OOBT

1. We'll have more to say about the potential cuts to King County Metro service soon (as many as 74 routes could be eliminated, and another 107 could see service cuts, mostly at night), but for now, here's the Seattle Times' primer on the potential $100 vehicle license fee King County voters could be asked to pass to save service if the legislature fails to act.

Metro has been waiting for lawmakers to pass a statewide transportation package (which would also include a 10.5-cent gas tax increase to pay for roads) that would give the county council the authority to pass a car-tab tax increase on its own, or to go to voters to ask for the new revenues. The transportation package is now tied $9 billion in extended tax breaks for Boeing being considered in a special legislative session. 

(As is so often the case, the comments at Seattle Transit Blog offer some useful perspective on what the proposed cuts would mean for riders; the short version is that if you need to ride the bus after 7:00pm, or long distances outside the city center, you may be in trouble, so check your route.) 

2. KIRO TV reports that the NAACP is asking for the state to terminate its contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the consortium of companies that was hired to build the downtown tunnel, because STP has given minority-owned contractors a paltry 1 percent of its contracts so far, a fraction of the 8 percent it is supposed to give minority businesses.

It's just the latest labor dispute for the embattled tunnel builder, which had to stop drilling work on the project earlier this year during a dispute over which union would move dirt from the excavation onto barges. If the state doesn't take action on its own, the Federal Highway Administration could intervene, KIRO reports.   

3. The state senate's Republican majority just got one vote larger, with the election of state Rep. Jan Angel (R-26) over appointed incumbent Nathan Schlicher (D-26) to the senate, the Olympian reports. The GOP's effective majority (the so-called "Majority Coalition Caucus") is now 26-23, including two conservative Democrats, Rodney Tom (D-48) and Tim Sheldon (D-35). 

4. Meanwhile, over on the other side of the aisle, the News Tribune reports that two Democrats hope to lead their party in the senate: State Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, and the top Democrat on the senate health committee), and state Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, and the head of the state Democratic campaign committee). The Democrats are hoping to retake the majority (both effective and literal), despite the setback that Schlicher's loss represents.

Image via Human Transit.

5. A political arm of the National Association of Realtors has admitted that it failed to acknowledge a large contribution—more than $36,000—to Bellevue city council member Kevin Wallace, who narrowly beat back a challenge from East Bellevue Community Council chair Steve Kasner, 51-49, the Seattle Times reports.

The state Public Disclosure Commission requires campaigns (including independent expenditure campaigns, like the national group's Realtors Fund) to report their fundraising and expenditures in a timely manner; the real estate agents' group was supposed to report their expenditure by October 14, but didn't do so until November 5, election day.  

6. Finally, for transit-map geeks only: (Transit-map geek) Jarrett Walker's Human Transit blog asks the rhetorical question: Does it make more sense for transit maps to be geographically accurate, or geographically inaccurate (but potentially cleaner and easier to understand)? Walker's conclusion: "When we streamline maps to highlight key distinctions of usefulness such as frequency, we often have to compromise on geographic detail.  Obviously the best maps fuse elements of the two, but you can always find the tradeoff in action."

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