Kind of a big deal in D.C.
A task force led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has reached a budget deal that protects health research, Head Start, education and the Pentagon from some $65 billion in across-the-board cuts over the next two years. The New York Times calls the agreement a cease-fire in D.C.'s endless budget wars: "For Democrats and their negotiator, Ms. Murray, the deal marks a turning point in the spending wars that have dominated the Capitol since Republicans swept to control of the House in 2011." Remember when in-the-know types were dismissing Murray as a lightweight? Constituents who have elected her four times will feel vindicated. But there is this dilemma: Might this victory prompt Murray — still very down to earth — to decide it's time to enjoy family and a personal life rather than run again in 2016? — J.C.
Bike utopia ahead?
The new Seattle Bicycle Master Plan recommends more than 400 miles of new bike lanes, cycle tracks and greenways, along with an emphasis on improved biker safety. Seattle Department of Transportation officials presented some of the highlights of the plan at a City Council committee meeting Tuesday. The plan also identifies possible upgrades to about 70 miles of existing bicycle infrastructure. The recommended changes are proposed for a 20-year span. Estimated price tag for improvements and new facilities: $390 million to $525 million. A public hearing about the plan is scheduled for tomorrow night at City Hall. With tensions between groups that support and oppose bike infrastructure burning like a low-grade fever in the city, the comments could get lively. — B.L.
Boeing plan submitted
Updated at 5:05 p.m. Gov. Jay Inslee just sent out a tweet saying that the state has submitted its plan for building the 777X here to Boeing. No details were announced. The Puget Sound Business Journal had suggested earlier in the day that one of the trickier sections may be explaining how the state would provide the transportation improvements sought by the company. Legislators have been unable to come an agreement on a new funding plan. — J.C.
No internet upgrades for you, Seattle
Outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn says some neighborhoods in Seattle won't get upgraded Internet service on time. Or maybe not at all. In an Geekwire nterview published late Monday afternoon, the soon-to-be ex-mayor said broadband contractor Gigabit Squared, which plans to use dormant city fiber to deliver faster service, is having trouble raising capital as quickly as it had hoped. Internet upgrade plans call for improving service on unused city fiber optic cables in a dozen neighborhoods, hopefully as a model for citywide upgrades. But McGinn's downbeat assessment makes us wonder whether we will even start to catch up with better equipped places like Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo. (Crosscut's Matt Fikse-Verkerk will have a report.) — J.C.
GOP congresswoman challenged
Jaime Herrera Beutler, Southwest Washington's member of Congress, will have a potentially serious challenger, according to seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly. Democrat Bob Dingethal, a former aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell, kicked off his campaign on Monday, criticizing Congress as dysfunctional. He's executive director of an environmental group and has business credentials too, including co-founding the SandHill Winery and Red Mountain Vineyards. We'll raise a glass of Cab to the competition of a good race. But, as Connelly notes, redistricting has made Herrera Beutler's seat safer. — J.C.
Tunnel: No answers
Updated at 5:30 p.m. The state says it and the contractor are still investigating what has slowed work on the boring of the Seattle waterfront tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. In a statement, the state Department of Transportation backed away somewhat from the suggestions on Monday that the "Bertha" tunneling machine had encountered an obstruction, saying that the machine had encountered unanticipated resistance "possibly due to an obstruction." There's quite a bit of talk about the difficult conditions, the water level and "the challenging nature" of the soils. The department promises additional information on Friday. Could there be an I-told-you-so moment for Mayor Mike McGinn even before he leaves office? — J.C.
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