In brief: A tech worker killed two people and wounded three more in a drunken shooting rampage in Lake City, Mayor Durkan rejected a long-planned bike lane on 35th Ave NE, David Kroman wrote an excellent response to Seattle is Dying, and Boeing's 737 MAX woes continued to unfold. 
Sunday, 24th - Saturday, 30th, 2019
Image from The Seattle Times / Mark Nowlin
Last Week in Seattle
Lake City shooting:
Boeing 737 MAX:
  • Last Sunday the New York Times reported that Boeing will make two simple safety features that could have prevented both of its recent 737 MAX crashes free to all clients, as opposed to charging extra for them like it does now.
  • On Tuesday an empty 737 MAX that was being moved across the country by Southwest had to make an emergency landing due to what the company said was an unrelated engine problem.
  • On Wednesday the head of the FAA testified in front of the Senate about the certification that led to the approval of the troubled 737 MAX planes to fly, including the fact that parts of that certification process were outsourced to Boeing itself, and also disclosed that the FAA had received Boeing's proposed software fix for the issue 7 weeks before the Ethiopian crash earlier this month.
  • And the Seattle Times reported on concerns from Boeing employees about the lack of redundancy in the new jets while they were being designed and all of the ways in which Boeing's tone-deaf public responses have made a bad situation even worse. 
The housing affordability crisis:
  • Real Change's Tim Harris, the Seattle P-I's Joel Connelly, and the Tacoma News-Tribune's Matt Driscoll all pushed back against KOMO's anti-homeless TV special "Seattle is Dying"...but the award for best article on that front last week went to Crosscut's David Kroman, who--unlike KOMO--talked to one of the people who's filmed from afar in the special, and through his story illustrated both how effective permanent supportive housing is in providing stability for folks experiencing the combination of homelessness and addiction/mental health issues and how much of it we still need to build. 
  • The City temporarily extended the permits for three permitted tiny house villages for another six months. 
  • King County announced that it's opening a 40-bed enhanced men's shelter in an unused wing of the county jail. 
  • And Capitol Hill Housing's Liberty Bank Building, which combines low-income housing with affordable commercial space for local businesses owned by existing local businesses from the neighborhood, had its grand opening in the Central District, 
Meanwhile, in Olympia:
  • House Democrats in the state legislature released their proposed new two-year operating budget, which would increase funding for public education and mental health and by raising an additional $1.4 billion through capital gains taxes on the wealthiest state residents, increased real estate excise taxes on home sales of over $1 million, and higher B&O tax rates on our state's largest tech companies (Microsoft supports the B&O tax increase, but Amazon doesn't). 
  • Washington State Wire looked in detail at the process by which a state budget gets formulated, released, and approved. 
  • And the legislature approved a bill that will raise the legal age for smoking and vaping (tobacco products) to 21 from 18, which will now go to Governor Inslee for his signature.
Real Estate Corner
According to Case-Shiller's most recent data release, the median home price for the three-county region comprised of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties was up 4.1% from January of 2018 to January of 2019, and down 0.3% from December of 2018 to January of 2019. 

Crosscut's Josh Cohen looked at efforts by a coalition of progressive organizations to ensure that the Puget Sound Regional Council's long-term planning efforts through 2050 set forth a vision of accommodating growth without displacing existing residents

The Puget Sound Business Journal looked at the areas of the state that are likely to be most impacted by the new federal Opportunity Zone investment rules. 

The 58-story condo tower that's long been planned for the empty space across the street from City Hall continues to be delayed.

The state released a mapping tool for all the unreinforced masonry buildings in Washington (which are at high risk of completely collapsing in the event of a major earthquake). 

And Curbed Seattle's Sarah Anne Lloyd looked at what $1600/month will rent you in Seattle right now.
Thank you to everyone who's sent me a real estate referral or used me as an agent yourself! The city of Seattle is my geographic area of expertise, and while I'm also very good at helping sellers get top dollar for their homes, my true passion is helping first-time homebuyers get homes that they love quickly and easily.

f you need a residential real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home of any kind--or you know someone who does--I'd love to be of service. My website is here, or see here for client reviews. 
Quick Takes
Mayor Durkan's Department of Transportation announced a "compromise" on a long-planned redevelopment of 35th Ave NE that angered both sides, removing both the bike lanes that biking advocates wanted and the existing street parking that neighborhood businesses wanted to retain. [KUOW]

Durkan also announced permanent nominees for the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Office of Economic Development, and the newly created Office of the Employee Ombud, as well as that the director of the Office of Housing will be leaving his position shortly. [Crosscut]

The King County Council said they weren't aware that youth were still being held in solitary confinement in adult jails despite their ban on the practice two years ago, something that came to light two weeks ago by way of reporting by The Stranger's Lester Black. [KUOW]

A public defender representing the partner of a man named Derek Hutchinson who died in a King County jail after staff thought he was faking what turned out to be a ruptured ulcer pushed King County Executive Dow Constantine to open an inquest into Hutchinson's death. [The Stranger]

David Gutman at The Seattle Times looked at King County's only landfill, which was originally supposed to be full by 2012 but may end up being kept in service through 2040 or beyond. [Seattle Times]

Longtime King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, who's drawn a challenger for the first time in 14 years, announced that he will in fact be running for re-election. [Seattle Times]

The Suquamish Tribe is threatening legal action against the Navy for dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound at its Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. [KING 5]

Crosscut's Jen Dev and Liz Brazile put together a great 90-second video explaining the history of Seattle's increasingly segregated public schools. [Crosscut]

More Seattle voters tell pollsters that politicians' positions on environmental issues are important to us than almost any other city in America (we're second only to San Francisco). [Seattle Times]

St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill is giving sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant who's at risk of deportation by ICE. [Real Change]

Nearly 150 Seattle Public Schools employees (mostly teachers) will be transferred between schools for the 2019-20 school year as a result of budget cuts and shifts in enrollment. [Seattle Times]

Sound Transit backed off from a plan to hire non-union drivers for several ST Express bus routes. [Seattle Times]

Michelle Baruchman did a Facebook Live Q&A with new Seattle Department of Transportation Director Sam Zimbabwe. [Seattle Times]

And the great bus exodus from the downtown transit tunnel is now complete. [Seattle Times]
Upcoming events this week
4/2, 7:30 pm: UW Science Now 

4/3, 6:00 - 7:30 pm: Civic Cocktail: Chief Best & Sherrif Johanknecht + Lt. Governor Habib

4/6, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm: Civic Saturday

4/6, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm: Edible Book Festival

4/6, 7:00 pm: Shoreline Short Film Festival

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
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Mailing address:
Windermere Real Estate Co.
1177 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
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