Tag Archives: Seattle

Socialist Sawant wants to cap fees landlords charge Seattle renters

Is the socialist going to pick up the tab for any unpaid fees? Don’t hold your breath.

Socialist Kshama Sawant

Socialist Kshama Sawant

From the Seattle Times: Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Thursday proposed legislation that would put a cap on the amount of money landlords charge incoming renters.

The ordinance would limit move-in fees — including a security deposit and any nonrefundable, one-time payments — to no more than the cost of one month’s rent.

Sawant’s legislation also would require landlords to allow renters to pay their move-in fees in installments rather than immediately and in full. Landlords asking for last month’s rent up front would likewise be required to accept that sum in installments.

The council member said her proposal is aimed at reducing costs for Seattle renters during a time in which many of them are struggling to make ends meet.

“Seattle renters are facing a serious crisis. In May, one-bedroom apartment rentals rose 11 percent, the highest increase in the nation,” Sawant said in a statement, referring to a report by the rental-search website Abodo. “We need to reduce all barriers faced by renters. The cost of moving into a rental unit is first on that list.”

The Abodo report said the price for an average one-bedroom apartment in Seattle rose to $1,906 in May from $1,722 in April. The company’s most recent report said the price for an average one-bedroom in Seattle fell 9 percent from June to July.

Read the whole story here.

See also:

DCG

Backlash over statement leads to Seattle police union president’s resignation

I’d say Smith was justified in his rant considering that this minority movement celebrated the death of the Dallas Police officers, chanted for dead cops, and support cop killer Assata Shakur.

Ron Smith/KIRO 7 Photo

Ron Smith/KIRO 7 Photo

From MyNorthwest.com: President of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Ron Smith says he will resign July 31 over a controversial statement he made on social media, KIRO 7 reports.

“I posted out of emotion,” Smith explained. The post was supposed to be in support of Dallas police and in support of Dallas police, he added. “It was blown out of proportion.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild deleted its Facebook and Twitter accounts after a post regarding the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead drew criticism. The post read:

“Dallas PD and their officers are in our thoughts and prayers…. The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting… Heads in swivels brothers and sisters…#Weshallovercome”

“My words have been taken out of context, for that I am very sorry, and we have to move on,” Smith said. KING 5 reports the statement led to nearly two dozen complaints of racial bias.

The Guild post was published right around the time the decision was made to have officers patrol in pairs as precaution.

Last week, Seattle council member Tim Burgess said “sometimes the police union leadership are their own worst enemies,” The Stranger reports. “They fire off these statements and then take them down. It’s terrible, because it reflects an inner cycle of thinking that is very negative and disrespectful.”

However, Burgess also says that Seattle officers deserve respect. He wrote on his blog on July 8: “These officers deserve our respect and gratitude and, in the aftermath of last night’s terror, our encouragement and support. They also deserve to be held to a high standard of behavior. I believe strong support and robust accountability go hand in hand.”

DCG

From Liberal La-La-Land: Seattle woman rewarded $195k for assaulting police officer

Durden-Bosley

Durden-Bosley

From MyNorthwest.com (by Jason Rantz): A Seattle woman has been rewarded $195,000 in a legal settlement with the City of Seattle for physically assaulting a Seattle Police Department officer.

In June 2014, an intoxicated Miyekko Durden-Bosley was irritated she was being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a family member. She was verbally abusing Officer Adley Shepherd as he was placing her in the back of a police cruiser.

At one point, while handcuffed, she kicked him in the face. His response? One swift and effective punch to her face. Consequently, she stopped her assault.

The interaction between Durden-Bosley and Shepard was recorded. The video can be seen here (warning: strong language).

She sued after suffering a fractured orbit of her right eye. Shepherd, while stunned by the kick, did not suffer any serious injuries.

Federal prosecutors reviewed the case and said they would not charge the officer. Likewise with King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. His office, the Seattle Times reports, concluded that he “acted professionally and with restraint up to the point where he was kicked in the head by the suspect as she was being placed in the patrol car.”

But she sued because it’s easy to find a lawyer who will defend an intoxicated woman who feels she’s a victim after physically assaulting a cop. And now, the City of Seattle has settled, rewarding her with $195,000 for kicking a cop in the jaw, so she’ll drop the lawsuit.

According to the Seattle Police Officers Guild, it’s not even “the first time she assaulted a police officer or resisted arrest.”

“Very disappointed that the city has chosen to settle this lawsuit for such an exorbitant amount of money, in light of the fact this woman feloniously assaulted one of my members and has not been held accountable by any investigation or filing of felony charges against her,” Detective Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told me. “Kicking a Seattle police officer in the head is not acceptable whether you are a male suspect or a female suspect. This sends the message that crime pays.”

So why the settlement? It was likely cheaper than fighting the case and risking a court loss. But it’s maddening to realize there are little consequences to assaulting the people who put their lives on the line every day they put on their uniform.

“Her hope is that he won’t have the opportunity to punch any more handcuffed girls,” her attorney Tomas Gahan told the Seattle PI. “That’s our hope too.” No word on whether he hopes his client won’t have the opportunity to physically assault an officer again.

I won’t lie by pretending I wasn’t shocked by the punch to her face. He is much bigger than she is. But she made the choice to put the officer’s well-being on the line by kicking him in the face. And when you decide to try to hurt an officer, you should be willing to live with the aftermath. Is the cop supposed to get physically assaulted on the job?

There should be consequences for that kind of behavior. But because we live in a city filled with anti-cop activists, she’s seen as the hero standing up to police brutality (by assaulting a cop).

DCG

King County Metro axes trash bin after too many people used it

Liberal logic at work in progressive la-la-land.

government solve all problems

From MyNorthwest.com: Despite Seattle’s Alki neighborhood struggling with an overabundance of trash, King County Metro has reportedly decided to get rid of one trash can near a bus stop because too many people were using it.

The West Seattle Blog was told by a reader that she complained to Metro about the lack of a trash can in a space where there used to be one. Here’s a portion of the response she said she got back:

This trash can at this stop was pulled due to excessive trash from the coffee shops and not our bus patrons. Our shelter cleaning crews are not (there) everyday and the amount of trash that was being dumped was a factor in the removal of this trash can. A trash can will not be re-installed.”

If true, there’s a lot to be said about this shockingly ridiculous response. The West Seattle Blog reports the bus stop is right next door to a Starbucks. As it turns out, people wait at the bus stop for the bus. What’s more believable: Starbucks customers buy a drink and consume it outside the store at the bus stop and when they are finished drop it into the trash bin. They might even buy a drink and consume it while waiting for the Metro bus. At that point, they’re a Metro customer.

And why does it matter where the trash is coming from? The trash can that residents pay for — regardless of whether or not they take the bus — is only for use by Metro customers? How on Earth do you even determine that Metro customers aren’t responsible? Couldn’t a bus rider finish their coffee on the route, then put the cup in the bin on their way off the bus?

Why not add an extra trash bin or a larger one? Is there a shortage of trash bins available to Metro? Are these trash bins made of gold and cost too much? Perhaps they’re a rare species of trash bins and you pulling it off the dangerous streets of Alki is an effort to maintain them, allow them to repopulate in the protection of Metro offices, then release them back into the wild to collect Starbucks cups.

Perhaps this is about funding. There is no money left for trash bins because Metro is spending money on a Trash Investigation Unit that goes bin to bin tracking whether or not Metro customers are using trash bins to place trash in?

And, you do realize that by taking a trash bin away you’re likely adding to more litter in the streets? One of the talking points about why one might use Metro is to help preserve the environment from the waste from cars.

The West Seattle Blog reached out to Metro for a comment and expects one Thursday.

DCG

Seattle weighs rules (regulations) for work schedules

Seattle officials began discussing this issue back in February – see my post about this here. The council members spearheading this are concerned with employees having what they call a “livable schedule.” Liberals love the term “livable”, especially when they can use it to force private businesses to meet their “progressive” demands.

government solve all problems

From the Seattle Times: Jerry Cole has a landscaping business. Four years ago, in order to make ends meet, he took on a second job as a courtesy clerk at the Rainier Beach Safeway. But the scheduling demands of the second job — including erratic hours and a schedule that isn’t posted until three days before the workweek starts — makes it difficult to do his first job.

“It’s hard to schedule my landscaping business with clients on a regular basis because I’m having to juggle my landscaping around when I have to be at Safeway week to week,” he said.

Stories from workers such as Cole are spurring some Seattle City Council members and Mayor Ed Murray to devise a scheduling law that could affect thousands of workers and many retailers in the city.

Worker and employer representatives are meeting — in separate groups — to pin down what they want, or at least what they can live with.

Business groups, including the Washington Restaurant Association, seem to accept that some kind of scheduling regulations are coming down the pike, and are quietly striving for rules that won’t be too onerous or inflexible.

But behind the scenes some heated words are already flying. “I now am questioning if you are trying to help people or just penalize businesses for being in business,” retired Starbucks President Howard Behar wrote in an email, addressed to Councilmember M. Lorena González and copied to other members, on the scheduling issue. “I am disgusted with this city government.”

Councilmember Lorena González

Councilmember Lorena González

In the two official working groups, ideas on the table from the workers’ representatives include:

  • Two weeks’ advance notice of schedules
  • A minimum of 11 hours’ rest between shifts, except when workers voluntarily choose to work with less rest
  • An hour of additional “predictability pay” when an employer changes a worker’s posted schedule
  • Up to four hours’ pay for workers who are assigned shifts that are either canceled, or reduced to less than four hours, with less than 24 hours’ notice
  • Offers of additional hours must go to existing part-time employees before new employees can be hired

Some business representatives have suggested more limited measures, including:

  • One week advance notice of schedules
  • 10 hours’ rest between shifts
  • An hour of additional “predictability pay” only for changes to the posted schedule initiated by employers

The business group is still discussing the remaining issues proposed by the worker representatives: pay for workers whose shifts are canceled or reduced, and giving part-time workers preference if more work hours are available.

Both groups are reportedly leaning toward having the law apply to large retailers and franchises, although specifics of what constitutes “large” and whether local restaurants should be included are still being hammered out.

An online survey of both workers and managers is under way to get a better idea of scheduling practices around the city and how those practices affect workers’ lives.

lisa herbold

González, who, along with Councilmember Lisa Herbold is spearheading the scheduling issue on the council, anticipates bringing legislation to the full council in August.

The goal, González said, is to “recognize the needs of business to be nimble in their scheduling practices, but also provide maximum protection to the most number of workers so we’re delivering on the promise of economic security to hourly workers.”

Read the rest of the story here, including Starbuck’s stance on this proposal (Starbuck’s is not participating in Seattle’s employer group talks yet they are answering questions for the city council).

DCG

Seattle to test gunshot-locator system in Rainier Valley, Central District

Just how, exactly, will this technology quell gun violence? It allows police to respond to gun shots, not prevent them. That’s liberal logic for ‘ya.

Ed Murray (center) along one of the rainbow sidewalks installed in Seattle to prevent crime.

From Seattle Times: Concerned by a recent spate of shootings, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Thursday the city is launching a one-year pilot project to test a gunshot-locator system in Rainier Valley and the Central District.

The acoustic gunshot-locator technology uses microphones, sensors and cameras mounted overhead in neighborhoods to identify shots and triangulate the location of gunfire. Murray said the technology allows police to respond to reports of shots fired even before 911 is called. Seattle officials hope the system can help quell the recent spate of gun violence.

Since the start of the year, according to city officials, there have been 144 reports of gunshots fired, leading to five deaths and 24 people wounded.

Murray noted the majority of victims are young African Americans.

Murray, along with Council President Bruce Harrell, Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tim Burgess, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and community leaders, gathered at Rainier Beach Community Center on Thursday to discuss the technology aimed at enhancing public safety and increasing police response times.

“This is the very best way to keep a very safe city safer,” Murray said.

He noted the announcement of the pilot project comes two years after the deadly shooting at Seattle Pacific University as well as the shooting deaths of Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, and Ahmed Said, 27, in Seattle. The young men’s alleged killer, Ali Muhammad Brown, is also facing murder charges in New Jersey.

Last year, the Seattle office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms received federal money to install and operate a gunshot-locator system across one square mile, according to a memo to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess from Seattle police Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey. The memo notes that the highest concentrations of shots-fired reports in Seattle are in the Central District and Rainier Valley. “

If the privacy concerns can be addressed and property ameliorated … deployment of (a locator system) could provide a valuable resource to officers investigating shots-fired incidents,” the SPD memo says, calling a joint effort with the ATF a cost-effective way to test the technology.

