Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. If you’re searching for cheap FTSE 100 dividend stocks then J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) could well be on your radar. But be warned — this fallen grocery giant is loaded with long-term risk.Britain’s supermarkets are doing a roaring trade in the current crisis as citizens load up on essentials. Alvarez & Marsal says that “food will remain a clear winner”. With bars, restaurants and other similar establishments shuttered, it says spending will continue to be diverted towards the grocery segment. It’s why the consultancy now expects sales growth here of 7.5% in 2020, up from 2.6% previously.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Don’t get carried awayDon’t be fooled into thinking that Sainsbury’s and its peers are riding the crest of a wave, however. In a recent piece on Tesco, I noted how the country’s biggest retailer is enduring “significant cost increases” as staff are off due to illness and it pays increasingly high costs to secure supplies. It’s a scenario that its blue-chip peer is battling too.Investors need to be concerned by the high-risk profits picture for Sainsbury’s over a longer time horizon. The FTSE 100 firm has been the biggest loser as price wars between the so-called Big Four operators have hotted up.Moving onlineIt’s a trend that the German discounters Aldi and Lidl set in motion. Their aggressive store expansion schemes intensified the battle to offer the cheapest price points. And recent news suggests that the established chains face a fight online as well.Aldi has long sold wines online, but it’s taking steps to sell a wider product offer to internet shoppers. From today, the business will begin selling online food parcels on its website in order to help vulnerable citizens and those who are self isolating during the pandemic.Said packages will cost £24.99 and contain foodstuffs like tinned soup, rice, tea and pasta, as well as essential household items like soap and toilet roll. This is a far cry from the sophisticated operations that Sainsbury’s and its peers offer, sure. But this first step into cyberspace could herald something much grander in the future. Rumours emerged last autumn that Lidl is making plans to sell through the net after it advertised a Digital Project Manager position on its website.I’d avoid this fallen FTSE 100 starIt may not be long before Sainsbury’s sees another huge exodus of its customers to Aldi and Lidl. Forget about their web ambitions for a second. A painful recession would encourage more of the Footsie firm’s loyal customers to decamp to its cheaper rivals.Don’t forget that the 2008/09 banking crisis proved the making of the discounters as shoppers tried to stretch their budgets that little bit further. A repeat performance would require the likes of Sainsbury’s to engage in further rounds of earnings-crushing price cuts to stop sales grinding to a halt completely. And this time around, the economic landscape could prove a lot more challenging than it was a decade ago.So forget about the Footsie company’s low forward P/E ratio of 9.5 times and massive 5.7% dividend yield. I think this FTSE 100 dividend stock should be avoided at all costs. Enter Your Email Address Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Should you buy this FTSE 100 dividend stock and its 5.7% yield? I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Image source: Getty Images. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Royston Wild | Friday, 17th April, 2020 | More on: SBRY Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! See all posts by Royston Wild
Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! See all posts by Cliff D’Arcy John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Cliffdarcy has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Amazon, and Tesla. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Fresnillo and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. FTSE 100: these were the best shares to buy a year ago. I’d buy this winner today! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Currently, the FTSE 100 index is enjoying its best-ever start to January since it launched in 1984. On Thursday, the Footsie closed at 6,857, up almost 400 points (6.1%) in four trading days. Alas, the index didn’t have a great 2020, diving almost 1,100 points — down a seventh (14.3%). However, the share performances of individual Footsie members were very widely dispersed last year. Let’s find out more about the best shares to buy (and the worst) from the FTSE 100 12 months ago.2020’s winners and losersGet ready for a surprise. Though the FTSE 100 dived in 2020, half (50) of the index’s 100 shares actually rose in value over 12 months. These gainers recorded rises ranging from a tiny 0.1% to a whopping 113.4%. The mean average gain across all 50 risers was just over a quarter (26.6%). If your portfolio consisted only of these 50 stocks, I applaud you for finding the best shares to buy.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Thus, this leaves 50 FTSE 100 stocks that lost value last year. Theses losses range between a modest 0.6% and a crushing 62.1%. The mean average decline across all 50 losers was close to a fifth (18%). These 50 were definitely not the best shares to buy 12 months ago.The five best shares to buy 12 months agoAmong the 50 FTSE 100 risers over the past year were 20 shares that rose by a quarter (25%) or more. Of these, eight rose by more than half (50%). And these five stocks were the FTSE 100’s best shares to buy in January 2020:Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust 113.4%Fresnillo 88.7%Ocado Group 88.4%Pershing Square Holdings 78.6%Antofagasta Holdings 74.3%The top share on the list is SMIT, an investment trust with heavy exposure to high-flying US tech stocks. Its investments in the likes of Tesla, Amazon and Alibaba have turned SMIT into a top-performing fund over one, three, five and 10 years. But I see trouble ahead for SMIT, as I view many of its core holdings as being deep into bubble territory. Although it was the FTSE 100’s best share to buy a year ago, I wouldn’t touch it today. Likewise, I view profit-avoiding online grocer Ocado Group as an over-valued hype stock or bubble share. It also won’t go into my ISA.Fresnillo is an Anglo-Mexican silver and gold miner. Its share price bounced back strongly last year, after collapsing 70% between mid-2016 and 2020. But this stock combines a lofty price-to-earnings ratio with a tiny dividend yield, so it’s not my best share to buy. Chilean copper miner Antofagasta has a similar lofty valuation to Fresnillo, so it’s not for me.My top stock from these five winnersFor me, the best share to buy from 2020’s FTSE 100 winners is Pershing Square Holdings (PSH). This Guernsey-registered investment trust tracks the performance of Pershing Square Capital Management. This hedge fund is run by Bill Ackman, a billionaire investor known for placing massive conviction trades. I’m a big fan of Ackman, an activist who isn’t shy about courting controversy or attacking poorly run companies.At today’s closing price of 2,650p, PSH shares trade at a discount of almost a quarter (22.8%) to their underlying NAV (net asset value). For me, that’s far too wide a gap for this high-flier. That’s why I’d happily pick this as my best share to buy for 2021 from these five winners! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Image source: Getty Images. Cliff D’Arcy | Friday, 8th January, 2021 Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.
RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR A mother whose eleven-year-old son was murdered in 2019, has called for the lifting of a court order preventing the identification of her son and his killer.An application to lift the restriction, imposed by the Central Criminal Court at the convicted killers sentencing hearing last February, is to be heard tomorrow, Monday, May 10th.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The application, which is being brought by RTE, was adjourned twice last week to give notice to all parties.Speaking last Friday after the matter was adjourned, the victim’s mother said she felt “let down by the justice system” and wanted the order lifted with immediate effect.The order was imposed following an Appeal Court ruling in October 2020 after it found that a restriction on identifying children, who were victims of crimes where criminal proceedings had begun, applied not only to living children but also to deceased children.An amendment to the law came in last Friday allowing the naming of children, except in specific circumstances, however applications seeking to lift reporting restrictions must be made in situations where a specific court order was made previously.Counsel for the man convicted of murder in this case indicated in court last week, that they could not identify any legal objection on which they could argue against lifting the order in relation to their client.“I want the court to lift the restrictions in my son’s case as soon as possible to give me the opportunity to speak about my son. I have been silenced for too long,” said the victim’s mother.“I’m very upset over it, it makes me very angry, I just don’t understand it, it’s adding more stress for me.”“It’s so unfair, even though the law is changed, I still can’t talk about (son’s name).”The mother argued that the order in her son’s case “does not protect my son” but it “serves to hide the killer and what he did to my son, in fact, it is silencing the type of child (son’s name) was, and for us to able to speak about him”.The victim was beaten with a hammer and stabbed to death by his half uncle, in November 2019.The killer pleaded guilty to his half-nephew’s murder, and said he heard voices in his head telling him to stab the boy. WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Previous article20 Points Apiece At the Gaelic Grounds as Tipp and Limerick Share SpoilsNext articleAer Lingus Shannon cabin crew remain laid off until mid-summer David Raleigh LimerickNewsCourt to hear application to lift restriction on naming boy murdered by half uncleBy David Raleigh – May 10, 2021 386 Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email Print Facebook WhatsApp Advertisement TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post Linkedin Twitter Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick
Nightmares with planning permission, finding out the machinery you’ve bought is completely unsuitable for your purpose, delays with getting the packaging and design sorted, a complete lack of government grants available and banks with a stonewall approach to funding new businesses… newly-formed Taste Essential was unfortunate to fall foul of all the above after acquiring its production site in June last year. “It hasn’t been easy,” admits the firm’s undaunted director Tim Latham Taylor. “The last time I set up a business it wasn’t as hard as this. Banks don’t support new businesses and suppliers could be more helpful.”Some ingredients suppliers are over-cautious and he urges them to offer account facilities for new businesses. “Every new business has to pay cash on delivery or pro forma, and that puts you in hardship before you start.”But now the dust has settled, Taste has picked up five UK distributors, giving national coverage. “We have a sound business plan; foodservice suppliers have to shop around – they get their Danish pastries from one company, gateaux from another and muffins from another. We supply everything.”Officially launched in January, Taste Essential’s focus is on natural ingredients. “It’s frustrating competing just on price. There’s a better market out there than that. We use natural ingredients, and we only use natural or nature-identical flavourings. If it’s a chocolate muffin, for example, we’ll only use Barry Callebaut chocolate.”The next step will be rolling out half a dozen high-footfall cafés with 3,000sq ft or above units, supplied from the central bakery. The first outlet should open early next year, selling ground coffee and freshly squeezed juices, sandwiches and cakes. “We’re trialling our products in the market to see what sells and to see what’s slow. I’m taking a bit of Costa, a bit of Starbucks, putting it together with my own concepts and giving it a twist,” he says. n—-=== The pros and cons ===Biggest challenge:I’m used to working with more sophisticated machinery, working in senior management for a larger company where it’s a privilege to be able to put a recipe together and let the production manager get on with it. I can’t do that here, and that was a bit of a shock. You have to adapt that recipe to your environment, and that took me some time.Unique selling pointThere are a lot of interesting ingredients in Europe, such as orange fillings, vanillas and caramels, that not many of our competitors in this market are using. So I’ll be bringing those in and making something slightly different. Europe will have a heavy influence on our products, such as croissants with natural raspberry fruit filling.—-=== Going it alone ===The firm: Leicester-based Taste Essential (Europe)The brief: To create a foodservice cake bakery brand with a focus on using natural ingredients, supplying pallet quantities and above. A chain of branded café outlets will followSuppliers: Barry Callebaut, Macphie, Rank HovisStaff: six, including two directorsFinance: £200,000 self-financed, mostly spent on a manufacturing facility and machinery, with £50,000 going to brand development, packaging and labellingBackground: NPD and sales director Tim Latham Taylor sold his chain of four hot bread shops 10 years ago to Greggs.Since then he has worked as a consultant, for a coffee chain, for a fairy cake company and, finally, in senior management at Leicester’s Blackfriars BakeryWebsite: [http://www.taste-essential.com]
The quality and quantity of Georgia’s 2013 pecan crop is in worse shape than originally feared.Due in large part to pecan scab, a fungal disease that thrives in wet conditions, Georgia’s pecan crop is expected to total between 50 million and 60 million pounds, instead of the normal 90 million. University of Georgia pecan horticulturist Lenny Wells had — in early fall — predicted a poor harvest of between 65 million and 70 million pounds, but in reality, the harvest fell short of even the most pessimistic predictions. “There’s kind of an old saying in the pecan business that a short crop gets shorter. That has definitely held true this year,” Wells said. “Most growers that looked like they had a good crop are getting about a third less than what they thought was there.”Not only is the quantity lacking for one of the state’s biggest commodities, but the international demand that drove high prices in previous seasons has also slackened. During the height of harvest season when China was buying its bulk of pecans, commercial producers were averaging about $2.90 per pound for Desirable pecans, the state’s most popular variety. However, according to Wells, that price has dropped to between $1.80 and $2.“For some reason, the law of supply and demand doesn’t seem to apply to pecans this year” Wells said. “I’m told there’s a lot of nuts in storage in China, still and there doesn’t seem to have been much of a demand for the 2013 crop domestically. It’s been a very odd year.” Wells added that China’s mass import of Georgia’s pecans is due in large part to its celebration of the new year, which falls earlier in 2014 than it has in recent years. China bought more pecans earlier this year, and thus, has not been buying later in the harvest season.In addition to producing fewer nuts, farmers are reporting that individual nuts are packing less of a punch. What was predicted to be a smaller crop is also much lighter than originally thought. Wells reported that the lighter pecan nuts are being blown out at cleaning plants, reinforcing the belief that the weight of individual pecans is down. Many of this year’s pecan problems can also be blamed on wetter than usual weather this summer and part of this fall. Rain led to higher than normal incidences of the fungal disease pecan scab, interrupted harvest activities and deteriorated the quality of the nut.
Fifteen of these candidates won eitheras mayors or members of the Sangguniang Bayan in Iloilo and Capiz, said Batara. ILOILO City – Thirty-two elected localofficials in Western Visayas enjoyed the support of the New People’s Army (NPA)in the May midterm elections, according to the Police Regional Office 6(PRO-6). Are these officials now paying the rebels back with support, too? During elections, NPA rebels are knownto impose “permit to campaign fees” on candidates intending to enterrebel-influenced areas. Malong acknowledged it would bedifficult to prove that these local officials are now paying the insurgentsback with monetary or logistical support unless witnesses surface. Of these 32 officials, 11 were electedmayor and six were elected vice mayor, she added. In the months leading to the Maypolls, certain candidates were “consistently monitored to be giving support tothe NPA, including some candidates who gave in on the rebels’ ‘permit to win’and ‘permit to campaign’ (fees),” Batara said. The rebels campaigned for them, saidPRO-6 spokesperson Police Lieutenant Joem Malong, citing intelligence reports. Furthermore, Batara said, localgovernment units (LGUs), particularly the local chief executives, shouldspearhead efforts to end the insurgency problem. “We are monitoring them,” she said. The same law further criminalizes thefinancing of terrorism. In particular, it freezes and forfeits the property orfunds of those designated terrorists or terrorist organizations. This is donein order to prevent and suppress terrorist activities. “If we have gathered enough concreteevidence, appropriate charges would be filed against them,” including forterrorism, Batara said. Under Republic Act (RA) 10168,terrorism is considered inimical and dangerous to the country’s nationalsecurity. Terrorism is, thus, condemned, including those who support andfinance acts of terrorism. The figures of the PRO-6 were not farfrom those of the Philippine Army. In Iloilo province, the rebelssupported five mayors, two vice mayors and nine municipal councilors while inCapiz, they campaigned for four mayors, two vice mayors and three towncouncilors, said Malong. The 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB)monitored 37 candidates who financially supported the NPA, according toLieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, battalion commander. In Negros Occidental, two electedmayors, two vice mayors, two municipal councilors, and a provincial boardmember enjoyed the backing of the NPA, said Malong. “We are warning these local officialsto stop supporting rebels,” said Malong. “We need physical evidence to pin themdown,” said Malong. Local officials proven to besupportive of rebels face criminal and administrative charges. “We have identified them,” accordingto the PRO-6 spokesperson but she declined to name them. Under Section 4 of RA 10168, personsfound guilty of terrorist financing “shall suffer the penalty of reclusiontemporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua”and be made to pay a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1 million. The United States and European Unionhave labeled the NPA and its political body, the Communist Party of thePhilippines, as an international terror organization. (With areport from the Philippine News Agency/PN)
Vaca Frita By Celina DeCastroLiterally translated to “Fried Cow”, this Cuban dish is usually served with rice, beans and fried plantains. Vaca frita will transport you to Havana without ever having you leave your home. Similar to Cuba’s Ropa Vieja, this dish has less tomato sauce and more of the natural crispy beef flavor that will leave you craving more.What you’ll need:1 1/2 pound of flank steak, cut into four pieces1 green bell pepper, cored and quartered2 large onions- 1 halved and 1 thinly sliced1 bay leaf2 smashed garlic clovesSalt1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of lime juice2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oilFresh ground pepperWhat to do:Combine the bell pepper, halved onion, 1 of the garlic cloves and bay leaf in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil, add in the flank steak. Let it simmer over medium heat for about twenty to thirty minutes.Remove steak and other ingredients from stock.Once steak has cooled, shred the meatIn a large bowl add lime juice, shredded beef, and finely minced garlic. Toss the mixture and let it marinate for at least an hour.Heat a cast iron skillet or pan over high heat. Add oil and thinly sliced onions, cook until onions become translucent and browned at the edges.Add beef and cook until beef is browned and crispy. Here you can personalize the level of crispiness you would like for the beef.Serve immediately to hungry friends and family, don’t forget an extra lime on the side.
by Dennis Waszak Jr.NEW YORK (AP)—Tears welled up in David Clowney’s eyes as he watched a group of Haitian children roam the streets of Port-au-Prince with nowhere to go.Shoeless, shirtless and homeless, they made the New York Jets wide receiver think about his little brother, Jordan. DAVID CLOWNEY “Just seeing how these kids who had no families were living was devastating,” Clowney told The Associated Press. “I have a 10-year-old brother and I just can’t imagine him living that way.”Clowney, who had 14 catches and a touchdown last season, spent three days in Haiti last month as part of a missionary group that included Jets teammates James Ihedigbo and Vernon Gholston and former cornerback Ahmad Carroll. They worked with members of Yele Haiti, musician Wyclef Jean’s charity, to help with the relief and recovery efforts following the earthquake that killed an estimated 230,000 and left 1.3 million homeless in January.“Even if I can’t save the entire country, I can at least try to put a Band-Aid on things to help the situation,” Clowney said. “I was in tears a couple of times, though, going to the orphanages and passing out diapers, baby formula and baby food.”Inspired by what he considers a life-changing experience, Clowney is planning a weeklong trip to Ghana in July to help needy children in that West African country.“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa and this is another opportunity to do something good for the kids,” Clowney said. “Honestly, I love kids. Seriously, I do.”Clowney’s trip is scheduled for July 3-10, and he’s holding a fundraiser through his charity, the David Clowney Foundation, to raise money to finance the trip and supplies. He and several of his Jets teammates will be waiters and servers at Applebee’s restaurant in East Hanover, N.J., on May 18. Tickets cost $65, which includes dinner and a donation to the foundation.“I thought it was a cool twist,” Clowney said.He’s hoping some of his teammates join him in Ghana, and plans to get in touch with Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai, whose family is from there.The mission will include a visit to a hospital, to which Clowney’s foundation will donate money and medical supplies. Also on the itinerary are stops at a school in Kumasi and an orphanage in the capital city of Accra, and then he’ll set up a game to teach the children about American football.“It’ll be good, man,” Clowney said. “It’s all for the kids.”Clowney, 24, began his foundation over a year ago with football camps and clothing drives to help children in the rough, crime-filled area of Palm Beach county where he grew up in South Florida.“I wanted to be able to express the message and show kids that you don’t need to do all those things to get out of a bad neighborhood or take care of your mother or your family,” he said. “I don’t want any kid to have to go through that.”That inspiration is what made the trip to Haiti so emotional for Clowney.“You see little kids right outside the airport, 12, 11, 10 years old and younger, and they’re trying to grab your bags so you can tip them,” he said, shaking his head. “They’re just out there trying to do anything they can. For them to be that young and have to go through that, that’s kind of troubling to me.”While in Haiti, Clowney helped set up shelter for homeless families and provided clothing, food and water for many who lost everything they owned.“We were in one community and they were all doing the Jets chant,” he said. “When they all started doing that, I had a little girl in my arms, and I just came to tears.”Haitian President Rene Preval immediately set up a meeting with the Jets contingent when he heard about their work in his country.“I haven’t even met my own president, and never been within 100 yards of one, and we’re in Haiti for two days and we get to meet him,” Clowney said, laughing. “That was very exciting. He talked to us, showed us a lot of love and he was out there doing the Jets chant, too.”It certainly has been a busy offseason for Clowney, who faces a crucial point in his playing career. Now in his fourth NFL season, the speedy receiver could be fighting for a roster spot this summer, especially after the Jets acquired Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.“He’s been a good friend of mine for a long time,” said Clowney, who competed against Holmes in high school. “At the same time, I’m going to make the best of any situation that comes my way. That’s on the field and off. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that no matter how bad it may seem initially, it might be the best thing that ever happens to you. I just feel blessed, man.”On the Net: David Clowney Foundation: http://www.davidclowney87.com/
MDE Home Loans held its ribbon cutting May 8 at 26 Ayres Lane, Little Silver. From left: Danielle Mason, CFO of MDE; Stacy Barile, chair of Paint the Town Pink; James Mason, president of MDE Home Loan; Mayor Robert Neff Jr.; and Matt Cohen, owner of Two River Title Company, and his wife, Leslie. During the occasion, a donation was made by MDE Home Loans in the name of its clients to the Pink Fund, which provides mammography to uninsured and underinsured women in the community.
To support the staff for the time being, Salt Creek Grille representatives organized a GoFundMe page for hourly staff members. It has raised over $10,000 to date, which Bidgood said is a credit to his staff. This article originally appeared in the April 23rd, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. Now, millions of Americans are jobless during this scary and uncertain time. Companies all over the country are taking huge financial hits and are facing layoffs in the wake of the pandemic. Unemployment rates have far surpassed the rates surrounding the Great Recession. Some local employers are also finding ways to support their staff members who have been laid off. That includes Salt Creek Grille co-owner Steve Bidgood. He shared that it was not easy laying off employees of the Rumson-based establishment; some of them have worked there since its opening over 20 years ago. In the meantime, she has been writing cards and making special videos for members of those facilities, wishing them well and letting them know she is thinking of them. The response has been very positive, and she’s looking to take it a step further. DaPrato plans to reach out to the facilities she performs at to see if they would be interested in having her perform while practicing social distancing. That could mean performing on the outside of a building for 15 minutes on each side, allowing residents to open up their windows and hear her perform. “It’s kind of difficult because they’re my second family. It’s tough. I didn’t think it was going to last this long. I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it is,” said Bidgood, who has been with Salt Creek Grille since 1996. The restaurant industry is a hard industry as it is. And when businesses get “kicked in the legs” financially as they have been from COVID-19, reopening may not be a possibility for some, he said. It will be costly to reinvest and open in good shape. Tourism is down and traveling is down, which is also not good for business. And should there be a second wave of the virus, it will be a nail in the coffin for others. Just over 45 days ago, the U.S. economy was booming with high wage growth and record low unemployment rates. That quickly changed with the rapid spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the non-profit has handed out about 200-to 300-plus grab-and-go meals six days a week since March 16. According to McCarthy, a monthly comparison of March 2020 to March 2019 shows demand has increased about 31 percent. And about 30 to 100-plus people each day receive groceries from the organization six days a week. “I would definitely bewilling to do that and noteven charge for this,” shesaid. “I really miss it. I missthe people.” DaPrato will also be taking this downtime for projects she has been meaning to start but has pushed off recording a “Christmas with Cathy D” CD, as well as working on some new material for her shows. According to Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-13), who represents several towns in the Two River area, he and his office have spoken to an overwhelming number of callers complaining of backlogged unemployment claims far more calls than after SuperStorm Sandy in 2012, he told The Two River Times. He credited the issue to personnel shortages and outdated computer systems at the NJDOL. Middletown resident Cathy DaPrato is one of those self-employed workers. As a musician and the owner of Cathy D Entertainment, DaPrato finds herself “help-less” as she is unable to perform at her typical venues. DaPrato is a regular at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult daycare centers across New Jersey. Before the virus struck, she was scheduled to perform about 160 gigs this year. “I have people who come and celebrate every holiday with us,” he said, adding that some customers emailed him to say they were “devastated” about not being able to spend their Easter at the restaurant for the first time in 21 years. However, Burke plans to bring everyone back on as normal, whenever the businesses are allowed to reopen. He will need all who were laid off as