San Francisco Board Of Supervisors Declares NRA Domestic Terrorist’s

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSWEEK)

 

SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DECLARES NRA A DOMESTIC TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, URGES OTHER CITIES, STATES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO SAME

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San Francisco’s legislative body has challenged other American cities and states to follow its lead and formally condemn the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The Californian city’s board of supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday officially labeling the gun rights’ group a domestic terrorist organization.

District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani, whose district includes the Marina and Presidio, wrote the declaration stating that the NRA “spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence.”

It said the NRA “musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.”

“All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence,” the declaration read.

National Rifle Association protesters
Advocates of gun reform legislation hold a candlelight vigil for victims of recent mass shootings outside the headquarters of the National Rifle Association August 5, 2019 in Fairfax, Virginia. The city of San Francisco has formally adopted a resolution calling the NRA a domestic terrorist organization.WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

Stefani was inspired to write the declaration after the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festivalon July 28, in which a gunman killed three people before shooting himself.

“The NRA has it coming to them, and I will do everything that I possibly can to call them out on what they are, which is a domestic terrorist organization,” she told Fox affiliate KVTU.

She referred to other mass shootings that took place in quick succession, including in Dayton, Ohio, El Paso in Texas and Odessa, also in Texas.

“People are dying every day in this country, and doing nothing is not an option, and that is what the NRA continues to do,” she added.

City Hall passed the resolution unanimously and called on the city and county of San Francisco to “take every reasonable step to limit … entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business” with the NRA, according to SF Gate.

Newsweek has contacted the NRA for comment.

In a statement provided to Fox, it described the move as a “ludicrous stunt” which was undertaken to “distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime.

“The NRA will continue working to protect the constitutional rights of all freedom-loving Americans,” it added.

This week, the NRA criticized Walmart’s decision to end handgun sales, stop sales of certain types of ammunition and ask customers to not openly carry firearms.

The move came after the shooting at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, which left 22 people dead.

“It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms,” the NRA said (via The Hill).

5 U.S. Cities With Perfect Weather in August

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Cities With Perfect Weather in August

What U.S. cities offer the perfect weather for August? Well, it turns out there are several, and they are varied enough to offer something for everyone. The United States offers a wide array of weather patterns (some even within the same place), so if you want to beat the heat and cool off in a breezy summer vacation spot this August, the perfect destination may be closer than you think!

Before we jump in, let’s consider what “perfect weather” entails. The human body is designed to operate optimally at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We feel most comfortable at this temperature and will not be reaching for a blanket or desperately trying to cool off. In addition, most people prefer low humidity and some sunshine on a daily basis.

With those qualities in mind, let’s take a look at which cities offer a much-needed summer reprieve from the heat while also providing pleasant surroundings throughout the month of August.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

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While many California beach towns are going to be sweltering during the late summer, that’s not the case in San Francisco. The average historical highs for the city hover between the mid-60s and low-70s throughout the month of August, and the lows are a nice, gentle 55 degrees. Visitors can also expect plenty of days of sunshine, making the city an excellent place to spend your August vacation.

San Francisco offers tourists the chance to see some iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz Island, and — even though it won’t be sweltering outside — it is still summer, so stopping by the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is a good choice, too.

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

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If you’d rather head for the mountains than the beach, Denver has lots to offer August vacationers. While the average highs are a little above the preferred range (sitting at around 90 degrees), the average lows are a lovely 55–59 degrees. In addition, it’s important to note that Denver has very little humidity. You may need to stock up on the ChapStick, but you’ll be able to comfortably spend hours in the sunny outdoors.

Elitch Garden offers a seasonal water park that is at its peak in August. The Museum of Nature and Science and the Downtown Aquarium also offer some fun (and educational) opportunities for families. Overall, Denver has plenty of summery activities to keep the spirit of the season alive — without baking visitors in the heat.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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With average highs in the high 70s and lows in the mid-60s, Milwaukee offers a lovely reprieve from the sweltering summer heat. It also has a lot to offer as a destination with family-friendly attractions like the Horticultural Exhibit, County Zoo, and Art Museum. The area is also well-known for its breweries and proximity to Lake Michigan. Visitors may also learn a little more about the fascinating history of the Great Lakes while they’re there.

Whether visitors are looking to spend some time outdoors, soak in some culture, or simply sit back and relax with a nice, cold beer, Milwaukee has a lot to offer. It’s an excellent destination for families, couples, or friends wanting to get together and have a true summer break on the lake.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Credit: Lukas Bischoff/ iStock

The Pacific Northwest may be known for its gloomy drizzle most of the year, but summers in the area offer an amazing break from the temperature spikes gripping much of the rest of the country. Seattle, with average highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s and 60s, offers a perfect August getaway. Visitors will be thrilled with a trip to the historic Pike Place Market or with a visit to the breathtaking display of the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Seattle also might be one of the coolest vacation spots around, offering both the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. However, it should be noted that it is not, as many people mistakenly believe, the state capital (that title goes to much-smaller Olympia).

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Portland is another Pacific Northwest destination that promises a great summer experience with ideal weather. With a historical average high around 80 and lows in the mid-50s, Portland offers comfortable August days and cool nights. That gorgeous weather is a perfect excuse to get outdoors and see some of the great attractions Portland has to offer including the International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden.

More adventurous and outdoorsy types will find the hiking trails at the Hoyt Arboretum or through Forest Park excellent ways to get up close and personal with the beautiful towering trees of the Pacific Northwest.

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

If you don’t live near a big city, you might be unfamiliar with the term “Chinatown” and its significance in American history.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Chinatown as: “A district of a large non-Chinese town or port in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin.” So-called Chinatowns exist all around the world, though there are particularly large concentrations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

While Chinatowns had existed in other countries for hundreds of years before making their way to the U.S., the United States features a particularly high number of Chinatowns relative to its size. Here are a few of the biggest Chinatowns you’ll find in the states.

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

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While the exact boundary (and thus, the exact population) of the Honolulu Chinatown isn’t precisely known, it deserves mention on this list for its historical role in Chinese-American culture.

One of the earlier Chinatown settlements, Chinese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the island’s rich sugar plantations. Many of these laborers stayed in the area to work as merchants, and eventually, the early boundaries of Hawaii’s first Chinatown began to form. Of course, the area wasn’t without hardship—the Honolulu Chinatown was rocked by a great fire in 1886, an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1899, and another huge blaze in 1900. But the area endured, and it stands today as the home of the largest Chinese population in Hawaii.

4. Seattle, Washington

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Further north than most other U.S. Chinatowns, the Seattle Chinatown — more officially known as the Chinatown-International District of Seattle — is the biggest Chinese enclave in the American northwest. Home to a diverse range of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese populations, the area acts as a hub of Asian culture in the region and brings in substantial tourism throughout the year.

3. Chicago, Illinois

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The second-oldest in the United States, the Chinatown neighborhood in south Chicago is certainly worth visiting. The bulk of the Chicago Chinatown population came from immigrants fleeing persecution on the West Coast; the establishment of the San Francisco Chinatown (as detailed below) made Chinese culture a staple in America, but the immigrants there faced extensive prejudice from U.S. nationals.

In an ironic twist, U.S. citizens viewed Chinese influence as a detriment to American culture, despite the fact that American culture (not even 100 years old at that point) had its foundation in African slave labor and Native American blood. Regardless, immigrants found some relief in their newly-formed Chinatown, where it stands today as one of the most populous Chinese enclaves in the country.

2. San Francisco, California

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The San Francisco Chinatown is possibly the largest, and certainly the oldest, Chinese enclave in America. Its origins date back to the 1850s, when large influxes of Chinese immigrants made their way to the West Coast. These immigrants typically worked hard-labor jobs, such as mining or railroad construction, and struggled to integrate into American culture. As their populations grew, so too did their enterprise, with Chinese-owned shops, restaurants, and apartments filling the town. This gentrification led to the birth of the United States’ first Chinatown, a historic landmark that exists to this day.

1. Manhattan, New York

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The Manhattan Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world, with the New York City area featuring the biggest Chinese population outside of Asia. Indeed, there are so many Chinese people there that one Chinatown can’t hold everyone; to date, there are nine different Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City alone.

This particular Chinatown is considered a bastion of Chinese culture, both in the U.S. and abroad. The region is home to the Museum of Chinese in America and is a regular destination for new Chinese immigrants coming to the country. However, in true Manhattan fashion, rent prices are skyrocketing in the area, forcing out many of the poorer populations in favor of wealthier patrons who can afford the exorbitant prices.

Going Down to Chinatown

Credit: MongkolChuewong / iStock

This list is just a small sampling of the diverse Chinatowns that exist in America. The enclaves have long been thought of as cultural oddities to natives, but to Chinese immigrants, they’re welcome reminders of the comfort and culture they left behind. And while most Chinatowns these days have experienced surges in diversity compared to what they once had, there’s no taking away from the cultural impact they’ve had on our history.

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7 Jaw-Dropping Architectural Masterpieces

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

7 Jaw-Dropping Architectural Masterpieces

Of all the artistic works we humans have come up with over the years, our architectural achievements may be the most powerful. Great architecture combines form and function; it serves a purpose while acting as a symbol of the culture that created it. Much of our understanding of ancient cultures comes from the architecture they left behind, making it a crucial part of world history and our understanding of civilization as a whole.

If you get a chance, pay a visit to a few of these jaw-dropping masterpieces to get a full idea of how powerful architecture can be.

Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Created in 1997 by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the White Temple is one of the newest architectural wonders on this list, though it certainly deserves its place. A sparkling wonder of white plaster and glass, the White Temple is an artistic expression that combines traditional Thai beliefs with modern culture.

Though the exterior of the temple was designed in the Buddhist fashion common in Thai temples, the interior contains an expansive series of pop culture imagery, including depictions of Spider-Man, The Terminator, Michael Jackson, and more. Yes, really. And while photos of the inside of the temple are prohibited by Thai law, seeing the exterior alone should be enough to give you an idea of the grandeur of this bizarre project.

Great Wall of China

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Yes, China’s Great Wall certainly makes our list. And while it’s not the easiest architectural wonder for Americans to reach, it’s worth the trip. Sections of the 13,000+ mile wall were built as far back as the 7th century BCE, with new additions and revisions made over the next several thousand years.

There’s not much else to say about this one, because you already know it! The Great Wall of China is one of the most enduring works out there, with historians agreeing that it’s one of the most impressive architectural feats in human history.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Credit: master2 / iStock

Known casually as “the Pink Mosque,” the design of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is stunning.

This isn’t your grandma’s mosque; rather than the plain grays and slates typical of religious buildings, the Pink Mosque features a kaleidoscope of color, with pink floor tiles, rainbow stained glass, and painted geometric patterns adorning every interior wall. The outside is similarly impressive, but for this one, you really need to go inside to see its most impressive elements.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

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Another architectural favorite, the Colosseum is one of those ancient works that always seems to capture our imaginations. Completed around 80 AD, modern scholars believe that the Colosseum represents the brutality of Imperial Rome, noting its dark history of public executions, gladiator matches, and violent chariot races.

Despite its brutal history, it’s hard to ignore the Colosseum’s beauty as an architectural achievement. Reported to hold anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 spectators in its prime, it dwarfs many modern arenas and serves as a constant (and fragmented) reminder of a lost world.

Santorini/Thera, Greece

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If you ever find yourself in Greece, stop by the island of Santorini. One of many islands on the Aegean Sea, Santorini doesn’t feature one specific architectural achievement. Instead, the whole island can be considered an architectural achievement, acting as a modern representation of ancient Cycladic architecture.

