Very nice of this building to color-coordinate with nearby flyers.
Very nice of this building to color-coordinate with nearby flyers. Matt Baume

Dare we dream of social housing? The housing justice nonprofit Be:Seattle is hosting a virtual workshop tonight on the subject of social housing, featuring Councilmember Tammy Morales along with Seattle University’s Zachary D. Wood and Tenant Power Organizer René Christian Moya. They’ll talk about building tenant power; the distinction between public housing, affordable housing, and social housing; and making sure that everyone who needs a place to live has one.

How about just social concrete? Local concrete companies have refused for months to work with local labor groups and end a strike, so King County is considering whether to establish a publicly-owned concrete company of its own. Council members voted unanimously to move ahead with a study yesterday. It’ll probably be years before the idea actually comes to fruition, if ever, but with the current strike dragging on and delaying countless projects around the region, it’s clear that we need some kind of alternative as soon as possible.

Today Starbucks; next week, Crossroads. Congrats to our friends behind the Starbucks counter who just unanimously voted to form a union! Though I was sad to lose the Post Office on the corner of Broadway and Denny a few years ago, it’s a real point of pride to have a union coffee shop take its place. Next week, we’ll learn the results of the union vote at Crossroads, the used clothing store. Several years ago I tried to drop off a bunch of old clothes at a Crossroads and the person behind the counter refused them, saying, “these aren’t on trend,” and I felt just like Maria Von Trapp. Anyway, solidarity forever, etc etc.

It’s the last day for Republicans to show their whole asses during confirmation hearings. The Senate has just a few hours left to harangue Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about this and that. Yesterday Judge Jackson provided a master class in dealing with mediocre men during a particularly ludicrous exchange with human kazoo Ted Cruz. Today they may try to push her for signals about how she might rule on future cases, something she’s far too smart to be baited into.

Have another drink, why don’t you. Binge drinking, alcohol-related emergency room visits, and booze-related deaths are way up — by 25% in the case of the deaths. If the pandemic has been good to anyone, apparently it’s the alcohol industry, according to a new study from the NIH. More people under the age of 65 died of alcohol-related causes in 2020 than died from COVID.

Toot toot, bike time. Seattle Greenways is hosting a picnic this Saturday afternoon at Gas Works Park. If you’re in the mood for a little exercise first, they’ll also be doing a group ride starting at 12:15 outside the Capitol Hill station. The route’s almost all downhill!

…but do remember to bike safe if you plan on heading further west. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Gas Works Park and you plan to keep following the Burke-Gilman Trail, keep your wits about you around the railroad tracks. Multiple people who have been injured in the still-unfinished trail’s “Crash Zone” have just filed suit against the city and the railroad. The Ballard Terminal Railroad has been a major opponent of safety improvements in the area.

Poor smelly school. Leschi Elementary is closed for a second day due to an unpleasant odor — it’s the result of some construction-related chemicals and an exhaust fan that was not turned on. Lunch distribution will still be available. Until classes resume, any student who wishes to experience funny smells will have to generate their own at home.

Get out of town. This is honestly a great deal: Amtrak is currently offering a USA rail pass for just $400, a discount of $100 from the usual price. It’s good for 10 trips within a 30-day window within 120 days of purchase, and gets you a coach seat. Not a bad way to wander the country for Spring Break or an early summer vacation.

It’s never a bad time to make old entrenched power-squatters nervous! If you’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with the state of politics and elected officials whose main platform seems to be “well let’s not cause a fuss,” now’s an excellent time to get involved with pushing Democratic organizations leftward. Take it away, Seattle Pride VP Carmen Rivera:

I don’t know how many times we need to tell corporations that Pride is a riot. The more I learn about Seattle Pride’s decision to separate itself from Amazon, the more relieved I am that they did. Apparently the company wanted the event to be rebranded “Seattle Pride Parade Presented by Amazon,” good GOD absolutely not. Reminds me of when Pittsburgh Pride sold its name to a fracking company that propped up homophobic politicians a few years back. Yes, yes, Pride is a fun celebration — but it’s also a Greenwich Village brick through the window of a NYPD cop car on a hot June night in 1969. If Amazon — or any corporation — wants its name on Pride, then they’d better be ready to fight as much as party. If that’s too distasteful for them, then they’re free to sponsor Heterosexual Pride as soon as heterosexuals manage to do something worth being proud of.

So are we going to see a bunch of new movies about Seattle’s flour milling industry? A former flour mill has been converted into a soundstage in the hopes of luring TV and film productions to Seattle. Though there have been plenty of productions set in Seattle over the last few decades, few have filmed here — the hope is that a big sprawling facility will tempt them away from LA and Vancouver. There’s just one problem: A giant colony of noisy gulls that lives on the roof.

Especially cats. I can’t stop thinking about this, the best letter ever written to and answered by Ann Landers.