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US Department of Education Uncovers Vast Underreporting of Foreign Gifts and Contracts by Higher Education Institutions – U.S. Department of Education

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled a report today detailing the massive failure of many colleges and universities to disclose more than $6.5 billion in funding and resources from foreign sources including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Section 117 of the Higher Education Act requires institutions of higher education to transparently report foreign gifts and contracts, yet over the course of the last year, the Department has uncovered billions in unreported financial ties.

“The threat of improper foreign influence in higher education is real. Our action today ensures that America’s students, educators, and taxpayers can follow the money,” said Secretary DeVos. “Transparency in foreign funding of higher education is not just something I think is a good thing; it’s the law. For too long, enforcement of that law was lax, but not anymore.”

After four decades of pervasive noncompliance by colleges and universities, this landmark report produced by the Office of the General Counsel empowers American taxpayers with the transparency they deserve about the relationships between taxpayer-supported institutions and foreign actors, who may not have the best interests of students at heart. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations described foreign spending on U.S. schools as “a black hole” because colleges and universities “routinely” fail to comply with the law, and reported foreign money can come with strings attached that might compromise academic freedom.

Major findings of the report include:

  • Two universities failed to accurately account for foreign funding of their campuses in Doha,Qatar, which are funded in part by the Qatari government. The Qatari Foundation exerted its financial influence to stifle free speech.
  • Huawei, the Chinese technology giant supported by the Chinese Communist Party, had financial ties to nearly all the investigated institutions. Huawei targets its higher education funding to issues important to national security such as nuclear science, robotics, and online cloud services.
  • Two Chinese companies are working with one U.S. university on a research project involving crowd surveillance and predictive behavior technology, which the Chinese government could potentially harness for nefarious purposes.
  • A large donation by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to Georgetown University empowered the Saudis to push a particular ideologically-driven narrative through the teaching and learning done on specific topics relevant to the Middle East.
  • One university accepted a $25,000 sponsorship from Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, a cybersecurity company with suspected ties to the Russian government, to host a cybersecurity conference.

In June, the Secretary unveiled a new online portal to make it easier for schools to report foreign gifts and contracts valued at more than $250,000. That reporting portal has recorded more than 7,000 transactions that total approximately $3.8 billion. Approximately 60 of the institutions who have filed through this portal so far had not submitted any reports between 1986 and June 2020. Their disclosures alone totaled more than $350 million during the July 31, 2020 reporting period.

A copy of the full report can be accessed here.

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With Black Artists’ Input, One Gallery Is ‘Starting to Look Different’ – The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — David Kordansky keeps one of Bob Weir’s guitars and Jerry Garcia’s amplifiers in the office of his gallery here in Mid-City. Love of the Grateful Dead, says the artist Mary Weatherford, helps explain Mr. Kordansky’s approach to being an art dealer. “The Grateful Dead is how Kordansky thinks,” she said. “There is a structure, but within the structure is improvisation.”

While the Covid crisis has tested his capacity for improvisation, the Black Lives Matter movement has fueled Mr. Kordansky’s impatience for change. So, in addition to opening his gallery’s new exhibition space along South La Brea Avenue in September and adding important artists over the last seven months — namely the renowned post-minimalist Richard Tuttle — Mr. Kordansky has used this forced hiatus to examine his own role and responsibility in helping to foster a more equitable art world.

The police killing of George Floyd “was a dramatic wake-up call for me — an opportunity to think of these notions of equity, diversity and inclusion in the space of my business,” said Mr. Kordansky, 43. “This is about changing the DNA of my business.”

ImageAdam Pendleton’s “Untitled (WE ARE NOT),” 2020. Mr. Kordansky has sought guidance from “incredible guideposts,” including Mr. Pendleton, Deana Lawson and Sam Gilliam.
Credit…Adam Pendleton and David Kordansky Gallery

Those conversations helped fuel Mr. Kordansky’s decision to hire seven more people of color over the last year (there had been 3 out of a staff of 35). He also contributed toward a fellowship established this month by the artist Charles Gaines to fund the tuition of Black art students in the renowned M.F.A. program at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where Mr. Kordansky studied with Mr. Gaines.

“He has been ambitious in trying to figure out ways for his gallery to better reflect the world that we live in, and the concerns many of us have about it,” said Mr. Johnson, who joined the gallery in 2008 and was its first Black artist. “Racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia — the gallery is working with artists that attack and consider these issues in their projects.”

