- Class action lawsuit filed against Sound Transit on car tab fees
- One step closer to free transit for high school students
- Metro kicks off Eastside mobility survey
- the death of America’s small apartments
- Lynnwood link online survey
- California going big on EV charging
- Meanwhile, plenty of hypocrisy to go around with BART and housing
- What is the correct percentage of single family zoning in Seattle?
- Using Trailhead direct with kids
- NYC making space for Zipcars
- Northgate mall in the 1950s
- New Metro fare starts July 1
- Which neighborhoods have been untouched by Seattle’s housing boom
- Development moratoria (?) are all the rage in some Puget Sound cities
- It’s possible to double monorail capacity
- An aerial tram from Kirkland to the 405 BRT station? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Another landslide suspends Amtrak Cascades service
- Capitol Hill station TOD finally getting underway
This is an open thread.
Streetcar at Yesler Terrace by SounderBruce in the STB Flickr Pool
61 Replies to “News Roundup: Small Apartments”
The best apartments that I’ve lived in have been in “small” developments, all of them 4 to 20 unit buildings owned by individuals, two of them lawyers, and one a retired bar owner. Maintenance in these small units was always thoughtful and prompt, and attention to details like excessively noisy neighbors was taken very seriously. Every single “corporate” apartment complex I’ve lived in has been a hell-hole, i.e. noisy neighbors going unchecked, foul odors, maintenance items going unaddressed for months. There is something to be said for having a portfolio small enough to actively manage, and to have to face your customer face-to-face when negotiating a lease as opposed to having a hired hand do it for you.
The decline in small apartment buildings is really unfortunate.
+1. The best place I’ve ever lived was a unicorn. Brick and brownstone-like, 3-story walk up with 6 units of 800 sq ft each, no setback, a block off Broadway, 5 blocks from Capitol Hill station, “naturally affordable”, no large-format ground floor retail, no high-end “amenities”, and owned by a husband and wife who sent us a very apologetic letter when they had to raise the rent after three years…by $100. I wish there were a thousand of those buildings in Seattle.
Same experiences here.
I’m currently renting a condo from the owner. I’ve rented 2 other condos and lived in a family-owned building (one of ~10 that they owned). Over the ~6 years living in those places, I’ve had far fewer issues than I had during the 1 year I lived in a brand new corporate-owned place.
The small-time owners don’t have rent optimization algorithms and can’t absorb vacancies as easily (each vacancy is a substantial % of income) so I figure they keep rents more affordable.
>> The small-time owners don’t have rent optimization algorithms and can’t absorb vacancies as easily (each vacancy is a substantial % of income) so I figure they keep rents more affordable.
Yes, exactly. I remember reading an article stating that.
While not renting, I concur with your experience as the owner of a unit in a small apartment building vs a large apartment building.
I was lucky enough to be able to purchase a condo unit in a 6 unit condo/apartment building in Ballard during the recent recession, although I looked at large condo buildings that existed at the time. The difference between my experience versus my friends who bought units in large condo buildings is astronomical. While there’s quite a few reasons for the better experience, the largest by far is that the owners in smaller buildings seem to just care more.
I know all of the other 5 unit’s owners on a personal level; not that we’re friends or hang out regularly, but I still know who they are, say hi and make small talk in passing. Everyone shows up at the HOA meetings, without the threat of fines. We all chip in time and effort for management, repairs and maintenance, but don’t hesitate to hire out for things above our ability. Our amenities are essentially zero, but our HOA fees are pretty much utilities, expected, reoccurring costs and rainy day fund. We all treat the building as our home and all of this has really added up to a pleasant experience.
Compare this to my friends in large buildings, half who don’t even know or bother to get to know who lives in the next door units. Forced HOA meetings seem like prison sentences and there’s just no sense of caring or community in the buildings. Not that large condo buildings are bad. Clearly there are plenty of people that are fine with that type of living situation.
I wouldn’t trade my condo building for all the amenities that even the fanciest building can offer.
And there are some advantages on the other side. Buying, owning, and managing rentals (yes, it can be a fair amount of work) is an excellent way of medium income folks building up an estate to support themselves throughout retirement. And possibly one larger unit that a family owner could live in. This used to be fairly common.
A downside of 6-8 unit condos is that one or two ill tempered people can make the whole building a pain. A remedy would be an association of small condos with common rules, management, etc.
Social capital has value! I don’t think we’re very good at talking about this in our particular time and place but in the era of smart-things and big data it becomes increasingly clear that healthy personal relationships have measurable benefits.
For bus / train operations in the DSTT, I’m confused why buses entering the platform after a train need to have the train fully leave the platform before they can start entering. I see why that is with trains entering behind a bus (trains have a longer stopping distance), but any can’t a bus follow a train the same way it follows another bus?
It’s not just that… buses can’t enter the tunnel portion until a train has completely exited that segment. It’s all part of the FRA/FTA agreement ST signed on to for mixed ops. Frankly I don’t know why the rules need to be any different from how street running LRT operates in shared traffic all over the country (including right here in Seattle with the streetcars).
The DSTT operates under railroad rules. The tunnel is divided into sections (signal blocks), and only one train — or a group of buses pretending to be a train — can be in one signal block at a time. That’s how railroads avoid collisions, and the buses are guests on the network so they follow what may seem like silly rules from a bus-road perspective.
And, correct, these were federal requirements and pre-conditions tied to ST’s $500 million grant that helped pay for the initial LRT line. ST & KCM had no discretion.
Maybe both Feds and LINK mistakenly got hold of long-canceled plans to coordinate DSTT operations so that four to six buses would travel together as a “platoon”.
Too bad. Would have quashed (who took off the “S”?) a lot of claims that buses could be just as efficient as trains to watch 360′ of stopped buses turn into a quarter mile of them obeying following distance rules at 60 mph. Resulting in a wall of stalled buses with back bumper at IDS and front one in in North Bend.
Which is why anti-railroaders made the Washington legislature quietly pass the Transit Anticoordination Act of 1990. And then, as its effectiveness made it standard, immediately started attacking ST for inefficiency. At least Hollywood got the word to leave that scene out of the movie.
Truth is that in about a week, Management noticed that enough buses entering the Tunnel under their own power also came out the other end so often that they didn’t even need the enormous tractors we specifically bought to do that. Where are those, anyhow?
But main reason, something like this. While a standard tow-truck can haul a disabled bus out of the Tunnel either direction, and a stalled train can be pulled or pushed by another train, a bus directly behind a stuck train will miss all its connections. As well as both modes behind it, the more varied the worse.
Also, a bus allowed into a station behind a stopped train would’ve been forced to make a second stop at the head of the platform. Slowing itself holding everything behind it in the tube, Which even when not forced, drivers usually did anyhow.
For those reasons,correct platoon operations, meaning buses traveling like uncoupled trains, would still have left empty section ahead. Assuring that nobody’s passengers would’ve had tons of concrete, dirt and steel between them and the nearest restroom. Good thing that never happens!
With skilled and drilled signal system, buses could have been shifted to the oncoming tunnel. But: (see legislation cited above.) Still and all, my main point is don’t let an innocent Federal regulation get blamed for a system’s polite aversion to the smell of its own sweat.
The Eastside mobility survey was a big disappointment. It didn’t ask anything about which bus routing you prefer, just vague general questions, like how many times per week do you use transit, and what is your age, gender, ethnicity, income level, etc. I was hoping to have a chance to speak up for more evening/weekend service on the 255 (in exchange for a UW Station truncation), but the survey never gave me that chance.
I agree. I felt that survey was like a whitewash to present with staff recommendations. Go through the motions of community engagement when staff already knows what they want to do, and can give the board some selected survey results to support their plan.
I sent an email with questions to Tristan Cook, the planner, and have gotten no response. I am unimpressed.
Evening/weekend 255 service should just go to Seattle. There’s little UW demand, freeways and streets uncongested, and it avoids all the complexity of Montlake bridge openings/closures, UW events, etc.
There have been more of these non-survey surveys recently, and surveys without a freeform text box where you can enter comments that weren’t addressed by the questions.
I concur with that observation. It seems as though these agencies are just going through the exercise to check off their “community outreach” box.
I took the lame survey. Then at the end they requested my email and other personal info. I declined and they threw out my survey (disqualified it) saying I didn’t answer the require question–my email. I don’t trust this personal info will not be used.
I gave a made-up email @example.com, and also answered “Strongly Disagree” for “I believe that taking the time to share my views will result in better decisions being made.”
The whole aerial tram in Kirkland is more a media thing. Having talked with city employees, I can assure you that it was probably a casual conversation at the council level that the local news outlets took too far because they needed to fill a news cycle. Just something to be aware of since I don’t see this as ever being considered a real option, at least this point in time.
Especially since there is and always will be direct transit service from the Kirkland Transit Center to both downtown Seattle and to Bellevue – why would you need to go the BRT stop? Only northbound, I guess, but you could still access via a bus at Totem Lake, or bus to 85th (is that the 245?)
Service from Kirkland Transit Center to Bellevue is slow and not direct, even if it is a one seat ride. If you’re waiting at the transit center, and the eastbound bus happens to show up before the south bound bus, the transfer to BRT will most likely be faster.
The future direct service from Kirkland to Bellevue will be RapidRide in 2025, so likely a few minutes faster than today. When I’ve back-of-the-envelope’d the travel times for southbound, it’s faster to take whichever bus (the Rapidride or the connector to the BRT) comes first. But the rapidride will come more often.
Northbound, I think it might pay to always take the rapidride, unless the connecting bus schedule is well timed.
For any Bellevue to south/central Kirkland trips that aren’t transit center to transit center, the BRT is unlikely to be competitive.
Hopefully, the RapidRide and the bus to NE 85th will be on the same side of the street. The 540 and 255 aren’t, and it isn’t the safest arrangement for anybody who has a whichever-comes-first strategy.
RapidRide depends on a countywide tax measure, and if that doesn’t pass or doesn’t happen, then it will depend on whether Metro will be able to squeeze enough service hours and capital funds from restructuring and the rising population and if the cities contribute something. The Eastside cities seem eager to have a next generation bus network and have someone else pay for it. There’s also Des Moines – Kangley RapidRide, Renton – Auburb RapidRide, Federal Way – Auburn RapidRide, Redmond – Renton RapidRide, 372 RapidRide, and maybe more in Seattle, all in the 2025 plan and competing for funds.
Is there a site with info on the Kirkland-Bellevue Rapid Ride proposal? I know the 234/235 is a pretty low bar to clear, but I’m not sure how they’ll make it significantly faster and more reliable without lots of road-widening and skipping South Kirkland P&R.
Nothing published yet on Kirkland RapidRide, or most of the suburban rapidrides. The LRP has it routed via 6th St/108th Ave. Upgrades seem likely to include queue jumps NB on 108th, and there’s also talk of moving the SKPR stop out to 108th so it doesn’t have to loop around the apartments.
For all the discussion of gondolas as modes of transportation, this new BRT stop to downtown Kirkland seems like the ideal use case for a gondola, if it can run fast enough.
Don’t tell me we’re going to blow 40% of the 405 BRT budget on a BRT stop that in essence is supposed to be like a downtown Kirkland express stop, but do nothing about the last mile problem. Otherwise, 250M could probably extend the S. Kirkland light rail one stop over to downtown Kirkland, difference being taking 17 years longer to open (significant for sure!) and WSDOT doesn’t get free money from ST for its fancy new ramp.
