What a sad, rainy end to Black History Month.
What a sad, rainy end to Black History Month. Daria Kulkova/Getty

In case you missed it: Today, Gov. Inslee announced that Washington will now lift our indoor mask mandate on March 12 instead of March 21, in accordance with Oregon and California. "This was the result of discussions over the weekend between the states and their public health leaders after reviewing the new CDC guidance," said a spokesperson for Inslee. Public Health Seattle & King County said they would also lift their restrictions on March 12. Stranger's Rich Smith has more on the decision here.

In other news: This week marks two years since a Kirkland nursing home reported the nation's first COVID deaths. Feels like it's been a millennium. Weren't things always this way? Seattle Times' Paige Cornwell did the unenviable task of assessing what kind of "normal" we've made peace with as we enter our third pandemic year. Also, nearly half of the 500 million free COVID tests from the White House are unclaimed—claim them on this sketchy-looking-but-legit-site if you haven't already.

Help, West Seattleites are resorting to ukuleles: I'm pretty sure this song by journalist Brian Callanan is about the neighborhood staying strong despite the West Seattle Bridge's continued closure, but I don't know for sure because I'm allergic to listening to the ukelele.

Another one bites the dust: Adaa, the oldest known sea otter in the United States, was euthanized at the Seattle Aquarium on Sunday "to humanely end his struggle with cancer." Hope you're swimming through pain-free seas now, my furry friend.

Seattle Redistricting Commission proposals dropped and Sawant haters are salivating: Two draft maps would draw District 3 so that Councilmember Kshama Sawant would no longer live in the district she represents. Stranger's Hannah Krieg says that could also happen to Debora Juarez, whose District 5 home would be absorbed into District 4 in the second proposed map. Stakes is high. CHS Blawg has more on the proposed maps and public hearings process.

The twist I did not see coming: The 500-pound black bear damaging property in Lake Tahoe isn't one bear, but three. No, not in a three-bears-in-a-trenchcoat kind of way, but in a DNA analysis kind of way. Still one bear in my heart, though.

God, these UN climate reports are so fucking grim: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report says if humans don't get our shit together and fight the existential crisis that is climate change, our planet "will degrade in 127 ways with some being 'potentially irreversible.'" UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report "an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership." The New York Times assembled five takeaways, one of which is that "poor countries face much bigger challenges than rich ones" with 3.3 billion to 3.6 billion people are "highly vulnerable" to climate change.

This rain is breaking records: According to the Seattle Times, our city received 1.63 inches of rain by noon today, which broke the record for February 28 set in 1972 of 1.46 inches of rain. While that's cool and all, several counties in the state are on flood watch because of rivers at risk of overflowing. Meanwhile, authorities shut down Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass due to heavy snow.


Updates from Ukraine: Russia has bombed a residential area in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, killing at least nine people and wounding 37 others. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has applied for his country's membership in the European Union. Ukrainians are finding time to be racist to Black people also trying to flee the war zone. The International Criminal Court plans to open a war crime investigation into Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Biden says that Americans should not be worried about nuclear war. Ukraine and Russia have sat down for direct negotiations, with Ukraine requesting an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops, but things are still looking bad.

Rich has something he'd like to add. Rich?

If you do business with Russia, the state would like a word: During his press conference today, Governor Jay Inslee directed all Washington state agencies to “identify any commercial or other connections with Russian state institutions or significant Russian companies with en eye toward terminating them or canceling them or not letting them go forward.” He lightly pounded the lectern as he announced solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Russians who don’t want war, and anyone else fighting for democratic rule, arguing that the same impulse that drove Putin to invade his next-door neighbor also lives in the anti-democratic sentiment coursing through the GOP. Please send all boxes of contraband Beluga caviar to The Stranger's office at 800 Maynard Ave S Suite 200. Seattle, WA 98134. Most of us have never had it before, and we would like to taste it before rents return to pre-pandemic levels. (According to the oil lobby, it looks like Washington refineries get some ‘light sweet crude’ from the motherland. Don’t send any of that.)

Thanks Rich!

Cartier sues Tiffany: The company claims its competitor "stole trade secrets about some of its most exclusive products with the help of a former employee," reports Bloomberg News. Sounds like the plot of the next Bond movie!

The Euphoria finale: It was total ass. While the season had some great moments—the Maddy/Cassie/Nate love triangle and memes it inspired, Lexi's play, Fezco's origin story, the makeup and fashion—with Zendaya's performance as Rue being the overall highlight, the season's final episode was so dissatisfying. Why didn't the drug dealers come for the $10,000 of drugs Rue took from them? Why did Jules' and Kat's stories get sidelined? Why did Elliot sing for that long? Why did Ash go down like Scarface? I don't watch it for plot, but there were so many loose ends I couldn't stop thinking about. I'm not alone in feeling this way! Sam Levinson could learn something from Patron Saint of Angsty, Horny, and Bisexual Vibes, Gregg Araki! Now THERE was substance!!

"Sex mayhem" in New York City: Noise complaints about neighbors having super loud sex rose over the past year in the Big Apple. "To get a sense of how disruptive they are, I’ve slept through earthquakes and fires in my life," wrote a resident in April. "I couldn't sleep through this." Hot!

For your listening pleasure: It's the end of what's got to be one of the saddest Black History Months ever. Here's a lil' Stevie to make it a little better.