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On Other Blogs Today: Starbucks Expands, Burgess Withdraws, and More

Our daily roundup.

May 20, 2013



1. Starbucks-owned Seattle's Best Coffee opened ten new drive-through coffee kiosks in Dallas this morning, part of a nationwide rollout of new drive-up locations that are supposed to compete with lower-end chains like McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, Nation's Restaurant News reports. Although customers can theoretically walk or bike up to the windows, the locations are geared toward car traffic—hardly the kind of "green" environmental image Starbucks has worked so hard to cultivate. 

2. At Crosscut, David Brewster theorizes about why Tim Burgess decided, at (almost literally) the last minute, to drop out of the mayor's race.Although he's certainly right that Burgess' campaign was "misguided and flat in the early stages," it's hard to see why Brewster blames Burgess' epic flameout on a lack of money—with nearly $300,000 raised so far, Burgess was far ahead of his competitors and showed no signs of slowing down.

Nor did Burgess, as Brewster claims, lose financial support to long-shot candidate Charlie Staadecker; although Staadecker, a real-estate developer, has deep-pocketed friends, his contributors are mostly friends and colleagues contributing to Staadecker because of personal affinity, not the kind of longstanding political connections that are the currency of successful Seattle campaigns. 

Finally, Brewster's claim that Burgess shied away from selling his personal narrative—an arc that stretches from growing up in Seattle to Christian outreach work in Africa to efforts to improve accountability in city government—is belied by the fact that Burgess has done everything in his power to shop those narratives, from posting hagiographic videos of his work for World Concern in Africa on his Facebook page and campaign website to bringing up his low-income childhood during an interview with PubliCola. 

3. The AP reports that the Snohomish County Council is hastening the replacement of Executive Aaron Reardon, who announced his resignation after a scandal involving county spending on out-of-town trips he took with a female staffer with whom he was having an affair. Reardon has not submitted formal papers announcing his resignation, but the council voted today to begin the formal process to identify his replacement. 

4. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a state transportation budget that keeps current projects underway, the AP reports, but vetoed funding to study the Columbia River Crossing project on the grounds that the $81 million would be wasted if the state fails to actually fund the project. Currently, Oregon has pledged to spend $450 million on the crossing; if Washington state fails to contribute its own $450 million, federal matching funds for the project (which, along with tolls, are necessary for bridge construction) will fall through.

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