The state's lawmakers may finally have awakened from their hoop dreams to see the nightmares they have created for taxpayers. House members didn't bite...

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The state’s lawmakers may finally have awakened from their hoop dreams to see the nightmares they have created for taxpayers.

House members didn’t bite the other day when the Seattle Sonics and Mayor Greg Nickels proposed a $205 million, tax-funded improvement project for KeyArena.
And yet on the same day, the Senate Transportation Committee approved a competing measure that would set aside the tax money the Sonics want and apply it to Alaskan Way Viaduct improvements.

Spurn the few, serve the many. That’s more like it.

“When you’re sitting down here looking at $50 billion in unmet transportation needs, we’re going to have to forgo the luxuries a bit,” said Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle, who introduced the viaduct bill.

Get me some Binaca so I can kiss that man. The people with the purse strings are finally setting priorities that we working stiffs can relate to.

It’s about time local sports teams learn that the state doesn’t revolve around them.

In truth, those of us who pay taxes in the state have supported those teams, driving to games in fear of the viaduct falling down around us.

Once we get there, we worry if we will be able to afford a parking space, a ticket, a dog and a beer.

Is it any wonder that the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame didn’t elect anyone this year?

Maybe even they’re sick of all the green and glory that sports teams get, while all we get is the bill.

We may get a break from the new no-new-taxes budget proposed the other day by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Still, that savings to us means pain. Mental-health programs will be cut. Public-school kids will continue to be squeezed into classrooms.

At least we know their loss isn’t a sports gain, and that we may be spared our own version of March Madness in Olympia.

It’s a tradition lawmakers shouldn’t be proud of, because it’s created a citizenry that doesn’t so much rail against other teams as against the owners of our very own — not to mention the lawmakers who ignored our wishes and funded Safeco Field.

And while lawmakers review their spending options in Olympia, the courts are deciding who will profit from the naming rights for Qwest Field.

Since we paid for a chunk of it, shouldn’t we get something back that we really need?

Millionaire players don’t really need heated tiles or fancier shower heads.

But, like us, they could probably use a nicer road on which to drive their pricey rides to and from the games.

A recent Seattle Times story chronicled a few of them, including the silver Hummer H2 Sonics center Jerome James bought with part of his three-year, $15 million contract.

Again — they’re asking us for money?

I hope the team we put in Olympia has the sense to learn from its mistakes and continue to play some serious defense.

Otherwise, it’s game over come election time.

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

Her vote belongs to Brooks.