The Arenal area hosted the inauguration of the Farmer’s Market on Sept. 16. This market will take place from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on first and third Sundays each month. Located at Five Corners (Cinco Esquinas), the market will feature fruits and vegetables, traditional and international foods, and arts and crafts. In addition, there will be face painting and games for the family.Vendors who wish to participate should contact Margot at 8701-7939 for English or Veronica at 8535-4137 for Spanish. The cost is ₡1,000 ($2) and you must confirm a week in advance. The Aqua Inn Spa in Arenal announces Robin Joes as the new manager and spa director. She will feature an array of natural therapies in addition to the traditional massage and facial services. Dr. Rand has returned and will offer chiropractic adjustments on Monday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m. Visit http://aguainnspa.com for more.-Lynn Farrislfarris@ymail.com Facebook Comments No related posts.
Helloworld Business Travel network members, Donna & Brian Meads-Barlow of Donna Barlow Travel in Sydney, have once again hosted a fabulous Jelly Bean Ball to raise money for the DANII Foundation, in support of Type 1 Diabetes, of which the two are Founders.Guests were treated to celebrity appearances with Rod Kafer as MC and Vic Lorusso as auctioneer, entertainment from the Australian School Girls’ choir and a large collection of impressive and unique auction items.Helloworld Business Travel was delighted to lend its support again, having been a part of the event since its inception eight years ago, with representatives turning out in their best attire and helping to raise more than $380,000 for the charity. David Padman, General Manager Independent & Corporate Networks at Helloworld Travel, congratulated Donna and Brian on another successful event.“We are thrilled to be a part of this event, in support of not only the foundation but our network members Donna and Brian. Congratulations to the entire DANII Foundation team, who work tirelessly to put on these events, and raise awareness and much needed funding for type 1 diabetes in Australia, it was a fantastic night for all.”IMAGE:FRONT L-R: Brian Meads-Barlow and Donna Meads-Barlow of the DANII Foundation, Justin Melvey – DANII Foundation Ambassador, Amanda Doonan – Helloworld Travel.BACK L-R: Belinda Murphy – Helloworld Travel, Kelly Truan-Smith – Helloworld Travel and partner, David Padman – Helloworld Business Travel and partner, Nicola Nanninga – Helloworld Travel and partner, and Sharon Stanley – Helloworld Business Travel and partner.About The DANII FoundationFounded in 2012, the DANII Foundation is Australia’s pre-eminent foundation for the prevention of life threatening Dead in Bed Syndrome (DIBS). It is the only organisation dedicated solely to improvement of the safety and quality of lives of Type 1 Diabetes sufferers. The Foundation was founded by Donna and Brian Meads-Barlow, of Donna Barlow Corporate Travel, a member of the Helloworld Business Travel network. DANII FoundationDonna Barlow TraveleventsHelloworld Business TravelJelly Bean Ball
04May Rep. Glenn introduces constitutional carry legislation Categories: Glenn News Rep. Gary Glenn, seated, submits constitutional carry legislation to the enrolling clerk Thursday. In back, from left, are Reps. Pamela Hornberger, Beau LaFave, Scott Dianda and Steve Johnson.State Rep. Gary Glenn, of Midland, this week introduced bipartisan legislation to allow all law-abiding people who can legally own handguns to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms without obtaining a license from the government.“Law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to pay a fee or wait for permission to exercise their rights,” Glenn said. “We wouldn’t tolerate this for any other rights, and I’m proud that so many of my fellow Representatives are standing with me to say we aren’t going to tolerate it anymore in Michigan.”The five-bill bipartisan package is sponsored by Glenn, Rep. Steven Johnson of Shelbyville, Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain, Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township and Rep. Scott Dianda of Calumet.The bills make the following reforms:Remove the prohibition on carrying concealed pistols without a concealed pistol license.Remove the requirement for security guards to possess a CPL to carry while off duty.Create uniformity so people exercising their right to openly carry a pistol and law-abiding citizens carrying concealed without a CPL will face the same rules about where they can carry.Eliminate prohibitions on transporting a pistol without a license.Strike the requirement that active or discharged military register their pistols within 30 days of moving into the state.House Bills 4565 (Glenn), 4566 (Hornberger), 4567 (LaFave), 4568 (Johnson) and 4542 (Dianda) have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.###
08Jun Rep. Tedder welcomes new brownfield redevelopment laws State Rep. Jim Tedder of Clarkston said abandoned sites across Michigan will have better chances at redevelopment after a new law was signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.Tedder, as chair of the House Tax Policy Committee, played a key role in the legislation’s advancement. He said the new law has the potential to benefit sites such as the Summit Place Mall and Pontiac Silverdome in Oakland County.“Today we have better odds for eliminating blight and breathing new life into abandoned properties than ever before,” Tedder said. “We are taking smart, sound steps to help those who have the heart and passion to improve our communities – and that benefits all of us in Michigan.”Community leaders from across Michigan supported the brownfield redevelopment plan, saying it could provide new purpose for sites that otherwise are too costly to clean up and redevelop.Developers will be able to keep some of the income tax and sales tax revenue generated when new businesses and residents move in to a redeveloped site — but only after an independent third party verifies an economic benefit to the state.The law has other built-in protections for taxpayers. No more than five transformational brownfield plans will be approved for any one year. Tax benefits for developers would be limited to 20 years, or until the benefits equal the total investment amount of the project.“With these new laws, we are doing what is right and responsible to provide renewed hope for redevelopment,” Tedder said. “In that spirit, I look forward to developers and local governments working together to revitalize our communities.”### Categories: News,Tedder News
Categories: Bellino News 09May Join Rep. Bellino at his May coffee hours State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe invites residents of Monroe and Wayne counties to join him for his monthly coffee hours on Friday, May 24.“I look forward to hearing your opinions on the important issues currently being debated in Lansing,” Rep. Bellino said. “Feedback from residents on road funding, auto no-fault insurance and budget negotiations will allow me to ensure our community has a voice during the process.”Rep. Bellino will meet with residents at the following times and locations:12 to 1 p.m. at Blue Heron Trading Company, 26217 Huron River Drive in Flat Rock; and1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Tim Hortons, 404 S. Monroe St. in Monroe.No appointments are necessary to attend coffee hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Bellino’s office at (517) 373-1530 or JosephBellino@house.mi.gov.
26Jun Schroeder leads bipartisan plan to make electric vehicles more accessible, spur economic growth State Rep. Andrea Schroeder today introduced a bipartisan plan that would make installing electric vehicle charging stations more attractive for retailers to increase drivers’ access to charging stations.“Electric vehicles are a great technology that can be an economical and environmentally conscious option for many Michigan families, but access to charging stations remains a stumbling block,” Schroeder said. “This plan gives retailers a financial incentive – similar to operating gas stations – to install electric charging stations on their property.”Schroeder’s proposal is part of a two-bill, bipartisan package that would allow retailers, like supermarkets, to install and operate charging stations and charge for their use. The plan requires retailers to clearly display the price for charging vehicle batteries at the charging station, both in terms of cost per kWh and the dollar per minute or dollar per hour equivalent.“Many electric vehicles can travel hundreds of miles on a single charge, but charging stations are few and far between, making it hard for many families who may be interested in an electric vehicle to make that choice,” Schroeder said. “It is my hope that this plan will open up the marketplace for retailers and consumers alike.”Schroeder’s proposal consists of House Bills 4806 and 4807. Categories: Schroeder News
Pay TV operator Sky Deutschland is extending its customer service operations, provided by Invoco Group. The company will create 110 new jobs at Invoco’s facility in Wismar.Sky said the expansion of its customer service operation was in line with the growth in the number of subscribers to its platform.
Cyfrowy Polsat said that pay TV subscriber numbers remained flat year-on-year in Q2 at 3.545 million, but said it almost doubled its number of Multiroom subscribers.The Polish pay TV provider said that Multiroom subscribers numbered around 573,000, roughly 16% of the base. Churn rate remained stable at around 8.8% for the 12 months ended June 30.Average monthly users for Cyfrowy Polsat’s OTT service IPLA during the first six months of 2013 was 3.8 million across PC, mobile devices, smart TVs, set-top boxes and game consoles.
Russian service provider Rostelecom has deployed a new DWDM-based optical backbone in the Siberian Republic of Sakha/Yakutia.The network has been built in partnership with the government of the republic and Rostelecom has invested RUB264.7 million (€5.5 million) in the project.The company said that the network would improve bandwidth available to the cities of Yakutsk, Aldan and Neryungri. It also offers the possibility of connecting up the towns of Nizhniy Bestyakh, Kachikattsy, Nizhniy Kuranakh, Bol’shoy Khatymi and Iyengra.The backbone network has a current cacacity of 80Gbps with the possibility of expanding in the future to 3.2Tbps.
