Just Started My New Job

I just started out on a new job this week. I am not really able to do much of it yet, because this requires a lot of training. You are dealing with a lot of poisons in fact when you are working to exterminate bugs. They took me out with guys who knew what they were doing. A big part of the job is act as a bed bug exterminator in NYC. The bed bug had been exterminated in the United States at one point in time, but they were brought back by some person who traveled to a country where they still existed and they have made a big comeback.…

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Arizona legislators, Trump lawyers plan Phoenix meeting on election

President Donald Trump talks to reporters at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Phoenix. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP)

PHOENIX — Arizona legislators and lawyers for President Donald Trump will hold a meeting at a downtown hotel on Monday to discuss the election as they continue to dispute his defeat earlier this month despite there being no evidence of widespread fraud.

The gathering may rally Trump supporters and provide counter-programming on the same morning Arizona’s secretary of state is scheduled to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, but it is unclear how legislators could do much of anything about the outcome of the race.

While the Trump campaign andstateRepublican Party have filed election lawsuits in Maricopa County, they have not put forward evidence of fraud and judges have so far tossed out the cases.

Republic Gov. Doug Ducey said earlier this week that he trusts the state’s election system after he had held off acknowledging Biden had won the state, citing the court cases that were ongoing.

“I’ve said several times: Arizona is a good government state,” Ducey said Tuesday. “I trust our election system. There’s integrity in our election system. Joe Biden did win Arizona.”

Nevertheless, in announcing he would chair Monday’s meeting, Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, said his “worst fears have come to light” after “examining potential fraud pathways and illegal actions through which our 2020 election could have been tainted.”

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Not a legislative hearing

The meeting at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix is not a hearing of the Legislature as Finchem and Trump campaign’s legal team have cast it. 

The state Legislature is not in session. The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate can call for committee meetings in between sessions but they have not authorized the event.

Finchem said he requested approval a few weeks ago for a meeting of the House Federal Relations Committee, which he chairs, but has not received authorization from House leadership.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Tucson International Airport, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)

“After a review of the statistical anomalies, and there are to numbers to count [sic], affidavits of improper actions and community outrage that has grown out of what appears to voters to be an attempt to throw the election through a number of fraudulent efforts, we decided as Members of the Legislature, and not as members of any specific committee, that we should move forward with a public hearing,” Finchem wrote in a press release.

Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for the president, wrote Friday that she would be present along with Rudy Giuliani, the most prominent figure in the Trump campaign’s legal efforts.

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Coronavirus vaccines may help travel recover, but it may take years to fully rebound, experts say

  • Forty-nine percent of travelers would be willing to travel after a proven Covid vaccine is released, a recent study found.
  • Many travel industry insiders urge caution but do think a rebound could be in sight should mass vaccination prove effective.
  • While personal practices like mask wearing and social distancing may fade with time, other industry wide changes introduced during the pandemic will likely prove durable.



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As news of several effective Covid-19 vaccines offers some light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020, will a beleaguered travel and tourism industry — one of the hardest hit by the pandemic — soon begin to recover?

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Possibly, say sources, but they caution that travel may take years to fully rebound and, no matter the timing, will likely look different than it did pre-pandemic.

“The news of a potential vaccine does hold promise for travel in 2021,” said Julie Hall, spokeswoman for AAA. “But … travelers need to be focused on knowing the risks of traveling and exposure in the here and now.”

Brian O’Connell, analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, takes an even more measured stance. “I’m just not bullish on travel for the first half of 2021 – even if a vaccine is mass produced in that timeframe,” he said. “Caution is the watchword, as the vaccine will take months to be fully distributed in the U.S. and abroad.”

Kayak.com CEO Steve Hafner said he thinks “people are taking more a wait-and-see approach … until one of these vaccines gets out there.”

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However, the online travel agency did see a spike in searches — if not purchases — right after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced 95% efficacy for its Covid vaccine on Nov. 10. The next day, searches were up 27% compared to the week prior, he said, but settled into a “more modest” 6% weekly growth rate in the days that followed.

Still, Hafner said the increased searches are good sign.

“I’m very optimistic that once these vaccines get distributed, people’s perceptions around travel are going to change toward the positive,” he added.

“I’m hopeful it comes by the second quarter [of 2021], knock on wood,” Hafner said, of a rebound in travel. “If we’re really lucky, we’ll see it in the first quarter.”

A survey of 4,300 customers earlier this year by travel insurer Allianz found that 49% would travel again given a proven vaccine. Meanwhile, 42% said the go-ahead from public health officials would suffice.

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“[The] promise of a highly effective vaccine is good news for the tremendous pent-up demand for travel, and should provide another reason for consumers to feel more confident booking trips for 2021,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz. He said he expected that luxury and experiential trips will be

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Light display at N.J. house brings Griswold’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ to life

Griswold fans rejoice, the house on Legends Court will shine very bright once again this holiday season enabling you to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas.

The popular holiday light display at the Mickleton home of Steve and Gina Harbaugh, that mimics the home in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” will include the same cast of characters as years before, plus a few new ones, but with a pandemic twist.

“We’re definitely having it just because people are starving and yearning for something positive this year,” said Steve, the creative mastermind responsible for the authentic-like display. As early as mid-November, he said, people have been driving by his house looking for any signs of exterior illumination.

The Harbaugh's "Christmas Vacation" movie holiday display

Steve Harbaugh talks to his daughter in the window after adjusting the lights on his Mickleton home, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. For the third year in a row he has recreated a “Christmas Vacation” movie light display. Tim Hawk | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The Friday after Thanksgiving began the third and largest display for the Christmas-loving Harbaugh family.

The animatronic Uncle Eddie draining his RV’s septic tank with a beer in hand and Clark hanging onto the house for dear life after falling off his ladder while rigging up the lights will again welcome passersby.

Returning this year after making a debut last year are the 1984 LTD police car with its lights flashing and the 1989 Ford Taurus station wagon complete with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof.

Upping his Griswold game from last year, Steve added another Clark mannequin depicting the scene when he takes two extension cords and puts them together, finally getting the lights lit.

“He’s got that smile,” he said referring to Clark’s expression.

The Harbaugh's "Christmas Vacation" movie holiday display

The smiling face of Clark Griswold, left, made by California artist Jeremy O’Neil, will resemble the face of Clark in the Warner Bros movie “Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” right, after he lit his Christmas lights. This will be a new addition to the Harbaugh’s Christmas display.

Steve said the same artist in California that made the latex cast head of Uncle Eddie will also make the Clark head with that joyous grin.

Another added feature will be a mannequin of Frank Shirley, Clark’s boss, who will be outfitted in pajamas and a red bow and placed in the RV, representing the scene when Uncle Eddie kidnaps him.

The Harbaughs’ display has continued to gain national attention so much that the original Clark, played by Chevy Chase, and Ellen, played by Beverly D’Angelo, sent him a video shout out this year.

Just like the last two years, the spectacle is to provide some joy during the upcoming holidays and to collect as many toys as possible. The Gloucester County Toys for Tots will benefit from the toy drive and a portion of the toys will go to Kelly’s Kidz, a nonprofit organization started by morning traffic anchor Bob Kelly, of Fox 29 in Philadelphia. The toys will be donated to St. Christopher’s

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Mental health hospital suspends staff vacation due to COVID cases

A state-run psychiatric hospital in Rhode Island has suspended all medical staff vacation in response to a rising number of coronavirus cases among patients and workers.

“We regretfully are canceling all direct care patient support vacations” effective midnight Nov. 25, according to a letter to Eleanor Slater Hospital staff, The Providence Journal reported.

The letter also said, “We hope this vacation hold is temporary as we recognize the hard work and dedication of our staff and the need for time off.”

The letter was signed by Kathryn Power, director of the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which oversees the Cranston facility.

A Slater spokesperson earlier this week confirmed that 14 patients and 35 staffers had tested positive for the virus.

Another hospital group, Lifespan, previously issued an appeal for retired doctors and nurses to return to work, and even sought medical students and interns, to help relieve the medical staff shortage. Lifespan operates Rhode Island, Miriam, Hasbro Children’s and Newport hospitals.

There were 1,525 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 11 more virus-related fatalities in Rhode Island in the past two days, the state Department of Health reported Friday.

The department did not provide updated statistics on Thanksgiving Day, when most testing sites were closed because of the holiday.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Rhode Island has now risen over the past two weeks from more than 716 on Nov. 12 to almost 767 on Thursday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Rhode Island was 5.89% on Thursday, down from over 6% two days prior, but still higher than it was two weeks ago.

