Tag: Working

Montour recreation group working to connect trails | News

DANVILLE — The borough will receive a $98,650 state grant to help construct a 1.1-mile handicapped-accessible trail on top of the Hospital Run and Upper Susquehanna River levees, as well as related handicapped-accessible parking areas.

Bob Stoudt, director of the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC), told commission board members at their meeting this week that the grant will match $620,629 in previously awarded federal Transportation Alternatives grant funding. Stoudt submitted the application on behalf of the borough on April 22 to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) 2020 Non-Motorized Trails grant program.

The project will connect Danville’s residential neighborhoods with the Washies Playground and the Danville Soccer Park.

“It gives us one more piece of the puzzle in connecting the (North Branch Canal Trail),” Stoudt said.

The funding will help pay for the final design, permitting and construction of the project, he said.

MARC also is planning a trail paralleling Route 11, from the Danville Area High School-Primary School complex to Hopewell Park. Stoudt said students walking to and from the park won’t have to walk along the highway. 

Under the updated memorandum of understanding with the borough, “MARC shall be permitted to investigate and construct a new trail paralleling the US-11 road corridor to connect the Danville Area School District campus and planned athletic fields with Hopewell Park and existing trails,” according to the agreement. 

MARC will have to coordinate with the borough on the trail location, design and maintenance and to secure all required permits, it states.

The MARC board also decided to ask the Montour County commissioners to resume an eviction against Bear Hunters’ Grove Campground, which was started in 2017 and paused in 2018. Commissioner Dan Hartman, who represents the county on the MARC board, said the commissioners would discuss the matter.

Stoudt reported he met on Oct. 23 with representatives of the campground, located at the Montour County-Columbia County line, to discuss ongoing encroachments on the North Branch Canal Trail and SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority properties. He said he saw new construction of a wooden-framed animal pen on the location where a horse corral had previously been removed. He said he also saw gardens, woodpiles, vehicles and other encroachments. He said the campground representatives reasserted ownership of the land in dispute and strongly objected to MARC’s efforts to have the items removed. 

He said he advised them that MARC would consider them to be in violation of a 2018 agreement stating the campground would cease objections to the trail, allow public use of the trail corridor, and remove encroachments identified by MARC. 

Stoudt said he will post trail closures on either side of the campground until the legal dispute is resolved.

The board also opted to accept a playground set from St. Joseph Catholic School in Danville. The school offered the equipment, which is currently in place at the school’s playground, to MARC at no cost. The only stipulation is MARC must remove the set, which the commission will do once it

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Canada working on possible aid for the airlines and travel sector, says finance minister

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government is very aware of the challenges facing airlines and the travel sector during the coronavirus pandemic and is working on possible aid, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday.

Freeland said she had spoken to the heads of Canada’s major airlines and unions last week but did not give details. Carriers and travel industry executives have repeatedly urged Ottawa for assistance as passenger numbers slump.

“We are obviously aware of the particular challenges that the travel sector, the airlines are facing right now,” she told a news conference when asked about an aid package.

“It’s definitely an issue we are looking at closely and working on,” she said.

Airlines have already received more than C$1 billion ($763 million) from a wage subsidy program that Ottawa introduced to help businesses deal with the pandemic, she said.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CTV on Sunday that Ottawa might take a stake in major airlines such as Air Canada and WestJet Airlines. Both carriers have suspended dozens of routes.

The Canadian branch of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Tuesday urged Freeland to consider partially or fully nationalizing Air Canada.

Earlier this month major labor unions said the aviation sector would suffer permanent damage unless Ottawa provided a C$7 billion 10-year low-interest loan to offset the effects of the pandemic.

($1=1.3113 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

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‘Look closely at everything’: Bye week will be working vacation for struggling Saints – New Orleans Saints Blog

METAIRIE, La. — The bye week has been pretty good for the New Orleans Saints historically. But they might appreciate it even more than usual this year.

Not only will the Saints (3-2) use this time to get healthier, just two weeks after they had six starters miss their Week 4 win at Detroit. But as I laid out earlier this week, they’re also badly in need of a reboot in all phases of the game.

