Index of entries from March 2006
March 31, 2006
"Dean Of Death:" Go Home
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:37 PM, 47 Comments
Liberal compassion disorder has afflicted Portland, and, in a different way, Seattle. Here, the sacrosanct rubric of "closure" engenders costly vagaries. The Seattle Police Department has announced it will contract with James Alan Fox of Boston University, "The Dean Of... [read more]

Murray v Thibaudeau in the 43rd
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:14 PM, 5 Comments
"Murray says he'll run for state Senate" Democratic Rep. Ed Murray of Seattle said today he's leaving the House to run for the state Senate. Murray represents District 43, which includes Capitol Hill, Wallingford and parts of Fremont. He's running... [read more]

Esser v Tom in the 48th
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:59 PM, 27 Comments
Democrat Debi Golden has bowed out of the race for the 48th district Senate seat, allowing erstwhile Republican Rodney Tom to pose as a Democrat so he can challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Luke Esser. It's rather telling that while the... [read more]

"Our School"
by Jim Miller, 01:56 PM, 12 Comments
I am going to break one of my own rules and bend one of Sound Politics' rules.  Ordinarily, I do not recommend books that I have not read, and a California charter school does not fit into our usual categories.... [read more]

Kudos To Kate Riley
by Jim Miller, 01:02 PM, 0 Comments
For this fine column on improvements in the Bridgeport schools. The Bridgeport School District is at the cross hairs of two important issues — state assessment testing and a growing, non-English-speaking population. About two hours' drive north of Wenatchee off... [read more]

Truth held hostage in Pierce County: Day 29
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:54 PM, 7 Comments
A Pierce County voter e-mailed me this (redacted) screen shot of the transaction log for his voter registration record, proving beyond any doubt that Pierce County maintains the voter transaction log that I requested nearly a month ago. Accordingly, Auditor... [read more]

March Strategic Visions Poll: Gregoire still unpopular
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:23 PM, 25 Comments
The March Strategic Vision Poll of Washington voters is out The poll found that 39% of respondents approved of [Mrs.] Gregoire’s1 job performance; 52% disapproved; and 9% were undecided. The poll found that 42% approved of the job performance of... [read more]

March 30, 2006
George Gilder on Blogs and the Media
by Ron Hebron, 10:42 PM, 8 Comments
George Gilder is one of the great thinkers of our time. -BIO- He follows and explains the leading edge technology better than anyone I know of. See his Gilder Technology Report. He was a leader in analyzing the social changes... [read more]

Truth held hostage in Pierce County: Day 28
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:31 PM, 10 Comments
I just e-mailed this letter to Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy regarding the transaction logs she's withholding from public disclosure. [Previous correspondence on this records request here, here, here and here] Everybody who votes in Pierce County and/or is on... [read more]

Can Computer Viruses Do This?
by Jim Miller, 04:27 PM, 18 Comments
This claim from the Seattle Police puzzles me. Seattle police detectives investigating Saturday's Capitol Hill shootings have been unable to open Kyle Huff's computer but are not optimistic it will provide a motive for the mass killing. Police confiscated two... [read more]

Tipping Point
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:24 PM, 37 Comments
Impeachment mania has spread to Sequim. The Sequim Gazette reports: For those who have seen anti-Bush protestors along Washington Street in Sequim, get used to it. Patriots Act! members plan to picket the two blocks east and west of Sequim... [read more]

Leniency toward felon voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:54 PM, 11 Comments
Both Thurston County and Clark County have decided not to press charges against the felons who committed yet another felony and voted illegally in recent elections.... [read more]

"Two residents rebuked for vote fraud"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:05 AM, 21 Comments
Yesterday's Port Townsend Leader published a story yesterday on the two Jefferson County double voters that we mentioned last week. The Leader: "Two residents rebuked for vote fraud" Kudos to Bob Edelman for doing the research on the double voters... [read more]

Barriers to Learning
by Marsha Michaelis, 11:03 AM, 12 Comments
Here's an op-ed I wrote recently, which was published in The News Tribune (Tacoma): Suppose you’re a parent struggling to make ends meet. Your children attend a local public school where eight of 10 students fail basic academic tests in... [read more]

Drug Deaths In King County Are Increasing
by Jim Miller, 10:47 AM, 5 Comments
At least according to the latest available report, which covers 2004. On page 20, you'll find an overall chart that shows that deaths from drugs and alcohol hit 253 in 2004, up from just 146 in 2001.  I am skeptical*... [read more]

Freedom of the Press must be defended, one magazine at a time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:39 AM, 9 Comments
The controversy over the Danish Muhammad cartoons just won't go away. Western Standard, a Calgary, Alberta magazine which recently published some of the cartoons, is facing a frivolous yet expensive lawsuit brought by radical Muslims before Canada's "Human Rights Commission".... [read more]

Democrats for domestic spying
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:15 AM, 12 Comments
Seattle's Congressman-for-Life, "Baghdad" Jim McDermott has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration for what he calls "domestic spying". Which is somewhat ironic in light of McDermott's own legal problems over his use of an illicitly recorded phone call... [read more]

A party of values
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:06 AM, 66 Comments
If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at a gathering where the finest minds in the Democratic Party let it all hang out, be sure to listen to David Goldstein's Podcasting Liberally. This week's installment is... [read more]

March 29, 2006
Trip Reduction
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:08 PM, 18 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on the City Council's deadly dithering over a Viaduct replacement contained this intriguing paragraph:[Councilman Peter] Steinbrueck said neither a tunnel nor a replacement viaduct "promotes trip reduction, nor provides a genuine transit alternative to the automobile... [read more]

Another good use of the online voter database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:29 PM, 12 Comments
Reader Gordy Lindstrom from Everett e-mailed on his use of our online version of the statewide voter database The attached map was made using the voter data base you have put on-line, thanks. Also, this news story in the Everett... [read more]

Israeli Election Results
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:19 PM, 8 Comments
Israelis went to the polls yesterday and gave a clear, though smaller than expected mandate to acting Prime Minster Ehud Olmert According to this article in Hebrew daily Ha'aretz, Olmert's Kadima party won 28 seats in the Knesset, the Labor... [read more]

Lindemulder re-elected to King Conservation District board
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:36 AM, 15 Comments
Snoqualmie Valley farmer Bobbi Lindemulder was re-elected yesterday as a Supervisor of the King Conservation District, defeating former Seattle Monorail lobbyist Kevin Raymond 518 - 316. KCD District Co-Coordinator Geoff Reed e-mailed this reply to my inquiry about the election... [read more]

State to appeal ruling on felon voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 22 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna just released this statement Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will appeal the King County Superior Court ruling on felon voters in Madison v. State of Washington...... [read more]

Government will get the job done! (I)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 AM, 11 Comments
Seattle's City Council continues to display no signs of making a sensible decision on the Viaduct: The Seattle City Council has a deadline of Sept. 22 to put an advisory vote on the November ballot asking Seattle voters how they... [read more]

Government will get the job done! (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 AM, 12 Comments
"State misses foster-care goals" An independent panel of national experts found the state failed to meet two-thirds of its goals in a landmark effort to improve foster care, according to a report released Tuesday.... [read more]

Government will get the job done! (III)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 AM, 11 Comments
"Replacements to haul garbage if drivers strike" The region's two largest garbage haulers are prepared to hire replacement workers if drivers go on strike, but residential service could be disrupted for weeks, King County Solid Waste Director Theresa Jennings said... [read more]

March 28, 2006
I doubt it was a love crime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:07 PM, 44 Comments
This exchange probably takes the cake for the silliest comments made by public officials about the Capitol Hill bloodbath: When asked by City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen whether the shootings were a hate crime, [Seattle deputy police chief Clark] Kimerer said... [read more]

Baghdad Jim loses appeal
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:41 AM, 66 Comments
"Appeals Court rules against McDermott in taped call dispute" In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that McDermott violated the rights of House Majority Leader John Boehner, who was heard on the... [read more]

Get out and vote in today's stealth election
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:58 AM, 21 Comments
The King Conservation District is holding a special election today for Supervisor Position 3. The race is between incumbent Bobbi Lindemulder (a Snoqualmie Valley farmer, endorsed by other rural landowners) and challenger Kevin Raymond, a Seattle Democrat activist and former... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire confirms most felons vote Democrat
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:54 AM, 27 Comments
As Matt just mentioned, a King County judge ruled that felons should be allowed to vote even if they haven't paid their financial obligations. [The Secretary of State website has the ruling here] The Seattle Times notes: In a written... [read more]

King County Judge Rules For Ineligible Felon Voting
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:14 AM, 19 Comments
Even if they haven't paid off court-ordered fines, felons would be able to vote, under a ruling made yesterday by King County Superior Court Judge Michael Spearman. Spearman has previously distinguished himself by excusing an alleged quadruple murderer from trial... [read more]

King County Is Consistent
by Jim Miller, 05:41 AM, 9 Comments
Democratic politicians, especially here in King County, generally resist requiring voters to show photo identification before they vote.  So, when I received my jury summons, I wondered if the same would be true of jury duty.  I studied the summons... [read more]

March 27, 2006
The Puzzle Of Kyle Huff
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:06 PM, 79 Comments
It's tragic to the Nth degree when kids are killers, but even more so when they are the victims of an armed madman who is also a little-known guest at an after-hours house party. There've been a number of shootings... [read more]

Truth held hostage in Pierce County: Day 25
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:16 PM, 21 Comments
Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy again refuses my request for Pierce County voter registration transaction logs Pierce County cannot produce a transaction log of its voter registration records or absentee ballot records therefore we have no public records responsive to... [read more]

March 26, 2006
Deadly State Route 2 Still Unimproved
by Matt Rosenberg, 02:14 PM, 24 Comments
Whether it's the lost-in-time burg of Index, the family-friendly hike to Barclay Lake, or skiing around Stevens Pass, there are plenty of reasons to drive on the curving, scenic two-lane State Route 2, from Monroe east to the pass. And... [read more]

What Can We Say About The Capitol Hill Killings?
by Jim Miller, 10:11 AM, 49 Comments
As those who live in the Seattle area know, and as others may know, six young people were murdered yesterday, after an all night party in the Seattle Capitol Hill neighborhood.  As always, there is no shortage of theories about... [read more]

Viaduct Madness
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:16 AM, 44 Comments
When in some locales convenient and plentiful parking is seen as a social evil, so too can replacement of a vital roadway. Such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Seattle Times reports this morning that although the city and state... [read more]

March 25, 2006
Ron Sims Capitulates
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:59 AM, 19 Comments
"Sims agrees to move back to courthouse, ends confrontation" King County Executive Ron Sims ended a confrontation with the County Council Friday by agreeing to move his office back to the county courthouse in downtown Seattle.... [read more]

Limousine Liberals for mass transit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:12 AM, 41 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on Al Gore's visit to Seattle Friday -- "Gore praises Seattle's efforts in combating global warming" The main part of the effort is to get people out of their cars: The proposals include more bus service,... [read more]

"Seven people dead in Capitol Hill shooting"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:53 AM, 27 Comments
... is the tragic headline on the Seattle Times website this morning. At around 7 a.m. a man walked into a blue rental home in the 2100 block of East Republican Street and opened fire, killing six people. More than... [read more]

March 24, 2006
The Passive-Aggressive Tango
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:13 PM, 28 Comments
While driving, have you ever, as have I, done the Seattle Passive-Aggressive Tango? Have you any advice to offer? This question may apply not only to city-dwellers, but also to suburbanites. However, it is specific to non-arterial four-way intersections with... [read more]

Aaron Dixon
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:35 AM, 15 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on Aaron Dixon, the former Black Panther and current Green Party candidate who is now challenging Republican Mike McGavick for the United States Senate seat currently held by Maria Cantwell: "Green Party Senate hopeful not a... [read more]

Greg Nickels' Lincoln Town Car Environmentalism
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:39 AM, 108 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is announcing a major set of proposals today to combat global warming. But first, some breaking news on global warming from today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Earth's warming likely irreversible, scientists say" Sea levels have been rising for... [read more]

March 23, 2006
Ron Sims, master of geologic forces
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 PM, 52 Comments
Ron Sims has been working on his scheme to unilaterally reverse the Earth's emergence from the last Ice Age, Thursday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports: "County acts on global warming". Sims signed four executive orders specifying goals and timelines for the strategies.... [read more]

McKenna to appeal WEA decision to SCOTUS
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:58 PM, 18 Comments
Just got this press release from the AG's office: OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced his office will ask the United State Supreme Court to review the Washington state Supreme Court’s decision in State ex rel.... [read more]

Who Audits the Auditors?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:15 PM, 6 Comments
I guess I do. Earlier this month I sent public records requests to the Auditors of the state's other large counties that use the same DIMS system that's used in King County (Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Clark and Yakima). Together with... [read more]

Jefferson County Prosecutor gives everybody one chance to vote twice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:24 PM, 7 Comments
This file of documents was released by Jefferson County pursuant to a records request regarding some suspected cases of double voting. Two individuals, Tami Mathias and Phineas Porter were recently discovered to have voted in both Jefferson County and in... [read more]

Ten Dollars A Day
by Jim Miller, 02:21 PM, 26 Comments
That's what I'll be paid for serving on a King County jury, starting this Monday.  Oh, and they have sent me a bus pass, too, which I will probably use.  That's not exceptional compensation, especially considering the neighborhood.  I have... [read more]

Loonie Dems Go Ga-Ga over Congressional candidate who has zero experience
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:07 PM, 23 Comments
The various lunatic fringe Democrats from Howard Dean to wacko bloggers to Eli Sanders at The Stranger (nice guy, good writer, loonie Democrat) are all going ga-ga over this year's unknown and inexperienced Eastside Congressional candidate. In last week's gushing... [read more]

Armen Yousoufian, Disenfranchised Voter
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:30 PM, 13 Comments
Armen Yousoufian is perhaps best known as the man who's been suing Ron Sims for the last nine years over violations of the Public Disclosure Act, winning the largest award for public records violations in state history. Yousoufian is also... [read more]

Cops Are Tops
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:18 PM, 8 Comments
In and around our progressive Northwest big cities, it's fashionable to treat cops with disrespect and suspicion. Even Portland's Mayor Tom Potter, the city's former police chief, for cri-yi, recently found himself with a mouthful of shoe leather after falsely... [read more]

Colville Tribes Mining Vote Hinges On Off-Rez Absentee Ballots
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:28 AM, 4 Comments
By a large margin, on-rez members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington State voted at the polls last Saturday against a controversial proposal to mine molybdenum from tribal lands on Mount Tolman. But - as... [read more]

Add this to your "No Sh*t, Sherlock" file
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:02 AM, 7 Comments
Today's P-I reports: "Political spending cap may backfire" The Legislature has acted to close a campaign-finance law loophole by limiting the stream of special-interest money into judicial elections, but it may have only rerouted the flow, not slowed it. Well,... [read more]

Puppygate Update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:48 AM, 7 Comments
Here is the news release and email that Deanron's Animal Services unit is sending out to make excuses for the botched investigation of the exceptionally cruel death of Mooie the puppy. Implicit in these documents (written by Deanron's familiar Communications... [read more]

A Lush Life, At Taxpayer Expense
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:31 AM, 19 Comments
The Seattle Times reports today that emergency services calls have been frequent at the recently-opened apartments in Seattle's Denny Triangle for homeless chronic inebriates. The facility's construction was paid for by government: a mix of local, state, county and federal... [read more]

How incompetent is DSHS?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:31 AM, 5 Comments
The AP reports today that "Washington state settles disability bias case for $325,000" The irony of this is that the disabled person awarded the settlement works as a reasonable accommodation manager in state Department of Social and Health Services. Nevertheless,... [read more]

March 22, 2006
More indictments in 2003 election
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:29 PM, 35 Comments
Today's headline in the Northwest Indiana Times: "Dozen more charged in 2003 [East Chicago] elections" The Lake County Vote Fraud Task Force has filed 56 felony charges against 12 people linked to voter fraud in the 2003 Lake County primary... [read more]

Johnson for Justice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:37 PM, 30 Comments
State Sen. Stephen Johnson (R-Kent) has officially announced his candidacy for state Supreme Court position #2, currently held by Susan Owens. Owens has voted with the majority on most of the Court's worst decisions of the last 5 years and... [read more]

Evening with John McCain and Mike McGavick
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 126 Comments
I attended last night's McGavick for Senate campaign fundraiser with Sen. John McCain (I sat at the press table in the back). The video of the speeches should be available on the campaign webcast page at some point. It will... [read more]

Bio-Diesel Boondoggle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:44 AM, 34 Comments
Anybody who thought that the state's new subsidy for bio-diesel production was something more than just another boondoggle for a faddish but economically unviable industry, should think again. Today's Seattle Times reports "Monorail officials resurface, jump into biodiesel project" Less... [read more]

Rodney Tom's Party Switch Makes Me Skeptical
by Jim Miller, 09:30 AM, 12 Comments
Olympian publisher John Winn Miller claimed that journalists are skeptical of everyone.  (Shouldn't that be "skeptical toward"?)  That claim reminded me of the stories I saw on legislator Rodney Tom's party switch.  All of them were similar; all appeared to... [read more]

The Publisher Of The Olympian Is Unhappy
by Jim Miller, 06:42 AM, 22 Comments
John Winn Miller (who is, as far as I know, no relative of mine) says that this Cal Thomas column is unfair to journalists. Cal Thomas, you've made me mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.... [read more]

March 21, 2006
Affordable Housing Watch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 AM, 49 Comments
The front page headline of yesterday's P-I was yet another Chicken-Licken-style screamer about Seattle's lack of affordable housing: "City's renters lose out as condo switch soars" Thousands displaced; many can't buy Of course the root cause of condo conversions is... [read more]

Eventually we'll all be privileged victims
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:11 AM, 46 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports: "Democrats favor transgender discrimination ban" The Democratic majority on the Metropolitan King County Council appears ready to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people. Supporters say they want to send a message that... [read more]

Dean Logan, Dogcatcher
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:51 AM, 10 Comments
Animal rescue activists are accusing Federal Way Police and King County Animal Services of bungling the case of Mooie, the 4-month-old puppy killed by acid. Today's Seattle Times reports: "Agencies deny they bungled investigation of dog's death". Pasado's Safe Haven,... [read more]

March 20, 2006
Dwight Pelz and cousin marriage
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:51 PM, 30 Comments
Back in 1995, when Washington state Democratic Party Chairman "Cuba" Dwight Pelz was a state Senator, he introduced this bill to allow first cousins to marry. According to cousin-marriage advocates "CousinCouple.com" Everyone reading this have [sic] first-cousins in their family... [read more]

And The Winner Is.......
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:30 PM, 23 Comments
OK, voting closed at noon today in our First Annual Sound Politics State Of Washington Slogan contest. You'll recall that the announcement of the state's new tourism slogan, "Say WA," was recounted in this SP post last week, which also... [read more]

Open Comments
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 27 Comments
I'm up to my eyebrows in paperwork today. My own blogging will be light. Use the comments to discuss anything on your mind.... [read more]

John McCain in Seattle Tuesday
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:51 AM, 26 Comments
Arizona Sen. John McCain will be in Seattle Tuesday stumping for Mike McGavick. The current and future Senators will be on the John Carlson show at 3pm and at a benefit dinner on Tuesday evening. Okay, I realize that calling... [read more]

So much for fiscal responsibility
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:07 AM, 41 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports: "Democrats' budget reserves might be illusory" OLYMPIA — Democratic lawmakers congratulated themselves for being frugal when they passed a state budget this month that reserves $935 million to deal with future expenses. What they didn't say... [read more]

March 19, 2006
"Innovations in Education"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:55 AM, 26 Comments
Sen. Barack Obama spoke in Seattle yesterday at a Cantwell campaign fundraising event. The title of the program was "Innovations in Education". Today's Seattle Times has the story: "Obama at Garfield to talk up education" The article leads: Of course,... [read more]

March 18, 2006
Let's Help Ryan Blethen
by Jim Miller, 10:56 AM, 36 Comments
After I read Stefan's post on the most recent Ryan Blethen column, I went to the column to read it myself.  Or, I should say, to try to read it.  But I could barely get through the first sentence, and... [read more]

At least he makes house calls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:08 AM, 9 Comments
Lawyers, journalists, politicians and economists have all been accused of being whores. But this is the first time I've heard of a doctor accused of being a whore. The medical license of a Capitol Hill doctor was suspended recently after... [read more]

Snohomish County Judge Helps Gregoire Keep Campaign Promise
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:45 AM, 16 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire1 wants you to know that she is keeping her promises. One of the most important promises of her (nearly successful) campaign to win a convincing majority of legal votes in 2004 was to not raise taxes: "To go... [read more]

But they're pro-choice!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:51 AM, 9 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Parents may get less of a choice" Seattle's difficult school-closure process is under way, but ahead may loom another far-reaching — and potentially contentious — change: reducing elementary-school choice. School Board Member Michael DeBell explains... [read more]

March 17, 2006
Full Contact Politics
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:54 PM, 22 Comments
Mark Griswold is now blogging at "Full Contact Politics". Today he comments on a Seattle Times article about illegal immigration and the church... [read more]

Speaking truth to power
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:06 PM, 24 Comments
Today's Seattle Times has a fascinating editorial column: "Creating a new democracy" The press has become so beholden to profit it struggles to play the watchdog role needed for democracy to flourish. Now there's a man who can speak truth... [read more]

Forecast for March 24: Snow
by Andy MacDonald, 12:50 PM, 26 Comments
Next Friday, March 24, Greg Nickels will release the report of his Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection. For those of you not following the mayor's activities, he has taken it on himself to become a one-man booster for the... [read more]

Maybe it's his new gig now that "The West Wing" is ending
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:35 PM, 7 Comments
Seattle Times headline: "Sheen reported in Seattle's Elliott Bay"... [read more]

Journalistic Abortion
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:44 AM, 23 Comments
Merriam Webster's dictionary defines "abortion" not only as the termination of a pregnancy, but also as 2 : MONSTROSITY 3 : arrest of development (as of a part or process) resulting in imperfection; also : a result of such arrest... [read more]

March 16, 2006
Vote Here For A New WA State Slogan
by Matt Rosenberg, 06:24 PM, 112 Comments
After a brief and painless process, I present for your voting pleasure the finalist entries in our Sound Politics "Pick A New State Slogan" contest. As you know, the state's recently unveiled tourism slogan, "SayWA," simply won't do. Sound Politics... [read more]

Rachel Corrie And Horst Wessel
by Jim Miller, 03:55 PM, 23 Comments
Since many leftists, especially in this area, seems determined to celebrate Rachel Corrie, it is time to draw the obvious parallel.  In my first substantive post, I made a simple and irrefutable argument:  The best description for the Palestinian Authority... [read more]

Seeing Double
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:41 PM, 20 Comments
Deanron says he "are serious about cleaning the voter rolls and protecting the integrity of the elections process". No, really. October 12, 2005: "Bottom line is that it is a felony to vote twice and we have safeguards like signature... [read more]

I'm quoted in The Economist!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:20 PM, 19 Comments
The Economist magazine quotes me this week in an article on mail-in voting "Stamp of approval?" [paid subscription only] Western states are closing down their polling stations. Should they? The reporter quotes the Ron-half of Deanron claiming that mail-only voting... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:41 AM, 26 Comments
In today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Robert L. Jamieson Jr. celebrates Rachel Corrie, who was killed in a self-inflicted accident while trying to protect a terrorist weapons smuggling tunnel. "Rachel's story needs to be told, now" If I may paraphrase Jamieson, the... [read more]

State Supreme Court rules for unions over workers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:42 AM, 45 Comments
The Washington Supreme Court has just ruled for the WEA on the question whether the union may use the involuntary representation fees of non-members for political purposes. The court concluded that RCW 42.17.760 is unconstitutional. The EFF, which brought the... [read more]

March 15, 2006
Arizona's Prop 200 is working just fine.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:22 PM, 26 Comments
In 2004 the people of Arizona overwhelmingly approved Prop 200, which requires new voters to present proof of citizenship upon registration and requires all voters to present proof of residence at the polling place. Naturally, those who depend on vote... [read more]

Teachers' Union Dues
by Marsha Michaelis, 01:58 PM, 33 Comments
Speaking of teacher salaries, how much must teachers pay each year to the Washington Education Association and its local, regional and national affiliates? An average of $763. Kent and Bellevue teachers pay more than $1,000. It varies by district. To... [read more]

Teacher Salaries
by Marsha Michaelis, 12:20 PM, 51 Comments
If you would like to know the 2005-06 individual salaries/benefits for the teachers and other staff in your school district, you can find them at this link. The data is provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.... [read more]

WA Iz Wussup
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:02 PM, 57 Comments
After what one official calls a "long and arduous" effort, the state of Washington has come up with a new tourism slogan: "SayWA." As in "Say What?" "Thirty-five years ago I smoked dope and probably could have come up with... [read more]

Whale murdered by religious fundamentalists
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:01 PM, 9 Comments
It turns out that Luna, the Orca whale killed by a tugboat propeller last week, was murdered by religious fundamentalists: By 2004, Luna's playful bumping up against boats and floatplanes was considered a serious hazard. Fisheries officials devised a plan... [read more]

Great Moments in Public Education
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 11 Comments
"Olympic Peninsula high school principal charged with voyeurism"A high school principal accused of surreptitiously taking at least 100 video images of a nude and partly clad 15-year-old girl at his home has been charged with voyeurism.... [read more]

City wants tax boost to fix roads
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:55 AM, 19 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is seeking to raise taxes to pay for a $500 million backlog in basic road maintenance. The details of the tax and where the money will go are still up in the air, but the safest... [read more]

Any Republicans On The Evergreen State Faculty?
by Jim Miller, 09:16 AM, 15 Comments
After I did this post, refuting part of a Froma Harrop column, I got to wondering about one of Washington's more famous institutions of higher learning, Evergreen State College.  I had found just one open Republican on Harvard's faculty, and... [read more]

March 14, 2006
Tom switches teams
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:06 PM, 172 Comments
State Rep. Rodney Tom (Medina) has announced that he is switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and will be challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Luke Esser in the fall. "I realized the far right has complete control of the... [read more]

Solidarity Forever
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:42 PM, 65 Comments
A group of state employees is filing a lawsuit over mandatory union dues... [read more]

Government-funded sex-change operations are saved!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 28 Comments
The Democrat-controlled legislature reversed itself and restored government funding for sex-change operations.... [read more]

What would state's students do without Gregoire?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:23 AM, 41 Comments
Seattle Times headline: "State's students not ready for global marketplace, Gregoire says" Washington schools aren't preparing students adequately to compete in a tough global marketplace, and top-to-bottom overhaul is needed, [Mrs.] Gregoire1 said Monday. Gregoire said the state needs to... [read more]

Sims slap-down
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:57 AM, 8 Comments
The King County Council has slapped Ron Sims: "Sims' plan to relocate office nixed by council" The King County Council on Monday slapped down County Executive Ron Sims' plan to move his office to a new county building next year.... [read more]

Bait and switch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:51 AM, 14 Comments
"Streetcar taxes for South Lake Union landowners may rise" South Lake Union property owners may have to pay more in taxes than they expected to fund the streetcar line scheduled to open late next year. Because a federal grant did... [read more]

March 13, 2006
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 AM, 44 Comments
The terrorism enthusiasts at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board are having a virtual pancake breakfast this morning to celebrate Rachel Corrie, who accidentally died three years ago while trying to protect a terrorist smuggling tunnel "Rachel Corrie: Invisible no more"... [read more]

Good riddance to foreign language ballots
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:15 AM, 25 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Foreign-language ballots could lose legal underpinning" the section of the federal Voting Rights Act that required King County to provide ballots in Chinese, and three other Washington counties to offer them in Spanish, will expire... [read more]

March 12, 2006
Mrs. Gregoire's Freudian slip
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:28 AM, 60 Comments
Sunday's Seattle Times: "[Mrs. Gregoire1] thanks Teamsters for votes" With Teamsters national President James Hoffa Jr. looking on, Gregoire thanked the 300 or so Teamsters shop stewards assembled at the Washington Convention and Trade Center for helping her win the... [read more]

March 11, 2006
Q: How do you make $7 billion disappear?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:24 PM, 22 Comments
A: Ask Paul Allen. Before Seattle's city leaders pour any more money into Paul Allen's South Lake Union biotech boondoggle, they should stop and read this article from today's Wall Street Journal : [No U.S. cable companies] are as feeble... [read more]

March 10, 2006
What would man who killed wife do without man who killed wife?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:41 PM, 10 Comments
"Man Who Killed Wife Says He Deserves Maximum Sentence"... [read more]

Overheard in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:39 PM, 27 Comments
Josh Feit at The Stranger blog has an hilarious account of an encounter between Seattle Times correspondent David Postman and Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-Mercer Island).... [read more]

End to Hostage Crisis Promised
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:25 PM, 15 Comments
Deanron's lawyer promised today to release the remaining voter registration transaction log records, raising hopes for a satisfactory resolution of the 161 day "Truth Held Hostage" crisis. In a letter faxed to my attorney today, King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting... [read more]

They might pretend to be Republican-lite, but they're still the same old tax-and-spend Democrats
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:05 AM, 17 Comments
The Democrats in the legislature are declaring victory ... for their Republican-inspired accomplishments When majority Democrats wrapped up this year's legislative session Wednesday night, some of their biggest achievements read like a Republican Party wish list. They took steps to... [read more]

Mrs. Fix it
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:09 AM, 48 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports: "U.S. senator wants to know why Medicaid funded sex operations" The head of the Senate Finance Committee wants [Mrs.] Gregoire1 to explain why the state's Medicaid system is paying for erectile implants, sex-change operations and breast... [read more]

Voter database should be stable now
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:33 AM, 5 Comments
The voter database was down for a couple of hours this evening for a software upgrade. Now that the machine has brand new memory, and the latest production versions of Linux and Oracle, I shouldn't have to screw around with... [read more]

March 09, 2006
Q: What's the difference between Washington and Ohio?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:12 PM, 29 Comments
A: In Ohio the county prosecutors do their jobs. In Ohio there are actual consequences for election workers who violate election laws. Today's Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports: "3rd worker indicted in probe of vote recount" A third employee at the Cuyahoga... [read more]

Education Quagmire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:51 PM, 13 Comments
"Gunshot fired at Rainier Beach High, prompting brief lockdown" Rainier Beach High School has reopened after a brief lockdown that went into effect when a student fired a gun on campus, according to school officials and Seattle police. "The insurgency... [read more]

Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast and Puppet Show
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:41 PM, 40 Comments
This is not a joke. The Rachel Corrie Memorial Committee of Victoria Invites you to a pancake breakfast at Denny's Restaurant Sunday March 12 , 2006 10 am. Meanwhile, Seattle's Consolidated Works theater is presenting a Rachel Corrie puppet show... [read more]

Holding drivers over a barrel
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:17 AM, 15 Comments
A deal in the legislature over a "regional transportation package" is characterized as "Sound Transit hits roadblock" Sound Transit's timetable for building more light rail could wind up being delayed because of the region's indecision over how to replace the... [read more]

Good question
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:25 AM, 26 Comments
This week's The Stranger speculates on the likely demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer If a failing newspaper like the P-I dies, and it dies in a city that experts agree can't support two daily newspapers anyway, and it also happens... [read more]

The Executive doth protest too much, methinks
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:23 AM, 34 Comments
Today's P-I reports "Sims attacks critic of office move" Turning up the heat in his simmering dispute with the King County Council, County Executive Ron Sims has written the council to register his "extreme displeasure" with what he calls "unsupportable... [read more]

March 08, 2006
Voter database is back up!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:44 PM, 14 Comments
The voter database is back up. The machine it was running on had a hardware failure. Fortunately it was still under warranty. I've uploaded the latest (Feb. 28) release of the database from the Sec. of State. The new distribution... [read more]

SB 6362 passes the Senate
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:15 PM, 10 Comments
SB 6362 just passed the Senate 47-1. The bill is a substantial improvement over the existing registration and challenge statutes, and a huge improvement over the first version of the bill that passed the Senate. The requirement for the challenger... [read more]

Truth held hostage: Day 159
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:29 PM, 11 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna informs me that the new Public Records Act Model Rules are now effective and posted online with the rest of the Washington Administrative Code. My interest here is obtaining the records, not in going to court... [read more]

Syrup Taxes
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:52 AM, 10 Comments
The House just voted 84-13 to grant food service businesses a B&O tax credit for taxes paid on sales of carbonated beverage syrup. The fact that syrup was specially taxed in the first place is just plain nuts.... [read more]

Re-elect Terwilliger?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:06 AM, 10 Comments
Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger wants the county's charter review commission to end term limits for the county's elected officials, the Everett Herald reports: "Auditor says term limits' time is up" "I think term limits have come and gone and... [read more]

More deadly dithering on the Viaduct
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:15 AM, 13 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire1 is encouraging Seattle politicians to put lives at risk by noodling around over the Viaduct: The Seattle City Council could have a key role in deciding the fate of the Alaskan Way Viaduct under a proposal put forward... [read more]

How low can one go?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:49 AM, 7 Comments
"Local woman rips off Girl Scout with phony $100 for cookies"... [read more]

Five strikes and you're out
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:49 AM, 14 Comments
The state Senate has passed the felony DUI bill.... [read more]

March 07, 2006
Truth held hostage: Day 158
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:42 PM, 24 Comments
Maureen Dowd is on vacation, so as a substitute today the King County Journal has published an op-ed from Councilmembers Larry Phillips and Jane Hague: "What we've done, so far, to fix King County Elections" [scroll down to the bottom... [read more]

GOP Precinct Caucuses tonight
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:34 AM, 20 Comments
King County Republican Precinct Caucuses are held this evening at 8pm at locations around the county. The purposes of the caucus are to: meet other Republicans in your neighborhood, discuss issues that are of interest to you and to make... [read more]

Update on SB 6362
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:35 AM, 23 Comments
Sen. Kohl-Welles' aide responded to my inquiry on the status of election reform bill SB 6362, which House improved with some impressively good amendments with which the Senate has not yet concurred: The Senate voted to concur with all amendments... [read more]

Nickels wants another 500 million nickels a year
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:30 AM, 21 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is asking city taxpayers to give him another 500 million nickels a year: Mayor Greg Nickels would like to ask Seattle voters for at least $25 million a year in new property taxes to repair crumbling... [read more]

March 06, 2006
Voter database update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:10 PM, 8 Comments
* Unfortunately, it appears that the machine I was using for the voter database was suffering from a hardware malfunction and has now died. I'll know more about having it repaired/replaced after I talk to technical support in the morning.... [read more]

SB 6362: "DNC"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:42 PM, 5 Comments
It looks like the Senate has given the House's amendments to SB 6362 a Do Not Concur. It would be unfortunate if this means that the bill is beyond resuscitation, because those were the most sensible reforms of the voter... [read more]

The Seattle Times Versus The Facts
by Jim Miller, 01:50 PM, 51 Comments
First, the Seattle Times: Transcripts and a government video revealed the administration and the president were warned in advance about the perils of Hurricane Katrina, the vulnerability of levees and the potential for catastrophe. The president is not directly responsible... [read more]

Do the legally blind even drive?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:32 PM, 15 Comments
The Senate will shortly be voting whether to concur with the House's amendments to SB 6287 "Authorizing special parking privileges for the legally blind"... [read more]

The Seattle Times Censor Slipped
by Jim Miller, 12:35 PM, 3 Comments
And let this commentary on the Danish cartoons be published.  Granted "Brewster Rockit" is not the equivalent of an article, a column, or even an op-ed, but it's better than nothing.  And today's strip is mildly funny — and better... [read more]

Is this an equal protection violation?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:25 PM, 17 Comments
The state House approved SB 6196 last week, which would require that 1 of the 10 seats on the Washington State Board of Health be reserved for a member of an Indian tribe. This bill looks pretty funny for a... [read more]

L.W.D.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:04 AM, 20 Comments
The Democrats in the state Senate seem to be having difficulty with HB 3317, which would make a driver's 5th DUI conviction a felony.... [read more]

