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Seattle’s Entire Progressive Project Is at Stake

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Want more information about these candidates and issues? Read our full endorsements below.

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Slog PM: Seattle Senator Compares Seattle Progressives to Trump, King County Recommends Vaccine Mandates for Health Care Workers, Vaccinated People "Rarely" Spread COVID, CDC Says

These big boys are getting more room to play.
These big boys got more room to play today. Stuart Westmorland / GETTY

Pete Holmes thinks he might lose: Seattle's three-term incumbent City Attorney told the Seattle Times he's afraid he might get "squeezed out" of the three-way race between him, former public defender Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, and absolute nutjob Ann Davison. "I am 65. We’ll see what happens. I am at peace with what happens next Tuesday," he said.

Which reminds me.... Have you voted yet? You should vote. Here's how. And here's who.

A little clarification here: This mailer from King County Executive Dow Constantine kinda sorta maybe makes it look like The Stranger endorsed him. We did not:

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Say Hello to Your New Club Gear: Vaccination Cards and Masks

Ya wanna party at Kremwerk? Better bring proof of vaccination and prepare for a temperature check, buddy.
Wanna party? Better bring proof of vaccination and prepare for a temperature check, buddy. Tyler Hill/Kremwerk
Last weekend, as I got to the Kremwerk complex for DJ livwutang's farewell set in Seattle, a new kind of COVID check greeted me: an infrared thermometer.

When the Denny Triangle nightclub first reopened at the end of June, proof of vaccination was the only mandatory requirement for entry. But with the rise of the delta variant and a "fifth wave" of cases hitting Washington state, the club has started adding temperature checks at the door. Once inside, I noticed another new policy at the complex: all of the staff wearing masks.

Over email, Kremwerk's general manager Jeanne-Marie Joubert wrote that their vaccination policies had worked "really well" so far, besides a few angry emails. The addition of temperature checks and staff masking was something she wished they'd done from the beginning.

"The last thing we would want is to shut down," Joubert wrote. Currently, the venue is not requiring guests or performers to wear masks, just its staff.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all people—regardless of vaccination status—mask up indoors in places where COVID-19 is surging, which includes King County. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee doubled down on that recommendation, himself calling for (but not mandating) Washingtonians to follow the CDC's request for people to mask up in public indoor spaces, vaccinated or not.

In response, local venues and bars are choosing to enforce a range of new policies.

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This Week in Seattle Food News: El Borracho Goes Plant-Based, Cubano Sandwiches Come to Shoreline, and H Mart Plans to Open on Capitol Hill This Fall

The new Shoreline restaurant El Cubano serves hearty, juicy Cubano sandwiches to go.
The new Shoreline restaurant El Cubano serves hearty, juicy Cubano sandwiches to go. El Cubano

In this week's batch of food news, Cubano sandwiches come to Shoreline, University District gets a new takeout and delivery-only restaurant, and El Borracho goes plant-based. Read on for all of that and more openings, plus opening updates for the highly anticipated wizard-themed pub The Splintered Wand and H Mart on Capitol Hill. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS


El Borracho
This popular taco spot beloved for its inexpensive margaritas has reopened its Ballard and Pike Place locations with a new 100% plant-based menu and plans to reopen its Tacoma location this fall.
Ballard, Pike Place Market
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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MusicZines

Seattle Musician Mirabai Kukathas on MoPOP, Totem Star, and Singing to the Monster Under Her Bed

Kukathas is on a roll.
Kukathas is on a roll. Courtesy Ra Ra Rebel

Seattle-based musician Mirabai Kukathas is having a breakthrough moment. The 19-year-old's sweet, theatrical folk landed her a top spot in Sound Off! 2020, MoPOP's annual 21-and-under showcase of Pacific Northwest musicians. Building off that appearance, she recently released her debut album, Songs to the Monster Under My Bed.

The 11-track album is a collection of songs Kukathas wrote between the ages of 15 and 18 about her relationship with fear. "I grew up dealing with physical pain and often debilitating levels of anxiety. I felt scared almost all the time," she writes in her album description. "The only way I was able to self-soothe was by telling stories and writing songs. Thirteen years later and this album is once again me attempting to self-soothe."

The local riot grrrl zine Ra Ra Rebel interviewed Kukathas for its fifth issue, themed around flowers and power. The zine is run by Tali Ashkenazy, Sofia Krutikova, and Kennady Quille, who say they chose Kukathas to be the issue's spotlight artist "because no one embodies flower power as wholeheartedly as them." (Kukathas uses she and they pronouns interchangeably.)

Ashkenazy, Krutikova, and Quille chatted with Kukathas about their identity, songwriting, and their relationship with music organizations across the city. Read the interview after the jump.

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You Can Now Access Wheels Bikes Through the Lime App

If you just showed me a silhouette of one of these things Id guess it was some kind of sex toy
If you just showed me a silhouette of one of these things I'd guess it was some kind of sex toy Wheels

Daniel Bornstein says his “aha moment” came last summer, when he was sitting on an LA beach and saw a group of five people unlocking a bunch of bikes. The bikes were part of a rental fleet owned by the company Wheels, where Bornstein is Head of Business Development and Global Partnerships. The riders were in their mid-40s to early 50s, he recalls.

“What was novel about that moment was that it kind of dispelled the prevailing consumer wisdom that it’s a young male adventure-seeking demographic that rides the devices,” he says.

You’ve probably seen the Wheels bikes hanging out around town: squat little e-bikes with cute small wheels and a caboose for a helmet that is sometimes there and sometimes missing. When the company entered the Seattle market a few months ago, I was skeptical that anyone would be interested in them — the idea of re-usable helmets seemed particularly unappealing — but they’ve sweetened the deal thanks to a partnership with Lime. As of now, you can access both Lime and Wheels devices through the Lime platform.

But there's one detail that's a little ... odd.

The integration doesn’t go the other way. You can use Lime to book Wheels or Lime devices, but you can’t use the Wheels app to book Lime devices. On top of that, if you have a Lime subscription (like I do; it's definitely worth it for the 15-or-so trips that I make per month), the Lime discount won't carry over to Wheels devices. So why use Wheels at all? That’s a tough one for me to answer, though Bornstein says they still expect people to use their app.

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Who's Making It Through Seattle's Primary Election?

Whos gonna make it out of this little box with their political career still intact?
Come next week, only two people in each race will make it out of this box with their political careers still intact.

The top five Seattle mayoral candidates have raised over $2.1 million this primary season, not counting the independent expenditure committees. That's more money than the top four 2017 mayoral candidates raised throughout the primary and the general combined.

Candidates have used a lot of that money—much of which they scooped up from the city's campaign financing program—to stuff your mailbox with flyers, blow up your phone with texts, flood your airwaves with goofy TV spots, and invade your digital sidebar with bright ads.

But despite all this money floating around, recent polling shows most of the city backs candidate "Not Sure" in every municipal race.

Meanwhile, with only a few days left until voters thin the herds, the usual prognosticators are all over the blogs—even the ones in D.C.!—talking the same old shit from their well-appointed seats among the commentariat.

We know who we think should make it through the primaries, but, to get out of our heads for a minute, I asked a couple political consultants and observers, plus a random person on a light rail platform, who they think will take the top two positions in each city race. (Except for City Council Position 8, where incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda faces no serious threat.)

All expressed some trepidation about the utility of predictions, all recognized the limitations of the available polling, all rightly excoriated this sort of horse race bullshit, but all were kind enough to offer some interesting insights into the races in a way that sharpened my thinking on the state of Seattle politics.

Here's what they said:

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Tonight: Cruise with Clara at Krem


Calling all “Claranators” — it’s time for your monthly meet-up. This Friday, Seattle comedian Clara Pluton hosts the July edition of their rowdy queer talk show, Cruisin' with Clara. Join them as they unspool their funny and surreal observations about queer culture, the nature of time, the ills of capitalism, and gay small talk. (Warm up by watching their totally official Pride commercial they made for small-time business Chase Bank, which debuted at last month's show.) This edition's guests of honor are Seattle comedians Natalie Holt and Dewa Dorje, who will each do a short set and then chit-chat with Pluton. Plus, the show's devilish segment, HELL NEWS, a compilation of the month's most hellish headlines presented by Erowid Experience Vaults, returns this month. So, dudes and dolls, gulp an extra-strong pot soda and let Pluton and Co. guide you through the highs and lows of Leo season. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Tickets to Cruisin' with Clara at Kremwerk are $13.44—get 'em here. Kremwerk also requires proof of vaccination. Doors are at 7 PM and the show starts at 8 PM. The show consistently sells out so nab tickets now or yesterday.

More recommendations for this weekend right over here >>


Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Seattle This Weekend: July 30-Aug 1, 2021

Julie Beckmans Seattle-set adaptation of Alice in Wonderland continues (for free) in Volunteer Park this weekend.
Julie Beckman's Seattle-set adaptation of Alice in Wonderland continues (for free) in Volunteer Park this weekend. Theatre22 via Facebook

Another weekend of events is here to prove that you don't need a reserve of disposable income to go out on the town. See below for the latest batch of last-minute events under $10, from the free outdoor movie series Black Summer Camp and Movies at the Mural to the C-ID Food Walk Series, and from a free show with Polyrhythmics on Pier 62 to Pets in the Park. Plus, check out our guides to the best things to do this week and the best movies to watch this week for more options. 

FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK
Pier 62 Beats & Eats
Propel your summer weekends on the pier by grooving to live DJ sets from Reverend Dollars, Supreme La Rock, and other seasoned Seattle spinners while you graze from food trucks.
Pier 62, Downtown (free)

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Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote: You Only Have a Few Days Left to Vote in the Primary Election

Here are answers to all your election questions.
Do we have your attention? Here are answers to all your election questions. Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images

You know that feeling of dread you get on most November election days, when you have to choose between a bunch of disappointing candidates, and you’re like, "Ugh, get a load of these jerks, why don’t I have any better options?” But then sometimes, every few years, you get that stunned feeling of delight when you can vote for someone you actually like?

It’s primary elections—those elections that occur on dates you can't remember, with crowded fields of candidates, months before the more high-profile general election—that decide which feeling you'll have come November.

This year's primary election lands on August 3 (that's next Tuesday!), and the results of that election will determine which candidates will manage to squeak through to the final round, which means that if you want to have any chance of actually liking the person you’ll be voting for in November, then you’ll need to weigh in by that August 3 deadline.

Please take this election more seriously than Jenna Elfman on Dharma & Greg.
Please take this election more seriously than Jenna Elfman on Dharma & Greg.

As of this writing, just over 12% of Seattle ballots have been returned—a paltry showing! Seattle, stop what you’re doing and fill out your ballot now. It only takes a minute—or less!—and your vote today will determine the pain levels of the election in November.

But perhaps you have some inquiries about the election? Well, wonder no longer—here are answers to frequently asked election questions:

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Proposal Masks the Ultimate Function of the GOP: To Make Government Not Work

Charles Dickens: The engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.
Charles Dickens: The "engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness." bashta/gettyimages.com

The infrastructure bill the Senate voted to take up on Wednesday is missing $2 trillion. It's just gone. The massive investment in communities, schools, research and development, clean energy expansion—all gone. And what remains is an economic package that will have little to no long-term impact.

But why is this happening? Or, put another way, what is this puny infrastructure bill really about? One could turn to the usual suspect and say: It's all about the power of the fossil fuel industry ("...the largest change [in transportation] was in the area of electric vehicle adoption, which shrank by $142 billion, or 90 percent," writes the New York Times). Or one could turn to the deficit hawks, who were nowhere to be found during Trump's time in the White House. The GOP wants budget surpluses and smaller government. That's their old story.

But a point David Harvey made last year makes much more sense than these old narratives: The GOP does not just want small government, but, above all, to make government not work.

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The Stranger Endorses Michelle Sarju for Seattle School District No 1, District Director No. 5

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Michelle Sarju, a program manager at King County Public Health, spent most of her career as a social worker and midwife. She repeatedly told the SECB that public school is a person’s “birthright,” and when a midwife tells you something is a birthright, you listen.

Sarju, who has raised three Black children alongside Seattle’s Public School system, and who has fostered a few others, knows the challenges students of color face in our schools. She’s committed to fixing the opportunity gap and to tackling other aspects of systemic racism within the district. Random fun fact: Sarju said her dad’s cousin was Linda Brown—yes, Brown v. The Board of Education’s Linda Brown.

Sarju is not only the SECB’s choice for this position (which covers Seattle’s Capitol Hill, International District, and Central District area), she’s also her competitor’s choice.

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Slog AM: Amanda Knox Pissed About New Matt Damon Movie, Tukwila Man Found Dead in Death Valley, The Story About Anti-Vax Trump People in ICU Is Getting Old

Pacific Northwest fires from space...
Pacific Northwest fires from space... NASA

The "Old West-style" town of Winthrop is all sad because tourism is down, and tourism is down because the wildfires will not stop. The Seattle Times: "...smoke and fire have done what COVID-19 couldn't: clear the streets of town." The tune that best captures the mood of many towns in the capitalocene must surely be "Ghost Town" by The Specials. Indeed: "Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang, and the music played inna de boomtown."

Well, let's all meet in an honorable bipartisan manner and do some talking about these here wildfires with the President of the United States himself. All this talking has got to do something one day.

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Slog PM: Mandatory Masking, The Return of the Jet Man, and SPD Is Still Fighting Over Who Was Responsible for Gassing Capitol Hill

June 1, 2020, right before the pink umbrella incident.
June 1, 2020, right before the "pink umbrella incident." Rich Smith

Accountability is expensive: Two months ago, Seattle Police Department's Interim Chief Adrian Diaz demoted Assistant Chief Steve Hirjak to just Captain Steve Hirjak after determining he was responsible for SPD's disproportionally aggressive response to Capitol Hill protesters on June 1, 2020. (Maybe you remember that pink umbrella incident?) Now, Captain Hirjak has filed a $5.48 million discrimination and retaliation claim against the city, saying Diaz used him as a scapegoat, reports the Seattle Times.

Hirjak and his lawyer argue that SPD's Lt. John Brooks was actually responsible for the department's tear gas and blast ball use that day. Their claim is supported by the Office of Police Accountability's findings, as Publicola highlights in this post today. Hirjak, the department's first Asian American assistant chief, accused Diaz of discriminating against him based on race. Brooks is white, and Hirjak's lawyer submitted a letter alleging a history of preferential treatment toward white officers at the department, uploaded by the Times.

While we wait for comment from Seattle police spokespeople, let's take a moment and remember how we got here...

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Film/TVBooksMusicComedyCHARITY!Queer

Our Top Recommendations Around Seattle This Weekend

Beard Papas cream puffs are among the many things you can eat at this weekends Chinatown-International District Food Walk
Drool over Beard Papa's cream puffs at this weekend's Chinatown-International District Food Walk. Courtesy ビアードパパ Official


FRIDAY, JULY 30: AHAMEFULE OLUO'S NEW BAND, INSECT REVENGE, PERFORMS @ RETAIL THERAPY

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Poster by Abbey Blackwell

The local musician, comedian, and (now) film actor Ahamefule J. Oluo has a new band. It is called Insect Revenge. It is just him (a trumpeter) and Sheridan Riley (a drummer). And this is their first show ever. The music the two make is big, catchy, and filled with a sense of adventure. Those familiar with Oluo's body of work will certainly recognize in Insect Revenge some of the punk spirit of his trio The Honorable Chief Ahamefule J. Oluo, which released an album in 2015. Expect to hear more about Insect Revenge in the future. (And, yes, I directed a movie that stars Oluo, Thin Skin—it will have its Seattle release in early October.) CHARLES MUDEDE

Insect Revenge performs on July 30 at Retail Therapy. Show begins at 7:30 PM.

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