Thursday 8 Oct, 2015

Thursday, October 8th

Heads up! Traffic Snarls Expected Friday

at 5:33pm by Leslie Holleran

President Obama is coming to Seattle Friday afternoon for Senator Patty Murray’s fundraiser at the downtown Westin. The Seattle Police Department advises that intermittent closures will affect arterials, freeways and downtown streets and commuters should plan ahead.

Buses in the north part of downtown will be re-routed, and King County Metro Alerts will have information on affected routes. The South Lake Union Streetcar’s McGraw Square stop will be closed. Downtown parking will be restricted as needed.

48 Hours Left - Support Crosscut Now!

at 3:36pm by Lila Trowbridge

TIME IS SHORT, Crosscut readers! More than 300 of you rallied to support Crosscut during our drive. But with 2 days left, we need your help to raise $18,000 and reach our goal. Any gift of $120 or more will receive a flashy Crosscut Bertha Bag.

Tote Design

Give now and you’ll be entered to win tickets to enjoy the artistic brilliance of Jazz Alley or the South Seattle Asian Film Festival. Make these last few hours count by adding your vote for local, in-depth journalism. Support Crosscut today!

Is Seattle losing its soul? Whaddya think Knute?

at 3:31pm by Leslie Holleran

This is the underlying question in a Thursday story in the New York Times. As well paying jobs at Amazon and Microsoft haunt the artists of Capitol Hill, will Seattle ever be the same? Times reporter Nick Wingfield credits policies adopted under Mayor Ed Murray, including the city’s $15 minimum wage and an affordable housing plan, for staving off the specter of the $3,500 one-bedroom in San Francisco. For now.

Crosscut’s own Knute Berger, “a longtime chronicler of life in Seattle,” is quoted.“Seattle has wanted to be San Francisco for so long,” he told Wingate. “Now it’s figuring out maybe that it isn’t what we want to be.”



Wednesday 7 Oct, 2015

Wednesday, October 7th

Pesticides in marijuana: New Department of Health effort to curb their use

at 2:07pm by Matt Spaw

The state Department of Health will soon award those pot businesses that use expensive tests to detect unapproved pesticides in their products, granting them a state “seal of approval.” While the law will not require that businesses perform the tests, it is hoped that the seal will give discerning consumers a way to avoid the most common of the unapproved pesticides, and encourage businesses to test for their use. According to a story by Bob Young of the Seattle Times, the seal itself will be developed later this month.

The seal should solve some of the problems outlined in Crosscut’s report about pesticide use in Washington’s marijuana industry, which was published in August. 

Coalition calls for Congress to reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund

at 1:34pm by Matt Spaw

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal program that has helped conserve land for recreation and public use for five decades, met an unceremonious end on September 30. Created by Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson in 1964, the program was funded by $900 million in offshore oil and gas revenue. In reaction to its expiration, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition – consisting of 280 corporate and non-profit partners – called for the program to be restored in a press release today, noting the outdoor recreation economy in Washington supports nearly 200,000 jobs, and that the program is supported by the vast majority of Americans.

The loss of the fund will affect hundreds of parks and trails, including Mt. Rainier National Park, The Pacific Crest Trail and Deception Pass State Park.

Microsoft unveils its first laptop

at 12:52pm by Matt Spaw

Microsoft revealed its first laptop at a media event in Manhattan on Tuesday, according to a story by Seattle Times reporter Matt Day. Microsoft, which has traditionally been a software company, hopes that the laptop – called the Surface Book – will compete with Apple’s Macbook Pro. The Surface Book will cost $1,499.

Microsoft also showed off its new virtual-reality headset, the HoloLens. In the demonstration, the player battled virtual robots that materialized from the walls of the wearer’s room.

SPD takes a page out of Philip K. Dick

at 12:32pm by David Kroman

Crosscut won’t be the first to say it nor the last: the Seattle Police Department’s new Real Time Crime Center smacks of Minority Report. But instead of sentient pre-cog siblings and Tom Cruise, there’s analysts and data.

Real-time data projected on a massive screen shows the location of every in-progress call. Each incident is color-coded as either priority 1, 2 or 3. Dotted throughout the map are also the locations of every patrol car in the city. The idea, according to developer Brandon Bouier, is that SPD can triage incidents throughout the city, allocating resources where they’re most needed.

Additionally, the department hired Cambridge-based analytics company Via Science to create an algorithm based on SPD data from as far back as January 2008 to predict spikes in crime. SPD COO Mike Wagers got a bit semantic, saying the department was “forecasting” and not “predicting,” the difference apparently being that, unlike the pre-cogs of that Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg classic, they cannot predict the behaviors of individuals.

The Real Time Crime Center has been in operation since July, and is part of SPD’s Agile Policing strategy – essentially using data and technology to better respond to crime. According to a statement from the City, the technology is funded through crime-related assets seized by the department and a $411,000 grant from the Department of Justice.

Tuesday 6 Oct, 2015

Syrian refugees come to Seattle. Busy day on City Council. I-405 tolling begins.

17 Syrian refugees now call Seattle home

at 10:54pm by Leslie Holleran

King 5 News today featured the story of the first Syrian refugee, Fawaz Azeb, placed in Seattle a year ago by the International Refugee Committee. Following Azeb’s arrival, the IRC provided housing and employment for 16 more Syrian refugees in Seattle.

Azeb, his wife and four children are among the thousands of Syrians who have fled the war-torn Middle Eastern country. He and his family went first to Lebanon where they applied for refugee status before coming to the U.S. The IRC says that Washington as a whole can expect a total of 3,000 refugees from various countries in 2016.

On I-405, commuters can pay for some extra speed

at 3:01pm by Leslie Holleran

The Washington State Department of Transportation has issued results from a study of the new express toll lanes on I-405. The DOT concludes that commuters who used the new lanes are saving on average 15 minutes (on the low end) during peak periods.

But, caveat emptor! While it’s not necessary to have a Good to Go! Pass in order to use the express toll lanes, drivers who do save money. Drivers without a Good to Go Pass who use the lanes get a bill in the mail for the cost of the toll plus $2.00. If the typical toll of a southbound morning commuter is $1.50, then the fee is more than the toll itself. High-occupancy vehicles ride for free with a new Flex Pass.

Roosevelt slums to become a park

at 10:07am by David Kroman

After many months of back and forth, the Seattle City Council has settled the issue of what to do with the Sisley properties in the Roosevelt neighborhood. The properties have long been blights, called slums by many. Last March, Mayor Ed Murray announced the City would seize the land. But that turned out to be more difficult than first thought and the property went back into limbo.

At a full council meeting Monday, the Council authorized the city to buy the property rather than seize it. The City has gone back and forth on whether to use the property for affordable housing or a small park. In the end, the latter won out.

Councilmember Sawant gets big money from small donors

at 10:00am by David Kroman

Money and where it comes from is perhaps the largest point of difference in this year’s Seattle City Council races. Councilmember Kshama Sawant took a bit of a victory lap Monday, bragging to her supporters that she raised $70,000 in September with the most number of donors of any candidate. In a race of progressives, this donor to dollar ratio has become a badge of honor. “This blows up the myth peddled by establishment politicians that they have ‘no choice’ but to accept donations from big business and the super-rich to be able to run a viable campaign. Every City Council member, every candidate has a choice who they accept money from and who they will represent,” said Councilmember Sawant.

City Council closes loophole on tenant evictions

at 9:49am by David Kroman

The City has long required landlords to give tenants 90 days notice in advance of eviction for renovations or demolition of a building. But some landlords have been found to circumnavigate that requirement by way of ‘economic evictions’ — raising the price of rent high enough to force tenants out.

The Seattle City Council passed an ordinance Monday that would penalize landlords for raising rents in advance of renovations or demolitions. The City does not have the authority to prevent landlords from raising rents generally — that would be a form of rent control, which is forbidden statewide. But this new ordinance could, in theory, prevent landlords from combining rent hikes and poor living conditions to force tenants out.

