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NEWS: Fast Food Giant McDonald’s is bringing back HI-C Orange Soda After 4 YEARS

After 4 years, McDonald’s is finally bringing back HI-C Orange according to People starting February 15th. Odd that it took so long. I shared the original reaction in 2017 when it was taken away and honestly had long thought it would never return.

According to the fast food giant, your “tweets, DMs and petitions asking for its return gave our social media community manager a LOT of content to choose from for an important menu team meeting this morning…and thanks to you, Hi-C Orange Lavaburst will return to McDonald’s menus this year as a regular soft drink option, available nationwide by this summer.”

Twitter reacted with approval:

You can find it near you with this HI-C Orange Tracker”: mcdfinder.com

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Superspreader Super Bowl Weekend: Videos Show Crowds and Concerts Across Tampa

Super Bowl LV was this past weekend and in the end Tampa Bay won the championship. It wasn’t all that was happening in town though, the Super Bowl brought celebrities and parties across the bay that have created fears of a superspreader event in Tampa.

Recent reports of the COVID-19 UK variant being found prevalent in Florida are concerning healthcare officials and the Biden Administration is threatening travel restrictions on the state.

CBS 12 reports: “Florida is leading the way in terms of one of the fastest rates of B117,” said Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist with the Federation of American Scientists. “The natural contagiousness of the B117 means that it will infect a lot of people.”

Nearly half a million or 500,000 Americans have died during the Coronavirus pandemic and over 26,000 Floridians. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Florida has been under the national microscopic from spring breakers telling people they don’t care about the pandemic to Governor DeSantis constantly fighting restrictions and acting like nothing is wrong.

The City of Tampa promised that there would be an effort to stop people from not wearing masks, but not one person was cited during the busy weekend according to Creative Loafing. Local police clearly said before that there would be “education” and not “enforcement” though.

There is evidence that travelers have curbed travel to Florida throughout the pandemic and the impact on businesses has been quite deep although it has been increasing in recent months. The emergence of the UK Variant in the state could be an emergency for local businesses if it leads to travel restrictions due to government mismanagement of the virus.

Here is a collection of videos from the weekend:

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The latest: published pieces on News Break

Hello everyone,

I have a new gig with News Break writing some content. Here are some of my latest published pieces:

I would appreciate your support following me on News Break: https://www.newsbreak.com/publishers/@561463

You can also download the app and support there as well!

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

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Do This: Order produce from local farmers this Thanksgiving in SF

This Thanksgiving consider ordering a fresh produce-packed Bounty Box from Clement Street Farmer’s Market and help support local farmers who have lost their restaurant accounts due to COVID-19 restaurant closures.

Orders must be placed by this Tuesday, November 17th for convenient pick-up on Sunday, November 22nd at the Clement Street market. The cost is $30 per box. Limit of 2 per customer.

CalFresh/EBT participants can use their funds to purchase a Bounty Box at a 50% discount, $15.00 per box.

Bounty Box sales have brought over $215,000 directly back to the farmers’ pockets.  Since April 2020, AIM (Agricultural Institute of Marin) has curated nearly 10,000 Bounty Boxes.

The Bounty Box is available weekly on-demand (no subscription necessary) and is filled with fresh, nutritious and seasonal produce Bounty Box items are sourced directly from the farmers who participate at AIM’s Clement Street/SF, Marin Civic Center, and Grand Lake Oakland farmers markets.

Find more information at bounty-box.org.

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News Restaurant News

NEWS: Golden Gate Restaurant Association statement on the closure of indoor dining in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA: “We are very disappointed San Francisco has announced closing indoor dining effective Saturday, morning, November 14th. Although our foremost concern remains with the health and well-being of our community, we do anticipate immediate negative effects; including more restaurant closures, both short-term and permanent, significant job losses, and numerous employees losing health insurance coverage.  

We are also concerned the level of financial stress on employees and their families will result in increased mental health issues as well as stress related illnesses. With winter on the way, limited indoor dining represented the only real hope for many restaurants to survive the next three months. As we have said before, the majority of restaurants simply cannot make it financially on takeout alone. With the uncertainty around further federal support, San Francisco restaurants, their employees, and their families will suffer greatly. 

We understand the rate of cases increasing (the slope of the curve) is steeper than our last wave in the summer, and that this caused real concerns by Dr. Aragon and Dr. Colfax as to the possibility that our healthcare system could easily become overwhelmed. While there seems to be no reported causal link between dining inside in San Francisco restaurants and the increased San Francisco case numbers, we continue to remind our members to follow all COVID-19 safe practices and guidelines. 

Given that our industry is being asked to sacrifice financially, we call on our city leaders to help our industry survive by offering immediate financial aid to our restaurants and our employees. We also call on Congress to pass the Restaurants Act now to provide critically needed dollars to keep restaurant workers employed.”

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Krispy Kreme launches caramel glaze flavor

Krispy Kreme’s new Caramel Glazed Doughnut and Salted Double Caramel Crunch Doughnut are available starting Monday, November 9th for a limited-time at participating shops across the U.S.

What’s new?

