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Monday 27 Oct, 2014

The Bar license suspension sought in Belltown. Student death, aftershocks nearby.

City Attorney goes after Belltown club license

at 4:24pm by Cambria Roth

City Attorney Pete Holmes is taking action against Belltown restaurant and bar, Cellars, by asking for an emergency suspension of its liquor license. He portrays the business as a beacon for crime in 2013 and 2014. In his Friday letter to the state Liquor Control Board, Holmes said, “firearms have been either inside or actually discharged inside the establishment on at least three separate occasions.”Most recently a shooting took place in a parking lot adjacent to Cellars. The Oct. 11 shooting left a 20-year-old man dead and two others injured. “This incident must be Cellars’ last,” Holmes asserted in his letter. “Here, Cellars openly allowed minors and weapons on the premises, cannot manage their customers, and demonstrated through their actions a failure to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation of the most serious crimes.”The Cellars business owner did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — C.R.

MPHS death

at 4:24pm by John Stang

The death toll for last week’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School rose to three Sunday night. Gia Soriano, 14, succumbed to the head injuries she sustained Friday morning. Zoe Galasso died the day of the shooting, as did shooter, Jaylen Fryberg. Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, both remain in critical condition. Nate Hatch, 14, was listed as satisfactory at Harborview Medical Center. It surfaced this afternoon that Fryberg had arranged to meet the eventual victims at lunch.At 10:39 this morning — the time the shooting took place Friday — a moment of silence was observed by Marysville community members, Providence hospital employees, most of Seattle’s major news networks and many others. — D.K.

Molotov cocktail shuts school

at 4:24pm by John Stang

Aftershocks of Friday’s shooting rippled as two more incidents occurred at schools Monday morning. KING 5 reports that the Center School at Seattle Center was closed after a 16-year-old brought a Molotov cocktail onto campus. He was quickly arrested by police. The building was evacuated and students were released to their parents. At Green River Community College in Auburn, an unknown person made a threat to a faculty member. Commander Steve Stocker told KING that the person insinuated there was going to be a shooting. It appears the person left campus shortly thereafter, but the college went into lockdown nevertheless. — D.K.

Amazon Fire Stick

at 4:24pm by David Kroman

Last week was a bad week for Amazon with earnings worse than anticipated and its shares down. Pushing forward, Amazon unveiled its “Fire TV Stick” this morning, reports GeekWire. The device plugs into the HDMI port on a TV and streams television, including Netflix, ESPN, Amazon’s instant video and many more. The device costs $39. A major contributor to Amazon’s poor performance has been lackluster sales of its Fire Phone. According to Forbes, the company is sitting on $83 million of unsold phones. With their release of the Fire TV Stick, many wonder: Like their phone, could this be too little, too late? — D.K.

Religion-bashing in 30th district

at 4:24pm by John Stang

Someone introduced the 16th century's Protestant Reformation into the 30th District's state senate race in Federal Way. Or maybe there's some ill feelings left over from the 17th century's Protestant-vs-Catholic Thirty Years War. And someone is definitely  still fighting the American Civil War.An anonymous web site has mounted several attacks on GOP senate candidate Mark Miloscia both for his Mississippi roots and Catholic beliefs, which include stances against abortion. One attack was a political cartoon (since removed) of Miloscia wearing a bishop’s miter while carrying a suitcase with a Confederate-themed Mississippi flag logo, along with words slamming his "Deep South" and Catholic connections. Miloscia was a lobbyist for Washington State Catholic Conference in 2013. He has not stressed his religious beliefs during his candidacy.His opponent Democrat Shari Song has slammed the anonymous religious attacks. "I respect Mark Miloscia's religion and I certainly don't condone ANY of my supporters making attacks on that basis. I understand one of my supporters may have crossed the line of what is appropriate in that regard, and I've asked them to stop," she wrote on her Facebook page on Friday. — J.S. 

Conservation between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum

at 4:24pm by David Kroman

In a news conference this afternoon, The Nature Conservancy announced two major land purchases: 48,000 acres in Washington state and 117,000 acres in Montana for a total of $134 million in acquisitions. Combined, the land totals more than 260 square miles. The Washington land is in the Central Cascades, along the I-90 corridor between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum. It was purchased from Plum Creek Timber, a publicly traded timber company. As a conservation organization, the goal of The Nature Conservancy is to protect the land and the varied species of elk, birds, fish, bears, wolves and big cats within it. However, as Board of Trustees leader Mary Ruckelshaus put it, the land will be useful. Think Forest Service philosophy, not National Park. There will be selective logging, community access and recreation as well as conservation. The land is not one, large swath, but rather a checkerboard of plots. Plum Creek Timber was the odd man out in the area, surrounded by national forest, Yakama Nation land and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. According to members of The Nature Conservancy, the purchase will make conservation of the area much simpler as each of those organizations have a “shared management” of the land. For those interested, they are offering site tours of the new territory. — D.K.

Friday 24 Oct, 2014

The At least 2 dead in school shooting. Health help at KeyArena. Seattle real-estate market ranks high

Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting

at 3:53pm by Cambria Roth

Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle suffered the latest American school shooting tragedy Friday morning when at least two died there, one of them the shooter. The gunman opened fire in the cafeteria, killing one female student and injuring four others. Three victims, two female and one male were brought to Providence Everett medical center, said Providence's Chief Medical Officer Joanne Roberts. One other male was considered stable enough to transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Roberts described the head injuries as extremely severe. The suspect’s family identified the student shooter as Jaylen Fryberg, a popular freshman student-athlete at the school. After shooting the other students, he turned the gun on himself. Multiple reports said he was upset at one of the female students over her unwillingness to continue dating him.Police were searching the large campus for hours, but confirmed the scene was secure and that they had transitioned into an investigative scene. They believe the gunman acted alone. Law Enforcement officials told CBS News that they are performing a trace on a Beretta 40-caliber handgun, which they believe is the weapon used in the shooting.A state senator representing the area, John McCoy, issued a statement saying:“We will recover, but we will never forget the victims of today’s terrible violence. These scenes are all too familiar throughout our country. It is our job as legislators to do whatever is necessary to help our schools and police prevent tragedies like these in the future.” — C.R. 

All-star move at The Key 

at 3:53pm by David Kroman

For four days, through Sunday, KeyArena will be an enormous and free clinic. John Merner, director of Seattle Center's productions division, learned about the non-profit Remote Area Medical on "60 Minutes." The organization sets up pop-up clinics all around the U.S. and in some parts of the world. According to The Seattle Times, they have served a total of 545,000 people. Merner contacted the organization a year ago and recruited the WSU Dental Association and UW Medicine. Since the word spread, medical volunteers have been signing up in droves — more than 500 by some accounts. Rather than “the Key,” the venue that once played host to the Beatles and the Sonics will be temporarily known as the Seattle/King County Clinic with Remote Area Medical. Thousands are expected to show up to take advantage of the free services, ranging from dental work to mammograms. The wait will be long, but for the hundreds in potential medical bill savings, it’s clearly going to be worth it for many. — D.K. 

Seattle market ranks 8th for real estate

at 3:53pm by Cambria Roth

Seattle kept its rank among the country’s hottest real estate markets at number eight overall. The Urban Land Institute and the PwC consulting firm’s survey of investors, bankers and real-estate leaders found that Seattle is now considered a “gateway city” for foreign investors, according to The Daily Journal of Commerce. It was reported that Seattle is attracting investors because of the tech boom, so millennials are flocking here.The report ranked Seattle third for development and fourth for investment and says its single-family housing market is 17th out of the 75 top markets. And the report struck positive notes about the real estate market not only for Seattle, but the nation as a whole. “The tide has come back in,” the report says. “An oceanic flow of capital is surging through America’s real estate markets, tugged by gravity and pushed by tailwinds.” — C.R.

Tornado aftermath 

at 3:53pm by David Kroman

In a week of record rainfalls, hail and solar eclipses, the most freakish natural occurrence remains Thursday's tornado over Longview and Kelso. Oregonlive reported that the tornado packed winds likely reached 110 MPH, which categorizes it as an EF1, the second-lowest rating, on the Fujita scale. Despite its low rating, the tornado tore roofs off building and overturned cars. Marissa Luck of Longview’s The Daily News told me that, in a twist of fate, the storm's low rating will exclude businesses and home owners from receiving disaster insurance. Instead, they will need to rely on their personal insurance. The Daily News plans a full report on the cleanup in Saturday's paper. No injuries were reported.In a state that rarely fears tornadoes, this is the second such occurrence in the month of October. Two weeks ago, a waterspout triggered the Puget Sound region’s first tornado warning in 45 years. — D.K.

World Tripe Day

at 3:53pm by David Kroman

Although it hasn’t been sanctioned by Congress (and the organizing body and its chairman may, in fact , be fake, according to the The Los Angeles Times' restaurant critic) today is World Tripe Day. Like sweetbreads or offal, tripe is a stand-in word: it is the stomach lining of a cow. The accessibility of tripe has increased with the country’s increasing Hispanic population, namely as an ingredient in menudo, a Mexican soup. It is also common in pho, the popular Vietnamese soup. There are few American dishes with tripe, although there has been a rebranding of sorts: As rocky mountain oysters are to real oysters, some chefs prepare tripe as “calamari.” In fact, KPLU has a recipe for “cowboy calamari” on its website today. Stomach’s up! — D.K.

Thursday 23 Oct, 2014

The Amazon posts 3rd quarter losses. Guns: Hands off the yard signs. Ebola: monitoring to be safe.

Amazon posts bigger-than-expected loss

at 1:43pm by Taylor Winkel

Amazon today said it lost $437 million during the third quarter, somewhat larger than analysts had expected. Are investors getting tired of the company's big investments in new lines of business as well as existing areas? GeekWire's John Cook notes that the company's shares have fallen 21 percent since the start of the year. But there's also the famous Jeff Bezos patience in looking ahead — which is no secret to those who invest in the company. As Yahoo Finance's Henry Blodget, a longtime investor in Amazon, puts it, “If the stock moves sideways for three to five years as they develop these big opportunities, that’s fine with them.” 

Showdown over gun signs

at 1:43pm by Taylor Winkel

The battle between opposing gun initiatives is getting weird. The Coalition to Protect Our Gun Rights, which backs Initiative 591, told The Seattle Times it will “seek charges” against Margot Blacker, a former Bellevue City Council member. This comes after, police say, she admitted taking pro-591 yard signs. Blacker told the police that her act was in retaliation for the theft of her yard signs supporting Initiative 594 in favor of universal background checks on gun purchasers. Alan Gottleib, who heads up the coalition, told the Times that 594 has more money, so the campaign can afford to print more signs. Gottlieb, who has been involved in many campaigns, said he would never steal an opponent’s signs and disapproves of any thefts.

Ebola: Precautionary monitoring

at 1:43pm by Taylor Winkel

Well, it’s here. The Ebola-fear epidemic has officially landed in Washington state with the return of one humanitarian aid worker to King County. Last night, Twitter erupted with reports of a Seattle area nurse under “quarantine” for a possible Ebola infection.The humanitarian aid worker has just returned from West Africa where she was working with Ebola patients. However, the King County Health Department says she doesn’t pose a risk to the public. They do not believe she came into contact with the virus. Under new requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nurse will be monitored for the next 21 days. Aside from well-being checks from the health department twice a day, the woman must take her temperature twice a day and notify KC Health Dept. if she plans on traveling. The department is watching for any changes in the women's conditions.

Garfield faces mid-term teacher loss

at 1:43pm by Taylor Winkel

Students and teachers at Garfield High School planned a walk-out this afternoon, protesting the potential loss of a full time teacher. Even though parents and teachers say Garfield “more than met” its enrollment projections for the year, the school may still lose a staff member by the time Monday rolls around unless families can raise $92,000 by tomorrow, according to KING 5. The school was first notified of the staff change last Friday. The loss of a full time staff member would leave 150 kids with a hole in their scheduleS for the rest of the semester.

Going up in the heart of Downtown

at 1:43pm by Taylor Winkel

My Northwest reports another big new building for Seattle, this time at Downtown’s Second Avenue and Pine Street. The architecture is a joint venture between Portland’s GBD and Weber Thompson of Seattle. The building will feature almost 400 apartments, with street-level retail, green amenities (like ZipCar spaces) and more than 200 parking stalls. The building is expected to open sometime in 2017.The Amazon item and headline have been changed since the story first appeared to correct editing errors.

Wednesday 22 Oct, 2014

The Walk Score walks to new ownership. Seattle pressures medical pot dealers. Bellevue unveils police chief finalists.

Redfin acquires Walk Score

at 4:11pm by Cambria Roth

Seattle-based Redfin just walked into what could be a great deal with its acquisition of Walk Score. Walk Score, a 10-person Seattle company, ranks millions of addresses across the country for walkability, bikeability and nearness to public transportation. They do this by measuring the distance from specific addresses to certain neighborhood amenities and rank the walkability on a scale of 1 to 100.Walk Score posted a blog today explaining their decision to join ranks with Redfin. “To further our mission of helping people find a great house or apartment in a neighborhood they love, we’re decided to announce that Walk Score is becoming part of Redfin, the customer-first real estate brokerage.” The posting adds, “Together we will be able to help more people make great decisions about where to live.”GeekWire reported that this is Redfin’s first acquisition. The Walk Score brand, website and data sharing with partner companies will remain. Part of the deal is that nearly all of the Walk Score team will join Redfin, excluding the CEO Josh Herst. — C.R.

City pressures medical pot dealers

at 4:11pm by Cambria Roth

The city of Seattle is putting more pressure on the Legislature to figure out this medical marijuana mess with 330 warning letters sent out to pot shops on Oct. 16. The letters (Seattlepi.com published a copy of one) warn businesses that if they don’t get a license from the state by July 1, 2015 — they close down. The catch? A medical-pot license from the state doesn’t exist under the new legalization scheme.Earlier this year, the City Council passed a resolution allowing businesses that were producing or selling marijuana products prior to Nov. 16, 2013 to continue operating without a state license until Jan. 1, 2015. (Check out a story on this from Crosscut’s Bill Lucia here.) The deadline has been extended until July 1 — in effect, giving the Legislature its whole 2015 session to come up with a way to bring medical pot growers into the pot regulatory system. — C.R.

Finalists announced for Bellevue Police chief

at 4:11pm by David Kroman

The city of Bellevue has been looking for a new police chief since Linda Pillo retired in April. The city announced its five finalists Wednesday morning, revealing a mix of local and non-local candidates. The three nationally recruited finalists are Minneapolis Assistant Chief Matthew Clark; Simi Valley (California) Chief Mitch McCann and Austin Assistant Chief Raul Mungula. The local players are Bellevue Deputy Chief Jim Jolliffe and Seattle Assistant Chief Nick Metz. Metz should be the most recognizable to Seattle residents: After years as assistant chief, Metz was given an ultimatum in in late 2013 to take an assignment as captain or leave. In January, then-Interim Chief Harry Bailey had brought him back to assistant chief, and new Chief Kathleen O'Toole has kept him there in charge of patrol operations. A public reception for people to meet the finalists will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in Bellevue City Hall. The city's timeline calls for making an offer to the next chief before the end of the year. — D.K. 

Boeing sales up, stock down

at 4:11pm by David Kroman

Boeing’s adjusted net income grew by 19 percent in the third quarter, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The jump was fueled in large part by an increase in commercial airplane sales. This announcement came on the heels of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new 777x wing plant. While the two news pieces bring a sense of stability to Boeing’s role in the Northwest, they don’t necessarily signal an increase in local jobs. The plant may see “several hundred jobs,” which in proportion to the size of the operation is not very many. The new wing plant will be largely automated and will simply not require many workers. But The Seattle Times reports that Boeing shares dropped 4.5 percent today. What, too many jobs left for Wall Street to be happy? — D.K.

Radiation in Magnuson

at 4:11pm by David Kroman

Unlike, say, the numbers on your watch, glow-in-the-dark paint used on the dials of World War II era planes was radium-based. Radium is radioactive and can cause health problems. In 2009, soil in Magnuson park was found to be contaminated with radium leftover from when the park was a naval air station. However, the public was not informed of the radium until three years later, resulting in a local mistrust of the Navy. The Navy says it is cleaning it up, but critics — including state Rep. Gerald Pollet — say there could be a risk to people who spend more than two hours a day in the park. This isn’t going down well with Magnuson frequenters, who wonder if the Navy cleanup shouldn't expand its cleanup from isolated parts to the whole park. KING 5 reports that locals are calling for the City of Seattle to establish a citizen advisory committee to settle the matter. So far, the request has been denied, but a second letter has been submitted. Maybe Major League Baseball, which is experimenting with ways to speed the game, can ask Magnuson little leaguers to help by trying a two-hour time limit on their games — and just to be super-safe on the radiation front. — D.K.

Tuesday 21 Oct, 2014

The Baby orca thought to be dead. Bellevue, where the living is highly rated. Bus lanes get brighter.

Orca baby: Oh, no

at 3:04pm by Taylor Winkel

Puget Sound’s newest baby orca whale was declared deceased by the Orca Conservancy today. The calf, designated L120, wasn’t spotted with its mother over the weekend. It’s suggested the calf may have starved. The conservancy says lactating females burn calories quicker than other whales. If they aren’t getting enough food, producing enough milk to feed their calf is difficult. . One potentially hopeful note: The item suggests that Hood Canal is producing more fish than in the past – but orcas haven’t rediscovered it yet. 

Bellevue: The place to be 

at 3:04pm by Taylor Winkel

Bellevue was rated the second best city to live in America by a business-oriented website, 24/7 Wall Street, according to KING 5 News. Judged on such factors as the labor market, extracurricular amenities and median home values, Bellevue is considered "very well educated” and “vibrant” by the report. The city fell just short of Newton, Massachusetts, a close-in Boston suburb that was rated No. 1 with less crime and higher income and home values.

Using Didier against Didier

at 3:04pm by Taylor Winkel

In Central Washington’s Fourth Congressional District race, candidate Clint Didier may be the best, last hope the Tea Party has to win a spot in the U.S. Senate or House come this November, reports the seattlepi.com’s Joel Connelly. But the state Republican establishment is working to tilt the polls toward mainline GOP rival Dan Newhouse. While Didier is backed by ex-U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, Newhouse has endorsement from the NRA as well as moderate Republicans. A new political action committee fronted by former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton reportedly raised $58,000 to launch a slam ad accusing Didier of holding “weird and extreme views,” and using his own statements to make the argument. 

Painting the street red

at 3:04pm by Taylor Winkel

The DOT is completing Seattle’s very first red-colored bus lane today. The department says painting the lanes red will more clearly identify the difference between transit and regular traffic lanes. The result? The department is hoping for more efficient bus commutes. The red lanes are supposed to remind other drivers to stay out. And at $15,000 per block, according to SDOT’s communications office, we hope they do. The city began today with a section near Fourth and Battery. According to the Seattle Transit Blog, they also have plans for areas near the Montlake Bridge, Wallingford around N. 45th Street and Midvale Place and in Belltown on part of Wall Street. 

Wiping the orange from Magnolia

at 3:04pm by Taylor Winkel

Someone’s pilfered our Halloween spirits this year: Thieves made off with all of the decorations one couple used to create the popular “Halloween Alley” in Magnolia. MyNorthwest reports the couple recently discovered the truck they use to store the decorations was broken into. Carol Ard and her husband, Tom Canning, said many of the decorations they’ve collected over the years are one of a kind and irreplaceable. The family is understandably upset, but they’ll still be giving away full-sized candy bars, trying to make the best out of this stolen Halloween.

Monday 20 Oct, 2014

The Fees planned on new development. Mars Hill puts its message out. Ed Murray, Sawant should like their poll numbers.

Council promises developers will pay

at 3:11pm by David Kroman

The Seattle City Council passed a resolution Monday that sets the stage for assessing fees between $5 and $22 per square foot on new development to support affordable housing. The numbers, known as linkage fees, will be determined by location, with more popular areas like South Lake Union paying more. Under the resolution, a detailed plan could be adopted as early as next year and would have a phase-in period of perhaps three years. Crosscut’s Bill Lucia has a full report here. – D.K. 

 Mars Hill messages congregation

at 3:11pm by Cambria Roth

Mars Hill Church leaders opened up a bit to their congregation on Sunday after the news of Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll’s resignation last week. Their statement provides a little insight into what happened and why he quit, but still leaves many questions unanswered.What we do know is the elders offered Driscoll a plan that would have eventually restored him to leadership of the troubled mega-church. Instead of submitting, he decided to quit.Seattlepi.com says the churchgoers were given this message: “The investigation of formal charges against Mark Driscoll has revealed patterns of persistent sin in three areas disclosed in the previous letter by the Board of Overseers. In 1 Tim 5:20 it requires that an elder be rebuked for persistent sin. Our intention was to do this while providing for his eventual restoration to leadership. The Board of Elders in agreement with the Board of Overseers are grieved, deeply grieved, that any process like that was lost to us when Mark Driscoll resigned and left the church.”The remaining elders acknowledged their own errors in leaders as being “domineering, arrogant and boastful,” but they said they wish to move on and lead with “grace and love.” Pastor Dave Bruskas will serve as interim pastor until the church figures out where to go from here. — C.R.

Ed Murray, Sawant poll well

at 3:11pm by David Kroman

Publicola has released approval ratings for Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council. The polls, conducted by Seattle based EMC research, would have Barack Obama and Congress drooling. Seattle voters ostensibly gave Mayor Ed Murray a standing ovation with a 70 percent approval rating and only 23 percent disapproval. The numbers for City Council were basically positive as well, although they revealed that most Seattle-ites know nothing about Tom Rasmussen, Sally Clark and Mike O’Brien: At least 40 percent answered “can’t rate/never heard of” for those three outside the council districts where they live. Council staple Nick Licata was up there with Murray, receiving a 51 percent approval and only a 14 percent disapproval. But, predictably, it was Kshama Sawant who received the most telling numbers. The outspoken socialist received a solid 50 percent approval rating — on par with Licata. However, she had the highest disapproval rating at 30 percent, lending hard data to the conventional wisdom that she’s a polarizing figure. Council President Tim Burgess had the second highest disapproval rating, a fairly distant 17 percent (along with 45 percent approval). The takeaway? That the council may be doing better than previously thought, but most of its members could afford to spread their names even when they’re not campaigning. The races for next year are already heating up. Today, Amanda Kay Helmick, a West Seattle neighborhood and transportation activist, announced her candidacy for the District 1 seat (that's where Rasmussen lives). The West Seattle Blog noted that Chas Raymond, a neighborhood and sustainability leader, and David Ishii, a self-described "character" and 2013 mayoral candidate, earlier announced runs for the District 1 position. — D.K. 

No women among highest paid employees in Seattle

at 3:11pm by Cambria Roth

The Puget-Sound Business Journal has released four lists that are drawing a lot of attention because they detail the 25 highest paid employees in Seattle, Bellevue, King County and Washington state. Perhaps the most fascinating fact: Not one woman made the top 25 list in Seattle.The lists may raise as many questions as did Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s infamous comments about how women shouldn’t pursue raises and instead just wait for the system to reward them.Out of the four lists, only 15 of the 100 highest-paid employees are women. Bellevue looks most progressive with 7 of 25 female employees on its list. Male college sports coaches dominate the state of Washington’s list — a whole other topic for discussion. — C.R.

M's pitcher named comeback player

at 3:11pm by David Kroman

The Mariners did not make the playoffs this year. But, if there are moral victories in sports, their oh-so-close run for the wild card certainly counts. And the Sporting News announced this morning that Mariners’ pitcher Chris Young won the American League Comeback Player of the Year award. Young made only 42 starts between 2009 and 2012, battling shoulder issues. This season, he made 29 starts, going 12-9, tying his season high for wins set in 2005. In some ways, Young’s success is a symbol of the Mariners’ run this year. While his numbers are not knockout, they are solid. And solid is something Mariners’ fans can celebrate. — D.K.

Friday 17 Oct, 2014

The Percy Harvin traded to Jets. Starbucks' PR blitz. Diversity training for Microsoft.

Percy Harvin Traded

at 3:16pm by David Kroman

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports tweeted that Seahawks’ wide receiver Percy Harvin has been traded to the New York Jets for a conditional mid-round draft pick. The trade has not been confirmed by either team. Although Harvin spent most of last year on the injured reserve, his limited time on the field earned him a reputation for being among the most dynamic players in the NFL. Details of the trade are limited, but so far the general reaction is, huh? — D.K.

Starbucks Tattoos

at 3:16pm by David Kroman

It must be roll-out-everything day in the Starbucks PR department. Opting for a blitz of announcements rather than a staggered approach, Starbucks released four interesting pieces of news today:

1. Starbuck employees will now be allowed to show tattoos. CNN reports that, reacting to pressure from employees, Starbucks will allow visible tattoos on arms, for example. Neck and face ink is still taboo. So is dyed hair. 

2. In the same report, Starbucks also said it's giving all its baristas and shift managers a raise. The company did not say how big, but apparently the pay bump comes with one free pastry item per shift. 

3. In an important step for anyone who hates lines, Starbucks will rollout a “pay ahead” feature for its app in 2015. Customers will be able to order and pay for their drinks before even entering the store. Maybe the employee pay raise will help compensate employees for the crushing number of orders they'll now be filling every morning?

4. Finally, in an effort to promote its new mobile feature, 10 Starbucks Card users will win a lifetime supply of Starbucks drinks. And by lifetime, we're talking one drink a day for 30 years. According to USA today, that could add up to $22,995. — D.K.

Ramps to Nowhere haikus

at 3:16pm by David Kroman

As a part of the 520 Bridge replacement, the Seattlepi.com reports that one of the city’s strangest pieces of infrastructure must come down. The “Ramps to Nowhere” near the Arboretum are relics of a government construction project that went belly up more than 50 years ago. Since then, they’ve become a fav sport for dog walkers, skateboarders and graffiti artists. For many locals, their loss is a darn shame. But the state is holding a contest to win a piece of the ramps. Just write a haiku homage to the Ramps and tweet it to @WSDOT_520. if it's good enough, you could own a part of history. — D.K.

Microsofters get more diversity training

at 3:16pm by David Kroman

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is still reeling from the fallout over his remarks about women in the workplace. After encouraging a conference of women in technology to rely on “good karma” and the “system” for raises, he was lambasted far and wide for his apparent ignorance about the realities of working women. In an effort at damage control, the embattled CEO sent a letter of apology to the whole of Microsoft last week. But another apology memo surfaced today, according to the seattlepi.com. Memo #2 pointed out that Microsoft’s female employees earn 99.7 percent of what the company's male employees make. It also announced that all Microsoft employees will be receiving more diversity training as a way to encourage a more inclusive culture. This marks the first concrete action Microsoft has taken in the wake of Nadella’s comments. By the look of things, it's only the first step in Nadella’s long road to image repair.  

FOX and KCPQ kiss and make up

at 3:16pm by Cambria Roth

Some consolation for Seahawks fans: Q13, which airs Seahawks games locally, has renewed its affiliation with FOX. Until 2018, that is. Tensions rose between the two companies last week when Fox bought a small Bellingham TV station in a reported effort to force Tribune Media Co. to sell Channel 13. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that FOX officially withdrew its previously delivered termination notice and agreed to no early termination prior to July 2018. The renewal comes at a price, though. In a press release, the Tribune said it’s paying FOX more for the privilege of being an affiliate, but say they don’t expect for it to hurt their profitability. Crosscut’s Art Thiel outlined the battle between the two companies in this article here. —C.R.

Misty Upham's body found

at 3:16pm by Cambria Roth

The body of missing actress Misty Upham was found in an Auburn ravine on Thursday. Upham, who grew up in south Seattle, is best known for her roles in the films, August: Osage County and Frozen River. Seattle-based filmmaker Tracy Rector, a longtime friend who is acting as a spokesperson for the Upham family, confirmed that the body was indeed that of the 32-year-old Native-American actress. Rector told The Hollywood Reporter that Robert Upham, Misty’s uncle and the organizer of a search party, found Upham’s purse and then discovered her body. Although the medical examiner has yet to release the cause and manner of Upham’s death, Auburn police spokesman Commander Steve Stocker wrote in an email to The Seattle Times: “At this time we do not have any information to believe there is foul play.”Upham’s father reported her missing on Oct. 6 from the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation in Auburn. The Washington Post has reported that tensions between police and Native Americans on the reservation could have played a role in the time it took to find Upham’s body. “The family pleaded for the police department to look for her; they pleaded for dogs,” Rector told the Post. Police never sent dogs or an official search party. Police Commander Stocker said his department followed procedures, but acknowledged that he did not organize a search party for Upham. — C.R.

Thursday 16 Oct, 2014

The State told to monitor one traveler. Pot accounts go online. Report: Low-carbon fuel is costly.

New system brings Ebola monitoring notification

at 4:33pm by Joe Copeland

The state Health Department’s communicable diseases epidemiologist, Dr. Scott Lindquist, said today that federal authorities have notified Washington state about one traveler from Ebola-struck parts of Africa that officials should monitor.He said the notification was part of a new system that went into effect today. He declined to say where the one person is. When the federal migration and health officers, working at five major airports screening incoming passengers, find someone healthy but deemed in need of tracking for 21 days, the officials will then notify the states’ health departments. And the state office will then notify local health departments to carry out the monitoring locally. He called the new system a “big improvement.”Earlier, Skagit County had asked anyone who has returned from areas with active Ebola cases in the past 21 days to notify county health and community services. A press release said any people who had been in the epidemic’s regions should also take their temperature twice a day, monitor for possible symptoms and avoid long trips on buses, airplanes and the like. The county says this is in effort to address risk and minimize potential exposure. Officials also said they are collaborating with local hospitals and emergency services. Lindquist called the Skagit approach “a clever local response,” but said the new federal approach provides a more systematic way of tracking incoming travelers who might have been exposed.He said the federal screening at the five U.S. airports will allow contact with 95 percent of all travelers from the affected regions in Africa. And, Lindquist said, the new system would have identified the Dallas-bound traveler who later died as in need of local monitoring, despite his original denials of any contact with Ebola. — T.W. and J.C.

Pot sins go online

at 4:33pm by Taylor Winkel

The state Liquor Control Board is posting all licensed pot operations’ sales activity, as well as posting warnings and fines issued to out-of-compliance licensed pot growers, sellers, and processors online, according to Associated Press. This is so banks and credit unions can better track their marijuana clientele and identify red flags indicating shady activity. For instance, if a pot shop reports selling $5,000 worth of product, but is depositing $25,000 into their bank account, that may be grounds for a deeper exploration by the company’s bank. Federal authorities have told banks accepting pot customers that they must file suspicious activity reports for questionable account activity. — T.W.

Lobbying group: Don’t cut carbon

at 4:33pm by John Stang

An attempt to install low-carbon fuel requirements would raise gasoline prices by 90 cents to $1.06 a gallon, and kill 11,000 Washington jobs in five years, according to a research paper produced by the National Federation of Independent Business, which opposes Washington installing such standards. The NFIB-sponsored research contended that higher gas prices will trim traveling and families’ pocketbooks.Republicans, the National Trucking Association and now the NFIB all argue that installing a low-carbon fuel standard will lead to a huge increase in gasoline prices. Seattle-based Climate Solutions has earlier countered with research on British Columbia and California — which have installed low-carbon fuel standards — showing a negligible effect on gas prices. Gov. Jay Inslee has said earlier that he will wait until the state’s own research on the gas price issue is finished before making decisions relating to low-carbon fuel standards.Right now, Inslee’s efforts have focused on carbon emissions taxes and a cap-and-trade system, although his administration is leery of doing both simultaneously. Republicans have expressed concern that Inslee might impose the low-carbon requirements by state rule under existing authority rather than through a new law. — J.S.

Sorry, Mayor: Fire Chief really will leave

at 4:33pm by Joe Copeland

Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean will retire at the end of the year after 10 years as chief and 44 years with the department. The announcement reveals that Dean had told new Mayor Ed Murray at the start of his administration that he was looking forward to retirement, but Murray talked him into staying at least this year. Dean came back recently and Murray again asked him to stay — but Dean declined, saying it was time to enjoy retirement.  — J.C. 

Wednesday 15 Oct, 2014

The Mars Hill pastor resigns. Resistance grows to ferry reservations. Beacon Hill test scores tossed.

Mark Driscoll departs Mars Hill

at 4:08pm by David Kroman

Controversial Pastor Mark Driscoll has resigned from Mars Hill Church, the church said today. Although the church’s blog defends Driscoll’s morality and says church leaders did not ask for a resignation, they do say a just-completed investigation found that “Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner.” noting that Driscoll said he doesn’t want to be a divisive force at the church, Joel Connelly on seattlepi.com has a good summary of the main points in Driscoll’s rapid decline from being a national star of among evangelical megachurch leaders to departing from the floundering church. (And for a recent look at how the congregation reacted to some of his more egregious moves and statements, Stacey Solie’s Crosscut article this summer remains a must-read.) — D.K.

Ferry reservation angst

at 4:08pm by David Kroman

When you live on an island, your world is ruled by the ferry schedule: It dictates when you go to work and when you go home, it has you leaving baseball games in the eighth inning, it cuts dinner parties short. For those who live in the San Juan Islands, the sporadic ferries and long rides can mean big consequences for missed boats. Now, with reservations for cars on the horizon, residents of the islands are worried that access to the mainland will become even more challenging. The ferry system announced the reservation plans last summer, set to begin Jan. 5. The Port Townsend-Whidbey and Anacortes-Sidney, British Columbia routes are currently the only lines to accept reservations. KING 5 reports that WSF will save up to 90 percent of slots in an effort to cut down on the waits, notoriously long especially in the summer and over holidays. However, locals believe that this will make spur-of-the-moment and emergency trips impossible. Arguing that the new system favors tourists over residents, a petition on Change.org has collected nearly 400 signatures. It’s hard to know exactly how the system will change things, but if the locals’ fears are realized we could be seeing a lot more Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” look-alikes. — D.K.

State throws out elementary schools test scores

at 4:08pm by Cambria Roth

There is a bit of a mystery going on at Beacon Hill Elementary involving state test scores. The Seattle Times reports the state has thrown out all math and reading scores for the school, but will not call it cheating. Seattle Public Schools won’t call it cheating either because they say the changes were so egregious, they still don’t know exactly what happened. Basically, if cheating was the motivation, there is no way — presumably — that the school would be this obvious about it.Almost all Beacon Hill students got the right answers to every multiple-choice question. The previous year’s third-grade math test had about 30 percent of students score well enough to be considered “advanced.” The number increased to more than 80 percent this year.The state has examined tests from specific grades in a school, but this is the first schoolwide review the state has ever undertaken. Districts have state and local procedures they are supposed to follow regarding who has access to test booklets. It sounds like multiple people probably had access to the room the test booklets were in. — C.R.

Party-line differences on tax hikes

at 4:08pm by John Stang

A Seattle-based conservative think tank — the Washington Policy Center — recently conducted a survey showing most Republican legislative candidates favor letting the public vote on a constitutional amendment that a two-thirds legislative majority is required to raise taxes.Eighty-four Republican candidates answer the survey, with 83 supporting the two-thirds requirement.  Five Libertarian candidates also supported the two-thirds proposal. Only 11 Democratic candidates answered with five supporting and six opposing the idea. Clearly, there is a difference both on policy and on willingness to answer the survey. — J.S.

What to know when scuba diving in Pullman

at 4:08pm by John Stang

The Washington State Auditor’s Office has found that a Washington State University scuba diving instructor — part of the school's physical education program — also owned a nearby scuba equipment and instruction business. The report concluded that the instructor — name not provided — would downplay his connection to the shop he owned, and would routinely route students to buying or renting gear at his business for the course, while not acknowledging the existence of a nearby Spokane shop where students could compare prices.

The auditor's office recommended changes in the instructor’s and the university’s handling of the program. The university promised a long list of fix-it measures. The most shocking discovery: There is scuba diving in Pullman. — J.S. 

