The Daily Troll: More oil tankers in NW waters. Support for married vice principal grows. Stolen art: still missing.

Happy Holidays! We're outta here 'til 2014.

Canadian energy rush

A Canadian review panel has endorsed construction of a new pipeline. This one would go from the Alberta oil fields to British Columbia's coast and carry oil destined for Asia. As Joel Connelly of argues in smart detail, the exports would create real risks of an oil tanker disaster in the inland seas shared by B.C. and Washington. To deal with the risks, the report did attach 209 conditions to its go-ahead. And if you think they will all be met, leave out some cookies and milk for Canadian P.M. Stephen Harper when he bounces down your chimney to deliver.

Eastside Catholic protests spread

Eastside Catholic students picked up support during Friday's second day of protests over the removal of a popular vice principal.  VP Mark Zmuda ran afoul of church orthodoxy — and his Eastside contract — when he married his same-sex partner. Hundreds of students staged a pro-Zmuda demonstration outside Sammamish City Hall before heading to the Archdiocesan headquarters in Seattle. reports a sit-in at Bishop Blanchet High School in solidarity with the Eastsiders. A petition launched by the students on is already approaching 16,000 signatures; in it, students ask the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to change its policy on gay marriage. With Francis' apparent tolerance inspiring young Catholics, maybe the church's hiring-and-firing practices might change — or at least align more closely with the spirit of anti-discrimination laws.

Stolen art blues

Local artist Whiting Tennis is understandably bummed about his works being stolen from a rental truck earlier this month. He tells The Stranger's art writer Jen Graves, who has tracked the case with her usual thoroughness, that he's keeping busy with his work while wondering if the missing paintings and other pieces will ever show up. "I went to a party last night and every single person came up to me and said something, and I was so grateful," he tells her. No leads so far, but the lead Seattle Police detective may call in the FBI in case the thieves try to shop the Tennis art pieces to a wider market.

Snohomish gets an ombudsman 

Outgoing Snohomish County Councilmember John Koster has a new job in the county's newly-created ombudsman position. Democratic County Executive John Lovick appointed the conservative Republican, pointing to Koster's reputation for fairness during the 12 years as a council member, The Herald reports. Twice, Koster came close to winning a seat in Congress, most recently in a 2012 race he lost to Democrat Suzan DelBene. Unlike Snohomish, King County has had an ombudsman's office since voters established it in a 1968 charter election.

Snow. For a while.

It snowed in Seattle. Don't say we didn't tell you.

Back in the New Year

The Daily Troll is taking a holiday break, until 2014. We're excited about the new year, the new mayor, the new legislative session, fresh minimum wage debates and an additional Boeing project for the Puget Sound region. Okay, we're not sure that last one will happen, but we're hoping the new 777X will carry a Made in Washington label. And as Sarah Palin would say: Happy Holidays!

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at

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Posted Fri, Dec 20, 7:22 p.m. Inappropriate

yeah, well Merry Christmas to you.

Happy Holidays, bah, humbug!


Posted Sat, Dec 21, 2:49 a.m. Inappropriate

There will be no Exxon Valdez's in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

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