Phew! What a week. We're almost through our endorsement meetings for our upcoming election guide for Washington state's primary election on August 4. Ballots get sent out around July 17, which is when our guide will drop. Are you doing anything for Pride weekend? We have some suggestions.
We've set another single-day record! In coronavirus cases! "The United States has set a record for new COVID-19 cases for the third time in three days, passing the 40,000 mark for the first time, according to tracking by the Washington Post." Florida was one of five states setting a new single-day high:
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Florida is forced to respond to COVID-19: And they're shutting down drinking at (some) bars. Bar owners were informed in a last-minute, haphazard way, via a tweet from Florida's secretary of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.
Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide.
— HalseyBeshears (@HalseyBeshears) June 26, 2020
The order is slightly confusing... Here's the Tampa Bay Times:
The order states that all businesses that derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales must stop selling alcohol to customers on their premises immediately.
Bars can still sell alcohol in to-go containers. Restaurants that do not rely on alcohol sales for a majority of their revenue can continue to serve seated customers on site, the order states. The order does not mention breweries.
That's some Florida logic: So a bar and grill on the beach is fine, so long as they "do not rely on alcohol sales for a majority of their revenue"? How much good is that going to do?
Meanwhile, in Texas: Birthday party leaves 18 in Texas family with coronavirus.
Bars are also shutting down in Texas: Restaurant capacity must be reduced, too. "Bars must close at noon Friday, and the reduction in restaurant capacity takes effect Monday," writes the Texas Tribune. "Before [Gov. Greg] Abbott's announcement Friday, bars were able to operate at 50% capacity and restaurants at 75% capacity."
Bill is mad! Mr. Gates says the United States' response to COVID-19 is "embarrassing." It sure is, Bill!
The Stranger's Rich Smith is here with some CHOP updates:
In yet another instance of the City’s poorly planned and terribly executed response to the CHOP: Officials gathered at around 3:00 p.m for an apparently hastily arranged meeting with a group of protesters inside the First AME Church on Capitol Hill. The Lord barred The Stranger and all other media except for Converge, and the meeting “organizers” barred live-streaming and then live Tweeting from the meeting, according to citizen journalist Omari Salisbury.
Representing the City and the Church: Pastor Carey G. Anderson, Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Not This Time’s Andre Taylor. Judging by the photos, protesters were represented by Rashyla Levitt, Black Star Farmer Marcus Henderson, Shannon Alberts, and Rooks, among others. Update: In a press conference after the meeting, Salisbury gave the following names of protesters in attendance: Sarah, Marcus, Angelica, Marc Anthony, Dred, Malcolm, Shannon, Caleb McGee, Rooks.
An hour before the meeting began, a group of media and protesters gathered at the back door of the church: Almost all were denied entry because the church was “at capacity,” presumably in accordance with Phase 2 guidelines, but a few negotiated a way in.
Lots of confusion about who gets to be in this meeting with the Mayor at AME. Church reps say 10-25 people have been let in, with @WWConverge live-streaming. Church reps now clearing people to the street. pic.twitter.com/y729eMkH9X
— Rich Smith (@richsssmith) June 26, 2020
According to Salisbury: Durkan reiterated the concessions the City has committed to making (including a plan to hand over Fire Station 6 to Africatown and the $100 million investment in something or other for Black communities), and basically reiterated her call for everyone to go home.
#CHOP - @MayorJenny says that it is time to remove the barriers to open the neighborhood and that East Precinct can be a different timeline but that things need to move forward. Also says a SDOT employee has a gun pulled on them.
— Omari Salisbury (@Omarisal) June 26, 2020
Salisbury gave more details during a press conference after the meeting: Here are the takeaways: 1.) City and protesters agreed to remove all barricades in the CHOP except for the ones in front of the East Precinct. 2.)
Seattle Human Services Department will work with Black Star Farmer Marcus Henderson on a way to sweep Cal Anderson. Henderson said he asked the city to create a plan to provide temporary housing for the unhoused in Cal Anderson park in an effort to challenge the process they normally use to sweep. 3.) The city will work on a plan to improve the emergency response times in CHOP and to better coordinate rendezvous points. 4.) Durkan dismissed most of the protesters' new list of demands as out of her jurisdiction, and said the city was already addressing the rest. 5.) Protesters asked Salisbury to live-stream the meeting, but Andre Taylor and Mayor Durkan objected, saying they wanted a more "intimate" discussion. When Salisbury started to live-tweet the meeting, Durkan told him to stop.
One of the protesters in the meeting clarified a few points afterwards: Alberts, who was also in the first meeting with the city regarding the CHOP's new footprint, said, "Nothing was agreed upon except to work together." "The city is supposed to present a plan and we are supposed to review it," she added, referring to the first three takeaways I list above. "Protesters made it clear that we will not end our protest and if they want us to leave we need a list of places we would be able to go."
The meeting followed a morning attempt to clear the barricades in CHOP: Around 6:00 a.m. the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities showed up in large numbers to remove the cement barriers they’d installed last week. Protesters eventually ran them out, and there were reports of assaults and a shotgun pulled. An injured person, who was bleeding from his head, received some sort of care at a medic tent.
The City swept Cal Anderson Park for “trash,” and then offered this response:City staff from multiple departments initiated efforts early in the morning to continue the recovery of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with the goal of removing some additional barriers blocking the roadways and cleaning up Cal Anderson Park. These efforts also include dispatching a wide range of social services to encourage those living overnight in Cal Anderson to begin leaving the area or, if experiencing homelessness, to take an offer for shelter. Many individuals have already departed the area to join in community led events across the City.
Once this work commenced to remove some of the barriers blocking roadways, City workers were met with significant resistance by protesters, who grew increasingly agitated and aggressive towards City workers from SPR, SDOT and SPU. Safety is the City’s first priority, and planning is ongoing for how to safely transition the Capitol Hill area.
The City has been deploying additional resources this week and on site every day. For any individuals who have been attending demonstrations and may need City resources, the Human Services Department and Public Health – Seattle & King County have been on Capitol Hill leading outreach efforts with service providers and established a Resource Hub to connect individuals with access to shelter, health care, food resources, access to COVID-19 testing, and mental and behavioral health services. Today, the departments will join BLMSKC Community Health Services Day, which includes free health and wellness resources and services for all community, organized by BLMSKC and partners, including Public Health Seattle King-County, Country Doctor, Odessa Brown, Carolyn Downs, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Human Services Department, and Mary’s Place.
SPD had no plans to return to the East Precinct today.
CHOP update: Seattle city workers are starting to go through Cal Anderson Park in the #CHOP and trashing items next to people’s tents. They’ve been moving quickly through the play field. pic.twitter.com/y92Axczddd
— Paige Cornwell (@pgcornwell) June 26, 2020
A forceful reminder: WASHINGTON'S MANDATORY FACE MASK RULE IS NOW IN EFFECT. Mask up when you're going indoors, people! Here are the basic terms:
Masks must now be worn inside all public spaces. Masks must be worn outside when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. It allows for exceptions, including those 5 years old and younger and for those who are hard of hearing and need to use their faces to communicate.
Send this tweet to Donald Trump: Even the heartless Dick Cheney is wearing a mask. And Liz Cheney thinks you're a fake man if you don't wear a mask. FAKE!
Seattle School Board president Zachary DeWolf is mad at media for missing this story: He should be! But there's a lot going on and we're understaffed, Zachary! Invest in local journalism! Here's what's up, per DeWolf's Facebook call-out:
No local media has covered this—even during #Pride month—but we passed my transformational and historic resolution “No. 2019/20-28 - Inclusion for Our LGBTQIA+ Students, Staff, and Community,” which commits the District to the following (policy changes in process):
✅ All school construction projects must include one multi-stall gender-neutral restroom
✅ An audit of our 104 schools to identify space available for gender-neutral restroom conversion
✅ All curriculum adoptions (history, English language arts, etc) must explicitly incorporate LGBTQIA+ history, contributions, significant events and figures
✅ One school will be identified to change their school name to that of an LGBTQI+ local or national hero
✅ Exploration and pilot of an LGBTQIA+ studies high school course
✊🏽🏳️🌈 Happy #Pride to all of our students, their families, our staff and educators, and community
Here's a copy of that resolution.