Seattle icon Griffey joins Sounders’ ownership group



FILE PHOTO:Jul 21, 2019; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is introduced during the 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

November 18, 2020

Seattle baseball icon Ken Griffey Jr. is now a part-owner of Seattle Sounders FC, the club announced Tuesday.

Griffey spent 13 of his 22 big league seasons with the Mariners and remains among the most popular athletes in the city’s history.

“Ken Griffey Jr. is a name that requires no introduction, whether in Seattle or across the sports world, and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome Ken and his family into our club,” Sounders FC majority owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. “As a lifelong resident of this great city, bringing someone like Ken into Sounders FC holds a special significance to me, as he is truly a part of Seattle sports’ heart and soul.

“We value the contributions that he will add as a partner in our club and welcome him and his family with open arms.”

Griffey’s wife, Melissa, is a former soccer player so the opportunity to become a partner in the franchise was appealing to Griffey.

“This is a meaningful day for our entire family,” Griffey said in a statement. “My wife Melissa and I said that we wanted to be a part of something special, not only for ourselves, but for our kids to be proud of, and this is it. We know how much this club means to Sounders fans, and for us, this comes back to the city where it all started for our family.

“We are joining a first-class organization, and we are so proud to give back to the city we love. To the Seattle Sounders community: we are inspired to become part of what you have created. Like you, we are excited to get behind our incredible team as the players prepare for this year’s playoff run.”

The Sounders won the MLS Cup in both 2016 and 2019 and enter this season’s playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Griffey, who turns 51 on Saturday, was the 1997 American League MVP and made the American League All-Star team 10 times while wearing a Mariners uniform. He finished his career in 2020 with 630 homers, which ranks seventh all-time, and 13 All-Star appearances.

Griffey joins another well-known Seattle sports figure in the ownership group. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara, a singer, are also part of the fold. Another musician, rapper Macklemore, is part of the group.

–Field Level Media





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Seattle Rioters Arrested After Allegedly Throwing Explosives at Officers



Rioters in Seattle were arrested Saturday night after breaking glass and allegedly throwing an explosive at police officers.

Q13 reports that the would-be rioters “gathered around Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill around 9 p.m.,”  then things escalated and they began destroying property.

Fox News reports that the rioters broke the window of a Starbucks coffee shop, spray-painted buildings, and allegedly threw explosives twice. They allegedly threw one explosive in the Starbucks then the other at police officers.

One of their spay painted messages said, “Save a Life, Hang a Cop.”

KIRO 7 reports that police responded to the violence by declaring the riotous gathering an “unlawful assembly.” Officers then arrested 16 people for offenses including “property destruction, assault, failure to disperse and rendering criminal assistance.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.





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Donald Trump’s administration has declared New York, Seattle and Portland hotbeds of ‘anarchy’


The Donald Trump administration has declared the cities of New York, Seattle and Portland, Oregon as jurisdictions “permitting anarchy,” threatening to withhold federal aid over civil unrest.

The declaration by the Republican president came as he tries to bolster the “law and order” image he hopes will win him re-election in November.

Earlier in September Mr Trump requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) identify municipal governments “permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities.”

In recent months anti-racism protests have mushroomed nationwide in response to police violence that disproportionately harms black people.

On Monday the Department of Justice accused the city governments of New York, Portland and Seattle of failing to control their populations, citing a spike in shootings, protests and looting.

It also noted that New York had reduced its police budget, facing increasing public pressure to use government money for health, education and mental health resources.

The DOJ notably did not single out sometimes violent protests in cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin – key states in November’s vote – despite prolonged demonstrations against police brutality there.

“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” said Attorney General Bill Barr in a statement announcing the designations.  

US Attorney General William Barr

EPA

“It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

In a joint statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan accused the Trump administration of playing politics and said withholding federal funds would be illegal.

“This is thoroughly political and unconstitutional. The president is playing cheap political games with congressionally directed funds. Our cities are bringing communities together; our cities are pushing forward after fighting back a pandemic and facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, all despite recklessness and partisanship from the White House,” they said.

Federal efforts to withdraw money from the cities on the list will likely get tied up in the courts.

