Battle of Imphal WWII Tours expands into Myanmar

first_imgThe Burma Campaign revisited: Battle of Imphal Tours guide for Myanmar, Mr Yaiphaba Kangjam (‘Yai’); the remains of the bridge at Sittang (Sittaung); the Japanese memorial outside Mandalay, and the Taukkyan War CemeteryBattle of Imphal WWII Tours expands into MyanmarSpecialist WWII battlefield tour operator in Imphal, North East India, now offers tours into Myanmar to give tourists a fuller picture of the decisive Burma Campaign which started the downfall of Japanese imperial ambitions in AsiaBattle of Imphal Tours has expanded its tour options beyond Imphal and Kohima in North East India into Myanmar (Burma). The specialist battlefield tour company, founded in 2012 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bloody 1944 Battle of Imphal in Manipur India, now offers four itineraries in neighbouring Myanmar.The Essential Burma WWII Tour lasts seven days, the Chindits Tour eight days, the Leisurely Burma WWII Tour 17 days, and the Full Burma Campaign Tour 14 days. The latter trip has the option of three extra days in which visitors can cross from Manipur in North East India to Myanmar at the Moreh-Tamu crossing, a route rich in strategic significance during the Burma Campaign.Battle of Imphal Tours was founded by Hemant Singh Katoch who has published two books on Imphal: The Battlefields of Imphal: The Second World War and North East India, and Imphal 1944: The Japanese Invasion of India.“Myanmar and North East India are bound together by their shared experience of the Second World War,” said Hemant. “That’s why we now link the battlefield sites of Imphal and Kohima with those across Myanmar, which has dozens of historically significant locations. Only by covering both sides of the India-Myanmar frontier do you get a proper feel for the full drama and terrain of the Burma Campaign,” he said.Imphal-based Yaiphaba Kangjam (‘Yai’), the company’s principal battlefield guide, will lead all tours in Myanmar.Battle of Imphal Tours have linked up with Khiri Travel Myanmar, which will handle the logistics, transport and hotels often in remote areas of the country. Khiri has also built a strong reputation as a film fixer for British TV productions in Myanmar such as Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army, with Griff Rhys Jones, and Top Gear.“Many people in the UK and beyond have family history with Burma,” said Edwin Briels, managing director of Khiri Travel Myanmar. “We work closely with local people and institutions to help reconnect visitors with places that have emotional and historical significance for them. We also welcome anyone interested in a fuller understanding of World War II.”People and travel agents interested in visiting the WWII battlefields, museums, war graves and commemorative sites of India and Burma should visit which has specific itinerary information, photographs and testimonials.SidebarIn October 2015, the Burma Star Association awarded a Certificate of Merit and Friendship Badge to Hemant Singh Katoch, founder of the Battle of Imphal Tours, for pioneering battlefield tours around Imphal and Kohima. The letter of commendation was from Colonel Viscount Slim, President of the Burma Star Association and son of the late-Field Marshal William J. Slim, who had commanded the British Fourteenth Army to victory at Imphal and Kohima in 1944. The letter can be inspected here.Pull quotes“Imphal was one of the greatest Allied victories of the war, a turning point as significant in Asia as EI Alamein and Stalingrad had been in Africa and Europe” – Peter Heehs, History Today“The war in Burma was a combination of jungle war, mountain war, desert war, and naval war” – Col. Fuwa Masao in Louis Allen, Burma – The Longest WarSource = Khiri Travel and Battle of Imphal Tourslast_img read more

Zanzibar opts not to rely on tourism

first_imgOn the island of Zanzibar – run as a separate territory within Tanzania – visitors to Zanzibar grew by 14% in 2014 but locals know they must do more than simply trade on its natural beauty.Source: BBClast_img

Exploring the capital of Tasmania Hobart

first_imgHobart, capital of Tasmania, sits on the River Derwent off the coast of Australia. The city is located in the state’s south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River, with its harbour forming the second-deepest natural port in the world.Source: Expedialast_img

Arunachal Pradesh sign MoUs with key partners to boost tourism

first_imgThe Department of Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh held its first Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Conclave 2017 in New Delhi. The conclave was graced by Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, Government of India and witnessed a compelling programme of anchor events. The platform was part of the state government’s efforts to boost domestic and international tourist inflow in the state which received over 3.5 lakh tourists in 2016.The tourism board is constantly committed to developing the tourism infrastructure in the state through creation of tourism products that will attract and assist trade partners to provide unique offerings to tourists and put Arunachal Pradesh in the consideration set of holiday makers.Speaking at the conclave, Dr Joram Beda, Tourism Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, said, “Arunachal Pradesh is investing to become the adventure and exotic tourism hub of India. We have been organising theme-based events like the Tawang Festival, Ziro Festival of Music, Arunachal Spring Carnival, Adventure at Mechuka, Kameng River Festival. The role of tourism partners in building awareness and encouraging on the unique attractions this state offers is paramount. In 2017, we expect the number of tourist arrivals to grow exponentially.”In a pan India bid to formulate strategies and methodologies to develop tourism opportunities in Arunachal Pradesh, the department of tourism has also signed MoUs signaling strategic partnerships between four key partners to work together to promote and attract tourists in the pristine State of Arunachal Pradesh.Oxigen Wallet has signed on as the official E-wallet Partner for the department of Tourism and is committed to promote cashless transactions in the tourism sector of the state. Joining hands with them is who has signed on as its official Partner in the Online Travel Portal Category to drive tourists into the state. Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has come on board as official Partner in the Travel Agents Association Category. Fly Wings (FWSTC) who has signed on as the official partner for Hospitality Training will lead the initiative to assist the unemployed youth to get trained under the Tourism and Hospitality Management programme. The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) is the official Creative and Brand Development partner to the department of Tourism and will provide support in creating effective branding and creative campaigns for the state’s tourism initiatives.The combined efforts of these partners will harness the potential of tourism in Arunachal Pradesh and develop tourism facilities and various tourism destinations as per the master plan.The tourism industry in the state is well poised for growth and is looking for yearly growth of around 20% in the next three years. The department of Tourism in Arunachal Pradesh is working to overcome the inherent infrastructure challenges and transportation bottlenecks as the sector moves from its nascent stage into the country’s tourism foray.last_img read more

Freddie Mac Reports Quarterly Profit of 29B

first_img A turnaround in housing helped drive “”Freddie Mac””: to a $2.9 billion profit in the third quarter, the GSE “”reported””:[IMAGE]Freddie Mac’s net earnings dipped slightly under the $3.0 billion reported for Q2, but it helped keep the company from making any additional Treasury draws. In a report released in October, the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:–Freddie’s conservator–said the GSE is not expected to need any more draws from the Treasury starting in 2013.In addition, Freddie’s comprehensive income of $5.6 billion in Q3 allowed it to pay a $1.8 billion dividend on senior preferred stock.[COLUMN_BREAK]Year-to-date, Freddie Mac’s net income and comprehensive income totaled $6.5 billion and $10.3 billion, respectively, at the end of September. The company’s net worth was $4.9 billion, up $3.8 billion from Q2, according to the quarterly filing.””Freddie Mac’s strong financial performance this quarter was driven by favorable market conditions, including the continued improvement in the housing market, as well as our ongoing efforts to minimize losses on our legacy book,”” said Freddie Mac CEO Donald H. Layton.Freddie’s inventory of delinquent loans is at the lowest level in two years, Layton noted, and its higher quality new book of business now makes up 60 percent of its portfolio.The single-family serious delinquency rate was 3.37 percent at the end of the quarter, down from 3.45 percent at the end of Q2. While the seriously delinquency rate is higher than it was in years prior to 2009, it is significantly lower than the rate for the entire U.S. mortgage market-7.31 percent at June 30, 2012, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.Meanwhile, the multifamily delinquency rate remained unchanged quarter-to-quarter at 0.27 percent. Share November 6, 2012 426 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Freddie,Freddie Mac Reports Quarterly Profit of $2.9B Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers 2012-11-06 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

As Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Drag On Mortgage Rates Settle In

first_img Share Fixed mortgage rates showed little signs of life in the last full week of November, hovering near record lows as markets show heightened worry about the fiscal cliff.[IMAGE]According to “”Freddie Mac’s””: Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending November 29, up from the previous week’s record low of 3.31 percent.The 15-year FRM also slid up, reaching 2.64 percent (0.6 point). The previous survey showed an average rate of 2.63 percent.Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-index hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) slipped down, averaging [COLUMN_BREAK]2.72 percent (0.6 point) from 2.74 percent before. The 1-year ARM remained flat from week to week at 2.56 percent (0.5 point).Rates recorded for “”Bankrate’s””: weekly survey were similarly unchanged. The 30-year fixed average fell from 3.53 percent to tie the survey’s record low of 3.52 percent. The average 15-year fixed rate held steady at 2.86 percent.The 5/1 ARM showed the most movement, bouncing up to 2.74 percent from 2.70 previously.””The uncertainty of the fiscal cliff outcome has businesses, consumers, and financial markets uncertain and that uncertainty is good for mortgage rates,”” Bankrate said. “”Expect mortgage rates to remain at these levels as long as the fiscal cliff talks drag on.””The majority of analysts “”surveyed””: by Bankrate–70 percent–expressed doubt that rates will post any notable movement one way or the other in the coming week. Of the remainder, 23 percent said they expect a drop, citing the little progress that’s been made in avoiding the fiscal cliff.Regardless of Washington’s rhetoric, senior mortgage reporter Polyana da Costa says the power of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing quantitative easing efforts is undeniable.””With or without a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, rates will stay where the Fed wants them,”” da Costa said. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing November 29, 2012 413 Views center_img As Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Drag On, Mortgage Rates Settle In Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Politics Processing Service Providers 2012-11-29 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Connecticut Home Sales Pick Up Strength in June

first_img Connecticut’s housing market headed into summer with a promising gain in home sales, reflecting the spoils of an active spring season.Single-family home sales in the Constitution State totaled 2,799 in June, according to the Warren Group, marking a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago. It was the fourth time so far this year that home sales have performed better annually.Throughout the entire second quarter, sales totaled 6,679, down nearly 5 percent compared to the year-ago period.Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. explained that the rise in sales activity was expected as deals made during the spring selling season hit their closings in June, July, and August. Indeed, June sales were the strongest since August 2013, when they came to a total of 2,897.”The housing market in Connecticut is showing signs of improvement as we see the biggest percentage gain in monthly home sales so far this year,” Warren said. “While not robust, the Connecticut real estate market continues to show a solid recovery.”On an annual basis, home prices in the state came down 3.2 percent to a median $276,000. Year-to-date, the Warren Group reports the median single-family price was $250,000 through 2014’s first half, a decline of 2.0 percent from 2013.Shifting the focus to condominiums, the group says condo sales jumped 14.1 percent year-over-year in June, climbing by nearly 100 units to 760 sold. For the first half of the year, condo sales came to 3,067, up 3.8 percent.While single-family home prices were in decline, condo prices rose. According to the Warren Group, the median selling price for condos in June was 180,000, up 2.9 percent from June 2013, though the year-to-date median was down 1.2 percent to $166,000. Connecticut Home Sales Pick Up Strength in June in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharecenter_img Home Prices Home Sales The Warren Group 2014-08-06 Tory Barringer August 6, 2014 500 Views last_img read more

Former FHFA Policy Analyst Joins Collingwood Group

first_img in Government, Headlines, News February 18, 2015 526 Views Former FHFA Policy Analyst Joins Collingwood Group Collingwood Group FHFA Movers & Shakers 2015-02-18 Tory Barringercenter_img The Collingwood Group, a business advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that veteran housing finance policy expert Bonnie McCloskey has joined the company as VP.McCloskey comes to Collingwood from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), where she worked as a senior policy analyst. She is Collingwood’s second recent addition from FHFA, joining months after Meg Burns, former senior associate director for the agency.In her role at FHFA, McCloskey was responsible for providing oversight and guidance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on a variety of single-family policy and technology issues. Her work focused on creating new standards for industry information and systems utilization.Before that, she spent more than two decades at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), serving in a number of positions within the Office of Single-Family Housing. In her time at FHA, McCloskey managed all of the agency’s key technology tools, including FHA Connection, the Single-Family Data Warehouse, and the Neighborhood Watch system.In her new role, McCloskey will support Collingwood’s Risk Management and Compliance and Business Advisory practices.”After 27 years in the federal government I am excited to bring my experience to the private sector,” McCloskey said. “I look forward to helping Collingwood’s clients navigate today’s challenging regulatory landscape.””Bonnie’s experience at FHA and FHFA make her the ideal addition to the Collingwood team,” said Collingwood Vice-Chairman Brian Montgomery. “Her work spanned all aspects of the FHA business. Her expertise will be invaluable to Collingwood’s clients as they strive to be compliant with a myriad of regulations while also exploring new opportunities.” Sharelast_img read more

The Road to GSE Reform

first_imgThe Road to GSE Reform Share in Daily Dose, News, Print Features Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Reform Housing Policy Michael Stegman 2017-01-16 Seth Welborncenter_img January 16, 2017 854 Views (Editor’s Note: This select print feature originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of MReport magazine)As the United States kicks off 2017 under a new administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the government’s conservatorship of these GSEs have come to the forefront. What is the key to reforming the GSEs, and how can Congress determine the best path forward? MReport recently spoke with housing policy expert Michael Stegman about these questions and more.Michael Stegman is a fellow for housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. In March 2016, Stegman completed a temporary 10-month detail as the National Economic Council’s top housing policy adviser in the White House for the Obama Administration. Prior to his service with the NEC, Stegman worked for more than three years as the Counselor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury for Housing Finance Policy. Before joining Treasury, Stegman was the MacRae Professor of Public Policy, Planning, and Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Chairman of the Department at Public Policy and founding director of the Center for Community Capitalism.M // What do you think has stalled GSE reform thus far?Stegman // There has been a very intensive legislative effort in the last few years. Beginning way back in 2012-2013, there have been serious efforts by the administration and Congress to find a bipartisan consensus to end the conservatorships and create a more sustainable mortgage finance system that protects taxpayers and provides broad access to credit for all American families. That legislative effort ended with Johnson-Crapo, a bipartisan bill that was favorably voted out of the Senate Banking Committee in mid-2014. It was what I would call a centrist bill with a majority of moderate Democrats and Republicans supporting the bill and the more conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats voting nay for different reasons. The nature of the vote pointed out some of the real challenges of forging a more broadly-based consensus.Among other reasons, the progressive Democrats who voted against Johnson-Crapo didn’t think it went far enough to support affordable housing and guarantee broad access to credit for those with less-than-pristine credit who in more normal times prior to the crisis, were able to get mortgages. On the other hand, several Republicans on the committee who voted “no” thought the bill put the federal government in too prominent a role in the mortgage market and in supporting affordable housing. So, clearly, we’ve got a way to go in order to forge a broader consensus on how to end the conservatorship and create a secondary market that broadly serves our credit needs today and into the future. I thought it was very important that, in his brief public remarks, Treasury Secretary-designate Mnuchin put GSE reform as a high priority for both Treasury and the new administration. It will take strong and persistent leadership from the top to get housing finance reform done in the next Congress.Johnson-Crapo was really the only bipartisan bill that actually went through a vote. Chairman (Jeb) Hensarling’s PATH Act was voted out of the House Financial Services Committee on a straight party-line basis with no Democrats supporting it. To advance reform, one of the challenges the new administration will face is trying to forge a single voice in the Republican caucus about the role of government in a future housing finance system.Chairman Hensarling’s view is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be put in receivership and not replaced, and that, outside of FHA, the federal government should not support the secondary market through a government guarantee. The bipartisan Johnson-Crapo bill provided for a government guarantee of mortgage-backed securities, in which most of the mortgage credit risk—except under catastrophic economic conditions—would be taken by private capital. It cut back the government guarantee significantly from where it is today, but it still maintained a limited guarantee on the grounds that it is necessary to be able to sell mortgage-backed securities to investors in the global marketplace who are unwilling to assume credit risk.  Of course, a vibrant secondary market is essential to help meet the housing needs of American families.A bipartisan majority on the Senate Banking Committee viewed the Johnson-Crapo guarantee as striking the right balance between no federal backstop and the government taking one hundred percent of the credit risk, Unfortunately, the consensus was not sufficiently broad to win the day, so this debate about the appropriate role of the government in a future mortgage finance system is still ongoing.M // What is the key to reaching a bipartisan consensus as we move into 2017 and beyond?Stegman // It’s really too early to say for a number of reasons. There have been tremendous changes in political leadership in the White House, as well as in the Congress. The White House will be very influential in where they try to strike that consensus. We have a change in committee members and leadership in the Senate. We have many staffers who helped negotiate the last round who have moved on to other things. There’s a need for a lot of catching up and getting into the real, hard debate about the appropriate level of government involvement. In addition, ensuring that a reformed system will provide broad access to affordable mortgage credit will continue to be a very important element in the debate. That’s why it’s important for the new administration to make housing finance reform an important priority right away by encouraging Congressional hearings, looking at lessons learned, and seeing where that sweet spot emerges.M // Why do you think housing and GSE reform have been such hot-button topics of discussion since Election Day?Stegman // There are a number of people who have been associated with the transition, and that now includes Secretary-designate (Steve) Mnuchin, who come into this process with strong feelings that eight years of a conservatorship is long enough and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ought to be in private hands.I don’t think any of us, no matter what side of the aisle we might sit on, can deny that the conservatorship has lasted too long. Mnuchin has stated that, given his background in mortgage finance, he believes that decisions about allocating credit and making credit decisions should be in the hands of those who originate and make mortgage loans, and not the government, so fixing this problem is a high priority. I think that’s good, but I also think it will take some time for the new team to figure out what the right course is and how to get broad-based congressional buy-in to ending the conservatorship.Part of the reason for my saying that I think a bipartisan solution is necessary is that, while we might all believe that the conservatorship has lasted way too long, there are many stakeholders out there who think that from the standpoint of affordable housing, the status quo may be better than any legislative outcome they might expect to achieve. Consequently, if the Trump Administration doesn’t seek a bipartisan approach to housing finance reform, it is likely that any legislative measure that doesn’t adequately address broad access will be blocked in the Senate because you’ll still need a 60-vote majority. Presidential leadership is critically important but a bipartisan approach is, too.last_img read more

International Home Shoppers and US Metros

first_img May 23, 2018 466 Views International Home Shoppers and U.S. Metros International investment in the U.S. housing market is thickest in Southern California and barely visible between the coasts, according to the latest International Demand Report by report found that in April, Los Angeles was the top market in the United States for foreign dollars. Southern California had four of the top 11 markets for foreign interest.Typically, the top spot switches between Los Angeles and Miami. In April, Miami placed third in international demand. It placed just behind Bellingham, Washington, on the border with British Columbia.The Canadian connection is an important one when looking at foreign investment in the U.S. markets. According to the report, dollars from the Great White North lead the money investing in homes in U.S. metros. Combined with Mexico, which finished tenth in the ranks of countries investing here, North American investors viewed a third of listings in the United States in April. Northern Europe, which defines as Ireland/U.K and Scandinavia, was the second-most interested region when it comes to U.S. investment. Northern European investors looked at 13 percent of U.S. listings in April. Investors from Western Europe, France through Germany and Austria, looked at 10 percent. The remainder was a mix of South American, Australian, and Western Asian money.All regions showed the most interest in Los Angeles, according to the report. North American and Western Asian money, however, did concentrate a lot on the Northeast. The New York area was the fifth-most-looked-at region in April, its place sandwiched between two markets in Hawaii. Kahului and Honolulu placed fourth and sixth, respectively.Rounding out the 10 most looked-at markets in April were Phoenix, Orlando, Riverside, and El Centro, Calif. None of April’s top 10 markets are strangers to the most-viewed metros.The most notable shift in position was Detroit, which dropped 21 places in April. In March, Detroit finished second on the list, the beneficiary of a huge surge in interest from Canadian and U.K. Investors. The report chalked up the city’s sudden rise and fall to a spike in viral home listings that caught the eye of many in Canada and the U.K. “I was curious as to whether Detroit could hold onto some of that viral momentum,” said Nicolas Bedo, an economic data analyst at “Unfortunately, it did not.”Detroit’s ranking in April actually puts the city back to where it typically is in the realm of international interest. Bedo called March Detroit’s “moment in the spotlight. “But don’t count this market out just yet,” he said. “Sitting among the top 25 metros is a comfortable spot to be in. We’ll be keeping an eye on Detroit in the coming months.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img homes HOUSING International Investment Investors markets 2018-05-23 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more

The Regional Effect on Contract Signings

first_img Contract signings are showing some improvement and increased 0.5 percent in September on a month over month basis. This, according to a report on Pending Home Sales by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, sales dropped 1 percent over last year, making September the ninth consecutive month to record annual decreases, the report indicated.The latest monthly increase in pending home sales is a good, stabilizing trend according to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR. “This shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right,” he said. Additionally, Yun said that the thriving economy was yet to have a substantial impact on the housing market. “The general condition of the economy is excellent, it simply has not lifted home sales this year. Home prices are still rising, so people who are purchasing are still seeing wealth gains.”The regional breakdown of these sales gives a clearer picture on where home sales are heading. The report indicated that pending home sales in the Northeast dropped 0.4 percent in September and were 2.7 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index rose 1.2 percent month over month but it was 1.1 percent lower compared to the same period last year. The steepest flip-flop in pending home sales was seen in the South. While contract signings fell 1.4 percent in September compared to August, they actually rose 3.3 percent compared to a year ago. The index in the West increased 4.5 percent in September to 93.1 and plunged 7.4 percent below a year ago.”Lingering weakness from Hurricanes Florence and Michael held pending sales back in the South from last month,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, “Pending home sales in the remaining three regions were mixed but the gains in the West and Midwest outweighed the slight decline in the Northeast.  However, all three regions showed fewer contract signings than one year ago.” Share October 25, 2018 531 Views Contract Home Home Sales Homebuyers HOUSING NAR 2018-10-25 Radhika Ojhacenter_img The Regional Effect on Contract Signings in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Why Home Sales Are Surging in Opportunity Zones

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Why Home Sales Are Surging in Opportunity Zones April 2, 2019 917 Views Sharecenter_img Appreciation Capital Gains Tax Home Values HOUSING Investment Opportunity Zones Zillow 2019-04-02 Radhika Ojha There’s good news for some of the low-income and high-poverty areas that were designated as opportunity zones last spring. According to an analysis by Zillow, these areas have seen a surge in sale prices since they received the designation as investors, keen to receive a discount on capital gains taxes for investing within these areas, flock to these opportunity zones.According to Zillow, sale prices in all eligible areas “grew faster than prices in places that weren’t, but after opportunity zones were selected, price-growth trends diverged among eligible tracts.”The report revealed that areas that were eligible but had not been chosen as opportunity zones saw a slowdown in sale price appreciation, while prices in designated opportunity zones grew by more than 20 percent annually.The government’s opportunity zones program is intended to revitalize low-income or high-poverty areas by spurring investments in them. The report indicated that of the tens of thousands of eligible census tracts, 8,700 areas across the country were selected by state governors and certified by the Treasury Department as opportunity zones.Since there are no rules that investments must be spread equally across the zones, the report indicated that some opportunity zones could see more residential real estate development activity than others.”Proponents argue that a lot of the money generated as capital gains could be used as seed money [to revitalize] traditionally neglected communities. But whether this tax break will direct funds to the communities that need them the most–or what happens when the money arrives–remain open questions,” said Alexander Casey, Policy Advisor for Zillow. “But what’s clear in the meantime is that among the vast array of neighborhoods selected as opportunity zones we’ve witnessed wildly different housing market trends up to this point, which might hint at the future of these communities.”The analysis also looked at the top 10 Zones that were hot for investments. According to Zillow’s research, five of the 10 opportunity zones “primed for investment” are in New York. Of these, four are in Brooklyn and one is in Queens.It noted that Boston metro opportunity zones had the “highest average rank among all zones included in the analysis.” With two other metros among the 10 highest averages, Massachusetts had the highest statewide average rank.Click here to see the full rankings of opportunity zones. To read more about opportunity zone investment, click here.last_img read more

