Are you ready for snow? It’ll start falling late tonight and taper off sometime in the afternoon on Tuesday. Here’s our survival guide to winter storms in Seattle (and let’s not get carried away, it’ll probably be just a few inches). Track power outages here. Here’s how to protect pipes from bursting. Here’s a list of cold weather shelters. And remember, the only way to drive safely in the snow is not to.
Microsoft built a new data center on the former burial site of Black farmers. Here’s a ProPublica investigation into how Microsoft was able to get a bunch of graves moved from a field in Virginia so they could build a data center. The descendants of the people buried there were not informed until it was too late to do anything about it.
Good night, InSight. The Mars lander has been sending data and photos for five years, and now it’s powering down. Since it landed, InSight has measured seismology, heat flow, and mineral composition, and significantly deepened our understanding of how rocky planets form.
My power’s really low, so this may be the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will – but I’ll be signing off here soon. Thanks for staying with me. pic.twitter.com/wkYKww15kQ— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) December 19, 2022
Check your Xmas tree for scales. There’s been an outbreak of elongate hemlock scale, an invasive insect that fucks up evergreens. Give the needles on your trees, wreaths, and bushes a quick going over, and look for yellowish, waxy blobs. If you find them, double-bag the plant and throw it away, and also alert the Department of Agriculture so they can track down the source.
Maybe THIS time they’ve got him. A House committee has recommended that the Justice Department criminally prosecute Donald Trump and several others for their role in the January 6 insurrection. The Justice Department is under no obligation to follow the recommendation. The committee’s report includes some pretty damning descriptions of lawyers coaching witnesses to lie. (PS: How do you like having embeds from Mastodon instead of Twitter? I have a feeling we're going to have to get used to them.)
Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of rape… again. Weinstein was already in prison for other sexual assaults. This latest conviction, stemming from an assault in 2013, will keep the 70-year-old behind bars for decades. If he lasts that long.
What’s stopping them? Rainier Tower is an attractive-looking building with a snow problem: Every time it accumulates, avalanches pour down the slope, crashing dangerously onto the ground below. But not to worry, they’ve fixed the problem… by commandeering the public sidewalk and prohibiting people from walking past the building. Is that legal? Probably not. But why should they care? In other news, if anyone wants a free orange sandwich board, I know where you can find one abandoned on the sidewalk.
Rainier Square should be charged $10,000 a day for their unscheduled use and closure of public right-of-way until a permanent fix is found for snow on their angled building. @Spottnik @seattledot @SeattleCouncil pic.twitter.com/xAW7shNsuV— Northwest Urbanist (@NWUrbanist) December 19, 2022
Better bike lanes are coming to downtown. Well, part of downtown, at least. Next month crews will replace a handful of plastic car ticklers with more robust concrete structures, making it much harder for drivers to use the lanes for parking. But this makeover is limited to just a few blocks of Eighth Avenue, and it omits a section where conflicts have been known to occur.
Thousands of Seattle workers’ health coverage is up in the air. Nearly 20,000 people are having their literal survival tossed back and forth by health insurance companies and a physicians’ group, with a deadline for a deal extended from today to Friday. Regence BlueShield is wrangling with Polyclinic and Everett Clinic over contract details. If they don’t strike a deal, all those patients may have to find new doctors. What a great time of year to be in that position!
Get out of town. The Transit Trekker folks are working on a guide to accessing Washington wilderness without a car. Looks like a great project, can’t wait to see the finished product. Get on their mailing list here.
This is how I will be answering the question “How are you?” from now on.
“How are you?”— Hourly Yote (@HourlyYote) December 17, 2022