“The president does not have the authority to change the will of Congress,” said James Johnson, New York’s chief city lawyer.

“We are preparing to fight this in court if… he actually takes concrete steps to withdraw federal funds.”

On Twitter, the Trump administration’s announcement was roundly mocked.

 On Twitter the Trump administration's announcement was roundly mocked.

On Twitter the Trump administration’s announcement was roundly mocked.

@jpbrammer

“Riding my bike with a wicker basket full of fruit thru the anarchist jurisdiction of NYC,” tweeted John Paul Brammer, a columnist based in Brooklyn.



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Private Security Hired by Seattle Parks Quits on First Night



Jaguar Security Firm pulled out of Cal Anderson Park on Tuesday night, after being hired to protect it while it was repaired during ongoing protests.

Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park has been closed since June 30. On Tuesday, the park was cleared for repairs to a field house damaged in the continued rioting sparked by the death of George Floyd. Jaguar Security was contracted to guard the area from angry demonstrators during the night, but walked out during their first shift.

Jaguar Security owner Ricky McGhee told Fox News that when he showed up at the park, he and two of his armed guards were immediately confronted by a group of individuals wielding “poles and sticks.” They were immediately bombarded with threats of violence.

“I went there to make sure, as the owner of the company, that nothing serious would go down. I wanted to make sure everything was going to be cool,” McGhee recalled. “As soon as we entered that park, they started verbally attacking us … calling us all kinds of names like ‘sellouts’ and [telling us] what they would do to us.” Lights were allegedly shone into McGhee’s and employees’ eyes, making it difficult to identify those involved.

While some outlets claim McGhee was “chased” from the park, he denies it. McGhee said that they contacted the police and were instructed to walk to the sidewalk to await assistance. He described his men as “seasoned” guards who were “not trying to go to jail,” and instead were attempting prevent escalating tension.

“These people that are doing that stuff, they’re putting themselves in danger,” he said. “We could have engaged right when they put those lights in our eyes and they had those weapons in their hands.”

“Jaguar Security opted to leave the park on Tuesday evening as the large crowd of protesters was not responding to requests to disperse, continued to harass the security guards, and out of a desire to not escalate the situation,” Seattle Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Rachel Schulkin told Fox News.

“Jaguar Security opted to leave the park on Tuesday evening as the large crowd of protesters was not responding to requests to disperse, continued to harass the security guards, and out of a desire to not escalate the situation,” she continued, and verified that the park continues to work with Jaguar on a “night-by-night” basis, while the department works to “reassess daily the security needs for Cal Anderson Park.”



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Protesters and police clash in Seattle


As protests continued in major cities across the country, police fired tear gas and pepper spray at demonstrators in Seattle over the weekend. CBS News’ Carter Evans reports on the weekend developments, and Seattle Times reporter Sydney Brownstone joins CBSN to discuss the controversial deployment of federal agents and why some Seattle protesters say they are standing in solidarity with those in Portland.



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Amazon considers relocating some employees out of Seattle


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Dozens arrested after violent clashes at Seattle Black Lives Matter protest


Dozens of protesters ended up arrested and numerous law enforcement hurt in clashes all over Seattle’s largest Black Life Matter protest in weeks more than the weekend, law enforcement reported, with a renewed electrical power sparked by violent clashes in between activists and federal agents in close by Portland, Oregon.

AP

Law enforcement mentioned officers utilised non-lethal weapons in attempts to disperse the 1000’s of marchers in the late afternoon soon after some protesters established fire to the construction internet site for a King County juvenile detention facility and courthouse.

By 10pm nearby time, law enforcement experienced “made 45 arrests in connection with today’s riot in the East Precinct,” the Seattle Police wrote in a Twitter article.

It claimed “21 officers sustained accidents just after remaining struck by bricks, rocks mortars/other explosives. Most officers were capable to return to duty. One particular was addressed at a clinic for a knee damage.”

A person is arrested by Seattle Police at Cal Anderson Park, Saturday, July 25, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter protest.

AP

Before the police experienced said they were being performing to secure entry for the city’s hearth department to the blaze, which it stated was started out by about a dozen persons who were aspect of a big group of demonstrators.

