Prospective Fort Monmouth Developers Pressed For Details

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first_imgThe fort’s master reuse plan, being administered by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), defines the site’s future use as office and/or research and development or an alternative commercial use consistent with the “array of commercial and light industrial uses in a campus-like setting” planned for that section of the former fort. FMERA plans also included demolition of two of the site’s nine buildings for open space and continued use of the former pistol range and fire training area also located there. The minimum purchase price was set at $4.5 million. By Laura D.C. Kolnoski The revised RFOTP now requires clearly defined uses of any intended open space on the property, the inclusion of a roadway design concept and a price proposal that meets the $4.5 million minimum with no associated contingencies as the property is being sold in “as is condition.” The two proposals received late last year were reviewed internally by professional staff to determine compliance with state guidelines, as well as whether the plans would result in the “highest and best use” of the property. Names of bidding entities are not revealed until further along in the process, as per FMERA rules. Both proposals left a significant portion of the parcel as “unplanned, undefined open space leaving the majority of the property undeveloped for an undetermined timeframe” according to FMERA documents. Final negotiations are underway with the intended new owner of Fort Monmouth’s former Expo Theater that will keep it a community entertainment and recreation facility. Photo by Laura D. C. Kolnoski Parcel B, ‘The Front Door of the Fort’ “The staff was not particularly happy with either proposal,” said Robert Lucky, FMERA interim chairman, adding, “The same people may rebid with more specificity.” In general, redevelopment proposals should “promote, develop, encourage and maintain employment, commerce, economic development and the public welfare.” Officials said they did not want to leave the large site susceptible to future development that doesn’t meet FMERA standards and could adversely affect the three towns the fort spans – Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls. IN OTHER FORT NEWS TINTON FALLS – A lack of specifics from two potential developers has sent redevelopment plans for a substantial commercial parcel on the former Fort Monmouth back to the drawing board. center_img At their Jan. 18 meeting, FMERA members voted toreissue the parcel’s request for offers to purchase withtighter guidelines. Officials said they expect the newRFOTP to be released next month. Expo Theater The 31-acre site, located in the Tinton Falls section of the 1,126-acre former U.S. Army base, was known as The Charles Wood Area before being re-envisioned as the Tinton Falls Commercial Parcel, located at Pearl Harbor Avenue and Pinebrook Road. “The RFOTP and the proposal both required use as a community theater,” said Bruce Steadman, FMERA executive director. “We’re waiting for more information from the proposer that reflects the percentage of programming as a center for community productions. That’s part of the negotiations.” Negotiations with the lead proposer for the fort’s 1968- era Expo Theater were nearing completion last week. Lucky said the facility will be a “recreation-based area.” Four proposals were received for the facility on 7.8 acres along Route 537 (Avenue of Memories) in Eatontown last August. The 995-seat live theater and cinema property includes the adjacent Dean Field. Also nearing final negotiations is the long-awaited redevel-opment of Parcel B, the high-profile 77-acre parcel in Eatontown along Route 35 just inside the red brick Johnson Gates. Fort watchers may recall the fanfare generated by a plan and colorful renderings depicting a modern retail/entertainment/ residential complex proposed by Paramount Properties before that firm withdrew from the project some three years ago. After Paramount backed out, the second-highest bidder began negotiating with FMERA. The developer, who will not be named until the contract is presented, proposes a mix of 250,000 square feet of retail and 302 housing units with 20 percent affordable housing. Lucky, who has expressed cautious optimism about the latest Parcel B plans throughout the negotiation process, said, “The staff has done a great job of securing an acceptable development.”last_img read more


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first_img“The success of our company reflects the determined and orchestrated efforts of a stellar team of individuals which has resulted in eleven destination resorts as well as private mountain home collections. I thank each and everyone of them for their continued support.”The Kokanee Lodge was completed in May of 1992, offering for the first time a complex of luxurious yet casual course-side accommodations.In 2003, Kokanee Springs celebrated the lodging expansion, with the addition of “Noble Lodge” and the Clubhouse renovation, which spearheaded Kokanee into the next era of development. After an unforgettable golfing experience, the fabulous Kokanee Lodge offers a quiet mixture of casual elegance and relaxation for those desiring mountain-style peace and tranquility.Overlooking the 12th fairway are 56 luxury rooms, eight suites, sundecks, hot tub and a meeting room. For those wishing to dine, Bunker’s Grill offers a sumptuous menu that is varied enough to tantalize and satisfy any golfers appetite.This season is also special for staff and golfers at Kokanee Springs as the course is expecting its millionth round to be played this summer, between end of June and early July.The lucky player receives the Kokanee Advantage package — a value of $2000.The Kokanee Advantage includes 50 rounds of golf, discount on meals at the on resort Bunkers Grill led by Top Chef Canada competitor Chef Jamie Hertz, private dinner for two created by Chef Jamie and a custom plaque to commemorate this amazing milestone. It’s official.Crawford Bay’s Kokanee Springs Golf Resort has been voted Most Scenic in Canada by Reader’s Digest Canada for Hole number five.Located on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake, 40 kilometers north of Nelson, Kokanee Springs, a Norman Woods original course, is characterized by it’s long driving fairways, immense rolling greens, immaculate course upkeep, and ability to interest and challenge golfers at all levels . . . and, of course, spectacular views of Purcell Mountain range.Sixty-six sand traps, 12 water hazards and 124,000 square feet of elevated, multileveled greens with 90,000 square feet of terraced tee surface were all a part of his plan.As if the hazards Woods created weren’t enough of a challenge, Kokanee Springs is a long course. A well played round can take you 6.5 miles.The yardages are 6604 from the blue markers, 6260 from the whites and 5747 from the reds, on this par 71 track.”This is an incredible way to enter our tenth year of operation here at Bellstar, with some very prestigious industry awards for our collection of properties,” said Ed Romanowski, President & CEO of Bellstar Group, owners of the Kokanee Springs Resort.last_img read more


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first_img33rd Annual Nelson Cyswog ‘N’ Fun                                                       Nelson, BC                                                   August 2, 2015                                  Timing by “Results Canada”                                   Olympic Distance Individual Results     –                           FINAL—-                                                                               Pos     Time    Name                    City          Plc/Total Category         ——– ——- ———————– ————- ——————-          1     2:05:52 Dallas CAIN                            1/8   Men 30-39              2     2:13:33 Seth BITTING                           1/8   Men 40-49             3     2:16:18 Scott NICOL                            1/3   Men 20-29              4     2:18:09 Stephen WEBER                          1/9   Men 50-59              5     2:21:02 Jay KRIEGER                            2/8   Men 30-39              6     2:21:41 Nelson ROCHA                           2/8   Men 40-49              7     2:22:49 Greg WELWOOD                           3/8   Men 40-49              8     2:28:17 Kurt BEERENS                           3/8   Men 30-39               9     2:31:10 Isabel RAMSAY                          1/3   Women 20-29           10     2:32:28 Mike KRAHN                             2/9   Men 50-59             11     2:33:32 Suzie POIRIER                          1/4   Women 30-39           12     2:34:38 Dave HARASYM                           4/8   Men 30-39              13     2:34:49 Spencer BOURNE                         2/3   Men 20-29              14     2:35:21 Michael HENDRIKS                       5/8   Men 30-39             15     2:35:37 Con DIAMOND                            1/8   Men 60-69             16     2:35:51 Chauncy BLAIR                          6/8   Men 30-39             17     2:38:08 Carol CURRIE                           1/5   Women 50-59           18     2:38:31 Paul SAWATSKY                          4/8   Men 40-49             19     2:39:07 Alexander KALABIS                      7/8   Men 30-39            20     2:41:31 Murray ROTH                            2/8   Men 60-69             21     2:41:47 Catherine LUNDSTROM           2/5   Women 50-59             22     2:42:33 Mal FINCH                              3/8   Men 60-69              23     2:42:37 David KONKIN                           5/8   Men 40-49              24     2:43:24 Lauren KOCH                            2/4   Women 30-39            25     2:43:45 Linsi COMFORT                          2/3   Women 20-29            26     2:50:46 Bob MCCUAIG                            8/8   Men 30-39             27     2:51:01 Bob JENSEN                             4/8   Men 60-69              28     2:52:00 Gabrielle JANGULA                      1/3   Women 40-49            29     2:52:02 Sheld SHURGELO                         3/3   Men 20-29             30     2:53:40 Peter WARD                             3/9   Men 50-59             31     2:55:46 Andrew JONES                           6/8   Men 40-49             32     2:57:14 Karrie PARENT                          2/3   Women 40-49           33     2:58:00 McGuire KEVIN                          7/8   Men 40-49             34     2:58:54 Milo FINK                              5/8   Men 60-69             35     2:59:37 Kim IRVING                             3/5   Women 50-59           36     2:59:56 Kim ILLING                             4/5   Women 50-59             37     3:01:01 John MCKENZIE                          4/9   Men 50-59               38     3:03:32 Kathleen CLOVER                        3/3   Women 40-49            39     3:03:33 Anna HUME                              3/4   Women 30-39           40     3:04:29 Bill WALLACE                           5/9   Men 50-59             41     3:05:32 Mel HUNT                               6/8   Men 60-69            42     3:09:03 Hannu HARINEN                          7/8   Men 60-69            43     3:10:20 Denise LEMAY-MOORE                     5/5   Women 50-59          44     3:10:49 Bill CLARK                             8/8   Men 40-49                45     3:13:17 Michael PRIMEAU                        6/9   Men 50-59            46     3:16:01 Elizabeth KLEIDER                      4/4   Women 30-39            47     3:17:13 Curtis SHERSTOBITOFF                   7/9   Men 50-59               48     3:19:32 Peter LEE                              8/8   Men 60-69             49     3:19:32 Graham JAMIN                           8/9   Men 50-59             50     3:25:49 Robyn SUTHERLAND                       3/3   Women 20-29          51     3:58:55 Bernie CLOVER                          1/1   Men 70+                52     3:58:58 Roger FONTAINE                         9/9   Men 50-59last_img read more


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first_imgSANTA CLARA — The 49ers’ defense won this game a couple times over. It gave this undefeated team chance after chance to beat the Seattle Seahawks for a second time in six years.DeForest Buckner’s first touchdown since high school off of Seattle’s mystifying double-fumble brought the Niners within three late in the fourth quarter. Dre Greenlaw’s ballet-like red-zone interception in overtime granted them sudden-death privilege.This 49ers defense went up against the elusive play-making wizardry …last_img


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first_imgIt is wonderful for the reason that it stays in your hair. It really is excellent because it stays in your hair. It would not slide again out as a great deal of some others do.Shipping and delivery was sluggish, but they did arrive all the way from china. Worthy of the wait as i’m truly impressed with the top quality & price tag. Will undoubtedly be acquiring from them all over again & hope they do the tortoise shell ones much too.Here are the specifications for the Woman Girls Plastic Hairpin Clamp Hair Claw Clips 2 Pcs:Product Name : Hair Claw Clip;Material : Plastic, MetalMain Color : BlackTotal Size (Unopened) : 8.1 x 6.2 x 4.1cm / 3.2″ x 2.4″ x 1.6″ (L*W*T)Weight : 38gPackage Content : 2 x Hair Claw ClipI am really happy with this. I honestly failed to know what i was anticipating when i purchased this, but i am very pleased with this.If these caught your eye for the reason that they look unique, they are distinctive, and they operate. I am extremely happy in fact with these: they are a modest triumph of style and design. They healthy comfortably in opposition to the scalp and maintain very well. I have really thick, pretty lengthy, straight hair. When it’s braided and coiled on best of my head, a single of these – inserted from centre back – retains it all securely in put. As the image shows, the clamps are rather light, so they appear significantly less most likely than most to spring out of the hand (and a lot less probably to crack when they bounce), but these are so neat and realistic, i do not want to hazard getting with no them: i shall be buying spares. I concur with a different joyful shopper: it would be awesome to have these in ‘tortoiseshell’ (and other colors, such as white), as well.Reviews from purchasers :If these caught your eye because they look different, they ARE different, and they work!Quality Hair ClipsBest ever claw clips Fantastic benefit as does the task very well but be ready to hold out for arrival.Fantastic benefit as does the task very well but be ready to hold out for arrival.Perfectly worth it so purchased a lot more. No additional banging head on headrest in car or truck and terrific for lounging with no digging in your head.At prolonged previous i have discovered these hair clamps. I had some of these hair slides a couple of many years back, purchased from sporting activities direct, who no lengthier provide them. Seemed everywhere you go for them and now have uncovered them. I like this sort to the others (with the ‘handle’ on the top) mainly because they don’t depart ‘lines’ alongside the hair.I am really happy with this. I honestly failed to know what i was anticipating when i purchased this, but i am very pleased with this.Utilised to have these when i was youthful but could not find them anywhere. They maintain my thick very long hair really proficiently, no slipping, and simply because of the shape there are no spike bits stabbing in my scalp. I wasn’t anticipating much rigidity for the price tag but they are seriously potent.This things arrived instantly and have been effectively-packaged. I acquired these as i considered they’d be an appealing different to the butterfly clips i use just about every now and then. I am pretty delighted with my obtain. I like the simple fact that they appear protected and significant plenty of to wear in my curly hair ie they are going to have it and will not capture on it, while i have not worn them out and about as nevertheless.Appreciate these, packaged nicely and wonderful benefit.I like these, i can keep my hair up all working day with them. My hair is infant fine and incredibly slippery.At prolonged previous i have discovered these hair clamps. I had some of these hair slides a couple of many years back, purchased from sporting activities direct, who no lengthier provide them. Seemed everywhere you go for them and now have uncovered them. I like this sort to the others (with the ‘handle’ on the top) mainly because they don’t depart ‘lines’ alongside the hair.Perfectly worth it so purchased a lot more. No additional banging head on headrest in car or truck and terrific for lounging with no digging in your head.I bought this to use to place my hair up. Stops my hair from collapsing.Fantastic stuff, they are fairly major and hold my hair firmly. On the other hand there was a number of minor scratches on the area.It is wonderful for the reason that it stays in your hair. It really is excellent because it stays in your hair. It would not slide again out as a great deal of some others do.Appreciate these, packaged nicely and wonderful benefit.last_img read more


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first_imgThe Android version of a popular barcode-scanning application has been spotted running on several different BlackBerry devices according to the app’s maker ShopSavvy. In a recent blog post, the company revealed that, despite not having an official BlackBerry version of its smartphone application available, its analytics program shows that its Android app was run on various BalckBerry devices, including the BlackBerry 8300, 8600 and the 8520.Even more interesting is the fact that these apps were run somewhere in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada – the same city where Research in Motion (RIM), the manufacturer of BlackBerry devices, has its headquarters.This report gives more credence to the rumor that RIM is working on a way for its devices to run Android applications using some sort of virtual machine software. Originally, early reports stated that RIM was looking into using the Dalvik virtual machine, the same software as is used on Android devices. Later reports said those plans had been dropped in favor of software developed internally at RIM.Interestingly, all previous rumors were solely focused on this development being for the purpose of running Android apps on RIM’s new tablet computer, the PlayBook. Now it seems that RIM’s plans may be broader than previously imagined. If RIM is testing Android apps on regular BlackBerry phones, it could mean the company is planning to support Android across its entire ecosystem of devices – not just the QNX-based PlayBook.ShopSavvy’s log files can’t pin down the software that’s making it possible to run these Android apps on the BlackBerry devices, only that such an event has occurred. For proof, ShopSavvy posted screenshots of its analytics program to disquiet skeptics’ comments. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology sarah perez Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Android#mobile#news#NYT#RIM Assuming this is not a fluke of some kind, it would be an incredible development for the mobile industry, and yet another step in terms of platform consolidation. Instead of fighting for the #3 (or in the post-Nokia/Microsoft era, possibly the #4 spot), RIM would concede that its BlackBerry application ecosystem isn’t strong enough to make it a contender in the new mobile landscape. But would riding on Android’s coattails be enough to save RIM from obsolesce? With its diminishing importance in the enterprise as well, with more and more companies allowing employes to use their own smartphones at work, RIM has more challenges ahead of it than just needing a larger selection of apps.last_img read more


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first_imgI had an interaction with a large, very well known company this week. During this interaction, it was very clear that the person I was working with had no idea what they were doing, even before I asked for something that was a little challenging for her to deliver. She put me on hold five or six times, and the total interaction took almost an hour. But she did her very best, and she was very polite.The large, well known company then sent me a survey. The first question asked: “I would hire the representative I spoke with if I owned a customer service company.” I was asked to choose a rating from 0 (strongly disagree) to 10 (strongly agree).I am always unhappy giving up an hour of my life to handle an issue that should be easily resolved in a few minutes. But this customer service representative wasn’t to blame. The process was to blame.Training: It was clear the customer service person hadn’t been through any serious training. She didn’t have any idea how to respond to my request. She had to put me on hold because she had to go to her supervisor for help.I have no idea how much training she had, but my hallucination is that she was put on the phones because they needed help, not because she was well trained and ready. The hiring, training, and onboarding process are