Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.
1. Hard as it may be to believe, the battle over the Burke-Gilman Trail's "Missing Link" through Ballard is back in court again tomorrow, when a King County Superior Court judge will rule on an appeal by Ballard businesses of a ruling by the city of Seattle's hearing examiner that completing the trail will have "no significant adverse environmental impacts."
Bike advocates are hoping that this latest court fight will be the last, and that the trail, which has been locked in court battles for years, can finally be completed; follow Cascade Bicycle Club's live-tweeting of the hearing, which starts at 2:00 pm, here.
2. Nansen Malin, the head of American for Prosperity Washington, the local Koch Brothers-affiliated group that came to the attention of the Public Disclosure Commission last year for a series of anti-Democratic incumbent mailers that initially failed to disclose who specifically funded them, posted a series of tweets yesterday alerting the internet that former Washington State Democratic Party Chair Paul Berendt was part of an Occupy protest that was storming Republican state Sen. Steve Litzow's office in Bellevue.
The tweets claimed Berendt was part of a crew of 15 Occupiers who stormed the Bellevue office building where Litzow, a moderate, works—and that employees there were forced to call the cops.
Berendt, who was working at his Seattle office at that moment (he's a consultant with Strategies 360) was stunned.[pullquote]"This is weirder than shit! This right-wing tweeter fabricated this story and pushed it out onto the tweet."—Paul Berendt[/pullquote]
"This is weirder than shit! This right-wing tweeter fabricated this story and pushed it out onto the tweet. I am nowhere near this location," he emailed Fizz. "While I do believe that Wall Street types should be held accountable for the mortgage crisis and bankrupting Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, I haven’t been storming any office buildings or breaking the law!"
Malin tells PubliCola: "I was punked. It's my fault, and I apologize." She says one of the protesters announced their name—which sounded like Paul Berendt—and she quickly tweeted that Berendt was part of the protest crew.
She says she got a call from Berendt's colleague Paul Queary, the former Seattle AP bureau chief, who asked her what was going on, noting that Berendt was sitting right next to him at the 360 offices. "I should have checked. It's my fault. I sincerely apologized," Malin says. "I guess it was a joke, like I went to my friend's house and said, 'knock knock ... who's there ... Nancy Pelosi.'"
Malin wasn't actually "punked" as much as she just got it wrong. Paul Benz, a lobbyist with the Faith Action Network, was one of the protesters who gave his name and read a statement.
Security was called and the real protesters, who'd been handing out literature, left.
3. Erica has already made it clear that she thinks the uproar over the new museum in Pioneer Square dedicated to the tunnel project is faux populist journalism (and GOP rhetoric) at its silliest.
Yesterday, she paid the outrageous boondoggle a visit and had a splendid time, people.
4. Last night, Jonah reported the details of a damning US Dept. of Justice investigation into the SPD. Sources familiar with the report told Jonah the DOJ found that over a two year period, SPD officers committed civil rights violations in one out of every five of the 500 to 600 incidents a year where officers used force.
There's a press conference on the findings this morning at 9:30.
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