THE SMART NEWS YOU HAVE TO KNOW EVEN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW! METROPOLITAN AREA FACT PACK ON WHAT'S GOING ON AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU. THE FACTPACK! LAST WEEK 6,831 VISITORS MADE 21,763 VISITS (4 TIMES A DAY) . FEB 20 TO MAR 20, 27,342 VISITORS LOGGED 79,569 VISITS, (4 A DAY PER VISITOR EVERY DAY). FROM AROUND THE WORLD! THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE AND LOYALTY TO WPCNR. I AM HONORED BY YOUR SUPPORT OF WPCNR THE LOCAL AND WORLD WIDE AUTHORITY! THANK YOU FOR YOUR STEADFAST FAITH IN WPCNR. .I AM STUNNED. THE LAST 365 DAYS THANKS TO THE 714,072 VISITORS WHO CAME BACK 2,238,339 TIMES WHITE PLAINS READERS AND INTERNATIONAL READERS. TOTAL VISITS AN ASTOUNDNG 2,2,238,339 VISITS THANK YOU MR. AND MRS. AND MS. WHITE PLAINS NY USA . HUNGRY FOR REAL NEWS? THEY COME BACK 3 TIMES A DAY. IN 2023, THEY'RE COMING BACK MORE EVERY DAY BECAUSE THEY WANT THE TRUTH EVERY DAY.. White Plains Daily News Service Since 2000 A.D. "23 years Day by Day" John F. Bailey, Editor (914) 997-1607 firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 914-673-4054. News Politics Personalities Neighborhoods Schools Finance Real Estate Commentary Reviews Policy Correspondence Poetry Philosophy Photojournalism Arts. WHITE PLAINS CITIZENETREPORTER TELEVISION: "White Plains Week" News Roundup, 7:30 EST FRI, 7 EST MON & the incisive "People to Be Heard" Interview Program 8PM EST THURS, 7 PM EST SAT on FIOS CH 45 THROUGHOUT WESTCHESTER AND, ALTICE OPTIMUM WHITE PLAINS CH 76 "Fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way." EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! CHOICE OF WHITE PLAINS, WESTCHESTER AND THE WORLD FOR 23 YEARS. AND YOU CAN READ THE TYPE! ADVERTISE WHERE THE EYES AND THINKERS ARE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD! (RATINGS SOURCE WORDPRESS)
MEANWHILE MID-HUDSON REGION, LONG ISLAND, 5 NYC BOROUGHS HAVE 1/3 AND HIGHER HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS BEING ADMITTED FOR COVID.
WPCNR CORONA VIRUS SURVEILLANCE.Statistics from Governor Kathy Hochul Press Office. Friday Report. February 12, 2023:
The New York State Acting Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald officially ended the requirement to wear masks in hospitals and health care facilities Friday across the state, Friday The New York Times reported this morning quoting the Acting Commissioner as saying: “The pandemic is not over, yet we are moving to a transition.”
The relaxing of mask requirements now leaves the decision to the health facilities if they wish staff and public to wear masks visiting or working in the facility.
In New York City its Public Hospitals would continue to require masks to be worn on their premises The Times reported would still require New York City Friday reported of its 904 patients hospitalized 356 (39%z0 of its 904 hospitlized were being treated due to covid or complications of covid.
In the Mid-Hudson region, consisting of Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan Counties hospitals report of 241 current admissions Friday, 93 were admitted for Covid or covid complications (39%)
Nassau and Suffolk Counties 158 admissions for treat of covid and complications are running 53% of Long Island 300 total admissions.
The Times reporter Lola Fadulu wrote this morning advocacy groups for persons with disabilities are urging Governor Hochul to reverse the dropping of masking requirements in nursing homes, homes for the disabled and homes for older people. A letter from the group urged, The Times quoting the letter , said the state decision “put disabled people, older people, and everyone else at greater risk from this often-deadly disease.”
WORLD FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN ENTERTAINMENT INSPIRATION ENLIGHTENMENT HUMANITY FOR ETERNITY AWARDS BEST PICTURE.
WPCNR CINEMARAMA.Movie Review by John F. Bailey. February 11, 2023:
It’s the week when the entertainment world is abuzz and movie fans of the stars and the directors and the filmmakers are talking Oscars and Best Pictures and Directors and Writers.
But there is no contest.
No motion picture among those nominated for Best Picture comes close to the Iliad, theOdyssey of cinema artistry I saw with Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst at San Simeon last night in Mr. Hearst’s personal theatre in Mr. Hearst’s Castle on the Coast
I am pleased to announce the WPCNR WORLD FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN ENTERTAINMENT INSPIRATION, ENLIGHTENMENT FOR HUMANITY FOR ETERNITY HAS AWARDED
The envelope please….
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER BEST PICTURE,
The distinguished panel of the WPCNR Foundation awards, and the winner for BEST PICTURE IS…
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER “THE BAILEY” FOR BEST PICTURE AND JAMES CAMERON BEST DIRECTOR .
This is more than a movie, it’s not a movie, it a cinematic Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey that gives you what Mr. Cameron’s Titanic gave you years ago — only better!
It is an upclose intensely realistic, (set in another world), superbly written with meaningful dialogue, reasoned arguments between characters bringing to light aspects of human relationships that relate and interpret so well to the reasons as old as time that make different groups hate another because of the way others look and act. The movie is an action adventure movie that is not a cartoon, (common recent slang in the dialogue excluded, using the world “bro” for example to pander to the younger generation no matter what Generation Letter you are).
Mr. Cameron’s actors in their relationships to their families and the colonizing army from Earth attempting to take over Pandora for its resources is an allegorical parallel and the actors who are all equals in delivering an ensemble filled with interactive character development of the challenges they face from a ruthless Earth Army with no respect for human life, are so real,relevant compared to the suffering happening in real life in Russia’s new Holodomor in Ukraine.
Cameron’s The Way of Water delivers a message—a verdict on the manifest destiny era that took land from the American Indian; slavery culture , Civil War; the Spanish American War, exploitation of the Middle East for oil for a century by promoting oil corporation interests, and the costly loss of committed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, who still deplore our withdrawal from that country that left them to the mercy of the Taliban.
Mr. Cameron’s unflinching cinematic fluency and fascinating script displays the legacy of greed that so many wars inflict across time in this profound action epic depicting the ruthlessness of conquest.
Mr. Cameron builds how trust is won from people who are different than you when a Pandora fugitive from the colonizing army from Earth, Jack Scully is banished to a community The Metkayinay living in the ocean region of Pandora. The Na’Vi first reject him and his wife and kids, but eventually accepts them in a series of quiet interactions and successes at winning the new community friendship and respect. It is so sweetly and beautifully acted and perfect-pitch this transformation from outcasts to community members for all members of the family especially the children.
The special effects depicting the ocean creatures are beautiful,so good that you think you’re watching them in Marineland.
The WPCNR Foundation also awards “The Bailey” as The Best Actor to PAYKAN —the Rin-Tin-Tin of the sea who rescues one of Jack’s sons and spoiler alert—no I won’t surprise you.We are constructing a special tank for a private presentation to this giant Tulkan of the screen world.
There is violence in this movie lots of it. But they are the best sequences I have seen since Cameron’s first Avatar movie
But the distinguished guests at the Foundation screening of all ages were transfixed for three shortesthours I have ever experienced watching a movie. You cared about these characters. You are watching bluehued people reacting real and changing attitudes in realistic dialogue not comic strip balloon dialogue. The writers on this film all deserve The Bailey for Best Screen Writing Team.
This sequence in the middle of this epic may appear tedious but it lays the premise of the movie, if people care about others they will fight for the community rights and freedom and survival more than any other reason against incredible odds. When the Earth Army captures a young descendent of Jack’s original community it is a link that brings the Earth Army into the Way of Water Tribe whose villages the burn—a shocking reminder of massacres of the past and present.. This sets up the suspensful 45 minute final battle sequence reminiscent of the Titanic special effects.
This is what Best Movies are: Unboring, instantly interesting. They involve you right away. Characters are developed (even though they are blue and do not look like you and me) with the way they act and show emotion in their faces, and the way the ensemble reacts in this movie is what keeps you on the edge of your seat and caring about them for three hours.
This is what a Best Movie is: more than what it appears to be. Grappling with the mysteries of human behavior: greed, anger, hatred, love, compassion, caring, loving and heroism in the face of danger, grief, loss, responsibility, and of course being able to stand up to right and wrong with guts. All the conflict that is the nature of the human condition, and most of all the ability to grow and change.
Washington, DC — Ahead of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on “Strengthening Airlines Operations and Consumer Protections,” John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) issued this statement:
“As the Senate Commerce Committee today examines the series of events that led to the worst operational meltdown in the history of Southwest Airlines, the Transport Workers Union of America encourages lawmakers to focus their attention on what we know to be the cause of this catastrophe – corporate neglect and an undying lust for profits by Southwest Airlines executives.
“While the Southwest meltdown was initially triggered by a severe weather event and further sustained by outdated, overwhelmed technology, Southwest’s leadership must accept blame and take full responsibility for a national crisis that left tens of thousands of passengers stranded for days on end, jeopardized the health and safety of thousands of employees, and caused an untold number of passengers tremendous mental anguish and financial distress.
“Southwest is the largest commercial air carrier in the United States, but it continues to rely on antiquated phone systems, eccentric computer programs, and IT processing capabilities that date back to the 1990s.
Instead of taking steps to upgrade these systems, executives chose to spend $5.6 billion on corporate buybacks in the three years leading up to this crisis.
All of this, in spite of the fact that TWU-represented Southwest Airlines workers, including flight attendants at TWU Local 556, fleet service workers at TWU Local 555, and flight dispatchers and meteorologists at TWU Local 550, have been sounding the alarm for years about the impacts of running a world-class airline on outdated, insufficient technology.
“What’s more, the vast majority of work groups at Southwest, who for years have made this carrier profitable and sustained it during the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, are still without secured, fair contracts.
“Southwest Airlines wants its passengers and employees to feel the LUV, but LUV flew out the window at Southwest the day Gary Kelly arrived, and the moment corporate executives chose profits over people.”
WPCNR LABOR RAMPARTS Special to WPCNR. February 8, 2023:
The Service Employees International Union 32BJ 50 workers who lost their jobs a week ago when Pepsico hired a non-union security firm that told the SEIUBJ workers they would not be rehired, are back on the job.
SEIU has begun negotiations with the new security firm and the employees are guaranteed at least 90 days further employment.
The change of heart came after SEIU filed a lawsuit accusing the new security form of violation of National Labor Relations Board practices.
Pepico issued this statement to SEIU yesterday announcing that the new security firm had agreed to enter negotiations:
“AGB has informed us that they have communicated to SEIU that they recognize them as the representative of security workers at PepsiCo’s Purchase and Valhalla facilities and have asked the union to engage in good faith bargaining with them. We are hopeful that the two parties will soon reach a resolution.”
SEIU acknowledged the announcement:
“We are happy to hear AGB has decided to recognize 32BJ SEIU as the bargaining representative of the security guards at the Purchase and Valhalla facilities and look forward to bargaining with them in good faith. These workers deserve a contract that maintains workers’ employer-paid comprehensive healthcare, quality wages, other benefits, and which upholds area industry standards.” – 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice President and Director of the Hudson Valley District Shirley Aldebol
A spokesperson for SEIU today told WPCNR that the union was hopeful of securing a satisfactory contract with AGB before the 90 days employment guaranteed the workers by NLRB law expires. Paid healthcare benefits which the union workers now enjoy is a vital issue. The benefits remain in effect while negotiations are underway.
The SEIU spokesman the National Labor Relations Board that had initiated an inquiry into the violation of standard labor laws, (advance notice of terminating employees, and the opportunity to negotiate a new contract) had not moved ahead to his knowledge at the present time.
The union had planned a rally for Thursday to protest the AGB policy but has called the rally off with the announcement of AGB willingness to negotiate a new contract acceptable to the SEIU workers.
The White Plains BID’s Third annual Restaurant Month is a month dedicated to our downtown restaurants featuring diverse menu options for lunch and/or dinner. Come out and experience the best of downtown White Plains! *Exclusions apply
Each dining establishment will feature Prix Fixe specials:
The communication about ending the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) has been atrocious.
We’re confused. Everyone’s confused.
Dr. Rivers and I have been asking a lot of questions and getting some answers. Here is our understanding of the situation right now and what it means for you.
There isn’t one national emergency declaration surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. There are five. Each has a different purpose for a different part of our government. The five emergency “buckets” are:
Stafford Act (i.e., FEMA)
Public Health Emergency
Together, these are responsible for hundreds (thousands?) of flexibilities that we saw throughout the pandemic. For example, the emergency use authorization for vaccines occurred under bucket #1. Extending Medicaid to more people happened under bucket #3. (This recently changed; see more below).
These different mechanisms created a complicated system that needs to be untangled without collapsing all at once.
To help prevent this, the five buckets of emergencies are ending at different times. Buckets #3 and #4 are ending in May 2023.
All the others are yet to be determined. (Apparently, #5 is being discussed among lawyers right now, for example).
Throughout the pandemic we’ve been told that “we have the tools.” The May inflection point means different things for different tools:
Supply is going be impacted, but not necessarily because of the PHE. It’s dependent on Congressional budget. The tests are already commercialized. The U.S. bought a stockpile of antigen tests for the USPS program this past winter and still has a stockpile for the coming months. It’s not clear when this supply will run out.
The industry (i.e. test makers) are unwilling to produce a surplus of tests because demand is unknown. Without a guaranteed purchase (like from the government) or knowledge that more waves are coming to drive demand, they are hesitant to manufacture more. It’s not clear whether antigen tests, and which ones, will be available on retail shelves after the emergency like they are now.
In addition, the PHE requires health insurers to reimburse for up to eight antigen tests, per person, per month. After May, insurers will be able to choose whether to reimburse for those tests or not. We don’t have word yet, either way.
What it means for you: Don’t stock up on antigen tests just yet, as the tests do expire. But pick up some closer to the May deadline.
The FDA emergency (#1 above) is not ending. This means COVID-19 vaccines will still be available. BUT available is different from accessible.
Vaccines will be covered by the government until the stockpile (vaccines which the U.S. government bought from pharma) dries up. After the stockpile dries up or we get a Fall 2023 new formula booster, the vaccine will be covered by private insurance (through employment) or public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) for the 92% of Americans who have health coverage. Most vaccines are free, with no co-pay required, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. What happens to the 8% who are uninsured? It’s not clear. We’re told there’s a plan and that they won’t be left behind. TBD.
What it means for you: Get your updated bivalent booster soon if you haven’t already. For those of you wondering if you should get a second bivalent, we may get more clarity in mid-February during the scheduled ACIP meeting.
This supply is safest right now because it has the largest stockpile. In other words, the U.S. bought a ton of Paxlovid from Pfizer, and individuals shouldn’t have to pay for Paxlovid for a while. (Maybe second half of 2023, or 2024?) Once that stockpile is gone, it will be privatized. The price will be determined by Pfizer, and the price that individuals pay at the pharmacy will depend on health insurance.
What it means for you: Do not worry about Paxlovid supply for now. But this may be a problem in 2024.
These don’t work against the newest subvariants, and pharma doesn’t want to make more because the market keeps evaporating (because the virus keeps changing). For people for whom Paxlovid doesn’t work or the vaccine doesn’t confer protection (e.g., organ transplant patients), it’s not clear what protections there will be.
What it means for you: The most vulnerable will be less protected than before. Keep this is mind as you decide what precautions to take.
This will continue to some extent:
Genomic surveillance: It’s our understanding the wastewater program will remain for now.
Test positivity rates: Will likely go away because CDC can’t compel labs to report.
Hospitalizations: CDC will still getdata, but the frequency will likely slow down. (Weekly? Monthly?)
Vaccine uptake: Will likely remain, as CDC is working with states to continue monitoring.
Pharmacy testing: May go away. This turned out to be CDC’s fastest way to evaluate vaccine effectiveness. So we may be going back to a delayed system to know how well our vaccines are working, which is beyond disappointing.
