Second COVID-19 vaccine close to approval: The Pfizer vaccine is making the rounds among healthcare workers this week while the Food and Drug Administration prepares to greenlight another vaccine from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health. The Moderna vaccine is pretty much the same as the Pfizer one, so authorization should be quick. A final FDA decision on the vaccine should come after a panel of experts releases their recommendations on Thursday.
Renton can't be bothered with a regional plan to solve homelessness: Last night, the Renton City Council voted to 5-2 to restrict where and how homeless shelters operate in the city. The vote directly impacts the more than 200 homeless people living in the Renton Red Lion Hotel, a temporary solution to housing people in non-congregate shelters during the pandemic. The council wants half of the Red Lion residents out by June and the other half out by January 2022. Scott Greenstone at the Seattle Times reports that this may be "a harbinger of more troubles to come" for King County, which is trying to buy up more hotels to turn into shelter space.
The Ducks replace the Huskies in the Pac-12 championship game: The University of Washington football team should have been playing USC this Friday to determine which team is the top of the Pac-12. Unfortunately, the Huskies are stricken with COVID-19 right now. Their entire offensive line is out sick. So, no dice. Pac-12 North runner-up, the Univerisity of Oregon aka one of the Huskies' biggest rivals, will play the game instead. Salt, meet wound. Whatever, if the Ducks win it comes with an asterisk.
It's wet out there: Although it doesn't seem like the wet will stick around all day.
Areas of light rain have spread into the area early this morning (with snow in the mountains) as a front moves onshore. Expect rain at times this morning then decreasing rain this afternoon and evening. #wawx pic.twitter.com/iIqF3qeJ9D
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 15, 2020
Amazon produces a metric fuckton of waste: From the Seattle Times: "Despite efforts to make its packaging more sustainable, Amazon produced enough plastic waste last year to encircle the globe 500 times in the form of its air pillows, the report estimated."
Gov. Jay Inslee stops Pierce County Council from disbanding health department: The council wanted to disband the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and replace it with an entity that would be county-run. Seems like bad timing to do this during a pandemic. Inslee seems to think so too. He issued a proclamation that prevents the dissolution of the health department unless everyone involved mutually agree or the state Secretary of Health says it's okay.
Check out the snow in the mountains:
INTO THE WATER: More than 90,000 giant river turtle hatchlings were born this month on a sandy beach in a protected area along the Purus River, a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil.
The species is the largest freshwater turtle in Latin America. https://t.co/b3WkVOhDcF pic.twitter.com/147Z6MoouD
— ABC News (@ABC) December 15, 2020
Someone gunned down two eagles: A bald and a golden eagle were shot in southeastern Washington. Now the hunt is on to find their murderer. Killing bald and golden eagles is a violation of the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Okay, now Joe Biden's election win is official: Putin congratulates Joe Biden on U.S. election victory
It took Mitch McConnell longer to acknowledge Biden's win than it took Putin: Most Republicans have yet to acknowledge Biden's win.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly recognizes Joe Biden as the President-elect, congratulating him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Senate floor. His comments are significant and only came after the Electoral College affirmed it. https://t.co/mbrwjfKPQY pic.twitter.com/a0D1qf75vy
— CNN (@CNN) December 15, 2020
Deep sea treasure hunter won't disclose where 500 missing gold coins are: The investors who paid him to find the missing coins from a gold-rush era shipwreck are pissed. He's been in jail for contempt of court for nearly five years.
Finally: A rock opera about the life of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will open next year. It's called "Tony! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera)" and is apparently “fast and loose with the facts."
Japan's "Twitter killer" sentenced to death: Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, was arrested in 2017 after police found eight dead women and one dead man in his apartment. According to investigators, Shiraishi would approach people on Twitter who had previously posted about suicidal inclinations. Shiraishi would then offer to kill them. His main legal defense was that he was assisting his victims' wishes. A judge ruled that none of his victims gave him their consent to be killed. Shiraishi was sentenced to death.
Los Angeles' police union is already fundraising: After pressure to defund the police and threats of potential layoffs, the Police Protective League, Los Angeles' largest police union, is looking to raise $10 million "to fight cutbacks and support its favored candidates in 2022."
There's a big article about Jeffrey Toobin: You remember Toobin, right? The New Yorker writer who jerked it on a company Zoom call. I don't really care about this article (how complicated is it to not whip your dick out while you're at work, even if it's at home?!), but this excerpt is killing me:
The big Toobin article is a fairly moderate, restrained affair, but does feature an amazing late-in-the-third-act cameo by Malcolm Gladwell https://t.co/amSH0z6ylc pic.twitter.com/LR9ozNIR6d
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) December 15, 2020
More Putin news: If you want an interesting read, here's the story of how Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny believes Putin poisoned him.
In case you need it: A free crossword.