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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Hey Burke-Gilman Trail Users

The LFP mayor, David Hutchinson vetoed the impervious surface legislation. This means that for now it may go back to the council or it may die depending if the votes are there (there's probably the few thousand people suburban city equivalent of a whip count going on now). Since the initial vote was 5-4 4-3, the council probably won't override it. Still it may be a good idea to steel their resolve. So you can email the council (especially if you live in the city, but even if you just use the trail) here. It might be a good idea to be a bit less pithy than most letters I send out. Things you might want to include in a letter:

*That a few property owners shouldn't be able to decide the fate of a county park.

*That overriding a veto would put the city in a fight with the county that it would probably lose in the long run.

*That the county has been willing to work with LFP up until now.

*That the trail is a wonderful resource. A personal story about the trail (make it true) would be wonderful.

*That the environmental impact of more cars and less bikes is probably worse than of a widened trail.



I Wonder what it'll do to Sims' tax plan

The House of Representatives has passed another round of Bush tax cuts. One provision is that you can deduct $300-$500 in sales taxes. Sims' tax plan has to do in part with the fact that we can deduct state income taxes but not sales tax. I still think the outlines he emailed me are pretty good, but this may make it a tougher sell if nothing else.

Also the bill the House passed has some breaks for Boeing, Microsoft, and others. Both those provisions may not make it out of the Senate, through a conference committee, or get final passage. So we shall see.



Nice Convention Report

From this diary on Kos. The Gore speech and the nitty gritty of the first day at the Dem convention.



Friday, June 04, 2004

County Considering new Office Building

Right now they are leasing office space. And they are considering paying $85 million for the building. They think this will be cheaper in the long run.



Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Tacoma's smoking ban is back off for a while. The legal matters will still be decided by the Court of Appeals.



Interesting Article on Where 8th District Candidates Get Money

Link

Basically tech interests go to Democrats (tilted a bit because a RN exec is running) and land developers give heavily to Republicans.



Licenses

The state Supreme Court issued a sweeping ruling yesterday that could mean thousands of people whose driver's licenses were suspended won't be prosecuted.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down two state statutes as unconstitutional because the laws don't provide for an administrative hearing or an appeal procedure and thus deny individuals due process guaranteed by the Constitution.



Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hey Other WA Bloggers

A diary on Kos says that there will be bloggers at the State Convention in Tacoma. I won't be there, but if you are, give him an email.



RIP Catherine Dean May Bedell




Seattle Ethics and Elections Delays Colacurcio Testimony

He got a subpoena, but his lawyer is trying to get it quashed. So the delay is to work out stuff.



Dan Savage on the Monorail Fire

Dan Savage sees the monorail fire as another reason to build the new one. It will have more safety features. Savage points to traffic fatalities, and pedestrian fatalities to say that no matter how people get around, some of them are going to die.

Even if they didn't set the fire, Balter, Connelly, and Berger will no doubt point to it as yet another argument against building the monorail. And it is a good argument against building the monorail--the monorail system we built in 1962, that is. Our current one-mile-long monorail is old, outdated, and, as we've just seen, terribly unsafe. But pointing to Monday's fire as proof that the new monorail system will be unsafe is like claiming that a new car is unsafe because your 1962 Buick burst into flames on I-5



Timm Ormsby Kickoff

Spokane Democratic house member Timm Ormsby kicks off his reelection campaign tonight 5-7 at the downtown Ridpath (I assume Spokane residents know what and where that is). The Spokane County Young Dems have the details.



Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Whatcom County Jail

A "temporary facility" that the County just approved in downtown Bellingham. We'll see.



Qwest Effin' Stadium

I don't like paying for Seahawks' Stadium. But at least it wasn't too overly commercialized. The name celebrated the team that plays there. Well not any more.

The stadium is nice. Actually all 4 (I'm including Husky Stadium) major sports facilities in Seattle look nice. They add character to SoDo, the U-District, and the Seattle Center. Safeco Field's name has always bugged me; Key Arena didn't because I'm not paying for it, so the owners can name it whatever they want.

The naming rights agreement is for between 10 and 15 years, said Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke. But Leiweke and Kirk Nelson, Qwest president for Washington, declined to say how much Quest is paying for the sponsorship deal.

...

Naming rights negotiations have become big business deals in recent years. There are about $3.4 billion in naming rights contracts for stadiums, arenas and convention centers in play today, Lund said.

The deal comes several months after the Seahawks hired The Bonham Group, a Denver-based sports marking company, to kickstart efforts to sell the naming right to the stadium that is home to the NFL Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders professional soccer team.



Not Quite an Alcohol Impact Area

I misunderstood what the Seattle City Council was voting on when I wrote about it the other day. Apparently its scope is smaller. First they'll ask the businesses in Downtown, Capitol Hill, the International District, the U-District and a few other areas not to sell alcohol to chronic inebriates. And I believe there are time restrictions too. Then they might make it mandatory (and officially an AIA) later on. The AIA also has restrictions such as single bottle sales.

Anyway the vote was 7-1 in favor of that step.



Nethercutt Opposes Stem Cell Research

This is nothing new. But the Times has an interesting article on the subject. Basically despite his campaigning hard on his willingness to help cure diabetes, he put up road blocks.



Catwalk

The Green Line is going to have a catwalk so you can escape in a fire or other emergency. The fire marshal says it's a done deal. I don't know what this does to cost, but I feel better knowing it's there.



Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Tough on Crime Laws are Expensive

On the Majority Report a while ago they were talking about how there is a disconnect where people vote for more tough on crime laws and then don't want to pay for cops on the street. Of course it isn't just the cops though. We're not willing to pay for jails. And here in Washington prosecutors are getting pissed.

"I don't think the Legislature has done a particularly good job of keeping the checkbook next to the policy," said Tom McBride of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. "We run the criminal justice system with inadequate resources."

Dick Van Wagenen, Gov. Gary Locke's adviser on criminal justice, says it's one of those political facts of life: "The get-tough bills usually are easy to vote for because the (financial) bills come later. It's like buying on your credit card, since it may be 20 or 25 years before those longer sentences come into play."

It's so bad that we're sending our prisoners to Nevada because they have cells available. Nevada. This is a consequence of citizen initiatives as much as the legislature being cowards. We passed the 3 strikes law and 695. We've passed other Eyman initiatives, and we'll probably pass the one strike for sex offenders in November.



Tumwater and the PATRIOT Act

The city council is taking up a resolution opposing the PATRIOT act. They could vote on it by the end of the month. It still has a couple hurdles. It has to pass the committee and there will be at least one public hearing.

I don't know what's up with Tumwater, but I like it. First their opposition to the hate amendment and now this. Yeah these are symbolic. But symbols matter.



Southwest Precinct and Drugs

Whitecenter has had somewhat of a drug problem. But since the mid 90's they've been working with the feds to get some of the dealers behind bars. I don't know much beyond what this article says. But it seems to be working.



Outsourcing at Boeing

Well it always looked like they would probably move toward making more of their parts overseas. So now it's hitting Auburn.

Determined to exit the business of making small, simple aircraft parts, Boeing is moving aggressively to shift overseas some work from its major parts-fabrication plant in Auburn.

Rather than finding a cheaper supplier already capable of doing the work, Boeing is creating the capability.

Last week, a new parts-manufacturing plant opened in South Africa equipped with 3-axis milling machines shipped from a Boeing machine shop in Kent closed since 2002.



Monday, May 31, 2004

Monorail Fire

I just heard on the radio that there was a fire on the monorail, but that it's under control now. I don't see a link yet.

... The Seattle Times has the story. 9 injuries, none serious. Smoke inhalation. Cause unknown. (thanks to Sandals in the comments)



Stevens Hospital Losing Money

It's hard to become a for profit organization when you're losing money.



Alcohol Impact Area

Seattle is looking to expand the Alcohol Impact Area. Eventually the whole state will be an AIA. And frankly that's fine by me.



Are Motorized Scooters a Problem?

I haven't seen too many. But apparently Seattle and some other cities think they need more regulating.



Click it or Ticket is Working

The lowest number of automobile fatalities since 1961. And the rate is the best ever.



Sunday, May 30, 2004

Open Thread

Say what you want to say, but keep it under 1000 characters.



Alben's Energy Plan

It looks a lot like Kerry's plan. Basically a two pronged question solution. In the short term confront OPEC and other gas producers. Divert oil going to the strategic petroleum reserve.

Long term his plan calls for reduction on our dependence on oil. It means efficiency standards in cars and appliances. It means tax credits to help with hybrid and fuel cell powered cars.

I saw something similar to this from Inslee, but it was offline, and I didn't see it on his webpage (although I could have missed it). So I'm really glad that we are getting on the same page with this. I can quibble with some of the details (where's the public transit?) but overall these plans seem pretty good.



Even Republicans Don't Like Vance

B.J. Mole, a Republican delegate from Bellevue, accused Vance of being "dictatorial."

Mole and a number of other delegates blame Vance in part for muzzling U.S. Senate candidate Reed Davis at the state convention.

...

Sy Iffert, a Republican from Seattle's Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, confronted Vance at the convention Friday to complain about the treatment of Davis. "I worked for this party 50 years. I'm appalled and ashamed," Iffert told him.



1 Less NASCAR Location

Twin Lake is out.



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