We've nailed down the location for next week's tunnel forum. It's going to be in the Bertha Knight Landes room, the events room at City Hall just off the Fifth Avenue entrance.

KIRO TV's Essex Porter is moderating.

Start time is 7 pm on Thursday, Dec. 16. So, mark your calendars for a year-end debate between the main opponents and proponents of the tunnel project—including Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray.

A very cool thing about the event is this: Everyone we asked to participate was eager to take part. From the tunnel's No. 1 opponent, Mayor McGinn, to pro-tunnel advocates like Sen. Murray (he sponsored the authorizing  legislation) to Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen (a stalwart adversary of the mayor), it took one phone call, and we got nothing but enthusiastic hell yeses all around.

We take this as a sign that despite the yearlong pissing match with one another, Seattle's leaders are actually interested in sitting down together like grownups and having a useful discussion—one that gets beyond the sound bites, snipes, and political maneuvering and helps put Seattle in a position to stand up collectively for its interests in Olympia as the session begins in January.

Our hope is that next Thursday's PubliCola debate—a long overdue sitdown between the two sides where both camps are forced to answer the hard questions—will actually work to bring some political sanity to the tragicomedy we've been watching all year. Given the enthusiastic responses we got (and both sides' pleasant surprise at the other's willingness to be there), we're surprised too. Maybe Seattle's leaders are serious after all.

Here's the lineup. For the anti-tunnel side, it’s:

Mayor Mike McGinn
Seattle City Council Member Mike O’Brien
People’s Waterfront Coalition leader Cary Moon

For the pro-tunnel side, it’s:

State Sen. Ed Murray
Seattle City Council Member Tom Rasmussen
King County Labor Council Executive Secretary David Freiboth
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