Slog AM: More Tiny Homes, Seattle's Streets Are Too Wide, and Fox News Cancels Water

Not long before Seattle starts running out of people to give the vaccine to.

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by Matt Baume

Not long before Seattle starts running out of people to give the vaccine to.

Not long before Seattle starts running out of people to give the vaccine to. Snizhana Galytska / Getty Images

Get pricked. If you needed any more of a push to get vaccinated — and to insist that everyone else in your life does as well — get a load of this: 97% of new cases are among people who are not fully vaccinated. What are you waiting for??? And while you’re in line, maybe watch this new Hbomberguy video about how one incredible medical scam caused the anti-vax movement to explode. Seattle is about to hit 70% of residents fully vaccinated.

Two men shot this weekend. Both were in South Seattle, both happened within a few minutes of each other on Saturday night. Neither one was fatal, but an alleged carjacker (according to cops) was shot and killed in Sodo on Friday. Also this weekend, three people were killed and five injured at a Miami shooting; four injured in St. Louis; one killed and four injured in Salt Lake City; four injured in North Carolina; eight injured in Chicago; eight injured in New Orleans; two killed and two injured in Indianapolis.

Coming soon: More tiny homes. A team of volunteers will build 100 very small structures to be used as temporary housing for people transitioning (hopefully) to something more permanent. People in need of shelter are more likely to take advantage of services if they have access to a tiny house, compared to a group shelter, advocates say. This seems like a good thing, though I have to say it’s odd that the city is relying on volunteers to build the structures rather than paying contractors. Ah, if only there was some huge drain on city resources that we could defund so that we could direct a little more money to people in need.

If Joe Biden really wanted to stimulate the economy he’d just give millions of dollars to furries. A fursuit commission just sold at auction for $50,000, setting a record for the most expensive suit. To be fair, Zuri Studios does very good work; but holy GEEZ that’s a lot of money. (The buyer says they are rich and wanted to support the artist, so … good for them?) This is just confirmation that a huge sector of the US economy is made up of furry commissions, and it’s weird that Planet Money hasn’t done an episode about it yet since I’m pretty sure there’s a furry on their team.

Power companies really like power. After one of their power lines contributed to a giant brush fire last year, the power company Avista Utilities has revealed that they have no plans to turn off power even if hazardous conditions return. Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission could force them to … but so far the commission hasn’t required power companies to develop any plans for doing so. Hm! Weird! Seems like they should!

Beware the angry corvids of Cal Anderson. There’s a family of crows at the north end of Cal Anderson Park who have been just a bit territorial lately. I like to stroll around that area when my ass gets sore from sitting on Zoom calls for eight hours straight; and lately I’ve noticed two crows dive-bombing people who pass by. They appear to have a juvenile who’s in the process of leaving the nest (it can fly, just not very far yet); so if you’re in the area, keep your eyes out for them and give them some space.

A roundup of all the times SNL has been funny. I’m not normally in the habit of spending a lot of time on listicles but this little roundup of all the times someone screwed up on Saturday Night Live is quite joyous. This stupid one about game show prizes is my favorite.

Goodbye Barca, hello Cafe Racer. A new nightlife spot is about to open on 11the Ave, in the spirit of the beloved U District spot that closed down last year. Look forward to music, food, and drink in the new location.

Did you know there’s a secret entrance to the Haunted Mansion? Huh! Look at that. Disney will be sending some guests through a back-door entrance that skips the stretching elevator, in order to avoid crowding too many people together. Neato. A couple of years ago, I was photographing a VIP tour of the park and got to see a secret elevator hidden inside of a tree (!) next to the Pirates ride. That place has got to have hidden compartments everywhere. Something to think about while you’re spending hours and hours and hours and hours standing on line at the new Avengers Campus that opened this weekend and was kind of a dud due to long lines.

Why is housing so expensive here? Our far-too-wide streets aren’t the only reason Seattle’s the third most expensive city to rent in Washington, but they’re not helping. American streets are much wider than in other countries, which means a ton of wasted space that could be devoted to better uses, like homes. A new paper looks at streets in 20 different counties around the US — including King County — and found that we’re giving up around $1 trillion by using that land for cars instead of for people. Check out this interactive map of how wide Seattle’s streets are, and how much that land is worth.

Aurora Bridge will get safety-straws. It only took six years after a catastrophic fatal crash on SDOT’s SR-99 for them to do something about safety! They’re going to let Seattle’s Department of Transportation install flexible plastic posts on the center line. This is part of a larger project to fix the unmitigated disaster that is Aurora Ave. According to SDOT, they’re trying to get $2 million in funding to fix the street. Here, let me save you some money and time: Convert one lane in each direction to dedicated public transit, and another to bikes, and a third for private vehicles limited to 20 mph (down from 40 in some sections). Done!

New York Cops attack New York park. Cops rioted in Washington Square Park this weekend, chasing people out and claiming a new 10 pm curfew. Very cool of them to celebrate Pride by re-enacting the events that led to Stonewall! For their part, cops claim that park-users were making too much noise — shocking behavior, given that New York is famous for being the quietest place on Earth. Sending a large group of violent armed thugs to deal with the problem was surely the wisest remedy.

Apparently Fox News is mad at water now. I don’t usually bother reading whatever Fox is clickbaiting, but they had a real gasser recently with an article headlined “Seattle’s $700M ‘woke’ waterfront may backfire, critics warn.” It’s even dumber than you think: One of the “critics” they quote is local coservative writer Liz Economou, who applied for a job as marketing director for the waterfront but then saw that the position requires “engaging in regular conversations about race and equity.” She tells Fox, “I didn’t want it at all.” Okay so then don’t apply for the job???

God, Divine was great. I posted a new video this weekend about John Waters, Divine, and the power of shamelessness. Full writeup coming to Slog in just a little bit. But in the mean time, here’s a fun fact: Warner Brothers Entertainment has manually copyright-claimed it. In other words, a human saw that I used a few seconds of footage from Pink Flamingos in the context of a thirty-minute video that’s mostly me talking about John Waters’ films, and decided that now my work belongs to them. So now YouTube will just hand it over, and if I appeal, Warner Bros could shut down my entire channel. Great system, YouTube!!!

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