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This Week in Seattle is your weekly dispatch of need-to-know news from the Emerald City. (BigStock Image)

Mayoral candidates line up in the wake of Murray’s exit

Mayor Murray is ending his bid for re-election due to controversy clouding his campaign.
(GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray ended his bid for re-election Tuesday because of a lawsuit and related claims that he sexually abused minors years ago. Murray vehemently denies the claims but says the ensuing scandal is “hurting this city.” His exit prompted additional candidates to join an already crowded race, including Washington state Rep. Jessyn Farrell, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, and State Sen. Bob Hasegawa. They’ll be competing for Seattle’s top executive office against former Mayor Mike McGinn, urban planner and activist Cary Moon, and attorney and activist Nikkita Oliver. [Crosscut, The Stranger, MyNorthwest]

Amazon to open a homeless shelter in one of its new HQ buildings

This site, referred to as Block 21, will be home to a 23-story office building and a smaller eight-story structure that will house Mary’s Place. (Graphite Design Group Rendering)

About half of a new Amazon building will become a homeless shelter run by Mary’s Place. The facility will provide transitional housing to 65 families as they search for a more permanent place to live. Mary’s Place is already operating a temporary shelter in an Amazon-owned building on the same block. The e-commerce giant has taken flack for the impact its growth is having on its hometown of Seattle and has, in recent years, increased its corporate giving. Amazon employees and homeless families will move into the new building in 2020, the company said. [GeekWire]

Washington AG sues Trump administration (again)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson isn’t shy about taking on Trump.
(GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is going after the federal government again. He’s suing over new plans to lease coal-mining rights on public land without conducting an environmental study on the impact. The coal would be transported by rail across Washington, creating possible ecological concerns. Attorneys General from California, New Mexico, and New York are jointly filing the lawsuit. Ferguson, who made headlines earlier this year by suing the government over President Donald Trump’s travel ban, also threatened another lawsuit this week if Trump tries to revoke Washington’s national monuments. [ATG.WA.Gov, Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Washington asks feds to clean up the Hanford nuclear mess

Hanford tunnel cave-in
This picture shows the 20-by-20-foot area where soil caved in over a storage tunnel at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (Hanford via Twitter)

Washington state’s Department of Ecology is demanding the U.S. Department of Energy fix the 50-year-old tunnels and infrastructure at the Hanford nuclear site. On Tuesday, a tunnel full of radioactive waste collapsed, causing an emergency alert and restrictions on workers’ movements. The tunnels were constructed from wood and concrete during the Cold War. The caved-in tunnel has since been filled with dirt. [KUOW, GeekWire]

BLOCK Project takes ‘yes in my backyard’ to a whole new level

BLOCK Project tiny homes are self-sufficient, with kitchen, compost toilet, sleeping area, and storage. (BLOCK Project Image).

Non-profit Facing Homelessness is launching a new initiative to house homeless people in the backyards of Seattle homeowners. The BLOCK Project will construct 100-square-foot, self-sustaining tiny homes on the properties of residents who choose to participate. So far, four families have opted into The BLOCK Project and the first beneficiaries of the program are expected to move in this summer. The homes will be designed by Facing Homelessness founder Rex Hohlbein and his daughter, both of whom are architects. [KING 5, Zillow Porchlight]

From the ashes of Pronto rise two new Seattle bike shares

Pronto may be gone but Seattle bike sharing isn’t dead. (GeekWire Photo)

In the next few weeks, there may be two new bike-sharing services in Seattle to replace the now-defunct Pronto program. The two contenders are China-based Bluegogo, which offers 30 minutes of ride time for $1 and San Francisco-based Spin, which is a flat $1 per ride. Both companies have voiced interest in expanding to Seattle but are waiting for the appropriate regulatory framework to be built. Seattle City Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien are working on crafting permits and legislation that would help the city deal with an influx of new cyclists. [Seattle Bike Blog, Seattle Weekly]

As Washington speeds toward 5G, state Legislature considers a new Office on Broadband Access

(BigStock Photo)

A new proposal from state Sen. Tim Sheldon seeks to make peace between broadband providers and public utilities as Washington prepares for 5G deployment. Sheldon’s bill would create a new Office on Broadband Access and study the fees associated with installing 5G networks on public utility poles. Broadband companies say utilities can charge far more than private companies do for pole installations while utility companies say the fees are necessary to cover their costs. The upshot is lower fees on public utility pole installations may lead to higher rates for consumers. “We need to proceed with caution,” Sheldon says. [TimSheldon.SRC.WAStateLeg.Org]

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