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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2016

The Obama Era's final year begins today, two days after the various MLK Day remembrances. The nation's only begun to heal the damage inflicted upon it during the Bush II years; even as Congressional Republicans and presidential candidates openly desire to take us even further backwards into intolerance, war-mongering, and corporate plundering. Can any further progress be made and/or regression halted?

WEATHER

Showers and sunbreaks. Heavier rain possible for Thursday.

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VANISHING UW

The UW's gonna raze two more of its mid-century brutalist dorm complexes, Haggett (above) and McCarty halls, and replace them with five newer, smaller structures. (SeaTimes) (image: HuskyDemolitionProject.com, which seeks alums' memories of the buildings.)

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O GIVE ME A HOME

Mayor Murray plans two "safe lots" for people who live in their cars and RVs, in Ballard and Delridge. They'll hold a total of 50 vehicles, less than 10 percent of the last count of people sleeping in vehicles in Seattle. (Slog)

Murray's forming a task force to figure out how to increase housing options for people with criminal records. (SeaTimes)

Some City Councilmembers asked a rep from the city's Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services about recent "sweeps" removing unauthorized homeless encampments. They didn't like what they heard. (Seattlish)

Housing hyperinflation reaches the Kitsap Peninsula. (KOMO)

ROLIE POLIE OLY

A judge says he'll decide by Thursday on the constitutionailty of Tim Eyman's latest cripple-the-public-sector initiative. (AP)

Three separate bills in the Legislature would either legalize, outlaw, or regulate Washingtonians' access to "fantasy sports league" websites. (GeekWire)

State Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) introduced a bill to prevent the state Dept. of Ecology from imposing a "carbon cap." (KOMO)

Some legislative Democrats will introduce a bill for free community-college education, for Washington residents who don't already have bachelor's degrees. (KING)

A bill could legalize and regulate marijuana delivery services, which already operate in Seattle despite murky legal status. (KIRO-TV)

ECO

Oyster growers still want to spray their oyster beds with pesticides, to deter "burrowing shrimp." (SeaTimes)

AFTER THE DISASTER

Washington's giving wildfire-struck ranchers money to buy hay. (AP)

PUT A LID ON IT

Promoters of an expanded Freeway Park I-5 lid are laying out their plans to request that it be a part of the planned Convention Center expansion. (This is different from the bigger vision of lidding the freeway all the way north to Mercer Street.) (Capitol Hill Seattle)

NEWS FROM MEDICINE

A new outfit called SMASH (Seattle Musicians' Access to Sustainable Healthcare) will start offering "health education, advocacy, and healthcare" to low-income area musicians and music-biz workers. (Slog)

THE RACE IS ON

The City's designating part of the CD as "Africatown," to receive special grants and services for African immigrant and African-American communities. (Slog)

TODAY IN CUTE

A ninth baby orca has been confirmed in Puget Sound. (AP)

ED

Sen. Murray wants to pass a revised Higher Education Act, which would make college more affordable and address campus sexual assaults. (KING)

ISN'T THIS HOW 'RED DWARF' BEGAN?

Obama's proposed a bill that could jump-start commercial asteroid mining, with a Redmond company among the idea's chief proponents. (Crosscut)

LODGING A COMPLAINT

Why are a bunch of young doodz from the Olympic Health Club joining the geezer-dominant Salmon Bay Eagles? So they can force a vote of the lodge's members to sell an adjacent parking lot to OIympic. (Danny Westneat)

THE BIG A

Amazon's building a ginormous, partly robotized, warehouse in Kent. (KCPQ)

TECH TALCH

Obama's announced $4 billion push to help develop self-driving cars could be a boon to local software firms. (PS Biz Journal)

BIZ

A German company's bought the Victoria Clipper. It wants to add a Vancouver-to-Victoria direct route, and even start a similar service from Florida to Cuba. (KING)

Alcoa now says it'll keep one of its scheduled-to-close Washington plants open a little while longer. (AP)

JUNK FOOD OF THE WEEK

McDonald's in Japan will now offer chocolate-covered French fries. (AP)

SPORTS

While few were looking at first, UW men's basketball's having its best season in decades. (SeaTimes) They're home vs. Colorado tonight.

TONIGHT

"Bowie, A Sing-Along Eulogy," with John Roderick and Shenandoah Davis. (Cloud Room)

Opening of "Trimpin: Hear We Are," new exhibition by the Seattle musician/sculptor/instrument creator. (Winston Watcher Fine Art, thru March 9)

Ex-UW prof Quintard Taylor on "The Peopling of Seattle: Race, Migration, and Immigration." (Kane Hall, free)

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Black Bone Exorcism, SUMA. (Tractor)

Anita Sarkeesian, advocate for women in gaming. (Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue)

"In Football We Trust," documentary about Pacific Islanders in the NFL. (Central Library)

"Piano Starts Here," tribute night to George Shearing and Errol Garner. (Royal Room)

Truffaut film "Shoot the Piano Player." (Scarecrow Video)

QUOTE-O-THE-DAY

(Natalie Portman):

“I really hate being self-conscious—and being conscious of being self-conscious.”

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