US hotel occupancy hits highest point since mid-March

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink (iStock)As travelers throughout the U.S. try to make the most of a surreal summer, hotel occupancy has slowly improved, and has finally hit the 50 percent mark for the first time since mid-March.While overall occupancy has risen for 17 of the last 18 weeks, growth in demand has slowed, according to the latest occupancy rate from industry tracker STR. Occupancy is also about 30 percent below the same time last year. In mid-April, nationwide occupancy stood at 23 percent.The latest data — for the week ending Aug. 15 — also showed average daily room rate was $101.41, which was 23 percent below year-to-date figures; and revenue per available room was $50.87, about 46 percent the same time last year.The stubbornly low numbers are not surprising given that hotels have been decimated during the pandemic, which has resulted in closures, layoffs and bankruptcies.Los Angeles/Long Beach, where there has been a recent surge in coronavirus cases, still has an occupancy rate of almost 51 percent. That was nearly a 40 percent drop year-to-date.It was among five major markets to pass the 50 percent threshold. The others are Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia, at 65 percent; Philadelphia-New Jersey at nearly 53 percent; San Diego at nearly 52 percent; and Detroit at 51.5 percent. Markets with the lowest occupancy levels were Oahu Island, Hawaii at almost 23 percent and Orlando, Florida, at 30 percent.In New York City, occupancy now stands at 41 percent, a 54 percent decline from the same time last year. New York state now requires a 14-day quarantine period for people entering from states where positive Covid test results exceed 10 percent.Read moreHotels’ comeback stalls nationally, skids in NYC and MiamiCGI plans $500M fund to acquire distressed hotels, rebrand with HiltonHow will NYC real estate fare without 65 million tourists? Chicago’s occupancy was 40 percent, a 47 percent decline from last year; and in Miami/ Hialeah, where Covid cases were on the rise, the occupancy rate stood at almost 37 percent, according to STR. That was 51 percent below the same period last year.Contact Sasha Jones at [email protected] Share via Shortlink TagsCoronavirusHotelslast_img read more

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FDA authorizes rapid, non-prescription COVID-19 tests

first_imgnarvikk/iStockBy MATTHEW VANN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — More Americans will soon be able to purchase over-the-counter rapid coronavirus tests without a prescription at their local pharmacy or retail store following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of two more at-home tests that are easy to buy and perform.The FDA on Thursday authorized BinaxNOW, a COVID-19 antigen self-test by Abbott, a U.S. COVID-19 testing manufacturing company. It also authorized the Quick Vue test by Quidel, a diagnostic health care product manufacturer.Neither requires a prescription.Abbott says its COVID-19 antigen self-test will be available to individuals with or without symptoms.“Together with vaccines, the BinaxNOW self-test will help Americans get back to doing what they want and need to do — like going to work and school or seeing friends and family — with greater confidence,” said Robert Ford, Abbott’s president and chief executive officer.Abbott’s rapid test initially required a health care provider to administer the swab and solution-based test kit, and then it was authorized for at-home use with a virtual proctor watching the process, which was included with the $25 fee. This new FDA authorization allows an individual to perform the test themselves, without a doctor’s prescription and at a lower cost.An Abbott spokesperson told ABC News the tests are expected to be sold in packs of two and will cost under $10 dollars per test. The spokesperson also said the test should be available in the coming weeks.Users will only need to perform a minimally invasive nasal swab, not the deeper nasal swaps common in some PCR tests and can expect results in about 15 minutes, accordiing to the company.Quidel’s test is designed for self-collected nasal swabs for people 14 or older and for adult-collected specimens of children 2 years and up.Rapid antigen tests provide the advantage of lower costs, fewer supplies and speed than molecular PCR tests, which take one to two days for laboratory processing. PCR tests can detect lower levels of replicating virus, but antigen tests are intended to be accurate at detecting virus when a person is actively sick and most likely contagious.The FDA has discussed the limitations of the accuracy of some rapid antigen tests and noted that they may be subject to false positive results – especially if there is not a lot of active virus in a specific community or if they are performed incorrectly. Proponents of rapid antigen tests point out the benefit of more people being able to identify when they are most contagious so they know to immediately isolate and not pass on the virus. Confirmation testing is still encouraged.“The test performs at greater than 95% accuracy, and that’s the kind of level that we need to have the confidence to return to all the many things that we love to do,” said Mary Rodgers, principal scientist at Abbott. “We are prepared with our manufacturing to supply tens of million tests a month.”Quidel, in a press release said its test “provides results in agreement with PCR 83.5% of the time when positive and 99.2% when negative.” The company did not indicate a timeline for the release of its tests.The influx of new tests comes as the nation faces a downward trend in the daily administration of COVID-19 tests, with health care workers now focused on distributing vaccine shots. The daily national COVID-19 testing rate is just over 1 million a day, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.Public health experts argue that the low testing numbers are not where the nation needs to be to fully pull itself out of the pandemic, as the daily COVID-19 caseload creeps upward.“The same people who are doing the testing are often the same ones doing the vaccinations,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “And the attention to some of the issues around supply may affect the focus turning to vaccines rather than tests.”With just about 17% of Americans now fully vaccinated, coronavirus testing remains an important tool in tracking new cases and putting a halt to spread.The FDA in March issued additional guidance for test developers seeking emergency use authorization of tests screening large groups of individuals for COVID-19 infections. It is guidance that could come in handy for employers and school administrators looking for protection from bouts of coronavirus infection.“With the FDA’s authorization of multiple tests, the public can be assured these tests have met our scientific standards for emergency use authorization,” said Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “As we’ve said all along, if it’s a good test, we’ll authorize it.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Director of Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT)

first_imgPosition TitleDirector of Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers(PACT) Essential Duties: • Sitting in a normal seated position for extended periods oftime• Reaching by extending hand(s) or arm(s) in any direction• Finger dexterity required to manipulate objects with fingersrather than with whole hand(s) or arm(s), for example, using akeyboard• Communication skills using the spoken word• Ability to see within normal parameters• Ability to hear within normal range• Ability to move about Direct a program that holistically prepares and supports studentswith baccalaureate degrees to serve as beginning Catholic educatorsin PK-12 classrooms while working toward eligibility for initialteacher licensure or an additional credential. Preparation andsupport includes completing a Master’s degree, being supervised andcoached in teaching, living in intentional communities, and growingin one’s spirituality. Closing Date Requisition NumberAS433P Education and Experience Required Physical Demands EEO Statement Overview Employee StatusFull Time 1. Perform all other duties as may be required. Open Until FilledYes Shift: Founded in 1917, Providence College (PC) is a premier Catholicliberal arts institution steadfastly committed to academicexcellence through a dynamic core curriculum, a distinctiveDevelopment of Western Civilization Program, and abundantexperiential learning opportunities. The only U.S. higher educationinstitution administered by the Dominican Friars, PC is committedto providing a variety of opportunities for intellectual, social,moral, and spiritual growth in a supportive environment. ProvidenceCollege believes that cultural and intellectual pluralism isessential to the excellence of its academic programs, and strivesto foster an academic culture and campus community reflecting theglobal environment in which we live and work.The approximately 105-acre campus is situated in Rhode Island’scapital city and is close to the many cultural and educationalofferings of Rhode Island’s “renaissance city.” Additionally,Providence is located an hour from Boston and just a few hours fromNew York City.For years, Providence College has been recognized in the U.S.News & World Report “Regional Universities – NorthCategory” and has been commended by several other rankingpublications.Posting Details Union StatusNon-Union Marginal Duties: Providence College does not discriminate against any person becauseof race, color, national and ethnicorigin, sex, gender, except where gender is a bona fideoccupational qualification, sexual orientation,gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status, orgenetic information. The College will develop,and from time to time update, an affirmative action program andwill insist on a good-faith effort on thepart of its employees to comply with the program. The College willrequest and expect its agents andthose with whom it conducts its affairs to meet the commitment ofthis important program. If other, please enter regular schedule. • Master Degree from an accredited institution required. Doctoraldegree preferred.• Five to seven years’ experience or an equivalent combination ofeducation and experience.• PK-12 teaching experience sufficient to be able to provideappropriate guidance to beginning Catholic schools teacher.• PK-12 school administrative experience sufficient to be able tointeract effectively with Catholic school and diocesanadministrators.• Prior college-level teaching and graduate program administrationexperience preferred.• Highly organized, team player with excellent leadership,organizational, and management skills• Must communicate effectively with multipleaudiences/stakeholders. 1. Develop and implement Master’s in Education Program forSecondary Education that is consistent with the College, GraduateSchool, and PACT mission and meets the program approvalrequirements of the Rhode Department of Education ( RIDE ); recruitand recommend faculty for courses in program to the Dean ofGraduate Programs; and schedule courses and field experiences.Direct, plan, and lead supervision and coaching for all PACTteachers in their placement schools, to be conducted 2-3 times persemester per teacher.2. Direct day-to-day and programming activities, prepare andimplement approved annual operating budget, supervise AssistantDirector and Administrative Assistant. Partner with UniversityConsortium for Catholic Education ( UCCE ) program directors tosupport broader recruitment, placement, and support of candidates;manage student records, including in-processing, academic andstate/federal date requirements; direct all aspects of SummerProgram; and evaluate spiritual, community and academic componentsof program and adjust as needed. Address any academic problems thatmay occur in partner schools or in community housing.3. Direct recruitment efforts, execute supportingmarketing/promotional efforts, oversee candidate review andselection process, and coordinate partner diocesan schoolplacements. Serve as principal liaison with superintendents andprincipals, organize initial school/student orientation events,coordinate student community living requirements, and coordinatestudent outreach (i.e. academic, spiritual, and social fieldvisitations).4. Director and manage event planning for opening and mid-yearretreats, summer activities, missioning mass, etc.; serve asliaison between Chaplain’s office and spiritual mentors in thefield; and work with the Chaplain’s office on programming for allspiritual activities.5. Build strategic partnerships with partner Catholic(arch)diocesan superintendents, principals, and alumni to supportCatholic education efforts. These efforts may include professionaldevelopment, additional training, keynotes, or other events hostedat the College, pursuing new degree or certificate options, orother consulting or research initiatives.6. Manage and curate PACT program website and social media. Overseethe Assistant Director’s role in curating and postingcontent. Special Instructions to Applicants Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).Documents Needed To ApplyRequired DocumentsResumeCover LetterTranscriptsLetter of RecommendationOptional Documentslast_img read more

