Law

Downtown Safety
1:22 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Stabbing Death Prompts Call for Tax to Fund Mental Health

Paula Wissel

Last weekend’s random killing of Shoreline Community College English Professor Troy Wolff in Pioneer Square has prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to call for more money to be spent on mental health resources, including a possible tax dedicated to mental health.

Donnell Jackson has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing of Wolff and Kristin Ito, who survived the attack.

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Labor & Union
8:17 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Space Needle's Treatment of Workers on Trial

Union supporters rally on behalf of Space Needle workers outside federal building, where a hearing on unfair labor practices is being held.
Paula Wissel

The Space Needle’s labor practices are on trial in a federal hearing room in Seattle. All week, the National Labor Relations Board(NLRB) has been presenting its case against the privately-owned Seattle icon.

Acting on a complaint from Unite Here Local 8, which represents several hundred Space Needle food and banquet workers, the NLRB is making its case that the company engaged in unfair labor practices, including encouraging employees to resign from the union and stop paying union dues.

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regulating marijuana
2:43 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Proposed Pot Rules Revised; Buffer Zone to be Measured as Crow Flies

Associated Press

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is tightening up its proposed regulation on where marijuana businesses can be located. Stores, processors, and grow operations will have to be at least 1, 000 feet from schools, parks and daycares—not by common path of travel, but as the crow flies, the board said Friday. 

The board had considered using streets and sidewalks to measure the distance instead of a straight line on the map. But board director Rick Garza says it has become obvious that the federal government did not agree.

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Legal rights
4:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

New Legal Resource Guide to Help Military in Washington

Paula Wissel

The state attorney general has compiled a new Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide aimed at helping active-duty soldiers and veterans learn about their legal rights.

Military personnel and veterans have a number of special legal rights when it comes to such things as interest rates on home loans or getting out of rental agreements. The problem, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is too many people are unaware of these protections.

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regulating marijuana
2:01 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

On Marijuana, Feds Plan to Address Banking Issue

Associated Press

The Department of Justice has let it be known that it won’t interfere with Washington’s legal marijuana industry. But when pot stores do come to Washington, they won’t be able to deposit their money in a bank or accept credit cards. That’s because the pot business, still illegal under federal law, is off-limits to federally-regulated banks.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. Tuesday. He says businesses that deal only in cash present problems for police.

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regulating marijuana
8:05 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Inslee to Meet with U.S. Attorneys about Legal Pot

File image
Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee is set to meet Tuesday with the two top federal prosecutors in Washington to discuss the Justice Department's concerns about the state's legal marijuana law.

U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mike Ormsby of Spokane are traveling to Olympia to speak with Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. 

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State vs. Federal pot rules
5:01 am
Mon September 9, 2013

King County Sheriff to Testify at Pot Rules Hearing in D.C.

Associated Press

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws in Washington D.C., and King County Sheriff John Urquhart will be there to testify.

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regulating marijuana
10:10 am
Wed September 4, 2013

State Liquor Board Announces Proposed Caps on Recreational Pot

AP Photos

The state of Washington can produce, at most 40 metric tons, or 2 million square feet, of marijuana per year, the state Liquor Control Board said in its revised proposed rules for recreational pot on Wednesday.  

A total of 334 pot stores will be allowed statewide, the board said, and each county will have its own cap.

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marijuana regulation
11:58 am
Tue September 3, 2013

State Liquor Board to Propose Caps on Pot Production, Stores

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

We’re about to find out the number of marijuana retail store locations that will be allowed in each of Washington’s 39 counties. The state’s Liquor Control Board plans to release that information Wednesday as part of the latest draft rules for Washington’s new legal pot marketplace.

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Criminal Justice
5:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

King County Jail Has Extra Beds

Along with the adult jail, King County Juvenile Detention facility has seen dramatic declines in population.lation decline by two-thirds since 2000.
Paula Wissel

It’s a place with plenty of vacancies. And the price might be right—about $130 a night.

But you probably don’t want to book a room.

I’m talking about the King County Jail where there are now a lot more beds than inmates.

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same-sex couple's rights
2:59 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

IRS Ruling Could Mean Upswing in Same-Sex Marriages in Wash.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Nancy Monahan, right, wears her dress uniform as she holds her marriage license and stands with her soon-to-be bride Deb Needham as they wait at Seattle City Hall, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

County officials who issue marriage licenses in Washington state are gearing up for a possible influx of new applicants following the Internal Revenue Services’ ruling that states gay marriage will be recognized across state lines for federal tax purposes.

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regulating marijuana
3:44 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

City Moratoriums Could Thwart Legal Pot

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Legal pot? Not so fast. That’s the message from a growing number of Washington cities.

Several municipalities are considering whether to pass a moratorium on pot-related businesses. Others, like Bellingham and Olympia, have already enacted temporary bans. 

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Taxis vs. Rideshare Services
12:06 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Seattle, King Co. Mull Ways to Regulate Rideshare Services

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, Lyft passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car driven by Nancy Tcheou in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu Associated Press

Taxi drivers are finding more competition on the road these days.  New smartphone-based ride-sharing services are giving consumers a lot of options.

But the highly-regulated taxis call the development unfair since the new companies don’t have to play by the same rules. Both King County and the city of Seattle are trying to figure out how to respond.

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War in Afghanistan
4:40 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Obama: Medal of Honor Recipient Brave at War and at Home

President Barack Obama awards U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press

At a White House ceremony Monday, President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, a Spokane native currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Carter was honored for his actions during the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan.  President Obama said Carter repeatedly put his own life on the line to save others. But Obama also talked of Carter's courage in another battle, a battle here at home.

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regulating marijuana
12:06 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Holder, Senate Committee Will Examine State, Federal Pot Laws

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee wants to look into the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy says he's invited Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to talk to the committee about the issue on Sept. 10.

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