Please resist the urge to dive in and swim the rest of the way.
Please resist the urge to dive in and swim the rest of the way. Karen Ducey / Stringer / Getty Images
Sound Transit builds very nice trains, but are they aware that people ride them? This weekend a Sound Transit train lost power in the tunnel near the U District, stranding everyone aboard and leaving hundreds of people waiting at stations. While staff scrambled to fix the electrical problem (you can listen to an operator and dispatcher’s radio comms here), nobody bothered telling all the passengers what was going on, so after a half hour in a dark, unventilated train, they started wandering off into the tunnels, which is — to put it mildly — not great.

Sound Transit’s equipment failure isn’t half as bad as the communication failure. Look, sometimes equipment breaks, that’s life. But you can’t just hold a bunch of people hostage with no information and not expect them to get a little restless! At the very least, ST could have posted a tweet acknowledging the breakdown and letting the trapped riders know that another train would be coming soon to get them. But instead, everyone was kept literally in the dark. It’s entirely reasonable that in the absence of any information, riders took matters into their own hands. And it sucks that ST eventually blamed the passengers for creating an “unsafe incident” when it’s the agency’s fault for not telling anyone what was going on. Making matters worse: This isn’t even the first time this has happened this month.

Hey, as long as ST’s comms are melting down, why not throw in all the escalators for good measure? We can’t afford to keep the escalators working at Westlake Station, but Washington will spend over $4 billion on “highway improvements” over the next two years.

King County is liable for not protecting a public defender from a stalker. The case is more complicated than it initially seems. Public defender Sheila LaRose had been working for King County for ten years when one of her clients started stalking her. One of LaRose's supervisors offered to take her off the case, but she declined, according to the Seattle Times. The stalking grew worse after the case ended, and she had to leave her job and her home. She sued King County for creating a hostile work environment, and the county’s lawyers argued that because the stalker wasn’t an employee, they weren’t responsible. A court didn’t care for that, and awarded her $7 million.

So long, Stephen. We’ll surely miss him, but Stephen Sondheim left us so many treasures to remember him by that it’ll never truly feel like he’s gone. Some of my favorite of his songs are the weirdest — “The Blob” from Merrily We Roll Along, for example. But it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with Elaine Stritch singing “Ladies Who Lunch.” Dan thinks that Angela Lansbury is the best Mrs. Lovett, and he’s probably right. You should of course know Bernadette Peters’ rendition of “Last Midnight” by heart. The way Rita Moreno goes “and put THAT in” in West Side Story deserves its own separate Oscar. How about Madeline Kahn singing "Not Getting Married"? And here’s the lovely "Sunday" tribute from this weekend:

Another flavor of COVID? Sure, why the hell not. The Omicron variant, which sounds like a Transformers villain, has recently been spotted in numerous countries, with researchers in South Africa taking the lead on investigating it. Not much is known so far — it’ll take two weeks to get useful data on vaccine efficacy — but in the meantime many countries are cutting off air travel to South Africa, a move not entirely supported by science. The city of Seattle has a vaccine finder here, but as of this morning it had no appointments available for Pfizer and Moderna boosters. The CDC’s vaccine finder shows a bit more availability.

More floods on the way. We’ll get a little break from the rain today, but it’ll pick right back up on Tuesday, with more flooding expected this week.

It’s not too late to give away your leaves! Today and tomorrow are the last two days to set out bags of leaves for Seattle Public Utilities to pick up. Hey maybe SPU could give SDOT a hand with clearing leaves out of bike lanes.

Nice work by a ferry crew: A passenger went overboard on Thanksgiving, falling over the railing of the Chimacum ferry around 5pm. The crew were able to locate and rescue the passenger, and everyone involved will now have a particularly interesting response to “did you do anything fun over the long weekend?”

Local politicians get ready to bother state politicians. City Council will meet today to discuss possible issues to push for in Olympia next year. It’s encouraging to see complete streets among their priorities — as well as freeway removal.

What’s Alton Brown cooking now? The famous food guy popped by the Paramount this weekend for a “culinary variety show.” Looks like a packed house! I’m reminded of the time I was frying up bacon at the house of a friend who was a professional chef, and he leaned over my shoulder, looked at the piles of meat I was pushing around, and murmured, “one mustn’t crowd the pan.”

Here’s a story about one of Seattle’s sweetest weddings. I’ll post a full writeup about this in just a bit, but I’ve just published a new video about Jim Nabors, a closeted TV star of the 1960s and 1970s who came to Seattle a few years ago to marry his partner of 38 years.

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Okay, one more great Sondheim artifact: