Tag: Show

Data show Americans couldn’t resist Thanksgiving travel

Americans couldn’t resist the urge to gather for Thanksgiving, driving only slightly less than a year ago and largely ignoring the pleas of public health experts, who begged them to forgo holiday travel to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic, data from roadways and airports show.

The nation’s unwillingness to tamp down on travel offered a warning in advance of Christmas and New Year’s as virus deaths and hospitalizations hit new highs a week after Thanksgiving. U.S. deaths from the outbreak eclipsed 3,100 on Thursday, obliterating the single-day record set last spring.

Vehicle travel in early November was as much as 20% lower than a year earlier, but it surged around the holiday and peaked on Thanksgiving Day at only about 5% less than the pandemic-free period in 2019, according to StreetLight Data, which provided an analysis to the Associated Press.

“People were less willing to change their behavior than any other day during the pandemic,” said Laura Schewel, founder of StreetLight Data.

Airports also saw some of their busiest days of the pandemic, though air travel was much lower than last year. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 1 million passengers on four separate days during the Thanksgiving travel period. Since the pandemic gutted travel in March, there has been only one other day when the number of travelers topped 1 million — Oct. 18.

“If only a small percentage of those travelers were asymptomatically infected, this can translate into hundreds of thousands of additional infections moving from one community to another,” Dr. Cindy Friedman, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official, said this week during a briefing.

Wide swaths of the country saw a sudden influx of people arriving from university campuses in the days leading up to the holiday, according to a data visualization of anonymous cellphone data from a firm called Tectonix.

The CDC has urged people to stay home for the holidays, but officials acknowledged that many people would not heed that advice and advised them to get tested before and after trips. Friedman said that this year’s holidays presented “tough choices” for many families.

The travelers included some elected officials who preached against trips. The mayors of Denver and Austin, Texas, faced fierce backlashes for traveling after telling other people to stay home.

Others had no regrets. Trananda Graves, who runs a travel planning company in Keller, Texas, took a Thanksgiving road trip with her family to Nashville. It was a chance for her daughter to connect with relatives as they shared recipes, and Graves said everyone’s mood was uplifted.

“It was just a break to get away from home,” Graves said. “We work at home, we go to school at home.”

She decided to drive to meet extended family after seeing that flights were crowded and said her family followed guidance to avoid spreading infections.

But infections, even from small Thanksgiving gatherings, have begun to stream in around the country, adding another burden to health departments that are already overwhelmed.

“This uptick

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Many Americans Ignored Thanksgiving Travel Warnings From CDC, Data Show : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

More Americans stayed home for Thanksgiving this year compared with last year — but by relatively small margins.

An NPR analysis of mobile phone location data showed that 42% of Americans with smartphones remained home, up from 36% last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeatedly urged people to avoid holiday travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the warnings, 13% of Americans still traveled a significant distance, the data showed, although that number was down from 17% last year.

Ali Mokdad, from the University of Washington, said that ideally, more people would have stayed home given the high case rates. “This level of travel will unfortunately lead to a rise in cases,” said Mokdad, who is the chief strategy officer for Population Health.

Data, provided to NPR by SafeGraph, are based on tracking the locations of about 18 million mobile phones across the United States. NPR analyzed the anonymized data to determine the percentage of people who stayed at their “home” location for Thanksgiving as well as the percentage who traveled 31 miles or more.

Thanksgiving week is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year, but 2020 was expected to end an 11-year trend of travel growth going back to the 2008-09 Great Recession. Car travel had been expected to decrease by at least 10%, while accounting for a higher overall proportion of travel, as fewer people were expected to fly, according to AAA.

In fact, air travel this year was less than half of what it was for the same holiday period in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Despite the decrease, the number of air passengers hovered at around 1 million per day for a majority of the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the highest it has been since mid-March, when the pandemic began to ramp up in the U.S. Air traffic has been steadily increasing the last few months, even as the country recorded some of its highest new daily coronavirus case counts. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day alone, the U.S. saw about 1 million new cases.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein noted there had been no issues with passenger volume on Thanksgiving Day. To account for more travelers during the travel period, the TSA “opened additional checkpoint lanes to help ensure low wait times and allow for social distancing.”

SafeGraph’s metrics cannot capture what people did when they left home or what safety measures they took to mitigate their risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. SafeGraph’s data also cannot account for whether those who left home went to houses within their social bubble.

If you were one of the people who traveled for Thanksgiving, it’s not too late to reduce the risk involved. Quarantining, wearing a mask near others, limiting interactions outside the house and getting tested if any symptoms develop can all reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“The best way to prevent further spread of the disease is to stay home, avoid gatherings,

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Will Lauren Sorrentino Announce the Baby on the Show?

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his wife “Laurens” are expecting a baby in May 2021! Fans can’t wait for Baby Sorrentino to arrive, but many wonder if Mike and Lauren will talk about their pregnancy extensively in season 4 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and Lauren Sorrentino
Mike ‘The Situation’ and Lauren Sorrentino | Raymond Hall/GC Images

Deena Cortese’s second pregnancy is featured on ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ 

After the drama surrounding Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding ceremony last year and an unpredictable 2020, Cortese shared good news in an early episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation Season 4. She and her husband Chris Buckner are expecting another baby. 

“We’re so excited to announce we’re expecting Baby Buckner #2 May 1, 2021,” Cortese shared on Twitter. “Our hearts are filled with so much love and joy! CJ is going to be the best big brother ever!!! #blessed #growingfamily sooo for everyone that was asking YES YES YES ..I’m pregnant.”

‘The Situations’ are also expecting a baby in May 2021

“We have a Baby Situation,” Big Daddy Sitch shared on Instagram the week of Thanksgiving 2020. The photos featured the happy couple and their dog, Moses, standing at their kitchen island with a message written in flour that read: “Baby Sorrentino May 2021.” 

Many Jersey Shore fans were excited to learn that the Sorrentinos had conceived. After learning of Lauren’s previous miscarriage, fans couldn’t wait for the Sorrentinos to start trying again.

“He’s come such a long way since Jersey Shore first aired,” a fan said on Reddit. “I feel like a proud parent (even though he’s well over ten years older than me).”

Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley, and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro’s children have all been part of ‘Jersey Shore’

When Jersey Shore started more than 10 years ago, the series was about a group of guidos and guidettes who spent their summers partying in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. But as the roommates got older, their agendas changed. Eventually, many of them got married and started having families of their own. 

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, and Ronnie Ortiz Magro have all allowed their children to be part of Jersey Shore and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, however briefly. Cortese and now the Sorrentino’s are also sharing their little ones with fans. 

RELATED: ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’: Deena Cortese Reveals What Really Happened After Angelina Pivarnick’s Apology Post

Pauly DelVecchio is the only roommate who doesn’t include his daughter, Amabella Sophia, in the filming of the show. He is extremely private when it comes to his personal life, and his roommates respect that. 

Will Mike ‘The Situation’ and Lauren Sorrentino discuss the baby on ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’? 

The Sorrentinos have been extremely open about their desire to start a family. When Lauren miscarried early in her first pregnancy, she and her husband spoke openly about their loss and their determination to continue trying. Now that Lauren is pregnant again, she and “The Situation” are delighted to share their baby journey with

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Which Cast Member Guest Starred on ‘Chappelle’s Show?’

Most fans of Parks and Recreation know that many of the cast members went on to do big things after the show ended. But plenty of the stars actually guest-starred on other uber-popular shows before they got their big break on Parks and Recreation. Of course, many people know that Rashida Jones (who played the bubbly nurse, Ann Perkins) also starred in The Office before she found her place in Pawnee. But Jones also guest-starred in a few episodes of Chappelle’s Show.

Parks and Recreation cast
Parks and Recreation cast | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Chappelle’s Show premiered back in 2003 on Comedy Central, six years prior to Parks and Recreation. Created by comedian, Dave Chappelle, the show featured mostly sketch-based content. Using humor, Chappelle often explored taboo and/or polarizing content in a way that many viewers found entertaining and educational. Though the show was wildly popular, it was cut short after just two seasons when Chappelle abruptly quit. However, Jones was able to make an appearance in the cast twice as a guest star.

‘Parks and Recreation’ cast member, Rashida Jones guest starred in ‘Chappelle’s Show’

Jones makes her first appearance in episode 5 of Season 1 in a sketch called Roca Pads. The premise of the sketch is that rappers have gotten out of hand with the products that they’re trying to sell to the public. In the sketch, Jones recommends the sanitary products, Roca Pads, to her friend. She ensures her friends that Roca Pads are “mutha fu*kin tizight” before said rapper pours alcohol over his pads to prove that they have high absorbancy. The sketch was well-received, so it makes sense that the Parks and Recreation star came back for another episode.

RELATED: ‘Parks and Recreation’: Nick Offerman Got So Much Free Meat From Fans His Doctor Intervened

Jones also starred right alongside Chappelle in a particularly memorable episode of Season 2. In episode 4, Parks and Recreation fans will be able to spot Jones a sketch called The Love Contract. The premise of the sketch is that both parties sign a binding legal contract to prove that they are engaging in consensual sexual activities. In the sketch, Jones plays Chappelle’s love interest. When she is underwhelmed with his performance, he also implores her to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Jones enjoys the freedom that over-the-top roles provide her with

Clearly, Jones has been working hard to make a name for herself long before she was cast on Parks and Recreation. Though she is often cast as more straight-laced characters, it’s clear that she can hold her own when it comes to showcasing her comedic chops. But does Jones prefer to play more over the top characters or ones that are on the straight and arrow?

In an interview with Award’s Circuit, the Parks and Recreation star confessed that she liked to play over the top roles more than sane, dependable ones. Citing her role as Joya in Black AF,

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Taiwan and New Zealand show business travel’s future

They handed out the New Zealand CIO Awards in Auckland’s Civic Theatre last week. For those of us locked down in the northern hemisphere, the photos come from a glittering world. There are 650 people crowded into the pre-event drinks, leaning in to make themselves heard. A few are posing arm in arm. Astonishingly, someone is reaching for a canapé from a proffered tray. There are no masks.

This may be a view of our past, but perhaps also our future, when we, like New Zealand, have controlled the virus. The country has suffered 25 Covid-19 deaths. Life has a normality denied to much of the world. What can it teach us about business travel post-Coronavirus? Was Bill Gates right when he said business travel would be down 50 per cent on its pre-pandemic level?

I became interested in travel patterns in largely coronavirus-free countries when I spoke to Steven Pan, chairman of the Regent Hotels Group. He is based in Taiwan, which has suffered just seven deaths. Pan told me that local business travel was returning — in interesting ways.

Conference attendance in Taiwan was well down. People had discovered they could attend remotely. Intra-company office visits were also less common than pre-virus, but Pan told me he thought corporate leaders with subsidiaries in countries across Asia, with their differences in language and culture, would need to resume travelling to their offices to make sure company messages were heard. In the US and Europe, where multinationals largely operated in English, intra-company visits would not make a big comeback. The real business travel boom was in sales; you can’t close deals on Zoom.

New Zealanders are seeing similar patterns. Domestic travel has risen. International passenger numbers at Auckland airport were down 97 per cent in September and October compared with the same months last year. But domestic numbers, down by 53 per cent in September, were down only 35 per cent in October.

What business travel are New Zealanders doing? Darrin Grafton, chief executive of Serko, a travel technology company, says he has seen a pick-up in off-site meetings, as companies reintroduce team members to each other. This is necessary because not everyone has gone back to the office. Nick Queale, general manager for corporate travel at Flight Centre Travel Group, says many have settled into a pattern of three days a week at home and two in the office.

In spite of events such as the CIO awards, Queale said conference-going seemed an unnecessary expense to many companies. Travel for intra-company visits is still subdued. But face-to-face training was returning, as was travelling to conclude deals. Companies were taking a hard look at what travel was necessary and examining the return on investment. How vital they thought travel was varied by sector. Demand for travel in mining and manufacturing was particularly strong.

What would happen when New Zealand

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Emails show Brett Sutton frustrated at hotel bungle

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton described “tension” as he realised he’d been excluded from the hotel quarantine program he was legally responsible for.

In emails from April 13 to Euan Wallace, then the Department Secretary, Prof Sutton said it was “astounding” the hotel quarantine program, code named Operation Soteria, had been set up without consulting with him or his deputy, Annaliese van Diemen. The email was published by The Australian.

