Many dog walkers saw their business take a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic as pet owners stayed home. But at least in some regions, the profession is seeing an uptick.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Hyde Bark Dog Walking saw business drop 90 percent during the pandemic.
“And then, all of the sudden, around the beginning of March, it was like all at once the floodgates opened, and now we’re about back to what we were pre-pandemic,” said Leanna Quartuccio, owner of the company, according to the Sun-Times.
The business went from 21 dog walkers to three and is now back to 18.
Another business, Chicago Dog Walkers, saw business drop 75 percent but is now making a comeback.
Other dog walking businesses in the Chicago area report that business is coming back, but slowly. Some newly vaccinated clients are looking not for dog-walking services but for someone to keep their dog while they head away on vacation.
The decision marked a reversal of the Trump administration’s efforts to expand drilling in the region. President Biden previously placed a temporary hold on oil and gas activities within the refuge, citing potential "legal deficiencies" in a Trump-backed leasing program.
White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said the suspension of drilling "marks an important step forward fulfilling President Biden’s promise to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
"President Biden believes America’s national treasures are cultural and economic cornerstones of our country and he is grateful for the prompt action by the Department of the Interior to suspend all leasing pending a review of decisions made in the last administration’s final days that could have changes to the character of this special place forever," McCarthy added.
Republicans and Democrats have clashed for decades over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Democrats and indigenous groups have opposed drilling, citing environmental concerns.
The US Bureau of Land Management approved leases for nine tracts of land within the refigure just days before former President Donald Trump left office. The leases were announced publicly on Trump’s final day in office.
The Interior Department said a review ordered by Biden had confirmed "defects" with the leasing program.
"After conducting the required review, the Department identified defects in the underlying Record of Decision supporting the leases, including the lack of analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives in the EIS conducted under NEPA," the department said.
Biden has pledged to prioritize green energy initiatives as part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions. He paused oil and gas leases on federal land by executive order in January. The president called for an end to drilling in the Alaskan refuge during his presidential campaign.
Last month, the Biden administration faced criticism after the president backed a separate Trump-era oil drilling project in Alaska.
Shoppers may want to brace themselves for yet another possible supply crunch - this time with meat. JBS USA, the country's top beef producer and its second largest producer of pork, suffered a cyberattack last weekend, prompting reported shutdowns at company plants in the United States and globally. On Tuesday evening, an official from the United Food and Commercial Workers union said all US JBS beef plants are shut down. The company released a statement Tuesday night indicating most of its food plants will be open Wednesday. "Given the progress our IT professionals and plant teams have made in the last 24 hours, the vast majority of our beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants will be operational tomorrow," said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA. The company also said "JBS USA and Pilgrim's were able to ship product from nearly all of its facilities to supply customers."
Does fallout from the attack mean a tighter meat supply ahead, and as a result, higher prices? That depends on how quickly the issue is resolved, according to experts. "Even one day of disruption will significantly impact the beef market and wholesale beef prices," Steiner Consulting Group, which specializes in commodity prices, wrote in a note Tuesday. Partially, that's because of the high demand for burgers and other beef products during Memorial Day Weekend. "Retailers and beef processors are coming from a long weekend and need to catch up with orders and make sure to fill the meat case. If they suddenly get a call saying that product may not deliver tomorrow or this week, it will create very significant challenges," Steiner explained. The attack could also "limit pork supply availability and push up pork prices in the near term," Steiner said. The group noted that "we think this is a major issue but much will depend on how long the disruption persists." Steve Meyer, an economist with commodity firm Kerns and Associates, agreed that a one or two day disruption could cause wholesale meat prices to jump. But if the problem is resolved within a few days, he said, restaurants and grocery stores are unlikely to pass those costs onto consumers. "They would probably absorb those in the short run," Meyer said. "As long as there was light at the end of the tunnel. If it takes longer to return to normal, say a couple of weeks, customers might start to feel the impact.
"Then you're probably going to have some buyers, whoever depends on JBS for their supplies, that probably could be short product," he said. In that case, for consumers, it would depend on where their local grocery store sources its meat. "If they buy it from JBS then you might see some shortages. If they don't buy it from JBS, you might not see anything at all." One restaurant has already changed its offerings because of the cyberattack. Evans Barbeque Company in Villa Rica, Georgia, said in a Facebook post Tuesday that it will no longer take bulk orders of pork beyond this week because of uncertainty over supply. "We're very concerned...because that's a very big part of our business," Alicia White, co-owner of the restaurant, told CNN Business in an interview. Before the pandemic, Americans might have been shocked by the idea of a meat shortage. But the last year exposed the limitations of the country's meat supply chain, which is highly concentrated among a handful of suppliers, including JBS USA. Early in the pandemic, workers got sick at crowded meatpacking facilities, leading plants to temporarily close their doors. The disruption caused prices to soar and led to spot shortages. Now, the prospect of more shortages could raise alarm bells for consumers, especially as they've already been paying more for meat: Beef prices were up 6.1% during the 17 weeks ending May 1 compared with the same stretch the year prior, according to the latest numbers from NielsenIQ, which tracks point of sale data from retailers. Chicken prices were up 4% and pork prices increased 2.6%.
The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week as federal regulators shut off irrigation water to farmers from a critical reservoir and said they would not send extra water to dying salmon downstream or to a half-dozen wildlife refuges that harbor millions of migrating birds each year. In what is shaping up to be the worst water crisis in generations, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it will not release water this season into the main canal that feeds the bulk of the massive Klamath Reclamation Project, marking a first for the 114-year-old irrigation system. The agency announced last month that hundreds of irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be completely shut off instead. The entire region is in extreme or exceptional drought, according to federal monitoring reports, and Oregon's Klamath County is experiencing its driest year in 127 years. The canal, a major component of the federally operated Klamath Reclamation Project, funnels Klamath River water from the Upper Klamath Lake just north of the Oregon-California border to more than 130,000 acres (52,600 hectares), where generations of ranchers and farmers have grown hay, alfalfa and potatoes and grazed cattle. Only one irrigation district within the 200,000-acre (80,940-hectare) project will receive any water from the Klamath River system this growing season, and it will have a severely limited supply, the Klamath Water Users Association said in a statement. Some other farmers rely on water from a different river, and they will also have a limited supply. At the same time, the agency said it would not release any so-called “flushing flows” from the same dam on the Upper Klamath Lake to bolster water levels downstream in the lower Klamath River. The river is key to the survival of coho salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In better water years the pulses of water help keep the river cool and turbulent — conditions that help the fragile species. The fish are central to the diet and culture of the Yurok Tribe, California's largest federally recognized tribe. The tribe said this week that low flows from drought and from previous mismanagement of the river by the federal agency was causing a die-off of juvenile salmon from a disease that flourishes when water levels are low. Yurok fish biologists who have been testing the baby salmon in the lower Klamath River are finding that 70% of the fish are already dead in the traps used to collect them and 97% are infected by the parasite known as C. shasta. “Worst Day in the History of the Klamath Project.” Farmers reported already seeing dust storms that obscured vision for 100 yards (91 meters), and they worried about their wells running dry. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, have declared drought emergencies in the region, and the Bureau of Reclamation has set aside $15 million in immediate aid for irrigators. Another $10 million will be available for drought assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The seasonal allocations are the region's most dramatic development since irrigation water was all but cut off to hundreds of farmers in 2001 amid another severe drought — the first time farmers' interests took a backseat to fish and tribes. The situation in the Klamath Basin was set in motion more than a century ago, when the U.S. government began draining a network of shallow lakes and marshlands, redirecting the natural flow of water and constructing hundreds of miles of canals and drainage channels to create farmland. Homesteads were offered by lottery to World War II veterans. In 1988, two species of sucker fish were listed as endangered under federal law. Less than a decade later, coho salmon that spawn downstream from the reclamation project, in the lower Klamath River, were listed as threatened.
The water necessary to sustain the coho salmon downstream comes from Upper Klamath Lake — the main holding tank for the farmers’ irrigation system. At the same time, the sucker fish in the lake need at least 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of water covering the gravel beds they use as spawning grounds.
The drought also means farmers this summer will not flush irrigation water into a network of six national wildlife refuges that are collectively called the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuges, nicknamed the Everglades of the West, support up to 80% of the birds that migrate on the Pacific Flyway. The refuges also support the largest concentrations of wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states.
The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog
registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to announce our newest award, AKC My
Canine & Me. This award is intended to honor children and young adults who are
making a positive impact on the world with their dogs or achieving personal growth and
success utilizing their knowledge of dogs and their dog ownership.
To be considered, students must be nominated by a parent, teacher, mentor or another
adult familiar with their efforts. Additionally, they must be in good academic standing
and provide a report card (for grades K-8), GPA (Grades 9-12) or school transcript with
A short essay should also be included describing the bond between the child and their
dog, and the reason for the nomination. All children nominated will be enrolled in the
Junior program and receive a Junior number.
“This award is a great way to highlight children who understand the importance of the
human canine bond and used it to positively influence their lives and community” says
Ashley Jacot, Director of Education. “We believe these bright young minds are the key
to a better future which is why we are pleased to acknowledge their accomplishments
with the AKC My Canine & Me Award.”
Winners will be determined and selected based on the following four categories:
Personal Achievement Award: Celebrating children who have overcome personal
challenges with the help of their dog.
Influential Junior Award: Children demonstrating leadership skills with their dog during
after-school activities or gatherings and inspiring their peers and teachers as a result.
Innovative Junior Award: Celebrating children who have excelled in honing their
creativity through training skills with their dogs.
Community Achievement Award: Celebrating juniors who show commitment and
passion through fundraising and contributing to their community for the welfare of dogs.
Winners will be announced annually and awarded $1,000 scholarships which can be
used toward tuition, additional training classes or another dog-related activity.
Additionally, they will receive a plaque honoring their achievement and a mention and
interview on AKC.TV.
If you would like to nominate a child for the AKC My Canine and Me award, please visit AKC.org to learn more about the program and to apply.
3 decades back, not very long after Hurricane Irma still left pieces of Miami underwater, the federal govt embarked on a study to obtain a way to shield the susceptible South Florida coastline from lethal and damaging storm surge.
Establish a wall, the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers proposed in its first draft of the research, now under review. 6 miles of it, in truth, primarily inland, working parallel to the coast by neighborhoods — other than for a one particular-mile extend suitable on Biscayne Bay, past the gleaming sky-rises of Brickell, the city’s money district.
The extraordinary, $6 billion proposal continues to be tentative and at minimum five many years off. For its review, the Corps centered on storm surge — the rising seas that often inundate the coastline through storms — made even worse recently by stronger hurricanes and greater sea ranges. But that’s only one particular worry.
South Florida, flat and minimal-lying, sits on porous limestone, which allows the ocean to swell up by way of the ground. Even when there is no storm, climbing seas add to more major tidal flooding, the place streets fill with h2o even on sunny times. The expanding saltwater threatens to spoil the underground aquifer that materials the region’s consuming drinking water, and to crack old sewer pipes and aging septic tanks. It leaves less house for the earth to absorb liquid, so floodwaters linger more time, their runoff polluting the bay and killing fish.
No one desires to flip away a penny from Washington, but the proposal for a huge sea wall alongside a person of Miami’s most scenic stretches has produced a exceptional instant of arrangement in between environmentalists and actual estate developers, who dread harm to the bay’s fragile ecology and decrease house values.
To some critics, the prepare harkens to more than a century of dredging and pumping of the Florida Everglades, which built way for intensive farming and sprawling progress but disregarded the severe problems to the ecosystem that the state is continue to wrestling with.
A scenic view or loss of life – What matters more?
After Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a second drug test for the banned steroid betamethasone, the renowned horse trainer has been banned by Churchill Downs for two years — the track announced Wednesday.
Baffert’s lawyer, Craig Robertson, joined CNN New Day hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar Wednesday morning. Attempting to display plausible defense of his client, Robertson was put through the wringer by Berman and Keilar.
What wasn’t disputed is the fact that Medina Spirit did test positive for more betamethasone than is allowed for a horse to run in the Kentucky Derby.
“Just because that’s the rule, doesn’t mean it’s the proper rule,” Robertson argued in defense of Baffert, who he described as the Michael Jordan of horse racing.
“Yes or no, did the horse break the rules?” Berman said, pressing Baffert’s lawyer. “Was the amount of the drug beyond the rules?”
“The Kentucky rules do not allow the finding of any betamethasone,” Robertson said, later acknowledging Baffert was indeed aware of the rules.
