Separation between rich and poor communities has increased in past 40 years Social scientists have long understood that a child’s environment — in particular growing up in poverty — can have long-lasting effects on their success later in life. What’s less well understood is exactly how.A new Harvard study is beginning to pry open that black box.Conducted by Robert Sampson, the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, and Robert Manduca, a doctoral student in sociology and social policy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the study points to a handful of key indicators, including exposure to high levels of lead, violence, and incarceration as key predictors of children’s later success. The study is described in an April paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“What this paper is trying to do, in a sense, is move beyond the traditional neighborhood indicators people use, like poverty,” Sampson said. “For decades, people have shown poverty to be important … but it doesn’t necessarily tell us what the mechanisms are, and how growing up in poor neighborhoods affects children’s outcomes.”To explore potential pathways, Manduca and Sampson turned to the income tax records of parents and approximately 230,000 children who lived in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, compiled by Harvard’s Opportunity Atlas project. They integrated these records with survey data collected by the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, measures of violence and incarceration, census indicators, and blood-lead levels for the city’s neighborhoods in the 1990s.They found that the greater the extent to which poor black male children were exposed to harsh environments, the higher their chances of being incarcerated in adulthood and the lower their adult incomes, measured in their 30s. A similar income pattern also emerged for whites.Among both black and white girls, the data showed that increased exposure to harsh environments predicted higher rates of teen pregnancy.Despite the similarity of results along racial lines, Chicago’s segregation means that far more black children were exposed to harsh environments — in terms of toxicity, violence, and incarceration — harmful to their mental and physical health.“The least-exposed majority-black neighborhoods still had levels of harshness and toxicity greater than the most-exposed majority-white neighborhoods, which plausibly accounts for a substantial portion of the racial disparities in outcomes,” Manduca said. “It’s really about trying to understand some of the earlier findings, the lived experience of growing up in a poor and racially segregated environment, and how that gets into the minds and bodies of children.” — Robert Sampson Racial and economic disparities intertwined, study finds “What this paper shows … is the independent predictive power of harsh environments on top of standard variables,” Sampson said. “It’s really about trying to understand some of the earlier findings, the lived experience of growing up in a poor and racially segregated environment, and how that gets into the minds and bodies of children.”The study isn’t solely focused on the mechanisms of how poverty impacts children; it also challenges traditional notions of what remedies might be available.“This has [various] policy implications,” Sampson said. “Because when you talk about the effects of poverty, that leads to a particular kind of thinking, which has to do with blocked opportunities and the lack of resources in a neighborhood.“That doesn’t mean resources are unimportant,” he continued, “but what this study suggests is that environmental policy and criminal justice reform can be thought of as social mobility policy. I think that’s provocative, because that’s different than saying it’s just about poverty itself and childhood education and human capital investment, which has traditionally been the conversation.”The study did suggest that some factors — like community cohesion, social ties, and friendship networks — could act as bulwarks against harsh environments. Many researchers, including Sampson himself, have shown that community cohesion and local organizations can help reduce violence. But Sampson said their ability to do so is limited.“One of the positive ways to interpret this is that violence is falling in society,” he said. “Research has shown that community organizations are responsible for a good chunk of the drop. But when it comes to what’s affecting the kids themselves, it’s the homicide that happens on the corner, it’s the lead in their environment, it’s the incarceration of their parents that’s having the more proximate, direct influence.”Going forward, Sampson said he hopes the study will spur similar research in other cities and expand to include other environmental contamination, including so-called brownfield sites.Ultimately, Sampson said he hopes the study can reveal the myriad ways in which poverty shapes not only the resources that are available for children, but the very world in which they find themselves growing up. Related Richest members of society now taking greater share of the national mean than ever before Cities’ wealth gap is growing, too “Poverty is sort of a catchall term,” he said. “The idea here is to peel things back and ask, What does it mean to grow up in a poor white neighborhood? What does it mean to grow up in a poor black neighborhood? What do kids actually experience?“What it means for a black child on the south side of Chicago is much higher rates of exposure to violence and lead and incarceration, and this has intergenerational consequences,” he continued. “This is particularly important because it provides a way to think about potentially intervening in the intergenerational reproduction of inequality. We don’t typically think about criminal justice reform or environmental policy as social mobility policy. But maybe we should.”This research was supported with funding from the Project on Race, Class & Cumulative Adversity at Harvard University, the Ford Foundation, and the Hutchins Family Foundation.
