Of course Bruce Harrell loves Malcolm Gladwell.
Of course Bruce Harrell loves Malcolm Gladwell. Shitty Screenshot from Town Hall Event

Seven passengers sue over recent Amtrak derailment: The passengers were injured when the Seattle-bound train derailed in Montana last month, killing three people. They're suing Amtrak and BNSF, which owns the tracks. Lawsuits on behalf of the seven passengers allege negligence and improper rail maintenance, KING 5 reports.

Not just Seattle: Rents are climbing in Tacoma, up 19% from last year. That's the biggest year-to-year jump in the Puget Sound, KIRO 7 reports, citing data from Apartment List.

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Toxic masculinity at the zoo? A 6-year-old tiger named Kirana died after a male tiger injured her during a "breeding introduction" at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, reports the local Fox affiliate. Zoo staff say the two were slowly introduced to each other, but after they were able to meet physically, the female tiger suffered life-threatening injuries and later died. Dr. Karen Goodrowe, the zoo's general curator, tells Q13, "When tigers breed, it’s natural for them to spar with each other and there is typically some level of aggression. This level of aggression was far beyond what we would expect with tiger introductions." If nothing else, that excellent sentence emerged from this tragedy.

Republican King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert has gone negative in her race against the Democrat, Sarah Perry. Same ol' ~ spooky Seattle ~ scare tactics, with an image of Perry carrying a briefcase full of "higher crime." Expect Lambert's next mailer to show Perry giving Kshama Sawant a piggy back ride in the middle of a Black Lives Matter protest. This strategy didn't work when Republicans pulled the same shit against Manka Dhingra in 2017, and hopefully it won't work here. But never fear, Lambert has four-time loser Dino Rossi writing campaign letters on her behalf. Lol.

Reported Beluga sighting: A West Seattle Blog reader says a beluga whale was spotted in Tacoma's Commencement Bay and, later, the same whale may have been seen off West Seattle. "This is way out of the usual range for belugas," though they can stray, WSB reports.

Welcome, Afghans! And by "welcome" we mean go fuck yourselves: 1,670 Afghan evacuees will resettle in Washington in coming months. Those arrivals will be people evacuated with "humanitarian parole" status, rather than Special Immigrant Visas, meaning their future immigration status is in limbo, the Seattle Times reports. Plus, "humanitarian parolees are not eligible for long-term refugee assistance programs like Medicaid and specific cash assistance."

Unvaxxed hospital workers could affect staffing levels: That was one of the many worries troubling the heads of hospital officials as the Monday deadline to get the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine came and went. Local hospitals are reporting high vaccination rates, but some rural hospitals "might have to temporarily limit patient admissions if cases and hospitalizations surge," the Seattle Times reports. Still, the promising news is that hospitalizations and deaths are declining.

Man alleges Lynnwood cops wrongly burst into his apartment: Juan Alberto Castaneda Miranda is suing after police allegedly burst into his apartment, guns drawn, and demanded he "confess about the drug cartels" in 2018, the Everett Herald reports. "Castaneda Miranda, a Comcast technician, says he had no idea what they were talking about," according to the Herald. The complaint claims police later acknowledged they were in the wrong apartment. A claim for damages filed in July named eight agencies, including Seattle Police, though two others (Lynnwood and Edmonds) say they weren't involved in the search.

"Diamond Parking heiress" is a phrase that appears in the subhead for this Wall Street Journal story about one of Washington's most expensive home sales this year. "An entity tied to the late Diane Diamond Foreman," whose father founded Diamond Parking, sold the waterfront Bellevue mansion for $22.75 million. WSJ couldn't immediately ID the buyer.

Total Wine & More dinged for alleged failure to comply with hazard pay law: Seattle's Office of Labor Standards alleges the 'wine & more store' was not complying with the hazard pay ordinance and owes about $333,000 to 101 current and former employees, MyNorthwest reports. "Total Wine & More disputes that the ordinance is applicable to their stores, but it has voluntarily agreed to settle without admitting liability."

Inspire Washington hosted an arts forum featuring many candidates for local government: Moderators Vivian Phillips and Marcie Sillman mostly tried to get candidates on record on arts funding approaches. Since they interviewed so many candidates, they only asked each a few questions, which didn't give the candidates too much room to mess up.

That said, the guy running for city council against incumbent Teresa Mosqueda crashed and burned, and then whined about the moderators asking him one fewer question than they asked Mosqueda.

Rose Cano, director of eSe Teatro, asked Seattle City Council Position 9 candidates about how to “deal with encampments” in Pioneer Square so people can feel uncomfortable at gallery openings without the added distress of seeing tents or whatever. Craft beer lobbyist Sara Nelson said she wanted to "activate Pioneer Square with arts." Nikkita Oliver recommended building housing, acquiring housing, putting navigation centers throughout city rather than just bunched up downtown and in Little Saigon, and provide “accessibility” to services rather than sweep people.

As for the mayoral candidates: Both Bruce Harrell and Lorena González expressed support for the arts, but González focused on housing and jobs for artists while Harrell focused on art's power to "communicate" and to "unify."

On arts policy: Both said they'd use city money to fund capital costs rather than only operational costs. González said "we may have future opportunities" to tap the payroll tax money to supplement (likely inevitable) admissions tax shortfalls to fund arts programs that depend on those funds, while Harrell said he supports "every available tax revenue" and yet again claimed he'd tap "wealthy corporations" for a handout to backfill those needs. Both candidates said they'd support adding an admissions tax to men's sports. Harrell suggested the council could have made that change last year—in the middle of the pandemic, when no fans filled the seats—"if they were so gung-ho about it." González said they could have done it in the last 12 years, presumably when Harrell was Council President.

What's the greatest threat to the arts? González pointed to the affordability crisis and highlighted the need for more housing, cultural space, and places for artists to work. Harrell muddled around a bit but essentially argued that "fear" of crime was the greatest threat to the industry. "I talk about an effective public safety strategy... You create better when you’re in a position of feeling safe. That’s when the creative juices flow," he said. He also admitted a love of Malcolm Gladwell, which makes all kinds of sense. As I wrote a few years back, Gladwell is the king of the metaphorically resonant but ultimately meaningless comparison, and he's obsessed with overblowing the claims of cherry-picked studies.

OPA Director Andrew Myerberg is interviewing for a police transparency job in Phoenix: Good luck! And if you make it, enjoy the sun! According to the SMC, if Myerberg leaves, the Mayor will appoint and the council will confirm a new director, who must have "legal, investigative, or prosecutorial experience." So the next mayor/council configuration will need to pick a new police chief and a new person to "hold the police accountable."

Film production staff votes to authorize strike: 60,000 crew members with various IATSE unions around the country "overwhelmingly" (98%) voted to authorize work stoppage as negotiators bargain for a new contract, NPR reports. They're asking for shorter hours, guaranteed breaks, and more money for working on stuff that goes straight to streaming.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is spilling tea all over the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection: The former project manager at the book of faces is asking Congress to regulate the company before they make another generation of teens want to commit suicide every five minutes. If you want to watch old Senators grandstanding about the dangers of Instagram for kidz, then this show's for you:

Washington Post published a massive exposé on offshore banking: The Pandora Papers follow up on the Panama Papers, showing how the people who run countries (e.g. King Abdullah II of Jordan, "the leaders of Kenya and the Czech Republic," Russian oligarchs) stash money in tax havens all over the world, including in places such as South Dakota and Delaware. Unless governments—including our own—put an end to this, then these rich assholes will keep fleecing the world. Lord knows the banks have no incentive to do it themselves — these are highly valuable customers.

"Between $1.9 and $2.3 trillion:" That's the new top line number range for Biden's Build Back Better Budget, or so he told a bunch of progressives on a video call Monday night, Politico reports. The President suggested "'means-testing' on programs such as free community college" and reducing the scope, size, and lengths of programs designed to lift all boats.

Meanwhile, Sinema's still pissed about the infrastructure bill not getting a vote: But she can stay mad:

A quarter of all sea life lives in corals: And our addiction to burning fossil fuels killed 14% of them in a decade, according to an Al Jazeera analysis of "the largest-ever survey of coral health" from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Other factors, such as "overfishing, unsustainable coastal development and declining water quality" also helped stomp out the life of these life-bearers.

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Los Desaparecidos: Nearly 100,000 people in Mexico "lie in clandestine graves strewn across the desert, mingled in communal pits, or hacked to pieces and scattered on desiccated hillsides." The New York Times has collected and displayed their crumpled, desiccated clothes. The only way to even have a frame for thinking about this much loss is to read The Part about the Crimes in Roberto Bolańo's 2666.

I leave you with this: The Xinobi remix of O Terno's "Bielzinho." Really hits at 0:33.

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