Inslee wants to diversify government contracting: Though Washington voters upheld an affirmative action ban in 2019, and though former Gov. Gary Locke "issued an executive directive instructing state agencies to not use affirmative action" during his tenure, in the next 10 days the Governor will repeal Locke's order and "'issue a replacement executive order that will instruct agencies on how to move forward with achieving equity while still complying' with the ban," according to the Seattle Times.
A big opening: After four terms, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced his intent to hang up the keys after this year. In a little goodbye video, he said he'll use his last year to "cement the gains and the innovations and adaptations from the last 15 years." That'll include "launching new and innovative community partnerships and diversion programs with trusted community non-profit organizations," keeping the cool new dashboard current, and "filing roughly 25-30 felony cases every day" while tackling the 6,000-case backlog that piled as a result of COVID-19 court closures.
Some random Satterberg facts: He worked as chief of staff to his Republican predecessor, the late Norm Maleng, who held the position for nearly three decades. Satterberg became a Democrat ahead of his last reelection campaign in 2018, which is also when his office started only rarely prosecuting anyone for carrying small amounts of drugs. In a recent report, the Seattle Times discovered that his office "cut deal to head off ethics probe into nepotism claims," which looked pretty fucked up imo. He also once told me that he knew Philly's progressive prosecutor, Larry Krasner, and that he had watched Philly D.A., a great show that only me and David Kroman have seen.
Speaking of the progressive prosecutor movement: I'd say Satterberg's future absence means there's opportunity for an iron-spined defense attorney out there to step up and run. That said, the competition already has a website. According to the Seattle Times, Satterberg's chief of staff, Leesa Manion, quickly announced her intention to run. Ditto Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell.
Speaking of hanging up the keys: Seattle Symphony music director Thomas Dausgaard is calling it quits after three years of leading the orchestra and a decade of guest conducting. In a statement, the avuncular maestro blamed the pandemic: "My decision to step away at this moment when we’ve realized such collective artistic success is a result of these pandemic times, which centers the question for us all: how do we value our lives? I have enjoyed immensely my life with the Seattle Symphony, and it is time for me to move on."
Dausgaard's exit is a huge bummer: I only spoke about music with him a couple times, but every time we met he exuded the joy and curiosity of a benevolent wizard. His programming was always smart and playful, and he carried on the tradition of challenging Seattle audiences with weird shit on occasion and still picking up Grammy noms. Enjoy your next moves, you Danish marvel.
We're surrounded: Massive flooding to the south shut down I-5 in Lewis County for a while today, flooding over on the peninsula has shut down a few state roads, and snow in the mountains has kept the Snoqualmie, Stevens, White and Blewett passes closed, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation blog. The snow also closed Washington State University on Monday and Tuesday, KING 5 reports. Inslee issued an emergency weather proclamation this evening, and the "Washington State Military Department has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to implement emergency response procedures."
Wasn't looking great in Chehalis earlier today: In fact, I'd say that's actually pretty bad:
JUST IN | Aerial footage from our colleagues @KATUNews show the widespread flooding in the Chehalis area right now.
We see people standing on top of vehicles that are surrounded by water. #WaWx pic.twitter.com/z3ESGEy71b
— Steve McCarron KOMO (@SteveTVNews) January 7, 2022
Magnolia house "slid off its foundation:" One dog died, one dog got lost, one man was rescued from a basement, and one woman escaped on her own, KIRO 7 reports, mostly off this tweet from SFD:
This is footage of the house and hillside that slid at 2400 block of Perkins Ln. W. Upon our arrival we extricated one adult male who was trapped in the basement inside. An adult female was able to escape on her own. One dog is deceased, the other has not been located yet. pic.twitter.com/GDEELYf2qG
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) January 7, 2022
SPD releases video of cop shooting and killing a man apparently suffering from a mental health crisis: The edited video shows a 911 call about an active burglary, and then cuts to someone with a bat chasing the visibly distressed suspect, who is wearing only a towel and who has his hands full with a long knife, a short knife, and a couple thin poles. A sergeant calls for backup as he and other officers — including Officer Anthony Ducre and his K-9 named Jedi — chase the guy up a road, with cars driving down one side of the fleeing suspect and a big fence blocking him in on another.
At 3:10 in the video, a winded sergeant asks Officer Ducre what he wants to do, and Ducre says something like, "I'm gonna send him the dog, but he's gonna get fuckin' shot though," though it could be something else. When Ducre releases the dog, another cop driving an SUV cruiser blocks one lane of the road, exits his car, pulls out his gun, and trains it on the rapidly escalating scene. The suspect, now naked, appears to stab the dog, which has latched onto his inner thigh, and then he appears to lunge at officer Ducre. That's when "Officer 1" appears to fire seven shots at the man, killing him. Officer Tim Jones "has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy," according to the cops.
Seems like releasing the dog escalated the situation in an unproductive way:
SPD was behind and in front of him and more units were on the way. On his right-hand side was a 6-foot fence. He wearing a towel and carrying a mop in one hand.
A lot of people might assume police had no option here, but that's not the case. This wasn't inevitable. pic.twitter.com/9LWW24ICVJ
— DivestSPD (@DivestSPD) January 7, 2022
I believe this is what we call a grim milestone: The Department of Health recorded over 17,000 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths today, which brought the statewide death count to just over 10,000, The News Tribute reports.
Here's Dr. Duchin on the Omicron surge, and the stress on hospitals. Officials still expect the peak in mid January, but who knows with this shit. Mask up with QUALITY N95 or KN95 masks, keep your distance, and avoid crowded / unventilated places.
At this point, the Supreme Court is just 6 spiders in robes, two good jurists, and a guy who needs to retire NOW: The New York Times reports that the conservative justices seem skeptical that Biden has the "legal power to mandate that large employers require workers to be vaccinated or to undergo frequent testing." Not good for the mandate!
The three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced to life in jail, Axios reports.
The U.S. rattles saber at Russians allegedly rattling saber at Ukraine: Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that we're apparently "prepared to respond forcefully to further Russian aggression,” though he left open a diplomatic option, according to Al Jazeera. Respond forcefully? Did this man ask Congress about that?
Looks fun! But not as fun as health care for all: