1. Carmen Best is back in the running for Seattle's permanent police chief after one of the three finalists withdrew his name for consideration. Cameron McLay, former Pittsburgh police chief, agreed to be considered for a different position within the Seattle Police Department. Best will be considered with the other two finalists—Ely Reyes, assistant chief of the Austin Police Department, and Eddie Frizell, a police inspector from Minneapolis.
2. City attorney Pete Holmes offered $4,001 to settle a lawsuit brought against mayor Jenny Durkan and several city council members for allegedly violating the state's Open Public Meetings Act. The Seattle Times reported that the lawyers of the plaintiff, James Egan, has yet to decide whether to accept the offer. Holmes has said that he doesn't believe the Open Public Meetings Act was violated.
3. The Seattle City Council is facing a second lawsuit for allegedly violating the Open Public Meetings Act in the council's vote to repeal the head tax, Crosscut reported. A spokesperson from the city attorney's office said the city had not been formally served. In contrast to Egan's lawsuit, plaintiff Arthur West wants to invalidate the council's vote to repeal the head tax.
4. Starting on Tuesday, the lobby of Seattle City Hall will provide 80 new shelter spots for the homeless population at night, KUOW reported. Currently, there's a shelter space on the lower level of the building that provides 80 beds. The Salvation Army of Seattle currently run the shelters and plan to expand services.
5. A carbon "fee" initiative will likely be on the November ballot this November after it was defeated in 2016. The initiative would cost large emitters $15 per metric ton of carbon emissions starting in January 2020 and then rise $2 a year after that. The campaign said it submitted 375,00 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot, well over the state's required 259,622.
6. Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement will give president Donald Trump an appointment to the Supreme Court. Here are a couple ways it may affect Washington state:
- KNKX reported the possible effects of having a more conservative Supreme Court justice on Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson's lawsuits against the Trump administration. Having a clear majority of justices leaning conservative could mean that Trump will not feel as threatened with lawsuits brought against him. The outcome of a case was not predictable with Kennedy, who was a swing vote.
- Another concern that has surfaced with the news of Kennedy's retirement is the reversal of Roe v. Wade. As of now in Washington state, women's reproductive rights are protected thanks to the passage of a statewide initiative back in 1991. But, with a narrow Democratic majority in the state legislature, activists' priority is to get more pro-choice candidates into office.
7. The new superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Denise Juneau, began her tenure last week. The Seattle Times reported that Juneau intends to spend the next few months on a listening tour. A transition plan published on the school district's website outlined Juneau's entry plan to build relationships and engage with the community. The result of these discussions will be gathered in a document to inform the district's strategic plan.
8. The Puget Sound Regional Council found that Seattle housing prices are rising by more than $5 an hour every day, KUOW reported. The council is beginning discussions on its VISION 2050 plan, which charts the course of growth in the region, and ways to address the concern of living costs.
9. An initiative that aims to place regulations on gun ownership will likely appear on November's ballot. Initiative 1639 would raise the purchase age to 21, require enhanced background checks, and require training and waiting periods to obtain firearms among other things.
The Second Amendment Foundation along with others filed a request for an injunction against the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility's petition, claiming that the signatures don't show all the changes the initiative would make. Supreme Court commissioner Michael Johnston dismissed the filing.
10. The plastic straw ban took effect last week, making Seattle the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service. Food service businesses must provide approved compostable straws and upon request. The city first adopted the ordinance banning plastic straws and utensils back in 2008; but due to a lack of compostable alternatives, it didn't fully take effect until this year. Businesses face a $250 fine for not complying.