He said the program had been set up by the State Controller and Emergency Management Victoria.

Prof Sutton continued on that Ms van Diemen had written “the direction so was effectively the ‘maker’ of the entire scheme and has responsibility for it in law.

“There is clearly a disconnect with our EM colleagues, perhaps especially in EMV who understand their role as controller of the scheme and effectively excluded those with significant accountability,” he said.

“That is a source of unease — moral and legal!”

The revelation came on the same day Victoria did the seemingly impossible, and officially eliminated COVID-19 by hitting a major milestone this morning.

It wasn’t long ago, on August 11,  that there were 7880 active cases in the state, but now Victoria has hit 28 days without a single infection.

Epidemiologists say elimination is achieved after 28 days without new infections or mystery cases in the community, but Victoria has gone one better with no infections recorded at all.

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Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton described “tension” as he realised he’d been excluded from the hotel quarantine program he was legally responsible for.

In emails from April 13 to Euan Wallace, then the Department Secretary, Prof Sutton said it was “astounding” the hotel quarantine program, code named Operation Soteria, had been set up without consulting with him or his deputy, Annaliese van Diemen. The email was published by The Australian.

He said the program had been set up by the State Controller and Emergency Management Victoria.

Prof Sutton continued on that Ms van Diemen had written “the direction so was effectively the ‘maker’ of the entire scheme and has responsibility for it in law.

“There is clearly a disconnect with our EM colleagues, perhaps especially in EMV who understand their role as controller of the scheme and effectively excluded those with significant accountability,” he said.

“That is a source of unease — moral and legal!”

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Text messages exchanged between Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his Chief of Staff, sent the first night of the bungled hotel quarantine program have been revealed.

The text exchange, published by The Australian, show Mr Andrews asking his staffer Lissie Ratcliff about the hotel quarantine program.

Mr Andrews texted Ms Ratcliffe on March 27, at 8.26pm:

“How are

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Trump tweets undermine Michigan leaders; images show Chatfield drinking at Trump hotel

Public skepticism that Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders focused on COVID-19 assistance during a Friday meeting with President Donald Trump was only amplified Saturday, when Trump’s tweets implied the election was also a topic of discussion. 

Senator Shirkey arrives in D.C. singing

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Photographs of House Speaker Lee Chatfield drinking and sitting, unmasked, with others at the Trump International Hotel — and the lawmakers not elaborating on what, if anything, the president asked about Michigan election results — also drew the ire of people already dubious that the president did not try to persuade the lawmakers in his ongoing efforts to undermine the will of voters. 



a group of people sitting at a table: House Speaker Lee Chatfield, right and Representative Jim Lilly, left have drinks at the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. November 20, 2020.


© The Undercurrent
House Speaker Lee Chatfield, right and Representative Jim Lilly, left have drinks at the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. November 20, 2020.

More: Michigan GOP leaders say COVID-19 assistance, not election, focus of White House meeting

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More: Michigan Speaker Chatfield: ‘I won’t apologize’ for meeting with President Trump

Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, met Friday afternoon at the White House with Trump. After the meeting, the pair issued a statement that said, in part, “we have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

President-elect Joe Biden earned approximately 154,000 more votes in the state than Trump. 

However, Trump tweeted twice Saturday, responding to both lawmakers with more unfounded allegations of fraud and misconduct in Michigan. 

“This is true, but much different than reported by the media. We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!” Trump tweeted in response to Shirkey tweeting out his statement. 

In response to a Chatfield tweet, Trump tweeted, “Massive voter fraud will be shown!”

More: Trump withdraws federal lawsuit in Michigan, citing Wayne County canvasser affidavits

More: Donald Trump called Monica Palmer after Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting

The Trump campaign and supporters have failed repeatedly, both in court and in press conferences, to present any evidence or proof of widespread fraud. Instead, their allegations have either been deemed not credible but judges or racist by a litany of people, including Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes and others. 



a large clock on the side of a building: Projections of messages to Republican election officials from Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield during their visit to the White House light up the front of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.


© André Chung
Projections of messages to Republican election officials from Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield during their visit to the White House light up the front of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Leading up to the White House meeting, Chatfield and Shirkey faced an enormous public backlash for agreeing to see the president. Chatfield, who appeared repeatedly with Trump at events in Michigan ahead of Election Day, defended the decision. 

