Bezos thinks you're lazy: And just to prove how NOT lazy he is, he built a company "heavily reliant on metrics, apps and chatbots" to manage people. That system "burned through workers, resulted in inadvertent firings and stalled benefits, and impeded communication, casting a shadow over a business success story for the ages," the New York Times reveals in a close look at an Amazon warehouse in New York during the pandemic.
The money shot: "Mr. Bezos believed that people were inherently lazy. 'What he would say is that our nature as humans is to expend as little energy as possible to get what we want or need.'" How did that manifest as company policy? "Guaranteed wage increases stopped after three years, and Amazon provided incentives for low-skilled employees to leave." All because he expected peoples' interest in the job to naturally wane.
King County Elections refers two SPD voter registration issues to county prosecutor's office: According to a spokesperson, the elections department referred the matter to prosecutors after two cops who registered to vote at precincts failed to respond to two letters asking them "update their address" or else "possibly face a voter registration challenge." County prosecutors will now determine whether to file a voter registration challenge, a quasi-judicial hearing to determine the facts of the case and to then "make a decision on the voter registration."
Vaccine prizes go unclaimed: The state didn't hear back from the winners of 103 prizes in the vaccine lottery, including a set of Seahawks tickets, 36 Discovery Passes and other fun stuff. The prizes will now be added to the set of prizes for the final drawing on July 13, Q13 reports.
'Joints for Jabs' off to a slow start: Some pot shop owners are reluctant to offer vaccines on their property because of liability and other concerns, KING 5 reports, but one Spanaway shop owner held a clinic in her parking lot over the weekend and said "it was amazing." About 30 people received vaccines, but only some took the free weed, according to the pot shop.
Two days after the Stranger Election Control Board asked where Seattle School Board candidate Vivian Song Maritz really lived, she wrote a blog post explaining her decision last month to leave the well-appointed home she shares with her husband and her children (and her dog) on Capitol Hill and to rent an apartment in Queen Anne that's scheduled for demolition early next year.
In the post, she said she planned to run in the "Capitol Hill" district, District 5, but realized "my old home was just one block too far north, and was actually in District 3, which does not have an election this year." Since she believes she's the right candidate for the job, and since she has some community connections to District 4, she decided the move was "a natural choice." As a hearing impaired Asian-American woman with a master's in business management from Harvard, Maritz would bring multiple levels of professional and lived experience necessary to steer the district through this tough period, she argued.
Over the phone, Maritz said she "owns the fact that I could have posted this sooner" but said "I’m a mom, I’ve never done this before, and I just wanted to be thoughtful about what I was writing." She said she spends "five nights a week" in Queen Anne and "the other two nights typically at my in-law's house on Camano." After noticing a difference between the interior decor visible on two remote endorsement meetings she conducted, I asked where she takes those meetings. She said "my parent's house," and explained that she takes them there because the wifi in her apartment building "is not great because everyone's on it." The "plan," she added, is to move the whole family into the district but to live in the apartment in the meantime. "My husband used to travel for work four nights a week, and so pre-pandemic that’s what our family life was, so in a way we’re set up for this," Maritz said.
A little wrinkle still remains: Voter registration records show Maritz briefly registered to vote at another Capitol Hill address before registering at the place on Queen Anne. County records show that the other house on the Hill is owned by an LLC registered to her husband. In a text, Martiz said, "Lol yes I will send an email and explain." I'll update this post when she sends along that email.
Update, 2 pm: Over the phone, Martiz said she initially thought to register in a house they already owned “but then I thought it over and I thought the best opportunity was in District 4." She wouldn't elaborate on why she thought District 4 represented her "best opportunity" beyond saying "I’m doing this because I really care about the kids," but let me just lay out the timeline here.
Maritz's movin' timeline: Before May of this year, Martiz was registered to vote in a $2.3 million house on Capitol Hill, where she lived with her family. That place is located in Seattle Public Schools District 3. According to her post, she originally wanted to run for the open seat in District 5, but she encountered a problem. She didn't live in District 5! She lived in District 3. C'est dommage! She thought she might "wait her turn" but decided against it because she felt "tremendous urgency to serve our community now." So, time for a move. But where? To District 5, naturally! Luckily enough for Martiz, her husband owned a $3 million house in that district. So, according to voting records, on May 17 she registered to vote at that address. But then on May 19 she decided, nah, her "best opportunity" actually lay in District 4, where the couple had yet to acquire a multimillion-dollar home. To fix that, she rented a random apartment in the district, registered to vote there, and then filed her candidacy over the weekend.
According to her post, Martiz claimed that when she "made the decision to go for it and run, it was an easy decision to move to District 4." But her side-step to District 5 troubles that claim, sort of. She moved from D3 to D5 to D4, not straight from D3 to D4. Though she told me she made no "political calculation" in these moves, it's pretty clear she was making one. She either had to stay in District 5 and run against Michelle Sarju, a Black social worker and midwife with deep ties to the historically Black Central District, or else move to District 4 to challenge interim director Erin Dury, a white woman who only recently claimed the seat. She chose to take on the interim director.
Big cranes in West Seattle: Four 316-foot cranes arrived in Seattle from China, and reporters got an up-close look. West Seattle Blog has pics for all you crane heads.
Thanks all for joining us in #TrackTheTripToT5 and @timdurkan for these photos! These Super-Post Panamax Cranes looking good at their new home on Elliott Bay! pic.twitter.com/niY79OwVaA
— Port of Seattle - ⚓️ (@PortofSeattle) June 14, 2021
Give Evan Bush the Pulitzer now: Somehow I totally missed this deer story from last Friday. Every part of it rules. Headline: "Virus to blame for deer foaming at the mouth, dropping dead in the San Juan Islands." Lede:
An overwhelming 'cadaverine' stench hung in the air on Aimee Beveridge’s wooded, 10-acre property on Orcas Island, a destination better known for salty sea scents or its fragrant firs.
'I’ve got another one to go find,' Beveridge said with a sigh during an interview Friday. 'I can smell something dead in the woods and I’m going to hunt it out and bury it.'
This morning the King County Council will discuss a whole bunch of tenant protections they're hoping to pass before the eviction moratorium lifts in two weeks. The council will hold a briefing on the package and will likely take action next week. In an email blast, the Rental Housing Association encouraged its members to attend the remote meeting at 1 p.m. today and armed them with bullshit talking points. Expect people with investment properties to refer to themselves as a "mom" or a "pop" while claiming the whole council "rushed" the process without checking for legal issues. They'll also claim the ordinance "mandates" lease renewals and "outlaws credit checks." All of that is false.
To hit those points in order, briefly: As I outline here, the whole council didn't "rush" the ordinance through. King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert slow-rolled the legislation in her committee, and when the rest of the committee learned that Lambert scheduled action on the proposal in a way that might prevent the executive from signing it before the eviction moratorium lifted, they voted to move the bill out of committee. Following that committee meeting, bill sponsors Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Girmay Zahilay, and Lambert met with county attorneys to review a proposed striking amendment that will be briefed today to determine that it should be free from legal issues. As for the other talking points: the ordinance only requires landlords to offer a lease renewal if they don't have a "just cause" to evict, and those "just causes" are pretty broad. The "outlaw credit checks" thing refers to language in the ordinance preventing landlords from "requiring" prospective tenants to provide a social security number; landlords can still request that info. The idea behind not requiring social security numbers is to stop housing discrimination against undocumented residents.
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay will also introduce an ordinance to put ranked-choice voting (RCV) on the ballot, likely in November. Read up on those tenant protections, watch the council do its thing live, and stay tuned to Slog this morning to read a guest rant on why the county should make the jump to RCV.
Temperatures could exceed 125 degrees in western U.S heatwave: Arizona and Nevada could see the highest temperatures in history and "there's no relief overnight," according to the National Weather Service. Areas that rely on air-conditioning could face power failures, the New York Times notes.
"First came the drought. Then, the floods. Now, the mice." The Washington Post reports on Australian farmers dealing with a plague of mice ruining their crops. One farmer caught 7,000 mice the first night after he "fashioned a giant mouse trap out of a shipping container he uses to roll out grain for his cattle." Apparently, Australia goes through a mouse plague "every decade or so," with some farmers remembering a time during the 1970s when "the ground felt as if it was moving, it was so thick with mice." The New South Wales government has secured more than 1,000 gallons of a deadly bait, but scientists worry that could kill other species, too, like eagles and owls.
Republicans consider backing some infrastructure in order to kill other infrastructure: "A growing number of Senate Republicans are betting that if a deal is reached on that sort of physical infrastructure, Democrats won’t have the votes needed to pass the rest of Biden’s 'soft infrastructure' priorities, such as child care and clean energy," Politico reports. Sen. Joe Manchin was "noncommittal" on a second package, declining to say whether he'd support something that only had Democratic votes. I motion to move this debate to the chaotic living room of a mother who can't afford daycare for her asthmatic kid.
Dr. Rev. William J. Barber of the Poor People's Campaign rallied in West Virginia to let Manchin know how we're feeling:
Driver smashes into car brigade at Minneapolis Winston Smith protest, killing a 31-year-old mother of two: the Star Tribune reports on the death of Deona M. Knajdek, as well as the fates of two other protesters who went to the hospital with injuries. The cops said "the use of drugs or alcohol ... may be a contributing factor in this crash," but the cops also made two other claims that witnesses dispute.
Delta variant discovered in Hawaii: The state said a vaccinated resident who traveled to Nevada last month tested positive for the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus, the Associated Press reports. The variant was first detected in India and is now spreading in the United Kingdom, where the government is delaying a full lifting of restrictions because of new cases.
Employee dead after mask dispute leads to shooting in Georgia: A suspect entered a supermarket in the Atlanta metro area, argued with a cashier "over a mask," and then shot the employee, who died from her injuries. The county sheriff did not offer more details about the argument, according to CNN. "A reserve deputy working security at the store fired at the suspect, who returned fire. Both were injured and taken to local hospitals."