2018 Year in Review: Seattle’s Highs and Lows

It's been a year of ups and downs

This article appears in print in the December 2018 issue, as part of the Year in Review featureClick here to subscribe.

Law Enforcement
HIGH: Seattle Police Department meets the lip-sync challenge from Virginia police with awesome video set to Macklemore’s “Downtown,” featuring rapping cops, flying fish and the Mariner Moose.
LOW: A plainclothes King County sheriff’s detective pulls a gun on an unarmed motorcyclist for reckless driving. 

HIGH: Governor Inslee to President Trump: “A little less tweeting, a little more listening.”
LOW: Sinclair-owned affiliate KOMO-TV and other Sinclair stations are forced to broadcast promotional messages warning of “fake news.” 

Soft Drinks
HIGH: Seattle’s new soda tax generates more than $10 million (a portion earmarked for healthy food and early learning programs) in its first six months, exceeding expectations.
LOW: Capitol Hill’s mystery soda machine mysteriously disappears, thoughtfully leaving a note that reads, “Went for a walk.”

International Relations
HIGH: Mayor Jenny Durkan travels to the Mexico border with a bipartisan group of U.S. mayors to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy.
LOW: A helpful reader contacts The Seattle Times and reports the Confederate flag is flying in front of a Greenwood-area home. Well, no. Make that a Norwegian flag.

Stoner Ideas
HIGH: A duplicate of the 20-foot-tall orange “Trump Baby” blimp, launched when the president went to London, arrives on Vashon Island in August.
LOW: Seattle glassblowers build Bongzilla, a 24-foot-tall, 800-pound functional bong, for the Cannabition museum in Las Vegas. But because the piece is in a public space, its use is prohibited.

Air Space
HIGH: The genius who flew his drone into the Space Needle on New Year’s Eve 2016 pays a $250 fine and has to give up his drone.
LOW: Four Korean Delta desk and gate agents at Sea-Tac airport claim they were fired for speaking too much Korean. 

Civil Pursuits
HIGH: Superior Court Judge Julie Spector rejects a request from two police officers to dismiss a negligence suit against them and the city of Seattle in the death of Charleena Lyles, who was shot by the officers after she reported a burglary.
LOW: U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal is arrested in June at the Washington, D.C., women’s rally protest of the Trump “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Warm and Fuzzy
HIGH: Seattle is named number-one hygge city in the U.S., based on virtues such as the number of cold days, and a population that loves books, board games, coffee, wine and beer. 
LOW: A trucker ferrying feathers from Foster Farms flips near Federal Way after falling fast asleep, forcing 40,000 pounds of feathers to flood the freeway.

HIGH: A U.S. Army Special Operations command conducts a training exercise at the downtown Seattle Library—in the name of refining “techniques needed for overseas operational missions,” according to an Army source—complete with homemade "bombs."
LOW: But, oops—the Army neglected to warn anyone at the library about the exercise, resulting in 911 calls and a near-evacuation of the 363,000-square-foot building. 

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