Ferry boss finalists named
The state today named two finalists for the top job in Washington State Ferries: Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg and Capt. George Capacci, the interim leader. It's sounds like hot competition for a tough job: An inside candidate who's already doing the job vs. a highly respected candidate who has held challenging jobs elsewhere in government. They are seeking to become the assistant state secretary of transportation overseeing the ferry system. David Moseley stepped down in April after six years running the system. The state Department of Transportation will hold open houses with the candidates in Friday Harbor on Monday and Bremerton on Tuesday. — J.C.
Police chief nominee gets all neighborly
Seattle Police Chief nominee Kathleen O'Toole's confirmation process got off to a good start this afternoon with Councilmember Bruce Harrell warmly praising the citizens committee that helped select her. O'Toole told Harrell's public safety committee that she wants to quickly develop a community policing plan for every neighborhood in Seattle. She said each plan should be built "from bottom up" with the ideas of residents and the police officers working there. And, yes, she does know how complex that inclusive approach would be, mentioning that, by various counts, the city has 40 to 70 neighborhoods. Or more. — J.C.
Spokane sheriff: No sexcapades
Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich recently felt compelled to inform his deputies (in a memo): Sex while on duty will not be tolerated. “I never dreamt I'd ever even see such a memo,” Knezovich told KREM.com. But the chief's legal adviser told him it was necessary to put the rule in writing if he wanted to avoid having troubles disciplining deputies for engaging in, uh, extracurricular activities on the job. An arbitrator recently overturned the firing of a Spokane deputy for having sex with a former girlfriend while on duty. The police union appealed the arbitrator's decision, complaining that the punishment was “too harsh.” In his memo, Knezovich did acknowledge that “the vast majority of you do not need to be told this.” — E.W.
SU part-time faculty claim (premature?) victory
Nontenured faculty members at Seattle University declared victory in their efforts to form a union, even though — as they note in a press release — ballots in the recent election have yet to be counted. In fact, the ballot boxes have been locked up pending the results of an appeal by the university. Jesuit-founded Seattle U. wants the National Labor Relations Board to exempt it from any requirement that it recognize a union because of the university's religious status. In a statement from the Service Employees International Union Local 925, the union many teachers are trying to join, Seattle U. faculty member Louise Edgerly said, "We are encouraged by the strong support and the great turnout among adjunct and contingent faculty, and we are very confident that we won the vote." — J.C.
Pioneer Square's Leslie Smith honored
5 p.m. update The Downtown Seattle Association this afternoon named Alliance for Pioneer Square Executive Director Leslie Smith as this year’s Downtown Champion. DSA CEO Kate Joncas said that Smith's efforts improved "Downtown’s most historic neighborhood" with increased residential and economic activity. Each year the DSA presents the award to an individual, company or organization that has made significant contributions to downtown.
UW students: Make college affordable
A University of Washington student group is asking lawmakers and university administrators to increase financial aid, reduce tuition and turn back the clock to a time when students could work their way through college without falling into extreme debt. From 2008 to 2013, The Seattle Times reports, tuition levels have increased as the state has cut its higher ed funding by 50 percent. Low-income students cannot receive enough financial aid to pay all their bills, and middle-income students just miss qualifying for financial aid. The UW student report recommends that the state Legislature fully fund the State Need Grant, Washington's primary financial-aid resource, and that the UW change how financial aid is allocated so middle-income students can get more of it. — J.B.
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