The reason light rail isn’t going to downtown Kirkland is the Kirkland city council wanted a bus alternative and neighborhood activists said “Hell no trains or buses on our trail!!!”, so rather than risk the ire of either ST just deferred Kirkland.
I don’t believe ST or Kirkland ever proposed light rail to downtown Kirkland within the ST3 plan. Options that served Kirkland directly were always some form of bus service.
Correct. Rail to Downtown Kirkland was never considered by Sound Transit. There was something called a “Downtown Kirkland” station on some options, but it was more than a half mile up the hill where the trail crosses 6th St.
One of the specific concerns about the LRT proposal, even for people otherwise supportive of transit on the corridor, is that nobody outside Union Station could figure the point of a rail station that so badly missed its supposed market. The City’s BRT proposal would have addressed that.
@ AJ, ST considered both LRT and BRT in the ST3 process, but the city couldn’t reach consensus within the council. See projects E-03 and E-06.
How about a gondola that could be extended all the way across to Sand Point? It’s only 2 miles from downtown Kirkland; I’ve kayaked it in under half an hour. At 16mph it would be like 8 minutes across. It wouldn’t be the world’s longest span even if you kept the towers completely out of the lake. Views would be amazing. Noise, about zero…
If there’s no way no how light rail is ever getting to downtown Kirkland (and beyond) then why are they building it to S. Kirkland and ending it? Is a stub line to S. Kirkland more important than interlining Issaquah to Redmond (or interlining the other way to Seattle by connecting to Bellevue Downtown, and crossing 405 zero times instead of one)? Or is it just really important that S. Kirkland and Issaquah be connected by light rail?
I thought the whole point of S. Kirkland was that they would study and ultimately build light rail along the CKC (which is why Save Our Trail was still unhappy). If not then this whole thing is really dumb. It adds a freeway crossing to reduce the number of employment centers with direct access to Issaquah, but at least it’s in the scope of the ST3 plan.
>> If there’s no way no how light rail is ever getting to downtown Kirkland (and beyond) then why are they building it to S. Kirkland and ending it?
Because ST likes light rail. They think it is the answer to every problem.
>> If not then this whole thing is really dumb.
Now you’ve got it.
Seriously though, I’ve followed many an argument here on this blog, including ones that are ridiculous. Some of those were proposed by me (hey, I’m not perfect). But I’ve never heard anyone make a solid case for the South Kirkland to Issaquah light rail line. It probably won’t be the worst light rail project in the U. S. (I believe Sacramento holds that title) but it will certainly be close.
After a few walks along the Cross Kirkland Connector, I think problems with light rail owe a lot more to civil engineering than to politics. The roadbed really was a freight rail line- good news for the track bed.
But doubt it was double-tracked. Standard LINK light rail car would look about like this on the trail: Not sure it’s wide enough for trail traffic as well.
Skoda cars like on FHS and SLU might be better fit:
And also very possibly:
Could easily run streets to Downtown Kirkland”
But probably hardest problem to solve: Foot-and-bike trail ends above South Kirkland Park and Ride, about three stories above the bus platforms. Passenger elevator now. I’m not completely kidding about this: Streetcars have worked with inclines before:
From South Kirkland P&R, tracks really could head a couple blocks west to Bellevue way, and street-run all the way to Bellevue Transit Center. Maybe reserved lanes. From what I’ve seen of streetcar enthusiasts, neither streetcars nor inclines could handle visiting overloads. Proof also that Aspergers’ Syndrome really does exist.
BTW: From South Kirkland end of the trail, unused railroad goes all the way to Bellevue:
Could easily handle LINK. But couldn’t find a single location for a station all the way in right now. Factory property only. So I certainly wouldn’t give up on a railed trail. I doubt it’ll become a freeway. Remember, there’s no such thing as an anti-rail grandchild.
Now about cable-ways. Our climate features a lot more miserable rain than spectacular snow. So we’re not talking about a gondola ride. We’re looking at cable-carried buses:
Shown in front of probably the only conditions that would ever make the expense of it worthwhile. But I certainly wouldn’t give up on Kirkland at all. Like everyplace else in this region, next ST- will see a lot of ex-little boys become serious well-paid rail supporters.
But as weather clears, good idea to walk and bike that trail a lot. With camera (or Smart Phone) and note pad. Could take awhile, but we could have something really good here if we bide our time.
“If there’s no way no how light rail is ever getting to downtown Kirkland ”
ST is punting on it for now, assuming the at negotiations will go better in ST4 and Kirkland will have a more unified position. It is the third-largest city in the Eastside, so it’s third in line to get HCT after Bellevue and Redmond if it wants it. Issaquah leapt ahead of it this round because it really wanted it and cooperated with ST and it had a member on the board who pushed for it.
Otherwise — and this is just my speculation — maybe light rail would go to Totem Lake and bypass downtown Kirkland again. But how it would get from South Kirkland P&R to Totem Lake seems like a difficult issue. If Kirkland doesn’t want it on the CKC then it could go up 108th, but a surface routing would be slow and I can’t imagine the neighborhood would stand for elevated. Or it could cut over to 405 but how would it get there? Or it could divert to 405 earlier (between Wilburton and South Kirkland) and abandon the terminal station. But there would probably be opposition to that too, because you’d be deleting a Kirkland station that exists and has a P&R. So I don’t know.
>> Because ST likes light rail. They think it is the answer to every problem.
Every problem except the overlooked dense neighborhood of downtown east of I-5, which just needs a streetcar (which is close enough to light rail because it is rail).
And curiously not the problem of reliable transit on 405 either, which (at least from Kirkland to Lynnwood or Bellevue to Renton) would seem like the 100% best application of freeway running light rail (which ST likes so much) in the region.
While I think that giving high schoolers transit passes is a good idea for many reasons, I feel like diverting money that voters approved to spend on more bus service hours is breaking the agreement with voters. Voters were voting to tax themselves for more bus service, not to spend the money to create more riders without more service, which is what diverting this $5-7 million is likely to do. And if it takes Metro time to hire more drivers, so be it. Metro could shift more ST routes to CT or PT and use those resources for more service.
The riders will also be heavily concentrated into a small number of trips around school start/end time. I hope they have money for extra buses, or people will be left behind.
I felt the same way but the article points out that Metro can’t deliver the additional bus service anyway, so the choice is either to do this, save the money for later, or roll back the tax. I don’t know whether the city can adjust the tax rate on the fly. But these capital improvements will have permanent benefits. If transit lanes and off-board payment can make a run ten minutes faster, then the bus can make more runs per day, so you get additional runs “for free”, not just this year but every year.
How about invest the money in driver training and buying more buses – it can’t take that long and once this revenue is diverted, I bet it stays diverted forever. Dedicated transit funding that is supposed to buy service, instead is diverted to school funding (wouldn’t the schools have to pay for transportation otherwise?)
Investing in capital improvements (as long as they’re legitimate transit improvements and not road improvements) is a very good thing.
Diverting the money to schools is bad, for all the reasons Carl says.
>> How about invest the money in driver training and buying more buses
I think they have the buses, they just don’t have the drivers. Or, more specifically, they don’t have the driver candidates. Metro trains their drivers, so as long as qualify and are interested, you can become a driver.
The problem is, in this economy, their aren’t enough people interested. I’m sure some people just don’t qualify (e. g. drug problems, no drivers license, no history of customer experience, etc.). Metro could pay more to attract new workers, but in the long run that would cost the agency a lot more. Seattle could just wait, but they see this as an easy win — something they can do right away. I would like to see money shifted to backfill the Move Seattle project, but my guess is the mayor has no confidence in SDOT right now, and doesn’t want to hand them a big project until they straighten things out there.
> The problem is, in this economy, their aren’t enough people interested.
Sorry, I’ve been through the hiring process and this simply isn’t true. Metro has a hiring problem but it’s not because of lack of qualified applicants. There training process is a silly barrier to adjusting drivers to meet demand and numerous qualified candidates are turned away from the limited number of slots available. It’s a crises of their own making.
@William — The money isn’t being diverted to schools. It is going into ORCA cards for a lot of young people. Some of those riders probably paid with cash, which most people consider to be a bad thing (right?). Many couldn’t afford that, so they walked. This seems like a reasonable and cost effective improvement to the public transit system.
I think Seattle Public Schools is required to provide transportation for students living more than a certain distance from their school. For high schoolers it may be 1 or 2 miles. If the city uses this transit revenue to provide ORCA cards, then Seattle Public Schools is freed of the obligation for those students outside the circumference. In effect, it is a funding shift from transit to schools.
All public school districts have to provide transporation from locations outside I think a mile radius, at least to the assigned or neighborhood school (not to voluntary transfers if the family opts for another school). Seattle does that partly with school buses and partly with Metro passes. This proposal is not about that, it’s about extending free year-round Metro passes to the entire student base. The argument is it helps all public-school students get around for both school and non-school activities, it potentially frees up parents from having to chauffer them, and it may convince them to become lifelong transit users.
Voters were voting to tax themselves for more bus service, not to spend the money to create more riders without more service, which is what diverting this $5-7 million is likely to do.
If I remember right, the vote was to backfill a Metro shortage caused by the recession. Once it became clear that the money wasn’t needed anymore, then it was supposed to be used for improving bus service. I would consider giving thousands of people access to the transit system an improvement in service, even if the buses run at the same speed and frequency. I don’t remember anything specific in terms of what they promised (unlike the Move Seattle levy or ST3). I think this is a reasonable use of the money, especially given our situation.
The only thing that is weird is that no one is talking about back filling the Move Seattle projects. Those are much more expensive than originally planned. It seems like some of the money should be used for that. It is possible that eventually it will be — but right now the mayor has no faith in SDOT (for good reason, in my opinion).
> California going big on EV charging
Does this mean the end of the road for Arnold’s Hydrogen Highway?
If you’re on Skyscraper City, you might’ve already seen this, but I wanted to drop it here too.
I’ve been working on this map for some time now. It’s still not finished, but since I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to work on it again (due to RL circumstances), I’m just going to drop it now.
This is the Seattle Metro concept that I’ve mentioned here. It’s a 7 (soon to be 9) line system. Trains are 160m long, 3.4m wide, use 1500V DC Overhead wire, and have a top speed of 110 kph. There’s also the Streetcar network (inherited from the original system), and a Regional Rail system (RER) that I plan reorganizing when I get the time. There was also a huge bus network that I wanted to add, but I haven’t had time for that.
The Metro system that I developed isn’t all that unusual for the version of America that it takes place in (Given how this Seattle has about twice the population of the Seattle in our world). This system also has a long winding explanation of how exactly it developed like this, starting from initial plans in the 1930’s, with numerous bumps in the road due to shifting politics.
I’m impressed with the monorail improvement plans. It sure looks like they are taking a very cost effective, step by step approach towards improving service. The cost for a Belltown station seems fairly cheap as well. I hope they manage to fund those changes.
Regarding the backyard cottages subject matter, what are these so-called barriers for property owners developing said structures on their parcels? What are the parameters involved? Not being versed in the details of this issue, I’d appreciate any info others here could provide.
A couple of the big ones off the top of my head are:
– owner occupancy requirement for the main structure
– off street parking space requirement for the ADU/DADU
– can’t have both an ADU and a DADU on the same lot
Yeah, I think those are the main ones, but we are also a lot more strict when it comes to the size, height, setback and all that.. Sightline has more details on the subject including a comparison of Vancouver, Portland and Seattle (http://www.sightline.org/2016/02/17/why-vancouver-trounces-the-rest-of-cascadia-in-building-adus/).
