Christel Deskins

Live event workers call for federal relief

America’s live event and entertainment businesses came to a screeching halt this year when most states imposed restrictions on large gatherings because of COVID-19. Now, many say their industry feels forgotten, and they need financial relief to survive.

Brad Dunnum has owned ARIA Show Technology in western Michigan since 1999, employing 10 people who provide sound, lighting, video and other services for live events. But the pandemic forced Dunnum to lay all of them off in June.

“We’re not seen or heard a lot because we’re behind the scenes,” Dunnum said. “When nobody notices us that means we’ve done a good job … and because of that, a lot of folks have forgotten about us.”

Nearly 17 million people were employed in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes the live events industry, at the beginning of 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number dropped sharply to

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Are you worried about your elderly parents? 8 tips to help seniors stay mentally acute in isolation

Fitness coordinator Janet Hollander leads session of Balcony Boogie from outside Willamette Oaks in Eugene, Ore. for residents isolated in apartments during pandemic, April 21, 2020.
Fitness coordinator Janet Hollander leads session of Balcony Boogie from outside Willamette Oaks in Eugene, Ore. for residents isolated in apartments during pandemic, April 21, 2020.

Just what we need: Another reason to fear and loathe COVID-19.

If your loved ones are old, ill and confined to an assisted living or senior care home, you already know they are especially vulnerable to the killer virus, as the devastating death statistics in nursing homes attest. 

But you might not realize the efforts to protect them by isolating them has potentially dangerous consequences, too.

This became alarmingly obvious to Mary Ann Sternberg after her longtime partner, Ron, a retired psychologist who has Parkinson’s disease, was confined to the grounds along with the rest of the residents of his high-quality assisted living community in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after they all went into lockdown in March. 

The residents couldn’t go out and their relatives

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At least 120,000 Americans are needed to test COVID-19 vaccines; a ‘very encouraging’ 107,000 have signed up

At a time when some Americans are concerned about the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine, tens of thousands have already volunteered to help bring one into existence.

As of last week, more than 107,000 people had signed up to take part in testing.

“That’s why we’re optimistic that we’re going to be able to get the trials enrolled in an expeditious way. I think we can do what we need to do,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The milestone was reached just a week after the National Institutes of Health launched a clinical trial network for vaccines and other prevention tools to fight the pandemic.

More are still needed, but the initial surge will go a long way toward filling the requirement for at least 30,000 volunteers each for the four companies that plan to launch Phase 3 clinical trials of

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Why Hundreds of Mathematicians Are Boycotting Predictive Policing

Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis – Getty Images

From Popular Mechanics

  • Mathematicians at universities across the country are halting collaborations with police departments across the U.S.

  • A June 15 letter was sent to the trade journal Notices of the American Mathematical Society, announcing the boycott.

  • Typically, mathematicians work with police departments to build algorithms, conduct modeling work, and analyze data.

Several prominent academic mathematicians want to sever ties with police departments across the U.S., according to a letter submitted to Notices of the American Mathematical Society on June 15. The letter arrived weeks after widespread protests against police brutality, and has inspired over 1,500 other researchers to join the boycott.

These mathematicians are urging fellow researchers to stop all work related to predictive policing software, which broadly includes any data analytics tools that use historical data to help forecast future crime, potential offenders, and victims. The technology is supposed to use

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Lockdowns Have Brought Breathing Space. We Can’t Afford To Waste It.

As the United States continues to struggle to contain a record number of coronavirus cases, European countries have been focused on returning to some sense of normalcy. Bars, restaurants and shops have been reopening. Travel restrictions have been lifted. Workers are commuting to their offices, and tourists are slowly returning to beach resorts and other popular destinations.

In the United Kingdom, the number of coronavirus cases has largely remained flat over the last few weeks, even as the country loosens its lockdown restrictions, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined a potential timeline that would see most remaining constraints on daily life — including social distancing — lifted by the fall.