Rasmussen to pitch program for LGBTQ seniors

at 5:00am by David Kroman

As of part of the Seattle City Council’s ongoing budget talks, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will introduce a $75,000 proposal Tuesday to develop a training program for caregivers to LGBTQ seniors. The proposal is in response to a University of Washington report, due out Monday, that found a disparity in care for LGBTQ seniors. The training recommendations from Rasmussen were recemmended as a part of the report, authored by UW professor of social work Karen Fredricksen-Goldsen.

If approved, Rasmussen’s proposal would be a one-year pilot program to train 100 practitioners.

Friday 2 Oct, 2015

Ride the Ducks to change route. Uber ordinance makes it out of committee. UW lab draws protests.

City Council could be on collision track with Uber

at 3:56pm by David Kroman

A Seattle City Council committee voted Friday for an ordinance that would make it easier for drivers with transportation network companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft to collectively bargain with management. The bill will move to the full council before the end of year, but it does so surrounded by questions such as who can legally unionize.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien introduced the legislation at the end of August in response to complaints that drivers with Uber were making less than minimum wage. The ordinance would allow for drivers to be represented by an outside, non-profit organization that could bargain with the TNCs on the drivers’ behalf.

Although the ordinance unanimously passed out of the Finance and Culture Committee, some council members were hesitant. “The elephant in the room is that this may very well result in litigation,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. At issue is whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows contract employees like TNC drivers the right to collectively bargain. Representatives from Uber say it does not, while O’Brien believes it’s simply silent. According to Rachel Smith, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project, this is uncharted territory and therefore hard to predict how it would play out in courts.

O’Brien and Councilmember Nick Licata said they hoped the legislation could be considered by the full council as quickly as possible, but acknowledged it could be delayed as questions come up. If it is not considered in the next few weeks, Licata said he hoped it would be the first piece of legislation after the council passes its budget in late November.

Ride the Ducks will change route

at 3:49pm by Matt Spaw

After the crash that killed five people, Ride the Ducks will no longer use the Aurora Bridge, says an attorney for the Seattle tour company. In a Seattle Times story, the state Utilities and Transportation Commission also said that it would broaden its investigation of the crash beyond the safety of the vehicles to include their maintenance and the company’s training of drivers.

The bridge has come under scrutiny for years because of the lack of a median and the squeeze that drivers have to endure on the narrowest six-lane bridge in the state. Lawmakers are asking transportation officials for ideas to improve the bridge’s safety.

UW Human Rights Center suing CIA for El Salvador civil war documents

at 3:42pm by Matt Spaw

The Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington is suing the CIA for refusing to declassify documents related to U.S. involvement in El Salvador’s civil war. According to a story by Joel Connelly of, the main point of the suit is to reveal the possible involvement of a retired Salvadoran military officer, Col. Sigifriedo Ochoa Perez, in what is known as the 1981 Santa Cruz massacre. Also at stake are documents that may relate to the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who is one step short of the Catholic Church’s sainthood.

The lawsuit will be laid out Monday at a conference at the University of Washington Law School. It is unusual, as Connelly points out, for a major state university to be suing a federal agency like the CIA, especially because the UW is one of the nation’s leading recipients of federal research dollars.

Support -- and enjoy

at 3:07pm by Sherry Larsen-Holmes

Join Crosscut or renew your membership by 5:00 pm today and you’ll be instantly entered into a drawing for two tickets to the 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Waterfall!
Thanks to member support, we’ve crossed the 40 percent mark toward our Fall Member Drive goal! However, we still need your support to maintain the breadth and depth of local news and insight that you don’t find anywhere else. Will you make a gift today to support Crosscut’s independent, quality journalism?
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UW animal lab protest will draw hundreds of protesters today

at 12:37pm by Matt Spaw

An activist group No New Animal Lab is gathering on the University of Washington’s Red Square this afternoon to protest a new research lab. Organizers expect hundreds of protesters to show up to protest the U’s lab project, expected to reach completion in April 2017.

The goals of the activist group are to convince Swedish contractor Skanska to pull out of the project and to have a national impact that convinces others to question animal labs, according to the Seattle Times. A previous march on the campus in April drew about 500 people, which an organizer says may have been the biggest U.S. animal rights demonstration in the last 10 years.

Thursday 1 Oct, 2015

Murray wants Rainier Beach principal for city post. Shooting at Oregon community college. Ducks could be back on city streets in month.

Murray wants Rainier Beach principal for city post

at 4:13pm by Joe Copeland

Mayor Ed Murray today reached into the Seattle Public Schools system to nominate the highly regarded principal of Rainier Beach High School, Dwane Chappelle, for a new city educational post. If Seattle City Council confirms his appointment, Chappelle will be the first director of the city’s new Department of Education and Early Learning. The office will oversee City Hall’s work with Seattle Public Schools (which receives millions each year of levy support from the city), collaboration with colleges and the city’s expanding early learning and preschool initiatives.

The Seattle Times reported in March that Rainier Beach’s academic achievement has improved significantly under Chappelle’s direction since his arrival in 2011.

Support Crosscut, your source for local news

at 4:00pm by Lila Trowbridge

Thanks to you, dedicated Crosscut readers, our member drive continues to be successful. You’ve helped us raise almost 40 percent of our goal, and spread the word to 50 new members!
We have only one day left before we select this week’s winners to 5th Avenue Theatres new musical, Waterfall. Give today and you could find yourself sitting back in your seat, lost in the dramatic intrigue of infidelity, romance and war in 1930’s Japan. Support Crosscut today!

Report: Perhaps 10 dead in Oregon community college shooting

at 11:42am by Joe Copeland

An Oregon State Police spokesperson tells CNN that a shooting on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon has claimed at least 10 lives, the Eugene Register-Guard reports. Another 20 people are reportedly injured. OregonLive speaks of seven to 10 deaths.

The first calls for help came at 10:37 a.m., according to a sheriff’s official in the city south of Eugene along I-5.

State may let some Ducks vehicles back on streets soon

at 5:50am by Joe Copeland

Even as they charged that the amphibious vehicle involved in the Aurora Bridge accident was operated in an unsafe manner, regulators with the state Utilities and Transportation Commission have entered into a deal with Ride the Ducks’ owners that could put some of the company’s vehicles back on the streets within a month, the Seattle Times reports. The eight vehicles that could be allowed back into operation have a different design than the Ducks vehicle that crashed into a charter bus, killing five North Seattle College students last week.

The Times’ Lewis Kamb reports that the deal envisions having the eight vehicles back in operation with 30 days. Another eight vehicles similar to the one involved in the crash would be returned to service only after they have “passed regulatory inspection in a satisfactory manner, within a reasonable period of time.” For now, the UTC has suspended all operations at Ride the Ducks.

Wednesday 30 Sep, 2015

Help requested for Aurora Bridge accident victims. Legally, at least, Shell could limp back to Seattle. The struggle to find housing, even with help.

Help for Aurora Bridge victims

at 4:03pm by Joe Copeland

Mayor Ed Murray today asked for public donations to help victims of the Aurora Bridge accident, pointing to the long-term care some will require and the unique needs faced by some who are international students. Murray suggested giving to the United Way of King County’s Aurora Collision Relief Fund (here).

Murray credited a host of businesses — including airlines, local hotels and restaurants — for helping to bring family members of the victims here and hosting them. In a statement from the mayor, Seattle Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield said, “The outpouring of support for our college community has been astounding, and we are blessed that we have the opportunity to share the burden of grief.”

Shell could, legally, limp back to Seattle

at 2:41pm by David Kroman

At the height of the frenzy around Shell’s stopover in Seattle, the Department of Planning and Development ruled that the Polar Pioneer could not moor at Terminal 5 in the Port of Seattle. The DPD determined that Terminal 5 was a cargo terminal. Because Shell’s equipment was not cargo, it would be fined for parking on Harbor Island.

That ruling was overturned Wednesday. Representatives from the Port have long argued that disallowing non-cargo ships would have unintended ripple effects on things like cruise ships and tugboats. “While I am disappointed that the hearing examiner ruled that servicing off-shore drilling rigs is a cargo terminal use,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a statement. “I will respect the ruling.”

In light of Shell’s decision to not drill for oil in the arctic, the decision is likely to get less backlash from environmentalists than it may have last week.

Supporting articles that go deeper

at 2:00pm by Lila Trowbridge

Thank you, Crosscut Readers! You’ve helped us raise close to $20,000 during our fall member drive! By supporting Crosscut, you support work that produces articles like  Raymond Fenton’s recent contemplation of the media’s role related to issues of race and systematic oppression.
You have only two more days to give and be entered in the chance to win tickets to 5th Avenue Theatre’s new musical, Waterfall! This star-crossed love story explores romance and politics as Japan hovers on the brink of war. Make a gift to Crosscut today!
Raymond Fenton
Raymond Fenton

Even with help, can housing be found for a mom, 3 kids?

at 5:00am by Joe Copeland

Soaring rents and low vacancy rates create tough housing situations for lots of people. The Seattle Times tells a gripping story about a mother who has a voucher for federal Section 8 assistance but has had trouble finding any place that will take her. Is another round of sleeping in her car with three young childrn ahead?

Is this what housing has come to in Seattle — and America?

Tuesday 29 Sep, 2015

A recommendation against city's I-122. Music to honor bridge crash victims. Media day for NW's pro basketball team.

Bellevue crash kills 2-year-old on sidewalk

at 3:43pm by Joe Copeland

Bellevue officials say that a vehicle involved in a crash at the intersection of Bel-Red Road and NE 140th Street jumped onto a sidewalk and struck a 2-year-old child, who was with her mother. Emergency personnel attempted to help the girl but she died at the scene. Her mother was injured.

Bellevue officers were still investigating but officials said it appeared that the vehicles collided while one of them was making a left turn. The impact pushed one of the vehicles onto the sidewalk. Both drivers are cooperating with the investigation; drugs and alcohol use is not suspected.

Membership: A chance to see 'Waterfall'

at 3:21pm by Sherry Larsen-Holmes

Members and readers, you are helping us get ever closer to our fall member drive goals! We’re more than a third of the way there! Please cast your vote for local, in-depth journalism and let’s wrap up the drive!

Crosscut’s prize drawing this week involves a story of intrigue and romance in war-ridden Japan. Only members who contribute by 5 p.m. on Friday, will be entered to win 2 tickets to 5th Avenue Theatre’s new musical, Waterfall.

The Seattle Times: No on I-122

at 1:23pm by Matt Spaw

The Seattle Times editorial board has come out against Seattle’s Initiative 122 (endorsed by virtually every Seattle City Council candidate). The initiative includes voluntary limits on campaign spending, a voucher system that voters can use to fund their favorite candidates and increased property taxes to pay for the vouchers. The editorial board sees problems in the initiative’s spending assumptions that only a small portion of voters would use the vouchers. And, the board suggests, the voucher system will work in the favor of well-organized incumbents.

The editorial board found some redeeming qualities in the initiative, including banning contributions from contractors that do more than $250,000 of work with the city.

Fatal motorcycle crash shuts down northbound I-5

at 11:39am by Matt Spaw

A stolen motorcycle crashed on I-5 near Highway 520, shutting down all northbound lanes in Seattle for a time this morning. The female driver was riding at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour with another motorcyclist when she crashed into the back of a car, according to Washington State Patrol spokesman Trooper Chris Webb.

The Seattle Times said Seattle Public Schools said 66 buses were late because of the closures.

Make it so, Joe Biden

at 6:00am by Joe Copeland

The Draft Biden movement (a Super PAC) has already placed staffers in four early primary or caucus states and, KING5 reports, about 200 volunteers in Washington state. One of the local volunteer phone callers for Joe Biden says that only about 10 percent of the people she reaches currently voice support, but she thinks the numbers would grow rapidly if the vice president declares he’s a candidate for president.

Music to honor bridge accident victims

at 6:00am by Joe Copeland

Seattle composer Fred West has written a song to commemorate all the victims of the Aurora Bridge accident, surviving and dead. The Seattle Times reports West was kayaking under the bridge when the accident occurred. The Times’ story includes a video of Seattle Peace Chorus members performing “All of Your Precious Light” as they learned it from West, who directs the chorus as well as the City Cantabile Choir and the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Choir.

NBA media day in NW

at 5:00am by Joe Copeland

The Portland Trail Blazers are getting ready for the 2015-16 NBA, unveiling the team with a media day on Monday. It’s a radically different team, built around All Star point guard Damian Lillard, according to The Oregonian, which has blowout coverage. Don’t be jealous, Sonics-dreamers. I-5 still runs between the two cities.

Monday 28 Sep, 2015

UW: Up with wages. Shell Arctic fail: Good for Seattle? 5th person dies from bridge crash injuries.

UW: Up with wages

at 3:56pm by Joe Copeland

The University of Washington says it will pay all employees, including student workers, at least $15 per hour. The UW’s announcement said the minimum pay will go to $13 per hour on Jan. 1, as the new city law outlines, and $15 a year later, with the bulk of the extra money going to student workers. The university said that the implementation of the raises had raised a number of questions, including the effects on student fees, that it had to work through before making a final decision.

There have been legal questions about whether the city law applied to the University, a state institution. Interim President Ana Mari Cauce said in the announcement, “Bringing our workers to the $15 minimum is something we have been aiming for since the conversation began last year in Seattle. It’s the right thing to do, and I’m glad we are positioned to get there.”

Shell: good news for Seattle?

at 3:44pm by Joe Copeland

Shell Oil’s announcement today that it is suspending Arctic oil drilling operations is, according to USA Today, a major setback for the company, which had hoped for a big injection of revenues. But the suspension could have hardly made Seattle politicians happier. Mayor Ed Murray said,  “The people of Seattle stood up to oppose the use of our city as a base for expanded Arctic drilling.” Murray, however, held out an olive branch to the Port of Seattle, which had stood with Shell despite protests, suggesting that the city, port and maritime industry can work together to build a clean economy.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “While we should all be relieved that Shell Oil decided not to drill in the Arctic, this will not be the last proposal to drill for fossil fuels in that region, posing both local and global environmental risks. Let’s seize this opportunity to make King County a hub for clean-technology development and take the lead in creating a sustainable 21st-century economy.”

Halt the Ducks

at 2:35pm by Joe Copeland

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission today suspended all operations of Ride the Ducks of Seattle, and said it would file a formal complaint against the company by Wednesday. The Seattle Times reports that the commission chair, David Danner, expressed a lack of confidence in the Seattle company and said there was a possibility of wider problems with the company, whose amphibious vehicle crashed into a tour bus, killing five North Seattle College students.

The company has said it will keep the Ducks off the road until their safety can be demonstrated. A National Transportation Safety Board commissioner has said the amphibious vehicle involved in the Aurora Bridge accident had not had an axle repair recommended by Georgia-based Ride the Ducks International. Ride the Ducks of Seattle may not have known about the recommendation.


Romance, Intrigue, and Singing: What you get from supporting Crosscut

at 2:25pm by Lila Trowbridge

You, our readers, have helped us reach over one third of our fall member drive goals! With only 2 weeks left of our drive, we urge you to cast your vote for local, in-depth journalism.
Crosscut’s raffle prize this week is all song and dance. If you give before 5 P.M. on this Friday, you’ll have the chance to slip into a story of intrigue and romance in war-ridden Japan with 5th Avenue Theatre’s new musical, Waterfall.
As Benjamin Anderstone writes, “Invest in Crosscut and you invest in not only a great news source, but also a great source of momentum for positive social change.” Support Crosscut today!

Where were the clouds?

at 6:00am by Joe Copeland

What if they gave an eclipse and Seattle actually got to see it? We found out: There were quite a few happy people out Sunday night enjoying the view of what NASA called the Super Blood Moon eclipse.

Bridge crash claims 5th victim

at 4:45am by Joe Copeland

North Seattle College says a fifth international student has died of injuries suffered in Thursday’s crash on the Aurora Bridge. The family of the student requested privacy, so the name wasn’t released. Harborview said the victim was a 20-year-old woman from abroad, who had been in critical condition since the accident, in which a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle crashed into a bus chartered to show new international students the city.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the Ducks vehicle had not had a fix to its axle housing recommended by Ride the Ducks International, based in Atlanta. But the Seattle Times said it wasn’t immediately clear whether Ride the Ducks Seattle knew about the recommendation.

