Category Archives: Homelessness

Slumdog Billionaires

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. –Sinclair Lewis This image of homeless tents against the backdrop of lavish sports stadiums near downtown Seattle reminds me of a … Continue reading

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Green Lake Treasure Hunt

Seattle’s Green Lake Park boasts everything the modern family could want in an urban recreational opportunity. Campsites galore… First aid stations throughout the park… Handy ID bracelets for visitors… And an online database to keep track of campers’ itineraries… A … Continue reading

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He was taking a shit right in front of them

August 20, 2021 Reader: Not to add more fuel to the downtown inferno, but this picture was sent to me by two out-of-state attorneys who came to meet with me and other clients last week. As they left their hotel … Continue reading

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He kept trying to pay her for who knows what

David: This might sound like an odd question, but how do you know she was pooping? Reader: An odd question for an odd situation. I don’t know it for a fact, but at one point I saw her goodies and … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, General, Homelessness | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

You can’t go home again

This was my first time in downtown in Seattle in over a year. Sadly, nothing has changed. The smell of urine and garbage is overwhelming. It’s a cesspool. Ghostly. That about sums it up. Got a shopping list? I’m sure … Continue reading

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You got any money for me?

August 17, 2021 This guy was in Seattle’s famous Pioneer Square downtown today, asking tourists for money. My friend Kimmie said his demeanor was threatening. “You got any money for me?” he shouted at a passing couple with a young … Continue reading

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“This breaks my heart and infuriates me.”

This drama unfolded last week at an ARCO gas station in Seattle’s SODO district, less than half a mile from two major league sports stadiums and in full view of people walking and driving by.  Scenes like this are now … Continue reading

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The LEAD Program in Burien… and beyond.

September 17, 2018 ~ Last week government officials announced they’d be bringing Seattle’s controversial LEAD drug abatement program to Burien, Washington. LEAD stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, and its stated purpose is to lower recidivism (habitual lawbreaking) by using police … Continue reading

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Preventable Tragedies

Updated September 25, 2018 ~ This is a list of recent (last 5 years) deaths and injuries that can be reasonably attributed to the inaction of the Seattle City Council on the homelessness crisis. The victims include both housed and unhoused … Continue reading

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Charade: Homeless camps and the abuse of public process

September 8, 2018 ~ The biggest gripe a citizen can have is that their government doesn’t listen to them, and that gripe has never been more on-point than when it comes to transients and drug addicts camping in Seattle parks … Continue reading

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Letter from the ‘hood: No more homeless camps here, please!

August 11, 2018 ~ Camp Second Chance is a sprawling cluster of tents and shacks located on Myers Way South, in the Highland Park neighborhood of southwest Seattle, just inside the Seattle city line. The camp popped up in the summer … Continue reading

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We the Living

June 9, 2018 ~ (Originally published on the Safe Seattle Facebook page) We’ve been talking with SODO business owner Ari Hoffman about his efforts to get the city to keep the area around the Bikur Cholim Jewish cemetery clean of … Continue reading

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The Seattle Head Tax: What we’ve been missing

June 3, 2018 ~ Everyone’s talking about the Head Tax, about how much money it would raise, about how the money will be spent (or misspent), about how it might affect business… Almost no one’s talking about who it was … Continue reading

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No Excuses: How Seattle’s activist judges endanger our citizens

May 13, 2018 ~ In a landmark court case last March, King County superior court judge Catherine Shaffer cited an obscure provision of Washington’s Homestead Act to rule that cities can’t impound vehicles or “excessively fine” their owners when those owners are living … Continue reading

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The Swindle Cycle

February 4, 2018 ~ I have a friend, “Joe,” whose mind zips along at a hundred miles an hour. He’s always analyzing city politics and connecting the dots. On a typical day, he’ll send me a dozen e-mails with various insights … Continue reading

Posted in Corruption, General, Homelessness, Politics | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Taking Care of (Homeless) Business

Campaign finance laws and the Homeless Industrial Complex  January 12, 2017  Seattle perceives itself as a national leader in the effort to get money out of politics. Initiative 122, approved by voters in 2015, tried to attack the problem in … Continue reading

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Activating a space to discourage camping

September 4, 2017 In a recent public meeting on a homeless encampment in the Ballard, Seattle’s Director of Homelessness George Scarola told neighbors of the camp that they could “activate” public spaces to keep homeless people from camping there. According … Continue reading

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Ghostwriter

June 5, 2017 What would you think if you discovered automobile executives had written a bill on auto safety and handed it to your senator to sponsor? And what if you learned those same executives had penned pro-industry letters to the … Continue reading

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Speaking Truth to Power

June 1, 2017 Here’s a video excerpt of a brave Seattle woman confronting the City Council with my “Anatomy of a Swindle” blog article. This took place on October 14, 2016. The context is a discussion about Mike O’Brien’s proposed … Continue reading

Posted in Homelessness, SHARE | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Puff Piece

April 29, 2017 In my years of trying to bring the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to justice, I have been repeatedly frustrated by their slick public relations operation. Here’s an organization that engages in a number of deceptive or dishonest … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, Nickelsville, Tent City | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Call Me Reverend

April 11, 2017 Call Me Reverend: The Bill Kirlin-Hackett Story Mr. Mild The first impression one gets of the Reverend Bill Kirlin-Hackett is of someone we’d expect to find singing kum-ba-ya around the campfire or handing out coffee and hugs at a … Continue reading

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The Margin Dwellers

April 4, 2017 A word of advice to aspiring reporters: Don’t ever volunteer for the poverty beat. It’ll tear the heart out of you. Meet Jennifer Allison (on the left). She’s the manager at the Georgian Motel on Aurora Ave N. … Continue reading

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Encampment Complaints: A suspicious pattern

March 23, 2017 The document in the link below was produced by Seattle’s Customer Service Bureau (CSB) in response to a public disclosure request from Safe Seattle. The document shows how many citizen complaints the City got in a six-week … Continue reading

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Hello this is my daughter…

March 6, 2017 Seen in a Portland shop window in August 2017. It may have been there for some time, given the reference to winter clothes: HOMELESS IN DWNTWN PORTLAND Please help my ill daughter Hello this is my daughter … Continue reading

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Anything helps. Or does it?

February 20, 2017 This snapshot of a Seattle panhandler was sent to me by a reader who inferred that because the woman was sitting in a comfortable chair sipping a pricey coffee, with a dog and a cushion, she’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Homelessness | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

ACLU vs. the People

*** TBQ Readers, your help is needed. Please read to the end to find out how you can help make us all safer. *** We were cautiously optimistic when we learned that the Mayor was moving ahead to clear dangerous … Continue reading

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Tent Cities: Not a way out but a way to HANG out

February 8, 2017 Except for the misleading headline, this article from Pacific Standard Magazine is a more or less honest view of a SHARE-run tent city. Based on my own experiences, I can say that the interview subjects are a … Continue reading

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Ballard Bridge Status: 1/10/2017

The Ballard Bridge spans Salmon Bay to connect Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood with points south. The bridge and surrounding environs have been a long-term site of homeless camps at both ends. These camps, particularly the one on the north end, … Continue reading

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The Hidden Persuaders

Dedicated to Larry Kaminsky December 27, 2016 Even as Seattle voters enact a flurry of laws designed to “get money out of politics,” the insinuation of paid political advocates into local government continues apace. This article looks at how that works … Continue reading

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Seattle Burnin’ Down

December 11, 2016 Last month I began collaborating with Harley Lever on his Safe Seattle Facebook page. The Blog Quixotic and Safe Seattle share many concerns about public safety, but Safe Seattle has a much wider audience and is more of … Continue reading

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