• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 3/13 – Good News Friday: South Korea Composting Its Way To Sustainability, Could an Invasive Snail Save Your Morning Coffee?

    by Daily Digest

    Friday, March 13, 2020, 6:15 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


The 2020 census kicks off across the United States this week. It’s expected to be the largest in US history (TS)

Census spokesman Michael Cook told CNN the agency has plans in place for people, households and communities that “don’t have high connectivity to the internet.” And officials say the way the census is designed — giving people multiple ways to respond — will allow local operations to adapt if necessary.

“If we need to delay or discontinue nonresponse follow-up visits in a particular community, we will adapt our operation to ensure we get a complete and accurate count,” the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

Anyone with courage and clear thinking will do extremely well (thc0655)

In his book An Introduction to the History of Medicine, author FH Garrison described the social impact of the pandemic, writing that family members and lifelong friends abandoned one another in an effort to save themselves from infection.

And public gatherings, including church attendance, declined dramatically.

New York City Museums Teach the History of Immigration (TS)

Despite being a so-called “nation of immigrants,” the history of the United States is one of anti-immigrant prejudice and restrictive laws. At the same time, its history is one of community support, of social welfare organizations and religious sanctuaries — no more so robust than on the Lower East Side.

Here are some happy websites to go to if you’re sick of reading articles about coronavirus (jdargis)

“There are cowboy boot guys and gals all over the place — the midwest, Canada, Europe, probably the moon. It takes dedication and sacrifice to become one.”

Large-Scale Disinfection Efforts Against Coronavirus (tmn)

As health workers and governments around the world work to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, large-scale disinfection efforts are becoming commonplace. Using methods ranging from simple hand-wiping to mobile spray cannons, workers and volunteers are attempting to halt the transfer of the virus by touch. While there are questions about the efficacy of some of the broader spraying tactics, disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces can help stop the spread of the virus. Collected here, images of recent efforts in Iran, China, Italy, South Korea, and more.

Could an Invasive Snail Save Your Morning Coffee? (jdargis)

It turns out that the invasive snail species is a greedy consumer of coffee leaf rust, a crippling pest that has threatened coffee production for decades and shut down small coffee plantations.

The study, “Insights From Excrement,” which was published in January, does not promise salvation for the industry, but it does provide a measure of hope for coffee growers who have been hit hard in recent years by the rust and falling prices of coffee.

How South Korea Is Composting Its Way to Sustainability (jdargis)

The thirteen thousand tons of food waste produced daily in South Korea now become one of three things: compost (thirty per cent), animal feed (sixty per cent), or biofuel (ten per cent). “People from other countries ask me very often, ‘How did South Korea achieve this success?’ ” Kim said. Sometimes it is attributed to the fancy technology that weighs and tracks the compost, and to the R.F.I.D. chips used in some municipalities to insure that households pay in proportion to the amount of waste they produce. “That is important,” she told me. “But also I say the government shouldn’t act directly. There needs to be an intermediary between the government and the people.

Decrease in Economic Activity Due to COVID-19 Reduced Air Pollution and Saved Lives (jdargis)

But it seems overall incorrect and foolhardy to conclude that pandemics are good for health — and again I emphasize that the effects calculated above are just the health benefits of the air pollution changes, and do not account for the many other short- or long-term negative consequences of social and economic disruption on health or other outcomes. But the calculation is perhaps a useful reminder of the often-hidden health consequences of the status quo, i.e. the substantial costs that our current way of doing things exacts on our health and livelihoods.

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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  • Fri, Mar 13, 2020 - 6:17am



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    Posts: 2001

    Social workers ain’t afraid of honey badger virus

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  • Fri, Mar 13, 2020 - 8:28am



    Status: Platinum Member

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    Posts: 2001

    What happens if police officers get sick or quarantined?


    As the coronavirus spreads across the country, law enforcement officials say the public should be prepared for interruptions to two basic functions of the criminal justice system: quick responses to all 911 calls, and the right to a speedy trial.

    With little experience in managing a pandemic of this magnitude, some courthouses and police departments have been scrambling in recent days to ensure they can avoid a breakdown in public safety if the outbreak significantly widens in the United States. But many are doing so in a piecemeal fashion, without significant guidance or widespread agreement on what to prioritize and how to keep operating.

    “If we lose 40 percent of our force, what would police service look like?” asked Chris Davis, a deputy police chief in Portland, Ore.

    Departments were making plans this week to quarantine their own officers if needed and deciding how to “triage” essential safety functions, even as judges began to clear their courtrooms, postpone trials and restrict people who might be at risk of infection...

    ...Officers in some departments are privately questioning whether their forces are prepared. One officer in San Francisco, who asked not to be named because he feared he would be punished, said little had been done to plan for what would happen if many officers were exposed to the coronavirus, despite nearly 100 confirmed cases in the Bay Area.

    “There is virtually no conversation taking place,” the officer said. “They’re bringing in truckloads of hand sanitizers, but that’s pretty much it.”

    In a statement, the San Francisco police said that officers were trained and equipped to handle potential disease exposures, but that the department did not comment on “staffing and operational measures.”

    We’ll call a Purge but instead of 12 hours it will be 12 weeks. 🤷‍♂️

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  • Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - 2:30pm



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    Police no longer responding to non-life threatening calls


    Due to concerns about coronavirus, Kern County sheriff's deputies' only in-person response will be for emergencies.

    Kern County, CA –Kern County sheriff’s deputies will only respond in-person to situations involving life-threatening emergencies for at least the next several weeks due to concerns about coronavirus.

    Citizens reporting non-emergency incidents or offenses that are not in-progress have been asked to do so over the phone or online, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) said in a press release on Thursday.

    “We will still respond to the area as needed to address any other portions of the investigation, but will be limiting contact with the public for the safety and protection of community members and peace officers,” the department said.

    Civilian ride-alongs and KCSO participation in community events have been cancelled at least through the end of March.

    Inmate visitation has been indefinitely suspended at all local detention centers, and the department is working to establish video visitations in the interim, The Bakersfield Californian reported.

    Attorney visits with inmates will still be allowed, according to KTLA.

    The department said that the temporary changes were made “out of an abundance of caution” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the press release.

    “The purpose is to ensure the health and safety of our community as public safety is our number one priority,” the KCSO said.

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  • Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - 4:55pm



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    Robberies being committed by people wearing medical masks


    A string of robberies that have featured suspects wearing medical masks have taken place across the country in recent weeks, though all seem to be unrelated.

    The Atlanta suburb of Smyrna has been plagued by a serial bank robber who robbed two banks there late last month. The man wore a medical mask both times.

    Last Saturday, two gunmen wearing masks jumped a group of workers transporting $200,000 in cash at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York.

    On Wednesday, a man in Boston robbed a bank while wearing a surgical mask, and on Friday, the same thing happened in New Jersey.

    This isn't the first time surgical masks have been used in robberies; in the fall there was a series of five robberies in Austin, Texas featuring a suspect who wore a medical mask.

    The masks, used widely by doctors and medical professionals, have become commonplace in public due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout the U.S. Despite through the roof demand for the masks, Surgeon General Jerome Adams urged Americans at the beginning of the month to stop buying them, saying that they are, in fact, ineffective in stopping the spread of coronavirus.


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  • Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - 5:00pm



    Status: Platinum Member

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    Posts: 2001

    Midtown Manhattan bank runs out of $100 bills


    As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

    So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

    The problem was limited to large bills — the bank’s A.T.M.s stayed stocked and customers with routine transactions were still able to take out cash. By Friday morning, the bank had refilled its supply of big bills, two of the people said.

    But the desire for cash persisted: A teller at a JPMorgan Chase branch across the street said on Friday that there had been a “nonstop” stream of customers stockpiling cash over the past two days.

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