May Day aftermath
The cleanup from May Day started early this morning with city prosecutors filing misdemeanor charges against six people. The six are accused of participating in disturbances downtown and on Capitol Hill that included rock throwing, smoke bombs and broken windows. The prosecutor's office said that at least three others who posted bail overnight face possible charges. A Seattle Police Department tally said 17 people had been arrested so far; officers are seeking video and photos as they continue to investigate.
Eight officers were injured, mostly bumps and bruises. But one officer, a woman, was reported to have had a more serious injury from being struck on the knee by a fist-sized rock that was thrown.
McGinn plays the 'disappointed' card
Late Wednesday, Mayor Mike McGinn expressed concern that the May Day violence would hurt Seattle's reputation, according to reports in The Seattle Times and elsewhere. “We’re a bigger, better city than this," he said. "I’m disappointed that this is the picture that the world sees of us.” This morning he was at a Cascade Bicycle Club breakfast, where Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com reports the mayor said he appreciates the police department's work. "They did the job they were asked to do," he said. He also said he'd be meeting with police to review their performance.
Given the U.S. Department of Justice settlement requiring reform of police practices around the use of force, McGinn is probably smart not to get all boosterish about the results of a just-completed operation. But here's an initial personal reaction, unencumbered by any political response: Great work by the officers and their commanders. And, if the police strategy of permitting free speech let a few people push the limits, Seattle can be proud of that. Even though, as McGinn notes, hooliganism is pretty lame as an annual event.
A win for Iranian-Americans
Gov. Jay Inslee today appointed Bellevue-based attorney Susan Amini to fill a vacancy on the King County Superior Court. Amini is Iranian-American and, when she starts the position on May 13, will become the first American of Middle Eastern descent to hold a Superior Court judgeship in state history. She's well-qualified, according to various judicial groups that rated her when she made a run for a judgeship in 2008. She has served as a trustee at Overlake Hospital and a Bellevue Human Rights Commission member. Her son, Cyrus Habib, recently became the first Iranian-American legislator elected in the country when he became a state representative for the Eastside's 48th Legislative District.
What's the deal with Metro cuts?
Seattle Transit Blog this morning posted a helpful guide to the fiscal cliff facing Metro Transit. The potential cuts to buses will be one of the most important King County issues before the Legislature when it comes back to work May 13. As businesses, environmentalists and public officials have kept telling lawmakers, it's vital to renew the temporary local-taxing authority for a $20 per year tax on vehicles, 60 percent of which is spent on transit. Otherwise, Metro Transit will have to cut service 17 percent next year.
Most people can't believe that the state would refuse to let its biggest county decide on its own transportation taxation and needs. Especially when businesses are saying job creation would be at risk in the state's main economic engine — Seattle-King County. But anti-Seattle fever is pretty much a permanent, low-grade condition in the Capitol, ready to flare up at any point.
Tulalip cultural-revival leader dies
Hank Gobin, the 71-year-old cultural resources director of the Tulalip Tribes, has died. The Herald writes that the he had dreamed of creating a cultural museum for the tribe — and achieved that dream with the 2011 opening of the Hibulb Cultural Center. He had a masters degree in painting from California State University Sacramento and taught art and ethnic studies before returning to the Tulalip reservation in 1989. He also played a role in the revival of the Lushootseed language and the tribal family canoe journey.
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