Apologizing for His Role

By Erica C. Barnett June 25, 2009


1. Addressing a frequent complaint of bus commuters in Southeast Seattle, King County Metro is eliminating more than a third of the bus stops along the heavily used Route 7, which runs from Rainier Beach to downtown Seattle. The change, which will reduce the number of bus stops along the route from 107 to 76, is being implemented to "provide more reliable and efficient service," according to Metro. The 7, commonly known as the "milk run," stops on average every 800 feet. Although  some commuters (like, oh, me) will have to walk farther to reach the nearest bus stop, the tradeoff should be well worth it in terms of time saved getting from Southeast Seattle to downtown on one of the busiest routes on the Metro system.

2. The Seattle Green Bag Campaign, which is fighting an uphill battle against the plastic-industry-funded Stop the Bag Tax campaign, is holding a fundraiser next Monday, June 29, from 5:30 to 7pm at the Western Bridge art gallery, 3412 Fourth Avenue South. All proceeds from the event (suggested donation: $35 a pop) go to benefit the campaign to support a 20-cent fee on disposable grocery bags passed by the City Council last year; proceeds from the fee were supposed to fund recycling programs and help offset solid-waste rate increases.

So far, the campaign has raised $38,996—including, a $600 in-kind donation for a free ad (full disclosure) from PubliCola—while the Stop the Bag Tax Campaign has raised $249,999, all of it from out of state and the whopping majority of it—$239,000—from the American Chemistry Council.

3. He didn't go so far as to endorse his frequent City Council foe Jan Drago, but former council member Peter Steinbrueck did say Drago, a candidate for mayor, led through "collaboration, listening, and consensus" on the council--in contrast to mayoral incumbent Greg Nickels, who Steinbrueck said led by "bullying and threatening."

Drago, Steinbrueck said in a video shot by the Drago campaign about two weeks ago, "works with people, she listens, she forms ideas, and takes the ideas of others and puts them together to form the best public policy." Steinbrueck's non-endorsement endorsement (he has said he won't endorse anyone in the mayor's race until after the August 18 primary) is a rather dramatic departure for the bombastic ex-council member, who frequently clashed with Drago, his predecessor as city council president, during his 12 years on the council.


4. Jordan Royer, a candidate in the hotly contested six-way race to replace Drago on the council, wrote a letter to members of the music community last week apologizing for his role in pushing anti-nightlife legislation supported by Mayor Greg Nickels, his then-employer, in 2006. (As reported in Morning Fizz two days ago, Royer met with several music community leaders last week to seek their support). The letter reads, in part:
I really appreciated the opportunity to clear the air about the nightclub issues I worked on during my time at the city. I never intended for the process to move off in the unfortunate direction it did and for that I am sorry.

I did feel it was important for you to understand where "candidate" Jordan stood on these issues. As you already know, as a staff person I pushed  hard for the San Francisco model of an Entertainment Commission that would provide peer support for new clubs, promote nightlife and music, and provide a venue for the airing of problems that are always bound to occur in mixed use neighborhoods. The commission could also be a place where new policies were developed to benefit neighborhoods and businesses involved in the restaurant and bar business. As you know, I come from the restaurant business and have many friends that either own or operate businesses around Seattle. [...]

We had many follow on discussions in the Mayor's office and with members of the [mayor's nightlife and music] task force about this issue and it was decided that only certain parts of the SF model would be adopted. I believe this is when you decided that you were not well served by the process. I must agree and am sorry that you all had to go through this.

However, I must make it clear where I stand on this issue: I still believe firmly that we were on the right track early on with the Entertainment Commission and will continue to advocate for that idea. I will also continue to advocate for better policing in our nightlife areas to make sure your clients are safe from the increasing illegal activity on our streets.

We have thousands of people who are drawn to our restaurants, bars, and nightclubs every night. This is good for business and good for Seattle. It needs to be supported just as I want to make it easier for other small businesses to thrive. I want to be your advocate on the Council. I fullyrealize that actions speak louder than words and I look forward to proving my intentions.

5. At last night's City Council Candidate Potluck, sponsored by the Seattle Great City Initiative, the winners were:

Richard Conlin (Position 2) for Most Local Dish (quiche made with eggs from a Madrona backyard, plus goat cheese from Snowflake and Brownie, the two Madrona pygmy goats who inspired Conlin's push to make backyard goats legal in Seattle);

Dorsol Plants (Position 4) and David Ginsberg (Position 2) for Dish Most Likely to Stand Up to the Mayor, for their "barbecued bell pepper ribs" and three-tomato salsa, respectively; Mike O'Brien (Position 8) for Dish Most Likely to Form Coalitions, for his wontons filled with quiche made with eggs from his Fremont backyard chickens;

and Jessie Israel (Position 6) for Dish that Thinks Outside the Box, for her farro salad with local fava beans, peas, and apples. (Israel says she'll send the recipe to everyone who signs up for her email newsletter on her web site in the next week).

Other highlights: Position 4 candidate Sally Bagshaw's yummy-but-rich Firehouse Enchiladas, made with Beechr's cheese, Darigold sour cream, and free-range chicken; mayoral candidate (and Great City founder) Mike McGinn's hyperlocal salad, made with "weeds from my backyard"; a bowl of Washington cherries contributed by Position 8 candidate Robert Rosencrantz, who asserted proudly, "I don't cook"; and a weird but bold salad contributed by Position 8 candidate Royer, which included melons from Yakima, miner's lettuce from Vashon Island, pancetta from Oregon, and tangy goat cheese from Humboldt County, California, which, Royer insisted, is "basically Northern Oregon."

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