Mayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,I remain in contact with the local hospital and doctors, and trends in COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease. Fortunately, we have seen no spike, even as our seasonal population increases. I want to thank everybody for their vigilance, but I also want to urge everybody not to let their guard down. We all must strictly adhere to social distancing and face covering guidance.On Monday, retail stores can open for indoor shopping and restaurants can open for outdoor dining (with some restrictions in place). The city is working with owners to make whatever reasonable accommodations we can to help them do business under the new guidelines.On June 22, outdoor pools and outdoor recreation businesses can open. The governor has lifted stay-at-home orders, and as many as 50 people are now allowed to gather indoors for things like church services. By July 3, it is expected that up to 500 people will be allowed to gather outside. Under this new guidance, the city is working with the school district on plans for a high school graduation ceremony tentatively on Thursday, July 9.I am happy to report that we are planning for a safe Fourth of July with fireworks and for Night in Venice on July 18. I think it’s important for the city to maintain these traditional celebrations in a year in which we have all sacrificed so much. We will provide further guidance as the planning process continues.Working in partnership with Cape May County and the Municipal Utilities Authority, we were able to mill and temporarily pave Bay Avenue on Wednesday and Thursday. The work restored the road to a safe and drivable condition for the summer. The county will be back in the fall to complete the project and do final paving. Because it maintains a working wastewater system, this project is extremely important to everybody in Ocean City.At a preconstruction meeting on Thursday, the city learned that beach replenishment is now expected to begin on June 27. The work will restore beaches between Seaview Road and 13th Street over the course of about eight weeks.I also want to let you know that twice-a-week pickup for trash and recycling begins on Monday, June 15. This schedule will be in effect until Sept. 12, and there are no changes to the normal pickup days for Independence Day and Labor Day holidays.I hope you all have a great weekend.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillian
For illustration only (Image BP)By Ron BoussoLONDON (Reuters) – Global energy demand continued its sluggish growth last year as China’s growth fell to its lowest in nearly 20 years while renewables flourished, BP <BP.L> said in a report on Tuesday.Slower demand growth helped stall the acceleration of greenhouse gases emissions for a third year to levels not seen since the 1980s, although emissions remained well above targets set out by nations in Paris in 2015 to fight climate change, BP said.Global energy demand grew by 1 percent in 2016, a rate similar to those seen in the previous two years but well below the 10-year average rate of 1.8 percent, BP said in its benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy.“This is a third year where we’ve seen weak growth in world energy demand… The new normal is that all of this growth is coming from developing economies,” particularly China and India, BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale told reporters.China’s growth during 2015 and 2016, 1.2 and 1.3 percent respectively, although still the strongest in the world, marked its lowest over a two-year period since 1997-98.While the slowing energy demand growth was a result of sluggish global economic activity, it also stemmed from more efficient of engines and factories, he said.Among fossil fuels, oil consumption grew at the fastest annual rate at 1.6 percent last year as low crude prices boosted consumption.Oil production grew by half a percent, or 400,000 barrels per day, the lowest gain since 2009, as energy companies slashed spending.U.S. shale, or tight, oil production fell dramatically last year but has rebounded strongly in recent months as oil prices have risen, a factor that the market should get used to, Dale said.“U.S. tight oil is like a Weeble: It falls off but then it bounces back up again,” Dale said. “Any sense of trying to kill tight oil makes no sense.”As oil demand growth continues to outstrip production growth, global oil stocks which have plagued the market since 2014 will start falling “more materially” in the second half of this year, Dale said.Gas saw similar growth to oil.Cheaper and abundant gas supplies in the United States and China’s drive to switch to cleaner feedstock for its power plants led to a 1.7 percent drop in demand for coal, the most pollutant fossil fuel.Coal’s share in the energy mix declined to its lowest since 2004 at around 28 percent. Production saw its largest ever annual drop at 6.2 percent, BP said.“It feels to me like we are seeing a decisive break in coal relative to the past,” Dale said.RENEWABLES SURGERenewables such as solar and wind power were the fastest growing source of energy, rising by 12 percent and accounting for a third of the overall growth in demand.Still, renewables provide only 4 percent of the world’s primary energy as China overtook the United States for the first time as the largest producer of renewable power.The slowing growth in energy demand, the shift to cleaner fuels and higher energy efficiency meant that carbon emissions grew by 0.1 percent last year, similar to the previous two years, making it the lowest three-year average for emissions growth since 1981-83.“While welcome, it is not yet clear how much of this break from the past is structural and will persist. We need to keep up our focus and efforts on reducing carbon emissions,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said.(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely)
Brazilian legend Pele is in an intensive care unit after his condition worsened during a stay in hospital.The 74-year-old, real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was admitted for the second time this month on Tuesday.And his urinary infection is thought to have worsened, leading doctors to take the three-time World Cup winner into the ICU.The former footballer, who is now famous for his humanitarian work, had an operation on November 12 to remove kidney stones and was discharged on November 15 before being re-admitted this week.