Slog AM: Measles Case Confirmed, Here Come the Chatbots, and You Know What this Bike Path Needs? More Gravel.

Gun Rights

Children are basically little screaming disease-libraries. Kindergarten vaccination rates are dropping around the state, including here in King County. The federal target for vaccination is 95%, but we’re at 89% nationwide. One major cause is a surge in families claiming religious exemptions.

More great news for germs. You’re continuing to mask when in public indoor settings, right? King County Public Health just announced that a woman with infectious measles spent time recently at Sea-Tac and at Providence Swedish First Hill. If you’re vaccinated, you likely have strong protection against the virus. If you’re not vaccinated and you think you might’ve been exposed, then watch for cold symptoms or a rash and then call a doctor if they develop. (Also, if you think you might have measles, don’t go to a hospital or clinic in person without warning them first). I can’t say I enjoy wearing a mask all the time, but I do enjoy not having had a single cold in the last three years.

Sidewalk makeover time! Thanks again for the Seattle Street Fixers for sprucing up the sidewalks that the city can’t/won’t. Join them for future cleanups here.

In the market for a few hundred thousand Social Security numbers? Pierce County accidentally released 460,000 partial Social Security numbers in December, officials have revealed. The mistake occurred in response to a routine public records request, and the Pierce County Auditor’s Office quickly spotted the error and had the recipient delete the information within two hours. The county has apologized and offered advice for those impacted to protect their private information and monitor for fraud.

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Bothell is a city and Seattle is not. Bothell’s update to its citywide bike plan is about to go into effect, and it looks pretty great. Last year, the city was criticized for moving too slowly, so they revised the plan and they’re about to start building out a surprisingly comprehensive network. Meanwhile, here in pathetic Seattle, the latest update on car-free Pike Place Market is that it will probably take several more years to launch a pilot program to limit vehicular access. Bothell! Why the hell not?

Bring back hootenannies. The annual Bellingham Folk Festival concluded this weekend with a cowboy camp sing-along led by the Tango Cowboys. Over 50 folk fans gathered at Brandywine Kitchen to sing together. Seems nice.

The Seattle Times indicates you should vote yes on I-135. Well, technically they said to vote no. But what better evidence could you ask for that you should vote yes? Anyway, here’s a thread about why their objections to the social housing initiative are wrong.

What’s going on with the Seattle Sounders? The soccer club just accepted sponsorship from Providence, a Washington health system with a track record of receiving complaints about their treatment of transgender patients and of not providing abortions. The Attorney General sued the hospital system last year for allegedly illegally setting collection agencies loose on patients. Fans are pissed.

A cozy little nook. If you know any tiny little gnomes looking for a pleasant little home, direct their attention to this service offered by Seattle Parks:

It’s hard to know who to get angry at first here. A group of Republicans (of course they were Republicans) recently held a little party to honor one of the cops who participated in the raid where Breonna Taylor was killed. The location: A restaurant where a bunch of other folks were just eating dinner and minding their own business when the presentation—which included the sound of gunshots—began. Diners complained to the restaurant owner, who didn’t care.

Another big weekend for the Second Amendment. Congratulations to the National Rifle Association on another successful weekend of mass shootings. Eleven are now dead and ten were injured at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park; twelve were injured at a shooting in Baton Rouge; eight were injured in Shreveport; and four were injured in Mississippi.

I’ve lost track of how many lies George Santos has been caught in. Not like he’s the first liar in Congress or anything, but, GEEZ, is anything this guy says even remotely true? This weekend, after vigorously denying that he’d done drag, Santos changed his story said yes, of course he has, “sue me.” Who do you think should play him in the inevitable Ryan Murphy biopic?

Watch where you roll. Look, I know we’re all trying to do our best with limited money, limited time, and a limited workforce … but it’s hard to imagine how anyone thought that adding some absurd ninety-degree turns and gravel pits to a bike trail would make it better.

Google is actively working to improve its AI chatbot capabilities in order to stay competitive in the market. Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, held meetings with company executives last month to discuss a rival’s new chatbot. The artificial intelligence product, developed by small San Francisco company OpenAI, has impressed users with its ability to explain complex concepts and generate ideas from scratch. Google is now re-evaluating its AI strategy, with Page and Brin offering advice to company leaders and approving plans to incorporate more chatbot features into Google’s search engine. Google plans to release more than twenty new products and demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features later this year.

Reading? Sounds pretty gay. A report by market research firm The NPD Group found that queer young adult books contributed to a surge in LGBTQ+ literature in 2022. The market is expected to grow overall this year, according to market research firm Grand View Research. If you’d like to participate in that trend, allow me to recommend my book, Hi Honey, I’m Homo! releasing on May 23.

No reason to post this now, really, I just really like this number. What’s your favorite Tonys number? UGH don’t make me choose! But if you’re looking for one where Bret Michaels doesn’t sustain a concussion, this one from The Drowsy Chaperone is the cat’s pajamas:

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