1. Local food-safety lawyer Bill Marler's blog, Food Safety News, reports that the state's newspaper editorial boards are already lining up against I-522, a measure that would require food companies to label foods that are genetically modified.
Editorial boards, including the Seattle Times, (one of the papers that have come out against) have made the red-herring argument that genetically modified foods haven't been shown to be any less nutritious than non-GMO foods.
The editorials, of course, all ignore a much more compelling case against GMOs: That when companies like Monsanto promote GMO crops that are resistant to their own pesticides, like Roundup, they create monocultures that require more toxic chemicals (and contaminate nearby non-GMO crops through cross-pollination.)
2. The controversial Columbia River Crossing project just can't get a break.
After opposition from the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus doomed its chances in the state senate (a transportation package that would have included $450 million for the Vancouver-to-Portland bridge failed in this year's second special session), a coalition of environmentalists and neighborhood groups is now trying to kill a proposal from the left, the Columbian reports.
In a letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has expressed support for an Oregon-only CRC plan, the groups—including the Sierra Club and 1000 Friends of Oregon—write, "The proposal is contrary to efforts to foster vibrant, sustainable, and walkable communities that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, farmland loss, and habitat destruction."
With opposition from both environmentalists on the left and fire-breathing anti-transit activists like Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) on the right, it's hard to see how this project gets off the ground in the future.
3. The Seattle Times has a peek at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's closed-door appearance last night, where the controversial Republican (targeted by union protests outside the downtown Sheraton) told 2,000 attendees at the Washington Policy Center's annual fundraising dinner that he had fixed Wisconsin's economy and reduced its budget deficit.
The Times, to its credit, offered a bit of a reality check on those claims, writing, "The reality is more mixed, as Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hasn’t fallen as fast as the rest of the country and recent news reports have shown that it is unlikely Walker will fulfill his promise to deliver 250,000 jobs in his first term."
4. Mayor Mike McGinn's (generally quite affable) consultant, John Wyble, has another harsh blog post today blasting McGinn's opponent, state Sen. Ed Murray, for supposedly dodging questions at yesterday's press conference on public safety.
Read it for yourself and reach your own conclusions, but ours is: Man. These two candidates really do not like each other.
5. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that, in a cool-sounding urbanist partnership, Amazon and aPodment developer Jim Potter are teaming up to house Amazon workers in new micro-housing developments Potter hopes to develop around South Lake Union.
Currently, Amazon rents around 80,000 bed-nights a year for employees in Seattle; Potter has told Amazon he'd like "a small piece" of that business, the PSBJ reports. Compared to a hotel, microapartments are cheap—as little as $550 a month for a small room with a kitchenette, bathroom, Internet and utilities.