Blog Rolls

Verizon Now Handling an Average of 800 Million Wireless Calls a Day

The New York Times: “Phone calls have made a comeback in the pandemic. While the nation’s biggest telecommunications providers prepared for a huge shift toward more internet use from home, what they didn’t expect was an even greater surge in plain old voice calls, a medium that had been going out of fashion for years. From a report: Verizon said it was now handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week, more than double the number made on Mother’s Day, historically one of the busiest call days of the year. Verizon added that the length of voice calls was up 33 percent from an average day before the outbreak. AT&T said that the number of cellular calls had risen 35 percent and that Wi-Fi-based calls had nearly doubled from averages in normal times. In contrast, internet traffic is up around 20 percent to 25 percent from typical daily patterns, AT&T and Verizon said...”

Categories: Law and Legal

Number Of Patients At Overflow Hospitals In New York Has Doubled

The number of patients being treated on a Navy hospital ship and inside a convention center has more than doubled in the last two days, after both facilities switched to treating people with COVID-19.

(Image credit: Seth Wenig/AP)

Categories: Just News

98% of all animal species on Earth have a PR problem

the Correspondent – That’s bad news for everyone – Insects do all the dirty work. They process faeces and decompose corpses. Plus they pollinate flowers. In spite of this, their image sucks. We need to change that. Because a dramatic decline in invertebrates threatens the liveability of this green planet.

Categories: Law and Legal

Vote by Mail Isn't Perfect. But It's Essential in a Pandemic

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 18:30
Despite Donald Trump's invective, the spread of Covid-19 has made the expansion of absentee voting expansion critical.
Categories: Just News

Italo Calvino’s 14 Criteria for What Makes a Classic

brainpickings – “A classic is a work which constantly generates a pulviscular cloud of critical discourse around it, but which always shakes the particles off.”

“In this collection of essays on classical literature, Calvino also produces these 14 definitions of a “classic”

Categories: Law and Legal

With Warship Coronavirus Cases Rising, Concerns Over Military Readiness

Three of the U.S. Navy's 11 aircraft carriers are reported to have sailors infected with the coronavirus. The Pentagon says readiness has not been affected, but more outbreaks are expected.

(Image credit: South Korean Defense Ministry via AP)

Categories: Just News

Will I Get A Check From The US Government, And How?

BuzzFeedNews – Here’s Everything You Need To Know. “The US government is sending out $1,200 stimulus checks to the large majority of adults during the coronavirus outbreak, but many are going to miss out. Most adults with a US Social Security number will receive a payment, but Congress set restrictions on who qualifies. People who earn more than $99,000 per year will not receive any money; neither will many college students or adults who are listed as dependents on someone else’s tax return (this includes some adults with disabilities and some elderly parents). Immigrants who do not have Social Security numbers will not qualify for the payments either. Additionally, not every person who qualifies will receive $1,200 — some will get more, some less. The payments are based on your income listed on your most recent tax return, as well as the number of child dependents you have. Still, as many as 93.6% of tax filers will receive some kind of payment, according to the Tax Foundation…”

Categories: Law and Legal

A Lot of People Don't Even *Know* They Should Stay Home

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 17:18
A new survey finds that a startling proportion of Americans remain confused or misinformed about the local public-health advice.
Categories: Just News

Alumni In China Lead Effort To Procure PPE For Medical Workers In New York

Spurred by the concerns of members in China, Columbia University's medical school alumni association raised more than $1 million to buy desperately needed masks and other gear.

(Image credit: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

8 Key Moments That Helped Define Bernie Sanders' Presidential Runs

Though the Vermont senator did not emerge as the Democratic nominee in either of his two bids, his campaigns have reshaped the party's politics and policy in significant ways.

(Image credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Categories: Just News

WATCH LIVE: White House Takes New Precautions Ahead Of Coronavirus Briefing

The White House gave all reporters attending the briefing a coronavirus test on Thursday as a precaution as a member of the press corps awaited test results. Watch the briefing live shortly.

(Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Scientists Try To Figure Out If Summer Will Slow The Spread Of COVID-19

There are arguments that it might — and that it might not. Here's what researchers know so far.

(Image credit: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images/ Lim Huey Teng/Reuters)

Categories: Just News

Nearing Anniversary Of Devastating Fire, Notre Dame To Host A Good Friday Service

April 15 will mark the first anniversary of the fire that ripped through the cathedral. The Paris archbishop says he wants to send a "message of hope" through a small Good Friday service.

(Image credit: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Advocates: Inmates Released Early Due To Pandemic Need Help To Safely Shelter

In California, former inmates released early to help reduce coronavirus risks behind bars lack support when they get out, say advocates, who want better, organized help to address the crisis.

(Image credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Categories: Just News

The FDA Asks Companies to Stop Selling Ranitidine

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 16:23
The federal agency cites concerns that the widely-used antacid may contain a possibly cancer-causing contaminant called NDMA.
Categories: Just News

FEMA Predicted Pandemic Effects In July 2019

In a report, the agency said a nationwide pandemic would result in a shortage of medical supplies, hospitals would be overwhelmed and the economy would shut down.

(Image credit: Charles Krupa/AP)

Categories: Just News

Revised ESD Essential Services Guidance Appears to Include Phase 1 Reports and End Confusion for Consultants

As we discussed in a prior Post, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) issued a guidance document that were exempt from  Governor Cuomo’s  Executive Order 202.8 banning non-essential services from operating to control the spread of the covid19 virus. In response, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) issued its own Guidance describing the activities overseen its Division of Environmental Remediation (DER) that would be considered essential services.

These guidance documents called into question if environmental consultants could perform phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments (“ESAs”) that are required for property owners and tenants to qualify for certain landowner liability protections under the federal superfund program. The uncertainty was because the NYSDEC limited investigations that were considered essential services to:

“investigations, including pre-design investigations, of petroleum and hazardous waste releases as determined by NYSDEC on a case-by-case basis to be necessary to address potential human exposures and/or threat of significant contaminant migration.”

Some consultants viewed this language as precluding pre-acquisition phase 1 reports for lenders and purchasers because phase 1 reports ordinarily are not performed “to address potential human exposures and/or threat of significant contaminant migration” since the purchaser or lender would not control the site and would not have the ability to take actions to protect occupants (Arguably, reports for owners could qualify since they could be said to be doing them to assess risks to their tenants). Other consultants adopted a more nuanced view and were performing phase 1 reports for vacant sites, industrial/commercial sites where employees can vacate and conditions are safe, and other sites deemed “essential”.  However, even these consultants were conducting inspections of occupied residential buildings.

Earlier today, ESD seemingly resolved this conundrum when it issued a Revised Essential Services Guidance containing a new item 14 that provides as follows:

Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols….”

Although the revised ESD guidance appears to authorize conduction phase 1 reports, there remains significant issues with complying with the requirements of the EPA All Appropriate Inquiries (“AAI”) Rule and the ASTM E1527-13 Phase 1 Standard because it consultants will likely be unable to conduct on-site investigations-which is the key task of the AAI Rule. In our next blog, we will discuss how to use the ASTM E1527-13 Standard to work around this limitation to give clients greater certainty that they have complied with the AAI rule and therefore qualify for the liability protections.

The post Revised ESD Essential Services Guidance Appears to Include Phase 1 Reports and End Confusion for Consultants appeared first on Schnapf Environmental Law.

Categories: Law and Legal

This Pandemic Is a 'Fork in the Road' for Gig Worker Benefits

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 15:36
As Covid-19 keeps people indoors, delivery and other contract workers are more visible than ever—making this a pivotal time for them to secure basic rights.
Categories: Just News

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Leaves The ICU Amid Treatment For COVID-19

"He is in extremely good spirits," his office said. Johnson's emergence from intensive care is good news for the leader, who remains in the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.

(Image credit: Julian Simmonds/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Improvisation And Retraining May Be Key To Saving Patients In New York's ICUs

Pulmonologists in New York hospitals are now supervising doctors from other specialties as they try to keep ICUs staffed, and are deploying equipment in new ways. But COVID-19 is a demoralizing foe.

(Image credit: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

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