Blue Byline

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

Wrapping up the week

Post by Brian O'Neill on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:42 am with 8 Comments »
December 7, 2012 9:50 am

There were quite a few notable news stories this past week. While I wish there were time enough to dissect them all, alas, there is only time for the briefest of post-mortems (with apologies for the depressing metaphor).

The Powell saga: The AP finally received thousands of photos from a public records request seeking Steven Powell’s computer files. Those images are, if nothing else, proof that Powell had a deeply disturbing and prolonged attraction to his daughter-in-law, Susan Powell. It can be argued that Steven Powell (convicted of voyeurism on the basis of related photos and currently serving a two-plus year sentence) has joined his cursed late son, Josh Powell, on the short list of suspects in Susan Powell’s disappearance.

In a related and far more uplifting story, Chuck Cox, the grandfather of Braden and Charlie Powell, was present for the unveiling of a statue of an angel dedicated to children who left this world far too soon. It is yet one more inspirational effort by our community, and the caring resilience of Susan Cox Powell’s immediate family, to transform this tragedy into a collective moment of compassion and reflection.

The Marijuana chronic-les: Is anybody even slightly surprised that pot smokers, never concerned about breaking the law prior to legalization, celebrated Thursday’s official enactment of I-502 by breaking the law? If you missed the national news programs, showing people illegally toking under the Space Needle, look no further than Friday’s Trib editorial for a recap. (It’s hard to hold back the “I told you so” when I cautioned against such prejudicial displays in a previous column.)

Proving that I-502 has not “fixed” all associated problems, the Trib reported on a shooting in Summit in which two men were killed during an alleged burglary at an illegal marijuana grow operation. The homeowner, with his 9-year-old son present, appears to have acted in legitimate self-defense during the incident. Justified or not, the homeowner’s alleged illegal grow operation would be the only reason he found himself forced to shoot and kill two people.

About that recall: What do Cy Sun and Dale Washam have in common? The answer is that both are elected officials – the mayor of Pacific and the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer respectively – who brought turmoil, strife and (in Sun’s case) ruination to their jurisdictions. Washam has arguably cost taxpayers a boatload of money for his shameless and vengeful actions, which incude a recent attempt to hold up the required sale of foreclosed homes (Trib 12/7). Relatively speaking, Washam’s shenanigans lack the sting of Mayor Sun’s, whose allegedly vindictive firing of key city employees might very well lead to a cancellation of the town’s insurance, thus heraldling the end of Pacific as an incorporated city.

If we accept the fact that, every now and then, voters will mistakenly elect a goofball, then it should also be possible to recall that mistake before the damage becomes too severe. At least in these cases, the recall process was far too bloated.

And lastly:  If you have noticed that this column is appearing less frequently, let me offer a brief explanation. I have recently started working on a novel and have found that there is a limit to the amount of time a person can sit in front of a computer. Writing fictions is a new experience (though a few of you might suggest I’ve been doing it all along), and I hope to finish the book, a crime novel tentatively entitled, City of Destiny, next spring. Until then, I’ll try to crank out a column as often as I can.

Thanks for reading.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. simonsjs says:

    So no other homeowner ever had to shoot an intruder? It’s only because of the pot? Glad we won’t be seeing much of your propaganda.

  2. Brian O'Neill says:

    Simonsjs- Your logic is flawed. Yes, homeowners have shot intruders for reasons other than pot, just as wars have started for reasons other than oil.

    Your breathless attempt to deflect criticism from the illicit fringes of the pot culture comes at the expense of any expression of compassion for the two dead men and their families, not to mention the 9-year-old son of the homeowner who witnessed their killing.

    I would suggest you take another look at this tragic situation through a wider lens.

  3. notSpicoli says:

    “I would suggest you take another look at this tragic situation through a wider lens.

    I would suggest that this would apply to your prefacing comment about the tragic incident, “Proving that I-502 has not “fixed” all associated problems…” This happened one day after the passage of I-502. It reflects on I-502 while serving only as a segue from paragraph four to five. Perhaps your remarks would be more apropos if and when an alternative retail system is enacted–a system that mandates appropriate security,

    I will muster as much compassion as I can for the two armed robbers who met their end in their dangerous business. I’m sure that they were loved by their families and are grieving for them.

    And the commercial growing of marijuana is a dangerous business as well. Shielding ones children from the risks of the black market would seem paramount to most parents. There’s plenty of blame here. Making it I-502′s fault is ludicrous.

    “It’s hard to hold back the “I told you so” when I cautioned against such prejudicial displays in a previous…” Since this event was well publicized on facebook and was attended by national media, your “prediction” was hardly clairvoyant. Limited to a small group at a couple locations in Seattle shows remarkable restraint in light of the historic nature of the event, the commitment of those who worked so hard to pull it off wishing to celebrate, and to witness, as an act of civil disobedience, for all who have suffered under the injustice of prohibition. The “big picture” here sill be to see if these displays continue beyond or even into the weekend.

    What is significant is that there was no police presence at these events. Their presence was unnecessary. Paint that onto the canvas of the big picture.

  4. simonsjs says:

    Have looked at it and I still believe you are spreading the same old prohibition propaganda that has been going on for way too long. Blame pot for some loser thief breaking into someone’s home. Home invasions happen all the time and the majority of them have nothing to do with pot. You are the one who needs to see things through a wider lense. Theives steal what has value. Many things have value.

  5. Pot makes an extremely keen paperweight.
    I’m a little afraid to see people drive on it.

  6. Brian O'Neill says:

    Not to belabor the point, but I voted in favor of I-502. This sidebar conversation deals with actions (excessive manufacturing of marijuana and home invasion robberies) that were illegal before its passage and is illegal today.

    notspicoli- So your definition of restraint (referencing the Space Needle “smoke out”) is to stand in front of a camera, on a national news program, and break the law? Sorry, but your argument falls flat. I will only reiterate that the feds are watching this behavior, and there was nothing to like in that image.

    simonsjs- The homeowner created an illegal product in his own home with the intent of making a profit. If you think that he, and others who likewise continue to illegally manufacture drugs, bear no responsibility when violent thugs arrive at their door to steal their dope, then we have no basis for continuing this conversation.

  7. simonsjs says:

    If he bore responsibility for two dirtbags breaking in to his home then he would have been charged with murder but he isn’t, for the mere fact he ISN’T responsible for them breaking into his home. You continually want to blame the home owner, typical thinking for someone from your line of work. One more thing, he didn’t manufacture a product, he grew a commodity.

  8. moms4marijuana says:

    One girl tweeted “I was in my first mall shooting today.” She must think there is going to be more.

    It’s very sad.

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