1. Today's Inauguration Day at City Hall. Newly elected city officials—that's Mayor Mike McGinn, City Attorney Pete Holmes, and City Council members Sally Bagshaw, Mike O'Brien, Nick Licata, and Richard Conlin—will be sworn in at 2 pm in council chambers (600 Fourth Ave.) Then, from 3 to around 7 pm, there's a public reception in the Bertha Knight Landes Room downstairs from council chambers (featuring, somewhat ominously, "performances from local music groups"). All events are free and open to the public.
2. The city lost a round last week in a traffic-safety lawsuit filed by Xiao Ping Chen, whose husband, Run Sen Liu, was struck by a car at the intersection of South Jackson Street and 10th Avenue South in 2007. He spent two years in a coma before dying this year.
The Washington State Court of Appeals found that the city had "breached its duty ... to maintain in a reasonably safe condition the crosswalk" where Liu was hit. According to city records introduced as part of the case, neighbors had complained that the crosswalk was dangerous as far back as 1992. In response to complaints, the city installed an island in the middle of the road, but took it out in 2002 to make it easier for cars to turn left at the intersection. Since then, at least eight other pedestrians were hit in the crosswalk, including one in which the pedestrian was killed.
3. While most everyone else is talking about the budget*, state GOP Attorney General Rob McKenna is hyping his 2010 legislative agenda, including: Tougher sentences for domestic violence offenders (legislation we wrote about here); new protections for homeowners facing foreclosure; an update to the state’s lemon law, and a new agency to enforce open records laws.
McKenna will be joined by a bipartisan crew of legislators at a press conference today to hype his upcoming bid for governor, er, legislative agenda, including: Sen. Dale Brandland (R-Bellingham), Rep. Al O’Brien (D-Bothell, Moutlake Terrace), Rep. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe), Rep. Dean Takko (D-Longview), and Rep. Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver).
*North Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) has some non-budget policy queued up too: In response to the R-71 petition flap, he wants to pass legislation making the names and addresses of people who sign initiative and referendum petitions public records.