France fucks workers: French President Emmanuel Macron gave a big "fuck you" to the French Parliament when he used a special constitutional power to pass his unpopular pension reform without a vote just minutes before the lower house was expected to reject the measure. The move comes after months of mass strike action to pressure the government to reject Macron's anti-worker pension proposal, which would raise the age of retirement by two years.
The hybrid model: New data says workers still don't want to go to the office five days a week. More than half of the 320,000 workers in the city center make the trip into work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but on Mondays and Fridays, most workers stay home. Find out more from the Seattle Times.
Spring: The cherry blossoms at UW are expected to bloom early next month. I am fighting off literal tears as I write this. Daylight saving time, the impending 60-degree day, and now the promise of cherry blossoms. Spring hits like a party drug.
Spring pt 2: Okay, it's not quite spring weather yet, but it’s something. Today, Seattleites can expect partly cloudy skies and temperatures peaking in the low 50s. I’ll take it!
Mount Rainier goes paperless: Starting May 26, visitors will have to pay with a card to enter or camp in Mount Rainier National Park. Doesn’t seem like the policy change will ruin too much family fun, as only 2% of visitors pay with cash anyway. Visitors can still buy a prepaid pass with cash before coming to the ticket kiosk.
Twitter urbanists’ favorite project: According to the Seattle Times, the City of Seattle owes seven waterfront property owners $16 million because a King County judge ruled that the City did a crummy job appraising properties subject to the Local Improvement District tax. The City Council passed the 2019 tax to pay for the waterfront remodel, and the Mayor’s spokesperson said the City is now “evaluating” how the lost tax revenue may “impact City finances going forward.”
Little guys: A new RentCafe report found that developers are building the smallest apartments in the country right here in Seattle. New builds in Seattle average about 659 square feet, or about 229 less square feet than the national average. But Seattle renters are used to it. Our new-build average is pretty much on par with the average of our entire housing stock, which RentCafe reported as 689 square feet. We’re only shrinking like 4.3% haha.
CHILL: Last night, a road rage incident escalated to gunfire. Two cars were driving erratically, someone shot a driver in the face, and the driver crashed on I-5 in SeaTac, closing the northbound lane for an hour. KIRO7 does not know the condition of the gunshot victim.
Socialism for the rich: The Silicon Valley Bank crash-and-bailout debacle is still in the news, so here’s senior staff writer Charles Mudede’s take, just in case you missed it on the blog last night: "If a bank can't do something as basic as secure deposits or be trusted to provide continual payroll services to businesses, then why do we have banks in the first place? Why don't we let the state just do this job?"
Drink up: As Nathalie mentioned yesterday, a big ole rainfall hit SoCal yesterday, ending a drought and water restrictions for almost seven million people. But it's not all throwing caution to the wind and letting the sink run the entire day now. The state of California still has 27,000 residents under evacuation orders, and more extreme weather is on its way.
Maternal mortality: A new report from the CDC found that the rate of maternal death rose 40% in 2021. Black women still see the highest rates of maternal mortality at 70 deaths per 100,000 births. White women see about 27 deaths per 100,000 births. Why the surge in highly preventable deaths? The CDC said COVID-19 may have something to do with it.
Pics or it didn’t happen: The US military released a video this morning that shows a Russian fighter jet engaging in an "unsafe/unprofessional intercept” of an American drone that was conducting surveillance flights over the Black Sea to the ire of Russia. According to NBC, the incident marks the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine that the US and Russia tussled directly.
BREAKING: U.S. military releases dramatic declassified video taken by MQ-9 Reaper drone that shows the moment that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with it after attempting to spray the drone with jet fuel. https://t.co/XGoVQN7ppJ pic.twitter.com/X9vH6qtFGf— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2023
GOP candidates are bored: Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis both expressed boredom over the US's involvement in Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The GOP candidates' disinterest seems to have struck a nerve with Republicans in Congress, who, according to Politico, are now calling for a nominee that embraces a Ronald-Reagan-style approach to foreign policy and national security.
IDK why: I woke up with the Jimmy Neutron theme song stuck in my head, so I’m banishing it from my brain by forcing it upon you.