NBA Finals betting guide: Nuggets-Heat odds, prop bets and key terms

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:50

The NBA Finals have arrived in Denver for the first time and along with that comes all kinds of excitement, pomp and circumstance, media coverage and, of course, gambling opportunities.

As sports gambling continues to proliferate in the United States, hoops fans and casual observers alike will see a raft of advertising, sponsorship and array of wagers to be made around the Finals.

Here’s some betting information ahead of Game 1 between the Nuggets and Miami Heat on Thursday night. Bottom line: In both the game and the series, Denver is a heavy betting favorite.

Series odds

Favorite: Nuggets -400

Underdog: Heat +310

* Odds are via DraftKings as of Wednesday morning. 

Game 1 Odds

Money Line:  Nuggets -390 / Heat +310

Spread: Nuggets -9 (-106) / Heat +9 (+114)

Point total: 219.5 (-110)

* Odds are sportsbook consensus provided by as of Wednesday morning

NBA Finals prop bets

Jokic’s stellar run continues: Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is the runaway favorite to win NBA Finals MVP, but he’s not the only candidate. Currently, Jokic checks in at -350 to win the award, according to BetMGM. After him, Miami’s Jimmy Butler is +350 and Denver’s Jamal Murray is +1200.

Top scorer: Jokic, not surprisingly, is also the favorite to lead all scorers in Game 1, but not by as wide a margin as the MVP race. He checks in currently via FanDuel Sportsbook at +160. Other candidates to lead the pack Thursday night include Butler (+185) and Murray (+220) before bigger reaches like Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. and Miami’s Bam Adebayo at +3300 each.

Triple-double machine: Jokic is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists through the first three rounds of the playoffs. The odds he will average a triple-double in the finals is -120, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

A sweep upcoming?: How long will the series last? You can bet on that, too, naturally. FanDuel has the Nuggets at +450 to sweep. It has the most likely outcome pegged, based on implied odds, as Denver finishing the job in five games (+210). Bettors can also get the Heat in six games at +900 or in a sweep at +4800.

Rare heights: Former Lakers star Elgin Baylor is the only player in NBA history to top 60 points in a Finals game when he scored 61 against Boston in 1962. Caesars puts the odds at +6,000 that someone will reach 60 in a game this series. That said, three players — Butler, Jokic and Murray — have topped the 50-point mark previously in the playoffs.

Key terms

Odds: The betting favorite will have a minus (-) in front of the total money needed to risk in order to win $100. A betting underdog will have a plus (+) in front as the total money you’ll win for every $100 risked. Example: If betting on the Nuggets to win the title at -400, you must wager $400 to win $100 — plus your $400 bet back — for a total payout of $500. There are several betting calculator services available online.

Money line: A wager on a team’s odds to win the game outright. Example: The Nuggets are -390 to win Game 1, so a winning $10 bet would result in winnings of $2.56 and a payout of $12.56. A winning $10 bet on Miami at +330 would result in winnings of $33 and a payout of $43.

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Team prop bets: A wager that predicts how a specific team will perform. Example: Common bets in this category are team points total (114.5 for the Nuggets in Game 1) and margin of victory.

Parlay: A series of wagers tied into one bet that the bettor must win all of in order to collect. Example: In Game 1, DraftKings has a same-game parlay featuring the Nuggets money line (Denver winning by any margin) and Nikola Jokic recording a triple-double that pays out at +110.

Categories: Local News

FTC: Amazon/Ring workers illegally spied on users of home security cameras

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:46
Two Amazon Ring cameras sitting on a table.

Enlarge / Amazon Ring indoor cameras displayed during an event at company headquarters in Seattle on September 25, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

A Federal Trade Commission lawsuit filed yesterday accused Ring, the home security camera company owned by Amazon, of invading users' privacy by "allowing thousands of employees and contractors to watch video recordings of customers' private spaces."

Until September 2017, every employee of Ring and a Ukraine-based contractor had access to customer videos, which were stored without encryption, the FTC said. "Ring gave every employee—as well as hundreds of Ukraine-based third-party contractors—full access to every customer video, regardless of whether the employee or contractor actually needed that access to perform his or her job function," the FTC said.

Violations did not stop in 2017 despite new access controls, according to the lawsuit, which alleges privacy invasions both before and after Amazon bought Ring in 2018. The FTC's lawsuit in US District Court for the District of Columbia also alleged that Ring failed to promptly implement basic privacy and security protections, making it easier for hackers to take over customers' accounts and cameras. A settlement that is pending a judge's approval would require Ring to pay $5.8 million for customer refunds, delete certain types of data, and implement privacy and security controls. Amazon did not admit any wrongdoing.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Kurtenbach: The 49ers mere mocked for drafting a kicker in the third round, but they’ll get the last laugh

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:45

SANTA CLARA — If the Warriors or Sharks had their leading scorer in each of the six seasons leave the team, it would be a pretty big deal.

But when that exact thing happened to the 49ers this offseason with kicker Robbie Gould’s exit, more attention was paid to when the team drafted his replacement.

Kickers get no respect — even when you really need them.

Kyle Shanahan knows how important they are, though. Gould’s reliability within 50 yards and ability to nail kicks in even the most adverse conditions were a significant part of the Niners coach’s offensive plan since both arrived here in 2017.

So the 49ers selected Michigan kicker Jake Moody in the third round — a ludicrously early pick to folks in the “analytics community” — to be the next Gould, a steady and reliable force.

And perhaps a bit more, too.

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“[He’s] Everything we thought he was,” Niners special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said Wednesday of Moody. “Just really consistent, really even-keeled, and exactly what we hoped he’d be.”

It was Schneider who was tasked with finding Gould’s replacement this offseason, and that meant, above all else, finding someone who would not get rattled by big moments. For all of Gould’s qualities and faults, he made big-time field goals in big-time moments.

But how do you test for mental toughness in a workout environment?

Bad snappers.

Schneider chalks it up to good luck for him and terrible luck for Moody, but the draft prospect’s long snapper for his one-on-one pre-draft workout with the Niners was, according to the coach, “atrocious.”

“Great guy, love him to death, but he’s terrible at snapping,” Moody said of the Michigan tight end and emergency snapper who will remain nameless.

“I absolutely loved it,” Schneider said.

Like golf, kicking is as much a mental game as a physical one. A slight deviation in a leg swing can create a spiral of mechanics and confidence.

Only four kickers before Moody had been selected in the third round or earlier in this century. The last kicker selected on Day 2 of the draft — Roberto Aguayo, the No. 59 overall pick in 2016 — flamed out after one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aguayo might have been the most accurate kicker in the history of college football but the pressure of the NFL was too much for him, and Tampa Bay didn’t find out until he was on the roster, missing easy kicks in preseason games.

That’s the cautionary tale every NFL team carries with them when they’re looking to draft a kicker.

So the Niners coach leaned into the adversity of the terrible snaps. He wanted to break Moody in that workout. What’s this kid made of?

“He was frustrated, like anyone would be in a job interview where some things are out of his control,” Schneider said. “[But] I’m just looking at him, and he’s still stone-faced — really cool disposition.”

And when Schneider, sensing a make-or-break moment, called for a scramble drill kick and the snap bounced twice on the way back, what did Moody do?

“Smoked it,” Schneider said. “Just like I’ve seen on tape, so consistent with his approach and finish and trust.”

“Thankfully, he got it up at the last second,” Moody, a man of few words around the facility, said of his holder. “I didn’t kick his hand off, and I made it.”

“After that I told [Shanahan and GM John Lynch], I don’t care where you take him, this is the guy,” Schneider said. “I felt that strongly about him. That’s not my job to figure out where we should draft him. I just know I really like the talent, I really love the kid. I love everything about him, so to me, it was like I think this is the best and they have to figure that out.”

Shanahan and Lynch decided the third round was the spot — they couldn’t risk waiting a day to take him.


Another reminder: Kickers lead their teams in scoring every year.

They’re like a romantic partner — they might be temperamental, a bit of a head case, and you might complain about them to your friends, but when you don’t have a good one, you’d do just about anything to change that.

The Niners lost a good one this winter. The last thing Shanahan wants to worry about is special teams. So if he had to pay a premium to land the best kicker in the draft, so be it.

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Remember: Shanahan paid Gould well over market value after the kicker’s ridiculous holdout in 2019. But no one thought about the kicker’s salary when Gould hit that game-winning 45-yard field goal amid snow, a swirling wind, sub-zero temperatures, and frozen grass at Lambeau Field in the 2021 playoffs.

Ultimately, we won’t know if Shanahan and Lynch are geniuses or reactionaries until there are fans in the stands, but if the early returns are to be believed, and they are proven correct that Moody is the real deal, no one will care where the kicker was drafted.

The Niners’ offense might look a bit different in the process, too.

I’ve long wondered how Shanahan would call plays if he had a kicker he could trust to make a 60-yard field goal.

With Gould, it was really 40 yards and in, expanding later in his career with appreciable success.

But Moody has a much bigger leg and should be just as accurate. Back to golf: Moody’s 3-wood off the tee is Gould’s driver.

There have been countless times throughout Shanahan’s tenure where he’s set up a drive for a field goal with conservative play-calling in adverse situations.

Holding penalty inside an opponent’s territory? Here come the four Rs — three runs and Robbie.

But with Moody, the Niners’ scoring range could expand all the way to the 50-yard line (and perhaps a bit beyond, wind permitting).

Does Shanahan look to go for a first down on a third-and-long now?

Does the offense open up a bit now that he has a kicker who can steal points, as opposed to merely securing them?

Overlook kickers all you want, but the permutations of this move to Moody could be massive.

And of course, that could swing in either direction.

But so far, Moody is practicing, and acting, like the kind of kicker who should be around for a long time.

The kind of kicker who, perhaps a few years from now, might end up getting some respect.

Categories: Local News

Monthly Horoscope: Cancer, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:44

Cancer season starts later this month, but June opens with the sun in Gemini, lighting up a very private and sensitive sector of your chart, putting you in an introspective mood. You could be focused on spiritual development or exploring your shadow and examining your psyche. Slowing down to focus on rest and relaxation is also favored at this time.

June opens with Mercury ending its post-retrograde shadow period: There was a Mercury retrograde last month in Taurus, which might have found you running into lots of old friends, but now that Mercury is clear of its shadow, you’re in a new place with these friendships, and exploring new connections, hobbies, and communities.

Venus in your sign, Cancer, makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in fellow water sign Pisces on June 2, inspiring a whimsically romantic atmosphere! You may be whisked off your feet and taken on a romantic vacation. Even if you don’t go abroad, you and a partner can bond in a deep and special way that feels transportive and inspiring. If you’re not looking for love, this could simply be a time to enjoy a major creative boost and embark on a fun and unexpected adventure.

The full moon in Sagittarius takes place on June 3, which can find you busily wrapping up a new project or even kicking an old habit. You might be reworking your schedule, and this full moon has an important message for you regarding your routine: It’s crucial to create a supportive and healthy work-life balance! To do this, you’ll have to be honest about your feelings: Cancers don’t typically have a hard time connecting with their emotions, but expressing them can sometimes be hard, especially when people depend on you. Fortunately, this full moon supports us all to say what we need to say, even if it’s a little difficult.

Mercury and Uranus meet in Taurus on June 4, which can find you connecting with exciting, unexpected people. You might learn something surprising at this time, too. A shocking idea may be shared. Venus enters Leo and opposes Pluto in Aquarius on June 5, which can bring deep discussions about money and realizations that you need to get real about who you trust to share money and other important matters with. Venus in Leo generally bodes well for exchanging gifts and enjoying the glamorous aspects of life, but Venus’s opposition to Pluto can find you exploring the nitty gritty, perhaps even shady, side to some of your dealings and negotiations. Pluto reenters Capricorn on July 11, which could find you revisiting power dynamics—and power struggles—in your relationships.

Mercury connects with Pluto before entering Gemini on June 11, which might find you learning a juicy secret. A deep, intellectual connection forms. Mercury in Gemini can also find you connecting with your intuition in a significant way. Lastly, Venus squares off with Jupiter in Taurus on June 11, inspiring an over-the-top fun atmosphere, especially in your social life—just keep your spending in check!

Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15, which can find you setting important limits. You might have to issue a rejection or learn a boundary. Protecting your space and peace is a priority at this time. Perhaps mute the group chat that’s been distracting you lately! This alignment is all about having less noise in your life, in order for you to get more rest. Mercury mingles with Venus and Saturn retrograde begins on June 17: Mercury’s connection with Venus inspires a sweet, easygoing atmosphere, and Saturn’s retrograde finds you reworking travel or education plans, editing work you want to publish, or reflecting on themes like boundaries and responsibility.

The new moon in Gemini takes place on June 18, which can find you connecting with your intuition in a deep, meaningful way. Make time for meditation and journaling. This is a powerful moment to explore your shadow or psyche. You can also feel inspired to explore your spirituality; it’s a good opportunity to go on a private retreat. This new moon also asks you to slow down and rest!

The sun squares off with Neptune in Pisces on June 18, which may bring an emotional breakthrough, but it might also find you questioning things or feeling unrooted. Find ways to stay grounded: laugh with friends, connect with the earth, focus on what’s real in your life and not your fears or fantasies. You can feel more down-to-earth as Jupiter connects with Saturn on June 19: Exciting possibilities open up and the support you need could become available. This can be an especially productive time for teamwork. Work you’re doing with a group or community can make great progress at this time.

The sun enters Cancer on June 21! Happy solar return, and happy solstice, dear crab! You feel especially revitalized, creative, and confident at this time. Mercury connects with Mars in Leo on June 21, which might put people in a decisive mood, and discussions move along at a quick pace—so watch out for misunderstandings, confusion, or even laziness as Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25. Don’t get swept up by fears and fantasies! Watch out for fibs and exaggerations.

Mars squares off with Uranus on June 26, which can find people taking unexpected action. You might feel inspired to take a risk, too! Just think things through carefully and maybe get a second opinion, especially if it could impact your wallet. Cancers are famously cautious, but you might feel peer pressure to take a risk at this time: Ask yourself whether it’s what you really want. Also on this day, Mercury enters your sign, which can find you feeling especially sharp and expressive, ready to say something that’s been weighing on your mind or make a decision about something you’ve been thinking over.

The sun connects with Saturn on June 28, inspiring a productive atmosphere that’s solid time for discussing future plans, especially regarding school, travel, or work you want to publish. You could be connecting with a mentor or teacher, too. Mercury mingles with Saturn on June 30, creating a solid opportunity to explore details, commitments, and logistics. Neptune begins its retrograde on June 30, which might find us in a daydreamy mood. For you, Cancer, this is a wonderful time to get lost in a book, wander around a place that’s new to you, or explore a new idea that you find inspiring. 

Good luck this month, Cancer, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News

Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat: 5 things to watch and predictions

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:44

The Denver Nuggets enter their first NBA Finals in franchise history to face the Miami Heat. Here’s a breakdown of their matchup:

Who has the edge?

Guards: Maybe Nikola Jokic has inadvertently stolen some of Jamal Murray’s shine, but Denver’s combo guard has been almost unstoppable throughout Denver’s historic playoff run. Far from a bubble phenomenon, Murray’s averaging 27.7 points per game in the playoffs, which is, gasp, more than he averaged when the Nuggets were sequestered in Orlando. The Lakers didn’t have an answer for him when he filleted their backcourt, and outside of Heat star Jimmy Butler, there are no obvious defensive matchups for Murray. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are both scrappy guards, each capable and willing to shoot from outside. The Heat is a team made up of more than the sum of its parts, but Denver’s got a significant advantage in the backcourt. Edge: Nuggets.

Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets during the NBA Finals media day practice at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Denver Nuggets play the Miami Heat in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets during the NBA Finals media day practice at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Denver Nuggets play the Miami Heat in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post) 

Wings: Don’t underestimate Butler, the two-way wing who thrives in the face of doubt. The unquestioned leader of the Heat, Butler is a menace inside the arc, getting downhill and drawing fouls. He’s also the type of competitor you’ll have to stomp out, twice, before you know you can turn your back. Aaron Gordon will draw the assignment, adding to a murderer’s row of wings he’s had to stymie. Imagine having to stop Kevin Durant and LeBron James, only to be rewarded with Butler. That’s what Gordon’s looking at. Caleb Martin erupted in the conference finals and had a plausible case as the series’ MVP. Expect Denver’s best perimeter defender, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, to try and disrupt his rhythm from 3-point range. Michael Porter Jr.’s going to have a significant advantage over his matchup in terms of size and length. Porter’s 3-point shooting could also zap Miami’s zone. Expect a heavy emphasis on crashing the glass, from Porter and Gordon, given the zone’s vulnerabilities. Edge: Even.

Jimmy Butler (22) of the Miami Heat during the NBA Finals media day practice at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Miami Heat play the Denver Nuggets in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)Jimmy Butler (22) of the Miami Heat during the NBA Finals media day practice at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Miami Heat play the Denver Nuggets in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post) 

Big men: Bam Adebayo has the right strength and athleticism to deal with Jokic, but does he have the stamina? Anthony Davis didn’t. Scoff all you want, but Jokic is in elite condition. Capable of clearing the defensive glass and kick-starting a break the other way, Jokic is at the heart of Denver’s transition offense. It’s one of the preeminent battlegrounds of the series. And if Adebayo is already giving up a few inches to Jokic down low, the Heat better be careful he doesn’t get into foul trouble. There’s a steep drop-off in talent beyond him in the depth chart. Will Miami single cover Jokic or throw double-teams at him? Like a junk ball pitcher, the Heat will toss the kitchen sink at Jokic, varying their looks throughout the series. It might not matter. Edge: Nuggets

Bench: The Nuggets are expecting Tyler Herro to return sometime in the middle of the series from a broken hand. He’s a spark plug scorer who can catch fire off the bench. Beyond that, both Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love are battle-tested, each having played in the Finals before. Duncan Robinson’s 3-point proficiency can turn a game quickly. Denver’s best counter, for most of Miami’s depth, is Bruce Brown. He’ll no doubt see some time on Butler, or whichever Heat starter staggers with its second unit. Does Christian Braun get back in the rotation after sitting Game 4 vs. the Lakers? How much production can Denver expect out of Jeff Green? Nuggets coach Michael Malone said it’s the Finals, and everything is on the table. Might there be some surprise minutes looming on Denver’s bench? Edge: Even.

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra during the NBA Finals media day at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Miami Heat play the Denver Nuggets in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra during the NBA Finals media day at Ball Arena May 31, 2023. The Miami Heat play the Denver Nuggets in game one of the NBA Finals Thursday evening. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post) 

Coaching: Erik Spoelstra is the best coach in the NBA never to win Coach of the Year, and he might not even need that caveat. He might just be the best. Spoelstra’s teams are consistently competitive regardless of who’s on the roster. It was also difficult to dismiss his bravado while promising they’d find a way to seize Game 7 in Boston last round. Malone has the benefit of the series’ best player, home court advantage and a massive rest edge. His players lauded their practices leading into Game 1 in that he hammered their conditioning throughout the break. Malone has played out the disrespect card, and that should no longer be a talking point. The Nuggets deserve to be where they are and don’t need anymore motivational gimmicks. Now it’s about executing and making history. Edge: Heat.

Mike Singer, The Denver Post

Five things to watch

1. Experience matters: If the Heat holds one advantage over the Nuggets heading into their championship series, it’s simply the fact that Miami’s been here before. Not only is this the first NBA Finals trip for Denver, it’s the first for all but two Nuggets (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jeff Green). All told, Miami has 72 games of Finals experience compared to 10 for the Nuggets. But that comes with a couple of caveats: 1. More than half of those games (42) belong to reserves Udonis Haslem (27) and Kevin Love (15), neither of whom played a minute of the conference finals; and 2. Another significant chunk (24) is from Miami’s six-game series against the Lakers in the Orlando bubble.

2. Miami’s Herro: Microwave scorer Tyler Herro has been wearing a bucket hat instead of a uniform for most of the Heat’s postseason run after fracturing his hand in the team’s first-round series vs. Milwaukee. The timeline originally provided by the Heat indicates that last year’s Sixth Man of the Year could return to the lineup at some point in this series. But just how effective can Herro be after missing all but one of the Heat’s 18 playoff games? If it’s anywhere close to what he produced over 67 games during the regular season (20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists), that would be a significant add to an already deep roster.

3. Rest vs. rust: After sweeping the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets will have gone nine days between when they last played May 22 in L.A. and tip-off of Game 1 inside Ball Arena. Will that extended rest be an advantage against a Heat team that only closed out the Celtics three days earlier? Or will it produce a sluggish start with the Nuggets needing time to shake off the rust? There is a precedent for this earlier in the postseason: The Nuggets had a week of rest while first-round opponent Minnesota grinded through a pair of play-in games prior to the first round. The Game 1 result? A 109-80 thrashing of the T-Wolves that was over by the end of the third quarter.

4. Bombs away: In a nod to the times, the last two teams standing in these NBA Playoffs also happen to be the two best 3-point shooting squads in the postseason bracket. While the Heat comes in at No. 1 at 39.0% over 18 games, with an average of 13.1 3-pointers per game, the Nuggets are just a tick behind at No. 2 (38.6%, 12.1 3s/game). Could this series come down to who defends the 3-point line better? Both teams have been quite good in that regard, with the Nuggets giving up just 9.9 triples/game at a 34.2% clip this postseason, and the Heat 12.3 at 32.5%.

5. Mile High advantage: As befitting its status as just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals since 1999, the Heat has been road warriors throughout its run to the NBA Finals, going 6-4 away from South Beach, including three wins at Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. There’s just one small problem with that: Miami has lost six straight at Ball Arena, with those losses coming by an average margin of 12.6 points. Throw in the games at Kaseya Center, and Miami is just 2-10 against Denver since the start of the 2017-18 season — a period that just so happens to coincide with the rise of the Nuggets as perennial playoff contenders. Throw in Denver’s perfect record (8-0) at Ball Arena during these playoffs, and the odds are clearly stacked against the Heat.

Matt Schubert, The Denver Post

The Denver Post staff predictions

Mike Singer, Nuggets beat writer: The Nuggets have come too far to underestimate a No. 8 seed that’s standing in the way of their first title. While Michael Malone is correct that this series will be the hardest test they’ve ever had, Miami, on short rest, just doesn’t match up well against Denver. Nuggets in six.

Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: The Heat is feisty, Erik Spoelstra is a coaching genius and Jimmy Buckets can win a Finals game on any given night by himself. But the Nuggets’ run to their first championship in franchise history is too powerful a story for ESPN naysayers or Miami to deny. Nuggets in six.

Sean Keeler, sports columnist: Jimmy Butler is magic. He’s also 5-7 over his last 12 games vs. Denver, head-to-head, and 1-3 as a member of the Heat. Bam Adebayo is 2-10 over his last 12 tussles with the Western champs. You get the drill. Nuggets in six.

Bennett Durando, sports reporter: I was ready to cast my Celtics-in-seven pick Monday night, haunted by memories of a 2004 St. Louis baseball team that encountered a destiny-bound Boston squad fresh off a 3-0 comeback. But hey, we don’t have to touch that topic now. The South Beach waters clearly harness dark magic, but I see no way Miami matches up. Nuggets in five.

Ryan McFadden, sports reporter: Miami’s performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals showed the Heat has something left in the tank after an exhausting series against the Celtics. But that will not be enough to stop the Nuggets, who are hungry and rested. Plus, no team has yet to solve Nikola Jokic in the postseason. Nuggets in five.

Matt Schubert, sports editor: Fear Jimmy Buckets’ relentless confidence. Tremble at Coach Spo’s big basketball brain. Quake at the undeniable force that is Heat Culture. Then just give the basketball to the best player on the planet (aka The Joker) and watch him slice it all into little bits. Nuggets in five.

NBA Finals schedule Game Location Date Time TV Game 1 Miami at Denver Thursday, June 1 6:30 p.m.  ABC Game 2 Miami at Denver Sunday, June 4 6 p.m. ABC Game 3 Denver at Miami Wednesday, June 7 6:30 p.m. ABC Game 4 Denver at Miami Friday, June 9 6:30 p.m. ABC *Game 5 Miami at Denver Monday, June 12 6:30 p.m. ABC *Game 6 Denver at Miami Thursday, June 15 6:30 p.m. ABC *Game 7 Miami at Denver Sunday, June 18 6:30 p.m. ABC

* If necessary 

Categories: Local News

LGBTQ+ people flock to Florida for Gay Days Festival

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:40

By Mike Schneider | Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people are flocking to central Florida this weekend to go on theme park rides, mingle with costumed performers, dance at all-night parties and lounge poolside at hotels during Gay Days, a decades-long tradition.

Even though Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers have championed a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ laws — spurring the most prominent gay rights group in the U.S. and other civil rights organizations to issue warnings the Sunshine State may no longer be safe — Gay Days organizers are still encouraging visitors from around the world to come to one of Florida’s largest gay and lesbian celebrations.

They say a large turnout will send a message that LGBTQ+ people are not going away in Florida, which is continually one of the most popular states for tourists to visit. If the hoped-for 150,000 or more visitors come to the half-week of pool parties, drag bingo and thrill rides at Orlando’s theme parks and hotels, then “that’s the point,” said Joseph Clark, CEO of Gay Days Inc.

“Right now is not the time to run. It’s not the time to go away,” Clark said. “It’s time to show we are here, we are queer and we aren’t going anywhere.”

Unlike most of the country, which celebrates Pride in June, Orlando holds its Pride in October. Gay Days is a bonus celebration.

It’s not lost on the organizers that the highlight of the weekend will be a Saturday meetup of LGBTQ+ visitors at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, where the first Gay Days started as a single-day celebration in 1991. Traditionally, participants wear red shirts to identify themselves, and they meet for the afternoon parade in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

Currently, Disney is embroiled in a legal fight with DeSantis over the governor and Republican lawmakers’ takeover of Disney World’s governing district — after Disney officials publicly opposed legislation that critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

At first, the law banned classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity up to third grade, but this year it was expanded to apply to all grades. On top of that, Florida lawmakers recently passed bills making it a felony to provide gender-affirming health care to transgender minors, as well as banning people from entering bathrooms other than their sex assigned at birth, and prohibiting children from some performances, which takes aim at drag shows.

The administration of DeSantis, who launched a campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination last week, also moved to revoke the liquor licenses of a Miami hotel and a performing arts center owned by the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation after they hosted drag shows where investigators claim minors were present.

In response, some Florida cities, including St. Cloud near Orlando, have canceled Pride events altogether.

“These laws have created a climate of fear and hostility for LGBTQIA+ people in Florida,” organizers for St. Cloud’s Pride events wrote to announce the cancellation. “We believe that holding an LGBTQIA+ event in this environment would put our community at risk.”

Responding to Florida’s new laws and policies, the Human Rights Campaign — the largest LGBTQ+ rights organization in the U.S. — recently issued a travel and relocation warning for the state, joining the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and Equality Florida.

While the LGBTQ+ advocacy group said it wasn’t calling for a boycott of all travel to Florida, it said it wanted to highlight new laws passed by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature that they said are hostile to the LGBTQ+ community and restrict abortion access, as well as make the state unsafe for many by allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Some participants in the Pride Cup athletic competitions at Gay Days decided not to come, forcing the cancellation of dodgeball and flag football tournaments. But the multi-sport competition that is held annually at Gay Days will still have beach volleyball, golf, pickleball and kickball.

Even before these travel advisories were issued, some regular Florida visitors were reconsidering their plans. Sara Haynes, who lives in metro Atlanta with her husband, decided not to visit the state after lawmakers started planning legislation to restrict treatment options for trans people.

“It’s less a crusade and more like, ‘I’m not going to spend my money where bad things are going on,'” Haynes said.

But the organizers of Gay Days and their supporters say that Orlando is as gay-friendly a city as they come, earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign index, which measures how inclusive cities are of LGBTQ+ residents and visitors. They say tourists can support the LGBTQ+ community by visiting cities like Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg, which also received perfect scores.

“We live in a bubble here in Orlando, where even with the chaos in Florida, we feel safe here,” said Jeremy Williams, editor-in-chief of Watermark Publishing Group Inc., a Florida-based media company that is one of the sponsors of Gay Days.

Gay Days has survived past challenges, including in the early years when Disney posted signs at the Magic Kingdom’s entrance warning visitors there was a large gathering of gays and lesbians and offering passes to other parks for guests who might be offended. Over the last three decades, though, the theme parks and resorts have thrown down the welcome mats as Gay Days has become a profitable bounce between the spring break and out-of-school summer crowds. SeaWorld’s water park, Aquatica, is a sponsor this year.

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Other groups have adopted hostile attitudes in the past. During Gay Days in the 1990s, hundreds of anti-abortion activists with Operation Rescue protested outside Walt Disney World, and the Southern Baptist Convention cited the gathering in calling for a boycott of all things Disney. Some Christian groups tried to buy air time during Gay Days in the late 1990s to pressure people to renounce their sexual orientation, but mainstream TV stations in Orlando rejected the ads.

If Clark, the CEO of the Gay Days business, had his wish, DeSantis would accept an open invitation to see one of the drag shows during this year’s festivities.

“Come on out and see that not everything you hear out there is reality,” said Clark, as if he were directly addressing DeSantis. “There’s a part of me that hopes that if he were to see a show, maybe his mind would change, or maybe he would see the people his actions are affecting.”

Categories: Local News

Grammy-winning pop act supports No. 1 album with 3 California shows

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:39

Luke Smallbone clearly remembers his Steph Curry moment.

It came right after he and his brother Joel — collectively known as the pop duo For King & Country — had sung the national anthem before a game between Curry’s Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.

As he was walking off the court, Smallbone — a huge Warriors fan — happened to cross paths with the future Basketball Hall of Famer.

“We walked by him and (Curry) kind of motioned like ‘Hey, good job’ or whatever. And I just looked at him and said, “Sup, man” and kept on walking,” said Smallbone, realizing that had blown his chance at looking cool in front of his sports hero. “That was my terrible Steph Curry story.”

“Luke had never said ‘Sup, man’ before,” Joel Smallbone adds for emphasis.

Bay Area fans will have the chance to say “Sup, men” to the brothers Smallbone when For King & Country performs June 8 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $36-$206,

The multi-Grammy-winning act also headlines two major Christian music events — Spirit West Coast at the Stockton Arena on June 9 and Fishfest at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine on Jun 10 — with CeCe Winans, Pat Barrett and other acts also on the bills. (See for information on both of those shows.)

I recently had the chance to chat via Zoom with For King & Country about the band’s latest No. 1 album, “What Are We Waiting For?” We also spoke about the Nashville duo’s upcoming film, “Unsung Hero,” which follows the Smallbone family — which also includes Grammy-winning vocalist Rebecca St. James — from their home in Australia to the U.S. and, eventually, the top of charts. (Visit for details).

Q: Promoters have lined up a lot of talent for this year’s Spirit West Coast and Fishfest. It must be fun to play those types of festivals.

Luke: Anytime you get to do these events and you get to see all these genres of music, that obviously come with a similar message — you’ve got gospel with CeCe, you’ve got Pat Barrett with the worship side of things — that’s always a special thing. You get to hear all these different flavors.

Q: I’ve been to Spirit West Coast before and it was great.

Luke: To be honest, California is probably one of our favorite states to play in America. It always seems like it’s California, Texas and Florida where the crowds — and just the enthusiasm and passion — are amazing. So, I we look forward to making those new memories with Californians.

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Q: Danny Gokey once told me that those festivals are basically the only times when the artists get to catch up with each other – even though everyone lives right down the road from each other in Nashville.

Joel: To a level, at least, there is that strange moment where you are like over in Norway and you haven’t seen one another in like four years, and yet you do live three miles from one other. And this is what it took for us to actually have an audience with each other.

But you’d be surprised, Jim, Nashville — even with all its development — is still a remarkably sort of big small town.

Where I live there’s a community — a lot of artists are in there — and there’s a little coffee shop. And you’ll have Brad Paisley walk through or Cody Carnes or Kari Jobe, who is just down the road, or Carrie Underwood.

Q: And people just go about their business.

Joel: Luke has it harder than me because he’s taller and he’s got super recognizable hair that he hasn’t changed in 20 years. So, people notice him more than they notice me.

But there’s a sweetness still to the low-key nature of being home and having your home be Nashville, Tennessee.

Q: I still have to think that Carrie Underwood stops the crowd when she walks in to get her nonfat mochaccino.

Joel: No. Carrie is actually pretty good because she puts a hat on, and she is with a couple of girlfriends, and is pretty low key.

Q: Did you know what type of album you wanted to make with “What Are We Fighting For?” when you first went into the studio? Or did its overriding themes – of unity, peace, working together — sort of crystallize along the way?

Luke: We wrote and recorded it during the pandemic. And we didn’t necessarily want to write pandemic songs. But I do think we wanted to write lessons that we had learned from the pandemic, because I think they were lessons that you could apply at any time.

Q: And they are ones worth remembering, for sure.

Luke: I think life became fragile for people. And I think they starred in a little bit of a mirror and some people realized they have these stored-up dormant dreams that they haven’t gotten to live out. And in some cases, those things might be their very callings and yet they have just sort of gone through the motions.

I think there was a litany of lessons that came from that period of time.

Q: Some of those lessons can certainly be found on the album’s lead single, “Relate,” which is such an uplifting cry for trying to understand one another.

Joel: I wish artistry happened in this way that you are like, “I have this vision. This is what it is going to be” and then you put pen to paper and it’s actually what you think.

But there are all these twists and turns and you have to stay more subject to the creativity then the creativity is subject to you.

With that in mind, “Relate” was actually one of the last songs we wrote. We wrote it and, within a day, we called everyone and were like, “Hey, this is actually what we’ve been trying to get at this whole time.”

It’s one of the songs that we feel was really given to us to steward.

Q: Tell me about the “Unsung Hero” film.

Luke: Our family’s story, coming from Australia to America, is one that we have told from stage for a lot of years. We had a lot of people come up and kind of mention writing a book. At the end of the day, it kind of started to hit me that where we find ourselves culturally — families need some encouragement these days — I think that telling a story about a family that remains together under enormous stress and a lot of very strange circumstances is worth telling.

Q: The “Unsung Hero” in the film is your mom. Why was it important for people to know about her story?

Luke: I think people are looking for heroes to look up. In some cases, it’s the things that people do behind closed doors that actually change the trajectory of people’s lives — that change history. And I think of our mother when it comes to that. So, we are pretty thrilled to be able to tell this story.

Hopefully, (the film) will be out sometime February or March. We are working for Lionsgate to bring it to theaters.

There is a lot of be thankful for and a lot of work to do and a lot to be excited about.

Q: I know you are familiar with my buddy Scott Smith from the “Scott & Kelli” show on K-LOVE radio. When I knew I was interviewing you two, I texted him for advice on what to ask you. He told me to ask Joel what it was like to play the role of his own father in the movie.

Joel: I’ve dubbed it, Jim, a very expensive therapy session. But I will say this, in all honestly, it’s a great exercise. One thing you do in counseling and therapy is you often go back to the moment of either trauma and life experience and you kind of look at the environment, you look at the people associated with it, and that’s where you find healing and forgiveness and empathy.

And while this genuinely wasn’t a traumatic experience for either of us — in fact, it was a really great adventure in many ways as young kids — going back and living out their trauma, particularly our dad’s trauma, and understanding the weight of moving continents with six kids and one on the way just put so much of their story and his journey as a man into perspective.

Q: Scott also suggested that I ask Luke whether or not he thought Joel nailed the role.

Luke: I think Joel did a really good job of doing a lot of the things that made dad dad, but also making him a much more approachable figure in the sense of understanding the internal struggles that our father had in the early ‘90s.



Categories: Local News

Single-family home sells in Oakland for $2 million

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:30
686 Mandana Boulevard - Google Street View686 Mandana Boulevard – Google Street View

The spacious historic property located in the 600 block of Mandana Boulevard in Oakland was sold on April 21, 2023. The $1,953,000 purchase price works out to $854 per square foot. The house, built in 1915, has an interior space of 2,287 square feet. The property features five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage. It sits on a 5,300-square-foot lot.

Additional houses have recently been purchased nearby:

  • On Longridge Road, Oakland, in June 2022, a 2,166-square-foot home was sold for $1,910,000, a price per square foot of $882. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
  • A 1,579-square-foot home on the 700 block of Santa Ray Avenue in Oakland sold in October 2022, for $1,815,000, a price per square foot of $1,149. The home has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
  • In April 2023, a 2,473-square-foot home on Calmar Avenue in Oakland sold for $1,700,000, a price per square foot of $687. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.


Categories: Local News

Oakland gunfire wounds young girl; she’s in stable condition

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:25

OAKLAND — Gunfire in East Oakland on Wednesday night injured a young girl, police said.

Police were tight-lipped about the shooting and its victim, saying only that they were notified about 9 p.m. about the shooting in the 3400 block of 68th Avenue. Media reports indicated the girl was 4 years old and hit in the leg.

Police said the girl was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday.

Officers found the girl down when they arrived, police said. They confirmed she was suffering from a gunshot wound.

Police asked the community to help them find the suspect in the shooting and urged anyone with information to contact 510-238-3426.

Please check back for updates.

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Categories: Local News

“Clickless” iOS exploits infect Kaspersky iPhones with never-before-seen malware

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:25
“Clickless” iOS exploits infect Kaspersky iPhones with never-before-seen malware


Moscow-based security firm Kaspersky has been hit by an advanced cyberattack that used clickless exploits to infect the iPhones of several dozen employees with malware that collects microphone recordings, photos, geolocation, and other data, company officials said.

“We are quite confident that Kaspersky was not the main target of this cyberattack,” Eugene Kaspersky, founder of the company, wrote in a post published on Thursday. “The coming days will bring more clarity and further details on the worldwide proliferation of the spyware.”

According to officials inside the Russian National Coordination Centre for Computer Incidents, the attacks were part of a broader campaign by the US National Security Agency that infected several thousand iPhones belonging to people inside diplomatic missions and embassies in Russia, specifically from those located in NATO countries, post-Soviet nations, Israel, and China. A separate alert from the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Service, alleged Apple cooperated with the NSA in the campaign.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Hidden gems in America: 10 cities with affordable homes and great jobs

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:16

Alex Gailey | (TNS)

Omaha, Huntsville, Champaign, Des Moines, Green Bay.

These cities and towns may not be top of mind when deciding where to move to next, but they should be. They offer good-paying jobs, growing cultural scenes and not to mention, affordable real estate prices — making them the perfect hidden gems to put down roots if you’re in the market for a house.

Bankrate’s list of hidden gems in America comes at a time when affordability has become a much bigger hurdle for would-be homeowners. Housing prices are still high and mortgage rates are above 6%. To cope, the majority of Americans are willing to make sacrifices to find affordable housing, with a quarter of Americans (24%) saying they’re willing to move out of their state, according to an April Bankrate housing survey.

Key takeaways

—Homes in the Midwest and South are becoming more desirable due to affordability and strong job markets.

—Affordability issues such as high home prices, income that is too low or not being able to afford the down payment and closing costs are holding back nearly 3 in 4 (73%) aspiring homeowners, according to an April Bankrate survey.

—A recent Bankrate survey found about a quarter of Americans (24%) are willing to leave their state for more affordable housing.

Top 10 hidden gems in America: Metros offering ample job opportunities, affordable homes and growing cultural scenes

To find these hidden gems, Bankrate analyzed the top 150 metro areas with populations less than 1 million across four broad categories: housing prices in relation to local wages, the tightness of the local housing market, the employment picture and wellness and culture. Based on that scoring, these are top 10 hidden gems in America:

1. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

—Median home price: $190,000

—Cost of living: 93.2*

—Household median income: $73,720

—Unemployment rate: 2.2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +1.7%

—Well-being: 66.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 47.7 out of 100

2. Huntsville, AL

—Median home price: $325,000

—Cost of living: 89.6*

—Household median income: $76,963

—Unemployment rate: 1.6%

—Total employees year-over-year: +4%

—Well-being: 65.9 out of 100

—Diversity: 53.5 out of 100

3. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

—Median home price: $227,375

—Cost of living: 90.2*

—Household median income: $74,208

—Unemployment rate: 2.9%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.1%

—Well-being: 66.3 out of 100

—Diversity: 40.7 out of 100

4. Green Bay, WI

—Median home price: $230,000

—Cost of living: 90.3*

—Household median income: $66,652

—Unemployment rate: 2.2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.6%

—Well-being: 66.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 38.8 out of 100

5. Champaign-Urbana, IL

—Median home price: $179,250

—Cost of living: 86.4*

—Household median income: $59,189

—Unemployment rate: 3.6%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.4%

—Well-being: 65.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 57.2 out of 100

6. Wichita, KS

—Median home price: $210,000

—Cost of living: 88.5*

—Household median income: $61,131

—Unemployment rate: 3.3%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.1%

—Well-being: 65.6 out of 100

—Diversity: 51.7 out of 100

7. Amarillo, TX

—Median home price: $239,900

—Cost of living: 82.3*

—Household median income: $58,354

—Unemployment rate: 3.1%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.8%

—Well-being: 64.6 out of 100

—Diversity: 57.6 out of 100

8. Roanoke, VA

—Median home price: $194,950

—Cost of living: 90.4*

—Household median income: $59,630

—Unemployment rate: 2.8%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.3%

—Well-being: 65.9 out of 100

—Diversity: 42.6 out of 100

9. Lexington-Fayette, KY

—Median home price: $254,424

—Cost of living: 92*

—Household median income: $62,612

—Unemployment rate: 3%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.5%

—Well-being: 64.7 out of 100

—Diversity: 46.1 out of 100

10. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

—Median home price: $364,133

—Cost of living: 90.8*

—Household median income: $55,027

—Unemployment rate: 2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +5.1%

—Well-being: 65.4 out of 100

—Diversity:​ 54.9 out of 100

Note: For the cost of living index, the national average is 100.

Affordability is drawing homebuyers to smaller cities in the Midwest and South

Omaha may have taken the top spot, but several smaller Midwestern and Southern cities rounded out the list. Many Americans are flocking to these regions in droves, and experts chalk it up to housing affordability. Smaller cities, particularly in the Sun Belt and Midwest, can offer a lower cost of living and a better quality of life — particularly at a time when homeownership is moving farther out of reach for many Americans due to elevated home values and high mortgage rates. According to Ostrowski, the average monthly mortgage payment for someone who bought a house in March 2023 is 35% higher than for someone who bought in March 2022.

“The Midwest has really been home to the most resilient, steadiest and most consistent housing markets in the nation,” Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton said, citing recent data that shows the Midwest leads the nation in terms of home value appreciation. “As the housing market has slowed down, these markets in the Midwest have been appreciating, and they’re outperforming superstar cities like San Francisco and Seattle. It really comes down to affordability.”

Pendleton said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend that we were already seeing leading up to 2020: migration from expensive coastal metro areas to the more affordable cities in the Sun Belt. Census data from 2022 shows nine of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities were in the South. The reason why: Homebuyers can simply get more home for their dollar in the South, and they’re able to attain homeownership faster.

“You have more affordable mortgage costs, and it’s easier to qualify for a loan because it’s a smaller loan,” Pendleton said. “Another key factor with these metros is that rent is more affordable than elsewhere in the country, so it really shortens that time it takes to save for a down payment. I think that makes these more affordable areas even more desirable.”

How to buy a home in a tough housing market

The combination of high mortgage rates and soaring home prices has left many prospective homebuyers wondering what steps they can take to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

Before starting your search, experts recommend having a solid understanding of your finances and why you want to buy a house, particularly when there are growing concerns about the economy. Consider things like when you intend on moving, what you want in a home and your overall housing budget — including how long it could take you to save for a down payment and how much your all-in costs will be.

When you’re ready, finding an affordable house in a town or city you like is not the only piece of the puzzle. You’ll also likely need a mortgage, or a 15- to 30-year loan to purchase the house now and pay for it over time. Start by getting preapproved for a mortgage, then find a house that you want to put in an offer for, with your preapproval in-hand. Once your offer is accepted, work with your lender of choice to get a mortgage with an interest rate and monthly payment you can afford.

“People have been seeking out lesser-known cities that offer affordability, warmer weather and all the amenities of big city life,” Pendleton said. “When talking about places like Huntsville and Amarillo, they may not be hidden gems for long.”

—Bankrate’s list of hidden gems in America was compiled using data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Labor Department and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Here is a breakdown of each category: Affordability: Bankrate calculated the typical income needed to qualify for a mortgage in each metro area, based on each area’s median home price for January 2023 as reported by Redfin Data Center, with a 10% down payment, a 6% mortgage rate on a 30-year loan and a mortgage debt-to-income ratio of 25%. We compared that number to the Census Bureau’s 2021 estimate of median income for households in each metro area and factored in each metro’s Cost of Living Index, as reported by the Council for Community and Economic Research, from Q2 2022. The index measures the overall cost of living in an area, with a score of 100 representing the national average. This category was given an overall weight of 35%.Job market: Bankrate ranked each metro area based on its unemployment rate as reported by the U.S. Labor Department in March 2023. Also from the U.S. Labor Department, we looked at total employees year-over-year, which shows the percentage change of employed area residents from March 2022 to March 2023. This category also factored in each metro area’s average commute time, per 2021 Census data. This category was given an overall weight of 30%.Wellness and culture: Bankrate used Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index for 2020-2021. The report ranks metro areas on access to healthcare, food and community services, including libraries and houses of worship. We also used the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Diversity Index to measure racial diversity and representation. Lastly, the culture ranking is also based on the number of arts, entertainment and recreation establishments per capita, based on Bankrate’s analysis of 2021 Census data. This category was given an overall weight of 25%.Housing market tightness: Bankrate used’s median days on the market statistic for homes for sale in April 2023 and the year-over-year change in housing inventory through April 2023. This category was given an overall weight of 10%.

©2023 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

NFL great Tom Brady says he is retired for good: ‘I’m certain I’m not playing again’

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:14

Just in case you needed to hear it again, Tom Brady says he is retired for good.

Brady called it a career — for a second time — on Feb. 1, 2023 and doesn’t expect to touch the playing field ever again.

“I’m certain I’m not playing again,” Brady told Sports Illustrated Thursday as rumors have swirled about a possible comeback. “So, I’ve tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that because I’ve already told people that lots of times, but I’m looking forward to my broadcasting job at Fox next year, I’m looking forward to the opportunity ahead with the Raiders and we’re in the process of that along with the other different things that I’m a part of professionally and in my personal life — just spending as much time with my kids as I can.”

The 45-year-old agreed to a 10-year, $375 million broadcasting deal with Fox in May 2022 that was supposed to kick into place immediately after his playing career. However, Brady will not begin broadcasting until next Fall.

“For me, I want to be great at what I do,” Brady said on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” show in February. “Talking with the people at FOX Sports and the leadership there, allowing me to start my FOX opportunity in the fall of 2024 is something that’s great for me. …

“[I want to] take some time to really learn, be great at what I do, become great at thinking about the opportunity and make sure I don’t rush into anything.”

Brady also bought a minority stake in the Las Vegas Raiders — where his former understudy, Jimmy Garoppolo, will be taking snaps this season — as his involvement in football will continue despite hanging the helmet up.

His first attempt at retirement came on Feb. 1, 2022 before quickly unretiring on March 13 saying that his place is “still on the field and not in the stands.”

His second announcement of riding off into the sunset was less theatrical as he simply posted a video to social media.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I would just press record and let you guys know first,” Brady said in the 2023 video. “I won’t be long-winded, you only get one super emotional video retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”

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The seven-time Super Bowl champion — six with the New England Patriots and a final one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — went out losing an NFC Wild Card matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. In his final season, Brady tossed for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Bucs.

Brady finished as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (89,214) and touchdowns (649) with three MVPs and five Super Bowl MVPs. Brady will be honored by the New England Patriots in their home opener for the 2023 season where he won six of his seven Super Bowl’s.


Categories: Local News

McCarthy Warns That Social Security and Medicare Are the GOP’s Next Target

TruthOut - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:11

After securing a debt ceiling agreement that caps federal spending and threatens food aid for hundreds of thousands of poor adults, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made clear Wednesday that Republicans are not finished targeting the nation’s safety net programs — and signaled a coming effort by the GOP to slash Social Security and Medicare. In a Fox News appearance ahead of the House’s passage of the...


Categories: World News

Boffins snap X-ray closeup of single atom – and by closeup we mean nanometres

The Register - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:01
Achievement took 12 years of blood, sweat and science

Scientists in the US have managed to capture the first X-ray image of a single atom, and it only took 12 years of work developing a technique and a super-powered X-ray instrument to do it.…

Categories: Tech News

Northern California solo car crash kills 2 children and adult, injures 7 other children and another adult

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:00

SACRAMENTO — Two children and an adult died and seven other children and another adult were hospitalized after an overnight single-vehicle crash on a Sacramento street, authorities said Thursday.

All of the surviving victims have injuries ranging from serious to critical, the Sacramento Police Department said in a social media post.

The department said a total of nine children involved in the crash ranged in age from 3 to 8 and the two who died were 3 and 7. There was no information about the ages of the adults.

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The crash was reported around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Northgate area about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) north of the state Capitol. One adult died at the scene and the other victims were taken to hospitals, police spokesperson Zach Eaton told reporters.

Preliminary information indicated that the car, a small sedan, struck a tree, Eaton said.

Eaton had no immediate information on the identities of the victims or their relationships.

“We’re hoping for good news coming from our area hospitals,” Eaton said.

Categories: Local News

San Jose Sharks broadcaster going into Hockey Hall of Fame

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:59

Dan Rusanowsky, the radio play-by-play voice of the San Jose Sharks since the team’s inception in 1991, has been named the newest recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Rusanowsky, who has called over 2,400 Sharks games in his career, will receive his award at the Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon in Toronto on Nov. 13.

“Dan has an insatiable love for radio and has been an integral part of promoting the game of hockey in the Bay area on that medium from day one of the San Joes Sharks’ existence in 1991,” said Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, in a statement. “He is extremely worthy of this honor.”

Longtime sports journalist Mark Mulvoy, who went on to become the youngest managing editor in Sports Illustrated’s history, will be the recipient the of Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism.

Rusanowsky’s and Mulvoy’s award plaques will be displayed in the Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto alongside past award recipients.

Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as Media Honorees — a separate distinction from individuals inducted as Honored Members. For instance, former San Jose Sharks player and general manager Doug Wilson was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020 and is an Honored Member.

Rusanowsky directs the Sharks Audio Network, contributes to the team’s official game program, and provides regular columns and broadcast reports for A native of Connecticut, Rusanowsky began his broadcast career as the voice of St. Lawrence University’s NCAA Division I hockey program and the American Hockey League’s New Haven Nighthawks.

The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is named in honor of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada and was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.

Categories: Local News

If the Police Can Decide Who Qualifies as a Journalist, There Is No Free Press

TruthOut - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:55

On a cold Christmas night in 2021 in the picturesque mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, The Asheville Blade journalist Veronica Coit sat in a police station waiting to be booked. A police officer motioned toward Coit and said, “She says she’s press.” The magistrate responded: “Is she real press?” “In that very moment, he could’ve decided that we were press, which we were...


Categories: World News

The W.G.A. Strike Feels Personal to Me.

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:51
I watched how corporate greed devoured my father’s life. So the writers’ strike feels personal to me.
Categories: Local News

6 LGBTQ+ financial influencers to follow in 2023

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:51

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People in the LGBTQ+ community experience unique economic disparities that cisgender straight people and heteronormative families do not. According to a 2019 Williams Institute analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, 22% of LGBTQ+ adults in the United States live in poverty, compared with an estimated 16% of their cisgender straight counterparts.

LGBTQ+ financial pros are uniquely positioned to share their knowledge and relate it to their individual experiences of queerness because of these disparities and the political climate affecting their communities.

We talked to some financial influencers from the LGBTQ+ community about tips on finding affordable housing, starting a business, building generational wealth and finding resources for family planning.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Learn more about each financial pro below, following the questions.

Are there specific resources available for people in the LGBTQ+ community who are on an entrepreneurial path or interested in starting a business?

Bitches Get Riches: “Yes! Here’s the thing: Queer people are so damn good at taking care of their own. If there are two coffee shops on the same street, and one hangs a rainbow flag in the window, guess which one gets my business? Queer entrepreneurs start with a built-in base of extremely loyal potential customers, supporters, mentors and investors.

“A lot of cities host first-time business owner classes through their public libraries and state universities. Take a class, find a mentor, develop your business ideas like everybody else — then leverage your queer community to support you.”

Bitches Get Riches

Travers Johnson (Queerency): “When I first became interested in starting a business, it was hard to find queer possibility models. I didn’t see much LGBTQ+ representation in business media, and I didn’t know where to begin to find support to help me as a queer founder. Here are some of the organizations and resources I’ve come across along my entrepreneurial journey:

  • NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and its affiliated chapters work to certify and support LGBTQ-owned businesses on the national, state and local levels.
  • Queer Business Alliance is a nonprofit that equips LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with resources to start, grow and thrive in business.
  • Pride Fund, Gaingels, Backstage Capital, and LGBT+ VC are resources for funding and venture capital.”

Travers Johnson, founder & CEO of Queerency.

Travers Johnson

What is your advice for LGBTQ+ people who are looking for affordable, inclusive places to move and/or retire? Any practical advice for balancing safety with a high cost of living?

Debt-Free Guys: “Unfortunately, most of the ‘Best Places for LGBTQ+ People to Live’ lists are the most expensive, top-tier cities in the world, and are often too weighted on the quality of the nightlife. When it comes to coupling affordability with LGBTQ+-friendliness, LGBTQ+ people should be as open-minded about cities and towns as we want people to be about us.

“We suggest looking at the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index or the Movement Advancement Project Data on LGBTQ+ inclusion and protection in local policies and bumping them up with general affordability metrics, including but not limited to the cost of living, housing affordability and incomes. Even giving equal weighting to all metrics, most will find that the cities of refuge for many LGBTQ+ people will be priced out.

“On the ‘Queer Money®’ podcast, we’re publishing a bonus episode each Thursday that shares the most affordable LGBTQ+-friendly city in each state and its runner-up. The findings, so far, have been interesting, but with a little open-mindedness, we think there are more options for LGBTQ+ people than we tend to believe.”

David and John Auten-Schneider (Debt-Free Guys)

K. Kenneth Davis (The Trans Capitalist): “I feel this is a classist question, as most of the queer community, especially queer people of color, do not have access to or the means to move and/or retire.

“In this recession and with high mortgage rates, I advise people to move only if their lives are in danger. Sadly, most inclusive spaces are in expensive states and cities. For example, California and New York are very inclusive, but the rent and mortgages for these states are through the roof. Still, you have affordable housing in states like Georgia and Texas, but your safety is at risk. It’s a catch-22. Don’t beat yourself up, but give yourself a timeline for saving the necessary money to move so you are not solely relying on your savings.”

K. Kenneth Davis

Daniella Flores (I Like to Dabble): “My wife and I moved from Missouri to Washington, and while there was a considerable increase in the price of housing, everything else actually ended up either being the same or a little less. For instance, our housing expenses increased by 100% but our utilities decreased by 50% (and no state income tax). When we were researching areas to move to, we looked at states that were LGBTQ+- friendly and found the Movement Advancement Project helpful.

“We also planned for about a year up to the actual move and spent a lot of time researching how we were going to swing the difference in the cost of living. Our side hustles helped us save up for it, and once we got here, things equalized. However, it won’t be the same for everyone. I would advise diving into deep research on not just the housing costs, but the overall cost of living, and trying to find people in those areas to talk to about what to expect.”

Daniella Flores

What is your advice for people in the LGBTQ+ community looking to build generational wealth?

Carmen Perez (Make Real Cents): “Build up an emergency fund. Having a soft cushion to land on should a medical emergency arise, you’re laid off or it’s taking longer than expected to land that next gig, is crucial. An emergency fund can not only alleviate financial stress but also help combat taking on unnecessary debt, which pushes out your ability to build wealth.

“Start investing early and often, adding assets that will appreciate and add to your net worth. You don’t need a lot of money to get started with investing. You have to prioritize it and do it consistently as soon as possible. The more time (and money) you have in the market, the better.”

Carmen Perez

Debt-Free Guys: “Too much of LGBTQ+ people’s wealth eventually ends up in the hands of our non-LGBTQ+ family members, and too often family members who weren’t totally supportive of us. The first step is that we need to start talking about it, and then we need to start taking the steps to do it. Marrying our partners is one such step. Whether we get married to our partner or not, and whether we’re partnered or not, all LGBTQ+ people should create a will and estate.”

Davis: “To build generational wealth, you must focus on financial literacy! It would be best to learn money rules or principles to manage your money, save and pay off debt properly, or else you will have an impossible and challenging road to generational wealth. When you take the time to learn financial literacy in the areas where you want to grow your wealth, it leaves room for fewer mistakes or money mismanagement.”

Johnson: “So much of generational wealth is about estate planning. Where or to whom do you want your money and assets to go when you’re no longer here? But for LGBTQ+ people, there are unique hurdles to navigate in the estate planning process. Legal inequalities, non-traditional family structures and other factors can make an already daunting process especially difficult.

“I recommend partnering with an attorney who specializes in LGBTQ+ estate planning. They can help you create documents like a will, a living trust, a power of attorney and other legal documents that will help ensure that the wealth you acquire while you’re alive is seamlessly passed on to your successors and beneficiaries.”

What are some of the financial hurdles LGBTQ+ couples may face as they’re planning to grow their families? How would you advise preparing for those hurdles?

Bitches Get Riches: “Having children is heckin’ expensive in the U.S., especially if you’re adopting, using a surrogate or going through in vitro fertilization, as many LGBTQ+ couples do. On top of that, many states require that these couples take extra legal precautions to ensure the security of their family units (imagine having to “adopt” your own child!).

“The first thing you should do is build a network of people you can turn to for advice and help. Find groups and subreddits where you can lurk and start to gain insights. When the time is right, invest in good legal help from a family lawyer who understands the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Family law is complicated and subject to change, and we still don’t have the rights that all cishet couples are granted automatically, but you can’t fuck around with your legal rights to your own children.”

Perez: “Healthcare costs, childcare costs and delaying retirement savings or purchasing a home are some hurdles couples often face. My wife and I had to deal with the cost of fertility and the trade-off of eventually buying another home. We sold our first home and moved back into an apartment to try to save a little money to prepare for our fertility journey that came with its own set of hurdles since insurance wouldn’t cover a lot of things because we are a same-sex couple.

“Understanding what areas you can save money in now in terms of your household budget and finding an employer offering inclusive healthcare benefits can help ease costs. Creating a separate savings account for your family journey can also be helpful because it enables you to prioritize it.”

More about the influencers

K. Kenneth Davis, also known as “The Trans Capitalist,” is a financial literacy activist and financial coach. Kenneth is committed to educating and empowering the LGBTQ+ community and is heavily focused on serving trans people of color to help end systemic poverty and economic discrimination in these communities.

Daniella Flores is the founder and creator of an award-winning money, career and side-hustle resource platform. They help neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ folks get paid what they want, work how they want and build the life they deserve.

Carmen Perez is the creator of Make Real Cents, an online money platform dedicated to teaching individuals personal finance. She is also the founder and CEO of Much, a social money management platform for individuals needing extra help getting on track with their finances.

David and John Auten-Schneider are the Debt Free Guys and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. They help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke. They’ve worked with some of the leading LGBTQ+ non-profits, from The Trevor Project to Out & Equal.

Travers Johnson is the founder and CEO of Queerency, an LGBTQ+ business media startup. He spills the tea on the queer economy each week in his newsletter “The Balance Sheet,” and is the creator of LGBTQ+ Business Week, an annual seven-day celebration of queer-owned businesses (Nov. 1-7).

Piggy and Kitty are the reclusive geniuses behind the popular blog and podcast, Bitches Get Riches. They are optimistic, financially solvent, 30-something feminist killjoys who are teaching young people how to become competent adults in their finances, careers and personal lives.

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