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caption: The entrance to the sit-in space inside Demaray Hall on Seattle Pacific University's campus.
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The entrance to the sit-in space inside Demaray Hall on Seattle Pacific University's campus.

Seattle students push back on SPU's LGBTQ policy: Today So Far

  • There's been an ongoing protest at Seattle Pacific University over its LGBTQ hiring policy.
  • Despite our cold, wet spring, much of Washington state is pretty dry moving into summer.
  • There's been a lot of talk about unionization efforts around Seattle these days. But this story has a bit of a twist.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for June 2, 2022.

I know this sounds odd to say around here, but the summer is looking pretty dry for much of Washington state. I just went camping over Memorial Day weekend — I got soaked. In fact, western Washington is experiencing one of the wettest, coldest springs in recorded history.

Eastern Washington is a different story. The region has been in an ongoing drought. And all this recent rain has not been enough to pull it out of that state. Five watersheds continue to be under emergency drought conditions. That's important. People rely on those watersheds for drinking water. Fish rely on them. And farms rely on them, because, ya know, a lot of our food comes from over the mountains. Northwest News Network has the story here.

There's been an ongoing protest at Seattle Pacific University over its LGBTQ hiring policy. The university is a religious school. It's founded by the Free Methodist Church USA. And it has its own interpretation of LGBTQ issues, which feeds into its policy of not hiring staff from that community. SPU has a problem, however. Its students read the same Bible and they don't agree with the policy.

There has been an ongoing student sit-in at the university's Demaray Hall, protesting SPU's stance on this issue. The goal is to overturn SPU's lifestyle policy. Check out Soundside's coverage of this story here.

There's been a lot of talk about unionization efforts around Seattle these days. But this story has a bit of a twist.

A lot of folks don't realize that two of the most popular fantasy games in history — Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering — are produced in Renton at Wizards of the Coast. There is a huge secondary market for Magic cards, and one of the major players in this market is also based locally in Ballard — Card Kingdom. I've been over at Card Kingdom's warehouse. It's massive. About 180 workers, across different shifts, scurry about, filling orders to mail out to gamers. Several mail trucks' worth of orders leave Card Kingdom daily.

As with a lot of companies these days, employees argue that pay and working conditions have not kept up with the market, affordability, inflation, etc. They are considering forming a union to, in turn, encourage the company to catch up.

Owners say they are actually pretty understanding of that perspective. But they have a different vision. Before the pandemic, Card Kingdom's owners had a plan to transfer ownership of the operation over to employees. But the pandemic upended those plans. Now they want to get that effort back on track. But they say that a union would scrap any possibility of employee ownership. Read the full story here.

There are a couple of national stories that I don't want to neglect (although, I just can't seem to care about the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard case, despite how much the internet wants me to). Check them out below.

AS SEEN ON KUOW

caption: Trans Amazon workers and allies stage a die-in protest as the company began a Pride flag raising ceremony on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Seattle.
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Trans Amazon workers and allies stage a die-in protest as the company began a Pride flag raising ceremony on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Trans Amazon workers and allies stage a die-in protest as the company began a Pride flag raising ceremony on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Seattle. Trans-rights supporters say Amazon continues to sell books that knowingly promote transphobia. It was a message of the harm that discrimination can cause against LGBTQ people. (Megan Farmer / KUOW)

DID YOU KNOW?

The city of Bellingham has a few mottos or nicknames that I've come across over the years. I've heard it is a "refreshing change," and I've heard its maxim is "let us surprise you." However, locals have their own nickname for the town — the City of Subdued Excitement.

According to local legend, back in about 1995, a local antique store owner, Stephen Stimson, wanted to paint a mural on the side of his building which would greet folks as they drove into downtown. He wanted to include a catchphrase. Inspired by the communities quieter attractions — such as trails, sunsets, and scenic views — he came up with the subdued language. He painted his mural on the side of the Lone Wolf Building in downtown Bellingham. The quirky phrase quickly caught on with locals. Now, it's message echoes through time as a reminder of the town's personality as it grows.

ALSO ON OUR MINDS

caption: Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022.
Credit: Patrick Pleul/Pool Photo via AP

Elon Musk tells employees to return to the office 40 hours a week — or quit

"Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers."

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