Stop going out so much.
Stop going out so much. King County Department of Health

I'll stop being a broken record when you stop going out so much: “Cases and hospitalizations are climbing at a steady pace and we don’t have any indication that this trend will be leveling off soon," Public Health Seattle & King County health chief Dr. Jeff Duchin told reporters at his weekly press conference Friday afternoon. "As I said last week, we can’t predict how big the surge will be or how long it will last or exactly how much damage it will cause, but we need to be prepared for further increases in cases and hospitalizations over the coming weeks, as the effect of recent travel, increasing activities, and the impact of more infectious variant strains continue to promote the spread of COVID-19.”

As has been the case for the last couple weeks or so, the county is seeing case increases among all age groups, but especially among 18-24-year-olds. Case rates among those youths have been rising the fastest.

You still should not be flying on airplanes, you maniacs, but the Associated Press reports that the Centers for Disease Control today updated their guidance to allow for fully vaccinated people to travel on planes "within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterward." Vaccinated flyers still need to wear masks and stay away from crowds, though.

Seattle rents are going back up: According to the Seattle Times, rents have risen for the second month in a row, "inching up 2.2%" between February and March. Though rents in general are "down by double-digit percentages from this same time last year, a split continues between the most and least affordable apartments." That is, rents in the luxury apartments are down, but they're still expensive as hell. Meanwhile, rents in cheaper apartments are flat or up.

SPD's concrete walls are coming down: According to SPD's blog, conversations with "Capitol Hill residents, business owners and community leaders" have led them to decide to dismantle the fortress they erected last summer after protesters busted windows and started fires near the building in response to Wisconsin cops shooting Jacob Blake. Federal prosecutors charged an Alaskan teen with arson for starting one of those fires. So, when will the neighborhood get its sidewalk back? "The timeline for that work will depend on whether the building again becomes a target for arson and property damage," the cops say.

"We don't aspire to pay a living wage:" That's the official line from Seattle Times management at the bargaining table, according to the paper's digital workers union, who somehow carried on with negotiations for fair scheduling after hearing that nonsense without immediately dressing up in bloc and burning everything to the ground. If Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen really wanted to "save the free press," he'd nourish his paper's considerable talent, rather than starve them of the money and time they need to work. But what do you expect from a guy who shot his neighbor's dog? (Never forget.)

If you want to help the cause: You can write to the paper at letters@seattletimes.com, and tell them how cool it is for employees to have reliable scheduling and to be able to afford rent and stuff. Probably leave out the part about Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen literally shooting his neighbor's dog with a pellet gun in 1996 and facing charges for it, a totally sophomoric thing to keep bringing up again and again.

Stop Asian Hate rally set for Saturday at Hing Hay Park: The list of champions due to perform at the rally this weekend includes some big-time Stranger favorites. Poet, organizer, and attorney Troy Osaki and CURA Collective founder Kiko Eisner-Waters will say a few words, and folk singer-songwriter Tomo Nakayama will soothe any troubled souls with his "preternaturally pretty" music. Seattle Symphony cellists Eric Han and Nathan Chan will also be on hand to class up the joint. To help set the tone, here's Chan and Han playing a cover of the Korean folk song, Arirang.

Elon Musk's space junk wound up in Grant County: The fiery angels that flew overhead last week crash-landed on some private property, according to King 5. One of the angels turned out to be "a Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel" from SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The person who found the vessel apparently doesn't want visitors:

Driver in West Seattle pulls out of parking lot and kills 60-year-old on "scooter-type small motorbike:" The West Seattle Blog is on the story.

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer shot and killed a man who crashed a vehicle into two cops and then jumped out of it "with a knife and started lunging," according to the Washington Post. One of the cops, William ‘Billy’ Evans, died in the attack. The suspect's name is Noah Green, and the police say, “It does not appear to be terrorism related,” whatever the fuck that means.

Baseball is coming for Georgia's racist anti-voting law: Major League Baseball planned to hold its All-Star game in the suburbs of Atlanta this summer. But after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law to restrict voting in the state, pressure from "civil rights groups" and the "Major League Baseball Players Association" to do something led MLB to take its ball and go somewhere else, reports the New York Times. "The league faced the unsettling prospect of celebrating an All-Star week dedicated to former Atlanta Braves great Henry Aaron, a Black baseball pioneer who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, against the backdrop of a Georgia elections overhaul widely seen as targeting Black voters," write the four reporters on this story.

Matt Gaetz won't resign: Though he originally planned to resign to flee to Newsmax, the Florida Republican now says he has "no plans of stepping down after coming under fire following reports that the Department of Justice is investigating him for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor and a possible violation of sex trafficking laws," reports The Hill. Gaetz will soon learn that a Congressman just doesn't have the power to do the Trump thing (or the Gov. Northam thing) and just ride this one out while throwing up distracting little fireworks.

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The death of the dinosaurs was the mother of the rainforest: Before the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs hit earth, South America's forests probably looked somewhat like forests in the Pacific Northwest, rich with "conifers and ferns," reports the BBC. But the space rock's collision wiped out those trees, too, and allowed for flowering plants to rise up and dominate the region.

Praying for Yang: The former presidential candidate and current New York City mayoral candidate was hospitalized for a kidney stone this morning, forcing him to cancel a policy reveal event and also his plans to attend "the opening night of Lillias White's solo cabaret show with his wife Evelyn this evening," Politico reports.

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King County Council is seeking to hire one or more Senior Legislative Analysts.
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