Category Archives: Uncategorized

SPD responds to Council’s questions on death of Charleena Lyles

The Seattle Times has published a 45-page memo from SPD to the City Council, responding to the 34 questions they submitted following the death of Charleena Lyles at the hands of two SPD officers.

The answers are lengthy, and for the most part defy quick summaries as they dive into the nuances and complexities of the situation. SPD also refuses in many cases to speculate on what the outcome of the ongoing investigation will be. But the memo is an interesting and informative read.

City reaches verbal agreement on Civic Square project

Back in May, I reported that that the city had extended its deadline to June 30 for reaching agreement with Bosa Development on the details of the Civic Square development project — i.e. the big hole in the ground just west of City Hall.

A spokesperson for the city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department told me this afternoon that the parties reached a verbal agreement before the deadline and are now hashing out a written agreement:

We did reach a verbal agreement on all major points by the June 30 deadline, though we cannot share the deal terms publicly until we finalize the language of the written agreement. We expect that to be done over the next couple weeks.

I’ll follow up with the details once they are released. The agreement will need to be ratified by the City Council.


Should Seattle City Light join the energy imbalance market?

Since last September, Seattle City Light has been trying to convince the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee that it should be allowed to join the California Independent Systems Operators (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). On its face, it seems like an easy decision, and if SCL had done a better job on its initial pitch to the Council it might have gone through quickly. But they didn’t, and the Council members asked for more information. As the details have emerged, the case for joining the EIM has become murkier. It’s an interesting case study on the state of the power industry, and it points to some big challenges for Seattle City Light.

Let’s unpack this.

Continue reading Should Seattle City Light join the energy imbalance market?

What’s going on with the Civic Square project?

Right across the street from City Hall is the “hole in the ground,” aka the Civic Square project.  After years of starts, stops, scandals and recessions, last October Bosa Development signed an MOU with the City of Seattle and Triad Development to take over the project, pending the signing of a new development agreement with the city. Their intent was to have the next agreement signed by December 31, and Bosa would begin construction by June 30, 2018.

Since then, silence. What’s up?

Continue reading What’s going on with the Civic Square project?

Understanding the police monitor report on use of force

This week the court-appointed monitor for the implementation of the Consent Decree filed a report on how the Seattle Police Department is doing on its goals to eliminate excessive use of force.  There was a lot of good news, though a few areas of concern remain. Let’s dive in.

Continue reading Understanding the police monitor report on use of force

Keystone XL resolution shifts to slow lane

Late last week the Trump administration surprised many by announcing that it had granted approval for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project. In response, activist groups and indigenous tribes immediately began organizing opposition, and locally Council member Kshama Sawant is doing some of the heavy lifting for that effort. Sawant introduced a resolution this afternoon for the City Council’s approval that would once again register its opposition to the pipeline — and direct the city not to do business with its financial backers.

While the Council’s rules allow a resolution to be introduced and passed the same day, in this case several of Sawant’s colleagues argued for taking at least a week to understand its implications.

Continue reading Keystone XL resolution shifts to slow lane

Murray’s State of the City Address: the “good parts” version

It was a State of the City address by Mayor Ed Murray, so there was the customary lofty rhetoric, celebration of the past year’s successes, grumbling about things that didn’t go his way, and pointed barbs aimed at the Trump administration. But there were also a handful of announcements, so let’s cut to the chase.

Continue reading Murray’s State of the City Address: the “good parts” version