The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8 This week of banned booze, fired freaks, and the controversial overlap of airport workers and swimsuit areas kicks off today off the coast of Punta San Jacinto, where today a fire damaged the engine of a Carnival cruise ship, stranding over 3,000 passengers in what will grow into a three-day nightmare of zero electricity and lots of vomit, feces, and Spam. "The Carnival Splendor was on a seven-night voyage from Long Beach, California, and included stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico," reports the Daily Mail, which also offered the following insight into the stranded ship's surplus of vomit: "Because it was left without power, the vessel is believed to have rolled with the waves more causing passengers to become seasick." (As for the feces: No power means no flushing.) Not helping: the emergency rations of Spam that will help keep the would-be luxury cruisers fed until their ship gets tugged to San Diego on Thursday.
••Speaking of faulty vessels overflowing with feces: Today brought the long-awaited firing of Andrew Shirvell, the assistant attorney general of Michigan who dazzled the nation with his insane campaign against an openly gay University of Michigan student, a multimedia onslaught that found Shirvell labeling the student union leader "Satan's representative" on the internet and standing outside the young man's house in the middle of the night. Following bizarre defenses for his actions on numerous national news/"news" programs (Shirvell's Daily Show segment is a classic), today Shirvell was officially fired. "To be clear, I refuse to fire anyone for exercising their First Amendment rights, regardless of how popular or unpopular their positions might be," said Attorney General Mike Cox. "However, Mr. Shirvell repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior, and inappropriately used state resources, our investigation showed... Finally, Shirvell lied to investigating assistant attorneys general on several occasions during his disciplinary hearing." For all these shifty doings, Shirvell was fired for conduct unbecoming a state employee. He remains creepy.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 The week continues with Four Loko, the fruit-flavored malt-liquor/energy-drink combo beverage whose perilous endrunkening of a bunch of Central Washington University students led the Washington State Liquor Control Board to ban alcoholic energy drinks today. As KIRO News reports, the board approved an "emergency ban" that will go into effect on November 18, after which the manufacture, distribution, and selling of any and all alcoholic energy drinks will be illegal for 120 days. During these four months, the board will take public comment and determine if a permanent ban is in order. "Quite simply, these drinks are real trouble for our youth," said Governor Chris Gregoire. "They contain up to 12 percent alcohol, more than twice the amount found in most beer. Added to that are large amounts of caffeine which can mask the effect of alcohol." Minutes after Gregoire's announcement, Washington State collectively embarked on the Great Last-Minute Four Loko Run of 2010.
••Meanwhile, today also brought a double dose of damning evidence against the increasingly regrettable Seattle Police Department, as the Seattle Times' Steve Miletich reported that the folding knife carried by John T. Williams at the time of his fatal shooting by a Seattle police officer was closed when it was recovered minutes after his killing, and KIRO's Chris Halsne reported on the new allegations of violent misconduct against Shandy Cobane, the gang-unit detective who earned international scorn after footage of him threatening to "beat the fucking Mexican piss" out of a suspect he subsequently kicked in the head became a YouTube sensation. (The new allegations involve Cobane's alleged repeated choking of a handcuffed man in the backseat of a patrol car a week after the Mexican-piss incident. Stay tuned.)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Nothing happened today, so here are some more details from yesterday's report on Shandy Cobane by KIRO's Chris Halsne. "According to a protection order filed against Cobane in King County Superior Court, [alleged victim David Alexander] Rengo states, 'I was held down and choked. He collapsed my windpipe with his thumbs over and over again. He allowed me to breath (sic) only to prevent me from passing out. He seemed to get pleasure out of it.' Rengo filed for the protection order in June after he saw a black SUV follow him home from two separate court hearings. He says he wasn't sure it was Cobane, but, Rengo wrote in his stalking declaration, 'I am very scared that I will be hurt or killed before I have a chance to testify in court.'" As Rengo told Halsne about Cobane: "He doesn't have it together. There's something wrong with him. I think that he's out of control. I think he displayed psychotic behavior that night. I think that it's clear someone like that shouldn't be a public servant at all." There was no comment from Cobane, but SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb told Halsne that detectives from internal affairs are looking into the alleged incident.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Today we turn to Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood, where residents are up in arms over alleged plans to turn the closed comedy club Giggles into a new strip club called Jiggles. "It seems like in our neighborhood this is the worst location they could possibly put it," said Roosevelt Neighbors' Alliance president Mark Griffin to KING 5, which further reports: "The proposed club at 52nd Avenue Northeast and Roosevelt Way is directly across the street from the University Child Development School, a private elementary school." Last Days understands parents' resistance to a strip club within throwing distance of an elementary school but would nevertheless like to point out that Jiggles could be a combination opium den/goat brothel and it would still be less culturally toxic than Giggles.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Speaking of controversial new developments, today brought the Seattle City Council's final round of votes on the 2011–2012 budget, a sad bit of business for penny-pinching car parkers (who'll soon have to pay up to $4 for downtown street parking) as well as those with four or more unpaid parking violations, whose cars will now be subject to punitive booting. "[Owners of booted cars] must then call a number on the boot and arrange to pay their tickets via a credit card or payment plan," reports The Stranger's Cienna Madrid. "Once that's done, they're given a code to remove the 16 lb boot and have two days to return it to a designated drop-off area... The city estimates there are currently over 25,000 vehicles that will be targeted for booting under the new legislation (those vehicles collectively owe more than $15 million to the City, according to the mayor's office)." In other news, Sunday parking will remain free.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13 The week continues with the nationwide, bipartisan hubbub over new safety measures ordered by the Transportation Security Administration, which require airline passengers to choose between passing through full-body scanners that deliver questionable levels of radiation while subjecting scanned passengers to "virtual strip searches" or offering themselves up for noncarcinogenic, groinally invasive full-body pat-downs. Personally, Last Days doesn't care. If consensual molestation is the only way to fly safely with unmutated DNA, so be it.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Nothing happened today, so instead we'll address a timely bit of business concerning an irreplaceable Seattle talent: Troy Mink, the improv artist responsible for the tower of uncanny hilarity that is Carlotta Sue Philpott, and who is in the midst of a world of drama. (Long story short: necessary kidney transplant followed by surprise layoff from job-with-insurance.) On Monday, November 22, starting at 7:00 p.m., a host of Seattle talents—including Sarah Rudinoff, Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes, members of "Awesome," ace storyteller Matt Smith, and Troy Mink himself—will take the stage at Annex Theatre for Blushing Kidneys, the proceeds of which will benefit the man of the day. The cause is good; the show will be great.
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