With this endorsement, Gonzalez secured her position as the progressive frontrunner in the mayoral race.
The labor council represents about 100,000 workers. With their endorsement, Gonzalez can make the case that she's the progressive frontrunner in the mayoral race. COURTESY OF LORENA GONZALEZ FOR SEATTLE MAYOR CAMPAIGN

Good riddance to the SAT and the ACT: Washington's four-year colleges announced that they will become entirely "test-optional" starting this fall. That means hopeful students can still submit scores for standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT if they want to, but they don't have to. This represents a huge shift in a college admissions process that used to place a ton of weight on standardized test scores.

Council President Lorena Gonzalez won the MLK Labor endorsement after last night's forum. While I would've put money on her winning that endorsement, I didn't expect her to win by this much. MLK Labor voted 80-20 to endorse Gonzalez. She detailed her legislative record on labor issues, citing her work on paid family leave, expanding free and affordable child care in the city, and defending immigrant workers. This endorsement basically establishes Gonzalez's place as the progressive frontrunner.

More on the forum: The leading mayoral candidates answered questions doled out by Publicola's Erica Barnett for an hour. Gonzalez seemed to subtly wipe away tears in the beginning when Barnett as some candidates offered condolences for the loss of her mother-in-law last week. She began her initial statements by apologizing if she wasn't "on point" after a week of family tragedy. Regardless, she performed well. Architect Andrew Grant Houston said he was the only candidate to support defunding the police by 50%, but stopped short of claiming to be an abolitionist. Bruce Harrell used his one rebuttal to say that he agreed with Houston's sentiment but then went on to explain his police culture reform plan of making the cops watch the George Floyd murder video to change department culture. Why he continues to double down on this idea remains unclear. In the "yes" or "no" section, Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller was the only candidate to say he supported homeless sweeps. After some waffling, Bruce Harrell ultimately answered "no" but said "what you may call a sweep, I don’t call a sweep."

Despite changing recommendations Seattle-area businesses are keeping their mask mandates in place. After the Centers for Disease Control eased mask requirements for fully vaccinated people, Gov. Jay Inslee followed suit in Washington. But some areas like King County aren't ready for a change to the masking rule. Public Health - Seattle & King County's Dr. Jeff Duchin is adamant that everyone should keep wearing a mask in indoor public places. PHSKC is expected to release its own guidance later this week.

Meanwhile, Iowa's governor just banned mask mandates in schools: Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill overnight that bans mask mandates in Iowa schools and cities. The bill goes into effect immediately. "I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties," Reynolds said.

Man found shot, dead near Red Dog Saloon: King County Sheriff's deputies responded to a collision in Maple Valley. A car crashed into a utility pole. When deputies arrived, they found a dead driver with a gunshot wound. It wasn't clear whether he'd died from the crash or from being shot.

The densest part of Capitol Hill lived in the dark all day Wednesday: According to the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, and personal anecdotes from Stranger staffers in the area, the power first went out yesterday around 8 a.m. Crews estimated that power would come back by midnight. However, according to the City Light site, power won't be back for over 1,000 people until this morning.

Colorado teen's murder investigated as hate crime: Maggie Long, 17, died in a house fire in Bailey, Colorado in 2017. Intruders in the residence caused the fire and initiated a physical altercation with Long. Four years later, the FBI is calling Long's murder a hate crime. The FBI did not say which form of bias they were investigating in Long's case. Long was Asian American and a woman.

A small ceasefire: Early Thursday morning, Gaza and Israel stopped firing rockets. The pause only lasted around seven hours until it started back up again. The Guardian speculated that the pause may have come after Joe Biden told "Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he expected “a significant de-escalation."

Bernie Sanders says stop the weapons sale: The Vermont senator put forward a resolution to stop a $735 million U.S. arms sale to Israel. "We cannot simply let another huge sale go through without even a congressional debate," Sanders said.

A long read for your Thursday: Understanding Biden's position on Israel by examining his past.

Sad: No West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade this year.

Goodwill says please stop donating garbage: If your shit is defective, don't give it away—throw it away. Goodwill thrift stores say they're being inundated with donations that should have just been tossed. This includes used spaghetti jars, flashlights with leaky batteries, and disfigured Barbies, according to the Associated Press. All of this trash—which some Goodwill storeowners blame on younger people since "our grandmothers knew what to donate to Goodwill"—requires stores to hire more staff and spend more money on garbage disposal.

Google set to open its first retail store this summer in New York City. The store will sell Google products. I like the idea that it will have a physical information desk:

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University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill may have caved to conservative complaints: UNC Chapel Hill denied tenure to New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, the lead author of the 1619 project, which examined slavery's role in the founding of the U.S. UNC recruited Hannah-Jones to be the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, which The Hill reports is a tenured position. However, North Carolina conservative groups made a big stink about Hannah-Jones's hiring, specifically because of her work on the 1619 project.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pretended to use a Mac: For some reason, Trudeau put an Apple sticker on his HP laptop during a press conference. The sticker is right where a normal Apple logo would go. Anyway, this Apple tech blog is absolutely skewering Trudeau for doing this. The image is from six months ago which makes the current outrage even funnier.

A crossword for your Thursday: Normally, I would have given this to you yesterday, but I was busy suffering at the hands of my second Moderna dose. Blame any and all typos or oversights in Slog AM today on that. Anyway, I am almost completely alive again. Here is your crossword.