It's a bad time to be a school budget: Public schools around Washington are feeling the heat of financial pressures, low birthrates, and an exodus of students to private schools and homeschooling. What are the impacts of this? According to the Seattle Times, the Bellevue School District, amid a $31 million budget shortfall, needs to close two schools in the fall. It means Seattle Public Schools is shutting down a popular tech program, and teachers across Edmonds and Shoreline are losing their jobs. 

Did ex-SPD Chief Carmen Best violate policies during 2020? A new Office of Police Accountability (OPA) report says [drumroll]... she didn't. Or rather, there was insufficient evidence to indicate she did. The investigation focused on two concerns: Did Best violate Seattle Police Department polices when the cops deployed tear gas on protesters during the 2020 demonstrations? And did she knowingly make three dishonest statements concerning armed people patrolling the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, extorting businesses for protection, and doing ID checks on people in the neighborhood? Best refused to be interviewed by the OPA for this report. 

Well, that's not ideal: A Texas airport worker died Friday after being sucked into a jet engine. The circumstances around the death are still under investigation, though a source told The Guardian that the worker "intentionally stepped in front of the live engine." I cannot think of many worse ways to go than death by jet engine. That and all of the fan fiction the world wrote about the people in the shoebox submersible hypothetically waiting four days for their oxygen to run out. 

I will live my life like a Great Blue Heron today: I will dip my feet in the lake. The weather is perfect for it, according to my friends at the National Weather Service. 

The climate crisis is really heating up: Especially in India. Temperatures are reaching the "limit of survivability" over there, with heat soaring to 116 degrees. While monsoon rains have cooled things off in some parts of India this week, other regions are still sweltering. This is part of the new normal as a result of the climate crisis: heat waves will come earlier and earlier to India, last longer, and burn hotter. 

Another day, another hazardous materials train derailment: Over the weekend, a freight train derailed and plunged into the Yellowstone River. It decimated part of the Yellowstone Twin River Bridges in the process. Of the derailed train cars, three carried hot asphalt and four carried molten sulfur. Hm. Not the best stuff to go into a river. River cleanup efforts continue. 

I have been avoiding learning about what is going on in Russia: But I cannot do that any longer. I will read about it all for you. Oh my god, there is so much. I'm going to do my best here. So, what I'm learning is this guy, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has known Vladimir Putin for a long time, used the private military group he owns, the Wagner Group, to march on Moscow. He was very mad about an alleged Russian airstrike on his troops. Prigozhin demanded the ousting of Russia's defense minister for how he's handled the Russian-Ukrainian war. He notably did not criticize Putin. 

What happened next? I'm so glad you asked. Prigozhin and his army marched toward Moscow. Russian forces flocked to Moscow to defend the capital. Then, suddenly, it was all over. Putin offered to drop all treasonous charges against Prigozhin if he exiled in Belarus. Putin also said he wouldn't prosecute any of the soldiers who took part in the march on Moscow. Okay, Putin, ya big softy. Prigozhin took the deal

I feel like that's barely scratching the surface, but that's enough Russian military drama for me. If you want more, the Associated Press has a whole lot of coverage

Let the Helsinki deputy mayor paint: A Finnish deputy mayor from Helsinki was caught graffitiing a rail tunnel on Midsummer's Eve. He was arrested. He's been a big proponent of street art and did it a lot himself as a kid, and apparently also as an adult. Personally, I think we should have more city officials who are graffiti artists. Being scandalized by street art is like half of Bruce Harrell's public safety platform, so I don't think he agrees with me. 

This is the worst sentence. I hate this sentence: "Experts predict an above-normal potential for wildfire for all of Washington, parts of Idaho and Montana and Oregon."

Supreme Court allows Louisiana congressional map to be redrawn: The state can add another Black-majority district, the Court indicated. This decision comes on the heels of the Court ruling in favor of Black voters in Alabama who advocated for a congressional map redrawing to add another majority-minority district. The Republican drawings of these maps likely violated the Voting Rights Act's rules against racial discrimination. 

Chemo drug shortage means bad news for cancer patients: The ongoing shortage of cisplatin and carboplatin, inexpensive and highly effective chemotherapy drugs, has doctors prioritizing patients with a high survival rate. The shortage began when one of the few plants that produces the drugs shut down in India. Doctors are worried the shortage will impact survival rates for cancer patients, especially those with widespread and recurring disease. 

Hope you all had a lovely Pride: Apparently, during Chicago's Pride Parade, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker caught a Jell-O shot and drank it. I wish Gov. Jay Inslee would do this.