1. The Bellevue City Council and Sound Transit say they expect to reach an agreement on design issues around the East Link light rail line through Bellevue, including the location of the downtown Bellevue station, the Seattle Times reports.
Even light-rail opponent Kevin Wallace, a Kemper Freeman-backed developer and member of the Bellevue council, tells the Times that he wants to move light rail forward as quickly as possible—a major shift from his previous strategy, which involved attempting to obstruct Sound Transit at every turn.
2. The News Tribune takes a look at the two dueling parties' views of the state budget shortfall—and their fundamental disagreement over what constitutes a "spending cut."
3. Slog charges that new interim city council spokesman Dan Nolte, who previously worked for council president Sally Clark, is "a divisive political operative with an axe to grind with the mayor [and] other council members" who won't accurately represent the views of council members he disagrees with (like Burgess' fellow mayoral candidate, Bruce Harrell) when he writes their press releases.
Their explanation: Nolte was a "paid campaign staffer" for mayoral candidate Tim Burgess. But Nolte worked as a paid staffer for Burgess for just two weeks. Moreover, his appointment to the council position had to be approved by the whole council (he's working for all of them), not just Burgess or Clark. (And frankly, experience working for council members is a pretty good qualification for working for the council.)
Representing nine council members is a tough gig—the council frequently disagrees, and council spokespeople often have to issue conflicting press releases, on the same day, from those on both sides of an issue.
And if the standard for council spokespeople is that they can't have any prior experience supporting or working for elected officials—which always comes with past political agendas—that would exclude not only many previous council spokespeople including Laura Lockard (who has contributed to numerous council candidates as well as former mayor Greg Nickels), Debra Carnes (who spent 20 years working for various politicians and groups, including the state teachers' union and former governor Chris Gregoire), and Megan Coppersmith (who contributed to Nick Licata opponent Jessie Israel) but would basically make lack of experience working for elected officials a qualification for the job.
4. KOMO News profiles newly appointed state transportation secretary Lynn Peterson, who, they write, "has her work cut out for her." Among Peterson's biggest decisions so far: The appointment of Ron Paananen, the former project manager for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement program, to assess the state's work on three megaprojects, including the viaduct replacement, the Columbia River Crossing, and the 520 bridge replacement.
5. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz continued to defend his company's support for marriage equality at a shareholders' meeting yesterday, noting, "Not every decision is an economic decision," Think Progress reports.
Asked about a slight dip in the company's stock price after the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage announced it was boycotting Starbucks, Schultz responded, "If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much."