“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest — possibly in time for Christmas,” Johnson said

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How to teach sustainable habits to kids

How to teach sustainable habits to kids
How to teach sustainable habits to kids

In a world of Greta Thunbergs, the ever-looming threat of climate change, and its already disastrous toll, what can you do to ensure your kids understand the state of the world, without overwhelming them, and help them become part of the solution?

The good news is, many young people are already alert to the climate rumblings around them. “They’re more aware today of these broader, complex socio-scientific issues than I think even our generation was when we were younger,” says Carol O’Donnell, the director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Washington, D.C.


She thinks that’s because we now have more evidence to show that humans are negatively impacting the environment, pointing to the consensus among 97 percent or more of climate scientists on this conclusion.

“We have evidence that we are depleting a lot of the resources that we know

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Arts students lurch toward freshman year of college in pandemic-induced upheaval

Arianna Carson, who plans to study dance at SUNY Purchase in the fall, is photographed near her home in Rowland Heights on July 6, 2020. <span class="copyright">(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Arianna Carson, who plans to study dance at SUNY Purchase in the fall, is photographed near her home in Rowland Heights on July 6, 2020. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

As a dance student at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Arianna Carson’s meticulously scheduled days often began at 5:15 am.

After commuting downtown to school, the 18-year-old spent the day balancing academic and dance classes. In the evenings, she would rehearse even more at a dance studio in Whittier until 9:30 p.m. By the time she began homework, it was usually around midnight.

When the pandemic forced her to take classes online, she transitioned her dance training to her living room and backyard.

The jam-packed days were crafted around Carson’s dream to become a professional modern dancer. She is scheduled to start this fall at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance in New York, even though

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The university workers tasked with getting Maryland’s campuses ready to reopen fear for students’ return in the fall

Five days a week, Relford Matthews reports to dormitories at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to paint, fill holes in the walls and install Plexiglass dividers meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Lots of the time, Matthews works by himself. So, for the moment, the 64-year-old maintenance worker feels safe at his job.

But he knows a storm is coming. The students.

UMES, like numerous other Maryland colleges and universities, is hoping to welcome students back to campus this fall — even on a limited basis — after an abrupt end to the spring semester as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the frontline workers toiling to make it happen, housekeepers and maintenance workers among them, say they harbor fears for the fall. Fears that students won’t follow protocol in the dorms, and walk about mask-less. Fears that the workers would be the ones most likely to

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Paula Abdul’s Arthritis Isn’t Holding Her Back During Quarantine

Photo credit: Image Group LA
Photo credit: Image Group LA

From Woman’s Day

Singer, dancer, and pop icon Paula Abdul will be the first to tell you that she was never going to let her arthritis diagnosis stop her from dancing. “I didn’t want to let the joint pain stop me from doing what I love to do,” Abdul tells Woman’s Day. “That in itself is more painful than the physical pain.”

A decades-long dance career riddled with injuries has left Abdul, for better or worse, with a pretty high pain tolerance. But since her osteoarthritis diagnosis five years ago, she’s realized it’s time to start listening to her body. “I was like a warrior for many years going through the pain I had, but today it’s manageable,” she says. “A lot of people aren’t in tune with their body. Your body is telling you I’m hurting, so you have to be mindful of

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Student Loans Company accused of encouraging graduates to make unnecessary payments


The universities minister has been urged to intervene following claims the Student Loans Company is giving graduates a “demoralising, damaging and dangerous” picture of their debts.

Martin Lewis, the consumer affairs journalist, has accused the company of urging graduates to make payments they don’t have to make.

Mr Lewis, the founder of website, criticised the SLC’s new repayments website.

The site highlights an overall balance from the loans taken out as students.

But Mr Lewis said it failed to point out that the size of the debt made no difference to the amount graduates had to pay, which is linked to income.

Estimates suggest many people will never have to pay back the full balance of their debt, he added.

Repayments are currently set at 9% of a graduate’s income above £26,575. Any remaining debt not paid off after 30 years is written off.

Mr Lewis called on

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