Bank’s earnings rise 51 percent

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Revenue during the first nine months totaled more than $1.23 million. “Bank of Santa Clarita’s success is measured not only by our positive financial results, but by our ability to bring value to an increasing number of small to midsize businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Hicken said. “I expect that during the months ahead, we should continue to see positive interest in the bank and the services we provide.” The bank recently concluded a successful secondary offering that raised more than $8.2 million. The California Department of Financial Institutions has approved the bank’s request for an amendment of the offering to $7.7 million. VALENCIA – The Bank of Santa Clarita posted third-quarter earnings of $600,000, a 51 percent increase from the previous quarter, officials said Wednesday. The locally held bank, which opened nearly a year ago, said higher revenues over the three-month period ending Sept. 30 trimmed net operating loss for the quarter to $331,000, down from the $458,000 from the second quarter. The losses are consistent with other start-up banks, officials said. “The bank continued to make impressive gains during the third quarter and this sharp increase in earnings positions the bank to reach profitability at an aggressive pace,” James D. Hicken, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. Bank assets totaled $54.7 million, up from $22.3 million at the beginning of the year. The bank has more than $34.1 million in deposits, up from $9.3 million over the same period. Loans also grew from $6.4 million $33.9 million. last_img read more

Dinolava Theory Back in Eruption

first_imgMeteor impact or volcanic eruption?  Science Now reports that the volcano theory of dinosaur extinction has rejuvenated, challenging the long popularity of the Chicxulub impact hypothesis.    Notwithstanding all the dramatic animations on science documentaries of a cataclysmic meteor wiping out the dinosaurs, the article by Carolyn Gramling states that “Scientists have long wrangled over the cause of the extinctions….”  A new French study of magnetic alignments of lavas in the Deccan Traps of India, some of the biggest lava fields in the world, suggests that the cataclysmic eruptions occurred over a much shorter time period than previously believed – 30,000 years instead of millions – short enough, they claim, to affect worldwide climate.  Some of the older eruptions may have happened even more rapidly because there is no evidence of weathering between successive layers.    A Dutch proponent of the impact scenario is not convinced, however.  He said we don’t know enough about behavior and variability of the Earth’s magnetic field to make strong arguments based on magnetic alignments in rocks.  Gramling says, “He also questions whether any known geophysical mechanism could have spewed out so much lava in such a short time.”Readers, take note: the Science Channel and all the documentaries present their scenarios as fact, and try to make them seem so certain that all scientists agree.  The dating of events, especially, is rarely if ever questioned.  Here, one side is claiming that the old dates of the Deccan Traps are wrong; the other side is questioning whether we can tell anything from magnetic alignments (even though they are commonly used to convince the viewing public of the precision of dating methods).  Since, in the above article, neither theory overlaps the other (see 10/01/2003 entry), each must independently make its case.  Do you begin to get the idea that neither side knows what on earth they are talking about?  Good.  Your eyes are open.    We need to realize how little we can know about prehistory by empirical methods (cf. 11/05/2003)  We need to acknowledge to what extent the data are subject to being molded to human interpretations and presuppositions.  Data exist in the present, not the past (visualize this).  Scientists build models to incorporate the present observations, but short of a time machine or eyewitnesses (02/17/2003 commentary), the past is forever out of reach, and getting more so all the time.  This is not to overlook that some models are more plausible than others (cf. 04/22/2004).  But while seemingly plausible now, today’s leading model can be (and often is) overturned with the next finding.  The Chicxulub story attained such a consensus in recent years as to be nearly enshrined as The Official Story of the Death of the Dinosaurs, but now look; it’s got major problems (04/10/2003, 09/25/2003, 11/25/2003).  Reporters, TV producers and writers of children’s books have not, for the most part, caught up with this development (see 05/13/2004 example), but it is another case of a popular model becoming a has-been.  Such turnarounds litter the history of science.  Writing with an air of certainty about prehistory, therefore, mars otherwise good books like The Privileged Planet (e.g., pp. 22ff) that speak of events in the unobservable past, including magnetic field signatures, as if recorded on steadily-moving tape to be just read off by the unbiased eyes of scientists.  The Dutch critic here reminds us that we know too little about planetary magnetic fields to speak so confidently.  That goes for other dating methods as well.  Discerning minds do well not to attribute infallibility to mortals.As we have pointed out before (10/06/2004 commentary), it is much safer to play conservative and not extrapolate observed measurements recklessly into the past.  It is easier to set upper limits on time than lower limits.  