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St. Louis shares eligibility requirements for $500 direct COVID relief payments



St. Louis shares eligibility requirements for $500 direct COVID relief payments

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Some in St. Louis will be eligible for $500 direct cash payments from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act. You can apply for assistance starting on December 18, 2021, through the city’s website.

In August Mayor Tishaura Jones approved $5 million to cover the payments. The city estimates that over 9,000 households are eligible.

City residents who earn 80 percent of the Area Median Income and those who have lost income because of the pandemic are encouraged to apply. Lost income can mean anything from losing a job, reduced work hours, funeral expenses, medical bills, and more.

This is what 80 percent of Area Median Income is according to St. Louis:

Household Size 80% AMI
1 $47,550
2 $54,350
3 $61,150
4 $67,900
5 $73,350
6 $78,800
7 $84,200
8 $89,650

“Before applications open, we are urging interested St. Louis residents to prepare and organize the material they will need to apply. We are working as quickly as possible within the program parameters that were proposed and passed by the Board of Aldermen to begin the application process and deliver more than 9,000 St. Louis families the support they need,” writes Department of Human Services Director Yusef Scoggin.

Only one person per household will be eligible for the $500 payment. They must prove that they have lived in the city for a year before submitting the application. See a full list of the requirements here.

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Solomon: Why does it take the Supreme Court so long to decide a case?



Editorial: High court should strike down vax mandates

December 1, 2021, will go down as an important date in American history. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was argued on the day, has the potential to rewrite abortion law in the United States.

So what actually happens in a potential landmark case such as Dobbs, from the time the case is accepted until it’s decided? The answer from a process perspective is pretty much what happens in any other case.

The easiest way to understand why we have to wait so long for a decision in Dobbs or any other case the Supreme Court hears that has the potential to change the law of the land in a critically important area of law is to imagine a series of circular work processes. The Supreme Court doesn’t do one thing, they do many things many times over, repeating these five key processes that keep the Court running.

The first is deciding what cases to hear and not to hear. Each year, there are several thousand applications for a writ of certiorari – the sheer application numbers are staggering, as is the approximately 2% success rate. The process for how the Court decides which cases to hear is in itself a time-consuming one that repeats each term. Deciding what to hear is the critical front end of the Supreme Court’s entire workflow and it’s never rushed.

The second prong is what they did last month with Dobbs — they hear oral arguments and the processes that flow from that. The oral arguments happen on set dates and are generally limited to 90 minutes. From there, while the justices still have their present sense impressions of the case, they have a conference to discuss and decide it before it goes to the often quite lengthy research and writing phase, where the justices are very well-supported.

A big part of the voluminous and laborious work done by the Supreme Court is done by the clerks. These talented recent law school graduates number three dozen each year and end up writing the majority of opinions that come down from the court. The writing and editing is an extremely time-consuming process done in collaboration with the justices, so it’s a process of weeks and months given the depth of analysis and the back-and-forth that needs to happen in the editing stages.

The entire process isn’t fast because it’s not designed to be fast.

Tim George, a lawyer in Erie, Pa,, reminds us that the time the Court takes to go from the issuance of a writ of certiorari to a published opinion is a critically important part of the Supreme Court’s role in American democracy:

“Justice is rarely achieved when it is rushed. While we all want the Supreme Court to issue decisions on the important cases they hear in as timely a manner as possible, neither the Court’s opinions nor their timelines should be swayed by public opinion.”

The third part of the process is exactly that — the issuance and publication of decisions. The Court publishes opinions on its official website on certain dates of the term, according to the official Court calendar.

The fourth part of the Court’s ongoing work is hearing any emergency cases that are brought to them. This is often part of the Court’s Monday morning housekeeping and includes an Order List, which is their public report of Court actions including the acceptance and rejection of cases.

The fifth piece is one that’s generally not in the public spotlight — the actual maintenance of the court as a functional working body. Like any powerful judicial entity, there needs to be regular housekeeping. In earlier and simpler times, the justices would spend time strengthening their bond in places such as the Supreme Court basketball court. Between spending collegial time getting to know each other better and obviously talking about legal issues in the cases the Court has heard, the Court needs this internal, unofficial and often far more casual time to help ideas solidify.

When we look at all of these together, we can understand why most experts predict that we won’t have a decision in Dobbs, which means we won’t have clarity on the new or ongoing law of the land regarding abortion in the United States, until this spring. That’s difficult for a lot of people to absorb, as they justifiably want a decision today, but it’s a result of the processes that make the Court what it is.

Aron Solomon, J.D., is the head of strategy for Esquire Digital and editor of Today’s Esquire. This column was provided by


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Qualities to look for in a post-retirement job



Qualities to look for in a post-retirement job

The notion of relaxing on a beach all day in one’s golden years is still a retirement dream for millions of adults across the globe. But many individuals also harbor a desire to keep working after retiring. Whether it’s a volunteering gig or a part-time job retirees are looking for, certain qualities can make an opportunity uniquely suited to a post-retirement job.

