Are your clients a Coronavirus risk? New digital checker launched for estate agents

first_imgLetting agents can make sure prospective renters are Covid-free before doing physical viewings using a new self-screening bot.The online tool from communication provider Moneypenny checks prospective viewers are in good health by quizzing them to find out whether anyone is self-isolating, has any Covid symptoms, has come into contact with anyone who has, or is suspected of having the virus or if they feel unwell.Agents can integrate the bot into their online viewing booking system, or share a link to a brand-customised page. They can then access full analytics via an individual portal and get a real-time response email for every completed questionnaire. Based on the answers, they can also escalate chats to either their own in-house staff, or to a Moneypenny receptionist.CEO Joanna Swash (left) says the tool will help agents stay efficient and operational during the pandemic. She says, “We’ve developed this tool specifically to offer extra reassurance and give confidence to the property market and because it seemed a very natural extension to the support we offer estate and letting agents.“By using the bot, vendors and viewers will know that both parties are symptom-free before they come into contact with each other, and agents can rest assured that they’ve done as much as possible to protect their clients.”She adds that it’s not a substitute for observing social distancing and extra hand hygiene. “It’s an extra layer of safety and due diligence to help the property market thrive again.”    covid coronavirus June 18, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentPossession Friend, Possession Friend Possession Friend 18th June 2020 at 8:55 amWhilst you have to applaud innovation, without knowing a lot more about the App, Caution – concern has to be exercised.Some of the public are already skeptical of the Governments Track and trace, let alone a third-party, How is the data handled, can an individual be identified, how many will be prepared to respond ? etcLog in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » COVID-19 news » Are your clients a Coronavirus risk? New digital checker launched for estate agents previous nextProducts & ServicesAre your clients a Coronavirus risk? New digital checker launched for estate agentsService from phone-answering firm Moneypenny puts those seeking viewings or meetings through a rigorous checking process.Nigel Lewis18th June 20201 Comment1,182 Viewslast_img read more

Heading to School on Two Wheels

first_imgBy John BurtonIn Fair Haven, riding bikes is a preferred mode of travel FAIR HAVEN – The borough is a biking town.All the kids are doing it. Well, maybe not all the kids, but a considerably large number of the borough’s younger population who attend borough schools regularly ride their bikes there and home.Gabby and Joseph Gotch ride their bikes to school most days, like many Fair Haven children.“It’s hundreds of kids,” estimated Police Corporal John Waltz, who oversees the bicycle safety program the police department sponsors in conjunction with the schools. “It’s only a handful that don’t.”Bennett Coleman, president of the district’s PTA, estimated that about half of the nearly 700 students attend­ing the district’s Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood schools ride their bikes to school, depending on the weather.Coleman, who ­has kids in grades 1, 2 and 6, said she is comfortable letting them ride to and from school because of the role educators, police, crossing guards and fellow parents have played in keeping the children safe.“Everyone is so supportive,” she said.Along with that input, Coleman says, “We practice, practice, practice,” to make sure the kids are aware of what they should and shouldn’t be doing on their bikes.Allowing their children to easily get around Fair Haven, a suburban community of approximately 6,121 residents and roughly 2 square miles, is what residents like about living in a bike-friendly town, many said.“I’m kind of a helicopter mom,” Coleman said, but “I don’t have any reservations.”“This is a regular part of Fair Haven,” said Jeff White, a parent of two daughters, fifth- and sixth-graders who also ride bikes to school.Knollwood School students head home at the corner of Hance Road and Third Street after school in Fair Haven.“You get to the Knollwood School and look at the parking lot by the school, no lie, they must have 150 bikes there,” he said.Like other parents, he feels very comfortable about letting his children go back and forth on bikes.“The No. 1 reason that I think everyone is OK with it is that drivers around here are accustomed to it,” he said.The Whites’ home is on River Road, a busy thoroughfare running east-west through the community, which is used by commercial vehicles. White acknowledged there are times when traffic is heavy and one or both of his daughters need to wait quite a while before being able to cross the street. But the key is proper and regular education on what to look out for, he said. “I always let them know, they can’t make any assumptions. When in doubt, stop.“We have the best crossing guards. The kids love ’em and the parents love ’em,” said White, adding that the crossing guards seem to know all the kids by name.“I have to say, it’s one thing I really don’t worry about,” said Laura Nolan, a Highland Avenue mother of four, ages 7 to 11.“My kids bike every day, rain or shine. It’s easier than driving them there.“I think it’s good for them. It’s a social thing,” as the children regularly go in groups of friends, Nolan said.“My concern is the afterschool, when traffic picks up,” especially on some of the busier streets, like River, Ridge and Fair Haven roads, said Jennie Lucci, another River Road resident.“They need to learn safety – and they’re learning it,” said Lucci, who has three children, ages 6, 9 and 13.The school district has taken appropriate steps to address safety considerations, Coleman and Waltz each said.Both schools conduct two days of bike safety instruction at the beginning of each school year. The extensive training shows students the proper way to wear helmets – and stresses they must always wear them – what to watch out for and when it’s safe and not to proceed, and all stay to the right, Waltz said.Bikes fill the racks at Knollwood School in Fair Haven.The district also staggers its dismissal times, allowing students with bikes to leave first, followed by those students who walk. Students who are picked up by parents in cars leave the building last. Closing Third Street to all but local residents in the morning and afternoon on school days also helps contribute to a safe environment for those on two wheels, Waltz and others said.There have been no serious injuries involving children on bikes here, as far as Waltz could remember. “Maybe a couple of scraped knees,” but nothing worse than that, he said.Last Saturday, the PTA conducted its first bike rodeo in conjunction with the police and with the support of Meridian Health System, which operates Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank.The goal of the event, held on Willow Street, across from Sickles school, “is to promote bicycle safety for families,” Coleman said.Children were instructed about how to cross streets, be cautious of driveways and always be alert – as should drivers, Coleman said. “It’s about knowing where you’re going.”“I try to remind them to look both ways,” said Erin Gotch of Fair Haven Road. “They’re going to want to continue to ride their bikes, so they’ll listen to the rules.”Gotch’s children, Joseph, 9, who attends Knollwood, and Gabby, 8, a Sickles student, both said they want to continue riding.“It makes me feel happy,” Joseph said.“I like being outside. I like riding my bike,” Gabby added.Joseph regularly rides with his five friends while his sister usually rides to and from school alone.One of the best parts about it for Joseph is “You don’t have to wait for your parents to get ready,” to take you.The most important thing about it for Gabby? “It let’s you be free,” she said.Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, who is a bicycling enthusiast in his own right, said, “It’s great. It keeps the kids active.”To help encourage everyone to take bikes, instead of immediately hopping in the car, plans are in the works to establish bike lanes through some of the borough’s main streets, Lucarelli said.last_img read more

