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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Terror Drill 

It would still have been a hell of a lot better if it was an earthquake drill, but it'll be interesting to see the results.



Whatcom County Fire District No. 18 

In case you want to know about the candidates.



Still, Treat Him Like a Threat 

Dave Irons aparently doesn't come off very well on the radio.



Brame 

The doccumentation is out there now.

Friday’s release of an administrative investigation conducted in 2004 shows that most of the 33 city and police department employees facing allegations of misconduct weren’t sanctioned.

The reasons vary. In some cases, there were no rules in place to support a finding of misconduct. In others, evidence was scanty. Some allegations were found to be false or based on a single piece of hearsay. Some allegations are based in fact[...]

The records released Friday after court action by The News Tribune span more than 20,000 pages, recorded on 33 computer disks. They outline scores of allegations against employees and include reams of legal analysis, much of it hinging on the subtlest nuances of city personnel policies.

“My internal challenge was working through all the legal advice I was receiving,” former City Manager Jim Walton said Friday. Walton had faced the daunting task of evaluating the results of the Washington State Patrol’s five-month investigation last year.

A few surprises emerge from the records, but not many – the landscape of the Brame scandal is vast, and much of the information already is known to the public. It shows Walton seeking answers and finding only questions.

The fragments of new information include disclosures from a voice previously unheard: Assistant Police Chief Richard McCrea, Brame’s former patrol partner in the 1980s. Before the shootings, McCrea knew of trouble in Brame’s marriage and of the chief’s sexual pursuit of Mary Herrman, a police detective.

The records show McCrea was shocked when Brame told him of the situation, and that he discouraged the chief from pursuing it further.



Tebelius Out 

I guess if you can't self finance, you can't be a Senator any more.



Friday, October 14, 2005

Money Money Money Money Money 

There's numbers from the Senate race.

McGavick, chairman of insurance provider Safeco Corp., formed a committee in July to explore a possible 2006 Senate race. He said in a news release this week that he has raised about $710,000 from nearly a thousand individual donors.

"People are energized by the idea of a new kind of representation in Washington, D.C., and I am very thankful for the early support," McGavick said.

McGavick, a longtime GOP insider who served in top campaign and staff roles for former Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., continues to serve as Safeco chairman and CEO. He is expected to step down early next year to concentrate on the Senate race.

His announcement came as Cantwell's campaign said she raised about $1.5 million in the three months that ended Sept. 30. The donations bring her total contributions for 2005 to nearly $5 million, with at least $3.8 million cash on hand, said Michael Meehan, a senior adviser to Cantwell. Cantwell has raised nearly $10 million since the 2000 election, he said.

Cantwell's campaign has not filed its latest report and the final numbers could change, Meehan said Thursday.

Cantwell has received more than 43,000 individual contributions this year, including 22,000 from Washington state residents, Meehan said.



Ban 'Em if You Got 'Em 

57% in favor of the smoking ban.



Contract 

Looks like the Alaska Air workers done all right for themselves.



Welfare 

Nothing like balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. Nothing's official yet but a pannel is looking at making it tougher to get assistance from the state.

The panel offered a long list of changes, including tightening limits on how long some residents get welfare, imposing sanctions on recipients who don't cooperate and improving assessments and reviews, according to a draft of the report.

Long before a final decision, the proposals are sparking an outcry among anti-poverty groups. If all of the proposals are accepted, people will have a harder time getting off welfare, said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children's Alliance in Seattle.

"We would turn the corner towards a punitive approach to families playing by the rules," Gould said.

The proposals are far from final. Gregoire now must decide whether to accept any of the ideas, and she is expected to work through options with state lawmakers in the next week.



Homeless Shelter Funding 

For those of you who opposed Tent City 4 who said that Seattle should be taking up more of the homeless shelters, I hope you'll do what you can to make up this.



Yakima Tribe Gambling 

Maybe more gambling near Ellensburg.



Endorsements 

Just to let y'all see the Democracy For Washington candidates, and a couple from Progressive Majority.



Protecting the Border 

That's what I like to see.



Eh 

So I had some downtown business near the Seattle Public Library, and I got out a little early and decided to see what all the hubbub is about. Frankly, I still haven't figured it out. The place is free wifi, so I'm not going to knock it, but it's hardly worthy of breathless articles in the New Yorker. I don't know, am I missing something. OK, it's airy and there's lots of room. And the books are nice. But seriously, give me any of the larger libraries in the King County system.



Thursday, October 13, 2005

Judy Woods 

If she's good enough for the folks at WashBlog, she's good enough for me.



Ooh Scary 

Two people with the same name but different birthdays voted at the same time and lots of peole who changed their name because they got married might. The Republicans sure do know how to write a press release to imply things are bad. Now if only the papers wouldn't take them seriously.

...Oh and it's even more pathetic.



NPI on the Initiatives 

Here's what they support and the reasons.



Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Joint Resolution 8207 

Can some lawyer who reads this explain the difference between a district court judge and a limited jurisdiction court judge, and why I should care what one sits on The Commission on Judicial Conduct?



Randy Gordon 

I'm still sold on Darcy Burner, but Randy Gordon done fine at drinking liberally. He had trouble melting his 60 page anti 330 well reasoned argument into a sound bite. It was less than a sound meal; maybe it was a sound salad. Christ did I just write that? Anyway, the more I think about that the less I'm disturbed by it. It's probably the opposite skill set as being a lawyer, where being detailed is critically important. He made the salient points well, although I don't think he had to convince too many people in the room.

He's obviously quite intelligent, and he delved into minutia in many issues, and was able to move the conversation seamlessly from one issue to another (a skill that will come in handy in political life). I'm pretty sure I disagree with his position on guns, but hey I hate Social Security privatizaiton too. Also, I think he quite overestimates the awesome draw that is a Jewish labor lawyer on the Eastside. But maybe I'm wrong.



Open Thread 

Goldy seems to think these are hilarious on my site. But if you've got something on your mind, say it!



"apparently there are still trees in need of clear cutting" 

Ha. And damn. The race I spent the most time on in the 2004 cycle, as those around these parts know, was Mike Cooper. I so wanted him in and I so wanted Southerland out. So um, too bad, but at least maybe we can see Southerland kicked out by the voters.



Protest Reichert 

For you know, helping launder money.

There is more than one way to approach the reorganization of the House of Representatives. Please join those working to bring accountability to government in a demonstration on Saturday, October 15, from 11 AM to Noon, in front of Rep. Reichert's office on Mercer Island, at 2737 78th Ave., SE, Ste. 202
Mercer Island, WA

Bring signs that say something about campaign funding...how about "Give the $$$$'s back without DeLay." I'm sure you'll find something clever to say.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING. I'D LIKE TO INVITE THE MEDIA and numbers impress them.



Greg Nickels 

I don't live in the City of Seattle, but if I did, I'd probably vote for Al Runte. I like him and I like that he's shown up at Drinking Liberally, and I'm basically a push over. If it was close, I'd probably have to think things out a bit more. But I do like Mayor Nickels. I like most of his plan for density. I like his willingness to be combative. So I don't like having to write the next paragraph:

To say the least, I'm not thrilled that he's had an ethics violation. He'll have to pay the cost of mailing and printing a flier his office put out. Maybe he can use Dan Savage's money to pay it back. Maybe that's something they'll bring up at the next editorial board meeting. Oh.



Dear Doc Hastings; 

I don't know enough about the appearance of conflict of interest to know if what you're doing is technically over the line. That said I can't imagine that being the person who got 5,930 bucks of laundered money is the best person to judge what to do with the guy who laundered it.

Now I know what you're thinking, "If Republicans who took DeLay's laundered filth money were barred from sitting in judgment of Tom DeLay, there wouldn't be a quorum." I don't know what the solution is to that, but I doubt it involves trusting people who launder money.

All my love,

Carl Ballard

...sent



Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Book Deal 

Fuck Dino Rossi. He wastes millions of taxpayer dollars accusing King County of all sorts of shit, then when a court calls bullshit, he writes a book recycling all his lies. Pathetic sad sac of a man. It's no wonder the voters of Washington State rejected him once.



King County Airport 

No commercial planes.



Drinking Liberally 

Be there tonight and say hi. But don't short the bill.



Monday, October 10, 2005

Doc Hastings 

What Goldy said. Where's the pissed off Eastern Washingtonian who just says "enough with the corruption!"?



Open Thread 




Morris Dees 

Coming to Wenatchee



Sunday, October 09, 2005

That Kerry Fella 

As Shaun might say. It's not Washington State, but he was pretty amazing on Tavis Smiley tonight.



Losing the Sound 

There is trouble.

The report identified more than 7,000 species -- fungi, lichens, plants, seaweed, bugs, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals -- inhabiting the Puget Sound region, from the Cascades to the Olympic Peninsula.

Of those, 957 -- or 14 percent -- were rated imperiled. As many as 19 species have already disappeared from the region, the report said.



Vitrification 

It really is wonderful that the administration is pushing nuclear power when they can't even deal with vitrification in Hanford.

DOE could miss the deadline to start full-scale treatment of some of Hanford's worst waste at the vitrification plant and several other deadlines, James Rispoli, assistant secretary of energy for environmental management, told Jay Manning, director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, Thursday, according to the state.

The delay is due not only to earthquake safety issues, but also technical issues, Waldron said. Resolving technical issues on the one-of-a-kind plant already has consumed contingency built into the budget. Contractor Bechtel National also has struggled to find resources to support nuclear-quality construction and provide materials and equipment because of the lack of nuclear construction in the United States in recent decades.

The plant is planned to turn high-level and other radioactive waste left from the past production of plutonium at Hanford into a sturdy glass for permanent disposal. About 53 million gallons of the waste began accumulating in underground tanks not intended for longterm storage as early as World War II as the nation raced to build an atomic bomb.

DOE will not know specifics about the new cost and schedule of the vitrification plant until about June 2006, according to the state Department of Ecology.

"We continue to be frustrated by this update, but at the same time agree that U.S. DOE and the contractors should do the job right and not make promises they cannot keep," Manning's office said Friday in a prepared statement.



Cascade National Insurance 

I don't exactly understand it but Mike Kreidler wants to liquidate them.

Kreidler saw then that the company needed a significant infusion of capital in order to continue operating, and he began seeking buyers for the company in May. Though some interest was expressed, only one viable business plan was submitted, and that suitor was unable to provide the financial backing Cascade needs, Kreidler said in an announcement.

A hearing on the liquidation proposal is scheduled for Nov. 4, and any objections must be filed by Oct. 26 to be considered by the court, Kreidler said.



Farm Work 

Wow. Pay $2000 to come to the country, so you can work for 9 bucks an hour for 3 months and maybe get paid for it.

And while the lefty Blogtopia (y!sctp!) is obsessed with the value of keeping sources confidential, this is really more the story they should be using that privlage to write. I mean it seems more relavant than using it to devine what Chalabi and Scooter have to say. After all, they can say it on the record any damn time they chose and it would be a better story.

"All we want to do is work and get paid," Tong, a common Thai nickname and not this worker's real name, said through an interpreter. None of the workers agreed to be identified; they said they fear anything they say would be used against them and prevent them from coming back next season.

This is the narrow space that is the world of an imported farm worker in a strange land. In nearly every practical sense, from food to transportation, Tong and his co-workers are dependent on the Los Angeles-based labor contractor that brought them more than 7,000 miles from home on temporary visas.

But they are glad to be here, because at $9.03 an hour, the pay is kingly compared to the $4 a day they would make in northeastern Thailand, if they could even find jobs.

"Our families are poor and there are no jobs," said Tong. "We fight to make a living. We are farmers. When I heard the U.S. was opening the door, I went to a recruiter."

The men, in their 30s and early 40s, leave
behind wives, children and large extended families to take care of their subsistence farms. Thai recruiters with connections to U.S. labor contractors, they said, are easy to find.

To win a seat on the plane bound for the United States, Tong said he and the some 90 other Thai workers paid up to $2,000 apiece to a Thai recruiter, roughly equal to a year's pay in Thai currency, the baht. Most said they borrowed the money, pledging their homes or land as collateral to Thai banks.



Gas Tax Q&A 

Now technically, the person asking the Q is the same person writing the A, but this is still a useful article.

Q: Isn’t DOT wasting money?

A: That’s a political question left to the political debaters. But the state DOT spokesmen point to the agency’s record on the first 13 projects paid out of the 5-cent gas tax increase that lawmakers approved in 2003 as a guide. Eight of those projects were completed ahead of schedule, four were on time, one was late, and the group of projects was completed for “$2 million less than their estimated cost of $43 million,” the DOT says.

Q: What about the high cost of lane construction?

A: Costs vary by project - from roughly $1 million per mile on the truck-climbing lanes added along Interstate 90 east of Cle Elum and at Vantage to more than $24.5 million per mile to widen state Route 18 in rural King County. Land costs, environmental safeguards such as wetlands protection, noise buffers and ancillary work on interchanges or bridges can add costs.



Brightwater 

In a mostly anti-Brightwater article in today's Seattle Times, there is this bit of good news.

King County officials confirmed Friday that settlement negotiations with Snohomish County were nearly over. The two counties have been trying to settle out of court several lawsuits and hearing-examiner appeals that have been holding up the process.
Also, it seems to me that the people (especially in King County) who oppose it are basically anti-growth. They don't want the county to have the capacity to grow. They want think that if they can just stop the sewage treatment, stop the transportation funding, somehow they can punish Seattle for being more dense than Sammamish.



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