  • Caramel Glazed Doughnut: the classic Original Glazed® Doughnut covered in rich caramel glaze. ​
  • Salted Double Caramel Crunch Doughnut: the Caramel Glazed Doughnut dipped in rich caramel icing, and sprinkled with salted crunch topping.

“There are a lot of caramel lovers out there and if you’re one of them, this doughnut is going to blow your mind,” said Dave Skena, Chief Marketing Officer of Krispy Kreme. “It’s incredibly delicious and you’re going to need to take a moment for yourself and just be one with caramel awesomeness. It’s been a year, to say the least. You’ve earned it.”

Share your caramel glaze moment with Krispy Kreme’s Caramel Glazed Doughnuts by using #KrispyKreme and tagging @krispykreme. For more information about the new Krispy Kreme Caramel Glazed Doughnuts, please visit www.krispykreme.com/promos/caramelglaze.

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NEWS: Metropolitan Ministries says need for holiday assistance soars way beyond projections

Metropolitan Ministries was expecting a big challenge and preparing to serve as many as 40,000 families this holiday season due to hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The need is even worse than anticipated, and the nonprofit now expects those numbers could climb to 50,000 families in need of aid. 

With CDC recommended precautions in place, Metropolitan Ministries opened its first-ever online registration process on October 28. Flooded with requests for help, the host server crashed in the first few hours and continues to be inundated. A more robust system had to be implemented to handle the volume.  

To meet the need, Metro has turned itself inside out and expanded its reach to six counties through 65 distribution partner locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and new this year, Manatee and Hernando counties. Nearly half, 23,000 households, will be served through the partner sites and 1,200 homebound individuals will receive deliveries. 

The demand for nonperishable food is a real concern amid the pandemic. Food collection drives are down by 50% versus 2019, and the ability for the Ministries to make bulk purchases is more limited. 

The only way that Metropolitan Ministries can meet the need is with the support of the Tampa Bay community. Food donations can be dropped off at the main holiday tent in Tampa or at various partner locations.  

Most needed items: canned yams, stuffing, cranberry sauce, boxed potatoes.

Metropolitan Ministries accepting donations via Amazon and other retailers shipped directly to the holiday tent at 2609 N. Rome Ave., Tampa, FL 33607. 

For information about locations and how to help go to metromin.org/holidaycentral   

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Why #ImVotingFor Joe Biden

4 years ago Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. After a quite insane general election, what came after was 4 years of complete chaos. As a millennial who lived through the 2008 financial crisis, the economy was finally improving in the mid 2010s.

The years were filled with contention. On the first day of Donald Trump’s election my friends reported being attacked in public with racist attacks and being told to “go back” to where they came from despite being Americans.

It was a preview of what was going to come. We saw white supremacists organized and marching in Charlottesville and in other cities in what eventually led to this summer filled protests over the death of George Floyd and police brutality. Trump refused to condemn these vile people. Never in my life as a Puerto Rican have I faced discrimination until Donald Trump became President. Suddenly simply wearing the Puerto Rican flag was met with sneers and looks and rude comments about how I’m supposedly not American.

Hurricane Maria and Irma came and killed thousands in Puerto Rico. Donald Trump and corrupt conservatives in Puerto Rico colluded to declare the disaster a success story (I will never forget the paper towels), but the people who live in Puerto Rico know that their people were abandoned and left to die by the most powerful country on earth. Murals around the island show the deep pain the island was left with as they saw their own die without help. George Bush did more for Haiti than the United States did for a dying Puerto Rico.

Hundreds if not thousands of little children have been separated from their parents in immigration camps and the number of scandals including the sterilization of women are massive human rights violations. Many people were brutally sent to their death despite begging and pleading to be saved. What happened to America saying immigrants are our neighbors? All America was founded by immigrants. It is the one thing that makes us unique.

Finally as we entered the final chapter, Coronavirus came to the United States. The first major pandemic to plague this nation since the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Over 235,000 Americans are now dead from COVID-19 and at least 9 million Americans have been infected with the virus. The White House knew it was coming, but chose not to tell the public to avoid “alarm”. They did warn their donors to brace for impact though.

As a food writer, I have been forced from the thing I love which is dining at restaurants and forced to choose between my health and my family’s health. Thousands of people have lost their businesses and millions have been laid off. Over 20 million Americans are unemployed that we know of. Americans are begging for food in massive lines.

At least in 2008 I could go get a burger inside a restaurant while the economy was imploding without feeling like I was going to become sick.

We are now at 100,000+ cases of Coronavirus occurring with no end in sight. Millions are being evicted. Republicans refused to pass stimulus aid to help the economy, but made time to add Justice Barrett to the Supreme Court. This isn’t sustainable. We cannot continue like this.

Joe Biden is not a perfect man. I disagree with him on a number of issues like immigration and fracking, but here is what I do know. I know Joe Biden will listen to Dr. Fauci. He will listen to our healthcare experts and do what he has to do to restore the health of our country that has been so horribly disrupted by COVID-19.

He will pass stimulus aid and help our ailing economy and not just help the rich who have escaped the pandemic economy unscathed. We face numerous challenges including massive death of Americans and Joe Biden is the only candidate who is equipped for this job. He has done it before.