According to Robertson, the rules are in place to prevent an injection of betamethasone, and he believes they will have scientific proof that Medina Spirit received a topical ointment.
“We will have evidence … that the rules are related to an injection of betamethasone and were never intended to address how the betamethasone got into the horse here, which is through an ointment and a cream that was to treat a topical dermatitis condition,” Robertson said.
“You say he’s like the Michael Jordan of the sport,” Keilar said. “But when you look at his history, it’s more like he’s the Jose Canseco of the sport.”
“The findings [of other investigations against Baffert] have only resulted in two suspensions,” Robertson argued. “If these were significant issues, those racing commissions would have suspended Mr. Baffert in the past and they have not.”
Baffert has only been suspended twice, but Medina Spirit was his fifth horse to test positive for a banned substance in the last 13 years and at least his 29th to fail a drug test throughout his four-decade career as a trainer. Although Jose Canseco was a notorious steroid user, two drug suspensions for Baffert is still two more than the former Bash Brother received from Major League Baseball.
Allergic to shrimp? You may want to avoid eating cicadas, too.
As trillions of Brood X cicadas emerge from their 17-year stint underground, Americans in the eastern part of the country have taken the opportunity to try out what some consider a delicacy. But now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning they may not be safe for everyone to eat. "We have to say it," the FDA tweeted Wednesday. "Don't eat cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters."
Fish and shellfish are two of the eight major food allergens that altogether account for 90% of food allergies in the U.S. Furthermore, the Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations says "food safety risks can be higher when insects are harvested from the wild and consumed raw," as many are doing with their backyard cicadas.
So far this year, the cicadas have been spotted in Washington, D.C. and several states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, New York and Georgia. And they are relentless — people have described so many bugs in one place that it appeared "the ground was moving."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cicadas are not poisonous or venomous and are eaten by many organisms. The agency warns, however, that cats or dogs that consume "many" cicadas may temporarily suffer from an upset stomach or vomiting.
"Cicadas' crunchy/crispy exoskeleton can irritate the stomach lining if eaten in large volumes and can be a potential choking hazard, especially for small dogs," the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine warned in a tweet last month.
But many recipes involving cicadas have popped up in recent weeks, including cicada cookies, fried cicadas and cicada tacos, among many more.
The exact nutritional content of cicadas is not known, but insects can go "pound-to-pound" with red meat with some nutrients, Jessica Fanzo, a professor of food policy and ethics at Johns Hopkins University, told CBSN last month. Insects, Fanzo said, are usually anywhere from 20 to 70% protein and have high amounts of iron and zinc.
Cicadas have been a staple food for Australian Aborigines, New Guineans, Siamese, and American Indians, and were considered a delicacy in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in modern-day Japan.
"[It's] really common around the world to eat insects seasonally, for their taste, for their nutritional importance," Fanzo said. "And even here in the United States, some Native American populations consumed cicadas in times of hardship, when their land was taken from them and they faced starvation. For some Native American populations, these foods have a historical importance for their survival. But it's all about what you're used to."
Last fall, with the Medici Chapel in Florence operating on reduced hours because of Covid-19, scientists and restorers completed a secret experiment: They unleashed grime-eating bacteria on the artist's masterpiece marbles.
From a report: As early as 1595, descriptions of stains and discoloration began to appear in accounts of a sarcophagus in the graceful chapel Michelangelo created as the final resting place of the Medicis. In the ensuing centuries, plasters used to incessantly copy the masterpieces he sculpted atop the tombs left discoloring residues. His ornate white walls dimmed. Nearly a decade of restorations removed most of the blemishes, but the grime on the tomb and other stubborn stains required special, and clandestine, attention. In the months leading up to Italy's Covid-19 epidemic and then in some of the darkest days of its second wave as the virus raged outside, restorers and scientists quietly unleashed microbes with good taste and an enormous appetite on the marbles, intentionally turning the chapel into a bacterial smorgasbord. "It was top secret," said Daniela Manna, one of the art restorers.
On a recent morning, she reclined -- like Michelangelo's allegorical sculptures of Dusk and Dawn above her -- and reached into the shadowy nook between the chapel wall and the sarcophagus to point at a dirty black square, a remnant showing just how filthy the marble had become. She attributed the mess to one Medici in particular, Alessandro Medici, a ruler of Florence, whose assassinated corpse had apparently been buried in the tomb without being properly eviscerated. Over the centuries, he seeped into Michelangelo's marble, the chapel's experts said, creating deep stains, button-shaped deformations, and, more recently, providing a feast for the chapel's preferred cleaning product, a bacterium called Serratia ficaria SH7. "SH7 ate Alessandro," Monica Bietti, former director of the Medici Chapels Museum, said as she stood in front of the now gleaming tomb, surrounded by Michelangelos, dead Medicis, tourists and an all-woman team of scientists, restorers and historians. Her team used bacteria that fed on glue, oil and apparently Alessandro's phosphates as a bioweapon against centuries of stains.
The Biden Administration announced it would be rescinding and revising the Trump-era rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act.
The Trump Administration previously adopted the following:
- Chipped away protections for threatened species by requiring the agency to provide the least number of protections, instead of the longstanding requirement of the most protections, for threatened species up front.
- Eroded away requirements for designating critical habitat for imperiled species.
- Made it easier for the agency to deny listing a vulnerable species and remove imperiled species quicker.
And today the Biden Administration announced it is:
- Rescinding the Trump-era rule that chipped away protections for threatened species by reinstating the long-standing presumption that threatened species should have the most protections, such as prohibitions on take/import/sale, unless there is reason to allow such activities to occur.
- Rescinding several Trump-era rules that erode away requirements for designating critical habitat for imperiled species allowing for key habitat for wildlife to be safeguarded.
- Partially revising the Trump-era rule that makes it easier for the agency to deny listing a vulnerable species and remove imperiled species quicker.
This is a great step in reversing the harmful ESA rollbacks under the previous administration but more is needed to protect imperiled wildlife.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States said: “An ever-growing number of Americans support animal protection and that’s what our federal policies should reflect. Some of the animals listed as threatened or endangered are among our nation’s most iconic species. Today’s announcement is a win for these animals and the integrity of the Endangered Species Act. But this fight is far from over and we want a full repeal of the Trump era rollback of rules concerning ESA listing and delisting. Trophy hunters, polluters, developers and the wildlife traders ran amok within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce for four years, but the consistency of the Biden administration’s push to restore the proper functioning of federal decision-making is so very welcomed.”
Tracie Letterman, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said: “We congratulate the Biden administration on its decision to reverse much of the catastrophic repeal of essential protections for endangered and threatened species put in place by the previous administration. There’s a lesson here for the U.S. Congress, too, where many of the last decade’s attacks on the Endangered Species Act were hatched. We should make it simpler and more straightforward to protect American wildlife, not harder. Federal policy should honor the wisdom and will of the people, not the wretched agenda of those committed to further harm against the most embattled of our wildlife species. We expect federal agencies charged with wildlife and habitat protection to give their full measure to the recovery of species, not to support their continuing decimation.” ++++++++++++++
Transportation and agriculture crews plan to set traps in July along state highways to try to catch Asian giant hornets.
The Washington Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it will partner with other agencies to set at least 1,200 traps across Washington, KING5 reported. They’ll focus on the northwest part of the state starting July 3.
The hornets, found in Blaine near the U.S.-Canadian border in December 2019, are still at large and pose a threat to honeybees and native hornet species. While not particularly aggressive toward humans, their sting is extremely painful.
The traps going out this summer will be placed at least 6 feet high on trees near edges of forests. Crews will check the traps weekly during other normal maintenance and preservation work.
The Department of Agriculture has placed the giant hornets on the list of quarantine pests. This gives the state more tools to help eradicate the invasive species by allowing the department to declare any land within 20 meters of a nest a restricted “infested site” even if it sits on private property.
A bat found in a Madison park, Wisconsin has tested positive for rabies.
The bat was discovered near the restrooms in Olbrich Park, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Public Health Madison and Dane County, the city-count joint health department, says the bat is the fourth to test positive for rabies in the state and second in Dane County this year.
The department says anyone who suspects they’ve been in contact with a bat should consult a doctor. Bats have such small teeth it can be difficult to know if someone has been bitten. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that spreads from animals to people through an infected animal’s saliva. It can cause fever, vomiting, muscle weakness, drooling and convulsions.