Axios Seattle

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Happy Wednesday. You are an absolute delight.

Today's weather: ⛅ Partly sunny! High near 58.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Seattle member Jessica Townsend!

Situational awareness: Did you know the Frye Art Museum is always free?

Today's newsletter is 722 words, a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: No longer “geriatric,” pregnancy at 35 has its pluses

Share of Washington babies born to mothers in select age&nbspgroups
Data: CDC Wonder; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Almost 57% of Washington babies born last year had birth mothers in their 30s and older, according to provisional CDC data.

Why it matters: In the last few years, age 35 has gone from the start of "geriatric pregnancy" to potentially a maternal-age sweet spot.

By the numbers: In Washington, the average age of women who gave birth in 2023 was 30.3, compared to the national average of 29.6, per the CDC data.

  • Last year, 33% of births were to women ages 30–34.
  • 19% were to women ages 35 to 39, and nearly 5% to those 40-plus.

Catch up quick: While there is nothing specific that happens after a person turns 35, those pregnancies have typically been regarded as more "high-risk," Alisa Kachikis, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at UW Medicine, told Axios.

  • Nowadays, many more people are choosing to wait to have children until they are more established in their careers, so it is not unusual for pregnant people to be 35 or older, Kachikis said.

The intrigue: A 2021 JAMA Health Forum study found that 35-year-olds received more prenatal monitoring and had a small decrease in prenatal mortality compared to those even a few months younger.

Reality check: Risks, including of miscarriage, increase much more after age 40, compared to 35, but if you are in good health when you get pregnant, age is likely less of a factor, Kachikis said.

The big picture: Insensitive wording has long added to the stigma around later-in-life pregnancy, but there's been some progress when it comes to maternal health terminology.

Lauren Frohne, a video journalist who lives in West Seattle, said she experienced that shift when she had her now 2-year-old child at age 36.

  • The midwives clinic she went to didn't use the term "geriatric pregnancy" or overemphasize age-related risks, she said.
  • "Most of the people I know with 2- to 3-year-old kids are in their mid- to late 30s," she said.

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2. 500 tons of ocean trash cleared by Samish over past decade

Plastic caps are among the marine debris cleared by the Samish Indian Nation over the last decade. Photo: Courtesy of the Samish Indian Nation

Nearly 91,000 pounds of marine debris was removed by the Samish Indian Nation from Washington shorelines and coastal waters last year, per the Nation's Department of Natural Resources.

Why it matters: The removal of creosote-treated wood, plastics, tires and other toxins is essential to protect the habitats of the Coast Salish people's traditional territories, Samish DNR manager Matt Castle said in a March statement.

Stunning stat: Between 2014 and 2023, the Samish removed over 1 million pounds of marine debris from the shoreline and waters of Skagit County, Island County, Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands during annual events.

What's next: The Samish tribe, along with the Washington Conservation Corps and the state Department of Natural Resources, will start another round of cleanup this June.

  • Want to help? Download the MyCoast app to report marine debris on shorelines in Skagit County, Island County, southern Whatcom County and the San Juan archipelago.

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3. Morning Buzz: Amanda Knox in court

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

⚖️ Amanda Knox is on trial again, this time to fight the slander conviction that accompanied her 2015 acquittal in the killing of Meredith Kercher. (AP)

  • It's the one remaining conviction left on her record after her exoneration by an Italian court.

🎨 Cornish College of the Arts is selling Kerry Hall, the former Capitol Hill home of Nellie Cornish. Cornish founded the school in 1914, and her patronage and creative spirit animated the early Seattle arts scene. (Seattle Magazine)

💰 A local care worker is $50,000 richer after winning the lottery. (Fox 13)

4. Where we were: Queen Anne High School

After closing in the '80s, the hulking Queen Anne High School now houses 139 residential units. Photo: Megan Burbank/Axios

Last week, we posted a photo of a stone lion and asked where we were. Most of you got it right: We were at Queen Anne High School.

Zoom in: Built in 1909 in the neoclassical style, the building appears in aerial establishing shots on "Grey's Anatomy" and is visible from I-5 and Highway 99 — especially at night, when its facade is lit up like a crown.

  • The lion was a fake-out: While two felines do flank the entrance, the school's mascot was actually a grizzly bear. Across the street, students flocked to the (now-shuttered) Grizzly Inn for burgers and sodas.
  • As enrollment declined, the school closed in 1981.
  • It's now the site of 139 housing units, with John Hay Elementary School across the street.

👟 Clarridge is struggling to get out the door with her walking shoes on.

🐻 Megan is admiring the Queen Anne High School merch that a group of dedicated alums sell online.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Egan Millard.