Mayor Harrell's favorite club gets a fat check: The Royal Esquire Club, where Harrell served as board chair until November 2021, according to a spokesperson, will receive nearly $782,000 as part of this year's Equitable Development Initiative awards, a City program that taxes short-term rentals to provide funding for communities facing gentrification and displacement. Harrell has intermingled his official position with his membership in the club before. When he was president of the City Council in 2018, he criticized an Office of Labor Standards investigation into a female employee's claims that she wasn't paid for overtime.
The kids are still not alright: A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (no relation, sadly) shows Washington's kids have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a higher rate than the national average over the last two years, according to Axios. The State Legislature passed several new laws last session to support students' mental health, but this fall will be the first real test of how much those measures can offset the effects of two years of pandemic-induced isolation.
Lynnwood gets a little housing, as a treat: On Monday evening, the Lynnwood City Council voted to double the amount of housing in its City Center neighborhood. Back in 2012, Lynnwood passed legislation to pre-approve environmental reviews for 3,000 apartments in the neighborhood that will soon house a light rail station. Monday's vote doubled that cap to 6,000 apartments to prepare for an influx of new residents once the Link extension comes online in 2024.
Hmmmmm: Seems like TikTok is graduating from its "fun time-waster for young people" phase of social media platform growth and entering its "oops, we killed democracy" phase. If Facebook is any guide, TikTok's investors have nothing but ungodly wealth and a total failure of government regulation awaiting them.
“It's either incompetence or it's something worse”: A new report finds searches for information about prominent news topics on TikTok are likely to turn up misinformation about COVID-19, the 2020 election, climate change and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. https://t.co/PUIXUJwCWA— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) September 14, 2022
Amazon continues testing the fences of antitrust regulation: Despite facing intense scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission for its planned purchases of OneMedical and iRobot, Axios reports Amazon is pressing ahead with another major acquisition. Jeff Bezos's e-commerce giant now wants to acquire Belgian warehouse robotics-maker Cloostermans. After all, why let another company profit from your drive to automate your warehouses when you can just buy that entire company?
Everyone, everywhere needs more public workers: Due to slower wage growth and the tight labor market, local governments across the US are struggling to fill public jobs for everything from teaching to waste collection. Part of the federal pandemic relief spending over the last few years was supposed to blunt those losses, but because we don't prepare for anything that isn't right in front of us in this country, the "silver tsunami" of retiring baby boomers who have held these jobs for decades has crushed public workforces. Unless local governments find a way to compete with private sector employment, gaps in delivery of once-reliable government services will continue.
My only commentary on the monarchy: As an American of Irish descent, I could not give fewer fucks about British royalty. Whatever you think about them, this seems like a fairly large missed opportunity:
As the Germans point out here, the UK would be facing a fiscal windfall this year if John Major hadn’t exempted the royal family from inheritance tax in 1993 https://t.co/ntKiclIR5L— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) September 14, 2022
Trump's counter-investigation coming up short: The New York Times reports that the special counsel Trump appointed to investigate the origins of the FBI's investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia is wrapping up his investigation without additional criminal charges. While Trump has repeatedly claimed John Durham's special counsel investigation would uncover a vast Obama-era conspiracy against him, the inquiry has not produced any evidence to support those accusations.
Pence doubles down on Lindsey Graham's terrible politics:
Pence is in for the long game when it comes to abortion bans: The GOP "must recognize that it may take us as long to restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state as it took us to overturn Roe v. Wade," he told @RealClearNews https://t.co/hqUolmA3Iu— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) September 14, 2022
Your weekly reminder to check out the ongoing local podcast series The Walk Home from KNKX covering the investigation Manny Ellis's sister Monèt Carter-Mixon conducted into his death at the hands of local police. On this week's episode, we hear from Monèt as she tries to track down video of her brother's killing.
Same story, different state: At this point, we all know how this goes. A Colorado man in an apparent mental health crisis calls the cops for help. They show up. They try to talk to him, and he refuses to obey some pointless command. The cops spot a knife, and despite him apparently making every effort to reassure the police that he wasn't a threat, they shoot him dead. Great country we've got here, folks.
Not the trains! An ongoing labor dispute between railroad workers and the enormous corporations who own them could cause significant disruption to the country's supply chain as soon as Friday, Reuters reports. Federal officials are working to broker a deal before a work stoppage disrupts the supply of everything from food to chemicals necessary for water treatment plants to operate.
Brett Favre sucks even more than we thought: Newly discovered text messages between the former Green Bay Packers quarterback and the governor of his home state of Mississippi show Favre participated in a scheme to funnel millions of dollars in welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at his daughter's college. The public already knew Favre was a creep to several female massage therapists during the twilight of his playing career, but effectively stealing money that's supposed to keep poor people from going hungry to spend on your daughter's athletics program is a new low.
Today's must-listen podcast episode is a discussion on the merits of bail reform from Hacks & Wonks host Crystal Fincher and Chanel Rhymes, Director of Advocacy for the Northwest Community Bail Fund. If your knee-jerk reaction to the idea of ending cash bail is worrying about how it must cause a spike in crime, embrace your intellectual curiosity and take a listen for some recent research that may surprise you.