“The David Goldstein Show,” tonight on News/Talk 710-KIRO

Tonight on “The David Goldstein Show”, 7PM to 10PM on News/Talk 710-KIRO:

7PM: TBA
Liberal propaganda.

8PM: The truth about Roads & Transit
Well… my truth, anyway. Aaron Toso from Yes on Roads & Transit joins me for the hour to take your calls, and to set the record straight as to why the greatest danger to the Arctic’s polar bear population is Sierra Club Cascade Chapter chair Mike O’Brien.

9PM: TBA
Even more liberal propaganda.

Tune in tonight (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hmmm … kinda short of guests tonight, Goldy? Why don’t you get O’Brien and the bear on your show together — and see if the bear eats O’Brien!

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The light rail bias in Prop. 1 is palpable. I get the feeling some road projects where stapled onto it just to get people to vote for a huge tax increase for a mass transit mode that will consume 2/3rds of the region’s transportation dollars for the next 30 years but carrying only 2% of the commuter traffic. That doesn’t seem smart to me. Maybe there’s a place for light rail expansion in our transportation planning, but Prop. 1’s cost is absurd. Even worse, it fails to fund 520 replacement, so we’re probably looking at another tax hit on top of this one. I just don’t think Prop. 1 is the right way to go about it. I voted “no” because I think Prop. 1 should be a starting point of discussion. Its proponents are trying to cram it down our throats as an all-or-nothing proposition. I say defeat it, then let’s sit down and talk.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What makes sense to me is deal with AWV, 520, other critical bridge repairs/replacements, and the worst bottlenecks. Get Phase 1 up and running, and see how it works and what the ridership is. Formulate a strategy from there. And finance all of this transportation buildout with gas taxes, tolls, and farebox charges. It’s unfair to impose sales taxes on senior citizens, the unemployed, and low income folks for transportation amenities they won’t use. It’s also unfair to charge someone who doesn’t commute and drives only 2,000 miles a year the same value-based license tab taxes as someone commuting 50 miles a day or driving 30,000 miles a year. Prop. 1 flunks on every score. It’s a rough draft that needs fine tuning of its priorities, project list, and financing methods. Vote “no” then let’s talk.

  4. 4

    spews:

    Roger, we’ve been sitting and talking for decades. Look where that’s gotten us. (Ans: FUBAR)

    It’s way, way, way past time to be doing instead of talking (and voting, and voting, and voting). That’s why, if I had magic powers, I’d create a 21st century version of Robert Moses, someone who would start building (oriented strongly toward mass transit rather than highways).

    Man, would that be a refreshing change from this damn inertia.

    Without Prop.1, it’ll be at least another two or three or four (or more) years without even a microstep toward accomplishing anything whatsoever.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 I’m not advocating inertia, I’m saying let’s get it right. Prop. 1 does EVERYTHING wrong. All I’m saying is, if my “no” vote helps defeat it, that doesn’t have to be the end of efforts to solve our transportation problems. I do think, however, that light rail fans are overreaching and need to be brought back to earth. You can’t wave a magic wand and make cars go away. This region’s 2 top transportation priorities are AWV and 520. Let’s get those done, or at least funded, even if they take a little longer because of wrangling over what the designs should be. And let’s stop this crap of people wanting to build gold platers with other people’s money. In my book, someone who doesn’t own a car and wants to stick ME with all the taxes for a super-expensive expanded light rail system so HE can ride on it is behaving like a Republican. You can’t expect me to be happy about this sort of thing.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The goal here should not be consensus, which you’ll never get anyway, but common sense and practical solutions with a strong dose of fair play thrown in.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s this stupid quest for 100% agreement that holds things up, not the refusal of some to consent to being screwed into paying for white elephants.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Need a laugh?

    Go to Sucky Politics and watch Stefan accuse Dan Satterberg of “inconsistent application of prosecutorial discretion, which seems more political than principled.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Steffie Baby — does this mean you voted for Sherman?

    HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    An article in today’s fishwrapper articulates what’s wrong with Prop. 1 better than I can:

    “Proposition 1 backers … spent five years crafting a fragile political compromise designed to gain as much political and public support as possible.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: It should have been designed to solve our traffic problems, not to buy votes.

    “Higher car-tab and sales taxes would raise $38 billion over the next 20 years to cover the cost.”

