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Sunday, May 15th - Saturday, May 21st, 2022
In brief: Friday was the deadline for candidates to file to run for elected office; Seattle Public Schools decided not to change school start times in the fall; the City announced that Alki Beach and Golden Gardens will close at 10 pm this summer for public safety reasons; Mayor Harrell announced the members of his police chief search committee; and Governor Inslee said that he has no plans to reintroduce a statewide mask mandate, even as COVID numbers continue to climb. 
For current COVID-19 stats, see the following:
  • The most recent Seattle Times daily infographic, which is a great way to visualize the statewide numbers going all the way back to March of 2020.
  • King County's unified dashboard, which shows cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for all of King County and each individual city within King County going back to October of last year.
  • The state's all-in-one COVID-19 data dashboard
To book a free vaccine or booster appointment, click here for the City of Seattle vaccine clinics or here for the state's vaccine appointment locator. 
Top Stories
Governor Inslee said that he has no plans to reintroduce a statewide mask mandate even as COVID numbers continue to climb (the state is currently at the state Department of Health's highest-risk category for transmission), relying instead on vaccines and natural immunity to prevent hospitalizations. [KING 5]

Booster shots are now available for children ages 5-11, although only 32.4% of kids in that age range statewide have been fully vaccinated. [Seattle Times]

Friday was the deadline for candidates to file to run for elected office in this year's elections; you can see a list of every candidate who filed to run for races that will be on the ballot in King County here. [Seattle Times, King County Elections]

Seattle Public Schools decided not to change school start times in the fall, following intense backlash from parents over a rushed plan to solve the school bus driver shortage that's been a serious issue all year. [Seattle Times, KING 5, MyNorthwest

Seattle Parks and Recreation announced that Alki Beach and Golden Gardens will close at 10 pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend for public safety reasons, following incidents of late-night violence at both parks last summer. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

Mayor Harrell announced the members of his police chief search committee, who will be tasked with choosing five finalists after a nationwide search conducted by a national firm. Interim SPD Chief Adrian Diaz has applied, and Mayor Harrell has spoken positively of him, but the city charter requires a formal search process anytime a new police chief is chosen. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]

Governor Inslee announced the first director of the state's new Office of Independent Investigations, an independent state agency that will investigate the use of deadly force by police officers across the state. [KING 5]

The King County Prosecuting Attorney's office is currently working through a backlog of roughly 4,800 felony cases, caused by a combination of COVID closures, staffing challenges, and more defendants choosing to go to court rather than taking plea deals. [Seattle Times]

The former elected commissioner for King County Drainage District Number 5 was convicted, along with his wife, of stealing more than $468,000 in taxpayer funds and using the money for their dairy farm instead. [KING 5]

County Executive Dow Constantine proposed doubling a property tax levy that's been around for 50 years to fund the preservation of forests, trails, farmlands, and rivers throughout the county. The new levy rate would be 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value if it's approved first by the King County Council and then by voters. [Seattle Times, KING 5, MyNorthwest]

With an outbreak of bird flu caused by migratory geese and ducks affecting "backyard chicken flocks" in seven counties across the state (but no humans or commercially farmed chickens), the Washington State Department of Agriculture asked for a voluntary pause on all sales of live chickens for 30 days. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

Sydney Brownstone looked at a spike in deaths, mostly suicides, at the King County Jail this year, and at the failure of any jail in the state to comply with a new law passed last year that requires them to conduct investigations of any inmate deaths and post the results publicly. [Seattle Times]

Despite the wet weather this spring, large parts of Eastern Washington are still experiencing moderate to severe droughts, and the state is ramping up for another busy wildfire season this summer (although likely not at the same level as the last few years). [Seattle Times, KING 5]

Wednesday marked the 42nd anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

And over 4,000 volunteers, including Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, showed up for Mayor Harrell's One Seattle Day of Service citywide volunteer event yesterday. [Seattle Times]
Ending on a high note
If you want to see what happens when a bunch of people on Tik Tok recreate a 20-second scene from a 2001 movie called The Princess Diaries that apparently exists, except using their cats as stand-ins for a phone (and, trust me, you do)...all you have to do is click right here.

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
sol@windermere.com
solvillarreal.com
206-765-6108
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1177 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
 
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