State Budget
8:52 am
Fri February 18, 2011

State workers union ads regarding more violence at Western State Hospital deemed 'mostly false'

A new TV ad created by the Washington Federation of state Employees claims that violence has increased at Western State Hospital – because of budget cuts by the state. 

The Seattle Times "Truthneedle" picked that ad apart and says it's misleading and "mostly false."

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Massive Back-up on I-5
8:17 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Wrong-way driver blamed for fatal crash in Marysville

A wrong-way driver is suspected of causing a fatal crash on Interstate 5 at Marysville this (Friday) morning.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary said a driver going north in the southbound lanes slammed into two other vehicles about 5:15 a.m. near the Tulalip Casino. As of 9 a.m. traffic was still backed up about 4.5 miles.

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Transportation
7:55 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Glitches in Good to Go electronic tolling system

Aeter Flickr

While it's a good idea to be prepared, sometimes it's good not to move too fast. 

Apparently there are glitches in the state's new "Good to Go" tolling system.  The State Department of Transportation says it will revamp the sign-up process after complaints by frustrated motorists trying to buy transponders online.  As Mike Lindblom reports in The Seattle Times:

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NEWS ROUNDUP
5:51 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn tilts his head and smiles when asked about the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct during a news conference about the city budget Oct. 11. As expected, McGinn on Thursday vetoed the city council plan for a waterfront tunnel.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

 

  • Seattle Mayor Vetoes Tunnel Plan as Expected
  • Arraignment in Kent Today in 49th Green River Killing
  • Investment Firm Buys Majority Stake in Haggen Chain
  • Boeing, Alaska Air Employees Awarded Bonuses

 

McGinn Vetoes Tunnel Plan in Symbolic Move

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is staying out on a limb and keeping his election promises, using his veto power Thursday in a symbolic attempt to stop the tunnel along the Seattle waterfront from being built.

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Sports with Art Thiel
8:15 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Hard to embrace idea of Griffey as Mariners' consultant

Ken Griffey Jr. puts his arm around Mariners team president Chuck Armstrong before a baseball workout in 2009 at Safeco Field. Their close relationship came under scrutiny last year, following Griffey’s abrupt retirement from baseball.
Elaine Thompson AP

There are a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved issues with Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job as special consultant with the Seattle Mariners. This follows his abrupt retirement in the middle of the season last year.

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STATE LAW
1:14 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Some Washington cities looking to nip pot dispensaries in the bud

Dale Rogers displays different types of marijuana available at the Compassion in Action Patient Network, an organization that distributes medical marijuana to qualifying patients in June 2007 in Seattle. Rogers has been diagnosed with AIDS about 20 years.
Andrei Pungovschi AP

You can't walk into a store and legally buy marijuana in Washington for medical or any other purposes. Yet. But some cities in the state - anticipating that you soon might be able to - have placed a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and another is considering one. And the shops aren't even lawful. Yet.

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Liquor Laws
8:10 am
Thu February 17, 2011

Despite initiative defeat, Costco still pushing liquor privatization

A shopper holds up a bottle of wine from a large selection at a Costco warehouse store.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Voters defeated not one, but two liquor privatization measures last fall -- one of them sponsored by Costco. But a key lawmaker says that's not stopping the Issaquah warehouse chain from continuing to push the issue in Olympia.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
8:09 am
Thu February 17, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Marchers protesting the decision of the King County Prosecutor not to file criminal charges against Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk are blocked from the corner of 12th and Pike by lines of SPD in riot gear. The chant is 'Jail Ian Birk.'
jseattle CapitolHillSeattle.com

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Hundreds Protest in Seattle After Birk Decision
  • Agreement Reached on Deficit Cutting Package
  • Wet Snow for Parts of Western Washington
  • More Charges in Lakewood Police Shooting Case

 

Surprise, Anger, Emotion Follow Birk Rebuke, Resignation

Protesters numbering in the hundreds marched from downtown Seattle to a Capitol Hill Police precinct following a day of dramatic developments in the case of Officer Ian Birk. In the span of a few hours Wednesday:

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
8:05 am
Thu February 17, 2011

What should Seattle’s waterfront look like? Public event seeks ideas

Early concept of proposed Alaskan Way and the connection to Elliott Avenue and Western Avenue.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

With the Alaskan Way viaduct scheduled to be demolished in 2016, Seattle area residents are dreaming up possibilities for connecting the waterfront to the city. For decades, the viaduct has largely blocked Elliott Bay, unless you're driving on it or looking out of a high rise building. 

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Record Bin Roulette
7:19 am
Thu February 17, 2011

The nine balls of George W. Bush

Now that we have your attention…it’s time for another romp through history in honor of this weekend’s big President’s Day Holiday. It’s a day to pay tribute to those brave men who served their country, and to enjoy deep discounts on furniture and appliances that honor their memory.

Record Bin Roulette takes this occasion to review the popular music Presidents have chosen for their formal celebrations. The biggest, baddest of all is the Inaugural Ball.

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JOHN T. WILLIAMS SHOOTING
8:26 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Angry protesters demand justice for slain woodcarver

Anwar Peace was one of several hundred people gathered to honor John T. Williams and express their dismay that the police officer who killed him on a Seattle street last summer will not face criminal charges.
Paula Wissel KPLU News

Sage smoke, prayers and the beat of Native drums filled the air at Seattle City Hall Wednesday afternoon as several hundred people gathered to demand justice for woodcarver John T. Williams. Williams, a member of the Nuu-Chah-Nuulth First Nation in British Columbia, was shot to death last Aug. 30th by a Seattle police officer.

The demonstrators moved on to Westlake Park.  Later, several dozen marched to the crosswalk at Boren St. and Howell St. where Williams was killed by Officer Ian Birk.

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conservation
5:35 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Point Defiance tiger goes to Dallas

Java, a 12 year old Sumatran tiger at Point Defiance Zoo
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Java, a 12-year-old, an endangered Sumatran tiger, is leaving his home at Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to find love at the Dallas Zoo. His keepers tried to mate him with the zoo's female tiger, Jaya, but that didn't work out and she mated with Java's brother, Bali, instead. Jaya gave birth to cubs Bima and Mali last May.

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John T. Williams Shooting
4:34 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Seattle police officer Ian Birk resigns after report finds fault

The Seattle police officer who fatally shot a woodcarver on a downtown street last summer has resigned.

Chief John Diaz says Officer Ian Birk resigned as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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JOHN T. WILLIAMS SHOOTING
2:12 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Woodcarver fatal shooting not justified, says Seattle Police board

Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer announces the findings of a Seattle Police Department review of the fatal shooting last summer of John T. Williams by Officer Ian Birk.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

The shooting death of a Native American woodcarver by a Seattle police officer last summer was not justified. That’s the finding announced by the police department’s Firearms Review Board today. 

The review found Officer Ian Birk took actions that were "outside of policy, tactics and training."

The case is “among the most egregious failings that I’ve seen in my thirty years with the Seattle Police Department,” said the board chairman, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer.

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PUBLIC LANDS
1:33 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Bill would charge fee to access state recreation sites

Day use of one of Washington's 119 state parks, such as Moran State Park on Orcas Island would cost $10 or $30 annually under a proposed bill.
HeatherL Flickr

First the state Senate, now the House. Either way, it’ll cost you ten bucks to visit a Washington State Park for the day if the legislature passes measures now being considered in Olympia.

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