City of Seattle Puts Super Toilets on EBay

July 17, 2008

Seattle city officials decided to pull the plug on the multimillion-dollar self-cleaning toilet stalls and instead put them on the auction site eBay with starting bids at $89,000 apiece. This action was taken as a result of reports given by neighbors and city-commissioned analysts that the unisex facilities attracted drug users and prostitutes, and were less cost-effective than regular public restrooms. The German-made automatic, high-tech toilets were installed in 2004 and have cost the city about $5 million. Each has handsfree washing and drying ability and an emergency button that automatically dials 911.

On May 19, a City Council vote to remove the problem toilets was cast. The automated doors on the impact- and graffiti-resistant toilets will close Aug. 1, said Andy Ryan, a spokesman for Seattle Public Utilities. The auction will last for 10 days, but as of Thursday morning, none of the toilets had received any bids.

iNPLACENEWS


Abu Ghraib Detainees Sue Contractors Over Torture

June 30, 2008


Former detainees of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq are suing U.S. contractors. The first complaint was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington. Others are being filed in Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; and Greenbelt, Maryland.

According to the court papers, it is alleged that innocent people who were arrested and taken to the prison were subjected to forced nudity, electrical shocks, mock executions and other inhumane treatment by employees of defense contractors CACI International and L-3 Communications, formerly Titan Corporation.

The plaintiffs are represented by law firms in Philadelphia and Detroit and by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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