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    The Daily Troll: MSFT's cup runneth over. Olympia in overdrive. Seattle FBI shakeup.

    Good to Go going to ferry terminals? Alleged Neighbors arsonist pleads innocent.
    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

    Arraignment in nightclub arson 

    Musab Musmari, the suspect accused of setting fire to Capitol Hill's Neighbours, a gay nightclub, on New Years Eve, pleaded innocent in a hearing today. During the arraignment, Judge Patrick Oishi barred Musmari from contact with the nightclub or any of its employees. Musmari is currently in jail in lieu of $1 million bail, according to Capitol Hill Seattle blog. The fire was quickly put out by a patron and an employee, but an estimated 700 people were in the club at the time. — J.C. 

    Today in Olympia

    • It's called the "knockout game," and has been a staple on cable television news. One person smacks another at random on the street and runs away. Though some have called the supposed trend a hoax, the Senate passed a bill by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, Tuesday to make the "knockout game" a 3rd Degree Assault. Nine Democrats voted against the bill on the grounds that this type of assault is already a crime. — J.S.

    Yesterday in Olympia

    • The House voted in favor of a bill that would limit the amount of medical marijuana a patient could grow or possess, set up a registry of patients and require licenses for medical retailers. Two somewhat similar Senate bills are also in play, which means the Legislature may well try to reconcile the three bills this session.
    • The House widely approved a bill by Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, to regulate the use of drones by state and local government agencies. With a few exceptions — emergency, training situations & wildlife monitoring, among them — the bill would require a court-issued warrant for legitimate drone use.
    • The Senate unanimously passed a bill by Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-Pierce County, that would provide kids, including foster kids, with an attorney in family court matters after the child's parents have had their parental rights terminated. Currently, standards for providing attorneys for kids vary widely across the state, a problem Crosscut has covered through its Kids@Risk series.
    • Pro wrestling ain't real, but it is theatrical. Which is perhaps why the House passed a bill introduced by Rep. Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila, that would commission a study of whether theatrical wrestling should continue to be regulated and assessed fees as boxing and mixed martial arts events are. None of the 14 nay voters indicated whether they actually thought pro wrestling is real. — J.S.

    FBI agent shuffle

    A veteran agent will step in to run the FBI's Seattle office after special agent Laura M. Laughlin suddenly retired on Monday, a federal holiday. The Seattle Times reports that Carlos L. Mojica is serving as acting special agent in charge of the office, which oversees FBI operations throughout the state. Mojica, who joined the FBI in 1997, had been the senior assistant special agent for the Seattle office. Laughlin, who was approaching mandatory retirement later this year, has an ongoing sex discrimination suit against the bureau. — J.C.

    Microsoft giving record

    Microsoft employees gave a company-record of $113 million to non-profits in 2013, a total that includes the company's matching contributions, according to GeekWire. More than half of the money — $59 million — went to charitable organizations in Washington state, Executive Vice President Brad Smith said on a company blog.  — J.C.

    Source: Microsoft

    Electronic Ferry tolling

    A new Department of Transportation study recommends using Good To Go passes to automate payments for ferry fares. The Good To Go system is already being used for automated tolling on the 520 floating bridge, Highway 167 and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, according to The Herald. Though the study said pre-paid Good To Go passes could be in use throughout the ferry system by 2018, the Legislature will determine whether to go ahead with the plan. — J.C. 

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    Posted Tue, Feb 18, 4:34 p.m. Inappropriate

    Electronic ferry tolling, run by the Evil Mr. Stone, who could not get the good to go program up and running, and in fact is still broken, is the wrong direvtion to go.

    If we must do this, let the ferries and their excellent IT staff develop one itself.

    You are welcome, preacher Moseley.

    Avoid Mr. Stone and his tolling band of thieves, incompetent ones at that.


    Posted Tue, Feb 18, 4:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    The current system of payment works just fine for WSF. Not one dime should be spent to change the payment system. The public is tired of "new and improved" that always results in just-take-my-money-and-give-me-less-service-in-return.

    The problem is not with the time it take to collect a toll, scan a ferry pass, or any of that.

    The WSF problem is that we simply do not have enough ferries. We sure do have a lot of WSF administrators though. What on earth could they possibly all be doing?

    We are 10 ferries short, in the nation's largest ferry served region. Millions of people ride the ferries every year, for all the same reasons that millions of people drive our highways and freeways.

    Ferries are marine highways. They should be considered Interstate Highways since nearly every ferry serves Federal military bases and facilities.

    Put that in your hat and smoke it.

    Posted Tue, Feb 18, 4:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    Ferries are not like "highways" -- they are like vehicles. The water is the "highway." The ferries are the "vehicles" that travel on the "highway."


    Posted Tue, Feb 18, 5:03 p.m. Inappropriate

    Wrong-o, Mr. Lincoln. The ferries are the highways, in this case floating vessels used as highways.

    Even the illustrious WSF website cites our ferries as marine highways.
    " WSF, one of Washington State’s greatest attractions and marine highways and the largest ferry system in the United States."

    Posted Tue, Feb 18, 11:48 p.m. Inappropriate

    I'm still trying to figure out what MSFT stands for. And I am not going to go to sleep until you tell me.

    Dick Falkenbury

    PS-Seriously, it is almost cute when teen-age girls talk in initials but journalist ought to avoid them like the plague. Seriously.

    Posted Wed, Feb 19, 12:06 p.m. Inappropriate

    The Washington State Constitution says that the Ferries are an extension of the 'marine highway system'.

    On that basis, State gas taxes may be used to operate the ferries.

    Ross Kane
    Warm Beach


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