North Carolina upholds 12-week abortion ban: Abortion is currently legal in North Carolina for up to 20 weeks; the legislation cuts that window by eight, except in instances of rape, incest, and life-threatening complications. Republican legislators used their supermajority to override Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s recent veto of their new draconian restrictions. The bill is unpopular and appeals to the state’s most conservative pro-life voters. A February poll shows most North Carolinians want to keep it at 20 weeks or expand abortion access. Only a third wanted to restrict abortion or ban it outright.
Marc Dones puts in their four weeks: The King County Regional Homeless Authority CEO will resign next month. In a joint statement, County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell thanked Dones, but sources told The Stranger that Harrell was probably happy about it (he denied that). But Dones wasn't popular, sources say. They accused them of antagonizing others, pissing on ideas, and failing to manage contracts which, in one case, caused nonprofit YouthCare to max out its credit cards to pay workers. The $25.5 billion five-year budget plan didn’t help, either. Deputy CEO Helen Howell will take charge as officials conduct a national search for a new leader, a process that will conservatively take six months.
Washington criminalizes drugs in one-day special legislative sesh: Lawmakers in Olympia increased penalties on drugs and created a whole new crime. Ashley's got allll the details.
Pride organizers in Arlington, Washington won’t have to pay security fees: Back in April, city officials asked if organizers would consider nixing a planned Drag Story Time event and cited a nonsense Facebook post that claimed some of last year’s drag performers were sex offenders, falling for the same tired groomer rhetoric Republicans are slinging in states like Florida, Texas, Montana, and Arizona. The small non-profit would also be on the hook for $3,500 in security and insurance fees, paying off-duty officers an inflated $118 an hour for their services—more than the stunned organizers found it costs in Marysville, Seattle, and other local cities.
Officials backed off after media coverage and local support: Arlington has now classified the fest as a “free-speech event.” Mayor Barbara Tolbert told The Stranger the city did not demand any changes to the event and was passing along questions and concerns from the community. The event was rescheduled from June 4 to July 22.
Killin’ eagles is bipartisan. That’s right, Patriots. A Trump-era acceleration of policies that allow wind turbine companies to kill thousands of bald and golden Eagles with impunity have continued under Biden. The Associated Press found the US Fish and Wildlife Service isn’t prosecuting the crime like they used to. Dozens of approved and pending permits allow for 6,000 birds to die in the coming decades with a thud, a plume of feathers, and a pink mist.
Some permits require a $30,000 payout per bird. Several permits carry no penalty at all. A former Fish and Wildlife biologist told the AP that the government is “bending over backwards for wind companies” in the pursuit of renewable energy and “killing a hell of a lot more eagles than they ever anticipated.”
Still no deal on the National debt: Is it Groundhog Day? Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and congressional leaders emerged from yet another meeting about raising the US debt limit with “hope,” but they don't sound any closer to averting a default on our loans. Biden is cutting an upcoming trip to Asia short in case of a last-minute save; Kevin McCarthy claimed there could be a deal by the end of the week. There isn't much time. The US could run out of money by June and if Biden and McCarthy don’t keep this humpty dumpty from tottering over the wall, we’ll all be yolked. Economists say defaulting could screw up the world economy.
Congressional leaders react to their latest meeting with President Biden on the Republican demand for spending cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling. @JDiamond1 and @mkraju report pic.twitter.com/vzcGem7xZl— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 16, 2023
Philly could elect its first woman mayor: After winning the Democratic primary, Cherelle Parker is the favorite to become the city’s 100th mayor. The former State Rep. and city council member campaigned on—wump wump—hiring more police and—wump wump—bringing back “constitutional” stop-and-frisk, an invasive, racist practice that has been found unconstitutional in the past. Parker’s decidedly not-progressive views have drawn comparison to New York Mayor Eric Adams. She’s super likely to win the general election. Philly is a solidly Dem city.
Parker skipped her own party. An emergency dental surgery to pull a tooth kept her from speaking, a really unfortunate turn in a big moment. She tweeted instead.
I’m so incredibly honored to have earned the Democratic nomination tonight. It’s been a long road, and to see the tireless work of my campaign team, supporters, and family pay off is humbling.— Cherelle Parker (@PeopleforParker) May 17, 2023
I’m looking forward to November and bringing our city together as its 100th mayor.
The first Black major-party gubernatorial candidate in Kentucky history: Daniel Cameron, the Trump-backed Kentucky Attorney General, and close Mitch McConnel ally, is the Republican candidate for governor. He won by a double-digit margin, but his Dem opponent in the general election is incumbent Andy Beshear, one of the most popular governors in America. In his victory speech, Cameron said, “The Trump culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky,” a clapback to DeSantis, who recently criticized the Republican culture of losing. DeSantis’s pick in the race, former ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, ironically lost. Sad!
Chinese fishing boat sinks in Indian Ocean. State media reports the entire crew of 39 people are missing: 17 Chinese citizens, 17 Indonesians, and five from the Philippines. China’s Leader Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Qiang sent diplomats abroad to help the search efforts. State media didn’t report the exact location of the sinking.
“Respiratory Irritant” in Rainier Valley apartment hospitalizes eight. Three firefighters and five residents were taken to the hospital after evacuating the building at 6901 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South around 1 pm. Hazmat crews found a harmful substance on the third floor and subsequently ventilated the area. One 54-year-old woman is still in serious condition. People were let back into the building around 4 pm. The Seattle Fire Department hasn’t shared what the substance was, where it came from or why it was there.
Nurses at Good Samaritan hospital held a vote of no confidence for their CEO: Mulitcare’s Bill Robertson isn’t managing a serious staffing crisis, they say, and it's gotten bad. There are 300 open nursing jobs at the hospital and nurses are having to care for one another’s patients so they can take breaks. Nurses scheduled a vote after Robertson turned down an invite to their town hall and rejected a staffing plan the same day. Instead, Multicare suggested its own event: "Financial Education for Staffing Committee." Not condescending at all. The Washington State Nurses Association says the hospital has broken a personal record—the most bargaining sessions over a contract (15!). Great job!