A community COVID-19 memorial at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
A community COVID-19 memorial at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Spencer Platt/ Getty
The U.S. hits 600,000 dead from coronavirus, more than any other country in the world: After more than 15 months since the first recorded COVID death, we've lost 600,000 souls to the virus. Since the widespread availability of the vaccine, our country's virus death toll has slowed dramatically, as have reports of new infections. Worldwide, the COVID death toll stands at 3.8 million. We will be sorting through this trauma for decades to come.

And here in King County: YahOOOooOoOo motherFUCKERS!!!! 70% of county residents age 16 and up are fully vaccinated—nice! Meaning in two weeks, King County's mask mandate will be rescinded. Here's a snippet of what Dr. Jeff Duchin had to say about the milestone courtesy David Gutman at the Seattle Times:

“Two weeks from today my local mask mandate will no longer apply and everyone will be following the CDC and Washington state guidance,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County health officer said. “The vaccines have put us in a very good place, currently, compared to any other time in the pandemic. We have drastically reduced the numbers of deaths, hospitalizations, and the number of cases, and we can continue to do that to the extent that we continue to improve our vaccine coverage.”

Criterion announced their September 2021 releases: And Gina Prince-Bythewood's GERMINAL film Love & Basketball (2000) made the cut. That movie has such a special place in my heart! Pre-order it here if you're down.

Amazon bringing cashier-less tech to bigger grocery stores: The e-commerce behemoth is opening their first fully-fledged, 25,000 square-foot Amazon Fresh in Factoria, reports GeekWire. The store will treat shoppers to a "traditional full-service grocery store" but with Big Brother-like tech: the palm-scanning Amazon One system, Amazon Echo devices, and the "Just Walk Out" technology that tracks everything you put into your cart. Let's see if those Eastside kids can successfully figure out how to shoplift from them.

AG Merrick Garland said the DOJ has made over 480 arrests in connection with the January 6 Capitol building insurrection: In a speech, he said the investigation reflects "the seriousness with which we take this assault on a mainstay of our democratic system, the peaceful transfer of power." His remarks come as the White House published its first-ever strategy to combat domestic terrorism thanks to those MAGA fucks that stormed the Capitol.

The Tiger King will sell weed and NFTs from prison: Today, cryptocurrency platform MORE announced their collab with none other than Joe Exotic that will feature "digital Tiger King tokens and real-world collectibles that the star will be fronting from his prison cell in Fort Worth, Texas," reports Gizmodo. If you'll remember, Exotic is serving a 22-year sentence for attempted murder and "over a dozen" animal abuse charges. Oh yeah, he's also launching a cannabis line—I would recommend NOT smoking whatever this dude gives you.

Blood supply is at critically low levels nationwide: Bloodworks Northwest told KOMO their blood supply recently fell below 45%. The organization has 11,000 openings between now and July 4; they need every last appointment filled in order to keep up with demand. Schedule an appointment to give the sorely need blood here (unless you're a man who has recently had sex with a man or done sex work in the last three months. Blood donation policies are truly homophobic!!!).

Abolish the billionaire-donates-to-nonprofits industrial-complex: MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos's ex-wife, donates $2.74 billion to charity. She's still worth around $60 billion. Tax it all!

The end is nigh for Reckless Video: Seattle's last family-owned video store will officially close its door for good on July 31. Their last day of rentals will be June 27 and a liquidation sale will start on July 1, which could be a good opportunity to snag some hard-to-find titles. With their closing, Scarecrow Video is officially the last video store in town—support them so they'll be here forever. Moira McDonald has a nice little write up on the Reckless Video over at the Seattle Times. Pay your respects.

Wolf illegally killed in the Sheep Creek area of Stevens County: The female wolf died of a gunshot wound, and biologists think she could have been the "breeding female" from the Wedge Pack of wolves, reports KOMO. Conservation Northwest is willing to fork over $7,500 to anyone who can provide information leading to a poaching conviction.

Israel has starting bombing Gaza again: This time, the Israeli military points to "incendiary balloons" that were sent from the territory into Israel causing "multiple fires," reports the BBC. This was enough justification for Israel to start up its airstrike campaign against Hamas targets after a ceasefire was issued on May 21. This news is breaking and it's not yet clear if the Israeli military's strikes have caused any deaths or injuries.

The Senate unanimously voted to approve Juneteenth as a national public holiday: The bill to celebrate the holiday—which commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas first learned of their freedom—now heads to the House for a vote. This is cute, but what about my reparations, Chuck?

Laganja Estranja: Comes out as trans.

Casa Latina puts two directors on administrative leave: According to Lilly Ana Fowler at KNKX, the Seattle-based advocacy organization placed executive director Marcos Martinez and day worker center director Araceli Hernandez on leave after they allegedly mishandled sexual harassment complaints. This decision comes after an almost two-week hunger strike staged by Casa Latina employees and members to protest "what they said was the inaction of Casa Latina leadership in the face of sexual harassment allegations."

Seattle Public Library's Central Library will finally reopen to visitors on June 22: According to a press release, Levels 1, 3, and 5 of the postmodernist building will be publicly accessible. Other reopening SPL branches include their Columbia, Delridge, Greenwood, High Point, International District/Chinatown, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park, and University locations.

For your listening pleasure: Buscabulla's "Tártaro."