99% of City of Seattle employees are down with the city's vaccine mandate: Today's the final day for city employees to show proof of vaccination, request an exemption, or face removal for failing to do their part in preventing the spread of coronavirus. As of this morning, nearly all of the city’s 11,000 employees have complied, reports Hannah Krieg, leaving just about 150 workers who haven't requested an exemption or submitted proof of vaccination. Twenty-four of those 150 people work at the Seattle Police Department.
Those numbers are quite a bit lower than the "Seattle could fire 40% of police force over COVID-19 vaccine mandate" fearmongering earlier this month.
Pissing and shitting in public: Where do you do it? The pandemic has caused most public restrooms to shut down, and many businesses aren't rushing to reopen them. Naomi Ishisaka's latest column in the Seattle Times looks at the city's potty desert, the failed promise of Mobile Pit Stops, and the public health consequences of failing to give people places to poop. What's your favorite public restroom in Seattle? It's no La Dive, but I like Trader Joe's bathroom on Capitol Hill.
Food news: My favorite Capitol Hill izakaya family, Rondo + Tamari Bar, announced they're opening a new location on Bainbridge Island. Details are thin, but it looks like it'll be a "chopsticks stand" concept called HiLife. Field trip? I don't care how long the ferry line is—I'll rent a seaplane if I have to.
Disney pushes back the openings for a bunch of Marvel movies: Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Thor 4, Indiana Jones 5, and others got new, delayed schedules. Since Marvel's universe is so interconnected, one delay causes the whole thing to lurch back, explains Variety.
Amazon-owned robot taxi technology will start testing in Seattle later this month: Zoox, a "robotaxi" company owned by Amazon and headquartered in California, announced today they're coming to Seattle specifically because it's so hard to drive here. "Narrow tunnels, one-way systems, inclement weather. Let’s go," reads the company's press release. "The Seattle area offers a host of new challenges, with new ways to test our vehicles in all kinds of conditions." I think I'm less excited than they are about their robot cars running into "a host of new challenges."
The company says it plans on opening an office in Seattle in 2022, which will mark its fourth location after San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Foster City. The vehicles coming to Seattle are their Toyota Highlander L3 fleet, but here's a look at Zoox from last year:
We're no strangers to autonomous cars: Google started testing its driverless vehicles in the area in 2016.
Thanks in part to demand for goods post-lockdowns, there are container ship bottlenecks worldwide, in Shanghai and Savannah and Rotterdam. Analysts expect the supply chain problems to last for years. And near Los Angeles and Long Beach, federal investigators have named the container ship MSC Danit as a "party in interest" in the anchor-dragging incident that caused the devastating 126,000-plus gallon crude oil spill in Orange County. Check out the proportions on this story:
In the days following the spill, divers and ROV footage confirmed that a 4,000-foot stretch of the more than 17-mile-long San Pedro Bay Pipeline was found to be displaced on the ocean floor by 105 feet, with a 13-inch gash likely to be the source of the oil spill. Investigators said evidence, included sediment build-up and marine growth around the pipeline, suggests that the initial anchor dragging incident occurred several months to as long as one year before the oil spill was first reported on October 2.
Investigators believe the incident started on January 25, when a heavy weather event caused many container ships to raise anchor and go to sea to avoid the storm.
SKyTruth analysis of MSC Danit (world's biggest container ship in 2009) using AIS data from @exactEarth shows it repeatedly crossed damaged pipeline off Huntington Beach while "at anchor." Detail in our FB post at https://t.co/Sloxk6O9qF pic.twitter.com/22KLPXnEr5
— SkyTruth (@SkyTruth) October 17, 2021
Here's former KIRO 7 reporter Jessica Oh reporting on the spill's effects earlier this month:
Fox News is already spinning the supply-chain crisis as Joe Biden ruining Christmas. I'm still unpacking my feelings about Melania's Christmas decorations ("it looked like a very goth Las Vegas"), so I'm too busy to process this predictably dumb framing from the GOP.
This summer's historic hell dome annihilated crops: Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene (Medina) told our Times that one berry farmer in her district "lost 84% of the farm’s crop because of the heat—that’s an estimated $232,000 in lost revenue." New legislation passed through Congress and signed by Joe Biden will give disaster relief to many impacted farmers like the one in DelBene's district. The $10 billion relief package is intended to address losses from "hurricanes, drought, flood, winter storms, extreme cold, wildfires, and smoke taint." Smoke taint, the worst kind of taint.
Moderna mamas and Pfizer pfathers can mix and mingle: That's basically the news from the FDA today. Here's the New York Times's lede:
The Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to receive a different Covid-19 vaccine as a booster than the one they initially received, a move that could reduce the appeal of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and provide flexibility to doctors and other vaccinations.
Sorry J&J: A "study found that recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot who received a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels rise 76-fold in 15 days, compared with only a fourfold increase after an extra dose of Johnson & Johnson."
Seattle Times with the scoop: Olympia pumpkin grower Jeff Uhlmeyer's 2,191-pound Atlantic Giant Pumpkin won the 2021 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. His secret? The GGGG approach: "Good seeds, good soil, good friends, and good plant management practices."
A king among pumpkins. A pumpking.