Flexibility: Retirees may be looking to contribute to their communities or simply earn a little spending money, but they will likely still want the freedom to travel or spend time with their families whenever they choose. So flexibility is something to look for in a post-retirement job. This is what makes consultant work so attractive to retirees. In-person hours may not be required of consultants, who can then offer their input while visiting their grandchildren or traveling the world.

Socialization: Though the ability to work from home can make it easier for retirees to earn some extra money, some seniors aren’t concerned about their finances but want to work so they can get out of the house. In that case, look for a job that offers the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Socializing as an older adult is a great way to fend off loneliness. In addition, one study published in 2007 in the journal of the American Public Health Association found that social support networks have a positive effect on cognition among older adults. So a post-retirement job that enables retirees to socialize could delay or reduce the severity of age-related cognitive decline.

Engagement: A job seniors find engaging also is more likely to provide the types of benefits seniors are looking for in post-retirement work. For example, researchers at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work found that seniors who find a job or volunteering opportunity truly engaging are more likely to benefit psychologically from those experiences than those whose post-retirement work is not engaging. If seniors find themselves simply going through the motions with their post-retirement work, they can look for opportunities that they can be more enthusiastic about.

Pressure-free: Regardless of what retirees did for a living prior to calling it a career, chances are they dealt with work-related stress. In fact, the American Stress Institute reports that 83% of workers in the United States suffer from work-related stress. After a lifetime of confronting work-related stress, individuals who want to work in retirement should look for pressure-free opportunities. This is an important quality, as the ASI indicates that stress has been linked to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.

The right post-retirement job may differ from what individuals looked for during their careers. Various qualities can combine to make for a post-retirement gig that benefits seniors in myriad ways.

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Great new albums for your deep-freeze soundtrack



Great new albums for your deep-freeze soundtrack

By and large, live music is being pushed back. Not canceled! That’s an important distinction as we see shows move from January to March or March to May.

But we need some songs to guide us to spring. Thankfully, the next few weeks will be filled with great ones. And loud ones. And sublime ones. And ones that hit like world-beating club bangers. Here are the albums that will give them to us.

“Laurel Hell,” Mitski, due Feb. 4

Mitski’s album cover for “Laurel Hell.” (Photo courtesy artist management)

This is where Mitski goes from the underground champ to the mainstream star. Her game plan to do that? Bust out songs that mix modern electro with “Flashdance” vibes (“The Only Heartbreaker”), and Kate Bush mystique with downtempo magic (“Heat Lightning”), and electro, “Flashdance,” Kate Bush and downtempo bits (Love Me More”).

“The Wrath of the Clouds,” Marissa Nadler, due Feb. 4

1643008161 578 Great new albums for your deep freeze soundtrack
Marissa Nadler (Photo by Nick Fancher)

On the heels of her ninth solo album, 2021’s “The Path of the Clouds,” Boston’s own Marissa Nadler delivers another minor masterpiece. “The Wrath of the Clouds” features an eerie seafaring epic to rival “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” a haunted waltz and a couple of covers done in her unique, doom folk style.

“Heterosexuality,” Shamir, due Feb. 11

1643008161 846 Great new albums for your deep freeze soundtrack
“Heterosexuality” album by Shamir (Photo courtesy artist management)

Shamir has already done garage rock, indie pop and synth-heavy dreamscapes. They have all been great. They all seem like prologue. “Heterosexuality” booms and whispers like a grand statement. It pairs pain with industrial music, healing with Top 40 grooves, both with grunge (sometimes in a single track).

“Lucifer on the Sofa,” Spoon, due Feb. 11

Spoon’s 10th album rocks. That was the plan. Written and recorded over the last two years, the album from the indie kings unloads big guitars, odd guitars, big hooks and odd hooks. “It’s the sound of classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton,” frontman Britt Daniel said. Also: “I spent a lot of 2018 and 2019 listening to ZZ Top,” he added.

“Life on Earth,” Hurray for the Riff Raff, due Feb. 18

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s 2017 album “The Navigator” made my Top 10 albums of the decade list (tremendous, forceful songs about youthful naivete and ancient wisdom, gentrification and genocide). For the follow-up, she promises an LP of “nature punk.” The world is a mess. This is just the artist to meditate on disaster, surviving and thriving.

“The Tipping Point,” Tears for Fears, due Feb. 25

The early singles from “The Tipping Point” have been heavy: The title track bottled the agony of watching a loved one lose their fight against a deadly disease; “Break The Man” swipes the patriarchy. The duo has also shot them through with touchstones from Tears for Fears’ sonic legacy. Expect an album full of intimacy and goliath hooks, new wave shimmer, soulful turns and folk harmonies.

“Crash,” Charli XCX, due March 18

Last year, a fan on Twitter asked Charli XCX if Janet Jackson was still an inspiration for “Crash.” She responded with the best and weirdest thing you could imagine: “janet but also cameo, sister sledge, serge gainsborg (cq), steve vai black eyed peas, charlie puth, cyndi, rick james, taylor dayne, boy meets girl, belinda carlisle and more.” If half this is true, this LP will floor a generation.

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