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Rash of shootings in Western Washington: Today So Far

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  • There were a lot of shootings this weekend across Western Washington that sent many people to the hospital.
  • BenDeLaCreme talks with KUOW on the heels of her "READY TO BE COMMITTED" tour.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for July 18, 2022.

It feels like news about shootings have become even more common lately. It's down the street, outside that bar you've been to, it's on the freeway.

This weekend, it was all across Western Washington. If you listened to KUOW's Angela King this morning, you heard about a shooting at a North Seattle encampment. Then there was one outside a Capitol Hill nightclub, not to be confused with the shooting outside a nightclub in Bellingham on the same night. Then there was the shooting inside a Mount Vernon Walmart. And also an incident in Newcastle where an apartment resident disrupted suspected catalytic converter thieves and was promptly shot. That resident happened to be armed as well and fired back, reportedly injuring one of the suspects as they drove away.

Which reminds me of an incident last week on I-5 near Tukwila, when people in two cars started firing at each other, and a third car got caught in the crossfire (with children inside it). The driver of that third car had a firearm, too, and fired back at the other cars.

And frankly, there are more incidents that have been reported on KUOW, but I'm running out of room to write. In short, on the other side of these shootings are people going to the hospital with bullet wounds, many of them are bystanders.

I know I have kept harping on this point for a while, but there are a lot more guns around us these days. Our region has experienced an extreme rise in gun sales that haven't quite returned to pre-pandemic levels. It's just something to be aware of. At the very least, we should all agree that a gun is not a reasonable response to road rage ... or to anything that could arise in a Walmart. Read more here.

I remember watching "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" as a kid, and marveling at the real world clashing with my favorite cartoons, laughing along the way, and then growing up to spot all the homages to film noir. Another youngster was elsewhere in America, watching that same film, and grew up to be BenDeLaCreme, famous drag queen and star of the stage.

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" isn't exactly responsible for spawning a generation of drag queens. But for one kid, watching Jessica Rabbit in particular, it was a significant moment of self discovery.

This is the sort of pop culture point that just blows be away. It provides different entry points for different people into something we all can access together. It's like we are all navigating life in our own unique ways, yet unable to see around every corner. Pop culture allows us to peek around those corners. And in this moment, that one passing comment gave me a brief insight into the makings of a drag queen.

BenDeLaCreme recently spoke with KUOW about her one-queen show, "BenDeLaCreme is...READY TO BE COMMITTED." Check out that discussion here.


caption: Jessica Rubenacker and the night-blooming cereus.
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Jessica Rubenacker and the night-blooming cereus.
Shin Yu Pai

Jessica Rubenacker and her night-blooming cereus. Jessica's plant collection exceeds 300 specimens. She discusses where this love of plants came from in the most recent episode of "The Blue Suit," a KUOW Shorts podcast. (Shin Yu Pai / KUOW)


Last week, we talked about ranked-choice voting, which Seattle voters will be considering on the November ballot. But also on the ballot will be an option to go with “approval voting.” The two voting methods have similarities, but also some significant differences.

The main thing to understand about approval voting is that people get to vote for more than one candidate. So if I was looking at a ballot with candidates from the cast of Friends, I might like Monica’s organizational skills, but also like Rachel’s fashion sense. Then again, we could use some humor these days, so maybe Chandler is not a bad idea. So I select all three (sorry Ross, Joey, and Phoebe).

Part of the idea behind this is that votes for candidates which most voters like won’t be split. So if I liked Monica and Ross, because they are each smart and detailed, I can vote for both of them. That way, they don’t split the votes of the same crowd of voters, allowing Joey to win when he actually didn’t have as much support.

In Seattle, I-134 proposes to implement such a system and will be on the November ballot.


caption: The sun radiates over Nevada.
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The sun radiates over Nevada.

Parts of the U.S. and Europe are bracing for some of their hottest temperatures yet

Across much of the United States, millions of Americans are getting ready for some of the warmest days they've ever seen. Parts of the Great Plains are forecast to hit record-breaking temperatures this week. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas could reach temperatures as high as 110 degrees.


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