Sunday, April 10th - Saturday, April 16th, 2022
In brief: The Seattle Times looked at Mayor Harrell's first 100 days in office; Russell Wilson listed his waterfront mansion for sale; the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce released the results of a public sentiment poll that it commissioned; mortgage rates reached their highest rates since 2009, without putting a dent in the red-hot spring real estate market; and President Biden will be visiting Seattle this Friday for a speech on Earth Day.
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
While COVID-19 cases in King County have risen significantly from their post-Omicron low point, we're still only averaging 484 new cases per day, vs. 6,500 at the peak of the Omicron wave; and deaths and hospitalizations are "comparable to the lowest levels we've seen during the pandemic." [MyNorthwest, Dr. Jeff Duchin on Twitter]

The Washington State Board of Health voted not to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for K-12 students; and Elise Takahama at The Seattle Times looked at local contributions to the large-scale national research effort to study long COVID, which is estimated to affect 23 million Americans. 

Sarah Grace Taylor looked back at Mayor Harrell's first 100 days in office, and compared what he's done so far with what he said he would do on the campaign trail. [Seattle Times]

President Biden will be visiting Seattle this Friday the 22nd to give an Earth Day speech about clean energy. [KING 5]

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce released the results of a poll it commissioned (full report here), the headline of which was that 67% of respondents answered yes to the question "Have you actively considered moving out of Seattle [in the last year]?", with the top reasons given being "cost of living/housing" (35%) and "crime/public safety" (29%). [Publicola, GeekWire]

Seattle's JumpStart high-earners payroll tax brought in $248 million in its first year to pay for affordable housing and homelessness relief, $48 million more than forecast; and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, after losing a court case to try to overturn it, now looks as though it may also lose its appeal of that decision.  

A small group of wealthy donors is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to a newly formed PAC in support of a statewide ballot measure that would overturn a state law passed last year to implement a 7% excise tax on the sale of stocks and bonds (but not real estate or several other carve-outs) in excess of $250,000. [MyNorthwest]

Interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages started the week at an average of 5.25%, their highest level since 2009--but steeply rising interest rates have so far failed to put a damper on the hottest spring market in recent Seattle history. 

Russell and Ciara Wilson's 11,000 square foot waterfront mansion in Bellevue hit the market for a cool $28 million (their fantastic listing agent, Carmen Gayton, is a colleague of mine at Windermere Eastlake). [KING 5,]

The number of car thefts across the state increased 88% between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of this year, from 6,692 cars stolen from January to March of last year to 12,569 cars stolen in the same period this year. [KING 5]

A survey by the city's HR department found that an outdated compensation classification system that hasn't been updated since 1990 is the largest obstacle to employee retention across 14 different departments, and that one-time hiring bonuses like the ones implemented last year for SPD officers aren't necessarily very effective. [Publicola, MyNorthwest]

Naomi Ishisaka looked at some of the structural reasons why 23 state lawmakers, including a number of lawmakers of color, decided not to run for re-election this year, including the fact that being a state legislator is a poorly-paid part-time job on paper that in reality is more like a very poorly-paid full-time job. [Seattle Times]

And the first post-strike pour of sweet, sweet West Seattle Bridge concrete arrived at its new home yesterday morning, after the concrete strike officially ended on Monday. [KING 5]
Ending on a high note
If you find yourself in need of a little pep talk, and you'd prefer for that pep talk to be both pre-recorded and delivered by kindergartners, just dial 707-998-8410 and press 3 (to hear the joyous laughter of children instead, press 4). 

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
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1177 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
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