• The dramatic collapse of an I-5 bridge over the Skagit River has not moved opponents of the proposed Columbia River Crossing. "The first point I'd like to make is that the bridge was damaged by a truck," state senator Ann Rivers (R–La Center) told the Columbian. "It's not like it randomly fell into the river," she continued. "It was the result of a structural assault from a truck. We don't have that situation down here." The 58-year-old Skagit River bridge had a clearance of 14 feet 6 inches. The 55-year-old southbound I-5 span crossing the Columbia River has a clearance of 14 feet 8 inches. Apparently two inches makes all the difference.

Judge Doug North, a Proponent of Diverting Non-Violent First-Time Offenders into Treatment Programs, is Endorsed by The Stranger
Click here to see what people are saying about Judge North.

Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165

• For the fourth time since 1956, stupid, stupid Portland, Oregon, voters rejected fluoridating their municipal drinking water, this time by a 60–40 margin. Sources say 60 percent of Portland voters are "stupid." Enjoy your stupid, stupid city, Portlanders, and your stupid, stupid cavities.

• On May 24, Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen asked the city planning office to draft legislation that would impose new requirements on certain tiny apartments, requiring them to undergo design and environmental reviews. The recent boom of microhousing (also called aPodments), in which small bedrooms with private bathrooms share a common kitchen, has outraged neighborhood groups opposed to density. In his letter to the city's Department of Planning and Development, Rasmussen catered to the antidensity agenda by also instructing officials to research banning microhousing in certain areas that currently allow microhousing and other apartment buildings. Asked why he would ban residences—that rent for far less than typical apartments—in places zoned for density, Rasmussen aide Brian Hawksford said his boss simply wanted to know the "pros and cons for a determination later on where to restrict them."

• At last week's city council meeting on homeless encampments, Council Member Bruce Harrell seemed concerned that the space allowed per person in the proposed encampment legislation—100 square feet per resident—wasn't adequate. "Well," chimed in Nick Licata legislative aide Lisa Herbold, "we're building aPodments for 150 square feet."

• Also at that council meeting, some members of the crowd were playing a printed game of NIMBY bingo, assumed to be related to complaints from neighbors about homeless encampments in residential neighborhoods. If anyone has a copy of the bingo card, send it to us!

• In endorsing him for mayor of Seattle, former governor Chris Gregoire lauded state senator Ed Murray for "building coalitions no one believed were possible." We're sure Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom and his Majority Coalition Caucus—which is advancing a Republican agenda—would agree.

• Speaking of Ed Murray, he should have won the sole endorsement of the 36th District Democrats, the grassroots party apparatus for the district in Northwest Seattle, given that the executive board recommended his sole endorsement. But members rejected that recommendation last week, failing to reach majority support for Murray or any other candidate.

• Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction (SAFE) won a temporary victory in their battle against the banks last Friday when a King County judge granted Jeremy Griffin a stay on his eviction from his South Seattle home. Griffin says he requested a stay on May 11, but was denied. Four days later, Griffin and SAFE began a blockade of his house, pledging to risk arrest if the King County sheriff tried to evict him, attracting attention from TV cameras and this newspaper. "I'm kind of offended that the law appears to be malleable, and that political pressure can change outcomes," Griffin says. Meanwhile, the investment bank Morgan Stanley says it doesn't own Griffin's mortgage loan, but sources say the bank previously sold the loan off to investors represented by Deutsche Bank. That process of selling off loans is called securitization, which helped wreck the economy.

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• Roaming the grounds of the Sasquatch! music festival was eternally dreamy state representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34), there with gubernatorial aide Unjin Lee to give the Governor's Recognition Award to the festival founders and organizers. Fitzgibbon tweeted a picture of himself, Lee, and Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch hanging out backstage.

• The City of Seattle is shelling out $20,000 to the Seattle Times to settle a dispute over public records. The daily paper had threatened to sue the Seattle Police Department for failing to release a memo relating to May Day 2012, which the paper insisted was a violation of the state's Public Records Act. But that kerfuffle is just the tip of the iceberg. KOMO is suing the city in another records-request case—which reached the state supreme court in May—that alleges the SPD illegally withheld dash-cam footage. KOMO also reported in 2011 that the SPD destroyed thousands of videos that apparently should be public record. Seattle City Council members appear to be the only ones in city hall taking this seriously. Nick Licata and Jean Godden wrote a memo to Assistant Chief Clark Kimerer on May 9, pressing to know how the SPD communicated its intent to block the Seattle Times' records request. And on Tuesday, Council Member Bruce Harrell issued a statement that calls the city's failure to release the records "completely unacceptable." But Mayor Mike McGinn—who appointed the obstinate former chief that shielded the records, who's intimate with the department's failures to release records, and who oversaw the department getting sued for civil-rights violations—is the one in charge of the police. At least in theory. He hadn't responded to a request for comment by press time. recommended

Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival returns October 16 through November 8
The all-digital festival features one-of-a-kind performances and panels streamed straight to you.