1. Members of Seattle's select committee to find a new police chief announced three finalists to permanently replace Kathleen O'Toole—and Carmen Best, the current interim chief and the only SPD candidate, didn't make the cut. The announcement shocked some members of the Community Police Commission and SPD employees who supported her. Mayor Jenny Durkan will decide among the three finalists—Eddie Frizell of the Minneapolis Police Department; Cameron McLay, former Pittsburgh police chief; and Ely Reyes, the Austin Police Department's assistant chief—by late June or early July.
2. A wastewater tunnel project is expected to cost an extra $147 million. In a joint effort to reduce sewage and wastewater runoff, King County and Seattle funded the construction of a tunnel from Wallingford to Ballard. Crosscut reported that 90 million gallons of sewage spilled into the city's water last year. The new tunnel is expected to prevent 82 million gallons of sewage spillage and to cost $570 million instead of the original estimate of $423 million.
3. A report from KUOW showed fatalities from gun violence in Seattle are mostly located south of the Ship Canal. Over the last nine years, 64 kids died from gunshot wounds in King County; only three of the fatalities occurred north of the Ship Canal. Between 2015 and 2018, an estimated 75 percent of the gun were youths of color, KUOW reported.
4. New census data reports that Seattle is now the fastest growing big city in the U.S. this decade. The Seattle Times reported that since 2010, Seattle's total population gains add up to 18.7 percent. Seattle has made the top four major cities with the most growth for the past five years now. Only Atlanta beat us last year.
5. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld employers' rights to require workers to forfeit their ability to bring legal action against them. The ruling was a blow to labor groups who want the right to bring class action lawsuits over workplace complaints. The Stranger reported that Washington and other states could respond to the decision by providing more ways for individual workers to take action against employers.
6. In more head tax news, 50 different companies and organizations including Amazon, Vulcan, and Starbucks pledged money to campaign efforts to repeal the tax. In less than a week, the No Tax on Jobs campaign secured over $350,000. The largest donor was the Washington Food Industry Association, which pledged $30,000.
7. Durkan announced legislation to make it a civil infraction not to store a gun in a secured and locked container. The law would also make it a civil infraction for an owner of a gun to do nothing when they know or should know that a minor, at-risk person, or unauthorized user is likely to access the weapon.
8. The largest psychiatric facility, Western State Hospital received a citation for a safety violation that could increase suicide among patients. The citation puts the hospital at risk of losing $65 million in annual federal funding, Northwest News Network reported. Surveyors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found exposed fire system devices that patients could use to hang themselves. The hospital must address it and have it accepted by CMS, or it could lose Medicare funding within 23 days.
9. King County proposed spending $180 million for Safeco Field's upkeep. Revenue from the "hotel-motel tax" used to finance the construction of the Kingdome and CenturyLink Field will be up for grabs after the county finishes paying off debt from CenturyLink's capital costs in 2020. King County executive Dow Constantine and other council members support a plan that allocates money for the maintenance of Safeco as well as arts programs, affordable housing, and youth homeless services. Council member Dave Upthegrove criticized the plan as a subsidy for a privately owned team.
10. Governor Jay Inslee fuels speculation he may run for president with a trip to speak in Iowa. Inslee is slated to headline the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration in June. Inslee is currently the chair of the Democratic Governors Association and has dodged questions regarding the subject of a potential presidential bid in 2020.