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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 82,699

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

"I've lost who I am": An Anchorage teacher's coronavirus infection affected her brain. Now she's

“I’ve lost who I am”: An Anchorage teacher’s coronavirus infection affected her brain. Now she’s having to relearn basic living.

Life wasn’t always like this for Libby Pederson.

She used to know how to dress herself in the morning without notes. Cooking dinner did not confound her.

That changed in November, when the 44-year-old got sick with the coronavirus and developed mysterious neurological symptoms that landed her in the hospital. Ever since, Pederson has been struggling to heal from what doctors say can be a little-known, little-understood consequence of the virus: persistent and debilitating brain and cognitive problems.

On the worst days, the days when she sits on her couch or stays in bed, Pederson wonders if she’ll return to being the busy and capable single mom and special education teacher at an Anchorage elementary school she was just two months ago.

“I feel like I’ve lost who I am,” she said.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2020/12/27/ive-lost-who-i-am-an-anchorage-teachers-coronavirus-infection-affected-her-brain-now-shes-having-to-relearn-basic-living/
(Anchorage Daily News)

American Samoa has been "immeasurably blessed" -- still no COVID in the territory

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — American Samoa joins Christians around the world in celebrating the birth of Christ at the stroke of midnight tonight. But it’s already Christmas in other parts of the world — such as neighboring Samoa and other Pacifika countries.

Celebrating Christmas this year is not as merry as it was in past years as countries around the world impose strict restrictions on public gatherings — and some locations even stay-home orders are in place — to combat the continuing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, a deadly pandemic from which American Samoa has been spared, but not other countries including the US which has seen the number of deaths rise to over 300,000.

International news outlets are reporting that people in some countries are not even allowed to visit their neighbors or families, in an effort to curb the spike in the coronavirus.

“This Christmas will be exceptionally memorable because we have been immeasurably blessed, for in spite of the turmoil and the excruciating pain and suffering being felt around the world because of the deadly effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Territory has been spared from the ravages of the coronavirus, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said in his final public Christmas message before stepping down as chief executive before 12 noon on Jan. 3, 2021.

Read more: https://www.samoanews.com/local-news/american-samoa-has-been-immeasurably-blessed-still-no-covid-territory

Long Beach closes beaches after 50,000 gallons of sewage spill into Los Cerritos Channel

All beaches in Long Beach were temporarily closed Saturday, Dec. 26, after 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Los Cerritos Channel, city health officials said.

Dr. Anissa Davis, Long Beach city health officer, ordered the closures, which stretch approximately seven miles, after the city received a report of the spill from the Los Angeles County Department of Sanitation, officials said.

The spill occurred in Long Beach and reportedly occurred after a loss of power led to a pump station failure, officials said.

A recreational water quality health inspection team was monitoring the water quality until results comply with California water quality standards. It wasn’t immediately known how long the beaches might be closed.

Read more: https://www.dailynews.com/2020/12/26/long-beach-closes-beaches-after-50000-gallons-of-sewage-spill-into-los-cerritos-channel/
(Los Angeles Daily News)

2-year church bankruptcy in Guam racks up $4.38M legal fees

While the Archdiocese of Agana has yet to compensate nearly 300 Guam clergy sex abuse survivors, it has already paid or been ordered to pay some $3.9 million of the $4.38 million in attorneys' and real estate professionals' fees and costs in its nearly two-year bankruptcy case.

These figures are based on a review of proposed, awarded and paid amounts contained in documents filed in the District Court of Guam in 2019 and 2020.

The numbers include recent fourth interim fee applications that the federal court will hear in January, amounting to about $480,601.

The fourth interim fee applications cover bills for services rendered only from Aug. 1 to Nov. 30, 2020.

Read more: https://www.postguam.com/news/local/2-year-church-bankruptcy-racks-up-4-38m-legal-fees/article_28bfbaf4-44fa-11eb-bbc6-e762bfe56926.html

The Pandemic Is Hitting Hawaii's Filipino Community Hard

When Jenny Delos Santos got her COVID-19 positive test result in April, it was only the latest hit in what was already a terrible year.

Santos had been on leave from her job as a news assistant — mourning the deaths of her two adult children prior to the pandemic — when she found out she was laid off in late March. She was already sick, and got tested for coronavirus that same day.

By the time she got her positive test result more than a week later, Santos no longer had her Honolulu Star-Advertiser health insurance. As it became harder to breathe and her cough worsened, she hallucinated, seeing angels on her husband’s shoulder. She later learned hallucinations are, for some, a side effect of the virus. Despite how sick she felt, Santos didn’t want to see a doctor and risk adding to her existing medical debt.

Santos is among thousands of Filipino residents in Hawaii who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the islands nine months ago. According to the state Department of Health, Hawaii’s Filipino community makes up 16% of the state’s population, but compose more than a fifth of confirmed cases. That’s the second-worst disparity in the state, behind only non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders. As of Friday, 226 Filipinos have been hospitalized and 58 have died.

Read more: https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/12/the-pandemic-is-hitting-hawaiis-filipino-community-hard/

'Good governance' group formedin Northern Marianas Islands

A total of 100 people came together at the Minachom Atdao pavilion in Susupe yesterday for the first meeting of a group that calls itself “Citizens for Good Governance” that wants to address CNMI-wide issues.

One of its founders, Ambrosio Ogumoro, said the organization is a non-political group that welcomes anyone to its fold. He said that yesterday’s meeting was a “fine example” of unity so they can address common issues in the CNMI.

Ogumoro, who said that a lot of people have been discouraged by recent actions of the CNMI’s current leaders, said this group was formed to send a strong message to the government to address corruption in order to create a better government for the CNMI.

“We must fight for what is right, and take action on all that is good for us, the children, and their future. Let us all unite and be strong together,” said Ogumoro, adding that the strong message has to be clear enough that the leadership has to start “putting the people first.”

Read more: https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/good-governance-group-formed/

Oregon Lawmakers Vote to Extend Eviction Moratorium to June

Oregon legislators have approved an emergency bill extending the state's moratorium on residential evictions until June 30, 2021. The vote, held during Oregon's third special legislative session of 2020, comes just ten days before the state's current moratorium expires.

"If we do not pass this bill, thousands of families will be homeless come January," said Rep. Julie Fahey, the Lane County legislator who sponsored the bill, during the legislation's reading Monday. "And it will be on us."

By 5:30 pm on Monday's one-day special session, both the House and Senate had approved the bill. Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the legislation.

The new eviction ban is slightly more detailed than the current moratorium. This new policy only applies to renters who send their landlord a "declaration of financial hardship," explaining how the pandemic or wildfires (or both) have impacted their ability to pay rent. Despite these hardships, those tenants will still be required to repay all missed rent by July 1, 2021.

Read more: https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2020/12/21/31203266/oregon-lawmakers-vote-to-extend-eviction-moratorium-to-june

Mysteriously, COVID-19 hasn't spread among Seattle's vulnerable homeless population. What does that

Mysteriously, COVID-19 hasn’t spread among Seattle’s vulnerable homeless population. What does that mean for a vaccine?

When more than a dozen people tested positive for the coronavirus at a homeless camp in South Park in July, despair set in.

“How long do I have to live?” Kenny Palazzo asked his case manager, Dawn Whitson, when he tested positive. Whitson, who works for REACH, the outreach arm of a local nonprofit drug treatment provider, told him he would most likely live, but he needed to isolate in a hotel and quarantine.

But Palazzo didn’t, and neither did almost everyone else who tested positive in this camp. They worried their belongings would be stolen while they were gone. Rumors swirled about homeless people being shipped off to FEMA camps or locked up.

Palazzo just didn’t want to die alone.

“If I was going to die, I was going to die on my own terms,” Palazzo said recently, recounting that time.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/mysteriously-covid-hasnt-spread-among-seattles-vulnerable-homeless-population-what-does-that-mean-for-a-vaccine/

95,000 unemployed Washingtonians will get a $550 one-time payment after federal benefits lapse

With outgoing President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign a COVID-19 relief package that would have extended unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, Washington is enacting a provision to provide a one-time benefit to nearly 95,000 people in the state.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that the state will provide $550 payments to people who were receiving federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which lapsed at midnight Saturday.

“In our state, we prepared for the possibility of a lapse in benefits and in anticipating it, we developed a plan for a one-time payment for those who have been receiving PUA benefits,” Inslee said in a statement. “Because we established a state backup plan, we can take action today to help some of those harmed by the president’s decision.”

The PUA program expanded unemployment benefits to people who are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance, such as part-time, contract, freelance and self-employed workers, and people who can’t work because they lost child care, are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or are caring for someone who is sick.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/95000-unemployed-washingtonians-will-get-a-550-one-time-payment-after-federal-benefits-lapse/

Jackson leaders look to Legislature for revitalization funds

JACKSON, Miss. -- Officials in Mississippi's capital city say they hope to approach the Legislature for money to begin revitalizing a section of Jackson that's fallen on hard times.

Areas near the Jackson Zoo are filled with trash, abandoned homes and neglected properties, City Council members said. WLBT-TV reported that the city plans to raze more than 100 buildings in the new year.

“Anything that ages has to have some attention from time to time, and the neighborhood has lacked major attention for too long, and so we want to give it the right and correct attention at this time to bring it back,” said councilman Charles Tillman, who represents the area where the buildings are being torn down.

Tillman said the city needs to start a community-wide effort to clean up trash in the area and come up with a strategy to attract investors. Some financing from the state would help the process, he said. The Legislature is scheduled to begin its 2021 session in early January.

Read more: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article248112660.html
(Tacoma News Tribune)
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