Slog PM: PNW Cherry Season Is Looking Grim, Fauci Got COVID, a Moon Orbit Wobble Causes Low Tides Across Puget Sound

Weep for the cherries: Our damp and cold spring has made cherry-growing conditions abysmal, and farmers are preparing for “what looks to be the smallest crop of Northwest sweet cherries in nearly a decade,” reports Crosscut. To me, this stone fruit is one of the best ways to welcome in the summer season in the Pacific Northwest. Nothing hits like sucking on a cold, ripe cherry on a hot day. Climate change wins yet again. 

Heads up, King County residents: In November, you’ll likely vote on whether future county elections should be moved to even-numbered years, reports the Seattle Times. The thinking is that because turnout is higher on even years—when we cast our ballots for presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional elections—scheduling more local elections in those years will help turnout. Seems like a no-brainer to me. We can expect a final vote on whether the measure will actually move forward later this month. 

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75%: And that’s a huge deal for reasons I can’t quite understand. I’m sure my colleague Charles Mudede will have a better explanation in tomorrow’s PM. 

Internet Explorer is dead. Long live Internet Explorer: After 27 years, Microsoft has killed the internet browser. All the septuagenarians and elementary-school typing classes that still use Internet Explorer will be redirected to Microsoft Edge from now on. Eventually, the company plans on disabling the browser permanently and removing IE icons from all devices. It’s been real!

Monkeypox is getting a new name: Officials over at the World Health Organization announced today that they intended to rebrand the disease to “avoid the stigmatization and inaccuracy of its current moniker.” More from Gizmodo:

Public health experts are still hoping that the virus can be contained before it establishes itself in new parts of the world. But the scientists behind the Virological paper say that the version of monkeypox now spreading globally should no longer be considered or implied to be an “African” disease, such as through media images that only depict its rashy symptoms on African residents. Thus, they’ve called for a name and future labeling that is “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing.”

The moon… her power… A slight wobble in the moon’s orbit led to Puget Sound seeing its lowest tide in over a decade today, reports the Seattle Times. But be careful! This is an abnormal experience for the soft-bodied creatures who call the tide pools around the Sound home. Washington Sea Grant says they can easily be “damaged by footfalls” and “being picked up’’ so just respectfully observe this rare occurrence by keeping your hands to yourself. These low tides will continue into tomorrow…

Speaking of beaches: Matthews Beach—the largest freshwater bathing beach in the city—is closed due to high bacteria levels.

Another one falls: If you felt bad for avoiding COVID the past two years, then suddenly contracting it during this wave, perhaps you’ll find some solace in the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci just tested positive for the first time. The senior health official is double-vaxxed and double-boosted, but still caught a case of the ol’ ’VID. The 81-year-old is said to be experiencing mild symptoms.

Tomorrow: Homegrown workers plan to picket outside the company’s Melrose Market location on Capitol Hill. In a press release, the workers—who make products for Molly’s, Tosti, Shine, and Bolt—are calling out the company for “[l]ow wages, uncertainty in scheduling, and lack of affordable health care coverage.” Earlier this month, the sandwich-makers delivered a majority petition to Homegrown higher-ups requesting a fair unionization process. Protest starts at 5 pm. 

In billionaire news: Jeff Bezos forked over $10 million to Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry, reports GeekWire. The funds will be used to expand the Bezos Center for Innovation which opened in 2013—also thanks to a $10 million donation from Bezos. It’s great that MOHAI can now “expand interactive storytelling” and “enhance educational programs,” but $10 million is a drop in the bucket for a Batman villain dude like Bezos. 

About those AI-generated images: They are all pretty freaky. Cnet has an explanation if you’re interested in learning more about this nightmare fuel generator also known as the DALL-E mini. This is my personal favorite:

Another update to this sad story: A Brazilian fisherman has come forward and claimed he helped kill British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous activist Bruno Araújo Pereira who have been missing in the Amazon for 10 days, reports the New York Times. The suspect is now working with the federal police to help find the men’s bodies, which authorities still say have not been found despite reports to the contrary. Both Phillips and Pereira were part of efforts to report and crack down on illegal fishing and hunting in the Amazon. 

This is cool: Seattle is getting another new park on Capitol Hill thanks to philanthropist Kay Bullitt, who passed in 2021 and left her 1.6-acre property to the city to transform into a new public green space, reports CHS Blawg. Located on 1125 Harvard Ave E, the first phase of creating this new park is ~community engagement~. Take the planning survey whenever you have time.

Finally: We now know the source of the Black Death. 

For your listening pleasure: This Boiler Room from Ash Lauryn :’)

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