Day: November 11, 2020

Homeless housing plan for Novato hotel under Homekey program falls through

A proposal to turn a 70-room Novato hotel into supportive housing for homeless people fell through Tuesday when the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted not to buy the complex under the state’s Homekey program.

The board made its decision during a closed-door session, emerging afterward to announce it could not reach an agreement with the Inn Marin Hotel’s owners on the $18 million asking price. Supervisor Judy Arnold, whose district includes Novato, added that she believed there hadn’t been enough opportunity to discuss the plan with neighbors.

“I believe that as a community we need to find ways to support our most vulnerable residents here in Marin and I believe that finding permanent supportive housing is an effective way to do that,” Arnold said in a statement. “That said, my position on this particular project was a result of the inadequate process and timeline we were forced to work within under the state’s Homekey grant process.”

California’s Homekey program uses federal coronavirus aid money to buy hotels and other buildings throughout the state for conversion into permanent supportive housing, but the catch is that all the money has to be spent by the end of the year. To date, the state has awarded $835.6 million for 93 projects with a total of 6,055 units.

The Marin board proposed in October that the county buy the Inn Marin, a stylish complex near Highway 101, apartment blocks and houses. Residents inundated the board and the Novato City Council with reaction that included some support, but more complaints that it was a bad fit for the neighborhood.

The City Council had been considering suing to stop the proposal, but last week opted instead to urge the county board to hold community meetings to vet the idea. Tuesday’s decision makes the point moot.

Marin County’s homeless population of 1,034 is the second smallest in the Bay Area, after Napa. It fell by 7% between 2017 and 2019, when the last federally required, biennial one-night count was taken.

“We’re satisfied and happy with the outcome,” said Pat Davidor, who lives near the Inn Marin. She and her husband, Joe, maintained that they supported housing for homeless people — their son lives on the streets — but thought it would be better situated farther away from subdivisions.

“It was a good try, wrong location,” she said, noting that there is already a large supportive housing facility just across the freeway. “Our hope is that money will become available in some other way and that more homeless housing can be created. But spread it around more, so other parts of the county can take their share.”

Two other Homekey projects fared better on Tuesday before the board. The supervisors voted unanimously to use the state funds to buy an 18-room hotel in Corte Madera for $4.1 million and a 44-unit office complex in San Rafael for $7.2 million.

Kevin Fagan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @KevinChron

Source A

Continue reading

Future of business travel unclear as virus upends work life

FILE - In this Thursday, April 9, 2020, file photo, a lone airline crew member pulls his bags behind him as he walks through the baggage-claim area at Denver International Airport in Denver, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

FILE – In this Thursday, April 9, 2020, file photo, a lone airline crew member pulls his bags behind him as he walks through the baggage-claim area at Denver International Airport in Denver, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

AP

For the lucrative business travel industry, Brian Contreras represents its worst fears.

A partner account executive at a U.S. tech firm, Contreras was used to traveling frequently for his company. But nine months into the pandemic, he and thousands of others are working from home and dialing into video conferences instead of boarding planes.

Contreras manages his North American accounts from Sacramento, California and doesn’t expect to travel for work until the middle of next year. Even then, he’s not sure how much he will need to.

“Maybe it’s just the acceptance of the new normal. I have all of the resources necessary to be on the calls, all of the communicative devices to make sure I can do my job,” he said. “There’s an element of of face-to-face that’s necessary, but I would be OK without it.”

That trend could spell big trouble for hotels, airlines, convention centers and other industries that rely so heavily on business travelers like Contreras.

Work travel represented 21% of the $8.9 trillion spent on global travel and tourism in 2019, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian recently suggested business travel might settle into a “new normal” that is 10% to 20% lower than it used to be.

“I do think corporate travel is going to come back faster than people suspect. I just don’t know if it will be come back to the full volume,” Bastian told The Associated Press. Right now, Delta’s business travel revenue is down 85%.

Dubai-based MBC Group, which operates 18 television stations, says it’s unlikely employees will travel as often once the pandemic ends because they’ve proven they don’t need to.

“We have managed to deliver projects and negotiate deals very successfully, though remotely,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said. MBC has reduced trips by more than 85%, Hayek said.

Amazon, which told it employees to stop traveling in March, says it has saved nearly $1 billion in travel expenses so far this year. The online shopping giant, with more than 1.1 million employees, is the second-largest employer in the U.S.

At Southwest Airlines, CEO Gary Kelly said while overall passenger revenue is down 70%, business travel — normally more than one-third of Southwest’s traffic — is off 90%.

“I think that’s going to continue for a long time. I’m very confident it will recover and pass 2019 levels, I just don’t know when,” Kelly told the AP.

U.S. hotels relied on business travel for around half their revenue in 2019, or closer to 60% in big cities like Washington, according to Cindy Estis Green, the CEO of hospitality data firm Kalibri Labs.

Peter Belobaba, who teaches airline management at MIT, said business travel is down partly because some people are

Continue reading

Hong Kong, Singapore to allow travel to each other without quarantines from November 22

HONG KONG/ SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will begin on Nov. 22, the two cities announced on Wednesday, as they moved to re-establish overseas travel links and lift the hurdle of quarantine for visiting foreigners.

FILE PHOTO: People look at a Singapore Airlines plane, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a viewing gallery of the Changi Airport in Singapore October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Hong Kong’s Commerce Secretary and Singapore’s Transport Minister said the scheme would begin with one flight a day into each city, with a quota of 200 travellers per flight. This would be increased to two flights a day into each city from Dec. 7.

If the COVID-19 situation deteriorated in either city the travel bubble would be suspended, they said.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said he believed the travel bubble was the first of its kind in the world and enabled both cities to open up borders in a controlled manner, while maintaining safety.

“While we may be starting small, this is an important step forward … It will be a useful reference for other countries and regions that have controlled the epidemic, and are contemplating opening their borders.”

Travellers from both cities must travel on designated flights and must undertake COVID-19 tests. No quarantine would be required in either place and there would be no restrictions on the purpose of travel.

For Hong Kong, which has banned non-residents since March, the deal with Singapore is its first resumption of travel ties with another city. Travellers from mainland China and neighbouring Macau still face 14 days in quarantine.

Eligible Hong Kong residents in Guangdong province and Macau will be exempt from quarantine in Hong Kong under a quota scheme from Nov. 23, Hong Kong authorities announced on Wednesday.

Singapore already has pacts on essential business and official travel from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and opened unilaterally to general visitors from a handful of countries including Brunei, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Cathay Pacific 0293.HK and Singapore Airlines SIAL.SI would be the carriers offering the initial designated travel bubble flights, according to authorities.

Writing by Farah Master in Hong Kong; Editing by Michael Perry and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Source Article

Continue reading

Here’s the Flight Schedule for Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble

(Bloomberg) — A flight bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will open on Nov. 22, allowing travelers from either hub to visit without having to go through quarantine, provided they pass virus tests and meet other requirements.



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a building: An Airbus SE A320 passenger jet is prepared for boarding during media a preview of HK Express airline's "Flycation" flight experience at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Various carriers in the region have launched so-called flights to nowhere, catering to people still yearning to fly.


© Bloomberg
An Airbus SE A320 passenger jet is prepared for boarding during media a preview of HK Express airline’s “Flycation” flight experience at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Various carriers in the region have launched so-called flights to nowhere, catering to people still yearning to fly.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. will operate the flights. They’ll both fly the route on the opening day and then do a handful of flights over the subsequent week or so before eventually flying it on a daily basis from Dec. 7. A maximum of 200 people will be permitted on each flight.

RouteNov. 22Nov. 23-29Nov. 30-Dec. 6Dec. 7 onward

SQ890 SIN-HKG Sunday Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun Mon, Weds, Fri Daily
SQ891 HKG-SIN Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun Mon, Weds, Fri Daily
CX734 SIN-HKG Tues, Thurs, Sat Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun Daily
CX759 HKG-SIN Sunday Tues, Thurs, Sat Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun Daily

Video: Virgin Hyperloop Conducts First Test With Passengers (QuickTake)

Virgin Hyperloop Conducts First Test With Passengers

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Singapore Airlines said Wednesday it will use Airbus SE A350 aircraft for the route, first departing Changi Airport on Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. The flight on Nov. 23 will leave at 8 a.m., while from Nov. 25 to Dec. 4 it will leave at 7:35 a.m. and return from Hong Kong at 12:30 p.m.

The carrier’s Scoot unit will operate non-air travel bubble flights between the cities, it said in a statement. Customers with existing bookings who don’t meet air travel bubble requirements or are transiting and therefore not eligible will have the option of being rebooked on Scoot instead.

Those traveling on non-air travel bubble flights must meet the entry requirements of their destination, and are likely to have to serve a quarantine.

“This air travel bubble arrangement is an important step for both Singapore and Hong Kong as we rebuild from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and supports the ongoing recovery of the airline industry,” Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong said.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Continue reading

Singapore to Start ‘World First’ Air Travel Bubble With Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong and Singapore will start an air travel bubble that will replace quarantine with Covid-19 testing from Nov. 22, officials said in separate media briefings Wednesday.

Loading...

Load Error

There will be several flights a week on Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. from that date, rising to daily from Dec. 7. A maximum of 200 people will be permitted on each flight and details of the arrangement, released nearly a month after the two Asian hubs first announced they’d reopen their borders to one another, will be reviewed after one month.

Singapore Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said at a news briefing that this was the first travel bubble of its type and may be used as a template for other countries, if successful. The travel bubble will help ensure a brighter future for the city-state’s Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines, he said.

Travel bubbles are seen as key to reopening borders ahead of the rollout of an effective and internationally recognized vaccine. But they’ve been hard to put into practice as the coronavirus continues to spread or flare again in much of the world. Cases globally have surpassed 51 million while deaths are nearing 1.3 million.

Even the Singapore-Hong Kong arrangement comes with a long list of requirements and some restrictions. Ong said the waiting time for a Covid test would likely be about four hours and fares would be a commercial decision for the two airlines.

“I suspect travelers might well be quite careful in the beginning before they gradually become more confident,” Ong said. “I suspect that many Singaoreans and Hong Kongers will take a wait-and-see attitude until after awhile you can do one test less perhaps.”

Medical Costs

Flying on the travel bubble between the two cities will also require a degree of paperwork. Tests should be taken within 72 hours prior to departure and applications for travel approval should be done online at least seven days ahead of time. Should travelers become Covid positive in either city, they would need to bear the full cost of any medical treatment provided to them.

Read more: Here’s the Flight Schedule for Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble

Shares in Singapore Airlines dipped after the announcement, down 0.5%. Cathay slipped 0.3%. Both carriers rose sharply on Tuesday after a study showing a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE protects most people from the coronavirus.

RouteNov. 22Nov. 23-29Nov. 30-Dec. 6Dec. 7 onward
SQ890 SIN-HKG Sunday Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun Mon, Weds, Fri Daily
SQ891 HKG-SIN Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun Mon, Weds, Fri Daily
CX734 SIN-HKG Tues, Thurs, Sat Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun Daily
CX759 HKG-SIN Sunday Tues, Thurs, Sat Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun Daily

Having brought their Covid-19 outbreaks largely under control, Hong Kong and Singapore are eager to prise open their borders and get their economies ticking back to life again. Hong Kong’s total reported infections stand at 5,389, while Singapore’s tally is just over 58,000. That contrasts with many

Continue reading

Police: People shot outside Salt Lake area hotel shot each other

MIDVALE — Unified police now say two people shot outside a Midvale hotel on Friday, resulting in one woman’s death, shot each other using the same gun.

Teresa Marie Alires, 39, of Salt Lake City, was fatally wounded outside a hotel near 6962 S. Bingham Junction Blvd. on Friday. Another man, 36, who was shot ran into a nearby Winco store where he received help, police said.

Police identified that man on Tuesday as 36-year-old Tyler Wade Shirreffs. He was initially taken to the hospital but has since been released and taken to the Utah State Prison on a parole violation.

Unified police now believe that Alires shot Shirreffs, though it was still unclear Tuesday what their confrontation was about. The two then fought over the gun, which Shirreffs took control of and fatally shot Alires, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler.

Shirreffs was a parole fugitive at the time of the shooting.

Police were still looking Monday for two people as possible witnesses, a man and woman who were seen by witnesses leaving the area, as well as a white Cadillac, believed to be a 2005 model.

Anyone who has information about what happened, or to report sightings of the vehicle or persons of interest, is encouraged to call 801-743-7000.

