Sep 21 j-lon commented on View-Obsessed West Seattle Homeowners Who Illegally Cut Trees Sued for $1.6M.
Gotta be jail time here and preferable a felony conviction. If it's only money on the line, then a rich person may well decide that paying a fine is simply an investment in getting something they wouldn't otherwise be able to get through legal means.

An improved view of the sort were talking about here significantly increases the value of the home. I bet these people could easily pay a $100k fine and break even on the transaction after 1-2 years of added appreciation on the value of the home, because of the improved view.

I looked these homes up on Zillow a while back when somebody posted a map of the affected area online. At that time, they were valued at $800k-$1m. With better views, I'm sure they're easily worth more than that now. With each passing year and increase in appreciation, they're worth more still. It's like remodeling the kitchen. You may go out of pocket $50k-$75k, but before too long you make it back in appreciation on the home value (at least in Seattle's current market).
Sep 14 j-lon commented on Long Live the War on Cars: Regional Leaders Call for More Mass Transit as City Unveils Plans to Lower Speed Limits.
@10: There will be no better plan, because rail simply takes a long time to build. Look at the history of the Bart system. You just need to bite the bullet. That's the legacy.
Sep 14 j-lon commented on Long Live the War on Cars: Regional Leaders Call for More Mass Transit as City Unveils Plans to Lower Speed Limits.
@5: Not voting for ST 3 isn't going to magically create a shorter time line. The sad reality is that ST 3 isn't really about making things better. It's about trying to keep things from getting any worse. While that latter goal isn't as sexy, it's still super-important. As somebody over 50, I hope to live long enough to rider light rail to Ballard, but even if I don't, it's still an important legacy we need to leave for future generations.

The first step is getting this passed. Then, we can start lobbying to try and speed up construction.
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@2: Federal Way may be 10% African American right now, but at the rate this inversion process is going at (i.e., affluent whites moving back into the city), most of the low-income POC will probably get pushed down into the south suburbs over the next 20 years.

That being said, it doesn't really matter who lives where. Everybody would benefit from having better rail options in this region.

These rail options won't be faster than driving under ideal conditions, but at least they'll be reliably the same speed most of the time. That's helpful.
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Sep 13 j-lon commented on Bear Grylls Meets Marshawn Lynch and Uses One of His Dreads as a Fire Starter on "Running Wild".
Those two should have show that's on every week.
Aug 31 j-lon commented on EOD: This 3D-Printed Acoustic Violin Sounds A Lot Better Than You'd Think.
Difficult to evaluate the sound based on this video.
Aug 10 j-lon commented on Paul Allen Announces Upstream, a Huge SXSW-Style Music Fest/Summit in Pioneer Square for May, 2017.
SXSW didn't start out with bands from all over the world. I went every year from 1995 to 2010. It was already quite big in 1995, and just kept getting bigger. But from talking to people who were at the first few iterations, it was quite small at the start and much more focused on regional acts.

This will obviously be much bigger, because it is well funded. But starting regional seems like a good idea. Ideally, this festival would be about the event itself as much as the specific bands (i.e., you want to be there because it's a cool experience to be there and a great opportunity to check out a bunch of new stuff, not because of 3 or 4 bands you want to see).

Now that Bumbershoot has become much more focused on national acts (with commensurate ticket prices), there's less of an opportunity to focus on discovery there. Most people aren't going to Bumbershoot on a lark.

Glad that there is a commitment to paying the bands.

My hope is that Allen doesn't walk away from it after one year if it isn't immediately successful. For something like this to work, it needs time to develop its own identity.

Pioneer Square/SODO is a logical place to do this, because it's really the only part of Seattle with a density of possible venues near enough to each other that people can walk from place to place. So that strikes me as smart choice.

Smart people will leave their cars at home and take the train or bus to Pioneer Square. It would be great if the organizers could arrange for the Link trains to fun a few extra hours on those nights (like on New Year's Eve). That would make it much easier for kids from the UW to get home at the end of the night, and for suburban folks in the south to get back to the park and ride.
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Jul 19 j-lon commented on Light Rail Up 83%.
I love Link, and it's great to see these numbers rising, but it's also important to acknowledge that some of the increased Link ridership is happening because many north end buses now end at Husky Stadium where people transfer onto Link to go downtown (e.g., route 73). Prior to this change, these people would have simply taken the bus all the way downtown. If we eliminated those rides, I'm sure we'd still probably see an increase in Link usage, but the percentage of increase would likely be lower than 83%
Jun 6 j-lon commented on 79 Percent Increase in Link's Boardings.
Agreed @12.

One other point that is worth considering and may require us to temper our enthusiasm somewhat: A lot of the new boardings at Husky are likely due to many north end buses (like the 73) no longer going downtown. So now Route 73 riders going downtown all take light rail, whereas this time last year, all those riders were taking the bus downtown.

In other words, that huge increase in ridership of the light rail probably includes a significant number of people who were using transit before the Husky station stop opened, they just weren't using light rial.

If we excluded all the people who are transferring from a bus to the light rail at Husky stadium, the increase in ridership absent those people would likely be significantly lower. I expect this would be true even if we adjusted for increased bus ridership on lines like the 73, because the transfer to light rail make the trip time more predictable (and at certain times of the day faster as well).

I'm sure there has still been a good bump, but it's not as high as that 79% figure might lead one to believe.
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Jun 6 j-lon commented on 79 Percent Increase in Link's Boardings.
Wish they could speed up the next 6 miles to Northgate (or even just the next mile or so up to 45th). 5 years is so long to wait. But wait we must.
May 23 j-lon commented on Four of Nine Seattle City Council Members Are Millionaires.
Gonzales isn't that old, right? Isn't she the youngest member of the council? She didn't finish law school until 2005.

If she graduated from college and law school with significant student loan debt, couldn't that be dragging down her net worth, even if she owns a home or condo? Moreover, if she bought her home or condo at the top of the market 6-7 years ago before thing tanked, she could have been underwater on it until fairly recently, so there might not be much equity there.

Anyway, just a thought. As others have said, most of the other members are older and have probably owned some kind of a home in Seattle since at least the early 2000s. So the numbers aren't super surprising.