Give gubernatorial candidate Battling Bill Bryant points for chutzpah.
The Republican contender, a clear underdog against incumbent Democrat Big Jay Inslee, gave an Important Speech in Seattle on Wednesday, standing next to a table display of 25,000 golden keys to a chocolate factory (OK, they were probably brass, and there was no chocolate involved, but you get the idea).
That, as savvy political types say, is what’s known as a zinger. Bryant’s key pile was a visual reference to a recently revealed report on security at Western State Hospital. The inspection conducted by the state Department of Corrections found certain problems, including an overall attitude of “Security? What’s that?”
The inspection conducted by the state Department of Corrections found certain problems, including an overall attitude of “Security? What’s that?”
Never miss a local story.
The report also found hospital staff had somehow lost track of 25,000 master keys and thousands of special tools used to open windows, which didn’t exactly look good in light of recent escapes by hospital patients through said windows.
It didn’t help that Corrections Department inspectors found pretty much the same problems in an earlier report released six years ago, and they hadn’t been fixed. Nor was it helpful that the latest inspection report, completed in June, didn’t surface until September, when a meddling reporter got hold of it. Hence Bryant’s speech, seizing an opportunity to frame Big Jay as an amiable bumbler sweeping mistakes under the welcome mat of the governor’s mansion.
Predictably, Inslee’s campaign spokesman called the key speech “a stunt,” complaining that Bryant originally pitched his presentation as a talk on education, which was an odd defense: Hey, Bill — you were gonna criticize the guv for one thing, but you picked something else instead, you ... you flip-flopper!
Predictably, Inslee’s campaign spokesman called the key speech “a stunt,” complaining that Bryant originally pitched his presentation as a talk on education, which was an odd defense: Hey Bill -- you were gonna criticize the guv for one thing, but you picked something else instead, you...you flip-flopper!
Inslee’s spokesman, Jamal Raad, also blamed the hospital’s problems on cuts dated to the Great Recession, and claimed the hospital has regained much of its capacity under the guv’s leadership, which isn’t exactly true — the bed count at the hospital has been flat, and after those aforementioned patient escapes, the hospital closed a ward that hasn’t reopened.
Oh, and the feds have been ripping the hospital for safety problems and delayed patient treatment for more than a year, along with local judges, but hey — putting on a happy face is what matters. And Battling Bill is so far behind in fundraising and polling that no one will remember the great key speech of September 2016 in a few weeks, right? Right? Anyone?
Smell those flowers — ow! Oh, look. A happy card showed up in The Sniffbox, with a return address in Puyallup.
It seems that P-town just received the coveted designation of a “Bee City” from a nonprofit organization of the same name, “committed to developing and maintaining sustainable habitats for pollinators, such as native bees and honey bees.”
City Councilwoman Heather Shadko, clearly delighted to stump for pollinator health, added her name to an apparent prefab quote in a press release announcing the historic moment.
“These small, hardworking insects impact our lives daily,” Shadko gushed. “Smell a flower, eat a piece of fruit or have some honey.”
Good instincts, Heather. The Sniff’s expertise (including the ability to identify any flower without looking) is well documented. You keep on growing those daffodils — just remember, if you keep plopping warehouses on every piece of acreage in the valley, the bees won’t be happy.
Achievement unlocked! T-towners might have noticed that The City of Destiny is taking a star turn in video-gaming world next spring. A game called “Tacoma” takes place on an eponymous space station in the not-too-distant future.
This sounds like a franchising opportunity — not just one game, but a whole series based on local challenges. For any would-be developers out there, here’s a list of potential candidates:
This sounds like a franchising opportunity -- not just one game, but a whole series based on local challenges. For any would-be developers out there, here’s a list of potential candidates:
1. “Lakewood Escape”
Premise: Find your way from Lakewood Towne Center to University Place in 10 minutes, while understanding the difference between Cirque Drive, Gravelly Lake Drive, Steilacoom Boulevard, Custer Road and Bridgeport Way. Difficulty: High
2. “Tacoma Escape”
Premise: Find your way from downtown to the northbound Interstate 5 exit without using the Thea Foss Bridge, sidestepping conniving bands of zombie construction workers who keep moving the on-ramp. Difficulty: Moderate.
3. “Click Escape”
Premise: You’re a public official, and your mission is finding a way to hang on to your publicly owned broadband service, using various plans, all of which lose money. On one side, you face a group of activists who won’t let you leave until you find the answer; on the other, a powerful boss known as The Director, who thwarts every solution you offer. Difficulty: Impossible.