by Chase Burns
The TRO is denied: U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones definitively denied the request for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from sweeping Cal Anderson Park. In his ruling, Jones focused on the weakness of the plaintiff Ada Yaeger’s arguments. Yaeger, a homeless woman, argued that past sweeps violated her First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Jones did not see enough evidence to back up those claims. On the other hand, he wrote that the city’s case was solid—that sweeping the park was a matter of public health and safety. However, he did include an aside that “the City’s timing is regrettable—clearing the park during the winter season during a pandemic.”
The sweep can happen now: All eyes are on Cal Anderson. The city said it would take “imminent” action to sweep the park. Does “imminent” mean during the night? Tomorrow morning? Unclear.
Meanwhile, the protesters who occupied a vacant house held a press conference: Yesterday afternoon, protesters occupied an abandoned home just northeast of Cal Anderson Park to call for a “housing first” solution to homelessness. Their demands include asking for local businesses to rescind a letter they sent asking the city to do something about park encampments and a boycott of those businesses; for the city to house all members of every encampment mentioned in the letter for the entirety of the pandemic; a permanent end to all sweeps; and permanent housing for all.
Standing outside of the yellow house on Denny & 11th Avenue where activists have occupied a house to protest Seattle’s homeless encampment sweeps. pic.twitter.com/qbJCAeyxTL
— Nikki West (@Nikki__West) December 17, 2020
States across the country are angry and confused at the CDC for an unexpected announcement that their vaccine shipments will get cut. Here’s Inslee:
.@CDCgov has informed us that WA’s vaccine allocation will be cut by 40 percent next week — and that all states are seeing similar cuts.
This is disruptive and frustrating. We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success.
No explanation was given.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) December 17, 2020
What a great Operation Warp Speed we’ve got here.
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson is spreading vaccine misinformation: Great. Thanks for nothing sowing fear and doubt around the vaccine, Tucker, you absolute dildo.
The recent Russian-based hacks against the US are a “grave threat,” says a cybersecurity agent: Here’s AP on the ” long-undetected” attack:
The hack compromised federal agencies and “critical infrastructure” in a sophisticated attack that was hard to detect and will be difficult to undo, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in an unusual warning message. The Department of Energy acknowledged it was among those that had been hacked.
The attack, if authorities can prove it was carried out by Russia as experts believe, creates a fresh foreign policy problem for President Donald Trump in his final days in office.
In response, Microsoft has launched a sophisticated counterattack: Geekwire called “the speed, scope, and scale” of its response “unprecedented.” Geekwire breaks down the counterattacks with more sophistication than I can here, but Microsoft did a lot of removing and detecting and stunning and killing. “We should never mistake Microsoft’s gentleness for weakness,” they conclude. I don’t understand half of what happened here, but it seems badass.
Speaking of Russia: The Motherland won’t be allowed to “use its name, flag, and anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for two years” the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Thursday. Ah, the consequences of an alleged state-backed doping and evidence tampering campaign.
Also, Putin denied accusations that Russia poisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny: Because if Russia had wanted to it “would have ‘finished’ the job,” Putin said.
Joe Biden needs to clean the soul of this nation as deep and hard as this person cleans this rug.
There’s nothing sexier than an enigma: Man filmed naked, rollerblading on I-670 in Columbus still a mystery
A progressive win: The Biden-Harris administration is expected to tap Democratic US Rep. Deb Haaland from New Mexico to be the first Native American interior secretary. This is a big victory for tribal and progressive activists who have lobbied the new administration to put an indigenous leader in charge of the department that oversees Indian Country. The Interior Department manages about one-fifth of the country’s land.
Another atmospheric river heads our way: The atmospheric river phenomenon is my favorite weather phenomenon, right up there with a polar vortex. The TL;DR is a “river of rain” is runnin’ toward Seattle. The darkest days of the year may also be the wettest.
We don’t want to get ahead ourselves as we have this current system and another on Friday to get through, but a third system for this weekend looks very wet with higher snow levels! If you live near a river or waterway, you’ll want to keep an eye on the forecast! #wawx pic.twitter.com/vyH1tC19Sr
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 17, 2020
Ruh roh: Rep. Cedric Richmond has tested positive for COVID-19. The Louisiana representative is a close adviser to Joe Biden and attended a Georgia campaign event with him on Tuesday. Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were also at the event. Richmond was reportedly not in close contact with any of those men, and Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday. Richmond was recently named senior adviser to Biden and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Seattle Police spent more than $26 million on overtime this year, reports Daniel Beekman for the Seattle Times. Contrary to what they previously agreed to, the City Council approved a $5.4 million budget boost for the department on Monday to offset overtime costs. To make up for it, the Council intends to cut an additional $5.4 million from their budget in January. The Beekman article has some good graphs.
Seattle’s Community Police Commission (CPC) remains frustrated with the Seattle Police Department: In late October, SPD announced it was reconsidering some of its policies around de-escalation. Any changes to those policies have to go through the CPC and other police accountability bodies, such as the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General. The CPC has made recommendations, but, as Paul Kiefer writes for PubliCola, “SPD’s [recent] blog post made it clear that the department wants to take public outreach into its own hands instead of relying on the CPC.” Kiefer breaks down the current tension between the CPC and SPD here.
What are you up to tonight? Set your alarm for 7 PM and watch Essex Porter, Simone Del Rosario, and The Stranger‘s Chase Burns (me) break down the entire 2020 with Bill Radke for a special Year in Review on KUOW. It’ll air again on the radio tomorrow during the regular Week in Review noontime slot.