President Donald Trump said very last week that he expanded the deployment of federal law enforcement to Seattle, enraging regional officers and igniting anger amid protesters.

“We noticed what was happening in Portland and we desired to make positive in our town we were standing in solidarity with other mothers,” reported Lhorna Murray, who attended on behalf of the recently formed Wall of Moms Seattle, replicating a tactic from the Portland protests exactly where mothers, dressed in yellow, kind a human wall concerning protesters and law enforcement.

The ways of federal officers in Portland have drawn the ire of area leaders and Democrats in Congress, who say those officers are working with abnormal force and complain of overreach by the Trump administration.

US Lawyer for the Western District of Washington Brian Moran explained in a statement on Friday that federal agents are stationed in Seattle to shield federal attributes and the do the job finished in all those structures.

The Trump administration has also sent federal law enforcement to Chicago, Kansas Town and Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the objections of individuals mayors.





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Amazon gives Seattle arena an unusual name


Amazon.com bought the naming rights to Seattle’s KeyArena, the new home for the city’s expansion hockey team and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, but the company isn’t putting its own name on it.

The venue will be called the Climate Pledge Arena, a nod to Amazon’s push to get companies to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. It unveiled the pledge last year, which requires businesses to reach the goal a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.

The stadium will be the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said in a post on Instagram. The site will “generate zero waste from operations and events, and use reclaimed rainwater in the ice system to create the greenest ice in the NHL,” Bezos said.

The site was developed in partnership with Oak View Group and the as-yet-unnamed Seattle NHL franchise. The team is slated to take the ice in the 2021-2022 season. The arena, which first opened in 1962, is being extensively renovated — in part to make it eco-friendly.

“Everyone loves to talk about being carbon-neutral, but it’s really hard and really expensive,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View. “We’re spending tens of millions of dollars on this. We’re trying to set a precedent others will follow.”

Leiweke said he was inspired by musicians such as Billie Eilish, who have pushed for arenas to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing plastic and embracing renewable energy.

The sports venue will be entirely powered by renewable energy, in part with solar panels. Tickets to NHL and WNBA games will double as free public-transit passes, and fans will be encouraged to take Seattle’s refurbished monorail.

Leiweke reached out to Amazon early on about getting involved with the arena, seeing as the company is the largest business in the city. Amazon was at first reluctant since it didn’t need help promoting its name, he said, but came around to the focus on climate.

Amazon services will be also integrated throughout the area, including in the technology used for food and beverage and parking.

“Amazon will be everywhere,” Leiweke said.

The arena also has the space to accommodate a team from the National Basketball Association, should that league choose to return to Seattle.

The Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008-2009 season, leaving one of the largest cities in the U.S. without an NBA team.

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:





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Police-free zone set up in Seattle


Protesters in Seattle have cordoned-off a six-block section of the city, declaring it to be an “autonomous zone” – free of state police and federal authority.

Now President Donald Trump is threatening to “take it back”.

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was declared Monday last week when demonstrators protesting police brutality and institutionalised racism compelled Seattle police to abandon their East Precinct headquarters.

It followed several nights of intense clashes between protesters and police, with heavy use of tear gas despite moratoriums on its use.

The demonstrations were part of a nationwide backlash against the killing of George Floyd after a police officer refused to remove his knee from the detainee’s neck despite pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

Seattle Police boarded up the doors and windows of the building before evacuating the district.

Soon after, graffiti appeared on the boards declaring it to be the “Seattle People Department” and “The Property of the People”.

Sensing a symbolic victory, protesters erected signs declaring the abandoned police district to be an “autonomous zone”. Police barricades were reversed. Signs announce across a six-block stretch of the city that “You are now leaving the USA”.

The move attracted immediate and intense media attention and has become a favourite talking point among shock-jocks and commentators across the country.

Seattle police, regretting the move, are now determined to reoccupy the building. “We’re currently working to get our officers back into the facility,” says Police Chief Carmen Best. “We think it’s really important that we have police presence there and that we are able to continue to do our work.”

But the demonstrators aren’t willing to let them back in.

