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One guide to rule them all: Where to eat, hang, and party around Emerald City Comic Con 2024
While Emerald City Comic Con takes over the Seattle Convention Center each year, there are even more festivities to be found in the surrounding area, outside the con.
Convention organizers are anticipating 85,000 attendees will flood into downtown Seattle for the 2024 event. That's a lot of fans. From food to transportation, afterparties, and more, here are a few ideas for navigating Seattle during Emerald City Comic Con 2024.
Emerald City Comic Con afterparties
Emerald City Comic Con has two of its own afterparties, including a big band concert and an "Under the Stars Prom." Outside of the con ...
Sonic Boom Box at Spin (1511 6th Avenue): Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sonic Boom Box specializes in comicon afterparties. $25 at the door, but cheaper tickets online. Expect cosplay, a live DJ, dancing, and ping pong since this is at Spin after all. 21+
Tokyo Tonight at Q Nightclub (1426 Broadway): Sunday, March 3, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20. Japanese DJ's playing J-pop and anime. 21+
The Rolling Bones party at The Whisky Bar (2122 2nd Avenue): Saturday, March 2, 6 p.m. until late. $10. Rolling Bones is a local club for gamers and geeks. They're hosting this party with DJs, comic-themed cocktails, and more. Club membership not required. 21+ (Warning: Organizers say they've already reached capacity based on RSVPs. Expect a line outdoors if you want to try this spot)
Where to hang around Emerald City Comic Con
Just because Emerald City Comicon closes for the night, doesn't mean the festivities end. There are a few spots con goers can easily get to from the convention center, and a few events happening outside the con.Continue reading »
Washington vs China: Why the NW could have the next generation of battery tech
China makes most of the world's car batteries. Washington could play a big role in helping the U.S. surpass China.
As the auto industry advances toward an electric vehicle future, China is currently the world leader when it comes to manufacturing car batteries. That means U.S. carmakers have to ask China for EV batteries, and they're not always at the front of the line.
Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington says U.S. companies and scientists are gaining ground in this industry, however. And her state is poised to lead.
“We are kind of … becoming the epicenter on next generation battery technology, even for the international players,” she said at a Friday event in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, the city's tech hub.
Whereas current lithium ion batteries use graphite anodes (in very simple terms, this is the part of the battery where the energy comes out), silicon anodes are viewed as the next big advancement in battery tech. Federal investments in Washington state have focused on these silicon batteries.
Silicon anodes have advantages and disadvantages. On the pro side, they charge much faster and hold far more energy. On the con side, they swell-up when charging, making the manufacture of a physically stable batteries difficult.
But local companies like Group14 in Woodinville say they've overcome that problem using brand new technologies that suspend the silicon in a sponge-like flexible matrix contained within a rigid shell. Like when rum is absorbed into a rum cake, the rum doesn't increase the cake's size.
Plus, Washington has cheap, green hydropower, a highly skilled workforce that's good at making things, and A.I. companies that nudge research along faster.
For example, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory — a government funded, non-profit research organization — has partnered with Microsoft to conduct virtual scientific experiments using A.I. in order to more quickly find breakthroughs in battery design. One problem with this approach concerns the state's cheap energy — it's not unlimited. And A.I. consumes massive amounts of power.Continue reading »
Gay veterans discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' could have benefits restored
U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Oregon) has introduced a federal bill to reverse dishonorable discharges for veterans who were dismissed under the military's former "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy.
The policy was enacted in 1994 to allow LGBTQ+ people to serve in the military but only if they concealed their sexual orientation. The policy was repealed in 2011.
Still, the policy's legacy continues to affect veterans today, Chavez-DeRemer said in a statement. Service members who were discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," or DADT, have faced discrimination from employers and landlords, she said.
"The Recover Pride in Service Act will ensure these veterans can get their discharge status upgraded without lifting a finger," Chavez-DeRemer said of the bill. "I'm grateful to have strong support from my colleagues, including veterans, and I look forward to working with them to get this overdue fix signed into law."
