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Population of variable platyfish (Xiphophorus variatus) established in Waller Creek, Travis County, Texas. - 11 Feb 2016 15:31

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[[html]]The variable platyfish (Xiphophorus variatus) is endemic to theGulf of Mexico drainages of southern Tamaulipas to northern Veracruz,Mexico (Miller et al., 2005). The species is popular in the aquariumtrade and has a history of introduction globally. Occurrences of thespecies are known from South America (Magalhaes and Jacobi, 2012;Jimenez, 2005), North America, Asia, Africa (Global BiodiversityInformation Facility, http://data.gbif.org), and Puerto Rico (Fishbase,http://fishbase.org). In the United States it is reported to haveoccurred, at least for some duration, in Montana (Holton, 1990),California (Swift et al., 1993; Moyle, 2002), Colorado (Zuckerman andBehnke, 1986), Florida (Burgess et al., 1977), Hawaii (Eldredge, 2000),and Arizona (Minckley and Deacon, 1968).<br><br>Here we provide the first report of establishment of this species&#13;in Texas, where it has persisted for at least a decade in Waller Creek&#13;in the city of Austin (Travis County). Our identification of X. variatus&#13;is based on examination of 595 preserved specimens (284 males and 311&#13;females), all deposited in the Texas Natural History Collections of the&#13;University of Texas at Austin (TNHC 30280, 30287, 30297, 30577, 33240,&#13;41420, 41429, 41433, 41436, 41438, 41443, 41666, 47535, 47537, 49848,&#13;49853, 52321, 52330, 55720, 55721; and frozen tissue samples). The&#13;structure of the gonopodium of 10 mature males examined matches the&#13;description by Rosen (1960), and most specimens display diagnostic&#13;characters mentioned by Miller et al. (2005). This population exhibits&#13;several tail spot patterns typical of the species that have been linked&#13;to temperature tolerance (Culumber et al., 2014), including&#13;"wild-type," "crescent," "cut crescent,"&#13;and "upper cut" as described by Rosen (1960) and Borowsky&#13;(1984). However, hybrids are common in this genus (Cui et al., 2013),&#13;and Balon (2004) notes that the aquarium trade is dominated by hybrids&#13;of X. variatus, X. hellerii, and X. maculatus. Since it is likely that&#13;this population was established from aquarium stock, we suspect this&#13;population to include genes from X. maculatus and X. hellerii.&#13;<br><br>Waller Creek (main stem length = 11 km, watershed area = 10.7[km.sup.2]) is an entirely urban stream flowing from north to souththrough the city of Austin, passing through the University of Texascampus and downtown to its mouth at Lady Bird Lake, an impoundment ofthe Colorado River (Fig. 1). Waller Creek is typical of Central Texasstreams in being susceptible to times of very low flow and suddenflooding. At the most downstream gage, 3.6 km above its mouth, flowsfrom 19561980 averaged 0.10 [m.sup.3]/s, annual minima averaged 0.01[m.sup.3]/s, and annual maxima averaged 46.79 [m.sup.3]/s (United StatesGeological Survey, http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/ nwis).<br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XmtUUwAY1p0&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XmtUUwAY1p0&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>Xiphophorus variatus was first collected in Waller Creek on 6&#13;August 2004, 3.7 km above Lady Bird Lake and likely occurred there&#13;before this date, though we found no record of collections in the&#13;literature nor museum specimen databases (Hendrickson and Cohen, 2012;&#13;Fishes of Texas Database, http://www.fishesoftexas.org) that confirm&#13;this. The last survey of the creek, finding its absence, was conducted&#13;by Edwards (1976) in 1976, nearly three decades prior to ours, thus&#13;making time of introduction difficult to estimate precisely. Our recent&#13;(2004-2014) 25 collections, made at 15 sites throughout <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmtUUwAY1p0">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmtUUwAY1p0</a> the watershed&#13;using 3-m-wide, 0.48-cm delta-mesh seines, found the species in 20 of&#13;those collecting events at 10 sites, ranging from approximately 450&#13;m-9.3 km above the mouth. Those collections found the species apparently&#13;absent in Hemphill Branch (a tributary entering from the west ~3.7 km&#13;above Lady Bird Lake) and the lowermost 450 m of Waller Creek, but in&#13;some reaches, including small impounded areas approximately 2.3 km above&#13;the mouth (Waterloo Park), it was the dominant fish species.&#13;<br><br>Other nonnative fishes have been documented from Waller Creek.&#13;Edwards' (1976) extensive survey of Waller Creek reported Gambusia&#13;geiseri, a species endemic to San Marcos and Comal Springs in Central&#13;Texas, as the only fish species known to be directly introduced by&#13;humans. We did not record Gambusia geiseri in our surveys, but did find&#13;other wide-ranging nonnatives previously reported by Edwards (1976) from&#13;Waller Creek: Herichthys cyanoguttatus, Astyanax mexicanus, Lepomis&#13;auritus, and Carassius auratus. Given the 10 or more years that X.&#13;variatus has persisted in Waller Creek, we anticipated that it might&#13;have also established in other area streams. The Fishes of Texas&#13;database (Hendrickson and Cohen, 2012) revealed that, aside from a&#13;thorough survey of nearby Barton Creek between 2008 and 2009 (Labay et&#13;al., 2011), which found no evidence of X. variatus, other watersheds&#13;adjacent to Waller Creek had been poorly sampled in recent years. We&#13;therefore collected at one site along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake&#13;approximately 1.9 km east of the confluence of Waller Creek and at nine&#13;sites within the adjacent Shoal Creek drainage, which parallels Waller&#13;Creek and enters Lady Bird Lake 1 km west of Waller Creek. Shoal Creek&#13;is physically similar to Waller Creek and runs through a similar geology&#13;and human landscape. Using the same gear we used in Waller Creek and&#13;sampling vegetated habitats like those the species appears to prefer in&#13;Waller Creek, we failed to find X. variatus, indicating that the species&#13;is likely restricted to Waller Creek at this time.&#13;<br><br>We are unsure why X. variatus appears, at this time, to be&#13;restricted to Waller Creek. However, Tatarenkov et al. (2010) measured&#13;very short movements in X. hellerii in Belize, almost always <br><br>[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]&#13;<br><br>Waller Creek is somewhat different from neighboring Shoal Creek in&#13;its hydrology, having far more underground storm water inputs (Fig. 1),&#13;which could increase wintertime creek temperatures. For example, on 7&#13;December 2013, we observed 14[degrees]C water coming out of a storm&#13;water pipe into 7[degrees]C creek water, 1.8 km above the mouth of&#13;Waller Creek, and found X. variatus and several other native species in&#13;the discharged water, apparently avoiding the colder creek water. Waller&#13;Creek also has undocumented discharges from leaky city water pipes&#13;(Scoggins, 2002), numerous permitted discharges, and naturally occurring&#13;springs, all of which could affect stream temperatures at various&#13;temporal and spatial scales. Relatively high thermal buffering, from all&#13;of these sources, may explain the species' persistence in Waller&#13;Creek.&#13;<br><br>Many factors could limit success and spread of nascent introduced&#13;populations of nonnatives. However, intolerance to cold is commonly&#13;cited as a limiting factor for nonnative aquarium fishes in temperate&#13;regions, including X. maculatus in Brazil (Prodocimo and Freire, 2001),&#13;Pygocentrus natteri in the United States (Bennett et al., 1997),&#13;Oreochromis in the United States (Green et al., 2012), and various&#13;tropical species introduced and persisting only in warm springs in&#13;Canada (Crossman, 1984). Limitation by Austin's relative cold would&#13;not be surprising for X. variatus given that near the northern edge of&#13;its native range (Miller et al., 2005) at Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas,&#13;Mexico, winter air temperatures average 17[degrees]C with average daily&#13;lows of 11[degrees]C. Average winter air temperature in Austin is&#13;11[degrees]C and average daily lows are 5[degrees]C (Weatherbase,&#13;http://www.weatherbase. com). However, other species native to northern&#13;Mexico and extreme South Texas, not far from the native range of X.&#13;variatus, are established in Central Texas, including Astyanax&#13;mexicanus, Herichthys cyanoguttatus, Poecilia latipinna, and Xiphophorus&#13;hellerii (Hubbs et al., 2008; Hendrickson and Cohen, 2012).&#13;<br><br>Edwards (1977) noted that Astyanax mexicanus in Waller Creek moved&#13;during winter towards the mouth and into Lady Bird Lake where thermal&#13;buffering provides some protection from cold winters, and returned in&#13;spring to upstream areas. Xiphophorus variatus does not appear to&#13;display this behavior. It is clearly overwintering in upstream reaches&#13;of the creek; we collected it in winter on more than one occasion and in&#13;high densities as far as 9.2 km above the mouth at sites that are also&#13;above small dams that would prevent upstream migration at most flows.&#13;<br><br>We found little reliable thermal tolerance information for X.&#13;variatus. Borowsky reports them occurring in water temperatures of&#13;17[degrees]C (Borowsky, 1984) and 18-24[degrees]C (Borowsky, 1990) in&#13;winter and spring at a spring-dominated site in the species' native&#13;range, but presumably the species can tolerate lower temperatures. Dawes&#13;(2001) puts the species' lower limit at 16[degrees]C, and Hoedman&#13;(1974) reports it tolerates temperatures as low as 15[degrees]C.&#13;<br><br>From 2004-2012, after the first observation of X. variatus, 53&#13;winter (December-February) spot water temperature recordings by City of&#13;Austin's Watershed Protection Department at nine sites on Waller&#13;Creek were observed at various times of the day (City of Austin,&#13;http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/wrequery/query_form.cfm). Those sporadic&#13;water temperatures ranged from 7.7-19.3[degrees]C, averaging&#13;13.3[degrees]C. Air temperature, which is recorded frequently and&#13;regularly at nearby Camp Mabry (National Oceanic and Atmospheric&#13;Administration, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/search), 2.8 km&#13;southwest of the uppermost collection of Xiphophorus in Waller Creek,&#13;averaged 5.88C during the same period. The winter of 2010 (December&#13;2010-February 2011) was one of the coldest on record (average&#13;5.4[degrees]C) and included a 13-day period averaging-3.2[degrees]C with&#13;a single day low of-8.3[degrees]C. Unfortunately, water temperatures&#13;from Waller Creek are not available for this period of extreme cold, and&#13;there are not enough water temperature data available to produce <a href="https://twitter.com/AirstoneVeneer">https://twitter.com/AirstoneVeneer</a> an&#13;estimate of water temperatures for that unusually cold period by&#13;correlating temporally overlapping air and water temperatures.&#13;<br><br>Our series of in situ observations of the species in 2013, 9.2 km&#13;above the mouth of Waller Creek, were associated with that winter's&#13;first cold front bringing below-freezing air temperatures. On 26&#13;November (1230h) we observed one individual swimming slowly and tightly&#13;associated with the substrate in 12[degrees]C water. On 28 November&#13;(1030h) we observed none swimming, but collected 10 specimens from leaf&#13;litter where the temperature was 10[degrees]C. When placed in a&#13;container with stream water, all exhibited little to no swimming and&#13;four had lost equilibrium, orienting on their side or belly up. After&#13;that observation the weather warmed and on 2 December (1630h) we saw&#13;individuals swimming in 20[degrees]C water. On 7 December (0945h), after&#13;another cold front, we collected specimens (n = 9) from 7[degrees]C&#13;water in leaf litter, which, when placed in a container in the same&#13;water, all demonstrated at least some degree of loss of equilibrium&#13;(LOE). On 11 December (0930h) we again found and collected specimens (n&#13;= 5) from 7[degrees]C water in leaf litter, that, when placed in a&#13;container of 7[degrees]C stream water, displayed remarkably improved&#13;equilibrium compared to those observed 4 days prior. The population had&#13;apparently survived a period of at least 4 days at or near 78C, and&#13;their improved equilibrium suggests that they acclimated to the lower&#13;temperature. Attempts to locate dead individuals during these&#13;observations found only one, covered in white fungus, but also one live&#13;with white fungus covering its posterior half. We found both of these in&#13;the first observation (26 November), suggesting perhaps some mortality&#13;and morbidity associated with the initial onset of cold.&#13;<br><br>This population likely includes genes from X. maculatus and/or X.&#13;hellerii that may enhance cold tolerance. Xiphophorus hellerii occurs in&#13;the wild at higher altitudes than X. variatus (Miller et al., 2005) and&#13;may have greater cold tolerance. Evolution of increased cold tolerance&#13;could be a possible explanation for persistence of X. variatus in Waller&#13;Creek. Heritability of cold tolerance has been shown in Oreochromis&#13;niloticus (Charo-Karisa et al., 2005), and evolutionary change of cold&#13;tolerance as fast as 2.5[degrees]C in three generations has been&#13;demonstrated in natural populations of Gasterosteus aculeatus (Barrett&#13;et al., 2010). Additionally, Culumber et al. (2014) showed genetics to&#13;be tightly linked to temperature tolerances of X. variatus and two other&#13;Xiphophorus species and their hybrids (Culumber et al., 2012).&#13;<br><br>Given that our observations of cold tolerance in this population&#13;were lower than published observations and expectations based on low air&#13;temperatures from their native range, we tested for atypical cold&#13;tolerance in this population, which could indicate evolution of cold&#13;tolerance. We performed critical thermal minimum tolerance tests on 10&#13;X. variatus individuals displaying "wild-type" tail spotting&#13;(i.e., lacking melanophores on the caudal peduncle), collected from&#13;Waller Creek in summer 2012, and on 7 specimens from a local pet store&#13;also displaying "wild-type" morphology. All individuals were&#13;maintained at 26.7[degrees]C for 70 days prior to being placed in a&#13;testing chamber. Cold water from a 28-L Styrofoam ice-water reservoir&#13;was pumped into the test tank, a 22-L-capacity Styrofoam cooler&#13;containing 15 L of dechlorinated water in which temperature was&#13;controlled by a temperature controller, semiconductor, and thermocouple.&#13;The system was programmed to pump chilled reservoir water into the test&#13;tank to cool it at a rate of 0.3[degrees]C/min. An air stone mixed and&#13;aerated the water to prevent stratification. Pumping rate varied&#13;depending on the differential temperature between the test tank and the&#13;reservoir, and increased as that difference decreased. Temperature was&#13;lowered until the subject demonstrated clear LOE, designated as the&#13;point at which a fish was unable to control locomotion, even if gently&#13;prodded with a rod. This was characterized by either an inability to&#13;maintain a vertical, upright position (i.e., floating on its side) or an&#13;inability to maintain position against the weak current produced by an&#13;air stone (Turner, 1984; Beitinger et al., 2000).&#13;<br><br>Mean temperature at LOE for Waller Creek specimens was&#13;11.1[degrees]C (SE = 0.27), which was not significantly different from&#13;the mean LOE of pet store specimens (11.3[degrees]C; SE = 0.40;&#13;two-tailed i-test, P = 0.61, df = 15). The similar laboratory cold&#13;tolerances results for both Waller Creek and aquarium populations&#13;suggest that the Waller Creek population has not evolved greater cold&#13;tolerance. However, this comparison is complicated by unknown&#13;hybridization history with aquarium stocks for pet store and likely&#13;Waller Creek populations.&#13;<br><br>Results are consistent with our in situ observation of the Waller&#13;Creek population experiencing LOE at 10[degrees]C. That observation was&#13;upon the onset of the first significant cold front of the year, but&#13;shortly after we observed individuals tolerating temperatures as low as&#13;7[degrees]C, suggesting that cold tolerance is affected by preceding&#13;acclimation temperatures. Culumber et al. (2012) found significant&#13;seasonal variation in temperature tolerances in other Xiphophorus&#13;species and their hybrids, indicating that had we tested with&#13;individuals acclimated to cold perhaps we would have observed even&#13;greater cold tolerances.&#13;<br><br>We then performed additional cold tolerance tests, using the same&#13;methods, on nine individuals displaying "wild-type" tail&#13;spotting collected 10 March from the same location on Waller Creek&#13;(i.e., winter-acclimated). Initial starting temperature this time was&#13;20[degrees]C. Mean LOE was at 7.0[degrees]C (SE = 0.18), which is&#13;significantly lower (4.1[degrees]C difference) than what we observed in&#13;the laboratory using summer-acclimated individuals (two-tailed t-test, P&#13;&lt; 0.001, df = 17). This result indicates that for this species cold&#13;tolerance is strongly affected by prior acclimation, a finding&#13;consistent among many fish species (Beitinger et al., 2000), and we thus&#13;have no reason to doubt that the species may be able to tolerate&#13;temperatures even lower if acclimated. We strongly suspect this&#13;population has experienced temperatures lower than the 7.0[degrees]C&#13;that we observed in the field and laboratory. As Culumber et al. (2012)&#13;found in other Xiphophorus species, cold tolerance can change seasonally&#13;depending on acclimation, and thus sudden cold spells could be lethal.