In brief: Sound Transit now expects its East Link light rail line to the Eastside to be delayed by several months; Seattle Public Schools is considering adopting a staggered school start time schedule to try to address ongoing school bus staffing issues; City Attorney Ann Davison wants to make serial offenders ineligible for Seattle's Community Court jail diversion program; and a federal judge referred a lawsuit against the WA Cares long-term care payroll tax back to a state court.
Editor's note: This week's newsletter has been triaged due to time constraints. Click here for the most recent Seattle Times COVID infographics.
Sound Transit now expects its East Link light rail line to the Eastside to be delayed by several months from its initial target grand opening date of June 2023, possibly into early 2024. [Seattle Times, KING 5]
Seattle Public Schools is considering adopting a staggered school start time schedule, in which different elementary, middle, and high schools would start school at 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 am, in an effort to try to address massively disruptive ongoing school bus staffing issues. [Seattle Times, Seattle Public Schools]
According to the CDC's guidelines, King County has moved from a low "community COVID level" to a medium community COVID level, and to a high transmission risk (actual levels of transmission are likely much higher, since most people are using at-home tests instead of official PCR tests now)...but hospitalizations and deaths aren't increasing, so all COVID-related public health measures remain suggestions only. [Seattle Times, KING 5, KIRO 7]
City Attorney Ann Davison wants to make serial offenders ineligible for Seattle's Community Court jail diversion program. [Seattle Times, KING 5]
A federal judge referred a lawsuit against the WA Cares long-term care payroll tax, which is set to go into effect in July of next year, back to a state court. [Seattle Times, KING 5]
The Sound Transit board voted to adopt a more lenient fare enforcement policy in order to help prevent people from having criminal charges filed against them for not paying for a light rail trip. [Publicola, Seattle Times]
Scott Morrow, the controversial and influential founder of tent encampment non-profit SHARE/WHEEL, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 64. [Seattle Times, Real Change News]
Local crisis hotline organizations are busy setting up the local infrastructure for the launch of a new nationwide crisis hotline, 988, this July. [Seattle Times, MyNorthwest]
Two community health nurses sued King County and Pioneer Human Services after they were sexually assaulted by clients with histories of violent assaults during home visits where they were alone with the patients, in violation of a state law from 2007. [Seattle Times]
King County recently completed a salmon restoration project centered around the removal of a levee on the Green River east of Auburn and west of Black Diamond. [Seattle Times, KNKX]
And wildlife officials have been trying with no luck for two years to capture a large black bear in Issaquah that's gained a significant amount of weight from a steady diet of raiding residents' garbage bins. [Seattle Times]
Ending on a high note
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