well as summer staff. But some businesses won’t be as fortunate, he believes. He also said he is waiting for the CARE Act to kick in, which will allow his staff to be paid, including their tips. The staff was also encouraged to file for unemployment if they wanted to so that they could have some kind of cash flow coming in, Bidgood added. According to Scharfenberger, state staff members of various departments are being transitioned and reassigned, for the time being, to the NJDOL to free up some of the backlogging. He also noted that the department is operating on the decades-old COBOL computer programming language, which he called “archaic.” COURTESY LUNCH BREAK / FACEBOOK Lunch Break volunteers Jennifer Anderson and board president John Klein recently delivered food to homebound clients. Representatives of the nonprofit are reporting significantly higher demands from community members compared to last year. “Some come to our facility, are students of the Red Bank Charter School and others such as the homebound and residents of the Pan American motel in Eatontown, receive deliveries. We have increased the number of times we deliver,” said McCarthy. “I just love it and I feel sohelpless right now because Ifeel like I can’t do anythingto help these people,” saidDaPrato. In New Jersey alone, there have been hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims each week since March 1. In the most recent data released from the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL), there were 141,420 claims made during the week of April 5 to 11. During the week prior, from March 29 to April 4, there were 214,836 claims. Lunch Break, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides basic necessities to people in need, has also seen “many” new people since the COVID-19 pandemic started, said Ellen McCarthy, communications and public relations coordinator. Last week alone, the organization gave 77 new people groceries in one day, she said, and new grocery clients are up 50 percent since March, compared to last year. “When something like this happens, systems like that are so easily over whelmed,” said Scharfenberger. On April 20, the assemblyman wrote to New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio, asking that she withhold his salary “until every one of my constituents’ state unemployment claims has been fulfilled.” Currently, members of the state Senate and General Assembly receive an annual base salary of $49,000. “We were off to a great start this year. We were really rolling,” said Burke, between Drifthouse and its adjoining Nauti Bar. But now, the bar is closed and Drifthouse is offering curbside pick-up and delivery only. The financial strain called for the layoffs of most employees. She also estimated that about 85 percent of the SB-DC’s calls recently have been small business owners wondering what they should do to help their employees at this time. Typically, the SBDC focuses on helping businesses employ people. This is “the first time ever” they are helping businesses guide their employees to unemployment, she said. The restaurateur decided not to offer curbside pickup or delivery to area customers, as many other businesses have in the Two River area. He cited a concern for his staff’s safety and well-being as one of the deciding factors to close, as well as the costliness of cooking with mesquite wood, which the restaurant uses. According to Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes, regional director of the Monmouth/Ocean Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Brookdale Community College, there is a high percentage of self-employed individuals and freelancers who will not be eligible for unemployment from the state. Because of that, for the first time ever, they have been guiding those individuals on how to apply for pandemic unemployment. “With those orders, we can put a few more people back to work,” he said. “It’s a little something and it’s working out nicely.” Similarly, most staff members of Drifthouse by David Burke have been laid off; there are currently only two or three people still working, Burke shared with The Two River Times. Normally, there would be about 35 employees in the off-season and about 60 during the summer months. To support his staff members for the time being, Burke has kickstarted a “Feed the Heroes” campaign, where he takes donation money and buys food with it to be prepared and delivered to local heroes. In doing so, he is also putting his employees back to work. Last week, he was able to make a sizeable food donation to Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center, he said. By Allison Perrine