Seattle residents feel so-so about the cops: A new poll from the Seattle Times and Suffolk University asked 500 Seattle residents about their thoughts on the Seattle Police Department. The majority of respondents said SPD was doing a "fine" or "poor" job "preventing crime and protecting citizens," while only 40% rated SPD as doing a "good" or "excellent" job. Though nearly half of respondents think the cops need to be tougher on crime, 75% support shifting some emergency calls away from SPD to other departments. Thirty percent aligned with this statement: "Seattle police are racist in the way they treat people, even if some of them try to do a good job." Lots to chew on here.
Another poll, this time about homelessness: Seattleites are actually cautiously optimistic about the homelessness problem. Of those polled, about 59% said they believed the homelessness crisis has gotten worse. However, 52% of people believe the city will make some progress on fixing the problem.
Our bus system is so unserious: SIGH. King County Metro's bus service is bad and getting worse. About 42% of the fleet—or, 1,479 coaches—are under maintenance and unavailable for service. To compensate for these shortfalls, Metro is shaving routes and trimming bus service. How can we have a real, functioning city with a bus system we can't rely on? Or, how will we ever get serious about climate change if we can't actually provide dependable transportation to coax people out of their single-occupancy vehicles? Metro is blaming supply chain and staffing issues for these cutbacks. Logically, I understand this. If we invested more in transit (maybe if we gave bus drivers a better wage???) things could be a bit better.
Israel drops bombs on the West Bank: At least eight Palestinians are dead in what is now the deadliest attack on the West Bank in nearly two dead decades. Israel claimed it was "trying to root out armed militants in the city of Jenin." Drone attacks began at around 1 am and then military ground forces moved in, concentrating on a Jenin refugee camp where 17,000 people live.
At least 2 dead, 28 injured in Baltimore block party shooting. The two deceased people were young adults and the majority of the injured were minors. Police say there were at least two shooters, however they have not found "those cowards who decided to just shoot dozens of people," as one cop put it.
Blaze scorches Skamania: Officials ordered Skamania County residents to evacuate on Sunday after a wildfire reached 125 acres. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Things we do know: the flames have been spreading fast—the fire spread more than 50 acres in an hour.
#WaWILDFIRE UPDATE #Tunnel5Fire indeterminate acreage and Skamania Sheriff’s Office expanded evacuations. Red Cross is at the fairgrounds to aid displaced folks. Unconfirmed amount of structures lost, power being shut off to some locations. Please avoid area. pic.twitter.com/08W7qUL4Y7— Washington State DNR Wildfire (@waDNR_fire) July 3, 2023
Another fire is burning up Yakima: The Rest Haven fire started at 1:30 pm on Sunday. It's already grown to 400 acres with no signs of stopping. State fire resources officially mobilized to start fighting the fire.
Please don't burn down the rest of the state: With warm conditions and a dry winter, Washington state faces extreme wildfire risk this summer. You numbskulls better not set off any fireworks in places where there are burn bans. Really, fireworks are stupid, disruptive, and dangerous, so maybe you should just stop lighting them off in general. But, seriously, let's try to enjoy our summers with as little ash falling from the sky as possible.
Finding friends amidst ferry fiasco: High winds and rough seas canceled ferries leaving Port Townsend. On Saturday, ten travelers couldn't find lodging in the booked-up tourist town. A ferry worker let them crash at his house.
Moms for Liberty is coming for the school boards: The conservative group concerned with cleansing curriculums of anything mentioning race, gender identity, or, what seems like the truth whatsoever, is readying itself for a national campaign. Moms for Liberty co-founder, Tiffany Justice, said at a summit over the weekend that the group will use its political action committee to "engage in school board races nationwide."
Hurdlers face extra hurdle in race: Three environmental protesters knelt on the track near the end of the Diamond League 400 meter event in Stockholm. They held banners that spanned lanes one to six, forcing runners to break through them. Karsten Warholm, the hurdler who won the race, booed the protesters.
Protestors disrupt the conclusion of the 400m hurdles at tonight's Diamond League event in Stockholmpic.twitter.com/OMGxXo6G0k— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) July 2, 2023
Maine woman beefs with bear: A 64-year-old woman punched a black bear in the nose after it chased her dog. The bear bit her and then ran off. I love her.
I'm not even making this up: A French company has come up with a plan to cut cargo ship carbon emissions by up to 20%. Their big idea? Attach giant, 1,000-square-meter kites to the ships. I think they just reinvented sails?
Harvard Medical School morgue accused of engaging in human organ theft ring: Yeah, I'm still processing that sentence, too. A new lawsuit from three family members of people who donated their bodies to science asserts the Harvard morgue stole and sold organs. It also states Harvard didn't properly train or vet its new staff members. The morgue manager allegedly took organs home, sold them, and invited his stolen organ customers into the morgue to look at his, er, wares and choose what they wanted. One buyer allegedly sent human skin to Pennsylvania to have it tanned into leather. Other transactions included memos "head number 7" and "braiiiiiins."
This is a real thing: "Mark Zuckerberg has been approached by the Italian government about fighting Elon Musk at Rome’s Colosseum." Huh. Seems like the potential billionaire cage fight is still on between Musk and Zuckerberg, even though Musk's mom told them not to do it. I hate this timeline.
Speaking of Musk: He made some grateful users quit cold turkey over the weekend when he limited the number of tweets accounts could see to 600 for regular people and 6,000 for losers who pay him $8. After an outcry, he bumped the limit to 1,000 for regular people and 10,000 for losers. According to the BBC, reasons behind the new "temporary" limits could include beef with other tech companies who scrape Twitter to improve their chatbots and an attempt to push more people to pay him $8.
Want to feel something? Tourette's interrupted Lewis Capaldi during his set at the Glastonbury Festival last month. His fans sang the lyrics when he couldn't. I cried like a baby watching this. [Eds note: I did, too.]