Saturday, May 08, 2004

Fun Maps for King County Residents

The County is applying census data (I guess) to GIS. And so far it's just a park maps, but I suspect it will get better.


Ron Sims went to Ellensburg, and wrote about it for his campaign web page. Now he lived there for a few years, so I have no doubt his pronunciation is fine, but shouldn't it be E'burg?

The Numbers just fly by

I mean man alive. You just give the clerk a few bucks, go to the pump and vroom. And it's expected to get worse. And we're looking toward $2.50 soon.

Krugman had an editorial that yesterday it's just a matter of time before gas prices go up anyway, seeing as it's a scarce resource. This is fair enough, although certainly the war has heightened the problems.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Alben is the People's Candidate

The man preaches the gospel of doing right by his constituency. Of course so do most politicians. But he's practicing what he preaches. He's got a pretty good blog that has a much under utilized comment section. And he's got forums that he encourages people to post in. And now this on his blog the other day, geez:

Doorbelling a precinct in my neighborhood, I realized that many voters are just beginning to focus on the choice they have this year in Congress. Do we want a Congress that represents a true "check" on the right-wing policies of the Bush Administration or do we simply want a rubber stamp? What qualities do people want in their Member of Congress?

Representing 700,000 people is a tremendous responsibility and I would approach the job with great humility. People want a Member of Congress who is open and accessible, someone who listens to their concerns. Far too many people tell me that when they try to get a hearing with their Representative, they are getting brushed off. One gentlemen told me that when he approached his Member of Congress about disability benefits, he was rudely told by a staffer: "You're damn lucky you get any benefits at all!" This simply is not acceptable. We need to demand more constituent care of our Representative; and I would pledge to always make that my number one priority!

Obviously we don't know the staffer's side of the story. But really, how do you say that to a constituent? I hope that he talks to whomever it was (Probably Dunn, because why would he be doorbelling outside the 8th? But people do move, and there was a redistricting fairly recently, so maybe not.).

Edited for grammar and punctuation. And that period inside and another one outside the parenthesis still looks wrong.

Electronic Voting Forum

The good folks at Democracy for Washington are holding a forum on e-voting. Given what's happening in California, it could be interesting if you're up in Everett.

EVERETT, WA - On Monday evening, May 17, 2004, the public is invited to review proposed solutions to current voting machine issues that are not being discussed in the media or being readily offered by any of the current candidates for WA Secretary of State. A few of the topics we will cover: pending legislation, voter verified paper audit trail, voting machine simulations, open source code, "how can you help" and a few guest speakers will help us with audience questions.

WHO: The moderator is Martin Daniels, an Everett area software developer. Martin creates and delivers high tech solutions to many different industries and corporate clients all around the country. He is currently volunteering much time to raise awareness of the availability of practical solutions to our urgent voting machine issues.

WHEN: Monday, May 17, 2004,
Public Forum 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Edited to make it not look awful

More Tent City 4

The opponents of the place have gotten organized. Their complaints are twofold. The process didn't involve the residents enough. It was almost a fiat by the Executive. While I doubt they'd have liked the alternative of dozens of homeless living illegally in area parks that probably would have happened if Sims looked like he was delaying the process, this is still a valid concern.

Also they are concerned about the camp itself. While the future residents and organizers say there will be no problems, it's tough to imagine that's true. The proposed location is near schools. I don't know if there is a better place that a) the County owns and b) they aren't using for something else.

That said, neither of those arguments are enough for me. Process is enough to convince me that dozens of people shouldn't get some form of housing, even if it's temporary? And there are legit problems with crime everywhere. If more police are needed, hopefully the neighbors can get the County to provide.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

VA Hospital to stay in Walla Walla

This has been good work by both the people running for Senate. We'll probably still lose have reduced service in the one in Vancouver. And that's too bad, but there is one right across The Columbia in Portland. So that isn't as bad as Walla Walla would have been.

Dave Ross Considers Running in 8th

No offense to Dave Ross, but what the hell is Paul Berendt trying to do recruiting someone when we already have a wonderful candidate? I'm not an avid listener to Ross's show so perhaps someone knows more than me: I guess he's pretty good on social issues, but is a pretty big free trader.

Also he only mentioned one Federal position in his sepal about how it would be tough to win a primary.

What makes Ross skeptical about whether the party will really want him is that he doesn't intend to toe the party line. While he's certainly considered a liberal, he said, "there are things I flat-out don't agree with the Democrats, the unions and the teachers about. ... I'm a supporter of charter schools and the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning test). I don't think we should close off our country's borders to trade. And I'm not going to change my mind. I can't imagine people contributing to a campaign fronted by someone like that."

More Washington State Guardsmen Expected for Iraq

It's just a matter of time. Right now about half of the state's Guardsmen (4000 of 8000) are in Iraq. Also a lot of the Ft. Lewis regulars. Some have returned, and I don't know how the hell we'd justify sending them back. So I don't know where we're drawing the numbers from.

"We are kind of holding our breath. In a week, maybe we will know more," Guard Master Sgt. Jeff Clayton said. The Pentagon had hoped to reduce the troop strength by early summer as Iraqi security forces grew stronger. But with foes continuing to launch attacks in large areas of the country, the Pentagon now expects to keep the troop strength at 135,000 through the end of 2005. And the Pentagon has extended the tours of duty of many units, including the Fort Lewis-based Alpha Company, a Chinook helicopter reserve unit that sent some 200 soldiers to Iraq last March. Some unit members have returned, with the rest scheduled back as early as today.

To date, the largest reserve unit in Iraq is the National Guard's 81st Armor Brigade, with more than 3,000 soldiers drawn from across the state


A hearty Welcome to readers of the Spokane County Young Democrats web page.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Boeing Selling off Renton Properties

The site formerly was part of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group's 737 and 757 production programs, but was vacated when Boeing consolidated those operations. The 757 assembly line will be shut down in October.

The site has been rezoned from its historic industrial use to make way for mixed-use developments that include office, retail and residential space, Boeing said. The factory buildings on the site will be razed for new development.

Through the Center

The City Council voted 5-4 to run the Monorail right of way through the Seattle Center.

According to Fox, Henhouse security is good

For some reason, it is "news" that the Kent School District's insurer has "ruled" that the KSD's handcuffing policy is "justified." Leaving aside the rather obvious financial self-interest in this decision, this "news" actually appears to show that the insurance company is making the decisions at the KSD in this case.

I admire KSD Superintendent Barbara Grohe for facing the cameras herself instead of through a spokesperson. However, I find this "news" to be an exercise on buck-passing and a subtle admission of incompetence.

I hereby predict that the KSD's insurance company bosses will hire an attack dog law firm to defend this case and that the focus will shift from a selectively-applied and likely indefensible school policy to the character of the students involved. Washington bureaucracies always defend their poor decisions by attacking the character of their opponent. Just ask Mrs. FooLau.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Snohomish County Repubs Don't Like GMA

If anyone from Snohomish County knows more than me, please speak up. When the Growth Management Act was passed, Snohomish County adopted something called "Snohomish County Tomorrow" to address specific growth issues. Since then, control of the council has gone to the Republicans; these particular Republicans aren't fond of the GMA or Snohomish County Tomorrow. They are trying to limit the latter's power.

For more than a year, County Councilman Jeff Sax has been pushing for changes that would limit the power of Snohomish County Tomorrow, an advisory group of city and county officials.

The group has been used for more than a decade by the county and its cities to tackle the toughest growth issues. The group helps create growth-management policies and divvies up, on a city-by-city basis, the population growth that's projected to come to the county over the next two decades.

But with a vote coming Wednesday on an ordinance that would redefine Snohomish County Tomorrow's role on growth planning, Reardon has issued his first veto warning since he took office in January.

Reardon said the changes seem to fit with the County Council Republican majority's piece-by-piece attack on the Growth Management Act, the state law that protects farms and forests from urban development.

"I will not tolerate right-wing attacks on the Growth Management Act," Reardon said.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Open Thread

Possible topics for discussion include:
Why George Nethercutt won't answer my e-mails.
Stuff that happened on the bus.
Stuff that happened in your car.
Who you want as governor.

Traditional Marriage Rally

I don't understand why "traditional marriage" and gay marriage are either or propositions in the mind of at least 20,000 people. It's not like any of the 20,000 people in attendance were being told who to marry. And I wonder how many of them were in mixed marriages, had no fault divorces or, in the case of women, weren't treated like property.

At least there was good representation on the other side.

Carl Gets Noticed!

From today's Skippy the Bush Kangaroo:

"carl at the washstatepolreport mentions that awol has categorized farm raised salmon as wild for the endangered species act."

from http://xnerg.blogspot.com/

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