I'm over the smoke: But the smoke ain't over us. To use a scientific term, the air in the Pacific Northwest is absolute ass today. As of 1 pm, the air quality in most areas is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and in some places Unhealthy for all. Downtown and north Seattle are getting the brunt of smoke plumes from the Bolt Creek fire. Try to stay indoors if you can and make a DIY box fan if necessary.

Washington State employees, get your updated COVID-19 booster: If not for your own well-being and that of your colleagues, but for the check. According to the Seattle Times, the state and state workers union have a tentative deal to give $1,000 to employees who get boosted. Also included—but less showy—are "4% pay raises in 2023, 3% pay raises in 2024 and a $1,000 retention bonus for current employees who remain employed on July 1, 2023."

There's a lot going on with Russia and Ukraine today: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he will partially mobilize Russian reservists—causing plane tickets out of the country to sell out. And at least 1,200 protesters have been detained in Russia over the announcement of this plan. North Korea is denying it ever gave weapons or ammunition to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to the UN General Assembly today, laying out a plan to end the seven-month war (spoiler: that means more aid to Ukraine). At the same meeting, President Biden condemned Putin for making a "reckless" nuclear threat. 

🚨🚨NEW POLL🚨🚨According to the Northwest Progressive Institute, new polling out of southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District shows Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is within three points of Trump acolyte Joe Kent. Kent knocked off incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler in the primary, creating an open seat where Democrats might finally flip the state's last remaining competitive Congressional district.

Is Kim Schrier running against a Republican in a swing district or what: That soundtrack.

Media movez: Cascade Public Media's 40-year lease at Seattle Center expires in 2024 and they've found a new spot on First Hill. Only thing is, the organization—daddy of Crosscut and KCTS 9 PBS—needs $12.6 million to secure it. So they're launching a huge GoFundMe public campaign, if you've got some spare change lying around or whatever. 

Scary: A plane crashed landed at the Tri-Cities Airport yesterday, and all ten passengers and crews survived the experience, reports the Tri-City Herald. The landing gear failed on the privately-owned aircraft carrying surgical technicians and a nurse coming in from Chehalis. The Cessna skidded and eventually erupted into flames, but everyone managed to get out relatively unscathed. 

Trump, Ivanka, Donny Jr., and that other one get sued by the New York attorney general for fraud: NY AG Letitia James is taking the former president and his children to court over claims that they "lied to lender and insurers for more than a decade" and aims to have Trump barred from running a business in the state ever again, reports The New York Times. The Trumps deny any wrongdoing, of course. More from the Gray Lady: 

The 220-page lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, lays out in new and startling detail how, according to Ms. James, Mr. Trump’s annual financial statements were a compendium of lies. The statements, yearly records that include the company’s estimated value of his holdings and debts, wildly inflated the worth of nearly every one of his marquee properties — from Mar-a-Lago in Florida to Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, according to the lawsuit.

Okay, let's take a step back from the realm of humankind and look to the stars: Look at Neptune's beautiful rings! Who cares about the business dealings of one of the worst men on Earth? Neptune looks so icy, so shimmery, so angelic, so distant, so MASSIVE, that it immediately puts me back in my body. It kinda looks like a cell under the microscope, thickly defined and full of matter. Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope for taking this infrared image of Neppy. Do you think this is what angels look like?

Back to Earth: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percent in another attempt to "rein in runaway inflation," says The Guardian.

Former Minneapolis cop sentenced in George Floyd case: Thomas Lane—the cop who held down Floyd's legs as Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck until he died—was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in Floyd's murder, reports the New York Times. Lane is already serving a two-and-a-half year federal sentence after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge for violating Floyd's civil rights. He'll serve the sentences concurrently. This doesn't feel like justice. 

Thank GOD:  The Central District finally has filled the cannabis leaf-shaped hole left behind by Ponder. Forbidden Cannabis Club will have their grand opening on Friday, September 23 now that their cannabis license has been approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Board, reports CHS Blawg. This will be Forbidden's first Seattle shop and I heard there are opening day deals to be had....

Stand strong, Ray's: Major League Baseball is trying to buy up all the domain names associated with their teams, but they are coming up against one of the last holdouts—Ray's in Seattle. The seafood restaurant owns the coveted Rays.com, which the MLB wants to use for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, reports GeekWire. Ray's says no dice: "We want it because that's who we are," restaurant GM and co-owner Doug Zeller told the news site. Don't give in to corporate interests!

Seattle Times published an op-ed today telling people to quit getting hysterical over "common household mold": What, did a spore write this?

For your listening pleasure: Can't believe I almost forgot Earth, Wind, & Fire Day... Here's to the best day of the year: