Morning Fizz

Jean Godden's Sext Messaging Primer

By Morning Fizz July 28, 2011

1. According to a panicky  email from a Seattle City Council legislative staffer to Sound Transit late yesterday afternoon, the city is concerned about a surprise motion that the Sound Transit board will consider today. The motion could lock Seattle into helping Bellevue cover a $150 million funding gap for the Eastside light rail line.

The email (from city brain trust staffer Ketil Freeman to Sound Transit Planning Director Ric Ilgenfritz) begins:
I understand ... actions the Board may take tomorrow ... could require a future cost-sharing arrangement with the North King subarea.  At this point, it does not appear to us that the Board has enough information to understand any second order consequences of action on the Alignment Resolution nor is it clear to us why a vote on the Alignment Resolution must happen tomorrow.

The letter goes on to request answers to a series of questions—data on other ways to cover the funding shortfall; what the funding shortfall number is based on; and what are the implications for subarea equity (the Sound Transit rule that requires each region to fund its own light rail expansions)?

2. So much for Tim Eyman's fears that cities only have red-light cameras for their money-making potential: In South Florida, where red light cameras have been in effect for a year, cities are finding that the cameras cost more than they make back in revenues. The good news, though, is that they appear to be reducing the number of accidents at red-light intersections.

For all the aggravation that the citations cause, and for all their difficulties in the courts, there’s some indication that the cameras are at least working to change accident statistics for the better.
In Hialeah, which voted to end the camera program, traffic fatalities decreased 17 percent from 2009 to 2010, when the city began the camera program.

Aventura reported a 60 percent decrease in accidents at one of its most dangerous intersections — at Northeast 199th Street and Biscayne Boulevard — under its own camera program. In North Miami, traffic accidents fell by 60 percent at red-light camera intersections in 2010, the year they were installed.

Which is, red-light camera proponents have noted locally, the whole point: As studies have shown , red light cameras an effective tool for reducing traffic accidents and fatalities, not a boon for local governments' bottom lines.

3. The Stranger and the Washington Bus (the high energy group that organizes young voters) packed Neumos on Capitol Hill last night for their annual Candidate Survivor competition between this year's City Council candidates. If you don't know the drill, it's a talent show competition where the crowd votes for the best candidate in each position after a set of questions and after each candidate busts out an act.

Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, razzed in front of the young crowd for being the pro-business conservative on the council (he responded cryptically saying he wasn't the most conservative on the council because he could say who was—he didn't, and asked by Fizz this morning, he said it's a "secret"), defied his image as a square by bringing down the house—and winning the audience vote—with a City Council rap. He performed a council-specific remake of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow," complete with awesome white guy rap moves in his red tennis shoes.

Here's video:

Uh huh, you know what it is
City Council x 4
Everything I do . . . Representative
City Council x 4
Got a call from the voters . . . this just in
Tim Burgess . . . runnin’ for re-election
 Seattle . . . it's my hometown/Grew up on the hill, now I’m holding it down/ I’m listenin’ to neighborhoods, raising the awareness/ Outlawed wage theft, promote fairness/ Young people . . . I want you to succeed/
 That’s why we got the family ‘n education levy/ 
I know we’re ready, that’s why I’m rocking steady/ Chair of the Public Safety and Ed Committee/ 
Endorsed by the Cascade Bicycle Club/ 
And I got all these labor unions showing me love/ 
So put it up!
Uh huh, you know what it is
City Council x 4
Everything I do . . . Representative
City Council x 4

Other talent highlights: Sally Clark's tin foil origami (she made two swans in the two minute allotment); Jean Godden's sext messaging primer (including "no head shots and no giving head shots"); Bruce Harrell's Godfather impersonation; and Michael Taylor Judd's E Harmony video date profile. In a major surprise of the night, longshot candidate Taylor Judd won the audience vote, tying for first place with Bobby Forch in the race against incumbent Godden.

There were a few substantive moments: Fizz's favorite? When Sally Clark challenger Dian Ferguson blamed Clark for supporting pro-developer legislation that allowed "affordable housing" to cost as much as market rate housing (Ferguson has said she will fight to change the definition of affordable housing).

However, Ferguson lost her bout with Clark after a pretty bad poetry reading, even though Clark's answer to the judges' questions didn't make much sense to Fizz. Clark responded to a question about her reputation as a go-along-get-along moderate council member by saying she voted, in the minority, against instituting the head tax in 2007. (She was vindicated two years later, when the council voted 8-1 to repeal the tax). Weird answer, though, because opposing the tax—she says it will "kill" jobs—is widely seen as an anti-progressive vote. The $25-a-head tax on businesses for employees who drive, helped fund the Bridging the Gap Levy which pays for street maintenance, bridge upgrades, and bike and ped safety.
Show Comments