Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire: This halts the 11-day war. CNN: "Israeli airstrikes killed 232 Palestinians, including 65 children." On the other side: "At least 12 people in Israel, including two children, have been killed by Palestinian militant fire from Gaza." Egypt brokered the cease-fire, although Biden suggested his team's "quiet" diplomacy was influential. New York Times has photos from the ground.
Seems like a good moment to highlight Seattle's collective interfaith social-justice community, Cherry Street Village:
Put that mask back on when you go inside PCC: I'm specifically thinking about the woman interviewed by KUOW on their Seattle Now podcast this morning who was grocery shopping maskless in a "neighborhood natural food co-op" and admitted to being unvaccinated. "You know what? I'm fine. I'm tested every week" was her quote.
Today, a new directive from Public Health – Seattle & King County requests King County businesses that serve the public require all their customers and employees to wear masks indoors, fully vaccinated or not. (The woman mentioned above should have already been wearing a mask. The CDC's recently updated mask guidance was directed at fully vaccinated people.)
Here are snippets from the new King County directive, which, remember, applies to public and indoor settings (like retail stores, grocery stores, gyms):
Public Health - Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin has issued a Health Officer Directive strongly urging all residents, fully vaccinated or not, to temporarily continue wearing face masks in public indoor settings.
With no practical way to know who is or is not vaccinated in public spaces, a policy that has different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people is difficult to implement and unfairly shifts the burden to businesses and frontline workers.
This directive will remain in effect until Public Health – Seattle & King County confirms that 70% or more of residents age 16 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
We're still facing a high level of transmission, with around 55% of King County's adults fully vaccinated. During his afternoon press conference, Duchin said that he expects King County to reach that 70% fully vaxxed mark by the time we get to Gov. Inslee's full reopening date for the state, which is on June 30.
Hold out for a little bit longer. We've been at this for a year; it shouldn't be novel or difficult.
Meanwhile: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park says it is opening with limited capacity on June 18.
Yet another disastrous crash on Rainier Avenue. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to have cost any lives, but crashes always harm community. Will Seattle ever slow down Rainier? #VisionZero https://t.co/0pc65b3i6N
— The Urbanist (@UrbanistOrg) May 20, 2021
For regular Slog AM/PM readers: That's a separate Rainier crash from the Rainier crash Mudede mentioned yesterday. We have to fix this street.
Stock up on your summertime wildfire-related essentials: It's expected to be warmer and drier than average in Washington state this summer (and across a lot of the country, but let's focus on our state for a moment), based on Washington experiencing its fourth driest March and April since 1895, reports the Seattle Times. That said, the moisture levels around the region are a bit uneven: the Snake River Basin will likely see 30 to 40% less streamflow than average, but experts don't expect water supply issues in the Seattle or Tacoma areas. The Times called it "a feast-and-famine situation for moisture in Washington."
Below are the U.S. drought conditions, one year ago and now.
About 71% of the West is now in at least "severe drought," compared to about 15% at this time last year.
via U.S. Drought Monitor: https://t.co/TD9QkGeoYw pic.twitter.com/MiYApw8BlX
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) May 20, 2021
Biden signed the Democrats' anti-Asian hate crime legislation into law today, which is a cause for celebration: Although there's this from the same article: "Some Asian American and LGBTQ groups have raised concerns about the bill, cautioning that it does little to address the causes of anti-Asian bias and relies too heavily on law enforcement and crime statistics to prevent violence."
I heard you wanted to see results from The Stranger's 2021 Reader Survey? Last week, I shared our initial takeaways from the survey with Stranger contributors (maybe you were one of them?), including how readers told us they want a new website. Same! We're taking your feedback to heart and working on bringing an updated desktop and mobile experience to Stranger readers. There's a lot more to report on this front—we just had our second web design meeting today—but for now, know it's coming.
Let's check out some of our survey results:
Regarding Slog comments: A majority of our readers prefer moderation over our current lawless system. (Same.) A full quarter of our Reader Survey responders said we shouldn't allow comments at all, compared to the 15% of responders who said they generally enjoy reading and making comments. Everyone else was mixed: 32% want comments only if we can adequately regulate comments and permanently ban trolls, and 22% said that, in general, the less commenting the better. We're going to make changes to our commenting system, but that will likely happen when the website updates. So, again, more to come on that front.
We'll continue teasing out survey results as we head into summer: Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses. We're excited to get to work to bring your requests to life. Of course, scaling up and tackling these issues isn’t easy. If you believe our work is important and necessary, please consider making a monthly contribution to The Stranger, and we'll keep working hard for you and those who need it most. Every little bit helps.
Who are these little guardians?
Jasmyne takes you on a tour here.
Washington state is closing two mass vaccination sites in "favor of a more targeted approach to vaccinate harder-to-reach populations," writes the Seattle Times. Next Friday, Ridgefield (Clark County Fairgrounds) and Kennewick (Benton County Fairgrounds) will no longer offer appointments. Updated locations can be found here.
CNN's Chris Cuomo is being righteously dragged for advising his brother Andrew Cuomo on how to respond to the governor's several sexual harassment allegations.
ICYMI: Bezos bought a superyacht. It reportedly cost $500 million, is being built in the Netherlands, and will be so large that it'll need its own "support yacht." That lil baby support yacht will feature a helipad, which his girlfriend, TV host Lauren Sanchez, may use since she's a helicopter pilot. The main superyacht can't support a helipad "due to the three sailing masts on its deck."
Cleanse your mind of superyachts and 11-day wars and end the day with Crystal Waters:
Related: That song is at the center of one of my favorite scenes. It happens during Hajime Ishimine's 2002 movie Frog River, which is about a hapless straight DJ who gets taught kendo by his ~gay neighbors. (That DJ is played by actor Ryo Kase, who partially grew up in Bellevue.)
There aren't subtitles to this but there also isn't a lot of talking. Just roll through it:
Wm. Steven Humphrey contributed blurbs to this round-up.