Summit Briefing: Week of 1/18/21

a field of american flags on the National Mall

A “Field of Flags” replaced the usual crowds on the National Mall during the inauguration Weds. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool Photo via AP)

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

 

By Alex Tananbaum 

Ashwath Vimal

1. General News: U.S. soldier arrested for alleged plan of terrorism, A leader of the Political group “Proud Boys” arrested

A 20-year-old U.S. army private was arrested in Georgia at Fort Stewart for supposedly attempting to aid ISIS to plan attacks on people in New York and American soldiers in the Middle East. However, the real person he was helping was a covert FBI agent in disguise. This man’s name is Cole Bridges, and is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for both offenses. An army spokesperson gives his insight on the matter, saying, “When any Soldier attempts to provide sensitive or classified information to an adversary, it is a betrayal of the oath they swore to the United States and the duty owed to their fellow Soldiers.” It is alleged that Bridges started his criminal activity in Oct. of 2020, providing the FBI agent with training and possible targets in New York. In Dec., he started giving information on how to attack the U.S. soldiers in the Middle East through things like explosives. His court hearing will be held on Thursday, January 21.

 

The Proud Boys, a male-only, far-right (Coservative) political faction, is one of the groups of people that participated in the Capitol Riot. People in this group have been called “neo nazis” and “fascist and extreme”, and one of their leaders, Joseph Briggs was arrested this past Wednesday for allegedly being one of teh organizers of the riot.  During and before the riot, expressed his excitement through many posts on the social media platform Parler, implicating him as part of it. Briggs was asked to comment on the allegations against him and the Proud Boys, but declined, and said, “That’ll be discussed in court.” Briggs has stated that he did not enter the Capitol by force, however. Joseph Briggs is one of many cases that involve the planning of the riot. 

 

2. Covid-19: Not enough vaccine doses, 400,00 COVID-19 deaths, vaccine might protect against new type of COVID-19

Many states are saying that the government is not delivering on the amount of doses they promised, with the Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey saying: “We’ve been getting about 80,000 doses a week, and that’s not much for a state with 11 million people.” Furthermore, over 400,000 deaths have been reported since Wednesday, January 20, and having less doses may be attributing to this. 

 

However, President Joe Biden has said he will make it illegal to not wear a mask on federal property. President Biden also wants to establish the National Security Council, that will help with the pandemic and will stop the Trump administration’s attempt to leave the World Health Organization. The Centers of for Disease Control (CDC) is also helping deal with the pandemic by reviewing guidance rules for COVID-19. 

 

14.3 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine throughout the U.S., with only 2.1 million receiving the second, leaving the rest waiting. However, as said in previous paragraphs, doses are running out. Both San Francisco’s Department of Health and New York City both reported to run out by January 21, and the state of New York is reported to run out this weekend. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “We don’t have enough vaccine. At this current rate of supply it takes seven and a half months to get enough vaccine for the currently eligible population.”

 

The new types of COVID-19 originated from South Africa and the United Kingdom have caused 144 cases in 20 states so far, says the CDC. Two other types have been reported to be in Brazil,and one in Calif. While thes new virus variants were thought to have needed new vaccines, new research shows some do not. One experiment tested blood from different people who got either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine with two different variants. While complete immunity was not shown, some was. The vaccines have shown to invoke multiple antibody responses, showing that the old vaccines can take care of the  different COVID-19 variants efficiently, albeit possibly with a few changes. 

 

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.

 

3. Politics: The Inauguration

Around 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time this morning, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The inauguration proceeded without incident, with speeches by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies chairman Senator Roy Blunt as well as Father Leo J. O’Donovan III, Georgia fire captain Andrea Hall and Reverend Doctor Silvester S. Beaman. The inauguration also included musical performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks. Finally, 22 year old L.A. poet Amanda Gorman performed her original piece, “The Hill We Climb.”

 

Former president Donald Trump spent the day at the Mar-a-Lago estate. He is the first president in 150 years not to attend the inauguration of their successor. However, he did leave a letter to Biden on his new desk in the Oval Office, where former president Barack Obama left his.

 

In preparation for the inauguration, security was upped in Washington D.C. This comes after the deadly riots that breached Congress’s chambers two weeks ago. City blocks have been barricaded and divided into “green” and “red” zones, and armored cars block off the red areas. According to vice-president for government affairs at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Thomas Porter, “We would compare ourselves to countries overseas and we could always depend on a democratic and peaceful transfer of power. The whole attack on the Capitol was an affront to that.” 

 

It should be noted that, as mentioned in the Guardian article linked above, the division of the city is disproportionately affecting unhoused people, many of whom are trapped in “red” zones. Far-right harassment of unhoused people has been prevalent in the past, causing concern amongst some social workers and organizers in the city. 

4. Sports: MLB player George Springer signed to Blue Jay

George Springer, previously an outfielder for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Houston Astros for his whole career, was signed to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, January 19. Springer was rated the number one unsigned player this off-season, and was offered a six-year, $150 million contract for his skills, which he accepted. Springer started playing in the MLB in 2014, three years after he was drafted. Since then, he has hit 19 homeruns in 63 playoff games, and 43 runs (passing all three bases), deeming one of the best postseason players today. Spriner usually plays right field or center field, but will most likely play center field for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have acquired a strong player in Springer, and if their other recent signing Kirby Yates, a 2019 All Star, makes a steadfast return from his severe elbow injury, the Blue Jays may be a competitor for the MLB World Series.

 

5. Summit: Summit Tahoma

Summit Tahoma was recently renewed as a Charter School by the Santa Clara County Office of Education on January 13.  The vote was four to three to keep Summit funded for the next five years, making it a very close call. One has to ask, why was the vote so close? What motivated some of the board members to vote against the renewal? Is the school under scrutiny?

 

6. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle): This week’s highs will remain in the mid 40’s with today-Mon at 44-45℉ with the exception of a dip to 42℉ on Sun. Lows will jump around a bit more with today’s being 36℉ and dropping further to 31-32℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of a slightly higher 33℉ Mon. Sun levels will jump around as well: rain today, partial clouds again Fri-Sat, showers Sun and finally rain and possibly even snow Mon. Wear a mask, stay dry and have a good week. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will drop from mid to low 40’s, with today-Fri’s 44℉, and Sat-Mon 42-43℉. Lows will bounce around a bit with today’s dropping to 35℉ and Fri-Mon sitting at 30℉ with the exception of Sun’s 32℉. Most of the week will be fairly grey with showers today, partial clouds Fri-Sat, showers again Sun and rain with the possibility of snow on Mon. Wear a mask, stay dry and have a good week.

 

Sierra (Seattle): Highs this week will dip down to the low 40’s: today-Fri have the potential to be 43℉ and Sat-Mon could be 41-42℉. Lows today will be 34℉, way down to 29℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of Sun, which will be a comparatively high 31℉. The week will not be particularly sunny: today will be rainy, Fri-Sat will be partially cloudy again, Sun will be rainy with chances of snow and Mon will be snowy. Wear a mask, stay dry and have a good week.

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): This week will start in the mid 60’s with today’s being 65℉. It will then drop into the 50’s: Fri could be up to 56℉, climbing to 58-59℉ Sat-Sun, then back down again to 54℉ Mon. Lows will bounce from low 40’s to high 30’s, with today’s being 44℉ and Fri-Mon being 38-39℉ with the exception of 42℉ on Sun. The week will be mostly cloudy, with partial clouds today, chances of showers Fri, partly cloudy again Sat-Sun and finally chance of showers again Mon. Soak up that good weather today and Weds, wear a mask and have a good week.

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): This week’s highs will slowly decrease, with today’s 63℉, Fri-Sat 55-56℉, Sun up to 58℉ and finally Mon back down to 53℉. Lows, in contrast, will start… well… low at 46℉ today and 40-41℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of Sun, which could be 44℉. Today will be partially cloudy, with chances of showers Fri, partially cloudy again Sat-Sun and finally chances of showers again Mon. Soak up the good early-week weather, wear a mask and have a good week.

 

K2 (El Cerrito): Highs this week will slowly dip with today’s being 60℉, then down to 54℉ Fri, up to 56℉ Sat-Sun, and finally 52℉ Mon. Lows will also dip, with today’s being 45℉, then 38-39℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of Sun’s comparatively warm low of 42℉. The week won’t be very sunny—today-Sun will be partially cloudy and Mon will be rainy. Let’s soak up the good weather while we can, wear masks and have a good week. 

 

Tam (Richmond): This week’s highs will start in the low 60’s, then drop to varying degrees of 50’s: today’s highs will be 62℉, then 55℉ Fri, with Sat-Sun up to 57-58℉ and finally back down to 53℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the low 40’s—today-Mon will be 40-41℉ with the exception of 43℉ Sun. The week will not be particularly sunny: today-Sun will be partially cloudy and Mon will be rainy. Soak up the sun while you can, wear a mask and have a good week. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): This week’s highs will drop from high to low 50’s with today’s being 59℉, 55-56℉ Fri-Sun, and a final drop to 53℉ Mon. Lows will range throughout the 40’s with today’s being 48℉, Fri-Sat 44℉, Sun 46℉ and finally 43℉ Mon. The week will be mostly cloudy with partial clouds today, rain Fri, partial clouds Sat-Sun and rain again Mon. Soak up the sun while you can, wear a mask and have a good week. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): This week’s highs will start in the mid 60’s with today’s being 65℉. They will then drop to 56℉ Fri, 58-59℉ Sat-Sun and 52℉ Mon. Lows, in comparison, will stay around the high 30’s to low 40’s with 44℉ today and 38-39℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of 42℉ Sun. The week will be fairly cloudy, with today having partial clouds, then showers Fri, partial clouds Sat-Sun and finally showers again Mon. Soak up the sun while you can, wear a mask and have a good week. 

7. Actions

Editor’s note: each week, I will be posting petitions to sign/actions to take to support the BLM movement, ICE detainees, and other important matters. Remember, your voice counts, so use it.

 

  1. If you are at K2 or Tam, join the Bay Area Car Caravan for Yemen, meeting at 444 Spear Street, San Francisco at noon
  2. Stop the COVID-19 outbreak at Central California Women’s Facility by:
    1. Calling CCWF Custody Captain at (559) 665-5531, ext. 5565 (press 5 when prompted), Federal Healthcare Receiver Clark Kelso: (916) 739-7000, and CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison: (916) 324-7308 (press 8 & leave message). Find a script below.
    2. Post on social media. Find graphics here and image descriptions/Alt text here 

 

Find more actions from SURJ Bay Area here.

 

CCWF Call Script:

My name is _____ and, alongside incarcerated people at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), I have serious concerns regarding the rapid increase of COVID at CCWF. In just two weeks, COVID-19 cases rose to over 500, making CCWF among the top cluster of cases in CDCR prisons. I strongly urge you to take the following crucial steps:

 

Provide urgently needed healthcare, including mental health care, to people in quarantine.

Implement a clear plan that minimizes movement, keeps people in possession of their property, and allows people to recover in a more calm environment.

Stop retaliation against incarcerated people who demand life-saving changes to quarantine conditions.

Ensure access to telephones, tablets, and electricity so that those placed in quarantine can maintain contact with their loved ones.

Enforce mask use by CDCR staff and mandatory sick leave for staff who show any symptoms of illness and/or who test positive for COVID-19.

Provide access to showers, laundry, clean N95 masks, gloves, and sufficient amounts of disinfectant.

Expedite release for medically vulnerable, and elderly people regardless of conviction.

 

Thousands of our community members’ lives are on the line. We urge you to use your power to intervene and save lives.

 

And, as always:

  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.

 

  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category

 

A note from the editors: Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If he had not been assassinated on April 4th, 1968, he would have been 92 years old. We honor the work of Dr. King and other Black activists and recognize that there is still much work to be done before racial equality is a reality. 

 

Read Martin Luther King III’s statement on how Dr. King would view America today here.

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