Washington

Slog PM: Bulletproof Vest Ad Downtown, Inflation Reduction Act Now a Law, Seattle Trees Enjoy Legal Win

This weekend was, no matter how you cut it, just plain nuts. Guns. Guns. Guns. People ducking, people crying, people bleeding. Nonstop. Can we expect more of this sort of thing as Seattle and the region combine weak gun laws with global warming (not to mention poverty)? The heat with the heat? And we are now heading into another miserable spell of 90-degree days. More hotheads. More brains fried. More nights when an argument almost immediately explodes into bullets everywhere. To make matters worse, I saw a digital advertisement for bulletproof vests on a building across the street from Nordstrom. That’s where we are now. When will fall cool us, save us?

Breaking news from Stranger reporter Hannah Krieg: After a long, long saga, the City Council voted to authorize the Seattle Police Department to dig into its deep pockets and offer lateral recruits up to $30,000 and new recruits up to $7,500 in hiring bonuses.

During the meeting, Councilmember Lisa Herbold added amendments to sunset the program in December of 2024 and not include cops who quit SPD within two years of being rehired. The naysayers liked that addition, but ultimately Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Teresa Mosqueda and Tammy Morales voted “No.”

Those three council members agreed that more cops would not make for a safer Seattle–that goal would be better achieved by funding police alternatives, housing, and health care access. Morales said it best: “Until we acknowledge the disparity and the impact of these policy choices on the very people we claim we want to keep safe, until we allocate our finite public resources in a way that can change the conditions that lead to public safety problems, we will continue to spin our wheels on safety. I cannot in good conscience support continuing to deny other City departments the resources they need to provide critical services to Seattleites who need more than a badge and a gun to improve their communities.”

The woman whose life ended between the steel wheels of a Link train and the platform at Mount Baker Station? It was an accident, pure and simple. On Sunday, she, Nicole Stephanie Lyons, stumbled right into the end of all there is, as far as we know. The block universe theory says she may exist in the past, but she certainly does not exist in the slice of time we call now. Footage from train and station cameras revealed the fact of the accident to investigators. Lyons was 39.

We permit this sort of thing, but it doesn’t have to happen. Cars do not need to go fast within the city. We can control their speed. But the illusion of freedom sells these dangerous machines.

The trees of Seattle won an important legal battle. It turns out that the Master Builders Association was their enemy. This group wanted to delay the implementation of rules that protect our trees. But, as Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reports, the Hearing Examiner ruled against the Master Builders Association. Please note, however, that I think human density and trees can coexist. It is a phony problem to insist it is one or the other. More trees. More buildings with people.

If you read Anthony Trollope’s greatest novel, The Eustace Diamonds, you will find a plot that has as its gravity a class of people called London Thieves. Only they could commit an identifiable crime in his 19th century mystery. Now, do we have something like this in 21st century Seattle? A class of thieves specific to our city? If we do, I would identify them as the ones who stole Easy Street Records’ van this weekend. According to My Northwest: “The van was given to the [West Seattle business] by singer-songwriter and Seattle-native Brandi Carlile: it was the first thing she bought when she first signed with Columbia records in 2004.” These truly are Seattle Thieves.

Enough about Trump and his missing passports and what have you. Today, America made a step in the right direction. The Inflation Reduction Act became the law of the land. Sadly, however, our dire situation needs giant steps of this kind to make a real difference.

Is it happening now? Will it happen tomorrow? Or did it happen yesterday. All we know for sure is that “any day now” the human population will cross the eight billion mark. The prediction, however, is we have about two more billion to go to reach our population peak. Much of the growth will happen, it is believed, in Africa.

Goodnight, Wolfgang Petersen.

Goodnight, Lance Taylor.

Let’s end PM with a John Coltrane classic, “Giant Steps.” We are in desperate need of them right now in this increasingly doomed world of ours.

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