Saturday, October 23, 2010

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

As I age I am spending an usual amount of time uneducating my learning methods. A problem we may have is figuring out a cost effective way of delivering knowledge with the least waste for the consumer, the student, and know that any changes we make are actually better.

The future is always different than we think it is going to be.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2011 Legislative Session in Olympia, 4Culture, and Tourism Taxes

Less than two weeks ago I sent an email King County Executive Dow Constantine asking him to have a a priority the return of King County's tourism taxes to the control of King County. Today I received a positive response.

As Mr. Constantine reminds me, he did testify in favor of such a bill last year. His testimony was March 18th, 2009, to the Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee to be precise. The bill was SB 6116.
You can watch the vidoe of his speech by clicking on this link here, and start watching at the 14 minute, 22 second mark. Of course, if you do that you would skip past Ross Hunter testifying in favor of the same Senate Bill over his own House Bill HB 2252. HB 2252 was overly "prescriptive".

Here was my message Mr. Constantine:
Dear Mr. Baker:
Thank you for your e-mail requesting that I advocate for 4 Culture funding during the upcoming session of the Washington Legislature.
I am a longtime supporter of arts, culture, preservation, and heritage programs and have a history of working to obtain funding for these purposes. Last year, as a County Councilmember, I traveled to Olympia to testify in favor of House Bill 6116, which would have extended King County’s local-option hotel/motel taxes and reserved a portion of the funds collected for arts and heritage. Earlier this year, I supported the latest version of this bill (HB 2192) and Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett testified in favor of its passage.
I will continue to support the use of visitor taxes to benefit programs and institutions that attract visitors to this region, including the arts, during this legislative session. I consider it a smart investment, as tourism is a major industry that benefits the entire state.
Thank you again for writing.
Dow Constantine
King County Executive

From: Michael Baker [mailto:communicate.with.mike (at )]
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 11:15 PM
To: kcexec ( at )
Subject: 2011 Legislative Session in Olympia, 4Culture, and Tourism Taxes
The Honorable Dow Constantine

I want you to know that I am a sports fan and that you are also a parent and a proud citizen of King County. I urge you prioritize securing 4Culture’s funding future, as well as the other arts, entertainment, and heritage funding that would benefit by King County securing its tourism taxes in the 2011 legislative session in Olympia.

Have a great day,
Michael J. Baker
Seattle, Wa
Visit me here:

I know that I can count on you during the legislative session in January to support Dow Constantine's efforts. Hopefully, Ross Hunter will be there, too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fuck Dino Rossi, and his shallow, brainless, talking points

This banner ad shows up on my page I figure I have the right to use it in commentary.

Dino Rossi is a fucking scumbag. He is a real estate speculating lawyer/banker. He believes and profits in the destruction of America. He is what is wrong about America's recent past that should not be repeated.

He may be in league with Satan.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

4Culture, too, now has Dow Constantine helping us in Olympia

This is very good news, though not surprising, as he has chosen to be publicly committed to this effort.
I'll repeat their post here:
We have Dow - now on to Olympia!
We received word this week from our friends at 4Culture that they had met with King County Executive, Dow Constantine and that he has committed to support 4Culture’s efforts in Olympia in 2011! If you see Dow, thank him for his continued support of arts and heritage in our region. Advocates, we must now turn our attention to the Washington State Legislature. Here are two things you can do to help:

1. KNOW who is running for office in your area. Create your personalized voters guide to educate yourself on the candidates and issues. If you’d like to learn more about candidates stand on the arts, check out this candidate survey from the Washington State Arts Alliance.

2. VOTE by November 2, 2010. Learn how here.

The outcome of this election will have a HUGE impact on the make up of the state legislature this year. YOUR VOTE can make a difference to arts and heritage funding in King County for many years to come. No joke!
No joke is right!
If you are a voter in King County how you vote, if you vote, will mean a lot for 4Culture, for sports fans, for heritage programs, for a lot of things the state, county, and city of Seattle can not afford to fund, but absolutely depend on.

What I hope to help avoid, in some little way, is to get interested parties to work together, pull together, and get this done for King County.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Seattle Times: Tunnel would mean more traffic on waterfront

To quote myself:
In my opinion, and I've stated this other places, the answer may be most of the above:
I was a Surface proponent but that thing got wider and wider, and had all those stoplights, pedestrian friendly stoplight timing, that a bypass tunnel looked like a needed thing. In fact, I was, and to a great degree still am, a believer that we will end up with both (of some sort).
I-5 "improvements" means eliminating a downtown exit. That may be something we look at having to do in the future anyway.
What we are not ever going to get from the state is a through-tunnel after a surface option has been developed.
What we would get with going surface is the State always having a say in anything we run on the surface, anything.

Bury the state through-tunnel first, work on surface transit next, make getting through Seattle completely the state's problem. That is the last thought, or statement, that I have had on this subject.

Roger Valdez, Tunnel hater, is this week's Seattle upzone cheerleader
, by me, August 7, 2010

Today the Seattle Times woke up to the fact that a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct would put a lot of cars on surface streets absent a significant transit component.
That is the next step in building a complete alternative to what we have today. A bypass tunnel, a wider surface street for local traffic, and an obvious need to mitigate people movement with more mass transit is where we are at.

No matter what the option was going to be, we will need more mass transit going into the future. It is unfortunate the the Mayor of Seattle has chosen the the path he has, for he has hurt this city's ability to lobby the state legislature for more taxing authority.

From today's Seattle Times:
No proposal exists for Highway 99 buses between Sodo and South Lake Union. James Kelly, co-founder of the new pro-tunnel group Enough, said transit should operate in the tunnel.

The pedestrian group Feet First and operators of Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour have worried about seemingly vague ideas for managing increased traffic through historic Pioneer Square. Tour CEO Sunny Spiedel urges the city to demand answers before the state signs its construction contracts.

"Done poorly," she said, "this could ruin either our fragile neighborhood or our connection to the new waterfront."

Ample off-street bicycle trails appear in the Sodo design, but the plan from Pioneer Square to the Olympic Sculpture Park at the north end of Belltown remains a mystery. Some bike lanes, or a raised "cycle track," would be part of the boulevard, said Eric Tweit, a Seattle transportation project manager.

Off-street trails are to be decided. Seattle has hired design firm James Corner Field Operations to consider such things, as it designs nine acres of promenade between the boulevard and Puget Sound.

David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said the state traffic predictions tend to assume long-term growth when, in fact, overall driving in Seattle was flat through the 2000s
Tunnel would mean more traffic on waterfront, Seattle Times Newspaper

Two things there: a plan has resources, like money, so there isn't an intracity bus plan to mitigate the people movement. Somehow the Surface+Transit Option would have gotten state support for transit and the Tunnel+Transit Option never will.

The Tunnel opponents are both saying that the Tunnel+Transit Option dumps too many cars on surface streets (as if a surface option wouldn't) and that there will not be as many cars on the road as the state is predicting.
There either will be too many cars, or not. Glad we have that settled.

After the transit portion is secured the next effort should be to go after eliminating one of the I-5 exits under the Washington State Convention Center to increase throughput on I-5.

If people care to remember, I-405 was supposed to act as a bypass around a constrained I-5 running through Seattle. The real answer there is to increase the throughput on I-5 no matter what option was to be chosen.

The answer is:All of the above.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Join 4Culture for the first annual Dow Drive!

Let's help the 4Culture folks lobby King County Executive Dow Constantine.

This is part of their 4Culture in Olympia in 2011
Join us for the first annual Dow Drive!
The Dow Drive is when we ask the arts and heritage advocates like you to write to King County’s Executive, Dow Constantine, to tell him why important arts and heritage are to you and urge him to support 4Culture in Olympia in 2011. Please write before Thanksgiving (November 25) and we will be so thankful!

Why are we asking you to do this now?
Dow is working furiously right now to finalize King County’s budget and legislative priorities for 2011. We want to make sure funding for arts and heritage through 4Culture is near the top of the list.

Why will he care what you have to say?
We pay taxes, we vote, and we matter! We are a powerful sector of the workforce in King County, we drive cultural tourism, we educate, and we make people proud to live and work in this region.

Here is how you can help:
Write a personal note to Executive Dow Constantine. Let him know that you are an ______ [e.g. artist, heritage specialist, arts/heritage administrator, preservationist, fan of culture (Sports Fan)] and that you are also a ________ [e.g. mother, educator, truck driver, business owner] and a proud citizen of King County. Urge him prioritize securing 4Culture’s funding future in the 2011 legislative session in Olympia.

Send your note or email to:
The Honorable Dow Constantine
King County Chinook Building
401 5th Ave. Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104


Thank you for being part of the first annual Dow Drive!

I threw "Sports Fan" in the form letter they put together. I know more Sports Fans than sculptors.