Layoffs at WaMu
The crashing subprime lending market has caused "credit dislocation" according to a Washington Mutual statement accompanying its news about human dislocation: The Seattle-based Fortune 500 banking company plans to lay off 3,150 employees. Nearly 400 of those employees are in Seattle. NANCY DREW
Parking at the Seattle Times
Parking spots for Seattle Times reporters are going up from $50 a month to $62.50 starting next year. That's a 25 percent increase.
For Seattle Times reporters the increase is annoying. What's more annoying? The fact that publisher Frank Blethen's brand-new, four-door 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo AWD has started showing up in said parking lot. Price: $93,700. NANCY DREW
Diversity (or Not) at the Supreme Court
In appointing Debra Stephens to the Washington State Supreme Court last week, Governor Christine Gregoire hyped the fact that Stephens is from Eastern Washington. "Stephens is the first woman who was raised and practiced law in Eastern Washington to be appointed to the supreme court," Gregoire's statement read. "It is very important that the court have the diversity of viewpoint that a justice from Eastern Washington brings to the bench."
Stephens, 42, and seen as a moderate, will be the first justice from east of the Cascades since Spokane's Justice Richard Guy left the bench in 2000.
Stephens, who will replace retiring justice Bobbe Bridge next month, has been a Court of Appeals judge in Spokane for only eight months—before that, the 1993 Gonzaga Law School graduate was in private practice.
More experienced judges, like King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu—who has been on the bench since 2000—had been seen as frontrunners for the job.
Gay leaders sent letters supporting Yu (Yu is a lesbian) at the last minute when it appeared, accurately, that her candidacy was on the rocks. NANCY DREW
Development and Disagreement at City Council
Last week, city council member Richard McIver proposed an amendment to the city's growth plan that would halt commercial development at South Dearborn Street and Rainier Avenue South. To neighbors' chagrin, McIver's proposal was nixed. The massive Dearborn Street Project—comprising big-box stores and low-income housing—has been heavily protested by neighborhood and business groups, and McIver says he wants to preserve the land for industrial jobs .
The Dearborn project would rebuild the rundown Goodwill, but neighbors have voiced concern about traffic and low-wage jobs. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE