National plan your vacation day: it’s never too early

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – January 31, 2023 is plan your vacation day, but it’s never too late to plan your next vacation.

As the world re-opened in 2022, the number of travelers booking flights through the American Automobile Association (AAA) jumped more than 150%. The number of travelers booking cruises and tours, mostly to international destinations, exploded as well, and all indications are that the upward trend will continue in 2023.

Almost 30% of respondents to a recent survey by Destination Analysts said they would likely travel outside the United States this year.

“Travel bookings continue to climb. There is not only pent-up demand, but the dollars saved during the pandemic are now being invested in more extravagant travel. As an example, many of our cruise partners tell AAA that Black Friday was their number one day for bookings ever.”

Lori Weaver Hawkins, AAA Blue Grass

National Plan Your Vacation Day is a reminder for people to actually plan a vacation and then take it. American workers left an average of four work days – 29% of time off – on the books. Leaving those days unused is like leaving money on the table.

At the same time, 64% of people say they need a vacation. Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months—ranked even higher than travel discounts or deals.

On National Vacation Day, January 31, use #PlanForVacation on social media to join the national conversation encouraging Americans to map out their time off for the year ahead.

AAA has also compiled a list of tips to help anyone planning a trip this year.

Here are AAA’s Six

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Is it time to rein in vacation rentals? Pensacola council may look into rental regulations

Pensacola City Councilman Charles Bare wants to take a closer look at vacation rentals in the city.

Bare is asking the council to hold a workshop to discuss short-term rentals in the city and see what fellow council members think of any enacting regulations around the business.

“One of the things I committed to during this campaign was that I was going to pursue this in doing a workshop and at least get the Council to talk about it,” Bare told the News Journal on Friday.

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Short-term rentals, referred to under Florida law as vacation rentals, are rental units available on websites like Airbnb and VRBO. Some are often second homes rented out for extra income, while other owners may own multiple units and run a full-time rental business.

Bare, who won election to the Council in November, said he’s spoken with several neighborhood groups who are concerned about short-term rentals and compliance with existing city ordinances such as parking in yards or leaving garbage cans on the street.

Florida law prevents municipalities from banning vacation rentals or regulating the required length of stay, but cities can pass regulating the rentals as businesses.

Bare noted that the city of Hollywood, Florida, passed new regulations recently on vacation rentals.

Hollywood’s regulations require each owner to obtain a vacation rental license, and last year added the requirement that vacation rental owners had to install noise detection devices at their property. The regulations also limit parking and require additional trash containers.

Bare said he felt most vacation rental owners are good neighbors, and only a few cause problems.

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‘When You Left Me On That Boulevard’ and ‘The Vacation’

Filipino-Americans left an indelible mark on the 2023 Sundance Film Festival with their unique and personal short films.

Kayla Abuda Galang, a talented filmmaker born in Olongapo City and raised in San Diego and Houston, received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival for her short film When You Left Me On That Boulevard. Meanwhile, Jarreau Carrillo, a filmmaker of Filipino and African American descent, was also honored with the Short Film Special Jury Award for Directing for his outstanding work on The Vacation.

With their recent success, Galang and Carrillo have now firmly established themselves as rising filmmakers in the industry. Both are now looking forward to bringing their stories to the big screen with the creation of feature-length films. 

Galang plans on developing two features: ’06-’07, a coming-of-age comedy set in mid-2000s southeast San Diego, and On Earth as It is in Heaven, a comedy about familial grief set in present-day Houston. Carrillo, on the other hand, made The Vacation as proof of concept for his debut feature film entitled The Last to Survive in America, which has now been picked up by Range Media Partners.

See below the reviews of each Sundance short film:

When You Left Me On That Boulevard

Kayla Abuda Galang’s tribute to mid-2000s teenage life portrays the rich tapestry of Filipino-American heritage, where the fondness and affection of its people are on full display.

Set in 2006, Boulevard follows the delightful escapades of teenage girl Ly (Kailyn Dulay), as she indulges in weed along with her cousins before a lively Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from that, Ly must navigate the tumultuous waters of her own heart as she struggles to decipher the mixed signals from her crush and contend with her boisterous yet loving auntie.

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Starbucks Charged A Couple Over INR 3 Lakhs For 2 Coffees. Heres What Happened Next

The high prices of some top coffee shops have always been under question. While many people don’t find the beverages worth their price, a larger section of society is totally in love with it. However, an Oklahoma couple claimed that they were charged a lot more, for a regular coffee order, than usual. The couple ended up paying over $4,000 (Rs. 3,30,192 approx.) for just two cups of coffee at a local Starbucks drive-through. And, usually, their order comes out to around $10 (Rs. 825 approx.). 
According to a WSMV4 report, Jesse and Deedee O’Dell were hit with a bill of $4,456.27 (Rs. 3,67,847 approx.) on January 7. But, the couple was totally unaware of it. Days later, when Deedee was at the mall with her children and she tried to make a purchase using the same card, it was denied. Following this, the couple got to know that they were charged a hefty price for coffee by Starbucks for their coffee order.

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Jesse revealed that despite calling the customer service of the coffeehouse chain multiple times, they didn’t receive their money back. Jesse said, “We contacted their (Starbucks) customer service helpline probably 30 to 40 times that day. We got a call from a representative who said they are sending new checks. But as of today, we still have not received checks.” The couple also filed a report with the Tulsa Police Department. 

The situation got so bad that the couple were forced to cancel their scheduled family vacation.“We had planned to take a trip but had to cancel and the tickets are non-refundable. This is something that has caused duress in our family and hopefully, others don’t have to go through

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Longtime menswear retailer leaves a stylish legacy in Portland

David Hodgkins, founder of the upscale menswear store David Wood in Portland, has retired after 45 years. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Style came naturally and early to David Hodgkins, founder of David Wood Clothiers in Portland, who this month retired after launching the upscale menswear shop 45 years ago.

His mother was an interior designer and often brought him to fabric stores in New York City. That education in textiles got him interested in his own clothes. He remembers the day she brought home an assortment of new items for him to try on; he rejected them all. Then she handed him money.

“She said, get on the bus and buy what you want,” he said.

Decades later, Hodgkins has turned over similar decision-making at David Wood. Sara Hutchison Brown, who has worked with him since 2017, now owns and operates the business.

Hodgkins leaves a deep impact, both aesthetic and economic. As he developed relationships with brands all over the world – from a shoemaker in Massachusetts to an Irish maker of small-batch knitwear – the haberdashery helped make the Old Port a shopping destination.

His friends joke that his favorite thing about the business has been that he can buy his own clothes at wholesale prices. But Hodgkins said the people are what he will miss the most.

“What I like about the business most is the personal relationships that you develop with your customers and your business,” he said. “It’s a very social business on both sides.”

Hodgkins grew up in New Jersey, but his father was from a farm near Litchfield. The family visited every year, and Hodgkins knew he wanted to live in Maine. He attended the University of Maine “and married a Portland girl,” he said. He spent three years in the U.S. Army after

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Kyle Busch violated Mexican gun laws on recent vacation

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Kyle Busch was detained at a Mexican airport late last month when a handgun and ammunition were discovered in his luggage, the NASCAR star acknowledged this week, apologizing for the incident and calling it “a mistake.”

Busch was sentenced this month to 3 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for having a gun and ammunition, a punishment handed down by a judge in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to beach destinations Cancun and Tulum.

The federal Attorney General’s Office said the judge decided to allow a conditional punishment and let Busch leave Mexico after he paid a bond. The office did not say how much he paid.

A two-time NASCAR champion and the winningest active driver in the Cup Series, Busch acknowledged the situation in a Monday social media post. He said he has “a valid concealed carry permit from my local authority and adhere to all handgun laws, but I made a mistake by forgetting it was in my bag.

“Discovery of the handgun led to my detainment while the situation was resolved. I was not aware of Mexican law and had no intention of bringing a handgun into Mexico,” Busch wrote. “When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the penalties, and returned to North Carolina.

“I apologize for my mistake and appreciate the respect shown by all parties as we resolved the matter. My family and I consider this issue closed.”

A NASCAR spokesperson said Tuesday that Busch informed the sanctioning body of the incident and is not facing any punishment. Busch is in his first season driving for Richard Childress Racing and finished third in Sunday night’s debut, a preseason exhibition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Richard Childress, the team

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NYC family, including two children, are among 20k victims killed in Turkey earthquake

A New York City family of four was among the nearly 20,000 who died during the Turkey earthquake. 

Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and his two children Hamza, two, and Bilal, one, were visiting relatives in Elbistan, Turkey, when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Kahramanmaraş Province and Syria. 

It was followed with a 7.8 magnitude tremor that struck near the city of Gaziantep, causing hundreds of deaths, including the Firik family, and thousands were injured.

The Firiks, of Corona, Queens, was on the top floor of a five-story building when the natural disaster struck on Monday. 

Firik’s father was sitting in a car outside the building when it collapsed with his family inside. 

Their family in New York City received updates from the relative and were informed of their passing on Wednesday afternoon as they all huddled inside an apartment together, according to Pix 11

Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and his two children Hamza, two, and Bilal, one, were visiting relatives when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing them

Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and his two children Hamza, two, and Bilal, one, were visiting relatives when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing them

Filik (far left) had recently quit his job as a software engineer at Amazon to spend more time with his family and to be able to travel

Filik (far left) had recently quit his job as a software engineer at Amazon to spend more time with his family and to be able to travel 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) honored the family - where Firik was a board member - in a statement, writing: 'We pray for Allah's mercy for our brother Burak, his family, and all those who have returned to our Creator. Ameen'

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) honored the family – where Firik was a board member – in a statement, writing: ‘We pray for Allah’s mercy for our brother Burak, his family, and all those who have returned to our Creator. Ameen’ 

Kimberly was a biology major at City College, while her husband was a graduate student at Columbia University. Firik had worked as a software engineer for Amazon, according to Pix 11, but he had recently quit his job prior to the family going to Turkey for a month.

He reportedly left his job

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Commission discusses body cams, employee vacation time during work session – Jessamine Journal

Commission discusses body cams, employee vacation time during work session

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Nicholasville City Commission did not take any actions during a Monday meeting, but the body discussed several items that will impact the city in the months ahead: police body cams and vacation time for municipal employees.

The commission meets for a workshop session on the first Monday of each month.

Its next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 13.

Police body cams

Nicholasville Assistant Chief of Police  Michael Fleming told the Commission that the department has a body cam shortage. Currently, it has 50 cameras and needs 16 more.

This will cost the city $13,286.34, which would be in addition to the yearly cost of $36,094 for the pre-existing 50 cameras.

The commission did not decide on this item, but the police department will likely purchase the cameras to alleviate the shortage.

The Nicholasville City Commission meets for a workshop session on the first Monday of each month. The next City Commission meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 13.

Vacation time 

The commission discussed three existing aspects of government worker vacation benefits and tabled a third item for a later discussion. These are some aspects that the commission expressed it would like to change.

  1. Police do not get their vacation time until after a year. According to the commission, it’s becoming more common in city government that workers get their vacation benefits on day one. 
  2. If an employee leaves before the year ends and used their vacation time, they have to pay it back. 
  3.  Employees are required to take a week of vacation time at a time , which was tabled for further discussion.

The city’s human resource director, Kathy Rhineheimer, researched other city government policies to assist the commission. 

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Ivanka Trump: ‘Country goddess’ bares toned stomach in cowgirl outfit on vacation

Ivanka Trump took to Instagram to show off her cowgirl-inspired look on vacation. The 41-year-old wore a crop top, with her very toned stomach on show.

The heiress wore a pair of slow-slung hip-hugging black flares with a black vest. Getting in the Western spirit she added a silver and turquoise concho belt and boots. She posted the mirror selfie, with the simple caption of two emojis wearing cowboy hats.

The mum-of-three used her Instagram stories to post snaps from her vacation. She posted pictures of red canyons and horses. The former-political advisor also posted a snap looking happy and smiling astride a horse during the trip.

It’s not clear if Ivanka was joined on the trip by her children or husband Jared, as her family doesn’t appear in the snaps.

Ivanka’s fans were quick to comment on the selfie, with one praising the “very fun outfit”. One Adam Wagner wrote: “Now that’s a country goddess. Yee haw.”

READ MORE: ‘I’m worried about Ivanka’: Fans ‘concerned’ as Trump’s daughter shares personal pictures

She said in a statement: “I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics.

“While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena. I am grateful to have had the honor of serving the American people and will always be proud of many of our administration’s accomplishments.”

Ivanka posted snaps wearing one of her mother’s vintage dresses on the social media account recently, as she attended a friend’s 1920s-themed 30th birthday party. She wore a fringed silver Bob Mackie dress to the party of music manager Myles Shear at Faena Hotel

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City of Yellowknife says union left bargaining without responding to latest offer

YELLOWKNIFE — The City of Yellowknife says talks with its unionized workers to settle a labour dispute ended Monday when the union “chose to end bargaining” at 6 p.m. and left the table without responding to its latest offer.

Talks between the city and the Union of Northern Workers were planned for Sunday but the union said they had to be postponed due to the mediator’s flights being delayed.

The city says in a news release that it added a one-time inflation adjustment and signing bonuses to its earlier offer of base wage increases of two per cent per year for 2022 and 2023.

The union, according to the city, had been seeking a five per cent raise in 2022 and three per cent in 2023, along with other perks that included an $800-per-year increase to vacation travel assistance.

Workers with the City of Yellowknife hit the picket lines and the city locked out employees early last Wednesday after mediation between the parties failed.

The Union of Northern Workers and Public Service Alliance of Canada said in a statement Tuesday that the city had refused to increase wages beyond two per cent.

“We tried our best to get a fair deal yesterday,” Local 345 president Reilly Hinchey said in a statement. “Hearing that the city is unwilling to move on wages, we did not think it would be fair to sit in a warm room knowing that it was all pointless.”

Hinchey said the bargaining team planned to join picketing unionized workers.

The city said in a statement Monday that it is committed to negotiating a collective agreement that is fair, respects the important role city employees play in Yellowknife and is affordable for residents and businesses.

“The City remains available and ready to resume bargaining.”

In its statement

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