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July 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Former Mayor Paul Schell dies

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Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell died Sunday morning at Swedish hospital. Schell, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2002 was remembered as a “great city builder” by Mayor Ed Murray, whose office announced the death. Schell was 76.

Schell’s rocky term as mayor was marked by public-safety and political crises including the chaotic 1999 WTO protests and 2001 Mardi Gras riot — events that doomed his reelection bid.

But civic leaders praised Schell as a visionary civic leader who left a lasting imprint on Seattle, starting decades before his election as mayor.

“As a citizen activist, lawyer, director of community development, port commissioner, dean of architecture and mayor he directly shaped the civic infrastructure of Seattle for more than 40 years,” Murray said in a news release.

As mayor, Schell led a successful $196 million Libraries for All bond campaign that funded a new downtown library and rebuilt many neighborhood branch libraries. He also championed a $198 million levy for parks and the zoo, and a $72 million effort that mingled public and private dollars to renovate the Seattle Center Opera House and community centers.

“He had a vision for the city that got articulated in bricks and mortar,” friend and former Mayor Charles Royer said in an interview. “I think if it were not for a couple of those bumps, he would have been been regarded as much more effective than he was given credit for. And he is, in my book, one of the most productive mayors we’ve ever had.”

But Schell’s only term was marred by a string of bad news. The 1999 WTO ministerial conference, which Schell had sought for the city, turned into a fiasco of tear gas, property damage and mass arrests. Two years later, during Mardi Gras, a young man was beaten to death in Pioneer Square while police remained on the sidelines of the unruly crowds. As if that weren’t enough, Boeing announced its corporate headquarters would move to Chicago.

By the time Schell ran for reelection, voters were fed up. He placed third in the 2001 primary, behind then-City Attorney Mark Sidran and then-King County Councilman Greg Nickels, who went on to win the general election.


Comments | More in General news, Government, Politics | Topics: Former Mayor Paul Schell, Mayor Ed Murray

July 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Man wounded in two-car shootout in Southeast Seattle

Police are investigating a Sunday evening shooting and a related car crash in Southeast Seattle. Occupants of two cars started firing at each other while driving northbound on Rainier Avenue South near 56th Avenue South, police at the scene told a Seattle Times photographer. Police described the incident as a “rolling gun battle.” A passenger in…


Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: shooting, Southeast Seattle

May 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Special Olympics raffle sales miss mark for $5 million mansion prize

No one will win a $5 million waterfront mansion that had been advertised in some promotional materials as a prize in a high-profile raffle benefiting Washington’s Special Olympics athletes. Special Olympics had come under scrutiny earlier this year for advertising the $5 million Sammamish house as the marquee prize in its $150-a-ticket “Dream House” raffle. A More

Comments | Topics: $5 million mansion, raffle controversy, Special Olympics Washington

May 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Arlington man pleads guilty to child-porn charges

A 35-year-old Arlington man faces at least 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to federal charges of distributing child pornography. As a repeat offender, Christopher David Doggett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 15 years — and up to 40 years — when he is sentenced in August, the U.S. Attorney’s Office…


Comments | Topics: Christopher Doggett, distributing child pornography

April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Gov. Inslee pushes carbon limit, appoints task force

Calling the reduction of carbon pollution “a moral responsibility,” Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order today to push Washington closer to a limit on carbon emissions. The governor’s rhetoric was urgent and his goals sweeping, but his executive order called for action to move at a deliberate pace. Inslee appointed a 21-member task force to help…


Comments | Topics: carbon pollution, Jay Inslee

April 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Snohomish County postpones vote on landslide-zone building ban

The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday morning decided to postpone a vote on an emergency moratorium that would halt new construction in areas at risk of landslides. The six-month moratorium, proposed by Council Chair Dave Somers, would disallow any new residential building-permit applications in areas within a half-mile of slopes in landslide hazard zones that have been mapped…


Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Oso mudslide, Snohomish County Council

April 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Snohomish County may ban development in landslide-prone areas

The Snohomish County Council will consider an emergency moratorium on development in areas at risk of landslides. Dave Somers, president of the council, said he’ll propose a vote on the six-month ban at a council meeting Wednesday. Somers, who was in Arlington today during President Obama’s visit to the site of the March 22 mudslide, said the…


Comments | More in General news, Government, The Blotter | Topics: Oso mudslide, Snohomish County Council

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