Some stats for dat ass: 1,887 of 63,000 Washington state workers—around 3 percent—were fired or walked off the job due to the vaccine mandate, reports the Seattle Times. And another 3 percent-ish got "an accommodation that allows them to work in a less-public role without being vaccinated" while 4.6 percent are "in a state of flux." In total, 92 percent of state workers have been confirmed as vaccinated, a high enough rate that there's no threat of the state not being able to provide essential service due to labor disruptions.
We maybe could have guessed this was coming: Former Washington State University coach Nick Rolovich's lawyer told KOMO that his client plans to sue the school for "illegal termination" over being fired for his refusal to get the COVID vaccine. Apparently, Rolovich—who used to be the highest paid state employee—had asked WSU for a religious exemption from the mandate but was denied and ultimately terminated for his vaccine refusal. Rolovich's lawyer also claimed that WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun had "animus towards Coach Rolovich's sincerely held religious beliefs." Drama!
Employees at Netflix are staging a walkout and rally today, calling for their company to "better support its trans and non-binary employees," reports NPR. The internal strife started after the streaming giant released a Dave Chappelle comedy special that contained several transphobic jokes. Things got worse after Netflix fired a Black trans employee for allegedly leaking confidential data. Now, The Verge has gotten hold of a list of demands made by trans employees and their allies. And before you free-speech champions ask, taking down Chappelle's special is NOT a demand.
Um: Ye—f.k.a. Kanye West—met with Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen (weird) to apparently discuss real estate (also kinda weird) while wearing an extremely creepy prosthetic mask (definitely fucking weird). Cohen told Page Six that Ye wore the mask to disguise himself from fans but that it "interestingly enough, did not really work." Honestly, the more I look at it, the more I'm kind of here for it?
Cross species transplants are here: Surgeons in the United States have successfully transplanted a kidney from a pig into a human "without triggering immediate rejection by the recipient's immune system," reports Reuters. A braindead patient with signs of kidney failure received the organ from a pig who had been genetically altered so its tissues didn't have a trace of a molecule that causes an "almost immediate rejection." Medical professionals hope that this case will help the groundwork for more human-animal organ transplants to come.
People in Scream masks rob a hair salon in Rainier Valley: Three people in Scream masks were caught on camera demanding cash at gunpoint from King Way Salon, reports KING 5. The suspects scooped everything from the till and fleeced the salon's customers' pockets as well. Authorities are looking for four people in connection with the crime.
Huge if true: According to The Verge, Facebook is planning to announce a name change sometime next week to "reflect its focus on building the metaverse." I shit you not. The move would likely rebrand Facebook as just one product under a bigger parent company that includes Instagram and Whatsapp, as the company looks to more futuristic technology. I bet Zuckerberg is just itching to get away from the whole Facebook-is-actively-harmful thing that has legislators breathing down his neck. Anyway, Twitter's Jack Dorsey made fun of the move.
The New York Times' interactive article team is at it again: This time, the crew went deep on how California's massive Dixie Fire created its own weather system. Since it started back in July, the wildfire puked out eight firestorms and a fire whirl, burning almost one million acres in the region. Now, the fire has been mostly contained, give-or-take a few smoldering areas. Check out the formation of the Dixie pyrocumulonimbus ("fire-fueled thunderstorm) here.
Bundle up: It's about to gusty up in here! Keep your eyes peeled for a "bomb cyclone" of wind and rain developing off the coast that'll keep us wet for a while.
Morning everyone. We here at the office have decided to mark the passage of time with what weather system we are on (at least for the next week). Front number 1 is moving through the area this morning. Expect rain and gusty winds today. More systems are on their way. #wawx pic.twitter.com/Jsgwx06OX5
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 20, 2021
Tiny needles for tiny kids: The White House is unveiling its plans to inoculate children between the ages of 5 and 11 with the COVID-19 vaccine, reports AP. The hope is that kids can get the jab at their school, doctor's office, or local pharmacy after the relevant body approves the Pfizer shot in young children. The news outlet said that federal regulators will convene over the next couple of weeks to "weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids." Then, I'm sure, American parents will have no qualms about giving their precious children the vaccine.
48-year-old man found unresponsive in King County Jail cell has died: Dustin Rand was booked into the jail in June and charged with third-degree assault, reports KOMO. Officials said they are awaiting for toxicology results to determine his cause and manner of death.
Gunman behind Parkland massacre pleads guilty on all counts: Nikolas Cruz has pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, reports CNN. He faces life in prison and potentially the death penalty, which the prosecution says it will pursue. Cruz said he was "very sorry for what I did, and I have to live with it every day." The 2018 massacre is considered the deadliest school shoot in U.S. histroy.
History made: Dr. Rachel Levine has been sworn in as an admiral, making her the "first openly transgender four-star officer to serve in any of the country's eight uniformed services," reports NPR.
Expect to see construction of RapidRide's Madison Line in the coming weeks: The Seattle Department of Transportation is cooking up a schedule that would see the agency starting work on E Madiston St between 15th and 18th Aves, as well as working downtown from 1st to 6th Aves, reports Capitol Hill Seattle Blawg. Buses will be rerouted off the long street to avoid construction. Authorities expect to deliver the RapidRide line in 2024, connecting downtown to Madison Valley.
For your listening pleasure: Yves Tumor's "Crushed Velvet."