Love living in this "city": Due to several delays in construction, Lynnwood and Bellevue are facing off against one another in competition to be the next portion of Sound Transit's planned expansion of light rail service, reports the Seattle Times. How much longer must we pay the price for previous generations of Seattle NIMBYs turning down federal cash for a real subway? At least until the end of next year, when Sound Transit claims all the currently delayed stations should finally be operational.
New lawsuit against SPD: The Seattle Times reports that four people who the cops arrested for using charcoal to write protest-related messages on the concrete barriers outside the east precinct are now suing the City. Their complaint alleges that an unnamed "mayoral executive" worked with an assistant SPD chief to override the King County Jail's restrictions on booking non-violent offenders on January 1, 2021, when the four plaintiffs were arrested and thrown in jail. They were released the following day and never prosecuted.
Come on, KUOW: Our local public radio station ran this absurd regurgitation of the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" line from Republican State Senator Phil Fortunato in reaction to the latest push for gun violence prevention laws. But they ran it without some critical context. Namely, as Rich reported as part of our Big-Ass Legislative Preview, there's very little any Republican can do to stop any kind of policy except throw a big tantrum. If you feel compelled to platform a powerless, whiny baby, then at least educate your audience on how little his NRA talking points matter to the ultimate outcome of whether kids will be a little safer in school.
More of this, please: There are lots of reasons to like State Senator Yasmin Trudeau, but this kind of accessible public education on how to participate in the legislative session tops my list at the moment. You can do this for any bill you like, not just for the Washington Future Fund.
I know you’re as excited as I am that the #WashingtonFutureFund has a hearing this MONDAY!🥳 And you don’t have to be in Olympia to join—check out this quick video to learn how you can participate! #waleg pic.twitter.com/zWu3iBjofn— Sen. Yasmin Trudeau (@SenatorTrudeau) January 13, 2023
Listen to the youths: A group of students from a Bellevue high school AP government class are helping to push for more equitable pricing, reports KING 5. They recorded several examples where products marketed towards women were more expensive than those aimed at men and then asked State Senator Manka Dhingra (D-Bellevue) to do something about it. The bill will have its first hearing on Monday.
Grab your (metaphorical) pitchforks: The Associated Press reports that a new study shows ExxonMobil's own scientists predicted the effects of global warming with "precision equal to or better than government and academic scientists." One of the authors of the study claims the new research “gives us airtight evidence that Exxon Mobil accurately predicted global warming years before, then turned around and attacked the science underlying it.” Of course, Exxon's spokesperson denied the claims.
Cost of doing business: The $1.6 million fine was the most the judge could legally impose on the Trump Organization, which should tell you all you need to know about whose interests our legal system really serves.
Donald Trump’s company was fined $1.6 million as punishment for a scheme in which the former president’s top executives dodged personal income taxes on job perks — a symbolic, hardly crippling blow for an enterprise boasting billions of dollars in assets. https://t.co/CXn1xEL6em— The Associated Press (@AP) January 13, 2023
Just let them bargain already, Jeff: The National Labor Relations Board certified the Amazon Labor Union's win at the company's Staten Island warehouse this week, reports Yahoo! Finance. The bosses say they're already planning to appeal, but experts on labor law say the plans are simply more delaying tactics without much likelihood of changing the outcome.
All the cool kids are doing it, Mr. Bezos: Unlike Amazon, CNN reports Apple has kicked off bargaining sessions with employees at its first unionized store this week. The negotiation process could take more than a year, but the union rep for the employees at the Maryland store told CNN the employees are optimistic about winning higher pay, better working conditions, and “being a part of that decision-making process in the things that affect them on the day-to-day."
No one will take your stove, you weirdos: But, there's a very good case to be made for replacing it if you don't like breathing toxic fumes. Get the whole story from Vox.
Gas stoves are a health problem. It’s not surprising federal agencies are finally recognizing it. https://t.co/cl5ZDjaMP7— Vox (@voxdotcom) January 12, 2023
Corrupted software responsible for FAA glitch: NBC News reports that Department of Transportation officials have figured out that a piece of corrupted software caused the glitch that grounded all flights for several hours on Wednesday morning. Eight contractors had access to the software, but whether the corrupted file was the result of malice or just a mistake remains under investigation.
Russian generals get reshuffled: In an apparent power struggle among Putin's top military brass, the Associated Press reports that the Russian dictator has demoted the general who had overseen the last three months of conflict in Ukraine. Several analysts told the AP that the move also signals pushback against criticism from Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose prisoners-turned-mercenaries have taken an increasingly visible role in the conflict as the main Russian army continues suffering heavy losses.
Bright side to all this California rain: The LA Times reports that the entire state has escaped "exceptional drought" as measured by the US Drought Monitor. The latest series of atmospheric rivers have dumped literally trillions of gallons of rain across the state, leading to the first time since April 4, 2020 that California has avoided the Drought Monitor's most severe classification.
Let's end AM with an ode to all that blessed precipitation from the band that defines (for me, at least) what my dad affectionately referred to as "older brother rock."