On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Affordable Housing, an Unaffordable Tunnel?, and More
Our daily roundup.
1. Some critics complained when the National Low Income Housing Commission issued a study concluding that the average worker in King County needs to make $21.60 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, arguing that one person doesn't need a two-bedroom apartment (or, more charitably, that the initial report assumed a single-parent household with kids or a multiple-adult household with only one adult working).
Today, the Washington Post reports on an updated version of that same study that assumes a one-bedroom apartment in King County. And guess what? The "housing wage"—that is, the wage you'd have to earn per hour to afford an average one-bedroom, assuming you work a full-time job, paying one-third of your total income on housing and utilities—in King County is still $17.56 an hour, considerably higher than the $15 minimum wage that has folks who want to keep the minimum at $9.32 so agitated.
But hey, I guess all those minimum-wage workers can just pack up and move to, I don't know, Logan County, Arkansas, where you'll only need to earn $7.98 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour there, though, so good luck!
2. I've certainly criticized conservative KIRO radio host Dori Monson for his bonkers beliefs in the past (see: His opinion that removing a dozen parking spots out of thousands and thousands citywide for "parklets" will make it impossible for people to find parking spots in the city), so in fairness, credit where credit's due: As Monson noted on KIRO today, he was among the early critics who predicted that the downtown tunnel project would quickly end up late and over budget. And he was right.
"Remember when I put my job on the line a few years ago when they said they were going to tunnel under Seattle? I said, if it comes in on time, on budget, I would quit my job? And the Secretary of Transportation said, Oh, that's incentive for us to come in on time and on budget. Well, it looks like my job is pretty safe," Monson said today.
Seattle Tunnel Partners, is now asking the state to pay it $125 million for the delay. Not only is the project now 16 months behind schedule, (12 if project engineers manage to make up time by drilling all day and night), as Q13 FOX reports, the tunnel contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, is now asking the state to pay it $125 million for the delay, which was caused when the tunnel-boring machine, constructed by Hitachi-Zosen, overheated because of damage to seals that protect a bearing that helps turn its massive cutterhead.
3. The parents in this terribly tragic story, about a toddler who was run over by a truck in Buckley, are far more forgiving just a week after their son was killed, than seems possible: They say they "forgive" the man who was driving the truck.
It's hard not to admire that—and respect that this is part of their healing process.
But I disagree with news reports, like this one in the PI.com, that uncritically quote the parents saying that "tragedy does happen," without noting that this was not just a tragedy, it was (to steal Seattle Bike Blog's term), vehicular violence, and it does have a cause: People driving their cars recklessly, without regard for vulnerable roadway users (like any pedestrian, but especially a dad crossing the road with a toddler in a little red wagon) who might happen to get in their way.
4. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that "car owners who [will] have to pay the tab" if tonight's Metro-bus-saving Proposition 1 passes probably aren't going to vote (projected turnout is just 38 percent), but whose fault is that?
If you hate buses and you want your commute to get slower because more cars are on the road, you still have a few hours to get your ballot in the mail or to a King County drop box.
If, on the other hand, you think it's a good thing for all commuters, including car commuters, when more people use public transit instead of driving their cars, you still have a few hours to get your ballot in the mail or to a King County drop box.
5. OK, enough of this heavy electioneering, transportation, and death stuff: Let's talk about 3D printers!
Specifically, this (potential) one from a Seattle inventor, profiled on the Designers of Things Blog, who wants to turn plastic waste into pellets that can be recycled via 3D printing into new objects. Neat!