The Nose

The Nose: A new definition of TLC, bag boredom, and Inslee declares he’s no Trump

Before this week’s follies begin, The Sniff presents the sound of a newsroom screaming, torn straight from The Great Daily Planning Board where all vast media conspiracies are hatched.

 
No, it’s not part of the Tacoma Art Museum’s Edvard Munch exhibit. Courtesy

Got that? As every reader and consumer of tap water knows by now, goosenecks are bad, filters are good and the Tacoma Lead Crisis (admit it, you’ll never think of TLC the same way again) continues to occupy all local news-type thought. Fortunately, the Schnoz thrives exclusively on the purest oxygen. Now, back to our regular programming.

Bag that task force, Conor: You could almost hear eyes rolling Wednesday when Tacoma City Councilman Conor McCarthy tried to make everyone happy on an issue that’s bound to tick off half of his constituents: Banning plastic grocery bags.

The Tacoma council contracted its latest case of Seattle envy four years ago and started kicking around a plan to save the whales by outlawing your Fred Meyer bag. The idea is just as contentious now as it was back then, but most members of the council are tired of talking about it and want to pass a ban yesterday.

Enter McCarthy, who tried to split the bag baby by calling for … wait for it … a task force that would bring stakeholders together and study the issue. He began his spiel by noting that he uses reusable bags, and he’ll ban the disposable ones someday, just not now.

Fingers started drumming. Sighs began heaving.

Fingers started drumming. Sighs began heaving.

“At this time, if the most urgent effort is to get community buy-in on changing behavior, it’s often hard to get buy-in when you don’t give (opponents) a say,” McCarthy said, briefly lifting the hopes of the bag manufacturers who attended a council environmental committee meeting.

But, his pitch flopped with his colleagues. The last thing they want is another survey or another community forum where Safeway shoppers declare that you’ll take their plastic bags from their cold, dead, heavily weighed-down hands while millennial co-op clerks list their environmental science degrees as reasons for you to fashion a reusable grocery bag out of some old T-shirt in your sock drawer.

“I don’t think (the behavior change is) going to happen by getting five, 10, 15 people in a room and talking about this,” Councilman Ryan Mello said, just before the committee passed the ban.

The unspoken message to McCarthy from the crafty veteran: Hey rook, we’ll steal a Seattle idea here and there, but mimicking the Emerald City’s process addiction ain’t the Tacoma Way.

Repurposing political slogans: Your Seattle Mariners announced an ownership shuffle Wednesday, as Nintendo handed off the controller — er, its majority share of the club — to some guy named John Stanton.

No, none of this is final, and the baseball owners have to harrumph for a while before it becomes final, but it’s still final — and that means longtime M’s CEO Howard Lincoln is out.

No, none of this is final, and the baseball owners have to harrumph for a while before it becomes final, but it’s still final — and that means longtime M’s CEO Howard Lincoln is out.

Sadly, the departure deprives long-suffering M’s fans of their favorite scapegoat. Noting Lincoln shares a last name with an old Republican, The Sniff couldn’t help thinking of a missed-opportunity groaner. If only Howard had aped Tricky Dick Nixon, and said, “You don’t have Lincoln to kick around anymore,” the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries could have formed a perfect sloganeering union.

Yeah, it’s a tortured line. Fishwrap columnist John McGrath took his own shot, calling Lincoln “Howard the Lame Duck.” Sometimes comedy is a chore.

 
Gov. Big Jay Inslee hopes to appeal to the hip crowd with his online plea to “Join Team Jay.” Big Jay’s a unifier, not a divider.Courtesy

Not sick of politics? Oh, you think you’ve reached the saturation point on political news. Not a chance. We’re coming up on a statewide presidential primary that might actually matter for once.

Great heavens, Donald Trump is planning a visit to the Evergreen State, or so the interwebs tell us. Gov. Big Jay Inslee is already seizing the moment with a Facebook ad, making clear that he’s really anti-Donald, as if you didn’t know.

Makes sense, since Jay has a run ahead of him this fall, plus the prospect of Republican foes scooping up enough legislative seats to control the state House and Senate chambers. That might lead to gridlock, ending the smooth cruise of lawmaking to which the Guv has grown accustomed in his first term – oh wait.

In short, it’s easy to understand Inslee’s push. The same can’t be said for your prosecutor, Zen Master Mark Lindquist, who’s beating the bushes for political contributions way, way ahead of time.

A recent fundraising letter from Zen Master Mark Lindquist to friendly sorts alludes to what those in the prosecutor’s office refer to as “The Troubles,” if they refer to them at all.

A recent fundraising letter from ZM to friendly sorts alludes to what those on the Ninth Floor of the prosecutor’s office refer to as “The Troubles,” if they refer to them at all.

“While our opponents were mired in their own gripes, the good people in our office tuned out the noise,” ZM’s letter says, not bothering to mention that some of those opponents happen to be high-ranking staff members who don’t view the office as a permanent political war room.

“Please take a moment to invest in community safety and energize our 2018 campaign with your donation of $100, $250, the maximum of $4,000 per couple, or any amount you can give, thank you,” ZM’s letter adds. “Most importantly, we need your contribution as soon as possible.”

The letter gives no explanation for the urgency, or why supporters ought to be thinking of the prosecutor’s race, instead of, you know, all the people running now. ZM isn’t up for re-election this year, or next year. He’ll have to dig in for 2018 (and after that, his privately stated quest to become state Attorney General in 2020.)

The war chest holds about $22,000 at the moment, and nobody’s kicked anything in since December. Gotta do better than that — shoot, the new iPhone’s almost ready to debut, and you know what an important piece of equipment that is.

Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune

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