Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. City council member Tom Rasmusssen, who has floated the idea of a moratorium on micro-housing (AKA "aPodments"), announced a two-hour meeting yesterday to discuss the controversial developments. Unfortunately, that meeting will be in the middle of the day—a time that's much more convenient for the anti-development neighborhood activists who tend to show up at such events than the working people who would presumably benefit from more affordable housing. (That's why we made affordable housing our loser in yesterday's Jolt when we first reported the news.)

Rasmussen tells Fizz that he now hopes to hold another meeting "out in the community," at night, and that the point of the daytime meeting is largely to hear from city staff (from the Department of Planning and Development and the Office of Housing) about the developments. "Today's loser could be tomorrow's winner," Rasmussen joked late yesterday, telling Fizz about his new plan.

2. A group of investors who are trying to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle has added Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs to the list in its $447 million downtown Sacramento arena proposal, a last-minute bid to block Chris Hansen's deal to move the team to Seattle. 

The NBA Board of Governors is set to decide the Kings' fate at its April 18-19 meeting. 

3. Lynne Robinson, a Bellevue parks commissioner, kicked off her campaign against incumbent Bellevue city council member Don Davidson yesterday with endorsements from two Bellevue council members, John Chelminiak and John Stokes. Although Chelminiak, a light rail supporter who has clashed with the conservative wing on the council over transit, made a point of saying "it's not about light rail,"

Davidson is a member of the council's Kemper Freeman-backed majority four-person bloc. Robinson has raised about $17,000 so far.

As we reported last week, Vandana Slatter, a pharmacist, ex-NARAL board member, and former member of the state pharmacy board, is also running, either for Davidson's seat or against developer Kevin Wallace, another member of the Freeman bloc

4. Some epic news (off Fizz's beat, but we feel compelled to include): Italy's highest court in Rome overturned Amanda Knox's 2011 acquittal in the 2007 murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher (the two were foreign exchange students living in Perugia) and has ordered a new trial at an appeals court in Florence. 

5. More big news: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this morning in the California Prop 8 case—Prop 8 outlawed gay marriage, but it was declared unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a vivid comment as the Supreme Court conducted the first of two days of arguments on same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, often a swing vote in major cases, spoke strongly about the interests of the children of same-sex couples, saying there were an estimated 40,000 such children in California alone.

“They want their parents to have full recognition,” Mr. Kennedy said.

But Justice Kennedy also spoke of uncertainty about the consequences for society of allowing same-sex marriage. “We have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history or more,” he said, speaking of the long history of traditional marriage and the brief experience allowing gay men and lesbians to marry in some states.

Several justices also challenged the notion that procreation was the key to the state’s interest in marriage. Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked Charles J. Cooper, who was arguing for opponents of same-sex marriage, about sterile opposite-sex couples. “There are lots of people who get married who can’t have children,” he said.

Justice Elena Kagan raised the question of a man and woman over 55 years of age seeking to get married, despite the fact that they would not be able to have children. Mr. Cooper agreed that the court could not constitutionally ban such marriages, but returned to the hazards of a “redefinition” of marriage.

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