Tag: private

Hotel inquiry told Graham Ashton set the deadly wheels in motion to hire private security


By Wayne Flower, Melbourne Correspondent

06:28 30 Nov 2020, updated 06:28 30 Nov 2020

  • Former top cop had text messages telling federal police of the decision
  • Graham Ashton told inquiry he cannot remember who it was that told him 
  • Counsel assisting inquiry suggests Mr Ashton first mentioned private security
  • Inquiry had heard not a single minister, staffer or cop knows who made the call 
  • An official finding will be revealed  by the inquiry just days before Christmas
  • Professor Brett Sutton came under fire for withholding scores of relevant emails 

Victoria’s top cop was most likely behind the implementation of private security at quarantine hotels instead of police, an inquiry has heard.

As the hotel inquiry draws to its end date just days before Christmas, counsel assisting the inquiry has launched a stinging attack on former Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton. 

In a day that has seen Victoria Police belted by the royal commission into police informers, the hotel inquiry has been told the idea to use private security at hotels likely began with Mr Ashton on the day the program was conceived. 

Former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton takes on oath on the bible to tell the truth at the inquiry into Victoria’s disastrous hotel quarantine program
Former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton text messages his federal colleague advising that the order to use private security came from the premier’s office
Private security has been accused of bungling the hotel quarantine operation and causing Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID-19

The inquiry had previously heard there had been a ‘creeping assumption’ that private security had got the gig following a meeting between Mr Ashton and government officials on March 27. 

Quarantine breaches involving private security guards seeded 99 per cent of Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID infections, which in turn has led to more than 800 deaths of the elderly. 

The inquiry ran for months and when it ended in October heard not a single person could identify who made the decision to hire the private security guards. 

It was a starting assumption which, enforced by Victoria Police’s preference and in the absence of opposition, ultimately became the position. 

In its closing submissions, the five barristers making up counsel assisting the inquiry suggested a series of text messages between the former police chief and Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Reece Kershaw on the afternoon of March 27 were telling. 

The texts showed Mr Ashton had been working under the impression private security would guard hotels and not police or troops. 

‘An inference can and should be drawn that private security was mentioned in the conversation between Mr Ashton and (Department of Premier and Cabinet boss) Chris Eccles at 1:17pm,’ counsel submitted. 

‘As neither participant could recall the conversation, it is not possible to say what was said, or which of the two men raised the topic.

‘However, it was that conversation which was the source of the understanding that Mr Ashton referred to in his subsequent texts to Commissioner Kershaw,’

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Old Salt flips hotel rooms to give new meaning to private dining

By Max Sullivan
 |  [email protected]

HAMPTON — Rooms No. 35 and 39 at Lamie’s Inn will be open for lunch and dinner this winter, as the Old Salt flips some hotel rooms into isolated dining areas to get through the pandemic.

Both rooms were converted into dining areas with single tables that seat 6 to 8 people, parties of six currently permitted by the state to bring four additional children. Joe Higgins, owner of the Old Salt and its adjoined Lamie’s Inn on Route 1, said the idea was born out of the need to survive winter and its limit on outdoor seating.

“We’re trying to think outside of the box a little bit,” said Higgins, whose tent for outdoor dining in the Old Salt parking lot will come down next week. “We’re trying to do what we can.”

Restaurant owners have been trying new ways to make their restaurants safer for patrons while COVID-19 numbers grow. The Galley Hatch put up two heated plastic igloos in its parking lot for dinner parties of up to six to sit outdoors during the winter. It and others have invested in HVAC improvements like ultra-violet lights that kill viruses and bacteria as the air circulates, a purchase Higgins said he also is considering.

The number of new daily cases has risen since summer and Nov. 13 saw a record for New Hampshire with 462 new cases. The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 447 cases Wednesday, Nov. 18, and two new deaths.

“We have an average daily 350 cases in New Hampshire, every day. We’re nervous of what’s going to happen,” Higgins said.

The Old Salt is down in revenue by about 25% due to the pandemic, according to Higgins, though this summer they kept afloat with a robust takeout operation and capitalized on mostly sunny weather. When dine-in service was banned temporarily starting St. Patrick’s Day, the Old Salt sold 373 corn beef and cabbage meals with a drive-up takeout service.

Their tent went up May 18 and patrons enjoyed live music, heaters once the fall came and four wild bunnies that made themselves comfortable around guests throughout the season. The Old Salt put a small house for the bunnies to explore near the dining area, and they sometimes wandered close to tables.

As the Old Salt prepares to remove its tent, Higgins said he is hearing some customers are still not ready to dine indoors. That uncertainty led the Old Salt to cancel its reservations for about 700 people for Thanksgiving Day, instead preparing to do a drive-up takeout operation similar to St. Patrick’s Day. He said part of the reason was to get ahead of any other potential last-minute cancelations as people become wary of being indoors. Parties of more than six people are permitted to book reservations, even if they are separated into tables of six.

