Weather: Some weather yesterday, huh? If you got caught outside without a rain jacket during that lil downpour, rest assured that will not happen today... unless the weather nerds got it wrong, in which case I’m sorry to have misled you. According to the National Weather Service, we can expect mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 60s. If you can’t get outside today, fear not. Friday should be similarly nice before we embark on a rainy weekend. 

All eyes on Rafah: According to Al Jazeera this morning, Israeli forces have killed at least 53 Palestinians in Rafah and injured 357 more in the last 24 hour reporting period. At least 37 were killed in airstrikes. Most died while sitting in tents, as Israel is bombing a refugee camp after all. Since Oct 7, Israel has killed at least 36,224 Palestinians and injured at least 81,777. With President Joe Biden still willing to pay for the genocide and Israel fully taking over the border between Egypt and Gaza, the horrors continue. 

Instead of AI Instagram stories, look at reality:

FYI: Earlier this week, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) announced it will once again start shutting off utilities for households who have fallen behind on their bills. This move threatens power, heat, and, air conditioning for tens of thousands of low-income families who have enjoyed protections from disconnections since late 2022. Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP), Front and Centered, the NW Energy Coalition, the Sierra Club, and Washington Conservation Action sent a press release yesterday shaming the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission for letting PSE roll back such an important equity and public health measure. Can we get a big, collective “boo” for PSE and the Commission in the chat? 

No more car deaths: The fatal crash on MLK yesterday marks Seattle's sixth traffic death in a week, according to Urbanist reporter Ryan Packer. While our city council and Mayor waste time pushing a repeal of the gig worker minimum wage, trying to slash funds for BIPOC affordable housing and community centers, and bending over backwards to pay cops as much as possible, they ignore the crisis that is car-dependency. In fact, Mayor Bruce Harrell's transportation levy draft continues the deadly tradition of over-investing in car infrastructure at the expense of the robust transit and improved walkability we need to escape one of the country's leading causes of death.

New chief in town: After Ashley broke the news that former Seattle Police Department (SPD) Chief Adrian Diaz would leave his position, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced in a press conference yesterday that the legal-battle-embroiled and accused creep will still be with the department and that Sue Rahr would take his place temporarily while the City conducted a nationwide search for a new top cop. Harrell said Rahr will not apply for the position and that he would prefer to hire someone from outside the department to help change the boys club culture of SPD. However, he’s not excluding internal hires, which tbh might deter qualified outside candidates. 

My take: So, this press conference put me in such a bad mood because the whole time Harrell just praised and praised Diaz, insisting that he was a “good person” and his friend. But at the same time, four women accused him of “grooming” and “predatory behavior.” I can’t help thinking about when accusations surfaced about disgraced Mayor Ed Murray allegedly sexually abusing children and Harrell defended Murray’s good name until the bitter end. Harrell supporters Harriet Walden and Victoria Beach came to the press conference to defend Diaz and refute the allegations, to which Harrell said he respects Beach’s opinion. I just don’t think you can have it both ways, Harrell. You cannot foster an environment that’s safe for women and that encourages accusers to come forward when you “respect” the “opinion” that the accusers are full of shit. 

Speaking of accusers: Dan Price, the Gravity Payments CEO, who you probably know from the good thing he did for his workers and not the allegations against him, has returned to the company. Price resigned in 2022 to “focus full time on fighting” what he called “false accusations” that he attempted to kiss a 26-year-old woman and then grabbed her throat when she refused. Those charges got dropped in 2023, but she’s really not the only one who claimed to have a bad experience with Price.

Hush money: The jury in former President Donald Trump’s hush-money case went home after more than four hours of deliberations and no verdict. They will resume talks today and rehear some key testimony to inform their historic decision.

Hong Kong: In Hong Kong's biggest national security case, the court found fourteen pro-democracy activists guilty of conspiracy to commit subversion for planning an unofficial primary election on the heels of the 2019 protest movement. Some may face life sentences, including former lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung, Lam Cheuk-ting, Helena Wong, and Raymond Chan. 

Alito: Sure, the press may have caught Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito flying not one but two flags that indicate sympathy with Jan 6 insurrectionists, but that doesn’t make him unfit to judge Former President Donald Trump’s absolute immunity case, right? Democratic lawmakers say it does, but Alito responded to their demands for him to recuse himself with a big, fat “no.” He wrote, “The two incidents you cite do not meet the conditions for recusal. As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag. I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention.”

Speaking of recusals: Did anyone else catch that Council Member Tanya Woo recused herself from a procedural vote to delay the gig worker minimum wage repeal in Tuesday’s full council meeting? As I reported, the executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission said Woo should recuse herself because of her immediate family’s direct financial interest in the bill, but she decided to get a “second opinion” from the whole commission. It sounded like they had not advised her quite yet, but her recent recusal could indicate that she will not vote on the bill at full council next week, which would likely tank it. I asked for Woo to comment Wednesday afternoon and have not heard back. 

Let’s go, workers: IAFF Boeing Fire Fighters Local I-66 have until 3 pm today to vote on a tentative agreement with their bosses at Boeing. Workers have put up with some shit for safety improvements and wage increases—they make 30% less than their industry peers. As you may remember, Boeing threw a tantrum and locked out 125 firefighters and emergency medical workers earlier this month. Then, last week Boeing offered a contract so offensive that workers “overwhelmingly” rejected it in a vote. We’ll know how they feel about Boeing and their bargaining unit's latest deal sometime today. 

Got this stuck in my head: