5 reasons an addict won’t seek help for recovery

Do you have an addict in your circle? Those suffering from addiction do not always appear to have problems.

Some signs you may notice that indicate that someone is in trouble can include when they drink or use drugs when alone, keep these things hidden away in out-of-the-way places or actively isolates themselves, ignoring friends, loved ones and activities they once enjoyed. This person may exhibit erratic behavior and suffer from troubling physical symptoms when attempting to get sober.

Addiction incurs enormous costs for all of us, whether we have an addict in our circle or not. The challenges with which we wrestle on a societal level are innumerable, including the far-reaching impact of drunk driving, complex medical issues requiring subsidies that affect all of our premiums and homelessness.

However, convincing the addict to get help and to accept recovery is an immensely difficult undertaking.

Here are five lies addicts tell themselves when confronted by loved ones about their addiction. Any one of these keeps them from recognizing that they should get help.

“I would be fine if everyone would leave me alone.”

Placing blame is one of the excuses an addict uses to justify substance abuse.

They often believe family and friends are just trying to make their lives worse, and it is usually nearly impossible to convince them otherwise. Besides the denial they exhibit when they explain why they drink or use, drugs and alcohol can actually cause or heighten feelings of paranoia.

Because of these factors, in addition to the secrecy surrounding their using, the addict can feel very isolated and lonely.

If you have an addict in your circle, it might be helpful to keep a written list somewhere of those people who care and who have attempted to intervene to help. If the addict cannot hear you at this time, this list may serve later on to remind them who does care, if and when they are willing to listen.

“I can quit anytime I want.”

An addict is usually convinced they are in control of their life.

In fact, it is the substance that controls them. Even so, they believe that they can monitor if and how much they use. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If there’s an addict in your life, you have witnessed first-hand how they will choose substance over family, friends, work and anything else in their life, including future possibilities.

Although you cannot convince an addict of this, you can outline patterns of their abuse and their choices, and use this as part of confronting them.

“If I have to ask for help, this means I’m weak.”

Addiction is stronger than the individual will. The addict believes there is something wrong with them if they can’t detox alone.

This may come from having heard statements by others that include, “Why don’t you just quit?” or “Why do you do that?” Or, they may have heard a story about someone just “kicking it.”

In fact, barring a random miracle, the addict is a prisoner to the substance, and shaming them only makes them retreat and isolate further. And although it is usually impossible for an addict to quit on their own, it’s helpful to urge them to see that because of the nature of the substance and its control over them, asking for help is courageous.

“It’s my choice if I want to screw up my life.”

Substance abuse isn’t the only problem in an addict’s life. Addiction generally spawns legal and financial problems, compromised health, lost relationships, and dishonesty cutting off personal and professional opportunities.

As this happens, other lives are touched. Friends and loved ones suffer in various ways if they stay in such a relationship. The negative impact of the fallout from addiction touches all of us, as I previously mentioned, even if we do not have an addict in our immediate circle.

“Drugs (or alcohol) is better than detox.”

The addicted person may often fear detox, hearing horror stories about withdrawal experiences.

Indeed, the longer a person has used, the more intense detoxing may be. These symptoms used to include fever and chills, vomiting, hallucinating, insomnia and more.

However, we have learned a lot about how to help mitigate these symptoms as of late, and detox is now usually tailored to the individual client, including the prescription of medicines where helpful, in order to ease the negative effects of detoxing. Moreover, detox should include follow-up care in a comprehensive program designed to help will feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as learning new, healthier behaviors to replace abusing substances.

If someone you love is suffering from addiction, please do not shun them. Do not shame them. Educate yourself about the role you may be able to play in their recovery, and seek professional help for advice in intervening, if and when appropriate. The future they can have through recovery is one of possibilities and of joy.

Patti Cotton works with business owners, executives and their companies, to elevate and support leadership at all levels. Reach her at  Patti@PattiCotton.com.

Powered by WPeMatico

Olympic champ Biles out of team finals

By WILL GRAVES

TOKYO (AP) — Reigning Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles is out of the team finals after apparently sustaining an injury during the vault.

The 24-year-old U.S. star, considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, huddled with a trainer after landing her vault. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.

Biles returned several minutes later. She took off her bar grips, hugged teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles before putting on a jacket and sweatpants.

The Americans will be forced to finish the rest of the competition without her, severely hampering their bid to claim a third straight Olympic title.

The U.S. began finals on vault, with Biles going last. She was supposed to do an “Amanar,” a vault that begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. She seemed to change her mind in mid-air, doing just 1 1/2 twist instead.

She walked off the podium and was tended to by team doctor Marcia Faustin before making her way out of the arena.

Biles arrived in Tokyo as the unquestioned star of the Games but struggled, at least by her high standards, during qualifying. In a social media post on Monday, she admitted she felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders and that the Olympics “were no joke.”

Biles won five medals in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and had a chance to actually top that after advancing to all five finals. It remains to be seen whether she will be available for the all-around final on Thursday night and the event finals later in the Games.

After two rotations, the United States trails ROC 2.5 points.

_____

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Powered by WPeMatico

Could the crime surge give Newsom recall a push?

Those who want voters to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom joined crime victim advocates at the state Capitol last Tuesday to accuse the governor of being too lenient on lawbreakers as the state experiences a new wave of crime.

They castigated him for unilaterally suspending executions of murderers and making it easier for felons to win release from state prisons.

“The thing that really alarms me about what the governor did, is that it’s a continuation of policies to undermine the criminal justice system, and to put dangerous people back out onto the streets,” said Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, was murdered 25 years ago by a recently released felon. The killer, Richard Allen Davis, is one of 737 murderers benefiting from Newsom’s death penalty suspension.

A few hours later, Newsom’s office announced that he would hold a press conference in Los Angeles Wednesday “on state action to address crime and reduce retail theft in communities across California.”

Newsom devoted much of the event to signing Assembly Bill 331, which extends an effort to crack down on organized shoplifting that has plagued California retailers in recent months. But he attributed the sharp increase in violent crime, particularly murders, to “a proliferation of guns on our streets” and noted that “There is not a state that’s been spared.”

The back-to-back events imply that crime may be a new front in the recall campaign and that Newsom feels the need to defend himself.

“In 2020, California saw a troubling rise of more than 500 homicides, the largest jump in state history since record-keeping began in 1960,” the Public Policy Institute of California says in a recent report. “Victims were predominantly Black and Latino, male, and killed by guns on our streets, parking lots, or in vehicles.”

Newsom’s comments about “a proliferation of guns on our streets” echoes declarations by gun control advocates that California’s surge of homicides results from a big jump in gun ownership. Californians legally bought a record 686,435 handguns in 2020 — a nearly 66% increase from the year before — and sales of rifles and shotguns also shot upward.

However, Newsom and other gun control advocates offer no proof of the connection. In fact, a new study by University of California-Davis researchers found no evidence that increases in legal gun sales resulted in more violent crime, seemingly refuting Newsom’s assertion.

“Nationwide, firearm purchasing and firearm violence increased substantially during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic,” the study by UCD’s Violence Prevention Research Program, concluded. “At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in purchasing was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence.”

“Results suggest much of the rise in firearm violence during our study period was attributable to other factors, indicating a need for additional research,” the researchers added.

A more likely scenario is that Californians are buying more guns because their fears of becoming violent crime victims have increased. In recent weeks, the residents of three Northern California homes, one in Solano County and two in Stanislaus County, have shot and killed violent home invaders.

The surge in crime, both violent assaults and thefts, is real. The videos of brazen daylight raids on pharmacies and other stores, particularly in San Francisco, by thieves unafraid of either arrest or prosecution, have become cable television and YouTube staples.

While rising crime might not sink Newsom in the recall election a few weeks hence, if it continues to rise, he could feel the backlash when he runs for re-election in 2022.

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary

Powered by WPeMatico

3 more ways you can avoid rent increases

If you read my column last week, you learned two key ways to avoid a rental rate increase — know your owner and understand the value of your tenancy.

If the bottom of your birdcage lands the Real Estate section before you read it, here’s a brief recap.

Industrial lease rates have increased a whopping 134% over the past 10 years. Recall, our market for manufacturing and logistics space was awakening from the ether of the 2008-2010 financial reset – err, meltdown and there were bargains galore. Now with the classic increase in demand from pandemic-fueled buying and a pinched supply of available buildings, rates have skyrocketed!

You may be fortunate to rent from an owner who appreciates your worth as a tenant and wants to avoid a costly vacancy if you bolt. If this is your situation and you’re approaching a renewal, count yourself among the lucky. Conversely, if maximizing the monthly income is your landlord’s objective, you could face an increase of double what you’re currently paying.

But, there is hope. Keep in mind these three strategies to stem a spike in monthly payments.

Buy a building

Historically, buying property has been costlier than renting on a pure monthly outlay basis.

Meaning, if we stack a mortgage, allotment for property taxes, insurance and upkeep together, the total will be higher than most leases. Plus, you must come up with a sum to bridge the gap between what a bank will loan and your purchase price, some 10%-25%.

However, this is many times shortsighted when looking at a projection over the life of a company’s occupancy. You see, lease rates escalate over time, generally fixed at 3%-3.5% annually. And, when a term expires, the landlord will bump the number even higher to compensate for the market variance.

Currently, we’re seeing a huge boost in rental rates which eclipses that 3%-3.5% annual escalator. Some find it better to own, finance the buy with fixed debt, thus stabilizing payments and enjoying appreciation and the tax benefits that accrue.

A word of caution. If you enter the buying fray, be prepared. Structure your A-game with proof of a down payment, lender pre-qualification letter, and a well-reasoned story of your desire to buy.

Move to cheaper geography

Once, the Inland parts of SoCal were cheaper, newer and alternatives were plentiful.

If you’re a logistics provider and you look East, this affordability gap is quickly narrowing. However, there are still “deals” to be found. Don’t forget areas just outside the state borders such as Arizona and Nevada. You might even find a business climate that welcomes enterprises with goodies such as tax breaks, employment incentives and fewer regulations.

Do more with less

We toured an operation recently. Occupied was a big chunk of a larger address. Since they leased the space five years ago, several distribution centers had been added to their supply chain, thus lessening their need for the square footage they leased locally.

By trimming their premises by 40% a great building popped up which fit their requirement. Another client of ours took advantage of the relative softness in the office space market and peeled away that portion of the company. Eliminating the people component from their warehouse created several new buildings to consider.

Don’t forget: Your additional capacity might be found if you look up and maximize your stacking. Frequently, a group will believe they are out of space because their floor is consumed. Ignored is the two or three feet in height not used. With the advances of material handling equipment – you can literally use every inch if you narrow your aisles and pile your product high.

More on these later.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104.

Powered by WPeMatico

The Latest: Parade of athletes begins at Tokyo Games opening

The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:

___

The parade of athletes at the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics has started.

Organizers expect about 5,700 athletes to take part in the parade. Some will skip it because of early competitions on Saturday or to avoid risk of exposure to the coronavirus. And this parade differs from most others in the past because the nations are being spaced out — a nod to social distancing.

Hundreds of volunteers are on the stadium floor as well to greet the athletes as they walk through. Many athletes are waving; others are capturing their entrance on their phone cameras.

Moments before the parade, a wooden set of Olympic rings was displayed at the center of the stadium in a nod to the 1964 Tokyo Games. There, athletes from around the world were asked to bring seeds that could be planted and become trees.

Wood from 160 pines and spruces, seeds that came from Canada, Ireland and Northern Europe, were used to build the set of Olympic rings displayed Friday.

___

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach have arrived for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

Naruhito attended the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as a 4-year-old, watching the marathon and equestrian events. Bach won a gold medal in fencing at the 1976 Montreal Games.

They were followed by a delegation chosen to carry the Japanese flag into the stadium, before the host nation’s national anthem was performed by singer Misia.

Tributes were paid to those lost during the pandemic, and the Israeli delegation that was killed at the Munich Games in 1972. A moment of silence was offered inside the stadium.

___

With a blaze of indigo and white fireworks lighting the night sky, the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has started.

It began with a single female athlete at the center of the stadium, kneeling. As she stood, the shadow behind her took the shape of a seedling, growing as she walked. A number of athletes were featured in a video that started with the moment Tokyo won the Olympic bid in 2013, then eventually to images of a world silenced by the pandemic.

Then came the fireworks, a 20-second blast of light — as if to say these Olympics have finally emerged from dark times.

___

The International Olympic Committee has released the order of the parade of nations for the opening ceremony and the names of all the flagbearers.

Greece, per Olympic tradition, enters first. The host nation always enters last, so it’ll likely take a couple hours or so before Japanese flagbearers Yui Susaki and Rui Hachimura lead their national contingent into the stadium.

The Refugee Olympic team goes second in the parade. The others are slotted by their order in the Japanese alphabet, so Iceland and Ireland precede Azerbaijan, for example.

The IOC says 206 teams — 205 nations and the refugee team — will be taking part in the opening ceremony. Some nations will have their flags carried by volunteers. Other nations will have only one flagbearer. Most will have two, with one male and one female athlete chosen for the role.

___

The Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony is about to begin, 364 days behind the original schedule and with a very different feel than what was originally intended before the pandemic changed everything.

The Olympic Stadium is largely empty. The Tokyo 2020 souvenir store outside the front gates is closed. But that doesn’t mean fans have stayed away. Hundreds of fans gathered outside the gates and along the sidewalks of closed streets, waving at any person with an Olympic credential or any vehicle that went by with an Olympic logo.

Track and field events will be held in the stadium later in these games. The track itself is covered by a large black tarp for the opening ceremony and the infield is covered with a white tarp, one where graphics will be displayed over the course of the evening.

Some dignitaries and invited guests will be in the stadium seats, including U.S. first lady Jill Biden.

___

Six Polish swimmers have returned home before the Olympics even started, their dreams scuttled by the country mistakenly sending too many athletes to Tokyo.

Only 17 swimmers from Poland qualified for the Tokyo Games. The country’s swimming federation put 23 athletes on the plane to Japan, sparking outrage among those who were denied a chance to compete.

Two-time Olympian Alicja Tchorz was among those sent home. She griped on social media about all the sacrifices she had made to earn another trip to the Summer Games, only for it to result “in a total flop.”

The team sent out a statement demanding the resignation of Polish Swimming Federation president Paweł Słomiński. He issued his own statement expressing “regret, sadness and bitterness” about the athletes’ situation.

Słomiński said there was confusion over the qualifying rules and he was merely trying to “allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part” in the Olympics.

___

A bad weather forecast for Monday in Tokyo has prompted Olympic officials to move scheduled rowing events to Sunday.

Officials say rain, high winds and strong gusts could cause choppy and potentially unrowable conditions at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay.

The change affects men’s and women’s single and double sculls semifinals, and men’s and women’s fours repechage. The opening heats in the men’s and women’s eights also were moved from Sunday to Saturday.

___

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown has surprisingly withdrawn from one of her best events because of a busy schedule at the Tokyo Olympics.

McKeown dropped the 200-meter individual medley, where she’s ranked No. 1 in the world and would have been a favorite to win a gold medal. She’ll focus instead on her two backstroke events and the relays.

“You have a rookie coming into the Olympics — it is a new experience and a big call,” Australian coach Rohan Taylor said.

The 200 IM semifinal heats are Monday night and the 100 back final is the next morning. Taylor says the timing “could be a challenge,” so the decision was made to drop the individual medley.

McKeown set a world record in the 100 back last month at the Australian trials, and the 20-year-old swimmer will be a gold medal favorite in that event.

___

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee says about 100 of the 613 U.S. athletes descending on Tokyo for the Olympics are unvaccinated.

Medical director Jonathan Finnoff says 567 of the American athletes had filled out their health histories as they prepared for the trip. He estimated 83% had replied they were vaccinated.

Finnoff says 83 percent is a substantial number and and the committee is quite happy with it.

Nationally, 56.3% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The International Olympic Committee estimates that around 85% of residents of the Olympic Village are vaccinated. That’s based that on what each country’s Olympic committee reports but is not an independently verified number.

___

South Korea’s An San has broken the women’s Olympic archery record with a score of 680 in the qualifying round on a hot and humid day.

Her mark topped the score of 673 set by Lina Herasymenko of Ukraine in 1996. An San’s teammates Jang Minhee (677) and Kang Chae Young (675) were second and third.

Russian Olympic Committee archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the intense heat and was treated by medical staff. The temperature soared above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

In the men’s qualifying round, Kim Je Deok of South Korea posted the top mark of 688, with Brady Ellison of the United States second (682) and Oh Jin Hyek of South Korea third (681).

The Olympic debut of the mixed team event will be Saturday. The women’s individual competition is next Friday and the men’s individual event the following day.

___

About 50 protesters have gathered in Tokyo to demand the cancellation of the Olympics.

The opening ceremony is set for Friday evening local time.

The protesters gathered outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building chanting “no to the Olympics” and “save people’s lives.” They held up signs reading “cancel the Olympics.”

The Games, largely without spectators and opposed by much of the host nation, are going ahead a year later than planned.

A day earlier, Tokyo hit another six-month high in new COVID-19 cases as worries grew of worsening infections during the Games. Still, the number of cases and deaths as a share of the population in Japan are much lower than in many other countries.

The opening ceremony will be held mostly without spectators to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, although some officials, guests and media will attend.

___

Jill Biden has held a virtual meet-and-greet with several U.S. athletes who will compete at the Tokyo Games.

The U.S. first lady is in Tokyo to support the athletes and attend the opening ceremony.

She spoke virtually with Eddy Alvarez, a baseball player and short track speed skater, and basketball player Sue Bird. Both will be flagbearers for the U.S. at the opening ceremony. She also spoke with Allison Schmitt, a four-time Olympic swimmer and mental health advocate.

Biden told the athletes that they’d given up a lot to be in Tokyo and relied on support from family and friends.

On Saturday, she’ll dedicate a room in the residence of the U.S. chief of mission to former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye.

She will host a U.S.-vs.-Mexico softball watch party at the U.S. Embassy for staff and their families, and cheer U.S. athletes competing in several events before leaving Tokyo.

___

South African race walker Lebogang Shange has been banned for four years for doping and will miss the Tokyo Olympics.

