Update (5:48 p.m.): Boeing 787s grounded
The FAA grounded the 787 fleet late today, issuing a statement that the safety of the planes' batteries must be demonstrated before they go back in the air. The 787 problems have quickly gone from the whistling-in-the-dark stage to a crisis for Boeing — although, fortunately, not the flying public. A New York Times story is here.
Inslee wants change
In his Inaugural address today, Gov. Jay Inslee called for "disruptive change," promising to streamline government, promote clean-energy innovations, use federal dollars to expand health care access and improve education. The speech was big on generalities although the new governor did manage to knit the topics together fairly coherently around the larger themes of jobs and opportunities. And it was clear that Inslee aims to radically change the way state agencies operate. (Crosscut's full coverage of Olympia 2013 is here.)
Judging from the Republican reaction (picked up by The Seattle Times), you'd think Inslee was targeting them instead. And we're confused: Why is House GOP leader Richard DeBolt so surprised that Inslee called — yet again — for tax credits to encourage clean energy and for health insurance plans to cover abortions? “It was funny that he would take a day of unification and try to make it a politically dividing event,” said DeBolt. Seriously?
For his part, Inslee talked about creating a "real dialogue" with the Legislature and "a true partnership" with legislative leaders including DeBolt, one of four he mentioned by name. We say, good luck, guv.
Seattle Weekly gets change
Editor Mike Seely went on the website of the recently sold Seattle Weekly to announce his departure. He sought to downplay speculation that the new owners, Sound Publishing, had forced him out. (Seely sounds like he may be the only media person around who completely trusts Sound's takeover as nothing-but-good for the paper.) Seely's departure immediately prompted questions: The Stranger's Cienna Madrid reports that Seely emailed her to say that no successor has been named and that he was unaware of any plans for, in her words, more shake-ups. In his own posting, Seely makes a cogent case for seizing better economic opportunities for his growing family — two daughters in 17 months! — and says his new radio-oriented employer, ReelWorld, is a good fit for him.
No gold star for Gold Bar
Speaking of The Weekly, its print edition out today features a colorful, in-depth piece on the tiny town of Gold Bar on U.S. 2. Veteran journalist Ellis Conklin writes about how the bizarre in-fighting around local politics has gotten so the city is threatening to disband as an incorporated municipality. You think the U.S. Congress is dysfunctional, or that Seattle's city government does a lousy job of relating to the neighborhoods, the public and businesses? Gold Bar has them both beat.
Organizers of a pro-guns rally in Olympia — part of the Guns Across America event scheduled for this Saturday — are urging followers to dress well and keep sidearms out of sight, according to a report by Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com. The email, sent to followers from Matthew Piquet of Marysville, says, "Let’s freak out the media with such a positive image of the American gun owner that they cannot spin a negative message."
Flu near you
If you're still debating about whether to get that flu shot, you should know that the vaccine is getting harder to find. Public Health Seattle-King County's flu site to the rescue. The site provides the phone numbers and addresses of places that are offering shots. But it's best to call ahead. The site also lists upcoming free flu vaccination events at four Public Health centers around the county.
And if we haven't freaked you out yet, let us fill you in on the growing number of outbreaks. Or rather, let's let HealthMap.org break the news. The site, which was founded by researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital, features neat interactive graphics that track disease outbreaks worldwide and encourage reader submissions. This is the flu outbreak HealthMap generated when I entered my Seattle zip code.
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