MISCmedia MAIL by Clark Humphrey — your Seattle morning news roundup

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015

"Linkage fees" have nothing to do with golf. "Mandatory inclusion zones" have nothing to do with bondage play. These and more are facts already known to all good MISCmedia MAIL readers.


Morning clouds, afternoon clearing, highs in the mid 70s. Continuing this way thru at least Thurs.



We now know just what's in the HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability) Committee's report to Mayor Murray, suggesting a massive overall plan to get some more "affordable" housing into our less-fair city. Major "linkage fees" on residential developers are set aside, at least for now. Instead, developers of commercial (not residential) projects would have to pay into an affordable-housing fund. Multi-family residential developers would have to include "affordable" units in their projects, or pay the city to have them built elsewhere. Among trade-outs to developers, about one-sixth of the city's land will be "upzoned," but few of those blocks are in existing "single family" zones. Some of the rezones will be to "mandatory inclusion zones," where some portion of new units have to be "affordable." The city's already in-the-works affordable housing levy will be doubled. The whole thing's supposed to add 20,000 "affordable" units over several years. (Seattlish) (PS Biz Journal)  

Here's the full document itself.

Mike Elaison at The Urbanist endorses the committee report, even though he really wants much more to be done: "I was initially skeptical of the composition of HALA. But, I also realized that the only way for my list of housing priorities to have any shot at succeeding, we needed to liberalize our planning and zoning codes. So I was amazed and shocked that the recommendations were so progressive–but there is work to be done, because we can make them even better." 

City Council candidate Jon Grant, as expected, issued a counter-proposal. Current councilmembers Sawant and Licata have endorsed it. It calls for more aggressive building of "very affordable" units, for rent control (currently state-forbidden), and for an end to "unsheltered homelessness" in five years. 

Kriston Capps at The Atlantic's CityLab says that with the plan, "Seattle could get housing that is fundamentally just, and that's something we haven't seen in any city anywhere." 

Slog has some further reactions by developers, affordability advocates, and pro-density "urbanists." 



A "Really Big One" earthquake would pretty much destroy everything and everyone west of the Cascades, from southern BC to northern Calif. And, if you believe a New Yorker piece by Kathryn Schultz, it's bound to happen one of these centuries. (A SeaTimes piece offers additional details of this existential threat.)

Also, one of the North Cascades' lesser-known volcanic mountains could blow at any time. (KIRO-TV) 


''A study calculates how low income and minority students get the worst teachers in Washington state." (Hechinger Report)  


Wanna know how well King County's drive to keep girls un-pregnant (and hence keep them in school) is working? Just look at all the lies right-wing media outlets are using to bash it. (Salon)

Meanwhile, Oregon and California adult women can soon get The Pill sans presctiption. (KING)  


An initiative for public financing of city elections will make November's ballot. (Slog)  


You just KNEW this was gonna happen. The Old Spaghetti Factory, a waterfront mainstay for 45 years, will disappear for redevelopment late this year or early next. The Portland-based chain says it'll look for a new Seattle location. (PS Biz Journal)  

The Northgate branch of Silver Platters, one of the city's last record stores, is closing. Sound Transit is taking over the whole strip-mall property as a construction staging area for light rail. The store's relocating to Lynnwood, but who wants to go there? (Edmonds Beacon)  


The UW School of Communications (my alma-mama) has started a "Center for Communication, Difference, and Equality." Its director says she sees "a potential moment of change" about race/gender/etc. issues, at least among the students. (SeaTimes) 


Berke Breathed revives "Bloom County" again, seven years since the last revival. (NPR) 


It's the day of baseball's All-Star Game. It's the sport's biggest one-day event. That's a big thing for fans. The days before and after the game have virtually no major sports events. That's a big thing for non-fans.

The City of Kirkland wants domestic-violence charges reinstated against soccer superstar Hope Solo. (KIRO-TV) 


"Let's Talk About Greece," talk with Charles Mudede. (Vermillion Gallery)


(Henry Rollins):

“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” 


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