Biden will end COVID national and public health emergencies on May 11: The move comes after House Republicans were foaming at the mouth to end the protections as soon as possible, and Biden decided to meet them halfway, reports The Washington Post. That means you'll start having to pay out-of-pocket for your COVID-19 treatments, at-home tests, and out-of-network vaccinations if you have private insurance. (If you are enrolled in a Medicaid program, then COVID tests ordered by your provider and vaccinations are still free.) Don't you just love America!?!??!
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz released a statement about that SPD cop who hit student Jaahnavi Kandula with his cop car and killed her: He confirmed that officer Kevin A. Dave was the driver, which DivestSPD reported yesterday. Diaz said that Dave had his emergency lights on and was responding "as an EMT to a Priority 1 emergency call." SPD's so-called “Traffic Collision Investigation Squad” is conducting a criminal investigation of the incident “as we would with any fatal collision investigation,” and will forward any potential charges to the prosecutor. The Office of Police Accountability also started an investigation to check for department policy breaches. A “drug recognition expert” found “no evidence” Dave was impaired.
Shigellosis outbreak at Tamarind Tree on S Jackson St: From January 15-17, customers were exposed to the infectious disease, causing 17 people from 7 separate parties to become ill after eating at the restaurant, says Public Health King County. During a visit on January 24, health officers found "improper food handling practices" as well as a "lack of maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing of food equipment and physical facilities." They shut down the restaurant that day and required the restaurant to do a "complete and thorough cleaning and disinfection."
The Friends Experience took over the abandoned Barnes & Noble downtown to play off your nostalgia for an old TV show. I'll pass, thanks!
Gossip: Publicola wrote about "the worst-kept secret in Seattle politics right now:" City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda is "seriously considering" a run for King County Council Member Joe McDermott's soon-to-be-vacant District 8 seat next year. I'm a Gemini, so I LOVE poorly kept secrets, even if they aren't my beat. Mosqueda won't confirm or deny the rumors, but Erica C. Barnett offers some analysis on why this county council run would make sense.
Weather break: Are you seeing snow?
Few flurries or light mixed rain and snow showers until a=bout 9AM otherwise mostly cloud today. Could be a few sunbreaks this afternoon. Warmer. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s. #k5weather pic.twitter.com/gyUsTv3Tfc— Rich Marriott (@rtmarriott) January 31, 2023
My colleague Rich S. Smith has some news for your ass: Take it away, Rich!
Sen. Maria Cantwell and the City got us some traffic safety money: Seattle won a grant from a “Safe Streets for All” program that Sen. Cantwell says she stuck in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (lol still cannot believe they called it that), which means we’ve got $25.6 million in sweet, sweet, federal cash coming our way to hopefully reduce the number of people who die just by trying to walk across the street.
According to the City’s plan and Cantwell’s press release, the money will fund a bunch of traffic calming in the South End (e.g. speed humps, curb extensions, raised medians, and raised crosswalks), protected bike lanes and new sidewalks in SODO, a bunch of new curb cuts and accessible crosswalk buttons downtown and all over. SDOT slates most of the improvements in SODO, Rainier Valley, Downtown, and the U District, and they’ll locate the vast majority in places that qualify as “underserved neighborhood census tracts.” The plan also includes money for a new marked crosswalk, bumpouts, and flashing beacon at the intersection of Harvard and E. Olive Way, that death-trap corner by the dry cleaners that Matt keeps screaming about.
Thank you for your service, Rich.
Prominent lobbyist banned from WA state Capitol building after a judge ruled he stalked a state rep: Last year, State Rep Lauren Davis got a domestic violence protection order against lobbyist Cody Arledge for "an escalating pattern of obsessive and threatening behavior" after she broke up with him, reports the Seattle Times. Arledge took the dispute to the Court of Appeals after denying he "represents a danger to Davis." He has been ordered to not go within 1,000 feet of Davis's home or her workplace (the Capitol building) and must wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet for at least one year.
In Memphis: Seven cops have been placed on leave and three Memphis Fire Department personnel have been fired following the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols, reports CNN. Five of the officers were fired (all are Black), with the two other officers being the "subjects of an internal investigation." One of the officers, Preston Hemphill—who is white—could be seen on the bodycam footage firing a Taser at Nichols and later saying, "I hope they stomp his ass." To Hell, all of them.
And in Pakistan: A suicide bombing inside a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan has killed 100 people and left at least 225 wounded, reports AP. The explosion blew off part of roof with the rest of the building caving in and trapping hundreds of worshippers. No group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, which local authorities are saying was the "the handiwork of a well-organized group" that likely visited the compound "several times for reconnaissance." The mosque was in a "walled-off police headquarters compound" and many of the victims were officers.
George Santos update: This chaotic House Representative announced he will temporarily step down from his committee assignments following his symphony of lies being revealed almost daily to the public, reports WaPo. Also, there's that matter of multiple investigations into his campaign finances and fake resume, lol. In a closed door meeting, Santos told his fellow GOP cronies that he wanted to step down because "he's a distraction." Can't wait for the Ryan Murphy miniseries!
Right on: Seattle supergroup Who Is She? said they were disinvited from playing Kraken games at Amazon's Climate Pledge Arena after changing the lyrics of Le Tigre's "My My Metrocard" to critique former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The Kraken released a statement to the Seattle Times implying that Who Is She? were drinking and claimed that the band did "not meet the professional standards we expect." Who Is She? called BS, saying that they weren't given a specific reason "except that we ‘weren’t a good fit for hockey.’ When we asked if it was the Bezos line, they said ‘that didn’t help.’” Climate Pledge Arena hates punk!!!!!!
In an unfortunate turn of events, apparently we are not welcome back at Jeff Bezos’ Climate Pledge Arena for tonight and tomorrow’s hockey games. Glad we got to play our take on this @letigreworld song, we had a blast. Sorry to anyone who was hoping to see us play. Go Kraken! pic.twitter.com/AfX4tfwvm3— Who is She? (@whoissheband) January 27, 2023
Dallas Zoo needs to get its shit together: Two emperor tamarin monkeys appear to have been stolen from the zoo, reports the New York Times. This comes after a spate of weird news coming out of the zoo this month: a clouded leopard disappeared for several hours, the fencing in a lemur habitat was compromised, and a vulture died under suspicious circumstances. What is going on?
For your listening pleasure: Ptazeta and Villano Antillano's "Mujerón."