Seattle's News Elixir

1. You can review the action from last night's 37th District (South Seattle) Democrats endorsement meeting at PubliCola's twitter feed, but here are the basics:

Seattle City Council member Jean Godden continues to struggle for endorsements as SDOT manager Bobby Forch won the sole endorsement in the race. Godden didn't even make it to the final ballot. It came down to Forch and King County Assistant Prosecutor Classen, before Forch knocked Classen out with 62 percent; candidates need 60 for an endorsement.

SDOT project manager Bobby Forch

Incumbents Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen both got the endorsements—Clark with 65 percent and Rasmussen, as in the 34th District, by acclamation (meaning no vote was necessary because his opponent Sandy Cioffi didn't get nominated).[pullquote]Seattle City Council member Jean Godden continues to struggle for endorsements. [/pullquote]

The District didn't take a position on the tunnel referendum. Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell spoke in favor of the "Yes" position (which is the pro-tunnel position) saying, "I'm not in love with some damn tunnel, [but] I believe we're not on the hook for cost overruns." A "Yes" vote came closest, getting 53 percent of the vote.

The district isn't making a choice on Harrell and Council Member Tim Burgess until after the August 16th primary because, facing just one opponent, both incumbents are guaranteed to go through to the general election.[pullquote]"I'm not in love with some damn tunnel, [but] I believe we're not on the hook for cost overruns."—Bruce Harrell.[/pullquote]

2. The city's ethics and elections commission will meet this Friday, June 17 at 9:30 am to discuss the anti-tunnel Protect Seattle Now and pro-tunnel Let's Move Forward campaigns' dueling requests that the city rewrite the ballot language for Ref. 1, the tunnel initiative. (A "yes" vote is a proxy vote for the tunnel; a "no" vote is a proxy vote against it.)

Protect Seattle Now claims that the ballot language written by tunnel proponent, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, is "biased" in favor of the tunnel because it doesn't "adequately inform the voters" what the impact of the referendum would be, and "inappropriately speculates" about the impact (or lack thereof) of the vote.

Let's Move Forward argues, conversely, that the ballot language "falsely informs voters that R-1 will determine whether future notices by the City Council to the State will be by ordinance, when in fact R-1 says nothing about that issue."

Read all the documents in the case for yourself here.

3. At a briefing on earthquake preparedness last week, city Office of Emergency Management Director Barb Graff told reporters that the city is prepared to house "a few thousand" folks temporarily in places like Seattle Center if there's a really big catastrophe. (If Katrina---or its earthquake equivalent---happens here, in other words, we're screwed).

Graff also said people should be prepared to live without any assistance for three days. But when Fizz asked Graff how long she, personally, was prepared to go without help, she responded: "Two weeks," elaborating, "not so much because I think it's going to take two weeks to get assistance, but because of all my friends and neighbors who know I have two weeks of supplies."

4. Ordinarily, the abrupt closure of "down-home" Marie Callender's restaurants across the Seattle area wouldn't merit Fizz's attention, but we had to wonder: Where will King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer take constituents to breakfast on campaign dollars now?

5. The Five Point Cafe---owned by PubliCola Think Tank member and political busybody Dave Meinert---finally got the green light from the city to open outdoor seating in the little park outside the 24-hour bar and restaurant. The tables, cordoned off from the sidewalk and park proper by a three-foot-high iron fence, will be open from 9 am to 10 pm daily. As we reported back in January, the permit got held up when some neighbors complained.

6. Speaking of the PubliCola ThinkTank, it's ThinkTank Tuesday. Stay tuned for a debate about liquor privatization starring Joe Gilliam, President of the Northwest Grocery Association.
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