May the 4th be with you: If you wake an hour before dawn tomorrow morning (5:10 am) and stare into the southeast sky, then you may catch the Eta Aquariid meteor shower descending in brilliant drips and drabs against a clear expanse, the Seattle Times reports.
In celebration of Star Wars Day, as the Times points out, Marymoor Park will screen Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 8:30 p.m. They're charging $30 per carload for the drive-in.
On the issue of Star Wars, I agree with my undergrad English professor:
That said, as with other global cultural phenomena, such as the Beatles or Shakespeare, Star Wars doesn't need me to care about it. And, if you'll indulge a tautology, I have no trouble admitting that not caring about Star Wars isn't as interesting as having something interesting to say about Star Wars. And while I have nothing to offer in that regard, Mudede will publish a post a little later in the morning that goes some way in describing my preference for Star Wars-type sci-fi over Star Trek-type sci-fi.
More 5/4 news: New ep of my fav podcast dropped today. This one is about an actually good Supreme Court reform proposal.
This week’s episode is about the latest and greatest in Supreme Court reform, from the almost completely useless Biden Commission to the actually good proposed Court expansion bill. Featuring a chat with court packing proponent @MondaireJones https://t.co/V6fkAwruU8
— 5-4 Podcast (@fivefourpod) May 4, 2021
Expect news today at 11 a.m. on whether King County must tighten COVID-19 restrictions: Public Health Seattle & King County health chief Dr. Jeff Duchin will join Governor Inslee this morning to announce the news on whether gyms, restaurants, and similar businesses must reduce capacity to slow the spread. Duchin's planned presence..........is interesting.
Seattle Children's has to hand over mold records: King 5 requested records in 2019 after Seattle Children's admitted it had a mold problem and closed its operating rooms. Since then, the hospital has waged a "year-and-a-half long legal campaign to block the release" of the records to the news outlet. Because the latest ruling comes from the Court of Appeals, it could set a precedent for future cases of hospitals trying to withhold records, according to King 5.
Remember Nathalie's story about the "one million individual claims" of unclaimed money just sitting around at the Washington Department of Revenue? A lot of that money is still there, and the DOR overhauled their website to make it easier for you to claim money you may be entitled to! Head to claimyourcash.org to see if the state owes you for an old deposit or a small insurance claim or something. "To date, the state has returned over a billion dollars to their rightful owners," KIRO reports.
Amazon will continue selling anti-trans book: Amazon employees have been trying to get the site to stop selling the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, but the e-commerce giant recently told those employees the site would keep selling the book because "it does not violate our content policy." Dr. Jack Turban, a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, tells the Seattle Times, "The book promotes the idea that gender diversity is pathological and should be ‘cured."
The latest group calling for Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to resign? The King County Police Officers Guild, whose members are upset about a lack of equipment and training, according to King 5.
Water and sewage bills will likely be going up by 20% over the next five years: The Seattle Public Utilities plan that the City Council will likely approve tomorrow ends up coming in a little lower than earlier projections, but still, the "monthly cost for a typical house would reach $275, up from $223 this year, and the monthly cost for a typical apartment would reach $155, up from $127," the Seattle Times reports.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director: Whitney Moore, who used to work "as marketing/programs leader for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce," will now "plan on addressing the most pressing threats to our business community and continue working toward sustainable economic recovery and growth" in West Seattle, the West Seattle Blog reports.
Pfizer made bank on the vaccine: Based on its first-quarter revenue report and also on statements from the company, the New York Times estimates vaccine sales alone netted Pfizer $900 million between Jan and March of this year. That figure is likely understated, the Times notes, as the drug manufacturer splits its revenue with BioNTech, which will announce its haul next week. Despite spiking case numbers around the world, which threaten the lives of millions—not to mention the immunity the U.S. is building—"Pfizer has provided minimal help to the world’s poorest countries." Pfizer was the only vaccine distributor who planned to profit from the pandemic cure, despite leaving last year with $9.6 billion in profit.
We elected a big President and First Lady:
We’re pleased to share this wonderful photo from the @POTUS and @FLOTUS visit to see the Carters in Plains, Ga.!
Thank you President and Mrs. Biden! pic.twitter.com/QcA33iUev4
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) May 4, 2021
Does this mean Biden is finally going to do something about our student loans? The President is appointing Richard Cordray, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to oversee the Education Department's Office of Federal Student Aid. Politico calls Cordray an "ally of Sen. Elizabeth Warren," who wants to "overhaul how the Education Department manages its day-to-day student lending operations, oversees student loan servicing companies and regulates colleges that receive federal student aid."
Agent shoots and wounds a person outside CIA HQ in Virginia: A "law enforcement official" told CNN that someone drove up to the gates and "made statements suggesting there was a bomb in their vehicle," which prompted an "hours-long standoff." The wounded suspect was sent to the hospital.
At least 19 people killed during protests in Colombia: Protesters are in the streets against proposed tax reform, but, as is so often the case: "The protests have continued, in part, because of anger over what several human rights groups have called a heavy-handed state response in trying to control them. Several instances of police abuse have been captured on video in recent days, including one in which a young protester is seen kicking a police officer on a motorbike. The video shows the officer respond by shooting at the protester as he runs away," according to the New York Times.
The situation in Myanmar is certainly escalating: The Kachin Independence Army, the largest rebel group to emerge since the coup on Feb 1, claims to have shot down a military helicopter in retaliation for an air raid of a small village, Al Jazeera reports. Protesters continue holding demonstrations in major cities despite lethal police and military crackdowns. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners counts 765 killed by security forces so far, though military spokesmen claim the number is far lower. "It says its actions are justified to stop what it calls rioting," the outlet writes.
At least 23 dead after metro overpass collapses in Mexico City while the train was in motion: Oy, according to the BBC, "Several train carriages plunged to the ground, crushing at least one car, which was on a busy road underneath." Nearly two dozen died, including children, on the second-busiest subway system in the world.
This headline: "Grocery workers, already reeling from the pandemic, face new trauma from store shootings." Gunmen have killed people in Boulder, Long Island and elsewhere, adding stress and anxiety for grocery store workers, the Washington Post reports. One Boulder worker who was breading chicken tenders when the shooting began tells the paper, "I'm thinking about things that never crossed my mind before: How many exits are in a grocery store?"
Looking for something to do tonight? At 7:30 pm, fire up the ol' Zoom machine and watch Elissa Washuta, who used to live here, read from White Magic, her newly released collection of essays. Kristen Millares Young, who still lives here, will join Washuta on the digital stage and read from her novel, Subduction. Nobody around town writes a sharper sentence than Young, and nobody in the country uses more innovative nonfiction forms than Washuta.