Morning Fizz: Friday Likes and Dislikes
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring How we really feel about this week's news.
1. Fizz Likes that the U.S. house passed an amendment to the defense budget this morning co-sponsored by NSA watchdog Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1).
Online civil liberties group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, summarizes the significance of the amendment:
Currently, the NSA collects emails, browsing and chat history under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, and searches this information without a warrant for the communications of Americans—a practice known as "backdoor searches." The amendment would block the NSA from using any of its funding from this Defense Appropriations Bill to conduct such warrantless searches. In addition, the amendment would prohibit the NSA from using its budget to mandate or request that private companies and organizations add backdoors to the encryption standards that are meant to keep you safe on the web.
2. Fizz Likes that developers are turning the tables on slow-growthers, fighting regressive land use measures by using, ironically, the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) review, typically a tool used to halt development.
The trick is, environmental metrics can be used to favor development these days because preserving single-family housing isn't as good for the environment as it looks.
A cool music club—as opposed to the pre-fab urbanism propping up around South Lake Union—is actually taking root.
3. As we've said before, Fizz Likes this idea: A school in downtown Seattle. Why do we like it? Because, in another reversal of conventional wisdom about about urbanism, we think kids are key to the city equation.
4. Fizz Dislikes that the City Council passed a potential pay increase of a little more than $100,000 for Seattle City Light director Jorge Carrasco, who currently earns slightly over $250,000 a year.
The legislation increases Carrasco's "pay band"—the minimum-to-maximum range he can be paid under city law—to a maximum of around $174 an hour, or around $363,000 a year.
We do Like that Council members Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant voted against the raise, though.
In a blog post, Licata wrote, in comparison to other City Light employees’ salaries, the General Manager and CEO’s new salary is out of line and sends the wrong message to our employees and the public." Additionally, he asked, "How can we fairly bargain with our employees after giving such an ostentatious salary increase to one individual? The Council and Mayor’s pay hike for the City Light General Manager and CEO justifiably creates hard feelings among our employees and sets up a very poor example for evaluating and rewarding performance."
5. And quickly: King County Executive Dow Constantine's plan to integrate Metro and Sound Transit services (Like); Mayor Ed Murray's plan to Lyft (!) caps on ride sharing (Like); and, it's on the south side of Denny, but a cool music club—as opposed to the pre-fab urbanism propping up around South Lake Union—is actually taking root in the vicinity of Cornish and Amazon (Like). When new clubs like Kremwerk start working, you know the neighborhood plan is finally working too.