Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: June 2011

June
30th

Amanda Knox finally seeing a little justice

For a person in Amanda Knox’ shoes, the latest news from an Italian appellate court must be as welcome as it is painful. Welcome because it represents her first glimpse of hope and possible release from her lengthy sentence; painful because of the potential that this solitary piece of good news may be a false hope.

Either way, Knox finally had a good day in court. The Trib story (6-30) describes an Italian appellate court’s reaction after taking a good look at forensic evidence from Knox’ case. The state of the DNA specimen was lousy, or malvagio if you prefer Google’s version of the lingua Italia. The appellate court was not pleased.

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June
28th

The hurdles of marijuana legalization include Hempfest behavior

In a previous column on marijuana I discussed the legalization turmoil in Olympia, Hempfest, and the subsequent arrests that somehow came as a surprise to those in attendance. I received quite a kickback from readers, many of whom were critical of my views against legalization.

The only problem with that argument is that I’m not against legalization. Truly.

But before anyone considers sending me a link to LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), my own opinion on this topic is the following: I don’t care.

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June
25th

Hempfest arrests not surprising–pot is still illegal

In all the smoky confusion coming out of Olympia’s chronic attempt legislate medical marijuana, one basic fact seemed to escape the attention of many attending this year’s Hempfest at Wright Park.

It’s still illegal to smoke marijuana.

According to the Trib article describing police arrests at Tacoma’s Hempfest several people were cited for marijuana possession as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, including pot pipes. Not surprisingly, some of those given citations were also people deeply involved in (pardon the pun) grassroots effort to legalize pot. People with such current information on marijuana legalization efforts should not have ben surprised by police enforcement, yet one individual was quoted, “I was dumbfounded” after being cited for having drug pipes.

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June
24th

Tacoma has a voice and her name is Vicci

Question for you, Tacoma: have you ever heard of Vicci Martinez?

I hope so. If you’ve been paying attention to the local music scene, you would recognize her name and voice as a regular at many of our more established clubs. Despite her youth, Martinez seems to have dedicated herself to her craft in a way few have matched. And her latest venture as a contestant on NBC’s talent show, “The Voice” has finally put Tacoma on the map for something other than crime.

If you haven’t heard Vicci sing, check her out on this youtube clip from her performance on “The Voice.” This may be way beyond my expertise, but I can’t help but admire the gutsy andn spirited performance by this young woman who seems to personify the essence of Tacoma.

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June
24th

18 months of misery better be worth new SR 16 offramp

As the Trib’s editorial (6-24) so eloquently points out, the newly completed DOT offramp will create a seamless connection between I-5 and SR 16, solve the long-term traffic engineering problems in the T-dome area, and create a brighter future for drivers, everywhere. Yay.

For those of us who have slogged from I-5 to SR 16 every afternoon, the last 18 months have been a descent into a merging, tail-gating, road rage-filled hell.

If you’ve been driving the I-5 northbound to SR 16 route regularly, I don’t have to tell you about the colossal backups, the abrupt lane changes, the aggressive cutting and brake-locking horror that our off-ramp experience has become as a result of DOT’s highly incapable group of puzzle masters.

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June
21st

“Cops Gone Wild” won’t be on the Fall lineup

By now you’re probably asking yourself the question, what’s going on at Fife P.D.?

The continuing story about the antics of former officers, including a drunken crash of a police vehicle, sexting, and what blushingly appears to be consensual sexual contact at the cop shop, is described in Sunday’s Trib article (6-19). All of which must make the outsider wonder whether this is an example of a few individuals venturing off the range or a bizarre cop version of the x-rated reality show “Girls Gone Wild.”

Good question. The recent stories better suggest a lost weekend at a college fraternity than a few shifts at a police agency.

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June
19th

Father’s Day not a special one for your basic gang-banger

I hate watching weepy TV talk shows. It seems like everyone famous, infamous or suddenly in the public’s face has a story of woe to explain why they behaved like an absolute jerk. Like most people, I get annoyed when others don’t seem to take personal responsibility and own their actions.

We all have problems, right? Why can’t they just man up? What I have learned, both as a father and a cop, is that some men don’t know how to man up because they were never taught how to be a man.

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June
16th

Vancouver riots highlight the paradox: organized anarchists

The 2010 Olympics were too hard a target. The WTO meetings that same year were too soft. But for anarchists, the Vancouver Canucks’ agonizing Stanley Cup Game 7 loss was just right.

Video footage of a raging mob burning cars, looting stores and attacking police played out in prime time on TV screens all over the world, causing many to wonder just what the heck happened to that polite and beautiful city up North. The response from Canadians, who share a quietly fierce pride in their country, was a collectively ironic, “Woe, Canada.”

First B.C.’s Premier, then Vancouver’s Mayor and finally Police Chief Jim Chu stood before reporters and stated the Canadian version of their former monarch’s words, “We are not amused.” Nor were Canadians anywhere.

Unfortunately, Vancouver is learning what Seattle discovered in the wake of the 1999 WTO riots–that bad things can happen to good cities. In both instances, that particular bad thing was anarchists.

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