SPU hero: Send any more donations to victims
Student Jon Meis, the hero of the Seattle Pacific University shooting, this morning thanked people for their support, requested privacy and asked that any future donations be directed to the victims. The shooting killed another 19-year-old student Paul Lee, and injured two other students. Sarah Williams, 19, who underwent emergency surgery after the shooting Thursday, is now listed in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center. She was moved out of intensive care over the weekend. Meis has received tens of thousands of dollars in unsolicited donations. The Oregonian reported that some $15,000 has been donated for Lee's funeral, which will be held Sunday in Beaverton, Oregon.
Meis wrote, "As I try to return to a normal life in the aftermath of this horrible event, I pray above all things for strength for the victims and their families." His moving statement is here.
Kaori Nakamura leaps to teaching
After a 17-year-career dancing with Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet, prima ballerina Kaori Nakamura took her final bows at McCaw Hall on Sunday. Nakamura is 44 and is retiring from ballet but she'll be grooming the next generation as a teacher with PNB starting this summer.
Her 4-year-old daughter, Maya, is with her in the PNB photo. A recent story about Nakamura is here. — F.D.
A food fight at Legislative Ethics Board?
The Legislative Ethics Board is considering proposals that would clamp down on Washington House and Senate members’ food freebies. These reforms could require lawmakers to foot the bill or publicly report any meals amounting to $5 or more bought by lobbyists, according to a report in The News Tribune. One proposal would limit free meals to one per week, while others proposals would limit free meals to three or five per year, or ban them altogether.
Data reported last year by Associated Press and Northwest Public Radio showed that a half-dozen lawmakers had more than 40 free meals, worth at least $1,000 per lawmaker, over a few months, under a state law allowing “infrequent” meals. There’s no clear definition of “infrequent.” — E.W.
“Drive for Dignity”: Not your average party bus
In light of the Seattle City Council’s recent approval of a $15 minimum wage, efforts to negotiate a new contract for home-care aides in Washington state, who currently make $10.50 per hour, are about to take off, on wheels. About 60 low-wage workers will leave Seattle City Hall tomorrow morning to embark on “Drive for Dignity: $15 for Caregivers,” a statewide bus tour that will cover 400 miles in three days, making stops in Everett, the Tri-Cities and Spokane. The tour was organized by Service Employees International Union 775, a union representing 43,000 long-term care workers across Washington and Montana, according to a SEIU 775 press release. The rally begins at 8 a.m., so be sure to order a few shots of revolution in your morning latte tomorrow. — E.W.
How LGBTQ-friendly is Seattle?
Seattle was recently declared the most LGBTQ-friendly city in America by NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Seattle received the rainbow crown because it has the highest percentage of households with same-sex partners in the country, a relatively low rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ people per 100,000 residents and a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Municipal Equality Index, according to NerdWallet. Yet, Federal Bureau of Intelligence data for 2012 shows Seattle had the third-highest rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ people among large U.S. cities, according to a Seattle Times report last week on FBI data. The hate crimes based on sexual orientation apparently tripled that year. So, maybe it depends on what time period is examined, but can we get this resolved before Pridefest? — E.W.
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