I think the government should give me more free shit. Like healthcare.
I think the government should give me more free shit. Like health care. naruecha jenthaisong/Getty

Free N95 masks coming this week: The Biden administration is making good on its promise to distribute 400 million of the high-quality masks across the country. Starting near the end of the week, N95s will likely be available at participating pharmacies and grocery stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger (QFC's parent company). The Seattle Times also compiled a helpful list on where to get free masks and COVID tests from the federal and state government.

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And in King County: Coronavirus cases appeared to have peaked earlier this month on January 10 with 7,563 cases and have since dropped at least 43%. Though COVID-19 levels are still extremely high, King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said that hospitalizations have showed signs of slowing. Now, eastern Washington hospitals are prepping for a case surge as Idaho starts to run out of open beds.

I wish to remain as beautiful, as whole, as this Roman bowl: In Nijmegen, Netherlands, archeologists have uncovered a completely intact blue glass bowl that they believe dates back 2,000 years, reports Hyperallergic. It has no chips or cracks on its surface and lead archeologist Pepjin van Geer said the find was "really special."

Mill Creek, say hello to Amazon: The e-commerce behemoth is continuing to gobble up the suburbs. Yesterday, the company announced that they would open a 6,150-square-foot Amazon Go location in Mill Creek. No word on the exact opening date, but an Amazon rep said it should be "in the coming months," reports the Seattle Times.

Idk why this headline is cracking me up as much as it is: Maybe my favorite of this news roundup? From CNN: "Alex Jones met with 1/6 committee and says he pleaded the Fifth 'almost 100 times.'" This absolutely sounds like something a 17-year-old would do when caught shoplifting and questioned by a mall security guard.

Tacoma puts updates to the Manuel Ellis murder investigation on hold: Tacoma City Council members say the pause is so that the city's new police chief, Amy Moore, "can be brought up to speed," but haven't provided a new timeline for when updates will resume. Understandably, activists and community members are upset at the delay, calling attention to the fact that the three police officers involved in Ellis's killing have still not been fired from the Tacoma Police Department.

ICYMI: Last week, Converge Media interviewed Seattle artist T Dub Customs—whom you may recognize as one of the painters behind the giant Black Lives Matter Mural on Pine—about her work helping redesign the interior of Wild Rose for its 37th anniversary celebration. The party is set for Valentine's Day weekend, and you can learn more about it below:

Two festival lineups just dropped: Yesterday, Kremwerk announced their stacked 8th anniversary fest line up (February 16-20) that will coincide with the opening of the latest addition to the club complex, Cherry. Ravers can expect killer sets from DJs like Dee Diggs and Goth Jafar, drag performances, as well as showcases from various parties anchored in the Kremwerk space. And last week the Crocodile officially announced Belltown Bloom, a two-day festival in early May featuring performances from Alvvays, Crumb, Wet, Tres Leches, Ex-Florist, and more. Feeling blessed!

Think you're smarter than Amy Schneider? You're probably not!

Tacoma police are on the hunt for an arsonist suspected of nine fires all started since Tuesday night. According to KING 5, the coppers believe it to be arson because of "the close proximity of the scenes and the similar circumstances surrounding the fires." No injuries have been reported, but the blazes look kinda huge.

Another bill to keep an eye on in the State Legislature: In light of my colleague Rich Smith’s big ole list of important bills to keep your eye on, I’d like to throw another arts one into the mix. This session, our state legislators will consider House Bill 1647/Senate Bill 5530 concerning Washington’s Building for the Arts program. Created in 1991, the program gives 20% state-match in project costs to performing arts, museums, and other cultural organizations that are in the process of acquiring, contracting, and/or renovating their facilities. If this new bill is approved, that 20% state-match number will jump up to 33.3% and will also bump up the program's overall cap to $18 million from $12 million. Both versions of the bill are in committee; we’ll report any updates as they come along.

BYE BYE: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will step down at the end of this term, leaving Biden to appoint his replacement. Breyer has apparently taken the lesson of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to heart, though admittedly he could have announced this much sooner and saved every thinking person at least a few hours of lost sleep over the course of the last couple years. All that said, why do I feel like this appointment will go poorly? Though he promised to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court, this man is probably going to pick squishy Merrick Garland for some kind of bullshit The Daily Show-type "own" of the GOP, or else some pro-life=curious judge because Sens. Bob Casey or Joe Manchin want to put a foot down.

WA Sen. Patty Murray pushes for a Black woman on the Court: In a statement, Sen. Murray said, "There is no shortage of exceptional nominees who would serve with the judgment, qualifications, and ethical standards each Supreme Court Justice should embody—and Black women in America should be able to look at the highest court in the land and finally see themselves represented."

A full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine is not looking likely: Experts and senior officials in Kyiv say that Russia does not have enough troops on the border to fully invade and occupy the county, reports The Guardian. However, some officials believe that Russian military forces might carry out more focused attacks, targeting Ukrainian sites like the prosperous port of Mariupol.

Speaking of Russia: Last night at the virtual Sundance Film Festival, I watched Daniel Roher's excellent documentary Navalny, which follows Putin critic Alexei Navalny in the aftermath of his near deadly Novichok poisoning by Kremlin agents. It features one of the most incredible scenes I've watched in a film, involving Navalny prank calling one of his poisoners into revealing the Kremlin's plot to murder him. It's a thrilling moment that I would not have believed had it not been caught on camera. If you can't catch Navalny at Sundance, it's coming to HBO Max later this year.

Meanwhile: The Russian government has added Navalny—who has been imprisoned—as well as members of his team to their list of "terrorists and extremists."

Maine artist Aaron T. Stephan has been selected by the City of Seattle to create public artwork for the upcoming Thomas Street Redefined project, an "east/west green street and public realm connection" connecting Cascade to the Seattle Center. The commission will feature integrated art that plays with the idea of ~illumination~. Stephan is interested in placing "repeated artistic elements" along the corridor that will "crescendo as one walks or bike through the area and up the hill." Installation is expected to take place in late 2023, early 2024. Check out Stephan's work here.

Okay, I know my colleague Chase Burns talked about this in last night's Slog PM, but everyone is frothing at the mouth over news of more daylight coming our way. And rightly so! Today is the first day of the year when the sun will set after 5 pm. In about six weeks the sun will set after 7 pm. It's only a matter of time before the 10 pm summer twilight is here.

For your listening pleasure: Dur-Dur Band's "Dooyo."