Developing markets such as Russia, Poland, Turkey, India and China could represent “the next wave of opportunities” for Netflix, according to new research by Futuresource Consulting.The research firm said that while Netflix has enjoyed huge success in developed nations, it “is now looking to emerging markets for continued growth,” citing its success in Mexico where it launched in 2011.Futuresource research analyst Tristan Veale said that the Russian digital video sector is “rapidly expanding”, despite endemic piracy and a depressed economy, with retail spend tipped to more than treble by 2019.The affluent Russian cities are well served by ISP’s meaning that, among this target market, “once the economy is back on track, spend on OTT will once again accelerate,” according to FutureSource.The research firm said the expected entry of Netflix into Poland during 2016 will provide a boost to the SVoD segment there.“Digital video spend is forecast to outstrip packaged media spend for the first time this year in Poland representing 58% of total home video expenditure with revenues of PLN170 million (€40 million),” said Michael Boreham, senior market analyst at Futuresource.In Turkey, Futuresource analyst David Sidebottom says the digital video market “remains in its embryonic stages” but tips SVoD to dominate the online video market in the long term.“Turkey’s large population, which has a comparatively high youth component (17% of the total population are 18 to 24 years old), growing broadband penetration (42% as of end 2014) and a growing appetite for all types of video content will provide a stimulus for digital video growth across all sectors,” said Futuresource.Joanna Wright, senior market analyst at Futuresource, predicts Netflix or Amazon will launch in the Indian market by the end of 2016, tapping into the country’s 1.3 billion population.Meanwhile, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in July that he hopes a version of the SVoD service will launch in China next year.Futuresource’s Boreham said “The Mexican market exemplifies how developing nations can drive service growth”, predicting that by the end of 2015 Netflix will have 2.5 million subscriptions there, making it its fourth largest international market after the UK, Canada and Brazil.
Bouygues TelecomOrange has confirmed that it has renewed preliminary discussions with telecoms-to-construction conglomerate Bouygues Group to take over the latter’s telecom unit.Orange specified that the discussions are not limited by any calendar deadline and do not involve any commitments to a pre-defined outcome.“The Group is exploring the opportunities available within the French telecoms market, while keeping in mind that its investments and its solid position afford it a total independence in its approach,” said Orange.“Orange will act solely in the interests of its shareholders, its employees and its customers and will be particularly vigilant with regards to the value created through any resulting project.”Bouygues also issued a statement confirming that it was in talks with Orange. The company said that its telecoms unit’s growth plan was on track and that it remained “convinced that its activity in telecoms creates value for the future in the context of the rapid development of ultra high-speed mobile and fixed [networks]”. It said that it had entered the talks to explore all potential opportunities and that the negotiations were subject to a confidentiality agreement.A deal would combine Orange, the leading mobile operator in France with Bouygues Telecom, which is vying for the number three slot with rival Free. Both Orange and Bouygues Telecom offer a range of fixed and mobile services, including TV.France’s Journal du Dimanche, which first reported the talks on Sunday, said that the pair are discussing a deal that would see Orange pay €8 billion in shares and €2 billion in cash for Bouygues Telecom and Bouygues proprietor Martin Bouygues is seeking two seats on Orange’s board including one for himself.A deal would likely involve the cession of some part of Bouiygues Telecom’s network, most likely to Free, to secure regulatory approval.
French channel distributor Thema has secured a carriage deal for Algerian public TV channel Canal Algérie with Canadian operator Bell’s FIBE TV platform.The channel will be available free of charge until June 10, after which it will be available as an à la carte option or within an additional bouquet.Thema said that the deal strengthened the extension of Canal Algérie’s distribution in the Canadian pay TV market.
Set-top and gateway manufacturer ADB has teamed up with video personalisation, discovery and analytics specialist ContentWise to integrate personalised recommendation capabilities into its graphyne2 TV software platform.Graphnye2, which is to be launched at IBC, combines a client devices and back-end software platform. The integration of the ContentWise software will, according to the company, help provide relevant recommendations based on algorithmic and social data, predictive browsing, and contextual awareness.“With graphyne2, from the moment the viewer switches on the TV, they are presented with their personalised highlights of the day, which begins the immersive, personal experience from the outset. Integrating this feature into the graphyne2 platform is a vital component for our customers, who know that to engage viewers and ensure ongoing loyalty, it is imperative that the TV they are watching is truly theirs, and that the recommendations they receive are relevant and personal.” said Wojciech Doganowski, ADB’s VP product marketing, personal solutions.
