Pot background checks
The state wants to do thorough criminal background checks of applicants for pot licenses. But the FBI hasn't been responding to a year of requests, according to an exclusive Associated Press report. Since pot can't be sold under federal laws, that makes some sense, right?
But AP notes that the FBI has run background checks on people applying to work in medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. And the feds are continuing to do checks on people in Colorado dispensaries that were converted to recreational pot shops under that state's marijuana legalization law. Maybe the FBI and the Washington State Patrol could just set up a meeting and sort everything out over drinks. — J.C.
In the Seattle art world, a shocking announcement arrived Friday morning from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met just stole Sandra Jackson-Dumont from the Seattle Art Museum. Jackson-Dumont has been with SAM since 2006 as its well-loved and well-respected Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs and adjunct curator for modern and contemporary art. "This is huge news and a huge loss for the city's cultural scene," says Crosscut's contributing arts editor Florangela Davila. "Facebook is going bonkers." She will write more later — M.B.
TVW: Some struggles
Could some of the coverage of state legislative hearings be going dark? TVW, Washington state's C-SPAN equivalent, needs to update their equipment, but have been stymied by lawmakers' failure to pass a capital budget this session. The station is a non-profit that contracts with the Secretary of State to provide unedited coverage of government deliberations. In a statement today, the station assured citizens and media that they will remain “committed to providing…as much access to the legislative process and state government as we can given the circumstances.”
The statement went to the Washington Policy Center's Jason Mercier, who has been writing about what TVW needs to maintain its full coverage of the Legislature, especially in hearing rooms where the most informative discussions take place. In testimony on Feb. 27, TVW’s President Greg Lane described their equipment as having reached a “point of crisis.” TVW did say it has a "triage plan in place" to cover the Capitol Campus hearing rooms with the most important meetings. — K.H.
Meet your Seattle college(s)
The Seattle Community College system said Friday that it is renaming its three branches: They will each drop "community" from their names. The system will be called "Seattle Colleges" and it will have three colleges: North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College. A news release notes that each school now offers bachelor's degrees, the traditional dividing line between a community college and a plain-old college. But it's also all about marketing: There's a name's race to follow other colleges — Bellevue, Pierce, Olympic come to mind — in rebranding without "community." Which provokes the question: What's so bad about expressing loyalty to "community"? — J.C.
Bill Gates is no Snowden fan
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates criticized Edward Snowden's approach to raising concerns about civil liberties and the government's spying programs. "I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero," he said, in quotes picked up by seattlepi.com. Gates suggested that Snowden might better have made his points with civil disobedience or limited releases of information. (Disclosure: Crosscut receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.) — J.C.
Stadium access: The war on pedestrians
Does having a Stadium Station for Link Light Rail make access to Safeco (or CenturyLink) fields easy? Surprisingly, no, reports Publicola's Josh Feit, after it took an hour to take what he thought would be at most a 20-minute walk from Safeco to the station and back Thursday night. Instead, it became a convoluted, frustrating hour-long hike, explained in words and pictures. It's possible he made some mistakes, but local signage, as Crosscut has attested before, certainly isn't as helpful as it could be. — J.C.
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