Morning Fizz

"If I Was a Cynic."

By Morning Fizz October 20, 2011

Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. We began publishing our takes on this year's candidates and ballot measures  yesterday. Rather than telling you how to vote, we do a ton of research for you and then rate all the candidates on experience and skill and also break down the arguments on both sides of the initiatives—and let you make up your own mind.

We'll be rolling out more ratings over the next week.

2. Sixty-six bags of property seized by parks department cleanup crews at Westlake Park during the Occupy Seattle protests are sitting unclaimed in a storage facility in Ballard.[pullquote]Only three people have actually set up appointments to pick up their stuff since the city began seizing items on October 5th.[/pullquote]

According to department spokeswoman Dewey Potter, protesters can call 206-423-1678, describe what they're missing, and a crew will see if they can find it.

So far, only three people have actually set up appointments to pick up their stuff since the city began seizing items on October 5.

Potter says the city will keep the items—"primarily tents, blankets, sleeping bags, tables and chairs and some clothing"—for the next 60 days, just as they do when city workers clear out homeless encampments.

After that, Potter says, "probably it goes to the dump."

3. As we noted yesterday, the Seattle/King County Municipal League has come out against the $60 car-tab measure, on the grounds that it doesn't include enough funding for basic road maintenance (and, by extension, includes too much for transit, bike, and pedestrian improvements).

It's ironic, then, that five years ago, the Muni League opposed Bridging the Gap, a property-tax measure that went exclusively toward road and bridge upgrades and maintenance.

In a statement explaining their opposition to that measure, the League wrote:
We are concerned that the special property tax levy, as presented, confronts voters with an extra challenge, a challenge that will become especially daunting—and perhaps confusing—when viewed in the context of other more pressing transportation funding measures. Voters will be asked in 2007 to pay for the [roads and transit] package, and for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement package and the SR 520 floating bridge project. The non-essential capital improvement elements of the City’s Bridging the Gap measure should wait until after these vital transportation projects have secured adequate funding.

4. Dian Ferguson, who's running against city council incumbent Sally Clark, had some pretty harsh words at a campaign forum in Seward Park Tuesday night for proponents of more density around the Roosevelt light-rail station, including Mayor Mike McGinn and some members of the city council. (Clark, for her part, has expressed skepticism about the McGinn-backed proposal, which would increase allowed heights around the Roosevelt station by 20 feet).

"There were promises made in those plans in terms of mitigation for light rail, in terms of how much density we needed to accept, and then in the end somehow those things that we put in our neighborhood plans did not get support and resources from the city ... and you wonder, in the end, did it really matter that my voice was at the table?" Ferguson said. "When everything is so process-oriented, it drives people away from participating. ... If I was a cynic, I would say it's by design, to discourage us from getting involved."

5. On Tuesday, the Eastside Transportation Partnership---a group of 38 elected Eastside leaders---voted to oppose Tim Eyman's Initiative 1125, which would place new restrictions on tolls and block voter-approved light rail across I-90.

The pro-1125 campaign is primarily funded by Eastside developer Kemper Freeman, who debated former state transportation secretary Doug MacDonald at the partnership's meeting last week.

The group includes both Republicans like King County Council members Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert and Democrats like King County Executive Dow Constantine, as well as Freeman-backed officials like Bellevue City Council member Kevin Wallace.
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