Topic: Mike McGinn
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May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM
The city of Seattle is donating an additional $500,000 to Seattle Public Schools so that students in the city’s Central District will receive at least two hours of arts education each week.
In an announcement today, Mayor Mike McGinn said the money will come from higher-than-expected revenue from admissions taxes, and will also be used to purchase instruments and art supplies for classrooms.
Two yeras ago, the city and school district received $1 million from the Wallace Foundation to create a comprehensive arts-education plan for the city’s public schools. The district applied for a second Wallace grant to carry out the plan, which was completed in March, but did not receive it.
The city grant announced today, to be dispersed over two years, will help. By 2020, the plan calls for ensuring that all students in Seattle Public Schools receive two hours of arts education instruction each week. As it stands now, some students do, but many do not, including many students in low-income areas.
April 29, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Whoa! That’s all we can say. M’s take series from Angels
Who’s “Fat Rabbit?” Speaking of sports, we couldn’t pass up reading this headline on the Seahawks blog regarding an NFL draft pick: More on “Fat Rabbit” and the rest of the Seahawks’ seventh-round draft picks. Jared “Fat Rabbit” Smith” was one of the players taken in the seventh round. To see why they call him Fat Rabbit, read this story.
West Seattle apartment fire: Some three dozen people were evacuated because of a fire about 2:30 a.m. today. They were eventually allowed to return, except for the people who lived in the apartment where the fire started, apparently in a stove, according to KIRO-TV.
Seven people who want Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s job are scheduled to meet in a big forum between 6-8 tonight at South Seattle Community College, Georgetown Campus, 6737 Corson Ave. S. Do you think any of them will bring up some of hizzoner’s missteps? What? He’s had a bit of a rocky tenure, right? How interested are you in the Seattle mayoral race? Vote in our poll.
And speaking of public servants … Is anyone surprised that the Legislature is going into special session? We’re not. Among other things, an agreement on tougher DUI laws has yet to be finalized.
Snowmobiler killed on Mount Adams: He was just 35 and from the Goldendale area. His snowmobile went over a 10-foot snow bank, and he landed on rocks. He wasn’t found for about an hour and couldn’t be revived, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s office.
Five dead in B.C. crash: The dead, three adults and two children, were in a car hit by a minivan in Surrey . The impact ripped the car in two. The RCMP said the minivan ran a red light. Surrey is southeast of Vancouver, B.C., not far from the U.S.-Canadian border. The names of the victims have yet to be released.
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Nick Provenza: 206-464-2142 or email@example.com
February 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said today that he will not abide by Mayor Mike McGinn’s request to step aside from representing the city in its negotiations with a federal monitor to reach an agreement on how to carry out police reforms.
McGinn reiterated earlier today that he would not include Holmes in formal talks because of concerns about his ability to ethically represent the city.
In a statement released this afternoon, Holmes’ office said, “City Attorney Pete Holmes will not screen himself from representing the City in this case. The City Charter gives the City Attorney supervisory control of all litigation and, although the City has entered a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, this remains a pending lawsuit under the supervision of a federal judge.
“Mr. Holmes has violated no client confidences or breached any ethical obligations to his client, the City of Seattle. Mr. Holmes communicated his position to the mayor’s legal counsel in a private letter today,” the letter said.
Holmes’ statement comes one day after McGinn moved to bar Holmes from participating in talks on police reforms, accusing Holmes of “undercutting” Police Chief John Diaz in negotiations with the monitor.
In a strongly worded email, McGinn’s legal counsel, Carl Marquardt, accused Holmes of an ethical breach of the attorney-client privilege as the city works to comply with a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing.
Marquardt said it was time to institute an “ethical screen” between Holmes and the attorneys in his office who are representing the city in the matter.
Holmes’ office replied in a terse statement Tuesday night, saying his office “categorically denies any breach of the City Attorney’s ethical obligations to the City.”
February 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Chief John Diaz announced today that police have begun using new “predictive policing” software in the city’s East and Southwest precincts in an effort to reduce crime through analysis of data on crime and location.
“This technology will allow us to be proactive rather than reactive in responding to crime,” said McGinn during a news conference. “This investment, along with our existing hot spot policing work, will help us to fulfill the commitments we made in the ’20/20′ plan to use data in deploying our officers to make our streets safer.”
According to a Los Angeles Times article on predictive policing employed by the LAPD, predictive policing is rooted in the notion that it is possible, through sophisticated computer analysis of information about previous crimes, to predict where and when crimes will occur. Based on models for predicting aftershocks from earthquakes, predictive policing forecasts the locations where crime is likely to occur.
It works by entering all crime and location data dating back to 2008 into a complex algorithm that generates a prediction about where crimes are likely to take place on a certain day and time. Officers are provided with these forecasts before beginning their shifts, and are assigned to use their “proactive time” between 911 calls to patrol those areas, according to Seattle police.
“The predictive policing software is estimated to be twice as effective as a human data analyst working from the same information” said Diaz. “It’s all part of our effort to build an agile, flexible and innovative Police Department that provides the best service possible to the public.”
Predictive policing is currently analyzing only property crimes in Seattle’s East and Southwest precincts, but the Police Department plans to expand it every precinct in April, with analysis of other types of crime soon to follow.
The Police Chief, the magazine for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, called predictive policing “the next era in policing.” Time magazine called the Santa Cruz, Calif. Police Department’s predictive policing program one of the 50 best inventions of 2011 and it was highlighted in this New York Times story.
However, Loyola Law School professor Stan Goldman told National Public Radio in 2011 he was worried authorities could use the data to stop and search innocent people who happen to be in highlighted neighborhoods.
“It may very well end up reducing crime to a certain degree,” he said. “The question is at what cost, at what price?”
February 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn gathered with top Seattle police brass this morning to update the progress in the city’s “20/20″ policing plan.
The “20/20″ plan is aimed at overhauling the Police Department after a Department of Justice investigation found officers had used excessive force and displayed evidence of biased policing. Unveiled in March, the plan calls for 20 initiatives over 20 months. McGinn has touted the plan for change, saying it would address Justice Department concerns while likely staying within the existing police budget.
The Police Department is under federal oversight after reaching a settlement with the Department of Justice.
“We are about halfway through our timeline for reforming the Seattle Police Department in 20 months, and significant progress has been made,” McGinn said this morning. “I encourage the public to visit seattle.gov/spd2020 to learn more about our changes to recruitment, training, transparency, community outreach, use of data in policing and much more.”
Among the highlights cited this morning by McGinn:
– The city hopes to hire 85 new officers this year. (For more information on the department’s hiring efforts, click here.)
– The SPD now has a Force Review Board, designed on the model of the Firearms Review Board. It meets each week to review every use of force by every Seattle officer and draw conclusions about whether the use of force was handled correctly. The department also has a Force Investigation Team to respond and investigate at the scene of a use-of-force incident.
– The department now has a fulltime Race and Social Justice Initiative program coordinator.
– By the end of the year, all sworn and civilian officers will take part in in race training titled, ”Race: The Power of an Illusion.”
– SPD is working with tribes across Washington, including the Lummi Nation and Tulalip Tribes, to develop specific training for officers on issues affecting Native-American populations.
– The department last year launched Tweets by Beat, an interactive 911 crime map with real-time updates, and precinct specific webpages are coming soon.
McGinn has said that the “20/20″ plan represents a broad effort that goes beyond the changes sought by federal attorneys. Some initiatives directly address issues raised in the Justice Department report: reducing police escalation of low-level incidents into violent incidents; having specific guidelines for reporting the use of force; managing public demonstrations; educating officers on when and how they can stop to question or search citizens; and ensuring that front-line supervisors are doing their job. It also calls on officers, for the first time, to sign a code of ethics.
February 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn today announced he is permanently grounding the Seattle Police Department’s proposed aerial drone program.
“Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor,” McGinn said in a statement.
The Police Department is among dozens of law-enforcement agencies, academic institutions and other agencies that were given approval last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The FAA action came after President Obama signed a law that compelled the agency to plan for safe integration of civilian drones into American airspace by 2015.
The Police Department purchased two 3.5-pound Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Tech drones with money from a regional Urban Area Security Initiative grant.
Police Department officials said their plans for the drones included providing camera images in homicide and traffic investigations; search-and-rescue operations; and cases involving hazardous materials, barricaded people and natural disasters. The FAA specifically prohibits civilian drones from carrying weapons systems.
But during a community meeting last fall and a public hearing on Wednesday night, opponents voiced strong opposition to the program, citing privacy concerns. Opponents included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington.
“We’re pleased with the mayor’s action. It’s a wise decision,” Doug Honig, spokesman for the ACLU, said this afternoon. “Drones would have given police unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance and intrude on people’s privacy.”
Going forward, Honig said the ACLU of Washington still hopes to see legislation placing restrictions on the acquisition and use of drones by law enforcement statewide.
McGinn’s decision to end the program comes as the city was developing a proposed ordinance to govern the use of the aircraft.
The ordinance would have banned the use of drones for general surveillance or for flights over open-air assemblies. It also would have required police to obtain a warrant before using drones for all but “exigent” or emergency circumstances, such as situations involving hostages, search-and-rescue operations, the pursuit of armed felons, bomb threats and the detection of “hot spots” in fires, or for the collection of traffic data.
Earlier this week, Charlottesville, Va., ordered a two-year moratorium on the citywide use of unmanned aircraft. It is the first city in the nation to do so, supporters say.
Seattle recently installed 30 security cameras along the city’s shoreline, from Fauntleroy to Golden Gardens, under a $5 million federal grant aimed at increasing the Port of Seattle and the city’s ability to respond to hazards and emergencies. The cameras, which could be operational by March 31, will provide police with a sweeping view of the port facilities, Elliott Bay and the shoreline.
January 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Mayor Mike McGinn and Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn this morning announced a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking, the second such public-awareness effort announced this month.
McGinn and Dunn were joined at a news conference by representatives from Clear Channel Outdoor, which donated $94,000 in advertising space, and Clear Channel Entertainment+Media, which donated $88,000 of air time for public service announcements.
“Hundreds of people, many of them underage, are trafficked in our region each year for sex, manual labor, domestic labor and more,” McGinn said. “This is not something from history, or something that only happens in other countries – this is reality for many people in our community. We hope this campaign will help build awareness and connect victims to resources and assistance.”
Clear Channel Outdoor has donated billboards in English, Vietnamese and Korean. The ads will feature examples of human trafficking and direct victims to the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Earlier this month, King County’s launched a campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, which includes posting ads in six languages on 200 Metro buses.
January 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn this morning said he’s already planning for another gun buyback, after an event Saturday brought in 716 firearms and resulted in two-hour lines and a traffic jam.
“We would love to do this again,” he said at a morning news conference, and is already working to firm up a date and location sometime in the next few weeks.
McGinn also called on the state and federal governments to prevent the unregulated private sale of guns, which happened on sidewalks around Saturday’s event.
He said it wasn’t clear the city had the authority to shut down the private sale of guns.
“We had a gun bazaar break out on the streets of Seattle at a gun buyback event,” McGinn said.
Still, Deputy Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz said most people who came to sell their guns did so to the police.
“A large majority chose to stand in line, to get less money than they might have in order to make sure that weapon would not be used in a crime.”
Metz said the police researched gun buybacks in other cities, including a recent one in Los Angeles, and found that they collected an average of 100 guns per hour. Seattle police took in more than 700 in about three hours, he said, swamping the staff on hand.
“This was an overwhelming response,” Metz said.
Among the weapons sold to the city in exchange for gift cards of from $50 to $200 were four guns confirmed by police as stolen, dozens considered assault-style weapons and a military-grade missile launcher that is not legal in civilian hands, Metz said.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said that dozens of homes in the region are safer because unwanted guns are no longer lying around. Any one of those, he said, might otherwise have been “used in an argument between brothers, a dispute between neighbors, or taken by an angry teenager and brought to a school. ”
He said that just because the city and county don’t have the legal authority to regulate gun possession or sales, “That should not stop us from doing those things we have in our control.”
January 16, 2013 at 5:57 AM
Mayor Mike McGinn is expected to be in the audience Wednesday in Washington D.C. when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announce proposed legislation to reduce gun violence.
McGinn, who is in the nation’s capitol for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, was invited to attend the President’s press conference, said McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus.
McGinn has been frustrated by the city’s inability to enact stricter gun laws. Washington courts have struck down Seattle’s attempts to ban firearms in parks and community centers, saying state law preempts local measures. Last week, McGinn joined King County Executive Dow Constantine and four former mayors in announcing a gun buyback program funded by private donations.
Obama is expected to propose a ban on assault weapons and background checks for all gun buyers as part of a package of proposals in response to the Connecticut school shooting last month.
The news conference will also be attended by children who wrote to the president about gun violence and school safety, according to a news release.
January 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn this morning announced his 15 appointments to the city’s new Community Police Commission to help oversee police reforms. The 15 appointees are subject to City Council confirmation.
Appointed by the mayor were:
Claudia D’Allegri, vice president of Behavioral Health for Sea Mar Community Health Centers;
Lisa Daugaard, deputy director of The Defender Association;
Kate Joncas, president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association;
Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center;
Jay Hollingsworth, John T. Williams Organizing Committee;
Capt. Joseph Kessler, Seattle Police Department;
Diane Narasaki, , executive director of the Asian Counseling & Referral Service;
John Page, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, program coordinator at the Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project;
Tina Podlodowski, former Seattle City Councilmember;
Marcel Purnell, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism;
Jennifer Shaw, ACLU of Washington, deputy director;
Kevin Stuckey, Seattle Police Department officer;
Kip Tokuda, former state representative for the 37th Legislative District;
The Rev. Harriett Walden, co-founder of Mothers for Police Accountability;
The Rev. Aaron Williams, , senior pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Daugaard and Narasaki will co-chair the commission. To read brief bios of the nominees, click here.
The Community Police Commission was created as part of the city’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice requiring reforms to curtail excessive force in the Police Department and curb biased policing. The commission will help ensure community involvement in the reforms and will guide an independent, court-appointed monitor who will oversee the agreement.
The settlement agreement requires that the commission be made up of one member from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild and one member from the Seattle Police Management Association, according to the city. The remaining 13 members were selected from applicants who reside or work in Seattle and include residents from each of the five geographic police precincts.
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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