Hospital oversight bill died in the House: The Keep Our Care Act (SB 5241) seemed pretty cool, but it never reached the House floor after passing the Senate. The bill would have given the Washington Attorney General’s Office more power to impose conditions on big health care mergers, or to reject them altogether if it found negative impacts on patient care, a decision that would be subject to judicial review. We’ve got a bit of a problem with major health systems swallowing up independent providers–a preliminary report found that eight large health systems controlled 90% of the state’s hospital beds, according to the Seattle Times. With less competition, costs go up and speciality services like reproductive and gender-affirming health care become harder to come by. 

Seattle cop allegedly slashed tire during a protest: The Office of Police Accountability is investigating a Seattle police officer for allegedly slashing a tire during a February pro-Palestine march near the World Trade Center. A video posted by @dubsea on Instagram shows an officer sticking something into the rear tire of a moving minivan.

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Little plane, little crash: Nobody is hurt, but a small, propeller powered Cirrus SR-22 airplane crash landed in the Newport Hills neighborhood of Bellevue Tuesday afternoon. The pilot and passenger were on a training flight from Renton. When the engine failed, they deployed a whole plane parachute (cool) and came down in a relatively controlled manner—for a crash at least. The NTSB said it will launch an investigation into the incident.

Goodbye: The most senior member of the state Senate, Karen Keiser, announced her retirement yesterday. Since 2001, the labor committee chair and Senate Pro Tempore has represented the 33rd Legislative District, which includes parts of Burien, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Kent, Tukwila, and Renton. Her announcement comes one day after Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig announced that he won’t seek reelection. People retire every session, but these departures, along with exits from Democratic Sens. Kevin Van De Wege, Mark Mullet, and Sam Hunt free up some major leadership positions and positions on key committees. 

Legalize it (cafes): A bill that would have required cities in Washington to allow cafes in residential zones died after the state Senate’s local government committee rendered it basically useless. After the bill reached the Senate, the Association of Washington Cities complained about the legislation bossing cities around. Then Sen. Liz Lovelett from Anacortes sponsored an amendment making the bill voluntary, but that sort of defeated the purpose. Cities already could allow cafes in residential zones if they wanted.

SUPER FUCKING TUESDAY *air horn* As anyone conscious could have predicted, Haley dropped out, setting up Donald Trump and Joe Biden to square off in an old-guy gambit this November. She announced the suspension of her presidential campaign after losing all but one of the Super Tuesday primaries. In her concession speech, Haley did not endorse the former president.

Uncommitted: Even though Biden won almost all the contests last night, a significant number of people in seven states voted “uncommitted” to protest Biden’s support for Israel. On the low end, 3.9% of Democrats in Iowa cast a protest vote. But in Minnesota, with 90% of the votes counted, 19% of Democrats voted uncommitted. We encourage you to do the same in Washington on March 12, and you can read our endorsement here.

Jalapeño conspiracy: Dallas-based D Magazine discovered a spicy and disturbing truth: Decades of planning made jalapeños less hot. What the hell. You can literally blame Texas A&M University for this, but the industry has been breeding those bad boys to be shinier, prettier, and bigger—flavor be damned. The standardization began twenty years ago with the development of the TAM II, a variety that could grow six inches long “with little to no heat.” Read more here.

Missouri lawmaker introduces wild anti-trans bill: Under House Bill 2885, school counselors and teachers could be convicted of a felony, end up in prison for four years, and be put on the sex offender registry for supporting a trans minor’s social transition. Social transition includes someone taking a new name and pronouns at school. The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Jamie Gragg, told reporters the bill would apply to LGBTQ-related books or signs in classrooms, too. The bill is one of 35 anti-trans bills being considered by the State Legislature in Missouri.

Child support begins at conception: The Republican-dominated Kentucky Senate passed a bill that granted a parent the right to retroactively collect child support for pregnancy expenses up to a year after giving birth. Supporters of abortion-rights are watching this one carefully to make sure anti-abortion lawmakers don’t try to sneak in any BS about fetus personhood.

She (Earth) just isn’t that into you (humans): A group of fancy geologists you’ve never heard of decided our impact on the earth isn’t enough to qualify for the beginning of a new geologic era called the Anthropocene, a term we've used colloquially for decades. The Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, which is responsible for delineating geologic time, said we haven’t been irrevocably altering our environment with fossil fuels and nuclear tests for nearly long enough. Epochs, or spans of geologic time, typically span thousands or millions of years, so come and talk to them in 6024–at the EARLIEST. The scientists behind the Anthropocene proposal argue that even if we were smited tomorrow, it would take thousands of years to reduce carbon to preindustrial levels.

Kyrsten Sinema is retiring from the US Senate: The Arizona Independent and former conservative Democrat who was the first openly bisexual US senator will leave Washington at the end of her term this year, leaving an extremely competitive seat behind. Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego and fucking Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee and misinformation machine Kari Lake are the likely contenders to take her place. It's not that surprising. The Hill reports that Cinema is one of the least-popular politicians in Arizona history.

Guy got 217 COVID-19 shots, is fine? German researchers who studied a “hypervaccinated” man say he’s did not suffer measurable side effects. His immune system seems to be fine, too. Researchers invited him to undergo tests after reading news stories about German authorities' fraud investigation into him for getting so many shots. They believed his immune system would be worn out, but he still showed an immune response on the 217th shot, which he insisted on during the study. Despite their findings, researchers really don’t recommend following his lead. Just get the normal amount, please.