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340,000 public servants make over $100,000 during the CA Faces Budget Crisis



340,000 public servants make over $100,000 during the CA Faces Budget Crisis

Among all the states that urgently require a loan from the federal government, California is on its own when it comes to the extent among their issues.

As Forbes reported Tuesday, the state has a $54 billion budget shortfall. California’s unfunded pension liabilities are over $1 trillion. CalPERS, the largest of these, lost a whopping $69 billion in the stock market in March due to the novel coronavirus effect, according to Sacramento Bee.

It’s unsurprising, though, that California governor Gavin Newsom has taken the lead in asking Washington for a Brobdingnagian sum of money to support state and local governments — especially his own.

But don’t worry, his state is making cuts to the budget. How about that? Yeah, it’s shutting two state jails, a move that’s going to save $400 million a year, according to Bee.

Not mind the fact that California still has a crisis with inmates released under the COVID-19 penitentiary clear-outs reportedly re-offended. Closing two more jails is the only way to raise $400 million a year, isn’t it?

Or, here’s another strategy: California should strip some of the fat out of 340,390 state workers and retirees with six-figure salaries that cost the state $45 billion a year.

“Our auditors at found truck drivers in San Francisco paying $159,000 a year; lifeguards in LA County costing taxpayers $365,000; nurses at UCSF up to $501,000; UCLA athletic director earning $1.8 million; and 1,420 city employees earning all 50 state governors ($202,000),” Forbes said.

Forbes has reported many instances in which the Golden State is charging ludicrous sums of money to workers whose interest is impossible to be commensurate with their remuneration.

109,627 individuals — teachers and school managers alike — make six figures in K-12 public education. Summit Everest charter schools CEO Diane Tavenner takes home $450,115 in taxpayers ‘ money. Michael Lin, superintendent of Corona-Norco Unified School District, spends $443,875 a year. Polly Bove of the Fremont Union High School District is making $395,257.

BREAKING: Should Congress bail out California and its legions of highly compensated public employees? https:/

— Open Books (@open the books) May 19, 2020.

For higher education, the results are marginally better: 66,403 staff at colleges and universities make up six figures. UCLA athletic director David Guerrero, on his way out for performance-related reasons, made $1.8 million a year. At least he’s not a head coach, Chip Kelly, who makes $3.3 million a year in lieu of a 7-17 record for the Bruins.

Those are two outliers, but there are still 11,310 public employees at state colleges and universities — and not all of them, I can tell you, are ADs or soccer coaches.

Forbes said the state of California alone has 62,204 workers make six figures, including Ito Chikako, a nurse at the University of California who takes home more than half a million dollars a year. David Winsor Sirkin, a senior doctor with the State Corrections and Recovery System, makes over $400,000.

And don’t forget about cities and towns. There are 45,718 people making six figures. Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana takes home $396,158, and Paul Arevalo, West Hollywood City Manager, makes $353,603. Four other city administrators said they made over $300,000.

It’s just the six-figure employees, you mind. “In 2017, we found that 44 lifeguards in Los Angeles County had saved taxpayers between $200,000 and $365,000. It is worse today with salaries accounting for only about half of the total cost, including overtime, extra pay and benefits, “Forbes said.

Again, there was no talk of another 28,000 government employees making six figures and employed in California’s administrative departments. I guess it’s only fair given that it’s our problem today, rather than being our problem until California’s next coronavirus aid plan makes it our problem.

Looking further into the article, you move into singular cases that, while not representative of a massive numerical trend, still manage to add 10 solid points to your systolic blood pressure.

Should the federal government bail out the state of California?

For example, “Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) is doubling the wage and pension programs. Retired from the Sacramento County Sheriff at the age of 50, Cooper earned a $173,820 pension. He makes $107,242 as an elected member of the General Assembly — despite refusing a non-taxable per diem estimated at $39,000 a year. Total benefit: $281,162.

While Newsom — who earns less than many of these individuals at just over $200,000—said that he would make a 10 per cent salary cut across the board for government employees, he also said that if his state gets the federal money he ‘s asking for, he ‘s going to forgo that cut.

Of course, there were reasons and/or excuses for this kind of large-scale spending.

“Reaching all the governments listed, Santa Clara replied by saying that their city is dynamic and they fight for talent in the Silicon Valley,” Forbes said. “Palm Springs replied by announcing that the City Manager is cutting his salary by 20 percent to $288,579.”

Yeah. Yeah.

But with the weak expectations in public sector employment contracts — in which the government negotiates against itself and holds taxpayers to the bill — California has also been particularly poor, so long if a can get off the track enough occasions can inevitably vanish.

Now that the road has come to an end very abruptly, the Golden State is demanding that we all pay for its decades-long inability to make any kind of mildly uncomfortable choice.

Mind you, the state will not face any kind of austerity — or even asperity — in return for this bailout, but rest assured that you will have its undying gratitude (or something).

California has much greater challenges than the clean-up of two jails can tackle. Yet once again, the particular strategy of avoiding a drop in the bucket when it comes to the state budget suits in well with the legislative recommendations of the Democrats. It’s not picking on public sector labor.

And what if the alternative doesn’t save as much money and put the residents of California at risk? That’s what the federal government is doing, isn’t it?

This is not going to be a painless process for any state, least of all those that showed no inclination to fiscal continence when times were good.

If they want your money, we should demand better — and so should the people of California, whose safety is being compromised under the false pretense of saving the money of the state.

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Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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Three Asian YouTubers spent a day in America’s ‘most racist town’



cantomando in racist town

In July 2020, a Los Angeles-based film producer stood outside a Walmart in Harrison, Ark., with a Black Lives Matter sign. Just moments later, he was on the receiving end of hateful remarks ranging from jeers about his actions to explicit declarations of white supremacy.

Rob Bliss, who is white, had wanted to see for himself whether the word about Harrison was true: that it is the “most racist town in America.”

Set in the Ozark hills of northwest Arkansas, Harrison has held its infamous reputation for as long as anyone can remember. More than 95% of its 13,000 residents are white, while the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) — a Klan faction whose headquarters lie several miles away — reportedly uses one of its post office boxes as their mailing address.

Bliss caught the outrage he received on camera and posted it onto YouTube. The video only runs for two minutes, but all the hate distilled in it was enough to make national headlines and propel Harrison into the spotlight of discussions about racial intolerance.

But just how racist could this town get? Do residents only harbor animus toward one group, or do they discriminate against everyone who isn’t white? What if Asians showed up?

This month, Sheldon Ho, Mike Wu and Edward Leung — a trio of Asian YouTubers known as CantoMando (@CantoMando) — set forth to Harrison to find out.

“Our channel goal is to push the boundaries of what is expected of Asian Americans and in turn to spread our own culture and positivity to the world,” the group told NextShark. “We’re big believers in change through action and not just words so when we were curious how Asians would be treated in Harrison, known as the most racist town in America, we had to go there for ourselves to find out.”

The trio filmed themselves spending an entire day in the town. What started off as mere curiosity, they said, became a journey of “pushing our comfort zones, discovery and a chance to spread Asian culture to the world.”

Left to right: Sheldon Ho, Mike Wu and Edward Leung start their day in Harrison. Image via CantoMando

In their now-viral video, Sheldon, Mike and Edward start their day at 8 a.m. with breakfast at a local diner. As soon as they enter the establishment, at least four white people are immediately caught staring at them.

The staring continued past 11:30 a.m. while they were at a local Walmart, which required the trio to put on face masks while allowing virtually every other white customer to shop without them. Shortly after, the group met an elderly white woman who told them her granddaughter “loves China men.”

The woman, who was using an ambulatory device, pulled Sheldon in to give him a hug, saying that she liked “this one.” “My granddaughter is 26 and she wants to go to China. She wants to bring her a China man home,” she said.

Shortly after, the trio headed for lunch at Dragon King, which they believe was the only Chinese restaurant in Harrison. There, they met an Asian waitress who claimed that she has never experienced racism in town, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1631909291 159 Three Asian YouTubers spent a day in Americas most racist
Image via CantoMando

Sheldon, Mike and Edward continued their journey downtown at 2 p.m., to the flea market at 4 p.m. and to a bar at 9 p.m.

The group never encountered another single racist incident since, and to their surprise, the white strangers they had engaged with were actually friendly and accommodating.

At the bar, one man even bought them drinks and invited them to celebrate his birthday, all without knowledge of himself being filmed.

Another non-Caucasian man echoed what the Asian waitress said, telling them everyone in town gets along and that he has no bad experiences to share.

1631909291 181 Three Asian YouTubers spent a day in Americas most racist
The trio were welcomed to Arkansas and invited to celebrate with a man on his birthday. Image via CantoMando

Still, Sheldon, Mike and Edward pointed out that not everyone’s experience will be the same.

“Although our experience here in Harrison has been positive overall, we are not speaking for everyone. It is important to note that everyone’s experience is unique and different,” the trio told NextShark. “We want to stress that our video does not reflect the experiences of all minorities nor do we want it to make a blanket statement. We simply made this video to share our personal experience in Harrison as Asian Americans.”

They added, “We were pretty scared before going, and we were honestly scared for the worst to happen.”

The trio said they also talked to residents about last year’s viral video. “We talked to some locals about the famous viral video, and they told us that [the] video had a devastating impact on the community, and that some people even moved out because they didn’t want to be associated with that. Locals also condemned the behavior in that video, and said that it doesn’t represent the people of that community,” they said.

The town’s mayor reportedly reached out to CantoMando after they published their video. The official informed them that the town’s committee on diversity searched for the 24 individuals who made hateful comments in Bliss’s video, but “they were only able to find three locals and likely the other 21 were from out of town.”

Some users have questioned the authenticity of the residents’ behavior because a Facebook post about their presence was reportedly made before they went to the bar. The group’s video has now received more than 3 million views on YouTube. 

Sheldon, Mike and Edward hope that their video will encourage others in the Asian American community to express who they are.

“We’re hoping that by sharing our culture and embracing it in an environment like Harrison where we might face hostility, this would inspire other members of the Asian community to never be afraid of expressing who they are. Because no matter the fear or whatever obstacles we might face as a community, we should be proud of who we are.”

Featured Image via CantoMando

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BC defenders Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Khris Banks make return to Temple



BC defenders Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Khris Banks make return to Temple

Two members of the Boston College front seven will experience a visitor’s homecoming when the Eagles visit Temple Owls at noon Saturday.

Middle linebacker Isaiah “IGM” Graham-Mobley and tackle Khris Banks were Temple refugees who BC coach Jeff Hafley extracted from the NCAA transfer portal to fill deficiencies in the Eagles’ defense.

“For Kris and IGM, I know this will be a meaningful game and I hope every game is a meaningful game for them so I hate to say it is a more meaningful game,” said Hafley. “But certainly, playing the team you were on, there has got to be some emotions there.

“But they are two guys I am really glad are on the team.”

BC graduated three starting linebackers from 2020 and two of them, Isaiah McDuffie (Packers) and Max Richardson (Raiders), made the jump to NFL rosters. Graham-Mobley, a 6-1, 230-pound graduate from King of Prussia, Pa., took over at the MIKE and started the first two games of the season.

“IGM has been a blessing to have here, he’s been an unbelievable human being,” said Hafley. “He is a great leader and he’s got a ton of energy and he is starting to feel his way around our scheme.

“He is physical, long, rangy and a great guy.”

The interior of the BC defensive line was thinned to the point of extinction by graduation and injuries. Banks has platooned with Cam Horsley while learning a new system under defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu. Banks is a 6-2, 294-pound, redshirt junior from Paterson, N.J. who has been a great addition to the Eagles’ run defense.

“Khris Banks has been a great help to an injury riddled D-line,” said Hafley. “We are still down so many guys and we are lucky we got him.

“He’s is guy who I keep telling has so much potential and upside. I’m not saying that he is not playing well. I just see such and bright future for the guy and I hope he continues to get better.”

Graham-Mobley played in 11 games for Temple last season and finished with 26 tackles, two TFL and a pair of sacks. He recorded four solo tackles and two assists with a TFL in his BC debut, a 51-0 victory over Colgate in the season opener at Alumni Stadium.

In last Saturday’s 45-28 win at UMass, Graham-Mobley and defensive end Shitta Sillah shared the team lead with seven tackles apiece. Graham-Mobley and Banks are hoping to be difference-makers against his old mates while keeping the emotions on an even keel.

“It is definitely going to be a surreal moment because that is a place that I have called home the last five years being a sixth-year student now,” said Graham-Mobley. “Just making sure we are not getting too emotional and staying with the game plan and understanding this is just another road trip.”

There are other Temple/Philadelphia connections in play. BC athletic director Patrick Kraft served in the same capacity at Temple for five years. Injured kicker Aaron Boumerhi transferred from Temple in 2019. Tailback Pat Garwo, who rushed for a career high 160 yards at UMass, is from Levittown, Pa., outside Philly.

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Ordway opens its doors Sunday for its first Ordway-sponsored performance



Ordway opens its doors Sunday for its first Ordway-sponsored performance

What should patrons expect Sunday night when they return to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts’ first in-person event in 18 months?

“Hopefully joy, celebration and relief that they have a place to go to connect with others,” said Chris Sagstetter, the Ordway’s interim president and CFO.

Those who show up to see podcaster and comedian Maz Jobrani will also see COVID protocols similar to other performing arts venues in the Twin Cities and around the country. Masks are required and ticketholders will have to show an ID and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of showtime. (Ordway employees are required to follow the same rules.) The venue has also upgraded its air filtration system to increase air flow and bring in more outside air.

Ordway staff got a preview of life under these guidelines last weekend, when it opened its doors for performances in the Concert Hall from its Arts Partnership members the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Schubert Club.

Performances at the Ordway this month are operating under reduced capacity. Sagstetter said they saw about 200 or 300 people Friday, a few more on Saturday and about 500 on Sunday. Patrons now must enter through one of the main doors out front, all of which are now open.

“That allowed us to see how things flowed,” Sagstetter said.

Staff encountered very few problems, she said. One patron without vaccination proof went and got it and returned. Several others were able to exchange tickets or get refunds. Without vaccination or negative test proof, ticketholders will not be allowed to attend. Sagstetter said these policies are already written into contracts for many touring acts.

“We will work patrons to meet their needs,” Sagstetter said.

Also, for now, the Ordway’s concessions are closed, although visitors will be offered a free bottle of water when they get inside.

As far as hiring staff goes, Sagstetter said they’re happy with how it’s gone so far. Close to 70 percent of the front-of-the-house staff is returning, and about 70 percent of those who aren’t have said they’re interested in volunteering. Two recent full-time positions drew nearly 300 combined applicants.

“It could be tough filling some after-hours positions,” she said. “But so far, so good.”

For the coming months, Sagstetter, Ordway staffers and the Arts Partnership are keeping an eye on how things are going and tweaking things as needed. “We don’t have all the answers,” she said, “but we know we have a plan and that we are able to be fluid and to pivot.”

This article has been edited to reflect that the Maz Jobrani performance is Sunday, not Saturday. 

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New York suspect killed by gunfire during struggle with Marshals



New York suspect killed by gunfire during struggle with Marshals

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WIVB/WROC) — Police say that a man wanted by numerous law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, died after his weapon went off during a struggle with officers in Rochester. He was wanted for a warrant out of Wayne County on a second-degree assault charge involving a child.

He was identified Thursday as 24-year-old Dedrick James. On Wednesday morning, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force—which also includes state police, Rochester police, and members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office—tried to serve an arrest warrant on Vinewood Place.

Police say that when they encountered James, he tried to retreat into a residence. While the officers attempted to apprehend James, they say he produced a handgun. One round was fired and it struck him in the upper body, according to state police.

Although lifesaving techniques were attempted, James died at the scene. Police say that no shots were fired by officers during the incident.

Police also say there was one other person at the residence at the time of the incident, and the victim’s family has been notified. The New York Attorney General’s Office was reportedly notified and is working with state police and the Rochester Police Department as the investigation continues.

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See the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race in St. Louis this weekend



See the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race in St. Louis this weekend

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Organizers are excited to welcome people back to the recently renovated Emerson Central Fields in Forest Park for the next two days. FOX 2 and News 11 are proud sponsors of the event.

Friday night, the Balloon Glow takes place, where spectators can roam among inflated, tethered balloons. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. and the balloons will glow from dusk to 9:00 p.m. Fireworks cap off the night at 9:15 p.m.

The festival and race of 50 balloons is on Saturday. Central Fields opens at Noon with live music, great food, the Purina Pro Plan Performance dogs, and family activities. Skydivers perform at 3 p.m. The race is on at 4:30 with the launch on the “hare” balloon. The hound balloons give chase at 4:45 p.m.

Where the balloons will end up depends on the weather, which looks great for the weekend. Winds on Saturday are expected out of the northeast, so look for the balloons to drift south and west of Forest Park.

The balloons couldn’t launch in 2019 because of high winds. Last year, organizers created an alternative pandemic event called Lift Up St. Louis.

Learn more:

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Biden, world leaders try to hammer out next steps on climate change



Biden, world leaders try to hammer out next steps on climate change

Washington — President Joe Biden tried to hammer out the world’s next steps against rapidly worsening climate change in a private, virtual session with a small group of other global leaders Friday, and announced a new U.S.-European pledge to cut climate-wrecking methane leaks.

Ever-grimmer findings from scientists this year that the world is nearing the point where the level of climate damage from burning oil, gas and coal becomes catastrophic and irreversible “represent a code red for humanity,” Biden said at the session’s outset.

“We have to act and we have to act now,” Biden said, speaking on a specially erected White House set that showed virtual arrays of solar panels in the background and a wall of other global leaders listening on screens.

He cited his tour earlier this month of communities hit by relentless wildfires in California and Hurricane Ida in the northeastern U.S. and the Gulf — evidence that warnings of natural disasters worsening in number and severity as the climate warms already are becoming reality.

Drought and rising temperatures have made California’s wildfire season virtually year-round now, state fire officials say. And a study out this year concluded sea rise caused by global warming contributed $8 billion in additional damage to 2012′s Superstorm Sandy.

“Over the last two weeks, I’ve traveled across the United States to see the damage and destruction,” Biden said. “Climate continues to change across Europe, Africa and Latin America, and you’ve endured massive flooding.”

The Biden administration billed the meeting as a chance for some of the world leaders to strategize how to achieve big, fast cuts in climate-wrecking petroleum and coal emissions. The administration also is trying to re-establish the United States’ Major Economies Forum — a climate group set up by President Barack Obama and revived by Biden – as a significant forum for international climate negotiations.

Friday’s meeting followed a much bigger and splashier virtual White House climate summit in April that saw scores of heads of governments — representing allies and rivals, and big economies and small — making sweeping speeches about the need for action against climate change.

The provided list of Friday’s attendees included only nine leaders: those of Argentina, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the European Council, European Union Commission and United Nations.

China, India and Russia, with the United States, are the nations that emit the most climate-damaging gases from the production and burning of oil, natural gas and coal, and there was no word on their leaders’ taking part.

Climate advocates have stressed the importance of the U.S. coordinating with Europe and Asia for a joint front in coaxing China, which emits more climate-damaging fumes than the rest of the developed world combined, to move faster on cutting its use of dirty-burning coal-fired power plants in particular.

Biden, in the public opening of the otherwise private talks, also discussed a new U.S. agreement with the European Union aiming at cutting the two entities’ emissions of methane 30% by the end of this decade. Methane is one of the most potent agents of climate damage, gushing up by the ton from countless uncapped oil and gas rigs, leaky natural gas pipelines, and other oil and gas facilities.

Fred Krupp, president of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, said cutting methane pollution is the single fastest, most effective strategy to slow the rate of warming.

A 30% reduction in methane pollution should be only “the entry point for this critical conversation. Many countries can and should aim even higher,” Krupp said.

The pledge comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose stricter rules against methane emissions for the oil and gas sector, as laid out in one of Biden’s first executive orders.

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Buri Ram’s meatballs sales rocket 3,333% after BLACKPINK’s Lisa said they were her favorite



Buri Ram meatballs

Thai street food vendors in Buri Ram station saw a massive influx of customers after BLACKPINK’s Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban revealed one of her favorite foods could only be found there. 

Her favorite street food: On the Woody Show for her first Thai TV interview after releasing her solo album on Sept. 11, Lisa, 24, said it has been over a year since she visited her home province of Buri Ram because of COVID-19 restrictions, Bangkok Post reported.

  • In the interview, show host Vuthithorn “Woody” Milintachinda asked the Thai-born K-pop star what she would do when she returned home, to which she replied, “pay respect to my grandfather.”
  • However, she was immediately surprised when Woody asked her if she missed eating Yuen Kin meatballs, a traditional delicacy popular in the province. “How do you know?” she exclaimed. “They’re really popular. People buy and eat them right away at Buri Ram train station.” Woody then exclaimed, “I know it’s your favorite, they don’t have it in Korea?” She replied with, “Sadly, no, there isn’t anything like that.” 
  • Lisa then explained that the highlight of the popular street food is the sauce, Thai chili paste, which can only be found in the station. “That place is so good. You can’t find it anywhere else,” she said.
  • Woody shocked Lisa again when he asked her, “Wait, so your favorite sauce is the Thai chili paste?” After the singer confirmed the question, Woody pointed out that the stalls they were referring to in the conversation were the only ones that offer Thai chili paste as a dipping sauce.

More customers: Days after the interview, vendors at Buri Ram station suddenly saw an influx of customers from outside the province placing online orders to try Lisa’s favorite food.

  • Arunsri Kamnerdklang, owner of Yai Pha, and Ratchanok Maneewan, owner of Je Nok Kok, told the Bangkok Post that their sales have suffered due to the pandemic. However, Lisa’s interview skyrocketed their earnings from a few hundred baht to more than 10,000 baht ($300) a day.
  • The vendors in Buri Ram station are now offering the same Thai chili paste that Lisa and Woody mentioned in the interview. To show their appreciation, Arunsri and Ratchanok said the artist would receive Yuen Kin meatballs and the sauce of her choice when she visited them.
  • A bottle of their famous sauce costs around 60 to 100 baht ($1.81 to $3) while a skewer of the popular freshly fried meatballs with dipping sauce sells for 5 to 10 baht ($0.15 to $0.30).
  • Bordin Ruengsuksriwong, the provincial Tourism Industry Council president, said vendors are entertaining about 2,000 orders per day, a significant increase in their business, even compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

New album: Lisa’s interview came days after the singer released the single “Lalisa” from her solo album of the same name and subsequently broke Taylor Swift’s YouTube record with more than 73.6 million views on debut. The music video now has over 160 million views as of this writing.

  • Lisa is the third BLACKPINK member to debut a solo album this year, according to Billboard. Rosé, whose real name is Roseanne Park, made her solo debut in March, while Jennie Kim released her solo single “Solo” in 2018.
  • Lalisa” ranked No. 1 on the Gaon Albums chart in South Korea after its release. The achievement was marked as the artist’s first entry into the chart on her own.

Featured Image via BLACKPINK (left), ข่าวช่องวัน (right)


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Hot Property: Lincoln mid-century modern available for first time



Hot Property: Lincoln mid-century modern available for first time

You don’t even have to swoon over mid-century modern architecture to fall head over post-and-beam for 64 Baker Bridge Road in Lincoln.

Offered on the market for the first time, the 1956 jewel has an impressive architectural pedigree behind its good looks. Reading like a Who’s Who of modernism, the home was originally designed by Carl Koch on more than 10 acres abutting conservation land. And who better than to site the home just-so on those 10 acres than then-neighbor Walter Gropius himself.

Following a 1968 expansion by Walter Hill of Hoover & Hill, the home has been cared for and updated by a family that treasured its historical significance. As a result, the home retains its singular character and “bones” — recently spiffed up with new hardwood flooring and fresh paint.

The single-floor property flows in an L shape, with living and dining on one axis and sleeping quarters on the other, all under a sculptural butterfly roof and cathedral ceilings.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a mid-mod without walls of glass, clerestory windows, and the trademark inside-outside construction. What better way to enjoy the surrounding gardens and landscape than to celebrate them year-round? A step-down dining room includes a Koch trademark — a rubber tree growing in the inside corner, roots on the outside.

Concord grapes, a mulberry tree, peach tree, and a focal garden make use of the natural terrain and flow of the hillside for a natural sanctuary, one that benefits from incredible sunsets over the hill.

There are three bedrooms and 3.5 baths in the more than 2,800-square-foot property. A four-car garage offers car enthusiasts, artists, and hobbyists bonus space.

The property is on the market for $1,649,000 The sale is represented by Terry Perlmutter with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty, 617-519-5179.

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Coronavirus Friday update: Thirteen more deaths and 2,645 more infections



Coronavirus Friday update: Thirteen more deaths and 2,645 more infections

Minnesota recorded 13 more COVID-19 deaths Friday and 2,645 new infections, according to the state Department of Health.

Those whose deaths were reported ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s with 11 residing in private homes and two in assisted living. Twelve of the deaths happened in September and one in February 2021.

Minnesota’s death toll is 7,983 since the pandemic began with 4,601 fatalities in long-term care. More than 92 percent of deaths have been seniors.

There are 719 patients hospitalized including 208 in critical condition. An estimated 15,700 people with active infections are recovering at home.

Minnesota has diagnosed 681,613 coronavirus infection since March 2020. Of those who tested positive, 657,145 have recovered enough they no longer need to be isolated.

Test-positivity remains at about 7 percent, which is above the 5 percent threshold health officials use to determine if an outbreak is under control. The overall rate of new cases and hospitalizations is remains in the high-risk category.

Nearly all new infections in Minnesota are believed to be caused by the more contagious delta variant.

Health officials say vaccination is the best way to avoid a severe COVID-19 infection. Of the 3 million Minnesotans who are fully vaccinated, 99 percent have not reported a breakthrough infection.

Minnesota has administered 6.3 million doses of vaccine and 3.3 million residents have gotten at least one shot. About 71 percent of the eligible population, age 12 and older, has gotten at least one shot.

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CDTA Flex service expands to southern Saratoga



CDTA Flex service expands to southern Saratoga

MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Thursday, the CDTA will expand its FLEX service into the Southern Saratoga county region, at DeCrescente distributing in Mechanicville.

The CDTA’s on-demand, app-based service will cover the Mechanicville, Halfmoon, and Clifton Park areas starting September 20.

CDTA introduced FLEX to the Capital Region in January of 2020, which connects customers to curb-to-curb service within specified zones by downloading the free TransLoc App to call or request a ride.

The program currently operates in Colonie, Guilderland, Latham, and the UAlbany uptown campus, which also services Albany Medical Center, Albany International Airport, and University at Albany, as part of their universal access agreement.

“It is our mission to create connections and seamless transportation options throughout the Capital Region,” said Carm Basile, CDTA Chief Executive Officer, “we have expanded our route network and increased access and opportunity for thousands of residents.

The Southern Saratoga County FLEX service will operate free of charge during the initial pilot
period, with handicapped accessible vehicles available.

For further information on FLEX service visit the CDTA’s website.

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