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Seattle Residents Advised to Brace for an Imminent Heat Wave

Seattle Weather Heat Wave

In the next few weeks, Seattle and the surrounding areas of Western Washington will see the highest temperatures of the year. Temperatures in Puget Sound may soar into the 90s for four days in a row. Sadly most people in the affected areas do not have access to air conditioning, making the current heat wave a serious threat to their health.

Currently, the highs are in the middle 70s, so take advantage of the nice weather while we have it. The weather is expected to remain the same in the next few days. It will be mostly bright in Puget Sound on Monday morning since clouds will be confined to the inland areas and the coast. Weather forecasters predict that Seattle will reach the mid-80s in the coming days.

The Pacific Northwest will see stifling temperatures beginning on Tuesday. High pressure, a “thermal trough,” and north/northeasterly winds all combine to create searing temperatures. From Tuesday through Friday, highs might reach into the 90s, approaching record highs. This implies that sleeping conditions will be quite unpleasant, and on top of that, the danger of heat-related diseases will increase dramatically.

Be very careful with the young and the old; they are most susceptible to harm. Never leave anybody, including dogs, in a parked automobile while the sun is out. Remember that the water in local rivers, creeks, and lakes is still too cold to swim in.

Keeping Cool and Safe During a Heat Wave

The United States, Italy, Greece, and the United Kingdom are among the nations now experiencing severe heat waves. As Americans struggle with the heat, experts have shared their advice on how to stay cool and protect yourself and your loved ones without breaking the bank.

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Seek Cover. A word of caution: don’t spend too much time outdoors. If you’re trying to beat the heat, getting inside a cool building is your best bet. More than 700 individuals every year lose their lives to what may be avoided heat-related ailments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Eric Goldberg, medical director of NYU Langone Internal Medicine Associates, says that the body’s capacity to regulate heat is diminished by exposure to heat or high temperatures over an extended period of time. This has the potential to ultimately render sweating, the body’s principal cooling mechanism, useless.
  • Use Fans If You Can. However, A/C capacity should not be exceeded. Box fans or ceiling fans may give additional respite for homes that wish to preserve energy during hot days but do not want to utilize air conditioning. According to Hippo’s resident home care expert Chris Janiak, spinning ceiling fans counterclockwise may generate a cooler breeze by forcing air to the floor.
  • Dress in Light Airy Garments. The clothes you wear may make a big difference if your job requires you to spend time outdoors or in high temperatures. Although it goes against common sense, shedding extra layers when facing the sun won’t help you feel any cooler.
  • Keep Internal Doors Open. It is possible to reduce the amount of heat entering the house via the windows by closing the blinds and drapes. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that by carefully controlling the amount of sunlight that enters a home via its windows, you may save heating and cooling costs by as much as 77 percent.
  • Hydrate Regularly. Staying hydrated is crucial for your health and safety in hot weather. Additionally, consume alcohol in moderation at this time.

There are cooling centers and other buildings in Seattle where you may get out of the heat and relax while your air conditioner is running if you don’t have one at home.

Remember to drink plenty of water. Extreme heat can be potentially lethal. Residents are urged to prioritize their health and that of their loved ones.

Photo: “water sprinkler” by Leonard J Matthews is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Conflict Over Technology and Art Leads to Cancellation of the Microsoft vs Amazon Exhibition in Seattle

Amazon VS Microsoft

The ‘Amazon vs. Microsoft’ display at a Seattle museum was canceled due to community outcry regarding the conflict between technology and the arts.

Because of criticism from Seattle’s artistic community and online commenters, organizers have scrapped plans for an exhibition including the work of Amazon and Microsoft workers.

The Museum of Museums (MoM) in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood asked for contributions a few days ago for an upcoming exhibition titled “Amazon vs. Microsoft.” To promote the event, a picture was posted to Instagram that depicted Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft) and Jeff Bezos (co-founder of Amazon) trading blows while wearing boxing gloves.

Microsoft and Amazon employ nearly 1.5 million people, as stated in their Instagram posts. The two corporations have alternate and equally astonishing riches of creative skill to go along with the extraordinary wealth that has come to characterize them. Amazon versus. Microsoft is an exhibition that aims to “recalibrate the narrative surrounding what a tech worker is by showcasing the artists working in big tech.”

According to the museum, anybody working for either of the two computing giants anywhere in the globe was eligible to submit an item for display. The applications’ deadline was August 7, and the opening reception was scheduled for October 7.

However, the idea was met with immediate and negative backlash from Seattle residents, who seemed to be tapping into the widespread belief that the city’s art scene has been faltering in recent years due to the rise of big giants like Amazon and Microsoft.

On Monday, MoM director Greg Lundgren announced through Instagram that the museum had heard its patrons and would no longer be accepting proposals for the “Amazon vs. Microsoft” exhibit.

“A healthy environment for the arts is one that welcomes all types of participants”, Lundgren stated. “There are those with unusual views and those with common values as well as those who are poor and those with both. A vibrant cultural ecology in this city demands financial support, and plenty of it,” he said implying that Seattle is growing more costly by the day.

Lundgren said that he had received “loud and unambiguous” feedback that the show was not the appropriate venue for discussing “art, wealth, and the future cultural environment of our city” or that “giant tech should not be considered as the insurers of our long-term health and vitality.”

About the Museum of Museums in Seattle

The Museum of Museums was established in 2020 at a former medical facility on 900 Boylston Ave. There are permanent and temporary exhibition halls, theatrical performances, art lessons every week, temporary exhibitions, and a gift store.

The museum’s website states that it seeks “to enhance the artist community of Seattle and stimulate our local arts ecosystem via exhibition, education, and discourse about the responsibilities of the artist, benefactor, and collector.”

Microsoft and Amazon are not alone among IT giants in their predilection for decorating their offices with works of art. Since its inception in 1987, Microsoft has amassed a sizable art collection, which is now overseen by a group of fine art specialists.

Amazon’s “Artist in Residence” program promotes regional and up-and-coming artists and serves as a public service to the arts community. As the residency’s slogan states, artists are given the time and space to “dream large, inspire, and develop ambitious ideas”.

Photo: “Good and Evil Unicorns Battle For the Space Needle” by zoomar is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

‘It’s never too late to complete your college degree’

Studying WGU - Dena Royal

Senior citizen achieves three WGU degrees in less than three years

At 65 years old, Dena Royal is set to make a little history herself this coming weekend as she walks in Western Governors University’s (WGU) biggest Seattle commencement event in the school’s 25-year history. The former resident of both Whidbey Island and Friday Harbor will celebrate earning three degrees in just two and a half years.

Royal’s extraordinary accomplishments as an adult learner mirror WGU’s tradition of breaking traditions by creating more attainable pathways to education.  She started college in the 1970s but like so many others, life got in the way, and she never completed her degree. After raising her children as a single mom, Royal decided it was time to prioritize her education.

“After extensively researching universities, WGU became the obvious choice due to affordability and flexibility,” she said.

With WGU’s flat-rate tuition being about half that of most other online colleges, there is a built-in incentive for students like Royal to accelerate their learning to make it even more affordable to earn their degree. Because the tuition per term is fixed, it doesn’t matter how many courses students complete—they’ll still pay the same rate. Nearly half of WGU students can complete their degrees without taking on any new student debt and among those who do borrow, the average student debt at graduation is less than half the national average.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, WGU is giving away $125,000 in scholarships to 25 people. (WGU 25th Anniversary Next Generation Scholarship) They will be awarded throughout 2022 and each is worth $5,000 in tuition.

The road to earning three degrees—one bachelor’s and two masters—came to fruition after Royal made some major life changes at 63 years old.  

“I sold my yarn shop on Whidbey Island and moved aboard a vintage houseboat in Friday Harbor, Washington. I began working part-time as a paraeducator at the local elementary school and decided it was time to check off the first item on my bucket list: completing my college degree,” she said.

Royal started in the Elementary Education program in 2019 and completed 91 CUs in less than six months. She was accepted for student teaching in the fall of 2020, but the school district cancelled Demonstration Teaching (DT) due to Covid and remote learning. Royal would not give up, though.

“I would not be deterred. I had worked too hard,” she said.
 
Royal persevered and achieved her BA in Educational Studies in October of 2020 and immediately started her Master’s in Learning and Technology. She graduated with her masters in May 2021 and then began her Master’s in Elementary Education on June 1, 2021.

“I only had six weeks to complete my DT prerequisites, but I did it! I completed my student teaching in November 2021, graduating with my teaching certification in December 2021,” she said.

But then life happened, again, and threw even more obstacles in Royal’s path.
 
On December 26, 2021, her beloved houseboat sank in a storm along with all her possessions.  Royal says she strongly believes that it was a sign from the Universe to try something new. So, she applied for remote teaching jobs in Alaska. In mid-March of this year, she was hired to teach in a remote, indigenous community in the Aleutian Islands. The school district asked her to finish out the school year, and she moved to Alaska with just five days’ notice.

