Morning Fizz

The Plastic State of Mind

By Morning Fizz January 12, 2011

1. Chalk this up to early-election-year rumor, but city transportation department employee Bobby Forch, who ran unsuccessfully for the council position Mike O'Brien won in 2009, is said to be running against city council incumbent Jean Godden this year. Godden, a two-term incumbent, already has one opponent---architect David Schraer---and supporters expect her to draw as many as five opponents total before the August primary.

2. Seattle City Council Mike O'Brien's staffers were all gathered around a computer blasting a hip-hop video when Fizz stopped by yesterday afternoon. Although Fizz initially thought they were goofing off, the former Sierra Club leader's staff quickly disabused us: They were watching BelZolno's viral video "Kick the Plastic State of Mind," which argues for banning single-use plastic bags.

Sample lyrics: "That baggie don't go anywhere/It turns to little pieces/then it spreads over everywhere").

O'Brien, who supported a failed effort to charge a 20-cent tax for plastic and paper grocery sacks, wants to introduce legislation later this year to ban plastic grocery bags.

3. Noting that Washington State has 4,000 tankers delivering 15 billion gallons of oil a year in Washington waters, State Rep. Christine Rolfes (D-23, Kitsap County) is introducing oil spill legislation that puts a number of requirements on oil companies to prevent mega spills and establish spill-response plans, including making companies have state of the art clean up equipment that can detect oil at night and operate in our region's choppy waters.

4. In their response to Gov. Chris Gregoire's state of the state speech yesterday, Republican leaders told the press that her ferry district proposal was "DOA," and—speaking as if she was in their caucus—confidently said that senate transportation chair, Democrat Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10, Camano), didn't support the proposal.

We will file a longer piece on the GOP response later today.

5. City ethics and elections director Wayne Barnett plans to propose legislation this year that would make it easier for laid-off city employees to work with the city after they leave. Currently, city employees who lose their jobs aren't allowed to have contact with their former employer for a set period.

Under Barnett's proposal, they would be able to work with the city on behalf of a new employer---say, a company that's working on the seawall contract---"as long as you're doing so on behalf of the city." The proposal is intended to recognize the fact that many city employees are being laid off and need to be able to network with their former employer to find work, Barnett said.

6. In case you missed yesterday afternoon's Extra Fizz report: Another legislator from South Seattle's 37th legislative district was pulled over by the cops. State Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37) was caught driving without a valid license or valid plates.
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