    It’s easy to figure out what Prop. 1 costs: $38B divided by 20 yrs. = $1.9B/yr. divided by 2 million people = $950 per person per year. For a retired couple living on Social Security who don’t commute and won’t use the highway improvements or light rail, but use a car for grocery shopping and doctor visits, that works out to $1,900 a year. That’s ridiculous. It’s also unaffordable and criminally unfair.

    “[Redmond Mayor Rosemarie] Ives … complains that Proposition 1 doesn’t provide enough money to replace the Highway 520 floating bridge. …”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I’m not the only one harping on this gross defect of Prop. 1.

    “She also says more money needs to be spent to connect car-pool lanes to onramps and offramps so cars don’t have to weave through traffic as they enter and exit the freeways.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: They’re saving that for the next big tax request. Yes, there will have to be another big tax increase because of Prop. 1’s failure to focus on essential, bread-and-butter projects.

    “Seattle City Council member Nick Licata said he’s opposed because the measure would increase the sales tax to pay for projects. ‘It’s a regressive tax …,’ he said ….”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Licata also criticizes the lack of oversight mechanisms and predicts some of Prop. 1’s projects will “go south” and money will be wasted. Given this region’s huge infrastructure needs, and taxpayers’ limited resources, we can’t afford to throw money away due to poor management.

    “Sims wrote a guest opinion for The Seattle Times attacking the proposal on multiple fronts. ‘This plan doesn’t solve traffic congestion in the short term, nor does it provide enough long-term relief to justify the financial and environmental costs.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Sims is echoing my criticism that Prop. 1 spends too much money on the wrong things.

    “Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck said … ‘regional transportation projects should be funded through user fees … such as the gas tax and tolls, not property and a highly regressive sales tax.’ He added that ‘voters should have been allowed to choose between competing priorities of roads and transit.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Steinbrueck is echoing my criticism of Prop. 1’s misplaced priorities and unfair use of regressive taxes instead of charging users.

    “[Rep. Julia] Patterson, vice-chairwoman of the Regional Transportation Investment District executive board, which put together the plan, … said a lot of work went into getting Proposition 1 on the ballot. ‘I’ve been involved for five years trying to craft this thing. There’s been so much time and care and conversation and patience and collaboration that’s gone into the selection of these projects ….'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: It looks like they worked up the basic plan in 5 minutes, and spent the other 4 years, 11 months, 30 days, 11 hours, and 55 minutes figuring out which ornaments to hang on the tree to buy the maximum number of votes.

    “[Pierce County Executive John] Ladenburg [Sound Transit’s chairman], said voters should ignore the dissent. ‘You can vote yes and do something about building transit and building roads, or you can go with the opponents who have no plan whatsoever,’ he said. ‘We’ve done this for years in this region: Argue, argue, argue until we’re blue in the face and nothing gets done. If you want more of nothing, vote no.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Since you’re asking me to bend over so you can fuck me, I prefer nothing. Come back when you get serious about fixing transportation and get reasonable about who’s going to pay for it.

    “State political leaders say they don’t know what they’ll do if Proposition 1 fails on Nov. 6. For many lawmakers, that’s part of their argument for supporting the measure.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Holy Christ, these are the people we elected? Okay, dudes, listen up. When (not if) Prop. 1 is defeated, here’s what you do:

    1. Rebuild 520 bridge, 4 lanes, no tunnel, and pay for it with gas taxes and tolls.

    2. Throw in a little extra gas tax increase (okay, a big increase, which is okay because it’ll force people to cut back on discretionary driving) for other critical safety and traffic projects, such as the 16th South Bridge and HOV ramps.

    3. Postpone light rail expansion until Phase 1 is up and running, we see what the ridership is, and figure out a way to get light rail to make a bigger contribution toward reducing car trips. It’s ridiculous to spend 2/3rds of our transportation money for the next 20 years on something that will carry only 2% of the traffic. If that’s the best ridership we can get out of it, then light rail is not a good use of our money, and we should cut our losses by limiting construction to the system we’re already on the hook for.

    4. Discourage employers from concentrating office jobs in downtown cores because this forces workers to commute long distances. Form a task force to come up with strategies to spread future job growth over the region in closer proximity to where the housing is.

    5. Put sales and property taxes off limits for transportation spending. Get the money for necessary projects from gas taxes, tolls, fareboxes, and user charges. If you’re going to get a major part of it from car tabs, craft a reduced-price tab for cars that aren’t used much and aren’t used for commuting at all. There’s no reason why a senior citizen on a fixed income who drives 2,000 miles a year to the grocery store and doctor’s office should pay the same for car tabs as a daily commuter earning $75,000 or more a year.

    6. Sharpen your pencils and work harder on costs. There’s no reason for a bunch of concrete pontoons to cost 6 times as much as one of the world’s largest suspension bridges. Somewhere in 520’s $4.4 billion projected cost, there’s theft going on. This cost figure is bullshit.

    There — now how hard was that?

    “Gov. Christine Gregoire told reporters recently: ‘It’s not a perfect package. It’s not necessarily one I would have done … but the fact is it’s the only game in town and there is too much at stake.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I rarely criticize Gregoire because I agree with her on most things, but she lives in Olympia and won’t pay these taxes, and she makes more than I get from my modest state pension (and also has her husband and daughter on the office payroll, and each of them makes more than I get from my pension, too). And she’s wrong about this being the only game in town. Flushing people’s bullshit down the toilet forces them to become more reasonable. Puget Sound’s transportation needs won’t go away simply because voters reject this expensive, unfair, non-solution. We do need to fire the entire committee that put it together, though, and start over with a fresh group who won’t waste 5 years cobbling together a string of political deals to get each other’s votes. We should put people like Steinbrueck on it, who understand that a transportation committee’s job is to come up with solutions to transportation problems, not decorate Christmas trees with Faberge Eggs they’re going to make other people pay for.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....st21m.html

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    When I called in to Goldy’s show tonight to question Aaron’s claim that the Prop. 1 sales tax will cost the average household $150 a year, Goldy cut me off and told me to post it on his blog, so that’s what I’m going to do here.

    Aaron said light rail will cost $27 billion over 20 years. If you multiply $150 times 1 million households, you get $150 million a year, or $3 billion over 20 years. So, where does the other $24 billion come from?

    Now let’s do the reverse calculation. Divide $27 billion by 20 years and you need $1.35 billion a year. Divide that by 1 million households, and they have to pay $1,350 a year.

    There’s no other way to get $27 billion from 1 million households in 20 years. My calculator doesn’t lie.

    I say the $150 claim is bullshit. Sorry, Goldy and Aaron, but I gotta call it like I see it.

  11. 12

    My Left Foot spews:

    I just read the sucky little blog for the first time in months. I have discovered something: Stefan loves to use his thesaurus. I am sure he never leaves home without it.

    So, in his honor (eww, I actually typed that) lets use the thesaurus to describe the Shark boy.

    Let me start with: Arrogant, smug, condescending and petulant.

    Also, Roger, does Goldy know that it is you when you call?

  12. 14

    JANE BALOUGH'S DOG spews:

    Yep, nothing says Christmas more than a fake birch tree… hahahhahahaha oooohoohooohoohoooo hehehehehehheahahahahaha

  13. 15

    Mrs. Rabbit spews:

    Thanks Goldy for throwing that naughty rabbit off your show.
    Roger needs to spend more time with his rabbit family.

    Mrs. Rabbit

  14. 16

    James spews:

    Well, that was a first: Goldy threw Roger Rabbit off his show.
    —————–

    If you’re sending RR over to this forum to post his comments, Goldy, it seems only fair that you or Aaron Toso should address them here. For a lot of people the financial particulars of Prop 1, much like the congestion modeling projections, are often ignored because they’re complicated, and claims and counter claims fly back and forth. Nonetheless, Roads and Transit contains lots of financial uncertainty – and thus risk – because it involves large scale construction projects that will be in the works for many years. I would venture to say that whatever numbers are being used today will be much different in 20 and even 10 years, aside from the impact of inflated dollars.

    What also gets lost in the discussion is beyond Prop 1, but not far beyond, are other pressing needs. Additional funding for 520 in some form will be required, and of course there’s the viaduct replacement, Ron Sims’ latest tax requests . . .

    These are other needs will all add up over time, and the numbers that Roger Rabbit is posting for Prop 1 are just part of what we will be required to pay in the years ahead.

    We may well end up with a bad case of buyer’s regret.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Also, Roger, does Goldy know that it is you when you call?”

    Yeah, he knows, all right! The squeaky voice and carrot crunching sounds are a dead giveaway.

