Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. Friday's Fizz had the news that Seattle freshman Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46, N. Seattle) was cueing up a bill to promote Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

Farrell, a Green Metropolis Democrat, wants agencies like Sound Transit to have the option to sell land for less than fair market value (currently agencies have to sell at the going rate), which she hopes will spur deals, particularly for low-income housing developers, on vacant properties, like those in southeast Seattle around ST corridors.

However, Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick tells Fizz: "If Sound Transit were to sell land below market rate, it would reduce the amount of agency investment ... that would be recouped." In other words, Sound Transit would lose money if it sold land it owns for less than its value.

He adds: "Our board hasn't taken a position on the legislation." (Farrell hasn't introduced the legislation just yet.)

"If Sound Transit were to sell land below market rate, it would reduce the amount of agency investment ... that would be recouped."—Sound Transit spokesman Geoff PatrickPatrick did note that the ST hoard has made some "significant affordable housing investments as part of its transit oriented development focus," in projects in Federal Way and upcoming projects in the Rainier Valley and Capitol Hill. He says ST secured fair market value for that land.

We've asked for more details on the projects.

2. Another Seattle legislator, state Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon) also has a noteworthy bill in the queue.

Nelson's bill would give cities new ways to address clear instances where minorities have been disenfranchised and discriminated against.

The bill is a top priority for the ACLU.

3. No Seattle Democrats have signed on to a bill that's getting a hearing in the state senate today: A bill to repeal the state's Family Medical Leave Act, the pending program to give workers time off to care for newborns, newly adopted children, or sick family members. 

In fact, no senate Democrats have signed on to the bill at all.

Oh wait. Yes, they have: Sens. Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina) and Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch).

Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, Des Moines) has a bill to expand the Family Medical Leave Act, but it has not been scheduled for a hearing yet. Sen. Keiser has nine co-sponsors, including Seattle Sens. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Adam Kline, and Ed Murray.

4. Following up on the grudge match of the century: The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, 105-95.