What is means for you: We will have “skeleton monitoring” of COVID-19. Knowing if and when we are in a new wave to inform our behaviors, for example, will get more and more challenging.
One of the most impactful tools during the emergency was Medicaid’s continuous coverage. During pre-pandemic times, states regularly checked whether people enrolled in Medicaid were still eligible. These “checks” were removed during the pandemic. When these “checks” resume on April 1, between 5.3 and 14.2 million adults and children will lose Medicaid coverage.
(Technically, this was under bucket #3, but the Omnibus bill passed in December uncoupled Medicaid from the PHE. So this doesn’t have to do with the PHE ending, but it’s still a big change we are going to see starting April 1.)
What this means for you: If you have Medicaid, your coverage may change soon. This is particularly dependent on your state.
National vs. state. vs. local
So far we’ve discussed national implications. Of course, things gets even more complicated because each state has its own authorities and emergency mechanisms. Everything will look different depending on your state, too.
States are responsible for what the transition from Medicaid continuous coverage back to “checks” look like, for example. Some states will follow up with people to let them know they are missing information so they don’t get dropped; some states will update mailing addresses proactively so people don’t lose coverage; some states will do nothing.
Wastewater surveillance is additionally dependent on the state or locality budget, for example. In California, the state budget for COVID-19 funding will be axed by ~90%. This means wastewater monitoring in California may reduced, regardless of a CDC grant. But in places like NY, wastewater is more protected by the state.
The ultimate problem
One way to think of the pandemic emergency arc is to compare it to a patient’s. For example, a patient goes through multiple stages of care after a traumatic car accident. The U.S. has gone through similar stages.
The concern that many people rightfully have is what happens once the U.S. “leaves the hospital.”
It’s a mess out there—fragmented care, underfunded public health, burnt out hospital workers, understaffed hospitals, disparities, pharma making a ton of money, expensive childcare, limited sick leave, etc. “Leaving the hospital” will mean drastically different things to different people:
Some will do just fine, particularly those who are healthy and wealthy.
Some people will do okay, like those over 65 who keep up to date with their vaccines.
Some people will be left behind or get really sick, like with long COVID.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and it seems like an evolving situation. This needs to be a national conversation. Participate and push. (This NYT Op-Ed was a great start.) We, as a society, need to ensure we transition NOT to a 2019 world but to a new and better 2023 world.
Love, the Katelyn/Caitlin epidemiologists
Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor and epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. She has her own newsletter called Force of Infection:
“Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)” is written by Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, MPH PhD—an epidemiologist, data scientist, wife, and mom of two little girls. During the day she works at a nonpartisan health policy think tank and is a senior scientific consultant to a number of organizations, including the CDC. At night she writes this newsletter. Her main goal is to “translate” the ever-evolving public health science so that people will be well equipped to make evidence-based decisions. This newsletter is free thanks to the generous support of fellow YLE community members. To support this effort, subscribe below:.’
YOUR LOCAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST is reprinted by White Plains CitizeNetReporter with permission.
The Foundation’s 2023 Gala, Celebrating the Freedom to Read, will take place on Saturday, March 25th, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Please join us for dinner followed by a an entertaining program, (finally) together in the Library!
The Foundation is honoring White Plains resident Oren J. Teicher, former CEO of the American Booksellers Association, Board member of National Coalition Against Censorship, and 2019 recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
In keeping with the theme, the Foundation is thrilled to welcome special guest Kerri Maher. She’ll be talking with us about her new book, The Paris Bookseller, the dramatic story of how a humble bookseller fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the 20th century to the world.
“A love letter to bookstores and libraries.” –The Boston Globe
“Maher vividly reimagines the indomitable Beach, who struggled for years to get Ulysses published.”—The Washington Post
“Wholly immersive, a literary romp through Left Bank Paris…an enchanting glimpse of the storied lost generation through a female gaze.”—Toronto Star
Kerri Maher’s other books include The Girl in White Gloves, The Kennedy Debutante, and, under the name Kerri Majors, This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World.