Stay cool. The miserable heat will back off just a bit today, and even more tomorrow. We’ll likely have a cooler week–maybe even rain on Thursday, remember rain?–and then we’re looking at temperatures in the low 80s all next week and into the following weekend. Over the last few days, we set a record for the longest run of 90+ degree days in Seattle history, which doesn’t feel great. Portland is doing even worse.
Oh no. Sports legend Bill Russell passed away this weekend. Recognized as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he coached the Seattle SuperSonics and worked his whole life to expose and fight racism in sports.
Too many goodbyes. This weekend Nichelle Nichols and Pat Caroll both passed away. You probably know them as Star Trek’s Uhura and The Little Mermaid’s Ursula the Sea Witch, respectively, but they both had long careers full of many accomplishments. I’m particularly fond of Nichelle’s NASA recruitment film from the 1970s, and this ASTONISHING appearance by Pat Caroll on the Merv Griffin Show with Patti Lupone (!) and Madeline Kahn (!!). These ladies sure did leave us a lot to treasure.
Happy birthday to every horse in the southern hemisphere. It’s August 1, and you know what that means: Half of the Earth’s entire horse population is celebrating their birthday. It’s organized that way so that races can be standardized, which makes absolutely no sense to me–why not just organize horse ages by a range of months instead of this weird consolidated birthday scheme??? But what do I know. I don’t really have anything more to say about this, other than that the show Mr. Ed was nearly rebooted in the ‘90s with a sassy new attitude, and the unsold pilot is even worse than you can imagine. I promise this is real and not a fake show they made up for an episode of 30 Rock. Anyway: Horses!
Kentucky is underwater. Twenty-eight people are dead and dozens are missing with more rain on the way. Dryer weather is expected around mid-week. Here’s a harrowing story about a mother who saved her family by tying them all together with a vacuum cleaner cord.
You’re never going to believe this, but a lot of people moved to Seattle. Gene Balk has some specifics from a study by the US Census and Harvard. In the previous decade, we were the #5 city in the country for millennial transplants. Welcome to town, sorry there’s not enough places to live.
Our Flag Means Death is coming back. Creator David Jenkins teased us this weekend with a little peek at the script for the first episode of Season 2. Well, the cover page, at least. We don’t have a premiere date yet, but the first season launched in early March, so maybe it’ll be sometime around then?
This Trump weirdo is threatening havoc in Arizona. The NY Times has a depressing profile of a kook who is running for Secretary of State in Arizona. Mark Finchem wants to make it harder to vote, to let political officials overturn democratic elections, and he says if he loses his election he won’t concede. He used to be a cop in Michigan, and his personnel file reads “poor rating, would not rehire.”
Take a look at car-free Pike Place Market. This AI-powered Twitter feed gives car-heavy streets gorgeous pedestrian makeovers, and there’s a lot to like about its take on Pike Place. It didn’t get the details quite right–it looks like the algorithm decided to excavate down two or three stories? But the concept is sound.
Pike Place Market (Seattle, Washington) pic.twitter.com/gD7a0bO7wm— AI-generated street transformations (@betterstreetsai) July 30, 2022
Look at what we could have. Santa Barbara’s running circles around us. Come on Seattle, what are we waiting for???
Can't have this kind of thing without a car-free street. pic.twitter.com/wl32IwfUoZ— Entitled Cyclist🚲 (@EntitledCycling) July 31, 2022
There are no bears on the train. Someone sprayed bear repellent on a Sound Transit train on Saturday afternoon, causing huge delays. It’s not the kind of thing a transit agency could reasonably be expected to plan for, but still, UGH. I’m looking into whether security cameras captured the incident.
Would you like to get paid to not drive to work? Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer just introduced a Congressional bill that seems to amend the tax code to require any company offering tax-free parking credits to offer an equivalent cash amount to workers who don’t drive. The text of the bill is still pending, but if it does what the summary suggests, it would be an extremely effective way to reduce car dependence–a program in California reduced solo work trips by 12%, which is about equal to removing one out of every eight cars driven to work from the road.
Not a great look for Climate Pledge Arena. Arena employees reportedly directed cars into the bike lane this weekend, and allegedly threatened a cyclist who complained.
In case anyone was wondering, an @odesza tour bus is currently blocking both the bus and general purpose traffic lane and someone from either odesza or @ClimateArena is directing cars into the bike lane.— James Taylor (@MinusPeach) July 31, 2022
He threatened me when I told him to stop. pic.twitter.com/9HQff1B6Wy
Looking for a little DIY project that’ll help you breathe? Now’s a good time to assemble one of these cheap box-fan-filter contraptions – it won’t lower the temperature in your apartment, but it will help clean harmful particulates in the air. Air quality is forecasted to hover around the “moderate” zone around Seattle this week, and you’ll be glad to have one of these next time wildfires get real bad. We’re currently battling around 20 different wildfires around the state.
Beware of beetles. The Washington Dept. of Agriculture has identified Japanese beetle infestations in Richmond, which means the bugs are spreading faster than expected. While they’re very pretty, these things can strip plants bare and wreck farms – here’s advice for spotting, trapping, and reporting them.
You can report Japanese beetles easily online at https://t.co/881LU7Sit9 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org— Washington State Department of Agriculture (@WSDAgov) July 29, 2022
Calling all sewer lovers. Would you like to adopt a drain? This program allows you to sign up to periodically clear debris away from storm drains, in exchange for which you’ll get … well, not much, honestly. A yard sign and bragging rights, and that’s about it. Still, if you’ve got more time on your hands than you know what to do with, and you don’t want to see your street flood, then why not?
Who’s helped by forcing people to suffer? Spokane and WSDOT are currently engaging in some legal martial arts over a cooling station on state-owned land where an encampment has been established. The City wants it gone; WSDOT doesn’t want the people living on their land to suffer and die. There’s some disagreement over the fire safety of the structure; volunteers say they worked with the fire marshal to make sure it’s safe, but the fire marshal says the cooling station has to go, which would leave around 600 unhoused people at risk for heat stroke.
Looking good, Sound Transit. It’s a Christmas-in-August miracle! All the escalators at one entrance at the Westlake station are working. How should we celebrate? NOT WITH BEAR SPRAY.