There is something very odd going on with the tunnel process. There must be a steadfast rule of who can sign contracts. In other words if it’s the Mayors job and he refuses to sign the agreement, then common sense would make one believe that there was something wrong with the agreement that the Mayor wanted cleare up. Instead of getting with the Mayor to work it out legally, City Council president Richard Conlin signed it. Then a petition to recall him was thrown out by a judge who said there was not sufficient evidence that he broke the law. Us peons need to be educated on how a City Council member can sign an environment impact statement and colluding with City Attorney Pete Homes to bring a lawsuit to block a tunnel referendum, and delaying placing initiative 101 on the ballot is legal. It appears Conlin exceeded his authority under the city charter by signing the draft of the environmental impact statement. The public now gets to vote on a referendum which really means nothing. The anti-tunnel statement urges Seattleites to “stand up to the politicians” who in 2009 cut risky and expensive back room deals to pursue the tunnel project. The pro-tunnel statement says the debate is over and will only be prolonged by the Mayors, “delay and obstruction”. He has stood up for the wishes of the people, and knows there will be cost overruns and the city property owners will have to pay them. City Council member Tim Burgess say a no vote will just make the city council pass another ordinance to go forward with the tunnel construction. If that were challenged it would take a year to reach the ballot and “BY THEN CONSTRUCTION OF THE TUNNEL WILL BE WELL UNDERWAY”. That should not happen. It is all being done for big business and the labor community that writes big checks for their campaigns. Its all done against the will of the people paying for it. Referendum 1 should stop the whole project until they come up with the answers to these questions. Do the majority of the people want a tunnel? How is it going to be paid for? Who pays for the cost overruns? What tolls will they charge. They already know it will not help traffic. People will avoid the thing even if there were no tolls. Can you imagine anything more stupid than a tunnel thru an earthquake zone right by a decaying sea wall? If we challenge anything the city does, Pete Holmes takes it upon himself to file a lawsuit and gets a judge he probably plays golf with to rubber stamp it. Mayor McGinn is looked on as a trouble maker for the council members but he is trying to follow the wishes of the people who elected him. As the anti tunnel people keep chipping away more shady stuff comes to the surface. For a judge to say there is not sufficient evidence he broke the law. geez, what more evidence did he need. Either Conlin can sign agreements when the Mayor refuses to sign them. It’s a simple yes he can, or no he cant. But he did, and they say our vote on the referendum will mean nothing. Why are we voting?
I seems to me that if ordinary citizens oppose something and do all the hard work of collecting enough signatures to put 101 on a ballot for a vote, it should be on the ballot. City attorney Pete Homes said it was not legal because it seemed to take away the states ability to build a state highway. Judge Joan DuBuque agreed with him. In other words democracy can be wiped out by two people. City attorney Pete Homes wants the tunnel built and has locked horns with Mayor Mile McGinn over this. An attorney for DOT joined the suit and said the city cannot block a state project. We the people have said time and time again WE DO NOT WANT A TUNNEL. Supposedly the state is broke as well as the Federal Government so why are they cramming this expensive thing down out throats. Before it was settled about people challenging it they signed agreements in haste so they could say once they are signed they cant be stopped by an initiative. People tried to get an initiative to at least question the tunnel for an Agust vote,but again Pete Homes challenged it and got it watered down to where they are calling it the Seinfield initiative because it is about nothing and will do nothing. The August 16th Referendum asks voters to approve or reject how the City Council plans to give notice to the state to proceed with the tunnel. That’s like saying “yes we have no bananas”. What really concerns me is the mind set the Department of Transportation has. They do not want the taxpayers to have any say at all. DOT says it is their goal to follow the will of the Governor and Legislature, which approved funding for the tunnel. Well, to me that is really cockeyed thinking. The Governor and Legislature are working FOR the people. They should have no right to fund something that the taxpayers made clear they did not want. As for them approving funding makes it sound like they have magic funds. No the funding is money they have taken away from working people after they squandered a lot on overhead. One overhead expense should not be happening, and that is the $600,000 the “Top Dog” at DOT makes. If a city has no say over a state project then we should not have to pay for it at all. Elizabeth Campbell who sponsored 101 is appealing it to the State Supreme Court but the plans just go on and on instead of waiting until everything is settled before signing agreements and contracts. It still says that Seattle property owners who benefit has to pay overruns. Well Governor Chris Gregoire promised she would not let that happen. Well she wont be Governor when they build the tunnel .
As you know, the USA has stopped all flights into space. Our space shuttles are officially retired and collecting dust. The future of the NASA Space Program is unknown really. The space program cost us $200 billion+ over the years (started in 1971) and since we won’t be using it anytime soon we may want to consider closing it all completely. It’s sad we won’t be exploring the universe anymore but we are so in debt – this cut is a must. We are looking for ways to save money now and what is the point of holding on to all this equipment, technology, shuttles, launch pads etc if we are not going to use it ever again? Space exploration should now be officially private. There is no need for the government to be involved (except for security and the our satellites already in space). Teams have already proven that better and cheaper shuttles are available and nearly ready to be used commercially. Let the corporations pay for it.
On a side note, our government is spending 4.1 billion dollars per day. 50 days from right now, the government will have spent more than the entire NASA Space Program.
The Georgetown Garden Tour this year was exciting and another success. Hundreds of people came out and enjoyed the walk, plants, and activities. Even though the garden tour is officially over some specials are still available including lots of hen and chicks plants. Arrangements can be made to ship out of state or local pickup is available. Read and learn more about hen and chicks here.
Powered by Comcast, The Bite Of Seattle runs today (15th) to Sunday (17th). Each year approximately 450,000 people show up for the weekend event. The Bite of Seattle has free admission which is great for the family. Some food vendors have very small portions you can pay just a little to try out, however, the majority of it is full cost. Inside The Bite of Seattle there are about 60 or so restaurants. They also have live entertainment like music, cooking lessons/demos, and wine tasting. If you’re concerned about the alcohol, they do have a family friendly area. This is probably the largest food festival each year in Seattle. What is also great is that you’ll see many of the local food talents cooking. Chefs just getting starting in the culinary business.
If the weather holds up it could be a great time to experience The Bite Of Seattle 2011 at the Seattle Center this weekend only.
The Bite Of Seattle opens at 11AM everyday starting today (Friday).
Having been in both Pioneer Square and the heart of Belltown at 2AM, I have experienced the Seattle nightlife scene first hand. The alcohol flows almost to the point of club closure and then the security steps in and yells “Everyone get the hell out!”. Just like cattle the patrons are pushed out the door. In some clubs in Seattle, that is saying it nicely. As the Seattle nightlife drowns their sorrows (and the just acquired $8 drink or two) they stumble to the streets by the hundreds. The sidewalks are filled with the sober, drunks, wannabe gang bangers, and pan handlers dodging the next vomit location. Just outside of some clubs you can’t even walk on the sidewalk because of the crowds. Getting a taxi is almost impossible and lines are formed on every corner with the nightlife folk waiting to pay for their delicious $5 dollar hot dog (they really are good). A lot of the crowd just hangs around smoking and/or hoping to meet a new “friend” to go home with. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to go after hours so many just jump in their cars and drive home drunk.
I have personally talked about extended Seattle nightlife hours for a good year or more now. It’s an obvious fix that needs to happen. We simply can’t have hundreds of people forced out of the Seattle clubs with nowhere to go but home (driving drunk). The city probably does pretty well since the average DUI will cost you about $10,000. I must say the police presence is pretty good due to several incidents this year.
With the support of the Seattle Police Department and Mayor Mike McGinn, the proposal of extending the Seattle nightlife club hours is in the works. Right now Seattle clubs must close between the hours of 2AM and 6AM (that is not exactly true – I know one nightclub in Belltown that is open until 5AM). This proposal may allow bars to remain open longer or 24hrs. My understanding is that the proposal is also supported by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and some of the Seattle City Council Members already. The State Liquor Control Board will most likely take their time with a decision and use their power of authority to hang it over the heads of many business owners. New rules will be created by the Liquor Board only to complicate the matter even more. It should be a no brainer decision, however.
Let me make it simple. The proposal should be that the alcohol stops at 2AM (as it does now) but the clubs may remain open for as long as they like. They may continue to play the music, serve non alcoholic drinks, and food. This will allow the patrons to stay in the club (spending money and generating more tax revenue) and give them a natural way to sober up. It also stops the flood of people getting pushed onto the streets all at once. There you have it, write it up, problem solved. You’re welcome.
Yet sooner or later everything changes, nothing ever stays the same. Once in a great while a change is a good one but the change the Seattle Times Newspaper made is really ticking a lot of people (mostly seniors) off. For almost a month during June it was on TV and in the paper that the TV section would be changing. It would be so easy to find our favorite programs or something similar. I admit I did not pay a lot of attention to what they said but they said to watch for the big change that would occur in July. The change was they DO NOT HAVE A TV SECTION ANYMORE. I searched and searched and finally got ticked off and a mailed. They were very courteous and answered my a mail explaining that very few people used the TV section and they would help me get a reduced price to subscribe to TV weekly. I tried to Google TV weekly to find the price but they want to send you a free copy so you can decide to subscribe. The Seattle Times raised its subscription rates too. I know there are fancy phones, fancy remotes, all kinds of gadgets that if one knew how they could find out what time a program was coming on. But for me, that’s a different story. My routine was to spread out the TV section. for example I would see on the page what time Dancing with the Stars would be on. Sometimes 8, sometimes 2 hours, sometimes 1 or 3 hours. I could compare what shows would be on the same time and decide. I don’t even know what shows are on and have no way to compare anything. Go ahead and say that’s the price a person pays for getting old and set in their ways BUT everyone I know that are royally ticked are just cancelling their subscription to the paper. I am still dickering with them, because they offered to send me a free subscription for awhile to see if I like TV weekly. If you call the number they give it is automatic answering saying they realize you are upset etc etc, but you cant talk to a human, so they did not put that recording on just for me.
After thinking it over I think they wanted people to stop taking the paper, and that was sure one way to do it. They want you to subscribe on line. They don’t want to print a paper at all. Why would you need to subscribe to it even on line? You can get the news on TV, you can get the news on the internet. You can print out your free coupons on line. It just boggles my mind. I looked forward to putting on my old bath robe, shuffling to the porch to get the paper. Then I either take it back to bed with me or on my deck with my cup of coffee. What will I use in the bottom of my bird cage? What will I use to start my fire with on a cold winter morning?
“The Seattle Times”, pretty well put themselves in the position they put the PI in and it went belly up. The changing of the times this time was not an improvement at all.
Their (Seattle Times) official response to me personally about the removal of Seattle TV Times Magazine is below:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us and let us know about your concerns for this recent change in the TV listings publication.
There were two primary reasons for this change.
With the increasing use by consumers of cable directories, relatively very few people continue to use a printed guide, so in essence we have been spending resources to provide to all readers a product that is not utilized by the majority of our subscribers. It makes more sense, given limited resources, for us to focus resources on content that is much more widely read by our audiences.
Secondly, our TV Times magazine was limited, but due to the relatively small audience for this product, we were unable to provide enhanced content in this product for those who value it. Our partner, TV Weekly is an experienced organization with a track record of providing an excellent product for over 25 years. While this will be a paid subscription, it will be available at a significant discount to our Seattle Times subscribers. In addition, our plan is to work with TV Weekly and provide value added coupons that will save you more than the weekly subscription cost.
As with all change, the new format and style of TV weekly is different than what you are accustomed to, however given a try it might become friendlier and easier to navigate. If you will decide to reconsider your subscription, I can offer you a courtesy subscription to TV weekly, should you like to try it for the next 26 weeks at no cost to you. It would give you additional time to explore and use the TV weekly, to see if it’s something you might like to subscribe to in the future.
Please let me know if you’d like to take me up on this offer, so I can process your request; or get back to me to process a STOP.
Customer Service Specialist
The Seattle Times
I am not a pot user, medical or otherwise but the battle against people using it has been lost long ago. I sure am not for making it easy for people to do something illegal but the police could be used for far better things. The little dopers are going to get it and to get it they have to rob a house, auto or person to get a little money or things to sell and then it’s easy to find a seller. If they get arrested and a free ride to jail, booked in, bailed out, go to court it really adds up in tax payer dollars with absolutely nothing accomplished. It’s like filling a hole by digging another hole beside it. It should be controlled and taxed so the “pot heads” can walk into someplace and buy a small amount. Instead of smuggling it in, just let the government buy it as an import and tax the heck out of it. It would be a fair tax(unlike food that we all need). No one would be forced to buy it, and only the pot heads would pay the tax and it would be cheaper for them than to be in danger on the streets whether buying or selling.
I am no expert on the medical benefits of marijuana. Pot Heads can probably convince a doctor that it really relieves their pain and get a prescription. There is no argument that marijuana has some sort of effect on the brain. It must make people feel good or they wouldn’t use it. A few stiff drinks has the same effect. It dulls your thinking, makes you dance when you otherwise would not etc. It does not mean you are really dancing, it just releases your inhibitions some how. So if it were legalized so anyone could go to a place and buy it without fear of arrest, it does not mean you can do whatever you want when you are under the influence of it. Like go to your job or drive your car. It just means you can buy it and take it home. Workers can be fired from their jobs for using medical pot. I believe most everyone would agree that that is a good thing, except the “pot head”. If they are in such pain that they have to take pot to work then they are too sick to go to work. period. Just because you can walk into a liquor store and buy a bottle and drink til all your pain is gone does not mean you can drive or do anything that could cause you to get a DUI. Pot is the same. If you look at it from a non pot user or boss they don’t want to be around some one who’s head is screwed up on dope. I don’t want someone sawing down my trees, while he is looped on medical pot, or to drive my truck or to take my tonsils out. No sober person wants to have to hold up the end of a board with a looped up person holding up the other end. If you buy it at a marijuana store or a doctor prescribes it you are still walking around with a fuzzy brain and should not be on ANY job. But I think the day has came to make it legal. It would cut down so much crime and its doubtful anyone who is not prone to use it anyway would head out and buy some. Most normal people do not want to be fuzzy headed.
Will we ever have a Governor who isn’t so brain washed in politics? I am unsure at this point. It’s sad quite honestly and perhaps we should just elect someone who isn’t so tainted in the political process. Just an average person (maybe a successful Seattle business owner) who is familiar with the city but not all wrapped up in the political game. Someone who won’t abuse the system for their own wants or gains and isn’t afraid to cut spending and programs to save money. This person wouldn’t have political “friends” or ties we see with all the typical political candidates. He or She wouldn’t care about being re-elected and wouldn’t be afraid to put there necks on the line to make a real change. It seems every election (no matter what position including the President of the United States or the Seattle Governor position) is just another tainted political figure who has been through the system and delivers the same old crap. They all talk the same, they help their political friends, get campaign contributions in a shady manner – it’s all the same. I’m not saying all this is true of Rob Mckenna and his Seattle Governor efforts it just looks like all the stars are lining up for more of the same. I’m not taking sides here (Republican or Democratic) and all the candidates fit this mold of more of the same – I’m just saying we need someone on the outside of the political spectrum to step up to the plate. That person will get my full attention and vote for Governor.
I am voting NO when it comes to Rob Mckenna for Governor. It’s just the same old crap with another political guy. One of the strategies many politicians (ones that have been through the system) use to get elected is to pick and choose the “right” kind of press. When they hold public speaking events they only invite the “right kind” of journalist so everything published after is happy and favorable information. The “wrong” kind of journalist are not invited and are sometimes blocked right at the door or lobby.
Here is a video (sorry about the quality) of a recent Rob Mckenna for Governor press conference where one journalist in the front row is shown the door by Rob Mckenna.
With over 800,000 visits (3% increase from last year) and a cash positive outlook, the Seattle Aquarium has decided to raise their admission price an additional $2. That means 1 adult admission will set you back $19 dollars. The youth admission price will remain the same at $12.
I find it amazing that a good revenue generating vessel for the city (like the Aquarium) would continue to mess with the numbers to try to make more money. Why mess with a good thing? The Seattle Aquarium is officially a waste of money for Seattle residents and the only people who visit (probably not aware of the costs) are tourists looking for things to do in Seattle. They just happen to be in the area and want to “check it out”. Do you really think its affordable for a family? Dad, Mom, & their two little kids will have to pay $62 dollars. That doesn’t even include the $8 per hour parking rates recently increased. I know that is not exactly the fun Seattle experience I’m looking for. It’s simple supply and demand and only less people with visit now. They would have been better off lowering their rates which would bring in more Seattle residents in the Summer time. People would be excited to visit more because the rates would have been lowered. Even more Seattle residents would have participated making even more money compared to ticket rate increase. Now the Seattle Aquarium just has the clueless tourists who will most likely visit once and never again.