Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Bellevue

Aug.
6th

Bellevue billionaire buys himself an Eyman initiative

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Whatever voters think about Initiative 1125’s attack on highway and bridge tolls, they should know this: The measure might not exist but for the bankroll of a Bellevue developer who hopes to kill a voter-approved transit plan.

Kemper Freeman Jr., the force behind Bellevue Square and much of the rest of downtown Bellevue, has given more than $1 million to the campaign run by professional opportunist Tim Eyman.

A full 86 percent of the contributions to Eyman’s I-1125 coffers came from Freeman’s company, Kemper Holdings. Without that money, Eyman might not have been able to hire the paid signature gatherers who qualified the measure for the November ballot. Read more »

Feb.
9th

‘Vision Line': Cheaper, faster, fewer riders

Sound Transit is out with its analysis of the “Vision Line” that we wrote about a week ago. As predicted, the route preferred by a majority of the Bellevue City Council is cheap and quick, coming in at $145 million below Sound Transit’s budget and shaving three minutes off light rail travel time.

But it pays for those cost and time savings with lower ridership. The Vision Line is projected to have fewer boardings than all but one of the 10 downtown Bellevue alignments Sound Transit has studied. One reason is the Vision Line puts the downtown station

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Feb.
1st

Light-rail growing pains

No matter where Sound Transit points its trains, controversy seems to follow. I come to those discussions with the perspective of someone who was raised in Portland, where bellyaching about the mess caused by the latest MAX light rail project is a favorite pastime.

I grew up three blocks from the new North Portland line on Interstate Boulevard, which had become a sad strip of seedy motels and boarded-up stores by the time I moved away in the early 1990s. My mom still lives there and complained bitterly when she found out light rail was coming. But I think

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Jan.
31st

Bellevue’s ‘vision’ puts transit out of focus

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

A fight’s brewing in Bellevue that could have unfortunate consequences for light-rail users in the South Sound and across the Puget Sound region.

The value of the Sound Transit light-rail system depends on its proximity to people and the places they want to go. Opposition to the regional transit agency’s preferred light-rail route in Bellevue risks thwarting the system’s ability to deliver.

Eastside leaders have long been opposed to Sound Transit’s plans to run light rail on surface streets through downtown Bellevue. They say that construction would disrupt businesses and that trains would clog traffic.

The opposition is led by powerful interests that don’t like any light rail. Anti-transit developer Kemper Freeman Jr. owns a good chunk of downtown Bellevue and has led past fights against Sound Transit ballot measures. He’s also given heavily to local politicians. In November, he bought himself a majority on the Bellevue City Council.

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Jan.
29th

Coming this weekend: Fighting child porn, making light rail work

Here’s what we’re working on for Sunday and Monday:

It’s not easy to prosecute those who view child pornography, but it could be a little less difficult if the lawmakers passed legislation requested by state Attorney General Rob McKenna. That legislation would give law enforcement an upgraded set of tools to fight despicable crimes whose evidence is shared across secretive computer networks.

A fight’s brewing in Bellevue that will affect how useful Sound Transit’s light rail is to South Sound users. The Bellevue City Council, backed by powerful downtown and anti-light rail interests, wants the line to either skirt downtown

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