Slog Comments


Comments (51) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Baconcat 1
Overstating its case? When we're discussing an arena that will provide hundreds of sub-living wage jobs that are being touted as some kind of blessing? I see. Okay, then.

Let's see both your hands: job statistics, broken down, for both the Port and the planned arena. Average wage, hours, labor protections, benefits, and so on. I mean, it's only fair if jobs are a major component, right?
Posted by Baconcat on August 15, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Goldy 2
@1 I've never argued for the Arena as a jobs program, and I don't recall that anybody else at The Stranger has either. Given the recession the construction jobs would be nice. But temporary.

I've also advocated for modifying the MOU to require that the new arena be a union shop, just like KeyArena.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Also Chris Daniels from King 5 tweeted that Richard Conlin is saying that the arena should be built in Bellevue, as the economy is really regional so it doesn't have to be in Seattle for the city to benefit. Glad to hear that, as I'm sure Bellevue will gladly take as much business from Seattle as possible, and apparently now with the blessing of city government!

At least this whole debate has had a positive impact - it's shown just how fucking idiotic the Port and City Council are.
Posted by Bax on August 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
You know, if we replaced that insane unfunded Billionaires Tunnel with freight corridors and laser-guided sharks ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 15, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
Nobody's been particularly convincing - not Hansen's team from the start, now more recently not the Port either. Usually when nobody looks trustworthy my preference is they all shut the fuck up and go away. The underlying facts suggest the arena's not particularly important to our future, so I'd as soon the whole thing be dropped.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
You really are gloomy, gus.
The arena would be nice, and as long as it's not taxpayer funded, I say it. Have fun, bring an NBA team here, let's all have a good time.
The port has real concerns and has had those same concerns for years, arena or no arena. They need to address freight mobility, but I think they're overstating the case about the arena. The arena isn't going to be causing backups 24/7, and what traffic does come in can be contained and mitigated with a little planning.
Posted by SPG on August 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Teslick 7
The email came from Was it sent in 1997?
Posted by Teslick on August 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
8 Something from a non-port address is said to show what the Port really thinks? Be interesting to see if this turns out to carry more weight than anybody else's opinion after all.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 9

Move the Trailblazers into the Tacoma Dome and we can have NBA basketball starting this season.

Let the team make profits and pay as they go to refurbish and build us a MSR corridor.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM · Report this
Goldy 10
@8 Well, the email reads like this is somebody who Tay knows, and who is familiar with the port. I suppose it's possible that it's a random admirer or troll or something, but it doesn't read that way.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this
@10, you know I wasn't suggesting it was a random admirer or troll. How many plugged-in outsiders tossed their opinions at Tay since all this began? I'm guessing all of them.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
And an e-mail from late May for a proposal announced publicly in February and objected to by the port since shortly thereafter (letters in early April) is important because.... somebody stuck in the 90s registered their support to the CEO keep pressuring to make this a good deal for the port ?
Posted by ChefJoe on August 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM · Report this
MrBaker 13
@7, my guess is that you could do a records request of Port emails on the stadiums and get the same email.
Posted by MrBaker on August 15, 2012 at 7:16 PM · Report this
Won't SOMEBODY please think of the billionaires!?!!?

The Stranger is SO brave to support the oft maligned Billionaires of this country and to make sure they finally get their hobbies tax payer subsidized.
Posted by tkc on August 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
MrBaker 15
So, random 90's guy (or gal) recognizes that the Port is just telling lies, but that's ok because they might get something from that kind of behavior?

Yes, let's honor and encourage that in our public CEO's because that's how fucked up the Port is. It's clearly the only way they can squeeze other folks for free infrastructure, by lies.

Tay, here is your 9% pay increase, and a $200,000 spot on another BOD, now spin that pie plate better.
Posted by MrBaker on August 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 16
No, it's Michelina Burkowski who wrote that. Sure it is.
Posted by Daddy Love on August 15, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
MrBaker 17
@14, Hanjin loves you, and the $70 million dollars a year Seattle and King County taxpayers give to the Port every year.
Posted by MrBaker on August 15, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 18

Well, if you would pony up $800 million we wouldn't HAVE to rely on billionaires, would we? I blame you.
Posted by Daddy Love on August 15, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
MrBaker 19
So, it's not Myra Breckinridge, then?
Posted by MrBaker on August 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 20
Uh, wrong. You know, it's as though you haven't looked into the matter in any depth at all.

It would take additional hundreds of millions to upgrade the Tacoma Dome for the NBA.…

And no one is currently lining up to sink $300 million in private funds into THAT project. So you are OK with hundreds of millions in public spending as long as it's not your city. Is that it?
Posted by Daddy Love on August 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
So who is telling Yoshitani what to do? It isn't a commissioner. So what private player has that power?
Posted by Echo HIll on August 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM · Report this
How bout the businesses around the area that would benefit? Look at what happened to the businesses around Key Arena when the Sonics left. The Port has made claims but not providing any backup makes for a weak argument. By the way that area is already zoned for an arena.
Posted by ttmix on August 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
JonnoN 23
@1 I'll make that argument. A majority of NBA/NHL spectators will come from outside the city. The arena jobs may suck (better than nothing tho), but this will also bring jobs to hotels, restaurants, bars, taxis, ferris wheels...
Posted by JonnoN on August 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
Fnarf 24
@5, what you're feeling is the lack of long range planning. It's all HEY I GOT AN IDEA here, and ten minutes later when it gets shot down, instead of trying to come up with a better way to do THAT, it's all about coming up with twelve new THISES.

If we spent the $200 mil on burying the rail line underground, just the last mile or three, or god forbid took the money from the tunnel, we'd end up with something of real value that would turn this city in to a powerhouse. New York did the same thing a hundred years ago when confronted with a very similar problem.
Posted by Fnarf on August 15, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
@23 Don't EVER bring logic into a discussion about stadiums. Not ever!
Posted by Chali2Na on August 15, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
If the Port of Seattle is concerned with traffic in SODO, perhaps they'd better revise their Century Plan. Because that plan calls for the addition of 100K jobs over the next 30 years (I know, it's pie in the sky), but OH MY GOD what traffic THAT will bring. Jeesus, call the State Patrol, we need some backup here.
Posted by speedcat on August 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM · Report this
@24, I like your thinking. The problem is that we don't have the revenue to support those $200 million without the arena. Burying rail lines doesn't create direct revenue.

But you are totally spot on with your idea. Let's find a (different) way to fund it!
Posted by speedcat on August 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM · Report this
""One opening right now is basketball stadium proposal," Burke wrote to several colleagues. "What if we said we could support the idea if we got corridors...?"

You know what? I'm okay with that."

You know what? I'm NOT okay with that. The Port has shown over the last 6 or so months that they are willing to lie and conduct unbelievably lowdown smear campaigns in an attempt to get some/any kind of political traction to get their transpo fixes for freight mobility. And that just ain't right.

They are lying right now in response to your article, by saying that they never wanted to use the arena proposal as political fuel for their freight mobility fire.

We all support SODO jobs. We all know that trade is a monster component of the WA economy. We all want to improve freight mobility. But to smear honest citizens and already massively maligned basketball fans to get your means is just NOT COOL. Deserves to be called out, big time.

Visionary local leaders all agree that we can have both a multipurpose arena in SODO as well as a vibrant marine/industrial economy. This is not an either/or situation. Please try to bridge the gap... we're all in this city together and we must learn to respect each others' differences.... sports ARE a cultural value to many, just like the arts. Let's not pretend otherwise, even if we don't like sports or the arts.
Posted by speedcat on August 15, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
@24, yeah, everything's very hasty. From the beginning of this, when the mayor worked behind closed doors until the deal was almost set, until today, with the Port seemingly hurling everything but the kitchen sink to stall it, the whole thing seems like not just the product of but a fine furtherance of poorly done public policy.

As for the railway burying, isn't the precious at-grade rail all owned by BNSF? I think they'd fight like hell to keep from going below the surface. And even if we could get them to agree, beyond any construction cost I can't help but think they'd charge us a separate fee far beyond $200 million in exchange. Last year Sound Transit finally won an easement from BNSF to run more Sounders to Tacoma. BNSF charged ST $100 million just for that.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM · Report this
Burying rail lines, if it is well studied and found to be the best solution to the freight mobility issue (that exists with or without a new arena), could be done by granting BNSF rights as appropriate to the lines below grade.






Posted by speedcat on August 15, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Report this
Posted by speedcat on August 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM · Report this
What if MB is Mr Baker and he's secretly playing both sides??? Bum bum BUUUUUUMMMMM!!! (That's dramatic music just fyi)
Posted by c'mon girlfriend on August 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM · Report this
I think there's a very real possibility that the e-mail was written by a Stranger staff member for the reason of "leaking" this email.

Maybe not 50%. but more than 0%
Posted by fetish on August 16, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
Fred Casely 34
@24 some other examples from within the past decade:

• Pittsburgh built a tunnel for freight rail lines through a former industrial site to build the SouthSide Works mixed-use development;

• Reno trenched the Union Pacific lines for 2 miles to remove at-grade crossings in and around downtown;

• Sacramento just completed a project rerouting tracks to make room for a new downtown basketball arena...

Okay, maybe strike that last one.
Posted by Fred Casely on August 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Wait. So some random person e-mails the Port and this is extrapolated at internal communication? Goldy, you are just a bought and paid for shill for Brian Robinson. Will you be attending his presentation at the Master Builder's? Flirting with the far right seems tobe your forte these days.
Posted by hmmmmm on August 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
@34, those are interesting examples. I did a little googling:

Pittsburgh: looks like the Southside Works rail tunnels were built in the 1880s by CSX, not the taxpayers, and CSX at its own expense is now raising their clearance to allow doubleheight trains.…

Reno: cost to taxpayers of that trench looking to be $634 million:…

Sacramento: that track relocation appears not to have been planned or funded with the proposed arena in mind. It came long beforehand as part of that city's previous commitment to a $300 million intermodal light rail/rail/bus project for that site, funded from bonds and stimulus money. I bet the intermodal station is one thing that attracted their own private arena tycoon to propose that location for his project.…… 
Posted by gloomy gus on August 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
A few points:
1 - You all would be shocked to know how many people out there continue to use old e-mail addresses. Generally, they are older people. But not always. Working with customers and our database, I'm still surprised at times.
2 - Based on the e-mail, there's nothing there to indicate Tay knows the writer. While he's not an elected official, he's a public official, and some people seem to feel that if someone is in the news, they know them. All elected officials get e-mails like this, from people that write as if they're familiar with each other, but in reality, they're total strangers.
3 - if the writer were Michael Burke, and he was ok sending it to Tay's official e-mail, why wouldn't he have sent it from his own official e-mail? If he wanted to keep it out of the public domain, he would've sent it to Tay's personal e-mail (we learned this from the Bush White House).

Have you tried researching the e-mail address of the sender?
Posted by TJ on August 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
@37 quite right. A simple public records requestfor all records at the port with this address could easily turn up more emails from the sender. Perhaps he/she left more information about themselves in other messages.
Posted by Steven M on August 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
MB= Mike Baker (Mr. Baker)
Posted by hmmmmm on August 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
If I were an arena fan and a hacker, I would have no problem spoofing an e-mail to appear to be "internal" for later use as negative PR. Who would pick an e-mail moniker "wish quadruple x"? Puleese.
Posted by hmmmmm on August 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Here's Mr. Baker's elliptically written blog post about this - can't tell if he's claiming to be the writer or not. Very funny to think Goldy may have mistaken one of us ordinary unwashed blog commenters for some Port bigwig insider.…
Posted by gloomy gus on August 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
@41. It wouldn't be the only shitty journalism Goldy committed here. Even a cursory reading of the first two sentences of the email shows that the writer is concerned about people's perception of the numbers, not the numbers themselves. The headline is really misleading.
Posted by Hutch on August 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
@41 Baker's post reminds me of the posts the anarchists make on their website every time some bank windows get busted out. They don't take responsibility but they seem to want to draw attention to it in a timely manner every time, long before other media outlets take notice.
Posted by hmmmmm on August 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
A couple of more reasons why this is fishy. Here is Arenasolution's press release from July 29th:

There is a section that covers the e-mail Goldy mentions. Here is the quote: "Yoshitani and the Port of Seattle have declined to identify the sender of this email or provide his response."

If this was from Port staff, it would have been in their records request. The press release jumps the gun and assumes this is an internal Port e-mail. BUT THERE IS NO PROOF. It falls along the lines of "the denial of the conspiracy is proof there is a conspiracy, which is...."; fallacy.

The e-mail is just as likely, if not more so, a fabrication from Brian Robinson's PR people via an actual or spoof e-mail sent to the port by them. A request of the e-mail printed out with an expanded header, would show whether or not it was spoofed. Either way, there is zero evidence this was from anyone on the Port. There is some evidence that the address never existed to begin with and was spoofed.

This is a scandal and a half if someone wanted to look into it.
Posted by hmmmmm on August 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
@18 You blame me for what? Not wanting to once again hand millions of dollars over to private for profit interests and billionaires who don't even live here for NO guarantee of return?

Gosh. Guilty.

Next time a bank wants a bailout, a Wallstreeter want's to privatize Social Security, or a corporation want's another tax break — I'll make sure to send them your address. Stay prone and lubed.
Posted by tkc on August 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Hrmm, I was sure that Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom brothers lived here, and I was under the impression that Chris Hansen spent the majority of his childhood here.

Sure, there's no "guarantee" of return, the same way there's no guarantee that the sun will rise tomorrow. But short of an earthquake or tsunami wiping out the arena, the MOU "guarantees" that the bonds will be paid back in full. These guys are putting down over a billion dollars of their own money to build something the public can enjoy in Seattle, and are only asking to pay for a fraction of that over a length of time, a process that the city will make money on. But I guess an investment like that takes too long for the "now" crowd we have today.
Posted by AgentJ on August 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this

...and are only asking to pay for a fraction of that over a length of time

If it's ONLY a fraction then the billionaires can fund it ALL themselves.

But short of an earthquake or tsunami wiping out the arena, the MOU "guarantees" that the bonds will be paid back in full.

Oh. Goody. The oft quoted "MOU." Which is about as legally binding as toilet paper. So when these billionaires hire $800 dollar an hour lawyers to chew their way out of— or tie up in court —any agreements they don't like, I'm sure the City's $150 hour lawyers will have no problem, right?

It's like Kingdom and dozens of other subsidized boondoggles never happened with you people.

...something the public can enjoy in Seattle

Public? What public? The NBA's average non-premium ticket price is $50!

New York Knicks tickets cost $100. Knicks tickets are $117.47.

And this doesn't include premium seats.

Public? You mean the ever shrinking upper middle to UPPER class. The days of Joe Schmoe taking his three kids to the NBA in major city markets has been over for a decade.

This a deal for and by rich people with the bill inevitably to be paid mostly by poor people.

It's fucking sickening.
Posted by tkc on August 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM · Report this
tkc, The welfare Hansen proposal is sickening. The depths that the Hansen PR people go is also sickening. This whole frame the arena proposal debate as only the Port against Hansen, whilie disregarding the strong opposition of the Seattle citizenry to the proposal, is also sickening. Hansen's PR is manipulating information, that is sickening. The whole proposal is sickening.

I can not understand why the Stranger would be so in favor of paying billionaires public funds, and giving billionaires Seattle tax exemption. It is pretty fake to call yourself an alternative paper, and wish to hand public funds to billionaires, and tax exemption. It is lame, very lame, of the Stranger. No more cred for the Stranger.
Posted by Guiles on August 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM · Report this
Where is Danny's outrage?....

AP- "An FBI affidavit in the investigation of a shooting Wednesday at the downtown Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council says the accused gunman uttered a statement to the effect of, "I don't like your politics," before reaching into a backpack for a handgun and opening fire.
Homosexual activist Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Va., 28, is charged with assault with intent to kill.

"Corkins said he was "given a license" by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center declined an interview request from the program.

"Corkins had volunteered recently at a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"The accused gunman's parents told the FBI that their son held "strong opinions with respect to those who do not treat homosexuals in a preferential manner," the affidvit said.

"Corkins had been volunteering for roughly six months at The DC Center for the LGBT Community, according to David Mariner, executive director of the northwest Washington community center. Corkins usually staffed the center's front desk on Saturdays, and his most recent shift was about two weeks ago."
Posted by ......the Rainbow is mostly Blood Red on August 17, 2012 at 4:33 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 50
@47 is correct.

More subsidies for the Rich.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Stop the smarm. Stop the myopy. Quit pulling the class warfare/rich welfare trump card when it suits you. Because surely you're not opposed to subsidies (even though that's not the case here)when it would provide funding for what you deem 'more important'.

Quit acting like the feelings evoked by Felix Hernadez' perfect game, that sports provides - pride, elation, happiness, aren't real, and aren't good for a region. If you won't quit, then provide another entertainment realm, or any realm for that matter, that can bridge the gap the way sports can. 20,000 gathered - of various backgrounds, backing a common cause? A political or religious event? Not it. A concert of a specific genre of music? Nope. Movie? Play? Blown glass? We need common denominators here (check the crime section), not ways to widen the chasm.

While you're at it, stop acting like the memories created at events like the perfect game, between a son or daughter and their mom or dad, are not important because you say so. It's smug and reeks of arrogant and suits no one.
Posted by thatsmithgirl on August 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM · Report this

Add a comment