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The Daily Troll: McKenna reflects. Homeless count grows. Charges against police beating victim.

The defeated Republican candidate for governor worries about education funding. Homeless count turns up a body.
Real Change executive director Tim Harris (left) with City Councilmember Nick Licata at a Pioneer Square event in 2010.

Real Change executive director Tim Harris (left) with City Councilmember Nick Licata at a Pioneer Square event in 2010. Crosscut

Hit-and-run charges

The Seattle City Attorney's Office today filed misdeameanor (hit-and--run and driving-without-a-license) charges against the man who was beaten by a Seattle police officer on Oct. 6, not long after he is supposed to have struck a woman bicyclist with his car. (Yeah, it's complicated.) In a statement, the attorney's office said the 58-year-old cyclist suffered pain and damage to her bike, helmet and clothing. She was examined by fire department personnel but didn't seek medical treatment. Seattle Weekly has a quick rundown on the case and the police beating of hit-and-run perp Leo Etherly, which was caught on videotape. Etherly's attorney told The Weekly, in an email: "Leo Etherly has a valid claim for damages regardless of the outcome of new criminal charges."

Homeless Count: Tragedy

This year's homeless count revealed a small uptick in the number of homeless people in Seattle: 2,736 compared to 2,594 a year ago. Volunteers also found a woman's body in the 1200 block of Rainier Avenue South. She showed no obvious signs of trauma, according to the Seattle Times reports. In a statement, Alison Eisinger of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness said, "This morning we are especially reminded that everyone should have a place to call home." Tim Harris, the executive director of Real Change often argues with other advocates on how to address homelessness, but today Harris was helping organize a demonstration at City Hall (covered by Publicola) on a very unifying idea: No matter the annual count's finally tally, up or down, even one person without shelter is one too many. In Real Change, Harris had some good ideas for addressing homelessness through tax measures, greater equity and innovative housing programs.

McKenna talks

Could Washington's recently defeated gubernatorial candidate be laying some groundwork for another run for office? In an interview with Joel Connelly, Rob McKenna blamed last November's narrow defeat to Jay Inslee on Seattle and some smarter campaign spending choices by Democrats. But he also looked ahead. In the seattlepi.com article published this afternoon, the former state attorney general talked about his plans to volunteer for causes — charitable and political — while likely heading into private law, where the money is better than in public service. He plays down another run. But McKenna's passion for improving education, especially at four-year public colleges, was on display, as were his fears about what will happen to education funding now that Democrats Inslee and House Speaker Frank Chopp are playing such prominent budget roles. (Though, honestly, it's hard to imagine things getting much worse, educationwise: Washington languishes in the Bottom 10 nationally when it comes to the percentage of young people earning bachelor's degrees — that's one spot ahead of Mississippi and breathing down Arkansas and Louisiana's necks?)

Song of the Sound

Look for a "Flash Shanty" next Friday when Sound Experience, the Port Townsend-based nonprofit dedicated to cleaning up Puget Sound through sailing programs, celebrates its 100-year-old schooner Adventuress. And boy that Flash Shanty is one catchy tune (For shanty novices out there, a sea shanty is a kind of work song, or so says Wikipedia.)

The Flash Shanty event, noted this morning in veteran Sound advocate Mike Sato's excellent Salish Sea News and Weather blog, will be held at the Boathaven Marina, 305 Eighth Street in Port Townsend at exactly 12:30 p.m., the exact time that, 100 years earlier that the Adventuress first hit the water — in Maine. Come prepared. Watch the video to learn the tune — and the words.

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Sat, Jan 26, 8:33 a.m. Inappropriate

McKenna makes clear the reason he lost: He continues to promote a divisive logic that Seattle voters are somehow out of step with the rest of the state.

The fact is they are an important element of a statewide majority.

That's why Inslee is Governor.

He also complains that environmental groups supported Inslee.

Inslee was the clear choice for the environment. GOP policies on the environment have been dominated by petroleum interests in the type of extremism promoted by one of McKenna's longtime chief backers: Kemper Freeman.

Republicans who want to win in the region and statewide will need to face up to their Freeman problem.

Jan

Posted Sun, Jan 27, 7:48 a.m. Inappropriate

Inslee is a Peter Principle Machine Democrat, McKenna was a far superior choice. Tell us all about the "Disruptive Force" effectivness of Governor Secret Sauce as he forces through his 75 point plan and brings the Legislature it knees to do his bidding. You hired the Dumb Guy to be Governor, it will be fun to watch him work.

Cameron

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