1. At last night's Fete de Flaneur benefit for Great City, the green urbanist group founded by Mike McGinn back in 2006, the (now) mayor gave the sort of knock out speech that won him praise on last year's campaign trail (as opposed to the lackluster State of the City address he gave earlier this month.)
Talking about climate change to a crowd of about 200 in the Melrose Triangle building on Capitol Hill, McGinn said, "It's not enough to say we need some incremental change. We have to get some big things started."
He added, reflecting on his transition from activist to mayor, "I'd been very, very worried about solving this huge crisis that was way out there, but then I realized that there were people who had a crisis in front of them. You can't solve the long-term crisis when people can't focus on it" because of immediate problems like poverty, McGinn said.
2. A bill in Olympia the ACLU of Washington calls a "surveillance bill" sailed through the state House earlier this month and was queued up in the Senate yesterday for a floor vote. The bill sets up a data base for law enforcement to monitor all over-the-counter pharmacy sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and other "methamphetamine precursors."
In addition to asserting that police should need a warrant to see someone's health records, ACLU lobbyist Shankar Narayan points out that meth labs have declined dramatically in Washington state, going down 95 to 97 percent between 2001 and 2009. He calls the bill a solution in search of a problem.
Supporters of the bill, like the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, use the huge drop in meth labs as an argument for the bill saying the drop in labs—the result of putting pseudoephed behind the counter—proves monitoring works.
3. Jonah Spangenthal-Lee over at Seattlecrime.com has an interesting (though sad) scoop: Julie McCoy and Bill Broadhead, chief of staff and head campaign consultant, respectively, for McGinn, had their house burgled and two cars stolen two nights ago.
4. Yesterday, Erica interviewed outgoing city finance director Dwight Dively about: Mayor McGinn; Dively's 20-year legacy at the city; and his plans for King County, where he'll start as finance and budget director March 8. We'll publish Dively's exit interview later today.
5. The Sierra Club will be in Olympia on Saturday to present 3000 signed postcards to Governor Chris Gregoire demanding she phase out TransAlta's Centralia coal-fired power plant. The Uncle Sam billboard at the Chehalis exit on I-5 is demanding that the Sierra Club leave TransAlta (the biggest green house gas producer in the state) alone.
This year's state Senate budget cancels the plant's $4 million-a-year-tax break.
6. Erica will be on KING 5's Up Front this weekend talking about Mayor Mike McGinn again.
7. Yesterday, King County IT whiz Sabra Schneider announced she's running for the state House seat being vacated by Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-34). (Nelson is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by state Sen. Joe McDermott, who's running for King County Council.)
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