Category Archives: public health

Heroin task force report: another weapon of mass distraction

A full read of the 99-page report of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force paints a very different picture than what the press reported. The report isn’t without its faults, but nevertheless it’s worth understanding what it actually says — and doesn’t say.

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The Mayor’s plan to get RV’s off the streets is a total bust

Remember back at the beginning of the year when there was all the fuss about homeless people living in RV’s on the streets of Seattle? And the Mayor put forth a plan to create RV “safe lots” to get them off the streets, provide some basic support, and help them plug into the human services system? Well, two weeks ago Scott Lindsay, Special Assistant to the Mayor, admitted to the City Council that the RV safe lot plan is an expensive failure. Oh, and everything else in the Mayor’s plan related to RVs has also failed.

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Is there lead in Seattle’s drinking water?

First there was Flint, Michigan’s horrific revelations of high levels of lead in the city’s water supply. Last week, Tacoma revealed that it had found high levels of lead in samples taken from older homes, and this morning it was reported that two Tacoma schools tested for lead in its water last year.  This has raised questions about whether the residents of Seattle should also be concerned about lead in their water. This morning, officials from Seattle Public Utilities briefed the City Council on the issue, and the good news is that almost no one in Seattle should be worried. But understanding how lead gets into the water, who is at risk, and what SPU does to ensure our water is high-quality, is a complicated affair worth taking a few minutes to understand.

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