It's cold: Yesterday, Seattle woke up to a jump scare: Snow! This morning, it's the same shit, though probably less of a shock this time around. If you're reading this after 10 am, then Seattle's likely seen all the snow it will see today, but we're still in for a cold one.
WeeeEEeeeDDdddd: The Washington State Senate passed a bill yesterday that would protect workers from potential bosses denying them a job because they smoke the devil’s lettuce in their free time. Now the bill’s just gotta pass through the House and get a signature from the Governor and we can all smoke while on the job hunt!
Speaking of the Legislature: A bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for people who want to sue for childhood sexual abuse in civil court cleared a committee hurdle Wednesday evening. Right now, people can sue perpetrators and state or private institutions (e.g. churches, the boy scouts, the foster care system, etc.) that failed to protect the child, but they only have a three-year window to file the suit, and that window opens at age 18. This bill would smash that window.
The Legislature removed that statute of limitations for criminal childhood sexual abuse claims in 2019, so it seems like pushing this through would be easy enough—but that might not be the case, thanks to an estimated $11 million price tag from the Attorney General’s office. The AG’s office thinks it’ll need to hire more than a dozen lawyers to help it defend against a massive increase in lawsuits, and that might get too expensive for lawmakers in a "tough fiscal year."
Leah Griffin, a lobbyist for the Washington State Association for Justice, thinks the AG is “way overestimating” the number of lawsuits the state will see, and she thinks most of the heat will fall on private groups. Moreover, she argues, the state stands to save a bunch of money by stopping the cycle of abuse, which leads to increased health care and incarceration costs. And if we need 15 lawyers to deal with a flood of legit childhood sexual assault claims against the state, then the least we could do is adjudicate those cases. One to watch.
Seeing Double: Me when I stare at myself in my little Zoom square.
Waiting to testify in the House Appropriations Committee, and two unfortunately familiar faces popped up: Tim Eyman's Zoom background is a photo of himself. pic.twitter.com/iALjGlF6Sm— Shaun Scott 🌹🤝 (@eyesonthestorm) February 23, 2023
Is that a challenge? The City of Everett is planning to spend about $300,000 on two public bathrooms they describe as “anti-vandalism.” According to the bathroom’s manufacturer, vandals and general hooligans won’t be able to dent the units because of their steel siding, and a special coating of “anti-graffiti material” will apparently make for easy cleanup when people tag it.
No pavement for park: The Mayor of Federal Way announced earlier this week that the City will no longer pave over Steel Lake Park Annex, caving to protestors who wanted to preserve the green space.
Lockdown on Whidbey: Ault Field at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island locked down after someone reported an active shooter threat late yesterday afternoon, the Seattle Times reports. Not to worry, they’ve since lifted the lockdown and no one got hurt, the base spokesperson said.
A gift for my inner child: I'm a huge American Girl fan. I had a Julie doll growing up, obviously. All love to my feminist basketball queen, but these two new dolls may have her beat. They're twins living in Seattle in the 90s, which actually makes sense as part of the "historical" line because AG had dolls from the 70s in the 2000s. And, I'll say it, they're queer-coded.
. @American_Girl’s newest dolls are a pair of Olsen-esque twins growing up in ‘90s Seattle (which means… they wear flannel &talk about the Space Needle). & they’re in the *historical* line (!!!)— Hannah Weinberger (@Trailanderror@scicomm.xyz) (@Weinbergrrrrr) February 22, 2023
To be fair a doll from 2015 could be considered historical, things change fast here pic.twitter.com/ueDfn4ZtPv
Big Mistake, Bucko! President Joe Biden is not happy with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Last night, Biden said Putin made a “big mistake” by withdrawing from the last remaining US-Russia nuclear control treaty known as “New Start.” Putin has already ended other transparency measures with the US, such as mutual inspections of nuclear weapons sites. But this new move would stop routine reporting on nuclear weapons, plunging the US into an even deeper dark as to what the fuck Russia is up to with their nukes.
Everyone hates Pete: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally made his way over to East Palestine, Ohio to meet with locals 20 days after the derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials, which can’t be good for the community’s health or for the environment. In the past couple of weeks, Buttigieg faced criticism from town residents, the left, and the right for his slowness. He said that he waited so long because he didn’t want to step on the toes of the National Transportation Safety’s investigation before the agency releases its initial findings, which will probably happen today.
Trump beats Pete to the punch: While Buttigieg stayed in DC, the right seized the opportunity to highlight the Biden administration's absence to earn favor with voters for the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Former President Donald Trump visited the crash site and told the residents, “You are not forgotten.” Nikki Haley, who also has her eye on the GOP nomination, also criticized the response at a Tuesday campaign event.
Speaking of Trump: After a jury member in a Georgia investigation of the former president’s interference in the 2020 election went on a media tour, Trump’s allies want to use her public statements to avoid his potential indictments. CBS News said Trump's buddies argue her TV interviews “taint any such charges and the investigation.”
A trick up his sleeve: Former Vice President Mike Pence might get out of testifying in the Jan 6 investigation by playing the "speech and debate" card, a constitutional protection from legal proceeding related to a congressional official's work.
Pine Hills murder: Investigators believe a 19-year old gunman shot five people, killing three in a string of attacks in Orlando yesterday afternoon. Allegedly, the suspect shot and killed an acquaintance in the Pine Hills neighborhood that morning. When the press came to the scene of the crime, the suspect allegedly shot two members of a Spectrum News 13 crew and a nine-year-old girl and her mother. One of the Spectrum News workers and the nine-year-old died.
Big day for gay people: The Food and Drug Administration stuck it to Big Dairy and said the producers of vegan milk-substitutes can keep referring to their soy, oat, and almond milks as “milk” despite opponents saying it obscures the meaning of the word. Of course, this a huge win for the lactose intolerant, vegans, and dorks who pay an extra 75 cents for oat milk just for vibes. Our milk is just as milky as the dairy industry’s milk, and now it's the law of the land. NOT ALL MILKS COME FROM AN UDDER. IT'S 2023, GOSH DARN IT!
And now, anti-mask queen, Lana Del Rey: