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Feb 7, 2014

THE SHEARIN GROUP The Benefits of Living in an HOA Community


Every day, people ask me if I have any available listings in the Manhattan Village gated community. It’s such a popular location because of the safety, the incredible parkettes and sidewalks, and the gated surroundings. Of course, there are Homeowners Association fees when you live in a place like Manhattan Village, to cover the community areas, drives, paths, flowers, and roads. Many townhouse or condo buildings also have HOA fees, as do many ordinary neighborhoods in Redondo Beach that have parks and parkettes that are enjoyed by the locals.


HOA fees might not make sense to someone who has not lived with them before, but I’d like to tell you the main benefits of living in an HOA community.


All maintenance is shared. Your homeowner’s association fees are pooled so that when a road, a gate, a park or a common area tree needs to be fixed, it gets fixed from that money. This means that lawn care, playgrounds, gate and fence repair, etc. are all taken care of by someone else. The homeowners essentially pay the HOA to take care of many things that ordinary homeowners have to fix themselves.


Those parks and trails and playgrounds I mentioned before? Those are available to everyone in the community, for free. Pools, pathways, basketball courts, or any amenity paid for by the homeowners’ association fees is free for anyone living in the neighborhood. Some neighborhoods even have gyms, basketball courts, or more elaborate shared amenities.


Disputes between your neighbors don’t have to result in a civil lawsuit when there is an HOA. Any disagreements between residents are and led by the community itself, making complaints and arguments much easier to deal with and much more efficient.


Last, you will get to see your neighbors more and gain a better sense of community. Because your HOA gives you a stake and a voting voice in what happens in your neighborhood, you are more likely to reach out to your neighbors, find out what they think, and discuss ways to make the neighborhood better. You’ll make friends and will create great community events, fundraisers, or make better decisions as a group about any major changes or development.


The residents of Manhattan Village all enjoy these benefits because of their gated, HOA community lifestyle. As a group, they pool their resources and make better decisions about the future of their neighborhood.



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Posted: Feb 7, 2014 5:08pm
Jun 8, 2012

“I prefer living in the UK more than anywhere else. I like the history, I like the culture, I like the under-dog attitude,” he explains. “The UK is a good place to get things done.”

Mr Yassaie’s eyes light up as he waxes lyrical about Britain’s successes in technology and his commitment to building up Imagination’s research and development facilities in the UK – notably at its new headquarters in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.

But there is one big problem standing in his way: those pesky overseas students who do just as Mr Yassaie planned to, by coming to Britain, getting their degrees and then taking their highly educated brains back home.

“It is very important that we are able to hire the workforce we need from within the UK and that really is a challenge. Partly because the universities don’t necessarily teach the right things, and partly because you don’t get enough home students,” he says.

“At British universities, 85pc or 90pc of the [postgraduate] students are from overseas. Only 10pc are British. That is a problem and it has to be fixed.


“We need those engineers in the UK to help create the future. If we don’t [start educating more UK citizens] we will be forced to set up offices elsewhere.”

Imagination, which is best known for Pure digital radios and its graphics technology, used in Apple’s iPhone, is on a mission to recruit 200 UK staff this year. Of those, about 100 will be new graduate positions.

However, the dearth of good candidates means the company has had to expand its research and development centres in India and Poland to help it keep up with demand, and is hitting the acquisitions trail as a way of simply buying up engineers.

Imagination has also launched a university and school outreach programme, headed by Mr Yassaie’s computer science graduate daughter, aimed at inspiring students early on.

“Britain is impacting the technology industry, big time, but it’s all under the hood,” he says, referring to companies like his own, or Cambridge’s ARM Holdings, which design the chips that power the mobiles, tablets and games consoles produced by the likes of Apple or Samsung.

“We are not consumer brands so a lot of people don’t understand that the gear they buy has a lot of British technology inside. Part of the challenge is about making it cool, making sure people understand what we do. What we need is a rock star for the industry,” he says.

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Posted: Jun 8, 2012 9:36pm
Jun 8, 2012 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy seems destined to be the next electoral casualty of the euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis. Sarkozy is deeply unpopular at home, but his expected defeat in this year’s presidential elections could be a setback for France.

