Slog AM: Omicron Variant Reaches Washington, Seattle Times Uneasy About Commoners Voting, and Who Is the Mystery Man Who Likes the Traffic in Pike Place Market?

New rule, only colorful novelty cars should be allowed in the market.

New rule: Only colorful novelty cars should be allowed in the market. David Ryder / getty Images Stringer

Omicron cases confirmed in Washington. The Department of Health has confirmed three cases of the Omicron variant — a man in his thirties in Thurston County, a man in his twenties in Pierce, and a woman in her twenties in King County. It’s getting pretty hard to find vaccine booster appointments — most online schedulers I checked are either fully booked, or have a monthlong wait list, but I found some local availability through the CDC’s search tool. Don’t wait.


Is this the worst thing the Seattle Times has ever printed? In an utterly bananas rant this weekend, the editorial board clutched their pearls at the sight of Sawant supporters helping renters vote. “Sawant’s allies have erected a handful of sidewalk tents around renter-dense Capitol Hill,” they fume, with organizers “energetically denouncing the recall while offering assistance with casting ballots.” Can you imagine??? Poor people, voting? “Hands-on activism,” the board sniffs, and ends on a call for such activities to be outlawed. Of the nine people on the Seattle Times editorial board, only two are registered to vote in Seattle; the rest range from Tacoma to Snohomish to Kirkland.

Nearly a thousand dead children. America may lose its thousandth child to COVID by the end of the year. Hundreds have died in just the last few weeks.

Sound Transit is very very sorry. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff has written about last month’s subway meltdown. The short version: They’re doing an internal audit to figure out what went wrong and how they can improve communication in the future. Maybe they could take a few lessons from how Disney rides handle breakdowns:

Weather seem a bit weird lately? You’re not the only one who’s noticed. USA Today studied historical weather patterns and found that over the last century-plus, more rain is falling in more intense bursts east of the Rockies; and in the west, we’re having to wait longer for rain, especially in the summer.

We’re thiiiiiiis close to getting snow. Wet season has returned, and temperatures have been hovering just above freezing overnight, so don’t expect any snow days for the city this week. Higher elevations, though, are picking up a lovely snowpack — this season is looking swell for winter sports. See below for my plans:

Did KING5 make a person up, get pranked, or stumble across a phantom? I don’t know why asking for public comment produces some of the worst ideas in history, but there are some absolute bangers in this article about getting the cars out of Pike Place Market. The worst is from a “resident” named “Jonathan Carolici,” who says that we need a steady stream of cars to drive through in order to scare pedestrians onto the sidewalks where they’ll buy stuff. It’s such a weird thing to say that I’m skeptical that this person isn’t a troll, and indeed when I searched multiple databases of Washington residents (voter registration, court records, marriages, business licenses, mortgages, LinkedIn, MySpace, DudesNude, etc.) I found nobody by that name. So, I dunno! Maybe he’s real! Maybe he gave KING5 a fake name! If my takes were that dumb, I wouldn’t want any record of my existence either.

If you have any questions about car-free Pike Place Market … I’ll be talking to Councilmember Andrew Lewis about it this week, so send me your questions. Not in the comments, please — God, can you imagine? — but on Twitter, which is the best way to reach me. And just to head off the inevitable “BUT WHAT ABOUT DELIVERIES FOR VENDORS” comments, allow me to blow your mind with this technological breakthrough.

Anyway, consider strolling over to Bellevue. For a few hours out of the year, there’s actually a reason to visit Bellevue: The very pleasant Snowflake Lane event, which transforms a traffic sewer into a lovely walkable plaza.

Chicago’s got one too. Looks pretty nice!

White supremacists are not sending their best people. A right-wing “patriot” group marched through DC this weekend, then got stranded for three hours on the side of the road when it turned out their ride home wasn’t big enough to fit all of them. Here are some thoughts on their wardrobe.

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Oh my God just build some fucking housing. There’s a proposal to build 69 nice units of housing over by UW, replacing a mostly-unused parking lot, but it’s opposed by Laurelhurst Community Club NIMBYs. The Design Review Board will consider the project this evening. You can sign up starting at 5 pm this evening to leave a comment in support of the project.

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