Hating, in God’s name
If you thought Rev. Fred Phelps’ anti-gay antics were as low as anyone could go, they’re nothing compared to the tactics of the Watchmen on the Walls. And this weekend, you can find out why.
A band of unapologetic gay haters, the Watchmen will be hunkering down at the Lynnwood Convention Center from Oct. 19-21. A website for the event states: “The Conference is devoted to the protection of traditional Christian and moral values, which, owing to the liberalization of mores are under threat of extinction.” With links to Slavic churches in the United States, Ukraine, and Latvia, Watchmen have harassed gays, lesbians, and homosexualists (heterosexuals who support and befriend lesbians and gays) at pride events by pelting them with feces.
In a statement, Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough says the city “does…not endorse the views and opinions of those who use the convention center.” But local holy man Rev. Ken Hutcherson, of Redmond’s Antioch Bible Church, does. He’s an invited speaker.
To learn more about the Watchmen: www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/
Licata: let’s review
Seattle City Council president Nick Licata has made good on his pledge to put together a panel to look at the city’s police accountability review system, and it’s zeroing in on legal and departmental resistance to civilian oversight.
Licata’s panel convenes more than three months after Mayor Greg Nickels drew up his own panel to review and recommend any changes, if they deem necessary, to the internal investigations system. The mayor’s committee doesn’t address two subjects the City Council says are vital: the attitude of top brass toward the civilian-led Office of Professional Accountability, and laws that effectively seal off the process from the view of those who aren’t cops.
Corporate care sucks
One union’s battle to stop an investment firm from snapping up four nursing homes in Washington state is valiant, but the outcome is uncertain.
On Oct. 10, Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union held a small demonstration in Olympia to call attention to the fact that the Carlyle Group, a giant backer of the defense industry, plans to spend $6.3 billion to buy HCR Manor Care, a nursing-home chain with locations in Lynnwood, Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Spokane.
But when investors take over nursing homes, “three things happen,” says SEIU’s Adam Glickman. “The number of staff go down; the number of hours of care goes down; and care deficiencies go up.”
SEIU wants the legislature and DSHS, which licenses nursing homes, to hold hearings on the takeover and make Carlyle agree to certain standards. The chairs of the legislature’s health committees, Rep. Eileen Cody and Sen. Karen Keiser, support the effort, but DSHS says it can’t.
“There is no authority or law or rule,” says DSHS business analyst Nancy Brubaker, “that would authorize us to conduct public hearings about the change in ownership.”