Census deadline extended, virtual history tour, updates from state government, & more | September 25, 2020

LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.


Federal court order extends the 2020 U.S. Census deadline from Sept. 30 back to Oct. 31

Click to go to the Census website

Earlier this summer the U.S. Census announced that they would “end field data collection” on September 30th, under orders from the Trump administration. Now a preliminary injunction issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh requires the Census Bureau to extend their count until October 31st.

A federal lawsuit was filed when the administration shortened the time-frame for the Census, and the Justice Department is expected to appeal yesterday’s order.  According to a sworn statement from Al Fontenot, the Census Bureau’s associate director for the 2020 Census, “every day that Court injunctions preclude us from following our normal field procedures makes it more difficult for us to complete a timely and complete census.”

Judge Lucy Koh handed the preliminary injunction after finding that the shortened timetable would lead to inaccurate counts for “historically under-counted groups”, which include people of color and immigrants, which would lead to inaccurate redistribution of seats in the House of Representatives based off the results (one of the reasons the Census was created).

Another area of concern is that those challenging the initial Trump administration decision to shorten the Census may succeed in their lawsuit “by arguing that the administration’s decision was arbitrary and capricious.”

The Census warned in May that the COVID-19 pandemic would cause them to miss the usual December 31st reporting deadline. Justice Dept. attorneys argued the sped up time-frame was meamt to ensure the original deadline was met. However Koh said the facts don’t back that claim up, writing in the order that “Those facts show not only that the Bureau could not meet the statutory deadline, but also that the Bureau had received pressure from the Commerce Department to cease seeking an extension of the deadline”

The U.S Census Bureau itself reported the time restrictions would lead to serious errors, and in released internal documents warned the administration of this in July. Part of this warning was that they risked the perception of “politically-manipulated results.”

On Tuesday, before ending a virtual hearing, Judge Koh was caught in a back and forth with DOJ attorney Aleks Sverdlov. Sverdlov “attempted to push back ” when Koh noted the appeal that was being prepared before her ruling was handed down. She ended the conversation by saying “Go ahead and appeal me.”

Read the full order (courtesy of NPR) by clicking here.


“Civil War and Abolitionism in Lynn” virtual tour

The events of the Civil War and the ongoing efforts of the abolitionist movement in the 1860s brought tremendous transformations to the United States. Lynn particularly was home to many Union soldiers and abolitionists who were active at this time. These individuals were committed to preserving the union of the nation and abolishing the practice of slavery across the county. This history reached beyond the immediate years of the Civil War. Decades before the institution of slavery officially ended in the U.S. in 1865, abolitionist leaders in Lynn spoke against the evils of slavery, founded anti-slavery societies, and aided enslaved people in their escapes through the Underground Railroad. After the war’s end, the city continued to reaffirm the ideals of union and freedom through the construction of monuments and commemoration of Lynn’s part in the Civil War.

This tour takes one past many sites tied to the Civil War and abolitionist histories of Lynn. Over 150 years later, some of these places resemble how they would have appeared in the nineteenth century, while others would be almost unrecognizable. Explore each of these locations and the stories they tell.

(Click the info icon on the bottom left corner of the image for more information on each of these sites.)

The Civil War & Abolitionism tour was created by Lynn Historian Patricia Lee for “Lynn’s 150th Civil War” celebration in 2012. This tour was digitized and updated by Essex Heritage in 2020 for Trails & Sails.


Watch City of Lynn meetings from this Tuesday at LynnTV.org

This past Tuesday the City of Lynn’s Planning Board, City Council subcommittees, City Council, & Conservation Committee all held meetings. All meetings were also broadcast live on our Government Channel, Facebook page, & website.

All meetings held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall are broadcast live via these methods. If you miss any of these meetings you can find them next day on our website. Watch the meetings from tuesday using the links below:

Lynn Planning Board
City Council Subcommittees
City Council
Conservation Commission

Volunteers needed at Salvation Army’s food pantry

Volunteers are most needed Mondays and Fridays from 12:30 – 4pm to help with the Salvation Army’s food pantry. If you’re able to volunteer call 781-598-0673, message their Facebook page, or stop by.


Updates from state government

  • As of Wednesday night, DPH reported a total of 126,863 cases of COVID-19. The state has now confirmed a total of 9,150 deaths from the virus.
  • Governor Baker on Thursday again voiced interest in a quick resolution for the policing reform bill that’s been tied up in a conference committee for almost two months, tying the matter to the death of Breonna Taylor. House and Senate policing bills have been before a conference committee for closed-door negotiations since July 27.
  • Governor Baker said Thursday that he and other public officials “will do everything we can to make sure that the people’s will is followed through” after this fall’s election. The governor’s comments came in response to a question about President Donald Trump’s refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election.
  • Governor Baker said the pandemic-inspired expansion of mail-in voting has worked “just fine” here and in other states across the country.
  • Governor Baker activated up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard on Thursday in case guardsmen are needed to facilitate demonstrations or keep the peace at large-scale events. A spokesperson for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said the governor signed the activation order “in the event that municipal leaders require assistance to protect opportunities to exercise first amendment rights and to maintain public safety during large scale events. National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support.” The order did not name any communities that requested National Guard personnel.
  • Beginning Friday, nursing homes and rest homes in Massachusetts can resume in-person visits as long as infection control and safety measures announced by the Baker administration Thursday are in place. Assisted living residences will also be allowed to expand their indoor visitation options.
  • The House on Thursday sent a new bill (HD 5181) for review that would mandate the use of face coverings when in any indoor or outdoor public setting. Sponsored by Reps. Jon Santiago and Mindy Domb, the legislation sent to the Committee on Public Health seeks to prevent a COVID-19 resurgence, and among other things, also requires travelers coming into Massachusetts from a state with a 5 percent positivity rate or higher to quarantine for two weeks.
  • The Housing Committee has not yet acted on legislation intended to guarantee housing stability during the COVID-19 emergency (S 2831 / H 4878), and the Senate agreed Thursday to give committee members until the end of October to make a recommendation. Housing Co-Chair Rep. Kevin Honan is a lead sponsor of one of the bills.
  • The upper chamber finished its week with a moment of silence in memory of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before gaveling out until Monday morning.
  • As of Thursday, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett reopened its spa, beauty store and a retail outlet, MGM Springfield plans to reopen its steakhouse to diners on weekends beginning Oct. 2 and Plainridge Park Casino is planning to go back to 24/7 operations starting Oct. 9, officials from the Gaming Commission said.
  • The risk of West Nile virus infection is at its peak and most of the West Nile activity in the state continues to be focused around the Boston area, public health officials said Thursday as they announced an eighth human case of the virus this year.
  • The Cannabis Control Commission agreed upon a framework that creates two types of delivery licenses and settling on a timeline that would have new cannabis industry rules in place in about a month. The CCC adopted draft delivery regulations Thursday that would create two distinct delivery license types: a “limited delivery license” that would allow an operator to charge a fee to make deliveries from CCC-licensed retailers and dispensaries, and a “wholesale delivery license” that would let an operator buy marijuana wholesale from cultivators and manufacturers and store it in a warehouse. The licensees would augment retail stories and serve as a new means for people to acquire recreational marijuana.
  • The CCC will soon open a public comment period on the draft delivery regulations adopted Thursday. Chairman Steven Hoffman said he expects the commission to consider feedback and vote to finalize the delivery regulations on Oct. 20. On Oct. 29, the CCC is expected to vote on its larger suite of rewritten regulations.

From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 524 with 2 new cases today. 4,265 Lynn residents have recovered and 118 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 4,907. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

Stop the Spread Initiative Testing have been extended until Saturday, October 31st

• Fallon Ambulance offers testing at the following locations. Walk up Only:
o Parking lot at Lynn English High School  |  Mon – Sat from 11:00am until 5:00pm
o Parking Lot across from Market Basket on Federal St.  |  Mon – Sat 12:00pm-6:00pmoResidents who have been tested for COVID-19 through Fallon Ambulance can call 617-765-0176 with any questions related to your COVID-19 test results.

• Call Lynn Community Health Center (781)-581-3900 to make a COVID-19 test appointment at 9 Buffum Street location

• Call Health Innovations at (774)-264-0604 to schedule a test at their mobile van location at Manning Field at 23 Ford Street. Walk-ins are also welcome.
o Mon: 10:00am until 2:00pm
o Tues: 1:00pm until 5:00pm
o Wed: 10:00am until 2:00pm

Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for more information on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn until September 30th.

We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 through the City website (www.lynnma.gov), social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system (sign up at www.smart911.com).

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