Santa Tracking, Marshawn Lynch Possibly Retiring and More News

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
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As promised, there was another protest at Westlake Center last night opposing the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. In efforts to not to replay Friday's mall swarms, the police came in larger numbers yesterday and managed to contain the crowd. But why has this group chosen the start of holiday shopping season as the moment to protest Brown's death--what does consumerism have to do with race? Plenty, says Crosscut's Knute Berger.

Once Santa leaves his post at the mall, Microsoft and Google will battle it out to offer the best option for tracking the man in the red suit this Christmas Eve. Both services will plot Kringle's full trip on a map that evening and until then, each site offers games and other Christmas-related activities. The tradition of Santa-tracking started in 1955 when the Continental Air Defense Command (CONRAD, the predecessor of NORAD, the tracker Microsoft is using) was flooded with Christmas phone calls after a Sears and Roebuck ad mistakenly listed a CONRAD number as a hotline where kids could phone Santa. The organization has provided Santa-tracking assistance ever since.

Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks running back famous for not speaking, might have news: he may retire from football at this end of this NFL season. "According to sources with direct knowledge of Lynch’s thinking," the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport writes, "the 28-year-old football player is weighing the possibility of . . . saying goodbye to football on his own terms" at the end of his eighth year. "He’d leave the football world confused and wanting more, though that’s what he often does,” Rapoport says.

Amazon earnings fell a quarter of a million dollars short of projections last summer. While many might assume the online retailer, which is celebrating its 20th year in business, is losing strength just in time for Christmas, The New York Times has another idea: "Amazon is intentionally cannibalizing some major product lines — offering free or nearly free music, video and e-books — to draw tens of millions of people into its ecosystem." In this view, as Amazon rattles other retailers, it is also deliberately rattling itself, but with a clear plan: to become the site for everything you buy, from entertainment to services to toilet paper. “I don’t think they want to own a piece of retail,” Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told the Times. “They want to own all of it.”

Struggle to find parking downtown? Seattle's Car2go is known for reserving spots around the city to make snagging a space harder. Now, city council members will decide whether they should allow more of these types of car sharing services.

A rash of baby formula thefts have hit Mill Creek grocery stores the last few months--the tubs sometimes shoplifted under toilet paper at checkout. Albertson's alone has had an estimated 33 thefts since June in the organized raid, which has cost the grocery chain approximately $9,300. The Snohomish Sheriff's Department believes the stolen formula is being sold for profit; meanwhile the thefts affect prices of the product in stores.

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