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.