  16. 18

    Slick Rick spews:

    Roger,

    In your list of reasons to oppose Prop 1 you might also add the fact that it will provide the start up funding for an unnecessary and unwanted (in Pierce Co) highway (SR 704) that will run smack dab through the most endangered habitat in the U.S., putting heavy pressure on a number of threatened and candidate species. See http://www.conservationnw.org/...../crossbase. This is on top of the fact that more road building produces a self-perpetuating disaster in which new roads invite more driving by an expanding population, producing renewed congestion and the call for more road expansion. It is frustrating when even progressives support environmentally-flawed compromises such as this rather than push for a better approach. I wish Goldy had a better understanding of the environmental impacts within this proposal, but maybe he thinks a less-than-perfect light rail system is worth killing off species and inviting more vehicle traffic.

  17. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 I’ve commented on the Cross-Base Highway in previous threads. It’s on the project list for political reasons — it’s a sop to John Ladenburg. It’s also a factor in the opposition of some environmental groups to Prop. 1.

  18. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Has anyone noticed a pattern in how these projects are being designed? They’re all being done the most expensive way possible. 520: A 6-lane bridge with an underwater tunnel approach. Light rail from U-District to Northgate, all underground, a 5-mile tunnel. WHY??? It almost seems there’s a conspiracy to bankrupt Seattle. Who’s behind all of this? There was absolutely no attempt made to scale back, make compromises, try to economize. It’s Cadillac all the way. What kind of people are arrogant enough to do this to our community? I think the answer is … the same kind as people who have been in power so long, and are used to having so much power, that they think they can drive drunk, tell of the cop who pulls them over … and get away with it. Arrogance is behind this. Sheer, galling arrogance.

  19. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Sometimes I wonder if you humans have taken leave of your senses.

    On Goldy’s show tonight, Aaron said the 5-mile light rail segment from U District to Northgate will cost $2.5 billion. That’s because Sound Transit plans to put it underground in a tunnel.

    Out comes Roger Rabbit’s calculator again. (I’m using the calculator that came with Windows 98; since Bill Gates made this calculator, I’m sure it works. But please feel free to check my math; I’m not asking you to take a rabbit’s word for anything.)

    There are 5,280 feet in a mile, so that works out to $94,696.97 per foot. To put this in perspective, the $4,000 we donated to Goldy a while back would buy about 1/2 inch of light rail.

    Let’s say that instead of building a tunnel, we buy all the houses between 5th N.E. and 6th N.E. all the way from U District to Northgate to create a block-wide right-of-way. For convenient figuring, let’s assume each house sits on a 50-foot lot. A normal city block is, of course, 2 lots wide. So, 5 miles of 50-0foot lots adds up to 1,056 houses. Now let’s assume we use eminent domain to acquire them and average of $800,000 per property, including relocation expenses. My calculator says that would cost $844,800,000 to acquire the right-of-way, about 1/3rd of the $2.5 billion budget, leaving $1.65 billion to lay track. Even allowing for construction of underpasses and overpasses for cross traffic, there should be plenty of money left over.

    But you don’t have to condemn a thousand and fifty-six houses. If you use 5th N.E. for right-of-way, which the city already owns, you don’t have to buy any land at all. Your only cost is laying the rails and building underpasses and overpasses for cross traffic. Sure, you’ll lose an arterial, but Aaron said on Goldy’s show last night that light rail can carry 12,000 people an hour, compared to 2,000 for a freeway lane, and a city arterial with curb parking, stoplights, pedestrian crosswalks, and cross streets would be far less. So, in return for the arterial you sacrifice, you gain many times the people-moving capacity.

    Were these alternatives to the ultra-expensive tunnel even considered? If they were rejected, why? Certainly not because of cost, or engineering feasibility — which leaves politics, or corruption.

    Have we become so numb to big numbers that we don’t comprehend anymore the concept of paying $7891.41 per inch for a glorified streetcar line?

    Our ancestors would have laughed at us. They would have thought this was some kind of stupid joke. The people who built this country never had $500 million-a-mile budgets. They built the Panama Canal for $137 million, and the first transcontinental railroad (1,776 miles) for around $113.5 million a mile. They had to cross deserts, swamps, and mountain ranges. What they spent spanning the continent now buys 1/4 mile of streetcar line.

    What the hell ever happened to American ingenuity and practicality? More to the point, are voters this gullible? We’ll find out on Nov. 6.

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    correction

    They built the Panama Canal for $137 million, and the first transcontinental railroad (1,776 miles) for around $113.5 million.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    By the way, where are all the people boarding Sound Transit at Northgate going to park their cars?

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Sound Transit estimates that if Phase 2 is built, light rail will take 351,000 vehicles a day off the roads. The Yes on Roads and Transit web site says 12,000 park-and-ride slots will be added. Where will the other 339,000 cars park?

  23. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Personally, I think the people promotingt Prop. 1 are using a lot of Funny Math. But I’m just a rabbit, so what do I know? I’m sure they have perfectly plausible answers to questions like how can 351,000 riders park at the light rail stations in only 12,000 parking spaces. I suppose they’ll say something real intelligent like “walk” or “ride a bike” to the station. On the other hand, maybe they won’t, and are merely counting on voters accepting their claims at face value.

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    351,000 is three times what Alaska Way Viaduct carries, and about a third of the area’s commuter traffic. Elsewhere, for example in the Seattle Times, I’ve estiamtes that light rail will carry about 2% of the ommuter traffic.

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Phase 1 cost $15 billion, and if Phase 2 costs $27 billion, carrying 351,000 riders a day for 240 work days a year for 20 years would cost $24.92 per trip. That’s for capital costs only, and does not include operating expenses or maintenance. +

  26. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I don’t know if anyone is reading my comments, but I hope so, because these figures are damning.

  27. 29

    James spews:

    “It almost seems there’s a conspiracy to bankrupt Seattle. Who’s behind all of this? There was absolutely no attempt made to scale back, make compromises, try to economize.”

    Or to drive out the middle class. This is a theme Joni Balter at the Times has focused on time and again, viz., how this torrent of tax demands will put the squeeze on a lot of households over time. This aspect of the discussion is rarely addressed upfront and center. Nonetheless, it would benefit mightily from the creation of a grid describing in detail what our current and proposed demands are, including what’s being funded, the source (tax, property, sales, etc), the duration, and so forth, so people can see their total (average, for various incomes levels, etc) obligations, current and proposed. In addition the increased in the taxes over time should be shown. For example, our property taxes in Seattle have gone up nearly 40% since 1998, adjusted for inflation (we have been here far longer). Every other household has experienced similar increases. However, few are actually aware of it, and even fewer (far fewer) have any idea where this tax money is going.

    Proponents of services or projects that will increase our tax burdens have a special obligation in my view to address this broader aspect of the story.

  28. 30

    Piper Scott spews:

    @29…James…

    But don’t bet on it! The gilded glitterati undoubtedly have even grander schemes (Props 2 to infinity and beyond!) in store all designed to turn the entire region into a dense, high-rise-only enclave available exclusively for those in uber-upper echelon income brackets.

    When Rabbit wants to, he can make some sense, hence getting his Peter Cottontail whacked, per him, off Goldy’s talk show.

    Hang in there, Rog, on this issue you and The Ol’ Piper are joined at the hip!

    The Piper

  29. 31

    James spews:

    But don’t bet on it! The gilded glitterati undoubtedly have even grander schemes (Props 2 to infinity and beyond!) in store all designed to turn the entire region into a dense, high-rise-only enclave available exclusively for those in uber-upper echelon income brackets.

    I think Goldy, and Aaron Toso for that matter (See http://gth-gov.com/staff.html – Mr. Toso gets around), should have to present their positions at a community forum where the questions would be much sharper. Transportation issues are a major concern in the neighborhoods around Green Lake and Phinney Ridge/Greenwood, where we reside. This is especially true of the neighborhoods north of 85th where large swaths of blocks have no sidewalks whatsoever:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....846389.pdf

    The priorities in these neighborhoods may be a little different than Mr. Toso’s.

  30. 32

    Darcy Christ Superstar spews:

    All these Rabbit turds about Prop RATS. Didn’t Little Big Mouth, Dave Ross, find the final solution to our transit/transportation problems years ago?

    Why, yes, Darcy, Dave did. HEATED (booming boomer radio voice, here) BUS SHELTERS. Yep, worked for me and for all the horozontal entrepreneurs and dope fiends who live in them.

    Got another problem? No problem. Just ask Dave.