Shes so cute!
She's so cute! Courtesy of the Point Defiance Zoo

Today, State Department Press Secretary Ned Price advised U.S. citizens trying to get out of the country to "shelter in place until and unless you receive a communication from the U.S. Embassy." At a press conference this morning, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there are around 11,000 "self-identified" U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan, reports The Guardian. Psaki also would not commit to getting U.S. citizens and allies out of the country past August 31:

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Mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes extended: With the order due to expire on September 13, federal officials have extended the transportation mask mandate to January 18, reports KING 5.

And in Chicago and New Mexico: Authorities in both have reimplemented an indoor mask mandate "for all people older than two beginning on Friday" due to the rise in COVID cases, reports New York Times. Like 'em or not, masks are here to stay.

Northern California's Caldor Fire grows in size, triggering evacuation orders: The fire now rages over 6,500 acres with zero containment after starting on Saturday near Omo Ranch village, reports CBS. Its growth triggered mandatory evacuation orders for the more than 190,000 residents of El Dorado County. The biggest fire currently burning in California is the Dixie Fire, which—after raging for 34 days—is only 30% contained and has razed over 605,000 acres.

The Stone Cottage is on the move tonight, just with no ceremony: The good folks behind the Save the Stone Cottage committee in West Seattle had planned a public spectacle to celebrate the move of the historic building into storage. But those plans fell through after two workers with the moving firm, Nickel Bros, tested positive for COVID, reports West Seattle Blog. You can still watch the move if you want, but they recommend doing so from the safety of your car.

Body of missing hiker in North Cascades recovered: Rachel Lakoduk went to hike the Hidden Lake Trail two years ago and never returned. A large search crew over the weekend recovered her remains, reports KING 5. "Sometimes there are just no words for a broken heart," wrote Lakoduk's mother, Elizabeth Tripp, in a Facebook post announcing the news yesterday morning.

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog issued a friendly reminder: There are no fish to catch in the Volunteer Park Reservoir!

The Buttigiegs: Are (almost) daddies.

Ya wanna help name this giant Pacific 'pus? Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium down in Tacoma has a new 2-year old giant Pacific octopus in their tanks and she's a cutie. The Pacific Seas Aquarium is running a public poll on what to name this sea creature. Your six options are: Gertie, Narrows (don't pick this one), the very enby-sounding Ceph (short for cephalopod), Octavia, Ms. 8 (her drag name), and Ophelia. Read more about the contest here and you have until Monday to cast your vote. The winning name will be announced on August 24. But here's a thought—have they considered asking her what she wants to be called?

Ahhhhh, what it must be like to be a Kiwi right now: NPR reports that New Zealand's government is locking down the entire country for at least three days after reporting one (1) single case of COVID.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has got the 'rona: One of the staunchest opponents of a mask mandate in a state with skyrocketing infections caught COVID, reports CNBC. If you'll remember, he recently banned local governments and schools from implementing mask or vaccine requirements. Abbott is fully vaccinated, "receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment and plans to isolate in the Governor's Mansion." Good for that fuck!

Meanwhile in Florida: More than 8,000 students and hundreds of teachers in one Florida school district are in quarantine or in isolation due to testing positive for COVID, reports The Washington Post. The school board will hold an emergency meeting this week to determine whether or not to issue a mask mandate.

Huge apartment fire in Tukwila kills three: Firefighters responded to a three alarm blaze at the Maple Crest Apartments around 5 AM, but a steep dropoff at the back of the building location made accessing and extinguishing the flames extremely difficult, reports KING 5. The water used to fight the blaze made the soil on the hill unstable, leading the local police department to evacuate nearby buildings due to the danger of the landslide. According to authorities, the building had no fire sprinklers and all three victims were found in the same bottom floor apartment. Crews are still fighting the fire "from a safe distance" and expect to be on site for at least three days.

Something something football something something contract: Jamal Adams signed a four-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, a football team, worth up to $72 million, making him theeee highest-paid safety in NFL History. Nice. Let the Seattle Times break it down for you over here.

I can't wait to go to Portland and visit this acclaimed surrealist art installation: Otherwise known as the Umpqua Bank on Alberta and NE 18th. Arts and culture editor Conner Reed over at Portland Monthly has all the deets on this incredible work. "You cannot remember the last time you gazed so directly into the face of pure, uncut entropy," writes Reed. My mind fully melted looking at that calendar!

For your listening pleasure: "The Jag" by The Micronauts. The bonus treat is that Gregg Araki directed the music video. Love the glitter!

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.