Seattle Police have reinstated a misconduct finding against the officer who threatened Stranger editor Dominic Holden. At a hastily called press conference, Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey said he had "sent the wrong message" to the public when he dropped the original misconduct finding. Mayor Ed Murray, who had supported Bailey's initial reversal, sent out a statement saying "the buck stops with me." He said he directed Bailey to reinstate the finding, which goes on the officer's record, but he praised Bailey at length. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com called the misstep "the new administration's first major embarrassment." Murray has been on the job since Jan. 1. A lot of critics thought then-new Mayor Mike McGinn's first stumble was the mid-January 2010 press conference where he announced plans for a seawall replacement without getting City Council members lined up to support him. So, Mayor Murray, join the club.
Budget proposal stiffs teachers
The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus unveiled a supplemental budget of $96 million on Monday afternoon. One key addition, according to Crosscut's John Stang, is $38 million for improving education but nothing for teachers. Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed $200 for education, including cost-of-living raises for teachers. John will have a full report shortly.
Metro Transit rescue
Members of the King County Council were holding a meeting this afternoon to discuss an April 22 public vote on a rescue for Metro Transit, which faces a possible 17 percent cut in services, and local roads. The measure would ask for public approval of a .1 percent sales tax and a new $60 annual fee on vehicles. The agenda for the Transportation Benefit District provides for a possible vote, but the council has until March 7 to get the measure on the ballot.
Floating a gondola idea in Kirkland
In an effort to speed up mass transit improvements, the City of Kirkland is considering gondolas — a relatively low-cost option that could be up and running much more quickly than light rail, according to The Seattle Times. (And so much more romantic.) The comprehensive article by Alexa Vaughn notes that the unexpectedly high costs of Portland's gondola system initially scared some Kirklanders, but Oragon's difficulties were deemed an exception. If nothing else, the gondola idea could keep radio talk shows gainfully employed. On KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, Dori Monson immediately proclaimed, "This is the stupidest idea ever," suggested that we all get out of our cars and trains and gondolas and lose weight by walking.
Seattle's is adding population at a faster pace than its neighboring cities in suburban King County, The Seattle Times reports. Incredibly, notes the paper's FYI Guy Gene Balk, this is the first time Seattle has outpaced its neighbors in a century. The new census estimates cover the years 2010-2012.
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