More roundtrip service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. It's such a beautiful trip. Mario Tama/Getty



"Unhoused" deaths? Um...... more like "drug overdose" deaths! Why the spin on what is really a fentanyl crisis?


Jesus, State Senate, why not 0.04? 0.01? 0.00000001%? Why not ban Alcohol consumption state-wide?

Is there actually a problem with impaired drivers evading justice by blowing 0.06 or 0.07%?


@1 The headline could just as easily been “King County starts 2023 with 310 fewer drug addicts “


@2: No. Not really. Not at those tiny levels. That's the nanny state overreach for you.


@3 What a nasty piece of shit you are to celebrate the deaths of 310 people!


@5, na, it's dark humor - not celebration.


"The Last of Us"

All Your Base Are Belong To Us.


@7 - I can't see why Cannabis Liquor Control is still butt hurt. Cannabis brought in 1.9x more in taxes and fees than Alcohol and that's been almost year after year in the last 4 years.



Full Tilt closed it's U District location because it became too unsafe for their staff to run the place. Meth and Opioid/Fentanyl addicts wanting/demanding/making threats for free sugar.


@7, "What’s next? Blowing a BAM while riding on ST, not even driving?" Kinda.

Some local transit agencies (Pierce Transit) won't allow the visibly impaired to ride. Why? The slower reaction of the riders to flexing their legs and feet into the floor during braking of the vehicle and turns means they slide out of the seat more easily than the stone cold sober. They strike their head on the way down to the floor. Guess who winds up being liable? The public transit agency directly, and the taxpayers who support it, indirectly.

Yes the person was drunk, high, etc.; however, being able to observe that, and knowing the risk, the agency through their employee, failed to act as a reasonably prudent transit agency should, and allowed them to ride in that condition. But for the negligent decision to let their impaired client ride, their client wouldn't have brain damage, stitches, a permanent scar, a trip to the ER, or death.

Pay up taxpayers!

Drove for them. Had the training. Drivers subject to discipline under policy and the collective bargaining agreement.


.05 is not the end of the world but do we really want to copy Utah, a majority Mormon state? The folks that shun alcohol and caffeine? On the other hand..Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands all have had limits of .05 for years. All of them have a pretty robust wine and beer culture too and they are exposed to drinking much younger. Just like the states....they have to catch you.

Maybe, just maybe 310 deaths last year will shame our do-nothing "leadership" to get people off the streets. Letting them live and die and create mayhem on the streets is the opposite of compassion. Both for the unhoused and the housed.


@10: Apparently, even this level of death from addiction is less than what’s needed before the Stranger will admit how much of homelessness comes from drug addiction. Omitted from the Stranger’s summary:

“The Medical Examiner’s Office found many people had a combination of fentanyl and other drugs, such as meth or cocaine, in their system.”

“Victims of capitalism,” “criminalizing poverty,” the “compassion” of allowing humans to live and die in filthy encampments— when will the Stranger finally stop enabling addiction, and start advocating for real solutions?


Watched “The Last of Us” Sunday night. Was kinda looking forward to a new offering from HBO, but then about ten minutes into it, I’m “aw..fuck…another dystopian zombie series…how much of this shit are we supposed to eat?” So, respectfully acknowledging some good performances, not a fan, but the kiddies will love it.

Love the idea of restored, full-service to Vancouver on Amtrak. So happy when train travel to Canada was returned in the 90s, but didn’t like the fact you had to leave Seattle very early in the morning, and the train home was at night. It was the only option if you wanted to go by train (there were Amtrak buses during the day, but nah, not the same thing - might as well take Quick Shuttle). In March, both directions will have a morning and evening option. Anything that makes the Seattle-Vancouver relationship more connected, I’m for. I still think cities in Cascadia care more about each other than Ottawa or Washington will ever do. Those two capitols seem way more invested in the eastern third of the country. My British Columbian frriends tell me it’s because Ontario and Quebec are so much more population-rich. California notwithstanding, maybe that's the reason in the US too.

Still trying to see how mocha and evergreen improves the experience much. Guess I’ll have to wait three years to find out. Also, maybe an express Vancouver-Bellingham-Seattle option? The train takes 5-6 hours to go 150 miles. Fine for tourists and day trippers, but not for business people or people on a tight schedule. Anyway, the point is that I’m glad it’s back. Some great memories of that train and the heaven of pulling into Pacific Central in anticipation of the wonders of Vancouver. I love it so.


Ah. the ol' straw man "housing first" is the REAL problem! (Sort of like how Antifa are the REAL terrorists). Batter and rage against a totally invented version of the Housing First policies and then declare VICTORY!

How, pray tell, do you service mental health treatment and drug counseling to people with no addresses, phones or stable living conditions?

You can't. It does not work. This has been studied and studied and studied.

While there is no One Size Fits ALL and no one strategy is perfect, HF proponents have never claimed a miracle solution. The fact is there is no "solution." There is only mitigation. And HF is the only successful longer term mitigation effort on record.

It's only the emotionally deranged detractors of HF made up of NIMBY's, bigots and fear mongers who straw man and fallaciously misrepresent what HF claims.

And the usual shit bags in this thread simply spout empty aphorisms of "Mental health" with out any other strategies to make that possible excepting the same stairway approach that lead to the homelessnesses and addiction crisis in the first place.

like I said studied and studied and studied.

The Pathways to Housing program, one of the early versions of Housing First, has greatly informed the field of homeless services. Between 2000 and 2004, there were three major studies of the Pathways model in New York City. These initial studies found:

• A 2004 study found that after 24 months, Pathways participants spent almost no time experiencing homelessness, while participants in the city’s residential treatment program spent about a quarter of their time experiencing homelessness on average. After five years, 88 percent of the program’s tenants remained housed, compared to only 47 percent of the residents in the control group.

• A 2004 random assignment study found that homelessness programs that eliminated barriers to services, like Housing First, were more successful in reducing homelessness than programs where housing and services were contingent on sobriety and progress in treatment. When individuals were provided access to stable, affordable housing, with services under their control, 79% remained stably housing at the end of 6 months, compared to 27% in the control group.

• A 2004 long-term study found that participants in the Housing First model obtained housing earlier, remained stably housed after 24 months, and reported higher perceived choice than participants in programs where housing and services were contingent on sobriety and progress in treatment.

There have been four randomized controlled trials, considered the “gold standard” of research designs, studying Housing First. These major studies found that Housing First resulted in large improvements in housing stability.

For example, Canada conducted a significant evaluation, encompassing five cities – Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Moncton – and over 2,000 participants, making it the world’s largest study on Housing First. The study found:

• Housing First rapidly ends homelessness. Participants in Housing First rapidly obtained housing and retained their housing at a much higher rate than the treatment as usual group. After two years, 62% of the Housing First participants were housed the whole time compared to 31 percent of those who were required to participate in treatment prior to the receipt of housing.

• Housing First is a good investment. The economic analysis found some cost savings and cost offsets. Every $10 invested in Housing First services resulted in an average savings of $9.60 for high-needs participants and $3.42 for moderate needs participants. Significant cost savings were realized for the 10 percent of participants who had the highest costs at study entry; for these individuals, every $10 invested in Housing First services resulted in an average savings of $21.72.

• Housing First can improve quality of life and other outcomes. Having a place to live and the right supports can lead to other positive outcomes beyond those provided by existing services. Housing stability, quality of life, and community functioning outcomes were all more positive for participants in Housing First programs.

Additional evaluations of Housing First have been completed in recent years. These evaluations found:

• Housing First continues to effectively end homelessness and reduce housing stability. A 2021 study found that Housing First programs decreased homelessness by 88% and improved housing stability by 41%, compared to Treatment First programs. A recent study found that Housing First programs not only substantially reduced veteran homelessness, but also prevented a large increase in veteran homelessness. Both older and younger adults experiencing homelessness benefit from Housing First.

• Housing First can lead to better treatment outcomes. While an earlier study found no difference in treatment outcomes between Housing First and high-barrier programs, some more recent studies indicate that Housing First participants are more likely than others to report reduced usage of alcohol, stimulants, and opiates. A 2015 study found that Housing First programs are more effective at increasing outpatient service utilization, as well as outreach to and engagement of clients who are not appropriately served by the public mental health system. Critics’ fears about increased substance use and psychiatric symptoms have not been supported by research findings.

• Housing First can reduce healthcare and other costs. Studies also show that Housing First reduces hospital visits, admissions, and duration of hospital stays among homeless individuals, and overall public system spending is reduced by nearly as much as is spent on housing. The average cost savings to the public ranges from $900 to $29,400 per person per year after entry into a Housing First program.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cite Housing First as a best practice and uses this approach in its HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Today, the HUD-VASH Program serves nearly 90,000 veterans using the Housing First model with 137 public housing authorities across the nation."

Housing First on Behavioral Recovery studies:


@16 TL;DR


" it's determined by the Medical Examiner's Office, which only investigates people who die of specific causes. "

Not true. They investigate deaths that are not standard deaths, obviously due to cancer, etc. Many deaths in the Medical Examiner's report are listed as "cause pending."


@16 It is really simple.
Enforce the laws and arrest them when they break those laws.
Then give them a choice:
1) Go to jail and go cold turkey
2) Go to rehab and get your shit together

Either way they are housed and fewer charging stations are destroyed.

Or we could hide behind slogans that don't do shit and make it terrible for everyone involved.


@16: “HF proponents have never claimed a miracle solution.”

Ha, ha, ha. Regular commenter Ivy R. Nightscales has touted the miracle of “housing first” in many comments here, usually citing Austria — a country with national healthcare, which the US lacks. (Had the US a Canadian-style system, Seattle might never have had a homelessness crisis in the first place.)

You’re ignoring all of the “victims of capitalism,” “Amazon drove them into the streets,” and other housing-affordability rhetoric which the Stranger and Council Members (notably CM Sawant) have spewed into Seattle’s civic discourse. Yes, housing will be needed, but ‘housing first’ is useless if it is also ‘housing alone.’ The addiction-recovery and other mental-health services you mentioned must also be provided. That is a much larger commitment with a much larger price tag, and thanks in part to the Stranger and CM Sawant, there has been NO civic dialog on that cost, because both the Stranger and CM Sawant have their capitalist bogeymen to blame, instead of the mental disorders which have driven the homelessness crisis in Seattle for over seven years now.

The miserable failure of Seattle’s homelessness response — over half a billion dollars and counting — itself makes paying for those services less likely. Compassion fatigue set in a long time ago, as did the belief — one founded in hard reality —that nothing Seattle tried had worked. You now have those attitudes to overcome as well.

But overcoming those attitudes would be work, which is hard, so instead you just tediously scream your usual abusive names at your usual targets. How about putting some of your ire where it belongs, starting with folks like the Stranger and CM Sawant? They’re the ones who’ve ignored the mental-health crisis, and lied about it being a housing-affordability crisis. Blame the persons who deserve it, and you might start to get consensus even amongst those many of your fellow citizens whom you clearly despise.

But what fun would that be?


@2 @4 @7 @9
(Psst! Take the light rail! Or an Uber!
Or the bus! - Live entertainment on the Metro is free!)


@17 that summarizes everything we already know about you. You don’t read.


Also, wintertime need not be "depression season." Think of it terms of nature. It's a time to rest and recoup and prepare yourself for another rebirth.


@21 See the drug abuse/mental health.. homelessness crises why people don't want to take public transportation.


@19 If you send them to jail, you’re sending them to the most expensive housing option available. We could give every homeless person permanent residence in the Fairmont Olympic for the cost of what you’re proposing. Particularly since there aren’t rehab beds available so everyone would go to jail.


It's possible to both support some form of taxpayer-subsidized assistance for homeless people and to acknowledge that a drastic rise in fentanyl overdose cases is only indirectly related to the issue of homelessness. Providing housing solutions to those in need would not necessarily prevent all those overdose deaths -- after all, large numbers of housed people also died last year from overdoses.

This headline item, as posted, seems to be dishonestly implying that those deaths were deaths due exposure or some other cause more directly tied to sleeping outside.


@25 they are not going to jail for their benefit. They are going to jail to protect the rest of us from them because they are unable/unwilling to stop victimizing innocent people. Unless you mandate mental health services housing first doesn’t change much and many people simply won’t support a model where the taxpayers pay to house someone without a commitment in return.


@25 Looking at it holistically, I would bet that it is cheaper to put them in prison.
Putting them in the Fairmont they would probably:
-Destroy if not burn it down
-Continue to steal/cause property damage
-Overdose without access to any medical facilities
Also I am only saying put those imprison that violate the law.
I am not saying the tiny villages need shut down if people there are not breaking the law.


@23 very nicely said


@27 and @28 It's just that you guys are the first ones out of the gate bawling about tax increases and government waste, so it's kind of surprising that you'd choose the most expensive and wasteful possible option of ways to get people clean and housed.


@30: Alone amongst the industrialized democracies, the U.S. lacks a national healthcare system. We also have the War on Drugs. Therefore, offering the choice of jail or treatment is our best option. Sad, isn’t it?

But I doubt Seattle would jail many of the homeless. After the first few imprisonments, word would get around rather quickly, and the encampments would empty of their own accord; most of “Seattle’s” homeless had originally arrived in town already without homes or jobs anyway.


@31 bingo! @30 we are not talking about jailing people for being addicts or as a way to house them. That’s a separate issue. We are talking about jailing people who are assholes and prey on those around them, including other homeless people. Currently we waste a large amount of resources trying to “meet them where they are at” in the hopes giving them a hug will change them from acting like assholes. It won’t and we need to focus on the victims and the general public good and put them in timeout.


@15 and @23 Bauhaus I: Bless you. What wonderful news about Amtrak running again to open service from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. Canada.


@29 SwampThing: +1 Agreed and seconded.


@22 RogertheShrubber: What do you expect from a typically uneducated, woefully ignorant and willingly self destructive MAGAt?

"The Last of Us". Thanks for the warning, Jas. I'm so glad I no longer have a TV. This is right up there with my being equally grateful to never have opened a Twitter account, and never will.


@35: “The Last of Us” was a beautiful video game. Like a good movie or TV show, it had compelling characters In difficult situations, a good mix of narrative and action, and a bittersweet ending. It was also incredibly difficult to play, and intentionally so: the characters often wind up in places with no obvious path forward, and various enemies make progress or even survival tough. I imagine the TV series is for those persons who want to enjoy watching the story, or one version of it, without the repeated and lengthy frustrations inherent to playing the game.

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