Miraculous mangoes How the fruit is advancing pla

first_img Miraculous mangoes: How the fruit is advancing pla … Some importers claim this season was a bit of Boy Crying Wolf, noting that Peruvian growers always say volumes will be 30% less, and it’s not often the case …..until this season.  This prediction has taken many “by surprise”. But I would argue, that the signs were there, as many in the organic side of the spectrum have been feeling this since the beginning of Peru’s pre-season. The market has also had consistently high prices all season long, with relatively few large dips and drops as is customary with the conventional side of Peru, which should have been an extra indicator. Consumer demand and overall excitement wasn’t in line with the rapid upward trajectory that mangoes had been experiencing, which was also curious.My experience with Peruvian mango growers (organic, keep in mind) is that growers have been struggling for years to make ends meet and be profitable. The costs continue to rise on the production and export side and simultaneously they are continuously squeezed on price globally.The advantage that fair-trade used to have in terms of capturing a greater piece of market share for Peruvian growers, especially in Europe is long gone, and so are the minimum price guarantees. Most the fair-trade organizations dropped the minimum price requirement on mangoes, as they have on most commodities, realizing the market has difficulty actually paying them. This made things worse for Peruvian growers especially the organic farmers, most of which have been certified fair-trade for many years mainly for the European export markets, which is still a focal point for exporters.Peru has invested heavily in shipping mangoes to Europe, and a greater amount of production volumes have continued to be diverted there. Peruvian growers are feeling the squeeze price wise in Europe as well, but the markets there continue to pay greater returns than US markets. There has also been significant increase on airfreight fruit, that’s picked at a later date than container fruit giving consumers a better eating experience. Many exporters can thus ship more directly (direct trade) to customers and capture larger market shares. There is no significant similar market  in the USA where consumers will pay a higher price for a mango that has matured on the tree.I also just learned, from one importer, that the Peruvian IQF industry has expanded considerably and that has an impact on overall volumes decreasing as more growers squeezed in years past have found business by staying inside the country.  Its reminiscent of the organic and fair-trade pineapple growers in Ecuador, years back, when they stopped shipping to the US market because of significant quality rejections and much financial loss. They were suffering a great deal and began investing in the local processing sector for dried and IQF- for export. Today it’s a thriving business and not much fresh is exported. Most people don’t even know Ecuador is a major organic and fair-trade pineapple producer, as the majority of production is sold into the dried and IQF sector and processed locally. The change offered growers less risk. The stability allowed them the ability to improve quality and overall margins and have better livelihoods.The bottom line for the Peru season is that by the second week of February nothing significant will be incoming into the USA or Canada in terms of volume, this is for conventional and organic fruit.Nicaragua: Is typically the first to come on the market with round mangoes as we transition out of Peru. Not only are these mangoes significantly delayed in general, but most of the orchards have not been well cared for and quality is expected to be substandard throughout the season. The local mango industry chose not to chemically induce flowering, as is customary in conventional mangoes and allowed the orchards to bloom naturally.  Fruit, therefore, is not expected to hit market until mid-march.  Nicaragua will not have any significant volume or quality this season.  Political issues coupled with several years of scanty returns are to blame, reminding again of how the industry can randomly get squeezed back. Nicaragua produces conventional fruit only.Guatemala: Generally, follows Nicaragua and effectively starts around the same time Mexico typically does, early March.  This year, mostly due to colder weather, the season is about 2-3  weeks late with lower onset volumes. The majority of growers and importers site there is a lot of fruit coming, but it will be late and on the smaller side, size wise. Guatemalan fruit is expected to hit the market around the last week of March. Some insignificant volumes are possible in mid-March. Guatemala produces conventional fruit only.Mexico: Is an interesting mango region because technically it consists of about 7 regions, with production in over 10 Mexican states, stretching up the entire length of Mexico, almost 2,400+ miles. Peru, and Ecuador have growing regions that stretch only about 200-300 miles in comparison. In addition, in each growing region there are numerous sub regions and once Mexico starts, more and more regions come on, with several producing simultaneously. The onset is always limited and in years when Peru ends early and Central America starts late, tremendous pressure is put on the Mexican system. This will be one of those seasons.Typically, Mexico starts in late January with the Ataulfo mangoes, which are the earliest varietal. Round mangoes typically follow about 6 weeks behind them or in March. Mexico produces conventional and organic fruit. Organic production exists in the following regions: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Baja and Los Mochis.Mexico- Chiapas/Oaxaca: I lump these into one because the information is similar this season, although often there can be variances in timing, sizing and volumes. Oaxaca, in particular can  suffer from an interesting weather phenomenon right before the seasons onset, due to the main growing regions proximity to La Ventosa.  This season, is not only happening on time, but the weather has been and continues to be cooperative.  There were some rains in December after ataulfo fruit formation that rendered quality defects in some of the earliest to pick fruit. We should see better quality ataulfos by March.Round mangoes are in order to follow on time and projected to hit the market in early March. There will be finite volumes, as is normal during the beginning. No exceptional volumes are expected on the round mangoes from either of these areas until the very end of March. Growers report predictions of lower overall volumes in these regions.  There will be less fruit and it will be larger in size. Some speculate, much like Peru the trees are moving through a deeper dormancy cycle.Mexico- Michoacán:  This region, generally, is a big source of early conventional round fruit that comes on early March.  This season, the region not only is late, but predicted to be lower in volume due to rains that occurred during the flowering process, which has the tendency to knock down the blooms which potentially become the fruit. The orchards here have also seen a lot more vegetative growth, which potentially signals that dormancy notion. A lot of small fruit (this region is notorious for smaller fruit) will come from this region in mid-April and May.Mexico- Nayarit & Sinaloa:  Looking ahead it hard to predict. Most of the fruit in Nayarit and Sinaloa is just flowering which at least signals an on-time season. Nayarit is currently expecting to start in April and Sinaloa in May. Since only 1% of the blooms of a mango tree turn into fruit, it’s still too early to tell how much volume is predicted. Not to mention sizing predictions. By March definitive answers on the norther regions will be available.We should all be using this time to promote and educate about Mexico’s unique mango varietal, the Ataulfo mango. There will be plenty of those come March and they just happen deliver one of the most incredible mango eating experiences on the planet!Round mangoes will come, in the meantime, share (information) and care (about growers) because the squeezed always squeeze back! February 07 , 2019 The Philippines overwhelmed by millions-strong man … You might also be interested incenter_img By Nissa Pierson of Crespo Organic Mangoes. This article was originally posted on Nissa’s blog, Under The Mango Tree.Weeks 8-12 are the problem. Last Friday there was an early morning surge of mango chatter amongst industry folks. A handful of the bigger conventional players released a series of statements —more like warnings, in the form of internal and external emails, the subject being massive shortages of round mangoes as the Peruvian season winds down and transitions into Mexican and Central American fruit.I wasn’t surprised by these announcements, as I had indicated similar impending market pressures a few weeks back when writing about the Crespo Season Start. But the news was surprising, even for me,  because,  before now, no one had been this specific in terms of the conventional market and the mass shortages expected.As the conventional side of the business began accumulating and communicating the latest information provided growers by Peru, Mexico and Central America, it was clear. A shortage is coming and it will affect anyone remotely involved with the fresh mango category.The Peruvian growers were finally forthcoming and clear; there isn’t more fruit to pick and ship and the season will end much sooner than expected. This promoted the conventional sector to look for immediate needs and upped orders from Mexico and Central America; only to find out that would also arrive with challenges.The early spring regions, all of them, have various problems are  either late, or have minimal to no volumes. The alarming emails sent out, siting more clearly than ever, “ the Peru mango season is winding down faster than anticipated” and “the last 24 hours have been a series of disappointing calls with Peruvian growers about volumes dropping sooner than expected”. Everyone began warning of serious shortages from mid-February through the end of March.My phone began to ring off the hook. Customers, industry press and competitors asking what I knew about the brouhaha and the pandemonium that seemed looming in mangoes. I didn’t know much as I hadn’t heard anyone but me speaking to this vocally, but that is often the case, we are all afraid of problems in this industry and the all too common “ostrich move” (head in the sand) is often the reaction in the initial stages of forthcoming problems.So, I did what I do best (not the ostrich move) — I investigated, asked questions (to the right people, in the right place), gathered intel, made sure the intel was factual, USEFUL and RELEVANT and now, I’m sharing it. Playing on my belief that more information shared is the best method for the system as a whole, regardless if you play in the organic, conventional, grower, buyer or seller sector.The individual circumstances of other sectors of each commodity can often seem far off or unconnected to our own work within the commodity, but it’s all connected and it’s always relevant. What happens at a fruit’s point of origin, whether it be weather, gasoline prices or worker well-being, has implications that affect us all and what those outside the origin do about it, shapes the market and our potential for success and failure.It’s impossible to work in organics, let alone thrive, and not be affected by the conventional world of each commodity, to not be attuned to its nuances and happenings is dangerous. We may differentiate organic from conventional in terms of register price, plu stickers and life choices, but in the fields and in the markets, organic production doesn’t exist and thrive in a vacuum. So the trouble ahead concerns me.A tumultuous spring indeed looms in mangoes and even thoughts its genesis is in the conventional world, the organic market will face tremendous pressure.It’s important we all know the facts and ideally cooperate the best we can to keep the markets stable during  these upcoming 4-5 weeks. The greatest fear for the conventional market is that the squeezed will squeeze back. It’s hard to blame them if they do, but my experience with growers is that they are rarely the greediest in the chain.Here’s what we knowPeru: There are several interesting factors when it comes to Peru and the rapidly dwindling volumes of mangoes that should have sustained the markets through mid-march.  I reported for Organic Produce Network, back in October of 2018 ,that many growers were predicting about 30% less volume overall, siting the trees going into a deeper dormancy period, (also predicted to be happening in Mexico this season).  According to a few I spoke with most importers didn’t believe the pre-warning of lower volumes, siting “growers always say that”.To my understanding a natural dormancy period in mangoes happens when the trees don’t have any growth activity about 3-5 months after flushing, which is marked by the emergence of new shoots from old shoot terminals. The period of dormancy is a pre-condition for the flowering stage, and the time frame of dormancy typically differs per varietal. In commercially grown mangoes, according to a few growers, every 3-4 years the trees move into a deeper dormancy stage and produce less volume. This extra deep dormancy is typically triggered by things like lower temperatures and/or drought (Peru had both of these in that time frame). Dormancy periods aren’t necessarily a bad thing, the trees engage in building up their structures so that future seasons can produce more fruit. Unpredictable climate change in Peru has created a much more difficult environment in which to predict the direction of the orchards.The heavy rains that are now more common in Peru in February and March have also made it difficult for Peru to deliver consistent quality.  A lot of growers try and pick fruit before the rain comes, as they have this season, “trying to stay ahead of the weather and most the fields in Puira and Motupe have now  been cleaned out”, according to one importer who also reminds of the already 30-40% less volumes in general. Guatemalan mango exports to U.S. get underway in … Japan: Pair of premium mangoes sell for record US$ …last_img read more

