Social housing's big night: Aw, what a cute Valentine's Day gift you all got for everybody who wants to live in an affordable, vibrant city! Initiative 135, which will set up a social housing system via a public developer that builds and acquires cross-class housing, came away with 53% of the vote last night. Look at you, Seattle, having big hearts and big hopes for what our city can be and who it can be for. As with all Washington elections, the ballot drops will continue throughout the week.
Sound Transit wants you to narc: The light rail kings over at Sound Transit want riders to "see something, say something" when it comes to drug use on the trains. They've hired more security guards to patrol the trains looking for drug users, but they'd like citizens to help as well. Hm. Well, sorry to tell you, Sound Transit, but I think this issue's a bit too systemic for the solution of "let's just police the fuck out of the drugs" to work.
Washington wants a wealth tax: During a hearing in Olympia yesterday, more than 2,200 people signed up to testify in support of a 1% wealth tax on the richest people in the state. Polling shows the idea is extremely popular.
Though there will be several opposing testifiers during today's #WealthTax hearing, don't be confused: Most Washington residents *do* support taxing the wealthy.— Economic Opportunity Institute (@eoionline) February 14, 2023
Still unconvinced? Here are the sign-in numbers for this morning's hearing:
1 other pic.twitter.com/u6eo7whpD7
PacSci wants a facelift: You know those cool reflecting pools, concrete landings, and big metal dinosaurs outside the Pacific Science Center? Their days could be numbered. PacSci wants to re-do that area, make it greener, make it lusher, give a little zhuzh, a little spice, maybe make it a meadow of native plants. Obviously, the City of Seattle's Landmark and Preservation Board is not pleased. Minoru Yamasaki designed the space for the World's Fair in 1962 for crying out loud, the landmark's board will likely argue.
Anyone want to buy Subway? The sandwich fast food chain where bread isn't bread and tuna isn't tuna is up for grabs. The chain, which could be worth more than $10 billion, announced its shareholders are exploring a potential sale.
Technically this isn't sports news, so don't yell at me: Some of you really hate when I mention sports and I think you're dumb because sports are full of drama. Like, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is about to embark on a "darkness retreat" so he can figure out what's next in his football career and gain some perspective on life. On the retreat, Rodgers "will be in total darkness for four days and nights" and he'll only eat one meal per day. He also might film the whole thing, which I feel like probably counteracts a lot of what he's trying to do, but when you're a washed-up quarterback maybe you need to capitalize on anything you can.
Fun fact I just learned: Renato Bialetti, inventor of the iconic Moka Express stovetop coffee maker, had his ashes placed in an urn shaped like his invention. In his afterlife, he is part of the perfect brew.
The designer chose to have himself buried in one. https://t.co/lUDDV8kNSB pic.twitter.com/9o7Z3R1DNy— Asad Khawaja (@asadmkh) February 15, 2023
More about the MSU gunman: The 43-year-old man suspected of killing three Michigan State University students and critically wounding five others Monday night had a previous felony charge related to gun possession. He was charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm, yet, through a 2019 deal, reduced the charge to misdemeanor. Despite that history, in 2021 the gunman bought two guns without issue. It is unclear whether he used these guns in his Monday attack.
A chilly morning, then some sun:
Febrrrruary, anyone?— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) February 15, 2023
Temps will be quite chilly through the morning hours, slowing warming into the 40s by the afternoon.
On the plus side, there should be some ☀️sun
New York Times contributors call out anti-trans coverage: Almost 200 journalists and contributors at the paper of record penned an open letter rebuking the NYT's role in the onslaught of negative coverage against gender non-conforming people. The letter's signatories take issue with the language and sourcing in many of the articles about transgenderism, but also that these stories act as evidence in legal battles restricting gender-affirming care across the country. Yesterday, South Dakota became the sixth state to ban gender-affirming care for youth.
Tesla says even plebeians can charge cars at their chargers now: Tesla will qualify for federal money so long as it allows other cars to use at least half of its existing chargers. Previously, only Teslas could use these chargers. This deal is part of the Biden administration's electric vehicle push, which includes building a national network of 500,000 EV chargers. Tesla will need to change the chargers for the public since they were originally designed only to charge Teslas.
Balloon wars continue: China says the US flew high-altitude surveillance balloons above China over 10 times since this time last year. So much finger-pointing. The real surveillance balloon is TikTok, but it's fun and we like it so it's easier to ignore this fact.
East Palestine, Ohio officials say the air is a-okay after conducting a controlled burn of the vinyl chloride spilled from a tanker involved in a 150-car train derailment. The air may be okay, but the water... well, best not to take any chances. In the wake of the toxic chemical event, 3,500 fish from 12 different species turned up dead.
Scotland's leader signs off: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, announced her resignation Wednesday. The announcement came as a surprise. After eight years in office, Sturgeon said she was exhausted and "too polarizing a figure to lead Scotland’s divisive politics effectively." She will remain in her role until a successor takes her place.
A state cactus for Washington: Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake) wants to make basalt cactus Washington's state cactus. Students in Kittitas County requested this bill and Warnick listened, she said. Damn, maybe those students should request something useful like universal health care or stricter gun laws. To be fair, the students are in elementary school.
Germans, dog shit, ballet, the death of the artist: Marco Goecke, an award-winning German ballet company director, momentarily lost his cool when he smeared his 14-year-old Daschund Gustav's shit on the face of a dance critic. While Goecke admitted what he did "wasn't super," he hasn't apologized. The lack of apology seems to be the biggest thing irking his artsy colleagues, who believe "this is an offense... and if he does not ask for forgiveness then he no longer has a place in our ranks; he’s no longer an artist." Some could argue Goecke, who said he was responding to "decades of 'annihilatory criticism'" was creating art when he smeared Gustav's shit across his critic's face (perhaps taking inspiration from the just desserts featured in "The Menu"). Gustav, you must remember, acted as Goecke's muse when Goecke produced his 2019 production Dogs Sleep with the Paris opera. We cannot, however, take the shit-smearing on the chins of critics lying down. Criticism, like dance, is a part of life.