Sunday, May 8th - Saturday, May 14th, 2022
In brief: The fifth wave of COVID is ramping up quickly; surging home prices have set the stage for higher property tax bills next year; a developer is in talks to turn Pacific Place's retail shops into office space; the City Council reached a compromise on SPD hiring bonuses; the City finished clearing the Woodland Park tent encampment; the Duwamish Tribe filed a lawsuit seeking federal recognition; and the state began conducting prescribed burns in preparation for this year's wildfire season.
Editor's note: This week's newsletter has been triaged due to time constraints. Click here for the most recent Seattle Times COVID infographics. 
Top Stories
The fifth wave of COVID is ramping up quickly, with King County's daily infections already surpassing their peak from the delta wave last summer (although they're still nowhere close to what they were during the omicron surge over the winter) and the state's hospitalization numbers on the rise. [Seattle Times]

Surging home prices have set the stage for sharply higher property tax bills next year, which will be based on home valuations that are going out in the mail this month. [Seattle Times, KIRO 7]  

According to Census data, only 24% of King County households under 35 owned homes in 2020, vs. 48% in 1960. [Seattle Times]

A developer is in talks to turn Pacific Place's newly remodeled retail shops into office space instead. [Seattle Times]

The City Council arrived at a unified front on SPD hiring bonuses, with Mayor Harrell's blessing. [Seattle Times, Crosscut]

The City finished its sweep of the tent encampment in Woodland Park, after 5 months of outreach to people living there. [Publicola, Seattle Times]

The Duwamish Tribe continued its decades-long fight for federal recognition with a new lawsuit in federal court. [South Seattle EmeraldSeattle Times]

The City is in the process of redrawing the boundaries for its City Council districts. [Seattle Times]

Seattle Public Schools reached a $3 million settlement with a former Ballard High School student who was sexually abused by a coach over the course of three years. [Seattle Times]

The state Department of Natural Resources conducted a prescribed burn (only its second since 2004) in preparation for this year's wildfire season. [Seattle Times, KUOW]

The Seattle Municipal Court agreed to prevent individuals on City Attorney Ann Davison's "high utilizers" (aka prolific offenders) list from being eligible to participate in community court, an alternative sentencing system for low-level offenders. [Publicola]

And Republican County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who's currently trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Kim Schrier in the national-battleground 8th Congressional District, was the only "no" vote on a symbolic resolution affirming the council's support for abortion rights after previously having positioned himself as pro-choice. [KUOWSeattle Times, KIRO 7]
Ending on a high note
There's a guy in Tacoma who rides around town in a motorized couch he built just for the fun of it and calls himself, appropriately enough, Tacoma Couch Guy.  

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