June 30th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

  • Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said he’d like to be involved in an effort to bring men’s pro basketball back to Seattle. But, he claims, there’s a “real estate problem.” This problem can only be solved with a new arena, which would cost $300-500 million. KeyArena, Ballmer asserts, is too small; though it’s actually well in the range of NBA arena capacities. What it lacks are more luxury boxes and an NHL-friendly hockey configuration. Ballmer also apparently didn’t mention that as long as the City of Seattle owns KeyArena, it won’t subsidize a new building that would compete for concerts and other bookings. Even if the city had the money, which it doesn’t. (Question: Could KeyArena be expanded again without knocking down the nearby Northwest Court complex?)
  • For decades, University of Washington administrators have chafed at the presence of all those pesky college students walking around, diverting time and attention away from the world-class-research-institution stuff the administrators would much rather focus on. Now, the current UW bigwigs have come across a solution, in the form of a whoppin’ 20 percent in-state tuition hike. Students plan to protest.
  • The federal government has indeed sold the former Rick’s strip club building. And yes, the new owner will probably open another strip club there.
  • Howard S. Wright, the construction giant that built the Space Needle and Columbia Center, was sold off to a Texas company.
  • Could it really rain more at airports?

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