Friday morning's headlines

Jan 28, 2011

Making headlines this morning:

  • Key Document Surfaces in Woodcarver Shooting
  • Education Department Idea Moves Forward in Olympia
  • Packed Hearing Backs Saving a Tacoma High School

 

Woodcarver's Shooting: Evidence Surfaces

A city councilman's email plea to Seattle Police Chief John Diaz for an independent investigation following the  fatal shooting of John T. Williams by a cop last August was omitted from a public disclosure request. 

The Seattle Times asked for all correspondence documents related to the case last fall.  The Times' Mike Carter writes the letter surfaced after a subsequent disclosure request to the City Council:

In the Burgess e-mail, written two days after Williams was shot, the council member urges Diaz to bring in an outside agency to join the Police Department in investigating the shooting of Williams to "dispel a further erosion of the public's confidence in our officers."

An SPD spokesman says it's not clear why the letter was not included in the first records request. The Times reports police have admitted their submissions were incomplete. This incident comes after SPD was fined $70,000 last year for violating disclosure requirements in a separate case which also dealt with allegations of excessive force. 

 

Get Rid of the elected Supe?

Governor Gregoire's idea to consolidate the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction's office (OSPI) under an appointed director of a new Department of Education will get a hearing next week. That's possible because a legislator, Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Medina)  has backed the plan and is moving it forward. The Associated Press reports:

Superintendent of Public Instruction RandyDornhas called the governor's restructuring proposal a smokescreen away from more important issues about state dollars for education.

Tom wants to eliminate the OSPI position altogether in favor of an appointed cabinet-level position, and is floating a second bill, also up for a hearing next Wednesday.

 

A Thousand Times 'No!':  Foss High Supporters Pack Hearing

Students, parents and teachers came out in force to voice their opposition to a Tacoma Schools' proposal to temporarily close Foss High School.  More than 1,000 packed the hearing, touting the benefits of the schools International Baccalaureate program. The News Tribune's Debbie Cafazzo reports 70% of last year's class went on to college:

Michelle Bullinger, a Foss parent and secretary of the PTSA, said closing an IB diploma school is “unprecedented, according to the IB office.” She said such a move would likely be international news in IB circles and would “infamously put Tacoma on the map.”

Mothballing Foss is one idea for saving millions of dollars as Tacoma Schools brace for budget cuts that Superintendent Art Jarvis says will "hit very hard." Foss has the lowest enrollment among the city's high schools. Among the suggestions from last night's hearing: bring the School of the Arts, the Science & Math Institute and alternative Oakland High to the Foss campus.