Day: October 3, 2020

Michael Lavine Honors Arthur Siegel With an American Popular Song Society Program

The performance takes place on Saturday, October 10th at 12 Noon ET via Zoom.

Join singer/musical director and sheet music archivist Michael Lavine on Saturday, October 10th at 12 Noon ET for an American Popular Song Society program honoring the Broadway composer and cabaret artist Arthur Siegel.

Arthur wrote the music for many of the songs in the NEW FACES Broadway shows of 1952, 1956, 1962 and 1968. He mainly collaborated with June Carroll, but in later years, Arthur wrote with other lyricists. He musically directed most of Ben Bagley’s Revisited cd’s over the years, providing arrangements and also singing on them! Michael will be joined by a number of stars from Broadway and Cabaret, who will be presenting songs by Arthur. Michael will also tell some stories of his friendship with Arthur. Performers lined up to entertain: Steven Brinberg, Fay DeWitt, Natalie Douglas, Jay Aubrey Jones, Jon Peterson, T. Oliver Reid, Steve Ross, Sandy Stewart, KT Sullivan, and Sara Zahn.

For more information on the Free Zoom event please go to the website of the American Popular Song Society:

Michael Lavine has worked as a musical director, pianist, vocal coach and singer all over the world. He gives master classes on auditioning in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Bangkok, Australia, Singapore, Tokyo, Manila, Martha’s Vineyard and other locations. Michael musically directed productions of RENT, SWEENEY TODD, and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He has accompanied Broadway and television stars n New Orleans, San Francisco, Australia, Hollywood and at 54 Below, Feinstein’s, and the Metropolitan Room in New York. Michael conducted THE LITTLE MERMAID starring Emily Skinner. He also regularly plays for the Outer Critic’s Circle Awards in New York and musically directed the Broadway Cares Teddy Bear Auction for its entire 15-year run. Michael has conducted orchestras in a number of cities around the country For the past several years, Michael has been producing a series of CD’s called LOST BROADWAY AND MORE, recording songs from Broadway shows that have never been recorded before. A graduate of Columbia University, Michael owns one of the larger privately held sheet music collections in the world. More information can be found at Michael’s website,

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New Brunswick Medical Society warns of health-care gaps after Clinic 554 closes

New Brunswick’s only clinic offering abortions outside of hospitals and family care practice Clinic 554 has closed its doors to most of its patients. The New Brunswick Medical Society now says this loss will create a gap in health-care services.

a sign on the side of a building: Clinic 554 in Fredericton, N.B., is shown on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The only medical clinic offering abortions in New Brunswick announced its impending closure last week, blaming a provincial policy that refuses to fund surgical abortions outside a hospital. Advocates say rural Canadians across the country face barriers accessing abortions but a small number of clinics and strained healthcare systems make the issue especially pronounced in Atlantic provinces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett

Clinic 554 in Fredericton, N.B., is shown on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The only medical clinic offering abortions in New Brunswick announced its impending closure last week, blaming a provincial policy that refuses to fund surgical abortions outside a hospital. Advocates say rural Canadians across the country face barriers accessing abortions but a small number of clinics and strained healthcare systems make the issue especially pronounced in Atlantic provinces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett

The clinic ended most care on Sept. 30, but some publicly-funded services are still offered to a few vulnerable patients with complex care.


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“I am still seeing some people,” said Clinic 554 owner Dr. Adrian Edgar.

While he hopes to expand his practice again, Edgar says New Brunswick’s new Health Minister Dorothy Shephard has yet to return his calls.

Re-opening “would save the health-care system time, space, money,” Edgar told Global News on Saturday.

Read more: Security removes tents from protesters during vigil for Clinic 554 at N.B. legislature

With the closure of Clinic 554, New Brunswickers lost more than just an abortion clinic.

“The province of New Brunswick has well over 35,000 orphan patients right now who are looking for family doctors and certainly the closure of Clinic 554 is going to add to that list,” Dr. said Chris Goodyear, the new N.B. Medical Society president.

The practice also provided transgender health care and prided itself in being LGBTQ2I+ friendly.

But it constantly faced financial ruin due to lack of funding from the provincial government.

In New Brunswick, abortions are only offered in three locations: two hospitals in Moncton and one hospital in Bathurst, as previous N.B. governments have not repealed a regulation banning the funding of abortions outside of hospitals.

Higgs has also received criticism from the federal government on the Canada Health Act.

Ottawa had actually reduced the Canada Health Transfer to New Brunswick by $140,216, as a result of patient charges for abortion services provided outside of hospitals in 2017.

“I think it’s very clear that there is an obstruction of health-care services in New Brunswick,” Edgar said.

Goodyear says losing the clinic will create a gap in health-care services, and that the Medical Society is still advocating for preservation of the clinic.

“Certainly the closure of the clinic does not mean that our efforts are going to be halted, at all,” said Goodyear.

“We would invite the Premier to sit down with the concerned doctors, the Medical Society and RHAs to have this discussion,” he said.

Read more: 36 senators sign letter in support of Clinic 554

Earlier this week, 36 senators from across Canada released a statement in support of Clinic 554, and Edgar said two out-of-province physicians reached out to him with offers

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Historical society receives grant for tavern

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has given a $25,000 grant to the Historical Society of Perry County that will be used to continue planning for the preservation of the Clarks Ferry Tavern in Duncannon, according to a commission announcement.

“Our thanks to the Friends of Clark’s Ferry Tavern, our elected officials, donors and board of the historical society,” its President Glenn Holliman said in an email informing everyone of the grant. “This is a major step forward.”

The historical society and the Friends of Clarks Ferry Tavern community group have been planning for several years to stabilize, preserve and fix the Market Street building that dates to the late 1700s. The tavern is one of the oldest buildings standing in the county and reflects all that remains of a once important business empire that contributed to the county’s early growth, and as a waypoint during westward expansion of the nation.

The grant will require a cash match from the historical society, but can be used to continue planning for the tavern’s reuse as a Perry County welcome center, local history museum and interpretive center. The society is also planning to improve the tavern’s property so it can be used for local events.

“Pass the word that if all goes well, engineering and architectural planning will go forward this winter,” Holliman wrote in his email.

Last year, architects presented several visions for what was possible to reuse the tavern before the society settled on the welcome center idea.

With the latest grant, the society can hire engineers to develop specific plans for the tavern to be renovated and preserved. The next step would be for the society to find money to carry out the renovations. Earlier this year, the society began applying for grants from state and federal sources.

Jim T. Ryan can be reached via e-mail at

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Jude Law’s 12-hour one-take livestream

The Third Day: Autumn

9.30am, Sky Arts

Immersive theatre pioneers Punchdrunk collaborate on this one-take, real-time live special of the eerie drama miniseries The Third Day. As Sam (Jude Law) found his reality increasingly merging with visions of bloody horror, he sought to escape the unnerving island in the closing part of the previous section, Summer. With things ending on a typically uncertain note, he is now joined by fellow cast member Katherine Waterston as well as singer Florence Welch in an acting role for this marathon 12-hour event. Ammar Kalia

IRL With Team Charlene

9.05am, ITV

ITV newsreader Charlene White is on a mission to educate kids about racism and help them reject fake news. In this lively show she tackles questions about the Black Lives Matter movement, why people have different skin colours and other queries that TikTok and Instagram can’t be trusted to answer. Hannah Verdier

Undercover in the Jungle

7pm, Sky Nature

The hidden cameras are unleashed in this wildlife special, documenting the goings-on of an untouched jungle habitat in Ecuador’s Amazon basin. Among the wild characters we meet are the predictably loud howler monkeys and mesmeric, marching leaf-cutter ants. AK

Bone Detectives: Britain’s Buried Secrets

8pm, Channel 4

There is a bumper haul of bones this week for palaeontologist Dr Tori Herridge and her team of scientists as they uncover a forgotten cemetery in Ipswich housing more than 1,400 bodies. With some skeletons dating back as far as the Anglo-Saxon era, Herridge learns of their causes of death. AK

The Wall

9.30pm, BBC One

Bronzed to within an inch of his life, the nation’s foremost Pinter fanboy and Thomas Cromwell descendant Danny Dyer returns with his dramatic Saturday night gameshow, where prizes can reach an impressive six-figures. First to take on the wall are County Antrim sisters Nichola and Paula. Hannah J Davies

The Beach: Isolation in Paradise

10.50pm, BBC Four

Despite his Mad Max jeep and hefty knife, Aussie film-maker Warwick Thornton initially seemed unsure he could survive in a remote shack on a stark peninsula. In the final double bill of his self-imposed exile, he has found his groove: fishing, cooking and self-reflecting. Graeme Virtue

Film choice

a person standing in front of a tree: Strength and determination ... Harriet. Photograph: Glen Wilson/AP

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Strength and determination … Harriet. Photograph: Glen Wilson/AP

Harriet, 11.40am; 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

The extraordinary story of Harriet Tubman, a US plantation slave who escaped to the north, then returned to lead others to freedom via the “underground railroad”, makes for a stirring biopic in the hands of director Kasi Lemmons. Cynthia Erivo as Tubman exudes strength and determination. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Premier League Football: Chelsea v Crystal Palace, 11.30am, BT Sport 1. From Stamford Bridge.

Rugby League Challenge Cup: Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors, 2pm, BBC One. Semi-final day: Salford v Warrington follows on BBC Two.

Premier League Football: Leeds United v Manchester City, 5pm, Sky Sports Main Event. From Elland Road.

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the Sydney professor under attack from Poland’s ruling party

Video: Activists fear abortion decision could be revisited by conservative Supreme Court (Sky News Australia)

Activists fear abortion decision could be revisited by conservative Supreme Court



Wojciech Sadurski does not immediately seem like a danger to a foreign government. By day the internationally renowned legal scholar is Challis chair of jurisprudence at the University of Sydney. By night he posts videos on YouTube of his other passion – playing drums on jazz standards.

But the 70-year-old professor has had to pay attention to a more disturbing drumbeat since the ruling party and public broadcaster of his home country, Poland, sued him for defamation over tweets accusing them separately of indulging far-right nationalists and harassing the government’s political opponents.

On Friday Sadurski was due to be cross-examined remotely from a Warsaw courtroom, in the first hearing of one of three cases against him that have added to the alarm in international legal circles and Poland’s fellow EU members about the rightwing Law and Justice party’s increasingly brazen assault on the independence of the judiciary.

Related: In Poland we’ve become spectators at the dismantling of democracy | Karolina Wigura and Jarosław Kuisz

Legal academics from around the world have rallied in defence of Sadurski under the hashtag #withwoj, with hundreds signing an open letter calling the suits a “coordinated harassment campaign … against a well-known and respected academic who has clearly struck a nerve with his powerful critique of the situation in his native country”.

Sadurski’s case was initially sparked by controversy over the annual commemoration of Polish independence on 11 November, which has increasingly become dominated by extreme nationalists. The day before the 2018 event marking the centenary of the modern Polish state, where president Andrzej Duda awkwardly combined an official event with the march organised by the far right, Sadurski tweeted that “no honest person” should attend, and referred to Law and Justice (PiS in Polish) as “an organised criminal group” colluding with neo-Nazis.

Agata Kornhauser-Duda, Andrzej Duda standing in front of a crowd: Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, speaks at the controversial march in Warsaw on 11 November 2018, which marked the centenary of Poland regaining its independence. Photograph: Czarek Sokołowski/AP

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Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, speaks at the controversial march in Warsaw on 11 November 2018, which marked the centenary of Poland regaining its independence. Photograph: Czarek Sokołowski/AP

Two months later he also incurred the wrath of the country’s public broadcaster, TVP, following the assassination of the liberal mayor of Gdansk, Paweł Adamowicz. Sadurski accused governmental media on Twitter of hounding Adamowicz over his views, referring to “Goebbelsian” behaviour, but without naming TVP. Nevertheless, it took out both a civil and criminal suit for defamation, alleging his tweet amounted to a claim that it had incited the murder. Conviction in the criminal case – which will now be heard in December after Friday’s hearing was postponed – carries a maximum 12-month jail sentence and heavy financial penalties.

Sadurski, who first came to Australia in 1981 and has dual citizenship, is a regular commentator in the Polish media and well known in legal circles there. He is unapologetic about his statements, saying: “People who don’t watch Polish public

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Humane Society fares well despite COVID-19

Larry Savage
| The Gainesville Sun

There is something about having a pet that helps brighten a day, relieves stress and brings love to a family. 

At the Humane Society of North Central Florida, the adoptions are at 90% of where they would ordinarily be in a non-pandemic environment. An impressive rate considering how COVID-19 has made life more challenging.

But make no mistake, area residents love their dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

“We have been presently surprised by how many adoptions we have been able to do,” said Margot DeConna, director of advancement at the Humane Society of North Florida. “Since March 16, when our shelter closed for two months, we have done 1,000 adoptions.”

Those interested in adopting cannot just go to the Humane Society on Northwest Sixth Street and pick their dog or cat. First, go to the Humane Society of North Central Florida’s website and choose your pet online.

You then click the link to apply for adoption and submit your email address, and someone will get in touch with you. You must make an appointment to visit.

If interested in adopting a kitten, click on the link in the Cats & Kittens section of the website, and put in the time to visit in a Google calendar format. Kittens are only available Thursday through Sunday.

“They can sign up to any available time slot to visit kittens,” DeConna said. “With everything happening and the whole world coming to a stop, I’m surprised at how many people wanted to adopt animals at this time.”

Executive Director Heather Thomas said she is somewhat surprised, but said the outpouring of interest in the pets only confirms to her the love this area has for the four-legged friends.

“We live in a place that loves animals,” said Thomas, who worked for Gainesville Pet Rescue for 10 years prior to coming to Humane Society in 2014. “We live in a really amazing community that loves animals. That’s why we have been so successful during COVID.”

The Humane Society of North Central Florida was created in 2018 as leadership of Alachua County Humane Society, Gainesville Pet Rescue and Helping Hands Pet Rescue decided to join together. It is a limited intake, no-kill animal rescue center.

“Our full staff is back at work,” DeConna said. “We employ over 50 people, and we have low-cost medical procedures, such as routine vaccines, heartworm tests, flea control and deworming, along with microchipping. We also spay or neuter pets. Our medical staff is back. Everyone has been back since May. We are going to counties like Levy, Dixie County, Union County, Suwannee County, to find pets who need help.”

DeConna said the number of cases for the medical staff has increased dramatically since the pandemic began. She attributes that to the lower cost of care.

“It’s great because we want to help the community,” she said.

Thomas said with the return of University of Florida students, she expects more volunteers.

One of approximately 112 nonprofits working

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New California probation law celebrated by reform group founded by Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Michael Rubin

REFORM Alliance, the criminal justice reform organization co-founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, rapper Meek Mill, entrepreneur Michael Rubin and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, is celebrating its first significant legislative victory this week: a probation reform bill signed into law by California’s governor. 

“It’s an incredible step forward in fixing our broken probation system,” Rubin told Yahoo News in a video interview. “Today there’s 6.7 million people in the criminal justice system, 4.5 million people on probation and 2.2 million in prison. There’s been so much good work done on fixing some of the problems on the prison and jail issues, but there’s been really nobody focused on how do you fix probation? How do you fix parole?”

AB 1950, signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, will limit adult probation sentences to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felony offenses. Advocates argue that the change will reduce needless probation violations.

Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system — and of ourselves,” Newsom said in a statement. “We heard those calls for action loud and clear.”

REFORM Alliance was inspired by Philadelphia-native Mill’s personal experiences with the probation system. Mill has spent his entire adult life on probation, going in and out of prison for technical violations without committing a crime. 

“The REFORM Alliance has a goal of getting a minimum of 1 million people that don’t belong in the system out of the system within five years from when we started at the beginning of 2019,” Rubin said. “There’s been tons of research that’s proven once someone’s after a year or two on probation, there’s really no incremental benefit. There’s just lots of costs. So what we want to do is help people that are on probation to truly rehabilitate themselves and move forward in life and step forward and not focus on just keeping people stuck in the system.”

Michael Rubin, Meek Mill posing for the camera: Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)

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Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)

Rubin hopes this California bill will push other states to also change probation and parole laws. 

“As an owner of a sports team or successful person in business, you have a huge responsibility to make a difference,” said Rubin, a part-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. “And for me, I can tell you, sometimes you need a moment that opens your mind. To be honest, it was sitting in court with Meek three years ago when I watched a good friend of mine, who didn’t commit a crime, get sent to prison for two to four years. And that’s what got me on such a mission to help change the broken probation and parole laws. But I can tell you that the players alone, they can’t get things changed without the help of everyone

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Coronavirus USA: The move to a cashless society because of COVID-19 pandemic

Among many changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the U.S., one is a possible move closer to a cashless society.

Since more people decided to stay home when the coronavirus outbreak spread, they were spending less money. If people were out, fear of catching the virus kept them from touching many things, including loose change at the register.

As Americans made more non-cash purchases, headlines of a coin shortage followed.

READ MORE: Millennial Money: Try touchless payment to avoid dirty money

“The coins aren’t getting to where they need to be,” said Harvard business professor Shelle Santana.

In 2018, non-cash transactions, including debit cards, credit cards, electronic payments and checks, totaled more than 174 billion. In 2015, that number was 30.5 billion less.

“It’s just faster,” Santana said. “It’s faster for the consumer and faster for the seller. So if your cashier isn’t having to count coins in particular, then the line can move that much faster.”

Unfortunately, a move to a cashless society could cause problems for some communities.

About 8% of Americans don’t have a checking account. About 18% of Americans rely on alternative banking solutions, like a check cashing location, even though they have a savings or checking account. So these people rely on cash to purchase goods and services.

“For people who have the option to do this substitution away from cash to credit cards, then you’re going to see that substitution occur over time,” said Santana. “But there are a number of people who don’t have the ability to do that substitution, and those are the vulnerable people in the community.”

While convenience is a perk for using a card or electronic payment, everything someone purchases is tracked and documented.

SEE ALSO: 2 ways to cut back on spending during COVID-19

“There is incredible visibility into everything that you’re spending on, and it also makes you vulnerable for potential data breaches or hacks into a system, and having your identity or credit card information stolen,” Santana said.

Cash, however, protects the user’s privacy and doesn’t leave a footprint behind. And the fine print on every U.S. dollar is an assurance cash won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

“The legal tender in the United States is still cash,” Santana said. “Every single bill that is printed says, ‘This bill is good for all debts, public and private.’ And that’s our official currency.”

Follow Erik Barajas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s award shows why people distrust government

By Darren A. Nichols
Published 2:28 p.m. ET Oct. 3, 2020

The Duggan administration made national headlines last week, but it wasn’t for anything the Mayor will use in his next “State of the City” address. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and his team were named the most secretive publicly funded agency or person in the country by the Investigative Reporters and Editors journalism association, earning its “Golden Padlock” award. 

The group cited the administration’s handling of public documents having to do with Make Your Date, a maternal health organization that worked with the city to fight infant mortality.  

A Free Press investigation in 2019 showed how the administration directed $358,000 in  city grant to Make Your Date and had staff raise money for the nonprofit, which is led by a woman with ties to Duggan. During the course of its investigation, the Free Press learned that the administration had attempted to hide and delete public documents. 

The group’s chair Robert Cribb said the award to the Duggan administration is a reminder of how far city officials will go to protect themselves. 

The Duggan administration blew it off as a mistake or technical error. What some knew then — and was validated last week with the award — was the administration purposely withheld crucial information from the public. 

That’s shameful for an administration that prides itself on protecting the city’s image, works diligently to show that the politics of the past are gone and chastised reporters for their stories on the city’s web site. 

After the city’s Inspector General investigated and found that the administration ordered staffers to delete emails, Chief of Staff Alexis Wiley, Chief Development Officer Ryan Friedrichs and his deputy, Sirene Abou-Chakra were slapped on the wrist. Wiley was given public records training and the two others were ordered training on document management, the Freedom of Information Act and laws about preserving records. Now they have an award from the nation’s largest investigative journalism association. 

More: City of Detroit wanted $222,000 for public records. So Free Press sued.

Darren A. Nichols: Federal agents are not the answer to gun violence

But the Duggan administration is hardly alone. Its situation is simply the latest of local and national officials who have been criticized for failing to release information to the public.  

Just look at some of the headlines from the last week. 

As news of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis unfolded, there was little transparency from the administration. A Saturday morning press conference raised questions about the President’s condition and the timeline of his illness. 

On Sept. 27, the New York Times dropped information about Trump’s taxes, which revealed he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. The public had been waiting on the records since Trump was on the campaign trail for his first term in office.

Trump also paid no income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made, according to the

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DDOT bus driver strike violates Michigan law

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has responded to the ongoing strike of bus drivers Saturday afternoon, saying he hasn’t “gotten a single complaint or request from the leaders of the drivers union” expanding on their concerns on security in the past four months.

While there are concerns on safety, Duggan said the strike is also in response to the discipline of a driver’s reaction to a passenger not wearing a mask. Because of this, he said, the strike violates contract law.

Detroit bus drivers have been on strike since Friday, saying the Detroit Department of Transportation had failed to protect employees from COVID-19 and assaults. Some of these assaults were over mask-related disputes, with passengers lashing out when being asked to put on protective face-coverings. 

“They are fed up with ongoing assaults, threats by angry riders refusing to wear masks, and other safety concerns while (Detroit Department of Transportation) officials are doing nothing to provide any protection at all,” Glenn Tolbert, President of Amalgamated Transit Union in Detroit said in a news release. “Way before the pandemic even began, we had demanded the agency provide us with police protection, training, emergency communication, and other safety measures.” 

Duggan said he met with the union four months ago in response to their safety concerns and replied with installing security doors next to drivers. He said the union had signed off on the design of the doors, recalling that they were pleased with the results. Duggan also said Detroit buses also have cameras installed to track and prosecute assaults.  

“So when you don’t hear from the unions that there is an issue, it’s a little surprising when you get up on Friday morning and find out they just didn’t show up for work, stranding people all over the city without notice,” he said. 

More: Fearful of the pandemic and threats from riders, Detroit’s bus drivers refuse to work

More: Driver who said woman coughed on his bus has died of coronavirus

“We initiated discussions with DDOT early this morning in hopes of finding real solutions,” Tolbert said. “Instead DDOT offered inadequate half-measures, leaving bus drivers and riders exposed to violence on buses and COVID-19.”

Duggan also said the strike was in response to a driver’s suspension. 

Tolbert said the driver was fired for acting in self-defense when a passenger became violent after being asked to wear a mask. Duggan said the found the video of the incident “disturbing”, adding DDOT’s response was appropriate. 

According to Duggan, the individual did not wear a mask when entering the bus. When asked where his mask was, the passenger covered his face with a piece of clothing. The driver did not start the bus, which prompted the passenger to cross the line and ask why the bus was going. Duggan said the passenger’s actions were inappropriate. He did not expand on the driver’s response, but said “(i)t wasn’t go back to your seat, it wasn’t stay back behind the line.”

The driver, he said, is in the middle

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