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    The Daily Troll: Gun buyback could be back. Anything for Microsoft. Writer's account of shooting.

    Seattle and King County liked the results of their gun buyback. More tax breaks sought for high-tech firms. A Stranger writer tells of standing next to the victim of a shooting Sunday night.
    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

    Tax breaks for tech

    Seattle Times tech columnist Brier Dudley showed courage with a hard-hitting, detailed article this morning on the tax breaks received by the big tech companies here — and how they want even more. Including major state improvements in education. He notes that just-departed Gov. Chris Gregoire had proposed $248 million in new taxes on beer, gasoline and other businesses to meet the educational needs. Tech firms, though, would be exempted from the new taxes. And while other new breaks are being proposed for tech firms on top of existing ones, Dudley notes an existing one saved Microsoft and others almost the exact amount Gregoire suggested in new taxes for the rest of the state.

    Iran imprisons Idahoan

    Iran has sentenced a pastor from Boise to eight years in the notorious Evin prison, according to Northwest Cable News and other reports. Saeed Abedini has made repeated trips to Iran, his homeland, but agreed several years ago to give up religious missionary activity and was on a humanitarian mission, building an orphanage, according to NWCN. A CNN blog says that a conservative religious advocacy group (funded by televangelist Pat Robertson) has reported that the judge in the case has faced European Union sanctions for his harsh sentences in some rights cases. The State Department says it is seeking Abedini's release.

    Gun buyback

    Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is already talking up another gun buyback. No wonder: The one over the weekend produced long lines and led to more than 700 weapons being turned in. As seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly notes, the Seattle-King County event also produced a vivid (some might say pornographic) illustration of the state and federal failure to close the gun-show loophole. Private gun dealers lined the street, hoping to scoop up any weapons that missed the buyout. It turns out that buying and selling weapons on a street corner is perfectly legal.

    McGinn said at a press conference today that it's up to the state Legislature or Congress to close the unregulated, unregistered sale of guns: “We can’t regulate, at the city or county level, the private sale of guns with no background checks whatsoever.” Connelly also notes that, while more money would be needed to launch another buyback event, King County Sheriff John Urquhart and the Seattle Police Department will pick up guns people wish to dispose of.

    Guns in use

    Of course, the gun buyback wasn't designed to stop all gun violence, and a shooting the next day had police and the public in danger. A man and a woman suffered gunshot injuries and the gunman wound up dead in the Sunday night incident at the Central District's Twilight Exit, described as a popular bar. The Stranger's fashion columnist, Marti Jonjak, happened to be there and this morning she wrote a brief, gripping account. She recounted that she was next to the gunman's target, "a really beautiful young woman," as the trouble unfolded. Reports indicate that the gunman died when shot by police after firing at arriving officers. The woman, who was a customer, and a bouncer who tried to help are expected to survive, according to a Seattle Police Department statement.

    Transit funding

    The smart money seems to be on the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee taking a year to assemble a transportation funding package to submit to voters statewide. As a Seattle Transit Blog report this morning shows, however, transit supporters aren't waiting until then to advocate for efficiency and the environment as serious considerations during the development of a new plan. The blog's Ben Schiendelman says that 31 agencies statewide have united to demand at least $400 million for transit or 25 percent of whatever funding request the Legislature puts before voters. He writes of the $400 million:

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    Posted Mon, Jan 28, 4:58 p.m. Inappropriate

    Joe, what a wonderful video. I smiled the whole time, watching it, and my blood pressure went right down. (-: Thanks!

    Posted Mon, Jan 28, 5:57 p.m. Inappropriate

    Christine Gregoire's gas tax "deal" with the tribes is expected to cost $621 million over 17 years.

    Maybe Bill Gates could throw a few million at Seattle's gun buyback program. Perhaps Seattle should create a living monument in a prominent park and, once a month, hold a "meltdown and add to the edifice" celebration. By the way... what's happening with the bought back guns?


    Posted Tue, Jan 29, 2:40 p.m. Inappropriate

    I know you are being sarcastic, but this is a great idea!

    Steve E.

    Posted Tue, Jan 29, 3:22 p.m. Inappropriate

    Repeating the gun buyback makes no sense. Mayor McGinn lives in a cynical dream world. Knowing that the buyback creates a legal, market-driven, gun-o-rama where prices for serious firearms are bid up by entrepreneurs and sold to unregistered buyers, enables, not prevents, gun violence. The pr value to the candidate mayor is dubious. Why do this? It makes me wonder who is crazier, mass murderers or the mayor.


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