Thursday news roundup

City Council members are pondering the crane collapse; plus the 2019 One-night Count homeless numbers are released.

The Seattle Times and Crosscut preview this year’s one-night count of homeless people in King County, and for once the total number went down.

KING, Q13, and MyNorthwest report that City Council members are wondering whether last weekend’s construction crane collapse means that the city needs new regulations.

The Seattle Times reports that for the next month SPD will be conducting “emphasis patrols” in seven neighborhoods.

West Seattle Blog brings us the latest election news.

Crosscut covers an SPD report showing that there are still racial disparities in the department’s policing activities.

The Seattle Times reports that the state Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court’s ruling that I-124 is unconstitutional.

And finally, Erica Barnett explains to us what many city employees are apparently busy working on: overly-aggressive redacting of public document requests.



  1. one thing I struggle to understand is why we still seem to have such a reliance on the “One Night Count” data to make decisions.

    shouldn’t HMIS (or whatever relevant IT system) already have much of the data that comes out in the report, in a way that is more accurate, and up-to-date? (as opposed to a once-a-year snapshot)

    ONC gets a lot of press coverage – but is it really the best way to understand where we are as a foundation that will help inform us where we need to go next? AFAIK, the methodology relies heavily on what basically boils down to volunteer guesstimation re: outdoor counts…

    obviously people that are not accepting any services may not be reflected in the HMIS data – but wouldn’t we want to address the two populations separately – both for analysis + understanding as well as for approach to planning + assistance? (i.e. those that are interested in accepting services vs. those that do not)

    certainly not my area of expertise – but I do work with data, and I see so many people (including 2019 candidates) coming to the table claiming that they have the ‘right’ solutions…

    but as ECB’s recent coverage re: count of ‘exits’ demonstrates – it’s hard to know who (if anyone) actually has a decent grasp of our current situation and what, if any, momentum we have in any direction….

    1. It’s a fair question. The methodology for the One Night Count is much better today than it was a few years ago, and while still imperfect, I think many people see it as the closest thing we have to ground truth. Also, there are enough jurisdictions all doing counts and sharing the results and best practices widely that everyone is getting better at it.

      I’ve found that it’s a useful exercise in many ways, and there are significant insights to be found in it. Here’s my writeup from last year, where I highlight several.

      I’m kinda pissed that they made a big deal out of the top-level number today without releasing the full report — I think it possibly suggests the wrong conclusions. I’m going to wait until I can read and analyze the full report, hopefully at the end of the month, before I write about this year’s numbers.

      1. Looking forward to the full report and your analysis. Wondering about the change where it appears the city and/or the county determined that the dwellings at the sanctioned encampments have become acceptable housing options and the residents occupying these dwellings are no longer considered unsheltered. HUD has generally made these calls. Did HUD make an announcement or was this an independent decision by our local players?

        Most of these sanctioned encampment villages are in Seattle/King County. Haven’t heard about many of them in other parts of the country other than maybe a few small scale scattered attempts. When different agencies or players in different areas across even the local area start to independently categorize or re label a housing plan or program, it becomes next to impossible to make comparisons or assessments to determine impacts and/or outcomes.

        1. I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves on that question. Let’s wait for the full report and see what they really did before we read too much into it.

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