1. The Columbian reports that the Clark County Commission voted 2-1 on party lines to bypass regular hiring practices and appoint conservative state Sen. Don Benton—a staunch opponent of the Columbia River Crossing project because it includes light rail—to head the county's environmental services division. The commission's one Democratic member, Steve Stuart, called the decision "disgusting" and "political cronyism."
“This is disgusting," the Columbian quotes Stuart as saying. "It really is. I’m done for the day. I am so sick. ... [T]o choose him without even going through a process is diminishing and demeaning to him. It’s demeaning to Don Benton because it smacks of political cronyism that you would appoint him without a process. It is saying that he couldn’t make it through the process on his own accord with his own merits.”
It smacks of political cronyism that you would appoint him without a process. It is saying that he couldn’t make it through the process on his own accord with his own merits.
2. Seattle Transit Blog has a handy primer to an issue we've written tons about ourselves—the pending 17 percent cut to King County Metro service, which could result in the eliminate of as many as 65 routes. The bad news, of course, remains the same: Legislators seem deadlocked on whether to pass a transportation revenue package that would, among many other things, give King County residents the permission to tax themselves.
3. The Bellevue Reporter has the news that Lyndon Heywood, an immigrant from England who serves on the city's bike and pedestrian advisory board (and who has been an outspoken proponent for bike infrastructure in the city) is running against incumbent Conrad Lee, one of the Bellevue council's four-member conservative Kemper Freeman bloc, who have frequently voted en masse against pro-transit legislation.
Two other progressive candidates, Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter, are running against council member (and current Mayor) Don Davidson. A win for even one of the three would likely mean a major shakeup on the conservative-dominated council.
4. Firedoglake offers an admittedly lefty but nuanced take on last night's May Day protests, noting that although a few protesters were throwing rocks, bottles, and other debris at police, the majority were doing nothing illegal. And, they note, "If the police saw who was throwing objects at them, they could just make an arrest. They also had bicycles, which they could easily use to push back anarchists off the streets and on to the sidewalks without escalating the situation." And they note that KOMO's Hanna Scott, who was reporting on the protests, got pepper-sprayed.
"Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said during the evening press briefing the violence did not occur just because the march was unpermitted," FDL writes. "'I think it was also to do with the nature of the individuals in it and what they wanted to do.' In other words, these are individuals predisposed to causing mayhem so the police can use force liberally if they so choose."
5. Finally, in a righteously angry review that calls Amanda Knox's book "the most prominent story of slut-shaming since The Scarlet Letter," Jezebel rants:
It is so fucking crazy how there was literally no evidence connecting her to the crime—other than her coerced confession (during which she was smacked and hit in the head and denied use of the bathroom) and botched forensic testing of an incriminating substance that later turned out to be rye bread—and that Rudy Guede, the guy who actually viciously raped and murdered Kercher (his DNA and bloody hand and shoe print were found at the crime scene and inside Kercher's body) got a lesser sentence than Knox because he cooperated with the prosecution by testifying against her. Her case was based on her behavior, much of which was lied about or embellished.