On Other Blogs
On Other Blogs Today: Cops, Conspiracies, and Complaints
Our daily roundup.
1. Earlier this week, KING 5 had a sit-down interview with Jay Inslee, in which the governor-elect repeats his refrain about not raising taxes ("growing our economy" will take care of the state's ongoing budget shortfall); says he's "totally prepared" to implement the will of the voters on Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana use; and promises to implement "Lean" management strategies that will cut costs in state government.
Footnote: We're guessing Seattle Times won't be getting a similar one-on-one any time soon.
2. The Seattle Times reports that the Seattle Police Department went to extraordinary lengths to find out which department employees were leaking information to journalists, poring over more than 120,000 phone records in an investigation the department says was necessary because leaks to reporters threatened to compromise SPD's investigation into the killing of Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton in October 2009; the search for the person who killed four Lakewood police officers a month later; and a third, unrelated case.
One of the reporters named in the investigation was former PubliCola crime writer (and SeattleCrimeBlog writer and founder) Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, who now works for SPD. According to the Times, he "declined" to tell SPD the source of a leak involving the premature disclusure of a search warrant in a case unrelated to Brenton and the Lakewood shootings.
Ridership on Sound Transit's Link Light Rail continues to increase year-over-year, Seattle Transit Blog reports—it's up 13 percent over the same quarter last year.
3. Waterfront merchants continue to complain about the city's plan to "only" shut down construction on the voter-approved downtown seawall for three months a year, this time taking to KIRO's "Ross and Burbank" talk-radio show to decry Mayor Mike McGinn's supposed betrayal of a promise to shut down construction through the end of September.
McGinn has said there never was any such "promise," and points out that a four-month closure would draw out total construction time and increase the overall cost of the project.4. Washington State Wire'sErik Smith has a long profile of new 5th District state senator-elect Mark Mullet, who is, Smith writes, "not easy to label"—a small businessman (he owns a pizza restaurant and ice-cream shop in Issaquah) who drives an electric car, has solar panels on his house, and, as an Issaquah City Council member led the push to ban plastic bags in that city).
Democrat Mullet, Smith notes, beat Republican Brad Toft decisively in the swing district, where his seat was filled most recently by Cheryl Pflug, a moderate Republican who retired this year, declaring herself disgusted with the state Republican Party.
Mullet's victory sparked rumors of a conspiracy to hand the seat to a Democrat, starting with Pflug's departure on the very last day for candidates to file for office. Pflug's last-minute decision forced Republicans to support Toft, who had a long history of financial and legal problems.
To his credit, Smith (whose blog skews Republican) more or less dismisses the rumors, saying, "Certainly nothing can be proved, and even if it could be it might just as easily be chalked up to clever political gamesmanship," as opposed to a grand conspiracy.
5. Ridership on Sound Transit's Link Light Rail continues to increase year-over-year, Seattle Transit Blog reports—it's up 13 percent over the same quarter last year, with more than 2.5 million total boardings over the three-month period. Meanwhile, Link, at $5.89 per boarding, is cheaper to operate than either Sound Transit Express buses ($6.59 per boarding) or Sounder commuter rail ($11.56 per boarding).