Civic Minute December 11, 2014

12/11: Bertha can’t shake that sinking feeling, SPD holds a hackathon, and more…









About that 1.2-inch soil settlement under the viaduct…

Next on the progressive checklist: a municipal bank?

  • The bank would hold the City's deposits and make low-interest loans. 
  • It could finance infrastructure & policy initiatives and small business loans. 
  • A state legislator has proposed a similar model for holding marijuana funds.

The interim superintendent will now be…just the superintendent

  • As expected, the School Board voted to give Larry Nyland the permanent job.
  • Community members were upset at the lack of a full public process.
  • Board members said the District couldn't take more turmoil at the top.

Washington's first charter school is off to a rocky start

  • First Place Scholars is a K-5 school that serves primarily homeless students. 
  • It was the first charter school to open under a law passed by voters in 2012.
  • It was found to be out of compliance on over a dozen different points.
  • Its principal and half its board members have resigned; its future is unclear.

Trouble in paradise for legal marijuana retailers

There's no doubt about it, housing in Seattle is expensive.




According to Zillow, rents in Seattle have increased 21% over the last 5 years, while average income has only increased 10.5%, making us the 8th most expensive rental market in America. The average Seattle renter spends just over 30% of his income on rent, as opposed to the average homeowner, who spends just over 15% on her mortgage.

Curbed Seattle crunched the purchase numbers and determined that being able to afford a median-priced $359,900 home with a 20% down payment would require an annual salary of $75,098, vs. Seattle's $65,677 median household income. The median single-family home price in Seattle is $543,500, though…which by my back-of-the-envelope math would require an income of $113,398, or nearly twice Seattle's median, using Curbed's methodology.

Image from The Stranger
1. The State began looking at replacing the gas tax with a per-mile driving tax.

2. Paseo's assets and name were sold at auction to the highest bidder.

3. A new study suggests that gentrification isn't Seattle's true problem; poverty is.

4. The Stranger has a good primer on body cameras in Seattle here..

5. …and tips from a former car thief on how to avoid having your car broken into here.


SAM Lights at Olympic Sculpture Park

On December 11, experience the sculpture park as you never have before—walk the path lit with the glow of hundreds of lights and luminarias. Make art, listen to music, sip a hot drink, grab a sweet bite, and take in the sights. 

12/11, 5:30 – 7:30 pm @ Olympic Sculpture Park; free

Harold Meyerson: Economic Prosperity through Equality

Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post and The American Prospect in conversation with David Goldstein (formerly of The Stranger), moderated by Jerry Large from The Seattle Times.

12/11, 7:30 – 8:45 pm @ Town Hall Seattle; $5

The classic 1971 version on the big screen, with "fragrant and tasty treats" from "free Wonkariffic goodie bags!"
4:30 pm 12/12, 1:30 pm 12/13 & 12/14 @ SIFF Film Center; $15
You have 60 minutes to escape the room. There is 1 hungry zombie chained to the wall. Every 5  minutes a buzzer sounds & the chain is released another foot from the wall!
Various dates @ 603 Roy St; $28
The goal of the event is to come up with methods that will balance privacy concerns with public disclosure laws where online video is concerned. [Sold out, but where there’s a will there’s a way]
12/19, 10 am – 3 pm @ SPD Headquarters; free

Join President Obama and millions of others around the world and spend an hour learning how to code courtesy of Seattle-based
Ongoing through 12/14