The opioid crisis is hitting Alaska hard: Deaths from the synthetic opioid fentanyl nearly quadrupled in Alaska last year. There were 37 overdose deaths in 2017, compared to 2016’s eight deaths. Alaska has one of the highest opioid death rates per capita.
Vaccinate your kids, you idiots: Ah, don’t you love fall in the air? The leaves are turning, school is starting, and clusters of un-immunized children are making it a very real possibility that other children will catch preventable diseases. Fall is lovely. You know what else was lovely? When rates of polio and measles drastically declined in the United States because of immunization. Hundreds of schools in Washington don’t have high enough immunization completion rates to protect kids. Too many kids are unvaccinated, and that puts everyone in jeopardy. Hot take: Anti-vaxxers aren’t just stupid, they’re selfish.
India has decriminalized homosexuality: A 157-year-old law that banned gay sex as “against the order of nature” was overturned today. A five-judge Constitution Court of the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the law amounted to discrimination. The conservative religious factions are already pushing back. “History owes an apology to the LGBT community,” said the Supreme Court.
Sound Transit’s potential bus stop blunder: Critics are casting aspersions on Sound Transit and its decision to build a bus station at a place in Kirkland where pretty much nobody catches the bus. The $300 million project is a gamble, according to the Seattle Times’ Mike Lindblom, and it assumes that people will flock to this new station to catch a new fleet of 405 buses. Parking isn’t in the plans.
Federal hate-crime laws influenced by Mercer Island banker: The new extension of the hate-crime laws will cover defacing or threatening religious institutions. This was a result of a 2017 bomb threat at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. This is obviously not my area of expertise, but I’m shocked that defacing or threatening religious institutions wasn’t considered a hate crime before. They were previously considered misdemeanors and only packed a one-year jail sentence. Now it’s five years and a fine.
King County Council passes amendment to give Safeco field $135 million: More on this to come from us over here, but a four-hour KCC meeting ended fruitlessly and hollowly. Despite a slew of compromises and a wealth of conviction, no one’s mind was changed and each vote turned out the same — 5 members were always in favor of pro-Mariners decisions and 4 were against. The majority, as they say, had it. The money in the chosen amendment comes with sacrifice; affordable housing will get the money it deserves but the tourism industry was stripped of funding. The final vote won’t be until the next full committee meeting.
Food Network and ramen lovers rejoice!: Iron Chef’s Masaharu Morimoto’s NYC ramen restaurant is coming to the International District in 2019. On top of that, he’ll be throwing out the opening pitch at Safeco Field during the Mariners game today.
The Mystery Soda Machine is alive and well: The enigmatic Capitol Hill staple disappeared from its home in front of the Broadway Locksmith earlier this summer. In a disturbing turn of events, it seems the Mystery Coke Machine has hired a social-media manager. It posted a selfie on Twitter in front of the Space Needle. According to the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, the machine was nowhere in sight when their reporter ventured to the Seattle Center.
Earthquake in northern Japan: It was a magnitude 6.7 and struck the northernmost main island of Hokkaido at 3 a.m. There are 30 people missing and 9 are dead.
Don’t worry, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn’t write that op-ed: The New York Times opinion piece written by an anonymous White House senior administrator has the Trump administration in a downright tizzy. The author, who is neither one of DC’s favorite Mikes, described Trump as “amoral, impetuous, petty, and ineffective.”
Some of those Kavanaugh documents were leaked: It’s really come down to this, huh? He had some choice words about abortion and affirmative action, because of course he did.
This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever seen: A protester at the Twitter hearing yesterday was drowned out by Representative Billy Long from Missouri when he broke into an auction call.
A Washington man allegedly hit a beaver with his car and then sexually assaulted it: A woman saw the whole thing go down in Kennewick on Monday. She saw someone hit a beaver with their car, went to go help the beaver (as any Good Samaritan would), and saw a man lying next to it. According to her, he wasn’t comforting the beaver like she had thought initially. Nah, he was having sex with it. The beaver didn’t make it. It died. The man was arrested for animal cruelty and meth possession.
An update from my alley:
People have gardens where I live now. Manicured lawns and rows of shrubs. There are picket fences.
There was a garden in my alley. It was gated off, kind of like one of those community gardens. Except it was just an offshoot of the alley tucked between two buildings. It also was populated only by old soda cans, beer bottles, and whatever other garbage instead of flowers or fresh arugula. Still, this was my community’s P-patch. All of our residents contributed to foster its existence and its growth.
In reality, it was much more of a joint effort than any of my current neighbors’ individual plots. I miss the garbage P-patch.
Tonight's best Seattle entertainment options include: The Seattle Design Festival 2018 Opening Party, a Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience with Ramin Djawadi, and the Pioneer Square Art Walk.