King County loses kids: For 40 years, the number of people in King County younger than 18 steadily increased. For the first time in that period, 2022 census data shows the number of King County kids declining. The highest that number ever reached was 456,000 in 2020. In 2022, the number dropped by more than 20,000 to 436,000. One contributing factor to why this could be happening: kids are expensive and the world is expensive. Offspring? In this economy? As the Seattle Times' FYI Guy says, it's too soon to know whether this is a long-term trend. 

How long should we keep these on ice? When a person dies with no surviving relatives around to claim their body, mortuaries in Washington must keep the bodies in their cooler for at least 90 days. This requirement is diminishing dead body freezer space, especially in rural areas that have a few as five to seven dead body cooler spaces. A new bill in the Legislature would cut that mandatory cadaver cooling period to 45 days.

February doldrums persist: The weather this week will be more of the same. Gray, wet, 50-degree highs. At least the monotony is dependable. 

Sigh, those were the days: I wish we were living in the 2019 Snowpocalypse right now. 

Seattle's high property taxes: The median property tax rate in 2022 was $6,800, the fifth-highest property tax rate out of a list of the top 50 most populous American cities. This fact isn't surprising for anyone who understands the nature of the regressive tax system in our state. Without an income tax, Washington must find money elsewhere. That means more expensive property and sales taxes. 

Man found dead in Yesler Terrace neighborhood: A man in his 50s was found dead from obvious head trauma on Saturday morning in what police suspect was a homicide. Nearby neighbors say the deceased was a homeless man who had slept in the same spot in an alley for multiple years. People called him gentle, kind, and a fixture of the community. They are mourning his loss. 

San Francisco says fuck your robotaxi: People in San Francisco's Chinatown destroyed a driverless Waymo car over the weekend by setting it on fire with a firework. It's unclear whether the incident is connected to overall discontentment about driverless vehicles in the city. However, a driverless Waymo car struck and injured a cyclist last week. In October, a regular car hit a pedestrian and knocked her into a Waymo driverless car's path. The Waymo car dragged her for 20 feet. 

Israel rescues hostages, kills dozens: Under the cover of airstrikes that killed 67 people sheltering in the Gazan city of Rafah, Israeli special forces recovered two hostages held by Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims a ground attack into Rafah is coming, however the 1.4 million people there say they have nowhere left the flee. 

Another update on the war's casualties: Health officials report more than 12,300 children Palestinian children have been killed in the war so far. 

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl: It's the team's second consecutive Super Bowl win. Perplexingly, in response to the win, President Joe Biden's social media team decided to have a little fun and play into the conservative conspiracy that the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Taylor Swift are all a rigged government psyop. Nowhere in the tweet does it explicitly say "hahaha this is about the Super Bowl," so the tweet really seems like it could be about anything—like, maybe, the US-backed country that keeps bombing civilians? 

Shooter enters Joel Osteen's church: On Sunday, a woman in her early-to-mid 30s walked into one of the largest megachurches in the country in Houston, Texas with a rifle. Two off-duty officers working security at the church shot at the woman, killing her. Two other people were wounded in the shooting, including a five-year-old boy who entered the church with the woman. It's unclear what their relationship was. 

Texas man admits to drugging wife: A 39-year-old Texas attorney pleaded guilty to injury to a child and assault of a pregnant person after drugging his pregnant wife multiple times to induce an abortion. He received a sentence of 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. “I do not believe that 180 days is justice for attempting to kill your child seven separate times,” his wife, who has filed for divorce, said. The couple's child survived and is now one year old, however she was born 10 weeks early and suffers from developmental delays. 

Be careful, picklers: Pickleball injuries are on the rise. According to an NBC News report, "Bone fractures related to pickleball have increased 200% over the last 20 years." I'm sure part of that is because pickleball has only exploded in recent years and now 8.9 million people play it nationally as of 2023. Still, pickleball can get intense. The study cited in this report only looked at pickleball-related fractures (around 5,600 annually), but I know at least two people who have torn soft tissues during intense pickleball play. Make sure you stretch. 

Customs confiscates man's mummified monkeys: I hate it when this happens. A US Customs and Border Protection dog sounded the alarm when it smelled something odd in a traveler's bag. The traveler, returning to Boston from the Democratic Republic of Congo, claimed he had dried fish in his bag. Upon inspection, it turned out he was packing nine pounds of dead and dehydrated monkeys for his own consumption. 

For your Monday: In case you missed it because you have better things to do than watch the Super Bowl, or because everyone at your Super Bowl party was too loud, here is where you can watch Usher's half-time performance in full: