Blue Byline

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

Category: Left field

Jan.
31st

Being a ‘Hawks fan is the easiest thing in the world

(Note: After hours of staring at a blank screen, I gave up trying to write a public safety related column this week. If you’re not a Seahawks fan, please be patient. I’ll get back on track after the ‘Hawks big win on Sunday.)

When the ‘Hawks pulled out an amazing win against the ’49ers almost two weeks ago, I was watching from my sister’s home in San Francisco. It was a planned family trip back to my hometown which just happened to coincide with the newest, biggest sports rivalry on the West Coast.

It was, in a word, uncomfortable. That’s

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June
12th

Saying hello to social media

In the never-ending race to stay three steps behind the technology curve, Blue Byline will now have its own Facebook and Twitter account. This is cutting edge, folks. Assuming this is 2007.

I told my eldest son I was creating a Facebook page, then waited patiently for him to acknowledge his ultra cool dad. His response, “I haven’t been on Facebook in months – that’s old school.” was somewhat short of my expectation.

Still, the social media animal must be fed. Since its 2004 launch as “thefacebook.com”, it has added over a billion accounts and its intertwining global media links

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March
22nd

A lapsed Catholic takes a new look at the church

This is a column about the recent installation of Pope Francis as the head of a billion Roman Catholics. While it does not relate to the normal police-related topics of Blue Byline, it was too intriguing to pass up. 

As some people have pointed out to me in the past, I am a bit of a stereotype. Son of an Irish immigrant, Catholic by default and a cop by choice, I’ll admit my life does sound like a cliche.

That includes a typical Catholic education which started the first day of kindergarten, when my mom dropped me off with Sister

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Feb.
19th

A look at Tacoma from a traveler’s lens

I noticed a small sidebar in the paper the other day entitled, “Let us hear from you.” One of my favorite former columnists, C.R. Roberts, was looking for some ideas to improve Tacoma, such as better streets, more yogurt shops (?) or even, gasp, a single multiplex movie theater.

Interesting topic, I thought. A couple of hours later I was on a plane headed out of town. Tacoma – outta sight, outta mind. More on that interesting topic in a moment.

Though I have spent some time in the Deep South before, this was my first visit to its crown

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Nov.
4th

Adoptive parent’s report: foster care in trouble

Have you ever come across someone whose poor judgment literally took your breath away? Who made you question the basic decency of people? Who made your blood boil?

Sure you have. There are plenty of individuals whose appallingly bad choices create ripples of misery across numerous lives. None suffer more from these dysfunctional idiots than their children.

I was reminded of that after reading a “Your Voice” article in the Trib (11/4), written by Jake Dekker, a single parent who adopted his now fourteen-year-old son, Danny, three years ago. Dekker wrote about that experience after reading

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May
13th

Happy Mother’s Day

I was checking the reader comments a few days ago when I came across one that was such a positive, sweet-filled bit of praise that for a moment I felt buoyant. It was a feeling not unlike the constant sense of lift one gets – or at least should get – from the loving presence of a mother.

Then I saw who wrote this particular comment. It was my mom.

On this glorious and sun-filled Mother’s Day, I am foregoing the period of hours I usually spend hatching another blog. Instead, like most people fortunate enough to have a wonderful mother

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May
5th

Superstition is the way

“I see the bad moon arising. I see trouble on the way.” -Creedence Clearwater Revival

Every now and then I will read a scientific explanation that doesn’t blow past my head at warp speed. I may not know what warp speed is, but I must have been paying some attention during Astronomy 101. I actually have a basic understanding of the phenomenon, known as the Supermoon, that will be playing out in tonight’s sky.

It’s actually pretty simple. Because the lunar orbit is an ellipse rather than a circle, its distance from any one vantage changes over time. In this

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April
22nd

Graveyard shift can suck the life out of you

I knew a vampire once.

He had dark hair and pale skin and his clothes were a midnight blue. He usually woke up just as the last rays of the sun were winking out on the horizon. Give or take a few minutes.

My friend wasn’t especially adherent to the strict regimen of vampires – bloodsucking, for one, was not on his list of to-do’s. But then, strictly speaking, he wasn’t a traditional vampire. He was a cop on the graveyard shift.

What separated my friend from countless people working the night shift was this unique decision: He changed his

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