Live long and prosper, baby!
Live long and prosper, baby! Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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King County will probably bail out the Washington State Convention Center expansion with a $100 million loan, reports David Gutman for the Seattle Times. The project is deep in the hole, especially without federal aid—potentially around $300 million short—and the funds could come from the county's $3.4 billion investment pool. Noteworthy: "The loan would be at 'about 1%' interest, [King County Executive Dow] Constantine’s office said, comparable to the 0.82% earnings rate the investment pool saw in November." CHS Blog also has a post up about the loan here, noting that "it's unclear if Mayor Jenny Durkan or Gov. Jay Inslee will follow suit. Officials said the hope was the county loan would be 'a template' for the state and city to follow."

Nicole Grant, the MLK Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer, applauded the potential loan: "This loan will save thousands of jobs at a time when many are out of work," Grant said in a statement. "This crisis is temporary, but projects like the Addition will set the foundation for the long-term success of our region."

What's on my mind... is that Crosscut op-ed from June, "Don't bail out the new Washington State Convention Center," which argued that "elected officials at every level need to prioritize real recovery efforts, not magical thinking, and would be wise to look very closely at the cost-to-benefit ratio before promising to throw good money after bad."

Warner Bros. will release all of its 2021 films directly to streaming: Bad news for the movie theater chains, which will now have to reckon with competing against films that are also immediately available on HBO Max. The news:

In a startling move that marked the biggest challenge yet to Hollywood’s traditional way of doing business, Warner Bros. announced on Thursday that 17 movies—its entire 2021 slate—would each arrive simultaneously in theaters and on its sibling streaming service, the underperforming HBO Max.

Rather than having to wait roughly 90 days, the period that studios have long given theaters to play films exclusively, HBO Max subscribers will receive instant access to big-budget extravaganzas like a “Suicide Squad” sequel, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Dune” and “The Matrix 4.” Other movies speeding to living rooms next year include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho,” the next “Conjuring” horror film, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and a “Sopranos” prequel called “The Many Saints of Newark.”

Interestingly, Warner Bros. doesn't believe moviegoing will return in the US until at least next fall. And with a move like this, maybe the big movie theater chains are good as dead. I miss Cinerama.

A queen of the moderates.
A queen of the moderates. Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The New Democrat Coalition unanimously chose Washington's US Rep. Suzan DelBene to serve as their chair on Tuesday: The moderate Democrat group represents the reps. who speak for purple districts. Previously, the New Democrat Coalition chair was Rep. Derek Kilmer (also from Washington), who will now serve as Chair Emeritus. Washington is known for its progressivism, but we're leaders in moderation, too. (King County did vote for Biden during the Democratic primary...)

Dr. Fauci will stay on in his position: Or, at least, Biden offered him the job. Biden also asked Fauci to be his chief medical advisor.

"It's [just] my wife and I and the federal agents," says Dr. Fauci about his day-to-day life in a new profile in Huffington Post. The quote:

"I have federal agents that protect me. So they drive me to work, they stay here, they make sure that nobody tries to break in [to my home] and, as Steve Bannon would like, have somebody behead me... I don’t socialize. It’s my wife and I and the federal agents. We’ve sort of become like a new family unit."

Failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp says he has a big announcement coming tomorrow: It won't be a concession. As he says in the video below, "I'm not a quitter, I'm a fighter, and I'm fighting for you." What he doesn't say is he's a loser, by a certified 545,177 votes. It's a rare thing when The Stranger really agrees with Danny Westneat, but it’s past time for the Donald Trump and Loren Culp election sideshows to go dark. As Culp says: "Warrior mentality, right? Never give up. Never give in." Gross.

If you like pickles: Seattle Times has a feature for you.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that Graham had hinted that Raffensperger should try to discard some ballots in Georgia.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that Graham had hinted that Raffensperger should try to discard some ballots in Georgia. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michael Moore, a former US attorney not the documentarian, asked the Georgia State Board of Elections to investigate Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham for potential criminal interference in the state's election. In multiple public interviews, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger suggested Graham encouraged him to throw out valid ballots, presumably in an attempt to swing the state to the right for Donald Trump. A little refresher:

Last week, Biden's vote total broke records by passing 80 million votes: Today, that got higher, passing 81 million votes. No, that's not because votes are appearing out of thin air. It takes time to count votes, as Washington state knows well.

Yesterday, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board nominated the Hahn Building for landmark status: More than 100 people weighed in with verbal and written comments, and Cynthia Brothers, the founder of Vanishing Seattle, had this to say:

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Although the Hahn Building is not technically part of the Pike Place Market Historic District, it’s clear that it’s a crucial component of the 1st & Pike Market entrance, perhaps the most well-known, recognizable and busiest intersections in the entire city, enjoyed (normally) by millions of people annually. Failing to landmark and preserve the building would compromise the integrity of the entire Market entrance and thus the larger identity of the Pike Place Market. The Hahn does not exist in isolation—it’s been an integral and distinctive part of the Market itself since the Market came into existence, and can continue to do so for the next 100 years or more if it is protected.

A historical pic of the building:

The next step is landmark designation, which the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board will consider at its January 20 meeting.