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A Maine island is being billed as a private pandemic playground for the wealthy elite – Bangor Daily News

The BDN is making the most crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact in Maine free for all readers. Click here for all coronavirus stories and here for the free collection. You can join others committed to safeguarding this vital public service by purchasing a subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

PORTLAND, Maine A private island in Casco Bay once used as a federal quarantine facility during the last pandemic 100 years ago is now being marketed as a virus-free safe zone for wealthy tourists from New York and Washington, D.C., where they can do most anything as long as its legal.

Portland entrepreneur Noah Gordon bought 12 acres on the north end of House Island in November for $4.5 million. He hoped to rent it as a luxury wedding and events venue. But with COVID-19 raging, hes now offering it as a high-priced pandemic playground for those who can afford it.

The weekly rental price for the north end is $250,000 per week, plus expenses, according to a June press release.

It states staff at the island will follow health protocols ensuring a safe haven bubble of privacy, safety and security where guests can socialize, party and play.

Its not that safety is the new luxury. Safety is luxury, Gordon said.

The islands website states, You can be wheels up on a jet out of New York or D.C., land in Portland and arrive on island with your first cocktail in hand in less than two hours. New Yorkers can get to House Island faster than they can get to the Hamptons, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket.

House Island sits just offshore, between South Portland and Peaks Island. It consists of two distinct lobes connected by a narrow isthmus. The southern half is larger, at nearly 16 acres, and is owned by Stefan Scarks, of Fortland LLC. In March, Portlands Zoning Board of Appeals approved a conditional permit for a 21-site campground there, which includes the remains of the pre-Civil War Fort Scammell.

MaineBiz magazine reported that Gordon spoke in favor of his neighbors plan.

Gordons end of the island boasts five beaches and three buildings for visitor accommodation. The five-bedroom Cappys Lodge and three-bedroom Christinas World, were both built in 1908 and can sleep a total of 32 guests. A third building, the Sunshine Cottage, sleeps 14.

In 2015, Portland designated the island a local historic district because of the fort at the south end and the norths connection to immigration.

It was the site of the citys inspection and quarantine station between 1907 and 1937. Known as the Ellis Island of the North, it was the main port of entry for European immigrants coming to New England. During its 30 years in operation including the influenza pandemic of 1918 its quarantine facility served as an alternative to the heavily used facilities in Boston and New York.

Real estate agent Dylan Eckardt of the upscale boutique agency Nest Seekers is marketing the island for Gordon. Vanity Fair magazine has called Eckardt a party boy, and real-estate agent to the stars in addition to the man who ate Montauk for his aggressive, high-end marketing of the once blue-collar town.

That f-ing place is rad, Eckardt said. Theres nothing like it on the east coast, in the northern hemisphere. You can do what you want to do. I dont care if you want to bring the f-ing Rolling Stones and rock out there.

He went on to tout the islands privacy.

If you want to go to the Hamptons and be seen while pretending to be hiding, thats one thing, Eckardt said. But when you just want to get away and take your top off and run free, then you rent House Island and everything I touch turns to sold, anyway.

The House Island website makes it clear that the island is self-contained with its own water supply from the mainland and independent sources of power. It also has excellent cell phone reception, three helicopter landing sites and is close to area hospitals.

Transportation via boat and ambulance is 15 minutes, or just a few minutes by helicopter, it states.

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A Maine island is being billed as a private pandemic playground for the wealthy elite - Bangor Daily News

Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor – Shelter Island Reporter – Shelter Island Reporter

Take steps to conserve

To the Editor:

Im writing to ask for the help of the entire Shelter Island Reporter readership with an important initiative.

Every spring and summer, Suffolk residents seeking a green and lush lawn set their irrigation controllers to activate during the early morning hours. The result is high demand at the same time virtually every morning, which puts extreme stress on water infrastructure. This leads to the need for new wells, tanks and booster pumps just to ensure there is enough water to meet peak demand, costs that are ultimately paid by water ratepayers.

I am asking that you please consider taking the following steps to help alleviate this issue:

Water less often. Lawns do not need to be watered daily; in fact, its counterproductive, as less frequent watering for a slightly longer duration promotes deeper root growth. Watering on only odd or even days is more than sufficient.

Set your irrigation timer to avoid the peak hours of 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Taking these easy measures will ensure that there is a sufficient supply of water for everyone and sufficient water pressure for fire fighting.

Taking additional measures to conserve water will also help to preserve Shelter Islands aquifer. For more information on the steps you can take, please go to ourwaterourlives.com.

Jeffrey W. Szabo,

Chief Executive Officer, Suffolk County Water Authority

Volunteer tribute

To the Editor:

Now that things are calmer, Id like to share a public thank you to all the IGA volunteers who worked with me from March through June as we assisted in balancing the numbers of shoppers in our local IGA.

Whenever I think of my Island, the first thing that comes to mind is its united sense of serving and the selflessness with which residents continue to step up and help. I was really overwhelmed with how fast these shifts I created were scooped up.

Regardless of whether someone was a year-round person or typically a summer resident, we were pretty much all sheltered here to stay. These volunteers had heart and soul. They injected humor, even dancing in their reflective safety jackets. They did more than just spray down a virus or count people. They talked and listened to shoppers with smiles. They brought carts to the car doors of the elderly. Sometimes they had to be walking Chamber of Commerce representatives to visitors.

During a time when togetherness was needed, but not allowed, they made a positive difference. They started out in sweaters and slickers, braving the wind and rain, but ended up in shorts and T-shirts in the hot sun. Many of us made lasting friendships through this experience beyond just IGA.

So when you see a former IGA volunteer, dont forget to say thank you!

Julia Weisenberg

Volunteer Coordinator, Shelter Island

Dangerous driving

To the Editor:

As a driver, walker, runner and bicycle rider on Shelter Island, I was glad to see the Rules of the Road in the July 2 issue. I very much appreciate the Shelter Island Police Department helping to keep us safe. Its certainly important for those of us walking, running and cycling on our roads to follow those rules, in particular wearing reflective clothing and riding/walking single file.

With regard to motorists, however, I feel the rules fell short. Share the road isnt a clear enough instruction for vehicles.

The frightening scenario I have witnessed numerous times starts out O.K. A vehicle comes up behind me when I am on a bicycle, and appropriately moves out to the left into the opposite lane to pass me, giving me plenty of space. It becomes frightening when the driver does this at high speed at a blind curve with no visibility of oncoming traffic, and an oncoming car appears. The driver suddenly realizes he/she must get back to the right, into their lane which is my lane, where I am riding my bike. Often the driver abruptly swerves back into my lane at high speed, narrowly missing hitting me, since they are understandably focused on avoiding a head-on collision that they would have caused by trying to give me space.

Now, there is a simple and logical way to avoid this. The driver who comes up behind me should wait to pass me until there is full visibility of potential oncoming traffic. Yes, sometimes that driver might have to wait awhile as our Island roads are curvy and visibility can be poor and I might be slow if its an uphill but thats a much better alternative than what I described above.

It would be very helpful if the Rules of the Road could be augmented with a diagram and verbiage that explains this to motorists, explicitly describing what it means to responsibly share the road to not put themselves at risk of head-on collision, nor put the cyclist or pedestrian at risk by having to swerve back at high speed if there is oncoming traffic. I would be happy to help with an effort to create and display signage that would explain all of this.

Natasha Stowe

Shelter Island

My aunt

To the Editor:

In response to Ms. Kilb, I want to thank you. Your letter to the editor concerning Emma Gallaghers essay on June 11, drove me and my father to ask my 12-year-old the difference between a subject and a predicate. Also, my aunt would have loved your letter. Thanks again!

Elizabeth Roeckell

Shelter Island

Self-assessment

To the Editor:

How would the Vietnamese feel about Jim Colligans article (Social Tolerance: A life-long journey, June 25). Using the Vietnam War as an example of his compassion and non-racism without a mention of the innocent women and children slaughtered and villages destroyed?

The New York Post article of July 7, 2018 and letters to the editor last week call into question your self-assessment.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Abraham Lincoln

S Ladik

Shelter Island

Editors note: The New York Post article refers to the controversy over short-term rentals and Mr. Colligans position on the issue.

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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor - Shelter Island Reporter - Shelter Island Reporter

Deiveson Figueiredo Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of UFC Fight Island Event – Bleacher Report

Deiveson Figueiredo, who is scheduled to fight Joseph Benavidez for the vacant flyweight title July 18, has tested positive for COVID-19, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

Figueiredo's manager,Wallid Ismail, confirmed the news to Raimondi and also said the fight is not officially off. The fighter's team believes the test was a false positive, and he will be undergoing another test Saturday.

Figueiredo previously tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

Per Raimondi, ifFigueiredo isn't cleared to fight, then eitherAlexandre Pantoja or Askar Askarov could step in as a replacement. The two featherweights are scheduled to fight each other July 18 as well.

Pantoja is the No. 4 flyweight on UFC's rankings, andAskarov is No. 7. MMA Junkiefurther reported that Pantoja would in fact be the replacement pick.

Figueiredo vs. Benavidez is slated to headline an event on UFC's Fight Island, which is located in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Multiple fighters have had to pull out of events due to positive COVID-19 test results, with welterweight Gilbert Burns notably doing so prior to his scheduled bout with Kamaru Usman for the title belt.

Jorge Masvidal is taking his place for the fight, which will headline UFC 251 on Fight Island on Saturday.

The UFC has still been able to hold events consistently since May, however, with events occurring in Jacksonville (Florida), Las Vegas and now Yas Island.

IfFigueiredo vs.Benavidez stays on the card, then it will be a rematch of their Feb. 29 bout, whichFigueiredo won by second-round TKO. That fight was also for the vacant flyweight title, but becauseFigueiredo missed weight before the event, he was ineligible to win the belt.

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Deiveson Figueiredo Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of UFC Fight Island Event - Bleacher Report

Feds announce $7 million plan to seal Prince of Wales Island uranium mine – KRBD

An aerial view of the former Ross-Adams Mine, an open pit uranium mine on Prince of Wales Island that was active between 1957 and 1971. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)

Alaskas only producing uranium mine has been idle for nearly a half century leaving a legacy of radioactive waste in the Tongass National Forest. Now, a Colorado mining company has agreed to a $7 million clean up plan for the Prince of Wales Island area thats been in the works for decades.

The former Ross-Adams Mine lies on the slopes of Bokan Mountain at the head of Kendrick Bay. Its relatively remote about 40 miles by air to Ketchikan. But its location doesnt mean people dont treasure the area.

Local residents here will use that area for halibut, as an example, coming up here in the next couple of weeks, said Eric Rhodes of the Organized Village of Kasaan. Hes the brownfields coordinator, the tribes point-man overseeing efforts to clean up pollution in the region.

It is a highly used area and precious and protected for a reason, he added.

But this area has long been used for other purposes, too. The federal government commissioned aerial surveys in the 1950s to find uranium deposits throughout Alaska to fuel the nations atomic reactors and build nuclear weapons.

In the 1950s the U.S. government commissioned surveys looking for sources of uranium for civilian and military uses during the Cold War. (Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior)

An open pit mine was developed in 1957. It would change hands, opening and closing several times before shuttering for good in 1971.

And its that same open pit that the most recent operator, Newmont Corporation of Colorado, has agreed to fill in with radioactive mine debris.

Some of the old equipment and structures will need to be torn down and hauled off the island, says Linda Riddle, the U.S. Forest Service official overseeing the project.

Theres a lot of associated debris from the mining operation, she told CoastAlaska. They had some trailers and buildings and lodging that, you know, theyre really falling down and they cant really be used for anything. So all that stuff will be cleaned up and removed.

But most of the radioactive debris will be buried and covered with a geo-membrane essentially a heavy plastic covering to seal up the site.

This is all detailed in a 114-page consent agreement tentatively reached between Newmont Corporation one of the worlds largest mining companies and the U.S. Forest Service in the past year. It lays out the mine companys final responsibilities with the site by completing the estimated $7 million clean up. It also waives more than $530,000 in costs the Forest Service says its incurred reaching the deal.

Cleaning up the area isnt the only reason theres interest in getting this job done. The state of Alaska first identified it as a contaminated site more than 20 years ago. But now theres another mining company with interest in Bokan Mountain lending new urgency to cleaning up the radioactive waste.

Canadas Ucore has been investing in a rare earths operation at Bokan Mountain. These are rare metals and minerals used in high tech products like smartphones and flat-screen TVs.

In 2014, Alaskas legislature approved $145 million in low-interest bonds to help underwrite its efforts to develop a rare metals industry in Southeast Alaska.

Ucores New Hampshire-based Chief Operating Officer Mike Schrider says the former open pit uranium mine is about a mile away from where the Canadian mining company is prospecting.

But because there is a haul road that goes out there and everything originates in Kendrick Bay, Schrider said, this is certainly going to going to help the area overall and were very excited about this.

State and federal environmental regulators wont help oversee the cleanup plan. Thats because the Forest Service has asserted itself as the lead agency responsible with making sure all relevant laws are followed.

EPAs regional office has in the past raised concerns about this arrangement, mostly recently in 2018. But in a statement to CoastAlaska spokesman Bill Dunbar says EPA is pleased work is moving forward to cleanup the site.

While the Forest Service has the authority to direct cleanups on its lands under the Superfund Law, EPA retains its authorities to compel further action if we have reason to believe additional actions must be taken to protect human health and the environment, Dunbar wrote. At this time, we have no reason to believe such actions are warranted.

This portal to the former Ross-Adams Mine is one of three openings to be sealed to prevent radioactive waste from leaching into the environment. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)

After the work is completed Newmont has agreed to monitor the site for three years. And state regulators say effective monitoring will be key.

Anne Marie Palmieri is a project manager for contaminated sites for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Shes been tracking this site for about 18 years and says state regulators want assurances that of the long-term success of the plan.

There are no stipulations about how monitoring will continue, she said. So thats something that we will want to know how the Forest Service will ensure that the remedy remains protective.

The Forest Service is taking responsibility for the site after Newmont fulfills its commitments under the plan.

And Riddle says there shouldnt be any issues as long as the work is well-engineered and executed. A third-party engineering analysis in 2015 laid out different scenarios for the site.

And the Forest Service selected the most robust alternative for cleaning up the material and closing the mine site, Riddle said.

The Forest Service is accepting written comments on its proposed agreement with Newmont Corporation through August 7.

Preliminary work is expected to begin later this year.

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Feds announce $7 million plan to seal Prince of Wales Island uranium mine - KRBD

High school fall sports season on Staten Island still very much up in the air, says AD – SILive.com

Some high school fall sports may be in jeopardy because of COVID-19 restrictions, according to a Staten Island PSAL athletic director.

Curtis AD Eric Ritzer told SILive.com and the Advance Friday afternoon that hes worried about the status of some fall sports, especially in light of some college conferences announcing the cancelation or delay of their fall sports seasons.

Also, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), which oversees all the high schools in the Garden State, announced on Friday that it has delayed the start of the fall sports season to Sept. 14, the first day teams can conduct official practice.

Although Ritzer hasnt officially heard anything, Im still holding out hope that we will have sports in the fall, he said.

At the very least, cross country, bowling, tennis and golf I can see being played. Unfortunately its a wait and see. Obviously the most important thing is the health and safety of the kids.

Ritzer says he sees a ray of hope in the fact that Little League baseball and some travel ball teams have begun to play games.

Lets see how that works, he said. If kids dont get sick this could be a good thing for high school sports being played in the fall.

The higher-risk contact sports like football, soccer and volleyball may be a problem as far as getting back on the field and playing actual games.

When asked if soccer, football and some other falls sports could be played in the spring instead of the fall, Ritzer said, I dont think so because theres a whole lot of logistical problems.

Moving the fall sports to spring and visa versa could work and has been tossed around as an option by some in the state.

Marco Altieri, the Susan Wagner girls volleyball coach whose team is supposed to start up in the fall, thinks switching seasons is very much doable.

I think it will take very imaginative athletic directors and selfless coaches to make it work, said Altieri. I think some kind of season will make the kids happy. I want to see the kids back in school learning most importantly.

Like the NJSIAA, theres a possibility the PSAL and CHSAA (including the CHSFL) could delay the start of their fall seasons.

Two weeks ago, it was announced that CHSFL football teams would be allowed to conduct practices at the end of July, but that has since changed according to St. Peters football coach Mark DeCristoforo, who doubles as the New Brighton schools athletic director.

We were shut down by the governor (Andrew Cuomo), he said. No on-campus activities for any high school until he decides and the school plans are laid out.

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High school fall sports season on Staten Island still very much up in the air, says AD - SILive.com

Island Heights, N.J.: A Magical Place Thats a Step Out of Time – The New York Times

Mr. Doyle, who has summered here each year since he was a boy, moved to his familys Victorian house full time upon retiring in 2016, a transition many of the boroughs residents have made.

Founded in 1878 as a Methodist camp meeting site, Island Heights has long served as a summer retreat, especially for those from the Philadelphia area. And while full-timers now outnumber summer-only residents, occasional rifts arise among the various constituent groups, said Harry Bower, who bought an 1890s farmhouse here for $175,000 in 1987.

You have the townies, who want no change, and the yachties, who are just here for the summer, so they dont care, said Mr. Bower, 68, an art teacher and curator of the John F. Peto Studio Museum. But in the last 10 years, weve seen new people, younger families moving here, who really appreciate the towns charm.

One of those appreciative newcomers is Therese Heimbold, 52, a commercial director at the US Pharmaceutical Corporation, who remembered her father talking about this magical place where he used to spend his summers. In 2017, she sold her house in Haddonfield, N.J., and bought one of Island Heights original camp meeting houses, a two-bedroom cottage, for $225,000.

Returning from her job in Philadelphia in the evening, Ms. Heimbold said, she finds her stress dissipates upon arrival: I drive into town along River Road, and I see all the sailboats, and its pure serenity.

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Island Heights, N.J.: A Magical Place Thats a Step Out of Time - The New York Times

This private island is for sale in Loch Lomond, Scotland and it’s the same price as a London flat – HouseBeautiful.com

Want to swap city life for remote living? A secluded island situated off the western shore of southern Loch Lomond, Scotland, has just gone on the market for 500,000 the price of a London flat.

Inchconnachan is a relatively under-the-radar island, home to some of the best wildlife in Scotland. While it has been owned by the Colquhoun family since the 14th century, the island has been uninhabited for the last 20 years and it could now be yours.

With just a few crumbling building remains left, it's the perfect opportunity for anyone looking for a challenging development project. There is a derelict Colonial-style timber bungalow dating from the 1920s on the island, but also planning permission consent for new owners to build a lodge, boat house and pier.

It also has numerous secluded bays, an ancient woodland, uninterrupted views and is less than 25 miles to Glasgow Airport.

The island is both an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges. While there is not much human life on the island, it provides plenty for owners to enjoy, including wake-boarding, sailing, mountain-biking, kayaking, angling and hill walking.

'This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a beautiful and completely private, yet accessible, retreat and create a wonderful new residence there,' says Cameron Ewer from Savills. 'For those seeking peace and seclusion, yet wanting all that this part of Scotland has to offer in the way of nature and water-based sport and activities, this is surely the ultimate prize.'

Tom Stewart-Moore from Knight Frank adds: 'To be able to build your own house on your own private island but yet in a very accessible and beautiful part of the country will be a dream for many and is likely to have global appeal.'

Inchconnachan island is currently on the market for 500,000. Contact the team at Savills on 01412487342 if you are interested in placing an offer.

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This private island is for sale in Loch Lomond, Scotland and it's the same price as a London flat - HouseBeautiful.com

Two new cases bring Island total to 40 – Martha’s Vineyard Times

TestMV, the testing site at the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School testing asymptomatic individuals, reported two new confirmed cases Thursday.

As of Thursday, the Test MV site, which is run by Island Health Care and tests asymptomatic people, has tested a total of 3,763 people. Of those, nine tested positive, 3,339 tested negative, and 415 are pending results.

On Thursday, the hospital reported no new cases. In total, the hospital has tested 1,907 patients. Of those, 30 tested positive, 1,829 tested negative, and 48 are pending results.

The town of Aquinnah has tested 30 people and all of those have been negative.

The boards of health have confirmed one other positive patient, bringing the total to 38.

There are 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Marthas Vineyard, according to the Marthas Vineyard boards of health.

The Marthas Vineyard Hospital, town of Aquinnah, boards of health and TestMV, the testing site at the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School each report their own testing numbers. Those numbers are then all compiled by the boards of health.

The actual number of cases can be difficult to count due to lag time and overlaps in testing each day.

Of the 40 cases, 24 are female, and 16 are male. 11 of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, nine are 20-29 years old, seven cases are 60-69 years old, five are 30-39 years old, four are 20 years old or younger, two are 40-49, and two are 70 years or older.

The boards of health have also started reporting on probable cases. On Thursday, the Islands total number of presumed positives was 18, of which 15 were positive antibody tests, and three were symptomatically positive.

Of those, 10 are female and eight are male. Of the 18 presumed positive cases, six are aged 60-69, four are aged 50-59, three are aged 40-49, two are aged 20-29, two are under 20 years old, and one is over the age of 70.

At the state level Wednesday, there were 162 new confirmed cases, bringing the state total to 104,961. In total, 30 new deaths brought the total number of deaths to 8,028. There have been 910,354 tests conducted across Massachusetts.

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Two new cases bring Island total to 40 - Martha's Vineyard Times

Beware of jellyfish: Padre Island National Seashore tells visitors to pack vinegar to treat stings – mySA

As summer draws more crowds to South Texas beaches, Padre Island National Seashore posted a warning Thursday on Facebook about the influx of jellyfish.

As summer draws more crowds to South Texas beaches, Padre Island National Seashore posted a warning Thursday on Facebook about the influx of jellyfish.

Photo: Padre Island National Seashore

As summer draws more crowds to South Texas beaches, Padre Island National Seashore posted a warning Thursday on Facebook about the influx of jellyfish.

As summer draws more crowds to South Texas beaches, Padre Island National Seashore posted a warning Thursday on Facebook about the influx of jellyfish.

Beware of jellyfish: Padre Island National Seashore tells visitors to pack vinegar to treat stings

As summer draws more crowds to South Texas beaches, Padre Island National Seashore posted a warning Thursday on Facebook about the influx of jellyfish.

Charles Lassiter, public information officer for PINS, said it's not uncommon to see an increase in jellyfish, but more of the sea creature means a greater chance to get stung. Making matters worse, the first aid center for PINS is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Every year in the summer, we have people coming in with jellyfish stings every day," Lassiter said. "This year, the center is not available so we want our visitors to know how to care for it and what to bring."

READ ALSO:15 state parks worth the day trip from San Antonio

PINS said guests should pack vinegar before heading to the beach as it can ease and deactivate the pain of a jellyfish sting, which will typically last between 20 to 30 minutes, Lassiter said.

Lassiter is also warning visitors to watch out for Portuguese man-of-war, which is a colony of organisms that looks like a jellyfish and stings like one too. The sting is more intense but can also be treated with vinegar, he said.

Visitors should also be aware of stingrays and should shuffle their feet while in the ocean.Lassiter said stingrays will only sting humans if they are stepped on or threatened.

If you are stung by a stingray, Lassiter says to leave the stinger in the wound and seek medical assistance outside the park immediately. There are two medical facilities north of the park and several more in Corpus Christi.

The beach was closed for Fourth of July weekend but reopened on Tuesday and is open 24 hours a day.

"We want people to come out and have a great time, but just be mindful and aware of your surroundings," Lassiter said. "Also, please follow the guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and practice social distancing as we are in some difficult times right now."

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre

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Beware of jellyfish: Padre Island National Seashore tells visitors to pack vinegar to treat stings - mySA

Personality test: What Kings Island ride are you? – The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about

Take this personality test to figure out which Kings Island ride you would be if you were reincarnated into one of their high-flying contraptions.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Kings Island opens to the public for 2020 (FINALLY!) on Friday, July 10. So, that got us thinking. If you were reincarnated into a being made of steel and wood and rods and pullies and whatever makes rides go "tick-tick-tick" while climbing that first hill ... Which Kings Island ride would you be?

Well, based on your answers to our simple 8-question personality test, you can now find out. After you figure out your spirt-animal spirit-coaster, head on out and give it a spin! Just don't forget that mask or they won't let you in. Not ready to join the public just yet? You can take a virtual ride on the new Orion right here! Weeeeeeee!

More: Kings Island says 'associate' has tested positive for COVID-19

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MORE QUARANTINE QUIZZES!!

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Personality test: What Kings Island ride are you? - The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kings Island opens to the public Friday. Here are all the new rules and requirements – The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about

Kings Island finally opens its gates tothe general public on Friday after months of delays due to coronavirus, but a lot has changed.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Kings Island willfinally openits gates tothe general public on Friday, July 10, after months of delays due to coronavirus.

Things will look much different now, from fewer people to mandatory masks. It's hard to keep track, so we've gathered the new information for you. Scroll down for a list of new rules and requirements.

Don't just plan on showing up at the park gates like normal on Friday.Guests will be required to reserve a date and time of arrival online prior to showing up.

Once inside the park, all visitors over the age of two will be required to wear face coverings at nearly all times, with a few exceptions.

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More: Personality test: What Kings Island ride are you?

More: Kings Island says 'associate' has tested positive for COVID-19

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Here's what you need to know before you go:

More: Kings Island is reopening, and you'll have to wear a mask

Kings Island reopens July 2, 2020, with new safety precautions and the brand new giga coaster, Orion. Cincinnati Enquirer

Read or Share this story: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/entertainment/2020/07/09/kings-island-opens-public-friday-dont-forget-these-rules/3287213001/

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Kings Island opens to the public Friday. Here are all the new rules and requirements - The Cincinnati Enquirer

Island at 38 confirmed cases – Martha’s Vineyard Times

As Massachuestts eases into phase three of the states reopening plan, the Marthas Vineyard Hospital reported a new case Wednesday, but that case is the same person who recently tested positive at the Test MV site. The Islands number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is not at 38.

Some patients are tested more than once which can result in a discrepancy between the number of positive individuals and the number of positive test results.

The hospital went the entire month of June without reporting a new case before confirming No. 29 on July 1, which accounts for most of the Islands 38 cases.

As of Wednesday, the hospital has tested 1,864 people, with 1,791 testing negative, and 43 tests still pending.

TestMV, the Island Healthcare testing site at the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School, which tests asymptomatic individuals, confirmed its seventh positive case Wednesday.

In total, TestMV has tested 3,548 people. There are 393 individuals awaiting test results.

The town of Aquinnah is also conducting self-administered saliva tests. So far, 30 people have been tested. All have come back negative.

Test kits are provided by the Aquinnah board of health. They are available for pick up at the board of health office window at the Aquinnah Town Hall. The test can be taken at home and mailed to a lab for testing.

The 38 cases are the total COVID-19 cases reported by Marthas Vineyard Hospital, Island Health Care (IHC), and the boards of health. With patients getting tested at both the hospital and TestMV, and each organization releasing their own reports, confirmed cases can be difficult to calculate.

Of the 38 cases, 23 are female, and 15 are male. Ten of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, nine are 20-29 years old, seven cases are 60-69 years old, five are 30-39 years old, three are 20 years old or younger, two are 40-49, and two are 70 years or older.

The boards of health have also started reporting on probable cases. On Friday, the Islands total number of presumed positives was 18, of which 15 were positive antibody tests, and three were symptomatically positive.

Of those, 10 are female and eight are male. Of the 18 presumed positive cases, six are aged 60-69, four are aged 50-59, three are aged 40-49, two are aged 20-29, two are under 20 years old, and one is over the age of 70.

At the state level Wednesday, there were 162 new confirmed cases, bringing the state total to 104,961. In total, 30 new deaths brought the total number of deaths to 8,028. There have been 910,354 tests conducted across Massachusetts.

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Island at 38 confirmed cases - Martha's Vineyard Times

Kings Island employee tests positive for coronavirus – Hamilton Journal News

MASON

A Kings Island employee has tested positive for COVID-19, park officials told this news outlet today.

The affected associate was screened, as per usual, prior to park opening, said Kings Island spokesman Chad Showalter. In accord with CDC guidelines, our associate and guest screening procedures and contact tracing protocols along with social distancing and proper face coverings are designed to facilitate a safe in-park experience for our guests and associates.

Showalter said park policy is that any associate confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 is sent home for 14 days or until they test negative. Simultaneously, any associate identified as having close contact with an associate who has tested positive will also be sent home for 14 days or until they test negative.

MORE: Meet Orion: Kings Islands delayed opening brings biggest investment online

The workstation and general workplace where the affected associates work will be sanitized and will not reopen to other associates or guests until proper cleaning of the facility has been completed, Showalter said.

The health and safety of our associates and guests is always our top priority, Showalter said.

The amusement park prepared for opening during the coronavirus pandemic by enacting a host of safety protocols and guidelines. Masks are required for all those 2 years old and older and signs and floor decals remind guests to social distance. Those wanting to take a break from those measures can stop by Kings Islands new, fenced-in RelaxZone areas where guests can sit and remove their masks.

There are also hundreds of hand sanitizers stations around the park and staff regularly cleaning rides, games, restaurants and frequently touched surfaces.

MORE: Kings Island changes: What to know about new park rules

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Kings Island employee tests positive for coronavirus - Hamilton Journal News

From hurricanes to coronavirus, three Puerto Rican athletes share their stories of what the island has faced – ESPN

Jul 9, 2020

Aishwarya KumarESPN.com

It's like Puerto Rico can't catch a break.

First, in September 2017, came a borderline Category 5 hurricane, one of the most powerful ever to hit Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $90 billion in damages and killed more than 2,900 people in Puerto Rico. Just as the island was starting to recover from the destruction left in the wake of the hurricane, in January 2020, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake damaged some 8,000 homes.

Then, in March, as Puerto Ricans were busy rebuilding, still from the hurricane as well as from the earthquake, the coronavirus pandemic reached the island. The entire island was shut down immediately, enforcing some of the strictest quarantine rules in the world. The island -- with a population around 2.8 million people -- has recorded 7,465 coronavirus cases and 153 deaths, according to The New York Times. (And the misery doesn't end there. Last week, a 5.3 magnitude quake hit the southwest area of the island.)

Some Puerto Rican athletes have lived through all three. During Hurricane Maria, Olympic runner Beverly Ramos sat in darkness for days, her phone's battery having died in the first few hours without electricity.

"I had no idea what was going on. I wasn't able to see at the moment the pictures and images -- we couldn't watch the news, so we didn't know. The [mainland] United States knew more about what was going on in Puerto Rico than us," Ramos said.

Some Puerto Rican athletes -- on tour, like tennis pro Monica Puig, or living in the mainland U.S., like former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams -- watched from afar.

The one thing that's starkly different with COVID-19, according to all three athletes, is the inability to be able to do the one thing Puerto Ricans are taught to do: Gather as a unit and work together.

Now, with the pandemic raging in the mainland United States, the three Puerto Rican athletes share intimate details of the island, how they overcame the destruction left in the wake of the hurricane and earthquake, and how they know the resilience of the islanders will help them through the pandemic.

Olympic runner

Hometown: Carolina, Puerto Rico

"Wow, here we are again."

That's what Ramos, 32, remembers thinking while sitting in her living room on the first day of COVID-19 quarantine -- the second week of March 2020. She'd been in lockdown just two and a half years ago in September 2017, when Hurricane Maria was about to make landfall. Carmen Yuln Cruz, the mayor of San Juan (which is the capital city and is next to Carolina) had given a similar news conference that reverberated throughout the island then: "For your safety, stay indoors."

During the three weeks after Hurricane Maria, Ramos left the house only a few times, mostly for groceries. The first few days, in scenes not unlike those around the mainland U.S. during the coronavirus, found people in lines outside grocery stores and, once inside, hoarding toilet paper, paper towels and rice.

As soon as the virus reached Puerto Rico, the entire island was shut down. The governor, Wanda Vzquez, set some of the strictest rules in all of the United States: No gathering outside, no walking or running in parks. No leaving the house -- even for essential services -- after 7 p.m. Just like in 2017.

Three weeks after Hurricane Maria, when Puerto Rican residents slowly ventured out in their cars, Ramos made her way around the island, taking in the destruction the hurricane had left in its wake. Now, when she drives out to get groceries, all she sees is emptiness. No physical signs of destruction, but no sign of anything that makes the island unique.

"The things that make us, us -- the dinner gatherings, the Latina music playing in every street, kids playing in parks or yards -- all of that was gone," Ramos said.

2 Related

After the hurricane, all the anger and sadness she felt, she threw at the destroyed houses, the shattered electric poles and the caved-in roads. Then, like most Puerto Ricans, she cooked a bunch of food and got to work, helping to clear out the debris and rebuild homes and roads.

In hindsight, she realized it was probably for the best that, because of power outages, they couldn't see the news after the hurricane. That way fear didn't paralyze them. Instead, they focused all their energy on helping each other, getting food and water to worst-hit communities, cleaning the streets, all the while holding each other and saying, "We are going to be OK; we are going to make it through this."

"Now, I have all these emotions -- sadness, anger -- but I don't have anywhere to put it," she said. "I can't touch a human, so forget about bringing a bunch of people together to come up with a solution."

Her parents work at two different hospitals -- as administrative staff -- and while the rest of her family hunkered down, her parents left every morning to be around hundreds of COVID-19 patients.

"I am scared for my parents every day," she said.

Ramos helps restock the groceries in her parents' house when they're at work. She reminds her mother to immediately shower and wash her clothes after work. Sometimes she goes over to her parents' place and stays at least 10 feet away.

Most days she feels helpless, but, she decided, if staying at home is helping people, then that's exactly what she's going to do.

If traditional ways of helping aren't possible, at least -- unlike with the hurricane -- she still has electricity and an internet connection. That is more than enough to reach out and bring her community together.

Keeping Puerto Rican children in mind, she put together a list of physical activities for the children of the island in conjunction with New York Road Runners' Active at Home campaign, providing a Spanish language version for the island.

"We find our own ways to help, always," she said, and smiled.

Olympic gold medalist, tennis

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

As soon as the hurricane hit, Puig, 26, whose entire extended family lived in Puerto Rico, panicked.

The day after her tour of Asia ended in October 2017, Puig got on a plane to San Juan with career Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova. It was a few weeks after Hurricane Maria had taken thousands of lives.

Puig often felt overwhelming joy upon returning home; that's how spontaneous her reaction was on seeing the island. But, in October 2017, no positive emotions overwhelmed her. She looked around at an island she didn't recognize. It was like a war zone, chaos in every direction she turned, helicopters flying too close to feel comfortable and National Guard troops patrolling the streets. Tears instantly filled her eyes.

Puig established a YouCaring campaign to raise money to help rebuild the island. Armed with portable stoves, propane cylinders, solar lamps and radio units procured from the $150,000 in funds she collected through her campaign, she spent days traveling through the worst-hit areas, providing people with supplies.

"It was life-and-death before, but I was able to go down there and help. Now again, it's life-and-death, and all I can do is watch," Puig said.

Puig has been in Miami with her parents while Puerto Rico has been under a strict lockdown. Her grandparents have not left their high-rise apartment in almost three months, their groceries being left on their doorsteps by relatives. Puig watched the news fervently as the virus made its way to the most vulnerable segments of the population, the same way the hurricane had done, and she felt helpless, the uncertainty of the timeline making her restless.

The island is in Phase 3 of reopening, and authorities are cautiously optimistic. On July 15, Puerto Rico will allow non-U.S. international travelers.

Puig's aunt, who is the principal of one of the largest schools in San Juan, is working to figure out a long-term solution -- or the new normal -- if schools reopen this fall. In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria left schools closed for two months. In 2019, heavy earthquakes on the south coast resulted in extended school closures and more than 250 public schools were permanently closed. Since March 2020, the schools have been shut again because of COVID-19, and the undependable internet connection on the island meant limited online classes.

Puig sees it as another chance for Puerto Ricans to fight back.

"It goes without saying that Puerto Ricans have an unlimited amount of strength," Puig said. "You would have expected Puerto Rico to just completely cave under Hurricane Maria, or absolutely trash itself after the earthquake, but that wasn't the case. In each of those instances, everybody in Puerto Rico united together to try and rebuild and come back stronger."

Former major league baseball player, New York Yankees

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Williams was 19 -- two years before his debut with the New York Yankees -- in 1989 when Hurricane Hugo left 28,000 people homeless and most of Puerto Rico without power and water.

As gusts of wind shook his house, Williams remembers thinking he might not survive.

When he landed in San Juan 28 years later, and a few weeks after Hurricane Maria in 2017, he was convinced he had gone back in time. The same feeling -- as if someone had taken a giant baseball bat and swung it over and over across the island, scraping away trees, houses and lives with it -- kept coming back to him. Vega Alta (located on the northeast coast of the island), where his brother, cousins and nephews lived, was one of the hardest-hit parts of the island, and clean water and power were luxuries they didn't have.

Along with his community, where people still call out, "Hey, Bernie" when they see him, Williams went to work, rebuilding houses and procuring basic necessities.

Later, Williams watched proudly as thousands of Puerto Ricans marched outside the governor's mansion, La Fortaleza, in July 2019, calling for the resignation of the then-governor, Ricardo Rossell. Years of corruption and mismanagement, along with an upcoming impeachment proceeding, resulted in an outpouring of anger from the people of the island. Rossell resigned to thunderous celebrations by protestors.

"In this whole process, they managed to take down a governor who has shown to not have the best interest of the island," Williams said. "With all that [going on], they were about to point to something really wrong that was going on, and their voices were heard, which to me is a testament to how resilient the Puerto Rican people are, and I am very proud to be a part of that community."

An MLB star turned jazz musician, Williams has a life that rarely slows down. Now, he has gone from traveling the world -- for baseball and for music -- to being stuck at home in New York. While monitoring the coronavirus pandemic, as a black Puerto Rican, he is fervently following the Black Lives Matter protests, calling them "long overdue."

"As a professional athlete coming up in the ranks, every process that I went through as a black Puerto Rican, you have experienced a third level of racial discrimination, and it's a given. I grew up with the mentality thinking I have to not only be equal in my performance but I have to do double or triple to exceed everybody's expectations just to even be considered.

"Every time we have an opportunity to push and make things happen, we should take advantage of that -- this is history in the making here."

Williams knows fighting, surviving and rebuilding are words built into Puerto Rico's national ethos, but the COVID-19 pandemic is something different. When Williams landed on the island in mid-June this year for a funeral, his temperature was taken, and he was asked a thorough set of questions -- how long will you be on the island? Where are you going to be staying? With whom will you be in contact? With whom have you been in contact before this visit?

Every other time he has landed on the island, he has been met with hugs, emotions, sadness and profound gratefulness. But, this time, all he felt was eeriness. The island was so silent, it almost didn't feel like the island.

"For all of our lives, showing affection meant bringing over food, hugging people, or coming together as a group, and now, showing affection means staying away from people -- it's strange," Williams said.

There were no strangers yelling, "Hey, Bernie, how is it going, man?" or "Hey, Bernie, come over for dinner sometime!" His brother, who had just recovered from shingles, was extremely cautious, so Williams took all precautions to stay safe around his family.

For now, staying away is all he can do. Later, he'll mobilize, as he always does, and help his community. Now, if helping means staying away, that's what he'll do.

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From hurricanes to coronavirus, three Puerto Rican athletes share their stories of what the island has faced - ESPN

‘They are just doing their own thing on an island’: Doctor wants more COVID-19 coordination with Test Nebraska – KETV Omaha

Gov. Pete Ricketts said TestNebraska has conducted 72,000 tests so far and is delivering some of the fastest turnaround times. He said the average time to get back test results last week, was 31 hours.However, Bob Rauner, a physician in Lincoln, believes TestNebraska is missing the mark."The point of testing is responding rapidly to any new cases," Rauner said.He said cases in Lincoln continue to climb. On Friday, the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department increased its risk dial to high as 30 more people tested positive for the coronavirus. Rauner said it can take a week to get results from some labs for his patients.He would like to use TestNebraska but has been told his patients would have to go through the online assessment process which could also take weeks. "Why can't the physicians seeing these patients, why can't they just get the swab and they can take the swabs whoever is running the test," Rauner said.He said he and other medical organizations have been calling for better coordination with TestNebraska."I have an email sent weeks ago suggesting just that. And they never answered my email," Rauner said.He said that is one of his biggest frustrations."They are just doing their own thing on an island and they are not involving the medical community," Rauner said.Ricketts said TestNebraska has been responding to hot spots. One of the latest testing sites is in north Omaha to address needs in that community."We are allowing people just to drive up or walk up and be able to get signed up for TestNebraska.com and we've done that in other situations as well. So we've tried to be flexible," Ricketts said. But Ricketts said they have a system in place that allows them to get results quickly."So if doctors want to take advance of that, they are certainly welcome to do that. But if we start changing that system that's going to slow down that response time." Rickett said.He says everyone is treated the same."We're not going to allow those patients to cut in line ahead of somebody else who is already using TestNebraska," Ricketts said.Rauner said the lack of coordination is creating a delay to get needed information to health officials so they can identify an outbreak and get it under control "And so if it's not designed to do that, then maybe they need to redesign what TestNebraska is trying to do," Rauner said.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said TestNebraska has conducted 72,000 tests so far and is delivering some of the fastest turnaround times. He said the average time to get back test results last week, was 31 hours.

However, Bob Rauner, a physician in Lincoln, believes TestNebraska is missing the mark.

"The point of testing is responding rapidly to any new cases," Rauner said.

He said cases in Lincoln continue to climb. On Friday, the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department increased its risk dial to high as 30 more people tested positive for the coronavirus.

Rauner said it can take a week to get results from some labs for his patients.

He would like to use TestNebraska but has been told his patients would have to go through the online assessment process which could also take weeks.

"Why can't the physicians seeing these patients, why can't they just get the swab and they can take the swabs whoever is running the test," Rauner said.

He said he and other medical organizations have been calling for better coordination with TestNebraska.

"I have an email sent weeks ago suggesting just that. And they never answered my email," Rauner said.

He said that is one of his biggest frustrations.

"They are just doing their own thing on an island and they are not involving the medical community," Rauner said.

Ricketts said TestNebraska has been responding to hot spots. One of the latest testing sites is in north Omaha to address needs in that community.

"We are allowing people just to drive up or walk up and be able to get signed up for TestNebraska.com and we've done that in other situations as well. So we've tried to be flexible," Ricketts said.

But Ricketts said they have a system in place that allows them to get results quickly.

"So if doctors want to take advance of that, they are certainly welcome to do that. But if we start changing that system that's going to slow down that response time." Rickett said.

He says everyone is treated the same.

"We're not going to allow those patients to cut in line ahead of somebody else who is already using TestNebraska," Ricketts said.

Rauner said the lack of coordination is creating a delay to get needed information to health officials so they can identify an outbreak and get it under control

"And so if it's not designed to do that, then maybe they need to redesign what TestNebraska is trying to do," Rauner said.

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'They are just doing their own thing on an island': Doctor wants more COVID-19 coordination with Test Nebraska - KETV Omaha

Empire Outlets, Staten Island Mall: What Phase 2 means for Staten Island shoppers – SILive.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Staten Island shoppers rejoice!

With New York City officially set to enter Phase 2 of its reopening on Monday, Jun. 22, hundreds of local retailers are planning to open their doors to shoppers for the first time since mid-March.

Phase 2 brings with it the return of in-store retail, albeit with strict guidelines that businesses must adhere to in order to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers.

Stores can only operate at 50% capacity. Employees must wear masks whenever theyre interacting with customers. Customers must also wear masks, if medically able. Stores must control foot traffic with designated signage and/or floor markings. Self-serve stations must remain closed. Store owners may refuse service to any customer not wearing a mask. And malls remain closed with the exception of stores with external entrances.

Despite the bevy of restrictions, Staten Island stores are raring to reopen and recoup some of revenue lost as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

EMPIRE OUTLETS

Empire Outlets will reopen all of its stores and public spaces on Monday, Jun. 22, with reduced hours and new social distancing and health safety protocols in place. All stores at the Empire Outlets are permitted to open because they all feature external entrances.

We are looking forward to welcoming back our community, staff and shoppers to Empire Outlets, said Joseph Ferrara, Principal of BFC Partners and Developer of Empire Outlets. While our waterfront esplanade, Walgreens and takeout at Shake Shack continued to be open for our local Staten Island community since mid-March, we are thrilled to fully and safely reopen our open-air property including all of our retail spaces and public areas for visitors who can take the free Staten Island Ferry, which is located steps from Empire Outlets.

The outlets will be open on Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In regards to the new safety protocols, all employees will be required to wear masks and will be subject to temperature checks. Employees will also be trained with COVID safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Enhanced cleaning procedures have been put in place to ensure that the outlets remain safe and sanitary, with increase implementation of contactless transaction technology to limit the amount of physical interaction between customers and employees.

Social distance markings, hand sanitizer stations and advisory signage will also be installed throughout the outlets.

Signage to promote social distancing will be placed throughout each store at the Staten Island Mall, encouraging shoppers to stay at least six feet apart. Hand sanitizer will be available to customers and employees at various locations. Plexiglass barriers will be installed at all checkout locations, with cashiers required to disinfect keypads after each transaction. (Alexandra Salmieri/Staten Island Advance)

STATEN ISLAND MALL

The vast majority of stores at the Staten Island Mall will not be permitted to reopen on Monday during the start of Phase 2 due to the lack of external entrance.

However, some stores, such as Macys, does feature an external entrance and is expected to reopen its doors to customers on Monday, according the Staten Island Mall.

In early May, Macys began laying out plans to reopen all stores within a two-month span as some states began reopening amid the pandemic.

Assuming that COVID-19 continues to trend as were seeing today, we anticipate that the majority of our stores will reopen in the next six to eight weeks. Having studied the recovery rates and consumer behavior of Asian and European countries that are ahead of the U.S. in the cycle, we do anticipate a gradual sales recovery in our brick-and-mortar stores, Macys CEO Jeff Gennette said at the time, noting that stores will likely only do about 15% to 20% of their normal sales upon initial reopening.

While Macys will reopen, the store will look a bit different -- as new health standards have been put in place with an emphasis on customer, colleague and store environment safety.

Signage to promote social distancing will be placed throughout each store, encouraging shoppers to stay at least six feet apart. Hand sanitizer will be available to customers and employees at various locations. Plexiglass barriers will be installed at all checkout locations, with cashiers required to disinfect keypads after each transaction. All store employees will be provided with cloth face coverings, and those interacting with customers will also receive gloves.

Cleaning protocols have been enhanced to provide for more frequent sanitization.

Many services will also be modified or temporarily unavailable during the initial phases of reopening.

Macys Beauty will offer no-touch consultations, with all customer application and spa-like services suspended until further notice. Alterations and ear-piercings have been suspended at all locations that offer such services. Dress shirts are currently unavailable to try on, and bra-fitting services have been put on hold. Any customers looking to try on watches or jewelry will be required to use hand sanitizer first.

We want the customers to feel like theyre entering a safe environment. We want our colleagues to feel that way and communicate that to our customers, Gennette said.

Its currently unclear whether other Staten Island Mall retail establishments with external entrances, such as Barnes and Noble, JCPenney and Ulta Beauty, will reopen on Monday.

LOCAL BUSINESSES

Small, local businesses, many of which have been completely shuttered for more than three months, are beyond eager to reopen on Monday.

Anthony Rapacciuolo, executive director of the South Shore Business Improvement District (BID), said that about 20-25 local businesses in his district -- including retail shops, salons and barbershops -- are expected to reopen on Monday.

Its very exciting. The retailers are anxious to open. They need to open because they need to make money because many of these businesses havent made any revenue so theyre struggling severely, Rapacciuolo said. All these business owners are willing to do whatever it is they need to do. They just need to open up.

Rapacciuolo said that business organizations, such as the South Shore BID, have been working alongside the local retailers to ensure that theyre compliant with all city and state regulations, though he still hopes that agencies will be lenient in their enforcement as businesses continue to adjust to the new normal.

Im hoping that the citys not going to come out next week and start issuing fines as soon as everything opens. I would hope they could issue guidance because guidance is more important and all these businesses are struggling. All these businesses will do anything they can to open up. You tell them jump this high and theyll do it just so they can serve their customers, he said.

Local businesses hope that the reopening of in-store retail, outdoor dining and grooming services will help bring back some of the business theyve lost to neighboring states as Staten Islanders have been taking day trips to New Jersey and Connecticut to partake in what were once deemed everyday activities such as shopping, dining and getting a haircut.

I hope that the start of Phase 2 on Monday will curtail that effect because now people have the option to dine and shop on Staten Island, which should help stop the money from going over the bridge and keep it on Staten Island, Rapacciuolo said.

Linda Baran, president of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, said that the restoration of in-store retail is crucial to many of the small businesses who were without the resources to open for delivery or curbside pick-up.

For the business owners, its really hard for a small retail establishment to bring on staff and try to do pick-up and delivery when people cant see the products, Baran said.

Baran said that most of the local businesses that will be reopening are primarily concerned with their customers feeling safe within the store.

Some of the concerns Ive been hearing are about how comfortable the customers will be coming into the store. From what Ive heard from most smaller shops, theyre just taking the necessary precautions to make sure that the customers feel safe and they want to come in, she said.

Nancy Nix, co-owner of Wicked Stitches, said her and her business partner, Carolyn Buckheit, have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the return of in-store customers in Phase 2.

Were thinking we can probably have two people working and two customers in the store at a time, given the square footage, Nix said. So were just figuring out how to post that information outside for the customers and what would be the best and safest way to go about things, but were all in on Phase 2.

The West Brighton-based custom gift shop has been handling online orders throughout the pandemic, but sales have dropped significantly with customers unable to come in a peruse the stores selection.

For us its been especially difficult because were a custom gift shop so while we have our stock custom gifts, we also do unique things that arent on our website. Weve tried to use social media for that, but its honestly just not the same, said Nix.

On top of that, the pandemic has encompassed three significant holidays and celebrations that typically drive business at the shop.

We went through Mothers Day and now Fathers Day is coming up and then weve got all the graduations, Nix said. Those are three things we usually do a lot of business for.

The store is expected to officially reopen for in-store shopping next week, from Tuesday through Friday, under limited hours, with hopes of restoring their standard 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours in the near future.

I would love to see people in here shopping just like the good old days of four months ago, Nix said.

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Empire Outlets, Staten Island Mall: What Phase 2 means for Staten Island shoppers - SILive.com

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. head fired over ‘racially and sexually offensive’ remarks – New York Post

The head of the state agency that oversees Roosevelt Island was fired for making racially and sexually offensive remarks, The Post has learned.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President and CEO Susan Rosenthal was ousted following a probe by Gov. Andrew Cuomos office, which was initiated by a complaint received from an employee at the agency.

Details of the complaint against Rosenthal, who is white, were not immediately available.

Rosenthal previously served as general counsel to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and served as the agencys chief ethics officer.

Words of Rosenthals termination came on Juneteenth the holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the United States.

A complaint was made to the Governors office on June 12th by an employee of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation that alleged that the President of the organization had used inappropriate language and engaged in inappropriate conduct in the workplace, Cuomo senior adviser Richard Azzopardi said in a statement.

This complaint was immediately referred to the New York State Governors Office of Employee Relations for investigation.

This investigation substantiated that the president had used racially and sexually offensive language, in clear violation of state policy and the strict standards set by this Administration.

The President was immediately terminated, he said.

Rosenthal did not return voice and text messages requesting comment.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) was created in 1984 as a public benefit corporation to plan, design, develop, operate and maintain Roosevelt Island.

RIOC provides services for the islands residents and manages its two miles of roads, along with its parks, buildings, sports facility and public transportation including the iconic aerial tramway.

It also operates a public safety department to protect residents, businesses and visitors.

RIOC has come under fire in the past for questionable spending and complaints about its public safety department.

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Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. head fired over 'racially and sexually offensive' remarks - New York Post

Braised in the South food truck will settle down on Johns Island this summer – Charleston City Paper

Braised in the South food truck has been rolling through Charleston serving mouthwatering Southern fare since 2017. Now that theyve made a name for themselves in Charleston, co-owners Steve Klatt and Brandon Lapp are settling down at a brick-and-mortar space on Johns Island later this summer.

The truck started on a whim when Klatt applied to be on Season 8 of Food Networks The Great Food Truck Race. Klatt and Lapp brought their simple but bold flavors on the road with them and secured the win. When they came back home to Charleston, they had the name recognition to be highly sought after for public gatherings, weddings and corporate events.

Once open, the restaurant will serve their barbecue and Southern staples through a walk-up window, allowing patrons to either enjoy their meal on the back patio or take it home to their family. The back patio will be comfortable, down home, with a family-style feel with the help of cafe lights, planter boxes with herbs and misting fans to fend off the heat.

For fans of the truck, Klatt and Lapp will dedicate a section of the menu to favorites like their totchos, smoked wings, and pork and mac bowl. Theyll also serve sandwiches from the truck and barbecue platters featuring your choice of protein, bread, sauces, pickles and sides. The space will be especially family-friendly with fun items like soft serve ice cream.

Although Lapp and Klatt already have a large following, they are excited to develop a group of regulars in their own community.

What I think Im really looking forward to is [our] weekly specials. We arent going to do it right off the rip, but once we get going and were in a good spot we will start doing these daily and weekly specials. Well do bone-in fried chicken, whole fish fries, smoked rib nights; things like that.

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Braised in the South food truck will settle down on Johns Island this summer - Charleston City Paper

A phased reopening – Thegardenisland.com

LIHUE Governor David Ige said Thursday he plans to allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people on Kauai, and that the whole state could reopen to trans-Pacific travel as early as late July.

The details for Kauais next steps are outlined in Mayor Derek Kawakamis Emergency Rule 13, which was submitted to the governors office for approval early this week.

As of deadline on Thursday, Kawakamis office hadnt yet received approval on the proposed Rule 13.

If approved, gatherings would still be subject to all other existing state guidelines, including physical distancing from those not in the same household. More details, including a starting date for allowing these gatherings, will be announced after governor approval.

Ige mentioned the emergency rule in Thursdays 2020 Virtual Governors Luncheon, an annual event thats usually held at a Kauai resort and is hosted by the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. Pandemic-related emergency rules forced the 2020 meeting to an online platform.

In the meeting, Ige also touched on goals for reopening trans-Pacific travel, virus testing and contact tracing capabilities, the budget crisis with officials looking at an estimated $2.3 billion shortfall in the state budget.

Were going to have to look at hiring freezes furloughs program cutbacks because we dont have the revenues to maintain this size of government moving forward, Ige said Thursday. Discussions on those next steps are currently happening at the state level.

Then he said he was planning to approve Kawakamis Emergency Rule 13 later in the day, explaining I know that it is an important part of getting our economy going and being able to see a new normal of activity for our business and organizations throughout the state.

Ige said the whole state is taking phased steps toward reopening, pointing out Kauai has been trendsetting for the rest of the state since the early days of the pandemic.

You on Kauai led the way, far ahead of other counties, Ige said, highlighting the trailblazing steps Kawakamis Office has taken, like being at the forefront of reopening the beaches, bars and other businesses.

Trans-Pacific travel

With temperature checks set up at airports, a new form required for travel and the reopening of interisland travel without quarantine on June 16, Ige said the next step for Hawaii is creating an environment that allows us to bring out-of-state travelers back in a safe way.

Current strategy to do that involves targeting communities with a low prevalence of the virus specifically opening up first to places like Japan and Korea, requiring travelers to get tested for COVID-19 before they board the plane to Hawaii, and working with the hospitality industry to monitor traveler health after they land.

The process isnt instantaneous; airlines need 2-4 weeks to gear up and add flights and hotel properties need 4-6 weeks to prep for visitors.

We are working hard to have that happen as quickly as we can, Ige said, setting a realistic goal of reopening to trans-Pacific travel sometime from late July through mid-August.

Ige said he and his team know that relying on a single pre-test for COVID-19 before welcoming travelers to Hawaii is not a zero risk game, because they could get infected after taking the test, but the probability of infection is decreased dramatically upon pretesting for the virus.

Placing public health officers in resorts and other visitor lodging to monitor travelers after they arrive helps mitigate that risk, officials said.

Ige said the state is also looking at ways to support the Young Brothers shipping company, which has asked for a 34% increase in shipping rates and a reduction in partial-load shipments; re-evaluating capitol improvement projects state wide and is considering how to strengthen internet connectivity across all of the islands.

Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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A phased reopening - Thegardenisland.com

Diego, the tortoise who saved his entire species, finally retires to uninhabited island – CNN

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Diego, the tortoise who saved his entire species, finally retires to uninhabited island - CNN


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