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Notebook: Allgaier wary of potential pitfalls as Xfinity Playoffs begin

first_imgIf Justin Allgaier was starting to feel complacent about his regular-season championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, watching Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was all it took to inject a dose of reality.Kevin Harvick, an odds-on choice to qualify for the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fell out on Lap 73, after a hard crash into the Turn 1 wall, taking pole winner Erik Jones with him.All told, 11 of 16 playoff drivers had issues of varying severity at Vegas, and that was more than enough to make Allgaier take notice, with the Xfinity Playoffs set to begin with Friday’s Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).RELATED: Xfinity Series Playoffs pageAllgaier left the Las Vegas cutoff race with a seven-point lead over second-place Christopher Bell. Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer, who are tied for third, are 28 points back. But the Las Vegas Cup event was an object lesson in just how fleeting a points lead can be.“Obviously, for us, you have to feel good about where we’re at,” Allgaier said on Tuesday at NASCAR Xfinity Series media day at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We’ve had a lot of momentum on our side, we’ve had great finishes, great race cars. But on the flip side, it’s the playoffs. We know how this goes. If you watched the Cup race on Sunday, you saw guys that you’d say, ‘Man, they’re a lock to make it to the next round, and they have plenty of points to bank’ — and they don’t have that anymore.“I think, from my standpoint, we don’t have nearly the margins some of those guys had on the Cup side. So I’m excited about the playoffs. We’ve done our job. We’ve executed well. But on the flip side of it, until we get a win, or until we get enough points that nobody can pass me, I’m not going to be super pumped about it until we get to that point.”Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, Allgaier has had a banner year. In seven previous full seasons in the Xfinity Series, he won five times. This year alone, his third with JR Motorsports, he has more than doubled that total.“That’s special,” Allgaier acknowledged. “That doesn’t happen because I changed who I was. I didn’t learn how to drive at the beginning of 2018 and say, ‘Hey, let’s go win a bunch of races.’ That’s not at all what happened. Our team has clicked — our No. 7 team especially, but JR Motorsports as a whole.“The camaraderie, the excitement, the fire, the passion … I tell people all the time: you can pay people to do a job, whatever it is, whether we come in here and we vacuum these floors or go out and race on the race track. But you can’t hire someone to have passion for what they’re doing. And right now, we have a bunch of guys who have passion.”BRIEF STINT IN NASCAR’S FASTEST LANE HAS HELPED COLE CUSTERNASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff driver Cole Custer got his first taste of competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year, driving a car fielded by owner Rick Ware in March at Las Vegas and in June at Pocono.Custer finished 25th and 26th, respectively, in the two races, but he believes that experience will help him immensely as he seeks his first Xfinity title.The most valuable lesson he learned?“Driving cars that are harder to drive than the Xfinity cars,” Custer said. “Once you drive something that’s harder to drive, it makes you feel like Superman when you go back into the slower cars. I’d say that’s the biggest thing.“Also, the Cup cars are so touchy to drive. They’re very, very hard. So I think you learn more when you drive those cars.”Custer also has gained confidence exponentially in his second season as an Xfinity driver, and his second year with Ford.“Last year we were just thrashing to get to the race track with the new Xfinity team and then also switching over to Ford,” Custer said. “It was definitely a little bit tough the first year but now that we’re in a rhythm.“We have all the tools that they provide, (and that has) helped us a lot — especially the simulator. Having the second year has helped us a ton.”XFINITY PLAYOFF SCHEDULE COULDN’T BE BETTER FOR CHRISTOPHER BELLChristopher Bell couldn’t ask for a better array of races as the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs approach.Though he has no more than two career starts at any of the six tracks that will determine who races for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Bell has scored at least one top five at each of them — with the exception of the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, at which no one has yet raced.The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has one victory in two starts at Richmond, site of the playoff opener. He also has a win in his only race at Kansas, the venue for the first race in the second round.“I’m excited for the playoffs,” Bell said. “The schedule actually works out really well for me. We’ve got Richmond, Dover, the Roval (Charlotte road course), nobody really knows what to expect. I feel like we’re going to be really fast at Richmond. I’ve already won there earlier this year. So I feel good.“And then the second round is Kansas, Texas, Phoenix, which are all race tracks that I’ve run extremely well at and Joe Gibbs Racing runs extremely well at. I’m really happy right now with where we’re at.”MORE: Xfinity Series schedulelast_img read more

This Café Offers Work and Support to Youth Who Have Aged Out of the Texas Foster Care System

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA Texas coffee shop is being praised for building its business around hiring young workers who have aged out of the foster car system.The La La Land Kindness Café in Dallas has gone out of its way to hire 9 former foster kids who were facing troubled times after turning 18 years old.Since many foster kids are left without a support system once they age out of the system, many of them can end up on the streets—but not if Francois Reihani has anything to say about it. The 24-year-old entrepreneur says that he was first inspired to launch the La La Land business model after he attended an informational meeting for a local nonprofit serving foster kids in Texas. Not only has the restaurant served as a place of employment for the at-risk youth, it has also become a safe haven and community support system for all of the employees.WATCH: This is the World’s First Beer Taproom That Also Houses Foster Dogs Rescued From Kill Shelters“We’re not in the business of coffee, we just serve coffee—we’re definitely in the business of kindness,” Reihani told CBS News.Reihani now hopes that his café will inspire other small businesses to adopt similar initiatives. For 20-year-old employee Ciara Morton who overcame homeless and depression after joining the La La Land workforce last year, the experience has been life-changing.“I have people to believe in me and support me. I’ve never had that kind of support in my life,” she told CBSDFW. “So I’ve been able to believe in myself, and realize what I want in life and chase after it.”Serve Up This Inspiring Story Of Kindness To Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Beaumont-Port Arthur lagging for employment, report suggests

first_imgThe three best Texas MSAs for employment were:Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area, 2.4 percent unemployed.Amarillo MSA, 2.8 percent.Austin-Round Rock MSA, 3.0 percent.“This growth reflects our state’s strong ability to continuously attract more employers and workers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. The state added 16,000 jobs in January. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2 percent in January, and the state has marked 93 consecutive months of annual growth.The Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area — it includes some 410,00 people in Hardin, Jefferson, Newton and Orange counties — ranked 26th among 27 Texas MSAs for joblessness.Unemployment here is 7.3 percent, with 12,800 unemployed and 163,000 people working in the four-county area. Only the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA had worse unemployment, with 7.6 of eligible workers unemployed. Unemployment is 4 percent is this state, better than the national average of 4.1.The Texas economy added 240,500 — that’s roughly the population of Lubbock — seasonally adjusted, non-farm jobs in 2017, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said.“Thanks to our state’s world-class employers, diverse industry sectors and highly talented workforce, Texas continues to be a national leader in job creation and the premier place to do business,” he said in an issued statement.center_img By Ken [email protected] may be a Lone Star success story when it comes to jobs, but the Beaumont-Port Arthur area is a falling star, at least for now.last_img read more

The Best MCAGCC 29 Palms Schools: Daycare – High School (2021 Edition)

first_imgIntroductionLooking for daycares, schools, and educational opportunities at your new duty station can feel daunting. Researching your options is no small task, but we’re here to help! Read on for information on local public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and child care facilities at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms (MCAGCC 29 Palms).COVID-19 NoticeDue to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, schools and other youth services may be closed or operating on a reduced schedule. Check the venue or school’s website or call for more information on attendance guidelines and restrictions.Child and Youth ServicesThe MCCS Twentynine Palms Child & Youth Programs website has a wealth of information and resources for your family. The website links to the installation’s many youth services, which include child development centers, youth centers, teen programs, and more.The installation’s School Liaison Program website has information on area school districts, homeschooling in California, special education resources, and more. The website also has contact information for the installation’s school liaison officer, who can provide information and guidance on area schools as well as educational resources for your children.California School EnrollmentTo be enrolled in a California school, a child must be at least 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the school year. Registration typically requires a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age and the child’s previous school records and immunization records. For details on California’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the California Department of Education website. Check with the school for additional requirements.MCAGCC 29 Palms SchoolsChildren living on MCAGCC Twentynine Palms and in the surrounding region attend schools in the Morongo Unified School District. There are currently no DoDEA schools on the MCAGCC Twentynine Palms installation. School-age children living off the installation in the lower desert attend the Palm Springs Unified School District, which serves Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Thousand Palms and Rancho Mirage.Visit the Morongo Unified School District website or the Palm Springs Unified School District website for more information on these districts, including student and parent resources, school calendars, and board of education information.MCAGCC 29 Palms Elementary SchoolsAll elementary schools are off the installation and are listed below.MCAGCC 29 Palms Jr High and Middle SchoolsAll middle schools are off the installation and are listed below.MCAGCC 29 Palms High SchoolsAll high schools are off the installation and are listed below.Child Care at MCAGCC 29 PalmsChild & Youth Programs at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms offers parents and children a full spectrum of support, with flexible hourly, part-day, and full-day child care options, as well as before- and after-school care for older children. Other programs include youth sports and fitness programs and youth sponsorship programs, which match incoming students with a fellow student who can guide them in their new community.For information on enrollment in child care programs, program fees, and registration, visit the MCCS Twentynine Palms Child & Youth Programs website.Another helpful resource for military families is MilitaryChildCare.com. This DOD website provides comprehensive information on military-operated or military-approved child care programs worldwide. Once you create an account and a profile on this website, you can search the full range of military child care options, request care, and remain on waitlists for a preferred program even after being offered care by another program.1.Family Child CareFamily Child Care offers home-based care in housing on and off the installation for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. Family Child Care providers may provide full-day, part-day, deployment, and hourly care.2.New Horizons Child Development CenterBuilding 694MCAGCC Twentynine PalmsPhone: 1 (760) 830-4264This center provides hourly child care for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. It also provides part-time and full-time preschool for children 3 to 5 years old. Before- and after-school care is available for children in kindergarten through sixth grade as well.3.Stepping StonesBuilding 1089MCAGCC Twentynine PalmsPhone: 1 (760) 830-3899 or 1 (760) 830-3898This center provides full-time child care for children 6 weeks to 5 years old.4.MCCS Teen CenterBuilding 694MCAGCC Twentynine PalmsPhone: 1 (760) 830-4264This center provides youth 12 to 18 years old with homework assistance, computers with internet access, arcade games, music, TV, and a place to hang out after school. The center also organizes field trips, dances, and other events.Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsThe following elementary, middle, and high schools are all part of the Morongo Unified School District.Morongo Unified School District5715 Utah TrailTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-9191Public Elementary Schools Near MCAGCC 29 Palms1. Condor Elementary SchoolGrades K-62551 Condor RoadTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-07502. Friendly Hills Elementary SchoolGrades K-67252 Sunny Vista RoadJoshua Tree, CA 92252Phone: 1 (760) 366-38123. Joshua Tree Elementary SchoolGrades preschool-64950 Sunburst Ave.Joshua Tree, CA 92252Phone: 1 (760) 366-84594. Landers Elementary SchoolGrades K-656450 Reche RoadLanders, CA 92285Phone: 1 (760) 364-23825. Morongo Valley Elementary SchoolGrades K-610951 Hess Blvd.Morongo Valley, CA 92256Phone: 1 (760) 363-62166. Oasis Elementary SchoolGrades transitional kindergarten-673175 El Paseo DriveTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-35957. Onaga Elementary SchoolGrades K-658001 Onaga TrailYucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 369-63338. Palm Vista Elementary SchoolGrades K-674350 Baseline RoadTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-75389. Twentynine Palms Elementary SchoolGrades transitional kindergarten-674350 Playa VistaTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-354510. Yucca Mesa Elementary SchoolGrades K-63380 Avalon Ave.Yucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 228-177711. Yucca Valley Elementary SchoolGrades transitional kindergarten-67601 Hopi TrailYucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 365-3381Public Middle and Junior High Schools Near MCAGCC 29 Palms12. La Contenta Middle SchoolGrades 7-87050 La Contenta RoadYucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 228-180213. Twentynine Palms Junior High SchoolGrades 7-85798 Utah TrailTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-9507Public High Schools near MCAGCC 29 Palms14. Academy of College and Career ExcellenceACCE West57725 Twentynine Palms Highway, Suite 403Yucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 228-1162ACCE East72770 Hatch RoadTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 228-116215. Black Rock High SchoolGrades 9-1259273 Sunnyslope DriveYucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 369-631016. Twentynine Palms High SchoolGrades 9-1272750 Wildcat WayTwentynine Palms, CA 92277Phone: 1 (760) 367-959117. Yucca Valley High SchoolGrades 9-127600 Sage Ave.Yucca Valley, CA 92284Phone: 1 (760) 365-3391Palm Springs Unified School District150 District Center Dr.Palm Springs, CA 92264Phone: 1 (760) 883-2700Public Elementary Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsPalm Springs Unified School District has 16 elementary schools, you can find a list of them here.Public Middle Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsPalm Springs Unified School District has 3 middle/intermediate schools.1. Desert Springs Middle66-755 Two Bunch Palms TrailDesert Hot Springs, CA 92240Phone: 1 (760) 251-72002. James Workman Middle69-300 30th Ave.Cathedral City, CA 92234Phone: 1 (760) 770-85403. Nellie N. Coffman Middle34-603 Plumley Rd.Cathedral City, CA 92234Phone: 1 (760) 770-8617Public High Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsPalm Springs Unified School District has 4 high schools and 1 continuation high school, you can find a list of them here.Charter Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsCharter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students, and have open enrollment. For more information about charter schools in California, visit the California Department of Education’s website.Private Schools Near MCAGCC 29 PalmsTo search for local private schools in California, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type, and more.Additional Education ResourcesU.S. Department of EducationCalifornia Department of EducationCalifornia PTAReading is FundamentalMilitary Child Education CoalitionTutor.com for U.S. Military FamiliesConclusionResearching child care options and schools for your family can be stressful, but it’s an important part of any PCS. Be sure to talk with your children about their hopes and concerns for their new school. Including children in discussions about their new school will help them feel more at home at their new duty station. And don’t be afraid to reach out to the installation’s school liaison officer for help and additional resources!last_img read more

Lancer Dancer spring show tonight will feature hip-hop routine that caused controversy at national competition

first_imgThe Lancer Dancers performing their jazz routine at NDA Nationals last month.Northeast Johnson County residents tonight will have a chance to see for themselves the innovative dance routine that caused something of a stir at the National Dance Alliance’s high school championships last month.The Lancer Dancers’ Spring Show comes to the Shawnee Mission East auditorium at 7 p.m. tonight, and will feature the hip-hop routine that the team performed at the competition in Orlando.Coach Alexis “Bubba” Close said the team had decided to try something different early in the season this year after learning that the dance competitions would be adhering strictly to music copyright rules that would prevent the team from editing together different pieces of music and playing with their speeds. Instead, the group came up with the idea of developing a routine that would be set to the sounds of the SM East drumline performing live.“It was quite an involved process,” Close said.Indeed, unlike other dance teams, which have their routines choreographed to recorded soundtracks, the SM East team worked hand in hand with a select group of drummers to develop a routine in which both the music and the dance were performed live.In the preliminary round at the NDA championships, the Lancers walked away with a commanding lead over the field. The judges’ critiques after the preliminary round were widely positive, and indicated no specific issues with the movements of the drumline.Still, Close told her team it was “no time to be complacent.” They hit the stage in the finals focused and ready to go. And by Close’s account, her team nailed it.“It was even better than the day before,” she said.But when the judges’ results came back, the scores were fully three-tenths of a point lower than in prelims, enough to knock them down from first to third place overall. Close was gobsmacked. When she went to check the judges’ notes after the finals performance, she was surprised to find several pointed comments about the drumline choreography.“It was basically a 180 from the day before,” she said. After asking around, she learned that the judges had a meeting the previous night. She suspects they changed their mind about how they were judging the drumline portion of the performance.“I think it’s very fishy,” she said. “We didn’t get any notes about the drumline after prelims, so we had no opportunity to make any changes. We would have been happy — and had time — to rework some of what the drumline was doing if we’d known.”The team was completely caught off guard by the results. Based on their execution of the routine, they had high hopes of taking the hip-hop title, which would have been a first in school history. Instead, they had to settle for third — still the Lancers best showing in the category.“It was probably one of the hardest coaching moments of my life,” Close said.Here’s a video of the team watching its performance:last_img read more

Visionary Intros MV4 Multiviewer Solution

first_imgVisionary just announced the MV4 IP Multiviewer, a multiwindowing solution for monitoring or displaying multiple sources simultaneously. The MV4 IP Multiviewer can mix and match input resolutions, scale any video input up to 4K UHD and route to any input window to combine up to four sources in a single 4K image.Designed for small and large commercial venues, the MV4 IP Multiviewer connects to a network and combines up to four AV-over-IP streams from Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series 4K encoders. Each input can be scaled and positioned using default presets — such as quad view, side-by-side, full screen, picture-in-picture, picture-aside-picture and others — or via a custom, user-defined layout configuration. The MV4 IP Multiviewer is designed to process switchable input streams simultaneously in a variety of layouts. The MV4 IP Multiviewer’s independent audio capabilities enable users to select audio from any of the four sources or an additional source.The MV4 IP Multiviewer redefines traditional multiwindowing technology by eliminating the need for a separate HDMI multiviewer at each display. It solves for common design and space limitations by locating anywhere on a network, without having to be integrated near the source or displays. The network-based design enables users to easily scale to large capabilities while reducing installation and maintenance costs.last_img read more

Lefties vs. Righties: How we decide differently

first_imgYahoo:We like to think that we make decisions based on our ideas of right and wrong — and we do, to an extent. But according to recent research, our choices may also be influenced by something as simple as whether we’re right or left handed.That’s because right-handed people are more drawn to things on the right side of a screen or page, while left-handed people look to the left. Cognitive scientist Daniel Casasanto of The New School for Social Research says it’s part of the “body-specificity hypothesis” — the idea that our physical bodies affect the decisions we make and the way we communicate with one another.Read the whole story: Yahoolast_img read more

Happy people see more value in silver and bronze Olympic medals, study finds

first_imgShare on Facebook The team was interested in the correlation between happiness and whether participants ascribed to the gold-first (only gold medals matter) or the total-medal (all medals matter) school of thought.Researchers believed happy people would be more likely to value silver and bronze medals because of a general appreciation for life.“Happy people habitually savor even small things more than unhappy people,” said Incheol Choi, corresponding author of the study.Scientists studied 106 undergraduate students at a Korean university. Participants completed a happiness and life satisfaction scale, as well as a questionnaire designed to determine whether they believed in the gold-first or total-medal philosophy.Unsurprisingly to the researchers, happy people placed more value on winning silver and bronze medals than unhappy people.“The research most relevant to the present study concerns the ways happy and unhappy people value the frequency versus intensity of positive experiences,” reported Choi.“Happy people savor little things that occur frequently, whereas unhappy people strive for intense experiences that rarely occur,” Choi continued.Though the research is revealing, it points the way to a larger question for future research.“Although our findings demonstrated that [happy people value silver and bronze medals more than unhappy people],” said Choi, “an important question still remains: why do happy people appreciate little things more than unhappy people do?” Happy people value and appreciate Olympic silver and bronze medals more than unhappy people, a recent study revealed.The study, published in June 2016 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, examined the happiness of participants and the value they place on the three Olympic medals.The research stemmed from the competition between the United States and China during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. China earned an unprecedented 51 gold medals (compared to 36 for the United States) during the games and claimed to be the champions. However, the United States earned a total of 110 medals overall, edging out the 100 earned by China, and claimed that this was a better measure of success. Share Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter Emaillast_img read more

San Juan College Faculty Votes To Unionize

first_imgCollective bargaining is a formal process, governed by the New Mexico Public Employee Bargaining Act, granting SJC faculty rights to negotiate with the Administration on matters of working conditions, including the establishment of a fair process to address compensation, benefits, and due process procedures, among others.  FARMINGTON ― On the heels of recent and decisive votes by full and part-time faculty at UNM, over two thirds (68 percent) of San Juan College (SJC) full-time faculty voted yes to win collective bargaining rights for faculty in a decisive victory in support of students and faculty.  The SJC faculty expressed that they sought collective bargaining in response to concerns that were detailed in a vote of no confidence of President Dr. Toni Pendergrass in 2016, which remained unaddressed by the SJC Board of Trustees. Williams added, “Our working conditions have a direct impact on our students learning and faculty see themselves as the stewards not only of their education but of their contributions beyond the classroom. We trust that the SJC Administration will join us in this noble undertaking and the continuation of the rich history established by the founding President James Henderson as an exemplary institution of higher education.” Votes were cast Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 resulting in 87 out of 128 faculty voting in favor of collective bargaining.center_img “I, along with my colleagues, are deeply committed to the mission of SJC and our student’s learning. We hope that SJC Administration will join us in realizing our vision of shared governance and transparency. We believe that together we can realize an equitable workplace that retains and attracts talent to SJC to deliver the best education for our students,” said Gerald Williams, professor of math and president San Juan College Education Association (SJCEA). NEANM News: Professor of Math Gordon DeSpain expressed that, “Good education inspires students’ desire to be life-long learners and to give back to their communities.”last_img read more

London’s housing shortage makes action by policy makers more crucial than ever

first_imgBut while the networking was in full flight there was also a serious undercurrent to my week, as delegates digested the consequences of a strong property market.My week started with a London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) dinner where we started a four-day series of events designed to highlight crucial issues affecting us all.This agenda continued on Wednesday lunchtime at LCCI president Tony Pidgley’s MIPIM lunch for 80 guests. Luminaries like Nick Candy, Capital & Counties managing director and chief investment officer Gary Yardley and Dalian Wanda general manager Laurent Fischler were among the guests debating how to solve London’s housing shortage.We are clear that property needs a cohesive and clear voice to government at this crucial time, with the economic impact of a housing under-supply becoming increasingly profound.According to LCCI research, average London house prices have increased fourfold since the late 1960s and are now more than twice the national average, growing at a much faster rate than wages.As the deputy chairman of the LCCI’s property & construction group, I fully endorse its recommendation that the mayor of London should set a trigger mechanism whereby ownership of publicly-owned brownfield land is transferred to private firms for development as housing.I also subscribe to the view that the mayor should work with local authorities to increase density around transport hubs.While the likes of Tony Pidgley and his Berkeley Group are crucial to the expansion of London’s housing supply, we should also not forget the crucial role that smaller developers can play.So other LCCI arguments we were pressing to policy-makers at Mipim were that:The Greater London Authority should actively recruit smaller developers to its London Development Panel and should consider deferring payment for land acquired from public ownership until after the homes have gone to market;Local authorities should allow developers of sites under 50 units to defer payment of the community infrastructure levy until the homes have gone to market;The chancellor and mayor of London should launch a ‘help to build’ risk-sharing loan guarantee scheme for smaller developers.The other big issue we were pressing at Mipim were the stark consequences of construction skills shortages. With £95.7bn of construction output planned for 2014-2017, 20% more workers will be needed to meet pipeline demand than were needed from 2010 to 2013.This translates to more than 600,000 workers needed on site next month, with a significant increase needed in roofers, bricklayers, scaffolders and electricians after so many left the industry following the great crash of 2008.To that end we used Mipim to call for:Local authorities to employ a more flexible definition of local labour when setting section 106 requirements to allow apprentices to move across boroughs and complete their training;The government to review the impact of proposed changes to the apprenticeship funding system to minimise the financial and administrative burden to small and medium-sized enterprises;The Skills Funding Agency to convene industry bodies and representatives to redesign training and apprenticeship frameworks to reflect modern methods of construction.These measures are needed because interest in London residential property remains incredibly strong.British buyers returned in force last year and are now being joined by an ever-widening set of overseas investors.In March alone, CBRE Residential has held an event for Chinese buyers at our Henrietta House base, played host to 45 Russian women to mark International Women’s Day and been on sales missions to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Turkey.Settling the election first time round would be a very positive step, particularly with the political agenda I have outlined above.But my Mipim week wasn’t all about lobbying. Our annual Tuesday-evening dinner has become a residential market fixture and we met dozens of clients in an informal environment with a relaxed atmosphere.My favourite moment? Walking down the Croisette in a hurry and on the phone and crossing paths with Legal & General’s head of real assets Bill Hughes, who was likewise busy with his phone to his ear. How to respond? A simple high-five did us both very well indeed.Mark Collins is chairman of CBRE Residentiallast_img read more