On Little Skookum Inlet, Port Blakely Companies gave back two miles of waterfront and 125 acres of tidelands to the Squaxin Island Tribe: The timber company did so at no cost, reports the Seattle Times. The decision came as part of the Land Back movement that has landowners giving back land stolen by white settlers to tribes that have lived there for centuries. In a separate deal, the Squaxin Island Tribe has purchased another 875 acres of upland forest in their ancestral homelands from Port Blakely for an undisclosed amount of money. “I can’t wait to drum, and sing, and dance out on those beaches, just like our people did hundreds, and thousands of years ago,” Squaxin Island Tribe president Kris Peters told the Times.
It's going to get COLD next week: Weather people predict very cold weather at the end of this week and into next with highs just reaching freezing all thanks to an incoming Arctic front. A white Christmas is looking more and more likely. Make sure you're prepared for the freeze.
⚠️🥶 VERY COLD NEXT WEEK
Let's check out some more probabilistic data! 🤓
The charts show the range of potential highs & lows into next week. The "spread" increases further into the future ➡️ This equates to more uncertainty in the forecast. Regardless, it'll be cold! #wawx pic.twitter.com/DvUe14rplH
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 21, 2021
England reduces isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID: Government officials now say that people with the virus are only required to isolate for seven days instead of 10 with two negative tests, reports the New York Times. They say the decision is "based on updated guidance from health experts" and—oh yeah—making sure everyone can keep working. Fauci also told CNN that the U.S. government is considering a similar move for people who test positive and are fully vaccinated with no symptoms "so they can get back to work sooner." Everything feels... bleak!
Meanwhile in Israel: The government will give people over the age of 60, healthcare workers, and the immunocompromised a fourth dose of Pfizer's COVID vaccine, reports BBC. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the move would "help the country get through a potential wave of the omicron variant."
Body found in trunk of vehicle in Pierce County: Deputies say the car was located in a Graham, WA auto yard, reports KING 5. According to the King County Sheriff's Office, they are "investigating the death as suspicious with potential links to King County." There is still no report on the identity of the body or the cause of death.
Frog break: I personally would have freaked and thrown the container out the window if I discovered a lil tree frog chilling in my lettuce.
Back in the fridge until it warms up outside tomorrow? He’s hopping and clearly well and I bought this lettuce like four days ago… he’s so adorable I really don’t want him to die. Any advice at all will be very appreciated!
— Simon Curtis (@simoncurtis) December 21, 2021
According to sources, the National Hockey League will not send players to the Beijing Winter Olympics over coronavirus concerns, says AP. Previous to this decision, the NHL had already put back into place restrictive protocols—likely daily testing and limiting gatherings—to help slow the spread of COVID among players. This will be the second consecutive time the men's Olympic hockey tournament will have no NHL players.
Incredible: A Madagascar police minister says he swam 12 hours to safety after his helicopter crashed into the sea while inspecting a shipwreck on a rescue mission, reports the BBC. "It's not my time to die," Serge Gelle told the news service. Gelle was one of two survivors of crash, with the pilot and another officer still missing.
Two police officers involved in Manuel Ellis's death exonerated of department policy violations: Interim Tacoma Police Chief Mike Ake made the announcement at Tacoma City Council meeting yesterday, reports KING 5. On March 3, 2020, Ellis died in handcuffs after being restrained and repeatedly telling officers he could not breathe. Tacoma police officers Armando Farinas and Masiyh Ford were investigated for putting a spit hood on Ellis and use of force violations, respectively. Ake said both officers' actions were found to be "reasonable" and both will return to patrol duties. Ellis's family is understandably deeply upset at the decision.
AWS is acting up again: Amazon Web Services went through yet another hiccup, with service interruptions hitting the East Coast, reports KOMO. As of 5:20 am, the AWS health dashboard said that most power had been restored and that customers should expect to be back online soon.
It's here: Seattle Times' Michael Rietmulder rounded up 16 of the best albums from Seattle-associated bands and musicians this year, soliciting the help of "Seattle music smarties" to help compose the final list. (I contributed 😊) Coming in at number one is Jarv Dee and Bad Colours' BlakHouse EP, followed by Travis Thompson's BLVD BOY, with Parisalexa's Finishline rounding out the top three. Read the full list here.
Just cancel it already: The Biden administration is considering another extension of the federal student loan moratorium as the United States faces a tidal wave of omicron cases, reports NBC News. Payments were originally set to start up again on February 1, but the White House will come to a decision this week on whether to hem to that schedule. Why not go for the gold and cancel it, Joe? You definitely need a win right now (and so does everyone else).
UPDATE: "President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he is extending the pause on student loan payments until May 1." 😎
Here's Joe on the move:
...today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery. Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.
It's exit interview time: GeekWire conducted an exit interview with Mayor Durkan. In it, Durkan calls her term "probably the most productive time of affordable housing in the city's history" and talks about how deeply she disagreed with the city council over defunding the police, advising Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell to have "regular meetings" with the council. When asked what she would focus on if she were elected to another term, she once again listed "downtown recovery" as one of her would-be main priorities. LOL. Later, Jenny! If you're thirsty for more, Seattle Met has a new exit interview up with Gassy Jenny, too. Oh, and there's one over at Crosscut. Etc. etc.
This sounds like the beginning of a sci-fi disaster movie: In Ganzhou, China, scientists have discovered an "exquisitely preserved" toothless theropod dinosaur embryo which is at least 66 million years old, reports Al-Jazeera. They have named the never-hatched dino "Baby Yingliang." The egg was apparently forgotten in storage for "decades" until scientists recently decided to have a look-see. Who knows what else is out there?
For your listening pleasure: livwutang's two-hour set from Sustain-Release.