A Veteran Tried to Credit Black Americans on Memorial Day. His Mic Got Muted.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter was speaking at an American Legion service in Hudson, Ohio, on Monday when he was intentionally silenced.

#american-legion, #black-people, #civil-war-us-1861-65, #hudson-ohio, #kemter-barnard, #memorial-day, #ohio, #race-and-ethnicity, #slavery-historical

With Homicides Rising, Cities Brace for a Violent Summer

Homicide rates in large cities were up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year, according to criminologists.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #memorial-day, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #summer-season, #united-states

‘We’re Free Because They Were Brave’

Memorial Day had a special significance a year after many ceremonies honoring the nation’s fallen were canceled because of the pandemic.

#arlington-va, #barnstable-mass, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #florida, #memorial-day, #myrtle-beach-sc, #veterans

Sure, It’s Raining. But It’s Still the Start of Summer in New York City.

The wet Memorial Day weekend did not quite live up to the celebration of the city’s reopening that many New Yorkers were hoping for, but they made the best of it.

#brooklyn-cyclones, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #memorial-day, #new-york-city, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas

We Were Called to Sacrifice as a Nation. We Didn’t Answer.

The need to look beyond war for some non-martial way to cultivate communal responsibility is more urgent now than ever.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #memorial-day, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

New York City Traffic is Back,According to Reporters

In New York City, traffic has roared back to nearly prepandemic levels; perhaps no one has a better front-row seat than traffic reporters.

#bridges-and-tunnels, #commuting, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #memorial-day, #metropolitan-transportation-authority, #new-york-city, #news-and-news-media, #ny1, #roads-and-traffic, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #transit-systems, #transportation-department-nyc

Memorial Day Travel Forecast: Crowds, Traffic and Where is Our Waitress?

As Americans hit the road for the holiday, they may find things crowded, more expensive and with less staff to keep things running smoothly.

#american-automobile-assn, #american-hotel-and-lodging-assn, #automobiles, #camps-and-camping, #cape-cod-mass, #car-services-and-livery-cabs, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #mackinac-island-mich, #memorial-day, #national-park-service, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #outer-banks-nc, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #road-trips, #shortages, #taxicabs-and-taxicab-drivers, #transportation-security-administration, #travel-and-vacations

5 Things to Do on Memorial Day Weekend

Our critics and writers have selected noteworthy cultural events to experience virtually and in person in New York City.

#art, #brooklyn-academy-of-music, #carolines-on-broadway, #central-park-manhattan-ny, #children-and-childhood, #comedy-and-humor, #douglas-dezron, #fellini-federico, #film-forum, #harlem-manhattan-ny, #high-line-manhattan-ny, #jazz, #mahama-ibrahim, #mastroianni-marcello, #memorial-day, #morningside-park-manhattan-ny, #movies, #music, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #seneca-village-manhattan-ny, #vimeo-llc

The TV Commercial, Once Advertising’s Main Event, Suffers in the Pandemic

People are watching more television these days. But companies are spending less time, effort and money on TV ads.

#advertising-and-marketing, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kantar-media, #memorial-day, #nbcuniversal, #quarantines, #television, #upfronts-television, #viacomcbs-inc

Even on Memorial Day, ‘You Can’t Escape’ Coronavirus

At beaches, seaside arcades and other attractions, many people hoped to turn the page from the past few months. But neither the weather nor the pandemic made that easy.

#arlington-national-cemetery, #beaches, #california, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #florida, #holyoke-soldiershome-holyoke-mass, #memorial-day, #veterans

Joe Biden, Wearing Mask, Appears in Public at a Veterans Memorial

The presumptive Democratic nominee made a public appearance for the first time since mid-March, after campaigning from home for more than two months.

#biden-jill-tracy-jacobs, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-reopenings, #memorial-day, #presidential-election-of-2020

New Yorkers Embark on a Summer of Uncertainty

Memorial Day weekend in New York City usually marks the beginning of a vibrant summer to come. But this year traditions have been altered under the shadow of the coronavirus.

#amusement-and-theme-parks, #beaches, #butler-julie-r-1957-2020, #coney-island-brooklyn-ny, #copeland-raymond-1973-2020, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fred-the-godson, #german-ferdi-1978-2020, #holidays-and-special-occasions, #memorial-day, #new-york-city, #your-feed-onlyinnewyork

The Coronavirus Doesn’t Mean We Can Forget Our Promise to Veterans

As the number of deaths in their ranks continues to rise, we need to revisit our enduring commitment to their care.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #memorial-day, #veterans

The Station: Hertz files for bankruptcy, hailing “self-driving” scooters, Memorial Day travel

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox.

Hi and welcome back to The Station. Memorial Day is this coming Monday, a holiday meant to honor military personnel who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Over the years, it has evolved for many Americans who use the three-day weekend to fire up the grill, go camping, head to the beach, local amusement park or take a road trip. It’s become the unofficial kickoff to the summer season — even though we still have more than three weeks of spring.

Every year around this time, AAA provides an estimate for travel over the weekend. For the first time in 20 years, AAA said it would not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19.

The travel forecast often reflects the state of the economy or at least certain aspects of it. For instance, Memorial Day 2009 holds the record for the lowest travel volume at nearly 31 million travelers. Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend, the second-highest travel volume on record since 2000, when the organization began tracking this data.

I will put my prognosticator hat on for a moment knowing I might very well be wrong (I’m sure ya’ll will remind me later). I expect this weekend to be a low travel holiday, but I fully anticipate this summer will mark the return of the road trip. And that’s not just my forecast for the U.S. I expect Europeans will stick closer to home and opt for road and possibly train travel over long haul flights for their summer holidays. That has all kinds of implications, positive and negative. And it’s why I’m going to spend some time in the coming weeks driving a variety of new SUV models in search of road trip worthy vehicles.

This past week I drove the 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport V6 SEL (premium trim), a more smaller and approachable version of the massive three-row Atlas. I will share a few thoughts about it next week. After that, I will be driving the 2020 Land Cruiser standard trim. Have a vehicle suggestion? Reach out and I’ll try to put it in my queue.

Reach out and email me at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com to share thoughts, criticisms, offer up opinions or tips. You can also send a direct message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.

Shall we get down to it? Vamos.


the station scooter1a

Micromobility had some good action this week so let’s dive on in. Here in San Francisco, Bird’s Scoot redeployed 300 electric kick scooters. By Memorial Day weekend, Scoot will have 500 electric scooters available. Additionally, Scoot expanded its scooter service area to serve more parts of San Francisco.

Over in Atlanta, GoX and Tortoise teamed up to deploy teleoperated electric scooters. In Peachtree Corners, GoX riders can hail a scooter equipped with tech from Tortoise. As Keaks, aka Kirsten Korosec, explained earlier this week, riders can request a scooter to come to them and once they’re done, the scooter will drive itself back to a parking spot.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Tier brought integrated helmets to its electric scooters. The foldable helmets fit inside a box attached to the scooter below the handlebars. This month, Tier plans to deploy 200 scooters equipped with helmets in Paris and Berlin. Over the summer, Tier will deploy an additional 5,000 helmet-equipped scooters. Additionally, given concerns about COVID-19, Tier is experimenting with an antibacterial, self-disinfecting handlebar technology from Protexus. Tier is testing these handlebars in Paris and Bordeaux.

Also, don’t miss my analysis of why micromobility may come back stronger after the pandemic.

Megan Rose Dickey

Deal of the week

money the station

Vroom, the online used car marketplace that has raised some $700 million since 2013, filed for an IPO this week. (Yes, IPOs qualify as deals in my book). It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under VRM with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter.

Vroom is an interesting company that I’ve been writing about for years now. And there have been times that I wondered if it would fold altogether. The company managed to keep raising funds though, most recently $254 million in December 2019 in a Series H round that valued the company at around $1.5 billion.

A look at the S-1 shows modest growth, rising losses and slim gross margins. Eck!

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Vroom’s revenue grew 39.3% in 2019 compared to 2018. During that same period, its gross margin fell from 7.1% to 4.9%. The company’s net losses as a percent of revenue rose from 10% in 2018 to 12% in 2019. (That doesn’t include costs relating to “accretion of redeemable convertible preferred stock.” By counting the non-cash cost, add $13 million to Vroom’s 2018 net loss and $132.8 million to its 2019 figure.)
  • In the first quarter of 2020, Vroom generated revenue of $375.8 million, leading to gross profit of $18.4 million, or about 4.9% of revenue. It also reported a net loss of $41.1 million in the first quarter, putting it on a run-rate to lose even more money in 2020 than it did in 2019.

TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm takes a look under Vroom’s hood and digs into why the company is heading to the public markets during this volatile time. Check it out.

Other deals:

Missfresh, a Chinese grocery delivery company backed by Tencent, is closing in on $500 million in new funding.

Autonomous aviation startup Xwing locked in a $10 million funding round before COVID-19 hit. Now the San Francisco-based startup is using the capital to hire talent and scale the development of its software stack as it aims for commercial operations later this year — pending FAA approvals. The Series A funding round was led by R7 Partners, with participation from early-stage VC Alven, Eniac Ventures and Thales Corporate Ventures.

Fly Now Pay Later, a London-based fintech startup focused on travel, raised £5 million in Series A equity funding and another £30 million in debt funding.

French startup Angell has signed a wide-ranging partnership with SEB, the French industrial company behind All-Clad, Krups, Moulinex, Rowenta, Tefal and others. As part of the deal, SEB will manufacture Angell’s electric bikes in a factory near Dijon, France. SEB’s investment arm, SEB Alliance, is also investing in Angell. The terms of the deal are undisclosed, but Angell says it plans to raise between $7.6 and $21.7 million with a group of investors that include SEB.

Layoffs, business disruptions and people

Signage is displayed at the Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rental counter at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Photo: Getty Images

Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, a move we’ve been anticipating for awhile now. The bankruptcy protection stems from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s why.

Once business trips and other travel was halted, Hertz was suddenly sitting on an unused asset — lots and lots of cars. It wasn’t just that the revenue spigot was turned off. Used car prices have dropped, further devaluing its fleet.

The company said that it has more than $1 billion in cash on hand, which it will use to keep the business operating through the bankruptcy process. Hertz also said its principal international operating regions, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand are not included in the U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings, nor are franchised locations.

Other layoffs:

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola has seen revenue drop by 95% in the last two months as India enforced a stay-at-home order for its 1.3 billion citizens in late March. You can guess what has happened as a result. Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in an internal email the company is cutting 1,400 jobs in India, or 35% of its workforce in the home market.

India’s top food delivery startup Swiggy is cutting 1,100 jobs and scaling down some adjacent businesses as it looks to reduce costs to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s something on the “new” job front

There’s been a lot of attention on autonomous delivery robots. These companies will most certainly struggle to become profitable. On-demand delivery is a tricky business. But COVID-19 might have inadvertently expanded the labor pool for these companies.

On-demand delivery startup Postmates has seen an increase in demand for its autonomous delivery robots known as Serve, which operate in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The company uses teleoperators, humans who remotely monitor and guide the autonomous robots. COVID-19 prompted Postmates to set up teleoperations centers within each employee’s home. Postmates sees potential to reach a new group of workers.

Tortoise, which we mentioned earlier in Micromobbin’, sees the same potential, according to its founder and CEO Dmitry Shevelenko.

A little bird

blinky cat bird green

We hear (and see) things. But we’re not selfish. We share!

For those not familiar with “a little bird,” this is a periodic section that shares insider tips that have been vetted. This week comes out of the super-hyped world of on-demand delivery. It’s a business that might be seeing a lot of demand. But demand doesn’t always square with profitability.

Take Postmates for example. The company has raised about $900 million to date, including a $225 million round announced in October that valued the company at about $2.5 billion. But now it seems that common shares are trading at a 45% discount on the secondary market, according to our sources.

Early investors do take money off the table from time to time. But it can also indicate other troubles worth watching out for. Postmates filed confidential IPO paperwork in February 2019, but those plans have been delayed. The company is also fighting for market share against giants like Doordash. A Uber-Grubhub merger would put it even with DoorDash.

That leaves Postmates in a distant fourth. Dan Primack over at Axios noted “multiple sources” have told him the company is seeking raise around $100 million in new private-market funding.

Other notable bits

Here are a few other items that caught my eye …

Amazon is joining India’s online food delivery market just as top local players Swiggy and Zomato reduce their workforce to steer through the coronavirus pandemic and months after Uber Eats’ exit from the nation.

GM has a “big team” working on an advanced version of its hands-free driving assistance system, Super Cruise, that will expand its capability beyond highways and apply it to city streets, the automaker’s vice president of global product development Doug Parks said during a webcasted interview at Citi’s 2020 Car of the Future Symposium.

Cake, the Stockholm-based mobility startup, debuted the Kalk OR, a 150-pound, battery-powered two-wheeler engineered for agile off-road riding and available in a street-legal version.

Nauto has launched a new feature in its driver behavior learning platform that is designed to detect imminent collisions to help reduce rear-end accidents. It works by taking in driver behavior data, vehicle movement, traffic elements, and contextual data to help predict and prevent collisions.

Organizers of the New York International Auto Show, once hoping to hold the rescheduled event in August, have decided to scrap the entire year. The show has been officially canceled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced Friday. The next show will take place April 2 to April 11, 2021. Press days will be March 31 and April 1.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is raising the price of its “Full Self-Driving” package of its Autopilot driver assistance package by around $1,000 on July 1. This has happened before and it will, I promise happen again. The Verge has a good breakdown of why. I, of course, care about the financial reasons. Right now, Tesla can only count about half of the revenue it generates from FSD. The other half is deferred revenue — money that Tesla can recognize on its balance sheet at a later date.

Wunder Mobility, the Hamburg-based startup that provides a range of mobility services, from carpooling to electric scooter rentals, announced the launch of Wunder Vehicles and a business-to-business partnership with Chinese EV manufacturer Yadea. Wunder Vehicles is a service that gives customers a toolkit of sorts to launch a fleet-sharing company. The company provides software, a marketing plan, data, financing options and the electric vehicles, which will come from Yadea.

Rad Power Bikes unveiled the newest iteration of its electric cargo bike. The RadWagon 4 has been fully redesigned from the ground up. Trucks VC’s Reilly Brennan recently described this on Twitter as the possible F-150 of micromobility. We hope to test it soon.

Image Credits: Rad Power Bikes

#atlanta, #automotive, #berlin, #bird, #europe, #kirsten-korosec, #megan-rose-dickey, #memorial-day, #paris, #san-francisco, #scooter, #transport, #transportation, #united-states, #vehicles, #vw

Too Many Memorial Days

For one veteran who’s also a Times journalist, there are too many fallen friends, and unending wars mean there will most likely be more.

#memorial-day, #new-york-times

The best Memorial Day sales on headphones, smartphones, and more tech

The Apple Watch Series 5.

Enlarge / The Apple Watch Series 5. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Greetings, Arsians! It’s Memorial Day weekend, so the Dealmaster is back with a special holiday edition of their usual tech deals roundup.

To be candid, Memorial Day sales aren’t typically known for providing big tech discounts, and that’s generally the case again this year. Most of the significant offers you’ll see out there apply to mattresses, home goods, and appliances instead of electronics. Per usual, those who can hold out until the holiday season will still see better prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

With that caveat said, we have seen a few good deals on noteworthy smartphones, headphones, video games, and other gadgets. Below are the best Memorial Day sales on electronics we could find.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#dealmaster, #memorial-day, #staff

Our Best Memorial Day Recipes

Here’s what to cook for the unofficial start of summer, even in quarantine.

#cooking-and-cookbooks, #memorial-day, #recipes

The Country Enters a Memorial Day Weekend to Remember (or Forget)

Communities are finding creative ways to celebrate the traditional start of summer in the midst of social distancing and coronavirus alarm.

#cape-cod-mass, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ironton-ohio, #memorial-day, #nantucket-mass, #natchez-miss, #ocean-city-md, #parades, #portland-me, #summer-season

I’ve Been Sounding Taps Since My Ship Was Attacked in 1945

I played Taps for my fallen brothers-in-arms after a kamikaze pilot attacked our ship during World War II. I now play it every year on Memorial Day.

#aviation-accidents-safety-and-disasters, #dover-nh, #memorial-day, #okinawa-and-other-ryukyu-islands-japan, #world-war-ii-1939-45

What Flying This Summer Will Look Like

New security and health policies at airports and on planes will make traveling this summer a bit stranger and, officials hope, safer.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #airport-security, #airports, #american-airlines, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delta-air-lines-inc, #memorial-day, #shutdowns-institutional, #southwest-airlines-company, #summer-season, #transportation-security-administration, #travel-and-vacations, #united-airlines

John Legend, Memorial Day Events and More Livestreaming This Week

Appointment viewing is back. Find out what online events to look for in coming days, and when to tune in.

#art, #books-and-literature, #dancing, #memorial-day, #movies, #music, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #theater, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

6 Things to Do This Memorial Day Weekend

Our writers offer suggestions for what to watch or listen to while we’re housebound.

#american-ballet-theater, #and-still-you-must-swing-dance, #classical-music, #comedy-and-humor, #comedy-warriors-healing-through-humor-movie, #country-music, #dancing, #grand-ole-opry-house, #guirgis-stephen-adly, #ives-charles-edward, #joyce-theater, #labyrinth-theater-co, #memorial-day, #music, #new-york-city-ballet, #our-lady-of-121st-street-play, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #seattle-symphony, #stars-and-stripes-ballet, #television, #theater, #wounded-warrior-project

Can Coney Island Survive This?

A dismal season is predicted. If there is one at all.

#amusement-and-theme-parks, #beaches, #central-amusement-international, #coney-island-brooklyn-ny, #coney-island-mermaid-parade, #coney-island-usa, #coronavirus-reopenings, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #lola-star-brooklyn-ny-retailer, #memorial-day, #small-business-administration, #summer-season

Yes, Jersey Shore Beaches Are Reopening. Here’s How They’re Doing It.

The coronavirus has upended the rhythms of summer at the shore, a 130-mile coastline that is equal parts economic engine and cultural touchstone.

#beaches, #better-days-album, #coastal-areas, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #john-david-lyon, #memorial-day, #murphy-philip-d-1957, #new-jersey, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #paul-m-kanitra, #renting-and-leasing-real-estate, #southside-johnnythe-asbury-jukes, #tony-vaz, #travel-and-vacations

Resort Towns Ask: Will There Be Summer?

With Memorial Day weekend approaching, areas that rely on tourists say not reopening would be devastating economically, but fear the consequences of opening too soon.

#cape-cod-mass, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #marthas-vineyard-mass, #memorial-day, #nantucket-mass, #outer-banks-nc, #quarantines, #shutdowns-institutional, #summer-season, #travel-and-vacations