Saturday, May 30, 2020

Following Last Night's Riots, Mayor Regina Romero Urges Public to Avoid Downtown Protest Tonight

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:16 PM

"I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence." - AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
  • "I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence."
Following a night of rioting in downtown Tucson, Mayor Regina Romero asked the public to avoid tonight's scheduled downtown protest.

Flanked by Police Chief Chris Magnus and several members of the African-Amerian community during an appearance at City Hall, Romero recommended going to a candlelight vigil set up by Jamar Anthony with D.J.s Against Hunger, youth activist Zion Givens, and Debi Chess Mabie at the Dunbar Pavilion on Monday night at 7 p.m. 

"I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence."

Magnus said there will be more officers on the scene for tonight's protest and warned lawbreakers will spend the night in jail if arrested.

"We are deploying a significantly greater number of officers into the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods," Magnus said." We will be making physical arrests and individuals who commit crimes will not only be arrested, they will be transported to jail. They will be going to jail."

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The Aftermath of Friday Night's Protest In Downtown Tucson

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2020 at 2:14 PM

AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
As downtown Tucson slept off its riotous hangover, an anonymous Black man swept Congress Street in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 30.

The sound of synthetic broom bristles corralling glass and debris served as an eerie reminder of the violence that took place at various spots during Friday night’s protest over the officer-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. The man initially brushed me off when asked for his name to include with the photo above. Instead, he had this to say:

“I’m as angry and as mad as any Black man about this. I’m afraid for my kids but I’m not going to let them display an image of us only destroying shit,” said the anonymous sweeper. “I was born and raised here and I’m not going to let them fuck it up.”

I could see the man fighting back tears as he briefly looked up and waved me away once giving his statement. He let out a deep sigh and returned to sweeping as I walked toward the next broken window.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Friday, May 29: What We've Covered Today

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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It's Friday! Let's take a look at the stories that we shared today.

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona surpassed 18K as of Friday, May 29, with an additional 702 new cases reported yesterday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • After more than two months closed, Casino Del Sol, Casino of the Sun and Estrella at Casino Del Sol will reopen to the public June 3 at 8 a.m., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe announced this week.
  • In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election.
  • Eliminating high fives, coaching in groups of 10 people or less and administering regular temperature checks are among the recommendations the Arizona Interscholastic Association is endorsing for high school athletes as they begin practice for the fall sports season.
  • In at least a dozen states, including South Dakota, Florida and Ohio, bills were introduced this year to make it harder for transgender minors to get medical treatment such as puberty blockers and other hormone therapies.
  • Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of county decisions and if they would have done anything differently.
  • After weeks of grim news as the pandemic tore through the Navajo Nation, the curve of positive COVID-19 cases has begun to flatten, President Jonathan Nez said Thursday.

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Navajo COVID curve flattens, but leaders fear post-holiday spike in cases

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK LIVE
  • Photo via Facebook Live
PHOENIX – After weeks of grim news as the pandemic tore through the Navajo Nation, the curve of positive COVID-19 cases has begun to flatten, President Jonathan Nez said Thursday.

The rate of hospitalizations peaked April 25, Nez reported during a town hall on Facebook Live, nearly a month ahead of the mid-May date projected to be the peak by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service projection rate.

“We did what it took, working together, all of us,” Nez said. “You stayed home, and that’s what brought these numbers – and the curve flattened.”

For weeks, the Navajo Nation has issued curfews and weekend-long lockdowns in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. An eighth curfew has been called for this weekend.

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Election 2020: Where the District 2 Board of Supervisor Candidates Stand on Restaurant Regulation and Other COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 3:30 PM

The Pima County Board of Supervisors has taken several steps in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Pima County, including voting on March 19 to close down all nonessential businesses, and later when the state reopened the economy, voting to implement and then revise new health regulations for restaurants and bars offering dine-in service once again.

The board’s decisions have been met with some criticism across the political spectrum, with some critics saying the county has not done enough and others saying it has gone too far, according to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

Democratic Supervisors Ramon Valadez, Sharon Bronson and Betty Villegas said they voted for the regulations to ensure public safety, while Republicans Steve Christy and Ally Miller say the new rules make it harder for beleaguered businesses to reopen. At the request of three GOP lawmakers, Attorney General Mark Brnovich investigated whether the county exceeded its legal authority by enacting the regulations but the AG’s Office dismissed the case on a legal technicality.

Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of those decisions and if they would have done anything differently. You'll find responses from candidates for District 3 here and candidates for District 5 here.

In District 2, which includes southern parts of Tucson and stretches down to Sahaurita, Supervisor Ramón Valadez is facing two challengers in the Democratic primary: former state lawmaker Matt Heinz and political activist Richard Hernandez.

Valadez said the closure of nonessential businesses within Pima County had the goal of making sure there were enough resources to deal with the impending increase in cases.

“Most people think we did the stay-at-home order to actually lower the amount of people that got the disease, and that’s part of it, but the truth is was we needed to make sure that the hospitals in our region had the capacity to handle any surge,” he said.

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Bills seek to limit puberty blockers, other medical treatment for transgender youth

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 3:00 PM

“This is really about building a safe environment for trans individuals and their family,” said Tina Howard, the mother of a transgender teen who receives care at El Rio Health in Tucson. (Photo by Annabella Piunti/Cronkite News)
  • “This is really about building a safe environment for trans individuals and their family,” said Tina Howard, the mother of a transgender teen who receives care at El Rio Health in Tucson. (Photo by Annabella Piunti/Cronkite News)
TUCSON – For 17-year-old Fran Howard, receiving medical care has not always been easy. Howard identifies as nonbinary gender queer and uses they/them pronouns.

Years ago, Howard began seeking treatment to help transition but found it difficult to find a doctor who respected the decision and Howard’s medical needs.

“I felt like I had to prove my identity,” Howard said. “Just being in a trans body … and existing in the world is already so difficult, and going to the doctor is just this whole super invasive experience.”

Legislation cropping up in statehouses across the U.S. could make that experience even more difficult.

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Temperature checks, no high fives: AIA announces guidelines for high school athletes to return to sports

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 2:30 PM

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PHOENIX – Eliminating high fives, coaching in groups of 10 people or less and administering regular temperature checks are among the recommendations the Arizona Interscholastic Association is endorsing for high school athletes as they begin practice for the fall sports season.

The AIA, the state’s governing body for high school sports, is following guidelines produced by the national Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for a state that is in phase one, which is the case with Arizona. The association also offered guidelines for when the state moves into phase two and three.

“Our priority through this is for the safety and well-being of all our state’s student-athletes and those that support them,” said David Hines, executive director of the AIA. “We are not guaranteed to have a fall season. We are preparing to be ready on time, but it will all depend on how this situation develops as the summer goes on. We just ask that schools, coaches, players and parents consider and utilize the guidelines until we get back to normal.”

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Electionland 2020: Trump on Vote by Mail, Poll Worker PPE, Naturalizations and More

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 2:00 PM

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This article is part of Electionland, ProPublica’s collaborative reporting project covering problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Click here to read updates about our voting coverage and more each week.

Trump’s Crusade Against Vote by Mail
In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election. This set off alarm bells among voting rights advocates and experts who believe the president is setting the stage to delegitimize the election if he loses. Then, this week, the president tweeted again about mail voting, and Twitter labeled his tweets with a message “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which linked to this fact-check page. After falsely accusing Twitter of interfering in the election and stifling free speech, Trump threatened “Big action to follow!” On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that aims to limit the power of social media companies.

The Latest on Vote By Mail
  • “Wisconsin shows that you can’t adopt vote-by-mail overnight,” Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford law professor and the head of the Healthy Elections Project, told The New York Times Magazine. “It’s not as easy as people think. The boring stuff matters — the scut work of supply chain and logistics and management is crucial.” (The New York Times Magazine)
  • The Illinois legislature is debating a bill that would withhold election funds from local officials if they fail to implement the expansion of mail voting. (The Center Square)
  • Texas’ lieutenant governor said expanding vote by mail was a “scam by Democrats to steal the election” and claimed seniors are more at risk of dying in a car crash than from getting coronavirus at the polls. (Texas Tribune)
  • “The shortest line that I’ve seen so far is the one at your kitchen table when you have your absentee ballot and fill it out at your convenience,” said Georgia’s governor, urging voters to return their ballots on time during the state’s primary. (GBP News)
  • Wisconsin will send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters for the November election. (WPR)
  • Absentee ballot use has spiked in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico and DC ahead of the states’ June primaries. (Talking Points Memo)
  • A West Virginia mail carrier was charged with attempted election fraud for reportedly altering absentee ballot applications. The mail carrier claims he did it as a joke. (WHSV)

Coronavirus Voting Impacts

  • Unless the federal government begins holding citizenship ceremonies again, hundreds of thousands of potential voters will be ineligible come November. (The Washington Post)
  • Some Atlanta polling places are offering free coronavirus tests, while another Georgia county’s only early voting location closed after a voter tested positive for COVID-19. (Fox 5, GBP News)
  • A reduction in in-person voting sites is likely to negatively impact New Mexico’s Native voters. (NM In Depth)
  • Furloughed county employees and volunteers are helping Pennsylvania’s York County handle thousands of absentee ballot requests. (York Dispatch)
  • Voter registration, which often takes place in person, is tanking in the midst of a pandemic. (NPR)
  • The proposed VoteSafe Act bill in the Senate would provide $5 billion to facilitate early and absentee voting, as well as curbside voting. (WKSU)

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