• Seattle City Council members are fighting bitterly behind the scenes over the affordable housing provisions in the big rezone of South Lake Union, privately accusing each other of sucking up to developers or affordable-housing advocates during a reelection year. (Right now, in other parts of Seattle, developers pay $15.15 per square foot to build extra height without including affordable housing on their premises, but a proposal for South Lake Union from Council Member Sally Clark could bump that up to $18.34, while another proposal from Council Member Mike O'Brien would bump it up to $21.68.) Meanwhile, Vulcan Real Estate vice president Ada Healey calls the push for these slightly more aggressive affordable housing provisions in South Lake Union where developers would be treated differently from downtown "blatantly unfair."
• A memorial service for longtime Democratic political consultant Blair Butterworth will be held on Sunday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at Town Hall. The eminently quotable Butterworth once quipped of his boss Dixy Lee Ray: "We thought she would be the best governor Washington ever had, or the worst, and we were right." Butterworth died of cancer on March 29 at age 74.
• Seattle-based Fisher Communications, which owns and operates KOMO TV, KOMO News Radio, and 570 KVI, has agreed to be acquired by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group for $373 million. Politically right-wing Sinclair is infamous for ordering its stations to run a Swift Boat documentary just weeks before the 2004 presidential election, and for airing a 25-minute infomercial during the 2010 midterm elections that described President Obama as a "socialist" and accused him of raising money from Hamas.
• Beer lovers opposed to the extension of a state tax on beer will gather in Olympia on Friday, April 19, at a rally to "defend Washington beer." Under the governor's proposal, the excise tax on small brewers would quadruple, from about $5 a barrel to $20. One small brewer tells The Stranger the tax could "absolutely crush the growing industry of craft beer in Washington."
• Not only have city officials begun interviewing for a new director of the Office of Professional Accountability, the unit that investigates claims of police officer misconduct, the mayor may appoint one of three candidates within a month, according to sources inside city hall. The candidates include Andrea Brenneke, a civil rights and employment lawyer who has a background in restorative justice; Charles Gaither, a former Los Angeles cop who now serves as director of King County's Office of Law Enforcement Oversight; and Pierce Murphy, the current ombudsman for the city of Boise, who also served as the president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Police. Whoever heads the OPA winds up not only conducting rigorous reviews of citizen complaints and meting out punishment recommendations, but also—and perhaps most importantly—demonstrating publicly that officer misconduct will be punished.
This article has been updated since its original publication.