May Day, Seattle-style
Updated at 11:25 p.m. Seattle Police made a few arrests downtown after hours of marching by anti-capitalist May Day protesters who took a twisted route estimated by some reporters following the group at six miles or more. A number of additional arrests took place along Broadway on Capitol Hill, where at least one trash barrel was lit on fire. Police reported that a crowd there was throwing firecrackers at officers.
Earlier, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant was a speaker for a rally at the end of a mid-afternoon march to Westlake Park. The march and downtown rally on behalf of labor and immigration ended peacefully shortly before 6 p.m., and there was no trouble around Seattle Community College, where one march had been expected. Protesters who started on Capitol Hill made their way into downtown and Belltown by 7:15 p.m. A group with a number of people wearing masks and carrying black flags walked down Pike Street blocking traffic around 7:50 p.m. Around 8 p.m., several pictures on Twitter showed a single broken window on a Metro bus that had marchers walking by. And at least one of the self-styled super heroes who say they uphold law on the streets got into some kind of tussle, apparently with a marcher.
Police were out early. Jordan Royer snapped this picture at Westlake during the noon hour as West Precinct Commander Chris Fowler spoke to the press about the police department's preparations.— J.C.
Peaceful marchers from the labor and immigration rally on May Day. Photo:John Stang
State Supreme Court appointment
Gov. Jay Inslee today appointed Judge Mary Yu of the King County Superior Court to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. Retired Judge Anne Levinson, who is the civilian auditor for the Seattle police Office of Professional Accountability, said in an email, "Judge Yu's appointment breaks many glass ceilings: she will be the first woman of color, the first Asian-American, the first Latina and the first openly LGBT justice on our state’s highest court. Her combination of intellect, experience, integrity, and civic leadership will make her an outstanding State Supreme Court Justice." Yu will likely face a strong challenge when she faces election later this year to fill the final two years of retired Justice Jim Johnson's term, because conservatives regarded him as an important voice for their causes. — J.C.
$15 minimum wage proposed
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today presented a plan to phase in a minimum wage of $15, a process that would take three years for most large businesses and up to seven years at small firms. His advisory committee overwhelmingly backs the plan but some labor activists and businesses immediately criticized it. A City Council committee will begin reviewing the proposal on Monday. A full report is here. — J.C.
Microsoft expanding in B.C.
Microsoft said today that it is expanding its operations in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a new training and development center in the heart of downtown. The company has had a Vancouver presence since 2007, but the new facility is being hailed as a major boost for the tech sector in the city and the province. It will be part of a redevelopment of the big Pacific Centre downtown retail mall. The Vancouver Sun says the first 150 jobs associated with the new operations will arrive this summer. — J.C.
Seattle Rep's Jerry Manning dies
Seattle Rep's well-known artistic director Jerry Manning has died suddenly of complications related to a routine medical procedure in March, the theater says. A Rep statement said a celebration of his life is being planned. He had joined the theater in 2000 as associate artistic director and became producing artistic director in 2008. The Rep said:
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