Tag Archives: Washington State

Liberal utopia of Seattle: Areas see 31% increase in crime in 2018

It doesn’t take a genius to guess the main culprit for the increase in crime in Seattle. As I’ve noted many times on this blog, the homeless are not held responsible for their criminal activities throughout the city. Read about the many crimes committed by the homeless here.

The Seattle Police are also slow to respond (if they even respond at all) to crimes.

MyNorthwest.com reports that certain areas of Seattle (SoDo and Georgetown) have reported a 31% increase in crime compared to a 1% increase citywide. The crimes include property damage, commercial burglaries, thefts, and motor-vehicle thefts, including 510 cars broken into.

Excerpts from the MyNorthwest.com report:

“According to business owners, the area is developing a sense of lawlessness with garbage piles, graffiti, drug abuse, broken-down RVs, prostitution, and numerous incidents of theft and property damage. It’s impacted the feelings of safety among business owners and customers, as well as those living in RVs, themselves the target of many of the crimes.

“I feel sorry for the people down there who have businesses,” Curley said. “It must be an awful thing to have to deal with that every day.”

In response, police have dedicated a squad from 3 a.m. to noon in the area when most of the crime is occurring, and have dispatched a Community Police Team to perform outreach to those living in RVs.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Washington state governor proposes “free” statewide college program

Last time I visited Washington I didn’t see any money growing on trees. It’s most likely that property owners will be footing the bill for this “free” program.

FYI: The governor is mulling a 2020 presidential run. And as you know, FREE STUFF always gets votes…

From MyNorthwest.com: Washington Governor Jay Inslee unveiled plans Friday to provide guaranteed financial aid to 93,000 college students statewide.

Gov. Inslee’s plan would convert Washington’s State Need Grant into “Washington’s College Promise” grant. Currently, the State Need Grant provides aid to about three out of every four eligible college students who apply.

According to the governor’s office, that leaves tens of thousands of students stuck on a financial aid wait list. The new program will aim to provide guaranteed funds to all eligible students.

“Every student in Washington state should have the opportunity to get the higher education they need. I’m excited to talk about the big steps we’re taking to make this opportunity a reality,” Gov. Inslee said in a Friday news release.

The governor’s program will need $103 million of the $280 million the governor set aside for higher education in his proposed 2019-2021 budget. It would serve the additional 18,000 eligible students who remain unserved by financial aid.

“Governor Inslee’s College Promise proposal will support all students who want to attend college to go, regardless of their financial ability to pay tuition,” said Maud Daudon, chair of the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Right now, eligibility for state college grants boils down to a pair of qualifiers:

Must be “disadvantaged,” which according to state law, means any student with adverse cultural, educational, environmental, or familial circumstances.

As an alternative to disadvantaged, a student must qualify as “needy,” which encompasses anyone who demonstrates “financial inability” to pay for higher education.

Gov. Inslee’s other higher education budget proposals include added capacity for STEM courses, a scholarship for 50 students who commit to working in “high demand behavioral health fields,” expanded worker training, and more.

DCG

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Washington state governor proposes state-run healthcare system

Seems the proggies received the same memo (see my previous two posts).

Residents in Washington state already have “access to affordable health care” via free and low cost clinics. In my search of seven counties throughout Washington (out of 39 total counties) I came across 159 clinics. That fact won’t stop the TDS-infected governor from implementing another bureaucratic/big government program.

As reported by MyNorthwest.com: Governor Jay Inslee introduced Cascade Care Tuesday morning, a plan to provide a state-run healthcare system akin to “Medicare for all.”

“We believe it is a just thing to do for all of our citizens to have access to affordable health care,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday. “…Today I am pleased to announce that we will be proposing a public option in the State of Washington, to take yet another significant step in the goal of universal coverage in the State of Washington.”

Inslee announced his proposal flanked by a variety of lawmakers at the King County Downtown Seattle Public Health Clinic Tuesday morning. He was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Rep. Eileen Cody, State Sen. David Frockt, State Senator Karen Keiser, and the state’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

According to Inslee, the proposed Cascade Care bill will direct the state’s healthcare authority to provide coverage across Washington by contracting with one or more healthcare carriers. That coverage will begin in 2021.

That coverage will be available to anyone in the individual market. It will also set reimbursement rates consistent with Medicare. Using the service will be voluntary and patients will spend no more than 10 percent of their income on premiums.

Officials said Tuesday that it will cost the state $500,000 to set up the new system and accept bids from carriers. Costs beyond that weren’t specified.

Sen. Keiser noted that Washington once had an “incredibly popular” basic healthcare program between the late 1980s until the Great Recession. Implementing the Affordable Care Act eventually became a priority instead of restarting that program. “We have done this before, and we can do it again,” she said. “….Now it’s time to come back to the public option and include it in our array of healthcare services.”

Inslee, and other lawmakers present, pointed a finger of blame at the Trump administration, saying that it has worked to remove healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Inslee said that there are 14 counties in the state that are on the verge of losing healthcare coverage altogether.

“We are on the knife’s edge,” Inslee said. “And we need to give a solid foundation of support to every county and every citizen in the State of Washington because that is a moral imperative.”

The governor also noted the work that has already been done to provide healthcare in Washington over the past few years, primarily through the state’s exchange: More than 800,000 Washingtonians have gained access to healthcare; Provided coverage to 30,000 cancer survivors in the state; and Provided 90,000 people with substance abuse treatment.

“But we need to take the next step,” Inslee said. “That’s why I’m glad we have put the dollars in my proposed budget that will allow us to set up this public option in the State of Washington.”

DCG

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I’m shocked! Study finds that nearly 100 percent of Seattle’s soda tax is passed on to consumers

The Seattle Times reports: Nearly 100 percent of Seattle’s new tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages has been passed on to consumers through higher in-store prices, a new report estimates.

But some taxed beverages have increased in price more than others and some stores have increased their prices more than others, according to the report by University of Washington researchers that City Council members are set to discuss Wednesday.

Sodas have increased in price more than sugar-sweetened juices and bottled coffee drinks, and smaller stores have increased their prices more than supermarkets, the report indicates.

Additionally, some smaller stores have increased their prices even for beverages not subject to the tax, such as diet sodas.

We don’t know why, but they did see something similar in Berkeley,” the California city that adopted a tax before Seattle, said research-team leader Jesse Jones-Smith, an associate professor of health services and epidemiology.

Seattle’s tax of 1.75 cents per fluid ounce, which took effect in January 2018, is charged to distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. But the distributors can pass the tax on to stores and the stores can pass the tax on to consumers.

When the City Council approved the tax in 2017, many proponents said the goal was to decrease consumption of unhealthful beverages by driving up prices, while others supported the policy because they said it would raise money for healthful-eating and education programs.

Foes said the tax would disproportionately hurt people with low incomes. Some store owners and consumers opposed the measure, along with unionized beverage-industry workers.

The city collected nearly $17 million in the first nine months of the tax, surpassing its initial expectations, and officials now are counting on the money to keep rolling in, with substantial annual declines no longer anticipated.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Paid family medical leave premiums now deducted from WA State paychecks but will they cover the cost of the program?

A new law has gone into effect in Washington State where employees have monies deducted from their paychecks to pay for paid family medical leave. Employers also kick in some money into the insurance program. The state is collecting monies a year in advance; benefits won’t be available until 2020.

About the program details, from MyNorthwest.com:

“Those benefits are partial wage reimbursement for at least 12 weeks when you have a qualifying family or medical event, 16 weeks if you have events qualifying for both family and medical, and up to 18 weeks under certain special circumstances, such as pregnancy complications.

The cost: 0.4 percent of paychecks split roughly 63/37 percent between employee and employer, respectively. A worker earning $50,000 annually would see about $2.42 cents a week taken out of their check, and then when benefits kick in next year, they would be eligible for partial wage reimbursement of up to $1000 a week depending on your earnings.

Read about all the insurance program details here.

The law firm of Davis Wrights Tremaine has been working with businesses to help them get ready for the new law. According a lawyer from that firm:

“But with the program just rolling out funding and rule making still fluid there are some unknowns and concerns. Is this program adequately funded? Is there going to be enough in the pot to account for individuals taking leave? What will be the usage rate of this? And that’s a real unknown right now.

What’s more, is that premiums could actually go up.

There is some language in the law that, there can be an increase in the premium amount. We could see an increase to 0.6 percent gross, and it’s unclear after that point, if it’s still underfunded, what’s going to happen. Are we going to see those premiums increase? And I think it’s probably likely that will we see an increase in the premium amount.

Shocker, not.

DCG

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Liberal utopia of Seattle: Police punish homeless man who threatened business owner with…cheeseburgers

Another day, another story of a homeless person in Seattle receiving a free pass from the bureaucrats…

Seattle has a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution.

Read about the many stories I’ve posted about homeless people in Seattle being allowed to commit criminal activities with no consequences here.

Now another homeless person caught committing criminal activities is being punished with…cheeseburgers!

MyNorthwest.com reports that a business owner called Seattle Police because a homeless man was blocking the doors to his business. The homeless man pulled out pepper spray and pointed it at the business owner in a threatening way.

The business owner called the police and followed the homeless man to keep track of him.

It took Seattle Police 45 minutes to respond.

Police found the homeless man who threatened the business owner in the parking lot of McDonald’s. Seattle Police did not arrest the homeless man. Instead, the business owner watched as one policeman bought the homeless man two cheeseburgers.

According to the business owner, this is not the first time a homeless person has threatened him/his business. An employee of his received a black eye from a homeless person who was trying to break into customer cars and there is also a regular problem of the homeless using drugs and defecating on his property.

Sorry, got no empathy left for those in Seattle. Elections have consequences.

DCG

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Would you register your home surveillance cameras with the local police department?

Renton, a city south of Seattle, has asked citizens and businesses to register their surveillance cameras with the police department so they can get access to thousands of private cameras installed throughout the city.

From the MyNorthwest.com story: “It’s called the Camera Registration Program. Since it launched Thursday, more than 40 homeowners and business owners have already signed up.”

I understand citizens wanting to do this – catch the bad guys. Yet I would be hesitant to participate in this program.

The police promise your privacy will not be comprised. More from the MyNorthwest.com story:

“Sgt. Christy Mathews told KIRO 7 the partnership was the idea of the department’s Community Programs Division. According to Mathews, surveillance images are typically obtained by officers and detectives knocking on doors, asking business owners and homeowners if a surveillance camera might have captured a particular incident.

Now, the locations of homes and businesses that register with the Camera Registration Program appear as blue dots on a satellite map of Renton. Mathews said other police agencies have databases of available cameras on printed pages, but not on a computer-generated map. She believes Renton PD’s is the first.

The Camera Registration Program is volunteer-only and does not allow police officers to see images in real time.

It simply lets investigators know a camera is in the area and that its owner is willing to cooperate with police officers. Those officers can then “log in from their cars and see there are three houses in this area, and the suspect fled this way, so maybe these three cameras will show something,” Mathews explained.”


What if for some reason you don’t want to turn over your camera data (i.e., you’re doing something embarrassing or your child may be implicated in a crime; or maybe you are coming back from the gun range and unloading your car and now authorities may inquire about safe gun storage)?

Will the police obtain a warrant and compel your turn over camera data?

As with most things related to government and high tech, I would not trust anyone with my personal data AT ALL.

DCG

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A novel concept: Washington state city trying to help homeless by enforcing the law

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

As I have mentioned here before: Many west coast, progressive-run cities have a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution. This includes Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc. See the following:

Marysville, just north of Seattle in Snohomish County, is pro-actively doing something to address their homeless. Their method? Accept help or go to jail.

The mayor of Marysville, Jon Nehring, was appointed in 2010 and then was elected to a full term in November 2011, and re-elected in November 2015 after running unopposed.

Mayor Nehring appeared on the Jason Rantz show and spoke about their approach to dealing with the homeless. He spoke about the results of the Embedded Social Worker program, calling it a “partnership approach that balances compassion with enforcement to make real differences.”

He tweeted the following statistic (which occurred in just six months) on December 5:

“Marysville’s law enforcement-embedded social worker program is seeing great early success!

  • Substance abuse assessments completed: 111
  • Treatment provided: 43
  • Detox completed: 40
  • Graduates of long-term treatment: 19
  • Housing secured: 37”

According to the January 2018 Point-in-Time January Count Summary for Snohomish County (where Marysville is located) there are 858 homeless people in Snohomish County.

Marysville, using the law and their social outreach program, has already assisted over 25% of those 858 people. That number exceeded both the mayor and the police chief’s expectations. Imagine that!

Also, the crime rate is down over 20% in Marysville.

Excerpts from the mayor’s interview via MyNorthwest.com:

“Help means an initial assessment, and then a drug detox, or a substance abuse detox,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “After that, a 30 to 60 day long term rehabilitation program. And then if they graduate from that, they move into transitional housing and job training, hopefully ultimately get a job, and be at least somewhat — if not fully — self-sufficient.

That approach stems from a zero-tolerance policy from Marysville police, enforced across the city.

“In Marysville, we don’t tolerate sleeping under bridges [or] illegal camping, [and] we discourage our citizens from giving to panhandlers — we encourage them to give to local charities instead,” Mayor Nehring said.

That way, rather than simply clearing homeless encampments only to see them pop up somewhere else, a concerted effort is being expended to get to the root of the issue. Take away the option to continue trespassing and committing crimes, argued Mayor Nehring, and you leave people with a simple choice.

“It’s a two-pronged approach,” he described. “You can take that option, which we would much prefer. If not, if you’re committing crimes, we’re going to take you to jail.

This method is really so simple that one has to wonder why other progressive-run cities can’t implement the same strategy: enforce the law with a zero-tolerance policy and apply taxpayer dollars to treatment programs.

Yet we know that method would not allow for bureaucrats to continually demand more taxpayer dollars to “solve” their homeless crisis.

Listen to the whole interview here.

DCG

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Never enough: Gun grabbers going after high-capacity magazines & more in Washington State

The gun grabbers in Washington State never quit.

Voters in progressive Washington State approved (59.35% voted in favor) I-1639 last month which includes the following new gun control restrictions:

  • Raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21
  • Adding background checks
  • Increasing waiting periods
  • Enacting storage requirements

Read the details about the voter-approved initiative here.

Now the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is going after more of Washingtonians’ Second Amendment rights.

MyNorthwest.com reports that this organization wants to expand Extreme Risk Protection Orders, to include “hate-based threats,” to limit open carry firearms in crowded public events, parks, and libraries, and to restrict access to high-capacity magazines.

From their report:

“Washingtonians did their part at the ballot, now it is time for our legislators to do their part,” said Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, in a news release. “Our statewide coalition — including community leaders, survivors, advocates, public health experts and law enforcement — created the most robust agenda we have ever put forward.

Hopkins promised that “each and every policy will save lives in our state,” and that the group is “looking forward to working with our gun responsibility majority in Olympia to ensure our lawmakers pass the kind of laws Washington families and communities want in place.”

While I-1639 faces a court challenge from the 2nd Amendment Foundation and the NRA, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility will bring its own fight to the state Legislature, hoping to continue its momentum from the November election.”

I have several questions:

  • Who gets to define “hate-based” threats?
  • Since when do criminals open carry?
  • Have these people never heard of “jungle-style?”
  • What supportive data does Hopkins have for her to “promise” that these new policies will save lives?
  • Can Hopkins promise that criminals will comply with these new restrictions?

I’m so glad I moved out of Washington State.

See also:

DCG

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Liberal utopia of Seattle: Squatter terrorizes homeowner, gets 30 hours comm. service & court-appointed treatment program

Seattle has a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution.

See the following:

A homeowner in the Magnolia area of Seattle tried to sell her house this past summer and was stalked by a “squatter” who had mental issues. The squatter claimed the house was his, trespassed on her property and tried to introduce himself as the new homeowner.

The homeowner called into the Dori Monson show to share her story. As reported by MyNorthwest.com:

“Soon after Lisa (name changed) put her Magnolia home on the market in late July, she said that a strange man began intruding on her property and in her home, acting like he lived there; setting up tents on her property, sometimes with another man; taking photos of her yard and neighbor’s yards and putting them on social media; introducing himself to neighbors as the new buyer of the house; and attempting to get into their homes by pretending to be an exterminator.

“We didn’t know what this guy was capable of for a long time, and so we were being as vigilant as we could … You don’t know what type of person you’re dealing with,” she said.

Lisa, who has since sold the house, had said at the time that despite living in terror for a week, police did not go after the Magnolia squatter in a timely fashion; it was not until after her story had been featured on the Dori Monson Show multiple times that police finally gave her a response she felt was appropriate to the situation.

“It took going on the show to get any response,” she said.

That said, she remains very grateful for the diligence and attention shown to her case after that by a Seattle Police Department task force.

“They came by the property every single day … I was really pleased with the response that we ended up getting after the show, so a shoutout to SPD,” she said.

While this was going on, Lisa figured out the man’s address and workplace through some sleuthing of her own. She gave this information to police, who initially said that they could not do anything because he lived out of their jurisdiction, but later were able to go to the man’s house and arrest him.

However, the Magnolia squatter spent just “24 hours and 10 minutes” in jail, according to Lisa. She pressed charges — which resulted in a grand total of a protection order, a $25 bail charge, and 30 hours of community service for the man.

“Only 30 hours of community service, Dori, for all that we endured — 30 hours of community service,” Lisa said.

In court, the man revealed to the judge that he has ADA-recognized bipolar disorder and was in a manic episode at the time of the squatting and stalking. “I empathize with people who are going through difficulties like that,” Lisa said, but “it doesn’t make it okay to terrorize a neighborhood and put everybody through what he did. There have to be consequences, regardless of what’s going on.”

Luckily, the judge did order the man to obtain mental health treatment, which Lisa sincerely hopes will aid him. While she is disappointed that he did not serve a greater sentence for all of the fear and emotional turmoil he caused her, she no longer worries about the effect that this man will have on her life.

“I do think that this person was really sick, and that breaks my heart, but they’re getting away with too much still, and we have to constantly think about our safety in this city … I hope that he’s getting the help that he needs,” she said.”


I’d bet the odds are pretty high that this squatter isn’t going to attend court-mandated mental health treatment program. And that the odds are pretty high will keep hearing about criminal activities in Seattle going unchecked.

DCG

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