Saturday, December 31, 2011

Predictions for 2012

This is my third year making predictions. What I have learned from previous years is that the future is difficult to predict. I try to be as specific as possible, and hopefully entertaining.
I will re-use some predictions that were ahead of their time.

I called 2011 the "Year of the Hollow Victory". It just looked to me that so many public figures were waging battle that they may be missing the war. The microscope the media places on everything takes some getting use to seeing. The fact of the matter is that some media reports are informational, some news, and some simply wrong. Not every report deserves a full measure of rebuke.

2012 will be the year of people looking back at 2011 and 2012 becoming the Year of Buyer's Remorse

Here we go:
Obama wins re-election.
The Republican splinter is a fissure. A Republican will run as an "Independent". When the circus music stops, and some selfish book whore has sunk his (or her) party's hopes, it will leave some of the far Right on an every shrinking island.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will lose the 2013 election in 2012.
I know it looks like it is already over, but he still has parts of a fragile coelition that he has yet to break apart. He's got a basketball Jones, but doing the right thing for the right reasons isn't good enough for the rabid sports haters that have pooled up as one of McGinn's groups of support.

Initiative 502 will pass, legalizing marijuana at the state level.

Smoking in public places of medicinal marijuana will ironically be against the law.

A rerun from 2011: 1.b. Congressional Democrats will champion state's rights [for marijuana use].

Another rerun from 2011: 5. The state will grant counties the power and authority to raise taxes to pay for transit by popular vote, adding an increase to the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax limit, and property tax limit, counties and cities could use.

The Sacramento Kings will make plans to relocate to Washington State (no insider info here, just a straight prediction), prompting another team to beat hem to the market.

A third option, not Key Arena, will emerge as another multi-purpose arena location (again, no insider info here, just a prediction). This is a real estate problem.

Rob McKenna will be elected Governor of the State of Washington, and will instantly disappoint the Republican Party with his first proposed budget.

Bob Ferguson will win the race to be Washington State's Attourney General.

People living in Medina, Washington, will refer to the people living in Bellevue, Washington's 9th Congressional District as living in "District 9".

Dow Constantine will be the front runner to replace Rob McKenna as 2012 comes to a close.

Suzan DelBene will be elected to congress in the 1st Congressional District.

The color for 2012 will be a very dark green, almost black.

And now a little music, The Walkmen, In the New Year

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seattle Times: Wealthy ex-Seattle man behind NBA arena proposal

The story from KING 5's Chris Daniels was light on details and heavy on innuendo. I had thought at the time that if there was a story that could be told via land acquisitions in Seattle that the Seattle Times would have the reach to put it together. In fact, I now regularly look at the Seattle Times business section to see if there are any more land transactions that could have something to do with locating an arena.

The Seattle Times is on the story. Between them and KING 5 I expect that if there is a story to be told that they will find it and tell it.

A wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager is the lead investor seeking to build a sports arena south of Safeco Field to lure an NBA basketball team back to Seattle, according to two sources briefed on the effort.

Christopher Hansen, 43, who has roots in Seattle and now heads Valiant Capital Management LLC, in San Francisco, is working with an investor group whose proposal has yet to be publicly unveiled.
. . .
McGinn, an avid basketball fan, has been working with the Sodo investor group for several months to explore how the city can assist, including help with financing, according to sources. As part of the effort, McGinn hired an arena consultant, sources said.
. . .
The group behind the Sodo effort is separate from a recently publicized campaign being led by longtime Sonics fan Brian Robinson and his organization, Arena Solution, to secure a new arena and an NBA team.

Among those involved in the Sodo plan is Wally Walker, the former Seattle Sonics player and team executive, sources said. Walker was a minority owner of the Sonics, serving as the team's president and general manager from 1994 until the team was sold to Clay Bennett in 2006.
. . .

Seattle Times: Local News | Wealthy ex-Seattle man behind NBA arena proposal

I think the media is missing the point of ArenaSolution.org. That effort is to support an arena solution, not any one particular solution.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seattle Times, Politics Northwest: Steinbrueck eyeing mayor's race

First, Steinbrueck should run, absolutely. I think he would be considered in the top 3 among the contenders no matter who people considered the other 2.
I think that gets him into the general election.

He also doesn't have the stink of the deep bore tunnel on him. He doesn't have the stench of being the champion of the losing side of that vote, and the de-facto loser of Prop 1 vote.

Former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck says he may run for mayor in 2013.

"I am seriously thinking about Seattle's future in a way that I have never thought of it in the past," he said. "It's two years out, so it's a little early to be making announcements."
. . .
As a citizen activist and then two-term City Councilmember, Steinbrueck focused often on land-use, fighting to preserve industrial land and limit building heights downtown. He was often a pointed critic of the Greg Nickels administration.

Steinbrueck's father, Victor Steinbrueck, is known for his work in land use, as well: fighting for almost a decade to save the Pike Place Market.

For years, speculation in political circles was that Steinbrueck's wife didn't want him to run. He wouldn't comment directly about personal matters, but said Friday that he and his wife were getting a divorce.

Tension between family and public life "often is unavoidable," he said, adding: "family and personal matters have always been important in my decision-making."

Since he has been back in town, Steinbrueck has made a few appearances in political life, including moderating a City Council candidate forum this summer. "There's a lot of talk going on around town," he said. "I've been hearing a lot of dissatisfaction, frankly, a lot of frustrations."

The right time for an announcement, he suggested, might be in about six months.
Seattle Times, Politics Northwest: Steinbrueck eyeing mayor's race

In no particular order:
Ed, tunnel champion, Murray
Peter, the boy who would be king, Steinbrueck

I think those two would make it through a primary, but not nessisarily together. They would split some faux green yuppie votes, and money, and old Seattle money.
Either one would then crush whoever noted below cobbled together enough splinter sub-groups to end up in the general election.

Then in order:
Mike, upzone cheerleader, McGinn
Tim, it's good to not be a cop right now, Burgess
wRong Sims
Sally, sometimes invisible, Clark
Bruce, I really do live in Seattle, Harrell

Peter, I hope you like hockey and basketball, taxing professional athletes, and not spending general fund money on anything except basic services we are struggling with. Otherwise,you will struggle finding the voters.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Seattle Times Editorials: Region's NBA dreams shouldn't involve public investment

Leave it to the Seattle Times to point out the extremely obvious, we are not going to spend existing tax money on an arena.

SEATTLE basketball fans are excited by news that two different investor groups are trying to bring NBA basketball back to the region — either to the Eastside or Sodo area of Seattle.

But the idea will not go far unless the latest groups trying to replace the departed Seattle SuperSonics are willing to invest huge sums of private money in a team and an arena.

The current economic climate precludes public investment from any existing or new revenue sources, including the recently expired sales tax on bars and restaurants in King County.

An investor is acquiring property in the stadium area of Seattle and talks have taken place with Mayor Mike McGinn about efforts to attract a new NBA franchise and facility. Hockey is apparently part of the planning.

If the city wants to fast-track permits or make minor transportation adjustments to accommodate a job creating endeavor, that would be fine.

But with the state, county and city cutting numerous basic services, public investment cannot be part of the equation.

An investor is acquiring property in the stadium area of Seattle and talks have taken place with Mayor Mike McGinn about efforts to attract a new NBA franchise and facility. Hockey is apparently part of the planning.

If the city wants to fast-track permits or make minor transportation adjustments to accommodate a job creating endeavor, that would be fine.

But with the state, county and city cutting numerous basic services, public investment cannot be part of the equation.
. . .

But spending new taxes that only exist because professional athletes exists, that looks like a yes, as long as the tax can only be contained to those athletes and not spread to the rest of the population as an income tax.

One idea under consideration is to mix sizable private investment with some sort of tax on players or teams in all major league sports to cover the cost of building a new arena and future repairs to existing stadiums. This approach is used in a few other NBA locales.

If this becomes a prelude to an income tax, forget it. Voters are an unequivocal no on that idea. If it becomes something more creative, skepticism is the first reaction, but we need to hear more.
Seattle Times Editorials: Region's NBA dreams shouldn't involve public investment


Well, I think we all need to hear more about this "creative" idea. The sooner, the better.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seattle Times: News: City approached about basketball arena near Safeco Field

Seattle city officials have been approached by a private group looking to build a basketball arena in the Sodo District near Safeco Field in the hopes of attracting an NBA franchise, according to two sources who have been briefed on the talks.
. . .
McGinn's office confirmed Friday night that it is examining an "opportunity," but declined to provide specific information.
. . .
"Our office has had many enthusiastic overtures concerning the return of an NBA franchise to Seattle," the statement said. "Some of these offers have been serious. Some have not been serious. And the current speculation is over one of these proposals. We are looking at this opportunity, examining its specifics and how it fits our city. At this point, we have not received a concrete offer."

The statement added: "When we do reach that point, the City Council will be our first step in moving forward and then there will be an open process to evaluate that offer before we move forward. We would welcome a serious commitment from the NBA to re-establish a franchise with responsible ownership, to our community."
. . .
The group behind the Sodo effort is separate from a recently publicized campaign being led by longtime Sonics fan Brian Robinson and his organization, Arena Solution, to secure a new arena and an NBA team.

Among those involved in the Sodo plan is Wally Walker, the former Seattle Sonics player and team executive, the sources said. . .
Seattle Times: News: City approached about basketball arena near Safeco Field


The effort lead by Brian Robinson is a much broader effort, uses a different approach, and isn't actually in competition with the SODO effort.

The television report last Thursday was accurate:
“Everywhere I go people want it.  If you talk to contractors, plumbers, electricians, they want it. If you go to the Bellevue Athletic Club, people want it.  If you go to Rainier Beach HS, people want it.”

The group “Arena Solution” – which he calls a “group of people who want to talk about solving this critical problem” - lists an impressive collection of names.  Former Sonics CEO Bob Whitsitt and local developer Craig Kinzer are part of the group.

“There are a number of people both private and public trying to make this work,” says Kinzer, who helped broker the deal for Benaroya Hall, Safeco Field, and the Children’s Hospital expansion, among others. 
“Let’s make this more transparent,” says the CEO of Kinzer Real Estate Services.  “We’re much further along than people realize.”

Kinzer, also a former Sonics minority owner, says there are “three or four” spots which have been seriously considered for an arena. 
“I’m helping (Arena Solution) talk with all the jurisdictions and let them each know the things they can do.”
KING5.com: Group of civic, business leaders attempt 'Arena Solution'

The facts are, there is more than 1 group interested in building an arena, more than 1 site is a prospective site. What ArenaSolution.org is attempting to do is to perform a civic action, how can they help make an arena happen? Reaching out to these different groups and people isn't quite the same as leading a group of potential team owners that want to figure out an arena solution for their specific purposes.

ArenaSolution.org is interested in working with any and all potential owners of teams, facilities, leaders public and private.
ArenaSolution.org

I support the efforts of ArenaSolution.org.

The more, the merrier.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

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