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Fri November 19, 2010
Friday morning's headlines
A huge new hit to the state's already ugly budget, a call for federal scrutiny of Seattle Police, and Microsoft takes on Apple at Bellevue Square.
State's Budget Crisis: "Uncharted Territory"
The new economic forecast is in, and it's not good: a $400 million hit to the current state budget. Chief economist Arun Raha says tax collections aren't keeping up with projections. The hit to the two-year budget is $1.2 billion.
Raha told KPLU's Austin Jenkins that forecasting in this recession, "is like driving your car by looking in the rearview mirror. If it hasn't happened before, you're model will not see what's coming."
"Uncertainty will continue to prevail until a new normal -- whatever that may be -- settles in. We are in uncharted territory."
The situation means Governor Chris Gregoire may be forced to a call a special legislative session next month.
Should Feds Check in on Seattle Police?
The ACLU of Washington will ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the city's sworn protectors are violating civil rights. In a statement released yesterday, state ACLU director Kathleen Taylor said a video of an October 18th incident is part of a trend of recent "unnecessary" acts of violence
"...have continued unchecked and without forceful intervention by the Seattle Police Department, the mayor, or Seattle’s other elected officials."
The video shows a backpack-wearing undercover officer kicking an African-American youth inside a convenience store. A uniformed officer then enters the scene, shown here in a video obtained by KOMO-TV.
KOMO reports the same officer appears to have been involved in a second violent incident later that evening. Seattle Police say two of thier officers had been attacked during an undercover drug bust. The undercover office was suspended on Wednesday after the video surfaced. Seattle Deputy Police Chief Clark Kimerer told KOMO:
"Our officers cannot afford to give into emotion and I think we give a very clear statement about that every time we can."
Other recent high-profile incidents include the killing of a native woodcarver in August, a death under investigation, and the punching of an African-American teenage girl by an officer earlier this year.
Microsoft Opens Bellevue Square Store
The 'game' is on at Bellevue Square. The new Microsoft store is just four doors down from the Apple outlet, and open just in time for the holiday rush. CEO Steve Ballmer told Patch.com:
"This is store seven. And they're all special and all the ones we're going to open are going to be special but this is the one I'm going to be in and out of most often," Ballmer said.
The first Microsoft store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona last year. The new location offers buyers a chance to try out Xbox games, the new Windows phone and other products. More retail stores are planned.
The event featured a 'surprise' concert by Dave Matthews. Check out the photo from his performnce in the above photo gallery.