&#13;<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_fnHxjIHj5bgFcwj7xUBLDxuESw2SKwSi6B2ZDRaGdUrRD83S" width="343" /><br><br>Little is known about ecological impacts related to introduced&#13;populations of this species. However, in some areas of Waller Creek, it&#13;has become the dominant fish species, suggesting that it may be strongly&#13;impacting the community. It has replaced native fishes near Monterrey,&#13;Nuevo Leon, in Mexico (S. Contreras, in litt., 1976), but in Hawaii may&#13;have negligible ecological impact compared to X. maculatus and&#13;especially X. hellerii (Maciolek, 1984), which are known to adversely&#13;impact native Hawaiian odonates (Englund, 1999), Australian native&#13;fishes (Warburton and Madden, 2003; Morgan et al., 2004), and a Mexican&#13;native fish (Ruiz-Campos et al., 2002). Introduced poeciliids in general&#13;have broad impacts on native ecosystems (Courtenay and Meffe, 1989; Howe&#13;et al., 1997; Komak and Crossland, 2000), and our observations lead us&#13;to conclude that at least X. variatus is likely to persist in Waller&#13;Creek and could eventually spread to other connected habitats. The fact&#13;that this species has apparently been restricted to Waller Creek for a&#13;decade does not preclude future expansion. The phenomenon of long time&#13;lags between establishment and invasion is well documented among many&#13;nonnative taxa (Kowarik, 1995; Crooks and Soule, 1999; Crooks, 2005).We&#13;therefore recommend consistent, comprehensive stream fish community&#13;monitoring throughout Central Texas.&#13;<br><br>We thank City of Austin employees T. Jackson and R. Click for&#13;providing water temperature data and information about Waller&#13;Creek's gages. J. Rosales (Rains), T. LaDuc, and A. Best are&#13;responsible for the first observation and collection of the species in&#13;Waller Creek. Others who assisted in collections include E. Theriot, C.&#13;Esposito, T. Rosen, J. Diersing, J. Mile, J. Rivera, A. Navyn, C. Bell,&#13;and students of the University of Texas' Natural History Museum&#13;Science class. E. Mclean assisted with cold tolerance tests. 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Published by Texas Natural History Collection, a&#13;division of Texas Natural Science Center, University of Texas at Austin.&#13;Available at: http:// www.fishesoftexas.org. Accessed 12 February 2012.&#13;<br><br>Hoedman, J. J. 1974. Naturalist's guide to freshwater aquarium&#13;fish. M. Banister (translator). Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., New York.&#13;<br><br>Holton, G. D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana&#13;Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena.&#13;<br><br>Howe, E., C. Howe, R. Lim, and M. Burchett. 1997. Impact of the&#13;introduced poeciliid Gambusia holbrooki (Girard, 1859) on the growth and&#13;reproduction of Pseudomugil signifer (Kner, 1865) in Australia. Marine&#13;and Freshwater Research 48:425-434.&#13;<br><br>Howells, R. G. 2001. Introduced non-native fishes and shellfishes&#13;in Texas waters: an updated list and discussion. Texas Parks and&#13;Wildlife Department, Management Data Series, Austin.&#13;<br><br>Hubbs, C., R. J. Edwards, and G. P. Garrett. 2008. An annotated&#13;checklist of the freshwater fishes of Texas, with keys to identification&#13;of species. Texas Academy of science. Available at:&#13;http://www.texasacademyofscience.org/. Accessed 15 April 2012.&#13;<br><br>Jimenez, M. V. 2005. Informe recursos nacionales ministerio de&#13;agricultura y desarrollo ruralColombia direccion de desarrollo&#13;tecnologico y proteccion sanitaria. Pages 76-81 in invasive alien&#13;species in south America: national reports and directory of resources&#13;(S. R. Ziller, J. K Reaser, L. E. Neville, and K. Brandt, editors).&#13;Global Invasive Species Programme, Cape Town, South Africa.&#13;<br><br>Komak, S., and M. R. Crossland. 2000. An assessment of the&#13;introduced mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis holbrooki) as a predator of&#13;eggs, hatchlings and tadpoles of native and non-native anurans. Wildlife&#13;Research 27:185-189.&#13;<br><br>Kowarik, I. 1995. Time lags in biological invasions with regard to&#13;the success and failure of alien species. Pages 15-39 in Plant&#13;invasions: general aspects and special problems (P. Pysek, K. Prach, M.&#13;Rejmanek, and M. Wade, editors). Academic Publishing, Amsterdam,&#13;Netherlands.&#13;<br><br>Labay, B. J., A. E. Cohen, B. Sissel, D. A. Hendrickson, F. D.&#13;Martin, and S. Sarkar. 2011. Assessing historical fish community&#13;composition using surveys, historical collection data, and species&#13;distribution models. PLoS ONE 6:1-13.&#13;<br><br>Maciolek, J. A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of&#13;Oceania. Pages 131-161 in Distribution, biology and management of exotic&#13;fishes (W. R. Courtenay, Jr. and J. R. Stauffer, Jr., editors). Johns&#13;Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, and London, United&#13;Kingdom.&#13;<br><br>Magalhaes, A. L. B., and C. M. Jacobi. 2012. E-commerce of&#13;freshwater aquarium fishes: potential disseminator of exotic species in&#13;Brazil. Acta Scientiarum Biological Sciences 32:243-248.&#13;<br><br>Miller, R. R., W. L. Minckley, and S. M. Norris. 2005. Freshwater&#13;fishes of Mexico. First edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago,&#13;Illinois.&#13;<br><br>Minckley, W. L., and J. E. Deacon. 1968. Southwestern fishes and&#13;the enigma of endangered species. Science 159:1424-1432.&#13;<br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XmtUUwAY1p0&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XmtUUwAY1p0&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>Morgan, D. L., H. S. Gill, M. G. Maddern, and S. J. Beatty. 2004.&#13;Distribution and impacts of introduced freshwater fishes in western&#13;Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research&#13;38:511-523.&#13;<br><br>Moyle, P. B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. University of&#13;California Press, Berkeley.&#13;<br><br>Prodocimo, V., and C. A. Freire. 2001. Critical thermal maxima and&#13;minima of the platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus Gunther (Poecillidae,&#13;Cyprinodontiformes)—a tropical species of ornamental freshwater fish.&#13;Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 18:97-106.&#13;<br><br>Rosen, D. E. AirStone is an innovative, ultra-light product that transforms a complicated construction ordeal into a simple wall-covering project. Indoors or out, our patented AirStone system offers the same look, feel and durability of real stone, but weighs 75% less. This allows anyone to install a beautiful stone veneer using only pre-mixed adhesive, a putty knife and a hack saw. No special tools or mixing are needed.1960. Middle-American poeciliid fishes of the genus&#13;Xiphophorus. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences&#13;5:57-242.&#13;<br><br>Ruiz-Campos, G., J. L. Castro-Aguirre, S. Contreras-Balderas, M.&#13;Lozano-Vilano, A. F. Gonzalez-Acosta, and S. Sanchez-Gonzales. 2002. An&#13;annotated distributional checklist of the freshwater fish from Baja&#13;California Sur, Mexico. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries&#13;12:143-155.&#13;<br><br>Scoggins, M. 2002. Waller Creek status report. City of Austin,&#13;Watershed Protection, Austin, Texas.&#13;<br><br>Swift, C. C., T. R. Haglund, M. Ruiz, and R. N. Fisher. 1993. The&#13;status and distribution of the freshwater fishes of southern California.&#13;Bulletin of the southern California Academy of Sciences 92:101-167.&#13;<br><br>Tatarenkov, A., C. I. M. Healey, and J. C. Avise. 2010.&#13;Microgeographic population structure of green swordail fish: genetic&#13;differentiation despite abundant migration. Molecular Ecology&#13;19:257-268.&#13;<br><br>Turner, J. S. 1984. Raymond B. Cowles and the biology of&#13;temperature in reptiles. Journal of Herpetology 18:421-436.&#13;<br><br>Warburton, K., and C. Madden. 2003. Behavioural responses of two&#13;native Australian fish species (Melanotaenia duboulayi and Pseudomugil&#13;signifer) to introduced poeciliids (Gambusia holbrooki and Xiphophorus&#13;helleri) in controlled conditions. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of&#13;New South Wales 124:115-124.&#13;<br><br>Zuckerman, L. D., and R. J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the&#13;San Luis Valley, Colorado. Pages 435-452 in Fish culture in fisheries&#13;management (R. H. Stroud, editor). American Fisheries Society, Bethesda,&#13;Maryland.&#13;<br><br>Submitted 28 January 2014.&#13;<br><br>Acceptance recommended by Associate Editor, Mark Pyron, 2 June&#13;2014.&#13;<br><br>Adam E. Cohen, * Laura E. Dugan, Dean A. Hendrickson, F. Douglas&#13;Martin, Jonathan Huynh, Ben J. Labay, and Melissa J. Casarez&#13;<br><br>University of Texas at Austin, Department of Integrative Biology,&#13;Biodiversity Collections, Texas Natural History Collection, J.J. Pickle&#13;<br><br>Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Road, PRC176/R4000, Austin, TX&#13;78758-4445&#13;<br><br>* Correspondent: ude.saxetu.nitsua|nehoca#ude.saxetu.nitsua|nehoca&#13;<br><br><img src="http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/springcreekairstone.jpg" width="363" /><br><br><a href='http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Population+of+variable+platyfish+(Xiphophorus+variatus)+established...-a0414961399'>http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Population+of+variable+platyfish+(Xiphophorus+variatus)+established...-a0414961399</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

The Biggest Tax Mistake Real Estate Investors Make - 09 Feb 2016 08:37

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[[html]]Last Updated Mar 5, 2010 10:37 AM EST<br><br>As April 15 approaches, MoneyWatch is publishing daily tax tips. Please check back frequently for the latest advice from our experts.<br><br>It's that taxing time of year, so break out your pencils and start sweating.<br><br>If you're a real estate investor, it's easy to run afoul of the complicated IRS tax laws. To start with, if you own investment real estate, you first have to figure out which category of real estate investor you fit into:<br><br>Active Real Estate Professionals make the decisions about buying, selling, and leasing their investment real estate. The IRS says active <a href="http://robertjguidry7.tumblr.com/">best site</a> real estate professionals spend more than 50 percent of their work life actively engaged in the business <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Robert-J-Guidry-775126959259790/">homepage</a> of buying, selling and managing your properties, which has to amount to at least 750 hours per year.Passive Real Estate Investors contribute money to the purchase or upkeep of the property but don't participate in the day-to-day property management. Passive investors are limited to $25,000 in losses due to their real estate.If you decide that you're an active real estate professional, the IRS then asks you to make a choice between whether you're a flipper or a long-term investor.<br><br>The IRS considers you to be a flipper if you buy and sell real estate properties frequently. What's the magic number? <br><br>Chet Burgess, an enrolled agent who owns Brookwood Tax Service, in Atlanta, says there's no magic number of sales to turn you into a flipper. But if you buy and sell more than one property per year, Burgess says your houses could be treated like retail inventory and the sales might be taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Ouch!<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://davidslabon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/invest-in-real-estate.jpg" width="304" /><br><br>Even if you buy and hold your properties for at least a year (the typical point at which long-term capital gains tax rates kick in), your properties might still be treated as retail inventory and taxed at ordinary income tax rates, Burgess explains.<br><br>Instead of flipping your investment properties, if you buy, hold and rent them out, the IRS will treat you as a long-term investor, granting you favorable tax rates.<br><br>So, what's the single biggest tax mistake real estate investors make?<br><br>According to Merry Brodie, a CPA and enrolled agent, and Bill Nemeth, also an enrolled agent, the single biggest tax mistake real estate investors make is not thinking through the tax consequences of their real estate investments before they start shopping for deals.<br><br>As Burgess puts it, "Over the long term, real estate has been a very good investment for a lot of people." But by being smart about the tax consequences of investing, you can turn a very good investment into a great one.<br><br>Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and the upcoming Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com. <br><br>2010 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved. <br><br><a href='http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-biggest-tax-mistake-real-estate-investors-make/'>http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-biggest-tax-mistake-real-estate-investors-make/</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Real Estate Market 2016: My Predictions - 08 Feb 2016 02:34

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[[html]]Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are over it's time to put on my turban, dust off the crystal ball and see what the future holds for the year ahead. Unless you live under a rock, you know we've entered the deafening world of an election year, meaning the Chicken Little din will continue until November. Setting that aside, let's focus on the beautiful little world of our humble burg and the Denver real estate market.<br><br><img alt="2016-01-17-1453016661-739748-MarketSnapshot476480.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-01-17-1453016661-739748-MarketSnapshot476480-thumb.jpg" width="570" height="223"/><br><br>1. Average Home Price:In metro Denver the average home price leaped another 8 percent in 2015, hitting an all-time high above $407,000. The 6-8 percent price increase trend will continue in 2016 and here's why: Our old friends Supply &amp; Demand. They're the number one driver of price change. In 2007 we had 31,000 properties on the market and prices DROPPED 14 percent, while in 2015 we averaged just 7,000 properties on the market so prices ROSE 8 percent. We've have had record low inventory in metro Denver for the past few years and there's absolutely no sign of that changing, forcing tremendous upward pressure on prices as demand outstrips supply. Where will the new supply of home inventory come from? Well It won't be bank-owned properties or short-sales. After five long years of downturn our economy is in full recovery and though everyone's not riding the wave, there are just not that many distressed properties. Eventually supply will come from new construction (but that takes time) and lucky homeowners who realize what a great market it is and decide to put their home up for sale. Many potential sellers look at the market and think they can't find their next home because of the lack of inventory, so they don't sell their homes which perpetuates the lack of inventory. It's a Catch-22, isn't it? Low inventory and rising prices are here to stay for the foreseeable future. I believe that there's super-power which drives real estate no matter what the market and that is change. Life change. As long as people marry, procreate, divorce, age and die the real estate market will move. Of course there are other things like promotions, relocations, graduations and investments that bring good things into the mix as well.<br><br>2. Number of Homes Sold: The increase in the number of single family homes sold rose only 1 percent (year over year) simply because there was so little inventory on the market to buy. So prices rose, but the number of sales was nearly flat, what's up with that? Any buyers out there been in a bidding war? As much as we dread it, and it has calmed down some, I'm not seeing any dramatic change in 2016. Expect a 3-4 percent price increase in home sales over last year, because our Denver metro population is rising 1.5 percent per year and those damn Californians need to live somewhere! (I can say that, I'm one of them, but 20 years in Denver qualifies me as a pseudo-native.)<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://richdadeducationblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/real-estate-investing.png?w=630" width="388" /><br><br>3. The Condo Market: Wanna hear something crazy? The condo market did even better than single-family <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stacykellams">Stacy Kellams real estate investing</a> homes in 2015 with an average price increase of 16%! Usually the condo market is the last to rise and first to fall but we've turned that logic <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/dean_enterprises.html">Dean Graziosi</a> sideways. Still… not seeing evidence that our current condo trend will change any time soon.<br><br>4. The Investor Market: Here's the tricky one. I think the real estate investor market will remain strong, for all of the reasons listed in 1-3. The fix and flip market will continue to be profitable for those who can find underpriced homes to flip. They're out there but it takes patience, tools, a good Realtor and legwork to find them. Once fixed, the selling is the easy. For you buy-and-hold types, the market will continue to be extremely generous for long-term investors. Interest rates and vacancy rates are still at record lows, while rents continue to skyrocket. It's not difficult to buy a rental property in today's environment and put it on the path to be paid off in 12-15 years. For building long-term wealth it's tough to compete with rental property ownership; that's the one thing that never ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.<br><br>In Other News:<br><br>There's a lot of buzz about corporations investing in affordable housing lately, Google for one. That's great news for the Boulder rental market… doesn't help the buyer much.<br><br>Oh, and have you seen "The Big Short"? Excellent film, important story, but you'll want to shower when you get home.<br><br>Tracy Shaffer is a Realtor with Your Castle Real Estate. Find me at TracysDenverHomes<br><br><a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-shaffer/post_10874_b_9001924.html'>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-shaffer/post_10874_b_9001924.html</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Why Real Estate Could Be a Better Investment than Stocks - 07 Feb 2016 04:46

