Rest in power, Yaphet.
Rest in power, Yaphet. Michael Ochs Archives / GETTY IMAGES

Union has moved and reopened! The gay bar moved four whole blocks down the street from its original location and into a recently overhauled space where Sizzle Pie and Dark Bar once called home, reports CHS Blog. You can now guzzle drinks on their wooden patio as long as you follow their COVID-19 etiquette.

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Yonder will also reopen this week: After nosy partypoopers tried to shut down the garage-based business in their Ballard neighborhood, the walk-up cider stand now has the all-clear to start operating again thanks to new legislation that allows more flexibility for small businesses to operate out of homes, reports MyBallard. Slurp up!

The South African variant of COVID found for the first time in Yakima County: According to KOMO, two Yakima residents tested positive for the variant. Officials determined that the infections were "locally acquired." Remember to wear two masks out there, y'all.

Yaphet Kotto is dead: The actor died at the age of 81. Kotto starred in films such as Alien, Live and Let Die, and Across 110th Street. His television career included a stand-out role as Lieutenant Al Giardello in Homicide: Life on the Street. He also starred in one of my favorite Pam Grier films, Friday Foster. R.I.P. to a legend.

Clark County judge "taking time off" after making shitty comments about a Black man killed by police: Last week, Judge David Zimmerman described Kevin Peterson Jr.—who was killed in Vancouver, WA by police last year—as "the Black guy they were trying to make an angel out of," and said he believed Peterson "was so dumb." The Seattle Times reports Zimmerman has since apologized for his comments after condemnations from other judges, and after a prominent law firm called for his resignation.

Say goodbye to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth this year (and maybe forever): For the second year in a row, the Bavarian hamlet in the mountains will not host the German beer fest due to "lingering Covid-19 effects," says the Seattle Met. Restricted international travel, nonrefundable advance payments, and restrictions on dancefloors led the organizer, Projekt Bayern, to call it quits before spring even sprung. Organizers also said comments at a recent Leavenworth city council meeting made them think the town might not want to host Oktoberfest in the future.

Alaskan Republicans censure Lisa Murkowski over her vote to convict Trump at his impeachment trial: The GOP in her state don't want her to identify as a Republican candidate in next year's election, reports The Guardian. Apparently, it went even further than simply censuring the senator—the vote also directed party officials to "recruit an opponent in the election and to the extent legally permissible" to prevent Murkowski from running as a Republican in any election.

It looks like Gavin Newsom's ass will be on the chopping block: The embattled governor of California acknowledge today that campaign to recall him will likely qualify for the ballot, reports Politico. He's already playing defense, rolling out endorsements by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker, and trying to align the recall campaign as "an outgrowth of pro-Trump extremists." Grab your popcorn, this isn't going to be pretty.

Equinox check-in: It's really only going to get brighter from here on out.

Asian Americans reported almost 3,800 hate crime incidents during the pandemic: According to the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, the incidents encompassed everything from getting coughed on to online harassment to getting denied services, reports The Guardian. Sixty-eight percent of reported incidents were verbal harassment, while 11.1% were physical.

Capitol Hill resident accused of spraying three people with bear spray and threatening two journalists during the Jan. 6 breach of the governor's mansion in Olympia has been sentenced. Damon Huseman, who brandished a big ole assault rifle that day, pleaded guilty to six counts related to his actions and was sentenced to six months for three assault charges and "90 days each for the remaining three charges," reports the Seattle Times.

Remember murder hornets? They're still a problem. Washington and British Columbia forces are teaming up to track, trap, and eradicate those invasive, murdery fuckers from the Pacific Northwest. After finding a nest in Whatcom County late last year, experts believe there still may be even more nests in the area. And how will they capture these hornets? They will use orange juice and rice cooking wine in traps.

A new US intelligence report says that the Russian government meddled into the 2020 election: With the intent to hurt President Biden, and with support former President Trump. More from CNN:

Russia's objectives were not limited to hurting Biden's candidacy and aiding Trump's reelection bid, the report says, as US intelligence found that Moscow also sought to undermine "public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbate sociopolitical divisions in the US."

Overall, the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provides the most comprehensive assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 elections to date, detailing extensive influence operations by US adversaries, including Russia and Iran, that sought to undermine confidence in the democratic process, in addition to targeting specific presidential candidates.

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This popped up on my timeline: And I think we should all take a moment to re-listen to this song that awakened many a sexuality. (I would also like to note that it was not released in the 2010s but in 2006.)

Moderna expands COVID-19 vaccine testing to children: Called KidCOVE, the study tests Moderna's vaccine candidate on kids aged 6 months to 12 years old, reports CBS News. The pharmaceutical company expects to enroll around 6,750 kids in the U.S. and Canada in their two-part study.

You're running out of time to order Girl Scout Cookies: Girl Scouts won't be parked outside grocery stores this year for obvious reasons, but you can still order your sweet treats through their Cookie Connector tool that will drop the cookies at your door for free. West Seattle Blog has more details here.

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