The act would require the U.S. Department of Defense to inform veterans of their right to request a discharge status review. Additionally, the defense department would have to proactively upgrade all discharges based on sexual orientation from dishonorable to honorable within five years of enactment if the act is approved.
(In September 2023, the defense department said it would proactively review military records of veterans whose "administrative separation was the result of their sexual orientation and who received a less than honorable conditions discharge.")
According to defense department data, 13,472 people were discharged military service under the "Homosexual Conduct" policy between 1994 and 2011, when Don't Ask Don't Tell was in effect; that includes honorable and "other than honorable" categories. Nearly 33,000 people were discharged under that policy going back to 1980.
Chavez-DeRemer told KGW in Portland the Recover Pride in Service Act would apply to people who were dishonorably discharged under Don't Ask Don't Tell as well as veterans who served before that policy was enacted.
A dishonorable discharge is considered the most severe military discharge. Someone who is dishonorably discharged may not receive VA benefits, may not possess a firearm, and may lose other veteran benefits. Conduct that may result in a dishonorable discharge includes espionage and felony crimes, like murder.
Chavez-DeRemer's bill, co-sposored by 12 of her fellow Republican representatives, has won support from the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ conservatives.
"Log Cabin Republicans is proud to stand in strong support of this bill, and we urge all Members of Congress to do the same," said Charles T. Moran, the organization's president.Continue reading »
Grocery worker protections move forward in Washington in preparation for merger disruptions
A bill protecting Washington state grocery workers is heading to Gov. Inslee's desk amid the Kroger-Albertsons merger.
By a vote of 60-33 on Thursday, House lawmakers approved legislation requiring most grocery workers in the state to be retained for at least six months after stores begin operating under the merger. Kroger and Albertsons want to sell off 413 stores as part of the merger, including 104 in Washington.
Rep. Mary Fosse (D-Everett) said this bill provides stability for workers who were on the frontlines during the pandemic.
“They were the ones making sure we had food on our table for our children, for our families — the ones making sure that we had the necessities we needed during that time,” Fosse said.
The bill also would require compensation for workers who are let go.
Lawmakers who voted against the bill said they support grocery workers too, but see the bill as an "overreach of government." Among them was Rep. Suzanne Schmidt (R-Spokane Valley), who argued the bill would have repercussions beyond the Kroger-Albertsons merger.
“I don’t think it’s the government’s responsibility or duty to dictate or to interfere in a buy-sell agreement,” Schmidt said.
The legislation only kicks in if the merger goes through. So far, the $25 billion deal faces legal hurdles, including lawsuits from the states of Washington and Colorado.Continue reading »
Doctor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord allegedly sexually abused dozens of patients
An Army doctor is set to be arraigned Friday for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of patients at Madigan Army Medical Center, which is located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The Army has charged Maj. Michael Stockin with 48 counts of abusive sexual contact and five counts of indecent viewing under the military code of justice, according to CBS News, which interviewed two of Stockin's 42 alleged victims. All 42 alleged victims were men; an attorney representing one of the alleged victims told CBS he believes there could be hundreds of victims.
One of the soldiers who spoke to CBS — both men spoke to the outlet anonymously out of fear of retaliation — said he went to Stockin for shoulder pain.
"He first checked my shoulders and then he asked me to stand up and to pull down my pants and lift up my gown," the soldier told CBS. "Dr. Stockin, he was face level with my groin, and he started touching my genitals."
Another man told CBS he was sexually abused by Stockin on three occasions and described a similar "alternate assessment" that left him confused.
The matter is now being prosecuted by the Army's Office of Special Trial Counsel.
Stockin was expected to plead not guilty at Friday's hearing, according to Stars and Stripes.
"Through close collaboration with the criminal investigators, OSTC thoroughly evaluated the evidence and carefully considered all the facts before referring charges in this case," Michelle McCaskill, communications director for Army OSTC, told CBS.
"We are confident that the facts and evidence support a conviction and that will be demonstrated when the case goes to court this fall."
If convicted of all charges, Stars and Stripes reported Stockin could spend the rest of his life behind bars.Continue reading »
Cleared of felony, Seattle cop who killed Indian student Kandula could end up in municipal court
The Seattle City Attorney said Thursday that it is reviewing the case of the police officer whose vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian last year.
Officer Kevin Dave could face a penalty for negligent driving in the crash that killed 23-year-old graduate student Jaahnavi Kandula in January 2023.
The infraction would not create a criminal record; it would be recorded on his driving record.
The announcement comes after the King County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file any felony charges in the case this week.
Prosecutors said Officer Dave was responding appropriately to a 9-1-1 call, but that the crash was caused by Dave’s high rate of speed, which reached up to 74 miles per hour as he drove his Ford Explorer SUV through a 25-mile-per-hour zone in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.
In announcing their findings, prosecutors said some may argue that Dave showed negligence by driving so fast, but negligent driving does not meet the legal threshold for felony criminal charges in Washington, which must meet a different standard of driving with disregard for the safety of others.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim said, “If somebody is negligent and causes the most catastrophic of consequences, it is not a felony in our state, and the courts have been clear about that.”
But they said Seattle police still could forward the negligence case to the city attorney.
Seattle Police did just that, referring the case to municipal court for the lesser charge of negligent driving in the second degree “with a vulnerable user victim," because the collision involved a pedestrian. It’s a traffic infraction that carries a civil penalty, with a fine up to $5,000.
“The City Attorney’s Office Criminal Division will thoroughly review the referral prior to making a decision,” the statement said.
Critics say Dave's speed that night should lead to more severe consequences. They call Seattle Police policies on emergency response overly vague and say the department needs to better address which speeds are appropriate.
Seattle’s Community Police Commission asked, “At what speed would Officer Dave have had to drive for his emergency response to be considered reckless or disregarding the safety of pedestrians in the area?”Continue reading »
Can rent stabilization help Washington residents?
Rent control, rent stabilization, and anti-price gouging — oh my! Those are three commonly referenced ideas when it comes to tackling skyrocketing rents.
It's a problem the Seattle area knows well. But these solutions are often conflated and may not fully address the issue causing the affordability crisis, according to Mike Wilkerson, an urban economist with ECOnorthwest, a local consulting firm focused on issues of housing, environment, economy, and more.
“Colloquially, everyone says ‘rent control.’ But I think often times ‘rent control’ is used in a negative connotation, versus the intentionality around using terms like ‘rent stabilization’ are painted in a more positive light,” Wilkerson told KUOW's Seattle Now.
Rent control is what former Councilmember Kshama Sawant pushed for in Seattle before leaving office. None of her proposals passed. Basically, rent prices are capped at a certain level. If a tenant leaves a unit, the next tenant gets that exact same capped rate.
Rent stabilization offers more wiggle room. A rent stabilization bill is currently working its way through the state Capitol in Olympia. It already passed the House and is up for consideration in the Senate. This bill would cap any rent increases at 7% annually. But in between tenants, landlords can hike rent however they please. The bill also doesn't apply to new units on the market for 10 years.
Anti-price gouging regulations also place a cap on rent increases with the goal of preventing massive hikes on a tenant.
Folks debate the ups and downs of these tactics, but Wilkerson argues that to really get ahold of affordability in the Seattle area, the root problem needs to be addressed — a lack of housing supply, and specifically a lack of affordable housing.Continue reading »
Micro-apartments are poised to become legal in Washington state
A bill that would allow “micro-apartments” anywhere normal apartments are built has passed both chambers of the Washington Legislature.
Angela Rozmyn works for a developer that builds micro-apartments in Redmond and Kirkland, where they’re already legal. She says they’re basically an efficiency studio with a shared kitchen.
“It is someone’s private space, with their own bathroom, microwave, fridge, basic living quarters but without a full kitchen, and they rent generally for 55-70% the cost of a studio in the same area,” Rozmyn said.
Rozmyn's area of expertise is sustainable development. She says giving people relatively affordable places to live in popular neighborhoods is more sustainable than making people drive long distances from urban centers to find something affordable.
One concern raised by cities and counties was about the low number of parking stalls included in this kind of apartment building.
The bill passed both legislative chambers by wide margins — 96 to 0 in the House, 44 to 4 in the Senate.
The bill took on a few changes in the Senate, and now the House and Senate versions must be reconciled before it goes to the governor's desk.
But according to Dan Bertolet of the Sightline Institute, reconciliation "will be a formality in this case because the only amendment the Senate made was very minor."Continue reading »
Can you find a good bagel in Seattle? A New Yorker does a taste test
People have strong feelings about bagels. Just ask Carrine Fisher, native New Yorker, what makes a good bagel and the first thing she looks for is texture.
“A good bagel is definitely crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, but not gummy.”
Fisher is particular about her bagels because they’re very much a part of her upbringing, having grown up in Brooklyn and New Jersey.
“I’ve spent a lot of time around bagel culture and my family is Jewish,” Fisher said. “Most family gatherings, at least at some point during the day, there would be bagels out and white fish and cream cheese.”
Fisher is not alone in her bagel reverence. Over the weekend, more than 200 die-hard bagel fans like her took part in Bagel Quest, a blind taste test to judge Seattle’s offerings.
Sarah Leviton started Bagel Quest in 2020 as a way to support local businesses and connect with friends during Covid lockdown. Word spread. Back then, 55 people signed up.Continue reading »
The Kia Boy and me
In July 2023, Aimee Muul’s 2017 Hyundai Elantra was stolen. While her car was missing, it was featured on a Kia Boyz Instagram story a couple of times and shown being used by young men to do stunts.
On the morning of July 6, 2023, I came out of my apartment to leave for work, only to find that my car was not parked where I had left it. All that remained was shattered glass in the empty parking spot. I was in disbelief. My gut felt knotted. I looked around, tried to activate the alarm with my car remote, wondering if I’d had a memory lapse and parked in a different location.
I called the police, made a report, and then called my insurance company. I also called out from work, given that it was a 30-mile trip. I was irate. I felt targeted, violated, and defeated. It felt unfair. I had been struggling greatly—financially and otherwise. I had moved back to Seattle from Spokane in early 2021 after an unexpected breakup; my father passed away in September 2022; and I was caring for my elderly mother – in addition to a sick, old dog. My car was essential.
I share this background to explain my frustration. I was so upset that I remarked to my nephew, “If I could find those m----- f------, I’d love to put a gun to their heads.” A knee-jerk reaction. I was seeing the world with blinders on.
My car was recovered by the Seattle Police Department six days later, less than one mile from my apartment complex. The officer called and asked if I could come immediately to pick it up—to avoid it being stolen again. He said the USB device used to start the car was still plugged in, that he did not see drugs, and that the car seemed drivable.
It was parked next to overgrown grass on the parking strip, which made it difficult to get in. When I opened the door, the stench of marijuana mixed with cigar nicotine was overpowering. There was broken glass all over the back seat and floor. Papers of mine were strewn across the back seat. There was a paper plate with old food covered in aluminum foil. A hair pick. An unsmoked cigar. Cigar ashes in the cup holder. It was filthy. As for the body of the vehicle, a window was broken, there were new scratches, scuffs, and dings. The only thing taken was my vehicle registration.
I felt strange sitting in my car, knowing that someone else had been doing stunts, eating, smoking, and laughing in it.
The next ordeal was with my insurance company. I notified them that the vehicle was recovered. At some point during the process of getting photos over to them and getting repair estimates, my claim was referred to the Special Investigations Unit for suspected fraud. Now I was really livid. Not only had my life been turned upside down with respect to my transportation, but I was being accused of fraud.
Once again, my thoughts turned to doing harm to those who stole my car. But after my landlord provided security camera footage of the theft to my insurance company, the suspected fraud portion of the claim was dropped. My car was repaired, I was out my $1,000 deductible, and life went back to what I suppose you could call normal. I got rid of my Hyundai because many Kia and Hyundai owners reported having their vehicles stolen multiple times despite the free upgrades provided by the car manufacturers.Continue reading »
Syphilis cases are 'skyrocketing' in King County. Who’s most at risk?
Recently released data from the CDC shows syphilis cases are at a 74-year high in the United States. The surge in infections has Public Health – Seattle and King County concerned about the rising local epidemic.
In an audio statement, UW Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Meena Ramchandani said syphilis transmission is most prominent among men who have sex with men, but women are contracting the infection with “skyrocketing” frequency.
“A large proportion of those syphilis diagnoses in women are asymptomatic,” Ramchandani said. “What that means potentially, [is] … there's a large reservoir of undiagnosed infections that are circulating in the community.”
According to the CDC's 2022 STI Surveillance Report, more than 207,000 cases of syphilis were detected in the past 2 years — the highest national case count since 1950. Ramchandani noted a 90% increase in syphilis cases among women in particular between 2020 and 2022 in Seattle and King County.
“[Infections have] been increasing since the early 2000s and we're continuing to see this increase,” she said. “What we've seen since about 2013 [is] an increase in syphilis in women and those capable of becoming pregnant and [in] heterosexual men, which we hadn't seen as much before.”
In pregnant people, syphilis can lead to fetal demise and other congenital impacts.
A national shortage of antibiotics that can treat syphilis infections also has health officials worried. Last month, the FDA temporarily approved the import of syphilis-treating drugs from a France-based pharmaceutical company.
Officials have yet to pinpoint an exact cause for the rise in syphilis cases, but Ramchandani said it could be due to several factors, including decreased access to quality sexual health care and cuts to funding for sexual health care and public health programs.
Another possible reason for the rise in syphilis cases is decreased awareness about the disease among individuals, communities, and even healthcare providers who “are not necessarily comfortable with diagnosing syphilis and managing syphilis,” Ramchandani said.
She pointed to the story of a patient who, despite showing symptoms of the disease for months, had difficulty receiving a diagnosis.Continue reading »
Cougar attacks five mountain bikers on a trail in Washington state
A group of five cyclists were riding on a trail in Fall City, Wash., when they were attacked by at least one cougar this past weekend.
The incident occurred on Saturday around 12:30 p.m., according to the King County Sheriff's Office, in a wilderness area along Tokul Creek approximately five miles north of the city of Snoqualmie.
A 60-year-old female was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries, but is in stable condition, according to a statement from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"We are thankful that the victim is stable after the incident this weekend," said Lieutenant Erik Olson. "The people on scene took immediate action to render aid, and one of our officers was able to arrive within minutes to continue medical aid and coordinate transport. We may have had a very different outcome without their heroic efforts."
Officers euthanized and removed one young male 75-pound cougar on arrival, but eyewitnesses indicate there may have been a second cougar as well at the scene, said the statement. Officials were unable to find a second cougar that eye-witnesses said they saw on the scene.
RELATED: So you caught a cougar, now what?
Such attacks rarely end up fatal. In Washington state, there have only been two fatal cougar attacks and approximately 20 other recorded encounters that resulted in human injury in the last 100 years, according to the WDFW.
Cougars, a protected species and the largest members of the cat family in Washington, are "solitary and secretive animals rarely seen in the wild," reads a description of the mountain lion on the WDFW website. But sightings of them are on the rise in northeast Washington, according to a 2021 report by Northwest Public Broadcasting.
There are an estimated 3,600 cougars in Washington state as of 2022, says the WDFW.
If you do encounter a cougar in the wild, "you definitely want to show the animal that you are not prey. They are used to their prey running away," said bear and cougar specialist Richard A. Beausoleil in a 2018 interview with WBUR. "And so the very first thing is to stop, stand tall, make some noise, throw something at the animal if you can, but do not run."
If a cougar does attack, the WDFW suggests fighting back, as the cougar will flee if a person is aggressive enough.Continue reading »