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San Francisco To See Uptick in Foreign Tourists As COVID-19 Pandemic Eases

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Millions of international tourists will now be flocking back to the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic eases its grip. The news comes as the U.S. government is lifting coronavirus travel restrictions from Nov. 8, which would allow foreign tourists to once again enter the country.

Fully vaccinated travelers from countries and regions including China, India, and much of Europe will be allowed back.

San Francisco will be one of the places in the U.S. which will benefit the most as tourism is its lifeblood, reports KTVU.

During the pandemic, the city was dependent on mostly local visitors and few from outside California and overseas but that is about to change.

As Saturday saw favorable weather, Pier 39 was full of chirpy tourists but the foreign flavor was missing.

“It was difficult but fun to sell things to foreigners because of the language barrier but we did our best and made our sales. However, we didn’t have that in a while,” said Jesus Gonzalez, Assistant Manager of Lids.

Now, Gonzalez and his staff now have to get back into their groove as tourists will start coming back in November. That is expected to help raise the bottom line of businesses in Pier 39, one of the tourist hotspots in the city.

Foreign Tourists Spend More

“Tourists from abroad spend four times more than the locals so their return will be vital for the economy throughout the US, particularly San Francisco,” said Taylor Stafford, CEO, Pier 39.

Due to the absence of visitors, some hotels have shut down, while others are operating with a few guests.

According to Hotel council of San Francisco stats, international visitors are responsible for 63% of tourist spending in the city.

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It is one of the popular tourist attractions in the city.

Their absence had hit businesses in the city hard.

“It is billions of dollars in lost revenue for the whole country and it’s significant for us in San Francisco,” said Kevin Carroll, CEO, Hotel Council of San Francisco.

Foreign tourists will no doubt lift businesses but experts say the effect will be gradual rather than sudden.

Experts KTUV spoke to said it will take two to three years before San Francisco sees anything close to pre-pandemic numbers.

California News

A Simple Tip To Boost Social Security Benefits By $800

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Inflation sure did inflict some heavy blows to benefits in Social Security, including the amount of coverage to its beneficiaries in the United States. Prices of commodities have surged significantly by six percent in the past year alone. Putting things into perspective, inflation stagnated to almost zero for the better part of the last ten years, and in less than a year, prices have skyrocketed in nearly each of the major categories. A good example is the grocery prices that went up by 12 percent in several categories.  

COLA 2022’s 5.9% may not be enough for some  

To ease things up, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be up by 5.9 percent, which is the largest tweak in the last four decades. Albeit such an increase, some still need additional funds to make ends meet. That said, here are some tips to substantially boost one’s income.  

The Significance to Beneficiaries If the Social Security Benefits Get Slashed Early

Image credits: (FDR Presidential Library & Museum/flickr)

All about timing  

An essential factor in determining a person’s Social Security benefit is timing. That said, the timeliest one can get in filing for the program’s benefits is by the time that individual has reached the age of 62, with age 70 being the latest. Americans are well-aware, though, that there’s a catch to this. Early filing of it would only yield lesser benefits. However, waiting for the ripe age of 70 would result in them receiving the maximum benefits, GBR writes 

Further, delayed retirement credits are some sort of reward that Social Security provides its recipients with for putting off claiming an individual’s retirement benefit. These credits start to stack up the month a person reaches their retirement age of 66 years and four months for people born in 1956, as this slowly increases to 67 for folks born in 1960 and above.  

Additionally, these credits accumulate through age 69, though this may seem to work in reverse if one decides to get the benefits earlier.  

The Social Security Administration stated that if a worker starts getting benefits prior to his/her full retirement age, that worker is said to be getting a reduction in benefits. The program stated that a worker can opt to retire as early as 62, though doing such may ensue a benefit reduction to as much as 30 percent. 

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San Francisco

Mystery Of What Killed A Family Hiking In Mariposa County Solved

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Investigators have finally nailed the cause of death of a young family and their dog, who all perished mysteriously during a hiking trip on a remote trail in Mariposa County in August, authorities said.

Mariposa Sheriff Jeremy Briese on Thursday said the family perished due to hyperthermia and dehydration as temperatures reached 109 in the afternoon while it was just 74 when they started the hike, reports San Francisco Chronicle.

Investigators reached this conclusion after conducting investigation, autopsies and toxicology reports, said Briese.

When body temperature rises to dangerous levels hyperthermia sets in. “Heat and lack of water on the steep stretch of switchbacks with no shade was too much for them to handle and they all succumbed,” Briese said.

‘Family Underestimated Difficulties’

Addressing a crowd of reporters, the sheriff said they were new to the area and hence underestimated the difficulties of the remote trail, unforgiving terrain, and the heat.

Some questions though remain unanswered like exactly when the members of the family and their pet died and whether they passed away at almost the same time. Their bodies were found close to each other more than two days after they started their hike.

Hites Cove Trail. Pic credit: yosemite.com

According to authorities, Jonathan Gerrish, 44, his wife Ellen Chung, 31, their 1-year-old daughter Miju and dog Oski started their hike on Aug. 15 on the Hites Cove Trail loop.

Investigators said that the family had almost completed the 8-mile loop before they died on a steep switchback, just under 2 miles from where they had parked their car.

Gerrish was found in a seated position with Miju and Oski next to him while Chung was slightly farther ahead on the path. Gerrish had a cell phone in his shirt pocket but the area had no reception. The FBI is working on unlocking the phone to find more clues.

‘They Weren’t Carrying Enough Water’

According to Briese, the family had a bladder backpack which held just 85 ounces of water when they started the hike, which was inadequate. Only a tiny quantity was found remaining when the bodies were found. They were also carrying some snacks and a bottle of baby formula.

The water was tested for toxins but the result came back negative.

The couple was wearing shorts and tank tops but no hats while the baby was in a backpack. They were just 1.6 miles from finishing the loop trail.

The cause of death of the 8-year-old dog remains undetermined but it also appeared to have succumbed to heat.

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San Francisco

Nissan Owners Complain Of Dashboards ‘Melting’, Sparking Safety Concerns

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Nissan cars owners are up in arms against the manufacturer for what they say is a “serious defect” in their vehicles. More than 1,000 owners have complained to federal authorities that the dashboards in their vehicles have started melting, reports say.

According to the Center for Auto Safety, the defect in older Nissan models can potentially cause an accident on the road and is more than a cosmetic issue, reports ABC 7 News.

Adam Klock, who owns a 2008 Nissan Altima, said that underneath the piece of felt he placed on the dashboard, he noticed a gooey mess, the report said.

“The dashboard became so sticky I didn’t need an adhesive to stick the felt in place,” Klock said, adding: “It looks horrible and that’s why you don’t want anyone in the car to look at it. You want to keep it covered to hide the mess.”

Center for Auto Safety’s Jason Levine said, “What we have is what can only be described as melting dashboards, which are changing properties in the sun, in the heat.”

Dashboard giving off glare making it difficult for the driver to see the road ahead.

Another issue pointed out by Klock is that the dashboard gives off a lot of glare.

“It is always in your face,” he said. “To avoid it you need to put something on the dashboard which’s doesn’t reflect light.”

Safety Hazard

Steckler Wayne Cochran law firm has filed a class-action suit against Nissan alleging that the glare is so harsh that it can become a safety hazard.

Most of the complaints made to federal regulators are from southern states, but an Oakland resident who owns an Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, says the dashboard of his 2004 model has bubbled and is peeling.

Dashboard peeling off.

A 2005 Infiniti SUV owner from Campbell said his vehicle melted internally and another from San Francisco said his car’s dashboard is cracking.

According to Levine, the complaints are coming from across the country and not just from southern states.

In a statement issued by Nissan, the company said it has found that the issue doesn’t pose any safety risk and it was continuing to assess car owners’ concerns and take the required steps to deal with each case.

The average cost of replacing a dashboard is $2,000.

However, a settlement was reached for the lawsuit filed by Steckler Wayne Cochran in which Nissan owners in Florida would get their dashboards replaced for only $250.

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