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'!)
We've got a new (tentative) vaccine timeline, baby! After vaccinating nearly 50% of the people eligible for the current phase (Phase 1B Tier 1) with at least one dose, the state announced more specific dates for when we will move on to the next few vaccination phases. The state also expanded the tent to include more kinds of people who can seek vaccinations in each group, so listen up.
Assuming the promised increase in vaccine supply, people who fall into the next phase, Phase 1B Tier 2, will be eligible to schedule a vaccine starting March 22. Those people include "critical workers" such as "workers in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters, law enforcement, as well as workers in corrections, prisons, jails or detention centers," regardless of age. Pregnant people over 16 years of age and people who have "a disability that puts them at high-risk" can also schedule a sit for the jab on that date.
Looking ahead to April: On April 12 the state will open up vaccine scheduling to those who are "50 or older with two or more comorbidities," such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes. On April 26, the state will finally get to the prisoners, the homeless, people living in group homes for those with disabilities, and others who live in "congregate settings." Seems cruel to vaccinate the prisoners a month after the prison guards, but we're, uh, certain the Department of Health has a great reason.
Inslee said a recent conversation he had with Pfizer's CEO left him with "high confidence" that vaccine supply will increase: So, while this timeline could change if our vaccine delivery rate slows, we should be good for now. And for those of us lucky enough not to qualify for these earlier, more vulnerable groups, the DOH requests continued patience.
Puget Sound veterans of all ages can also now get vaccinated at VA Puget Sound Health Care Systems facilities: They just need to be enrolled in the VA system. They can sign up to get the vaccine regardless of age, health, or living situation. Vets can check their eligibility here.
Sun is on its way: We're so happy we could cry.
Today marks the final day of pre-6 p.m. sunsets for a long time.
Starting tomorrow, the sun won’t set before 6 o’clock until Oct. 27.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) March 4, 2021
Seattle Public Library is adding curbside pickup at South Park branch and return service at Capitol Hill branch: The South Park location will be open from 12 pm-6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays while the Capitol Hill location will be open for returns seven days a week. SPL will implement these changes starting on Saturday, March 6, hopefully saving you a longer walk/drive/bus ride in the rain.
Capitol Police want the National Guard to continue patrolling the Capitol for 60 more days after intelligence emerged that Trump's QAnon crackpots were planning on storming the building again: There was chatter about a possible attack today to celebrate Trump's return to power (a complicated, and wildly ignorant theory)—which of course didn't transpire, because he lost the fucking election, you idiots. (We're talking to the QAnon idiots, not you.)
Today the Senate voted 51-50 (with an assist by Kamala Harris) to begin debating Biden's big ole pandemic aid package, which they hope to push through the chamber by this weekend. Naturally, the GOP is banking on slowing down the process as much as possible. This afternoon, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is actually forcing Senate clerks to do a full reading of legislation on the floor, which will take several hours and offer a slew of amendments to prolong discussion. Why? Well, because he is a corrupt butter-dick, of course.
Oh, and speaking of corrupt Republicans, and just so you know, GOP state lawmakers across the country are seeking to pass legislation that would nullify any gun control laws that the Biden administration might even be considering: It's almost like it's some sort of planned nationwide effort by gun makers, the NRA, and Republicans, or something like that!
A suspect was arrested in the recent Chinatown-International District attack: Last week, a man brutally attacked a couple walking through the C-ID, hitting them with a hard, solid object in a sock. "I truly believe he was trying to kill us," said Michael Poffenbarger, who is white, told KOMO. He was attacked along with his Japanese-American girlfriend, Noriko Nasu. Nasu, a teacher, suffered a fractured nose and chipped teeth and is said to have difficulty speaking. Today, Seattle Police Department announced that they had arrested the suspect, Sean Jeremy Holdip, in connection with the case. Poffenbarger believes Holdip singled out his girlfriend: "He definitely targeted her (and) hit her first. She got the most injury out of it. It was a pointed attack on her." Police have not said whether they're considering this to be a hate crime.
But, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have gone up during the pandemic: With attackers erroneously connecting Asian people with the spread of COVID-19. Here in Seattle, reported racially-motivated crimes nearly doubled in 2020, with 405 incidents being reported through September, says CHS Blog. Stay vigilant out there.
The Port of Seattle announced the recipients of its annual Tourism Marketing Support Program: The program expects to provide approximately $200,000 in matching dollars to 23 regional tourism groups focused on encouraging travel. You can find the full list here.
A lot of those grant recipients have figured out how to market directly and specifically to us, by advertising that they have a lot of food available: We like food! That’s mostly what we eat. For example, grant recipient Ballard Alliance says it'll use the money to target travel bloggers and influencers with posts about the neighborhood’s culinary offerings. The Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce will launch a campaign to promote fishing and food culture along the Columbia River. And Savor Central Washington has their eye on wine-tourism—they’ll place ads in various publications to promote Washington wine tours.
Port funding will also help to pay for the Federal Way Korean American Association to work on a large gardening project, as a part of 14 recently announced environmental grant recipients, which includes funds for EarthCorps to restore Hill Top Park, and for the Highline Botanical Garden Foundation to expand the Seike Japanese Garden. In all, the Port is spending about $1 million on these upgrades, mostly located in neighborhoods around the airport. If there was ever a time for being a tourist in your own town, this summer and fall might be it.
Dropping this here for no other reason than it's cute: Queen Anne needs a funicular. Add it to the list!
Heads up, horn dogs! It's the last weekend for the HUMP! 2021 Film Festival, featuring an array of hot 'n' horny amateur dirty flicks submitted by hot people like YOU. Get your tickets pronto!
Seattle man found with 16,000 fentanyl-laced pills and $10,000 cash: The 24-year-old man was arrested by SPD outside his North Seattle home. According to police, these pills resemble medications like hydrocodone, Xanax, and other legitimate prescription pills. Again, stay vigilant out there.
We keep thinking about this question: We know the correct answer, but we believe all prepositions are welcome about Capitol Hill.
Live from the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook group: "do you guys say IN Capitol Hill or ON Capitol Hill?"
— jseattle (@jseattle) March 4, 2021