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Pausing travel from NSW the right thing because Sydney cases could be ‘tip of an iceberg’, says Michael Baker | 1 NEWS


Pausing travel from New South Wales is the right thing to do as Sydney’s latest mystery Covid-19 cases could be the “tip of an iceberg of an outbreak”, epidemiologist Michael Baker says.

The University of Otago expert said the pause that was announced yesterday was the trans-Tasman bubble system working as it was intended.

“I think the opening up [of trans-Tasman travel] is going well and we do know there will be setbacks,” he told Breakfast today.

“There have been setbacks in New Zealand and most states and territories in Australia. This is the system working as it is intended.”

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced yesterday that the travel bubble between New Zealand and New South Wales will be put on pause, starting at midnight last night.

Baker supported Hipkin’s decision.

“Hopefully over time we’ll get more confident in how we use the system. At the moment, I don’t think the New Zealand Government had any choice because this outbreak in New South Wales was clearly in that amber zone,” he said.

“That’s where you have even a small number of cases in the community but the ominous aspect is that you don’t know the source and that means you might be looking at the tip of an iceberg of an outbreak. Hopefully not.

“I think they’re following the rules they set out, the principles, and I think that’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, I mean it’s very difficult for people whose plans are upset.”

Baker also said he is pessimistic about the next few months of the pandemic in the developing world — including the subcontinent, Africa, and South America — after the record-breaking number of cases in India in recent weeks.

“We are going to see more of these awful statistics over the next few months and the only way out for these countries will be tough public health measures and vaccination, and that’s going to take months, unfortunately,” he said.

“We’re going to see more of these numbers from this part of the world.”



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Mom on TikTok Shares Helpful Coparenting Calendar For Kids


@skywalkeraa16_18

Co-parenting visual calendar for your kiddo if they live in two households. This has been a huge at our house! #coparenting #tipsandtricks #calendar

♬ original sound – Kinsey M

Though simple, one mom’s visual calendar might be highly effective for separated and divorced couples navigating coparenting. “If you’re coparenting right now I have a little trick that might help with your kiddo’s transitions,” she said before walking TikTok viewers through her coparenting calendar.

Here’s how it works: A designated color is used for each day of the month to indicate which parent the child will be seeing that day. Red dots above the date indicate coming or going, or rather, a day in which the child will have to travel between either house, and completed days are erased before bed so the child can easily locate the plan for the following day. She added, “My daughter had been struggling with transitions so giving her a visual to look at gives her a sense of control over the situation, which in turn has given her comfort.” Watch the TikTok above for the full rundown.





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NJ Town Raises $2,000 for Server After Group Leaves No Tip, Angry Note Over Time Limit


As anyone who has gone to eat at a restaurant anytime since last summer knows, there are strict rules the establishments operate under. One such common rule is implementing a time limit for customers, which roughly puts a cap on how long customers can be seated at the table.



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In New Jersey, one restaurant-goer was not too happy to be given such a limit, and expressed disapproval on the bill — which went viral, and has led to an outpouring of support for the restaurant staff.

Along with utilizing a QR code for the menu, the Glenbrook Brewery in Morristown states at each table that seating is limited to 90 minutes due to COVID capacity restrictions. Last Friday evening, a group of four sat down and at least one of them didn’t seem to appreciate being given such a limitation.

So the customers ate their food and paid their $86 bill, but not a cent more, neglecting to leave any sort of monetary tip. What was left, however, was an angry tip for the staff in the form of a note, reading in part, “Don’t kick paying customers out after 90 minutes.”

The staff was surprised to get such a reaction from customers regarding a fairly commonplace rule adopted across the service industry that is a direct result of COVID and capacity limits.

“It’s not like we’re trying to keep people from staying here, it’s just something that needs to happen in 50 percent capacity for a business to survive,” said Beth, who served the table.

The upsetting note — and perhaps more upsetting lack of appreciation for the service workers — was met with support from the Morristown community, however. After a fellow server at another neighboring establishment posted a snapshot of the receipt, donations started pouring in. The restaurant had received nearly $2,000 in support.

“The public support and outpouring, the kind comments, just the things people say bring me to tears,” said Beth. She is working server jobs while studying for her doctorate in nursing practice.

While the donations have come in to make up for her dismal treatment by the customers, she said that the money won’t just be going to her.

“The plan is to split with the other servers and donate the rest to the community,” she said.

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Channel Finder: #10 Arkansas vs. Oral Roberts



Channel: TBS

#10 (#3 seed) Arkansas will face (15 seed) Oral Roberts on Saturday, March 27 in the NCAA Sweet 16. The game tips off at 6:25 p.m. CT and will be televised on TBS with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Bonner (analyst) and Dana Jacobson (reporter) on the call.

How to watch online:

Click here to watch on any tablet, phone, computer, or other streaming devices.

How to listen:

Learfield IMG College Razorback Sports Network (Chuck Barrett and Matt Zimmerman)

Sirius/XM: XM Channel 207 – Sirius Channel 137 – Streaming Online on Channel 967

Westwood One (Ryan Radtke and Donny Marshall)



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Iconic Australian Destination Closed After Disrespectful ‘Free Camper’ Behaviour


Australians have taken to their jail cell over the last 12 months like it was Disneyland. And – to the surprise of some Sydney and Melbourne centric snobs – it turns out domestic travel can be bloody amazing.

Second-hand car prices have skyrocketed, living in your van has become sexy not sad, and numerous formerly neglected gems have got coverage like never before.

This awakening to what lies on our doorstep, though long overdue, has come with a number of downsides. One among them has been the consequences of more people “free camping” (living out of their cars and vans).

This used to be a low key habit, done by those in the know, discreetly. But two things have changed this in the last year.

One: increasing numbers of people doing it (which, no matter how well behaved they are, put more strain on destinations), and two: less experienced (or less polite) tourists doing it, who have yet to learn the tricks to the trade.

This has been demonstrated to great effect in Byron Bay, causing no shortage of debate in the process.

Another place many people have been making a pilgrimage to is Queensland’s Cape York. Cape York is The Tip Of Australia, its northernmost point.

Cape York is accessed by four-wheel drive (preferably a very good one), and involves a 10-day road trip to get to.

Tourists are drawn by the challenge, the camaraderie and the spectacular views, braving red dust, crocs, swollen river crossings and crumbed steaks to make it to Pajinka.

Now though, traditional landowners in Cape York have decided to close access to tourists at three Cape York points: Captain Bill’s Landing, Pajinka (the Tip), Ussher Point and Somerset, because of disrespect to traditional landowners.

Reasons cited include a lack of amenities, off-track tourists and unregistered firearms.

PerthNow reports, “the washroom amenities are inoperable and locals have decided to close off tourists spots because their land is being disrespected.”

According to PerthNow, Michael Solomon, chairman of the Gudang/Yadhaykenu Aboriginal Corporation said, “What we want is the facilities to be fixed and upgraded… because people are defecating in the bushland scrub and locals have to clean up and live through it.”

“It’s insulting to us, and having discussed with traditional custodians we have decided to close the country to tourists.”

“Local people, volunteers, they clean up. But I would prefer to have proper facilities for safety purposes.”

Long-term Bamaga resident and Cape York guide book author Tracy Sands told the Cairns Post the call “comes back to… people doing stupid things.”

“I went up (to the Tip) last year and there was idiots fishing in the nude and the (travellers sticking) plaques at the top of the cliffs.”

“People up here are the most amazing people but they can only take so much.”

RELATED: I Went To NSW’s Most Instagram-Famous Waterfall. It Was A Complete Disaster 

Tourists have been a (welcome) staple in the region for years, but the disrespect to the land has traditional custodians saying enough is enough.

“Native title holders were granted freehold rights to 211ha of land at Pajinka in 2019 but pleas for upgrades have been ongoing since 2016,” PerthNow reports.

According to the aforementioned Mr Solomon, a balance needs to be found, and there could be a silver lining to come from this whole situation.

“We don’t want to shut out the tourists, we make money from them, making artefacts and showcasing our region.”

“This closure is good for us, we are doing the Pajinka clean up this year and it gives us time to fix everything.”

In the meantime, there are plenty of other places for domestic Australian tourists to explore…

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New Labor Department rule would let employers distribute tips more widely.


The Labor Department on Tuesday released the final version of a rule that would allow employers to share workers’ tips with co-workers who don’t normally receive tips.

Under the so-called tip pools authorized by the new rule, the tips of waiters and waitresses can be shared with back-of-the-house workers like cooks and dishwashers.

But such sharing will be allowed only if the waiters and waitresses receive the standard minimum wage in their city or state, not the lower minimum wage that most states allow employers to pay tipped workers.

“This final rule provides clarity and flexibility for employers and could increase pay for back-of-the house workers,” Cheryl Stanton, the department’s wage and hour administrator, said in a statement.

The rule carries out a compromise negotiated between Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and R. Alexander Acosta, then the labor secretary, that was enacted in legislation in 2018.

Before the compromise, a Labor Department proposal for creating tip pools would have allowed supervisors, managers and owners to share in workers’ tips. The compromise prohibited this practice, making clear that only rank-and-file workers can benefit from tips.

Still, some labor advocates raised concern about an element of the new rule governing the amount of nontipped work, like cleaning, that a worker can perform and still be paid the lower minimum wage for tipped workers.

The previous standard, known as the “80/20” rule, held that workers could spend no more than 20 percent of their time on nontipped work and still earn the lower minimum wage. The new rule appears to allow workers to spend a much larger portion of their time on nontipped duties, citing vaguer language like a “reasonable time.”

Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Labor Department, has estimated that the change would cost workers more than $700 million per year, and probably far more during the pandemic, when tipped work is scarcer.

“Getting rid of the 80/20 rule is another way that employers can capture some of workers’ income,” Ms. Shierholz said in an interview.

The rule is scheduled to take effect in roughly two months, giving the incoming Biden administration a chance to postpone the implementation and possibly prevent it.



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‘My favourite Christmas abroad’: readers’ travel tips | Christmas and New Year holidays


Winning tip: A zen Christmas with disco karaoke, Japan

One Christmas, I went to a zen meditation retreat in Oita, on the southernmost Kyushu island, because I was feeling very burned out. The meditation retreat, as you would imagine, was pretty relaxed and the resident monk and I got along very well. Oita is famous for its fugu – the poisonous puffer fish – and for Christmas dinner, I took the only other person at the retreat and the monk into the city for a fugu feast. After a visit to a karaoke bar where we sang I Will Survive, the three of us rounded our Christmas off at a whisky bar before riding the train back to the temple to meditate before bed. Best Christmas ever!
Sarah Martin

Festive fireworks on the beach, Bangkok

Beach at Ko Chang, Thailand
Beach at Ko Chang, Thailand

In Bangkok over Christmas, we decided to head to the island of Ko Chang. A five-hour drive was livened up by the karaoke machine in the back of the taxi. Our hotel’s attempt at roast turkey – served beachside – was not a great success. Fireworks and dancing at the Sabay Bar on White Sand beach that night were more like it. And splashing out on a speedboat back to the mainland on Boxing Day was a fun end to the trip.
David Hall

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Readers’ tips: send a tip for a chance to win a £200 voucher for a Sawdays stay

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Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

The belénes of Granada, Spain

Alhambra, Granada.
Alhambra, Granada. Photograph: Alamy

Arriving late by bus, still wearing ski gear, we trundled our cabin bags over the cobbles in search of our rented apartment in the heart of medieval Granada. It was Christmas Eve. Everyone was out: drinking cava, sharing tapas or queuing to see the belénes, the nativity scenes set up in all the plazas. We went to midnight mass in the Cathedral, and on Christmas morning, climbed up to the viewpoint at the Albaicín, the old Moorish quarter. From there, the Alhambra looked sublime against its backdrop of snow-capped peaks, the same mountains we had skied down just the day before.
Helen Barnes

Romance on the 102nd floor, New York

Moonrise in New York City
Moonrise in New York City. Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

New York, 2009. Baggage handlers kindly mislaid our luggage, making our engagement more problematic than I’d have liked, but the snow and the scenery and the gasp of “really?” when I popped the question atop the Empire State Building on Christmas morning, followed by a Christmas dinner of burgers in the Diamond District, more than made up for it. There really is no other place like it, certainly not at Christmas. Visiting the Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, taking a horse ride through Central Park – they all sound like cliches but were simply magical moments we’d recommend everyone experience. We spent a lot on phone calls to the airline, but who cares?
Jonathan Greenbank

A bushveld feast, South Africa

Olifants River seen from Olifants camp, Kruger national park, South Africa.
Olifants River seen from Olifants camp, Kruger national park. Photograph: Alamy

We had a family holiday at Shimuweni, a remote bushveld camp down a small dirt track in the Kruger national park, self-catering. After a day of drizzle we spent an hour trying to extract ourselves from the mud before sundown. No Christmas dinner has ever been quite such fun as a spatchcocked chicken masquerading as a turkey, green peppers (the only greens in the camp shop) as sprouts, baked potatoes cooked direct in the embers and some barbecued pineapple for pudding. Having hidden tinsel and a few tiny gifts in our hand luggage the whole trip, pulling them out to my parents’ utter surprise was entirely worth it.
Sophie

Retreading the missionary path, India

For Christmas in 2016, my family and I went on a trip to southern India to see where my mum spent six years of her childhood in the 60s when her dad was a missionary. It was a fascinating trip and surprisingly Christmassy in a weird and wonderful way – a whole cooked turkey with the head and neck still on, anyone? At the Christmas Day church service Mum bumped into a friend who she used to play with when she was a child, and we swam in the sea at Kovalam beach just as she did with her family all those years ago.
Alex Robinson

A wondrous walk, Jordan

Petra Bedouin
Photograph: Andre Pain/EPA

Our twist on Christmas was set in Jordan and began with a sleepless night on Christmas Eve in a wind-battered tent – although “tent” was a loose term for the patchy tarpaulins we used for shelter, and a structural collapse occurred at 3am. Despite the mishaps, Christmas morning began in style with a sip of prosecco and a bite of Mum’s homemade Christmas cake for all. Once clad in festive antlers, we set off on a walk through the mountains to the majestic monastery in Petra. Festive greetings from home and an unusual Christmas dinner, consisting of a cucumber, an orange and flatbread, rounded off a brilliant Christmas Day in one of the wonders of the world.
Rhian Thomas

An alternative white Christmas, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni and cactus
Salar de Uyuni. Photograph: Aizar Raldes/Getty Images

My most unusual Christmas Day was on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia – white, but salt, not snow. We visited the Salt Hotel, then drove over packed salt to walk on a island with weird cactuses everywhere. Then it was on to a very basic hostel – no electricity (cold showers) and unisex dorms with cast-iron bunk beds – for a dinner of spag bol reheated over a gas cylinder burner and carols by candlelight. After a short night, Boxing Day saw us visiting the amazing Sol de Mañana geysers before heading to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, which was like a wild west film set.
Micki Hobbs

Viennese whirlwind, Austria

Crowd of people skating in front of Rathausplatza
Photograph: Tolga Ildun/Alamy

With no plans on Christmas morning we searched for an impromptu mini-break and chose three nights in Vienna, departing Stansted at 8pm. No traffic, no queues, last train into the city, and a taxi around the Ringstrasse – illuminated golden bright on a silent night – for chocolate in bed as the clock struck midnight. Cafe Hawelka, Wiener wurst, Christmas markets, ice skating, Belvedere Museum Klimts, the ferris wheel at Prater, feeling giggly after gluhwein, looking for the Third Man aboard a clanking tram … Vienna simply dazzles at Christmas. Sometimes the unexpected presents are the best.
Sonia Marshall

Mastering the haka, New Zealand

Piha beach and Lion Rock at sunset, New Zealand
Piha beach and Lion Rock at sunset, New Zealand Photograph: Andrew Watson/Getty Images

