Two executives at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park wanted to show everyone that they can ride a rollercoaster with a mask and without screaming, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please scream inside your heart, they suggest.
Two executives at the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park in Japan wanted to show everyone that they can ride a rollercoaster with a mask while also limiting noise, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "Please scream inside your heart," they suggest. Fuji-Q Highland Official

Sur La Table, the Seattle-based fancy kitchenware company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: They will close 56 of their 121 remaining locations, reports the Seattle Times. "Although there is no firm date for the closures, the locations in question will begin liquidating inventory," reports the Times. I honestly have never stepped foot in a Sur La Table, but Stranger staffer Nathalie Graham told me she has a gift card she still needs to use. Now's the time!

The driver who raced onto a closed I-5, killing Summer Taylor and severely injuring Diaz Love, has been charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving: The driver, 27-year-old Dawit Kelete, is being held in jail on $1.2 million bail. "He is scheduled to enter a plea on the charges in two weeks," notes Capitol Hill Seattle blog. "The charges indicate prosecutors and detectives do not have evidence that Kelete targeted the protest."

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The Washington State Fair has been canceled this year: I'm sure you can guess why. This will be the first time the fair hasn't been held since WWII.

Bad Bunny is the only man besides Hugh Hefner to appear solo on a Playboy cover: The 26-year-old Puerto Rican singer and rapper appeared on the magazine's first-ever digital cover on Tuesday. (There were actually two covers, embedded below.) "I think that sex is a giant world," he says in the feature article, "and everyone is free to see it as they want and do it with whoever they want, however they want, with infinite possibilities."

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman will retire from the U.S. military: Vindman was one of the key witnesses in Trump's impeachment inquiry. Vindman "is retiring from the US Army after more than 21 years of military service because he determined that his future in the armed forces 'will forever be limited' due to political retaliation by the President and his allies, his lawyer told CNN Wednesday."

How long will Cal Anderson Park be closed post-CHOP? “Our crews have at least another week (maybe two) of work to do," a Seattle Parks spokesperson told Capitol Hill Seattle Blog today. They say that repair work includes fixing "damage to the shelterhouse and restroom, repairing the irrigation system, and further repairs and professional sanitation of the turf field, along with additional graffiti removal." Marcus Henderson's community garden is staying "until the late summer/fall harvest," says the spokesperson, and then the city will work with Henderson on a long-term plan.

Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is joining CNBC: Smith will start this fall with a weekday one-hour program on CNBC, starting at 7 p.m. ET. His title will be CNBC's chief general news anchor and chief breaking general news anchor. Smith left Fox News last October after public spats with the president.

Amazon has canceled Redskins merch: Amazon will remove all merch associated with the Washington Redskins in ~48 hours. Several sponsors have requested the team rebrand and rename itself something other than a racial slur against Native Americans, and retailers like Walmart and Target have already announced they will stop selling Redskins merch. Earlier today, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson called on Bezos to remove the team's merchandise from Amazon's platforms and put pressure on the team to change its name. An excerpt from the letter, provided to The Stranger:

For decades, Native American leaders have called for the end of the use of a racial slur against Native Americans as the name of the National Football League team in Washington, DC. In recent weeks, this call has grown louder amidst a global movement for urgent systemic change to end white supremacy in American institutions. I write to urge you to join the accelerating efforts toward this change by removing this team’s merchandise from your website, including merchandise sold by Amazon and by third parties on Amazon’s marketplace platform.

[...]

In addition, I encourage Amazon to do a thorough review of all merchandise that features caricatures of Native Americans as brands or mascots, in consultation with individual tribes and the National Congress of American Indians, and remove offensive merchandise. For example, in 2018, Major League Baseball and the Cleveland Indians banned the racist caricature formerly used as the Indians’ primary logo from the team’s uniforms, stadium, and merchandise sold at the official Major League Baseball shop. Amazon’s website, however, still advertises merchandise featuring the offensive caricature.

Removing the symbols of white supremacy and racial injustice is one step toward meaningful progress and systemic reform. I urge you to join the movement supporting this long overdue change by removing merchandise branded with the racial slur that serves as the Washington, DC professional football team’s name, as well as corresponding logos, from your marketplace.

I tweeted out a copy of the full letter here.

A COVID-era headline: "What It’s Like to Enter the Work Force From Your Childhood Bedroom." It's like 2008 all over again—except in 2008 we didn't have a pandemic or a President Trump.

Trump's Tulsa rally is "likely" the source of a virus surge in the area, according to health officials: "Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. By comparison, during the week before the June 20 Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday."

California set a new record for most coronavirus cases in a single day: The state recorded 9,500 new infections on Tuesday. "California cases are on pace to double every 24.8 days, a number that is used by experts to measure how quickly the virus is spreading," reports the LA Times.

Meanwhile, in Washington state... Things aren't the best. Today, our state confirmed 521 new coronavirus cases and 10 more deaths.

Here's former Interim Seattle City Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley, who is running to represent Washington's 37th Legislative District, and former Seattle City Council candidate Shaun Scott:

Speaking of the 37th Legislative District... The Stranger Election Control Board's primary endorsement feature will drop on Slog ONE! WEEK! FROM! TODAY! The 18-day primary voting period begins next Friday.

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A sly observation from the Guardian: "'I’m not going to get ahead of the president' could be [White House Press Secretary Kayleigh] McEnany’s catchphrase, and obviously it’s quite wise because no one ever knows what Trump is going to say next." McEnany used the phrase multiple times during today's presser, which covered everything from Trump potentially taking funding from schools to how Trump might speak about “conservative policies he’s looking at for a second term" at his rally this Saturday in New Hampshire.

Tweeters and TikTokers are, once again, trying to screw up the attendance figures for Saturday's Trump rally: "It appears to be another effort to troll the Trump campaign and create a repeat of the scene in Tulsa, when teenage TikTok users and young fans of K-pop, or Korean pop music, said their thousands of fake registrations prompted the campaign to create space for an overflow crowd that did not materialize," writes the Boston Globe.

"Please scream inside your heart": That's the advice from Fuji-Q Highland, one of Japan's biggest amusement parks. The park has issued a variety of new restrictions that will help them safely operate during the coronavirus pandemic, including requiring that visitors wear masks and not scream on rollercoasters. Visitors were pissed about that latter request. So, the park made this video, below, a few weeks ago encouraging the “Serious Look Challenge," where riders look stern—and, importantly, don't scream—while rollercoastering. The video blew up today after Wall Street Journal released a feature on it: Reopened Theme Parks Ban Screaming on Roller Coasters. Riders Are Howling. COVID ruined the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but at least it gave us this vid: