Midday Scan: McGinn may be limiting his play dates on police issue

The mayor started out cooperating with other top city leaders on a response to the Justice Department. Now, he seems to have tightened the circle, according to "The Seattle Times."

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City Councilmember Sally Clark at an announcement on viaduct demolition

The mayor started out cooperating with other top city leaders on a response to the Justice Department. Now, he seems to have tightened the circle, according to "The Seattle Times."

Is Mayor Mike McGinn donning the "maverick" title, taking after once presidential-hopeful John McCain (and therefore after Tom Cruise in Top Gun)? The details are fuzzy, but Seattle Times writer Mike Carter reports that the mayor appears to be doing his own, maybe reckless thing when it comes to reforming Seattle Police Department.

The mayor has not met with the committee on the issue, consisting of City Council and City Attorney Pete Holmes, in three weeks, despite an upcoming meeting this Friday (March 30) with the big boys from the Department of Justice, reports Carter. Furthermore, Council President Sally Clark has sent a letter saying, essentially, "Thanks, but no thanks," after attempts to collaborate with the mayor on the issue have gone nowhere. Still, even mavericks have friends, and McGinn at least appears to be working with some some people. According to a statement sent from his office:

"The mayor continues to work with staff from the police department, Public Safety Chair Councilmember Bruce Harrell, the law department and community members on the best possible outcome from the Department of Justice's report — a professional, effective police force in Seattle."

In addition, a mayoral spokesman said the mayor met with City Attorney Pete Holmes a little over a week ago.

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness could easily be one giant metaphor for the Washington state legislative special session. That's not to say that legislators are torturing people in the Congo, but the setting is familiar. At least, when you take in the news that there is no sign the session will end even by April 10, according to Associated Press writer Rachel La Corte.

Certainly, paddling into this session is akin to paddling into the dark, murky Congo jungle: the further we venture into it, the darker it gets, and the more strangely the legislators act. Kindness and collaboration become scarcer, and lawmakers succumb to classic evil traits such as slothfulness, pride, betrayal, and deception — or, you know, accounting gimmicks and budget coups and such.

By the time we see the light at the end of this very, very long jungle, perhaps we'll all be screaming, "The horror! The horror!"

Football players are catching on that banging your skull against helmets over and over again really does hurt, and that it probably hurts that po' wittle brain, too. Former Washington Redskins quarterback and Spokane resident Mark Rypien is leading a class-action lawsuit against the NFL due to one too many dings to his head, and no health care to show for it, reports Washington Post writer Mike Jones.

“We think the league delayed, didn’t do a competent job of monitoring, and in many cases disregarded what it knew about concussions,” said Gene Locks of the Locks Law Firm in a telephone interview with the paper Tuesday. “It’s a sad commentary.”

Currently, there are 51 such lawsuits against the NFL, according to NFLConcussionLitigation.com, which tracks these cases.

It can be hard making up your mind. Tie or sweatervest? Gummi worms or gummi bears? To be or not to be? Or, in gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee's case, to debate or not to debate? Two days after declining a debate before a major business group with opponent Rob McKenna in June, Inslee has declared, actually, he'll go after all, Herald writer Jerry Cornfield reports.

D'awww, Point Defiance Zoo is getting a new pretty kitty, News Tribune writer Rob Carson reports. Albeit, a 270-pound Sumatran tiger, but that's beside the point. Malosi, who is 3 years old, will be making his debut at the zoo today. So, if you were thinking about playing hooky from work today, what better start to an excuse than, "Uh, this Sumatran tiger ate my Excel spreadsheet, you see ..."

Correction April 2, 2012: The original article inferred that the mayor did not meet with anyone from the committee whatsoever. It is now corrected to say he did not meet with the committee as a whole, and has in fact met with City Attorney Pete Holmes and Councilman Bruce Harrell. 

Link Summary

Seattle Times, "Seattle panel to fix police is fractured, sources say"

The Olympian, "There's no sign special session will end April 10"

Washington Post, "Mark Rypien sues NFL, says he sustained repeated head injuries during career"

(Everett) Herald, "Inslee changes mind, agrees to AWB debate"

The News Tribune, "Point Defiance zoo's new tiger set for his debut"


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