first_imgLiberty Science Center planetarium now largest in hemisphereWhen the new planetarium at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City opens this Saturday, Dec. 9, it will be the largest in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. Formerly, largest planetarium in the hemisphere was the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Manhattan planetarium, told the New York Times that the new planetarium has advantages due to greater transportation access for New Jersey school groups. If the new facility has a top-of-the-line projector, he added, “That’s great.” Paul Hoffman, president and CEO of the Liberty Science Center responded that his planetarium has 10 projectors.The LSC planetarium will officially open this weekend. It boasts 88 million pixels, an 89-foot diameter screen that can project 280 trillion color possibilities. At least 250,000 school children are expected to visit the planetarium annually.The center, officially the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, is named after a former high school teacher who donated $5 million for its construction.Best Christmas Decorated Home ContestThe annual Jersey City Best Decorated Home Contest returns for its 15th year, and now includes Jersey City, Bayonne, North Bergen and Union City. Put on by Hudson Media Group, the contest judges homes that have the best holiday decorations and will award three prizes of $1,000 for the best.Pat O’Melia, the host of the Hudson Media Group’s television program “The Jersey City Show,” said that while the contest will have spotters to go through the various neighborhoods, residents who want their homes judged should contact him to give the address so that the spotter can take a look.Every detail counts, O’Melia said, although he said he has a number of suggestions for residents.With spotters already started, O’Melia said people should use colored or multi-colored lights.“All white ain’t right,” he said.He also said don’t cover your address, and people should decorate the windows. Don’t overdo it with inflatables. People should turn on the lights from 6 p.m. to midnight. Perhaps use a timer. Don’t have Santa in the Nativity scene.Don’t depend on home spotters to find your home send your address to [email protected] or Tweet to: JCHudsonMedia.Downtown side holds holiday marketThe Historic Downtown Special Improvement District will hold its Holiday Market & Craft Fair from Monday, Dec. 18 to Thursday, Dec. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Grove Street PATH station plaza.Ring Road to be renamed Rotary Club of Jersey City WayThe Board of Freeholders voted in early December to rename the Ring Road area in Lincoln Park as “Ring Road, also known as the Rotary Club of Jersey City Way.” The Rotary Club of Jersey City was formed in 1916, becoming the 249th Rotary Club in the world.In the resolution passed, the freeholders said: “Personifying the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self,” Jersey City Rotarians have continuously supported the efforts of many Jersey City civic, community and philanthropic groups, including the Jersey City Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Jersey City Boys and Girls Club.”The Rotary Club of Jersey City has helped in the development of the city’s youth, as evidenced by a vigorous college scholarship program. For the past 40 years the Club has awarded to an outstanding 8th grade student in each of Jersey City’s 28 public grammar schools its coveted “Davy Jones Rotary Youth Citizenship Award.”In the 21st Century, the club has managed to adapt to a changing city and population. The club leaders have established partnerships with other organizations and charities to meet the needs of a modern city. This created more opportunities for membership and attendance to meet the needs of a modern workforce. Regularly scheduled opportunities for hands on community service are a big part of the club calendar. Membership in the club has reached its greatest number in decades.NJ Transit pays Franco over land on Hoboken’s borderAccording to reports, NJ Transit paid $6.13 million to the family of a reputed mobster in a settlement for land the agency wanted for a tunnel project cancelled in 2010.The settlement was with Township of Washington resident Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco over the value of a 1.89 acre piece of land of the border of Hoboken and Weehawken was condemned by NJ Transit for the ARC tunnel project canceled by Gov. Chris Christie in October 2010.NJ Transit’s board approved the settlement with M & C Franco & Co. in August.NJ Transit and the Franco family disputed over the property’s value in court since 2010. In 2012, a Hudson County jury valued the land at $8.15 million. However, a state appellate court gave NJ Transit a victory in 2016 after the agency appealed the verdict.The three-judge-panel ruled that the higher value wasn’t appropriate because it depended on the landowner winning approvals from two municipalities to change zoning to allow residential development on the property.According to reports, Franco was was sentenced to a year in prison on racketeering charges in 2014 and released on June 11, 2015.Santa to come to Loews TheatreSanta will come to the Historic Loews Theater in Journal Square on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pets are welcome between noon and 1:30 p.m.This is the 24th year the program has been held, and guests are welcome to bring their kids for photographs with Santa in the grand lobby of the theatre.Do you have a story in your head, or a piece of writing in the works?Reporter editor and published novelist Caren Lissner is bringing her one-shot writing class to Little City Books in Hoboken again in January. Do you have an idea for a novel, story, memoir, essay, or script, or have something partly written but don’t know the next steps? You can bring up to two pages, double spaced (500 words) for critique and publication advice, or just sit in on the class and participate in the discussions, without bringing anything.The next “Get It Out” class takes place Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the book store, located four blocks from the Hoboken PATH/light rail station. There’s a nominal fee for those bringing work to read, and a lower fee for those who just want to sit in and participate in the discussion.“There are so many ways to get published these days,” said Lissner. “Anyone who’s working on a piece of writing is a writer. They shouldn’t be shy about getting their work out there.”Lissner’s humorous first novel, Carrie Pilby, was published in 2003, sold 74,000 copies worldwide, and was released as a movie this year (currently airing on Netflix). She has also published both serious and humorous writing in the New York Times,, McSweeney’s, Harper’s, LitHub, and National Lampoon. Read more of her writing and advice on with questions can reach her via The link to sign up for the class is (as a reader or as an auditor), or stop by Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., corner of First and Bloomfield, Hoboken. (201) 626-READ.Donate clothes for adults, boys, girls as part of domestic violence driveAllstate agency owners from across New Jersey are coming together to host a supply drive to benefit the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV). The donations will support the nonprofit’s mission to provide services to help end domestic violence and financial abuse throughout the state.Now through Dec. 11, the public can participate by donating new winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves for women, boys and girls. A complete list of most-needed supplies can be found here: Through their volunteer efforts, each participating Allstate agency owner will secure a $1,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands® grant. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) will accept the grants and distribute the funding to local domestic violence nonprofits. The dates of the donation drives align with the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which NNEDV supports.The following Hudson County Allstate locations are collecting items:4914 Kennedy Blvd., West New York315 Broadway, Bayonne1317 Paterson Plank Road, SecaucusContact Natalie Terchek at 312-558-1770 for more information. The next step in light rail expansionThe expansion of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail line from West Side Avenue to Route 440 was expected to get final state approval on Friday.“As Jersey City continues to grow into the largest city in New Jersey, we have worked to ensure that our local transportation systems can sustain and enhance this growth,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “I thank NJ Transit for advancing the process in extending the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Route 440 in order to support the future growth of Jersey City’s West Side neighborhood. This expansion will improve connectivity for projects such as Bayfront and New Jersey City University’s new West Campus, and we look forward to working with NJ Transit to further the success of projects such as these, and this important neighborhood.”County Executive Tom DeGise, who was one of the leading advocates for the project, appeared before the NJ Transit board to urge the board to approve the funding.“This means it has cleared the next hurdle,” DeGise said. “The project is estimated to cost about $220 million. This will be a combination of NJ Transit and federal money. The developer is also expected to kick something in.”DeGise said NJ Transit’s portion will need to be matched by federal funding before the project can start construction.“But this is an important step, and something we’ve pushed for years,” DeGise said.last_img read more

The Total Bent Extends Off-Broadway

first_img The world premiere of The Total Bent has extended its run at the Public Theater. The Stew and Heidi Rodewald musical, which begins preview performances on May 10, will now run through June 19 (instead of the previously announced June 12). Opening night is set for May 25.Directed by Joanna Settle, The Total Bent follows Marty Roy, a young black musical prodigy, as a British record producer arrives in Montgomery, Alabama to sign him. The son of a gospel star and self-proclaimed healer, Marty spent his childhood writing the songs that have made his charismatic father famous. But in a nation on the verge of social upheaval, Marty finds himself at odds with his spiritually forceful father as he strives to create a masterpiece that will change America—no matter the cost.The cast features Ato Blankson-Wood, Kenny Brawner, David Cale, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Damian Lemar Hudson, Jahi Kearse and Curtis Wiley. In addition to Stew and Rodewald, the band includes Marty Beller, John Blevins and Brad Mulholland. View Comments Heidi Rodewald & Stew(Photo: Savine Scheckel) The Total Bentcenter_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on June 26, 2016last_img read more

Surging flu cases may herald tough season in England

first_imgDec 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – While the US influenza season has started slowly, cases are surging in England, raising concern that the country could have its toughest season since 1999-2000.In England and Wales last week, about 68.5 people per 100,000 saw a general practitioner for influenza-like illness (ILI), a 73% increase over the 39.5 per 100,000 the week before, according to the latest weekly report from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). A BBC News report said the number also is73% higher than the same week a year ago.Dr. Douglas Fleming, director of the RCGP Research Unit in Birmingham, said the increase was significant, according to BBC News. “In the past 10 years, the only substantial outbreak was in 1999-2000,” he said. “I think we could be looking at something that approaches that this year.”The RCGP report says ILI visit rates of 30 to 100 per 100,000 population per week are “usual when influenza viruses are circulating,” rates above 100 are above average, and rates exceeding 200 are “exceptional.” The RCGP data are drawn from about 85 general practitioner clinics around the country, representing an at-risk population of about 840,000.ILI rates rose in all age-groups and regions in the week of Dec 15 to 21, the RCGP report says. The highest rates were seen among 15- to 44-year-olds, with 79.7 cases per 100,000, and 45- to 64-year-olds, with 75.6 cases. The 65-and-older group had 44.7 cases per 100,000, which was more than double the 18 cases seen the week before.The BBC report said experts believe the unusually cold weather might have contributed to the surge in cases.British public health officials define a flu epidemic as an ILI rate of 200 per 100,000, according to the BBC story. The last time that happened in England was in 1989-90, the report said.”That one caught everyone a bit off guard but there’s been a big push on flu vaccination since then,” virologist John Oxford of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in London told the BBC.Oxford and others quoted in the story urged people to get a flu shot if they haven’t done so yet.David Salisbury, director of immunization at the UK Department of Health, told the BBC, “We have had a very unusual run of winters with almost no flu, so we should not be surprised that here is a winter with more flu. It is very difficult to predict what makes the change winter to winter.”In contrast to the situation in England, flu activity in the United States has remained low so far this season, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued Dec 19. The report, for the week that ended Dec 13, said only three states—Texas, Virginia, and Hawaii—were reporting local flu activity. Thirty-six states reported sporadic cases and 11 states were reporting none.Google Flu Trends, a Web site that estimates US flu activity from the volume of Internet searches for flu information, currently shows “moderate” activity only in Hawaii, Maryland, and Virginia, with the rest of the country having low activity.See also: CDC flu surveillance update Flu Trends read more

Online casino on “strong footing” to absorb live sports return

first_imgShare Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 Share Related Articles Submit Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Alberto Alfieri: Leading the way for Gamingtec’s B2C growth August 25, 2020 SBC News caught up with Soft2Bet CEO Boris Chaikin to discuss whether the recent spike in online casino activity during the break from live sports events could be sustained as Europe’s biggest football leagues kick back into action.Chaikin was asked if the traffic for online casino games – beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic (at least relative to sports betting) – would drop significantly with a more ‘normal’ availability of sports to bet on, rubber stamped by this week’s Premier League resumption. “Yes and no,” he replied. “Casino traffic will be lower but not because of the return of live sports. When people resume their usual lives, they will no longer have the leisure time available during lockdown to enjoy online casino entertainment. “Budgets could be constrained too, due to the anticipated economic consequences of the pandemic and job pause experienced by a significant proportion of the population. “That is not to say that we will see a major drop off in volumes, however; since customer acquisition and engagement over the last few weeks has put us on a strong footing.”Chaikin noted that the Bundesliga, the first of the major football leagues to return, had brought about a significant increase in traffic for sports betting, but not instigated a significant decline in online casino traffic.He admitted that the Premier League is likely to tilt the global casino-sports betting balance to a greater extent than the Bundesliga, but added that he hoped that sports bettors would “continue to enjoy the products they were introduced to during lockdown alongside betting on sports, albeit less frequently, than abandon them entirely”.Chaikin also reiterated that the COVID-19 crisis has magnified the need for gambling operators – and white label providers such as Soft2Bet – to diversify their offering in terms of non-mainstream content, casino games and traditional sports betting favourites.Referring to COVID-19 as a ‘black swan’ that no one expected, he explained: “Navigating the crisis has taught us some valuable lessons that will help shape how the industry moves on, not least the importance of product diversification and versatility.”He added that while online casino as a sector may appear “less vulnerable” than its sports betting counterpart, these ‘unprecedented times’ – combined with regulatory rumblings in the background – dictate that one vertical is never necessarily more stable than another.Gazing into his crystal ball for igaming’s short to mid-term future, he predicted: “The appearance of new solutions, not only for cross-selling but in attracting new players to igaming, will continue to develop in the coming months and drive strategies going forward.”last_img read more