1. Isn't it weird that ... the city of Seattle chose San Francisco-based URS Corporation, which brags on its web site about its work on scores of coal-fired power plants, to conduct its environmental review of the arena proposal?
Mayor Mike McGinn, the city's most prominent arena supporter, is also a prominent opponent of a proposal to site a new coal terminal in Bellingham, which, McGinn has argued, would be bad for the state's economy, its transportation system, its health, and its environment.
Isn't it weird that ... the city of Seattle chose San Francisco-based URS Corporation, which brags on its web site about its work on scores of coal-fired power plants, to conduct its environmental review of the arena proposal?
Maybe SSA Marine, the corporate owner of the coal terminal, should hire URS as well.
2. Isn't it weird that ... the Washington State Republicans re-elected Kirby Wilbur as their state party chair?
After the GOP had their asses handed to them in 2006, they booted then-chair Diane Tebelius, replacing her with Luke Esser. And after they got creamed again in 2010, they booted Esser, trading him in for right-wing talk jock Kirby Wilbur.
Well, with Rob McKenna, perhaps the best candidate they've fielded in decades, running for governor (and polling in the lead for most of the campaign), the Republicans just got slaughtered again in 2012.
In addition to losing the governor's race (to aw, schucks Jay Inslee, no less), the Republicans also lost: the state AG's race; the supposedly tight U.S. rep race in the 1st Congressional District; and, just as in 2006, the U.S. senate race to less-than-charismatic incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell.
The GOP supposedly went into existential suicide watch mode after this year's Democratic rout, in which Washington made national headlines for passing a Democratic party plank issue, gay marriage.
Whatever. The GOP announced today that Wilbur was re-elected chair.
3. Isn't it weird that ... Real Change director and social justice activist Tim Harris ran an editorial in the Real Change paper yesterday praising Mayor McGinn's Center City Initiative? Harris recently endorsed McGinn opponent Peter Steinbueck.
McGinn's Center City Initiative is an network of city projects city with the goal of making Seattle safer, cleaner, and more sustainable.
To be fair, none of the programs Harris specifically mentions—the 1811 Eastlake project for homeless alcoholics or the Downtown Emergency Service Center's Crisis Solutions Center—have much to do with McGinn's leadership.
4. And isn't it cool that ... liberal state Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, Des Moines) has countered the Republican proposal to repeal the state's Family and Medical Leave Act—the 2007 program to give workers time off to care for newborns, newly adopted children, or sick family members—with a bill to expand it.
Keiser's bill gives workers more time off (12 weeks instead of five) and increases the pay. Keiser pays for the program by making workers and employers each chip in $2 a week.