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Brooklyn Residents Start Wedding Registry for Sandy Relief

Brooklyn Residents Start Wedding Registry for Sandy Relief

Who knew wedding registries could be useful outside of the "furnishing new apartments for newlyweds" zone? The Occupy Sandy team (an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street), which has been working to deliver relief items to Hurricane Sandy victims, has started a wedding registry to help them get the necessary items.

The Occupy Sandy's wedding registry on Amazon has crucial items like diapers, trash bags, cleaning supplies, gloves, blankets, and more, making it much easier for people to donate. The genius method of getting necessary supplies allows people to know where their money is going, while making sure the relief team has enough trash bags and diapers, without overstocking on one supply.

Donate by sending items off the registry to the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew at 520 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11238.The registry team is comprised of three Brooklyn residents in touch with Occupy Sandy, Alex Nordenson, Katherine Dolan, and John Heggestuen, who came up with the idea while volunteering with Occupy Sandy.

"My friends and I talked about how we could improve the donation system while were walking to the store to buy some food for meals. My friend Alex said something to the effect of 'we need something like a wedding registry.' I thought it was a great idea and my gears started turning," Heggestuen told The Daily Meal in an email.

Up next? Setting up an inventory management team to keep track of donations, and getting Amazon to help with getting solid numbers, plus free shipping and delivery. The team asks that volunteers tweet @amazon to get the movement on the corporate's radar.

Even better? The Occupy Sandy "couple's" style is listed as warm, non-perishable. We imagine those fancy whiskey ice cube trays you were eyeing as your next wedding gift are out of the question. Opt for a water pump instead.

Brooklyn Residents Start Wedding Registry for Sandy Relief - Recipes

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Canadian polar bear dippers brave freezing temperatures

Hundreds of hardy Canadians welcomed the new year Tuesday with a splash into icy waters at Polar Bear Dip events across the country.

About 800 participants at this year's largest charity gathering, the Courage Polar Bear Dip, stripped down to their skivvies or donned outlandish costumes before jumping into Lake Ontario in Oakville, Ont.

According to organizers, the event, held just west of Toronto at Coronation Park, first began in 1995 and has since raised a total of $1,060,000 for the charity World Vision Canada.

This year, more than $120,000 will be donated to fund water projects Rwanda.

'Start the year afresh, cleanse the soul,' says co-founder

While waiting for the dip to begin, event co-founder Trent Courage says the tradition of doing a New Year Day's dip started with his mother Gaye who "forced" him and his brother into the lake 28 years ago because she heard of a similar Scandinavian practice.

Since then, the family has continued on the tradition, with him bringing his own young sons each year to join in on the fun with hundreds of others.

"It was basically just something to do on New Year's Day to basically start the year afresh, cleanse the soul, sort to speak," said Courage, donning a bathrobe on the beach trying to stay warm.

The Oakville resident said the event brings together families and adrenaline junkies, and draws those who come dressed in costume.

Over the years, organizers have seen dippers dressed in wedding gowns, tuxedos and geisha outfits. This year was no exception, a man dressed as Baby New Year equipped with a diaper, sash and top hat and a trio of Smurf characters could be spotted in the crowd.

Courage said participants are drawn by the camaraderie of the event, but also that it's all for a good cause.

"You run in. It's exhilarating. You hyperventilate, your feet start to hurt to be honest with you but when you get changed, you start to feel amazing," he said. "No matter what, it's always very cold."

Cathy Sewell screamed with hundreds of others as she charged into frigid Lake Ontario.

On Tuesday, Environment Canada reported temperatures going down to -6 C, with a wind chill of -11.

The 48-year-old Milton, Ont., woman says she had been wanting to do the dip for years and is happy to now be able to cross it off her bucket list.

"I can't believe I did it. It's very cold but I did it," said Sewell, shivering underneath a towel following the event.

"I went down (in the water) just to the thighs and I did a dip. I'm very happy. It's great."

The lively event featured live music, prize draws and celebrity guests. Local emergency crews were also on standby in the water and on the beach as a precaution.

Similar events were also held Tuesday across Canada, in several cities including Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Brooklyn dip raised funds for Sandy relief

In the U.S., off Brooklyn's Coney Island, hundreds of hardy swimmers plunged into the ice sea.

Members of the Ice Breakers and the Coney Island Polar Bear clubs and other brave bathers stripped down to their trunks or dressed in costumes, including one woman donning a mermaid outfit.

Temperatures outside were around 0 C. People screamed at the shock of the cold water.

This year, Polar Bear club members and others were raising money for Sandy relief efforts. The area was badly flooded by the late October storm.

Bakers Across the Country Are Using Their Breads and Pastries to Give Back to Their Communities—Here's How

Meet bakers from all around the United States who are sharing their oven-fresh goodies as a way to do a little good.

Before the pandemic, food photographer Aliza Sokolow went on multiple trips a year with the Joint Distribution Committee, a Jewish relief organization that does social impact work in developing countries. When the pandemic hit, not only were the trips put on hold, but the Los Angeles-based photographer lost all of her work still, Sokolow remained committed to doing something that would have a positive impact on her community. "Once it felt safe to go out a bit in April, I started baking challah and selling it to a few people and donating 50 percent of the proceeds to charities I wanted to give back to just to give myself something to do," Sokolow said. "It took off and has allowed me to give back for the last ten months. It&aposs a privilege to give people a prize for helping me give back."

Amidst the darkness of the last ten months, a number of bakers have used bread and other baked goods to fight racism, feed frontline workers, and confront many of the other systemic challenges we are facing. In the process, they&aposre making their little corners of the world brighter, bringing joy at a time when so many of us needed it the most.

When he was furloughed from New York City restaurant Aska, Tyler Lee Steinbrenner converted his apartment into a small bakery. He began baking loaves for Honey&aposs x Cafe Forsaken meal drops for frontline workers and Woodbine, an experimental community hub which started a food pantry in the early spring of 2020. "This whole project began as an initiative for mutual-aid in NYC," said Steinbrenner, who taught himself wild-leavening techniques while working and living in Thailand in 2017. His ACQ Milk Bread, a flour and rice porridge folded into an organic milk, butter, and egg yolk mixture, quickly became popular with New Yorkers.

Committed to continuing mutual aid efforts and baking bread for New York City residents and restaurants for years to come, Steinbrenner moved his bakery ACQ Bread Co. (the ACQ stands Anti-Conquest) out of his apartment into a bakery space in Brooklyn. Individuals purchase bread directly through the website or by subscribing to one of his community-supported agriculture-like programs and he also has a wholesale business for restaurants. "I&aposve spent my adult life as a laborer so operating a business feels like a complete privilege. In regard to this, my goal is not to profit. I hope to create an independent model which praises sustainable, organic, local, independent agriculture, and share that with people indiscriminately and with love," said Steinbrenner.

While Sokolow, Steinbrenner, and others like Mallory Cayon of FEW, which donates a pound of pasta for every item including pasta, cookie dough, and cinnamon rolls purchased to the LA Food Bank, have created new bakery models to support their communities, established bakeries such as Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, and Daily Driver in San Francisco have doubled down on their commitments to their communities. "Food is sustenance, and being able to provide for that is incredibly important," said Umber Ahmad, co-owner of Mah-Ze-Dahr in New York City and owner of Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery by Knead Hospitality Design. Since it opened in Manhattan in 2016, the bakery has had a charitable component, donating a percentage of its revenue every three months to No Kid Hungry, an organization working to eradicate food insecurity in children, and regularly working with the Birthday Party Project, which creates birthday parties for children in homeless shelters. During New York&aposs quarantine period in 2020, they baked pastries for the city&aposs frontline workers, helping to fed thousands of healthcare and emergency care providers despite not even being open for business. "It meant the world that we could offer even the smallest of reprieves during their crisis-filled days," said Ahmad.

Similarly, Daily Driver has donated bagels, coffee, and more to fire departments, the University of California San Francisco, and Food Runners, an organization that picks up excess perishable food from local restaurants and delivers it to neighborhood food programs, since they opened. Since the beginning of the pandemic, though, they&aposve increased UCSF donations, added donations for COVID-19 testing sites. They also plan to bring coffee and bagels to vaccination sites near them.

Back in Los Angeles, Sokolow announces the flavor of the week for This Is What I Baked (she always has plain challah and chocolate chip cookies for sale, too) on Mondays. Orders close on Wednesdays and she picks a different charity to donate the proceeds to each week. Past donations have gone to NAMI, Donor&aposs Choose, which connects teachers in high-need communities with donors who want to help, World Central Kitchen, and Operation Warm, which donates jackets to kids in need.

While she&aposs hoping to keep baking and donating when we get out of quarantine life, she&aposs focusing on taking things week by week for now. "There is no shortage of other people doing great things in their communities and I am lucky enough to have created a means for me to support them," Sokolow said

May 18, 2021 – The Saskatchewan Health Authority has announced a school immunization program for students aged 16-17. The program will become available in June.Overall vaccine immunization eligibility is now at 16 and older. More information is here.Pharmacy.

May 7, 2021 - Métis Nation–Saskatchewan Department of Health requires a Programs Support Worker to help facilitate the many ongoing programs and projects within the department.Interested applicants can submit a résumé on or before 11:59pm, May 26, 2021 to.

Brooklyn Residents Start Wedding Registry for Sandy Relief - Recipes

NOTICE: The Application Period for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is now OPEN.

NOTICE: The Application Period for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is now OPEN.

FEMA is now accepting applications for funeral expenses paid after January 20, 2020 for deaths caused by COVID-19. We are only accepting applications by phone. Online applications are not accepted.

You may visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for information about the program. After you read this information and gather the necessary documents, call 1-844-684-6333 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) to apply for this assistance. Call this number also for help with ALL other questions or concerns about COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.The phone line is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

If you use a relay service (a videophone, InnoCaption, CapTel, etc.), please provide your number assigned to that service. FEMA must be able to contact you. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA may appear to come from an unidentified number.

Please do not call the normal FEMA Helpline for help with COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. They will ask you to call the direct funeral assistance number.

At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

If you would like to volunteer your services or time in support of COVID-19, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. For information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccines page. You may also dial 2-1-1 for the United Way or visit

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Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana Disaster Information (Severe Winter Storms)

FEMA programs do not pay for fuel or cover food losses. If you have immediate needs for food or shelter, you may contact 2-1-1 for local resources.

If you were affected by the winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma or Louisiana you can apply for disaster assistance online by selecting “Apply Online”. During the application process for Texas, Oklahoma or Louisiana disaster, please ensure to select the cause of damage snow/ice amongst other damages that may have occurred.

Applicants are required to inform FEMA of all insurance coverage such as flood, homeowners, renter's, etc. that may be available to them. Insured applicants must provide FEMA documentation such as an insurance settlement or denial letter to process their application.

The smartest cities rely on citizen cunning and unglamorous technology

We are lucky enough to live at a time in which a furious wave of innovation is breaking across the cities of the global south, spurred on both by the blistering pace of urbanisation, and by the rising popular demand for access to high-quality infrastructure that follows in its wake.

From Porto Alegre’s participatory budgeting and the literally destratifying cable cars of Caracas, to Nairobi’s “digital matatus” and the repurposed bus-ferries of Manila, the communities of the south are responsible for an ever-lengthening parade of social and technical innovations that rival anything the developed world has to offer for ingenuity and practical utility.

Nor is India an exception to this tendency. Transparent Chennai’s participatory maps and the work of the Mumbai-based practices CRIT and URBZ are better-known globally, but it is the tactics of daily survival devised by the unheralded multitude that really inspire urbanists. These techniques maximise the transactive capacity of the urban fabric, wrest the very last increment of value from the energy invested in the production of manufactured goods, and allow millions to eke a living, however precarious, from the most unpromising of circumstances. At a time of vertiginously spiralling economic and environmental stress globally, these are insights many of us in the developed north would be well advised to attend to – and by no means merely the poorest among us.

Cable cars in the San Agustin neighbourhood of Caracas. Photograph: Miguel Gutierrez/AFP/Getty

But, for whatever reason, this is not the face of urban innovation official India wants to share with the world – perhaps small-scale projects or the tactics of the poor simply aren’t dramatic enough to convey the magnitude and force of national ambition. We hear, instead, of schemes like Palava City, a nominally futuristic vision of digital technology minutely interwoven into the texture of everday urban life. Headlines were made around the planet this year when Narendra Modi’s government announced it had committed to building no fewer than 100 similarly “smart” cities.

Because definitions of the smart city remain so vague, I think it’s worth thinking carefully about what this might mean – beyond, that is, the 7,000 billion rupees (£70bn) in financing that India’s high powered expert committee on urban infrastructure believes the scheme will require over the next 20 years. It is one thing, after all, to reinforce the basic infrastructures that undergird the quality of urban life everywhere quite another to propose saddling India’s cities with expensive, untested technology at a time when reliable access to electricity, clean drinking water or safe sanitary facilities remain beyond reach for too many.

We can take it as read that our networked technologies will continue to play some fairly considerable role in shaping the circumstances and possibilities experienced by billions of city-dwellers worldwide. So it’s only appropriate to consider the ways in which these technologies might inform decisions about urban land use, mobility and governance.

However, especially at a time of such enthusiasm for the notion in India, I think it’s vital to point out that “the smart city” is not the only way of bringing advanced information technology to bear on these questions of urban life. It’s but one selection from a sheaf of available possibilities, and not anywhere near the most responsive, equitable or fructifying among them.

We can see this most easily by considering just who it is the smart city is intended for – by seeking to discover what model of urban subjectivity is inscribed in the scenarios offered by the multinational IT vendors that developed the smart city concept in the first place, and who are heavily involved in sites like Palava. When you examine their internal documentation, marketing materials and extant interventions, it becomes evident there is a pronounced way of thinking about the civic that is bound up in all of them, with rather grim implications for the politics of participation.

A close reading leaves little room for doubt that vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Siemens, Cisco and Hitachi construct the resident of the smart city as someone without agency merely a passive consumer of municipal services – at best, perhaps, a generator of data that can later be aggregated, mined for relevant inference, and acted upon. Should he or she attempt to practise democracy in any form that spills on to the public way, the smart city has no way of accounting for this activity other than interpreting it as an untoward disruption to the orderly flow of circulation. (This is explicit in Palava’s marketing materials, as well.) All in all, it’s a brutally reductive conception of civic life, and one with little to offer those of us whose notions of citizenhood are more robust.

Organised by veterans of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Sandy emerged in response to the unprecedented damage done to New York by Superstorm Sandy. Photograph: Craig Ruttle/AP

Given how impoverished this vision is, a casual onlooker could hardly be faulted for concluding that networked information technology is something that will never furnish contemporary city-dwellers with the architecture of participation they deserve. But while this is certainly a more defensible position than breathless technophilia, or the blithe stories of triumphally self-regulating urban ecosystems the vendors themselves peddle, I happen to believe this is not the case. I remain convinced that ordinary city-dwellers can use networked informatics beneficially, to support them in their aims of group coordination, collective decision-making and deliberative self-determination. The following two case studies might help put some flesh on the bones of this assertion.

Organised by veterans of Occupy Wall Street, the citizen relief group known as Occupy Sandy emerged in response to the unprecedented damage done to New York City by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its lineage, OS was organised along strong principles of leaderlessness, horizontality and consensus. What may be more surprising is that this group of amateurs – unequipped with budgetary resources or any significant prior experience of logistics management, and assembled at a few hours’ notice – is universally acknowledged as having outstripped traditional, hierarchical and abundantly resourced groups like the US Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross in delivering relief to the hardest-hit communities.

A volunteer relief centre set up by Occupy Sandy. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Occupy Sandy’s volunteers were unquestionably able to do this because they used networked technology to coordinate and maintain real-time situational awareness over their activities. Crucially, though, the systems they used were neither particularly elaborate, nor the ones many theorists of networked urbanism might have envisioned. They certainly didn’t have anything to do with the high-spec, high-margin instrumentation that IT multinationals would have municipal governments invest in.

In a stroke of inspired creativity, Occupy activists repurposed Amazon’s existing e-commerce and fulfillment infrastructure, in the form of a wedding registry, to funnel donated goods to the distribution centre they had set up in a Brooklyn church. If this audacious act of jugaad underwrote the entire recovery effort, its day-to-day operations relied upon another, as the movements of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donations, hot meals and pieces of construction material were tracked in a single, gigantic Google Docs spreadsheet never intended for any such purpose. Asynchronous, robust, distributed technologies like mailing lists and text messaging completed the picture, allowing coordinators to maintain links between this nexus of activity and the growing community of donors, potential volunteers and activists that sprawled across the entire north-east region.

If supple, network-mediated coordination of this type could help people manage the highly dynamic circumstances that followed Sandy’s landfall, might it perhaps also prove useful under less volatile conditions? After all, the greatest disasters that ever befall most urban communities move more slowly than a hurricane. They are the ones that are economic in nature.

Design for the reinvigorated El Campo de Cebada. Illustration: Zuloark

The La Latina neighbourhood of Madrid was once home to a thriving market hall, and later a well-used community sporting facility, demolished in August 2009 to make way for planned improvements. But with Spain in the grips of the 2008 economic downturn, the money earmarked for the improvements failed to materialise, and the site remained vacant, cordoned off from the rest of the city by a chainlink fence. As such sacrifice zones will tend to, this site, el Campo de Cebada, increasingly began to attract graffiti, illegal dumping and still-less salutary behavior. Alerted to the deteriorating situation by neighbours, city authorities claimed they were powerless to intervene, apparently in the belief that they had no right to intercede on land belonging to private developers.

Exasperated with this state of affairs, a group of community activists, including architects of the Zuloark collective, cut through the fence and immediately began recuperating the site for citizen use. Following a cleanup, the activists used salvaged material to build benches, mobile sunshades and other elements of an ingenious, rapidly reconfigurable parliament – and the first question they put before this parliament was how to manage the site itself.

This self-stewardship was successful enough for long enough for the collective to eventually obtain quasi-official sanction from the municipal administration. Some three years on, in its various roles as recreation ground, youth centre and assembly hall, el Campo has become a vital community resource. If it has problems now, they are of the sort that attend unanticipated success: on holiday weekends especially, the site attracts overflow crowds.

Mobile grandstands created by the architecture collectives of El Campo de Cebada. Photograph: C de Carmona/Zuloark

Where’s the technology in all of this? Beyond canny use of Twitter and Facebook, and an online calendar of activities, there isn’t much. That’s the point. The benches and platforms of el Campo aren’t festooned with sensors, don’t have IPv6 addresses, don’t comply with some ISO wireless-networking standard. The art walls aren’t high- resolution interactive touch surfaces, and the young people painting on them certainly haven’t been issued with Palava-style, all- in-one smartcards. Nevertheless, it would be a profound mistake to not understand el Campo as the heavily networked place it is, just as Occupy Sandy’s distribution centres were.

These are intensely technologised sites, places where the shape of action and possibility are profoundly conditioned by what I call the “dark weather” of the network – that layer of information that swirls around the physical environment, intangible to the unaided human sensorium but possessing terrific potency. It’s simply that in both these cases, the sustaining interactivity was for the most part founded on the use of mature technologies, long deglamorised and long settled into what the technology-consulting practice Gartner refers to as the “trough of disillusionment”.

The true enablers of participation turn out to be nothing more exciting than cheap commodity devices, reliable access to sufficiently high- bandwidth connectivity, and generic cloud services. These implications should be carefully mulled over by developers, those responsible for crafting municipal and national policy, and funding bodies in the philanthropic sector.

In both these cases, ordinary people used technologies of connection to help them steer their own affairs, not merely managing complex domains to a minimal threshold of competence, but outperforming the official bodies formally entrusted with their stewardship. This presents us with the intriguing prospect that more of the circumstances of everyday urban life might be managed this way, on a participatory basis, by autonomous neighbourhood groups networked with one another in something amounting to a city-wide federation.

The true intelligence of Delhi and all other cities starts with the people who live and work there. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

In order to understand how we might get there from here, we need to invoke a notion drawn from the study of dynamic systems. Metastability is the idea that there are multiple stable configurations a system can assume within a larger possibility space the shape that system takes at the moment may simply be one among many that are potentially available to it. Seen in this light, it’s clear that all the paraphernalia we regard as the sign and substance of government may in fact merely constitute what a dynamicist would think of as a “local maximum”. There remain available to us other possible states, in which we might connect to one another in different ways, giving rise to different implications, different conceptions of urban citizenship, and profoundly different outcomes.

The sociologist Bruno Latour warns us not to speak airily of “potential”, reminding us that we have to actually do the work of bringing some state of affairs into being before we can know whether it was indeed a possible future state of the system – and also that work is never accomplished without some cost. I nevertheless believe, given the very substantial benefits we know people and communities enjoy when afforded real control over the conditions of their being, that whatever the cost incurred in this exploration, it would be one well worth bearing.

The evidence before us strongly suggests that investment in the unglamorous technologies, frameworks and infrastructures that are already known to underwrite citizen participation would result in better outcomes for tens of millions of ordinary Indians – and would shoulder the state with far-less onerous a financial burden – than investment in the high-tech chimeras of centralised control. The wisest course would be to plan technological interventions to come on the understanding that the true intelligence of the Indian city will continue to reside where it always has: in the people who live and work in it, who animate it and give it a voice.

This text was commissioned by LSE Cities for the Urban Age newspaper, to coincide with the Governing Urban Futures conference held in Delhi in November 2014.

Brooklyn Residents Start Wedding Registry for Sandy Relief - Recipes

COVID-19 : City of South Portland's Response | Status of City Buildings
Notice of Relocation of Finance Department (Vehicle Registrations & Tax Payments) to Community Center (21 Nelson Road) from November 9-June 2021
Enter through the Nutter Road entrance (in the back of the building)

South Portland City Hall
25 Cottage Road | South Portland, ME 04106
Phone: (207) 767-3201 | Fax: (207) 767-7620
parking lot and elevator access available at rear entrance
Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday | 8:00am to 4:30pm
The City Clerk's Office and Finance Office remain open until 6:00pm on Thursdays.
The Finance Office has moved to the Community Center (21 Nelson Road) through June 2021.

Applications MUST be RECEIVED by May 31, 2021. If you have any questions or need assistance completing the application, please contact Vicki Inman at 767-7609. Click here to download the application and view the FAQs. Read More

To see all scheduled City Committee Meetings visit the Calendar.

  • AARP Tax-Aide Assistance: Please call 207-518-8579 to schedule an appointment.
  • Statement Issued by the South Portland Police Department ( Dated June 1, 2020 )
  • Resolve #17-19/20 - Proclamation Condemning Racism
  • Resolve #4-20/21- Condemning Acts of Hate toward LGBTQ+ community
  • Resolve #7-20/21 - Recognizing Black History Month 2021
  • Resolve #9-20/21 - Condemning Acts of Hate and Violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

To see all scheduled City Committee Meetings visit the Calendar

City Council meetings, School Board meetings, and Planning Board meetings,
and certain City committee meetings will continue to be live-streamed and available online
via SPC-TV and on local cable broadcast.

Meeting Agendas For the Week of: May 17, 2021

The following meetings will be held remotely ONLY via Zoom, not in-person.

NOTICE: Under Maine's Freedom of Access (“Right to Know”) law, documents - including e-mail - in the possession of public officials about city business are classified as public records. This means if anyone asks to see it, we are required to provide it. There are very few exceptions. We welcome citizen comments and want to hear from our residents, but please keep in mind that what you write in an e-mail is not private and could show up in the local newspaper.

Watch live and archived city meetings online.

All non-essential city offices, including City Hall and the Transfer Facility, will be closed on the following dates:

January 1 (New Year's Day)
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April 19 (Patriots Day)
May 31 (Memorial Day)
July 5 (Independence Day)
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