Community Tea for June 20, 2021
U.S. Catholic bishops approved drafting a “teaching document” that many of them hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights. The decision is opposed by a minority of bishops and the Vatican. Supporters say a strong rebuke of Biden is needed because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country. Critics also say they have not voiced opposition or taken a stand against politicians who have favored the death penalty, which includes Republic lawmakers. Biden says he personally opposes abortion but does not think he should impose that position on Americans who feel otherwise.
As part of President Joe Biden’s “National Month of Action” initiative to partially vaccinate at least 70% of U.S. adults by July 4, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta on Friday to spread that message. Her visit comes as inoculation rates continue to decline across Georgia. Harris visited Ebenezer Baptist Church, toured a pop-up vaccination site, and delivered remarks at Clark Atlanta University during a vaccination mobilization event on that campus. The White House has rolled out a bevy of incentives as part of the effort, including free childcare for parents while they receive their doses. “Getting vaccinated is about building the power of community. Getting vaccinated is about building the power of our country,” Harris told a cheering crowd of about 300 Atlanta University Center students and Democratic officials at CAU. “And we can do this, Georgia. I know we can do this.”
According to the CDC, 149 million Americans are fully vaccinated and 46% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccines. In the Peach State, 36% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and 42% have received at least one dose.
The Delta variant has been detected in 46 states. First identified in India, it is believed to be more transmissible than both the original strain of Covid-19 and the Alpha strain, first identified in the United Kingdom.
In a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal judge ruled in favor of Florida, saying the federal agency overstepped its authority when it tried to set guidelines for cruise companies wishing to resume sailing in the U.S. Judge Steven Merryday said the CDC is “preliminarily enjoined” from enforcing its conditional sail order. “This order finds that Florida is highly likely to prevail on the merits of the claim that CDC’s conditional sailing order and the implementing orders exceed the authority delegated to CDC.“ Merryday said the CDC has until July 2 to propose new guidelines for cruises “both permitting cruise ships to sail timely and remaining within CDC’s authority.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence seems unable to get any love as he was heckled while delivering a speech at the conservative Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Orlando, Florida. His speech was interrupted with yells of “Traitor!”
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) is the only member of the Georgia delegation that voted against making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The Atlanta Track Club, which organizes volunteers for the Peachtree Road Race, is looking for volunteers to be a part of an annual city tradition and share in the fun as thousands of runners hit the streets. Volunteers are needed for race days as well as on Tuesday, June 29 to Thursday, July 1. To volunteer, fill out an online form that requests some basic information and asks if you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. You will be asked to upload your vaccination certificate and allowed to view available opportunities and their responsibilities.
Kennesaw State University academics has been ranked among the best in in the nation by several online organizations for having some of the nation’s best academic programs. They cited curriculum quality, affordability, course strength and flexibility, among others at KSU.
Citing financial pressures brought on by the pandemic, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Atlanta in 2023 has been deferred. The event’s organizer, Bob Hope, chief executive of Atlanta Peace Inc., said he is now targeting future dates to bring the meeting to the city.
Over two dozen Smyrna businesses will fly a rainbow flag in their storefront windows June 26 in support of Pride Month and the city’s LGBTQ+ community. A proclamation was also issued by the City that declared June 2021 “LGBTQ Pride Month” in Smyrna. It urged residents to “recognize the contributions made by members of the LGBTQ community and actively promote the principles of equality, liberty and justice.”
Today, the Atlanta Hawks head into Game 7 in Philadelphia with the series tied 3-3. Game 7 is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Lovers of women’s professional tennis are disappointed to learn Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon. The news broke just hours after All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Wimbledon officials were discussing the tournament’s media operations with Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion. Osaka, the No. 2-ranked player in the WTA, bowed out of the French Open before the second round two weeks ago and directly cited challenging media sessions as the reason she would not play. Osaka said she deals with anxiety and depression and has struggled to address it since 2018.
The Atlanta Ballet’s new season will bring the city’s premier ballet company back to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre after a hiatus of almost two years. That 2021-2022 season begins in December with the long-delayed debut of a new production of “The Nutcracker” at the Cobb venue. “The Nutcracker this will be the first time the Atlanta Ballet has performed this high-tech version of the classic work at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The Cobb County School Board had to backtrack this week and revote to adopt its fiscal year 2022 budget after the district failed to record or livestream a public hearing on the topic during an earlier meeting. The district did not record or live stream their June 10, meeting on its website due to alleged “technical difficulties. The Georgia Open Meetings Act requires governments to make public all meetings that have a quorum of members of a governing body in attendance. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cobb School District has restricted access to board meetings and streamed them online for the public to view.
Andrew Young will be honored this fall with the “Four Pillar Award” from the Council for Quality Growth, a development industry trade association. The award is given annually to a recipient chosen for embodying the association’s ideals of quality, responsibility, vision and integrity and for “promoting balanced and responsible growth. An early Civil Rights activist, Young went on to serve as Atlanta mayor, a Georgia congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He now chairs the Andrew J. Young Foundation. Young will receive the award at an Oct. 14 gala that will include a welcome from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
The former chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners, Bill Byrne tried to rally Republicans into taking back control of the county government in a Saturday talk to the Cobb GOP. Suggesting that the present county government is taking far too much money through taxation, too much from neighborhoods through rezoning, and too much freedom from citizens by the policies they adopt. Byrne went on to say that it is “a**kicking time if I’ve ever seen it.” He told those gathered that, “The millage rate will not be increased, yet your property reassessments are going up as much as 30%. Burns argued that the county should be reducing the millage rate to offset the increased revenue its’ taking in through higher assessments, thereby causing no tax increase to occur.
The race to succeed former state Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, is headed to a runoff. Republican Devan Seabaugh and Democrat Priscilla Smith will face each other in a runoff election July 13 after finishing as the top two vote-getters in a special election this week. The race was one where all candidates ran on one ballot, regardless of party. To win outright, a candidate had to receive the majority of votes (50% plus one). Seabaugh finished at the top of the pack, with 3,337 votes, or 47.1%. Smith came in second with 1,740 votes, or 24.6%.
Metro Atlanta’s largest fair, the North Georgia State Fair, is returning in full this fall after it was limited to food stands and “drive-thru” food truck service due to the pandemic last year. This year marks the 88th year of There will be live music, petting barns, flower shows, competitions, local entertainment and rides. The fair will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 3 at Jim Miller Park on Callaway Road. In 2019, it attracted over 300,000 people.
Today is the first day of Summer, so enjoy the warm weather and this period of extra-long days.
Have a wonderful week….