Refugee crisis: Ninety families who took refuge in a Kent hotel after living in intolerable conditions at an encampment in Tukwila showed up yesterday at city halls in Seattle and Tukwila to pressure local governments to help pay for them to remain in the hotel. The hotel gave the families until yesterday to find a new place to go. The action prompted Seattle to pay the tab for another week, KIRO reports. 

Mine sends weird letter to Snohomish County school: An attorney for Mountain Loop Mine sent a cease-and-desist warning to the principal and teachers to stop complaining about the dust and noise from its gravel yard next door, or else? The Seattle Times reports that the mine lacks the permits it needs to operate the yard. The yard's manager has told media that the site is zoned for industrial activity and it is mitigating its impact on the school. Meanwhile, students are having a hard time learning with all the banging trucks and coughing classmates. 

Sara Nelson doesn’t think higher voter turnout is good: To be precise, she’s concerned about a couple of bills in Olympia that would allow municipalities to change their elections from odd to even years. King County voters overwhelmingly supported this reform in 2022 because it would lead to higher voter turnout, as more people vote in local elections that are paired with national elections. Nelson said higher turnout doesn’t mean a better-informed public, but we say representative democracy is pretty cool. Hannah has way more to say than I do.

Chris Rufo linked to “scientific racism” journal: The Guardian reports that Rufo, the local conservative activist credited with pressuring Harvard's president to resign and with popularizing terms such as “critical race theory,” "groomers,'' and "trans strippers" has links to the magazine Aporia, which draws connections between race, intelligence, and criminality, a load of pseudoscientific racist horseshit, according to the government. Rufo, a close Ron DeSantis ally, has promoted the publication's Substack on his Substack. He also appeared on their podcast, which has published interviews with eugenicists.

First known outbreak of deadly fungus in the state: C. auris first showed in a single patient at Kindred Hospital in Seattle last July. But this month, a second tested positive for the fungus. A week later, doctors discovered three additional cases in people who tested negative when admitted to the hospital. The fungus can cause serious illness in the 5% to 10% of C. auris patients, and of that group nearly half die. In general, the fungus is most dangerous for those with serious conditions who live in long-term care facilities. Most generally healthy people are not at risk.

Stop throwing away your batteries in the trash! ICYMI: Seattle Public Utilities is reminding us all that a ban took effect on January 1. You can’t throw away loose AAAs, AAs, Ds, Cs, etc., or anything with a baked-in battery, like a TV or computer. SPU won’t spend time digging through our garbage to issue fines, but it is an asshole move. Batteries can catch fire, damaging garbage trucks and people. KING 5 has a list of places you can drop off your shit. I’ll make sure to tell my neighbor, who threw a whole ass big screen TV away the other day.

Carmelos is filling the void Starbucks left behind: The little local Mexican chain-that-could is moving up in the world. (If you haven't, try the campechano tacos). Capitol Hill Seattle blog reports they’ll be taking over the Capitol Hill storefront at Broadway and Denny that Starbucks vacated in December 2022 over "security concerns" and totally not the union it is still fighting.

Portland declares fentanyl state of emergency downtown: Declaring a state of emergency means the state, county, and city can direct government agencies to work together in a command center downtown to address the public health crisis the drug is fueling. For the next 90 days, people struggling with fentanyl addiction will be triaged to that center so they can be connected with shelter and behavioral health resources. That doesn’t mean Oregon will carry this out right. The state of emergency pairs state and city police on downtown patrols for sales, possibly sticking people who need help in jail–but I’m sure our friends at The Portland Mercury will be keeping a close eye on developments.

Donald Trump stays on the ballot in Illinois: The state's Board of Elections couldn’t make up its collective mind about whether trying to overthrow the government made one ineligible to run it, so they threw caution to the wind instead. Trump thanked them, saying he loved Illinois. Their choice sets the stage before the March primary for a court challenge from a national voting rights group who argue the 14th Amendment, which bars insurrectionists from taking office, does apply to the former president. Colorado and Maine have removed Trump from the primary ballot.

Explorers claim they found Amelia Earhart’s plane (do you think she’s okay?) The mystery of Earhart’s disappearance has dogged the world for 87 years, but I think she died in a plane crash. A team of underwater archeologists and marine roboticists say they've found an airplane-shaped anomaly in the Pacific about 16,000 feet underwater. They believe it could be the Lockheed 10-E Electra she flew in an attempt to circle the globe. They hope to return to the site in a year to investigate further.

Four NHL players charged with sexual assault: Prosecutors charged Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, and Dillion Dube of the Calgary Flames with an alleged sexual assault in 2018. This comes two days after former player Alex Formenton surrendered to police for the same alleged crime. Police launched their investigation in 2022, after word broke that Hockey Canada settled with a woman who claimed eight players on its world junior team sexually assaulted her at gala.

White Lives Matter guy sentenced to 18 years in federal lockup: Aimenn Penny firebombed an LGBTQ-friendly church in Wadsworth, Ohio with Molotov cocktails in 2023. The 20-year-old member of the pro-Nazi group pled guilty to an arson hate crime and using fire and explosives to commit a felony. But he didn't feel bad about it. In fact, he told investigators he would've felt better if the church had burned to the ground. Penny justified his actions as free speech and protecting children; he believed he was doing "God’s work" because the church had planned a drag queen story hour.