Morning Fizz: The Region's Hopes
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring reelection, simulation, and resignation.
1. Seattle city council member Sally Clark, who was appointed in 2006 and has been elected twice since, says she's definitely running for reelection next year, when she plans to go for one of two at-large city council seats (seven of the nine seats will be determined by the geographic district in which a council candidate lives).
Clark has raised just over $33,000 for her 2015 campaign. Council president Tim Burgess, meanwhile—who is rumored not to be running for reelection—has reported no contributions to his 2015 reelection campaign, where he has registered for one of the two at-large seats. (Late last week, Erica had the news that A) Burgess had been in the hospital for thyroid cancer and B) was back at work after successful surgery.)
2. Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel announced, in a somewhat abrupt press release yesterday, that she will be leaving SPS as of Friday after four years, "and my replacement should be on board in the next couple of weeks."
Contacted by email, Wippel said she is returning to freelance work, "which is what I did before I took a full-time job at SPS," and that the school department hopes to fill her position in the next two weeks.
The Seattle Times had a front page story yesterday about the crippling friction between the school board and a succession of superintendents.
3. Last week's Sound Transit meeting where the board glumly approved putting a 25-acre maintenance base next to the planned 120th Ave. NE light rail station, complicating (to say the least) or squandering (at the worst) opportunities for Transit Oriented Development, was agonizing for board members (particularly Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci) and depressing for urban planning nerds who are pinning the region's hopes on TOD.
However, there was also one treat at the meeting for planning nerds—a beautiful computer simulation of one segment of the planned 2023 East Link line—that provided a brief and mesmerizing respite from the grief.
During a meeting filled with handwringing, amendments, and speeches, the board sat silent as (and for a hushed moment) after this clip played on a large powerpoint screen.
The clip, which ST made available to the public yesterday, follows a future light rail train going from the current International District station to the future Rainier Station—and then across I-90 (the mesmerizing part) to the future Mercer Island Station.
There are 10 stations planned on the 30-minute East Link run from Seattle to the Overlake Transit Center Station by Microsoft.
4. Despite the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-agenda, sponsored by electric utilities in state capitals across the country, Washington state is getting high marks for pushing solar power.
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