News

One Question He Didn't Answer

By Erica C. Barnett September 7, 2009

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1. Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn—who did not receive the support of labor groups during the primary election (they backed incumbent Greg Nickels)—spent his Labor Day at the King County Labor Council's annual picnic, and announced yesterday that he was "humbled" to have won the endorsement of state Rep. Bob Hasegawa, a longtime labor and social justice advocate from the 11th District.

KrjdT9B3IwEcDLzRO7rf9tkB3gg2. McGinn also announced yesterday that he plans to hold a press conference today calling out his opponent, Joe Mallahan, for telling a Seattle Times reporter that he would revisit, and possibly oppose, the proposed First Hill streetcar.

The streetcar was promised to residents of First Hill—after downtown, the city's densest neighborhood in terms of both population and jobs—when Sound Transit eliminated a light rail stop in the neighborhood four years ago.

One question McGinn didn't answer yesterday is whether he supports the original alignment for the First Hill Streetcar (up Boren and Madison, serving essentially the same area as the eliminated light rail stop) or a 12th Avenue alignment, proposed recently by a group of neighborhood residents and business owners.

The potential advantage of the 12th Avenue alignment is that it would serve an up-and-coming area with a lot of development potential, acting as a catalyst for that development. The disadvantage is that moving the streetcar to 12th Avenue would essentially mean it would no longer serve First Hill and its thousands of high-rise residents and medical employees. Plus, there's the question of that 2005 promise. McGinn didn't return a call yesterday; we'll report back from his press conference later this morning.

3. Mallahan didn't issue any broadsides on Labor Day, but he did report a pile of contributions, including some familiar and famous names. Among them: John Stanton, the billionaire co-founder of Western Wireless ($700) and his wife, Theresa Gillespie ($700); Tayloe Washburn, head of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce ($700); Tina Podlodowski, a former city council member and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Seattle ($500); real-estate developer Martin Smith ($700); Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton ($100); and Martin Selig, another real-estate developer ($700).

Mallahan also reported contributions from various cell-phone industry executives and interests, including numerous employees of T-Mobile, where Mallahan is a vice president, and the Qwest WA Political Action Committee ($700).

4. Sam Machkovech, AKA GameNerd, will have a final report from the Penny Arcade Expo later today. Perhaps he can explain this moment from the Expo ...

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... as I have no idea who these people are supposed to be or what they're doing.

5. Speaking of Sam Machkovech: Later today, we are publishing an exclusive 3,000-word feature story that Machkovech wrote for PubliCola about Seattle's nationally renowned yet locally marginalized games industry.

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Sam's piece is an exciting first for PubliCola as we continue to expand what we do here at Seattle's News Elixir.

Watch for another in-depth feature later this week from PubliCola writer Anand Balasubrahmanyan.

Today's Morning Fizz is brought to you by Washington Conservation Voters.


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