Mercer Island Jewish Community Center Evacuated: On Monday evening, the Stroum Jewish Community Center in Mercer Island reported a bomb threat, prompting police to evacuate about 250 people from the premises. Details from the initial report have not yet been released, The Seattle Times reports. Mercer Island police officers cleared the building by 10 p.m. after explosives-sniffing dogs didn't find anything suspicious. Police Cmdr. Leslie Burns told the Times "the city was prepared for the threat, and had discussed the possibility of threats to local Jews given 'what has been happening elsewhere around the country.'"
Before Yesterday's Threat: Stroum JCC CEO Amy Lavin told Patch.com that the center hadn't received any threats. Patch reporter Neal McNamara notes: "The evacuation of the Stroum JCC comes on a day when more than a dozen Jewish schools and community centers across the U.S. were threatened with violence - and just one day after another Jewish cemetery near Philadelphia was vandalized."
A Reminder That Seattle—and Neighboring Communities—Aren't Immune to Anti-Semitism: As Sydney Brownstone prefaced the following tweet: "White supremacy is everywhere."
Seattle City Council Member Mike O'Brien on Nazi Graffiti Found in Ballard:
Men Driving Stolen Truck Shot in Tacoma: City sheriff's deputies found a truck driving "erratically" and doing "donuts" in the road just after midnight on Tuesday. After running license plates, deputies discovered that the truck had been marked as stolen and "attempted a stop." The truck crashed into a fence and then began moving toward deputies. Tacoma Sheriff's spokesman Det. Sgt. Gary Sanders told KOMO that "the deputies felt threatened and all three opened fire, striking the 33-year-old driver and his 37-year-old male passenger." Both are being treated at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Erica C. Barnett Checks in with Homeless Residents After Ballard Locks Encampment "Sweep": After city officials received "countless complaints" from community members, a tent encampment was cleared near the Ballard Locks last week, Barnett reports for The C Is for Crank. Chloe Gale of homeless advocacy group REACH said that some of the dozen residents who were forced out were applying for Section 8 housing vouchers—earlier this month "19,000 people signed up for a chance to win 2,500 vouchers"—while others are attempting to crash on friends' couches or live in a car. “Generally, the beds we can offer are in shelters that many people don’t want to go to, like the shelters downtown where people may have to line up to get a bed, so they may not have a guarantee,” Gale said.
Speaking of Encampments: Have you read Heidi Groover's feature on protections for homeless people from police searches? Go do it.
Surprise! Republicans Don't Want Trump's Tax Returns to Be Released: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed a request for President Trump's taxes to be released to Congress on Monday night—but his efforts were swiftly blocked. ThinkProgress reports: "Nearly every Republican voted to kill Pascrell’s resolution and keep Trump’s tax returns secret. No Republicans voted to require Trump to hand over his tax returns. (Two Republicans, including Mark Sanford of South Carolina, voted “present.”) 185 Democrats voted in favor of Pascrell’s efforts."
.@HouseGOP just voted to conceal Trump’s #TaxReturns & conflicts of interest from the American people. This is despicable. pic.twitter.com/vqVSattXKO
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) February 28, 2017