Tag Archives: Washington State

Hashtag solutions: Washington state student starts online campaign after Florida mass shooting

will we be next

This student attends Pacific Lutheran University, which has its own Department of Campus Safety that has security patrol officers on site every day of the year. That might be a novel concept for other schools.

From MyNorthwest.com: A Pacific Lutheran University freshman has started an online campaign to put pressure on lawmakers hoping they take action in the wake of another mass shooting.

“When I heard the news on Wednesday, I wasn’t as bothered as I usually am,” Gracie Anderson said. “It was a huge red flag. I noticed I was desensitized.”

As she read more news of the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, she felt she had to do something locally.  “Instead of the usual sadness and grief that I feel, I felt really angry and really scared, and really motivated to do something,” she said. “My parents both work in schools, my younger sister is a freshman in high school. The people who mean the most to me are on school campuses every day.”

Anderson says she feels safe at her school, but can feel afraid after reports of a mass shooting; or worse — inaction by authorities after such incidents. That’s why she started the online campaign with the hashtag #WillMySchoolBeNext.

“This all began on Friday, in the wake of the Florida shooting,” she said. “What we are trying to do is draw the attention of the Washington State Legislature to mass shootings in schools. We want to demand that they take action. We aren’t specific on what that action is so that students, regardless of political persuasion, can be involved.”

People can get signs through the campaign that say “Will ____ be next.” They can then write in a name or school in the blank space. The effort also includes a letter writing campaign and petition for lawmakers. The effort spread quickly on Twitter, reaching 200,000 people by Monday, Anderson said.

“I’ve noticed a lot of adults are really sad that students and young people have to take on this burden … we’re disappointed in adults for not taking this upon themselves to make a change,” Anderson said.

Anderson says that there is no specific legislation or action the campaign is advocating for — she wants lawmakers to get to work on the solution. She also wants the effort to be void of political affiliation.

“There has to be a bunch of actions taken,” Anderson said. “We can’t isolate this as a gun issue, or as a mental health issue. I think that’s what both parties are doing right now. I’m in the middle as a student … all I want to see is something to make me feel safe. I think it’s a mixture of the two – gun restrictions as well as adequate mental health treatment.

“I can say that if lawmakers fail to protect us as students, we will vote them out as voters and when we are old enough we will run for their positions as candidates. And if we have to, we will be the ones who fight.”


While I understand the student’s emotional desire for a “bunch of actions,” she might want to read through Washington State’s current firearm laws. Here’s the list of them:

Chapter 9.41 RCW

FIREARMS AND DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Complete Chapter | RCW Dispositions

Sections

9.41.010 Terms defined.
9.41.040 Unlawful possession of firearms—Ownership, possession by certain persons—Restoration of right to possess—Penalties.
9.41.042 Children—Permissible firearm possession.
9.41.045 Possession by offenders.
9.41.047 Restoration of possession rights.
9.41.050 Carrying firearms.
9.41.060 Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms.
9.41.065 Correctional employees—Effect of exemption from firearms restrictions—Liability limited.
9.41.070 Concealed pistol license—Application—Fee—Renewal.
9.41.073 Concealed pistol license—Reciprocity.
9.41.075 Concealed pistol license—Revocation.
9.41.080 Delivery to ineligible persons.
9.41.090 Dealer deliveries regulated—Hold on delivery.
9.41.092 Licensed dealer deliveries—Background checks.
9.41.094 Waiver of confidentiality.
9.41.097 Supplying information on persons purchasing pistols or applying for concealed pistol licenses.
9.41.0975 Officials and agencies—Immunity, writ of mandamus.
9.41.098 Forfeiture of firearms—Disposition—Confiscation.
9.41.100 Dealer licensing and registration required.
9.41.110 Dealer’s licenses, by whom granted, conditions, fees—Employees, fingerprinting and background checks—Wholesale sales excepted—Permits prohibited.
9.41.113 Firearm sales or transfers—Background checks—Requirements—Exceptions.
9.41.114 Firearm sales or transfers—Denial of application report—Dealer’s duties.
9.41.115 Penalties—Violations of RCW 9.41.113.
9.41.120 Firearms as loan security.
9.41.122 Out-of-state purchasing.
9.41.124 Purchasing by nonresidents.
9.41.129 Recordkeeping requirements.
9.41.135 Verification of licenses and registration—Notice to federal government.
9.41.137 Department of licensing, authority to adopt rules—Reporting of violations—Authority to revoke licenses.
9.41.140 Alteration of identifying marks—Exceptions.
9.41.171 Alien possession of firearms—Requirements—Penalty.
9.41.173 Alien possession of firearms—Alien firearm license—Political subdivisions may not modify requirements—Penalty for false statement.
9.41.175 Alien possession of firearms—Possession without license—Conditions.
9.41.185 Coyote getters.
9.41.190 Unlawful firearms—Exceptions.
9.41.220 Unlawful firearms and parts contraband.
9.41.225 Use of machine gun in felony—Penalty.
9.41.230 Aiming or discharging firearms, dangerous weapons.
9.41.240 Possession of pistol by person from eighteen to twenty-one.
9.41.250 Dangerous weapons—Penalty.
9.41.251 Dangerous weapons—Application of restrictions to law enforcement, firefighting, rescue, and military personnel.
9.41.260 Dangerous exhibitions.
9.41.270 Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm—Unlawful carrying or handling—Penalty—Exceptions.
9.41.280 Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities—Penalty—Exceptions.
9.41.290 State preemption.
9.41.300 Weapons prohibited in certain places—Local laws and ordinances—Exceptions—Penalty.
9.41.310 Information pamphlet.
9.41.320 Fireworks.
9.41.330 Felony firearm offenders—Determination of registration.
9.41.333 Duty to register—Requirements.
9.41.335 Failure to register as felony firearm offender.
9.41.340 Return of privately owned firearm by law enforcement agency—Notification to family or household member—Exception—Exemption from public disclosure—Civil liability—Liability for request based on false information.
9.41.345 Return of privately owned firearm by law enforcement agency—Duties—Notice—Exception.
9.41.800 Surrender of weapons or licenses—Prohibition on future possession or licensing.
9.41.802 Proof of surrender and receipt pattern form—Declaration of nonsurrender pattern form—Administrative office of the courts to develop.
9.41.804 Proof of surrender and receipt form, declaration of nonsurrender form—Requirement to file with clerk of the court.
9.41.810 Penalty.

NOTES:

Carrying loaded rifle or shotgun in vehicle: RCW 77.15.460.

Explosives: Chapter 70.74 RCW.

Possessing a stolen firearm: RCW 9A.56.310.

Shooting firearm from, across, or along public highway: RCW 77.15.460.

Theft of a firearm: RCW 9A.56.300.


If you are going to vote on issues and are that concerned about legislation and “doing something,” remember that “Knowledge is Power” in any fight.

DCG

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Liberal logic: Washington state considers easing property tax burden with a new capital gains tax

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

Mental gymnastics required for this logic.

From MyNorthwest.com: As homeowners reel from the sticker shock of higher property tax bills (average increase 17%), lawmakers in Olympia are considering a new capital gains tax to ease some of the burden.

Acme Fuel Company has been serving Olympia for more than 90 years. The business has been passed from generation to generation. Now owners fear the Capital Gains Tax proposal will make it costly for the current generation to retire.

That’s why current owner Christophe Allen testified before the House Finance Committee. “If I go to sell my business now I’m hit with this tax on that sale.” To Allen, it doesn’t seem fair, “We’ve worked countless hours building our businesses up, nights, weekends, whatever and the value of our business, that is our retirement.”

Capital gains include profits from the stock market. The tax would be 7 percent but the first $50,000 of capital gains per couple would be exempt. That means only 2 percent of the state’s population would be taxed.

“For the past 24 years I have lived off of unearned income,” Ruth Lipscomb said. She is retired from Microsoft. “I am perfectly willing and able to pay this tax and it’s a modest tax and it will go toward things that I really care about.”

Here’s a pro-tip Ruth: You don’t need to wait for a tax to support things that you really care about. You can make a donation to the Washington State Treasurer to “assist in promoting excellence in government.” Go here!

Other exemptions include single family residences, condos, and duplexes. Also, farms and timberlands and retirement accounts.

Supporters say the money will ease the burden of rising property taxes, lowering the bill by an estimated 50 cents for every thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

“I’m not trying to feed the general fund,” said the House Finance Committee chair, Rep. Kristine Lytton. “I’m not trying to buy other programs, I’m trying to keep people in their homes.”

DCG

As predicted: Seattle panel closing in on plan to fund homeless aid with “head tax”

government solve all problems

In January I told you how the City of Seattle, which has a major homelessness problem, created a 75-person task force to solve that problem. From my post:

“The mission of the task force remains fuzzy — with a stated goal of finding solutions to “root causes,” including a lack of affordable housing and gaps in the behavioral health, criminal justice and child welfare systems that jettison people directly into homelessness.”

The City of Seattle has already allocated over $37M to address homelessness and King County has budgeted over $195M for a grand total of over $232M. But it’s never enough.

As I stated in my January blog post, “The solution now? Form a large task force which, no doubt, will recommend more new taxes.”

And, of course, I was correct with my prediction.

From Seattle Times: A Seattle task force will start wrapping up its work Thursday, setting the stage for the City Council to pass a new tax on high-grossing businesses like Amazon.

Supporters and opponents agree the council will almost certainly greenlight some version of the so-called “head tax” next month and allocate the money to combat homelessness.

Exactly how much money the tax would raise, which businesses would pay it and how the dollars would be distributed are among the details still to be sorted out.

A version of the tax almost won approval last year, but the council narrowly voted for more process instead, punting the issue to a panel of citizens and experts.

That move put the idea on the political back burner, but not for long, because the council vowed to revisit it with recommendations from the community task force and adopt a head tax (also called an employee-hours tax) or something similar by March 26.

To keep the council on track, the task force must make significant progress at its penultimate meeting Thursday, said co-chair Tony To, the executive director of HomeSight, a South Seattle nonprofit.

Underlying the debate is the knowledge that rising property taxes are “really hurting” residents and that Seattle’s homelessness crisis is “worse than it’s ever been,” To said. “People don’t want to keep talking. They want to reach a conclusion,” To said.

The $25 million-per-year-proposal rejected in November — as the council finalized the city’s 2018 budget — would have taken 6.5 cents per employee, per hour, from companies grossing more than $10 million per year (about 5 percent of all businesses in Seattle).

Serving on the task force are people from various organizations — including nonprofits that build affordable housing — and walks of life, including people who have been homeless. Also taking part are Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike’s pot shops; Tom Matthews, president of Walsh Construction; and Jesiah Wurtz, owner of Cafe Red.

Other businesses are sitting out the panel in protest. The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which represents 2,200 companies, including heavy hitters like Amazon, declined an invitation because its members saw no point in serving on a panel wedded to an idea they oppose, said Markham McIntyre, chief of staff.

Though the council resolution that created the task force leaves room for the panel to explore other “progressive” revenue tools, it says the recommendations should include an evaluation of a head tax capable of raising $25 million to $75 million a year.

“This is a sham process,” McIntyre said in an interview. “They have a predetermined outcome.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Useless: School safety bill passes in Washington senate amid day of shooting

only you are responsible for safety

There are several general ideas in this bill yet not one SPECIFIC solution. Sounds like another “feel good” bill for the politicians to tout in their re-election campaigns.

Also, the senate says law enforcement should be responsible for protecting and informing students about emergencies. Guess the members missed rulings which state police have no specific legal duty to provide protection to individuals.

From MyNorthwest.com: With all eyes on a school shooting in Florida and in the wake of a separate threat at a school in Everett on Wednesday, lawmakers in Olympia passed a school safety bill to address such tragedies.

“I’m pleased to see my colleagues unanimously support this common-sense bill to better protect all of our students,” said Senator Mike Padden. “Many times schools have to call law enforcement for information about emergencies when it should be the other way around.”

Senate Bill 6410 requires first responders to warn public and private schools in the region about incidents that would warrant a lockdown. It also creates two school safety centers — one in Eastern Washington and another in Western Washington. These centers will assist schools with resources for behavioral health, threat assessment, and suicide prevention. It also allows private institutions to contract with the public school safety centers.

“This bill would help increase safety in all schools, public and private, and it takes a proactive approach by requiring law enforcement to notify schools in these sometimes critical situations,” Padden said.

Padden, a Republican from Spokane Valley, is from the same community where yet another tragic school shooting took place in September — one boy was killed and three girls were wounded. The alleged shooter, 16-year-old Caleb Sharpe, is expected in court in May.

Padden’s bill is now in the House where it will be up for further consideration this session.

DCG

Liberal/Marxist logic: King County Executive says “fairness comes down to your ability to pay”

dow constantine

Dow Constantine: It’s not fair…

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

From MyNorthwest.com: King County Executive Dow Constantine says Washington taxes are unfair and he wants to fix them.

“Now, what is fair depends on where you stand, obviously, but I would submit this: That fairness comes down to your ability to pay,” Constantine recently said at an event for the Sound Cities Association.”

“It’s not fair to expect those with limited means to pay a larger percent of the little they have to support our collective roads, and police, and transit that are essential for all of us, for a prosperous economy and a strong community,” he said.

Constantine was recently the keynote speaker at an event for the Sound Cities Association. Here, he laid out his argument that Washington taxes are not being collected fairly. In short, families at the lowest end of the income ladder pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those earning at the highest end. Also, households in a city like Seattle are paying much more than households elsewhere.

Constantine made this example:

It was mentioned that I live in West Seattle. My folks live in the house in which I was raised. It’s a modest house owned by two long-retired public school teachers. They get their pension; they get their Social Security. And the Legislature just handed them a big property tax increase on this little house in which I was raised.

They are going to be paying more for schools statewide, but my mom’s brother and his wife – my aunt and uncle – live down in Centralia. They are also long-retired public school teachers. They also live in a modest house they’ve owned for a long time.

Their school district is going to get subsidized by my parents and they are very likely going to get a tax cut. Even though they have the exact same income as my parents. That is clearly not fair.

You can see the data he presented here(A link to his web site that provides his full speech. It doesn’t include any links to hard tax data/analysis provided by a nonpartisan organization). His speech comes as Seattle is championing an effort for an income tax; the city plans to take its case all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Constantine’s speech, however, was short on specific solutions to the issues around Washington taxes. He did point out examples of “things that could be different.” He also said “no one is actively considering” an income tax (someone might want to point him to Seattle’s Supreme Court case). Also, in August, voters rejected Constantine’s proposed $469 million sales-tax hike (“Access for All”) to raise money for art, science, and culture programs.

Constantine suggested:

  • Recast the sales tax: Apply it to more types of sales, but at a lower rate. This is also done in Hawaii, New Mexico, and both North and South Dakota.
  • Tax capital gains — income that people don’t earn — as a way to offset property taxes.
  • Allow governments to tax app downloads (Constantine admits that the local tech industry might not be in favor of this).
  • Fix “our goofy B&O tax”: The state should tax based on value added — on each stage of production — which would ultimately be paid by the end user. Businesses are currently taxed on gross receipts whether or not they make money, Constantine notes.
  • Property tax relief for seniors, veterans and other homeowners based on income.

Constantine also expanded on what taxes should primarily be used for:

  • Ensure all children get a decent education and job training that allows them to do better than their parents.
  • Build transit and a power grid for a modern economy.
  • Provide access to health care for all.
  • “And so much more.”

DCG

A “conservative” lawmaker has a plan for free tampons at Washington colleges

melanie

“Conservative” Melanie Stambaugh

Back in November 2014 I told you about this woman, Melanie Stambaugh, a Republican and former Daffodil Queen who defeated five-term Democratic incumbent Dawn Morrell in the 25th District (Washington state). From my post:

The 24-year-old old owns her own business, You Impression, which is a company that helps people build confidence, providing leadership training, anti-bullying workshops for kids, and professional development.

Stambaugh said her own confidence skills came in handy during the election. She said her strategy was really to focus on people and not focus on politics.

Stambaugh is excited for the opportunity to go to Olympia and said she’s confident that her age is not going to hinder her ability to make an impact. She thinks it will actually be a good thing for the legislature.

“I think it’s important that we have a variety of perspectives down in the legislature and really young voices are not represented.”

Turns out she’s not that conservative after all. Sounds like she’s more of a republican for the progressive voters in Washington state.

And remember, the feminists want you to believe womyn are equal, until they need you to pay for their personal hygiene products. How empowering!

From MyNorthwest.com: A House bill in Olympia aims to establish a new $1 million government program that will provide free tampons to students at Washington colleges.

“The Conservative argument is that we want to support our students achieving their education,” Representative Melanie Stambaugh told 770 KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “Currently, at our community and technical college campuses, 56 percent of the students are female. The median age is 26. These students often have more difficult financial situations. Hence, why they are going through the community and technical college system. We want to ensure that when a woman needs — often times in an emergency situation — a product, that she has it available to her.

Stambaugh is a Republican representative for the state’s 25th District (Puyallup). HB 2863 proposes to provide free tampons at community and technical colleges in Washington state. There are 34 such institutions in the state.

If approved, it would cost taxpayers an estimated $1 million a year to provide free tampons. But Stambaugh believes that is an overestimate. Washington State University in Vancouver already provides the feminine hygiene products for free, so she is looking at those costs for a more accurate estimate.

Stambaugh notes that the tampons currently available to students at colleges — for a price — don’t align with modern spending habits because they require people to carry cash. She says that only about 24 percent of purchases are made in cash nowadays.

The representative says professors at some colleges are already providing free tampons.

She knows there’s a need for it in Washington.

“The idea for this bill actually came to me from a student at Pierce College in Puyallup,” Stambaugh said. “She had noticed that many of the tampon and feminine hygiene product dispensers in the bathrooms weren’t stocked. So she started doing some research and found that there is a wave across the country where many four-year universities are now providing tampons for free.”

DCG

Illegal alien charged in Tukwila murder had been on ICE radar for months

sanctuary now

This illegal alien had previously been deported four times and now sits in King County Regional Justice Center on a $2M bail.  Tukwila is in King County, which known for protecting illegals.

From KOMO TV: A Tukwila man accused of killing his cousin had been on the radar of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for months.

Rosalio Ramos-Ramos, 37, was being sought by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) late last year and was almost turned over when an apparent lack of communication between police and Harborview Medical Center resulted in his discharge from the Seattle trauma hospital, Kent police said.

Chief Ken Thomas said police arrested Ramos-Ramos in October after he reported being involved in a sexual assault. Officers did not find any evidence of an assault, but found a drug pipe and a small amount of methamphetamine on Ramos-Ramos. They booked him into the Kent Jail in connection with misdemeanor drug possession, Thomas said.

Once at the jail Ramos-Ramos told officers he wanted to die then started fighting with corrections staff. Ramos-Ramos he said was taken to a nearby hospital then to Harborview for a head injury, according to Thomas.

While Ramos-Ramos was at Harborview police learned his identity. Thomas said officers were soon contacted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We initially did not reach out to ICE,” Thomas said. “They looked out at the booking log, saw he was in custody and they reached out to us.”

According to ICE, hospitals are “sensitive locations,” places they don’t take enforcement action unless exigent circumstances exist.

Jorge Baron, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, says he’s seen ICE take people into custody at hospitals. “The general policy of ICE about the fact there are some situations and locations where they’re generally not going to make arrests, but there are exceptions to that policy,” Baron said.

Kent police said they called Harborview daily to keep tabs on Ramos Ramos, but he was released without them knowing.

An ICE spokeswoman told KOMO over the phone Friday that the agency didn’t have information on the Tukwila man. When asked about why ICE didn’t put an officer at the hospital to watch over Ramos Ramos, she questioned why Kent police didn’t do the same.

Thomas told KOMO he has a small department and can’t take an officer off the streets for several days to watch over a man accused of committing misdemeanor crimes in his city. He said they promised to keep tabs on Ramos Ramos on behalf of ICE by calling the hospital. He said they planned to pick the man up once he was discharged and turn him over to the feds.

“I believe this person needed to be off the streets. He had been deported four times prior, he is a convicted felon and he’s a very violent person,” Thomas told KOMO during an interview on Thursday.

Harborview, in a statement, said they had no duty to give information to police over the phone. “When we care for patients who are incarcerated or under the custody of law enforcement, it is the role of the law enforcement agency to guard the patient while they are hospitalized. This particular patient was not under guard when he was released from the medical center last fall after five days of hospitalization. We also follow federal privacy laws that dictate the amount and type of patient medical information that we can release.”

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole said in the second-degree murder charges he filed against Ramos-Ramos that the man has multiple aliases and birthdates. He told KOMO that the man’s green card appears to be fraudulent.

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG