West Seattle, Washington
-The Seattle Weekly has two tales of West Seattle nightlife in its latest edition. One is a straightforward “Club Pick” piece about Skylark; the other is a fantastical journey into an alleged Beach Drive scene that you might actually start to believe, until the later paragraphs. (Kudos to the writer for quite an imagination. Best civically minded satire since Exit133.com took on Carl’s Jr.)
-Wonder if the rain will keep the Initiative 937 campaigners off the Fauntleroy walkover today. They’ve been up there sign-waving for two recent commutes … immediately causing me to feel excruciating guilt for being alone in my car (at least it’s a gas-thrifty little-bitty car, honest). But at least we’re not driving a big yellow truck like the McG crew (it was back in Yasuko’s north lot yesterday morning, with the addition of a guy having his own tailgating party outside it).
-Have you seen the bear under The Bridge yet?
Somebody at the pro-Seattle Prop 1 HQ must have thought it would impress us in West Seattle if they mailed us a big glossy color pamphlet telling us where in WS we might see benefits if the Prop 1 property tax passes. Just one little problem. If you got this pamphlet, take a look at the left side of the map inside — it suggests that Prop 1 will provide $ to “repaint crosswalks at the California/Alaskan Way Junction.” Hellooooooo? Alaskan Way is the street that runs along the foot of that viaduct thingy that is NOT included in Prop 1 (as the back of the flyer seeks to reassure us); at The Junction, Cali intersects with ALASKA STREET. The pro-Prop 1 website is a little odd too. Check out this page … did they simply run out of space at the bottom when it came time to talk about trees?
If you want a chance to decide on all the hot topics and hot races on the fall ballot — have a say on strip-club rules (Seattle Ref 1), special deals for sports stadiums (Seattle I-91), Hizzoner’s road tax (Seattle Prop 1), The Exec’s bus tax (King Co. Prop 2), etc. — today’s your last chance to register to vote, if you’re not registered already. But you gotta do it in person.
Yet more of those Seattle Prop 1 signs are up, many more captioned “Fix This Street!” than “More Bike Trails!”, and now that’s really starting to ring like a false promise — we’ve looked at the collateral (starts on page 33 of this City Voters’ Guide; the ordinance placing it on the ballot can be read in full here), and we’re just not seeing specifics on exactly which streets they’re promising these extra taxes will fix.
Meantime, on the state level, would you recognize your state legislators if you were standing next to them at the supermarket? Might as well have a look. All three of them have Republican opponents for this election — here’s the matchup for state senator, forÃ‚Â “position 1” state rep, and for “position 2” state rep. (Click the “statement” links on those pages, and you’ll see their photos.)
A new wave of campaign signs washed up along Beach Drive and other points in West Seattle today, this time plugging Seattle Proposition 1, aka Hizzoner’s “Bridging the Gap” transportation tax. (Along Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, a pro-Prop 1 sign promises “More Bike Trails”; closer to Alki Point, the signs exhort “Fix This Street” — hmm, I’m not so sure that Beach Drive-paving $ is in there.) These signs join a semi-early blitz of “No on Referendum 1” signs, and if you think there’s potential for confusion between Prop 1 and Ref 1, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet — throw in King County Props 1 and 2 (plus Seattle Initiative 91, Seattle Charter Amendments 6-16, three state initiatives and a state referendum), and you might think you’re looking at a math worksheet instead of a ballot.
In case you haven’t done your research yet, here’s a few bullet points:
–Seattle Prop 1 raises property taxes for a variety of transportation projects, NOT including the viaduct. About $12 extra per month if your house is worth $400K.
-Seattle Ref 1 asks if you approve of the city’s strip-club regulations (including the famous “four-foot rule”).
-King Co. Prop 1 asks if you’ll let county leaders sell off some real estate along Lake Union and the Duwamish (scroll down that page for the full list), which all dates back to a bond measure from almost a century ago.
-King Co. Prop 2 raises sales taxes a tenth of a percent to pay for more bus service (the list on this page mentions Delridge as a key corridor).
We’ll get to the double- and triple-digit ones later. No endorsements here at this point, though we have to say, we’re still a little consumed by bad feelings about the signature-gatherers for Ref 1, who stood outside the Westwood Village Target some months ago and tried to grab shoppers’ attention by barking, “DO YOU HATE STRIPPERS?”
A political editorial (pro-Initiative 920, which means anti-estate tax) in the Sunday Times/P-I describes Services Group of America, which moved from its Delridge HQ (the building with the huge flag) to AZ, as a “small business.” Hardly!
My condolences, by the way, to anyone who lost their job because they didn’t want to move from West Seattle to Arizona; been through the “no relo? no job” thing ourselves. But it’s “good riddance” to SGA’s boss, perhaps best remembered for getting ticked off that he couldn’t get a heliport on the Delridge building (convenient for his commute from Vashon), and had the gall to take the fight all the way to the state Supreme Court!
Four weeks till Election Day, maybe less time till “voting day” for you if you use absentee ballots, so it’s never too soon for a reminder that there’s a lot more at stake this time around than just the big statewide races. For one, there’s Seattle Proposition 1, a tax levy for various transportation projects (NOT including the viaduct). Here’s the official city page with the ballot language; here’s how the city council summarized it when they approved it for the ballot; to find some West Seattle specifics, you have to read this and skim ahead to page 5 and beyond. Worth a look before you make a gut decision on “$365 million in taxes, or not?”.
The governor gets the final say on tunnel vs. new viaduct vs. neither. Here’s a link to tell her what you think she should do. And if you are honked off about city leaders deciding we shouldn’t have a direct say in it, here’s how to e-mail Hizzoner; links to city council members’ e-mail addresses can be found here.
Ours is one of the last few counties where you can still vote in person as well as by mail. So if you haven’t voted yet — today’s the day, 7 am-8 pm. Remember that this is not “just” a primary, even though two of our 34th District state legislators don’t even have general-election opponents; some things WILL be settled today, such as a couple of the state Supreme Court races, and Seattle Initiative 88, the first half of the push to get more $ for city schools (the second half apparently is still caught up in court somewhere).
Second week of Hizzoner’s “We (Heart) Trees” campaign — seen any less cutting lately? Not me. I got spitting mad traveling the switchbacks over Lincoln Park on Friday, watching tree “service” crews kill two big beautiful trees that had been among the few surviving the onslaught of oversized houses suddenly “infilling” the formerly green area. All of which led me to laugh semi-ruefully at this odd little piece from the P-I today.
The two most powerful West Seattleites in city government — the mayor and city attorney — have just won a round in their perplexing fight to keep citizens from taxing themselves to give more money to Seattle Public Schools.
I really don’t get it. Yeah, sure, I agree with Hizzoner’s contention that state legislators should allot more $ for education. But will they? Not in my lifetime, I’m afraid. So if they won’t do it, why can’t we? How come these guys want to hold our kids hostage? Let’s see if we can come up with some tortured analogy here. So there’s a starving kid on a streetcorner, and I want to give the poor kid some food. Oh no no, says Hizzoner, you can’t do that, it’s the parents’ responsibility to feed their kid. And while he saunters off to try to find said parents and make them feed the kid – the waif collapses from malnutrition. Listen, mal-education may be less visible than malnutrition, but it’s just as dangerous. And don’t give me the ol’ “Seattle Public Schools mismanages the $ it has now” song and dance … that’s no reason to say we’re going to starve the district and therefore our kids.
If you don’t have kids in local public schools, drop into one someday soon, and get a reality check. If you happen to see new desks or new books, chances are that came from a PTA fundraiser, not tax dollars. $ may not be the solution but it’s a hell of a start. What’s the real agenda behind the mayor’s push here? Does he want things to get worse so he can pull a stunt like LA’s mayor and ride in to try to “save” the district once it’s in flames?
Anyway, the I-87/88 folks say they won’t give up the fight. We gotta go figure out where to send them a check.
Transportation votes we’re facing in November:
—Tax to fix up roads (Fauntleroy didn’t make the Dirty Dozen but would THIS smooth it out?)
–Tunnel vs. no tunnel, unless council members decide to just be the deciders, which is what today’s P-I recommends
The first and third ones might be a nearly moot point, though, given that driving is getting less affordable by the second. Perhaps time for Councilguy Dow to propose keeping the Water Taxi in service TFN, instead of sailing on toward the usual September shutdown. (Not like Elliott Bay freezes over or anything, though the dock at Seacrest could use a little salt at times.)
Governor Chris is visiting West Seattle tomorrow, according to the 34th District Dems. (I honestly would be happy to spotlight whatever the 34th District Repubs are up to, but their site is barely a placeholder.) It’s “campaign kickoff” time for the local legislators (Eileen Cody, Joe McDermott, Erik Poulsen). Honestly, given the huge margins these folks have tended to win by in our bluer-than-blue area, I’d think they wouldn’t even have to bother raising money, but I guess it’s unwise to take your constituents for granted.