As a high school senior in California last year, Jose knew his Dad was excited about his college application process – even if he didn’t have much experience with how it all worked.Jose has been aiming for a degree in computer sciences—a big goal, since nobody in his family has ever graduated from college. But since he was young, Jose has had a unique support system through the California-based organization, and Dell Youth Learning partner, Peninsula Bridge.Academic advisers with Peninsula Bridge work closely with students like Jose – and their families –beginning in the 5th grade through high school, and even through college. They provide personalized academic mentoring and tutoring to low-income students living in the San Francisco Peninsula area.The big idea: “Level the playing field and close the achievement gap for hundreds of underserved yet high-achieving students each year,” Co-Executive Director Randi Shafton says. “We’re inspiring a new generation of diverse college graduates, working professionals and community leaders.”Good news, because the nation’s economy needs them!Research and reporting shows the U.S. isn’t producing enough graduates with the skills to thrive in the country’s evolving economy. The five most valued work skills in 2030 will be creative drive, logic, emotional intelligence, judgment and technological literacy, according to the recent study – Realizing 2030 – commissioned by Dell Technologies.Peninsula Bridge’s curriculum aims to nurture skills for the workforce ahead. Project-based learning fosters interest and enthusiasm, including for STEM education.Jose has been attending the organization’s summer sessions since the 5th grade. Attending students benefit from a mix of academic and enrichment classes, plus recreational activities – all designed to keep them on the college track when they get to high school.They even learn about career opportunities by visiting premier Bay Area companies like Google and Amazon.Peninsula Bridge is a Dell Youth Learning partner. Dell provides grant funding and our technology. Our funding supports the Summer, Middle School Academy, and Eighth Grade Academy programs. Using Dell-donated Chromebooks, Peninsula Bridge also guides students on how to code, conduct research, and more.“For most of these kids, this is their first time with things like computer science and coding. They are elated by it,” Randi says. “We have engineers come in and share their work. We want them to see the critical thinking that goes into it – and know they can do that, too.”Jose was introduced to Peninsula Bridge when his elementary school counselor submitted him as an applicant. The organization partners with around 35 Peninsula-area middle schools to encourage low-income students who excel to apply for its programs.The approach is unique: Students are brought back together each summer with their assigned cohort of high-achieving peers from similar backgrounds. Seeing that same group of students each year is a supportive experience, Jose says.Another important aspect of the Bridge program is teacher assistants, who are high school and college-age volunteers, come from similar circumstances.“The students relate to them and look up to them,” says Rene Jimenez, Director of College Success Programs. Rene knows first-hand the value of this connection. Rene joined Peninsula Bridge in August 2015 and participated in the Bridge program as a 7th and 8th grader.While the college application is only one step among many for low-income and first-generation college students, Rene says it is a critical hurdle. With the help of Rene and his College Access Counselor, Jose applied to Sonoma State University, the four-year college where he recently started classes.Peninsula Bridge assigns one College Success Advisor to each college-bound cohort. This advisor supports the students with academic counselling and guidance on how to utilize FirstGen resources on campus. Peninsula Bridge helps with other hurdles, like: learning how to use a washer and how to navigate social life on campus.Today, Jose is happy to be in college.“My family is very excited. I know my Dad is very thankful for the help I got, because during the college process they were not involved. They didn’t know a lot about applying,” Jose says. “Now I am here, and they are checking on me every day.”Through Peninsula Bridge’s College Support Program, the support continues. College coaches communicate with students regularly and visit them periodically, to ensure they take advantage of the resources and opportunities offered at their universities.“Today just 11 percent of first-generation low-income students graduate from college. Our goal is 90 percent.” Randi says. “We see great potential in these young adults. We’re helping them earn the skills to explore their true academic capabilities.”—Last year, Peninsula Bridge celebrated its first graduating class of 18 high school students to complete its program. All 18 students are now attending college! Dell wishes all the best to these recent grads.This story shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. More at legacyofgood.dell.com