broken, not the customer service person.Hold Time: I was on hold a long time. During the time, the customer service person waited for her supervisor to give her direction. The time she waited for direction was the time I waited for an answer. I am certain the supervisor had good intentions, and I imagine he was dealing with a long line of customer service people waiting for answers.The process of providing the customer service person with help is broken. It’s broken for the customer service person, and it’s broken for the supervisor. That means it’s broken for the customer.Broken Survey: The survey is broken, too. The first question asks me whether I would hire the customer service person if I owned a customer service company. It sounds clever. I am sure the person who designed the question believes that the single greatest factor as to my satisfaction during my call is the customer service person. They may even believe that that person is empowered to help me. But the person wasn’t empowered.A better question would be “I would utilize the same process used if I owned a customer service company.”It’s easy to blame people. It’s easier than providing them with the tools, the training, the technology, the leadership, and the process they need to succeed. Assume people have good intentions and they are constrained by process. Don’t assume the process is good and you are constrained by people.QuestionsWhen people struggle, is it always the person’s fault?How does process constrain people instead of empowering them?How do you build a process that gives people the flexibility to act on behalf of the customer?What do you do to prepare people in a way that allows you to trust that they’ll make the right decision?last_img read more


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first_imgTwo brothers, residents of Gurugram, were arrested by the on Tuesday night for allegedly duping a resident of Delhi running a business in Noida in 2009, the police said on Wednesday.The police said that the accused, Amit and Aman Sayal, had duped the victim of more than ₹2 crore on the pretext of selling him a property, which was not even registered in their name.“They had provided the victim, Sudhir Gupta, with fake documents pertaining to the property. The victim owned a property in Sector 6 and had showed interest in an adjacent property, which the accused claimed to own,” said Manoj Kumar Pant, Station House Officer, Sector 20 police station.The police said that the victim paid the amount to the accused in instalments and was also provided with fake ownership documents. However, when the victim went to the Noida Authority to complete the registration, they found that the property was not owned by the accused.“A case had been registered in this regard and and a non-bailable warrant was issued for the accused by the district court,” said a senior police officer.The police also said that the accused had been involved in cases of fraud. About 37 cases have been identified so far against them all over India, including Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat. The police also said that whenever the victims would approach the accused and demand their money back they would get assaulted by bouncers.last_img read more


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first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Read Next CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View comments LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort He announced his retirement in an essay written for The Players’ Tribune website. His story touched on what finally winning a championship meant to him.“I realized early on that my purpose in this game was to share knowledge with younger players and to give back to the game of baseball,” he wrote. “I always wanted to do that — that, and be the best teammate I could possibly be. Over 20 years, I feel like I accomplished that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“So whether we won or lost Game 7, I would have still been happy with my career. But it still feels nice to have a ring,” he continued.Besides being named an All-Star nine times, most recently in 2016, and the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, he won three Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger awards. Nadal withdraws from ATP Finals after loss to Goffin Many of his current and former teammates expressed their gratitude and appreciation for Beltran on social media after his announcement on Monday. Correa posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram with a caption that read in part: “I will always look up to you brother! Thanks for making me a better player and a better person! I’m going to miss you so much!”Houston right-hander Justin Verlander tweeted about Beltran’s retirement, writing: “We only played together for a short time but what a ride we had! I learned a lot about what being a veteran means and the impact we can have. You’re an amazing teammate and leader. What a way to bow out … a World Champion!”Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wouldn’t say whether Beltran was a candidate to replace Joe Girardi as his team’s manager. But he did rave about his career and the respect he has for him.“He had leadership qualities, no question about that,” Cashman said. “He was someone that people gravitated to in the clubhouse. I think managers or coaches could rely, or front offices could rely on (him), kind of directing things in a positive way or keeping the ship steered in the right direction.”After what Luhnow saw from Beltran in Houston this season, he could envision him becoming a manager one day.“Certainly. He’s one of the brightest minds I’ve come across in the game,” he said. “Now whether or not, I haven’t (spoken) to him about what is intentions are after this, but I think he certainly would be a tremendous asset to any organization in whatever capacity he chooses to contribute.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC00:50Trending Articles00:54Gordon: Albayalde may still face charges even after retirement01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games His production dropped dramatically this year. He hit .295 with 29 homers and 93 RBIs for the New York Yankees and Texas in 2016. He then batted .231 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs for Houston. Despite that, Beltran’s veteran presence and his work with Houston’s younger players including Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez proved invaluable for the Astros.“He was worth every penny for us … he helped us win in a lot of ways, even though his numbers were not what they were last year, he contributed in a lot of ways that were not really seen by our fans,” Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “They were talked about a lot by our players. Also I think people know what I’m talking about. He really was a player-coach for us this year and he contributed in ways that lead me to believe there’s no way we win the championship without him this year.”He finishes with a .279 average, 435 homers, 1,587 RBIs and 312 stolen bases. He also has played for Kansas City, the New York Mets, San Francisco and St. Louis.This season was Beltran’s second stint with the Astros, after he was traded to Houston in June 2004. His work that postseason remains one of the best playoff performances in history. He hit .455 with four homers and nine RBIs in an NLDS win over Atlanta, then batted .417 with four more homers and five RBIs before Houston was eliminated by the Cardinals in the NLCS.Beltran appeared in 10 games this postseason, including three in the World Series. He finished with three hits, including two doubles, and an RBI in helping the Astros to their first title.ADVERTISEMENT FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander, right, and Carlos Beltran celebrate the team’s win over the Seattle Mariners to clinch the AL West crown in a baseball game in Houston. Beltran is retiring after winning his first World Series title in his 20th major league season. The 40-year-old made the announcement Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 12 days after the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)HOUSTON — It took quite some time, but Carlos Beltran finally got there, winning a World Series title after 20 seasons in the majors.Now he is leaving the Houston Astros and leaving baseball, retiring after a career in which he was a nine-time All-Star and was Rookie of the Year. The 40-year-old designated hitter and outfielder made the announcement Monday, 12 days after the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more


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first_imgThe air is so clean it makes your lungs sing an aria. Even if you don’t know what an aria is. That’s one of the reasons I’d go back to Lavasa. And because you can read a book under a tree, or crawl under ferns on nature trails like in an Enid Blyton story. Because you’ll squint at ochre-throated bats festooned in trees on the side of the lake. Because the only noise here is of someone shrieking joyfully as they race a jet ski over the water. And yes, because it’s 3,000 ft above sea level, and your prayers reach heaven faster.’Wouldn’t it be a wonderful place to get married?’ A fellow journo sighs, at the green skirts of the Sahyadri mountains, wrapped in veils of mist, at little villas dotting their sides, the lake, at the cobble-stoned town square that looks like it’s been airlifted from Europe. Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of that one. Standing by the railing near hotel Ekaant, at a viewing point, I look down and see the 20 km-long Warasgaon Lake, hugged on all sides by Dasve, the first of the three towns that make up Lavasa, India’s first planned hill city. Meant to eventually sit over seven magnificent hills, Lavasa is slowly taking shape, the Master Plan developed by design consultant, HOK, USA. You do see the odd mud lifts and other machinery working quietly in background. But you can forgive their presence. After all, they’re working towards New Urbanism, a concept that allows urban life and nature to subsist in wonderful harmony. Translated, it means you bump into butterflies on your stroll to work, instead of potholes and traffic. About four hours out of Mumbai, Lavasa is a city, as the brochures say, where you will live, learn, work and play. And how! About 25,000 acres–nearly a fourth the size of Mumbai, only about 200 times greener–of carefully designed space is one big playground. And right now, you can begin with Dasve. With waterfront apartments, Lavasa International Convention Centre and the promenade on one bank, and Dasvino Country Club on the other. (Yes, on the bank of the lake–just in case you have to rush, and take a speed boat to the conference). Of course, one can soak in a few cocktails at the pub or wake up sleeping muscles at the gym. But I wonder why anyone would want to stay indoors when there’s a Yamaha wave runner zipping across the water at high speed leaving surf trails in its wake.Yes, that’s where the action is, the guide tells us. “The Watersports Zone had 5,000 tourists in the last two years.” Why? Good reasons: Kayaking, parasailing, a children’s pool, jet skis… Oh, that’s why the trained lifeguards from Jebelali. And well, also because the lake is 100 ft deep. As our own boat bobs through the water towards the orange spire of the Dasve village temple standing sentinel in the trees, our guide mentions that the lake is full with tilapia, katla, rohu… Yes, you can fish here. Yes, you can proudly take a picture with your trophy. No, you can’t keep it. Please sir, throw the fish back in the water. A fountain will soon take its place in the centre of the lake, the tallest in Asia. I wonder if the birds that migrate here really care. In the trees along the banks, looking quite indifferent to our cackling, egrets, kingfishers, grey heron, rest before they take off for lunch. Speaking of which, since you can’t cook your own fish, you can stop at the cafes on the promenade. Granma’s Homemade Patisserie, Chor Bizarre, the All American Diner…. Pick any. And while you slide into a bench taking your time over a burger, you can watch children roller-skate, students from Ecole Hoteliere take a break (yes, the famous French culinary school, actually exists here), or simply enjoy the space–yeah, when you come from the city as we know it, you treasure it like the precious stuff miners go 1000 ft deep for. Later, you can spend afternoons letting your coffee go cold, contemplating the little bridges, listening to water make music as it gurgles out of the sluices of the Warasgaon dam. Evenings? They tell me that Past Times, an English pub, is coming up soon and what cooler thought than to be able to say, ‘I’m walking down to the pub.’ And maybe then the bartender will tell you about the Karvi flower, which blooms only once in seven years. And you’ll drink another scotch to that. Yes, it’s a charming town. A little building calls itself Post Office. Here you can mail actual letters, or a postcard if you please, but before you imagine Dasve is rural, stop. Lavasa has a municipal corporation that uses e-governance. How’s that for high-tech? It’s slated to be home to non-polluting businesses like Hollywood-affiliated film studios, IT companies, research centres. We had the option of watching the latest movies at The Lavasa Experience Center, but I preferred to walk in the fresh drizzle. And I relished it, as much as I relished the song of the ‘Whistling Schoolboy’ also called the Malabar Whistling Thrush, and the dustbins on the street that say ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. Yup, it seems like Lavasa is looking to be friends with nature. It’s a good sign: separate garbage equals recycling, vermiculture, clean hills. It’s part of their Environment Management Plan (EMP), that includes biomimicry, hydro seeding–a hi-tech process that gives back the mountains its green blanket, and mass plantation: ‘8,000 trees have already been planted,’ Ajay Gulabchand, chairman, tells me. Well, here’s to more shady paths to stand and stare. But if you want to take some plants back, find the nursery. If you’d rather hang upside down from a cliff, with the blood rushing to your brains, there’s what they call XThrill Adventure Sports that tests your nerve. Let’s see now, you can go back and tell friends, ‘I went bungee jumping’. Or rappelling, rock-climbing, valley crossing–crossing ravines with the help of high tension ropes, paragliding, cross country cycling on a mountain bike. (Though we doubt you’ll need it, Lavasa has Apollo hospital, and for the aches, some world-class health spas.)Me, I’d just like to get a cycle–the hotels let you borrow them–and explore the many paths, the hidden streams. Or sing like Julie Andrews in the movie The Sound of Music. Only, I’d scare all the precious migrant birds out of the trees.advertisementadvertisement Fact fileGetting there: About 4 hours from Mumbai, and 1.5 from Pune. The best way to get there is by car, but keep in mind that the roads near Lavasa are winding. Check www.lavasa.com for more details.When to go: Anytime except the monsoon, when there are no watersports. Plus saysStay:Fortune Select Dasve; tel: (020) 3099 4444Ekaant; tel: (020) 6675 7000Mercure; tel: (020) 6792 9000Eat: There are multiple restaurants in Lavasa offering varied cuisine.Shop: At Bamboosa craft factory for bamboo products.See: The mountains and the lovely landscape around.FYIMercure hotel:Part of the Accor group, Mercure is the first international hotel in Lavasa. Each of its 130 rooms offers a calming view–my walk-out balcony that still needed some finishing, overlooked a little stream. The rooms feature a neat contemporary style, and luxurious beds, but it seems like the hotel has been put together in a hurry. Loved the beautifully designed, ‘Mercure and me’ range of bath products. Strongly believe the food left a lot to be desired.last_img read more