High school and middle school students in Seattle will start hybrid instruction next week: As COVID-19 case counts continue to remain high, "at least 10,000" youths will shuffle back into classrooms in the afternoon, the Seattle Times reports. The teachers union and the school district finalized a deal Wednesday evening, five days before the Governor's deadline.
A cop shot somebody in Buckley, WA: Despite a KIRO chopper in the air, details remain thin on the ground: "A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy used 'deadly force'" on someone, and that deputy walked away unscathed. No word yet on the status of the victim, nor the circumstances that caused the cop to execute the person.
Washington Senate fires up the drug war again: The 49 people who play a large role in what you can and cannot do in this state debated several proposed responses to the state Supreme Court's Blake decision, which struck down Washington's felony penalty for drug possession. I went over the best-case and worst-case responses to the Court's decision here, and this afternoon the Democratically controlled Senate passed one of the absolute worst options, which was to recriminalize drug possession as a gross misdemeanor (rather than a felony). Gross misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to a year in prison or up to a $5,000 fine. Washington's legal system applied this law in a racist fashion, and they will continue to do so. The bill now heads to the House, which could fix this, though they likely won't.
The House Finance committee will move on the capital gains tax Friday morning: A new version of the proposal still only taxes the wealthiest Washingtonians, though now it exempts commercial fishing operations and dumps the money into K-12 education, early learning, and childcare programs. (Lawmakers originally wanted to use part of the expected $500 million in annual revenues to fund a tax rebate for poor families, but now that bill is being funded via the cap and trade bill, which leadership scheduled for a final committee vote tomorrow afternoon.) The capital gains tax also now includes a line rendering it "necessary for the support of the state government and its existing public institutions." According to the Secretary of State's Initiatives & Referenda handbook, that language would render the tax ineligible for a voter referendum. If the House and Senate leave that language in there, then angry conservatives could still run an initiative to kill the tax, if they'd like.
Sea Mar Community Health Center in White Center runs a walk-up vaccine site on a first-come, first-serve basis: The site ran out of doses in 25 minutes, King 5 reports. Check out a vaccine distributor near you, and sign onto the City of Seattle's notification list.
Families of crash victims in Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 in Indonesia sue Boeing: The families in the suit, who collectively lost 62 loved ones when the plane crashed in January, argue "a malfunctioning autothrottle system on an older 737" showed a pattern of problems before the crash, which should have prompted a redesign, according to the Seattle Times.
Seattle Dance Collective dropped a new joint: If you'll open your books to Act 3 Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, you'll find Juliet delivering a rather uhhh comely soliloquy that produced these immortal lines: "Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine / That all the world will be in love with night / And pay no worship to the garish sun." The young Capulet's sadly portentous pining serves as the textual inspiration for GALLOP APACE, a dance film adaptation performed by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns and choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber. The film was shot "over the course of just one cold, wintry day by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten" in an "an empty 19th century manor." You can watch the film here for $5.
Pence had a slow heart: Who could have possibly guessed? The barely animate mannequin who was one clogged artery away from the Presidency for four years underwent surgery to install a pacemaker for his sluggish ticker, CNN reports. All went well.
Suicides dropped by 5% nationwide: When the pandemic hit, Republicans exploited concerns about the mental health consequences of social isolation as a reason to reopen businesses early, but the latest study on the leading causes of death in 2020 do not bear out those concerns, according to an analysis from the New York Times. Some preliminary studies in a few states show an increase "in suicides among Black Americans and other people of color" in three states, however, but the principal investigator at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital "cautioned against making generalizations based on trends in a few localities."
OK, people, here’s something you can do that might provide some protection against severe CoV-19 & will have other physical & mental health benefits either way. Get outside. https://t.co/rOqrF7lrcy
— Jeffrey Duchin, MD (@DocJeffD) April 16, 2021
Speaking of Republicans, nearly half say they "would avoid getting vaccinated if possible," according to a New York Times read of a Monmouth poll released Wednesday. Good. Fuck them. I hope they never get a vaccine. The only way they could trigger this lib any more than I'm already triggered—and I'm fucking trembling with triggeredness right now—is if they all scheduled vaccine appointments and then helped their friends and family to do the same. God, could you imagine? I'm so heated just THINKING about lines and lines of Trumpy drones owning DemocRATS by getting the vaccine as soon as possible.
Mentally prepare yourself for a third shot: Pfizer CEO says we will all "likely" need a booster shot a year after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and we "may subsequently need annual shots to protect against the coronavirus," reports NBC.
Pompeo's got a PAC: The former Secretary of State was obviously planning to use his post as a springboard to run for President in 2024, and his decision to dump some money into PAC called Champion American Values, a phrase he repeated "during remarks last month to an influential group of Republicans in Iowa," suggests he's getting his money ready for the run, Axios reports.
Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability releases multiple videos of officer killing a 13-year-old boy: The videos confirmed that the kid, Adam Toledo, "had his hands raised, without a weapon, when he was killed," reports the Reader. "Prosecutors initially incorrectly said Toledo was armed when he was shot. Officials corrected those claims minutes before the video was released." The BBC cut the videos together into a narrative that suggests the cops chased Toledo to a gap in a wooden fence. When the kid got there, he appeared to ditch an object behind the fence, and then turned to face his killer with his hands up. Cops found a gun behind the fence. Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged people not to protest, and also raised the city's bridges, making it "easier for police officers to make arrests indiscriminately."
According to our most recent data, Chicago Police Officer Eric Stillman who killed #AdamToledo has 3 complaints + 4 use of force reports btwn 2017 & mid-2020. Here is an update: https://t.co/DtK5XD3B2x
We are working to update https://t.co/jRXo2qlSL4 to reflect new data.
— Invisible Institute (@invinst) April 15, 2021