For example, estimating the lifetime of a comet into the past by a few more orbits than have been observed is reasonable, but claiming it came into existence a million years ago extends the observations far beyond human experience.  The former stretches observed behavior a little way back; the latter extrapolates a few data points into unknown territory by many orders of magnitude.  Who knows what perturbations might have changed the orbit before we observed it?  It’s more justifiable to project how long the comet might last given its present rate of mass loss (an upper limit), than to claim it has had to exist for at least umpty million years (a lower limit).  In the current case, the lack of weathering between layers would seem to place an upper limit to the amount of time that must have transpired during the sequence of eruptions.  An upper limit is, of course, a limit; the actual age could have been much lower.  For more examples, see 05/01/2004 story about tufa formations, and the 05/10/2004 article about caves.The admission about whether any known geophysical mechanism could have spewed out so much lava in such a short time is revealing.  Whatever happened to uniformitarianism?  (Notice: it’s gone; catastrophism rules—see 11/04/2003 and 05/22/2003.)  But don’t let these guys puzzle about that problem only here at home.  Have them tell us why big eruptions should be happening right now on Io (05/04/2004), Triton (06/05/2003), Titan (06/09/2005) and Enceladus (07/29/2005) after billions of years, each of them smaller than the Earth (and therefore possessing less gravitational heat), or why comets should still be erupting after so many trips around the sun (03/27/2003).  It’s not that the moyboys* can’t concoct a good story, but to do so, they must keep inserting ad hoc assumptions to keep processes going that would otherwise fizzle out in far less time.  In today’s case, we see two sides (both naturalistic and evolutionary) undermining the credibility of each other’s tale.  The proper lesson is that neither idea can be trusted, and neither side knows what happened, because they weren’t there.*A new word meaning scientists and reporters who toss around the terms millions of years, billions of years with reckless abandon.    The upshot is that, despite all the appearance of scientific rigor, the measurements and jargon, neither story explains the extinction of the dinosaurs, or why some organisms carried on through the catastrophe as if nothing happened (11/08/2004).  A corollary is that any sufficiently advanced model resting on uncertain premises is indistinguishable from a novel.  After all, a good novel usually takes place in the real world and deals with observable, tangible things.  Some novels even describe historical personages and places in exquisite detail (cf. the detailed measurements of magnetic field orientations in present-day rocks).  It does not follow that the events described ever happened, or even if they did, that they happened when the believer claims they happened, or in the way they happened, or that nothing else happened that might bear on what happened.  Another corollary is that a newer model is not necessarily better.  A fancier mansion built on the same shifting sand has the same underlying vulnerability (see 05/13/2004).  It is a specious response, therefore, to retort, “Well, then, what is your model?”  Some choose not to build on the sand, but on the rock.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA minister to head UN tourism venture

first_img3 June 2013 South Africa’s Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has been selected to lead a new United Nations World Tourism Organisation commission on tourism and development, the department announced last week. The working group will examine how to leverage official development assistance (ODA) resources available globally towards tourism development. Members include France, Germany, Kenya, Jamaica, Egypt, Mexico, South Korea, Mauritania and Belgium’s Flemish community. “I believe it will be possible to unlock meaningful new financial resources to further our work in the tourism sector by dramatically scaling up our share of official development assistance,” Van Schalkwyk said at the UN World Tourism Organisation meeting in Belgrade, Serbia last Tuesday. He also identified four priority areas of the working group. They are identifying the reasons why ODA allocation to tourism is low; identifying priorities the development community will find attractive for sustainable tourism development; develop proposals to build on the group’s relationship with donor countries, development banks and UN agencies; and design a matchmaking mechanism to link bilateral donor support to ODA-eligible tourism projects. “There is a sweet spot at the intersection of the three policy imperatives of tourism development, social inclusion and green growth that we have been ignoring to our detriment and that could hold the key to substantial new resources,” Van Schalkwyk said. The group will also look at building good governance in tourism, fostering the poverty reduction impact of tourism and encouraging human resources development in the sector. “As a sector, we have a major task ahead of us to convince the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) development assistance committee, the World Bank, regional development banks, developed country donors and other United Nations agencies of our sector’s important contribution to poverty eradication, the green economy and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” he said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The 3 Ingredients of a Thrilling “Gear Up” Montage

first_imgThe “gear up” montage is a fantastic way to prime your audience for action. Send the hero of your next project into battle with three simple ingredients.Top image via Lionsgate Home EntertainmentLock n’ load. Suit up. Let’s do this. Roll out. This style of scene — the “gear up” montage — goes by several different names. But no matter what it’s called, nothing gets an audience more pumped than to watch a hero get suited up for battle in an action film.Think of Ripley and Hicks prepping their futuristic weaponry for a Xenomorph encounter in Aliens or Bruce Wayne suiting up in the Bat Cave. Think of Rambo tightening his bandana and sharpening a huge blade. Schwarzenegger tying grenades to his Commando vest. Ash strapping a chainsaw to his arm and then sawing off the end of his shotgun.So what exactly makes a gear up scene so exciting? If you watch enough of these, you’ll begin to see some similarities. Let’s break it down into three simple ingredients.1. The Close-UpThe first and most obvious element is the close-up shot. You can’t make a gear up scene without showing all of the gear. This is truly the meat of your montage. Show the gear through a barrage of quickly cut close-up shots.Watch any Edgar Wright film and at some point you’ll find a perfectly crafted gear up sequence. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World all have masterfully edited gear up montages. Wright uses close-up shots with crash zooms, whip pans and white flashes to create beautiful and thrilling sequences.2. Sound Effects and MusicThe unsung hero of a good montage is the audio. While the visuals lay the foundation, the sound effects and epic music help emotionally engage and excite the audience.I remember the thrill of seeing the suit-up scene in the first Iron Man film, watching close-ups of Tony Stark’s suit latch together around him. The underlying music and the sounds of pneumatic tools and metal clanking really brought the scene together. Now I’m always excited for every new Iron Man appearance in a film, just to catch the new gear up scene.3. The Final Wide ShotThe third and final ingredient of the gear up scene is the revealing wide shot.Almost every classic suit up scene ends with a slow zoom to a wide shot of the protagonist, loaded to the gills with gear and ready for combat. The classic visual is Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, picking up his rocket launcher and slinging a rifle over his shoulder as light rays stream down in the background and the music crescendos.So, next time you’re about to go into battle, remember: Close-ups. Sound effects and music. The final wide shot. With just these three elements, you can add intensity and thrills to any film or video project.last_img read more

Team India retain fourth spot in ICC Test rankings

first_imgIndia maintained their position at the 4th spot ahead of England at 5th placeIndia have retained their fourth position in the ICC Test rankings despite a loss in the third Test against England at Southampton with the five-match series currently locked at 1-1.After drawing the first Test, India posted a victory in the second match at Lord’s but went down in the third. Despite the defeat, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have maintained their fourth spot at 102 rating points.The final rankings of both India and England (ranked 5th with 100 rating points) will heavily depend on the upcoming two-Test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which will commence in Galle from August 6.Pakistan are currently ranked third with 103 ratings points, just one point more than India, while Sri Lanka are at sixth position with 95 points. The five-Test series between India and England will end a day after the series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan finishes, and all the teams would be looking to climb up the ladder.If India manage to perform well in the remaining two Tests and Pakistan lose the Test series against Sri Lanka, the Indians would surely gain in the ranking table.Pakistan would drop to sixth spot if they lose the series, while Sri Lanka could move up one place to fifth if they win the series 1-0, and a 2-0 victory will ensure a rise of two places to fourth.Pakistan must win the series to maintain their hold on the third spot and thereby close the gap with South Africa and Australia in first and second place, respectively, while Sri Lanka could drop a place to seventh in such a scenario.advertisementA 1-1 series deadlock will see both sides maintaining their pre-series rankings.Meanwhile, South Africa will be aiming to keep their number one position intact when they take on Zimbabwe in a one-off Test in Harare from August 9. In the Test batsmen’s table, Cheteshwar Pujara is the lone Indian to be feature in the top-10 list, placed at number 10th.last_img read more