OOBT

1. At the Seattle Times, Andrew Garber has a comprehensive write-up of the obstacles facing a statewide transportation revenue package in Olympia—although we would take issue with his characterization of massive freeway expansions (like the extension of the North Spokane freeway and the expansion of I-405) as "improvements."

The state senate package focuses primarily on road expansion, while the house proposal, which is slightly smaller, focuses somewhat more on maintaining existing roads and improving transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure. 

2. What will life look like for workers at SeaTac Airport once (and assuming) the new $15 minimum wage goes into effect? For many, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports, the more generous new minimum will allow them to quit their second jobs; for others, it will mean they can move from cheaper suburbs closer to work, eliminating the need for hour-long bus commutes. 

On Thursday at 9:00am, union workers and grassroots organizers will lead a march from the SeaTac Hilton to Seattle City Hall to rally for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle. And fast-food workers are staging strikes in 100 U.S. cities, including Seattle, to protest low wages.

3. The New York Times has run two columns in two days backing an increase in the minimum wage: Liberal columnist Paul Krugman reports that raising the minimum wage to just above $10 the equivalent of what it was in the '60s and '70s) would benefit more than 30 million U.S. workers, and the Opinionator blog makes the point that increasing the minimum wage by just 10 percent would reduce U.S. poverty by 2 percent (while helping employers recruit and keep workers—and, despite the direw warnings, having minimal impact on employment, the data shows). 

4. Finally, Sourceable reports on a new study exploring the "hidden costs of suburban sprawl." That "cheap" house out in the boonies, it turns out, is only "cheap" if you ignore the cost of the roads, community centers, schools, and police and fire services—not to mention the indirect costs of all that driving (including pollution, increased gas consumption, deaths and injuries from collisions, obesity, inactivity, and isolation.)