Summit Weekly Briefing: Week of 5/31/21
A family reads the Black Wall Street memorial during the 100 year anniversary of the Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Read more about Greenwood in the “Actions” section. Lawrence Bryant/Rueters via Rueters.
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: Saying goodbye
Almost everyone knows what it’s like to say goodbye to a teacher you loved. Whether it be the last day of kindergarten, middle school graduation, or even a mid-year change of plans, the feeling of sadness, as well as the knowledge that their lessons will stick with you, is something many of us can understand. This feeling is captured well by staff writer Sarah Rusali’s article “Beloved Mentor Says Goodbye To Shasta”, an interview piece on Shasta mentor and chemistry teacher Bradely Davey. The piece is prefaced with a reflection on the positive effects of mentors on their mentor group’s lives, then followed with questions on Mr. Davey’s next steps. Many of my friends have dealt with mentor turnover, and I know it was incredibly difficult for them. As such, I found Rusali’s article incredibly poignant. Mr. Davey’s mentor group, I wish you luck.
2. General News: Supreme court cases
June is the Supreme Court’s final term for the year. It will hear four big cases this month, including California v. Texas on Obama Care, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee on voting rights, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on LGBT+ rights and Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. on free speech. A breakdown of each case follows:
1. California v. Texas. In 2012, an original provision of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) required most Americans to have health insurance under threat of tax penalty, which lowered insurance premiums. However, this mandate was zeroed out by Republicans in 2017, meaning the tax penalty still exists, but it is $0. Texas, as well as many individuals, filed a lawsuit, stating that the $0 tax made the mandate unconstitutional. California, again amongst other states, also filed a suit defending the mandate. The case has three possible outcomes, according to University of Washington law professor Sallie Sanford, the most likely being that the mandate is simply struck down. Another possibility is that elements connected to the mandate, such as pre-existing conditions protections and other insurance regulations, creating the question of which parts of the law could be thrown out. Finally, the least likely outcome is that the entire ACA would be declared unconstitutional and struck down.
What the case could determine: The constitutionality of the ACA as a whole, the severability of certain mandates within the ACA.
Likely outcome: The specific mandate will be struck down.
2. Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. This case involves two Arizona laws, one that allows the discarding of votes cast at the wrong precinct and another, H.B. 2023, that criminalizes the collection and delivery of another person’s ballot. The Democratic National Committee argues that both laws violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting discrimination based on “race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups” and that H.B. 2023 might also violate the 15th Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote to all U.S. citizens. These restrictions primarily affect voters of color.
What the case could determine: The ease with which voter restriction laws could be challenged in court in the future. It could also set a precedent on whether or not such cases will be upheld.
Likely outcome: The Supreme Court will likely uphold Arizona’s voter restriction laws.
3. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. In 2018, the City of Philadelphia banned the foster agency Catholic Social Services from placing children in foster homes, as it refused to license same-gender couples. The CSS argues that they are entitled to reject same-gender couples as they are doing so on the basis of free exercise of religion and speech, not due to the qualification of the potential caregivers. They also argue that the City revoked their license based on religious discrimination. The City of Philidelphia argued that the CSS’s actions violated the city’s anti-discrimination policy and that their decision to ban CSS was therefore not based in religious discrimation.
What the case could determine: How the currently majority conservative Supreme Court will treat cases involving LGBT+ rights. The case could also determine future decisions involving the legality of same-gender marriage.
Likely outcome: Unknown. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of discrimation against LGBT+ people on religious grounds quite frequently in the past, but some justices, including newest appointee Amy Coney Barett, are keeping their cards close to their chest.
4. Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. A student at Mahanoy Area High School, Brandy Levy, tried out for her team’s varsity cheerleading team, but instead made junior varsity. B.L. then posted a selfie on Snapchat with the caption “F*ck school f*ck softball fuck cheer f*ck everything,” (censured). The school suspended Ms. Levy. from the junior varsity team for a year, arguing that she had violated both school and team rules, which she had acknowledged before trying out. Ms. Levy argues that her suspension violated her right to Free Speech, that the team’s rules were “overbroad and viewpoint discriminatory”, and that the rules were “unconstitutionally vague.”
What the case could determine: If a student’s right to free speech is protected outside of school grounds, especially on social media.
Likely outcome: The Supreme Court often rules in favor of freedom of speech, and precedent set by Tinker v. Des Moines protects a student’s right to that freedom. However, freedom of speech in relation to school is not protected if it is disruptive or dangerous, and B.L.’s actions could be found to be the former. Adam Liptak of The New York Times argues that the case might be sent back to lower courts if the Supreme Court feels unprepared to make a decision at this time.
3. Covid-19: Vaccination Trends
While more than 40% of the American population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, the 60% that have not been vaccinated are faced with difficult obstacles that hinder them from being able to make the choice to take a vaccine. This is shown by different trends throughout different U.S. counties:
- Counties that have fewer vaccination rates typically have an average of 35% more households with no internet and an average of 395 households that have no computers. It is much harder to research about vaccines or schedule an appointment without either of these things.
- Wealthier counties generally have higher vaccination rates. Furthermore, counties that have lower vaccination rates also have higher poverty rates.
- College-educated counties also tend to have higher vaccination rates. This could be because more people are aware of the medical science behind a vaccine and are more likely to trust them.
- Rural counties have lower vaccination rates compared to urban counties in the U.S. Chief executive officer of the National Rural Health Association Alan Morgan states that the rural communities do not have proper access to healthcare. He also says that they are not aware enough about COVID-19 vaccines, therefore lowering vaccination rates.
Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.
4. Politics: Texas Democrat walkout, end to the January 6th Commission
Texas Democrats walked out of the state legislature building this holiday weekend in protest of a restrictive voting bill, thereby delaying the vote. State Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher stated “You may have the votes on the floor, but we’re all equal in federal court,” previewing possible legal action against the bill, which limits mail-in voting, bans after hours and drive-through voting as well as voting on Sundays before 1 p.m. and makes it easier to overturn an election. Many of the new bans and restrictions were on ways Black and Latine people have historically voted. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to call a special session to vote on the bill, which would most likely pass due to the Republican majority in Texas state legislature, and has also threatened to limit legislative funding by vetoing Article 10 of the current budget proposal, tweeting “I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities. Stay tuned.” President Joe Biden called the bill “wrong and un-American” as well as “an assault on Democracy.”
Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan investigation into the events of the January 6th Capitol Riot, utilizing the filibuster to do so. Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to protect former president Donald Trump, as he may have been implicated in the investigation. Republicans cite already ongoing investigations as their reason for killing the bill. The commission the bill would have established was modeled after the 9/11 commission and would have been made up of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, who would be given subpoena powers.
5. Sports: Chelsea Win Men’s Champions League
The Champions League Finals in the world of European football was won by Chelsea, an English football club, this past Saturday against Manchester City (Man City), another English football club. The score was 1-0, in favor of Chelsea. This marks their second win in this League, a feat which only 12 other teams have done. Both sides had many missed opportunities in terms of goal scoring, but eventually, at around the 42nd minute mark, Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the match, with this also being his first goal in the Champions League. Both teams are considered very adept at defense, so it is no wonder that only one goal was scored. While both teams lost key players throughout this match, Thiago Silva for Chelsea and Kevin De Bruyne for Man City, it was Chelsea who overcame this and came out on top. Records set during the match were by two Chelsea players. Christian Pulisic became the first American male to play in a Champions League final, and Edouard Mendy became the first African goalkeeper to play in one as well.
6. Entertainment: Coachella is back in 2022, AMC stock rises
Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the world, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic multiple times, but it is finally back. The confirmed dates of the festival are from April 15 to 17 and April 22 to 24 of 2022. Advance ticket sales for the event will start on June 4 at 10 a.m PST. Musical lineups for the festival have not been announced yet, but fans can expect to see their favorite artists on stage for the event.
The popular movie theatre franchise AMC has had its stock rise after the success of “A Quiet Place Part II” at the box office, amassing about $48.3 million in its opening weekend. Before this, AMC already raised $230.5 million by selling shares to Mudrick Capital Management, which will be used to “buy new theater leases and make investments to enhance the consumer appeal”. After the company said near the end of 2020 that it may go bankrupt, this is a good change of pace for them. However, there is still a long way to go to attract people back to the experience of a movie theater. Hopefully, upcoming possible blockbusters such as “Black Widow”, the Fast and Furious franchise’s ninth movie “F9”, and “In the Heights” can help propel movie theaters back into relevancy.
Atlas (West Seattle): This week’s highs will eventually fall, though they will start at 76-75℉ today-Thurs, then fall to 71℉ Fri, 63℉ Sat, 59℉ Sun and back to 63℉ Mon. Lows will jump around a bit less, today’s being 57℉, Thurs 54℉, Fri 52℉ and finally Sat-Mon 49-50℉. As for sun levels, today will be sunny, Thurs-Sat partially cloudy, Sun will see showers while Mon will revert back to partial clouds. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the mid 70’s-low 60’s, lows in the high 50’s-high 40’s, sun, partial clouds, showers.
Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will start high and end lower, with today’s being 82℉, Thurs 76℉, Fri 72℉, Sat 63℉, Sun 59℉ and Mon back up to 62℉. Lows, meanwhile, will start at 55℉ today, then fall to 50-51℉ Thurs-Fri and ending at 47℉ for the rest of the week. Sun levels will vary, starting at fully sunny today, then partially cloudy for the rest of the week, though Sun will see partial showers. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 80’s-low 60’s, lows in the mid 50’s-mid 40’s, full sun, partial clouds and showers.
Sierra (Seattle): Highs this week will eventually fall, though they will start at 81℉ today, then fall to 73℉ Thurs, 70℉ Fri, 61℉ Sat, 58℉ Sun and back up to 61℉ Mon. Today’s lows will be 56℉, then fall to 53℉ Thurs and 51℉ Fri, then remain at 48℉ for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, today will be fully sunny, Thurs-Fri partially cloudy, Sat-Sun will see showers and Mon partial clouds again. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 80’s-low 60’s, lows in the high 50’s-high 40’s, sun, partial clouds and showers.
Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week will be… high, with today’s being 79℉, Thurs-Sat 80-81℉, Sun 75℉ and Mon 69℉. Meanwhile, lows will start at 55-56℉ today-Thurs, 52-53℉ Fri-Sat and 50℉ Sun-Mon. While the majority of the week will be fully sunny, Fri and Sun will see some clouds. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the mid 80’s-mid 60’s, lows in the mid-low 50’s, full sun and partial clouds.
Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will slowly fall, starting at 74℉ today, 71-72℉ Thurs-Sat, 68℉ Sun and 64℉ Mon. Lows today-Thurs will be 52-53℉, then down to 50-51℉ Fri-Mon. Meanwhile, today-Fri partially cloudy, Sat fully sunny, Sun partially cloudy and Mon fully sunny again. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the mid 70’s-mid 60’s, lows in the low 50’s, full sun and partial clouds.
K2 (El Cerrito): Highs this week will rise overall, today’s being 64℉, Thurs 68℉, Fri up to 71℉, Sat-Sun 73-74℉ and 71℉ Mon. Lows will remain in the 52-53℉ throughout the week, though Mon will be down to 51℉. Meanwhile, today-Thurs will be partially cloudy, Fri-Sat fully sunny, Sun back to partially cloudy and Mon fully sunny again. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the mid-60’s-low 70’s, lows in the low 50’s, full sun and partial clouds.
Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will slowly rise, starting at 60℉ today, 63℉ Thurs, 66℉ Fri, 69-70℉ Sat-Sun and 68℉ Mon. Though lows will mostly remain in the 52-53℉ range, Sun-Mon could be 50-51℉. Though the majority of the week will be partially cloudy, Sat and Mon will be fully sunny. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 60’s-low 70’s, lows in the low 50’s, full sun and partial clouds.
Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will stay in a fairly similar range, mostly 59-60℉, though Sat-Sun will be 61-62℉. Lows will also be similar, mostly in the 50-51℉. While the majority of the week will be partially cloudy, Sat will be fully sunny and Mon fully cloudy. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the high 50’s-low 60’s, lows in the low 50’s, partial and full clouds, full sun.
Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will bounce around a bit, today’s being 78℉, then up to 80-81℉ Thurs-Sat, then finally down to 77℉ Sun and 71℉ Mon. Meanwhile, lows will start at 56-57℉ today-Thurs, 55-54℉ Fri-Sat and 50-51℉ Sun-Mon. Though the majority of the week will be fully sunny, Fri and Sat will see some clouds. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 80’s-low 70’s, lows in the high-low 50’s, full sun and partial clouds.
8. Cooking: Vegan coconut snowball cookies
Via The Minimalist Baker. Makes 9 cookies.
- 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (not coconut chips)
- 1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ Tbsp aquafaba* (the water from a can of chickpeas, for binding + moisture)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (for structure // or sub arrowroot)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add coconut flakes to food processor and blend for about 1 minute or a little more, until the coconut flakes start clumping together. When you squeeze some of the coconut in between your fingers, it should stick together like a gritty loose dough (see video if unsure), a bit like wet sand.
- Add coconut oil, maple syrup, aquafaba, salt, and vanilla and mix for 20 seconds to combine. Add cornstarch and pulse several times to combine until a wet dough has formed
- Scoop out into 1 ½ Tbsp mounds (I like using this scoop) and gently transfer onto your parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a little room in between each cookie. They can be fragile, so scooping directly from the bowl and placing on the parchment without any additional handling is ideal.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden brown and bottoms appear golden brown. They should puff up a little while baking, too. Be careful not to burn the undersides.
- Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a plate or cooling rack to cool completely. For an optional kick of flavor, you could also dip these in dark chocolate (see method here).
These cookies are best enjoyed at room temperature. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for 4-5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
9. Actions: The Tulsa Race Massacre
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.
- Learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre (also known as the Tulsa Race Riots and the Greenwood Massacre) at its 100 year anniversary. “Tulsa race massacre at 100: an act of terrorism America tried to forget” from The Guardian is a good introduction to the tragedy.
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
- Learn more about the crisis at www.monareliefye.org/.