Signs gone wild?
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes announced Monday that he has filed suit against Total Outdoor advertising and several downtown building owners for what he alleges are flagrant violations of the municipal code on signs posted on a store's premises. Holmes is targeting signs — often huge — on the walls of downtown buildings where advertisements sometimes promote businesses that aren't on the premises — or anywhere close. One sign promoted Icelandair, for instance. There was no immediate comment from Total Outdoor. Trying to deal with the signs — Holmes refers to visual blight — has been a long-running issue; Crosscut's Eric Scigliano wrote about some of the challenges in 2011. — J.C.
Gun hearing gets a star
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will testify Tuesday in Olympia on Initiative 594, the measure asking the state to require background checks on all gun purchases. Giffords, who had to quit her House of Representatives position after being shot at a public event, will be accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com quotes Jewish Federation shooting survivor Cheryl Stumbo as saying, "I cannot begin to express how meaningful it is to victims, survivors and their families to have Rep. Giffords join our effort here in Washington." — J.C.
Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and those Grammy awards
By now, the fact that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won big at last night’s Grammy awards is probably old news. The Seattle duo took home four Grammys, including awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for “The Heist.” The latter, however, apparently came as a bit of a shock to some critics, who took to the Internet to complain. Macklemore's victory, they claimed, was stolen from more-deserving nominees — primarily Kendrick Lamar's “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City.”
Apparently, Macklemore himself agrees. “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have,” Macklemore wrote in a text message to his fellow nominee after the show. After taking a screenshot of the text, he posted it on Instagram with a caption: “My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album… I’m honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won IMO [in my opinion]. And that’s taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it’s proper respect.” — M.C.
Today in Olympia
Trying to change the sexual orientation of a person 18 years old or younger would become illegal under a Senate bill introduced Monday by Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D- Seattle. Marko Liias of Edmonds introduced a similar bill several days ago in the House as a representative before being appointed to the Senate. — J.S.
Auditor: Stick with police academy
Anne Levinson, the former judge serving as an outside auditor for the Seattle Police Department's accountability office, issued a report Monday calling on the city to stick with a state academy for training new officers. Some have suggested the department develop its own academy as part of its reform efforts.
Levinson said the academy, operated under the state Criminal Justice Commission, is switching to a more modern philosophy of policing, which should fit better with the objectives of Seattle's police reform efforts. There are benefits, she wrote, to consistent policing and training statewide and that Seattle can develop separate training for any parts of the curriculum where its police need additional information or a different approach. Speaking of which, here's a barnyard that seems to have a pretty good handle on settling disputes with minimal use of force ... — J.C.
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