Today's the Day: A racist, misogynistic xenophobe is about to be sworn into the highest government office in the country. If you can bear it, here's where you can watch our world turn into the IRL Upside Down in company.
If It's Any Comfort: We're all in this together. Let's hold each other accountable for taking action.
Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover Are in Washington D.C. Follow them on Twitter here and here for updates on inauguration chaos. They'll be reporting live from the trenches, so stayed tuned for their dispatches on Slog.
Stranger Staffers Will Be Reporting Live from Today's Protests: Follow Associate Editor Amber Cortes who will be trekking along with Student Walkout and Occupy the Inauguration protesters. I will be live-tweeting from the National Student Strike #J20 at the University of Washington. Follow me here.
"I am so proud to support the Womxn’s March on Seattle, a sister march to the Women’s March on Washington. I will be at the national march in Washington DC alongside Planned Parenthood, other women’s rights organizations, and thousands of people who have traveled from all over the country.
"And though I wish I could be alongside you in my home state, I know that in Seattle, and in twenty other cities across Washington state, women and families will make themselves heard – that women’s rights are human rights.
“We march on Saturday for peace and equity, in opposition to divisive, hateful rhetoric that has recently become too common in our political and social spaces. Know that I stand with you, and will keep fighting for you in Washington DC.”
Speaking of the Womxn's March, Please Be a Good Neighbor: Businesses in the Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon will be disrupted by marchers passing through the neighborhood during Lunar New Year, a busy time for these shops and restaurants. After protesting and committing to taking action, try to swing through the neighborhood and supporting the neighborhood's businesses.
In Other Terrible News, Three People Were Shot at the Crocodile Last Night: Jesus Christ. KOMO reports that "two women just inside the club and one man outside the club were shot" using a high-powered rifle, the kind that WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson is trying to ban. The three victims were treated at a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
King County Will Get Safe Consumption Sites: Finally! On Thursday, the King County Board of Health unanimously voted to address the local opiod crisis by piloting two safe consumption sites, which they call "Community Health Engagement Locations (CHELs)." These sites would be the first to open in the United States, although Vancouver, BC already has had one for decades, Seattle Weekly reports. This win comes after years of organizing by nonprofits such as VOCAL Washington.
ACLU Sues Seattle, WSDOT for Homeless Encampment "Sweeps" in Violation of Rights: The civil rights organization is representing Real Change and the Episcopal Diocese and is joined by Brandie Osborne and Lisa Hooper, who say that the dehumanizing "sweeps" result in personal property, including legal documents and medications, being taken and destroyed. The ACLU writes in the class-action lawsuit that the sweeps "violate the rights of people living outside to protection from unreasonable search and seizure, to protection from invasion of homes and privacy, and to due process," the Seattle Times reports.
The Issaquah Press, Three Other Eastside Newspapers to Close Up Shop: Fuuuuuuuck. Charles Horton, the general manager of the Issaquah Press Group, which publishes the Issaquah Press, the Sammamish Review, the SnoValley Star, the Newcastle News and theeastside.news, announced on Thursday that the company will cease operations on Feb. 24.
"After several months of exploring different paths for a sustainable future, we came to this difficult conclusion," [Horton wrote in a letter.]
The Issaquah Press is the oldest newspaper on Seattle's Eastside and is Issaquah's oldest continuously operating business. It has published more than 6,000 editions over the past 117 years.
The company's affected employees include seven in the newsroom, four in advertising and one in operations. They were informed of the closure by Horton during a noon meeting today.
"I'm sorry we weren't able to get where we needed to be," Horton told employees.
Horton's letter said the company, which has been owned by The Seattle Times Co. since 1995, had rolled out newsroom and advertising initiatives with the hopes of turning around the company financially, but, even with deep expense cuts, it "wasn’t enough to overcome revenue losses that began over six years ago."
This news comes after a painful season of layoffs and buyouts at the Seattle Times and in a time when good, accountable journalism is needed most.