A rail strike is looming ever closer: Amtrak has canceled all long-distance rail trips beginning Thursday and shipments of ammonia, fertilizer, and other agricultural chemicals have been pulled, reports WaPo. Leaders have convened in D.C. to try and mete out an agreement between rail carriers and workers before Friday. Eight unions have so far been able to reach a deal, but four unions—two of which being "the largest and most politically powerful"—have not reached a deal, demanding more protections and wage increases for workers.
Speaking of strikes: Workers at timber company Weyerhaeuser in both Washington and Oregon have gone on strike, calling for better wages and healthcare.
The fate of the planet shouldn't rely on the generosity of billionaires: That being said, this seems to be a net positive for the planet. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, gave away his entire company—valued at around $3 billion—to "a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization" that will make sure all of the company's profits will be "used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe," reports the New York Times. Amazon, it's time to fork over profits to your workers.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is giving away the company. He and his family have transferred all the company’s voting stock into a trust, with the rest of the shares going to a nonprofit.— Kim Bhasin (@KimBhasin) September 14, 2022
Here's the letter from Yvon: pic.twitter.com/gPUxcuRItN
Lots of transportation maintenance this weekend: I-405 is closing in both directions all day on Saturday as the state's Department of Transportation gets to work on SoDo's expansion joint, closing right-side southbound lanes of I-5, reports the Seattle Times. Additionally, the west stairwell at the Northgate Link station will close for repairs on Saturday. But the good news is that the ferries "have restored full two-boat service" on the Mukilteo-Clinton and Seattle-Bainbridge routes. Just stay in this weekend!
Monkeypox cases are down in Washington: And the drop is directly linked to a decrease in King County cases, which fell 66 percent in the week of August 28 since their July peak, reports the Seattle Times. Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County health officer, said the decline is due to several factors including increased vaccination in high-risk communities and behavioral changes. That being said, the case levels and vaccinations are still in a nebulous space, so if you think you qualify for a vaccine, go get one!
Some legal system we have: A 17-year-old human trafficking victim Pieper Lewis, who killed the man she said repeatedly raped her, was ordered by a court to pay $150,000 in restitution to his family, reports the Des Moines Register. A GoFundMe has already surpassed the goal of covering those expenses for this child who defended herself. We're so fucked.
And in Chicago: A federal jury found disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly guilty of three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement, reports AP. However, they acquitted him of a fourth child pornography count and a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Already, Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in New York on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
Sorry, one last court thing and then I'm moving on because it's literally so depressing: Prosecutors in Baltimore City have moved to vacate the murder conviction of 42-year-old Adnan Syed, the man at the center of the wildly popular podcast Serial. According to The Guardian, prosecutors said that a close to year-long investigation with Syed's legal team "revealed new information that points to alternative suspects."
~*~*~*Media vibes***~*~**~*~: I mean, come on folks, what museum REALLY NEEDS artwork from Picasso or Renoir or Rodin or Francis Bacon!??!? Those guys are sooooooo overplayed. But you know what isn't overplayed? No, not work from of color or queer artists—NFTs!!!!! These non-fungible tokens are EXACTLY what white dude institutions are needing right now. And that's partially why the Museum of Modern Art in New York is hawking some pieces in their collection in order to ~expand their digital footprint~. Thumbs up from me over here, guys!!
The Museum of Modern Art is putting $70 million of physical artwork up for auction and using the proceeds to buy digital NFTs. pic.twitter.com/asvLoHhWsW— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 14, 2022
A man and a woman were found dead in a Montlake house fire this morning: According to the cops, they were responding to reports of a stabbing assault and a fire in the area and entered a home where the suspect said a "woman in the house was injured," reports CHS Blawg. The police say the suspect then barricaded himself inside a room and "showed police he was armed with a knife" before they discovered the house was on fire. Crews recovered the bodies of the suspect and the woman once the fire was cleared.
👎: The Tacoma City Council is now considering a camping ordinance that would create a so-called "buffer zone" around shelters to prevent people from setting up tents in certain areas, reports KIRO. If anyone is caught storing their personal belongings or setting up shelter, they could get a misdemeanor charge. It wouldn't be America if some elected leader wasn't trying to criminalize homelessness.
OK some good news, sheesh: A new family of wolves have made their home in the northern Cascade Mountains, a hopeful sign of wolf recovery in the area after the species was nearly wiped out in the early 20th century by the government.
Totally normal reaction to the death of an imperialist in the United Kingdom: "Morrisons 'turns down beeps on checkouts' in response to Queen's death," reads a headline from probably pretty reputable Yorkshire Post.
The news today was kind of sad: I guess that's to be expected, but maybe this will make you (read: me) feel a little better:
This will forever be the funniest thing I’ve seen pic.twitter.com/72aC3wj0Nh— Muaaz Mia (@MuaazMia) September 13, 2022
For your listening pleasure: Seattle rapper Taylar Elizza Beth's "BLUETOOTH BITCHEZ."