1. The Washington State Democrats announced their annual "Maggie Awards" dinner honorees yesterday.
Legislators of the Year: State Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon) who headed up budget negotiations for the Democrats with the majority Republicans, securing family planning services and Obamacare money (she also thwarted conservative efforts to undo payday loan regulations) and state Sen. Nick Harper (D-38, Everett).
Rising Stars: Monisha Harrell, Bruce Harrell's niece, who ran his mayoral campaign this year, runs her own consulting firm, and is also the treasurer of the 21st District Democrats in Lynnwood; and Josh Castle, a gay rights activist and events chair for the 43rd District Democrats.
2. As we mentioned in OOBT (On Other Blogs Today) the other day, Portland cyclists have been running into trouble with the city's streetcar tracks, which cause dozens of major crashes every year when cyclists get their wheels stuck in the rail guideways. Plastic inserts that are supposed to collapse under streetcar wheels but not under bikes haven't worked out as planned, protruding too far above street level and causing bikes to crash.
Here in Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation plans to address the bike-streetcar compatibility issue by building a cycletrack (a bike lane separated from traffic by a physical barrier); and where bikes do have to cross the streetcar tracks, there will be signs to "encourage the cyclists to cross the tracks at a 90-degree angle," according to SDOT project manager Sue Byers.
3. King County Elections certified the August 6 primary and turnout was a paltry 28.64 percent. It was higher in Seattle itself—though still on the skimpy side at about 35 percent.
Final numbers here.
4. Washington is the 18th most expensive state to own a car.
Here's the lead from the Puget Sound Business Journal:
It costs $3,377 annually to operate a car in Washington state, which is the 18th-most expensive rate in the country.
When you figure in the average costs of repairs (an average of $375 in Washington), insurance premiums ($832), gasoline ($913) and taxes and fees ($1,256), the yearly average cost is $3,377.
At $4,233, Georgia is the most expensive state in the country to own a car and at $2,204, Oregon is the cheapest state.
5. In case you missed it: Erica filed a story late yesterday about a footnote in the city's renewed effort to crackdown on crime: A list of 28 specific repeat offenders of city civility laws—the city's prohibition on open containers of alcohol or sitting or lying down on public sidewalk—that SPD wants the city attorney to prosecute.