Daily Bread for 5.6.21 | FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 5.6.21

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 61. Sunrise is 5:40 AM and sunset 8:01 PM, for 14h 21m 12s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 24.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Landmarks Commission meets via audiovisual conferencing at 3:30 PM, the Alcohol Licensing Committee meets via audiovisual conferencing at 4:45 PM, and the Community Development Authority via audiovisual conferencing at 5:30 PM.

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Alec MacGillis reports Kushner Companies Violated Multiple Laws in Massive Tenant Dispute, Judge Rules:

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh brought the consumer-protection case against Westminster Management, the property-management arm of Kushner Companies, in 2019 following a 2017 article by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine on the company’s treatment of its tenants at the 15 housing complexes it owned in the Baltimore area, which have served as profitable ballast for a company better known for its gleaming properties in New York. The article revealed the company’s aggressive pursuit of current and former tenants in court over unpaid rent and broken leases, even in cases where tenants were in the right, as well as the shoddy conditions of many units.

To build its case, the attorney general’s office subpoenaed records from the company and solicited testimony from current and former tenants, who provided it via remote video link to Administrative Law Judge Emily Daneker late last year.

In her 252-page ruling last week, which was first reported by the Baltimore Sun, Daneker determined that the company had issued a relentless barrage of questionable fees on tenants over the course of many years, including both the fees identified in the 2017 article and others as well. In more than 15,000 instances, Westminster charged in excess of the state-maximum $25 fee to process a rental application. In more than 28,000 instances, the company also assessed a $12 “agent fee” on court filings against tenants even though it had incurred no such cost with the courts — a tactic that Daneker called “spurious” and which brought the company more than $332,000 in fees. And in more than 2,600 instances, the Kushner operation assessed $80 court fees to tenants at its two complexes within the city of Baltimore, even though the charge from the courts was only $50. “The practice of passing court costs on to tenants, in the absence of a court order,” Daneker wrote, “was deceptive.”

The manifold fees suggested a deliberate strategy to run up tenants’ tabs, Daneker wrote, repeatedly calling the practices “widespread and numerous.” She concluded that “these circumstances do not support a finding that this was the result of isolated or inadvertent mistakes.”

 Christina Lieffring reports The Price of Vaccine Hesitancy: More Than 1,000 Wasted Doses a Week in Wisconsin:

Demand has dropped off so sharply that 1,000 to 2,000 doses are being wasted per week, Wisconsin’s No. 2 health official said Tuesday. Vials of vaccine contain multiple doses that must be used within hours of the vial being opened.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy DHS secretary, said that her department had anticipated a slowdown once “the people who were most eager or most anxious, or most committed to getting vaccines largely have been able to secure a vaccine.” But she did not anticipate how quick the drop-off would be.

“I would call it a pretty precipitous drop in demand,” Willems Van Dijk said. “When the vaccine supply started to stabilize and we opened up to larger and larger populations, people were very quickly able to get doses. And then very quickly we saw a demand dropoff here in Wisconsin, as we have seen in other places.”

Starship SN15 High-Altitude Flight Test:

Video set to play at 10 seconds before liftoff; successful landing begins at 12:00 mark.

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