Downtown Burlington’s cooperative grocery store, announces three new members to its Board of Directors: Ann Ramsay, Susan Munkres, and Wayne Warnken. The new Board of Directors will begin their three-year terms on January 1.Ramsay, a nurse and acupuncturist, has been a Co-op member for the past three years and was also a member many years ago when the Co-op was located on Archibald Street. Ramsay is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Nursing at the University of Vermont where she teaches several courses in Chinese Medicine.Munkres has been involved in organic gardening, CSA’s, farmers’ markets, and co-ops for over 20 years, but most recently lived in the deep South where alternatives to the conventional food system were few and far between. She also teaches about food systems to high school and college students.Warnken, a family physician at the Community Health Center, has lived in Burlington for the past four years. As a physician at the Health Center, he says he sees the impact that nutrition has on our community every day and is looking forward to using those experiences to help continue City Market’s mission.Three Board of Directors, Garry Schaedel, David Booth and Kiernan Flynn, are stepping down on December 31. Both Schaedel and Booth served two full terms on the Board and both were President at different times. “They helped navigate the Co-op through rocky waters early in their terms,” said General Manager Clem Nilan. “It is a fitting tribute that they leave Onion River Co-op in a much better place than they found it.” Flynn served the Board for one year.About City Market, Onion River Co-opThe Onion River Co-op is a consumer cooperative, with over 3,200 members, selling wholesome food and other products while building a vibrant, empowered community and a healthier world, all in a sustainable manner. Recently awarded the 2008 Howard K. Bowers Fund Cooperative Excellence Award, City Market provides a large selection of local, natural and conventional foods, and thousands of Vermont-made products. Visit City Market, Onion River Co-op conveniently located in downtown Burlington, online at www.CityMarket.coop(link is external) or call 802-861-9700.
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Topics : Japan was preparing to extend a state of emergency beyond major cities to the entire nation, media reported on Thursday, and a government official said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will change a draft supplementary budget to include cash payouts for everyone.The government has declared an emergency in Tokyo and six other areas including Osaka, with more than 9,000 infections nationally and nearly 200 deaths, but other regions have asked to be added amid worries about the persistent spread of the virus.Still some way short of a lockdown, the state of emergency introduced on April 7, and imposed for a month, gave authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close. It currently covers about 44% of Japan’s population. NHK public broadcaster and other media reported on Thursday that the country was preparing to expand the emergency nationwide amid pressure on Abe to do more amid perceptions his response to the virus in general has been too little, too late.Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said a meeting of experts would be convened later on Thursday about expanding the state of emergency.The coronavirus has bitten deep into the world’s third-largest economy. Under the current supplementary budget plan, the government has set aside funds for cash payouts of 300,000 yen ($2,784) but only for households whose income is judged to have been hit by the coronavirus.Abe’s administration will change the plan and instead deliver 100,000 yen to every citizen, the official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The change would be a nod to growing calls from ruling and opposition lawmakers for Abe to take bolder steps to help people weather the economic impact from the pandemic.The International Monetary Fund, which expects Japan’s economy to contract 5.2% this year, urged the government to boost fiscal spending and focus on easing the hit to growth.”In the near term, expansionary fiscal policy is warranted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 in the short term and support the recovery afterwards,” said Odd Per Brekk, deputy director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department.Rising coronavirus cases and business closures are piling pressure Japan’s economy which is on the cusp of recession.Sources have told Reuters the Bank of Japan is likely to project an economic contraction for this fiscal year and discuss further measures to ease corporate funding strains at its rate review on April 27-28.The draft supplementary budget, compiled to fund a near $1 trillion stimulus package Abe’s administration unveiled last week, needs parliament approval to take effect.It is rare for the government to make changes to a draft budget, which is carefully mapped out by the finance ministry taking into account the various views of politicians.Any such modification would underscore the challenge Abe faces in dealing with the deepening economic toll from the pandemic, without adding too much strain to Japan’s already tattered finances.A Reuters poll showed most Japanese corporations were disappointed by the government’s stimulus plan as being too little, too late.Surveys show Abe has lost support due to what critics say is a timid and sluggish response to the outbreak, and by widespread criticism that he has appeared tone deaf to the severity of the crisis in his own social media posts.Support for Abe’s cabinet fell to 39% in an NHK survey published on Monday, down four points, with 75% saying his April 7 declaration of a state of emergency came too late.
Topics : It was held on the seventh day of a progressive easing of France’s strict lockdown instituted in mid-March to brake the spread of the virus which has killed more than 27,000 people in France.Under new, looser regulations, people are allowed to leave their homes and travel up to 100 kilometers. But gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited as the country seeks to progressively get back to normal without unleashing a new infection wave. At Sunday’s service in eastern France, hard hit by coronavirus, strict rules applied. Catholics in France’s virus hit east on Sunday gathered for their first mass in weeks, praying and singing hymns from the relative safety of their cars.Some 500 believers gathered in Chalons-en-Champagne in about 200 cars parked at least a meter from one another outside the city’s main exhibition hall. “It is a triumph of life,” bishop Francois Touvet told AFP, adding that the initiative was a first for France and went ahead only after the authorities gave special permission. Cars were checked at the entrance to ensure each occupant was wearing a mask and had access to virus-killing hand gel.No more than four people were allowed per car, and no-one was allowed to get out. At the front of the car park, a pulpit complete with a cross and a statue of the Virgin Mary had been erected on a truck trailer, from where Touvet delivered his sermon over a microphone. At the foot of the stage, a dozen priests and deacons sat arranged in a semi-circle, their chairs carefully spaced a safe distance from each other.Worshippers who wished to receive communion were asked to switch on their car’s hazard lights, and to clean their hands with sanitizing gel. Priests wearing face masks, their hands also disinfected, then went around from car to car.”Clean hands give the communion, clean hands receive it,” said Touvet. “An exceptional measure for an exceptional situation.”For Marie-Lorene, a 21-year-old resident of Chalons-en-Champagne, the mass was an opportunity to pray “for all those who have died of coronavirus for all those who fight against coronavirus and then for all the people who help the sick”.Touvet told the faithful they would celebrate Pentecost together at the end of the month, either in church, “or here again”, to worship “in this world wounded and overwhelmed by a small, invisible virus”.