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EU slaps sanctions on 10 Syrian officials

first_imgCurrent EU sanctions in place in Syria include an oil embargo and a freeze on Syrian central bank assets across the EU, as well as export restrictions on equipment and spare parts that could be used in the repression of civilians. The measures will be in place until June 1, 2017. Also On POLITICO Germany charges Syrian man for ISIL affiliation By Esther King US defense secretary: Offense against ISIL in Syrian stronghold to start within weeks By Louis Nelson The European Union on Thursday added 10 more Syrian regime officials to the list of suspects involved in the aggression against Syrian civilians, according to a statement.They include high-ranking military officials and several senior figures linked to President Bashar al-Assad’s government. They have been slapped with a travel ban and will see their assets frozen. The list of sanctioned officials now includes 217 names.In addition, 69 entities have also been targeted with an asset freeze, the statement said. The measures were agreed on by defense ministers following the conclusions of an EU summit held earlier this month.last_img read more

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Professor researches potential allergy treatment

first_imgBasar Bilgicer, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, said groundbreaking scientific advances have taken a step towards preventative treatment possible for millions of Americans who suffer from life-threatening allergies. He said he and his team have made progress towards the first-ever inhibitory therapy for Type I Hypersensitive allergic reactions.  “These type of allergies are potentially lethal,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are no available medications that can prevent the occurrence of an allergic response to … Type I allergies.”  Type I hypersensitive responses occur by the components of the immune system designed to fight harmful parasites when mast cells and basophils, both of which are types of white blood cells, respond to harmless allergens with symptoms that can be as devastating as potentially lethal anaphylactic shock, Bilgicer said.  The only treatments currently available for severe allergies, like an EpiPen, attempt to manage symptoms until a victim can be taken to the hospital, Bilgicer said.  Bilgicer, also part of the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases and the Harper Cancer Center, said his team of Notre Dame researchers are working on the  design and synthesis of Heterobivalent Inhibitors (HBI), which bind more effectively to mast cells and basophils than allergens like shellfish and peanuts. “Our approach is to stop it before it takes place,” Bilgicer said. “Our molecules are designed so that they will compete with the allergen molecule in binding to the receptor in mast cells and basophils. Our molecule binds more effectively, blocking binding of allergens and keeping allergic reactions from happening in the first place.” He said HBI molecules have worked successfully in cellular and animal tests in mice, and although all the ideas were developed at Notre Dame, his group has been in collaboration with Dr. Mark Kaplan’s at Indiana University (IU).  “We did all the design and synthesis here,” Bilgicer said. “The animal studies were verified at IU Med School in Dr. Kaplan’s lab.”  This allergy research has been in development since Bilgicer joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2008, and he said Dr. Michael Handlogten, a recently graduated PhD student, worked as the leading scientist on the project since its initiation. Bilgicer said the most updated version of these advances, included the findings from the mice studies, were published in the Nature Chemical Biology Journal.  Bilgicer said Notre Dame partly funded his research, but the project also received support from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergic and Infections Diseases.  Society increasingly needs this groundbreaking inhibitory treatment, as Type I allergies become more prevalent, Bilgicer said.  “At present, there is a strong prevalence of peanut allergies, unfortunately,” he said. “The number of cases is increasing.”