Day: November 27, 2020

AHF: Skid Row’s King Edward Hotel Earns City’s Historic Designation – Press Release

LOS ANGELES–(Business Wire)–The Los Angeles City Council has designated the King Edward Hotel, a 1906-era Beaux Arts hotel, and its King Eddy Saloon, a bar and former speakeasy in continuous operation since the 1930s, status as the newest Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201127005607/en/

The 1906-era King Edward Hotel on L.A.'s Skid Row was repurposed by AHF and its Healthy Housing Foundation for use as housing for the homeless and extremely-low-income individuals. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The 1906-era King Edward Hotel on L.A.’s Skid Row was repurposed by AHF and its Healthy Housing Foundation for use as housing for the homeless and extremely-low-income individuals. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The 150-room hotel, located on the edge of L.A.’s Skid Row, was purchased, refurbished and repurposed by AHF and the Healthy Housing Foundation in 2018 for use as housing for the homeless and extremely-low-income individuals.

“While I am extremely pleased that our City Council designated the King Edward Hotel an official Historic-Cultural Monument—a well-deserved recognition for this beautiful 1906 Beaux Arts hotel located in the heart of Skid Row—I believe what really makes this property historic is its new life repurposed as housing for formerly homeless and extremely-low-income individuals,” said Hon. Kevin de Léon, Los Angeles City Council Member for District 14. “I’ve always said our approach to reducing homelessness must be all hands on deck, so AHF and the Healthy Housing Foundation are to be commended for their innovative and cost-effective approach to address our growing homeless situation via the adaptive reuse of many old hotels and motels like the King Edward, an approach I believe the city and other organizations should get behind.”

The historic designation came via City Council’s adoption of a motion passed on consent calendar at Wednesday’s council meeting (Agenda Item #29—Council File item #20-0736).

According to documents submitted in support of the designation, the Cultural Heritage Commission, in a June 11, 2020 letter and memo to the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), recommended that PLUM urge the City Council consider the King Edward Hotel for inclusion in the list of Historic-Cultural Monuments. The Heritage Commission had previously voted unanimously (on May 5, 2020) to recommend Historic-Cultural Monument status. The Cultural Heritage Commission noted:

“The King Edward Hotel meets two of the Historic-Cultural Monument criteria: it “exemplifies significant contributions to the broad cultural, economic or social history of the nation, state, city or community” for its association with the early 20th century development of hotels in Downtown Los Angeles, and as the home of the King Eddy Saloon, a business important to the commercial identity of Downtown Los Angeles that has continuously operated at the property since the 1930s; and it “embodies the distinctive characteristics of a style, type, period, or method of construction” and “represents a notable work of a master designer, builder, or architect whose individual genius influenced his or her age” as an excellent example of a commercial building in the Beaux Arts architectural style, and a significant work of master architect John Parkinson.”

“I’m thrilled that the city has recognized John Parkinson’s King Edward Hotel as a protected cultural landmark. The hotel is

Continue reading

She canceled a trip because of COVID-19. It took 9 months to get a travel insurance refund.

Maribeth Flatley of Elizabeth was looking forward to a trip that was supposed to happen in May.

It was a 21-day tour of Scandinavia, starting off in Copenhagen, Denmark, then weaving through Sweden and Finland, and ending up in Oslo, Norway.

“I always wanted to visit this part of the world,” she said.

Flatley, 71, who uses a cane and an inhaler, took travel insurance to cover the nearly $10,000 trip, and she put the charge on her Wells Fargo credit card.

Then the coronavirus pandemic happened.

“Due to ill health, my doctor said I could not travel,” Flatley said. “I canceled the trip.”

Fortunately, Flatley had purchased travel insurance. The tour company ultimately canceled the trip, but Flatley would have gotten a credit for future travel, not a refund.

On March 26, she sent a cancelation notice to Aon, the travel insurance company. The company sent back a form for Flatley’s doctor to complete.

She gave it to her doctor, and then she waited.

When nothing happened by June, she asked Wells Fargo about the charge. Wells decided to put the charge in dispute, but when a credit showed on her statement, Flatley thought it was a refund through Aon.

But that was incorrect. Flatley didn’t realize it at the time, but the money showing in the account was a provisional credit from Wells Fargo as it investigated the dispute.

Later that month, Aon asked for another doctor’s letter, she said. They sent it in.

Over the next several months, Flatley stayed in touch with Wells Fargo about the money. No one gave her answers.

On Aug. 19, Flatley said, a representative from Wells Fargo said the case was escalated.

“He said this has gone on too long,” Flatley said.

But nothing was escalated except for the red tape.

In September, Aon asked once again for additional medical information from Flatley’s doctor.

“The doctor said he sent them information three times,” she said.

In October, the charge remained in dispute, but no one could from Wells could give Flatley an update, she said.

On Oct. 7, I spoke to a manager at the Wells Fargo, who spent an hour-and-a-half on the phone trying to help me, Flatley said. He said I would get a letter in three days. It never happened,” she added.

A week later, the manager suggested she call the number on the credit card, she said.

So she did. She was transferred to several people and was finally told an “advocate” would call her back.

That didn’t happen, either.

The phone calls continued, and finally, in October, Flatley received an email from a Wells Fargo representative who said she needed two weeks to do further research.

Tired of waiting, Flatley asked Bamboozled for help.

PAYING UP

We reviewed Flatley’s timeline, credit card statements and other documents, and we reached out to Wells Fargo and Aon for help.

Wells Fargo said it would review the case, but it didn’t report any updates back to us.

But Aon

Continue reading

Travel down over 70 percent at airports across New England during Thanksgiving week

“Around the holidays people tend to travel more, so we expect numbers to increase during those weekends,” said Daniel Velez, a TSA spokesman. Travel numbers are predicted to remain lower than those in 2019 due to the pandemic, he said.

The highest number of single-day travelers during Thanksgiving week in New England so far — 27,761 people — was seen on Saturday, Nov. 21, according to the TSA. Last year, Friday, Nov. 22, was the busiest travel day with just under 93,000 people.

At Logan International Airport, the number of passengers has consistently been down about 80 percent “for several months now,” according to Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Before the pandemic, the airport regularly saw between 120,000 and 140,000 total travelers a day. Because there have been fewer passengers throughout the year, the airport staff was ready for the influx in passengers during Thanksgiving week, Mehigan said.

“Typically, the Thanksgiving holiday does tend to be a busy time at the airport, though nothing has been normal in this pandemic,” she said.

Data on the number of travelers during the holiday week at specific airports was not provided.

The risk of being on a plane isn’t what worries health experts, according to Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Compared to the number of flights since the pandemic, there have been “relatively few” transmission events, she said.

“It’s the fact that people are moving around the country,” Doron said.

With different rates of infection in communities across the United States, Doron’s primary concern is that people who travel to areas where the virus is more prevalent may contract it and bring it back.

The same goes for people from Massachusetts who travel to areas where the virus is less prevalent, such as Vermont, putting those communities at risk.

“To me, that’s the main reason not to travel,” Doron said.

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Doron said she was concerned to see long lines at testing facilities — “longer than we’ve ever seen before” — suggesting that people may be getting tested to meet travel restrictions or attend gatherings.

“Right now, we are looking at the real possibility of a second wave that could overwhelm our healthcare system,” Doron said.

Unlike the first wave of the virus in March and April, when many hospitals struggled to provide care for the surge in coronavirus patients, a second larger wave could prove too much for hospitals to handle.

“At this time, travel is not advised,” she said, emphasizing that travel outside of the state is discouraged “because we just don’t want to move that virus around more than we have to.”

Despite higher travel volumes during the holiday season, the overall decline in travel was expected among transportation officials, Velez said.

As predicted, however, Thanksgiving week proved to be the busiest of the year nationwide — by far.

“We have hit the 1 million passenger mark three times within the

Continue reading

The Companies Bringing Travel Home To You This Winter

While we are all still grounded, and travel is limited for most of us for the foreseeable future, all we can do is dream about far-flung adventures yet to come. Those working in the hospitality sector have had to think fast on their feet to keep surviving, and we can only applaud the efforts of many brands who have pivoted to offer something new, in order to keep their names fresh in the minds of would-be guests and travellers.

One of the UK’s ultimate wintery destinations – Gleneagles, near Auchterarder, Scotland – may have had to close its doors for a while, but the grand-dame hotel is keeping its ‘spirit’ alive this year by opening its own online shop. On offer is its own range of fine foods, devised by its chefs and local suppliers, and festive hampers, focusing on Scottish treats and locally-sourced items. It means you can feast on preserves, inspired by the flavours of Perthshire, for instance, or drizzle on gourmet oils and dressings, produced on a farm near to the hotel. The hotel is renowned for its outdoor pursuits and swish, cosy interiors, and this ambiance can also be conjured up at home by cocooning under one of the pure wool blankets woven by Lovat Mill in the Scottish Borders and usually given to guests to take out on excursions.

Devold – a Norwegian knitwear brand – is under the same ownership of  62ºNORD, an experiential travel company offering personalised adventures and timeless hotels on the north-west coast of Norway. Its Svalbard wool sweater is usually only available at three of the company’s properties – Hotel Brosundet, Storfjord Hotel and Hotel Union Oye – but is now available online. It’s the ideal way to imagine yourself on an Nordic adventure, that is until you get the chance to check-in in person.

One of the sweet little moments to be had at the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an Oetker Collection hotel, is browsing the eclectic Eden Being Boutique. To celebrate its 150 years of glam French Riviera hospitality, it has now introduced some landmark products to purchase online. You can pick up an inflatable lifebuoy –perfect to dream that you are floating on the aquamarine waters of the Med, or, why not light one of the Bamford x Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc candles? Your home will be scented with bergamot, lemon and grapefruit – just like the ocean-fronted property. If money is no object, you could splash out on a limited-edition Hublot x Eden Rock St Barths watch, for £16,379. 

Inspired by the expert craftsmen who built The Domaine des Etangs – a converted 13th-century chateau in the heart of the Charente, close to Bordeaux

Continue reading

7 ways to earn miles for your next vacation without leaving the house



a person sitting at a table using a laptop


© Provided by The Points Guy


MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed just about every facet of our daily lives, including how we eat, shop and travel. For many people, the extended quarantines and lockdown have also disrupted their normal points and miles-earning strategy, much of which had depended on travel or points earned from shopping in-person.

Loading...

Load Error

Just because we aren’t traveling right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to pad your points and miles balances. There are several great ways to earn points from the comfort of your home, and learning a new strategy now will be helpful even when things return to normal. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to earn points and miles from home.

New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter and check out our updated beginner’s guide.

In This Post

Credit card sign-up bonuses

Opening a new credit card is still the fastest way to boost your points and miles balance, and thankfully you can do so from the comfort of your home! There are plenty of great offers to pick from, but if you need more inspiration, you can always check out TPG’s top cards page to see what deals are available.

When planning your applications now, you may want to stick to banks that you have an existing relationship with, as approval standards have gotten tighter during the pandemic. Despite having a near-perfect credit score, I was rejected for a Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card “for not having enough money in deposit and investment accounts” with Chase.

Issuers are taking several steps to limit their downside exposure while the economy is in a recession, so you may find it harder than usual to get approved for some cards. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re still able to spend enough to earn your welcome bonus now, especially if you’re staying home or have recently lost your job.

Related: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more

Online shopping portals

Whether you’re stocking up on household essentials or indulging in a little bit of retail therapy, there are countless ways to stack rewards when you shop online. Before making any purchase online, you should check to see if you can earn bonus miles or cash back by clicking through the right shopping portal.

You could pick the shopping portal affiliated with your favorite rewards program, or you could use an aggregator site like cashbackmonitor.com to tell you which portals are offering the highest payout.



graphical user interface, table


© The Points Guy


Many portals even offer a browser extension that will automatically pop up when you’re on a participating site, reminding you to click the button and activate your

Continue reading

Lafayette Parks and Recreation takes fun approach to community outreach

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette Parks and Recreation is taking a new approach when it comes to connecting with the community.

“It was a way to raise morale internally, but to try to give the public something positive and fun during a scary time,” Lafayette Parks and Recreation Marketing Manager, Samantha Haville, told News 18.

Haville has not only used the account to raise morale but promote safe activities as well.

“Our parks are open,” Explained Haville. “We wanted to encourage people to safely get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.”

Haville says the TikTok account has also served as a hiring tool for the department.

“Some of our returning lifeguards danced to a trending song and we kind of put out a call [for lifeguards],” Haville says the message was well received. “Immediately following we received tons of applications.”

Back in July, the department posted a video to Living on a Prayer.

“Jon Bon Jovi himself actually shared our video on his Instagram,” Haville told us.

Haville has no plans on stopping the videos any time soon. She told News 18, “It seems to be something positive and something to look forward to. I think we’re going to keep going and see where it takes us.”

Click here if you’d like to view the team’s TikTok videos.

Source Article

Continue reading

UK’s Gatwick Airport sees travel boost from new testing rules

GATWICK AIRPORT, England (Reuters) – The boss of Britain’s Gatwick Airport said the introduction of shorter quarantine times from mid-December was boosting travel, and that the combination of testing and a COVID-19 vaccine means he is optimistic holidays can restart next year.

Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, is opening a new COVID-19 testing facility on Monday, offering passengers discounted tests. CEO Stewart Wingate hopes by making it easier and cheaper to get a test, more people will travel.

From mid-December, travellers arriving in England will have to quarantine for five days instead of 14 if they have a negative test, a rule change which Wingate said is helping.

“We are seeing already an uptick in flights, so we should expect to see about 100 flights per day by the time we get to the middle of December, and across the Christmas period,” he told Reuters in an interview.

The pandemic has battered the aviation industry, leaving Gatwick particularly exposed as airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have prioritised flights from Heathrow, Britain’s no.1 airport to the west of London.

During England’s latest lockdown in November, Gatwick, easyJet’s biggest base, had about four flights a day, a startling drop from 600 flights a day this time last year. Some of Gatwick’s airlines, such as Norwegian, are fighting for survival.

Wingate, who has had to axe 45% of Gatwick’s staff during the pandemic, forecast a travel recovery next summer, when he expected the airport’s airlines to be flying between 60% and 70% of their 2019 capacity.

“I expect once the vaccinations roll out and the testing is rolled out, we should expect to see quite a strong performance in the market next summer,” he said.

The testing site in a long-stay car park at Gatwick will initially be able to test up to 500 people per day, but this could be ramped up to 2,000 a day, and then 4,000 a day given sufficient demand, according to testing company ExpressTest.

Wingate said demand for tests at the site was “strong” and he hoped ExpressTest would roll out more sites. They will cost Gatwick passengers 60 pounds ($80), and anyone else 100 pounds.

Wingate said Gatwick, 30 miles south of London, also remained attractive to airlines. Hungarian airline Wizz Air has publicly said it wants to expand at Gatwick, and Wingate said others did too.

“Ryanair are quite keen to grow as well at the airport,” he said.

($1 = 0.7500 pounds)

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Jan Harvey

Source Article

Continue reading

Robot zaps airport viruses as pandemic travel picks up

The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in an era of distinctive travel experiences for those going against expert guidance to stay at home for Thanksgiving.

Not only must passengers wear masks throughout flights, but they also face innovative gadgets meant to combat the coronavirus, though the efficacy of some is questionable, according to epidemiologists.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Some airports, such as Los Angeles International, have installed thermal imaging cameras to scan for fever symptoms, while airlines such as United have installed touchless kiosks, enabling passengers to keep their hands clean while checking in.

As air travel gains some steam and coronavirus-related shutdowns return in pockets of the country, one of the latest iterations of virus-fighting tech at the airport is a germ-zapping robot at San Antonio International Airport in Texas. It’s called LightStrike, and other airports are considering whether to invest in the $125,000 device that has been shown to be effective against the coronavirus. Some airports are watching to see whether travel improves over the coming weeks, according to officials at Xenex, the company behind the device.

“When you bring something like SARS-CoV-2 into focus, institutions like hotels, airlines, professional sports teams, they’re looking for what’s best-in-class to kill it,” said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex.

Xenex says its robot business has increased 600% amid the pandemic. Most of the increase is related to the health care industry, but the robot also has entered new markets such as hotels, professional sports facilities and police stations.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Initially developed for use in hospitals and recently picked up by a school district in Texas, LightStrike is 43 inches tall, about the size of a wheelchair, and has to be pushed along by an operator to reach targeted areas.

The high-tech plug-in pushcart uses powerful bursts of UV light to combat viruses on surfaces within a seven-foot radius, according to Mark Stibich, an infectious-diseases epidemiologist and chief scientific officer at Xenex.

It’s been known for decades that UV radiation can destroy viruses by chemically altering their genetic material. However, different pathogens are susceptible to UV light at varying wavelengths. Many traditional UV devices use low-intensity mercury bulbs, which means they may take longer to kill organic material such as viruses. By contrast, LightStrike robots have a powerful xenon UV-C light source capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of viruses in a matter of minutes.

When plugged in, the machine stores up a charge and releases the UV light in quick, pulsating bursts that also happen to be gentler on surfaces than continuous UV rays generated by mercury, according to Xenex. The device is not safe for use on humans, and the company built in a motion sensor, so the robot automatically turns off if a person comes within range.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

In a test run at San Antonio-based Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the robot destroyed the coronavirus in two minutes. It has also

Continue reading

Travel agents in Mideast, Africa say UAE is blocking visas

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Travel agencies in countries across the Middle East and Africa say the United Arab Emirates has temporarily halted issuing new visas to their citizens, a so-far unexplained ban on visitors amid both the coronavirus pandemic and the UAE’s normalization deal with Israel.

