- Mayor Ed Murray looked downright giddy to be signing priority hire legislation yesterday.
Mayor Signs Legislation to Hire More Workers from Low-Income Neighborhoods on City Jobs: Yesterday, Mayor Ed Murray signed so-called "priority hire" legislation passed by the city council earlier this month. This is significant because a review of some of Seattle's biggest public projects found that only 6 percent of workers on those projects lived in the city. The new law will require that at least 20 percent of the work on city projects costing more than $5 million is done by people from "economically distressed" zip codes (those with high numbers of people who are unemployed, don’t have college degrees, and live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level). Surrounded by city council members and students from the construction training program YouthBuild yesterday, Murray said that "not all boats are lifted" in the ongoing wave of construction in the city. "When this city builds construction projects, there are public benefits," Murray said, "and from that rebuilt road or renovated community center, all of the public should benefit."
New Details About the SPD Officer Who Arrested an Elderly Black Man for No Apparent Reason: The officer who can be seen on video arresting a man using a golf club as a cane for no clear reason has been removed from patrol duty. Her ex-girlfriend tells The Stranger about the officer's alleged fucked-up behaviors, including using racial slurs, saying about suspects "we jacked him up," and stealing marijuana from the department's evidence unit. For her part, the officer wouldn't speak to Ansel, but says through her union that "the allegations are bullshit." Plus, read here about how the officer's actions have led a black, gay man from Nebraska to lose faith in the Seattle Police Department.
Bill Expanding Mental Health Treatment Options for Families Passes House: The bill is known as "Joel's law," and it would give families who worry a loved one is suicidal or a danger to others the ability to petition a court when state mental health care workers determine the person isn't enough of a threat to qualify for involuntary treatment. Unfortunately, like we've reported before, the bill could face a tougher climb in the state senate, where Republicans now have control and have previously complained about the potential cost of the bill.
Some Lawmakers Want Washington to Become Two States—And One of Those Is Matt Shea: A bill in Olympia would create a task force to explore the idea of splitting Washington at the Cascades because "the lifestyle, culture, and economics of Eastern and Western Washington have been very distinct." One of the bill's sponsors is Matt Shea, a completely unhinged Republican from Spokane Valley who has visited Cliven Bundy's ranch, pulled a gun during an apparent road rage incident, blocked reporters who asked about that incident on social media, and said this: "If you do not have 5,000 rounds of .223, 5,000 rounds of .22, and 1,000 rounds of handgun ammo, as a MINIMUM, you’re wrong. We need to train our families how to shoot as well. We need to get food. We need to have a year's supply of food, two years' supply of seeds, we need to have a year's supply of sundry items. That's what it means to be an American."
- Kelly O
- Prepare yourself for noon, when people are going to be screaming for what seems like no good reason. It's about the Seahawks.
People Are Going to Get Loud for the Seahawks Today at Noon: The governor has declared 30-second "moments of loudness" today, tomorrow, and Sunday for the Seahawks, who play in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Other Must-Know Information About Food, Costumes, and Killer TVs for Sunday: Here's where to order food if you don't feel like cooking, here are all the costume ideas you could ever need, here is why you should strap down your TV stat, and here's some actual (insufferable) commentary from Spike Friedman about all the bullshit sports coverage you'll be wading through until the game.
If You Drive Drunk on Super Bowl Sunday—Which You Won't Do Because You're Better Than That—Police Will Almost Definitely Catch You: They'll be doing extra emphasis patrols.
A Former City Council Member Says the City's "Urban Villages" Are Working—Mostly: Former Seattle City Council member Peter Steinbrueck presented a report on the city's urban village strategy (meant to concentrate growth in already urban areas—here is a good explainer on the issue) saying plenty of growth is happening in those areas, but the city is doing a poor job of tracking it and communicating data to the public.
- A new lawsuit says the state regularly doesn't send drivers their toll bills or notices of fines they owe for not paying those bills.
A Group of Lawyers Is Suing the State for Not Billing Drivers Who Owe Tolls: KING 5 reports that a group of attorneys has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Washington State Department of Transportation claiming the department and the company behind the Good to Go! electronic tolling system are violating drivers' rights to due process because billing for tolls and penalties for not paying those tolls are "sporadic."
Central Washington Residents Say the State Failed Them During Last Summer's Wildfires: Residents and politicians from Central Washington testified to lawmakers that the Department of Natural Resources was unorganized and underprepared to fight small blazes that compounded into the largest wildfire in the state's history last year. “We don’t feel we’re going to be protected this summer," said Okanogan County commissioner Ray Campbell, according to the Spokesman Review.
West Seattle Teen Robbed at Gunpoint on Way to School Not Even the First West Seattle Teen Robbed This Month: "An armed robber pulled a gun on a teen and stole her backpack as she walked to school in West Seattle" yesterday, according to the SPD. And this is after another teenager was robbed near Myrtle Reservoir on January 15.
John McCain Called Protesters "Scum:" It happened yesterday at a security hearing when a group of protesters called for the arrest of Henry Kissinger.
And, ICYMI, We Might Get a New Attorney General Who Is Anti-Pot: Maybe that's part of why Republicans seem okay with her?