IM STAYIN PUT... MOVE IDAHO HERE! says the people behind Move Oregons Border, which heads to a ballot in May. Im telling Canada to move their medical system here next.
"I'M STAYIN' PUT... MOVE IDAHO HERE!" says the people behind "Move Oregon's Border," which heads to a ballot in May. I'm telling Canada to move their medical system here next. KOMO

Boeing had multiple major engine issues last Saturday: The first one, the hellfire over Denver, you heard about this AM. Maybe multiple people texted you videos of it this weekend, going, "Hey, look at this; you'd have a heart attack if this happened to you," because your friends know you hate flying. And maybe you responded to them, incredulously, "YOU WOULDN'T HAVE A HEART ATTACK IF THAT HAPPENED TO YOU???" Or maybe that was just me.

In all of that Denver drama, it seems we missed this second bit of news: "Boeing 747 engine catches fire, drops parts over the Netherlands, injuring 2." That engine fire—another engine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney—got overlooked, but yes, two of Boeing's engines exploded on the same day... mid-flight... Please, Pete, take us into a new golden era of fast-fast trains.

A line I didn't expect to read today: "Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are making a podcast."

Today marked the first day of Merrick Garland's attorney general confirmation hearing: Here's live footage of Garland entering the hearing:

Garland testified for over six hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He notably said, "If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of White supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6—a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government."

Meanwhile, conservative media, working in its own reality, tried to paint Garland as a racist and anti-Semite: Garland is the grandson of Jewish immigrants. He will face another day of testifying tomorrow. The full Senate will likely confirm him.

Okay, here's the real footage:

What's going on with the Mariners? You probably know more than I do about this big local baseball drama. But here's what I know: A CEO embarrassed a ballclub (tehe) by saying a bunch of stuff that pissed a lot of people off—I've read this news a few times and can't make heads or tails of it; I'm not gonna spend time listening to the ballclub tape, but you can. Anyways, that CEO—Kevin Mather—is out. He resigned today, and it's top-shelf news. I know you don't come to Slog for sports, but here you go. (UPDATE: I listened to this short segment between KUOW's Kim Malcolm and Factal's Joe Veyera and I think I understand the drama now. Kevin fucking sucks.)

Kroger-owned QFC's alleged hazard pay-related Seattle store closures means the company will lay off 109 workers, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog has more. It's unclear at the moment how those layoffs split between the two soon-to-be-closed locations, 15th Ave E in Capitol Hill and 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood. The stores were underperforming, but Kroger used the Seattle City Council's new hazard pay requirement as a buzzy scapegoat.

Some light reading for your evening: Bone up on the latest #WALeg drama.

Washington state will receive an estimated $1 billion in cannabis taxes and fees over its next two-year budget cycle: Where do those taxes go? Mostly to health care, reports Melissa Santos for Crosscut, and then the state's general fund. But there are lots of interesting details—like $504,000 to UW researchers, $1 million on a study about youth drug use habits, and $1.3 million to test for pesticides—that you can read about in Melissa's report.

The Black Brilliance Research Project offered a preview of their final report via Converge this afternoon: The project, which recently cut ties with King County Equity Now, is expected to drop its final report on February 26, which will lay the groundwork for Seattle City Council's participatory budgeting process later this year. The research is aimed at creating budget priorities around issues that impact Black and marginalized communities in Seattle, and results from this summer's activism in response to the killing of George Floyd. The preview from this afternoon:

It's almost tulip time: I already have some in a vase. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is six weeks away, and this year growers will allow people to visit but with reduced capacity and scheduled online visits. Some of the events will be canceled. In a normal year, the festival sees around 400,000 people. Last year, it saw 0 people. This year, it'll be somewhere in between.

Hello... "Greater" Idaho? Five large western Oregon counties will vote on whether or not they should join Idaho. The move, which would also include a part of northern California, is called "Move Oregon's Border." The counties will vote on the proposal in May. I can't believe this thing is going on a ballot. The border would be huge.

An important footnote: "Even if all rural counties vote 'yes' on the movement, the ballot would still require agreement of the three state legislatures and Congress." Extremely unlikely. Here's a take from the Spokesman-Review from last year: "If the folks behind [Greater Idaho] really want to live in the Idaho political system, there’s a much easier way to do it: Move." Someone called this "ultramandering," which made me laugh.

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COVID has turned rents upside-down: In the Bay Area, some people in Oakland are going back to San Francisco because rent prices are lower across the bay. "If you would have told 15-year-old me that 15, 16 years down the road that Oakland was going to become more expensive [than San Francisco] it would have been literally shocking," a renter told the LA Times in a feature dropped this morning. Is something similar happening in Seattle? My building slashed my rent in Capitol Hill by around $600 so my boyfriend and I would stay. Meanwhile, in the suburbs...

A new study from India found people who wear glasses could be up to three times less likely to get coronavirus: The preliminary study concluded it's because people with glasses touch their eyes less. You eyeball-touching contact wearers are probably shit out of luck.

US coronavirus deaths pass 500,000: That number nearly matches the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. During a speech this evening, Biden spoke about grief and survivor's guilt. "I know what it's like to not be there when it happens," he said during the televised event, below. "I know what it’s like when you are there holding their hands as they look in your eye and they slip away, that black hole in your chest, you feel like you've been sucked into it."