Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd's federal civil rights in court this morning, reports CNN. In April, the former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murdering Floyd on May 25, 2020 after he kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes. Chauvin's lawyers are requesting that he be sentenced to 25 years in prison, "served concurrently with his 22 and a half year sentence on state murder charges."
Over 800,000 Americans have died of COVID-19: That staggering number—the highest in the world—comes as we pass the one-year mark of the beginning of the vaccine rollout, reports CBS. Still, over one-quarter of adults in this country remain unvaccinated as we are looking down the barrel of another potential surge thanks to the rapidly spreading omicron variant. Authorities estimate that 163,000 of those deaths were "preventable," a.k.a. came after vaccines were largely available in June.
Trying to comprehend this level of mass death this early in the morning is turning my brain to mush: Here, a video of orcas swimming through the cold waters of Puget Sound off Vashon Island earlier this week. I'm tearing up right now! Life is beautiful, sacred, eternal, divine.
Ok back to the news: Last night, the House of Representatives voted to recommend criminal contempt charges against Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, after he refused to continue cooperating with the House's January 6 commission, reports NBC News. The measure was approved along party lines, with Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger being the only members of the GOP to vote with the Democrats.
In a 7-2 vote, the King County Council approved legislation that would have them acquire City Hall Park from the city of Seattle, reports the Seattle Times. The park has been at the center of a
months years forever-long debate over homelessness and crime, and there's concern that it might be redeveloped into something totally different after the council rejected legislation that it will remain a park in perpetuity. Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay and Joe McDermott were the only votes against, citing the need for a clearer plan of action. Now, the Seattle City Council must approve the deal, which they are expected to consider sometime early next year.
A three-alarm fire took over at least four buildings in downtown Olympia this morning: Still no word yet on whether anyone is injured, but KING 5 reports that authorities shut down several roads in our state capital in response.
Olympia Fire is operating at a large commercial fire downtown at 302 Capitol Way N, The fire started in a 5 story building that was under construction and spread to 3 other buildings. More information will be released soon. pic.twitter.com/erAvaA5XyH
— Olympia Fire Dept. (@OlyFireDept) December 15, 2021
Embattled cargo ship finally made it to port: The Zim Kingston has really had a run of bad luck. After spilling over a hundred cargo containers into the sea just off the coast of Washington back in October, it then caught fire, reports KUOW. This weekend, it docked at the Port Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Canada with around 107 containers missing, most of which are presumed to have made a new home on the seafloor. Canada's Transportation Safety Board is launching an inquiry into the incident as authorities are trying to figure out how theee fuck they can salvage some of that spilled cargo.
Good news for Eastsiders: Dick's is opening its Bellevue location at Crossroads Mall tomorrow, December 16, reports Seattle P.I. From 9:30 am to 4 pm, there will be activities like a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sammamish High School band and cheer performances, a DJ "playing rock music" as well as a pop-up apparel shop. I'm so sad the Capitol Hill location is closed (for remodeling).
Wow, we're all watching Andrew Cuomo's career explode in real-time: The governor of New York—who is currently in the middle of, like, four scandals—has just been ordered to fork over $5.1 million in profits from his pandemic memoir after a New York ethics commission determined "state resources were used in connection with the book's creation." Cuomo has thirty days to cough up the ca$h, says CNN, while his lawyers call the ruling "unconstitutional."
It has been a year: 2021 really got off to the craziest start with the storming of the Capitol building on January 6, a day that will surely live in infamy for at least as long as I'm alive. We also got a new president, rising COVID death rates, extreme weather, protests against fascist governments, restrictive voter suppression laws, the fucking OLYMPICS, etc. The New York Times' Year in Pictures 2021 manages to condense the past 350 days or so into a somewhat manageable bite.
Steph Curry sets NBA career record for 3-pointers: The Golden State Warriors' point guard made 2,977 of them as of last night during their game against the New York Knicks. Curry beat out Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen for the title, reports NPR. I love the energy Spike Lee is bringing to Steph's press conference. I bet the pictures are perfect!
Save the salmon: Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee introduced a new plan to help save salmon, dedicating $187 million to salmon recovery, reports KOMO. The proposal would fix fish passage barriers, restore salmon access to their "historical habitats," and "strengthen the science and monitoring of the salmon." Read more about the plan here.
Closings and openings: After 34 years, Wallingford Stoneway Hardware is closing for good in January, reports MyBallard. Co-owners Rory Rutledge and Ken Bartlett opened the store in 1987. Bartlett passed away last November, and in a Facebook post Rutledge said he felt ready to retire. And over in Capitol Hill, the neighborhood's most cursed corner—12th and Pine—has a new pizza place, Fat Tomato, which replaces the now closed Poke Bar, reports CHS Blog.
To the news that Seattle is one of the best places for single and partying: I say, fuck that!
For your listening pleasure: Nirvana's "Breed."