1. The city and county won't say how they plan to split up responsibility for funding the $200 million public portion of the proposed SoDo arena, but Fizz hears the lion's share of the bill will go to the city. Frank Abe, King County Executive Dow Constantine's spokesman, says the city and county will announce how much each government will pay sometime in the next couple of weeks.
2. City planners are trying to figure out how to address parking issues on the waterfront when the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down. Two possibilities that are sure to be controversial (albeit among different constituencies): Build a large new parking garage to replace some of the 440 parking spaces that will be eliminating during construction, and start charging people to park on Sundays.
The city could also subsidize parking in private garages, so that private parking operators could afford to charge drivers less for short-term parking.
Rick Sheridan, a spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation, says it's "way too soon to tell" how the city will decide to deal with parking issues on the waterfront during tunnel construction. The state transportation department has pledged to spend $30 million on mitigation during construction; any additional mitigation dollars would have to come from the city.
3. Just in case Gov. Chris Gregoire and the leaders from both parties don't reach a budget deal (today's the deadline) and the governor decides to exercise her power to make across the board cuts to solve the problem herself, four Republicans, including GOP budget chief Sen. Joe Zarelli (R-18, Ridgefield) plus their Democratic budget ally, Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Bellevue), introduced a bill yesterday that would prevent the governor from applying those cuts to education and corrections—meaning human services and the environment would have to take extra hits.[pullquote]The creation of a majority-Latino legislative district in Eastern Washington hasn't led to an increase in Latino candidates. [/pullquote]
Zarelli's revised senate budget proposal (which took back his initial cuts to education that the Democrats fully funded) already makes harsher cuts to human services than the competing house Democratic version: cutting $90 million (without the federal match) from the Disability Lifeline for disabled adults who cannot work (the Democrats maintain the program); cutting $155 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which funds child care for poor families (Zarelli initially cut $202 million, and the house Democrats cut $108 million); and eliminating the $13.9 million food assistance program for low-income legal immigrant families who don’t qualify for federal help (the Democrats would cut it by 50 percent).
4. The Seattle Times reported yesterday the creation of a majority-Latino legislative district in Eastern Washington hasn't led to an increase in Latino candidates. So far, the Times reports, just one Latino---21-year-old Central Washington University student Pablo Gonzalez---has filed for office, running as a Democrat against GOP Rep. David Taylor (R-15, Moxee).
5. On the heels of the Seattle Times' four-part series on Amazon, which tracked the company's lackluster record of corporate giving, local blogger Jeff Reifman has the scoop that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has sat out 18 of the past 21 elections. His wife, Mackenzie Bezos, has voted in just two of the last 21 elections.
Bezos spent $100,000 in 2010 to defeat Initiative 1098, which would have imposed an income tax on the very wealthy.