Greetings from Chicago! Coming to you live from my childhood home with my 15-year-old dog Hobie on my lap. I think this column needs a mascot, so he’s the official Slog dog (eat your heart out ugly pets). Since I’m in Chicago, I might as well start this off with some exciting Chicago news…
Lori Lightfoot takes over the mayor’s office today: She is now officially the first gay woman of color to run a major city and is tasked with rebuilding public trust in the city government after a rocky tenure with now ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She’s built out her administration over the last two months since the election but has kept many Emanuel-era administrators on at least for the short term. She ran as a political outsider, but now is running up against some of the problems of being an outsider, primarily building relationships with the established city politicians.
Speaking of city government elections: Seattle has our official list of 56 city council candidates. And what a crowded field it is! Not quite as crowded as the Democratic presidential nominees, but you know, pretty crowded. The Stranger is kicking our election coverage into high gear, but in the meantime, the least you could do is find out who your district’s candidates are. What, you don’t know what district you’re in? Come on! This Crosscut graphic might be a good resource for you.
Orcas want us to stop making such a goddamn racket: If you haven’t been reading “Hostile Waters,” the Seattle Times’ incredible series on orcas, then boy oh boy do I have a treat for you. They just published an installment on noise and how we make way to much of it in orca habitats. I don’t know if you ever opened your eyes in Puget Sound, but you can’t see shit. Orcas use sound to find their prey. But human activities have turned Puget Sound into an underwater version of STOMP, which prevents orcas from successfully finding the few chinook salmon still around.
Vashon Island has long been the poster child for unvaccinated kids: My roommate grew up on Vashon Island and I make vaccine jokes almost every single day (don’t worry, he’s got all his shots), but we might not get to make those jokes much longer (a good thing). A combination of community information organizing, national media attention, and the recently-passed state bill eliminating personal exemptions to the measles vaccine has drastically increased vaccine rates on the island. It's still one of the least vaccinated communities in the country, but they’ve increased to 74% of kindergarteners having their state-mandated vaccines. Get your jokes in while you still can!
Dear NWS Social Media person: You’re doing such a great job. Not only do you post mostly accurate weather for today and tomorrow, you give a pretty little picture to go along with it. Your work is seen and very appreciated.
Expect increasing showers today with highs slightly below normal. Some lingering showers will persist into Tuesday before drier & warmer weather returns midweek. #WAwx pic.twitter.com/91CQRosKiW
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) May 20, 2019
FCC to okay merger between T-Mobile and Sprint: T-Mobile promised to roll out a nationwide 5G network quickly following the merger if it went through and the FCC chairman was all for it. This $26 billion merger would be the largest telecommunications deal in over a decade and give T-Mobile a huge share of the American market. But T-Mobile doesn't get off totally free, they've got annual benchmarks on just how much 5G they roll out to keep the FCC happy.
Game of Thrones is officially over: And the world has some thoughts about how eight seasons of dramatic genius ended with such a whimper. You won’t have to look far for hot takes, every single person with a Twitter handle is writing a scathing screed about some aspect of the finale. I didn’t mind it too much, but the writers went WAY too far with the whole, “show don’t tell” mantra of visual storytelling. I’m all for some good mise en scène, but half the fucking episode was characters slowly walking through intricate sets, silently reacting to things. Watch it again and pay attention to how fucking SLOW everyone is walking everywhere, it’s infuriating. George R.R. Martin had enough time to finish the last book in the dramatic pauses Tyrion’s took in between lines. And so I end my petty, spoiler-free review.
Trump lashes out at Iran and they fight back: So last Friday, I tried to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in reaction to a New York Times report that he told security officials he did not want to go to war with Iran, Then over the weekend he went full Twitter strong man and sent out terrible threats toward the Middle Eastern country. Iran responded on Twitter, the only language our president speaks, saying, “#EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran.’” Someone please stop this.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Ebola outbreak worsens as militia attacks on clinics and doctors increase: The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak in history, second only to the outbreak in West Africa starting in 2013. At least 1,100 people have died so far, though aid groups believe that number to be underestimating the death toll. It’s hard enough for local medical workers and international aid groups to fight one of the most devastating viruses on our planet without the added complication of dozens of armed militia groups frequently attacking clinics. Public trust in the government and state military is extremely low, leading people to be suspicious of public medical services. There are even rumors that the government introduced ebola to certain parts of the country to kill the people in those regions.
Washington is a magical place where Disney movies come to life:
REAL-LIFE BAMBI: A Washington resident caught a deer and rabbit sharing a tender moment in her mother's garden, reminding her of Bambi and Thumper. https://t.co/7zHuWoPNWj pic.twitter.com/YaJDYU1qFB
— ABC News (@ABC) May 20, 2019
Now listen here you $#!%: This is Ween Week! Five days, five Ween songs to show just how versitile this incredible band is!