Highways for Washington?
Before she's out the door, Gov. Chris Gregoire is planning to push out a new transportation package next week. Today, Seattle Transit Blog, commenting on an Associated Press report from Tuesday, looks at what she said — and didn't say — and warns that, without strong leadership from the governor's office for transit, the tendency in the Legislature may be to tilt heavily toward highways.
And writer Ben Schiendelman notes, "She’s said it would 'rival' the 2005 highway expansion package, which included almost nothing for transit." But he does like her emphasis on maintaining highways rather than expanding them, as some will seek.
Coal port wars
With hearings this afternoon in Vancouver for the southern part of the state and Thursday for Seattle, the advocates on both sides of shipping coal to China are upping their games.
The sustainability organization Sightline has posted a video of its researcher Eric de Place being interviewed on a local Moral Politics broadcast for public access Seattle Community Media. It's entitled "COAL: Disaster for the Northwest." Any questions on the viewpoint?
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs, which favors coal exports, is holding a press conference before the Seattle meeting that draws in the top labor figures for the region plus an Alliance for Washington Business representative. That lineup probably explains why Gov. Chris Gregoire and successor Jay Inslee have been so equivocal on the issue.
Mayor Mike McGinn, though, has got to be loving the chance to show his environmental focus. Already on record about coal trains' impact on traffic, this morning he announced a study to look at economic impacts — presumably negative — on the city, the Port of Seattle and the Duwamish and north waterfront industrial areas.
Tour biz gone awry in North Korea
The Herald in Everett, citing news reports, wrote this morning that a Lynnwood man is being held in North Korea — and has been for the past month. Kenneth Bae, a Korean American citizen, leads tours to the isolated nation and is involved with a Protestant religious movement.
North Korea's latest missile launch is being viewed as a success (great). Maybe the hermit nation's latest Criminal Leader will be moved to be generous in his treatment of a suspect/hostage?
New Congressman staffs up
Norm Dicks' successor in Congress, Derek Kilmer, has named three people to be members of his staff, The News Tribune reported this afternoon. In at least one case, it looks like Kilmer may have had advice from Dicks, long noted for high quality staffers (Dicks is no Rick Larsen, whose staffers were caught last year posting a series of lewd tweets).
Kilmer's deputy district director, Joe Dacca, comes from Dicks' staff. And the chief of staff, Jonathan Smith, has worked in other congressional staff positions, including on armed services (an area of Dicks' expertise), though in the Senate rather than in the House. Local connections abound: Smith worked at a Seattle-based law firm and Dacca is a UW and Gig Harbor High grad, in addition to having worked for Kilmer in the Legislature before joining Dicks' staff. And the new district director, Meadow Johnson, is a lifelong resident of the congressional district.
12th day, 12th month ... 12th Man!
The Seattle Seahawks came up with a cool way of working their 12th Man shtick into the day's 12/12/12 calendar date. They picked an original season ticket holder, Paul Poliak, to raise the "12 Flag" before a team practice session today.
The flag raising was, naturally, at 12:12:12, according to a team Facebook posting. (But who's counting?) The Hawks posted a little video on Facebook. We'll call it charming. (You want to argue? The video had more than 1,000 likes by about 2:30 p.m.)
Speaking of 12/12/12, there was this Tweet of the Day from Sesame Street (@sesamestreet): "Today is most definitely brought to you by the number 12."
Mayors and history
As part of Crosscut's big package on the mayor's race today, Knute Berger mentioned earlier mayor's races, including a 1977 primary that included a somewhat forgotten figure, Lud Kramer, Washington's secretary of state from 1965 to 1977. HistoryLink has a rather inspiring essay about his commitment to civil rights and helping the poor. He was a Republican and his successors have been Republicans of similarly broad-minded views.
After seeing Knute's article, the office of Secretary of State Sam Reed sent along a photo of Kramer and Reed, then assistant secretary, at a 1971 "cookies and Santa" party. Cookies, Santa and '70s sideburns. Excellent.
HistoryLink also has a Kramer eulogy from another former secretary, Ralph Munro.
Seattle doesn't just run on politics and software, right? There's music, too. When City Hall types like McGinn and predecessor Greg Nickels talk up the local music scene, it's generally about the most innovative rock and roll.
Seattle Rock Orchestra, which received recent attention from The Seattle Times for a performance of Led Zeppelin music, shows how traditional instruments can blend with the best of rock. The group released this video of Beck's "Old Shanghai" today. (We'll go with charming again.)
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