Author Archives: DCG

Seattle mayor fast tracks backyard cottages to address Seattle’s affordable housing crisis

backyard cottages

Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing: Build a small city for criminals in your backyard!

Keep in mind that Seattle’s “Fair Chance Housing” Ordinance went into effect on 2/19/18, meaning a landlord cannot unfairly deny applicants housing based on criminal history. It also prohibits the use of advertising language that automatically or categorically excludes people with arrest records, conviction records, or criminal history. (I wrote about this on 8/10/17.)

With that in mind, who wouldn’t want to invest $300,000+ of their own hard-earned money to house a convicted criminal in their backyard?

From MyNorthwest.com: After years of studies and discussion, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is streamlining the process to build backyard cottages. The mayor’s office hopes it will incentivize homeowners to build the units while creating more affordable housing in the city.

“Seattle faces an affordability and housing crisis, and we are taking urgent action to increase the supply of rental housing options as quickly as possible,” Durkan said. “Too many people are being pushed out of this city or can’t find a place to live. We need to use every tool in our toolbox to boost the supply of housing.

A backyard cottage is essentially what it sounds like — a living space akin to a mother-in-law unit built in a backyard. They have been promoted as one method to address Seattle’s severe lack of affordable housing.

But progress toward building the backyard cottages has been stalled at Seattle City Hall for years. Durkan aims to end that bottleneck. She has ordered the Department of Construction and Design to “fast track” pre-approved designs for detached accessory dwelling units (ADAU) aka backyard cottages.

“Fast-tracked designs for backyard cottages will allow us to get more housing online faster,” Durkan said. “We will continue to work on all fronts – from adding more shelter beds to innovative permanent housing options – to build a more affordable future for Seattle.”

Seattle will pay architects to develop a handful of standard cottage designs that homeowners can choose from. These designs will be permitted more quickly and cheaper. Durkan’s office says this will cut down permitting time by half. The office doesn’t say exactly how much cheaper the process will be, but does note that current costs can range between $10,000 and $30,000 just to design the structure. And up to $300,000 to build it.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

Attempted Dixon school shooter used gun obtained by his mom, a prohibited possessor

stoopid

Last Wednesday, 19-year-old Matthew Milby attempted a school shooting at Dixon High School in central Illinois. The shooter was stopped by a resource officer who shot and wounded the former student.

How did the perp obtain his gun? From his mom who is a convicted felon.

Plenty of gun control laws on the books that should have prevented her from purchasing a firearm. Yet somehow the system failed, as has happened before. Beyond system failures, a convicted felon knows they are not allowed to have a gun.

From WQAD: WGN tv, a Tribune Media partner of WQAD, is reporting that suspected Dixon shooter Matthew Milby’s mother is a convicted felon who should not have legally been able to purchase a gun.

The Illinois State Police has confirmed Julie Milby purchased the 9-mm semi-automatic rifle her son brought to school Wednesday. But court records in Florida show her criminal history should have been a red flag on a background check.

On Wednesday Julie Milby told reporters, “There’s no justification for what he’s done. And he will take full responsibility for that.”

She also claimed she didn’t know how he got the gun. “We don’t have guns,” she said at the time. “I don’t have any guns in the house.”

Yet state police say it was her gun and she purchased it in 2012.

How she got it is still unclear. A review of court records shows Julie Milby, previously known as Julie Mitchell, was convicted of felony battery and felony resisting an officer with violence in Osceola County, Florida in 1991.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says because of that conviction she would not have been able to get a gun from a licensed dealer in the state of Florida.

Julie Milby did not answer her door Friday when WGN Investigates arrived.

Her attorney Tom Murray told WGN he believes she bought the gun in Illinois, legally, and with a FOID card.  But he did not know about her 1991 felony convictions.

Illinois State Police won’t specify how she got the gun, or whether they ran a proper background check, because the case is still under investigation.

But in Illinois a felony conviction anywhere in the country disqualifies someone from getting a FOID card, which you need to buy a gun in Illinois.

When running a background check on Julie Milby, numerous felony convictions are shown. Someone in Florida stole her identity at one point. That individual claimed to be Julie when arrested. However, Florida officials say that happened after her 1991 felony convictions.

Florida officials say all of those cases still should have shown up on a background check for a gun, though, because they have not been officially removed from her record.

Milby also has an extensive arrest record in Lee County, Illinois. None of those cases, however, include felony convictions.

DCG

Wanna have a threesome? There’s an app for that!

feeld app

Great way to improve your odds of contracting a STD!

From News.com.au(Dated Nov. 28, 2016): They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Even so, something tells me I should swipe left on the photo of the guy clutching an axe in the woods.

“Looking for someone I can strangle, then snuggle after,” reads the bio of another. As far as hook-up apps go, this seems like a perfectly good place to meet a serial killer.

That kind of opening line might raise eyebrows on more vanilla platforms such as Happn or Tinder, but it’s standard banter here. This is Feeld (formerly known as 3nder), where open-minded singles and couples seek out threesomes and others with similar sexual interests.

Three (or four or five) is no longer a crowd, it seems. But just how easy is it to arrange a threesome?

Sarah*, 32, and her partner Mark*, 39, are professionals based in Sydney and identify as pansexual and heteroflexible, respectively. As a couple, they’ve engaged in five threesomes during their six month relationship, with Sarah having taken part in another three on previous occasions.

“We’re in an open relationship and can both date and sleep with other people, either together or separate, but we tell each other about it and are mindful of jealous feelings when they arise,” she says.

Most of the time, she says group encounters occur naturally, rather than via formal avenues like dating apps. “We’ve had a few threesomes with mutual female lovers of ours and at parties if there is a vibe and we’re both into it. It has to be mutually agreeable and there’s never any pressure on anyone to do anything they are not enthusiastically into,” says Sarah.

“We need to be in a good place in terms of our connection so we can be open and generous to the third, and they need to be into us, too.

“It starts slowly with flirting and testing the waters, it’s usually pretty clear if people want to hook up. If we’re hanging with someone we’ve been with before, Mark and I might start things with each other and then invite them to join. With a new person we’d probably focus mostly on them and make sure they are having fun.

“We’ve also had a lot of fun at parties in group situations of up to 8 or 12, with various combinations of people hooking up over the course of the evening. Sometimes four or five in a pile together.”

To date, Sarah and Mark’s experience supports the findings of a recent US survey that same-sex encounters are on the rise in women, with most of the couple’s threesomes involving bisexual and “predominantly hetero women who are bicurious to some degree”.

“Mark is bicurious, but has limited same-sex experience, we’d be very keen to have a threesome with another bi or bicurious man,” she says.

On face value, Feeld seems like a guaranteed ticket to threesome land. There are no qualms as to your motivations and therefore less ambiguity. Users are able to list their preferences, be it FFM (female female male) or MMF (male male female), sexual preferences and fetishes. For many, it’s a safe place to lay it all on the table.

“We’ve met up with some people separately on Feeld to test a vibe for the both of us but it hasn’t worked out. There are a lot of MF (male-female) couples looking for bi women and also lots of single hetero men looking for anything they can get,” says Sarah. “It’d be nice to see more queer or flexible men and same sex couples.”

Testing that theory, I upload some photos, create a profile and begin swiping. Some profiles show couples kitted out in bondage, others just look like regular people, many of them quite attractive.

I match mostly with male-female couples, as well as plenty of 20-something single hetero men, who, not surprisingly, seem totally preoccupied with the fantasy.

My inbox receives a few explicit opening liners, but the majority of couples are keen to meet for a drink and invite me out later that evening or to a party at their house on the weekend. Despite good intentions, it’s not for me.

No couples were harmed in the making of this story. *Names changed.

See also:

DCG

Is the City of Seattle going to ruin their economy with the new head tax?

government solve all problems

Last week the Seattle City Council approved a new head tax on big businesses. The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023 (don’t hold your breath that this tax will actually cease to exist at that time). The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

I’ve told you what has led up to this head tax vote. See the following:

Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

More from King5 News:

“Herdener said Amazon, which had paused planning on two downtown Seattle office towers pending the outcome of the vote, would resume construction planning on one of them — Block 18. The 17-story building, which will have 1 million square feet of office space, is meant to house between 7,000 and 8,000 new employees.

But he said Herdener then went on to suggest Amazon’s expansion in the city may be curtailed.“While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Herdener then turned the tables, suggesting the people holding the city’s purse strings are the problem.

“City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8B in 2010 to $4.2B in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better,” Herdener said.”

Starbucks also wasn’t too happy and had harsh words for the city:

“The company released this statement, attributed to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks:

This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

Author Travis H. Brown, MBA (read about his background here), predicts that the council just voted to ruin their economy. Travis is the author of several books including “How Money Walks.”

Travis wrote an opinion on Saturday entitled, “How Seattle’s new tax to fight homelessness could ruin its economy.”

Travis describes the city’s actions as shortsighted and a zero-sum game that will do more harm than good.

Excerpts from his piece at MSN:

“These are laudable aims (end homelessness and build affordable housing), but it’s hard to imagine a more destructive strategy for realizing them. The potential damage to Seattle’s economy from this blunt instrument runs into the billions of dollars. Some may believe that California businesses could still flee their high-tax environment for Seattle, but in reality, Seattle is competing with many other cities for this income. One example is Phoenix, which has posted the best income growth of any Metropolitan Statistic Area (MSA) since 1992. Phoenix has capitalized on its proximity to California by luring businesses and people with a low-tax environment that nets them $1,539 in income every single minute. Compared to Seattle, this is nearly $1,200 more per minute, or $70,348 more per day. The numbers are staggering, and Seattle can’t risk putting itself further behind.

Seattle’s $20 million benchmark for the new tax refers to gross receipts, not income, meaning it will hit high-volume, low-margin businesses (think grocery stores or construction wholesalers) just as hard as more lucrative counterparts, promising price increases for consumers as businesses pass along costs. Service industries with big headcounts are firmly in the crosshairs, threatening this key employment category for young and low-skilled workers.

Amazon isn’t the only big employer eyeing the exits. Real estate portal Zillow, another new economy trailblazer, faces millions in additional tax burden. Alaska Airlines, Expedia, PayScale, Whitepages Inc., and Coinstar opposed the tax in vain, pleading in an open letter to the city council and mayor that taxing companies for creating jobs is like “telling a classroom that the students who do the most homework will be singled out for detention.”

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this exercise in illogic is the city government’s failure to enact other commonsense measures to combat homelessness: zoning reforms and infrastructure improvements to facilitate construction of affordable housing; shifting funds from underperforming shelters to ones that deliver; and coordination of the city’s homeless strategy with other municipalities in King County.”

Read his whole opinion piece here.

The background of the Seattle council members:

  • Lisa Herbold: Has been working for government politicians and government agencies since 1997.
  • Bruce Harrell: An attorney who began working in “public service” in 1979 by working for the Seattle City Council.
  • Kshama Sawant: A SOCIALIST.
  • Rob Johnson: A progressive urban planner and transportation advocate who spent ten years working for a statewide nonprofit coalition before working for government agencies.
  • Debora Juarez: A lawyer who concentrated on providing legal and financial counsel to Native American tribes.
  • Mike O’Brien: Served as CFO for a law firm prior to election to city council in 2009. He likes to silence constituents.
  • Sally Bagshaw: First elected to the council in 2009. She began her legal career by working for government agencies and has been working in the public sector since.
  • Teresa Mosqueda: Came to Seattle City Council following a long career effectively advocating for working families.
  • Lorena Gonzalez: Came to Seattle City Council with a decade of experience as a civil rights attorney and community advocate.

Somehow I don’t doubt that business leaders at Amazon, Starbucks (and all the other businesses against this head tax) and Travis know more about Econ 101 than any of the professional advocates/public servants and taxpayer money grabbers on the Seattle City Council.

DCG

When you have no clue about firearms: USA Today writes about “less lethal” weapons used in Santa Fe shooting

usa today

Firearm experts at USA Today…

After the Santa Fe shooting on Friday since it was discovered that the shooter didn’t use an AR-15, USA Today tweeted the following:

Two details set the Santa Fe shooting apart from other recent deadly attacks: explosives and the use of less-lethal weapons. https://usat.ly/2rTfjyA.”

Ten people dead from a .38 revolver and a shotgun. How’s that “less lethal” narrative working for you, USA Today?

Why couldn’t USA Today write about the MULTIPLE ILLEGAL ACTS committed during this shooting with “less lethal” weapons:

  • The shooter committed murder, which is illegal.
  • At 17, the shooter was not allowed to purchase the guns and stole them from his father, which is illegal.
  • The shooter carried guns and ammunition at the school, which is illegal.
  • The shooter was not eligible for a “License to Carry(conceal carry in Texas) and hid his guns, which is illegal.
  • The shooter deployed inoperable explosive devices, which is illegal.

Yet USA Today is going to run with firearms being “less lethal” than others. These people will do and say anything to spin their gun control confiscation narrative.

h/t Twitchy

DCG

This is Chiraq: A start to their weekend includes 11 shot, 4 killed on Friday

chicago

From MyFoxChicago: CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) – Four people were killed, and another seven were wounded, in gun violence Friday across Chicago, including a 65-year-old man who was found shot to death in the South Shore neighborhood.

About 11:30 p.m., officers found 65-year-old Earnest Wilson lying in the street with a gunshot wound to his face in the 7100 block of South Euclid Avenue, Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Wilson lived in the same block as the shooting.

Earlier in the evening, two people were killed in a Back of the Yards shooting. The shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. in the 5200 block of South May. Erica Frazier, 47, and a 51-year-old man were both struck in their torsos and died at University of Chicago Hospital, officials said. Frazier lived in the same block as the shooting. Area Central detectives were conducting a homicide investigation.

About 2 a.m., a man was found shot to death in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. Officers found Ronald Brooks, 32, shot in the chest in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue, authorities said. Brooks was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He lived in Englewood.

In Friday’s most recent nonfatal shooting, three men were wounded in the Austin neighborhood. About 10 p.m., the men were standing in an alley when a dark-colored car drove up in the first block of North Leclaire and someone inside fired shots, police said. A 20-year-old was shot in his shoulder and arm. He was taken to West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park in serious condition. The two other men, ages 30 and 34, were shot in their legs and were taken to the same hospital, where their conditions stabilized.

About 4:45 p.m., a 26-year-old man was wounded in the Fernwood neighborhood. The man was shot in the chest in the 300 block of West 104th Place, according to police. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn by paramedics in serious condition. He was not able to tell investigators about the circumstances of the shooting and witnesses at the scene were uncooperative.

Two men, ages 27 and 19, were wounded in a shooting about 2:30 p.m. in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side. The older man was walking outside in the 11600 block of South Indiana when the younger man got into an argument with a group of males inside a vehicle, police said. Someone in the vehicle fired shots and the older man was struck in the left leg and the younger man was struck in one of his feet. Paramedics took both men to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

About 1:30 a.m., a 22-year-old man was shot in the West Lawn neighborhood. The man was sitting in a vehicle in the 4500 block of West 66th Place when someone fired shots at him, police said. He was struck in both his legs and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where his condition stabilized. Area Central detectives were investigating the shooting.

In addition to the seven people wounded in gun violence, a man accidentally shot himself Friday evening in Englewood. The 25-year-old shot himself in the leg about 5:20 p.m. in the 5700 block of South Union, police said. His condition stabilized at St. Bernard Hospital. It wasn’t immediately clear if he would faces charges.

DCG

Bill Clinton charging up to $1,500 for tickets during “conversation” tour

bill clinton

Bill Clinton…Ladies, let me tell you about “My Life”

I’m sure Juanita Broaddrick would like to have a conversation with ol’ Bill.

From NY Post: Bill Clinton will spend his summer rolling in dough.

Next month the former president is scheduled to crisscross the US and Canada in a promotional tour for his new novel, in some cases charging $1,500 a ticket for on-stage events, dubbed “A Conversation with President Bill Clinton.”

Clinton, already a best-selling author for his 2004 autobiography “My Life,” began raking in the cash for the fictional thriller that he wrote with mega-bestselling novelist James Patterson, before the book was finished. He and his co-author reportedly signed a seven-figure deal with Showtime last year for the rights to turn the “The President is Missing” into a TV series.

Frenzied bidding for the television rights for the book, which is scheduled to go on sale June 4, began at $5 million last fall among some of the biggest players in Hollywood, including Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, according to published reports.

A spokeswoman for Showtime would not comment last week on the size of the final deal.

Clinton’s first novel tells the story of a sitting president who disappears from the White House in the midst of a looming cyber terrorist attack.

It’s not clear how much Clinton and Patterson made from the advance for the book. The book is being published in a unique deal involving two publishing houses — Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown & Co.

The novel is being called the publishing event of the year, and Clinton is scheduled to headline next month’s BookCon convention at the Javits Center.

Tickets for the former president’s summer-long North American tour to promote the book start at $10 per person and go as high as $1,500 for the special VIP passes.

A spokesman for Clinton refused to say whether he would be donating any proceeds from the novel to his family’s charitable foundation. “The Clintons support a broad range of groups every year through their family foundation,” said Clinton spokesman Angel Urena.

In addition to the book tour, Clinton will also headline events for the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

At the non-profit’s exclusive, private gala at an undisclosed venue in New York on Thursday, tickets range from $2,500 per person to $100,000 for a special access pass to the Clintons for a table for 10. Sting is also scheduled to perform at the event.

DCG