet longterm climate change goals report

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday.In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year.The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote.What’s more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is “incompatible” with the province’s climate change law.But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn’t likely to deliver results faster.“The research that we’ve seen suggests that changing policies delays progress,” she said.“There isn’t any jurisdiction in the world that’s changed from cap and trade to a carbon tax. Most jurisdictions choose cap and trade because although it’s more expensive to implement for the economy as a whole you produce the same level of emissions for a lower cost.”The cap-and-trade system, which was launched last year, aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit.If they exceed those limits they must buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that come in under their limits.The cap declines about four per cent each year to 2020 and then roughly 2.9 per cent each year afterwards to 2030. The province’s goal is for greenhouse gas emissions to drop to 15 per cent below what they were in 1990 by 2020 and to 37 per cent below the 1990 level by 2030.“I would expect that, from a compliance point of view, Ontario will be able to meet the 2020 target because it includes the availability to use offsets and buy allowances from outside Ontario,” Saxe said.“It’s much more challenging moving forward from 2020 to 2030,” she said. “We now know what the maximum number of allowances will be each year but we don’t know how the province intends to get there. So that’s one of the reasons why I’ve recommended a specific carbon budget for each ministry and each sector.”Ontario’s Environment Minister Chris Ballard said the government is proud of its record on climate change but recognizes there is a lot of work ahead. He said he would discuss Saxe’s concerns with her and take the report and its recommendations into account.All departments are aware of the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but face other pressures that can sometimes get in the way, he said.“It’s a matter of how fast we can get there as a province, how fast we can get there as ministries, but I also have to take into account not only my schedule but their schedules as well,” he said. “But they know this is something that needs to get done.”Ballard said he is confident the province can meet its 2030 goals, particularly as green technologies such as electric vehicles become more mainstream.“We just have to keep staying the course,” he said.Critics said the report shows not enough is being done to combat climate change.“Clearly the Liberals are talking about this a lot but in very key areas they’re not taking the action that has to happen,” said New Democrat Peter Tabuns, the party’s environment critic.last_img read more

US February housing starts fell 7 pct after January surge

first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. homebuilders broke ground on fewer apartment complexes in February, causing overall housing starts to fall 7 per cent.The Commerce Department said Friday that housing starts last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.24 million, a decline that was anticipated after construction surged in January to 1.33 million.February’s slowdown in construction came from a 28 per cent plunge in starts for multi-family buildings. Groundbreakings for single-family houses actually rose 2.9 per cent.Builders’ efforts have shifted to single-family houses as the economy has improved and as fewer existing homes are being listed for sale. The solid job market and a growing millennial population looking to purchase a home have lifted demand over the past two years. But the number of homes listed for sale has fallen during that time. Increased construction has not fully offset the shortage.The U.S. housing market appears to be stable because of the relative health of the overall economy. That may be tested by rising mortgage rates that could put a new home out of reach for many.“Soaring employment and faster wage growth should support the housing market, but activity is going to be constrained by higher rates,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.Single-family house construction increased last month in the Northeast, South and West, but it declined in the West.The National Association of Realtors said that the total supply of existing homes for sale dropped to 1.52 million in January, which contributed to sales of existing homes declining 4.8 per cent over the past 12 months.Building permits, an indicator of future construction, tumbled 5.7 per cent to an annual pace of 1.30 million. But that decline, too, was largely concentrated in apartment complexes, suggesting that construction companies expect more Americans to segue to home ownership.Builder sentiment remains positive, although it has slipped over the past three months. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index for March ticked down a point to 70. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor.Stock investors have also decided that homebuilding companies are overpriced after a strong performance in 2017. Shares in D.R. Horton have dropped nearly 15 per cent so far this year. The Pulte Group is down almost 13 per cent. Stock in Tolls Brothers had lost about 8 per cent of its value.Homebuyers are facing greater cost pressures. The shortage of homes on the market has caused prices to climb much faster than wages. At the same time, it has become slightly more expensive to borrow. The average rate for 30-year, fixed rate mortgages has risen to 4.44 per cent from 4.30 per cent a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.last_img read more

Edmunds How to shop for a car when interest rates are high

first_imgIf you’re new to car buying or it’s been a few years since your last purchase, get ready for a shock when it comes to financing. Interest rates on loans for new vehicles hit an average of 6.2 per cent in October 2018, the highest since January 2009, according to Edmunds research. Used-car shoppers face an even higher rate, with an average of 8.7 per cent. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates again this month.Many shoppers will be tempted to take out a longer-term loan to ease the pain of a higher monthly payment brought on by these interest rates. But this is a double whammy for your budget: You will be paying more in finance charges over the life of the loan, and it will take longer to gain equity in the vehicle.It’s easy to see why you might feel daunted about car buying in such a market. But you are not doomed to pay the maximum rates. Assuming your credit is generally in good shape, with a score of roughly 720 or higher, there are a few ways to get around today’s high interest rates.GET PREAPPROVEDThis tip applies to loans for both new and used cars. Getting a preapproval for a loan at your bank, credit union or online lender gives you a frame of reference for the financing that a dealership offers you. If the finance manager says, “This was the best rate I could secure,” you’ll have a point of comparison. In many cases, the dealership will be able to offer a better rate thanks to loans that are subsidized by the carmaker’s captive financing company.PROMOTIONAL FINANCE RATESThe majority of automakers offer special finance rates to qualified buyers. While many of the zero per cent offers that were common in the past have disappeared, some are still out there, such as a current offer for the 2018 Nissan Rogue. These offers vary by month, region and vehicle, so go to manufacturer websites to see what’s available.Even if you end up with a 2.9 per cent APR rather than zero per cent, that is a significant improvement over 6.2 per cent. Be open to exploring various vehicle brands, too. A brand that you might not have considered originally may offer better rates. You’ll also want to check the deals for both 2018 and 2019 models to see which offers better incentives.BUY A CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED VEHICLEBuying a used vehicle is typically a good option for shoppers. You avoid the big depreciation hit that comes with new cars, and you usually finance a smaller amount of money. But with interest rates averaging 8.7 per cent, used cars might not be a slam-dunk bargain.Here is where certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles come in. Though CPO cars cost more than run-of-the-mill used cars, some CPO deals offer manufacturer-subsidized interest rates ranging from zero to 4 per cent, depending on the vehicle and automaker. And CPO vehicles are typically in better condition and carry a longer warranty than your average used car.CONSIDER LEASINGHigher interest rates do affect leasing, but since you only pay interest on the amount the car will depreciate, you end up paying significantly less in finance charges than if you purchased the car. Take this 2018 Honda Accord lease as an example: The car had a selling price of $27,315 after taxes and fees. It leased with a $1,000 down payment and a money factor of 0.00092, the equivalent of a 2.2 per cent APR. You would pay about $1,400 in interest over the 36 months of the loan.Compare that to a typical 72-month loan on the same car. Assuming the same down payment and the average 6.2 per cent APR, you would pay $5,264 in finance charges over the course of the loan. That’s paying more than three times the interest for twice as long.You can simplify your lease shopping by focusing on the items that matter most: the lease’s allotted miles, the monthly payment, the down payment and the lease term. Look for manufacturer lease specials and keep your down payment as low as possible.DOWNSIZE THE VEHICLEIf you had your eye on a midsize SUV or sedan, consider a compact one. Compact vehicles cost less than larger ones, which means you’ll finance a smaller amount and pay less interest over the life of the loan. In many cases, you’ll find that the space trade-offs aren’t that significant.EDMUNDS SAYS:Today’s high interest rates shouldn’t deter you from buying a car if you need one. Take time to shop for the best rate possible and be open to vehicles you might not have otherwise considered but which have very low APRs.____This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Ronald Montoya is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @rmontoyaedmunds.Related links:— Calculate Your Own Lease Payment https://edmu.in/2ypP6t2— How Long Should a Car Loan Be? https://edmu.in/2uZnNr3— Low APR vs. Cash Back Calculator https://edmu.in/2R0hNHhRonald Montoya, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Fort St John Home Hardware wins company award

first_imgHome Hardware said that to receive an award, recipients must demonstrate excellence in staff performance and customer service; interior presentation, including clear signage, tidiness, and merchandise presentation and displays; exterior presentation, including cleanliness and attractive window displays; staff training; and participation in dealer network initiatives. Dealer-Owners must also represent strong community support and leadership within their local community.“The Proud of My Home Award recognizes Fort St. John Home Hardware Building Centre’s commitment and dedication to providing their community with quality advice, superior service and competitively priced products that are second to none,” said Terry Davis, President and CEO, Home Hardware Stores Limited. “Fort St. John Home Hardware Building Centre truly embodies the values on which Home Hardware was founded on which include value, service and dependability. On behalf of the Dealer-Owners of close to 1,100 Home Hardware Stores in communities across Canada, I would like to congratulate Fort St. John Home Hardware Building Centre on this achievement.” FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Home Hardware Building Centre in Fort St. John received the 2018 Paul Straus Public Relations Award at Home Hardware’s annual Spring Market on April 14th in St. Jacobs, Ontario. The award was a part of the Home Hardware Proud of My Home Awards which acknowledged the top stores in the country. Dealer-Owners Doug and Shelley Gallinger say they’re honoured to be one of seven stores recognized in the awards categories from among the nearly 1,100 stores across Canada.“We are deeply honoured to be acknowledged with the Proud of my Home designation for the Paul Straus Public Relations Award,” said Doug and Shelley Gallinger. “This award would not have been made possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff and local community. A special thank you goes to our customers for their support.”last_img read more

BC Assessment makes presentation to Council

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Scott Sitter, Assessor of the Northern B.C. Region for BC Assesment made a presentation on the Basics of Assesment to Council.In the presentation Sitter explained the formula in which BC Assesment formulates their values they use in assessments of properties.In 1974 British Columbia became a Crown Corporation in which changes were made that distributed the tax base fairly. In B.C., assessment and taxing are run by different departments. Sitter shared, the B.C. assessment and tax system rank top 6 worldwide.Sitter spoke to Council at the end of the presentation in regards to the OSB Plant. He shared when BC Assessment gets notification of potential for a major industrial property to curtail its operations or go into closure, BC Assesment provides the best estimate at the time.In terms, if the OSB Plant is going to be down permanently the assessment on their building will drop to a 90 percent depreciation rate. Dependent on their current assessment will drop to 10 percent of the replacement value.The land will stay the same, the classification stays the same unless they start removing equipment then the classification changes and the method of evaluation changes. Sitter shares, once you change it from a major industrial property, now you’re into regular property classes.He goes on to share it is a huge building designed for a specific industrial purpose and who is going to buy the building for that purpose, yet more than likely an alternative purpose.Sitter shares he has not seen a reaction in the markets yet so he does not know how the markets will react with the plant’s closure yet as soon as BC Assesment knows they will keep close contact with the municipality.last_img read more

West Fraser announces changes to operating schedules at sawmills

first_imgThe variable operating schedules for sawmill operations and the curtailment of plywood operations in B.C. are expected to commence September 16.West Fraser anticipates continuing the variable operating schedules at its B.C. sawmills until market and economic conditions support a return to full production. CHETWYND, B.C. – West Fraser has announced that it will be introducing variable operating schedules at five of its British Columbia sawmills.In a release, the company says these changes will result in an estimated decrease of production in the range of 15 to 25 percent of the current B.C. lumber production and will include operations at the sawmill in Chetwynd.West Fraser says the potential effect of the revised operating schedules could be an aggregate reduction by up to an estimated 100 million board feet through to the end of the year.last_img read more

Jagdish Mukhi sworn in as Mizoram Guv

first_imgAizawl: Jagdish Mukhi was on Saturday sworn-in as the Governor of Mizoram at a simple function at the Raj Bhavan here. Gauhati High Court judge, Justice Nelson Sailo administered the oath of office to Mukhi. Mukhi is also the Governor of Assam. He succeeded Kummanam Rajasekharan as the governor of Mizoram as the latter resigned on Thursday and his resignation was accepted by the President Ram Nath Kovind who appointed Mukhi to take additional charge of Mizoram. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!After taking charge of Mizoram Governor, Mukhi said he would administer the oath of office to C Lalsawta as chairman of the first Lokayukta on Monday at Aizawl Raj Bhavan. Lalsawta, a retired IAS officer was recently appointed as chairman of the newly-constituted Lokayukta in Mizoram on February 28. Mukhi would deliver his customary gubernatorial address in the Mizoram Assembly on Tuesday, the first day of the Budget session.last_img read more