One massive taxpayer giveaway down, one to go: As Paul noted rather exuberantly yesterday, Seattleites will get their first chance to pay for a ride on the SLUT this morning. A slow ride, too. And expensive: The $1.50 ticket for 1.3 miles (much of which is in Metro’s Ride Free Zone) is on top of the $52 million (and counting) Seattle taxpayers are already shelling out, or about $100 per Seattle resident for a pork barrel project designed solely to benefit Paul Allen’s South Lake Union development projects. But never fear: the P-I has some shameless boosterism to put your mind at ease. (Did you know that “retailers…expect business to increase when the streetcars start running”!! Well, compared to the last year of construction chaos, yes.)
And like any good parasite, Allen wants more. As Real Change puts it,
Vulcan (Paul Allen’s development company) is seeking approval from the City to build higher in South Lake Union. Legislation before the Council would provide that allowance, if they pay $5 million dollars for affordable housing for moderate wage workers.
This afternoon, the Urban Development and Planning Committee votes on chair Peter Steinbrueck’s proposal to require, as part of that package, $7.7 million (as opposed to the current $5 million) from Vulcan for affordable housing. The committee will also vote on a one-year study and possible subsequent launching of a rental housing inspection program, to do something about the city’s persistent slumlord problem.
Also in city council news, as of Monday, harassing a homeless person is now a hate crime. No word on whether the city will arrest itself (or Mayor Nickels) the next time an encampment is torn down and private possessions seized. And as if to underscore our region’s contempt for the homeless, an unnamed “transient” was found dead in Myrtle Edwards Park Tuesday, and the
Bothell Seattle Times gave it an unbylined article of exactly 58 words.
Barack Obama was back in town last night, playing, er, orating a rock star-like gig at the Showbox (tickets: $100). Unlike most other states, Obama has a sizable fundraising advantage over his rivals in Washington state, which is why his surging campaign made time for the brief Seattle stop. 23 days ’til the Iowa caucuses.
One man campaigns for a job, another loses his: Univ. of Washington Athletic Director Todd Turner was fired, er, “resigned” yesterday because only three and a half years after inheriting a complete train wreck of a department, the football team still sucks. Art Thiel has a good column in today’s P-I on Turner’s undoing: the former A.D.’s naïve belief that things other than the football team winning games should also matter at a university.
Idiot of the day: The Marysville father who gave his two-month old daughter OxyContin. She nearly OD’d. The guy’s in jail now on that and other child abuse charges.
Elsewhere on the planet, Al-Qaeda — you remember Al-Qaeda, don’t you? — set off two suicide car bombs that killed dozens in Algeria. So much, again, for the “we’ll lure them all to Iraq and they won’t be a threat anywhere else” theory.
But not all is grim in the world. Former (U.S.-backed) Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday in the first of several trials he faces on corruption and human rights charges. Pity that more world leaders who shred laws and abuse their citizens’ trust don’t end up doing time. No names.
And there’s this: Some rock stars, unlike Barack Obama, really are rock stars. Led Zeppelin played their first full concert in 27 years in London last night, with deceased original drummer John Bonham capably replaced by his son, Jason. Word is they can still kick it.