State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island, the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The state’s death toll from the disease is now 1,346 patients.

The number of people in the state’s hospitals with the disease was down to 319 as of Wednesday, the latest day for which the data were available, the second consecutive day it has dropped. Of those, 37 are in intensive care.

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Olympic test event in China called off amid travel concerns

Another test event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics was called off Saturday, when bobsled and skeleton officials canceled plans to have a training week and World Cup race on a newly built track to end this year’s sliding season.

The decision comes just days after luge officials also canceled that sport’s season-ending World Cup and training week on the track built in Yanqing.

The reason, in both cases, was the same: ongoing concerns about international travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China about a year ago.

In a letter sent to national federations Saturday, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation secretary general Heike Groesswang said several weeks of conversations were held about how to move forward with the training week and World Cup “under the challenging circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic causes to all of us.”

The new schedule calls for a bobsled training week in early October and a skeleton training week later in October. That means many nations will likely have to choose some semblance of their 2021-22 national teams by the end of this season, since most of the world’s tracks won’t be iced and operating before those training weeks in China are held.

“A replacement for the World Cup in March 2021 will be announced next week,” Groesswang said.

USA Bobsled and Skeleton and USA Luge are sitting out the pre-Christmas portions of the World Cup schedules in those sports, as are several other nations, because of concerns about international travel and other pandemic-related issues.

In a women’s World Cup bobsled race in Latvia on Saturday, only six sleds finished the two runs. That was believed to be the smallest World Cup field since women began competing on the circuit.

It’s been tradition for at least the last five Olympic cycles for a World Cup event to be held on that track that will host the games the following winter, and those races have been critical in terms of teams collecting data and formulating an Olympic strategy.

But not having the training weeks and World Cups in China could raise the possibility of some nations, the U.S. included, not competing internationally at all this season.

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How travel has changed, even with vaccines

Halfpoint Images | Moment | Getty Images

As news of several effective Covid-19 vaccines offers some light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020, will a beleaguered travel and tourism industry — one of the hardest hit by the pandemic — soon begin to recover?

Possibly, say sources, but they caution that travel may take years to fully rebound and, no matter the timing, will likely look different than it did pre-pandemic.

“The news of a potential vaccine does hold promise for travel in 2021,” said Julie Hall, spokeswoman for AAA. “But … travelers need to be focused on knowing the risks of traveling and exposure in the here and now.”

Brian O’Connell, analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, takes an even more measured stance. “I’m just not bullish on travel for the first half of 2021 – even if a vaccine is mass produced in that timeframe,” he said. “Caution is the watchword, as the vaccine will take months to be fully distributed in the U.S. and abroad.”

Kayak.com CEO Steve Hafner said he thinks “people are taking more a wait-and-see approach … until one of these vaccines gets out there.”

More from Personal Finance:
Holiday trip reservations lag but last-minute bookings might help
Many would use stimulus for vacations but experts urge caution
Affluent travelers eager to get back to vacation business

However, the online travel agency did see a spike in searches — if not purchases — right after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced 95% efficacy for its Covid vaccine on Nov. 10. The next day, searches were up 27% compared to the week prior, he said, but settled into a “more modest” 6% weekly growth rate in the days that followed.

Still, Hafner said the increased searches are good sign.

“I’m very optimistic that once these vaccines get distributed, people’s perceptions around travel are going to change toward the positive,” he added.

“I’m hopeful it comes by the second quarter [of 2021], knock on wood,” Hafner said, of a rebound in travel. “If we’re really lucky, we’ll see it in the first quarter.”

A survey of 4,300 customers earlier this year by travel insurer Allianz found that 49% would travel again given a proven vaccine. Meanwhile, 42% said the go-ahead from public health officials would suffice.

“[The] promise of a highly effective vaccine is good news for the tremendous pent-up demand for travel, and should provide another reason for consumers to feel more confident booking trips for 2021,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz. He said he expected that luxury and experiential trips will be popular next year as consumers look to book so-called revenge travel in the wake of all of this year’s canceled plans.

Indeed, what travel expert Stella Shon at consumer finance site ValuePenguin called national “cabin fever” may spur some to book sooner rather than later, she said. “They’re ready to travel,” Shon said of vacationers. “It’s interesting that over half of Americans have still stayed in a hotel or

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Indoor recreation businesses say they’re crucial for mental, physical well-being | Coronavirus

Operators of places for indoor activity impacted by the governor’s COVID-19 regulations say their operations are essential for the physical and mental well being of the public.

Craig Rhodes, a managing partner for Kingpin Lanes in Springfield, said they were closed during the lockdown this spring, allowed to open for a few months and then closed down again.

“A, we’re in the league bowling season which is the best season for us and going into the holidays where we pick up quite a bit of extra income and foot traffic for the holidays which is not just difficult, but difficult timing as well,” Rhodes said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker last Monday imposed prohibitions on indoor service at bars and restaurants statewide, and capacity limits on retail operations. Indoor recreation, like bowling, is prohibited.

Rhodes said he’ll be keeping a close eye on the numbers, and if there aren’t declines from all the closures, there need to be some explanations.

“If there’s no change and everyone’s closed, obviously there’s something else if afoot,” he said. “We would certainly demand to have some answers based on those numbers.”

Rhodes said while some don’t consider bowling essential, it is to his employees and to his clientele’s physical and mental well being.

For gyms, there can’t be any group exercises and locker rooms are closed under the governor’s rules. In Springfield, FitBodies owner Chris Schmulbach said he’s gone from group classes to open gym. He also said he doesn’t recommend masks.

“I can’t force them to wear masks, so I guess I’ll take the heat and deal with it from there and see what happens,” Schmulbach said.

Corynne Cooper, the general manager of a fitness facility in Chicago, will be following the guidelines to the letter.

“If [Pritzker] says masks, it is masks,” Cooper said. “If it’s not steam rooms and saunas, it’s no steam rooms and saunas. If it’s no locker rooms, it’s not locker rooms. We’re not trying to cut any corners.”

Both said keeping their facilities open is crucial to the physical and mental health of their clients.

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‘I keep getting called Clark Griswold’: Trinity family sets up ‘Christmas Vacation’ inspired lights display

TRINITY, N.C. — As Christmas nears, more homes across the Piedmont Triad are getting ready for the holiday and putting their decorations up.

“We figured let’s get started a little early this year with everything going on in 2020. Why not? And we’re pretty excited about it.” said Matt Garrett, who’s home in Trinity is nearly complete with decorations.

“This year we kind of went with a “Christmas Vacation” Clark Griswold theme. I keep getting called Clark Griswold in the neighborhood, so we figured ‘Why not?’ So we’ve added a few Griswold style decorations…those are probably my favorite,” Matt said.

It took some time to pick a theme and get everything up, but the Garrett’s impressive display is growing and set to be the family’s biggest year yet

“There could be weeks where I wake up every morning, and there’s something new in the yard. But, overall, we started it for the kids.” said Kristy Garrett.

Their children: Asher, Harper and Karlen enjoy helping and watching Matt putt up the lights, but they enjoy critiquing the display the most. Their favorites include the manger scene and a big “Merry Christmas” inflatable which is front and center in the yard

“This is my favorite inflatable. It’s kind of the center of the entire yard with all the decorations of all the inflatables” said Asher Garrett, their oldest son.

It’s a big time and financial commitment, but Matt enjoys planning it out and is always looking to make it larger and more unique than the year before.

“I think it’s great for everybody. There’s not a lot going on so we hope a lot of people drive by. Come see our lights, check it out and let us know what you think we should add next year.” Kristy said.

The Garretts have a friendly rivalry with their next-door neighbor.

If you’d like to check their display out in person, you can find their home on Fox Chase Drive in Trinity.

If you would like to feature your house in an upcoming Night Lights segment, please send us a photo to [email protected]

Along with your photo, please include your name and address.

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Democratic leaders should practice what they preach when it comes to holiday travel

Many Democratic leaders, it would appear, are hewing to the strict guidelines they’re advocating in public when it comes to limiting the spread of the new coronavirus.



a group of people sitting at a table in front of a window: People arrive at Hobby Airport the week of Thanksgiving, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Houston.


© Jon Shapley, Staff Photographer / Staff Photographer

People arrive at Hobby Airport the week of Thanksgiving, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Houston.


The handful who aren’t deserve a lump of coal in their stockings for Christmas — another holiday that they would presumably like the hoi polloi to spend in near-isolation.

In recent weeks the question of whether to gather for the fall and winter holidays has become politicized, because of course it has.

Republicans led by President Donald Trump, who survived COVID-19 only to host super-spreader events at the White House, have scoffed at the suggestion that Americans should eschew their usual plans in lieu of scaled-back or virtual celebrations.

“I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings,” Trump said in his official Thanksgiving proclamation this week. The statement acknowledged the “unprecedented challenges” faced this past year but also commended Americans for “developing groundbreaking therapeutics and life-saving vaccines on record-shattering timeframes.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, also a Republican, was widely razzed for cavalierly tweeting a meme of the “Come and Take It” flag from the 1835 Battle of Gonzales, with the flag’s cannon replaced by a nice plump turkey. The message was that he planned to celebrate Thanksgiving as usual, despite the pandemic and suffering it has brought.

As of Thanksgiving Day, Texas had reported some 1.2 million coronavirus cases, including 76,519 confirmed cases since the previous Thursday, and more than 21,000 deaths.

Democrats, by contrast, have been exhorting Americans to follow the guidance offered by public health officials, who are rightly worried about surging coronavirus cases across the country— and in some cases taking concrete steps to enforce their recommendations.

On Wednesday, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued a partial curfew, to begin on Thanksgiving night, as cases in the city continued to rise. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego had already issued such an order in an effort to help contain the virus in a community that’s been particularly hard-hit.

But a handful of Democrats have decided that the stringent rules they’re advocating shouldn’t apply to them.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom got things started by attending a friend’s 50th birthday party in Napa Valley earlier this month. After his attendance at the event was reported, the well-coiffed Democrat offered a public apology on camera, saying that although the dinner was technically in compliance with the rules he’s issued for the state, the crowd at the dinner was larger than he anticipated and his attendance was a mistake.

“The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he said. “I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after signing an executive order limiting private indoor gatherings to no

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State-By-State Guide To Quarantining After Thanksgiving Travel

If you traveled out of state for Thanksgiving, there’s a pretty good chance that your state recommends or requires you to quarantine upon returning home.

That means staying at home, without going anywhere or seeing anyone from outside your household, for 14 days. The purpose is that, if you became infected over the holidays, you do not infect anyone else.

Notably, the states where Covid-19 is spreading the fastest are the least likely to have a quarantine order or a mask mandate in place.

Here are the states that ask returning residents to quarantine after travel:

Alaska: Returning residents must go to the Alaska Travel Portal and fill out a traveler declaration about where they’ve been in the previous two weeks. If you’ve been out of state for more than three days, you have a choice: quarantine for two weeks or take a free Covid-19 test upon your return.

California: A state travel advisory urges a 14-day quarantine after returning to California. If you spent the holiday in-state but had prolonged exposure to people outside of your household or existing pandemic pod, you should also self-quarantine.

Connecticut: If you are returning from any of the 46 states with a Covid-19 infection rate “higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average,” you must self-quarantine for two weeks. Three states — New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island — are exempt.

District of Columbia: If you’ve traveled to one of the high-risk states, you should limit activities for 14 days or get tested for Covid-19. There is an exception for travel from neighboring Virginia and Maryland.

MORE FROM FORBESFauci: Thanksgiving Air Travelers Are ‘Going To Get Us Into Even More Trouble’

Hawaii: Per the state’s Safe Travels program, you need proof of a negative Covid-19 test before flying back to Hawaii. That can be a paper certificate or you can upload it online. If you arrive without a negative test, you must quarantine for 14 days or the duration of their trip, whichever is shorter.

Illinois: While there are no statewide quarantine orders, residents who traveled out of state are urged to “stay home if possible after returning and monitor your health for 14 days in order to protect the health and safety of yourself, as well as others.”

Note that there is a two-week quarantine mandate for Chicago residents returning from one of the many states it considers high-risk. If you’re returning from one of the 11 Midwest states on the “red list,” you must quarantine even if you have proof of a negative Covid-19 test. If you visited a state on the “orange list,” a pre-arrival negative test can let you avoid quarantine.

Kansas: This hot-spot state’s quarantine page has no mention of Thanksgiving travel. You are asked quarantine for two weeks if you have “attended/traveled

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