The longer I stare at the Space Needle, the weirder it looks to me.
The longer I stare at the Space Needle, the weirder it looks to me. Otto Greule Jr / Getty

Please don't throw your mask away: Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce that they will extend the travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor the rise in COVID cases, reports the AP. This story is still breaking, but, regardless of the CDC, there ain't no way I'm taking off my mask on planes or buses. It's a lifestyle, lol.

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The Space Needle is goin' gold: In honor of the iconic tower's 60th birthday, the Needle will once again be painted the color it debuted to the world in—"Galaxy Gold." How Googie! To celebrate, the Needle is hosting a contest for five lucky winners with no fear of heights to help paint the observation tower's roof. All you got to do is submit 200 words sharing your favorite Space Needle memory. And if you don't win that prize, you still have a chance to win prizes like a SIFF pass, Space Needle tix, and admission to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Just in time for the Golden Space Needle award.

Checking in on the horrific Brooklyn subway shooting: The suspect, Frank James, still remains at large as New Yorkers return to their morning commutes. As Chase mentioned yesterday evening, NYPD is offering a $50,000 reward for information that could lead to James's arrest, reports the New York Times. The paper reports that more officers have been placed at the subway stop where the shooting occurred, as if these overpaid, armed cops—especially NYPD cops—are the solution to literally anything.

Stephan Thomas pulls out of the King County Prosecutor's race: The progressive prosecutor running to replace Dan Satterberg dropped out of the contest this morning citing "several unexpected emergencies." In a press release he said, "I will still remain involved in the movement, but in a way that allows me to set my own pace, where it’s possible for me to be an advocate, caretaker, mentor, father, and husband all at once." The remaining top contenders include Satterberg's longtime chief of staff, Leesa Manion (the establishment pick), and Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, who is running to Manion's right.

Phone, wallet, keys, naloxone: Due to the "alarming" climb of drug-related overdose deaths in Washington, health officials are urging residents to carry life-saving naloxone with them, reports the Seattle Times. Last year, Washington surpassed 2,000 overdoses, up 66% from 2019, with more than half coming from fentanyl overdoses. WA chief science office Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett called overdose deaths a "public health emergency" and said carrying naloxone could "make the difference between life and death."

Walla Walla metal foundry fined $93,600 by state regulators for "violating more than 40 health and safety regulations, reports KOMO. According to a release from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Walla Walla Foundry Inc. violated “hazard assessment to specific and serious failures to provide required safety equipment or training to workers" with a general lack of planning and supervision. New York Times recently wrote a feature on the foundry, describing it as "one of the largest contemporary fine-art foundries in the world."

Under Biden's infrastructure bill: Tribal communities in the United States will soon have access to $46 million to combat rising sea levels and global warming, which disproportionately affect Indigenous people.

I can't believe we're almost halfway through April: And the weather will continue to get a little freaky on us, all thanks to a low-pressure system and some cold air sweeping through the region. We could potentially see "hail, flurries or thunder" with relief forecasted to come this weekend. Perhaps don't put away your gloves and scarves just yet.


T-Mobile Park is about to get a $55 million upgrade: Today, the Mariners will announce the multi-million dollar renovation of the Diamond Club and press area, which they expect to be completed in time for the All-Star Game in 2023, reports KING 5. The Ms are financing the renovations privately, so they won't be using funds from the King County lodging tax. Must be nice!

More Russo-Ukrainian War updates: President Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to "wipe out the idea" of Ukrainian identity and said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is "genocide." Officially non-aligned nations—often bullied by Putin—Finland and Sweden "are edging ever closer" toward NATO. The United Kingdom imposed new sanctions on 206 people, including 178 individuals who "were involved in propping up Russian-backed breakaway regions of Ukraine." Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy is begging for more weapons. International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Karim Khan called Ukraine a "crime scene" as he visited the town of Bucha, where Russian forces are accused of carrying out heinous crimes against civilians. Zelenskyy wants to swap a captured Russian oligarch for kidnapped Ukrainians.

In other sad news: Bitch Media is no more. The independent feminist paper said they are "unable to sustainably continue creating the quality content that our readers and supporters expect" and plan to cease all operations in June 2022. From one celebrated alternative news and culture source to another, I salute all the writers past and present over at Bitch. Bummer!

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again: All thanks to the blasted Omicron subvariant BA.2, which made up 86% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. last week. Cases are up 24% from where they were two weeks ago, with around 38,000 cases a day, reports CNN. Just anecdotally, I personally know more people who have been down and out with COVID over the past month or so than I did during "peak" pandemic times. However, hospitalizations are still at records lows and are going down while COVID-related deaths continue to decline. As Chase mentioned in yesterday's PM, it's still best practice to wear high-quality masks in crowded indoor spaces.

Over in the United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his finance minister Rishi Sunak have both been fined for engaging in "lockdown-breaking parties held on UK government premises," reports CNN. Johnson—who apologized and paid the fine—is now the first sitting PM to have been found guilty of breaking the law. Also perhaps the first PM we can legally say is a "party animal"?

You should refrain from celebrating a raise or engagement with oysters for the time being: The state's health department is warning oyster-lovers to chill on slurping down their favorite mollusks due to a norovirus outbreak in the area, reports KIRO. In the past several weeks, 62 people have reported symptoms after eating raw oysters from parts of British Columbia. A local attorney specializing in food-poisoning cases told KIRO it's the worst outbreak he's seen. Stay safe, and if you decide to indulge in oysters, then make sure they're not from B.C.

In other Puget Sound-area meat news: This drive-thru Swedish meatball restaurant in Lakewood is literally called Manic Meatballs. Pestering my car-havin' friends to let me inhale meatballs in their passenger seats as we speak.

I can't believe our tech overlords are this dumb: Amazon has renamed IMDb TV—their free, ad-supported streaming service—to Amazon Freevee. CNBC reports that the company says the new name "better reflects the free nature of the service." It also sounds like a Baskin Robbins flavor.

For your listening pleasure: This Toro y Moi Boiler Room set:

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