Heatwave death toll rises: The heat killed at least 13 people in King County, 11 more than previously known, KOMO reports.
In Oregon, 63 people have died since Friday: That includes 45 people in Multnomah County, NBC News reports. OSHA is investigating after an Oregon farm worker was found unresponsive and later died.
And in British Columbia: More than 230 deaths since Friday amid record-high temperatures, reports CNN.
WASHINGTON IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND FOR PLEASURE....and for standing next to the brass pig at the market. After raising a "Washington Ready" flag above the Space Needle, this morning at 9:45 am Governor Jay Inslee will continue the Seattle leg of his statewide reopening tour near the Pike Place Fish Market and the sculpture of Rachel the pig. If Inslee doesn't catch a silvery king salmon while riding the pig backwards, then the Stranger Election Control Board will retroactively rescind its 2020 endorsement and kick off (another) Recall Inslee campaign.
Inslee also has a chance to show real leadership by using his emergency powers, or his executive powers, or whatever weird powers he has to ban cars from Pike Place Market. Do it for the orcas!!!
Today I raised the #WashingtonReady flag above the @space_needle. We’re ready to reopen, and we’re ready to celebrate the people who have made today possible.— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) July 1, 2021
It’s a great day in the state of Washington. pic.twitter.com/1g5OzJEEqe
Also, who the fuck is coming up with these slogans? Some football coach somewhere scribbled "Washington Ready" on a white board, and now Inslee is running it up a flagpole. Meaningless. Worse than meaningless, since the meaning the phrase seeks to make speaks of an unearned hubris. "Washington ready" for 30% of its population to get rolled by the gamma virus. "Washington ready" to choke on wildfire smoke when a bunch of professional dingbats set the state on fire over the weekend. Remember "We Got This Seattle," a slogan that made it sound like we literally got the virus we were all trying to avoid by adhering to the governor's lockdown orders? Enough of this.
Now this? I could get behind this.
Lol Dow, get down off of there:
King County is fully reopen - and no better place to celebrate today than 605 feet above Seattle on top of the @space_needle #WashingtonReady pic.twitter.com/bsRi1qB8oE
— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) July 1, 2021
To be clear, I am not against raising more flags up the flagpole on top of the Space Needle. If elected mayor, my strategy to ~ revive downtown ~ would be to 1) stop talking about downtown as if it were a fucking war zone 2) stop letting tacky shops and restaurants open up 3) raise progressive taxes so we can pay to house people without a place to live and 4) raise a new kind of flag on top of the Space Needle every single day. TV news would spend all their time chasing new flags instead of ambulances, and the city would be all the better for it.
I would also keep Lake Washington Boulevard open forever and not just for the weekends.
This weekend — Lake Washington Blvd will be open! Children, families & elders fill these spaces as they go for strolls, picnic on the grass, or go swimming in the lake. These spaces are truly valued and they are something that all communities in Seattle should be able to access. pic.twitter.com/HkWIrD0C6L
— Tammy J. Morales (@CMTammyMorales) June 30, 2021
I'd also give Becca and Pat a raise: I absolutely spent 26 minutes and 34 seconds of my life watching these two host an AMA about how to recycle random stuff. The other day I learned that broken fans go in the garbage, or you can request a special item pickup, or you can recycle them at the Transfer Stations if they're mostly metal. Today I learned that the most commonly rejected recyclable material is just dirty recyclables. As Pat says, "it's gotta be empty, clean, and dry," people. Follow Seattle Public Utilities on Instagram if you want all the trashy news you can use.
BoltBus is dead: Declining demand due to COVID-19 prompted parent company Greyhound Lines to drop the popular and cheap bus service connecting Seattle to Vancouver and Portland, according to the Seattle Times. Fuuuuuuuuuuck, now how am I going to get to Portland for $20????? I'm gonna go broke taking that beautiful train!!!
Anybody remember Troy Kelley? The former Washington State auditor was convicted in 2017 for multiple felonies, including tax fraud, that happened before he was elected. After being sentenced to about a year in prison, Kelley has now reported to a California prison, according to KING 5.
Rep. Jim Walsh apologizes for wearing Star of David to protest vaccines: The Republican from Aberdeen went on Jason Rantz's radio show to say he was "terribly sorry." But only after he initially doubled down on his decision to wear a patch that Nazis forced the Jews to wear as a protest against COVID-19 vaccine requirements, claiming the criticism was "Orwellian," the Seattle Times reports.
Police say argument over fireworks ended in Alki shooting: One man who was shot Monday night at Alki Beach told police he saw a gunman shoot another man during an argument over fireworks, according to a probable cause statement, the Seattle Times reports. The mother of the man killed in the shooting said he was "a good, hardworking man with children."
LA cops appear to have botched a bomb squad operation big-time: As the LAPD removed "a cache of illegal fireworks" from a house in South LA yesterday evening, some of the fireworks went off in the bomb squad trailer and caused an explosion that injured "at least 16 people, three of them seriously," and busted up two nearby cars. Though the cops used the passive voice in a statement on the matter to avoid making any claims of culpability, "journalists were warned that some fireworks were going to be destroyed inside the truck and the warning 'Fire in the hole!' was shouted several times," according to the Associated Press.
Rep. Adam Smith does not like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem using private donations to fund a National Guard deployment of 50 soldiers to the southern border, and he vows to ask U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to make it stop, Politico reports. A Noem spokesperson said "that the governor could accept private donations if she determined that doing so was in the best interest of South Dakota" but "did not say how much money was involved." Smith said "this is unbelievably dangerous to think that rich people can start using the U.S. military to advance their objectives."
The fight to Free Britney continues: A judge has rejected a "months-old" request to remove Britney Spears's father as her sole conservator, though the decision was not in direct response to her dramatic testimony last week, during which she called the conservatorship "abusive." The judge cannot make a ruling on that testimony because she has not yet filed a petition to terminate the conservatorship, Variety reports.
The virus is on the rise in Europe: After two months of steady decline, new coronavirus cases are up by 10% thanks to "crowds at Euro 2020 football stadiums and in pubs and bars in host cities," Reuters reports. Health officials fear a big surge in autumn "if people don't get vaccinated."
The 100th anniversary of the founding of China's Communist Party: Xi Jinping told the crowd, “The Chinese people have never bullied, oppressed or enslaved the peoples of other countries, not in the past, not now, and not in the future. At the same time, the Chinese people will never allow foreign forces to bully, oppress or enslave us. Whoever nurses delusions of doing that will crack their heads and spill blood on the Great Wall of steel built from the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese people," according to the New York Times. The event was organized to feature a "carefully picked crowd at Tiananmen Square."
North Korea could be facing famine: "United Nations Security Council sanctions, the COVID-19 closure of its border with China, and a 2020 drought followed by typhoon rains" all contribute to "a food gap of 780,000 tonnes for 2020-2021," according to Al Jazeera. North Korean State media quoted Kim Jong Un saying, "The people’s food situation is now getting tense."
Grand jury indicts Trump Organization for tax avoidance: The organization's CFO, Allen Weisselberg, turned himself in to the Manhattan district attorney’s office yesterday after a grand jury filed criminal indictments against him, multiple outlets report. Commentators expect prosecutors to attempt to flip Weisselberg, who, as a longtime confident of the former president, "could do considerable damage to Mr. Trump," according to the New York Times.
The Supreme Court handed down a couple horrible decisions this morning: One 6-3 decision struck down a California law requiring charities to disclose their top donors to the state, a law that sought to prevent fraud, (e.g. to stop groups such as Koch Industries from dumping a lot of money into charities and then using them as shields to execute their political will). The majority argued that the law "chills the protected First Amendment speech of their donors and violates their right to free association," according to the Washington Post. John Roberts, the key vote in the Citizens United case, wrote the majority opinion in this case because of course he did.
The other 6-3 decision takes another big whack at the Voting Rights Act: The conservative majority argued that two voter suppression laws in Arizona are totally fine. The laws void ballots cast "in the wrong precinct" and ban "ballot harvesting," a practice where campaigns run around and try to correct invalid ballots. "Democrats argued those rules end up disproportionately affecting voters of color, and that they therefore violate the Voting Rights Act," but Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, one of the smoothest brains on the bench, argued otherwise, Axios reports.