In its weekly meeting Wednesday night, the Student Senate voted to open the previously secret minutes from last week’s closed Senate meeting regarding allegations of misconduct against student body president Bryan Ricketts, a junior, which the Student Union Ethics Commission investigated.Junior Zach Waterson, president of Judicial Council and chair of the Ethics Commission, said the committee investigated Ricketts on two allegations of misconduct: infringement upon the rights and dignity of the allegation initiator — specifically, a lack of transparency with regard to appointments to the student government executive cabinet — and untimely presentation of a monetary gift to one who assisted in the campaign for student body president.In a statement after the Senate meeting, chief of staff Dan Sehlhorst, a junior, spoke to clarify the actions that led to allegations of misconduct. (Editor’s Note: Selhorst is a Viewpoint columnist for The Observer).“During the initial consideration of running for student body president, Bryan consulted with the initiator and indicated his interest that individual serve as chief of staff were he to win the election,” Sehlhorst said. “In the midst of the campaign, Bryan had concerns about the potential for the individual to lead a large staff and serve as a core member of the team.“He realized that he needed to reconsider automatically offering the position to the individual. After the election, Bryan and Nidia conducted a search process based on recommendations from current and former members of the Student Union and individual applications. They concluded this process by offering me the position.”Sehlhorst said the initiator received a $20 gift card from Ricketts after the election for his or her help with the campaign; other members of the Ricketts-Ruelas campaign staff received the same gift for their work, he said. The Ethics Commission did not find that this action was a violation, Selhorst said.At the closed meeting last week, the Ethics Commission, which can only advise Senate on how to respond to allegations of misconduct, presented four recommendations on how to proceed, Waterson said. The first two of these recommendations dealt specifically with the misconduct:“The Student Senate shall refer the Student Body President to the Student Government Advisor or an appropriate mediating administrator to hold discussion with the allegation initiator in order to improve his ability to balance personal relationships with Student Union duties and thus better serve as Student Body President.“The Student Senate shall draft a resolution to prohibit the practice of presenting gifts to individuals to reward assistance rendered during a campaign, appointment or selection which could present an ethical dilemma.”The remaining recommendations dealt with another issue that arose during the investigation: sophomore Danny Funaro is the gender issues department director as well as the historian of PrismND. According to Sehlhorst, the initiator of the complaint claimed Ricketts had known there was concern over a potential conflict of interest arising from the fact that Funaro currently holds both positions but failed to mention it to the Senate when Funaro was confirmed by the group.According to Waterson, the Ethics Committee recommended the following on this topic:“The Student Senate shall examine Section 1.3 (c) of the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body and the way it encompasses the offices within the Student Union special interest organizations. This clause should be adjusted to mandate the examination of potential conflicts of interest that may arise when an individual holds both an office within the Student Union and an office within a Student Union special interest group, such as between the Department of Gender Issues and PrismND.“The Student Senate shall hold discussion with PrismND on the topic of Danny Funaro simultaneously holding the positions of Department of Gender Issues director and PrismND historian.”Due to the latter recommendation, Senate opened discussion during this week’s meeting on whether Funaro would be allowed to keep his student government position.President of PrismND Lily Crawford, a junior, said this is a conflict of interest because the two organizations Funaro represents have specific initiatives that do not coincide.“The conflict of interest lies in the fact that PrismND’s mission and the mission of student government are different and the fact that in having both positions you cannot inherently untie yourself from one when you’re acting in another,” she said.Funaro said Crawford had previously asked him to choose one position because of this perceived conflict of interests, but he did not.“I came to the conclusion that there was not a conflict of interests, due to the duties of each position not conflicting with one another, and therefore I chose not to choose between the two,” Funaro said.Selhorst said there wasn’t a conflict of interest due to the differences in the structures of PrismND and student government.“Right now, we’re talking about a pastoral mission — PrismND — and a policy mission — student government, and typically conflict of interest is considered when they’re the same and when you could be giving that benefit to another group that you’re in that you wouldn’t be giving to another group. In choosing our staff, we saw that any potential to give that benefit to PrismND was far outweighed by the prospective it provided. Danny wouldn’t be the final decision maker on items, so there wouldn’t necessarily be that risk.”Discussion specific to Funaro’s potential conflict of interest was tabled for next week.Waterson presented a resolution to avoid future concerns for conflict of interest, which the Senate passed. Resolution SS1516-07 will require nominators to make any proposed conflict of interests known to the Senate during the approval process and clarifies the purpose of the Student Union Ethics Commission.“The subcommittee feels these are both steps in the right direction toward a stronger Student Union,” Waterson said. Tags: Bryan Ricketts, ethics violation, PrismND, Student government, student programming, student senate
