Felix Hernandez will be a Mariner for years to come. The team sent an email today announcing a 2 p.m. Wednesday press conference and contract signing with the All-Star pitcher. Reports say that the expected $175 million contract may have undergone some minor adjustments after a medical test suggested the possibility of elbow problems. Or maybe the Mariners noticed that some pitchers come back from elbow surgery throwing faster than ever. Which, in Hernandez's case, would be very fast.
Violence Against Women Act
The U.S. Senate gave overwhelming, bipartisan passage to a renewal and expansion of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, broadening protections for Native American women, sexual minorities and immigrants. The bill faces an uncertain future in the House of Representatives, where the retrograde Republican leadership balked at the expansions last year.
Joel Connelly at seattlepi.com reports that Eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert joined 16 other House Republicans in signing a letter urging the GOP leadership to allow a vote to pass the measure. Connelly also notes that the three other House Republicans from the state — Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Doc Hastings — did not sign. Perhaps they understand law enforcement and violence against women and minorities better than former sheriff Reichert, who worked the Green River Killer case?
Bike sharing for the white and wealthy
Bike sharing has a date with Seattle. Starting next year, the Puget Sound Bike Share program will include 500 bikes in 50 locations, according to a City Council discussion this morning reported by Publicola. Incredibly, none will be south of I-90 or in West Seattle.
Publicola's Erica C. Barnett is appropriately indignant: "Puget Sound Bike Share will initially cater to wealthier, whiter neighborhoods, while areas like the Rainier Valley (areas that, incidentally, include light rail stations that would be natural homes for bike-sharing kiosks) are left out." Barnett notes that, unless the service takes off, the Rainier Valley might not get any stations until 2018, and then only a pilot basis.
With its sale to Sound Publishing, The Herald in Everett faces large scale layoffs, requirements that people re-apply for jobs that are saved and the usual tensions that go with such things. An internal memo from Human Resources at the paper, which is still owned by the Washington Post until the sale is finalized, informs employees that chair massages will be offered to reduce tensions. That's pretty standard for a good workplace (and The Herald has always been a top notch one). But the message adds, "Cost is $20 for 12 minutes or $40 for 30 minutes. They accept cash, check or credit cards." Perhaps Don Graham, CEO of the Post, would like to call the message group with his credit card number?
Four attacks on women
Four women are now known to have been targets in a series of assaults in north Seattle. Seattlepi.com reports that police are investigating whether at least some of the attacks are connected.
Fat, cloudy Tuesday
Enjoying the cloudy skies and chance of rain that go with Mardi Gras in Seattle? Hey, you could have paid a lot of money to get the same weather in New Orleans. If you're still not satisfied with being stuck in the Northwest for the end of Mardi Gras, there's a Bourbon Street webcam here.
A West Seattle bee garden
A High Point community activist, Lauren Englund, has been working to gain support for a West Seattle bee and pollination garden to help teach West Seattleites about the importance of bees. Is it a good idea? Not sure, but gardening, fruit and sunny days certainly look good at this point in the winter.
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