Seattle Gay News editor buys the paper: Three months ago, Renee Raketty took over SGN as editor. Now she's the publisher, and she owns it. In a text, Raketty said she bought the paper from Mike Schultz after he decided to relocate from Washington to Sacramento, California, altering “his ability to effectively manage the paper.” Raketty is the second new owner in a year. Schultz, who also owns Coastal Pride magazine out in Grays Harbor County, bought the paper just last September, saving it from closure. Raketty said she’s honored to take the third-oldest LGBTQ+ paper in the country to its 50th anniversary. 

Parks reschedules Denny Blaine meeting: Last week, the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation unveiled new guidelines for Denny Blaine Park that would divid the area along a naked DMZ: a buff zone on the grassy area and beach, and a clothes-requested zone past the row of parking spots. Local neighbors and Friends of Denny Blaine Park, an activist group affiliated with the Seattle Parks Foundation, had hashed out this compromise. Parks held two separate meetings to present the guidelines and planned to present them to its board tomorrow, but in an email a spokesperson said the agency needed more time to work on a solution. The department rescheduled the meeting for June 13.

The nude compromise was unpopular. Park users who attended a Thursday meeting hated the plan, considering it an unnecessary compromise when nudity is already legal in Seattle. The Stranger doesn’t know what the neighbors thought because they didn’t alert the public or press to their stakeholder session with Parks like the activists had. We asked Lee Keller, the woman neighbors hired to do comms for their group Denny Blaine Park for All, what neighbors thought of the plan, but she didn’t provide an answer before this posting.

Man charged with second ax murder: Prosecutors now accuse Liam Kryger of killing two homeless men with an axe, charging him with a second count of first-degree murder for the death of 68-year-old Paul Ewell. In March, prosecutors charged Kryger for the killing of Daravuth Van, 52. Both men were sleeping outside in February when Kryger allegedly killed them. They died 12 days apart and less than a mile from one another. Seattle police, who did not tip off the public to a potential axe murderer roaming the streets while they "secretly searched" for him, say they may have prevented another slaying in early March when they chased and arrested Kryger after they'd seen him with an ax.

Now to my esteemed college Hannah Krieg, who has news of City Hall…

Come on, council: The Seattle City Council held its first public hearing about the $1.45 billion transportation levy proposal Tuesday morning. Back in April, the Mayor unveiled a pretty car-centric draft that would cost taxpayers $1.35 billion, but he added $100 million after feedback. Still, environmentalists, transit riders, cyclists, and disability rights advocates came to City Hall yesterday to ask for more sidewalks, improved cyclist safety, and better progress toward the City’s climate goals. 

The city council has the power to raise the levy as high as they want, but they have to keep voter appetite in mind come November. Recent polling suggests that 79% of Seattleites would vote for a levy of $1.7 billion, and 54% prefer a levy of $1.9 billion. It is unclear which way the council leans just yet, but Council President Sara Nelson slowed down the conversation about pumping up those numbers, sorta like she does whenever stuff the city actually needs is on the table. Guess that means you should keep showing up to the public comment period, emailing, and calling your council members until they get serious about transportation!

Speaking of Nelson: Some think she’s just as conflicted on the gig worker minimum wage vote as Council Member Woo. This week, Seattle Ethics and Elections Executive Director Wayne Barnett advised Woo to recuse herself due to her family’s ownership of a restaurant that would stand to benefit from delivery companies slashing worker pay. He did not advise Nelson to recuse herself, even though Seattle Hospitality Group (SHG) recently bought Fremont Brewing, which she and her husband co-founded. SHG’s portfolio includes at least nine restaurants that use delivery apps, according to proponents of the bill.

Wait, but why no conflict? Barnett said the buyout deal did not give Nelson and her husband a share in SHG, just a small share in the entity created in the merger between Fremont Brewing, Pike Brewing, and Alley Brews. That arrangement would not give her direct financial interest because those breweries do not use gig delivery apps, Barnett argued. However, a new complainant sent the ethics director screenshots proving that Pike Brewing offers delivery through DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Toast. Plus, you can buy Fremont Brewing on Amazon Flex and Go Puff. The complaint to Barnett argued that Nelson’s conflict is just like Woo’s. 

