Saturday, February 12, 2005

Open Thread 

No more posting by me today edition.


Kos is trying to do fundraising for the DNC in the wake of Dean's election as chair. I can't seem to get the HTML to work, so when I have some more time, I might add something to the sidebar.

King County not so bad 

Huh. It's almost like the evil lying braintrust is evil and lying.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Spokane Schools try to Cancel Gay Dance 

I'll admit I'm kind of a prude. I can see why the school would be uncomfortable with 22 year olds attending any school dance. And if that is a legit security concern, I'd think it would be considerably easier to change the age requirements than to try to cancel the whole dance.

Kelly said this was “at least the third or fourth excuse” that she had heard for the district’s rejection of the event. “I would encourage them to at least be consistent.”

She and a group of about 20 gay and straight students, as well as their adult advocates, gathered outside the school district offices in downtown Spokane on Friday to voice their frustration with the decision they believe was the result of “homophobic” complaints.

After being told of the district’s decision Thursday afternoon, the dance sponsors – Odyssey and the district’s own equity office – made arrangements to hold the dance at Spokane Falls Community College cafeteria Friday evening. As many as 300 people were expected to attend.


$11.3 million cost overrun for the Bellevue city hall.

4 More Boats 

The state DOT is going to replace older ferries with newer ones. It will cost about $284 million. And they can carry 130 cars.

Ferry officials hope to have the first new vessel in service in 2008.

The new ferries are to replace five 1927 steel-electric vessels that are still in service, said agency spokeswoman Susan Harris. They would be the first new car-carrying vessels since the Jumbo Mark IIs - the Tacoma, Puyallup and Wenatchee - went into service in 1997-99.

The new boats likely will be used on the Mukilteo-Clinton, San Juan Island and Seattle-Bremerton runs, and possibly for Port Townsend-Keystone, the release said.

Elk Hunt 

I don't understand it but there's a question of if it should thin the heard. Either the Feds or local hunters licensed by the state.

KOMO-TV Strikes Again 

To: tips@komo4news.com, NewsInquiries@komo4news.com, comments@komotv4.com

I am truly disappointed that KOMO-TV illustrated your 11 a.m. news story about new Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean with yet another tiresome showing of the so-called "Dean Scream." As every competent newscaster knows, Dr. Dean was trying to shout over crowd noise and the video clip that you showed is a gross misrepresentation of the actual event.

KOMO claims to be a legitimate news source. Your decision to illustrate this important story with yet another showing of this silly video clip tends to show that KOMO cannot be trusted to deliver the news in an unbiased manner.

I am ashamed of KOMO. If you have any integrity as a news source, KOMO will never show this misleading video clip again.

Yours very truly

Brenda L. Helverson

Apparently KOMO is trying to give Northwest Cable News a bit of competition for news bias. I will post any reply.

UPDATE: KING-TV showed the same clip at noon, but this is unsurprising because Belo Chief Bobby Dechard is a Big Time bush Buddy from Texas.

UPDATE II: as Carl predicted, I have received no response from KOMO.

Reform Bad! Stealing an Election Good! 

Christ, Republicans are stupid.

Transit on the Eastside 

The article focuses on the DART service. It's there in part because Metro has been slack in adding routes. From personal experience, I'd say more routes across I-90 are needed (but that's some time ago now).

Outsourcing Bill 

Reps. Zack Hudgins and Steve Conway are pushing bills that would make most state contracts have to come from US workers.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

KCTS Connects and Tent City 4 

Unfortunately you can't link to a specific post at Eastside Cares, so this post is dated 2/10, but may not be at the top if you link there. Anyway a Tent City resident will be on tonight with my favorite elected official. You might want to call in if you're at home at 8:00.

Tent City 4 resident Don Goodwin will appear on KCTS Connects today, Thursday, February 10 at 8:00 p.m. (Channel 9 in most places.) Don will join Seattle University President Father Stephen Sundborg; King County Councilmember Carolyn Edmonds; Dean Robert Taylor, chairman of the Committee to End Homelessness; and Steven Pyeatt of Tent City Solutions. We wish Don the best!
...And it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to freep this poll. I don't know about the logistics, but there is a good spot nearby.

Puyallup Historic Core 

A series of tours and discussions on the future of the core.

On Tuesday, a tour of downtown starts at 4 p.m. from the city library near Pioneer Park, followed by a discussion session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 214 E. Pioneer Ave.

The discussion session continues Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the same church.

More information on the Downtown Redevelopment Project, as well as the schedule for public involvement, is available on the city’s Web site at www.ci.puyallup.wa.us.

Teaching Tribal History 

Rep. John McCoy is proposing legislation that says if there's a tribe within a school district's borders that they have to teach some history about that tribe. For other districts it would have to be the history of a tribe within 100 miles.

Poverty in Seattle 

The PI has an article that focuses on one person (a janitor at the Space Needle) to discuss poverty in the area.

Yet it is. Nearly half a million people in King and Snohomish counties subsist on incomes that are no more than twice the federal poverty level, a marker experts say barely qualifies as making it. Of those, the majority live in households, such as Pineda's, with at least one adult working full time.


Even small annoyances can create major headaches. She just paid a $35 parking ticket from when she took her kids to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks at the Space Needle. That's money she could have spent on meat. And if she has a cold, as she does now, she has to choose between working or staying home on short-term disability and getting only 70 percent of her pay, a margin she can't afford. She is lucky if she has a few dollars left over in any given month to save as a buffer against car repairs and other emergencies.

Pierce County Smoking Ban Tossed Out 

So now the legislature may deal with it.

Two bills in the Legislature this year would expand the state's clean air act. One would ban smoking anywhere minors are allowed, including restaurants but excluding bars; the other would mimic the Pierce County ban and prohibit smoking in all indoor public places statewide. Gov. Christine Gregoire said this week she will sign either one, though the less-restrictive ban stands a better chance of passing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


He's the Rep. for life because he represents his district so well. Seattle and the very near suburbs are lucky to have someone like that representing them.

Today's Seattle P-I has a great column by Robert Jamieson highlighting the difference that McDermott makes by visiting unpopular areas of the world. How many congressmen forsake the "trade junkets" to the Carribean or the Swiss Alps in favor of going to Darfur or the slums of India? Ours does.

When McDermott visited Darfur, Sudan there lately, people pressed pieces of paper -- messages to the world -- into his hands.

Clark's Parks (Sorry) 

Looks like the levy is up by a hair today.

What's in a Name? 

The evil brain trust seems to think that if they can just attack lefty bloggers personally then their discredited arguments will make sense. As a somewhat anonymous lefty blogger, I'll just say that the best way to judge our work is to judge our work. I've got a lot of posts over the last year and change. If any of them have been lies, then you should attack that. Because as Carla at Preemptive Karma points out using his name "hasn't made Stefan engage in serious debate or bring new factual information to the table in significant doses."

Dicks on House Homeland Security Committee 

It fits him quite well.

3 Strikes 

There's a bill by sen. Adam Kline to ease the worst problems with the 3 strikes law. It only applies to people who's strikes aren't class A felonies there will be a chance for release after 15 years.

Of roughly 200 prisoners who have been given life sentences under the Three Strikes law, 38 have no Class A felony convictions and would be eligible -- starting with six of them in 2010 -- to ask for release under the proposal, according to the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission.


Via Columbian Watch: Rep. Jim Moeller is backing a bill to let Vancouver (who already have it in their city charter) run their elections as instant run-off.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Well the absentees will decide the Clark County Parks vote (right now it's slightly behind). But whatever the outcome, I for one am just glad Rossi isn't on the ballot, so there won't be months of bullshit litigation.

Caving in to Special Interests 

If you believe the opposition to tent city, the homeless are a special interest group.

``This ordinance is a cave-in to a special interest political organization at the expense of every citizen in unincorporated King County,'' said Scott St. Clair, a founder of the opposition group Tent City Solutions.
The ordinance, proposed by Councilmembers Edmonds and Hague would make it tough in the short-term to house a tent city (churches would need a 20' buffer). And it couldn't go on city owned land. But it would mean a more long-term solution in 2006 of putting the tents on county land. If you want your council members to do something, write them before the 22nd.

...A comment leads me to Eastside Cares. Good stuff on Tent City 4.

DNC Fundraiser 

To celebrate new leadership. Democracy for Washington (who are maybe a touch more excited than me, I'm fine, but was never a hardcore Dean guy) have details.

Party with your DFA, DFW, Progressive Democrat and Dean Democrat friends as we dance to the bluesy beat of the new DNC! You will have ample opportunity to pledge your support to the DNC and celebrate good times!

Date: Saturday, 2/12/05
Time: 6PM
Place: Highway 99 Blues Club

Please RSVP!
If you arrive after 6:30PM, you may be asked to pay the club's $10 cover charge. Arrive by 6PM and you can pony that cash up to the DNC.

State of the City 

Police, a rebounding economy, Kyoto, light rail, Seattle schools, and the Alaskan Way tunnel were major themes of the speech.

Dear Dino Rossi, 

No matter how many times you declare victory, you're still a loser.


Carl Ballard

PS Since you got the judge you were hoping for, and he still said your idea to have a re-vote was bat-shit-insane, do you think now that maybe just maybe you should give up?


Higher Electric Rates 

In case you missed it, the latest budget by America's Worst President proposes to increase your electric rates by 20% if your utility buys power from the Bonneville Power Administration.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Republicans Fraying 

A nice article in the Herald-Republic. It focuses on the Yakima area, but the overall picture is true of the Republican caucuses more generally. It deals with audits and healthcare, but it could be all sorts of bills; the new Life Sciences Discovery Fund, the environment and plenty of other issues are pulling the Repubs apart. Although we have some errant members, our caucuses aren't nearly as fractured as the Repubs'.

Clark County Metro Parks District 

Vote tomorrow, but as CW says "for goodness sakes don't vote if you're dead."

Blanket Drive 

If you're in Walla Walla:

St. Mary Medical Center is holding a twin bedding and towel drive, today through Friday, for the YWCA Women's Shelter.

The drive is open to the public. Needed are new or lightly used twin sheets, mattress pads, blankets, comforters, bath mats, bath and hand towels, and washcloths.

Donations may be dropped off at St. Mary Medical Center in Human Resources, immediately inside the Poplar Street doors, to the left. Donations can also be taken to the front desk at the YWCA, 213 S. First Ave.

Longview City Manager 

Down to 4 candidates (first item).

The City Council is expected to interview the candidates on Friday. A statement released by the city last week said officials want the new city manager to begin work four to six weeks after the city makes a job offer.

The Definitive Post 

Seriously read the whole thing, but Carla from Preemptive Karma slams another nail in Sound Politics' reputation's coffin. And she had some wonderful help from TJ from Also Also.

But where Democrats in a place like Ohio were frustrated by attempts to gain more information from election officials, we have found election officials in Washington to be generally open, helpful and dedicated. Surpisingly this has remained true even in the face of a vitriolic echo chamber and a heavy burden placed on them by the contest litigants.

These experiences are what gives us such a dim view of the way Sharkansky and SP have gone about their campaign. Too often, the charges have been leveled in a careless manner. Unfortunately, what's emerged is a pattern of discovery and accusation, then publication and THEN perhaps checking to see whether the story's right. Corrections are often made grudgingly and fleetingly.


By Sharkansky’s own admissions, he struggled to create a file that he believed would match what King worked with to reconcile their data. But his struggle was futile from the start, which he must have known: King didn’t reconcile their data at the precinct level, they did it voter by voter, pollbook line by pollbook line. How can you claim you’ve done the definitive analysis, when you don’t even have the right file defined? We don’t think you can.

Life Sciences Discovery Fund 

Senate Majority Leader Brown is taking the lead in the Senate on the Life Sciences Discovery Fund. And she made sure that although much of it is at the UW, it will be the whole state that benefits.

Senate Bill 5581, which comes at the request of Gov. Christine Gregoire and has bipartisan support, would:

*Award competitive research grants to nonprofit research centers not just in Seattle, but in Pullman, Richland and Spokane as well; and
*Finance research into new understanding of genes and cells.

The bill relies on $350 million of the $4.5 billion tobacco settlement Gregoire won for the state in 1998 when she was attorney general. The $350 million provides seed money for biomedical research at the University of Washington, Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. It likely would be bolstered by federal and private matching grants.

South Sound Legislators 

The Daily O has some good outlines of what the members of the state house and senate from the 20th, 22nd, 35th districts are up to this session.

South Kitsap School Levy 

Vote tomorrow if you live in the district.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Third oil spill between Vashon Island and Tacoma.


The BIAW has a list of people who they say were felons and voted illegally in Thurston County. But oops, the list seems to be er craptacular.

- Two of the listed felons had their rights restored and voted legally.

- One of the people listed was not a felon at all but a retired college professor.


Of those 38 felons the association says voted illegally in Thurston County, contact information could be found for 11.

Six of those people talked with an Olympian reporter; five did not return phone calls for comment.

Three people contacted said their rights had been restored, though they would not speak on the record because they feared embarrassment and possible harassment if their criminal histories were made public. In Washington state, felons convicted since 1984 cannot vote while serving their sentence, but they can have their rights restored when their sentence is complete and fines paid. Felons convicted before then cannot have their rights restored.


Three of the 11 said they were not the person named in the court documents.

The building association said Thomas Kerr, 40, convicted of attempting to elude a police car, voted in Olympia in November. But the address listed on the voting records the building association provided to The Olympian led to a 73-year-old retired college professor with the same name.

"If anything, my wife tells me I drive too slow," said Tom Kerr, who taught political science at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

More Legaleese 

Oly Scoop leads me to this article in the New York Times by my favorite former Stranger writer. Mostly stuff you already knew, but a good wrap up.

Overcrowding Prisons 


"It does weigh on you," said Superintendent Carol Porter. "We have been chronically overcrowded, with people on the floor, for a long, long time and three more 'chains' of offenders are arriving today. It never ends. By law, we can't turn them away."

Inmates blow up, sometimes over something as little as not having butter on the table, and infractions and assaults are all too frequent. It's a miracle there hasn't been a riot or deaths, guards say.

Crowding is a grim fact of life in Washington, with 16,000 inmates jammed into space, in the main prisons and elsewhere, with a supposed "emergency" capacity of 14,700 and a recommended population of 12,000. Officials predict the number will soar to more than 20,000 within a decade, and more if lawmakers continue their trend toward regular crackdowns on crimes-of-the-year.

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