Morning Fizz

Give Them Their Money Back if they Buy Food

By Morning Fizz November 16, 2010

1) Onetime monorail backer Dick Falkenbury provided some levity (and some ideas that intrigued several commission members) during yesterday's Washington Transportation Commission meeting when he suggested that the commission run the ferry system like the Space Needle: Charge people to board, but give them their money back if they buy food. "You're losing money on passengers and cars, but making money on food!" he said. "So get people to pay $7 to ride the ferry and get that money back if they pay $14 on food." Commissioners asked Falkenbury to stick around after the meeting to tell them more about his ideas.

2) Matt Barreto, the UW pollster who does the Washington Poll, sent out a side-by-side comparison of the major polls in this year's senate election. The verdict: Barreto's polling was the most accurate, at least in the Murray race, predicting that Murray would win with a four-point lead over Rossi. Murray beat Rossi with a margin of 4.4 points. We haven't had time to compare Barreto's accuracy in the down-ballot races, but Erica would like to take this opportunity to point out that she, like Barreto, predicted a four-point Murray margin---52 to 48, just 0.2 percent off the actual result. The least accurate poll was the Public Policy Poll, which predicted a 6.4 point Rossi win.

3) If you're wondering what city council members think of Mayor Mike McGinn's (still nascent) proposal to relocated Nickelsville to an industrial site in SoDo, check out Erica's 1,300-word piece yesterday on the city council's reaction to McGinn's proposal, based on interviews with all nine council members.

4) Speaking of shelters, the city's regular winter shelter in City Hall will be open longer this year, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 am, October through March, and will, for the first time, include an on-duty social worker who can direct the homeless to services, including job training, substance abuse counseling, mental health programs, housing, and other services. The addition is significant for the bare-bones shelter, which typically has been a last-ditch place for homeless men and women to go when the weather is especially severe.

5) Craig Benjamin, formerly the conservation program coordinator for the Sierra Club and leader of the Streets for All effort to get funding for McGinn's Walk Bike Ride initiative, has moved on after less than a year and a half to become communications director of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, an umbrella group that lobbies for environmental groups in Olympia. (In January, McGinn tapped him as his budget coordinator, but that appointment eventually fell through).

Last year, the group lobbied successfully to ban toxic chemicals in baby bottles and pushed unsuccessfully to triple the hazardous substance tax. Benjamin says he'll still be heading up the Streets for All initiative, which faced some major roadblocks this year when the city council opted not to fund McGinn's proposed increase in the commercial parking tax.
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