1. Geekwire reports that the "cheap seats" at Seattle's planned new arena look "ridiculously awesome." (No word on how cheap the cheap seats actually are. The NBA's average ticket price is around $50.)
"The new set [of arena renderings[ shows off the 'Sonic Rings,' a proposed 2,000-seat upper seating level featuring three stacked balconies that slant inward as they go higher. Advantages of this unique area include improved viewing angles, increased energy and a more sustainable building due to the reduced roof space."
The new arena, of course, remains in doubt; a team of investors in Sacramento is trying to keep the Sacramento Kings (who would become the new Seattle Supersonics) in that city.
2. The AP reports that the state's new marijuana consultant now believes the income Washington can bring in from taxes on marijuana sales will likely be half of what the state initially predicted—if that.
The state's initial estimate of more than $400 million a year was, the consultant says, wildly optimistic. If the state's lucky, the consultant concluded, it will bring in $100 million in its first year.
3. Sad news: Blair Butterworth, a gentlemanly and much-beloved political consultant, died this week.
Joel Connelly at the PI.com writes his obituary.
3. Washington Focus, which bills itself as "A Voice for a Stronger Economy," published an op/ed today by state Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-10) arguing that the state's proposed "Dream Act," which would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to apply for in-state financial aid, is an "unfunded promise that can't be kept."
Bailey writes: "State government has a bad habit of promising many things, but delivering few. It would be disingenuous for us to make an unfunded promise that can’t be kept."
As we noted in Fizz this morning, Bailey (somewhat condescendingly) praised undocumented students who want help getting computer science degrees, telling one who testified, "Have at it," but has failed to make any commitment to move the Dream Act out of committee. Now we know why.
4. Embracing the term used somewhat derisively by his council colleague, Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council member Nick Licata writes on his blog that his fellow council members should take the "Licata Leap"—that is, to dramatically increase the amount of money for affordable housing developers must pay to get additional height and density in South Lake Union.