by Michael Sarko
– The Capitol Hill Times –
After some changes in language and the addition of further financial protections for the city, would-be sports mogul Chris Hansen won approval for his new arena project in the SODO district last October. Now, he has taken the next major step in making sure it’s a draw. The Hansen Group just finalized their purchase of the Sacramento Kings basketball team with the clear intent of moving them to Seattle. Our city lost its own NBA team, the SuperSonics, five years ago.
Now that introductions are over, the Washington State Congress has begun its current session in earnest. Many of the bills reaching the floor of the House and Senate are budget-related, though some larger questions surrounding the likes of Affordable Care Act impacts on Medicaid are also on the docket. The Washington State Liquor Control Board also picked up the pace this week with its first discussions about how to organize the legal production and sale of marijuana and marijuana-derived products.
Nothing provides controversy and wild shouting quite like an election. With the mayoral race leaving its honeymoon phase of exploratory committees and candidacy announcements, those who would be mayor are starting to pile on the platforms. Most notably this week, real estate broker and bow tie enthusiast Charlie Staadecker began the week by calling for a city-wide registry of mentally ill people, ostensibly to prevent them from purchasing guns. Regardless of what his supporters say, Staadecker won’t be able to count on the votes of anyone associated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which decried his comments as discriminatory almost the moment they left his mouth.