Ship Aurora: A Treasure For Sandy Hook Wreck Divers

first_imgDan Lieb, president of the New Jersey Historical Diver’s Association, was the man for the job.Teacups that were found after the discovery of Ship Aurora.“It’s amazing that in only 22 feet of water, something as fragile as china, packed in with hardware and coal and asphalt, actually managed to survive over a hundred years of hurricanes and nor’easters,” he said.The organization, which is an assembly of amateur historians and archaeologists, has aided in the discovery of unidentified wrecks off the Jersey coast since 1992.Lieb conducted all the behind-the-scenes work, such as framing and measuring the vessel, while using his background in historical research to track the ship’s roots all the way back to Maine, where it was built in 1824.Some of the artifacts were sold off to keep the recovery expedition afloat, yet Filippone had one ultimate goal in mind throughout the process.“I had the policy when we were working it that I wanted it to go to a museum,” he said. “Anything that was unique would go to the museum, anything two or more we’d split up; this way, I wanted to keep it intact.”For Harber, he believes that it was a perfect storm that brought the trio together.“We were very lucky to be available, and the weather was right for the initial work on it,” he said. “We had a clear stretch of weather, the visibility wasn’t bad, and we got a lot of work done in a short amount of time.” Transporting the china back to port presented its own set of challenges.“We had all of this china on the boat, and no way to really secure it on our boat,” Anthony said, grinning to Filippone. “And the ride home, you had to be careful or you’d break half of it, because he doesn’t know how to drive.”While the china surely peaked their interest, other meaningful and historical pieces from the wreckage were recovered, ranging from construction tools to pre-Civil War surgical equipment.After a late night of diving, Kenny Harber shows off some blue and green china excavated from the hull of the Ship Aurora.Each man had his own favorite find. Harber’s was a fully intact brass octant, a nautical tool used to measure distances on the sea. Anthony laid claim to a brass chronometer, which he claimed could work to this day if given to the right clockmaker.For Filippone, he recovered the medallion of Stephen Thomas, one of the ship’s passengers, which was made to commemorate his service in the Battle of Trafalgar.The three-man crew received help from locals who accompanied them on expedition dives. Of those who helped, one was crucial in the identification of the ship. After the divers went public with their discovery in 2007, they were connected with Debbie Whitcraft, who was in the process of finalizing the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History.Along with family and friends receiving some of the china, and the guys keeping a few pieces for themselves as well, nearly all of the recovered tableware now rests in that museum in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island.The book, which Filippone has titled “Tattered Rails,” in reference to a newspaper article’s description of the site the morning after the ship sank, is paddling on to the next phase.“Joe and I wrote the script, but I sent it down to Beach Haven and they’re going to put it together,” he said, during a Sunday morning coffee hour with his partners. “Right now, I don’t know how big this book is going to be, because we have 447 pictures, but I want it to be intact; everything possible about the ship into one.”“I think it’s a wonderful idea to do the book, I think it’s a really, really good idea,” said Lieb. “It’s a wreck that nobody had ever heard of certainly in recent memory, or certainly over the past 150 years.”center_img By Jay CookHIGHLANDS – That old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” for the most part, rings true. Yet for three local scuba divers, that adage could instead read “one man’s wreck is another man’s treasure.”Gary Filippone, Joe Anthony and Kenny Harber are turning their diving expedition between 2002 and 2007 into a book, in which they’ll talk about how they took hundreds of boat rides and retrieved thousands of artifacts from a Sandy Hook shipwreck.A Highlands resident and veteran wreck diver with 43 years of scuba experience under his weight belt, Filippone claims he has never seen anything like what he first came upon on July 1, 2002: a shipwreck 1,200 feet off the shores of Sandy Hook, in only 19 feet of water during low tide.What he encountered was Ship Aurora, a 106-foot shipping vessel, bound for New York City from Liverpool, England. The ship sank on Nov. 27, 1827, after a storm threw the three-mast ship off course. Of the roughly 40 voyagers on board that night, six crew members perished as they went down with the ship.Immediately after passing through the tolls into Sandy Hook, Filippone used Area A, which has a fenced-in parking lot, on the barrier peninsula as a reference for finding the wreck each trip out.What was left in the high-dynamic area, which has a high rate of ground swells and rough waters, were the remains of the ship sans a mast and sails, most likely cut loose during the storm.“I believe this is one of the top 10 American wrecks in the country, talking historically,” Filippone said over an early morning cup of coffee at Water Witch Coffee in Highlands, where the trio met each morning before their dives.Using Filippone’s 23-foot center console boat named “Sea Monkey,” he and Anthony, a resident of Atlantic Highlands, began to further investigate the ship only a week later. Filippone brought his spear gun down, and after missing a shot and it clanking off of Ship Aurora’s hull, they noticed something shining in the sand.The recovery of artifacts from Ship Aurora.“Picture a sand mound in your head,” Anthony said. “And then you just take a big fan and blow the top of that off; and all you see is blue and green edges stacked for feet.”Those edges turned out to be roughly 2,200 total pieces of Staffordshire and shell edge china, surrounded by mounds of roofing slate manufactured for New York City rooftops.“You wouldn’t have thought that there was much of anything in there, except the ship was a deep hull,” said Harber, who also lives in Atlantic Highlands and is the coffee shop’s property owner.He was surprised by how much was waiting to be found inside.From May through October for the next five years, the three divers worked Ship Aurora, excavating and removing thousands of teacups, pitchers, plates, platters and bowls; and it was no piece of cake.Using milk crates with rope and lift bags, the china was hoisted from the sea where it had rested in nearly perfect condition for 175 years.last_img read more

Mandela’s story told in meals

first_img14 July 2008As part of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Jacana Media launched Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela at a sumptuous banquet outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg earlier this month.Described by author Anna Trapido as a “gastro-political biography”, the book explores Mandela’s hunger for freedom in a literal and metaphoric way, linking stories from his childhood, his life as an activist, political prisoner and world statesman with the food that he ate and the people he ate with.Mandela, says Trapido, was the product of “an astonishing generation of activists. Of course he’s an astonishing individual, but everyone around him was completely fabulous too, and those were some really some amazing dinner parties.”Trapido, who is an anthropologist, chef and food writer, said the book had brought new voices into South Africa’s liberation story, revealing unsung heroes like the Naidoo family, who cooked every day for the Treason Trialists. Intimate “What I hope that this book does is put the people who literally fed the struggle against apartheid back into the story.”After Trapido got the idea to write the book, she began her research at the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Centre of Memory. She started reading Mandela’s prison letters, which she described as “so foodie”.“He uses food and food metaphors all the time to talk about love and passion and missing people, really because all these letters are being censored . You don’t want to write in a very intimate way if you know that all your love letters are going to be read by somebody else.”Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says the book’s significance was that “in many ways it’s a map of his life. It documents what food he ate as a child, what he ate when he moved to the city, what he ate with the people he liked, and the food that he was forced to eat in prison.”Along the way, Mandela’s broad tastes – from pig’s head to crab curry – reveal his interaction with a cross-section of southern African society. “The choice of the food is quite eclectic,” says Dangor. Food and politics Speaking at the book launch, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi said the book had enabled the family to reconnect with old friends. “It has been at times an emotional journey. It’s brought people back into the circle.”Former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, a noted historian, was pleased to be at the event. “I have to make up for 26 years without good food, and I take every opportunity to do that,” he joked.Kathrada cautioned, however, that although many of the meals in the book were tasty, “we dare not forget the prison years”, during which Mandela ate prison food – porridge and soup for breakfast, boiled maize for lunch, and porridge and soup for supper.And, of course, there was no bread for African prisoners, said Kathrada, a powerful reminder that food and politics are often intertwined.Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela is available from Jacana Media as well as from good South African bookstores.SAinfo reporter and the Nelson Mandela Centre of MemoryWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

UAAP 80 Volleyball Preview: UST looks to ‘overachieve’ anew, targets twice-to-beat

first_imgReyes, though, already has a plan on how to compensate for his missing stars in place.“The good thing is, we already knew that Ria and EJ won’t be with us for Season 80 long before the tournament started,” said Reyes.“We have prepared for what happened. And a similar thing happened before when Pam [Lastimosa] got injured in my first year. So we already have second options lined up and Carla Sandoval will be the one taking EJ’s place.”And even though Reyes won’t be having Laure and Meneses, he still has one more explosive trick up his bulging sleeve—Cherry Rondina.UST’s loudmouthed personification of kinetic energy will be Reyes’ main cog as he prepares to unleash Rondina come Season 80.Reyes said that Rondina was almost grounded when he assigned the captainship to the Cebuana in Season 79.And now that senior Shannen Palec has the underline on the jersey number, Reyes believes Rondina will be unbound of any burden except from producing the much-needed offensive power.“Actually right now, I’m just observing Sisi [Rondina’s nickname] on how she trains, on how she performs, if there’s something wrong,” said Reyes. “I don’t want to burden her with any issues of the court, and I just want her to concentrate on playing.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Reyes, who is an alum of UST, first led the Golden Tigresses to a 5-9 record in Season 78 then to the third seed in Season 79 with a 9-5 record.UST’s sudden rise saw them face La Salle in the Final Four but eventually bowed to the eventual champions in four sets.“My press release has always been that we will go for the twice-to-beat advantage in Season 80,” said Reyes.And although Reyes already has his goals set in paper, there are two main pieces that won’t be suiting up for UST come Season 80.Season 77’s Best Blocker Ria Meneses sat out her final playing year while Season 77 Rookie of the Year EJ Laure is sidelined with a shoulder injury.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting AFP official booed out of forum Head coach: Kung Fu ReyesLast season: 9-5 (no.3)Key holdovers: Cherry Rondina, Carla Sandoval, Dimdim PacresKey losses: EJ Laure, Ria Meneses, Pam LastimosaKey addition: Milena AlessandriniADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH A very famous superhero has the line “up, up, and away” as one of his signature lines, and it seems Kung Fu Reyes has somewhat adapted that catchphrase but with a little twist.Because for the head coach of University of Santo Tomas, the Golden Tigresses went up and up again, and Reyes hopes they can go up another level one more time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSince Reyes took over the Golden Tigresses in 2016, the bald headed coach’s “overachieving” team has gone on an upward trajectory and the Army sergeant knows they’re not satisfied with just reaching the Final Four in Season 79.“Actually, instead of feeling pressured I’m taking this one as a challenge,” said Reyes in Filipino. “We reached the top six in my first year then we doubled our win total in my second year and ended up at third.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next UAAP 80 Volleyball Preview: NU taking road to Final Four one step at a time NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Road Improvement Programme Allocated $330 Million

first_img By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter A total of $330 million has been allocated to the Road Improvement Programme in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.             With funding support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the project aims to promote the creation of a self sustainable system for the provision of safe and reliable national road network.             It also seeks to support the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing in the implementation of a new framework for administering the main road network; strengthen the core activities of planning, programming and budgeting for the road sector; and the maintenance, design and construction of roads within the national network under the auspices of the National Works Agency (NWA).             For this fiscal year, the money will be used for procuring equipment, goods and services necessary to facilitate the institutional strengthening of the Road Safety Unit; continue and achieve 100 per cent completion of civil works – continuous bushing along approximately 270 kilometres of the 300 kilometre-long Northern Coastal Highway corridor.             Achievements to date include: procurement of office equipment; procurement of goods and services to facilitate road markings and signage; award of maintenance contract to undertake the routine maintenance of continuous bushing along sections of the Northern Coastal Highway; and the training of 20 Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing/National Works Agency staff in Project Management.             The project, which commenced in April, 2010, is slated to end in March 2015, and is being implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.last_img read more

Man gets bitten by cat row over animal menace

first_imgKolkata: Patients at the RG Kar Medical College and Hospital resorted to protest on Saturday after a man, who was admitted to the hospital for kidney-related problems, was bitten by a cat.Swapan Chanda, an elderly patient from Ichhapur in North 24-Parganas, had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for kidney-related problems. Chanda was admitted to the medicine ward of the hospital for past few days for dialysis. On Friday night, a cat bit him on his right hand. There was resentment among a section of patients at the hospital over the incident. They alleged that the cats were creating menace at the hospital wards. Some family members of the patients staged a protest outside the hospital. They alleged that they went to a senior official of the hospital to lodge a complaint on Saturday morning but he was not there at his office. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThey further alleged that various wards were infested with cats but the hospital authorities failed to take any step in this regard. They said there had been instances where patients were attacked by cats and dogs on the hospital campus. Kolkata Municipal Corporation deputy mayor Atin Ghosh said a few days ago that the authorities would write to the Union ministry of animal husbandry to them to formulate new law giving a detailed guidelines on how to capture the cats. kidney-related problems.last_img read more