The Obama Administration left a pandemic team behind in 2016 that Trump dutifully disbanded in 2018. This entire pandemic was completely avoidable. We need to bring the pandemic under control or our economy will not recover or grow. We need leadership back in our government. We need to listen to our scientists again.

I am tired of worrying if my family is going to die from a plague that the White House recklessly has allowed to swallow our nation for their own greed. I am tired of worrying for my own health.

The virus is not a hoax. The doctors are not profiting off death. This is not the flu. We are dying.

That is why #ImVotingFor Joe Biden and I encourage you to do the same.

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Articles Restaurant News

NEWS: Reservations now available for SF Restaurant Week opening and closing dinners

San Francisco, CA – Reservations are now open for Eat Drink SF’s opening and closing dinners for SF Restaurant Week at The Vault Garden, Oct. 23, and at EPIC Steak on Nov. 1. Menus and pricing details are below. 

Opening dinner: A Taste of San Francisco Friday, Oct. 23, 5 to 8 p.m. The Vault Garden, San FranciscoThis socially distanced outdoor dinner features a collaborative multi-course experience designed by all-star chefs Robin Song of The Vault Garden, Jason Halverson of Hi Neighbor Group, Staffan Terje of Perbacco and barbacco, Reem Assil of Reem’s California, Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie and Routier and Angela Pinkerton of Pie Society and Pinkerton Confectionery. This one-night-only meal includes a welcome beverage and two desserts. $175, including all taxes, fees and gratuity. Tickets on OpenTable [View the menu here]

Closing dinner: A Waterfront Surf and Turf Experience from Waterbar and EPIC Steak: A Night of Gratitude Sunday, Nov. 1, 4 to 8 p.m. EPIC Steak, San FranciscoIconic San Francisco Bay views and live music from The Henry Coopers accompany a welcome cocktail and a sumptuous five-course surf and turf menu from the culinary teams at EPIC and Waterbar, led by acclaimed Executive Chef Parke Ulrich. Courses include Maine Lobster Beggar’s Purse, Venison Carpaccio & Crispy Oysters, Roasted Bone Marrow and Dungeness Crab Gratin, Classic Beef Wellington & Smoked Uni and Fall Apple Galette. Specialty cocktails featuring Maker’s Mark and Sipsmith Gin will also be offered.$127, including all taxes, fees and gratuity. Tickets on OpenTable.

Virtual events with ChefsFeed Eat Drink SF 2020 is coming to your home thanks to ChefsFeed. The line-up will include Kim Alter of Nightbird, Simileoluwa Adebajo of Eko Kitchen, Samir Mogannam of Beit Rima and Rebecca Pinnell, formerly of Bon Voyage! Details coming soon.

Find more information visit them online at sfrestaurantweek.com.

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NEWS: Early voting starts today in Hillsborough County

Vote By Mail has been breaking records in Hillsborough County this election, but it’s not the only option. For voters who prefer to vote in person, Early Voting begins Monday in Hillsborough County. In Hillsborough County, Early Voting is open for 14 days, from October 19 through November 1, 7AM to 7PM, including weekends.

Hillsborough County voters can choose from any of 26 Early Voting
locations to vote. This is different from Election Day, when voters must vote in the polling place assigned to their precinct. Each Early Voting location will also have a curbside, Vote By Mail drop-off tent for voters who want to turn in their Vote By Mail ballots in person.

“We are a large county and I want our voters to have plenty of options, so I’ve added extra sites and we will be open the maximum number of days and hours allowed by law,” said Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. “In these uncertain times, I encourage voters to vote early if you can. If you get sick, or someone you care for gets sick, you may not be able to vote on Election Day.”

Early Voting for the General Election includes two new sites, at Amalie Arena and Raymond James Stadium. The voting sites in those locations will be similar in size to other large Early Voting sites in the county,
including the sites at several libraries and the University Area Community Center.

The elections office has taken extensive measures to ensure the health and safety of in-person voting, and has posted a video preview on the 2020 General Election page of their website.

Only a limited number of people will be allowed inside to ensure social distancing, and surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day. Poll workers are required to wear masks at all times, and face shields or plexiglass barriers will provide additional protection.

Supervisor Latimer asks that all voters wear masks and will have them available for voters, if needed. And, voters will get their own combination stylus/pen to sign in and mark their ballot.

“With ongoing cleaning and limited capacity, in-person voting will go a little slower, but once voters are inside the polling place, they should be able to move through quickly,” said Supervisor Latimer.

Voters should bring a Florida Driver License or other acceptable photo and signature ID for voter checkin. If they forget their ID, they can vote a provisional ballot to be verified by the elections office. The full
list of accepted IDs, along with a list of Early Voting locations, can be found on the Early Voting page of VoteHillsborough.org.

“The drive-up Vote By Mail drop-off tents are a contactless way for voters to cast their ballot in person, so I expect this option to be popular. We’ve sent out more than 405,000 Vote By Mail ballots and we want to
see those voted ballots come back in,” said Latimer.

Voters can still request a mail ballot online at VoteHillsborough.org or by calling (813) 744-5900.