Law and Legal
“As the spread of COVID-19 upends work, classes and even doctor appointments across the country, a majority of Americans are turning to digital means to stay connected and track information about the outbreak. Amid this increased reliance, about nine-in-ten U.S. adults (93%) say that a major interruption to their internet or cellphone service during the outbreak would be a problem in their daily life, including 49% who foresee an outage being a very big problem for them and 28% who believe it would be a moderately big problem. But while digital connections may provide an alternative during a time of social distancing, only a minority (27%) thinks interacting via these technologies will be as effective as in-person contact. Some 64% of Americans think the internet and phones will help but are not a replacement for face-to-face encounters. These are key findings from a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted online between March 19-24 on the Center’s American Trends Panel…”
On March 30th, the NYC Department of Buildings issued a memo implementing Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.6 (EO) and New York State Empire Development Corporation Guidance requiring the shutdown of all non-essential construction except emergency construction
For projects enrolled in its Voluntary Cleanup Program or the “e” designation program, OER will implement the construction ban on as follows:
- Affordable housing projects (defined as those building affordable inclusionary housing, mandatory inclusionary housing or sites where 30% of more of the residential units are affordable) are deemed essential and can continue with construction activities. Similarly, other essential projects identified in the Governor’s order, e.g. homeless shelters and transit facilities, etc., can continue with construction.
- OER projects that are considered non-essential but have broken ground and where activities may be suspended without compromising public health must cease construction.
- Sites with approved remedies that have not yet broken ground and their development is not essential per the Governor’s EO cannot commence construction until the Governor’s construction ban is lifted or modified.
- Sites in the investigation sampling phase that are not essential must suspend work.
For each OER site that will continue operations, the development team must submit a statement to the OER Project Manager explaining the basis for each project’s continued operation. These statements must be submitted by the close of business on Wednesday, April 1.
Owners and contractors of construction and demolition sites subject to the suspension order must secure and maintain their sites in accordance with the NYC Department of Buildings Buildings Bulletin 2020-004 .
The post NYC OER Issues Guidance Implementing Construction Ban For Remedial Sites appeared first on Schnapf Environmental Law.
“While coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic consumes the nation’s news, people whose most common pathway to political and election news is through social media are less likely than others to be closely following that coverage. And more of these social media news consumers say they have seen at least some misinformation about the pandemic, according to a survey conducted March 10-16, 2020, as a part of Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project. These responses may help explain another finding: Those who use social media as their most common news pathway – 18% of U.S. adults overall – fare comparatively poorly when it comes to answering a question about when a vaccine might be available. These findings come from a survey of 8,914 U.S. adults who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel. One way to understand news audiences in today’s complex environment is to look at consumers through the prism of their most common pathway for getting political news: print, radio, local television, national television, cable television, social media sites and news websites or apps. Overall, the 18% of Americans who are “social media first” stand out as younger, more likely to be Hispanic, and less interested in political news, though they aren’t strongly characterized by any particular partisan leaning…”
More than half have prayed for an end to the virus’s spread – “As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise and schools, workplaces and public gathering spaces across the United States remain closed, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that the coronavirus outbreak is having profound impacts on the personal lives of Americans in a variety of ways. Nearly nine-in-ten U.S. adults say their life has changed at least a little as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, including 44% who say their life has changed in a major way. Amid widespread calls from experts for Americans to socially distance from one another to avoid spreading the virus, what recently seemed like mundane daily activities now elicit concerns from large swaths of the population. About nine-in-ten U.S. adults (91%) say that, given the current situation, they would feel uncomfortable attending a crowded party. Roughly three-quarters (77%) would not want to eat out at a restaurant. In the midst of a presidential election year, about two-thirds (66%) say they wouldn’t feel comfortable going to a polling place to vote. And smaller but still substantial shares express discomfort even with going to the grocery store (42%) or visiting with a close friend or family member in their home (38%)…”
CNET – “Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US government have encouraged social distancing to slow the spread of the sickness. This has led to the cancelation of many large cultural and sports gatherings. With music venues and bars on lock down across the country, there is loads of brand new music and live concerts via live stream that you can watch from the safety of your couch on your own TV, computer or phone. So many musicians and artists are getting in on the act from John Legend to Garth Brooks to The New York Metropolitan Opera. An ever increasing number of artists are working very hard and still trying to provide stellar live music and concert experiences for fans without sacrificing safety. CNET is aggregating over 50 live streams a day over a myriad of musical generes to satiate your live concert and live music appetite. Here are all the shows you can stream today…”
CNET – Screenshots, trackpad, better battery charging – “Apple’s iOS 13 software for iPhone and iPad keeps getting incrementally better. The latest boost comes in the form of iOS and iPadOS 13.4. One favorite new feature brings us iCloud folder sharing, a Dropbox-like experience for Apple storage on your iPhone, iPad and Mac… From the first celebrated features in iOS 13 to the new crop, we also like to call attention to the lesser known gems, from a new type of voice search to a much-needed volume control and a new Audio Sharing feature for AirPods owners. You can fine out about them all below. Also check out more common tools such as dedicated dark mode, a new-look Maps app and a gesture-based keyboard. If you’re still holding off on installing the update, now’s a good time to make the jump. Just make sure you get your phone or tablet ready first…”
Chicago Tribune: “In the past week, publishers and audio entertainment companies have offered a deluge of free e-books and audiobooks to keep readers of all ages engaged while they’re hunkered down at home. Parents, teachers and kids can choose from electronic editions of beloved stories such as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” Ann McGovern’s “Stone Soup,” Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” For audiobook fans, Penguin Random House Audio is among those offering free listens for families, including “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. “As a mom myself, I know how challenging it can be to balance working from home and remote learning with kids home from school as well,” said Amanda D’Acierno, president and publisher of Penguin Random House Audio. “So many parents and teachers are looking for enriching indoor activities for kids right now.” Libraries in Southern California may be closed but they still provide online access to a multitude of e-books, audiobooks and other materials at no charge. Novelists, poets and children’s book authors are using social media to share readings and favorite stories. Here’s a roundup of where you can find free books and listens from home in the weeks ahead…”
tom’s guide – “Zoom has quickly become the go-to resource for people who want to communicate with colleagues, family members, and friends. But for many, it’s also a new tool that has features you might not easily know how to use. With more people using Zoom than ever before, we’ve put together a general how to use Zoom guide and more specific step-by-step guides on how to set up a Zoom meeting, how to join a Zoom meeting and how to see everyone on Zoom. One of the most important features in Zoom is the ability to share your screen with others. It allows you to collaborate with colleagues on something you’re working on or illustrate an activity or anything else you want to show those who are on the other side of the call…”
Modeling and Analysis of Conflicting Information Propagation in a Finite Time Horizon, published in the journal IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. The paper was co-authored by Cliff Wang of the Army Research Office.
NC State: “Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Army Research Office have demonstrated a new model of how competing pieces of information spread in online social networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). The findings could be used to disseminate accurate information more quickly, displacing false information about anything from computer security to public health. “Whether in the IoT or on social networks, there are many circumstances where old information is circulating and could cause problems – whether it’s old security data or a misleading rumor,” says Wenye Wang, co-author of a paper on the work and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State. “Our work here includes a new model and related analysis of how new data can displace old data in these networks.” “Ultimately, our work can be used to determine the best places to inject new data into a network so that the old data can be eliminated faster,” says Jie Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at NC State and first author of the paper. In their paper, the researchers show that a network’s size plays a significant role in how quickly “good” information can displace “bad” information. However, a large network is not necessarily better or worse than a small one. Instead, the speed at which good data travels is primarily affected by the network’s structure. A highly interconnected network can disseminate new data very quickly. And the larger the network, the faster the new data will travel.
“In the trying days of quarantine, you might want to jot down “seek delight” on your to-do list. I’ve gathered some potential sources as starting points, with the help of my colleagues at Quartz…”
Via Dennis Kennedy – Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 facilitated by #makelawbetter dot org
Overview – Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 is a proposal to:
- Make courts, lawyers, and law schools aware that we are here, we are available, and we are capable of providing them with solutions;
- By designing tangible recommendations for each group to continue functioning as optimally as possible — possibly even thriving — during the disruption of COVID-19;
- Including recommendations that can be implemented now (the next 30 days) and over time (the next 60 days, and the next 90 days).
Right now, we seek:
- People to sign up according to which group (courts, lawyers, law schools) they would like to help;
- People interested in organizing these groups, coordinating their efforts, and ensuring the work gets done as soon as we are able…”
EdSurge: “The first image many people have of school is a circle of small children, sitting cross-legged, paying attention (or not) to an adult reading a book aloud and showing pictures to the class. Indeed, presidents and sports stars choose exactly this photo op when visiting schools. And teachers across the country reenact the scene daily—or did until a few weeks ago. As schools, teachers and families face the shock of abruptly shifting to online education, one small question has been how to shift these read alouds to Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangouts and YouTube, the spaces where many classes continue to meet. A second question has been given almost equal importance: Is reading a book to students online even legal? The short answer is, well, yes. While many well-intentioned commentators have warned teachers against this practice, the fact is that copyright law—specifically fair use—permits many read-aloud activities online. As instructors and learners adapt to new educational environments, copyright concerns about reading aloud need not be among the challenges they face…”
Frontline Foods – “The idea is simple: Support local hospital clinicians who are working in wartime-like conditions and support local restaurants who have been impacted by the COVID crisis. 100% of your money goes directly to restaurants serving hospital workers.”
Federal Government Invests $50M in Museums, Libraries to Address Digital Divide: “The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the President has signed the CARES Act, which designates $50 million in coronavirus response funding for IMLS. Following passage in the House of Representatives earlier today, both chambers of Congress approved of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion response to the growing pandemic. The emergency investment allocated to IMLS will enable libraries and museums to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including by expanding digital network access, purchasing Internet accessible devices, and providing technical support services to their communities…
AFF will be offline permanently March 31, 2020. “There are now a nice set of short tutorial and long webinar recordings at …It facilitated teaching the economic and business datasets more than data.census.gov does IMO.) Via Steve Cramer, Business & Economics Librarian, Associate Professor | Coleman Fellow for Entrepreneurship Education , University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“The American Bar Association has posted an ABA Legal Fact Check that answers a question that has been raised frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic: Who has the legal authority to order such stringent actions as quarantines and stay at home directives. In recent days, both the president and individual governors have asserted that power. While the federal government can issue guidelines, the legal fact check shows that the legal authority to take such actions within a state belongs to the governor while the president has the authority to close the U.S. borders to foreign travelers. The fact check notes that some legal experts believe the president also has the power to regulate travel between states through the Commerce Clause although that has never been affirmed by the courts.
- ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle Washington:
- The charts on this site projected hospital resource use based on COVID-19 deaths.
- The projections assume the continuation of strong social distancing measures and other protective measures.
- To view the methods used to produce the projections click here.
- On April 15 – Hospital Bed Shortage 61,509
- On April 15 – ICU Bed Shortage 15,103
- On April 15 – Invasive ventilators needed 26,753
- Total COVID-19 deaths projected to August 4, 2020 in United States of America – 82,141