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Old 07-11-2017, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,965 posts, read 5,336,666 times
Reputation: 12270

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Seattle Times online, today (may be a paywall). "Judges complain it’s unsafe, unsanitary outside King County Courthouse in Seattle". I think the below is a fair-use length quote:

"Two King County Superior Court judges are asking for help cleaning up the courthouse at Third Avenue and James Street after they say two jurors and half a dozen employees have been assaulted.

The judges, Laura Inveen and Jim Rogers, acknowledged Tuesday that there are difficult underlying circumstances contributing to the unsanitary and potentially frightening atmosphere around the courthouse.

They — along with King County Sheriff John Urquhart — also recognized that there are two elements at play: crime and the fear of crime, with the latter being just as likely to keep people away as the former."


Had to chuckle at the above. It's the city's own policies causing the problems.

Our home office is not terribly far north of that courthouse, I arrive to Pioneer Square station every day and walk north. There are bums all over the sidewalk on 3rd Avenue, anywhere from several to many. Our building has a security guard, she rousts trouble several times per day as she tells it.

Dealing with vagrants ad hoc across the decade, I find the vast majority harmless enough. A (very) few are so disturbed as to be dangerous to themselves and others, and a few of those commit violent crimes that make the news. But all of them are an eyesore, sucking on city resources and camping in the streets, under bridges, etc. They need to be somewhere else, doing productive work and away from the negativity of drugs, alcohol, and other non-productive behaviors.

Nothing in the article, not surprisingly, goes to root-cause suggestions for permanently cleaning up the area for productive citizenry. That being namely to enforce laws and remove the bums, with substantial patrols by cops on the beat not hesitating to do their duty.

Hon. Judge Inveen, Hon. Judge Rogers: suggest you and your peers find a way to start enforcing vagrancy laws. Here, I looked them up for you:

RCW 9.66.010
Public nuisance.
A public nuisance is a crime against the order and economy of the state. Every place...(snip).

Here, too: I'll even help with a proposed penalty structure to solve the problem:

1) Start writing citations for PN/Vagrancy, the egregious cases. First offense: $75, order to appear, full ID (prints, retina scans, etc.)
2) Second offense: $500, 48 hrs in County lockup mandatory. Order to vacate King County for one year.
3) Third offense: mandatory one year hard labor, work farm in some charming place like Quincy or Tonasket, WA. On completion, order to vacate King County for ten years.

Garbage/tents left on streets: incinerated. Bum camps: dismantled in-toto, areas fenced off and replanted by work-gangs.

Notwithstanding my rather Draconian desires/suggestions, above, they'd better start doing something. When the tide turns on vagrants, bums, and (in a much wider sense) illegal aliens, so-called "refugees" from toxic cultures, etc. it tends to get real ugly, real fast. Read the news from Europe and Britain, it's really not much of a reach what the people will demand happen. It's already started, thank God.

Last edited by Blondebaerde; 07-11-2017 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:42 PM
 
9,517 posts, read 4,620,011 times
Reputation: 9069
Quote:
Dealing with vagrants ad hoc across the decade, I find the vast majority harmless enough. A (very) few are so disturbed as to be dangerous to themselves and others, and a few of those commit violent crimes that make the news. But all of them are an eyesore, sucking on city resources and camping in the streets, under bridges, etc. They need to be somewhere else, doing productive work and away from the negativity of drugs, alcohol, and other non-productive behaviors.
I know that area. I was up there recently fixing some hydraulic hoses on construction equipment building the new bridge within earshot of the courthouse. They've taken over that part of town pretty much. The mission isn't too far away.

We have to understand that we're not doing these people any favors by lying to ourselves about the situation. Drugs, crimes, mentally ill people wandering the street, families living in their vehicles and in tents under the highways are symptoms of a sick and twisted society. We aren't getting anywhere because we can't solve the drug problem, we can't solve the housing problem because greed and corruption rule the day.

Get used to it because we don't have the will to solve it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,919 posts, read 7,379,187 times
Reputation: 5887
If people repeatedly break the law, they should be arrested and jailed. The reality, however, is that felons and crazies are piling up outside the jail and courthouse because it is full inside. Cops see no point in arresting someone for a "nuisance" crime when they'll likely be out the next day. They also don't want to mess/stink up their patrol cars or risk a needle stick over a paltry offense. Not enough people complaining about this are willing to pay more taxes to build and staff a larger courthouse and jail (most just want to cut taxes) or train and hire more police, which means that for each one going in, by and large, one has to be let out, often the same one.

My thinking is that non-violent petty criminals should be diverted, if willing to accept treatment and services, which, however, requires that treatment and services be funded and available, while violent and habitual criminals should be arrested, jailed, and tried, which requires enough "room at the hotel", so to speak. The problem can be substantially solved, but not without raising and dedicating sufficient revenues to do it. This is actually the more economical course over the longer run, but too many people are too high on their moral high-horses to afford it.

On the other hand, we could hold kangaroo courts (although some will argue we already do) to pack miscreants off to work (er, "concentration") camps. Arbeit Macht Frei.

Last edited by CrazyDonkey; 07-11-2017 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Bellevue WA
1,487 posts, read 676,201 times
Reputation: 1786
Default Seattle: New Jack City?

I have alot to say on this issue. I was on the street for many years, but that's where the similarities between my past and the current climate ends. I agree with the other posts from members. I have no earth-shattering insights or answers to our homeless/ street problem. I will just say this; deal with them as they come to people.
If they commit aggressive pan-handling or commit a crime of person or property, arrest them. Don't delve into their personal history and shed a tear over tragic circircumstances. Just remove these people from society where they can't function decently in, and give them an area they can't be in anymore,like a SODA or a SOAP charge. In fact, create a whole separate charge for these people: Stay Out Areas Known For Assault Drugs & All Else. Acronym SOAK FADAL. I'm sure "all else"cannot fly, so how about soliciting? STAY OUT AREAS KNOWN FOR ASSAULT DRUGS & SOLICITING. Acronym SOAK FADS. How about it?
Seattle is turning into an armpit. We have been forced to play hard-ball. We're not dealing with shenanigans. These are crimes borne of disregard and apathy for fellow citizens.
The city of Kent has made it a felony to camp out. Should we follow suit? Yes, we should. I'm sure w/out knowing the stats, most problems are coming from homeless populations. People today are vicious and unconscionable. This is the rising of the sociopath. They don't play nice unless it benefits them. Time to take off the kid gloves, and do some research as to what would really deter the criminal element. My only answer is hit em hard and keep it coming. People have their freedom taken away enough times and lose their property through encampment sweeps and incarceration enough times, it might not be fun for them anymore to intimidate, harass, assault and be a deviant. All they would have left is to move on/out, or assimilate.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: WashiZona
3,033 posts, read 2,382,329 times
Reputation: 5825
I remember back in the 90's NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the city by enforcing the laws. It can be done here too, but Seattle has to lose the 'liberal mindset' and get real.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:27 PM
 
1,279 posts, read 1,683,795 times
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Seattle and it's liberalism is going to be it's downfall, the next Detroit, especially where it not for the Amazon's and such of the area.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,919 posts, read 7,379,187 times
Reputation: 5887
Fine, but who is going to pay for it? Apparently not those who want to lock 'em up and throw away the keys.

We already incarcerate more people (693 per 100,000) than all but one other nation, the Seychelles. More than Turkmenistan (583), Cuba (510), Russia (450), Rwanda (434), Brazil (307), Belarus (306), South Africa (292), Iran (287), Colombia (240), Mexico (204), Albania (192), China (118 to 164), Vietnam (146), England & Wales (146), Jamaica (145), Zimbabwe (145), Scotland (141), Spain (131), Canada (114), France (103), Belgium (98), Austria (97), Italy (89), Switzerland (84), Germany (78), Norway (70), Netherlands (69), Denmark (61), Finland (55), Sweden (53), Japan (47).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:46 PM
 
Location: In my head
310 posts, read 409,926 times
Reputation: 677
I go to this courthouse quite often for work over the last 20 years. We definitely need jurors to feel safe. The courthouse alley next to the park smells of human excrement and they openly use drugs there. I've seen a car stolen right next to me in a parking lot across the street. I told the courthouse security and they didn't seem too interested or quick to do anything, as the thief had already taken off. Perhaps an easy solution would be to move the bus stop a block or two north of the courthouse. Also, they need to keep the 4th Avenue entrance open all day, which they don't because of budget constraints and/or not enough workers/security scanners. Also, next to the courthouse is the park, down the street is a work release program and the Union Gospel Mission. The city had brought in porta potties under the freeway for the homeless too. The City won't solve this problem because of how socially liberal it is. The $30 million that Paul Allen is donating for the homeless problem should be used for drug rehab/awareness/mental healthcare and affordable housing and education. $30 million is a lot of money divided up per homeless and drug addicted persons. The City needs to manage its resources better. The police need to enforce the laws in the areas around the courthouse to make it safer for jurors and the public who come into that part of town.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Seattle
512 posts, read 434,267 times
Reputation: 1374
Even if the police just cleared it out and didn't allow bad behavior, or even just had a presence it could make a difference. Just tolerating it makes it grow exponentially. When they station police on 3rd and Pine, it's amazing how cleared out it gets of the drug dealers and street people.

This is really becoming a quality of life issue downtown.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: West Seattle
184 posts, read 313,601 times
Reputation: 169
They can't open those safe injection sites fast enough.
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