AAA advice for Bills Mafia members looking to travel to KC


Thinking of heading to Kansas City for the Bills game Sunday?

AAA says if you feel like taking a road trip, it’s about 970 miles from Highmark Stadium to Arrowhead Stadium. You can expect to be in the car for more than 14 hours, but on the bright side, driving is the cheaper option.

If you want to shell out the money to fly, there are still seats available to book, Elizabeth Carey, AAA public relations and corporate communications director, said.

“The good news is there are still seats available if you are lucky enough to have a game ticket,” Carey said. “It’s going to cost, from the Buffalo airport, about $450 roundtrip and prices go up from there.”

AAA said Southwest flights are already selling out.

You can stay in a hotel near the Kansas City airport for about $100 a night. It’s about a 30-minute drive from there to the game.



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Why do Clemson fans carry $2 bills?


Local 5’s Colin Cahill finds out why Clemson fans are carrying around $2 bills ahead of Wednesday’s matchup against Iowa State.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Clemson Tigers fans are known for having $2 bills on hand at big games, so Local 5’s Colin Cahill set out to see if he could find any of those in Orlando and figure out where the tradition came from.

The first few fans he talked to didn’t come through.

“Oh my God, we totally forgot about the $2 bills! I can’t believe it, we’ve been to all these other games,” one fan said.

She said the $2 bill represents making it to the next game and the loyalty of Clemson fans.

“It shows we travel and we try to spread the love.”

And Colin eventually did get see a few of the famous bills in person.

“I go everywhere with it, it’s in my wallet,” another fan said. “Back, I don’t know what year it was, but Clemson was playing Georgia Tech, and they said Clemson would never bring any money into Atlanta. So the $2 bill started so we could show them how much money we would spend.”

ClemsonTigers.com dates that game back to September 1977.

“Also it’s to remind everybody of how loyal the Clemson fans are,” said another fan, decked out in a Tigers blazer. “So when we give this as a tip and they see the tiger paw … then they know Clemson has been to town.”

Here’s some of the history, according to Clemson University:

“Clemson played Georgia Tech in Atlanta every year the two schools met except for three games prior to the Yellow Jackets joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 1898, the first game in the series, the two teams played on Thanksgiving Day in Augusta, GA. In 1899, the two rivals met in Greenville, SC, also on Thanksgiving Day. The Tigers were victorious in those two games. In the first and only visit to Clemson prior to Georgia Tech joining the ACC, the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 21-17 on September 28, 1974.  

In the IPTAY Report dated on September 20, 1977, then IPTAY Executive Secretary George Bennett asked that the Tiger faithful making the trip to Atlanta use $2 dollar bills to show merchants at hotels and restaurants, etc. what an impact the Clemson nation had on the local economy.  According to Bennett this was a good way to prove a point—Clemson fans do have an impact on a local economy. ‘We want to make a big impact on Atlanta this weekend.  I would like to ask that every Clemson fan take as many two dollar bills as possible and use these rare bills for every expenditure.'” 

IPTAY is the Clemson University athletic booster club, which originally stood for “I pay ten every year,” with the original goal in 1934 of 160 donors at $10 a year.

The Cyclones will have to hold their own against the Tigers and their $2 bills Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. CST. You can watch the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl on ESPN and get the latest stories from Orlando at weareiowa.com/sports.

RELATED: ‘They’re elite at almost every position group’: Iowa State looking to solve Clemson defense in Cheez-It Bowl

RELATED: Cyclones hold first practice in Orlando ahead of Cheez-It Bowl

Watch complete coverage of the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl on YouTube





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These Are the Bills Newsom Is Still Deciding On


Already, Newsom has approved more than 350 bills and vetoed about 25, according to data from his office. (A few notable vetoes: proposals to boost family leave payments, require businesses to prove they’re not contributing to deforestation and allow farmworkers to vote to unionize by mail.)

Newsom still has many more decisions to make by the end of the week, including about some measures that were hotly-debated in the Legislature. Here’s a snapshot:

Under this proposal, public school students would be required to complete an ethnic studies course to graduate from high school starting in the fall of 2024. This is the third attempt by Assemblyman Jose Medina, Democrat of Riverside, to pass such a mandate, CalMatters reports.

Newsom vetoed this idea last year amid pushback from some parents as well as members of the state’s Jewish community, which said the curriculum had bias toward Palestine.

This bill would remove fines for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk — unless there’s imminent danger. There would be no more tickets for running across the road when cars are nowhere to be seen.

Supporters of the law say the police enforce jaywalking laws in unequal ways or use them as pretext to detain people for no good reason. Police officers in California are five times as likely to stop a Black person for a walking infraction as a white person, Bloomberg CityLab reports.

This measure would significantly loosen eligibility requirements for college financial aid so that tens of thousands of additional students could receive assistance.

The proposal, expected to cost between $85 million to $175 million a year, is the latest attempt by lawmakers who have long wanted to provide more financial help to students, CalMatters reports.

The governor’s finance department opposes the bill, but supporters hope that the state’s budget surplus will persuade Newsom to sign it anyway.

This bill could be another with big consequences for the state’s college system, as it would smooth the path for community college students to transfer to a California State University or University of California campus.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and student groups endorse the measure, while the U.C. Office of the President and Newsom’s finance department are against it, CalMatters reports.

California could become the first state to begin treatment that pays people not to use methamphetamines and cocaine. This bill would allow the state’s Medicaid program to fund these novel efforts.

Studies have found that positive reinforcement — in this case, paying people not to use drugs — is the most effective treatment for meth or cocaine addiction, particularly when combined with behavioral therapy, KQED reports.

After recent injuries and arrests of journalists covering protests, this measure aims to limit how much the police can interfere with the news media at public events.

The bill would prevent police officers from blocking journalists covering demonstrations and stop them from citing journalists for failure to disperse or for obstruction for being where they need to be to do their jobs.

Newsom vetoed a version of this bill last year.

More on new laws:


Closing arguments begin today in the trial of two men accused of paying to get their children into the University of Southern California.

Today’s travel tip comes from Evy Journey, a reader who lives in Berkeley. Evy recommends Bodega Bay in Sonoma County:

The light in Bodega Bay amazes. While it can display its full intense spectrum, casting a rainbow of shadows on everything it floods, it’s never harsh. It caresses the ocean with shimmering silver or imbues it with dark impenetrable blue.

Beaches and undulating paths with breathtaking coastal panoramas beckon for afternoon walks.

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.



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NYC Passes Six Bills to Protect Food Delivery Workers’ Rights


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Food Delivery Workers Could Get Relief From Council Bills to Open Restaurant Restrooms and Regulate Apps


Burdened food delivery workers could get relief from upcoming City Council bills that aim to open doors to restaurant restrooms and let them set limits on where they’ll deliver.

Councilmembers Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) and Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn) told THE CITY they plan on introducing a legislative package Thursday, after months-long conversations with Los Deliveristas Unidos, a collective of mostly immigrant food deliverers.

Among the bills, which also include measures to boost wages and ensure tips get to workers, is a highly anticipated proposal by Rivera that would fine restaurants and bars that refuse to allow a delivery worker to use the restroom — charging $50 for the first offense and $100 for every subsequent violation.

“They deserve to be treated with respect, public health crisis or not — and that includes access to basic amenities like a bathroom while on the job, just like every other worker in the city,” Rivera told THE CITY.

The Deliveristas, most of whom are Indigenous Mexican and Central Americans, have complained for months about restaurant managers denying bathroom access, as the pandemic intensified takeout demand and sharply limited other restroom options.

Some workers have told THE CITY they’ve at times been forced to travel back to their homes in the middle of shifts to relieve themselves, potentially losing hours of work.

Preliminary data from the Worker Institute at Cornell University found that 67% of delivery workers in the city were denied bathroom access by restaurants in the past year, according to a survey of more than 500 food deliverers who use apps such as DoorDash.

Thousands of them took to the streets last Wednesday to demand bathroom access, along with other basic workplace protections, newly gaining support from powerhouse service workers’ union SEIU 32BJ.

A sign seen on a Lower East Side restaurant’s window on April 19, 2021 in Manhattan, NY prohibits delivery drivers from using their restroom facilities.

A sign in a Lower East Side restaurant’s window prohibited delivery drivers from using their restroom facilities.
Workers Justice Project

A Deliverista who asked to be identified as Pedro said he’s been denied bathroom access “every day” on the job making deliveries for DoorDash in Chelsea since he started a year ago.

“I ask the restaurants when I’m picking up an order, to go to the bathroom, wash my hands, relieve myself and they tell me it’s for customers only,” the 29-year-old told THE CITY in Spanish. “And I’m like, really? Don’t I count? Who’s the one making sure your customer gets the food?”

Mere Minutes to Deliver

The city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection would be in charge of developing rules and enforcing the bathroom measure if passed, under a draft bill reviewed by THE CITY.

A Department of Consumer and Worker Protection spokesperson said the agency would review the bill once it’s introduced.

One of the bills, sponsored by Brannan and Menchaca, would allow delivery workers to set limits on how far they’re willing to travel for a delivery — and to select which routes they want to take to get there without fear that their rating on the apps will decrease.

Many delivery workers who rely on pedal or e-bikes have told THE CITY they often have mere minutes to deliver meals to their destination before they’re penalized by consumers or the apps, which can downgrade their ratings.

That model, they argue, promotes unsafe speed over safety on the streets.

The measure seeks to prohibit third-party food delivery services from imposing “any negative consequence” — specifically including downgrading a delivery person’s rating or limiting their access to the app or pickups — if a worker turns down an order because of the location or if they chose an alternate route to their destination.

In a statement, food app platform DoorDash said the company is “actively engaged with the Dasher community and eager to engage with policymakers on ways all stakeholders can better support New York City delivery workers.”

A company spokeswoman pointed to pledges DoorDash made in December that it would alert delivery workers to available bathrooms and offer them “free and discounted” road safety equipment.

Uber Eats, another major platform, was not available for comment.

Brannan’s district includes Bensonhurst, where many of the workers live in “Pequeña Guate,” or little Guatemala. He said these bills would “help secure some basic protections and benefits for the deliveristas” who are some of the “least protected” workers in the city.

“There is still much to be done, but this is a great start. We can show our gratitude for these workers by getting these bills passed. We need to make sure essential workers remain visible after the pandemic,” he said. “After all, what would our city do without them?”

An additional bill to be introduced by Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), who is running for city comptroller, would establish minimum per-trip payments for delivery workers, similar to protections that the city’s Uber and Lyft drivers already have in place.

“Throughout the pandemic delivery workers have been feeding us, but the app companies have been starving them —in so many cases, Deliveristas earn far less than the minimum wage, even though they perform very dangerous essential work,” Lander told THE CITY. “These sets of rules would require Doordash, Instacart and all these companies to pay workers on a per-trip basis, so we can make sure these workers earn a living wage.”

And a proposal from Brannan would require third-party food delivery companies to provide insulated bags at no cost to workers.

Delivery workers have complained that the thermal bags — often emblazoned with company logos — are an unofficial requirement for the job to keep food hot during deliveries, costing them as much as $120.

Another Menchaca bill would require apps to pay workers on a weekly basis and prohibit charging any fees in order to receive payment.

“We as a city would be able to finally bring fines against and regulate these apps,” Menchaca said of his proposal.

A bill introduced by Chin in early 2020 would require that food delivery apps disclose to customers what portion of their tip is distributed to workers, how the tip is paid to them and what amount of each tip is used to make up workers base pay.

‘A Reasonable Request’

Rivera began meeting with the Deliveristas to discuss the bathroom issue in late October, shortly after the workers staged their first major protest.

“We’ve been working on this issue for a while because I think it is pretty clear that delivery workers are essential workers: for over a year, they put their lives at risk to provide for their families and keep New Yorkers fed throughout the pandemic,” Rivera said.

Councilmember Carlina Rivera

Councilmember Carlina Rivera speaks in City Hall during a hearing on the East River Park flood resiliency plan, Nov. 12, 2019.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

THE CITY first reported in December that staff at many of the restaurants the Deliveristas kept afloat throughout the pandemic refused access to bathrooms and sometimes made them feel unwelcome.

Lawmakers reacted with outrage. Joining Rivera in calling for restaurants to open bathroom access to delivery workers were fellow Councilmembers Brannan, Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Brooklyn).

Following THE CITY’s reporting, the major trade group that represents the city’s bars, restaurants and hotels said it would “strongly encourage” members to provide bathroom access to third-party delivery workers.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance’s executive director, Andrew Rigie, said a mandate would be acceptable within reason, especially given that the city lacks widespread public toilets.

“Delivery workers have been essential, and it’s a shame that the city’s failure to provide a network of public restrooms necessitates a law mandating small businesses let people they don’t employ use their facilities,” Rigie said in a statement Monday. “But, when you have to go, you have to go, and it’s a reasonable request so long as adequate protocols are in place to help ensure there isn’t an unnecessary disturbance to a restaurant’s operations.”

In December, DoorDash pledged to work with more than 200 of its “restaurant partners” to ensure bathroom access to “Dashers,” in light of THE CITY’s reporting.

Starting Point

If passed, Rivera’s measure, aimed at all app-based delivery workers in the city, would mark “a major first step” to better conditions for the Deliveristas, said Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Workers Justice Project.

Guallpa said she hopes that “other elected officials and the city will start embracing and recognizing that the whole city needs to react and reevaluate every infrastructure that impacts the lives of delivery workers.”

“And we’re talking about not only bike lanes, we’re talking about health and safety, we’re talking about workers rights, we’re talking about the crime, the e-bike robberies — everything that has put the life of delivery workers at risk in New York City,” she added. “And everybody in New York needs to be held accountable.”

Under the bathroom measure, restaurants and other eateries would have to provide access if requested to app workers who are making a delivery from that restaurant. Workers not actively picking up an order at the establishment could still be refused access.

“This is a great thing for us,” said Adán Pérez, who delivers for DoorDash in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, speaking in Spanish. “It gives us confidence that our voices are being heard, that we are worthy of respect as essential workers.”

Eateries with restrooms that can only be accessed through the kitchen — as is the case in many pizzerias — could be exempted from the requirement, according to the draft reviewed by THE CITY.

Rivera said she was “confident” the restaurant industry would eventually embrace her bill

“I think that some of the restaurant owners that have been very, very hesitant in making sure that this was an amenity that was provided to the Deliveristas,” she added. “But I think that when you see thousands of workers in the streets, most of them workers of color and immigrant New Yorkers, who feel like they’re being denied what is just kind of basic humanity — I hope that they will join what I feel is an important step towards workers’ rights.”



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Bills would reserve highway lane for cars with more than one person


High-occupancy vehicles would get exclusive use of a designated highway lane, a practice that has been around for several years in other states.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Efforts are underway to bring designated carpooling lanes to some Michigan freeways, a concept that picked up speed in the 1970s and has expanded to several states.

“We have to trigger people into being smarter about the vehicle miles that they are contributing, pairing up when it is possible,’’ said state Rep. Rachel Hood, who is one of several lawmakers calling for high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

Bills recently introduced in the Michigan House and Senate would allow state officials to designate a lane of a highway for exclusive use of vehicles carrying more than one person.

Hood, D-Grand Rapids, said the HOV lanes would be in urban areas with multiple lanes and where rush-hour traffic can be a nightmare. In other states, at least two people need to be in a vehicle for it to use the HOV lane.

Lanes would be specially marked and could be designated for high-occupancy vehicles at specific times of day when traffic is heaviest.

“I have experienced high occupancy vehicle lanes in my travels to California,’’ Hood said. “There, you have a dedicated lane that is moving – not maybe high speed, but it is moving. It is not interrupted by stops and starts. And it’s consistent. And it allows more people to get where they’re going faster.’’

Carpool lanes are part of a modernization project on a segment of I-75 in metro Detroit. The carpooling lanes, which would require two or more riders, will not be open until the project is completed in a few years.

The Michigan bills do not address penalties for violators.

“I think we can start to deal with penalties as we start to see problems emerge,’’ Hood said. “We can work on consequences later if we need to.’’  

People have used mannequins and blow-up dolls to get around minimum occupancy requirements. The state of Washington in 2019 added a new fine of more than $500 for people using a fake passenger in their vehicle, such as a doll or dummy.

Other states, including New York and Florida, have patrol units that look for drivers who travel HOV lanes with dummy passengers.

Hood says she hopes Michigan motorists will embrace the spirit of the legislation, should it become law, and stay focused on the larger picture.

“All of these things are part of a larger picture to make sure that we are addressing climate, reducing our emissions and building the smartest roads that we can build for a future that is probably going to look a little bit different than our grandparents’ highway,’’ she said.

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A doctor’s advice for Bills fans traveling to Kansas City


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIVB) – Of the roughly 17,000 fans who will be inside Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, there’s no doubt some of them will be from Western New York. They’ll have a choice to make between a 14-hour drive and a flight. Dr. John Crane, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences admits that’s a tough call.

“I think it’s pretty close,” Dr. Crane said. “Driving would be safer from the COVID point of view. But you’d have a greater risk of having a traffic accident along the way.”

While Crane says the safest way to watch the AFC Championship game between the Bills and the Chiefs is by sitting on your couch with your immediate household, he’s no fool.

“Of course there are fans who are diehards who want to be there in person, if they are able to get tickets,” he said.

Tickets are still available on the secondary market.

For fans who decide to drive, Crane suggests bringing food to minimize the need to stop at restaurants along the way to Missouri. As far as flyers go, he stresses the importance of mask-wearing.

According to data from the Kansas City, Mo. Health Department, the coronavirus testing positivity rate in that city was 31.8% for the week of January 3rd through the 9th, the last week data is available. In Erie County, New York, the positivity rate that same week was 6.8%, and dropped to 5.9% last week.

“The highest risk places would be where you’re going to be forced to be in close proximity to other people,” Crane reminded Kansas City travelers.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.



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Price, travel restrictions can’t deter Bills fans from AFC Championship experience


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Bills will compete for a Super Bowl spot this Sunday in Kansas City and many fans are already gearing up to go to the game.

If you’re still thinking about heading out to the Bills game in Kansas City you may want to make a decision pretty quickly because both game and plane tickets are going fast.

Southwest Airlines is already sold out of tickets to Kansas City out of Buffalo for this weekend. April Engram is a communications specialist with AAA. She said there are tickets still available with other airlines and out of Rochester.

“Looking at how Buffalo snagged them up really quickly Rochester fans may be soon to follow,” Engram said.

“They’re not sold out in Rochester yet but that interest is definitely there and it’s picking up. Right now if you’re looking to fly out you’re looking at $400 to $450 for a round trip ticket and of course you have driving as an option, it is a 14 and a half hour drive so I don’t know how many folks will want to make that trek.”

But before getting a flight you’ll need a ticket to the game. Right now, they’re ranging from $1,200 to $4,500 if you’re buying two tickets and between $750 and $840 if buying four.

“The chiefs are only allowing 22% capacity so you have to consider that as well. Folks may go down just to celebrate but to actually get into the stadium for instance that’s only 17,000 fans, so not too many seats available.”

If you are heading to the game you’ll have to get tested before leaving Kansas City and again when returning home or quarantine for 10 days once returning to Rochester.



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Steelers make highly unusual change to travel plans heading into Week 14 Sunday night showdown with Bills


The Steelers have had to deal with a lot of changes this season, and this week, they’ll be dealing with at least one more. For the team’s Sunday night game in Buffalo, the team has made the highly unusual decision to fly on the day of the game. 

Normally, a team will leave on Saturday before playing in a Sunday game, but for Week 14, the Steelers decided it would make more sense to leave Sunday morning for their Sunday night game in Buffalo, which is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC. 

According to team spokesman Burt Lauten, who confirmed the travel switch to ESPN.com, the Steelers decided they wanted one more day in Pittsburgh after dealing with two weeks of scheduling chaos.    

“Due to a number of schedule adjustments which resulted in the Steelers playing on a short week two weeks in a row, we requested and were approved by the league office to travel on game day to Buffalo for our Sunday night game,” Lauten said in a statement, via ESPN.com. “Our preparations and meetings will be conducted in Pittsburgh Saturday evening, and the team will then fly to Buffalo on Sunday morning and continue day-of-game preparations upon arrival in Buffalo.”

The Steelers’ 44-minute flight to Buffalo ended up leaving just after 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday. 

The scheduling adjustments that Lauten was referring to came over the past two weeks. In Week 12, the Steelers were forced to play on a Wednesday against the Ravens, which was six days after their game was originally supposed to be played. The postponement of the Baltimore game also forced the Steelers’ Week 13 games against Washington to be moved from Sunday to Monday

Although the pandemic has forced the NFL and its teams to make multiple scheduling changes this year, this game will mark just the third time that a visiting team has traveled on the same day its scheduled to play. The Patriots did it in Week 4 before a game in Kansas City and the Ravens did it in Week 12 before a game against the Steelers. Both teams ended up losing. 

In those two instances, the Patriots and Ravens were waiting on the results of COVID tests to come through, which pushed back their traveling plans. The Steelers case is slightly different, because Pittsburgh made the decision on its own to postpone the team flight from Saturday to Sunday. 

For the Steelers, the rare decision to fly on the day of the game marks the first time since 2012 that they’ve done this. Eight years ago, the Steelers flew to New York on a Sunday morning and then beat the Giants 24-20 later that day. In that case, the Steelers were forced to fly the same day due to Hurricane Sandy. 





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