Morning Brief is a newsletter from The Seattle Times delivered straight to your inbox every morning, Monday through Friday. Our editors choose the morning’s most important and entertaining items, and deliver them to you in short, easy-to-digest bites.

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Home sweet tiny home: Whittier Heights Village debuts

People checked out the new community of 15 tiny houses in North Seattle yesterday. It’s the first of Seattle’s tiny-house villages for women only, and many of the homes were built by teams of female volunteers. Peek inside a house and the common area, a kitchen/laundry space brightened by murals.

 

Need to know

Our state’s fire season is off to an alarmingly fast start after an Eastern Washington blaze shut down more than 20 miles of I-90 in Kittitas County for 12 hours yesterday. The fire is halfway contained this morning, down to about 1,600 acres.

The Seattle area is finally getting a shot of summer weather, right on schedule. “We usually say summer begins on July 12 here, but July 11 is close enough,” says a meteorologist who’s predicting temperatures in the low 80s today, followed by the kind of heat that will have all the fans going full blast. Oh, and because it’s 7/11, Slurpees are free at 7-Eleven stores today.

The Thai boys saved from a flooded cave endured dives in zero visibility. In places they were put in a harness and high-lined across caverns, a U.S. rescuer says as details emerge of how they made it out. We’re also learning more about what it was like in the cave,  where the boys lost pounds and sipped water that dripped from above. For some of the kids in this troubled region, it wasn’t the first harrowing escape. And Elon Musk is defending his unneeded “kid-size submarine.”

Seattle police-chief finalists: Under Inspector Eddie Frizell, who rose through the ranks during 26 years with Minneapolis police, crime has plummeted. Many business owners are pleased with his work, although some people are concerned about racial profiling in the city. We’re taking a deep look at Frizelland the other finalists for Seattle’s top-cop job. Read about Ely Reyes, and stay tuned for a story on interim Chief Carmen Best after a surprise twist that put her back in the running.

The Washington Medical Commission has reinstated, with restrictions, the medical license of former Swedish Health neurosurgeon Dr. Johnny Delashaw. The commission ruled that Delashaw, who was featured in a Seattle Times investigation about Swedish Health’s neuroscience unit, must submit to three years of oversight and cannot be employed in a position of medical leadership.

 

 

What we’re talking about

“Everybody hated that curve. Everybody was concerned about the curve.” The engineer in December’s Amtrak Cascades derailment worried about the dangerous curve at DuPont before heading into it at 80 mph, an investigative hearing revealed yesterday. The National Transportation Safety Board called out the “diffusion of responsibility” by four rail agencies that didn’t challenge the Pierce County curve’s design.

“Seattle better be ready.” Lip-syncing cops in Virginia have challenged Seattle police in a truly impressive viral video. The Norfolk officers’ version of “Uptown Funk,” posted Monday, already has more than 28 million views.

On the streets of Seattle, it feels like the fight for Roe v. Wade is already lost, columnist Danny Westneat writes. A sparsely attended rally yesterday suggested people may be resigned to the coming rightward tilt of the Supreme Court — but brace yourself for an era of sex-obsessed moralism, Westneat says. And nominee Brett Kavanaugh is drawing scrutiny for his views on investigations of presidents.

Which burger is best? Our food writers sat down at each of the four burger-bracket finalists to do a taste test, then ranked the restaurants. Make sure to vote in the final round, and join us at Red Mill tonight and Dick’s Drive-In tomorrow night for our tasting events.

Amazon Prime Day helps the company sell gadgets, but can it work for selling fresh fish at Whole Foods? The company isn’t missing a chance to try to lure grocery shoppers.

 

Worth a read

An epic comeback: The local, versatile rockfish has been appearing all over Seattle menus lately. Considering the fish was nearly wiped out decades ago, it may just be the best ecological comeback story on the West Coast in the past 50 years.

President Donald Trump today blistered Germany and other NATO allieswith complaints about what he said are hypocritical demands for U.S protection. A determined German Chancellor Angela Merkel is back in the ring for another round with Trump (remember the famous photo of their last staredown? ). This comes after one European leader warned: “Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many.” Allies, schmallies: The easiest meeting, Trump says, may be his upcoming one with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Send Segura. That’s the name of the Mariners’ campaign to try to get shortstop Jean Segura  enough votes to the All-Star game. Several of his teammates and coaches wore shirts and posted messages of support on Twitter and Instagram. A surprised Segura has a few things to say about this.

The Seattle Storm was ticked the heck off. No one said whether a white board was punched in the locker room after yesterday’s 77-75 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, but you shouldn’t rule it out. And that’s a good thing, writes columnist Matt Calkins.

Nordstrom says its big bets are poised to pay off. The 117-year-old clothing retailer is riding out the storm rocking the industry partly because of its investments in online services and acquisitions, executives say. Here’s what the company is doing, including its forecast for the future and the addition of more stores with no inventory (!).

 

Editorial/opinion

The Seattle Times editorial board endorses Democrat Rep. Eric Pettigrew for re-election in the 37th Legislative District because of his deep knowledge of the issues that Washington faces now and in the future.

 

Today’s weather

Sunny and nice. High 78. Low 58. Sunrise 5:23. Sunset 9:05.

 

Today in history

In 1870, the first mayor of Seattle is elected: Henry Atkins, a pile driver who helped build docks and wharves on Puget Sound. It is not clear when Atkins first arrived in Seattle, but he is listed as one of 90 bachelors living in the town in 1860, out of a white population of 182. In 1861, he helped clear land for construction of what becomes the University of Washington, in downtown Seattle. Atkins, a Republican, holds no other municipal office after finishing his term as mayor in July 1871.

 

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