On Other Blogs

On Other Blogs Today: Garbage Strike, the Arena, Gay Marriage, and More

By Erica C. Barnett July 27, 2012

1) As the Waste Management strike continues, the Seattle Times' "Truth Needle" column concludes that one of the main charges made by recycling workers---that their work is dangerous and sometimes deadly---is accurate. At least five recycling workers in the Puget Sound region have died on the job since 2005, with the most recent death in April 2011.

Nationally, recycling work is more dangerous than solid-waste employment as a whole, with recycling workers making up 25 percent of the solid-waste workforce but accounting for 36 percent of the deaths in the industry. Striking sanitation workers argue that recycling workers should make wages comparable to workers who haul garbage; currently, the gap is about $9 an hour.

2) Also at the Timesdueling op/eds on the proposed arena. In the pro camp: Save Our Sonics/Arena Solution leader Brian Robinson, who argues that a new arena will unite the Seattle community. In the con camp: Environmental attorney Peter Goldman, who says the arena plan violates the State Environmental Policy Act.

3) Bellevue---yes, Bellevue---has adopted an initiative to develop code and design guideline changes aimed at creating a “livable, memorable downtown environment.”

The details, as described by the Bellevue Reporter, include proposals that will be familiar to anyone who follows development in Seattle: Incentives for developers who provide amenities that benefit the community; guidelines to encourage pedestrian-friendly development and sustainable building practices; and an examination of downtown parking requirements  with the goal of promoting alternatives to driving alone.

4) It's pretty hard to have sympathy for someone who's racked up more than $78,000 (!) in unpaid parking tickets. That's 641 tickets. Unpaid. KOMO News has more.

5) The New York Times spotlights the woman whose request moved Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to donate $2.5 million to the pro-marriage-equality campaign: Jennifer Cast, a 50-year-old mother of four in a long-term same-sex relationship. Cast, a former Amazon employee, wrote a letter to Bezos imploring him to support the cause of marriage equality. "I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family. We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.”

Cast was only looking for $100,000 to $200,000. Bezos responded in an email: “Jen, this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”
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