Mental health facility funding is on the table: Yesterday, the King County Council voted 9-0 in favor of putting a $1.25 billion behavioral health levy on ballots for voters to consider. This April, in a special election, you can vote yes on actually putting money into our struggling, bare-bones mental health system.
As it stands right now, people in crisis usually end up in an emergency room or in a jail cell for treatment. After this levy passes (knock on wood), the county could fund five 24/7 walk-in clinics for emergencies, short-term observation stays of 23 hours, and stabilization stays of up to 14 days. Also, with the levy, mental health workers at these clinics would earn “20% more than comparable facilities,” the Seattle Times reports. King County Executive and silver fox Dow Constantine introduced the levy last fall.
Amazon accused of union-busting: Shocker! A judge with the National Labor Relations Board found that Amazon “illegally threatened to withhold raises and benefits from workers at two New York City warehouses if they voted to unionize,” Reuters reports.
Seattle City Council Member Tammy Morales will make a major announcement in the Plaza Roberto Maestas at El Centro de la Raza this morning at 9:30 am. Since she'll be joined by a bunch of key leaders in the district, and since the press release mentions that she won her seat in 2019 with "more than 60% of the vote," I imagine she's running for reelection. Update: She's running.
Naughty nurses found in Washington: And not the fun kind. The Department of Justice is currently investigating three Florida colleges that allegedly peddled fake nursing diplomas. For a fee, “under-qualified nursing students could sit for their boards, apply for licenses, and in some cases, get jobs,” KING 5 reports. From 2016 to 2021, these colleges handed out 7,600 fake diplomas and raked in $114 million in the process. The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission found 150 nursing applicants in Washington with ties to these shady Florida schools.
Maybe we deserve late-stage capitalism: While seven states and the federal government try to divide up the water in the ever-shrinking Colorado River, Wall Street investors are snatching up water rights in the area. A New York-based hedge fund aptly called Water Asset Management bought up $20 million worth of land in Colorado in the last five years. The fund’s founder, Matthew Disario, once called water “a trillion-dollar opportunity.” Dario said his company can turn a profit by “making the farms it buys more efficient and then selling parts of its water rights to other farmers and cities increasingly desperate for the natural resource.” Welcome to the era of drought profiteers. I hate it here.
Take two: Tom Brady retires again. During this last year of football—one Brady originally wasn't supposed to play in—he got divorced and potentially lost $70 million from investing in crypto currency exchange FTX. The universe doesn't want anymore TB12, and neither do I.
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
Stop leaving your guns in your damn cars, Tacoma: Vehicle prowlers stole 10 guns from cars between Jan 1 and Jan 22. in Tacoma, according to KING 5.
Washington needs more homes: Lawmakers in Olympia are taking this whole housing crisis thing seriously. Thirteen bills in the Legislature this year aim to add units to Washington's stock of housing. The bills range from hastening the permitting processes on building new housing to increasing the income limit for renters living in affordable housing. According to Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac) "Washington currently needs about 150,000 more housing units, in the next 20 years will need 1 million homes," according to the Seattle Times.
Aussies find their missing radioactive capsule: Earlier this month, a capsule containing a small amount of radioactive Caesium-137 went missing in the remote parts of Western Australia, triggering a radioactivity alert across parts of the country. Authorities began a "needle-in-a-haystack" search for the capsule. Luckily, emergency services crew found the thing on the side of the road on Wednesday.
Beyoncé announces world tour for Renaissance: She'll be at Lumen Field in Seattle on Sept. 13.
The official dates for Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE World Tour. pic.twitter.com/DHsHIz8lzn— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 1, 2023
British Royal Navy workers fixed nuclear sub with glue: According to an investigation from the Royal Navy, workers on the HMS Vanguard, a nuclear submarine, allegedly fixed broken bolt heads with glue. The bolt heads "held insulation in place on the coolant pipes in the nuclear reactor and were found just as workers were set to fire it up to full power for the first time," the Guardian reports.
Another hit for digital media: The recently resuscitated news and gossip site, Gawker, is dead again after just 18 months of rebirth.
Now that's what I call dry January: Seattle had the driest January on record in 22 years.
Seattle January rainfall 3.09", driest January in 22 years (2.70" 2001), 12th driest in 79 years and just 53% of the January normal of 5.78". Avg. temp for January was 43.5°, 0.7° above normal. February starting off dry. Rain is in the forecast for Friday into the weekend. #wawx pic.twitter.com/cWDHL95vdN— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 1, 2023
This country has worms for brains: The right-wing war on education continues. The College Board amended its new Advanced Placement course on African American studies by paring down contemporary topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement, affirmative action, queer life, and the conversation on reparations, according to the New York Times. Those subjects won't be on the AP exam anymore and are simply options for a research project. These changes come after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would ban the curriculum due to historical inaccuracies and the course's use of "critical race theory."
Florida teachers hide books: Speaking of DeSantis's thought-policing, due to a bill he signed last year barring "pornography" and, broadly, "age-inappropriate" books in schools, teachers are scrambling to figure out which books qualify and to hide them or remove them from shelves. Teachers could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for displaying a forbidden book. These book transgressions are considered a third-degree felony.
The classified document hunt continues: This morning, the FBI is searching Joe Biden's Rehoboth Beach, Delaware home for classified documents. I find this document hunt to be incredibly snoozy.
Body parts for freedom: A proposed bill in the Massachusetts Legislature would offer prisoners who donate their organs or bone marrow a sentence reduction from 60 days to a year. State Rep. Judith Garciá announced the bill in a tweet by saying the bill would restore prisoners' "bodily autonomy" since prisoners cannot currently donate organs. Potentially coercing prisoners into giving up their spleens for freedom isn't the body autonomy she thinks it is.
Are you in Ravenna and missing a cat? This could be him!
@RavennaBlog can you amplify? @ravennabryant #Cat pic.twitter.com/EQMKsJTqvk— Ellen Kuwana, MS (she/her) (@EllenKuwana) February 1, 2023