1. Good news for Sonics fans: The Sacramento Bee reports that NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters a bid by a Sacramento group to buy the Sacramento Kings doesn't measure up to a competing proposal by a Seattle group headed up by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who has already bought the land for a new arena site in SoDo.
The Seattle investment group has reportedly offered $341 million for a 65 percent share of the team; Stern said the Sacramento bid "has got very strong financial people behind it, but it is not quite there in comparison to the Seattle bid," Stern said. "There is a substantial variance."
This is also good news for Mayor Mike McGinn who's up for reelection this year—around the time the Sonics would start marketing their 2013-14 season.
The latest opposition to density in South Lake Union comes from a group of Space Needle supporters who argue that taller buildings in the neighborhood will obscure views of the iconic tower.
2. The latest opposition to density in South Lake Union comes from a group of Space Needle supporters who argue that taller buildings in the neighborhood will obscure views of the iconic tower from Lake Union Park and the I-5 off ramps to Mercer Street, which are not protected under city law, the Seattle Times reports.
Currently, visitors to Lake Union Park can see the Space Needle at a distance across a pond on the south end of Lake Union.
3. The AP has a long profile of Cyrus Habib, the freshman state Rep. from Kirkland (D-48), who is, writer Mike Baker notes, "Washington state's first blind lawmaker in decades"—someone who lost his eyesight to cancer as a child but went on to become a Rhodes scholar, a black belt in karate, and an attorney at white-shoe Seattle law firm Perkins Coie.
One of Habib's first proposed laws was a $1 million tax deduction for high-tech and manufacturing start-ups; he's also pushed legislation to ensure that people who fail to pay tolls on the 520 bridge aren't charged unfair penalties.
4. The libertarian-leaning Washington Policy Center blog has kind words for, of all people, state house speaker Frank Chopp, who appears to have placed a "leadership hold" on legislation that would weaken the state's sunshine laws, giving state officials expanded ability to thwart public records requests.
"Though we still have concerns about the Legislature not consistently complying with its own public notice rules," the WPC's Jason Mercier writes, "it appears at least concerning HB 1128, the House Rules Committee is paying closer attention to the importance of strong open government laws.
"If this holds true through the March 13 cutoff and HB 1128 does not advance any further, Speaker Chopp will have earned a thank you from advocates of the people's right to know."
5. All four of the state's legislative caucuses agree that the legislature needs to pass a "significant" education funding package this year to respond to the state supreme court's McCleary decision, which found that the state was failing to meet its constitutional duty to fully fund public education, the Everett Herald reports. Only the numbers differ—from around $900 million on the low end (the house Republicans' plan) to $1.7 million on the high end (the house Democrats' proposal).
There's also a great debate in the comments.