In Seattle, pains of growing keep on growing
The Wrap by Ron Judd
Seattle Times staff columnist
Perhaps your inability to find a parking spot anywhere closer to downtown than Tukwila isn’t just in your head, after all.
Seattle, as The Times’ Gene Balk points out, has legit growing pains: It ranks as the nation’s fastest-growing big city, with 18,000 new residents lured here over a recent one-year time span.
What’s the draw? Well, the reasons the nation’s mobile hip set is making a beeline to Jet City are all around you. But the Top 10 Attractants might be city qualities we all take for granted:
10) No-nonsense, efficient, focused city government.
9) Spectacularly expansive habitat for giddy elephants at city zoo.
8) Endless supply of expert snow drivers/freeway mergers.
7) Generous, community-minded aerospace employer.
6) Kick-butt baseball franchise.
5) Longstanding love affair between cyclists/motorists.
4) Inexhaustible supply of affordable, quality housing.
3) Ample year-round sunshine.
2) Inexplicable, but wonderful, voluntary assumption of greater share of tax burden by lower classes.
1) Courteous, sober, sensitive, civic-minded, proactive, painfully adjective-shy Sunday newspaper columnists.
This Year’s Bald-Faced Lie: “I’ve been spending the last year talking to many of the leaders in the Native-American communities. We are listening.” — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, questioned about the racist name for the Washington, D.C., football franchise.
Battery-Powered Smile: Amazon.com plans to aggressively expand its use of robots in company warehouses. Expect them to do lots of recruiting at CNN.
The Week’s Ya-Think? Prize Winner: The federal government is beginning to suspect that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to let corner-cutting-champion Boeing do its own safety tests on things like lithium-ion batteries on the 787 Dreamsmoker.
Elsewhere at the Crazy B: CEO Jim “Light Bulb” McNerney, speaking from the custom-designed mani/pedi salon on the veranda of his ninth home, made it clear that Boeing, long ago of Seattle, in the short term will avoid large, risky projects such as the 787 — or anything else that might threaten his $200,000-a-month golden-retirement parachute.
Didn’t See This Coming: Tolls on the Highway 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges will rise by 2.5 percent on July 1. The 520 tolls, of course, vary by time of day, whether drivers have auto billing, and the amount of proper decorum displayed by the driver while waiting for half an hour for some Thurston Howell III to creep through the bridge span in his megayacht.
Time Lapsed Since Skagit River Bridge Collapse: One year.
Significant Changes Made to DOT Oversized Load Permit Structure: None.
Significant Change in Statewide Ancient-Bridge Maintenance Backlog: None.
This Just In From WSDOT Twitter Feed: “We have no construction projects scheduled from noon today until Tuesday morning. That should help with travel.” Uh, yeah.
And Finally: Wishing a happy retirement and many rounds of golf to longtime KOMO anchor Dan Lewis, in whose honor Mr. Wrap hereby officially retires, with honors, any future references to his haircut.
Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at email@example.com or 206-464-8280.
Information in this article, originally published May 24, 2014, was corrected May 25, 2014. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Boeing CEO Jim McNerney had a future retirement plan that included $20,000 a month. The correct figure is $265,000 a month.