Friday morning's headlines

Dec 17, 2010

King County deputies' pay-cut plan rejected, a car injures pedestrians at the Pike Place Market, the fight over proposed ferry service cuts heats up, and a popular Seattle language school closes.

Exec Says King County Deputies' Pay Plan Won't Fly

Dow Constantine says a union-offered plan to save taxpayers money would actually cost them more. 

He's asking King County Sheriff deputies to continue discussions on cost-savings. KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp reports the offer for a temporary pay reduction came with a condition:

The Police Officers Guild was offering to put off part of a controversial pay raise for two years.  King County Sheriff's Deputies would defer two percent of a five percent increase, saving about $1.3 million in the short term.   But they made that offer contingent on a promise for no layoffs next year. 

King County's budget cuts include layoffs of 18 deputies and leaving three dozen positions unfilled. The union called their offer "last, best and final." 


Pike Market Crash Injures Pedestrians

A man was taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular assault after the car he was driving careened down a street and onto a sidewalk in Seattle's Pike Place Market, injuring three people, one seriously.

It happened late Thursday morning. The driver was westbound on Stewart Street. After crossing First Avenue he sideswiped a car and swerved to the sidewalk, hitting two people, before smashing into a produce truck. The truck was then pushed into other cars, pinning a woman, according to The Seattle Times.


Fight On Over Proposed Ferry Service Cuts

State lawmakers from Kitsap and Pierce counties vow to oppose Gov. Gregoire's plans to cut some ferry services.  The Kitsap Sun reports Rep. Larry Seaquist (D- Gig Harbor) told a Bremerton audience last night the budget unfairly hits those who rely on the ferry system:

“No one else in this state is seeing their highways cut down,” he said. “I do not believe we have to accept service cuts"

The Sun reports Ferries chief David Mosely told the audience the system needs a dedicated funding source, otherwise it's not sustainable, and funding problems are likely to get worse:

Moseley told the audience that the governor’s budget proposal was the first step in the legislative process, that ultimately the Legislature will have to decide how it will treat ferries.

The legislature convenes in January to review the governor's budget and offer alternative proposals.


Seattle Language Academy Closes

After filing for bankruptcy in October, the Seattle Language Academy shut its doors permanently this week, according to the blog Fremont Universe:

At the time of its closing, it was home to nearly 500 students, 40 instructors, and 10 full and part-time staff members, making it one of the largest foreign language instruction centers in the region.

The blog notes the school sent out an email Wednesday announcing the closure.

SLA leaders had hoped to keep operating, according to a statement on its web site following their reorganizing efforts in October:

The last several months have been difficult financially for SLA due to lower than expected enrollments and other unexpected financial challenges.

The school was founded 15 years ago.