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    The Daily Troll: Coal's landslide of comments. Reaction to the be-Jewelled Cabinet. Everett paper sold.

    Strong national reaction to Obama's choice of REI boss for Interior. Seattle media tsunami washes north. M's, Storm get bad news. Pardon, but did all 120,000 of you just saying something about coal?
    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

    Sally Jewell is CEO of REI

    Sally Jewell is CEO of REI Courtesy of REI

    Sally Jewell reaction

    President Obama's pick of REI's CEO Sally Jewell for U.S. Interior Secretary drew sharply varied reactions. Environmental groups were mostly happy, but a few took the opporunity to throw elbows. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com quotes the league of Conservation Voters demanding that more national monuments be designated, including one in the San Juan Islands. The New York Times predicts "sharp questioning" during Jewell's confirmation hearings, particularly from Republicans eager to see more exploitation of public lands for energy. Call us homies, but we think Jewell can handle it.

    Herald sold to Sound Publishing

    Sound Publishing today gobbled up a big Northwest paper, The Herald of Everett. The Herald's website posted a terse statement from its current owner, The Washington Post Co., at noon. The purchase is a significant move for Sound, which mainly publishes weeklies — including the just-acquired Seattle Weekly. As of 2:15 p.m, The Herald site still wasn't elaborating. The paper did send out a business-as-usual Tweet, however. Bigger picture: Let the questions about a new Northwest media empire begin. 

    Gay Scouts?

    The Boy Scouts are in delay mode on acknowledging gay membership. Is it really that confusing? A USA Today column by radio host and occasional Crosscut contributor John Carlson downplays concerns, arguing that protections against abuse — of all sorts — are much more sophisticated today, including in scouting. In case you missed it elsewhere on Crosscut: A Bellevue business leader (with connections to the Mariners) plays a key role in the Scouts' decision-making. 

    Coal comments

    The public sent in more than 124,000 comments about a proposed coal port near Bellingham, officials said today. Many were form letters or the like, but a whopping 16,000 were original comments on how wide an environmental study should be conducted on coal exports to China through the Northwest. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Ecology and Whatcom County are jointly reviewing the issue. In a press release, they noted that comments also occurred at a series of public meetings, adding, “The agencies consider all comments on an equal basis, regardless of how people submitted them.” OK. Turn out the light when you’re done reading. (For full coverage of the issue, check out Crosscut's Coal ports pages.)


    Bad news in Seattle sports

    Seattle Storm superstart Lauren Jackson is hurt. Again. And this time, she's out for the season, according to SportsPressNW.com. And if that isn't bad enough, one of the Seattle Mariners' hot young players, Jesus Montero, turns up on a list of names connected to a Miami "anti-aging" clinic that's suspected of providing performance enhancing drugs to baseball players. Alex Rodriguez has also been linked to the clinic. M's fans have been enjoying the Rodriguez Schadenfreude. Not so much with Montero. We finally get a budding star and he may be emulating a major jerk from franchise history? 

    Sally Jewell in full  

    As head of REI, Jewell promoted some very good ideas about businesses serving their communities. One of the writers who helped drive Crosscut's development, the late Seattle neighborhood activist Kent Kammerer, wrote insightfully, "Jewell quietly nourished a corporate culture that changed how business can influence the larger society." If you have some time later, here's a talk she delivered at UC Berkeley a few years ago on the subject of business and conservation. She begins talking at the 7:55 mark.  

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    Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.

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    Posted Wed, Feb 6, 4:01 p.m. Inappropriate

    Hmm, the CEO of REI? Does this mean that the $50 national parks pass will cost $500?


    Posted Wed, Feb 6, 8:51 p.m. Inappropriate

    The (Everett) Herald sold by The Washington Post to a local publisher? That's a major tragedy. Say good-bye to the last remnant of truly professional, genuinely brave, defiantly non-chamber-of-commerce journalism in all of Washington state.

    Posted Wed, Feb 6, 9:40 p.m. Inappropriate

    Yes, it is a real shame to see the Post let go of the Everett Herald. It became a vastly better paper when they bought it back in 1980 and I fear it will now go the other way.

    Posted Wed, Feb 6, 10:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    Indeed: WaPo's first move -- it's announcement to Pugetopolis that real journalists had at last taken over -- was to fire the old publisher on Page One, the story explaining he was getting the boot because he was owned by local business interests.

    After that, The Herald was the one and only daily in the state you could trust to break a story the chamber-of-commerce plutocrats didn't want you to read.

    No doubt under its new ownership it will go back to being what it was, just another mouthpiece of the One Percent, like all the other papers in Washington state.

    The people I pity most are the reporters and editors, who will now learn the meaning of sweatshop journalism, with an end to all meaningful investigative work or enterprise reporting and journalistic excellence submerged forever beneath word-and-story quotas -- the entire editorial staff reduced to lowest-possible-wage production workers whose job is merely to fill the spaces between the advertisements.

    By far the greatest tragedy will be the number of older journalists inescapably imprisoned in the newly imposed, spirit-killing, crazy-making working conditions -- trapped because their only alternative is to quit, thereby condemning themselves to an irremediable descent into abject poverty.

    (Yes, as a former member of the working press I know all-too-well of what I speak.)

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