The Big Takeaways from Washington's 2020 Primary

A Message to the City from Kristen Millares Young

Kristen is a novelist, investigative journalist, and essayist.
Kristen is a novelist, investigative journalist, and essayist. Courtesy of Kristen Millares Young

Good morning. It's Friday, August 7, and we're ending the week with something special: a message from the novelist and journalist Kristen Millares Young, followed by a visual poem that is an excerpt from her debut novel Subduction.

Though Subduction came out April 14—not the best timing for a new work of art to enter the world—it is still getting amazing buzz. It's a Paris Review staff pick, the Washington Post called “whip-smart,” and Ms. Magazine called it “utterly unique and important.”

Local writers know Kristen as the prose writer-in-residence at Hugo House from 2018 to 2020. Her prize-winning investigations, essays, and reviews appear in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, the Guardian, and elsewhere. And she's the editor of the forthcoming anthology Seismic, a book from the Seattle City of Literature.

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Slog PM: Seattle Celebrates Gloom, More Primary Election Results, Nursing Homes Attempt to Reopen for Visits

Finally, bliss.
"Finally, bliss." GETTY IMAGES

ProPublica is tracking what happens to police after they use force on protesters: It appears the comprehensive investigation includes three incidents from the SPD. All of the incidents are pending investigations, no officers have been identified, and no criminal charges filed.

A man at a restaurant on Treasure Island, Florida was arrested after he SPIT on a boy who refused to take off his mask: My grandpa lives on Treasure Island but I checked and it wasn't my grandpa.

The top posts on Seattle's subreddit this afternoon: We're all little fickle weather babies.

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Today, Inslee laid out his plan for the phased reopening of nursing homes: Kind of a dicey situation here. People in nursing homes are extremely vulnerable to COVID, and the pandemic spread like wildfire inside and outside of those facilities last spring. We actually just got some new numbers on that tip. A Washington Department of Health study released Tuesday showed that local health jurisdictions have reported 459 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities across the state since late February. As of last Monday, nearly 5,700 COVID-19 cases and 898 deaths have been associated with these facilities—that’s 10% of the state’s total cases and 56% of the state’s total deaths. Outbreaks at nursing homes have declined since their height in March, but there were 10 reported at the end of July.

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What Will Happen to CHOP's Art and Garden?

The Black Lives Memorial Garden at Cal Anderson Park in late June.
The Black Lives Memorial Garden is one of the CHOP-related sites up for discussion for permanent inclusion in the 2020 Cal Anderson Park Project. Chase Burns
The long bureaucratic grind toward memorializing Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) in Cal Anderson Park has begun.

On Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, the beginning of a series of public hearings/Zoom meetings took place concerning the 2020 Cal Anderson Park Project, a project put forth by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department along with HBB Landscape Architecture and DLR Group.

The goal of the project is to redesign and enhance a "sense of belonging in the park," centering BIPOC and queer community members. The points of discussion yesterday and this morning mainly focused around gaging public interest in permanent incorporation of park features birthed from CHOP—namely the community garden, a space for protest art, and a version of Decolonization Conversation Café that popped up on 11th.

"The protests of the last couple months have required that we begin a conversation about how Cal Anderson can better serve the community and more firmly speak to our values," said Andy Sheffer of the Parks Department yesterday. "The 2020 Cal Anderson Project is about receiving ideas, developing ideas, and piloting ideas for new programming elements."

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The West Seattle Bridge Is a Microcosm of the Coronavirus Crisis

The new bridge to nowhere..;.
The new bridge to nowhere... RyanJLane/gettyimages.com

There has been only one kind of thinking about the West Seattle Bridge mess: Get it fixed now! But that now is, obviously, nowhere near the now of our time. From day one, the non-broken bridge has only pushed its realization further and further into the future. And that extension has, of course, been accompanied by a stunning rise in costs. The more time it takes, the more money it costs.

Seattle Times' transportation reporter, Mike Lindblom writes:

After that, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) says it needs to borrow $100 million through a bond sale, followed by another internal loan. All together, SDOT anticipates it will rack up between $160 million and $225 million in bridge-related expenses by the end of 2021.

Lindblom ends this passage with: "That money wouldn’t cover construction of a new bridge." He calls the financing of the repair work "patchwork," and pointed out the SDOT could not "provide a breakdown of costs or a debt-profile chart."

Lindblom is a no-nonsense reporter, and yet in his description of the handling of a major transportation project/crisis, he sounds iffy. This is not a reflection of his reporting, but of the state of things at SDOT and Durkan's office: total panic. The bridge's troubles seem to be deepening, and the only solution we have at present is to just keep throwing all kinds of "tricky money," to use an expression of a Polish economist I admire, into the growing hole. The best we have going for the dead bridge right now is reanimating it for only 15 years before it returns to the tomb again.

At this point, I want us to consider a tweet by the Republican Trumper Kevin McCarthy.

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Currently Hanging: Einar and Jamex de la Torre's "Feminencia" at Koplin del Rio

One view of Einar and Jamex de la Torre's
One view of Einar and Jamex de la Torre's "Feminencia" at Koplin del Rio.
JK

My first stop on my tour of the month-long Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair was one of Koplin del Rio's latest shows, Neopaganismo - Back to the Forests by artists (and brothers) Einar and Jamex de la Torre. It is spectacular. Creepy. Hilarious. Gaudy. Sublime. It playfully juxtaposes the low and high, the cheap and expensive, the secular and holy. And it's the perfect show to see in person after the long months spent inside during the pandemic.

A close-up of the frame.
A close-up of the frame. JK

Like many other works in the show, "Feminencia" is a lenticular print which appears to change as you walk past it. This movement is a result of lenticular printing, a process where two or three digital image files are printed onto a special plastic lens, woven together, and, in this case, back-lit with an LED light. So when a viewer approaches the painting, the medium gives the illusion of movement and depth in the image, a sort of illusion that the brothers have cranked up to the nth degree with their surreal and baroque imagery.

One of the images in the piece is of a statue of White Tara , a figure in Buddhism, given to Mexico by the Nepali government and located in Ensenada, where the brothers reside. Using Photoshop, they layered bits of Austrian churches and the Eiffel Tower to create this hyper-charged portrait of the goddess.

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The Best Movies to Stream This Weekend in Seattle: August 6-9, 2020

A sad lady wanders the streets searching for meaning and a place to sleep in Susanne Heinrichs Arent You Happy? (Das melancholische Mädchen), which kicks off Goethe Pop Ups Queer as German Folk series at Northwest Film Forum this weekend.
A sad lady wanders the streets searching for meaning and a place to sleep in Susanne Heinrich's Aren't You Happy? (Das melancholische Mädchen), which kicks off Goethe Pop Up's Queer as German Folk series at Northwest Film Forum this weekend. Northwest Film Forum via Facebook

It's another great weekend to break from whatever you're binging to make room for newly streaming films and shows, like Hans Petter's dreamy Out Stealing Horses or A Thousand Cuts, Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary about the violent administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Read on for all of our top picks for this weekend streaming through local theaters and national platforms. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area, or check out our guide to streamable shows that received Emmy nominations.

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Aren't You Happy? (Das melancholische Mädchen)
Is the pressure to be happy yet another product of capitalism? As she wanders the streets of a German city, a sad lady experiences 15 encounters that reveal truths about self-marketing, serial monogamy, spirituality, disillusionment, and the compulsion to appear a certain way. This limited screening is part of Goethe Pop Up, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Gay City, and NWFF's Queer as German Folk series.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Friday-Sunday

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Washington and Other States Want to Seize Gilead's Patent on Coronavirus Drug

Gilead’s CEO Daniel O’Day at a meeting of the ghouls in the White House.
Gilead’s CEO Daniel O’Day at a meeting of the ghouls. Pool/Getty Images

The benevolent corporate overlords who decide who lives and dies have generously revealed how much it’ll cost to get a five-day supply of Remdesivir, a drug that shows promise in fighting COVID-19: For patients who have health insurance, Gilead will charge you $3,125 (in the United States; it’s cheaper in other countries). And that’s only if there’s enough of it to go around. There may be a shortage, so act now!

A handful of attorneys general (including Washington’s Bob Ferguson) issued a letter this week proposing that the government take control of the drug’s patent, allowing other companies to manufacture more supplies and (potentially) bring down costs. They can do that thanks to the 1980 Bayh-Dole act, which lets the government hold onto patent rights if a drug company is price-gouging or failing to address safety issues.

Obviously, Gilead doesn’t like that very much.

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NewsGuns

NY Attorney General Sues NRA for Fraud, Self-Dealing, and Other Alleged Illegal Conduct

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, on the right, will have to pay back millions if New Yorks attorney general gets her way. Oh yeah, and his organization will be dissolved.
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, on the right, will have to pay back millions if New York's attorney general gets her way. Oh yeah, and his organization will be dissolved. Scott Olson/Getty Images

It was mentioned in Slog AM, but whoa, this is such big news it deserves its own post. Washington Post:

The chief executive of the National Rifle Association and several top lieutenants engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to raid the coffers of the powerful gun rights group for personal gain, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the New York attorney general, draining $64 million from the nonprofit in just three years.

That chief executive is Wayne LaPierre, who's been the head of the NRA for 39 years. New York's attorney general is asking "a New York court to force LaPierre and three key deputies to repay NRA members for the ill-gotten funds and inflated salaries that her investigation found they took." She's also calling for LaPierre to be removed from his position, and for the NRA to be dissolved entirely.

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More Portlanders Share Experiences of Being Snatched—and Detained—by Federal Police

Marek Jarocki was arrested by federal police on July 25, after being caught in a cloud of tear gas.
Marek Jarocki was arrested by federal police on July 25, after being caught in a cloud of tear gas. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

This article was originally published on our sister publication The Portland Mercury's blog Blogtown, where you can find ongoing coverage of Portland's protests related to the killing of George Floyd. —Eds.
When Tetra thinks back to the night he was kidnapped by federal police in downtown Portland, he can't help but laugh.

“It was such a mess,” said Tetra, 24, who asked the Mercury to use only his first name out of privacy concerns. “These officers had no idea what they were doing, which was both comforting and terrifying."

Tetra is one of the unknown number of protesters who has been chased down on the streets of Portland by federal police, forced into an unmarked van, and held for hours without being charged with a crime.

This practice was first made public in July, when protester Mark Pettibone detailed his experience with what felt like a kidnapping in an interview with OPB, drawing immediate national attention. Pettibone’s story inspired Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to file a lawsuit against the federal law enforcement agencies involved, suggesting that this “disturbing” tactic had likely been used to detain other Portlanders.

Tetra’s experience confirms that assumption. His story and others from people arrested by federal police during recent demonstrations further illuminates the unorganized, heavy-handed, and potentially unconstitutional tactics employed by officers sent to Portland to defend federal buildings.

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NOW Is the Time to Submit to SLAY, The Stranger's New Horror Film Festival

slaypr_forest.jpg

It's official: The world loves HUMP!—America's sweetest homemade-porn film festival, where entrants make short dirty movies for the chance to win impressive cash prizes! And now, the freaky minds behind HUMP! (and SPLIFF, our cannabis-themed film festival) have a brand-new and terrifyingly fun contest we know you're going to love: SLAY—a film festival for fans of horror!

SLAY is a great opportunity for amateur filmmakers (like you) to stretch their artistic muscles and make an eight-minute-or-less spine-tingling movie that can earn big, BIG money. And like HUMP!, the possibilities are endless! SLAY films can be legitimately horrifying and gory, spooky and unsettling, campy and funny, political/science-fiction/dystopian-themed, animated, sexy, sweet, old-timey, new-timey... YOU NAME IT!

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Slog AM: Cliff Mass's Nazi Comparison, No More Parties in LA, Shazam for Spiders

EXCUSE ME, theres a PANDEMIC going ON here.
EXCUSE ME, there's a PANDEMIC going ON here. Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images

The cracked West Seattle Bridge is the cherry on top: Of this year of cataclysms. The city is facing an impossible task of filling budgetary holes from the COVID-19 pandemic and having to figure out where millions of extra dollars are going to come from so that West Seattle doesn't become (more of) an island. The immediate solution is for the city to borrow against itself with a $70 million interfund loan. Then, the Seattle Department of Transportation, according to Mike Lindblom at the Seattle Times, "needs to borrow $100 million through a bond sale, followed by another internal loan." Which boils down to a receipt of between $160 million and $225 through 2021. That's the cost before a new bridge is even built.

Australia has invented "Shazam for spiders": Critterpedia is a machine learning app that will tell users the species of spiders and snakes. Finally!

BREAKING: New York's attorney general has filed a lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association.

Seattle Police Department can still use less-lethal weapons: A U.S. District Judge in Seattle ruled. The temporary restraining order (which was recommended by the Department of Justice) against the Seattle City Council's ordinance that would ban the use of methods like pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tear gas will be extended until September 18. In that time period, the court will review whether the council's new rule goes against police reforms outlined in the federal consent decree. The argument is that without those less-lethal weapons, cops won't know how to stop people besides probably killing them which seems like a way bigger problem in and of itself.

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A Message to the City from Michael Hebb

Michael Hebb is the founder of Death Over Dinner and the End of Life Collective.
Michael Hebb is the founder of Death Over Dinner and the End of Life Collective. Courtesy of Michael Hebb

Good morning. It's Thursday, August 6, and for today's message we turn to the longtime Seattle instigator Michael Hebb.

He is the founder of Death Over Dinner, which for seven years has been hosting dinners where people talk about that one thing that people usually don't talk about.

His latest project, the End of Life Collective, launches today. In a country where someone dies of COVID every 80 seconds (!), it's well timed.

What is the End of Life Collective? Take it away, Michael.

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Slog PM: Another Round of Election Results, Not Enough of Us Are Getting Tested for COVID, Big Ass Boat

Throwback to Rich on a boat.
Throwback to Rich on a boat. David Thompson

Disney's big-budget live-action Mulan remake is going straight to streaming: We're going to see lots of blockbusters go straight to streaming in the coming months. Although hopefully without this slight catch... To see Mulan online, you have to pay $30 and also be a Disney+ subscriber. I don't get it.

US coronavirus infection rates are high and death rates are rising... but virus testing in many states is... declining? Some officials blame the low testing rates on long wait times at testing sites and extended delays for test results. “We have the capacity. Iowans just need to test,” said Iowa's governor. Iowa's testing rates have declined by 20% in the last two weeks.

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NewsCityCops

The Seattle City Council Is Tired of Being Gaslit by the Mayor and Police Chief

The simple fact, colleagues, is that the mayor does not like our plan, Council President Lorena Gonzalez said.
"The simple fact, colleagues, is that the mayor does not like our plan," Council President Lorena Gonzalez said. Screenshot of the Seattle Channel

The Seattle City Council is making headway on defunding the Seattle Police Department. Today, they passed amendments on the 2020 budget rebalancing package that will cut the remainder of the 2020 SPD budget by around $3 million. Council members will pursue plans to cut around 41% of the 2021 SPD budget in conversations this fall.

While the council did not reach the 50% defunding goal asked for by protesters, the council nixed the SPD Navigation Team that sweeps homeless encampments, reduced SPD's force by around 100 officers through layoffs and attrition, capped SPD executives' salaries, and more. A final vote to get the budget proposal passed out of committee will happen Monday morning with a final vote by the full council Monday afternoon.

The council has sat through over a month of budget meetings full of inquests into SPD's budget at the behest of the public. In the process, they have dealt with a misinformation campaign leveled against them by Seattle's own Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best.

Before voting on many of the amendments today, the council laid bare how Durkan has wrongly categorized or intentionally left out information to "intentionally try to confuse the public," about the council's plans to reduce SPD's budget, Councilmember and Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda said.

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Health Officials and Superintendent Do Not Recommend In-Person Classes for Most of Washington This Fall

Inslee and Co. are embracing local control by issuing guidelines instead of mandates.
It's Zoom school for the lot of you, children! TVW

On Wednesday Governor Jay Inslee, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, and State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy laid out some guidelines for school districts and county health departments who are thinking about reopening schools in the fall.

These guidelines—which are not to be confused with previously issued requirements governing schools when they do decide to open their doors—use COVID-19 infection rates to break the state into three tiers: High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Low Risk.

We'll explain those categories in a second, but here's the bottom line: Most of the state falls into high or moderate risk areas, so most of the state's students should not return to school for in-person instruction this fall. That includes high-population counties such as King, Pierce, and Snohomish.

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