New stuff from the Gov: Inslee announced today that National Guard members will help staff hospitals and testing sites as providers struggle to keep up with Omicron's surge. Inslee also ordered a four-week pause on non-urgent procedures to help open hospitals' schedules. Like in the early days of the pandemic, he's asking for retired healthcare workers to temporarily return and serve.
Here's what King County's COVID dashboard is looking like:
Well, this got weird: "Pig heart transplant recipient stabbed a man seven times years ago"
Queer country music pioneers Lavender Country are back with the bops: Openly gay country singer and notable former Seattleite Patrick Haggerty made music history with his band Lavender Country's
only debut album in 1973, which featured cult hits like "I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You" and "Cryin' These Cocksucking Tears." Now, almost fifty years later, the band's got a second album coming out, Blackberry Rose. It'll drop on February 18. I interviewed Haggerty three years ago when the band first teased the album, but I held off on publishing it until it was ready. Now I can't find the interview notes, so, um, BRB. In the meantime, let's play some oldies.
I love catching up on regional news 🥒
Trump's Supreme Court says Biden can't order vaccination-or-testing requirements for large companies: The new OSHA mandate required employees at companies with 100 or more workers to either get vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test weekly to keep working in-person. The Supreme Court said nope.
But! Chief Justice Roberts and big baby Justice Kavanaugh joined liberal Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in saying OSHA does have the ability to enforce the requirement* for healthcare workers at facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid.
Alito was mad about it: “I do not think that the Federal Government is likely to be able to show that Congress has authorized the unprecedented step of compelling over 10,000,000 healthcare workers to be vaccinated on pain of being fired."
*There's not a testing option for the healthcare workers: Here's a White House official in November: "We have a higher bar for healthcare workers, given their critical role in ensuring the health and safety of their patients. And so, it’s either vaccination or an exemption under the rules outlined."
Sorry dude: The Queen of England stripped Prince Andrew of his honorary military appointments and royal patronages. Shouldn't have been buddies with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Meanwhile, the sexual assault case against the Prince is moving forward.
The Queen has stripped Prince Andrew of all his royal patronages and military affiliations and said he will face trial in the US as a private citizen.#Royal #PrinceAndrew #TheQueen pic.twitter.com/4dSXUU8M4i
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) January 13, 2022
On the Boards Executive Director Betsey Brock is moving on: She's headed to become Director of Development at Seattle Arts and Lectures in February. Catherine Nueva España will step in as the Interim Executive Director. Brock has been integral in getting the organization through the pandemic, and I chatted with her about the journey here.
Just because I am looking forward to joining the team at @SeaArtsLectures, doesn't mean that I am ever, ever, ever gonna stop loving the art and artists, staff and board at @OtB_SEA. https://t.co/WmsoQvHEGC
— BetseyBrock (@BetseyBrock) January 14, 2022
The students are striking: At Franklin High School, some students say they won't show up to school next week, when classes are expected to return in-person, unless their demands on met. They want N95 masks, weekly coronavirus testing, and booster shots to be provided at school. A potential sick-out is planned across the district for tomorrow, reports Seattle Times. And on Slog today, a freshman at Lincoln High School argued the state needs to hurry the fuck up and send some goddamn fucking masks to schools PRONTO (I paraphrase).
It's a trend: Students are protesting across the country. In Oakland, students want their school district to either pivot to remote learning or comply "with a list of health and testing demands that include KN95 masks for each student, more testing, and expanded outdoor space for lunchtime," writes the Washington Post.
$35M in #studentdebt relief will flow to 1,400 Washingtonians as a result of our #Navient lawsuit — an average of about $25K per person. #studentloans
More here: https://t.co/hXSI1NyOVS pic.twitter.com/rDW4SXMNxL
— Washington State Attorney General (@AGOWA) January 13, 2022
I don't mean to be glib: This is profound—more of this.
Just had my student loans forgiven. I graduated in 1995 and still owed 22 thousand. I have never missed a payment and was denied under the old program. It was heartbreaking. Today is a good day. https://t.co/PmXTU2Ty1f
— Patricia Murphy (@RadioGirlMurphy) January 13, 2022
We're nearing the end of the first week of the 2022 session of the State Legislature: And we don't have that many weeks to go. Which bills are you tracking? Here are some fun ones:
We've got more to follow in our mega round-up here.
It's the first anniversary of Trump getting impeached for the second time: Cheers to all who celebrate. (The Impeach the Motherfucker Again crowd.)
Tomorrow: 1st anniversary of Donald Trump's second impeachment (Jan 13)
— AP Planner (@AP_Planner) January 12, 2022