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Woke Starbucks set to close a total of 16 stores, five in Seattle alone, citing high crime and drugs

SEATTLE, WA – A company spokesperson for Starbucks confirmed to FOX 13 that five of its stores across Seattle, predominately in areas with high crime, will be permanently closing.

ICYMI: Starbucks is closing 5 Seattle stores & 1 Everett store because of crime & safety concerns. One store is at a light rail station where a woman was violently & randomly attacked. Another is next to a bus stop where a man was recently shot @komonews

— Tammy Mutasa (@TammyKOMO) July 12, 2022

The Starbucks at the following locations in Seattle will permanently close:

Roosevelt (6417 Roosevelt Way NE);
Central District (2300 S. Jackson Street);
International District (505 5th Ave. S.);
Capitol Hill (1600 E. Olive Way); and
Westlake Center (400 Pine St)

All of these locations will close on July 31st and according to the company, the driving factor in this decision stems from the number of crime-related complaints that have been filed at each location, either by employees or customers.

In a letter to Starbucks partners on creating a “safe, welcoming and kind third place,” senior vice presidents of U.S. operations Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, said:

“You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges, can at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.”

The company said that those who currently work in the closing stores can be assigned to neighboring locations if they choose.

Starbucks Is Closing 16 Stores Amid Crime And Drug Use Concerns via @dailycaller

— 45Esther24 (@45Esther24) July 12, 2022

The Seattle Times reported that those individuals who currently work at the Union Station and E. Olive Way locations, the two stores that are unionized, will continue to receive union representation if their new store is also unionized.

Starbucks also announced that it would be closing additional stores across the country due to safety concerns. The company plans to close a total of 16 stores, five of which are the ones located in Seattle. Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz wrote to the employees:

“Today, we find ourselves in a position where we must modernize and transform the Starbucks experience in our stores and recreate an environment that is relevant, welcoming and safe, and where we uplift one another with dignity, respect and kindness. We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future and to be successful, it will take our collective courage to begin again.”

One employee, Erin Bray, who works at the Union Station location in Seattle, said that she asked for more security, including guards in the cafe lobby. Bray’s concerns stem from assaults that have occurred in the lobby.

Starbucks claimed that there is a full-time security guard at Union Station, with an additional security support worker at time. The company stated that the cafe’s hours were also adjusted for safety and the store is closed on weekends.

Bray contested that, saying additional security was not hired, but that workers generally felt safe and never thought they needed to permanently close the store.  After learning that her store would be closing, Bray added, “I just feel helpless.”

Starbucks Closing 16 Stores Nationwide Due to Employee-Safety Concerns

— Scott Adams (@Hedgefund96) July 12, 2022

Schultz said that the company has been considering close cafe bathrooms to the public in response, however, instead of a company wide policy, individual store managers can decide if bathrooms will remain open to the public.

According to the coffee company, store layouts will be rearranged and new front-line workers will be trained on how to deal with active shooters and on how to use conflict de-escalation. Workers will also receive more mental health benefits as they deal with difficult safety situations.

The current Starbucks is not built for the future, said Camille Hymes, vice president of U.S. Community Impact. Hymes added:

“Consumer demands have changed. We recognize the external environment has changed, so we’re responding to that with urgency.”

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Report: Study shows that Democrat-run cities like Seattle and Tacoma rank among the worst in the nation

July 1st, 2022

SEATTLE, WA- A new study compiled by WalletHub shows that when it comes to city leadership for large cities in the United States, Tacoma and Seattle rank among the worst in the nation.

Top 3 worst RUN US Cities Are Controlled by Democrats (0Hedge)

— PuddinTang (@_PuddinTang_) July 1, 2022

One way to measure the effectiveness of local leadership is to determine a city’s operating efficiency and that is exactly what the study researched.

The study compared the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget, which gave insight into how well city officials actually manage and spend public funds.

The finance website went on to assemble a list of the 150 largest cities in the nation and then weighed their services against the total budget per capita spent on them.

They constructed a “Quality of Services” score made up of 38 metrics grouped into six categories. Some of the series of ratings included high school graduation rates, violent crime, green spaces, and median household income.

Two Bay Area cities ranked poorly in a recent study by WalletHub.

— SFGATE (@SFGate) June 29, 2022

Based off the data, Seattle ranks 118 out of the 150 and Tacoma ranks at 139. Tacoma earned low marks for its apparent low quality of city services with a comparatively high budget per capita.

For comparison, with a slightly higher city population, Spokane ranked 56th with the 58th best city services against the 68th lowest budget.

Seattle, ranked 118th, but earned incredibly high marks for its services, which are ranked 18th out of 150. The data suggests that what is holding the city back is its bloated spending, which ranked at the 140th most expensive budget per capita.

Seattle ranks higher than both Tacoma and Spokane for safety, which includes metrics like violent crime, property crime, motor fatalities per capita, homelessness, and perception of safety.

The methodology used by WalletHub created scores for “city services” that were based on a combination of things, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure, and pollution. Those criteria are represented by measurements like:

Moody’s City Credit Rating;
K-12 School System Quality (;
High School Graduation Rate;
Infant Mortality;
Average Life Expectancy;
Violent Crime Rate;
Share of Sheltered Homeless People;
Unemployment Rate;
Median Annual Household Income;
Housing Prices;
Quality of Roads;
Walking/Biking/Transit Score;
Greenhouse Gas Emissions; and
Park Spaces

Top 3 Worst Run US Cities:

1) Washington, D.C.
2) San Francisco, CA
3) New York, NY

Top 3 Best Run US Cities:

1) Nampa, ID
2) Boise, ID
3) Fort Wayne, IN

— S.A. Salviander (@SSalviander) June 30, 2022

The finance website also turned to a panel of local-government, economic, and diversity experts to understand what it takes to have a well-run city.

When asked “what are the most important issues facing US cities today,” Gary Rose, Professor and chair for the Department of Government at Sacred Heart University, he stated, in part:

“The crime wave is clearly an important issue in many cities. The ability of city governments to provide adequate services to residents is an important issue due to declining revenues … underfunding pension obligations continue to be an important issue in many cities. The strained relationship between police and persons of color within the cities is an important issue …”

When asked, “what can citizens do to increase the transparency and accountability of local government,” Rose stated, in part:

“I have always felt that accountability depends on objective and aggressive reporting by local media. The best reporting of government still comes from seasoned journalists associated with the print press. The problem, however, is that many newspapers are folding or being bought out by large media corporations.”

According to WalletHub, the worst run city in America is Washington, D.C., with the highest budget spent on city services that only rank 55th.

The best-run city is Nampa, Idaho, with city services ranked at an admirable 21st, with the lowest total budget per capita of all 150 large cities.

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Internal memo reveals that the staffing crisis in Seattle Police Department keeping adult sexual assault cases from being investigated

June 3rd, 2022

SEATTLE, WA- In the aftermath of the “defund the police” movement, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is still facing a major staffing crisis, which is allowing criminals to walk free and victims to not get justice.

From a staggering#staffing crisis to soaring #crime rates, the #Seattle #Police Department is in a dire situation.

— Mental Ammo (@MentalAmmo) April 30, 2022

According to a report from Fox News, the continued staffing crisis at SPD has now forced the department to no longer take on new adult sexual assault cases.

The revealed memo, that is four pages in length and was first reported by the Seattle Times on Tuesday, May 31st, was sent internally by the sergeant in charge of the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit to interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz.

In the memo, titled “Staffing Issues,” Sgt. Pamela St. John said that she is currently not able to assign new adult sexual assault cases “because of other statutory requirements.”

Three years ago, before 2020 and the “defund the police movement,” the unit had 12 detectives, but at the time this new memo was written, there are only four detectives in the unit. St. John wrote:

“That burden is even more impactful in our unit given the content and nature of the investigations which directly leads to secondary issues such as burnout and compassion fatigue.”

The staffing crisis within the Seattle Police Department grows more dire by the day.

— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 17, 2022

In the memo, St. John explained how the unit has seen an increase in cases involving children and teenagers.

Just in March of this year, the unit received 107 referrals from Child Protective Services, which is “on par with where the referrals were before the pandemic” as children return to school and become more publicly visible. The sergeant wrote:

“The community expects our agency to respond to reports of sexual violence and at current staffing levels that objective is unattainable. The necessity for on-call detective response to Sexual Assault cases cannot be understated, but with current staffing levels the burden that falls upon our detectives is too high. A skilled detective is required to proactively investigate a sexual assault case.”

The sergeant told the chief that she understands the staffing crisis is department wide and even though the sexual assault and child abuse unit has always been staffed at between 10 and 12 detectives, she would settle for at least eight.

She said with eight detectives investigating sexual assault and child abuse cases, it would allow her to assign adult sexual assault cases and assign the backlog of cases coming from the crime lab with DNA hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

St. John wrote:

“This year alone, I have 30 adult sexual assault cases that should be assigned to a detective if I had proper staffing. The detectives will still need to be working overtime, but the cases can then be assigned.”

In her memo, the sergeant also acknowledged that she was aware of the 116 CODIS hit returns that are outside the Cold Case backlog, but again stated, “I am not able to assign currently.”

Additionally, there are only three detectives assigned to the sex offender and kidnapping detail. One detective is HR unavailable and the sergeant does not expect that individual to return.

The sex offender and kidnapping detail is responsible for monitoring more than 1,200 registered sex offenders in Seattle and filing cases with the King County prosecutor when one is found to be out of compliance.

The detail also completes risk assessments for new offenders and ones requesting to have their level changed. These are all things that help keep communities safe, but with the continued staffing crisis, those in the community are at greater risk of becoming a victim.

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Seattle’s ‘law-and-order’ City Attorney Davison drops 2,000 cases to ease predecessor’s backlog

May 5th, 2022

SEATTLE, WA – A dog-sitting business in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood has been broken into an astonishing four times since it opened at the end of January. That’s about once a month.

Josh Center, the owner of Club Dogfish, said he no longer expects the police to help him and instead has made an arrangement with the drug dealers that populate his street: He won’t call the cops on them as long as they alert him to break-ins and vandalism at his business.

He explained:

“I feel like we’re returning to the era of protection money. Because in exchange for me turning my eye when I have drug dealers at my door or down the block, they keep people from hanging out at my building.”

The symbiotic relationship might work for Center but it’s not exactly what Seattle’s new city attorney had in mind when she assumed office on Jan. 1, 2022. Ann Davison, who had switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican in 2020, inherited a backlog of 5,000 cases that speak of the declining quality of life in Seattle.

The city’s top prosecutor admitted recently that she will have to drop nearly 2,000 cases, many like Center’s, that have languished over the past two years. Davison said many of the backlogged cases are too old to pursue and do not involve a crime against a person per se.

Her 2021 campaign focused on what many Seattle residents wanted to hear: That she would be tough on crime. So the announcement that 2,000 cases will simply vanish from the system is hard for some to take.

The lack of accountability, particularly for the “Summer of Love” rioters who laid waste to large areas of the city, is galling for those who voted for a law-and-order city attorney. But Davison sees it as the only way forward. She said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I made this decision.” 

She hired former U.S. Attorney and Trump appointee Brian Moran to triage the case backlog, and together, they decided to drop 1,921 cases that have been backlogged for an average of 334 days, she said.

The cases that won’t be prosecuted include property destruction, theft, criminal trespass,  non-DUI traffic offenses and cases that are past the statute of limitations.

Backlogged cases that will go forward all involve crimes against people, including domestic violence, assault with sexual motivation and other assault and harassment-related crimes, as well as crimes involving firearms, driving under the influence and individuals who meet the “High-Utilizer Initiative” criteria, the frequent fliers in the justice system.

Davison recently told her plan to the City Council’s public safety committee. She told the panel:

“A backup of this size is shameful.” 

Davison, who is five months into her four-year term, said:

“The longer a case sits unattended, the harder it is to prosecute. . . I acknowledge that we are leaving some things unaddressed . . . when there is not timely justice for the victims.”

Davison said she’s hired nine criminal attorneys and needed to drop the cases in order to meet a “close-in-time” filing decision within five days of receiving a case from the Seattle Police Department.

“We want to restore real-time accountability within our misdemeanor criminal justice system here, and I think the way to do that is to keep our resources focused on present referrals.”

City Attorney Ann Davison has issued a formal request to Seattle Municipal Court that would allow her office to prosecute repeat offenders of serious crimes instead of sending them to a community court that seeks to release people first.

— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) April 28, 2022

Davison said her office is also developing an information dashboard like the one used by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who handles major felonies and has a larger staff of attorneys. His online dashboard allows the public to see the number of open case filings being handled by his staff.

Davison said the dashboard is being created by the City Attorney’s first-ever data and transparency team. She noted:

“The dashboard at the county prosecutor’s office is informative and that is our goal, to provide information like that to the public.”

Davison insisted that crimes such as the break-in at Club Dogfish — crimes that are happening now — will be pursued.

When someone smashed a window at Club Dogfish on April 24, a dealer did indeed notify him. The police were also called for the break-in and surveillance video shows them arriving 17 minutes later.

Center was disheartened. He said:

“This was the first time in the four break-ins (that) I actually spoke to a police officer.”

Center said that the police officers he spoke could not do much to help him. He said:

“They told me to install all-new cameras. My cameras were stolen on the first break-in. So I didn’t have cameras this time.”

No one has been arrested yet for any of the criminal activity that has occurred at his business but the renewed commitment to prosecuting low-level crimes means Center may not have to work with the dealers for long.

Report: Federal prosecutors quietly dismiss nearly one-third of violent protests cases from summer 2020

March 4, 2021

PORTLAND, OR- According to federal court documents that were reviewed by KGW8 News, federal prosecutors have dismissed more than one-third of cases stemming from the violent protests that occurred on a nightly basis in downtown Portland over summer 2020.

UPDATE: In the past 24 hours, federal prosecutors dismissed two more Portland protest cases. So far, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has quietly dropped 34 of 90 cases stemming from last summer’s protests in downtown Portland.

— Kyle Iboshi (@KyleIboshi) March 3, 2021

In their review, the news outlet found that 31 of the 90 protest cases have been dismissed by the U.S. Department of Justice, including a mix of misdemeanor and felony charges. Some of the most serious charges dropped include four defendants charged with assaulting a federal officer, which is a felony.

Reportedly, more than half of the dropped charges were “dismissed with prejudice,” which means that the case cannot be brought back to court. Several former federal prosecutors described this as extremely rare.

These dismissals of protest cases run counter to the tough talk that came from the U.S. Department of Justice over summer 2020.

Billy Williams, then-U.S. Attorney for Oregon, vowed that there would be consequences for the nightly graffiti, fires, and vandalism outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. In a September 25, 2020 press release, Williams said:

“Make no mistake: those who commit violence in the name of protest will be investigated, arrested, prosecuted, and face prison time.”

In a more recent interview with KGW, Williams explained that the cases were dismissed in instances where prosecutors did not believe they could prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. He said:

“Each case was analyzed for the evidence that we had at the time. Careful decisions were made on whether or not someone should be charged based on the evidence.”

DOJ Seeks Dismissal of Charge Against Ex-Littler Associate Arrested in Portland Protests March 03, 2021 at 03:16PM

— The Master’s Conference™ (@MastersConf) March 3, 2021

Williams, who stepped down on February 28th as U.S. attorneys are traditionally asked to resign at the start of a new administration, added:

“Everything is case-specific when you go about these cases being processed through the system.”

Federal prosecutors rarely handle protests cases, but when Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt passed on most protest cases saying he was reserving resources for the most serious crimes, the federal government stepped in.

Then-Attorney General William Barr reportedly instructed federal prosecutors to aggressively pursue protesters deemed violent or destructive. Williams said:

“I’ve never made a decision in my career based upon political pressure or institutional pressure.”

Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than one-third of cases stemming from last summer’s violent protests in downtown Portland when protesters clashed with federal agents.

— Brittany Falkers (@BrittanyFalkers) March 2, 2021

Most of the defendants whose protests cases are still pending have seen their trials delayed, mostly because of the continued pandemic. Those defendants face a mix of felony and misdemeanor charges.

Reportedly, three defendants cut plea deals resulting in probation and home detention. Two of the plea agreements required a relatively short prison sentence of 3o days and several people closely involved with the protest cases said that they expect many more federal charges to be dismissed soon.

At least 11 of the dismissed federal protest cases were dropped on or after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. With a new president and a new U.S. Attorney in Oregon, it is unclear how the rest of these cases will be handled moving forward.

Laura Appleman, a law professor at Willamette University who is not directly involved in these cases, believes that federal prosecutors are not making their decisions based on politics. Rather, she think they are considering resources on an already busy caseload. She said:

“The U.S. Attorney’s office has to go through and very carefully ask, ‘Is it worth using our limited time and energy to prosecute each and every of these federal misdemeanors?’”

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