Speaking of: The Department of Homeland Security has issued a national terrorism bulletin due to a "heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration." The bulletin does not cite a specific threat but points to the threat of possible violence by "ideologically-motivated violent extremists" that object to the "exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition."
Today was "Climate Day" at the White House: And Ol' Joe signed three executive actions majorly addressing the climate crisis. Chase and I have summed up today's actions here, which call for pausing oil and natural cast drilling, reestablishing PCAST, and reasserts Biden's commitment to scientific integrity. "In my view, we've already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis and we can't wait any longer," said the president in a speech on the matter. Watch the full thing here:
Governor Jay Inslee: applauded Biden's climate plan in a statement today, praising the executive actions that "will once again place the United States at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis here at home and around the world." Ok, Jay, but we gotta walk the walk first!
Biden administration held its first COVID-19 briefing, despite rampant tech problems: And guess what? Science and scientists—yes, SCIENTISTS—led the briefing, in direct contrast the fact-free Trump era times. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said the Department of Health and Human Services will now allow recently retired doctors and nurses to give vaccine shots and permit people licensed to vaccinate to administer shots across state lines.
In the same meeting: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said the center's forecast now projects 479,000 to 514,000 COVID deaths by February 20. Fucking depressing.
WSDOT drops new video about SR 520 Montlake lid: Over four weekends this winter, crews will shutdown the bridge to place 114 girders over the highway, forming the foundation of the lid. By 2023, the lid will add three acres of new land and include a transit hub, trails, and greenspace. Honestly the soundtrack to this video is kinda dreamy.
Seattle Pride goes virtual. Again. Remember a year ago when we thought the pandemic would only last a couple of months and that we'd be dancing together again by the time Pride shimmied around? Good times. The organizers behind the Seattle Pride Parade "could not in good conscience" move forward with in-person Pride celebration, making the decision to go virtual with their weekend of events. Maybe by 2022 we can dance to Chromatica with our tops off on a sweaty dancefloor. Maybe.
Nearly 140 police officers were injured during the pro-Trump Capitol siege: Officers have suffered brain injuries and smashed spinal discs, while one might lose his eye. Two officers have taken their own lives in the wake of the storming. Capitol Police union chairman Gus Papathanasiou called the lack of warning to rank-and-file officers about the insurrection "inexcusable." "The entire executive team failed us, and they must be held accountable. Their inaction cost lives."
Coast Guard searching for a downed plane near Port Angeles: After receiving a mayday call on a plane flying out of Alaska, U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews searched the dark waters near Port Angeles after the aircraft went down Tuesday night. The search continues as of this morning.
Mike and Karen Pence reportedly don't have a home, have been couchsurfing since last week: The former Vice President and Governor of Indiana has not owned his own home in over eight years. His family left the Governor's Residence after a four-year stay, promptly moving into One Observatory Circle in 2017, the official residence of the Second Family. While some have speculated this transience is a cover to avoid the death threats from angry Trump supporters, I'm sure Pence and Co. have enough resources to buy a home whenever they wish.
Cloris Leachman is dead: The Emmy and Oscar winner known for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show died of "natural causes" yesterday in Encinitas, California. She was 94 years old.
Legal weed is ca$hing in the big bux: The cannabis industry has added $2 billion to the Washington state's economy, generating more than $833 million in total tax revenues, according to a new report by Washington State University. Now let's legalize it federally and get more Black and brown owned businesses in the mix.
Halsey is pregnant: A Stranger writer alerted me to this news in a meeting, professing that he didn't know who the pop singer was but felt like he should. Now I can't get "Closer" out of my head.
McCarthy has been summoned to Mar-a-Lago: House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is heading down to Florida tomorrow. He's meeting with You-Know-Who over the representative's assertion that the former president "bears responsibility" for the storming of the Capitol. The comment caused a rift between McCarthy and a "livid" Trump, and aides to both men hope this meeting can ease tensions between the two. Seems a little fishy to me!
This is your REMINDER that freakin' SUNDANCE starts TOMORROW: Those of you who bought your tickets well in advance are in for some delicious cinematic delights. To whet your appetite, Stranger freelancer Chase Hutchinson interviewed three directors from the festival about their films, our planet, and environmental change. Even though the world is burning, it's a pleasant read.
Here's your moment of zen: Don't you love it here?
Lovely sun break taking place at Hurricane Ridge this hour. But, for some reason, the song "Blinded By the Light" instantly popped into my head. Perhaps, the word of the day will be "albedo". And it's pretty high in this photo! #wawx pic.twitter.com/W5oCGVRbKY
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 27, 2021