Source Article

Continue reading

Singapore and Hong Kong to start ‘travel bubble’ flights on Nov. 22

  • Quarantine-free leisure travel between Hong Kong and Singapore will resume on Nov. 22.
  • Passengers will be required to undergo a Covid-19 test and provide a negative result within 72 hours before departure.
  • Singapore’s minister for transport, Ong Ye Kung, hailed the agreement as a “first of its kind,” and said it could provide a blueprint for other travel bubbles.



a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy sky: A Boeing 777-312(ER) passenger plane belonging to the Singapore Airlines lands at Hong Kong International Airport on August 01 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


© Provided by CNBC
A Boeing 777-312(ER) passenger plane belonging to the Singapore Airlines lands at Hong Kong International Airport on August 01 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

SINGAPORE — Quarantine-free leisure travel between Hong Kong and Singapore will resume on Nov. 22, according to details of a bilateral air travel bubble announced Wednesday.

Loading...

Load Error

Under the new guidelines, passengers will be allowed to travel between the two locations without the need to isolate on arrival. Instead, they will be required to undergo a Covid-19 test and provide a negative result within 72 hours before departure. All travelers arriving in Hong Kong will also be required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival.

There will be no restrictions on the purpose of travel and no requirement for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship. However, travelers must have no travel history to any place outside of Hong Kong or Singapore within 14 days prior to departure.

Arrivals will be subject to local Covid-19 restrictions in the respective markets, such as downloading a contact tracing app and wearing masks. Any travelers who contract the virus will be required to bear their own medical costs.

Flights will be initially limited to one per day into each city with a limit of 200 travelers on each flight. If the coronavirus situation does not deteriorate in either city, flights are expected to increase from Dec. 7 to two per day into each city.

The designated air travel bubble flights will only ferry passengers traveling between Hong Kong and Singapore, and will not include those transiting through either of the cities, the announcement noted.



a person standing in front of a screen: Cathay Pacific employees walk through Hong Kong International Airport on October 21, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
Cathay Pacific employees walk through Hong Kong International Airport on October 21, 2020.

Hong Kong and Singapore first announced plans for a bilateral travel bubble in mid-October as both cities seek to repair some of the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic on their hard-hit tourism and aviation industries.

Without domestic air travel markets, the two Asian business hubs are heavily reliant on international travel. Last year, Hong Kong recorded more than 453,000 visitor arrivals from Singapore, while Singapore received 489,000 visitors from Hong Kong, according to the respective cities’ official statistics.

The agreement will fall well short of bringing flights between the two locations to their pre-pandemic average of 18 per day. Still, Singapore’s minister for transport, Ong Ye Kung, hailed the agreement as a “first of its kind,” and said it could go some way in reinstating international travel.

“The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble enables us to achieve two objectives at the same time – open up our borders in a controlled manner, while maintaining

Continue reading

Harvest Health & Recreation Shoots 7% Higher After Hours on Q3 Results

Harvest Health & Recreation (OTC:HRVSF) had a good day on the stock exchange Tuesday. The happy feeling continued after the company released its latest quarterly results following market close.

For its third quarter of fiscal 2020, the marijuana company took in revenue of $61.6 million — 11% higher than in the previous quarter, and an 86% improvement on a year-over-year basis. On the bottom line, Harvest Health managed to trim its net loss to $2.1 million ($0.01 per share) from the previous quarter’s $18.3 million, and from the Q3 2019 result of $39.1 million.

Marijuana plant with the sun behind it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Both headline numbers came in comfortably above average analyst estimates. Prognosticators had collectively expected revenue of $59.3 million and a per-share loss of $0.06.

The company’s top line was helped by the opening of two new marijuana dispensaries, one in its home state of Arizona and the other in Pennsylvania.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrate further progress toward our primary goal of returning to profitability through revenue growth, cost controls, and investments in our core markets of Arizona, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania,” CEO Steve White said.

“We are focused on preparing for recreational cannabis in Arizona in 2021 and continuing to build on this positive momentum as we execute on our plan,” he added.

Along with voters in four other states, Arizonans opted on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana. The consumption and sale of medical product had already been sanctioned.

On the back of its revenue and bottom-line improvements, as well as that Arizona vote, Harvest raised its 2020 revenue guidance. The company now expects to take in more than $225 million, up from the previous forecast of $215 million to $220 million. It did not provide any profitability estimates.

Harvest Health had a fine Tuesday overall, closing more than 7% higher, in contrast to the decline of the S&P 500 index.

Source Article

Continue reading

Pence cancels vacation in Florida: report

Vice President Mike Pence reportedly canceled his plans to travel to Florida this week for a vacation as President Trump launches legal efforts to contest the results of several states in the 2020 election.



Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie: Pence cancels vacation in Florida: report


© Getty
Pence cancels vacation in Florida: report

The Washington Post reported Tuesday evening that Pence was no longer planning to leave Washington, though he has remained out of the spotlight so far in the president’s efforts to raise suspicion about the 2020 election results. A request for comment from the vice president’s office was not immediately returned.

An FAA advisory indicated yesterday that the vice president would be staying on Sanibel, an island near Fort Myers, Fla., where he has vacationed in the past. The Post also reported that Pence offered a presentation to Republican senators Tuesday detailing the specific legal efforts being pursued by the president in each state that decided the election, which news networks projected Saturday would be won by his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden (D).

“Great meeting with @SenateGOPtoday! Told them We’ll Keep Fighting until every LEGAL Vote for President @realDonaldTrump is counted & we’re going to Keep Fighting to send [Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.)]and [Sen. Kelly Loeffler [R-Ga.] Back to a Republican Majority in the Senate! See you in Georgia next week!” he tweeted on Tuesday following his meeting with senators.

His tweet referred to Georgia’s two Senate races, which appeared to be heading to a January runoff after candidates in last week’s elections failed to cross a 50 percent threshold necessary to win outright.

Pence has echoed the president’s calls to count “legal” votes in battleground states where mail-in ballots are still being counted, but has not gone as far as Trump has and alleged that the election was “stolen” by Democrats.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Continue reading

Singapore-HK Travel Bubble; Cases Soar Across U.S.: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — A travel bubble linking Singapore and Hong Kong will begin operating on Nov. 22. The bubble, which was announced last month, will let travelers move between the two regions with testing replacing quarantine.

Loading...

Load Error

Japan recorded the second-highest number of cases since the summer surge, while South Korea saw its biggest gain in infections in almost three weeks. Mongolia returned to lockdown for three days after two people were infected. Meanwhile, Taiwan approved a visit without quarantine from a small group of U.S. tech company officials, the first easing of its strict controls.

The coronavirus is also roaring back in U.S. cities after months of crisis centered in more rural areas, with hospitalization in the country reaching a record. Cities from Newark to San Francisco announced new restrictions to help cope with the surge, as cases in the U.S. top 1 million in the first 10 days of November alone.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases near 51.3 million; deaths top 1.26 millionU.S. Hot Spots: Covid back in cities after months as rural problemBrazil’s halting of China’s vaccine baffles local researchersNeed to keep Pfizer’s shot in deep-freeze presents challengeWhere things stand in the race for a vaccine: QuickTakeVaccine Tracker: Encouraging breakthroughs offer hope

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart, histogram: Resurgent Virus


© Bloomberg
Resurgent Virus

Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble to Begin Nov. 22 (11:03 a.m. HK)

A travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will begin on Nov. 22, authorities announced, with daily service by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. from Dec. 7. The bubble will be limited to 200 passengers per flight, and will completely replace the need for quarantine. Singapore Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said it was the first bubble of its type in the world.

Hong Kong to Exempt Some Arrivals From Quarantine (10:55 a.m. HK)

Hong Kong will exempt some of its residents arriving from Guangdong from a 14-day quarantine beginning Nov. 23, the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said at a briefing.

Mongolia in Three-Day Lockdown; Taiwan Eases (10:50 a.m. HK)

Mongolia returned to lockdown for three days on Wednesday, after two people were diagnosed with Covid-19. The country will ban flights into the country as well as all travel in and out of the capital Ulaanbaatar. Nearly all of Mongolia’s 374 confirmed cases since March have been detected in citizens recently returned from abroad.

Taiwan approved a visit without quarantine from a small group of U.S. tech company officials, the Taipei-based Central News Agency reported. The three-day visit represents the first easing of the strict controls that helped Taiwan surpass 200 days without local transmission of the virus. The government is set to approve such short-term business visits on a case-by-case basis.

Wisconsin Urges Staying Home as Cases at Record (10:40 a.m. HK)

Wisconsin reported 7,073 new Covid-19 cases, a daily record for the Midwestern state. Governor

Continue reading