The Stranger's endorsements

at 4:08pm by David Kroman

Unless you have excellent tunnel vision on your daily commute, the Stranger’s political leanings are no secret. The free, alternative newspaper released their yearly endorsement “cheat sheet” today, in which they weigh in on everything from controversial initiatives to advisory votes. For the initiatives and candidates we all know about, the Stranger mostly preaches to the choir: vote Jim McDermott for the 7th, vote no on I-591 and yes on I-594 and vote yes to fund the buses. However, one could argue that the Stranger wields an incredible influence on other decisions: How many people, for example, have strong opinions about who should hold Seattle Municipal Court Judge Position No. 7?

The big surprise this year is the endorsement of sitting Speaker of the House Frank Chopp over socialist Jess Spear. Last year, the Stranger repeatedly promoted socialist candidate Kshama Sawant on her way to election as a Seattle City Council member. Their endorsement of Chopp is an uncharacteristic support of “hard work toward meaningful, incrementalist progress in Olympia.” Readers were likely quite surprised: Back in July, an online Stranger poll showed readers 2-to-1 in favor of Spear. — D.K.

Tuesday 14 Oct, 2014

The Mars Hill lists Ballard spot for lease back. Claim against mayor's office. Vulcan to build Yesler housing.

Mars Hill: Ballard real-estate deal?

at 3:59pm by Taylor Winkel

It looks like Mars Hill is really trying to generate more money from a real-estate deal on its original church in Ballard — without leaving the building. The building there is listed for sale on a commercial property website (a Reddit user picked up on it). The building is going for $8 million with a status of “available,” but it is noted that the seller wants to lease it back. Mars Hill critic Warren Throckmorton suggests that the church would also be willing to have another tenant in the building Monday through Saturday. In an email responding to questions today, the church noted that the current lead pastor, Scott Harris has told members, “Due to our financial situation we are simply exploring opportunities that may be available to us. The building was put up for sale with the resolve that we have no intention on selling it unless someone will buy it who will lease it back to us so that we can continue to hold church services here for years to come.”This all comes as founder Mark Driscoll has stepped aside while he attempts to deal with accusations of bullying, lies and mismanagement of church funds. As Crosscut’s Stacey Solie wrote in July, there has been a mass exodus of parishoners. — T.W.

Mayor's ex-press secretary files complaint

at 3:59pm by Joe Copeland

A former press secretary for Mayor Ed Murray has filed a $1 million claim alleging that her removal violated civil rights laws. The claim notes that Rosalind Brazel, who is African American, was eventually replaced by a white male. Murray defended himself, saying that "neither race nor gender played any role in my decision to seek different skills and experience." Crosscut's Bill Lucia has a full report here. — J.C. 

Vulcan planning Yesler Terrace housing

at 3:59pm by Taylor Winkel

Paul Allen’s real estate company, Vulcan, is set to buy three blocks along the Yesler Terrace from the Seattle Housing Authority, reports seattlepi.com. Vulcan plans to develop the property into three housing developments, part of which will house families earning 80 percent of the area median income. This is part of a larger effort to transform Yesler Terrace into a more mixed-income community, according to the Seattle Housing Authority. The developments are estimated to have 650 living spaces with more than 300 low-income housing units. The first building will go up on the corner of Broadway and Yesler and construction is scheduled for early 2016. — T.W.

Drone debate to resume

at 3:59pm by Taylor Winkel

Police and other law enforcement groups are worried about what limitations the legislature may place against the use of drones according to the Northwest News Network. One issue could be whether search warrants are required — there is no need for warrants on manned flights. Last April, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill imposing restrictions on drone usage, but he did impose a moratorium on the purchase and use of the technology by state executive agencies. Now, a small task group convened by the governor is meeting to again discuss the issue. Before the task force’s next meeting Nov. 10, Inslee’s office plans to circulate a draft of drone regulations that the Legislature might consider in the 2015 session. — T.W.

ACLU's biggest donation

at 3:59pm by Joe Copeland

The ACLU's state chapter has received its largest donation ever, $10 million, from a retired stockbroker, Floyd Jones, and his late wife, Delores. In an announcement, ACLU-WA called Jones' life "the epitome of the American dream": He grew up the 11th of 12 children of Arkansas sharecroppers, picking cotton from an early age and entering the UW after military service to graduate in 1953. A fund the Joneses are establishing will help the ACLU fight mass incarcertation, officials said. In a statement, Jones said, "This country criminalizes too many things, and has turned the 'home of the free' into the jailer of the world." There's also a quote from a book he wrote: "Philanthropy is sweetness for the soul." Kind of hard not to like somebody that direct, whether being critical or upbeat. — J.C. (This item has been corrected since it first appeared.)

Floyd and Delores Jones, at the head of the table, as they make a donation to ACLU of Washington.
Floyd Jones, at the head of the table, as he makes a donation to ACLU of Washington.

Tom Douglas restaurants: No tables tonight

at 3:59pm by Joe Copeland

On their Facebook page, the Tom Douglas restaurants said today that they are closed — all of them — for an event Tuesday night but will be back to normal operations on Wednesday. There was no restaurant response to our posted question about who it was for. Some commenters suggested Starbucks folks from out of town — there's a worldwide managers gathering. Whoever it is, enjoy! — J.C. 

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