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[[html]]And, relying on when you buy, needing to market after a decrease like these can be devastating to your financial savings as well as retirement.<br><br>August 24, 2015: -588.47<br><br>August 21, 2015: -530.94<br><br>August 8, 2011: -634.76<br><br>Six even more 600 factors or larger drops because 2000.<br><br>One significant distinction is in making use of the IRS 1031 Exchange policy for growing your genuine estate portfolio. Commercial property taxes were pointed out as an unfavorable, and they are to a factor. Let's look at some of the factors referenced in the linked write-up.<br><br>Sure, you must pay real estate tax if you own actual estate. It's complicated and the rules are rigorous, so an accountant should be entailed.<br><br>Rates of interest Increases<br><br>I'm not trying to push anybody right into realty who hesitates of it or not suited for a proprietor's duties. particularly not now. Yes, if you just acquired as well as held for 15 years, you would have done well in stocks. It's not unusual to see an article such as this now, as the China situation took the Dow Jones down in a remarkable way over the course of a week or so. As a matter of fact, they could aid. Nevertheless, the <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/deangraziosiinfo/">Dean Graziosi</a> next time your stock broker recommends you to "expand," don't merely do it with stocks. It sets you back business a lot more to borrow to broaden and finance operations, so their earnings are minimized. However, there certainly are factors genuine estate as a diversification technique.<br><br>Let's consider just what inflation really is.<br><br>Tax obligations<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://authorizedinvestors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/real-estate-investing3.png" width="333" /><br><br>Prior to my added "Ya Assume" focus, the title coincides as a title of a post today over at Cash, USNews.com. If home loan <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/dean_enterprises.html">http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/dean_enterprises.html</a> rates increase, even more individuals have to lease compared to buy. Bonds bring a set rate of return, so their worth drops when rates of interest boost.<br><br>If you have rental realty with a fixed mortgage price, interest price increases don't actually trouble you. If you desire some historical viewpoint, there are some days and also Dow dives historically:<br><br>In fact, the write-up had not been actually that good regarding the benefits of purchasing realty. However, if you're doing your job, you factor those into your purchase of rental property and also the favorable money circulation you forecast to obtain. That's not to say that genuine estate is inflation proof, but there are some sensible factors why it might be a lot better. While the securities market investor will pay resources gains taxes in the year they market a stock at an earnings, property <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Dean/Graziosi">https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Dean/Graziosi</a> investor obtain a major break. Your very own home worth could in fact enhance during inflationary periods.<br><br>This Blog writer's Works and Various other Items from …<br><br><img src="http://assets.huffingtonpost.com/amazon-sidebar.gif"/><br><br><a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-graziosi/why-real-estate-could-be-_b_8078588.html'>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-graziosi/why-real-estate-could-be-_b_8078588.html</a><br><br>So, that claimed, I'm not stating dump all of your stocks and buy realty … Rental need rises and leas rise. When inflation gets rowdy, it can take away major portions of your financial investment gains in stocks. So, let's have a look at some distinctions in between stocks and also realty as an investment asset course.<br><br>Inflation Bush. Points like the simplicity of placing stock professions and also inexpensive of transactions were discussed. It is an increase in the cost of items and services. Unfortunately, lots of people cannot merely drop a major piece of become stocks and also simply allow it use for that long. The short article's title really wasn't in my viewpoint assisted quite strongly by the content. So, what do you expect to happen to residence costs when timber, tile, electrical wiring, plumbing system as well as various other products and also labor costs enhance? If it costs more to build, generally within a reasonable duration of time it will certainly set you back more to acquire. Utilizing this IRS regulation, you could offer and roll the profits right into one more financial investment and also do away with paying resources gains.<br><br><img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://reiclub.com/realestateblog/wp-content/uploads/03-24-15-investing-opportunities.jpg" width="297" /><br><br><img alt="2015-09-02-1441217235-1234808-wrtast.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-09-02-1441217235-1234808-wrtast-thumb.jpg" width="570" height="379"/><br><br>Stocks are susceptible to rising cost of living danger. Certain, they can rise, but you might be able to offset that with lease increases.<br><br>When rates of interest rise, stocks and most definitely bonds usually experience. Your return is whatever it is, consisting of dividends<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Real Estate Leaves One Investor High and Dry - 05 Feb 2016 19:16

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[[html]]In Sacramento, Calif., not far from where prospectors sought quick riches in the gold rush more than a century ago, another speculative boom is going bust.<br><br>This time, however, it's not the lure of precious metals — it's real estate.<br><br>"The market was hot, and I decided to give it a shot," said Casey Serin, a modern-day speculator who hoped to strike it rich quick by buying homes, fixing them up and then flipping them for a profit.<br><br>The Lure of Quick CashSerin said he has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Born in Uzbekistan, the 24-year-old came to the United States with his family in 1994 and became a U.S. citizen nine years later.<br><br>After graduating from high school, he found a full-time job as a Web site programmer. But Serin was always interested in starting his own business.<br><br>In particular, he was drawn to real estate. So Serin attended real estate seminars and bought how-to CDs, DVDs and books.<br><br>"My first set of seminars was $15,000," he said. He was hooked, eventually spending nearly $35,000 on what he calls his real estate education.<br><br>"I kept spending because I thought, 'I need more education,'" Serin said.<br><br>And after he made a profit buying and selling one property, he eventually jumped into the real estate boom that was gripping the nation.<br><br>"My first deal was $30,000. I got a bit of euphoria. I thought I could do this more and more. Exuberant feelings led me to buy more <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stacykellams">Stacy Kellams, Facebook</a> property."<br><br>Buying Spree Starting in 2005 Serin went on a real estate shopping binge, buying eight homes in eight months in four different states. Along the way, he quit his job to devote himself full-time to real estate investing.<br><br>In October 2005, he bought one home in Sacramento, then another one in January 2006. The next month, he purchased two properties in New Mexico. Next, he closed on a home in Modesto, Calif. In March 2006, he bought a home, sight unseen, in Utah as well as another in California.<br><br>In May of that year, he bought a home in Dallas, the same way he bought the house in Utah — sight unseen.<br><br>In all, he acquired eight homes over eight months, and a lot of debt.<br><br>"In total I was $2.2 million in debt between mortgages and unsecured lines of credit and credit cards," said Serin.<br><br>"It was a very tough thing to face."<br><br>Cracks in the Foundation Serin's problems started when the home repairs often took longer than expected.<br><br>"My goal was always to fix up the house and resell it for profit quickly," he said, "say within three to four months. [The] problem is three to four months turned into six months, and then my money ran out, and I couldn't finish fixing it."<br><br>Another problem was timing.<br><br>Serin started buying just as the real estate market boom was going bust. His houses sat unsold, and his debt continued to climb.<br><br>"I created a logistical nightmare for myself trying to do too many properties too fast. And what happened was, I ran out of money," he said.<br><br>Creative Financing and 'Liar Loans' To make matters worse, Serin told ABC News that he purchased his homes using what are known in the lending industry as "low documentation" loans. With these mortgages, borrowers provide limited documentation — or proof — to confirm their income and assets, and lenders base loans on that information with little to no verification.<br><br>Serin said that he told lenders on his loan applications that he was making more than his actual salary of $50,000 a year from his computer job.<br><br>"I ended up stating more than I was really making because I was able to take advantage of what's called 'stated income loans,'" he said. "In the industry they call them 'liar loans,' because the bank basically allows you to state anything you want."<br><br>"Low doc" and "no doc" loans were originally intended for the self-employed, whose income can vary year to year or for the very wealthy, who don't want to disclose their earnings.<br><br>"Low-doc and no-doc [are] very viable for a certain segment of the buying public," explained Ed Smith of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. "For example, a person with high credit scores, the ability to make their payments, a long-term history of being financially prudent with their finances — however, they don't want to disclose full documentation of their income."<br><br>But as home prices soared, especially in states such as California, lenders loosened credit requirements and made these loans available to more people.<br><br>These higher-risk loans also came with higher interest rates. It is many of those borrowers — like Casey Serin — who are now having problems making their mortgage payments.<br><br>"The [loan] products that were available were mismatched in many cases with the wrong customer's financial profile," said Smith. "Many customers got into loan products that were ill-advised or maybe not well thought out. There's no such thing as a bad loan; there's loan products that fit everyone's individual profile."<br><br>Zach Gast. who analyzes the mortgage lending industry for the Center for Financial Research and Analysis, said pressure on lenders to continue making loans as home prices increased led to a loosening of lending standards.<br><br>"The standards dropped in nearly everything you can imagine," he said. "Borrowers were not required to provide documentation of their income. They paid less in down payments. And they were also allowed to have higher mortgage payments as a percentage of their income."<br><br>According to Credit Suisse, an international financial services group, "low/no doc" loans accounted for nearly half of all home purchase loans issued in 2006 in the United States, up from only 18 percent in 2001.<br><br>The Walls Come Down Serin admitted he lied about his income on his applications.<br><br>"It was fairly common to do stated income loans. I thought, well this must be gray area. It's kind of like speeding on the freeway. Everybody does it. As long as you do it within reason, it's all right. Well, I crashed my car."<br><br>And as his homes sat unsold and he couldn't make the payments, he continued to dig himself deeper and deeper into debt.<br><br>Part <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/dean-graziosi">Dean Graziosi</a> of that debt was a result of how he structured his mortgage deals, where he not only got a home a closing, he got cash back. Serin said he used the money to fix up the properties as well as to live on, something that could possibly land him in trouble with law enforcement.<br><br>"I was able to structure the deals in such a way to where I will borrow 100 percent of the value and find a way to have the seller give me of the money back for my repairs."<br><br>He didn't think it was illegal because, as he put it, "I just thought as long as it was a win-win deal, it was all good."<br><br>According to his attorney, Serin is currently under investigation by the FBI. His attorney, Kevin Mark Wray, told ABC News that "as of yet, no charges have been brought against Mr. Serin. However, based upon conversations with the U.S. attorney's office in California, federal charges related to Mr. Serin's real estate transactions are expected to be brought against him. At this time, my office is reviewing Mr. Serin's real estate transactions. I have engaged an expert on mortgage law and mortgage foreclosure. I expect to have a complete response in the next two weeks." <br><br>Even before the investigation began, debt collectors were harassing Serin, and his mailbox was filling up with delinquent notices. Eventually, his lenders started foreclosure procedures.According to Serin's Web site, five of his eight homes have been foreclosed on, two of his homes have been sold and one is under contract to be sold.<br><br>Going Public Despite what he has done, Serin has been remarkably candid about his actions. He started a Web site where he posted everything from pictures of his homes to a detailed list of his personal finances. His blog, which started out as a place for him to share his experiences with others, later became a possible business opportunity. "The entrepreneur in me thought, 'Hey, this is great. I can maybe leverage this into some other business later on.'"<br><br>"There was a time where I was embarrassed," he said, "but after a while I decided, you know what? What's there to be ashamed about? Successful people go through several of these, you know. Failure is part of success."<br><br>Serin once envisioned the Web site and blog becoming a place where people facing foreclosure could learn about what to expect, as well as what options might be available to them. However, the attention from the media, Web watchers and legal authorities has become too difficult for him. He recently sold the domain and will soon stop blogging about his activities. For those who loved (and hated) his adventures in real estate, as of after Friday, August 3, Serin's story, as told online, is expected to end. <br><br>In the Hot Seat "I have a lot of critics that say because of me, the market is overpriced," he said. "Because of me, the renters are priced out. It's interesting. I've been put in a position where I'm blamed for macroeconomic problems. I'm kind of like a mascot for what's really going on."<br><br>Commentators on Serin's and their own blogs also express anger at Serin's lifestyle.<br><br>"I make things worse by telling them part of the money last year was used for my wife, and I to go on vacation. Well, people don't realize this is one thing we did. Everything else was very frugal," he said.<br><br>"We have scaled back in a lot of ways, and we have cut our expenses down. But what happens is people focus on the drama. They see that I'm supposedly living a frivolous lifestyle, they see that I went to a Starbucks or a Jamba Juice and they say, 'You need to be on rice and beans all the time. You need to be eating Top Ramen all day.'"<br><br>Undeterred Despite Debt Serin maintains that his critics don't realize the severity of his situation.<br><br>"You can't just send $5 toward your credit card; they will still continue their collection process," he said. "With foreclosures you can't just pay them a partial payment. They will still do the foreclosure."<br><br>While Serin wants to work out deals for his remaining debt, he said he is trying his best to avoid declaring bankruptcy.<br><br>"People say maybe you should give up after eight bad deals," he said. "Well, I'd like to say they weren't all bad, and I have learned a lot through it. So I'd like to think the next deal I am going to do is going to be successful."<br><br>So, Serin continues to search for his eureka moment and hopes to strike gold.<br><br><img src="http://ireoworld.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/real-estate-investment.jpg" width="398" /><br><br>Portions of this report originally aired April 13, 2007.<br><br><a href='http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3030705'>http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3030705</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu caught - 04 Feb 2016 16:12

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[[html]]Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu were captured Saturday morning after a citizen in San Francisco alerted police officers that he had seen a stolen white van that the two escapees were using, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens told reporters. <br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://www.viajejet.com/wp-content/viajes/Orange-County.jpg" width="371" /><br><br>San Francisco police said the individual told <a href="https://www.cpp.edu/~collins/partners/documents/BioSherwin.pdf">Gary Sherwin</a> officers near the Park District Station that he had seen a man who looked like one of the suspects — Nayeri, as it turned out. Police officers soon saw Nayeri, who sprinted away. He didn't get far before he was caught.<br><br>The van, with Tieu hiding inside, was found at a nearby Whole Foods. <br><br>Hutchens told reporters there were .380-caliber rounds found in the van but neither fugitive had a weapon. She said her investigators from Southern California were in San Francisco to interview the escapees.<br><br>California escape: Jail teacher arrested; fugitives thought to be in van<br><br>Detectives are trying to determine whether anyone helped the pair and another man in the eight days since they escaped.<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://lamushcast.wikidot.com/local--files/navigation:area-maps/orange-county.jpg" width="286" /><br><br>The third escapee, Bac Tien Duong, 43, had been taken into custody in Santa Ana on Friday morning after he asked a worker at an auto parts store to call police. <br><br>The trio likely broke out of a maximum-security jail in Santa Ana after a 5 a.m. headcount January 22, but it wasn't until more than 15 hours later that authorities discovered the sophisticated escape. <br><br>The inmates used tools to cut through security bars in a plumbing tunnel and into air vents. They also apparently used sheets braided into ropes to rappel down four to five stories — about 50 feet — from the roof of the jail.<br><br>Who are the inmates that escaped a California prison?<br><br>It was the first time anyone had escaped from the jail since 1988.<br><br>Tieu, 20, was in jail awaiting trial on a murder charge and attempted murder in an allegedly gang-related attack. Authorities say he is a member of a Vietnamese gang. <br><br>Nayeri, 37, has been accused of kidnapping and attacking a man, pouring bleach on him, setting the victim on fire, severing his penis and leaving him to die in the desert, authorities have said. The man survived.<br><br>Duong was to be tried on an attempted murder charge.<br><br>Each has pleaded not guilty.<br><br>Back to same jailHutchens said the men will again be housed in the Central Men's Jail but will be in a more secure unit.<br><br>"I can tell you they won't be together," she added.<br><br>A woman who taught classes in English as a second language at the jail was arrested Thursday in connection with the escape.<br><br>Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, will face a charge of being an accessory to a felony, Hallock said. It is unclear whether Navaghi has an attorney.<br><br>She has denied giving the escapees tools, but has admitted giving a Google Earth image, on paper, showing the area around the jail complex, to Nayeri, according to Hallock.<br><br>Authorities had offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to the fugitives' capture. Hutchens said she believes the witness in San Francisco deserves at least some of the reward money. <br><br>"This is an excellent example of how the public can help SFPD keep this city safe," San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said. "A citizen saw someone suspicious, notified an officer, which ultimately led to the apprehension of two armed and dangerous criminals."<br><br>Orange County Sheriff Lt. Jeff Hallock said Friday that Nayeri and Tieu were spotted in San Jose a day earlier and authorities believed they were in a stolen white van. San Jose is about a 6-hour drive from Santa Ana.<br><br>CNN's Carma Hassan and Jason Hanna contributed to this report. <br><br><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/30/us/calfornia-jail-escapees-caught/'>http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/30/us/calfornia-jail-escapees-caught/</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

America's best vacations for sports fans - 02 Feb 2016 21:22

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[[html]]Story highlightsCities from Louisville to San Diego offer vacations perfect for sports fansVisitors can take an IndyCar for a high-speed ride around the trackIconic ballpark Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th season this yearDisney's ESPN Wide World of Sports hosts events for 60 different sportsWhen he's not doing 200 mph around the racetrack, NASCAR champion driver Kurt Busch is feeding a need besides speed: his love of sports. "After the NASCAR schedule comes out, I strategically make plans to get to a unique sporting event at least once a month," says the passionate fan, making a point of visiting baseball parks and other sports attractions like museums and stadiums along the racing circuit.<br><br>And he's hardly alone. Sports-related tourism is big bucks in America. Super Bowl XLVIII was widely touted (if disputed) as having a $600 million economic impact in the New York City region. Chump change next to the billions surrounding the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.<br><br>But avowed sports nuts don't need big-ticket events to bring out their passion. Under-the-radar activities and the chance to show their love of the game — any game — while on vacation can transform a trip into an unforgettable experience.<br><br><img src="http://ocalmanac.com/images/Map_OCnorth.JPG" width="295" /><br><br>From shooting hoops in Springfield, Massachusetts, to surfing San Diego's waves, we've sweated the details to identify itineraries for sports fans whatever their home team may be. Game on.<br><br>See all of America's best vacations for sports fans<br><br>Indianapolis: The brickyard and basketball<br><br>Getting behind the wheel of an IndyCar for a high-speed ride around one of the world's most famous tracks will make anyone — from everyday gear heads to racing aficionados — want to "Kiss the Bricks" like Brickyard race winners have done since 1996. Basketball (and sports movie) fans can relive the "Milan Miracle of 1954" at both the Milan '54 Hoosiers Museum and the Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the historic high school game was played (and where much of the movie "Hoosiers," on which it's based, was filmed).<br><br>Time out: Dinner is a scene — with all the black-and-white photos to prove it — at St. Elmo Steak House, where hundreds of athletes and celebrities have dined since its 1902 opening.<br><br>Cleveland and Canton: Rock the pigskin<br><br>In northeast Ohio, rock star quarterbacks and actual rock stars get equal air time. Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame pays homage to the gridiron's greats and is fresh off a 2013 renovation/expansion that now includes interactive exhibits, like an Instant Replay challenge where visitors can play referee and decide whether to overturn or confirm rulings on the field. There's no more iconic football anthem than Queen's "We Will Rock You," so pay homage afterward in Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.<br><br>Time out: Holidays and sports go hand-in-hand, so make time for a cult classic with a stop in Cleveland's A Christmas Story House and Museum (leg lamp included).<br><br>Coolest Olympic stadiums<br><br>Upstate New York: Champions getaway<br><br>Start in Cooperstown, New York, at America's oldest professional sports Hall of Fame, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year with special programming, including concerts on Doubleday Field, the birthplace of the sport. While in town, pose with legends of the past at the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum. <br><br>Just three hours north, channel our modern Olympic legends during a Lake Placid Adventure: bobsledding, skeleton runs, skiing and ice skating at the Olympic Sports Complex, the very rink where the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union in what became known as the "Miracle on Ice."<br><br>Time out: Craft beer is fast becoming another great American pastime, with Cooperstown's Ommegang at the forefront (brewery tours and tastings available).<br><br>Iowa to Illinois: Baseball road trip<br><br>What could improve a day spent running the bases and playing catch on the Iowa baseball diamond where Field of Dreams was filmed? Free admission! Afterward, drive three hours east to Chicago to tour the dugout, clubhouse and press box at one of America's most iconic ballparks: Wrigley Field, celebrating its 100th season this year. <br><br>Navy Pier boasts two of Chi-town's most obscure sports attractions: a stained-glass window depiction of Michael Jordan and a sports memorabilia collection in famed sportscaster Harry Caray's Tavern, which features Sammy Sosa's corked bat.<br><br>Time out: On the drive to Chicago, stop at the charming town of Galena, Illinois, where the pre-presidency home of Ulysses S. Grant is open for tours.<br><br>America's best baseball stadiums<br><br>San Diego: Skate and surf<br><br>Sunny San Diego is a mecca for action sports nuts: surfing, BMX biking, hang gliding, mountain biking, and of course, skateboarding (it's home to grinding legend Tony Hawk). Practice <a href="https://www.cpp.edu/~collins/partners/documents/BioSherwin.pdf">https://www.cpp.edu/~collins/partners/documents/BioSherwin.pdf</a> your tricks at one of the area's few dozen skateparks and surfing beaches, and celebrate the Golden State's iconic surfing culture at the California Surf Museum a bit north in Oceanside. Team sports fans have a pilgrimage point, too, at the Padres' Petco Park, one of America's best baseball stadiums thanks to its beach and palm trees beyond center field.<br><br>Time out: Traveling with kids? You can't miss LEGOLAND. For beautiful views, the Ocean Terrace of George's California Modern offers sustainable seafood and panoramic scenes of La Jolla Cove.<br><br>Louisville: Bats, boxing and on-track betting<br><br>There may not be a professional sports team in Louisville, Kentucky, but its sporty offerings are still top-notch — especially if you've got a gambling bent. The Kentucky Derby (one of the most-watched sporting events of the year) takes place in May, but you can see a horse race at Churchill Downs any time of the year (no big hat required); an on-site museum offers exhibits on winning horses and Derby fashion through the years. <br><br>Other area activities include a bat-making demonstration at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and the cultural center dedicated to legendary boxer and native son Muhammad Ali.<br><br>Time out: Whiskey fans will appreciate the area's proximity to the eight distilleries (and tasting rooms) on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.<br><br>Philadelphia: Yo, Adrian!<br><br>Maybe it's ironic that the City of Brotherly Love is famous for a series of films where boxers go after each other with a fury normally reserved for Eagles fans after a loss, but that's part of what makes Philly a great sports town. (In fact, it ranks as the No. 1 most sports-crazed city in America.) <br><br><img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://www.cacvso.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/orange_county_picture.jpg" width="286" /><br><br>Pretend to be Rocky and run the Philadelphia Art Museum steps — and snap a selfie with the man himself, immortalized in bronze at their base — before visiting boxing legend Joe Frazier's gym, which was just added to the National Register of Historic Places. All three of Philadelphia's professional sports stadiums are in the same complex.<br><br>Time out: Order a cheesesteak or (even better) roast pork sandwich at Tony Luke's, just a few minutes from the stadiums.<br><br>America's best stadium food<br><br>Orlando: Sports by Disney<br><br>Turning a Disney vacation into a sports lover's trip is an easy win in Orlando. Pretend to be a famous NASCAR driver — or international spy/supervillain, with the exotic car option — at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, during which race cars reach 120 mph. <br><br>Events are held regularly at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in nine venues that accommodate more than 60 different sports, from football to lacrosse to track and field and volleyball, including the Atlanta Braves' spring training. For dinner, head to Universal Studios' NASCAR Sports Grille, which is full of racing memorabilia, or dine on a basketball court at NBA City.<br><br>Time out: In nearby Winter Park, extreme water sports fans can try a new activity that seems straight out of a science fiction movie, the Jet Ski-meets-jet pack Flyboard.<br><br>Las Vegas: Scoring with bikini football<br><br>What could be more fitting in the City of Sin than an evening watching lingerie-clad ladies playing football? The Las Vegas Sin is one of a dozen teams in the Lingerie Football League that holds games from April to August. <br><br>On the strip, SCORE! at the Luxor is a suitably over-the-top interactive sports experience that boasts more than 100 pro athlete visits annually, authentic sports memorabilia and physical tests like throwing a fastball and changing the tire on a NASCAR vehicle. Thrill-seekers may even want to try indoor skydiving and one of the many machine-gun shooting ranges.<br><br>Time out: At the Palazzo, celeb chef Emeril has kicked up a former club into one of the city's best sportsbooks, Lagasse's Stadium.<br><br>North Carolina: Laps and layups<br><br>It's March Madness all the time in Chapel Hill and neighboring Durham, North Carolina, where college basketball fans are wild about rival teams the UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils (at the infamously intense Cameron Stadium). <br><br>A road trip <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Gary/Sherwin">https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Gary/Sherwin</a> to nearby Charlotte is a treat for racing fans, too. The NASCAR Hall of Fame combines exhibits on racing's greats with fun, interactive activities, while the Richard Petty Museum presents the racing legend's accomplishments alongside his unexpected collections of guns, dolls and pocket watches. Most NASCAR team headquarters are open to the public as well and feature exhibits on popular drivers.<br><br>Time out: Grab a souvenir at the Sam Bass Art Gallery, featuring intensely colored paintings and prints by NASCAR's first officially licensed artist.<br><br>See all of America's best vacations for sports fans<br><br><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/07/travel/best-sports-fan-vacations/'>http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/07/travel/best-sports-fan-vacations/</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Study: Only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases pay - 01 Feb 2016 11:49

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[[html]]ATLANTA Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout, according to the most comprehensive study of these claims in two decades.<br><br>But while doctors and their insurers may be winning most of these challenges, that's still a lot of fighting. Each year about 1 in 14 doctors gets sued, and most physicians and virtually every surgeon will face at least one malpractice lawsuit in their careers, the study found.<br><br>That represents a significant emotional cost for doctors, said study co-author Amitabh Chandra, an economist and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government<br><br>"They hate having their name dragged through the local newspaper and having to go to court," he said.<br><br>The study might seem to support a common opinion among doctors that most malpractice lawsuits are baseless, but the authors said the truth is more complicated than that.<br><br>They noted influential earlier research in New York state concluding that just a tiny fraction of the patients harmed by medical mistakes actually file claims.<br><br>Trial lawyers say cost is a barrier to bringing a claim to court. There are very high up-front costs for hiring expert witnesses and preparing a case. Doctors, hospitals and their insurers often have significant money and legal firepower. Some states also have caps on malpractice awards. So, usually, only very strong cases with high expected payouts are pursued.<br><br>Given the expense and other difficulties involved in winning, it's doubtful most claims are filed on a greedy whim, the researchers said.<br><br>"A lawyer would have to be an idiot to take a frivolous case to court," Chandra said.<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://floridainjuryattorneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/medical-malpractice.jpg" width="398" /><br><br>The study was published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.<br><br>The research team turned to one of the nation's largest national malpractice insurers, analyzing data for about 41,000 physicians who bought coverage from 1991-2005. The researchers could only get the data by signing an agreement not to identify the insurer, so they wouldn't disclose the name of the company.<br><br>The insurer represents only about 3 percent of the nation's doctors, but it operates in all 50 states. The average payouts were about the same as seen in the government-created National Practitioner Data Bank, which records payouts but doesn't record all claims filed.<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://davidlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/florida-medical-malpractice.gif" width="318" /><br><br>The study found:<br><br>About 7.5 percent of doctors have a claim filed against them each year. That finding is a little higher than a recent American Medical Association survey, in which 5 percent of doctors said they had dealt with a malpractice claim in the previous year.<br><br>Fewer than 2 percent of doctors each year were the subject of a successful claim, in which the insurer had to pay a settlement or court judgment.<br><br>Some types of doctors were sued more than others. About 19 percent of neurosurgeons and heart surgeons were sued every year, making them the most targeted specialties. Pediatricians and psychiatrists were sued the least, with only about 3 percent of them facing a claim each year.<br><br>When pediatricians did pay a claim, it was much more than other doctors. The average pediatric claim was more than $520,000, while the average was about $275,000.<br><br>"Jurors' hearts cry out for injured patients, especially when kids are involved," Chandra said. The amount attached to a pediatric case also rises because many more years of suffering are involved than if the victim is middle-aged or elderly, experts said.<br><br>The study was funded by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Chandra also received funding from the National Institute on Aging, which has been interested in malpractice as a possible driver of health-care costs.<br><br>The study echoes earlier research on which specialists get sued most often, said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group.<br><br>"The thing that's disappointing about their study is they don't <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/neinstein-and-associates-toronto">http://www.yelp.ca/biz/neinstein-and-associates-toronto</a> focus on what can be done to prevent people from being injured," said Wolfe, who has pushed for more aggressive policing of doctors by state medical licensing boards.<br><br>___<br><br><img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="https://expertbeacon.com/sites/default/files/should_you_settle_or_go_to_court_for_a_medical_malpractice_lawsuit_.jpg" width="264" /><br><br>Online:<br><br>New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org<br><br><a href='http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/17/study-only-1-in-5-medical-malpractice-cases-pay.html'>http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/17/study-only-1-in-5-medical-malpractice-cases-pay.html</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

answerbag.com - This website is for sale! - answerbag Resources and Information. - 31 Jan 2016 09:34

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[[html]]By using our site, you consent to this privacy policy: This website allows third-party advertising companies for the purpose of reporting website traffic, statistics, advertisements, "click-throughs" and/or other activities to use Cookies and /or Web Beacons and other monitoring technologies to serve ads and to compile anonymous statistics about you when you visit this website. Cookies are small text files stored on your local internet browser cache. A Web Beacon is an often-transparent graphic image, usually no larger than <a href="http://robertjguidry7.tumblr.com/">bobby guidry</a> 1 pixel x 1 pixel that is placed on a Web site. Both are created for the main purpose of helping your browser process the special features of websites that use Cookies or Web Beacons. The gathered information about your visits to this and other websites are used by these third party companies in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. The information do not include any personal data like your name, address, email address, or telephone number. If <a href="http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Robert-J.-Guidry-Investments,-L.L.C.-504-348-1747">robert guidry</a> you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://marshaskinner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Real-estate-investment-Marshaskinner-.jpg" width="282" /><br><br><a href='http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2283619'>http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2283619</a><br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://shs411.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/how_to_be_a_real_estate_investor_2.png" width="297" /><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

CORRECTING and REPLACING Robins Kaplan LLP Secures $9.1 Million Jury Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case - 30 Jan 2016 10:20

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[[html]]<img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://www.personal-injury-attorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Medical-Malpractice.jpg" width="358" /><br><br>MINNEAPOLIS(BUSINESS WIRE)Please replace the release dated October 16, 2015, with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions. The original news release regarding this matter included mention of North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis. While the surgery took place at North Memorial Medical Center, the hospital was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. <br><br>The corrected release reads: <br><br>ROBINS KAPLAN LLP SECURES $9.1 MILLION JURY VERDICT IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE <br><br>National law firm RobinsKaplan LLPsecured a $9.1 million jury verdict for a 51-year old auto mechanic who was paralyzed from the waist down following surgery for a perforated bowel in Minneapolis (Joseph W. Lakoskey v. Anesthesiology P.A.). <br><br>In February 2012, a severely dehydrated Mr. Lakoskey underwent surgery for a perforated bowel at a hospital in Minneapolis. He was not given adequate fluids prior to surgery. As a result, Mr. Lakoskey suffered a prolonged period of low blood pressure after anesthesia was administered. This caused a critical lack of blood flow to Mr. Lakoskeys spinal cord, permanently damaging the cord and leaving him paralyzed. <br><br>After a nine-day trial and eight hours of deliberations over two days, the jury found that the anesthesiologists negligence caused Mr. Lakoskeys spinal cord injury. <br><br>Obviously Joe Lakoskey wants nothing more than to have his life and ability to walk back, said Brandon Thompson, partner at Robins Kaplan and lead counsel for Mr. Lakoskey. This <a href="http://www.lexpert.ca/directory/practitioner/neinstein-and-associates-llp-452/gary-neinstein-3049/">personal injury law firm</a> verdict will provide him with the resources he needs to live as independent a <a href="https://ca.linkedin.com/company/neinstein-&-associates">personal injury attorneys</a> life as possible. Even better, he can now afford a long-term, highly sophisticated rehabilitation program that could someday allow him to walk again. <br><br>Robins Kaplan believes that everyone deserves equal access to justice and has a long-standing history of representing individuals and families who have been harmed by the wrongdoing of others. <br><br><img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://gedneyhowe.com/img/slide/medical-malpractice.jpg" width="304" /><br><br>About Robins Kaplan LLP <br><br>Robins Kaplan LLP is among the nations premier trial law firms, with more than 220 lawyers located in Atlanta; Bismarck, N.D.; Boston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Mountain View, Calif.; New York; Naples, Fla.; and Sioux Falls, S.D. The firm litigates, mediates, and arbitrates high-stakes, complex disputes, repeatedly earning national recognition. Firm clients includeas both plaintiffs and defendantsnumerous Fortune 500 corporations, emerging-markets companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals. <br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://imaliklaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Orlando-Medical-Malpractice-Attorney.jpg" width="312" /><br><br><a href='http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151016005643/en/CORRECTING-REPLACING-Robins-Kaplan-LLP-Secures-9.1'>http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151016005643/en/CORRECTING-REPLACING-Robins-Kaplan-LLP-Secures-9.1</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0


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