The sun finally found its way to the Capital District, but the warmer temperatures did not come with. On the plus side, it was still in the 40s and with the sun and blue sky so it was a nice Thursday. Plenty of stuff happened that you will want to know about today, so let us get to it, shall we CivMixers?
1) Another day, another Coronavirus update. Off of the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship is waiting to hear when it can dock. With one former passenger identified as California’s first to die from the illness and 21 others who have been on the shop showing symptoms, the current passengers are to be tested before any decisions on where and when the ship can dock will be made.
The deceased former passenger was an elderly man who was on the ship for a trip to Mexico, and health officials are working on tracking down the thousands of people who may have been exposed to him during that time. Another passenger who had been on the same trip from Feb. 11 – 21, which departed from San Francisco and sailed to Mexico, has also been positively diagnosed.
The Grand Princess was en route to Mexico from a trip to Hawaii, but with reports of passengers and crew members showing symptoms of the Coronavirus, Princess Cruise Lines recalled the ship and then ordered them to remain offshore until the CDC can test a sample of those currently onboard.
2) The Democratic presidential hopefuls have been narrowed down by yet one more. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has dropped out of the race after a few disappointing primary finishes and a truly poor showing on the vital Super Tuesday. Warren, 70, entered the race in 2019 to much fanfare and with the hope that the liberals would finally get a woman into the White House.
After losing the support of many voters on the left to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren seemed to lose steam when she did not take a vocal enough stance in the debates, the polls revealed. There were accusations of underlying sexism in some of those who opposed her candidacy, and it extended into some press coverage of her as well.
Warren expressed that her biggest disappointment in ending her candidacy would be that young women and girls who had placed all their hopes on her would have to wait for the next race to see the first woman in the White House.
In her announcement, Warren said she felt her place was still in the Senate, working towards student loan relief, better childcare and major health care reform. She declined to immediately endorse either of the top remaining candidates – Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden – saying she needed some time to think about who she wanted to support.
3) Long Island has its first confirmed case of the Coronavirus, and it is thought to be community spread. The patient is a 42-year-old Nassau County resident who has not traveled outside of the country and has underlying health issues. He is currently at the NYU Winthrop Hospital being treated along with others confirmed to have contracted the disease.
Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that New York now has 22 cases of the COVID-19 (as the Coronavirus is formally known). He also prepared New Yorkers for that number to grow as testing continues.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also revealed two new cases in the city that also appear to be community spread. The two patients are both in the ICU and health officials are doing contact searches for them as well.
4) Hamlet & Ghost’s Executive Chef Michele Hunter is the latest local chef to win one of the Food Network’s competition shows. Competing on Chopped, Hunter managed to be the last chef standing when all the baskets were opened and their contents cooked.
Hunter was initially a bit reluctant to be on any show, but after her experience on Chopped, she is not ruling anything out. She said the whole experience was overwhelming and full of pressure, but ultimately exhilarating and rewarding. Taking the out-of-the-ordinary ingredients and making something out of them under such time constraints takes chef’s to the next level, and Hunter was glad to not only meet the challenge but exceed it.
There was a watch party for the premiere at Hamlet & Ghost on March 3, and Hunter was thrilled to share the experience with not only the patrons of the restaurant but her co-workers, the restaurant’s owners, and her family. The prize is $10,000 and Hunter says it is the start of her fund to open a bakery someday.
5) Tomorrow is the First Friday of the month, which means it’s time for 1st Friday Albany. The first Friday of every month is a celebration in Albany. Sponsored by the Upstate Artists Guild, all are invited to join in this community-wide celebration of culture and the arts in downtown Albany.
There are live performances, exhibits and multiple special events throughout the nights starting at 5 p.m. and running through 9 p.m. Many of the local restaurants join in on the celebration with tastings, discounts, and specials.
The Capital City Trolley even runs for free during 1st Friday nights.
Photo credit: George Fazio.