1. The tug-of-war between Seattle and Sacramento over the fate of the Sacramento Kings and the future of a proposed SoDo basketball arena continued today, as Sacramento developer Mark Friedman announced that he has signed on as a "major investor" in the effort to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento and keep the Kings there, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The news comes one day after supermarket mogul Ron Burkle was forced to withdraw his participation in Sacramento's bid because of a conflict of interest (he's investing in a new downtown development that would be the site of the proposed new arena).
2. Meanwhile, Field of Schemes wonders if both Seattle and Sacramento could end up with NBA teams. The thinking: If the city that loses the team decides to sue, the NBA could resolve the issue by creating an expansion team—as Major League Baseball did in the 1990s, when the San Francisco Giants were denied the chance to move to Tampa. Rather than risk an antitrust suit, MLB gave Tampa a new team, the Devil Rays, as compensation.
I'm not a sports person (and I would shout over the cube wall to ask Josh, but he seems stuck in the '70s NBA—go Bullets), but I must say, that scenario sounds unlikely. Meanwhile, the news about Burkle just makes me think Sacramento is grasping at straws.
3. It's an annual ritual. OneReel, which runs Seattle's July 4 fireworks show, says it will have to cancel the show due to lack of funds, front-page stories proclaim the show kaput, and businesses and individuals write OneReel checks to cover the cost.
This time, MyNorthwest reports, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Seafair are stepping in to sponsor the event, which they think they put on for less than OneReel's half-million-dollar price tag.
4. In the wake of several recent DUI-related deaths, Gov. Jay Inslee met with key lawmakers today to discuss legislation to crack down on repeat DUI offenders, the AP reports. Some of the ideas on the table include creating additional resources to prosecute drunk drivers, lifetime driving bans after a certain number of DUIs, and making DUI a felony after the third incident in ten years, rather than the current five.
However, Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland), who sponsored the work group, said lowering the felony threshold could require the construction of a new state prison, at a cost of some $200 million.
And bans on driving are controversial, with opponents arguing that people need cars to get to work and will drive even without a license, registration, or insurance.
5. In a blow to Tim Eyman, the state house transportation committee rejected an amendment that would have given the legislature, rather than the appointed state transportation commission, the authority to set tolls, the Spokesman-Review reports. Eyman has argued that tolls are taxes under his I-695, which requires a two-thirds majority of the legislature to raise taxes.
While Republicans on the committee said toll rates should be set by legislators who are accountable to the people (a position that would, obviously, produce pressure on legislators to keep tolls low rather than lose favor with constituents), committee chair Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-41, Mercer Island), argued that the bond market, which funds big transportation projects, tends to look unfavorably on toll rates that are at the whim of elected legislators and, by extension, the sometimes fickle electorate.
6. Today is Equal Pay Day—the day on which US women's average wages catch up to what men made, on average, the year before. Currently, women working full-time in the US make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This is true both across the economy and within industries: Women make less than men across the board for doing the same jobs.
ThinkProgress has a list of the 10 jobs with the largest wage gaps, including CEOs (69 cents on the dollar), housekeeping supervisors (64.6 cents on the dollar) and real estate managers (60.6 cents on the dollar). Of 534 occupations surveyed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make more than men in just seven—and those account for less than three percent of the female workforce .