AUTONOMOUS ZONE

The Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle is a gentrified, middle-income district not far from the city centre. It is known for its fashionable bars and restaurant, as well as gay clubs and indie stores.

But the abandonment of the police East Precinct headquarters has seen a six-block area surrounding the building walled off by demonstrators.

Graffiti declares it to be a “police free” zone. Protesters and some of the area’s residents are proclaiming it to be a safe-haven for free expression and mutual care.

It’s provoked US far-right commentators to call the “territory” as the first formal foothold of “domestic terrorist antifa” plans to seize control of the country. They’re painting the zone as “Mad Max movie mayhem come to life”. Locals, however, insist it’s all “extremely chill” And there is no formal organisation behind antifa (short for anti-fascist) beyond the message in its name.

Meanwhile, life within the zone is adapting to its new circumstances.

There is now a “No Cop Co-Op” distributing free vegan pizza, a books table, community garden, community medical centre and hot-dog stand. There are open-air film screenings, smoking zones and a community co-ordination group that insists it is “not associated with any ‘organisers,’ ‘members,’ ‘residents,’ or other people involved with either the co-ordination of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, nor with the City of Seattle”.

Local media describe the scene as more festive than insurrectionist.

“This place has gone from being filled with explosions and tear gas to being a place of healing,” one resident declared.

There is a more ominous side, however. Amid the hipsters are residents and protesters carrying semi-automatic rifles. Washington is an open-carry state. But that hasn’t stopped commentators accusing the autonomous zone of being an armed rebellion.

SUM OF ALL FEARS

“I am very angry about the situation that we have, and at this point, we just want to make sure that it gets resolved,” Chief Best said in a recent Good Morning America appearance. “While I really support First Amendment free speech, this is not that.”

Seattle’s mayor, however, openly contradicted her police chief.

“Lawfully gathering and expressing First Amendment rights, demanding we do better as a society, and providing true equity for communities of colour is not terrorism. It’s patriotism,” Mayor Jenny Durkan told a press conference.

Meanwhile, Best refused to criticise Trump for describing the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) protesters as “domestic terrorists”.

Trump tweeted Thursday that his patience with Seattle’s mayor and the police chief was running out. If they didn’t “take back” their city from “anarchists”, he would do so for them.

“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”

He’s also been venting his anger at Washington State’s governor, Jay Inslee.

“These Liberal Dems don’t have a clue,” Trump tweeted again. “The terrorists burn and pillage our cities, and they think it is just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!”

Mayor Durkan responded by telling the president to “go back to your bunker”.

“Our country was born out of a protest. The right to gather — the right to protest, the right to challenge the government when it is wrong — is our most fundamental constitutional right.”

INSURRECTION ACT

President Trump has repeatedly threatened to use a centuries-old Insurrection Act to deploy federal troops against protesting US citizens to “dominate the streets”.

“Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course,” he tweeted.

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone would be a highly visible target for such a use of force.

But US Defence Secretary Mark Esper last week told media he opposed any use of the act against demonstrators.

Meanwhile, the autonomous zone continues to be a magnet of disinformation and incitement.

Mainstream media pundits are repeating conspiracy claims that the Capitol Hill district has been seized by a “SoundCloud rapper” intent on becoming an antifa-insurgent warlord.

Other groups are merely painting the district as “woke-ness gone mad”.

But Seattle’s police chief has been forced to apologise for repeating false claims. Chief Best, facing 12,000 complaints of brutality during the protests, publicly declared protesters were extorting Capitol Hill businesses. She was later compelled to admit there had been no reports of extortion.

“We don’t want to exacerbate or intensify or incite problems that are going to lead to harm to the officers or the people who are standing by. We know that several are armed. We want to make sure that we are being very thoughtful about how we respond.”

Seattle’s police continue to steer clear of the autonomous zone mostly. Though they are not entirely gone.

“The City will continue to assess the area on a regular basis and work with community and other stakeholders on a path forward that allows individuals to demonstrate, businesses to continue their operations, and preserves public safety for local residents,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “Officers in the East Precinct have continued to respond to calls. Chief Best and Command Staff have been on-site at the East Precinct … and some personnel are now staffing the precinct.”



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