The likely victor, François Hollande, is a socialist whose policies would create uncertainty in the short term and foment further economic stagnation in the longer run. Like much of the euro zone, France is plagued by diminishing competitiveness, high unemployment, and excessive government spending. Hollande has proposed raising the state’s tab, which could worsen the other problems and punish business.

Sarkozy and Hollande will lead in the first round of voting on April 22, but neither is likely to garner enough votes to declare an outright victory. All polls point to a win for Hollande in the May 6 runoff, but the French have pulled surprises in the past.

Sarkozy, 57, was elected president in 2007, and is paying the price for failing to deliver on his campaign promises amid the worst financial downturn in Europe since World War II. He has earned plaudits for persuading Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to take a softer approach to the euro-zone crisis, but domestic issues matter more to French voters. France is flirting with economic recession, and in January was stripped of its prized triple-A credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.

Hollande, also 57, is a graduate of France’s prestigious École Nationale d’Administration, which boasts presidents and prime ministers among its alumni. But his political experience is limited, encompassing a decade as secretary of the Socialist Party and a stint as mayor of a provincial town. Ségolène Royal, his former partner and mother of his four children, lost to Sarkozy in ’07. Hollande secured the party’s nomination last year, after scandal enveloped the favorite, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

A pro-European, Hollande is a protégé of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, one of the architects of the euro. To maintain stability and continuity in Europe, he will need to emulate Sarkozy’s cozy relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But the relationship could be complicated, as they occupy different sides of the political spectrum. At some point, Merkel may need to check Hollande’s soft Keynesian tendencies: Germany doesn’t have the resources to bail out France.


Hollande’s economic policies would do little to boost France’s competitiveness, and his goal of eliminating the budget deficit by 2017 is apt to remain elusive. He aims to kick-start the economy by adding jobs and creating growth, but that means even greater government outlays. Government expenditures currently equal 57% of gross domestic product, one of the highest levels in Europe and nine percentage points more than in Germany.


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Posted: Jun 8, 2012 9:30pm
May 23, 2012

Bark & Co is reknowned for its competency and experience in large-scale, complex fraud cases. The firm has been involved in many of the high profile prosecutions in recent years and in the course of their work, our specialist fraud teams work closely with individuals, large corporations and Government organisations. The firm is now among the top criminal fraud firms for both size and quality of representation and deals frequently with cases that involve both UK and foreign jurisdictions.

Typical work includes all types of criminal and commercial fraud (VAT and duties tribunal work, defence of duty evasion, money-laundering and carousel fraud, mortgage fraud, investment fraud, corruption, pension fund fraud, telecoms fraud, theft, fraudulent trading by company directors and internet fraud) as well as business and tax regulation, tax investigations, white-collar crime and serious crime. Cases include prosecutions and investigations brought by all the prosecuting agencies, notably the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ,the Special Compliance Office of the Inland Revenue and the Crown Prosecution Service (CP. We have also established a leading practice in the field of cash and asset recovery in both the criminal and civil courts and we have particular expertise in successfully tackling Restraint Orders thus enabling our clients to minimise the potentially serious financial effects associated with lengthy proceedings.

Recent examples include an alleged 11-handed insider share dealing fraud involving 2 prominent investment banks, a high tech internet based identity documents fraud, a high profile pensions miss-selling case, a huge boiler room fraud involving the laundering of £30M through 6 primary front companies, a mobile phone based fraud allegedly defrauding the public revenue of £250M, false accounting in connection with the multi-million pound contract to supply the NHS with a new computer system, false invoicing over 3-4 years at a major multi-national that destroyed its share price and an £85M fraud in an ethical investment company investing in the energy sector.

Appointed as a founder member of the Specialist Fraud Panel and Very High Costs Case Contracting Panel, Bark & Co is committed to providing the finest legal advice with the highest standards of care to its clients.


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Posted: May 23, 2012 6:21am
May 23, 2012

Our team at Bark &Co have wide experience of Courts Martial both in UK and abroad including in areas of conflict such as Iraq. We also retain ex-military experience within the firm to ensure we can be sensitive and responsive to the unique circumstances affecting servicemen and women and their families, especially when they are serving abroad. The Services demand standards of discipline which are distinctive to the armed forces and which have penalties for conduct that would not attract the same action in civilian employment eg AWOL and disobeying a lawful command. This separate military justice system is very familiar to our team at Bark & Co where we adopt a policy of personal contact providing expert legal advice at the earliest stage of proceedings.

When a service person is remanded for court martial they become eligible for Legal Aid. ACFLAA will, if requested, select a solicitor to represent them in this situation. But serving personnel also have the right and are encouraged to choose their own representative from the legal profession to assist in their defence case. This is where Bark & Co are at your service 24 hours a day.

We at Bark & Co have an excellent track record representing military personnel, either through legal aid or on a private fee basis. Either way, you will receive the benefit of longstanding experience and familiarity with the military and we will engage the services of specialist barristers whenever necessary to fight your case to best effect.


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Posted: May 23, 2012 6:15am
Apr 13, 2012

Jerusalem Economy Ltd.


March 5, 2012

The Securities Authority Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd.

22 Kanfei Nesharim Street 54 Ahad Ha’am Street

Jerusalem Tel Aviv

Dear Sir / Madam:

RE: Sale of Assets in Switzerland

The company respectfully announces that on March 5, 2012, a foreign subsidiary (hereinafter – the Subsidiary) under the full ownership of the company signed agreements with a third party that is unrelated to the company or to the controlling shareholders therein (hereinafter – the Purchaser). The agreements refer to the sale of the entire share capital of two companies held together with a partner, which own 19 properties in Switzerland, including therein 568 apartments and a commercial center with an area of 8,120 square meters (hereinafter – the Asset Companies).

In return for the shares and loans from shareholder of the Asset Companies, the Purchaser undertakes to pay the Subsidiary the amount of 36.7 million Swiss francs (NIS 153.1 million) (hereinafter – the Proceeds).

A deposit on account of the Proceeds in the amount of 10 million Swiss francs (NIS 41.7 million) shall be paid within two business days of the date of signature of the agreement and shall not be refundable to the Purchaser. The balance of the Proceeds in the amount of 26.7 million Swiss francs (NIS 111.4 million) shall be paid to the Subsidiary within 90 days of the date of signature of the transaction.

The company estimates that the transactions for the sale of the Asset Companies shall be completed during the second quarter, and the completion thereof shall not be subject to any essential conditions whatsoever.

The available flow to the company that is derived from the sale is anticipated to amount to 33 million Swiss francs (NIS 137.7 million).

As a result of the sale, the company is anticipated to record a loss in the amount of NIS 33.6 million in the financial statements thereof for December 31, 2011, prior to the costs of the transaction and tax expenses. Following the completion of the transaction, real estate assets for investment are anticipated to be diminished in the consolidated balance sheet of the company in the amount of NIS 558.5 million and undertakings to banking corporations in the amount of NIS 371.6 million.

Yours truly,

Jerusalem Economy Ltd.


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Posted: Apr 13, 2012 5:53pm
Apr 13, 2012

OTTAWA – An Ottawa-based advocacy group specializing in international development and foreign policy is urging Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the federal government to put forward a nominee for World Bank president, with the deadline looming at the end of Friday.

“Now is your opportunity and Canada’s chance to take a lead role in setting a new tone in selecting the leadership of key global institutions,” said the McLeod Group in a recent letter to Flaherty.

The race to lead the World Bank was set in motion after president Robert Zoellick announced on Feb. 15 he was stepping down at the end of his term on June 30.

The bank hasn’t seen a non-American president since its founding in 1944. Traditionally, a consensus between Europe and the U.S. assured a European leader at the International Monetary Fund and an American leader at the World Bank. But outrage from developing and emerging nations among the organization’s 187 member countries has opened up selection process, creating the possibility that streak will soon end.

Now, the World Bank Development Committee says it endorses an “open, merit-based and transparent process.”

“This is the first time that there’s actually been quite a serious and lively international discussion about the possibility, the usefulness, the appropriateness of this,” said Hunter McGill, a Canadian international development policy consultant and member of the McLeod group.

He is also a senior fellow at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.

The McLeod Group calls itself an organization of &ldquorofessionals with many years of experience in government, civil society and academia, working across the fields of international development, diplomacy and foreign policy” that argues for Canada to take a more prominent role in global affairs.

Considering the deadline is Friday, McGill says he would be very surprised if Canada put somebody up for candidacy. The White House has not yet announced a nominee.

Colombian finance minister and central bank chief, Jose Antonio Ocampo, announced his candidacy Wednesday.

Ocampo, currently a Columbia University professor, also said that Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was a candidate.

But a spokesman for Okonjo-Iweala said that the former top-level World Bank official “is not seeking it.”


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Posted: Apr 13, 2012 5:38pm
Apr 12, 2012

Over the years Capital Campaigns have evolved from mammoth campaigns with hundreds of volunteers and staff to today when campaigns are much smaller both in structure and length of time and are highly volunteer oriented. 

Few Capital Campaigns for other than major institutions take more than 12  to 18 months to complete and are more recently designed to be conducted by development staff with the assistance of a consultant. In organizations that have no development department staff, they usually opt to have on-site campaign direction, that is, an on-site Campaign Director/Consultant who works 24/7 on their project. 

We at Bradley Associates are proud to provide staffing whether you need it for a couple days a month or full-time on-site Director. We are in position to provide that staff to help achieve your goals in the shortest possible time line.

The ultimate success of a Capital Campaign for significant funding support of specific programs or projects, always goes back to the essential "pre-campaign" tasks that either were or were not accomplished prior to the start of the campaign. A stalled Capital Campaign is most likely the result of insufficient preparation. No Capital Campaign preparation step is more important than the Capital Campaign Planning Study (or Feasibility Study). 

Here are our thoughts regarding the all-important Capital Campaign Planning Study:

  • It can be argued that a Study is the single most important planning step for a successful capital campaign.
  • A Study offers the unique opportunity for an "outside set of eyes and ears" to ask important questions of potential campaign leaders and potential donors, and to receive candid and accurate answers from them regarding critical campaign feasibility issues.
  • It does matter who the outside consultant and Study Director is. The professionalism of this individual reflects back to the client. Bradley Associatesassigns its best staff for Study Director positions and values the client image in the community to the highest degree.

A client should expect the following "deliverables" from a Study:

  • A complete written, and thorough study report
  • A professional presentation to client leadership groups
  • Confidential executive and management reports for key leadership
  • Comprehensive recommendations that address all angles of funding feasibility
  • Recommendations for goals, leadership, campaign structure and timing

We would be happy to provide a 10 page self analysis to determine your readiness to begin a Capital Campaign. Request a copy.  

We are prepared to help you and will provide consulting services as needed.


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Posted: Apr 12, 2012 11:31pm
Apr 12, 2012

Goal: $5 Million

Month 1   The Board of Directors or Trustees along with the CEO determine that a specific project needs to be built. The Board approves the Project.

Month 2   An internal task force reviews the project, its goals, and needs, and recommends to the Board that a Campaign Planning Study or Feasibility Study be conducted.

Month 3   The institution submits request for a proposal to three or five consulting firms to conduct a study. This may not be necessary if the institution already has a relationship with one consulting firm already, who is capable of conducting studies and campaigns.

Month 4   The Task Force reviews the responses to the Request for Proposal and notifies the selected firms that there will be interviews set over the next 2 - 4 weeks. Usually three firms are selected for interviews and the interviews all take place on the same day.

Month 5   The Consultant is selected and study begins. (See Feasibility Studies for more details on the conducting of a Feasibility Study or Campaign Planning Study.)

Month 7   Consultants report to the Client with their recommendation and a Plan of Action for a campaign, if warranted.

Month 8   Board of Directors approve the campaign plan and retain consulting firm to launch the Campaign.

Month 9   Board accepts the recommendations and appoints the Campaign Steering Committee to direct the efforts.

Month 10   Steering Committee selects a Chairman and the Campaign process begins. The type of campaign, timeline and other pertinent facts are designed based on the results of the Campaign Planning or Feasibility Study and should not, in most Campaigns, exceed twelve months from this point.

Month 11   
to 23
   Campaign is conducted over not more than 12 months. (Solicitation period should not take more than 12 months.) 

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Posted: Apr 12, 2012 11:27pm


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Abelard W.
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Virginia Bch, VA, USA
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