Com Hem’s SEK 1.33 billion (€144 million) buyout of rival Swedish pay TV operator Boxer has received approval from the Swedish Competition Authority.In a statement, Com Hem said the acquisition is now expected to complete “shortly” having received all necessary approvals.The news comes after the Swedish state, through cabinet minister Mikael Damberg, approved the sale of Boxer earlier this month.“We are very happy about the Competition Authority’s announcement. We are now working at full speed to close the deal as soon as possible”, said Com Hem CEO, Anders Nilsson.Com Hem first agreed to buy Boxer in June. At the time it said that the deal will help it to move into the single dwelling unit (SDU) market in Sweden as Boxer, the pay TV operator in the DTT network in Sweden, has roughly 500,000 subscribers that are predominantly in this market.These customers will get access to fibre over the coming years, marking a “significant acceleration opportunity” for Com Hem, according to the company.
The BBC has opened up its archive to celebrate 80 years since its launch of the first British television service on November 2, 1936.BBC History has launched a microsite that contains video and audio footage that tells the story of TV – including the invention of television and information about the opening night of broadcasts from Alexandra Palace, London.Communications infrastructure firm Arqiva has also partnered with Alexandra Palace to illuminate the mast that broadcast the first regular ‘high definition’ public television transmission in 1936.The BBC defined ‘high-definition’ at the time as a broadcast of 240-lines or higher. This allowed it to claim to launch the world’s first regular high-definition television service, as a German TV service offering pictures of 180-lines launched the year before in 1935.The BBC microsite also includes information about TV’s closure during the Second World War and its re-emergence in 1946, and about TV’s milestone moments such the coronation of George VI in1937 and of Elizabeth II in 1953.“We are delighted to mark this momentous occasion by sharing much never-before-seen material from the BBC archives. The anecdotes, images and recordings offer today’s audiences a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the early days of television,” said Robert Seatter, head of BBC History.Bryan Coombes, director of terrestrial broadcast at Arqiva said: “We feel incredibly privileged to be able to support the 80th anniversary celebrations at Alexandra Palace, and help deliver what will be an amazing public spectacle befitting of this historic location.”
Euronews’ African news channel Africanews is watched by 1.7 million people in French-speaking Africa each week, according to the Kantar TNS Africascope survey.According to the survey31% of respondents in seven French-speaking African countries have heard of the channel, which launched six months ago.A majority of the channel’s audience are men, making up 67% of the service’s viewership across the seven countries surveyed.In Cameroon, 41% of respondents say they have heard of the channel, rising to 60% in Gabon, the channel’s highest rating in French-speaking Africa. Africanews attracts its highest weekly audience in Gabon, with a quarter of viewers watching the channel.In Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, Africanews scores awareness ratings of 34% and 29%, respectively.In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 28% of respondents say they have heard of the channel, compared to 25% in Burkina Faso and 21% in Mali.“Barely six months after the launch of Africanews, we are pleased to receive the first audience data for seven key markets in French-speaking Africa. These findings – exceptional for a fledgling media outlet – are highly encouraging and consolidate our editorial position. We can already say that Africanews has found its audience, who approve of our intention to show the new face of news in a fast-moving continent. With our team in Pointe-Noire and its network of correspondents, 85 professionals fulfil their daily mission of providing independent news and promoting Africa’s rich diversity,” said Euronews and Africanews CEO Michael Peters.“Many advertisers and partners showed confidence in Africanews as soon as it launched. With these first audience findings, we can assure them that Africanews is an excellent vehicle for their communications and that it will quickly make its mark as a key media source on the continent.”
