OOBT

1. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of 26-year-old Cody Spafford, the chef who was shot by a Seattle Police Department detective after he allegedly robbed a bank, flipped his car while fleeing, then threatened police with a knife.

The SPD Blotter blog has details about the alleged crime and shooting, but one detail that remains unclear is why officers felt threatened, to the extent that they decided to use deadly force, by what looks like a very small kitchen knife.

2. Well, here's an argument against coal and oil trains we think travelers of all political persuasions should be able to get behind: According to Seattle Transit Blog, oil train traffic out of North Dakota, where there's a fracking boom you might have heard about, the Seattle-to-Chicago Empire Builder Amtrak route now has an average arrival delay in Seattle of 5.6 hours (because Amtrak trains have to stop and move aside for freight-carrying along their route.)

"As someone who particularly cares about eventually giving Spokane better than its current graveyard service, seeing our fate so miserably tied to North Dakota’s  is a shame," STB's Zach Shaner writes.

3. Speaking of trains carrying fossil fuels, ThinkProgress reports that the companies that want to build the two biggest coal-port facilities in the Pacific Northwest are now claiming that they're being outgunned by progressive activists, and need financial help to lobby against the environmentalists.

“We either stand alone and fall, or we become a team and help each other,” Montana Coal Council director Bud Clinch said at an energy forum in Billings, Montana on Wednesday.

4. Apropos of this morning's Fizz item about the push for an elementary school in downtown Seattle, Planetizen reported (back in December, so this is more of an On Other Blogs Last Year) that cities are not (contrary to conventional wisdom) losing families; in reality, families are simply getting smaller, skewing cities' average household size lower.

In reality, the number of families with children in Seattle actually increased by nearly 8 percent between 2007 and 2012, belying the idea that families with children are simply abandoning urban areas for the suburbs. 

5. Ugh, the Puget Sound Business Journal has a piece extolling the ways that "the golf course can be a great place to do business." Uh-huh. And so can the strip club, the basketball court (hey, Obama), the Rainier Club, and Vegas.

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