Confusion over the UAE visa ban targeting 11 Muslim-majority nations, in addition to Lebanon and Kenya, swirled after a leaked document from Dubai’s state-owned airport free zone surfaced this week, declaring restrictions against a range of nationalities.

Emirati authorities have not acknowledged the suspension that comes as the UAE welcomes Israeli tourists for the first time in history, the coronavirus pandemic surges across the region and those searching for work in the federation of seven sheikhdoms increasingly overstay their tourist visas amid a cascade of business shutdowns and lay-offs.

Citing an order from the country’s immigration authorities, the note to companies operating in Dubai’s airport free zone announced a pause in issuing all new employment, long and short-term visit visas “until further notice” from countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Tunisia, without offering a reason. Those already holding visas would not be affected, it said.

The revelation has gripped social media feeds and news outlets worldwide, underscoring the UAE’s global status as magnet for expat workers and visitors who outnumber locals nearly nine to one in the country.

When asked by The Associated Press about the order, the country’s immigration department said it’s “not aware of any formal list of nationalities requiring visa suspension.” Dubai’s airport free zone confirmed the veracity of the document to the AP and said it was waiting for further clarification from officials.

Meanwhile, across the region, agencies and authorities say their citizens are forbidden from entering the UAE.

Travel agents in Pakistan said the UAE has barred single men under the age of 50 from the country, although those traveling with family can still obtain visas. Last week, Pakistan’s foreign office said it had “learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas” in a move “believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19.”

Bestways Travel company south of Islamabad was skeptical. “With such specific age and gender limits, obviously this has nothing to do with the coronavirus,” agent Jamchit Agha said. He said it was more likely tied to security concerns, or fears about young men overstaying visas to find jobs in Dubai, the region’s financial hub. Dubai relies on millions of low-paid expat workers from Southeast Asia.

Several travel companies across Afghanistan also claimed the UAE had stopped issuing visas to citizens, without offering any explanation.

In Kenya, speculation has spread that the country landed on the UAE’s blacklist over a spate of fake certificates showing negative results on coronavirus tests used to travel to the UAE, resulting in 21 arrests Thursday. Four travel agencies in the capital Nairobi said they were seeking clarification from Emirati authorities after dozens of tourist visas were rejected. Travel

Continue reading

Canada and Yukon invest in better recreation for skiers and snowboarders

WHITEHORSE, YT, Nov. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – The safety and well-being of Northerners are top priorities of the governments of Canada and Yukon.

That is why governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, as they adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the creation of good, middle-class jobs.

Yukoners need recreational facilities that are accessible, efficient and environmentally responsible.

The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable John Streicker, Minister of Community Services, for the Government of Yukon, announced funding for recreational infrastructure at the Mount Sima ski hill in Whitehorse.

The Mt. Sima ski hill upgrades will include new electrical, pumping and stream flow control measures, as well as converting snow-making away from reliance on diesel power. These upgrades will facilitate snow-making opportunities during the low-snow parts of the season and protect natural surroundings, including Sima Creek.

The installation of LED lighting on the ski hill will help build increased capacity for training and special events on the ski hill.

The Government of Canada is investing over $3.7 million in this project through the Investing in Canada plan through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) and the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS). The Government of Yukon is providing more than $1.4 million.

Quotes

“Rural and Northern Canadians are facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also have unique opportunities for growth and innovation. We know that the travel and tourism sector is one of the most heavily impacted sectors by the pandemic. That is why the funding announced today for Mt. Sima – a popular winter destination for all Yukoners – will help improve the operations of this valued facility, which serves as an important winter activity and skill development venue for Yukon residents of all ages. The safety and well-being of Northerners are top priorities of our government and we will continue to support businesses and families as they adapt and move toward the post-COVID recovery.”

The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development,

“It’s more important than ever that Canadians have the opportunity to get outside to stay healthy and active while protecting our natural winter environment. The Government of Canada is investing more than $3.7 million in better winter sports infrastructure for Yukon skiers and snowboarders, including upgrades to electrical and pumping systems, improved snow-making operations and eco-friendly lighting on Mt. Sima. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Mount Sima has recently emerged as a destination training facility for

Continue reading