Tag Archives: PubliCola

Under Pressure, County Executive Constantine Cancels Plans to Expand SoDo Shelter

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Friday that in response to “community feedback,” the County will abandon plans to provide new shelter beds and a sobering center on vacant land next to the existing 270-bed Salvation Army shelter in SoDo. In a statement, Constantine said, “It is clear that building trust and resolving underlying concerns about the conditions in the community today will take considerable time before we can move forward with any added service capacity.”

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Harrell’s Budget Would Move Parking Enforcement Back to SPD and Use JumpStart to Backfill Budget

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Mayor Bruce Harrell’s first budget proposal would use JumpStart payroll tax revenues to shore up spending for non-JumpStart programs, move the City’s parking enforcement officers back into the Seattle Police Department (SPD) from the Department of Transportation (SDOT), and provide pay increases to homeless service providers well below the rate of inflation.

Continue reading Harrell’s Budget Would Move Parking Enforcement Back to SPD and Use JumpStart to Backfill Budget

Metro Wants to Get Rid of Cash Fares. Will Vulnerable Riders Be Left Behind?

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)

Join me in helping the Emerald create ripples and sparks everywhere! Information is Power! Imagine media for, by, and accountable to the community — thankfully, you don’t have to, because the Emerald already exists! As a founding board member living in a community so often treated as powerless, I’ve seen the Emerald grow to become a beacon of light that reminds us of our power, our wisdom, and our agency. But we can’t continue to do it without sustainable financial resources that allow us to thrive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28, by becoming a recurring donor! 

—Bridgette Hempstead, Community Activist, Founding Board Member, & Rainmaker

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, King County Metro plans to rip out its existing fare boxes, which accept cash, tickets, and ORCA transit passes, and replace them with a cash-free payment system — part of a long-term plan to expedite boarding, integrate the County’s bus system with Sound Transit, and reduce conflicts between riders and drivers. “Every second you save at the curb is money you can reinvest at keeping service operating,” said Carol Cooper, Metro’s Market Innovation Section manager.

Continue reading Metro Wants to Get Rid of Cash Fares. Will Vulnerable Riders Be Left Behind?

Davison’s Plan to Clear Case Backlog Includes Dismissing Nearly 2,000 Misdemeanors

by Erica C. Barnett


(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


City Attorney Ann Davison’s office announced Davison will decline to prosecute nearly 2,000 misdemeanor cases referred by the Seattle Police Department as part of an effort to eliminate what she has described as a 5,000-case backlog left over by her predecessor, Pete Holmes. “In order to maintain close-in-time filing for present day cases, some cases from the backlog will be declined, including those involving: Property Destruction, Theft, Criminal Trespass, and Non-DUI Traffic,” the announcement from Davison’s office says.

Continue reading Davison’s Plan to Clear Case Backlog Includes Dismissing Nearly 2,000 Misdemeanors

A Month After ‘Operation New Day’ Crackdown, Impacts on Crime Remain Unclear

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A month has passed since the Seattle Police Department (SPD) moved its mobile precinct to the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle, scattering an open-air market for drugs and stolen merchandise that had recently been the scene of two murders.

Continue reading A Month After ‘Operation New Day’ Crackdown, Impacts on Crime Remain Unclear

Sound Transit Fare Enforcement Plan Could Send Riders to Court & Collections

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


This Thursday, April 7, Sound Transit’s executive committee will take up a proposed new fare enforcement policy that would reinstate fines of up to $124 and impose legal penalties against riders who repeatedly fail to pay their fares. The new policy, if adopted, will go into effect on Sept. 1.

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Despite National Search, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz Is Well-Positioned to Stay

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced on Thursday that he plans to launch a national search for a permanent police chief in April, and publicly encouraged interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz to apply for the role. While Diaz is Harrell’s most obvious option to lead the Seattle Police Department (SPD) permanently, Seattle’s City Charter requires the mayor to run a competitive search process for a new police chief.

To comply with the charter, Harrell will need to choose the next permanent chief from a field of three finalists, and the City Council will need to confirm Harrell’s pick.

Continue reading Despite National Search, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz Is Well-Positioned to Stay

Closure of King County’s Only Work Release for Women Raises Gender Equity Questions

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


When the only work release facility for women in King County closed last November, it sparked no public outcry — in fact, Washington’s Department of Corrections (DOC) didn’t even announce it was closing. But for women from King County awaiting their transfer from prison to a work release facility, the closure of the Helen B. Ratcliff House in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood presented a new hurdle.

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Councilmembers Say Better Rent Data Could Preserve Affordable Housing

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Until 2017, elected officials (and reporters) hoping to get a handle on the availability and cost of rental housing in Seattle relied on reports from a private company called Dupre + Scott, whose forecasts used cheeky videos and graphics to illustrate market predictions and trends. Since Dupre + Scott shut down, the City has relied on Census tract-level data to assess housing trends, including residential displacement — a blunt, high-level instrument that does not account for differences between adjacent neighborhoods that may be in the same Census tract.

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Surprise Sweep Displaces Encampment, Scattering Unsheltered People Throughout Downtown

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A three-week standoff between mutual-aid volunteers and the City of Seattle over a row of tents across the street from City Hall ended abruptly this morning, March 9, in a surprise sweep spearheaded by police and the Seattle parks department, who cordoned off Third and Fourth Avenues between Cherry and Washington Streets and began ordering people out of their tents at 8:00 am. (The parks department posted removal signs at 6:00 a.m., giving anyone who happened to be awake just two hours to pack up and get out.)

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