1. The Seattle Times' Jonathan Martin has an interesting post about the increased (perception of) safety at Westlake Park downtown, but I have to say, he totally buries his lede: In the very last line (after pointing out that the Seattle Police Department recently did a big crackdown, code named "Operation Happy Holidays," on drug dealers in the park), Martin notes that the outgoing McGinn administration has harshly criticized city attorney Pete Holmes for failing to crack down on 28 frequent low-level offenders downtown, implying strongly that those 28 people were the reason street disorder downtown has increased.
Of the 19 individuals charged in the Westlake-area drug bust, Martin reports, none on SPD's "frequent offenders" list, "confirm[ing] to me that the list was bunk."
2. The prospect for legal pot retailers who want to use conventional banks when they open next year are "not looking good," the Puget Sound Business Journal reports, noting that banks still "aren’t willing to touch the money that the industry generates without federal guarantees that they won’t be prosecuted."
Those guarantees apparently weren't forthcoming at a recent meeting of the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, which includes representatives from industry, government regulators, and law enforcement. Without access to a bank, pot businesses will have to operate on a cash-only basis, opening them up to considerable risk for theft.
3. On his blog, state Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) has the results of a survey he did of nearly 400 people in his district, asking about their legislative priorities, their opinion of Boeing tax breaks, and their thoughts on a potential state transportation package.
• 68 percent said they supported holding off on a transportation package until the state comes up with a more balanced proposal.
• Road maintenance was the leading priority for any transportation package, followed by state-funded transit improvements and local transit taxing authority.
• A strong majority, 58 percent, of respondents supported the tax breaks legislators have proposed giving Boeing to ensure that the 777X plane is made in Everett.
• And 71 percent of respondents from the district supported ending the death penalty and commuting all death sentences to life; just 17 percent supported the death penalty.