Kathleen O'Toole: Seattle's new top cop?
True to his word, Mayor Ed Murray nominated Kathleen O'Toole to be Seattle's next police chief at a Monday morning press conference. (The mayor had promised to pick a new chief by May 19.) The 59-year-old O'Toole, a former Boston Police Commissioner, who spent six years as chief inspector for the Irish national police service, is now poised to become Seattle's first female police chief. All she needs is a thumbs-up from the City Council. Bill Lucia has the story. Look for his interview with O'Toole later today. Meantime, here's the O'Toole press conference. — M.B.
Small lots, big problems
Seattle City Council gave neighborhoods a couple of breaks on new small-lot development rules on Monday. Activists argued that allowing the proliferation of small lots is threatening to destroy the character of single-family neighborhoods by inviting houses that tower over and crowd neighboring homes. Council members agreed, unanimously approving a new ordinance on lot sizes and building heights that provides some protections for existing neighborhoods. The council (on a 6-to-3 vote) also rejected a rule that would have let developers subdivide existing lots, and approved an amendment to tighten how the city calculates allowable building heights for small lots. —J.C.
Arts district for Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, the group behind 44 of the city’s affordable housing developments, wants to create a Capitol Hill Arts District. The Foundation is the driving force behind 12th Avenue Arts, a mixed-use development due to spring up on the corner of Pike and 12th later this year. The new multi-story space will provide 88 affordable apartments above and two custom-designed theaters — plus local retail and community meeting rooms — below. At this year’s Capitol Hill Housing forum, which takes place Tuesday May 20th at 5:30 pm, prominent local arts figures such as Leslie Bain (Frameworks Cultural Placemaking) and Cathryn Vandenbrink (Artspace) will gather to discuss the project. — K.L.
Danford Grant sentenced for serial rape
Seattle lawyer Danford Grant got 25 years for raping five massage therapists. According to The Seattle Times, the 49-year-old lawyer, who is married with three children, once worked for the Seattle City Attorney's Office. He was arrested in 2012 after sexually assaulting the women. "I recognize that my behavior was reprehensible and ... that prison is a just punishment,” Grant told the courtrrom at his sentencing on Monday. — M.B.
Oregon judge overturns ban on same-sex marriage
Oregon’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage was thrown out on Monday by District Judge Michael McShane — a decade after it was put in place. Saying the ban violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians, McShane ordered the change to take immediate effect, prompting same-sex marriage ceremonies throughout the state. Hopeful couples lined up outside Portland’s county clerk’s office early this morning to get their marriage licenses as soon as the decision was made public. If McShane’s ruling goes unchallenged, as expected, Oregon will become the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage. — K.L.
Tooting our own horn
Crosscut writers won seven awards from the Northwest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists over the weekend. David Brewster and Art Thiel took home first place honors in commentary and sports reporting, respectively. John Stang got a second place in commentary for his analyses of the Legislature, and a third in sports for his series on roller derby. Hugo Kugiya scored in the sports category too, a second-place finish for his profile of Russell Wilson. Knute Berger won second place in business writing for his article about West Seattle’s Whole Foods controversy. And a team of Crosscut writers won third place in spot news reporting for its coverage of last November’s local elections.
Crosscut's seven awards were the most for any online publication. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat was honored as Western Washington's journalist of the year and KOMO anchor Dan Lewis received the lifetime achievement award. — J.C.
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