'Tis the season for transportation listening tours. First Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Rodney Tom, D-Medina, announced they'd be scouring the state for transportation solutions and now King is holding hands with fellow Senate Transportation Committee co-chair Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, for a similar tour. This time around King will swoop through Bellevue, Vancouver, Wenatchee, Spokane, Tacoma and Everett to gather input from Washingtonians about what they'd like to see in a new transportation package. Dates, times and locations are here. Notoriously liberal Seattle and Bellingham are conspicuously absent from the list. As are any communities served by the state's ferry system, particularly on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. Coincidence?
Whims of the Supreme Leader
North Korea has cancelled a U.S. envoy that would have pleaded for the release of Lynnwood's Kenneth Bae, reports King5.com. Bae, a Christian missionary and father of three, was detained in November while operating tours in North Korea on suspicion of “subversive activities.” In May, Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor at a North Korean prison camp. His sister Terri Chung, of Edmonds, Wash., told reporters earlier this month that her brother had lost 50 pounds and had been hospitalized due to complications with his diabetes. Bob King, the senior U.S. envoy for North Korean human rights issues, had been invited to fly out to Pyongyang today for release talks.
Perhaps North Korea is holding out for former NBA player Dennis Rodman, who tweeted back in May “I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him `Kim’, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.” Good one.
KCTS announced the resignation of Chief Maurice "Moss" Bresnahan late yesterday afternoon for "personal reasons." Bresnahan, who served in the role for five years, will be replaced on an interim basis by Rob Dunlop, a longtime executive VP at Fisher Communications (former owner of Seattle's KOMO TV) starting September 3rd.
When we called KCTS today to ask them a few questions, we learned that Moss is (already) no longer at the station and Dunlop will be starting next week; a turnover so speedy it smacks of a firing. One likely scenario: Dunlop, who was responsible for expanding Fisher's presence on developing media platforms and taking advantage of TV's analog-to-digital shift, was brought in to modernize the station, leaving Bresnahan high and dry. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in Mr. Roger's neighborhood.
Microsoft to NSA: “Try again.”
As a step toward more government transparency, the NSA announced yesterday that they would be publishing the number of requests for customer information they make to private companies once a year. But Microsoft wants more, says Geekwire. In a blog response addressed to “followers of technology issues,” Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said he thinks the NSA should be more explicit than that and that he will forge ahead with a lawsuit against the government. “We believe it is vital to publish information that clearly shows the number of national security demands for user content, such as the text of an email,” says Smith.
The Director of National Intelligence made the original announcement via the U.S. Intelligence Community's tumblr blog. Perhaps, as Microsoft and Google continue their lawsuit, you can have your favorite tween follow the blow-by-blow on tumblr.
Recession-proof Tooth Fairy
According to a new Visa survey, children are getting a little extra under their pillow from the Tooth Fairy this year tells Komo News. Children are seeing an average of $3.70 cents per tooth – a 23 percent jump from last year's $3 average. The current rate of inflation is about two percent, but experts speculate that the Tooth Fairy's generosity is more about keeping up with Joneses. "A kid who got a quarter would wonder why their tooth was worth less than the kid who got $5," says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University. Parents, er, Tooth Fairies don’t want their children to feel left out.
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