Everyone cool is leaving.
Everyone cool is leaving. Doug Benc/Getty

OK, let's get one thing STRAIGHT before I dig into this edition of Slog PM: This morning, Matt Baume posited a question—"Is Bothell better than Seattle?"—in reference to the city's mayor posting an urbanist-friendly job listing for City Manager. As someone whose family decided to maroon themselves in Bothell—which is the textbook definition of unwalkable, suburban sprawl with absolutely nothing to do and not very good transit service—I have to respond with a forceful HELL NO.

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When I brought this up in a meeting today, Stranger philosopher-in-residence Charles Mudede (who is back from vacation, welcome back Charles; what better way for you to return than with a take on Boeing) chimed in that he believed the city had "more crows than people." Mudede recounted when he guest lectured at UW-Bothell and gazed out the campus building's windows to see a "city of crows" numbering in the thousands. I guess this is a thing? Another reason why Bothell isn't better than Seattle!

Anyway, on to the news... Washington AG Bob Ferguson is filing a lawsuit against Google over the company's alleged "deceptive and unfair practices" when it comes to how it tracks and stores customers' data. According to GeekWire, the lawsuit claims "Google misled consumers about storing location information even after the 'Location History' setting is disabled." Attorneys general from Indiana, Texas, and the other Washington are filing separate lawsuits about the same thing.

Goodbye Sen. Reuven Carlyle: The man who has represented Washington's 36th LD in Olympia for 13 years announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2022. "It's now time for me to consider new opportunities for leadership in other public and private sector arenas," he said in a statement. Here's fellow Slogger Rich Smith:

Go deeper: Sound Transit is proposing a deep-ass (145 feet), 3.3-mile tunnel that would run through the central part of downtown Seattle as part of its ST3 program, reports the Seattle Times. The deep tunnel would make passenger wait times go up and potentially cause more difficult transfers between trains, not to mention potential unforeseen costs that come with navigating our region's soft soil. Check out some helpful diagrams here.

New COVID subvariant found in Washington state: Her name is BA.2 and, according to a WA State Health Department spokesperson, she has already been logged into two confirmed cases earlier this month, reports KOMO. Overall, only 100 cases of BA.2 have been recorded in the country, and KOMO says officials haven't indicated how the subvariant stacks up against omicron and delta.

Speaking of omicron: The World Health Organization's European region director, Dr. Hans Kluge, offered a sliver of hope. According to the New York Times, Kluge said that because of vaccination and natural immunity, "omicron offers plausible hope for stabilization and normalization." However, the organization cautioned that it's "dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame" and urged people to keep their guard up against the virus.

And regarding those 400 million free N95 masks Biden promised us: The government will begin distributing them to pharmacies and healthcare centers this week, reports The Guardian.

ICYMI: Another fashion icon has ascended to the heavenly plane. French designer and genius Manfred Thierry Mugler died on Sunday at 73, leaving an unrivaled legacy behind him. We owe him so much!

After abortion and guns, race is next up on the docket: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases that challenge "the use of race as one factor in admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina," setting the stage for (another) national conversation about affirmative action in higher education, reports NPR. I hate this game!

For those of you following along at home: The first weekend of the virtual Sundance Film Festival was siiiiiiiiick. So far, lots of buzz about Sara Dosa's excellent documentary Fire of Love, which tells the love story of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. It was the subject of a big bidding war, which National Geographic Documentary Films ended up winning in what Variety described as a "mid-seven-figure" deal. Keep your eye out for more reviews and news about the fest throughout the week.

Wordle got you down? Vulture just debuted a daily crossword.

Military coup in Burkina Faso: Making the announcement on state television, a group of military leaders announced that they have seized power and overthrown the country's president Roch Kaboré, whom the officers assured was "in a secure location," reports the BBC. The military said they took power because of the "deteriorating security situation," with BBC commenting that Kaboré "had faced growing discontent over his failure to stem an Islamist insurgency." The UN and African Union have condemned the coup as BBC reported that news of the coup was met with "cheers and celebrations" in the country's capital, Ouagadougou.

If you hate this fog, you're going to just have to suck it and keep it pushing: Meteorologists project that low-visibility fog will enshroud the Seattle area until at least Thursday because of "an area of high pressure" above the city, reports the Seattle Times. After? It's back to rain, baby. Also, there's a "stagnant air advisory" through noon on Wednesday because the fog basically acts as a big ole blanket that keeps all the pollutants close to ground level. Great news to hear during a respiratory pandemic!


For your listening pleasure: Hackman's remix of Tirzah's "Make It Up."