Legislative leaders continued to talk through mid-afternoon on a deal for a state operating budget. Gov. Jay Inslee had predicted an agreement late Monday or today. Oops. Associated Press quotes a spokeswoman for the governor's office saying that the big issues have been settled and legislators are just working their way through details. Senate leader Rodney Tom spoke of the need to take the time to get a good agreement. Of course, the closer the legislators get to the July 1 shutdown of state government, the better their excuse for pushing through a budget with no time for anyone to raise questions about how good it really is. Crosscut's John Stang is following the action — and the waiting.
Martin Pang, who was convicted in a notorious 1995 arson that killed four Seattle firefighters, is back in the news. He is accused of targeting some witnesses in his arson case for identity theft and fraud. A Seattle Police Department blog posting describes a combination revenge-and-get-rich conspiracy involving Pang, who is serving time in the Monroe Correctional Complex, and an accomplice outside the prison. Authorities intervened before anyone's identity was compromised. According to police, Pang hoped to make millions then flee to Brazil — where he also decamped during the original investigation. Pang is scheduled for release in 2018, pending any new charges from the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office. If convicted on the new charges, he could face an additional five-year term and lose credit for "good behavior time." Pang's original sentence could keep him behind bars until 2031: Maybe he can have that back, with an extra five to boot?
No more Redskins
The Port Townsend School Board voted unanimously to drop Port Townsend High School's "Redskins" nickame. The Peninsula Daily News has all the ins-and-outs of the arguments leading up to the decision, and notes the threats to remove the school board members in the future. What's that campaign slogan? How about "Take us back to our old cultural insensitivity"? As the News points out, the owner of the Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, has said his pro football team will never change its name. Might be time to wake up and visit some smarter communities, Mr. Snyder.
A tally tonight will be the first indication of whether voters in the city of Pacific will boot their bull-in-the-china-shop mayor, Cy Sun, out of office. On MyNorthwest, KIRO Radio reporter Chris Sullivan explains provides a nice Cy summary: Sun "has stormed out of meetings. He's fired several police chiefs and nearly every department head. He nearly cost his city its insurance policy after former employees filed $11 million worth of lawsuits against him." Voters will decide tonight. Or, if the vote is too close, sometime in the next few weeks.
Aurora Avenue improvements
The Seattle Department of Transportation is looking for public comment on a plan to add peak-hour bus lanes on much of Aurora Avenue. Seattle Transit Blog, which has a graphic and links to a city survey, says the city might abandon the plan for five blocks west of Green Lake so that local businesses can retain street parking there. Of course, a five-block gap in bus-only lanes doesn't seem like a smart way to maintain traffic flow, but what do we know? Assuming the city does finalize transit lanes for the whole stretch, Seattle could start catching up to neighbor Shoreline on Aurora upgrades.
This city video on Shoreline's long-term plan for its future is a little hokey at times but it also captures a vision and hints at changes that are receiving scant attention.
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