AHEAD of schedule?
AHEAD of schedule? Washington State Department of Transportation

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Pleasantly surprising: The state route 99 tunnel that’s replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct could open as soon as this fall. That’s ahead of schedule, er, ahead of this schedule. The project is still about a good four years behind its original projected timeline. Bertha, the underground drilling machine, threw a fit (read: broke down) and it set them back two years. But who even remembers 2016 anymore?

The truth behind the “Shitty Men in Media List” comes out: In October, a Google document spread like wildfire within media circles. On it? The names of around 70 men in media with descriptions ranging from physical sexual abuse to generally shitty, sexist behavior. It was intended as a sort of 21st century whisper system of women in media warning other women in media about, you guessed it, shitty men. Anonymous women flocked to the spreadsheet to report abuse. Many already found the names of their alleged abuser name listed. What he done to them had been done to others. But then Buzzfeed, as they seem to do a lot, ruined a good thing by publishing a piece about it, exposing the document to the world. Then, naturally, there was fallout and outrage. This week, rumors flew on Twitter that a writer for Harper's maybe planned to out the creator of the list. Yesterday, she came forward. Moira Donegan, a former editor at The New Republic, has lost many friends and her job since creating the list. But, it was necessary because, as she said, what shocked her about the spreadsheet was “how badly it was needed, how much more common the experience of sexual harassment or assault is than the opportunity to speak about it.” Moira Donegan published her story and it’s well worth a read.

So, uh, some plans to create affordable housing are in jeopardy: Because of the legislature. There have been plans to build an 80-unit affordable housing unit in Kent for the chronically homeless and homeless veterans. But, these plans might be scrapped, or at least delayed for a year, if the legislature can’t come up with a state capital budget by January 17th. Check your calendars. That’s next week. All hope isn’t lost because even if the deadline is blown next week, notes to the Seattle Times, other affordable-housing plans would still move forward, receiving tax credits. However, it's the projects on the furthest end of the income spectrum, for the most vulnerable populations, would be put on the back burner.

The drug that killed Prince is responsible for an increase in opioid deaths: Across the nation, except in the West where, for the most part, the numbers have remained steady. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to The Seattle Times, and is often times mixed with heroin. Small amounts can lead to an overdose and, often times, drug users are unaware. The same thing Prince (rip) accidentally overdosed on. This is largely responsible for the increase of overdoses in the Midwest and the Northeast. In Washington, the overdose rate increased by 5 percent, but people attribute investment in housing options and employment to a decline in drug use. These numbers are good compared to the 85 percent increases in deaths in Florida and Pennsylvania. But, despite preventive laws against Fentanyl, people like Prince, the late rapper Lil’ Peep, and a heck of a lot of normal people are still dying. Double check your heroin! Or, maybe, don’t do heroin.

That Amtrak train derailment near Olympia: was a little less than a month ago and it's time to get down to brass tacks. Amtrak and the Washington State Department of Transportation started testifying in Olympia about the accident on Wednesday. The accident killed 3 people and left dozens injured.

Do you value your bus driver?: Well, the Bus drivers for Seattle Public Schools are fed up. For Seattle area bus drivers under the contractor First Student a strike seems imminent. They’re vying for healthcare and retirement benefits, something the company promised to address last year but, unsurprisingly, hasn’t. Bus drivers, the under-sung heroes of the community, have to take the issue into their own hands. This comes on the heels of the 400 bus drivers who went on strike in November. This time the strike could be longer and Seattle teachers, members of the Seattle Education Association, plan to walk out with the drivers in solidarity. If your kid is one of the 12,000 kids that takes the bus, look into finding an alternative route to school once the strike is announced and thank a bus driver today. On second thought, no matter who you are, thank a bus driver today.

Legislative lawmakers in Olympia think they’re above the law: Since they refused to hand over documents requested by news outlets. They cited amendments to the state’s public-records act in 1995 and claimed they were exempt from disclosure requirements. Attorney General Bob Ferguson — the hero we need, but do we deserve?— clapped back with a 14-page amicus brief that essentially said legislative lawmakers aren’t special. The rules still apply to them. This is particularly interesting, and juicy, because the AG normally represents the Legislature. Now, they’ve had to get their own lawyers. The ruling on the case will be on January 19th.

Medicaid access is about to get messy: As the Trump administration starts letting states cut-off Medicaid benefits to people unless they hold a job. Let’s clear the air, here. This is not great. Of the 30 percent of people on Medicaid without a job, the ones who will be abandoned without healthcare, “more than a third are ill or disabled, 30 percent are caring for young children, and 15 percent are in school,” according to the Washington Post. The requirement would supposedly only affect able-bodied adults, but this is loose terminology with a definition that varies from state-to-state. Even the able-bodied will be hampered down by new rulings and face losing their benefits if they don’t provide documentation that they’re in compliance with their respective state’s Medicaid policies. All hope is not lost because once this starts happening, you can bet your ass, we’ll being seeing Trump in court (again).

Online scammers are targeting America’s most vulnerable community: Facebook users. A viral Facebook post is circling the web and it’s catching because it dangles two free Alaska Airline plane tickets in front of users. Tell your aunt to take down the version of the post she shared and that, let her down gently on this one, she won’t be winning two tickets to Hawaii. She won’t be getting a lei, but she could be getting a computer virus. It’s unclear what the scam is after but clicking on it might fuck up your computer. If you naively thought a corporation was capable of benevolence and clicked through the survey, go ahead and download some antivirus software.

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On second thought, Donald Trump doesn’t want to be interviewed by Mueller: I mean, why would he? He’s already proved his innocence time and time again. He rests his case every time he says, “there was no collusion, everyone agrees there was no collusion” and then tosses in a “Crooked Hillary” for good measure. But, unfortunately, no matter how many tweets he sends, Trump cannot change that various United States spy agencies have concluded that Putin “directed a multifaceted campaign using hacking and propaganda to try to sway the 2016 presidential election in his favor,” the New York Times reports. There are a million hot takes on the issue, like, Donald Trump is a liar and a Russian nesting doll with Putin pulling the strings from inside, a smaller, more menacing Russian nesting doll. But, the most resounding one is that, as a sitting president, Trump has done nothing in the face of a clear and direct threat on American democracy.

James Franco is gross: And has an alleged history of exploiting young, up-and-coming actresses, the Los Angeles Times reports. This motherfucker wore a Time’s Up pin in support of the new Hollywood coalition for gender equality and against sexual misconduct to the Golden Globes. Women took to Twitter in protest. Now, claims of Franco’s abuse of women, particularly female students in the film classes he taught at the school he created, are public.

Hear Rep. Pramila Jayapal: On what we can do to protect DREAMers. Also on Blabbermouth this week: Oprah, the 2018 elections and Fire and Fury.

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