May 2nd – Expected Full Council Vote for Occidental Avenue South Street Vacation

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May 022016

The recommendation from the Sustainability and Transportation Committee was completed two weeks ago.  This afternoon, at 2 PM, the full council will consider and, likely, take a vote on the amended Occidental Avenue South street vacation.

Important scheduling parameters were agreed upon last week, leading to the following section of the vacation conditions

  • Events at the Arena on any non-holiday weekday or weeknight shall be separated from other events at the Arena by a minimum of 3 hours between the projected end time of one event and the scheduled start time of the next event.
  • No Arena event on any non-holiday weekday or weeknight may be scheduled to begin or end within one hour of the scheduled start or end time of any event at Safeco Field or CenturyLink Field, or both, if 1) the reasonably anticipated attendance at the Arena and one or more of those fields is more than 45,000 attendees, or 2) there would otherwise be three scheduled events starting or ending within an hour of each other at the Arena, Safeco Field or CenturyLink Field.
  • No Arena event shall start between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm on non-holiday weekdays if 1) the reasonably anticipated attendance at Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, and the Arena would exceed 15,000 persons, and 2) the Arena event is otherwise scheduled to occur within an hour of the start or end times of events at Safeco Field or CenturyLink or both.
 Posted by at 9:22 am

Election Results Expected ~8:15 PM, Design Review Process Ongoing

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Aug 062013

Keep your eyes open for the election results to be posted here sometime after 8 PM (8:15 and 8:30 are two numbers I’ve heard floated around).  It’s expected that about half the ballots will be counted in this batch, so it would be amazing if any numbers shifted by more than a few %.

Brian Robinson’s crew has been pushing McGinn, O’Brien, and relative nobody Brian Carver (who hasn’t mentioned anything to mainstream media about supporting an arena, but has messaged the Sonics Rising crew privately).

Meanwhile, people from McGinn’s camp are already saying “we may be trailing in 3rd or 4th place tonight, but will gain when more ballots come trickling in” because McGinn voters must be real lazy about mailing things?

 1st Batch of results Tues 8:15 PM, 93,406 votes counted


Murray 28,248 30.24%
McGinn 25,364 27.15%

Steinbrueck 15,189 16.26%
Harrell 14,458 15.48%

City Council Position 2

Conlin 41,477 49.16%
Sawant 27,813 32.97%

Carver 14,632 17.34%

City Council Position 8

O’Brien 48,253 57.37%
Shen 29,689 35.3%

Ishii 5,720 6.8%


UPDATE through Fri 8/9 Count, 140,029 Votes Counted


Murray 41,175 29.92%
McGinn 39,060 28.39%

Steinbrueck 22,348 16.24%
Harrell 20,986 15.25%

City Council Position 2

Conlin 59,015 47.92%
Sawant 42,908 34.84%

Carver 20,554 16.69%

City Council Position 8

O’Brien 72095 58.75%
Shen 42016 34.24%

Ishii 7892 6.43%

Well, congrats to incumbents for pulling through (like they seem to do in Seattle quite easily). Conlin and O’Brien are likely to sail towards re-election. I would expect our next mayor to be Ed Murray, given the “anyone but McGinn” vote. Appealing to NBA fans was insufficient to boost Carver past the primary and Steinbrueck’s seemingly late start in organizing may have cost him many voters. Statements from McGinn’s camp about coming in 3rd or 4th may have been off the cuff, or maybe nobody had any idea which voters would be mailing in ballots vs the old demographics from polling station votes. It will be interesting to see what this primary’s demographic spread comes out to be when all is said and done.

Fellow Steinbrueck supporters, there will be more ballots to count, but it’s a deep hole for Peter right now. The best consolation I can offer is, even Murray’s professionals couldn’t call this one.



Hansen Still Pushing Design Review Board

I’m also hearing that Hansen’s arena designs are still being reviewed.  The DPD site has info on the 1700 1st ave S project and new renderings here.  The video/eyeraising billboard “fin” wall is now gone and the loading dock functions have been moved to the east edge of the building, where that “access road” to the mariners garage was would now get occasionally blocked entirely by loading dock use.  I’m also seeing a parking garage for the players…  which is interesting.  I recall there being some requirements for providing parking outside of the Stadium Transition Overlay District and some restrictions on the parking provided inside the Overlay District.  Fun stuff to review.

2013 Mayoral Election in Seattle, Being Trolled by NBA Fans

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Jul 192013

Things have been relatively quiet on the SoDo arena front.  It sounds like the street vacation is on hold, as is the MUP for the project.  A draft EIS is due in a month or so.  The appeal by the ILWU related to SEPA considerations was recently started, but no decision is expected for several weeks.  I’ve been working hard and occasionally stop by to clear out comment spam related to chanel bags and cheap prescription meds that were seized by customs.

But, there is still stirring related to the arena (even with the NHL Coyotes staying put, just like the Kings are staying).  Now it’s the Seattle Mayoral Election and, more immediately, the top two primary system we use.  Certain Sonics fans (including well known characters from Tacoma or louder, but lesser known ones from further outside Seattle (like half-way-to-Canada Burlington) seem to think their lusts for an arena are sufficient reason to interject into Seattle’s mayoral race, even endorsing candidates they cannot vote for.  Next time someone proposes to build an arena in a suburb like Everett remind me to start endorsing that town’s political candidates whom I don’t even know about.  As much as they like to paint me as a “troll,” constantly ranting about candidates in the elections they rightfully cannot participate in directly seems to fit the “troll” moniker better.

All that ass-hattery aside, the Seattle mayoral race is fairly tight between McGinn, Murray, Steinbrueck, and Undecided.  Undecided wins with 25% of the vote, but the 50% disapproving of McGinn as Mayor indicate that those undecideds will divide between Murray and Steinbrueck rather than go to McGinn (unless they’re really undecided because they don’t want to try anyone to see if they’re better).  The Seattle mayoral primary is a top-two system, meaning only two will advance to the general election vote.  Voting for somebody destined not to make it forward is more ideological than practical.  It would be more influential to vote for the “still has a shot” candidate that best aligns with your views than to vote for Joey Gray.

My Mayoral Endorsement – Steinbrueck

Personally, I’ll be voting for Peter Steinbrueck.  If nothing else, he’s open to continuing to evaluate the SoDo arena location and if that’s really the best spot.  Despite what Sonics fans suggest, Peter has not laid out a campaign policy of stopping the arena, like McGinn did with the tunnel (and then flip-flopped on when it came time to win the general election).  I wish he would, but Peter only proposes to follow through on examining if an arena would hurt SoDo economic activity.  EDIT:  Actually, looking into some recent media appearances I heard on KUOW he said he was ready to renegotiate or rescind the MOU and remove the 5 year window (10 minutes into this mp3 interview).

From the 7/17 Candidate Survivor event... McGinn in full NBA-whore mode.

From the 7/17 Candidate Survivor event… McGinn in full NBA-whore mode.  I guess he didn’t want to go the bike-into-events route this time around.

Other arena-ish people on my Seattle ballot

Seattle City Council pos 2 – Conlin voted against the SoDo arena.  Brian Carver has been trying to sweep up Sonics fans despite not making any wide-audience statements regarding the arena.

Seattle City Council pos 8 – O’Brien is McGinn’s lackey and supported building the arena without renegotiation.  Almost as enthusiastically as Harrell.  Shen is the more credible alternative.

King County Executive – Dow was a big key in selling the arena proposal.  He put the County in an interesting position of pretending to lead in accepting the deal (and asking the Seattle City Council to jump off the cliff after them) while not fully emphasizing the incredibly small roll the County had in financing the project if no NHL team was secured by the time the arena was completed.   On top of that, the MOU has the County being paid off at an accelerated rate relative to the City in the event of disaster.  I’m confident Dow will win, and applaud his shrewd tactics in the matter, even though I’d love to kick him to the curb for not telling Ballmer to fund his building on his own dime.  If anyone else seems credible, please pipe up soon.

Before Updates, Space Singing

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May 122013

I’ll put together a post summarizing Hansen’s increase in the bid for the Kings (which is probably falling on deaf ears) and his plan B to go all nuclear with the Maloofs and the NBA by buying 20% of the Kings with a 2 year option to purchase the majority share.  Until then, enjoy the Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s work with David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Bowie even endorsed it.

 Posted by at 9:50 pm

Twitter = Instant Worldwide Rumor-mongering in 140 Characters

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Apr 282013

Twitter is providing more than enough tinder for the “Sacramento Kings Stay or Relocate to Seattle with Hansen” discussion.  I’ll post some things below, but obviously the NBA BoG has just as much of an idea on the “best move” as the rest of us.  We also have a new gap (even if there’s a Monday recommendation) of another 5 days assembling info packets and executive summaries from the relocation/finance committee for the larger BoG to consider.  And then there’s a 7 work day limit after that.  On the plus side, even Vice magazine is ready to toss the Maloofs off the island.


Chris Daniels, of course, suggests that Sacramento’s whales asked for added bonuses from the city to compensate for the Kings franchise value being lower in Sacramento vs Seattle – in the form of billboard spaces, parking spaces, and a below-fair-market value appraisal of city land. It should make no difference to the NBA and Sacramento has no I-91, so calm down Chris.


Shifting Gears

Something to watch and get some laughs… not basketball related (except that Obama will not be winning any games of HORSE).

 Posted by at 6:56 pm
Mar 132013

Chris Hansen has posted some renderings of the interior of his proposed arena.

The feature he’s touting is a set of Sonic Rings (an expanded version of the 360 Architecture design for the Edmonton Arena) which would put a halo of seats high up over the court.  While this helps alleviate blocked sight-lines from the cheap seats, it also would create a new concern…  will the traditional center-court scoreboard actually start to impede sight-lines ?

 Posted by at 7:50 pm
Mar 082013

Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.  George Karl, the coach who took the Sonics to the 1996 Championship game vs the Bulls let his thoughts on the Seattle/Sacramento battle be heard.

“I think everybody knows I’m a Seattle guy and I want basketball back in Seattle, but I don’t want basketball out of Sacramento,” Karl said. “It’s a politically correct answer, but it’s a truthful answer on how I feel.”

 Posted by at 3:46 pm

Nice Story on Thunder/Lakers Fan’s Half-Court Shot

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Mar 072013

One fan was plucked from the stands at the Oklahoma City Thunder game on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena and tasked with making a half-court shot for $20,000. The joy he shows after making the shot runs deep, because the money should help in his wife’s battle against (stage 3 colon) cancer.


Of course, since this was posted on Fark there’s comments like the following:

Dude was already a winner when he became a Thunder fan.
/suck it, Seattle


 Posted by at 12:00 pm