Inslee in the middle?
One legitimate fear about incoming Gov. Jay Inslee is that he could lead as the enthusiastic, somewhat-ideological partisan that he appeared to be in Congress (where it's been hard for anyone to appear otherwise the past 10 years or so). During the campaign, Inslee tried to sound moderate (no new taxes), but was pretty much an empty suit on the details of his policies other than talking up clean-energy innovation as a business strategy.
In contrast, Rob McKenna talked a great deal about higher education, K-12 education and business success to fuel the state's future.
So what did Inslee do today in naming a transition team? He focused on those three McKenna issues with the appointment of his three transition committee co-chairs. The people in charge of recruiting new department heads for Inslee are: Washington State University President Elson Floyd, Renton Schools Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith. Higher ed, education and business? McKenna's smart agenda. Time will tell what the appointments mean, if anything.
Crosscut's John Stang has the full story here on an Inslee press conference on his transition team. Good stuff on revenues.
Everett gets into the arena worrying game
One of the points of angst for change-averse Seattleites around the proposal for a new SoDo sports arena is KeyArena. As in, what will happen to our historic, 50-year-old facility if there's something newer in town? It could bleed millions upon millions in losses.
As a discussion in Everett illustrates, though, concerns about arena finances are just about universal, regardless of the age of a facility. An editorial today in Everett's daily, The Herald, called on the local Comcast Arena (a 9-year-old, 8,000 seat facility) to fill its vacant top job with someone who can develop new programs and improve overall performance. Everett is apparently keeping a close eye on developments in SoDo. The paper says creating excitement around Comcast's offerings "could position the venue for the competition it will face from Seattle in the coming years."
Oh, and as far as losing money, Comcast last year "lost roughly $330,000. This year it's on pace to lose another $150,000." Hey, Everett, Seattle City Council wonders when you want to start talking about losing real money.
A little N.J. help from Dave Matthews
Speaking of concerts, the Dave Matthews Band, headed by one of Seattle's more beloved celebrities, will devote all the proceeds from a concert Nov. 30 in New Jersey to a Hurricane Sandy relief fund for the hard-hit state. OK, so Seattle nice can be a bad thing. But Matthews' kind of Seattle nice works really well.
Not planning to swing by the New Jersey show? You can still help. The band's web site has instructions on how to text a $10 donation to the relief fund.
Drug free workplace
Washingtonians have spoken: Let a thousand weeds bloom. And be lit up. But it's not a good idea to assume that the legalization of marijuana means your employer is, like, down with that whole vox populi thing.
The Puget Sound Business Journal's Greg Lamm posted an interview Tuesday with employment law specialist James Shore of Stoel Rives LLP. Shore told Lamm that state law will continue to give employers the right to maintain drug-free workplaces.
That's at least some practical guidance from the Business Journal, which is a lot more than Gov. Chris Gregoire could get out of the Obama administration in a D.C. visit that just ended.
A terrible day for bicyclists
A Seattle Police spokesman said today there were no major developments to report in the investigation of a hit-and-run accident, which critically injured a bicyclist Tuesday morning. Police detectives are working with a "vague description" of a dump truck, whose driver left the scene of the accident at the southbound I-5 on-ramp near Howell Street and Yale Avenue.
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