Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

I'm disappointed that the Mayor says he's staying put.  He's now the lamest of lame ducks and frankly, it hurts our city at a time when we need leadership.  From The Stranger:
His statement came after City Council Member Lorena González called for his resignation by July 24. She said the council should consider looking at steps for his removal if he does not step down by that deadline. But a number of González's colleagues, including Debra Juarez, Bruce Harrell, Sally Bagshaw and Lisa Herbold, seem to be more skeptical. The four city council members released a statement saying Murray did not "willfully violate" his duties. But as Daniel Beekman of the Times pointed out, the statement did not address another potential cause for impeachment: "an offense involving moral turpitude." 
From University of Washington Communications about new Learning Gardens in SPS:

The University of Washington College of Education, Tilth Alliance and Seattle Public Schools are partnering to change this status quo and create more culturally and community relevant, field-based learning opportunities for students. Funded by a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the project will build outdoor learning gardens and draw upon local communities and green spaces at several Seattle schools while developing a robust curriculum for K-3 educators to engage students in complex ecological reasoning and decision-making.

The project is kicking off at Viewlands, Leschi and Maple elementary schools this summer. Sustainable gardens will be built at each site, with a focus on:
  • food gardens for humans and animals 
  • water gardens, 
  • restoration and permagardens, and 
  • climate indicator gardens.
At the same time, teachers, researchers, garden coordinators, families and school administrators will work together to build, test and refine an educational model that reflects the rigorous Next Generation Science Standards adopted by Washington state. Learning units will be created for each grade level from kindergarten through 3rd grade, focusing on interactions between natural phenomena and human communities.
This is great news but odd that SPS has said nothing about it.

Tukwila SD's Board has decided to open labor contract talks to the public but apparently didn't tell the unions.  Whoops!
Citing a desire for more transparency, the Tukwila School Board voted last week to hold public contract talks with the district's five employee unions, including those reprsenting teachers, custommdians and principals.  Union leaders, whoever, questioned why they weren't involved int he decision and wondered what implications it could have on future negotiations.

Those who attend the meetings will only be able to watch, not participate.  
Pullman SD apprarently did this at the beginning of the year.  

Prop 1 - The Sales Tax for Cultural Access Program - are you voting for it?  While I like the idea of arts funding to allow more kids to access the arts in our city, I have some concerns.

First, another in a long line of regressive taxes (yes, I know it's small but when you consider low-income folks, it's not).

Second, there's the language of the proposition seems a bit vague and that's never good.  Also, people seem to think this will help small arts groups but the language of the prop seems to indicate a pretty large budget (my reading is at least $2M) to get a grant.

Third, did the County do any research on why low-income families don't access the arts?  Of course, costs count but what if we pass this and there is not a big uptick in attendance?

Update: here's an interesting document - the financial audit for 4Culture, the Cultural Development Authority of King County (the CDA).

About 4Culture

As of December 31, 2015, the CDA’s total net position was $56.9million, all of which was restricted
and expendable for cultural programs. Total net position of the CDA increased by $14.7million, or 34.9%,for the year ended December 31, 2015. This increase was composed of $23.1million of total revenues and $8.4million of total expenses

What's on your mind?

14 comments:

Voted NO said...

Prop 1 is a regressive tax. South Seattle and King County Councilmember Larry Gosset urge a NO vote. These are amongst the poorest neighborhoods in the city. They do not want a tax that will supposedly benefit them.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know if the "moral turpitude" referred to in Beekman's tweet as a potential way to remove a mayor is limited to moral turpitude while in office. If that is how that phrase is interpreted -- and I don't claim to know one way or another -- then Murray isn't going anywhere till his term ends, no matter how fervently anyone might wish that he would.

-- Ivan Weiss

Melissa Westbrook said...

Readers, do not use other people's monikers or names. Ever. You wouldn't like it yourself so don't do it to others. Want to rant and rave? Go elsewhere.

Joe Wolf said...

Hi Melissa - thank you for pushing me to think more about Center School and the siting of the proposed and very much needed new comprehensive high school.

I remain a strong advocate for the Seattle Center site. The Fort Lawton site is largely a "faux green" choice; it has serious structural problems related to access. logistics, sustainability (it will always be a long way from most of its population), and equity/social justice (close to only affluent folks).

However - both Center School and the new high school are needed from a capacity standpoint, and for that and ethical reasons the district needs to support them both; make them equitable, desirable choices including synergies with the arts organizations at Seattle Center.

Anonymous said...

Re: Prop 1,
Melissa, I recommend taking another look how the money for Prop 1 is being allocated. Here is link to a quick Fact Sheet from 4Culture -
http://www.4culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Access-for-All-Summary-and-Budget.pdf

Of the projected $68,000,000 revenue
$22,000,000 (roughly 32%) will go to small, Community Based Cultural Organizations (non-profit arts, heritage and science groups)
$6,700,000 (roughly 10%) will go to Public School Access Programs
$38,000,000 (roughly 56%) will go to the large, Regional Cultural Organizations. Additionally, half of the money that goes to the large, Regional Orgs is restricted and needs to be specifically spent in 3 areas #1 - $7,500,000 for Public Schools Programs (including transportation for school field trips), #2 -$5,750,000 for Equity inclusion and #3 - $5,750,000 for Geographic equity.

I do believe Prop 1 will have a significant impact for many, many smaller orgs and will go a long way to provide more exposure and access to arts and culture for Public School kids and families all across King County. I will be voting YES.

-Mark

Anonymous said...

For the first time in my life, I will be voting no on regressive additional taxes. The current sales tax of over 10% is outrageous. A city and state this wealthy should have an income tax - which I would gladly pay. But I will not pay this tax. It is time to fairly tax people and not keep incrementally dooming the poor and middle class. The longer we continue to pay incrementally, the less likelihood of any true and sustained tax reform in WA state.
-NP

Anonymous said...

A black Somalian Muslim cop shoots through his car door and kills a white women without justification and the liberal progressives don't say a peep. White people don't go out and burn down buildings or attack police.

I guess white women lives don't matter.

MFN

Anonymous said...

NP -

I agree a additional sales tax is not ideal. At the same time, I do think that local arts and culture are worth it.

I also agree that WA state needs tax reform. But a no vote on Prop 1 does nothing to advance the cause of tax reform.

-Mark

Anonymous said...

Dear MFN,

You haven't been paying attention then. Both BLM and the ACLU have have posted comments condemning this shooting. It will be interesting though, to see if a black cop shooting a white woman is punished while the white cops who shoot black people go unpunished.

So you're wrong. Progressives have been talking about it. Maybe you should peel yourself away from FOX and Breitbart. Also, I will note the white woman's past hasn't been drug out in the media nor have unflattering pictures of her looking like a thug been published.

HP

No Samali boy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
No Samali boy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

HP-- The white woman who was shot does not have a criminal past, that was reported and was not even involved in the incident that brought the police, which is why it is not relevant. She called the police herself to report the incident, because she heard another women screaming. The police did not respond to an incident that involved any crime in which she was involved. This incident is even more crazy than a few of the sad incidents I have read about involving hispanic/latino or white police shooting black people who were engaged in a crime.

The story sounds really crazy. Even the other officer in the car in which she was talking to was completely shocked by his partner's action, shooting her without any provocation apparently. She was talking to the officer in the driver side of the car when suddenly the other officer decided to reach across his partner and shoot her. Strange.
-JK

Anonymous said...

Joe Wolf, I read your piece in one of the urbanist blog sites. One thing I'll not is how many who posted are recent to the area and thus have less understanding of what brought about such inequality while this school district is busting at the seam.

Developers push to suppress impact fees to build schools in Seattle. They've argued against impact fees by using the argument that rent will be raised. Yet, they have no problem paying fees not to build affordable housing and no problems steering tax dollars meant for other public projects which voters voted for to build and they deliberately concentrated growth where they are speculating. They got the important infrastructure they needed on the public dime. Mercer is a good example of this.

Downtown core is pushing for a school in lower QA. It wants to put 235 low income to no income units in Ft. Lawton. it's ironic because far many more of these units were lost due to the Downtown lobbyists' policy of razing old, cheaper rentals for more expensive ones.

Lastly, if access is a serious issue, it becomes even more so for poor people who are disabled, lack car or can't drive. These people need to travel more than twice a day to go about their daily lives. Unlike students who need to make two trips during the weekday during the school year.

It's disingenuous to make this about social justice or inequality since it's the same policies lobbied by rich and connected developersand investors which helped propel the rise of inequality in Seattle to begin with.

reader

Joe Wolf said...

Response to Reader:

With all due respect the causes of inequity and inequality in Seattle are no different than any other large U.S. city, and that applies to their public school districts as well. Newcomers to Seattle do not have to pass an "Only in Seattle" quiz or live here for 25 years to understand the issues here and constructively contribute to their resolution.

Regarding your statement " ... Lastly, if access is a serious issue, it becomes even more so for poor people who are disabled, lack car or can't drive. These people need to travel more than twice a day to go about their daily lives. Unlike students who need to make two trips during the weekday during the school year":

I am not tracking what point you are trying to make. Building the new high school at Fort Lawton would not free up any new Lower Queen Anne land on which to build additional housing. The Memorial Stadium site's future use will be either:

1) The same as now, or
2) A new high school/new Memorial Stadium mashup along the lines of the campus in Union City NJ we toured and have studied ib depth.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/albums/72157659353417341