EasyJet grounds entire fleet. Should you invest in airline stocks in this market crash?

first_img Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! As Covid-19 continues to lead countries around the world to place restrictions on international travel, air traffic has dried up. This spells disaster for airline stocks listed in the FTSE 100.As a result, budget airline operator easyJet (LSE: EZJ) took the decision to ground its entire fleet on Monday. Inevitably, the company’s share price took another hit as markets digested the news. This now amounts to around a 60% plummet in the share price since the start of the year.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Other airline stocks such as International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG), Ryanair, Wizz Air, and TUI AG have followed a similar path. Does this monumental price decrease signal that now is a good time to buy in?A solemn warningLast week The Financial Times reported that, according to the head of IAG, there’s no guarantee that many European airlines will survive this crisis.Income streams are beginning to dry up and more pressure is being placed on already strained cash flows to ensure survival. Companies will soon be in need of government support. In fact, Virgin Atlantic has already asked the government for a bailout.IATA, the industry association of the world’s airlines, has forecasted revenues will drop to nearly half in 2020. As a result of the unfolding pandemic, governments around the world will be called upon to save their crisis-hit airlines.With that in mind, no investor wants to pile into a company that’s about to go under. It’s for this reason that I’d exercise extreme caution when it comes to investing in airline stocks at the moment.Hope for the futureThe dirt-cheap valuations that the easyJet and IAG are trading on right now is an inviting prospect for value investors.Price-to-earnings ratios are at all-time lows in the FTSE 100 among the airline stocks. EasyJet is trading with a P/E ratio of 6.29, IAG is at 2.71, and Wizz Air at 5.85. This suggests moving forward with caution. But it also reveals that there’s certainly some value there.Last week, easyJet reported £1.65bn in net cash and a $500m revolving credit line. What’s more, in a group statement released last Monday, the company stated that it maintains a strong balance sheet, with no debt refinancing due until 2022.With the group in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers, I think if there’s a way out of this storm, shares in easyJet promise rewarding returns for investors confident enough to stand by the company.As for IAG, I think its high levels of liquidity put it in a stronger position than some of its peers. As of 12 March, the company reported €7.35bn of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet. However, nobody can honestly say whether this will suffice given the uncertainty that surrounds the future of air travel.Undoubtedly, the hit to earnings will be ugly for all airlines over the coming months. That said, I believe those companies with healthy balance sheets and strong enough cash flows are in a position to make it out to the other side.If so, expect investors to be rewarded with attractive returns as airline companies set themselves back on track once passenger travel resumes. See all posts by Matthew Dumigan Matthew Dumigan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Enter Your Email Address Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares EasyJet grounds entire fleet. Should you invest in airline stocks in this market crash?center_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Matthew Dumigan | Tuesday, 31st March, 2020 | More on: EZJ IAG “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.last_img read more

Six Nations Team of the Championship

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Highlight Jacob Whitehead selects his ‘dream team’ from the 2021 tournament Hamish Watson would not be stopped. A tremendous finish from the Scottish flanker. #GuinnessSixNations #SCOvIRL pic.twitter.com/kVP9Pq5iXK— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 14, 2021This was the most contested position – Charles Ollivon was totemic for France and Tom Curry held back the tide for England. 8. Grégory Alldritt (France)A toss-up between Taulupe Faletau and Alldritt. The La Rochelle No 8 was France’s top carrier, soaking up so many difficult and physical midfield carries. Has the engine of a fire truck, threatening every other breakdown as France’s best jackler.Faletau stamped his name onto the Lions No 8 jersey ahead of Billy Vunipola.To finish, here’s a B-Team of the Championship…Hugo Keenan (Ireland); Anthony Watson (England), George North (Wales), Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Damian Penaud (France); Finn Russell (Scotland), Ben Youngs (England); Cyril Baille (France), Ken Owens (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Tom Curry (England), Charles Ollivon (France), Taulupe Faletau (Wales).Who would make your Six Nations Team of the Championship? Email [email protected] to let us know. France half-backs Matthieu Jalibert and Antoine Dupont celebrate (AFP/Getty Images) 9. Antoine Dupont (France) Clearly the best scrum-half in the northern hemisphere at the moment. It’s not even close, even if it could be argued Dupont never brought more than his B-game this Six Nations! Finished top of the assist (five) and offload (eight) charts, and crossed three times himself. 1. Wyn Jones (Wales) Really can do everything demanded from a modern prop – tackles, scrums, turnovers. After a nasty run of injuries in recent years, it’s gratifying to see him as the presumptive starter at loosehead for the Lions.Cyril Baille shone in the loose for France.England’s Kyle Sinckler (Getty Images)2. Julien Marchand (France)Has struggled with the lineout at points but is such a dynamic player. His footwork is sublime, his jackaling tenacious and he’s still just 25. A fine successor to Ibanez, Servat and Guirado.Ken Owens rolled back the years to book his ticket to South Africa. 3. Kyle Sinckler (England) Tadhg Furlong was excellent whenever he played, but only started three games.Sinckler was one of only a few players who emerged with credit for England; his passing and carrying is so crucial to their attack. The scrum only tended to struggle on Mako Vunipola’s side. 4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland) Quite possibly the most dominant performer of the competition. One of the world’s best lineout and breakdown forwards, bringing exceptional club form onto the international stage. Won ten turnovers this tournament – four more than any other player. Julien Marchand, Louis Rees-Zammit and Gael Fickou (left to right) all make the XV (Getty Images) Scotland NEVER give up. Duhan van der Merwe scores with the very last play of the game to secure the win in Paris! #GuinnessSixNations #FRAvSCO pic.twitter.com/pIOEbgwbJD— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 26, 2021He’s now scored eight tries in ten Tests – and must go on the Lions tour.Related: Scotland beat France in Paris for first time in 22 years 10. Matthieu Jalibert (France) A formative tournament for the young fly-half after a difficult Six Nations in 2020. Calm yet creative, his performance in a losing effort at Twickenham was one of the most impressive of the decade from a visiting ten.His battle with Romain Ntamack for the France No 10 jersey over the coming years will be required viewing.center_img His counter-attacking qualities have always been self-evident, but captaincy seems to have rapidly developed his game management. Ran the win at Twickenham from full-back, while his kicking against France on Friday night was again sensational. 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) A breakout tournament for the Keith Jarrett of the 21st century. Single-handedly won the crucial game at Murrayfield with a delightful chip and gather – without that moment, Scotland would have won the title. Finished as joint-second top try-scorer in his debut Six Nations with four and seems set to play in ten more.Anthony Watson, who also scored four tries, may have had a more solid tournament overall, but Rees-Zammit owns the moments that will be remembered. 13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland) Absolute glue. Made the most carries of any back in the competition but has also become the crucial man in Andy Farrell’s defensive system. Terrified England’s attack in the final round.Robbie Henshaw breaks tackles against England (Sportsfile/Getty Images)Liberated by an extended run in the starting jersey, this tournament has seen him potentially play his way into the Lions Test XV.George North had his best Six Nations in a long time too. 12. Gaël Fickou (France) Proved how indispensable he is to the French back-line. Once the mercurial line-breaker, he now plays the role of the savvy veteran, whose most impressive trait right now is his defensive anticipation.Of course, he has his moments with the ball in hand too – his straighten and give for Brice Dulin’s Grand Slam-denying try the highlight. 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) Scored match-winning tries away in Twickenham and Paris, finished as top try-scorer with five and made the second-most metres of any player in the competition. It takes at least three defenders to bring him down. Six Nations Team of the ChampionshipThe lack of crowds didn’t matter – this was one of the most exciting Six Nations ever.We saw a Wales victory that looked unlikely six months ago, two famous Scottish away wins and a fall from grace for Eddie Jones’s England. Ireland showed signs of resurgence, France were a few minutes away from their own Grand Slam, but the less said about Italy the better.Related: How Wales won the Six NationsAs for the British & Irish Lions, selection is looking very different than before the tournament given the performances of the past two months. So who would make a composite team of the 2021 tournament?Six Nations Team of the Championship 15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland) Coming right at the start of the championship, we need to remember quite how good Hogg’s performances against England and Wales were. Can’t get to the shops? Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet. Subscribe to the print edition for magazine delivery to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What a player! Tadhg Beirne helped himself to 𝙖𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 #GuinnessSixNations Player Of The Match medal yesterday! pic.twitter.com/cjH3pDTmuQ— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 15, 2021 5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, captain)Iain Henderson has been exceptional, but Jones deserves inordinate praise for leading Wales to the title after the autumn doldrums.Still around the top of the metrics for tackles and ruck arrivals, and amidst stiff competition will be in the Lions squad on playing merit alone.Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones rules at the lineout (AFP/Getty Images) 6. Josh Navidi (Wales) If there is a rule that the Six Nations Player of the Tournament has to come from the winning side, cast my vote for Navidi. Reminds me more and more of Richard Hill every time I watch him. So brilliant to see him back from concussion issues. 7. Hamish Watson (Scotland) One of the best players on the pitch in every game he played. Unbelievably powerful for his size and utterly fearless. Imagine the battle he could have against Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi this summer.last_img read more

