Amazon wants 6% of its office workers to fuck off: Amazon has annual targets for "unregretted attrition," which is a fancy way of saying "low performing employees who leave the company." The company drives out these low performers with proprietary software and a management requirement to stack rank employees, though spokespeople told the Seattle Times that Amazon doesn't stack rank. Essentially, instead of coaching and training underperforming employees, Amazon tries to bounce them. The company even incentivizes people to quit rather than improving: If a low-performer tries to improve and fails, they will receive less severance money.
Scientists warn that COVID-19 might shrink parts of the brain: A new study by the University of Oxford and Imperial College in the United Kingdom and the National Institutes of Health in Maryland asserts that people with COVID-19 showed measurable declines in brain tissue known as gray matter. These brain reductions occur in parts of the brain responsible for taste, smell, and memory. The study also said that COVID-19 could leave persistent symptoms such as brain fog or fast heart rates. Scientists do not know whether brain tissue depleted by COVID-19 grows back.
Man lost in Lake Washington: A man fell into Lake Washington near Kirkland yesterday after falling off an intertube with two of his friends. Rescuers found the friends and took them to the hospital. The missing man wasn't found before sundown. Rescuers plan to search again today but said that this would likely be a recovery rather than a rescue.
Building bridges: The Seattle Department of Transportation just connected the Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle bridge that connects North Seattle College and Northgate. This video is so satisfying, it makes me tingle. A tidbit about the bridge: Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez wants to name it after the late Rep. John Lewis. Juarez believes that North Seattle doesn't have enough places or monuments that recognize Black people or people of color. Some critics have argued that Lewis didn't have a connection to Seattle. "He visited the University of Washington in 2017," Juarez said.
We lifted final part of Northgate Bridge over I-5 at 2:30am. Span weighed 400,000 lbs (2x last week). 👣&🚴 bridge to @NorthSeaCollege will be done in time for @SoundTransit light rail station opening. I-5 will reopen by 4:30am.@wsdot_traffic @sdottraffic https://t.co/GicKAwI0b1 pic.twitter.com/OXqWCiQ7he
— seattledot (@seattledot) June 20, 2021
Are you a transit fan? Then watch tonight's Seattle Subway and Seattle Transit Blog mayoral forum. At 7 p.m., Andrew Grant Houston, Jessyn Farrell, Lorena González, Lance Randall, Colleen Echohawk, Casey Sixkiller, and Bruce Harrell will answer questions concerning mass transit, future light rail realignment, transit-oriented development, and more.
Today in Seattle City Council... The council unanimously voted to pass the bill that spells out how the city will spend $128 million in Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda's bill called the Seattle Rescue Plan includes $49.2 million for housing and homelessness, $23.5 million for community and small business recovery, $41 million for community well-being, $7 million for community assistance and programming, and $7.6 million to reopen city programs. Does all of that sound vague and meaningless? I bet! Let's dive into some specifics.
Childcare: $8 million of the dollars will fund childcare services. Of that chunk of change, $5 million will go to opening more childcare facilities while the other $3 million will go to childcare providers.
Direct cash assistance: $25 million will go directly into the pockets of those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Mosqueda told me in an interview last week that "cash assistance has been proven to be a stabilizer for communities." She continued: "Families know best where those dollars are needed. If someone needs flexible cash who needs food, for clothing, the family knows best how to use those dollars and the dollars immediately, infusing money into our local economy." Immigrants, refugees, BIPOC community members, artists, and others critically impacted by the pandemic are expected to be able to access the funds.
Money for the neighborhoods: $5 million will go to neighborhood business districts, split among each council district.
Safe lots and RV storage: Part of the homelessness money will go to RV campers. Now that the city's 72-hour parking limit is back, people living out of their cars and RVs have to move around or face tickets or their vehicle—aka their home—getting impounded. The ARPA funds will pay for RV dwellers to store their RV if they seek shelter. The funds will also kickstart some safe lots around the city for people to park overnight. These lots will have security and hygiene and outreach services. In the past, safe lots didn't really work in Seattle. Mosqueda said this time around the city has "examples to point to... in the Bay Area and in California," and that smaller-scale programs like the Scofflaw Mitigation Program in the University District have functioned well. The next step for the city is coordinating with communities about where to site these lots, Mosqueda said.
Council President Lorena Gonzalez closed out the discussion on the bill by reminding everyone that the council and Seattle would be in a much different place if the council hadn't passed the progressive payroll tax, JumpStart Seattle, last year. That tax could generate as much as $200 million a year. Without those funds, Gonzalez said, the council would be using all of the ARPA funds to "plug budget holes" and restore basic functions to the city.
Welcome to the heat dome: Meteorologists predict "obscene" temperatures in California, Oregon, and Washington next week.
ECMWF 12z model develops an extreme "heat dome" over U.S. Northwest with obscene temperatures in excess of 120°F in California, Oregon and Washington early next week 🌡️.
🚨 Probably need to keep a close eye on this 🔥 pic.twitter.com/r2ZjKuXYTA
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) June 21, 2021
American Airlines canceled 6% of its mainline flight schedule yesterday: On Sunday, the airline cut around 190 flights because of staffing shortages. The airline also cut 123 flights on Saturday and 106 on Monday, according to CNBC. It will trim the overall flight schedule through mid-July by 1%. Meanwhile, demand for flights is skyrocketing as the world opens back up.
No Ben Franklin jokes, please: A Bremerton man flew his kite into some electrical wires yesterday at Evergreen-Rotary Park. He suffered burns. First responders transported him to Harborview Medical Center, where he remains in critical yet stabilized condition.
A little Bachelor flavored tea: Look, I'm not a big Bachelor fan, but I love any peek behind the reality-TV curtain. That's what this tell-all is from Rachel Lindsay, the first Black lead on the Bachelorette. Lindsay stepped away from all things Bachelor after the show's host defended a winning contestant who audiences discovered had attended an Antebellum-themed sorority function on a plantation in 2018. In this article, she describes how the show weaponized racism during her historic season to create drama.
Local Sightings Film Fest is back, baby: Catch some films in-person at the Northwest Film Forum (or virtually!) starting in September. The fest will feature Stranger resident philosopher Charles Mudede's film Thin Skin.
Inbox: @nwfilmforum's Local Sightings Film Fest is back in a hybrid format this September.
(in-person + virtual)
Opening film = @mudede's Thin Skin
🔗 https://t.co/zXpj1KixPt pic.twitter.com/a8zBgLO6Be
— Chase Burns (@chaseburnsy) June 21, 2021
An Uber Eats driver may have catnapped a kitty in Studio City: According to surveillance video, an Uber Eats driver picked up Hog, an 18-year-old cat, and put her in the car, delivered the food to the cat's family's neighbors, and drove away. Hog has been missing ever since.
Where are our orcas? The southern resident killer whales haven't been seen in their home waters, the Salish Sea, in two months. Researchers believe they've gone elsewhere to find food.
NFL player comes out: Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman on the Las Vegas Raiders, just came out as gay in an Instagram post. In doing so, Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out.
Shout out to the Seattle Times for this comprehensive landing page that helps organize the leading mayoral candidates with their positions on ~ the issues~.
Good news for everyone incarcerated in Connecticut: All prison phone calls in the state will soon be free. Connecticut is the first state in the country to do this.
Venus isn't dead: Scientists think they detected tectonic activity widespread across Venus's lowlands.
Check out Seattle musician Shaina Shepherd's new song: She released the track "Back of the Bus" on Juneteenth. Buy the digital track!! All proceeds will go to Africatown, which you can learn more about here.