View Comments Patricia Elliott, the Tony Award-winning stage and television actress, died on December 20 at her home in Manhattan. She was 77 years old. The cause of death was a rare cancer, Leimyloma sarcoma, said her niece, Sally Fay.Born in Gunnison, Colorado, on July 21, 1938, to Clyde Porterfield Elliott and the former Lavon Lucille Gibson, she was a direct descendant of President Ulysses S. Grant, John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, and Mary Lyon, who founded Mt. Holyoke College in 1837. Elliott graduated from the University of Colorado in 1960, with a degree in English Literature, going on to study at London’s Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She kicked off her 50-year acting career working in repertory at the Cleveland Playhouse and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, before moving to New York, where early roles included a Lincoln Center production of King Lear.Elliott won a 1973 Tony Award for her role of Countess Charlotte Malcolm in the original production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical, A Little Night Music. Four years later, she received a Tony nod for her role in the original Main Stem production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Shadow Box. Additional Great White Way credits included The Elephant Man, where her leading men included David Bowie, A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler, King Henry V, A Month of Sundays and 13 Rue de l’Amour.On screen, Elliot was perhaps best known for her portrayal of Renee Divine Buchanan on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live, playing the role for 23 years, from 1988 to 2011.Elliott’s 1960 marriage to Christopher Vivien Hawthorne Fay ended in divorce in 1962, but they remained lifelong friends until his death. Devoted to prayer and meditation, she spent extended time in India and studied for nine years with a Jain master, Gurudev Chitrabhanu, taking what became a well-reported vow of celibacy in 1977. In addition to her niece, Sally Fay, she is survived by an aunt, Claudine Walker, and several cousins.
On Your Feet! Doreen Montalvo(Photo courtesy of Vivacity Media Group) View Comments Related Shows Doreen Montalvo will head from the ensemble into the spotlight in On Your Feet!. The original cast member will assume the role of Gloria Fajardo—Gloria Estefan’s mother—beginning February 7. She takes over for Andréa Burns, who will play her final performance at the Marquis Theatre on February 5.Montalvo has also appeared on Broadway in In the Heights. Her additional credits include Giant and Flashdance on stage and Smash and The Good Wife on screen. Her solo album, American Soul/Latin Heart, dropped earlier this month.On Your Feet! uses the music of Gloria and Emilio Estefan to follow the rise of the Cuban-born performer, from her Miami upbringing to meeting her husband and collaborator to becoming an international sensation. The current cast features Ana Villafañe as Gloria, Ektor Rivera as Emilio, Alma Cuervo as Consuelo, Alexandria Suarez and Fabi Aguire as Little Gloria and Eduardo Hernandez and Kevin Tellez as Nayib and Young Emilio. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 20, 2017
The number of fluid ounces you collect is equal to number ofgallons the sprayer would apply to 1 acre if you use it at thesame pressure and walking speed you used in the plot area.This quick conversion works since there are 128 fluid ounces in 1gallon of water. It doesn’t get much easier than this. Now allyou have to do is find out how much herbicide to add to thepump-up sprayer.How it appliesLet’s say your sprayer applies 25 gallons per acre. The rightrate for Trimec Classic is 4.0 pints, or 0.5 gallons, per acre.So divide 0.5 by 25 to get 0.02, or 2 percent.Multiply that by the sprayer capacity. A 2-gallon sprayer wouldhold 256 fluid ounces, and 256 times 2 percent would be 5.1ounces. So add 5.1 ounces of Trimec Classic to the sprayer. Thenfill it to the 2-gallon mark with water.Remember, you have to walk at the same speed, maintain the samepressure and hold the spray nozzle tip at the same height youused in the plot area.If you do these things, you’ll apply the recommended rate of theherbicide, control the target weed and, most important,drastically reduce the chance of injuring your turf grass.(Clint Waltz is an Extension Service turf scientist and TimMurphy an Extension Service weed scientist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Mark off a plot 18.5 feet by 18.5 feet.Fill the sprayer to normal capacity with water.Pump the sprayer to the pressure normally used to applyherbicides.Spray water over the plot area while maintaining normal andconstant operating pressure.Record the time in seconds it takes to spray the plot area.Using the same constant pressure used in step 4, spray into abucket for the same time (number of seconds) it took to spray theplot area.Measure the volume of water in fluid ounces. Volume XXIXNumber 1Page 30/i> By Clint Waltzand TimMurphyUniversity of GeorgiaHand-held and backpack sprayers are extremely useful for treatingsmall turf areas infested with weeds. But they have to becalibrated to apply the recommended rate of a herbicide.Most herbicides used in turf grasses control weeds withoutinjuring the turf. But that depends on the rate applied. The rateis usually on the product label as the amount to be applied to 1acre or 1,000 square feet.For example, the highest recommended rate of Trimec Classic forBermuda grass and tall fescue is 1.5 fluid ounces per 1,000square feet.Applied at this rate and by the label directions, it will causeonly slight injury to labeled turf grasses. But if you applythree times that amount, some turf grasses would be yellow orbrown for weeks.If a sprayer isn’t calibrated, it can’t apply herbicides atrecommended rates.It’s simpleYou can use a number of methods to calibrate sprayers. One that’ssimple, easy to do and easy to remember is called the1/128th-acre method.In this method, you spray 1/128th of an acre. That’s 340.3 squarefeet. This figures out to 18.5 feet by 18.5 feet. Here’s how todo it.
An impending El Niño weather pattern could negatively impact Georgia farmers’ abilities to harvest their peanut and cotton crops, according to University of Georgia climatologist Pam Knox.“I think that, for the next three weeks or so, after the current wet spell, it’s going to be pretty dry, as we usually see in October. But once the El Niño pattern kicks in, it could get pretty wet quickly, which is going to be a problem if farmers don’t get the crops out in a timely way,” Knox said.El Niño refers to unusually warm weather in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Peru and Ecuador, she said. When warm water exists there, the circulation in the atmosphere changes. The southeastern part of the United States gets caught under a subtropical jet stream, which pushes all of the storms and rain through the region.“Once that pattern sets in, we can expect to see a lot of storms come through this winter. It should be wetter than usual, and it’s probably going to be cooler than usual, just because I think it’s going to be real cloudy from all the storms,” Knox said.With a drastic increase in acreage this year, peanut farmers could feel the most impact from El Niño. Approximately 770,000 acres were planted in Georgia, according to UGA Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort. An estimated 25 percent was planted after the third week of May, which puts harvest time in mid- to late October. If rain starts and continues, combined with limited sunshine, growers could have trouble getting their crops out of the field.“We’re concerned as usual when it comes to weather, period. If we start getting rain, especially the first part of October, it can set up and cause some problems,” Monfort said. Twenty-five percent of Georgia’s peanut crop amounts to more than 192,000 acres, a significant amount of potentially impacted production in south Georgia.“If the rain sets in and it’s rainy for a couple of weeks, cloudy and we don’t see any sun, then that’s really going to do some damage to the crop, in the ground and out,” Monfort said.Peanut growers already faced some challenges this growing season. With temperatures in the low 80s and limited sunshine this week, peanuts are maturing considerably slower than usual. Further, white mold disease has been a problem and could continue if peanuts are left in the field, dug up and, in the rain, unable to be harvested. The more it rains, the more disease pressure peanuts will encounter. Though peanut growers are encouraged to be diligent and to get their crops out in a timely fashion, they could encounter delays at local buying points. Because Georgia’s peanut acreage increased by almost 30 percent this year, that amounts to a an extra 200,000 acres that need to be harvested, which could create a logjam at area buying points.“For the most part, the local buying points have been able to handle everything right now,” Monfort said. “They do try to be as quick as they can about drying, grading and getting those empty trailers back out. But, if you take a 30-percent increase in peanut acreage, you’re going to have a bottleneck, especially with the early to mid-May planted peanuts. That’s when the majority of them got planted.”UGA Extension cotton agronomist Jared Whitaker said Georgia’s cotton crop will also be impacted by the cloudy, rainy days ahead.“Boll opening and leaf drop function better in times of plentiful sunshine. With the cloudy days we’ve had and cloudy days we may have, defoliation and boll opening could slow down, and ultimately delay, harvest,” Whitaker said. Cotton farmers begin to harvest their crop by first applying products that accelerate the crop’s maturity and open the bolls that contain the lint in the top of the canopy, he said. This process is called “defoliation.”A delay in defoliation results in delays in harvest, and delays in harvest can significantly impact yield and fiber quality, Whitaker said.Cotton quality is at its highest when the boll first opens. “Each weather event or period of excessive moisture can impact the boll like any other kind of fruit we produce in Georgia” Whitaker said. “The kind of conditions associated with this potential weather event could cause us to lose yield and quality.”This would hurt cotton farmers’ profits as cotton commodity prices this season make it “extremely important to maximize yields to remain profitable,” he said.
