Monday, January 5, 2009

Seattle Times' Steve Kelley: Clock is ticking for city's NBA hopes

Way to kick out the jams Steve Kelley.
Today Kelley beat the trash can lids to the rhythm of truth and sang the song of the KeyArena blues.
It's beat, it's aging, and mostly empty.

Where are the business leaders Kelley wants to know. And, "Where is the civic pride?"

Great questions, unanswered for the most part, ignored by too many that insist on calling themselves business, or civic leaders.
I have wondered this as well. As much as Seattle is similar to other towns, in that we have our share of bandwagon fans, and general gloryhounds, there are more then our fair share of good and well-to-do citizens that prize themselves as leaders. Somebody has to step up to show public leadership, we have enough back room power brokers in this, but that is rarely enough to make something this big and complex happen.

At some point I was expecting the major sports writers to kick off the conversation with the general public. I thought it would have happened sooner, but those thoughts were rolling around in my head, and some comments here, back before the economy flipped on its head. We are, like it or not, bound to the schedule of the Washington State Legislature.

Thank you Steve Kelley for attending college basketball games in what was a pro basketball arena, and should be again.
Read Steve Kelley's column in the Seattle Times, here:
Clock is Ticking!
Have a great day,
Mr Baker
Sent from my iPhone


Anonymous said...

Any word on the Convention Center's report? I really hope they can make due with 6%.

Mr Baker said...

No, no word, must be close. Tacoma News Tribune had a story yesterday, Seattle Times today. The Times story said soon, but the only thing left of the story is seeing if the Key gets 1%, which was still mentioned in the Times story. The reporter talked to the convention folks, I imagine that they would have said something about that, they didn't, so, I am very hopeful for the two fitting.

My guess is a week.

I gave a staff reporter a hard time about the arena funding as looking possible, but it was a collection of comments from a few reporters, including Jim Brunner. I hope they will stay on this.

Peter said...

hey guys,

i get why people are worried about this, but i think our chances are better than you might think. i honestly do not blame the legislature for not acting on the schultz and bennett proposals. they were pure crap. anyways, the gov sounded pretty positive about the key during an interview i saw on king 5 friday night. there has never been this good of a proposal on the table before, and with the elections looming, i see why the leg didn't act last year. anyways, didnt they already make a accouncement that they were going to handle the arena deal in private? i just think were being a little paranoid, a little used to failure.

Mr Baker said...

Peter, you be positive, I'll be paranoid, and in the end we may both be happy.

Anonymous said...

The legislature has high hopes for funding from the the fed.

From Ross Hunter:

Let’s say we get $4 billion from the feds,” Hunter said. “Then, we cut $1.5 billion and go home.”

Pretty glib but hopefully accurate IMO.

Mr Baker said...

Glib is the right response.
The full-on freakout by the unions is simply stupid, nobody knows what is really coming from the Feds.
The forcast in March for Washington State will be slightly better than most other states, because things are slightly better here. The state will push the number up from the Feds for medicaid and supplement other unfunded federal mandates.
If the fucking banks can be given 350 billion dollars to balance their books then so can the states.
The gov spoke to Obama a month ago, she started with the base 1 million from the feds.
That number is going up every day on the same numbers that will effect the state forcast in March.

Ross Hunter should not bother to guess, or explain, it will happen or not, my guess is it will be much larger than the 1 million.
If it isn't KeyArena is in trouble, my suggestion of committing to the back end of the 300 million and placing it in the10 year capital budget. That is the best overallsolution.

Anonymous said...

There are some interesting and informative statements coming from you and BR on SC. From my own research and speculation there have been some interesting developments, such as: The tentative verbal agreement the UW has initiated with the Seahawks for usage of Qwest Field in 2010. As well as the article in the Daily which I believe either precluded or followed that previous development. Also the recent development for President-elect Obama requesting the rest of the existing TARP funds for usage for his stimulus plan. Things are starting to move a little bit. We still have to see what the state's cut will be.With all that being said, they've already come to an agreement on the viaduct being replaced by a deep-bore tunnel which leads me to believe that the state is ready for a large windfall from the fed.

Anonymous said...

I should say "expects" a large windfall from the fed.

Mr Baker said...

I would not expect the tarp money to go to the states, I think they are going to use it to put a floor under the housing market, I would look for the house and senate to get an earfull from the states for federally mandated costs that are getting cut.
If the senate republicans slow this down the look for the tarp money to go to the states.
Laying off people in every state will not help the economy.

Anonymous said...

RE: Husky Stadium. I really think that this will get done. Hopefully not at the expense of Key Arena but the political posturing has begun. Case in point this excerpt:

"On the public funding side politicians are working to be able to take the entire state legislature out of the process and delegate the decision to King County. It makes a lot of sense because King County is where the funds are generated."

Wasn't this the point of getting funding for Key Arena? For the state to allow the county what funding sources were going to be used?

Mr Baker said...

I agree, see the next story I was writing while you were writing.

I am impressed, I really thought huskie stadium was going to be the fall guy, and the convention center would be the one making the right argument. But they are taking it a step further in actually wrestling the control away from the state, just letting the county be the one that takes the political hit, really, that is politically a masterful shift.
The fund does not belong to the whole state, so let the locals have the upside of control along with the downside of what would be very unpopular state-wide.
The rest of the state can call us stupid, but that is the right of the poor to call the rich names for the buying of wants with so many needs about.
The county, them, they can sell the convention center that space and plug a giant budget hole if they can wrestle away the Seattle hotel tax away from the state too.
Lots of local motivation.

If the cougs want stadium money then charge more tax on fries county-wide.

Johan said...

i actually think by ceding responsibility for husky stadium to the county, it gives key arena a better shot. that way, the state won't be hit with "too much money for sports" argument and they will have a out by saying "husky stadium was king county's decision, we only passed key arena." that way they will take less flack from people. a couple of weeks ago, i saw the gov in an interview and she was "much more hopeful" for key arena. maybe that's because she knew husky stadium was going to be the counties decision anyway, so she was very vague about it. on the other hand, she seemed like she went into more detail about key arena. maybe that's because key arena will be the only thing the state task force does. they pretty much have to approve one major project, and by punting hs to the county, it makes it easier to recommend key arena.

Peter said...

if the leg gives husky stadium to the county, does that mean it's off the list of task force projects, since it's a state task force? that could be a way to free more money up for all the other projects (including key arena).

Mr Baker said...

No, if King County is handed responsibility for the 2.8% tax then expect the city and convention center to argue that the Seattle tax is the same form of tax and should go to the city.
There would be only a few things and fixed % that can be spent on any one thing, much like the current state law, with an expiration date.
If one get control then so should the other.