. People could eventually use Bilgicer’s HPI research with severe allergies in multiple ways, he said. First, it could work to replace an EpiPen if symptoms of a reaction begin to occur. It could also be used if an exposure to a deadly allergen is likely, like when sending a child to school, he said. “If you are allergic to peanuts and you know you are getting on a flight, you could take an HPI,” he said. “The dust from the guy next to you opening a bag of peanuts can cause deadly reactions, which has happened before.” He said another important usage could be in Immunotherapy, which involves slow exposure to an allergen so that they body gradually learns that the allergen is not actually harmful, eventually leading to tolerance. Currently, he said most Type I allergy sufferers cannot safely be exposed to any amount of their allergen. “We could give the allergen in presence of HPI to control the effects of the allergen and reduce the symptoms for a patient,” he said. “Therefore, HBI can potentially be used in conjunction with immunotherapy to treat Type I hypersensitivity.” Bilgicer said he plans to develop a specific HPI for each type of allergen that causes Type I allergic reactions.  “The next step is to take this away from model system and into a system where it would be more relevant to natural allergens,” he said. “The HBI needs to be redesigned for every new allergen. To inhibit, say, peanuts we have to make a new HBI, and that is the next step in our research.” Contact Abi Hoverman at [email protected]last_img read more

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Enlisted Rank Insignia

first_imgARMY — * For rank and precedence within the Army, specialist ranks immediately below corporal. Among the services, however, rank and precedence are determined by pay grade.NAVY/COAST GUARD — * A specialty mark in the center of a rating badge indicates the wearer’s particular rating.** Gold stripes indicate 12 or more years of good conduct.*** 1. Master chief petty officer of the Navy and fleet and force master chief petty officers.2. Command master chief petty officers wear silver stars.3. Master chief petty officers wear silver stars and silver specialty rating marks.The U.S. Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and the Navy in times of war. Coast Guard rank insignia are the same as the Navy except for color and the seaman recruit rank, which has one stripe.E-1 THROUGH E-3 LEVELSService members in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are usually either in some kind of training status or on their initial assignment. The training includes the basic training phase where recruits are immersed in military culture and values and are taught the core skills required by their service component.Basic training is followed by a specialized or advanced training phase that provides recruits with a specific area of expertise or concentration. In the Army and Marines, this area is called a military occupational specialty; in the Navy it is known as a rate; and in the Air Force it is simply called an Air Force specialty.MID-LEVEL ENLISTED RANKSLeadership responsibility significantly increases in the mid-level enlisted ranks. This responsibility is given formal recognition by use of the terms noncommissioned officer and petty officer. An Army sergeant, an Air Force staff sergeant, and a Marine corporal are considered NCO ranks. The Navy NCO equivalent, petty officer, is achieved at the rank of petty officer third class.E-8 AND E-9 LEVELAt the E-8 level, the Army, Marines and Air Force have two positions at the same pay grade. Whether one is, for example, a senior master sergeant or a first sergeant in the Air Force depends on the person’s job. The same is true for the positions at the E-9 level. Marine Corps master gunnery sergeants and sergeants major receive the same pay but have different responsibilities. All told, E-8s and E-9s have 15 to 30 years on the job, and are commanders’ senior advisers for enlisted matters.A third E-9 element is the senior enlisted person of each service. The sergeant major of the Army, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force are the spokespersons of the enlisted force at the highest levels of their services.last_img read more

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Bikerumor Pic Of The Day: Above The Band

first_imgPhoto submitted by Bill Draper, “First unofficial races on 8-21-2011 at the new temporary Chicagovelodrome. The $45m permanent indoor facility is scheduled to open in 2013.”To see more Pics of the Day, click here, and to submit your own photo to be shown to the world, go here.last_img

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New Exhibitors Added to 2010 North American Handmade Bike Show

first_imgFour new exhibitors recently joined the ranks of cycling companies that will be showing off their custom work at the 2010 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.  They are Bishop Bikes of Maryland, Form Cycles of Arizona, Villin Cycle Works of Florida and Industry Nine of North Carolina.  The 2010 NAHBS is scheduled for February 26-28, 2010, in Richmond, VA.Shown above is the Bianco Rosso from Bishop Bikes.  Pictures of bikes from the others are shown after the break… The Form Cycles’ Prevail is available as a 26″ 650b or 29er (shown).Villin Cycleworks fixed gear bike.The Ego road wheelset from Industry Nine.last_img read more

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KCP&L working on substantial system rebuilds in parts of Prairie Village, Fairway and Shawnee

first_imgElectrical outages have been a persistent problem in parts of Prairie Village.KP&L says it has completed ultrasound diagnostic work and is in the process of designing updated electrical infrastructure for neighborhoods in Prairie Village, Fairway and Shawnee that it anticipates it will be able to start building in January.The news comes partially in response to persistent power outage in pockets of those cities. A neighborhood near Tomahawk and Roe saw power go out 11 times in two months over the summer. Not far away, a pocket of 187 homes south of 75th Street between Mission and Belinder saw seven outages in roughly the same period.KCP&L officials say a variety of problems appear to be contributed to the outages. Aging infrastructure coupled with natural phenomenon have combined to cause system failures.“There are no common themes to the outage causes,” said KCP&L spokesman Jeremy McNeive. “We have experienced outages due to vegetation and varmints along with normal rates of material failure. Sometimes damage from a storm does not present itself until a future time.”McNeive said build out on the initial areas targeted for reconstruction should be complete by mid-summer 2018, if all goes according to plan.Prairie Village City Administrator Wes Jordan told the city council earlier this month that he and other city leaders from northeast Johnson County had met with KCP&L officials in recent weeks to discuss the status of the electrical grid in the area.“They’re starting with Prairie Village due to the number of issues we’re having here,” Wes Jordan told the city council.last_img read more

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Shawnee hires Clark Enersen to design remodel plans for city hall

first_imgShawnee has taken first steps toward remodeling city hall.The city council in its Jan. 14 meeting agreed in a 7-0 vote to hire Clark Enersen for $279,000 to provide architectural services for the project. Councilmember Mike Kemmling was absent. There was no public comment or discussion from the council.Shawnee City Hall at 11110 Johnson Drive was originally built in 1960-61. The building has had a few renovations through the years, including an expansion in 1988-89 to add the east and west wings .Most of the building hasn’t been updated in years, including signage, service areas, furniture and finishings from the 1980s. The council chambers, however, were remodeled in 2015, and storage space in the basement was finished in 2017 for the city’s information technology department. Part of the west basement was recently remodeled for the community development department.Functionality and city needs have evolved over the past 50 years, and a recent investment grade audit identified several areas in which the city can improve energy, performance and efficiency while reducing operational costs for city hall. The city plans to incorporate some of those improvements into the remodel.Assistant City Manager Caitlin Gard reported in the city memo that many of the offices in city hall are “unnecessarily large and located in areas where other functionality of shared offices and conference spaces would be more appropriate.” The remodel is intended to improve efficiencies of the building and address directional and wayfinding concerns that are frequently complaints from residents, business owners, contractors and “even new employees,” Gard added.“The physical location of employees has come to light as a potential barrier in ensuring this high level of service for our residents and businesses,” Gard wrote. “With a combination of these issues, staff believes it is time to consider a remodel to the areas within City Hall that have not already been renovated in order to increase its functionality.”The council discussed the design for a remodel in May 2018, at which time they agreed on to allot funds for it as part of the 2019 budget. City staff had recommended Clark Enersen in part because of the company’s history of projects with Shawnee as well as its history of “successful remodeling projects” elsewhere, according to the city memo.The city had budgeted $300,000 for architectural services.last_img read more

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