So it begins: This morning, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the forced-birth case out of Mississippi, which directly challenges Roe v. Wade by upholding a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks, reports CNN. That's in addition to the dispute the Court will hear from Texas, where lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after just six weeks (the justices have allowed that law to remain in effect, mind you). I don't need to remind you of the three scarily-conservative cretins Trump appointed to the bench during his term. Fuck this shit. Listen to the oral arguments here:
More light rail updates: According to Sound Transit, construction on the Lynnwood Link Extension project is at a halfway point, reports Seattle P.I. This project will eventually connect North Seattle with Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline, and it is expected to be completed in 2024. Sound Transit says that construction on all 10 bridges is "80% complete" and that rail work has started in multiple locations. I can't wait to ride this bad boy (mostly) all the way to Alderwood Mall in two years time.
The United States is tightening up travel rules: All thanks to the omicron variant. After banning travel from eight southern African countries, now the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is directing airlines to "disclose names and other information of passengers" who have traveled to said countries, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, AP says that Japan is asking all international airlines to "stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in Japan until the end of December" in an effort to slow the roll of the variant.
According to census data, Seattle experienced a 19% increase in housing over the past 10 years: That's in comparison to the 21% growth in city residents from 2010 to 2020, reports Gene Balk over at the Seattle Times. And that housing growth was mostly concentrated in Central Seattle—the area hemmed in by the Lake Washington Ship Canal up north and I-90 down south—where units went up by 32,300 or around 30%. Balk has a more thorough breakdown of the data over here.
A sad, sad story: Publisher Scribner is pulling Alice Sebold's 1999 memoir Lucky from shelves. The man at the center of the novel, Anthony Broadwater, was convicted of raping Sebold in 1982 and jailed for 16 years, but he was exonerated "after a re-examination of the case found serious flaws in his arrest and trial." More context from The Guardian:
"Lucky, which was published in 1999, sees Sebold recount how she was raped and beaten at the age of 18, in a tunnel near her university campus. She writes of how she saw a Black man in the street months later who she believed to be her attacker. After Broadwater was arrested, she failed to identify him in an identity parade, but identified him as her rapist on the witness stand. Microscopic hair analysis by an expert also tied him to the crime, but such analysis has since been deemed junk science."
Last night, the Crocodile's new location had a soft opening: And I'm pleased to say the new three-level, 30,000 square foot space is pretty fucking cool. I'll certainly have more on it later, but the venue had a DJ going in the main 750-capacity showroom upstairs and a rotation of local bands in Madame Lou's, the downstairs 300-capacity venue. The sound system and sight-lines were all pretty good, but I should note that there is no elevator which will certainly make it difficult to navigate between floors for some people. We were also allowed a peek into Hotel Crocodile's hotel rooms, which all had different, vaguely musical themes. If you're itchin' to see the space, their first shows open to the general public tonight, but their official opening will go down in the spring. Oh, and crocodiles are everywhere:
December 2021 kicks off with nine consecutive palindrome dates: 12-1-21, 12-2-21, 12-3-21, 12-4-21, 12-5-21, 12-6-21, 12-7-21, 12-8-21, and 12-9-21 are all excellent dates to feel extra symmetrical this year. The Seattle Times' Christine Clarridge spoke with a palindrome obsessive about why palindromes are so freakin' satisfying.
Dr. Oz is....running for Senate? As a conservative? The TV doctor announced this week that he will enter the crowded GOP primary for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania. According to the New York Times, he's whining about how the pandemic has been handle by "elites" and how they “closed our parks, shuttered our schools, shut down our businesses and took away our freedom.” Oprah's impact!
I slept with my window open I was so warm last night: Happy meteorological winter! The Puget Sound region has been unusually warm the past couple of days. The atmospheric river that hit us on Tuesday brought warm humid air to the area that's been trapped by clouds, raising the overnight temperatures, reports the Seattle Times. But don't worry, we'll be back to cold-ass weather come Friday.
A very mild morning across Western WA with widespread temps in the 50s at 4 AM. It's as warm as the deep south of Texas. The temperature in Everett is identical to spots along the Mexican border. How they came up with that identifier (FART2) for Falcon Lake, TX is beyond me.🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/VxgfVgpBmX
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 1, 2021
Bomb from World War II explodes in Germany, injuring four: Police say an old aircraft bomb blew up outside a busy train station in Munich as the area underwent nearby construction, reports CNN. Authorities said there was "no evidence of criminal offenses" and old bombs going off in Germany is not all that rare.
The Lummi Nation declares disaster after scooping over 70,000 invasive European green crabs from the Lummi Sea Pond over the past few months, reports KOMO. The appearance of these crabs are a threat to the tribe's treaty fishing rights, says Lummi Nation Chairman William Jones Jr. The Lummi Sea Pond is used by the tribe to cultivate shellfish and young salmon. The green crabs "threaten hatchery operations" by greatly impacting their harvests.
Looks like I'm going to Las Vegas next year: Adele announced that she will be doing a residency at Caesars Palace Hotel from January 21 to April 16, 2022 in lieu of going on tour, reports BBC. Can't wait to get big sad on the Strip and blow my money on the slot machines!
Oh yeah: On Saturday at On the Boards, I'll be competing in The Future Is 0, a satirical live game show that will pit me against Seattle artists Shannon Perry and Tomo Nakayama "in a battle of mental, physical, and psychological challenges." I am absolutely terrified as I have no idea what type of weird ways I'll be instructed to embarrass myself/have fun, but from all that I've seen it's sure to be a crazy time. A little birdie told me there might be one or two tickets left for my Saturday show, but there are still a couple of seats open for Thursday and Friday. Get 'em while they're hot!
For your listening pleasure: David Bowie's "Life on Mars?"