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Further spanner in works for Port Meadow development

first_imgThe Campaign to Protect Rural England has been granted a hearing to review the decision by Oxford City Council to allow Oxford University to build student accommodation near a Port Meadow beauty spot.The hearing, set to take place on 23 October, may lead to a judicial review into the council’s decision to allow the Castle Mill development to be built.This is due to the CPRE’s argument that the council failed to carry out an environmental impact assessment. The development, five-storey blocks that provide 439 accommodation units, is situated by the River Thames, near a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.Helen Marshall, director of CPRE Oxfordshire, said, “We are not yet convinced that the planning condition on contamination has been met.“The mitigation proposals currently suggested by the university are woefully inadequate to counteract the devastating impact of the buildings on Port Meadow and Oxford’s historic skyline.”She added, “A few trees growing to approximately half the height of the buildings in 15 years’ time will not meet the brief of ‘hiding the buildings in summer and softening their impact in winter.’”Oxford City Council have said that the CPRE’s challenge is late, however, due to the fact that the flats have already been built. It believes the group’s claims are unfounded.Despite this, both the council and Oxford University have been under fire from campaign groups such as the CPRE since the start of its development, with an on-line petition against it attracting over 3,000 signatures.However, a University spokesman has said that, “The University will be making representations at the interim hearing in October on the procedural issues raised by the challenge.“In the meantime, we intend to finish and occupy the buildings by the start of the next academic year in October as planned.”last_img read more

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Ocean City Swears in Police Chief Prettyman

first_imgPolice Chief Jay Prettyman is sworn in with his wife, Tiffany, at left, daughter, Chloe, holding the Bible, and father, John N. Prettyman, as Judge Richard Russell conducts the ceremony. By Maddy VitaleOcean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman stood at the podium Wednesday night after being sworn in to officially assume his duties as the top law enforcement officer in the city.He made one thing clear.He will lead his department, and he will do it well. But the credit should go to the dedicated men and women he works with who make the department strong, he stressed.“This is not about me,” Prettyman, 48, said during the ceremony at the Ocean City Tabernacle. “I am more of a kingmaker, than a king.”He credited his predecessor, retired Police Chief Chad Callahan, for guidance along the way in a career that began in the department 25 years ago.“I had the good fortune of working side by side with him as my boss. He has helped me,” Prettyman said.When it came to the officers in the department, he said, “You guys work hard every day. I appreciate that.”Chief Jay Prettyman watches as his father, John N. Prettyman, places a pin on his lapel.During the ceremony, performed by Judge Richard Russell, Prettyman’s wife, Tiffany, stood by his side, as their daughter, Chloe, 16, held the Bible. Also on stage was the chief’s father, John N. Prettyman, a retired deputy chief from Voorhees Township, Camden County.Prettyman said throughout his career, from the many assignments, to erratic schedule and long hours, his wife has always been supportive.He recalled how the two met while working at a restaurant in Ocean City over the summers. She went on to become a history teacher, he went into the police academy.“She has given me the time and flexibility to get to where I am today, so I thank her for that,” Prettyman said.He pointed out that both Chloe and the couple’s other daughter, Phoebe, 20, who was away at college and could not attend the ceremony, have been understanding of their father’s job, which he admitted could be difficult for young people who live in a town where their father is a police officer.Police Chief Jay Prettyman says he is excited to be the new chief and is ready to work.Prettyman began his law enforcement career serving as a summer police officer in Ocean City in 1992 and 1993. He joined the department full time in 1995 and worked his way up the ranks.“We are making official what we already know,” City Business Administrator George Savastano told the audience of Prettyman’s qualifications and leadership abilities.Savastano, who spoke on behalf of Mayor Jay Gillian, who could not attend the ceremony following the death of his mother, called Prettyman a great man who is professional, compassionate and enthusiastic, a man who will lead the department well.Savastano then said that the men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day.Capt. Charlie Simonson hugs his son, Jonathan, a new police officer, moments after the swearing in.In addition to Prettyman were the promotions of captains, lieutenants, sergeants and 10 new hires. For all of the ceremonies, performed by Judge Russell, families and friends filled the stage.The two new captains are Capt. Bill Campbell and Capt. Charlie Simonson.Simonson, who has worked in the department for 32 years, commented after the ceremony that he feels great about the department.“I am fortunate to be a member of a good team. It is the best team and it is a wonderful experience,” Simonson said.Four lieutenants were also elevated to their new posts. They are Clinton Helphenstine, Brian Hopely, David Rowland and Robert Reichanek.Lt. Brian Hopely and his wife, Danielle, hug after he is sworn in, while their three daughters hold the Bible.Also sworn in were five sergeants. They are William Lick, Anthony Fearnhead, Patrick Walsh, Peter Kardas and John Vogt.Simonson’s son, Jonathan Simonson, was sworn in as a new officer in the department and joined his father, brother, Edward, and mother, Jacqueline Simonson, on stage during the ceremony.In addition to Jonathan Simonson, new officers are as follows: Michael Hinsley, Jacob Johnson, Neal Cullen, Steven Schmidt, Jenna Cuomo, Clayton Harper, Randall Clark, James Crowley and Benjamin Bethea.Swearing in of lieutenants.Sergeants swearing in ceremony.last_img read more

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Embracing motion and stillness

first_imgRunning, boarding, biking, shuffling (with ice underfoot) … always on the go until something slows us down. It could be the beauty of freshly fallen snow, a meditation class, or a pause in a rigorous workout. Oft forgotten unless it is purposely part of our daily routine. In yoga, we learn the practice of holding the breath. Kumbhaka is encouraged because it is believed to strengthen the diaphragm, restore energy, and cleanse the respiratory system. As assignments pile up and deadlines loom, let’s not forget to slow down, pause for the stillness, and experience Kumbhaka moments.last_img

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Buyers are still hunting for properties

first_imgIN  ALL my decades of real estate, I’ve never seen the challenges of the past month, writes REIQ Townsville Zone chairman Wayne Nicholson. The REIQ was here last week to host some special forums to help the real estate profession take the all-important next steps as we recover from this disaster. It was good to hear directly from people affected and learn straight from the horse’s mouth what the biggest issues are and what they need from us by way of help and support. As incredible as it is to believe, parts of the city are still functioning and the real estate market is still operating. There are properties on the market and there are still buyers looking for a home. Of course, the flood is going to have a massive impact but it’s important to get back to business as usual as quickly as possible. I was recently in the Bunnings nursery pondering the best ground cover to use in my garden when a couple walked past me. The gent stopped and said to me: “Because presentation is everything, eh?! I read your articles”. Firstly, I want thank him and, secondly, it got me to thinking about these columns. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020If you have a topic you would like to discuss concerning the real estate industry please send it to me via email at: [email protected] with the subject line: “REIQ food for thought” and I will endeavour to answer you. I am not a property lawyer and I can’t answer legal questions but if it’s a general real estate topic, I’ll be able to help. All REIQ member agents are available to the public to discuss any real estate needs at any time and provide a service if required.Do not hesitate to contact an agent for advice on real estate matters and be prepared for the agent to refer you to a solicitor if the matter is a legal question. Finally, I’d like to offer some thoughts about the real estate market in the months and years ahead. The REIQ has data that indicates that while we will have a short-term struggle in some areas, in the next year, two years and five years, we’ll very quickly get back on track. Additionally, there will be a lot of support coming our way from the government and we’ll amaze the rest of the state and the country with how well we recover and how fast.Let’s get to it, Townsville.last_img read more

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Get Children to Put Down Electronics This Week

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With all the smartphones, tablets, computers and video games around, it’s easy to forget that there is life beyond a screen. It’s Screen-Free Week, a time to rediscover some of the joys of being unplugged.Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said turning off screens can shift the focus to more engaging activities, which can improve well-being and relationships.“We want to get people to stop looking at those screens and start looking at each other,” he said, “because we have so much to offer each other.”While the idea of having their children go screen-free might send parents into a panic, Golin said they might be surprised with the result.“Kids are much more imaginative at coming up with activities than we give them credit for these days,” he said. “So if we can start to break that habit – as the second we’re bored we reach for the tablet or we turn on the video-game system – we’d be amazed at the ways that kids can entertain themselves.”Excessive use of screens is linked to attention problems, poor school performance, sleep problems and emotional difficulties among children. Because children are always watching their parents, Golin said, it’s important that good habits are practiced in the home.“So that means when we’re having conversations, we’re not distracted looking at our phones,” he said. “That means we’re not bringing our devices to the dining room table. We’re absolutely not glancing at our phones when we’re on the road because our children will be driving someday and we don’t want to be modeling that behavior as well.”Experts discourage screen time for children younger than age 2, and for other children no more than two hours a day of educational programming. But research shows that 8- to 18-year-olds spend about seven hours using screen media every day.last_img read more

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