Week in Review: drug enforcement, wildfires, and cash
Bill Radke discusses the week’s news with freelance science journalist Jane C. Hu, Geekwire’s Mike Lewis, and Seattle Times Patrick Malone.
On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted 5-4 reject a bill that would have allowed the prosecution of public drug use and drug possession cases. The state recently passed a law that would make possession and public use a gross misdemeanor. As a result, Seattle police can still make arrest for these offenses, but the prosecution will fall to the King County prosecutor rather than the city attorney. What does all this mean for actual drug prosecutions?
Wildfire smoke from Canada has blanketed a significant portion of the East Coast. There were red flag warnings this week in Western Washington, and if things stay this dry, it feels like only a matter of time before things get bad in Washington. National Interagency Fire Center says nearly the entire state faces an "above normal" risk of significant fires from July through September. What local reaction have you seen?
This week, it looked like King County was going to require businesses to accept cash and but they didn't have the votes. There are businesses that won't take your cash anymore. The Bite of Seattle introduced an app that will be the only way you can pay for anything at the event. Why wouldn't the county let private businesses accept whatever they want?
The city of Seattle wants you to re-use your coffee cup, so the city is partnering with local businesses. They're already putting washable cups into concert venues and beer gardens. The city is offering businesses a rebate of up to $500 per location to help cover the costs. Eventually, the city hopes to charge businesses money to participate, since they'd be saving on buying disposable cups. Would you take a reusable cup that will cost you money if you don't return it?
Washington state now has a capital gains tax. This week, Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pedersen proposed it for the city of Seattle. If it passed, he says it would eliminate the 15 percent tax you pay on your water service. Will it pass? Would our overall taxation go up or shift toward the wealthy?