Slog AM: School walkout over gun violence today, burning ban in neighboring counties and butterflies on the brink


Three died after a shooting at the University of Virginia. This morning, the police arrested a suspect, believed to be a former member of the school football team. Other mass shootings over the weekend left four injured in Philadelphia, one dead and five injured in North Carolina, one dead and seven injured in Omaha, four injured in Texas, four injured in Sacramento, four injured in New Jersey, four injured in Memphis and one dead and three injured in Indio, Calif. In short, a normal weekend. Closer to home, students at Ingraham High School are planning a strike today to demand action on gun violence after a shooting last week.

Don’t snuggle up in front of a roaring roaring fire. Hope you haven’t packed your air purifier. Burning bans are in effect for several adjacent counties (Pierce and Snohomish), and the air in King County looks ominous due to particularly dry, stagnant air. Expect moderate air quality this week, hoping for some clearing once we hit the weekend and more rain arrives.

Amazon will lay off “thousands:” Sources say New York Times that the e-commerce giant could cut by around 10,000 in its devices and retail division as well as in human resources. The company invested its pandemic profits in “expanding and experimenting to find the next big things”, and now it’s “cutting back on companies that have been overstaffed or under-delivered for years”.

It’s crazy that volunteers have to do this. Please clean the sidewalks and bike paths! The City should do it for you!

What housing crisis? You might remember the bustle around the squat old building at 229 Broadway, which currently houses Jai Thai and a Mud Bay. Developers want to demolish it and build 100 units of 100% affordable housing in its place, but since it was built decades ago, it risks being a historic landmark, which could prevent the addition of new housing. (The architect who designed it has a particularly unsavory past, so what would we even commemorate by preserving it?) Anyway, the building’s first public hearing before the monuments committee is this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., if you wish to comment.

Buy local. Here’s a great gift-buying guide that highlights opportunities to support Indigenous artisans and markets. Check out the list of tons of vendors offering arts and crafts, and check out the Duwamish Gift Shop here.

Goodbye to Joe Kent, Washington State’s official doofus. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez won her victory in Southwest Washington’s 3rd congressional district, thank you God. She was a nail biter, especially since her rival, Joe Kent, was particularly formidable. (He bragged about his endorsement by Trump while dismissing the usual conspiracy theories about COVID and Jan. 6 and immigration.) Last night, Kent continued to tweet that he could still win the race. Like everything he talks about, he has no fucking idea what he’s talking about.

Ban cars. Sound Transit temporarily suspended train service over the weekend so workers could carry out construction work in the tunnels, and they provided shuttles to get people around. Well, that was the plan, at least. Passengers encountered problems orienting and grouping the buses, resulting in frustrating journeys. Riders also found themselves stuck in slow-moving traffic caused by private cars clogging the streets. What they should did was convert the routes to bus only so cars couldn’t get in the way. Maybe next time!

So much for public art. A whole slew of Paul Allen’s art collection has just been put up for sale to private collectors at Christie’s auction house, fetching an estimated $1.5 billion. Ten years ago, Allen said his collection should be accessible to the public. Never mind! A few thousand coins are also expected to go to MoPOP, so at least it doesn’t all fall into the hands of the filthy rich.

Farewell, single-family zoning? Jay Inslee is currently at a UN climate change conference in Egypt, and bless Ryan Packer for staying up late for livetweet his words. Among the interesting highlights: Inslee signal that we can ultimately vote next year to end exclusionary zoning, which keeps housing supply artificially low.

Good comics! We’re still catching up with last week’s election, so I haven’t had a chance to do a full review of the new comics. But if you’re looking for some good reads, head to the comic book store and look for below ambition, a very online stoner comedy about getting the band back together when you’re old. Where to consult It’s lonely in the center of the earth, a compelling story about discovering creativity from depression. And! There’s a 30th anniversary special for Death of Supermanugh, I can’t believe it’s been thirty years.

Here is your weekly report on street barricades. The panel that has been vandalized for weeks by an unknown creep will soon receive a stronger installation. I’m not convinced this will do, since previous attempts to lock the sign to the sidewalk have been thwarted, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Ikea donates 600 million euros to climate initiatives. The money will be focused on developing plant-based proteins and reducing agricultural emissions.

Last chance to see. There is a butterfly that only lives on San Juan Island, but probably not for long. Scientists are doing their best to prevent it from disappearing, but climate change is making it difficult. Rich wrote about wrestling in 2016.

There is a shortage of pediatric medicine in Canada. If you’re planning a trip up north with a child, maybe pack some kid-friendly medication just in case. A wave of respiratory illnesses has depleted Canada’s supply of several key drugs, along with a shortage that began in the spring that has spilled over into increased demand for other medicines. On this side of the border, about 1,300 Americans have died of the flu so far this year. Flu and COVID rates also remain high. The good news is that Washington’s flu activity is relatively low at the moment.

Goodbye Batman. Voice actor Kevin Conroy died last week.


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