Sonics are out
Pro basketball in the Seattle area will soon be a thing of the past, say owners of the Sonics and Storm after the State Legislature let drop their bid for a new, taxpayer-financed $500 million arena.
In a statement released Monday, team co-owner Clay Bennett thanked their bill’s chief sponsors, Rep. Eric Pettigrew and Sen. Margarita Prentice. Both Democrats represent parts of Renton, where the arena would have been built. The owners “remain willing and available” to considering other public funding ideas before the Legislature adjourns, on or before April 23. “We are also receptive to analyzing any private financing mechanisms that are brought to our attention,” he said in a statement. “But at this time we have no other concepts on the table.”
Pettigrew notes that the team gave public officials a Nov. 1 deadline to come up with a plan. “There’s always a chance when people sit around a table that something can be worked out,” he says, “but I don’t know if we have a timeline where that could work.
P-I is in
Another local institution owned by mega-rich out-of-towners is safe, for now: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will continue publication under the terms of its Joint Operating Agreement with the Times, under which the Times runs the printing, advertising, and circulation departments for the P-I.
Owners concluded their talks on Sunday, April 15. In return for $25 million from Hearst, the Times has agreed to not release any notices of financial loss, which push each party closer to dissolving their joint operating agreement, until 2016. And the Times will pay Hearst $49 million so Hearst relinquishes its claim on nearly one-third of the Times’ future profits should the P-I be folded. “We are happy to have found common ground,” said Times CEO and publisher Frank Blethen. “It’s a new beginning for the P-I,” said publisher Roger Oglesby.
Planning is on
The city’s Office of Emergency Management is holding a series of meetings to help residents plan, on an individual and communal basis, for disasters.
The city is offering Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare to instruct people in how to put together their own emergency planning kits, draw up a response plan, and organize with their neighbors to respond in concert.
The meetings begin April 19 and run through June 16 at six different community centers. For more information, see www.seattle.gov/emergency.