Joy Peppers Wed, 21 Jul 2021 22:10:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Joy Peppers 32 32 Davie Student Housing secures $ 62 million construction loan Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:30:00 +0000

Google Street View of University Pointe student accommodation in Davie at 6250-6370 Griffin Road (Google Maps)

Davie student housing complex has secured a $ 62 million loan to refinance the completed portion of the project and help pay for the final stage of construction.

University Pointe at 6250-6370 Griffin Road got the loan from New York-based Madison Realty Capital, according to Madison’s press release.

Construction of the seventh 96-bed building is underway. According to Josh Zegen, co-founder and senior director of Madison Realty, less than $ 8 million of the loan will be used to complete this phase.

The remainder of the loan was used to pay off the original lender on the first phase – consisting of six buildings, with a total of 781 beds – and recover some of the borrower’s equity, Zegen said.

These buildings and 31,000 square feet of retail stores were completed in 2019, the statement said. They are about 90% occupied, Zegen said.

Property records show that Nob Hill Partners, headed by Michael Konig, owns the property.

The resort offers one, two, three and four bedroom units with washers and dryers as well as shared rentals and shuttles to nearby universities, the statement said.

University Pointe is close to several university campuses in the Davie area. It is approximately 2 miles from the main campus of Nova Southeastern University and the A. Hugh Adams central campus of Broward College. Also north of the student housing complex is the University of Florida-IFAS Fort Lauderdale Academic Research Center; the Davie campus of Florida Atlantic University; and McFatter Technical College and High School, which offers a variety of vocational training programs.

Overall, the student housing real estate market was hit during the pandemic, although Zegen said the University of Pointe has performed well as universities have mostly remained open in Florida.

Among other recent South Florida student housing deals, CA Ventures purchased a student housing complex in downtown Boca Raton near Florida Atlantic University in January for $ 80 million.

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C3 questions the viability of old restaurants Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:00:12 +0000

As food technology platforms seek to turn the rapid growth seen during the pandemic into long-term sustainability, many are rethinking the physical space. C3, for its part, announced an investment of $ 80 million earlier this month to increase its global presence and develop its technology, following a $ 100 million deal in June to bring 40 of its brands restaurants in Saudi Arabia. The company, which started with virtual restaurant concepts prepared in ghost kitchens, has established physical spaces for its brands, including omnichannel food lobbies. Now, the company believes that its model, integrating a wide range of catering concepts in small physical spaces, will become the norm.

“Food brands are starting to realize… that current food courts are severely underutilized and can generate a staggering amount of additional revenue from the ghost kitchen model,” C3 CEO Sam Nazarian told PYMNTS in a report. interview. “As we move into a post-pandemic era, we’re going to see many other brick-and-mortar concepts exploiting an additional eight to 10 brands of delivery only through ghost or digital kitchens.”

The ghost kitchen space is certainly growing, with large restaurant companies adding new virtual locations by the hundreds and adding new brands to their lists. Additionally, many restaurants use the delivery model only to test new concepts and locations without the capital expense traditionally associated with such a business. Meanwhile, consumer goods and food delivery service Gopuff has just announced its own delivery kitchens solely with the aim of integrating its offerings more deeply into the daily routines of consumers.

Take the world

The company is growing very rapidly in the United States, with this already rapid expansion accelerated by its recent partnership with the Point of Sale Integration (POS) company Chowly, which aims to grow C3’s digital brand locations in the United States to 1,000 by the end of 2021 and to 12,000 international locations by 2023.

“Introducing completely new restaurant brands to the market certainly presents challenges in any region – at home or abroad, for the first time,” said Nazarian. However, he said, given the “steadfast cult” that the company’s culinary brands have built in the United States, the company is “confident” in the ability of its brands to gain a foothold in the Middle East. and in North Africa (MENA).

He believes that the success of these restaurant brands in the region will be aided by the cultural cache of American food for many of the residents of those countries, especially those who may have traveled the world. Nazarian said, “Residents of the MENA region have developed an affinity for American-style fares through their international travel.”

Follow the path of Dodo

C3 does not believe that the traditional restaurant model will be viable in the future and that dining on site will only function as one of the many channels for food brands.

“Old restaurants will not be able to survive for years to come if they are not equipped to meet the dining demands of millennials and Gen Z,” he said, “so they will have to adapt their business models. and their current structures to be technological – moving forward to succeed.

For now, at least, the data suggests dinner is back. Open table reports that as of Tuesday, July 20, seats in the United States and around the world have fully recovered to 2019 levels. Yet consumers are looking for digital channels much more than they were before the pandemic. The PYMNTS study, The Bring-It-To-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces And Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce, created in collaboration with Carat through Fiserv, finds that nearly half of all consumers buy food from a restaurant’s website and have it delivered to their homes a little or much more often than before the pandemic.

“I expect more restaurants to focus on improving their technology in the coming years to create an equally immersive and personalized experience online and through delivery apps as they do at the restaurant itself.” Nazarian said.

New channels, new spaces

Nazarian believes the physical spaces of restaurants will transform to reflect “increased interest in delivery” which he says “will remain a culinary trend for some time.”

Indeed, the PYMNTS research of the July edition of Delivering On Restaurant Rewards, a PYMNTS and Paytronix The collaboration finds that 87 percent of financially well-off consumers and 90 percent of those whose finances are recovering plan to maintain some or all of their online ordering habits in the future.

He predicts that many restaurants will redesign their loading stations where drivers pick up delivery orders so that this process runs faster and doesn’t interrupt the flow of customers to the store. Additionally, he believes pickup stations will undergo a similar overhaul that will reflect the growing space the channel takes up in many brands’ sales mixes.

He predicted, “A lot of times a take out or take out section was an afterthought thrown into a corner, and we expect them to take up even more space in future dining spaces.”

With these physical updates, the physical spaces of omnichannel-driven restaurants can begin to reflect the radical changes that the digital shift has brought to the industry.



About the study: UK consumers see local purchases as essential for both supporting the economy and preserving the environment, but many local High Street businesses are struggling to get them in. In the new Making Loyalty Work For Small Businesses study, PYMNTS surveys 1,115 UK consumers to find out how offering personalized loyalty programs can help engage new High Street shoppers.

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10 things to eat and do at Cheyenne Frontier Days Wed, 21 Jul 2021 20:54:34 +0000
A food sample at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Photo courtesy of Fun Biz

Eat and drink

Are you heading north to do your rodeo? Here’s your to-do list.

When one of the world’s greatest rodeos takes place in your own backyard, we say it’s the perfect excuse to get out of town and play cowboy for a few days. Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), the “Daddy of ’em All,” as they say, turns 125 this year and we’re here to celebrate. So dust off your hat, put on your leggings, and follow our tips on what to eat and do at the worst rodeo in the West.


Po’Boy Fruity Pebble Shrimps

It sounds crazy, but hear us out. This classic shrimp po’boy is breaded and topped with nostalgic cereal, resulting in a colorful, crunchy and original creation we’re on board with. Nathan Janousek, the creator of the sandwich and founder of Fun Biz, the food and beverage supplier for CFDs, says the combination works. “It’s colorful, it’s crisp, and it has the flavor profile we were looking for, like coconut shrimp, for example,” Janousek says. “It’s really delicious.” The po’boy is accompanied by a spicy vinaigrette made with sriracha, ranch and crushed fruity pebbles. For bread lovers, you can also enjoy the same dish as shrimp encrusted with fruity pebbles on a stick. $ 12; to be found on the “Get Fried” stand.

Elote dog
The Elote dog at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Photo courtesy of Fun Biz

Elote dog

For a premium take on fair food, try the dog elote – a beef hot dog on a toast topped with fresh corn, pico de gallo, grated Oaxacan cheese and jalapeños and drizzled with mayo. spicy, lime and Mexican cream. Customers expect more from their food now, Janousek says, even craving high prices halfway. “It has really specific, noticeable flavor layers that all work together,” he says. “The salty, the spicy, the sweet, the crunchy, the snap of the hot dog, the beefy, the juicy of it, the freshness of the corn, the toasted flavors – it all has to be there or it isn’t. is not true. $ 10; to be found on the “Texas Steak Out” stand.

Cheyenne Frontier Days
A food sample at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Photo courtesy of Fun Biz

The fireplace

This seasoned potato pancake is topped with pulled pork, elote, Oaxacan cheese, fresh coleslaw, fried onion chips, jalapeños and a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. The best part? Nothing is frozen. “All of our ingredients are fresh,” says Janousek. “We smoke the meats, parry, marinate and do everything on the spot.” Bonus: Ingredients are sourced locally from Wyoming suppliers. $ 12; to be found on the “Spud Ranch” stand.

The loop club

This sit-down restaurant in the heart of the rodeo serves Wyoming beef, bison, and chicken, along with live music and craft cocktails. It is therefore the ideal place to let off steam after a long day of rodeo. Pro tip: Brunch is served on both Sundays of the rodeo if you need a gore to shake up the Saturday night festivities. EntranceéThe prices vary.

Pancake breakfast

Enjoy a free (yes, free) pancake breakfast on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, courtesy of the Cheyenne Kiwanis Club. In 2021, the crew plans to flip nearly 100,000 flapjacks and serve 25,000 rodeo enthusiasts (still trying to break the 1996 record of 39,112). Release. July 26; July 28; July 30, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.


Rodeos (Of course)

If you’re wondering what it is, here’s your introduction: Cheyenne Frontier Days is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, attracting over 260,000 participants in 2019. Over the course of nine days, 1,500 rodeo participants ( and over 2,000 animal athletes) will compete for cash prizes expected to reach $ 1 million, one of the biggest purses in rodeo. From bull races to barrel races, the arena will rumble with thunder every day. New to the rodeo? Browse The Rodeo 101 page of the CFD to learn the … tricks of the trade. Tickets start at $ 21. July 24 to August 1, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Last cowboy standing

It’s the big one, where the toughest cowboys face off against the meanest bulls in a rodeo showdown against the gods. The biggest stars of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) world are vying for the title of “Last Cowboy Standing”. Those who can stay on their bull for a full eight seconds move on to the next round, competing until only one remains. Tickets start at $ 25. July 26-27, 7:45 p.m.

Border nights
Nights of the border. Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Frontier Days

Frontier Nights Concerts

The star-studded lineup of CFDs is what country dreams are made of. If music is your thing, plan your trip around a show: Maren Morris, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett and many more are on deck. Garth and Blake may be full, but seeing any act in the CFD stand is a big check on the to-do list. Ticket prices vary. July 23-25, 8 p.m. July 28-31, 8 p.m.

Behind the Falls Tour

Follow the path of the rodeo stars themselves – bulls, broncs, cowboys and cowgirls clashing – with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Falls. You’ll dust your boots as you explore the belly of the rodeo, and even end the tour with a walk through the arena. Release; meet in front of the CFD Old West Museum join. July 24 and 30-31, 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 25-29, 9:30 am and 10:30 am; August 1st 10am

Indian village

You cannot celebrate the spirit of the West without celebrating its indigenous peoples. Since 1898, Cheyenne Frontier Days has invited Native Americans to participate in the show and established a permanent area in the 1960s that now hosts Indigenous exhibits, stalls, and food vendors, as well as dancing, music, and shows. tales. Release. Open every day.

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Brown rice biryani and antioxidant curries Wed, 21 Jul 2021 16:19:50 +0000
Paneer Biriyani Brown Rice served by Biriyani by Kilo

Interest in Indian cuisine has increased due to its many medicinal cooking ingredients during the Covid pandemic

For world cuisine to be a pillar of the global gastronomic map, it must undergo many reincarnations. Every popular cuisine, from Japanese to Chinese, has undergone some revamp to be more widely accepted by food aficionados.

Often times, these changes involve merging a popular food ingredient or habit into the cultural embedding of the kitchen or reinventing existing staples with new, stimulating ingredients from other popular dishes.

It may be interesting to note that after adapting to modern presentations, Indian cuisine is also in the process of evolving into healthy cuisine. Some of the modern culinary thinkers are elevating Indian cuisine to be accepted as a healthy and restorative food option.

For example, Vishal Jindal, co-founder and co-CEO of Indian food chain Biryani by Kilo, recently introduced a brand new reinvention to their robust Indian menu – biryani brown rice.

To read: 5 Indian cuisine fairs to whet your appetite (July 19, 2021)

Speaking about new health-based Indian cuisine, he told the American Bazaar: “It is interesting that Indian cuisine is the subject of an interesting and very important exchange.

“While our food philosophy has always been based on immune boosting foods and a self-healing diet – somewhere the message has diluted into the din of quick curries and fatty kormas,” he says. “Today this change is the need of the hour and is sure to gain wider acceptance of Indian food.”

Asha Shah, Chicago-based Indian Home Chef and Food Columnist, said: “Most Indians today are well aware of how healthy cuisines like Japanese or Mediterranean cuisine contribute to holistic well-being. demanding more from their cuisine.

Jindal agrees. “Our annual research of food consumers found that during the pandemic, interest in Indian cuisine increased due to its many medicinal ingredients.

“While in the West people started to look at Indian curries as they were mixed with the powerful antioxidant turmeric, the Indians back home began to crave the simplicity of raw goodness in the food to boost energy. immunity.”

Read: After surviving Covid, Indian start-up Biryani by Kilo is finally ready to enter the US market (March 17, 2021)

“Our brown rice biryani is a phenomenal success, mainly because it blends the old elements into a new, healthier option,” Jindal said. “It’s our star product and health enthusiasts are now starting to understand that Indian food doesn’t necessarily mean refined fats or rich curries. “

Most modern Indian cooking experts believe that feasting on good Indian food shouldn’t be equated with a frenzy of guilty pleasures. It can be a feast with the goodness of health.

A clear nod to the global trend towards simpler, unrefined sugars and unpolished, cleaner ingredients are the new additions to Indian cuisine. Brown rice instead of the basic white basmati or garam masala while dipping more into the haldi takes Indian cuisine to a more global appeal.

To read: Biryani By Kilo hopes to double her income by 2020 (September 30, 2019)

But the most important thing according to Jindal is that the essence of ancient Indian cuisine and its tradition is kept intact.
“We are not building on global acceptance by renaming our dishes to, for example, Indian brown rice risotto,” he says.

“We are proud to call it the age-old dum biryani or murg biryani with a healthy, global twist and this confidence in presenting our traditional fare is happening all over India.”

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Shameless Indian food and a $ 180 rabbit in Dhamaka, New York – Robb Report Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:01:13 +0000

Chef Chintan Pandya has fun doing all those things he thought he could never do in a restaurant. Dhamaka, the sensational hot spot that Pandya and Roni Mazumdar opened at Essex Market on New York’s Lower East Side in February, serves food from the ‘forgotten side of India’.

There are regional dishes that Pandya discovered while working and traveling in India. There are uncompromising specialties of houses, street corners, alleys and countryside. Pandya remembers taking notes on some of these dishes years ago. But at the time, he couldn’t imagine a scenario where he would cook them professionally.

“These recipes are not intended for a restaurant,” he says. “I really never knew what I would use it for.”

But now in Dhamaka, after opening New York’s best-selling Rahi and Adda with Mazumdar, Pandya realizes that her patrons are ready for a more in-depth exploration of Indian cuisine.

“People have matured,” says Pandya, who cooks many delicious dishes that seem deliberately non-photogenic in the Instagram age. “Maybe this food wouldn’t have worked well five years ago, but that’s what people are looking for now. People really want this real food. People want this real experience.

The highlight of the Dhamaka experience is the coveted Rajasthani khargosh, a $ 190 whole bunny that can be extremely difficult to book. You need to pre-order it at least 48 hours in advance, and Dhamaka only serves one per night. Many customers order it weeks before their visit. In his rapture New York Times Examining Dhamaka, Pete Wells admitted that he had twice tried and failed to secure the bunny. New York magazineAdam Platt also wrote a glowing review of Dhamaka without eating the rabbit in question.

The bunny probably won’t win any beauty pageants, but it more than makes up for it with flavor.

Photo: Andy Wang

These reviews missed something spectacular. Each rabbit spends two days soaking up the flavors of a yogurt-based marinade with red chili powder, garlic paste, ginger, cloves and a secret blend of spices. While this is happening, Pandya soaks a clay pot in the water overnight. After draining the pan and adding a bed of sliced ​​potatoes, Pandya puts the rabbit inside with fresh sliced ​​ginger, green chili peppers, cilantro, golden fried onions, and broth and broth. flavored oil. He then cooks the rabbit for five and a half to six hours.

When the clay pot is carefully opened at your table, steam and an intoxicating aroma escape from it. And then you break the rabbit with pliers. (One of the first questions at our table is, “Who wants the head?”) This is an intensely flavorful and fragrant curry. The marinade and the slow cooking result in a spicy, smoked and tender meat. Sweet white meat is one with ginger, garlic, chili peppers and everything in between.

The rabbit, which comes with potatoes, bread, rice, and lentils, is an unforgettable family feast and arguably New York’s most important large-format dish since David Chang’s bo ssam. It is also a dish with a modest history.

“This, in particular, was a hunting dish,” says Pandya. “People would go hunting and cook whatever they hunt.”

Pandya turned it into a New York baller experience; a bucket list dish. But he wants to be clear: “This dish is for people who like to eat. He wants customers to order the bunny for the right reasons. He understands that some customers are intrigued by this because it is expensive and difficult to obtain. He points out that the price and limited availability is due to the manpower involved and the size of his small kitchen.

“The reason we make one is also because we want to control the quality,” explains Pandya. “We want the people who order it to have the perfect experience. It is an experience that you should savor for a while. It is not a dish where you go to a restaurant and you order, eat and go.

Pandya mentions a good friend and loyal customer, who is a vegetarian and wanted to order the bunny for his girlfriend’s birthday. Pandya refused to give him the bunny. Again, he wants the people who order him to benefit.

Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar

Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar

Photo: Courtesy of Dhamaka

In Dhamaka, waiters wear shirts that read “Shameless Indian” and Pandya cooks with confidence. He is fortified by his success in serving goat brain in Adda in Long Island City, so he cooks goat testes and kidneys in Dhamaka. This dish, accompanied by a thick sauce and dip rolls, is limited to six or seven orders per evening. Pandya could theoretically sell a lot more than that, but there is a limited supply of testes and kidneys in New York City.

“We literally go from butcher to butcher to butcher,” he says.

Pandya also asks Uber drivers to look for these precious offal when they are driving around Queens and seeing a butcher shop. Dhamaka clearly disrupted the market for goat testes and kidneys.

Dhamaka also serves pressure cooked pig’s head salad, which is wonderful meat, fat and collagen with lime, cilantro, onion and ginger. It’s a decidedly Indian dish that may remind you of Filipino sisig or Thai larb or Mexican street tacos, depending on your point of reference. Much of the food in Dhamaka knocks you down whether you’ve eaten a lot of Indian food or not. It’s like a particularly vivid kaleidoscope or a new collection of Farrow & Ball wallpapers. You see different shades of your favorite colors.

It is normal that Dhamaka is in the Lower East Side, with its rock clubs and concert halls. You could say that Dhamaka’s food is punk rock, but noise rock is more precise. Going to Dhamaka results in sensory overload similar to a Sonic Youth concert, where cacophony fights harmony and somehow they both win.

Ultimately, times like this only matter if the crowd understands. In Dhamaka, the guests do. The word dhamaka means “explosion”, like an explosion. But in Dhamaka, “blast” can also refer to the time that everyone spends. The brightly colored dining room, large patio and the soundtrack with Bollywood songs set the tone for this festive restaurant. But Pandya’s fearless cuisine is the main attraction, of course.

Indian food Dhamaka

A spread of Dhamaka.

Photo: Courtesy of Dhamaka

Pandya asked Indian customers to tell her that Dhamaka is the only restaurant that reminds them of the food they grew up eating. Indian customers have also told him that they are proud to be in a restaurant where so many non-Indians enjoy this food.

I look around the dining room, at a diverse mix of young people who look like they’re about to go to the club. I see a little older scenes on dates. There are large tables with families and parents with babies. Chef Hari Nayak from Sona, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ new Indian restaurant in Flatiron, is having dinner. (Dhamaka became the meeting place of a chef who was visited by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra from Wildair, Missy Robbins from Lilia, Alex Stupak from Empellón, Alex Raij from La Vara and many more.) stands up speechless when our rabbit arrives.

Pandya is lining up in his cramped kitchen that evening, but he takes the time to go out, greet guests, and soak up his energy. It must be great for him to go through this every night. He’s a leader with a clear message: I’m going stronger and more ferocious than before. You will taste the intensity. Hope you feel the love.

The audience in Dhamaka is receptive. Tables are covered with food, and guests smile and gasp as they tear up the bread and dip it in loaded sauces of the interior. Even if they don’t say a word to Pandya, their answer goes without saying: Yeah, buddy, we see you. We can feel you. This is why we are here. Bring it. Bring us all you have.

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Litchfield Park renames downtown | New Wed, 21 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0000

While construction of downtown Litchfield Park is underway, it has been announced that the project will now be officially called Litchfield Square.

With a 2.5-acre central park, the project is expected to include a mix of retail, restaurant, office and residential space in multi-story buildings on the east side of Litchfield Road, north of Wigwam Boulevard.

At the Town Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on July 13, Woody Scoutten, the town’s engineer, said the project would be divided into four phases, each with amenities to attract locals and tourists alike, like a pond, an event space on the lawn, a clock tower, a playground and a future amphitheater.

Estimated at a total cost of $ 26 million, the project has five categorized guaranteed maximum prices.

“I work with the contractor or CMAR (Construction Manager at Risk) engineer to come up with the most profitable project, then when we’re ready to start construction, the contractor gives us what’s called a GMP. , a maximum price guarantee ”, explained Scoutten. “So it’s a price that won’t be exceeded and that will most likely cost less because there are things in there like contingencies and allowances etc., but we know exactly what it’s going to cost. ”

With infrastructure construction important to the city, as designs are being finalized, financing options are being considered and developers are showing interest, Litchfield Park has contracted with Achen-Gardner Construction.

The first GMP, set at $ 3.5 million, began on July 12. The funds will cover the preparation of the construction site, the installation of the sanitary sewer system, the leveling of most of the site and the cost of ordering long lead-time items.

The second GMP will start on August 16 at a cost of $ 2.5 million. This will include the installation of the water supply and dry utility systems as well as the storm water collector and underground storm water retention system.

The third GMP is when Scoutten said the city will start building streets. The extension, roundabout and related improvements, as well as the first phase of the park, are scheduled to begin on September 20, and are expected to cost $ 7 million.

Scheduled to start in June 2022, the fourth GMP is set at $ 6 million and will include construction of the remaining streets as well as the second, third and fourth phases of the park.

Finally, a fifth GMP, set at $ 6 million, is what Scoutten calls the “finishing touches”.

“These are the things that we don’t need to install right now, but at the end of the day we want to have – things like the clock tower or the memorial items that go into the memorial park, the water feature, some of the main monuments, signage, the second toilet in the park. Things like that, which we will need in the future or would like to have in the future, but will only get there when the board is satisfied that the funding is there to pay for them, ”said Scoutten.

One of the features Scoutten said residents were excited about is the clock tower, which he says will officially be called the Paul Litchfield Clock Tower.

“The clock tower is in the middle of Memorial Plaza. We will have a Blue Star Memorial, ”said Scoutten. “The clock tower would be right in the middle. The initial design for the clock tower was approximately 30 feet tall and would be lit so that there was some effect in the evening. We will be able to spot it from different points of the park and the Litchfield Square district.

“We’ll have some, I don’t know if they’re plaques, but some kind of a way to convey to the people at the base of the clock who Paul Litchfield was and the importance of what he did in this area with cotton farming and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and all that, ”he said.

Scoutten said the Clock Tower, along with the whole of Litchfield Square, will be a great way to show residents and visitors what the city is and the rich history behind it.

“It is very important to use this project as a way to inform all the people who are going to come here about Litchfield Park and its history, especially with the founder and everything he has done in this area,” he said. -he declares.

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Sheriff loaned $ 29,000 from inmate money, Alabama claims in corruption lawsuit Tue, 20 Jul 2021 22:47:42 +0000

Sheriff Mike Blakely was in a casino when he called one of his employees and asked him to send him money from a safe belonging to inmates at Limestone County Jail in the northern Alabama, testimony in court revealed.

Ramona Robinson testified today at the Sheriff’s bribery trial and said on November 8, 2014, that she wired $ 500 of the inmate’s money to the sheriff at the Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas.

Robinson, who was the Limestone County Jail clerk at the time, said it was just a series of routine requests from the sheriff asking him to give him money from the safe- strong. She testified that she doesn’t know what Blakely spent the money on.

“I didn’t ask, and he didn’t say anything,” Robinson told the jury today during Blakely’s corruption trial in downtown Athens.

Blakely, a Democrat, is serving his 10th term as sheriff-elect of Limestone, a rapidly growing county in the Huntsville metro area. He is charged with 11 crimes of theft and abuse of power, including using his position for personal gain by obtaining interest-free loans from the inmate’s money vault.

Tuesday afternoon’s trial focused on the loans from this safe. Between 2013 and 2016, the sheriff borrowed $ 29,050 from the inmate’s money, state prosecutors said.

Robinson testified that Blakely was traveling to attend a conference in Las Vegas when he asked her for the wire transfer in 2014. The following year, Blakely had him send another wire transfer – this one worth of $ 1,000 – at the same casino, she said. .

When questioned by a state attorney, Robinson said under oath that she feared the sheriff would fire her if she did not do as he asked.

Robinson testified that whenever she gave Blakely money in the safe, she scribbled an IOU on a sticky note and put it in the safe.

Blakely eventually gave Robinson 19 checks from his personal bank account to replace the inmate’s funds, according to Robinson’s testimony and financial records presented to the jury. But Blakely regularly asked Robinson to keep the checks – sometimes for weeks – before bringing them to the bank.

Louie Wilson, a special agent in the public corruption unit of the Alabama attorney general’s office, said that in total there were 271 days that Robinson was holding Blakely’s checks to reimburse the safe deposit box of the detained.

Wilson testified that if these checks had been cashed on the day Blakely gave them to Robinson, his bank account would have been overdrawn.

For example, Blakely once gave Robinson a check for $ 1,900, dated March 6, 2015, to replace the money he had borrowed from the inmate fund, according to court records. At that time, Blakely’s account balance was $ 1,400, $ 500 less than needed to cover the check. But when Robinson cashed the check 10 days later, Blakely’s account had enough money to cover it.

Wilson said Blakely stopped getting loans from the inmate safe and asked Robinson to keep checks in mid-2016, around the same time the sheriff was depositing more than $ 900,000 into his. personal bank account.

No one told the court today why Blakely got the big payment or where it came from. But as previously reported, Blakely in 2016 received more than $ 250,000 in gambling winnings across the Tennessee state border, according to ethical disclosures he filed with the state.

“Is it illegal to win the lottery? Defense attorney Nick Lough asked Wilson during cross-examination.

“No,” Wilson replied.

The defense also tried to cast doubt on Robinson’s testimony.

Marcus Helstowski, another of Blakely’s defense attorneys, asked Robinson if Blakely may have requested wire transfers in Las Vegas to cover expenses related to his conference trip, or if other funds were taken out of the vault. -fort could have been used for repressive purposes.

“I guess it’s possible,” said Robinson.

Robinson also told the jury that she would sometimes cash checks for other sheriff’s office workers using money from the inmate’s safe. But when questioned by Kyle Beckman, a district attorney, she told the jury that she had never held checks for anyone other than Sheriff Blakely.

Robinson left the sheriff’s office in September 2016 and now works as a clerk for the Limestone County Commission. Beckman asked if his departure from the sheriff’s office had anything to do with the transactions involving the inmate’s safe.

“Yes and no,” Robinson said. “I just didn’t like it.”

Blakely is charged with six counts of theft in his campaign and the county law enforcement fund, and five counts of using his position for personal gain.

Earlier Monday, Blakely’s defense team grilled a state witness who is also under investigation for campaign finance violations.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., when the state is expected to call its 14th witness.

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El Jardin a Mole and more in Midtown Tue, 20 Jul 2021 21:30:20 +0000

El Jardin is a Midtown bar and restaurant that offers local Mexican cuisine paired with a family atmosphere and warm, friendly service. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri-Sat until 9:30 p.m.), they have indoor and outdoor dining with a new rooftop patio that accepts dogs and offers both sun and sun. shade, and even a dog menu. Owner Manuel Rangel started out as a busser, then became a waiter and then manager before buying El Jardin four years ago. He spoke to GT recently about his restaurant.

What sets your menu apart?

MANUEL RANGEL: Several things. For one thing, while most Mexican restaurants offer corn tortilla chips and salsa, we offer corn and flour chips, along with a free homemade bean dip for the first round. It contains refried beans, homemade spices and is topped with green tomatillo salsa, jack and cotija cheese and sour cream. It’s amazing, it’s memorable and delicious, and people often come just for that. And the same goes for our flour chips. And also, our margaritas are always made with fresh lime juice and agave nectar. We never use a mix – even our lemon and happy hour margaritas all have fresh ingredients – and we have a great selection of tequilas, too.

What are some of your star dishes?

Definitely the mole. It’s a family recipe that has a slight spicy sweetness and flavor all its own, and is like a big serving of love. It’s a brown poblano mole and we have two serving options, one on corn enchiladas filled with chicken breast and the second on grilled chicken breast. Our tortilla soup is also very popular; customers often say it’s the best they’ve ever had. It features chicken broth, rice, homemade red salsa, and tortilla chips and is topped with guacamole, sour cream, and jack and cotija cheese. It also contains large pieces of grated chicken thigh and is very rich in flavor. And if you like spicy dishes, try our Camarones Diablos. It is served with large shrimp sautéed in our Diablo sauce, which are fire roasted peppers in a butter and garlic tomato sauce. It’s so good and very popular with our customers, many put it on whatever they order and it goes well with everything on the menu.

655 Capitola Road Suite 102, Santa Cruz, 831-477-9384;

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Revisiting a utopian city with tenderness and fury Tue, 20 Jul 2021 19:57:10 +0000

While Walker and Maes’ story is inseparable from the nostalgia and naivety of the 1960s, as Kapur writes, it is even more entangled in the politics of Auroville itself, which was plunged into a crisis of identity after the death of the Mother in 1973. The ideological divisions go as far as the Indian Supreme Court: did the teachings of Auroville constitute a religion, a sect or a spirituality? What are the differences between the three?

For a book so diligent about context, however, Kapur’s lack of interest in Auroville’s colonial legacy is surprising, and his description of the land itself – “a clean slate suitable for the new world”, this, in the teeming state of Tamil Nadu – really surprised me. (For an in-depth treatment of Auroville’s colonial roots – and indeed the idea of ​​utopia itself – see Jessica Namakkal’s “Unsettling Utopia,” published last month.)

A stronger and more disturbing omission is Maes herself. The contours of her faith, her desires, her personality are not easy to draw and her contradictions impossible to reconcile – she who let young Auralice be raised by neighbors but insisted on spoon-feeding the girl until in his adolescence? He is a sphinx, reduced above all to the extraordinary fact of his beauty. Walker, on the other hand, not only left a cache of correspondence, but turned out to be a particularly interesting writer. Some of the book’s most vivid prose is found in its letters (a long quote comes with its dangers). Kapur has his talents – the story is structured with suspense, and I consumed it with feverish intensity – but he has a deadly attraction to the cliché. Men contain all the multitudes required in this tale full of “unfinished business” and “the wreckage of history”, in which “the wolf is perpetually at the door” and the seasons pass in the “belly of the beast ”(in this case, Harvard).

If there is one mystery to be solved in this book, it is not what happened that day in October 1986, in the hut, where a dying man lay and a woman who watched him cry. It turns out that what happened was seen by many; it was tragic and deeply unnecessary. The mystery lies in the provenance and the desire for this book, the reason, I suppose, for this proper reluctance towards Maes. This book has a real reader in mind: Auralice, who was brought up with a kind of respect and neglect that was not uncommon in Auroville at that time. She searched for food, fled to neighbors when the chaos of her house was too much. Living with her, Kapur has come to know the quality of her silences – “there are places we don’t go, things we can’t talk about,” he writes. “I guess one of the reasons I wrote this book was to break down those walls.”

He accomplishes much more. He puts this past in a kind of balance: he shows how to hold it, all together, in one eye – a people and a place in all its promise and corruption. It is a complicated offering, this book, and the artefact of a great love.

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]]> 0 Hilton Dubai Jumeirah and Hilton Dubai The Walk unveil family experiences for the summer – Hotel News ME Tue, 20 Jul 2021 18:43:35 +0000

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah and Hilton Dubai The Walk have created a number of family activities to experience this summer with a beachside break in the heart of Jumeirah Beach Residence. The “Family Experience” package provides an escape for residents looking for a long weekend or midweek getaway with the best available rates bookable through hotel websites starting at AED 550 ++.

The Family Experience package includes a stay in a family room at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah hotel or in the 2 and 3 bedroom hotel apartments at the adjacent Hilton Dubai The Walk hotel; the package also includes special gifts for toddlers along with a teepee and bedtime story to create an in-room camping setup. Children are also greeted with special treats – a coloring book and crayons, a treasure hunt map, and their own bathrobe to use during the stay.

Toddlers up to 12 years old can also stay in their parents ‘room for free while the hotel’s award-winning restaurants BiCE, Wavebreaker and Mango Tree Thai Bistro offer a special kids’ menu with dishes to please even the fittest. young foodies.

Located at 3rd Upstairs, the Hilton’s Kids Club is a wonderland for children up to 12 years old, and entertains young guests with a variety of creative and engaging activities such as craft sessions, educational games, sweet games, a wall of claim and more with a qualified team of early childhood professionals to ensure careful supervision at all times.

Family Friday Table at Mango Tree Thai Bistro Mango Tree Thai Bistro: The bustling Thai restaurant at the Hilton Dubai The Walk hotel offers Friday Family Table – a sharing dining experience serving servings of fine Thai fare for AED 179 per person for adults, while children 12 and under dine FREE. The site also offers this lunch package including unlimited homemade drinks, priced at AED 249 per person. Comfortable, warm and family-friendly, Mango Tree Thai Bistro is known for its daring cuisine and colorful interior design. The menu will include some of the signature dishes of the place – papaya salad som tam jay and tom yum goong soup to start, green curry gaeng kiew wan goong with prawns and Phad Thai Gai noodles for the main course and sticky rice with sweet mango to finish. with are just a few of the dishes to enjoy as a family.

Saturday Family Brunch at BiCE r Ristorante: Every Saturday, families can enjoy a shared Italian lunch at home for AED 179 for two, while the little ones 12 and under eat FREE. On Saturdays Famiglia at BICE offers an authentic family meal consisting of three dishes to share, including Insalata estiva, Insalata carpese and Bresaola start with. For the main course, Chef Davide presents an array of distinctive flavors and refined ingredients that characterize the cuisine of his country of origin. Families can include in dishes such as Pasta al Pomodoro, Classic Italian Beef Lasagna and baked sea bream Filetto di orate, coated in a lemon-honey vinaigrette, served with roasted potatoes. Weekends aren’t complete without a little indulgence, so to finish on a sweet note, BiCE offers their signature tiramisu, accompanied by strawberry ice cream and fruit salad.

The “Mum and Me at the Mango Tree” cooking class will take place every Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. This cooking class is a way for mothers and children to engage and bond. The 60-minute class, led by Atip, Chef de Cuisine at Mango Tree Thai Bistro, is for children ages 6 to 12, priced at AED 69 per child. Little ones and moms can look forward to having fun with the food, while learning about interesting ingredients, spices and recipes from Thailand.

Participants will learn the cooking techniques of some of Mango Tree Thai Bistro’s iconic dishes in each class. The menu will change weekly and feature some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, such as chicken flatbread, phad thai spring rolls, and papaya salad. The little budding chefs will receive an apron and a chef’s hat to use during the course. and a personalized certificate at the end to take home.

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