Washington State House Democrats


Friday, May 29

Downtown Everett was very quiet on Thursday. At the corner of Rockefeller Avenue and Hewitt Avenue, a sign promotes takeout available at the nearby Taco del Mar. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Inslee expected to issue new guidance on Phase 2; Snohomish County plans to apply for reopening amid coronavirus crisis
Gov. Jay Inslee is poised to release new guidance as soon as Friday about when Washington’s largest counties may be able to begin lifting the economic and social restrictions that have been in place for more than two months. Most of Washington’s 39 counties already have moved on to the second phase of Inslee’s four-phase reopening plan. But the state’s three biggest counties, among others, have coronavirus infection rates that remain stubbornly above the threshold Inslee laid out as among the criteria for a variance from his “stay home” order. Continue reading at The Seattle Times. (Steve Ringman)

This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's rush to get unemployment benefits to residents who lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak left it vulnerable to criminals who made off with hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

Washington recovers $300 million of fraudulent jobless claims
Washington has recovered $300 million paid to scammers who duped the state’s unemployment system amid an unprecedented number of claims by people left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic. Investigations continue as the Employment Security Department credited federal agents, banks and other financial institutions from around the county for curbing the fraud and returned money. Continue reading at The Spokesman Review. (Ted S. Warren)

Offices at the University of California, Irvine’s infection prevention division last month, which has installed sneeze guards separating cubicles and encourages mask-wearing and hand-sanitizing.

C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices
Upon arriving at work, employees should get a temperature and symptom check. Inside the office, desks should be six feet apart. If that isn’t possible, employers should consider erecting plastic shields around desks. Seating should be barred in common areas. And face coverings should be worn at all times. These are among sweeping new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the safest way for American employers reopening their offices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Continue reading at The New York Times. (Alex Welsh)


Associated Press
Protesters torch Minneapolis police station in violent night
US consumer spending sinks by record 13.6% in face of virus
Twitter adds ‘glorifying violence’ warning to Trump tweet
Police across US speak out against Minneapolis custody death
Trump calls Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs,’ vows action
Virus could lead more states to OK sports, online betting       
New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state 
Washington recovers $300M in fraudulent unemployment claims
Judge considering challenge to Inslee’s emergency virus orders      
New drugs make headway against lung, prostate, colon cancers
New COVID-19 farm rules, broad nursing home tests for WA
Property manager to pay $300K in virus eviction ban lawsuit
Customs officials in Seattle seize unapproved COVID medicine
Doctor fired after blasting COVID preparations sues hospital
Oregon’s top courts begin reversing nonunanimous convictions

Auburn Reporter
New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics

Bellingham Herald (subscription required)
North Cascades National Park increasing access for day use starting Friday       
Hospital is ready for Phase 2, but Whatcom County must take other coronavirus steps
Whatcom reports 2 more coronavirus cases Thursday; not ready to apply for Phase 2
Inslee schedules 2:30 p.m. Friday press conference on stay-at-home order
Coronavirus updates: Nursing home staff, residents to be tested; some officials say Pierce County is ready for Phase 2
It may be a virtual graduation, but Bellingham seniors will have their caps and gowns
Survey: Whatcom child care providers struggling amid COVID-19 could close for good
New jobless claims in Whatcom and state fall after coronavirus fraud revelations

Capital Press
BLM plans amendments to expedite timber sales, salvage logging
Inslee’s stay-at-home order challenged at court hearing
Farmer loses constitutional argument against marijuana restriction

Everett Herald (subscription required)
Alderwood mall is ready for the governor’s green light
Inslee wants nursing home residents, staff tested by June 12
New ship for Naval Station Everett, but it won’t dock here
Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum will close — for now
WaPo Commentary: Cooper’s ‘damsel in distress’ act has sorry history
WaPo Commentary: Twitter struck fair balance between liberty, fact
Letter: State action on dams is good news, but more action needed

Federal Way Mirror
8 Federal Way schools honored in Washington School Recognition Program
New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics
Portion of eastbound SR 18 near Maple Valley to close for paving May 30-31
As sales tax plummets in King County, mental health and drug program funding dries up
Islands’ Weekly
Letter: New proposed dam will impact orcas

Issaquah Reporter
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2
State Parks offers three free days in June

Journal of the San Juan Islands
WSF reminds riders of San Juan Islands’ face-covering requirement

Kitsap Sun (subscription required)
Kitsap County is now in Phase 2 of state’s reopening plan. Here’s what that means.
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s casino-hotel will reopen on Monday. Here’s how

News Tribune
Pierce County leaders move to apply for Phase 2 of state’s COVID-19 recovery plan
Dozens of black pastors to pray on Tacoma corners Saturday to draw attention to pandemic
Despite ‘quiet’ 6 months on Hilltop, moving homeless village to Eastside stirs unease
Landslide sends sewage into water along Tacoma’s Ruston Way

New York Times
CDC recommends sweeping remake of U.S. work life, from commutes to coffee pots, to guard against coronavirus

Olympian (subscription required)
Saint Martin’s calls off 2020 Food and Wine Festival
Inslee announces additional COVID-19 safety standards for agricultural workers
Washington state sees 358 new COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths
6,500 businesses have contacted Thurston EDC during the pandemic. Now, the EDC needs help
Thurston Public Health releases details on COVID-19 outbreak at Tumwater care facility
Thurston County residents required to wear masks in public starting Thursday
State makes gains against false jobless claims but troubles persist for many seeking aid
All nursing home residents and staff to be tested for COVID-19, governor announces
Historical marker stolen from Capitol Campus in Olympia, State Patrol says

Puget Sound Business Journal
Here’s why PPP borrowers don’t have to worry about all the eligibility and forgiveness rules
Bellevue College names former governor as interim president
Millions relying on pandemic aid can see its end, and they’re scared
Worst case for office landlords has Bellevue, Seattle rents falling by almost 20%
Double-edged scalpel: A health-care industry pushed to the breaking point
Nothing but the essentials: Needs versus wants, and everything in between

Renton Reporter
New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2
As sales tax plummets in King County, mental health and drug program funding dries up

Seattle Times (subscription required)
Protests planned in Seattle on Saturday over George Floyd death in Minneapolis
Bethel School District fires wrestling coach over social media post defending police in George Floyd’s death
Inslee expected to issue new guidance on Phase 2; Snohomish County plans to apply for reopening
‘A flood of tips’ led Seattle police to identify a man suspected of hate crimes targeting Asians
Former Bellevue officer sues department for defamation after he resigned over false allegations of domestic abuse
Former Gov. Gary Locke named interim president of Bellevue College
Talton: How private equity is a risky play for the economy and jobs
Job listings in Seattle area on the rise, but just barely
Yakima County child diagnosed with severe illness linked to COVID-19, bringing total in Washington to 5 cases
Nordstrom sales plunge 40%, losses top half a billion dollars; retailer touts its flexibility
Washington state claws back $300 million from unemployment fraud scheme as 323,000 jobless workers await benefits
Here are the Seattle streets readers want closed to most vehicles to make room for walkers and cyclists
Seattle-based Airbnb rental startup Loftium misses its own rent payments, slashes staff as coronavirus undercuts business
Redmond startup powers all-electric first flight of a Cessna commuter plane

Skagit Valley Herald
Skagit County unemployment rate skyrockets to 19%
Skagit County COVID-19 numbers fall into Phase 2 threshold
Farmers pick up safety supplies for workers ahead of harvest

Spokesman Review
Washington recovers $300 million of fraudulent jobless claims
Washington ag workers get new protections from COVID-19
Spokane health district faces deficits due to COVID-19; county commissioners want others entities to help cover cost
Order up outside: Spokane eases restrictions on restaurants, retailers to allow more sidewalk, street service
State orders nursing home residents, staff to be tested for COVID-19

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (subscription required)
City support for open-air dining, expansions meet approval
Churches allowed to expand openings as county enters Phase 2
Editorial: Phase 2 is opportunity to prove we can open safely

Washington Post
After violent night, official says Floyd, officer involved in his death were co-workers
Twitter hid Trump’s tweet, citing its policy against ‘glorifying violence.’ Then the White House reposted it.
CNN reporter and crew arrested live on air
Children with perplexing syndrome may be experiencing a ‘cytokine storm’
Op-Ed: My fellow brothers and sisters in blue, what the hell are you doing?
Op-Ed: Disbelieving black victims is the default position of conservatives. It’s shameful.
Scarborough: Lori deserves better. So does America.
Op-Ed: Masks will become the new norm — everywhere
Trump signs order targeting social media companies for how they police content
White House and CDC remove coronavirus warnings about choirs in faith guidance
VA says it has ‘ratcheted down’ use of hydroxychloroquine to treat veterans
EPA opts not to delay Alaska mine for now
Home by Thanksgiving: An emerging strategy to reopen college campuses in the fall
Police pointed guns at a man and his grandmother, video shows. They claim he ran a stop sign.
People are mistaking stimulus payments for junk mail or a scam
Emptied by coronavirus, churches convert their sacred spaces into food pantries

Yakima Herald Republic
Striking workers returning to jobs Monday after reaching deal with Allan Bros.
More COVID-19 testing sites set up in Yakima County as new cases rise by 128
Yakima police chief asks 2 community members to join special investigations unit. Attorney says that doesn’t go far enough
Editorial: Don’t want to wear a mask? You’re delaying Phase 2


Real-time updates: Pierce, Snohomish county leaders say they are ready to move to Phase 2
Thurston County mandates masks as it moves to Phase 2 of reopening
Online workshops by Seattle advocate push conversation about racism forward
Olympia shops eager to reopen as Thurston County enters Phase 2
Phases of reopening: Over half of Washington’s counties enter Phase 2
Washington will test all staff and residents of long-term care facilities by end of June

Peaceful protest planned in Seattle this weekend after George Floyd’s death
Report says half of new COVID-19 cases in Washington are under 40 years old
State recovers $300M in stolen unemployment money, but many jobless still waiting for help
Doctor fired after blasting COVID preparations sues hospital

State issues order for widespread COVID-19 testing in nursing homes statewide
What happens when a city’s downtown reopens? Olympia is finding out
Janitors say it’s dehumanizing not to be recognized for essential work
New research suggests nation’s first COVID-19 case was not the source of Washington’s outbreak
Pried off and stolen: A nearly 100-year-old historic marker vanishes from WA Capitol Campus
Seattle officials divided over homeless encampment removals during pandemic

Climate Change And Deforestation Mean Earth’s Trees Are Younger and Shorter 
‘False sense of security.’ Why some doctors won’t order coronavirus antibody tests for patients
Twitter Hides Trump’s Tweet About Minneapolis, Saying It Glorifies Violence
Cliven Bundy Armed Standoff Case Going Back To Court 
The Battle Between The Masked And The Masked-Nots Unveils Political Rifts
Unemployment in Washington state expected to peak by September
Washington state economic recovery will take years. Think 2025 

Q13 TV (Fox)
State says it has recovered $300 million in stolen unemployment benefits
Snohomish County leaders push for Phase 2 opening, infection rates fall short of state criteria
School officials considering cutting athletics in Centralia to deal with budget shortfall
Inslee details Washington’s long-term care testing plan, protections for farmworkers
Kitsap, Clallam counties move to Phase 2 reopening
Masks required as Thurston County moves to Phase 2
Doctor fired after blasting COVID preparations sues Bellingham hospital


Dan Strauss Calls for Allowing Outdoor Dining in the Middle of Ballard Ave NW
Inslee Announces More Restrictions for Farmworkers, Tests for All Long-Term Care Facilities
Bloomberg Picks Seattle’s Capitol Hill as the Model for How the Pandemic Will Change US Cities
Will Inslee Keep the Lights On?
New Report: One in Four Washingtonians Could Face Food Insecurity in the Coming Months
The Logic of Letting Seattle Restaurants Expand Into Sidewalks and Streets