On Other Blogs Today: Replacing the I-5 Bridge, Replacing Carrell, and Walking off the Job
1. The New York Times covers the repercussions of last week's I-5 bridge collapse on one small Washington town, Burlington, where, the Times reports, "people are not coming to buy, and they are mostly not stopping" at all—warned by officials to avoid the area to help ease congestion in the freeway-less corridor.
“'No one wants to get out of the queue,' said the city administrator, Bryan Harrison, whose office is only a few blocks from the creeping line of detoured cars and trucks," the Times reports 'It’s looking worse than the recession.'"
2. Buh-bye: Embattled Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, who has been at the center of a series of scandals in recent months (including an alleged affair with a county employee and allegations that he used public resources to promote his campaign for reelection, has officially resigned (as of 5:00 this afternoon), after announcing that he would not run for reelection during his State of the County speech in February. Three likely nominees to replace Reardon have emerged, all Democrats, the Everett Herald reports.
3. I'm the first to admit that I turn into an idealistic 15-year-old high-school militant about this kind of thing, but the photos of yesterday's fast-food protest—where workers walked off the job to protest low wages and demand a $15-an-hour minimum—posted at the Fifth Avenue Seattle blog are pretty inspiring.
4. The Pierce County Republican Party, which must recommend a replacement for the late state Sen. Mike Carrell (R-28, Lakewood)—who died of complications from treatment for a blood disorder earlier this week—has chosen former Pierce County Council member Dick Muri as their top pick, with freshman Rep. Steve O’Ban (R-28) and University Place City Councilman Javier Figueroa as their backups, the Tacoma News Tribune reports.
The Pierce County Council will appoint Carrell's successor. The earliest day they can do so is June 11—the final day of the special legislative session that's currently underway.
5. For decades, drug-sniffing dogs have been trained to sniff out marijuana, which state voters legalized for recreational use last year. Now, however, they're being trained to do the opposite—detecting other drugs (like meth and heroin) while ignoring pot, the AP reports. Dogs are either being trained to sniff out illegal drugs besides pot or put through "desensitization training," in which they learn not to point out the presence of the now-legal drug.