June of 2021: we used to call it Junuary

June is usually wetter and cooler than May - but not in 2021

By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

Talking about the weather – Baby, it’s hot out there

The first week in June brought triple digit temperatures here in Washington and in several places across the country.

By mid-month at least seven western states declared drought status.

As Arizona, New Mexico and most of California, among many others, suffered from drought and major water shortages, we in western Washington had record rainfall.

In some of those states, Arizona and parts of California, in particular, temperatures hit just short of 120 degrees.

By the end of June, even Seattle surpassed 100 degrees. Its highest temperature ever.

In fact, Seattle has had four days above 100 degrees in its history – three of them in the last few days of June 2021.

As the Pacific Northwest simmered, other parts of the world had equally crazy weather the closing days of the month.

Hong Kong had a “black rainstorm” (almost 3 inches per hour), Canada reported its hottest day ever and Texas had its largest hailstone.

Even areas above the Arctic Circle hit temperatures approaching 120 degrees (https://www.livescience.com/arctic-circle-siberia-hot-day-2021.html).

In the Puget Sound area, heat related emergency room numbers exploded – as did drowning and other heat-connected health issues.

More than a hundred heat related deaths were reported in Washington and Oregon – and nearly 500 in British Columbia.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Spanaway in the national news

Spanaway rarely makes the national headlines, but it did earlier this year when it was the hottest real estate market in the entire country.

It made the headlines again when, as part of the COVID vaccine incentive program, a Spanaway cannabis shop offered “joints for jabs”.

Other cannabis shops, in other areas, have considered such a move, but legal jeopardy restrained them. Not so in Spanaway. https://www.freshcannabisnews.com/2021/06/15/spanaway-cannabis-store-owner-gives-pot-for-shots/

COVID retreats

Thanks to vaccines and other trends, several cities and states are dropping all COVID related restrictions with only a few remaining exceptions – like some businesses or mass transit.

Most cities and states have seen a dramatic decline in COVID cases – except for those areas with vaccine “reluctance” – where COVID cases are surging.

Even with declines in infections, the USA passed 600,000 COVID related deaths early in June.

Vaccine incentives

Various cities, states and employers have offered incentives from beer to Disneyland tickets to cash, hunting licenses or other prizes on a lottery basis.

Most states, Washington for example, use the state registry so there was no need to sign up.

Local or employee based programs vary.

Washington re-opens

Governor Inslee spent the last day of June clarifying a simple message; Washington is open for business with no COVID related restrictions. You can see the full statement here – https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-statement-upcoming-economic-reopening

To keep posted on any possible future exposure to COVID, you can subscribe to state exposure notifications here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/WANotify.

Mass shootings USA

For whatever reason, mass shootings (defined as four or more being shot in one situation) have been part of America’s recovery from COVID.

As people get out more and businesses reopen and traffic resumes, more and more of us are taking it upon ourselves to shoot other people.

We averaged about two mass shootings a day throughout June.

This seems to be a purely American phenomenon. I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation.

Keystone XL pipeline scrapped

The endlessly controversial pipeline, which would have stretched from Alberta, Canada’s boreal forests to the refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, became the center of a broader controversy over climate change, pipeline safety, energy independence, near-exclusive reliance on fossil fuels, eminent domain, tribal and personal property rights and jobs.

Because it crossed our border with Canada, it involved national security and Homeland Security.

And because it was based on the transport of oil derived from tar sands (not traditional liquid oil) it was vastly far more expensive, polluting and complicated than usual oil refining and transport.

Boeing and Airbus decide to play nice

Boeing and Airbus have decided to work together across borders and product lines. This will suspend billions in punitive tariffs across many areas of trade.

This decision will ease trans-Atlantic tensions and will let the two sides focus on what they see as a common economic threat: China.


On June 17th, President Biden signed into law the latest federal holiday – Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

It’s the first federal holiday approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

It remains to be seen how many states will (or will not) recognize the new holiday.

It took Arizona nine years to join the recognize MLK Day.

Sea Snot

Sea snot, also called sea saliva or marine mucilage (each one a great band name) is the latest version of what could be called “nature’s revenge”.

Combine increasingly warming waters with more human waste and ever more destruction of habitat for healthy organisms and you have the ideal recipe for a marine slime that suffocates and kills every other form of sea life.

Panic of the month club

You’d think that temperatures of more than 100 degrees well above the Arctic Circle, or more than 600,000 COVID related deaths or an average of more than 50 gun related deaths on a daily basis across America, or even the threat of rising sea levels that put at risk every coastal city and naval base and would dislocate millions worldwide, or even the rise of cyber-sabotage and international terrorism would stir the passions of the blogosphere and Americans in general – but you’d be wrong.

What excited passions across the media landscape was the real threat to America – Critical Race Theory.

What is Critical Race Theory you may ask?

It is the premise that racism is not exclusively individual – it is baked into laws, institutions and cultural assumptions.

Spoiler alert; laws and institutions ALWAYS reflect cultural biases, fears and values.

And just to clarify, Critical Race Theory has NEVER been taught in any Washington state schools – or any public schools in the entire country.

When it comes to laws and legislations, to presume that racial and cultural attitudes would NOT be reflected in laws and their enforcement is naive beyond belief.

How else to explain Black people being accosted if not assaulted while bird watching in Central Park or delivering newspapers in Tacoma?

China celebrates

There were celebrations all across China as they commemorated the 100th anniversary of Communism.

Among other things, President Xi vowed to “re-unite” mainland China with the renegade republic of Taiwan.