Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Crime' (203) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 203

May 24, 2011 at 10:34am

RAGNET: The Chocolate Hooch

Semi drivers who drink on the job don't tend to last long ... especially after they roll their truck in Sumner with a trailer full of chocolate wine.


According to an article in the April 27 issue of the News Tribune, a semi-truck driver was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving early April 26, not long after overturning his truck at the corner of 24th Street East and 142nd Avenue East in Sumner. The accident occurred at approximately 1:50 a.m., and according to reports blocked traffic until about noon, when two tow trucks finally pulled the truck upright. No one was hurt, but the wreck did take out a stop sign and a light pole.

Oh, and did we mention the semi was full of CHOCOLATE WINE!?!

To read this week's full Ragnet column click here.

Filed under: Crime,

April 29, 2011 at 3:13pm

TACOMA WEEK IN REVIEW: Cover-ups, retirements, Sustainability Reports, bike helmets and fear over medical marijuana

The third annual Tacoma Bike Swap is Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound Memorial Fieldhouse.


State Senator Debbie Regala has announced she won't be running for re-election, meaning the good people of the 27th Legislative District (much of Tacoma, the City of Ruston and part of Fife) will be electing her replacement in 2012. Regala has held the seat for 17 years and has been widely popular amongst her constituency. Any guesses as to who will run to replace her?

To read the full "Tacoma Week in Review" by Zach Powers, including the Zina Linnik Amber Alert cover up, a Sustainability Report for Pierce County and Governor Gregoire being too scared to sign the medical marijuana bill, click here.

Filed under: Community, Politics, Crime, Tacoma,

April 26, 2011 at 10:22am

RAGNET: Drug-seeking tendencies gone wrong

Got morphine?


Drug-seeking tendencies can run the gamut. There's run-of-the-mill stuff, like pocketing some of your senile grandmother's Percocet; and there's the more dramatic stuff, like that creepy Drug War commercial from the ‘80s where the older brother shakes down the little brother for his allowance money so he can go get high.

And then there's stuff like the following story, which is just too creative, unusual, outside-the-box (and sad) for classification.

According to a story from the Associated Press, the Chelan County Sheriff's office told the Wenatchee World that an unidentified person broke into the Cashmere Museum Friday night, tearing through fence and kicking in the door of a pioneer village exhibit.

What were they after, you ask?

To read this week's full Ragnet, click here.

Filed under: Crime, Comedy,

March 17, 2011 at 3:58pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Antonio Edwards Jr. speaks out on HB 1126


Today's comment comes from Tacoma poet Antonio Edwards Jr., in regard to a story by Zach Powers on HB 1126 and the recent town hall it inspired.

Edwards (eloquently) writes,

The Slave Code (HB 1126) The Remix

Politicians are into hip hop now
Their latest Hit
A Slave Code remix
House Bill 1126
Now I'll take the Liberty to change the word "Slaves" to "Gangs"
In order to uncover this diabolical plan
In U.S. history, laws governing the status of gangs were enacted
by states that permitted conditions that created them.
IF law enforcement labeled you a Gang member
You were considered a criminal rather than a citizen
With only felonious rights

In this era of privately own prisons
Your incarceration have become the latest family business
the daughter is the stenographer
the Uncle is the Judge
the Nephew is the Prosecutor
the cousin is the defense attorney
the brother is the correction officer
and the Grandfather, he is the Warden

When free enterprise intersects with a captive market
Abuses are bound to happen
Welcome to the Prison Industrial Complex
Also known as PIC
A multibillion-dollar industry
With its own trade shows and conventions,
Its own Web sites, mail order catalogues, and direct marketing campaigns.
It includes some of the nation's largest architecture and construction firms,
No longer a surprised
The plan for my demise has been openly constitutionalized
Kill this Bill

Antonio Edwards Jr.

February 22, 2011 at 3:29pm

Talking House Bill 1126

Beverly Marie Ibsen leads a small group on Civil Injunctions.


Last Wednesday night, Feb. 16, Tacoma residents of all ages and ethnicities gathered for a town hall meeting at The Evergreen State College Tacoma to discuss House Bill (HB) 1126, a piece of proposed legislation that seeks to modify the way communities deal with gangs. The meeting, which was planned by a number of local community groups including The Conversation - self described as, "a group of Tacoma and South Sound residents committed to the building of a diverse, critically engaged, social justice community for the task of procuring for ourselves and our communities a better life" - addressed the possible negative ramifications the bill could have on youth, families, and our community as a whole.

The bill would allow for Civil Injunctions - going as far as making it illegal for an alleged criminal to wear certain clothing or visit certain neighborhoods. It calls for stricter penalties for youth, notably changing the conditions of community custody and making it more difficult to divert juveniles from jail, as well as creating harsher sentencing by defining certain criminal offenses as ‘street gang-related." The bill also would authorize law enforcement to seize property where multiple criminal street gang-related offenses have occurred or are alleged to have occurred. 

The meeting began with an address by Terrance Hamilton, a 20-year-old AmeriCorps worker and former gang member and drug dealer. Hamilton began nervously, speaking his first few sentences in a mumbled whisper, but after encouraging words were shouted up at him by the audience (one woman yelled "just speak from your heart, young man"), Hamilton found his confidence and voice. He explained how his limited options as a youth led him to find acceptance and income as a gang member. Having lost or been abandoned by both of his parents, Hamilton said he joined a gang for a sense of belonging. "If you don't have parents, who can you turn to?" he asked the audience. 

Two years ago Hamilton decided to come clean. He joined AmeriCorps and began writing raps to reflect on his experiences. "A banger is not who I am," he said. "I enjoy helping my community."  Hamilton now works with local youth and thinks it's for kids growing up in situations similar to his to also have role models with backgrounds similar to his. "The youth need to hear from people who made mistakes," he explains. "From people they can relate to, people like me."

Attorney Andre Penalver explains legal terms to the audience.

Next on the agenda was local attorney Andre Penalver, who framed HB Bill 1126 in legal terms. Mrs. Jesse Miller, a local activist, who framed the bill in what the program described as "street terms", followed him.

The audience then broke into small groups to talk about different elements of HB 1126. The stipulations creating stricter penalties for youth affect graffiti artists, so my hip-hop sensibilities led me to that circle. Volcano BFF Eddie Sumlin led the group through a thoughtful discussion about alternatives to HB 1126 and why African-American youth seem to be targeted by the language of the bill. I was moved by an observation made by a young organizer. "There're trying to save drug addicts and prostitutes, but only punish gang members," she said.

Dr. Dexter Gordon

The last leg of the meeting was an animated address by UPS Professor Dr. Dexter Gordon on "the Prison Industrial Syndrome" and the racially oppressive nature of the government's "War on Drugs"' Gordon ran through a series of staggering statistics illustrating the entrapment of African-American men in the legal system.

Dr. Gordon explained that the harsher penalties and other stipulations of HB 1126 are, in his opinion, aimed at one demographic only - African-American young men. "We know who the people are who are most likely to be swept up and put in jail," he told the crowd.

Gordon also used statistics to show that white youth are more likely to use both marijuana and serious drugs than African-American youth and that white-majority college campuses, not African-American neighborhoods, are the communities in America with the highest concentration of drug-use. "I'm still waiting for a police sweep of UPS," he mused.

The meeting ended with Gordon and event organizers encouraging the audience to voice their concerns about House Bill 1126 by emailing their state representatives.

I left inspired, both to raise awareness about the shortcomings of HB 1126 and to attend more town hall meetings in Tacoma. In addition to being fed free spaghetti, citizens had been educated, encouraged to speak, and empowered to act. In just two hours I was more informed, had made new friends, and was even more thankful to live Tacoma.

Filed under: Community, Crime, Tacoma,

January 4, 2011 at 3:37pm

Know your Thurston County judges


For many, watching a District Court judge hammer down the gavel is not a desired experience. But on Wednesday, Jan. 5, the sight of the gavel doesn't mean that the little baggie stashed deep in your sock drawer was finally discovered, it means you're in Olympia participating in the Justice at Work open house.

From 1-4:30 p.m. Thurston County Superior and District courts will be hosting an open house in an effort to show the community how the courts work. The open house will feature a brief opening ceremony, followed by the opportunity for visitors to watch initial hearings of those recently jailed (always a crowd pleaser) and pay visits to Family and Juvenile Courts. Community members will also be allowed to tour juvenile detention.

The courts are funded through state, county and city tax dollars. Like many other taxpayer-funded institutions, the courts face constraints and possible budget cuts in a tough financial year ahead. Although the courts are open to the public everyday, the Justice at Work open house event will give community members the chance to ask questions of court volunteers and  learn more about the programs and resources the courts offer. 

Visit the Washington Courts website for more information on the event. And remember this Weekly Volcano recommendation: Never look the judges directly in the eye. They can see the guilt in your soul.  

Filed under: Crime, Politics, Olympia,

December 15, 2010 at 7:14am

I'm the Foursquare Holiday Mayor of the Tacoma Police Headquarters!

Leap captured by Matthew David Photography


"Hey Chief Don Ramsdell! Be on the look out for a "Four-Fifteen" on South Pine Street because I'm the mutha elfing Foursquare Holiday Mayor of your Tacoma Police Headquarters now!" screamed Bandito Betty Lou Who – our very happy friend who leaps for us on Spew. "You might want to issue an APB for ... THIS!"


December 14, 2010 at 3:19pm

Tacoma Police Department Bulletin: Unidentified foot found


Got this from Mark Fulghum over at the Tacoma Police Department not long ago. Wanted to pass it along in case anyone out there had information that might help. 

253.591.5959 - all callers will remain anonymous

Filed under: Crime, Community, Tacoma,

November 18, 2010 at 4:40pm

Patrick O'Callahan must be high


Not sure if you've had a chance to read the embarrassingly stupid blog post offered yesterday by Patrick O'Callahan over at the Trib. Just in case you haven't, here's the gist:

Emiel Kandi - yes, the same Emiel Kandi who heads Tacoma's medical marijuana dispensary C.O.B.R.A. Medical Group, and the same Emiel Kandi the Volcano quoted in our August cover story on the medical marijuana situation in Tacoma and Pierce County - is allegedly kind of a bad guy. Or, at the very least, he's the kind of guy who gets sued for providing hard money loans to those in financial trouble, taking a bizarre amount of enjoyment from seizing their homes and property when they fail to repay him. The Seattle Times recently published an article about Kandi's loan practices, and it doesn't exactly paint a nice picture of the man.

In a leap reminiscent of that scene from Harold & Kumar with the cheetah, O'Callahan draws the conclusion that because Kandi appears to be a less-than-savory character, AND operates a medical marijuana dispensary, the two things naturally go hand in hand. This is classic logical fallacy, and the kind that journalists would do well to avoid posting on their blog - lest they be ridiculed endlessly.  Especially if they're just piggybacking on the work of a larger paper.

Here's the structure of O'Callahan's post:

Emiel Kandi = bad.

Emiel Kandi runs a medical marijuana dispensary.

Therefore medical pot dispensaries = bad.

Ironically, Kandi responded to this very accusation in an e-mail sent out last week.

"Hard money lending and medical marijuana are two separate issues, please treat them as such even if you decide you don't like me after all," he asks."I sincerely apologize to all of my colleagues in the medical marijuana reform movement for this embarrassing personal attack....I didn't break any laws, my clinic is one of the few that has not been raided because I am towing the letter of the rather vague laws as my attorneys have advised me to do."

The Trib's blog seems to take particular delight in the way the Volcano's cover story "praised" Kandi for running "the tightest ship in town," in C.O.B.R.A.  ("Praised" is his word, not ours.) Apparently the fact that a businessman with questionable ethics could also operate a medical marijuana dispensary that acts extremely thoroughly in verifying patients' documentation before SELLING them medical marijuana confuses O'Callahan. This is, at best, another logical fallacy on his part. And a pretty dumb one, if you think about it.

More importantly, however, O'Callahan calls Tacoma's City Council "panic stricken," basically berating Mayor Strickland and Co. for reversing the decision made unilaterally by a city department to shut down all of Tacoma's medical marijuana dispensaries, and allow time for the legislature to do its job because hundreds of people (including Kandi) voiced concerns. O'Callahan quotes Kandi as saying at the time, "We shall fill your chambers and spill into the streets. We shall be heard."

He's right that not everyone involved in the medical marijuana movement or operating a dispensary is doing it purely out of goodwill for the sick and dying. Just like other pharmaceuticals, many are interested in medical marijuana for the money (gasp!). The medical marijuana movement is horribly convoluted with recreational pot smokers and profiteers who see it as the gateway to full-on legalization.

But, then again, how surprised should we be by this? When you've got a poorly written (alright, horribly written) law on the books - one intended to allow the sick and dying access to medical marijuana with a doctor's permission that doesn't even attempt to answer the question of how these patients are supposed to acquire that medical pot - you've already set the stage for it. Add in the fact that roughly 80 percent of the population supports marijuana for medical use, and it only gets messier.

The truth is, as we noted in our cover story, the current medical marijuana law doesn't provide any guidance or allowances for medical pot dispensaries. By most professional interpretations of the law, dispensaries are illegal. By others, they are allowed. This presents a two-fold problem.

First, the law is so poorly written that before Tacoma could figure out its stance on medical marijuana dispensaries (which took over a fucking year) roughly eight had already popped up. Whether people like Emiel Kandi are bad news or not, or in it for profit, these dispensaries do serve the sick and dying with a medicine their doctors and Washington state voters overwhelmingly agree they should have. Tacoma's lack of action or foresight has allowed many sick and dying patients to come to depend on these dispensaries. It's all tied together now.

Second, there's the court of public opinion. When voters overwhelmingly approved the current medical marijuana law (over ten years ago!) what they thought they were doing was giving medical marijuana access to the sick and dying. While the poorly written law has allowed opportunities for the Emiel Kandis of the world to open dispensaries, that has far more to do with the flaws in the law. Honestly, no one knows exactly what to make of it. When you write half a law, and try to legalize marijuana for a tiny portion of the population without providing any clear guidelines, this is what happens.

The bottom line is if the legislature would do its job we wouldn't be in this situation. The law needs clarity as fast as possible, or those who depend on medical marijuana will continue to be victimized by it, and O'Callahan will get to continue publishing stupid shit.

Filed under: Community, City Councils, Crime, Tacoma,

June 14, 2010 at 10:14am

MORNING SPEW: Shaggy's real name?, killer UFOs ...


What was Shaggy's real name on "Scooby Doo?"

American geologists have discovered untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan that could be worth nearly one trillion dollars. Looks like the United states will be digging in for a while.

Beer commercial people  – and reporters – were abducted by Nahua Indians with machetes.

The KKK threatened to kill Ted Kennedy.

Human Genome Sciences say they have a medication for Hepatitis C but that the FDA likely won't approve it due to "risks."

A billionaire expert speaks out on killer UFOs.

Jimmy Dean died at 81.

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