The former African champion was entered in the men’s 20-kilometer race on Aug. 5. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on the case in Tokyo.

The 30-year-old Shange tested positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and was provisionally suspended in December 2019. His ban will expire before the 2024 Paris Olympics.

___

The Swiss Olympic team says 400-meter hurdler Kariem Hussein has accepted a nine-month ban after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

The 2014 European champion was entered in the event at the Tokyo Games. The heats start next Friday. It is unclear if Hussein will be replaced in the 40-athlete lineup.

The Swiss Olympic body’s tribunal backdated the ban by one week from the time Hussein was provisionally suspended. That suspension had not been disclosed.

___

Tokyo Olympic organizers have reported 25 new COVID-19 cases. Three of them are athletes that were announced on Thursday.

There are 13 athletes among the 110 Olympic-accredited people that have tested positive in Japan since July 1.

Three media workers coming to Japan from abroad were included in the latest update.

___

Naomi Osaka’s opening match in the Olympic tennis tournament has been pushed back from Saturday to Sunday.

Organizers did not immediately provide a reason for the switch. They said only that the move came from the tournament referee.

Osaka was originally scheduled to play 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China in the very first contest of the Games on center court Saturday morning.

One reason for the move could be that Osaka might have a role in the opening ceremony Friday night. That wouldn’t leave her much time to rest before a Saturday morning match.

Osaka is returning to competition for the first time in nearly two months after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break.

She is one of Japan’s top athletes.

___

The World Anti-Doping Agency says several Russian athletes have been kept away from the Tokyo Olympics because of doping suspicions based on evidence from a Moscow testing laboratory that was shut down in 2015.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli says it intervened with sports bodies to ensure those athletes — “not many, but there was a handful” — were not selected.

The team of 335 Russian athletes accredited for Tokyo is competing without a national flag and anthem as punishment for state tampering with the Moscow lab’s database. The team name is ROC, the acronym for Russian Olympic Committee, without the word “Russia.”

The identity ban for the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games was imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last December.

Giving WADA the database and samples from the lab was key to getting closure for the long-running Russian state-backed doping scandal.

WADA had a list of around 300 athletes under suspicion and gave evidence to Olympic sports bodies for possible disciplinary cases.

Niggli says “we cross-checked what we had from this long list” to ensure athletes were not selected for Tokyo.

___

Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva lost consciousness during a competition at the Tokyo Olympics in intense heat.

Coach Stanislav Popov says in comments via the Russian Olympic Committee that Gomboeva collapsed shortly after completing the qualifying round Friday.

Popov says “she couldn’t stand it, a whole day in the heat” and adds that humidity made the problem worse. Temperatures in Tokyo were above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The heat in Tokyo’s summer months already prompted organizers to move the marathons and race-walking events to the cooler city of Sapporo.

___

U.S. men’s water polo captain Jesse Smith will skip the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics on Friday after the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee limited how many players from his team could participate in the festivities.

Olympic water polo rosters consist of 13 players, and 12 are designated as available for each game. Smith said the team was told by the USOPC that it could have 12 credentialed athletes walk in the ceremony.

“We tried to keep our team together and change it with every constructive outlet, but no success, and now it’s time to refocus on getting game ready,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “So tonight I am sending my team out there to represent (the United States) proudly and soak up every moment. Let’s go boys!”

The 38-year-old Smith is playing in his fifth Olympics, matching Tony Azevedo for most Olympic teams for a U.S. water polo athlete. He was under consideration to serve as the male U.S. flag bearer for the opening ceremony before that honor went to baseball player Eddy Alvarez.

___

A map on the Olympic website has been changed after Ukraine protested that it included a border across the Crimean Peninsula.

The map is part of a “Cheer Zone” feature tracking how fans around the world have backed different teams at the Tokyo Games.

Late Thursday the map had a black line across the top of Crimea in the same style as national borders. On Friday morning, there was no line across the peninsula. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine still considers it to be Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian embassy in Japan tells the Associated Press in an e-mail that “we have protested to the IOC and the map was corrected.”

___

Road cyclist Michal Schlegel is the fourth Czech athlete from three different sports to test positive before their competition at the Tokyo Games.

Schlegel tested positive at the team’s training base in Izu and will miss Saturday’s road race.

The Czech Olympic Committee said in a statement Friday that Schlegel is in isolation, and that Michael Kukrle and Zdenek Stybar will be its only two riders lining up at Musashinonomori Park for one of the first medal events of the Summer Games.

Czech beach volleyball players Marketa Slukova and Ondrej Perusic and table tennis player Pavel Sirucek also tested positive earlier this week. That has prompted the Czech Olympic team to investigate whether the outbreak is linked to its chartered flight to Tokyo.

Powered by WPeMatico

US gymnast tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Tokyo Olympics

By Chie Kobayashi for CNN

An unnamed US female gymnast has tested positive for Covid-19, Inzai city official Takamitsu Ooura told CNN.

The teenage gymnast is staying in Inzai City in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, for pre-camp ahead of the Tokyo Olympics which start on Friday.

She tested positive on Sunday and her doctor confirmed the test result after another test Monday.

The gymnast has no symptoms and is quarantined in her hotel room as she waits for the public health center to decide on whether or not to hospitalize her.

One gymnast has been identified as a close contact of the gymnast who tested positive.

Tokyo 2020 reported Monday that there are 58 Covid-19 cases linked to the Olympic Games.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Powered by WPeMatico

Seen a dramatic rent increase? Here are ways to avoid them

Lease rates for industrial properties in Southern California continue to rise!

To place this in some context, if your direction as a business owner was to rent a location in 2011 and your operation consumed 100,000 square feet, you could expect to pay around $45,000 per month in rent.

Of course, charges for things like property taxes, insurance and maintenance would have been in addition to the $45K. Those additional charges would have added around $12,500 per month, bringing the total to $57,500 – or 57.5 cents per square foot.

Flash forward to our pandemic-fueled shortage of space these days and comparable buildings lease for $135,000 per month!

For those scoring at home, that’s a 134% increase in 10 years. Or, a 13.4% annual increase. Or as I like to call it, simply nuts!

Am I saying if you rented an address in 2011 and signed a 10-year lease – when your lease expires this year – you can expect your rent to more than double? Yes, You got it.

So, how are businesses able to afford such a whopping spike? Better still, are there strategies you can employ to stem the rent bumps? The answers are, I don’t know and yes. Indulge me as I outline a few ways to lessen the blows of gigantic rent inflation.

Know your owner

The gentleman to whom you send your rent each month falls into the category of investors. Your tenancy is singular or multiple. Unfortunately, if you’re one of many and his buildings are full, your leverage is limited.

You see, he may opt to push rents even if a move-out ensues. He’ll simply replace you. Conversely, if your rent is the biggest part of his retirement income, a bit more realism happens. If you relocate – and his music stops – so does his lifestyle. He’ll be more flexible with you to keep you in residence and avoid a costly vacancy.

Know your value

As a tenant, your worth is two-fold.

First, the capitalized income you pay each year determines the dollar amount of the investment. Simply, $100,000 in annual rent – at today’s cap rates of 4.75% suggests $2,105,263 ($100,000/4.75%) – if a sale or refinance was considered.

Why is this important? A bank would lend a percentage of this amount if your owner needed cash. Plus, the market would gladly pay him this figure if a decision was made to cash-in or redeploy the money into another income property.

Second, your tenancy is costly to replace. By this, I mean free rent, downtime, refurbishment, and professional fees are forked over to secure a paying customer.

So, let’s say the title holder of your location believes he can get $100,000 a year if you bolt. You currently pay him $80,000 annually. If he’s correct in his assumption, he can achieve approximately $538,406 if he finds a five-year tenant ($100,000 with a 3% annual rent escalator).

However, if he lays fallow for two months, incentivizes the new group with one month of free time, paints and carpets the offices, and pays a commercial real estate professional 6%, count on an up-front expenditure of $72,303 – ($16,666 for downtime, $8,333 in free rent, $15,000 for a fix-up, and $32,304 in fees).

If we subtract $72,303 from our expected new income stream of $538,406 our net take is $466,103 or $93,220 per year.

Say you’re willing to pay him $90,000. So, he could be slightly better off replacing you. But, if any of his assumptions are wrong – say, he sits four months vs. two, he is better off renewing you at $90,000 annually.

Presumably, you’ve paid on time, taken care of the premises and sent him a Christmas card. Those intangibles have credibility. He may have to chase the new guy to get his rent.

Know your alternatives. Don’t forget. You could buy a building, consider a cheaper area or opt for a shorter lease term.

More on these later.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104.

Powered by WPeMatico

Prosperity and innovation require rule breakers

America has so many regulations that today, often the only way to do something new, to create something great, to prosper is to ignore rules.

Minutes before SpaceX launched a rocket, the government told the company that the launch would violate its license.

SpaceX launched anyway.

CEO Elon Musk says that the Federal Aviation Administration has “a broken regulatory structure” and that “there is simply no way that humanity can become a spacefaring civilization without major regulatory reform.”

But reform isn’t likely.

While businesses must constantly adjust to survive, once bureaucrats create regulations, they have no incentive to repeal them, ever. Instead, they add hundreds of new ones every year.

Musk complains that government “can overregulate industries to the point where innovation becomes very difficult. The auto industry used to be a great hotbed of innovation … but now there’s so many regulations that are intended to protect consumers. … Regulation for cars could fill this room.”

So, Musk broke rules to make Tesla the success it is. He knew he couldn’t innovate if he obeyed all of them. He’s flaunted the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, even tweeting that SEC stands for “Suck Elon’s … “

So far, he’s gotten away with it.

So have a few others.

Adam Thierer, author of “Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance,” explains why rule breakers are the best hope for innovation.

“When 23andMe came out with genetic testing by mail,” he says, “They didn’t get a permission slip from the Food and Drug Administration. They just started providing that service.”

Once the bureaucrats noticed, they ordered 23andMe to stop offering health insights based on genes.

“The product was off the market for over a year. That stopped genetic testing by other companies, too,” says Thierer. “Smaller players saw what the government did and said, ‘I don’t want that to happen to me.’” This delayed innovation for years.

“Maybe the only way to succeed today is to break the rules,” I suggest.

“Yes,” says Thierer. “Just to go out and try doing it.”

A group of parents whose children have diabetes did that. They developed software that helps people track blood sugar levels.

“Their hashtag is, ‘#WeAreNotWaiting,’” says Thierer. “What are they not waiting for? For the Food and Drug Administration to approve new insulin monitoring devices. Instead, they built them themselves. These devices were better than regulatory approved devices.”

But it only happened because they had the courage to do it without permission.

“Innovations come out of nowhere,” Thierer points out. “The problem is law sometimes blocks all of that and says, thou shall not until you get a permission slip. That’s the death of entrepreneurialism.”

Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft prospered only because they didn’t ask for permission; they just created ride-sharing apps. By the time sleepy bureaucrats noticed and took steps to regulate Uber and Lyft to death, the company had so many satisfied customers that politicians were afraid to crush them.

Some regulation is useful. The alternative isn’t zero rules. “If a product is dangerous,” says Thierer, “it can be recalled. You can be sued. But don’t treat innovators as guilty until proven innocent.”

It’s easier to see how absurd regulators can be when you look at old regulations.

In 1982, after Sony’s Walkman came out, a New Jersey town banned wearing them while walking. “You couldn’t wear headphones because they would be a danger to yourself!” laughs Thierer. “Sometimes, laws stop making sense. Governments need to adapt.”

COVID-19 persuaded some governments.

Suddenly, it was OK if private companies made virus tests, if nurses and doctors practiced in other states, if doctors used telemedicine without obsessing about stupid privacy rules, if liquor companies made hand sanitizer, etc.

“All sorts of people started doing really interesting entrepreneurial things to try to just help each other out,” says Thierer.

“Those laws needed to change,” Thierer concludes, “But most changed only because people evaded the system.”

John Stossel is author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.”

Powered by WPeMatico

Agriculture pesticide caused kids’ brain damage, California lawsuits say

By DON THOMPSON | The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO  — Lawsuits filed Monday in California seek potential class-action damages from Dow Chemical and its successor company over a widely used bug killer linked to brain damage in children.

Chlorpyrifos is approved for use on more than 80 crops, including oranges, berries, grapes, soybeans, almonds and walnuts, though California banned sales of the pesticide last year and spraying of it this year. Some other states, including New York, have moved to ban it.

Stuart Calwell, lead attorney in the lawsuits, argued that its effects linger in Central Valley agricultural communities contaminated by chlorpyrifos during decades of use, with measurable levels still found in his clients’ homes.

Lawyers project that at least 100,000 homes in the nation’s largest agricultural state may need to dispose of most of their belongings because they are contaminated with the pesticide.

“We have found it in the houses, we have found it in carpet, in upholstered furniture, we found it in a teddy bear, and we found it on the walls and surfaces,” Calwell said. “Then a little child picks up a teddy bear and holds on to it.”

All that needs to be cleaned up, he says, because “it’s not going away on its own.”

State records show 61 million pounds of the pesticide were applied from 1974 through 2017 in four counties where the lawsuits were filed, Calwell said.

Officials with Dow and its affiliated Corteva Inc. did not immediately respond to telephone and email requests seeking comment.

Corteva stopped producing the pesticide last year. The Delaware-based company was created after a merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont and had been the world’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos. The company has said it believes the product is safe and said it stopped production because of declining sales.

Scientific studies have shown that chlorpyrifos damages the brains of fetuses and children. It was first used in 1965 but was banned for household use in 2001.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is weighing whether to ban the product or declare it safe, including for infants and children. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April ordered the EPA to make a decision after studying the product for more than a decade. The Trump administration had halted the rule-making process.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of people in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties, though Calwell said they are a precursor to seeking class-action status. Aside from Dow-related companies, they name various farming companies they say applied the chemical near the plaintiffs’ homes.

In each case, the plaintiffs are parents suing on behalf of children who suffer from severe neurological injuries that the lawsuits blame on their exposure to the chemical while they were in the womb or when they were very young.

Aside from nearby spraying, the lawsuits say the parent, relatives or others in frequent contact with the child worked in the fields or packing plants and became contaminated with the chemical that they passed on to the child.

Calwell filed related lawsuits last fall on behalf of farmworkers who his firm said “spent years marinating in the pesticide.”

The first of those related lawsuits blames chlorpyrifos for causing autism, cognitive and intellectual disabilities in a now-teenager born in 2003.

The teen’s father worked spraying pesticides on farm fields and his mother packed what the lawsuit says was chlorpyrifos-covered produce in a facility surrounded by fields treated with the pesticide, often applied by aerial spraying.

Calwell similarly sued Monsanto for damages he alleged it caused to homes in Nitro, West Virginia, with its use of dioxin to make the defoliant known during the Vietnam War era as Agent Orange.

That case settled for $93 million, with Monsanto paying to decontaminate 4,500 homes, a fraction of those that he alleges in California will require more extensive decontamination followed by medical monitoring.

Powered by WPeMatico

Tips for former addicts, families trying to get finances restored

Addiction presents its ugliness in many forms, such as drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive gambling and over or undereating, just to name a few.

While there are a variety of addictions, many of the symptoms of behavioral disorders overlap. Families and the addict are eventually affected financially and emotionally. Sometimes relationships become so severely damaged they cease to exist.

Often, family members support the person’s addiction without realizing it. Once aware of the problem, it is important to consider and establish some firm boundaries, however difficult. Are you willing to see your loved one spend time in jail instead of covering their legal fees? Are you willing to see them evicted or living on the street instead of paying their living expenses? How many months are you willing to pay their rent if they are not addressing their addiction?

Setting boundaries will not cure your loved one of their addiction or guarantee that they seek help, but it will help you to manage your life without financial ruin. Ultimately, all you can control is how well you look after your own health and welfare.

Without support or resources, navigating through the emotional strain and financial pressures of addiction will be difficult. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides resources that address the topic of addiction for both the addict and their family. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. They can be reached at 1-800-662 HELP (4357) or at samhsa.gov.

One of the consequences of economic ruin is having bad credit. With this burden, people in recovery will struggle to be approved when applying for credit cards or loans. Even if they are sober; banks and other financial institutions will be wary of allowing a line of credit to a person who has, in the past, demonstrated poor judgment and decision-making skills. This may mean that even the basics of a loan to get back on their feet, or a housing application for a place to live, will become much more difficult than usual.

It’s unrealistic to expect a newly sober person to simply resume their financial existence from before their addiction took hold. Consider seeking help from a financial adviser who knows how and where to apply for financial aid, secure loans, find scholarships or grants and qualify for special payment plans that can help cover the cost of treatment and other damages incurred because of addiction.

While recovering financially will not be easy, there are tools to assist with this phase.

Next Step Prepaid Mastercard — Developed by three recovering addicts, this prepaid card is specifically for people in recovery. It comes with controls that block certain ATM or point-of-sale transactions, such as those at liquor stores, casinos, bars, escort services, and selected online retailers. The card cannot be used to get cashback.

The card must be cosigned by a responsible person in the individual’s life. The cosigner is responsible for the actual loading and transferring of funds; a companion card is given to the individual who uses it for purchases. There are daily spending limits and maximum monthly transactions placed on the Next Step card, and the card’s use can be monitored online for accountability purposes.

True Link prepaid Visa Card — The True Link Prepaid Visa Card is a reloadable prepaid Visa card created to meet the complex needs of the underserved. This card allows a person to buy items and pay bills without carrying cash. Access can be blocked for purchases in bars, online, and other risky places. The card can also be set up to be accepted at certain merchants. It offers access to real-time alerts if the card is attempted to be used at a blocked location, such as a liquor store.

Even though it is difficult to watch a loved one lose control of their life, family members should not financially rescue or support the addict. Let the addict experience the consequences of their disease. Think carefully about helping an addict, establish boundaries, and clearly understand the long-term ramifications to your finances. By financially supporting the addict, you are supporting their addiction, while possibly placing your own finances at risk.

Teri Parker CFP® is a vice president for CAPTRUST Financial Advisors. She has practiced in the field of financial planning and investment management since 2000. Reach her via email at Teri.parker@captrustadvisors.com.

Powered by WPeMatico