OOBT

1. The News Tribune reports that state Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-40, Orcas Island) has a proposal to ban the use of dirty, filthy, polluting, noisy, nasty gas-powered leaf blowers by state agencies. Instead of the foul, smelly noisemakers, Ranker is proposing that state maintenance workers use an alternative technology to gather leaves into piles: A rake. Great idea! Let's make it a law statewide, shall we? 

2. In their print edition today, the Stranger tripled down on their weirdest anti-Ed Murray story line to date, continuing to insist that Murray was the one who "pulled the plug on Gigabit," the untested and flailing startup that former mayor Mike McGinn's hand-picked to provide broadband to a dozen neighborhoods in Seattle.

In a piece titled "Screw Comcast and CenturyLink" (referred to, along with a third company, Wave, referred to as "monopolistic fuckers") Stranger writer David Goldstein declares that "shortly after taking office," Mayor Ed Murray "pulled the plug on Gigabit," and suggests that the city itself should pay to finance a $400 million broadband system. 

In reality, of course, Gigabit pulled the plug on itself, by failing to secure financing to launch its promised, and long-delayed, broadband network.

And file this under "Isn't It Weird That...," but the Stranger's current demand for a city broadband network is ironic given how enamored they (still) are of McGinn.

One of McGinn's front-and-center 2009 campaign promises was to build a citywide broadband network. Well, here we are, after McGinn's time in office and his hapless Gigabit misadventure, without one because McGinn failed to deliver. 

3. The Seattle Times reports that the Seattle Police Department's new use-of-force policy is already being tested after two police shootings, one fatal, in the past week.

The Atlantic Cities blog checks in on One-Bus-Away creators, former U.W. students, and their latest research.

The policy, crafted by SPD and the U.S. Department of Justice after the DOJ found evidence of racially biased policing and excessive use of force by officers, requires a representative of the Office of Professional Accountability to go to the scene of any officer-involved shooting. 


4. At Seattle Bike Blog, Puget Sound Bike Share director Holly Houser sounds awfully sanguine about the recent news that Canadian bike manufacturer Bixi, which was going to provide bikes for the Seattle-area bikesharing service, has gone bankrupt.

Houser tells the blog that Bixi's bankruptcy "is not necessarily a huge surprise to anybody," and predicts that the move may give Puget Sound Bike Share the certainty it needs to move forward. The company is still seeking sponsors, Houser said, and hopes to launch in August—which, as one commenter astutely points out, seems a little late for prime Seattle biking season. 

5. Plastic, a metal pipe, and a big rock are among the obstructions found inside tunnel-boring machine "Bertha"'s cutting head over the weekend, the Seattle Times reports. I'll just let Times reporter Mike Lindblom take it from here: "The discoveries ... suggest more junk might appear in the next few days"; "DOT would not elaborate or make staff members available to answer questions Tuesday about the size or importance of the buried objects"; and "plastic PVC pipe ... would not ordinarily be considered a threat to a tunnel drill." 

6. The Atlantic Cities blog checks in on One-Bus-Away creators, former U.W. students, and their latest research which shows that giving people more accurate information—when the damn bus is going to come—is more pertinent to rider satisfaction than more frequent service.

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