Businesses in favor of taxing themselves?
Higher property taxes could be in store for some Seattle businesses if the City Council votes to create a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in SODO and expand Pioneer Square's existing BIA. The Council held the first round of public comments on the proposals at a meeting this morning, which drew both supporters — including Starbucks, the Seattle Underground Tour and SODO real estate company American Life — and detractors (Silver Cloud Hotels and recording studio owner Jodi Opitz). “The only way I’d be interested in paying more taxes is if they were going to create green spaces and hold sports teams accountable for cleaning up after games,” Opitz said.
Supporters of the plan want to use the money to hire cleanup crews and private security patrols to combat litter, vagrancy and graffiti, along with administrative staff to press the mayor and city cops for more police patrols, according to Jeffrey Long, a representative of the SODO Business Association. That's a far cry from the typical purposes of a BIA: Sidewalk improvements and planters are classic examples. - B.L.
State doles out pot stores
The State Liquor Control Board approved 334 pot stores today — 61 in King County and 21 in Seattle, The Seattle Times reports. The Control Board also set an annual production cap for pot at 40 metric tons. That’s 1,410,958 ounces for those of you used to thinking of the substance in smaller quantities. The marijuana shops could open as early as June, according to the Spokesman Review, and edible products would be outfitted with amusing warning labels about the hazards of space cake: "Caution: When eaten the effects of this product can be delayed by as much as two hours." (SeattlePI.com has samples). If only we'd all had the same warning. - B.L.
Eat lunch in Pioneer Square
Even if you don't commute to the square everyday like Studer or Crosscut's editors, it's worth a visit. Matt Dillon's gone restaurant-happy here with trendy London Plane and Bar Sajor, Thai favorite Little Uncle recently added a location and Mike Easton's Il Corvo is a pasta-lover's dream. Not to mention perennial sandwich shop favorites like Tat's and Salumi. You might not agree with everything Studer writes (The Berliner is definitely better than she lets on), but most of it is spot-on. (Grand Central at lunchtime? Fugeddaboutit.) - B.A.
Bill Nye's new gig
What’s weirder than Apple nerd/founder Steve Wozniak mambo-ing (or whatever that was) on ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars"? Bill Nye. ABC just unveiled its “dynamic lineup” for this season’s show and our very own Science Guy was on it. Bill -- a swing dance regular in his current home of Los Angeles -- will be cutting the rug with pro terpsichore Tyne Stecklein who, like Nye, will be making her "Dancing with the Stars" debut. (Actually, the bar is pretty high for Nye; Wozniak had some moves. Check ‘em out.) - M.B.
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