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On Other Blogs Today: GMOs, Pot, and the County Budget

Our daily roundup.

By Erica C. Barnett September 23, 2013


1. The Seattle Times has a guest op/ed from Full Circle Farm founder Andrew Smith and, of all people, former state Republican Party Chair Luke Esser, who argue for Initiative 522, which would require food companies to label genetically modified foods. 

"I-522 is not costly, confusing or arbitrary. It will not hurt farmers. I-522 is about providing shoppers the freedom to make their own decisions when buying their groceries. Concealing information from consumers is bad public policy and should be stopped."

2. The state's treasury department says it's trying to figure out a way to work with marijuana growers and brokers in the state's newly legalized marijuana industry, the Olympian reports.


The issue is that pot sellers can't be liecensed to take debit or credit cards, since pot is illegal at the federal level. 

3.  The Times also reports on the proposed King County budget, which—unlike the city budget—doesn't include a lot of exciting gimmes, and instead focuses on basics like midday hours at county courthouses and cuts to county property taxes. The paper reports: 

In addition to fees it collects for services, the county relies on sales and property taxes for most of its general-fund money. Both types of taxes took sharp dives during the economic downturn. This year, the money is rebounding. But while across the street Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is proposing a series of feel-good initiatives in his budget, Constantine’s budget is subdued.

4. Among large U.S. cities, Seattle is just one of five (we come in fifth) where the majority of employees don't drive to work alone: Instead, the majority of us take a bus, walk, bike, or get to work some other way including a small number who carpool, Seattle Bike Blog reports. 

Among the 50 most populous US cities, only Boston (63.4%), Washington DC (65.9%), San Fransisco (66.9%) and New York (way ahead at 77.4%) have such a low percentage of working residents getting to their jobs by either carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or telecommuting. Seattle’s rate is 50.8 percent.

Last week, we noted that the same report, culled from the most recent census data, showed that Seattle had the biggest percentage point drop of commuters driving alone to work, putting that number below 50 percent for the first time in decades.

5. Gizmodo reports that —contrary to my colleague Josh's enthusiasm for the one-day parklet event known as PARK(ing) Day—there's no longer any need for one-day park events, and they may do more harm than good. 

They write: 

Want to convert a parking space into a park? Great! Why not spend Parking Day designing a concept, brainstorming funding sources, reaching out to your local government officials? I guarantee that if those 975 park creators from 2011 spent their days and resources working on a permanent public space, we'd have at least a dozen of those parks already become a reality.

Not sure I agree. It's kind of like saying, why bother advocating for feminism when you should really be fomenting revolution? Um, OK. I'll take feminism. 

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