Despite coronavirus fears, Austin's 'bat attitude' prevails
AUSTIN, Texas — As the sun sets over Lady Bird lake on a warm summer night, a stream of shadows begins to emerge from beneath the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. The shadows dart and dance across the orange sky like insects silhouetted by a flame.Tiffany Toronto, visiting family from her home in Maine, watched the display with her children Tuesday. “It’s really a cool thing to watch them all fly out. You look at it and you think, ‘Where are they?’ And then they fly out all at once.”This scene plays out nightly during the summer in Austin. Millions of bats depart their daytime roosts withi...
Atlantic City's casinos — all but one — reopen with no smoking, drinking, or eating inside
Atlantic City casinos welcomed gamblers for the first time in almost four months on Thursday, but the seaside city famous for not enforcing Prohibition couldn’t let its guests drink on the casino floors.The booze ban was one of several state restrictions that casinos complied with to open during the coronavirus pandemic. Gamblers wore masks and were separated by empty seats or acrylic glass partitions. No one could smoke, eat, or drink on the casino floor.The casinos were limited to 25% capacity, too, but that wasn’t a problem. Social distancing was easy, as some customers had entire rows of s...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Cuba reopens its cays to tourism, but Cuban-Americans will not be able to visit for now
The Cuban government opened the island’s northern and southern cays to tourism Wednesday amid strong measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the country to shut down travel in late March.Cuba, which according to official figures has had 2,348 cases of COVID-19 and has had 86 deaths, is seeking to attract international tourists to the island’s many cays.Tourists will undergo a rapid PCR test upon arrival to identify possible infections and will not be able to visit the big island itself. Cuban nationals are prohibited from having contact with foreigners and from staying in ho...
Reopening continues in the Caribbean. So does reversal of COVID-19 health protocols
MIAMI — The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda was barely three weeks into its early June tourism reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic when 39 visitors tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival and American tourists started flouting the rules.After health officials informed infected tourists they needed to be placed under a 14-day mandatory quarantine, the visitors threatened to sue and some immediately booked return flights back to the United States.Prime Minister Gaston Browne, relaying the story over the weekend as he discussed the challenges posed by the new tourism health protocol re...
Tom Krasovic: Looking back, San Diego voters deserve thanks for rejecting Chargers' initiative
SAN DIEGO — Nearly four years after San Diegans voted down the Chargers stadium-convention center plan seeking $1.15 billion in hotel tax money, a few words are in order.Thank you, voters.Thank you very much.And if Dean Spanos and family were given truth serum, they’d likely say thank you, too.Football lovers who criticized San Diego voters for rejecting the ham-handed Chargers measure in November 2016 never were on the best footing, but amid the current economic crisis, their case has crumbled to dust.San Diego city finances now under siege because of the coronavirus pandemic would fall under...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Disney World announces more reopening dates for its hotels
ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World has revealed more reopening dates for some of its on-property hotels as the resort continues a phased reopening from its coronavirus shutdown.On Monday, select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground opened for previously booked guests. The locations included Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Boulder Ridge Villas and the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, Kidani Village section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas; the Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Old Key West, Polynesian Villas & Bungalows...
Disney World cancels Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Eat to the Beat concerts
ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World has canceled the 2020 edition of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and has tweaked the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the company recently announced.Not-So-Scary is an after-hours, extra-ticket event at Magic Kingdom theme park, and it typically begins in mid-August and runs through early November. It has included in-park trick-or-treating, Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and themed fireworks. Its cancellation is the latest theme-park development tied to the coronavirus pandemic, which also forced the shutdown of all Walt Disney World theme...
California bans state travel to Idaho over transgender sports restrictions, birth certificate law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to a 12th state, adding Idaho to the list based on the state’s passage of two laws limiting the state’s acknowledgment of gender preferences.Becerra’s order means public employees and college students may not travel to events in Idaho under provisions of a 2016 California law.One of the northern state’s new laws, titled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” bans transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s school sports. The law runs counter to guidance Nati...
The Sacramento Bee
Summer air travel: Masks, a new boarding routine and bagged snacks
CHICAGO — After months of hunkering down at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are slowly returning to the skies — some eagerly, some cautiously — and all curious to see how their first flight in months will be different.On a recent morning at O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 1, used primarily by hometown carrier United Airlines, the scene was anything but what used to be considered normal. There were few families heading off on vacation and even fewer corporate road warriors killing time in the airport lounge. Employees appeared to outnumber travelers at the check-in area. A co...
Cruise lines to suspend sailing from US ports into September
Cruise lines have agreed to suspend sailing from U.S. ports until Sept. 15, trade group Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday.The cruise industry shut down in March ahead of a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still in place that prevents any ship from sailing from U.S. ports. in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.Florida is home to the top three ports in the world for passenger traffic: Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to ...