Morning Fizz: The Life and Death of Great American Cities
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring tolling, marrying, and subsidizing.
1. In case you missed Erica's story late Friday afternoon, here's the deal: A new report found that the state can't meet its already-reduced $200 million contribution to help pay for the $4.2 billion waterfront tunnel with (as was intended) tolling revenues unless it looks at some some controversial changes in tolling policy.
2. Fizz is still nervous about the lack of transparency on the Sonics deal—what, for example, are the financial commitments between Chris Hansen's arena group (the group with which Seattle has a $200 million deal) and Hansen's separate team ownership group? And what are both of those groups' relationship with the NBA? (The MOU that the city approved does not spell any of that out.)
And maybe more important: Fizz's city planning hero Jane Jacobs' whole thing is to not build single-use districts. We totally agree with her and wish Hansen was moving into an area that was more connected to the life of the city—a neighborhood that wouldn't go dark on an off night. Check out Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., linked to the bustling Gallery Place Metro stop in Chinatown, or the brand new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn at the top of the steps leading out of the Atlantic Ave. Subway Station. That's how you build cities.
We also don't care much for the NBA's publicly subsidized business model, or the fact that their modern yuppie playpen arena plans suck the life out of neighborhoods they're supposed to revitalize.
Having said all that, Fizz admits we're totally psyched about this morning's big news: According to ESPN.com, the Sacramento Bee, NBCSports.com, the Seattle Times, and Yahoo.com, the Sonics are coming back.
3. Fizz is probably poaching an excellent On Other Blogs entry, but yesterday's New York Times' "Modern Love" column about gay marriage, filed by a straight, married woman from Seattle, is worth noting here.
It's a thoughtful piece that shows how—contrary to the anti-gay marriage campaign's warnings that legalizing gay marriage would ruin marital tradition—last month's gleeful celebrations helped her and her husband reclaim tradition after years of hipster scoffing.
To my same-sexing pals, let me say this: I know that my inability to use a set of words without irony is nothing compared to the long history of our society not allowing you to be those things. And I know that my tiny linguistic win is negligible compared with the victory you have gained in marriage equality. I apologize in advance for the accusations we all know will keep flying from the mouths of some: charges that you have somehow unsanctified the marriage institution.
But please know that for this churchgoing heterosexual, with her kids, dog, car pools, and yellow house with picket fence, you resanctified it. Please know that you revived it. Please know that when I hear you pronounce the words “wife” and “husband” so reverently, so lovingly, I remember that I can, too.