1. Yesterday, the SPD announced they were planning to arrest the Occupy Seattle camp at Westlake Plaza Tuesday night if the group didn't remove its tents. The police did not make any arrests last night, though, as a hundred plus protesters remained put.[pullquote]Mayor Mike McGinn said their tents would unfairly displace other upcoming events—including an anti-war protest—that have been permitted to use the park in the coming days.[/pullquote]
At about 5:00 this morning, the group's Twitter feed reported:
There have been no further sightings of cops since yesterday and no arrests at Westlake Park. We Occupy Westlake. We #OccupySeattle.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Mike McGinn issued a statement supporting the protesters' message for economic equity and their right to free speech, but said their tents would unfairly displace other upcoming events—including an anti-war protest—that have been permitted to use the park in the coming days.
(Fizz hears there were complaints from nearby businesses.)
2. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office has told prosecutors to quit talking about cases on Facebook and Twitter.
A memo sent to staff in the KCPAO’s criminal division earlier this week, says that while “Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and other social messaging can be useful in reaching out to victims,” staff should not be Tweeting or posting status updates about cases.
We’ve also heard unconfirmed rumors that the memo was sent after a paralegal in the prosecutor’s office began Facebooking with defendants in an attempt to get information for cases. We’re working to confirm whether that’s true.
The prosecutor’s office is now revising their social media guidelines for staff.
3. In a letter to city council president Richard Conlin this week, the Seattle Planning Commission mostly endorsed the jobs plan Mayor Mike McGinn proposed in July, with a few exceptions. (The proposal would reduce or eliminate minimum parking requirements for new development, allow larger home businesses, and allow ground-floor apartments in spaces where only retail is currently allowed, among other changes).
Although the commissioners said they were generally supportive of the proposal, they did ask for changes in a few specific areas.
First, they caution that the city, in allowing commercial businesses in low-rise zones, should take care to encourage smaller businesses that serve the people who live and work in neighborhoods. [pullquote]Based on state Office of Financial Management numbers, a bottle of booze under the privatized scenario could be 36 cents cheaper than it is today.[/pullquote]
Second, they warn against entirely eliminating retail requirements on the ground floor of apartment buildings, "and in doing so ‘killing’ the commercial and retail activity." And they ask the council to further expand opportunities to build backyard cottages, by eliminating minimum parking requirements, lowering minimum lot size requirements along alleys, and creating a maximum living area ratio for both a main house and a backyard cottage on a single-family lot.
4. The Seattle Times wades into the numbers and determines that a pro-liquor privatization TV ad is "Mostly True" when it claims it would "bring more competitive prices to consumers."
Doing the math on the current state markup plus taxes and comparing it to the potential post-1183 markup (retailer and distributor fees passed on to the consumer) plus taxes, the Seattle Times determines that based on state Office of Financial Management numbers, a bottle of booze under the privatized scenario could be 36 cents cheaper than it is today.
However, they also note that under a high-end estimate (using potentially higher markups from the retailer and the distributor), the same bottle of booze could be two dollars more expensive than it is today.[pullquote]Hobbs says he raised $55,000 since declaring his candidacy two months ago.[/pullquote]
5. The Federal Elections Commission doesn't have the latest numbers yet on the pack of hopefuls going after US Rep. Jay Inlsee's seat (Inslee, of course, is running for governor). But one candidate, moderate Democrat, state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens), announced his fundraising totals yesterday.
Hobbs, one of three state legislators running (who is besting his opponents in endorsements from their respective legislative colleagues in Olympia), says he raised $55,000 since declaring his candidacy two months ago. Without the FEC reports, we can't tell you who his big donors are yet, but late last month Hobbs was blasted by the Washington State Labor Council for holding a fundraiser sponsored by corporate lobbyists at the home of a Boeing lobbyist.
Hopefully the new reports will help us get a bead on this crowded race which, again, includes two other state legislators (drug reform Rep. Roger Goodman and green Rep. Marko Liias), plus a former state legislator, Laura Ruderman, and Darshan Rauniyar, a Bothell small business entrepreneur who is active in Democratic Party politics. Ruderman, a professional fundraiser who is winning support from women's rights advocates, reported a whopping $101,000 in the last period. And Goodman was at $85,000.
Neither Rauniyar's nor Liias' fundraising reports are up on the FEC site yet, but Rauniyar, a complete unknown who is hyping his status as a successful immigrant, says he's raised $110,000.
Fizz also expects Suzan DelBene, director of the state Dept. of Revenue and the 2010 Democratic candidate against US Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8 ), to jump in—depending on how redistricting shakes out. (Fizz has also heard that Reichert's challenger in 2006 and 2008, the current Executive Director of lefty group ProgressiveCongress.org, Darcy Burner, might run for congress again this time too.)
6. Also in the news: Amanda Knox.