Andrew Lewis is running for a second term on City Council: The current District 7 council member spoke with my colleague, Hannah Krieg, about what he envisions for his next term if elected. Read the article over here.
2022 was the deadliest year on record for unhoused people in King County: According to King County officials, 310 people experiencing homelessness died last year, a jump of 65% from 2021. That number is likely an undercount because it's determined by the Medical Examiner's Office, which only investigates people who die of specific causes. The vast majority of those deaths—77%, or 238—were "accidental," and a majority of them were linked to fentanyl-related overdoses.
Crash blocking all lanes on southbound I-405 in Bothell-Lynnwood area, leaving one dead: According to KIRO, Washington State Patrol said the crash started when a car hit the barrier, bounced back into traffic, and was hit by two other cars. The driver whose car hit the barrier got out and was then hit and killed by a semi-truck. As of 7:20 am, the Washington Department of Transportation advised drivers to find alternate routes or face extremely long delays.
BREAKING: A deadly crash has all lanes of SB I-405 closed in Bothell at Canyon Park right now.— Jake Whittenberg 🎥📺✌️ (@jwhittenbergK5) January 17, 2023
-One person was hit and killed on the road.
-A semi truck was involved.
-NB lanes also seeing major slowing.@ShanteSTV_ and @FarahJadran have the latest on @KING5Seattle. pic.twitter.com/iDzwKZha8H
"Ay, gimme yer copper!!": That's what I imagine metal thieves would say before harvesting the copper from electric vehicle charging stations around Seattle. According to KOMO, Seattle City Light says they've seen an increase of copper theft from public charging stations since March 2022. "Unfortunately, the amount of money they are going in [for] is nominal," said Jenn Strang of Seattle City Light. "It's about ten dollars." Not so lucrative, eh?
Another day, another beloved Seattle institution closure thanks to shitty landlords: This time, it's Full Tilt in Ballard. According to MyBallard, the joint is closing because the landlord won't renew their lease after 12 years in the location. And they have to get out by the end of the month, so get your last scoops soon.
Amazing news for train nerds (a.k.a. me): Beginning March 7, Amtrak is adding another round trip from Seattle to the beautiful city of Vancouver, B.C., which will bring the line back to "pre-pandemic levels of service," reports the Seattle Times. Additionally, later this fall, Amtrak will restore more daily round trips between Seattle and Portland from four to six. Train nerds, unite!
A potential new DUI legal limit incoming: The state Senate is considering a bill that would lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers from 0.08% to 0.05%, reports KING 5. If passed, it would make Washington and Utah the only two states with a legal limit of 0.05%.
Did anyone watch The Last of Us over the weekend? Based off a 2013 video game of the same name, the HBO show is set in a post-apocalyptic America where a deadly fungal virus turns the majority population into vicious zombies. It stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (of Game of Thrones fame) in a pseudo father-daughter dynamic, and I know it's going to absolutely fuck me up. Watch the pilot episode then get back to me.
For the first time since the 1960s, China's population dropped: The number dropped by 850,000 last year to 1.41 billion, reports CNBC. "The contraction of the total population reflects the impact of the pandemic and the associated economic downturn on fertility demand," said Yue Su, principal economist of China's Economist Intelligence Unit. Here's what that means.
And in New Mexico: Over the weekend, authorities arrested a failed Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives on accusations of orchestrating shootings at the homes of local Democratic leaders. According to CNN, police say Solomon Peña—who attributed his loss to election fraud—is accused of "paying and conspiring with four men to shoot at the homes of two state legislators and two county commissioners." Normal!
Top Mafia boss arrested in Italy: More than 100 officers were involved in the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro, a man who has been on the run for three decades and stands accused of being the boss of Cosa Nostra, that is, THE Mafia. Cops nabbed him while he was receiving chemotherapy under a fake name in Palermo. In 2002, Messina Denaro was convicted "numerous murders" and sentenced to life in prison in absentia. Can't wait for the inevitable biopic of this man.
Things are really expensive here: Inflation has really whacked Seattle over the head. Our beautiful city has the third highest inflation rate in the country: 8.4%. We're behind only Miami (9.9%) and Phoenix (9.5%), reports Axios. Our median housing, food, dining out, and energy prices are skyrocketing, partially due to the labor shortage.
Good-ish news: Flu levels across King County appear to have peaked for the time being as we emerge from holiday season and dive into depression season. Over the past week, the Department of Health reported low-levels of flu-like activity in the state—though deaths have gone up, reports the Seattle Times. But COVID has been on the rise since Christmas, with cases going up 25% over the past two weeks even though hospitalizations have gone down over the past month. The new variant, XBB.1.5 a.k.a. "the kraken," is expected to dominate Washington soon. Take care of yourself out there.
Weather break: Ahhhhh, that's the Seattle I know :)
For your listening pleasure: Shakira in her music session with Bizarrap. This song recently set much of the Spanish-speaking world on fire because Shakira pretty directly addresses her acrimonious breakup with soccer player Gerard Piqué. Gossip AND the song is good—what more can you ask for?!