CDC Confirms What Most Assume: Public Pools and Hot Tubs are Pretty Disgusting
May25

CDC Confirms What Most Assume: Public Pools and Hot Tubs are Pretty Disgusting

In case you ever had any doubts that public swimming pools and hot tubs are festering baths of sweat and contamination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a new study that has basically confirmed it. According to ABC News and multiple media outlets, the CDC’s newest report examined 48,632 public aquatic venues in five different states and found that 80% had at least one violation. This isn’t particularly new news to most reasonable people who have been paying attention, but it is eye-opening nonetheless. Even more concerning is the fact that one out of every eight public pools and hot tubs examined were subsequently closed as a result of too many serious health and safety violations. “No one should get sick or hurt when visiting a public pool, hot tub, or water playground,” Dr. Beth Bell, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases said in a statement. “That’s why public health and aquatics professionals work together to improve the operation and maintenance of these public places so people will be healthy and safe when they swim.” There were approximately 21 million households in the U.S. that owned a spa, pool, or hot tub in the spring of 2014. Chances are you’d be much better off in anything privately-owned than in the majority of public facilities. The most common violations, according to the study, included improper pH levels (15%), or the measure of the water’s acidity; issues with or lack of safety equipment (13%); and disinfectant concentration (12%). “You take for granted that you’re safe when you go to these facilities,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He advocates for asking management before jumping in for a dip and using good judgement. “I think [you should] look around the cleanliness of the pool.” Meanwhile, Healthy and Safe Swimming Week began on May 23, 2016. Swim safe out there,...

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Pilot Crash Lands on Ponoma Roof, Considers Himself ‘Luckiest Guy in the World’
May23

Pilot Crash Lands on Ponoma Roof, Considers Himself ‘Luckiest Guy in the World’

After crash landing on the roof of an office building in Pomona, the pilot of a small plane reports that he feels like “the luckiest guy in the world” for surviving the incident with only minor broken bones and cuts to show for it. On Monday night, Donald Bach told NBC Los Angeles of the harrowing incident from his hospital bed. As he was flying his Piper PA-28 aircraft, he realized that the engine had lost power. Although he admits feeling a moment of panic, Bach spotted the business’s rooftop and decided to focus on landing safely on the building, as it was the best option for a landing spot. There are many kinds of roofing materials used by businesses, including aluminium, steel, and slate. In the case of this particular building — a state trooper office building — it was a flat roof with an asphalt coating, making it the perfect spot for Bach to crash land his one-engine plane. “It was kind of a shock,” Bach said. “I knew it was going to be close, but I was also coming in at a fairly slow speed so I was hoping I could slam the brakes. Kind of miraculously, that tire caught in the roofing there and worked as sort of an anchor.” Ultimately, the nose of the plane punched a hole in the building’s roof. When Bach regained consciousness, the paramedics had arrived. Bach didn’t suffer any major damage to his body, save a few bone breaks in his ankle and cuts on his forehead. “I was very, very fortunate,” said Bach, 61. “I don’t think I learned a whole lot other than that I’m a lucky guy.” And despite the traumatic incident, Bach is still considering getting back in an airplane and flying. “I’m not ruling it out,” he...

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States With High Tax Rates Losing Citizens and Businesses
May20

States With High Tax Rates Losing Citizens and Businesses

Americans are on the move for better tax breaks. Recent reports from Gannett News in New York claim that New York residents are fleeing the state due to oppressive property, income, and school taxes — mixed, in some upstate areas, with a sluggish economy. New York leads the nation in numbers of people relocating to other states, though its overall population continues to rise due to immigrant populations, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. New York also boasts the country’s highest average local and state tax rates at $9,718 per year, or 39% above the national average. It’s not just individuals and homeowners who are looking for greener pastures of tax reprieve. Businesses are also increasingly choosing to run their headquarters and operations in states with lower tax brackets, which can have a significant impact on a region’s overall revenue and job economy. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that $11 billion of income moved out of New York State between 2012 and 2014. Similar trends are cropping up on the opposite coast as well. California has the second-highest tax rates at $9,509 in average state and local dues. The tech boom in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area means that businesses in other industry sectors are being driven out because of increasing rent, wages, and taxes. The Los Angeles Times reports that restaurant chain Jamba Juice will be relocating from California to Texas within the calendar year, marking just the latest in the gradual exodus of commerce. Carl’s Jr., Toyota Motor Corporation, and Occidental Energy have all likewise announced in recent months that they will be relocating company headquarters from California to different states. Moving — for homeowners and businesses alike — requires substantial upheaval. The average costs of personal relocation within the same state average $1,170, and may range much higher for inter-state distances. The largest demographic of movers, according to Gannett, are newly-retired baby boomers. Southern states like Florida offer much lower tax rates in addition to their balmy climates. As the middle-aged generation continues to ease into retirement, high-tax states might struggle to keep those baby boomers at...

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UK Woman Denied Pay For Refusing to Wear Heels
May13

UK Woman Denied Pay For Refusing to Wear Heels

While it might sound like a scene out of a fictional ’60s television show, women are — believe it or not — still ridiculed for what they choose (or choose not to) wear in professional settings. Nicola Thorp, a 27-year-old woman working at a City firm in London was sent home by her superiors after refusing to wear high heels. According to BBC News, Thorp said that she was laughed at after telling her bosses that she didn’t want to wear heels on her first day as a corporate receptionist. “I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms. I said I just won’t be able to do that in heels,” she said in an interview. On her first day, Thorp arrived at the firm wearing flats. Upon arrival, her bosses told her that she had to leave without pay unless she went out and purchased heels that were between two to four inches high. Upon refusal, Portico — the firm that runs the company’s reception at the office in Embarkment, London — followed through with its threat. Now, Thorp has spearheaded a petition to England’s government, demanding that “women have the options to wear flat formal shoes at work.” So far, the petition has accrued more than 7,000 signatures. The petition states that the current law as it stands is “outdated and sexist.” Currently, U.K. employers are allowed to dismiss employees who fail to live up to “reasonable” dress code demands. And while reasonable demands that were equal for men and women might be understandable, a dress code that includes high heels “reeks of sexism,” comments Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who adds, “high heels should be a choice, not a requirement.” After all, we don’t see many offices with men required to wear heels in the workplace. This sartorial inequality speaks to larger, persisting instances of gender inequality in the workplace throughout the world. For example, in a recent survey, 75% of Canadian women do not believe men and women are paid...

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A Pennsylvania Man is Left Injured After Nearby Pipeline Explodes
May06

A Pennsylvania Man is Left Injured After Nearby Pipeline Explodes

A natural gas explosion has left one Pennsylvania man in the hospital with burn injuries. The explosion came from a nearby pipeline complex in Salem Township, about 30 miles from Pittsburgh. According to the State Department of Environmental Protection, the blast was caused by a 36-inch pipeline which exploded and spread to a nearby wooded area. Trees within the area have been severely charred, the vinyl siding of one home has been melted in the blaze, and the home of the injured man is burned and ruined. Within an hour, the pipeline was shut off and most of the fire was put under control. Officials say residual gas could continue to burn for several more hours. “It looked like you were looking down into hell,” Forbes Road Volunteer Fire Chief Bob Rosatti said. The injured man’s condition has not been released, but it has been confirmed that he was taken to the burn unit of a Pittsburgh hospital by ambulance. He was described as unable to move due to a recent back surgery when paramedics arrived. Residents of the area drove closer to the site to check on friends and neighbors. So far, just one injury has been reported. Tragedies such as this recent explosion are often caused by natural gas or propane. Propane is used by more than 8.1 million households, 4.6% of which use it as their main source of heat for their home. Details surrounding the results of the many on-going investigations of the explosion are not expected to be released for another couple of weeks. The impact on gas wells and the environment will also be included in the reports. “Our first concern is for the safety of the community, our employees, and any others who may be affected,” said Creighton Welch, spokesman for Spectra Energy Corp. of Houston, the company that owns the pipeline...

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