1000 Blk. of Sturgus Ave. S.: a thee story building under construction is now fully involved, with a large amount of fire also showing from adjacent building. Nearby occupied building has been evacuated. PIO responding to scene. pic.twitter.com/oyOBGBvHPM
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) August 20, 2020
Here's a look at that fire along I-90 near the Rainier exit. Crews are blocking some lanes of I-90 to keep you safe as you drive by pic.twitter.com/Myq12p2BTT
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) August 20, 2020
40 percent of USPS's high-speed letter-sorting machines have already been shut-down in the Seattle-Tacoma area: Though Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said further removals would be put on pause until after the election, USPS declined to say whether these machines would be put back into service.
Of the 450 directors and over 1,000 films included in their canon, there are only four Black-American directors in the Criterion Collection: According to New York Times writers Kyle Buchanan and Reggie Ugwu. Charles Burnett—of To Sleep With Anger fame— and Spike Lee are the only two living ones. It's an excellent read that goes deep into the lauded home video distributor's blind spots. The note that there are more directors with the last name Anderson than Black-Americans in the collection killed me.
Maybe Halloween doesn't have to be canceled after all: There are drive-thru, socially distant haunted houses in Tokyo and, yes, I want to go. They'll even clean the blood off your car for you! As one cast member notes, the distance between "zombie" and visitor is actually shorter than normal as there is only a window between them. And there's nowhere for you to run!!!!
The ghost is clear: “Zombies” attack and smear blood on vehicles. But customers inside their cars are safely separated from their stalkers in this drive-thru haunted house in Tokyo. https://t.co/tG5GWNEJwb #odd
— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) August 19, 2020
A cable barrier has been installed along a section of the US-Canada border in Washington state: US Border Patrol says its installation will help curb "dangerous criminal enterprises."
Airbnb has issued a "global party ban" on its properties: And capped occupancy at 16 guests.
Former Trump administration advisor Steve Bannon has been arrested and charged with fraud: Remember that We Build the Wall campaign? Allegedly, Bannon and three others defrauded donors for their own personal profit after raking in over $25 million. The indictment says that via a non-profit, Bannon pulled in $1 million from the scheme and used some of the fund$ for his own personal expenses, reports Axios. This makes Bannon the sixth person linked to the leadership of the 2016 Trump campaign to run a federal charge.
Leaders of ‘We Build The Wall’ online fundraising campaign charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors https://t.co/cH2abWm2Ph pic.twitter.com/NKxfKXkcEX
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) August 20, 2020
A great detail: Bannon was arrested by U.S. Postal Service agents. What absolute legends.
Gov. Jay Inslee is ramping up COVID-19 testing requirements for agricultural employers: After a serious outbreak among workers at Gebber Farms in Okanogan County led to two guest workers' deaths. The new regulations mandate broad-scale testing by an employer if they have more than nine cases among workers in a two week period. This move comes as the upcoming apple harvest will bring even more laborers together under close working conditions.
Last night was the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention: The topics of the evening were namely gun violence, wOmEn, immigration, and how much President Trump fucking sucks. Watching it felt like ingesting wall-to-wall milquetoast political commercials that air late at night on MSNBC with Kerry Washington's toothy, inviting smile to string them all together.
The list of speakers was full of Democratic heavy-hitters: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared like the Ghost of Elections Past, giving her full-throated support of both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris while also cautioning that this round "can't be another would have, could have, should have election." Sen. Elizabeth Warren also gave a speech emphasizing the importance of childcare, and, fittingly, spoke to viewers from a kindergarten classroom. Someone pointed out that "BLM" was spelled out on the bookcase behind her. The bar is low, people!
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Saying that both are "standing in the way" of pandemic aid, economic recovery, access to healthcare, women's rights, etc. She wore a white jacket as a tribute to the suffragists and the 100-year anniversary of (some) women winning the right to vote.
“As Speaker of the House, I've seen firsthand Donald Trump's disrespect for facts, for working families, and for women in particular — disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct,” Nancy Pelosi tells the DNC pic.twitter.com/23s5MzTxTY
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 20, 2020
Also Gen Z queen Billie Eilish performed a new song in honor of the event called "my future": Vocalizing her support for Biden and encouraging young people to vote. Honestly, if I were a Youth™, I'd do whatever someone with bright green grow-out told me to do. The song is as whispery as you'd imagine, but I love her ASMR-adjacent vocals.
President Barack Obama warned, in his stern and professorial way, that our democracy was at stake in this election: “This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win," he said, in what the New York Times called "one of the most emotional speeches he has ever delivered." He addressed the convention from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia in front of a giant version of the Constitution to really hammer his point home. Here's a clip:
Watch former President Barack Obama's speech for the Democratic National Convention. "Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy," he said.
Read more. https://t.co/aDxK6nRGeH pic.twitter.com/LFwmMNEPgL
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 20, 2020
Trump was watching Obama give his speech And, yeah, he had a fit.
And—FINALLY—Sen. Kamala Harris officially made history as the first Black-American and first Asian-American woman to be nominated as Vice President: Her speech served as an introduction to the nation, weaving the story of her life into a coherent narrative a.k.a. emotional-political myth-making. It was fine. The bar for many people is "not Trump" and she, as well as the official presidential nominee, definitely pass that one. Read more about the "shots" she took at Trump here and check out the history-making moment:
After six seasons, Comedy Central's Drunk History has been canceled: Though the pandemic definitely hindered production, the network has been looking to shift away from live action and into more adult animation. Drunk History didn't fit into its future.
Seattle activist Nikkita Oliver has an op-ed in Crosscut about the resignation of former Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best: Reminding the city that "the defund movement is not a personal attack on any one officer. It is a movement, it is inevitable, and it is necessary." You must read the whole thing, but this part really hit:
Anti-racism is more than diversity. It is more than making a Black woman the head of an inherently racist department, expecting her to change it on her own, and then using her as a scapegoat when people from all backgrounds rise up and demand a real return on our investment in public safety. It’s unfair and all too common to put Black people at the head of white-built institutions without the support needed to transform them. The city of Seattle’s entire approach to public safety requires a wholesale structural change, which no one, including Best, could make on her own. And so long as Mayor Durkan, Seattle Police Officer Guild President Mike Solan and Chief Best continue to make excuses for the failures of police reform in Seattle and the continued violence of SPD against communities of color, poor communities and protesters, that change will not come about.
Last week’s cuts to the salaries of Best and her command staff show that the Seattle City Council started to do what is necessary to make this change.
Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get anymore ridiculous: Florida decides to release 750 million genetically modified mosquitos into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022 to see if they are a "viable alternative" to spraying insecticides to control a pesky species of mosquito.
1.1 million Americans applied for first-time unemployment last week: The first time in two weeks that claims have gone up. And, just to remind you, Congress still hasn't reached a deal on pandemic aid.
Russian opposition leader in the hospital due to suspected poisoning: Anti-corruption campaigner and staunch Putin critic Alexei Navalny is currently unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator in Siberia after his spokesperson claimed he ingested poison-laced tea. It should be noted that the Kremlin has a long history of poisoning political opponents, but it has wished Navalny a "speedy recovery."
Something to groove to this morning: I watched Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles' Bacurau for the first time this weekend. It's a weird, bloody, and political western set in the countryside of Brazil. Like Mendonça's other film, Aquarius, the soundtrack slaps. Gal Costa's "Não Identificado" has saved me and I hope it saves you too.