Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Mischaracterized

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring: who you calling a NIMBY?, who's spending more on TV, and who's guilty?

By Morning Fizz July 15, 2013

1. In case you missed it on Friday afternoon: We had the news that the Washington State Department of Transportation had to issue a limited "stop work" order earlier this month after tunnel construction on the north end of the route, just west of Aurora between Thomas and Harrison streets, ran into trouble when workers hit a sewer line and an electrical vault.

2. File this one under: Peter Steinbrueck has been mischaracterized as a cranky anti-density stalwart. Take the new "vertical living" Logan's Run-style LEED standard, energy efficient apartments, Via 6, at Lenora St. and 6th Ave—the poster child of urbanist, green Seattle circa 2013. 

The 24-story, 654-unit, apartment complex, with a Tom Douglas restaurant, bike shop, and juice bar on the ground floor, was made possible by the "downtown livability" legislation that then-City Council member Peter Steinbrueck pushed in 2006 which allowed more height in the downtown core in exchange for increasing developer fees that help pay for low-income housing construction.

Steinbrueck campaign spokeswoman Kathy Muladay tells Fizz:

In 2006, Peter led an effort on the city council, to pass legislation around downtown livability issues that dramatically increased density, while adding amenities like open and public space. He nearly doubled the amount of funding that developers had proposed for affordable housing, in exchange for the extra height.

Interestingly, the Via 6 building, as it turns out, was not built to the full height that it could have been allowed under that 2006 legislation. It could have been taller under the legislation Peter led.

3. Our ElectionNerd, who handicaps the mayoral race every Friday afternoon—currently they've got incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn and Steinbrueck in the lead, both at 3:1—got a little carried away with their Ed Murray critique last week when they said Murray had the smallest TV buy. 

Here are the actual numbers according to the public records: McGinn's buy is $54,000 over five weeks— that's about $11,000 per week. And Harrell has bought $14,000 in TV ads so far, spread over two weeks—about $7,000 per week.

In comparison, Murray has bought $50,000 over two weeks, or $25,000 per week.

So, at this point, Murray, who's buying week to week, has bought more than twice as much TV as McGinn and more than three times as much as Harrell. McGinn and Harrell are certainly going to buy more TV in the coming weeks (but at the moment, Murray has invested in more TV time than his rivals).

Steinbrueck, as we reported last week, is not doing TV.

4. As Jolt noted on Friday afternoon, the Seattle Times was going to endorse Murray in the mayor's race. They did so on Sunday, writing in part, an angry critique of McGinn: 

For the past four years, it has witnessed the results of Mayor Mike McGinn’s ideologically driven agenda: fractured relations with the City Council, the city attorney, the U.S. Department of Justice, the former governor, the state Legislature and others. It is no wonder voters in 2011 rejected, in quick succession, McGinn’s stubborn efforts to kill the Highway 99 tunnel and his plan for a $60 car tab. He lost the trust of voters.

After two years of a four-year term, McGinn finally seemed to be learning lessons at mayor’s school. But his recent backroom deal to award a hedge-fund manager city resources for a new Sonics arena shows he didn’t pass. His campaign attempts to seize credit for the recovering economy and for voter approval of a broadly supported city education levy reveals his record as threadbare.

5. Of course, we have to note Saturday's Zimmerman verdict. There's been a lot of "What if the races were flipped?" critiques, pointing out that if a white teen (or "white Hispanic") was stalked by a black man, it's likely we would have seen a different verdict.

Here's a starker version of that analysis: If Martin had shot and killed Zimmerman in the fight, under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" rule, Martin would have been acquitted too .... right??



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