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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 74,043

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

All Austin parks, trails set to close Easter weekend

All city of Austin parks and trails will close during the Easter weekend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday morning.

Officials said the closures of all trails, greenbelts and preserves will go into effect at sunset Thursday and will reopen at sunrise Monday.

The closures include the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail, officials said.

Austin parks historically have an increase in visitors during the Easter holiday, which prompted the closures, officials said.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200407/all-austin-parks-trails-set-to-close-easter-weekend

Governor Abbott wants to remind everyone that attending church is an essential service so pack the pews this upcoming Sunday.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:45 PM (0 replies)

Governor orders closures of state parks, historic sites

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced the closure of all state parks and historic sites in Texas to help prevent gatherings of large groups during the coronavirus pandemic.

Historic sites and state parks will close to the public starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will reopen at the direction of the governor, officials said.

“Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Abbott said in a statement Tuesday.

Abbott said he’s continuing to urge Texans to stay at home, except for essential services.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200407/coronavirus-in-texas-governor-orders-closures-of-state-parks-historic-sites
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:41 PM (0 replies)

UT-Austin President Greg Fenves leaving Texas flagship June 30 for Emory University

by Shannon Najmabadi, Texas Tribune

University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves is leaving the state’s flagship college for Emory University, where he will become president Aug. 1, he told the UT community in an email Tuesday.

He will depart June 30.

“The timing of this news in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is not what I had expected or wanted,” Fenves wrote. “Our dedicated faculty and staff have striven to make the spring 2020 semester meaningful for our students. I want you to understand that I remain singularly focused on continuing that work, completing the semester and getting our community back to normal before my presidency ends on June 30.”

Fenves has been president of UT-Austin since 2015, after serving as executive vice president and provost, and as dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

During his tenure, the university successfully defended its race-conscious admissions program before the Supreme Court and expanded the financial assistance it offers low- and middle-income undergraduates. Fenves' comparatively calm term succeeded years of strife between former President Bill Powers and regents and statewide leaders who were pushing to make the university more closely resemble a business.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/04/06/ut-president-greg-fenves-leaving-texas-flagship-emory-university/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:35 PM (0 replies)

Notice could allow food trucks at rest areas to serve truck drivers during COVID-19

The Federal Administration (FHWA) Friday issued a notice to State Departments of Transportation that the agency is suspending enforcement measures under the Federal-aid Highway Program for states that choose to permit commercial food trucks to operate and sell food, in accordance with state laws, in designated federally funded interstate highway rest areas.

“America’s commercial truck drivers are working day and night during this pandemic to ensure critical relief supplies are being delivered to our communities,” said FHWA Administrator Nicole R. Nason. “I am grateful to our state transportation partners for bringing this idea to the department and for their leadership in thinking outside the box. It is critical to make sure truck drivers continue to have access to food services while they’re on the job serving our nation during these challenging times.”

By statute, commercial activity in the federally funded Interstate right-of-way is prohibited with limited exceptions. The FHWA administrator has the discretion to take any action deemed appropriate to bring a state into compliance with these federal requirements.

However, given the extreme and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nason is choosing not to take remedial measures against states that allow food trucks to provide food in rest areas off the federally funded interstate right-of-way for the duration of the national emergency declared by the president in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/04/06/notice-could-allow-food-trucks-rest-areas-during-covid-19/2954217001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:16 PM (1 replies)

'Montana masks' go global, move to injection molds

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The reusable plastic face masks designed for 3D printers by a college graduate and a pair of local medical professionals have gone global. The free open-source software file they created has been downloaded or shared in 148 countries across six continents.

Dubbed the Montana Mask, the design has now made the jump from 3D printers to injection mold production, crafted by the Bozeman company Spark R&D, the Billings Gazette reported.

That move allows for much faster mass production and gives the masks a more comfortable feel. Injection mold production can use materials that are softer and more flexible than the plastic required by 3D printers.

"It's been really cool to see," said Colton Zaugg, a college graduate with a degree in microbiology.

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/04/06/montana-masks-go-global-move-injection-molds/2954397001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:12 PM (0 replies)

Feds order airlines to refund tickets for all corona-affected flights

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an enforcement notice to all commercial airlines, ordering them to promptly refund the complete cost of all tickets sold to passengers whose flights have either been canceled or significantly delayed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

"The department is receiving an increasing number of complaints and inquiries from ticketed passengers, including many with non-refundable tickets, who describe having been denied refunds for flights that were canceled or significantly delayed," states a U.S. DOT news release issued April 3. "In many of these cases, the passengers stated that the carrier informed them that they would receive vouchers or credits for future travel."

"This notice to remind the traveling public, and U.S. and foreign carriers, operating at least one aircraft having a seating capacity of 30 or more seats, that passengers should be refunded promptly when their scheduled flights are canceled or significantly delayed," the notice continues.

"Airlines have long provided such refunds, including during periods when air travel has been disrupted on a large scale, such as the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and presidentially declared natural disasters. Although the COVID-19 public health emergency has had an unprecedented impact on air travel, the airlines’ obligation to refund passengers for canceled or significantly delayed flights remains unchanged."

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/04/06/feds-order-airlines-refund-passengers-corona-affected-flights/2954389001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 01:01 PM (0 replies)

Whitefish Ordinance Restricts Reservations at Hotels, Short-term Rentals

The Whitefish City Council on Sunday morning enacted an emergency ordinance prohibiting hotels and short-term rentals from accepting reservations for non-essential purposes through April 30, becoming the first city in Montana to do so and marking the municipality’s most dramatic step to date to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Gathering for a special session remotely via video conference, members of council and city administrators said they proposed the temporary restrictions in light of new data revealing a trend of individuals leaving areas with high concentrations of COVID-19 cases in order to “shelter in place” in small, cloistered communities like Whitefish.

The ordinance excludes reservations for essential purposes including government, health care, law enforcement, domestic violence victims, personnel responding to the COVID-19 emergency, essential workers as defined by federal and state guidelines, family members of those seeking medical treatment, and those individuals who have a medical recommendation to quarantine outside of their home.

The emergency ordinance, which council approved unanimously, comes just days after city officials urged lodging establishments and short-term rentals to voluntarily stop accepting new reservations. That move was prompted by a Montana Free Press story citing data from AirDNA — a company that analyzes usage data related to the short-term rental industry — showing the number of vacation rental reservations in Montana had skyrocketed in recent weeks, especially in the Flathead Valley.

Read more: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/04/05/whitefish-ordinance-restricts-reservations-hotels-short-term-rentals/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 12:55 PM (0 replies)

Bullock Directive Classifies Childcare as 'Essential,' Provides Guidance

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive last week classifying childcare facilities as an “essential business” and allowing them to remain open, while providing additional guidance such as safeguards to protect children, families and childcare workers.

An April 1 press release stated the directive would “ensure that Montana’s essential workers can receive access to childcare during the state of emergency.”

Childcare facilities were allowed to remain open before the directive was issued, but some advocates said the state guidelines lacked clarity. Numerous providers opted to follow recommendations from national childcare advocacy groups and shut down, while others remained open, often in a limited capacity.

The April 1 directive also requires childcare facilities to “prioritize the placement of children whose parents or guardians are essential workers” as defined in Bullock’s March 26 stay-at-home directive. Bullock’s office noted that childcare is “critical to enabling Montanans to continue to work” in essential businesses and operations such as health care, law enforcement, human services and others.

Read more: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/04/06/bullock-directive-classifies-childcare-essential-provides-guidance/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 12:34 PM (1 replies)

MacMurray College Closing at End of Semester

MacMurray College, a 174-year-old liberal arts institution in Jacksonville, Ill., will close at the end of the spring semester, the college announced Friday.

The small private college’s board decided it had no viable financial path for the future. Leaders cited declining enrollment, rising costs and an endowment they called insufficient.

MacMurray’s board attempted to find new sources of capital and to explore financial scenarios for more than a year. The college had also been laying plans to build professional degree programs and educate more nontraditional students.

“However, despite our best efforts, we were unable to secure the capital to fund a viable path forward,” the board’s chair, Charles O’Connell, said in a statement. “We deeply regret this decision and are sorry for the disruption and disappointment it will have for everyone in the Mac Family.”

Read more: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/03/28/macmurray-college-closing-end-semester
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 12:07 PM (1 replies)

Doctor who had COVID-19 says most infected people will be fine. How many did he infect?

Lowan Stewart, an emergency medicine doctor who splits his time between Santa Fe and Norway, said he, his wife and their two children all had COVID-19.

Stewart said he was flat on his back for five days and coughing for another week. His family members experienced less severe symptoms, possibly due to their age and gender.


“It started with a couple of days of mild headache,” he said. His wife, filmmaker Tonje Schei, was feeling a bit off too, but they still attended the premiere for iHuman, a film she’d been working on for the past five years.

“We went to the premiere with like 1,000 people,” he said. “I hugged probably 200 of them.”

At the after-party, he said, there was more hugging and dancing.

Read more: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/coronavirus/doctor-who-had-covid-19-says-most-infected-people-will-be-fine/article_eda6a666-75ca-11ea-9b6b-678bf34aa9b4.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Apr 7, 2020, 11:39 AM (0 replies)
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