Took you long enough, Dan: King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg finally requested that the Sheriff's Office investigate missing texts from former Mayor Durkan's phone and the phones of several other City leaders, including former SPD Chief Carmen Best. People have been asking for this since last year's mayoral race, when Colleen Echohawk sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking for someone to do their damn jobs and find out if our last mayor committed a felony.
A little history lesson: In case this arcane argument over public records laws seems like a niche obsession of local media, let's remind ourselves exactly why we care so much about those text messages. The missing records date back to May and June of 2020, that blissfully idyllic time when SPD indiscriminately used so much tear gas on peaceful protesters it affected people in nearby apartment buildings. Recovering those texts could shed light on how much, if any, control the Mayor and Chief Best had over a police department that a federal judge held in contempt of court for their crowd control "tactics."
Good governance all around, conservatives: Idaho's clusterfuck of abortion bans all face legal challenges, creating confusion for patients and providers about the daily state of the law as judges sort through whether to stay their implementation as those lawsuits unfold. The Seattle Times interviewed a doctor suing the state to understand how the mess of overlapping restrictions has affected patients seeking what should be uncontroversial medical care.
Renewable energy innovations on a dairy farm: KUOW reports that the Tulalip tribe and a local Monroe dairy farm have partnered to create renewable energy in Snohomish County out of food waste and cow manure. They use a device called an anaerobic digester that speeds up the decomposition process of the biological waste to create a more environmentally friendly fertilizer for the farm and methane that powers a generator to provide electricity for 675 homes.
Periodic reminder that COVID isn't over:
In 1.28 million people, up to 2 years after Covid, w/ matched controls: "The persisting increased risk of post-COVID cognitive deficit, dementia, psychotic disorders, and epilepsy or seizures" and "similar during the delta and omicron waves" #LongCovid https://t.co/FRyGDJ8pSd pic.twitter.com/NuqJ5Fq0Kx— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) August 17, 2022
Get yourself some free tests: No matter how much we wish it would go away, the pandemic is still very much with us. Do yourself, your neighbors, and the rest of us a favor and order some free rapid tests from the USPS.
A long read worth your time: As Hannah wrote in yesterday's Slog AM, the first thing people should think of when they hear the name "Dan Price" is the fact that he's been charged with sexual assault. After this extremely thorough story from the New York Times on how Price used his social media fame to obscure past allegations of sexual assault and to lure new victims, I imagine more people will recognize him as a creep rather than "that CEO who cut his own salary."
If you ignore my advice and choose not to read the long Times article on Dan Price (or don't have a subscription), at least read Melissa Santos's helpful timeline over at Axios documenting all of the allegations against the former CEO.
Florida getting more and more fashy by the day:
Look at this embarrassing performance. After two years, they’ve found 20 voters among the 11 million voters in the state in 2020. An entire unit with a find rate of .000181818182%. Just like we’ve always said. Like getting struck by lightning. https://t.co/svZjDYaG5X— Sherrilyn Ifill (@SIfill_) August 19, 2022
Take me with you: Nicole Aunapu Mann will become the first Native American woman to travel to space late next month when NASA ships her to the International Space Station with several other crew members. Seems like a great time to get the hell out of Dodge.
Trump accountant takes the fall: Yesterday, former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg admitted to every single one of the 15 felonies Manhattan prosecutors charged him with. Unfortunately, he has yet to cooperate with the prosecutors' investigation of Trump and his family. Instead, his testimony against the Trump Organization in an upcoming trial will focus on his role in helping the company avoid taxes.
Federal judge slaps union-busters: Figuratively, of course. Though I have to say, seeing a federal judge literally smack a billionaire for firing someone for unionizing is something I'd pay a significant amount of money to make happen.
BREAKING: A FEDERAL JUDGE JUST ORDERED STARBUCKS TO IMMEDIATELY REINSTATE THE ILLEGALLY FIRED UNION LEADERS IN MEMPHIS, TENN.— SBWorkersUnited (@SBWorkersUnited) August 18, 2022
Speaking of judges: A different federal judge ordered two Pennsylvania judges to pay more than $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to more than 300 people who were "the tragic human casualties of a scandal of epic proportions." That scandal? Accepting $2.8 million in illegal payments for using their authority to send thousands of kids to detention where the builder and owner of two for-profit detention facilities could rake in cash from the state for warehousing the kids.
Apologies, this has been a relatively grim Slog AM heading into your weekend, so let's end with this relaxing yet aspirational instrumental from my favorite artist, Donald Glover.