The number of immigrant kids in cages has tripled in the past two weeks: A recent "surge" in the number of migrant children crossing the border to flee violence and the need to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines in detention facilities has resulted in the US holding many of the "more than 3,250" migrant kids in "jail-like facilities for longer than the three days allowed by law," reports the New York Times.
In response to this situation: The Biden administration sent "top officials" to tour the jails, opened up some "disaster aid funding" for border towns, "redirected agents from the northern border to the southern border," and is "considering a pilot program that would place health officials at border facilities to speed up children’s search for a sponsor." Before Biden took office, the Trump administration used a pandemic emergency rule to just turn away all-comers, and House Republicans are of course now hypocritically expressing concern about "super spread caravans" coming up from the south. (Hmmmm, I wonder how they described Sturgis?) Progressive Democrats have been pushing Biden to quit saying we don't have the space and to start looking harder.
Myanmar military continues gunning down protesters: After an overnight standoff with hundreds of protesters, the country's soldiers, who staged a coup early last month, detained "dozens" and "reportedly broke into homes to question residents" in Yangon, according to Al Jazeera. Soldiers also raided a news agency, Myanmar Now, and pulled media licenses from other outlets. They all vow to continue reporting. The raids and mass detentions came after gruesome photos revealed the growing number of people shot and killed by the military. The UN is considering sanctions and "a total arms embargo."
Thousands of women and girls descend on the Zocalo in protest of the Mexican femicide: Police deployed tear gas and hit protesters with batons to clear the crowd that gathered in the central square of one of the world's largest cities on Monday, the BBC reports. The protesters think President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is "ignoring the problem of violence against women." Looks like they got his attention.
Sorry, can't help it: Every time I think of the Zocalo I recall jacaranda trees and also this chaotic little opener from a Santa Fe musician who used to be more popular:
Jill Biden visits JBLM: The first lady is here to "listen and learn directly from military families about the unique challenges they are facing and the support they need, especially during the pandemic," Q13 reports. I wonder what she's actually doing.
We're #1! We're #1! The U.S. News and World report released its rankings for "Best State," and for two years running now Washington has topped the list for our "low-carbon energy system and our robust secondary education system." Louisiana ranked as the worst state, which gives you a sense of the report's bias against bon temps.
Washington passes 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine: Across 1,400 facilities, providers have given more than 80% of the doses delivered to the state, the Washington State Health Department said in a press release.
Tree theft in West Seattle: "Jessica says somebody dug up this dwarf lodgepole pine from her planting strip at 37th/Graham and took it away," West Seattle Blog reports. The tree was yellow and "too established to blow away," Jessica explained. I'm guessing it was crows. Still, if you're in West Seattle, keep your head on a swivel for a little, yellow, spiky shrub looking thing.
The King County Council races are taking shape: Tuesday morning, attorney and former U.S. Department of Justice official Joe Cohen announced his bid for King County Council, District 3, a spot KC Councilmember and absolute trip Kathy Lambert has held down since 2002, a decade after the completion of her seminal children's biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. I haven't read it, but I'm not yet a child. In any event, in a press release Cohen says he lives in Issaquah, where he works as a telecom and tech attorney at Hogan Lovells. He also claims to have done some pro bono eviction lawyering and to have represented Central America kids in asylum proceedings. Before that he worked at the Office of the Inspector General, where he investigated the FBI and Bureau of Prisons. And before that, he worked in Senator Maria Cantwell’s legislative team.
But does he have a chance? One of Cohen's consultants said District 3 voted for Joe Biden by 70% in the 2020 elections, according to his analysis of precinct-level data. He also said the district voted to approve the state Legislature's repeal of the affirmative action ban and to reject Tim Eyman's transit-budget-wrecking $30 car tabs initiative. Though Trump won't be on the ballot this year, his old education secretary, Betsy DeVos, did visit Bellevue once. And guess who was pumped to see her?
Just to round out this list: A couple months ago, King County Office of Equity & Social Justice manager Chris Franco and Renton City Councilmember Kim-Khanh Van announced their runs for King County Council District 9, a seat currently held by Regan Dunn, one of the council's three conservatives. And last month King County youth development lead Shukri Olow decided to challenge Dave Upthegrove, a liberal incumbent who has held the position since 2013.
And as long as we're announcing new campaigns: King County deputy chief technology officer Joe Todd announced his bid for Renton City Council. Before taking that job with King County, Todd worked as the chief information officer of Tukwila, and before that he worked as the head of app development at Alaska Airlines. Todd is running against Councilmember Randy Corman, who's led the way on the city's efforts to kick homeless people living in the Red Lion hotel out on the streets by June. The council's vote to limit shelter access in the city and the uprising in response to the police killing of George Floyd prompted Todd to run.
Look at these gorgeous new vids from Pacific Northwest Ballet: One of the country's top ballet companies flexed their video bona fides yet again with the launch of another new dance film project. This one is called The Intermission Project, and it sprung from the brain and body of PNB soloist and choreographer Price Suddarth. With three acts and nine parts broken up into nine separate videos, it's an evening-length's work you can take in as you please. Watch a few vids to decompress at work, or make a night of it when you can. I've only watched a couple so far, but the opener, featuring principals Leta Biasucci and Jerome Tisserand, is the balletic equivalent to a cup of coffee:
Will moderate Republicans in southwest Washington swing districts stick with the party? The Columbian takes a look at the political fallout from one of the few times U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler made the right decision by voting to impeach Trump. “I can imagine that there are probably going to be a significant number of Republican voters that may not feel an attachment to the party,” said Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science at Washington State University Vancouver.
How soon will Seattle Public School students return to class? In answer to the question we seem to ask every week, "Seattle Education Association (SEA) President Jennifer Matter acknowledged that union and district negotiators, along with representatives from the state's Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), were touring school sites to talk about mitigation, health and safety needs during the pandemic," King 5 reports. Preschool students and students in special education pathways are set to resume in-person classes Thursday, even as teachers remain fearful of the virus.
Some food for thought:
⚠️HUGE INCREASE IN KIDS—New Swedish 🇸🇪 data showing a sudden dramatic surge in pediatric #COVID19 cases across Sweden since Jan.
Kids age 0-9: Up ⬆️ 123%
Kids age 10-19: Up ⬆️ 72%
Likely due to surging #B117 variant, where it’s now 50% in Stockholm.🧵
(ht graph @DavidSteadson) pic.twitter.com/sZczPVi4f8
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 9, 2021