Honestly $6,000 for plane banners seems kinda low. I wonder if they got a good deal.
Clearly worth the money. RS

Charter Amendment 29 will not see a vote in November: Today the state Court of Appeals rejected "Compassion Seattle," the campaign for the ballot initiative, after the group appealed a lower court ruling removing it from the ballot, according to the Seattle Times. Through Compassion Seattle, Tim Burgess raised a million dollars from downtown corporations and developers in an effort to carve encampment sweeps into the city's constitution and to build 2,000 shelter beds — all without any new funding or any actual plan. So it goes for yet another failed shadow campaign against the city's progressives.

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The upshots? Now Council President Lorena González can just run against former Council President Bruce Harrell for mayor, rather than Bruce Harrell and a pink rainbow. And now the bad non-plan won't happen, unless Seattle elects Harrell as its mayor. This week Harrell adopted the initiative's policies as his own, and argued that homeless people who refuse services should face "consequences," though he wouldn't say what.

The weird thing about Compassion Seattle, aside from its creepy pink rainbow logo: Harrell and the initiative's backers framed the proposal as a rebuke of the current council's "inaction," but this year the council already funded at least 1,665 non-congregant shelter beds and housing units, according to this a July report from Seattle City Council Central Staff. Over the phone, Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis said the council actually funded more than 2,000 new units, but staff left "TBDs" on some funded shelter units where they're still working out "siting issues." He added that the Mayor's office hasn't been able to stand up 25% of these units, partly due to "siting issues and issues finding providers," but said that the initiative was basically trying to force the council to do something they were already doing.

I talked a little bit about all of that on the radio today: It was nice to chat with Publicola publisher Erica C. Barnett, Washington State Wire publisher DJ Wilson, and Week In Review host Bill Radke over at KUOW. Behold our smiling faces:

I talked a little bit about other stuff on Hacks & Wonks this morning: Do you listen to Hacks & Wonks? You should listen to Hacks & Wonks. Political consultant Crystal Fincher hosts the show, and she's a great host, if for no other reason than she put up with my tendency to ramble. We talk about—among other things—King County's underreported ADA Transition plan, which came out in February and told us that 90% of the county's curb ramps do not comply with ADA standards, nor do 95% of its sidewalks.

You remember that flying lawn mower with a "Recall Sawant" banner attached to its tail? The campaign to kick out Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant for illegal use of a copy machine spent "close to $6,000 on sky-banner flights in July, as covered at the time by Capitol Hill Seattle Blog," the Seattle Times reports. The rest of Beekman's story tells us that the recall will officially not appear on the November ballot but will probably appear in some weirdo winter election that nobody pays attention to.

Welcome to the outdoor mask mandate universe, Pierce County: Our friends to the south must don masks at events where over 500 people have gathered, effective September 7, KING 5 reports. Though cases declined compared to last month, "the hospitalization rate is still climbing and is the highest Pierce County has seen since the start of the pandemic."

Probably a good idea to mask up down there anyway given these two facts: the Washington State Fair in Puyallup opens today, and the Whatcom County Health Department attributed 108 COVID-19 cases "to the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden," according to the Associated Press.

Let's talk about breakthrough cases in Washington! "Only 0.5% of vaccinated Washingtonians had breakthrough infections," according to the Washington Department of Health. Okay, good talk!

Two-year-old Orca "reported to be in bad shape:" You know the West Seattle Blog is all over this one.

Sad news: Beth's cafe is closing up shop temporarily until they figure out what the hell is going on with COVID. "In a Facebook post, Beth’s said they would be open through Labor Day, but after modifying their hours they said business hasn’t been fruitful enough to make staying open financially viable," KIRO reports.

Not sad news: Ballard's Smoke Shop picked up a new owner with plans to bring the dive bar "back from the abyss," My Ballard reports. I used to have a story about the Smoke Shop, but I forget it now, which I think is pretty standard for Smoke Shop stories.

Biden's vaccine booster program begins Sept 20: But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration want him to slow his roll. The agencies told the President "there is not enough data right now to make a blanket recommendation on boosters and that it may be prudent to start boosters with older adults first," NPR reports.

The Afghan evacuations were messier than Biden let on: The New York Times got ahold of some evacuation-related "State Department emails and documents from the Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Defense Departments" and also interviewed some "officials and refugee advocates." Their gloss on "the largest air evacuation in U.S. history"? Chaos.

Afghan aid talks begin: The US and the UN need to figure out how to deliver humanitarian aid without handing it over directly to the Taliban in a war-torn country whose GDP is nearly half dependent on money from other countries, Al Jazeera reports. "The UN has warned 18 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian disaster, and another 18 million could quickly join them. According to reports as many as 500,000 could also flee the country for fear of the Taliban."

Wanna know if the Saudi Arabian government did 9/11? So do a group of 9/11 families who sued the country for what they believed to be its role in the attacks. Today President Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to that group—and to everyone else—and directed the DOJ "to review documents related to the FBI’s 9/11 investigations for potential declassification," Politico reports.

Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio: Lawmakers in all those states plan to follow Texas's lead and pass bills specifically designed to ban abortion in a way that avoids judicial review, the Washington Post reports. But before some of those efforts really kick into gear, the Supreme Court will likely overturn Roe after hearing arguments for Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban this fall.

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Eager to pour a big old glass of sadness and commiserate about the end of Roe with these comrades: If it weren't for access to safe and legal abortions, I'd still be a custody battle waiting to happen in my father's eye. Anti-choice people always trot out the kids who were "saved" from abortion, but I've never seen anyone trot out the kids who exist because of abortion. If anyone wants to trot me out for that purpose, you know where to find me.

Have a nice weekend! And try not to burn down the entire state!

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