Morning Fizz: There Was Some Heat
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring coup at the Port?, conflicting interpretations, and Bertha.
1. A coup that got no coverage:
Seattle Port Commissioners Courtney Gregoire and Stephanie Bowman ousted Port Commission President Tom Albro at the Commission's Tuesday meeting earlier this week to become co-Presidents. Albro voted for his own ouster in the 5-0 vote after it was clear he didn't have the support to retain the position.
Microsoft attorney, former Maria Cantwell Legslative Director, and Harvard Law School grad Gregoire (yes, same), was just elected to the Port in November.
2. We got wildly conflicting reports about the first meeting of Mayor Ed Murray's minimum wage task force yesterday morning (a circus? a boring intro meeting?), though evidently there was some heat over the question of allowing extra staffers of task force members to attend.
3. Speaking of Mayor Murray task forces, yesterday he announced the people on his 32-member Community Advisory Committee to help find a new police chief.
Full list here, but we were impressed with several picks on the super multiculti list: Executive Director of El Centro De La Raza and former Mike McGinn fan Estela Ortega (bringing in former opponents like that is smart); attorney, Native American activist, and former Seattle Human Rights Commission Chair Chris Stearns, who was a critical (as in constructive criticism) member of the community group that weighed in on the DOJ agreement; and two local high school students—Franklin's Isaiah Bridges and Garfield's Jabari Cook, whose inclusion strikes Fizz as an innovative move.
4. In yesterday's batch of Fizz from City Hall, Erica and Josh offered two different editorial interpretations of how City Council felt about the fact that the Murray administration had plucked two longtime star staffers from their midst—former legislative staff director Ben Noble (now Murray's budget chief) and former legislative policy staffer Mike Fong (now in Murray's policy shop).
Erica: It rubbed council the wrong way. Josh: It strenghtened relations.
And, go figure, later that day, we got two conflicting reactions from inside City Hall.
To Josh:And to Erica: "Josh is wrong" adding that the council is neutered without Fong and Noble.
5. Yesterday, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) engineers announced that they'd completed the second of four planned "exploratory shafts" in front of "Bertha," the deep-bore tunnel drilling machine, and had not run in to any more potential obstructions like the 119-foot-long, eight-inch diameter well casing that caused the machine to grind to a halt last month.
According to WSDOT, if no objects are found in front of or inside the machine, the shafts "will be filled to form part of an underground barrier that will create a safe environment for workers to enter the machine’s excavation chamber" to try to determine the extent of the damage and remove any metal in Bertha's way.