1. A Thurston County judge's ruling that the legislature acted illegally when it eliminated an annual increase in pension benefits to some state retirees could "hobble" the state budget, the Olympian reports.
Restoring the pension increases could end up costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The judge ruled, in effect, that the state couldn't rescind benefits that were already "vested," or promised to retirees, after the fact.
2. The Seattle Times editorial board uncovers a scandal: Kids these days are attending musical performances by "rap" musical artists at which they're smoking marijuana cigarettes, despite the fact that pot is, technically, still illegal.
Their stern warning to all you kids: "Understand new marijuana rules before you light up." Duly noted!
An anonymous former road inspector believes the SR-520 pontoons are shoddy, and that he "won't drive across" the bridge once it's built.
3. KOMO reports that an anonymous former road inspector believes the SR-520 pontoons are shoddy, and that he "won't drive across" the bridge once it's built. (He also calls the state transportation department "criminal" and says "somebody" working for the contractor on the bridge, Kiewit, "needs to do a little jail time" because they're "stealing money" from taxpayers.
Given that their anonymous inspector, who KOMO says spent a decade at that job, won't identify himself—and given our own experience as reporters dealing with retired inspectors with axes to grind (most of whom argued that the project they opposed was headed for imminent collapse)—we're taking the TV station's report with a grain of salt.
4. Vulcan, most recently in the news because of its plans for a major upzone in South Lake Union (the development company brokered a deal with city planners to allow it to build much taller, denser buildings in exchange for handing land directly to the city to build affordable housing in the neighborhood), could partner with the Seattle Housing Authority to redevelop the Yesler Terrace public-housing development into a huge new mixed-income community, the Seattle Times reports.
The new Yesler Terrace, which would replace a relatively sparse community of two-story apartments, would include 3,000 new housing units and office towers as much as 300 feet high.