"I handled it the right way," said the pizzeria owner, who declined to identify himself in an interview Tuesday. He said he was aware of the rally and declined to comment further.https://ehs.wustl.edu/files/formidable/7/OfficialWATCH-Watch-Mortal-Kombat-ONLINE-MOVIE-FULL-FOR-HD-DOWNLOAD.pdf
In a flyer posted to the protest groups' Facebook pages, organizers state: "No one deserves to be treated this way. Join LIPP and BWBU as we rally outside the pizzeria to stand by this customer and show our support for them, and let the pizzeria know this behavior will not be tolerated."
When contacted for comment, Brandon Felton, a BWBU Facebook page organizer, told Patch he was not in the "business of attacking a good business."
Felton, who reviewed the pizzeria owner's demeanor in the video posted to Facebook, believes the pizzeria owner did the only thing that he could do and his actions were not sincere, so the rally will go on as planned.
"I do not want anyone going to that pizza parlor that is on the right side of history," he said.
LIPP organizers did not respond to a request for comment.
The outspoken Farash, who has thousands of followers on social media, has had no qualms with chiming in on political issues in the past. During the presidential election season last year, the conservative influencer organized a series of MAGA car caravans across Long Island in support of now-former President Donald Trump, including one in Montauk that drew thousands of people.
Most recently, he organized Save St. Patrick's Day rallies, as well as a "Make Andrew Go Away" rally in Ronkonkoma, directed at embattled Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who faces a series of allegations of sexual harassment.
Farash also takes issue with Saturday's rally flyer for leaving out the fact that the employee was fired.
"The shop did the right thing. What does it say about you, if you are protesting the guy who did the right thing?" he asked in the roughly 10-minute video. "You're not elevating the Black community and achieving true equality in education with this. True elevation would come by celebrating the man who did the right thing, not trashing him."
Felton dismissed Farash as a "troublemaker" and questioned why the pizzeria owner should be celebrated for his "numbness."
He said the business will not get the support of black, brown, and white people who condemn the delivery man's actions, but because Long Island is still very racist, people will continue to go there.
"He is going to get even more support than he ever had," Felton said.
Felton said that there were plans for a counterprotest outside the shop, and he has received threats about moving forward with it.
Mike Peranio, who owns Vintage Sports Bar across the street from the pizzeria, told Patch the business in the neighborhood serves a diverse crowd and he has never heard a single bad word about the pizzeria in his three years there. He said that there is no way that a business owner can determine if an employee has "racial issues or not" and he questioned such an occurrence could be predicted.
"They are protesting when the employee was let go. It could happen to any [business] owner, but how can we know before it happens?" Peranio added.
The groups have been the subject of some angry feedback over the last few days, with angry commenters decrying the organizers of the protest for directing their ire at the pizzeria when its owner took the appropriate action by firing the employee. Some have called for dropping by to purchase pizza showing their support.
A story on Patch itself featured over 100 comments from readers, most of them directed at the rally organizers.
"So these folks are protesting over the alleged text from a pizza delivery guy who was fired? He was fired and the woman was offered a full refund .. so what are they protesting?" Wrote one person. "Sounds like a publicity campaign for yet another organization to garner contributions in the name of discrimination ........"
Another writes, "I'm sorry, but what more do they want from this pizzeria? They were offered a refund and the driver was fired (which he should have been). Seems like things were taken care of properly."
In response to Farash's post, one page follower writes: "They rather label a business racist than see that the business took the appropriate steps to correct the problem. The protest organizers clearly just want to keep hatred and [division] going."
One woman questions, "Do you know if the fools running the rally even took the time to find out if the business owner fired the driver?"
Yet, another commenter responds: "Because apologies and doing the right thing isn't enough anymore. They MUST ruin whoever they have deemed a deplorable."
As Patch previously reported, Jerry was sent a text saying that "Black lives do matter but yours doesn't," and she was referred to as a "dumb n-----." The text allegedly finished by telling her to get out of Wantagh, according to Hawkins' video on Facebook.
Jerry told News 12: "I was upset, I mean I started crying ... I felt like it was discrimination."
The outlet reported that the police contacted the district attorney's office about the matter. The district attorney's office has not responded to a request for comment.
New Jersey lifted indoor-dining capacity last month to 50 percent. But Gov. Phil Murphy said March 22 he would stall the timeline on reopenings because of the emergence of COVID-19 variants in the region. Read more: Gov. Murphy: Surge In COVID Variants In NJ Will Delay Reopenings
It's become commonplace at restaurants nationwide to limit each customer's times for dining and drinking, so they can serve more patrons while meeting capacity.
Although the Morristown customer didn't like the rule, they indirectly inspired some generosity. Social media pages around Morristown raised at least $1,500 for the server.
During the pandemic, several initiatives emerged to aid struggling Morristown restaurants and businesses. Town officials pushed the "Adopt a Morristown Business" campaign, in which dozens of establishments created GoFundMe pages to help make winter's rent.
The Morristown Partnership also extended restaurant week to "Restaurant Month." More than 25 restaurants and businesses will offer special menus, coupons and promotions throughout April. Read more: No More Restaurant Week: April Is Morristown Restaurant Month
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The police officer who died, Evans, was taken to George Washington University Hospital in Northwest D.C. Evans lived in Burke with his wife and two children.
"I'm heartbroken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a tweet Friday. "I'm praying for the officer injured and his family."
The suspect also was transported by D.C. Fire and EMS to a hospital where he died from his injuries around 1:30 p.m., the police said.
CNN is reporting that Evans suffered fatal injuries when the suspect rammed his car into him.
According to a social media profile under Green's name, which reportedly was taken down shortly after the incident, he recently lived in Virginia, was unemployed and was a member of the Nation of Islam who called himself Noah X.
In two Facebook posts on March 17, Green reportedly said he had lost his job, was suffering symptoms that he thought were side effects of drugs he was ingesting "unknowingly," and was "in search of a spiritual journey."
Robert Contee, acting chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, said his department will take over the investigation into the shooting death. He said it does not appear that the crash into the barrier was a terror attack.
The police officer's death comes almost three months after Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Two other officers — Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood and Metropolitan Police Department officer Jeffrey Smith — died by suicide in the days after the insurrection.
The incident occurred along Constitution Ave. at the North Barricade security checkpoint to the U.S. Capitol complex. The Capitol was placed in full lockdown as police arrived on the scene.
The CDC have given countries one of four designations ranging from Level 4: COVID-19 Very High to Level 1: COVID-19 Low.
Among the countries the CDC does not recommend visiting are Austria, Portugal, Peru, Denmark, Costa Rica, Jordan, Jamaica, Italy, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Honduras, Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, Finland, Egypt, Russia, Poland, Cuba, Panama, Norway, Colombia, Canada, Brazil, Monaco, Mexico, Barbados and Belgium.
In low-risk countries, the CDC said travelers should wear masks, social distance, avoid crowds, wash their hands often and use sanitizer.
Low-risk countries include the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, New Zeland, Australia, Uganda, China, Vietnam, Fiji, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Cambodia.
Click here to see the designations for all countries.
It's still unclear what impact the CDC's new guidelines will have on the travel industry, which has reported major economic losses during the pandemic.
The Analysis by Tourism Economics said travel spending in 2020 was down 42 percent from 2019 with international travel (76 percent) and business travel (70 percent) suffering the sharpest declines.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association tweeted this response to the CDC's announcement.
"Today, @CDC_gov announced fully vaccinated Americans may resume travel. @AHLA applauds this announcement and looks forward to working with legislators on policies that protect Americans and restore our industry."
"The pandemic has been devastating to the hospitality industry workforce, wiping out 10 years of hotel job growth," said AHLA President Cecil P. Staton. "Twenty percent of leisure and hospitality jobs—3.5 million in total—have been lost during the pandemic and have yet to return, and the unemployment rate in the hospitality and tourism sector remains 300 percent higher than the rest of the economy. With hotels expected to end 2021 down 500,000 direct jobs, an additional 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are also in jeopardy without additional support."
Staton said he hopes this is the first of many steps toward reviving the country's travel industry, noting that the CDC is still resisting the resumption of cruises from U.S. ports.
"Travel and tourism are critical drivers of the U.S. economy, generating $2.6 trillion in economic output and supporting one in 10 American jobs," he said.
See related story: FL Governor Threatens To Sue CDC Over Closed Cruise Ship Ports
She has had to burst their bubbles of optimism multiple times. The script goes like this:
"Rusty isn't the dog you're envisioning. It's a kind thing to do, but he's going to be a problem."
Those who work with Rusty at the shelter know "what an amazing dog he is," Rivadeneira said. "A lot of the issue is, people don't believe us. Their mind and heart is set on this specific dog, and when we explain why it's not a good match, they become so insistent."
One man set off a "huge ruckus" when the shelter staff turned down his request to adopt Rusty, whose behavioral issues include fighting with other — but not all — dogs, Rivadeneira said.
That's one of the things shelter workers have learned about Rusty over the 425 days he's lived there: He plays well with some dogs. Around others, he's lethal.
"The gentleman was furious we would not send him home with him," Rivadeneira said. "He has a Chihuahua. I have no doubt Rusty would have killed that dog."
Rusty can't tell Rivadeneira and her staff why he likes some dogs and is aggressive toward others, but with every unsuccessful adoption, they've gained more insight into his personality.
They're not quite sure why he "sets up a howling scream that sends chills down your spine" when he sees another dog.
"After he first came to us [in February 2020], it took us a year to figure out the screaming isn't necessarily 'I hate all dogs,' " Rivadeneira said.
The mystery of why the dog doesn't tolerate some other dogs may never be unraveled, "but he needs to be with someone who can manage that," she said. "It's taken us a long time to get to know Rusty and understand his way of thinking."
Selectivity in adopters protects Rusty, whose fighting with other dogs could put him on the wrong side of local dog ordinances and at risk for euthanasia, and it protects the kind-hearted families who naively adopt him from future heartache.
The last family to adopt Rusty was in tears when they brought him back to the shelter, Rivadeneira said. Rusty bit them, the couple explained, and it wasn't safe for their family to be around him.
"It was devastating to them," she said. "They were so upset about having to bring him back. A lot of people look at the family and the dog negatively in these circumstances.
"We don't see it that way; we see that as a new opportunity for the animal," she said. "Every day or week out for the dog, and we get to learn more about that dog. We have a responsibility not to send that dog home with the wrong family."
Surrendering a pet is a little like getting a divorce, with all the associated worry about pain and depression on both sides. It's a real emotion, Rivadeneira said, and one that too often stops pet adopters from speaking up when things don't work out.
No one can predict with 100 percent certainty how things are going to work out between pets and their adopted families. That's why the Humane Society of Central Texas operates "judgment-free" shelters that allow people to bring a pet back if they feel it is a danger to their families or other pets, Rivadeneira said.
Returning a pet to a shelter isn't uncommon.
About 1.6 million shelter dogs are adopted every year, according to the ASPCA, and about 10 percent are returned to shelters for issues that range from aggressive behavior and biting to potty training and leash aggression, according to an American Humane Association report.
The Waco Animal Shelter is a "no-kill" facility. The designation given to shelters is somewhat confusing: 90 percent of animals leave alive. At Waco, 99 percent of animals leave alive. They're only euthanized for medical reasons — not because of behavioral issues or to make room for other animals.
For now, Rusty has been taken in by a local rescue partner who can give him more individualized training to identify and overcome the behavioral issues that have caused guilt-ridden families to return him to the shelter.
"It gives us the chance to hone in on the best possible family for Rusty," Rivadeneira said. "At the shelter, we have high volume. We always try to match dogs with the best family, but a dog like Rusty with needs so special and different, it takes a lot of effort to find that right home."
In the meantime, Rivadeneira reminds Rusty's would-be rescuers that shelter dogs all over the country need homes.
And while rescuing that one dog who has been waiting for months or years to adopt may seem like a noble gesture, so is adopting less famous dogs among the estimated 3.3 million dogs that enter U.S. animal shelters every year.
"There's a Rusty in every shelter," she said. "We know lots of dogs like him that are amazing and wonderful.
"We want everyone to flood their local shelters. We know the homes are out there for Rusty ... and for all those other dogs we know are hard to place."
The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie's Fund have partnered with The Ad Council to increase shelter adoptions. Find a shelter.
"State agencies and political subdivisions shall not accept or enforce any order, ordinance, policy, regulation, rule or similar measure that requires an individual to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the individual's vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under emergency use authorization," the order reads.
Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida signed a similar order a week ago banning vaccine passports in the Sunshine State.
Vaccination credentials would "reduce individual freedom" and "harm patient privacy," DeSantis wrote in the executive order.
See Also: DeSantis Bans Vaccine Passports In Florida
"Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life, such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant or going to a movie would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination," he wrote.
The ACLU agrees with the Republican governor.
"We don't want people who can't afford to have cell phones to be excluded from societal benefits," Stanley told CNN, referring to a system that would use only digital devices. "We want people to be able to go to concerts or private events even if they don't own a cell phone."
GOP lawmakers in other states, including Ohio Rep. Al Cutrona, seek similar vaccine passport bans.
"A vaccine should not be mandated or required by our government for our people to integrate back to a sense of normalcy," Cutrona said in a statement last week announcing plans to introduce a bill that would ban mandated vaccines in Ohio, according to a FOX-8 Cleveland report.
"We've had restrictions on our freedoms for over a year, and more restrictions or mandates are not the answer to every issue related to COVID-19," Cutrona said.
As of the first week of April, more states have banned vaccine passports than have approved them.
The nation's first vaccine passport, the "Excelsior Pass" enacted in New York, has already been used at big-ticket venues such as Madison Square Garden.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, says the free, state-funded app used to verify vaccine status will help industries most affected by the pandemic, USA Today reported.
It allows people to verify their vaccine status digitally with a QR code, part of the process the ACLU finds concerning.
Health information could be "sold for commercial purposes or shared with law enforcement," Stanley said, recommending a paper rather than digital system if vaccine passports are widely adopted.
That's not stopping officials in other states, such as Colorado, from exploring vaccine passports similar to the program that just began in New York.
"While we are exploring what's working in other states, anything we do will be specific to Colorado and our needs," a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health and Environment told The Denver Post.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already enthusiastically championed the vaccine passport idea.
"I do like the idea, though, that everybody will have with them easily on their device — most people carry their devices with them — some way to show that they've been vaccinated," Pritzker said at a recent news conference, referring to vaccine passport technology in development by a University of Illinois company.
"If people ask you to show that for a particular venue or private venue, they have the ability and right to do that," Pritzker said.
See Also: Illinois Could Become Leader In Vaccine Passport Gold Rush
Dr. Matthew Wynia of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus said he could see businesses starting to use vaccine passports "pretty soon," The Denver Post reported.
"If you're going to mandate something, ethically, the mandate should be more or less proven to be the only way you can achieve your public health goal," Wynia said. "Vaccines tend to fall in these mandate categories."
See Also: Is a Coronavirus Vaccine Passport In Connecticut's Future?
Vaccine passports have become the latest aspect that's part of a larger debate on whether people should be forced to get vaccinated.
Cleveland State University is requiring the students living on campus, about 10 percent of the student population, to be vaccinated, Cleveland.com reported. Rutgers University in New Jersey also is requiring students to be vaccinated when they return this fall.
Vaccine passports are not new, as proof of vaccinations has long been a practice in international travel in other countries, and the United Kingdom is far along in its coronavirus vaccine passport process. British officials announced this month they soon will begin testing the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccine passports at large gatherings, The Associated Press reported.
Virneese Fisher doesn't think that is such a bad idea, she told WEWS in Cleveland.
"I think this is an OK idea if it helps other people in the public to avoid getting sick," Fisher said before flying from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to Florida earlier this month.
"If they make it mandatory like masks are mandatory, and we have to wear it, so if they did make it mandatory that we had to get a vaccine and travel, that's what we have to do."
Logan Pagel, another Florida-bound Cleveland traveler, doesn't think so.
"No one's asking me if I got a flu shot to go get a McDouble at McDonald's," he told WEWS.
"So I don't see any reason why it'd be any different with COVID."