Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome to Olympia folks

I want to use this very special session of the legislature to get something off my chest. This one goes out to all your out of towners. We still love you, though, in the 20th LD. Some of you crazy cats even say you're from Olympia.

Why is it that folks from the center, down to the right and across the libertarian left always blame the woes of state government on "Olympia?" This is the curse of being the state capital, I guess. Though, last time I was checking, I hadn't done anything to anyone in Snohomish County, but they can go ahead and blame Olympia for failures of state employees who might not even work in Olympia, or failures of elected officials who live near them and just visit here a few times a year.

Anyway, that may not make sense to anyone not living in my head, but it just rubs me the wrong way when people use "Olympia" when they mean to say "my representatives in the legislature and state government."

Anyway, what got me thinking about this was Don Ward this morning in Sound Politics. He typed out that he'd rather be down at the Tumwater Brewery than at the state capitol covering the special session. I assume he could have written "at a bar" and just used the brewery as convenient local color. I took the opportunity to poke the out of towner, pointing out that a corrupt businessman had shuttered the old site.

Don's response:
The Capitol building right now is an empty building. Looking at old wornout brewing equipment is always preferable to looking at old wornout politicians...
In addition to the lack of hope towards Democracy, his comment is just weak.

State party straw poll data collector

I've been getting emails from the state party off and on for the past year or so asking my preference for President. I can't recall if I'd ever responded to one of these emails, and I assume most folks who have given their email address to the party gets these.

The email tonight from state chair Dwight Pelz (they had been coming from the executive director) was different. It asked you to express your preference at the state party website and to share the email with your friends.

Problem is that you have to fill out your street address and email address before you can submit your preference. I understand that it would be hard for the party to do anything at all with my preference of candidate or the issues I care about without giving the candidates a way to contact me, but it just seems shady.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From Arcadia to Seattle (well, Tukwila and some walking involved)

Of course, since the inspirational post for this series was written by Archie Binns more than seventy years ago in The Roaring Land, I should document the same journey from just around Shelton, nearest to Archadia, to Seattle.

It was a big shopping trip for the Binns', but for us, it's just a lets-look-and-see.

First, you need to set out for a walk. There is no bus that's take your from where Archie grew up on a stump farm, so walk to the Red Apple Market. To catch the 8:20 a.m. Route 6 bus and cover your 5.8 mile route, you'll need to leave the house by 6:00. Leave a bit sooner, you can buy some coffee and an apple at the Red Apple for breakfast. Either way, you're already behind Binns, who had the boat pick him up right on his beach.

The bus to Olympia gets in pretty early, you're there by 11:25 a.m. You have some time in Olympia to get over to Bayview and pick up lunch.

The trusty 603 picks you up at noon and gets you into Tacoma by 1:10 p.m.

So, instead of actually going into Seattle, I'm going to take it easy and drop down into the South Center mall, since this is a memorial of a shopping trip. And, where else would you go shopping in King County, if not the mall?

The Sound Transit 594 picks you up at 1:28 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome Station, dropping you off at the Spokane Street Transit Center at 2:04 p.m. Of course, that's way to far north, so you have to turn around and take the King County Metro 150 back down into Tukwila at 2:41 p.m.

So, just cross the highway over-pass on foot, and you're shopping like the Binns family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chang Mook Sohn is so running for state treasurer

No PDC report this time, but Sohn did show up up to the Thurston County Democrats meeting last night. After introducing himself as a Democrat for 35 years, he sat through most of the meeting where we discussed caucuses, which I have to tell you, if you were a new Democrat, that discussion would bore you to tears.

It's not news that he's considering a run, but showing up to a local Democratic meeting, making your dues payment, pretty much means your making the leap.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Terry Bergeson is running watch, day 7

Does it really take a press release for anyone to notice that Terry Bergeson is running again for OSPI? Apparently. I wrote this a week ago, and not a mumble since. Well, it was Thanksgiving week, but if all you have to do is look at the PDC site.

Washington State Politics blog (which also seemed to notice that Bergeson is running) has a good rundown on the OSPI elections since the Billings era.

Note to Gregoire, don't put yourself between Cougs, Huskies

Gov. Christine Gregoire was booed by the fans of the so-called West side school as she presented the Apple Cup trophy to the Cougars on Saturday night. Mostly the booing had to do with the Cougars, but Gregoire became a convenient target for the Husky fans trying to exit around me:


"Just trying to build up government..."

"Rossi's my man..."

Although Gregoire is known, or would be like to be known, for inserting herself between two warring factions (doctors, lawyers), I'm wondering how wise it is for a politician to insert themselves into the Apple Cup.

A much friend who is much wiser in these sorts of things said that its only been recently since Governors started presenting the Apple Cup. Gary Locke was the first one, and I could assume people reacted to him with more of a shrug. Through circumstance, Gregoire is a more polarizing figure. If you're paying attention, you either hate her or like her and roll your eyes at the folks who hate her.

So, what's the point of either pissing off the folks who should like you (Huskies) by handing over a trophy to the Cougars, or further pissing off the people who already don't like you (Cougars)? Does she have to do it?

No, I don't think so. If Locke was the only one doing it, there's not much of a tradition there. And, if she wants to hand out trophies at a football game, she could go to the Gridiron Classic, the state football tournament. While the game mean something, the losers are usually less focussed on hating their opponents.

Or, she could hand out the trophies to the Academic All State Team. See, it has to do with education, which is good.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Last minute thoughts about Hornets game (its a rivalry now)

1. Happy Hornets Day:

2. This woman, come on:
Shante Hastings, president of the University of Delaware Alumni Association, asked The News Journal for a written list of questions before commenting.

In an e-mailed reply, Hastings, a 2000 graduate who lives in Millsboro, said she is "really not sure" why it has taken so long for a UD-DSU football game to take place. However, she said, she doesn't believe race was a factor.

"It seems to be unfounded considering that UD and DSU play each other in other varsity sports," Hastings said.

The two schools did not compete against each other until 1991.
The only time I've ever experienced someone who wanted questions before hand (in my time as a reporter) was when they thought they might be quoted out of context, or they thought they'd say something stupid. I've only ever offered something like that when I thought that was the only way to get the interview, or I was trying to be nice.

3. Last thought. UD has never had to play DSU before, they've always gotten out of it. That itself is understood.

If they had played Delaware State before, it would have been in a rivalry game. They don't play in the same leagues, so any game they would have played would have been of the Apple Cup, Big Game variety.

But, without a historic rivalry game, the Blue Hens never had a rival. After today, that won't be true. Win or lose today, the Hornets will be the Blue Hens rivals. Hornet fans and alumni will openly root against the Blue Hens.

The demands for a rematch won't be hollow, the Hornets will know what its like to play on the same field as the Blue Hens. The only difference winning makes now is whether the Hens will want the rematch.

For years, the Hens could consider themselves the only game in town. Blue Hens Country will share space with the Hornets for now on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"...I don't think it's too much to ask them to claim it in a picturesque manner"

Few good things come out of the SW lately. This is one of the few:
Since Native Americans claim a right that makes sensitive people squeamish, I don't think it's too much to ask them to claim it in a picturesque manner. For example, it seems to me that a hollowed-out canoe should be involved any time an Indian kills a whale. Based on designs that go back through the generations and all that. Drums booming slowly in the background would also help, as would a chanting medicine person of some type to get the whole myth-invoking, pipe-toking deal on the road.

I know that this latest whale incident had nothing to do with any legitimate hunting, and the Makah tribal leaders have condemned it and so forth. But the last time there was a legitimate hunt, didn't they use a shotgun? Guy in the back of the canoe, holding it across his legs? And now a machine gun, so what next? If it's efficiency over tradition they want, why not a huge conveyor belt that carts the whale carcasses from the ocean into factories on the shore? Then they could carve them up and package the whales for mass consumption. Indian whaling should not be allowed to resemble a soulless and highly profitable enterprise like America's meat industry.

What about the local option? (re: special session, I-747)

Originally Initiative 747 had a local option for raising property taxes beyond the 1 percent limit. If a local government wanted to give it a try, they could put it on the ballot and see what their constituents thought.

What makes me wonder about the local option from the original 747 is that from the news coverage (and the governor's letter), there is no mention of it at all.

I can't tell whether the governor will introduce a bill that includes the local vote option to go above the 1 percent cap. Olympia is one of the few cities in the state thinking about moving beyond 1 percent in the next few days, and I'm not totally sure that would be "against the will of the voters."

I-747 passed in Thurston County by 53 percent, five percent lower than the statewide margin. One could assume that Olympia was the anchor that drug down Thurston County's percentage. One could also assume that 747 lost in Olympia, which makes our council's inclination towards raising property taxes above the 1 percent limit politically feasible.

I emailed the auditors office for the precinct level data from the 2001 election this morning.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little Del State brain dump (go Hornets, beat the Hens)

Just more than ten years ago, I was wrapping up my sophomore year at Delaware State University. I had spent two years in their print journalism department and had worked my way from a regular reporter to sports editor and then finally news editor at the school paper, The Hornet.

That last semester I spent wondering about the most significant phenomena of my time at DSU, I was a white student at a historically black college, one of only two white journalism majors in my department at the time.

Both my fellow students at my teachers encouraged me to write about the "white student experience" at Del State, and in doing so, I often drew into the conversation the other big school in the state: The University of Delaware.

This reflection brought to you by the historic meeting of my Del State Hornets with the (some say mighty) Fighting Blue Hens.

Some fact memories from that time:
  • Despite Del State being known as "the black school," the student body at Del State was 75 percent black, and 25 percent everything else. The student body at UD was 96 percent white. No one called it the "white school."
  • When I was high school there were more than a few urban myths about Del State, as you might imagine there are for Evergreen in Olympia. One was a mysterious female student that spread AIDS throughout the school. I was warned not to get AIDS before I started attending.
  • Did I mention that Del State and UD have never played each other before. I think this has as much to do with the relatively tight football schedule (as compared to baseball or basketball, which the two schools have played against each other) and that UD has been a historic football power, and DSU not, as it has to do with race. But, in part, race had some part to play.
By the way, see that Hornet up there? Designed by my classmate Chris Brown.

DSU v UD section of the Delaware News Journal
With matchup finally set, football talk heats up
Game forum

Terry Bergeson is running again for OSPI, raised $15k already

Not sure how anyone else has missed this one, but from what I can tell from the PDC, Terry Bergeson is running for the fourth time to head up OSPI.

Hunter George writes here (in pointing out a new dry side opponent) last month that she "has not announced her plans for 2008." Well, 12 days before he wrote that, Bergeson filed her C1 with the PDC bureaucratically announcing her campaign, and then just today, she put up a C3 announcing that she's raised $15, 495.

Also looks like Judy Billings is in the running too.

Richard Semler, the guy from Richland? He's raised $100. Yippee.

Recall Jane Hague push to save the KC Dems skin?

Last summer the King County fell down the stairs when they failed to file an opponent to incredibly weak KC councilmember Jane Hague.

Hague of the DUI charge.

Here's my question, if Hague is found guilty of driving drunk later this month, wouldn't it be smart for the KC Dems to try to remove her from office?

Recall in the state of Washington is allowed even for simply breaking the law, as it is assumed Hague did when she was sloshed while driving on June 2 on Hwy 520.

From the MRSC:
has been found guilty of two or more of the acts specified in the State Constitution as grounds for recall.[ii] The terms are defined as follows:
  • "Misfeasance" or malfeasance" in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of official duty;
    • Additionally, "misfeasance" in office means the performance of a duty in an improper manner; and
    • Additionally, "malfeasance" in office means the commission or an unlawful act
  • "Violation of the oath of office" means the willful neglect or failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.
One could assume they could come up easily with one ground of recall (driving drunk), I guess its only a matter of finding another one.

Why hasn't Almost Live (or something like it) become a Youtube thing?

Reading this:
Even so, Keister isn't so sure that the issues today -- as good as they remain -- could prop up the show once famous for its parodies of local politics, neighborhood stereotypes, Seattle quirkiness and anything regarding Renton or Kent.

The city has lost its oddball manner and its regional distinction, he said, in ways that have muted much of "Live's" local flavor. Former "Live" cast member Nancy Guppy agreed.

"I don't know if it could exist now," she said.

Everything is becoming more homogeneous, with condos stacked on Subways, luxury markets, Pottery Barns. Said Guppy: "I'm not sure who cares about the local thing -- the Seattle thing."
Makes me think of this, this and this.

Ok, taking into their reflections that "Seattle has changed, but we're totally cool about that," is more about "We didn't change dude, you changed," there is no reason there isn't an "Almost Live on the internet."

Dave Zirin doesn't know what the hell he's talking about Re: Sonics

Zirin in the PI:
Municipalization means turning the Sonics into a public utility; call it a kind word for expropriation. Basketball fans should press the state of Washington to sue for the right to buy the team back from Clay and his cronies. They should claim that the Sonics and Storm are the intellectual property -- the eminent domain -- of the people of Seattle, and therefore the city has far more of a claim on the team than the Bennetts of Oklahoma.

The Sonics should get their new arena, but instead of the proceeds going to build another wing on Bennett Manor, the funds would go to rebuilding the city's health care and educational infrastructure.

Imagine seeing someone wearing a Kevin Durant jersey on the street and knowing that instead of draining the tax base of a city, it was paying for new textbooks in a public school classroom.

Does this seem far-fetched? Ask the city of Green Bay, where the beloved Packers are actually publicly owned. They are the only publicly owned team in the United States. It's time to add to that list.

This is bigger than the Sonics. This is about drawing a line against the subsidizing of stadiums by which public monies are delivered to private hands. No more Mr. Flannel-Shirted Nice Guy. The Sonics stay in Seattle. They belonged to the Emerald City long before they belonged to Clay Bennett.

1. The Green Bay Packers aren't the panacea that people always point to in these situations. They are a private company in a league with revenue sharing. They aren't, as Mr. Zirin writes, owned by the city of Green Bay. They are public in about the same sense that Microsoft is public, they both sell shares to anyone who wants to buy. They are a for profit company owned by 40,000 share holders (who can own as many as 200 shares).

Yes, they're a great example of fans having a hand in the team, but they are a far far cry from actual city owned teams like (until recently) the Harrisburg Senators.

2. Who is to say that the NBA would put up with that level of insolence? The NBA, and other leagues like it, aren't straight up businesses. The courts don't consider what they do "commerce" so they're able to take part in anti-competitive tactics, like simply taking Seattle's team away.

"Fine, don't like how we manage our league? We're leaving."

All of the above isn't to say that I hope the Sonics stay and that the NBA sucks. But, I'm thinking its more likely that the NBA is ripe for competition if they leave Seattle.

Who's to say another ABA won't show up?

Friday, November 16, 2007

MLS Cup back in Seattle on EPSN 2

Thank you MLS Seattle! Word on the street is that folks from MLS Seattle got on the phone when they found out that the MLS Cup wouldn't be airing in the Seattle market.

Sounds pretty realistic to me, co-owner Joe Roth is known to call up EPSN when he gets a bur under his saddle about soccer. The only part of the press conference last Tuesday that I was able to catch on streaming video was him telling a story about calling up the president of ESPN to complain about a couple of EPSN Radio guys that were trashing soccer.

Good on you guys!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No MLS Cup on KOMO

We buy 3,000 season tickets since Tuesday, but no MLS Cup on KOMO this Sunday:

Kaylor, Doreen
to Emmett O'Connell
date Nov 15, 2007 4:54 PM
subject RE: MLS Cup this Sunday?

KOMO will not be airing the MLS Cup on Sunday. The FCC regulations on Children's programming are extremely strict. Part of the requirements for retaining a broadcast license is that stations must air a specific amount of children's programming each week during a specific window of time. ABC booked so many hours of sports programming this weekend that it was necessary for us to pre-empt some of the sports programming and air FCC children's programming.

Unfortunately ESPN was not able to find another home in the Seattle market to air the soccer match - either on cable or broadcast television.

"Barcelona model" not actually Barca and socis

Just a short note, even though I'm excited about the selling of memberships of the new Seattle MLS team and the prospect of that actually giving fans a voice in the team, it doesn't seem likely to me that anyone outside of Drew Carey, Joe Roth, Andrian Hauner and Paul Allen will actually own a stake in the team.

It won't actually be a fan-owned team like FC United of Manchester, Yokohama F.C., or the Green Bay Packers.

In the Barcelona example, over 150,000 individuals, through the payment of yearly dues, own the Football Club Barcelona. Even though we'll pay dues to the Seattle club, we won't be owners. Any powers we have can be revoked by the owners.

Evergreen students arrested in Olympia port protests

Just curious, so from this list in the Olympian, I came up with this list from google:

Shyam Khanna

Evan A. Rohar
Gabrielle K. Sloane
James Steele
Luke E. Noble
Amanda N. Askea
Amory Ballantine
Holly A. Carter
Kimberly Chaplin
Jaime M. Crawford
Michelle Fleming
Daisy J. Montague
Emily A. Pieper
Katherine M. Waldeck
Shizuno M. Wynkoop

So, of the 57 people arrested (one person was nabbed twice), just over a quarter are Evergreen students. In terms of what this tells you, it depends on how you see Evergreen. Some folks are already assuming that the protests are a phenomena brought on by Evergreen, that if that school weren't here, there would have been no protests.

That's hard to say, given the protests in Tacoma and Aberdeen to similar shipments. While both of those communities have satellite Evergreen campuses, I doubt that's what really got people riled up.

For me, this dispells the myth that this was a bunch of Evergreen students making trouble. The protests would have happened on their own, without Evergreen (like in Tacoma and Aberdeen). But, you can hardly expect college students attending what everyone knows is a very liberal school from standing on the sidelines for this one.

So, while even one person from the peace community saying (via email):
And, although for many of us tomorrow is a holiday from work, that is not the case for Evergreen students, who have to go to school. Evergreen students have been the primary presence at the port.
...we can know that it's not exactly true. Sure, a lot of students came down, but a lot more non-students were there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"All the power to the fans"

Apparently, it was conditional on Drew Carey's involvement in the Seattle MLS organization that it become a fan based team.

Here's a movie of Drew's intro to the fans. Listen to their reaction when he mentions the new way of doing business:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fan owned Seattle MLS?

Goal Seattle:
Details were not made clear, but Carey was sold on the idea when Roth told him Seattle MLS would like to use 'the Barcelona model' of letting fans own part of the club and have voting shares. I am sure we'll hear more about that soon.
Seattle PI:
And here's another radical idea: Fans will be able to buy membership in the team, which will give them the power to vote out the general manager. That, too, came from Carey
Greg Roth on BigSoccer:
One of his stipuations is that the fans will own a small piece of the team very much like the current FC Barcelona model. The fans will have the opportunity to become members of the club. Fans can pay in (an mount to be detrmined). In return, fans would get T Shirts, discounts on tickets, special events etc. Every 4 years the fans or club members will have a vote on who should be the team chairman.
The Sounders would be the only major league team, outside of the famed Green Bay Packers, that have turned over any portion of the team to the fans.

List of Fan Owned Teams

In some ways, the way this entire thing is turning out, with the MLS coming to Seattle, with the announcement that the team will, in part, be fan owned, seems strange to me. While on one hand we have this caustic drama with the Sonics that is sapping the souls of any basketball fan in Seattle.

On the other hand, we have this hope-filled world opening up. Feels good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

And, to you PDX, re:MLS

There we go again, feeding our Demons of Ambition.

Happy MLS in Seattle Day!

Well, officially it will be on Monday, but we can start celebrating now.

As everyone in the freaking world is noting (here, here and here), Seattle is getting a new MLS team. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm just happy.

While I'm being happy, think about coming out to O'Blarney's next Sunday morning to watch the MLS Cup with a group of us. Please

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

IRV wins again in Pierce County

Pierce County voted for Instant Run-off voting last year, but the county council put it back on the ballot against this year. The folks weren't fooled up there, and they're voting against delaying IRV until 2010 by a two to one margin.

Funny thing: Piece County has eight charter amendments on the ballot this year and almost every single one of them is winning. Most are in the 60 percent area, but several are in the 70s and at least all of the winning ones are above 54 percent.

The two charter amendments that would have messed around with IRV are the only ones that are losing. Looks like the voters paid attention to this one.

So says Kelly in Pierce County.

Olympian the official vote reporter in Thurston County?

I know it only matters to weirdos who would sit at their computer and hit refresh on election night, but it bugs the ever-living-crap out of me that the Olympian is posting live results, while the county Auditor's office is MIA.

9:29 p.m. and no results.

UPDATE: 10:07 p.m. and we're the only county in the state not reporting any results (at least officially). Theoretically, since we are the state capital, you would assume we could bike our results over to the state auditor and still beat some other counties.

Update again: Last Tabulated: 11/6/2007 10:21:34 PM. Freakin' finally, two hours?

What about other options regarding basketball in Seattle?

From the PI:

We're Seattle -- we have options. We could pursue the Golden Baseball League model and form an independent basketball league, or, better yet, a league of smaller basketball teams. There are other sports to consider, like, say, hockey. It doesn't have to be a National Hockey League team -- how about supporting the existing Western Hockey League? If this is about keeping arena seats filled and giving people who love sports something to enjoy, then we could do worse.

The problem with the hockey thing, especially the WHL Thunderbirds, is that they're already leaving Seattle. Not to say we couldn't draw another minor league hockey team to Key Arena and have a great local derby between Everett/Seattle/Kent, but that's going off in another direction.

I love this idea of a competing winter basketball league. Unlike baseball, and to some extent hockey, there is no organization top-to-bottom in basketball. All of the independent basketball leagues in the United States operate independently from the NBA.

List of minor league basketball leagues

Since the ABA merged with the NBA in the 70s, there has been little competition with top flight basketball in the United States. Taking the opportunity now to compete, I could see putting into play a handful of things that would strike at the heart of sports over here.

A new basketball league (or rather system) could involved promotion/relegation where good teams go up and bad teams down. In this way, you could invite teams from existing leagues to compete.

Community ownership could also play a role. The NHL supposedly played with this idea a few years ago, but outside of the Green Bay Packers and some other minor league teams, it is untried. Ask any fan if they'd buy stock in their team though.

Also, is it totally necessary to have a t.v. contract? This doomed the ABA... so, for now, despite internet and all that, I guess it does.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

First of a series: money and the parties

I've been poking around the PDC website for a couple of days, and now I'm going to post how much money is given to the both major state parties and the two parties in Thurston County.

All future posts in this topic will be categorized here.

For September:

State Republican Party (exempt): $41,471
State Republican Party (non-exempt) $0
Total: $41,471

Top giver, George Rowley of Rowely Enterprises in Sammamish who gave $25,000.

State Democratic Party (exempt): $4,543
State Democratic Party (non-exempt): $67,103
Total: $71,646

Top giver, Greg Amadon, a venture capitalist.

Thurston County Republicans: nada

Thurston County Democrats: $5,238.41

Top giver, lots of people, because over $4,000 came from a low cost fundraiser. I'm going to guess the burger booth.

Pelz v. Esser on Inside Olympia (sigh... battle of the state party chairs)

I listened to this by podcast, so I couldn't see either state party chairs' faces, but I was hoping that given some dead air, each had a list they'd refer to.

Pelz: "I'm not sure this state wants to elect George W. Bush as governor."

Esser: "You know, the governor held the door open as 30,000 inmates were released."

Pelz: "Rossi can't make up his mind on transportation."

Esser: "Gregoire has been in government for 30 years."

Pelz: "You can't trust Republicans to balance the budget, look what they're doing in the other Washington."

I know I wasn't looking for actual debate, but this was silly.

How do you embed video from TVW? Go here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gregoire's people get back first (another reason sucks)

In response to this:

So, who is actually reading these emails?
The governor's office sends me this:
All emails to the Governor sent through her website are first viewed by employees of the Constituent Services Department within the Office of the Governor. These emails are coded with subject information and then routed within the office or to individual agencies for follow-up. All communications to the Governor are made available to her executive policy staff who use this information when helping the Governor as she moves forward with issues important to the residents of Washington State.

I hope this answers your question.

What I was looking for wasn't a direct email from, but rather some sort of indication that my email wasn't going into some black hole. I'm not totally sure that if you do send anything to Dino at his email address collecting website that you'll get anything back at all.

Either way, the governor's office seems to be taking this more seriously.