1. In the wake of yesterday's explosive NBA arena news (an NBA Board of Governors committee voted unanimously against allowing the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle, in advance of a full board vote next month), the Puget Sound Business Journal reports that the details of the vote, which are slowly trickling out, remain "murky."
Despite initial reporting that the vote was 12-0 against allowing the team to move, the PSBJ reports, an NBA spokesman says the vote was actually taken only by the NBA relocation committee, and was 7-0. (The 12 number comes from combining the relocation committee with the finance committee.) The exact date for a final vote by the full NBA board—sometime in mid-May—also remains unclear.
2. Seattle Transit Blog gets into the weeds on plans to connect downtown Seattle and West Seattle bus routes once the viaduct comes down and demolition begins in 2016. Currently, King County Metro is planning to run buses along a new two-way Columbia St., with buses traveling in both directions between Alaskan Way and Third Ave. on bus-only lanes.
STB is partial to the rejected two-way Main St. alternative, "would have provided by far the best intermodal connectivity and access to the south end of downtown" but was opposed by "anti-bus NIMBYs" who didn't want new transit traffic in the heart of Pioneer Square.
3. Echoing state Republicans' newfound grass-is-always-greener view of Democratic governors past (and quoting liberally from conservative blogger Erik Smith), the Columbian editorial board argues that Gov. Jay Inslee isn't being as "moderate" as he portrayed himself during last year's campaign, "investing ... political capital" in the upcoming special session, when the house and senate will have to come to an agreement on the state budget.
"With more ownership ... comes more accountability, and if those 'light years'" Inslee said lay between Republicans and Democrats "cannot be traversed by the partisan politicians, Inslee could be viewed as a misguided mediator."
4. She's a beyond-long-shot candidate for mayor of Seattle, but Greenwood activist and landscape designer Kate Martin impressed us during last night's debate with her level-headedness, her specificity, and her calm demeanor—a far cry from the bomb-throwing candidate we've written about in years past.
Crosscut sat down with Martin yesterday. In their interview, Martin outlines some of her proposals, including: Charging a B&O tax on service firms like lawyers and architects; replacing the head of the city's office for education (the department Martin identified as the city's "worst" last night), and requiring car owners to buy a $100 ORCA card with their annual registration, to help pay for King County Metro.
5. At the Seattle Times, columnist Lynne Varner takes on a highly misleading KIRO story suggesting that "Seattle taxpayers" are funding "luxury rides" and "chauffers" for some lucky school kids while "tens of thousands" of less fortunate children are forced to "wait at bus stops."
The story, if you read beyond KIRO's screaming headline and gotcha lead, is that the school district pays for cab rides to make it possible for about 300 public school students statewide to stay in their original schools after they've been displaced from their homes due to economic hardship—as required by federal law.
Varner writes: "If you’re a parent forced to endure those chilly dark Seattle mornings waiting for the yellow bus, the new story seem to point to something patently unfair." But when you look at the details, a different story emerges. "Who’s in those cars? Special education students. Don’t be surprised. That’s for a good reason. Town cars offer a consistency and reliability important to special education students, especially those with autism."
And complaints that the district could save money by putting the students on buses don't pencil out: Seattle, Varner notes, doesn't own any of its own buses. Even town cars, which cost around $25 plus $2 a mile, are cheaper than the $250 to $275 an hour it costs to operate a yellow bus. That's more complicated than "school district provides private chauffers for a few privileged kids," but it happens to have the benefit of being true.