Goooood morning people. Hannah and I swapped days this week, which always reminds me that I have the best Slog AM day.
As is Hannah's custom, let's start with the weather. I hate it. I have one leg close to the window and it's freeeeezing. The weather gods say it'll be cloudy and temperatures will top out at 49 degrees. Plus the sun will set at 4:31 pm. I hate it so much. Blazing my SAD lamp and thanking the person who gave me special light bulbs that create an artificial sunrise.
KUOW produced a really sweet story on Play Date: The radio station followed Nathalie around as she toured an accordion appreciation society, and they did a very good job. Host Patricia Murphy says people tend to stay inside during Seattle winter, but this radio spot—and Nathalie's column—gives you a million reasons not to. The next iteration of Play Date goes live on Slog later today, so stay tuned.
Israel raids Gaza's largest hospital: Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released images of the supposed Hamas command center and weapons hidden inside Al Shifa hospital, Reuters reports. Hamas denied Israel's claims, as did some hospital staff, who said they, their patients, and displaced Palestinians sheltering inside the hospital were terrified. The US said its own intelligence backed up claims of a Hamas headquarters located underneath the hospital. Of course, our intelligence in that region always seems to conveniently match our interests. Speaking of our interests, and our tax dollars, here is a list of all the weapons we've provided to Israel. Note those 2,000 Hellfire missiles.
The IDF posted a few videos of their tour through the hospital. No tunnels, command centers, etc. to be found in any of these clips or pictures. Instead, focus is on "grab bags" of some guns and body armor scattered around, and a laptop next to CD-Rs.https://t.co/nSYuOmP1Nk— Aric Toler (@AricToler) November 15, 2023
Andrew Lewis stood by his principles and refused to raise taxes on big business. As Hannah reported yesterday, Council Members Lewis, Sara Nelson, Dan Strauss, and Alex Pedersen all voted against an increase to JumpStart, the City's payroll tax on large corporations. Plus, the Council passed ShotSpotter—a waste of money masquerading as a gunshot detection program—and agreed to give the Seattle Police Department full authority over the City's new "police alternative." Terrifying to think that we're about to seat a more conservative council.
But if loving cops is wrong, I wouldn't want to be the Pierce County Council, which appears ready to give Sheriff Ed Troyer a 9% raise over the next two years, increasing his salary to more than $200,000 in 2025, according to The News Tribune. Comparatively, the county council proposed increasing Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier's salary by just 7%, increasing his total compensation in 2025 to about $229,000. I wonder if Troyer plans to donate any of his salary back, considering he just cost the county $500,000 to settle a lawsuit with a Black newspaper carrier, who alleged that Troyer followed and racially profiled him. Exceptional work well-deserving of a significant raise.
Meanwhile, Capitol Police really roughed up some folks protesting U.S. support of Israel outside the DNC yesterday.
No Starbucks today: I dunno, maybe you're a freak who cares about Red Cup Day, an event where Starbucks gives out free reusable red holiday cups and gives people who reuse them a $.10 discount on future beverages. Regardless, you can't be that kind of freak today. Workers plan to strike at the Starbucks on First Avenue and Pike, as well as the one on Seventh Avenue and Westlake. Hundreds of workers plan to strike across the country. Show some solidarity and buy coffee somewhere else.
Workers also put REI on notice: Every time I enter an REI I get the vibe of a workplace that calls its workers a "family." My suspicions seem confirmed after workers listed "emotional manipulation" among the litany of unfair labor practice charges they filed against their employer Wednesday. Last month, workers walked out of stores in Chicago, Boston, and Minnesota to protest the stores recent "layoffs and changes to working conditions," according to Reuters.
Two women found dead outside emergency housing center: Two women, a 45-year-old and 59-year-old, were found dead Wednesday in a van outside an emergency housing center on Aurora, according to KOMO. The King County Medical Examiner's Office is still investigating the cause of death.
AI generated nudes of Issaquah high school students: State Sen. Mark Mullet wants to figure out a way to add AI created nudes to the state's revenge porn laws after fake nudes of students started circulating around his kids' high school, according to KING 5. Apparently, child porn laws can't apply to AI generated nudes of children because the laws require the image to involve real pictures of real people.
Pike and Pine to become bike-friendly and one-way: "'As early as' Saturday," according to Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) plans to start turning Pike Street into an eastbound one-way from 1st Avenue to Bellevue Avenue, and Pine into a westbound one-way for those same blocks. SDOT designed the change to make those three blocks more biker-friendly. Construction starts first on Pike.
Oakland A's head to Vegas: Major League Baseball owners voted to allow the Oakland Athletics to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, according to ESPN. Just solidifying my newly formed theory about the existence of a curse on green-and-yellow team colors.
Biden calls Xi-Jinping a dictator: Honestly, just kind of rude of Biden. Plus, I'd argue Biden's full statement was less inflammatory than that. What Biden said was, "Well, look, he's a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that's based on a form of government totally different than ours," according to CNN. So, basically Biden just thinks anyone who runs a communist country that isn't set up like America is a dictator. Cold war brain. [Eds note: Biden's point may have been stronger if he noted that Xi has been president since 2013 and just won a third term after changing the constitution to abolish term limits. He's got an iron grip on the party, and his response to Hong Kong's democratic protests was less than cool. But then maybe Biden would see too much of himself in that picture.]
The Number Ones: One of my favorite music columnists, Tom Breihan, who is on a mission to review every #1 hit from the Billboard Hot 100, just dropped a look back at Adele's "Someone Like You." Breihan talks about the timelessness of this song, and I couldn't agree more. Adele, I hope you found someone better than that douchebag.