1. I live right off Rainier Ave. S. And I like streetcars. But I have to say, given Seattle and King County Metro's limited (and shrinking) funding for transit, I'll happily keep the workhorse trolley bus Route 7 in combination with light rail a few blocks away, rather than spend the millions it would take to build the new streetcar route on Rainier that Seattle Transit Blog suggests today.
STB makes some good points: The 7 can be slow; streetcars could be used to promote race and social justice; and the more streetcars there are, the more control Seattle has over our transit network. But I'm not convinced that Southeast Seattle should be the top priority for a new transit line, even if it would (marginally) improve my commute.
2. The Oregonian reports that according to a new study, the gender pay gap between men and women in Seattle, among cities, is the worst in the nation. Nationally, women working full-time make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men; in Seattle, they make just 73 cents for every man's dollar. That, according to the study, is an annual pay gap of $16,346.
3. Today in sentences that are sad to contemplate: "Budget writers are looking to give a smaller subsidy for the next two years than the parks system is currently getting, and the parks commission says those reduced levels are unlikely to allow all 117 state parks to survive," the Olympian reports.
Underfunded parks have become the new normal.
The state's park system, in other words, could partly shut down due to budget cuts, after the $30 Discover Pass failed to generate the revenues lawmakers predicted.
Underfunded parks have become the new normal. Overall, the proposed cuts amount to about 20 percent of what the state is currently spending on parks—an amount that is, itself, 80 percent less than the state was spending in 2007.
4. In the News Tribune, Peter Callaghan takes Gov. Jay Inslee to task for backpedaling on the idea of giving letter grades—A through F—to schools.
Noting that Inslee supported the idea of such grades on the campaign trail but now criticizes legislation to implement them as vague and rushed, Callaghan writes, "Flaws can be found in any bill if you try hard enough. When you agree on the policy you shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good."