And now, for those blessed with short attention spans, the entire year 2013 in just 668 words:
The Year of the Gridlock begins with increases in Social Security taxes. In Olympia, the Majority Coalition Caucus officially takes over the state Senate amidst accusations of a coup d’etat. Tacoma police ring in the new year by towing the cars of a dozen First Night revelers. Jay Inslee becomes the state’s 23rd governor. Lady Gaga brings her “Born This Way” tour to the Tacoma Dome, which was born 30 years ago. Dear Abby dies.
Future Mayor Ed Murray complains that many in Legislature engage in Seattle-bashing. Some cash-hungry legislators propose selling naming rights to state buildings, highways and bridges. Boeing’s new Dreamliner demonstrates disturbing tendency to, you know, CATCH ON FIRE! Tacoma celebrates the rebirth of its century-old Murray Morgan Bridge. State high court tosses out initiative that requires two-thirds votes by Legislature to raise taxes. Lawmakers debate tough restrictions on drones. Mariners open season with high hopes, again. Former Gov. Chris Gregoire is passed over by President Obama for Cabinet job. REI boss Sally Jewell appointed to Interior. Former Gov. Booth Gardner dies.
Democrats say giving letter grades to public schools is a conservative plot (until it is pointed out that Democratic Gov. Inslee endorsed it during campaign). Pope Francis is selected. Legislature declares National Day of the Cowboy. Scumbags detonate bombs at Boston Marathon. Hopes for new NBA team are thwarted by Seattle-basher David Stern. Jake from State Farm moves self and khakis to downtown Tacoma. By not demanding big tax breaks and government subsidies, State Farm gets kicked out of big business clubhouse by Boeing, DaVita and Russell Investments. Tacoma asks question: Are we too hip for our 110-year-old totem pole? Thankfully the answer is “no.”
Interstate 5 bridge over Skagit River collapses; miraculously, only casualty is Department of Transportation’s self-respect. Edith Bunker dies. Edward Snowden begins to reveal evidence of massive surveillance of Americans by their government. Majority Coalition Caucus pushes state toward its first government shutdown though, sadly, the Department of Motor Vehicles will remain open. National Zoo’s Red Panda gets lost. U.S. Supremes strike down Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8. National Zoo’s Red Panda is found.
After pledging another war on tax loopholes, Legislature creates 16 new ones including exempting clay pigeons and dance clubs from sales taxes. Baseball player Ryan Braun admits what he once denied. Woman has baby in England — like that’s news? SHARKNADO! That’s all, just SHARKNADO! Vast majority of voters in Washington don’t vote in primary. Sonics nonowner Chris Hansen gets caught trying to manipulate Sacramento election over new arena. Mass killer Robert Bales sentenced to life in prison.
Puyallup Fair becomes Washington State Fair; attendance is down. President John Kennedy visits Tacoma (wait, that was from 1963). Mariners end season with hopes dashed, again. The federal government shuts down, though, sadly, Vice President Joe Biden will remain open. Obamacare enrollment begins, but only six Americans make it through the tortured website on first day. Typhoon hits parts of the Philippines really, really hard. Gov. Inslee convenes special legislative session to allow everyone to tell Boeing executives how much we love them. Reporters covering $15 minimum wage issue in SeaTac quit for jobs in fast food joints in order to get a raise. #SFBATKID. Former House Speaker Tom Foley dies.
USC steals UW Husky football coach. UW steals Boise State football coach. Tacoma City Councilman Anders Ibsen takes leave to go Gung Ho. Inventor of AK-47 Mikhail Kalashnikov dies, sending prospective mass killers into mourning. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan make sort-of budget deal that kinda brings calm to Congress. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi embraces the suck. Seattle tunnel machine Bertha gets stuck under downtown; thankfully only casualty is Department of Transportation’s self-respect. WSU Cougar fans really, really hate New Mexico. State high court does not toss out charter schools initiative. Washington state gets all Seahawks-obsessed. Nelson Mandela dies.Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657