The Daily Troll: Inslee wants a Boeing vote. King County too powerful? The subway to Ballard.

Another attack on a bus driver, this time in Oregon.
Unlike these existing 777 models, the new 777X may not be built in Washington.

Unlike these existing 777 models, the new 777X may not be built in Washington. Courtesy of Boeing

All Jay wants for Christmas is a vote

If a vote actually takes place on — prospects uncertain — Boeing and IAM may both come out ahead in the proposed contract to win 777X assembly work here. Not because one side shut the other down, but because they compromised. The union would get to keep its six-years-to-max pay scale; Boeing would unload potentially costly and outdated worker pensions. Boeing also gets a plane delivered by 2020, machinists get an additional $5,000 and the satisfaction of knowing that their votes paid off. Moving R&D jobs out of state was a signal that Boeing doesn’t need WA as much as we would like, but returning to the table for quiet negotiations indicates that the aerospace giant still needs Everett’s expertise. Union leadership remains divided over whether to schedule a vote, but with many machinists demanding a chance to decide on this contract, one will likely be scheduled. In the meantime, we wonder whether the reluctance to schedule a vote is an attempt to avoid charges of shoving a second contract down the rank and file’s throat, while at the same time building support for the deal. But with Gov. Jay Inslee — advocate of tax breaks and transportation improvements — now jumping in with a request to let the members vote, at least Boeing knows somebody wants to build its planes here. — A.S.

They don't call it "King" County for nothing

A new survey reports that Washington residents believe King County has too much power in state politics. As Joel Connelly of notes, the state's biggest elections tend to go the way King County voters do. Even a majority of King County residents in the poll agreed with the assessment. Of course, there is that whole thing about one-person, one-vote: It's wrapped up in democracy, which might even be more important than polling. — J.C.

Take the A Train — to Ballard? 

Sound Transit is wrapping up public comments on the possibility of rail service from Downtown Seattle to Ballard. On Seattle Transit Blog, Ben Schiendelman argues that a subway running through Fremont would be the best approach, rewarding neighborhoods for absorbing so much growth, shaving travel times and generating the excitement needed to win voter support for a city financing plan. Sure, rail critics will laugh. But Schiendelman might have a good point about voter psychology in Seattle. — J.C.

Bus drivers at risk

Portland's TriMet transit system is offering a $1,000 reward for information on the vicious beating of a woman bus driver by a passenger who hadn't paid the correct fare. As The Oregonian's transportation writer Joseph Rose notes, the bus drivers' union there has been fighting to keep its generous benefits, arguing that the profession is high risk. The Portland beating and the shooting of a Metro Transit driver in Seattle this summer only support the union's position. — J.C. 

Getting out the vote

A new study says Washington and other states using an advanced data system to identify eligible but unregistered voters have seen an increase of about 1 percentage point in election participation. The states used the demographic data from motor vehicle licenses, voter registrations, postal records and other sources to send postcards to eligible but unregistered residents urging them to sign up to vote. Washington is one of seven states to pioneer the system, supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts. — J.C.

Green Power vacuum

The head of Green Power, an alternative energy operation that was supposed to be built in Pasco, is being held on federal charges of defrauding investors, according to The Tri-City Herald. CEO Michael Spitzauer claimed to have a technology that turns municipal waste into biofuels. The Port of Pasco has started eviction proceedings to get him out of the facility he leased in an industrial park. In 2009, the state Department of Ecology shut down Spitzauer's operations after he failed to get the necessary air-quality permits. — J.C.

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Posted Fri, Dec 13, 4:45 p.m. Inappropriate

Nice job on that Ballard project, Crosscut. Tell us about the meeting more than a week after it's been held. Oh well, we all know that the fix is in anyway. Always is in this "progressive" city where public involvement is always a ruse.


Posted Fri, Dec 13, 6:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Comments still welcome. At least a dozen opportunities for 600 character essays. Impression given: knowing the fix is in makes the juices FLOW.


Posted Sat, Dec 14, 10:30 a.m. Inappropriate

What a bogus survey this is. It totally leads everyone to make a choice, A or B, with no option of saying "Do Not Do This At All".

Surveys that prove a foregone conclusion are a waste of public dollars and should be illegal.

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 10:49 p.m. Inappropriate

A tunnel to Ballard? lol

From the proposal I saw, it would cost more than the deep bored tunnel, carry a fraction of the people per day that the deep bored tunnel will carry, be paid for only by taxpayers in the City of Seattle, and serve only a couple of Seattle neighborhoods.

