BIG MONEY AGAINST THE GUN LOBBY The campaign behind a statewide initiative to require background checks for all gun transactions raised a stunning $1 million in just 90 minutes at a kickoff luncheon on June 2. Coupled with previous contributions and pledges, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility now heads to the fall ballot with $3 million—and counting—sending an early signal that the gun lobby will face a well-financed challenge this year. Among the big-name donors helping them raise so much so fast: former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie Snyder, who together put in $50,000. Passing Initiative 594 would rewrite the narrative that gun laws in America can't change, thereby encouraging chickenshit lawmakers to take action without waiting for voters to do their jobs for them. DOMINIC HOLDEN

GETTING REAL ON GLOBAL WARMING Hope and climate change! On June 2, the Obama administration finally put in place limits on carbon emissions from the nation's power plants. Previously, there were no limits whatsoever. In 2012, power plants in Washington State emitted 6.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution—equal to the yearly pollution from more than one million cars—but under this new plan, our state must cut emissions by 72 percent by 2030. And we might just meet that target—the state is already in the process of shutting down its last coal-fired power plant. ANSEL HERZ

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VICTORY FOR FARMWORKERS Migrant farmworkers in Skagit Valley are celebrating this week after Sakuma Brothers Farms, one of the largest berry farms in the state, abruptly reversed course on the question of who will be out in the fields picking its berries during this summer's harvest season. After the workers launched a series of strikes last year and organized a fledgling union to protest what they said was low pay and racial abuse by supervisors, the farm told hundreds of them they would not be rehired this year. Instead, it said it would import workers from Mexico through a federal "guest worker" program. But the farm withdrew its application for guest workers on June 2 and said in a statement, "We recognized that we could do better." ANSEL HERZ

DAVE MEINERT TO RETIRE FROM PUBLIC LIFE? Apparently upset by minimum-wage progress that wasn't going his way, Seattle restaurant mini-mogul Dave Meinert (Lost Lake, the 5 Point, Big Mario's, the Comet) lashed out in a long Facebook rant on May 29. He said Mayor Ed Murray's minimum-wage committee—of which Meinert was a member—had engaged in a "charade" that was full of "bad faith negotiating" and "political blackmail." He accused the mayor's staff of "either incompetence or intentional dishonesty"—we pause here for a brief moment of reflection on Dave Meinert's endorsement of the mayor last fall—and, finally, Meinert declared the resulting minimum-wage bill to be "a shit ordinance" backed by unions he didn't want to associate with and leading him to feel "pretty done with local politics." ELI SANDERS recommended

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