And over here in Seattle: Music venues and bar vaccination policies have been pretty spotty, but the tide is turning. The Doctor's Office, a bar on Capitol Hill, recently announced a new proof of vaccination requirement (or negative COVID test) in order to enter.
As for other spots around the area: Since reopening, nightlife hub Kremwerk has required proof of vaccination for guests to enter. The nightclub told me they're now doing temperature checks at the door and having staff wear masks to protect themselves against rising caseloads. "The last thing we would want is to shut down," wrote Kremwerk general manager Jeanne-Marie Joubert in an email.
The owners of Queer/Bar, The Woods, and The Cuff Complex also announced today a new temporary policy requiring proof of vaccination to enter. In an Instagram post, they said they made the decision "based on our need to protect our staff, community, and their families." They will accept the physical card, a picture of the card, or a screenshot of your vaccination status from an online portal.
Meanwhile, STG Presents—which operates the Paramount, Moore, and Neptune Theatres—told me this afternoon that they will not require proof of vaccination, but they WILL implement a new policy requiring everyone to wear face masks inside the venue. Starting with this Saturday's Warren Dunes show at the Neptune, patrons will need to mask up to attend performances inside the U District theater. "If observing these recommendations assists our community in containing transmission, STG is happy to do its part," wrote the organization in an email.
Moving on to other news... We continue to stan Simone Biles: The greatest gymnast in the world shocked everyone by bowing out of the Olympic Gymnastic Women's Team Finals today after stumbling during the vault competition, reports Vox. Following in Naomi Osaka's footsteps, Biles told reporters that she wasn't in the right place mentally to compete, opting to focus on her health and give her team the best chances of winning. She cheered on Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum, who finished without her and got the team a silver medal, losing gold to the Russian team with a score of 166.096 to 169.528. We love it when Black women respect their boundaries!
Superstar gymnast Simone Biles says to "put mental health first" after she pulled out of the team final on Tuesday, citing the emotional toll of the Olympics. https://t.co/UK582xfn3T pic.twitter.com/O1RxwurMNn
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 27, 2021
And P!nk offered to pay a fine given to the Norwegian women's beach handball team for "wearing shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms," reports AP.
Seattle Art Fair is back: You can look at art from dozens of local, national, and international galleries alike starting next summer, from July 21-24, 2022 over at Lumen Field. Art Market Productions Events will take over the fair from Vulcan Arts + Entertainment as sole owner and producer. “Seattle Art Fair brings together the best of the vibrant arts community with a unique Pacific Northwest twist, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue the fair’s remarkable legacy,” said Kelly Freeman, director of Seattle Art Fair in a press release.
The City of Seattle gets federal grant of $12 million that will go toward the repair of the West Seattle Bridge: This grant brings the total number of federal fund$ awarded to fixing the bridge to $37.7 million, reports the Seattle P.I. The overall cost is expected to be around $175 million, with the city covering a little over $100 million.
The King County Council has chosen a new Office of Law Enforcement Oversight Director: And their pick is attorney, mediator, community organizer, and policy professional Tamer Abouzeid. According to a press release, Abouzeid will slide into the role officially on September 20. Read his longer bio here.
As Rich mentioned in Slog AM: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that fully vaxxed people wear masks indoors in places with high COVID-19 transmission rates to prevent the spread of the Delta variant, reports CNBC. They also extended that recommendation to kids going back to school this fall. While fully vaxxed people represent a small portion of transmission, "some vaccinated people could be carrying higher levels of the virus than previously understood." Get your vaccine if you haven't already!
The Biden administration is apparently considering mandating federal workers to get the coronavirus vaccine, reports The Hill. "That is under consideration right now, but if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were," said the president today. This comes a day after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will require frontline healthcare workers to get the jab.
Bernie's August 3 endorsements are in: He joins Rep. Pramila Jayapal in giving a virtual backslap to Lorena González for mayor, Teresa Mosqueda for city council, and Toshiko Hasegawa and Hamdi Mohammed for both the at-large port commissioner seats. Nikkita Oliver is suspiciously missing from this round of endorsements, but we'll be sure to send both politicians our endorsements to clear up any concerns they may have.
On August 3rd, Seattle has the chance to elect some transformational candidates to local office.
I’m proud to join my friend @PramilaJayapal in endorsing @MLorenaGonzalez for Mayor, @TeresaCMosqueda for City Council, and @HasegawaForPort and @hamdiforport for Port Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/9cZvuNWitq
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 27, 2021
Oprah bids adieu to her Orcas Island property: She sold her 43-acre waterfront estate called Madroneagle for a cool $14 million, reports Puget Sound Business Journal. Sources says it's "the highest price ever paid for an Orcas Island property." But don't worry, Oprah will remain a landlord on the island with her commercial properties, which include the Brown Bear building (home of Brown Bear Baking), Eastsound Square, and other buildings that house Crow Valley Pottery, Darvill's Bookstore, and The Madrona Bar and Grill.
ICYMI: Remember that one time we sent Charles Mudede to Orcas Island in search of Oprah?
The man accused of killing eight people—mostly women of Asian descent—in Atlanta-area spas pleaded guilty to four counts of murder today: Robert Aaron Long received four sentences of life without parole, reports NPR. Long still awaits trial in the four other deaths that are being prosecuted in a different county, where he could still be given the death penalty as well as charges of aggravated assault and domestic terrorism in addition to the murder charges.
Two dead after small plane crashes in Alaska state park: According to the Alaska State Troopers, the wreckage was found in Chugach State Park with the two adults onboard dead. Authorities were "notified around 8 p.m. Monday of an overdue aircraft that had taken off from an Anchorage airport," reports AP via the Seattle Times. Recovery efforts were meant to start on Tuesday before someone found the wreckage around 10:45 Monday night.
And here's a quick update from my colleague, Rich Smith: Take it away!
The Kshama Solidarity campaign said they’ve collected the signatures needed to put the recall on the ballot: In a press conference Tuesday morning, the Solidarity campaign announced they gathered 2,047 signatures, which they say is “enough for the Recall campaign to immediately turn in their sum total signatures to King County Elections.” In order to make the November ballot, the Recall campaign needs to turn in a little under 11,000 signatures by August 3, though King County Elections recommends turning in a couple thousand more than that to account for false names or ineligible signatures. Earlier this month, the campaign manager for the Recall campaign said he’d already gathered a little over 9,000 signatures. The Solidarity campaign now says the ball is in the Recall campaign’s court. If the Recall campaign doesn’t turn in the signatures on time, then the Solidarity campaign will continue characterizing the delay as voter suppression, since missing the August 3 deadline would result in the elections department holding the recall vote during a special election, wherein far fewer people normally vote.
Things are looking kinda grim for Gavin Newsom: A new poll of likely California voters finds them evenly split on whether or not to recall Newsom as governor, reports the L.A. Times. Despite many Democrats in the state, voter turnout will be vital in determining the election's outcome.
Do you know where the coyotes have gone? It's been a minute since the West Seattle Blog received any coyote reports and they are concerned about the state of these critters. Ditto researchers over at the University of Washington and Woodland Park Zoo. If you happen to have any West Seattle coyote leads, shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone bought "pharmaceutical scum-bro" Martin Shrekli's one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang record: Vulture is trying to find the buyer.
For your listening pleasure: Saint Etienne's new "Pond House."