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    The Daily Troll: FBI wipes its hands of WA weed. Bill Gates on Edward Snowden. New York robs Seattle.

    Not to mention community colleges, sans community and TVW's tech woes.
    Medical marijuana hanging to dry at a facility operated by Brendan Howley and his business partners.

    Medical marijuana hanging to dry at a facility operated by Brendan Howley and his business partners. 1/2013 Tom James/Crosscut

    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.

    SAM loss

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

    Mary Bruno is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosscut.

    Kate Harloe is a Crosscut editorial intern and a recent college graduate from upstate NY. A full-fledged Seattleite now, Kate's love for writing, politics and the Pacific Northwest have brought her to Crosscut. When not in the office, she can be found hiking in the mountains and/or eating awesome food.

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    Posted Fri, Mar 14, 9:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    If Snowden is no hero, neither is Gates.


    Posted Sat, Mar 15, 11:31 a.m. Inappropriate

    Yeah, westello. It's hard to call Gates a hero when all he does is give away billions of his own dollars to cure polio and help people all over the world. /sarcasm


    Posted Tue, Mar 18, 9:32 a.m. Inappropriate

    He does so without a clue about how population growth is impacting a limited resource planet. One has to suspect that he is infected with the one percenter assumption that growth is unlimited. He creates much feel-goodism, but very little good, at least in the long (but now getting very short) run.
    And his views on Snowden are also accepted opinion on the golf courses. Of course he could have accomplished what he did by "civil disobeying" orders, and being fired. Yah, shure ya betcha so!

    Posted Sun, Mar 16, 1:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    What is Josh Feit smoking, and where do I get some?

    1st - the underground bus/rail station is right next to Century Link Field...so access is quite easy (even if you have to walk the perimeter of the lot). So he must not be talking about THAT stadium.
    Also...that scene in the parking lot is called tailgating to the uninitiated pedestrians like Josh.

    2nd - The entrances to Safeco are on the west side of the stadium, so why would anyone try to access Safeco from the east side? The entire design is for foot traffic on the west side of the stadiums. It's only a 5-10 minute walk from the station to the big bronze glove (again NW corner of stadium...maybe Siri can help you navigate?) That should be your clue you are near the main entrance to Safeco.

    Nice try at a story Josh, and welcome to Seattle since you clearly are new around here...


    Posted Mon, Mar 17, 8:40 a.m. Inappropriate

    I'll be skipping Mariners games this season (long story), but I've been taking a Sound Transit bus from Lakewood for two years when I HAVE gone to Safeco and it's been remarkably easy and cost-effective. I haven't tried light rail, but I have zero complaints about the buses.

    As for colleges dropping "Community" from their name, they've gone in a totally different direction at Yakima Valley, where they actually ADDED "Community" to the school's name a few years ago. I couldn't begin to speculate on the rationale...maybe a "community college" seems less-intimidating to the people of Yakima than implying it's a "real" college? Go figure.

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