Out-of-state money has become a big factor in the race for state representative from Seattle's 36th District—a somewhat surprising development, given that such races are generally decided by a few thousand votes, and that state legislators make less than $42,000 a year.
Nonetheless, the race between Reuven Carlyle and John Burbank, two Democrats contending for the seat, has sent tens of thousands of dollars flying across state lines. Carlyle has taken nearly $43,000 in out-of-state donations, or about 21 percent of his total contributions—much of that from California, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Burbank, meanwhile, brought in about $32,000 from out of state, or about 20 percent of his contributions, much of that from California, Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts.
Burbank, unlike Carlyle, also spent a large amount of money out of state. About $32,000, or 42 percent of his spending so far, went to an Oregon consulting firm called Winning Mark, which Burbank says he chose because "they work primarily on environmental and progressive issues, and I wanted to keep my [campaign] work in the [Pacific Northwest] region." ERICA C. BARNETT
More black people than white people continue to be arrested and prosecuted for marijuana possession in Seattle, according to data from the City Attorney's Office. Of the 153 people charged in the past year and a half, 77, or more than half, were black (the rest were white, Asian, or Native American). Only 8.4 percent of the city's population is African American.
The recent data reflect a pattern of racial disparity announced in January, when a city council–appointed panel released a report on marijuana enforcement between 2000 and 2006. (Full disclosure: I was a member of the panel.)
The ACLU of Washington has since requested copies of thousands of police reports from those years, and the University of Washington's School of Sociology will examine the records to determine the circumstances that led to the arrests. "We are specifically doing this because the Seattle City Council expressed its concern about the racial disparity," says the ACLU's Alison Holcomb, who was also a member of the panel. "We are looking to see if we can find a cause for that." DOMINIC HOLDEN
Over the summer, Seattle Central Community College quietly eliminated its journalism program—and its student newspaper, the City Collegian, may be in jeopardy as well.
In June, after a battle over control of the editorial reins, the paper's faculty adviser, Professor Jeb Wyman, stepped down from his position, firing off an angry letter to the school's administration.
In the letter, Wyman accused the school's publications board chair, Laura Mansfield, of attempting to exert administrative control over the direction of the student-run paper, and claimed Mansfield forced the paper to adopt a policy requiring City Collegian staff to be enrolled in at least 10 credits at the school. Such a policy, Wyman wrote, "would remove about a third of the Collegian's senior editors, degrade the students' paper, and needlessly stifle journalism education at this school."
Because of Wyman's resignation, the City Collegian is officially on hiatus. Last year, North Seattle Community College put its student paper, the Polaris, on indefinite hiatus as the school reassessed the program.
Mansfield—who is also SCCC's spokeswoman—did not return calls for comment. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE