WA Department of Labor & Industries fines Amazon $7,000: The state's labor regulator issued a citation to the “Earth’s Safest Place to Work” for "violating the law by pressuring warehouse employees to work at speeds that exacerbate injuries without adequate time to recover," the Seattle Times reports. The piddly penalty amounts to "the maximum for a serious citation." The company plans to address the problem not by allowing workers to slow down but by rolling out wellness measurers that "include 'AmaZen' mindfulness exercises and signs encouraging healthy eating." And now I have to stop typing because my blood has frozen solid.
Seattle City Council votes to move the 911 call center out of the Seattle Police Department: Dispatch will now operate out of the "Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), a civilian-led sister organization to the police department," writes SCC Insight. Crosscut's David Kroman pointed out that the suggested move predates the Defund movement. Yet another low bar cleared. Congratulations everybody.
Anonymous donor drops $1 million on new Bainbridge Island bike trails: The island's park foundation used the cash to buy "10 acres of land next to Strawberry Hill Park" for mountain bikers and a bigger dog park, reports the Seattle Times. Since nobody knows who gave the money, it could have been a very wealthy murderer. Or it could have been some rich person looking to settle the "heated" dispute between some who wanted mountain bike trails elsewhere on the island and some who wanted that elsewhere to remain in its "natural" state. Hard to say.
Good luck finding a bike, though: KING 5 reports on the way bike shops are dealing with a long-running shortage spurred by a spike in demand just as bike manufacturers slowed down production in anticipation of poor pandemic sales. Large backorders remain the norm, a couple shops in town are only running with 8-10% of their usual inventory, and people are waiting "at least four to six weeks" for some new wheels. In the meantime, repairs are way up.
Will some lawyer please tell me what's going on here: The reporting on this KIRO 7 story is so bad, but here's what they've got so far: "Squatters" allegedly took up shop in "a multimillion-dollar home in Sammamish." The owner "lives overseas" but sends "workers" to check in on the place every now and then. Hm, okay. One day, one of the workers "stopped by the home and found 12 guns, bulletproof vests, more than 15,000 fentanyl pills, heroin, meth, and more than $40,000 in cash." Okay, I'm listening...
The worker then called the cops, and the cops showed up to arrest two people who "neighbors" pegged as the squatters. After getting out of jail on charges of burglary, the alleged burglars/squatters pulled up to the house with a U-Haul and started hauling away a bunch of stuff they said belonged to them, "including an ATM." The Sammamish police chief said "legally, his hands were tied, and so officers conducted a 'civil standby'" as the people grabbed their shit from the house and left. Honestly, at this point I'm just impressed. The cop, of course, claimed this very weird thing "could happen again somewhere else." I would add that there might be a higher chance of the same thing happening in houses whose owners live overseas. Also, if you're a "worker" whose job is to check in on investment properties in King County, please call me or shoot me an email. I'd like to shadow you for a day.
Four big-ass cranes en route from China to Terminal 5: And you know West Seattle Blog is on it. "The super-post-Panamax cranes" are "316 feet tall with 240-foot outreach booms."
Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd one year ago: Many gathered in cities across the country on Sunday to mark the anniversary of a police murder that sparked worldwide protests against police violence. President Joe Biden plans to sit with the family today. He has called for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice Policing Act, but "police organizations" are holding up the bill, according to the Grio. Though many conservatives and Republicans denounced the murder, their word only goes as far as cops will allow it to go.
"When we see this picture of the nonchalance with which America will put its knee on the neck of Black people and make itself death to our suffering...that's America."
If you missed @Sifill_LDF's appearance on @60Minutes, you can watch it here: https://t.co/RjF9mLwxyn pic.twitter.com/YTrnVab9vg
— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) June 14, 2020
Police have killed at least 1,068 people since George Floyd's murder: According to Mapping Police Violence, the execution rate looks about the same as it has looked in previous years, with 25 states marking increases this year. Washington's rate—25 per one million people—decreased this year. "Black Americans are nearly three times as likely as white Americans to be killed by the police," Al Jazeera reports.
Biden still turning away asylum-seekers at border due to COVID-19, separating families: Human rights orgs and two medical consultants within the President's own administration say the practice needs to stop because it encourages "parents to send their children to cross the border alone, since Mr. Biden has chosen not to immediately turn away minors and instead is processing them into the United States," the New York Times reports. Immigrant rights groups also say "hundreds" were attacked or kidnapped after the U.S. turned them away.
U.S. State Department advises against traveling to Japan: But the U.S. athletes will still attend the
2020 2021 Olympic games, which are still on for late July despite a COVID-19 spike and widespread disapproval throughout the country, the Washington Post reports. This sounds like one large sunk cost fallacy waiting to happen.
Moderna 4 Kidz: The vaccine-maker announced that its life-saving serum "strongly protects kids as young as 12," the Associated Press reports. The manufacturer will apply for authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in a week or so.
The federal program to bury the COVID-19 dead sucks, especially for marginalized groups: The first CARES Act contained $2 billion to reimburse people up to $9,000 to cover the funeral costs for people who died of the virus, the absolute least they could do after the Trump administration downplayed and mismanaged the pandemic largely for political gain. In order to access that money, however, the death certificates need to list COVID-19 as one of the causes of death. But "that excludes thousands of Americans who died early in the pandemic, when doctors were still learning how to diagnose the disease and testing to confirm cases was limited," reports Politico. So far the Feds have only approved "$66 million for 9,700 applicants." Nearly 600,000 Americans have died of the virus so far.
EU places sanctions on Belarus for basically hijacking a plane: The 27 states that compose the European Union will stop flying over the country, and the UK will bar the country's state airplane company from operating in its airspace, the BBC reports. More sanctions are likely on the way after "Europe's last dictator" ordered a commercial flight to land so cops could arrest a journalist for reporting on ongoing protests in response to the country's fraudulent election.
Another coup in Mali: "Soldiers in Mali have detained the president and prime minister of the interim government, according to the United Nations and the African Union, deepening political chaos in the country just nine months after a military coup overthrew its previous leader," Al Jazeera reports. The Economic Community of West African States will send a delegation to intervene in the kidnapping in an effort to restore the country's civilian leadership.
Speaking of coups: Republican attempts to overturn the 2020 election continue apace, and they're spreading to other states. GOP-backed groups in Georgia, Michigan, and New Hampshire have sought authority to conduct pointless ballot audits, following the lead of a similarly pointless process in Arizona. I'm just as bored of this narrative as you are, but the problem is that they're not. The Democrats could go a long way in ending this nonsense if they'd just change the rules of the filibuster and pass H.R. 1, but for some reason they're just sort of fine with a conspiratorial horde dismantling democracy in broad daylight. Anyway, what's going on on TikTok?
Ah, the youths are becoming food stars: The app has "birthed a new generation of cooking stars who didn’t put in years in a professional kitchen or at a glossy food magazine, and who are often showcasing recipes they find online rather than developing their own," the New York Times reports. For some context on this, check out Barrett Swanson's strong (though a little stiff) piece on the TikTok phenomenon in Harper's.