7 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California showed signs it turned the corner on the omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with infection rates falling and hospitalizations well short of the overwhelming deluge officials feared a few weeks ago. Over 15,000 people are hospitalized with coronavirus, a huge figure but well short of last January's peak of about 22,000 and half of what officials had feared. Positivity rates are down 15% from earlier this month and the state's projection model shows the number of hospitalizations falling by half, to less than 7,700, in another month. “This omicron spread like wildfire and now it’s dropping very rapidly. And that’s exactly what we expect,” Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an epidemiologist at the University of Southern California, said Tuesday. “It’s like when a wildfire burns up all the fuel. There’s no more fuel to burn and the wildfire goes out.” Intensive care cases take longer to develop, … [Read more...] about California appears to pass peak of omicron variant wave
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Lisa Goddard, a climate scientist at Columbia University who harnessed cutting-edge computer models to bring invaluable data about upcoming floods, droughts and heat waves to people worldwide facing increasingly extreme weather events, died on Jan. 13 in Mount Kisco, N.Y. She was 55. Her husband, David Cooperberg, said the cause was breast cancer. At Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, where she spent most of her career and which she ran from 2012 to 2020, Dr. Goddard specialized in honing predictive climate models for what scientists call subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting — the temporal space between everyday weather and long-term climate. To most people, she believed, such information was more important than the kind of far-off climate predictions that often make headlines. “The types of hazards we worry most about with respect to climate change projections — such as droughts, heat waves, inundation events — are happening right now, and we … [Read more...] about Lisa Goddard, 55, Dies; Brought Climate Data to Those Who Needed It
Is going to college still a good investment? Your field of study, career goals and personal life all play a role in the answer — as does your family’s income. Amid the ongoing national discussion about the value of a college education , a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that, in general, the return on investment of a college degree for students from low-income families tends to be less than the return on investment for other students. Return on investment, or ROI for short, is a term that refers to the ratio of an investment’s net profit to its overall cost. The ratio is one way to measure the total value of an investment. In this case, Georgetown’s researchers define ROI as the earnings of a student over time minus the student’s cost of attendance. A Student Loan is a smart way of covering your college costs. There's no shortage of expenses in college life. Get the help you need with a Student Loan. Click on your … [Read more...] about The Payoff for a College Degree Is Smaller if You’re a Low-Income Student
There is long-overdue support for raising the minimum wage. But among generally mistreated minimum wage workers there’s a subgroup of those whose wage experience is even more miserable and unfair. The group is tipped workers, the majority of whom are restaurant servers. There is a minimum wage for tipped workers, called by those who know the “ tipped minimum wage .” An informal survey on my part would indicate that many well-educated professionals, even high-ranking city officials, don’t know about this; that’s excusable, since almost no one talks about it. In any case, few who already know about the tipped minimum wage could guess how low it can go. Try. Are you ready? $2.13. Uh-huh. And although there are those who would argue that raising this pathetic excuse for payment would increase unemployment, raise the price of restaurant food and hurt the restaurant industry (by logical extension, we should be lowering this wage, perhaps all the way to zero?), they are, of … [Read more...] about A Valentine for Restaurant Workers
What is a human life worth? You may not want to put a price tag on a it. But if we really had to, most of us would agree that the value of a human life would be in the millions. Consistent with the foundations of our democracy and our frequently professed belief in the inherent dignity of human beings, we would also agree that all humans are created equal, at least to the extent of denying that differences of sex, ethnicity, nationality and place of residence change the value of a human life. With Christmas approaching, and Americans writing checks to their favorite charities, it’s a good time to ask how these two beliefs — that a human life, if it can be priced at all, is worth millions, and that the factors I have mentioned do not alter the value of a human life — square with our actions. Perhaps this year such questions lurk beneath the surface of more family discussions than usual, for it has been an extraordinary year for philanthropy, especially philanthropy to fight global … [Read more...] about What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?
Members of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) picket outside the BlackRock headquarters in New York City. Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters Over the last ten months, Brian Kelly has traveled, twice, from his home in Alabama to New York City. Kelly, along with roughly 900 of his co-workers, has been on strike since April 2021, a lengthy ordeal they pin on their employer Warrior Met Coal’s lackluster proposals for a new contract. In an unusual move for a labor strike, he and hundreds of workers came to protest the three hedge funds that own Warrior Met and pressure them to pressure the company’s management. It hasn’t been easy: Last November, the NYPD arrested Kelly and several others in front of the headquarters of BlackRock, the largest shareholder in Warrior Met. A third-generation coal miner, Kelly worked for Warrior Met’s predecessor, Walter Energy, for two decades until it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015. That’s when a judge allowed the private equity firms that … [Read more...] about Miners vs. Vultures
EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — A $50 billion plan to more than double the use of controlled fires and mechanical thinning to reduce trees and other vegetation that may cause fire was announced this week by the Biden Administration, but the breakdown of how it will be funded over 10 years has some experts left with more questions than answers. The plan is called, “ Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A New Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests ,” and it outlines goals for the Forest Service and its partners to expand efforts to prevent the catastrophic wildfires that have devastated areas in the Western U.S. through aggressive forest thinning around “hot spots”, especially in areas near homes and communities. READ MORE: 'It's Frightening': Family Thankful For Arrest Eight Months After Woman's Murder At Sacramento Light Rail Station The Associated Press reports the plan’s $50 billion price tag breaks down to an estimated $20 billion over … [Read more...] about Experts Weigh In On Biden Administration’s $50B Wildfire Crisis Plan
Dr. Justin Nathaniel Karlin had never seen anything as dazzling as Carson Molly Stern’s left eye. In a photo of it, Ms. Stern, a makeup artist in the Los Angeles area, had accentuated her green iris with a dab of silver shimmery eye shadow and rhinestones near her tear duct. “It was like someone had drizzled a single drop of honey onto a blade of grass,” said Dr. Karlin, 37. An oculoplastic surgeon, he was stunned by the image when he saw it on her Hinge profile in mid-January 2020. “My eyes are very green, bright green,” said Ms. Stern, 27, who is pursuing a master’s degree in graphic design at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. “It’s popular to post a close-up of your eye makeup in the makeup community,” she said. After they connected, Ms. Stern recalled him messaging, “I’d like to learn more about makeup from you.” She was impressed by his level of curiosity. “What kind of guy says … [Read more...] about In a Blink, Her Eye Caught His
Joan Didion, the sharp-eyed and cool-headed journalist, essayist and novelist who chronicled the social upheavals of the 1960s, the cultural landscape of California and the inner struggles of grief, died Thursday at her home in New York. She was 87. The cause was complications from Parkinson's disease, Penguin Random House said in a statement. “Didion was one of the country’s most trenchant writers and astute observers. Her best-selling works of fiction, commentary, and memoir have received numerous honors and are considered modern classics,” it said. Writer Joan Didion dies at age 87 Dec. 23, 2021 01:10 She rose to prominence in the 1960s as one of the pioneers of "New Journalism," marrying traditional reporting techniques to literary flair and first-person experience. She cultivated a devoted following with cool, unsparing explorations of American politics, Hollywood, the counterculture and the contradictions of the Golden State. … [Read more...] about Joan Didion, masterly prose stylist and trenchant chronicler of 1960s, dies at 87
A federal appeals court’s decision Thursday to uphold Harvard University’s affirmative action program has revived a debate over Asian Americans’ role in racial justice issues within higher education. Advocates and scholars point out that while Students for Fair Admissions, the group that filed the lawsuit, claims Asian Americans face intentional discrimination in Harvard’s admissions process, research shows the overwhelming majority of Asian Americans favor the program. With the case now a step closer to the Supreme Court, where SFFA will likely appeal the ruling, Asian American activists say much of their work will continue to involve dispelling myths around the impact of affirmative action and how the racial group sees the issue. “Race-conscious admissions policies are critical for our overall education system, businesses and ultimately the world our children will inherit,” John C. Yang, president and executive director of civil rights nonprofit Asian Americans … [Read more...] about 70% of Asian Americans support affirmative action. Here’s why misconceptions persist.