In brief: A local woman was inspired by the Kavanaugh hearings to publicly accuse state Senator Joe Fain of raping her in 2007, Mayor Durkan released her proposed 2019-20 budget, and the City Council formally signed off on the Key Arena renovation deal with a private corporate group.
Sunday, September 23rd - Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Image from MyNorthwest / AP (Ted Warren)
Last Week in Seattle
  • Candace Faber, a former diplomat who most recently served as the City of Seattle's first Civic Technology Advocate, accused state Senator Joe Fain of raping her in 2007 [full disclosure: Candace is a good friend of mine]
  • Faber made the accusation on Twitter following the end of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and explained her decision in a Medium post she published later that night.  
  • Fain is a Republican state Senator representing South King County's 47th Legislative District; he's been elected to the position twice and is up for re-election this year. 
  • He gave the following quote to the Seattle Times but otherwise hasn't responded publicly: "I absolutely deny what Ms. Faber is accusing me of. Any allegation of this serious nature deserves to be heard and investigated for all parties involved. I invite and will cooperate with any inquiry. I ask everyone to show respect to Ms. Faber and to the process."
  • Faber wasn't the only one who had a strong emotional reaction to the Kavanaugh hearings--according to the Seattle Times, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KSARC) received triple its normal volume of calls since the start of Thursday's hearing, "mostly [from] women in their 60s and 70s" who had never told anyone else about their assaults. 
  • After multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with teenage girls during his time as a high school teacher and college professor, Republican state Representative Matt Manweller, who's up for re-election this year, pledged to resign immediately if he wins his race.
A moral document:
  • On Monday Mayor Durkan unveiled her proposed 2019-2020 City budget, which will now go to the City Council for deliberation and eventual passage on November 19th (see here for more on the City Council's process, and here for a PDF calendar of all the important dates).  
  • Kevin at Seattle City Council Insight started his deep dive series on the budget with an in-depth overview post and a close look at the revenue forecasts on which the budget is based. 
  • Durkan's budget adds funding for more police officers and firefighters and increases transportation spending by 25% (while also maintaining a line item for the Center City Connector streetcar line, which Durkan is still in the process of reviewing).
  • The budget for homelessness, on the other hand, only increased by 3.5%, from around $86 million to around $89 million. This year's homelessness funding included a significant amount from one-time sources of money, so a good portion of that $89 million appears to have been back-filled by cuts to other departments...and by a $13 million reduction in homelessness prevention services, in part so the City can continue to fund Durkan's 25% increase in shelter bed funding from earlier this year, which would have been covered by the head tax's $47 million/year if it hadn't been repealed.
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine also released his budget on Monday.
Election Watch:
  • Monday, October 8th is the online voter registration deadline for the November 6th general election--if you're not already registered to vote at your current address, take a few minutes and fix that now
  • A New York Times poll in the 8th Congressional District showed Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi in a statistical tie.
  • Joseph O'Sullivan at The Seattle Times looked at the I-1639 campaign's effort to significantly strengthen gun regulations in Washington state. 
  • An ad-hoc group called Citizens Against Sport Stadium Subsidies filed paperwork for a referendum to repeal the King County Council's recent vote to spend $135 million in taxpayer funds on upkeep for Safeco Field over the course of the Mariners' new 25-year lease there. 
  • Councilmember Mike O'Brien drew an early challenger for his re-election campaign next year: Chris Rufo, a documentary filmmaker and staunch opponent of the City's municipal income tax that's currently working its way through the courts. 
  • And there was a lot of confusion (which apparently is still ongoing) about whether or not Senator Maria Cantwell will be participating in a planned City Club debate with her Republican challenger, Susan Hutchinson, on October 6th in Tacoma.
Real Estate Corner
According to The Seattle Times there are more than two dozen condo projects, with a total of more than 5,000 condo units between them, in the pipeline to be completed just in Seattle between now and 2022 (compared to just 2,000 total so far this decade between Seattle and Bellevue both).

According to the most recent Case-Shiller home price index data for July, the decrease in buyer demand that's caused inventory levels to rise in King County hasn't been as pronounced in the less expensive markets of Pierce and Snohomish counties...and across the three-county region our median home price increased 12.1% between July of 2017 and July of 2018, second only to Las Vegas's 13.7% among the 20 markets that Case-Shiller tracks.

The developer behind an upcoming 459-unit luxury condo tower at 2000 3rd Ave called First Light released some details about the project, which will likely start taking pre-sales in the late fall or early winter.

Mira Flats in Bellevue, which was originally planned as apartments but whose developers decided to sell the units as condos instead, received reservations for roughly half of their 162 units during their opening weekend of pre-sales last week.

Hanna Brooks Olsen wrote about the history of Sicks' Stadium, the minor-league baseball stadium that was once located where the Lowe's on Rainier Avenue is now.

The newly re-opened Hugo House is the state's first-ever Literary Landmark building. 

As expected, the City Council signed off on the UW's massive new growth plan, which will return to them for final approval after the UW's board of regents approves it later this year. 

The City of Seattle released a request for proposals for cultural spaces housed in tiny buildings (between 120 and 400 sq ft) that it will then build. 

And Curbed Seattle's Sarah Anne Lloyd looked at what $1,000/month will rent you right now in Seattle.
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
As expected, the City Council formally approved the deal with a private group to renovate Key Arena for an NHL team. [Curbed Seattle]

The City's only low-barrier tiny home village in Licton Springs (which doesn't require residents to be sober) will close when its permit expires next year. [KUOW]

Teachers and students from several public high schools staged protests over the district's hastily-announced teacher reassignments following lower than expected student enrollment. [The Stranger]

Boeing's tax incentives from the state legislature saved the company $227 million in taxes last year, even as the company cut 6,000 local jobs. [Seattle Times]

Josh Kelety looked at the problems with King County's cash bail system (i.e., the practice of "setting bail" at a certain dollar amount). [Seattle Weekly]

A UW study found that low-income people and people of color will bear the brunt of the negative side effects of global warming in our state. [Seattle Weekly]

According to census data, the percentage of Seattleites who commuted to work by bike in 2017 was 2.8% (down from 4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016), lower than it has been since 2007. [Seattle Times]

SPD Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey resigned from his post to take a job in the private sector. [Crosscut]

Councilmember Debora Juarez and several Native leaders are pushing to remove the totem poles at Victor Steinbrueck Park and replace them with art from local Native traditions instead. [Crosscut]

And the state held an emergency response drill for an accident inside the almost-ready-to-open waterfront tunnel. [KING 5]
Events this week
10/1, 7:30 pm: Vishavjit Singh: Sikh Captain America

10/3, 6:00 - 7:30 pm: Civic Cocktail: Carbon Fee, Food and Beverage Tax & Gun Ownership 

10/4, 7:30 - 9:30 pm: Ignite Seattle #37 [sold out, but rush tickets may be available at the door]

10/5, 7:00 pm: MANHATTAN SHORT 2018 Film Festival

10/5 - 10/13: Seattle Made Week

10/5 - 10/13: 10th Annual Seattle Latino Film Festival

10/6, 10 am - 5 pm: Robothon 2018 [Seattle Center]

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
view on the web
Mailing address:
Windermere Real Estate Co.
1177 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
Copyright © 2018 Sol Villarreal, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp