The only thing keeping me going: I have been counting down the days until Seattle hits 70 degrees for the first time this year. Don't get too excited. We have another day before we reach that milestone–unless the weather people made an oops, which happens to us all. For today, mother nature will bless us with temperatures in the low to mid 60s. Expect partly cloudy skies for most of the day, but near the end of the workday, BOOM. Sun is OUT! Enjoy! I know I will :) 

Hey, how’s the levy? I’m glad you asked! Per initial election night results, 54% of voters approved the Crisis Care Levy. As of 3 pm yesterday, the approval rate increased ever-so-slightly to just below 55%. Things look pretty good for the levy. Should it pass, it would impose an increase to property taxes to raise more than $1 billion to fund five crisis care facilities around King County.

Victory against vape: JUUL Labs Inc, the company that filled middle school bathrooms with cotton candy smog in the '10s, will pay King County $23 million to settle a 2019 lawsuit. The County’s lawsuit accused the company of targeting children with its flavored vape juices. While I do look back at my days of blowing Os on the band bus fondly, it's cool that the County got some money from those fuckers and will use it to fund programs to prevent tobacco use. 

Outbreak: The Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria has infected 31 people at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in First Hill. The hospital first detected the pneumonia-causing bacterial outbreak back in October. Since then, four infected patients have died, but it is not known if Klebsiella caused those deaths. For now, the hospital is still investigating the outbreak and taking precautions to prevent spread, though the hospital says transmission risk is “extremely low,” the Seattle Times reports. 

Uhhhh Juarez… We can hear you: Council President Debra Juarez said she’s “not listening” as police accountability advocate and council meeting regular Howard Gale took the mic at public comment earlier this week. Love that our elected leaders take the opportunity for voters to speak to them directly so seriously!

Rest in Peace, Ebenezer: The family of Ebenezer Haile organized a vigil to honor the life of the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by another student last November. 

Social housing: The social housing initiative Seattle voters passed earlier this year has made some progress. Earlier this week, the City Council approved its appointments to the Public Development Authority's (PDA) board; urban planner Alex Lew and nonprofit developer Julie Howe. MLK Labor appointed Tori Nakamatsu-Figaroa, El Centro de la Raza appointed urban planner Brian Ramirez, the Mayor picked finance guy Chuck Depew, and the Seattle Renters Commission also selected seven members. Additionally, the State gave the PDA $200,000 in start up money. That still leaves about $800,000 for the PDA to get up and running, plus however much funding it takes to actually start building and acquiring social housing.

Let her speak: Republicans in the Montana State House voted Wednesday to censure Rep. Zooey Zephyr after the trans representative said the body would have blood on its hands if it restricted life-saving gender-affirming care for kids. For the remainder of the session, they will only allow Zephyr to attend and vote remotely. Of course, the Republicans are unambiguously in the wrong here and anyone who pretends to believe in Democracy should be throwing tomatoes, sending nasty emails, and otherwise shaming those motherfuckers. As the meme goes: THEY HATED ZEPHYR BECAUSE SHE SPOKE THE TRUTH

'I was speaking to the real consequences of the votes that we as legislators take in this body. When the speaker asks me to apologize on behalf of decorum, what he’s really asking me to do is be silent when my community is facing bills that get us killed. He’s asking me to be complicit in this Legislature’s eradication of our community, and I refuse to do so,' Zephyr said of her censure.

He’s back: Ex-Fox News talking-head Tucker Carlson posted a two-minute video on Twitter last night, breaking his silence for the first time after the network canned him earlier this week. There’s a lot going on, so I included it in its entirety below. He’s sort of speaking cryptically, but the gist is that he believes the Democratic and Republican Party have colluded to silence him because he talks about shit that matters. To Mr. Carlson, that means COVID misinformation and white replacement theory, or as he calls it in the video, “emerging science” and “demographic changes.” Sounds like he’s not going to shut up just yet, as he finished the video with a chipper, “See you soon.” I do not look forward to it!

Nice try: Former President Donald Trump got bad news last night that a federal court denied his appeal to stop former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying in the January 6 criminal investigation. Sure, Trump’s team could challenge the decision, but, according to The Guardian, that’s probably not going to happen. Now Pence is free to spill the tea about his former boss, who some believe would have let the MAGA mob tear the VP limb from limb. 

Don’t mess with E. Jean: Iconic Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll testified yesterday in her lawsuit against the former president. She claims the president raped her in a department store in 1996 and went on to defame her when she wrote about the experience. If you haven’t read her memoir, What Do We Need Men For? I cannot recommend it enough. 

About that debt ceiling: U.S. House Republicans BARELY passed a big ole bill that would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion but also set really tight spending restrictions that the Democrats do not like. For House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the bill is the Republican starting bid on negotiations with the President who, will want to come to some agreement to avoid defaulting later this year. Biden will probably veto the bill and also doesn’t seem interested in negotiating, according to the Associated Press. After all, Democrats called the House bill a “ransom note,” a “shakedown” and liberals’ most overused, but probably applicable insult:  “unserious.” 

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry: Television legend Jerry Springer died after his pancreatic cancer put him in a sharp decline last week, according to a family spokesperson. His talk show, The Jerry Springer Show, aired for 27 years, he starred in a courtroom show for three years after that, and his final TV appearance was on The Masked Singer, a tragedy in itself. 

For ears: Someone was playing the most beautiful lil tune on a recorder outside my window while I wrote this. Here’s something half as delightful.