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On Other Blogs Today: aPodments, aCotments, and Bellevue as the Future

Our daily roundup.

By Erica C. Barnett May 1, 2013



1. Joining a growing chorus of editorial writers across the state, Everett Herald columnist Richard Davis argues that legislators have just "one job" during the upcoming special session: To come to agreement on a budget. 

While it's certainly true that the budget should be (and is) the legislature's top priority, the legislature has been promising to pass a transportation package "next year" for the past several years; without it, roads won't get repaired, transit won't be funded, and megaprojects like the Columbia River Crossing will remain in limbo. Gov. Inslee has said legislators should make a transportation revenue package as high a priority as crafting a sustainable state budget. I agree. 

2. For the first time, an actual balanced story on micro-housing, or aPodments, ran in today's Seattle Times—courtesy of the AP, whose story avoids the Times' usual cartoon characterizations of aPodment dwellers as unwanted invaders besieging unsuspecting single-family neighborhoods.

Turns out people choose micro-housing because it's cheap, convenient, and nicer than living in a big house with roommates. It's good to see proponents' views getting some air time in the anti-microhousing paper, even if it took an non-Times writer to make it happen.  

3. Speaking of micro-apartments: Forget about 200 square feet. How about 16 square feet? Apartment Therapy takes a look at Seattle NIMBYs' worst nightmare (don't worry, it's in Tokyo).

4. Is Bellevue the new Vancouver? Crosscut's Knute Berger takes on the question of whether our growing neighbor to the east is the US version of the city to which many Seattle dreamers aspire—diverse, high-tech, dense, and well-served by transit, including, soon, East Link light rail.

Is Bellevue the new Vancouver?

"If Seattle's first settlers called their city, 'New York Alki,' meaning 'New York, Someday,' Bellevueites like Mayor Conrad Lee, a Chinese immigrant himself, can legitimately start thinking in terms of a city evolving towards being a new Vancouver, or even San Francisco," Berger (perhaps a bit optimistically) writes. 

5. Capitol Hill Seattle recaps last night's education-themed mayoral candidates' forum at Garfield High School, where teachers are leading the city's revolt against the MAP standardized test, which is used as part of Seattle's teacher evaluations.

Noting that the forum was hampered by its format, which limited responses to complex questions to 45 seconds, CHS highlights a few candidate sound bites, including Ed Murray, who said it was "a disgrace that we're going to use public funds for what are private [charter] schools" and Bruce Harrell, who criticized Mayor Mike McGinn for touting efforts to make Rainier Beach High School "green" when "our African American students are 8 percent proficient in math." 

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