The Daily Troll: Frank Chopp's challenger arrested. Pot cop busted. Trouble in apple country.

Plus, preschool unions get organized, how to see (or avoid) the Blue Angels this weekend and the DOE's "genius" new plan for cleaning up contaminated groundwater at Hanford.

Updated: 3:48 p.m.

Protest or campaign event?

Seattle Police arrested State House of Representatives candidate Jess Spear, according to a tweet from her campaign, and threatened to arrest Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant for blocking a set of railroad tracks on Thursday afternoon. According to an article by, the situation played out on a set of BNSF tracks near the Olympic Sculpture Park. The council member and and the house candidate, both socialists, were joined by others protesting oil train traffic in the city. Photos on Twitter also showed some of them holding up a large Vote Jess Spear banner that spanned two sets of tracks. For more on Spear, who is running against Speaker of the House Frank Chopp in Seattle's 43rd Legislative District, check out Crosscut writer John Stang's article on the race today. — B.A.

Immigration trouble doesn’t fall far from WA apple trees

A glitch in the U.S. State Department’s computer system has created a backlog in their system for issuing entry permits for legal migrant farm workers. It could take weeks for the system to get up and running again at full capacity, which has furrowed the brows of many Northwest farmers, worried about the upcoming apple harvest. The majority of temporary foreign workers have already arrived, Dan Fazio of the Washington Farm Labor Association told KUOW, but up to 2,000 more with contracts to work in Washington are still waiting to cross the border. — E.W.

Plutonium-contaminated groundwater? Don't worry about it!

The U.S. Department of Energy is proposing that it leave groundwater contamination around one of Hanford's nine defunct plutonium-production reactors to dissipate on its own rather than cleaning it up. The DOE predicts that the radioactive and non-radioactive contaminants would dissipate or decay to benign levels in 35 to 150 years, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The Hanford Advisory Board — which includes everyone from Westside environmentalists to Tri-Cities business interests — is leery about the concept, afraid it might set a lax precedent for tackling groundwater contamination at eight other defunct reactors along the Columbia River's shore. — J.S.

Preschool unions team up

The battle pitting preschool union leaders against city councilmembers just got hotter. Union leaders behind I-107, which mandates a $15 minimum wage and more training for early education workers, filed a lawsuit against the city and county on Wednesday. The suit claims that officials seek “to deny voters of a clean vote on I-107.”

In June, the Seattle City Council decided in a 6-3 vote that I-107 contradicts an existing city-backed ballot initiative to expand preschool access to 2,000 low-income children, KPLU reports. That meant that voters would have to decide between the two measures, rather than approving both. Backers of I-107 wrote in their court filings that I-107 and the city’s preschool measure “provide different solutions to different problems."

But Mayor Ed Murray says that boosting wages immediately would counter the $15 minimum wage deal he made with businesses leaders. The city also points out that I-107 doesn’t identify funding sources, while the preschool measure includes a $58 million property hike. — M.L.

Snobby in Seattle?

Movoto Real Estate got bored of open houses and decided to dive into “journalism,” posting a list of the snobbiest small cities in America on their blog. Four Seattle-area cities made the cut. Kirkland came in 19th place, followed by Redmond in 31st, Olympia in 38th and Sammamish in 44th. Movoto’s snobby scale was based on a wide range of criteria, including median household income, art galleries per capita and scarcity of fast food restaurants. (We think measuring designer handbags per capita and caviar consumption would have led to more accurate rankings). — E.W.

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Posted Thu, Jul 31, 2:30 p.m. Inappropriate

"...the other regular boat on the Seattle-Bainbridge run, is in the shop, and the replacement boat (Walla Walla) only holds 188 vehicles. The Wenatchee can carry 202. Bottom line: bummer."

My, that is truly a desperate situation for the poor folks on Bainbridge Island. A 14-car deficit in capacity! One can see how that's a very newsworthy event.

But -

Totally missing from this article is the fact that the Walla Walla normally serves the Seattle-Bremerton run, and the folks on the Kitsap Peninsula are now stuck with the 90-car Sealth. That's a capacity deficit of... let's see... 98 cars, because Bainbridge Island seems to have free license to steal Bremerton's boats whenever they run into a little inconvenience.

But, hey, who at Crosscut gives a damn about Bremerton, right?


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 5:07 p.m. Inappropriate

This week had 3 ferries dead in the water or dead at the docks:
The Wenatchee, The Tacoma and the brand new Tokitae.

Either these breakdowns were staged or I'll eat my hat.

Posted Mon, Aug 4, 9 a.m. Inappropriate

Be sure to add some salt and pepper to that felt. It tastes much better with some spices.


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 3:59 p.m. Inappropriate

Generally WSDOT will steal from any ferry run because Bainbridge is the only run that actually comes close to paying for its operating expenses via passenger fares.

So yea - I'd say yea, that's the route that get preference.


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 4:45 p.m. Inappropriate

If we can't get all those rich lawyers in on their ferries from Bainbridge, how we gonna sue people?


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 4:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Dang it, why did the trains have to stop?


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 10:11 p.m. Inappropriate

Why did the trains have to stop?
More money in coal/oil/gas hauling, perhaps?
More money importing Asian Hyundai/Kia/Izitsu/Suburu fuel-spewers?
More money delivering wage-slave goods the actual producers don't need
nor can afford water treatment/supply, healthcare, housing?

Notfan, consider me a fan and another combatant trying to make sense
of Seattle loftier-than-thou imperial know-it-all cluelessness, which isn't the worst thing to be, however otherwise contemptable, when their/our lives are at stake with the BORE tunnel currently under strict reconsideration. Trust me on that.


Posted Mon, Aug 4, 9:02 a.m. Inappropriate

NotFan's letting his inner murderer run riot today.

Let's all remember this post every time he fouls the pages of Crosscut with his vile emesis.


Posted Mon, Aug 4, 3:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Please go step in front of a city bus. Take a couple socialists with you. Thanks.


Posted Thu, Jul 31, 7:24 p.m. Inappropriate

Kirkland is one of the *least* snobby places on the Eastside. They have a lot of art galleries because, oh, they like the Arts. Is that snobby? Selling landscape paintings to tourists? And look at its vast public access to waterfront--not privatized like Bellevue's.

Posted Sun, Aug 3, 3:10 p.m. Inappropriate

A lot of people live on the islands. We chose to live on an island because we could afford to rent an apartment here. We're over 65 and only had social security when we returned to Washington State.

The ferries complete our freeways. As taxpayers we support freeways all over the state, but folks like commonsense and Simon not only don't support all state residents, but feel free to slime state workers.

Things break, especially things which can't be maintained on a regular basis due to giving tax relief to large corporations like Boeing (which is still moving jobs to South Carolina).


Posted Sun, Aug 3, 11:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Get over yourself, Amaliada. I ride ferries more than you do, because I work. WSDOT has a history of mismanaging nearly every project they've touched in the last fifteen to twenty years -- and WSF is part of WSDOT.

So be it that I'm irritated at state workers - but frankly, it's the MANAGEMENT that I'm PO'd at. They are the ones dropping every single ball. Time for heads to roll.

You tell me how the brand new ferry has so many problems - including an entire passenger deck that will never be used because WSF can't hire enough staff to open that deck. Why then was it designed and built? Just for show? For some fantasy in 40 or 50 years when cars aren't our normal mode of transportation.

And all the news was that the Tokitae was out for 2 hours. I beg to differ. That boat did not cross for nearly 4 hours. No back and forth for 4 hours means hundreds and hundreds of people wasted time sitting. 140 vehicles each way, not being moved.

Ferries don't break down, with 3 major breakdowns, on 3 different runs, all in one week. WSF mechanics either staged a break-a-thon to send their union a message, or WSF/WSDOT is more than totally incompetent. Take your choice.

Things break, but not this way. Where there is smoke there is fire.

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