Herrera Beutler in trouble as Kent gains in Washington's 3rd District; Newhouse advances in the 4th

SEATTLE — Challenger Joe Kent gained on U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in vote counts released Friday, leaving the six-term incumbent teetering on the brink of defeat amid the backlash over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse has for now survived his impeachment vote, advancing to face Democrat Doug White this fall, as Trump-backed challenger Loren Culp placed third. Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., had been in second place since election night, which would secure her a spot on the general election ballot in southwest Washington’s 3rd District. But Ke...

Monkeypox cases doubling nearly every week in Washington state, as US declares public health emergency

Monkeypox cases are doubling nearly every week in Washington, concerning state health officials as the vaccine supply runs short and the U.S. declares a public health emergency over the outbreak. In Washington, 166 people have tested positive for orthopoxvirus as of Thursday; all orthopoxvirus cases are likely monkeypox, state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said during a news briefing Thursday. This includes at least two people who were exposed outside Washington but tested positive here. About 144 of the cases were reported in King County, the state’s most populous. A majority of the p...

Takeaways from Washington primary: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse may become rare figures in surviving Trump impeachment vote

SEATTLE — Tuesday night’s initial ballot returns in the Aug. 2 primary carried lessons for Republicans and Democrats as they regroup for the fall general election. A look at four top takeaways: No. 1: Beating Trump impeachment revenge Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse may be those rarest of figures in the House of Representatives — Republicans who managed to survive their votes to impeach former President Donald Trump. Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, six have already announced their retirements or been re...

US Senate election results: Murray, Smiley advance in Washington state

SEATTLE — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat seeking a sixth term, led Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley in primary election results Tuesday, with most counties reporting. Murray and Smiley will face off again in the November general election, with issues like abortion rights and inflation likely to animate their debates. The Associated Press declared the primary settled Tuesday night, predicting Murray and Smiley would advance. Murray received 55% of the votes counted so far in the statewide race, while Smiley claimed 32%. More primary votes will be counted in the coming days. There were 1...

Audubon's beautiful birds don't erase his racist life

You don't need to be a bird nerd to know that the name "Audubon" is synonymous with our feathered friends. Less well known is that John James Audubon was a slave-owning racist. That past should disqualify him from having his name attached to Seattle's birding organization and every other Audubon society. Audubon, like many historical figures, presents a complex story to modern eyes. He was a central figure in early American natural sciences. His seminal work, "Birds of America," contains hundreds of paintings showing more than 1,000 birds, supposedly every known species in the United States at...

US launches website with resources on how to respond to extreme temperatures

SEATTLE — The White House on Tuesday announced the launch of Heat.gov, a federal website to spread awareness and resources so the public and policymakers can better respond to extreme heat. The website will have heat forecasts from numerous federal agencies, guides to plan and prepare for high temperatures, and opportunities to support public health programs and communities at higher risk of heat exposure. "President Biden has directed us to respond to the extreme heat gripping the nation. Extreme heat is a silent killer, yet it affects more Americans than any other weather emergency — particu...

Seattle Audubon will change its name, severing tie to slave owner

SEATTLE — The Seattle chapter of the National Audubon Society has a new logo, at least for now: it is an elegant yellow bird, a pelagic cormorant to be exact, with a paintbrush in its beak and the word "Audubon" crossed out. It marks a new era for the birdwatching and conservation group. Pointing to the racist actions and beliefs of its namesake John James Audubon, the local organization announced that it will change its name to better reflect its mission and values. "The shameful legacy of the real John James Audubon, not the mythologized version, is antithetical to the mission of this organi...

This column is about climate change. What might get you to read it?

The evidence is everywhere. There was, of course, the Northwest's 2021 heat dome, which brought deadly scorching temperatures to the Seattle region. Last week, 100 million people across the U.S. were under heat warnings or advisories and parts of Europe experienced what was described as a "heat apocalypse" — the hottest temperatures on record. Later this week, the Seattle area is expected to see its second heat wave in about a month. And those are only the heat impacts. You would think people would see all these signs and realize we need to get real about climate change. But instead, there's a...

Ferry fury in Washington hits boiling point

SEATTLE — Ferry line cutting is getting out of control, and drivers are raging. "It makes people's blood boil," said Ian Sterling, a spokesperson for Washington State Ferries. While waiting in line for an Edmonds-Kingston boat the other day, Sterling was cut off by someone who, he said, knew what they were doing. There was little Sterling could do but stew, take a picture of the license plate and contemplate social media shaming. "It's at a peak," he said, "as bad as we've seen it." Ferry line cutting is a legitimate grievance to drivers who sit for hours in mileslong, single-file, roadside la...

Alaska’s Bristol Bay salmon run shatters records, and it's not done yet

NAKNEK, Alaska — Record-breaking numbers of sockeye salmon have returned to southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay, and the tally is expected to climb higher in the days ahead. As of Thursday, fishing crews had caught 53.3 million fish since the beginning of the run, which far outpaces the previous record catch of 44.3 million set in 1995. Bristol Bay sustains the largest sockeye runs in North America. Hundreds of Washington fishers hold permits allowing them, and their crews, to participate in the harvest at a time when many commercial salmon fisheries in the Northwest have been in long-term decline....

Activists say Amazon misled shareholders about warehouse working conditions

When the investment firm BlackRock voted against an independent audit of the working conditions at Amazon's warehouses, it was relying on false and misleading information from the company, one activist group is arguing in a new complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions that has criticized Amazon's treatment of workers in the past, is accusing Amazon and CEO Andy Jassy of making false and misleading statements about the safety of its warehouses and the injury rates among workers. That's harmful to shareholders, the group ...

Amazon has promised to help workers get abortions. Some workers say it hasn’t gone far enough

Amazon employees are calling on the company to get more involved in protecting abortion access, including by ending political donations to groups that oppose abortion, organizing its own protests against the Supreme Court’s ruling and helping all employees pay for travel in order to get safe abortion care. Nearly 2,000 employees have signed an open letter to Amazon leadership, calling on the company to “use Amazon’s voice to publicly and unequivocally denounce” the high court’s decision. On Friday, some workers called out sick in protest, hoping to pressure the company. Amazon, like many of th...

Big Tech companies will cover travel expenses for employees' medical procedures, including abortion

Tech companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Apple and Google will cover or reimburse employees for travel expenses related to medical procedures, including abortions. Amazon announced in May it would cover up to $4,000 in travel expenses related to medical procedures including abortion services. That policy is retroactive to Jan. 1 for employees and their dependents covered by two company-offered health plans. The funds could go toward services rendered if care is not available virtually or within 100 miles of an employee's home. The company did not respond to requests for comment on Fri...

Starbucks says it will cover abortion travel and gender-affirming care

Starbucks said Friday it will reimburse abortion travel expenses for partners enrolled in its health care plan if a legal provider isn't in the partner's state of residence or within 100 miles of their home. Responding to the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending constitutional protections for abortion, the company also said it will begin providing gender-affirming care for partners. It did not say when because "there are more procedures to consider as part of this benefit." "Even though we have prepared for this scenario, personally and as a company, I know this decision leaves many of you dishe...

Black-led media are seeing a resurgence in Seattle but 'we're so much further back than we used to be'

As a small crowd filters into the Columbia City Theater on a gray May Tuesday, Tony Benton stands on the stage with a mic in one hand and a smoothie in the other, saying "one-two-one-two-one-two." Volunteers and assistants yell back and forth as the moment they go live ticks closer — "One minute!" "Guys, we only have one camera going!" — but Benton exudes Zen. In a cramped little studio in the next room, a community talk show is ending. An ad comes on for a Wednesday "dance-based walking program" for older adults or people with disabilities. A volunteer counts down to one. "Welcome to Rainier ...