People think the deep bored tunnel is expensive (it is) and it is being paid for by the entire state of Washington. This Ballard subway would cost more and be paid for by only about 1/10 as many taxpayers.

Could there possibly be a stupider waste of a massive amount of tax dollars than this unbelievable boondoggle? At least Central Link light rail -- which is an insane waste of tax dollars -- goes to the airport. This little rail line would go only to Ballard! lol

Why would anyone living in W. Seattle, the U. District, Magnolia, South Seattle, Madrona, Lake City, etc. want to pay for this?

For $3 billion, what could you do for the entire city with improved bus service? How many streets and bridges all over the city could you rebuild with $3 billion?

Or you could build one little subway between Ballard and downtown.


Posted Sat, Dec 14, 8:14 a.m. Inappropriate

It's not "voter psychology" that the transit financiers consider important. What is important to them is the marketing tactics they use. As long as financing plans are ignored in the marketing efforts and misrepresented in the press, there will be lots of votes to approve propositions from local governments that are put on ballots.

Look at Lincoln's post above. It's a prime example of how tax hike measures are marketed. The capital cost estimate is provided. The types of additional taxing, the amounts of additional taxing, and the peers' best practices all are studiously ignored.

Joe Copeland -- you are intimately familiar with how that game is played. You worked at the PI before Crosscut, right? The PI never reported on the financing plans or the tax impacts of the tax hike ballot propositions Metro, Sound Transit and the SPMA floated. The PI and Crosscut certainly never address the peers' best practices in those areas.

That's not "voter psychology", that's propaganda.


Posted Sat, Dec 14, 9:44 a.m. Inappropriate

"A new survey reports that Washington residents believe King County has too much power in state politics."

I find this curious. Doesn't King County have more voters than the rest of the state? Don't King County taxpayers subsidized much of the rest of the state?

It should be noted that a minority of the State Senate, with the help of a couple of King County Senators, is holding King County hostage and denying King County the infrastructure it needs to thrive. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.


Posted Sat, Dec 14, 6:08 p.m. Inappropriate

In 2012 King County had a population of about 2 million and WA State had a population of about 6.9 million. So, no, King County does not have more voters than the rest of the state. King Co. probably has about 1/3 or less of all voters in WA State.


Posted Sun, Dec 15, 11:57 a.m. Inappropriate

You are correct Lincoln. However, The Seattle metropolitan area including the city of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County within the Puget Sound region according to the US Census Bureau has an estimated population of 3,500,026, which is more than half of Washington's population as of 2012. It is the 15th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States.

This NYT article reports that: "Most transpo stimulus funding goes to rural areas"
So we here in Seattle and other cities got the short end of the stick on transportation stimulus funding.

In addition, for years Seattle got the short end of transit service increases due to the unbalanced formula passed by the King County Council. That formula was rescinded fairly recently but the damage was done by then.

Here's what I was thinking of when I said King County taxes subsidized the rest of the state. This was from a study conducted by Rep. Reuven Carlyle and reported on by the Seattle P-I: "People in King County contribute nearly 42 percent of the state's tax revenues, yet receive only 25 percent of the money spent from Washington's general fund budget."


Posted Sun, Dec 15, 9:42 a.m. Inappropriate

How about before they go digging a useless tunnel to Ballard, they put in the promised sidewalks in North Seattle? When was north of 85th annexed? Wasn't that when we were promised sidewalks? My kid has to dodge traffic to Nathan Hale HS everyday. As soon as the license is achieved, the kid will be driving the 6 blocks rather than risk getting hit by an morning commuter dashing to Lake City Way or 35th.

Or how about funding bus service so it doesn't get cut so my other kid can get to school at the Seattle Center by transit rather than driving? Or a bus that goes to Northgate Transit Center?

Tunnels to Ballard, no way, no how will I vote for that.


Posted Mon, Dec 16, 12:55 p.m. Inappropriate

A subway would be great. A dedicated, grade separated BRT would be an acceptable substitute. Heck, A monorail through downtown to West Seattle would still be acceptable...

Ballard has been waiting for their turn for many years now. It has gotten NOTHING in comparison to most of the rest of the city, so those who already got theirs, need to stow it. Ballard residents have been paying for that too. Time to put the horse before the cart again...


Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:48 p.m. Inappropriate

I think there should be a bicycle tunnel from Ballard to West Seattle. Finance it with $10,000 car tabs and a $20 a gallon gas tax.


Posted Fri, Dec 20, 3:08 p.m. Inappropriate

Na, I like the fresh air - thanks for thinking of us however.


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