Welp: Today, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention strengthened their booster shot recommendation, urging all adults to get a COVID-19 booster six months after receiving the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after the J&J shot. This comes after the World Health Organization determined that the omicron variant poses a "very high" global risk. Several countries have shut down their borders or implemented (cough *racist*) travel restrictions to prevent further spread. Scientists are still trying to determine if the omicron variant can more easily evade vaccines or cause more severe disease. But while they run the tests, get boosted if you're eligible.
CDC is strengthening its recommendation on #COVID19 vaccine booster doses. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after initial J&J vaccine. Learn more: https://t.co/77CTFuJFcO. pic.twitter.com/oW2hyHRPmr
— CDC (@CDCgov) November 29, 2021
Meanwhile: President Joe Biden gave a speech today on the variant, saying it is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic" and that he planned to fight it not with lockdowns but with "widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more." But listen, guys, omicron is likely to make its way to Washington state soon.
Jack Dorsey is no longer Twitter's CEO: The microblogging platform announced today that @Jack would step down from his position "effective immediately" with their chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, taking over as CEO, reports CNN. In a note shared to his Twitter, Dorsey wrote it was a "tough" decision to step down, but he knows "we'll prove this was the right move." Also, the CNN article I linked reminded me that the platform banned Trump earlier this year which honestly felt like a lifetime ago. Time? Insanity.
Good news for West Seattle: Crews deployed to fix the bridge are entering the final phase of repair, putting the project on track for a July 2022 reopening, reports Westside Seattle. According to a press release from the city, that date is "pending any unforeseen issues" like extreme weather or labor/supply shortages. Additionally, the city noted that in addition to improvements to the West Seattle Bridge, they will also add epoxy and carbon fiber wrap to the Spokane Street Swing Bridge to "fill any existing cracks and strengthen that bridge further."
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS: And in recognition of the millions of lives lost to the disease, Gay City will host World AIDS Day this Wednesday at the AMP Plaza on Capitol Hill, reports CHS Blog. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will lead a candlelight vigil at the event, which will also feature other "artists and storytellers impacted by the AIDS epidemic." RSVP to the event here.
Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama get another chance to vote on unionizing: That's after the National Labor Relations Board determined in August that the e-commerce behemoth "stepped outside allowed guidelines and improperly pressured Bessemer warehouse workers against unionizing" during a failed union vote back in April, reports GeekWire. Now the board has formally ordered a new union election for the Bessemer warehouse workers. A time and date have yet to be determined.
Enough of me: Handing the mic over to The Stranger's city hall reporter Hannah Krieg for an update on the city council happenings. Hannah, take it away:
After finishing up the 2022 city budget, the council now shifts gears to the 2022 state legislative agenda. The council will use the month of December to nail down their legislative priorities before the state Legislature convenes January 10.
In the council briefing this morning, the Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR) gave the first public presentation on the council’s state legislative priorities for 2022. The council has identified housing, progressive revenue, criminal justice reform, gun responsibility, and transportation funding as the broad, key issues they care about in this session.
The presentation hampered the council’s expectations for wins related to progressive revenue in the state Legislature. This year, the Legislature finally passed a capital gains tax, which will impose a 7% tax on profit of $250,000 or more from the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets. This tax is estimated to affect around 7,000 taxpayers statewide and raise over $400 million in its first year, which would begin in 2023. Tim Eyman and Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) recently launched an initiative to kill the tax and potentially the council’s baby, the JumpStart Seattle payroll tax.
The OIR said the capital gains tax is all the progress they expect until 2023. Should bills be introduced, the presenter said they would likely be the start of a conversation for the longer session in the following budget year. If they gather enough signatures, Eyman and Walsh’s initiative will go to the Legislature for lawmakers to adopt the proposal, modify it, or else ignore it, which would effectively send it to the ballot in 2022.
Ok, don't get too relieved: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will take up an abortion rights case from Mississippi which directly challenges Roe v. Wade, reports NBC News. The case goes before one of the most conservative justice lineups in recent history, three of whom Trump appointed. The Mississippi case would ban the procedure after 15 weeks gestation, only allowing abortion in "medical emergencies or cases of severe fetal abnormality." Sweating bullets over here.
It's been wet, folks: And it gets wetter. Between September 1 and November 28, SeaTac received 18.91 inches of rain, likely making it the wettest early fall on record in the Seattle area, reports the Seattle Times. That's mostly thanks to the slew of atmospheric rivers that washed over our region the past few weeks. On top of that, we're due for another air river—though not as strong as the previous ones—from this Tuesday to Wednesday.
Somebody else pointed this out today—it does look like Seatac has had the wettest fall (well, Sept thru Nov) on record. Here's the top ten: pic.twitter.com/rzReLWRTDE
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) November 29, 2021
He's running (for Congress): King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn that is. And, yes, before you ask, the Republican was just reelected to his position on the council mere weeks ago and already has his sights set on the other Washington. According to the Seattle Times, Dunn has launched a campaign for Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier's seat as Washington's 8th Congressional District seat in the House. He told the paper he's "deeply concerned about the direction of the United States" and says the president and Congress are "making our country weaker not stronger." LOL, ok dude. Anyway, this race will likely be a very tight one.
Virgil Abloh is dead: The visionary fashion designer, DJ, and entrepreneur died at 41 after a private battle with a rare cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. The tributes to the legend are pouring in, but I urge you to take a moment to read Doreen St. Félix's excellent profile on Abloh from 2019 in the New Yorker. Rest in power, Virgil.
Barbados gives the Queen the middle finger: In a ceremony tonight, the island nation will officially remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and become a republic, reports NBC. Though Barbados won its independence 55 years ago, they kept the Queen in a "ceremonial role." It's not all bad blood, however. They will remain in the Commonwealth, and Prince Charles even flew down to be part of the affair.
For your listening pleasure: The Make-Up's "Born on the Floor."