1. Last week, Mayor Mike McGinn sent an email to people in South Park lamenting the closure of the South Park Bridge. The deteriorating bridge, which connects the South Park neighborhood to East Marginal Way, is closing on June 30. The bridge did not receive a $99 million federal grant.
We've bolded the ironic parts; ironic because McGinn led the fight to kill the 2007 roads and transit initiative which would have funded the South Park Bridge replacement with $99 million.
Here's McGinn's email:
From: Mike McGinn [email protected]
Subject: South Park Bridge
Date: Monday, May 3, 2010, 3:52 PM
I understand your frustration about the plan to close the South Park Bridge without replacement. This has been a long and difficult process and the outcome is frankly unacceptable.
Your elected officials have not lived up to their responsibilities. The South Park Bridge is a lifeline for surrounding communities and its closure speaks volumes about the priorities of the people chosen to represent you. This is an ongoing issue - cities and counties have aging infrastructure and have not been given the means to keep up with basic maintenance. Seattle is home to 90 bridges with car capacity, and 62% of them are in such extensive need of repair that they are eligible to apply for federal rehabilitation grants.
At the same time, elected officials have chosen to prioritize new projects like a deep-bore tunnel under downtown and an expanded 520 bridge. The Puget Sound Regional Council just voted to implement their Vision 2040 Plan, which includes nearly 750 miles of new and expanded highways, and $8 billion in road projects that were rejected by voters in 2008. The Port of Seattle intends to raise $300 million from King County taxpayers to support the deep-bore tunnel, yet the County is not given the resources to keep its bridges open. Our priorities for transportation in this state are all wrong.
The reality is that neither the City nor the County has the money to replace the bridge. I am working with other governments to locate funding, and in the meantime we are working on a plan to mitigate the traffic impacts of the bridge closure. If you have any questions about the mitigation plan, please contact John Arnesen of the City of Seattle Department of Transportation ([email protected]) He’ll be happy to help.
One of the reasons I ran for mayor was to speak for neighborhoods like South Park. It’s not right that South Park is treated differently than other communities. You deserve to have your basic needs met, regardless of which area of Seattle you live in or how much influence your community members have with government.
Thank you for writing. Please stay involved and stay in touch. Your input is invaluable, and I appreciate the time you took to let me know your thoughts on this important issue.
2. Our Sounders photographer, Jack Hunter, was at Saturday's game and as usual, he got some great shots.
We also got some dynamite shots of (our favorite band) Thee Satisfaction playing at the Healthy Times Fun Club on Friday night.
3. Chris Grygiel over at the PI explains why likely Washington GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi doesn't have to worry about getting burned by the Tea Party— like Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) did this weekend. (The three-term Utah Senator failed to get his party's nomination.)
Grygiel's reasoning: In Washington state's top-two system, the candidates with the most votes (best name recognition) in the August primary, regardless of party or nominee status, move forward to Novmember. That'll certainly be Rossi and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Grygiel reasons. (Rossi has run statewide twice.)
What Grygiel misses is this: The Tea Party is providing the energy for the 2010 GOP backlash. And if Rossi isn't part of that—Clint Didier is the Tea Party candidate right now—he's not going to have much momentum in November.