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On Other Blogs Today: Tragedy in Connecticut, Development in South Lake Union

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By Erica C. Barnett December 14, 2012




 1. The Hartford Courant, New York Times, CNN, and ABC, among, obviously, many others, are posting live updates about today's horrific shooting, which left 20 children and six adults, including, reportedly, the shooter's mother, dead in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school this morning. A still-unidentified woman was found dead in a house the shooter shared with his mother in New Jersey. 

2. In a statement today, President Obama's spokesman said this was not the day to talk about reforming the nation's gun laws, and Obama did not mention guns directly in his address to the nation this afternoon.

Obama did not act on his promise to try to reinstate the assault weapons ban during his first term; one of the weapons recovered from today's shooting was a .233 assault rifle. Obama, of course, did not act on his promise to try to reinstate the assault weapons ban during his first term (one of the weapons recovered from today's shooting was a .223 assault rifle), but his spokesman said today that "it remains a commitment of his."

3. Meanwhile, at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein offers this rebuke: 

If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing.

If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures.

If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it. 

Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable.

As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t 'too soon.' It’s much too late.

And in non-shooting-related news: 

4. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that drawings that show potential development in South Lake Union underplay the actual height that could be allowed, portraying, for example, a 240-foot building where a 400-foot building might be permitted.

However, the "minimization" the PSBJ refers to appears to be confined to a single building.

And proponents of the rezone have argued that competing renderings, by a group of opponents represented by ex-City Council member Peter Steinbrueck, exaggerate the view blockage and, especially, the shadows that would be produced by taller buildings. 

5. In addition to state Rep. Reuven Carlyle's promotion—he's been tapped to lead the new state house Finance Committee—the Ballard News Tribune reports on the fortunes of two other 36th District representatives.

One, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, has lost her position as head of the house Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee (as we reported in Fizz this morning, Republican Janea Holmquist Newbury, R-13, has been appointed to take over.) Another legislator from the 36th, brand-new Rep. Gael Tarleton, has been appointed to the Rules, Higher Education, Technology and Economic Development and Transportation Committees.

6. At the New York Times, Seattle's own Tim Egan writes a stirring defense of history education in public schools, pushing back against those who, like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, argue that the only purpose of education is for kids to "focus all their time and attention" on learning science and tech skills to prepare them for the workforce. 

It’s fine to encourage society to crank out more engineers, computer technicians and health care specialists. We need them," Egan writes. "But do we really want to discourage people from trying to understand where they came from? The Florida proposals would enshrine the unexamined life.

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