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The Week in 5

Cristopher Bautista teaches 9th grade English at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, Calif. He participated in a one day strike last year. (Maria L. La Ganga/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Jack Hervela

Second shutdown expected despite administration’s assurance of wall

Following the longest government shutdown in history, a State of the Union promising unity and efforts to meet the wants of both parties, Washington is facing another stalemate.

During his State of the Union last Tuesday, Trump touted the border wall still, promising the increased security and bluntly stating, “I’ll get it built.”

Now nearing the Feb. 15 end date of what reopened the government, Democrats are farther from agreements as, “negotiations hit a roadblock Sunday when Democrats pushed to limit the number of migrants that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency can detain at one time,” reported USA Today.

Regardless of common ground, or a functioning government, top White House staffers weighed in Sunday as well.

“The president is going to build the wall,” said acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. “This is going to get built with or without Congress.”

The deadline to craft a new deal extends until Friday.

Denver Public School teachers begin strike

About 92,000 Denver Public School students will be taught by over 300 substitute teachers as teachers go on strike.

“We will strike Monday for our students and for our profession, and perhaps then DPS will get the message and return to the bargaining table with a serious proposal aimed at solving the teacher turnover crisis in Denver,” said teacher and Denver Classroom Teachers Association President Henry Roman.

For Denver, the strike comes from low base pay and the use of, “unpredictable bonuses to compensate for low base pay,” reported CNN.

Following 15 months of bargaining, the issue came to a head Saturday as teachers denied, among other incentives, DPS’s offer of, “$23 million in new funds next year for teachers’ base salaries. (That would increase the average teacher’s salary from about $55,000 to $61,000 next year.)” CNN stated.

Following teachers in West Virginia, Arizona and elsewhere, Denver educators hope to merely afford to live while working.

For updates on what comes from the strike, head here.

California governor to remove troops from border

In released excerpts from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address set for Tuesday, plans to withdraw the state’s National Guard troops from the Mexican border were revealed.

Addressing the border as a, “political theatre,” for Trump, Newsom says he plans to, “refocus on the real threats facing our state.”

The 360 troops will, “support wildfire prevention efforts and expand operations to counter drugs and cartels across California, with a group of forces trained in spotting narcotics to be stationed at the state’s international points of entry,” reported the Los Angeles Times.

Newsom follows New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in the decision to pull troops as the views of the White House do not match that of the state.

“This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism,” Newsom said.

For a full rundown of the released excerpts and what this means, head here.

Ice storm lays waste to power over weekend

Following tremendous ice storms Friday night, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Grand Rapids.

“Approximately 500 power lines were downed and more than 100 trees were knocked down,” reported WOODTV 8, subsequently leaving 42,000 locals without power.

The state of emergency declaration means state resources and funds went to help in conjunction with Grand Rapids city employees.

While city employees tackled portions of the mess, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss noted, “However, they are not sufficient to meet the significant needs across our city.”

According to Consumers Energy interactive outage map, as of Sunday night, most all Grand Rapids residents were with power.

Those with remaining debris from the storm or cleanup can head to the city’s page here on where and how to dump for free.

Music celebrates biggest night at Grammy’s Sunday

While noticeably light on guests, the 60th Grammy Awards were held Sunday night.

Hosted by 15-time-Grammy-winner Alicia Keys, the night saw surprises and well deserved allocations.

Following Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnows’ 2018 comments on how women needed to, “step up,” after last years show, Casey Musgraves, Cardi B and Lady Gaga all took home huge wins with album of the year, best rap album (first for a woman), and best pop duo.

Coming off an undeniably victorious 2018, Childish Gambino, better known as Donald Glover to Atlanta/Community fans, took home song and record of the year for “This is America,” becoming the first rap song to do so.

Appearances and performances by Michelle Obama, Travis Scott, Dua Lipa alongside St. Vincent and Keys herself drew praise.

For a full rundown of winners, moments and performances head here.


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