NOT what the (last ever) Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon looks like.
NOT what the (last ever) Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon looks like. MELISSA KOPKA/GETTY IMAGES

The last Blockbuster in the world is in Bend, Oregon: There was one other in Perth, Australia, but that one is going to die later this month. Did you know there used to be 9,000 Blockbusters worldwide? Truly the end of an era. I can't say I really miss Blockbuster, I kind of like our alternatives. Those being streaming services, but also better video stores like Scarecrow Video.

Washington sees a jump in white supremacist propaganda: Last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 44 counts of white supremacist propaganda in Washington state. In 2017, there were only 15 instances. The increase here reflected a nationwide trend; there were 1,200 incidents in 2018 nationally.

Solar farms picking up steam in Washington: Some 1,700 acres currently being utilized for cattle grazing in Klickitat County near the Columbia River will next be used for a new solar farm. The project would include 500,000 photovoltaic panels, which is the equivalent to a 150-megawatt capacity. I don't know how many homes that could power, but my estimate is "a lot." Washington has been pretty slow on the solar uptake since we've got all this hydro and wind power. But, as lawmakers are deciding whether or not our fate will be carbon-fueled, there's a renewed interest in renewable energies.

Lightning strikes Seattle-bound plane: I love stories that desperately try to find a local angle. I'm not knocking the practice, I mean, that's my job a lot of the time. Anyway, in this one, California is getting hit with a deluge of wet and dramatic weather and a flight out of LAX to Seattle (there it is!) had to turn around because it was struck by lightning. I'm including this story really just so I can embed these sexy lightning pics:

Amazon's move to Bellevue could ignite a "real-estate frenzy": According to GeekWire and RedFin, the Bellevue market will be buzzing. Amazon seems to be taking a break from any sort of Seattle expansion and setting its sights on beautiful Bellevue across the water. There's no hard data yet since this growth is still very much in the beginning phases. But, as workers look to live closer to work and that work moves to Bellevue... the market will get hot, hot, hot.

We can't escape: Here comes more snow.

Art Institute in Seattle is closing: It's closing this Friday, March 8. The term doesn't end until March 22. The school essentially ran out of money. "It's not exactly the school's fault that I've had to go to the emergency room," one student said. "I just experience stress differently than people."

By now you've seen the news: If you haven't, Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! host, has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He's 78 years old. He says he's going to keep fighting and keep working. Wishing you all the best always, Alex.


Amazon enacts a $15 minimum wage: …And Whole Foods employees saw a cut in their scheduled hours. There was some scrutiny and outrage over how Amazon treats and pays its warehouse workers so the company decided to enact a company-wide minimum wage. That's not going too hot for employees at Amazon-acquired Whole Foods, according to the Guardian. Their working hours were drastically reduced.

Soviet Union, is that you? You can now be thrown in jail in Russia for disrespecting the government. The sentence is either up to 15 days in prison or steep fines. If you're in Russia and making a negative Facebook post about the government, any government officials, or Daddy Vladdy President Vladimir Putin maybe reconsider—you can be fined up to 100,000 roubles.

Sen. Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona spoke candidly about her sexual assault today: According to McSally, she was raped by a superior officer while she was in the military. McSally, a veteran and the first woman in the Air Force to fly in combat, gave an emotional testimony at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about preventing sexual assault in the military. She didn't report the assault because she didn't trust the system, she said.

An age-old problem: Texas judge disciplined after claiming God told him defendant was innocent