“Inauguration Fanfares,” in honor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

“In honor of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Classical Movements, in collaboration with world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop, has formed the Hope & Harmony Ensemble,” according to Classical Movements, the premier concert tour company.

“The 14 musicians represent the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Peabody Institute, South Asian Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony.

“At a time when the orchestra world has been virtually silenced by the pandemic, Classical Movements has made a deliberate effort to bring together orchestras from every part of our country and to reflect the diversity of our people. Half of the performing musicians are women and 6 are musicians of color.”

A room with a view in Baltimore

Now that our son is settling into his dorm room at Johns Hopkins University, Shannon is exploring downtown Baltimore.

Shown here, the swimming pool at the Sagamore Pendry boutique hotel looks across the harbor to the corporate headquarters of Under Armor, one of the city’s most prominent companies. Ferries shuttle workers across the harbor to work.

The pool deck offers a seasonal bar and grill with outdoor dining and lounging, set at the water’s edge. I hope to visit when the pool opens in late spring.

In 2017, Baltimore’s historic Recreation Pier in the Fells Point neighborhood was converted into the 128-room Sagamore Pendry boutique hotel. It is the latest sign of the reinvigoration that is going on in Charm City. It began in the ’70s with the late urban planner James Rouse (A Time magazine cover story is here).

Sagamore Pendry Baltimore was developed in collaboration with Montage International and Sagamore Development Company, owned by Kevin Plank, founder, chairman and CEO of Under Armour.

“Plank is making significant commitments across Baltimore through strategic investments managed by his privately-held company, Plank Industries, the parent company of Sagamore Development,” according to the hotel.

“The Fell’s Point neighborhood is recognized as one of the best-preserved historic areas in the country, thanks to substantial revitalization efforts that have protected the historical integrity of the neighborhood.”

(Photo: Shannon Pelline)

Far-right groups plan for more protests

“President Trump’s incitement of his supporters before their attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 has galvanized a nationwide extremist movement and fueled those determined to disrupt the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden and violently challenge the legitimacy of the election for months — and possibly years, according to U.S. officials and independent experts,” this morning’s Washington Post is reporting.

“U.S. officials have warned authorities nationwide to be on alert for potential acts of violence at state capitols, as well as a possible second attack on the Capitol or on the White House. Law enforcement authorities have said extremists might use firearms and explosives and are monitoring online calls to rally in cities nationwide beginning Sunday. Security at the inaugural ceremony in Washington on Wednesday probably will be the most intense ever.

“At the center of the amorphous but increasingly motivated extremist movement sits the current president, now twice impeached, deprived of his social media megaphones but still exerting a powerful influence over his followers who take his baseless claims of election fraud as an article of faith.”

The rest of the article is here.

LaMalfa and McClintock vote “nay” on second Trump impeachment

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed an article charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol attack, as CNN and others are reporting.

The vote was 232 to 197, with all Democrats joined by 10 Republicans, “in a House chamber protected by National Guard troops stationed throughout the Capitol and its grounds,” The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Trump is the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

Our region’s representatives, Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock, voted “nay.” The votes are here.

Regional Stay-at-Home Order lifted

“The State has lifted the Regional Stay Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region, which includes Nevada County,” according to an email I received from the Nevada City Chamber.

“Due to Nevada County’s current daily average of COVID-19 cases and positivity rate, Nevada County will be exiting the Stay Home Order into the Widespread Purple Tier.

“As we move back into the Widespread Purple Tier, some businesses will be able to reopen with modifications. Most notably, these are:

• Hair Salons/Barbershops/Personal Care: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
• Hotels and Lodging: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
• Movie Theaters: Outdoor only with modifications in Purple Tier
• Wineries: Outdoor only with modifications in the Purple Tier
• Restaurants: Outdoor dining with modifications allowed in Purple Tier

“Although this is welcome news that our ICU capacity is projected to be above 15%, Nevada County remains well into the Widespread Purple Tier with significant business modifications.

“Nevada County Public Health continues to thank the community for wearing a mask, being mindful of social distancing and refraining from social gatherings. Together, we can stop the surge to save lives and work towards lowering our daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate which may allow us to move into the less restrictive Red Tier.”

Alabama crushes Ohio St. in championship football game

“This college football season had a series of stops, starts and ripped-up schedules because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” as CNN is reporting. “Yet, despite its unevenness, the 2020 season did conclude — and with a familiar team at the top.

“For the sixth time under head coach Nick Saban, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are national champions, pulling away to defeat No. 3 Ohio State 52-24 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

“At 13-0, Alabama ended a dominant season as the nation’s only undefeated team. The Crimson Tide also avenged their loss to the Buckeyes in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinals in the 2014 season.”

The rest of the article is here.

County responds to allegations of bias during Nov. 2020 election

The County Clerk-Recorder’s office today released this statement:

The Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters has received increased questions and concerns around the elections observation process during the November 2020 election. In fact, one of our citizens has said, “Even right here in Nevada County, Republican poll watchers were denied entry and access to view the count on election night.”

Our office would like to address any confusion and ensure the public that our policies on election observation were administered uniformly.

Our office makes a concerted effort to operate in an open and transparent manner in order to inspire public confidence in the integrity of elections in Nevada County. For every election cycle, we invite interested members of the local community to observe elections processes in the legal and logistical context of safeguarding voting system security and preserving voter privacy.

During the election, our office provided all those who wanted to observe with strict guidelines on election observation. Those guidelines were based on state law, state elections and public health directives, and were created in collaboration with County Counsel. Observers were permitted to view any part of the process, no matter what their affiliation, as long as they followed the rules. Those rules were presented openly and transparently, and are still available on our website: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/3121/Guidance-for-Observers.

To summarize the guidelines: as long as observers signed in, agreed to a temperature check, wore masks that completely covered their nose and mouth, and remained in designated areas of our office, they were welcomed in. At times, our office may have imposed time limits if there were lots of requests at once, so that staff could adhere to COVID-19 protocols and give everyone a chance to observe.

Furthermore, the County set up cameras in the tabulation room, ballot rooms, and processing areas during the election, so anyone who was waiting who wanted to view in the hallway outside our office, board chambers, or on the County YouTube channel were free to do so. The Clerk-Recorder/Registrar did limit the ability for media to be in the back of our office in order to prioritize observers and help keep our staff healthy, as the office is quite small.

Only one observer was turned away from our office during the election. This person was turned away because they did not follow our guidelines on masks and refused to put a properly fitted mask on, even after staff explained the guidelines to them and to their organization, which is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3). All other observers complied with our rules and were welcomed into our office.

As of this date, no elected official or candidate on the November ballot has approached our office with any allegations of election fraud from this past election.

The Office of the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters recognizes the important role that election observers play in the process and welcomed in observers during this November election and in past elections, in our office and in our vote centers, regardless of political affiliation.

Any questions around this matter may be directed to our office by calling 530-265-1298 or by emailing Elections.Mail@co.nevada.ca.us. Media may email Natalie.Adona@co.nevada.ca.us.

PGA strips Trump Bedminster of 2022 golf championship

“The 2022 PGA Championship will not be played at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.,” as the Golf Channel and others are reporting.

“The PGA of America announced Sunday night that it is canceling its contract with the Donald Trump-owned course, just days after a large group of Trump supporters illegally and forcibly stormed the U.S. Capitol in protest of the recent presidential election.

“‘The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,’ Jim Richerson, PGA of America president, said in a statement.

“Richerson also added in the video below, which was posted the PGA of America’s website, ‘It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission.’

“Added PGA CEO Seth Waugh in an interview with The Associated Press: ‘We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.’

In a statement obtained by ABC News, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said that they are “incredibly disappointed.”

“‘This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” the spokesperson said. ‘As an organization we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster. We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.’

“No replacement options for the 2022 PGA were provided by the PGA. Trump Bedminster, which Trump opened in 2004, hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. That week, Trump attended the women’s major championship while several protests took place outside the club’s gates.”

The article is here.