Graffiti, Taggers and other Abominations

Seattle Times did a terrific bit on just what it costs you and me in local tax dollars to keep our locales clean of the scrawlings made by the worm-ridden filth among us:

“The effort is expensive. Seattle Public Utilities spent about $1 million last year for graffiti enforcement, removal, education and outreach, while King County Metro Transit spent $734,000 last year to rid buses, tunnels, park and rides and bus shelters of graffiti.

It’s hard for officials to talk with any certainty about graffiti trends. Because so many city agencies deal with it, no one keeps a centralized database of complaints.

And there are a lot.

Seattle Public Utilities has averaged about 7,300 a year since 2008, said Linda Jones, manager of the graffiti-rangers team. Some are divvied up among the six rangers. The rest are handed off to other city agencies…”

So, they do it for the cheap thrills, the notoriety among other tagging SOBs, and in some cases, apparently, to feed their “addiction”.  Some never outgrow it.

The only thing that will stop these individuals is swift justice (jail, fines) and hundreds to thousands of hours of hard community service/labor.  I could think of some more violent measures, too, but I’m happy to leave those off the table for maximum, lawful penalties.

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Councilman Mike Cooper is a Jerk

Too busy looking for work lately; just a little local local politics today.

Snohomish County Councilman, and current Chairman, Democrat Mike Cooper comes off as a complete jerk to a representative of the Master Builders Association.

I believe he had a follow-up question later along the lines of, “when did you stop beating your wife?”

See, what Mike wants to do is mandate all new residental homes be installed with sprinkler systems.  The Master Builders argues that this should be a consumer’s choice.  Provocative and shocking, right?  The real shock is what it would add to a new home’s bottom line: between $5,000 – $10,000 dollars.

I’m sure you can make all sorts great arguments FOR mandating this, and I may even like the cut of your jib.  However, like all other government regulations, it’s just one more damn thing! Did you know that homes in Seattle alone cost $200,000 MORE than the national average because of excessive regulatory costs?  Now, Mike is in Snohomish County and Seattle is King County… but, trust me, a lot of regulation spills over into neighboring counties (Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, etc).

Anyway, I didn’t vote for you Mike, and I am sure as hell going to encourage other to toss your ass out during the next cycle.

One advantage of unemployment

I get to avoid crap like this in downtown Seattle…

I have the greatest sympathy for people who come here in order to find work, work hard, and desire the liberty America offers.  However, I do not tolerate it of those who are here illegally.  There has to be order to the system and respect given to those who have followed our laws and are now naturalized citizens.  And there has to be better enforcement on the border… not nationalized health care and government bailouts for private companies.  What we have now is not only chaos, it is anarchy.  And it is being tolerated by many citizens and the state.

As for the anti-war protesters… meh. I’ve developed some differing opinions about the war, but I am unsure of the effectiveness of this demonstration of yours… except that, like the May Day march, it’s going to piss off thousands of commuters.  Although, having observed downtown work patterns for years, most people will either work from home, take the day off, or simply get out of town early.  This means the number of eyeballs on the demonstrations will be further reduced.  Brilliant, eh?

Seattle PI up for sale soon? UPDATED

Sounds like confirmations are few and far between

Quoting an unnamed source, KING TV reported Thursday night that the newspaper’s owner, The Hearst Corp., planned to put the P-I up for sale soon, setting the stage for its closure in the next few months.

P-I Managing Editor David McCumber said Thursday night he was surprised by KING’s report “in the sense that I have no idea if it’s true or not.”

He also said “rumors of our demise have been exaggerated in the past.”

Here’s the original KING TV report.

Now I realize that economics and the meteoric rise of internet-based news probably has more to do with this than anything.  Internet-based new has been especially brutal because now folks can easily get all different stripes of reporting if they’re not happy with their local coverage.  And believe me, many of us in Washington are not happy.

So, in light of that, I was just curious, Mr. McCumber, how does that position as “decider-in-chief-of-the-news” feel right about now?  (Best backstory and context I could find from my past feeds on the issue are from Michelle: HERE and HERE).

Long-time Seattle natives know that Seattle PI used to be the morning paper, and the Seattle Times was the evening paper, and had been that way for a century until the spring of 2000. At that point they started competing head-to-head.  And, I’m sorry, we are just not a two-paper town anymore.

I’m guessing the PI will likely continue online.  Shame, really… it made such good fish-wrap and bird-cage liner.

UPDATED (2:10 PM PST): Confirmed, it’s for sale:

Seattle: my city is nucking futs

I work (for living) in downtown Seattle (near the waterfront).  I have not BEEN to Seattle since December 18th because it a compact-snow-and-ice-bound nightmare.  In fact, my local roads have been a nightmare.  Why?  Because the Seattle Department of Transportation leadership are a bunch of  prime-rib nutbergers:

To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”

The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.

The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”

Never mind all of the actual harmful stuff going into the Sound, we’ve got to stop adding all that salt!  God forbid during a once-every-ten-years storm we ACTUALLY PUT SOME DAMNED SALT ON THE FRICKING ROAD!  Never mind the sand that will just, naturally, muck up the sound far more than SALT!

The liquid de-icer they use here and there works to some degree, but it is still far less effective than rock salt, which the Washington State DOT does use.  Worried about your precious car?  Given the infrequency that we typically need to resort to salt, I think your precious will be all right… the rust issue is a bit overblown.  Besides, you sprung for that undercoating when you purchased it, right? Heh.

Fortunately, I can connect via VPN to work.  Not many people can do that, though.  And believe-you-me, there are lots of people either burning up vacation, sick or taking time unpaid over the last 5 work days.

The city, Sea-Tac, and many outlying areas have been at a standstill, and yet the brain-trust in Seattle refuses to change its hive-mind.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the City of Seattle leadership has done what few others are capable of: pissing off every last person of every stripe.  I am dearly hoping that voters send them all packing next election.  Not just because of this issue, but because this is a big one among SO MANY.

Seattle PI: It’s OK to be patriotic now

Piquance

Barack Obama’s presidential win held a poignant significance for liberal Seattleites: This is their America, too.

Isn’t “liberal Seattleites” a bit redundant?  Anyway…

The feeling was evident in jubilant partying in the streets, in quiet moments of reflection and in blossoms of red, white and blue.

With newfound patriotism, Seattleites want to wave the flag, hang it from their homes and stick it on their cars.

“The thing that’s kind of astounding to me is I never ever would have cared to own a flag,” said Rosemary Garner, 42. “This is the first day in my life I actually feel this funny sense of pride about my country. It’s a very foreign feeling, but it’s a good one.”

Garner, a self-described “flag virgin” who lives on Capitol Hill, bought eight flags Wednesday — some to wave and others to stick on her car to “mix and match with some nice Obama and peace signs. Then I bought a couple of flags for some friends who wanted to hang them from their truck along with their biodiesel stickers.”

Only in Seattle…

Sound familiar?