1. How can we save the state's transportation funding proposal? Tax hazardous substances and focus on maintaining what we've got (instead of expanding roads and building new highways), Sightline argues.
2. How can Seattle residents stay healthy? Don't live in ZIP code 98108, along the lower Duwamish River, KUOW argues: Residents of that area have life spans that are eight years shorter than the city average.
3. The Examiner offers an impassioned memorial to the Route 42—the little-used Metro bus route that was discontinued because it exactly duplicates light rail and the Route 8. Their argument is basically that the most frequent parallel route, the 7 (a few blocks away from the 42, on Rainier Ave. S.) is too "busy" and has "security issues." But what bus route doesn't? (They also don't seem to have ridden the 7 much, because they say it doesn't go to the Goodwill on Rainier and Dearborn, which isn't accurate).
4. The PI.com reports that the Puget Sound Regional Council plans to study the impacts coal trains will have on the cities, towns, and rural areas along their proposed route from Wyoming to Cherry Point, north of Bellingham; Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, along with other elected officials in the region, opposes the proposal to send mile-and-a-half-long trains through the region for environmental and economic reasons.
5. A new payday lending bill, which would create loans with effective interest rates of up to 200 percent (as opposed to the current payday loan rate of up to 391 percent) is advancing in the state legislature, the News Tribune reports.
Consumer lobbyists oppose the bill, noting that the U.S. military considers rates as high as what the state is considering usurious, but proponents say it would create another lending option for people who currently take out short-term loans at much higher interest rates.