Jan 9, 2015
commented on Who's Paying for Bertha's Overruns Again?
Point of order: The law does not say "region" at all. It mentions Seattle and property owners by proper noun.
"Any costs in excess of two billion eight hundred million dollars shall be borne by property owners in the Seattle area who benefit from replacement of the existing viaduct with the deep bore tunnel." RCW 47.01.402 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?…
Of course, one could argue that only the waterfront property owners benefit from tearing down the viaduct and replacing it with a tunnel. That should be a fun sell.
Nov 21, 2014
commented on Capitol Hill and the Central District Holla at HALA, the Mayor's Housing Committee
So? This is what the people of the State of Washington obviously want. Rent control is illegal at the state level so we can't even try to come up with something workable in that framework. Property taxes are capped at incredibly low levels and tax collections can't even rise at the rate of inflation (that's the whole 1% cap bit) so local governments continually fall behind in raw purchasing power and it encourages long-time landowners to just keep on keeping on. Flat taxes and fees are the norm except for the lower-income-punishing sales tax.
All the while the legislature tosses tax breaks at companies which can more than afford it--and move any "unrelated" jobs right out of the state before the ink on the governor's signature is dry--and the very idea that people who are lower on the social scale might need some investment in this modern age is shouted down by the other 96.7% (by land area) of the state. Oh, and perish the thought that an actual developer comes along and wants to put 5 residences where one or two used to sit.
I mean, there's always Montana with its acres and acres of cheap-as-real-dirt land.
Aug 22, 2014
commented on Federal Judge in Alabama Cleverly Equates Abortion Rights to Gun Rights
(The following is a generalization; you'll live.)
The group which most needs the argument is the one that sees "gun rights" as explicitly enshrined in the Constitution and sees "abortion rights" as judicial overreach by activist judges. Exhibit "A," most of my family: "The word abortion isn't anywhere in the constitution!!!"
Jun 13, 2014
commented on King County Executive: Metro and Sound Transit Should "Act As One"
@11: Metro is not removing transfers, though Pierce Transit is: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/06/11…
Metro should remove them as well and go to all-electronic transfers.
@9: No. If you want to transfer seamlessly from Everett to Tacoma, buy a flipping ORCA card and use it. Paper transfers are prone to fraud, are inefficiently enforced, and mean that someone is fumbling through depositing 10-12 quarters into the fare box. Yes, ORCA cards should be free or a lot cheaper, but that's no reason to make an Express service (it's even right in the name of "Sound Transit Express" buses) run slower by reducing the incentive to use an ORCA.
Jun 12, 2014
commented on Fuck Off, Texas
As a lifelong Texan who voted for President Obama, campaigned for Bill White (look him up) for Governor, ran for and won a city council seat in Tarrant County as an unabashed Democrat, and reader of Slog, I'd just like to say: y'all can all go fuck yourselves. Bless your heart.
As above said, the headline could have read "Texas Republicans." The ranting here concerns not the people of Texas except that the hard-right base elects the crazies put in front of it. Did you know that the Texas Democrats don't run candidates for every ballot? They don't even bother to put candidates on the ballot for every county-level race, much less the district-level state offices in a lot of precincts. When I ran for city council (a non-partisan office but, come on, everybody knows your party affiliation), I was the only "Democrat" on the entire ballot in my district except for the people running for statewide offices.
The Democratic Party is broken here. It has let itself be bullied and beaten into uselessness. People like Annise Parker and Wendy Davis (WOO, my former state Legislator) are trying to change that. Instead of continuing to give a voice and a platform to the morons in the Texas Republican party and bashing on those of us trying to do good works down here, you could have given the Democrats a leg up, but that might not fit into the narrative of Texans being a bunch of backwater, uneducated (I have an MSc, does that count?) hicks.
So, I repeat: Y'all may all go fuck yourselves and I will enjoy my Dr Pepper and Whataburger.
Apr 30, 2014
commented on King County Juvenile Jail Opponents Pretend They've Won
I have an idea for how to address the needs of the angry and disadvantaged in Seattle but it's called "socialism" and it will never pass. Either that, or increasing density and not yelling about people who want to build 3 housing units where there used to be 1 (or none!).
Apr 27, 2014
commented on There Are Plenty of Ways to Combat Gentrification
Oops, I'm white and bought a house in the Central District. I'll submit myself for readjustment as soon as the bureau opens in the morning.
Except that hold on a second: This is a house that nobody wanted, that sat empty for years, and was going to be knocked over for townhouses until the original owners went bankrupt. A new set of people slapped on some paint and stuck a "For Sale" sign out front. I bought it (no idea the race of the previous owners, never met them) and am slowly fixing the inside. If I can sell it for a profit someday, I will.
Meantime, I will patronize the businesses that I want to patronize and spend my money where I want to spend it. I won't go out of my way to change the neighborhood but I do get the right to complain and to ask for things and to make my views known just like any other taxpaying, voting, and citizen resident of the City of Seattle.
"Gentrification" is just another way to say "keep out, kind of people I don't like."
Apr 18, 2014
commented on Punished for the Crime of Being Female on the Internet
@8, isn't Bailo the same person who keeps griping on transit blogs that there is no express light rail to his house in Kent because of a war-on-suburbs? I think that anonymity is pretty much destroyed when someone posts essentially the same thing on 84 different forums...
Feb 23, 2014
commented on The Best of Slog: The State of the City Is Pissed Off
My problem with renewable levies is that we wind up with the tyranny of the majority. Projects that aren't universally popular are always subject to the whims of whatever particular winds are blowing at that moment. Instead of trying to run a government, each department is trying to run a campaign. The House of Representatives is in perpetual campaign mode. I don't want transit, parks, schools, libraries, and roads to always be campaigning for a popular vote because someday they either won't be popular, but still necessary, or it will be a vote that's less about the service and overall discontent with something else (witness the most recent mid-term elections being called "a referendum on Obamacare").
If a democratic republic isn't capable of earning the trust of its constituents for those constituents to let their representatives actually _represent_, something is far more wrong than parks funding.