Afternoon Jolt

Today's winner: King County Council member-elect Rod Dembowski. 

Despite concerns that attorney Dembowski, as a member of the King County Redistricting Committee, argued for changes to county council districts that narrowly placed his house inside the First District (being vacated by attorney-general elect Bob Ferguson), the county council voted today to appoint him to the First District seat. 

In a statement today, Dembowski spoke about his working-class upbringing. “Growing up in a single parent home in Renton, selling socks at swap meets to pay the bills and getting my healthcare from neighborhood clinics, a day like today seemed all but impossible,” said Rod.  “But because of our shared investment in health care for the needy, public K-12 education, and a top-notch public University, I was able to attain my dreams of public service."

Dembowski beat out two other finalists, Shoreline state Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-32) and Shoreline City Council member Will Hall, for the position.


 Today's loser: The proposed arena. 

Although arena proponents have waved off a lawsuit alleging violations of environmental law, the latest (and final) filing by the International Longshore Workers' Union makes a strong case that the city and the arena proponent, San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen, have pre-selected a site (Hansen's land in SoDo) before the city has conducted the required environmental review, which requires full consideration of alternative sites.  

Noting that "the entire [Memorandum of Understanding]" between the city and Hansen refers repeatedly to SoDo land as "the Project site," the filing points out that state law requires the city to actively consider multiple alternatives and consider environmental information before committing "to a particular course of action." 

"While a future EIS may flesh out more facts about the potential environmental impacts of any arena location, the court is not required to overlook that the EIS here will come in the wake of the heavily-negotiated momenum building MOU that was approved by both Councils and which, by its own terms, aims to make a SoDo-sited Arena a reality as soon as possible." In other words, the arena agreement assumes the SoDo site is the best location before the environmental review to determine whether it's actually the best location has been done. 


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