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has welcomed a vote by the European Parliament’s Industry Committee to validate an earlier EU inter-institutional agreement on preserving access to UHF spectrum below 700MHz for terrestrial TV broadcasting until at least 2030.The EBU welcomed what it described as a dismissal of a plan to give ‘downlink-only’ access to the fought-over spectrum to mobile operators, which had originally been proposed by the European Commission.Under the prosposals approved by the Parliament, EU member states will also have the flexibility to set the clearance of the 700 MHz for mobile use to 2022 rather than 2020 if this is proved to be necessary and justified.Possible justifications include for financial reasons and harmful interference resulting from unresolved cross-border coordination issues.The final text on the use of the 470-790MHz spectrum is expected to be published in April.“This agreement ensures that European audiences can continue benefiting from free-to-air TV reception at home, which is crucial to sustain the universality of public service media. At the same time, it puts Europe in the lead when it comes to harmonized spectrum for mobile: 1260 MHz will be available for mobile broadband, which is more than any other region in the world,” said Wouter Gekiere, deputy head of the EBU’s Brussels office.EBU head of technology and innovation Simon Fell said: “DTT broadcasting is indispensable. There are no other technologies currently out there capable of replicating its advantages, both for viewers and broadcasters. Broadcasting directly connects over 250 million Europeans in their living rooms to European films, documentaries, series, news and sports.”The latest development comes after the European Council approved plans to reassign the 694-790MHz part of the band for mobile services by June 2020, including the possibility of delaying for up to two years in certain cases.While broadcasting services will retain priority in the sub-694MHz part of the band until at least 2030, member states will have the flexibility to use this range for other purposes, including mobile internet services, but this use must be compatible with broadcasting needs.All EU countries must adopt a roadmap for migration by the end of June 2018.Following parliamentary approval, the proposals now go back to the European Council, which is expected to be completed by the spring of this year.
The Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) is due to present the first draft of its industry guidelines at IBC this year.The guidelines will emphasise interoperability and are designed to spur on the availability of “high quality audiovisual VR experiences”.The initial release will focus on the delivery of 360° video with three degrees of freedom and will include: documentation of cross-industry interoperability; best industry practices for production of VR360 content, with an emphasis on human factors like motion sickness; and security considerations for VR360 streaming, including user privacy and content protection.“What is so unique about these guidelines is they take the interests of all ecosystem participants into account and focus on important, but often overlooked factors,” said Paul Higgs of Huawei, who is chair of the guidelines working group and board member of VRIF.“The VR industry is starting to move away from proprietary systems and toward large scale solutions, and the guidelines facilitate that transition.“The purpose of presenting a draft of the guidelines at IBC is to give the public a chance to review them and identify any issues, so that we can incorporate as much relevant information as possible.”The VRIF said that, post-IBC, the finalised guidelines will be released at the Consumer Electronics Show in January to mark one year since the launch of the organisation.The forum currently has some 40 members from across the movie, television, mobile, broadcast and interactive gaming sectors. Its members include Sky, Nokia, Dolby, Ericsson, Harmonic, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, the DTG, EBU and CableLabs.The guidelines will be discussed by VRIF at a session co-hosted with the DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF) on Saturday September 16 at 5pm in room E102 of the Rai
TV device and software specialist Amino has teamed up with middleware provider Nordija to debut of a dual mode platform designed to enable operators to move between Android and Linux based TV delivery.The new solution provides operators with the tools to deliver a consistent, state of the art user experience and was developed to meet growing operator demand for Android TV and the benefits that it can offer in terms of speed in time-to market, content availability and a rich application framework that leverages the massive global Android development community.Nordija and Amino say that they now offer a platform that switches seamlessly between Linux and Android TV environments, even when devices have been deployed in the field via a remote software update.The new solution will be demonstrated on both the Amino and Nordija booths at IBC.Amino is exhibiting at IBC on stand 14.K20 and Nordija is exhibiting on stand 14.L06
Vodafone España has struck a strategic agreement with Spanish subscription movies on-demand provider Filmin to include its service on the Vodafone One TV service and as part of Vodafone’s mobile offering.SVOD service Filmin, which was launched in 2007 by Juan Carlos Tous, Jaume Ripoll and José Antonio De Luna, specialises in independent and Spanish cinema, with a goal of complementing Hollywood movie offerings and to provide a range of titles that are not widely available either in cinemas or on other TV services.The company has a catalogue of over 10,000 titles including over 7,000 movies. It includes Spanish movies from the likes of Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Vermut, Borja Cobeaga and Fernando Fernán Gómez, as well as a wide range of European, American and world independent movies, festival circuit titles, kids, documentary and music programming and a curated selection of 200 episodic series.The service also provides classic movies directed by the likes of Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Roberto Rossellini, Francis Ford Coppola and Alfred Hitchcock among others.Filmin’s offering will add to Vodafone’s existing movie offerings, which include its own Videoclub service, with 40 new titles added each month and a catalogue of 550 titles. Vodafone also offers linear movie channels such as canal Hollywood, TCM, Dundance TV and Somos as well as providing access to Netflix and HBO España.Vodafone is offering Filmin free of charge for two months and for €7 thereafter.