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Sunday, June 5th - Saturday, June 11th, 2022
In brief: The City announced that the West Seattle Bridge is on track to reopen the week of September 12th; hospital leaders urged the public to continue wearing masks indoors as the 5th wave continues to surge; local elected officials began pushing for a ban on assault weapons; the City closed three public beaches because of a lifeguard shortage; Mayor Harrell vetoed a bill that would have required landlords to report what they're charging for rent; and the red-hot spring real estate market is beginning to cool off a bit.
Editor's note: This week's newsletter has been triaged due to time constraints. Click here for the most recent Seattle Times COVID infographics--but note that only a fraction of new cases are currently being officially reported. 
Top Stories
The City announced that the West Seattle Bridge is on track to reopen the week of September 12th, following a delay caused by the concrete workers' strike that began late last year and lasted until this spring. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

Hospital leaders urged the public to continue wearing masks indoors as the 5th wave continues to surge, driven in large part by the public broadly abandoning voluntary masking--experts estimate that the official numbers of positive cases could actually represent as few as 10-15% of the true number. [Seattle Times, KING 5, MyNorthwest]

Local elected officials began pushing for a ban on assault weapons in our state, bolstered by a poll that found a majority of Washington residents support the measure. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]

The City announced that the public beaches at Matthews Beach, Seward Park Beach, and East Green Lake Beach will be closed for the summer because of a lifeguard shortage. [KING 5]

The City reached a $500,000 settlement with the family of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson, who was shot and killed near the CHOP in the summer of 2020. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]

Sound Transit's light rail expansion to the Eastside ran into issues with the concrete work on the portion of the track that runs across the I-90 floating bridge, potentially further delaying the already delayed line (which was originally slated to open in June of 2023 but may be pushed into 2024 instead). [Seattle Times]

City leaders registered their support for moving the Seattle Center light rail stop that's scheduled to come online in the late 2030s sometime one block north, placing it under Mercer Street instead of under Republican Street, after push-back by several arts organizations at Seattle Center. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]

Starting next year, Washington students will be able to get excused absences for mental health days. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

Uber and Lyft rides are way down in Seattle vs. their pre-pandemic levels, thanks in large part to the fact that so many tech workers who used to use the services to commute to work are now working from home. [Seattle Times]

U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Governor Jay Inslee released a report on the impacts of removing the Lower Snake River dams, which would allow for the recovery of salmon populations but come with a cost of between $10.3 and $27.2 billion to replace the energy generation, irrigation, and recreation benefits that the dams currently provide. [Seattle Times]

The City of Kent paid an assistant police chief who was disciplined for openly displaying Nazi insignia on his door $1.5 million to retire voluntarily, since firing him would have been virtually impossible. [Seattle Times]

The City of Seattle held a candidate forum for the four finalists to lead the Office of Police Accountability. [Seattle Times]

And the state Supreme Court ruled that a person's race and ethnicity can be taken into account by a court when determining whether a warrantless stop or interrogation was lawful. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]
Real Estate Corner
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service data for May showed that the red-hot spring real estate market is beginning to cool off a bit, with prices in Seattle proper reaching what will likely be their peak or very close to it for the year, up 11.6% year over year and basically flat month over month at $1.025 million vs. $1.02 million. The Eastside, on the other hand, saw a dramatic 7.7% drop month-over-month, to $1.59 million in May vs. $1.72 million in April. For Seattle proper it remains to be seen whether we'll see the usual seasonal dip of 3-5% between July and December, a more pronounced version of that seasonal dip, or a full-blown correction like we did in 2018. The Eastside has diverged from the traditional trends pretty dramatically in the last year and a half by going pretty much straight up since the end of 2020, so I think the odds of a correction there are higher than they are in Seattle. Time will tell--I'll be on vacation for the summer when the June numbers drop (but back in the office starting the day after Labor Day, to take full advantage of the best time of the year for buyers); if you're following along from home in the meantime, the only journalist you should trust to tell you what's happening with the Seattle-area real estate market is Heidi Groover at the Seattle Times, and the story you want is the one with the current version of this infographic in it. [Seattle Times]

Mayor Harrell vetoed a bill that would have required landlords to report what they're charging for rent. The bill will now go back to the City Council, where it initially passed by a narrow 5-4 margin, to see if they can muster the 6th vote needed to overcome the veto. If you support this measure (as I do--good, high-quality data is critical, and we haven't had it about rentals in Seattle since 2017), Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda, Dan Strauss, Sara Nelson, and Debora Juarez were the four no votes; flipping any of them to a yes would give the Council the ability to override the veto. [Publicola, Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]
Ending on a high note
Here's a short Instagram video of a vulture hanging out with a paraglider in mid-air. 

And, continuing the bird theme, here's a cool video of a murmuration of starlings

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
sol@windermere.com
solvillarreal.com
206-765-6108
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