Clues and cameras sought
After a string of fatal shootings, Seattle police are looking for tips from the community. "People are talking, but they are not talking directly to us," said Pierre Davis, captain of the East Precinct. Police will add foot and bike patrols around the area of three recent shootings, two in Leschi and one in the Central District. Rev. Harriett Walden said she will ask City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the public safety and technology committee, to consider installing surveillance cameras in high crime areas. "We have to raise the level of what we're willing to do," Walden said. Crosscut's Bill Lucia will have a full story. — J.C.
Fresh food: the app
A new mobile app is changing the food-to-table movement in Washington. Puget Sound Fresh provides users with information about local, in-season food, including recipes and the location of farms and farmers markets. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the app’s database contains more than 200 farms and 100 farmers markets throughout Western Washington.
“It’s putting local farms and farmers markets and local food in your pocket,” says Sheryl Wiser, who’s the app manager at the Cascade Harvest Coalition, The coalition worked alongside Pierce County and students at the University of Washington Tacoma to develop the app, which is the latest addition to their annual Farm Guide. The guide also includes a print version and a website.
When we talked to Wiser on Wednesday afternoon, the app had already been downloaded about 500 times with very little promotion; it's being continuously updated. Puget Sound Fresh is available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. — M.C.
Legislature: Anyone left in the middle?
The most interesting part of looking at the Washington State Labor Council's new legislative voting ratings is finding who is in the middle. On Tuesday, the council released its scores on the 2014 voting records of 98 state representatives on 10 bills and of 49 state senators on nine bills. Only one of those bills got signed into law — the DREAM Act making the children of undocumented immigrants eligible for college financial aid. The rest died in the Republican-Democrat deadlock in Olympia.
Not surprisingly, Democrats received almost universally good ratings from the labor council — which those incumbents will brag about. And Republicans almost universally received bad ratings from the labor council, which those incumbents might also brag about to their constituents. Only three legislators ended up with scores anywhere between 33 percent and 67 percent approval (for voting the way the council hoped). Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, fell right in the middle at 50 percent approval and Rep. Linda Kochmar, R- Federal Way, received a 40 percent rating. In the Senate, Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet received a 56 percent rating. Almost everyone else was at or near one extreme or the other. — J.S.
Ferry fares: Going up
Ferry fares will go up beginning Thursday. This round of increases includes both a summer surcharge (bilk the out-of-state tourists, right?) and a permanent hike of 2.5 percent on car/driver tickets and 2 percent for passengers. In addition, low tides will mean the cancelation of at least one run in each direction between Port Townsend and Coupeville mid-morning. Details on the fares and the tides are here. J.C.
Magma is rising in Mount St. Helens, part of the natural recharging of the volcano since a 2004-2008 dome-building eruption, U.S. Geological Survey scientists say. A new event might be far off — or soon, according to The Daily News in Longview, where they really know the mountain. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 1980 eruption that killed 57 people. — J.C.
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