On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Light Rail, Living Buildings, Hansen's Land, DUIs, and Meltdowns
Our daily roundup.
1. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has issued a veiled threat to supporters of the proposed Columbia River Crossing bridge between Portland and Seattle (which includes light rail), by filing legislation advising the Coast Guard not to approve a CRC plan that requires a lower bridge—i.e., a crossing plan that includes light rail, the Columbian reports.
Herrera Beutler's amendment would also require the Coast Guard to submit a report to Congress about the financial impact of the bridge on a handful of businesses upriver of the proposed bridge.
2. At CityTank, architect Rob Harrison argues that a proposal by city council member Nick Licata to create a Sustainable Building Advisory Board, aimed at ensuring that only truly green projects receive height bonuses under the city's "deep green" and "living" buildings program, highlights the fact that the city's incentives "aren't working" to promote innovative green buildings in the city.
Instead of providing greater height as an incentive to build green—and thus potentially angering nearby residents—as the city currently does, Harrison argues that the city should provide a direct financial incentive. In Brussels, Belgium, a government-funded competition pays winners about $12 per square foot for building living buildings, or buildings that produce no net emissions; since 2007, the program has facilitated the construction of 117 ultra-low-energy buildings, compared to three or four such buildings the city predicts will be built in Seattle in the next two years.
3. Now that the stadium deal has been scuttled or at least delayed, KING 5 wonders: What happens to the $70 million in land Chris Hansen bought for the arena in SoDo? Many of the businesses there, which have been offered month-to-month leases, say they're leaving; once they do, much of Hansen's land could end up being converted to parking while the San Francisco hedge-fund mogul explores the possibility of buying another NBA team.
One business that's staying put: Showgirls SoDo, which refused to sell to Hansen and planned to stay in its current location once the arena was built.
4. The state house and senate seem poised to adopt tough new bills cracking down on repeat DUI offenders, but the actual impact of those bills will depend on funding at the city, county, and state levels, the Everett Herald reports. The bills, which would mandate everything from ignition interlock devices to alcohol abuse classes to ankle monitors for DUI offenders, don't identify where the money for those expensive mandates would come from, and Republicans are wary of Democratic proposals to increase taxes on alcohol to pay for all the extra law-enforcement costs.
5. Finally, a Federal Way City Council member has filed a complaint against Federal Way mayor (and former state legislator) Skip Priest, charging that Priest unleashed an F-bomb-laden tirade against her during a conversation on an initiative to bring a college to the city, the Federal Way Mirror reports.
Later in the conversation, the council member said Priest started crying and told her he was angry because deputy mayor Jim Ferrell had filed to run for mayor after previously saying that he wouldn't. The city has appointed an independent investigator to look into the complaint.