Sausage Links, 'what next?' edition

Gregoire goes back to Olympia to fix the budget. Rossi goes home for dinner. Seattle goes back to pondering Viaduct solutions. And so on.
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Gregoire goes back to Olympia to fix the budget. Rossi goes home for dinner. Seattle goes back to pondering Viaduct solutions. And so on.

Now that the election is more or less over, where do we go from here? Simple: We go forward.

Transportation: Now that Sound Transit's light rail expansion measure, Proposition 1, has passed, what are Puget Sound's next big transportation issues? No. 1 is pretty obvious: finding a solution to the Alaskan Way Viaduct problem. Then there's fixing Metro Transit's funding gap, choosing a plan to fix the Highway 520 bridge, and developing Seattle's streetcar system, among others. The folks at Seattle Transit blog have a complete rundown.

Gravy train: Seattle Times reporter Mike Lindblom explains how Mass Transit Now, the campaign supporting Proposition 1, managed to pull off the victory Tuesday. Meanwhile, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Larry Lange has a detailed look at what the area's new rail system will look like. ...

Back to the budget: P-I political reporter Chris McGann outlines Gregoire's tough task of rebuilding the state's economy, starting with the projected $3.2 billion budget deficit.

Back to the kitchen table: Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi says he'll be returning to the business world following his defeat Tuesday night to Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. The Republican said he had "no intention of running for any political office at this point in time," adding that he just wanted to "be home for dinner tonight."

Back to retirement: Former Gov. Booth Gardner says his support effort of Initiative 1000, the successful assisted suicide measure, was his "final campaign." ...

Back to the drawing board: Professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman says that despite his recently failed "traffic congestion relief" measure, Initiative 985, he will attempt to put another "pro-taxpayer, pro-accountability" initiative before voters next year. ...

The filibuster buster? Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley defeated Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., newspapers projected. Merkley's win gives Democrats 57 seats in the U.S. Senate, now just three shy of a filibuster-proof majority.

Builder busters: P-I columnist Joel Connelly explains why the Service Employees International Union, which supported Gregoire, outsmarted the Building Industry Association of Washington, a Rossi-backer, in the 2008 governor's race. ...

And finally, this is pretty cool. Apparently, California voters approved a $10 billion bond issue to build an 800-mile network of high-speed bullet trains linking the state's major cities. Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian wonders, where do Washington and Oregon sign up? ...


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