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Week in review 2/29/2020

There is more than one germ to cause a panic…

If you hadn’t heard, there is a possible infectious disease outbreak in the Pacific Northwest. Mainly affecting your respiratory system, this bacteria has been known to spread quickly and kill many. I am talking about Tuberculosis, obviously, and thanks to a Microsoft vendor, nearly 150 people were possibly exposed in Redmond, WA. The announcement came Friday, and was buried under the headlines of some other virus that is apparently also an issue currently in the PNW. It is unclear when the exposure happened, but according to reports there has been TB testing going on at the Redmond facility this past week. While the national average of TB rates increased in 2019, the Washington average stayed about on par with the rest of the country. What may come as a surprise, TB is still an actual disease, and not just something that characters in Les Miserables get – there were 93 reported infections in King County in 2018.     

CONCA-what?

On Thursday February 27th the Seattle Sounders lost in penalty kicks to C.D. Olimpia out of Honduras, getting knocked out of an important but little known tournament in the Major League Soccer pre-season. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is a big deal, pretty much everywhere outside of the USA. And their Champions League is a hard fought battle for supremacy on the field in much of this hemisphere. And the Seattle Sounders are, or were, fighting their way towards the semifinals. This tournament is much derided by the English speaking soccer world for the basic brutality of its games. Yellow cards flow freely and high boots go unnoticed. It was during a pivotal away game in Honduras that the Sounders were able to score two away goals while being absolutely hounded by the supporters of the Honduras team Olimpia. During the second round away supporters for Olimpia poured into Century Link stadium, admittedly making the ECS chant “we don’t hear a fucking thing” in response to Olimpia supporters ring a tad hollow. Sounders lost their 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute when one of the best goalkeepers in the league, our Stefan Frei, let one past him in an uncharacteristic move. The game went to penalty kicks and C.D. Olimpia came out on top. I hate to see the Sounders lose, but there is something bittersweet when a 6 million dollar team far from home can best the MLS reigning champs. Let’s just hope they take it all the way to the end.         

Nav Team leader sees himself out

On Wednesday February 26th, Seattle City Council was given a presentation by the Human Services Department concerning a recent report from the Navigation Team. The Navigation Team is the Public Relations friendly name given to the group of people tasked with ushering homeless individuals into shelters while SPD dumps their belongings into dumpsters. These cleanup efforts on the part of the city are generally referred to as “sweeps”, and there has been an increasing number of them over the past year. This meeting with the City Council did not go exactly as planned for the HSD, as they were acutely grilled on the numbers being presented. According to the report around 96 percent of the sweeps happening of homeless encampments are being done without prior warning. The city is skirting the traditional 72 hour warning on encampment sweeps by declaring these camps “obstructions”; often a designation that comes directly from nextdoor style nimby tattletale reports as opposed to investigation by an outside agency or body. The meeting was a dismal failure for the Navigation Team as they tried every Power Point trick in the book to uplift the abysmal results of the investigation. But no quirky animation or star wipes could hide the fact that fewer than 23% of people “contacted” by the Navigation team end up in a shelter within 2 days. On Friday, the acting head of Human Services for the city decided to vacate his post. Related? Only his much awaited tell all book, How the Nav Team Lost its Way will give us real answers.      

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