Axios Seattle

Picture of the Seattle skyline.

It's Thursday โ€” and we're making the most of it.

๐ŸŒค Today's weather: Partly sunny with a high near 90.

๐ŸŒŒ Situational awareness: The Northern Lights may be visible from Seattle this week, The Seattle Times reports.

Today's newsletter is 946 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Kids fall behind on vaccines required for school

Illustration of the first two boxes have a checkmark made of a syringe, and the third box has a large X in the middle.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Public health officials are urging parents to get their kids up-to-date on immunizations before the school year starts, after fewer children received routine vaccinations since the start of the pandemic.

Why it matters: While Washington state doesn't require K-12 students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school, students are required to be up-to-date on seven other vaccinations, unless they receive an exemption.

  • The mandated shots protect against measles, chickenpox, whooping cough and polio, among other diseases.

By the numbers: In 2021, 13% fewer vaccines were administered to King County children between 4 and 6 years old, compared to the pre-pandemic average from 2015 to 2019, according to the county health department.

The latest: Public Health โ€” Seattle & King County is encouraging parents to take their children to one of several free vaccination clinics between now and late September.

  • The health clinics will also offer vaccines that aren't required for school, such as those that prevent HPV, meningococcal disease and COVID-19.

What they're saying: "Childhood vaccinations are vital to protect both our children and the community from serious illnesses," Jeff Duchin, county health officer, said in a news release.

What's next: School districts across Washington state have different start dates, but classes generally resume at the very end of August or in early September.

  • For most students in Seattle Public Schools, the first day of class is Sept. 7.

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2. Takeaways from secretary of state debate

Julie Anderson and Steve Hobbs, candidates for Washington Secretary of State.

Julie Anderson and Steve Hobbs. Photos courtesy of candidate campaigns.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Melissa here.

  • I moderated a debate Wednesday between the two candidates for Washington secretary of state: Democrat Steve Hobbs, the incumbent who was appointed last year, and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, a nonpartisan challenger.

Here were some of the most notable moments from the event, which was sponsored by the Association of Washington Business:

1. A focus on elections experience: Anderson emphasized her 12 years running elections in Pierce County โ€” experience she noted Hobbs doesn't have.

  • Hobbs was serving in the state Senate last year when Gov. Jay Inslee appointed him as secretary of state as the job became vacant.
  • "Here's the choice: An inexperienced political appointee or me โ€ฆ a respected, trusted professional with no party strings attached," Anderson said.
  • Hobbs, meanwhile, said the position was about leadership, something he's built in the state Senate and as a lieutenant commander in the Washington National Guard.
  • Anderson countered that county auditors like her have ample experience leading, too.

2. Clash over ranked choice voting: Hobbs said the process in which voters rank candidates in order of preference would be confusing for voters, especially those with developmental disabilities or for whom English is not a first language.

  • โ€œWith the amount of misinformation and distrust going on, I donโ€™t think we should go to ranked-choice voting,โ€ Hobbs said.
  • Anderson, meanwhile, said ranked-choice voting is coming whether state officials like it or not.
  • She's supportive of a bill in the Legislature to let local cities and counties implement the voting reform if they choose.

3. The value of lived experience: Hobbs, who is Asian American, said it's "about time" a person of color served as secretary of state. All past officeholders have been white โ€” and Washington's other eight statewide elected officials are white.

  • Anderson, who is white, said she realizes she has "privileged status."
  • She added she's listened to advice from people from underrepresented communities to develop programs like providing voting assistance at county libraries.

Read the full story.

3. Morning Buzz: MacKenzie Scott gives big

Illustration of a coffee mug that says "The Morning Buzz" with bees flying around.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

๐Ÿ’ฐPhilanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $38.8 million to Junior Achievement USA and 26 local operations โ€” the single largest gift in the national education nonprofit's 103-year history. (AP)

๐Ÿˆ Seahawks QB Drew Lock has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the team's second preseason game, tonight against the Chicago Bears. (KOMO)

โš–๏ธ Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison's office said in a new report it reduced the time to file a criminal case to three days from an average of 129 days over the last five years. (KING 5)

โœˆ๏ธ The number of international passengers traveling through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is up 244% from June 2021. (Seattle Times)

๐Ÿ“‘ has filed a petition accusing the FTC of making excessive and unreasonable demands on company founder Jeff Bezos and other executives during the agency's probe of the Amazon Prime membership program. (WSJ)

๐Ÿ“ฐ Dan Price, the CEO who made headlines seven years ago for paying his employees a $70,000 minimum wage, has resigned after being charged with reckless driving and misdemeanor assault.ย (Geekwire)

4. Is it too early for Pumpkin spice? You tell us

Pumpkin Spice Latte in a Flamingo pool floatation.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

The pumpkin spice fever is real โ€” and it's only August.

The big picture: Despite this year's record heat and weeks left of summer, the arrival of pumpkin spice signals the unofficial start of fall for some, Axios' Kelly Tyko reports.

  • It also kicks off the annual debate over whether it's too soon for fall flavors and if "pumpkin everything" fanfare has gone too far.

Driving the news: Bath and Body Works has been selling pumpkin spice products since July, and Krispy Kreme kicked off its pumpkin spice season Aug. 8 โ€” a month earlier than in 2021.

  • Dunkin', which doesn't have a presence in the state, launched its fall menu yesterday, unleashing its Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, Pumpkin Spice Signature Lattes and pumpkin pastries on much of the country.
  • And, while our locally HQ'd Starbucks hasn't said exactly when its signature pumpkin spice latte will be back at its shops, the company recently announced its "fall-flavored" creamers and coffees will return to grocery stores this month.

So, you tell us: Should companies lay off the fall spices until it's actually autumn?

Let us know โ€” and we may run some of your hottest pumpkin-spice takes in an upcoming newsletter.

On the job hunt?

๐Ÿ‘€ Check out whoโ€™s hiring on our Job Board.

  1. Taproom General Manager at The Pike Brewing Company.
  2. Sales Executive - Employee Benefits at Brown & Brown Insurance.
  3. Manager, Global Broadcast Production at The Pokรฉmon Company International.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

๐ŸฅŸ ๐Ÿฎ Melissa is happy to be done with debate-moderating duty, so she can spend more time sampling food and drink to tell you about in this fine newsletter.

๐Ÿ—ž Lewis, meanwhile, is more comfortable writing about news than food and drink (though he enjoys Brew Stops, obviously).

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