Pin It
Favorite

Falling Down 

Law enforcement to vigilantes: “Chill out.” Plus, the State of the City, Part II

click to enlarge Mayor David Condon
  • Mayor David Condon

Uninvited Vigilantes

While authorities might admire the enthusiasm, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people that catching a shoplifter is probably not worth risking serious injury or death.

Deputy Craig Chamberlin says authorities have seen several recent shoplifting incidents in which store employees confronted a theft suspect and the suspect brandished a weapon, usually a knife.

“We do not want anyone putting themselves at risk,” he says.

Chamberlin says law enforcement agencies occasionally have to discourage vigilantism and the recent uptick in confrontations justified a reminder. He asks citizens to stick to serving as informative witnesses.

“Absolutely you have the right to defend yourself,” he says. “[But] property can be replaced, lives cannot.”

Chamberlin acknowledges some increased public apprehension over crime rates, but overall he argues Spokane County remains quite safe.

— JACOB JONES

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Among the dozens of unknowns that come along with being one of the first states to legalize pot is one big one: How can the state be sure its prices are competitive enough to compete with not only the black market but also the untaxed medical one?

While it didn’t touch current medical marijuana law, Initiative 502 mandated a 25 percent tax on the sale of recreational marijuana, which it legalized. But medical marijuana remains untaxed and largely “unregulated,” according to Chris Marr, a former state senator who now sits on the Washington State Liquor Control Board. While dispensaries on this side of the state have struggled to survive federal raids, the market in the Seattle area is booming. Marr says customers who may be buying medical pot for non-medical use would have no motivation to buy the state’s more expensive recreational herb.

House Bill 1789 would add a 25 percent tax on medical dispensaries’ sales in an effort to standardize both markets.

“We’re very concerned that having two systems, one almost completely without oversight, would make it difficult to win federal approval for overall marijuana legalization,” says Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, in a statement. “It will distort the market and drive non-medical use inappropriately into the medical channel.”

Sponsors expect the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to hear the bill Friday.

— HEIDI GROOVER

DO IT TWICE

Standing in front of a sea of business people, Spokane Mayor David Condon gave the first of his two State of the City speeches. The public is welcome to attend the second such speech at noon on Friday, Feb. 22, inside City Council Chambers.

In his first speech, Condon spent little time talking about the changes he made this year — consolidating city services, laying off staff, reducing water rates. Nor did he mention many specifics of what he wants to do this upcoming year, other than keeping utility rate increases below inflation.

Condon also didn’t spend much time talking about public safety and the city’s troubling crime rate. After a quick mention of hiring Police Chief Frank Straub and a resolution to the death of Otto Zehm in 2006 at the hands of police, the mayor breezed right along.

Instead, he solicited the crowd to text him suggestions — which appeared on a giant screen in real-time — to make the city a dynamic place that will attract people. One of the biggest audience reactions was the mass giggling when someone suggested “less snow.”

— JOE O’SULLIVAN

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Untouchable
  • Untouchable

    New claims of Spokane sidestepping civil service rules; Mobius finds a temporary home
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Friends with Benefits
  • Friends with Benefits

    Is a special deal with a private club helping the city's public golf courses?
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • A New Voice
  • A New Voice

    The Black Lens, continues Spokane's long tradition of African-American publications
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Creating with Clay

Creating with Clay @ Gizmo-cda

Thu., Jan. 29, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jacob Jones

  • Blood Alcohol Consequences
  • Blood Alcohol Consequences

    Distilled: A shot of life
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • Ante Up
  • Ante Up

    Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will ask voters for a $15 million levy; plus, cracking down on jailhouse snitches
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

More by Joe O'Sullivan

  • R.I.P. Spokane
  • R.I.P. Spokane

    Exploring the Spokane of South Dakota — left for dead long ago
    • Jun 11, 2013
  • Beating On
  • Beating On

    Ska and new wave legends the English Beat land in Spokane
    • Mar 26, 2013
  • Green Water
  • Green Water

    Will Congress say yes to more hydropower?
    • Feb 27, 2013
  • More »

More by Heidi Groover

Most Commented On

  • Say 'No' to Fear

    Why Spokane ought to embrace its roots as an immigrant-friendly place
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Mothers and Leaders

    History often overlooks the women who powered the politics of the civil rights movement
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation