[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

As part of my continuing effort to justify the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I have, I’ve been playing with my Audition audio software and learning how to use it. Today I learned how to make a multitrack file! Go me. I also played with the various filters in the software to distort and shape sounds.

All of which is to say I recorded a song today and it is very very noisy indeed. It’s “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which is my favorite song from the Eurythmics. Here it is (and no, it’s not actually nine minutes long, I don’t know why the media player says that. It’s, like, five):

Yes, that’s me singing. No, Annie Lennox doesn’t have a thing to worry about.

In case you’re curious, every noise on that track either comes out of me, or out of an acoustic tenor guitar. Audio filters are fun! Let’s just say I let my Thurston out to play, and if you get that reference, congratulations, you’re old too.

No, I’m not giving up my day job. Relax. But I do enjoy playing with sounds. This is fun for me.

In any event: Enjoy the noise.

spend some time at the range

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:06 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
Hooo, practice range time makes a huge difference learning Widowmaker play.

I spent a bunch of time on the practice range yesterday and the day before and the impact has been immediate. I had a couple of twitch headshots at lunchtime overwatch that were just nuts. Intent was there, sure, but the mechanics? Pure reflex. Twitch, headshot. Good night, Hanzo. Twitch, headshot. Good night, McCree. Go to sleep.

Plus a few more deliberately aimed headshots. I had some good numbers today. Their McCree was the only one who could get anywhere near me. But more, I'm picking up the always-be-moving part. Not perfectly, of course. But I was thinking of her as best played more still than she should be, and that's wrong. Move. Always.

Also won another couple of duels with enemy Widowmakers, and one - ugh, she was terrible. I'll have this reaction when I'm playing enemy Tracer, when they're terrible - "oh, sister, you shame us all" - and I had that today, as Widow, about an enemy Widow. And I was right. I was a factor. She wasn't. We won, and they barely even ever slowed us down.

Also also, double-kill with a venom mine. That was both a first, and hilarious. "Here, have some deadly neurotoxin I got from my best friend online. Ooh, did that sting? Thanks, I will tell her."

I really do kind of think Widowmaker and GlaDOS would be evil online friends. You know, what with the common interests in deadly neurotoxin and killing. I should learn how to say "the cake is a lie" in French. Google translate says "le gateau est un mensonge." I suspect if it's gonna get anything right, it's that.

Someone should draw them getting together at a café for cake and neurotoxin. Tell me that wouldn't be great. :D

Huh, I guess it's official. I need a Widowmaker icon.
[syndicated profile] seattletransitblog_feed

Posted by Bruce Nourish

Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge Project Area map
On August 3rd, SDOT is hosting an open house for the Northgate Pedestrian/Bike bridge project:

At the open house:

Join us

Thursday, August 3
5:30 — 7:30 PM (drop in any time)
Hampton Inn & Suites
9550 1st Ave NE, Seattle

This project is a culmination of years work by transit and walkability advocates, elected officials around the region, and people who live in the neighborhood. It will directly connect the region’s transit spine to an a college, a park, a business district oriented around medical services, and a still-relatively-affordable neighborhood with lots of multifamily housing. If you live nearby, or will use this bridge, show up to show your support, and to make sure the design will work for you.

07/21/17 PHD comic: 'Weekend Plans'

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "Weekend Plans" - originally published 7/21/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

Blacklight Sunset

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:44 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Because sometimes it’s fun to play with Photoshop’s sliders and see what you come up with. This is what happens (in part) when you push the “dehaze” slider all the way to the right. The real sunset didn’t look like this (it looked like this), but I think it might be cool to live on a planet where the sunset did look like that, every once in a while.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.


Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:15 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can tell how hot it is because the squirrel's tail is so flat
[syndicated profile] crosscutnews_feed

Posted by Tammy Morales

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announces the end of his campaign for re-election at Alki Bath House along Alki Beach in West Seattle, Washington on May 9.

Thirty-three years ago I was a sophomore in high school when one night, I sat up in bed crying. For some reason, I had just remembered that when I was 4 years old I was molested by a family friend. The people entrusted with my care abused that trust and exploited my vulnerability.

Mayor Ed Murray has now been accused of child rape by several individuals who trusted him with their care. They can’t prove what he did, but the Oregon Department of Child Protective Services — the state agency responsible for ensuring the safety of the state’s foster children — declared him ineligible to serve as a foster parent. The department’s investigator concluded that the alleged sexual abuse with one young person did occur. It’s time for Ed Murray to resign.

My mom had me when she was 19 years old. She had no college degree and she divorced when I was two and worked two to three jobs to pay the bills. Mom often worked nights, leaving me with folks she trusted — parents of Mom’s high school friend — so she could do what she had to to take care of me. On those nights I had to stay late or stay over, her friend’s father molested me.

My abuser was never held accountable by me or my family. He died by the time I remembered what happened. But the fact that this abuse happened more than a decade before I remembered it does not make it any less real. The fact that there was no criminal investigation does not mean it didn’t happen. Nor does it diminish my abuser’s moral turpitude. He was vile. He was depraved. His conduct violated the standards of our community.

Survivors of abuse, particularly children, are in vulnerable situations. They have no power. They often come from families with a history of abuse. My mother herself was molested when she was a child.

It is unconscionable that our council president claims that since this happened 33 years ago and the mayor continues to “show up” for work, we should just move on. Article V, Section 10 of the City Charter regarding ‘Removal of Mayor’ states [emphasis added]:

The Mayor may be removed from office after a hearing, for any willful violation of duty, or for the commission of an offense involving moral turpitude, upon written notice from the City Council at least five days before the hearing. He or she shall have the right to be present, to the aid of counsel, to offer evidence and to be heard in his or her own behalf. Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members of the City Council, acting as a court of impeachment, the office shall become vacant.’

There are two standards here: violation of mayoral duties and moral turpitude. Just because Murray does not meet one standard, that doesn’t mean the other can be dismissed. The Oregon agency concluded that he committed the offense of sexually abusing a foster child. Article V of the city charter does not require “judicial findings” of the offense, and if we are not going to believe the state agencies entrusted to watch over these children, why have them?

I was lucky — I forgot the experience for years. I did not endure violent abuse. Instead, just regular molestation that was clearly planned for the times I would be staying in the home for extended periods and while the friend’s mother was busy. My abuser was lucky too. He died before he could be held accountable for what he did to me, a child who trusted him.

Ed Murray needs to be held accountable for his moral turpitude. If the Seattle City Council won’t act to remove him from office, then the people of Seattle need to demand his resignation.

Editor’s note: Tammy Morales ran against Bruce Harrell for the Seattle City Council District 2 seat in 2015.

New Books and ARCs, 7/21/17

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:53 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

As we ease on into another summer weekend, here are the new books and ARCs that have come to the Scalzi Compound this week. What do you like here? Share your feelings in the comments!

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Here’s Sugar curling up with a good book, in this case the ARC of Don’t Live For Your Obituary, my upcoming collection of essays about writing and the writing life, which comes out in December from Subterranean Press. And you can win it! Here’s how:

Tell me in the comments which Beatles song I am thinking of right now.

That’s it!

The person who correctly guesses which Beatles song I am thinking of wins. In the case where more than one person correctly guesses, I will number the correct guesses in order of appearance and then use a random number generator to select the winner among them.

“Beatles song” in this case means a song recorded by the Beatles, and includes both original songs by the band, and the cover songs they recorded. Solo work does not count. Here’s a list of songs recorded by the Beatles, if you need it. The song I’m thinking of is on it.

Guess only one song. Posts with more than one guess will have only the first song considered. Posts not related to guessing a song will be deleted. Also, only one post per person — additional posts will be deleted.

This contest is open to everyone everywhere in the world, and runs until the comments here automatically shut off (which will be around 3:50pm Eastern time, Sunday, July 23rd). When you post a comment, leave a legit email address in the “email” field so I can contact you. I’ll also announce the winner here on Monday, July 24. I’ll mail the ARC to you, signed (and personalized, if so requested).

Kitten not included.

Also remember you can pre-order the hardcover edition of Obit from Subterranean Press. This is a signed, limited edition — there are only 1,000 being made — and they’ve already had a healthy number of pre-orders. So don’t wait if you want one.

Now: Guess which Beatles song I am thinking of! And good luck!

Verdict on Platform Decals: Meh

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:44 pm
[syndicated profile] seattletransitblog_feed

Posted by Martin H. Duke

Photo by Oran

Beginning last winter, you may have noticed platform decals in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel attempting nudge new-ish Seattle rail riders to follow the universal etiquette of not blocking the door as people exit. That experiment is over. ST spokesperson Kimberly Reason:

The decals at Westlake were temporarily installed on a six-month trial period to see if they would help separate the bus riders from the Link riders, as we were experiencing crowding and delays at the DSTT platforms from riders gathering at the forward ends of the platforms.  Our goal was to create efficiencies around boarding/alighting to ultimately improve performance.  Additionally, riders with low vision noted that the high contrast signs at the door openings may be beneficial. The trial period ended last week.

 Here’s what we found:

 ·       No real performance efficiencies in dispersing riders across the length of the platform from using the decals were observed.

·       Instead, with the roll-out of three-car Link trains, we observed riders naturally moving away from the forward platform and toward the rear for the opportunity to ride on the third car.

·       We anticipate any remaining crowding issues will be resolved when buses are removed from the DSTT and between-car Barriers are applied across all DSTT stations next year or two.

Although it’s easy to exaggerate how perfect the etiquette is in other cities, the battle to help riders speed up their own ride continues.

Agent to the Stars, 20 Years On

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:10 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

So, on July 21, 1997, which was a Monday, I posted the following on the alt.society.generation-x newsgroup:

Thought y’all might like to know. I’m happy, pleased, tired.

96,098 words, cranked out in a little under three months, working
mostly on weekends, grinding out 5,000 words at a sitting.

Learned two things:

a) I *can* carry a story over such a long stretch;

b) like most things on the planet, thinking about doing it is a lot
worse than simply sitting down and doing it. The writing wasn’t hard
to do, you just need to plant ass in seat and go from there.

I did find it helped not to make my first novel a gut-wrenching
personal story, if you know what I mean. Instead I just tried to write
the sort of science fiction story I would like to read. It was fun.

Now I go in to tinker and fine tune. Will soon have it ready for beta
testing. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That novel? Agent to the Stars. Which means that today is the 20th anniversary of me being a novelist. Being a published novelist would have to wait — I date that to January 1, 2005, the official publication date of Old Man’s War — but in terms of having written a full, complete (and as it eventually turned out, publishable) novel: Today’s the day.

I’ve recounted the story of Agent before but it’s fun to tell, because I think it’s a nice antidote to the “I just had to share the story I’d been dreaming of my whole life” angle first novels often take. The gist of the story was that my 10-year high school reunion was on the horizon, and having been “the writer dude” in my class, I knew I would be asked if I had ever gotten around to writing a novel, and I wanted to be able to say “yes.” Also, I was then in my late 20s and it was time to find out whether I could actually write one or not.

Having decided I was going to write one, I decided to make it easy for myself, mostly by not trying to do all things at once. The goal was simply: Write a novel-length story. The story itself was going to be pretty simple and not personally consequential; it wasn’t going to be a thinly-disguised roman a clef, or something with a serious and/or personal theme. It would involve Hollywood in some way, because I had spent years as a film critic and knew that world well enough to write about it. And as for genre, I was most familiar with mystery/crime fiction and science fiction/fantasy, so I flipped a coin to decide which to do. It come up heads, so science fiction it was, and the story I had for that was: Aliens come and decide to get Hollywood representation.

(I don’t remember the story I was thinking for the mystery version. I’m sure death was involved. And for those about to say “well, you didn’t have to stick with science fiction for your second book,” that’s technically correct, but once I’d written one science fiction novel, I knew I could write science fiction. It was easier to stick with what I knew. And anyway I write murder mysteries now — Lock In and the upcoming Head On. They also happen to be science fiction.)

I remember the writing of Agent being pretty easy, in no small part, I’m sure, because of everything noted above — it wasn’t meant to be weighty or serious or even good, merely novel-length. When I finished it, I do remember thinking something along the lines of “Huh. That wasn’t so bad. Maybe I should have done this earlier.” In the fullness of time, I’ve realized that I probably couldn’t have done it any earlier, I wasn’t focused enough and it helped me to have some sort of external motivation, in this case, my high school reunion.

Once finished, I asked two friends and co-workers at America Online to read the book: Regan Avery and Stephen Bennett, both of whom I knew loved science fiction, and both of whom I knew I could trust to tell me if what I’d written was crap. They both gave it a thumbs up. Then I showed it to Krissy, my wife, who was apprehensive about reading it, since if she hated it she would have to tell me, and would still have to be married to me afterward. When she finished it, the first thing she said to me about it was “Thank Christ it’s good.” Domestic felicity lived for another day.

