The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is on its way, baby! An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted to approve the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The agency is expected to formally authorize its use on Saturday, with the nation's first shipments of the virus-fighting juice heading out just days after. Washington "will likely" be allocated 60,900 doses next week. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine does not match Pfizer's or Moderna's efficacy rates, but it still works well against severe disease and hospitalizations. As Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday, you should take whatever vaccine is made available to you.
Grades 6-12 in the Lake Washington School District will not return to in-person classes this school year: 30,000 students will stay in the remote learning model throughout the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. The district explained that a shift to a hybrid model and schedule disruptions would "create more challenges and problems for secondary students than benefits."
It's Johnny Cash's birthday: I love having any excuse to look at these pictures of the Man in Black wearing thigh-high boots. (Click the pics to see the thighs.)
460,000 counterfeit 3M N-95 masks headed to the Seattle area were seized by the feds: The masks were worth almost $600,000 and were bought by seven local organizations that "had to pay well over list price" for the in-demand item.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman likely approved the gruesome killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul: The revelation comes from a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released today. The Biden administration does not plan to penalize Prince Mohammed, fearing the diplomatic cost of losing an ally. Instead, the administration is pointing to new restrictions on lower-level officials and plans to impose "deterrents to human rights abuses" in place of holding the prince accountable.
The Black Brilliance Research Project delivered months of research to the Seattle City Council: Their findings will help pave the way for the $30 million participatory budget effort that brings more community voices into the city's decision-making process. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog has a nice overview of the 1,045-page report.
The House is set to approve Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemmy relief package: There have been looooooong delays in getting the bill through, but House Democrats are confident that it will be passed later tonight or early tomorrow morning. A surprise to no one, GOP members of the House are overwhelmingly against the measure. For a refresher, the legislation would: send $1400 stimmy checks to many Americans; provide billions in aid to small businesses, states, schools, and coronavirus testing and vaccination efforts; boost unemployment payments; and increase the Child Tax Credit. Congressional Democrats are looking like they are on track to pass the relief package by their stated goal of mid-March, though it will likely be without the gradual hike in federal minimum wage.
Macklemore has a new golf-inspired clothing line: And it's called Bogey Boys. Honestly, I would be down to wear this apparel, but I'm not sure I can swallow my pride and buy something from this Seattle pop star. I do love how much green is in this collection, however.
Seattle City Council candidate Mike McQuaid was charged with assault and harassment in 2015: It came after he allegedly threatened a man with a chop saw and threw a rock at him. McQuaid eventually served a year of probation and 24 hours on a work crew. He told the Seattle Times that he'd been "frightened by the situation and wished he could take the incident back." Here's a description of the incident via David Gutman at the Times:
According to the police report, McQuaid was upset with some landscaping work, part of an construction project outside of his Westlake condo. He got into an argument with a man on the site, police wrote, it escalated, and when the two were face to face McQuaid threatened to head butt the man.
After the two separated, police said, McQuaid picked up a gas-powered chop saw, tried to start it and said “I’m going to cut your head off.”
When the saw wouldn’t start, police said, McQuaid picked up a rock, and threw it at the man, from 8 to 10 feet away, hitting him in the lower back and leaving a red mark.
Clark County Republicans formally censured Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over her vote to impeach the former president. At a meeting on Tuesday, the group said they would withhold funds from her future campaigns unless she appears in person at a giant meeting in May to "explain her action to this body." If you're a masochistic fuck, you can watch the vote to censure Herrera Beutler here and play a worrying game of "Is anybody wearing a mask?" The Columbian also notes that Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer and Tusitala "Tiny" Toese of the Proud Boys were both in attendance at the gathering.
Washington state Senate approves open carry ban at state Capitol, public rallies: The measure that would prohibit openly carrying guns and other weapons on the Capitol campus in Olympia or near permitted demonstrations passed the state Senate on a 28-20 vote. It now moves to the House for approval and Republicans are not about it.
Kelly Loeffler no longer owns part of the Atlanta Dream: The WNBA team has now been sold to a group of investors that includes former Dream player Renee Montgomery, making Montgomery the first retired player to become a co-owner and WNBA executive. Famously, Dream players gave Loeffler the middle finger during her run for Senate last year, publicly supporting challenger Raphael Warnock and calling for Loeffler's removal as owner of the team. Because she fucking sucks.
Dick's Drive-In is opening a new location on the Eastside: At Crossroads Mall, specifically. As an Eastsider, I would just like to say that Crossroads is the shit. Back in the day, it was a veritable wonderland of global cuisine. You could chow down on bomb teriyaki, delicious piroshkis, and a giant-ass burrito, then duck into Silver Platters and fart in the alternative rock section. Dick's is a welcome addition to the culinary fare at that indoor mall and is slated to open sometime in late 2021. Stranger writer Matt Baume spoke with Dick's President Jasmine Donovan about the move and their pay hike earlier today.
Museums are "safer than almost any other indoor environment": Assuming proper COVID protocol is being followed, says a recently study at the Berlin Institute of Technology in Germany. According to their findings, museums and theaters present a lower risk of coronavirus transmission than supermarkets, restaurants, offices, or public transportation. Just in time for the Seattle-area museums reopening!
Who wants to live in this fuck palace on top of Smith Tower? The pyramid-shaped penthouse on Smith Tower is available to rent for a cool $17,000 a month. The 2,128 square foot, one-bedroom apartment's lease would be for three to five years, and I'm sure there are a lot of straight people who are eyeing the property thinking they can live out their Christian Grey fantasies or whatever. Heidi Groover at the Seattle Times has more deets on the sexy property here. But the real question is: Is it earthquake-proof?