This year’s legislative session is off to a great start. As the session starts today, at least two lawmakers have tested positive for COVID: Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (Spokane) and Sen. John Lovick (Mill Creek). Sessions are fortunately remote again this year — here’s Rich’s roundup of bills to keep an eye on.
The wheels on the bus go … nowhere. Metro is scaling back service by about 10% starting today and running through January 21 due to operator shortages.
Try not to get sick for another few weeks. Data from the Institute for Health Metrics are forecasting a surge in hospitalizations through March. Meanwhile Washington hospitals are approaching a “crisis” state, but hey at least bars are open!
New report for WA state from @IHME_UW @AliHMokdad predicts total hospital beds & ICU beds needed for CoV-19 patients will DOUBLE between now and early Feb. https://t.co/HGo9hwIE3v pic.twitter.com/aqPc8GSUvG
— Jeffrey Duchin, MD (@DocJeffD) January 9, 2022
A little late-night mischief on Beacon Hill. Someone shot someone on Beacon Hill last night. Details are few: Police claim a 24-year-old man was shot in the 5800 block of Beacon Ave South, with the victim in critical condition at Harborview.
Why did Rahima die? Here’s an excellent article by Sydney Brownstone about how difficult it is for many people to escape the vicious cycle of poverty — in part because systems are designed to exclude people who need help, such as shelters that prohibit clients from carrying the medication they need to live, or a housing voucher rendered unusable because a bedroom didn’t have enough windows.
This Sunday was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. How did you celebrate?
Thank you to whomever printed off one of @DivestSPD's trading cards. Educating the public is the first step toward dismantling the police state. pic.twitter.com/sjyeL4kNbL
— ColorDecourage (@ColorDecourage) January 10, 2022
Not all neighborhood character needs to be preserved. As of this month, it’s easier than ever to remove racist old language from property records. But “easier” is a relative term — there are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 properties that still have racist restrictions, but to find out if yours is one of them, you’ll have to go downtown to visit an office … that does not currently allow visitors.
Here comes stuff! Are you looking for stuff? Are you running low on stuff? Wondering when more stuff will arrive? Good news: Snoqualmie Pass opened back up yesterday evening so cargo can once again flow over the mountains into western Washington. But! Access is limited — freight traffic is getting priority, everyone else is asked to delay travel — and the speed limit has been dropped to 45 to try to reduce more pass-closing crashes. Alas, you may still have to wait a bit longer for your stuff to arrive.
Meanwhile, large swaths of the state are still buried under snow/flooded. In central Washington, schools are cancelled, towns are cut off, and Stevens and White Pass remain closed. Basically, don't drive east if you can help it.
An example of what we're dealing with on Stevens Pass today. We continue to be without power or cell service, and have a slab of ice 4 inches thick on the cleared lanes. We'll need to bring in the sno cat to knock down these slides before the blower can start clearing the rest... pic.twitter.com/qSEFXfGLYh
— WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) January 9, 2022
Keep an eye on your water. There’s been a water main break in White Center. While SPU repairs it, keep an eye on your tap water for discoloration, and don’t drink it if you notice anything suspicious.
Hi y’all, I tested positive for COVID and went into quarantine on Thursday. I’m sharing my story to encourage you to advocate for yourselves and get tested so you can protect those around you. (1/4)
— Hamdi Mohamed (@hamdiforport) January 8, 2022
Oh come on. Bob Saget’s reign of filthy, filthy jokes has come to a close at the age of 65 — he was found in a hotel room on Sunday. No sign of drugs or foul play. I searched for a SFW clip from across his career, but outside of Full House or AFHV the man never uttered a sentence that didn’t contain a swear. Here he is telling a funny dick story about Rodney Dangerfield.
Now it’s easier than ever for your car to crash for you. Tesla’s latest innovation is “assertive” self-driving mode, which “may perform rolling stops” — illegal in Washington. Last week I interviewed Marko Liias, head of the state Transportation Committee, and asked him if current regulations governing self-driving cars were sufficient. He said yes: “I think it is sufficient because we don’t see large-scale adoption of them yet.” Oh okay, nothing to worry about!
Planes vs trains: Here’s the harrowing scene outside LA when a plane crashed-landed on train tracks. The pilot was pulled to safety with just seconds to spare — there’s closer footage floating around online, but it’s a bit gory so you’ll have to seek it out on your own.
Frightening cell phone video of first responders pulling a pilot to safety seconds before a train slams into the plane that crashed onto the tracks near Whiteman Airport in Pacoima. @CBSLA #BreakingNow #news #crash #kcal 📸 Luis Jimenez https://t.co/NWGu2HhBUM @composerluis pic.twitter.com/D4VhNPGYID
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) January 10, 2022