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Posts published in “Day: March 14, 2007”

The cutoff, described visually

from Mulick cutoff videoToday was the Washington Legislature's cutoff day - any bill which hasn't passed out of the House or Senate to the other chamber, is dead for the session. That makes it a day of legislative intensity, frenzy almost, as interests scramble to make sure their bills aren't (or are) left for dead.

At least, it's a frenzy in some places. Tri-City Herald reporter Chris Mulick, recently equipped with a video camera, has figured out how to tell a useful part of the story visually, efficiently and memorably. He has the video posted on his blog.

Reviewing note: Gotta love the sound effects in the second half.

The shrinking connection

Connecting IdahoThe mega-highway project was touted, a couple of years back, as Connecting Idaho - an ambitious proposal (by then-Governor Dirk Kempthorne) to develop and improve the highway system around the state so that its myriad needs could be largely met, in one swoop.

Opinions about it varied widely, but it seemed here like a noble attempt to fix a transportation network badly in need of it.

Since then, Kempthorne has gone on to other things in Washington, and the wheel have begun peeling off "Connecting Idaho". There was always some financial risk involved, of course, and always the question of who would financially benefit when so much money was being flung around so dramatically. Quite a few legislators had objections, and many of those objections made sense. It was never a perfect proposal; it was an attempt at a grand gesture, at thinking about transportation in a different way in a state where getting around involves limited options.

The project has been whittled down considerably over the last couple of years. Here's what the legislative budget leaders did about it today: They "backed selling $246 million in bonds for the "Connecting Idaho" highway plan in the year starting July 1, with more than half to be spent on Interstate 84 near Boise, Nampa and Caldwell."

Maybe in the next generation . . .

Tonight’s chat

Our weekly reminder, that our regular Wednesday chat is on for tonight at 6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, accessible off this page. (Scroll down to the right to the “nickname” box, enter your name, click the button, and you’re in.) It lasts about an hour; feel free to jump in or out any time.

So far we’ve had enjoyable discussions with an eclectic group of people. Greg Smith, a co-founder, should be back on board this evening. Along with, well, who knows who.