FEMA deadline for hurricane assistance ends this week

first_imgOnline at DisasterAssistance.gov. Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter  WHEN: Before 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 24th.###FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Visit a Disaster Recovery Center. A list of DRCs is available on the FEMA Mobile App, online at fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or call the FEMA Helpline. Call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing call        800-877-8339. Visit a DRC or a Business Recovery Center. Information is available in ASL at: fema.gov/medialibrary/assets/videos/111546. The Anatomy of Fear Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Help is available in many languages. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, seven days a week.center_img You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Please enter your comment! Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Friday is the deadline to register for assistanceFrom the Federal Emergency Management Administration Survivors of Hurricane Irma have until 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 24th to register for assistance from FEMA and/or submit an application for a Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan.WHAT: How to register with FEMA: Go to SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Email [email protected] TAGSFEMAHurricane Irma Previous article12th annual Taste of Apopka attracts over 800 guestsNext articleSecond annual Family Portrait Day this weekend Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Please enter your name here How to apply to SBA: Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

UKF training – Gift Aid, London, 6 April 2011 120×60

first_img  11 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis UKF training – Gift Aid, London, 6 April 2011 120×60 Howard Lake | 13 February 2011 | Newscenter_img About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Tagged with: Leaderboard right 120 x 60last_img read more

CAF Australia research finds charities ignoring high value donors

first_img Tagged with: Charities Aid Foundation Individual giving International Research / statistics About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.  32 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Australia’s research study “Disasters, Donors and Giving” warns that Australian charities are at risk of losing valuable donors re at risk of losing valuable donors by not thanking them or informing them of what their donations are achieving. This risk is heightened during disaster giving appeals.According to the research, 75% of donors feel charities do not communicate well about how their regular donations are used.The research is based on 1,045 employee donors from 59 companies that operate a CAF Australia’s Workplace Payroll Giving programme. It was conducted following the string of natural disasters this year to find out why people give during disasters and/or why they give on a regular basis at other times.The survey found that 91% of respondents had given to a disaster appeal in the past two years via their CAF Workplace Payroll Giving programme. However, 75% of those donors said that they were unhappy with the lack of information charities provide back on how and when those donations are being used.Average donations for these disaster appeals rose to $150 against the average donation through Workplace Payroll Giving of around $60 a month from each donor.Don Willesee, Chief Executive of CAF Australia said: “Employees who give through Workplace Payroll Giving are a valuable group of donors who provide vital regular income for many charities. However, many feel they are being ignored by the charities they give to.“Charities need to treat and inform these very loyal donors who give in this way as ‘VIP donors’ and ensure they get the feedback and communication that is right for them.”The research confirmed that Australians continue to be willing and supportive donors. However, many charities could achieve more by being more transparent, for example by communicating administration costs and timelines for appeal efforts and demonstrating the impact of donations through success stories and the scale of their efforts.www.cafaustralia.org.au/research.php AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis CAF Australia research finds charities ignoring high value donors Howard Lake | 22 July 2011 | Newslast_img read more

Rescuer describes ’emotional moment’ when 4 crew members emerged from capsized cargo ship

first_imgU.S. Coast Guard(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) — One of the rescuers who helped get four crew members out of the Golden Ray, the cargo ship that capsized and caught fire off the coast of Georgia on Sunday, described the harrowing attempt to free the trapped men.Sean Cogan, a rope access supervisor for Elevated Safety, a company that trains and helps people rappel on ropes, was appointed the rescue team leader for salvage company Defiant Marine, he told ABC News.Cogan, who typically helps engineers get to hard-to-access places like bridges for inspection, was part of the team that first heard tapping noises coming from the Golden Ray as they rappelled over the side of the ship.He knew “the clock was ticking” for the men as soon as he got to St. Simons Sound, off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, he said.The first priority was to drill a small hole big enough to shake the men’s hands, hand them bottles of water, flashlights and a device to communicate on and assure them that help was on the way, Cogan said.It was about 120 degrees where rescue teams were working outside the ship and even hotter inside, Coast Guard Capt. John Reed told reporters on Monday.Once teams drilled the first half-inch hole to get an air monitor and airflow into the ship, Cogan could feel the hot air spilling from inside, he said, adding that it felt like they were drilling into a thermal oven.“With each hole, I think it just got more and more, in terms of intensified focus, of, ‘We’ve got to finish this,’” he said.Three of the crew members trapped inside were grouped together, while the fourth was trapped behind a glass enclosure in the engineering room, Reed said.They could hear each other, but could not access each other, Cogan said, adding that the “first thing” the three shipmates asked for was a set of tools so they could help free him, Cogan said.“Those guys that were in that ship are probably the strongest in terms of mental fortitude of anything I’ve seen,” he said.Once a larger hole was drilled, the first two crew members were able to climb out with little assistance, but Cogan and others had to go in and help the third, he said. At that point, the crew had been stuck inside the ship for nearly 34 hours.Cogan said the wrecked vessel was not a “pleasant environment to be in.” Everything inside had shifted, and the ship had been “baking” under the sun.Cogan described the moment after they recovered the fourth crew member as “very emotional.”“I mean, to see two arms, two legs and a smile coming up the ladder at you, that’s a surprise,” he said.It is unclear what caused the ship, which was carrying vehicles on its way to Baltimore, to catch fire and list on its side.The operation has now transitioned to salvage and mitigating any possible pollution, Coast Guard officials said at a press conference Tuesday.The Port of Brunswick, one of the busiest in the nation, remains closed, but the Coast Guard hopes to open it to limited commercial traffic by Thursday, officials said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Agents taking longer to sell million pound homes, says Rightmove

first_imgHomes for sale over a million pounds are taking longer to sell, Rightmove has revealed. It’s latest monthly index shows that properties within this price bracket now take up to 99 days or approximately three months to find a buyer, up from 94 days at the same time last year.It also says that the higher up the property ladder you go, the slower properties are selling; homes for sale under £300,000 are taking just 58 days to find a buyer, on average.The figures appear to reflect the jitters that economic uncertainty has brought to the prime end of the market, although Rightmove’s Market Analyst Miles Shipside (pictured, left) also blames recent tax increases, which mean a million-pound property buyer must now pay £40,000 in Stamp Duty.But it’s not just about the super-rich in London stepping off the gas, as might be expected.Five out of the 11 of the UK’s regions outside the capital saw million-pound homes taking longer to sell including Wales, the South East, South West, West Midlands, East Midlands and Yorkshire/The Humber.The most shocking figures come from Wales, where the number of days to sell a prime property increased by 18% to 173 days or nearly five-and-a-half months.But pockets of prime popularity remain. Cambridge is highlighted as the city where million-pound homes are selling the fastest, at 45 days, followed by Edinburgh, Harpenden, Bristol, St Albans, Winchester and Hackney in London.“Cambridge is somewhat protected from the political and economic upheaval which has been felt across the rest of the UK,” says local agent Martin Walshe, Head of New Homes at Cheffins in Cambridge (pictured, right).“Buyers are still a mix of job movers and London commuters [and] also those from the local market who continue to be incredibly active.”prime property prices million pound homes Martin Walshe Rightmove Miles Shipside Cheffins June 8, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Agents taking longer to sell million pound homes, says Rightmove previous nextHousing MarketAgents taking longer to sell million pound homes, says RightmovePrime properties in six out of the UK’s 11 regions are taking longer to find buyers taking on average 99 days to sell up from 94, the portal says.Nigel Lewis8th June 20180955 Viewslast_img read more

High-profile hybrid estate agent steps down from full-time property sales

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » High-profile hybrid estate agent steps down from full-time property sales previous nextAgencies & PeopleHigh-profile hybrid estate agent steps down from full-time property salesFormer Purplebricks agent Ben Moore says he wants to extend his existing work as an industry consultant after ten years selling homes.Nigel Lewis27th April 202102,296 Views A heavily bearded estate agent who has become an online celebrity well-known for his honest YouTube videos about working in the industry has decided to largely retire from day-to-day agency to become an industry consultant.Ben Moore, who for the past 18 months has been running his Blackpool/Fylde based estate agency via the eXp UK platform, says he and his family now want to move to more rural environs.Moore has been an estate agent for over ten years including stints at the Express Estate Agency and Purplebricks before setting up his own firm, the Smart Move Property Group.But the 32 year old agent has announced that he is to ‘retire’ from selling houses which he says is “crazy and probably won’t make much sense to a lot of people who have seen how hard I’ve worked in recent months to build my business.“My agency has got to a point where it’s successful and our sales fees are pretty solid, and I’ll still list and sell a few homes every month.”Family promiseBut Moore says he promised his wife that they would move to the Lake District at some point in their lives and that the ‘time had come to execute this plan’.He has therefore decided to set up a business called Moore’s Code that helps other estate agents, and not be tied down geographically.“I’ve really developed a taste for business improvisation and consulting with agents and helping them grow their business and brands and I get a real kick out of it.“It’s all about improving standards in the sector from this point forward.”Fylde ben moore Blackpool EXP April 27, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Despite Soggy Weather, Martin Z. Mollusk Sees his Shadow to Predict Early Summer

first_imgBraving the hard rain, Kelly Alfred, of Ocean City, brought her daughter, Riley Kane, and brother and sister Bob and Olivia Cesari, to see Martin Z. Mollusk. By Donald WittkowskiHmm, we hate to sound crabby, but we think Martin Z. Mollusk may have pulled a fast one Saturday.On a soggy May morning that rained buckets and left everyone soaked, Ocean City’s famous prognosticating hermit crab somehow “saw” his shadow to fulfill his perennial prediction that summer will arrive one week early in the beachfront town.“We see his shadow. Summer is coming early to Ocean City!” exclaimed Michael Hartman, the city’s special events director who had the honor of peeking under Martin’s shell.Normally, Martin’s handlers take him out on the beach for his shadow-spotting duties, but the torrential downpour Saturday forced the ceremony to be moved indoors at the Music Pier.So then, with no sun to speak of and a roof over his head, how did Martin possibly see his shadow?Just in time, a spotlight was turned on in the Music Pier to serve as a substitute for the missing sun and — magically — the crustacean’s shadow came into full view as the crowd looked on in amusement.Michael Hartman, the city’s director of special events, and his assistant, Rachel Ballezzi, spot the hermit crab’s shadow.Martin has been making his comical appearance each May for 44 years. City officials insist he has a perfect record of seeing his shadow every year to portend an early summer.“We’re not guaranteeing he’s going to see his shadow. But if you’re a betting man, I would say Martin’s going to bring summer early. We’re counting on it,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said.Martin, tucked inside his shell, was accompanied by his hermit crab wife, Molly, while making a grand entrance into the Music Pier in a small cage carried by his handlers. He was plunked down on a tiny, bejeweled and seashell-studded throne after he wowed the crowd with his prediction for an early summer.The Martin Z. Mollusk Day spectacle was originally dreamed up in 1974 by Mark Soifer, the city’s former public relations director. It is just one in a series of wacky publicity stunts that Soifer created over the years to draw media coverage and tourists to town.Martin Z. Mollusk is a spoof of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog that emerges from hibernation every February to predict whether there will be six more weeks of winter.From left, Callie Smith, 9, Lily Bechtold, 9, and Kaia Chew, 8, were the winners of a coloring contest.Hartman, who served as emcee for Saturday’s event, somehow maintained a straight face while reading a letter that was purportedly sent by Punxsutawney Phil to Martin wishing him the best of luck. Phil also expressed his hope for a sunny summer, so that he could spend some vacation time on the Ocean City beach.“There is nothing like a getaway to Ocean City, New Jersey,” Hartman said, while reading from Phil’s letter to Martin.The letter, by the way, was signed, “Your friend, Phil.”Punxsutawney Phil is certainly not the only fan of Martin Z. Mollusk. Ocean City school children paid tribute to the hermit crab on Saturday with songs, poetry and a coloring contest. The Ocean City Primary School choir serenaded Martin with a rousing rendition of “The Greatest.” Reagan DeVlieger, 11, a fifth-grader at the Ocean City Intermediate School, recited a special poem in his honor. Students Lily Bechtold, 9, Callie Smith, 9, and Kaia Chew, 8, were the winners of a coloring contest that featured Martin Z. Mollusk-themed drawings.Professional magician Jon Dorenbos, who is also a player with the Philadelphia Eagles, performed a card trick.Perhaps inspired by Martin’s powers of prestidigitation, professional magician Jon Dorenbos also showed up for the ceremony. Dorenbos, who is also a player for the Philadelphia Eagles, performed a mind-blowing card trick while assisted by Cole Watson, 11, an Ocean City fifth-grader.“It was really fascinating, Watson said of the trick. “It was very surprising. I thought it was very enjoyable.”Families attending the event had to brave wind-driven rain that swept down the Boardwalk. Jessica and Andrew Bechtold, of Ocean City, came to see their daughter, Lily, who was one of the winners in the coloring contest, sing in the ceremony.The Bechtolds, who also brought along their 5-year-old daughter, Addison, and 1-year-old son, Penn, said they weren’t going to let the rain spoil their day.“I looked outside at the rain and thought, ‘Hey, let’s do it,’” Jessica Bechtold said. “We dressed the kids in warm clothes and now we’re here.”By the time they ran down the Boardwalk and scurried inside the Music Pier, Ocean City resident Kelly Alfred and her 9-year-old daughter, Riley Kane, were soaked. Riley’s Ocean City friends, Olivia Cesari, 9, and her 9-year-old brother, Bob, also were dripping wet.“Sometimes, we have to make sacrifices,” Alfred said of having to head out in the bad weather.But Bob Cesari didn’t seem to mind the rain. He wanted to see Martin Z. Mollusk, after all.“It’s just rain,” he said. “Why should we be afraid of it? It’s just water.”A few minutes later, Bob and the other smiling children got their reward for enduring the sloppy weather. A costumed version of Martin Z. Mollusk joined them for pictures and high-fives.Protected by an umbrella, 7-year-old Sarah Smith, of Ocean City, peered out at the big waves on a soggy day.last_img read more

Mayor’s Message: March 16

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,I want to update you on the latest developments in protecting the community from the spread of coronavirus.We met this morning with Congressman Jeff Van Drew and a few members of our business community to learn about the federal government’s efforts to help those affected by the virus and by related business closings.I will be able to provide more information on some of these issues as it becomes available.N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy announced a voluntary curfew for state residents from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.He ordered movie theaters, casinos, performing arts centers and gyms to close as of 8 p.m. tonight. He ordered restaurants to serve only takeout or delivered food as of 8 p.m. tonight.All non-essential retail and other businesses must close by 8 p.m. every night.This does not include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and “essential businesses.”Occupancy must be limited to 50 people at a time.At 3 p.m., a group of community volunteers and business leaders met to discuss the relaunching of OCNJ CARE. This nonprofit organization first formed in 2012 in the aftermath of Sandy to help individual and families who were displaced by the storm and who were in need of assistance to get back on their feet.The closing of businesses and other restrictions could have a similar effect for many in the community. I want to reassure everybody that help is on the way for anybody who may need it.OCNJ CARE will be able to provide food, transportation and assistance.As soon as the group has details on how to donate, how to volunteer and how to let us know what you may need, I will keep you posted. Please keep an eye out for friends, neighbors and make sure they are provided for in this time of need. This community spirit is what makes Ocean City a special place.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillianlast_img read more