Biden hopes a couple days worth of oil will prompt OPEC and Russia to start pumping more of that sweet sweet fuel into the market.
Biden hopes a few days' worth of oil will prompt OPEC and Russia to start pumping more of that sweet sweet fuel into the market. ultrapro / GETTY IMAGES

A new Sheriff in town: King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to announce his pick for interim sheriff today at 10:30 a.m., MyNorthwest reports. Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht's term runs out at the beginning of next year, and the Exec, who can now appoint the Sheriff thanks to voter passage of a couple 2020 charter amendments, will replace her with a temporary pick as the County embarks on a nationwide search. More than one King County Councilmember complained about Johanknecht's lack of engagement with the Council on check-ins and accountability.

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King County Regional Homelessness Authority decides to skip annual, inaccurate count of homeless people this year: In the agency's FAQ, a spokesperson argued that HUD only requires the count every other year, the mid-winter survey always undercounts the number of people sleeping outside, "COVID constraints" and that staffing shortages "could lead to an even more inaccurate count." Nevertheless, the KCRHA plans to "conduct qualitative engagements with people living unsheltered" and will develop a "research plan in collaboration with the Lived Experience Coalition, service providers, and stakeholders across King County."

The number of homeless people who died in King County last year: 221, the Seattle Times reports. Nearly 30 died from COVID, and 71 overdosed. Public health officials attributed the rise in ODs to pandemic restrictions that "shrank treatment programs for substance use disorder, especially for homeless people, at the same time negatively affecting many people’s mental health," plus people having "less access to heroin and more access to cheap fentanyl." The heatwave and hypothermia killed many others.

Ellensburg doc appears to be running a COVID vaccine "exemption mill:" KING5 sent four reporters wearing hidden cameras into the Awake Health clinic in central Washington, and Dr. Anna Elperin signed medical exemptions for all of them in exchange for $150 or $200. None of the reporters had any medical condition that would qualify them for an exemption, and Dr. Elperin didn't even ask anyway. One employee said that at one point “about 90% of Dr. Elperin’s patients every day were COVID exemption patients,” and KING5 estimates the doctor "potentially raked in tens of thousands of dollars" from the scheme. Two months ago the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries fined her $3,000 after workers complained that she didn't wear a mask. Elperin denies everything, except for the fact that she doesn't wear masks.

Island county lawmakers want $350 million to fix the ferry system, "plus $4.9 billion over 16 years to replace 10 aging vessels," reports Mike Lindblom for the Seattle Times. The senate's transportation package included "a $200 million boost to ferry operations and $1.24 billion for boats, terminals and electrification, but House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Jake Fey thinks they'll need to add more. The root of the ferry problem: An austerity budget imposed by Democratic Governor Gary Locke following the successful passage of Tim Eyman's $30 car tab initiative.

Redistricting commission chair tells us nothing new: After the bipartisan commission tasked with redrawing the state's political boundaries blew its deadline, the Washington State Supreme Court, which must now pick up the commission's slack, asked the non-voting chair to write a tick-tock of the events of last week. She obliged, but her declaration raises more questions than it answers. Some of those questions include: What did the commissioners think they had to turn in before the deadline — maps, some text that could be turned into maps, or simply a letter saying they agreed on plan to draw maps? Why did commissioners sign the documents at different times, and who oversaw that process? What exactly were they discussing about the boundaries of the three districts that supposedly took negotiations down to the wire? Until we get records, we won't know.

Sound Transit's plan for finally fixing the broken fucking escalators: The Urbanist wrote up a staff presentation to the transit agency's board. Vertical conveyances deputy director John Carini laid out the three stages of their plan: Stage 1 is fix the broken stuff soon, Stage 2 is to ensure equipment maintenance "on a monthly basis," and Stage 3 is replacement.

U.S. to settle with Parkland families for $127.5 million: The families sued "over the FBI’s failure to act on warnings that the gunman was planning an attack," just as the agency allegedly failed to "conduct a thorough gun-purchase background check" of Dylann Roof, the Washington Post reports.

I've heard this story before: Europe is now seeing "more than two million new cases" of COVID-19 every week. The continent accounts for "more than half the world’s reported Covid deaths this month." The eastern countries are taking the brunt of it, with some locking down and others only requiring proof of vaccination to enter shops and restaurants. "Just about everyone in Germany will probably be either vaccinated, recovered or dead...by the end of this winter," said German health minister, Jens Spahn, according to the New York Times.

The new wave will probably hit us later, and will likely infect many of the 66 million Americans who are eligible for the vaccine but who refuse to get it. The Times reports that "coronavirus cases in children in the United States have risen by 32 percent from about two weeks ago." Happy Thanksgiving! (Go get vaccinated or boosted.)

Criminal punishment system clearly did not work for Waukesha suspect: The Washington Post reports that police suspect Darrell E. Brooks Jr. "sped away" from cops when they arrived on the scene of an "alleged altercation involving a knife" before he rammed his SUV into a Christmas parade, killing five ("Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81") and injuring nearly 50. A cop shot at the truck as the driver mowed down the crowd, but shooting the truck did nothing but risk the lives of others. The Post quoted someone who described the driver as "evil" twice, and then ran through Brooks's criminal history, which "apparently stretches to at least 1999." That history included a recent accusation: he hit a woman who had a kid with him and ran her over with his car, then got out on $1,000 a week before he allegedly drove through the crowd.

Though Ahmaud Arbery was unarmed, defense cites self-defense as justification for killing: Perhaps hoping to catch that post-Rittenhouse moving-castle-doctrine wave, Attorney Jason Sheffield argued that allegations of property crime in the neighborhood "scared" the three men who chased Arbery down and shot him, VICE reports.

In her closing argument, defense attorney Laura Hogue focused on Arbery's "khaki shorts, with no socks, to cover his long dirty toenails" in an apparent attempt to sway the jurors (11 white and one Black) using some good ol' fashioned racism.

Biden to release a few days' worth of oil from the reserves: U.S. officials hoped the threat would prompt "OPEC and Russia to increase their export quotas beyond the recent decision to allow another 400,000 barrels per day to come onto the market," Politico reports. "China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom" are supposed to join the US in doing the same. Good luck with those poll numbers, Mr. President!

Sure looks like the Tigray People’s Liberation Front will take full control of Ethiopia soon: The country's "Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister" Abiy Ahmed said he will lead the army “from the battlefront” starting today. Scholars and diplomats argue that Ahmed and the Ethiopian army probably couldn't fend off the TPLF from marching into Addis Ababa, and that a diplomatic solution is the only answer, Al Jazeera reports.

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Forty-six dead in Bulgarian bus accident: At 2 am a bus driver carrying both children and adults bound for northern Macedonia crashed into "a curb or a guardrail," killing dozens, the BBC reports.

I'll leave you with Elori Saxl's "Wave I":