Chatfield, Shirkey and other Michigan lawmakers, including House Speaker-elect Justin Wentworth, R-Clare, appeared to be staying at Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. Images emerged online hours after the White House meeting showing Chatfield and several other men 

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Six Major 2021 Travel Trends Show Transforming Effects Of Covid-19

HomeToGo, the world’s largest vacation rental search engine, just released its predictions for shifting travel trends and emerging destinations in 2021.

Based on a general population survey of U.S. travelers, along with insights from internal search and booking data, the predictions show how COVID-19 will shape the future of travel, with the emergence of quiet getaways, family travel, last-minute trips and an emphasis on safety.

“Many of the search and booking trends we’re noticing for 2021 are driven by the ongoing pandemic. Because COVID-19 has clearly transformed the way we live and work, we’re observing more travelers looking for responsible ways to satisfy their desire to explore, an increase in last-minute bookings and an emphasis on rural, quieter destinations,” said Caroline Burns, travel expert and head of PR for the U.S. & U.K. at HomeToGo.

“Additionally, [we’ve] noticed an uptick in searches for aspirational bucket list-worthy destinations, whether it be the … beaches of Aruba or food haven of Naples, Italy – showing that even though access may be limited right now, the world’s most beautiful, sought-after destinations continue to captivate consumers.”

Upcoming travel trends for 2021 include:

Quiet Winter Getaways: 43% of travelers have winter trips planned for early 21— with nearly half (44%) traveling to beach destinations and 24% to more remote ski spots. 

The most searched destinations for winter 2021 include the Florida Keys, FL; Smoky Mountains, TN and NC; Naples, FL; Lake Tahoe, CA and Maui, HI. In contrast, destinations known for their bustling nightlife, such as Manhattan, NY, and New Orleans, LA, have been slower to recover in terms of travel interest.

International Escapes Topping Bucket Lists: Although travel restrictions forced 53% of the surveyed U.S. travelers to cancel or rebook travel plans this past year, many added international destinations to their future travel bucket lists.

Destinations that have seen the largest yearly increase in search interest include Aruba (+2,298%), Santorini, Greece (+945%), St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (+665%), Bali, Indonesia (+294%) and Naples, Italy (+207%)

Rise of Rural: In 2020, search data already showed that nearly 90% of overall searches were for trips to rural areas. Cabin rentals are expected to be especially popular, accounting for 33% of total accommodation searches in 2020, a drastic +143% increase from 2019.

Solo Travel Takes a Pause: Solo travel is taking a downturn in the year ahead. In 2020, the share of bookings for single accommodations on HomeToGo have dropped by 44% compared to 2019, with most looking to travel with an average of six companions.

More Last-Minute Trips: When it comes to flexibility, more travelers are booking spontaneous last-minute trips. The average number of days between booking to check-in is now 50 days, down -37.5% from the average lead time pre-pandemic.

An Eye on Cleanliness: With increased scrutiny on cleanliness due to COVID-19, search data cites that 45% of travelers included enhanced cleaning within their top three decision-making factors. This will likely lead

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teamLab’s Instagrammable art show in Macau is a mesmerising digital creation that proves science and art go hand in hand, according to founder Toshiyuki Inoko



a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Multi Jumping Universe, one of the interactive digital installations created by teamLab Photo: teamLab


Multi Jumping Universe, one of the interactive digital installations created by teamLab Photo: teamLab

Anyone even remotely tapped into social media will have some awareness of teamLab and its out-of-this-world art displays and installations. Beautiful, all-encompassing and unique, the group’s work is something to be experienced rather than merely seen.

Founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab calls itself an international art collective. It’s an interdisciplinary group of specialists – programmers, artists, engineers, mathematicians, CG animators and architects – whose works explore the convergence of art, technology, design and the natural world through the digital medium.

As a child, Inoko loved science and art. The two disciplines intrigued him and gave him different lenses through which to see the world and the contrast between those two perceptions stuck with him.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.



a man with smoke coming out of it: teamLab founder and visionary Toshiyuki Inoko. Photo: teamLab


© Provided by South China Morning Post
teamLab founder and visionary Toshiyuki Inoko. Photo: teamLab

STYLE Edit: Joyce Hong Kong’s latest mind-bending collaboration

“What science did was make the resolution of the world clearer, through study and scientific processes. And what did art do for humans? Actually, art has changed the way we perceive the world,” said Inoko. “That is why I have always been interested in art and science, ever since I was a child.”

This interest stayed with him, and as a major in physics and mathematics at university, Inoko was struck by an epiphany: “Once I entered university, I realised that humans try to understand the phenomena that are happening in the world by dividing things into pieces, by separating things into parts. We keep separating things further and further and further. We try to understand the Earth, so we separate the Earth from the universe.

“We try to understand the Earth itself and the elements in the Earth, so we separate those elements to try to perceive what they are. And then we saw the atom. Because we wanted to understand the atom, we had to break that into molecules. Humans kept separating things; humans kept breaking things down into pieces to perceive the world. But, at the end of the day, that did not help humans to understand what the entire world is, what the entirety of the world is. So I’ve always liked science, but because I was always very much interested in what the world is for humans, my interest has shifted more towards art.”



a person holding a birthday cake with lit candles: Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup installation by teamLab. Photo: teamLab


© Provided by South China Morning Post
Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup installation by teamLab. Photo: teamLab

Opened in June, teamLab SuperNature Macao is the largest non-gaming attraction within the Venetian Macao casino and entertainment complex. How will teamLab operate differently in a permanent space compared to the more usual temporary spaces? Very differently, is the answer. First of all, financially. The amount that can be spent on art differs tremendously between temporary and permanent exhibits.

“Permanent exhibitions allow us to create a space from scratch,”

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Voters Support Hotel Tax, Unofficial Elections Results Show

Voters in San Mateo County cities mostly supported increased transient occupancy tax (TOT) rates – sometimes referred to as a “hotel tax” – which are paid by out-of-town visitors to help fund city services.

Ballot measures proposing increased TOT rates in the cities of San Bruno, San Mateo and Half Moon Bay so far met the majority needed to pass, with over 70 percent of yes votes for each city, according to unofficial results early Wednesday morning and 100 percent of precincts reporting. However, support in East Palo Alto lagged behind.

Half Moon Bay’s Measure U received 74 percent yes votes. San Mateo’s Measure W received 76.1 percent yes votes. San Bruno’s Measure X received 72.6 percent yes votes. The measures propose increasing the tax rate from 12 percent to 14 percent, and to 15 percent for Half Moon Bay.

Revenue will be used to maintain public health and safety, improve emergency responses, disaster preparedness, and other general city services for the respective cities.


San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals said that the overwhelming support for the measure is “an acknowledgement by our residents of what we are going through and how our revenues have been impacted by Covid-19.”

Goethals said the city is facing a structural deficit of $7 million and reduced revenue in sales taxes.

“It’s going to take time to see additional revenue because at the moment we’re not seeing a lot of occupancy in our hotels,” Goethals said about Measure W. “But it will be a key component to the recovery so that we don’t have to engage in layoffs and so that service levels to our residents do not drop off considerably.”

In East Palo Alto, Measure V – which requires a 2/3 approval since revenue will be used specifically for affordable housing – received only 63 percent yes votes so far.

Measure V proposes increasing the TOT from 12 percent to 14 percent by 2023, and is estimated to generate $195,000 in the first year and $390,000 annually thereafter. Revenue would help the city acquire and rehabilitate vacant or at-risk properties. It could potentially support a community land trust model – according to the “EPA for Measure V” support campaign – whereby the city acquires homes and makes them affordable to low-income families.

“We really felt that it was important to add money to a land trust and make it possible for some people to be able to buy (property),” East Palo Alto Councilmember and former mayor Ruben Abrica said. Abrica, along with the other councilmembers and Mayor Regina Wallace-Jones, endorsed Measure V.

With more votes to be counted, Abrica is hopeful that the measure can still pass as the community has generally been supportive of affordable housing.

He said people might be hesitant to support the tax since it’s the first time the city is raising the TOT rate, or they may not agree with the specific designation for the funds. Some voters may believe in a free market for short-term rentals.

The Silicon

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