1. The Cascade Bicycle Club released its annual Seattle Bicycle Report Card yesterday, and the news isn't good: Compared to other US cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Portland and New York, Seattle's progress toward bikeability is falling behind.
The report, which frames its conclusions in terms of the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan, concludes that Seattle is not on track to triple the number of cyclists by 2017; has relied too heavily on easy fixes like "sharrows" (road markings that indicate cars and bikes should share the same space) to the exclusion of more expensive, and controversial, bike lanes and paths; and has failed to invest adequately in bike improvements. In contrast, the report concludes, other cities have invested heavily in bike facilities, particularly multi-use trails and dedicated bike lanes; bike boxes and bike signals; and low-cost bike-sharing programs.
Read the whole report, including recommendations for improvements in Seattle's bike policy and infrastructure, here.
2. Online news site Crosscut.com announced that they've hired a new publisher, former Microsoft PR guy and Gates Foundation senior management team member, Greg Shaw. Shaw, who'll be starting in mid-September, posted about it at Crosscut this morning.
We love this news (things have been shaky for Crosscut this summer; Fizz imagines there's still lots of heavy lifting to do, like raising more money). Crosscut founder and publisher David Brewster and the awesome gang at Crosscut rescued PubliCola when we were down in April and May, giving us office space and a forum to continue posting Morning Fizz and Afternoon Jolt.
Best of luck to Shaw and Crosscut.com.
3. Conservative business political committee Enterprise Washington hired Democratic political consultant Cathy Allen to do an $11,000 independent expenditure supporting 11th District house candidate Stephanie Bowman. Bowman, a business Democrat and former Port of Tacoma and Seattle Chamber staffer, is running in crowded field that includes Seattle Port Commissioner Rob Holland, dentist Bobby Virk, and teacher Stephen Bergquist.[pullquote]Question: Will bringing the Sonics back to town actually help McGinn politically?[/pullquote]
Bowman, who won the Seattle Times endorsement, has gotten about $40,000 in outside help. In addition to Enterprise Washington and Cathy Allen, the League of Education Voters and Stand for Children are using conservative consultant Amplified Strategies (they worked against 1098, the high-earners' income tax, and for the American Beverage Association against soda taxes) to do mail supporting Bowman.
4. Bob Ferguson, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, trashed his Republican opponent Reagan Dunn yesterday for skipping a vote on studying a juvenile gang court—a program much like drug court that channels offenders into rehab programs instead of jail.
Ferguson's campaign fired off a statement:
“Once again Reagan Dunn has proven why he is unfit and unprepared to be Washington’s next Attorney General,” said Bob Ferguson’s campaign manager Mike Webb. “Dunn’s absence prevented this critical public safety legislation from moving to the council for approval. He can’t be trusted to fight for Washington as our state’s top attorney if he won’t even show up to vote for legislation that he sponsors.”
Dunn had actually co-sponsored the legislation.
Ferguson, who's on the committee, voted for the measure along with liberal council member Joe McDermott. Democrat Larry Gossett joined Republican Kathy Lambert in voting against the measure, over concerns that the law would stigmatize and label black youth.
With a 2-2 split, the five-member committee couldn't move the measure forward.
We still haven't heard back from Dunn about why he skipped out on last week's big public hearing on the arena proposal.
Ferguson has raised about $920,000 with $100,000 cash on hand; he just spent $460,000 on a TV buy. Dunn has raised slightly more (about $950,000) with about $125,000 cash on hand. He has also done a big TV buy—$350,000.
5. Part of the reason the Seattle City Council is being so critical of the arena, the theory goes, is that they simply can't stand the thought of a win for Mayor Mike McGinn.
But there's an assumption here: That McGinn will reap the benefits of Sonics 2.0.
Question: Will bringing the Sonics back to town actually help McGinn politically?