1) Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was in Bellevue yesterday, meeting with officials about a possible NHL arena on the Eastside.
According to the Bellevue Reporter, "no Bellevue dollars, not even in the form of bond financing, would be included" in any arena proposal. "Anything else is a nonstarter."
That's in sharp contrast to Seattle's potential arena bid, which includes as much as $200 million in public dollars (to be paid back with rent and arena revenues)---$120 million from the city, and up to $80 million from the county if the arena investor group can secure an NHL team.
Hockey arena supporters, the Reporter continues, would not necessarily back off from an arena plan even if Chris Hansen's investor group secures an NBA team for Seattle.
2) Why didn't your trash and recycling get picked up today? Waste Management, the company serving most of Seattle and the surrounding area, is on strike over the pay gap between recycling drivers, who start at around $17 an hour, and trash drivers, whose starting salaries average $9 more.
Drivers have been working without a contract since May 31. The Seattle Times has more.
3) Downtown Seattle's City Target, which had its "soft opening" yesterday, makes an appearance in today's New York Times, which chalks the emergence of inner-city big-box stores to the growing number of people who live in cities, not suburbs.
"At 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, City Target, at its smallest just over half the size of a remodeled Target, is aimed at urban shoppers. For instance, City Targets would not carry a six-piece patio set, but a three-piece balcony set instead.
“'We see this as an opportunity for the people who live, work and play downtown, who probably have a suburban Target they call their home base,; said Molly Snyder, a company spokeswoman. 'You’ll see less 12-packs of paper towels and more four-packs, knowing most people will arrive by foot or public transportation and will have to carry it home.'”[pullquote]Koster did reveal that, unlike in the past, he has no intention of signing Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge this year.[/pullquote]
4) The Everett Herald's Jerry Cornfield reports on yesterday's CityClub debate between the six contenders for the new 1st District Congressional seat---five Democrats and one Republican, John Koster.
Though there weren't many fireworks, Koster did reveal that, unlike in the past, he has no intention of signing Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge this year. "I have signed that in previous campaigns," he said. "I will not sign it this year."
5) Although Washington State's economy has begun the long, slow process of recovery, one problem that continues unabated is mass layoffs---layoffs of 50 or more employees at a single company. The Bellingham Herald reports that last year alone, the state had 229 mass layoff announcements last year involving 20,988 workers---better than 2009, but more than in 2010.