La Policia Loca
"What's this mean?" bicycle cop Brian Grenon asks the 18-year-old suspect, as he hovers over the boy's tattooed neck, which says "Livin' La Vida Loca."
"Living the crazy life," the boy says.
"Do you live the crazy life?" Grenon wants to know. After all, the boy just crossed the street against a red light at Third and Columbia (without using the crosswalk)! And gung-ho Grenon is pissed.
At around 11:00 a.m. on March 7, Grenon raced up to the Third Avenue bus stop where the boy was standing, and swinging to a halt, leapt off his bike as if intervening in a bank robbery. Grenon startled the boy, a lanky Hispanic kid, by offering up this opening line: "Excuse me, can I see your license for disrespecting public code?" HUH? "That was a joke," Grenon says, before explaining the offense. "You could have been hit by a car," Grenon begins (setting up joke #2 now). "If you got hit, I would have had to spend my morning filling out paperwork. This isn't about you; it's about me." No response. "That was another joke."
Grenon's partner, clearly embarrassed by Grenon's hostile standup-comedy routine, quietly asks the kid if he understands what Grenon is saying. No incident report was filed. JOSH FEIT
King County Superior Court Judge Robert Alsdorf declared I-695 unconstitutional this week, saying the ballot measure violated the state's "single-subject rule," because it dealt with two topics: car tab fees and voter approval of tax increases. However, don't do a jig just yet -- I-695's $30 license tab fee will remain in place for now (keeping state and local programs in the hole by $750 million). Meanwhile, I-695 backers are sure to appeal. JOSH FEIT
In Other Ballot News
The Association of Washington Businesses (the state's business lobby) is challenging the language of I-725 -- the lefty proposal for single-payer, universal health coverage. AWB's beef is that the ballot title doesn't mention the dirty words "payroll taxes." The ballot summary, however, explains that a 9.75 percent payroll "assessment" on employers will help float the proposed health plan. JOSH FEIT