Government in Action! 

Recently the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Seattle had for two years improperly charged water customers for servicing hydrants when the city should have covered the service from general tax funds, and it ordered customer refunds averaging $45. However, Seattle then discovered it had insufficient general funds to pay for hydrant service and thus imposed a water surcharge of $59 per customer, according to a February KOMO-TV report. The most likely reason the surcharge was higher is that the city had to pay $4.2 million to the attorneys who filed the account-shuffling lawsuit.

After three years of providing worker-training grants to a San Francisco-area multimedia coalition that includes a maker of sexualized torture videos, the California Employment Training Panel cut off funding in April, claiming that it had not realized the nature of what an outfit called "Kink.com" does. The coalition protested the panel's decision, pointing out that Kink is a law-abiding, tax-paying entity that employs 100 local people and keeps California adult video "competitive in the international marketplace" by training employees in video editing, Photoshop and other multimedia skills. A typical Kink.com production may feature paid, consenting women bound, gagged and supposedly electrically shocked.

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