Cold cases just got a little colder
The powerful Seattle Times article depicting King County's budget-driven move toward shutting down its cold cases unit made for sobering post-holiday reading.
Writer Alexa Vaughn focused on the work of Detective Jim Allen in solving the 1975 stabbing of 16-year-old Diana "Dinah" Peterson of Richmond Beach. She summed up one of those parts of detective work that most of us would miss:
Almost as important to Allen as getting a conviction was exonerating Peterson's boyfriend, Tim Diener, just before he died of liver cancer.
"Everybody thought he did it and kept after him for years," Allen said. "It was gratifying to finally get that suspicion lifted off of him."
The Herald in Everett recently reported on murder charges against a convicted rapist in mid-1990s cases involving the death of Patti Berry, 26, and the disappearance of Tracey Brazzel, 22. (Given the lack of any mention of budget troubles in that story or a search of the paper's site, the Snohomish County unit appears to be on solid financial ground; an editor indicated that a larger look at the cold cases unit is planned for Sunday's paper.)
Shortly after noon, some 50 Times readers had commented on the King County story online, creating a pretty good discussion of spending priorities. One reader, calling himself or herself CougLuver, made a succinct point: "This just isn't right."
Bellevue will host an open house next Thursday on its Downtown Livability initiative, according to Seattle Transit Blog. The city set in motion the review of the principles and regulations guiding downtown development last year.
The city's website explains:
The Downtown Livability initiative is a targeted review of specific regulations that guide downtown development and land use activity. The objectives of this work are to: better achieve the vision for downtown as a vibrant, mixed-use center; enhance the pedestrian environment; improve the area as a residential setting; enhance the identity and character of downtown neighborhoods; and incorporate elements from the Downtown Transportation Plan Update and the [Sound Transit} East Link design work currently underway.
Maybe the city of Seattle should start trademarking terms like "Washington's Sustainable City" before its long-dissed neighbor does. But let it be noted that the Facebook page of a single Seattle neighborhood's sustainability effort, Sustainable Ballard, has five times as many likes as Sustainable Bellevue's page.
For all the hype and economic speculation, there has been relatively little of anything too newsworthy.
Some national media have reported on worker protests at Wal-Mart stories. A Los Angeles Times' story mentioned plans for protests in the Seattle area. The regional United Food and Commercial Workers' site urged people to join Friday morning protests in Renton, Mount Vernon and Port Angeles.
In a statement, Walmart said the protests were less than predicted and that it had its best Black Friday ever.
BTW, especially for those of you who believe the "corporate media" only serve financial interests, there was a good Black Friday editorial in the Washington Post Company's Everett Herald, headlined "Don't cheapen the holidays." Noting that about half the country's adult population is expected to shop this weekend, the paper asked, "Not to get all Scrooge-like about shopping, but we have to ask: Is this a good thing? Because it feels wrong."
The editorial hardly asked for boycotts; not at all. But it did raise good questions.
Mud, mud, mud
Mudslide season continues for trains north of Seattle. A Herald story this morning said a new mudslide canceled today's Sounder service (presumably Amtrak service was switched to bus runs) and advised anyone planning to use the weekday commuter run on Monday to keep checking with Sound Transit.
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