City OK, you're OK

For those of you too busy to attend Mayor Paul Schell's State of the City address on January 29, here's the executive summary:

Needless to say, the mayor delivered a stirring call to action, much like the one Seattle mayors have been delivering for the last 15 years or so. (Haven't you noticed how jumpy people have been around here the last decade and a half?)

If you're an ordinary citizen, Schell wants you to conserve energy, vote to support schools, and generally revel in the fact that you live in a city with such smart elected officials.

If you're a housing producer, he wants you to produce housing.

If you're a city project manager, he wants you to build things on time and on budget, or else that "rigorous oversight" will get you.

If you're Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, he wants you to take a bow.

If you're a woodchuck, he wants you to chuck as much wood as you possibly could . . . possibly can . . . whatever.

No parking zone

In his latest transportation package, Mayor Schell reiterated his support for creating exclusive bus lanes on some city arterials.

Give him credit for taking a stand. There aren't a lot of extra lanes on Seattle streets, and more bus-only lanes means less on-street parking. This simple equation (add in some griping from neighborhood business groups) has squelched past efforts to clear a transit lane.

The mayor's transportation ideas aren't all tough talk. In the printed version of his State of the City address, his transit alternatives statement read as follows: "We will need a range of strategies that includes buses and bikes, pedestrians and cars, trams and monorails." When read aloud, the word "perhaps" mysteriously appeared before the word "monorails."

By the way, what's a tram?

Bowl game

King County officials know their urban legends.

One poopulist, uh, populist, theory of the last decade is that Super Bowl-loving Americans will wait until the commercials come on, rush to the bathroom, and then flush their toilets simultaneously, thus flooding the nation's sewage treatment plants and ending civilization as we know it. County wastewater leaders (oh, to be included in that number) sent out a press release assuring citizens that they could flush freely during any and all sporting events without fear of consequence.*

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