The Week in Review
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25 This week of thwarted terrorism, craptastic cops, and virtual farming leading to actual death kicks off right here in Washington, where this morning state attorney general Rob McKenna joined officials from Central Washington University to announce results of an investigation into the infamous party held earlier this month in Roslyn, Washington. As Last Days' readers will recall, the Roslyn party was notable for the extreme effed-upness of its guests, many of whom were found unconscious and some of whom required hospitalization, leading investigators and everyone else to suspect the involvement of date-rape drugs. To everyone's surprise, the official investigation found zero evidence of roofies or any other illicit substance and a whole bunch of Four Loko, the fruit-flavored malt-liquor/energy-drink combo known colloquially as "blackout in a can." With each serving reportedly packing the punch of four beers and several shots of espresso, Four Loko is "a binge-drinker's dream," said CWU professor Ken Briggs to KING 5, citing alcoholic energy drinks' ability to let drinkers consume more alcohol without passing out. "Being able to feel the effects of tiredness, loss of coordination and even passing out or vomiting are the body's defenses against consuming doses of alcohol that will kill you," said Briggs. "Regardless, once the blood alcohol level reaches a certain level you can drop like a box of rocks." In light of today's announcement, CWU has banned alcoholic energy drinks pending a study of the drinks' dangers, and attorney general Mc-Kenna will renew his push for a statewide ban on the sale of caffeinated malt liquor.
••Meanwhile in Whatcom County, today a 27-year-old man was sentenced to a month in jail for animal cruelty after being caught having sex with a goat. As the Bellingham Herald reports, the Ferndale man "was arrested by sheriff's deputies in May after a relative caught him having sex with the animal"—which means the relative's official response to seeing his or her son/cousin/uncle/nephew boning a goat was to call the cops. Condolences to all.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26 Nothing happened today, unless you count the hubbub over the ridiculous bullshit that went down last night in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood, where a cadre of police officers armed with submachine guns broke down the door of a disabled military veteran and authorized medical-marijuana patient, who was reportedly tossed to the floor while cops tore up his apartment in pursuit of two small and fully authorized marijuana plants. Nothing was seized, no one was arrested, and by week's end, last night's high-drama, maximum-manpower raid (undertaken by a police department in the midst of an alleged budget crisis, no less) will draw an apology from Seattle City Council member Nick Licata and extended lame silence from Mayor Mike McGinn. For the full story on the Seattle Police Department's latest reputation-imperiling embarrassment and McGinn's eventual silence-breaking pronouncements, see page 8.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27 The week continues in FarmVille, Facebook's mysteriously popular real-time farm-simulation game in which players plow virtual land, harvest virtual crops, and raise virtual livestock—until they plead guilty to actual murder. Such is the case of Alexandra V. Tobias, the 22-year-old woman in Jacksonville, Florida, who today pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally shaking her baby. "Tobias... was arrested after the January death of 3-month-old Dylan Lee Edmondson," reports the Florida Times-Union. "She told investigators she became angry because the baby was crying while she was playing a computer game called FarmVille... Tobias told investigators that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook him again. She said the baby may have hit his head during the shaking." Next up: sentencing, where the virtual farmer/actual baby shaker faces the possibility of life in prison.
••Meanwhile in Virginia, today brought the first court appearance of Farooque Ahmed, the 34-year-old Ashburn man charged with plotting the destruction of several railway stations. Details come from the Washington Examiner, which identifies Ahmed as a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, whose arrest was preceded by an array of alleged sketchy dealings with undercover FBI officers. "Prosecutors say that [Ahmed] conducted surveillance and recorded video of three Metrorail stations in Virginia. He then gave the footage... to persons posing as terrorists," reports the Examiner. "The indictment also says Ahmed... told contacts he assumed were al Qaeda terrorists that the best hour to strike the transit targets would be between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 'cause the most casualties.'" Farooque Ahmed stands charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 Today brings a horrifying story from the streets of Sodo, where tonight a group of people who'd just attended the Ingrid Michaelson concert at Showbox Sodo were crossing First Avenue South when they were hit by a truck.
"The driver of a small pickup truck was heading south on First Avenue S when she slammed into the five people, a man and four women, as they were crossing the street," reports KING 5. "Police say the woman driving... appeared to be impaired by alcohol or drugs and has been arrested for investigation of vehicular assault." As for the victims: One remains hospitalized in critical condition, while the other four were hurt but are expected to fully recover. Confidential to God: Please allow us a Thursday without tragic car drama striking Seattle's music community. Amen.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29 The week continues with a bracing blast of thwarted terrorism, as a pair of packages containing explosives bound for the U.S. were intercepted by an international team of intelligence and counterterrorism officials. Details come from the New York Times, which reports the would-be bombs were shipped from Yemen and involved toner cartridges for computer printers packed with explosives. The intended destination: a pair of synagogues in Chicago, so hurrah for the intelligence and counterterrorism officials who intercepted the packages in Britain and Dubai. "Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said Friday that the packages seized in Britain and Dubai contained PETN, the same chemical explosive contained in the bomb sewn into the underwear of the Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit last Dec. 25," reports the NYT. "That plot, too, was hatched in Yemen, a country that is regarded as one of the most significant fronts in the battle with extremists." Thanks to the officials responsible for today's thwarting, as well as to the various UPS and airport workers who'll hopefully spend the rest of their lives screening every package shipped anywhere.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, the large-scale performance-art event created and hosted by Comedy Central news spoofers Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, which drew an estimated 200,000 people joined by mutual disdain for insane political rhetoric to Washington, D.C. (A satellite rally in Seattle's Westlake Park drew a good couple thousand.) "This was not a rally to ridicule people's faith or people's activism... or suggest that times are not difficult or that we have nothing to fear," spoke the wise Jon Stewart in D.C. "They are and we do. But we live in hard times, not end times." Vive le sanity!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 The week ends with Halloween, the questionable annual holiday summed up for Last Days by the thirtysomething woman we saw stuck in traffic, glumly staring out the window of her Subaru, dressed as a cat.
Hello, readers who are also theatergoers: Next month I'm taking my solo play Straight to Texas, and before I go, I'm doing a couple local shows. Nov 13–14 at Hugo House, info at thestranger.com/straighttickets. Everyone else, send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.