On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Banda, Public Radio, Density, and More
Our daily roundup.
1. KUOW has an interview with Seattle Schools superintendent José Banda, who is among the finalists to head up the Sacramento, CA school district. If he leaves Seattle after two years as superintendent, he would be leaving two years on his contract.
Banda, KUOW says, told them he would be eager to return to California, where he lived most of his life and where most of his family lives. Additionally, he told KUOW, "As I near the latter part of my career, it’s an opportunity to get back into the retirement system that I spent almost my entire career in."
Banda replaced Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was fired in 2011 after a major financial scandal that landed three people, including a school district official, in jail.
In a letter to school staff and the community, current Seattle School Board Chair Sharon Peaslee said, "I want to assure our families, staff and community that the Board will quickly create a plan to ensure continued stability for our District. We will meet early next week to talk about next steps. I have a lot of faith in the current leadership team to continue working on behalf of our students."
2. Speaking of KUOW (and partly in response to longtime host Steve Scher's abrupt departure earlier this month), former KUOW weather correspondent Cliff Mass has harsh things to say on his blog about recent changes at the station that have changed its focus from long-form, free-ranging interviews like the ones Scher did on his canceled show "Weekday" to shorter, spot news and nationally syndicated newsmagazine programs.
Calling the local NPR affiliate "a quasi-commercial, ratings-chasing, eternally fund raising shadow of its former self," Mass writes, "KUOW seems to think it is a commercial radio station and has begun using a lot of the irritating methods of the worst commercial outlets."
The whole post is a deep dive into one of the two most prominent points of view on the evolution of Seattle's larger public radio station, as well as a dishy background look at Mass' own experience at—and departure from—local public radio.
3. “New supply continues being added to the market, yet it’s leased up as quickly as it opens." That's the conclusion, via the Puget Sound Business Journal, of a new report from Axiometrics, an apartment research firm, about Seattle's booming housing (and job) market. The good news? "But with 9,000 new apartment units opening this year, effective rent growth will moderate soon."
Density opponents, be on alert: There's plenty of demand for all that new housing, and artificial caps on supply will only make those already-rising rents rise even faster.
4. Seattle could, apparently, take a lesson from Tacoma, where ridesharing regulations that are basically the same as the compromise legislation Mayor Ed Murray proposed last week are moving relatively peacefully through the city council, according to the Tacoma News Tribune, which quotes Mayor Marilyn Strickland: "“I appreciate what’s happening in Seattle, but I don’t think we need 22 stakeholder meetings to get to a solution.” Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland said this week..
In Seattle, of course, the council and mayor have been hammering out a compromise proposal with stakeholders including ridesharing companies like Uber, traditional taxi companies, and for-hire drivers for more than a year.
5. Finally, Towleroad reports that Murray will be featured in ads for a new sweepstakes campaign to promote Seattle as a Mecca for marriage equality. The campaign, called "Marry Me In Seattle," will give away four all-expenses-paid weddings for out-of-state LGBT couples who want to get married. Tag line: "If you can't get married in your city, we'll make sure you can get married in ours."