POV: You’re Jeff Bezos looking at your empire from your rocket throne. BURADAKI / GETTY
Bezos blasts off: Next month, Jeff Bezos will join the first crew to fly a Blue Origin rocket into space. Bezos owns Blue Origin so it makes sense that he’d be able to hitch a ride to space. Unfortunately, he will not be staying in space forever to live among the other aliens. The flight will only last around ten minutes. Bezos’s brother Mark and whoever bids the highest in some charity auction will join the trillionaire on his flight. He’ll blast off on July 20. The American Dream is buying your way into the history books.
Historic drought hits Colorado River: The Colorado River system supplies water to around 40 million people in seven states and fills the largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Mead. Because of a historic drought hitting the southwest of the U.S., Lake Mead is only at about 37% capacity. Experts are calling this an “existential issue for Arizona, for California, for Nevada,” according to a report by CBS News. For the first time ever, the federal government may declare a water shortage.
Due to drought Nevada placed a ban on all “non-functional grass.”
The case of the Golden Gardens tree topper: Someone’s been illegally trimming down trees in Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park. Seattle Parks and Recreation told the Seattle Times that the Seattle Police Department is investigating two unpermitted tree cutting incidents in the park—one on March 30 where someone cut down three maples and one incident in May where someone trimmed the tops of two trees. Usually, these cases happen when residents want to improve their own view. In 2017, West Seattle homeowners damaged 150 trees. The homeowners settled a suit brought by the city for $440,000. I think tree toppers should be fined and we should sic the Seattle tree activists on them:
Happy birthday week to CHOP: This week marks the Capitol Hill Organized Protest’s first birthday. Well, technically this week is the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’s birthday, since this week a year ago the police ditched their post at 11th and Pine, and protesters declared the space a cop-free zone known as CHAZ. Later, protesters redubbed the zone as CHOP. Today is also Stranger staffer’s Jasmyne Keimig’s birthday and the anniversary of her cake being teargassed in The Stranger offices.
More information about the woman found dead in Interlaken Park: Last week, a homeowner found a 45-year-old woman dead in a small stream in the Montlake park. According to Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, investigators identified the woman as Necia Mckendrick. They determined the cause of her death as “multiple blunt force injuries” and that Mckendrick was killed around a week before she was found in the park.
Royal Caribbean changes course on vaccination requirements: It completely baffles me that anyone would consider going on a cruise while COVID-19 still rages globally. Did everyone collectively forget the plague cruises from last year…? Apparently Royal Caribbean did. The cruise company announced that it won’t require passengers to be fully vaccinated. Royal Caribbean did an about-face on its vaccination policy after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said a new Florida law fining companies $5,000 each time they ask a patron for proof of vaccination would apply to cruise companies. The Royal Caribbean cruise leaving from Seattle is its only U.S. cruise that will require vaccination.
On a personal note: I went rabid for a brief period this morning over pictures of Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) in his superhero get-up for his upcoming role on season 3 of The Boys, created by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. I support this nepotism. Fans of The Boys comics may recall that Ackles’s character, Soldier Boy, takes part in a notorious event called “Herogasm” that Kripke is adapting for the third season.
Oregon House Republicans call on Rep. Mike Nearman to resign: All Oregon state House Republicans aside from Rep. Mike Nearman called for Nearman’s resignation after reports that Nearman plotted with the right-wing mob that unlawfully entered the Oregon state Capitol last December. Five days before the Dec. 21 Oregon state Capitol incursion, in a meeting with his supporters Nearman allegedly gave the group his phone number and coyly told them to text that number when they were nearby the west entrance to the building and someone would open the door. Footage of the event shows Nearman leaving that entrance with the door propped open behind him.
Someone tell me this is satire: Say sike. Please say sike.
Legalize child labor.
Children will learn more on a job site than in public school.
— Libertarian Party NH (@LPNH) June 7, 2021
Oh, goddammit: This better be satire, too. Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former U.S. representative, announced he would step down as his role of CEO of a Brooklyn countertop company to sell what he’s calling “political collectibles.” The collectibles in question? Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) of his crotch shot. He also might sell “a copy of the search warrant for the laptop seized by the FBI during the probe that sent him to prison in 2017 for sexting with an underage girl or the email in which Jon Stewart apologized for making jokes at his expense,” according to the New York Post.
A busy day in the Seattle City Council: Today, a whopping 100 people signed up for public comment at the council’s 2 p.m. meeting. Most of those people signed up to discuss the suite of tenant protections up for a vote today. On the docket was Councilmember Tammy Morales’s bill to grant a legal eviction defense to tenants facing eviction and the bill to provide tenants a first right of refusal at the end of one-year leases. Kshama Sawant’s legislation to create an eviction moratorium for families and educators during the school year was also up for a vote.
A resolution to extend the eviction moratorium urging the mayor and Gov. Jay Inslee to extend the eviction moratorium at least through the end of the year passed 7-0. Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Dan Strauss were absent. The resolution is nonbinding.
Sawant’s school year eviction moratorium, which would permanently prevent evictions of school-age children, their families, and educators during the months of the school year, passed 6-1. Alex Pedersen voted against it. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda proposed an amendment to allow homeowners to circumvent the moratorium if they experience “a financial limitation or life circumstance” and must move back into their home. “I’m trying to make sure that we are addressing these very narrow concerns,” Mosqueda said. Sawant opposed the amendment, calling it a “loophole.” The amendment passed 6-1.
Morales’s legal defense for eviction, co-sponsored by Sawant, passed 5-2 with Councilmembers Debora Juarez and Pedersen opposed. The bill will grant tenants facing an eviction a legal defense they can point to in court. I wrote more about what the bill does here.
The right of first refusal bill passed 5-2 with Juarez and Pedersen voting no. This bill, co-sponsored by Morales, Sawant, and Lewis, was a response to the just cause fixed-term lease loophole that exposed tenants on fixed-term leases to eviction without cause if a landlord chose not to renew their lease. Landlords must now offer tenants leases before the current lease expires. More here.
This bill provides tenants a right of first refusal to either stay in their home on a new lease or a new month-to-month agreement, or to voluntarily leave on their own. It also allows landlords to pursue a removal only if they have a just cause reason to do so.
— Tammy J. Morales (@CMTammyMorales) June 7, 2021
Finally, the gay rights defender the LGBTQ+ community needed: Burger King declares war on Chick-fil-A over LGBTQ+ rights and chicken sandwiches.
Another update on our tech overlords: Mark Zuckerberg is… throwing spears?
New Lorde music: Everyone’s favorite moody Kiwi will release new tunes this year. It’s been four years since the last Lorde album.
In more entertainment news: Universal Pictures is developing She Said, the book by New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor on how they broke the Harvey Weinstein story that started the Me Too movement. Actresses Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan will star as Twohey and Kantor.
Washingtonians who get the jab at a pot store can receive a free joint.
You can now get a free joint with your covid vaccine in Washington State.
Cannabis retailers can give the joints to adults who get an on-site vaccine. The state is calling the promotion “Joints for Jabs.”https://t.co/k9eiwKqRmc pic.twitter.com/gVonR6dSDn
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) June 7, 2021