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Aug 13 JoshMahar commented on By This Time Next Year, Washington's Pot Connoisseurs Might Be Smoking Oregon Marijuana.
This article is somewhat disingenuous. While the legislature imposed a 37% excise tax, it replaced the existing 3-tiered taxing system, resulting in an overall tax decrease on recreational marijuana.

Additionally, the legislature did not change the cap is that is not within their purview. That is controlled by the LCB. The legislature did indeed ask the LCB to explore the possibility of raising the cap, specifically to accommodate the influx of medical marijuana retailers that may want to seek recreational marijuana status. From my understanding, the LCB has every intention of doing this and we will likely see the cap relaxed.

The new rules also relaxed other aspects of the recreational marijuana system, including allowing local governments to reduce the existing buffer zones around certain facilities. For a full rundown, see this post by MRSC consultant Jim Doherty:…
Aug 21, 2013 JoshMahar commented on Does Hempfest Matter Anymore?.
Dominic, exactly right that these things should be fun, the problem is that Hempfest isn’t It used to be this in-your-face, “We smoke pot and we’re proud of it!” mentality where people had fun pushing the limits of legality and sharing that experience with like-minded folks.

Today smoking pot at Hempfest really doesn’t differ from any other major regional festival except that the quality of entertainment is horrible. The music isn’t very good (how do you fail to get a single major local act when you’ve got over 85,000 people in attendance?), the “crafts” are incredibly limited, and the food leaves something to be desired. I can get just as high at Folklife, with much better music and entertainment, for the same price (free!). Better yet, I won’t have my buzz killed between every stage act by people berating me to stay hydrated, smoke responsibly, and not overdose on my edibles.

I’d love to see Hempfest take on a Craft Beer Festival model, class it up a little bit and actually provide something unique. Until I see that happen, I’ll probably skip it.
Dec 27, 2012 JoshMahar commented on The City's New Strategy to Complete Contentious Burke-Gilman "Missing Link".
This is just pathetic and embarassing. Honestly. Seattle has struggled to fulfill its bike infrastructure promises, but if nothing else they should have taken care of this, easily the most high traffic, and high profile bike route in the region.

As much as I disagree with the stance of the Ballard Chamber, politics is about building coalitions, using influence, and making things happen. Allowing a neighborhood business group to block the most important regional bike route for over a decade is simply inexcusable for our elected leaders.
May 24, 2011 JoshMahar commented on Seattle Ranked One of the Nation's Safest Pedestrian Cities.
This is great news but its good to note that there are multiple aspects of safety that can encourage or prevent people from walking or biking. Joshuadf turned me onto this article:…

which points out that in addition to real safety there is perceived safety and social safety as well. Highly recommended read
Apr 21, 2011 JoshMahar commented on The Cheap English Degree.
But the price of an English degree is (theoretically) based on the value of that English degree to the consumer, not the market. If someone values the knowledge of English as much as someone else values a big paycheck then presumably they would pay the same amount for either degree.
Apr 9, 2011 JoshMahar commented on The Lake City War On Bikes—or Cars (Perspective is Everything)—Continues.
This is so ridiculous. So far not a single road diet has shown to cause any traffic problems. The businesses that continue to cry fowl all go quiet as soon as the diet is implemented (I believe the Plate company on Nickerson signed another lease in fact.) There is massive amounts of data that show they increase safety for everyone, drivers, peds, and cyclists. And, perhaps most importantly they allow human beings to cross the street without walking blocks out the way (due to a federal law that does not allow unsignaled crosswalks on four lane roads...because they are super dangerous). They are perhaps the most cost effective way of protecting life and property in the city. And yet, it is struggle every time the city proposes one...
Jan 25, 2011 JoshMahar commented on Welfare State.
@26: Yes, but if it is true that illegals take a disproportionate amount of the welfare dollars, then isn't it simply because of the low wages they receive for their jobs? Which are arguably necessary to keep the agriculture industry afloat?

How would it be any different if they were legal workers?
Jan 25, 2011 JoshMahar commented on Welfare State.
Great post, just like all your analysis hear. Really glad to have you over here on the slog these days.

Like you say though, these graphs aren't necessarily illustrating that certain counties are welfare queens as @1 suggests. Its perfectly normal for certain populations to subsidize others.It also isn't a rural vs. urban debate necessarily. Nearly half the population of Yakima county lives in the city of Yakima, not quite as urban as say, Seattle, but certainly not rural.

I think the real question is how can we make sure that our social safety dollars are being leveraged as efficiently as possible and are working to catalyze economic self-sufficiency as quick as possible.

I few other further analysis suggestions:

1) How have these figures fluctuated over time?

2) What are the per capita GDPs coming out of these counties? (IOW, what are the proportional economic benefits we receive for these state subsidies?)
Dec 30, 2010 JoshMahar commented on No, You Are Not Entitled to Free Parking Spaces, Free Streets, Free Traffic Lights, Etc. and So Forth.
Fair argument Dominic but I think the most important part to point out is that with true market rate parking on the street, LESS money is spent on parking and presumably more spent on other things like shoes, hot dogs, etc. Its a win/win for our regional economy.

The fact of that matter is that even though people bitch about increased street parking, the vast majority of people end up parking in lots because not many people have a half hour of extra time to kill driving around the block (because if they did, they probably would have just taken the bus). Just like with rent control in New York, the subsidy ends up increasing the price of private lots, so overall people end up paying more for parking.

If you increase the on street rates to market rate, demand goes down (combined trips, carpools, bus) and people are able to park on the street much more easily. This lowers the demand for private lots, so they end up charging less, and less gets built because the returns are smaller.

And yes, Northgate and Bellevue have free parking, but this is simply because the price of that parking is passed on to the retailers rather than the shoppers. The cost still exists; its why you see very few independent retailers in malls.
Dec 10, 2010 JoshMahar commented on Giving City Dwellers Something (More) to Feel Smug About.
Suburb vs. Urban is really completely useless, like 1st world and 3rd world. Parts of Seattle are less dense than parts of Renton. Maple Valley and Microsoft are employment centers just like UW and downtown Seattle. People live in Downtown Seattle and drive everywhere, and others live in Issaquah and don't own a car.

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