6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Hi, Compliance Friends. We are currently enjoying some wonderful fall weather here in Washington, DC.With the pending HMDA changes, some credit unions have been uncertain about the regulatory authority to be currently collecting the disaggregated age, race and sex data. This blog presents the crux of the conflict with Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, current HMDA guidance, and a credit union’s options for collecting disaggregated data including how that may impact its implementation of the new HMDA rules.Regulation BGenerally, Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity Act) prohibits credit unions from inquiring into an applicant’s race or ethnicity. However, Regulation B permits inquiries for monitoring purposes in connection with self-testing or HMDA (Regulation C) reporting. continue reading »
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When the Financial Accounting Standards Board set forth a new credit loss accounting standard model, known as CECL, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union ($4.1B, East Lansing, MI) sprang into action.In the summer of 2016, the Great Lakes State cooperative reviewed the number of inactive credit cards on its books. It had a plan to mitigate risk and lower the number of inactive cards on its books by turning inactive users into active ones. As an added benefit, MSUFCU knew active card users tend to be more active users of the credit union as a whole.In the third quarter of 2016, MSUFCU targeted inactive credit card users with a marketing flyer informing them of the card’s integration with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and VISA Checkout. Response was immediate and significant. The flyer did not offer a call to action but still netted an 11% response rate and brought in more than $400,000 in account balances in three months.
The man on the phone quickly came back with $920,000 and there was another pause.Bids went up in $5000 lots, with the local couple looking done at $935,000.They looked toward their opponent — the man on the phone — to see what he would do next.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours ago“$945,000,” he yelled. Our local couple paused as the agent spoke in the ear of the buyer.He was informing him that we needed more money to get the property on the market. The buyer obliged and after a few conversations he increased his bid to $960,000 and the property was announced on the market and subsequently sold.As the crowd applauded and the neighbours went off to celebrate their new values, the buyer made his way inside to sign the contract. MORE First home buyers cashing in this spring It was only a month ago that I called an auction on Rockbourne Terrace in Paddington where a Melbourne buyer blasted the local competition out of the water with a $900,000 knock out bid.These and other stories like them are adding more weight and evidence to the urban whispers of buyers heading north from Sydney and Melbourne looking to take advantage of the Brisbane house prices.If this trend continues, the added competition in the market will continue to put upward pressure on prices.This will see the gap between the east coast capital cities house prices return to a more appropriate level. Haesley Cush is an auctioneer and principal at Ray White New Farm. MORE Ride-on mower seals the deal Ray White New Farm auctioneer Haesley Cush calling an auction earlier this year. (AAP image, John Gass)On the stroke of midday last Saturday I stood in front of a quaint little workers cottage at 10 Bowler Street in Paddington. The sky above was a rich shade of silver from cloud cover and faint drops of rain fell intermittently, enough to be noticed, but not enough to be worried about.Quite a large crowd had been gathered by Brandon Wortley, the marketing agent, and a number of them had bidding cards in their hot little hands waiting for things to proceed. Based on feedback from the buyers prior to the auction, and past performances, we expected an opening bid in the vicinity of $800,000 as a starting point.I called out to the crowd: “Ladies and gentleman can I have an opening bid?”A buyer close to the fence with a phone pressed to his ear called out “$900,000”. This buyer had gone for the knock out punch right on the bell.I was aware of this buyers backstory. He had sold his house in Sydney but we were yet to find out the details of that price. He was looking to buy in Brisbane and potentially move back up.After what seemed like an eternity, a couple in their late 40s or 50’s raised their card and offered $915,000. MORE Trophy home sale price revealed