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    The Daily Troll: Seattle home prices climb. Ex-officer knows nothing. Bad driving in Seattle and Tacoma?

    A food truck chain's restaurant is in high gear on its drive to popularity in Ballard. Teacher and parent views on education have a lot of similarities.
    The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

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

    Seattle home prices up

    Seattle home prices rose modestly in 2012, but remained a good 25 percent below their peak levels. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that after hitting their lowest point in early 2012, by December prices were 8.2 percent higher than they had been at the end of 2011. That fits with the rest of the nation, which has seen strong recovery in home prices.

    Teachers want improvements, too

    Education reform advocates today released new survey results that they say show public support for more data-driven education reform. Crosscut's John Stang reports from Olympia:

    Excellent Schools Now — a coalition of about 40 education groups — polled 500 teachers and 500 voters in late 2012 and early 2013. The survey's results showed that 82 percent of the voters and 47 percent of the teachers believe financial and student performance information should be used to determine whether schools are serving kids well. Forty-four percent of the voters and 63 percent of the teachers said that the K-12 education system is headed in the right direction. Seventy-seven percent of the voters and 60 percent of the teachers believe that public schools are not doing a good enough job to help students compete in the workplace and help the economy grow. And 90 percent of the voters and 80 percent of teachers believe students should have to pass math, English and science exams to graduate from high school.

    “The polling numbers show that most voters and teachers agree that significant changes are needed to our K-12 education system to better prepare our students for college and work,” said Chris Korsmo, head of the League of Education Voters, in a statement. “When our state Legislature lives up to its duty to fully fund basic education, we need to know whether those new dollars, along with current ones, are increasing student learning.”

    It's interesting to note that while their views are broadly similar, parents and teachers do show some differences: The parents seem to be a little more focused on the need for improvements.

    Food truck to restaurant

    The popular El Camión food truck trio apparently has a hit with its first brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name. The new spot, which opened early in the month across the street from Ballard High School, has received a good reaction, according to a Ballard News-Tribune report today.

    "It's our truck inside," owner Scott McGinnis tells the paper. He plans to expand the range of dishes beyond the tacos and burritos usually ordered at his three trucks. McGinnis says people who love the trucks' food are pleased to have an option to avoid standing in the rain. And the wind and cold. He appears to have August covered, too, with outdoor seating.

    Ex-Seattle officer knows his rights

    A retired Seattle police officer's car was used in a scary road-rage incident in Spokane Monday, according to Spokane's KXLY TV station. The driver of the car threatened to kill a man at a 7-Eleven who questioned his driving, then drove toward him at high speed. He managed to jump out of the way, but suffered a serious knee injury. The retired officer wasn't in the car, but he's not saying much about who might have been driving. KXLY reported that witnesses had "no trouble remembering" the license plate: It was a four-digit Law Enforcement Memorial plate.

    Here's the report, which was posted Monday. 

    Routinely bad drivers

    A Seattle area YouTube user has started a series of reports on bad driving. He says he is using a dashboard-mounted camera to record our collective driving inferiority. Guess it all depends on your definition of bad driving. Is Seattle's rolling stop routine any different than driving habits in the rest of the country?

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    Posted Wed, Feb 27, 8:12 p.m. Inappropriate

    The spaced-out driving habits of Seattleites tend to be taken for granted until one goes away for a while and comes back. Most places seem to have their foibles. New York drivers are aggressively rude, but at least predictably so. It's the sheer unpredictability of spacy Seattle drivers that is so vexing. Does that flashing blinker light mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. Is it too much to ask that one proceed forward through that green light before it turns red again? Often it is indeed too much to expect, when the person sitting ahead of you is visualizing whirled peas.

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