Well, it was a busy Monday.
It was the first day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination process: Democrats celebrated the nominee, Republicans explained racism to the nominee, and the nominee made a vow of “neutrality.” NPR says “Democrats are hoping to finish Jackson’s confirmation process before Congress leaves for Easter recess April 11.”
Justice Clarence Thomas remains hospitalized for “flu-like symptoms,” reports AP. Thomas is currently the court’s longest-serving justice.
On Saturday afternoon, I took a break from doing the news, smoked a joint, and prepared to wash some dishes. Par for the course, I procrastinated from my break from the news by reading the news, which led me to KOMO poverty porn reporter Jonathan Choe’s Twitter feed. At this point in the Seattle Is Dying movement, Choe’s Seattle Is Dying tweets are so repetitive they’re background noise, but I saw the really bad Saturday tweet, tried to remember how many Proud Boys the feds have arrested, and sent the tweet to Rich.
I didn’t think KOMO had standards when it came to far-right propaganda: (“When you heard the word Sinclair… you knew it couldn’t be good,” someone once said.) But apparently they do. Rich has the story and an important point: “It’s hard to see [Choe’s] breathless, shallow coverage of homelessness and this Proud Boys PR as anything other than audition tapes for OAN or Newsmax. And if he can cash in on a cancel culture narrative, it could even jettison him up to the Fox News mothership.”
As of an hour ago, Choe was back on Twitter tweeting crime coverage as if nothing happened, although this time with “KOMO” missing from his handle. While we wait to see where Choe goes, we might as well throw a Slog poll at the bottom of this post for old times’ sake.
Slog knows this song and dance.
Rich describes an important phenomenon at the end of this piece. Separate from the immediate scandal, I don’t think regular news consumers understand how lucrative it is to make cancel culture “coverage” a mission or identity. https://t.co/sRFv55w8oj
— Sydney Brownstone (@sydbrownstone) March 21, 2022
I did end up washing the dishes, in case you were wondering.
Seattle students are fighting to keep the masks on: Hannah just posted the story.
Seattle student to SPS at today’s rally to restore mask mandates: “[The district] would rather have our family members die and have us deal with this for another five years than deal with some conservative parents complaining about how their mask itches.” https://t.co/uxrXv3q6gL
— The Stranger 🗞 (@TheStranger) March 22, 2022
Very nice news for sea creatures: Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz touted the state’s new 2,300-acre “protection zone” for kelp and eelgrass, just off Everett’s shoreline. It’s a “first-of-its-kind sanctuary,” writes Lynda V. Mapes for the Seattle Times. Now we just need to do something about the water warming.
We are taking unprecedented action to protect and restore kelp forests and eelgrass meadows.
As of today, 2,300 acres of state tidelands have been put off-limits to development for the next 50 years.
— Hilary Franz (@Hilary_FranzCPL) March 21, 2022
Today’s sea vegetable news reminded me of the blurb from Matt a few weeks ago:
State legislators did more for housing fish than people this session. Look, I certainly am not opposed to SB 5619, which passed yesterday and will help restore kelp forests in Puget Sound. It’s a great bill. Very welcome news that it passed. It’s just … you know … sometimes I look at what passes for a victory in this state and I’m like “is that it?”
We’re still waiting on more news from the horrifying Boeing 737 crash that had to have killed 132 passengers and crew in China: The plane’s abrupt, vertical plunge recalls the MAX crashes, although this plane, the Boeing Co. 737-800 NG model “is considered one of the safest aircraft ever made.” New York Times has a live blog with updates, though this will take a while to unpack.
A manager for Wuzhou City Beichen Mining “confirmed by telephone that their surveillance camera caught an image that appeared to be a plane plunging directly toward earth, but refused to say more,” reports the Times.
Hypersonic weapons in Ukraine: The Biden administration confirmed Russia “launched a hypersonic missile” in Ukraine, saying, “As you all know, it’s a consequential weapon.” Experts were skeptical of Russia using hypersonic missiles but said earlier in the day that, if used, they would be “more for propaganda value to let Ukraine and the rest of the world know ‘they’ve got them and will use them,'” reported NBC. Now everyone’s talking about hypersonic weapons.
Ukraine rejected Moscow’s ultimatum to Mariupol: Russia wanted Ukrainian forces to leave Mariupol or face a “military tribunal.” Ukraine resisted the ultimatum. Meanwhile, bodies are buried on roadsides:
Putin’s military also attacked a mall in Kyiv, killing at least eight.
The same old story:
Health experts predict uptick in U.S. Covid cases due to new BA.2 variant Rise in Omicron subvariant BA.2 cases coinciding with allergy season The US could replay the same self-inflicted story with BA.2
The good news is this:
“The vaccine that is effective against BA.1 should be equally effective against BA.2.” “It’s likely more contagious, but not very much.” “We might see a small bump in terms of cases, and that’s probably among individuals who were neither vaccinated nor exposed to the virus before.”
We really are ready for our close-up: Last summer, King County’s Habor Island Studios took an “intermission” from hosting Hollywood productions to fix some sound issues. Notably: the fucking seagulls were too loud. Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel reports today that the studios will now have a grand opening sometime in the spring, in time for those bumped-up sweet-ass incentives, and they’ve sorta figured out the seagull issue…
“They attempted [installing] big plastic owls, and the seagulls quickly befriended [them],” [Kate] Becker said. “They attempted pinwheels. That didn’t work.” The latest — promising — strategy, developed with a migratory bird expert, Becker explained later, is a gel to keep the seagulls from nesting and returning here. Before the grand opening, the team also plans to add sound-absorbing material to the ceiling. That, Becker said, should make it a true, (mostly) soundproof “soundstage.”
A gel! Margo has more.
For years, Seattle film industry insiders have said they needed 2 things to have a fighting chance against thriving movie production centers like PDX and Vancouver: a decent tax incentive and a major indoor film studio. This spring, they’re getting both. https://t.co/YTDzBYVvqo
— Margo Vansynghel (@Margo_vs) March 21, 2022
Dacha is dying: The beloved and busy Dacha Diner in Capitol Hill will close at the end of the month, reports Capitol Hill Seattle blog. The restaurant focused on Eastern European and Jewish cuisine, with blintzes, borscht, matzo ball soup, and lots more. In the pre-pandemic days, that place was buzzing. Soon, no more. “The choice to close emerged from changes with co-owner Joe Heffernan’s decision to take a tech job and [co-owner Tora Hennessey’s] husband and fellow co-owner Tom Siegel’s health concerns. Hennessey said she and Dacha employees will shift to help run the Independent,” reports CHS Blog.
The restaurant also noted “a resurgence in the Red Scare due to the Ukrainian invasion” and said they “are feeling it at Dacha Diner. Last night we received a one-star review in Ukrainian from someone who has never been to our restaurant and most likely not even in the state.” Get your facts straight, Yelpers!
My favorite film from Sundance this year was a 20-year-old restored short film by PNW artist Matt McCormick, the subconscious art of graffiti removal, inspired by the work of Avalon Kalin. I wrote about it here, and McCormick emailed me over the weekend to give me a lil update:
I’m writing to let you know that for the first time ever, The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal is being released for free on the worldwide web. Even better, I was able to do a 4K scan of the original 16mm negative, and with help from the Sundance Film Festival, completely remaster the film.
!!! It goes live this Thursday on McCormick’s Vimeo. I’ll remind you then. A tease while we wait: