Mayor's race poll
Mike McGinn and Ron Sims both drew 15 percent of the vote in a SurveyUSA mayor's race poll which was commissioned and published by KING5.com early this afternoon. This despite the fact that Sims hasn't said yet whether he will actually challenge the mayor in a crowded primary field. Thirty-four percent surveyed were undecided. The rest of the field and their percentages are: Tim Burgess, 10 percent; Ed Murray, 9; Peter Steinbrueck, 7; Bruce Harrell, 5; Kate Martin, 3; Charlie Staadecker, 1; and David Ishii, 0. The margin of error was 3.9 percent. The poll is a smart move by KING, likely to pique public interest and jump-start discussion around the August primary.
Inconclusive Boeing results
A National Transportation Safety Board report today reaches no firm conclusions on the cause of the Boeing 787 battery fire in Boston. It's certainly no help to the company's hopes of returning the 787 to regular flight service quickly. Especially given that the NTSB also announced a mid-April forum and hearing on the safety of lithium-battery technology. Chairwoman Deborah Hersman specifically mentioned a desire to "illuminate how manufacturers and regulators evaluate the safety of new technology." She's clearly putting the spotlight on the industry-friendly Federal Aviation Administration, just as it has to evaluate Boeing's efforts to create a 787 fix.
New polio vaccine push
Bill Gates is throwing himself into the oh-so-close (but troubled) push to eliminate polio. Reports in the Middle East say that he will attend a Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi late next month. A ranking official for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation calls the summit "a seminal moment," with the potential to unite leaders, push medical advances and garner international support for the eradication of polio, as Australia's The National reports. The visit will also highlight other opportunities to use vaccines to make major gains for child health.
San Juans and Jewell
Sally Jewell, President Barack Obama's pick to be Secretary of the Interior, faced hours of confirmation hearing questions before a Senate committee today. The Seattle Times D.C. correspondent Kyung M. Song said she kept a "measured, solicitous" tone under sometimes-pointed questioning from Republicans.
Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com uses the occasion to push for the Obama administration to protect 955 acres in the San Juan Islands as a national monument. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, who warmly endorsed Jewell, are reintroducing legislation to protect the San Juan sites as a national conservation area. Unfortunately for them (and their House co-sponsors, Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene), the bill will likely end up before the House Natural Resources Committee, which is headed by Republican Rep. Doc Hastings. And, as Connelly notes, Hastings doesn't even bother to work on conservation measures sponsored by Eastside's moderate Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert.
Speaking of the state's Northwest corner, Seattle Transit Blog has a post advocating that the Legislature provide $6 million to maintain a three-county connector bus service between Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. Writer Joe Kunzler says the service allows area residents "to link up with the stellar Seattle area transit network." And for the adventurous Seattle resident to head out to great getaway destinations.
Seattle U reverberations
Seattle University students are dealing with the shock of a bizarre Wednesday incident in which an outside man eating a pink ice cream cone refused to leave a law school classroom, made odd statements and ran and jumped around, knocking over tables. Law student Claire McNamara was in the class next door to the incident when it took place. (As she notes, her descriptions of the event are drawn from what students in the original class told her.)
The main issue is that there wasn't really a good response to the situation. Despite the school's issued statement, most students said it took campus security a long time to pick up the call and between 6-8 minutes to arrive, and it was actually the professor who cleared the room. She planned to stay alone in there with him, but 4-5 guys stayed with her and then campus security arrived. A lot of students are getting together today to put together a petition to the dean to fix the procedure.
The professor, Madeline Kass, told The Seattle Times that the students and faculty need to have a deep discussion about security. She said time seemed to drag while security responded, but she estimated a two-to-four minute wait.
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