On the island, you’ll see a series of white painted villages dotting red island cliffs, with residents adorning their homes in bright yellow, cyan, and red. Combined with the lush greenery of the region and its proximity to the deep blue Aegean, the whole island bursts forth in vivid colors and unique cliffside architecture unlike any you’ll see in the world.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA

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The Golden Gate Bridge is a masterpiece of engineering if we’ve ever seen one. The bridge’s impressive length of 1.7 miles is matched by its height, standing a cool 220 feet above the waters of the Golden Gate Strait. Designed primarily by Charles Alton Ellis, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most enduring modern architectural works in the United States, even being named one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

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One of the most visually striking buildings on this list, the Sagrada Familia basilica is an unfinished Roman Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1852. However, despite Gaudi devoting his life to the building’s creation, he would die with less than a quarter of the project complete. And while a current team of architects is working to finish what Gaudi started, the fact that the church is unfinished is a selling point to many of the basilica’s 2.5 million annual visitors. With a surprisingly modern design approach that blends traditional church architecture with Gothic elements, this one is worth a visit—finished or not.

Monuments to Culture

From China to Italy to right here in the U.S., our architectural monuments are more than just buildings. They’re tributes to our culture. If you ever get a chance to scope out one of these engineering marvels, we suggest you take it. These wonders won’t be around forever, and when they go, they’ll take huge chunks of history with them.

9 Things You May Have Never Known About San Francisco

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

9

Things You Never Knew About San Francisco

San Francisco has been a source of intrigue and inspiration to Americans since gold prospectors first stepped foot on its soil in search of vast riches over 150 years ago. Of course, a lot has changed since then, but San Francisco is as much a part of the American fabric as East Coast cities like New York and Boston. If you plan on traveling to San Francisco in the near future, here are nine obscure facts about the city you can impress the locals with.

Two of the Most Crooked Streets in the World Are Here

Two of the Most Crooked Streets in the World Are Here

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Driving in any big city is a pain. But in San Francisco, two of the streets are so crooked that they will literally leave you nauseated. Of course, locals know those two streets well: Lombard Street, in the Russian Hill neighborhood, and Vermont Street, located in Potrero Hill. Just take a look at these streets via photograph and try not to get dizzy. They literally zig and zag, while making sharp turns on a dime. There’s some debate as to which of the two holds the title for “most crooked” (Vermont Street, technically, is the winner) but this is one of the rare cases where practical minded folks can say that they both own the honor.

The Bear on the California Flag Lived Here

The Bear on the California Flag Lived Here

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You know that iconic bear on the California state flag? Well, turns out he has a name, Monarch, and once roamed the grasses of Golden Gate Park. Today we think of Golden Gate Park as a place for rock concerts and young people tossing around frisbees. But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, Monarch was one of the last known wild California grizzly bears. He was brought to San Francisco, by way of Los Angeles, thanks to newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1889 and was soon roaming freely in a bear enclosure located in Golden Gate Park. San Francisco locals grew to love Monarch so much that his likeness was depicted on the state’s official flag. Monarch died in 1911 but you can still see his taxidermized pelt on display today at Golden Gate Park’s Academy of Sciences.

No, Mark Twain Did Not Say That

No, Mark Twain Did Not Say That

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Anyone who’s ever spent the summer months of July or August in San Francisco knows that weather can sometimes dip down into the 50s and 60s. Sure, you’re in California but the summer months in San Francisco can often feel like the fall in New England. The summer months are so unseasonably cool here that there’s a witty quote often credited to Mark Twain in which he says, “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.” Funny, right? The only problem is, Mark Twain never said it. According to the fact-checking website Snopes.com, an extensive review of all of Twain’s writings and private letters can find no instance of the great American author ever saying such a thing. In fact, the origins of the phrase are completely unknown.

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Home to the First and Only Emperor of the United States?

Home to the First and Only Emperor of the United States?

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Since its founding in 1776, the United States has managed to stay a democracy (at least for the time being) with a freely elected president and congress. Yet in 1859 a San Francisco eccentric by the name of Joshua Abraham Norton had the gall to proclaim himself “Emperor of the United States.” One of his first acts as Emperor was to ban the word “Frisco” from all public use. Those who broke the “law” were subject to a fine of $25. Yes, this really happened. Of course, no one ever took the man or his proclamations seriously, yet Emperor Norton I, as he preferred to be called, was a beloved figure in the city who would often parade around town in full military garb. The Francisco Board of Supervisors even went so far as to purchase him a brand new imperial military suit, after his old one began to show signs of wear and tear. Emperor Norton died in 1880 at the age of 61 and since his death there have been numerous unsuccessful efforts to name the San Francisco—Oakland Bay Bridge after him.

Jeans Were Invented in San Francisco

Jeans Were Invented in San Francisco

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A native of Germany, Levi Strauss found success in America by selling dry goods. In 1853 he moved to San Francisco to cater to the growing number of gold prospectors that were flocking to the city each day in search of fortune. Strauss saw that the pants the prospectors were wearing couldn’t hold up under rough conditions, so he decided to create something that was more durable. He teamed up with a tailor by the name of Jacob Davis and together they patented the first “waist overalls,” as Levi’s jeans were initially called, in 1873. His iconic “501 jeans” would first be sold to the public in 1890. Strauss passed away in 1902 but today just about every person owns a pair of jeans, thanks to him … and it all started in San Francisco.

Some of San Francisco Is Built Atop Buried Ships

Some of San Francisco Is Built Atop Buried Ships

Credit: Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

Back during its gold rush heyday of the 1840s and 1850s, one of the quickest ways to reach San Francisco, if you were a fledgling gold prospector, was by ship. As the city grew at a staggering pace throughout the latter half of the 19th century, most of these vessels were abandoned and left to rot. Seeing as there was nowhere for the rotting vessels to go, the quick solution was to cover them up with landfill and build over them. No one paid much attention to the buried ships but by the 1960s archaeologists working in the city began to discover these abandoned vessels below the service. They even began drawing maps where you can now see where the ships are buried.

There are Currently as Many Dogs as Children

There are Currently as Many Dogs as Children

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Like many big cities these days, San Francisco is becoming ever more unaffordable. According to a March 2019 study, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $3,690 per month. That’s not exactly the kind of rent you want to be paying if you’re trying to raise a family on a middle class salary. Maybe this is why so few couples in San Francisco are having children. A January 2017 New York Times article revealed that there are about as many dogs as children in the city (about 120,000). In some areas of the city schools are virtually non-existent, but there are plenty of doggie grooming shops.

Fortune Cookies Were Born in San Francisco

Fortune Cookies Were Born in San Francisco

Credit: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

Fortune cookies did not originate in China. Fortune cookies were first served at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in the 1890s. They were made by the San Francisco bakery Benkyodo. No one knows for sure how the cookies made the leap over to Chinese restaurants, but by the end of World War II they were popping up in restaurants all across the country.

Bison Live in Golden Gate Park

Bison Live in Golden Gate Park

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It seems hard to believe today, but 100 years ago all types of wild animals roamed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, including goats, elk, bears and bison. Times have changed and most of the animals that used to live in the park no longer reside there. Strangely enough, a few dozen bison still inhabit a specialized area known as the Buffalo Paddock. The bison were transported to the park from the Great Plains in the 1890s and have remained in San Francisco ever since. And seeing as bison are for the most part docile creatures, the city even allows you to see what they’re like up close. Information on when and where to see the Golden Gate bison is available here.

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4 iconic pop culture sites (and where to see them)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

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4 iconic pop culture sites (and where to see them)

When you go on vacation do you stick to classic attractions like museums and castles? Or would you rather do a bit of sleuthing to find eye-catching places you saw in a movie or television show? If that’s you, this means that pop culture has played a major influence on your travel decisions. And if you’re in need of a bit more inspiration to decide where to go next, these four iconic pop culture sites should help make up your mind.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing, Tokyo

Credit: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

Made famous by: Lost in Translation

If you’ve seen this award-winning flick that starred Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, you know that Lost in Translation was as much an “advertorial” for visiting Tokyo as it was about two people awkwardly trying to manage the culture shock and discomfort of adjusting to life in an entirely new country. Shibuya is a very popular district in Tokyo that’s known as a nexus of entertainment fashion, and the site of the infamous Shibuya Scramble Crossing.

This is literally an intersection right in front of one of Tokyo’s busy JR East train line stations and between massive multi-level department stores. While you can certainly enjoy the experience of doing the scramble by crossing back and forth across the three intersecting streets, you can also visit the Starbucks in the Q-Front building that overlooks the crosswalk from up high.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Made famous by: Game of Thrones

If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you probably know Dubrovnik as a gorgeous seaside town in Croatia that’s perfect for summer vacations and music festivals. That is certainly true, but if you did watch the popular HBO show, you’re well aware that Dubrovnik also serves as the filming location for the fictional King’s Landing. Pretty much any place that has been used as a backdrop in the show is now a popular tourist destination.

But Dubrovnik has doubled down on their new-found interest. If you plan on visiting here, visit the city museum that doubled as Littlefinger’s brothel, then stop by the Trsteno Arboretum, which is where Lady Olenna Tyrell stayed during her visits to King’s Landing. After all of that Game of Thrones sightseeing, just enjoy the architecture of this historic medieval town. And if you visit Dubrovnik in the summer, time it right so you can experience the nation’s largest festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

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Made famous by: The Shining

You may have read one (or several) of Stephen King’s many books or watched the accompanying movies. Well, it turns out that King was inspired to write The Shining after he visited this hotel. The Stanley Hotel is a turn-of-the-century establishment located in Estes Park, Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park. Apparently, even the literal King of horror (pun intended) was so spooked by his stay at this hotel that he wrote The Shining.

If you’ve never read the book or watched the movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, it’s the story of a man (infamously played by Jack Nicholson) who is hired to be the on-site groundskeeper/maintenance man for a hotel during the offseason. But shortly after his arrival with his family, spooky things begin to happen. And in real life, this gorgeous architectural gem that debuted in 1909 is said to be haunted. Rather than downplay this rumor, the hotel embraces it by acknowledging that The Shining renewed interest and investments in the space. If you’re up to the challenge, the Stanley Hotel even offers a night tour.

The Painted Ladies, San Francisco

Credit: MasterLu / iStock

Made famous by: Full House

San Francisco is an iconic and historic town in its own right. From the TransAmerica Building to its cable cars traveling up and down Powell Street, the city is a photographer’s dream. But if you grew up watching TGIF on ABC or you’re getting your nostalgia kicks from Netflix’s Fuller House, you’re probably familiar with this particular pop culture location. The Painted Ladies are Victorian-style homes that sit across from Alamo Square. Each of the homes is painted in three colors to help them stand out.

While this tourist attraction has continued to rise in appeal, you might be a bit bummed to realize that very little Full House filming took place in San Francisco. These iconic homes were used in the opening credits and in establishing shots of the show. In truth, only one episode, “Comet’s Excellent Adventure,”was shot in the city.

So do you have your bags packed yet? The next time you’re planning a vacation, definitely check out the “traditional” attractions. But also be sure to do a bit of Googling and find the pop culture sites that will take your trip to the next level.

Homeless Populations Are Surging in Los Angeles. Here’s Why.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

CALIFORNIA TODAY

Homeless Populations Are Surging in Los Angeles. Here’s Why.

Good morning.

(Here’s the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today by email.)

The grim stats from around California have piled up in recent weeks:

In Alameda County, the number of homeless residents jumped 43 percent over the past two years. In Orange County, that number was 42 percent. Kern County volunteers surveying the region’s homeless population found a 50 percent increase over 2018. San Francisco notched a 17 percent increase since 2017.

And on Tuesday, Los Angeles officials released the results of their most recent count: Homelessness was up by 12 percent over last year in the county and up 16 percent in the City of Los Angeles.

That puts L.A. County’s homeless population at 58,936 and the city’s at 36,300.

And yet, communities around the state have been funneling more money into services for the homeless, like L.A.’s Measure H sales tax, which is adding about $355 million each year to the arsenal.

[Read about why some are rethinking homelessness in the Bay Area as a regional issue.]

So why are more people living in squalid conditions on the streets or in cars? Advocates for the homeless say it’s upsetting, but no surprise.

“Our housing crisis is our homeless crisis,” Elise Buik, president and chief executive of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, told me. “And we’ve got to get people to understand that.”

She said that people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse issues and who are living in encampments are often the most visible, but it is a myth that people experiencing homelessness decline help or prefer to live outdoors — one that contributes to misconceptions about the effectiveness of often costly services.

Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, emphasized that the Measure H money has significantly increased the number of people the region’s service providers have been able to help.

According to the authority’s data, outreach workers engaged with 34,110 people over the year, which was triple the number before Measure H.

And almost 1,400 permanent supportive housing units built with money from Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond, are set to open in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

“I do feel like the first honest year to assess will be to freeze frame from now to next year,” Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles told me late last week.

Ultimately, though, he said housing affordability was the biggest factor driving homelessness.

An Angeleno would need to earn $47.52 an hour just to afford the median monthly rent, according to L.A.H.S.A. figures.

[Read more about why the state has a housing crisis.]

Although there’s broad acknowledgment — from Gov. Gavin Newsom on down — that part of the solution is millions more homes, legislative fixes that would spur housing construction have proven knotty, to say the least.

Senate Bill 50, which was effectively killed for the year, would have allowed for denser development in many areas, including some neighborhoods of single-family homes.

Mr. Garcetti said that bill was “definitely a bad stick for us.”

The bill would threaten neighborhood character, he said. And L.A., he noted, builds more than its proportional share of housing compared with the rest of the county.

Though Mr. Garcetti says he’s in favor of measures that would force other cities that aren’t allowing new construction to add to their housing supplies, he’s been focused on legislation that would slow skyrocketing rents.

(oped: By oldpoet56)( To me, a person who has traveled every city in this Nation above 100,000 population many times in my life the reason for homelessness in these cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco is obvious. The main reason is: people have to live somewhere even if it is in a cardboard box or under a bridge. Housing cost are way to high for a huge amount of the population. Jobs don’t pay enough for people to afford a rent payment. Vehicle costs are so high that people making anywhere near the minimum wages can not afford a ride to a job or job interviews. There are a lot of ‘working poor’ who are simply trying not to starve. If the Federal and State governments would address these issues then a huge percent of the homeless people would not be homeless.)

“This is the No. 1 issue in every city in California,” he said.

Affordability Crisis Prices National Park Service Office Out of San Francisco

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF KQED NEWS)

 

THE CALIFORNIA REPORT

Affordability Crisis Prices National Park Service Office Out of San Francisco

Park rangers meet in front of Yosemite Falls. (David Calvert/Getty Images)

Federal officials plan to relocate an office that helps oversee 60 national parks throughout the western United States from downtown San Francisco to Vancouver, Washington, in a move they say could save millions of dollars.

Staff at the National Park Service Pacific West Regional Office were told this week that the local unit is expected to move out of the Financial District building it has been stationed at since 2011.

Agency leaders say relocating will mean they can stop paying rent and pay their staff less.

“We have struggled with recruitment in San Francisco for years due to the high cost of living,” said Stan Austin, the region’s director, in a staff memo obtained by KQED.

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The Pacific West Regional Office manages parks in eight states and several U.S. territories, spanning close to 13 million acres and visited by more than 66 million people annually.

The region includes popular parks in California, like the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument and Yosemite National Park, as well as the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

About 150 people work in the regional office’s current space at 333 Bush St., where the rent is $2 million a year, according to the park service. The 10-year lease on the space ends in 2021.

The park service plans to move the Pacific West Region staff to a vacant building it owns at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Federal officials believe they will save money, not only by not having to pay rent, but by paying reduced salary and benefits to its workers after the move takes place.

The agency says it will save $1.8 million a year by paying their staff less.

“The NPS considered various factors in making this decision, including the more favorable cost of living, the expected long-term taxpayer savings from using an NPS-owned building rather than leasing, and the preservation benefits of adapting a historic building for modern use,” said Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz in an email.

The Interior Department approved the relocation plan, which is now awaiting approval from Congress.

It is unclear how many current employees will make the move to Washington state.

“We recognize that many of you are thinking about what this move means personally, as well as what this means in terms of the service we provide and the relationships we have,” Austin wrote in his memo.

Tsunami Warning Canceled After 7.9 Earthquake Just Off Of Alaska

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves.

The tsunami alerts were canceled “because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat,” said the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.
Small tsunami waves of less than 1 foot were reported in Alaska, the center said.
The minor tsunami was triggered by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck the Gulf of Alaska shortly after midnight. It was centered about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, at a depth of 15 miles, the US Geological Survey said.
Although the tsunami warnings were canceled, San Francisco officials warned residents to stay away from coastlines for 12 hours.
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Shoreline areas, marinas and harbors may have “dangerous, strong & unpredictable currents,” the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management tweeted.

‘Whole town is evacuating’

Nathaniel Moore was on a commercial fishing boat in Kodiak when the quake hit. He said he felt it “shake really good for a minute.” He and others on the vessel quickly got to shore and headed for higher ground amid the tsunami warning.
“The whole town is evacuating,” he told CNN early Tuesday.
Tsunami sirens sounded in Kodiak, and police warned: “This is not a drill.”
Though the tsunami warnings were canceled, schools in Kodiak canceled classes Tuesday after campuses opened overnight as emergency shelters, the district announced via Facebook.
Wendy Bliss Snipes described the quake as “a slow roller, so it was felt for at least a minute before the real rolling started. Nothing fell off the walls, and I didn’t have to wake my kiddo.”
Heather Rand, who was in Anchorage, Alaska, told CNN that the earthquake felt like the longest she had ever experienced.
“It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here,” Rand said. She reported no damage besides cracks in the drywall.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly attribute a quotation from an Alaska resident.

Commemorating Indigenous History on Alcatraz Island

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘KQED’)

Video: Commemorating Indigenous History on Alcatraz Island

On an average day, Alcatraz Island bustles with visitors taking tours of the former federal prison. Twice a year, however, people adorned with colorful feathered headdresses and instruments in hand board the ferry hours before dawn and travel to the historic site in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

On Oct. 9, a crowd of early risers visited Alcatraz on Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate the history and culture of native peoples.

Before the sunrise broke through the fog, people quietly circled around a fire to honor their ancestors with a sunrise ceremony, commemorating the occupation of Alcatraz Island from November 1969 to June 1971 by “Indians of All Tribes,” a pan-tribal group of Native American leaders and activists.

On that day, 46 years after the original occupation, Alcatraz pulsed with energy once again. The sound of a conch shell initiating the ceremony interrupted the silent morning. As the drumming intensified, indigenous people from across the country danced to sacred songs, moving around their elders who tended to the flames in the center of the crowd.

“I come out here because it’s who I am,” said Desiree Adams, an indigenous woman of Navajo descent. “It’s in my blood to be here and stand for my ancestors and to keep our tradition and culture alive.”

On Nov. 23, another sunrise ceremony will be held for the annual “Unthanksgiving Day” celebration.

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