Wednesday update

Want to play mini-golf without hundreds of screaming teenagers rioting, throwing furniture and Plexiglas barriers? Want to play mini-golf without leaving Downtown? Now you can. The Memphis Flyer reports that the Orpheum has set up 9 holes of mini-golf on stage. The course will open Saturday, and will be open Thursdays through Sundays through the fall. Each hole will represent a Broadway show that has played at the theater. $10 per person with a maximum four-person party. Register here. I want to do this! Let’s get a foursome together.

Bird scooters are off the streets for a week after the company disobeyed a curfew last weekend. The scooters are to be disabled 10 PM-5 AM in the Downtown area Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights to slow down traffic problems related to teenagers riding the scoots through areas of heavy drag racing and cruising. The Birds are gone for a week starting yesterday. Next Tuesday they’ll be allowed to bring 50 scooters back, and if they observe curfew the following weekend, they’ll be allowed to bring the whole fleet back. Spin and Ojo scooters will still be on the streets and operable during non-curfew times.

Yubu and the Ancient Youth Band will perform at Live at the Tracks at Central Station 8 to 10 PM Saturday. They’ll bring smooth pop, R&B, and reggae to the patio, and if you feel more comfortable at home you can catch the performance online.

Downtown agencies have approved changes for tax breaks to be received by The Walk on Union, formerly Union Row. This is the mixed-use complex to be built on the south side of Union between Fourth and Danny Thomas. The project will include at least one grocery store, retail, four hotels, and over a thousand apartments.

Today’s weather:

Yesterday was a pretty terrible day in the NBA. The Grizzlies lost and every other team in contention for the number 8 seed in the West won. Portland is now in 8th place in the West with Memphis, Phoenix, and San Antonio a half game back. The Grizzlies can make the play-in series with a win over Milwaukee tomorrow. None of the teams vying for the final Western Conference playoff spot has a game today.

The Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences have canceled fall sports, effectively ending any hopes for a normal college football season. ESPN has a look at spring college football scenarios.  Their idea for a 32-team playoff, with 11 Auburn vs. 22 Memphis in the first round, sounds appealing.

Dentists warn you could get mask mouth, affecting the health of your teeth, if you don’t wash your face masks frequently.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee announced his pick for his vice-presidential running mate yesterday: California Senator Kamala Harris. Coming into this week, I thought, you simply can’t go wrong with any of the four names most commonly in the VP conversation: Susan Rice, Karen Bass, Elizabeth Warren, and Harris. Any of those four could step into the Oval Office today without missing a step. However:

  • Rice has ties to Benghazi, which could lead to Republicans painting her as a surrogate for “Crooked Hillary.” Also, Rice has never held elected office.
  • Bass could have cost Joe Biden Florida due to pro-Castro comments she made a few years ago. RealClearPolitics currently has Biden up by 5 points in Florida, and if he wins that state, he will need only one of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio, or Texas to win the electoral vote.
  • Warren would have made one hell of a president, but Biden would have perceived as being out of touch with the times for not selecting a woman of color when there were so many highly qualified choices available. Also, two 70+ year olds on a ticket isn’t a great look.
  • Harris, though… that’s like the Grizzlies selecting Ja Morant. There’s so much upside and very little downside. The knock against her is she’s “ambitious”… would you really want a president who’s NOT ambitious? Plus, the Republicans will probably be stupid to pin that term on Harris in the fall, driving the female electorate away from their party even more. One more bonus – you know Russian dictator Vladimir Putin HATES this pick.

The FiveThirtyEight presidential forecast launched today. As of this morning, Biden is a 71% favorite to win the election, to Trump’s 29%. Their “winding path to victory” shows Wisconsin as the current tipping-point state, with Biden a 70-30 favorite to win there.

That’s the news for today. If you’re interested in coverage of yesterday’s Shelby County COVID-19 task force press conference, keep scrolling.