The Daily Troll: World Cup lifts a Seattle alley. State justices review airport workers' wages, hospital's mental health holds.

The Supreme Court holds oral arguments on two big cases.

Pioneer Square alley saner than soccer's Suarez

In what is decidedly the most urgent news of today, Germany beat the U.S. 1-0. Even so, the U.S. advances. But you probably know that already.

What you might not know: The hottest spot in Seattle to watch the World Cup appears to be Nord Alley (OK, it’s right next door to the Crosscut office, as luck would have it). The International Sustainability Institute puts up the giant screen and hosts the game-alley-party as part of their “Alley Activation” project. Perks include: coffee, donuts, festive hats, a raffle and a whole lot of Seattle spirit – topped off with a giant blow-up soccer ball.

And in more important World Cup news: Luis Suarez. Need we say more? FIFA today suspended the man The New York Times refers to as the “enigmatic striker from Uruguay” today. He’s suspended for nine games and barred from all soccer-related activities for four months. Why, you ask? He was, literally, chomping at the bit to win (had to). 

When he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the Italy-Uruguay game on Tuesday, he brought his biting incidents to a total of three (three!!!). And biting may not be his worst offense. — K.H.

$15 for airport workers? Supreme Court considers

When SeaTac voters passed a $15-minimum wage initiative last year, many assumed it would cover airport workers. Not so fast, said the Port of Seattle and companies like Alaska Airlines. And a lower court has sided with the port: Under state law, the port argues it has exclusive jurisdiction over the airport, making any citywide ordinance on minimum wage null.

The City of SeaTac and proponents of the $15 initiative today argued their case in an appeal to the state Supreme Court: The city has the power to enact labor rules at the airport, as long as the rules don’t impede operations. “No one thinks that requiring a subcontractor to pay a living wage to its workers has a substantial, material effect on the operation of its airport, ” said Dmitri Iglitzin, lawyer for SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs, which supports the ordinance. Harry Korrell III, attorney for Filo Foods and the companies contesting the ordinance, said that various labor rules folded into the new law essentially “[tie] employers hands behind their backs” during bargaining.

There’s no deadline for a court decision. — M.L. 

Mental health advocates battle state in Wash. Supreme Court

Should mentally ill patients be held against their will in emergency departments without mental health care? That’s what the Washington State Supreme Court will consider in a case pitting the state against hospitals and mental health advocates, who oppose the practice, The News Tribune reports.

Patients deemed to constitute a risk to themselves or others can be held for treatment for up to three days before appearing before a court to see if they should stay for longer. But state budget cuts have sliced into services, leaving patients to languish in emergency departments for weeks, if not months, as they await admission to mental health treatment. Holding them in an E.R. is known as "psychiatric boarding.”

A Pierce County Superior Court ruled against the practice earlier this year. If the decision is upheld, the Department of Social and Health Services warned in its briefing, hospitals would likely be forced to release detained patients any time there is no mental health bed available — and that could endanger the patients or others. — M.L. 

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Kate Harloe is a Crosscut editorial intern and a recent college graduate from upstate NY. A full-fledged Seattleite now, Kate's love for writing, politics and the Pacific Northwest have brought her to Crosscut. When not in the office, she can be found hiking in the mountains and/or eating awesome food.

Marissa Luck is a Tacoma-based writer and editorial intern at Crosscut. She has previously reported on issues of activism, homelessness, and Olympia city news for Works in Progress and Olympia Power & Light. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2011, with a BA focused in political economy and international studies. Marissa can be reached on Twitter marissa.luck@crosscut.com.

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Comments:

Posted Thu, Jun 26, 4:56 p.m. Inappropriate

I believe that the mental health hold patients are generally admitted to in-patient care floors if they are going to be held in a non-mental health facility for several days. That causes a whole other set of problems mixing them in with the general patient population with nurses who aren't specially trained in mental health care, but EDs are not typically set up for long term care.

talisker

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