So this will be even more of a “working vacation” than usual — especially since players and coaches need to remain in town for daily COVID testing, except for special circumstances.

“We’ve gotta look closely at everything — and the details,” Sean Payton said of the Saints’ approach during the bye week. Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“Everyone’s in town. So we’ll take advantage of it,” Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday.

That doesn’t mean extra practice sessions (the Saints will hold a bonus practice next Monday, as they usually do). But Payton did suggest that the coaching staff might be putting in some extra hours.

“I said this to the coaches yesterday and again today: ‘We’ve gotta look closely at everything — and the details,’” said Payton, who agreed with the notion that it will be a “back to basics” type of week. “You know, we’re 3-2, and yet we just have to improve situationally in a lot of areas. And the good news is we’ve got time to do it.

“But that’s gonna require the honest evaluation of, ‘Hey, are we doing things the right way? Are we calling it the right way? Are the right people on the field?’ We have to answer those questions.”

In the past, the Saints used to give their players and coaches and extended break during the bye week – something Payton picked up from colleague Andy Reid around the time of New Orleans’ 2009 Super Bowl season.

During Payton’s first three seasons as a head coach from 2006-08, the Saints went 0-3 after bye weeks. So he asked Reid for advice, since Reid’s teams had always been so good after bye weeks. And Reid suggested the extended time off.

The Saints then won five straight games following the bye week from 2009-13, including the year when Payton was suspended because of Bountygate in 2012.

The schedule wasn’t foolproof, however. The Saints are 8-3 following byes since 2009 — including one of their worst performances in the Payton-Drew Brees era last year when they lost 26-9 at home to the 1-7 Atlanta Falcons.

At least that means the Saints don’t

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Working from home is still working. Take your vacation.

In a recent email, a friend lamented that he was “losing a week of vac because there’s no point in taking it right now. Work is the only thing I have to do!”

That’s “vac,” as in vacation. Though his company allows employees to hold over last year’s unused days for several months, this year he’s leaving time off — essentially money — on the table.

For those privileged enough to do so, staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic also means working from home. Whether it’s in a dedicated room, on a bed with pillows for a desk, or at a coffee table with an extension cord, we’re essentially living in our workplaces. Add to the mix children, spouses or partners, and pets, all with their own needs and anxieties, and there’s no defining line between where we live and where we earn a living.

Yet it doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a suit or sweatpants, working from home is still work. Take your vacation.

We need them more than ever. For those working from home, the length of the average workday in the United States has jumped a stunning 40 percent, from eight hours to 11 hours a day, according to NordVPN, a company that specializes in digital privacy. That’s the greatest increase worldwide since stay-at-home orders became the norm. On average, I now start working about two hours earlier than I did when my days began with having breakfast and making lunch, getting dressed, maneuvering around a bathroom not built for two, and dealing with the capriciousness of public transportation.

When commuting now means moving from one room to another — if at all — that extra time is usually filled with work. However grounding it may seem, it’s can also be an unexpected grind.

Of course, if you have paid vacation time, you should count your blessings. Nearly 25 percent of workers in America have no compensated time off, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Ours is the only nation with an advanced economy that does not federally guarantee paid vacation time. (This country’s dearth of paid sick time for workers is a whole separate shame.)

By comparison, workers in France and the United Kingdom receive 30 and 20 mandated vacation days, respectively. Here, vacation time is negotiated and regarded as a perk bequeathed by employers. Once, I was so excited to get a job I wanted, I forgot to ask about vacation time. I got none.

Even those with paid vacation time rarely take all of it. In a 2019 report, CEPR called the United States “No-vacation nation.” According to the US Travel Association, workers left 768 million days of paid time off unused in 2018, with more than 55 percent of Americans neglecting to use all of their vacation time.

Among the reasons given: fear of bosses’ disapproval, being viewed as easily replaced or unworthy of promotions, and concerns about deadlines piling up.

This fixation with work comes with consequences.

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