Mark Kleiman, the state Liquor Control Board's top consultant on pot, says a "gold-rush mentality" will fuel applications for a license to sell and produce marijuana, The News Tribune reports. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at UCLA, also tells the paper that some of the would-be pot-trepreneurs are going to go up in smoke right along with their product: "There's going to be a lot of competition." Well, yes: The state is only allowing 334 stores statewide. But Washington has a tradition of profiting from a frenzy: Seattle merchants were only too happy to relieve the Klondike prospectors of their money as that bunch raced north to find gold. (And thanks, all you long-gone prospectors, for leaving us with our cool little National Park facility in Pioneer Square.)
Texting while driving
About 1-in-12 state drivers are using electronic devices while behind the wheel, and nearly half of them are texting, according to a new University of Washington study. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said the study confirms that texting is more prevalent than surveys of drivers show. The study also found that many drivers making phone calls aren't really keeping their hands free as required by law, but are actually holding the phones under or near the steering wheel. The UW said more detailed results will come out next month, including breakdowns by region. Associated Press reports the study could lead to changes that make state law against distracted driving easier to enforce.
Stehekin: Muddied but unbowed
The tiny community of Stehekin on Lake Chelan is still digging out from last week's rock and mud slides, although things are getting back to normal, according to the Wenatchee World. Stehekin resident Mike Barnhart told the paper that the slides were the worst in memory: Rental bikes for all those tourists who arrive by ferry or float plane were pushed into the lake; several cars were buried in mud; and an historic cabin was damaged. And humans aren't the only ones bitten: Cliff Mass' weather blog reports that migrating birds had to lay low during the storm. But then, as the weather turned ideal for the migrating flocks on Saturday, not-to-be-missed radar images actually captured their massive — presumably happy — return to the journey.
Seattle icons unite
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' latest music video features footage from the roof of Dick's Drive-In on Capitol Hill, and lots of other local spots. The story is everywhere online, but Jake Ellison of seattlepi.com has a couple of neat details in his posting. He points out that Seattle music legend Sir Mix-a-Lot has a brief cameo as a tow truck driver. Mix-a-Lot was also a surprise guest at a 60th anniversary celebration for the Capitol Hill Dick's on Sunday. Macklemore, Dick's and Mix-a-Lot: How much more Seattle can you get? Let us know if you spot Paul Allen carrying a guitar in there somewhere. Or Bill Gates, sitting in his car, in the Dick's lot, reading.
More free fruit
Crosscut's Eric Scigliano writes today about two help-with-hunger efforts to collect otherwise-wasted fruit from Seattle trees. Well, folks in Bellingham are doing similar things. Claudia Sampson of Bellingham tells us (through our Facebook page) that a local group just started distributing ribbons to tie on to fruit trees and veggie plants that are available for public picking. The Bellingham Herald recently wrote about the "Grandma's Ribbons" effort, so-named because "our grandmothers taught us to help people in need."
From the Seattle Police Dapartment blog: "Just before 1 AM, the woman walked into the 7-11 near SW Barton and 35th Avenue SW and bought a bag of Doritos. She then walked over to the store’s liquid chili cheese dispenser ... and began pouring hot cheese into the bag. When the clerk informed the woman he would have to charge her for the cheese, she flew into a rage and ... threw the cheese-filled bag at his head, spattering him with hot orange goo." The clerk got a hat- and face-ful of orange, um, cheese-based product. He also apparently got the perp's license plate number. The woman seems to have promised to come into a precinct station to tell her side of the story. But police are still waiting.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!