1. Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed an amendment to the state transportation budget yesterday that would have withheld transportation funding from cities that refused to seriously consider giving private transit companies, limos and vanpools (like Microsoft's Connector bus service) access to facilities, like transit-only lanes and park-and-rides, that are currently reserved for public transit. The amendment, supported by House and Senate transportation committee chairs Judy Clibborn (D-41) and Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10), resurrected a separate bill that failed earlier in the legislative session.
2. Dale Chihuly supporters turned out in droves to a public hearing last night to discuss whether Seattle Center's defunct Fun Forest should be turned into a privately run museum dedicated to the glass artist.
Many of the speakers were business owners and organization heads with a clear interest in the tourists a Chihuly museum would drive to Seattle Center. In fact, many talked like this Chihuly thing is a done deal.
“We applaud the city, the Chihulys and the Wright family for bringing this to our city,” said Michal Anderson Jacob, CFO of the Pacific Science Center (just up the street from Seattle Center).
Opponents of the museum expressed support for turning the area into open space or didn't like the idea of dedicating such a prominent piece of Seattle property to a tourist trap featuring one man’s work.
Downtown resident Dorothy Hopper presented a petition signed by 115 people against the museum. “We are woefully lacking open space" downtown, she said.
Another opponent of a Chihuly Museum said he was just sick and tired of seeing Chihuly’s glass everywhere and “would rather see nothing go in than a museum dedicated to him [Chihuly].”
3. At the Blue Scholars sold-out show this weekend, Mayor Mike McGinn hopped backstage to hang out with the boys from Das Racist (the "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" guys), and the Washington Bus has the video to prove it.
4. Columbia City Cinema, a South End cultural institution, is in trouble. In a letter seeking financial contributions from the community, the cinema's owners say they're in serious debt and trying to hold off creditors as long as they can. "We've danced our way of trouble and imminent closure several times but we're running out of options," the letter says. If you're interested in helping to save the cinema, and can contribute even $20 or $50, now's the time.
4. A strong majority of respondents in a recent nationwide survey said they support expanding transit, walking, and biking options instead of building more roads to solve America's traffic problems. Fifty-nine percent said they supported expanding non-driving options, compared to just 38 percent who supported building more roads.
5. Yesterday afternoon, a panel of law professors from the University of Washington and Seattle University discussed the merits of the claim by 13 state attorneys general, including Washington State AG Rob McKenna, that President Obama’s health care bill is unconstitutional.
Their conclusion? There aren't many.
PubliCola intern Camden Swita will have a complete report on the panelists' case against McKenna later today.