Like you have something better to do on a Tuesday night?
Like you have something better to do on a Tuesday night? Matt Baume

Here's why we’re not shopping at REI anymore. There is a correct way for management to respond when employees attempt to unionize. For example, they might say, “we admire our colleagues’ initiative in advocating for a better workplace, and look forward to voluntarily recognizing the union and working with its representatives.” Unfortunately, REI responded the wrong way to the news that employees of its Manhattan store want to form a union. The company issued a statement that managers “do not believe placing a union between the co-op and its employees is needed or beneficial.” You may contact REI to let them know what you think about that here. Meanwhile, there’s a rally to support unionizing Starbucks workers on Tuesday.

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Congrats, Tiffany. Joe Biden has nominated Tiffany Cartwright to be a federal judge for the Western District of Washington. Cartwright is a lawyer specializing in police misconduct, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment cases, and she seems great. Past clients involve the family of a man killed by Seattle police in 2010; the family of a teenager killed by King County cops in 2017; and a group that sued to protect Latino voters in Yakima last year. (She is not to be confused with this former assistant attorney general with the same name who ALSO seems quite capable.)

So long, Pettirosso. A restaurant that for several years I assumed was pig-themed because I misread the sign as “Porco-rosso” and my brain never corrected itself. The pandemic’s been hard, the building’s getting a bunch of construction done this year, and they’ve decided to go out on their own terms.

How to do a democracy? There’s an intriguing project percolating at wa-law.org, where some tech nerds are attempting to demystify the process of passing bills in the Washington State Legislature. For now, the site is very much a work in progress, and it’s not much easier to understand than the state’s clunky official site. (The new site could stand to have interactive maps to identify the areas that lawmakers serve, for example; and a calendar for hearings; and categories with more user-friendly names than “H CRJDPS.”) But one very nice feature is the easy-to-use linking to pages where you can provide comment on a bill or sign up to testify over Zoom. The formatting is nicely improved as well. Get some UX experts on the case and we could have something really great here.

School is a place to learn, and maybe die. Here is a truly harrowing account of how teachers and students at Valley Education Center in Monroe Washington were exposed to toxic PCBs over the course of years, all while administrators insisted there was no danger. Federal officials say the school, which remains open, still has more cleanup that must be done. Incredibly, Washington does not require schools to clean up toxins when they are found, or even notify the people affected. How many other Washington schools are full of PCBs? Nobody knows!

Is Bothell good, actually? Look, I’m a big-city snob just like all of you, which is why I live in sophisticated, urbane Seattle. But you know what, Bothell is actually starting to look kind of attractive, with the mayor posting job listings like this:

Bothell’s not the only town with a real mayor. The mayor of Emeryville, John Bauters, would like you to know about one of the big bike/ped improvements coming to town — but on a larger scale, he wants to use this as an opportunity to rethink the way streets work, especially old dumb streets that were built in the 1950s and would better serve everyone by taking the cars away. Speaking as someone who once got so lost driving around Emeryville trying to get to Ikea I broke down and cried, a friendlier network of streets would be very welcome indeed.

No, schools do not have litter boxes for furry students. When they’re not busy being despicable maniacs, Republicans are the most gullible people on Earth. This week a mom in Michigan embarrassed herself at a school board meeting when she declared that the school district in Michigan had placed litter boxes in bathrooms for students, and then a bunch of Facebook seniors embarrassed themselves further by credulously believing a Republican chairwoman who repeated the claim. Could Republicans please just stop spreading literally the stupidest theories on the Internet? This is like the time that I jokingly told my college roommate that Beethoven wrote the song that circuses play when clowns enter, and then a week later I heard him talking with great earnestness about “Beethoven’s Clown Waltz.”

Rich people are filthy. Here you will find a map of which zip codes generate the most pollution (as measured in average household carbon footprints). You will be shocked to hear that rich people generate more than their fair share of waste, and they leave the rest of us to clean up after them. And in general, dense cities are cleaner while suburbs are dirtier.

Hospitals need healing. COVID hospitalizations have risen by 700% this month in King County. Here are some actions you can take to try to relieve at least a little pressure on local medical providers. And while individual actions are very lovely, of course, what’s really needed is a complete overhaul of this country’s rotten health care system. Maybe someday!

Ork ork ork ork ork. Ork!