October 23rd, 2011


Initiative 1125 – Concerning state expenditures on transportation

As I do most years, I like to write up how I plan to vote in the upcoming election and why. Although people are welcome to comment, or counter-argue, or whatever, the point of posting these is not to debate. Neither is the reason for posting these explanations to convince anyone, particularly people who disagree with my positions. I’m simply stating my opinion.

520 traffic congestion
Photo by Oran Viriyincy (CC By-Sa)

Initiative 1125 – Concerning state expenditures on transportation.

This measure would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund revenue and vehicle toll revenue for non-transportation purposes, and require that road and bridge tolls be set by the legislature and be project-specific.

That’s the ballot title and question. Which, unfortunately, is pretty bland and misleading. There are a grab bag of provisions in the initiative, most of which are bad:

Right now the legislature authorizes tolling on specific roads or bridges, and the state transportation commission sets the actual toll rates. I-1125 requires that the legislature set the tolls. That’s a guarantee for a political clusterfuck. Need to raise tolls to pay to repave or for structural fixes? A group of eastern washington legislators can hold it up. It also means every individual toll decision is subject to referendum.

It requires that tolls be uniform. That’s to remove what’s called congestion pricing. Want to cut down on people using the 520 bridge during rush hour? Charge a higher toll during rush hour. This provision would prevent that.

But the real reason behind the initiative is to prevent using I-90 for light rail. If this passes, there is no light rail to Bellevue. The main person bankrolling the initiative is the owner of Bellevue Square and a major investor in car culture related projects.

One of the effects of the initiative, though not explicitly part of it, is that it reduces the bonding capability for the 520 bridge replacement, which has already started. So to finish the bridge, the WSDOT will need to cancel about $500 million worth of other projects and shift the money to 520.

Really, all a person needs to do is look at who is sponsoring the initiative: Tim Eyman. He had one good initiative (performance audits) and a shit-ton of crappy ones. Including this one.

I’m voting NO.

crossposted from King Rat.


Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary

On occasion I’ve contacted distant relatives when I find contact information for them. That’s been somewhat hit or miss. One big hit though was last month I contacted someone who turned out to be the cousin of Anne Klindt Falconer. Anne would be my second cousin once removed. That means she and my father shared great grandparents.

My second great grandparents were Anton Weiss and Clara Voigt Weiss. After Anton died in 1911, Clara moved to California and lived with her daughter Celia. Clara’s photo album went into Celia’s hands when she died in 1915. Her daughter Agnes took the album after Celia died, and Agnes’ niece Anne took the album when Agnes passed away.

Anne sent me copies of the photos. This one is from Anton and Clara’s 50th anniversary in 1906. Seated in the center are Clara and Anton Weiss. Standing behind Clara is, I believe, my great grandmother Frances Weiss holding my grandfather, 2 year old George Archibald Weiss. (click for larger version)

Anton and Clara Weiss 50th wedding anniversary group photo
Anton and Clara Weiss 50th wedding anniversary

The Cassville Index reported on the event. (Back then, the small town newspapers reported on who you had over to dinner.)

Golden Wedding

In Regensberg, Bacaria, on February 27, 1827, Anton Weiss was born. And near Cologne, Germany, Clara Voigt first saw the light of day on May 2, 1833. They both came to America in the same year, 1852, although they never met until within a few weeks of their marriage, Mr. Weiss spending some time in the east and was also in business in Dubuque before he came to Cassville in 1855 in company with Gustav Candler and William Schmitz. He formed a partnership with Mr. Schmitz and for seven years conducted the Cassville brewery and also a hardware store; when they dissolved Mr. Weiss retained the hardware business which he successfully conducted until he retired about fifteen years ago. Anton Weiss and Miss Clara Voigt were married by the late J.H.C. Sueclode, Esq., August 17, 1856, in the house now occupied by Thos. Williams, then owned by Jehn Berhardt Sr. (deceased), and standing on site of Mrs. Bernhardt’s present residence. In that house for a few months Mr. Weiss and his bride lived until their own home was ready, and since then their home has been continuously where they still reside although the building has been continuously enlarged and improved from time to time. TO bless the worthy couple were good sons and dutiful daughters and all now living, except the eldest daughter, were at the Golden Wedding last Friday. Robert was the first born, then Cecelia (now Mrs. Henry Klindt,) they reside at North Ontario, California. Frank of Pukwana S.D.; Theodore J. of Madison, Wis.; Joseph P. of Merrill, Wisc.; Mary died in June, 1898; Clarissa now Mrs. C.F. Troeller of Larrabee, Iowa; the youngest child, their daughter Agnes, died July 21, 1903. Other members of the family in attendance were Mr.s Frank Weiss and children, Marion, Theodore and Agnes; Mrs. J. P. Weiss and children Marie, Glenn and Archie; Harold, Paul and Agnes Troeller; Mrs. Barbara Freidmann of Chicago; and the Cassville relatives: Mrs. G. Kuchenberg, Miss Gertrude Josten, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kuchenberg and children Hilda and Joe; Peter Voigt; Mr. and Mrs A.B. Teasdale and sons Charles and Harold. Mr. and Mrs Gustav Canderl, who for fifty years have been next-door neighbors, were at the wedding-dinner which was prepared by Mr. Weiss’ niece Mrs. Friedmann, one of whose many accomplishments is that she is a most skillful cook, and her offer to perform this labor of love was highly appreciated by the guests. A number of handsome gifts, leather coach, oak rocker and pieces of Haviland china and other tableware and mementos of the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. A. Weiss from their living family and friends.

Anne identified the Troellers in the photo. Charles Teasdale’s son is still alive. I found contact information for him online, and he responded when I requested his help identifying his family in the photo. I haven’t yet built the Kuchenberg part of my tree, so noone yet for me to contact regarding those identifications.

Group photo at Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary, with labels identifying known people
Group photo at Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary, with labels identifying known people

crossposted from King Rat.