US Open champion Sloane Stephens was dumped out of Wimbledon in the first round on Monday as she lost to Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-1, 6-3.Stephens, who had not played a single grass warm-up tournament, looked rusty and out of sorts and hardly posed a challenge to her opponent.The 25-year-old recently finished as the runners-up at the French Open but she looked uncomfortable on the fast surface, moving awkwardly and failing to find the lines.Vekic, winner at Nottingham last year and a semi-finalist there last month, looked more footsure and aggressive, serving powerfully and forcing her opponent into errors. After breaking serve twice, the Croatian needed only one set point and 25 minutes to wrap up the first set. Wimbledon: Croatia’s Donna Vekic was the winner at Nottingham last year and a semi-finalist there last month. (Reuters Photo)Stephens showed some steel at the start of the second set, winning the first two games to love with some powerful serve-and-volley tennis, but she could not keep the rhythm going.Vekic, who played in three grasscourt tournaments coming into Wimbledon, won the next three games, moving nervelessly along the baseline and punishing less-than-pinpoint serves with bullet-like returns.The Croatian’s own demon — the double fault — came back to haunt her in the sixth game. She served two in the next game out of a total of nine in the match, to offer Stephens a lifeline.But the listless American could not take it. Her shots continued to fly wide and long off her racket and she produced 26 unforced errors in total in the match.advertisementVekic earned her first match point in the ninth game when Stephens hit the net. Stephens saved that with a blistering crosscourt forehand and then successfully defended another two.She finally succumbed by dumping another forehand into the net on the fourth match point.”I tried to be aggressive.” Vekic said of her game-plan. It was the 22-year-old’s biggest career victory.(With Reuters inputs)
Grand Jury report on stadium revenue KUSI Newsroom, Steve Bosh KUSI Newsroom, Steve Bosh, May 22, 2018 Posted: May 22, 2018 Updated: 5:38 PM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A “simple internet search” possibly could have saved the city of San Diego $125,000 in commission fees for securing new naming rights to the Mission Valley stadium last year, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.The San Diego County Grand Jury found that city staff had the “knowledge and expertise” to seek new naming rights for the stadium. Instead, officials contracted a third party, Fox Sports College Properties, to issue a request for naming proposals after Qualcomm’s naming rights expired in May 2017 following the San Diego Chargers’ departure for Los Angeles.Fox Sports received a 25 percent commission for securing new naming rights to the facility, now called SDCCU Stadium, as well as for selling other stadium advertising. San Diego County Credit Union paid $500,000 to put its logo on the building, though rights only extend to the end of this year when the city plans to close the stadium.Officials from the city’s Real Estate Assets Division said they didn’t have the expertise to value naming rights, though the grand jury asserted stadium staff were aware of colleagues’ business strategies and “up-to-date market information.”“Even without these professional connections, a simple internet search provides numerous hits on the value of stadium and arena naming rights,” the report states. ” … It also may be argued that there was no established market value for the naming rights for a 50-year-old decaying stadium with no professional sports anchor tenant. It was a unique item in the American sports world, and Fox Sports’ market familiarity did not offer anything beyond the city’s own resources.”The city doesn’t have procedures for contracting requests for proposals, according to the report.The Chargers’ departure could have allowed the city to recoup advertising dollars on a stadium that has traditionally generated millions in losses each year, but the grand jury decided city staff ultimately “gave away revenue,” the report says.The grand jury recommended that the city establish policies for selling naming rights to city assets leased to private parties; for valuing revenue-generating contracts; and for contracts where a private party issues a request for proposals on the city’s behalf.City officials haven’t yet commented on the grand jury report. They have 90 days to formally respond to grand jury recommendations.The grand jury’s investigation into recent stadium management practices came after it learned of the city’s agreements with Fox Sports and the nonprofit San Diego Bowl Game Association, which was also contracted in 2017 to sell suites and press boxes.Chargers-held rights to suite sales reverted back to the city after the team left.In a hurry to sell suites for upcoming events, the city contracted the duty to the Bowl Game Association. Under the agreement, the city received 40 percent of revenue, the association received 30 percent and the event sponsor received 30 percent. From July to December 2017, the city received more than $152,000 from suite sales.The grand jury asserted the Bowl Game Association contract was unnecessary, as stadium staff were familiar with suites and past revenue streams.“Stadium staff could have begun selling suites for all stadium events at that time, retaining most of the revenue and thus offsetting a larger share of the suites’ O&M costs than was possible under the Chargers Agreement,” the report says.City staff also didn’t have authority to issue contracts to Fox Sports and the Bowl Game Association without first opening a competitive bidding process, the grand jury found.Staff assumed a competitive process wasn’t needed for revenue-generating contracts. A city attorney disagreed, according to the grand jury, because city code dictates contracts over $25,000 require a bidding process. City staff approved the contracts anyway in September without receiving additional quotes, citing a need to sell advertising before a busy fall event schedule, the report says.“The grand jury does not believe these justifications are sufficient to support use of the sole-source procedure,” the report states. “The certifications relied on the short time before the Aztecs season began and the U2 and Coldplay concerts, but did not explain why the city had been unable to act more quickly when the suites and advertising had reverted to the city in January and the naming rights in May.”
BALURGHAT: In view of the recent spate of attacks at state-run hospitals by outsiders, Chief Medical Officer of Health (South Dinajpur) Dr Sukumar Dey has sought 24-hour police protection in all state-run facilities across the district. Dr Dey has sent a letter earlier this week to District Magistrate Nikhil Nirmal, in which he has appealed for tight police arrangements in all urban and rural hospitals of South Dinajpur.Expressing his concern over the issue, Dr Dey said: “I have already delivered a letter to the DM of the district seeking round the clock police protection. We have the latest NRS instance in our hands.” According to him, the district Health department has urged the DM for 24-hour police deployment at Balurghat District Hospital and Gangarampur Sub-Divisional Hospital, along with Rashidpur, Harirampur and Tapan block primary health centres, located in rural belts.
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 7, 2011 Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read What’s in store for online businesses in 2011? There are several changes on the horizon, but one common thread through them all is the need for flexibility. Your customers are accessing information in more ways than ever, and their expectations are high. To meet them, you’ll need to be nimble.From mobility to scalability and security, here’s my take on the most important trends influencing online business technology in the coming year and what they could mean for your website.MobilityThe use of mobile devices will continue to grow. Your customers may be reading your emails and visiting your website on smart phones, netbooks or iPads. Are you meeting their needs?It’s time to start planning for a mobile rollout for your website. First, identify the types of information your customers want to access on the go. These are likely to include your home and contact pages, but each business is different. Restaurants, for example, may want to consider making their menus and events pages accessible. Online stores may consider a mobile commerce version. If your clients are business customers, you may consider offering support and other resources from a mobile device.Next, find out which mobile browsers and screen resolutions that visitors are using by analyzing your website traffic data. Use this information to decide on the various options for your mobile version. You’ll generally want to roll it out in phases and make time to test your updates. Eventually your entire website will need to comply with common standards, but tackling the project in phases will help you budget and gain customer feedback.Scalability “Scalable” is a techie term for being able to handle increasing volume and add-on features. Your website needs to be built with a scalable technology so it can change with the times. You may not be able to implement all the changes yourself, but it’s a good idea to be able to add new technologies when they become available. For example, many content-management systems have add-ons or plug-ins for mobile or social applications, such as a program that allows visitors to use their saved profile to register with your website rather than creating a new one. If you’re building an online store, be sure that the shopping systems can expand and tack on new features as your customers’ needs change.InteractivityYou’ll want to give customers more tools for connecting and interacting with you. These features will be different for every company. Options range from integrating more social-media platforms to adding videos. For some businesses, 2011 may be the year to create a mobile application. For example, you may want to create an app that makes it easier to motivate or consult with clients. While ideas vary, the goal is the same: Engage your customers and build greater loyalty.SecurityWebsites have become a target for malware through security holes. Even if your site isn’t an online store, it may be vulnerable. Talk to your developer about the recent threats and how to prevent them from harming your site. Just as you run updates on your computer, you need to run updates on your website. Setting permissions on your content management system will not be enough. Online stores also have new security standards to which to adhere called Payment Card Industry compliance. If you have not heard about these standards and you sell online, call your merchant-service provider to discuss the upgrades your site will need.
Air Canada inaugurates Canada’s only nonstop service to Melbourne VANCOUVER — A water cannon salute welcomed Air Canada’s inaugural Vancouver-Melbourne flight on Dec. 1, commemorating Canada’s only nonstop service to the Australian city.Flight AC037 arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which boasts 30 International Business Class lie-flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft. The seasonal service now operates four times weekly between the two destinations until Feb. 4, with year-round service beginning June 1, 2018.Melbourne is Air Canada’s third destination in Australia.“We are delighted to welcome customers onboard our flights to Melbourne, our newest destination in Australia. Our seasonal service will be of particular interest to Australians travelling for a Canadian winter vacation and North Americans travelling to enjoy Australia’s summer season. The launch of year-round service next June will provide additional options for business and leisure travellers between our two continents,” said Benjamin Smith, President – Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.More news: Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemSmith went on to note that Melbourne flights will complement Air Canada’s daily flights from Canada to Sydney and to Brisbane.“The seamless connections through in-transit pre-clearance facilities combined with our extensive domestic Canada and USA network at our Vancouver hub positions YVR to be the preferred trans-Pacific gateway for business and leisure travellers travelling between North America and Australia,” he added.According to Simon Gandy, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation, Canadian visitation to Australia is on the rise, with forecasts expecting a 10.2% increase in visitation in the next two years, growing from 162,000 travellers in 2016/17 to 179,000 in 2018/19. “It’s the perfect time to launch this service and we look forward to welcoming Air Canada’s year-round service in June 2018,” said Gandy.Flight AC037 will depart from Vancouver (YVR) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:45 p.m. Return, flight AC038 will depart Melbourne (MEL) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11:40 a.m. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share