*The Price is Right loser horn plays over and over* Thanks, Hannah. Back to me.

Ex-Tacoma police officer sues for defamation: Timothy Rankine, one of the four officers acquitted of killing Manuel Ellis, is seeking $47 million in damages from the City of Tacoma and from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office. Rankine says the case and trial destroyed his reputation, and that his manslaughter charge was politically motivated and led to threats against his family. Ellis, 33, died in March 2020 after officers beat, shocked, and hogtied him. Rankine testified at trial that he pressed down on Ellis’s back as Ellis said he could not breathe. This January, the Tacoma Police Department paid Rankine $500,000 to resign.

Tornados in Iowa kill multiple people: The tornado that hit Greenfield, Iowa lofted debris 40,000 feet in the air, which is a mile higher than most commercial jets fly, and carried it 25-30 miles away. The winds flipped cars, defoliated trees, and ripped homes from their foundation. Even in the heartland– where people watch the skies minutes before they rush to their basement–that is a big storm. The Iowa State Patrol did not confirm how many people died. (Yesterday afternoon, my girlfriend watched on Google Maps as this behemoth tore east from Des Moines toward the town where her parents live. I’m glad to say that her family is okay.)

The defense rests, ya’ honor: As Ashley mentioned yesterday, former President Donald Trump declined to take the stand at his criminal trial, where he’s accused of directing his former attorney to pay a former porn star hush money to bury the story of their sexual encounter at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 and falsifying business records to disguise them. Closing arguments are set for May 28. A jury will then decide if Donald is formerly innocent, too.

Speaking of Trump, Congress is stacked with his election-denying allies: A new report from United States Action, a group tracking election-deniers, found that one-third of lawmakers in Congress in some way supported Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. The group said Americans should be real concerned about it! Sen. Marco Rubio is one of them. So is Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Likely VP pick Sen. JD Vance is an election-denier, too. If you’re lucky and don’t known him, Vance was a buzzy author before he was a senator. He wrote the rustbelt memoir Hillbilly Elegy, a book about growing up poor in Appalachia that’s hated by every hillbilly I know.

By the way, if you’re in the mood for light reading, you might wanna check out Project 2025 and see what could be in store for us if these freaks take the White House.

Ireland, Spain, and Norway will recognize an independent Palestinian state: Two-thirds of the UN already recognize Palestinian statehood (that's 140 countries), but today's historic if symbolic announcement from the three European countries could influence other countries to do the same and build momentum against Israel’s war in Gaza. Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said he’d seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for crimes against humanity.

You’re really going to call out Ireland on this? Yesterday, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a 36-second video addressed to the country of Ireland. It warned Ireland  against supporting an independent Palestinian state, saying in bold, white, 2008 meme text that it “risked” becoming a pawn to Hamas. “SUCH A MOVE WILL ONLY STRENGTHEN HAMAS (cue ‘Hamas’ zooming toward the screen) AND WEAKEN AN ALREADY DYSFUNCTIONAL PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY,” and there's the kicker, over stock footage of a handshake. “...PROGRESS CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS WITHIN A WIDER REGIONAL CONTEXT.” Because what would Ireland, the country responsible for two of the most notable peace negotiations in the last century, know about peace negotiations?

Like Ireland, the scars of British colonialism and the partition of lands that did not belong to them are visible in the conditions Palestinians suffer today. About 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in nearly eight months. Ireland absolutely knows what it is talking about, and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous. Ireland knows of starvation, state violence against civilians, and intentional destruction of cultural institutions. 

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an email that any “assumption or comparison regarding the Irish and Arab/Israel conflict is taken out of context,” and that the video had no references to any of the Irish historical context The Stranger asked about, including Irish Republicans and peace agreements.