In Turkey and Syria: More than 5,100 have been reported dead and tens of thousands more injured after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria. The race is on to rescue people still trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings, as cold temperatures and aftershocks hamper those efforts. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency in the 10 regions most impacted by the quake as humanitarian workers struggle to access northwestern Syria, which depends heavily on aid after 12 years of civil war. Seattleites, here's how to help.
Thousands of rescuers in Turkey and Syria are digging through debris in freezing conditions in a desperate search for survivors after an earthquake that has left at least 5,100 people dead, a devastating toll that is expected to rise.https://t.co/QWH3pz03C4 pic.twitter.com/hvqkngB6ny— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 7, 2023
She's not running: In her eighth year in office, District 5 Council Member Debora Juarez officially announced that she will not seek reelection this year, reports the Seattle Times. "My decision to not seek re-election this year creates an opportunity for the next generation of leadership to bring fresh, new ideas and energy to the City Council," Juarez—a moderate—said in a statement. She joins city council incumbents Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, and Alex Pedersen in declining to seek reelection this year.
Is it you? A lottery ticket bought in our beautiful state of Washington won the $754.6 million Powerball jackpot on Monday, reports NBC. The prize is still unclaimed as of this morning. I didn't win—obviously—but if I did, I would never tell you lot, I would simply disappear.
RIP to the guy who was shot in the face by former VP Dick Cheney: Attorney and GOP organizer Harry Whittington made headlines after Tricky Dick accidentally shot him during a Texas quail hunt in 2006. Now, he's dead at the age of 95. Imagine if this had happened when Twitter was a thing.
And the anti-vaxxers shall inherit the Earth or whatever: King County and City of Seattle announced they will no longer require workers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, reports the Seattle Times. Both KC Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Harrell say they are following recommendations from the health department, but—let's be real—there's a staffing crisis. In an email, a mayoral spokesman said that utility departments such as Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Fire Department "were the most impacted by non-compliance with the mandate in terms of employees separated." At the county level, more bus drivers, parks workers, and sheriffs got canned for declining the life saving vaccine than workers in other agencies. Time to dip into that unvaccinated reserve!
Another day, another bean: This time in NYC. Artist Anish Kapoor has installed a smooth-mirrored sculpture in Tribeca that is reminiscent of his iconic "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Chicago. Critics hate it, but when do critics ever have fun? Though, it is kind of in an ugly location. One of Seattle's tech billionaires should commission Kapoor to do the same in Seattle. Our skies are so much more interesting than Chicago or Manhattan.
A long-awaited, smaller version of ‘The Bean’ appeared on a corner in NYC’s Tribeca.— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 6, 2023
The silver, reflective sculpture is reminiscent of Chicago’s ‘Cloud Gate’ attraction, & is designed by the same artist, Anish Kapoor. Per reports, a naming ceremony is scheduled for spring. pic.twitter.com/W8UHcIz7tn
In case you forgot: President Biden's State of Union speech is tonight at 6 pm PST. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the GOP rebuttal. Thrilling. Biden is expected to make the case for his 2024 reelection, as well as announce a "forceful approach" to deal with the opioid and overdose epidemic, and he will "take aim at tech companies and discuss data privacy and online safety."
Say hello to Bard: Google has unveiled its competitor to AI chatbot ChatGPT. It's called Bard, a name I'm assuming references ol' Willy Shakes. In a tweet, Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the chatbot "draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses," and it will first be available to a select group before becoming public in the coming weeks. Looks like I'm going to be out of a job come next year! [Eds note: A chatbot cannot cover the arts with such a careful and discerning eye, nor can it translate the language of the city's streets to its residents with such cool command and Shrek-drunk humor. Jas forever.]
Really wish I understood the parliamentary system: Then, I would get the significance of British PM Rishi Sunak unveiling a new government department and announcing "a mini reshuffle of his cabinet" after his first 100 days in office.
More attacks on city power grids: In Baltimore, the FBI arrested two people—including one neo-Nazi leader—who were planning a massive power grid attack, reports NBC. Brandon Russell, founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, and Sarah Clendaniel were arrested last week. The feds say the alleged plot was "racially or ethnically motivated," as Baltimore is a majority-Black city.
Weather update: Rain! Clouds! Wind! Partial sun!
Rainy & windy today changing to showers. Morning showers then partly sunny Wednesday. Thursday partly sunny except for showers north. Showers Friday. Partly sunny and only a few showers Saturday. Rain returns for Sunday afternoon and Monday. #k5weather pic.twitter.com/DuwBWoWDtV— Rich Marriott (@rtmarriott) February 7, 2023
NYC Mayor Eric Adams pulls a DeSantis: By sending immigrants to the Canadian border. According to the BBC, Adams said his administration is "assisting" migrants get to the places they want to go by giving them free bus tickets to Plattsburgh, NY near the Quebec border. "Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we are there for them as they continue to move on with their pursuit of this dream," Adams said. Wild ... I've said it once and I'll say it again ... this guy stinks.
Saving to read later: Marc Maron discusses grieving over Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton.
Weird headline of the morning: "Neanderthals had a taste for a seafood delicacy that's still popular today" via CNN. They are literally talking about crab, lol.
For your listening pleasure: Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me."