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Posts published in “Day: April 6, 2007”

The Northwest’s turn

Ford and Carter
Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at a 1976 debate

The applications are in: Sites in Portland/Vancouver and in Spokane have been proposed as locations for the 2008 presidential (and presumably vice presidential) debates. So what are the odds one of them will be selected?

There's no knowing with any certainty, of course; and, of course, we've not done a thorough site-analysis to determine exactly how well the specific venues would fit the unusual and specific needs of a presidential debate. The two locals are Washington State University at Spokane (no, not at the mother ship at Pullman), and the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission (at a Portland-area site, possibly Clark College at Vancouver).

The other 17 applicants: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Belmont University, Nashville, TN; Centre College, Danville, KY; Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, Indiana; Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY; Indiana University and the City of Bloomington's Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ohio State University, National Public Radio, and Public Broadcasting Service, Columbus, OH; State of Illinois (Lakeside Center/McCormick Place, Chicago); University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR; University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, OH; University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL; University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS; VisitPittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; Washington University in St. Louis, MO; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; Women of the Storm, New Orleans, LA.

Statistically, 19 organizations around the country applied to host what may be four (possibly three) presidential/vice presidential faceoffs. So on its face, the odds of a Northwest debate might be between one in two and one in three.

We would suggest that on a regional basis at least, it's past time to give the Northwest a shot. The Northwest, after all, is the one region of the country that never has hosted a televised presidential debate.


Disaster flick

There'll be a lot more of these coming up for web use in the years ahead: A visualization from the Washington Department of Transportation of what may happen if something or other is or isn't done. In this case: A visualization of what may happen on the high-use Highway 520 bridge (connecting Seattle with east King County) if it isn't fixed.

Okay: It didn't rattle us from our seats. But were we daily riders on the 520, maybe it would . . .

One down, Sonics next

The proposal by the new owner of the Seattle Sonics for a half-billion dollar new arena at Renton sounds increasingly like a put-up: An obligatory proposal, performed as per the terms of the team purchase, but not necessarily the desired outcome. The desired outcome, probably, is the Oklahoma City Sonics.

The proposal as crafted likely has slim chance of passing the legislature and less of passing the voters. (The level of public-backed financing involved is they key point.) Taken together, these points make a little odd today's Seattle Times editorial urging another go-round in the arena construction effort. "The SuperSonics deserve a chance to work something out with King County. There might not be any more options for the SuperSonics if Olympia swats this proposal or strands it on the bench," it concludes.

This is notable as an expression of a still-vital viewpoint in Seattle. A detailed and useful deconstruction is available at Horse's Ass.