Monorail, Karl Rove, Law Enforcement, Quote

Monorail

As the shaky Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) this week unveiled a plan to plan a plan, Seattle City Council President Jan Drago raised the bar on SMP's major hurdle, money. Challenged by former mayoral aide Casey Corr, who is making the $2.1 billion project a major election issue in their 2005 race, Drago says a consultant hired by City Hall to review SMP finances will now zero in on the workability of any bond-selling proposal. In the wake of the monorail board veto of a financing plan costing $11 billion, Drago says the council is revising the scope of work for the consultants to focus on revenue projections and the overall budget. The SMP board also plans to hold public "brainstorming" sessions on how to salvage the project. The last time SMP held official brainstorming sessions, in 2003, it cost $80,000 for a consultant and expenses. The agency even paid brainstorm participants $150 each. Suggestions included hiring monorail bellhops, having pet-only cars, producing trains with sun roofs, and creating a soundtrack for the ride mixed by local DJs. "It's not about the quality of ideas they come up with," a spokesperson said then. "It's about the quantity." Not unlike SMP itself. RICK ANDERSON

Karl Rove

The seemingly fanciful words he uttered at a forum in Shoreline might actually come true for former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the onetime Olympic Peninsula carpenter who got his foreign-service start in Seattle. As Wilson said in August 2003 at the forum hosted by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, speaking of President Bush's top political adviser: "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." Newsweek and Time have further linked Rove to the leaks leading to the revelation that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent. Rove's outing as a confirming source for Plame stories, along with Lewis Libby, top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, might also fulfill Wilson's less-quoted comment in Shoreline: "My own sense is, once you have put a chink in the armor of the credibility of this administration, it is really only a matter of time before other chinks are put in it." RICK ANDERSON

Law Enforcement

The King County Sheriff's Office has filed a $400,000 grant application with the federal government to institute a crisis-intervention training (CIT) program for its cops. CIT training teaches officers how to de-escalate volatile situations involving mentally ill people so that a schizophrenic, say, doesn't end up staring at the barrel of a pistol, or the officer doesn't have to get into a wrestling match with the schizophrenic. In other words, it's good for cops and it's good for citizens and it might enhance officer safety. CIT programs have been adopted by major departments around the country. KCSO expects to know whether it will get the money this fall. PHILIP DAWDY

Quote

"Can someone tell me why a person would want to have sex with a horse?" —Columnist Nicole Brodeur, asking what almost all of us wondered upon hearing that a 45-year-old Seattle man died from injuries sustained during a bestial encounter in Enumclaw. (The Seattle Times, July 19)

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