Amazon announces a more flexible office return policy: The e-commerce giant that avoids paying a lot of federal taxes will allow corporate employees to work from home twice a week starting this fall, GeekWire reports. The company, which told workers back in March to expect a full return this fall as a "baseline," will also take applications for those who want to WFH more than twice a week. My condolences to the nearby lunch spots.
But do you know what is coming back full-time this fall? The goddam Washington State Fair, baby. Sept. 3 to 26. Get ready to propose to your girlfriend at the top of a Ferris Wheel while shooting a red star out of a piece of paper and munching on scones made by overworked teens!!!! Labor issues aside, I love the fair and am stoked for its return.
You know what's coming back sooner than the fair? The state's job-search requirement for the unemployed. That's right. Starting next month, people who have yet to exchange their freedom for a subpar wage must "document at least three approved job search activities each week in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits," KING 5 reports.
Kenji is king: The Seattle Times' Tan Vinh comes through with a great piece about what happens when food scientist/writer/videographer and restauranteur J. Kenji López-Alt recommends a restaurant on his Instagram. "Bistros with a trickle of business suddenly find lines two blocks long. Delis reportedly sell out of what he orders and have to change their production schedule to suit the new demand. Seattle restaurants have dubbed the phenomenon 'The Kenji Effect,'" Vinh writes. I've been eating whatever Kenji tells me to lately, and he has yet to steer me wrong.
Shocker: The building trades unions support the effort to Recall Kshama Sawant, reports Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. Not sure how many of those dorks actually live in the district and agree with their union leaders, but the endorsement will help the recall campaign raise money. The latest numbers show the Kshama Solidarity campaign with ~1,450 District 3 contributors and the Recall Sawant campaign with ~1,550 District 3 contributors.
West Seattle Democrats held their endorsement meeting last night: It went long, but West Seattle Blog has all the details. The 34th LD ended up endorsing Dow Constantine (who lives there), Brianna Thomas (who lives there), Teresa Mosqueda (who lives there), and Pete Holmes (who does not live there). The mayor's race was between Lorena Gonzalez (who lives there) and Bruce Harrell (who does not live there), but neither earned the requisite 60% of the vote, so they didn't endorse.
Two arson attempts at East Precinct now linked to fallout from cops who killed: Last month a judge hit a 20-year-old man from Alaska with 20 months in prison after he admitted to lighting a fire outside a sally-port door at the police station on Capitol Hill. Part of his anger stemmed from Anchorage police officers shooting and killing his 16-year-old brother. Now the lawyer representing Isaiah Thomas Willoughby, who plead guilty yesterday to setting a fire outside the station during CHOP, says he lit the match partly out of frustration with the cops who killed his roommate, Manuel Ellis, the Seattle Times reports.
@baileygodfrey5 This felt so good #starbucks #starbucksdrinks #barista #baristaproblems #buffering #fyp #coffee #intothethickofit #PerfectAsWeAre #starbucksrecipes
♬ "Shake that A$$" by KueenD - happy birthday to 6/9
Starbucks keeps running out of drink ingredients and food items: The global coffee chain has been running low on stuff such as peach syrup, "ingredients for Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers and almond croissants," plus "sweet cream, white mocha, mango dragon fruit," the New York Times reports. A public relations professional assured the paper of record that these tragic shortages were merely "temporary."
Famine hits Tigray: The United Nation says "350,000 people in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region are facing 'catastrophic; food shortages," according to Al Jazeera. Two million others live "a step away" from famine. Organizers say Ethiopian and Eritrean troops prevent aid from entering the countries as fighting between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front continues apace.
Biden pledges 500 million doses of Pfizer to "low- and lower-middle income countries": They'll distribute less than half of the doses by the end of this year and then more than half by the end of next year, the BBC reports. All told, the G7 countries plan to donate one billion vaccine doses worldwide by the end of 2022. To actually meet the need, however, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said we need 100 million doses before July and 250 million before September, and that's only to inoculate "at least 10% of the population in every country."
Peru elects a socialist president: Gotta throw it over to Jacobin on this one. "Peru has never had a president that remotely resembled Castillo — an indigenous, left-wing trade unionist," writes Nicolas Allen. Castillo's win amounts to a huge blow to the county's ascendent right wing, though he faces many intractable challenges. Peru has the world's highest COVID-19 death toll, and "Castillo’s twelve-page plan for government is generally short on details."
Ten Senate centrists say they've reached a "deal" on $579 billion in new spending for the infrastructure package: Five Democrats and five Republicans released few details about their proposal but said it would raise no taxes. Someone told Politico, however, that the deal would include a gas tax hike, which the President doesn't support. Biden's infrastructure package included "a minimum" of $1 trillion in new spending and would have raised corporate taxes a skosh.
A lot of those cuts could be coming from the money the infrastructure bill invests to fight climate change: The Washington Post reports on a lobbying effort to convince Biden that he shouldn't let Republicans gut "clean energy tax credits, support for electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, research into breakthrough green technologies, and a new jobs program to restore public lands and plug abandoned oil and gas wells" because the planet is burning up.
GameStonks dive 27%: The company's latest earnings report and the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of "past trading activity" stopped the game retailer's meme-driven rise, Bloomberg reports.
What are you doin every Saturday night from July 10 through August 7? Driving down to Burien to check out the Stranger's Summer Drive-in Showcase? Not a bad idea.
Lorde takes a bong rip from a...fennel bulb?...in her latest video, "Solar Power:" Lots of Midsommar energy, lots of "nature is healing" energy, and lots of bad dancing. I like all those things, but after a first listen the piece feels like lesser than the sum of its parts. That said, Lorde's inability to dance at all remains one of her more endearing qualities as a pop performer, a tacit rejection of the triple- and even quadruple-threat standard to which too many artists fall victim.