Hope you had a good Labor Day Weekend!: If you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are you spent the last few days camping in smoke-filled mountains, hiking on smoke-filled trails, hosting barbecues with people outside your household during a pandemic, and/or protesting something. Before we talk about the explosive gender reveal party, let's take a little weekend protest tour, shall we?
King County Equity Now and Decrim Seattle caravanned around town: On Monday afternoon demonstrators hopped in cars and made little stops in each of the city's seven districts to "to urge councilmembers to overRIDE [get it?] the mayor's veto and hold steadfast in commitments to invest in BIPOC communities."
Police arrest 22 after protest at Seattle Police Officers Guild Headquarters in Sodo: Later in the evening, other protesters marched peacefully from the ID to Sodo before reaching a fenced-off SPOG HQ. As protesters started busting out their sidewalk chalk, the police blasted Big & Rich's 2004 pop country hit "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" from the building's speakers and then bull-rushed protesters. When the dust and the blast ball smoke and the firework smoke and the pepper spray fumes settled, cops arrested 22 people. They also pushed me and smacked my camera out of my hand, which I thought was rude.
Christian grifter throws another virus party in Seattle: After the city closed Gas Works Park, where the prayer rally was planned, hundreds of people sang and prayed in the street in Fremont, KING 5 reports. "No police were visible and there were no counter-protesters, but one person held a sign asking for attendees to wear masks and giving some out," according to the report. When pastor Sean Feucht pulled the same shit in Cal Anderson last month, a bunch of blonde Americans from the 'burbs drove in for the occasion.
The air sucks: Smoke from eastern Washington wildfires blew in and settled over the city last night. The air quality is now "unhealthy." People with "heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens" should stay inside and avoid strenuous activity. Everyone else should shorten the amount of time outside. If you gotta exercise, do a walk instead of a run.
❗️CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS, SEATTLE ❗️
Thick wildfire smoke has settled over the city. Air quality is rapidly deteriorating, and will worsen through midnight.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) September 8, 2020
Gender reveal party sparks massive wildfire: The Washington Post reports that a couple "set out Saturday morning to share the news of the child’s sex by setting off a smoke bomb that would send plumes of pink or blue smoke rising into the arid Southern California air." The explosive ignited a now 10,000-acre fire that has caused 20,000 people outside Los Angeles to flee their homes. Because we live in the United States of America, this was not the first time a couple with a psychotic attachment to the gender binary "spark[ed] a costly conflagration," as the Post put it.
Good news for Russian dissidents:
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was brought out of an induced coma after poisoning by a nerve agent, Berlin clinic says https://t.co/EbK7Bh0Y6u
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 7, 2020
Cold Spring Canyon/Pearl Hill Fire causes Mansfield to evacuate: But on Monday all the roads out of town, located about an hour from Wenatchee, were "unsafe to use," according to the Seattle Times. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told people to shelter in place or at the local high school gym.
310 new COVID-19 cases in Washington: The state Department of Health reported those new cases Monday, bringing the state total to 77,545. DOH no longer reports new deaths on weekends. As of the latest count available, there have been 1,953 deaths in Washington and 6,913 hospitalizations.
The key question: Just how much did we fuck things up this weekend? Experts worried Labor Day weekend could cause a new surge in the virus. "The warnings came as a widely cited model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected a worsening outbreak in the U.S. that will peak in early December at about 2,900 deaths per day, up from about 860 a day now, unless government officials take action," according to the AP. As county health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin told Slog: If we all made the same decisions on Labor Day weekend as on Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July weekend, we will have trouble sending children back into school this fall. “You have to think, are these social activities and going out to eat more important right now than educating our children?”
Coronavirus surges in UK: The little island registered its highest number of cases since May, according to the BBC. As in the US, the UK, France, and Spain are seeing higher infection counts among "those aged between 17 and 21."
Nine drug companies pledge vaccine safety: Executives from nine drug companies issued a joint statement today promising they will not seek approval for coronavirus vaccines until safety and efficacy have been established in Phase 3 clinical trials, the Washington Post reports. The Post calls the statement "an extraordinary effort to bolster public faith in a vaccine amid President Trump's rush to introduce one before Election Day." Phase 3 vaccine trials require participation of thousands of people as test subjects and can take years.
Trump told a Reuters reporter to take off a mask at a press conference: Trump claimed the mask muffled the reporter's question, according to Slate. Rather than take off the mask, the reporter elected to speak louder. Trump sighed.
Brad Parscale spent all Trump's money: A New York Times analysis of the President's re-election campaign finances found Trump and the Republicans have raised $1.1 billion since 2019. They've already spent $800 million of it. Now the campaign deals with a "cash crunch" two months before the election. We can thank Bloomberg (remember him?) for one thing, I guess: "Among the splashiest and perhaps most questionable purchase was for Super Bowl ads that cost $11 million — more than the campaign has spent on TV in some top battleground states — a vanity splurge that allowed Mr. Trump to match the billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg’s buy for the big game."
Apartment ads are racist: A UW study analyzed by the Seattle Times found that property managers tried to attract white people to their buildings using coded language. In nonwhite areas, they tended to play up security features and amenities. In white areas, they tended to play up walkability and centrality. The practice may contribute to segregation.
Trump's Department of Justice thinks anti-bias trainings might be racist: Or rather, as his DOJ calls it, "divisive, anti-American propaganda," according to the Seattle Times. The agency sent Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes a letter jUsT aSkInG qUeStIoNs about an elective June training about “internalized racial superiority," which was aimed at white employees, and training about “internalized racial inferiority," which was aimed at POC. Mayor Durkan told the Times, “This is a stunning illustration of the administration’s warped priorities."
Deputy who crashed into parked vehicle, killing Sarah Leyrer, dies: Deputy Reggie Thomas was seriously injured in the crash and has now died, Q13 reports. Thomas crashed into a parked car in Georgetown while he was having a stroke and killed Leyrer, who was inside. Leyrer worked for Columbia Legal Services and had been a senior investigator with the city's Office of Labor Standards.
Once the smoke clears: I'm hearing that now is a good time to pick honey crisp: Skipley Farm in Snohomish says so.