1. Gov. Chris Gregoire held a meeting in a downtown Port of Seattle conference room yesterday with "stakeholders" in the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. PubliCola tried to attend the meeting, but the governor's office told us it wasn't open to the public. "She just wanted to meet with stakeholders in an informal setting," said Gregoire spokesman Viet Shelton. Those "stakeholders," apparently, are limited to business and neighborhood interests.
Opponents of the deep-bore tunnel—including Cary Moon, founder of the People's Waterfront Coalition—were not informed that the meeting was taking place. Moon says the governor's office has defined "stakeholders" to mean cheerleaders for the tunnel project.
2. One meeting we were able to get into was last night's foreclosure real estate seminar in Bellevue (we learned that there are 450 new foreclosures in King County on average every week) where Dino Rossi spoke.
Rossi stuck to real estate over politics—although, he did complain about the government borrowing money from the Chinese and Saudis and the prospect of inflation—telling the 120 or so people there to stick to buying multi-family real estate over commercial real estate: "People do not need a Blockbuster, but they do need a place to live." He also said the market was going to be flooded with rentals soon because of condo conversions.
He also criticized the "fantasy" buying spree of recent years that led to the collapse—saying his real estate philosophy is even more conservative than his politics, and he hasn't bought any property since 2005 because he "couldn't make sense" of the market.
It was the sponsors of the event who wore their politics on their sleeve. Mingling before the event, they directed Morning Fizz's real estate friend to Rossi's web site and told him to do what he could to help get Rossi into office and "get rid of those elitist liberals."
One of the speakers after Rossi, however, Christopher Hall—an investment specialist and foreclosure expert for Vestus—praised President Obama's stimulus package for helping the market and advocated tougher lending regulations.
Fizz's real estate friend did get to meet Rossi at the event. He reports: Rossi did come up to me and introduced himself. We chatted for a moment about real estate, and he said he appreciated me coming out, and he said "I hope you love real estate and making money as much as I do!" to which I replied "What's not to love?"
3. Speaking of last night's real estate conference, here's a funny a anecdote Fizz heard across town at the Seattle Center where Democratic state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles as holding her campaing kickoff: Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz was saying how one of his staffers was up in arms about the conference and urging Pelz to file a complaint demanding that the real estate group report the conference as a campaign contribution to Rossi. Pelz quipped back—noting the negative perception of real estate investors like Rossi telling people how to profit off foreclosures—that the Republicans should demand that the conference be reported as a contribution to the Democrats.
4. There were some endorsement meetings last night—in the 43rd and 11th Democratic legislative districts. We'll get you those details in full soon enough, but notworthy from the 43rd: Ed McKenna picks up another enodresment for Municipal Court Judge over longtime incumbent Edsonya Charels, and while not surprising for Democrats—who are lockstep with the unions against the initiatives—but surprising for the Libertine 43rd: Neither liquor privatization measure was endorsed.
5. Jonah Spangenthal-Lee over at SeattleCrime.com reported yesterday that Angie's—beloved/hated neighborhood watering hole/nuisance—is almost certainly shutting down this Friday, when its temporary liquor license will run out. Jonah reports, "Angie's has been under intense police scrutiny for at least the last year. In a letter sent to the liquor board last year opposing Angie's license renewal, the city cited problems with drug dealing, overservice, gunfire, and unruly patrons at the bar."
Back in April, the Washington State Liquor Control Board notified the owners that they did not intend to renew Angie's liquor license.