Murray said Thursday the city would ensure the city’s commitment to privacy is maintained before launching the new program.

The idea for a gunshot-locator system isn’t new and has been debated by city officials since at least 2012. That year, Harrell had vendor ShotSpotter, of Mountain View, Calif., make a presentation to the council’s public-safety committee. Then-Mayor Mike McGinn allocated $1 million for a system, but the council later cut the item. DCG

Seattle spends more than $130K on RV homeless sites and places just 1 in housing

Mayor Ed Murray along one of Seattle's rainbow sidewalks - designed to fight crime!

Mayor Ed Murray along one of Seattle’s rainbow sidewalks – designed to fight crime!

In January this year, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that the city would open safe lots for homeless families and individuals living in vehicles. From the press release, “In response to the continued crisis of homelessness on the streets of Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order to expedite the siting of two safe lots in Ballard and Delridge for homeless individuals and families living in recreational vehicles and cars.”

In April, I told you how city officials hadn’t properly done their homework and were shocked to find the high costs associated with operating these safe lots. The safe lot in Ballard costs over $35,000 per month.

And while these lots are “temporary”, the city had a goal to help move homeless people to permanent housing as quickly as possible. That’s working out as well as you would expect from a progressive city.

Ballard RV lot in Seattle

Ballard RV lot in Seattle

From KIRO 7 News: The city of Seattle says it has placed one person in permanent housing after running its RV safe lot in Ballard and its RV safe zones in Interbay and SODO for several months. The person was placed after residing at the safe lot; no one was placed in housing from the safe zones. This is despite the mayor’s stated main goal for the sites, helping move people “to permanent housing as quickly as possible.”

The information comes as the city mulls what to do next; the Ballard safe lot is scheduled to close on August because its site will be needed for another project.

KIRO 7 has confirmed two RVs were asked to leave the safe lot because of reported drug activity, which is against the lot’s rules.

One woman who lives at the Ballard safe lot said the wait to get into housing is long. Rochelle Dumas said she and her husband have had their RV parked at the safe lot for three months. “I’m on the housing list,” she said. “I call in every month. I’m on the list. But it could take up to five years to get in there.

Dumas is one of more than 80 people living in the safe lot and the Interbay and SODO RV safe zones. In addition to providing permanent housing, the sites were also a solution to concerns about trash and crime related to RVs parked along residential streets.

“They seem to be working OK,” Cindy Pierce, president of the Neighborhood Safety Alliance, said of that goal. “They’ve gotten people off the streets and there’s been less – they haven’t had to go out and clean as often, because they’re in one place.”

Pierce said she was sadly unsurprised to see the housing results. “We’ve had one individual who has taken services,” she said. “Those statistics aren’t very good.”

KIRO 7 asked Sola Plumacher, with the city of Seattle’s Human Services department, about the results. “People see that and say, ‘Oh, that’s a low number. Is this really worth it?’ What’s your response to that?” KIRO 7 asked. “We’re continuing to work on what our best response is for people who are living in their vehicles,” Plumacher said. “It takes a long time to move folks into housing.” Plumacher said there are a lot of individuals “competing for the same resources.”

The safe lot, which has 24-hour security, costs about $35,000 a month to run. The safe zones, which do not have that kind of security, cost about $5,300 a month to run. Residents have to agree to work with a case worker to join the safe lot; the same is not required to live in the safe zone.

“We definitely see that the safe zone response is a bit more cost effective and almost has the same outcomes,” Plumacher said. “We want to be look at a less costly solution, so maybe it’s not staffed 24-7.”

Pierce wants to see a study of who the residents are and how many truly want housing and work.“We need to find a temporary safe lot for these individuals — so we can help them get back on their feet,” she said. “I thought that’s what this lot was for.”

Dumas said that given the length of time it takes to get permanent housing, the city should find a mobile home park that will allow the RVs on its lots. “A lot of [us]have income,” she said. “SSI [Supplemental Security Income disability]. I do, but it’s not enough to get into an apartment. But it’s enough to pay for a lot. The only thing you pay for is the lot.”

KIRO 7 reached out to Seattle’s Human Services Department about Dumas’s suggestion. The city is expected to release a report assessing the effectiveness and impact of the safe lot and safe zones sometime in June.

government solve all problems

DCG