1. Capitol Hill Seattle reports on a little-noticed provision of the latest city budget: A Statement of Legislative Intent that instructs the Department of Planning and Development “provide recommendations describing options for regulations and incentives to reduce or eliminate leaf blower noise and emissions in Seattle.”
Gas-powered leaf blowers, with their two-stroke engines, are, much like a '70s scooter, filthy. They're also noisy as hell—as I can personally attest, living in a building where two dudes show up every morning at 7am all fall and winter, rain or shine, to rid the parking lot of (usually nonexistent) leaves.
So, to get all C is for Crank for a second: I'm all for getting rid of nasty gas-powered leaf blowers. We should have done so a long time ago. Because there's an alternative! It's called a rake. Or a broom. Or, if you want to get all high-tech, an electric leaf blower, which works just as well and is much cleaner (and quieter, for those of us who like to sleep in until 7:30 some mornings).
2. Here's what Grist's Nathanael Johnson has to say about why I-522, the GMO-labeling measure, failed earlier this month: It all comes down to advertising, low turnout, a trend toward people voting later, and money.
3. Um, I'm sorry, what? Did the state Republican Party just use a stock photo of a dark-skinned black man with his hand over the mouth of a white woman to "illustrate" sex trafficking? Yes. Yes, they did. The Spokesman-Review reports.
4. Whooooooooooops: The Seattle Times reports that the Washington Aerospace Partnership is running a full-page ad in the paper urging the state legislature to vote for the transportation package Boeing wants, in addition to the $8.7 billion in tax breaks it already passed. The only problem: The ad features an Airbus A319, not a Boeing 777X.
Oh, well. It's not like a full-page ad in the Times worked out so well for Rob McKenna.
5. At Slate, Matthew Yglesias offers a critique of socialist city council member-elect Kshama Sawant's views on Boeing (she wants to hand over ownership of the company to its workers, who will then build buses instead of planes) and density (she says, "the first thing we need is a city council that will defend existing housing and not push to destroy existing housing in the name of density and environmental sustainability).
Regarding density, Yglesias writes,
[W]hereas in capitalist countries urban cores are denser than urban fringes because the land in the core is more expensive, that's not the case in socialist cities such as Moscow. In those places a relatively nondense core tends to be ringed with new high-density construction, because the high market price of land in the core doesn't translate into new development. Why it would be good for Seattle to emulate that pattern and push investment out into the suburbs and encourage sprawl is beyond me
6. And speaking of density (albeit of the most modest sort): West Seattle Blog reports on a recent design review meeting for a new 36-unit apartment development in the West Seattle Junction that won't include any parking.
Neighbors, predictably, are apoplectic, predicting that it will turn into an "instant ghetto," complaining that patients with foot injuries will no longer be able to get to an area clinic (an odd complaint given that clinics are open during the day, when residents, if they do have cars, will be at work), and that, in the words of one speaker, it's "crazy" to think people can live in an urban village adjacent to multiple transit lines (including the RapidRide C line) without owning a car.