New COVID-19 Variant – Omicron – Shows Up in California, Washington Tracking Virus

by Sally James


The first case in the United States of the newly identified COVID-19 variant – omicron – was confirmed today in California in a traveler who had recently returned from South Africa. 

Word of this was part of a Washington Department of Health press conference, as Secretary of Health Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., interrupted the discussion Wednesday, Dec. 1, to make note of it. Officials expect that this variant will eventually be identified in Washington.

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NEWS GLEAMS: White Center Fire Recovery, SPL New Hours, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


✨Gleaming This Week✨

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The Need for Mandated Racial Equity Training in Schools

by Alexis Mburu and Eva Herdener


What happens when those tasked with teaching also need to be taught? Our education system has always had to adapt, whether in regards to who was allowed in the doors or how we kept them safe. And we can always find ways to improve the quality of education students are receiving — especially regarding race and equity. 

As two members of the NAACP Youth Council, we spend a lot of time focusing on working towards racial equity in the education system. One of our group’s key issues is the need for mandated racial equity training in schools. We are youth currently in the education system. Most of us identify with one or multiple marginalized communities and we have seen firsthand the damage done to students due to the ignorance of those who are “authorities” inside schools. Racial equity training is one way we can help ensure the system we rely on for our educational and social growth is a safe place for all of us. 

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The Morning Update Show — 12/1

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Wednesday, Dec. 1

Say Her Name! Charleena Lyles | LIVE — Justin Carder of Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | Updates on Sawant Recall | World AIDS Day

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Family of Charleena Lyles Reaches Settlement With City of Seattle for 2017 Shooting

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


After a grueling 13-hour mediation on the night of Monday, Nov. 29, the family of Charleena Lyles reached a $3.5 million settlement with the City of Seattle and two Seattle police officers, ending a four-year-long wrongful death lawsuit that began when the officers shot and killed Lyles in her Magnuson Park home in June 2017.

“This has been a horrible case. Shameful,” said Karen Koehler, the lead attorney representing Lyles’ family, during a press conference at the Stritmatter law firm on Tuesday afternoon. On a television behind her, Lyles’ eldest daughter — watching from her aunt’s house in California, seated in front of a Christmas tree — leaned off-screen to cry.

Continue reading Family of Charleena Lyles Reaches Settlement With City of Seattle for 2017 Shooting

OPINION: Behavioral Health Workers Took On a Giant Corporation — and Won Big

by Meseret Amare


When I heard about a violent patient escaping and injuring 11 of my coworkers, including one who left the facility on a stretcher, I was terrified — but sadly, not surprised. As a mental health tech at a psychiatric hospital in Tukwila, we work with patients going through recovery at all stages — and sometimes, they can be volatile. My employer, Cascade Behavioral Health, rejected our request for trained security staff to help when crises like these arose. We were at risk — and had had enough.

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Mount Baker Community To Meet With Officials Over Latest Fatal Shooting

by Ben Adlin


Following a deadly shooting last week next to the Mount Baker light rail station, a group of South End residents are set to meet privately with City and County officials on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to discuss how to prevent future violence in the area.

Residents say they’re frustrated with the lack of progress by Seattle, King County, and Sound Transit officials to address their safety concerns. The director of a nearby preschool, for example, said the situation has gotten so bad that she’s hoping to install ballistic fencing around the school’s playground.

Continue reading Mount Baker Community To Meet With Officials Over Latest Fatal Shooting

The Morning Update Show — 11/30

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Tuesday, Nov. 30

LIVE — Chef Trey Lamont | South King County Gun Violence | Omicron Variant Is on the Move | Barbados: The World’s Newest Republic | Sawant Recall

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 11/30

The Radical Generosity of GivingTuesday

by Patheresa Wells


Have you ever been in line for coffee and when you pull up to the window to pay, you find that a stranger paid? It’s such a simple act of kindness, yet that is where the joy comes from, how easy it is to give. GivingTuesday, held on Nov. 30 this year, centers on this idea of “radical generosity” — defined by the GivingTuesday organization as “[t]he concept that the suffering of others should be as intolerable to us as our own suffering.” 

The idea for the day was created at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City in 2012. Despite its humble beginnings, the day has grown into a collaborative global initiative involving millions of people who give each year. GivingTuesday is now its own nonprofit that rallies us to share in the spirit of giving routinely. According to The GivingTuesday, 2020 Impact Report, last year nearly 16 million Americans donated a total of $503 million. Worldwide, the donations went to over 75 countries. And the money isn’t all big gifts, donations from small donors increased by 10% in 2020

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King County Will Forego Annual Count of Homeless Population

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Last week, the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) announced that it will forego next year’s annual count of King County’s unsheltered homeless population, leaving the region without one major source of information about how many people are living unsheltered, and in what circumstances, for two consecutive years after last year’s count was scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The count, which is generally regarded as an undercount, is often used to measure whether homelessness is increasing or decreasing over time and how; in 2020, for example, the count suggested a large increase in the number of people living in their vehicles.

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle