Freeway rock-tosser caught: State troopers arrested a man after he allegedly threw debris off an I-90 overpass seven times yesterday. One of the drivers hit with the debris made chase after they were hit and helped track down the suspect. So far this year there have been 161 rock-throwing incidents in King County. In all of 2020, there were 133 rock-throwing reports. State troopers say what's difficult is multiple people are doing these crimes.
Encampent removal inevitable: The Washington State Department of Transportation, the stewards of our freeways, determined that at least some of the rock-throwing incidents are linked to homeless encampments near the hotspots. WSDOT and the City of Seattle will sweep two encampments on Thursday. Normally, sweeps require 72-hours of notice, but officials are doing a rush order this time due to safety concerns.
Two flag bearers, one Olympics: Okay, forget for a second that it feels awful and wrong for the Olympics to happen this summer. Erased those negative feelings? Great. In Olympics news, Seattle Storm's Sue Bird and some baseball player named Eddy Alvarez will both carry the Team USA flag in the opening ceremony. For the first time, the Olympics will allow two flag bearers per country—one male, one female. This is a way to acknowledge nearly equal gender representation at the Games this year.
Back to Olympics reality: Tokyo's virus cases hit a six-month high. The Games start in two days.
The host of the 2032 Olympics is: Brisbane, Australia. Will we even make it to 2032?
Voting time!!!!!!! Seattle City Attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy posted what is clearly the best campaign ad of the season. NTK, as you will surely recall, is an abolitionist and a bass player for the "non-obvious, introverted goth-rock" band Shitty Person, as former Stranger staffer Dave Segal put it.
Eviction moratorium who? According to the Seattle Times, despite the eviction moratorium in place throughout the pandemic some renters still felt pressured by their landlords to move out. As the Times reports, for 16% of renters in a new University of Washington survey, landlords texted, emailed, called, or showed up in person to tell tenants to scram during COVID-19. That only happened to 9% of renters pre-pandemic. On top of that, "nearly 6% reported a landlord shutting off utilities compared with 4% before the pandemic."
Life expectancy drops 1.5 years in U.S.: In the biggest decline in life expectancy since World War II, thanks to the pandemic, Americans' life expectancy declined 1.5 years. Living under the conditions of the last 18 months for their entire lives, a child born in 2020 would live 77.3 years, the New York Times reports. In 2019, that number was 78.8. For Black and Hispanic Americans, life expectancy declined nearly two years.
Alabama's pandemic of the unvaccinated: Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate in the country with only 33.7% of the state vaccinated. Of those Alabamans hospitalized with COVID-19, 94% weren't vaccinated. Of those who have died of COVID-19, 96% weren't vaccinated. These trends mirror the situation nationally. A doctor spoke candidly about the experience of treating dying patients who could've helped themselves. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine," Dr. Brytney Cobia said. "I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.” She said despite the misinformation and doubt these patients had about the vaccine, none of them asked their primary care doctor about it.
U.S. women's soccer team lose in first Olympics match: Sweden trounced the U.S. 3-0 in the first match of the Olympics tournament. The U.S. team is the clear favorite to win the Olympics after their 2019 World Cup win. The U.S. will try its best to make it out of the group stage of the tournament. “It is what it is,” Forward Megan Rapinoe said. “We got bopped, and we have two more games coming quick and fast. And now we know exactly what we need to do." This was the first time the U.S. team has lost in 24 games.
Floods in China: Zhengzhou, China recorded the most rainfall in the city's history this week. In one day, the city received nearly its annual rainfall. The climate-change-fueled storm led to floods that trapped subway travelers in water that reached up to their necks, submerged vehicles on the street, and caused power outages in the hospital.
I hate when this happens: A teenage girl in Hingham, Massachusetts swerved her car to avoid hitting a squirrel. Instead, she careened off the road and into the Samuel Lincoln House, the historic home built by Abraham Lincoln's great-grandfather in 1650.
Everything is bleak and terrible: Russia's permafrost is melting. As it melts, the carbon trapped inside releases. As the carbon—1,400 gigatonnes of it—is released it will contribute to more warming, which will melt permafrost faster. The thaw has also exposed a mammoth graveyard, so at least that's kind of cool.
A little goodbye: As you've probably heard by now, this week will be my last at The Stranger. I started at this blog writing this morning news roundup as a college intern tucked into my third-floor bedroom in a haphazard University District house. I would listen to Kanye West's album "Graduation" two times while writing, mostly because it starts with the song "Good Morning." Do not judge me for these transgressions. Now, I am older, a little smarter, and more tired.
After 3.5 years here and a hellacious 18 months of a pandemic—which you've seen effect The Stranger firsthand—I'm bowing out. I have no idea what I'm doing next, but I know I need a break. If you'd like to follow along to see where I end up you can find me on Twitter. I wish I had a newsletter to plug. Maybe soon? Who knows. If you don't ever want to hear from me again, that's fine, too. Thanks for reading!
This is how Mayor Jenny Durkan said goodbye to me: Top that. I may need to analyze that further on the blog before I leave. Or, you can analyze it for me in the comments. Necessary background reading.
Please enjoy this crossword: I hope it's a good one.