Washington State has one sport: Today So Far

  • Pickleball will soon become Washington’s official state sport, and there is already plenty of support for the game.
  • Seattle Starbucks employees approve a union.
  • King County Council is considering forming a public concrete operation.
  • Pierce County will pay $ 4 million to Manuel Ellis’ family.

This post originally appeared in KUOW’s Today So Far newsletter on March 23, 2022.

I recently went for a walk around Green Lake and noticed a lot of people on the tennis courts, but they did not play tennis. They played pickleball, which has become more and more popular in recent years – so much pickleball will soon become Washington’s official state sport.

The game was invented on Bainbridge Island in the 1960s at the home of Joel Pritchard (Congressman and former Washington lieutenant governor) to cure family boredom. Since then, it has grown into a significant sport with national and international associations. Much of the equipment was purchased through Pickle-Ball Inc. in Kent. When Gov. Jay Inslee finally puts his signature on the recently passed pickleball law, Washington will be the 16th state to have an official sport. And as Northwest News Network’s Tom Banse reports, there’s a thriving community to support it, which includes professional players living off tournament winnings.

Employees of a Seattle Starbucks store have voted to approve a union. Starbucks by Denny and Broadway on Capitol Hill is the first union seat on the West Coast. In other worker-related news, an idea is floating around King County Council to resolve the conflict between workers and concrete companies – King County Public Concrete. The idea has not yet been cemented and is only for consideration in the council. The public concrete operation would be owned by the government and circumvent a lot of the problems that are currently stalling negotiations and construction projects throughout the region. But given the time it would take to move this through the government and then get it up and running, this solution would be more relevant for the next holdup.

Pierce County will pay $ 4 million to Manuel Ellis’ family to settle a civil lawsuit brought by Ellis’ family. Ellis was killed in March 2020 after officers held him down and put him in a stranglehold before placing a spittoon over his head. The county doctor later concluded that Ellis died of hypoxia during the interaction and that his death was a homicide. Eyewitnesses said officers approached Ellis as he walked home after buying donuts and a bottle of water. A lawsuit against the city of Tacoma and Tacoma police officers is still ongoing.


caption: Staff of the Owl and Thistle, starring Jainesh Prasad

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Staff at Seattle’s Pioneer Square’s Owl and Thistle Bar. With the pandemic measures being eased, it is a company hoping for a good year ahead. (Joshua McNichols / KUOW)


There are a few theories as to where the word “OK” came from. But I’ve always felt this was okay.

The very first time “OK” was documented was on March 23, 1839 in The Boston Morning Post. A historical source notes that the hip youth of the 1830s, especially the witty intellectual crowd, thought it was quite funny and clever to deliberately misspell words. Basically, if these kewl kids could see our modern age, they would probably think that Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” would be a comic genius.

They took a common expression, “all correct,” and intentionally spelled it as “oll correct,” which was eventually abbreviated to OK. Another version was to make “okay” for “oll wright.” But OK became so popular that it ended up in the newspaper and has stuck with us ever since.


caption: Girls enter a school before teaching in Kabul on September 12, 2021. In a surprising decision, the hardline leadership of Afghanistan's new rulers has decided not to open educational institutions for girls after sixth grade.

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In a twist, the Taliban is preventing Afghan girls from going to school after 6th grade

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers decided not to open schools for girls over sixth grade, rejecting an earlier promise and choosing to appease their hard base at the expense of further alienation from the international community.


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