ICYMI: San Diego Hits the Orange Tier

San Diego County has officially entered the “moderate” orange tier of COVID-19 restrictions as of April 7, 2021.

Now that San Diego is in the orange tier this is excellent news for more businesses that can officially open up or increase capacity.

  • Restaurants: Open for outdoor service and indoors, however, limited to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Live entertainment allowed.
  • Hotels and lodging: Open. Fitness centers in hotels can open at 25% capacity including indoor pools.
  • Offices: Open indoors, however teleworking is encouraged.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Indoors are open at 25% capacity. Indoor pools can open.
  • Place of worship: Indoors can open at 50% capacity
  • Hair salons and Barbershops: Open with modifications
  • Personal services (including nail salons, tattoo, piercing): Open with modifications
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: Open Indoors at a 50% capacity
  • Movie theaters: Indoors open at a 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food: Indoors are now open at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Photo Credit: Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
  • Bars that do not serve food: Open outdoors only
  • Family Entertainment centers (including bowling allies): Outdoors open. Indoor open with a limited capacity at 25% or 50% if all guests test negative or show proof of fill vaccination with additional restrictions
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: Indoors open at 25% capacity
  • Limited services (Laundromats, Dry Cleaners, Car Washes, Auto repair): Open
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Open. Sales of food drink, or alcohol allowed. Campground are also open.
  • Indoor playgrounds (Bounce centers, ball pits, laser tag). Open with a max capacity of 25%
  • Amusement parks: Open at 25% capacity
  • Live events, including sports or entertainment: Open at 33% capacity in assigned seating.
  • Entertainment Production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operation without live audiences.

Cover Photo: Stephen Leonardi on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Remembering Rapper & Actor DMX

Actor and Rapper DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmonds, passed away on Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 50 years old.

The Grammy-nominated performer suffered from “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the Associated Press. He was admitted to a New York hospital on April 2 relating to an overdose and heart attack.

DMX has been on life support since and, according to a former manager, has been in a “vegetative state”.

The family released a statement reading, “Earl was a warrior who fought until the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle, and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Late R&B singer Aaliyah’s mother Diane Haughton took to social media to paid tribute to DMX sharing “Earl you had and still have a heart of hold. You and Baby Girl will meet again with all the beautiful people we have lost. We will never forget your kindness. NEVER! Blessings to your family! Eternally! –Aaliyah’s Mom


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Instagram post from @aaliyah on Instagram

DMX, originally from New York, is known for memorable club songs like “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” was a staple in hip-hop during the late 90s and early ’00s.

Photo Credit: Joe Traver/Reuters
DMX performing at Woodstock in 1999.

The first five of his eight albums were all at no.1 on the billboard 200 album chart.

Albums included “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” released in 1998, “Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood” released in 1999, “…And Then There Was X” released in 2000, “The Great Depression” released in 2001, and “The Grand Champ” released in 2003.

In addition to being a successful rapper, DMX was an actor who was a part of films like “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and the late Aaliyah, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros/Everett Collection
DMX with Steven Segal and Eva Mendes in Exit Wounds

A few highlights from DMX is that he made the time to help the less fortunate.

In 2017 surprised a Philadelphia homeless support group; by giving a group of men advice. He also helped a family in Maine by purchasing back-to-school supplies for a couple of years.

DMX is survived by his 15 children and his mother. You can stream DMX music on services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Disneyland Reopens April 30

The magic from the happiest place on earth will be returning at the end of April. 

Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park will re-open with limited capacity beginning April 30. After being closed for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The theme park posted on their website Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 

Both parks will begin by admitting only California residents at first in order to follow all proper state health and safety protocols. California residents wanting to visit either park will need to make a reservation through Disney’s new reservation system. Disney has not released details yet regarding the new reservation system.

Photo Credit: Dineyland.com

The bad news, any attractions that bring large crowds such as their parades and firework shows will remain on hold.

Disneyland hotels will reopen with limited capacity beginning April 29. Disneyland wanted to reopen in July 2020 but had to wait due to a spike in coronavirus cases causing state officials to keep theme parks closed.

All theme parks in California including Disneyland, California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags, and Universal Studios have been closed since March 2020.

A few theme parks have been allowed to host food events such as Knott’s Berry annual Boysenberry at Knotts Berry Farm and Touch of Disney which opened this past weekend. 

For all the latest information regarding ticket sales, reservations, and experiences available at Disneyland visit their website at Disneyland.com

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

ViacomCBS Announces New Streaming Service Paramount Plus

As the rebranded version of CBS All Access, Paramount Plus will launch March 4 and is set to feature a massive catalog of movies, television, news, and sports.

At their latest event, ViacomCBS unveiled an expansive slate of both old and new content coming to their reinvented streaming platform. This will include everything from its subsidiary networks and studios, including Paramount, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, CBS, and the Smithsonian Channel.

Viewers will have access to a vast portion of ViacomCBS properties, consisting of 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movie titles and over 1,000 live sporting events, plus 24/7 news coverage. There will be two pricing tiers: a $9.99 per month premium plan available on March 4 and then a $4.99 per month ad-supported option that launches in June. Over the next four years, ViacomCBS is reportedly spending $5 billion on streaming in hopes of drawing in 65 to 75 million subscribers worldwide.

A Cornucopia of Content: What to Expect

In addition to their existing library of fan-favorites–from Spongebob Squarepants to Hunger Games–Paramount Plus will carry a number of feature films, reboots, and original series based on popular franchises. President and CEO of ViacomCBS, Bob Bakish, stated that Paramount Plus will primarily focus its efforts on children’s programming, scripted dramas, and reality TV. This will carry debuts of over 50 original series over the next two years. Notable mentions include revivals of Criminal Minds and MTV’s The Real World, new shows based on the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and movie projects from Workaholics and Beavis and Butt-head. Select Paramount films are also set to premiere exclusively on the platform shortly after their theatrical releases, including A Quiet Place II, Mission Impossible 7, and a Paw Patrol movie.

In addition to the plethora of movies and TV series offered, Paramount Plus will stream live sports with exclusive rights to NCAA, NFL, PGA Tour, and UEFA Champions League games.

You can read more about what’s coming to Paramount Plus on their Twitter thread as well as the ViacomCBS website. With the streaming wars heating up, how do you think Paramount Plus will stack up against the likes of Disney, Netflix, HBO, NBCUniversal, and other major players?

Cover Photo Credit: Variety

Written by: Nathalie Lum, Entertainment News Correspondent