A picture from the acute care COVID-19 unit at Harborview Medical Center on January 21. Cases are down but Dr. Jeff Duchin says theres still a whole lot of Covid-19 going on.
A picture from the acute care COVID-19 unit at Harborview Medical Center on January 21. Cases are down, but Dr. Jeff Duchin says "there's still a whole lot of Covid-19 going on." Karen Ducey/Getty

Shooting at a Fred Meyer in Richland: Earlier this morning, a man walked into the grocery and started shooting, killing one person and leaving another critically wounded before fleeing the scene, reports the Tri-City Herald. Richland police told the newspaper that they have identified the suspect for whom they are searching but have not yet made his identity public. This story is still breaking.

Yes, things are getting more expen$ive: According to the Consumer Price Index, prices for goods and services have gone up 7% across the United States. But in Seattle that number is 7.6%, which is the largest jump since 1998, reports the Seattle Times. Food and beverage prices are up 8.9% in the city, and gas is at its highest price since 2009. I really did not think this era could be any more of a flop, but here we are.

R.I.P. Cafe Pettirosso: Sunday was the beloved cafe's final day of business. It was a joyous goodbye. Capitol Hill Seattle Blawg has the pics:

Today, Amazon announced that it would raise the maximum base salary for corporate and tech workers from $160,000 to $350,000, reports GeekWire. The reasoning for this move is to keep the company's base pay "more in line with other big tech companies," as, historically, Amazon's pay has been shitty compared to its peers. That number gobsmacked me. To quote my colleague Rich Smith's reaction to the news in Slack this morning, "Just tax them for fuck's sake is all I'm sayin."

And over at Facebook Meta: Billionaire edgelord and prominent Trump supporter Peter Thiel will step down from the board after being one of its longest-serving members, reports CNN. His reason for leaving? According to the New York Times, Thiel "wants to focus on influencing November's midterm elections" by "backing candidates who support the agenda of former President Donald J. Trump." What's fucked up is the fact that dumping his money into the GOP will likely yield him better returns than Facebook ever could.

COVID-19 cases are down significantly in the Seattle area: There have been 4,069 new coronavirus cases in King County since Friday, which is a 51% decrease over the last seven days, reports KUOW. Hospitalizations are also down 35% and deaths have decreased 25%. But don't let those numbers fool you into a false sense of safety. King County Public Health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said he hoped this decline continues, but "for right now, there's still a whole lot of Covid-19 going on."

However states such as Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware are starting to get ahead of themselves and set timelines for ending the mask mandates in schools. I guess we should maybe add Washington to that list. Have we learned nothing over these past two years? (Don't answer that).

More hellish news, I can't stop: Trump's Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow a GOP-drawn Congressional map to stand after a lower court ruled that the maps "likely violated the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by diluting Black voting power." Happy Black History Month?

Last time I'll mention Trump in the roundup, I promise: Apparently, the archivists down at the National Archives and Records Administration had to haul themselves to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve multiple boxes of documents that the former president had "improperly" removed from the White House, reports WaPo. Trump's advisers claimed no ill intent in keeping what they described as "mementos, gifts, letters from world leaders, and other correspondence." The fact that they have no perspective on history or preservation is not lost on me.

Look at its face! On January 31, a well-known northern elephant seal nicknamed Elsie Mae gave birth to her first baby at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park. Now, park officials have closed off the bay until early April to give mother and child some space to roam around without having to interact with humans, reports the Seattle Times. What a cutie!

Chilling: The New York Times' Mike Baker went deep on what would happen in Ocean Shores, Washington in the event of a major earthquake sending massive waves to shore. Tomorrow, voters in the area will vote on "whether to approve a bond measure that would, in part, build new vertical additions at two schools, offering students and nearby residents a place to flee from a surging ocean."

On Saturday, Africatown Community Land Trust broke ground on a new affordable housing development, reports Heidi Groover at the Seattle Times. Here are more details on it, per Groover:

The seven-story development at 23rd Avenue and East Spring Street known as Africatown Plaza is set to include 126 affordable rental units, a community room, retail spaces and an art collection. The housing is designed to be affordable for people making below 60% of area median income, or about $48,600 for a single person. The project is part of a broader effort to offset years of gentrification in the historically Black neighborhood where home prices have skyrocketed, developers have transformed blocks and the Black population had shrunk to 20% by 2016.

Another reminder: To freaking VOTE YES on both Seattle Public School Levies. The deadline's tomorrow. We've got all the reasoning you need here.

For your listening pleasure: Unknown Mortal Orchestra's "Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)."