Minister John Helmiere in 2011, after he was allegedly bloodied by police during a protest at Harbor Island.
  • Minister John Helmiere in 2011, after he was allegedly hurt by police during a protest at Harbor Island.

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Minister sues in federal court over alleged punch from police officer: "A Seattle minister bloodied during a violent clash with police during a demonstration has sued the city, claiming he was wrongly arrested and unduly prosecuted," reports the "Rev. John Michael Helmiere was left with cuts and bruises on his face after Seattle police officers dragged him from the crowd during a December 2011 protest outside a Harbor Island pier. Helmiere, a United Methodist pastor who leads a South Seattle congregation, said he was thrown to the ground and punched by an officer for trying to keep the peace." (Previous Stranger coverage of this story here and here.)

Seattle's big tunnel project is not 70 percent done: Heidi Groover takes down the claim, which was coming from state officials and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess. "We’re not 70 percent done with the state's project of replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel, and then revamping surface streets in the area," Heidi writes. "In truth, we have about 70 percent of the way left to go."

State claims that if the viaduct settles two inches, "mitigation is required." On Monday, state officials "forgot" to bring the Seattle City Council specific contract language relating to how much the viaduct can sink before alarm bells go off. Now, apparently, that contract language has been found.

Comcast says its doubling the speeds for people in Washington who use its Internet service in Washington State. BUT, you may need to get a new modem. (And its definitely cheaper, long-term, to buy your own than pay a monthly fee to Comcast to rent a new modem.)
  • Denis Rozhnovsky/Shutterstock
  • Comcast says it's doubling the speeds for people who use its Internet service in Washington State. BUT, you may need to get a new modem. (And it's definitely cheaper, long-term, to buy your own modem than pay a monthly fee to Comcast to rent a modem.)

Comcast speeds are supposedly doubling in Washington State: "Speed increases 'will go into effect automatically over the next few days,' the company said in a release," according to Brier Dudley at the Seattle Times. "They are characterized as 'free' because no price increases are associated with them." But you should definitely read the fine print about required modems (and the fees associated with renting them from Comcast vs. buying your own damn modem).

Does this part of the country have an accent? KUOW investigates.

Soccer team owner accused of sexual assault: According to the Seattle Times, "the continued presence of Dion Earl with the Kent-based Seattle Impact FC raises questions about whether the Major Arena Soccer League conducted proper background checks on prospective team owners."

Why is Washington's jobless rate rising? "The economy is recovering and Washington state’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the national rate since late 2012," writes Janet Tu. "So why has Washington state’s jobless rate risen for the third month in a row, marking only the second time in two years that it’s been above the national unemployment rate? Attribute it to more people entering the job market, now that prospects seem brighter."

Fashion police say SPD needs a new look.

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New uniforms for Seattle police: "The Seattle Police department is about to undergo an extreme makeover that will change what people see on the streets," reports KIRO. "The department is rolling out a new patch, new uniforms, and new patrol cars. The uniform change, from two-tone light and dark blue to solid navy, has been discussed seriously for about a year and talked about for much longer. However, the new patch, officers told KIRO 7, was Chief Kathleen O’Toole’s idea."

Behind the thaw in US relations with Cuba: The New York Times offers a tour of negotiations that involved "presidents, popes, and spies."

Housing prices are fueling a blue state diaspora: "Blue states have a lot going for them," writes Matthew Yglesias. "Wages, education levels, and health outcomes are generally higher. So why are people running the other way?" The answer: it's too expensive to live in blue states. According to Yglesias, this represents "a real—and really big—failure of the political economy of American liberalism, and it's something liberals ought to take more seriously."