Nickelsville residents protest
Residents of the Nickelsville encampment are protesting plans to evict them from city property along West Marginal Way by Sept. 1. They scheduled a mid-afternoon "die-in" at City Hall (a form of protest where participants pretend to be dead) and sent a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn and the seven-member majority on the City Council that sought a deadline. The letter says thousands have been helped by the encampment, including families that sometimes arrive late at night with tired children: "Without Nickelsville, where would they go? At Nickelsville we are never too full to admit another family — there isn't any other place in town like this." Council members — and neighbors — have said the city can do better than permanently tolerating substandard living conditions. The issue also came up at a council housing committee meeting this afternoon chaired by Nick Licata, who has pushed for developing other options before closing the encampment.
Marysville schools: a recovery
Long-serving Marysville School District superintendent, Larry Nyland, is retiring, effective June 30th. Nyland is credited with helping the community recover from divisions created by a 49-day teachers strike in 2003. The Herald reports on a reception honoring Nyland, who started as superintendent in 2004, hosted by the Tulalip Tribes. Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said Nyland has built partnerships among the tribes, businesses and the city. The story was headlined: "Retiring Marysville superintendent got schools back on track." Don't hold your breath waiting to see something similar in Seattle.
McGinn reappoints police auditor
Mayor Mike McGinn today announced the reappointment of retired Judge Anne Levinson as the Civilian Auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability, a standard three-year term and a key role in overseeing police reform. It's a measure of Levinson's abilities that McGinn praised her work so highly; as did federally appointed monitor Merrick Bobb, with whom McGinn initially clashed. Levinson said the city's DOJ-monitored police reform effort makes this "a particularly important time to ensure that the work that has begun comes to fruition." Smart move by McGinn. Note, too, that Levinson was considered by many as a potentially formidable rival in the mayor's race, had she entered.
Olympia in limbo
The second special session of the Legislature is underway, without much apparent activity. The Senate had a floor session scheduled and a single hearing this afternoon; the House doesn't even gather until Thursday. Gov. Jay Inslee scheduled a late afternoon cabinet meeting, where he and department heads are likely to discuss what a partial shutdown might look like if the Legislature is unable to agree on a budget by July 1.
Rape: A preferred contraceptive?
New Washington Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was left shaking her head after the House Judiciary Committee, of which she's a member, approved a bill to ban all abortions after the 20th week. She told seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly, “I’m deeply frustrated and disappointed by the Judiciary Committee’s actions today to report out of committee unconscionable and unconstitutional legislation that would endanger women by limiting their access to abortion — even for victims of rape and incest or in cases where a pregnancy threatens a woman’s health."
Before acting, the committee's Republicans rejected an amendment to make exceptions in cases of rape and incest, with Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona propounding medical myth with a statement: "You know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is very low." That kind of anti-abortion posturing helped knock several Republicans out of races they could have won, including the contest that brought DelBene to D.C.
UW senior's journey
Graduations are personal triumphs, often with deep meaning for families that have seen the students struggle through adversity. Here's a video by the University of Washington Daily about senior Andrea Haisch as graduation approached. Let it be a salute to every graduate around here. The Daily's recent print story about her recovery from a leg amputation after a rock climbing accident is here.
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