Hollywood

'Parks and Recreation' reunion charity special has a Subaru twist

During its original run, "Parks and Recreation" lasted 125 episodes.

Photo by Getty Images

Leslie Knope and company will be making a star-studded return to the small screen on April 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Subaru's along for the ride.

The special "Parks and Recreation" episode will feature key members of the show's cast and take place in the present day. It will center around Leslie Knope (Amy Peohler) attempting to keep in touch with her friends, played by Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Jim O'Heir, and Retta. A release said that, "special guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in". Fingers crossed.

The episode will help raise money for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund, which is providing assistance to food banks across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Feeding American New York City Earlier this month, Subaru announced that it had partnered with Feeding America to provide 50 million meals to those in need. Photo by Getty Images

"Parks and Recreation" creator Mike Schur said in a statement, "Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help, and felt that bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money. I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. Our old 'Parks and Rec' team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!"

Subaru will be matching donations made to Feeding America during the event. "We at Subaru of America are constantly committed to supporting and strengthening our communities," said Jack Kelly, National Integrated Media Manager, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. "In addition to matching donations to Feeding America generated from the 'Parks and Recreation' reunion special, we are also working with the hunger relief organization to help provide 50 million meals to communities nationwide hardest hit by COVID-19."

Subaru frequently notes its commitment to both parks and recreation in its advertisements. This year, the automaker rolled out a spot featuring the redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback and America's National Parks.

During the program, Subaru will feature its "Never Been More True" ad during commercial breaks. The spot focuses on Subaru's commitment to Feeding America.

Fans of "Parks and Recreation" will remember that the final episode, titled "One Last Ride", which aired in 2017, featured a look into the future. That future had Tom Haverford (Ansari) married to Lucy (Natalie Morales) married but losing it all in an economic recession after expanding the Tom's Bistro empire. By 2019 he is a best-selling author and motivational speaker.

Craig Middelbrooks, the mouthy waiter at Tom's Bistro played by Billy Eichner has met Typhoon Montalban (Rodney To), Donna Meagle and Ron Swanson's former hairdresser, and married him.

The 2020 date for the special episode means that Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) and his wife April Ludgate (Plaza) have not yet had children. Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) has not yet faked his death and Swanson (Offerman) is still working at the Very Good Building Company.

Check out a preview of the episode here:

Leslie and Ron Catch Up While Social Distancing - A Parks and Recreation Special www.youtube.com

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Red light camera usage in the U.S. has declined over the last few years.

Photo by Mathieukor/Getty Images

New research shows that communities across the U.S. are not using as many red light cameras as they used to while implementation of speed detection cameras is increasing. Both have been shows to reduce the occurrence of automobile crashes.

A new checklist devised by AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) was designed to serve as a roadmap for communities that are establishing or expanding automated enforcement programs and to dispel myths surrounding the use of the cameras.

"Research by IIHS and others has shown consistently that automated enforcement curbs dangerous driving behaviors and reduces crashes," says IIHS President David Harkey. "We hope this document developed with our highway safety partners will help communities take full advantage of this tool."

From 2011 to 2014 more than 500 communities across the U.S. operated red light cameras. Today that number stands at 340. The systems are costly. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the cost as $67,000 to $80,000 per intersection. That number doesn't include the manpower hours, ticket mailing fees, court costs, or maintenance time and money associated with the ticketing. Today, the cost of the system is estimated to be in the $100,000 range per intersection.

Running red lights kills hundreds and injure tens of thousands of people every year, according to IIHS. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in red light running crashes. Most of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles and not the red light runners or passengers riding with them.

"Red light running and speeding are known killers on our roads," says Advocates President Cathy Chase. "Well-designed and implemented automated enforcement programs can deter these hazardous driving behaviors and reduce crash deaths and injuries. They can also provide an equitable, neutral option for upgrading safety. We urge states and localities to use this checklist together with road safety infrastructure improvements to help protect motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users."

Nearly one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2020 (9,478 deaths) occurred due to high speed. Crashes that occur at higher speeds tend to have more severe results.

"We know from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's research that more than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights," says Jill Ingrassia, AAA's executive director of advocacy and communications. "Automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to address dangerous driving behaviors and improve traffic safety for all road users. This new set of best practice guidelines is an excellent starting point in helping jurisdictions ensure these programs are well-designed, data-driven, transparent and equitably implemented."

Camera laws vary from state to state. Currently, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia prohibit both red light and speed cameras. Montana and South Dakota disallow red-light cameras, and New Jersey and Wisconsin have outlawed speed cameras.

The checklist features first-, second-, and long-term steps including many common sense action items including:

  • Identifying problem intersections and roadways
  • Make engineering and/or signage changes
  • Establish an advisory committee
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Utilize safety data to determine camera locations
  • Require regular evaluations
The full checklist is available now at IIHS.org.

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New technology is embedded into the brake caliper.

Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is celebrating 60 years of brand braking history with the debut of a bit of its future. The New G Sessanta Concept is a peek at what the company sees as the future of mobility. It was inspired by the first brake caliper for motorbikes produced by the company, an innovation in 1972.

The company says that the core of the concept is LED technology, which is applied directly to the body of the caliper, a feature that is adaptable to every type of caliper they craft. Brembo sees the tech as being able to enhance the caliper's form and function serving as both an interface and an aesthetic. It will be able to "communicate directly with the user" and "adapt to the user's tastes and preferences". A new video released by Brembo shows the LED color changing via a smartphone app.

 New G Sessanta Concept The New G Sessanta Concept features interactive tech.Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is often known for using bright, flashy colors on its calipers and the new light plays on that. The New G Sessanta is designed to be customizable via wireless technology. When a vehicle equipped with the caliper is stopped, the user can control the desired shade of light to express mood, enhance the style of the bike, or adapt it to the surroundings.

Additionally, the LEDs could use color and light to relay data and information regarding the conditions of the vehicle and caliper itself, or even help localize a parked vehicle by emitting a courtesy light.

Watch the video below to see the vision of the New G Sessanta come to life.

BREMBO “NEW G SESSANTA”: THE NEW BRAKE CALIPER CONCEPT SET TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY www.youtube.com

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