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This Week in Seattle is your weekly dispatch of need-to-know news from the Emerald City. (BigStock Image)

Throwing his weight behind Jenny Durkan, Mayor Murray announces he won’t re-enter the race

Mayor Ed Murray. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

It’s official: Mayor Ed Murray will not be running for re-election. He first bowed out of the race amid controversy over a civil suit alleging he sexually abused a minor in the 80s. That case has since been dropped and Murray conducted a poll to find out his chances of winning as a write-in candidate. He says he was in the top three but that a write-in campaign was too complicated this close to the election. Instead, Murray is supporting former U.S. attorney Jenny Durkan, an endorsement that 21 mayoral candidates sought.

[KING 5]

Washington state legislature reaches budget deal in the nick of time

The state Capitol in Olympia, Wash. (Photo via Flickr).

Lawmakers in Olympia reached a state budget agreement in the eleventh hour, as Washington’s state parks came close to shutting down on Fourth of July weekend. The deal allocates $7.3 billion for public-school funding over the next four years, which will be funded by a statewide property tax hike. The budget requires all online retailers to collect sales tax and does away with a few tax exemptions. [The Seattle Times, KIRO]

Pike Place Market expansion officially opens under sunny skies

Seattle Pike Place Market clock
Pike Place Market gets a big expansion. (Photo by Erik Stuhaug / Imagebank)

The $74 million MarketFront expansion of Pike Place Market opened to visitors Thursday. It’s a milestone moment for the 110-year-old Seattle landmark. The 30,000-square-feet addition has been decades in the making. The new MarketFront includes dozens of vendor booths, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and 40 units of low-income housing for seniors. MarketFront is part of a broader makeover for the downtown Seattle waterfront, that also includes replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a new tunnel. “If chapter one was digging a tunnel, then chapter two is today,” Mayor Ed Murray said at the MarketFront unveiling ceremony. [The Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Public demands change at City Council hearing over Charleena Lyles shooting

Emotions ran high at Tuesday’s public hearing over the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of three, by police officers earlier this month. The Seattle City Council heard pleas for change and outcry over what many consider to be an epidemic of racially-charged police violence. Council members pledged to investigate ways to address the problem but noted that police oversight is not part of the Council’s authority. Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole did not attend the hearing, drawing criticism. [Q13]

#SeaHomeless: Local media highlights one of Seattle’s toughest challenges in hopes of finding solutions

(Crosscut Image)

On Wednesday, Seattle news outlets dedicated stories to the 11,000 people in King County living on the streets. Crosscut has a wrap up of the #SeaHomeless media event here, including GeekWire’s coverage of the tech sector’s role in the crisis, a poem written by a woman who spent months on the streets published by The Evergrey, and a look at how Vienna solved homelessness. [Crosscut]

Conflicting studies raise questions about Seattle’s $15 minimum wage

Money talks but sometimes the message isn’t clear. Two studies — one from UC Berkeley and one from the University of Washington — yielded very different results about how Seattle’s $15 minimum wage is impacting workers. The Berkeley study, commissioned by Mayor Murray, said Seattle’s minimum wage hike resulted in more cash in the pockets of low-wage workers without negatively impacting employment. The UW study, on the other hand, claimed low-earners have seen a total loss of $125 per month since the law went into effect. An investigation by Daniel Person of Seattle Weekly suggests the competing studies are no coincidence. Person claims Mayor Murray’s office knew about UW’s unfavorable findings when he commissioned the Berkeley report. [Seattle Weekly]

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