Capacity limitations threaten the survival of Tucson’s small fitness businesses | Business News

MAKING IT WORK

Concerned about whether their businesses can survive under the current capacity limitations, some owners have turned to outdoor classes, which are not limited by ADHS requirements as long as physical distancing is possible.

Soleil Chiquette, the owner of Let’s Sweat, opted to offer only outdoor classes after the second COVID-19 shutdown inhibited gyms and studios from operating in June.

Chiquette knew her customers weren’t comfortable being back inside, so she decided to offer spin and strength classes out on the Let’s Sweat patio, 439 N. Sixth Ave., and at Catalina Park instead. Let’s Sweat’s outdoor classes are popular among their clients, and they have allowed Chiquette to stay above water.

The same can be said for Lucas, the owner of Session Yoga. Lucas owns two studios at 123 S. Eastbourne Ave. and 1135 N. Jefferson Ave. One of her spaces is a strictly indoor studio that offers hot yoga classes, and the other has both indoor and outdoor options.

Lucas has been able to consistently offer outdoor classes, which has helped her keep her studios afloat.

“Luckily, I was able to continue with the outdoor yoga, so that sustained us from not closing permanently. Without that, I don’t think we would have made it,” Lucas said.

Some studio owners have been unable to transition to outdoor classes because they rely on an indoor environment to create a specific atmosphere.

At Tucson Yoga Sol, a hot yoga studio in northwest Tucson, this is the case. Instructors manipulate heaters to facilitate Bikram yoga and hot Pilates classes. The owner, Diane Van Maren, is unsure if she will be able to keep her business up and running if the current restrictions remain in place.

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Attacks on Obamacare threaten coverage gains among minorities

Threats to Obamacare could deal a new blow to communities of color that have been disproportionately ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic as the nation is reckoning with generations of inequity.

The Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies, its expansions of Medicaid eligibility and its protections for preexisting conditions have especially helped Americans of color, narrowing historic disparities in access to health insurance and affordable care. The coverage gains are among the most significant since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid and the desegregation of American hospitals more than 50 years ago.

Now, President Donald Trump is again threatening to replace the law if he’s reelected. And exactly one week after the election, the Supreme Court, with its new 6-3 conservative majority, will hear oral arguments in a case brought by conservative states seeking to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. If the law is dismantled, the communities it aided the most stand to lose the most.

“Health care could be ripped away from millions and the numbers of uninsured Americans of color could skyrocket—aggravating the health care disparities that already exist in this country,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). “It’s especially infuriating that this is happening in the middle of a deadly pandemic that is disproportionately devastating so many seniors, Black, Brown and Native Americans and those with pre-existing conditions.”

Between 2013, the year before the Obamacare markets opened and Medicaid expansion began, and 2018, the rate of Latinx adults without health insurance plummeted from 40 percent to 25. The uninsured rate for Black adults fell from 24 percent to 14. For white adults, it dropped from 15 percent to 9, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

“There is no doubt that the Affordable Care Act, though it left millions uninsured, narrowed the racial gap in health insurance coverage and that’s a good thing,” said Mary Bassett, the former New York City health commissioner who is now a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “Having millions suddenly lose their health insurance seems very likely to have an adverse impact.”

If the health law disappeared, the Urban Institute estimated that the gaps would widen once again, almost back to 2013 levels. And that assessment was in 2019 — before the devastation wrought by the coronavirus which is exacerbating inequality, in both health and the economy overall.

Especially affected would be people of color living in one of the 38 states that expanded Medicaid, the joint federal-state health program for low-income people. Without health coverage, many would lose access to much-needed care for chronic health conditions — and become more vulnerable to serious complications from Covid-19.

Trump says he wants a health system that will give people more choice, at less cost. “It’s in court, because Obamacare is no good,” he said at his second and last debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Even the Affordable Care Act’s backers admit it was not a panacea. Health inequities, some driven by generations of systemic racism, persist. Private insurance remains out of reach

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Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Threaten Lawsuit Over Billboards Criticizing Them for COVID-19 Response

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty The Lincoln Project billboards in New York City

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threatened to sue an anti-Trump group over billboards in New York City blasting the senior White House aides for their role in the government’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans focused on preventing Donald Trump’s re-election on Nov. 3, recently set up two giant billboards in N.Y.C.’s Times Square that feature the president’s 38-year-old daughter on one and her husband, 39, on another.

In the first billboard, Ivanka is seen smiling and gesturing toward a set of statistics that more than 33,000 New Yorkers and more than 224,000 Americans have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As noted elsewhere, the photo used is the same one that Ivanka posted in a controversial tweet in July promoting Goya beans, which drew backlash from some who said the Trump administration was endorsing a specific company.

In the adjacent billboard, Kushner, who like his wife serves as an adviser to the president, can be seen smiling beside something that Vanity Fair quoted him saying during a meeting in March: “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” (Kushner disputes saying this.)

The bottom of the billboard with his photo is lined with red-and-white body bags.

The billboards are set to remain through at least two days after the election, per The New York Times.

RELATED: CBS Airs 60 Minutes Interview with Trump — Including When He ‘Walked Out’ After Complaining About Tone

Alex Wong/Getty From left: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

The couple was not pleased, according to an attorney representing them, who sent a letter on Friday to The Lincoln Project threatening a lawsuit if the billboards were not removed.

Marc E. Kasowitz, the lawyer, called the billboards “false, malicious and defamatory.”

Kasowitz also took issue with the juxtaposition on the billboards between the disputed Kushner quote and Ivanka’s gesture and the other elements tying them to the death toll from the pandemic.

Kasowitz described it as “outrageous and shameful libel.” (He did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

“If these billboards are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages,” he wrote in his letter.

The Lincoln Project, which has built a major media profile (and raised millions) on a series of viral anti-Trump ads and other stunts, quickly posted his letter on social media instead.

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Later on Friday, the group shared its rebuttal on Twitter, calling the president’s daughter and son-in-law “entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people.”

“We plan on showing them the same level of respect,” the group wrote in its response.

The

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Disneyland Reopening Schedule, Delays Threaten Nearby Businesses

ANAHEIM, CA — It may be “A Small World After All,” as the song goes, but Disneyland is too big to reopen at present, according to the governor’s office. On Tuesday, the state’s newly released reopening guidelines showed that while some small amusement parks may reopen, large-scale theme parks will be at the back of the line.

The much-awaited reopening guidelines, shared Tuesday by California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, show that Disneyland Resort and California’s large-scale theme parks may not reopen until the county reaches the Yellow (minimal) Tier, likely not in 2020.

The reopening has been a concern not just for Walt Disney Co. but also for the city of Anaheim, which has suffered the loss of multiple businesses and livelihoods in the wake of the park closure.

Many Anaheim businesses depend on the Disneyland Resort for their survival, from restaurants to transportation and hotels.

The Castle Inn, one such business, sits directly across the street from the Disneyland main gates. With its royal theme and walkable distance to the resort, the 50-year-old hotel is a favorite among guests.

Today, the lobby sits empty. The hotel has no guests and no revenue, though there are many expenses that go with maintaining the property, according to owner Bharat Patel.

Bharat Patel discusses his empty hotel, crushing bills, and the sadness of letting longtime employees go. Interview photo.
Bharat Patel discusses his empty hotel, crushing bills, and the sadness of letting longtime employees go. Interview photo.

Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, his hotel is devoid of guests. There are no little princesses running through the grounds or parents chasing after them. Still, to Patel, that isn’t the hardest part.

The most difficult thing he’s experienced thus far in the coronavirus pandemic is being forced to let a significant number of his staff go, he says.

“I still think about them every day,” he said, voice full of emotion. “How do you tell someone that put their blood sweat and tears into your dream that you don’t have the work for them?”

Patel doesn’t know when he can reopen, and that uncertainty keeps him up at night.

“I don’t think we can hold on much longer,” he says. “We need help.”

To Patel, Anaheim is a family, and that family is hurting.

Read also: Anaheim Will Survive, Officials Concerned With Closure Fallout

Orange County currently sits at the second, or Red (Substantial), tier of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint For A Safer Economy. For weeks, the county has teetered on the verge of the Orange tier; however, the case counts for daily positive cases remain stubbornly at the Substantial tier rankings.

As of Tuesday, Orange County is experiencing 4.6 new daily cases per 100,000 people, still in the Red tier. Meanwhile, the testing positivity percentage remains in the middle of the Orange tier rankings, at 3.2 positive tests per 100,000 people tested.

Disneyland will not be allowed to reopen until those two positivity percentages are solidly under 2 percent, according to the governor’s current plan.

According to the state, management can set to work

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