Summit Briefing: Week of 3/8/21

Severe flooding along Hana Highway, Maui Monday afternoon. (Source: Carlos Rosaga). Via Hawaii News Now.

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal

 

 Disclaimer: Though the Weekly Briefings are no longer tagged in the Opinions section of Summit News and we try to remain as unbiased as possible, our opinions may show through in this article, especially in the “Actions” section.  

 

1. Summit: Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, a Georgia politician, was instrumental in the registration of thousands of Georgia voters and the fight for equal voting access. In the article “Stacey Abrams Deserves Her Nobel Peace Prize Nomination”, Staff Writer McKenna Seegmiller examines Ms. Abrams life and work as well as her Nobel Peace Prize nomination. 

 

2. General News: Maui Evacuation, U.S. Urges the Taliban and Afghanistan Government to Come to an Agreement, Royal Family Conflict 

Many residents in Maui, Hawaii have had to evacuate their homes on their mayor’s orders following flooding due to a dam failure that has threatened countless amounts of homes. Mayor Mike Victorino has said that “this is a real flooding situation we have not seen in a long time”, along with many residents saying that they have not seen this big of a flood in over 25 years. Heavy rain caused water levels from the Kaupakalua Dam to rise on March 8th, with anyone downstream of the dam being forced to evacuate, due to a flash flood warning. Some residents described some roads that looked like “the Colorado river” and continuous non-stop rain.

 

The Biden Administration has proposed a power-sharing agreement between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, with Biden also asing Iran to take on “a greater role” in the conflict. The letter sent to the Afghanistan government included that the U.S. government was deciding whether or not to withdraw troops placed in Afghanistan, and seemed to express Biden’s frustration on the matter as a whole. Biden has shown during the Obama Administration that he is against U.S. troops being stationed in Afghanistan in this conflict, and wants to end U.S. involvement in a long winded, 20-year conflict. State department spokesperson Ned Price has stated that the U.S. government is encouraging both sides to take this opportunity, and that the U.S. does want this conflict to end, however. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has also been heavily involved with trying to settle this conflict, serving the role as a negotiator between Afghanistan and the Taliban. 

Meghan and Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex, have released more details about their private lives with the royal family, shining a bad light on them in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. This interview comes after both Harry and Meghan split from the royal family, which only came into effect this past February. For instance, Meghan said she felt alienated from the family because of her mixed race (half black and half-white), and went through abuse because of this fact. Furthermore, she has also said that the royal family also had concerns about her son, Archie, having too dark of a skin color. Both Harry and Meghan have stated that they felt “trapped” with the royal family, and Meghan saying that she has had suicidal thoughts because of the mistreatment she suffered and because of how she has been portrayed through media. However. Meghan and Harry have both said that the family itself has nothing to do with any of these allegations, just the “people running the institution”. The royal family has released a statement in response to this interview, here.

 

3. Covid-19: New COVID-19 Guidelines, Don’t Use Ivermectin to treat COVID-19  

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) have released new guidelines saying that people that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are allowed to interact with other fully vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people can visit each other without taking any safety precautions. However, vaccinated people who visit unvaccinated people are advised to still wear masks and practice physical distancing. Fully vaccinated people should still quarantine for 14 days if they come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. While there is evidence showing that people who are vaccinated against the virus cannot spread it, there is still an ongoing investigation on how long vaccine protection lasts.

 

While general guidelines have been adjusted, travel guidelines still stay the same, with the CDC saying that people should stay at home and not travel. Until more is found about if vaccinated people can transfer the virus to others, travel guidelines will not change, says Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. Only about 10% of people are vaccinated, and many more need to be for travel to be safe. There is a direct correlation between traveling and COVID-19, as every time travel goes up in the U.S, case number do, so that is also another reason why guidelines have not been changed yet for traveling.

 

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has officially announced that you should not use ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Ivermectin is a drug that helps treat parasites, like lice, in animals. However, many people have been using the drug to treat COVID-19, and have ended up hospitalized because of this. The FDA has stated that this drug is dangerous and can cause severe harm, especially in large doses. Some side effects include, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, seizures, comas, and death. For now, ivermectin needs to be studied more for the FDA to make a final decision on whether not ivermectin helps at all with treating COVID-19. So far, however, it has proven ineffective, as a study shows that the drug only decreased the amount of days to recover by two. The two days should not matter because of the side effects mentioned above. 

 

*For a full list of guidelines, click here.

 

 

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

 

4. Politics: Stimulus package, voting rights

The Senate has passed President Joe Biden’s stimulus package, and sent it back to the House for final approval before its submission to the president for signature. In last week’s briefing, we discussed the bill as it was passed by the House. Now, let’s take a look at what the (semi)final version contains:

  • $1,400 stimulus checks. Married couples making under $150,000 and individuals making less than $75,000 are eligible for $1,400 per person, plus another $1,400 per dependent. If a person makes more than that amount but less than $80,000 (individual) or $160,000 (married couple), they would still qualify, though for less aid. 
  • Continued unemployment benefits. The Senate has chosen to extend the current $300-per-week supplement through early September. Surprise tax bills are also controlled, with federal income tax canceled for the first $10,200 households earning under $150,000 received in 2020.
  • Child tax credit. Currently, lower income households receive tax credits per child based on tax refunds. Under this new plan, families would be sent $300 a month for children under five years old and $250 for children over that age. As The New York Times notes, this is revolutionary. More than 93% of children would receive benefits under the plan. Though it is currently set to expire after a year, Democrats hope to make it a permanent fixture. 
  • Funding for states, local governments and schools. The stimulus bill provides funding for vaccine distribution, COVID-19 testing and genomic sequencing. It would increase funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provide $350 billion for states, territories and local and tribal governments as well as $130 billion for schools. Funding is also included for colleges and universities, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers as well as food assistance. Additionally, funding for restaurants, live venues and other businesses as well as multiemployer pension plan bailouts will be covered.
  • Affordable Care Act subsidies. Those utilizing the Affordable Care Act for health insurance would see temporarily increased subsidies. It would also cover the full cost premiums of health insurance provided by a former employer so that those laid off during the pandemic could keep possibly pre existing healthcare through September. 

 

As predicted, the federal minimum wage increase to $15 was scrapped from the bill.

 

The Georgia Senate passed an election bill Monday that implements sweeping changes to its voting system. One of the main elements undone by the bill the allowance of no-excuse absentee voting, which would restrict the availability of absentee voting to those over 65 years old, out of town on election day, observing a religious holiday, physically disabled, overseas in the military, or otherwise working “for the protection of the health, life, or safety of the public during the entire time the polls are open.” Georgians would also need to offer some form of ID to qualify, such as driver’s license number or state identification. Though the original no-excuse law was Republican-backed, it is now Republicans voting to repeal it, as it aided in the increased voter turnout and Democratic wins in the state. Democratic Caucus Chair Sen. Gloria Butler told CNN: “They (Republicans) passed this law. They didn’t use it. The Democrats did. The GOP lost. And because of that, now, they want to change the laws back.” The law would most likely create a barrier for those who already struggle with voting access, such as Black individuals. In a protest against the bill at the Georgia Capitol, Al Herring told AJC that “Modern voting methods are being opposed. We’re trying to form a more perfect union. It’s not just one group. It’s all of us.”

5. Sports: NBA All-Star Game 2021 

The 2021 NBA All-Star weekend occurred this past weekend, including events ranging from the Three-Point Contest and the highly coveted All-Star Game. Missing from this catalogue is the Rising Stars Game, which allows up and coming players to display their growing skills. This is most likely because the NBA were restricted to doing all their events in one day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many players such as LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard expressed that they did not want this event to happen, and that the event was only happening for the NBA to make more money.

 

However, the event still went forth, so each event had its winners and losers. The Three-Point contest ended with All-Star and the player deemed one of the best shooters of all time Stephen Curry winning the event, narrowly beating fellow All-Star Mike Conley. Speaking of Conley, he was very happy to be chosen to be an All-Star, making  his first All-Star appearance at 33 years old. 

 

The All-Star game included many first time appearances along with Conley. Zion Williamson, a forward from the New Orleans Pelicans, Jaylen Brown, a forward from the Boston Celtics, Zach LaVine, a guard from the Chicago Bulls and Julius Randle, a forward from the New Orleans Pelicans all made their first All-Star game this year. Players like Randel and Brown have finally met the expectations set upon them as young players. However, only one was on the winning team, with LeBron James leading, his team has won for the fourth straight year, blowing out the other team with a score of 150-170. Five time All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks won the All-Star Game MVP, with 35 points with a 100% efficiency. 

 

*For full rosters, check out this link here.

 

6. Entertainment: WandaVision Finale

Hit Disney+ series “WandaVision” released its series finale on March 5th, and it ended with many emotional final scenes and suspenseful cliffhangers. At the start of the series, we see Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) deal with grief of losing her partner, Vision (Paul Bettany), by using her power to create an alternate reality where Vision is alive, through controlling the minds of many people to achieve this. By the end of the series, we see her realize that Vision is gone, and that taking advantage of other people to live her happy life is wrong . and destroys the reality she created. After a heartfelt goodbye with Vision and the two children she created (Billy and Tommy), she flies off to find herself and deal with her newfound powers. 

 

WandaVision is not just any typical Marvel show, but a show about how people deal with grief, and the consequences of selfishness. It’s a show about how people change, and a show about family. At the end of the day, though, it is still a Marvel show, so it of course includes post credit scenes. One such scene includes one of the characters, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), someone who we have seen in “Captain Marvel”, being sought out by a Skrull, a group of alien people that helped Captain Marvel defeat another group of aliens in her movie. In that movie, Rambeau was but a child, with her mother being the best friend of Captain Marvel. This post credit scene is seemingly setting up Rambeau for an appearance in the next Captain Marvel, with the involvement of Skrulls to be a sure thing. The second post credit scene follows Wanda studying her magic further, when she suddenly hears the voice of her children calling out to her. This is seemingly setting up more appearances by her children, who are part of a group called the “Young Avengers” in Marvel Comics. This post credit scene will most likely be followed up upon in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which hits theaters in March 2022. 

 

7. Weather

 

Atlas (West Seattle): Highs this week will largely remain in the 50’s, with today’s being 52℉, 50℉ Weds, 52℉ Thurs, 55℉ Fri, up to 57℉ Sat, down to 48℉ Sun and finally back up to 50℉ Mon. Lows will remain in the 37-38℉ range throughout the week, with the exception of a possible 36℉ low Thurs and 41℉ low Sat. The week will also be made up of partial clouds, with some scattered showers Weds, showers Sun and rain and snow Mon. Wear a mask, stay warm and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs throughout the 50’s, lows in the high 30’s, partial clouds with some scattered showers, showers and snow. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will be similar to West Seattle’s (are Tacoma and West Seattle close to each other? I’m based in the Bay Area). Today’s high will be 52℉, then 50℉ Weds, 51℉ Thurs, up to 55℉ Fri-Sat and down to 49-50℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will range throughout the 30’s with today-Weds’ being 33-34℉, 32℉ Thurs, 34℉ Fri, all the way up to 38℉ Sat, back down to 33℉ Sun and 35℉ Mon. The week will be mostly partly cloudy, with the exception of partial showers Weds and Mon and showers Sun. Soak up that sun when you can, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs throughout the 50’s, lows throughout the 30’s, partial clouds with some partial showers and showers. 

 

Sierra (Seattle): Highs this week will range from high 40’s to mid 50’s, with today’s being 52℉, Weds’ 49℉, 51℉ Thurs, up to 54-55℉ Fri-Sat, then back down to 48-49℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will stay in the mid to low 30’s, mostly in the 35-36℉ range, with the exception of 37℉ Fri and 39℉ Sat. The majority of the week will stay partially cloudy, with the exceptions of partial showers Weds and Sat as well as showers Sun. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 40’s to mid 50’s, lows in the mid 30’s, partial clouds with some partial showers and showers. 

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week should rise, with today’s being 56℉, Weds’ 54℉, Thurs 57℉, then up to 65℉ Fri, 67℉ Sat, 63℉ Sun and 60℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the high 30’s to low 40’s, with today’s at 43℉, Weds-Fri 39-40℉ and 43℉ Sat-Mon. This week will be fairly gloomy, with showers today-Weds and partial clouds the rest of the week, with the exception of full sun Fri. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the mid 50’s and increasing to low-high 60’s, lows in the high 30’s to low 40’s, partial clouds and showers. 

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will rise throughout the week, with today’s at 56℉, Weds 54℉, Thurs back to 56℉, Fri-Sat 53-64℉, then back down to 61℉ Sun and 58℉ Mon. Lows will mostly stick at 43℉, with exception of 40-41℉ Weds-Fri. This week will also be fairly gloomy, with showers today-Weds and partial clouds the rest of the week with the exception of full sun Fri. Enjoy that sun when possible, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in the mid 50’s and rising to low 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, partial clouds and some showers. 

 

K2 (El Cerrito) and Tam (Richmond)*: Highs this week will rise, with today’s at 57℉, Weds 55℉, Thurs up to 59℉, Fri-Sat 66-67℉ and Sun-Mon 62-63℉. Lows will mostly sit at 43℉, with the exception of a whopping 45℉ Tues and 41℉ Weds-Thurs. The week will also hold rain Tues, showers Weds and partial clouds Thurs-Mon with the exception of full sun Fri. Soak up that sun when possible, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the mid 50’s and ending in the low 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, rain, showers, partial clouds.

*temperatures and weather patterns were so similar in these two cities they were combined this week. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range throughout the 50’s, with today-Thurs’ being 53-54℉, 58-59℉ Fri-Sat, 57℉ Sun and 55℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the 43-44℉ range the week through, with the exception of a possible 41℉ Weds and 45℉ Sat. The week will also hold rain today, showers Weds and partial clouds the rest of the week, with the exception of full sun on Fri. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs throughout the 50’s, lows in the low 40’s, rain, showers and partial clouds with some sun. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will rise, with today’s being 57℉, Weds 54℉, up to 58℉ Thurs, 66℉ Fri, 68℉ Sat, then down to 64℉ Sun and 62℉ Mon. Lows will mostly stay in the low 40’s, with today’s 44℉, Weds-Thurs’ 39-40℉, then 41℉ Fri and 42-43℉ Sat-Mon. The week will also consist of showers Tues-Weds and partial clouds the rest of the week, with the exception of full sun Fri. Don’t let those clouds get you down, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in the mid 50’s and climbing to the 60’s, lows primarily in the low 40’s, some showers and sun but mostly partial clouds. 

 

8. Cooking: Haupia (Hawai’ian coconut pudding)

Haupia (pronounced how-pia) is a delicious Hawai’ian treat, made with coconut milk over the stovetop, that sets up to be around the consistency of Jell-O. As a person whose mom grew up in Hawai’i, it has been a staple celebratory food my entire life. Here’s a super easy recipe to make your own!

Via Foodland

 

Ingredients: 

  1. 24 oz coconut milk (this is a little over 2.5 cans, but PLEASE measure it out!)
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3 cups water (separated into 2 cups and 1 cup)
  4. ½ cup cornstarch

Method:

  1. In a sauce pot combine coconut milk, sugar and 2 cups water. Place on stove and cook on medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and 1 cup warm water to make a slurry.
  3. When the coconut mixture comes to a boil, stir slurry in briskly.
  4. Reduce to med-low heat. Cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into pan.
  6. Immediately cover with plastic wrap. Make sure it is touching the haupia completely. This prevents a skin from forming on top of the haupia. 
  7. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours – overnight is best, but in my experience 3 hours was enough. 

Cut into 2” squares. Arrange on platter. You can garnish with toasted coconut and/or fresh fruit, but I’ve never had it that way to be honest. Enjoy. 

9. Actions: Workers’ Rights

Editor’s note: The “Actions” section includes petitions to sign, prompts and scripts to write officials with as well as other opportunities to engage in your local, national and global communities.

 

  1. Don’t shop at/watch TV and movies on Amazon this week (if possible, of course) to support Amazon workers’ unionization efforts. 
  2. Sign this petition to pass the PRO act, which would increase worker protections, particularly surrounding unionization. 

 

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

 

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