Happy Halloween. Wonder what Jane Hague will be going as this year? And where? And how?
In today’s Scary Politician news, an anti-gay Southwest Washington Republican (natch) state rep goes to Spokane to watch gay porn and hit on gay strangers. After all, Spokane’s thriving local gay scene did such wonders for Jim West’s career. State Rep. Richard Curtis’s semi-local newspaper, The Columbian, lays out the sordid details.
Big props to neighborhood activists (including HA’s own Paul Andrews) whose years of hard work paid off Tuesday when a hearing examiner did what neither Greg Nickels’ crony-fied Parks Department nor the City Council would do: put an end to the ill-conceived zoo parking garage scheme. Let’s be clear: the zoo’s garage was never about allowing more of the masses (and their kids) to see cute furry animals. It was all about hosting revenue-producing special events for companies, trade groups, and other people with the money to burn on them — just like the recent Seattle Aquarium Expansion, the GasWorks Park Summer Concerts series, the city’s count-‘em three taxpayer-built convention centers (the big one over I-5 and the two new competitors, one the Port of Seattle’s Pier 66, the other adjacent to Qwest Field), and so on. In the case of the zoo, it would have dumped that much more traffic into an area of two-lane arterials already seeing a glut of new high end condo-complex construction along Phinney Ridge. A bad idea, illegally implemented, finally shot down not by local constituents’ elected officials, but by the legal process.
Speaking of less car traffic, it was announced yesterday that nationally and locally, FlexCar and Zipcar will be merging. FlexCar is based here in Seattle; the larger Zipcar is based in Boston. The new company will be Zipcar, based in Cambridge.
Not much in the Bothell Times this morning (we learn that “blueberries are Washington’s blue gold,” and that — do I smell a Pulitzer? — Proposition One doesn’t fully fund a new SR 520 bridge), but the P-I has a piece with a local angle on Sen. Ted Stevens’ FBI corruption probe: whether he pushed legislation that benefited the seafood industry while his son was a lobbyist for that industry. The son is a charter member of the Corrupt Bastards Club. And dad, well, dad stands to be the club’s patron saint. What do you think?
OK, this isn’t a Jane Hague joke. Honest. KING-TV reports that the county councilwoman is now being sued for defamation by opponent Richard Pope’s campaign manager over what he claims are false allegations by the Hague campaign that he’s been convicted for domestic violence. Oh, and our friend Richard (will someone hire this guy to do permanent opposition research?) has also discovered, according to the same KING story, that when Hague’s mother died last year she left Jane out of the will. (Fill in obligatory David Irons punchline here.)
Here’s an excellent example of how supposedly objective journalism isn’t, from a lede this morning on that old warhorse, local housing prices, in the P-I:
Home-price appreciation in the Seattle area led the nation for the 12th month in a row in August, but indications were not entirely positive, according to a national index report released Tuesday.
Catch that? Inherent in the lede is the assumption that having the highest home appreciation rates in the country for a year running is “positive” (though other indicators, maybe not so much). If you already own a house and aren’t on a fixed income (a category that includes, presumably, P-I reporter Aubrey Cohen), that’s true: it means your biggest asset is performing nicely as an investment. But if you’re one of the 50% of our city who rents, chasing the ever-receding hope of affordable first-time home ownership, or if you’re on a fixed income and getting squeezed by the higher property taxes that inevitably come with a housing boom, not so much. And if you’re in one of those latter categories, what the P-I has just “objectively” told you is either, at best, that you don’t count, or, even worse, that you don’t exist.