Art work by Noel Franklin
Charter school commission
Top state elected officials today announced the members of the nine-person Charter School Commission, which will oversee the voter-approved introduction of public charters. House Speaker Frank Chopp's three appointments include former state Rep. Dave Quall, often considered the most pleasant roadblock to education reform in state history. But it looks like a potentially strong group with former Seattle School Board member Steve Sundquist (appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee), former Gates Foundation and Bush administration official Cindi Williams (selected by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen), and Trish Millines Dziko, founder and CEO of the Technology Access Foundation (another Chopp pic). Of course, this is Washington, so who knows what games will be played to trip up charters?
Eyman for Legislature
Tim Eyman ought to run or be drafted for the Legislature, according to seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connelly. It's basically a put-up-or-shut-up challenge from the dean of political commentary. Former Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a similar challenge in early 2010. Connelly raises good questions about whether Eyman could settle down, listen to others and collaborate. He may not have the capacity to stay in his seat long enough for that. But he shouldn't be underestimated.
Eyman isn't taking the invite. He emailed: "The 1.9 million voters who approved I-1185 like our efforts so we're going to keep fighting for them. We'll do that by continuing to give the people the chance to approve policies and protections the Legislature won't."
Microsoft will pay a $737 million fine to the European Union. It's over the company's admitted failure to offer consumers a choice of Internet browsers. Microsoft had promised browser options in an earlier settlement of anti-trust allegations. Seattle Times' business columnist Brier Dudley sees this as a ridiculous failure by Microsoft and a ridiculously low fine. (Passing a hat around in the executive suites would cover the cost). Then Dudley digresses, comparing the shoddy decisionmaking by EU bureaucrats to the local imposition of HOV lanes on Highway 99. Arguable? Yes, but it is a worthwhile challenge to those of us comfortably encamped among the orthodox on mass transit questions.
As the mayor turns
Mayor Mike McGinn is suddenly tired of fighting with City Attorney Pete Holmes. The mayor wants to sit down with Holmes and the federal police monitor, Merrick Bobb, to work out their differences. McGinn made his conciliatory remarks on KIRO Radio's Ross and Burbank Show this morning, the same forum where he tossed firecrackers a few days ago.
McGinn didn't apologize, but he did say he believed that he and Holmes shared a desire to avoid the kind of public fight they've been engaged in. Holmes said he welcomed the mayor's remarks and has been open to talking at any point. But, he added, McGinn and his counsel had framed their demands so aggressively in the letter they sent him that his office would continue preparing a response unless the mayor withdrew the letter. Just to step back: Imagine the fight McGinn might have picked with Holmes if Holmes had decided to run against him for mayor, a rumored possibility? Still, if the mayor wants to cool the dramatics, better late than never.
Northwest history of racism
The Tacoma Art Museum is auctioning off a collection of precious Chinese robes that were donated decades ago by a local family, who isn't happy about the decision. It's a complicated story. The Museum acted with reasonable care. But on the Slog, Jen Graves gets to the sad core of the matter: The donation was a gesture of reconciliation by the family towards a city whose leadership led riots to drive out Chinese neighbors in the late 1800s. Now, in light of the Museum's auction plans, the generous gesture itself isn't even honored. And isn't just Tacoma that tends to forget its history, it's Seattle, too.
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