Thanks. I took a few minutes to look into the DEIS Seattle put out in May for the proposed changes to the city’s land use regs related to AADUs and DADUs on SF parcels. The figure 2-2 early in the report summarizes the changes in the two proposed alternatives.
I just rode Sounder for the first time today southbound from Tukwila station to Tacoma. It was a very comfortable and smooth ride. Three things that I noticed about the route:
-There aren’t really any notices at Tukwila telling which trains come where on what platform, which is confusing. I ended up on the wrong platform until the station agent told me the train was coming on the other side.
-In a wetland near Puyallup, there were sprinklers watering a ditch in the wetland. Anyone know what this is?
-Most people on this trip seemed to get off at Puyallup and only some continued onwards to Tacoma.
We have this crazy policy that we charge $3.75 for a bus ride to Tacoma but $5.25 for a train ride, which may first require a transfer to get to KSS. If your employer isn’t paying for your pass, you might choose to save the money. On a monthly pass, it is the difference between $135/month and $189/month. So an extra $54/month. Some employers cap what they pay on passes, too.
I don’t think it serves as good public policy to have different fares for different modes between the same two points.
It’s not just the fares, it’s also time. Most days, the bus to Tacoma, nonstop down I-5, is faster than the train, which adds quite a bit of miles, serving Sumner and Puyallup. Going to Sumner or Puyallup, on the other hand, the train becomes nearly twice as fast as the bus, since the bus makes more stops, and the train does not suffer the distance penalty.
I agree, though, that two different fares to go between the same destinations is not good policy. The train may cost more to operate than the bus, but it also carries many more people, and the marginal cost of filling an empty seat is zero. If equalizing the fares means enough people switch from bus to train that ST can run fewer buses, the agency saves money, rather than loses money.
I think Sounder appears to serve mainly Tacoma but it really serves primarily Kent and Auburn. I have also heard there’s not enough capacity on Sounder for all the people on the Tacoma buses. Especially because trains from Tacoma can’t be full or they wouldn’t be able to serve Puyallip and south King County.
Finally there’s the controversial argument that Sounder is a premium service so should have a higher fare like first-class airline cabins, rather than being seen as the most efficient service so we should encourage everyone to use it with equal or low fares. But there’s still that capacity issue, and Sounder’s expansion is limited by BNSF’s exhorbinant charges for track time and competition from lucrative freight. That all prevents Sounder from reaching its maximum potential.
Initiative signature-gatherers report. I’ve seen three paid signature-gatherers. The first was at Seattle Central and had four initiatives. I signed one of them, the carbon tax, and declined to sign the other three. One was the $30 car tabs, another was something about publishing adoects6 of state-union workers terms, and another I don’t quite remember but I think it was also about open records? Normally I believe in sunshine but these sounded like right-wing union-busting or anti-government attacks, or at least that was my impression. And this was right in front of Socialist Central and Zucotti Park #3!
What worries me is that some people will sign for “$30 car tabs” without understanding the rest if what it does. Because who wouldn’t want to lower their taxes?
The second signature-gatherers ran into his friend the third at a bus stop on Pine Street. The second had a clipboard of initiatives; the third didn’tm. The third asked the second, “Do you have the gun one?” I overheard and asked, “Is there a gun-control initiative?” The second one said he doesn’t have it yet. I asked what it does. He said they didn’t know yet. They continued talking and I heard “$5 per signature”, apparently meaning the rate for most if them. They began reading something and the second one exclaimed “$7 per signature” and started jumping up and down like Snoopy dancing. I interpreted that to mean the rate for the gun initiative and he was eager to sign up.
I had no idea signature jobs paid that much. No wonder people are eager to do them. At $5 per signature, a hundred signatures comes to a cool five hundred dollars.
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