Murray go 'round
Mayor-elect Ed Murray announced more than a dozen top appointments for his administration. One big surprise: He grabbed highly regarded City Council staff director Ben Noble to run his own budget office. Hyeok Kim, executive director of a community development association aimed at immigrant and refugee groups, will be the new deputy mayor for external matters. She's been a legislative analyst for state House Democrats and Speaker Frank Chopp. Andrea Riniker agreed to a six-month term as interim deputy mayor for internal affairs while Murray conducts a larger search. She retired as Port of Tacoma director in 2005 and before that served as state Department of Ecology director and as Bellevue city manager. Bill Lucia has a report on the hires shortly. The press release from Murray's office — including salaries — is here. Staff biographies are here.
Broadband aid. Not coming.
Gigabit, the company partnering with the city of Seattle to provide ultra high-speed Internet service for many neighborhoods is re-emerging — at least in the form of an email. As Crosscut and other outlets have reported, speedier internet service is delayed and possibly in doubt. A spokesman sent this to Crosscut's Matt Fikse-Verkerk: "Gigabit Squared has completed several rounds of investment financing and is currently executing projects in Illinois and Florida with a combination of public and private funding. Gigabit Squared appreciates Mayor McGinn’s passion for, and support of, the FTTH project in Seattle. We look forward to a dialogue regarding project possibilities with Mayor-elect Murray and his staff." Translation: Make your monthly Comcast payment.
Pot business hearings
The state Liquor Control Board is considering a rule to block bars from allowing any pot consumption on their premises. An Olympia bar owner says it's a bad idea but — not to worry, customers — he won't comply even if the board adopts the rule. Frank Schnarr, owner of Frankie's Sports Bar, tells The Olympian that the state and the Thurston County Health Department approved his private smoking room before marijuana became legal. Now that it is, pot should be grandfathered in. The board is expected to vote on the measure at a meeting next week, according to spokesman Brian Smith.
In D.C., The Seattle Times' Bob Young reports, the federal Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group will have a closed-door discussion about how to handle the business of legalized pot. Without some adjustment to current practices, operations here will have to be all cash, which raises the robbery risk. Of course, even if the feds let banks and pot stores do business, how many people will want to put an ounce of the best stuff on their debit card?
Boeing and Machinists talking
The Machinists Union's District 751 leadership and Boeing executives were talking Wednesday for the second day in a row. Talks were described as informal, but a union spokesperson was clear with The Herald about the purpose: making the Puget Sound area the site of the new 777X airliner's assembly. On the District 751 web site, President Tom Wroblewski promised an update after Wednesday's talks.
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