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    The Daily Troll: Seattle ranks high in traffic relief. New boss at Prov Health. A winter without snow?

    Traffic congestion news has a hidden upside. Furry fun with Macklemore's hit song. Boeing flies again.

    Boeing flies again

    Boeing conducted its second in-air test of the troubled 787 battery system with a flight out of King County's Boeing Field. The company said the flight was uneventful. The Herald reports that Boeing has no further test flights scheduled and will analyze results from today's flight and one last Thursday. It's not clear what might be learned from just two flights. And Boeing says it won't release data from the flights. So maybe we won't hold our breath waiting for a breakthrough in the grounding of the 787 line.

    New head at Providence

    Providence Health and Services today named Dr. Rod Hochman as its next CEO, to succeed longtime CEO Dr. John Koster. Providence operates 28 hospitals including 16 in Washington and Oregon, has 3,000 physicians, and employs some 64,000 people overall. Hochman was head of Seattle-based Swedish last year when it affiliated with the Catholic Providence system, which serves the West Coast states from Alaska to California, plus Montana. Hochman, who joined Providence after the affiliation, takes over as CEO and president on July 1; Koster had earlier announced his retirement for later this year.

    Thank God for Metro?

    Time to stop cursing late buses: Public transit service in Seattle provides some of the best savings nationally in time traveled for commuters according to an annual study by the Texas Transportation Institute. The study found that the Seattle metropolitan area ranks eighth in the nation in the amount of time public transportation saves commuters. Seattle also scored 10th best in benefits from such transportation management measures as freeway ramp metering, use of HOV lanes and coordination of traffic signals.

    That's the flip side of the study's measure of the time Seattleites lose while stuck in traffic. We're the ninth worst major metropolitan area. How did the TTI calculate these numbers? The Institute says the benefits of transit are measured against how bad traffic would be if all those transit riders jumped into private cars and drove to their destinations.

    The Oregonian dug a little deeper today to pick Portland's transportation benefits; Portland gets the 12th most benefits from its public transportation. The Oregonian's Joseph Rose termed the contribution of public transit there "admirable." That must make Seattle service even more admirable than Portland's.

    Weather hope, worries

    With winter half over, the odds are growing that Seattle will get through the season without a significant snowfall, according to an Associated Press report based on an interview with a National Weather Service forecaster. Meanwhile, over on Cliff Mass' weather blog, there's a lengthy complaint about the lagging quality of U.S. forecasting. Mass says the Europeans outdid the National Weather Service in forecasting the east coast's recent blizzard, just as they did wth Sandy. His explanation? Feds have been neglecting weather service computing capabilities, pumping resources into high level climate change research computers.

    Pope seemed frail

    Pope Benedict XVI's resignation caught the world by surprise, but his explanation of frailty made sense to a Ferndale woman who had visited him last year for the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. Elsa Finkbonner told KOMO radio that the pope had seemed weak. Finkbonner's son, Jake, was cured of a flesh-eating bacteria infection in 2006 after prayers to Tekakwitha. His recovery was declared a miracle, prompting the sainthood of Tekakwitha, was born to Iroquois and Algonquin parents in 1656. 

    Macklemore woof woof

    There's a new spoof of Seattle singer Macklemore labeled "Barklemore." The company behind it, The Pet Collective, has helped promote animal rescue adoptions. With Seattle singer Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" at the top of the charts and the Westminster Dog Show starting today, the timing of the video is perfect.

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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 Tue, Feb 12, 8:18 a.m. Inappropriate

    On the transit point, Seattle has one of the better ridership totals (% of commute for city-of and metro) in the country...behind the obvious ones (Boston, Chicago, DC, SF, NY, Philly, and I think Baltimore) but ahead of the rest, including Portland by a substantial margin. As much as we need rail, buses will always play a huge role in spider-webbing to every neighborhood.


    Posted Tue, Feb 12, 11:04 a.m. Inappropriate

    Seattlers are so smug and self-satisfied, they can't admit being wrong even when the evidence is obvious. The Portland Tri-Met system is simple and its maps relatively easy to plan various transit trips. The Metro system is a booklet of 15 maps, each a maddening compilation of duplicative routes on the same corridors diverging at indecipherable points where no landmarks help guide transit users except those whose last resort to avoid driving in maniacal traffic is a transit system design limited to serving the rush hour commuter. In downtown Seattle, the same problem of operating more bus lines than necessary leaves more people left waiting as numerous buses pass by mostly empty. No US transit system is as poorly arranged as Metro.


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