Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine today unveiled a gun buyback initiative that has a host of community and corporate supporters, including Amazon and Pemco. What is described as the first local buyback in 20 years will take place on Jan. 26 (details from a press release are here). Gift cards of up to $100 will be given to those turning in most guns, with assault weapons earning $200 cards. The effectiveness of such programs can be fairly questioned but both McGinn and Constantine make common sense arguments for getting guns out of circulation if you don't have a good reason to keep them. Said Constantine: “If we can prevent just one child, one innocent bystander, from being the victim of a random accident, or the target of an unstable person, it will be well worth our time and effort.”
Pam Roach: A sequel
With only days until the start of the state Legislature, Associated Press has obtained documents that raise serious questions about the role of state Sen. Pam Roach in Eastside Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom's plan to lead the Senate as part of a Republican-dominated coalition. In a story carried on seattlepi.com and elsewhere, AP reported that Roach "violated a Senate policy on treatment of staff shortly after she was allowed back into the GOP caucus last year." Roach was kicked out of the caucus largely because of the way she treated staff. Neverthess, Tom insisted that sanctions against Roach will be lifted and declined to comment on any specific criticisms or allegations in the documents.
Bad cop, bad cop
Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo had to discipline three officers for their obnoxious behavior at a Seattle Seahawks game; two of the officers were allegedly intoxicated. This morning, The Seattle Times reported that Pillo has now demoted two ranking officers for engaging in an extra-marital affair and failing to disclose it. The Times obtained the disciplinary letters sent to the two officers under a public records request.
More waterview condos
Love the skyline along Puget Sound north of Seattle? Well, be prepared for more "skyline" north of Shoreline. The Herald reported this morning that a state Court of Appeals court has opened the way for development under rules that had been in effect when a real-estate firm proposed building more than 3,000 homes, some in buildings up to 180 feet high. The Snohomish County property is just north of the King County line. Even before the ruling, more than 2,000 housing units would have been allowed at heights up to 124 feet.
Snow: good for Spokane
Spokane survived a snowstorm yesterday and was in the process of getting back to normal today, according to the city. To prove it, the city has a cool online map updating people on the progress of its snowplows.
The press release, which was put up on msnbc.com KHQ-TV, begins:
City of Spokane snow removal crews made good progress overnight under the Stage 2 Snow Event declared yesterday. They have completed the residential hill routes and are moving into other residential areas. They will work 24 hours a day until they complete a full-City plow that includes all residential areas.
That sounds like a serious response to snow. Good for Spokane. But for Seattleites, we pretty much expect any real snow here to bring us back to conditions last January. And this video (posted this week by Russ W on YouTube) serves to remind us that Seattle's best response is often just to make-do.
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