The Clay Apartments are now open! The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for a newly built, 76-unit apartment building that will serve as permanent housing for "vulnerable homeless veterans and other homeless people." Located in "the heart of Capitol Hill" on E Howell St (it's where the Redwood used to be, RIP), the opening is unique as the building was originally planned for market-rate apartments. As Seattle Times reporter Heidi Groover reported in February, the seller was interested in "offloading the building" due to the cooler rental market which is how it ended up in LIHI's hands. According to a LIHI press release, 20 apartments are for homeless vets while 55 apartments are reserved for homeless single people and couples.
Small aircraft crash at Paine Field: A Cessna 172 crashed just after take-off this morning, but the pilot was "able to walk away uninjured" from the incident, according to officials.
2021 will be known as the year with weird anniversaries: A year ago today, Gov. Jay Inslee announced his Stay Home, Stay Healthy orders. Also, a year ago today, the city announced that the West Seattle Bridge was unsafe for traffic and would close immediately. West Seattle Blog has an excellent photo essay on this bridge-closeiversary, documenting the turbulent year without the neighborhood's wobbly bridge.
Biden urges Congress to do something (fucking ANYTHING) to restrict the accessibility of guns in this country: Earlier today, the president gave remarks on the horrific massacre in Boulder yesterday which left 10 people dead. Biden called on the Senate to "immediately pass" two House-approved bills that would close loopholes in gun background checks, reports CBS. He also called for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. “This is not and should not be a partisan issue, this is an American issue. It will save lives, American lives, and we have to act,” Biden said.
President Biden says Senate should "immediately pass" two House bills closing loopholes in firearm background checks: "This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives, American lives. We have to act." https://t.co/RRG9ImW8JW pic.twitter.com/EiUneq2JMP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 23, 2021
Meanwhile: The Boulder suspect bought the AR-style pistol six days before shooting up the King Soopers. Why does anyone have access to that? Let's melt them all.
Capitol Hill candy shop opts not to renew its lease: Rocket Fizz on Broadway announced today that the business is dunzo when their lease expires on March 31. “We’re grateful for the five years (of mostly) fun and sweet customers. No immediate plans to reopen, in Seattle,” owner Theresa Sindelar told CHS Blog today. It's another sad closure during a sad time, though you still have a week to nab some pop rocks and soda before they close for good.
Pierce County Sheriff who called 40 cops on Black newspaper carrier to be investigated: According to the Seattle Times, the Pierce County Council will "hire an independent investigator" to "probe Sheriff Ed Troyer's conduct" during the confrontation where he accused Sedrick Altheimer of threatening to kill him. Tacoma police say Troyer "backed off his claim about death threats," but Troyer denies he recanted. Civil rights activists and Democratic organizations have called on the sheriff to step down immediately. Still, Troyer claims he "didn't do anything wrong."
ICYMI: Ivan Dixon's unstreamable, radical, spy drama, The Spook Who Sat By the Door starring Lawrence Cook, is getting a Lee Daniels TV remake. Yeah, I know. Y'lan Noel, Issa's hot boyfriend from Insecure, was just announced as the lead in the pilot from FX. Fingers crossed Daniels will correctly translate the urgent political messaging of the film (but I won't hold my breath).
King County vaccine update: Here's where we are at:
We know it can be hard to keep up with the #vaccine numbers these days, so we'll be more regularly bringing you the latest on our #COVID19 vaccination progress.📑📈
~ As usual, check out https://t.co/r50nN3aeso for the latest ~
— Public Health - Seattle & King County (@KCPubHealth) March 23, 2021
Texas and Georgia opening vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 years and older: Joining the ranks of West Virginia, Alaska, and Mississippi. Utah and Tennessee have both previously announced that they too will open vaccine eligibility to all adults (on Wednesday and April 5, respectively). This comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci warns of a potential surge in cases following reopenings, general lax attitudes around the virus, and more contagious strains of COVID becoming dominant.
Putin got the jab: But behind closed doors. The president of Russia "never supported" the idea of getting vaccinated publicly, despite the relatively low immunization rates in his country. Only 4.3% of Russia's total population have received at least one dose of a vax, says AP. A representative said the normally quite showy Putin is "feeling fine" and is "planning a regular workday Wednesday."
Man accused of attacking an Asian-American woman and her boyfriend in the C-ID pleads not guilty: Sean Jeremy Holdip, a former New York EMT, attacked Noriko Nasu and Michael Poffenbarger back in February, reports Komo. Nasu sustained several injuries during the attack, including chipped teeth and a fractured nose, and believes she was targeted because she is Japanese. The King County Prosecutor's Office has not pursued hate crime charges because Holdip didn't "hurl racial slurs or express anti-Asian sentiment before or during the incident," which KCPO says makes it difficult to "prove the crime was racially motivated." Uhhhh really?
Prince Harry is just another tech bro: The now California-based Duke of Sussex has taken a job as "chief impact officer" at coaching and mental health startup BetterUp, says the BBC. He won't "manage employees or have people report directly to him" but will have input in the company's initiative and charity contributions. I couldn't think of anything witty and quick to say, but Charles did:
We must see this new prince/Silicon Valley alliance as similar in kind with the Queen Elizabeth/pirate (Francis Drake) alliance of old.
— Charles Mudede (@mudede) March 23, 2021
Evanston, IL is the first U.S. city to pay Black residents reparations: In an 8-1 vote, the Evanston City Council approved the distribution of $400,000 to qualifying Black households. Each household would receive "$25,000 for home repairs or down payments on property." More from NBC News:
The program is being funded through donations and revenue from a 3% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. The city has pledged to distribute $10 million over 10 years.It's an interesting start—Seattle, take note.
Qualifying residents must either have lived in or been a direct descendant of a Black person who lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969 and who suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices.
Regal Cinemas to reopen in April: After closing for six months due to COVID, reports The Hill. The movie theater chain will do a "phased reopening" with most locations opening with reduced capacity. “With capacity restrictions expanding to 50% or more across most U.S. states, we will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Regal Cinemas' parent company Cineworld. Are you ready to risk it for a movie?
ALERT: LOADS OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AT QFC: The QFC on Broadway has been blessed by the Scouts from above. No but really. The Girl Scouts have partnered with QFC, Thriftway, and Red Apple to distribute their cookies with all proceeds going directly to local troops. Check out participating stores here (you have until May 30):