Friday update

Is anyone else in the Downtown core having problems with their Xfinity Internet connection? It’s not that it’s gone out, but rather that someone is flooding the network with so much traffic that the connection slows to a crawl. This seems to happen primarily during business hours, and started Wednesday.

99 Cent Soul Food on South Main re-opens today.

Blow-dry service has returned to Rachel’s Salon and Day Spa.

If you have business with the county clerk’s office, you’re out of luck. A case of COVID-19 was reported at the Downtown office, and it has had to close. Also, the satellite locations can’t operate without the support of the Downtown location, so they’re closed too.

Las Delicias on Park has temporarily closed after two employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. Sadly, I think we are going to see more of these closures.

The second BuildDowntown webinar, where you can offer feedback on the plan for Downtown for the next 20 years, is today noon-1:15 PM.

Calvary Church is requesting donations of men’s jeans, to help clothe the homeless this summer. You can drop off jeans at the church at 102 N. Second.

Internet’s going down, so I’m going to hit Publish before it’s gone completely. Posts may be hit-or-miss the next few days until Xfinity gets this straightened out.

BBQ Fest and Music Fest canceled for 2020

Memphis in May issued a statement this morning announcing the cancellation of the 2020 BBQ Fest and Music Fest events. They had hoped to be able to hold these events in October, but COVID-19 continues to be a threat. In the interest of public health, and under the advice of health officials, the MIM board voted this morning to cancel the events.

Music Fest ticket holders and BBQ Fest teams have the option of requesting a full refund, or they can use their ticket/registration for the 2021 events. Ghana, set to the the honored country in 2020, will now be the honored country in 2021.

As a BBQ Fest team member, I am disappointed of course but I feel Memphis in May absolutely made the right call. Either event had the potential to create a massive surge in new COVID-19 cases that would push local hospitals to their limit and possibly beyond.

As a BBQ Fest team’s Director of Public Relations, I am relieved. The past couple of months I’ve been thinking, how do I recruit members to an event that might not happen, if it does happen it’ll probably be at 50% capacity so no one will be able to invite guests, and you might get to take home COVID-19 as a souvenir? Glad I don’t have to have those conversations.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Slider Inn Downtown re-opened a couple of weeks ago with patio-only seating. Now they’ve opened the inside, so you can enjoy the air conditioning on these hot summer days.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link you to this Daily Memphian article saying that a construction permit has been filed to renovate the building at 435 Madison, formerly the Glass Factory. It will become the second location for the Memphis Made brewery and taproom. The building is located adjacent to the future Ravine, the long, narrow park that will run through the middle of The Edge.

The City Council passed the mask ordinance Tuesday, but it isn’t being enforced yet as the city figures out how to do that. Also, State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown has filed a request with the Tennessee Attorney General to rule on whether the ordinance is legal. Dr. Haushalter of the Health Department said the county attorney holds the opinion that only the state health department can require masks.

There has been some confusion over the mask ordinance. Some people are saying there’s a $50 fine. That’s not true. There are no fines attached to the ordinance at this time although the City Council has the option of adding them later (if the ordinance is found to be legal). I believe the ordinance gives citizens three warnings and then a sentence of community service on the fourth violation.

Yesterday I heard from an employee of a business on Peabody Place that they had to close early Saturday because not only were people doing donuts in their cars outside, but people were sticking their arms out of car windows and firing guns in the air. I once again appeal to the developers of the One Beale project: How are you going to get tenants in this kind of atmosphere? Step up and convince the city to crack down.

I went by River Time Market & Deli yesterday to get some deli salads from their brand-new deli case.

That’s ham salad on the left, and Socially Distant Perjorie is standing on egg salad on the right. They were $7.99 a pound. Delicious! They had many other varieties, including macaroni salad, chicken salad, and a dessert salad (cookies & cream or something like that).

In other River Time news, Bill is back on wheels. He got a new bike after his old one was stolen last month near the deli.

Congratulations to Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s and Angel Lindsey, who got married this week.

The Southern Heritage Classic is the latest event to be canceled due to the coronavirus.

According to a permit filed with the city, there is going to be a “Free Curtis McDonald” march Friday from 4:45 to 6:30, starting at the I AM A MAN Plaza and proceeding to the National Civil Rights Museum. Curtis McDonald is an inmate in prison who has COVID-19.

You can order a Memphis 901 FC face covering, and this week only avoid shipping charges with curbside pickup.

I have a problem with Swarm, the app where you check in at locations around the city (formerly known as Foursquare):

Why is an app that’s all about going out telling us to stay home? And the app should be able to detect that it is being used in Memphis, where we are six weeks into the reopening. Even New York City is on Phase 1 now. Geez. If I want to be preached at to #StayHome, all I have to do is get on Twitter. I don’t need my phone doing it.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has announced that FUN lime hard seltzer will hit the shelves next week. This drink has only 90 calories, 2 g of carbs, and 1 g of sugar.

Tin Roof will host a Beach Ball Patio Party Saturday from 7:00 to 10:30 PM. They will grill kabobs and there will be drink specials.

The Orpheum will hold a Virtual Voices with Rice Drewry concert on Facebook and YouTube Saturday evening.

For my activist friends: There’s a Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over shortcut you can download onto your phone. It dims your phone’s screen, pauses any music being played, and starts recording video using your front-facing camera. Optionally, it can notify an emergency contact that you’ve been pulled over.

That’s it for today. Time to head to work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Bye Russ!: Wednesday update

Yesterday Flight restaurant issued a statement responding to the protests and allegations of racism and sexism at their businesses. It said, in an effort to change their company culture, they were implementing the following:

  • Russ Graham will be bought out by the owners, and will no longer be an owner, employee, or affiliated with Flight and its sibling restaurants in any manner.
  • A human resources firm will be brought in to evaluated policies to ensure that employees are treated properly.
  • An investigation will be conducted to determine if there were violations that need to be addressed.

All of this is a good start, and giving Russ the boot was a good and necessary move. However:

  • Who is going to conduct the investigation? Is it going to be internal or will an independent third parry be brought in? When and how can the public expect to be notified of the results of this investigation?
  • If there were racist and sexist policies at Flight, Russ couldn’t have enforced them on his own. The managers need to be fired too.
  • A personal, heartfelt public apology (not something prepared by a PR firm) from the other principal owner, Tom Powers, would be nice.

The City Council voted unanimously yesterday to ask Mayor Strickland to hold up the city contract with Flight allowing it to use city street parking for restaurant valet parking.

Congratulations to the folks at Kooky Canuck as they celebrate their 15th anniversary of being open for business today.

Got lots of opening news today! B.B. King’s blues club at Second and Beale is back in business today. Here’s the schedule for the week:

  • Tonight: P.S. Blues Band 6:30
  • Tomorrow: The B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band 6:30
  • Friday: Memphis Jones 4:30; The B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band 8:00
  • Saturday: Flic’s Pics Band 3:30; The B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band 8:00
  • Sunday: Flic’s Pics Band 2:30; P.S. Blues Band 6:30

Blue Plate Cafe on Court Square will resume operations Monday, June 22.

Max’s Sports Bar has returned to its pre-COVID-19 house arrest hours, which are

  • Sunday-Thursday 4:30 PM-midnight
  • Friday 4:30 PM- 3 AM
  • Saturday 11 AM-3 AM
  • Open early for NFL games, Memphis sporting events on TV, and other special sports events

The National Civil Rights Museum has delayed its re-opening until July 1, citing the complications that kept Shelby County in Phase 2.

Drs. Jon McCullers and Manoj Jain were special guests at the COVID-19 task force meeting to further explain the reasons for keeping the county in Phase 2. They said hospitalizations were up, and they were seeing something they had not previously seen, hospitalization of a number of COVID-19 patients in their 20s and 30s with no pre-existing health conditions. They found that alarming.

Also at the press conference, Health Department officials explained that while the 50% occupancy rule on restaurants has been lifted, what is important is that tables are spaced six feet apart.

At the Blind Bear, you can now get Hibernation Fries made with tater tots.

The City Council passed a mask ordinance yesterday by a 9-4 vote. Memphians are now required to wear a mask whenever they are in public. However, city COO Doug McGowen expects enforcement by police to be very limited, because they have more important things to worry about. Enforcement will more likely come by the city’s Code Enforcement arm visiting businesses.

Protestors are occupying City Hall, camped out beginning last night and through 9 AM this morning on the plaza outside. They have a list of five demands, including police reform, investing in training, investing in libraries, investing in education and youth, and investing in housing.

You can now buy buffalo sauce from award-winning wing team/food truck New Wing Order online.

Very sad news: Downtown marketing firm Oden will close after 49 years. They were proceeding through the pandemic, but then their largest client decided to stop funding its work.

More sad news: It’s official that Bluff City Law has been canceled by NBC.

I tried the new sweet corn flavor of Pringles, available at Downtown Walgreens.

If you like the Mexican street corn at Maciel’s, you will like these.

Major airlines are banning the serving of alcohol to encourage passengers to keep their masks on while in flight.

The Memphis Business Journal has more on the Civil Axe Throwing location coming to South Main.

The Memphis Flyer will be closed for Juneteenth this Friday. The publisher explains why – it’s a recognition of freedom, joy, and black lives.

For my poker-playing friends, a writer at stats site FiveThirtyEight explains why you’re never “due” for good cards in the game and in life.

Not Downtown, but as a fan of pro wrestling I’m going to mention it anyway: Zinnie’s is starting a pro wrestling party every Wednesday night from 6 to 10. From 7 to 9 they’ll have AEW Dynamite on. During the party hours they will have 75 cent wings and the following drink specials:

  • The King – PBR and Jameson
  • The American Dream – Montucky Cold Snack and Jack Daniel’s
  • The Macho Man – Casamigos Blanco and White Claw

South Main Sounds will have a Turnstyles Livestream tonight 8 to 9.

That’ll do it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

The Shelby County Health Department elected to remain in Phase 2 of the Back to Business Framework yesterday. That keeps restaurants and retail capped at 50% of capacity. In a press conference, director Alisa Haushalter said there were several factors involved in the decision. For one, a record 256 cases were reported yesterday at a positivity rate of 9.9%, well above the rolling average of 6.9%. Secondly, the rise in cases was attributed to community spread rather than a specific event like Memorial Day. Third, there has been a change in tone by the hospitals partnering with the city to fight the coronavirus: They are feeling increased demand for their resources.

Yesterday’s press conference was a special one. The regular, twice-weekly press conference is still set for noon today. Best way to view it is to follow the City of Memphis on Facebook.

Protests shut down Flight at 6:30 last night, leaving those with reservations out in the heat. That is awesome, especially considering the protest organizer was only 21 years old. Let me know if you do it again tonight and maybe I’ll come join you! The DM reports that councilman J.B. Smiley will introduce a resolution today asking the mayor to hold in abeyance city contracts with Flight for street parking spaces and space on a public sidewalk used as a patio. Flight was hit with multiple accusations of racism and misogyny on Facebook and Twitter last week, along with its sibling restaurants Porch & Parlor, Southern Social, and Coastal Fish.

I’d like to ask a favor of my readers – go by Downtown Huey’s and grab a burger or some nachos or whatever your go-to item is there. Without the Redbirds, Memphis 901 FC, and conventions at the Peabody, it would really mean a lot for their Downtown neighbors to come in and show them some love.

Word on social media is that axe throwing is coming to a location in the South Main District.

Trump’s niece will release a tell-all book later this summer.

Watching a video of a cop illegally stopping local activist Hunter Demster… gotta go to work in a few minutes… back tomorrow.

Monday update

There’s a petition demanding that an INDEPENDENT investigation be done to address the allegations of racism and sexism at Flight restaurant. Russ Graham, the co-owner, had said an investigation would be conducted, but he did not say it would be done by a third party not connected to the restaurant. The petition calls for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the NAACP to handle the investigation, and for Russ Graham to step down as a partner if he is personally implicated in the findings.

David Todd posted more information about the re-opening of Longshot, the shuffleboard bar in ARRIVE Hotel, which will happen tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16. The long, narrow space is ideal for social distancing, and they will have limited seating. Hours will be 4 to 10 PM Tuesday-Saturday and they will have “some tasty new additions to the menu.”

Things I didn’t know existed: a money gun. A friend of mine has one and told me about it yesterday. Perfect for your next visit to the strip club.

A police representative will be at the Downtown Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, June 23, 6 PM at the Rendezvous to discuss recent complaints of reckless driving Downtown.

Tin Roof has announced a July 4 celebration with acoustic live music.

Short post today. Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

Flight restaurant at Main and Monroe was closed for dinner last night following multiple allegations of racism on social media. Protesters stopped there, then moved to Flight’s sibling restaurant Porch & Parlor. I have heard Flight may be closed for brunch today too; best advice if you plan on going is to call the restaurant first and confirm they are open.

The Daily Memphis covered the protest, and told the story of a man who applied for a server job at Flight. Based on the fact that he had a certification from the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality, and he thinks possibly because his name was Grant (as opposed to, say, Antwann or Quintavius), he was invited in for an interview. However, once he arrived for the interview, the open position mysteriously vanished. Then his roommate, who was white and had no prior experience as a server, applied and was offered a job.

I have read that employees at Flight were required to sign non-disclosure agreements. I have never heard of a restaurant requiring NDAs, but then I’ve never worked in the service industry, so what do I know. I have some unsolicited advice for Flight co-owner and my former neighbor Russ Graham: If you want to make a bold first move in protecting your reputation, release your current and former employees from their NDAs. That would be a boss daddy move that shows you have nothing to hide.

Oh, Russ, one other thing – I don’t date much, but the next time I ask a black woman out, I’m bringing her to dinner at your restaurant, and we’re going to want a patio table facing Main Street where everyone can see us. Make it happen, captain.

Looks like the charity poker tournament for Alive! Rescue Memphis, hosted by the River Rat Rounders poker league, is back on today for 3 PM at the Green Beetle. They are playing 5-to-7 handed tables for a total of about 40 seats, when means two things:

  • You will want to get there early to ensure you get a seat
  • You will be able to play a lot more hands than you would at a full 9- or 10-handed table. First to act, I’d probably fold 97♠ at a 9-handed table; at a 5-handed table, I’d consider raising with it.

$300 will be guaranteed to first place, along with double league points. 2000 chip bonus for dealers (2 per table) and 1000 chip bonus for featured food, beers, and liquors. The focus will be on donations to the pet rescue during the tournament, and there will be dogs onsite for you to meet.

Adam McClelland brings southern rock to Sunday brunch at Slider Inn Downtown today from noon to 3. The brand new stage is ready for his performance.

Paulette’s restaurant will have Father’s Day dine-in and to-go specials on the 21st, including 3-course dinners family meals that feed 2 to 4. To-go family meal orders need to be placed by 7 PM this Friday.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is pushing for Riverside Drive to be completely reopened. Starting tomorrow it is scheduled to be open, but only on weekdays. DNA members point out that it’s the only street where you can drive alongside scenic river views and see pretty decorative objects like sculptures and “SPEED LIMIT 35” signs.

A Downtown resident reported on Nextdoor that cars were doing donuts at Front and Beale last night. MPD finally cleared the scene around 1:45 AM but the lot next to AutoZone immediately filled up with partiers after the cops left. To the developers of One Beale: This is what your tenants will have to deal with every weekend.

ShitFest, a double feature of the worst movies ever shown, will happen at Black Lodge tonight. First movie at 10, second at midnight.

Drag brunch returns to Atomic Rose today. Brunch starts at 11, drag show with Holly Walnutz at 12. At 2 PM there will be drag bingo hosted by Pattie O’ Furniture and co-hosted by Imagene Azengraber. $4 Bloody Marys, $4 mimosas. Ms. Rona is not invited so they’re doing social distancing and all that other stuff that makes health department officials happy.

Trump canceled the campaign rally scheduled for Tulsa on the Juneteenth holiday because his advisers told him to out of respect.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Social media has been abuzz the past couple of days with allegations of racism at the family of restaurants that includes Flight, Porch & Parlor, and Southern Social. A former barback at Flight posted to Facebook that when he worked there briefly, he was told to try and sell black people on the seating upstairs, telling them it was more appealing and classy. The real reason, the former barback alleged, is that the owner didn’t want people on the street walking by and seeing black people dining. He also said there was a code in the computer to indicate that a person who made a reservation was black.

Also, yesterday someone I follow on Twitter tweeted a screenshot of a text conversation with someone who had worked at Porch & Parlor. That person alleged that if someone asked how come there were no black servers at the restaurant, they were to respond, “They have the day off.”

Russ Graham, co-owner of Flight, issued a statement to the media saying the ownership group does not condone racism, and calling for an investigation of alleged racism and discrimination at his businesses. Commercial Appeal coverage Daily Memphian coverage I look forward to Mr. Graham issuing a future statement to the media reporting the findings of the investigation in a completely open and transparent manner.

I have no first-hand knowledge of whether the allegations are true, but to be fair I will make this observation: I can see the entrance to Flight from my living room window, and multiple times since the Safer at Home house arrest was lifted I have seen black people on their patio.

Sadly racism at restaurants is more common than a lot of people realize… there’s another restaurant Downtown at which I stopped dining 9 or 10 years ago, after hearing from multiple friends that they required a credit card upon seating for black dine-in customers, but not from whites. They have since changed their policy, I have been told. They now take a card from everyone. If you order an appetizer and drink to get started while you look at the menu to decide your main course, they tab you out once when you order the appetizer and drink, and again when you order your entree. That’s just fucking ridiculous.

All right, let’s get on to some brighter, cheerier news. Yesterday I wrote that there would be a musical protest on King’s Palace Cafe today at 1, demanding that live music be allowed to return. Good news: That protest is CANCELED because the city has agreed to allow live music, effective immediately.

Edible Memphis reported on Facebook that beginning next week (so not this weekend) once we’re in Phase 3, Silly Goose will extend its operating hours and be open 12 PM to 3 AM daily. No word on if they’ll be allowed to bring the DJ back. In the name of research for my blog, I will stop by the Goose sometime soon and find out.

So good to see things getting back to normal… I mean, catching a disease from someone you met in a bar at 2:30 AM was a thing long before 2020.

Tweet from Belle Tavern yesterday:

The window is open, the door is open, we have seating inside. Come by and enjoy a sip or two!

They have seating inside! Another Downtown hotspot is back! Man, the “only in America do we decide a pandemic is over because people want to go out to bars” people are having a bad day, aren’t they?

Looks like Blues City Cafe reopened last night.

Tug’s Casual Grill adds a pizza menu created by Chef Judd Grisanti starting Monday. They have 8 specialty pizzas or you can build your own. The pizzas are an addition to the regular menu, not a replacement.

Yesterday I wondered whether smokers could potentially spread COVID-19 when they exhale. CBS Boston had viewers send in questions for Dr. Malika Marshall, and that was among them. Her response was that the virus doesn’t necessarily hitch a ride on smoke, but when people exhale, they are releasing droplets into the air. Therefore, if you’re close enough to smell someone’s cigarette smoke and that person is sick with COVID-19, there is a risk you will be infected. Dr. Marshall goes on to say that smokers and those frequently around secondhand smoke may have damaged lungs, putting them at increased risk for complications should they catch COVID-19.

The Giving Grill raising money for 275 Food Project happens today at Cordelia’s Market 11 AM-1 PM.

Is it just me or are the fruit flies out of control this year? Seems like as soon as I zap one with Febreze, grounding it so I can catch it with a tissue, another one pops up.

Two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri came down with COVID-19 and before they realized they had it, they cut 140 clients’ hair. How many of those clients were infected? Zero, because both they and their clients were wearing face masks. If at some future point there’s a surge here in Memphis – and I mean a REAL surge, not “look the rolling 14-day average went up from 6.8% to 7.2%” – I would prefer a mandatory mask order to another Safer at Home house arrest. I enjoy being back at work and back at bars named after animals.

The Atomic Angels Drag Show with Holly Walnutz and Bella DuBalle returns to Atomic Rose tonight. There are two shows, at 8 and 11 PM. Buy two entrees, get a free appetizer 6-9 PM. $10 cover after 9. They’ll have limited capacity, hand sanitizer, and socially distanced seating, because Ms. Rona is NOT invited to the party.

LOL my friend who bartends at Atomic Rose tells me it’s hard to make any money there because all the boys want to order from Joe…

I read something this week that really brought me inner peace. It’s the idea that your soul draws to you exactly the people and events that allow you to have the experience it wants you to have, at every point in time. So, for example, if the music’s turned up too loud, you don’t have to be annoyed, because there’s a reason it is supposed to be that way. If the guy in the seat next to you is actin’ a fool, rather than finding it irritating, see it as an opportunity to decide who you want to be in relation to that behavior.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Friday update

Happy Friday everyone! Got quite a bit of news today, so let’s rock the casbah!

We’ll start off with some re-opening news…Tuesday, June 16 marks the next chapter of Longshot, the bar with five shuffleboard tables in the basement of ARRIVE Hotel at Main and Butler (entrance around the corner on Butler). Fun, fun place and may I recommend the brisket queso if you’re looking for something on the menu.

In other re-opening news, Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown has opened its patio for dine-in. Lots of people were out enjoying some pizza and great June weather yesterday.

Also re-opening is the Memphis Made Brewing Co. taproom. After doing a deep cleaning yesterday, they will be open 4-10 today and 1-10 Saturday. Here’s a list of restrictions they will have in place to keep everyone safe.

The episode of the TODAY show with Hoda and Jenna featuring B.J. Chester-Tamayo of Alcenia’s is now online. She demonstrates to the host how to make a perfect pie crust. If you want to try one of her pies, check out Alcenia’s menu.

If you go to the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow and you have kids, be sure to stop by the Kids’ Curbside Craft table to pick up everything your children need to grow a magnolia.

Reminder: Today noon-1:15 is the first Zoom meeting where you can give feedback on the BuildDowntown master plan for the next 20 years.

There will be a Musicians for Beale Musical Protest on the patio of King’s Palace Cafe tomorrow, Saturday, June 13 at 1 PM. This will be a chance for musicians to raise their voices (and songs) and tell the city that it is time to let live music back on Beale Street so these fine folks can once again earn a living.

A lot of people have been asking when Riverside Drive is going to re-open. City COO Doug McGowen gave us an answer in yesterday’s COVID-19 task force update. Riverside will open when we move into Phase 3 on weekdays only. It will open Monday-Friday, providing people another thoroughfare so people can get to and from work, and will close on the weekends to allow people to be able to enjoy Tom Lee Park while social distancing.

Health Department director Dr. Haushalter sees little reason why we would not be able to move into Phase 3 on Monday, and sure enough, here came the complainers on social media: “HOW DARE THEY move to Phase 3 when more than 100 cases are reported on many days??? We should stay in Phase 2! Hell, we shouldn’t have even come out of quarantine yet!!!” Okay, people, couple of things.

  • The number of new cases means nothing without also reporting the number of tests. Were there 100 new cases out of 800 tested? That would be a cause for concern. 100 cases out of 3000 tests would be an indication we’re flattening the curve.
  • Was there any surge testing in correctional facilities or nursing homes during the reporting period? If they account for many of the new cases, then it’s safer to re-open businesses than it is if all them were due to community spread.

What I’m saying is, the number of new cases can’t be taken out of context. Like Dr. Haushalter has said, you have to consider the entire galaxy of available data as a whole.

For those of you who have gone back to work and therefore are unable to stream the noon press conferences, WMC’s @kendall_downing does excellent coverage live-tweeting. On the days of the conferences (Tuesday and Thursday) I load his feed at noon and refresh every few minutes.

It’s the Summer of the Kayak on the Mississippi. Thursday through Sunday, 11-7 PM, you can rent a kayak at Fourth Cup in River Garden. Walk-up one-hour rentals are $20. Kayaks are sanitized between rentals for your safety.

Take a guided tour of the Mississippi, on the Mississippi, in a kayak… Kayak Memphis offers tours that start at Greenbelt Park, take you under the I-40 bridge, and end at River Garden. Call 901-482-2942 to book your tour.

Or, bring your own boat. The cobblestone landing is available for you to launch your own kayak, canoe, or paddleboat.

Got a question for my readers in health care… obviously, you want to cover coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. When a smoker exhales, could that spread the virus as well? The reason I ask is that a popular Memphis bar quite unexpectedly went nonsmoking when it re-opened last month, and I hear that the same is being considered for another bar.

If your Windows 10 computer didn’t automatically update this week, you should consider doing a manual update immediately. There’s a nasty Internet worm called SMBGhost that is going around. This vulnerability can give a hacker unrestricted access to run any program they want on your computer.

By the way, some free advice from a guy with an IT background: Leave your computer on at night so Windows can update itself automatically. If someone gaining unauthorized access while you’re away is a concern, log out but don’t shut down. Some people think computers shouldn’t be left on overnight but that mindset is a relic of the 1990s.

I’m on the mailing list to get copies of city-granted permits to assemble, and for the first time in three months I got one. It’s a Spontaneous Event Exception Notice allowing MICAH to gather people outside City Hall, 125 N. Main, on Tuesday, June 16 at 8:45 AM. The purpose will be to demand systemic racial justice and equity.

CNN has released its first map of Electoral College projections for the 2020 presidential race. With 270 needed to win, it has 232 votes solid, likely or leaning Biden, and 205 solid, likely, or leaning Trump. The remaining 101 votes will come from the states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona, which are toss-ups.

President Trump is planning a campaign rally in Tulsa on June 19. Why is that significant? June 19 is Juneteenth, a holiday recognized in 47 states symbolizing the end of slavery in 1865. Tulsa was the site of a race riot 99 years ago that resulted in the destruction of what was known as “The Black Wall Street” and many deaths. For Trump to campaign there, on that day, in the midst of George Floyd protests nationwide, is insensitive and is a nod to the “very fine people” (white supremacists and such) that make up his base.

That’s it for now. I will try to do a post tomorrow but I may have something going on that keeps me away from the computer. Back no later than Sunday in any case.


Thursday update

The Memphis Flyer has a long and thorough article on what to expect at Wiseacre 2, set to open this month. The new brewery and taproom will be located at B.B. King and Butler. The difference between this building and the original Wiseacre is that this building was built to be a brewery, rather than adapted to be one. The owners described the space as their “second album,” different in direction from the first.

There will be a free outing to Chickasaw State Park this Saturday to gather Chanterelle mushrooms.

Hospitality Hub news: For 85 days straight, the Hub staff has worked 24/7 to house homeless women in a local hotel during the pandemic. In many cases, they have seen a transformation in the women, simply because they have had access to shelter and food, and this has enabled them to face other challenges in their lives.

Yesterday the Hub announced the opening of the Hub Hotel at 28 N. Claybrook, where these women will continue to have access to food and shelter. It will welcome all homeless women until the construction of the permanent facility on Washington Ave. is completed next year.

If you want to help make the new hotel a home, you can gift an item from one of these registries:

The Flyer talked to Miss Suhair of The Little Tea Shop and she says she will re-open sooner or later but does not yet have a date in mind.

ESPN has dropped Tennessee college football to a Tier 3 coaching job. Weak recent history, infrastructure that needs improving, and the fact that UT sucks were cited as reasons.

River Time Market & Deli has added dips that you can buy by the pound, as much or as little as you want, to their deli case. Currently they have Buffalo dip, spinach dip, and French onion.

The Daily Memphian had an excellent profile of city activists yesterday. It goes beyond just DeVante Hill and Frank Gottie who have captured the most news attention the past two weeks.

For the math nerds: Have you ever asked, should I get out to the grocery store, where I might not be able to socially distance from large crowds of people, or should I stay home? Use game theory to find the answer.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will hold its monthly meeting at the Rendezvous on June 23. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the meeting will be limited to 50 people. Tables in the party room will be spaced with hand sanitizer provided. City Councilman J.B. Smiley, Jr. will be there, and DNA president Jerred Price will give an update on Downtown projects. There will be a limited amount of complimentary food and drink, and the full menu will be available.

Superb article from the New Yorker: How Do We Change America?

Businesses may soon be graded on how well they comply with requiring face masks. The City Council could vote tomorrow on whether to require citizens to wear face masks in public. There will be no financial penalty to those found violating the ordinance. The first offense will result in a warning, and the second will result in community service.

That’s the news for now. Back tomorrow.