Taking part in a local haka contest – and winning it – on Christmas Day on a New Zealand beach was the last thing I expected to do during my backpacking trip around the world. While sunbathing on Piha beach near Lion Rock, just outside Auckland, I was invited to learn the ceremonial dance so decided to go for it along with several other tourists. My terrific trainer, Ari (whose name apparently means Lion of God), should take all the credit for my prize – a large live sheep and a Māori tattoo on my shoulder. Strictly Come Dancing it certainly wasn’t, but a Christmas with a difference it sure was.
Greta Cooper



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Mum of three shares best travel tip for going overseas with children


Summer stories is 9Honey’s latest series where Nine reporters reflect on their favourite holiday memories over the years.

9News Brisbane Reporter Alison Ariotti’s advice for new parents travelling with children is simple: “You have to halve the expectations and double the amount of time it takes to do anything.”

The mum of three learnt the lesson the long way during her first overseas trip to Hawaii.

Summer Stories: ‘I went on the biggest nightmare road trip in the ’70s’

Alison Ariotti
“You have to halve the expectations and double the amount of time it takes to do anything.” (Supplied)

During a summer holiday in January last year, Ariotti gave her kids the dream holiday of their young lifetime — a stay at the Disney report, filled with entertainment activities, water slides and visits from their favourite cartoon characters.

“It was everything you needed for a family and they had the most beautiful time,” Ariotti tells 9Honey.

“But of course, it wasn’t without it’s disaster moments.”

Ariotti, husband Gerry, and their three children aged five, three and six months during the trip, decided to embark on a half-day long catamaran trip around the coast of Hawaii.

Summer Stories: ‘It’s an Australian summer in a nutshell’

“It was my husband and middle child’s birthday and it sounded so good in theory — turns out, it wasn’t the smartest of ideas.”

Within moments of setting foot onto the vessel, Arriotti discovered her eldest child suffers from severe seasickness, forcing her to remain stationary and curled up below deck during the entire ride.

Between managing one sick child, a baby in a carrier and another child, Ariotti and her husband were surrounded by a crowd that consisted of backpackers and people in bikinis knocking back champagne.

“It probably wasn’t the best moment or idea, but we got some hilarious photos of it.”

When the shores settled and the family were back on land, Ariotti was determined to make sure her husband’s birthday wish of surfing on Waikiki’s spectacular beaches came true.

Alison Ariotti
Within moments of setting foot onto the vessel, Arriotti discovered her eldest child suffers from severe seasickness. (Supplied)

“We had one night in Waikiki and after all the things we had to deal with, I wanted to make sure he got in at least one surf,” Ariotti explains.

“And right as he was about to head out, one of our kids was ready to vomit in the pool.”

The couple spent the rest of the afternoon on their final night on the tropical island looking after their daughtering and “attempting”, as Ariotti puts it, “to keep the kids entertained.”

“It was a mission to say the least,” she laughs.

Alison Ariotti
“We’re so glad we made those memories, and the kids have not stopped talking about it since.” (Supplied)

While the sun set and Ariotti’s husband wasn’t able to get his single surf in on the trip, the family look back on their first overseas summer together as the “memory of a lifetime.”

“Even though it was a challenge with three children under the age of five, stuck on a plane, sick, and whatever else we dealt with, you do get a sense of real achievement when you manage to have a fun time!” Ariotti shares.

“We’re so glad we made those memories, and the kids have not stopped talking about it since.”

Summer Stories: ‘The whole week was one bucket list tick after another’



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New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world: readers’ travel tips | Christmas and New Year holidays


Winning tip: When Jesus fixed my Jeep, Chile

Our all-girls group’s plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve while camping and stargazing in Chile’s eerie Atacama Desert almost went wrong. Thanks to Jesus, it all worked out. Our tight budget led us to rent a Jeep from a backstreet car-hire firm in San Pedro. Result – a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, a friendly group of locals led by the aptly named Jesus, who had some mechanical knowledge, were also heading out to the desert and stopped to help us. Result: a shared trip, wine, food, campfires and songs in English and Spanish under the mystical Atacama skies to see out and welcome in the year in a stunning setting and with great company.
Yasmin Cox

Cold night with hot music, New Orleans

The Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans.
‘Overrun with revellers’: the Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans. Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

One New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s, my partner and I were housesitting a friend’s shack in New Orleans. The temperature had plunged to -5C, remarkable for Nola. Totally unprepared for this unusual cold, we put on our onesie long johns and walked to Mid-City Lanes Rock‘n’Bowl. We rented a lane, ordered po’ boys (a Louisiana sandwich) and beers, bowled, and wandered downstairs to hear legendary local singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin (sadly no longer with us). Around 10pm, the Iguanas came onstage and the bowling lanes were overrun with revellers juggling food, drinks and kids while dancing to the Latin-tinged R&B groove music. New Year’s Eve, but just a normal night a Noo Or-lins.
Donna J Hall

Out with the old, Bologna

New Year’s Eve in Bologna.
New Year’s Eve in Bologna, when the burning of a large puppet is part of the festivities. Photograph: Getty Images

To see in 2019 we went to beautiful Bologna where there is a traditional burning of a huge effigy of a man – known as the vecchione (the old one) – in the square at midnight. This symbolises the discarding of all the bad things that happened in the old year and the welcoming in of the new. The night starts with dancing and music where people of all ages drink and enjoy life. As the clock struck 12 we hugged and the flames engulfed the wooden figure as confetti fell from the sky and balloons bounced over the crowd.
Louisa Guise

A Méri old evening, France

Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel, France.
Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel. Photograph: Nick Daly/Getty Images

In Méribel for New Year’s Eve, a couple from our chalet invites us to the local bar. We are a mixed bunch; some of us in snow boots, some dressed very fashionably. The champagne flows, glasses are raised, then raised again as the mellow sounds of a saxophonist flood the room. The fire crackles, while outside the crescent moon hangs amid twinkling stars; this is paradise. Later, we head to the village square where vin chaud is served by chalet staff as we watch expert skiers descend carrying lanterns while fireworks burst above them. The hour is upon us as we gather around a tree and welcome in the new year. Perfect.
Jean Broad

Wine and jive, Cape Town

Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Photograph: Alamy

A sunset picnic on Table Mountain, washed down with silky-smooth Stellenbosch wines, was a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cape Town at the dawn of the new millennium. As the clock ticked towards midnight, I took the cable car down to the V&A Waterfront, looking down as the mountain tops of the 12 Apostles cast their dramatic shadows over the brooding Atlantic Ocean. An all-night open-air disco carried on the fun, welcoming in the new year for a crowd of all ages and races, with the then 81-year-old Nelson Mandela appearing on the big screen from his nearby home, jiving away, to join in the celebrations.
Gonca Cox

Salsa, sea lions and sculptures in San Diego

San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade.
San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade. Photograph: Alamy

The welcome sunshine was not just a bonus for me, but also for the sea lions who were basking on the jetty. The Balloon Parade was a party open to everyone, and it was a friendly family atmosphere along with plenty of salsa moves. At sunset, stunning stone sculptures were silhouetted against the skyline. Standing on the boardwalk in Seaport Village was the perfect viewpoint for the midnight fireworks and their sparkling reflections in the sea. A great way to see in the new year – and all for free.
Vanessa Wright

I found Paradise, Ethiopia

The View Of Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge
Looking out on Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge. Photograph: Grant Rooney/Alamy

One year I spent 31 December at Paradise Lodge, overlooking Ethiopia’s Lake Chamo in the south-west of the country, where the individual tukuls (round huts) could be described as primitive or charmingly rustic, depending on your take. At the gala dinner we ate berbere-spiced wats (stews) and injera, a flatbread that reminded me of foam rubber in looks and taste. The music ranged from Amy Winehouse to traditional Ethiopian tunes, and a group of Indian visitors proved funky dancers whatever the beat. Midnight arrived, along with a huge cake, poppers, streamers and more dance music. The international partying continued until the early hours when I returned to what seemed like a palatial room.
Helen Jackson



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