News Roundup

Top Stories: Net Neutrality, Solitary Confinement, and Roy Moore

Your weekly dose of top political stories.

By Araz Hachadourian December 15, 2017

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1. Following the FCC vote to repeal net neutrality, Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson said he would sue President Donald Trump’s administration. Ferguson said the repeal fails to follow the Administrative Procedure Act. In a press conference before the FCC vote, Governor Jay Inslee also said Washington would continue to enforce net neutrality regulations.

2. Alabama’s closely watched congressional race ousted accused child molester Roy Moore and left Seattle Democrats optimistic. Moore, who was endorsed by Trump, lost to Doug Jones by 1.5 percentage points. The race leaves Republicans with a one-seat majority in the Senate—a gap they hope to close in next year’s midterms.

3. The King County Council voted to ban solitary confinement in youth detention centers on Monday. The unanimously adopted legislation will also require the county provide minors in custody with "adequate educational resources," regardless of which facility they are held in.

4. Could the city expedite those West Seattle and Ballard light rail extensions? Mayor Jenny Durkan this week signed an agreement that would consider ways to speed up the process, allowing Sound Transit and the City to work together over the next 18 months to identify preferred routes and alternatives before an Environmental Impact Study takes place. Right now the city's scheduled to build extensions to West Seattle in 2030 and to Ballard in 2035.

5. San Francisco Mayor and Seattle native Ed Lee died suddenly Tuesday after a heart attack. A leader in the Asian and Pacific Islander community, Seattle politicians from Durkan to former governor Gary Locke spoke of their admiration for Lee and his ability to “break barriers.”

6. Activists attempted to block workers from entering the Port of Tacoma twice this week in protest of the facility, which sits on ancestral land of the Puyallup tribe. The Stranger reported that during two separate actions Monday and Thursday, a handful of environmental activists locked themselves to cranes and tripods outside the facility but stayed for only a day.

7. Top Seattle Seahawks’ draft pick Malik McDowell was arrested for disorderly conduct at a bar in Atlanta Saturday. The Seattle Times reported the dispute—over a $600 bill—was captured on video as McDowell called an arresting officer names and bragged about his earnings.

8. Seattle police recommends that former Seattle City Council candidate, NAACP leader Sheley Secrest, be charged for false reporting to qualify for “democracy vouchers,” The Seattle Times reported. Allegations back in August surfaced that Secrest fronted her own money and claimed it was donated by voters.

9. The company that operates Value Village sued Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson this week. The Seattle Times reported TVI Inc., of Bellevue, filed the lawsuit for demanding the company pay a settlement that is not connected to any legal violations. TVI also claims the attorney’s office refused to meet with the company for a year and a half while investigating its donation practices.

10. Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly is stepping down, Durkan announced on Friday. Goran Sparrman, who has been interim director before, will take over as interim director on January 5 as the city launches another national search to fill the role. (Seattle City Light CEO also resigned, and the police chief will leave by the end of this year.) But six other department heads are staying: education and early learning, finance and administrative services, human services, housing, economic development, and immigrant and refugee affairs. 

11. Republican senators on Friday secured enough votes to pass the sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill, according to reports—the legislation includes massive corporate tax cuts and temporary benefits for low- and middle-income households.

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