Morning Fizz

A Cynical Tactic

By Morning Fizz March 25, 2011

1. Sheila Stickel, campaign manager for Let's Move Forward, the pro-tunnel referendum group that filed papers with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission yesterday morning, got back to us yesterday afternoon with a statement.

Stickel, who said she was hired by King County Labor Council executive secretary Dave Freiboth, called the pro-tunnel group "a broad coalition of labor, neighborhood leaders, business, and citizens who will hold the Mayor accountable and want to see the tunnel built on schedule," adding:  "we see [the anti-tunnel] signature gathering effort as a cynical tactic to stall and cause gridlock, both on the streets and in the process."

The group will make a formal announcement about its campaign and membership next week, Stickel said.

As we have with McGinn's anti-tunnel campaign, we'll be tracking who's funding this one as well. Stickel, as we noted yesterday, used to work for Seattle city council president Richard Conlin, a tunnel supporter and McGinn adversary.

2. On Wednesday, the city council's housing and human services committee voted to approve a set of expectations for human services department director Dannette Smith about her department's commitment to domestic violence and sexual assault prevention.

Smith, an appointee of Mayor Mike McGinn, drew criticism from the council and women's advocates earlier this year when she eliminated a division of the department devoted to preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. The council legislation directs Smith to: provide data about how "integrating" domestic violence prevention into other divisions of the department is working to improve the city's response to domestic violence; maintain and expand the city's existing programs to end commercial sex trafficking of youth in Seattle; and continue to secure additional funding for housing for DV victims, among other directives.

The legislation goes to the full council Monday.

3. A couple of threats to the Growth Management Act, the 20-year-old law that makes local governments coordinate land use, transportation, infrastructure, and housing policy to push efficient development and fight sprawl, have been averted, according to environmental lobbyists in Olympia.

One, a bill we've bill we've been following in Fizz that would allow smaller counties to drop out of the GMA—which passed  the house earlier this month—has stalled in the senate, failing to make this week's deadline for bills from one house to pass policy committees in the other.

Another anti-GMA bill, which would have allowed cities and counties to delay meeting GMA goals, did make it out of a senate committee yesterday (it passed the house along with the opt-out bill), but was amended by green Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-49, Vancouver) to scale back the delay.

The enviros had to give on another aspect of the bill, though. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Larry Springer (D-45, Kirkland), was sold as a recession save, taking immediate pressure off cities and counties to spend money on environmental goals; enviros complained, though, that the bill didn't simply move back pending deadlines, it mandated a permanent, longer time line. They weren't able to amend that.

4. In a bona fide cutoff week victory for environmentalists: During his committee's last meeting of the week yesterday, house environmental committee chair Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33, Des Moines) didn't move on a senate bill that scaled back 2006's voter-approved renewable energy bill.

5. We take back everything we said about Black Diamond yesterday (in short, we called it a farming town-turned-bedroom community where everybody drives everywhere): According to this ad, which ran in the Urban Land Institute's magazine, the east-of-Seattle suburb is "edgy," "earthy," "quirky," and "storied."

Here's more, from the ad:
"I see an urban village in the middle of a forest. A place with people just like me and nothing like me. With a community vegetable and herb garden and tons of wilderness trails. And a main street with a comfy coffee shop and brew pub with live music. A place that's equal parts soulful, playful and cool. A place that's a combination of different places. A place that doesn't exist, except in my head. At least, not yet."

However, we will point out the main point of an "urban village" is reducing reliance on car travel. So, it's pretty tough to have one isolated "in the middle of a forest."
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