Tag Archives: Ed Murray

Seattle’s “Jungle” residents list demands in front of Seattle council

Seattle has a major homelessness problem (shockingly, their progressive policies have not solved the situation). In January I reported on how Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order on homelessness in November and opened “safe lots” for homeless people living in RVs.
The city also has a serious (ongoing) problem with “The Jungle”, a homeless encampment area that is approximately 100 acres in size. The Jungle is generally considered unsafe at any hour.

"The Jungle" homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

Scene from “The Jungle” homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

Last Tuesday,  city officials laid out a plan to first urge people camped in the area to find shelter elsewhere, then clean up the area and — through an as-yet-unreleased plan — secure the space against future encampments.
The “residents” of The Jungle have a different plan in mind…
Via MyNorthwest.com: Residents of The Jungle sent a message to the Seattle City Council Monday along with a list of demands.
A crowd of Jungle residents attended the city council’s Monday meeting to tell members that they have been communicating with other homeless campers in the Seattle greenbelt along I-5 — and they are organizing. They want the city to include them in any future decisions on the fate of The Jungle, and do not want the area’s encampments cleared out.
That’s not all they want. “I am a representative of The Jungle; I used to live there,” said Andrew Collins in front of the crowd before reading a list of demands.
Andrew Collins reads his demands/Seattle Channel photo

Andrew Collins reads his demands/Seattle Channel photo

We the housed and un-housed people of Seattle demand the city, one, stop all the sweeps of the homeless on the streets of Seattle and encampments city-wide, especially The Jungle, and return all seized property to its owners or compensate them for that loss,” he said. “Two, enact a housing-first program for all houseless in the city. Three, stop paying taxpayer money on privatizing homeless issues, such as for-profit sweeps and contractors.”
The last two demands regard allowing the city’s homeless residents to use vacant buildings.
“Four,” Collins continued. “Provide 24-hour living areas, and the right to rest in unused buildings public or private in the Seattle area. Five, spend the $1 million for The Jungle fence to revitalize any neglected public or private property — such as unused fire stations, vacant buildings or The Seattle Times building — for those without housing.”
Council member Sally Bagshaw requested the crowd to leave their contact information so she can follow up.

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Progressivism: Seattle victims wait for more than an hour for police assistance

Liberal Seattle has a host of problems and has for some time. For some reason their “progressive’” policies aren’t helping their community very much.

Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

They have a severe homeless problem and are hiring a “Homelessness Director” to solve that issue (with a max pay rate of $160,483.68).
Their new billing system for its public-utilities customers will launch a year or more behind schedule and cost at least $34 million more than initially projected.
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.
It appears that the Seattle Police and medics cannot adequately respond to a 911 call in the case of a road rage incident that warrants medical attention.
From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle police have long been under fire for slow response times to low level crimes such as auto theft and burglary. But, an incident in March shows that some victims of more serious crimes have also been waiting longer for help.
On March 10 the victim was driving his Nissan on 19th Avenue in the Lake City area, waiting to take a right onto NE 85th Street. According to police reports, he was about to turn when a red PT Cruiser to his left swerved across two lanes and cut him off. The Nissan driver reacted by honking.
That’s when witnesses say the PT Cruiser started swerving around, trying to run the man off the road. Twice, the PT Cruiser screeched to a halt. The second time, Nissan wasn’t so quick to react and rear-ended the other car.
That’s when it got ugly. According to witnesses, the driver of the PT Cruiser got out and kicked a dent in the back of the Nissan before reaching through the open drivers’ side window and smashing the man’s face into his own steering wheel — over and over. (This would have been a good time to be carrying, IMO.)
The suspect took off as witnesses rushed over and called 911. One man who called police said he could hear the commotion in his office across the busy road. The 911 call was recorded.
“Do you think they need a medic?” a dispatcher asked. “He’s got a nosebleed,” a witness said. “He’s got three witnesses standing around him. I think he’s fine, but — actually, he’s on his knees right now. I think he took a pretty hard hit.”
Those first 911 calls came in at 4:40 p.m. But, an officer wasn’t at the scene until more than an hour later — at almost 6 p.m. And medical aid never arrived.
“Sorry it took awhile to get here,” the responding officer is heard saying on in-car video. “I actually got called in four hours early to work today — because we don’t have anybody at work today, apparently.”
The suspect’s car apparently didn’t have any license plates on it — just temporary paper tags in the window. That led the responding officer to believe it was stolen.
“Most of the time they’re fake [temporary tags], depending on who it is that’s driving the car. And the car might be stolen if it’s set up like that because they’ll make their own, they’ll print them out and then write on them just like a dealership would or a DMV would,” the officer said on the video.
And because of the time it took to respond, the officer said there was probably nothing they could do.
It’s not clear how many officers were on patrol in the north precinct that day, but the Seattle Police Department has acknowledged they are understaffed. One recent report recommended the city add 200 more officers to the force.
Also that day…
Around 4 p.m. a man near NE 77th Street and 20th Avenue NE called police to say that a woman was driving erratically and almost hit his car, forcing him to swerve off the road and careen into someone’s front yard. The caller said he thought the woman was drunk and that he was afraid she might go on to hurt someone else.
This case was different than the road rage incident when it took more than an hour for an officer to show up — no officers ever responded.
The caller sat by the road for an hour before calling 911 again, saying the woman had driven back to the scene, presumably to see if police were there. While waiting, the caller and a witness were apparently able to identify the suspect’s potential residence, since he saw the suspect circle around and pull into a nearby driveway.
The department did not file a case report on the crime. No arrests were made in either case.
Maybe Mayor Ed Murray should install more rainbow sidewalks to fight crime.
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.


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Seattle’s new billing system at least $34M over budget, a year late

How progressive.

Tax dollars at work...

Tax dollars at work…

Via Seattle Times: Seattle’s new billing system for its public-utilities customers will launch a year or more behind schedule and cost at least $34 million more than initially projected.
The project to build a new billing and information system for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities — approved by then-Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council in 2012 — was initially budgeted at $66 million, the utilities said Thursday.
The system was scheduled to launch in October, but changes in the project’s scope led the City Council in November to approve a revised budget of $85 million with an April launch, City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen said. The changes were related to identity protection for customers, regulatory requirements and testing, Thomsen said.
The launch is now being postponed again to allow for even more testing, which will cost an additional $3 million to $4 million per month, Public Utilities spokesman Andy Ryan said.
The updated schedule calls for the system to launch this fall, meaning the price tag for the project will grow to more than $100 million, Ryan said.
The postponement won’t change the current rates for electricity, water and waste-collection customers because City Light and Public Utilities will use savings from their other capital projects to balance their existing budgets, Thomsen and Ryan said Thursday.
But when asked for the maximum the project could cost, they declined to specify. City officials described their decision to conduct more testing as a prudent step, citing problems utilities in other cities had in launching new billing systems.
Billing errors after a 2013 launch have cost Los Angeles’ water utility $181 million, with a state audit blaming the city for implementing it too quickly, City Light and Public Utilities said. “We’ve seen what has happened elsewhere when a billing system is rushed into use,” City Light General Manager Larry Weis said in a statement. “We cannot afford to make that mistake. We’re going to take the time that’s necessary to do this right.”
Councilmember Lisa Herbold said Thursday she wants to work with other council members to create a new oversight and accountability mechanism for the city’s major capital projects. The District 1 representative said she plans to request an “after-action” report on the billing-system project “outlining both lessons learned and best practices.”
The new system will replace 15-year-old technology, City Light and Public Utilities said. It will process about 5.5 million bills and collect about $1.8 billion in revenue each year.

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Expenses shock Seattle government into rethinking RV safe lots

Most private businesses and people look into the cost of something before making a decision. Apparently the City of Seattle operates in a different mode.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Via MyNorthwest.com: It seemed like a good idea to the City of Seattle until officials picked up the check. Seattle’s city-run RV safe lots (places for homeless families and individuals living in vehicles) are receiving more criticism, this time from city officials after it became apparent their costs were too high. It has the city now favoring a cheaper option.
The City of Seattle is halting plans to open a second RV safe lot in Delridge after seeing how much it costs to run the first lot in Ballard. That cost, after nearly $25,000 in setup costs, totals about $35,000 each month.
Ballard’s RV safe lot accommodates about 20 vehicles, four of which are not operational, according to information provided by the city. Take into account the total monthly costs, it factors out to about $1,750 per vehicle. The Seattle Times points out that is roughly the same median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle.
All of the residents of the safe lot are required to partake in case management from social services provided by Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute. That adds to staff costs associated with the site — along with security, it’s the steepest cost at the site at $18,804.
Cost of a Seattle Yankee Diner RV safe lot in Ballard
• Fencing: $6,000*
• Communal infrastructure and supplies(tents, cooking facilities, etc.): $12,189*
• Power set-up: $3,500*
• Towing costs: $3,000*
• Rent to Seattle Public Utilities: $7,522**
• Site staff: $18,804**
• Water & Electricity: $1,000**
• Trash and porta poties: $1,800**
• Misc.: $1,935**
• Admin/Accounting fee: $3,998**
* one time cost ** ongoing costs per month
One-time setup costs for the Yankee Diner site totaled $24,689. The ongoing costs amount to $35,059 each month.
Instead of the RV safe lot idea, it seems the city may be favoring a similar program that cuts out the lot. RV safe zones in Interbay and SoDo do not have lots. Rather, they are industrial zoned areas where the city allows the RVs to stay for extended periods of time. In contrast to the safe lots, the zones cost $5,269 monthly.
The lots have 24-hour security, whereas the zones have nightly check-ins by a security company. The zones do have trash pick-up service and access to bathrooms, however.
The cost of running the safe RV zones in Interbay or SoDo are much less, the biggest difference being that the city doesn’t have to pay rent and it doesn’t have to pay for staff.
Cost of a Seattle RV safe zone
• Permitting: $429*
• Portapotties: $2,340**
• Dumpsters / trash removal: $747**
• Late night security check: $822**
• FAS inspector: $1,360**
* one time cost ** ongoing costs per month
The monthly bill for operating the safe zones adds up to $5,269.
There are 21 vehicles in Interbay, and 18 in SoDo. One vehicle is not operational in the Interbay safe zone, and eight are not operational in the SoDo area. So far, 18 RV residents in Interbay are interested in receiving case management, and seven are interested in case management in SoDo. Case management is not required to park in the safe zones. The Delridge site would have only accommodated 10 vehicles.

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Seattle Mayor: We need more tent cities

Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray


KOMO: Mayor Ed Murray says there’s been a recent spike in the number of illegal homeless encampments in Seattle, and he wants additional “tent cities” approved to help address the issue.

A press release from the Mayor’s office states that the mayor will send proposed legislation to the City Council next month “to make a limited number of unused, vacant lots on private and public land” available for encampments. The areas included are not in residential neighborhoods or parks.

A task force Murray convened in October recommended that Seattle make it easier for tent cities to operate with oversight and legal services. “In recent months, more illegal encampments have popped up on our streets and sidewalks than ever before and the need for alternative spaces has grown immensely,” the mayor wrote in a letter to the task force last week.

Encampments have stirred controversy around Seattle, with politicians and advocates disagreeing about whether they save people from the streets or siphon resources away from safer, cleaner, more permanent options.

A handful of authorized encampments and many more unauthorized ones already exist in Seattle. Religious institutions are allowed to host tent cities with few restrictions, but encampments are allowed elsewhere only under temporary-use permits. The city funds 1,724 shelter beds in Seattle. An annual count of homeless residents in January found 3,123 people living on the streets of the city and King County.

Murray did not say how many lots should be opened, and his press secretary, Jason Kelly, declined to give a number. The task force called for seven.

Last year, a bill sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata would have allowed tent cities for up to a year on nonreligious properties in industrial and commercial zones. The council voted against it.

Murray said his proposed legislation will build off Licata’s. It calls for organizations operating the encampments to collect data about their clients; city money should only go to organizations that comply, he said. The mayor also said he would push for 150 additional shelter beds by early 2015, including at least 15 reserved for youth.

Murray balked at the task force’s proposal that some community centers be used to provide shelter, saying the centers must continue to focus on services for seniors and children, such as the city’s new preschool program.

The council last month set aside $200,000 in the city’s 2015 budget to help carry out the task force’s recommendations and $100,000 to support encampments.

Murray wrote that he has a separate advisory group working on long-term solutions to the city’s affordable-housing crisis.

Maybe Murray should set up a separate advisory group and task force to evaluate policies that lead to homelessness? He just might find a common thread.


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Seattle mayor Ed Murray orders a plan to pay all city workers a $15 minimum wage

Career politician Murray

Career politician Murray

KIRO: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today issued his first executive order — he wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for city employees. Murray says the higher wage would affect roughly 600 people who work for the city. And it comes as he works to implement a $15 an hour minimum wage for private businesses citywide.
“I believe I need to set an example and the city needs to set an example if we’re asking others to make some adjustment,” Murray said at his first news conference after taking office on New Year’s Day.
Even a small raise sounds good to Tyler Pendleton, who earns $14.20 an hour working at the Seattle Center, “Just extra gas money to see my parents, help out the family a bit. It’d be nice.”
A $15 an hour minimum wage equals a salary of $31,200 a year. The mayor’s order would cover 600-700 city employees who don’t already make $15 or more. The preliminary cost estimate is $700,000. Mayor Murray believes the city can absorb the cost without raising taxes or fees.
Mayor Murray’s Plan has implications beyond just city employees, because he’s pushing to raise the minimum wage for everyone city wide.
Newly elected Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant supports the mayor’s initiative, but sees it as just the beginning of the effort to establish a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage for everyone in the city. “The fact that the mayor has announced this effort for $15 an hour for city employees is a definite step forward,” said Sawant after rehearsing for Monday’s inauguration ceremony. “It really bolsters everybody’s confidence in saying that while the city employees are being talked about, let’s talk about the contract workers the city hires, let’s talk about fast food workers, child care workers. Why stop with one small group of people?” she said.

Murray his directed his staff to talk the city’s labor unions, and bring him a plan by spring.
econ 101
Ed Murray is a career politician – he’s never once worked in the private sector during his professional career. Washington’s current minimum wage is $9.32/hour. Asking private sector businesses to increase that by $5.68/hour? I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to comply with that “adjustment”. /sarc
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Washington is third state to propose ban-confiscate all assault weapons

First, it was Minnesota where, on January 31, 2012, Democrats in the state’s House of Representatives introduced HF 241, a bill that bans and confiscates all assault weapons.
Two weeks later, it was Missouri where, on Feb. 14, Democrats in the state’s House of Representatives introduced a similar bill, HB 545, which will make it a class C felony to manufacture, import, possess, purchase, sell, or transfer any assault weapon or large capacity magazine.
Both HF 241 and HB 545 define “assault weapon” to include semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and semi-automatic shotguns. Exempted from both bills are government officials and employees, and members of the armed forces and law enforcement. If passed, HF 241 and HB 545 will render Minnesota and Missouri into effective police states where private citizens are no match against the lethal instruments to which only the government — and lawless criminals — have access.
Add the State of Washington to the above.
On February 13, 2013, Democrats in Washington’s State Senate introduced a similar bill, SB 5737, that bans the manufacture, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of “assault weapons” and any assault weapon conversion kits.
Like Minnesota’s HF 241 and Missouri’s HB 545, Washington’s SB 5737 also defines “assault weapon” as including semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles, and semi-automatic shotguns.

Ed MurrayMurray, Kohl-Welles, Kline

SB 5737 is sponsored by Democrats Sen. Ed Murray, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Adam Kline.
As Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit rightly observes:

“THIS IS AN ORGANIZED NATIONAL EFFORT FOLKS…. This is not a coincidence. It is a concerted effort.”

Citizens of the State of Washington, contact your representatives in your state legislature! To find out who your reps are, click here.


Dr. Johnny Nesman of KFLD 870AM is saying that “SB 5737 is apparently off the table for this legislative session … according to officials, dead.” 
Alas, Nesman needs reading glasses, because he has FOTM as “One blogger even went as far as to claim Washington state had apparently passed the measure.”
Mr. Nesman, nowhere in my post did I claim Washington had passed SB 5737. This is what I wrote: “On February 13, 2013, Democrats in Washington’s State Senate introduced a similar bill, SB 5737, that bans the manufacture, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of “assault weapons” and any assault weapon conversion kits.”
You must be an idiot to think that I think a bill that had been introduced 8 days ago, is already passed.

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