Blog Archive


Alaska’s elite nordic skiers face tough decisions on European World Cup

A skier in a blue and red white striped race uniform skis on a snowy trail with spruce trees around
Hannah Halvorsen of APU Nordic Ski Center at a recent training session at Hillside Ski Area in Anchorage on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s top cross-country ski athletes are days away from the first races of the season in Europe, but the raging pandemic is forcing tough decisions among athletes. 

“I’d really like to race, but I’m definitely questioning going over there,” said Scott Patterson, a 2018 Olympian. 

He has plenty of reasons to be skeptical. The ski-loving Lillehammer, Norway just canceled a weekend of racing, with other venues threatening to follow suit. Cases in Europe are surging and COVID precautions on the road are ultra-strict, forcing athletes to spend much of their time cooped up in hotel rooms with little entertainment. And there’s also the danger of bringing the virus into a small town in Europe. 

“I’m starting to feel like we shouldn’t even put

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  • November 16, 2020

A postcard from Ibiza, where a long, tough winter awaits

The end of October is usually met with both relief and celebration in Ibiza. After months of hard graft with little pause for respite, club closing parties mark the end of the tourist season and finally, locals are able to take a breath and enjoy the last days of sunshine before the peacefulness of winter arrives. But this year, it’s a totally different story. Despite relatively low numbers of Covid-19 cases over the course of summer, Ibiza was hit hard by tough government restrictions and UK quarantine rules, and now residents are facing the bleakest winter in recent memory. 

As an island that relies almost entirely on tourism for trade, it was inevitable that Ibiza would struggle to navigate the complications presented by a global pandemic. More than half of island residents work within hospitality and this year, the industry was practically non-existent. With an unfathomable drop in tourist numbers

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  • October 26, 2020

Study: Solid data needed to make tough decisions for economic recovery

Teri Ooms, Institute executive director at The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development at Wilkes University, said The Institute realizes regional leaders will need reliable information, unbiased fact-based analysis, and real-time data to make the tough decisions necessary for a successful economic recovery.

“These decisions will need to be data-driven and The Institute is answering the call,” Ooms said. “Our region needs a well-defined path forward and we strongly believe that a comprehensive COVID-19 data and research initiative will be critical in this process.”

Ooms said studies include research on the economy, workforce, business and industry, local government, education, housing, social services, health and emergency planning are posted or in process.

She said the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Sordoni Family Foundation, and UGI Utilities along with the Luzerne County COVID_19 Emergency Response Fund of The Luzerne Foundation, Scranton Area Foundation’s NEPA COVID-19 Fund and Wells Fargo Foundation are

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  • October 24, 2020

Russia shuns tough restrictions even as infections soar

On Friday, Russian authorities reported over 15,000 new infections, the highest daily spike so far in the pandemic. Moscow — with less than 10% of the population — accounts for up to 30% of new infections each day. The health minister says 90% of hospital beds for coronavirus patients have been filled. Three times this week, Russia’s daily death toll exceeded the spring record of 232.

Even these soaring virus tolls are likely undercounts; experts have cautioned that official figures around the world understate the true toll, but critics have taken particular issue with Russia’s death tolls, alleging authorities might be playing down the scale of the outbreak.

Right now, situation is “difficult” but “no restrictive measures for the economy are required,” Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

The spring lockdown hurt the country’s already weakened economy and compounded Russians’ frustration with plummeting incomes and

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  • October 18, 2020

Georgia School District to Teachers With Health Problems: Tough Luck

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

Georgia teacher Samantha Mbozi hasn’t even entered a grocery store in the last six months. The 51-year-old just finished chemotherapy a year ago and is taking immunosuppressive drugs for two other illnesses. Her doctor told her strict quarantine could be a matter of life or death.

But late last month, the Gwinnett County School District gave her an ultimatum: Return to the classroom to teach in person, or stop teaching altogether.

<div class="inline-image__caption"> <p>"Gwinnett County teacher Samantha Mbozi"</p> </div> <div class="inline-image__credit"> Courtesy Samantha Mbozi </div>

“Gwinnett County teacher Samantha Mbozi”

Courtesy Samantha Mbozi

“I said, ‘It’s not like I don’t want to work. I’m a single parent, I don’t know where my paychecks are coming from after this month,’” said Mbozi, an immigrant from Guyana and a single mother of two. “They said, ‘There’s no work-from-home options. If you’re not in the building, you take leave.’”

As the school year begins, Georgia teachers with potentially

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  • September 18, 2020

NFL faces tough times for 2020, then bright economic outlook

Let’s get this straight from the outset: If the NFL has no fans at any games this season – or doesn’t have much of a season at all – it will not go out of business.

Von Miller has delivered on the field. Same for sponsors and advertisers who pinpoint pro football as the best way to reach fans (read: consumers).” data-reactid=”33″Sure, the 32 teams and the league itself will lose millions, very possibly billions of dollars. Its broadcast partners will take a hit harder than any that Von Miller has delivered on the field. Same for sponsors and advertisers who pinpoint pro football as the best way to reach fans (read: consumers).

And unless the coronavirus pandemic stretches beyond the 2020 season, the NFL will come out right where it has been for decades: on top of the sports world.

”The NFL is to the sports and entertainment

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  • September 2, 2020

Theme Parks Face Tough Tech Investment Choices

Disney’s Epcot park and Hollywood Studios in Florida reopened their doors to visitors on Thursday, after the company’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on July 11 in Orlando. The moves symbolized a broader reopening by theme parks in countries worldwide.

The reopenings dovetail with hard decisions. Cash-strapped theme park owners must evaluate which technological investments they can afford and which will deliver the best long-term return.

“It’s a tough time right now for any theme park to be thinking about capital investments,” said Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider.

“Many chains have had to rush forward development of new apps to support mobile ordering, advance reservations, and other customer service features that they needed to promote safe physical distancing in the parks,” Niles said. “But the lack of income over the past several months, coupled with much lower than expected income over the year ahead, will keep most

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