To be sure, there is considerable frustration among people of color that the commercial art world has taken so long to recognize the importance of diversity on their staffs and their walls. Only recently has there been some effort to grapple with the scarcity of Black-owned galleries. And Los Angeles has been developing a strong network of Black art professionals at places like The Underground Museum, Mark Bradford’s Art + Practice and the California African American Museum.

Some Black art professionals view as paternalistic the dealer David Zwirner’s recent decision to give Ebony L. Haynes, a Black gallerist, her own space to run, however well-intentioned.

Similarly, some are bound to see Mr. Kordansky’s consulting of Black artists as part of a problematic tendency in many fields to give Black staff members the burden of diversity efforts. But Black artists at the gallery say their dealer has been considering these issues for some time and started including Black artists more than a decade ago.

“Just look at his program — someone like Rashid Johnson, like Sam Gilliam — David was the one who had the foresight to see that work for what it is,” said Mr. Pendleton, whose show — which opens Nov. 7 — will feature a video portrait of the choreographer Kyle Abraham. “You can point to an artist like William Jones or even the abiding respect he has for Charles Gaines and you get a sense that this is a deeper endeavor.”

Credit…Sam Gilliam and David Kordansky Gallery

The gallery has been having conversations over the past two years with the Racial Imaginary Institute, an interdisciplinary cultural organization, about potential collaboration. The institute has curated an online group exhibition, opening Oct. 21 — “Listening for the Unsaid” — and will benefit from the proceeds along with the artists in the show, who include Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Nate Lewis, Azikiwe Mohammed and Kiyan Williams.

“It can’t be business as usual anymore for me,” Mr. Kordansky said. “We show a number of artists of color, but that diversity was not reflected in the individuals who occupy the space of the gallery.”

“We have to look in the mirror and as soon as we can begin to make these changes within the system of my gallery, then we can become an example for others,” he added.

Ms. Halsey, who joined the gallery in 2018, said Mr. Kordansky has accommodated her demand that a portion of her work be reserved for Black collectors and that she has been heartened by the increasing diversity of the staff. “The gallery is starting to look different,” she said. “It’s becoming a reflection of the real world.”

In June Mr. Kordansky hired Ola Mobolade, a diversity consultant, “to literally change the entire infrastructure,” he said, including “the procedures and the criteria around new hires, how to create a diverse work space that is inclusive of people of color and individuals who have been left out of the conversation.”

Ms. Mobolade said she was struck by Mr. Kordansky’s “unflinchingness” in developing a strategy that is systemic. “The work we’re doing is not easy and it’s not quick,” Ms. Mobolade said. “The art world is so far behind.”

Credit…Lauren Halsey and David Kordansky Gallery

As Black artists have become increasingly in demand, many have moved on to some of the megadealers. But several artists at Mr. Kordansky’s gallery have notably stayed put, in part because they say he is as focused on nurturing their careers as he is on their commercial potential (one exception is Simone Leigh, who moved to Hauser & Wirth and recently became the first Black woman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale).

“David has been the best thing for me,” Mr. Gilliam said. “He’s an artist himself and he works for you.”

Mr. Kordansky, who grew up in Hartford, Conn., going to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art there, started out wanting to be an artist. But at Cal Arts, he realized that instead, he “wanted to create some kind of foundation for my peers and colleagues.”

In 2003, he opened a gallery space in the Chinatown section of Los Angeles, moved to Culver City in 2008 and then to his current location in 2014.

Bespectacled and youthful, Mr. Kordansky can come across as an earnest, impassioned graduate student who uses phrases like “peel back the onion,” “dig into the marrow of our being” and “try to be a conduit of love.” But he recognizes that he can sound — in his words — “hippy dippy.” Artists say his intensity furthers a spirit of community at the gallery.

“It’s like being on a fantastic soccer team,” said Ms. Weatherford, who joined the gallery in 2013. “He’s almost creating his own work of art himself by gathering together a group of artists.”

Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

That group of artists has now become Mr. Kordansky’s brain trust and his conscience. “We’re talking about these changes that should have happened decades ago — should never have been a problem in the first place,” Mr. Pendleton said.

“Some galleries have never had an African-American artist, or maybe only had one — how can you be a gallery based in North America and not have an African-American as a critical part of your program?” Mr. Pendleton continued. “That’s never been the case with David. He shows queer artists, Black artists — it just seems to be a part of who David is. It should be a part of who we all are.”

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This is the best high-yield savings account for earning and saving more money – CNBC

Editor’s Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

With interest rates on savings accounts dropping to half of what they were just a year ago, many savers are eager to find a bank that offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of more than 1%.

For those looking to earn more on their savings, your best bet is to head online.

The all-mobile Varo Money, Inc. is a San Francisco-based national bank founded in 2015. Its Varo Savings Account ranks on CNBC Select’s list of the top high-yield savings accounts because it offers a uniquely tiered APY program that encourages customers to save more. The online bank also offers two savings programs that automatically transfer money from your Varo bank account to your savings account, making it even easier to save each month.

Below, CNBC Select reviews the Varo Savings Account and gives you all the details of its features, including the APY, mobile access, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Varo Savings Account review

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

Information about the Varo Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Bank Account Services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.81% (with option to earn up to 2.80% if meet requirements)

  • Minimum balance

  • Monthly fee

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

  • Overdraft fees

    None up to $50; anything greater, Varo would decline the transaction

  • Offer checking account?

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Varo checking account

Pros

  • High APY and option to earn even higher
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • No penalty for overdrafts up to $50 (anything greater, Varo declines the transaction)
  • Option to add a checking account
  • ATM access if you have a checking account
  • Offers 2 programs to help automate your savings

Cons

  • Overdrafts over $50 will cause transactions to be declined
  • Cash deposits are only available through third-party services, which may charge a fee

Varo Savings Account APY

The current APY for the Varo Savings Account is 0.81%. All customers receive this rate regardless of their account balance, but you can earn more if you also open a Varo checking account. Neither account require minimum deposits to open, and you need just $0.01 to start earning interest with your online savings account.

You can earn up to 2.80% APY if you open a checking account and meet certain monthly requirements: Account holders must make a minimum of five purchases using their Varo Visa® Debit Card, have direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month and keep a savings account balance no higher than $10,000 (there is no minimum balance) all in the same month.

Varo Bank compounds interest on your savings daily and credits it monthly to your account.

Access to your cash

Typically, savings account holders at Varo Bank can make up to six deposits or withdrawals per month for free, as required by law. This withdrawal limit is currently waived, however, during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D, which limits the number of times deposit account holders can access their cash each month.

Savers who also open a Varo checking account have access to Varo’s network of 50,000+ Allpoint ATMs with no fees.

There are several ways to add money to your account, including direct deposit, transferring funds from a linked external bank account, using a digital wallet like Venmo, depositing a check through the mobile app or cash deposit.

Since Varo is an online bank, it teamed up with a service called Green Dot® to allow customers to make cash deposits. The service allows you to reload money onto your debit card at the register when you shop at thousands of participating retail locations nationwide, including Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, 7-11, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Albertsons, Safeway, Kmart and Kroger.

Perks

In addition to Varo’s tiered APY program, the online bank offers two programs that automatically transfer money from your Varo bank account to your savings account.

Customers can automate their savings through Save Your Pay, which transfers a percentage of your paycheck into your savings, and Save Your Change, which rounds up your checking account transactions to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to your savings.

Fees

The Varo Savings Account does not charge monthly maintenance fees, and the checking account is fee-free, too.

There’s no penalty for ATM overdrafts up to $50. Anything greater and Varo declines the transaction. Using a non-Allpoint ATM will cost you a withdrawal fee by both Varo and likely the ATM operator.

If you use Green Dot to make a cash deposit into your Varo account, you may get charged a fee by the third party, and there are often limits to how much you can deposit daily.

Bottom line

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}

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users’ deposit options and each account’s compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can’t transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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The Best Tripods for Video, Photography, and Artful Selfies – ARTnews

Among the many common frustrations photographers face, no matter their skill level, is camera shake. Whether caused by low light, unstable footing, or hands that are wont to tremble, unwanted motion can ruin a shot. A quick fix is to use a tripod, which can also expand your photo-taking ability, allowing you to shoot time lapses, video, and self-timed portraits. Find the right one for your needs below, from fuss-free stabilizers to models with lots of bells and whistles.

1. Vanguard Espod Cx 234Ap

In the world of tripods, Vanguard’s model is considered a budget option. But in addition to its good price, it provides ease of use, top-notch stability, and versatility for a range of shooting situations. It can be extended to a height of 61 inches, features a bubble level and strong legs with rubberized feet, and has a pan head that moves very smoothly and can rotate 360 degrees. All its parts can be quickly adjusted, from the flip knobs on the legs to the plate that lets you pop in and lock your camera quickly. This is also a pretty light tripod, weighing just over 2½ pounds, but the aluminum alloy frame can still support a maximum load of three times its weight.

2. Linkcool Octopus Tripod

If you’re looking for a more compact tripod, we like this option, which has multi-jointed legs with super-grippy surfaces. You can place it on a flat surface or bend its legs to securely mount it to essentially any surface, from a fence to a tree branch. Although it’s lightweight and largely designed for smartphones, it’s strong and sturdy enough to support small cameras too. The tripod comes with a wireless remote control that can activate your camera shutter from a distance.

3. UBeesize Extendable Tripod

Another great product for those who love their smartphone cameras, UBeesize’s tripod is a simple yet elegant solution for low-light settings and long-distance selfies. It consists of an adjustable central column that extends to a height of 51 inches, and it remains stable even at its fullest extension thanks to a three-legged base that opens wide. The mount features a holder that comfortably grips a phone; this can be swapped for a plate with a universal camera screw to support light to medium-weight cameras. Whatever your preferred shooting device, the mount can be rotated to switch between portrait and landscape mode, or swivel 360 degrees for micro-adjustments. And once it’s all folded up, you can even use it as a selfie stick.

4. Manfrotto MT190X Pro4 Tripod

Manfrotto’s tripod is a solidly built product packed with features for customization and maximum stability. Its legs can open out at four angles to accommodate uneven terrain, and it features a central column that can swing into a horizontal position at the push of a button, which allows you to shoot from straight above or get close to the ground. This tripod is finished with rubber leg grips, a bubble level, and your choice of a three-way head or a ball head, both of which offer seamless motion. It’s heavier than our other picks, weighing about 4½ pounds, but it’s also capable of supporting much heavier cameras with bigger lenses.

5. AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod

This lightweight and easy-to-use tripod is ideal for hobbyists and casual users. It can reach a height of 5 feet but remains stable even at that maximum extension, as components stay firmly in place when locked. Adjusting it is a breeze, thanks to easy-twist knobs, flip tabs on the legs, and a unique crank for adjusting the central shaft. Because it collapses to a compact size and weighs only about 3 pounds, this is an especially excellent tripod to travel with. The construction quality is far less impressive than that of higher-end tripods, but its low cost also means you won’t be overly worried about scuffs and scratches.

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Donors Check Watchdogs, So They Think – The NonProfit Times

Donors might not be intimately familiar with individual charity watchdogs but as many as 36 million donors use the organizations at least sometimes before making a donation, according to a recent survey. The study also shows they really might not know the difference.

Authors of “Charity Watchdogs: Ignore them at your own risk,” a 10-page report from Grey Matter Research and Harmon Research, surveyed more than 1,000 American adults. The demographically representative sample included 455 respondents who gave to charities during the past 12 months.

Awareness among donors is low for individual brands, ranging from a low of 16 percent for Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to a high of 32 percent for CharityWatch. Donors who said they were “very familiar” with the eight watchdogs in the survey tallied only between 3 and 6 percent.

Collectively, however, half of those surveyed were aware of one or more brands, ranging from “Very familiar” (15 percent) to “Just heard the name” (19 percent). That projects to some 53 million donors who are aware of more than one charity watchdog, according to the report data.

Brand awareness isn’t always clear, the authors warn: “Where there’s a lot of similarity there can be a lot of confusion.” The survey included a fictitious brand, CheckMeOut, and 14 percent of respondents thought they had heard of it.

Charity watchdogs have significant reach, with one-third of donors saying they use them. Comprising the one-third are 11 percent who said they always do, 10 percent who said usually, and 11 percent, sometimes. That projects to almost 36 million donors who use them at least sometimes while 75 million who rarely or never use them or are not even aware of them.

The most likely people to use charity watchdogs are young, non-White, religious, and high-income donors, but even then, the percentages don’t rise beyond 30 and 36 percent for any one demographic.

Millennials and Generation Z (72 percent) were among those who were aware of more than one brand, followed by Generation X (53 percent), and were four times more likely to consult a charity watchdog than are Boomers or seniors. “As today’s younger donors become tomorrow’s older donors, it’s entirely possible they will carry this behavior with them, and the use of watchdog organizations will increase,” the authors said.

When donors do an Internet search for charities, they might not even realize that they could end up using a watchdog organization. In a search of 25 diverse charities of all sizes, the authors found the name of the charity brought up search results that included at least one watchdog’s website within the first three pages, and usually multiple organizations. 

“They will run across information from multiple watchdog organizations without even being aware of those brands or intending to use a charity watchdog,” according to the authors.

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Snapshot into the UNH Photography Society – The New Hampshire

Social distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) offer students the hope of safety and protection during a global pandemic; however, many student organizations on campus are struggling to get new members and provide existing members with the social interaction they desire.  

Rebekah Alpert, president of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Photography Society said the one thing COVID-19 has changed is the “people; we don’t have that many people.” The organization in years past has had about 10 to 15 active members, but this year they only have five – just enough to keep the organization running. Alpert said that advertising their club virtually has been a major challenge for the organization and has not drawn in many new members. The UNH Photography Society meets over Zoom now, so people do not get the chance to see their meetings take place in the Memorial Union Building (MUB) and ask about what they do and how to join.  

The UNH Photography Society was started in 2017 by a group of friends. This group of friends slowly let the club dissolve and were using it more as a time to see each other rather than an organization focusing on photography. Alpert took on the role as president during the spring semester of 2020 with a goal of being more inclusive and providing members with the resources and activities they want. 

Members do not need to know how to take photos or even own a camera to join; phone cameras are allowed for the projects the organization works on. Existing members will help educate a new member on how to use a camera and take a photo, if needed or wanted.  

Prior to COVID-19, members would attend a meeting each week. They would learn about a topic or theme of photography and then they would take photos displaying the technique learned. The meetings were from 3 to 4 p.m. in the MUB, so many lessons revolved around indoor photography and lighting.  

Now, the organization meets virtually on Friday’s at 3 p.m. on a bi-weekly basis. One week consists of a virtual meeting talking about a theme or topic of photography and then the members practice this theme or skill during their “off week” by taking a photo walk. The photo walk allows the member to practice this skill and later share their work at a virtual meeting.  This cycle then repeats itself. Due to the pandemic, Alpert said the few members that remain typically do the photo walk alone, but they do have the opportunity to attend a scheduled socially distanced photo walk. The scheduled photo walk takes place on the Saturday in between the bi-weekly virtual meeting at 3 p.m.; however, members typically go out on their own.  

Another difference Alpert has noticed is that the members seem to practice taking photos of the theme/skill before it is discussed. This is the opposite of how previous semesters were run.  

“I think it gives more of an inclination for people to learn the skill on their own, instead of it being more lesson based,” said Alpert. “To me it seems like more of a way to have fun with photos versus last semester where it was more of a lesson and then take photos based on that lesson.” 

COVID-19 is affecting all student organizations in a different way, for the UNH Photography Society, the five members are hoping to continue to grow and expand their organization. To keep up with some of their work or get in contact with the group, follow @unhphotography society on Instagram or reach out to Alpert via their Wildcat Link page.  

Photo courtesy of @UNHphotography.

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Governor Cuomo Announces Travel Advisory Requiring 14-Day Quarantine – ny.gov

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Arizona and Maryland have been added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. 

 

Neighboring states Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the criteria for the travel advisory — however, given the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between us, a quarantine on these states is not practically viable. That said, New York State highly discourages, to the extent practical, non-essential travel to and from these states while they meet the travel advisory criteria.

 

“We are now in a situation where 43 states meet the criteria for our travel advisory. This is really a bizarre outcome, considering New York once had the highest infection rate,” Governor Cuomo said. “There is no practical way to quarantine New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. There are just too many interchanges, interconnections, and people who live in one place and work in the other. It would have a disastrous effect on the economy, and remember while we’re fighting this public health pandemic we’re also fighting to open up the economy. However, to the extent travel between the states is not essential, it should be avoided.” 

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is available below:  

    

In “Red Zone” focus areas included as part of the Governor’s Cluster Action Initiative, the positivity rate for test results reported yesterday is 2.91 percent – down from 3.31 percent the day before. 

  

Within the “Red Zone” focus areas, 3,955 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 115 positives or a 2.91 percent positivity rate. In the remainder of the state, not counting these “Red Zone” focus areas, 86,585 test results were reported, yielding 1,086 positives or a 1.25 percent positivity rate. The state’s overall positivity rate is 1.32 percent with focus areas included. The “Red Zone” focus areas are home to 2.8 percent of the state population yet had 9.6 percent of all positive test results reported to the state yesterday. 

  

  

The Governor also announced the Department of Health is continuing to partner with counties and local health departments to open new rapid testing sites and expand existing community testing options in communities in Southern Tier and Western New York counties along Pennsylvania border that have seen recent upticks in cases. 

  

Testing sites that will be open to the public for free rapid result tests this week are listed below. Additional hours and locations will be added as needed: 

  

Chautauqua County: 

Jamestown Training Grounds, 240 Harrison Street, Jamestown, NY 14701 

Dunkirk Training Grounds, 665 Brigham Road, Dunkirk, NY 14048 

To make appointment, follow the links for JamestownDunkirk respectively. 

  

Cattaraugus County: 

Allegany Fire Hall, 1st Street (West Main St), Allegany, NY 14706 

Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday 

To make appointment: Any resident of Cattaraugus County can register by going to this link or calling (716) 938-9119 or (716) 938-2265 

  

Allegany County: 

Belmont BOCES Center, 5718 County Road 48, Belmont, NY 14813 

Community testing Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

To make appointment: (585) 268-9250, press #4, to schedule an appointment for testing 

  

Riverwalk Plaza, 121 Bolivar Road, Wellsville, NY 14895 

Testing Days/Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10/20-10/23: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

To make appointment: (585) 268-9250, press #4 to schedule an appointment for testing 

  

Chemung County: 

Washington Elementary School (Elmira School District Administration Building) 

430 Washington Ave, Elmira 14901 

Expanded testing starting: Tuesday 10/20 – 10/24; Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.To make appointment, follow this link.   

  

Steuben County: 

Beartown Road Alliance Church, 21 Beartown Rd., Painted Post, NY 14870 

Testing Monday – Friday (Variable hours) 

To make an appointment, follow this link

  

Tioga County: 

Village Town Hall, 32 Ithaca St, Waverly 14892 H 

Wednesday 12-6, Thursday and Friday 10-6 

To make appointment, follow this link.  

  

Each region’s percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows: 

  

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IVCC Oglesby campus closed for water main break – LaSalle News Tribune

Illinois Valley Community College

Illinois Valley Community College

Illinois Valley Community College’s main campus will close immediately due to a water main break in Oglesby.

The administration will make a decision on evening classes by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

IVCC’s Ottawa Center, 321 W. Main St., will remain open with business as usual.

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With Live Music On Hold, The Industry Needs A New Video-Based Model To Stay Afloat – Forbes

Taylor Swift is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in music. Her most recent album, “Folklore,” debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart despite minimal advanced buildup. Her previous six albums also reached the top spot, making her the only female to have seven consecutive no. 1 albums to open a career.

Meanwhile, Swift’s last tour, which wrapped up in late 2018, grossed over $345 million and enjoyed the highest average attendance per show since U2’s 360° Tour. Her spat a couple of years ago with Spotify and her record label was well-publicized, ending with the streaming giant agreeing to give artists more money.

She’s a powerful star, and while not everyone has to enjoy her music, it would be foolish to deny her ability. She’s a unique talent.

Despite all this, she serves to highlight everything that ails the music industry. For that matter, so do the likes of Elton John, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen or anyone else who makes up the industry’s upper echelon.

All these folks can sell out stadiums in minutes and leverage their clout to wring millions out of streaming services. And because of it, many of them are as successful as ever, which is not a problem by itself.

THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS 

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The issue is the music business, much like society, has become stratified, with a few haves on one end of the spectrum and a whole lot of have nots on the other. The result is that thousands of hugely creative and gifted musicians from coast to coast are struggling to scrape by.

It wasn’t always this way. For decades, musicians followed a tried and true approach to support themselves: put in the work to release an album, sell thousands of copies and then go on tour to promote it.

This business model didn’t make a superstar out of everyone, but it generated enough revenue that allowed a much broader universe of musicians beyond just the industry’s biggest names to at least make a living creating music. Beyond that, it also established an ecosystem that nurtured the next generation of talent. Today, that entire dynamic is gone.

THE NAPSTER EFFECT 

What changed all this was Napster, which conditioned an entire generation of consumers that they shouldn’t have to spend money on recorded music. That mentality destroyed the concept of the album, leading iTunes to sell individual songs instead and, eventually, companies to launch ad-supported streaming models.

