Sea-Tac hits impressive milestone: Congratulations to Sea-Tac airport, which just landed at the top of a national ranking of airports! Oh wait, I'm being informed the list is of bad airports. Specifically, our flights are among the most expensive in the country. Oh well.
SODO Business Improvement Area’s message to neighbors who ride bikes: Drop dead. After a driver killed 73-year-old Gan-Hao Li last week (just the latest in a string of motorist homicides in the neighborhood), there’s been some louder-than-usual calls to do something about SODO's deadly streets. But Erin Goodman, executive director of the SODO Business Improvement Area, gave a bizarrely heartless quote to the Seattle Times: “Do I think that people need to be able to bike through SODO? Yes,” she told them. “On every street? No. There need to be safe corridors.” Oh okay, cool, great way to welcome people to your little corner of town — some streets are safe, but others are apparently just fine for killing people. Anyway, here’s Councilmember Tammy Morales making a lot more sense:
To commemorate #BikeEverywhereDay today🚴, here are 3 statistics I'm committed to changing in District 2 and the City of Seattle.
This is important in order to achieve a #SeattleWithinReach, where everyone can live within safe walking, biking, and rolling distance of amenities. pic.twitter.com/KqK0sJFn7k
— Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (@CMTammyMorales) May 20, 2022
Thanks for the nice weather this weekend. After what felt like several years’ worth of “wear two jackets and your waterproof sneakers” weather, we finally got a glimpse of the sun this weekend, just in time for the U District Street Fair (which was lovely and should be an every-weekend thing during the summer) and Bruce Harrell’s One Seattle Day of Service. The Day of Service volunteers did some very nice cleanup work — about 4,000 people across 127 sites — though asking people to work for free is by no means a long-term or sustainable solution.
Starbucks is on strike. Find somewhere else to get your coffee — workers at the Westlake location are on strike today:
🚨CALL TO ACTION🚨
Baristas at 1200 Westlake Ave N are Picketing starting NOW, 7am PST!
Come support workers protesting intimidating union busting tactics, such as illegal firings, denial of benefits, and threats of termination! ✊ pic.twitter.com/GnQarQHL5A
— SB Workers United Seattle (@SeattleSBWU) May 23, 2022
Did you know the escalators at Sound Transit stations are supposed to move? A fun piece of local transit trivia is that the escalators at Sound Transit stations are not purely decorative — they’re meant to go up and down, though you’d never know it to look at them covered in “out of order” signs most of the time. Currently, Sound Transit’s plan isn’t to get them all working properly until 2031. Here you will find a petition asking them to please fix the goddamn things a little faster.
Surprise! Hope you like shit! Comedian John Mulaney invited an unexpected guest performer to a show in Ohio this week: Dave Chappelle, the JK Rowling of comedy, in that he is fabulously rich and adored by some of the worst people you have ever heard of. Chappelle, who has been gleefully riding the Transphobia-Express Grift for as long as it has wheels, made the evening particularly unpleasant by telling the one joke TERFs know: “I identify as such-and-such." A real bummer for everyone who went expecting comedy but got a Fox-News-grandpa rant instead.
Never underestimate American drivers’ capacity for mayhem. Portland is conducting an interesting experiment. The City is re-designing a couple of streets to have “advisory bike lanes.” That basically means that there’s a bike lane on either side of the street, and in the middle there’s a single lane for cars — that’s one single lane for both directions of travel. If two cars need to pass each other, they have to wait for bike traffic to clear, then maneuver into the bike lanes to go around each other. Drivers in the Netherlands are able to handle this arrangement just fine, but we’ll see how Americans, who are all morons, will react.
Don't worry about monkeypox, says leader of disease-ridden country. Biden says the latest outbreak is "something to be concerned about," but apparently being concerned is the extent of the action we need to take, because he also says there's no need to quarantine the infected.
There are a bunch of fake whale guts floating around near the ferris wheel right now. The Seattle Aquarium is currently helping to develop a less-toxic form of plastic by subjecting it to a unique test environment: The inside of a gray whale’s stomach. Fortunately, they are not feeding plastic shopping bags to actual whales. Instead, they’ve created containers that mimic the inside of a whale’s gut, and they've dangled them off the side of a Seattle pier to test exposure to salt water over time. It’s very good, important work, but I can’t help thinking that it’s only a matter of time before a vore fetishist's interest is piqued by the concept of a simulated whale stomach.
COVID is still on the rise, if anyone cares. Seems like we’ve all just given up on distancing and masks and whatnot, but for what it’s worth, testing of sewage shows that transmission rates continue to climb. Meanwhile we just hit a million deaths … again, if anyone cares. Here’s a heartbreaking NY Times piece about the final messages sent to family members from some of the people who died.
Have you seen this pretty bike? Multiple bicycles are stolen every single day around Seattle. If you want to report a bike stolen online, you have to check a box that acknowledges the police probably won’t even investigate it.
Friendship ended with Bothell, now Stanwood is my best friend. After batting my eyelashes coquettishly at Bothell’s recent urbanism, now I find my attention drawn to Stanwood (located just north of Everett, if that helps), which is embarking on an impressive plan to tame its dreary road-bloat with pedestrian-friendly designs, street festivals, parks, and active storefronts. Meanwhile, Port Townsend has declared June 1 a car-free day. Once again, the suburbs are running circles around Seattle. (Okay, not all of the suburbs — various Lynnwood council members are stupidly trying to freeze the town in time, resisting building enough housing for their own residents.)
Friendship regained with Bothell, now Bothell and Stanwood both are my best friends. Don’t make me choose my favorite suburb! Bothell's still doing lovely work; they had a very nice kickoff to the summer this weekend with a gorgeous street festival.
Ditch bandits found guilty. Allan and Joann Thomas have been found guilty of stealing about a half million dollars from King County taxpayers in a scheme that involved fake companies submitting fake invoices for ditch-clearing work that was never performed. Their defense? They’re just really really really bad at bookkeeping. A jury didn’t buy it. They’ll be sentenced in September.
A Louisiana senator just found one weird trick to cure maternal mortality. Sure, Louisiana has a massive problem with people dying during pregnancy — but not if you stop counting Black parents, Senator Bill Cassidy pointed out in a recent interview. You know, in case you were wondering if the message “Black Lives Matter” still wasn’t getting through to some people.
Lackey found lacking. Kudos to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America who responded with appropriate swiftness this weekend to writer Mercedes Lackey using a slur while speaking on a Nebula Conference panel. Lackey was removed from subsequent panels; the conference will work with fellow panelists to determine what other action is appropriate.
Hawks meet cats. Here is a delightful video of the Seahawks visiting Seattle Humane for the Day of Service.