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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Ha

Regular commenter JD is an awful driver. But most of you have never been in a car with him coming back after a show and he decides to follow behind a trailer in a relatively clear freeway and almost goes to a random exit, so maybe it's funnier for me. Or maybe you have, I don't know.

And the ferries are messed up.



I Thought they'd Block it

Others don't want Wal-Mart in their neighborhood.

The store's site is flanked on three sides by single-family homes, and some of the neighbors have waged a lengthy campaign trying to block the store.

One group of homeowners, the Covington Neighbors Council, filed a series of appeals of environmental reviews, claiming a Wal-Mart simply doesn't belong in a residential area. They say ``big-box stores'' like Wal-Mart belong at the city's eastern edge near the State Route 18 interchange, where other large retailers already are located.

The homeowners fear the store means traffic, noise, increased crime and vandalism. Wal-Mart has agreed to more landscaping buffers, fences, sound barriers around truck loading areas and other improvements, but opponents say it's not enough.



I'm Surprised they Haven't Already

Olympia is one of the most lefty cities in the state. And they just decided to get around to domestic parternership arrangements for their private contractors. Hop to it gents.

OLYMPIA -- The city wants to require private contractors to live up to the same standards it has in offering health benefits to domestic partners.
A proposal that has been making its way through City Hall the last three years could reach the council for a public hearing in the spring.

It would require businesses bidding on contracts worth $50,000 or more to offer health benefits to domestic partners if they already offer benefits to married spouses. Businesses would be able to offer a cash equivalent, in lieu of coverage.


Another late edit because I for got another link



Too Bad

Jane Hague is out. Her parents are sick. Even though they raised a Republican lets all send them some get well vibes.

Hague, a three-term Republican councilwoman from Kirkland, said in a letter to supporters that recent "family matters" coupled with health problems for her elderly parents and her sister had triggered her withdrawal.

"When I kicked off my campaign for Congress, one of my key themes was the importance of our families' future. Well, it is my turn to shape the future for my own family, I need to be there for my mother, father and my sister," Hague wrote.


Late edit because I forgot the link



Friday, February 13, 2004

Dear Rep. Nethercutt,

Don't you think it's a bigger deal that our guard units are under equipped than that someone points out that they are under equipped? Have you switched your story from not thinking it's as big a deal that our troops die as it is that we re-open schools we closed to actively rooting for dead Americans?

Thanks a Bunch,

Carl Ballard

P.S. Why would you run for the US Senate if you hate America that much? It seems crazy.



Too Expensive

The King County Journal reports that gas could get up to $2.50. $2.50 people.

Critics disagree about the factors, but say gas prices will rise -- possibly to $2.50 or higher in Washington and $3 or $4 a gallon in California this summer, said Tim Hamilton, executive director of the nonprofit Automotive United Trades Organization, a group of 500 convenience store and gas stations in Washington.

``We're probably seeing the low end of the price,'' Hamilton said Thursday.

Refineries have always changed the gasoline mixture to burn better with the changing air pressure of the seasons, Hamilton said, and prices shouldn't go up as a result.


I drive a bike or take the bus most places, and when I do drive it's a tiny Japanese car. But even I think this is loony. I mean 2.50. It's the time of year when gas is supposed to be the cheapest.



It's not IRV

Both major parties want an "Arizona primary." It wasn't discussed earlier so neither house wants to touch it. But they still could. It would give the parties more power than IRV or Cajun, so they like it. I don't really understand it from what I've heard and read but I guess you would have to register but it would be fairly easy to change registration. I don't know, mine is already off the table, so anything that isn't Cajun I guess I support.



Can't Brame's Family Get Justice?

I swear there isn't a judge in the state that won't rescues themselves eventually.



Novoselic to Sit Lt. Gov Race Out

Good. Now I don't have to chose between a good lt. gov, and a guy I like more. Novoselic has been a beacon in the community, and I don't want to discourage him from running for something. State rep is a good place if he's interested in state issues. I don't know where he lives, but it's probably a safe district for him. I don't know if there are any openings. And I want to commend him on not thinking his first elected position should be governor (cough cough Ahnold cough).

On edit is that headline the worst pun in a good long while? And I'm the guy who said "Dunn is done" proudly.



Thursday, February 12, 2004

Now Where Will I go to Extreme Fight?

The senate passed a ban on that craziness.



So Magnet Trains Huh?

The state house transportation committee just passed a bill asking the feds and locals to maybe look at magnetic-levitation trains. I guess it could work, but I'm not convinced yet.



What?

Dave Reichert still thinks we'll find WMD in Iraq.

It doesn't bother him that they haven't found weapons of mass destruction, Reichert said. ``The question is what happened to them; where are they? The search is not over yet.''

He also apparently thinks massive budget deficits are good (Bush's tax cuts are"a good start.") Of course no mention of what he'll cut to balance the budgets.



Gah!

I'm running out of expressions of disbelief, and may have to start repeating them soon. That said, this is nuts. King County pretty much lets anyone do anything don't they. Convicted felons working on our ballots, what could be more awesome?



Port Security

Along with a group of four Democratic senators including Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Murray told reporters yesterday the president was "flirting with disaster with its lack of sustained and serious attention to port security."

Murray said Bush was seeking to kill Operation Safe Commerce, which funnels money to private contractors, including Boeing, to come up with new technologies to track container cargo through three ports: Long Beach/Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and Seattle/Tacoma. The idea is to prevent shipping containers from being used by terrorist groups to bring weapons or explosives into the country.



Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Yikes

Meth labs are everywhere.



Children Should Get Healthcare

there was some protesting in Olympia.

"When will children be a priority?" was emblazoned on the plastic ponchos worn by supporters of the Children's Alliance.

Saying that 40,000 state children are at risk of losing their health care coverage because of the monthly cost to families, Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma, told the crowd that preventive care for conditions such as asthma could save the cost of later, more expensive hospitalizations.

"What do you want to do, pay now or pay later?" asked Regala, citing a $160 preventive treatment versus a $6,000 hospital bill for an asthma inpatient admission.


I've always been a bit wary of this argument. I think keeping the residents of the state healthy, children in particular, is a good end in itself. I mean when you're sick do you want to get healthy, or are you looking for cost savings down the road?

edited slightly



The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans

The senate passed a medical malpractice bill that caps pain and suffering damages at $350,000. No matter how awful. So when a hospital proscribes your kid some medicine they know he's allergic to and he dies: $350,000.

The Democrats know on the other hand that there needs to be a balanced approach. That you need to punish bad doctors. While many Democrats did favor caps, they balanced them with things like letting patients know about serious complaints, whistleblower protection for doctors who report on their colleges, and making records more available.



Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Sigh

I guess I'm a Dean alternate for real. Clark will drop out tomorrow



Things not to do in Lynwood

So last night I was driving around Lynwood and even though it was cold outside, I had my window cracked because otherwise the car fogs up. So I'm listening to the radio and they do a story about Abdul Qadeer Khan the nuclear scientist who sold weapons technology to Iran and North Korea, and is getting a slap on the wrist. Anyway, they say his name on the radio, and as I'm stopped at an intersection I do my best Captain Kirk "Kahn!" I'd say half a dozen Lynwooders (made up word) looked at me funny.



Let me Clarify Heidi

I want a bloody primary from the Republican side. Heidi Behrens-Benedict is going to run again for the 8th now that Dunn is out. If she and Alben can keep civil I don't mind, but if we go ballistic on each other, and it costs us the seat, ooh, I'll be so mad.



We can do Some More of it!

Puget Sound area contractors will be given a chance to work on parts of the 7E7. There will be a conference in June, but I didn't see a specific date. They will probably do most of their parts work in Asia, but the more they do here the better.



Support the Cabbies

Taxi drivers are taking a two hour break tomorrow to address safety concerns. A couple weeks ago, one was murdered, and they want safety glass and other means to not get killed. Or robed presumably.

An alliance representing Seattle taxi drivers has called for a shutdown of cab service from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow in an attempt to draw public attention to drivers' concerns about safety.

The two-hour protest, including a gathering at Seahawks Stadium, comes 11 days after taxi driver Hassan Farah, 39, was shot and killed in the city's South End. Seattle police yesterday said they have no suspects in the slaying.

"We have to bring public awareness to these issues, otherwise they'll never go away," said Terry Davis, acting director of the Cab Drivers' Alliance of King County.

"If folks see 200 to 300 cabs parked at the stadium, it might explain why they can't get a cab right now."



Damn

TOUCHET, Wash. — The body of former state Agriculture Department Director Gary Strohmaier was found in the Touchet River, authorities said today.

Strohmaier, 69, disappeared Sunday after he went to move some pumping equipment on his family's farm. His pickup truck was found idling on his property near the river.



Monday, February 09, 2004

Education Bills Roundup

I love the Senate Democratic Caucus. They prepare the best reports of any of the 4 caucuses. As a semi-newsman, I really like that. And I'm not just saying that because they are the Democrats. The House Democratic Caucus just changed their 2003 priorities to 2004 this week.

Anyway the SDC has a good roundup of education bills here. Most of it looks good, and some are a bit nannyish. Because it's the Senate Caucus it's a bit Senate centric, but it's still a good roundup.

edited for grammar



So It's OK to Talk About How to Assassinate the Governor?

James Brailey, told an informant how he would kill Governor Locke if he wanted to, and that he hated him. Brailey admits that much. He F'in admits it. But apparently that doesn't warrant a conviction these days. Hell it doesn't warrant a trial.

Brailey himself described conversations with Means as “goofy,” because Means often would ask his opinion of Locke in the middle of talking about another issue.

Brailey said the only time he brought up Locke himself was when he mentioned the governor was a former Seattle prosecutor. Brailey said he didn’t like prosecutors because they have a “warped sense of looking at things.”

Brailey said he did tell Means it was possible to assassinate Locke, but added he was speaking hypothetically.



Music Better for the Economy Than Biotech

My favorite study ever (conducted by the UW) shows that there is greater than half a billion dollars in the music industry in Seattle. And it doesn't even tally everything apparently.

Backed by a grunge bassist and heavy-metal singer, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels delivered a love song to the city's sprawling music industry last night.

The industry — from smoky lounges to Benaroya Hall, piano teachers to DJ scratchers — is a diffuse economic engine that tallies nearly $650 million in yearly revenues and employs nearly 8,700 people in Seattle, more than the biotech industry, according to a study released by his office.

"The music industry is an important part of our economy creatively, but also financially," said Nickels, who presented the findings at a pre-Grammys party at Experience Music Project. "There's no reason we should be second to Austin (Texas) for live music," he said.

...

The difficulty in defining the industry showed in some of its findings. The study's authors, for example, said they had no way to tally the amount that touring roadies spent on beer. And the study counted more church organists (450) than record-store employees (319), according to the census data and business records used by the researchers.


A side note, the "grunge bassist" who introduced the mayor was Krist Novoselic. That may mean that he is gearing up to run for lieutenant governor. Now he can say there is a study showing he's been a big help to the state economy so that will probably boost any potential run. I have mixed feelings about a run, but there's a good chance I'd vote for him.



Sunday, February 08, 2004

My Rep is a Nut

She wants to spend your taxpayer money on pamphlets that say how wonderful it is to have one or two kids. Now I have no problem with the notion that you should have one or two kids. I think it's probably good. I certainly have no problem with individuals printing these pamphlets. But for Christ sakes, this is what we're spending money on? At least it failed.

Chase, D-Edmonds, has come under fire for being just that -- too radical -- for sponsoring House Bill 3111. Titled "Population Sustainability," the bill would have directed the state secretary of health to develop a pamphlet emphasizing the benefits of couples having only one two children.

The bill, which no other legislator was willing to co-sponsor, failed to get out of committee on Friday and is dead for the year. But it stirred up a lot of reaction.



Cost of War

BROWNSVILLE, Ore. -- About 150 residents of this Willamette Valley farm town lined Main Street Saturday as a funeral procession took Sgt. Travis A. Moothart, killed in Iraq, to Pioneer Cemetery.



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