Metro bus driver shooting
The week got off to a traumatizing start in Seattle this morning. Just after 9 a.m., police shot and detained a gunman accused of shooting a metro bus driver downtown at 3rd and Union. The 67-year-old driver was hit multiple times, but the King County Executive’s office reported that he was conscious and talking. The suspect, on the other hand, was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. Crosscut's John Stang has the full story.
The incident occurred just two blocks from the intersection of 3rd and Pine, which has faced scrutiny as a long-standing locale for drug-associated crime. Police have increased their presence in the area, but tensions around their use of force policies are rumored to have made officers hesitant about reacting to certain disturbances. It's also unlikely that the uncertainty around the city's next chief executive has helped the department's leadership. Regardless of weird leadership dynamics, responding officers today are to be commended for taking quick and decisive action that may have saved the lives of many innocent bus passengers.
Seattle isn’t the only city with police issues. According to the New York Times, a federal judge ruled today that the New York Police Department’s ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ policy violated the constitutional rights of minorities. The policy allows officers to stop and search suspicious looking individuals. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote, "The city's highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner." Scheindlin has called for a federal monitor to oversee sweeping reforms and a pilot program that would require some officers to wear body cameras.
Some WA schools will miss out on McCleary funding
Most Washington school districts will see a bump in funding this school year. That’s due to an added $955 million in state money — the result of a state supreme court ruling that Washington wasn’t fully funding education. Some school districts though won’t be able to cash in on their full share, according to an article from King5 News today. That’s because, in districts like Kent, the money is earmarked for decreasing class size, but there’s no place for additional classes to go. Schools are already too full and the district lacks the classrooms to add any teachers.
"Even though the money is there, we may not be able to use it all or use any of it this year," Kent’s Chief Business Officer Dr. Richard Stedry told King5 today.
Socially responsible banks?
The Seattle City Council issued a self-congratulatory statement today to inform the public they will vote in favor of a socially responsible banking initiative during their regular 2 p.m. Monday meeting. The new legislation, a remnant of the Occupy movement and big bank bailout backlash, will require the city to consider socially responsible practices when weighing bids for banking contracts. Good on ya, CC.
Books by bike? No, it's not Portlandia.
The Seattle Public Library is giving new meaning to the term bookmobile, with its new Books on Bikes program. According to KUOW, dedicated library employees have been biking up to 500 lbs of books to farmers markets and festivals throughout Seattle this summer. Strapped to their bike racks? iPads to help register more Seattleites for library cards.
You’ve got to hand it to the library for their creativity. They've managed to stay well ahead of the other madding media crowds drowning in the “staying relevant in the digital age” frenzy. Earlier this summer, SPL began a Netflix-like streaming program for videos and music, they managed to pass a library levy last year proving the huge amount of public support they have and they have maintained a strong and free calendar of impressive public speakers. The thought of poor library employees hauling hundreds of pounds of books up Seattle’s infamous hills is just the icing on the cake.
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