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December 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM
To some, smoking pot freely at Seattle Center was liberating, a step out of the shadows. For others, it was a chance to partake in a little history — and at least one joint the size of a burrito.
The one-year anniversary celebration of legal weed in Washington drew about 400 tokers by 5 p.m., despite the frigid cold. Most of them crowded into a tent in the fenced-off party area, which quickly filled with sweet smoke, making it what’s called in pot parlance a “hot box.”
Alison Holcomb, chief author of the legal pot law, said Hempfest volunteer Nathan Messer asked her, “Is this the largest legal hot box in the world?”
Why not celebrate in the warmth of home with friends?
“That’s like posing the same question to someone in a beer garden,” said Duncan Rolfson, 21, of Tacoma. “It’s more fun to enjoy something social in public.”
“This is kind of history in the making,” said Lauren Donat, 21, of Seattle. “And I want to be able to say to my kids, ‘Isn’t it funny we had to actually fight to do it.’”
December 4, 2013 at 5:26 PM
In what he called an effort to make legal pot successful, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes urged state officials to change the way they measure the 1,000-foot distance between pot businesses and prohibited areas frequented by youth.
Holmes also called for the state to increase the number of pot stores allocated to Seattle from 21 to 50. And he asked state officials to give preference in licensing to existing medical-marijuana facilities that show they can comply with rules for the new recreational-pot system.
Holmes was a sponsor of Initiative 502, the legal-weed law approved by voters last year. He said he was making “all these suggestions for the simple reason that, as a sponsor, I want to see I-502 be a success.” Without a more liberal interpretation of the 1,000-foot buffer and without more stores, Holmes said, the state risks handing customers to the illicit market.
But a spokesman for the state Liquor Control Board, the agency implementing the law, said it would likely be awhile before Holmes’ ideas were adopted, if at all. “The board has considered the options in his letter” during 10 months of rule-making, said Brian Smith. He emphasized that the board had initially opted to measure the 1,000-foot buffer by “common path of travel,” which Holmes wants. But after adopting that rule, the top federal prosecutors in Washington state met with Gov. Jay Inslee and argued for stricter as the “crow flies” measurements.
December 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM
Week Two of applications for state pot-business licenses saw another 397 applications for growing, processing and retailing licenses.
That brings the total number of licenses sought to 1,326, with two more weeks to go.
Here’s a map of proposed locations:
Growing remains the most popular license, with 635 applicants. Processing is next with 461. Retail lags behind with 250 applicants.
The most popular counties for growing are King with 86 applicants, Snohomish with 70 and Spokane with 61.
A lottery for retail stores in Seattle looks increasingly likely. State officials have received a total of 44 Seattle store applications. They have allocated just 21 stores to Seattle, out of a total of 334 proposed stores.
It should be noted that the field of Seattle applicants could be winnowed by the state’s vetting process, which includes fingerprinting and background checks, and confirmation that proposed locations are more than 1,000 feet from prohibited areas such as schools and parks.
Tacoma and Vancouver might also see lotteries for stores, as Tacoma has 17 applicants for eight allocated stores, and Vancouver has 13 for six stores.
November 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM
A man was shot in the foot during a large fight outside a Pioneer Square nightclub at closing time.
Just before 2:30 a.m. today Seattle police received calls about brawling and shots fired in a parking lot outside Volume at 172 S. Washington St.
Witnesses offered little information, according to police. Volume employees told police a man inside the club had been shot in the foot. The 32-year-old was taken to Harborview Medical Center with a minor wound to his toes, police reported.
Police said the man told officers he was a liquor distributor and promoter and had gone out to his car to get more liquor when he saw a large fight in a parking lot. He heard shots and ran into the club, police said, and realized he was wounded in the foot.
Police said witness accounts were vague and conflicting. They had no information about suspects, and no other damage or injuries were reported.
November 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM
A man was shot and critically injured in the University District early Saturday morning, but Seattle police learned little from people near the scene.
At just before 2 a.m. officers on patrol near 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 42nd Street heard gunshots. A 911 call came in reporting someone had been hit by gunfire.
Officers found “numerous” people in the area, including a man with a gunshot wound to his chest. Medics transported him to Harborview Medical Center.
Officers were able to track down one witness by phone who agreed to return to the scene. He said he saw shots fired, but was trying to get out of the area and didn’t see more.
The motive for the shooting was unknown.
November 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM
Pot entrepreneurs eager to get into the state’s new recreational-marijuana industry started submitting license applications Monday.
By 2 p.m., 299 applications had been received at the state Department of Revenue (DOR), the first stop in the application process.
While business was brisk at DOR there were no long lines of pot entrepreneurs at the agency’s offices.
Everyone is being encouraged to apply on-line because it is more convenient, said DOR spokeswoman Beverly Crichfield. Still, some folks “just sort of trickled into” DOR offices Monday, Critchfield said.
There’s no rush for entrepreneurs (other than perhaps the thrill of applying) because the process is not first-come, first-served.
The state will accept applications for 30 days. It will then assign a marijuana investigator to each applicant, to make sure they comply with rules – such as a three-month residency requirement for applicants, their partners and financiers — and they have a viable business plan.
All applications received or postmarked by Dec. 19 will be reviewed. Applications submitted after Dec. 19 will be returned.
November 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM
A man in a white mask with a large knife robbed a Plaid Pantry store at Northeast 50th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast on Friday night.
The suspect was not apprehended, according to the Seattle Police Department.
Witnesses said the suspect entered the University District store around 10 p.m., approached the clerk, showed a large knife and demanded money from the cash register, according to police. He left after taking the money. No one was injured, police said.
Despite searches with a K-9 team and King County Sheriff’s helicopter, no suspect was found. The robber was described as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing about 200 pounds.
November 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM
A woman hit and killed by a car Thursday night in Shoreline has been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Mavva Gazarbekova, 76.
Gazarbekova was killed instantly around 7:30 p.m. Thursday as she was crossing Northwest Richmond Beach Road. King County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cindi West said Gazarbekova was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk.
West said no drugs, alcohol or a speeding vehicle were suspected.
November 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM
The man who died in a capsized boat off Alki Point has been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Anthony J. Collins, 40, of Port Orchard.
Collins drowned in the Friday afternoon accident, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Three of his crewmates suffered hypothermia but survived, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
The company for which the men worked, Ballard Marine Construction, said in an email on Friday night that it would not comment on the capsizing.
The survivors were taken to Harborview Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Friday evening they were in satisfactory condition with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Collins was pulled from the wheelhouse of the vessel by three members of the Seattle Fire Department dive team.
Although there was an air pocket, and Collins was wearing a personal-safety device, he was unconscious and unresponsive when pulled from the little cabin and up to the surface at 3 p.m., said a Fire Department spokesman.
November 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain resorts are opening early this weekend after the first significant snow hit the Cascades Friday.
About 10 inches of snow accumulated at 3,000 feet at Snoqualmie Pass, according to the National Weather Service, and 21 inches piled up at 4,000 feet at Stevens Pass.
More precipitation is expected Monday, but that forecast calls for snow near the 5,000-foot level.
Crystal got 12 inches in 24 hours and opened at 9 a.m. today with two lifts running, said marketing director Tiana Enger. The lifts will be open until 2:30 p.m., she said, and tickets are discounted to $25.
“We’ll assess conditions this afternoon to make the call whether we’re open tomorrow,” she said.
Stevens Pass this morning reported 20 inches of new snow and a 29-inch base. The resort is open from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday. The Hogsback and Daisy lifts, as well as the rope tow, are operating Saturday, said marketing manager Nate Escalona.
Stevens had set its tentative opening for Nov. 22, and considers Saturday and Sunday a “soft opening.” Escalona said he’ll know tomorrow if the resort will stay open during the coming week.
Reporter Mark Yuasa learned yesterday that the Mount Baker Ski Area is looking at possibly opening by Wednesday or sooner.
Here’s more of what Yuasa had to say about Whistler (which is open today) and the status of other resorts.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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