The Daily Troll: Baseball star headed this way? Changes in Olympia. A bridge to Oregon?

Mandela memorial at Seattle Center.
Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington

Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Carl Murray/"UW Law"

Sports, sports everywhere

The University of Washington has hired Boise State football coach Chris Peterson and the Seattle Mariners have — reportedly — shelled out well over $200 million to land free-agent Robinson Cano. Peterson is a natural, having brought the once-sleepy Boise program to national prominence. Of course, it does amount to a raid on another Northwest institution. Gonzaga, you are on notice: If basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar leaves the UW, don't expect any Montlake qualms of conscience over coveting the neighbor's coach. Of course, Coach Mark Few seems pretty happy in Spokane. Crosscut contributor Art Thiel is writing a column about the sports moves. — J.C.

Musical chairs in Legislature

A lot of new legislators from around the state will be heading to Olympia for the first time, or in new positions for the 2014 session. While the Seattle version of musical chairs to replace Mayor-elect Ed Murray has received most of the media attention, a roundup by The Olympian shows that changes are occurring from Gig Harbor to Spokane. So many changes — at least six — in the House that the Clerk's Office has scheduled a new member orientation. In addition to replacing Ed Murray, King County will also replace Rep. Dave Upthegrove, who is joining the county council. Get ready for four new senators, also as a result of the resignations of incumbents or their elections to other posts. And this wasn't even a regular election year for the Legislature. — J.C.

You can get to Oregon (or Washington)

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is holding out hope for a new I-5 bridge crossing the Columbia River, according to The Oregonian. He tells the paper that federal officials still have money that could be used to help with construction, despite Washington's refusal to participate so far. And he says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a supporter of the plan, might speak at an Oregon legislative hearing next month in favor of a new bridge. Some Washington State Republican senators are deadset against the existing bridge plan, which includes — gasp — rail transit. — J.C. 

Cancer researcher sentenced

A cancer researcher, Peter D. Urrea of Washougal in southwest Washington, has received an 18-month sentence for tax evasion, according to the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington. Urrea had gone to considerable trouble to avoid paying tax on some of his income, even signing the name of a non-existent vice pharma president to a document. "Instead of devoting all his energies to his cancer research," said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in a statement, "this defendant schemed to avoid paying his fair share of taxes." Dedication, of the worst sort. — J.C. 

Mandela: a life well lived

Among the many, and widely varied, tributes to Nelson Mandela’s life, the Council on Foreign Relations' postings reflect a long history with the man and his ideas. When he spoke before the council in 2005, at age 87, Mandela's humility and humor were on full display. Describing how happy he was to have been invited, Mandela explained that he was “trembling, although my clothing is covering my movement inside.” The council also focused on his unbending insistence on the rule of law, even in the aftermath of a successful revolution, and his demand that South Africa recognize the rights of all people. South Africa remains the only African nation that permits gay marriage. And against the backdrop of the Arab spring and continued African conflicts marred by power-hungry despots, Mandela’s choice to step down after a single term remains a shining example of his dedication to his vision and not his power.

There will be a candlelight vigil for Mandela at 6:30 p.m. Saturday around the Seattle Center's International Fountain. — A.S.

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at

Adrian Servetnick is a recent graduate of the University of Washington's political science program. He now works as an editorial intern at crosscut.

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