The Vice President has COVID: She says she's feeling okay.
Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 26, 2022
Pour one out for Clyde: Mr. Clyde Robinson was Seattle's last surviving Buffalo Soldier. The 101-year-old died on April 14.
It was my honor to write about the passing of a true legend. Clyde was a living link to Seattle's Black history and will not be forgotten.
Clyde Robinson, Seattle’s last remaining Buffalo Soldier, dies at 101, leaves behind a legacy https://t.co/mdQwJisg2V via @seattletimes
— Mark Van Streefkerk (@VanStreefkerk) April 26, 2022
Who could have predicted this? "A wall of graffiti covered up by the mayor himself got re-tagged Monday," moaned KOMO on Monday. Those TV people are in deep on the graffiti beat. If you read Slog AM today, you may remember this blurb from Charles:
Mayor Bruce Harrell's indefatigable war on graffiti spreads to the section of I-5 that runs through downtown. According to KOMO (Harrell's Fox), what has been seen there by the mayor himself is nothing less than an explosion of graffiti. Harrell threatens to stop sweeping homeless people from property the state owns in Seattle if WSDOT does not get with the program and remove all of that godawful graffiti.
While we can debate the effectiveness of graffiti removal forever, one thing's undebatable: This "game of whack-a-mole" certainly isn't cheap. "Last year, nearly $3 million combined was spent for cleanups by the Graffiti Rangers, Sound Transit, King County Metro and Seattle Parks and Recreation," stressed the anti-graffiti Seattle Times last November.
I say: Give Nikita Ares one or two of those millions and let her paint the city.
SIFF responds: During yesterday's morning news round-up, we reported on SIFF Cinema Egyptian workers staging a walk-out in protest of inconsistent working hours and a gap in scheduling over the next three weeks. (They passed around this flyer during the walk-out, which happened during SIFF 2022's closing film.) SIFF leadership followed up and confirmed that the employees walked out after asking for consistent working hours and more transparency about the operating hours of the Egyptian. Leadership acknowledged "there was a communication breakdown" and said they are "conducting an investigation to identify what happened and how to ensure the issue is addressed as promptly as possible," according to a statement.
“Because of the nature of the film industry, reduced cinema attendance due to the pandemic, and the limitations inherent to SIFF’s nonprofit status, we simply cannot guarantee a specific number of hours,” claimed Jacqueline Dupuis, SIFF's interim executive director, in a statement. “We value our part-time, hourly staff and want to hear from them. We are operating in good faith, despite the difficulties created by their walk-out on the final day of the festival. But we cannot make promises that we don’t have the ability to keep. In the meantime, we are sincerely grateful to our staff and volunteers who stepped in to handle the demands of the festival’s final night.”
SIFF continued, saying their part-time, hourly staff was hired with the "understanding" that SIFF is "unable to guarantee a certain number of hours" to hourly employees: SIFF leadership said the Egyptian workers were offered additional shifts at other SIFF theaters—in addition to "paid house manager training" and "shifts for post-festival cleaning"—but the staff we spoke with described that offer as "vague and nebulous." SIFF confirmed they "disconnected" the emails of the staff who walked out, in addition to removing their access to the facilities, and explained the move as "a standard HR practice... when an employee abandons their post." They added: "Until the status of their employment is determined they will not have unattended access to SIFF facilities, email or servers." The situation is ongoing, and staff said that leadership is meeting with them individually to discuss the situation and their employment.
A soldier, Army Pfc. Joseph A. Marquez, died during a training incident in Yakima last Friday, reports AP. Not many details so far, but the military described it as a "single-vehicle incident" during a training exercise that injured two other soldiers.
Defense officials from over 40 countries—the US among them—met in Germany today to form a group that will support Ukraine's military long term, in the event that the Russian invasion becomes further entrenched. Russia’s foreign minister responded that supplying Ukrainians with arms made it difficult to negotiate peace terms, which is probably TECHNICALLY true, although certainly an odd way of looking at it.
In retaliation for Poland's support of Ukraine, Russia announced today that it will suspend the flow of natural gas to the country. The stoppage could lead to heating shortages in Poland, which draws 45 percent of its natural gas from Russia.
The New Yorker doesn't want you to forget that National Guard is trying to unionize.
It's easy to view people who want to marry inanimate objects and fictional characters as lesser somehow—because WE'RE ALL DOING ROMANCE PERFECTLY!—but this long-form piece by the New York Times presents a handful people who have abstract romantic relationships with anime characters, and it's actually kind of sweet.
Congrats to Ballard High graduate Jean Smart: The Hollywood Walk of Fame has honored Ms. Smart, a famous actress known for Designing Women and Mare of Easttown and loooooots more (she is always booked and busy), with a gold star on the ground. That's wonderful and deserved and also I wish people would stop pretending like you don't just pay for those things.
Say hello to Will Casey. You'll see him around Slog a lot more often starting this week. We've spent five years without a dedicated criminal justice reporter, and we're thrilled to have someone back on this beat.
Some personal/professional news:
Today's my first day covering cops and the daily injustices of our legal system for @TheStranger! So if you have any tips on police misconduct, studies I should read, or know someone who deserves a spotlight on their work — get in touch!
— William Casey (@willjcasey) April 26, 2022
We were able to hire a new writer because you all keep reading and contributing. Thank you. Your support has an impact.
Lil Nas X also has an impact. On my heart. Which he BROKE by not announcing Seattle as a stop on his LONG LIVE MONTERO tour.