“If a party of 20 a day before calls and says, ‘Grandma’s sick, we can’t come in,’ we just lost

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Top destinations private jet flyers are heading for winter

  • Wealthy leisure travelers are returning to the skies in private jets this winter to escape for the holidays. 
  • Business Insider polled some of the country’s leading private jet firms to see where they’re heading. 
  • The mountain and beach regions of the US continue to be popular but flyers are also leaving US shores for more exotic locals.

Winter is fast approaching, and so is the holiday travel season. 

While budget travelers shop around for the cheapest commercial airline tickets for a Thanksgiving or Christmas getaway, the wealthy are calling their aircraft brokers to book their private jet flights. Pent up demand for safe travel has brought the private aviation industry an abundance of new business and Business Insider polled leading private aviation firms to see just where their clients are going.

After a summer of unusual flying patterns, private jet firms are reporting a return to the traditional destinations for the winter. Mountain destinations are still popular for ski lovers while the beach provides a warm escape from the winter cold as temperatures and flyers head south. 

International destinations are less prominent on the list as travel restrictions still impact Americans but Latin American and Caribbean destinations remain a popular escape. Countries in those regions have relaxed their entry requirements for US citizens arriving by air as they rely on tourism dollars

“Last year, we saw our clients traveling to London, Paris, Venice and other international destinations, but this year they’re sticking to familiar locales,” Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf told Business Insider in a statement.

Here are the top destinations to where the wealthy are flying this winter. 

Colorado 

Aspen Colorado

Aspen, Colorado.

Shutterstock.com


Colorado is proving to be an all-year-round destination for the wealthy in 2020 as the mountainous state is among the most popular destinations for four jet companies. Jet Linx, Flexjet, FXAIR, and Silver Air Private Jets are all reporting an increase in flights to the state that also saw a busier than expected summer season for wealthy tourism.  

Aspen and Eagle are the most popular points of entry to Colorado, offering direct access to the ski slopes and an idyllic setting for social distancing in the mountains. Winter travel to these destinations can also prove difficult due to the mountain terrain, especially at night or on longer flights to the East Coast where a fuel stop might be required, so flyers should be flexible.  

Florida 

Palm Beach, Florida,

Palm Beach, Florida.

Walter Bibikow / Getty Images


Florida is also once again topping the lists as a top destination for the wealthy, according to FXAIR, Flexjet, and Jet Linx. Palm Beach and Naples are the favorites in the Sunshine State and were similarly popular during the summer as Florida reopened before most.

The New York-Palm Beach route is among the most popular in the US thanks to a mix of private jet and commercial traffic. And even the president of the United States spends winter weekends in Palm Beach.

Mexico

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, Mexico.

Shutterstock.com


The wealthy are also heading south of

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Proper Hospitality turned luxury suites into private offices for remote workers

  • Hotel brand Proper Hospitality and coworking space provider Industrious partnered to turn some of Proper’s luxury hotel suites into private offices.
  • The suites can accommodate one to six people depending on the location.
  • Visitors will receive free WiFi, coffee, an extra computer monitor, printing access, and a digital subscription to The New York Times, to name a few perks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hotel brand Proper Hospitality and coworking space provider Industrious has partnered to turn some of Proper’s luxury hotel suites into private offices.

The “work from anywhere” mentality and digital nomad lifestyle saw a strong resurgence during the pandemic when employers across the US started announcing long-term or permanent work from home protocols. As a result, several industries started looking at this rising nomadic workforce as a potential segment of new customers.

This includes Proper Hospitality, which recently partnered with Industrious’ “Work From Here by Industrious” program to turn some of the brand’s luxury hotel suites into private offices for the work remote crowd. 

Keep scrolling to see what this looks like:

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Parks and Recreation hires private security to help enforce virus restrictions at parks

LAS CRUCES – The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily contracted with a private security company to monitor city parks and ensure compliance with COVID-19 health guidance and restrictions.



a police car parked in a parking lot: A car from Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces, patrols Klein Park on Nov. 12, 2020 to help with COVID-19 guideline compliance.


© Damien Willis/Sun-News
A car from Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces, patrols Klein Park on Nov. 12, 2020 to help with COVID-19 guideline compliance.

Two Sun-News reporters have observed a private security car patrolling Klein Park for at least the last week.

When asked, Las Cruces Communications Director Mandy Guss said the parks department had contracted with a private company.

“Our Parks Department did contract some security around a couple parks to help enforce the public health orders — specifically no gatherings larger than five (people),” Guss said in a statement. “Several parks were being monitored over Halloween, and the patrols were kept through the Veterans Day holiday.”

Others are reading: Doña Ana County rapid response watchlist

Guss wasn’t immediately able to questions about which parks were being patrolled.

The car belonged to Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces. Manager Mike Gonzales said the company had been contracted for the last two weeks to patrol several parks and ask people to comply with social distancing and face mask guidance.

Keep up with local coverage. Subscribe to the Sun-News.

Gonzales said the contract was ending soon, unless the city chose to extend it. No other details on the contract, such as its exact length and cost, were immediately available.

All of the city’s parks and trails are open, but the public is asked to follow social distancing and other COVID-conscious health guidelines when visiting. Masks are required, even when exercising, and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

Security Concepts doesn’t have the power to issue citations, Gonzales said. He said his officers hadn’t encountered any problems, but that any problem that arose would lead to a call to the Las Cruces police or to the New Mexico State Police. 

Keep reading: Las Cruces COVID-19 survivor who received double lung transplant will be going home

While the Las Cruces Police Department is allowed to enforce the state’s public health orders and the city’s local mask requirements, spokesperson Dan Trujillo told the Sun-News Tuesday that zero citations had been issued for violating face-mask requirements within city limits.

Others are reading:

Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, [email protected] or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Parks and Recreation hires private security to help enforce virus restrictions at parks

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Need to Escape? This Hotel in St. Bart’s Will Send a Private Plane to Pick You Up

There’s getting away from it all and then there’s truly escaping in style. Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa’s new getaway is firmly in the latter.



a group of people swimming in a pool of water: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa


© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

The chic hotel in St. Bart’s is pulling out all the stops when it comes to ensuring its guests can get away for a luxury vacation while social distancing from everyone else. Its new package, called Ultimate Escapism, includes a private jet, private yacht, and a luxury suite with its own private pool so travelers can soak up the sun in complete solitude. 



a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a beach: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa


© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

To make the package come to life, Le Barthelemy is teaming up with the private jet service Tradewind Aviation to offer “door to door” service from the guest’s home right to the hotel. Then, guests will check into their luxury suite where they can take a dip in their personal oceanfront plunge pool before heading out in the evening to hit the high seas on their own personal sunset cruise aboard a private yacht. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of Champagne on board the vessel — and it’s all included within the package.



a person in a pool of water: You'll also get a private plunge pool and some time on a private yacht.


© Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa
You’ll also get a private plunge pool and some time on a private yacht.

But, the luxury doesn’t have to stop there. Those interested in an even more indulgent package can upgrade their stay with private access to the hotel’s holistic oasis known as Le Spa. The spa, in partnership with La Mer, has created a true sanctuary that includes a hammam, sauna, hydrotherapy pools, and a tea salon. Guests upgrading the package will also get exclusive access to the gym facilities, which happens to be home to St. Bart’s most elite trainers, who are all ready and willing to train you. Private spa treatments are also available right in guests’ suites, too. 



a helicopter flying over a body of water: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa


© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

The Ultimate Escapism package begins at $2,647 and is based on double occupancy and round-trip jet-sharing flights for two. Book now on the hotel’s website. 

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The Surging Popularity Of Affordable Private Jet Travel

As more travelers look to private jet experiences as a safer option, membership-based jet charter flight programs such as Set Jet bridge the gap of flying commercial versus flying private. Set Jet makes flying private more accessible with one-way flights starting below $500. As a result, Set Jet’s membership sales have spiked, even hitting a new record high this past month, further showing the demand for private travel is on the rise and a big reason why many luxury properties are looking to partner with private jet charter services.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort 

The property offers a private way to travel to St. Lucia through a partnership with XO Private Jet Travel. In the comfort of one of the sought-after Villas overlooking the views of the famed UNESCO World Heritage-listed Val des Pitons, experience a privatized festive season. Take in unmatched beachfront location and privately enjoy such holiday activities as Gingerbread House Making, Rum & Chocolate Tasting and a Festival of Lights on December 27.

The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort , Paradise Island, Bahamas

Located on the ultra-exclusive Paradise Island, the historic property is offering a private jet package in partnership with NetJets that can be customized to any party size. Once at the hotel experience the joy of the holiday season right from your private three or four-bed residence villas or suites. Enjoy in your suite/villa: private Thanksgiving dinner, Yuletide Set Menu Dinner, Christmas Brunch and Last Luxe Set Menu Dinner (New Year’s Eve) alongside tree decorating, rum tastings, cigar rolling and festive Art & Soul painting classes.

Eden Roc Cap Cana, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Get on board (literally) with this newly-launched private jet experience – taking luxury to new heights. In partnership with Helidosa, the Relais & Chateaux property located in the exclusive private gated community of Cap Cana, offers a fully privatized travel experience for guests. This Thanksgiving, the property is offering a ‘Week of Thanks’ with a robust family program. Think: private Thanksgiving dinner, sunset family picnic, Festive Tea Party, etc. They have also teamed up with Helidosa helicopters to offer private off-site heli-excursions. 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

In conjunction with Schubach Aviation, the Private Passport to Pedregal package includes a private round trip flight into Cabo San Lucas from anywhere in the U.S. for groups of four to eight people, seven nights in a Two Bedroom Ocean View Villa, daily in-residence breakfast and more. In addition, guests can enjoy a weekend of Thanksgiving festivities featuring various culinary offerings or join for a spirited full-week of Unforgettable Holiday Festivities between Christmas Eve, or “Noche Buena” and

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A private jet company is offering $28,000 ‘weddings in the sky’ as charter firms try to offset the loss of business travel



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Kardashians continue to post vacation pics amid backlash for private island comments

Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian each posted an album of new bikini pics on social media even though the family faced backlash online for their lavish getaway.

The Kar-Jenner family all recently celebrated Kim’s 40th birthday on a private island by way of private jets. Commenters were quick to express their frustration with her apparent lack of regard for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its financial impact.

“BEST TRIP EVER!! Thank you Keeks,” Khloe wrote alongside sultry images of herself in a hot pink bikini. 

While Kourtney wrote, “name a better trio,” as she splashed in the water with friends musician Harry Hudson and model Fai Khadra. 

KIM KARDASHIAN SLAMMED FOR THROWING LARGE BIRTHDAY PARTY AMID ONGOING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Kim previously shared several photos from her extravaganza on Instagram on Tuesday, showing that the party was attended by a large number of people in close proximity to one another without wearing masks as the pandemic continues to rage across the globe.

In the caption of the post, the star said that she had asked all of her guests to quarantine and undergo several “health screens” before she surprised them by flying them to a private island to celebrate her special day.

“I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is,” she added.

Social media users were not impressed. 

“Brilliant observation! This kind of vacation is out of reach for most people COVID-19 or no COVID-19,” said one user.

“Very selfish when people are dying and loosing [sic.] their jobs,” wrote another. “Also doubt it very much that all 20+ people that attended isolated prior.”

A third added: “I love how the elite don’t have to social distance OR wear masks. called it #hypocrites.”

KIM KARDASHIAN STUNS IN BIKINI IN HONOR OF 40TH BIRTHDAY

“Did the pandemic go away?!” another said sarcastically. “Omg wish someone would’ve told me we could have massive parties.”

Twitter was full of criticism as well.

“I haven’t seen ma [sic] family in 4 months because I work a public-facing job and I’m absolutely terrified of the possibility of passing Covid on to my vulnerable parents,” said a Twitter user. “I hope you had fun pretending things were normal, but spare a thought for those of us staying in the real world.”

“Lmao reading this as half of my office got laid off today,” said another.

With sarcasm, a third added: “Everyone mad at this tweet is just jealous that they didn’t think to fly their jets to their own private islands. it’s so obvious yet kim is the only one who thought to do it. that’s why she’s a visionary and y’all are stuck at work.”

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“People had to miss their parents funerals but go off,” wrote a four Twitter user.

Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.

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Kim Kardashian West’s Pandemic Private Island Vacation Incurs the Wrath of Twitter

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

From Harper’s BAZAAR

It seems to be the prerogative of the wealthy to remind us plebeians why the phrase, “Eat the rich,” exists.

And therein lies the premise of the latest Kardashian–Jenner debacle. Kim Kardashian West, who turned 40 years old last week, posted a carousel of birthday photos of her and her family having a fête à la Marie Antoinette on an undisclosed beach, with face-masked workers just afterthoughts in the background.

“For my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped shaped me into the woman I am today,” she wrote in the caption. “Before COVID, I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment. After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40”

The theatrical display of her lack of self-awareness and humility, and the repulsive excess of wealth immediately incurred the wrath of those who saw it. And, of course, it would: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed the rate of unemployment to an all-time high, as many as 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021, more than 200,000 people have been killed by the virus in the United States alone, and uprisings against anti-Blackness and systemic inequality continue to break out across the globe. All this to say, Kardashian West’s affluence may not fix all these problems, but it certainly doesn’t help. Its very existence, in fact, speaks to broader issues of economic inequality—a dynamic that typically sees certain echelons of society attaining glamor and luxury at the expense of working people.

Of course, the Kardashian–Jenner clan are peddlers of outrage too. As they bask in the fumes of their latest scandal, I’m hoping that the workers who made her 40th birthday celebration possible were—at the very least—tipped well.

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