OOBT

1. The Seattle Times has quite a scoop: Mayor Ed Murray's police chief search committee has narrowed down its list of candidates to 10 applicants, none of them from the Seattle Police Department, the Times reported last night—meaning that assistant police chief Nick Metz, who had applied for the position, is no longer in the running. 

Pramila Jayapal, the co-chair of Murray's police chief selection committee, told the Times that the mayor plans to make his selection the week of May 19. 

2. Stranger writer Dominic Holden has  a feature story in the current issue of the paper on Murray's police accountability-reform process, criticizing Murray for letting interim police chief Jim Pugel go and hiring an interim replacement, Harry Bailey, whom Holden calls "more sympathetic to [the police officers' union] than his predecessor" and accuses of "defending officers in questionable circumstances." 

(Holden filed a complaint against the police department after an officer questioned him aggressively when he was taking photos of someone the police had stopped.)

3. Speaking of cops: You know what I won't be doing on May 1? Going anywhere near the May Day protests, which KING 5 reports on today.

You know what I won't be doing on May 1? Going anywhere near the May Day protests.Last year, I happened upon the protests while walking through downtown, and got pepper-sprayed right in the face for the crime, I guess, of trying to take a photo of a woman who'd been thrown onto the ground by police officers. (When ordered to move along, I did exactly as told. Didn't matter.) 

Afterward, as I reported the next day, the bike cops who sprayed me shoved me up the street, using their bikes as bludgeons, despite the fact that I couldn't see or talk. (I filed a complaint with the city's Office of Professional Accountability but ended up going through mediation instead of pursuing the case, in part because I couldn't identify the bike-helmeted, sunglasses-clad cop who sprayed me).

I get that cops have a tough gig, but I'd rather not be assaulted for (trying to) do my job. 

3. Happy day after Tax Day, car drivers: Streetsblog documents five tax breaks drivers get just for driving, including a $10,000 break for buying an electric car, a $250-a-month break for your personal parking space, a 56.5-cent deduction for every mile you drive, and a $40,000 break if you own a big truck. Go, America.

4. Dave Gering, head of the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle, argues in the Seattle Times that businesses should be allowed to pay a sub-minimum wage (more like $11 an hour, as opposed to the $15 proponents of raising the minimum wage suggest) if they provide health care, on account of their supposedly generous agreement to provide that care as part of their employees' annual benefits.

Never mind that, beginning this year, everyone will be required to have health care under the law (or risk paying annual fines), making employers' "generosity" in providing health care less of an act of kindness to their employees and more of a matter of federal law.

5. Why will ridesharing win in the end? According to the Atlantic Cities, services like UberX, on which the Seattle City Council adopted new regulations last month, will ultimately prevail over traditional cab companies because (at least, if a comprehensive city survey of taxi and ridesharing service users is any indication) provide more reliable service than transit for people without cars who need to get somewhere in a hurry—much like the original jitneys, small buses or taxes that provided a customized, low-cost alternative to traditional public transportation in the early 1900s.

 

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