Afternoon Jolt

Today's (tentative) winner: Car2Go users. 

Car2Go—the new one-way carsharing service that uses a smartly branded fleet of turquoise-and-white SmartForTwo cars—is a great (and potentially cheaper) alternative to traditional carsharing .... as long as you don't end your trip outside the company's "home area."

Currently, as we've (indignantly) reported, that home area excludes huge swaths of Southeast Seattle and all of West Seattle.

But that may be changing. Yesterday, Car2Go announced that in response to user demand, it plans to extend service to "areas of both West Seattle and Southeast Seattle" in March. 

So why only a "tentative" Jolt?

We're waiting to see Car2Go's entire new home area map, which a company spokeswoman says will be final later this month.

Today's (two-time) loser: Mayor Mike McGinn. 

McGinn, who had some conciliatory words today for city attorney Pete Holmes after a battle about control of SPD oversight boiled over yesterday when McGinn sent Holmes a scathing memo, wasn't getting anywhere with Holmes this afternoon.

In a statement today, Holmes said he appreciated McGinn's willingness to sit down with him (previously, McGinn said he felt he had to put his words in writing given "the state of communications between us") but added, "Unfortunately, until the Mayor withdraws and disclaims yesterday’s letter and memorandum, we will be forced to continue preparing a response." 

In a similarly stern statement yesterday, Holmes office called McGinn's statements "counterproductive" and added, "this is a sad day for Seattle ... especially sad for the women and men of SPD who want us all to move forward, together.”

And, in another mini-Jolt for McGinn, the city council's public safety committee—headed by one of the mayor's reelection challengers, Bruce Harrell—is considering legislation this afternoon that would require city departments to get council approval before deploying surveillance equipment like cameras and drones.

(McGinn did get out in front of the council on drones, announcing that he was suspending the program after activists flooded Harrell's committee to protest SPD's purchase of two unarmed drones last month). 

SPD installed 30 Homeland Security-funded cameras along the waterfront in a project related to Port of Seattle security, but privacy advocates have argued that the cameras could be used to track ordinary citizens; McGinn has been on the defensive about the cameras since they came to light last month. 

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