This week's rhymes for the times

Putting on the Doggerel: A few thoughts on Proposition 1, or would it have been so hard to add a new basketball arena?
Putting on the Doggerel: A few thoughts on Proposition 1, or would it have been so hard to add a new basketball arena?

I like to know how things get started and then how they get done,
so if I had time to spare, I'd search for the headwaters of the Zambezi
which compared to finding out who came up with Sound Transit Proposition 1,
is easy.
I suppose some bureaucrat taking his daughter to ballet class in Medina got stuck on the bridge for hours with the kid whining and kicking the dash,
and he got so mad he developed a vermillion rash,
when suddenly he had a revelation: "I could fix this with 47 billion cash!"
(Or $157 billion, depending on whom you ash.)
So he called his engineery friends for help and together they threw in just the stuff we needed,
But then politicians added 50 billion more to assure the plan succeeded –
especially for the electorally seated.
(Or $110 billion, depending on what you've readed.)
A lot of people perk right up when there's billions to be spent
on contractors, consultants, and a state-full of cement.
So for their constituents the proponents covered their asses,
which is why the Voter's Pamphlet Complete Text of Proposition 1 takes eight pages and includes 40 sentences beginning with "whereas"-es.
As proposed,
Prop 1 will "improve the health, welfare and safety" of all those folks from Shoreline to Tacoma who feel hosed
by traffic chokepoints, slow busses, shaky bridges, and no street car on First Hill.
(Although how a Pill Hill Trolley got included in the 50 miles of real rails going north, south, and east
is a mystery to me, unless George Benson isn't really deceased.)
Opponents say it costs too much, takes too long, does the wrong things, and is environmentally icky.
But they're just being picky.
So what if it takes 50 years to pay the tab? For much of that time
I'll be dead
so I won't pay a lot now, my kids will pay a lot instead
a long way down the road, which unless we're being deluded,
is the same place all these projects will finally be concluded.
We're doing this for the children, and sticking them with the bill.
In 20 years they'll thank us when that trolley climbs the hill,
and the trains are finally running, and the bridges all aren't shaking,
and the 40-lane Sims Tollway is out there for the taking.
I'd sure like to see it, but it's probably just my luck,
I'll be dead as dead can be under the falling Viaduct.


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