April 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM
A King County judge this morning dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking construction of a new arena in Sodo.
Superior Court Judge Laura Middaugh determined that there are too many unknowns to the proposed arena deal to rule now. Investor Chris Hansen is leading a group that wants to build the arena with the hopes of bringing an NBA basketball team and possibly an NHL hockey team to Seattle. They are seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings.
The lawsuit, filed in January, alleged the arrangement, which calls for $200 million in public money to be repaid through arena revenue, violates the terms of Initiative 91. The measure, overwhelmingly approved by Seattle voters in 2006, said the city must make a profit on any investment in a sports facility.
The plan, the lawsuit says, “lacks fair value” because most of the sums to be repaid represent unsecured future cash revenue or interest repayment that is not allowed under the initiative.
“We think there is a massive shortfall in fair value because you can’t count the unsecured future cash,” said Seattle attorney Cleveland Stockmeyer, who filed the suit on behalf of Mark Baerwaldt, a drafter and sponsor of I-91, and three other Seattle residents labeled respectively as a taxpayer, a Sounder train conductor and a railroad switchman who serves as a United Transportation Union leader.
Middaugh said this morning the city’s agreements with Hansen to build the arena are not yet finalized.
She said the city must still complete an environmental review and final documents. Only when the final terms are known can the court determine whether the agreement meets the terms of I-91, Middaugh said.
“This ruling is yet another in a long line of affirmations that the city and county are doing things right in the effort to bring the Sonics home,” Metropolitan King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Maloof family, controlling owners of the Sacramento Kings, has set a deadline of 5 p.m. today for a Sacramento group to submit a written, binding bid that would be considered as a backup offer if the NBA denies the team’s sale to the Seattle group led by Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The Sacramento Bee reported if the deadline is not met, the Maloofs will not consider any Sacramento offers.
However, The Bee also reported this morning that sources have told the paper that the Maloof family will accept a local bid that matches that of Hansen’s group.
April 11, 2013 at 8:57 AM
UPDATE: 2:05 p.m. | Johnny Turk, 25, a longtime Mariners fan, has brought a baseball glove to many M’s games, hoping he might catch a foul ball as a souvenir.
One finally came his way Wednesday night – and though he didn’t have his glove, he wasn’t going to let this foul ball get away.
“It looked like it was going to land right in my lap,” Turk said. “So I just put my beer cup out and snagged it.”
A Root Sports video of Turk’s accomplishment has now gone viral, and he’s fielding calls from friends and the news media, a little surprised by the attention.
Once the ball landed with a big splash of amber liquid, Turk did what any good beer lover would do: With the ball still in his cup, he chugged what was left of his drink.
Turk, who recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in construction management, and who now works as a bartender, was at the game with his father, uncle and a cousin. He’s thinking of having the baseball cut into four pieces to share it with them.
He said if he hadn’t caught the baseball, it might have gone into the beer cup his cousin was holding next to his . “We had that ball pretty much covered. It was going to be his or mine.”
Rebecca Hale, spokeswoman for the Mariners, said Turk’s catch made for a fun fan moment. Today, the team invited Turk to bring 3 companions to tonight’s game to sit in box seats near the Mariners dugout.
April 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM
Sacramento developer Mark Friedman is joining the bid to buy the Kings and build the team a new arena, The Sacramento Bee is reporting.
Friedman’s announcement comes one day after Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle had to reduce his role in the project because of a conflict of interest. Johnson hinted at a press conference Monday that there might be additional changes in the ownership structure.
Johnson said he expects the final decision from the NBA on the Seattle/Sacramento saga to come when the NBA Board of Governors meets April 18-19 in New York.
March 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM
The Associated Press
LONGVIEW – A Toutle Lake High School freshman was injured Thursday afternoon while he was throwing a shot put and it slipped out of his hand and hit him on top of his head.
The Daily News reports 14-year-old J.J. Peck was in stable condition while being evaluated at St. John Medical Center in Longview.
Toutle Lake Superintendent Scot Grabenhorst said the metal ball may have struck the boy a glancing blow on the top of his head but he did not lose consciousness.
March 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM
The local longshore workers’ union plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that an agreement to build a sports arena in Sodo did not violate state environmental laws.
Local 19 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, whose members load and unload cargo at Port of Seattle facilities within blocks of the proposed Sodo arena site, announced this morning that they will ask a Washington Appeals Court for an expedited hearing of the case.
“The ILWU Local 19 believes that the court failed to acknowledge that the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is a violation of the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), which outlines the action the city and and county took to construct an arena in Sodo without an EIS,” the union said in a statement.
A King County Superior Court judge two weeks ago threw out the union challenge to an agreement among Seattle, the county and investor Chris Hansen to build a $490 million state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue with up to $200 million in public funds. (more…)
February 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Key to the arena lawsuit filed by the longshore workers union is the argument that the Memorandum of Understanding reached in October with investor Chris Hansen, Seattle and King County commits the government to a Sodo location in violation of state environmental laws. The agreement names the Sodo site, where Hansen owns land, and creates “irreversible momentum” to develop a $500 million arena there before required evaluations of alternate sites and environmental impacts are known, according to lawyers for Local 19 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
The union’s legal brief for the lawsuit, opens with a powerful quote by County Executive Dow Constantine from an Oct. 16 news conference that implies that the agreement essentially seals the deal by detailing how Hansen will develop the arena and seek an NBA team to play there.
“… [a] major and critical milestone has been achieved. As a result of this legislation we have a clear path forward … Mr. Hansen and his ownership group can now start in earnest on the purchase and development of the new state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena. Maybe most importantly, the passage of this legislation allows Chris Hansen to undertake the really important work of acquiring an NBA team and bringing our Sonics home.”
But the reply brief filed by Hansen’s attorneys Friday contains the full Constantine quote. What the union omitted (and in one case even the ellipses were left out) seems to undercut the longshore workers’ arguments that the agreement ensures development of the Sodo site. The full quote — with omissions in bold — is:
“Let me be clear, the process is still not finished. But a major and critical milestone has been achieved. As a result of this legislation, we have a clear path forward. As the approved memorandum of understanding spells out the conditions that Chris Hansen and his investors must satisfy before the City and County provide the necessary public financing. Mr. Hansen and his ownership group can now start in earnest on the planning and development of the new state-of-the-art multipurpose NBA and NHL arena. The County and City are committed to carrying out our regulatory responsibilities and the required review of the project under the State Environmental Policy Act. And, maybe most importantly, the passage of this legislation allows Chris Hansen to undertake the really important work of acquiring an NBA team and bringing our Sonics home.”
See the live Constantine remarks here.
Contacted by phone, Peter Goldman, who is representing the longshore workers along with David Mann, called the condensed quote a “non-issue.” He said the point was to show that the Memorandum of Understanding created more than a process that includes environmental review. “It was a major important decision to moving this project forward. They’re trying to minimize the agreement. SEPA is not just a box that gets checked,” Goldman argued.
King County Superior Court Judge Douglas North will hear arguments in the case Friday. A decision could be issued from the bench.
February 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM
Two young men who beat up a 53-year-old soccer coach from Seattle in front of his teenage daughter Wednesday are being sought by Lynnood police.
The private-league soccer coach and his teen daughter were waiting for other teammates to show up at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood when three young men approached, according to the Lynnwood Police Department. The two suspects insulted both the father and the daughter, then assaulted the father, but did not harm the daughter. After the beating, all three fled on foot.
The father suffered multiple bruises and abrasions to his face, but did not need to be taken to a hospital, according to police.
One suspect is described as a white male, about 15 to 17 years old, shaggy blonde hair, 5-foot-10 and weighing about 160 pounds. The other suspect is about the same age with darker skin, angular facial features and short hair.
Lynnwood police ask anyone with information on the suspects to call their detectives at 425-670-5669.
January 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM
Calling it “a very brazen attack,” King County prosecutors today charged former University of Washington football player Zach Fogerson with first-degree robbery for allegedly robbing an 18-year-old student at gunpoint on campus Monday night.
The female student was robbed while walking across campus around 10:30 p.m. Prosecutors wrote in charging documents that Fogerson “held what appeared to be a gun in the victim’s face and demanded her property.”
The victim’s belongings were later recovered from Fogerson’s car, along with a BB gun, a revolver and a baseball bat, according to a summary of the case.
Fogerson is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Fogerson left the Husky football team in July 2011 after Coach Steve Sarkisian said that he was suffering from continuing issues with a concussion he received that spring. He is the younger brother of another former UW player, Johri Fogerson.
January 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM
The Sacramento Bee reported today of a potential new snag in the sale of the NBA’s Kings to a group that would relocate them to Seattle.
The Bee says a bankruptcy trustee who controls 7 percent of the Kings says the team’s limited partners are being denied their legal right to match a Seattle investment group’s purchase offer for the team.
A Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced Monday it had a binding agreement to purchase 65 percent of the Kings, including a 53 percent share held by the controlling owners, the Maloof family.
The other 35 percent is held by four different entities, including a 7 percent share that is in bankruptcy.
The Bee reported that “the assertion by trustee David Flemmer could present a major legal challenge to the Maloof family as it attempts to complete its just-announced sale of the team to a group that intends to move it to Seattle.’’
Flemmer, the Bee reported, is the court-appointed trustee overseeing the 7 percent share of the Kings owned by team limited partner Bob Cook. The Bee reported that Flemmer said Cook and other minority owners have “first right of refusal” to buy the club. He said that right is guaranteed in the partnership agreements governing ownership of the team.
Flemmer said that means the limited partners should be allowed to match the deal agreed to by the Maloofs and Hansen, according to the Bee’s story.
Flemmer plans to assert the limited partners’ rights at a hearing next Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, according to the Bee.
“Bankruptcy is a tool; this tool can be effective,” Flemmer told the Bee. “We are very, very, very concerned that there’s a deal being cut that’s going to (ignore) that right.”
The Bee reported that a source close to the Maloofs said recently that the family doesn’t believe the limited partners have a right of first refusal.
Flemmer is holding an auction for Cook’s 7 percent share of the team to pay off his creditors. If the limited partners are denied the right to match Hansen’s offer, that diminishes the value of the Cook share, he said, according to the Bee.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is attempting to assemble an ownership group that can make what he calls a “competitive’’ counteroffer to the agreement reached by Hansen’s group, which is paying $341 million for a 65 percent share of a team valued at $525 million, the most ever-paid for an NBA team.
It’s uncertain how the latest developments would impact Johnson’s efforts.
January 23, 2013 at 4:35 PM
Former University of Washington football player Zacchery Fogerson is being held in connection with a robbery on the UW campus Monday night.
An 18-year-old student walking through campus was robbed at gunpoint around 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to UW police. Fogerson, 20, of Kent, was arrested by UW police shortly after the robbery.
According to a statement of probable cause, UW police stopped Fogerson as he was driving off campus in a car with its headlights turned off. A silver revolver and the student’s purse and wallet were found in the car, according to King County prosecutors.
He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, but has not been charged.
Fogerson left the team in July 2011, after Coach Steve Sarkisian said that he was suffering from continuing issues with a concussion he received that spring. Sarkisian called Fogerson “a young player that showed a lot of promise,” but that he “just never got a chance to get it going.”
Fogerson is the younger brother of another former UW player, Johri Fogerson.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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