1) The ladybloggers at Feministing interviewed 1st Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner at length today, calling her an "unyielding advocate for women's rights" who is unafraid of issues like abortion (at this year's Netroots Nation, she urged all women who had had an abortion to "come out of the closet"), her outspoken opposition to wage discrimination, and her embrace of technology to propel progressive values forward.


On birth control and abortion, Burner had this to say:


Both of the pregnancies my husband and I went through were life-threatening to me. The idea that men think I shouldn’t have access to birth control to decide when and if I get pregnant, that they think they should get to decide what risks I should be forced to take in pregnancy, is incredibly offensive. I have come out very strongly in favor of two basic things which make me progressive. One is the idea that all human beings have fundamentally equal values, which apparently is a really radical idea. The second thing is this idea that cause and effect actually matter.


2) Paula Hammond, head of the state department of transportation (WSDOT), tells KOMO that unless the state comes up with new revenues to repair its crumbling highway system, drivers can expect more "freak accidents" like the one that struck a family driving up I-5 near Northgate this weekend, when a brick-sized concrete panel flew off the road and came flying through their windshield. "As our transportation system has more wear and tear on it, and as we go longer without revenue dollars to just take care of the system that we have, we're unfortunately going to see more of this kind of thing," Hammond told the station.


3) Despite objections from the city's mayor and the head of its city council, Bellingham appears to be moving toward a public vote on a proposal to ship coal through the city to a new coal terminal at Cherry Point, north of the city, the Bellingham Herald reports. If the project is approved, as many as nine loaded coal trains would pass through Bellingham every day en route to Cherry Point and, from there, China. Environmentalists oppose the project because of the impact of coal dust on the communities the trains would travel through, as well as the massive expansion of coal shipping to China the proposal would entail. The initiative, though non-binding, would give Bellingham residents a chance to express their opinion of the proposed coal terminal.


4) The Seattle city council approved a proposal yesterday to increase taxi rates by about 20 cents a mile, increasing the cost of a taxi ride from the airport to downtown from $32 to $40, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The council said the rate increase was necessary because of a new requirement that taxi owners pay workers' comp insurance---meaning that, in most cases, driver/owners must now pay for their own workers' comp.