Slog PM: Oregon Gains a House Seat, Young People Get Sick, Alaska Airlines Bans State Senator

She was an Alaskan Republican. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Department of Justice will investigate the Louisville, Kentucky police department: In the aftermath of the shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the DOJ would investigate the Louisville Metro Police Department. This announcement comes just days after Garland announced the DOJ would be investigating the Minneapolis Police Department after a jury found former MPD officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. Consent decrees for everyone!


Finally, you can drink beer and throw axes: The Washington state Liquor Control Board finally granted Capitol Hill axe-throwing bar Blade and Timber a liquor license. This victory came after a multi-year back and forth between the LCB and the ax-throwing bar over whether mixing booze and flinging literal axes was too dangerous. Under the new snack bar liquor license, Blade and Timber will only permit patrons a maximum of two beers while they’re throwing axes.

ICYMI: The NHL decided to fuck off and change the name of a planned restaurant in the new Northgate hockey training facility to steer clear of a lawsuit from a local punk bar, the Kraken Bar & Lounge. The NHL had planned to name their new sports bar “The Kraken Bar & Grill.” The punk bar sued “alleging trademark infringement and tortious interference in a $3.5 million lawsuit,” the Seattle Times reported last week. Maybe the NHL saw the video of the bar’s theme song and backed off?

I hate when this happens: Hundreds lose internet service in northern B.C. after beaver chews through cable

Calling all light artists: If you make any kind of art that involves light you should apply to feature it in the 2021 LUSIO light festival.

Census data is out: We’ve got population numbers, people. The U.S. had its slowest decade of population growth since the 1930s. Declining birthrates and slowing immigration rates equal a new era of slow growth for America.

Another House seat for Oregon: Over the last decade, Oregon’s population increased by 10.6% to over 4.2 million people, according to new census data. Now, Oregonians will receive an extra Congressional district. Texas, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Montana, and North Carolina all gained seats. While Washington’s population increased at a rate of 14.5%—or, double the national average—we won’t be getting another seat in Congress. That population growth is clear evidence of our dying economy, eh?

California lost a seat: Due to a slowing population growth rate, California will lose a House seat. According to the New York Times, “California had 10 percent fewer births in the 2010s than in the 2000s and took in 44 percent fewer immigrants.” This is the first time since California became a state that it will lose a Congressional seat. Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York also lost House seats.

It’s open season for vaccines: Go forth and get ye an arm jab. Seattle has a bounty of open appointments. Tell your friends. If Seattle keeps up the demand and keeps getting shots in arms, then we could have community immunity—between 70 and 80% of people fully vaccinated—by the end of May. This bodes excellently for my Memorial Day orgy idea. So far, 61.5% of Seattleites are partially vaccinated and 34.7% are fully vaccinated, according to a press release from Mayor Jenny Durkan.

West Virginia tries to incentivize the shot:

Let me pour some cold water on all that optimism: Hospitalization rates in Washington indicate that we’re definitely in the fourth wave of infection. According to a KING5 report, “44 hospitals across Washington reported more than 600 [COVID-19] hospitalizations Monday morning.” The virus isn’t done with us yet, girlies.

Young people are getting sick: The people being hospitalized in Washington are mostly in their 40s and 50s, according to the Seattle Times. Still, people in their 20s and 30s are falling ill at higher rates than at any other point in the pandemic. Washington doctors suspect COVID-19 fatigue is driving these infection increases, but that COVID-19 variants are a huge factor. Specifically, doctors think the infections are related to the rise of the B.1.1.7 variant which was first spotted in United Kingdom and is known to increase spread by 50%. Tell the young people in your life to sign up to get their shots.

Oof: At least 49 passengers on a flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong tested positive for COVID-19. Hong Kong implemented a two-week ban on all flights from India, Pakistan, and the Phillippines. India’s COVID-19 cases and deaths are breaking records globally, and, to make matters worse, officials suspect many cases and deaths aren’t being accurately counted, meaning that the situation could be far worse than the numbers show. The situation in Pakistan is “heading toward” what India is facing and the Phillippines has topped 1 million COVID-19 cases.

The Seattle City Council passed a resolution calling on the Biden administration to “end the U.S. opposition to the international campaign for an Intellectual Property Rights waiver from the WTO for COVID-19 vaccines.” The unbinding resolution passed 7-1, Councilmember Debora Juarez was absent, and Councilmember Alex Pedersen voted no because he needed to do more research on the issue.

Tomorrow in Sawant’s Sustainability & Renters’ Rights Committee council members will hear presentations on two bills from Sawant’s office that aim to curb evictions in Seattle. The first bill would prevent any families, children, or teachers from facing eviction during the school year. The second bill seeks to close a “loophole” where landlords can evict a tenant by not offering them a lease renewal, which is essentially eviction without cause. Sawant’s bill would make it so landlords are required to offer lease extensions two to three months before they expire. Councilmember Tammy Morales and Councilmember Andrew Lewis have also put forward a proposal to close this loophole, but it won’t be heard in Sawant’s committee until next week at the earliest.

Biden will share AstraZeneca shots: The U.S. will ship out around 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the rest of the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to authorize the use of AstraZeneca in the states and we have enough vaccine capacity with the three vaccines already in use, Biden reasoned.

Pfizer is testing a pill to stop COVID-19: Teams in the U.S. and Belgium are testing what could be the first at-home COVID-19 cure—a protease inhibitor in the form of a pill.

Is the rise of second-hand shopping gentrifying thrift stores?

Congrats, this might be one of the driest Aprils ever in Seattle history: Relish the sun on your warm forearms, but do not forget to dwell on what this means about the global climate.

Russian man trapped in a Chinese boyband competition is finally freed: Vladislav Ivanov originally joined Produce Camp 2021, a Chinese reality show where the 11 winners must form a boyband, as a Chinese teacher. Producers invited him to participate in the competition after noticing his good looks. Ivanov allegedly regretted his decision almost immediately. He spent his entire time on the show half-assing challenges and asking fans to vote him off. For whatever reason, fans loved how much he didn’t give a shit about the competition and kept Ivanov around for three months before voting him off. If he had left on his own, he would have had to pay a steep fine.

Alaskan Republican lawmaker banned from Alaska Airlines: Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, can’t fly on Alaska Airlines anymore since she refused to comply with the airlines’ mask mandate. Reinbold commutes from Anchorage to Juneau for the state’s Legislative session via plane. She had to make the 700-mile trip over the weekend via car and ferry. That’s around 20 hours of commute time.

A run on rental cars: In Hawaii, tourism is booming so much that rental cars are spendy as fuck. The cheapest rental car in Mau was going for over $770. So, tourists are renting… U-Haul trucks.

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