The Economist 2013-2018

2018

2017

2016

2013- 2015

The Associated Press 2016-2017

POLITICS

2017

2016

ENVIRONMENT

CRIME

2017

2016

BUSINESS

SPOT NEWS

Crosscut

The Atlantic and The Daily Beast

The Atlantic/ CityLab

The Daily Beast

Nextgov (Atlantic Media)

In the Netflix Era, a Video Store Becomes a Cultural Asset (CityLab)

Four years ago, the owners of Scarecrow Video brought all their staff members together to deliver some bad news. Like video stores across the country, the business was struggling. Its rentals and purchases had decreased dramatically as customers flocked to online streaming services. The owners were writing their own checks just to keep the business running, but they couldn’t do it anymore. It looked like they might have to part with their collection of over 130,000 videos—one of the largest publicly available video archives on earth.

For the staff, the news was devastating. The business had grown from a few hundred tapes in the back of a record store in 1988 into a Seattle icon, or a “movie Mecca,” as one customer called it. In fact, just in the last 15 years, its titles had doubled. “If this collection gets broken up or sold off, a lot of stuff’s going to vanish. It’s going to go into the pockets of collectors. It’s going to wind up in a library basement somewhere,” said Matt Lynch, Scarecrow Video’s marketing coordinator. “We wanted to make sure that it stayed available to people.”

So the staff came together to pitch their own proposal. The idea was simple: They would keep the collection together, in the same space and open to the public, but transform the business into a nonprofit. After some back and forth over details, the owners agreed to donate everything in the store—the films and the shelves they were stored on—to Scarecrow Video, the nonprofit.

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Judged in the Court of Public Support (CityLab)

Last Wednesday, in front of the prosecutor, defense attorneys, and a gallery peppered with people, Judge Lisa Paglisotti greeted Brittany Mistelske, a 24 year old appearing in her court as a result of a misdemeanor charge.

After a quick hello, Judge Paglisotti addressed the fact that Mistelske hadn’t shown up to court the week before. But rather than punishing her or even reprimanding her, the judge told her earnestly that she was worried about her.

“Sorry, I know I missed the last time,” says Mistelske.

“No, I’m glad to see you,” says Judge Paglisotti.

If this doesn’t sound like a typical judicial exchange, it’s because this is not a traditional court. All of its proceedings take place in a meeting room in the Redmond Library; defendants are called “court participants;” and when someone successfully completes a court-mandated program, it’s called graduation, and often comes with a certificate and cupcakes.

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Articles on a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” (AP)

Group complains judge who called rapist ‘good man’ is biased

Apr. 20, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during sentencing showed bias for the defendant because he was a former Mormon bishop, according to an official complaint filed Thursday by a gay rights group.

Mark Lawrence of Restore our Humanity said the group sent the complaint to the state Judicial Conduct Commission, which can recommend the Utah Supreme Court reprimand or remove Judge Thomas Low.

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo last week to five years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

“The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man,” Low said at the hearing. “But great men sometimes do bad things.”

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Repercussions unclear for judge after comments on rape case

April 17, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Complaints keep pouring in about a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during his sentencing hearing. But the chances of the judge being punished appear slim because his remarks don’t seem to fit within any of the five forms of judicial misconduct that would trigger reprimands, one expert said.

At least four of these categories of misconduct don’t apply to Judge Thomas Low’s remarks, Paul Cassell, a professor of criminal law at the University of Utah, said Monday. The fifth category would only apply if officials determined that his comments were damaging to the administration of justice, which is difficult to prove, Cassell said.

Last week, Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo, a former Mormon bishop, to up to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

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Utah judge at rape sentencing: Ex-Mormon bishop a ‘good man’

April 15, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A woman says she is shocked by a Utah judge’s comments in which he called a former Mormon bishop convicted of sexually assaulting her a “good man” during his sentencing hearing.

Julia Kirby said Friday that Judge Thomas Low appeared to care more for her attacker than he did about her.

“He only cared about the person he was convicting, and I think that is really kind of despicable,” said the 23-year-old Kirby, who has given The Associated Press permission to publish her name

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo to up to life in prison this week after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

Kirby said she was 19 when Vallejo, a relative, groped her multiple times when she stayed at his house while attending Brigham Young University in 2013.

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