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Then this happened — August 2020

“…best ever quarter” (yes, best EVER) for Washington Business Bank profits. The bank profited from its handling of PPP loans—which recipients then deposited in the bank! While our elected leaders worry that a $600 unemployment bump pays some people more than they would make at their job, no one is worried about the bank making from the pandemic-driven second quarter of 2020 more profit than they made in any quarter from their regular acitivities.

…it’s official—the proposed “Green Cove Park” project site contains “confirmed and suspected contamination.” In May, we wrote that the city required Jerry Mahan to test his project at the Sundberg Sand & Gravel Pit on Cooper Pt. Road for contaminants, even though his lawyer Heather Burgess declared that no more testing was needed and accused the City of unfairly holding Mahan to higher standards in the Model Toxics Control Act.

Using key research by citizens, the Dept. of Ecology determined that the site belonged on its Confirmed and Suspected Contaminated Sites List, making it clear that the site is subject to the Model Toxics Control Act. Mahan has the opportunity to apply to the Voluntary Cleanup Program to clean up the site before he can go forward with development plans.

Police said it…but it wasn’t true! An assistant police chief said that protesters in Seattle’s CHOP occupation were extorting local businesses for money. The chief repeated the claim the next day and it made news around the world. It didn’t happen. The chief said calls for police service in CHOP more than tripled during the occupation. Calls there actually dropped 31%. Police tweeted that “improvised explosives” were thrown at officers. The “device” in the accompanying photo…was a candle. Gosh!

5.4 million American workers lost their healthcare coverage simply because their job disappeared. That’s more workers uninsured in a few months than in any year on record. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if you include dependents the total rises to 27 million. Any of them who gets Covid 19 and ends up in a hospital is in deep trouble. Given the obvious nightmarishness of the situation, you might assume that Congress would step up with an emergency expansion of Medicare. Not.

Correction: An article in the June Works in Progress about how real estate interests influence housing policy in Washington communities described one of the 2020 candidates for the 22nd Legislative District as having substantial corporate funding. Sam Hunt, a long-time Democratic legislator, wrote that in three past campaigns, Jessica Bateman has received less than 1% of her financial support from corporate donations, and this year, she has received no corporate money.

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