Mayors traveling on public tab and -- learning. An embarrassing lawsuit for King County. Olympia: Pam Roach speaks up. Party on, Beacon Hill food activists!
Tacoma's cool mayor
Best we can tell sitting here in our Pioneer Square office, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland is kind of a big deal: head of one of the state's biggest cities, passionate about education, not afraid to break with ideology (she spoke up for charter schools during the fall debate on a state initiative). And now we learn that she also . . . likes to party! As The News Tribune's Lewis Kamb writes, the city's Facebook page just posted a picture of a smiling Strickland alongside hip-hop and rap pioneer M.C. Hammer. The photo was snapped in D.C. where she's attending a U.S. Conference of Mayors event.
... and Mayor McGinn?
Seattle's Mike McGinn is also at the mayor's conference. Asked if there was anything fun or outstanding about his trip to the nation's capitol, McGinn's spokesman Aaron Pickus mentions his boss's attendance at the president's gun control announcement yesterday which, emails Pickus, "has been a highlight so far." At least 75 percent of his constituents back home applaud the mayor's support for the prez on gun control. Plus, Pickus says the mayor plans to stay in D.C. for Barack Obama's Inauguration next Monday. Have some fun at that event, Mike. Never know what the voters might do come election time. And — small editorial — we're damn sure you (and Marilyn Strickland) will come back with enough good ideas and good will to more than justify the cost of the trip.
Sheriff's sex descrimination suit
But let's talk ways to waste of public money, like when public employees screw up so bad that lawsuits follow. The Seattle Times reports that three King County sheriff's detectives today filed a sex-harrassment lawsuit following their alleged treatment while working with the department's Sexual Assault Unit. One charge: frequent crotch-grabbing (his own) by a boss. The defense hasn't been heard from yet, but if the charges hold up it certainly begs a question: How long was the county skimping on employee training, not to mention manners in the workplace?
(Update 6:30 p.m.) Pam Roach speaks
Republican state Sen. Pam Roach is key to the control of the Senate held by her party and two Democrats. Today she held what The Seattle Times Brian M. Rosenthal calls a "rambling, hour-long news conference." Roach, who was long banned from the GOP Senate caucus over her treatment of staffers, said she had been the target of a “long, drawn-out campaign to ruin my good name." There's a brief video from a part of the session posted here by a TVW journalist.
New M's broadcaster
The Mariners have another youth movement: in the broadcast booth. The team has hired Aaron Goldsmith, a 29-year-old St. Louis native to be Rick Rizzs' broadcast partner. A report from Nick Eaton of seattlepi.com makes the Goldsmith addition sound promising, especially in light of most Mariner hiring moves. While some of us will miss the rotation of former players and longtime broadcasters that shared the booth with the super-capable Rizzs the past two years, it will be fun to watch the chemistry develop between Rizzs and a full-time partner — maybe more fun than following the team itself.
The Friends of the Beacon Food Forest are holding an event on Friday to celebrate progress on their Beacon Hill project. The very same project that has drawn international attention since a Crosscut report showcased the group's efforts to create the nation's largest "urban oasis of public food." And there's a lot celebrate in recent months: an $86,000 Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant, completion of a fruit tree planting project underwritten by another grant, and both volunteer and Seattle Conservation Corps work constructing parts of the project.
Friday's celebration will start at 7 p.m. in the Garden House (2336 15th Ave. S.). Desserts, popcorn and warm beverages will be provided but the Friends "will probably want to hug you if you bring a favorite dessert to serve."
The group will show a film, "The Power of Community." Here's a trailer. Spoiler alert for Cuba critics: that unNorteAmericano nation apparently comes off well in the movie. (More event details here.)
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