Welp, so much for the concrete strike: More than 300 concrete truck drivers said they'll return to work without a contract after striking for more than three months under the boot of stingy-ass, intractable bosses. Judging by the report in the Seattle Times, among other reasons it looks like the firing of workers in other industries dependent on the flow of that sweet, sweet concrete pressured the union members to hop back into their trucks.
Hales Ales closes up shop this weekend after nearly 39 years in business: The big Frelard brewery and event space blames the closure on COVID-19 and a desire from owners to "embark upon their next journey," KIRO 7 reports. The Moisture Festival, a comedy / circus arts / cabaret variety show runs there through Sunday.
You guys following the 2022 US Coffee Championship? Earlier this week, Meg wrote about two Seattle-based coffee workers at Caffe Vita participating in this year's contest in Boston. Gray Kauffman entered the barista competition track and Sam Spillman is competing in the Brewers Cup. This afternoon, Kauffman pushed through to the semi-finals, which will play out tomorrow. GO KAUFFMAN!!! YOU GOT THIS. FUCK 'EM UP!!! FUCKING GET THEIR ASSES.
Former Mayor Ed Murray declared homelessness a crisis seven years ago, but Seattle has been responding to the problem since before white settlers took over the area. A review of UW nursing professor Josephine Ensign's 2021 book, Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City, in the Seattle Times shows that the city has repeatedly tried the same solutions and repeatedly arrived at the same, dismal results. One of the journalists over there plans to host a live Q&A with Ensign next Thursday. Register here if you want the low-down on the shanty town > Hooverville > Tiny Shelter connection.
We already know the actual solution to homelessness: Cheap rent and high vacancy rates. How do you achieve those goals? Allow developers to build more kinds of housing in more places around town, and tax the wealthy to raise money for affordable home construction.
Speaking of building more homes: As you may recall, the intrepid housing activists at House Our Neighbors proposed a ballot initiative to build more more social housing. But what is social housing, you ask? Find out on Thursday, April 21 at 6 pm:
Join us in 2 weeks in a conversation w/Senator Stanley Chang (HI), Paul Williams, and Oksana Mironov, to discuss what social housing really means. Moderated by campaign co-chair, Tye Reed, it will be hosted on zoom on Thurs, Apr 21st at 6PM. Register: https://t.co/eA9EpVwhR4 pic.twitter.com/KJVjV2vTL7
— Sign I-135 🏘️🌲 (@houseRneighbors) April 7, 2022
King County interim Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall counts herself among the three candidates County Executive Dow Constantine will consider for the permanent position, which is odd given that both Constantine and Cole-Tindall said she "would not be a candidate for the permanent position," according to the Seattle Times. The other two candidates are Killeen, Texas police chief Charles Kimble and Atlanta Police Department major Reginald Moorman.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell searches for a new person to helm the transportation department: I thought Sam Zimbabwe was good, but in December Harrell said he wanted the department to "create a balanced transportation ecosystem" by "bolstering transit, improving sidewalks, protecting bike lanes, and recognizing the role of cars and new electric vehicles," emphasis mine. Here's the search committee:
Omg: Capitol Hill cat cafe Neko is now in the business of adopting kittens rather than grown cats with Feline leukemia. According to Capitol Hill Seattle Blawg, a change in the way scientists test for the leukemia led to a reduction in the number of available cats, and so the cat shop switched up the game plan. Obviously they're all very cute and I love them:
I love a game of hide and seek, and the Seattle International Film Festival is hosting one inside 10 businesses across town as we speak. But instead of hiding people, those participating businesses are hiding six SIFF tickets inside random stuff. The businesses (including the "Space Needle, Elliott Bay Book Company, Sonic Boom Records, Scarecrow Video, KEXP, Fremont Vintage Mall, Neumos, Easy Street Records & Cafe, Cafe Allegro, and Royal Records") and SIFF will post clues on their Instagram pages from April 6 to April 13. If you want to participate, follow the clues and try to find the golden ticket!!! Some lucky fellow named Adam found the first ticket package at Scarecrow.
Congrats to Adam who found the SIFF 6-pack in our VHS copy of DICK DEADEYE. Thanks for playing and see you at #SIFF2022! #SeekNewCinema pic.twitter.com/MIDJItpHBY
— ScarecrowVideo (@ScarecrowVideo) April 7, 2022
Speaking of movies, The Academy banned Will Smith from sitting through the Oscars for 10 years after he smacked Chris Rock across the face for talking shit, according to NPR.
Mudede did a joke about it:
Shall we call this 10 Years a Slave?
— Charles Mudede (@mudede) April 8, 2022
A few Ukraine updates: Officials added nearly 100 people to the count of the 50 people estimated dead after a missile strike hit a train station in the eastern part of the country. Ukraine blames Russia for the attack and says it happened "while evacuees were waiting to escape an expected Russian onslaught in the region," the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, Russia put "thousands" of troops on the eastern border in a move that presages a "broader" assault on the Donbas region.
Nearly $82,000: That's the record-setting amount of money that the Federal Aviation Administration suggests fining a woman who allegedly hit, bit, spit at, and head-butted a flight crew last summer over some anti-masking nonsense driven by the Republican Party, according to The New York Times. The only reasons these necromancers will likely win back the House in November after deliberately trying to spread a deadly respiratory virus for two full years? Gerrymandering and a rudderless Democratic Party.
National Dems bet on "paid relational organizing" to save their Congressional majorities: A campaign analysis of the strategy in the Georgia Senate races found that it "boosted turnout by an estimated 3.8 percent among the 160,000 voters targeted through their relational program," according to Politico. Big money groups plan to try it out on "Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada," where the closest Senate races will take place this year.
Jury lets off the dudes who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: The jury was deadlocked on whether to convict the leader and his militia buddy but found the other two dorks not guilty, the BBC reports. Looks like the jury was convinced by the defense, who argued that the undercover FBI agent "Big Dan" radicalized the group, and that "angry and disillusioned men" will be angry and disillusioned men. That's just the way it is.
22 million people live in Sri Lanka, and they're all not doing so hot. A "foreign currency crunch" due to a lack of tourism has left the country "unable to pay for fuel imports and other essentials," Al Jazeera reports. The economic crisis has led to a massive fuel shortage, large cutbacks in food consumption, and political unrest.
New Omicron dropped: Omicron XE is a "recombinant variant," which happens when two different strains find love and a sense of belonging within one host and then reproduce. Scientists don't have much reliable information on the variant just yet, but the Evening Standard reported a bunch of cases over in the UK since January.
Nancy Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19: She's asymptomatic, which means I only have one thing in common with the 82-year-old Speaker of the House. I tested positive on Tuesday, and I've been more or less dead ever since. For the last two days I've had a fever, aches, a sore throat, lots of chest and nasal congestion, and I've been dizzy as hell. A pretty intense exhaustion attends this illness, and I've been struggling with that all day today. Yesterday I got winded just brushing my teeth — and, needless to say, I'm in peak physical condition. (Chase told me to take the whole week off, but I was feeling better this morning and wanted to see what a day of blogging felt like on the mend.)
I watched a lot of TV: The dizziness made me hate the screen a little, but I needed something passive. I watched a few episodes of Old Enough!, a Japanese reality show on Netflix that follows toddlers as they embark upon chores on their own. I sat scandalized and intrigued as I watched a two-year old walk to the store, pick up a few things, pay for them, then realize he forgot something, go back for it, and finally walk all the way home with the goods. Kids, they're just like us!
I also watched the whole season of that gay pirate show on HBO: It's called Our Flag Means Death, and it's a trading-places comedy about a foppish, barely closeted aristocrat named Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) who escapes his restrictive life of privilege by buying a pirate ship and leading it with a "people-positive" management style, wherein he encourages his crew to talk through their feelings rather than always resort to violence. Along the way this "Gentleman Pirate" meets Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), who is burnt out on a life of piracy and now yearns for richer experiences. After the two meet, fun and murder and all manner of "fuckeries" on the high seas ensue, all bathed in a distinctive jewel-toned, tropical light.
The show's a breeze, the plotting was good enough to make me stick with it, and it absolutely reeks of burnt-out-nonprofit-theater-worker energy. Darby's relentless sunniness is infectious, and Waititi's easygoing humor offers a nice counterbalance — he also looks quite persuasive in a pair of tight leather pants. The SNL-like premise occasionally stales, but then a particularly clever scene will freshen things right back up again. Hearing a bunch of macho-presenting men talking openly about the fears and assumptions that cause their anger is both funny and I think good for the world, to the extent that any TV is good for the world. I experienced a similar level of interest when watching this year’s season of The Bachelor: Just hearing a football player from Missouri listening to women and then trying to respond openly about his fears, anxieties, and romantic attractions made for genuinely enthralling trash entertainment. (They're just like us!)
I leave you with Olivia Rodrigo's "Deja Vu": She was in town recently, and this is her best song imo.