Mount Rainier was never going to blow her load: A KOMO meteorologist sparked alarm this morning when she tweeted that our local stratovolcano appeared to be venting. Thankfully, that's not the case. Scott Benson, a Mount Rainier National Park Service geologist, confirmed with the Seattle Times that it was a lenticular cloud hanging out near the mountain's highest ridge. "It's just a cloud," he told the Times. (Unrelatedly, remember our Cloud Issue that never was?)
Anyways, according to the Times, the US Geological Survey says volcanologists are installing monitoring equipment on Mount Rainier aka Tahoma this week—we'll definitely get a bit more advance notice if she decides to really erupt. And now, the Washington Department of Natural Resources has swooped in to remind us that our chances of dying in a lahar may be slim but never zero.
Well, now's probably a good time to review lahar (mud/debris flow) hazard maps in case any one of our volcanoes actually does start acting up.😅 (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ybzIV0Ikkl— Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (@waDNR) September 7, 2022
The Department of Health will dye the water around Whidbey Island red while conducting a wastewater study that will examine the potential impacts the renovated Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility has on shellfish, reports KOMO. The non-toxic, FDA-approved dye will be in the waters from Friday to Wednesday on the opposite side of the island where the plane crashed last weekend.
Speaking of: Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board still haven't had any luck in recovering the wreckage or remains from that tragic crash. However, a NTSB spokesperson told KING 5 that there was "some indication that the seaplane took a nosedive," and a full investigation could take 18 to 24 months to complete.
And in Seattle: Much to the relief of everyone who likes to have a peaceful morning, the city council unanimously approved a resolution that promises to phase out gas-powered leaf blowers used by city departments and contractors by 2025, reports the Seattle Times. Businesses and residents have until 2027. There's still equity analysis to be done on how the ban will impact residents and small businesses.
In portrait news: Today, the Bidens welcomed the Obamas back in their first joint visit since leaving office to unveil their White House portraits, reports the New York Times. The unveiling had been much delayed because of You Know Who, leaving official protocol in flux. Now, the world can properly see the work of Robert McCurdy and Sharon Spring, who painted Barack and Michelle, respectively.
Devoted Slog readers will remember that McCurdy also painted Jeff Bezos, arguably the second most important person in the country, and rendered him in creepy, clinical detail. And though Barack opted for the photorealistic look, Sprung portrayed the First Lady in romantic, expressive brushstrokes that make her resemble a princess. Lots of thoughts on this one! I'll post more about it later this week or early next if I have time.
Here are the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. I'm partial to the first lady's portrait, tbh. pic.twitter.com/Mi4oxsOpMb— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 7, 2022
Today in How Fucked Is Our Healthcare System? US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas—shocker—ruled that the Affordable Care Act mandating the coverage of HIV prevention drugs "violates the religious beliefs of a Christian-owned company," reports NBC News. What? Jesus wouldn't be down with medication that protects people from deadly viruses? That's a rhetorical question, I know these religious nuts Bush-appointed judges don't actually care to think about the answer! An attorney working the case said the federal government will likely appeal the decision.
Henry Art Gallery director Sylvia Wolf announced her retirement today: According to a press release, Wolf will retire in the spring after 15 years in the position, which followed her 20 years as a photography curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art. "It has been an honor and a pleasure to lead an institution that has been a global beacon and magnet for art and artists since it opened in 1927," she said in a statement. The museum's board of trustees will search for her successor later this year. Congrats, Sylvia!
Lol, wow: FBI officials found a document "describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities" in the trove of documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, reports WaPo. Some more context on those types of documents from the Post. Don is in trouble:
Documents about such highly classified operations require special clearances on a need-to-know basis, not just top-secret clearance. Some special-access programs can have as few as a couple dozen government personnel authorized to know of an operation’s existence. Records that deal with such programs are kept under lock and key, almost always in a secure compartmented information facility, with a designated control officer to keep careful tabs on their location.
An update on that Canadian mass stabbing suspect: Cops north of the border said they have arrested Myles Sanderson in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, reports the New York Times. Myles and his brother Damien—who was found stabbed to death on Monday—were wanted in connection to the fatal stabbings of 10 people in an Indigenous community. Officials also released the names of the victims, which includes Myles' common-law wife and several members of her family.
"Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association are still at the bargaining table," reports my colleague Hannah Krieg. "No school tomorrow!"
Teachers and supporting staff from Garfield HS picket as educators from across the #Seattle school district strike in demand of a fair contract. pic.twitter.com/xQCQanJix6— Alex Garland (@AGarlandPhoto) September 7, 2022
Seattle Parks and Recreation will break ground on the new Green Lake Community Boathouse this month, reports MyBallard. The new 10,800-square-foot building "will be fully accessible to allow for the launch of Seattle's first public adaptive rowing program and expansion of the current paracanoeing program." Nice!
If you're getting your updated COVID booster: You should get your flu booster too!
Shameless self-promotion: Former Stranger editor Chase Burns and I are hosting three screenings of All That Jazz at Northwest Film Forum as part of our Unstreamable series this weekend. You should come :)
For your listening pleasure: Ravyn Lenae's "Skin Tight" featuring Steve Lacy: