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Longshoremen to appeal judge's ruling tossing out their arena lawsuit

Longshoremen in Seattle plan to appeal a recent judge’s ruling that threw out their challenge to a new Sonics basketball arena.

The longshoremen’s union argued that the city of Seattle, King County and investor Chris Hansen violated state environmental laws when they signed an agreement for the arena. They said that memorandum of understanding focuses too much on the site Hansen prefers – in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. And that’s before an environmental review is finished.

A judge disagreed, tossing out their lawsuit. Peter Goldman is an attorney for the longshoremen’s union. He says they’re asking the Washington Court of Appeals for a fast-track review.

"This memorandum of understanding went too far and has all but cemented the arena in SoDo," Goldman said.

The city of Seattle, King County and a lawyer for Hansen have all argued that the agreement is non-binding. The city and county can reject the deal depending on the environmental review results.

This lawsuit isn’t the only stumbling block for Hansen’s bid to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. The NBA has to approve that purchase and there’s now a competing bid from a group in California.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.
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