Daily Digest 4/17 – Good News Friday: Grocery Workers Get Raises, Badgers Are Awesome

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Kroger Grocery Workers in Texas Receive Pay Raises, New Benefits During Coronavirus Outbreak (sv)

Other grocery stores, including Safeway, Tom Thumb, Albertsons, Randalls, and United Supermarkets, have announced similar pay raises for workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Lost insurance & need insulin? Makers offer it free or cheap (Sparky1)

For the Novo Nordisk program, patients must show that because of the pandemic they’ve lost their job and their health insurance, or they’ve started paying for insurance under the COBRA program. Patients can apply starting online Wednesday.

Watch Andrea Bocelli sing for the world (Sparky1)

Opera singer Andrea Bocelli gave a moving performance from an empty cathedral on Easter Sunday, in a bid to inspire hope amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Bono helps Ireland’s search for coronavirus medical supplies (Sparky1)

Moon’s office tweeted on Sunday that it had received a letter from Bono and that the president’s spokesman, Kang Min-suk, would respond in writing. The tweet noted that Bono had been nominated for the Nobel peace prize. The rock star met South Korea’s president last December after performing in the country.

Seattle farmers markets to reopen this weekend with new ‘market manners’ (Bobby J.)

The University District and Ballard markets will become the sole two test runs to officially trial their re-openings alongside a multiplicity of modifications after closing in wake of the novel coronavirus. Assuming all goes according to plan, additional neighborhood markets may reopen in the coming months.

Giving back: Communities, organizations mobilize to feed, house health care workers (sv)

From New York City to Washington state, and across states and cities in between, people have donated thousands of meals to health care workers through various organizations, while others have provided temporary housing to doctors and nurses who are on the front lines of the pandemic.

States desperate for medical supplies turn to each other for help (sv)

“We’re meeting this moment with compassion,” Newsom said in a statement. “I know that if the tables were turned and we were experiencing a hospital surge, other states would come to our aid and provide ventilators just as we are today.”

Sesame Street’s Elmo reassures families in coronavirus special (Sparky1)

In a “virtual playdate” on HBO Tuesday night, Sesame Street’s Elmo (and his dad, Louie) offered reassurance to parents and kids alike feeling the stress of quarantine, with the help of such celebrities as Tracee Ellis Ross, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anne Hathaway. TODAY’s Carson Daly reports.

Kate the Chemist book has 25 experiments for housebound kids (Sparky1)

Biberdorf is adding a new chapter with her first books. “Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments” has 25 entertaining projects for children ages 8 to 12 who end up learning about — shhhh! — energy and matter. Safely done at home, the experiments rely on common products including dish soap and baking soda, with a dash of glitter thrown into the “puffy slime” formula. An adults-needed icon marks ones requiring supervision.

True Energy Independence Won’t Come From Oil (Michael S.)

Of course, the country has been able to achieve its net exporter status, thanks to the second shale boom, which more than doubled U.S. crude output in less than a decade. But is America any closer to true energy independence than during Nixon’s time, or is this just another populist charade masquerading as an energy strategy?

No bread flour? No problem (Sparky1)

Ken Forkish’s white bread with 80% biga recipe, from his 2012 book “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast,” is perfect for these testing times. It uses a mixture of flour, warm water and a tiny sprinkling of dried yeast as a 14-hour pre-fermented base for a larger loaf, which is bound to impress your family.

Photo: Badgers Are Awesome (Sparky1)

He explained that the badger had been sighted by locals, but the general consensus was to keep things quiet. “The reason being, to not create a circus around the sighting,” he writes. “If you have ever been to Yellowstone, you know what a bear jam is, a badger jam can be just as crazy.” Is it any wonder? Badgers are indeed awesome! You can read Donald’s account of taking the photo over at Flickr.

Tune up your immune system in the garden (Sparky1)

As public health officials and immunologists struggled to understand the swelling ranks of the world’s wealthy sick, the hypothesis provided an intriguing basis for research. Perhaps most significantly, it’s given us a much clearer picture of the subtle but crucial ways the human organism co-evolved with the broader microbial ecology around it. Rather than looking at a human being as a standalone entity, which somehow arose unencumbered from the evolutionary process, we can now say that our bodies are themselves communities of organisms, most of which are not, in fact, “us.”

Ocean creatures keep millions of viruses at bay (Sparky1)

As the paper highlights, all viruses don’t get their hooks into living creatures. Some simply can’t get past physical barriers erected to stop them, like shells. Other creatures use passive techniques, like filters on their feeders that don’t let even the tiniest virus pass through.

Inside Clean Energy: Rooftop Solar Wins Big in Kansas Court Ruling (sv)

“We couldn’t hardly believe it because we don’t win on these issues against the utilities very often,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Climate and Energy Project in Hutchinson, Kansas. “There was a lot of yelling and happy tears.”

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