India Maharashtra table grape exports surge 20 t

first_img India: Maharashtra table grape exports surge 20% t … Inspirational educational seminar program set for … Inaugural Global Grape Summit draws large internat … April 10 , 2019 In fact, 21% of U.K. households have cut down on their meat intake, a shift likely due in part to popular campaigns like ‘Meat-free Mondays’, says consumer panel research company Kantar Worldpanel.This trend has already had an overwhelming influence on commercial sales–150 million more meatless dinners were sold in January 2019 versus the same month the previous year, adds Kantar.What’s more, its findings show that 92% of plant-based meals were eaten by non-vegans in the UK in 2018.Derek Sarno, Tesco’s director of plant-based innovation, comments: “Plant-based alternatives, in general, have become so high in quality that most life-long meat eaters are now including these foods as part of their diet.”We are seeing a new kind of shopper–more conscious of their own health and the environment and perfectly happy to make dietary changes such as becoming vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian to achieve those aims.”The rise of eating more plant-based food and people becoming flexitarian is having a massive effect on the way many people shop, and as a result, the retail industry is having to adapt.” center_img You might also be interested in U.S.: Walmart unveils plan to reduce plastic packa … In response to the rising focus on reducing meat consumption, leading British supermarket chain Tesco has started offering plant-based foods alongside meat selections in its larger stores.Included in the new fixture, available as of April 8, are vegan and vegetarian food products by brands including Heck, Vivera, Beyond Meat, and Vegetarian Butcher.The company hopes this move will meet its customers’ changing grocery demands.According to Tesco, more and more Brits are substituting meat with plant-based alternatives and turning to vegetarian or vegan diets.The number of ‘flexitarians’, or people who eat both meat and plant-based substitutes, is also growing in the country.last_img read more

ATEAustralian Tourism ExchangeTourism Australia

first_imgATEAustralian Tourism ExchangeTourism Australia We’ve been officially promoting the Australian tourism industry for 50 years, and the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is now in its 38th year. The stars of the show this year include the Great Barrier Reef, our unique wildlife – oh, and Chris Hemsworth.The partnership with Chris Hemsworth has proved a successful one, reaching over 5 million people through his Instagram stories and with a whopping 80 per cent of Australians approving the Hollywood star as our global ambassador.We’ve come a long way from promoting Australia by throwing a shrimp on the barbie and cracking a cold one, this year at ATE, delegates had the opportunity to do business with 555 Australian tourism businesses, including a growing number of specialist collections, promoting Australia’s best luxury accommodation, best golfing and fishing experiences, best wine regions and indigenous experiences, and new this year, best wildlife experiences.Twelve of Australia’s leading independently owned wildlife tourism experiences have united to form Australian Wildlife Journeys, a new organisation showcasing immersive wildlife encounters across natural habitats.The experiences represent a wide array of Australia’s landscapes, from coral reefs, coastal and alpine eucalypt woodlands, wet and dry rainforests, wetlands to desert sandplains and includes Arkaba Wildlife Conservancy; Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours; Exceptional Kangaroo Island; Exmouth Diving; Goin’ Off Safaris; Lady Elliot Island; Lords Kakadu and Arnhem Land Safaris; The Maria Island Walk; Oz Whale Watching; Premier Travel Tasmania; SEIT Outback Australia and Wildlife Coast Cruises.“Increasingly we see wildlife travellers that understand the unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss across the world and want ensure their visit is sustainable and where possible, include opportunities to regenerate natural habitats for future generations. We are delighted to have assembled a group of world-class experiences and guides that are addressing this growing sense of custodianship,” said Craig Wickham, of Exceptional Kangaroo Island and Chair of the Australian Wildlife Collection.Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said Australia’s offering of world-class nature and wildlife were key motivating factors for international visitors choosing to visit our destination.“Australia’s world-class nature is a major drawcard for international visitors and we know from our consumer research that for 38 per cent of travellers it is the most important factor when choosing their holiday destination, after factors such as safety and value for money,” Mr O’Sullivan said.The other star of the show was the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef has suffered something of an identity crisis this year, with widespread media reports declaring the Reef “dead’ following two bleaching events.The tourism industry has rallied, with the launch of ‘Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef’, headed up by Andy Ridley, founder of Earth Hour. Citizens of the GBR aims to engage people globally to act NOW, to do something about climate change.“Right now, the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef will take your breath away, but be in no doubt that the pressures to its future are real and immediate. Over the past two years the Great Barrier Reef has experienced successive major bleaching events and the urgent need for action at a global and local level is critical.“We can’t wait for someone else to take the lead, we need a massive effort at a global scale to protect and conserve the Reef.”In addition to direct intervention projects on the Reef, the organisation is mapping out an ambitious program to engage citizens through education and by engaging with brands and communities that are adopting circular economy principles.The Great Barrier Reef is not dead – it is alive and kicking, and still amazing visitors every day. Hopefully now, with this new initiative in place, people all over the world will also learn how their actions and behaviour – both directly and indirectly – can save the Great Barrier Reef.last_img read more

The FAB Awards a partnership between The Moodie D

first_imgThe FAB Awards, a partnership between The Moodie Davitt Report and sister title The Foodie Report, are the world’s only airport-specific food and beverage awards, reflecting the best in travel-related food and beverage operations worldwide. At the recent 2018 FABs, held in Helsinki, Finland, Kitchen by Mike at Sydney Airport has been awarded Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year.The first Australian airport concept, headed by internationally renowned Australian chef, Mike McEnearney, features a gourmet menu with seasonal produce by local Australian suppliers. Designed to address the limitations in healthier in-flight food options, the concept is based on Mike’s difficulty in finding healthy, wholesome meals at the airport that his family could take on board. Sydney Airport General Manager Retail Glyn Williams said gaining recognition for Kitchen by Mike at the 2018 FAB Awards reinforces Sydney Airport’s retail re-set – delivering the very best in global and local offerings to suit the evolving passenger demographic. “We’re thrilled that Kitchen by Mike has been awarded Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year in the 2018 FAB Awards, the unique concept is something we’re very proud of as we transform the dining portfolio across the airport and create a great experience for customers,” Mr Williams said.For those on the go, Mike has created Fly by Mike carry on tray-packs exclusively for passengers departing T1 International. Passengers can select from classic Kitchen by Mike salads and roast vegetables; light meat and fish dishes; homemade cakes and puddings and seasonal fruit to enjoy a healthy meal, despite being 35,000 feet in the air.Mike also recently extended his relationship with the airport by opening Kitchen by Mike Express at T1 International in the casual dining precinct before security – a speedy spin on his original concept.Sydney Airport was also shortlisted at the recent DFNI Global Awards 2018 for the ‘Airport with most supportive approach to travel retail’. Sydney Airport was the only Australian airport to receive a nomination in the same category as Singapore Changi Airport and Heathrow Airport. awardsdiningrestaurantSydney Airportlast_img read more

Bench Africa has launched a new agent portal in d

first_imgBench Africa has launched a new agent portal, in development and testing for four months and providing agents with a wealth of resources for marketing, training, group development, media and a new home for their popular Safari School training program.Agents can access all of this via the Agent Portal link on the footer of the Bench Africa website ( and create their own unique login on site without need for head office contact.Marketing collateral available to agents includes free to use editorials, graphics and monthly specials with accompanying flyers and Facebook tiles. Likewise, the wealth of Bench’s media content is also available including their virtual reality library for download and sharing. The newest development is the groups booklet, creating a new and easy way for agencies to develop their groups business.  Listing a series of popular group itineraries the new booklet acts like a travel menu, taking the hassle and stress out of planning group itineraries with the added bonus of no financial risk with deposit free itineraries.“It’s really making Africa more accessible to our agents so that they in turn, can make it more accessible to their clients”, said Bench Africa General Manager Martin Edwards. “As always, if there’s anything else an agent would love to have in order to help them develop their Africa business, then let us know and we will work to deliver it.” Bench Africalast_img read more

We still believe we can win football games on the

first_img“We still believe we can win football games on the back end of this season and be a good football team and that’s what our focus is,” Whisenhunt said.The Cardinals have been outscored 112-53 during the losing streak and rank 26th in the league team offense and 18th in team defense. Whisenhunt said it’s not just the responsibility of the veterans to get them out of this mess. “I don’t know if you point your finger necessarily at any one particular group or any one player,” he said. “We’ve got a number of guys that aren’t doing enough to help us win as a team and that’s what being a team is all about.”The Cardinals did have a few bright spots in the loss; quarterback John Skelton was only sacked twice, he threw for 306 yards and the defense recorded one interception. But it was the mental errors and lack of execution that they could not overcome once again.“We’ve got to do a better job of making those plays when we have opportunities to make plays, mentally doing the things that we have to do correctly. It’s really all we gotta do,” said Whisenhunt. Against the Packers, the Cardinals had eight penalties for 57 yards, compared to Green Bay’s lone penalty for five yards. Comments   Share   “It’s hard when you’ve lost five games to say that there’s anything positive about it because I don’t feel like there is,” he said. “Our guys have worked hard, I believe in the way our guys work, but the one thing I’ll say is they’ve shown they can do it. When we do it right, we’re a good football team.”The Cardinals’ coaching staff will have this bye week to examine film from the previous nine games and figure out what areas need the most work and try to make some adjustments in a short amount of time. Arizona will take on Atlanta Sunday, November 18. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals returned to Arizona Sunday night after another deflating loss, this one at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. That’s five straight losses for Arizona and the schedule doesn’t get any easier following the upcoming bye week with a game on the road against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.Head coach Ken Whisenhunt addressed the media in his usual Monday session and he still thinks he has the guys in this locker room to get the job done. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Which one is the real Kolb Is he a combination of

first_imgWhich one is the real Kolb? Is he a combination of the three?While Snyder clearly disagrees with fans who take shots at Kolb, chances are good they agree in one key area: Everyone wants to see the QB have a chance to prove himself, for better or worse. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling If only Adam Snyder had protected Kevin Kolb half as well on the field as he does on Twitter then perhaps none of this would be necessary.Snyder, who took to social media to defend the quarterback, is proving to us what I think we already knew: Kevin Kolb is a good guy who works his ass off and has his teammates’ respect. He’s incredibly tough and wants to be out on the field.The problem is Kevin Kolb is also fragile, and has not played more than nine games in any of his six NFL seasons. You can’t be a franchise QB if you can’t stay on the field, no matter how talented you are. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Which, even now, we don’t really know how talented Kolb is.At 28 and having been given a nice big contract, the time for Kolb to prove himself on the field has come and gone. The coach who brought him to the team is no longer around, and the general manager who signed him to that big contract is also unemployed.Back in May of 2011, I wrote that trading for Kolb would be Ken Whisenhunt’s ‘defining decision’. If it didn’t work, the coach would be out of a job. Well the coach is out of a job, so does that mean it didn’t work?Not yet. Probably.Kolb’s time in the Valley is not officially up, unless of course he does not restructure his contract. The thinking here is he will, though, because no other team is likely to give him a shot at a starting job this season. Because for all he’s done in this league (which isn’t much, really), Kolb is still unproven as an NFL quarterback.Snyder brought up Kolb’s “potential”, and said it’s the line’s job to let him show it. Without a doubt, improved play on the offensive line will go a long way towards helping Arizona’s quarterbacks look better.But even then, it’s fair to wonder what Kolb would look like over a 16-game season. All we have to go off of right now is speculation based off an incredibly small sample size. Last season saw Kolb play well (vs. Seattle, vs. Philadelphia), play alright (@ New England, vs. Miami), and play not so good (@ St. Louis, vs. Buffalo). last_img read more

Regardless of final score NFL preseason games hol

first_img Regardless of final score, NFL preseason games hold importance. Position battles and roster spots are won here.With that in mind, the Arizona Cardinals’ preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs gave Cards tight end Ifeanyi Momah an opportunity, and according to writer Bucky Brooks, he made the most of it.Brooks, in his players grades feature for Week 1 of the preseason, gave Momah a ‘B’ for making three catches (on four targets) for 31 yards. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact This is what Brooks likes about the 6’7, 255 pound tight end.The third-year pro catches the ball well for a big man, exhibiting strong hands and flexibility on a shoestring catch in Saturday’s matchup with the Chiefs. Momah’s length and athleticism should make him an intriguing chess piece for Cardinals coach Bruce Arians to play with on the perimeter.Momah will need to clean up his blocking to improve his chances of sticking on the roster. That said, Brooks likes Momah’s physical tools. If he can clean up his footwork and balance, he could be a nightmare to deal with at the point of attack.Of course, this gets more complicated within the context of the team . The Cardinals love how Darren Fells is playing as a blocking tight end. They also signed veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham to join a group that includes 2014 second-round pick Troy Niklas.Momah, who impressed in the veterans combine earlier this summer, is doing a good job of making the Cardinals’ roster decisions more difficult. – / 45 Top Stories Arizona Cardinals’ Ifeanyi Momah, left, makes a catch in front of Gabe Martin, right, during an NFL football training camp practice Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more