Costco Drops Another $2.8 Million; Times Loves Mini-Marts

By Erica C. Barnett October 12, 2011

Your one-stop shop for today's local campaign news, gossip, and analysis. 

• Costco dropped another $2.8 million into the liquor privatization initiative, I-1183, bringing the retail giant's total contribution to the campaign to nearly $10 million, the reports.

• Over at the Seattle Times, editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey argues that citizens shouldn't be worried about an influx of mini-marts selling hard booze if I-1183 passes. (As we've reported, the measure includes a loophole allowing stores smaller than 10,000 square feet to sell hard liquor if no other outlets in the "trade area" qualify). Ramsey says the anti-1183 campaign has made a "monster of small groceries," threatening small, "independent stores" by creating unfair competition.

Last I checked, Ramsey lives in tony Phinney Ridge---not an area that's exactly dominated by the kind of mini-marts I-1183 opponents are worried about. (They do have a nice, upscale independent market, though).

As someone who actually lives in a neighborhood with a mini-mart, and the accompanying loiterers (and crack sellers, and muggers), on every corner, I can tell Ramsey: We need less access to cheap liquor, not more. I would encourage Ramsey to come down to Rainier and Orcas, or Rainier and Henderson, on a Friday night, and then tell me whether he'd want the South Seattle version of his beloved "independent groceries" across the street from his house.

• More (potentially) telling news for Streets for All, the pro-$60 car-tab campaign: Compared to the other local initiative, the Families and Education Levy, Streets for All has, as of its September campaign report, raised  $32,355, or about 15 percent of the $210,295 raised by Families Yes, the pro-Families and Ed campaign. Additionally, big donor Vulcan has given $12,000 to the families and education campaign, compared to $5,000 to the car-tab campaign.

• Down in Vancouver, The Columbian wants voters to know they should support Proposition 1. No, not that Proposition 1. Or that Proposition 1. The Prop. 1 the Southwestern Washington daily supports would preserve service on C-Tran, the area's bus system---which, like Pierce Transit and Community Transit , is looking at the prospect of drastic service cuts, including the elimination of all service on Sundays and holidays.
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