Consequently, music has become commoditized, with the likes of iTunes and Spotify only able to charge about $10 per month for access to tens of millions of songs, which leaves next to nothing for most artists. The outcome is that it’s difficult to think of a more significant disconnect between how much people enjoy something and their willingness to pay for it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated matters. Before the outbreak, touring and festivals provided mid-tier and small acts the opportunity to build an audience and make a living. Now those two avenues are gone. Popular festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits have been canceled, while promotion companies AEG and Live Nation have seen their businesses get decimated.

THE FUTURE IS VIDEO

In many ways, music faces the same problem as print media. For years, reading newspapers online was completely free, whether it was the Washington Post or a small local daily. Slowly, it became clear that this model was unsustainable.

And though the business of journalism remains fraught with challenges, many outlets have managed to convince the public to pay for content in recent years. The New York Times NYT  continues to add digital customers at an impressive clip, while the ad-free, sports-focused startup The Athletic recently announced that it hit one million paid subscribers.  

Music has the same task: Persuade people to pony up for premium content. In the wake of the pandemic, when nearly everyone has increased their internet consumption, the key is leveraging the power of video.

Because consumer behaviors have shifted so dramatically in recent months, the appetite exists for someone to build a video service that goes all-in on musical acts, both large and small. YouTube, Facebook, Amazon AMZN (via Twitch) and Spotify all have both the means and, presumably, the motivation to put together a subscription service or an ala carte-based model that allows consumers to watch bands play from anywhere.

The biggest names can probably get away with charging $15 -$40 or more for a show. More obscure acts will garner far less, but the tradeoff is the ability to reach new markets, to team with sponsors and to sell merchandise — all of which is easier to do using a live digital format.

Indeed, what’s better: Touring the country in a beat-up van and hoping 150 people come to your show (which isn’t happening in today’s world anyway)? Or playing in a made-for-video venue and selling your music on a platform that could reach millions of people worldwide?  

It’s always been tough to make a living playing music, but now it’s virtually impossible. Given how quickly the service economy has evolved in recent years, it’s incredible how few platforms exist that allow artists to connect with fans, to build their brands and to more directly sell their art for fair value.

If more don’t materialize soon, the wounds the music industry have suffered in recent years may never heal.

Ross Gerber is CEO and President of Santa Monica, Calif-based Gerber Kawasaki Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor with approximately $1.4 billion in assets under management as of 10/15/2020. Gerber Kawasaki clients, firm and employees own positions in Google, Amazon, Apple and Spotify. Please seek guidance from an investment advisor before making any investment. All investments involve risk and may not be suitable for your situation. Follow Twitter: @gerberkawasaki.

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Synchronicity Films Develops TV Adaptation Of Andrew O’Hagan’s ‘Mayflies’ – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Synchronicity Films, producer of Jenna Coleman-fronted BBC drama The Cry, is developing a TV adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s 2020 novel Mayflies.

Synchronicity has attached Andrea Gibb to pen the limited series after she recently worked on BAFTA-winning BBC drama Elizabeth Is Missing, starring Glenda Jackson.

Mayflies is a heart-breaking story about an extraordinary lifelong friendship forged between James and Tully in a small Scottish town in 1986.

Their companionship takes them to Manchester, where they spend a magical weekend steeped in music and everything that inspires them in working-class Britain.

They make a vow to each other that weekend to go at life differently. But then, 30 years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has the worst kind of news.

Synchronicity founder Claire Mundell said: “His depiction of a life-long friendship spanning the exuberance and promise of youth to the painful realities of later life is at once life-affirming, joyful and heart-breaking. In a time of turmoil, Mayflies is balm for the soul.”

O’Hagan added: “I look forward to supporting the production in every way I can, and encouraging these brilliant people in their task of bringing to the screen my most personal novel yet.”

Mayflies launched in the UK on September 3 and heads to North America on March 23, 2021. It is published by Faber & Faber in the UK, and McClelland & Stewart in Canada.

O’Hagan is represented by Casarotto Ramsay and Associates and RCW Literary Agency, while Gibb is repped by Curtis Brown.

Glasgow-based Synchronicity optioned Shankari Chandran’s debut novel Song Of The Sun God in July and teamed with Nashville executive producer Steve Buchanan on music-centered mystery thriller Shepherd’s Retreat last December. It also optioned The Tattooist Of Auschwitz in 2018.

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