Today is the motherfucking DAY: Every person over the age of 16 in Washington state is now eligible to get that sweet, sweet vaccine. That said, have patience. With distribution of Johnson & Johnson put on pause and limitations to the vaccine supply, you may not be able to schedule your vaccine appointment immediately. But rest assured, there are definitely two syringes with your name on it that some kind-eyed volunteer will inject into your soft arm. We made it, now start your vaccine hunt.
On that tip: King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that 50% of adults in King County have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine. I am not allowing myself to feel too much joy, but it is slowly creeping up my spine. The possibility that we can all be licking doorknobs by July is unfathomable. Wear your mask and be chill in the meantime though!
$7 million of meth and cocaine washed up in Port Angeles: The cops say that on two different days, several duffel bags of meth were found on the beaches of Port Angeles last week. In total, 342 pounds of meth and 2.6 pounds of "suspected cocaine" were seized by authorities who are now on the hunt of for who these bags might belong to.
Derek Chauvin pleads the fifth: And will not testify at his own trial. Chauvin's lawyer has also told the court that the defense rests. Now, the prosecution is wanting to call a rebuttal witness to discuss new evidence after a "medical expert" called by Chauvin's people testified that carbon monoxide poisoning might have helped kill George Floyd. The Guardian has live updates from the trial here.
Luke Letlow, the Louisiana representative who died of COVID before getting sworn into office, has a replacement: And it's Julia Letlow, his widow. Having never been elected to public office before, Letlow won the special election to replace her late husband in her deeply red district, outraising all her opponents and getting an endorsement from Trump. She was sworn into office yesterday. The Democratic majority in the House is down to 218-212, with five seats vacant.
A massive fire destroys a cannabis distribution facility in Port of Shelton: Last night, firefighters were able to get a handle on the 3-alarm fire, but officials say the building is "a total loss." No injuries were reported.
Bookmarking to read later: "Them Is Pure Degradation Porn" by Angelica Jade Bastién for Vulture.
Can a radioactive substance be a mascot? In the wake of the news that treated water from the Fukushima power plant will be released into the ocean, the Japanese government debuted a weirdly cute mascot of the radioactive substance tritium to help quell any concerns about the move. Fukushima locals and fisherman were understandably pissed, saying that the mascot undermined the seriousness of the treated water being released into the sea. The Japanese government has now removed the mascot, promising a redesign. To be fair, the cute mascot somehow makes me more concerned:
Tritium, a mascot introduced yesterday by Japan's reconstruction agency to educate the public about the release of treated water from the Fukushima power plant, has already been deleted from the site after complaints that it trivialized the issue. https://t.co/SIHAuzbsk7 pic.twitter.com/Ow8dLwrHCY
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) April 14, 2021
We want reparations and we want them now!!! Yesterday, a House committee advanced a bill that would give reparations to Black Americans for slavery and issue us a "'national apology' for centuries of discrimination," reports the New York Times. But the bill still has a fat chance of becoming law with many Republicans and Democrats in both chambers (who are on the wrong side of history) opposed to the measure. Black Americans more than deserve reparations! But should we expect (mostly white) lawmakers inside a building, nay, a COUNTRY, built by slaves to have a good perspective on this matter?
576,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims last week: That's the lowest jobless claims have been since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, 132,000 people filed first-time pandemic assistance aid. But don't be fooled—16.9 million Americans filed continuing claims, reflecting a job market and economy that's still pretty fucking dark for many in this country.
Kent will pay $4.4 million to the family of Giovonn Joseph-McDade, a Black man killed by police: The agreement will settle a federal civil rights lawsuit over the death of the 20-year-old Joseph-McDade, who was shot and killed by a cop following a traffic stop and brief chase, reports the Seattle Times. The city of Kent will also install a memorial bench at the site of the shooting.
U.S. sanctions Russia: For its interference in the 2020 presidential election and its involvement with the SolarWinds cyberattack, naming Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service as a culprit. This morning, President Biden signed an executive order that directs the Treasury Department to blacklist "six Russian technology companies that provide support to the cyber program run by Russia's intelligence services." The Treasury has also sanctioned 32 entities and individuals for their involvement in 2020 election interference, while the Biden administration has expelled 10 diplomats from the Russian embassy in D.C.
Isn't she cute and mysterious? I'm glad this heavenly body will always remain a wonder!
Encampments at Miller Park have been given a sweep notice by the city for tomorrow morning: This comes five months after the major controversial sweep of Cal Anderson and just days before the nearby Meany Middle School is set to reopen to students. CHS Blog reports that homeless rights advocates and Meany Middle School PTSA members have called on Mayor Durkan to press pause on the forced removals so that campers can relocate to the Executive Inn shelter program.
Europe hits 1 million COVID deaths: The World Health Organization says the situation in Europe remains serious as 1.6 million new cases are reported there each week. However, COVID deaths have dropped 30% for Europeans over 80—who have vaccine priority—the lowest since the pandemic began. In total, 3 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to coronavirus, with the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico at the top, collectively reporting 1.1 million COVID deaths. Comprehending this loss will take a lifetime.
I am not above celebrity gossip, I grew up with piles of Us Weekly and People magazines on the toilet: J.Lo and A-Rod are dunzo.
Today will be our first 70-degree day in the region: With the rest of the week looking like it'll stay in the 70s and 80s (!!!). It'll also be clear enough to catch the beginning of the Lyrid meteor shower, which is hitting its peak just about now. How are you going to celebrate these warm weather days? Sniffing the briny air of Puget Sound near the water? Maybe sticking your feet in Lake Washington? Traipsing through the city's beautiful urban forests? I'm going to get a Slurpee!
For your listening pleasure: Pay your respects.