by Mark Van Streefkerk
Get ready for the eighth annual DiscoverU week this October 12-16, a week where students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will explore college and career pathways after high school. DiscoverU is a campaign in service to the Road Map Project goal of increasing post-secondary education enrollment in seven school districts in South King County and South Seattle. In anticipation of the week this year, all K-12 students in Road Map Project’s focus districts are being invited to enter an art contest. To qualify, artwork must address one of the five prompts based on DiscoverU theme days: Discover Local Jobs, Lead Your Community, Classroom to Career, College Gear, and Flash Forward Friday. $20 will be given to the first 100 qualifying entries, with $100 prize awards for each of the winners in 20 categories, as well as two $300 grand prize winners determined by popular vote. Read more about the contest and how to enter here. The contest deadline is October 2, 2020.
Continue reading Students Explore College and Careers With Upcoming DiscoverU Week and Art Contest
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Friday, exactly 50 years after Jimi Hendrix’s death, a group of roughly 100 people withstood smokey skies and rain to celebrate Hendrix’s life by listening to live music and watching as his image emerged from the paint strokes of roughly 20 local artists.
Continue reading Bold as Love: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix’s Life 50 Years After His Death
by Elizabeth Turnbull
At the age of 20, Cameron Whitten ran for Mayor of Portland. In 2012, they went on an almost two-month-long hunger strike to protest homelessness in the city. This summer, they started a fundraiser which has raised close to $2 million for members of Portland’s Black community in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Continue reading The Summer Fund That Raised $1.7 Million for Black Portlanders
by Carolyn Bick
In findings for six demonstration-related cases released today, the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) has determined that some allegations were sustained in just two of those cases against Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers. One of the cases in which allegations were not sustained was the case against an officer who allegedly pepper sprayed a young boy, because, according to the OPA’s findings, “the boy was not individually targeted.” It sustained two out of three allegations against an officer for placing his knee on a demonstrator’s neck and making unprofessional statements.
The summaries include findings for the officer who allegedly pepper sprayed a child; the officer who put his knee on a protestor’s neck and made unprofessional statements, and a fellow officer who allegedly made unprofessional statements; the allegation that an officer pushed over an elderly man in a show of excessive force; for the officer who was allegedly quoting the movie “Top Gun” when he was overheard saying that he has “a hard on for this shit, and, if they cross the line, I will hit them”; for officers who allegedly used excessive force against protestors and allegedly violated policy by not turning on their body worn cameras; and for an officer who allegedly made unprofessional comments over police radio.
Continue reading OPA Releases Findings for Six Demonstration-Related Cases: Does Not Sustain Allegations for Four and Sustains Some Allegations for Two
by Carolyn Bick
Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County (BLMSKC) has submitted a formal request to Seattle’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to “immediately, transparently, and aggressively” investigate the Seattle Police Department (SPD) over questions that the department “at worst” possibly engaged in “unlawful practices” and “at best” failed “to uphold governing officer conduct policies” over the past three months. The letter links the questions it raises to concerns regarding possible alleged coordination with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) and the Mayor’s Office.
Continue reading BREAKING: BLMSKC Calls on OIG To Investigate SPD Over Questions of Possible Unlawful Behavior, Coordination with OPA and Mayor’s Office
by Paul Kiefer
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)
On Wednesday afternoon, King County Executive Dow Constantine previewed a number of new programs he will propose as part of his 2021-2022 county budget plan next week, including alternatives to jail, community-based public safety alternatives, and divestments from the current criminal legal system. “We took up a simple refrain to guide our budget: divest, invest, and reimagine,” Constantine said. “As we support community members in co-creating our shared future, we make an important down payment on building a strong, equitable, and racially just county.”
Continue reading King County Executive Highlights Criminal Justice Reform in Budget Preview
by Jake Goldstein-Street
(This article was originally published by Capitol Hill Seattle and has been reprinted with permission)
A King County Superior Court Judge has ruled that a petition to recall Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can move forward.
On Wednesday, Judge Jim Rogers ruled that a recall campaign launched by critics seeking to oust the three-term councilmember that calls for an election after alleged violations of her oath of office could proceed.
Continue reading Court Rules that Sawant Recall Campaign Can Press Forward
by Carolyn Bick, with additional reporting by Jessie McKenna
Seattle Gay News journalist Renee Raketty was sitting on a narrow set of metal steps and trying to catch her breath when the blast ball an officer allegedly threw beneath her exploded. Hours later, still surprised and disoriented, Raketty played the video over and over again, because she still couldn’t believe what had happened. But the permanent loss of hearing in her right ear is all too real.
In the course of reporting Raketty’s story, the Emerald has discovered that SPD appears to be out of compliance with the Consent Decree. An officer’s alleged actions caused Raketty to permanently lose her hearing, which is “a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ.” It would appear that an injury of this severity would be classified as a Type III use of force, according to the SPD manual, and the Consent Decree mandates that all Type III uses of force be reviewed by SPD’s Force Review Board (FRB). But according to officials with the OPA and SPD, this case will not be reviewed by the FRB, as there does not appear to be any mechanism in practice within existing policy with which to do so.
Continue reading Local Journalist Faces Complex Accountability Process That Appears to Show SPD Out of Compliance With Consent Decree
by Jack Russillo
After failing to meet pollution control deadlines, Seattle Iron & Metals Corporation (SIMC) will pay $90,000 to fund ecological restoration and pollution mitigation work in the Duwamish River Valley.
SIMC, a scrap metal and vehicle recycling facility on the 600 block of South Myrtle Street, agreed to new pollution control measures with Puget Soundkeeper, an environmental nonprofit, in a settlement reached in January 2019. The initial settlement required SIMC to make over $1 million worth of improvements at its facility to control air pollution, wastewater emissions, and polluted stormwater discharges. Under the settlement, SIMC also agreed to pay $200,000 to the Rose Foundation to fund local restoration and pollution mitigation work in the community.
Continue reading Seattle Iron & Metals to Pay Additional Penalties After Failing to Meet Environmental Regulations
by Carolyn Bick
Amidst the wildfires and smoke blanketing the state, Washington State reached 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Sept. 15.
Continue reading Washingtonians’ Indoor Behavior Will Dictate COVID-19 Case Levels and Death Rates This Autumn, Inslee Says