Tag Archives: Seattle

Seattle and their “progressive” policies in action

Seattle is a true, blue progressive city. They’ve elected democrat mayors time and time again. The current mayor, Ed Murray, is a die-hard proggie. In 2013, The Seattle Times recommended voting for Murray as he “offers a return of pragmatic, effective leadership to City Hall.”

How’s that “pragmatic, effective leadership” working out? Let’s take a look and see what’s happening in Seattle, shall we?

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

SEATTLE’S GUN TAX

Thanks to democrats’ new tax in Seattle, a gun store is packing up and moving out of Seattle.  Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, is closing his gun shop and moving it to Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) after a December 2015 court ruling gave Seattle approval to impose a tax on gun sales. See my post on that story here.

SEATTLE’S EFFECTIVENESS IN DEALING WITH CRIME

Last December I did a post about how some Seattle neighborhoods are hiring their own security because police are a rare sighting in their areas. A week later, I did another post on how Seattle neighborhoods started a petition for more police. The petition states that criminal activity has become an epidemic in the area, but police presence remains lacking, and response to 911 calls continues to be slow.

How did the good mayor respond?

Murray told KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz that the city is adequately staffing the police force, and is further expanding it. He also said, I inherited a police department that had basically stopped policing.” (Gee, where have I heard that phrase before?)

Maybe the mayor should paint more “rainbow” sidewalks to prevent crime.

Ed Murray and his rainbow sidewalks to prevent crimes.

Ed Murray and his rainbow sidewalks to prevent crimes.

SEATTTLE’S HOMELESSNESS PROBLEMS

The mayor issued an emergency order on homelessness in November and opened “safe lots” for homeless people living in RVs. Many residents aren’t happy with that at all.

"The Jungle" homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

“The Jungle” homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

The Jungle” is a homeless encampment area that is approximately 100 acres in size. From Wikipedia:The Jungle increasingly became a haven for criminals in the 2000s. Criminal activity has included assaults,  rapes, prostitution, and murders. Residences in the Beacon Hill neighborhood have been burglarized by those staying in The Jungle. Gang members basing drug trade in the woods also became a concern. The Jungle is generally considered unsafe at any hour. Just the other day, five people were shot (with two dead) at the The Jungle.

How did the good mayor respond?

He issued a statement (read his full statement here):

Mayor Murray calls for end of divisive rhetoric on homelessness. But this is a national tragedy. It should be a national emergency and it needs a national response. So part of what I am asking today is that we challenge each other to do better without denigrating each other.  Instead of cooperation and a shared voice, we have seen too much division and extreme rhetoric about who homeless people are and how to solve the crisis. The reality is, to provide emergency shelter to the almost 3,000 people that remain on our streets would cost us another 49 million dollars a year – or double our current investment.”

And without federal funding to find a solution for the homeless problem the mayor said, “We would have to slash programs throughout the city, layoff hundreds of employees to do that.”

Pragmatic! Effective!

electionshaveconsequences

DCG

Thanks to democrats’ new tax, gun store is packing up and moving out of Seattle

Shocker, not.

Seattle Council President Tim Burgess

Seattle Council President Tim Burgess

Last August I told you about how the Seattle City Council passed a “gun violence” tax to the dismay of store owner Sergey Solyanik and other supporters of the Second Amendment. Sponsor of the tax, Council President Tim Burgess, had said the tax of $25 per gun and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually that will be set aside for gun-violence-prevention research and programs.

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson

On December 24th, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson judge upheld the tax, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.

Now a store owner, after telling the City of Seattle he would do so, is making good on his word. Beginning Jan. 1, Seattle’s Precise Shooter gun store stopped selling firearms and ammo. And now the owner is moving the store out of town.

MyNorthwest.com reports that Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, is closing his gun shop and moving it to Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) after a recent court ruling gave Seattle approval to impose a tax on gun sales.

Solyanik opposed the tax and said it would harm his business. “It would make us unprofitable,” he said. “I calculated it by retroactively applying the tax to our existing sales — I’m a software developer, so I can do that — and we would be operating at a loss for the entire store.”

Solyanik said he has no intention of contributing any tax money to the city.  “We are all disappointed,” he said. “We feel that, basically, a crockpot politician was trying to buttress his ‘progressive’ credentials and we got run over. Burgess doesn’t expect any money from this. In fact, there will be a net loss for this city. This location brings in roughly $50,000 in sales tax revenue, so that is all going to be gone next year. And there is not going to be any revenue from the (gun) tax.”

government solve all problems

Precise Shooter remains open to sell cleaning supplies and other equipment, but will not sell firearms or ammo that are now taxed in Seattle. Solyanik said he will operate the shop as such until his business license is approved for a new store in Lynnwood. Precise Shooter is one of few businesses that specializes in, and primarily sells firearms.

Solyanik likens the gun tax to alcohol consumption, which he argues harms more people in the United States than guns. “We don’t say that an average person is responsible for the violence fueled by alcohol, but for some reason people feel that gun owners should be held to a different standard than themselves,” he said. “I think people are afraid of things they don’t know and understand and vilify people they don’t know and understand.”

And because Solyanik understands how criminals work, he said, “People who shoot up people in the streets — they don’t come here to get guns. They get them on the streets,” Solyanik said. “It’s just collective punishment for all of us.”

stoopid

DCG

Seattle neighborhoods start petition for more police

Last week I did a post about how some Seattle neighborhoods are hiring their own security because police are a rare sighting in their areas. Apparently they missed the memo how the “rainbow sidewalks” are suppose to prevent crime.

Mayor Ed Murray proudly walks a crime-fighting rainbow sidewalk. KIRO TV photo

Mayor Ed Murray proudly walks a crime-fighting rainbow sidewalk. KIRO TV photo

I guess all is not well in liberal lalaland known as Seattle. MyNorthwest.com reports that residents are speaking up about their frustration with local police because they aren’t around.

From the Make Seattle Safe Again online petition, citizens of Queen Anne, Magnolia, Fremont and Ballard are urging the City of Seattle to increase numbers of police in their neighborhoods. The petition states that criminal activity has become an epidemic in the area, but police presence remains lacking, and response to 911 calls continues to be slow.

The petition also states:

“Many residents in these neighborhoods are no longer feeling protected and safe, and are concerned for their children and their own safety. Slow or no response to citizens’ calls regarding criminal activity and a expressed de-prioritization of property and drug crimes by the Mayor’s office have appeared to increase criminal activity in these neighborhoods as “safe to commit crime zones” instead of “safe from crime zones” which the tax payers in these neighborhoods deserve. We are very grateful for the work and dedication of our local law enforcement and strongly exhort our elected representatives of the Mayor’s office and City Council to increase its focus to “Make Seattle Safe Again.”

Some comments from the petition:

  • In the last 15 years of living in Seattle I have never seen so much crime in my neighborhood.
  • We need to feel like we matter to the city of Seattle. Our calls for help often go unanswered and that is unacceptable.
  • I live on Magnolia, pay my property taxes and in the past year have had my home broken into at night and my cars broken into. I don’t feel safe now riding my bike to the Myrtle Edwards park because of having to go under the Magnolia bridge with all of the illegal encampments. I hardly recognize Seattle these days.
  • Please help us! It has become frightening to walk up and down Leary at night, and the Burke Gilman trail is covered in trash, needles, and threatening characters at every turn.
  • Yet I have been told by more than one SPD officer, as have others, that the police are under orders from city hall to stand down on any enforcement involving homeless people.”
  • I am getting so tired of the lack of response for crime issues in ballard. this use to be a nice safe place to live and now we are overrun by homeless and drug activity!”
  • In the past year, I’ve had to change my walking routes and have had to contact police due to harassment by street people. If everyone has “rights”, where are ours to feel and BE safe and secure in our homes and neighborhoods?”

I shouldn’t have to tell the Seattle liberals this yet apparently they never learn:

electionshaveconsequences

DCG

Growing number of Seattle neighborhoods paying for private police

Money to burn (a 150% cost overrun) on a fire station that is eight years behind schedule? Check.

Time to evaluate the effectiveness of requiring stickers on gas pumps telling drivers that burning fuel contributes to climate change? Check.

Money to use Wi-Fi readers to track your mobile devices across the city? Check.

Free birth control from the schools without parental notification? Check.

Money for rainbow sidewalks to fight crime? Check.

 $20 rebate cards for car tabs that cost the city $37 apiece? Check.

A ban on  throwing food and food waste in trash? Check.

Time to evaluate changing the name of Columbus Day? Check.

Money and time to devote to the local police department and evaluating its effectiveness and the force? Uh, sorry about that!

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (l) standing on a rainbow sidewalk that will fight crime.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (l) standing on a rainbow sidewalk that will fight crime.

A frustration with slow police response times have a Seattle neighborhood joining a trend of communities buying additional security. A Magnolia resident tells MyNorthwest.com, “It’s not a hot area, it is really a safe neighborhood. But we always get hit with property crimes, which is a low priority call for the Seattle Police Department. Like burglaries, car prowls, break-ins — those things that are not as serious as a shooting or an assault.

The residents certainly care about these crimes so they found their own solution – they joined other Seattle neighborhoods that hire their own security force to supplement police presence. The first patrols began December 4 after nearly a year of planning.

The resident had a passing conversation about Magnolia crime at his local Starbucks which inspired him to organize a community gathering at a local church to discuss the issue and gauge interest. “Word got out pretty quickly,” he said. “By that time I got over 300 people in the room, which I didn’t anticipate.”

Ultimately, the Magnolia Community Patrol was born. Residents voluntarily pay $250 per year, which goes into a pool to pay for a mix of off-duty police officers or private security. Central Protection is the local company that provides that private security.

Even if a neighbor doesn’t pay into the patrol, the entire neighborhood is covered. But those who do pay the $250 get perks. Security — either off-duty police officers or private security personnel — will check on their homes if they are gone for vacation. “We know that police officers are more reactive and private security is more proactive,” Villarino said. “Just getting people out there will decrease the property crimes. We see that in the other models of neighborhood patrols.”

Other Seattle neighborhoods have local, private security as well. The Magnolia neighborhood modeled its patrol from other Seattle neighborhoods, such as Laurelhurst, Windermere, and Whittier Heights, all of which have residents that pay for additional security. “We like to call it, ‘the Seattle way.’ You are investing in your neighborhood. You’re investing in the whole neighborhood,” said Brad Renton, President of the Whittier Heights Patrol Association.

The security doesn’t replace Seattle police who apparently only respond if the crime is serious enough. The off-duty police officers, or private security, will monitor and respond to 911 calls, but they also engage the community. If they see something suspicious, they’ll investigate it. Patrols don’t cover neighborhoods 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are random — occurring anytime of day or night.

Crime in Magnolia and Whittier Heights is sparsely reported by Seattle police, compared to other parts of the city. Reports from early December in Magnolia, so far, are primarily of auto thefts and car prowls. There are also some reports of assaults, threats, and property damage. The Seattle crime map doesn’t distinguish between north Seattle neighborhoods, but recent crime in Whittier Heights include bike thefts, assault, robbery, and a dog bite.

A resident of Whittier Heights said that, like Magnolia, property crimes are of chief concern in his neighborhood, aside from a few trouble spots. It’s been worth the $250. “Anybody here would say it’s like a double taxation. We are paying for security, we are paying for police. We just were not getting any coverage at all,” Renton said. “I don’t like paying it. My taxes are high like everybody else in this neighborhood. So $250, for most people that is not a small piece of change.”

My solution to lack of police patrols.

My solution to lack of police patrols.

It may hit Whittier Heights pockets a bit harder than their counterparts. The median household income in Whittier Heights is $84,771. In Magnolia, it’s $106,103. The Magnolia resident said, “Even though we pay taxes, a lot of us just felt that we as a whole should look out for each other, because it’s the right thing to do.”

Maybe Seattle residents should look at the list at the top of this page to see how their representatives are looking out for their tax dollars?

I don’t feel bad for the people of Seattle one bit. Elections have consequences.

DCG

Seattle passes taxes on gun and ammo sales

gun tax

Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales in the city, and to require gun owners to report lost and stolen firearms to police.

Council President Tim Burgess has said the tax of $25 per gun and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually that will be set aside for gun-violence-prevention research and programs.

Treating gunshot victims at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center costs the public millions each year because many patients rely on Medicaid or lack insurance, Burgess has pointed out.

“Gun violence is a public-health crisis in our city and our nation,” he said Monday. “City government can and must pursue innovative gun-safety measures that save lives and save money. As it has in other areas of policy, Seattle can lead the way.”

Representatives of gun-rights groups have said the tax, which will be assessed from gun sellers, is illegal because a state law prohibits cities from regulating firearms.

The tax is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016, but there may be a delay because the city likely will be sued by gun-rights groups.

Some gun owners have said the tax will be passed on to them and have complained that they’ll be paying the price for crimes committed by people who obtain guns illegally.And some gun sellers have said the ordinance will force them to move their businesses outside Seattle and will raise less revenue than Burgess has indicated.

There were only 22 licensed gun sellers in the city when officials working on the legislation checked, and only a few of those are gun stores. More are either pawnshops or individuals serving as middlemen for Internet firearms sales.

Sergey Solyanik, who owns Precise Shooter on Aurora Avenue North, told council members Monday that pushing his store out of the city won’t make anyone safer.

Councilmember John Okamoto

Councilmember John Okamoto

But his testimony didn’t impress Councilmember John Okamoto, who spoke about former students at the Seattle school where his wife works. Several have been victims of gun violence or have lost friends and relatives to shootings, Okamoto said. He noted that as of early July, more than 38 people had been shot in Seattle this year.

About 30 people, many of them members of the group Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, marched from Sam Smith Park in the Central District to City Hall before the council’s meeting to demonstrate support for the gun ordinances.

Before leaving the park, they gathered around the Urban Peace Circle, a bronze sculpture dedicated more than 20 years ago to Seattle children killed in shootings.

“Life is precious,” said Karen Wickstrand, 72, a member of the grandmothers group who lives in Madison Park. “When people are killed for no reason, that’s tragic.”

The artist who installed the sculpture in 1994, Gerard Tsutakawa, was on hand. “There were a lot of young people involved in gun violence back then,” he recalled. “Now we’re dealing with this issue again. I haven’t seen much change for the better.”

Seattle mayor Ed Murray

Seattle mayor Ed Murray

Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement saying the council’s approval of the tax “demonstrates the commitment of this city and this community to lead on the ongoing national epidemic of gun violence.”

“While action at the federal level and in many other jurisdictions remains gridlocked, we are moving ahead to address an issue so damaging to the young people of Seattle, especially young people of color,” Murray said.

Burgess had originally proposed a tax of 5 cents per round on all ammunition but subsequently reduced that to 2 cents for rounds of .22 caliber and smaller.

The reporting requirement for lost and stolen firearms will take effect 30 days after the mayor signs it into law.

DCG

More rainbow crosswalks coming to Seattle; this time to fight crime

rainbow sidewalks

MyNorthwest.com (author Jason Rantz): With an eye towards addressing both safety concerns and changing demographics of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will add more rainbow crosswalks.

Additional rainbow crosswalks are slated for the area around the new Capitol Hill light rail station. This is one of many moves the Mayor is making in the coming weeks.

“Seattle has long been a place where everyone can find an accepting and tolerant home,” Murray said. “We celebrate our history of advancing equity for the LGBTQ community and we will support efforts to make Seattle even more inclusive. Thank you to the task force for identifying these actions to reduce the violent attacks and verbal harassment experienced by LGBTQ people.”

The last time this happened, there was some outcry from critics arguing this is both a waste of taxpayer money and a violation of traffic laws. As I detailed here, both of those claims are incorrect. Fees already paid by developers to correct damage done to sidewalks funds this project (you could argue that the fee gets passed on but it’s demonstrably incorrect to call this a direct tax to residents) and the design is well within what is permitted by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Nevertheless, you can expect the same outrage this time around.

What is different about these crosswalks, though, is this larger emphasis on it being a tool to prevent anti-gay hate crimes. “We do know that if you change the physical environment you change crime. So this is a way to address that in part,” the mayor told KIRO TV.

Monisha Harrell, co-chair the mayor’s LGBTQ safety task force, explained the crosswalks send the message that “[t]his is an accepting area, this is an area of diversity, it’s an area of safety.”

Though I’m an obvious supporter of the crosswalks, I’m not entirely sure I believe this will do anything to curb violence. Monsters who commit anti-gay hate crimes do so because of irrational fear; simply expanding the neighborhood’s rainbow crosswalks could simply irritate them further. This is not a reason not to install these crowsswalks. We should never give hateful people the power to stop progress. But it should serve as a warning that if safety is your concern, please don’t assume these crosswalks will mean you’re safe.

My sense is that these crosswalks are more about trying to preserve the Capitol Hill neighborhood as a “gayborhood,” at a time when the neighborhood is dramatically shifting to more inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities. But it’s a losing battle, and I’m fine with that because “gayborhoods” are important primarily when you feel like it’s the only neighborhood you could live in if you’re in the LGBT community. That there is no longer a need for that gayborhood is a sign of progress and acceptance.

rainbow sidewalks2

Who knew? All it took to curb crime was a rainbow sidewalk…brilliant!

DCG

Ed Murray, Seattle mayor, proposes Shariah-compliant housing

Homosexual Seattle mayor Ed Murray

Homosexual Seattle mayor Ed Murray

Washington Times: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced plans to increase housing in the city for Muslims who follow Shariah law, which prohibits payment of interest on loan.

Mr. Murray’s housing committee recommended the city convene lenders, housing nonprofits and community leaders “to explore the best options for increasing access to Shariah-compliant loan products,” according to the proposal.

The mayor will send legislation based on the committee’s ideas to the City Council for consideration, The Puget Sound Business Journal reported.

“We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevented from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs,” Mr. Murray said during a press conference.

Chapter executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Arsalan Bukhari, estimated a couple hundred Seattle Muslims aren’t borrowing money for houses because of their religion, the Business Journal reported.

Those even include high wage earners who could easily qualify for home loans but don’t apply “simply because they don’t want to pay interest,” Mr. Bukhari said.

The mayor must have bought the message of the billboards in Seattle!

h/t Mom of IV!

DCG