And then, having written it… I did nothing with it for two years. Because, again, it wasn’t written for any other reason than to see if I could write a novel. It was practice. People other than Regan and Stephen and Krissy finally saw it in 1999 when I decided that the then brand-new Scalzi.com site could use some content, so I put it up here as a “shareware” novel, meaning that if people liked it they could send me a dollar for it through the mail. And people did! Which was nice.

It was finally physically published in 2005, when Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press published a limited hardcover edition. I was jazzed about that, since I wanted a version of the book I could put on my shelf. The cover was done by Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik, who among other things knew of the book because I was one of Penny Arcade’s very first advertisers way back in the day, advertising the Web version of the book (those guys have done okay since then). Then came the Tor paperback edition, and the various foreign editions, and the audiobook, and here we are today.

When I wrote the novel, of course, I had no idea that writing it was the first step toward where I am now. I was working at America Online — and enjoying it! It was a cool place to be in the 90s! — and to the extent I thought I would be writing novels at all, I thought that they would be sideline to my overall writing career, rather than (as it turned out) the main thrust of it. This should be your first indication that science fiction writers in fact cannot predict the future with any accuracy.

I’m very fond of Agent, and think it reads pretty well. I’m also aware that it’s first effort, and also because it was written to be in present time in the 90s, just about out of time in terms of feeling at all contemporary (there are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors remaining, to pick just one obvious example in the book). At this point I suggest people consider it as part of an alternate history which branched off from our timeline in 1998 or thereabouts. Occasionally it gets talked about for being picked for TV/film. If that ever happens, expect some extensive plot revisions. Otherwise, it is what it is.

One thing I do like about Agent is that I still have people tell me that it’s their favorite of mine. I like that because I think it’s nice to know that even this very early effort, done simply for the purpose of finding out if I could write a novel, does what I think a novel should: Entertains people and makes them glad they spent their time with it.

I’m also happy it’s the novel that told me I could do this thing, this novel-writing thing, and that I listened to it. The last couple of decades have turned out pretty well for me. I’m excited to see where things go from here.

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:02 pm
umadoshi: (ocean 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Here's how the new Star Wars novels will connect to The Last Jedi: The ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ books will explore details from the history of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia". I'm just gonna jump down here to Canto Bight: "This collection of four short stories will focus on creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight, described as the galactic version of Monaco. The book, which hits stores on Dec. 5, will be written by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller." [Also linked at [dreamwidth.org profile] aftertheendtimes, because awesome news is awesome.]

"Stargate Origins Series to Launch New MGM Digital Platform — Watch Teaser".

"Pacific Rim: Uprising Releases Teaser and Info on a New Crop of Jaegers". [Tor.com] And once again, we have a Jaeger with a slur (same one) in its name. :/

"Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter, Finally Getting the Doctor Who Spinoff Adventures She Deserves" [in audio drama form]. [The Mary Sue]

"Dick Grayson vs. Toxic Masculinity". [Book Riot] [May 2017]


Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew". [Content warnings: what you'd expect from that headline.]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives".

"The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence".

"Photobucket Is Holding People's Photos For 'Ransom': The company is now charging a $400 fee to hot-link images — which will break photos on tons of old websites and blogs.". [Buzzfeed]

"The Lost Cookbooks Of Black Chefs".

"Just 19 Fascinating Things About The Hair & Makeup On 'GLOW'". [Buzzfeed]

"How Eyeliner Defines My Womanhood". "My politics and my eyeliner became inseparable. Projecting my own sense of beauty, without shame or hesitation, scared the hell out of my opponents. My look was my armor and my weaponry. / But the fight took its toll. Somewhere in my late teens, I closeted myself again, without particularly noticing that I was doing so. I stopped wearing anything that scanned as feminine. I didn't even own eyeliner for 20 years. And I said nothing when people took me for a straight, cisgender man. [...] I’ve finally recognized, over years of trial and error — mostly error — that a wildly disproportionate amount of anxiety I experience arises from dressing like a man. A couple of years ago, that anxiety was swallowing me whole. I didn’t like who I’d become, and I wanted better for myself and my family. And, thanks to the wealth of information available online, and the supportive trans and queer community I found there, I had finally found the words to describe myself."

"Not in This Day and Age? On “Feisty, Cheeky, and Rebellious” Women in History".

"Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground". "One of the biggest problems is a side-effect of what made it possible to dig the deep level tunnels in the first place — namely the very solid and nice to tunnel through London Clay which sits under the city.

In fact, when the early tube tunnels were dug, they were so cool down there that the cool tube was seen as a respite from the summer heat on the surface. Why suffer on a bus in the heat when there’s a cool tube to take instead, said the marketing men.

So why is the Bakerloo line, once the coolest place to be, now a mobile sauna?"
[syndicated profile] crosscutnews_feed

Posted by Florangela Davila

Director Malika Oyetimein directs actors during a rehearsal of "Hoodoo Love." The production continues through July 30.  (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

A college campus building. A late summer evening so a soft light fills the space: a rehearsal studio. There’s a bed, bookcase, a bench. A charismatic Black woman holds court at the front of the room.

What does the act of imagination look like? Malika Oyetimein — blue toenails, bright pink Tinkerbell T-shirt, a few dreadlocks adorned with gold ribbon — sitting on the edge of a table, leaning forward to take in actors rehearsing a scene. She takes a quick sip of a Starbucks iced tea before working the sidelines, NBA-coach style, one corner to the next, scrutinizing the action on the makeshift stage.

In a strong voice, she instructs actor Eva Abram. “It’s the desperation of you not wanting him to hurt you or the baby,” Oyetimein tells her. The scene is devastating: Abram plays an old woman named Candylady, her arms rocking an imaginary infant as she recounts one of the worst nights of her life. Rehearsing the scene again, Abram’s quivering is a lot more palpable.

She coaches actor André Brown, who plays a frustrated blues man in the midst of yelling at his girlfriend, when the sudden appearance of her brother triggers an even deeper fury. “It makes you seethe,” she says. “His presence is like he’s turning a knife in you.” His moves emerge more explosive, his lines even nastier.

The Philadelphia-raised Oyetimein, 34, started out as an actor. She was a kid “always singing and performing.” Then after being cast as a maid three years in a row in her high school productions, “I was forced to become a director.” In her senior year, Oyetimein directed one-act plays with her best friend.

“It was a passion I had never had,” she recalls.

That passion is now undisputed talent, talent that has anointed Oyetimein as someone to watch.

“She’s having a bit of a moment,” attests Valerie Curtis-Newton, the theater director and UW Drama educator. “She’s in the right place at a time when the place is interested in diverse representation.”

Adds Intiman Theatre’s Andrew Russell: “She is what Seattle needs more of — women P-O-C — having a role in deciding what work needs to be made.”

While still a graduate student at the UW’s School of Drama, Oyetimein directed “Bootycandy” for Intiman and “Milk Like Sugar” for ArtsWest. Both productions generated accolades for Oyetimein and there were more shows and positive reviews to come.

In April, she flew back to Philly to direct the world premiere of “White,” which opened at Theatre Horizon.  Then she directed “Barbecue” for Intiman, which opened in May. She squeezed in finishing up her MFA in directing in June. Now earlier this month, here she was — back at the drama school housed at UW’s Hutchinson Hall, rehearsing “Hoodoo Love” for Sound Theatre Company and Curtis-Newton’s Hansberry Project.

“Ten plays in the last year,” Oyetimein says, smiling, all-too-aware of her membership in the exclusive club that is African-American female theatermakers.

She’s having success, she acknowledges unapologetically. She’s also ready for more.

“I have drive, passion, ambition. A big reason I went to school is to have a national profile. I want the stories I tell to reach bigger audiences,” she says.

Those stories often embrace common elements: strong female leads; storylines about resilience and familial bonds; a look at the African-American experience; vivid language. “Hoodoo Love,” Katori Hall’s blues-infused play is set in 1930s Memphis. “We’re watching a woman named Toulou fight for love and purpose,” Oyetimein says about the plot.

The story is harrowing; an act of violence ends the first scene. But it’s tender in parts and, triumphant.

Says Oyetimein: “Black women embody resilience.”

Malika Oyetimein with Andre G. Brown (middle) and Corey Spruill. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)
Malika Oyetimein with Andre G. Brown (middle) and Corey Spruill.
(Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Exuberant in personality as she is in style — the gold in her hair is a nod to her Nigerian father; her mother is American — Oyetimein greets her actors with “Hey, baby.”

“I’m a mama. I think I take care of them,” she says about her actors. “I love on them and I push on them hard,” she adds, referring to her directing style.

She credits studying communications as an undergrad at William Paterson for grooming her eye for detail: “I pick up on body language. I know when someone holds back.” The UW, she says, honed her theatrical skills: “How to find the right words. I take my time to give notes.”

“She can walk up to an actor and see what they’re struggling with. She has a no B-S attitude, but you know she’s on your side,” says Curtis-Newton, who taught Oyetimein at UW and who tapped her to helm “Hoodoo Love.”

At an opening performance at Seattle Center’s Center Theatre last week, the director watched from a seat in the middle of the second row, mouthing the lines, laughing some, leaning forward fully rapt.

“Nailed it!” she beamed afterward. And then saying, “I’m going to go hug them,” she hurried off to find the cast.

[syndicated profile] crosscutnews_feed

Posted by Lilly Fowler

Family photograph of Charleena Lyles with her children.

The two Seattle officers who fatally shot Charleena Lyles have a combined 11 years of experience. And their personnel files include commendations for their police work.

Steven McNew was once nominated for one of the highest honors in the department and has received numerous commendations for his work, including for saving the life of a suicidal man with a knife. Jason Anderson, who has been with the Seattle Police Department for two years, has received one commendation.

Personnel files and other Seattle Police Department records obtained by Crosscut shed light on the careers of both officers who shot and killed Lyles, the pregnant African-American mother of four at her Magnuson Park apartment last month.

Thirty-year-old Lyles had called police to report a burglary. In police interviews, Anderson and McNew have both maintained that they had no choice but to shoot Lyles because shortly after entering her apartment, she threatened them with knives. The public has questioned the officers’ response at protests, community meetings and public hearings.

McNew, 34, has received 10 commendations since being hired by the department in 2008, records show. The incidents for which he has been singled out include:

— In April 2011, a man at a 7-Eleven threatened to kill himself. When McNew and two other officers arrived at the scene, the man “moved to the middle of the store, pulled the sleeve back from his arm and placed the blade of his knife… against his bare skin.”

At one point, he moved towards the officers “knife in hand, before backing off, apparently due to officers’ verbal control.” After a few minutes of negotiations, McNew, with the help of the other officers, was able to convince the suicidal man to drop his knife.

“The skills that you displayed resulted in a quick, safe, positive outcome for all parties involved and the surrounding community,” reads the commendation. “You executed this call with great patience and tenacity during this difficult and stressful incident and it really showcases what exemplary officers you are.”

— In 2014, McNew was nominated for the Lifesaving Award, one of the department’s highest honors, after he and another officer tracked down a suicidal woman who overdosed on antidepressants. The officers used “old fashioned police work” to find her car. After knocking on several doors, McNew and the other officer found her and safely transported her to Northwest Hospital.

McNew’s personnel records also include an emailed letter from his own barber. “He knows the law and enforces it with fairness,” the email reads. “I’m telling you,” the email continued, “he knows his stuff and if all the officers are like Steve, Seattleites should feel very protected.”

But McNew’s file also shows he has been investigated and reprimanded.

— In 2015, the department’s Office of Professional Accountability investigated McNew after he missed firearms and de-escalation training. McNew was supposed to complete an eight-hour training; he was excused after it was discovered that he had been ill with food poisoning and had attended a make-up training session.

When an investigator questioned McNew about missing the training, he said: “It is what it is unfortunately. So there’s not really anything to say beyond that.”

— In 2016, McNew was reprimanded for failing to use his in-car video when responding to an assault call. McNew said he didn’t know he had to turn on the camera as soon as he responded to the call.

Officer Jason Anderson was hired by the department on April 28, 2015. His personnel file, which is much smaller, includes one commendation for an incident he handled with McNew.

— In February, just months before the Lyles’ shooting, Anderson, McNew and a team of other officers responded to a suspected robbery. The department lauded the officers for arresting two people who — according to the victims — had attempted to steal an estimated $20,000 worth of goods. Handwritten on the letter of commendation from various supervisors: “This is a great example of the hard work being done,” and “Working as a team. Nicely done!”

Both officers remain on administrative leave while an investigation into the Lyles’ shooting continues.

In an interview conducted after the Lyles shooting, McNew told police investigators that he was forced to kill the young mother, noting, “I’m three feet from someone with two knives and at that point fearing for what was about to happen, what she would do to me, um, being stuck in that spot, I fired my handgun.”

According to a police audio recording, right before shooting Lyles, McNew asked Anderson to “tase her.” But, Anderson, who had been trained in using a taser, responded: “I don’t have a Taser,” which is a violation of department policy.


jenk: Faye (Default)

April 2017

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