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Posts published in “Day: August 12, 2007”

Taxing attitude

Of some note as an indicator, this (self-selecting, to be sure) online poll in the Coeur d'Alene Press. It could be worth consideration as policymakers in the region consider what the traffic will bear in tax and bond proposals.

The question: "If the election were today, would you support a $14 million bond issue for a convention and events center at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds?"

As of a check early this afternoon, 1,080 people had voted, and 73.9% of them were opposed. Bond proposals take a 2/3 favorable vote to pass.

Port blasphemy

Afine bit of analysis on the economic and social sides of current efforts at Puget Sound (notably Tacoma) port expansion - for some, an obscure topic but rendered here brightly specific - by columnist Peter Callaghan.

A point: "So eager are the shippers to get those boxes back to Asia that 29 percent of the containers leave Tacoma with nothing inside. I used to say the biggest export from Tacoma was jobs, but with all of those empty boxes the No. 1 export might actually be air."

A second: "The port overhypes the number of jobs from its container terminals by adding related and indirect jobs. That allows it to count not just the longshoreman and the truck driver, but also the worker at the Target warehouse and the clerk at the 7-Eleven. Such a multiplier effect can be applied to any job, yet we don’t often let other employers get away with it. For some reason, though, it is required whenever we speak of the port."

And more, in this highly recommended read.

The Craig question

In this day of early campaign announcements, Idaho Senator Larry Craig, whose seat is up for election next year, has been holding back to a more normal schedule. And not just as a matter of form; he's been saying nothing to tip his plans for running or opting out.

Dan Popkey at the Idaho Statesman has gotten into this, talking with people who know Craig and generating the general answer: "We have no idea what he's going to do." Our take-away from conversations with people who know Craig is that (though none claimed any kind of inside information) he would more likely run than not, mainly on grounds that the Senate is his life. We'd suspect that something in what Popkey heard gave a similar sound, because his conclusory "guess" is the same as ours: While good reasons for retirement exist and that certainly could happen, a re-up is more likely.

We'll know in another month.