Technology News

LastPass vs. 1Password: Which password manager should you use?

Rae Hodge | CNET.Com 

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall 

1Password reaches for the crown as LastPass loses its free-tier footing.


It wasn’t long ago that I raised an editorial toast to the reigning champion of password managers, LastPass, recommending it not only for its broad suite of premium features but — most crucially — for its refusal to let down its veteran fanbase of free users, even as it faced sweeping scrutiny over an ownership change. 

A moment of silence, then, for our beloved fallen freeware: As of March 16, LastPass free-tier users will only be able to use the service on just one device type — either desktop or mobile, but not both. Goodnight, sweet prince.

The move tragically undermines a key security principle that’s made LastPass’s free version so effective at core security — its seamless multiplatform integration. Using a password manager to boost security, perhaps more so than many other privacy products, pivots on a fulcrum of maximum user convenience. If not immediately and consistently visible during all browsing, a password manager can quickly be forgotten, and your ever-increasing number of passwords become more readily stored in a browser itself (a much less secure option). 

With more types of internet-connected devices in users’ hands — and with a digital divide contributing to a broader shift toward accessing the internet via phone — internet use is becoming more fluid. So a free password manager that can’t adroitly pivot between a user’s devices just isn’t going to cut it. 

Along with losing multiplatform access on March 16, people using LastPass’s free tier also will lose email customer support beginning May 17. Password managers are arguably the most intimate service in our digital lives. Used well, they hold the keys to our individual kingdoms. While their encryption typically blinds password managers’ parent companies from viewing your actual passwords, LastPass still offered a bunker-busting option to reset a free-tier user’s master password in an emergency. 

Now imagine being a free-tier user, caught overseas trying to negotiate a login issue, and the company you trust with more access than any other won’t even reply to an email. Ouch.

These factors combine to nullify any competitive advantage its free-tier service gained LastPass, and draws it into closer combat with its peers. Meanwhile, 1Password has been closing in on the crown steadily, even as it touts only razor-thin marginal victories in key areas. We’re looking forward to getting you fresh CNET reviews of 1Password and several of its peers soon. In the meantime, however, here’s where the two password-privacy titans stand in comparison.



1Password is closing in on LastPass’s lead in password management since LastPass announced its new free-tier restrictions. With its hyper-flexible platform compatibility, transparency-boosting company policies, robust security features, and silky-smooth interface — 1Password leaves us wondering whether LastPass can hold onto its crown. 


LastPass’s legacy is swiftly souring after announcing its prized free tier will be limited to use on just one device. LastPass has never been at greater risk of being dethroned, as its security and compatibility advantages over 1Password are reduced to razor-thin marginal wins. 

Cost-effectiveness: 1Password for singles, LastPass for families

Both of these password managers are comparable in base single-subscription price, but 1Password ekes out a lead by just a few pennies. 

A single one-year subscription to 1Password costs $34.88 and comes with unlimited login storage, 1GB of document storage and optional two-factor authentication through Yubikey for additional security. LastPass offers the same for $35.

LastPass beats 1Password on family plans, though. LastPass’s family plan costs $4 a month and allows up to six users, while 1Password family plans start at $5 per month and allow only five users. 

Both managers offer a trial period, but LastPass is better, offering you 30 days compared to 1Password’s seven.

Platform compatibility: 1Password (by a nose)

Both managers work on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhoneand iPad. Both offer ways to work with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera. On mobile, the two come to a draw. But on your laptop? 1Password’s got native apps that run with its browser extensions, while LastPass just relies on browser plug-ins. This gives it a slight advantage in flexibility, but only in outlier cases. 

1Password also has a Chrome OS app that lets 1Password live in your browser, and offers keyboard shortcuts for fast-searching your logins across all of its desktop options. And if you want to run a leaner version of 1Password, you can also use its mini-apps on Windows and MacOS. 

Because the managers are both browser-focused, the compatibility factor also gives you an idea of their overall usability — how they look and feel for an average user. If you have a sluggish machine or are working with extremely limited processing power, LastPass’s browser extensions are your better option for a speedy browsing experience. 

Comparing for visual ease, though, LastPass organizes your password vault in a nested folder system, while 1Password’s similar system also lets you add tags to your logins. Can’t remember the name of that movie site you were using last week? Just search “entertainment” in 1Password’s tags to see the list of streaming sites you logged into. 


1Password, like LastPass, works across Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone and iPad.


Security: Both are secure, but 1Password is more transparent

LastPass beats 1Password hands-down on one important security perk — password generation. While both have random password generators, LastPass’ spits out stronger passwords more quickly than 1Password with a one-click process. You can’t customize the parameters of password generation like you can in 1Passwords, but that’s arguably stronger since it reduces the human error factor by default. Even with less parameter customization, LastPass’ generator settings can still be more easily adjusted for sites that are picky about password selection. You can also enable LastPass to automatically update your passwords. 

Overall, though, 1Password has the edge. 

Both LastPass and 1Password encrypt your logins locally to normal AES-256 standards — meaning your passwords are encrypted before they’re sent across the internet — rather than relying on a cloud-based service to scramble them later. And LastPass does offer more convenient two-factor authentication, so you’d think it would have an advantage there, but that’s not necessarily the case. 

1Password also offers two-factor authentication but its onboarding process gives it a superior security advantage over LastPass. 


LastPass and 1Password both encrypt your logins locally before they’re sent across the internet.


For LastPass, you only need a master password to create your vault and access it across all platforms. With 1Password, you use a master password to access your vault across platforms but during setup you’ll need that master password plus a security key. 1Password also boosts privacy by offering a convenient QR code setup option so you don’t risk exposing that key via manual typing. On Macs, you can use Touch ID to unlock 1Password, and on iOS devices you can use Face ID as well. 

1Password’s Watchtower feature adds another inch to its narrow competitive edge. Watchtower regularly scans the dark web for any appearance of your unique credentials, alerting you if it finds your info out-of-pocket. LastPass offers a similar feature called Dark Web Monitoring. While we’re excited to get a closer comparison on the two features in the future, for now the difference appears to be that Watchtower lets you select which sections of your vault you want it to check for. This ability to create intra-account bulkheads could offer you more control over the flow of data between your manager and your credentials. 

While some might point out that LastPass’s history of bugs and breaches makes it a less certain bet, I’d say that’s a shortsighted argument: There’s always a strong correlation between the popularity of any security tool and the length of its bug rap sheet. There are three more important factors to weigh: the damage incurred by the breach, the company’s bug-killing and prevention process and the company’s transparency. 

While LastPass has competently addressed these factors in its own way, LastPass came into the spotlight again in February as researchers discovered seven web trackers attached to LastPass’s Android app. 

1Password wins for me on this one — for now — because it appears to have gone further than LastPass in the depth and substance of its third-party audits, and because it was found to have zero web trackers by the same organization.

Neither manager enjoys the distinction of being proudly open-source — like BitWarden, which is racing forward to grab the baton of best free password manager — but 1Password seems to be striving for maximum transparency. And that’s a move worthy of the crown. 

We’re looking forward to seeing who ends up with that crown in our forthcoming reviews, but for now the competition between 1Password and LastPass is just too close to call — and that should worry LastPass regardless of the outcome.

First published on Feb. 26, 2021 at 11:16 a.m. PT.



HT Foodie

Everything You Need To Know About Soul Food, According To Chef Millie Peartree


Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #foodie-all


Trying to differentiate soul food from Southern food shouldn’t be complicated. While not all Southern food is considered soul food, all soul food is definitely Southern.

Soul food is an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African-Americans in the Southern United States. The expression “soul food” originated in the mid-1960s, when “soul” was a common word used to describe African-American culture. At its core, soul food is basic, down-home cooking that’s been passed down through many generations, with its roots in the rural South.

The staples of soul food cooking are beans, greens, cornmeal (used in cornbread, hush puppies, johnnycakes, and as a coating for fried fish), and pork. Pork has been almost limitless in a number of uses in soul food, from seasoning vegetables and stews to dehydrating and pickling staples like pork rinds and pig feet and ears. (Of course, my smoked meat of choice is turkey—and I won’t cook chitterlings.)

During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved African people were given meager food rations that were low in quality and nutritional value. We shouldn’t have to take the brunt of a stigma that was brought to our front door. Did you know fried chicken came to America in the 1900s by Scottish immigrants? Black folks just spiced it up and paired it with our famous collard greens. Collard greens—one of the oldest members of the cabbage family—are also deep in our history and date back to prehistoric times. The ancient Greeks grew kale and collards, although they made no distinction between them. But we did! (Fun Fact: In 2011, collards became the official vegetable of South Carolina.)

I believe we have evolved, though, in the ways we use some products. Just think about it: In African-American culture, we eat Hoppin’ John, which is a combination of rice and black-eyed peas; in Latin American countries, such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, they eat arroz congri—rice and black beans. There are many variations of macaroni and cheese, too, from a southern version with a custard added to the noodle mixture then baked to macaroni pie, which is prominent in Jamaican and West Indian countries. In French cuisine, béchamel sauce is added to noodles and topped with herbs and bread crumbs. All equally delicious in their own right, however each of them can stand on their own. 

And I believe the definition of soul food has expanded and should also come from the heart. Growing up, I remember traveling to the south with my mother. We would always stop at local restaurants. One thing I remember distinctly was fried okra that we purchased at a gas station in the outskirts of Beaufort, SC, where my late aunt Ola-Mae lived. I always recalled eating stewed okra and tomatoes with rice, but I’d never had it fried in a popcorn chicken-like version. I thought to myself, this is weird, but then again it was native to the community and area I was in. Up north, our gas stations would serve hot dogs and slushies, which is so New York. But in the south they served fried okra and sometimes gator bites. From that very moment as a little girl it resonated with me that you could have one ingredient that can be prepared in many different ways from state to state.

When I entered my early-to-mid-teens and I started to travel the country, it was very important to my mother that I was able to explore the world and do things that she wasn’t necessarily able to do while growing up. My first trip was to London and Paris at the age of 16, my second international trip was to Greece and Italy. Throughout these educational tours, I made it my business to try all of the local cuisines and re-create them at home. Oftentimes, I found that what I thought was native to a country was a fusion of food that we ate back in the States. One vivid memory I have was in Athens, Greece, I ate at a Chinese restaurant and had gyro fried rice with a side of chicken wings. When I spoke with the restaurant owner, he told me that when curating their menus they had to be very conscientious of tourists and people that were in the surrounding communities but without detouring from his original heritage. From that very moment 21 years ago, I learned the value of food appropriation and representation.

It is equally important to mention the history when we curate dishes. While it’s great to go to ethnic markets, grab a whole bunch of ingredients, and throw them into a pot, you can’t call it or rename it a soup or stew without crediting where you got those ingredients from. For anyone to just add an ingredient thinking you’re making a dish, it’s important that you highlight the origins, feel and embrace the culture.

Food tells stories and sometimes the history makes you appreciate a certain cuisine a little more. 

Happy cooking…and don’t forget to share a meal.

You can keep up with Chef Millie Peartree on her Instagram, @chefmilliepeartree. You can also see more of her work on our YouTube page.

MILLIE PEARTREE Contributing Writer – Bronx Chef Millie Peartree started cooking at a very young age, inspired by her mother and her time growing up in the southern United States.



HT Home & Garden

TIP: 5 ways you can increase your home’s value for under $400

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #homegarden-all


If you’re hoping to put your home on the market, there are things you can do to help get it sold.

In metro Atlanta, the average number of days on the market in December 2020 was 53, a 17.2% decrease year over year, according to To help you stay on track with getting your old home off the market and moving into your new one with ease, HGTV has several tips for how you can boost your home’s value.

Here are 5 methods you can use to increase the worth of your dwelling. Plus, you won’t have to spend more than $400 to do it.

Get a home inspection

This isn’t just an option for purchasing a new house. Having your existing home inspected by a professional can help you discover small issues that you can have repaired. A simple issue, such as a hidden water leak, could be spotted by a persistent earthy or musty smell, you could have gone noseblind to. Roto-Rooter recommends having a plumber come out as soon as the issue is spotted to prevent further potential damage.

Landscape with low-maintenance

You may not have a green thumb, but having good landscaping can boost your home’s curb appeal. A survey by real estate referral company HomeLight found that 94% of agents said great curb appeal leads to money being deposited to you at closing — it adds value. Choose plants at your local garden center that don’t require frequent watering. Plants native to your region or ones that are drought-tolerant are good options.

Ditch the popcorn ceiling

Popular beginning in the 1970s, popcorn ceilings — also known as acoustic ceilings or stucco ceilings — are an easy DIY removal process. Artichitectural Digest’s Clever has some tips on how to do it, but be sure to have your home tested for asbestos beforehand, especially if your house was built before the ‘80s.

“Prior to the early 1980s, asbestos was an ingredient that many used in textured popcorn ceilings,” contractor Justin Krzyston, president of Stonehurst Construction and Design, told the digital brand.

Install energy-efficient lighting fixtures

If your ceiling fan clicks or makes any other noise while it’s on, it’s time to update it. Swap out your old fixtures for new ones that offer energy-efficiency. That way, they’ll cut down on electricity costs and also provide a modern look to your home. The Home Depot has a tutorial on how you can replace a ceiling fan. You can also make swaps for your lighting to bring in a contemporary appearance.

Deep clean your home

Scrub your home from top to bottom and hire a cleaning service to do the job. They can get into the corners and window sills that you may skip when you do your regular cleanings. You don’t have to spend a pretty penny to enlist these services. House cleanings can cost between $50 and $90 an hour.



Health And Wellness

Gum disease increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall 


– A study has found that people with active periodontitis, or gum disease, have a greater risk of experiencing major cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

– People who have had gum disease in the past but no longer have inflamed gums do not appear to be at greater risk.

– The study suggests that gum disease leads to increased arterial inflammation, which is responsible for cardiovascular events.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is a serious infection of the soft tissues that surround the teeth. Without treatment, gum disease can lead to bone destruction and, ultimately, tooth loss.

Bacteria in dental plaque, or tartar, cause gum disease by triggering an inflammatory response that steadily erodes soft tissue and bone.

In the early stages of the disease, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red and may bleed. Without treatment, the gums may start to recede from the teeth, there may be bone loss, and the teeth can loosen or fall out.

Dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush twice a day and flossing once a day to prevent the buildup of plaque and reduce the chances of gum disease.

They also recommend undergoing scaling and debridement twice a year, which is the only way to remove plaque that has built up below the gumline.

The incidence of gum disease increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of people aged at least 30 years in the United States have gum disease to some degree. This figure increases to 70.1% among people aged at least 65 years.

There is a clear association between gum disease and a wide range of illnesses that involve inflammation, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and heart disease.

However, scientists have found it challenging to prove a direct, causal link between gum disease and these conditions because they have several risk factors in common, such as smoking.

A new study led by researchers at two institutions in Massachusetts, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, in Boston, and the Forsyth Institute, in Cambridge, among others, provides evidence that gum disease really can set people on the road to major cardiovascular events, such as strokes and heart attacks.

“If you’re in the age zone for cardiovascular disease or have known cardiovascular disease, ignoring your periodontal disease can actually be dangerous and may increase your risk for a heart attack,” says lead study author Dr. Thomas Van Dyke, the senior member of staff at the Forsyth Institute.

The researchers have published their findings in the Journal of Periodontology.

Ongoing inflammation

For their study, the team reviewed PET and CT scans of 304 individuals for signs of inflammation associated with gum disease and inflammation in the arteries.

The scans had been done for other purposes, mostly during cancer screening. By the time that follow-up scans were performed, around 4 years later, 13 individuals had experienced a major cardiovascular event.

