1. King County Executive Dow Constantine repeatedly gave shoutouts (five in all) to former Gov. John Spellman during his State of the County speech yesterday---Spellman, the last Republican governor of Washington State, was in the audience at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Was Constantine telegraphing a secret message?

Spellman, like Constantine (and former Gov. Gary Locke) served as county executive before running for governor. Each time Constantine invoked Spellman's name, the audience erupted into applause. Constantine supposedly does not plan to run for governor next year, but anything's possible.

2. Ever since the medical marijuana bill passed the senate ways and means committee last week, Washington Cannabis Association lobbyist Ezra Eickmeyer has a new look. Forever, Eickmeyer has sported long hair, including a ponytail. No longer. Eickmeyer has a bob these days.

Eickmeyer, it turns out, promised ways and means committee member Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane) that he'd chop off his hippie hair if Baumgartner voted for the bill. Done and done.

Now queued up in the rules committee, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles' (D-36, Ballard) bill, which would create and regulate a system of pot dispensaries, has been moving through the process with bipartisan support.

3. State Rep. Jim Moeller's (D-49, Vancouver) "complete streets" bill, which gives cities incentives to pass ordinances (like the one Seattle passed a few years ago) that make city planners consider the needs of pedestrians and bikers when building new streets, passed the house yesterday, 56-41, along straight party lines.

Moeller's tidy floor speech rubbed it in a little:
"We can all agree that our streets should be safe. And that streets are no longer just for cars."

4. We missed this story on Politico yesterday (hat tip to the PI for catching it). Gov. Chris Gregoire was a bit cagey about whether or not she's running in 2012.

From Politico:
Q: Are you going to run for a third term in 2012? People are assuming you’re not. Is that a fair assumption?

A: There’s no fair assumption right now, other than, I really don’t think about this. I’m so preoccupied with getting through this legislative session, which I think will be one of the most difficult in our history, keeping it bipartisan, working together, solving problems. That’s a full plate. I’m going to focus on that. Once I’m through the session, I’ll get together with my family and we’ll make the decision.

Q: So that’s in May?


A: Hopefully, or before hopefully.

The whole Q&A with Gregoire, chair of the National Governors Association, is worth a read.

5. The city council's regional development and sustainability committee will get a briefing tomorrow on the potential annexation of North Highline, an unincorporated area of King County in White Center.

The toplines: Incorporating the area will cost the city a minimum (net) of $1.8 million a year (with $4.7 million in net one-time costs) and a maximum of $16.8 million a year (with $91.3 million in one-time costs). The council's development committee could vote on annexation as early as March 18.