FDA green-lights Narcan for over-the-counter sale. For the first time since the onset of the opioid crisis in the United States, Narcan, the nasal-spray version of naloxone, which reverses overdoses, will soon be sold without a prescription. As soon as late summer, you'll likely be able to find the life-saving stuff "in big-box chains, vending machines, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and even online retailers," according to the New York Times.
Paid sick leave for gig workers: Seattle is the first city in the country to create permanent paid sick and safe time for gig workers. The Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance allowing app-based independent contracts to accrue one day of paid sick leave for every 30 days of work. The ordinance will go into effect May 1 for food-delivery workers and Jan 1 for all other covered workers.
Harrell spends big on light rail consultant: Over the last year, the city of Seattle spent $280,000 to have consultant Tim Ceis lobby Sound Transit on a West Seattle-to-Ballard connection, Publicola reports. That rate falls just shy of the maximum rate of $285,000 for no-bid sole-source contracts, and he reportedly worked only 20 hours a week. In 2019, Ceis lobbied on behalf of fossil fuel for Puget Sound Energy; and in 2021, he lobbied for Compassion Seattle, the failed initiative on homelessness. One big part of his lobbying efforts was to sway the board toward a last-minute, unstudied alternative for a planned transit hub just outside the International District station. You know, the plan that's causing a whole to-do among urbanists and people who want transit systems that won't blow chunks?
Interestingly, as Erica Barnett points out in that Publicola report, Mayor Jenny Durkan got a lot of flack for paying a Sound Transit lobbyist (who was also her friend) $180,000 annually. Will Harrell receive the same scrutiny?
And now, Rich has something to say. Take it away, Rich!
Democratic clubs push for wealth tax: The King County Democrats and 12 Democratic groups representing separate districts within the county have all passed resolutions demanding the Washington State Legislature to pass Seattle Sen. Noel Frame's wealth tax, a common sense plan that would raise billions for stuff we need while also making our regressive tax code a little fairer. Right now, the Legislature, which is completely controlled by Democrats, is dragging its feet.
King County Democrats @kcdems have just adopted a resolution calling on the WA State Legislature to Tax Extreme Wealth.— Paul "Why are golf courses valued ₵ on the $?" (@PoulChapman) March 29, 2023
Will @WASenDemocrats and @WAHouseDems listen and open up this revenue stream so we can fund education, housing, disability programs?https://t.co/yYl3mb7jfU
Okay, back to me.
Control burn, baby, burn: The Washington State Department of Natural Resources will set fire to 2,100 acres in Klickitat, Kittitas, Okanogan and Spokane counties this spring. Prescribed fire could reduce the intensity of wild fires this summer. Let's hope these measures—part of the $500 million the Legislature allocated for wildfire prevention and forest health treatments in 2021—works. I like to live in denial of fire season and will be sorely disappointed when we lose another fall to smoke and destruction.
This is delightfully maddening: The cruciverbalist who made this is a witch.
like, if you freelance for the times you're going to get a little bothsidesism on you pic.twitter.com/Gqdgy4e4UZ— Ross Trudeau (@TrudeauRoss) March 28, 2023
Man should not play god like this: An Australian cultivated-meat company—that is, a company that makes meat out of not-meat—created a woolly mammoth meatball out of cells. They're inventing meat. Toying with creation and making it into meatballs. Does man's hubris know no bounds? That said, it could be a good solution to the meat-is-bad-for-the-environment thing?
Italy says fuck your lab meat: The Italian government backed a bill banning the production of laboratory meat and other synthetic foods because their existence and proliferation would spit in the face of Italy's "food heritage and health protection," according to the BBC. The Italians don't want you to even think about desecrating Italian food with your meat made of science.
A cautionary sperm donation tale: A civil lawsuit against a Dutch man requests he be banned from donating anymore sperm and prevented from communicating with prospective parents, and it also asks that current clinics storing his sperm destroy it. The problem is this man has been donating way more sperm than he should be, and he has allegedly sired 550 children. If he keeps donating, he could water down the gene pool and accidentally cause incest to happen. At a certain point, donating this much sperm has to be some sort of kink, right?
Another dry Seattle day: Today, it could break 60 degrees in Seattle. Meanwhile, as is the norm these days, another history-making storm buffets California. More snow and more flooding is on the way for our friends down south.
The massive west coast Low is now fully occluded offshore northern California and still a marvel to watch via #GOESWest. Rain and mountain snow is spreading to #SoCal and also making its way to several states further inland, which is good news for many. https://t.co/1mDmMekE47 pic.twitter.com/dcqzcCfGWw— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) March 29, 2023
The Seattle Times checks in on political homelessness promises: Let's go over a few of these. Mayor Bruce Harrell said on the campaign trail he would "add 2,000 units of emergency supportive housing" by the end of 2022. He then "clarified," saying he'd actually only "identify" 2,000 units of housing. He failed to deliver on the original promise, since only 922 shelter/housing units were open by the end of 2022, but he reportedly "identified" 2,065 units by the end of the year. Mentally, I'm picturing "identifying" as Harrell pointing at an apartment building and saying, "Yep, that's housing," so I can't tell you if this is an actually impressive metric.
More on the homelessness promise report card: The City (unsurprisingly) did not deliver on providing 43 street sinks across the city. It only provided five street sinks. The City did buy three new apartment buildings and added 157 units of affordable housing, as promised. The City did not double the tiny house stock by creating 480 new units despite raising $4.5 million of a $15 million goal for the project. In fact, not only was the goal not completed, according to Council Member Andrew Lewis in this Times article, but the City disbanded the whole project and never spent any of that $4.5 million. Read up on the rest of these political disappointments here.
Here's the trailer for the new Wes Anderson flick: It's called "Asteroid City," and I have no idea what it's about despite having watched the trailer. I tell you what, though, I sure like those over-saturated colors:
The first trailer for Wes Anderson’s ‘ASTEROID CITY’ has been released.— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) March 29, 2023
Only in theaters June 16, 2023. pic.twitter.com/OskpvhgDWU
Seattle Audubon Society rebrands: The group's namesake, John James Audubon, helped people appreciate birds, but he was also a vocal racist who owned slaves. So, not an ideal situation for our friendly birder community. Anyway, the bird group will now be named Birds Connect Seattle.
"We're not going to fix it." In the wake of a school shooting in Nashville that left six dead including three nine-year-olds, Tennessee Republican Tim Burchett, who describes himself as an "avid gun owner," said, "It’s a horrible, horrible situation, and we’re not going to fix it." He went on to compare school shootings to facing Japanese suicide bombers in World War II. Burchett also said he sees "no real role" that Congress can play in stopping these shootings "other than mess things up, honestly." What!!! My guy, you literally have the power to change laws. Obviously instead of doing something actionable at his literal job, this guy plans to pray to "change people's hearts."