On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Pot, Pam Roach, and the Notorious RBG
Our daily roundup.
1. The AP reports that a single Seattle police officer was responsible for some 80 percent of all tickets issued for public marijuana possession this year. Some context, though: That's 80 percent of about 80 arrests for pot smoking or possession, meaning about 65 arrests—not that many in a city of more than 600,000 people.
2. Speaking of context: In the context of the news that the city is considering spending $110 million or so ($75 million of which would come from federal funding) linking up the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcars, The Urbanist makes the entirely rational point that although $110 million would buy a lot more bus service than the city will end up spending on the downtown streetcar connector, that money isn't exactly available for bus service:
"It is certainly the case that massive improvements could be made to our bus network with $110 million but this is a red herring. The fact is that the potential $75 million in federal funding wouldn’t be won for bus service improvements."
And, my favorite part: "Transit advocates can continue to look this gift horse in the mouth or we can consider the fact that the city is seriously considering building eighteen blocks of dedicated transit right-of-way through downtown, take a deep breath, and realize that we are winning."
3. The Seattle Times has a long feature about "fiery" (ugh) and "tirade"-prone state Sen. Pam Roach (R-31, Auburn), who continues being elected, over and over again, despite her sometimes-bizarre behavior on the senate floor, which has led to her being banned fro Republican caucus meetings, reprimanded by senate leadership, asked to get anger-management counseling, ordered to pay thousands of dollars to the state for doing campaign work on taxpayer-funded time, and ordered to stop speaking with senate staff.
4. Mercer Island may create a Transportation Benefit District, similar to the one on the ballot in Seattle in November, although the TBD (consisting of a $20 vehicle license fee) won't be adequate to fund bus service in the city, the Mercer Island Reporter reports.
5. Has KIRO's Dori Monson ever ridden a Sound Transit Link Light Rail train? This morning, Monson asserted that "criminals have taken over light rail."
Verdict, from an actual Link Light Rail rider: False. (I have a message out to Monson to find out if he's ever ridden Central Link, and if he's personally witnessed any such "criminal" behavior.)
6. And finally, via Feministing, in an interview with Katie Couric, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg pointed out the "blind spot" shared by her five male colleagues, who formed the majority in the recent ruling that Hobby Lobby and other "closely held corporations" are effectively "people" who can have religious views and refuse to cover health-care practices they dislike, such as birth control, is the same kind of (suspiciously woman-shaped) blind spot it had when the Court's male majority ruled that Lilly Ledbetter had no right to be paid the same amount as less-experienced male colleagues in 2007.
"I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow," Bader Ginsberg said.