Friday, March 14, 2014

The Daily Troll

Met steals SAM superstar

Shocking announcement Friday morning from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met just stole Sandra Jackson-Dumont from the Seattle Art Museum. Jackson-Dumont has been with SAM since 2006 as its well-loved and well-respected Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs and adjunct curator for modern and contemporary art. "This is huge news and a huge loss for the city's cultural scene," says Crosscut's contributing arts editor Florangela Davila. "Facebook is going bonkers." More later. - M.B.

State budget deal

Lawmakers reached a budget agreement Thursday, paving the way for the Legislature to adjourn on time close to midnight. The agreement represents considerable compromise, adding extra money for schools but not nearly what Democrats and Gov. Jay Inslee wanted. Crosscut's John Stang will have full details on the budget and other last-day action. With the budget settled, no worries about the Legislature having to come back repeatedly like it did last year. We think. - J.C.

More time to fight over issues

With the budget deal out of the way, lawmakers left themselves a full half-day to fight over other issues. Among some of the ones that could provoke showdowns during the evening and night hours: controls on oil trains, preserving a fee on home-sale documents to help the homeless and requiring teacher evaluations to be partly based on student test scores. The test score measure is the state's last chance to prevent the loss of $40 million in federal education assistance. There's also a measure that could close medical marijuana dispensaries - forcing them to become part of the new state retail system. If that happens, expect plenty of smoke in the Legislature - and beyond. - J.C.

Bertha digs history

The state Department of Transportation says it has begun digging archeological holes to check for historical objects that could lie underground where workers will repair the stuck Bertha tunnel-boring machine. As Knute Berger wrote recently, the area near South Main Street conceivably holds considerable historical material. Crosscut's Bill Lucia has that story here. - J.C.

Promo Codes Prime gets exclusive

A price hike for Amazon Prime users is causing a stir in their members, Wall Street and Amazon's competitors. Amazon previously warned consumers of the rise in price, and ended up raising the new fee $20 to $99 a year, rather than an anticipated fee of as high as $119. According to GeekWire, there are mixed but fairly muted reactions among Prime members; competitor ShopRunner says it will offer a free shipping for a year to unhappy Amazon customers. GeekWire noted that at least one analyst predicts Amazon will have to add additional content to the service, with a streaming music service as one possibility. - H.W.

California lessons on wages?

The debate over the $15 minimum wage rages on. To many economists, the 61 percent increase in Seattle's minimum wage is unprecedented and unwise: it might force smaller businesses and non-profits to cut budgets/employees. Seattle Times' Lynn Thompson looks to other cities to inform the debate, finding that San Francisco and Santa Fe tell a different story. Ken Jacobs, chairman of the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, holds that "you do not see a net decline in employment as a result of [their] minimum-wage ordinances." Such comparisons are undoubtedly complicated, which is why Mayor Ed Murray has assembled a 23-member committee of business, labor, and civic leaders to research the consequences of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle. The committee is expected to deliver a proposal to Murray by the end of April. - K.H.

2 media departures

After two and a half years at Seattle-based eco media source Grist, editor-in-chief Scott Rosenberg says that he is leaving the organization. The founder of and cofounder of, Rosenberg spent most of his time at Grist as an executive editor; he will return to his Bay Area base and plans to write regularly on his blog Wordyard.

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