Quinault Indian Nation gets $25 million for relocation due to climate change: There are 660 residents in the Tahloah Village, which is located only seven feet above sea level where the Quinault River and the Pacific Ocean converge, leaving them vulnerable to rising seas and flooding, reports KING 5. The federal government funds will support the Quinault's plans to build homes a half-mile away from the beach on higher ground.
Y'all really let Taylor top you: The good folks over at the Seattle Times managed to get their paws on Spotify Wrapped data for the entire city and Ms. Taylor Swift came out as the Seattle's top artist of 2022. Can't say I'm surprised! I'm not a Swiftie but I went to Neumos' Taylor Swift night once (kind of on accident) and was thoroughly impressed by everyone's enthusiasm. Drake, Kanye West, the Weeknd, and Bad Bunny rounded out the top 5.
A quick word from my colleague, Rich Smith. Take it away, Rich:
In an audit report released today, it looks the Washington State Patrol’s rape kit testing situation is still a mess. Though they’ve implemented state recommendations (e.g. using private labs, “acquiring new equipment to automate the testing process, adopting a more efficient testing method, and hiring and training forensic scientists who specialize in testing DNA"), they’re still not cutting the backlog fast enough. In 2018, they had 9,000 untested kits. As of Jan 2022, they have 6,000. They haven’t tested 26% of the kits they’ve received since 2015. The Auditor doesn’t issue any new recommendations, citing “disruptions stemming from the global pandemic that began in 2020,” but vows to audit in the future. FWIW, other states started addressing their backlogs of untested kits earlier than Washington and have eliminated them.
About that railway strike: The House officially passed a bill to "force a tentative rail labor agreement and thwart a national strike," which will now head to the Senate where it's sure to be passed, reports CNBC. Unionized rail workers are understandably peeved at "pro-labor" Biden supporting the bill; many were fighting for better sick leave. The current deal gives them none, which is inhumane given the physical nature of their work. "You would think he would just try to get them to throw in a couple of days of sick time," Daniel Kindlon, a New York rail electrician told the New York Times about Biden's lack of advocacy. "That's really all the guys were asking for."
Speaking of unions: The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Starbucks broke labor laws by refusing to negotiate with unionized Starbucks Roastery workers here in Seattle, reports Bloomberg. Workers there unionized in April, but have said that the coffee corporation questioned the union's legitimacy after they held a mail-in vote rather than an in-person one.
The Postman on MLK Jr. Way reopens: Keanna Pickett reopened the beloved post office on MLK Jr. Way after her husband, D'Vonne Pickett, Jr., was shot and killed outside the business in October, reports CHS Blog. According to the site, the Postman says services are "currently limited," but is still offering UPS and USPS shipping.
Big day for gluten: The United Nations has stepped up and done the right thing—recognized the culture and craftsmanship around the baguette as an "intangible" part of humanity's cultural heritage. Honestly, just today I was thinking about how much I'd love to bite into a hard-yet-soft loaf with my slice of Spanish tortilla. Her power! If you're wondering what this amounts to, it basically means states can apply for funding to preserve the art of baguette-making. Also, we got these pictures out of it:
UNESCO has just made the French baguette part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity, and the French delegation is wildin out there pic.twitter.com/s1UbutiVBZ— Jules Darmanin (@JulesDrmnn) November 30, 2022
The gays are living together: According to Census Bureau data, there are—for the first time—one million same-sex couple households in the United States, reports NBC. That number increased 120% from 2008 to 2021, with around 710,000 of those houses being married and 500,000 being unmarried. Love to see it.
Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be over three hours long: Will James Cameron's gamble pay off?
In other movie news: The trailer for Cocaine Bear just dropped. Yes, it's exactly what you think—and it's inspired by a true story. I'm in.
I'm the bear who ate cocaine. This is my story. pic.twitter.com/txBSiUl5hL— Cocaine Bear (@cocainebear) November 30, 2022
Trump news round up: The IRS has finally handed over Trump's tax returns to the House committee after the former president tried everything in his power to keep them from seeing it. And on Friday, the committee will privately meet to talk criminal referrals with the DOJ following their investigation for January 6. It's looking juicy now that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been convicted of sedition for his role in the US Capitol attack. In other news, Trump had dinner with Ye and white nationalist Nick Fuentes for some reason and got reamed by everyone for it.
If you've been following the FTX nuclear implosion: Founder and former cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried spoke at the New York Times' Dealbook Summit and had some serious 'splaining to do. He said he "did not try to commit fraud," admitted he "screwed up," and said he only had one working credit card. Must suck!
Sad news: Christine McVie has died. A singer, songwriter, and keyboardist best known for her work in the chaotically productive group, Fleetwood Mac, she passed this morning following a "short illness." She was 79. Rest in peace, Christine. May we all funnel our messy-ass relationship drama into perfect art in your memory.
For your listening pleasure: Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird."