Here's your daily evening round-up of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin'!)
Last night, following a dinner with soon-to-be co-worker and former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler pepper-sprayed a member of the public who he says confronted him and was shooting video. Portland Mercury's Alex Zielinski has more!
The inspector general for the Justice Department is launching an investigation into top DOJ officials to ascertain whether they made any attempts to overturn the election for their dark lord and master Donald Trump (and it appears they almost certainly did).
Meanwhile, as the article of impeachment makes its slooooow walk from the House to the Senate, it was announced that their longest-serving Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy, will preside over the trial instead of Chief Justice Roberts (who would've been in charge had Trump still been in office).
There it is — House impeachment managers deliver article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate, formally triggering a trial. pic.twitter.com/S2pxwq6nT7
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) January 26, 2021
135: That's how many unarmed Black people cops have "fatally shot" since 2015, according to a new analysis from NPR. The public radio station reports that at least 75% of the officers in those cases were white. "Several" of the cops reviewed had a history of violating "department policies," "several" had committed crimes on the job, and "more than two dozen officers have racked up citizen complaints or use-of-force incidents."
Alleged "original Starbucks" window-smasher will face a felony charge: King County Prosecutors filed a second-degree burglary charge against a man who allegedly told cops he smashed a couple windows at the old Starbucks in Pike Place market and then "unlawfully entered" the place during an AbolishICE protest last Wednesday, according to a press release. Charging documents show that Starbucks estimated "the total damage done to the business" at $61,800. The company's accounting breaks down thusly:
-Window clean up and boarding $2,000
-Art replacement $10,000
-Glass replacement $13,000
-Temporary mural on plywood $5,000
-Lost revenue $25,000 (could be more depending on how many days of closure)
-Labor for store meeting $5,800
Health officials in Minnesota announced the first case of the highly transmissible COVID variant from Brazil has arrived in their state (and, by extension, the US): It is one of three variants that has been of concern to global scientists.
The Dutch are rioting over new COVID-19 restrictions: Cops "fired warning shots and tear gas" and turned "water canons" on crowds before arresting 250 people at anti-lockdown protests across the Netherlands, the BBC reports. The riots came after the Dutch government imposed a 4 p.m. curfew over the weekend to slow the spread of the deadly virus, which has infected almost one million people and killed over 13,500 in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The agency noted that total case counts were incomplete “due to an interruption in DOH’s data processes,” and that negative test results data from Nov. 21-30, 2020, and January 5 through Monday were incomplete.
“Thus, negative test results and percent positivity and case counts should be interpreted with caution,” the agency said.
Related: Because of the new variant of COVID that is believed to be circulating in the area, Public Health — Seattle & King County's Dr. Jeff Duchin recently said "we need to expect the coronavirus equivalent of a Mount St. Helens-like eruption at some time in the next few months." Ugh.
Now let's get into some Seattle City Hall updates...
Hazard pay for grocery store workers is here: Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda's bill to give grocery store workers up to $4 per hour in hazard pay passed 8-0 today, with Councilmember Debora Juarez absent. The emergency legislation will apply to grocery companies with more than 500 employees worldwide, as well as companies that boast stores larger than 10,000 square feet. Berkeley and Long Beach recently passed similar policies, and Los Angeles is considering passing their version of the policy this week.
Someone mailed Councilmember Tammy Morales's husband pornographic images with her face on them: Morales finished up her weekly report in the Seattle City Council's Monday briefing by acknowledging the hate mail and death threats Councilmember Kshama Sawant said she has been receiving for over a month from a Seattle Fire Department email address. This hate, Morales said, is not an isolated event.
The council, and especially the women on the council, have been on the receiving end of a "dangerous escalation of expression that goes way beyond free speech," Morales said. Erica Barnett at PubliCola has documented the harassment women on the council have received over the years.
800 tiny homes by the end of 2021 will sure take a village: Councilmember Andrew Lewis announced a new proposal on Monday to scale up tiny house villages in Seattle. The proposal is appropriately called, "It Takes a Village." COVID-19 forced more unhoused people onto the streets and into city parks as homeless shelters de-congregated. "There’s this sense of urgency," Lewis said. So, he's trying to act quickly. With some private money, he might be able to pull it off.
As the weather gets colder it is unacceptable how many Seattleites are living outside. Working with service providers, outreach workers, community and business leaders I have plan to leverage private $$ and public resources to change this. Learn more here https://t.co/cBIHJep8wH pic.twitter.com/xJqchIv164
— Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (@CMAndrewJLewis) January 25, 2021
Read more on Lewis's proposal from Nathalie Graham RIGHT HERE.
Busy Bee Biden has had another very busy day kicking ass and taking names that includes (but is not limited to) the following: Pushing to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill! (A full-throated "fuck you" to Trump.) Overturning the military's transgender ban! (Again... eff YOU, Trump!) Signed a "Buy American" executive order! (A much better plan than fucking Trump's.) Replaces Trump's shady doc with a new White House physician! (No shade here... fuck you, Trump!) Replaced Trump's ZERO White House pets with two very good boys, Champ & Major! (Awww... super cute. Also Trump can go fuck himself.)
Dems have another good shot at beefing up the Senate in 2022, as Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman has announced he will not be seeking re-election, due to a "lack of bipartisanship." (That's one crybaby down, and 49 crybabies to go!)
In case you forgot over the weekend: Trump still exists. Click the image to expand and learn about ***shudder*** The Office of Donald J. Trump.