Week-in-Review Likes and Dislikes
How I really feel about this week's headlines
Yesterday, we handed the microphone over to ex-city hall mainstay, former mayor Mike McGinn (he wrote a guest Cola op-ed on the August 5 parks measure).
This morning, as we occasionally do, we're letting a guest post our Friday Fizz Likes and Dislikes column. And we're giving the microphone to another recent city hall regular, former city council member Richard Conlin.
No word on whether he likes how the council is doing without him, or on what he thinks of his former campaign trail adversary and council replacement Kshama Sawant.
But he does weigh in on Sound Transit, pot, parks, the Seattle Times...and 50 Shades of Grey.
1. I LIKE that Sound Transit issued the RFP for transit oriented development at the Capitol Hill Station! Finally!
Linking transportation choices and land use decisions is the best way to make our communities work and our investments in transportation infrastructure pay off. And this RFP focuses on what I call community-oriented transit.
The Capitol Hill community has been working for five years to ensure that the new development will have lots of housing, lots of affordable housing, and designs and amenities that will really make this station area sing. Successful bidders will have to meet 23 required conditions, like a publicly accessible plaza that will be available for the Broadway Farmers Market and other public events, 266 bike stalls, and no more than 0.7 parking spaces per residential unit (the first time that Seattle has set a parking maximum). Proposers will get bonus points for things like the quality of the plan for accommodating the farmers market, additional affordable housing beyond what is required, and providing space for a community center.
Nine proposers prequalified, so the financial incentives remain strong enough to ensure that the housing and business space gets built.
Now, can we do this at all the other stations too?
This levy will cost less than half as much as a Seattle Times subscription.
2. I DON’T LIKE that the 50 Shades of Grey movie is coming out. It’s bad enough that Ride the Ducks already stops at the Escala to make salacious comments—now people who aren’t even literate enough to read the book (granted, a pretty low level of literacy was required) will be panting around the city.
3. I’m totally pissed off (oops, I mean, I DON’T LIKE) that two Republican appointees to the DC Circuit Court issued a ruling narrowly interpreting the language of the Affordable Care Act to say that the federal government can’t provide subsidies for people who buy insurance on the federal exchanges because the law says that subsidies can be provided through “an exchange provided by the state."
I LIKE Jon Stewart’s response:
“I’m just happy both judges got to work that morning, (rather than) assuming that once they hit stop signs, their days end. Until the law expressly provides a 'go' sign, we can in no way ascertain the intent of the framers of the sign.”
And I DON’T LIKE that, of course, Fox and the Republicans cheered this opinion, which would raise costs for millions of people because Republican governors and legislatures refused to set up exchanges in order to try to sabotage the act—and ignored the fact that the full DC Circuit Court will almost certainly overrule this three judge panel and that the Fourth Circuit (based in Virginia) issued a contrary opinion the same day, stating that Congress’s intent was clearly expressed in numerous other parts of the act. I LIKE the Fourth Circuit.
4. I DON’T LIKE that Seattle Police issued 37 percent of their "smoking in public" marijuana citations to blacks, who account for only 8 percent of Seattle’s population.
Even in a city that deemphasizes marijuana enforcement, and in a state that legalized smoking in private, disproportionality still prevails.
On the other hand, only 82 tickets were written.
5. I TOTALLY LIKE that so many people and organizations have united to support Seattle Parks on the August ballot!
I DON’T LIKE the hypocrisy of the Seattle Times, which supported a Bellevue levy that more than doubled in size.
Remember this levy will cost less than half as much as a Seattle Times subscription.