Churchill

Manvel, TX

#43 Jan 17, 2014
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry says he won’t be pushed into making a decision on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, despite pressure from Canada and other pipeline supporters .
crosses an international border.
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Kerry: No rush to decide on Keystone XL pipeline
Posted on January 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm by Associated Press in Canada, Keystone XL, Pipelines, Politics/Policy
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Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird (L), US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade walk after conducting a press conference in the Benjamin Franklin room of the US State Department during the North America Trilateral Ministerial meetings January 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. RichardsPAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images -
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry says he won’t be pushed into making a decision on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, despite pressure from Canada and other pipeline supporters for quick action.
At a joint appearance Friday with Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Kerry said he has not received a crucial environmental report on the $7 billion pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas.
Kerry said “a lot of questions” have been raised on the 1,700-mile pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada. He said the questions require answers.
Kerry said he “can promise our friends in Canada that all the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly.”
The State Department has jurisdiction over the pipeline because it crosses an international border.
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Kerry: No rush to decide on Keystone XL pipeline
Posted on January 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm by Associated Press in Canada, Keystone XL, Pipelines, Politics/Policy
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Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird (L), US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade walk after conducting a press conference in the Benjamin Franklin room of the US State Department during the North America Trilateral Ministerial meetings January 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. RichardsPAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images -
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry says he won’t be pushed into making a decision on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, despite pressure from Canada and other pipeline supporters for quick action.
At a joint appearance Friday with Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Kerry said he has not received a crucial environmental report on the $7 billion pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas.
Kerry said “a lot of questions” have been raised on the 1,700-mile pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada. He said the questions require answers.
Kerry said he “can promise our friends in Canada that all the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly.”
The State Department has jurisdiction over the pipeline because it crosses an international border.
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Kerry: No rush to decide on Keystone XL pipeline
Posted on January 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm by Associated Press in Canada, Keystone XL, Pipelines, Politics/Policy
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Kery

Manvel, TX

#46 Jan 17, 2014
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Feds ask Shell for assurances on Arctic drilling
Posted on January 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Arctic, Politics/Policy

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Shell used the Noble Discoverer to explore in the Chukchi Sea in 2012.(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators scrutinizing Shell’s bid to resume Arctic drilling next summer are pressing the company for more evidence it has fixed the problems that plagued its last search for black gold in the region.

In November, Shell Oil formally asked the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for permission to finish drilling one exploratory well and bore four others at its Burger prospect in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, using a newly leased drillship to replace the Kulluk conical drilling unit that ran aground in 2012.

Regulators at the agency swiftly asked Shell to provide more information to supplement its broad drilling blueprint, including information about how quickly it could mobilize a rig to drill a relief well in case of an emergency and what steps the company would take to limit risks to nearby wildlife. After Shell responded, regulators on Tuesday asked for more details in a document released Thursday.

The ocean energy bureau asked Shell to shed more light on changes under way to its leased drillship, the Noble Discoverer, which is being overhauled in an Asian shipyard. The Coast Guard identified deficiencies with the safety, pollution-control and propulsion systems on the Discoverer in late 2012, after the drillship had trouble pulling into Seward, Alaska.

Shell also agreed to pay $1.1 million in fines to settle claims that it violated air pollution permits during its 2012 Arctic operations, largely because of excess nitrogen oxide released from the Discoverer.

The agency made clear it wants Shell to demonstrate it won’t let similar problems go unnoticed and unfixed if it is allowed to drill in the region again.

“(The bureau) is seeking assurance from Shell that not only have the physical deficiencies been resolved, but also if Shell’s management (and) oversight deficiencies … have been fixed,” the agency said in its formal request for more information.“What adjustments has Shell made to its project management, implementation (and) assurance plans to ensure that operational deficiencies, should they occur in the future, will be quickly detected in fixed?”

The agency also wants more evidence that there is no permafrost located below the subsurface at its proposed drilling sites — a situation that would require the use of specially cooled drilling fluids to prevent melting.

And the regulator asked for more details on some of Shell’s plans for dealing with well control emergencies.

Shell declined to comment Thursday. But in a November filing, the company argued it could operate safely in the harsh Arctic environment.

“Shell … builds its 2014 plans on a solid foundation of practical operational experience in the region,” the company said in its integrated operations plan.“Assets have been carefully selected to operate in Alaskan offshore conditions, in addition to employees and contract personnel being trained for these conditions.”

Environmentalists have blasted that assertion, arguing that it seems to completely overlook the high-profile mishaps during Shell’s 2012 drilling season.

Shell appears to have addressed many of the questions regulators first raised about the company’s 2014 proposal in November, pushing the agency closer to a formal declaration that the proposed exploration plan’s paperwork is complete.

Once the agency deems the exploration plan “submitte
Sign In

Manvel, TX

#47 Jan 17, 2014
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Andy

League City, TX

#52 Feb 9, 2014
We have been in our house since June 2010. The overall experience was not bad. First house I'd ever had built. Fixtures were very cheap and when I expressed dislike for them I was told to upgrade would cost extra. After we moved in, I bought new fixtures and installed them myself for less money than the builder would have charged to change them. A couple of trim items were left unfinished and I asked about them 4 times with no response from the builder. Finally I had my lawyer call my sales person to express my feelings and possible actions on my part. These trim items were fixed the next day. It probably took all of about an hour to do all of them. Out side of that I've not had any problems outside of normal wear and tear you would find in any house. I've had to replace one GFI wall plug which I did myself. To me it was not worth it to call the builder and talk warranty. He is a businessman and profit is what he deals with, not the happiness of the families that buy his product. Really, no different than any other business man. I am very happy with my house and the subdivision. I am even thinking about upgrading to one with the extra garage for an RV. If I do I will know what to expect this time..
CaboMan1

United States

#53 May 20, 2014
God Bless America wrote:
Well juan maybe you make the homes a little more affordable,but you make that up in the assiatance you get from our tax dollars.... One way or another we pay for it....
Well maybe he should become documented. Undocumented workers keep labor costs down
Alison Sharpell

Galveston, TX

#54 May 20, 2014
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the mutineer on the Bounty, see Thomas Ellison (mutineer).
Page semi-protectedThis is a featured article. Click here for more information.
Thomas Ellison
Head shot of Ellison
Date of birth c. 1867
Place of birth Otakou, New Zealand
Date of death 2 October 1904
Place of death Wellington, New Zealand
Weight 86 kg (190 lb)
School Te Aute College
Occupation(s) Lawyer
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Forward and half-back
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
1885–93 Poneke Football Club
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1885–92 Wellington 23
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1888–89
1893 New Zealand Natives
New Zealand 83
7 (113)
(23)
Thomas Rangiwahia Ellison, also known as Tom Ellison or Tamati Erihana (c. 1867 – 2 October 1904) was a New Zealand rugby union player and lawyer. He led the first New Zealand representative rugby team organised by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) on their 1893 tour of Australia. Ellison also played in the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team on their epic 107-match tour, scoring 113 points, and 43 tries with the side.

Born in Otakou, Otago Heads, Ellison was educated at Te Aute College, where he was introduced to rugby. After moving to Wellington, Ellison played for the Poneke Football Club, and was selected to play for Wellington province. He was recruited into Joe Warbrick's privately organised Native football team in 1888, and continued to play for both Poneke and Wellington on his return from that tour. In 1892, he started to refine and popularise the wing-forward system of play, which was a vital element of New Zealand rugby's success until 1932. At the first NZRFU annual general meeting in 1893, he proposed that the playing colours of the New Zealand side should be predominantly black with a silver fern—a playing strip that would give the team their famous name of All Blacks. He retired from playing rugby after captaining the 1893 New Zealand side to New South Wales and Queensland, but continued in the sport as a coach and administrator. Ellison was the author of a coaching manual, The Art of Rugby Football, published in 1902.

As well as being one of the first Māori admitted to the bar, practising as a solicitor, and later as a barrister, Ellison also stood unsuccessfully for the Southern Maori parliamentary seat several times. After contracting tuberculosis in 1904, he was briefly institutionalised before dying later that year.
Alison Sharpell

Galveston, TX

#55 May 20, 2014
Barack Obama
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Obama)
"Obama" redirects here. For other uses, see Obama (disambiguation).
This article is about the 44th president of the United States. For his father, see Barack Obama, Sr.
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Barack Obama
Barack Obama standing in front of a wooden writing desk and two flagpoles.
U.S. President Barack Obama in front of the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House, December 6, 2012
44th President of the United States
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 20, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 13th District
In office
January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II
August 4, 1961 (age 52)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle LaVaughn Robinson (m. 1992)
Relations Stanley Armour Dunham (grandfather)
Madelyn Lee Payne (grandmother)
Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng (half-sister)
Children Malia Ann Obama (b. 1998)
Natasha Obama (b. 2001)
Parents Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.
Stanley Ann Dunham
Residence White House (official)
Chicago, Illinois (private)
Alma mater Occidental College
Columbia University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer
Professor of constitutional law
Community organizer
Author
Religion Christianity
Awards Nobel Peace Prize
Signature Barack Obama
Website barackobama.com
This article is part of a series on
Barack Obama
Early life and career
Illinois Senate U.S. Senate Political positions
Public image Family
First term

2008 primaries Obama–Biden campaign
Transition 1st inauguration Electoral history
Presidency Timeline '09 '10 '11 '12
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Re-election campaign (International reactions) 2nd inauguration Presidency Timeline '13 '14
Barack Hussein Obama II (Listeni/bəˈ rɑːk huːˈse&# 618;n oʊˈb&#59 3;ːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote
Disgusted in Lakeland

Houston, TX

#56 Jul 23, 2014
I bought a home at Cervelle's Lakeland subdivision in Manvel.

This house could be a nice home if the folks doing the construction
took a little pride in their work. The concrete around all the doors
looks like it has been attacked by termites. It's all crumbling.

The cabinets throughout the house are scratched, and the workmen left
all their scraps on the very top. If you climb on a ladder, you will see enough junk up there to fill a trash bag.

And let's not forget the yard. It's 100 percent sand all around. Getting the grass to grow is a lot of hard work. They must have found a bargain
on sod because the whole neighborhood looks the same: Malaria yellow!

The windows all drip inside and out. Call it condensation if you want, but
guess what? This is Texas, and humidity is normal. Must have found another deal on these windows.

The salesperson told us: Cervelle doesn't build a perfect home, but we build a good home. These are nothing but glorified track homes.

I'll bet every family that has moved into this neighborhood spent many thousands of dollars just closing and moving into their house, and many folks consider this their "last" move.

We all deserve much better than we got.

If you are considering purchasing a Cervelle house, I urge you to take this review to heart. Just go look how fast Section 2 is going up. Looks like someone has their pants on fire to throw it together ASAP.

I would urge you to look elsewhere for a new home. Sure, they offer the garages and barns; but just take a long, hard look at what is really being done out here. Hire a real inspector to come out and see what is going on between the lines.

One more thing. If you have the pleasure of speaking to the owner, you will find he is an arrogant SOB. He likes to say: "Didn't you have a final
walk-through?" It's yours now. You bought it. "

As we know, some things don't appear until after you have live in a place a few weeks. So, instead of a welcome letter from the builder you will receive: "You bought it. It's yours now."
SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Galveston, TX

#58 Jul 23, 2014
Less than six weeks before Labor Day, hopes for recovery at the North American summer box office have evaporated. The season is expected to finish down 15 to 20 percent compared with 2013, the worst year-over-year decline in three decades, and revenue will struggle to crack $4 billion, which hasn't happened in eight years. As a result, analysts predict that the full year is facing a deficit of 4 to 5 percent.
PHOTOS 19 Sequels That Outgrossed the Original Movies
Comparisons in North America are tough, considering revenue hit a record $4.75 billion in summer 2013. It didn't help that Fast & Furious 7 was pushed from July to April 2015 following the death of Paul Walker or that Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in early April. But even bullish observers are grim. "Moviegoing begets moviegoing, and we have lost our momentum," says Rentrak's Paul Dergarabedian. "People aren't seeing trailers and marketing materials. They still want to go to the movies -- they just want to go to really good movies."
LIST Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films
Although there have been no Lone Ranger-size debacles, for the first time since 2001 no summer pic will cross $300 million domestically (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent and Transformers: Age of Extinction hover near $230 million). May kicked off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earning $200 million less domestically than 2013's Iron Man 3; by July 20, the divide had swelled to nearly $690 million as revenue topped out at $2.71 billion, down 20 percent compared with the same period last year.
International returns remain strong, making up for some of the damage, but in certain cases they aren't enough. Spider-Man 2 topped out at $706.2 million globally, notably behind the $757.9 million earned by The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. "I would have liked Amazing Spider-Man 2 to make a lot more money for us than it did, but it made a lot of money for us anyway," Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
BLOG Comic-Con: 12 Events Not to Miss
X-Men is the only tentpole that has earned more than its predecessor domestically (X-Men: First Class grossed $146.4 million in 2011), contributing to Fox's best summer in years (it is No. 1 in market share). But Paramount's Age of Extinction has grossed far less than previous Transformers movies domestically, though it will be the first 2014 film to hit $1 billion worldwide thanks to $300 million in China. "Young men haven't been as enthusiastic as usual," says analyst Phil Contrino. "Maybe [studios] shouldn't just go after this demo when building their summer tentpoles." Female-fueled properties, including Maleficent and The Fault in Our Stars, have produced some of the summer's biggest success stories.
Also contributing to the malaise is a lack of family product (including no Pixar movie), the allure of TV and myriad ways consumers can view entertainment in their homes.(Laments one studio executive, "I wish I worked at Netflix.")
PHOTOS From Bill Clinton to Ryan Seacrest: 17 of Hollywood's Biggest Philanthropists
Filmmaker Jon Favreau agrees that the popularity of television and new technologies are altering viewing habits. "I think times are changing. We have to acknowledge that and not try to chase what used to be," says Favreau, who is currently prepping Jungle Book for Disney. At the same time, he said there will continue to be a worldwide appetite for big spectacle movies based on known brands.
But the Iron Man director is in theaters this summer not with a studio tentpole but with indie hit Chef, which has grossed north of $26 million to date, a coup for Favreau and independent distributor Open Road Films. With Chef, Favreau didn't have to worry about making a film that needed to have the widest possible appeal. "It didn't need to capture every person in every country," he says.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON
SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Galveston, TX

#59 Jul 23, 2014
SCARLETT JOHANSSON
SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Galveston, TX

#60 Jul 23, 2014
Domestic box office is down 20 percent in the U.S. as "Sex Tape" goes limp and, for the first time since 2001, no film crosses $300 million. Laments one studio executive,“I wish I worked at Netflix.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
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'Guardians of the Galaxy' Star Zoe Saldana on 'Avatar' Sequels, Marriage and Race in Hollywood (Video)
'Guardians of the Galaxy' Star Zoe Saldana on 'Avatar' Sequels, Marriage and Race in Hollywood (Video)»
Less than six weeks before Labor Day, hopes for recovery at the North American summer box office have evaporated. The season is expected to finish down 15 to 20 percent compared with 2013, the worst year-over-year decline in three decades, and revenue will struggle to crack $4 billion, which hasn't happened in eight years. As a result, analysts predict that the full year is facing a deficit of 4 to 5 percent.
PHOTOS 19 Sequels That Outgrossed the Original Movies
Comparisons in North America are tough, considering revenue hit a record $4.75 billion in summer 2013. It didn't help that Fast & Furious 7 was pushed from July to April 2015 following the death of Paul Walker or that Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in early April. But even bullish observers are grim. "Moviegoing begets moviegoing, and we have lost our momentum," says Rentrak's Paul Dergarabedian. "People aren't seeing trailers and marketing materials. They still want to go to the movies -- they just want to go to really good movies."
LIST Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films
Although there have been no Lone Ranger-size debacles, for the first time since 2001 no summer pic will cross $300 million domestically (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent and Transformers: Age of Extinction hover near $230 million). May kicked off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earning $200 million less domestically than 2013's Iron Man 3; by July 20, the divide had swelled to nearly $690 million as revenue topped out at $2.71 billion, down 20 percent compared with the same period last year.
International returns remain strong, making up for some of the damage, but in certain cases they aren't enough. Spider-Man 2 topped out at $706.2 million globally, notably behind the $757.9 million earned by The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. "I would have liked Amazing Spider-Man 2 to make a lot more money for us than it did, but it made a lot of money for us anyway," Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
BLOG Comic-Con: 12 Events Not to Miss
X-Men is the only tentpole that has earned more than its predecessor domestically (X-Men: First Class grossed $146.4 million in 2011), contributing to Fox's best summer in years (it is No. 1 in market share). But Paramount's Age of Extinction has grossed far less than previous Transformers movies domestically, though it will be the first 2014 film to hit $1 billion worldwide thanks to $300 million in China. "Young men haven't been as enthusiastic as usual," says analyst Phil Contrino. "Maybe [studios] shouldn't just go after this demo when building their summer tentpoles." Female-fueled properties, including Maleficent and The Fault in Our Stars, have produced some of the summer's biggest success stories.
Also contributing to the malaise is a lack of family product (including no Pixar movie), the allure of TV and myriad ways consumers can view entertainment in their homes.(Laments one studio executive, "I wish I worked at Netflix.")
John Travolta Hollywood

Galveston, TX

#61 Jul 23, 2014
John Travolta Can't Stop Former Pilot's Lawsuit Over Secrets (Exclusive)
1:44 PM PDT 7/22/2014 by Eriq Gardner
28 62 0 4 0 Email Print Comments (54)
UPDATE: A California appeals court allows Douglas Gotterba to challenge the validity of a confidentiality agreement.
John Travolta Headshot - P 2014
AP Images
John Travolta
Douglas Gotterba, who worked for John Travolta's aircraft company Alto in the 1980s, will get the opportunity to argue in a lawsuit that he holds no confidentiality duties to the actor. On Tuesday, the airline pilot was given the go-ahead sign by a California appeals court.

PHOTOS Hollywood's Private Jets: From Oprah Winfrey to Tom Cruise, Who Owns What
Gotterba worked for Travolta for six years. According to press interviews he's given, he claims that his relationship with Travolta was more than professional. He stopped working for the actor in 1987, at which point he entered into a written termination agreement with Alto.
Nearly 25 years later, Gotterba came forward to "tell the story of his life and those involved in it," including his personal relationship with Travolta. According to Gotterba, he was "unwillingly thrust" into the gossip tabloids by public revelations from another former Travolta employee.
Upon hearing that Gotterba had spoken to the National Enquirer and was planning a book, Travolta's attorney Martin Singer sent out cease-and-desist letters. The lawyer warned Gotterba about breaching the confidentiality provision of his termination agreement.
Gotterba's own attorney then demanded to see the asserted confidentiality provisions. He eventually saw what Singer was relying upon when the parent company of the National Enquirer forwarded the relevant portion of a four-page agreement.
But the airline pilot maintains that this agreement is "not authentic," that it is merely an early draft of another three-page agreement that didn't contain the confidentiality clause. So Gotterba sued Travolta and Alto seeking a judicial declaration about which agreement was valid and whether confidentiality was really enforceable.
PHOTOS Hollywood's Most Fascinating Legal Sagas, From Casey Kasem to Michael Jackson
In response, Alto aimed to kill Gotterba's lawsuit by bringing an anti-SLAPP motion. In instances where someone's First Amendment rights are at stake, California law provides defendants with an early exit as well as the possibility of recovering legal fees. In this case, the defendants asserted that Travolta's right to petition was protected. The question for the trial judge and then the appeals court was whether Gotterba's lawsuit was based upon Singer's demand letters.
California appeals court Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert says that it is not based upon Singer's "sabre-rattling" but rather "the validity of the asserted termination agreements." He adds, "Although the prelitigation letters may have triggered Gotterba's complaint and may be evidence in support of the complaint, they are not the basis of the complaint."
The justice says that to hold otherwise "would lead to the absurd result that a person receiving a demand letter threatening legal action for breach of contract would be precluded from seeking declaratory relief to determine the validity of the contract. Declaratory relief would be limited to situations where the parties have not communicated their disagreement."
Travolta's attorney released the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
"While we believe the Court should have thrown out Gotterba’s lawsuit at the outset, ultimately, he will not prevail on his claim," the statement read. "Gotterba points to an unsigned draft agreement, which he now claims is the controlling document in the case, yet he attached as an exhibit to his own complaint the final version of the contract that he signed barring his claim. We are very confident that in the end we will prevail in the action.“
Amaranth

Galveston, TX

#62 Jul 23, 2014
Amaranth’s Story: The Biggest Energy Trading Disaster in History
Martin Tillier | More Articles
July 21, 2014
Page 1 of 3
view all
Source: Thinkstock
As someone who made a living in dealing rooms around the world for nearly 20 years, the reactions that traditionally greet highly publicized dealing disasters never fail to cause a wry smile to pass my lips. The reaction of the public, politicians, and, most of all, of those charged with overseeing traders, is almost always reminiscent of Captain Renault in Casablanca. They are shocked, shocked, they tell us, to find that trading had been going on at the trading desk.
The simple fact is that trading involves risk. Bad risk management happens every day to individual traders who blow up their accounts with one overly aggressive or poorly managed position, and it occasionally happens to those paid to risk other people’s money, as well. When it happens to the pros, though, the enormous access they have to leverage, exaggerates the effects.
In the energy markets, that leverage is ever present, as most trading is done via futures contracts and other derivatives. As a result, some of the most spectacular blowups in trading history have involved energy. Admittedly there hasn’t been one for a while, but given the recent interest in the energy markets, we are probably due one before too long. In case we forgot the lessons that we should have learned, this may be an opportune time to look back at the biggest energy trading disaster in history: the saga of Amaranth Advisors.
In August 2006, Amaranth, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, had nearly $10 billion in assets. One month later, it was unwinding a huge natural gas futures position that resulted in losses of more than $6 billion. The fund closed its doors soon after. Blame was laid at the door of one trader, Brian Hunter, who had formerly been the head of natural gas trading at Deutsche Bank.
Page 1 of 3
view all
Amaranth’s Story: The Biggest Energy Trading Disaster in History
Martin Tillier | More Articles
July 21, 2014
Page 1 of 3
view all
Source: Thinkstock
As someone who made a living in dealing rooms around the world for nearly 20 years, the reactions that traditionally greet highly publicized dealing disasters never fail to cause a wry smile to pass my lips. The reaction of the public, politicians, and, most of all, of those charged with overseeing traders, is almost always reminiscent of Captain Renault in Casablanca. They are shocked, shocked, they tell us, to find that trading had been going on at the trading desk.
The simple fact is that trading involves risk. Bad risk management happens every day to individual traders who blow up their accounts with one overly aggressive or poorly managed position, and it occasionally happens to those paid to risk other people’s money, as well. When it happens to the pros, though, the enormous access they have to leverage, exaggerates the effects.
In the energy markets, that leverage is ever present, as most trading is done via futures contracts and other derivatives. As a result, some of the most spectacular blowups in trading history have involved energy. Admittedly there hasn’t been one for a while, but given the recent interest in the energy markets, we are probably due one before too long. In case we forgot the lessons that we should have learned, this may be an opportune time to look back at the biggest energy trading disaster in history: the saga of Amaranth Advisors.
In August 2006, Amaranth, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, had nearly $10 billion in assets. One month later, it was unwinding a huge natural gas futures position that resulted in losses of more than $6 billion. The fund closed its doors soon after. Blame was laid at the door of one trader, Brian Hunter, who had formerly been the head of natural gas trading at Deutsche Bank.
Page 1 of 3
view all
Martin Tiller and Joan Se

Galveston, TX

#63 Jul 23, 2014
Amaranth’s Story: The Biggest Energy Trading Disaster in History
Martin Tillier | More Articles
July 21, 2014
Page 1 of 3
view all

Source: Thinkstock

As someone who made a living in dealing rooms around the world for nearly 20 years, the reactions that traditionally greet highly publicized dealing disasters never fail to cause a wry smile to pass my lips. The reaction of the public, politicians, and, most of all, of those charged with overseeing traders, is almost always reminiscent of Captain Renault in Casablanca. They are shocked, shocked, they tell us, to find that trading had been going on at the trading desk.

The simple fact is that trading involves risk. Bad risk management happens every day to individual traders who blow up their accounts with one overly aggressive or poorly managed position, and it occasionally happens to those paid to risk other people’s money, as well. When it happens to the pros, though, the enormous access they have to leverage, exaggerates the effects.

In the energy markets, that leverage is ever present, as most trading is done via futures contracts and other derivatives. As a result, some of the most spectacular blowups in trading history have involved energy. Admittedly there hasn’t been one for a while, but given the recent interest in the energy markets, we are probably due one before too long. In case we forgot the lessons that we should have learned, this may be an opportune time to look back at the biggest energy trading disaster in history: the saga of Amaranth Advisors.

In August 2006, Amaranth, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, had nearly $10 billion in assets. One month later, it was unwinding a huge natural gas futures position that resulted in losses of more than $6 billion. The fund closed its doors soon after. Blame was laid at the door of one trader, Brian Hunter, who had formerly been the head of natural gas trading at Deutsche Bank.
Page 1 of 3
view all
Hamish Bond - LAKELAND

Houston, TX

#65 Jul 28, 2014
I agree with this review from the Lakeland subdivision in Manvel
The nicest thing about this neighborhood is the neighbors.

First off: What in the world do you call that retention pond in the front of the
neighborhood? Homeowners actually paid an extra $6,000 to get this view
of the "lake." It looks like a drainage pond. There is one water pump in the middle,
and half the time it does not work.

The builder offers no perks to move in. No washer, dryer, refrigerator or blinds or sprinkler
system are included. The back yard is not sodded. If you add all these things together,
it adds up to $7,000 plus .

The craftsmanship of the house is very "half ass." Look at the concrete around the doors.
Check out the cabinetry. It is not real wood, and it has scratches all over. The medicine cabinets in the bathroom, look underneath. There is a gap where it was just stuck up on the wall and not sealed properly.

Take a good look at the driveways. Several "new" homes already have cracks. Of course, this is not covered in the one-year warranty because the cracks are not quite wide enough to merit being repaired.

If you are looking for a new home, there is much better quality to be found in this price
range.
Disgusted in Lakeland wrote:
I bought a home at Cervelle's Lakeland subdivision in Manvel.
This house could be a nice home if the folks doing the construction
took a little pride in their work. The concrete around all the doors
looks like it has been attacked by termites. It's all crumbling.
The cabinets throughout the house are scratched, and the workmen left
all their scraps on the very top. If you climb on a ladder, you will see enough junk up there to fill a trash bag.
And let's not forget the yard. It's 100 percent sand all around. Getting the grass to grow is a lot of hard work. They must have found a bargain
on sod because the whole neighborhood looks the same: Malaria yellow!
The windows all drip inside and out. Call it condensation if you want, but
guess what? This is Texas, and humidity is normal. Must have found another deal on these windows.
The salesperson told us: Cervelle doesn't build a perfect home, but we build a good home. These are nothing but glorified track homes.
I'll bet every family that has moved into this neighborhood spent many thousands of dollars just closing and moving into their house, and many folks consider this their "last" move.
We all deserve much better than we got.
If you are considering purchasing a Cervelle house, I urge you to take this review to heart. Just go look how fast Section 2 is going up. Looks like someone has their pants on fire to throw it together ASAP.
I would urge you to look elsewhere for a new home. Sure, they offer the garages and barns; but just take a long, hard look at what is really being done out here. Hire a real inspector to come out and see what is going on between the lines.
One more thing. If you have the pleasure of speaking to the owner, you will find he is an arrogant SOB. He likes to say: "Didn't you have a final
walk-through?" It's yours now. You bought it. "
As we know, some things don't appear until after you have live in a place a few weeks. So, instead of a welcome letter from the builder you will receive: "You bought it. It's yours now."
Coventry Homes

Manvel, TX

#66 Jul 28, 2014
Beat the Heat Sales Event
Coventry Homes and Plantation Homes are offering a sizzling summer promotion that will have buyers chilling over electricity payments for one year.
Through the “Beat the Heat” sales event, Coventry Homes and Plantation Homes — part of McGuyer Homebuilders, Inc.(MHI)— will prepay one year’s worth of electricity bills for people buying a home July 1-31.

Rudy Pospisil, Dallas division president, said the “Beat the Heat” promotion also draws attention to the energy efficiency of homes by Coventry and Plantation.
“Even beyond this ‘cool’ promotion, homeowners will continue to see savings on electricity bills because our ‘Eco Smart’ homes are up to 50 percent more efficient, on average, than homes built prior to 2000 and 15 percent more efficient than the minimum standards required through the Energy Star program.”
Homes by Coventry and Plantation also are certified through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program, signifying they are high-performing homes that use less energy and water and fewer natural resources. Plus, MHI’s two-year Efficiency Promise Program guarantees that the energy used to heat and cool homes will not exceed a certain amount.
Homes by MHI can be found in more than 15 Dallas-Fort Worth communities located near employment centers and popular shopping and entertainment destinations. Several of the communities are new for the company, including Canyon Falls in Flower Mound and Bordeaux at Lake Highlands, where Coventry Homes has started presales. Plantation Homes soon will begin selling in The Vineyards, located in Rowlett. Plantation Homes’ pricing starts in the $130,000s. Designs by Coventry Homes begin in the $350,000s.
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MAD as Hell in LAKELAND

Houston, TX

#67 Aug 12, 2014
Michelle,

I echo your comments 100 percent.

I bought a house in Cervelle's Lakeland Subdivision in Manvel, Texas in May of
2014.

This house is very poorly built. The cabinets are rough and scratched. If you
happen to look under the so-called medicine cabinet is in the bathroom, it is
completely unfinished. Look at the pathetic workmanship around the front and
side doors. The brick and concrete is uneven and doesn't even come close to
being even.

By the way: Where is the exhaust fan for the third bathroom? I guess they
ran out of these gadgets altogether.

The houses may look like a good deal for the money; but if you add up the cost of
window coverings, appliances, having to add sod to the back yard and then putting
in some nice landscaping, you have spent over $15,000 on that alone.

If the jack-n-apes would take the house back, we would leave here tomorrow!
Michelle wrote:
Bought a 427 4 years ago. I asked for some customer changes like putting the door from the garage in the laundry room ( so there was a wet room as well as somewhere to store shoes) instead of in the living room and the wood slat shutters that are all over the new section. I was told these options were absolutely not do-able. Well, the shutters are being used all over the place, and the 427 has been change to put the access from the garage into the laundry room.
Needless to say, I am very unhappy at this moment.
We have had a few other issues as well.
We had an upper cabinet door literally just break and fall off. The builder tried to say they weren't going to cover it, but the company they sent out to fix it, insisted it was a builder issue.
Then not 2 months ago, the face of one of the kitchen drawers just fell off.
We have massive electrical issues - if you have the tv on and someone turns on the outside light, the breaker pops (all of the living room, dining room, garage, and the lights in the laundry room are all on the same breaker. You cannot turn on anything in the master bed if the master bath lights are on. Again, it will trip a breaker.
Our mirrors all have black spots on them (we have had them replaced once during the 3 year warranty repair visit - you can only have them come out to fix something one time. They suggest you wait until your 3 year warranty is almost up so they can fix everything that is wrong because if they come out before that, you have used up your one repair request with them)
We still have many nail pops even though many were repaired during the 3 yr warranty repair visit
Our "corian" style countertops are full of scratches. We were told that it must be something we are doing and that they were only scratch resistant. You can't set a cotton ball on them without it scratching them - so we have given up on them
All of the caulk where the bathroom countertops meet the wall is cracked and broken.
All 4 of our toilets leak and the flappers have to be replaced quite often.
I love that you get a lot of house for the money and the garages are awesome. I just wish the owner would make a quality product and then stand behind that product when it was finished.
New to Manvel

Houston, TX

#68 Aug 14, 2014
We are building in section 2 in Manvel. So far this has not been an exciting time. First the "Design Center" is a joke. I am sick and tired of the "No we can't do that". The workman ship is horrible. Delay after delay after delay. And the customer service is very poor, no one seems to know anything. We bought because of the garage, but I am now thinking we should have bought land and hired our own builder. This is not turning out to be our "Dream Home". If you are looking for a home, go elsewhere.
luv my Cervelle

Pearland, TX

#69 Aug 29, 2014
Just sold my first Cervelle Home after 8 years. The prices in my neighborhood have popped close to 75k over the last 18 monhts. I am a happy camper and getting ready to build my second Cervelle Home. The key is to buy a Cervelle early in the neighborhood and as they build on, they raise the prices. And when they are done, up goes the price because you just can't get a new one any more. Other builders are just not doing anything like it. Simple economic, limited supply, big demand means you really will make money.
Forest of Friendswood

Manvel, TX

#70 Sep 6, 2014
I had the same experience with my Cervelle in the Forest. Owned it for 5 years and made a lot of money when I sold it. So did a bunch of my neighbors. Their newest neighborhood, Lakeland, out here in Manvel is being developed by the same guy who made the Forest of Friendswood such a huge success. Everything they do together turns to gold.

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