1. Sightline has a timely post in light of today's devastating Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling, in which five justices (all men) ruled that corporations with "sincere religious beliefs" opposing contraception could violate the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate.
Writer Valerie Tarico reports that when she sent her teenage daughter and her daughter's close friend out to look for Plan B in Capitol Hill, they found that in most cases, the pills were only available behind the counter or from a pharmacist—barriers that could put off teens (or anyone, really) seeking emergency contraception.
"Locked cabinets and prescription requirements require an awkward adolescent to both look some adult in the eyes and cop to sexual activity," Tarico writes. "They can tip the balance toward denial and inaction, which in turn put girls at risk for unwanted pregnancy."
In 2013, the FDA approved sales of Plan B over-the-counter; previously, women and girls seeking emergency contraception had to get a prescription from their doctor.
2. The Stranger Slog reports that City Council member Mike O'Brien's effort to get public campaign financing on the ballot this year failed this afternoon, with four city council members (of eight present) voting against O'Brien's proposal.
As we reported last month, city council president Tim Burgess opposed putting the campaign-finance measure, which would increase property taxes in the city, on the November ballot, arguing that other priorities, such as universal pre-kindergarten and Metro transit funding, should take precedence.
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, apologized this week for saying that his company's top competitors, Verizon and AT&T, were "raping [customers] for every penny you have." Then Legere made the situation worse by sending out a link to the Dictionary.com definition of "raping," angering employees—some of whom had aleady spoken out publicly against Legere's comments earlier—even more.
4. My Ballard reports that according to the latest stats from Apartment Insights Washington, rents in Ballard went up more in the second quarter of this year than in any other neighborhood—$1,628. In comparison, the entire Seattle metro area, which includes King and Snohomish Counties, had an average rent $1,284 a month.
5. At the Seattle Times, Nicole Brodeur has an in-depth interview with former KUOW "Weekday" and "The Record" host Steve Scher, who left the public-radio station abruptly earlier this month without giving any notice. Scher cited "frustration" at the station's hostility toward "long-form journalism"—a form KUOW has been moving away from over the past year, as it has tried to target listeners who only pick up the station in short bursts, while they're doing the dishes or driving to work, as opposed to those who sit down to listen to an entire program.
“Some people think readers and listeners don’t have the attention span, but I don’t agree," Scher tells Brodeur. "We know there’s enough interest. The New Yorker exists. The Atlantic." And, once upon a time, "Weekday."
Seattle Met and PubliCola deliver breaking news and essential updates from around the Northwest. See an example!