KUOW dropped some Durkan texts: The public radio station's story confirms a report from the Seattle Times about the city's public records office "recreating" missing texts to and from Mayor Jenny Durkan during the protests and the rise of CHOP last summer. Those texts appear to come from group chats the Mayor had with staffers, and they're pre-ttay, pre-ttay, pre-ttaaaaaaaaay funny.
A couple quick takeaways: Durkan and former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best get pumped when Brandi Kruse, a news commentator for the local Fox affiliate, plans to shadow the cops. The vaunted former chief of police described the fallout of Sawant leading protests into City Hall thusly: "no issues." (As I wrote yesterday, a reactionary group with dubious mailer strategies is trying to make that moment a very serious issue.) Durkan also politely condescends to Crosscut's David Kroman. "Can you call Kroman and tell him I would appreciate a few more minutes of his time. After reading one of his stories there are some things he did not know to ask about," Durkan said in a text.
Me after reading all these Durkan texts:
COVID hospitalizations are flattening across the state: The numbers are still higher than experts would like, says Cassie Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association, but 173 ICU beds were occupied as of May 6, compared to 162 two weeks ago and 203 on April 19, according to the Seattle Times. "Very sick people" are still being hospitalized because of the virus. Meanwhile, Swedish Medical Center, which operates the mass-vax site at Lumen Field, is helping create a vaccine environment where kids will be comfortable.
Police say a cop was involved in a shooting that put a Kent man in a hospital: But they haven't yet said how that cop was involved in the incident late last night at the Homestead Apartments. Because the police are the only source in this story from the Seattle Times, we must use this awful passive construction, "officer-involved shooting" to describe what's known. However, the department put the cop on administrative leave, so we might safely assume the cop felt some fear, got tunnel vision, and fired a weapon.
Police shot a bear in Lacey: The bear was "spotted crossing a fairway at the Capitol City Golf Club" before a Lacey police officer shot and killed the bear in a neighborhood about a mile away, KING 5 reports. Find information on what to do if you see a bear here.
Brendan Kiley appreciation post: My former colleague at the Stranger observed the filming of Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi downtown and wrote a hilarious piece about it, interviewed a bunch of people about the astounding longevity of the scrappiest theater in town and wrote a beautiful piece that reads like a history of Seattle itself, and interviewed some tribal historians and others and wrote an actual history of Seattle through the eyes of Cal Anderson Park. If you haven't read those stories yet, then do yourself the favor.
Shin Yu Pai's taking over as program director at Town Hall Seattle: Redmond's former poet laureate and Atlas Obscura's community programming manager will now be booking the shows over at Town Hall, according to a press release. “I've been deeply excited to see Town Hall's evolution towards becoming an anti-racist institution and can't wait to work every day with so many smart, committed, thoughtful peers and colleagues who have deeply supported my work for the past three years," she said. If you're into poetry, check out her latest Ensō.
King County Executive Dow Constantine will discuss the State of the County later today: He'll make some news at 1 p.m., when he's scheduled to hold his virtual address. Be sure to check Slog later this afternoon for more details.
Sequim Mayor William Armacost continues to troll his town: Someone spotted the QAnon promoter pushing a cart at a grocery store while wearing one of those hilarious shirts that reads, "This is the USA. We Eat Meat. We Drink Beer. We Own Guns. We Speak English. We Love Freedom. If You Do Not Like That GET THE FUCK OUT." KING 5 tracked down the mayor at his hair salon. He defended himself by saying, "he thought people had better things to do than follow him around and take pictures of him on his day off."
Q: How many House Republicans actually believe Trump's lies and conspiracies about the election?
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger: "Five, probably, if that, maybe? I don’t know, but it’s in the single, it’s low." https://t.co/wcAN5CLcgs
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) May 11, 2021
How much are we paying these internal investigators? "Officers who killed Breonna Taylor should not have fired their weapons, internal investigator finds," writes the Washington Post. Yeah, no shit. The Post goes on to report that the investigator found the cops "had a right to protect themselves when Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them," but that "the 'circumstances made it unsafe to take a single shot' in response.'"
Little progress in talks between protesters and president in Colombia: Protesters have been in the streets since April 28 in demonstrations sparked by a tax plan. Those protests remain ongoing in part because of police violence. Protest leaders met with President Ivan Duque Monday, but no real progress was made. Reuters reports that protest leaders "said the government had not shown empathy for their demands" and encouraged more protests on Wednesday. According to one police estimate, 13,000 people participated in protests in several cities Monday. According to local human rights groups, 47 people have been killed in the protests, most of them by police.
The virus is surging in countries without vaccines: Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia are seeing more infections, and nearly half of the new cases reported each day globally are in India, according to the New York Times. Countries with lower incomes represent 47% of the world's population but have received only 17% of the world's vaccines, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, tells the Times.
One hundred days have passed since Myanmar's military seized power: The generals "maintain just the pretense of control," a perception bolstered by shutting down independent media and killing protesters, the Associated Press reports. But dissent continues and could turn into armed conflict, observers say.
Israel killed at least 26 in Gaza air raids: The dead include children, the Gaza health ministry told Al Jazeera. As Nathalie wrote in Slog PM yesterday, Israeli cops raided the "the third holiest" religious compound in Islam; then Hamas fired 200 rockets toward Israel, injuring several; then Israel blanketed Gaza with bombs. Today Hamas rocket attacks killed two. Yesterday U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said "all sides need to de-escalate, reduce tensions." Sarah Schulman describes this process, where powerful people and states embrace victimhood to justify cruel responses, in her terrific book, Conflict Is Not Abuse. I would say it is incumbent upon Israel to follow Schulman's advice: take the finger off the air raid button and pick up the phone.
Welcome to the DarkSide: A bunch of eastern European/"probably" Russian hackers shut down a major pipeline carrying "gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the Texas Gulf Coast to New York Harbor," disrupting the flow of "nearly half of the gasoline and jet fuel supplies to the East Coast." On Monday, the New York Times reported, cops identified the organization as DarkSide, proving yet again that hacker aesthetics haven't changed since the 1990s. President Joe Biden vowed to "“disrupt and prosecute” them.
Houston man charged with murder flees with Bengal tiger; cops found the man, but not the cat: Click 2 Houston printed photos and video of the tiger freaking out Houston residents. Absolutely losing my shit about this quote from a Houston cop in the NYT: “'Obviously, if you see a Cherokee with a big tiger in it, it would be good to call us,' Ronald Borza, a commander with the Houston Police Department, said at a news conference on Monday afternoon before Mr. Cuevas was taken into custody." If you have family in Houston, tell them to keep their heads on a swivel and call "crime-stoppers" at 713-222-TIPS if they see the big kitty.
When you were in English class asking why we'd even read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the first place, I studied the Arthurian chivalric romances for context. When you were getting caught up on the multivalent symbols, I mastered the beheading game trope. While you wasted your days reading Sparknotes to get through the impenetrable diction, I cultivated a love for the bob and wheel rhyme scheme. And now that A24 is running this medieval classic through its indie hit machine, you have the audacity to come to me for help?