The researchers discovered that individuals with signs of inflammation associated with active gum disease at the start of the study were significantly more likely to have a cardiovascular event. 

Individuals with inflammation of their gums were also more likely to develop inflammation in their arteries, which can go on to cause cardiovascular disease.

Crucially, these associations remained statistically significant, even after the scientists had accounted for other factors associated with both gum disease and heart disease, including age, sex, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, or abnormal levels of fat in the blood.

The study found that individuals with signs of bone loss from previous gum disease, but no ongoing inflammation, were not at increased risk of developing heart disease.

“This is very definitely related to people who have currently active inflammatory disease,” says Dr. Van Dyke.

He acknowledges that the sample size was relatively small, so scientists will need to carry out larger studies to confirm the findings.

Primed immune cells

The authors speculate that local inflammation associated with gum disease activates and mobilizes immune cells in bone marrow. These cells, in turn, trigger inflammation in the arteries.

A previous study in animals, reported by Medical News Today, found that gum disease primes immune cells called neutrophils in bone marrow, which then overreact when they encounter signs of infection elsewhere in the body.

Neutrophils release immune signaling molecules known as cytokines, which exacerbate inflammation.

The authors of the present study hope that larger studies will confirm their findings. They also hope that researchers will investigate whether treating gum disease can reduce arterial inflammation and thereby reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.



HT Movie TV

Box Office: ‘Tom & Jerry’ Shows Claws With $13.7M Bow

by Pamela McClintock | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #reviews-all


The live-action/CGI hybrid scored the second-best domestic opening of the entire pandemic as families turned out to watch the feature adaptation of the iconic feline and mouse frenemies.

Tom & Jerry made a number of friends at the weekend box office with a North American debut of $13.7 million from 2,475 theaters and a global total of $38.8 million through Sunday.

Domestically, the feature film about the iconic alley cat and pesky mouse who are frenemies scored the second-best three-day launch of the pandemic behind fellow Warner Bros. release Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.7 million), and of 2021, as more cinemas reopen across the country.

The strong debut of the family pic — at least in the COVID-19 era — is a good sign for Hollywood as New York City theaters prepare to open on March 5 (Los Angeles remains closed). It’s also a win, at least in the short term, for Warners’ policy of opening its 2021 titles simultaneously in theaters on HBO Max.

Roughly half of the country’s cinemas remain closed, according to best estimates.

Directed by Tim Story and based on the cartoon characters of the same name created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom & Jerry’s live-action cast is led by Chloë Grace Moretz.

Family products dominated the chart. Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age fell just 30 percent even with competition from Tom & Jerry. Croods 2 grossed $1.2 million in its 14th outing from 1,1912 locations for a domestic haul of $52.4 million and $156.2 million globally.

The competition for kids will heat up further when Disney debuts Raya and the Last Dragon on March 5 both in cinemas on Disney+ for a $30 upcharge.

Disney and Pixar’s Soul has crossed $100 million at the foreign box office — it was only available on Disney+ in the U.S. — for a total of $111.7 million in ticket sales.

More to come.




HT Local News Travel News

Racial slurs fly, fight breaks out on American Airlines flight, plane diverts to Phoenix

Melissa Yeager | Arizona Republic

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #travel-all #local-all


A mile-high argument over a conversation involving racial slurs caused an American Airlines flight headed to Los Angeles to divert to Phoenix this week, police say. 

Phoenix police met American Airlines flight 776 from Dallas as it arrived at Sky Harbor International Airport at about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, and arrested Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodriguez, 29, according to police. 

“Witnesses reported that the two women were using racial slurs when a male passenger asked them to stop using that language. Kelly Pichardo became upset and allegedly spit at the male passenger who had asked her to stop using that language,” Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a Phoenix police spokesperson, said in an emailed statement. 

Fortune said the man began recording the incident on his cellphone and that’s when Rodriguez allegedly struck his hand to prevent him from recording. 

“Their behavior was disturbing and unacceptable, and they have been placed on our internal refuse list pending further investigation,” Derek Walls, a spokesperson for American Airlines, said in a statement to The Arizona Republic.

“We continue to investigate this incident and are working directly with impacted customers to ensure their well-being. We thank our crew members for their professionalism in managing a difficult situation.”

Pichardo faces a charge of disorderly conduct and Rodriguez faces charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

The flight continued to Los Angeles without incident.



HT Business Travel News

Delta pays bonuses to managers; no profit-sharing payouts for workers

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #business-all #travel-all


Delta Air Lines is paying out thousands of dollars of bonuses to its managers, even though there is no profit-sharing payout for workers this year.

Atlanta-based Delta, which cut employees’ pay last year amid a steep decline in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is giving managers, directors and and senior vice presidents one-time payouts ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The management bonuses also come as airlines get billions of dollars in federal stimulus funding and push for passage of American Rescue Plan legislation including billions more in airline aid.

Delta said in a written statement: “While all Delta people were affected by the worst year in our history, following a comprehensive pay review of all levels in our organization below the executive officer level, we identified levels that were disproportionately impacted as a result of last year’s events and made a one-time adjustment payment.”

Many managers and officers are paid significantly more than the airlines’ ground workers and flight attendants.

Delta last year cut employees’ hours and pay by 25%, along with manager pay cuts, and cut officers’ pay by 50% before restoring full pay this year.

The airline’s historic $12.4 billion loss for 2020 meant that employees also got no profit-sharing bonuses. A year ago the company paid out $1.6 billion in profit-sharing to employees, amounting to about two months of pay.

The company says upper-level managers had bigger cuts in total compensation, since a greater share of their pay is at risk and dependent on the company’s performance.

The CARES Act funding for airlines included limits on executive compensation that applied to officers and others with total compensation above certain thresholds. Delta said it did not violate CARES Act provisions with the bonuses.

The View from the Wing blog by Gary Leff, which first reported the bonuses Sunday, said Delta is “voluntarily taking on additional payroll cost” as the federal government considers more airline payroll subsidies — though the Delta bonuses also suggest airlines “may be on the cusp of recovering.”

Separately, Delta said in a December filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its board of directors’ compensation committee had approved a new management incentive plan for “cash incentive award opportunities beginning Jan. 1, 2021.”

It says the plan “provides that there is no payout to employees under Delta’s broad-based profit sharing program for a plan year, any payout earned under the Plan by most management participants, including participants employed by Delta as executive vice presidents or more senior officers, will not exceed the target award level and, for those executive officer participants, the payout will not be paid in cash, but in shares of restricted stock.”

Delta said that plan does not apply to the current management bonuses.



HT Woof Post


Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #woofpost-all


Every year, one of the large pet insurance companies puts out a report on the top accidents and illnesses that made dogs visit the vet that year. Here are the conditions that made the list in 2019.

One – 26% of canine veterinary visits resulted from stomach issues, including inflammation, or the dog eating something toxic or dangerous. These include foods toxic to dogs such as grapes or the artificial sweetener xylitol and intestinal obstructions caused by ingestion of bones and toys. Keep an eye out on what your dog eats!

Two – 17% of visits were for skin conditions such as allergies, insect bites, hot spots, bacterial infections, mange and rashes.

Three – 14% of visits were because of pain, usually caused by aging and arthritis. But pain can also be caused by genetic conditions and accidents causing injury.

Four – 10%of canine veterinary visits were for ear infections secondary to a rash, allergies, yeast or bacterial infections and sometimes a cyst or even cancer. 

Five – 7.7% of visits were for eye problems including glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts and abrasions and infections.


Six – 5.8% of visits were because the dog had a growth or lump on the skin of some kind. These could be cysts or a tumor, either benign or cancerous.

Seven – 5% of veterinary visits were for cancer. Signs could be seeing or feeling a tumor or mass, weight loss, pain and other symptoms. Surgery and/or chemotherapy may be needed.

Eight – 4.8% of canine vet visits were for injuries to the cruciate ligament in the dog’s knee joint (similar to the ACL in humans) and requires surgical repair.

Nine – 4.8% of visits were for treatment of urinary infections. Be sure to allow your dog out several times a day to urinate and also provide plenty of fresh water to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.

Ten – 4.5% of canine vet visits were for heart conditions including heart enlargement, valve disease, heart worm heart disease and congestive heart failure.

Good nutrition, maintaining a normal weight for your dog, regular exercise and regular vet checkups can go a long way in the prevention of any of these common ailments.




HT Local News

House votes to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ community

By The Associated Press

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #local-all


WASHINGTON — The Democratic-led House passed a bill Thursday that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation’s labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

The bill passed by a vote of 224-206 with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting yes.

The Equality Act amends existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas. Supporters say the law before the House on Thursday is long overdue and would ensure that every person is treated equally under the law.

“The LGBT community has waited long enough,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, who is gay and the bill’s lead sponsor. “The time has come to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all of Americans regardless of who they are and who they love.”


Republicans broadly opposed the legislation. They echoed concerns from religious groups and social conservatives who worry the bill would force people to take actions that contradict their religious beliefs. They warned that faith-based adoption agencies seeking to place children with a married mother and father could be forced to close, or that private schools would have to hire staff whose conduct violates tenets of the school’s faith.

“This is unprecedented. It’s dangerous. It’s an attack on our first freedom, the first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights, religious liberty,” said Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana.

The House passed the Equality Act in the last Congress with unanimous Democratic support and the backing of eight Republicans, but Donald Trump’s White House opposed the measure and it was not considered in the Senate, where 60 votes will be needed to overcome procedural hurdles. Democrats are trying to revive it now that they have control of Congress and the White House, but passage still appears unlikely in the evenly divided Senate.

The Supreme Court provided the LGBTQ community with a resounding victory last year in a 6-3 ruling that said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applied to LGBTQ workers when it comes to barring discrimination on the basis of sex. Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states.

Biden made clear his support for the Equality Act in the lead-up to last year’s election, saying it would be one of his first priorities.

Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania, said the Equality Act is needed to end “the patchwork of state laws” around gay rights and create “uniform nationwide protection.”

“It’s been personal since my baby sister came out to me almost 40 years ago,” Scanlon said. “For many people all across this country and across this House, that is when the fight hits home.”

The debate among lawmakers on Capitol Hill also become personal. Rep. Marie Newman, D-Illinois, whose daughter is transgender, tweeted a video of herself placing a transgender flag outside her office. Her office is across the hall from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, who was recently blocked from serving on two committees because of past comments and tweets.

“Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is “disgusting, immoral, and evil.” Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door.,” Newman tweeted.

Greene responded with a video of her own in which she puts up a sign that reads: “There are Two genders: MALE and FEMALE. “Trust The Science!”

“Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called “Equality” Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms. Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Greene tweeted.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, pointed to the exchange to advocate for the bill Thursday.

“It breaks my heart that it is necessary, but the fact is, and in fact we had a sad event here even this morning, demonstrating the need for us to have respect,” Pelosi said, at one point pausing and taking a deep sigh. “Not even just respect, but take pride, take pride in our LGBT community.”

Gay and lesbian members of Congress spoke about how meaningful the bill is for them.

“Look, we’re not asking for anything that any other American doesn’t already enjoy,” said Rep. Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire. “We just want to be treated the same. We just want politicians in Washington to catch up with the times and the Constitution.”

Leaders at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote lawmakers this week to say they had grave concerns about the bill. Among the concerns they raised is that the bill would expand the government’s definition of public places, forcing church halls and equivalent facilities to host functions that violate their beliefs, which could lead to closing their doors to the broader community.

Republicans cited an array of consequences they said could occur if the bill passed into law, from eliminating the existing ban on the use of government funds for abortion, to allowing transgender people into women’s shelters and transgender youth into girls’ sports. Democrats likened the effort to past civil rights battles in the nation’s history.

Cicillini challenged Republicans, “I hope you will bear in mind how your vote will be remembered years from now.”

Some of the nation’s largest corporations are part of a coalition in support of the legislation, including Apple Inc., AT&T, Chevron and 3M Co., just to name a few of the hundreds of companies that have endorsed it.



COVID-19 Updates Health And Wellness

Johnson & Johnson’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID vaccine


Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #covid-all 


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways.

The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

“The more vaccines that have high efficacy that we can get into play, the better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said ahead of the FDA’s ruling.

Shipments of a few million doses to be divided among states could begin as early as Monday. By the end of March, J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S., and 100 million by summer.

J&J also is seeking authorization for emergency use of its vaccine in Europe and from the World Health Organization. Worldwide, the company aims to produce about 1 billion doses globally by the end of the year. On Thursday, the island nation of Bahrain became the first to clear its use.

On Sunday, a U.S. advisory committee will meet to recommend how to prioritize use of the single-dose vaccine. And one big challenge is what the public wants to know: Which kind of vaccine is better?

“In this environment, whatever you can get — get,” said Dr. Arnold Monto of the University of Michigan, who chaired an FDA advisory panel that unanimously voted Friday that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.

Data is mixed on how well all the vaccines being used around the world work, prompting reports in some countries of people refusing one kind to wait for another.

In the U.S., the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna shots were 95% protective against symptomatic COVID-19. J&J’s one-dose effectiveness of 85% against severe COVID-19 dropped to 66% when moderate cases were rolled in. But there’s no apples-to-apples comparison because of differences in when and where each company conducted its studies, with the Pfizer and Moderna research finished before concerning variants began spreading.

NIH’s Collins said the evidence of effectiveness shows no reason to favor one vaccine over another.

“What people I think are mostly interested in is, is it going to keep me from getting really sick?” said NIH’s Collins. “Will it keep me from dying from this terrible disease? The good news is all of these say yes to that.”

Also, J&J is testing two doses of its vaccine in a separate large study. Collins said if a second dose eventually is deemed better, people who got one earlier would be offered another.

The FDA cautioned that it’s too early to tell if someone who gets a mild or asymptomatic infection despite vaccination still could spread the virus.

There are clear advantages aside from the convenience of one shot. Local health officials are looking to use the J&J option in mobile vaccination clinics, homeless shelters, even with sailors who are spending months on fishing vessels — communities where it’s hard to be sure someone will come back in three to four weeks for a second vaccination.

The J&J vaccine also is easier to handle, lasting three months in the refrigerator compared to the Pfizer and Moderna options, which must be frozen.

“We’re chomping at the bit to get more supply. That’s the limiting factor for us right now,” said Dr. Matt Anderson of UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, where staffers were readying electronic health records, staffing and vaccine storage in anticipation of offering J&J shots soon.

The FDA said studies detected no serious side effects. Like other COVID-19 vaccines, the main side effects of the J&J shot are pain at the injection site and flu-like fever, fatigue and headache.

The FDA said there is “a remote chance” that people may experience a severe allergic reaction to the shot, a rare risk seen with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in adults 18 and older for now. But like other vaccine makers, J&J is about to begin a study of its vaccine in teens before moving to younger children later in the year, and also plans a study in pregnant women.

All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it. But they’re made in very different ways.

J&J’s shot uses a cold virus like a Trojan horse to carry the spike gene into the body, where cells make harmless copies of the protein to prime the immune system in case the real virus comes along. It’s the same technology the company used in making an Ebola vaccine, and similar to COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and China’s CanSino Biologics.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with a different technology, a piece of genetic code called messenger RNA that spurs cells to make those harmless spike copies.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, already used in Britain and numerous other countries, is finishing a large U.S. study needed for FDA clearance. Also in the pipeline, Novavax uses a still different technology, made with lab-grown copies of the spike protein, and has reported preliminary findings from a British study suggesting strong protection.

Still other countries are using “inactivated vaccines,” made with killed coronavirus by Chinese companies Sinovac and Sinopharm.


Associated Press journalists Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Marion Renault contributed to this report.