North Seattle College President Warren J. Brown said in a statement, “We appreciate the support that has been extended to our campus from this city and throughout the world.”

Friday 25 Sep, 2015

FBI investigating Everett developer. 3 bridge crash victims identified. I-405: A final slowdown for express work.

I-405: Worse before better?

at 3:49pm by Joe Copeland

The Washington State Department of Transportation is about to open the new I-405 lanes between Lynnwood and Bellevue, complete with the option of paying to use less-crowded lanes. But first — a big slowdown!

As WSDOT advises, a quarter-million drivers will be affected by lane closures that will reduce the highway down to two lanes in each direction. That starts at 11 p.m. tonight and continues until the new lanes open at noon Sunday.

Details on the weekend tie-ups, the new lanes and the easiest ways to pay are all on WSDOT’s site, here.

3 North Seattle accident victims ID'd

at 12:51pm by Joe Copeland

North Seattle Community College has identified three of the four students killed in Thursday’s crash on the Aurora Avenue Bridge. They are Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old woman from Austria; Privando Putradanto, an 18-year-old man from Indonesia; Mami Sato, a 36-year-old woman from Japan. Because the other victim, from China, was a minor, the college cannot legally release the name.

FBI checks out Everett developer

at 5:00am by Joe Copeland

The FBI and federal regulators are looking into the activities of an Everett developer, Lobsang Dargey, the Herald of Everett reports. A civil lawsuit by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission last month accused Dargey of misusing investors’ money on buying a house and Bentley automobile.

The lawsuit led to a stop on construction of a 40-story skyscraper that the investor was building in downtown Seattle.

This item has been updated since it first appeared to correct the location of the 40-story building.

Thursday 24 Sep, 2015

4 die in Aurora crash. Xi surprises Lincoln High students.

At least 4 dead in 'Duck,' charter bus collision

at 3:58pm by Crosscut Editors

At least four people died and 12 suffered critical injuries when a charter bus and a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle collided on the Aurora Avenue Bridge late this morning.  North Seattle College said 45 students and staff members were on board the charter bus. A full report is here.


A cultural farewell to President Xi Jinping

at 2:00pm by Leslie Holleran

Maybe this is the perfect way to mark the end of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seattle and Tacoma this week: with some fanfare. The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma will host a performance by China’s Soochow University student dancers, musicians and martial artists on Friday. The Soochow student troupe, which visits UPS annually, will perform at the Wheelock Student Center’s Rasmussen Rotunda (on campus near N. Alder Street and N. 15th Street) from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A reception with the performers will follow.

Keep them in the class

at 11:15am by Joe Copeland

Seattle Public Schools will cut back on suspensions of elementary school students this year, eliminating the punishment for disruptive behavior and disobedience. As the Seattle Times notes, its reports have repeatedly shown that suspensions are disproportionately handed out to minority children. The change appears likely to eliminate about one-fourth of elementary suspensions. Students can still face suspensions for dangerous conduct, assault and fighting.

Seattle’s suspension rate is lower than the state average, the Times reports, and the resolution passed by the School Board orders development of a plan for further cuts in suspensions.

A good day for a contribution

at 10:52am by Sherry Larsen-Holmes

Crosscut readers are stepping up!  Thanks to you, we’re a third of the way to our member goal, and over a quarter of the way to reaching $50,000 during this fall drive.

Today is a great day to give. Contribute at least $60 and a generous supporter will add $120 to it! Your $60 gift becomes a $180 gift! By giving, you’ll also be entered to shoot oysters at Revive, see Tacoma Film Festival cinema, or discuss immigration law at an Evening of Justice at the Wing Luke Museum. Join today!

Come to China!

at 5:00am by Joe Copeland

Chinese President Xi Jinping pretty much blew away the students at Lincoln High School in Tacoma with a speech in which he mentioned that 100 of them are invited to come to his country at the government’s expense next year. And it wasn’t just the students who were surprised: School officials tell The News Tribune that they are awaiting details of the unexpected offer.

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