Golden Tate gets the gold
The Seattle Seahawks lost receiver Golden Tate on Wednesday when he agreed to a five-year, $30.7 million deal with the Detroit Lions. In a series of tweets pulled together on MyNorthwest, Tate said "I am extremely thankful for the support and love the city has given me over the past 4 years. It's tough to leave such a great place." The Seattle Times has a low-key assessment of the impact, suggesting it was "not surprising" and that the Seahawks will have to look for another punt returner and wide receiver. (On the other side of the sports spectrum, the Mariners are already at what Art Thiel tweets is the annual highlight of their season: the release of their TV ads.) — J.C.
Today in Olympia
- Forget about the Washington Legislature passing a $10-$12 billion transportation package this year. The legislation required a gas tax bump of 10.5-11.5 cents per gallon — something that might have haunted incumbent legislators facing re-election in November. Both sides are still far apart on transportation and blaming each other for the lack of progress. Lead House Democrat negotiator Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said Wednesday the next time that the full Legislature is likely to vote on a compromise is the 2015 session. — J.S.
- A plan to fund new classrooms to accommodate more, smaller K-3 classes appears dead in the Washington Legislature. The House added money to its version of a supplemental capital budget that would borrow $700 million for the classrooms and pay it off $50 million a year with state lottery revenue. Rep.Hans Dunshee, the House's lead capital budget negotiator, said the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus wanted to stop negotiations with Thursday's end of the session looming. The extra $700 million in the House proposal is meant to help meet a 2012 Washington Supreme Court mandate to reduce the size of classes in grades K-3. Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup and the lead Republican on education issues, said the Majority Coalition wants to hold down the capital budget and is worried about depending on lottery revenue, which could fluctuate. — J.S.
Coal train suit OK'd
A federal judge said Wednesday that environmental groups can continue with a lawsuit over pollution from trains carrying coal, Associated Press reports. BNSF tried to have the suit dismissed. The suit claims that coal and diesel particulates escaping from BNSF trains are polluting waterways. Environmental groups want to require the railroad to get water pollution permits before shipping coal. BNSF has another fight on its hands as well. It has been battling coal shippers angry over enviro-friendly railroad rules designed to reduce the amount of dust that escapes from its coal cars. — J.C.
Starbucks: Sip now, tip later
Coffee lovers will now have a new way to tip their barista at Starbucks — right from the customer's mobile device. Launching March 19, the updated Starbucks mobile app will allow customers to leave a tip of 50 cents, $1 or $2 any time within two hours of purchase. The app has already been growing in popularity, with one out of 10 purchases made with a mobile device, according to seattlepi.com. It remains to be seen whether the new app will mean more money for baristas. — M.C.
High note for parking signs
The toughest part of playing a gig may have become a little easier in Seattle: The city is debuting loading zones outside music venues that offer priority parking to musicians. So far, five venues have jumped on board: The Crocodile, Triple Door, Tula’s, Showbox at the Market and The High Dive. The city is expanding the program to other venues too, including Seattle’s City of Music project. And according to the Seattle Weekly, Mayor Murray and the Department of Transportation are fans of the project. “Seattle’s music scene is a critical part of our city’s cultural draw and the quality of life in our city,” declared the mayor in a press release. — M.C.
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