“I absolutely love teaching a multi-grade classroom of K-5 students. WGU prepared me well in differentiated instruction and teaching in a culturally rich, diverse environment,” she said. “The superintendent wrote to me: ‘You have finished this year strong for our kids and community in a way I never thought we would!’”

Royal is back in her hometown on San Juan Island for the summer to visit family and attend the commencement for her three WGU degrees.  She’ll return to the Aleutians in August, and she’s already halfway through her fourth degree. That’s right: nearly four degrees, in four years.

“I highly recommend completing your college degree, no matter what your age, and WGU will be your partner and biggest cheerleader in reaching your goals. I’m proud to be a Night Owl!”

Landlords in Seattle May Soon Be Compelled to Submit Their Rent Data

Seattle Rental Reporting Law

Seattle intends to compel landlords to disclose their rent rates in order to get more accurate information. As part of an attempt to better understand the local housing market, landlords in Seattle may be obliged to disclose the amount of rent they charge, which sparked objections from some building owners.

Seattle’s City Council narrowly adopted a measure on Tuesday that would compel landlords to report twice a year on the rent and other fees they collect for each rental and other facts including square footage, the number of rooms, or if the home or unit is occupied. The measure is now in the hands of the mayor, who will have to sign it.

Council member Alex Pedersen’s plan would require landlords to provide data to a research institution that has yet to be chosen by the city. The new legislation will take effect once the city hires a university to collect the data from landlords.

Data collecting is not expected to begin until sometime next year, and the statute would expire at the end of 2025 if all goes according to plan.

Why Collect the Data?

At present, there is little private rental data available in Seattle. Apartment List and CoStar monitor the prices of new leases that are often more than what renters pay when they remain in a rental for a long time. They do gather some data, but it takes a long time for such data to be made public.

There is also the Center for Real Estate Research in Washington State but there isn’t any precise information regarding the rent data they collect in Seattle. And of course, after years of collecting rent data from local landlords, Dupre + Scott, a private corporation, closed their operations last year.

It was suggested by council members that the information was needed to prevent the relocation of low-income renters or to make the case for the construction of additional affordable homes. The information, according to Councilwoman Tammy Morales, would allow the city to monitor the rate at which rents are rising.

When she spoke earlier this month, she stated that it will “enable us to have a clearer understanding of truly how huge the demand for new houses that are more affordable” is. The council approved an amendment offered by Morales that said that the information landlords provide to the university “should be made accessible to the public.”

However, landlords testified before the council that the law would force them to disclose sensitive business information, which might lead to property owners selling their rentals.

The lack of up-to-date rental statistics is an ongoing issue. “It’s happening all throughout the nation. Nobody has this kind of data unless you are talking about some of those one-off surveys,” said James Young, director of the University of Washington’s Washington Center for Real Estate Research.

The suggestion, however, was questioned by Young. If landlords are reporting correct information, researchers must be able to verify it. For Young, the city’s policing may be improved by including university academics.

Asked whether the university would report those who didn’t provide the report, Young stated that the centers of education and research would never do that. But “everyone needs more data,” he said. “No question about it.”

The program’s expenses have yet to be determined. Enforcement of the regulation will need extra personnel, according to a number of local agencies participating in the new initiative.

However, landlords in Seattle need to know that failure to comply with the new regulation may result in penalties of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses within three years after it is put into effect.

Photo Credit: “Seattle Housing – Miniature effect” by Jenni Reynolds-Kebler is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

SDOT Finally Announces the West Seattle Bridge’s Opening Date

West Seattle Bridge

The Seattle Department of Transportation has established a date for the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge, which was closed for more than two years. On Sept. 12, the West Seattle Bridge, which has been closed for more than two years after discovering cracks considered to be hazardous, is slated to reopen after a lengthy restoration process.

As per the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the West Seattle Bridge has traditionally been the city’s most-trafficked bridge, transporting an average of 100,000 cars every day.

The bridge’s reopening date is many months behind the city’s original estimate. As a result of a lengthy concrete workers’ strike, the city’s high-profile projects and others around the area have been delayed.

Concrete pouring was slated to begin at the start of the year, but the contractor didn’t begin until mid-April, a month behind schedule. The structural concrete pour was completed on May 26 by the construction team.

In order for the bridge to reopen, technicians need to complete pouring epoxy into fractures, encapsulating carbon fiber to strengthen the structure, and post-tensioning using steel cables.

There are still “difficult and complicated” tasks ahead, and SDOT warns there may be unanticipated issues that might influence on the timetable, even though it says it would keep its contractor responsible to reach the revised timelines.

When inspectors observed fast-increasing fractures in the 40-year-old bridge on March 23, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee had already ordered a stay-home order because of the pandemic. Repairs to avoid future cracking were finished in 2020 and the last phase of the project started in 2021, SDOT said.

It was at this point in time that the city was debating whether to repair or rebuild the bridge, which could have taken millions and kept the route closed until at least 2026 if the bridge was completely replaced.

During Jenny Durkan’s first term as mayor, she said that the city will rehabilitate the bridge as a means of boosting the economy, which depends on transportation.

The West Seattle Bridge Project History

Traditionally, the West Seattle Bridge has been the city’s busiest thoroughfare, with an average daily traffic count of more than 100,000 people.

Since its completion in 1984, the concrete bridge has served as a vital artery for the movement of people and products between West Seattle and its surrounding neighborhoods, including SODO and the Duwamish Valley.

The 1,300-foot-long, three-span bridge rises 140 feet over the Duwamish River at its highest point. Because the bridge was built on-site, workers built segments on each side of the piers until all segments were linked, making it an overhanging and segmental concrete bridge.

Travelers and companies in South Park, SODO, West Seattle, Georgetown, and Seattle meanwhile have been affected by the shutdown. SDOT is grateful for everyone’s perseverance and sense of camaraderie as they work through this difficult closing.

The 1st Avenue S Bridge and the South Park Bridge are two possible diversions. In order to guarantee quick emergency vehicle movement, the Spokane St. Swing Bridge has been limited to authorized users only.

Photo Credit: “Under west side of West Seattle Bridge” by theslowlane is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cardiovascular Ultrasound Imaging Specialists, Enthusiasts Will Connect in Seattle June 10-13

City of Seattle

(SEATTLE, June 1, 2022) – With cardiovascular disease still the leading cause of death in the United States, improving the diagnostic assessment of patients with cardiovascular ultrasound is paramount. The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host its Scientific Sessions in Seattle, June 10-13, bringing together experts, enthusiasts, and multidisciplinary partners to teach and learn the latest in cardiovascular ultrasound imaging.

The conference, in its 33rd year, is aimed at advancing patient care across the U.S. and the world. More than 1,200 physicians, sonographers, nurses, veterinarians, scientists, and others are expected to attend the four-day conference, which for the first time will be held in a hybrid format. In-person attendees will convene at the Seattle Convention Center and will have access to over 60 sessions, workshops, oral and moderated presentations, and hands-on learning labs featuring cutting-edge education, foundational concepts, evolving practice and developing research.

Virtual attendees can live stream sessions from the main plenary room. “ASE 2022 is a comprehensive program that weaves together basic echo foundations, innovative science, and the traditional networking and social interactions that we have been missing since the onset of the pandemic,” says ASE Program Chair Sharon Mulvagh, MD, FASE, FRCP(C), FACC, a cardiologist and echocardiographer who retired from the Mayo Clinic and now works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “The meeting’s theme, Sound Waves in Seattle: Connecting the World, celebrates the silver lining that we have learned from our recent virtual meetings by also providing equity in digital access and global connections that our multidisciplinary cardiovascular ultrasound community now expects.” Examples of cardiovascular topics and abstracts that will be covered during the conference include ischemic heart disease, stress echocardiography, cardiomyopathy, and cardio-oncology; pediatric, congenital, and fetal echocardiography including the impact of COVID; structural heart disease, interventional and perioperative imaging; quality and appropriateness in cardiac imaging; and innovation and technology, including artificial intelligence, point of care ultrasound and critical care echocardiography. “ASE 2022 is the largest echocardiography-specific gathering in the world where attendees learn the latest and greatest in current practice and get a glimpse into the future of care,” says ASE Abstract Chair Dr. James Kirkpatrick, MD, FASE, chief of cardiac imaging and director of echocardiography in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. “In addition to providing a platform for echo enthusiasts to learn and network with colleagues and thought leaders, in-person attendees can handle an echo probe and learn practical skills with one-on-one mentoring from an expert.” Dr. Kirkpatrick explains that cardiovascular ultrasound provides a unique window into the anatomy and function of the heart and blood vessels at the patient’s bedside, and that correct diagnosis determines a patient’s medical therapy. “Cardiovascular ultrasound is central to the practice of modern medicine, and ASE 2022 gives cardiac ultrasound specialists opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills and learn about the latest new developments, which ultimately improves the quality of care for patients living in the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” he says.

Other happenings at ASE 2022 include the Echo Expo, which consists of nearly 50 exhibitors, presenting new concepts, technology, devices and research; a keynote session by ASE’s 2022 Gardin Lecturer, Suzanne Simard, PhD, who will sign copies of her book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest; dynamic social and networking events; and the 13th Annual Research Awards Gala—a black-tie fundraiser hosted by the ASE Foundation. On Sunday, June 12, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Monday, June 13, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Convention Center, attendees are encouraged to visit rescue dogs in the ASE Bark Park, which will feature dogs from Ginger’s Pet Rescue—a Seattle nonprofit specializing in saving death row dogs. ASE’s membership includes veterinarians who use ultrasound in their practice to safely assess animal’s circulatory and cardiac functions. Learn more about ASE 2022 and download the conference’s final event program at ASEScientificSessions.org.

About ASE The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is the Society for Cardiovascular Ultrasound Professionals. Founded in 1975, ASE is the largest global organization representing cardiovascular ultrasound imaging. ASE is the leader and advocate for physicians, sonographers, scientists, veterinarians, students, and all those with an interest in echocardiography, setting practice standards and guidelines for the field. The Society is committed to advancing cardiovascular ultrasound to improve lives.

For more information about ASE, visit: ASEcho.org and follow us @ASE360. Suggested General Photo Cutline: The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host its Scientific Sessions in Seattle, Wash., June 10-13, bringing together experts, enthusiasts and multidisciplinary partners to teach and learn the latest in cardiovascular ultrasound imaging. The conference, in its 33rd year, is aimed at advancing patient care across the United States and the world.

The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host its Scientific Sessions in Seattle, June 10-13

Photo Credit: “Seattle Sunset” by Howard Ignatius is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Why is This Seattle Highway Exit an Accident Magnet?

Seattle Traffic

The I-5 off-ramp at the Seattle Convention Center is a frequent site of car accidents. So much that many residents have begun asking why this is so. Although the DOT has made various modifications, this off-ramp continues to be a wrecking ball.

At least one risky road or crossroads may be found in every city. In certain cases, it might be that there aren’t enough turn lanes, or that there is a piece of road with a different speed restriction than the rest of the road. The I-5 off-ramp at the Seattle Convention Center is an excellent example of this.

Actually, this route has been the topic of a recent viral video compilation that has swept the internet. As the videos show, this exit ramp has seen a number of collisions over the years, prompting many to wonder whether or not it is safe for other motorists and pedestrians to continue using it.

Apparently, this specific off-ramp has been problematic for some time. A Seattle YouTuber, Michael Basconcillo, has been documenting the spot since 2017 when he filmed a Lamborghini catching fire as it veered off the freeway. Basconcillo says he saw many vehicles speeding through the intersection while driving, which prompted him to record them and share the information online.

Many residents and visitors are wondering why this particular exit is such a hotbed of car accidents yet there is concrete and reflective signage all around this short one-lane exit in Google Street View. One of the reasons is that most motorists don’t seem to be capable of reducing their speed from the highway’s limit of 60 mph to the suggested departure speed of 20 mph.

There are roughly 464 feet from the exit gore to the middle of the steep bend where accidents are happening, according to a Washington Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Because the speed limit on I-5 is 60 miles per hour, the driver of a 60-mph vehicle would have around 5.25 seconds to slow down before exiting the freeway.

As a reminder to slow down, there are multiple warning signs and reflective markings on concrete barriers: a 30mph sign at the solid white line before the exit, 20mph signs before the exit gore, and a 20mph warning below the exit gore, and stoplight warning signs.

The reflective poles and markers visible in the video shot at the site, as well as the extra speed warning under the exit sign, had all been erected by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) as of 2019. Since the new signs were put up, Basconcillo’s cameras have filmed at least three more collisions.

Even towing firms were taken aback by the high number of automobile accidents on that specific off-ramp, considering how abrupt the bend is. Regardless, the clearly designated portion of the road has seen its fair number of fatalities through the years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

No particular future upgrades were mentioned by WSDOT, although that does not exclude interim measures. According to Basconcillo, rumble strips might help prevent inattentive drivers from making errors.

People in the area need to keep an eye out for how many accidents occur and how many automobiles end up leaping over the curb. This steep off-ramp might one day be the cause of the death of an innocent pedestrian if a reckless driver fails to slow down.

Wet and Cold Seattle Gaining the Admiration of a Drought-Stricken World

Seattle Sunshine Weather

Seattle is indeed the admiration of a globe afflicted by a severe water shortage. Everyone in this area is aware of the chilly months of June through January and the fact that the official start of summer is on July 5.

However, this year is just rainy and chilly. We’ve apparently passed through spring completely. Long underwear during Little League games or a down jacket in the backyard are obvious targets for grouses. However, given the alternative, it may be appropriate to show some appreciation.

Excessive heat and a lingering drought are wreaking havoc throughout the globe, including in parts of California. Franklin County, for example, is located in southeast Washington.

There is now a severe drought that affects all inhabitants, 62,999 acres of wheat, and 34,623 livestock in the area. This has resulted in stunted crops, more wildfires, and greater difficulty feeding cattle. According to the United States Census Bureau, Franklin County has a population of 98,000.

Even in the worst-case scenario of drought, no one in King County will be affected. Actually, it’s been a great season for skiers. To put this into perspective, in King County there are only 14 acres of wheat compared to 11,000 cattle.

Heat isn’t an issue in the Seattle region, at least not just yet. We’ve already absorbed more rain than is average for the month of May, and it’s still raining. On the 13th of April, Olympia had its lowest temperature ever recorded: 28 degrees.

Others are envious of our ability to get rain. Drought conditions have gripped large swaths of California and the Southwest. Hydropower production is at risk as reservoir levels fall to unprecedented lows. People with backyards are being urged to turn off their sprinklers by water regulators. This isn’t a big deal in Seattle, where yellow lawns seem to be a staple of summer for decades.

Although summer officially begins on June 21, parts of the southern Plains and the Midwest are already seeing temperatures that are approaching record highs. Much of the Western United States is on fire. This was a year without spring for both India and Pakistan.

While May and June are often the hottest months of the year, this year saw record-breaking temperatures in March and April. Recognizing the atmospheric dangers of the rest of the globe will not make it easier around here to ruin your BBQ or damp outdoor wedding.

For the second time in as many years, we’re experiencing a La Nina year. It’s hard to say what the weather might be like following this chilly period. On June 28 of last year, the temperature reached an all-time high of 108 degrees. According to the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, human activity has caused the area to continue to warm.

The heat won’t be an issue for long. Now, let’s be grateful for the cool weather and rain. It is a blessing to be working and living in Seattle at this time of the year.

Paul McCartney Lights Up Seattle – Nothing Short Of Spectacular

Paul McCartney Sings Black Bird In Seattle

I questioned why I decided to drive six hours in traffic to see a 79-year-old Paul McCartney perform in Seattle. It occurred to me that McCartney is nothing ordinary, he is modern-day history. Concert number four of his 16-date Get Back tour was a privilege. My heart pounded, the lights dimmed, and a sold-out crowd roar sent goosebumps everywhere. McCartney wore his classic waistcoat and jacket and jumped straight into his show as he sang, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. Thousands of fans, young and old, screamed when McCartney removed a layer of clothing and rolled up his white sleeves as he showcased his instrument versatility.

McCartney performed hits after hits from “Love Me Do” to songs on “Abbey Road”. McCartney mocked his fans when he played “Blackbird” on a rising stage. He asked how many fans have tried to play “Blackbird” and questioned how many of his fans were unsuccessful. “Here Today” broke me, and other fans had tears streaming down their face. A tribute to John Lennon that resonated with so many. McCartney suggested, “if you love someone, just tell them. Don’t wait.” The words were so simple yet, so comforting. “Lady Madonna” lifted the spirit of the crowd. Of course, McCartney was the center of the show, but “Being for The Benefit of Mr. Kite” felt like a circus as many gazed at the ceiling light show instead. “Ob La Di, Ob La Da” ignited the crowd. McCartney encouraged everyone to sing as people danced and shouted the bizarre lyrics. An elderly couple in their 80s caught me by surprise. I feared watching them struggling to walk to their seats. Nonetheless, when the 1968 Beatles song played, the married couple stood up and danced. For a few minutes, I witnessed a miracle catching a glimpse of the two in their 20s and pain-free. McCartney turned fantasies into reality. He paused his show for a few minutes to read different posters audience members created. McCartney read and explained that “Saiko” means fantastic in Japanese. Another fan held a sign which stated he attended over 120 of McCartney’s concerts. McCartney jokingly said, “that might be slightly obsessive”. His simple acknowledgments will be lasting memories by those fans.

Paul McCartney then said he wanted to enjoy the moment. His eyes moved through every inch of Climate Pledge Arena, gazing at as many faces as possible. A solid three minutes of loud cheers and appreciation passed. McCartney got back to his show by playing “Get Back” which included video clips of Peter Jackson’s documentary about The Beatles. Emotional fans lit the venue like stars with flashlights for “Let it Be”. However, “Live and Let Die” stole the show. A loud boom and several fireworks set off as the wind pushed McCartney’s hair in every direction. McCartney concluded the song by covering his ears as the loudest firework exploded. The arena continued to go wild as McCartney signaled he could not hear.

A Paul McCartney concert is not complete unless “Hey Jude” is in it. McCartney calmed the audience down and sang the famous words, “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad”. Strangers wrapped their arms around other strangers and sang “na na na nananana nannana, Hey Jude.” It was a touching moment to see everyone come together happily. McCartney enjoyed the moment himself; his eyes lit up, and a bright smile overcame his face while listening to the echoing crowd. As he walked off stage fans whistled and screamed until he came back out. McCartney picked up his bass and recited “I’ve Got a Feeling”. Unexpectedly, McCartney provided a twist. John Lennon appeared on the videoboard singing a verse with such great sound and visual quality that it felt like Lennon was there. The moment I saw McCartney and Lennon singing and playing in sync, I believed it was real.

McCartney finished the night with songs from “Abbey Road” including “The End”. Soon to be 80, McCartney looks as healthy as ever, but age will catch up. While the band left, McCartney remained on the stage to take one more moment to say thank you and cherish everything as we all should.

– By Mario C.

Photo Credit: Emerald City Journal

Paul McCartney Singing at Climate Pledge Arena 4/3/22. The Got Back Tour

Seattle’s Homeless Problem: End Of The Road

Seattle's Homeless Problem

The homeless crisis in Seattle is something that many Washingtonians are very well aware of. Native residents and visitors alike both ask the question: How has it gotten this bad? From the nomadic tent cities that struggle to find a placement within the city, to the prime windows of world-renowned corporations downtown, the juxtaposition between affluence and poverty is alarming. The income gap is massive.

Although the community has only recently seen a sharp incline, homelessness has always been in the city’s limits. The history of Seattle in particular is important to know when learning about how the current day homelessness affects the city.

In the 1890s, around twenty years after the city of Seattle was incorporated, early signs of poverty were starting to become apparent. On one hand, the city was starting to flourish and grow, as many of Washington’s early industries such as lumber and fishing were starting to gain traction; On the other, the population growth led to many residents being pushed to the fringes. Petitions were made by the community to the city for help keeping their businesses afloat or for housing but the city denied them. In fact, the city even went as far as to burn some of these camps down due to complaints from other residents with reasons mainly concerning the crime increase and public health.

 Soon after the 1929 crisis, one of the biggest “Hoovervilles” (shanty towns built by the unemployed and destitute during the 1930’s) was in the city of Seattle. In 1941, just after The United States entered the second world war, many of the Hoovervilles, including the largest one, were burned to the ground for wartime use.

Evidently, Seattle leaders have failed to maintain sustainable or reliable solutions for the city. Instead, they have succeeded in alienating a population of thousands.

To this day, people experiencing homelessness struggle to stabilize their lives when the city does a relocation. IDs, wallets, and medications are some of the most crucial losses. This is also incredibly triggering for some people.

Currently, the city of Seattle has a budget of millions to help aid this crisis. According to The Seattle Times, The budget has gone from $50 million in 2015 to an estimated $150 million in 2022. Where is all of this money going?

“In 2017, the City of Seattle directly invested $68,098,060 in the homelessness crisis (City of Seattle, 2017). Such spending included money for rental assistance programs that prevent people from falling into homelessness, providing transitional shelter, building low-income housing, and other various assistance methods.” (Source)

According to Seattle.gov, there are three main categories that the city invests into:

Prevention (services to help those already in homes), emergency (services that provide safe spaces for people to stay, and a connection to housing), and housing: (services focused on permanent housing solutions including; rapid re-housing, diversion, and permanent supportive housing). There are also locations where the homeless can shower and some programs where donated toiletries are accessible, though these are limited.

