Morning Fizz

The Emails Were Fakes

By Morning Fizz February 16, 2011

1. The King County Prosecutor's Office will not file charges against Ian Birk, the SPD officer who shot and killed John T. Williams, the Native American woodcarver, last August. The SPD is expected to fire Birk, though, after finding that the shooting was not justified. Steve Militech has the story at the Seattle Times, and Jonah Spangenthal-Lee has it at SeattleCrime.com.

The John T. Williams Organizing Committee has called for a rally this morning at 9 am at City Hall.

2. Fizz took note yesterday at the house education committee hearing on state Rep. Eric Pettigrew's (D-37, S. Seattle) controversial teacher layoff bill (it would prioritize evaluations over seniority in layoffs) when Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-1, Bothell), chair of the senate’s education committee, entered the house hearing room and sat directly behind and above the house committee members.

McAuliffe’s presence was ominous for proponents of the bill. McAuliffe doesn't support the bill because she says she wants an evaluation system pilot project—approved in last year's education bill—to have a chance to play out before jumping to a new system. (Last year's bill failed to win federal Race to the Top dollars in part because the teacher evaluation system did not pass muster.)

McAuliffe has not scheduled Pettigrew's bill (it's being sponsored by Sen. Rodney Tom, D-48, Bellevue, in the senate) for a hearing in her committee.

Policy bills need to be voted out of committees in the house this week and in the senate next week.  We'll have a report on the house hearing later today.

3. Another note from yesterday's hearing: At the start of the hearing, education committee chair Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37, S. Seattle) told her committee colleagues to disregard any emails they may have gotten supporting or opposing the bill from her (she hasn't signed on) or ranking minority committee member (and bill cosponsor) Rep. Bruce Dammeier (R-25, Puyallup). The emails were fakes she said.

4. Hundreds of environmental activists descended on Olympia yesterday for environmental lobbying day. Spotted wearing one of the green scarves they were handing out? Freshman Republican Rep. Hans Zeiger (R-25, Puyallup), no fan of the activists' green agenda.
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