1. Trash collection happened on its normal schedule this morning, after the Teamsters Local 174, which represents Waste Management garbage collectors, agreed to at least temporarily hold off a promised garbage strike. The Teamsters' contract expired yesterday. The union is objecting to a clause in their contract that allows Waste Management to reduce union garbage collectors' salaries—currently around $71,000, according to the Seattle Times—at any time.

2. Mayor Mike McGinn will release the results of his half of a consultants' study on a new 520 bridge "sometime next week" (instead of today, as previously announced), according to McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus.

That study looked into whether it would be possible to put light rail on the bridge and what sort of changes to the state's preferred six-lane bridge option would be required. At a CityClub-sponsored forum yesterday, McGinn sounded upbeat about the report (portions of which city council members and the mayor have already seen), characterizing today's release of the report as a plan "for how to accommodate light rail ... on the bridge."

In addition to suggesting that the city council push for higher occupancy minimums for HOV lanes and continue to work with the legislature for more transit on the bridge, the council's report recommended that the state reduce the size of the Montlake Interchange on the Seattle side of the bridge; ditch a proposed seventh lane over Portage Bay, instead using bridge shoulders for merging and I-5 exiting; and working to reduce the impact of traffic on the environmentally sensitive Arboretum.

3. PubliCola's Erica C. Barnett (who does  not own a car) will be moderating a panel on car-free living and the challenges and opportunities surrounding the city's new "Walk, Bike, Ride" plan at this Saturday's Climate Neutral Seattle Unconference at Mithun (1201 Alaskan Way, Suite 200).  Full agenda, including a lunch keynote on climate change by Mayor Mike McGinn, here.



4. PubliCola's TechNerd Glenn Fleishman pointed out another apparent glitch with the ORCA transit payment card, which will eventually replace other passes on buses and light rail: The "auto-load" option, which automatically reloads a preset value onto the card, expires every six months, forcing riders to either call ORCA's customer service line or go to a transit center in person to reload the card. An ORCA customer-service representative confirmed this, but had "no idea" why the option is set to expire every six months. Previous ORCA annoyances here, here, here, and here. UPDATE: Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick says that to his knowledge, this is not ORCA policy, and that the rider may have had an expired credit card.

5. Gov. Chris Gregoire will hold a press conference at Swedish Hospital on Capitol Hill at 11:30 this morning to talk about what early action she’ll take to ready Washington for changes brought by Obama’s health care bill.

“There are significant portions of the health care reform that states have to implement,” said Gregoire spokesman Viet Shelton.  “She’s going to announce the steps she’s going to take to make sure Washington is fully prepared and totally ready to implement the reforms.”