St. Louis and L.A. now require masks indoors. With cases rising, will other cities follow suit?

img ]

Officials said the move was designed to combat the spread of the hyper-transmissible delta variant of the virus, which has caused infections to spike around the country in recent weeks and threatens to upend progress against the pandemic. The situation is particularly dire in Missouri, where vaccinations have lagged and the case rate among the unvaccinated is now as high as it was near the state’s peak of infections in January.

Rochester joins cities across the country in push for ‘Medicare for All’

img ]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester joined more than 50 cities across country in rallies and marches to push congress to pass ‘Medicare for All.’

They also want lawmakers to recognize that healthcare is a human right.

What You Need To Know Rochester joined cities across country to push congress to pass ‘Medicare for All'

The goal of this rally was to send a message to congress

They want lawmakers to recognize that healthcare is a human right

Kim Smith is a candidate for Rochester City Council. She says she is fighting for ‘Medicare for All’ because of her experiences as a child.

“Our health care package when I was growing up was peroxide and Band-Aid,” Smith said. “Our system needs to do more. We pay into this system for generations everyone has paid into this system and we have gotten very little out of it.”

Dave Sutliff-Atias, who belongs to Green Party of Monroe County, added his own healthcare horror story.

“My doctor broke up with me once because I had a job making $9 an hour and I couldn’t afford the deductible for my health insurance,” Sutliff-Atias said. “I couldn’t as a diabetic, go through the appointments that he wanted me too because I couldn’t afford it and he said ‘OK, I’m not your doctor anymore."’

Ashley Teague organized the ‘Medicare for All’ rally in Rochester. She points out the COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of having ‘Medicare for All’ when many people lost their employment insurance because they were laid off from their job.

The goal of this rally was to send a message to congress.

“It’s hopefully going to make it loud enough to tell that the legislators in office and people in office like we need this now,” Teague said. “It’s time to stop waiting for it then if not we are going to have to keep going above and beyond to get it passed.”

Sutliff-Atias told ralliers it is vital to support candidates that believe in ‘Medicare for All’ and single payer healthcare.

“You need to look at folks, their words and their deeds and what they’ve done and what they are doing and if they are not doing to enact single payer healthcare, they need to go,” Sutliff-Atias said.

Smith wanted to make sure everyone understood what she believes are simple truths.

“Number one, inadequate healthcare is not due to personal failings, but more so far it is a system failure,” Smith said. “Number two, Medicare is a message and a system that helps every race, every culture, every age and every class.”

Voting machines for Rincon are decades old, but cut major costs from Effingham County’s

img ]

Steve Scholar

For Savannah Morning News

The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” holds true for voting machines as well as other things.

The City of Rincon had the opportunity to use Effingham County’s electronic machines for their upcoming municipal election in November but opted instead to use their 60-year-old mechanical voting machines.

Using the county’s voting machines and having its elections and registration office run the city’s election came at a cost of about $12,000 versus the approximate $3,000 for the city to run its own election.

“The county can enter into intergovernmental agreements to have the county elections board run the cities elections,” said Effingham County manager Tim Callanan. “We offered Rincon, as well as Springfield and Guyton, that if you want us to run the elections, we will enter into an agreement where our elections and registration office will run them for a fee.

“Rincon has about 7,900 registered voters. We used the same figure per registered voter for all three cities. There are 1,827 registered voters in Guyton and 1,791 in Springfield. It costs the county about $6.15 per registered voter to run a countywide election. We were going to split the cost 75%-25% with the Rincon paying $1.50 per voter for a cost of about $12,000, and the county picking up about $4.65,” Callanan added.

Rincon city manager John Klimm acknowledged that at same point in the future, it’s likely the county would take over handling the city’s elections, just not yet.

“Although there have been conversations in the past, I was surprised to receive an email from the county that if you’d like we will take over the upcoming municipal election,” Klimm said. “The council, at their last meeting, wanted to think about it and had concerns about the dollar amount the county would charge. I just think they didn’t want to make that drastic change right before a major election. The county has never handled our elections.”

For subscribers:For Effingham County’s Black students, concerns of racial bias go unacknowledged

Rincon city clerk Dulcia King acknowledged that the city’s voting machines — that once belonged to Effingham County — were old but continued to serve their purpose well.

“The machines we use are called Shoup machines. They’ve probably been around since the 1940s,” King said. “You flip the lever and the curtain closes. Once you finish voting you push the bar back and the curtain opens and it counts your vote. My understanding is that the machines once belonged to the county and once they switched over to electronic machines we got theirs. These machines are only used with municipal elections. The last time Rincon had an election and used these machines was 2019. On presidential elections, the county handles the voting.”

Klimm says the machines provide more security.

“These old machines can’t be hacked,” he said. “Unlike computerized machines, which everyone is going towards, the saving grace of these old machines is that you cant hack into them. They’re getting old and at some point we’ll have to make a decision. But they’ve been very reliable.”

Rincon’s costs for handling it’s own municipal election is limited to personnel costs, which includes city staff and poll workers, and should run about $3,000, King said.

“Probably not even 25 percent of our 7,900 registered voters vote. In our municipal elections we probably only have no more than 500 people vote and that’s on a good election,” King said. “So for us the cost is just our employees and those staffing the poll.”

More:Effingham County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 30% of people fully vaccinated

One consideration is that when there is a municipal election and a county referendum on the same election day, Rincon voters have to go to two polls to vote, one in the city and one in the county, which can be confusing to the voters. In addition to the mayor and three council seats up for election in November, the county has referendums on ECommerce and Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax on the November ballot.

“It has always been that city voters would have to vote in two locations if something was on the municipal ballot and something on the county. Our elections fall on the odd year. If the county has something on the ballot, like a referendum, it might be on the odd year. Then city voters would have to vote in two locations. But it’s rare for the county referendums and the municipal election to fall on the same year,” King said.

Trying to address that in the future is something the county and city both agree on.

“We appreciate the county thinking about us and it might be something for the future but for now the council had some concerns, like cost and timing, that needed to be addressed,” Klimm said.

“Once we get through this election we’ll sit down with the cities and see what we can work out,” the county manager said.