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Inside Seattle

Inside Seattle (May 16th, 2019)

Hello fellow Seattleites, I’m Nick, your local writer at Inside.com. On behalf of our publication, I want to thank you for being a subscriber. I recently launched the Inside Seattle newsletter to bring you the top stories from around the Emerald City and throughout the Pacific Northwest. I see that you recently took a look at one the Inside Seattle newsletters, which is why I’d like to personally invite you to join the newsletter. Please feel free to send me any interesting news you would like to see covered in this newsletter. You can reach me directly at Nick.Shekeryk@Inside.com. I look forward to adding exciting local news to your inbox each week! — Nick Shekeryk

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  We can expect rain on Friday, with a high/low of 62/50 degrees Fahrenheit. The rain will dissipate on Saturday and Sunday, with cloudy skies expected to linger into next week, for a 2-day high/low of 70/51 degrees Fahrenheit.

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1. Daniel Elwell of the FAA defended the agency’s certification procedure of the two 737 MAX jets that crashed and killed a total of 346 people before a congressional committee on Wednesday. The acting chief of the FAA told lawmakers that Boeing did not include troubleshooting information about the MCAS safety systems in its pilot manuals. Elwell also criticized Boeing for omitting information about the cockpit warning lights that signaled such issues. He said the pilots of the two jets might have had the ability to correct course had they known about the meaning of the warning lights. – SEATTLE TIMES

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2. A federal judge ruled the Seattle Police Department to be partially in violation of a consent agreement between the city and the Department of Justice regarding accountability for disciplined officers. Wednesday’s decision by U.S District Judge James Robart called for reform to SPD’s discipline appeals process after finding the agency to be out of compliance with a decree to prevent unconstitutional policing, which was set in 2012. Judge Robart’s ruling may reverse the recent signing of a city council member-voted police union contract that would amend the 2012 decree. – MY NORTHWEST

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3. Throwback Thursday: The SuperSonics’ Final Draft Classes
By Nick Shekeryk

The NBA lottery draft was held Tuesday night in Chicago. The annual pre-draft selection ceremony gives all 30 NBA teams insight into their options for adding the next crop of future superstars to their rosters. While the New Orleans Pelicans walked away with the coveted number one pick ahead of June’s draft, one thing missing from all the hoopla of yet another lottery ceremony was the hopes of bringing one of these exciting young players to Seattle. 

The Seattle SuperSonics have been missing from the NBA for over a decade now, but their final draft pick efforts back in 2007 and 2008 have left a lasting impression on not only the team they were devolved into (Oklahoma City Thunder) but the entire NBA.

In June of 2007, the SuperSonics selected University of Texas freshman Kevin Durant as the second overall pick in the draft. After a dominant year for the Longhorns on his way to unanimously winning all major college player of the year awards, Durant has an explosive rookie season, earning NBA Rookie of the Year honors and a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Team, along with teammate Jeff Green.

While the 2007-2008 season proved to be the team’s last in Seattle, the SuperSonics put together one more brilliant draft class in 2008 before businessman Clay Bennett bought the franchise and took it to Oklahoma City.

In 2008, the SuperSonics drafted UCLA sophomore point guard Russell Westbrook with the fourth overall pick. Westbrook never got the opportunity to play a professional game as a Sonic, but a great first season led to a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Team.

Oklahoma City has been a perennial playoff contender, with Westbrook and Durant continuing to shine as two of the league’s top stars for the Thunder and the Golden State Warriors, respectively. The SuperSonics may no longer be a part of the NBA, but the presence of its final draft selections have continued to leave a mark on the league more than a decade later. 

There have been talks of bringing the Sonics back to Seattle, but everything seems to be speculation at this point, with more focus going towards finalizing the details of the NHL’s expected arrival in Seattle before the 2021-2022 season. While we wait for Seattle’s NHL franchise to reveal its name, we can rest assured that when the NBA returns to Seattle, it will be under the name SuperSonics.

Every Thursday we'll feature a blast from Seattle's past, with links to resources for learning more. If you have ideas for a piece of Seattle history, we can feature or anything else you'd like to see us cover, hit reply to this email!

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4. A man who claims to have accidentally shot his Uber driver on Monday night told police he had several shots of tequila and forgot to put his concealed weapon in its holster. According to court documents, Chad Strode’s gun— which was said to have been tucked into the waistband of his pants— went off and hit the driver while he was exiting the vehicle in South Lake Union. Strode is being held on $100,000 bail and has been charged with third-degree assault. The wounded driver is currently in ICU and is expected to survive. – Q13 FOX

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5. Seattle area blood banks are facing donor shortages amid increased demand. Blood banks have been looking to gain donor appeal through the use of technology, especially to those with universally applicable type-O blood. – KUOW

6. The defending WBNA champion Seattle Storm opened their preseason with an 84-87 loss to the Phoenix Mercury Wednesday night at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. The Storm will play all its home games at either Angel of the Winds or Alaska Airlines Arena at the University of Washington this season while the Key Arena is under construction. – THE HERALD

7. According to a report from the ACSM American Fitness Index, Seattle is the second most fit city in the country. The report lists Arlington, VA— home of Amazon’s HQ2— as the most fit city in America. – PATCH

8. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that gas prices in the Seattle area are 15.6 percent higher than the national average. According to the report, the greater Seattle area saw an average gas price of $3.345 per gallon in April, while the national average was $2.894 per gallon. – KIRO 7

9. Former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan signed a one-year contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League earlier this week. The 37-year-old Ryan, who spent 10 seasons in Seattle before he was released last preseason, said it would be a “dream come true” to play for his hometown team in Saskatchewan. -  SEAHAWKS WIRE

10. Inside Seattle Sounds: Fisherman’s Village Music Festival

Music festival season in the Pacific Northwest is now underway as the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival kicks off tonight in Downtown Everett. In its sixth year, the lively indie music and arts festival is primed to deliver big sounds from internationally acclaimed artists such as Wolf Parade, Broncho, Laura Veirs and Pickwick. With more than 50 musical acts performing on three stages, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy at Everett’s biggest party of the year. FVMF runs through Saturday and tickets are still available on the festival’s website. – LIVE IN EVERETT

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Nick Shekeryk has a professional background rich in digital marketing and media. His work has appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, New York Post, The Post-Standard, and on MSN.com, among others. He has a graduate degree in journalism from Syracuse University, as well as creative writing and philosophy degrees from Seattle University. He lives in Seattle, WA, and spends his spare time playing and coaching baseball, running half marathons, and seeing as much live music as possible. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickShekeryk.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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