It's sleaze versus xenophobia in the King County Council races: Last week, candidate Richard Mitchell sent mailers skewering John Creighton and incumbent Jane Hague for their past legal troubles. "STALKING. DRUNK DRIVING. ARRESTS," Mitchell's mailers blared. Creighton's campaign retaliated by saying that Mitchell is from a "home country of England" and these are the "politics he's used to in Britain." Both men are supposedly Democrats.
Jim McDermott, Seattle's congressional representative, is about to be single—again. "After nearly 14 years of marriage, my wife, Therese Hansen, and I have decided to divorce," he announced on August 9. McDermott, who has been divorced once before, asked that people "respect our privacy."
The family of a man who was gored to death by a goat in Olympic National Park filed for $10 million in wrongful death claims against the park. An attorney defends the lawsuit, saying people complained about the temperamental goat for four years, and the park should have removed it before it killed someone.
Will Seattle voters approve the downtown tunnel in the August 16 primary? Local political consultant (and pancake queen) Blair Butterworth believes they will. "I don't think they'll necessarily do it on the merits, because the merits are rather fuzzy," Butterworth says. "I think they'll do it out of impatience."
Seattle is on track for the lowest crime rate in 55 years, with violent crimes down 1 percent this year, says Seattle Police Department deputy chief Clark Kimerer. Meanwhile, 911 call response times calls have dropped an average of one minute since 2008, to 6.3 minutes, low enough to be "popping champagne corks," Kimerer says.
After finishing a series on alcohol prohibition, documentarian Ken Burns—whose Civil War series basically made him America's historian—has decided that drug prohibition is equally counterproductive. "The parallels are endless," he tells us. "The folly of enforcement, the impossibility of enforcement, how enforcement itself becomes its own center of corruption, the absurdity of 'victimless crime.'" Take it from America's historian: Drug prohibition is going to fail. (*pops champagne cork*)
City council members may kill a proposal to put $80 car tab fees on the fall ballot—an effort to fund transit and other mobility projects—if there's a public outcry, sources at City Hall say. Even Council Member Tom Rasmussen, who supports the car tab fees, concedes, "Some council members could be persuaded to say this isn't the year to do this."
Adult-services website Backpage.com will take several steps to appease Mayor Mike McGinn, who has crusaded against the company—which is owned by the Seattle Weekly's parent company, Village Voice Media—for being linked to several cases of child prostitution. Backpage.com agreed to conduct online age verification, but McGinn says that's not enough. He wants the company to conduct in-person ID checks. "Your services are a direct vehicle to prostitution," McGinn wrote on August 5. "It is not unreasonable to ask you to devote a higher degree of care to screening ads for these services." But Backpage.com— pointing out that it's a national online company like Facebook or Twitter—insists in-person age verification would be "utterly impractical" and says the mayor's request "reflects a profound misunderstanding of how and why the internet has been embraced."