Considering everything that had taken place earlier in the series, it would’ve been hard to imagine the Rockets having a better start than the one they had in Monday’s Game 7.About midway through the second quarter, Houston had held Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green to 1-of-7, 2-of-6 and 2-of-6 shooting from the field, respectively. Klay Thompson opened the game hot — and was 4-of-5 from the field — but his effectiveness was dulled to some extent because he’d uncharacteristically landed three fouls in the first four minutes of action, forcing Steve Kerr to yank him early. Meanwhile, Houston found a comfort zone from deep, hitting 6 of 13 threes. And even when the Rockets misfired, they often outworked Golden State, strong-arming offensive boards on nine of their 19 missed shots.Houston had a 42-30 lead with 6:13 to go in the half as likely league MVP James Harden ducked behind a Clint Capela screen for a 3-point try over the outstretched arm of Green. The shot, a miss, didn’t seem significant in that moment. But what would follow — 26 more missed threes in a row, the longest stretch of missed triples in NBA postseason history — turned out to be one of the biggest outliers in recent memory, one that will haunt the title-worthy Rockets now that they’ve been taken out by a Warriors team that they had right where they wanted.So how unbelievable was it that Houston missed that many threes — many of which were wide open — in a row? To get a better sense, FiveThirtyEight leaned on Quantified Shot Probability (qSP) data — used to weigh the likelihood of a shot going in depending on who’s taking it, how close the nearest defender is to the shot, and how quickly that player is closing out — from Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats, which use high-level cameras to track on-court movement.By using that metric — and looking at the probability of each individual shot’s chance of going down, from Harden’s 33 percent hoist that began the drought to his 31.6 percent chance on the last shot of the dry spell — we can conclude that the Rockets embarked on an approximately 1-in-72,000 cold streak from deep at the worst possible time, with a trip to the Finals on the line.As much of this was happening during the third period, a span in which Houston went 0-of-14 from deep, the Warriors were doing what they do best: staging a massive comeback after halftime. Specifically, Curry caught fire after the break for the second straight game (albeit in controversial, illegal-screen fashion at times), hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the third. He and Durant combined for 24 in the period, a span in which the duo outscored the entire Rockets team by nine.Houston had overcome Golden State’s Mario Star-like third period earlier in the series during Game 4. But without any juice from the Rockets’ trademark long-distance shooting, the Warriors pulled ahead and stayed there for good, earning a fourth consecutive Finals trip.But given that many saw Houston as the club with the best chance to take down Golden State (the oddsmakers have the Warriors as enormous favorites over the Cavs), that confounding stretch of missed threes — which lasted half the game, from the 6:13 mark of the second quarter all the way until the 6:28 mark of the fourth — will be talked about for a long time.What could possibly cause a team to go that cold? Some would point to tired legs, particularly since coach Mike D’Antoni had been using a short rotation — somewhat out of necessity, since future Hall of Famer Chris Paul was out. But the dry spell was also related to matchups. Case in point: D’Antoni avoided using the slow-footed Ryan Anderson for the vast majority of the series. But when he dusted him off and played him Monday, Curry nearly brought Anderson to his knees on D, and Houston got outscored by 12 points in Anderson’s 8 minutes on the court — keep in mind, the final margin in the game was nine.Many probably asked a totally logical question in all this: Why wouldn’t the Rockets just temporarily abandon their reliance on the 3-ball since they couldn’t make anything from outside? Yes, this team took triples at a historic rate — the first ever to attempt more three-pointers than twos — but putting the ball on the floor to get looks from closer in seemed sensible.Doing that would have a been a little bit easier said than done for two reasons. First, without Paul, the Rockets were missing their most reliable midrange player, someone who at times had his way against the Jazz in the second-round series because of his ability to neutralize a club that was generally happy surrender that sort of lower-percentage look.Beyond that, Harden and the Rockets might not have been confident that they’d earn trips to the line by merely being more aggressive. In Game 6, for instance, Harden drove to the cup a game-high 21 times, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Yet he didn’t draw a single free-throw attempt from those drives. (Green told reporters after the game that they expected Harden to wear down late in the contest from having to create so much offense in Paul’s absence. Whether that expectation was valid or not, Harden shot 6-of-25, or 24 percent, from 3-point range over the last two games of the series.)In an era where so many thought this Warriors’ team was untouchable, Houston managed to push Golden State to the brink. With a healthy Paul, maybe they would have won and taken down a team that’s still seeking to go down as the greatest to ever play the sport.Houston’s Gerald Green was asked to describe his feelings after the tough loss. “Heartbroken,” he told reporters. Asked to expand beyond that single word, he responded, “Heart. Broken.”The cost of coming that close and falling short. The cost of arguably the wildest drought we’ve ever seen.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (May 29, 2018, 1:20 p.m.): A previous version of this story mistakenly said Curry and Durant outscored the Rockets by 10 points in the third quarter. The duo outscored Houston by nine.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, March 13, 2018 – Nassau – Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands said the country’s healthcare system is faced with aged health facilities that were built in the 1980s and have experienced significant natural disasters, as many are close to the coast and vulnerable to environmental hazards.“We must continually repair to maintain services at our facilities.” Dr. Sands said during his Contribution to the Mid-term Budget Debate in the House of Assembly, Monday, March 12, 2018.He said the current outstanding projected infrastructure cost for improvement on community clinics approximates some $46,580,000.“I am pleased to report that the West End Community Clinic opened late last year.”Dr. Sands explained that this government administration came into office with the side opposite having promised the world in terms of repairs and refurbishment of the healthcare facilities throughout the archipelago.“We are unable to fund the proposed infrastructure improvements in our clinics as there was no money. Hence, we have had to put many infrastructural projects on hold as the staff work assiduously to ensure our people are cared for in a safe environment.”He said limited capital development work continues at healthcare institutions. By mid-April, the Corey Newbold Ward in the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) will be re-opened following a complete renovation programme to the 40-bed ward. This will reduce the protracted wait times for admissions and theatre services.The Health Minister said that plans are also underway for the redevelopment of the East Wing block of PMH to reduce the shortages of public ward beds and renovate/upgrade relevant areas for improved access and environments of care for public patients.Key public patient areas to be addressed are Eye Ward, Maternity Ward, Children’s Ward, and Male Surgical Wards. The consolidation, renovation and upgrade of all Private Services to one area of the hospital is also planned with a view to improving opportunities for revenue generation for the public health authority.He said, “I am very pleased to report that my Ministry has initiated an Emergency and Urgent Care Services project.“The overall goal of this important project is to improve my Ministry’s response to the critical needs of residents in New Providence for emergency and urgent care. This multifaceted project will, on the one end, address non-life threatening/urgent care treatment in the community clinics; and on the other end, focus on the Accident & Emergency Department to ensure true emergencies are better accommodated and managed for timely and quality care.”The urgent care component of this project will begin at the South Beach Health Centre and the Elizabeth Estates Clinic. The project seeks to improve workflows, policies and procedures, information management, customer service, staffing, and availability of services to the population.More specifically, the project will seek to decompress A&E Department and reduce wait times, overcrowding and upgrade the patient care environment.Dr. Sands said the renovation and upgrading of the A&E Department at PMH is specifically targeted with emphasis on decanting planning to minimise interruptions to essential services. It is anticipated that the phased renovation will span 12-14 months once initiated.The Health Minister said, “The Infrastructure Working Group continues to work to establish realistic timelines and budgets for each phase, inclusive of equipment and furniture needs. We are eagerly looking to fast-track the process to begin works within a three-month timeframe.”Plans for the Rand Memorial HospitalHe noted that at the Rand Memorial Hospital, funds have been identified to execute the upgrading and expansion of much needed clinical space.This will be achieved following the relocation of the Kitchen and Cafeteria to the property adjacent to the Rand Memorial (former Island Palm Hotel).A connecting corridor is being constructed between the two properties that will also accommodate physician offices, on-call rooms; and relocated Security and Telephone Services. Additionally, the General Practice and CNCD Clinics are being relocated to the IAT Building (a rented facility) located opposite the Rand Hospital.He said, “This additional clinical space affords the opportunity to extend the hours of operation for these services from 8:00 a.m. to midnight and institute a patient appointment system.“This ultimately will improve patient access, satisfaction and reduce wait times. This move will also afford the desired result of better responding to the critical needs in the Accident & Emergency Department at this hospital.”Plans for Sandilands Rehabilitation CentreDr. Sands said at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, renovation of the now vacant Child & Adolescent Ward to establish a new Forensic Psychiatry service is expected to meet the current and immediate future needs of this high-risk patient population.He said, “Historically, 90 per cent of forensic psychiatry patients are referred from the courts and the remaining 10 per cent are transferred from the Bahamas Correctional Services Department.“Presently, all patients are admitted to SRC’s New Eloise Penn Ward, resulting in severe overcrowding. In the outpatient setting, community forensic services are offered at the Community Counseling & Assessment Centre (CCAC) in a rather limited capacity.” Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
The Associated PressThe head of Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration says she’s confident the number of voters affected by a programming error will be less than the nearly 80,000 announced the day before the primary.The MVA and the State Board of Elections announced the registration problem June 23, saying an estimated 18,770 voters might have to use provisional ballots Tuesday. On June 25, they raised the number of those potentially affected by more than 61,000. The elections board also announced Thursday that 7,200 other voters may have had a related problem.MVA Administrator Christine Nizer says in a statement that she’s “confident that the ultimate number of voters impacted on election day would have been fewer than the 80,000 announced Monday.”Nizer emphasized “all affected customers were able to vote.”
Julia Angwin, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Markup, a still-in-development investigative news publication that was slated to launch in July, has been fired over differences with Sue Gardner, the CEO. The news of Angwin’s ouster, first reported by The New York Times, prompted five of the website’s seven editorial members to announce their resignations. Angwin’s dismissal also drew major public support from the public. Another of its founders, Jeff Larson has been announced as the current editor-in-chief of The Markup. Julia Angwin, an ex-ProPublica veteran had been working alongside Jeff Larson on the Markup for the last year with the vision of producing meaningful data-centered journalism about the impact of technology on society. The Markup raised more than $23 million in funding last year led by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. After the news of her oust, Angwin wrote a letter addressed to Newmark, seeking him to review and intervene in the situation unfolding at The Markup. The letter was posted on Twitter from an account named “The Real Team Markup” on Tuesday. Per her letter, Executive Director, Sue Gardner is now seeking to change the mission of the newsroom to “one based on advocacy against the tech companies”. During her interview with candidates Gardner used to ask for their “take” on tech companies, and then reportedly rate them based on their hatred toward these companies. Angwin adds, “She has asked me to run articles with headlines such as ‘Facebook is a dumpster fire’”. On retaliating, Angwin was asked to step down from her position as editor-in-chief on March 29 and become a columnist, writing opinion articles. Update: The article has now been updated to include Craig Newmark’s response. The story has also been updated on 27th April to include Sue Gardner’s response. Gardner disputed this characterization to the New York Times. “There is no change in the mission or purpose of The Markup. We are, pure and simple, a news outlet. We always have been and always will be. Our goals and purpose haven’t changed.” she told NYT. The site had issues with Ms. Angwin involving “leadership, management and willingness to accept feedback and training to grow as an editor-in-chief.” Interestingly, it was Angwin who hired Gardner last year after she forced Angwin to let her become the CEO. Angwin was reluctant but was assured that she would be given an employment contract with job protections for her position as Editor-in-chief but no such contract was signed. Now some people are touting Angwin’s expulsion as a “power grab”. In disapproval of Angwin’s dismissal, multiple staff members of the Markup have also resigned from their positions. 5 out of 7 editorial team members tweeted about their departure, with Angwin tweeting in response that they “can’t afford to do this. This is heartbreaking.” The Markup is now down to 2 editorial employees. Its response: “Mr. Larson said the company had accelerated recruitment and had ‘multiple other hires in motion,’ and hoped that the launch would not be delayed.” The editorial team of Markup has also signed a statement of unequivocal support for Julia Angwin. Other people have also come forward in solidarity with Angwin. A blog post on Medium opposes her recent ouster as Editor-in-Chief of the Markup and invites people to sign a public statement of support for Julia Angwin. The blog post has been signed by over 100 people and counting, states, “The Markup is set to launch in July and should not do so without Julia at the helm. We encourage all her original funders to investigate this situation and to take steps to ensure that the Markup stays true to its founding principles.” Journalists and reporters from top publishing sites have also tweeted in support. Update: Craig Newmark responded yesterday via a tweet saying that “he is taking this very seriously” Craig and Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundation and the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative will reassess The Markup’s funding. Update: Sue Gardner has also added her response dismissing all of Jula Angwin’s claims regarding her oust. Read Next Google’s Chief Diversity Officer, Danielle Brown resigns to join HR tech firm Gusto Richard DeVaul, Alphabet executive, resigns after being accused of sexual harassment Facebook hires a new general counsel and a new VP of global communications even with no Chief Security Officer.
TORONTO – Avalon Waterways is enticing river cruisers to book their 2017 European voyages now with a savings bonanza that will save them up to $1,500.Select departures are on sale with discounts ranging from $250 to $1,000 per person. Alternatively, clients can simply have Avalon book their airfare on any 2017 European cruise to receive $500 off the price of their air ticket.When clients combine the two offers, they can save up to $1,500 per person off a vacation. Bookings must be made by Jan. 3.Every Avalon cruise includes all meals (wine and beer included at lunch and dinner); daily shore excursions; onboard tastings, talks and entertainment; and the use of Nordic walking poles and bikes ashore. Staterooms are an average 200 square feet, with most featuring window walls that open over two metres wide to create an ‘open-air balcony’.For more information go to avalonwaterways.ca. Travelweek Group Posted by Clients have until Jan. 3 to book Avalon’s savings bonanza Tags: Avalon Waterways Share Wednesday, December 14, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Flexible branding for agencies a selling point: Flight Centre Associates Wednesday, April 12, 2017 Tags: Flight Centre Associates TORONTO — Flight Centre Associates, Flight Centre’s host-agency solution for Independent Contractors, marked its ninth anniversary with a weekend event in Toronto with more than 50 Flight Centre Associates.Part of the larger Flight Centre Leisure business, FCA now has agents in nearly every province and territory across Canada, said Flight Centre Associates Brand Leader, Lee Zanello. FCA Independent Contractors access to the same support and infrastructure that supports Flight Centre’s over 150 shops nationwide.The event was the largest Canadian gathering of home-based agents the company had ever hosted and showed Flight Centre’s commitment to the Independent Contractor community, said Zanello.“We have a very strong Independent offering with a vibrant culture. To be able to bring so many people together for a weekend like this only helps strengthen the family-feel that we exude in our brand.”It’s been nine years since Flight Centre Associates got its start its own brand within the larger Flight Centre Leisure brand. The Beatles-influenced ‘Come Together’ theme of the weekend was about more than bringing people together from across the country, said Zanello. It was also about bringing agents together with top Flight Centre partners to learn about product, and served as a launch pad for new Flight Centre initiatives designed to provide even more support and inclusion for the Independent brand.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFlexibility with branding remains one of FCA’s biggest selling points with agents, says Zanello. “Agents are, and always have been, free to keep their own name and their own branding if they choose. What we are doing moving forward is giving them even more Flight Centre infrastructure to lean on to support their business.”Agents at the event learned about opportunities to grow their business through taking on sub-contractors as well as how to work more closely with Flight Centre’s corporate brands to grow their corporate portfolios.The session launching Flight Centre’s Group Centre and Cruise Centre was one of the highlights of the weekend, added Zanello, offering full support to agents for both group and cruise travel, from enquiry through to close. “We have built an offering that is unmatched in the Canadian marketplace. Where else do you get that combination of a global company with a massive infrastructure and consumer recognition mixed with one-on-one attention around your specific business?”More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionFlight Centre has three Independent offerings. “Our size and strength in the Canadian travel industry gives us the resources to work directly with each agent or agency on an individual basis,” said Zanello. “We aren’t cookie-cutter and we work hard to ensure we have a host solution that is flexible enough to fit pretty much any arrangement.” Share
Travelweek Group Hotelier suspicions confirmed: small group of owners get majority of Airbnb revenues Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> With files from Canadian Press MONTREAL — New research suggests a small number of large commercial property owners are the most successful on Airbnb and are eating up the local supply of housing in Canada’s three largest cities. The study validates what the hotel industry has been saying for years as it fights for a level playing field with upstart sharing economy accommodation sites like Airbnb.A team of urban planners from McGill University looked at Airbnb trends in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto and noted a 50% increase in the number of short-term rental properties year over year.Using figures from an analytics firm, lead author David Wachsmuth said his team found that 10% of hosts account for nearly half of the $430 million yearly revenue in the three Canadian cities.The study, which is entitled ‘Short-term Cities: Airbnb’s Impact on Canadian Housing Markets’, was published Tuesday.Airbnb rejected the findings, saying in a statement they misrepresent the profile of home-sharing hosts. It added that 80% of them share their homes three or four times a month.The company said only a small fraction of homes in Toronto and Vancouver are rented often enough to outdo long-term rentals.“The author of this study has a history of manipulating scraped data to misrepresent Airbnb hosts, the vast majority of whom are middle-class Canadian families sharing their homes to earn a bit of additional income to help pay the bills,” said Airbnb spokeswoman Lindsey Scully.Wachsmuth said he doesn’t dispute the 80% figure, but added it is misleading.“We found two big things: the first is that there has been a very significant concentration of Airbnb activity – both in terms of what bookings are occurring and who is making money – among a very small set of hosts,” he said in an interview.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“What we found is that just 10% of hosts are accounting for a majority of the revenue (50%) that’s being earned on Airbnb across the three cities. And that concentration is increasing.”Those multi-listing hosts include some people with multiple rental properties and, in some cases, larger commercial property management firms.The study suggests the number of entire homes available, full-time listings, and hosts with multiple listings are all on the rise.“What ties them together in common is these are not families renting homes while they’re out of town … these are people using Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms as a platform for making money off housing and doing so in a way that’s reducing the available supply of housing in those cities,” he said.Wachsmuth suggested a few remedies, including limiting hosts to one rental property and putting an end to full-time rental homes by capping the number of nights they are available per year.Lastly, Wachsmuth said he would like to see Airbnb and similar platforms enforce these changes by rejigging their websites.For its part, Airbnb said it has worked with the Canadian cities in question to share data and information about its users.This past June Toronto Mayor John Tory said proposed new rules for the city’s short-term rental market, including properties listed on Airbnb, would help strike a balance between the need for such accommodations and the disruptions they can cause to local neighbourhoods.One proposed change would ban people from renting out homes that are not their primary residences.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesTory says such a move would help stabilize neighbourhoods by limiting the number of people staying there temporarily, while also potentially putting housing units back on the market for longer-term tenants.Other recommendations include licensing short-term rental companies such as Airbnb, creating a registry for people who operate short-term rentals, and changing zoning bylaws to create a new land use classification for short-term rentals.City council must vote on the recommendations, and Tory says the proposed rules are still open to public consultation and feedback.But the mayor said there’s a need to address the short-term rental market in the city, which defenders argue brings millions of tourism dollars into the city. Airbnb estimates its users spent about $417 million in city neighbourhoods last year.Tory argued that those who snap up secondary properties that they then list on Airbnb and similar websites risk destabilizing neighbourhoods by introducing transient populations into otherwise residential areas.He said the proposed new rules, which the city estimates would remove about 3,200 properties from the short-term rental market, could limit that risk.The Hotel Association of Canada has long argued for a level playing field with services like Airbnb. The HAC has a laundry list of things it wants to see happen with short-term rental services, including requiring hosts to register for and obtain business licenses, health and safety standards, taxes and fees paid, adherence to zoning laws, appropriate levels of insurance and a maximum number of room nights available. Tags: Airbnb, Canada, Trend Watch Posted by