The new ORCA system is ready to roll. The new system of cards, beep-boop machines, and mobile apps makes its debut today, and it should make it easier for you to manage your balance and load cash onto your card. (You'll need to re-register your account on the new website.) How’s it working for you? Smooth sailing or bumpy? Let me know over on Twitter if you’ve had any interesting experiences.
It was a big weekend for protests. Thousands came out to rally for reproductive health on Saturday, followed by a rally for Palestine on Sunday. Both were part of large, internationally-organized protest efforts.
Oh, is there a housing crisis? Hadn't noticed. Joe Biden unveiled a new plan today to drastically increase the supply of housing over the next five years. Under the plan, the government will provide assistance to manufacturers of prefab homes, increase funding options for accessory units (little backyard cottage-type dwellings), provide more loans for multifamily homes, and increase financial incentives for increasing density in local zoning laws.
Don't worry about this morning's Amber Alert. The 8-year-old reported missing near Bitter Lake has been found.
Need some plants? The Duwamish Longhouse has a bunch of native flora left over from an Earth Day event, and they’re offering them up for free (!!!) tomorrow through Saturday. Twin berry, Nooka rose, Pacific ninebark, Osoberry, Crab apple, and Black hawthorne can be yours while they last — pop by 4705 West Marginal Way SW.
Oh and also that whole lawsuit thing. While they’re not busy being stewards of the land that was taken from them, the Duwamish Tribe continues to fight for federal recognition. After waiting 167 years for rights promised under the Treaty of Point Elliott, they’ve now filed a lawsuit to secure tribal sovereignty. It is ludicrous and immoral that the US has withheld recognition for this long.
Here’s the music video for Ukraine’s winning Eurovision song. The song is Stefania by Kalush Orchestra, and it’s a tribute to the mothers of Ukraine and to those fighting to defend it. The video was filmed inside of actual war-destroyed structures. (You can also watch this very nice video of the group learning they won.)
Or perhaps you’re looking for something a bit more local. Here’s a new lyric video from Seattle band Lovely Colors.
Here come more scooters. Bird scooters are about to launch in Seattle. The company will deploy as many as 2,000 under a new contract approved by SDOT. They’re expected to arrive around early June, and they will feature a luxxxurious long footboard — a mouth-watering 25 inches — the longest of any scooter-share. (But hold on — while they may be the longest, they curve up at the ends, so they technically have less flat length than Superpedestrian’s Link scooters, which are 24 flat inches long.) The real question is how these new vehicles will handle Seattle’s hills — if you want to get up to Queen Anne, for example, your best bet is a Link scooter with a full charge, since the Lime ones seem to struggle on inclines. Link and Lime had their permits renewed for next year as well. Can you imagine if the city made car companies apply for permits to operate in the city and only let three operate at a time?
What on Earth is going wrong at SDOT right now? I’ll be digging into this situation in more detail this week, but it looks like SDOT is overriding several years’ worth of work by Councilmember Andrew Lewis to make Florentia Street safer. Why would they do that? Well, SDOT answers to the Mayor, not to the City Council, so that might be a clue.
Watch where you ride. Lots of cities around the world have safe streets; others feel that saving a few moments for motorists is more important than saving lives. A driver struck and killed a cyclist in SODO late last week; according to a police report, the driver was not looking both ways as they pulled forward and killed the cyclist, who was using the sidewalk on 4th Ave. It’s particularly frustrating and tragic because the sidewalk on that street does look like the most sensible place to ride — the street makes vehicular speeding easy by design. There have been multiple incidents of drivers killing cyclists in the area over the last few years.
Look out below. Someone paraglided off of one of the Denny triangle buildings under construction this weekend. Looks like fun, but good GRIEF I don’t even want to contemplate the article I’d have to be writing right now if something had gone wrong.
Bothell is for food lovers. The Puget Sound’s hottest dining experience is T55 Pâtisserie, at 18223 Bothell Way NE. Every week brings a new argument for giving up on Seattle and moving up north to Bothell. They’re even converting golf courses into better uses — how is this little town accomplishing so much more than us???
The New Kids in the Hall is ready. Nearly thirtyish years after the sketch show ended, they’re back with more episodes on Amazon, all streaming now. My early review is … it’s good!!! (And only occasionally confusing if this is your first exposure to them.) I watch this classic sketch approximately once a month:
Something's different. Bon voyage to one of the best editors I've ever worked with.