I believe prevention is the most important place to invest in for the following reasons: Whether the homeless population is receiving assistance from the city directly or not, there is still a massive impact on the city. Homelessness is not something that is exclusively impacting those without homes, but also the community at large. Think about the children who face the harsh realities of not being permitted to play in playgrounds and sports fields due to potential needle exposure from the percentage of homeless who are drug users. Think of the average income taxpayers who wonder where their contributions are going, and what impact their money is truly making. Think of the thousands of frustrated service workers who work in shelters with those struggling with addiction and psychosis who do not have enough assistance, and see high turnover rates, and regressions back into the streets on a daily basis. It is also disappointing to be a city official who may deeply care for the displaced community but whose efforts are ultimately having little to no impact.

“The metric’s always been, ‘Well, we’re spending more money,’” said Jon Scholes, president of the Downtown Seattle Association and a supporter of the authority’s plan. “And then you walk down the street and you don’t see a difference.” (Source)

More examples in favor of prevention are the following: If an individual is homeless, this has the potential to lower their immune system from exposure to unsanitary environments, high-stress, and high risk potential for heightened drug use. A percentage of the homeless population often is in and out of the emergency room which makes it incredibly hard on hospital staff to address everyone who needs immediate care for those with homes and without homes alike. Also, once an individual becomes homeless, it may be harder to regain stability if they are having difficulty improving their lives. This is connected to a variety of issues Seattle faces, such as a portion of homeless individuals turning to crime. This is even exacerbated by less funding for the police force, which can potentially have a hand in making local businesses suffer due to theft and vandalism primarily.

Hope exists not only in direct solutions like the aforementioned ways of getting help but also in investing in public education so students are getting more opportunities to succeed. This includes food programs, increased mental health awareness and assistance, and higher pay for teachers so they have a greater drive to connect with students that are on the fringes. More alternatives include: implementing more opportunities for apprenticeships in the workforce (so young adults can have more respected alternatives to college), lowering the cost of education (to welcome more prospective students and lower post-education debt), and overall, a different reformed curriculum in the school system that is not only more forgiving, but encourages more meaningful critical thought, diverse classes, and equal wealth distribution. 

The last angle on this issue I would like to explore is: Why might Seattle’s homeless reject help? In an article written in 2021 for The Seattle Times, an article cited that the city’s outreach assistance was struggling to give referrals that the homeless would follow through with in terms of short-term shelter. There is always a hesitation before one may decide to stay in a shelter because they are extremely uncomfortable. Many people report crowding, assault, thievery, cleanliness (i.e lice and other pests), or just generally poor experiences within shelters. The staff in these facilities are more often than not, overworked with pay that isn’t reflected by the amount of effort that is given. People also may deny assistance because of an inability to be accepted. People among this group would be illegal immigrants or refugees, individuals with pets that they are not willing to part with and individuals who abuse drugs. For the latter, there is also the inverse issue, where some shelters are known to accept drug users, therefore turning off those who are working towards sobriety. What homeless residents do tend to accept referrals for are private rooms, such as single-motel rooms or tiny houses. The average length of time stayed at enhanced shelters and tiny houses in 2020 was 102 and 349 days, compared to 68 days at basic shelters.

Many more efforts are needed to be done on everyone’s part to even begin to remedy homelessness as a social epidemic. What is being done isn’t enough. It is imperative to realize that homelessness is a symptom of a variety of ills that plague society; This is including the way drug addiction is handled, our societal attitudes toward mental health, surrounding regional cities not giving their homeless populations adequate assistance and then the said community relocating to Seattle, and lastly, the popular narrative that it is primarily due to skyrocketing rents and social security payments to at risk households, those claiming disability, and individuals struggling to find work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large percentage of those below the poverty line were pushed into the streets, due to social programs withdrawing assistance, and shelters limiting capacity. Inversely, the homeless that previously camped in forested areas have come further in, due to scarcity of resources. This has resulted in rising health issues (mental health, illness spreading more rapidly), and increased drug use. According to an article in The Seattle Times, one local study found there to be a 50% increase in tent usage between the summers of 2019 to 2020. Seattle is not unique, because many cities across the country suffer from rising homeless populations; It would be optimistic to conclude that I believe it will improve soon, but unfortunately, in a society where many even above the poverty line struggle with ailments such as increasing living expenses, and studies reporting mental health worsening in all age groups within The United States, there is understandably a lowered initiative to change attitudes among all social classes to shift the situation.

Photo: “Seattle Homeless” by davidjlee is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0

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