Sunday, March 6th - Saturday, March 12th, 2022
In brief: As of yesterday, masks are no longer required in most indoor settings in King County and Washington state; the 2022 state legislative session in Olympia officially wrapped up on time Thursday; Seattle Public Schools officially hired its interim Superintendent to the full position; Seattle's median home price went from a 12-month low to a 12-month high in the space of a single month; and the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. 
Editor's note: This week's newsletter has been heavily triaged due to time constraints. Click here for the most recent Seattle Times COVID infographic. 
Top Stories
Two years after the WHO officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Washington state and King County lifted their indoor mask mandates effective Saturday morning--although masks are still required on public transportation and in healthcare settings. Many performing arts venues are keeping their own mask mandates in place voluntarily, and Seattle Public Schools is making masks optional starting tomorrow, Monday, March 14th. There's still a significant amount of community spread happening, but COVID hospitalizations are at low levels, thanks in large part to the fact that 93% of eligible King County residents have now received at least one dose of the vaccine and 85% have been fully vaccinated. [Seattle TimesSeattle Times, MyNorthwest]

The state legislative session in Olympia ended on time Thursday--see Melissa Santos's excellent wrap-up piece at Crosscut here for more on which bills made it through and which ones didn't, and David Kroman's deeper dive into the final 16-year, $17 billion transportation package that was passed just before the end of the session at the Seattle Times here. After the session ended, two legislators, conservative Democrat Tim Sheldon (who caucused with Republicans from 2014-2017 and prevented Democrats from using their razor-thin majority) and progressive Democrat Jesse Johnson, both announced that they won't be running for re-election

The Seattle School Board officially voted to give interim Superintendent Brent Jones the permanent job. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]

The median home price for houses and townhomes in Seattle proper shot up 17.1% in a single month from January to February, far and away the largest month-over-month increase that I've seen in my 7 1/2 years in the business, going from a 12-month low of $790k in January (following a steady decline starting last fall) to a new all-time high of $925k in February, surpassing the previous record of $919k from the height of last spring's peak season. 

The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, marking the end of an era. According to longtime sports columnist Art Thiel the team itself will likely be put up for sale in the near future by Paul Allen's estate in order to avoid paying estate taxes on it--and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos could be one possible buyer. 

And in light of the continued potential onset of World War III, Patrick Malone took a closer look at the substantial portion of America's nuclear sub fleet that's based out of the Bangor naval base on the Kitsap Peninsula, which accounts for 1,120 of the roughly 4,000 nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal. [Seattle Times]
Ending on a few high notes
On a happier note, the Mercer Island teen who created the COVID-19 dashboard that vent viral way back in the halcyon days of the early pandemic (and who's now a Harvard student) just co-created a website,, to help Ukrainian refugees connect with potential hosts in neighboring countries.

The Seattle Weather Blog reminded us that starting today, "the sun won't set before 7 pm until Sept. 26" thanks to Daylight Savings Time. 

And here's a very important 5-minute supercut of cats reacting in hilarious ways to cucumbers

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
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