As mayor urged Austin to ‘stay home,’ he was vacationing in Mexico following daughter’s wedding

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding and vacationed with a group of people in Mexico.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE Defenders that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions – and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

You can watch the video here:


The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet. 

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott. 

Adler said he held the event outdoors. 

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks. 

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said. 

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer. 

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo. 

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip. 

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy

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Austin police officer suspended for calling protester ’gay’ based on their clothing – News – Austin American-Statesman

An Austin police officer has been temporarily suspended following an internal affairs investigation into homophobic comments he reportedly made while describing a person at a Black Lives Matter protest in May.

While on duty to respond to a large number of protesters in front of Austin police headquarters on May 30, Officer Ryan Seweryn described one of the demonstrators as “that gay dude with the short shorts in the black shirt,” according to the disciplinary memo, signed by Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley on Nov. 25.

The protester who Seweryn described may have been pointing a laser pointer at a helicopter, the memo said, adding that Seweryn’s comments were recorded on his body-worn camera. The internal affairs investigation was spurred by a complaint made by a commander at the department on Nov. 13, according to the memo.

When asked to explain his comments during the investigation, Seweryn claimed that he was not describing the sexual orientation of the protester, but rather their style of clothing, according to the memo.

In the conclusion of the memo, Manley wrote that Seweryn did not take responsibility for his conduct and tried to justify his description of the protester.

“While he acknowledged that his conduct is inconsistent with APD training and expectations, he did not accept that there was anything wrong with the assumptions, description, and stereotype he made,” the memo stated.

Seweryn was suspended for ten days — from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5 — for violating the department’s rules related to impartial attitude and courtesy, the memo said. He will also have to go through additional training, according to the memo.

Seweryn served a separate ten-day suspension earlier this year for posting an old booking photo of a fellow Austin police officer, according to disciplinary documents.

Source Article

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Austin Mayor Reportedly Hosted Wedding, Traveled To Mexico While Telling Constituents ‘We Need To Stay Home’

Topline

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who has been a vocal advocate of social distancing to keep coronavirus cases down in Texas’ capital city, was reported by local media Wednesday to have hosted a wedding for his daughter in early November with 20 guests, twice the recommended limit under the city’s coronavirus guidelines at the time, and to have vacationed in Mexico as he encouraged residents to “stay home if you can,” a move called hypocritical by some Austinites.

Key Facts

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Adler and seven other guests at the wedding traveled on a private jet to Cabo, Mexico the day after the wedding, where the Statesman reports the mayor recorded a video encouraging Austin residents to hunker down at home to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax,” he said.

However, Adler maintains that he did not violate his own orders, telling the newspaper he consulted health authorities before the wedding, had guests tested for coronavirus, gave out masks and encouraged social distancing—he also said his travel party in Cabo was in a “pod” and following safety precautions, and at the time, Austin coronavirus guidelines were not yet discouraging travel.

This week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Florida Gov. Gavin Newsom found themselves in hot water after it was revealed they had dinner at the same Michelin-starred Napa restaurant French Laundry within a day of each other, despite state guidelines that strongly discourage gatherings of people from multiple households, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also apologized on social media Monday for traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family in Mississippi after he told his constituents to stay home. 

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced nationwide blowback after a trip to a hair salon that should have been closed under California state orders, which Pelosi and a hair stylist involved said was a setup by a business owner angry over coronavirus closings.

Crucial Quote

“I regret this travel,” Adler said in a statement released after the story made headlines. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But my fear is that this travel, even happened during a safer period, could be used by some as a justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

Key Background

A fall surge in coronavirus infections nationwide is expected to be exacerbated by Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. While widespread vaccination may be possible as early as summer 2021, health experts are urging Americans to continue social distancing, wearing masks and getting tested for coronavirus to battle the disease in the meantime. 

Further Reading

Austin mayor stressed residents ‘need to stay home.’ He was vacationing in Cabo at the time (Austin American-Statesman

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Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged residents to stay home while vacationing

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Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions — and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet.

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott.

Adler said he held the event outdoors.

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks.

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said.

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer.

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo.

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip.

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy limit.”

The week after Adler returned, on Nov. 19, the city raised the

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Stay Tuned column: A reimagined ‘Black Beauty’ makes its streaming debut – Entertainment – Austin American-Statesman

Thanksgiving week means a lighter TV schedule, except for many, many hours of holiday programming. In non-holiday choices, a famous horse story gets reimagined and a popular romance drama returns for season two.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Fox ordered the new series, “Game of Talents.” The unscripted variety show focuses on contestants guessing performers’ hidden talents, based only on their first impressions and clues. Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) hosts and executive produces the show, which will premiere in 2021.

Nicki Minaj announced on Twitter that HBO Max ordered a docuseries about her. She promised that the six-episode show will be a “raw, unfiltered” look at her life.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Here are a few holiday specials airing on Nov. 27: “Frosty the Snowman” (CBS, 8 p.m. ET), “Frosty Returns” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. ET), “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (ABC, 8 p.m. ET), “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (NBC, 8 p.m. ET), “Minions Holiday Special” (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET), and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (The CW, 8 p.m. ET).

Anna Sewell’s classic novel, “Black Beauty” (Nov. 27, Disney+) gets reimagined with Kate Winslet as the voice of Black Beauty and Mackenzie Foy as Jo Green, the spirited teenage girl who forges an unbreakable bond with the wild mustang. This version follows Black Beauty, who is captured and forced to leave the freedom of the American West for life at Birtwick Stables. As Beauty is sold to different owners, Jo is determined to reunite with her.

Season two of “Virgin River” premieres (Nov. 27, Netflix). The romance drama, based on the book series by Robyn Carr, will continue its focus on small-town love stories and give more backstory for Marines, Jack (Martin Henderson) and Preacher (Colin Lawrence).

Comic and ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham, premieres his first special for Comedy Central in six years called, “Jeff Dunham’s Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special” (Nov. 27, 8 p.m. ET).

The “2020 Soul Train Awards” are hosted by Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold (Nov. 29, BET, VH1, BET Her and MTV2, 9 p.m. ET).

“The Disney Holiday Singalong” returns for a third installment (Nov. 30, ABC, 8 p.m. ET) with performances and appearances by Andrea Bocelli, BTS, Michael Buble, Ciara, Katy Perry and many others. The special also includes performances from members of the Broadway casts of “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin,” and North American Touring companies of “Frozen.”

In non-holiday themed programming, “Atlas of Cursed Places” (Dec. 1, National Geographic, 9 p.m. ET) follows author and adventurer Sam Sheridan around the globe as he searches for the most cursed places on the planet.

Also on National Geographic is “Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller” (Dec. 2, 9 p.m. ET). The eight-part series follows van Zeller as she explores smuggling networks, offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at these criminal underworlds.

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: The “Supernatural” (The CW) finale delivered the show’s largest audience since April

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