Another day, another lame briefing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:23 AM, 18 Comments
The King County Council will receive a briefing this morning on the "Status of King County Elections". Two groups will brief the Council -- the Elections Center, which conducted the $300,000 fraudulent audit last year, and the "Citizens Election Oversight... [read more]

March 05, 2006
Truth held hostage: Day 156
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 AM, 17 Comments
As sure as the sun rises and sets, Deanron continues to hold the voter database transaction log hostage. By unlawfully withholding these public records for yet another weekend, Deanron has put the county's taxpayers at risk to pay out yet... [read more]

March 04, 2006
Sonics Negotiations Break Down
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:37 PM, 37 Comments
It looks like the Sonics won't be getting a taxpayer subsidy from the legislature this year after all. Good. Not that I have anything against the Sonics. I just think the owners should raise money for their team on the... [read more]

March 03, 2006
Truth held hostage: Day 154
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:17 PM, 18 Comments
A whole week has passed since I last heard from Deanron. He's still holding the public's documents hostage and he's going to make me haul him in front of a judge before I can get them (details here and here).... [read more]

Coming up short
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:49 PM, 11 Comments
King County's three main daily newspapers all had editorials this week about the final report of Cheryl Scott's "independent task force" on elections. ( King County Journal, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I). All three reached similar conclusions: Deanron still needs to... [read more]

Marysville vote upheld
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:49 PM, 7 Comments
Today's Everett Herald reports that the recount of the Marysville levy vote upheld the measure's passage by a tiny margin: "Regardless of how you voted, I think people in general will have a better sense of confidence in the system,"... [read more]

Steves World
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:21 PM, 59 Comments
World traveller Rick Steves has an (unintentionally) hilarious op-ed in yesterday's Seattle Times: "The real threat to U.S. security". Steves argues that the biggest threat to our security is our own military. He suggests in earnest that we accept Osama... [read more]

Tunnel of Death
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 15 Comments
This is the first time I've ever had the opportunity to say this, but both Joel Connelly and Joni Balter have perfectly sensible columns this week. Both columns oppose Greg Nickels' insanely expensive Viaduct tunnel proposal. Oddly, the state House... [read more]

Finally, some positive election reforms
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 13 Comments
Watching the floor vote on SB 6362 last night was rather encouraging. Although the bill that passed out of the Senate was seriously flawed, Rep. Toby Nixon's 7 amendments transformed the bill into positive legislation. This is one of the... [read more]

March 02, 2006
Our Senators against the Patriot Act - mostly
by Ron Hebron, 10:51 PM, 32 Comments
The Patriot Act renewal passed the US Senate 89 to 10. It was modified with additional privacy protections. This is a clear victory for President Bush. In a previous vote fifteen senators voted to filibuster it including our own Senators... [read more]

Voter database update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:31 PM, 14 Comments
And speaking of positive developments in the world of elections, Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell sends us this encouraging progress report on the statewide voter database. The new monthly update will be released tomorrow. I'll post it online as... [read more]

Update on SB 6362
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:14 PM, 21 Comments
Rep. Toby Nixon emails: latest word is that the Secretary of State supports all six of my amendments and the Democrats will accept them. We will work on a list maintenance bill for next year that will allow a more... [read more]

Truth held hostage: Day 153
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:09 PM, 4 Comments
Deanron still hasn't budged from his intransigent defiance of the Public Disclosure Act. The transaction log records I requested more than five months ago are still being held hostage (more details here and here). Thanks to everybody who has sent... [read more]

Grade Inflation Must Not Be A Serious Problem
by Jim Miller, 02:22 PM, 12 Comments
At least not in Renton. Renton High School set strict academic standards for any students hoping to go to the state tournament.  Students needed a B+ average (3.3) to go to Wednesday morning's game. The Renton cheerleaders were there, the... [read more]

Urgent Legislative Alert: Fix this crazy "election reform" bill or kill it
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:29 AM, 16 Comments
SB 6362, the Democrats' deranged, fraud-friendly "election reform" bill was placed on Second Reading by the Rules Committee today, meaning that it is headed for a floor debate this afternoon. Rep. Toby Nixon has proposed a number of sensible amendments.... [read more]

March 01, 2006
Voter Database Update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:22 PM, 17 Comments
* The Voter Database has been down for much of the last two days due to server problems. I think this has been fixed, but only time will tell. * The Secretary of State was scheduled to release the second... [read more]

Truth held hostage: Day 152
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:38 PM, 22 Comments
Deanron still shows no signs of obeying the Public Disclosure Act and releasing all of the transaction log records I requested more than five months ago (more details here and here). A big thank you to everyone who hit the... [read more]

Seattle could lose tunnel option for viaduct
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:18 AM, 36 Comments
Today's P-I reports that the state House Transportation Committee voted yesterday to focus planning on building a new elevated viaduct if money for a tunnel isn't in place by April 1. Seattle city officials and legislators prefer the more expensive... [read more]

More Washington place name changes expected
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 33 Comments
Now that King County has been officially renamed and expensively relogoed as Martin Luther King County, here are some other Washington places whose names can be expected to change. One of the stated reasons for changing King County's name was... [read more]

5th time's a charm
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:29 AM, 25 Comments
The Washington legislature is starting to get tough on crime: "Bill would make 5th DUI a felony" Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail — no matter how many times you've been... [read more]

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