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Archives for 03/26/2006 - 04/01/2006

Saturday, April 1, 2006

It’s Official

posted by on April 1 at 12:11 PM

State Representative Ed Murray (D-Seattle) will be giving up his house seat and making a run for the state senate this fall, and in this long-expected attempt at winning a higher office he’ll be trying to unseat a fellow Democrat: incumbent state senator Pat Thibaudeau of Seattle. Murray made his announcement earlier this morning in Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.

House Parties

posted by on April 1 at 10:10 AM

I’m proud of all of the pieces in the paper this week. The news and arts writers at The Stranger did an outstanding job of covering last Saturday’s shootings.

I don’t want to single out any one piece. But there’s one that didn’t make it into the feature package, and I’m afraid it might get overlooked. Paul Constant writes the column “Party Crasher” for us. It’s a weekly snapshot of a house party. We created the column because we felt that Seattle had a lively house party scene, and that we weren’t really covering Seattle’s nightlife if we ignored house parties. There’s nothing “in it” for The Stranger; people don’t advertise their house parties. We cover them because we think they’re interesting and we think people enjoy attending, by proxy, parties that they weren’t actually invited to.

Anyway, if you missed Paul’s tremendously moving piece on last week’s murderswhich, as everyone knows, took place at a house partyyou can find it by clicking here.

We throw parties to bring strangers together in the hopes that, maybe, by the end of the night we won’t all be strangers. When you think about it, that’s an inspiring act of hope, and that’s why, regardless of some message-board screeching or a few fear-driven editorials and panicky government officials, we’ll continue throwing house parties and, yes, inviting people we don’t know into our homes….

Party crashing has taught me this: Most people genuinely want everyone to have a good time, and it’s too goddamn inexpressibly sad to consider what would happen to Seattle, and to ourselves, if we didn’t greet the next unfamiliar face at the party with a smile.

While we were pulling together last week’s issue Charles Mudede suggested that we float the idea of a night of house parties all over the city. That didn’t make it into the paper, unfortunately. I think it’s a good idea, and if people are into it, we’ll get behind it.

A night of house parties could be a memorial, of a sort, to the people who lived in the blue house on Republican. They frequently opened their home to friends, friends-of-friends, and, yes, to strangers. According to their neighbors, their parties had always been peaceful. (Just as peaceful as the all-ages dance scene.) A night of house parties could also perhaps a fund-raiser for the survivors or some appropriate charity. But mostly it would serve as an affirmation of Seattle’s culture of house parties that Paul Constant so elequently defends in this week’s paper.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Dear Fans of Seattle Rock

posted by on March 31 at 10:28 PM

(or, anyone who has ever wondered what it would look like if Ken Stringfellow were to perform a Posies show in Spain wearing only a loincloth and a [probably fake] fur coat):

Here’s something to make your weekend a little sweeter.

NOTE: Viewing this video may cause you to spring forward, but you’ll still need to change your clocks Sunday at 2am.

Thanks, internet! Thanks YouTube! And thanks to J.M. Roderick for the alert.


posted by on March 31 at 8:21 PM

Ah, Friday night at The Stranger… Finally, the Slog is mine. The “writers” are all off getting drunk, and I’m basking in reclaimed bandwidth (and beer). Things that make a tech geek happy.

This video is, sadly, an ad for a Sony TV. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that before you watched it. Still, I find it strangely soothing and beautiful after a long week, not least because someone had to pick up those 250,000 bouncy balls, and it wasn’t me. Oh, and I want one of those TVs.

(Click image to watch video. Requires a recent version of quicktime. Don’t have it? Get it.)

Okay, okay.. forget that.. Check THIS out. A Disney-produced video from 1973 on the dangers of venereal disease, featuring ominous little animated syphilis and gonorrhea germs being led into battle by some weird semi-translucent germ general, who encourages them to “make every day, V-D DAY!”. It’s suprisingly frank about sexuality for it’s time, including casual references to homosexuality, condom use, and .. uhh.. “strange” discharges. Enjoy!

disney vd video

Maybe you should watch the bouncing balls video again now.

MySpace’s Spring Cleaning

posted by on March 31 at 6:53 PM

200,000 “objectionable” MySpace profiles have been sucked into cyber oblivion. Read about it here.

This Week on Slog

posted by on March 31 at 6:02 PM

Saturday, March 25

The week that was to become Slog’s finest started with Eli Sanders’s chilling post at 10:10 am on Saturday morning. At the same time, Stranger news writers Thomas Francis and Josh Feit were assembling facts at the crime scene, and Megan Seling was monitoring the internet for related information. Corianton Hale and others shot and uplaoaded photos as the media descended on the neighborhood. We posted everything we knew, as we learned it, and Slog functioned as our info clearinghouse, hive mind, and point of connection to each other and the larger community in the hours after the murders. At 5 pm, Megan found a first-hand account of the massacre online and Tom reported the facts from the police chief’s press conference. Megan linked to’s list of the suspected dead, and Josh Feit worried about what this could mean for the city’s teen-dance laws. Saturday night, Stranger staffers convened at the Editor-in-Chief’s house to debrief and to console each other.

Sunday, March 26 through Wednesday, March 29

If you were one of the minority who weren’t glued to this blog all week (when Slog captured the most eyeballs in its history), I recommend starting here and scrolling up through the dozens of posts that eventually painted a clear picture of what happened in that blue house on East Republican. The accompanying comments threads, in which people mourned, speculated, raged, debated, offered support to one another, and joined us in trying to make sense of the events of Saturday morning, are also worth a read.

Thursday, March 23

On Thursday, Slog’s smorgasbord nature returned. As the city continued to wonder about the killer’s motive, several psychics, Eli Sanders, and random crazies weighed in. Josh Feit criticized the Seattle Times’ editorial calling for a thorough review of Seattle’s teen-dance rules. And Christopher learned that he’s not THAT gay.

Friday, March 24

Today David Schmader linked Montana’s vivid new anti-meth campaign with Whitney Houston’s current, alleged drugged-out existence. Annie Wagner recommended a movie showing tonight, Kim Hayden got very excited about Peruvian llamas, Dan Savage pitched a fit about bad service at the Harvest Vine, and Megan salivated about Slither.

Keep reading…

2112 E Republican: Soon to rent

posted by on March 31 at 4:13 PM

I just spoke with Thomas Wilkerson, property manager of the blue home at 2112 E Republican. What will become of one of Seattle’s most notorious crime scenes? “Right now, we’re going through the insurance process and once it gets cleaned it’ll be back up on the market for rental,” said Wilkerson. He said he expects that to take “a month or more.”

Hillside Quickie

posted by on March 31 at 3:02 PM

The Stranger Copy Department had a fabulous lunch outing at the vegetarian sandwich shop up on 15th Avenue on Capitol Hill. The place is darling, the food is terrific, and the staff is gorgeous. In our earlier review of their University District location we called the place Seattle’s only health-conscious, hiphop-oriented deli, but today the Capitol Hill branch was blasting Al “Let’s Stay Together” Green.

The menu includes things such as the Flaming BBQ Burger, Crazy Jamaican Burger, and Seitan Steak Sandwich. I had the Yam and Seitan Sandwich, which was exceptionally tasty, and some of my neighbor’s collard greens, yum.

Hillside Quickie Cafe
324 15th Ave E, just north of Thomas St.

Guess the Desk!

posted by on March 31 at 2:37 PM

As a thank-you to all our loyal Slog readers for making it through a heart-wrenching week with us, we’ve put together a fun little time-waster wherein you can try to match a dozen Stranger editorial work stations with their owners. I’ll post the answers at 5:00 p.m. in the comments thread. The game starts after the jump…

Continue reading "Guess the Desk!" »

$16 for Three Scallops

posted by on March 31 at 2:06 PM

But, hey, they were good scallops, and it’s a tapas place, and the portions are supposed to be small, and it’s not really the scallops that pissed me off anyway.

I was at Harvest Vine on Madison with my boyfriend earlier this week. It’s a pricey place, we’ve never been before, and we were suddenly kid-free for an evening. So why not go blow a little money? We were braced for the prices, having been warned. What I wasn’t braced was… the… butter police.

So they put some bread in front of us. Little round slices of crusty white bread. Tasty. But… missing something. No butter, no olive oil. So when one of the servers asked us if everything was okay, I said yes, then asked if we could get a little butter for the bread.

“Oh,” she said, “we don’t do that here.”

You would think I had asked her for a lap dance. Or a happy ending. Or something that just isn’t done in, you know, nice restaurants. But if I’m paying $5.33 per scallop, and I want a little fucking butter for my bread, I think you should give me some motherfucking butter.

Ed Murray to Announce… Something.

posted by on March 31 at 12:44 PM

According to an e-vite that’s making the rounds of the local political establishment, State Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) will be making a big “campaign announcement” tomorrow in Seattle. Everyone assumes tomorrow will be the moment when Murray finally declares his intention to run for a seat in the state senate by taking on Pat Thibaudeau, the current Democratic state senator from Seattle.

Confidential to Connelly: Calm Down

posted by on March 31 at 12:38 PM

Obsessed Stranger reader Joel Connelly reportsagainthat Nick Licata’s staff is “a source of leaks to the Stranger.” He continues: “The Capitol Hill weekly went into rapture after Nick assumed the council presidency. An adoring Licata profile appeared, along with paeans to Licata aides, followed by generous praise of his response to the Capitol Hill shootings.”

To set the record straightagainLicata’s office is no more the source of “leaks” to the Stranger than any other office on the second floor of City Hall. (As the Stranger’s City Hall reporter for the last two years, I oughta know; and Connelly has certainly never asked me who my sources areor, indeed, ever called me.) Oh, and that “adoring profile” and “paeans to Licata aides” Connelly refers to? As far as I can tell, unless they ran somewhere other than the news section, they’re just as fictional as all those “leaks” from Licata’s office.

Steinbrueck Says: Stop Catering to Cars

posted by on March 31 at 12:27 PM

Council Member Peter Steinbrueck addressed the 36th District Democrats last night (Ballard), making the case that there needs to be a third, surface/transit Viaduct replacement option on the ballot rather than just Nickels’s tunnel freeway option or the freeway rebuild option.

“How can we be the ‘Kyoto Protocols city’,” Steinbrueck asked, “when the single biggest transportation investment we’re making is road centric rather than transit centric?”

Indeed, the current third optionwhich intends to move 30,000 of the 110,000 vehicles that currently use the Viaduct to transit optionsis a solution that would change our detrimental habits rather than cater to them.

“Our current thinking is antiquated,” Steinbrueck says. “It’s backwards thinking. It’s all for roads.”

Steinbrueck says he currently has 4 votes (including his own) to put a third option on the ballot: DREAMMMY Council President Nick Licata, Tom Rasmussen, and Richard Conlin.


posted by on March 31 at 12:27 PM

After watching this trailer for weeks, the day has finally come… Happy Slither Day!!

Is anyone else as stoked as I am? Or am I alone in my fascination with this sure to be terrible but in a hilarious way flick?

Yeah… I’m probably alone.

Re: The Net Closes Around DeLay

posted by on March 31 at 12:15 PM

According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Republicans in Congress have taken nearly $47,000 from former DeLay aide Tony Rudy, who today pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges as part of the sprawling federal investigation into Congressional influence-peddling shenanigans.

And while it’s not a huge sum, eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert has taken $500 from Rudy, according to the DCCC, which now asks: Will Reichert give the money back?

Following the indictment of Tom DeLay and the guilty pleas of Jack Abramoff, most of the congressional Republicans who took the tainted campaign cash returned the money or donated the funds to charity. With Tony Rudy pleading guilty to charges related to the lobbyist fraud investigations, will Dave Reichert and his fellow Republican beneficiaries again return to sender?

Apparently I’m an Asshat

posted by on March 31 at 11:57 AM

The woman who runs DesktopDetective probably doesn’t know it, but “asshat” is one of our favorite words here at The Stranger, having first come to our attention as a suggested descriptor for President Bush.

Now, apparently, I’m an asshat for writing the following paragraph in this story about Kyle Huff:

A woman who wanted to be identified only as Michelle, and who runs the local blog, said she has talked to three different young people who believe they may have seen Kyle at a few raves and electronic-music parties over the past three months. She could not immediately make those people available to The Stranger, however. More compellingly, a post dated February 1 from was found on the guest book of a local woman’s website after the killings. The message asks for information about upcoming parties. “Hey, I’ve never been to a rave in Seattle,” it reads. “Was wondering if anyone could tell me when one is coming up.” Kim Dietemann, who operated the site, contacted the police about the message.

Michelle appears to be mad that I didn’t just take her word that three different young people had seen Kyle Huff at parties in the last few months. Sorry, Michelle, but it would have been pretty sloppy journalism for me to have just taken the word of an anonymous blogger, and not to have asked to speak directly to the people who you say saw Huff. As for needing to hear from them within two hourslike I told you, my deadline was coming up in two hours, and if I was going to get their stories into my story for this week’s Stranger, I needed to hear from them before my deadline. But I think you’re exaggerating how demanding I was. As I also told you, I would be happy to talk to these people for a future story if they’re not ready to talk yet.

The Pillowman

posted by on March 31 at 11:54 AM

I got all excited about The Pillowman, by Martin McDonagh, at ACT. I previewed it. I suggested it.

“So how come there’s no review in the paper?” people have asked.

“Because I want to give other shows some ink,” I have answered. “But if you want to, you can read my two reviews (one for people who’ve seen it, one for people who haven’t) online.”

The Net Closes Around DeLay

posted by on March 31 at 11:53 AM

A top aide to onetime bug man and disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay just pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal. The aide, former deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy, admitted getting DeLay to sign a letter that benefited disgraced lobbyist Abramoff’s clients, and coordinating efforts in DeLay’s office to push legislation that benefited the lobbyist’s clients after “receiving gifts and money indirectly from Abramoff,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Rudy faces up to five years in prison.

Meanwhile, perhaps attempting to divert attention from charges of money-laundering and conspiracy to violate the US elections code by gerrymandering the Texas redistricting plan to increase Republicans’ majority in the House, DeLay declaimed a new “war on Christianity.” His evidence: a society that “provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition.”

DeLay’s Democratic opponent, Nick Lampsona former congressman whose district was eliminated in DeLay’s redistricting scheme is a long-shot candidate who nevertheless represents the best chance yet to get Sugar Land’s slimiest citizen (and one of the most influential Republicans in the House) out of Washington.


posted by on March 31 at 11:38 AM

Sure, Lollapalooza used to be cool, but not anymore. Nowadays, what’s cool is Alpacapalooza, and it’s this weekend at the fairgrounds in Puyallup.

Alpacapalooza promises two days of fleece contests, photo exhibits, and plenty of alpacas roaming about! Learn alpaca handling, health care, and shearing. Afterward you may even want to start an alpaca farm of your own, and now you’ll have the tools and know-how to do so. It’s only $5 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors. Alpacas!

Iraq in Cinerama

posted by on March 31 at 11:35 AM

Tonight is your only chance on the visible horizon to catch Iraq in Fragments, a really fantastic feature documentary by Belltown filmmaker James Longley that won three big awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Do not miss this movie if you care about what’s happening right now in Iraq. It’s more vivid than any TV news report, and more intense than any print journalism since Anthony Shadid. I talked with James about making a documentary in a war zone (one of the scenes in the Shiite section of the film is an up-close vigilante attack on an alcohol vendor in Nasiriyahthe movie puts you right in the van with the informal militia, and right in the holding room as the vendors beg to be freed). He also spoke about the difficulty of filming Iraqi women, and the section that went missing from the final cut. You can read the interview here. (For tickets to tonight’s show, or the Iranian allegory Iron Island at 9:30 pm, also the Cinerama, show up at the venue box office an hour before the movie starts.) James will also be doing a Q&A after the movie.

Iraq in Fragments is the opening event in the Seattle Arab & Iranian Film Festival, which runs through Thursday. I haven’t seen any of the rest of the movies, but here’s what else looks intriguing:

Charles Mudede tells me Private is great. It screens Thursday April 6 at 7 pm at Broadway Performance Hall, and will open for a week-long run at the Grand Illusion the next evening.

I’m a Persian film nut, but trust me on this one: The Iranian narrative film Beautiful City has been getting very strong reviews. Says the NYT: “It’s a penetrating exploration of retribution versus forgiveness, blood money, sacrifice and the intricacies of Iran’s Islamic judicial system, which places twice as much value on a man’s life as on a woman’s and permits murderers’ death penalties to be lifted only through the request ofand in certain cases, payment fromvictims’ families.” It plays Sunday at 9 pm at Broadway Performance Hall.

The Moroccan movie Le Grand Voyage road trip movie about a Westernized son who escorts his traditional father on his hajj. It reportedly contains some of the most moving images of the massive crowds of pilgrims in Mecca ever filmed. It screens tomorrow at 9 pm at Broadway Performance Hall.

For tickets for any of the movies that don’t screen tonight, see

Sera Cahoone, Live at Easy Street (West Seattle)

posted by on March 31 at 11:17 AM

We mistakenly listed up-and-coming Seattle singer/songwriter Sera Cahoone’s in-store appearance tonight at Easy Street’s Queen Anne location; it’s actually happening at 8 pm at the West Seattle store (4559 California Ave SW # 200; 206-938-3279). Sorry for the confusion.

Pranksters Get Set

posted by on March 31 at 11:04 AM

Tomorrow is April Fools’ Day (my favorite holiday). Besides stretching cling-wrap over a toilet seat, Super-Gluing quarters to the sidewalk, sewing closed your boyfriend’s fly, setting all the clocks in the house ahead three hours, calling your mom to announce you’re pregnant, hiding your best friend’s car, adding a bit of weed to your dad’s smokes, or handing out hot-pepper gum, anyone have any novel prank ideas?

Copper Canyon’s Winning Streak

posted by on March 31 at 10:50 AM

This part of the world doesn’t have a whole lot going on when it comes to publishingSasquatch’s big success in recent years is their Nancy Pearl line (Book Lust was a surprise seller, and now they’ve done sequels and calendars and, I don’t know, have they done frisbees yet?), and Clear Cut Press makes beautiful books but they still don’t seem to have figured out how to sell thembut hot damn, Copper Canyon Press is doing amazing things, and they deserve all the praise John Marshall heaped on them in yesterday’s P-I. Copper Canyon Press won both the National Book Award (for a collection of W.S. Merwin’s poems) and the Pulitzer Prize (for a Ted Kooser collection) in 2005. Marshall describes, among other things, how the press managed to woo Merwin away from his fancy New York publisher, Knopf, and how it’s survived a ton of upheaval and stress, most of it in the shape of former publisher Sam Hamill, who bugs just about everybody (Marshall calls Hamill “a cantankerous, abrasive person”). It’s also a nice primer if you don’t know anything about the Port Townsend press. You should read it.

Montana Fights Meth, Whitney Courts Death

posted by on March 31 at 10:39 AM


ABC News has the story on Montana’s fierce new anti-meth campaign, one of whose ads appears above. (Who says romance is dead?) Financed via a $5.6 million donation from software billionaire and part-time Montana resident Thomas Seibel, the campaign has grown in the biggest advertiser in the state, with the Montana Meth Project’s ads popping up on billboards, newspapers, radio, and TV. According to the MMP, meth use among Montana’s youth is dramatically higher than the national average, hence the full court press with the strategically grisly ads, which are focussed on preventing kids from trying meth even once. (To see more of the MMP’s inspired anti-meth horror shows, go here.)

Speaking of horror shows: Tabloids in both the U.S. and U.K. are going nuts over the allegedly filthy drug habits of Whitney Houston, thanks to “shocking revelations” provided by Bobby Brown’s sister.

The downfall of Whitney is apparent to all who watched Being Bobby Brown, the Bravo reality series during which Whitney and husband Bobby routinely behaved like the type of crackheads you cross the street to avoid getting panhandled by. Still, Tina Brown’s allegedly eyewitness details about Whitney’s habits—all-day-every-day crack smoking, living in squalor, compulsive masturbation, and hideous hygiene—suggest a dissolution unparalleled in the world of modern pop music. Let the Billie Holiday comparisons begin. (Although it must be said that Whitney Houston’s talent is but a speck compared to the mountain of Billie Holiday’s. Still, there will be several fascinating books written about the driven self-destruction of Whitney Houston, and here’s hoping she survives to read them—or write ‘em.)

More Theories

posted by on March 31 at 10:38 AM

The Seattle Times today weighs in on the theorizing that’s taken off in the absence of a clear motive for Kyle Huff’s murderous rampage on Saturday.

In the absence of fact, theories have sprung up on Web blogs and in news accounts. Some suggest that Huff met at least one of his victims at a rave weeks before the shooting. A Seattle psychologist wondered if Huff, who appeared to have no girlfriend, acted out of sexual frustration.

Experts say mass killers those who kill four or more in a single spree are rare and fit a common profile: A history of failure and frustration. Anger. Poor self-esteem. Little social interaction. And a fascination with guns.

In Huff’s case: Check, check, check, check, and a big check on the fascination with guns.

The Seattle Police Department has convened a panel of experts, led by a man known as the “Dean of Death,” to get to the bottom of the motive mystery. But down in the forums, the Stranger-based criminal theorists are giving the Dean of Death a run for his money. (Threads are here, here, here, and here.)

P.S. Slog commenter “H” wants everyone to read this Slate article from 2004 about psychopathic personalities, and the flawed theorizing after Columbine.


posted by on March 31 at 9:25 AM

Like Bigger in that novel by Wright, I smothered my first love, Nabokov, to death with the pillow of Marx and burned his body in the furnace of Hegel. I believed my writing life to be free forever from that man whose anagram is Vivian Darkbloom. Then yesterday I wrote this in my slog post on the Zimbabwean guitarist Ashton “Sugar” Chiweshe:

The audience could not get enough of [Ashton’s] brilliance. Whenever he launched into a solo, everyone in the hall would stop dancing and watch him with the sort of amazement that certain animals find themselves in when siphoned out of the darkness by the powerful beams of an approaching truck.

Sensing something strange about the second sentence in that passage, I googled “Nabokov” with the word “siphoned” and came up with this from the 28th chapter of Lolita:

Gently I rolled back to town, in that old faithful car of mine which was serenely, almost cheerfully working for me. My Lolita! There was still a three-year-old bobby pin of hers in the depths of the glove compartment. There was still that stream of pale moths siphoned out of the night by my headlights.

I may have done away with Nabokov’s body, but his ghost is still with me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Predictably Ironic Since 2005

posted by on March 30 at 5:37 PM

While in Austin for South By Southwest, I had thrust into my hands a copy of Misprint magazine’s March 2006 issue. The zine’s catchphrase immediately hooked me: Hyperliterate Smut for the Disaffected. Misprint’s editors had also hung a banner on the Flamingo Cantina club that bore the zine’s logo and the proclamation Predictably Ironic Since 2005. This has potential, I figured. I was right.

I immediately began reading Misprint and didn’t stop laughing for the entire issue (it’s a slim book, but still, this hardly ever happens with any publication, especially free ones you chance upon). Misprint’s writers hold nothing sacred and poke caustic, satirical, and sometimes scatological fun at the Austin music scene (and the music industry in general) with an acuity that reminds me of the defunct Spy and The Onion.

I enjoyed Misprint so much I asked its creators to start writing for The Stranger. Look for their contributions in the near future. In the meantime, peruse Misprint’s mission statement:

Our vapid lives are trite and meaningless. Misprint Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to exposing our hobbies and pastimes for what they are: a complete and utter waste of time. Pathetic Austin activities we tend to cover include: live music, outsider art, art openings, bands, tatoos, nightclubs, boutiques, thriftstores, retro and kitsch culture, piercings, skateboarding, expensive natural food, record stores, independent cinema, DJ’s, comedians, guns, smoking, gentrification, getting laid, publishing, graphic design, typography and any other bullshit you pretend to enjoy.

The Dangers of Prayer

posted by on March 30 at 4:10 PM

They said prayer was good for you. They were wrong. From Reuters:

A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said on Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed forthough those who did the study said they could not explain why.

(Tell that to the folks at my new favorite site, It’s won my heart with goofy arguments like this: “The secular left loves to quote Jefferson when it wants to promote the so-called ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The problem with their argument is that Jefferson had nothing to do with drafting the Constitution. Jefferson was in France when the document was written and ratified by the states. It doesn’t matter what Jefferson had to say.”)

Cussin’ & Drinkin’

posted by on March 30 at 4:10 PM

Stefan Sharkansky has this post up at Sound Politics:

A party of values. If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at a gathering where the finest minds in the Democratic Party let it all hang out, be sure to listen to David Goldstein’s Podcasting Liberally This week’s installment is a panel discussion featuring Washington State Democratic Party chairman “Cuba” Dwight Pelz. (About 21:00 into the program), Pelz gives his closing remarks —

“The Democratic Party is a party of values and a few values that we appreciate are drinking… and liberals fucking.” To be fair to Pelz, the guy who blurted out the word fucking was not Pelz. It was Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman to King County Executive Ron Sims .

What? Our Sandeep, at a bar cussing? Horrors! Bars? Cussing? And I thought the Demcoratic party was the effete elitist party.

Sandeep says of his “final breach with the Pope” that he won’t apologize, “until Dick Cheney apologizes for dropping the F-bomb on the Senate floor.”

I never liked giving Sandeep the last word, though. So let’s turn the microphone over to Mr. conservative Values, Anton Scalia:


The Boston Herald has the hilarious story on this one:

The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, To my critics, I say, Vaffanculo, punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means (expletive) you.

Spring Break

posted by on March 30 at 3:47 PM

I still do not in any way, shape, or form regret eating a fried-egg sandwich at the Jade Pagoda in May 2005. It was good, and I put myself on a 24-hour health watch, and I was fine. I did regret that I inadvertently infuriated a nice bartender there by way of my story about the eating of said fried-egg sandwich; we have since made our peace. Now the Jade has been closed down by the health department yet again (no terrifying-sounding “pooling of eggs” this time, rather, other violations).

It’s a Blue Country After All

posted by on March 30 at 2:55 PM

Via Sullivan


Whatever happened to all those Red States?

Re: Put Burner Over the Top

posted by on March 30 at 2:47 PM

You can also hand Darcy Burner a check in person tonight. A reader spotted this fundraiser on her website

Join Darcy at a house party in Seattle

Thursday, March 30, 2006
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

4124 Burke Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103

Contact the campaign at 425.454.0402 or for more information.

Kitty cat gets a restraining order.

posted by on March 30 at 2:29 PM

The lovely Alithea passed this along….

A cat named Lewis has been placed under house arrest for “terrorizing” a neighborhood. You can read the story here.

This story got Ari (of Music for America fame) and I talking… you can read our online conversation by clicking on the link below. We found ourselves to be pretty hilarious, you, however, might just think we’re idiots. Worth sharing either way.

Continue reading "Kitty cat gets a restraining order." »

The Healing Power of Hilarious Dancing

posted by on March 30 at 1:59 PM

After this week of tragedy, in which a dance party proved to be a prelude to a nightmare, tonight brings a great opportunity to both commiserate with your public-dancing peers and laugh your ass off.

Spazz 360 is Re-bar’s crowd-pleasing populist dance contest, hosted by MC Honky Honk and DJ Freddy King of Pants, with beats provided by MC Queen Lucky. By all accounts, it’s a ridiculous, hilarious, mind-blowing blast; according to one friend/eyewitness, Spazz 360’s face-to-face dance offs are “what Cornish students were put on this earth to do.”

If you’re in the mood to cheer on a bunch of dance-happy young freaks, and you should be, head to Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, by 10pm. ($3 if you’re gonna dance, $5 if you’re gonna watch.)

Here in the office…

posted by on March 30 at 1:55 PM

Just minutes ago, Dan Savage spontaneously tossed a chocolate easter bunny at Christopher Frizzelle. Frizzelle, a bit alarmed, ducked behind his hand in order to not get hit in the face, and instead of being pelted with the holiday confection, he made a surprising catch. “This is great,” he exclaimed, “I’m gay and I can catch!” Then he threw the bunny to Charles Mudede who ate the candy and is now complaining about how he hates whoever threw it at him and now needs to go walk around the block to work it off.

Good times.

The One and Only

posted by on March 30 at 1:45 PM

This is the crux of an op-ed by a mother, Danette M. Will, of a young man who survived the Capitol Hill shooting:

I’m not angry at the things everyone is talking about, though. I’m not angry at the guns; the guns did not shoot at my son and kill his friends. I’m not angry at the after-hours parties, because billions of people of all ages have survived them. I’m not angry at the raves, drugs, alcohol, teenage rebellion, knives, bats, cars, etc., etc., etc.

I’m angry with Kyle Huff. Kyle Huff decided he wanted to end my son’s life. Kyle Huff decided to kill all of those kids. Not his arsenal, not his family, not alcohol, not drugs. Not anything or anyone except Kyle Huff. I’m angry with everyone who is trying to make themselves feel better about this by blaming anything or anyone except the person responsible.

The one thing I hate about American ideology, or basic American thinking, is that it places way too much emphasis on the individual. Only the one (instead of the many) is seen as largely (if not entirely) responsible not just for their crimes but also their standards of living. This Ideology pictures America, the land of opportunity, in this way: Everyone gets set, gets ready on the mark of the same white line and, at the sound of the bang, they are off to their careers. (I use “career” in both the old and modern sense of the word.) And so it is up to you—and you alone—to make it or break it. It is this kind of thinking that is responsible for the embarrassing lack of mental institutions, proper welfare services, a sensible safety net for all the citizens of the richest fucking country on the planet. Huff was less an individual and more a social being. He was a composite of others and not an isolated soul whose thoughts, emotions, drives were derived from nowhere else but himself. If the society is emphasized then society can change; if the individual is blamed than nothing happens to the power structures that govern our coexistence.

Put Burner Over the Top

posted by on March 30 at 1:35 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had publicly financed campaigns? Wouldn’t it be great if a candidate’s perceived chances weren’t so wrapped up in her ability to raise money? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the national Dems didn’t use fundraising as their only yardstick when measuring a candidate’s local support?

Yeah, that would all be great. Swell. And let’s work toward making publicly financed campaigns a reality. In the meantime, though, let’s be realistic. The national Dems are paying attention to Darcy Burner’s race and they’ve got a bunch of money to dump on herprovided she raises $320,000. By tomorrow. Burner has already raised $281,000, and if she can pull in the remaining 39K by tomorrow she’ll likely get $250,000 in new funds from the national Dems.

Burner is running in Washington’s 8th District against first-term Republican Dave Reichert. Her race is one of only a handful of truly competitive U.S. House races in the country. If Dems, progressives, and liberals are serious about grabbing some real power in D.C. and finally holding the Bush administration accountable, then we have to get serious about opening our checkbooks and supporting candidates like Darcy Burner. (You can learn more about her by reading Eli Sander’s recent profile of Burner.)

You can make a contribution by visiting Burner’s website, or you can phone in a donation by calling 425.454.0402. We can do thisyesterday Burner raised $20K. We can put her over the top today.

If you’ve been thinking about making a donation, do it right now. I already contributed $250 and I’m going to call right now and contribute another $100. You don’t have to give that muchsmall donations don’t just represent money in the bank, they’re also a measure of a candidate’s grass-roots support. Give what you can and help end the GOP’s stranglehold on our national government.

Fagetarian & Dyke Redux

posted by on March 30 at 1:29 PM

Easily the best news I’ve heard all week: Team Dresch just booked a reunion date at Neumo’s on May 26th. I was unable to attend the show they did at Homo-a-go-go a couple of years ago, but by all accounts, it was everything a TD fan could want (apparently they played their back catalog in it’s entirety). The Neumo’s show will also feature the debut of Wynne Greenwood’s (founder of Tracy and the Plastics) new band, Libber.

Butte’s cash cow

posted by on March 30 at 12:59 PM

The Berkely Pit, America’s largest body of toxic water located in Butte, Montana, is becoming a popular tourist destinationso popular that admission to gaze at the toxic pit doubled this year (from $1 to $2 dollars).

Tainted water covers about 500 acres, goes to a depth of some 900 feet and is toxic enough that it was blamed for the deaths of 342 migratory snow geese that landed on the water in 1995.
Admission fees brought in about $18,600 between June 15 and Sept. 30 last year. Some of the proceeds will go toward improvements intended to make the site even more attractive to tourists.

Splash Mountain, anyone?

Reichert’s Choice

posted by on March 30 at 12:35 PM

Today brings yet another sign of the increasing national interest in Democrat Darcy Burner’s campaign to unseat Republican Congressman Dave Reichert in the eastside’s 8th Congressional District:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) today released this web ad highlighting Reichert’s opposition to stem-cell research. According to the DCCC:

The ad also shows the company that Reichert keeps in opposing this vital research tool. He stands shoulder to shoulder with figureheads of the radical right like Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Tom DeLay.

In addition, the ad contrasts Reichert with those who have good things to say about stem-cell research: The National Institutes of Health, Nancy Reagan, and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. The message is that Reichert is out of touch with the majority of Americans who support stem-cell reasearch, out of synch with fellow Republicans, and too conservative for his moderate district.

Meanwhile, Reichert’s office put out a press release today with this headline: “Reichert Announces We The People Bookshelf Award to Sammamish High School”

Blue House Memorial

posted by on March 30 at 12:06 PM

Mourners have left flowers and mementos around 2112 E Republican, but it can’t all stay there. Last night, the mourners and the Seattle Police Department mutually agreed that everything would be boxed up and either preserved in vacuum-packed bags or pasted into scrapbooks for presentation at the victims’ funeral services.

They’re also brainstorming about what to do with Kyle Huff’s artillery. There’s talk that the weapons can be melted down and integrated into whatever permanent memorial takes shape.

Curbside Commentary

posted by on March 30 at 11:51 AM

Painted on a Dumpster1 on Bellevue Avenue

1. Anyone have a good synonym to avoid the clunky capping of the trademarked term?

I Did Not Know This Was Possible

posted by on March 30 at 11:42 AM

A baby in Pakistan was born pregnant with twins. I wonder what pro-lifers would say …

And They Wonder Why They’re Losing Young Readers

posted by on March 30 at 11:39 AM

Today’s front-page PI story makes it plain that the Seattle Times editorial board is isolated and marginalized on the teen dance issue.

We had gotten a quote from Nickels’s spokesperson Marty McOmber saying there was no connection between the CHAC event and the murders: McOmber told the Stranger, “there is nothing to connect the rave to the shooting at the house on Saturday morning. Raves are well-regulated events, and by all accounts the rave at CHAC on Friday night was well operated. We do know that we don’t want to drive this scene underground.”

But now the PI has the mayor himself contradicting the Seattle Times’s reactionary advocacy.

“This is not about music, this is not about a party. This was about a guy who decided he was going to kill people and he had the firepower to do it,” Nickels said.

Ha. They even got former city attorney Mark Sidran to pooh-pooh the Seattle Times’s weird spin.

“Some tragedies defy any sort of rational response in terms of regulation because they’re completely irrational events you can’t really predict or prevent,” said Sidran, who defended the Teen Dance Ordinance, which was enacted in the mid-1980s. Sidran said, “This kind of homicidal psychopathic violence is not what the Teen Dance Ordinance was about and is just a terrible tragedy.”

I don’t imagine the Seattle Times will give up on its crusade against teens, though. (Expect more articles soon.)

But they’d be wise to consider giving it a rest. After all, haven’t they been smarting over the fact that they’ve been losing young readership? (According to a Scarborough research study, only 40 percent of people aged 18 to 24 read a daily paper on weekdays.) And papers like the Seattle Times wonder why. Perhaps it has something to do with their outdated editorial positions.

Kurt Cobain Collectibles

posted by on March 30 at 11:32 AM

Does the world really need this? Perhaps if proceeds from sales were going towards some sort of musicians’ mental health organization, I could support it, but it still creeps me out.

Dead Sugar

posted by on March 30 at 11:26 AM

Late last week I purchased Thomas Mapfumo’s Chimurenga Forever (“chimurenga” means revolution) to enjoy two songs that were missing from the “black Africa” playlist in my music machine: one, “Hondo” (Shona’s meaty word for war) and, two, “Nyarara Mukadzi Wangu” (which is an excellent fairy tale about a young woman who is tricked into marrying a giant snake by an old evil woman who adopted the giant snake as her son). After exhausting those songs, I looked around the CD and discovered a third, “Hanzvadzi” (“Sister”), which I immediately recognized as one of Mapfumo’s highest artistic achievementsnot only because of its story, which concerns a woman who is upset with her unloving husband and warns him that “there are other animals in the wild,” but also because of the sheer brilliance of its lead guitar.

Like all of Thomas Mapfumo’s best songs, “Hanzvadzi” is an Afro-pop tune that’s built on the traditional rhythms of the mbira (thumb piano). The actual function of the mbira is to bring into presence the spirits of men and women from a world that has long vanished (mbira dzavadzimu), a world that was not timeless but moved at a much slower pace of time. Old mbira music speaks to this old time that was organized by the seasons (dry and wet), ruled by kings and heroes, and haunted by evil forests and spirit lions (mhondoro). The one thing that Zimbabwe shall remember Thomas Mapfumo for is being the first man to properly fix onto the rhythms of this ancient music the modern pulse of electric guitars.

The lead guitar in this particular song, “Hanzvadzi,” made a captive of my imagination. I listened to it over and over again trying to attain some understanding of its beauty. I finally determined it to be this: Like the structure of the song as a whole, the guitar playing is a combination of the new and old, or, to put it more graphically, one side of its sound looks back at (and draws from) the traditional mbira rhythms while the other side looks at (and is drawn to) the future. The guitarist plays this fusion in units of tightly packed notes that oscillate between being clear and being worried. The mind making this music was the mind of a genius. And the more I listened to his playing, the more I wondered why he wasn’t as famous and celebrated as Mapfumo. How could Zimbabwe leave such an original intelligence unrecognized? And then it hit me: I actual met the guitarist 10 years ago during a Mapfumo show in Ballard. I also remembered that he stole the whole show from Mapfumo. The audience could not get enough of his brilliance. Whenever he launched into a solo, everyone in the hall would stop dancing and watch him with the sort of amazement that certain animals find themselves in when siphoned out of the darkness by the powerful beams of an approaching truck.

I soon learned the guitarist’s name, Ashton “Sugar” Chiweshe, and after the show, my cousin, Farayi, invited him to his place for food and booze. Ashton accepted the offer and we spent a wonderful evening with the geniushe was jovial, modest about his gift, and, like all Zimbabwean men, a heavy drinker. As the sun began to rise, Ashton, now far beyond his 10th beer, told us a little story that established a permanent image in my memory: While performing on a stage next to a popular beach in Northern California, Ashton turned and watched the burning ball of the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean. “Boys, I had reached the end of the world,” he said to us. “I’m telling you: This was as far as I could go. There was nowhere else to put my best foot forward. That ocean just finished me. ”

On the Saturday I rediscovered Ashton in the “Hanzvadzi” song, I called my cousin, Farayi, hoping to learn what became of the great guitarist. (I never saw or heard from him again after that night.)
“It didn’t turn out good for Ashton,” my cousin said.
“What happened to him,” I asked?
“Well, after that show in Ballard he got fired. Mapfumo was tired of being upstaged by [Ashton]. He then ended up drifting around South Africa, looking for work. Once, he even called me begging for money. He was in Cape Town and broke down to the last penny. The guy died in 1999. AIDS got him. Very sad, very sad.”

Like Alexander the Great on the summit of the Hindu Kush Mountains, Ashton “Sugar” Chiweshe made it to the end of the world and never came back.

Arbitration for the Dailies

posted by on March 30 at 11:17 AM

The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer have agreed to end their legal battle through binding arbitration.

Their corporate owners expect a resolution by the spring of 2007, and depending on the outcome, the arbiter’s ruling could signal an end to this city’s long-running newspaper war.

UPDATE: Annie asks, “How?”

Here’s how:

If the the arbiter rules that the Times lost money three years in a row at some point between 2000 and 2005, the Times will be able to end the joint operating agreement that currently keeps two dailies afloat in the Seattle marketa market that can’t naturally support two dailies, experts say. If the joint operating agreement is ended, the experts believe, the smaller P-I will die.

Press release in the jump…

Continue reading "Arbitration for the Dailies" »


posted by on March 30 at 11:10 AM

I’m no psychic, but like everyone else I have a preferred theory about why Kyle Huff killed.

If you don’t like it, well, there’s a ton of other theories to choose from down in the forums (try here and here and here). And in the comments of this post, there’s a theory about why journalists have theories.

But anyway, the theory I’ve found most persuasive, at this point, is the one that Charles Mudede, among others, has been talking about since shortly after the shootings. This theory imagines Huff as some sort of delayed and inverted high school shooter.

Delayed, because while he was teased and marginalized in high school just like a number of this country’s most famous high school shooters, he didn’t act on his feelings of humiliation and rage until age 28. And inverted, because while most high school shooters kill people who represent bullies, or kill the school authorities who turn a blind eye to bullying, Kyle Huff killed people who were at the social fringe, people who would have been teased at Whitefish High School in Montana just like he was. Instead of acting out a revenge fantasy, in which he killed people like those who tormented him, perhaps Kyle Huff killed out of envy, shooting people at the social fringe who’d found acceptance in a way he never could. (And still couldn’t, given that he was now too old to really enter their scene.)

Why do I find this theory most persuasive? Absent a toxicology reportwhich, when it comes, could show Huff was under the influence of something other than his sad pastit’s just the theory that feels most correct to me after talking to a number of people who knew Huff when he was young.

I talked to those people for this profile, in which I look at Huff’s life leading up to the shootings. But when I look at my own life, there’s probably another reason I find this theory persuasive. When I was younger there was a shooting in my high school, Seattle’s Garfield High School, and two years ago I tracked down the shooter and wrote about him, here, for The Stranger.

For that story, I also tracked down a young woman who was shot in the knee that day at Garfield. Rachel Thompson went on to become a gun-control activist, lobbying Congress and even Bill Clinton when he was president. In the process, she learned a lot about what makes a troubled kid pick up a gun, and told me:

Now that I’m older and I’ve become more educated about it, it’s bullying, honestly… I heard that [the Garfield shooter] was picked on his whole life and he just snapped. Kids being able to bully and get away with it, in combination with the access to guns, is an extremely deadly mixture. A picked-on kid is going to snap one day, and if he has a gun in his hand he’s going to kill people. That’s a pattern in all the shootings.

By all accounts, Kyle Huff snapped on Saturday morning. Perhaps it just took him longer than most to reach his breaking point.

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Clock

posted by on March 30 at 10:51 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - Tick, 20,000 dollars, tock, another 20,000 dollars.

So rapid is the rise of the US national debt, that the last four digits of a giant digital signboard counting the moving total near New York’s Times Square move in seemingly random increments as they struggle to keep pace.

The national debt clock, as it is known, is a big clock. A spot-check last week showed a readout of 8.3 trillion — or more precisely 8,310,200,545,702 — dollars … and counting.

But it’s not big enough.

Sometime in the next two years, the total amount of US government borrowing is going to break through the 10-trillion-dollar mark and, lacking space for the extra digit such a figure would require, the clock is in danger of running itself into obsolescence.

The Republican party’s fiscal discipline in action.

Jill Carroll Is Released

posted by on March 30 at 10:43 AM

The freelance reporter from the Christian Science Monitor was released today.

The Capitol Hill Massacre: Crazy Dude on the Bus Weighs In

posted by on March 30 at 10:27 AM

According to the African immigrant gentleman I sat next to on the bus yesterday, Kyle Huff was not crazy. Instead, the devil in him was aroused by the zombie costumes at the party. When I replied that he was blaming the kids, which isn’t cool, he looked confused. “No, I said the devil did it!”

Re: What’s CHAC Got to do With It?

posted by on March 30 at 9:54 AM

In a swift move to prevent the Capitol Hill murders from stigmatizing CHAC, Stranger theatre critic Brendan Kiley has an editorial in this week’s paper where he details the important programming that happens at CHAC.

Brendan writes:

It’s a dangerous fallacy to conflate the dance with the murder that happened afterwards. Hosting all kinds of music, theater, dance, and visual eventsfrom gritty to haute, scary to sweetis exactly what our local arts institutions should be doing.

I called artistic director Matthew Kwatinetz to ask how things were going for CHAC in the aftermath of the shootings. “I’ve been better,” he said. “One of my friends got killed. We’re not talking to the press anymore… That’s it.”

So, at the risk of being presumptuous, I’m going to talk for him, to give any anxious and suspicious strangers a tour of the Capitol Hill Arts Centerfar from being a dank, druggy rave-hole, CHAC is a for-profit multidisciplinary arts center with a nonprofit, politically active atmosphere and heavy emphasis on theater and social justice.

And so it was that I happened to find myself at CHAC last night. A friend who’s working on what’s shaping up to be a pretty big deal locally produced movie phoned me yesterday evening and invited me to the “wrap” party. Where is it? I asked. CHAC.

The movie, Cthulhu, has been described as Seattle’s environmentalist, anti-Bush, horror movie based on an H.P. Lovecraft story. Tori Spelling is in it! (I’ve seen some of the sets and clips, and it looks creepy.)

Anyway, there I was at CHAC’s lower levelwhere Friday night’s zombie dance party had been. The place, decorated haphazardly with some of the scary set pieces from Cthulhu, was packed with the film crew and their friends doing karaoke, drinking, and giving heartfelt speeches. (Screen writer Grant Cogswell thanked everyone for helping him put his Pacific Northwest “big middle finger to the President” on film.)

“Can you imagine Grant giving an Academy Award speech?” I overheard a jubilant member of the film crew ask her friend.

Most everyone there seemed unwaware of the potentially uncomfortable irony that CHAC was hosting the wrap up party for their bloody horror movie shoot. Right on. (There was even, reportedly, an afterparty at the production studio, just a few blocks away on 14th, where you could tour the remnants of the creepy set.)

Three cheers to CHAC.

While CHAC has canceled this weekend’s “Underground Existence” party event (CHAC spokeswoman Amy Baranski told the PI “We decided to cancel the event because we thought it was disrespectful and tacky”), the fact that 100 or so local film folks were celebrating the production of their ambitious horror movie therebacked up Brendan’s article, and reassured me that life goes on, especially at CHAC.

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings

posted by on March 30 at 9:40 AM

Clear Channel and a producer called Sing Along Productions were sentenced and fined 28,000 pounds at Birmingham Crown Court in the UK yesterday for their negligence in a 2003 incident in which 30 audience members, many dressed up as nuns, gathered together on a stage for a best-dressed-nun contest during a singalong version of The Sound of Music, and the stage collapsed. Nobody was killed, but the singing had to stop.

Straight Parents: A Danger to their Kids?

posted by on March 30 at 9:38 AM

Numerous Slog readers sent me a link to this text story today…

A mother who New Port Richey police say confronted a neighbor who allegedly raped her seven-year-old son also accepted $600 to let the man molest her son again.

The 30-year-old unemployed mother is charged with capital sexual battery and child abuse. The neighbor, 48-year-old Nicholas Quiles, is charged with capital sexual battery. Both are being held without bail.

But, hey, at least that kid has a mom, and not a couple of gay guys for parents.

Gay parents, according to Kentucky State Rep. Debra Maggart, adopt kids so that we can “subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse.” All things being equal it’s better for kids to have straight parents who don’t want to molest themjust pimp they out.

The Capitol Hill Massacre: Psychics & Astrologers Weigh In

posted by on March 30 at 8:50 AM

Late yesterday, The Stranger received an email from one Vera Fleischer, a German-born woman in San Francisco, and creator of the website Dragonfly Psychic. Like so many others, Fleischer is knotted up over Saturday’s massacre and the mystery of what may have been driving suicidal gunman Kyle Huff. “In the eyes of the media and police, [there’s] no apparent motive,” writes Vera on her website. “Well, the universe offered me an explanation, and I feel the need to share it.” In her email, Vera adds, “I didn’t know Kyle Huff personally or any of the victims. I just picked up this information from vibes in the ethers of the universe. You can dismiss it as speculation or psychic babble, but it’s the truth.”

To read Ms. Fleischer psychic assessment of the forces driving Kyle Huff, go here.

Ms. Fleischer also directed me to Lynn Hayes, a professional astrologer and creator of the website Astrodynamics, which bills itself as “Astrology for the reality-based community: Profiles of people in the news and daily planetary updates that help to shape our inner and outer world.” (Here’s her astrological profile of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.)

To read Ms. Fleischer’s astrological assessment of Kyle Huff’s motives, go here.

Mini-synopses: Dragonfly Psychic attributes the massacre to Kyle Huff’s loneliness and social discomfort, Astrodynamics cites Huff’s being born “with the Sun in the last degree of Virgo, just a few minutes from Libra.”

We Support Freedom of Speech When We’re Cool w/ It

posted by on March 30 at 8:41 AM

Borders and Waldenbooks are pulling a magazine from the shelves because it published the Muhammad cartoons.Here’s the AP story.

And here’s the ridiculous quote from the Borders spokeswoman defending the decision:

“We absolutely respect our customers’ right to choose what they wish to read and buy and we support the First Amendment,” Bingham said. “And we absolutely support the rights of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. We’ve just chosen not to carry this particular issue in our stores.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Cops “I Can’t Stay Focused” Tour Blog, Installment 5

posted by on March 29 at 6:54 PM

Saturday, March 25

Our three days in New York end on a somber note. As we depart the city, we get the news from Hannah of the shooting in Seattle. The van ride to Boston is reflective and melancholy. We miss our friends in Seattle and hope that everyone is coping as best as possible. We send our condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy.

The Cops arrive at tonight’s venue, Great Scott, to see a welcome and familiar face in Eli Anderson. Eli is a friend and former co-worker of Michael’s at Sonic Boom Records. Last year The Stranger named Eli the sexiest record store clerk in Seattle. We exchange warm embraces and catch up. Eli recently moved to Boston and is working at Great Scott. Tonight we play with two bands on Monitor Records, Big Bear and Part Chimp, and Sub Pop’s newest signee, Oxford Collapse. The folks in Big Bear are extremely nice and invite us to an after show party at their practice space.

The show is well attended but the Bean town crowd seems to be subdued on Valium. All bands play, well but the crowd is a dud. It feels like we’re performing at a golf match. Come on Boston, undo your top buttons and have some fun. The owner of Monitor Records is working the merch booth and turns out to be the most pretentious asshole we’ve met on tour. Dude doesn’t even respond to our initial greeting. Whatever, bro. In spite of this, the other bands and people at the venue are super cool. We still have fun and play our expectedly raucous live set. We pass on the after-hours party and cut a couple hours off our long drive to Pittsburgh.

Sunday, March 26-Monday, March 27

Pittsburgh is a night off with our good friend Kelly Maxwell, who greets us with hot tray of lasagna and bottles of red wine. We enjoy a relaxing night off, do laundry, and catch up on email. We wake up feeling refreshed and make our way through some winding hills into Columbus, Ohio. We’re greeted in Columbus by Dave’s dad who has graciously set us up with a sweet suite at the Double Tree, which is directly across the street from the Ohio State Supreme Court. We grab a delicious and healthy bite at the North Star Café and head to Little Brothers, where we play tonight with I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.

We open the show to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The show is sparsely attended, but after all it is a Monday night. The Austin gents in ILYBICD are good dudes and both bands play strong sets. After the show we move the party two doors up to a hip bar called Surly Girl. There we drink martinis until close with Little Brothers’ sound engineer, Tara, and good friend Jonathon Chin, owner of Workbook Studios. On the way to the hotel we make an ill-advised pit stop at White Castle for greasy sliders. We wake up the following morning with high anticipation for our show tonight in Athens, Ohio. Athens is home to Ohio University, the alma matter of Dave and Johnand it’s also home to some of the craziest and most creative people we know. The stop in Athens always leaves us with some interesting stories. Tonight should be fun.

Tee Corinne Dying of Cancer

posted by on March 29 at 6:05 PM

I got a tip earlier today from Teresa and wanted to pass it along. I haven’t closely followed the work of Tee Corinne (author of the famous 1970s Cunt Coloring Book, lesbian erotica author, and early photographer of lesbian lovemaking), but according to the heartrending, trying-to-keep-on-a-good-face blog by her friends about her recently diagnosed illness, she has a rare type of liver cancer.

Teresa writes:

Since you’ve been writing about C. Opie I figure you at least must be aware of Tee Corinne’s work, even though she’s considered so vanilla by many people. I first learned of her about 17 years ago when I first came out, and believe me, it was, even so few years ago, much harder to get ahold of any lesbian-oriented photoerotica done by lesbians. I have read some of her fiction too, which is entertaining. And who in the dyke community hasn’t at least run across her Dreams of the Woman who Loved Sex? Well, I found out a couple weeks ago that Tee has cancer, and is apparently dying of it. … She’s not so well known as say, Sarah Waters has become, but I think Tee’s work—most especially her photography—has been important and that should be recognized.

In that spirit, here are a couple of her images:



Attempted Stabbing Outside of Neumos?

posted by on March 29 at 6:02 PM

I just received this email from a publicist in New York City:

March 29, 2006 — On the first leg of the Arab Strap tour, supporting band A Whisper In The Noise were attacked last night, March 28, at knifepoint by two thugs at the Neumos show in Seattle (located at 925 E. Pike Street).

Two males approached the AWITN van as they were loading the last piece of gear into the truck and enjoying one last smoke before hitting the road. Minutes after Arab Strap left the venue the youths approached the band. They attempted to grab gear and gain entry into the van. When confronted by the AWITN bandmembers and tour manager, one of the perpetrators pulled a knife and the other sucker punched the tour manager, knocking out his front teeth. They then attempted to slash the van tires before leaving the scene. Police arrived after the perpetrators fled the scene and no arrests were made. The tour manager spent the night in the ER having his front teeth temporarily replaced with a temporary bridge.

AWITN tour manager/driver comments: “They had a knife drawn and demanded equipment, then the other guy sucker-punched me. As they ran away they were shouting, ‘Welcome to Seattle, Motherfuckers!’”

If anyone has any information regarding the attackers, please call the Seattle police department at 206-684-4300.

In the Hall: Online Edition

posted by on March 29 at 5:28 PM

This week’s In the Hall (note to Slog readers: This is about City Hall, so if you’re easily bored or have ADD, STOP READING NOW) is online only. This week’s is a special extra-long edition, because so much happened this week, and the Internet is infinite.

Kyle Huff’s Myspace Profile?

posted by on March 29 at 4:30 PM

Whoever did this is fucking sick.

What’s in a photo?

posted by on March 29 at 4:22 PM

John Marshall at TPM has been doing a fantastic job covering Californian Congressional hopeful Howard Kaloogian’s (R) Baghdad photo fuck up. The Kaloogian for Congress team had posted a photo on its website supposedly taken on his recent “Truth Tour” through Iraq that was meant to illustrate how peaceful Baghdad is…

…except the photo was conclusively proven to be of a suburb in Istanbul.


Today, Kaloogian nearly shit himself while backpedaling, “Everybody in the group, we all shared pictures. I’m sorry, I don’t know who took [the photo] … You’re being really picky on this stuff. [You’d think I was being held accountable for fucking up or something] It’s not that big a deal. It was a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Seattlest to Seattle Times: Fuck You, Grandpa.

posted by on March 29 at 4:21 PM

Seth over at Seattlest cancelled his subscription to the Seattle Times this morning…

One sentence into the lead editorial of today’s Seattle Times, we decided to cancel our subscription. Here’s the assertion that broke this camel’s back:
In the aftermath of a mass shooting that took the lives of six Seattle area young people, including two girls ages 14 and 15, there is plenty of finger-wagging.

Actually, Seattle Times, there isn’t any finger-wagging anywhere except on your editorial page. The P-I, the Stranger, the Weekly, Seattlest, and pretty much everyone we’ve talked to have had the same reaction—disbelief at the actions of the killer, compassion for those who died, and the morbid relief concomitant with surviving random tragedy.

Not the Times. While hundreds were mourning the victims on Capitol Hill yesterday, the mystifyingly disconnected Times editorialists were busy blaming. Their scapegoat? As the Stranger’s Josh Feit predicted the day of the shooting, it’s the Teen Dance Ordinance.

Too lax, the Times says. You are heartless, reactionary, 837-year-old fools, we say.

We’re cancelling our subscription. No more Times on the porch for us. No more incomprehensible ramblings of “TV Addict”, no more of the affront to comedy that is “Sideline Chatter.”

Right on, Seth.

Small-Town Pleasures

posted by on March 29 at 2:13 PM

After all the week’s talk about small towns and their guns and racists and small minds and mass murderers, this press release, from a small town, made me feel all warm inside:

Come to the Port Gamble General Store & Cafe located in Port Gamble , just one mile past the Hood Canal Bridge, and join in the fun and feasting. Beginning Saturday April 1 (no foolin’), we will be barbecuing out front so you can enjoy the aroma of grilled burgers, dogs, brats and sausages. The barbecue will continue every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join us again every Wednesday with your own personal motorcycle or your favorite biker. Cruise-in Wednesdays begin April 5, 2006 from 6 to 9 p.m. We’ll be barbecuing on these evenings, too.

As always, the Port Gamble General Store & Cafe will have homemade soup and chili and a full deli sandwich menu on hand inside. Homemade Clam Chowder is available every day.

Also, beginning this month is Open Mic night at the General Store. On the second Friday of each month bring your voice, your instrument and your friends to make some noise and enjoy others from 7 to 10 p.m. First Open Mic this year will be Friday, April 14, 2006 featuring Re-Union and their folk-inspired tunes.

The Port Gamble General Store & Cafe is located at 32400 NE Rainier Avenue #3, Port Gamble. For more information contact 306-297-7636.

Progressive Policy vs. Privacy

posted by on March 29 at 2:04 PM

An interesting debate is going on in Oregon, where 280 paid volunteers have agreed to have their cars fitted with GPS systems that will track how many miles they’re driving and tax them accordingly. (The pricing scheme differentiates in-state and out-of-state and between rush-hour and non-rush-hour miles, which is why a simple odometer reading won’t do.) Because gas mileage in new cars is improving, the state wants to tax miles driven rather than gas consumed. However, systems like the one in Oregon could pave the way for congestion pricing, in which drivers are charged more for driving on certain roads or at certain times of day, or mileage-based insurance, which environmental advocates argue is a far more progressive method of insuring cars than a flat per-vehicle fee.

However: Privacy advocates are concerned that the GPS systems could be used to track a driver’s whereabouts, and that mileage records could be subpoenaed and used against a driver in court (to determine whether a criminal suspect is lying about his alibi, for example, or by a suspicious spouse in a divorce). Although Oregon officials say all data will be erased, David Sucher and others have pointed out that nothing is ever really erased in a technologically sophisticated, post-Patriot Act America. Is this a bad thing? Hard to say. Technology has always tested, and frequently surmounted, the limits of traditional notions of privacy, to the point that we think nothing of handing our credit-card information to unseen online merchants, or carrying bar-coded, scannable licenses with us everywhere we go.

More on the privacy implications of mileage-based systems can be found here.

Tighty Whitey Toast

posted by on March 29 at 1:41 PM

Warm, but scratchy.. Check it out.

ITMFA is Open for BusinessOrder Your Buttons and Lapel Pins Now!

posted by on March 29 at 1:33 PM

Americablog and Democratic Underground linked to my newly re-launched, which may be why we’ve already sold $3,000 worth of ITMFA buttons and lapel pins before the website’s relaunch was even announced in Savage Love this week. Wow! At this rate we’re going to run out!

Folks are sending in more pictures of their homemade ITMFA-wear…


…and some folks want to know why I’m not selling t-shirts. Well, I’m a pretty small operationit’s just me and my laptop and a pile of envelopes that need to have buttons and lapel pins stuffed in them. There are, however, some nice looking ITMFA t-shirt designs floating around out there. I particularly like the t-shirts and other stuff being sold on Cafepress by that freakin’ genius at Check it out:

ITMFA schwag

Order a t-shirt through Slapnose, if you gotta have a t-shirt, or design your ownbut send me a picture whatever you do! And read Savage Love this week and go to and order a lapel pin for your U.S. Rep.!

Will Ferrell: Dead/Not Dead

posted by on March 29 at 1:30 PM

Damn, I hadn’t even heard that Will Ferrell died in a paragliding accident before I learned it was a hoax.

Stranger Name Checked in The New Republic

posted by on March 29 at 1:17 PM

The New Republic cites the Stranger’s Urban Archipelago piece today. I think they’re making fun of us.

Similar, if more refined, sentiments popped up in print publications as well. The editors of Seattle’s popular newsweekly, The Stranger, wrote:

“Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland “values” like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They—rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs—are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers.”

Using the Washington Post’s conerservative Ben Domenech Red America blog debacle, the TNR article is about how “elitist” liberals shoehorn and stereotype Republicans.

It’s kind of ironic that they name check us on that score, given that we also hired a conservative blogger to do a weekly column last yearSound Politics’s Stefan Sharkansky. Ask Stefan, and I’m sure he’ll confirm, that I asked him to defy conservative stereotypes and buck the GOP establishment. Notably, he did that for the Stranger in a column dinging Bush for ignoring GOP values.

When a Band Blows Up in the Worst Possible Manner

posted by on March 29 at 1:09 PM

The lovely Joan Hiller over at Sub Pop records asked that I pass along this unfortunate news about their friends in Ryan McPhun & the Ruby Suns.

“New Zealand’s Ryan McPhun & the Ruby Suns are friends of Sub Pop’s, and as some of you may have heard, while on tour here in the states, their RV (along with all their vintage & new equipment, passports, clothing and one member’s insulin medication) spontaneously combusted on the freeway outside of the Tri-Cities here in Washington. The Tri-City Herald wrote a story about it. Our buddy (and part-time member of Ryan McPhun & the Ruby Suns) Gareth runs a label called Li’l Chief Records in NZ, and he has donation information on the label’s site. It would mean a lot to the bands if you could get the word out about their totally undeserved bummer mishap so that people could perhaps open their hearts and help `em out.”

I’m impressed by the humor they’re demonstrating in the face of such an expensive and depressing disaster—the picture on the Li’l Chief site is priceless. As an aside, I bet that label gets alot of grief about their name.


posted by on March 29 at 1:00 PM

This guy lives in Seattle but he’s been on a long business trip (I think, I’m not sure) in Amsterdam and I check in occasionally to see what he’s been doing, Amsterdam being, as everyone knows, the best place on Earth. It’s a blog that seems mostly addressed to his friends, so it can be hard to follow, and he never spends enough time on his anecdotes as I’d like him to, but there are nice moments (the swoon-worthy sky filling with snow, a bloody haircut) and great pictures (shuttered breweries, windmills, Ben Affleck tram stop ads).

And, bonus: He’s a fan of…. Belle & Sebastian! At the bottom of his most recent postI guess because he’s getting away from Amsterdam and coming homehe gives a nod to the If You’re Feeling Sinister song “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying,” which incidentally Stuart Murdoch did an abbreviated, impromptu, a cappella version of at the Paramount on Saturday night, although he wouldn’t sing the line “Nobody writes them like they used to so it may as well be me” because, he said, its boastfulness embarrassed him. He skipped the line but kept on, and the audience joined in, and he must have done half the song… It was great.

Seattle Weekly’s New Music Editor

posted by on March 29 at 12:46 PM

The Stranger has learned that one of its own freelancers, Brian J. Barr, will be replacing Michaelangelo Matos as Seattle Weekly’s music editor. Barr recently wrote a strong feature on rising local rockers Band of Horses for The Stranger. Besides freelancing for this paper, he also has contributed to The Believer, Harp, and Arthur. I wish Barr well, and look forward to a long, bitter editorial rivalry with him.

The P-I’s Craptastic Headline

posted by on March 29 at 12:29 PM

Maybe I’m being hypersensitive, but today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer cover headline makes me want to puke.


As the P-I story puts it, “One young man told Seattle police he invited Kyle Huff to his after-hours party because he was ‘sketchy’ and gave off ‘bad vibes’and he thought it would be entertaining to have someone like that at his house.”

Nice try, P-I, but there’s no fucking way you can blame this crime on the victimsnot if you want to sleep at night.

What About Poland?

posted by on March 29 at 12:16 PM

Here is proof that Poles aren’t as dumb as those jokes keep saying they are.

Off the record

posted by on March 29 at 12:10 PM

President Bush is now holding off the record tea parties with journalists in order to improve his public image.

“It was very pleasant, he seemed very thoughtful and frank,” said Stephan Dinan, a Washington Times reporter and one of about six reporters who took part in a session Monday afternoon. “It was on a wide range of stuff.”

Monday’s gathering also included reporters from the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and Cox Newspapers, according to sources.

Some papers might see these off-the-record intimate gatherings as counterproductive, such as The New York Times:

“The Times has declined this opportunity after weighing the potential benefits to our readers against the prospect of withholding information from them about the discussion with Mr. Bush,” Times Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman said in Tuesday’s edition. “As a matter of policy and practice, we would prefer when possible to conduct on-the-record interviews with public officials.”

I think the New York Times nailed it: Journalists should be more concerned with getting Bush to comment on the record, than privately chewing the fat with him—especially when his approval ratings are at an all time low. So what’s with all the off-the-record chit chat, and requests for anonymity?

Several reporters declined to comment on the record, but said they had been called personally by Press Secretary Scott McClellan to participate in the chats, some getting invited just hours ahead of time. “It doesn’t surprise me because presidents do this,” said one reporter invited to a session on Tuesday who requested anonymity. “Clinton did it toward the end of his second term. A little bit of legacy-building, post-impeachment, post-Monica.”

Bush’s strength is in charming small groups of people. What he lacks for in intelligence, he seems to make up for in charisma—maybe it’s his innocent (vacant?) wide-eyed stare, or his infectious giggle. Either way, I find it disappointing that reporters are attending these closed door tea parties, and then declining to comment on them.

Team Nickels to Seattle Times: Get a Clue

posted by on March 29 at 12:09 PM

On Saturday night after the shooting, I posted on Slog warning the dance community to brace itself for the predictable editorials that were surely on the way: “Dances are dangerous! Reinstate the Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO)!”

On cue, the Seattle Times’s lead editorial on Monday morning seized on Saturday’s tragedy and demanded a thorough review of teen dance rules.

Today, the Seattle Times keeps up its drum beat of demagoguery, explicitly condemning Mayor Nickels and the city council for repealing the TDO in 2002 and advocating stricter rules, such as ensuring that security at teen dances must be off-duty cops. That old requirement, however, allowed the SPD to exercise a sort of prior restraint over dances by simply refusing to allow its officers to work shows. That gave SPD the power to discriminate against any show they chose, which made promoters shy away from putting them on.

Let’s be clear: Under current teen dance ruleswhich require securitythere were 19 security personnel at CHAC on Saturday night, according to CHAC director Matthew Kwatinetz.

Why was there so much security at Friday night’s rave? Because, as Kwatinetz told me, he expected a huge crowd. And a huge crowd showed up. This brings us to the point that the Seattle Times seems incapable of grasping. There’s a huge demand among teens for dancesfor something to do on the weekend. If the city institutes rules redolent of the prohibitive TDO, teens won’t have the option of going to fun and creative parties like zombie dress-up dances, and they will end up at more free-form, un-regulated house parties and hanging out in parking lots. Upping the amount of time that teens spend in unregulated situations (by de facto banning sponsored events like CHAC’s electronic music show) will up the amount of potentially dangerous situations for teenagers.

The Seattle Times says it wants to take away opportunities for teenagers to get into trouble. Unfortunately, their emotional response would create more situations for trouble.

Sitting down to dinner after a long day Saturday, the Stranger news team glumly anticipated this reaction from the Seattle Times. We began the conversation by asking ourselves, ‘Hey, was Margaret Pageler right?’ In her failed but stalwart defense of the TDO four years ago, was Pageler actually prescient? However, after talking through our own emotional response to the murders, we collected our senses and came to the conclusion that Pageler was wrong.

Savage and I have an editorial in today’s Stranger that was intended to head off the Seattle Times’s predictable reaction.

My favorite part of our editorial is the quote I got from the mayor’s office, which seconds Dan & me by telling the Seattle Times to get a clue. (Team Nickels proudly repealed the TDO in 2002.)

The hysterics at the Seattle Times don’t get it but Mayor Nickels seems to. Nickels spokesman Marty McOmber says the mayor had no comment on Balter’s editorial, but, “I will say, there is nothing to connect the rave to the shooting at the house on Saturday morning. Raves are well-regulated events, and by all accounts the rave at CHAC on Friday night was well operated. We do know that we don’t want to drive this scene underground.”

Meet Rep. Maggart

posted by on March 29 at 11:27 AM

This morning I got up at six to make my son breakfast. He’s going through a hot cereal phase. Then I wrote a letter to a lesbian couple I know in Michigan whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Their beautiful young son is desperately ill and suffering terribly through chemo, and my friends are absolutely distraught. It’s too awful. I ache for them.

Then when I got to work today I opened my computer and read this:

Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville, said she still believes homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt children. In fact, in addition to e-mail correspondence with a master’s student at Vanderbilt publicized recently, in which she said as much, she has also said homosexual couples may molest the children they adopt.

“We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have, in some instances, adopted them in order to have unfretted access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse,” she said.

Maggart is a state rep in Kentucky, where an anti-gay adoption bill is moving through the legislature.

I don’t even know what to sayno, wait. I do know what to say. It’s just that I feel demeaned saying it:

If I wanted to molest little boys, Rep. Maggart, there are easier ways. It would be a lot simpler to, say, fly to Thailand once or twice a year than to jump through all the hoops of adoptinga child whose sex I couldn’t even select! Flying to Thailand once or twice a year would not only be cheaper, it would also spare me from having to get up at six in the morning and make hot cereal. And I wouldn’t have to pay for my son’s education or clothe him or buy him skateboards or sit up all night with him when he’s got some routine childhood illness and I wouldn’t have to worry myself sick about him getting seriously ill, like my friend’s son.

Maggart says she’s seen “evidence” that gay couples adopt boys in order to molest them. I’d like to see her evidence. According the FBI, people who molest children are overwhelmingly straight or straight-identified, and most are biologically related to the children they abuse. I suspect Maggart’s evidence doesn’t existbut you know what? It doesn’t much matter to Maggart or to the people she represents that she’s talking out her ass. We’re living in the Age of Irrationality, and actual evidenceof global warming, of evolution, of the fitness of gay people to parent (here’s the latest study)doesn’t much matter anymore. Facts don’t matter anymore, only beliefs. If someone believes something, that’s all the evidence they need. It’s their truthand what can you do? One of the pillars of Irrational America is that it’s taboo to question someone’s beliefs, particularly if they touch on religion.

I don’t know where I’m going with thisexcept maybe Canadaso I’ll stop. But in conclusion let me say that I have seen evidence that Rep. Debra Maggart’s doesn’t pay her traffic tickets, picks her nose in her office, watches child porn, and drinks the urine of virgins in order to maintain her youthful appearance, and that’s why I don’t believe she’s fit to represent the good people of Kentucky.

Of course I’m not serious. In fact, I made that last part upMaggart is perfect for Kentucky.

Racist Bubble Tea?

posted by on March 29 at 11:09 AM

A few days ago, I purchased some bubble tea at the Gossip Espresso & Tea outpost in the U District (the store sign still says Gingko’s). While the tea was delicious, the picture which met my eye every time I bent down to my straw was a bit dismaying:


Here it is up close:


Yes, indeed, those are LITTLE RACIST BABIES! (Those white lines around their eyes and mouth are classic methods of representing blackface in drawings.) They bear an uncanny resemblance, in fact, to the popular Gold Dust Twins, another set of little racist caricatures in tutus used to sell soap powder in another era. For example:


Now, I love bubble tea, and I understand that this lid was likely manufactured on a continent in which these images would not be quite so racially sensitive. But for gosh sakes! I address myself to the great continent of Asia: Give me your milky beverages, your tapioca pearls, your coconut jelly. But please, leave your Gold Dust Triplets at home.

Sarah Rudinoff: Genius Reconfirmed

posted by on March 29 at 11:00 AM

Last week, I Slogged about the amazing performance being given by Stranger Genius award-winner Sarah Rudinoff in the 5th Ave’s production of Wonderful Town.

Last night, I was happy to find confirmation for my gushing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which devotes a paragraph of its Wonderful Town review to the magic o’ Rudinoff:

Sarah Rudinoff walks away with this show. She’s perfectly cast as Ruth, the wisecracking older half of the sister duo, resigned to seeing men flock to vivacious Eileen. (Her first solo, “100 Easy Ways,” chronicles her history of alienating men by showing off her smarts.) Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s witty lyrics are a fine vehicle for Rudinoff’s comic genius. She flavors her delivery with a dash of self-mockery, holding back until the magic moment when she pulls out the stops and takes us along for a gleeful ride. Under the confident direction of Bill Berry, her instincts are dead-on: She can hardly raise an eyebrow without sending the audience into peals of laughter.

Isn’t it nice when people agree?

Fun fact I wouldn’t have known without input from musical-theater loving chums: The role now being played by Rudinoff—Ruth, the brainier, unlucky-in-love sister of the dazzling Eileen—was recently played on Broadway by Brooke Fucking Shields, who I believe wore glasses to communicate her braininess and unluckiness at love….Give me Rudinoff any day. (And look for Christopher Frizzelle’s backstage profile of Sarah Rudinoff in today’s issue of The Stranger.)

Art, Leniency, and Kyle Huff

posted by on March 29 at 10:58 AM

Should Kyle Huff have lost his right to bear arms after he drunkenly shot up a fiberglass moose in his small Montana town in 2000?

It’s a question I’ve been exploring, and one that lots of Slog readers have been commenting on. The Seattle Times has been pursuing the question too, and today the Times gets (almost) to the bottom of the leniency shown to Huff after the 2000 shooting incident.

Initially charged as a felony, which could have caused Huff to lose his right to own a gun for three years, the crime was reduced through a plea-bargain to a misdemeanor.


Because John Rawlings, the artist who created the moose, provided Huff with a lucky break, according to the Seattle Times:

After the attack on the moose, Huff was initially charged with a felony. The charge reflected the extent of the sculpture damage, which appeared to be well above the $1,000 threshold of property damage required for a felony. Under Montana state law, anyone convicted of a felony runs the risk of losing his or her right to own firearms for three years.

Rawlings, the artist, told police it took 70 hours of labor to repair the moose. He valued his labor at $25 an hour, so the damage initially was estimated at more than $1,700 plus materials.

But in a September 2000 letter to the board of the Moose on the Loose public arts project in which 15 moose sculptures by different area artists were set up around town and later auctioned Rawlings charged for only 26 hours of his labor. This put the total bill, including expenses, at $761.35.

The Times article doesn’t answer the question of why Rawlings decided to undervalue the cost of fixing the moose. Was it to give the arts organization that was paying him a break on its expenses? Or was it to cut Huff some slack?

And those questions lead right back to a more fundamental question: Would a felony charge and the temporary loss of his right to own a gun, possibly until 2005, have changed Huff’s actions last weekend?

I don’t know, but here’s something else I wonder about:

As I was writing a profile of Huff for this week’s Stranger, I was struck by Huff’s repeated interactions with art, public and personal, throughout his life.

Huff’s mother is an artist and runs an art gallery in Whitefish, Montana. At the age of 22, her son shot up a public art installation. He got out of being charged with a felony in that crime, we now know, due to the apparent generosity of an artist, John Rawlings. When Huff graduated high school in 1996, he went on to study art at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana, but dropped out before completing his associate’s degree. His best friend Dustin, however, completed a degree in fine arts at the University of Montana and is apparently a good oil painter. In Seattle, Huff talked about wanting to go to the Art Institute. He may even have applied for admission. But school officials say he never took a class there.

Was Huff, I wonder, one very, very frustrated artist?

Islam, Or Not

posted by on March 29 at 10:56 AM

For the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11, a major American museum has mounted an exhibition of contemporary art from the Islamic world, and appropriately, it’s the Museum of Modern Art (NY). But MoMA is taking a beating from both critics and artists for Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking. (Lee Siegel’s review in Slate is greatdo the slide show, and Tyler Green’s interviews with two irate artists are in a new piece about MoMA’s geopolitics in the New York Observer.)

The main criticism of the show is that its artists either live now or were educated in the West (there are even two American artists, Bill Viola and Mike Kelley), and yet the show doesn’t ask why those creative souls felt they had to escape from the Islamic environment that their work supposedly represents.

The Iranian-born exile Shirin Neshat has work in the show but also is one of the loudest voices against MoMA’s presentation. As Green points out, it is a rarity for an artist to rail against an institution as powerful as MoMA. From the Observer:

“My immediate reaction was, how could anyone today discuss art made by contemporary Muslim artists and not speak about the role the subjects of religion and contemporary politics play in the artists’ minds?” Ms. Neshat said. “For some of us, our art is interconnected to the development of our personal lives, which have been controlled and defined by politics and governments. Some artists, including Marjane Satrapi and myself, are `exiled’ from our country because of the problematic and controversial nature of our work.”

Green proposes that perhaps other museums will become inspired by MoMA’s Islamic initiative to present more contemporary Islamic shows. He explains that MoMA, at this point, is more corporate than intellectual, and that could account for the show’s bland, aestheticized lack of engagement. But if MoMA can’t take on complex issues, will smaller, weaker museums? We’ll see.

And where does the timidity come from? Guilt? Ignorance? Lazy cultural relativism? Or is it actually fear of violent reactions like the ones that came with the Danish cartoons? Blogger Edward Winkleman has a good point here when he calls out the museum world’s double-standard in thoroughly pissing off Christians and tiptoeing around Islam.

Tucked away in a corner of the Seattle Asian Art Museum currently is Neshat’s Tooba, a 12-minute video installation of a woman on a dry, dusty hill who is thoroughly menaced by a band of men in black until she makes a sort of magical escapeor does she? It is a beautiful piece, and so indicative of Neshat’s nightmarish response to her native land. I only wish it were part of a larger exhibition.

Here’s a still from Tooba, followed by a still from The Last Word at MoMA, a video (only the still is included in NY) that pictures an Islamic woman and an interrogator.



As much as art should be and would like to be, in many ways, a realm apart, how can these images today not be political?

They Call Him “The Big Unit” For a Reason

posted by on March 29 at 10:30 AM

From the The Smoking Gun:

MARCH 27—Sure, Randy Johnson may earn $16 million annually pitching for the New York Yankees, but that hasn’t stopped the baseball star from trying to legally nickel and dime a woman with whom he had a “secret” child out of wedlock. The All-Star athlete, 42, last month filed a court petition—a copy of which you’ll find below—seeking a rebate for $750-a-month day care payments he has provided over the past eight years to the mother of the pair’s 16-year-old daughter. The child was born in September 1989, but it wasn’t until nearly nine years later that Johnson and Laurel Roszell, 46, entered into a custody/support agreement and the so-called Big Unit began making payments. In an interview, Roszell told TSG that she chose not to seek financial support until 1997 and that Johnson has met their daughter once, while she was still hospitalized following her birth. Asked if Johnson, whom she lived with early in his Major League career, has ever acknowledged their daughter, Roszell replied, “Nope. Nothing. Never.” She added that she broke up with Johnson midway through her pregnancy and that the girl was the star’s “dark little secret.”

Useless trivia: Randy Johnson and I used to go to the same hair stylist when I was a kid. We did not share the same haircut, howevermine was actually worse.

Rachel CorrieChased from New York to Seattle

posted by on March 29 at 10:24 AM

Seattle Rep just announced next year’s season, featuring The Great Gatsby, plays by Albee and August Wilson, and My Name is Rachel Corrie by the resonantly-voiced Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, based on the writings of the young Washington protestor who was bulldozed to death in Palestine. The play was supposed to open in New York, but controversy shuttered the production: “The New York theater told its British partners the production was postponed after discussions with people in the arts, ‘religious leaders’ and ‘representatives of the Jewish community.’”

So Corrie is coming to Seattle. Now who’s the grown-up theater town?

Bjrk is to Barney as John is to Yoko

posted by on March 29 at 10:17 AM

Two weeks ago, I wrote here about the release of the trailer for Matthew Barney’s new film, Drawing Restraint 9, which can be found here and which features the Cremaster cycle artist in wedded bliss wiith his real-life babymama, Bjrk.

Thanks to a tip from Nick (thanks!) and confirmation from the theater, we now know that Drawing Restraint 9 is opening at the Varsity May 19. Today’s NYTimes had a glowing review of the thing by Stephen Holden, who wrote that the film “might be called (Barney’s) Moby Dick,” and that Bjrk is a good influence on Barney, whose oeuvre heretofore has been marked by an “obsession with athleticism, competition and fertility rites (that) has sometimes taken on fascistic overtones.”

Holden finishes with this:

If (Barney’s) auspicious collaboration with Bjork has little in common with that of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who met on the border of pop music and fine art, there is one fundamental similarity. Bjork infuses Mr. Barney’s architectural concepts with emotion in much the same way that Lennon’s emotion warmed up and helped popularize Ms. Ono’s abstractions.


Extremely Depressing Makeover

posted by on March 29 at 10:14 AM

One of the former owners of the blue house wrote this in the comments thread in response to my earlier post…

i owned that house along with its current owner from 1996-2001 (sold out and left the country in 2001). last saturday, the press contacted me in south america…looking for the current owner (who was also out of the country). I felt like i was punched in the stomach when I heard what happened; I vomitted shortly thereafter. I lived in that house with several friends (including a year with both sisters) and we hosted numerous parties there ourselves. I built that bathroom on the top floor where the women hid…and painted the walls that saw these horrors. I know each corner of that house so intimately that even though I know longer own it, I’m filled with sadness as it had always been such a happy place and now is stained. I spoke with the current owner yesterday…he’s in shock. Also filled with grief for the families, and has not even thought about his investment yet; that seems to be the least of his current worries.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Creepy Wish List

posted by on March 29 at 9:39 AM

As anyone who’s seen an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition can tell you, the show—hosted by charmless he-harpie Ty Pennington—is a no-holds-barred heartwarmer, with Pennington & Co descending upon the homes of down-on-their-luck families to deliver the “extreme makeover” promised by the title.

It’s all terribly sweet, and I confess to misting up a little the couple times I’ve seen it. (Let’s see you remain unmoved when a recently widowed father of eight is given a brand new home with bedrooms for each of the kids, a basketball court in the basement, and a shrine to the dead-from-six-types-of-cancer mother over the fireplace.)

But thanks to a casting agent’s e-mail sent by an ABC executive to network affiliates and published by The Smoking Gun, audiences have the opportunity to see the strings behind the heartwarming show, and it ain’t pretty. According to TSG, the March 10 correspondence was sent to network affiliates in the Southeast, who were asked to help scout prospective families for the series.

Included in the e-mail are suggestions for the kind of family tragedies and illnesses that best guarantee high ratings. Among the wishlist items are families that have suffered an in-home hate crime, families that have lost a child to drunk driving, parents with skin cancer, and two absolute doozies: a child suffering from Progeria, the rare condition that causes rapid aging in a child (“aka ‘little old man disease,’” the casting agent explains) and a child afflicted with a congenital inability to feel pain with anhidrosis. (“There are 17 known cases in US,” writes the casting agent. “Let me know if one is in your town!”)

Granted, I’m one of those viewers who is physically incapable of changing the channel whenever there’s a kid with either Progeria or a congential inability to feel pain on the screen. Still, it’s damn creepy to see it all in writing.

Full story (including the original e-mail) here.

(Updated at 10:32, for corrections mentioned in comments thread.)

What Will Happen to the House?

posted by on March 29 at 6:00 AM

I’m surprised that this issue hasn’t been raised yet, but what will happen to the blue house?

Jeffrey Dahmer murdered manybut not allof his 17 victims in this four-story apartment building where he lived in Milwaukee, which was torn down after Dahmer was caught. There’s an empty lot today where Dahmer’s apartment building once stood.

I thought of Dahmer’s apartment when I looked at a picture of the blue house before our issue went to press last night. I thought, Could anyone live in that blue house now? Would anyone buy it? Should we be talking about tearing it down? That empty lot in Milwaukee is not a fitting memorial to Dahmer’s victims, and I don’t think an empty lot would be a fitting memorial to Kyle Huff’s victims. But I can’t imagine anyone slapping a coat of paint on to that house and moving in like nothing happened.

So what’s to become of the house?

[I originally posted this Tuesday night at 9 P.M., but I moved it to Wednesday A.M. so that it wouldn’t get lostand because Megan’s post about the gathering at the blue house was a better note to end Tuesday’s Slogging on than mine.]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Where there once was anger, let there now be peace.

posted by on March 28 at 8:26 PM

Earlier this evening I went to the memorial service for the victims of this weekend’s shootings. Although I have been continuously reporting on it for the past four days, it was the first time I had gone to the murder scene. It was unsettling to finally see the blue house after knowing the terror that happened inside.

If I had to guess, I’d say there were well over a hundred people gathered in the street out front. Some people appeared to be close friends of the victims, while others were members of the community who wanted to show their support. Most people stared either at the house or at the ground, many of them tearing up, while one man read off the names of the victimsMelissa Moore, Suzanne Thorne, Chris Williamson, Justin Schwartz, Jeremy Martin, and Jason Travers.

At the end, the man speaking, a Reverend at Williamson’s chuch, asked everyone to kneel down and touch the Earth. He said “Where there once was anger, let there now be peace.”

A Deferential Cancellation

posted by on March 28 at 7:50 PM

The Capitol Hill Arts Center has cancelled an all-ages dance party originally scheduled for this Friday, though they aren’t categorically blacklisting all-ages electronic dance events. They just figure it would be disrespectful and tacky to host a party before doing something more substantial for the community in response to the violence.

And the event’s infelicitous name? Underground Existence.

Shooting While Drunk

posted by on March 28 at 5:02 PM

Yesterday I posted about a strange incident in 2000 in which Kyle Huff fired 12 rounds into a fiberglass moose in Whitefish, Montana.

For those keeping track of the complicated debate over whether Huff should have been charged with a felony for the moose shootinga charge that would probably have prevented Huff from keeping the shotgun and pistol he later used in the Capitol Hill murdersI’ve been given some additional information today that changes things.

Although the Whitefish Police Department told me yesterday that the estimated damage done to the moose by Huff came in at over $2,000, the Flathead County Attorney’s office told me today that a later, more accurate estimate put the damage at around $750. This is significant because in Montana, according to the County Attorney’s office, a person can’t be charged with felony criminal mischief unless the mischief costs more than $1,000 to repair.

So forget, for a minute, about the question of whether Huff ever did his required community service in the incident. It’s still not clear that he did, and if he didn’t do it, it speaks a bit to his character and lax enforcement in Whitefish, but it doesn’t have much to do with whether he should have been given a felony. It appears the authorities could never have made a felony criminal mischief charge against Huff stick, because he didn’t cause enough damage.

However, here’s something else that’s interesting: the Seattle Times has a reporter in Whitefish who has dug through all the paperwork on this incident and come up with this letter of apology Huff wrote about shooting the moose.

In the letter, Huff admits to having been drunk at the time of the incident. Washington Cease Fire tells me that in this state, admitting to being drunk during such an incident would be enough to get a person’s gun license revoked.

Perhaps this is getting very nitpicky and academic, but the gun rights folks always talk about enforcing existing gun laws rather than making new ones, so I wonder: Would the existing gun laws of Montana have required Huff to give up his gun license after he admitted to firing a shotgun in Whitefish while drunk?

It’s now too late in the day in Montana for me to find out the answer to this question. Any Slog readers think they know the answer?

I’m On Bush’s Side

posted by on March 28 at 4:55 PM

For the first time, and I hope the last time, I find myself on the same side as Bush on the issue of working permits for illegal immigrants. However, Bush’s reasons for supporting this reform are not at all my reasons.

The Creak of Wood, the Smell of Dung

posted by on March 28 at 4:07 PM

This goofball is great. His name is Johan Huibers and he’s building a scale model of Noah’s ark which he plans to sail around for awhile before opening it as a zoo and Christian monument (presumably Mr. Huibers will not follow Noah’s lead in getting loaded and passing out naked in front of his kids once the cruise is over).

“This will speak very much to children, because it will give them something tangible to see that Noah’s Ark really existed,” Mr Huibers told the Associated Press news agency.

Here’s the bad news: Huibers is Dutch. Not American, not Filipino, not BrazilianDutch. He “hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands.” Is every country breeding religious zealots? Will there be no safe secular haven left?

Why, Nederlanders? Why?

Tomorrow Night

posted by on March 28 at 3:32 PM

The band “Awesome,” new Seattle City Council member Sally Clark, Troy Mink and I (that’s right: shameless self-promotion) will be hosting “Seattle Follies,” which, according to the press release, promises “partisan political posturing,” “mind-enriching trivia contests, for prizes,” “beer and wine, priced to move” and “ill-advised political satire”, (that’s where I come in). Advance tickets are $16, but Town Hall is offering Stranger readers a two-for-one special: Go to and enter the code SF2006. The event starts at 7:30 in the basement auditorium at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave. at Seneca.


posted by on March 28 at 3:21 PM

After spending two decades of my life trying to achieve immortality by a trick of words, it appears I will be immortalized by a mall, Tacoma Mall! From the News Tribune:

The owners of the Tacoma Mall must be thinking, “Charles Mudede, we’ll show him!”

Mudede is The Stranger scribe who sneered at our mall after the shooting in November. He called it “the ugliest mall in the Pacific Northwest.”

Is it a coincidence the mall announced a face-lift complete with an expanded upscale Nordstrom after Mudede’s fusillade?

Here’s a suggestion: When the new digs are dedicated, proclaim it Charles Mude-Day.

The Real Streetcar News

posted by on March 28 at 3:12 PM

Yesterday, council newcomer Sally Clark (reportedly operating under Jan Drago’s tutelage) proposed an amendment to council legislation approving the mayor’s South Lake Union streetcar that would allow the city to tap a special transportation fund, currently earmarked for things like traffic lights and sidewalks, to pay for any cost overruns on the $50.5 million streetcar. (Currently, the streetcar faces a $2.8 million funding shortfall, although optimists like Drago believe the shortfall will be made up by still-outstanding federal grants.) Steinbrueck, who answered his phone at 5:30 Monday afternoon from the Collins Pub in Pioneer Square, decried Clark’s move as “smoke and mirrors,” noting that if the city funds the streetcar out of the special transportation fund, it may have to use general-fund dollars to pay for basic transportation improvementsan apparent end run around a law prohibiting the use of general-fund dollars on the streetcar.

Too Floored to Dance

posted by on March 28 at 2:47 PM

Seattle-area heads into electronic music’s stranger manifestations should check out Manchester DJ Rob Hall, who’s been booked to play the Baltic Room’s Oscillate weekly tonight. A member of Gescom and boss of the mysterious and excellent Skam Records empire, Hall opened for Autechre last year at Neumo’s and spun a devastating set of leftfield techno, third-eye-poking IDM, and five-dimensional hiphop that perfectly set the scene for his English pals’ 22nd-century [sic] electro. Hall makes a living “finding music nobody else knows about and playing it to them in nightclubs.” (Sounds like my dream job.)

Also on the bill: Syphillis Sauna and Cbaba, plus residents Greg Skidmore and Electrosect. Action starts at 9 p.m. at 1207 E Pine St, 206-625-4444.

Tube sock gags all the rage at Scientology baby showers

posted by on March 28 at 2:02 PM

…or at least they should be, as the religion demands that women give birth

without drugs,
or their partners present.

According to The Sun, Katie Holmes, who was months ago implanted with Tom Cruise’s alien seed, recently received a delivery of “birthing boards” that say absurd shit like, “Be silent and make all physical movements slow and understandable.”

These boards will be hung about the room as Ms. Holmes pops out her baby without the gratification of healthy hollering (which Scientologists believe might cause the offspring to suffer psychic damage), or pain-dulling drugs.

Note to theists: If you’re going to invent a religion that demands silence in the labor room, at the very least stipulate that birthing mothers be provided with their partner’s forearm and a steak knife, so everyone can practice suffering in silence.

Dog Pause

posted by on March 28 at 1:53 PM


Unsound Minds

posted by on March 28 at 1:36 PM

Over at, right-wing blogger Matt Rosenberg had this to say about the Capitol Hill murders…

…Prayers to the families, friends and loved ones of all the victims.

Yes, the victims were of a group that often sported dyed hair, danced to electronica, and certainly in most instances were liberals, if they voted at all. Who cares?

I guess your presumed readers care, Matt, otherwise you wouldn’t have paused to forgive the victims for being liberals before moving on to more pressing matters like, oh, defending the rights of gun owners.

It’s telling that while writing his post it consciously or subconsciously occurred to Matt that many of his readers would shrug and think, “Hey, some liberal voters and future liberal voters got shot and killedso fucking what?” That small aside in Matt’s larger post tells you almost everything you need to know about modern American conservatism.

Singing For Samuel L. Jackson?

posted by on March 28 at 1:29 PM

The musicians among you who can’t get enough of the pre-release hype for “Snakes on a Plane” may wish to enter their soundtrack contest.

A nice letter.

posted by on March 28 at 1:06 PM

We just received this letter regarding the Saturday Mourning story.

I’ve been reading all articles (even some of the stuff in SLOG) about the slayings with some level of disgust at minor factual errors, general tone or outright slander of the victims. After speaking with several of the survivors of the event and hearing first hand what really happened, I have to thank you and Thomas for capturing it correctly in the “Saturday Mourning” article posted on

If you’ve haven’t received much feedback yet you should know that people who are closest to this event are praising the writing and the honest portrayal of what happened and links to the article are flying around like crazy within the community’s information sphere. Some of the stuff that’s been on the news, especially the national outlets, (Egad! do they do any fact checking?) has been fairly damaging and that makes your contribution that much more important.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Burning Man event but we have a very active local community based around the annual festival. Last night an icon within the larger burning man culture, David Best, was in Seattle and spoke about turning grief into lasting positive change. David is known for building stunning temples out in the middle of the Nevada desert. (do a google image search for “david best temples”) Anyway, as a service to the city and with David’s help, the community is going to build a similar temple somewhere on capitol hill to remember the victims of Saturday’s shootings and to help the healing process for everyone. The goal is to raise $5k and build the temple within two weeks. There is going to be a fundraiser art party downtown this Saturday 04/01/06…the location hasn’t been arranged yet but I’m guessing it might be at consolidated works.

Anyway, thank you again for your work. A lot of people appreciate it.

She’s No Ann Coulter, But Oy Vey…

posted by on March 28 at 12:55 PM

Huffington Post has brought us more “news” regarding supremely irritating women today, such as MySpace egomaniac Tila Tequila.

“we we finally experienced some anger after days of sadness and nothing”

posted by on March 28 at 12:42 PM

Seattlest reacts to Tom and Megan’s Saturday Mourning piece (and steals our .jpg).

The Cops “I Can’t Stay Focused” Tour Blog, Installment 4

posted by on March 28 at 12:39 PM

Tuesday, March 21

The Cops are now three days past Austin and the Texas brain haze is starting to clear. After 3 days and 26 hours of driving we arrive in Philadelphia. Tonight we play the Khyber, a Philadelphia rock n’ roll institution. The jukebox is stellar and the staff is kinda’ crusty, but nice. Our buddy Paul Severin, a former Seattleite, joins us early for drinks. Paul works for hot shit radio station WXPN, which is coincidentally spinning the Cops. Paul explains to us that Philly is not a big rock town. We’re feeling it tonight. In spite of a nice review in the weekly paper, posters all over town, and radio airplay, there are only 15 people in the audience. Apparently everyone in the city was across town watching David Berman and the Silver Jews. Khyber soundman Josh, who moonlights in riff mavens Pearls and Brass, was fucking awesome. Josh goes above and beyond and contacts our booking agent to tell us we leave our cymbals behinda real crisis averted. After the show Paul takes us into his neighborhood, Fishtown, where we drink with locals at a place called Crazy Fish. These folks are good drinkers and welcome us with several shots of whiskey. Ouch.

Continue reading "The Cops "I Can't Stay Focused” Tour Blog, Installment 4" »

Today’s Best Headline

posted by on March 28 at 12:15 PM

comes courtesy of The Huffington Post:

Sean Penn’s Ann Coulter Voodoo Doll Has “Cigarette Burns In Some Funny Places”

It’s In the PI: Teenagers Aren’t Adults!

posted by on March 28 at 12:07 PM

Super weird headline and story in today’s PI.

The headline is: “All-ages raves often trouble for young girls.”
The story fails to deliver on the alarmist headline, and so, just feels like an alarmist headline.

In fact, the only concrete thing the article says about raves actually highlights why all-ages shows are part of the solution for teenagers, not part of the problem. The PI writes:

Raves can offer protection not found at unsupervised keg parties, parking lots and other teen hangouts. The parties can come with insurance policies and security charged with helping to keep kids safe.

As for zooming in on the specific problems that young girls (as opposed to boys?) face, the article has nothing to say other than this vague assessment from a local child psychologist: adolescent girls aren’t ready to handle privileges that adults enjoy.

Stop the presses.

Preemptive Strike

posted by on March 28 at 11:44 AM

Today’s lead Seattle Times editorial, headlined “Eliminate Viaduct ‘No Build’ Option,” is riddled with inaccuracies - starting with the assertion that the progressive, cost-effective “no build” option is on the ballot in the first place. (Under the “no build” option, better known as the “no-rebuild” option, the state would tear down the viaduct and spend hundreds of millions improving the surface street grid and expanding transit options downtown, eliminating the need for a six-lane freeway on the waterfront.)

Proponents of the no-rebuild option have been arguing for weeks that the third option should be included alongside a double-decker freeway rebuild and a $4 billion-plus tunnel on November’s advisory ballot. On Sunday, March 26, the Times reported that proposals to include the no-rebuild option on the ballot were “quietly gathering steam” after gaining the support of three council members and the Sierra Club. The story noted condescendingly that no-rebuild advocate Cary Moon “has no specific plan about where traffic would go” (umm… isn’t that the state transportation department’s job?) and portraying Moon as a radical, lone “carless advocate” against a benevolent, well-intentioned transportation bureaucracy.

But even that minimal progress was too much for the Times’s editorial board, whose scathing, hysterical editorial implores the council to “remove [the no-rebuild option] from the ballot” and make the vote “clearer and more compelling.” Presenting voters with all three options, the editorial says, “muddles things by making it unlikely any option would receive 50 percent or more of the public vote.” But what really “muddles things” is arbitrarily eliminating a cost-effective, environmentally sane option in favor of a six-lane freeway that will only reinforce Seattle’s automobile addiction.

Huff’s words

posted by on March 28 at 10:54 AM

Yesterday, we posted the article, Saturday Mourning, which tells the story of the Capitol Hill shootings from the perspective of people who lived through it. Today we will be adding to that story, and making a few changes to the existing text based on new information.

Readers might notice a few slight differences between our account and those in other media. For instance, it’s been reported elsewhere that while Kyle Huff was firing his gun he said, “There’s plenty for everyone.” That comes from the Seattle Police Department, which has interviewed all of the survivors. But we decided to stick with the firsthand account related to us in our own Sunday night interview, where survivors said Huff’s words were, “I have enough caps for all you fools.” Both statements mean essentially the same thing.

We sent an email to notify our interview subjects to the story’s posting and invited them to write back if in our rush we made any errors. This has led to a few minor changes. Example: The group had permits and licensed bartenders at the party that police raided the previous weekend, which is a detail important to the group.

There will be differing versions of the story, if only because those who were there may remember it differently. It was by all accounts a scene of complete chaos, and it’s very difficult to sort out all that happened in those few minutes when the shooting took place. Our story simply reflects our best effort to do so.

The Woman Who Remembers Absolutely Everything

posted by on March 28 at 10:35 AM

Her name is AJ, and she is “bafflling” scientists.

A Burning Question from the New York Times…

posted by on March 28 at 10:19 AM

Whatever is Seattle going to do with our neon Wonder Bread sign?

Mr. McCain, Your Wingnuts Are Showing

posted by on March 28 at 10:16 AM

From Talking Points Memo:

John McCain once called Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance.” Now he’s going to be the graduation speaker at Jerry’s Liberty University.

McCain’s run to the right is just revving up. He’ll no doubt make Bill Frist look like a liberal during the Republican primaries, especially if he’s up against Guiliani.

Also: How much you wanna bet that if McCain gets the Rs nomination he’ll ask Joe (“I’m a Democrat, really!”) Lieberman to be his running mate? Or am I just paranoid?

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan unearthed this McCain quote from six years ago:

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.”

No Blood, No Death, Just Balzac

posted by on March 28 at 10:08 AM

This is another entry from Balzac’s Lost Illusions to welcome your Tuesday and put you in mind of 19th-century France, from the cutthroat drawing rooms of Paris to the basic, dull life of Angouleme. Honoré goes into a tizzy:

Her conversation abounded in superlatives, and the smallest trifles took on vast proportions. At about this time she was beginning to individualise, synthesise, dramatise, superiorise, analyse, poetise, prosify, typify, colossify, angelicise, neologise and tragifyfor one must violate the language to describe those novel whims in which some women indulge.

Re: Blood in the Water

posted by on March 28 at 10:05 AM

Or, more grimly: Now that former Defense Secretary Caspar “Star Wars” Weinberger has passed away, how long does Rumsfeld have?

Dog Trouble

posted by on March 28 at 9:56 AM

For the past two weeks, animal-rights activists and other folks with souls have been up in arms over the fate of Mooey, the pit bull puppy in Federal Way that had to be euthanized after being burned with acid over the majority of its body.

Of course it takes a real badass to dip a puppy in acid, but as a recent case in Phoenix makes clear, it takes a real man to rape a toy poodle.

Details on the assault of Sassy the poodle here. And for all you animal-loving amateur sleuths, the Phoenix Humane Society is offering a $5000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of Sassy’s assailant, while Pasado, WA’s Safe Haven animal shelter is promising $10,000 to whoever helps them find the sicko that sent Mooey on that fatal acid trip.

Blood in the Water

posted by on March 28 at 9:07 AM

Now that Chief of Staff Andy Card has resigned, how long does Rumsfeld have?

Please See Seattle Times

posted by on March 28 at 6:25 AM

This header for Seattle Times’ lead story on the Capitol Hill murders is basically blind:

Small-town roots in Montana reveal no clues on motive

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Definitive Piece (So Far)

posted by on March 27 at 7:04 PM

Are you sick of the same rehashes of what you already know? Dan Savage linked to it a few minutes ago, but I’m linking to it again: Tom Francis and Megan Seling’s moment-by-moment account of the party, beginning at 3:30 a.m. and going all the way up to the shootings, including room-by-room accounts of the shooter’s movements, where people hid, the music that was playing, etc. The piece is based on exclusive interviews. And toward the end is an incredible image of the survivors responding to the media cameras their intelligence and presence of mind, given the circumstances, is incredible.

Paypal donation account set up for victims’ families.

posted by on March 27 at 6:51 PM

The surviving housemates of the Capitol Hill shooting (their roommate, Jeremy Martin, died in the hospital) have set up a paypal account for the families of all the victims.

You can donate at to the e-mail address

2112 is the number of the house where the shooting took place. You can also e-mail that address if you don’t have a paypal account and would like to donate another way.

New Piece UpInside the House

posted by on March 27 at 6:23 PM

Thomas Francis and Megan Selingwho have both been reporting the hell out of this story since it broke Saturday morninghave a new piece up. It takes you inside the house on the morning of the shooting. You can read it by clicking here.

At about 3:30 Saturday morning, as the rave at Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC) was winding down, the young people who lived at 2112 East Republican Street scanned the dance floor for people they could invite to their afterparty. They made a habit of welcoming strangersit’s how they had all met one another in the first place. They had almost finished with the invitations when Jeremy Martin, 26, spotted a hulking, solitary figure.

“Go ask him,” Jeremy said to his best friend, Anthony Moulton.

Another person who lived at the home, 24-year-old Jesiah Martin (no relation to Jeremy), remembers having seen the man that nightconspicuous not just for his 6’5” 280-pound frame but for the fact that he wasn’t dressed up or dancing. “He was by himself mostly, fly on the wall style,” said Jesiah.

Anthony, who is disarmingly goofy in the way of most in their group, approached the man and said, “Do you know the difference between Scotch and beer?” Most at the party were drinking beer, but Anthony handed the man a flask full of Macallan. The man took a swig and grimaced. But he liked it. He even smiled, leading Anthony to say, “Hey, what are you doing after this? We have half a keg at our place…”

And that is how Kyle Huff came to visit the house on East Republican Street.

From the Stranger Forums

posted by on March 27 at 6:22 PM

therain writes in Stranger Forums

I went by the scene of the shooting this morning and talked to a couple of the young people gathered there. They were furious at the radio talkshow people who apparently have been blaming the victims and the whole rave scene for this atrocity. I just said that nothing I read in the mainstream media (including the Stranger, Weekly, Times, PI, KOMO, KING5, CBS etc) suggested there was anything about their community, the dance at CHAC or the party, that could explain this evil act. The kids were very appreciative of every gesture of kindness from the neighborhood and the more responsible media. But the support seems pretty skimpy, compared to the enormity of this trauma, especially as it affects some very young kids (young teen guys, too, not just girls). They all say they’re fine, they have each other, they can take care of each other… But they’re a bunch of traumatized grieving kids! Whole swarms of trauma debriefing specialists show up after school shootings and other disasters but here, the caring adults seem pretty scarce. I would say, don’t wait until the formal memorial service tomorrow, join the vigil at the scene tonight and show these young people that you care! And maybe bring something warm.

Kyle Huff’s Community Service (Or Lack Thereof)

posted by on March 27 at 5:30 PM

In the summer of 2000, Kyle Huff, who shot and killed six people at a Capitol Hill house party on Saturday morning, got into trouble with the law in Whitefish, Montana.

Then 22 years old, Huff had used his 12-gauge Winchester shotgun to shoot up a fiberglass moose that was part of a community art project. After initially denying responsibility for the incident, Huff was caught through ballistics testing and an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers and charged with felony criminal mischief.

If he’d been convicted of a felony in the incident, local authorities probably wouldn’t have let Huff have his 12-gauge shotgun or his .40 caliber Ruger pistol back. (Both of the weapons were with Huff during the shooting on Saturday.) But the Flathead County Attorney’s office allowed Huff to plea-bargain down to a misdemeanor in exchange for $761 in fines, a written letter of apology, and 50 hours of community service, to be conducted at the Stumptown Art Studio in Whitefish. Huff was also given a 60-day suspended sentence, which he would have to serve if he didn’t follow through on the terms of his plea deal.

It’s not clear whether Huff ever paid his fines, but according to Souheir Rawlings, co-director of the art studio, Huff never did his assigned community service at the art center. And according to Whitefish Assistant Police Chief Mike Furda, on January 9, 2002, a letter was sent from the County Prosecutor’s office urging the judge in the case, David Ortley, to do something about Huff’s lack of community service.

The letter was sent on behalf of Deputy County Attorney Dan Guzynski. However, Guzynski told me this afternoon that he doesn’t remember whether he or the judge ever followed up on the Huff matter. Given that the original crime had been plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor, it’s likely Huff’s apparent failure to comply with the plea deal wasn’t pursued by county officials.

Guzynski has requested the files on the Huff case, but can’t get them out of storage until tomorrow. Speculating about what his office should have done, Guzynski told me: “First of all, our office should have done a petition to revoke his suspended sentence.”

Pushing to revoke Huff’s suspended 60-day jail sentence wouldn’t have changed the underlying crime from a misdemeanor back to a felony. (Once a felony is plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor it can’t become a felony again.) But by revoking the suspended sentence, authorities could have forced Huff into jail. Or, given that Huff was apparently living in Seattle by 2002, they could have at least issued a warrant for his arrest in Montana.

Guzynski told me that Flathead County authorities would never have moved to extradite Huff from Seattleprovided they even knew he was herejust because of a Montana warrant arising out of missed community service on a misdemeanor. Guzynski said there is a serious meth problem in Flathead County, and it means authorities there barely have the financial resources to keep the felons who live there locked up.

“We have a jail here that is busting at the seams,” Guzynski told me. “We can’t even keep felons in jail.”

That is how Kyle Huff came to be living in Seattle with only a misdemeanor on his record, the terms of his plea-bargain down from a felony apparently unmet, and his guns still in his possession, ready to be used in another much more serious crime.

Rave Photos

posted by on March 27 at 5:06 PM

One of the ravers at the “Better Off Undead” party at the Capitol Hill Arts Center posted 40 photos from the party online sometime after the Saturday-night rave. None of the photos appear to include images of alleged shooter Kyle Huff; the Stranger has not identified any of the individuals in these images.




The rest of the images can be found here.

Last Victim Identified

posted by on March 27 at 4:11 PM

According to the P-I, the undentified female victim is 14-year-old Melissa Moore from Milton, Washington.

Jeremy Martin and Jason Travers

posted by on March 27 at 3:18 PM

This email just arrived:

Please use the photos of Jeremy Martin and Jason Travers from the Capitol Hill tragedy. The pictures on the news are 5 or more years outdated. Our market misses our two wonderful co-op family members. They were beautiful, wonderful people. Please mention in your paper and on your website that Madison Market is taking donations at our registers to raise money for Jeremy and Jason’s family.

Jeremy Ales

Jason copy.jpg
Jason Travers

If anyone needs to contact Madison Market for information, you can send an email to or

Update from the SPD

posted by on March 27 at 1:48 PM

Seattle police officers released a few new details about Saturday morning’s shooting, but offered no clues about the motive behind alleged shooter Kyle Huff’s rampage. Deputy Police Chief Clark Kimerer did say that Huffwhose truck, found a block away from the murder scene, contained 300-plus rounds of ammunition, a semiautomatic rifle, a .40-gauge handgun, a baseball bat, and a machetewas “very deliberate in his attempt to kill everyone he shot.”

“My speculation is that this was not a sudden attack,” Kimerer said. “He came heavily armed with ammunition… and clearly intent on doing homicidal mayhem. … Whenever you run across a suspect who has 300-plus rounds available to him, I think it’s safe to surmise he was intent on doing great damage.”

Kimerer added that while Huff was reportedly “edgy” at CHAC before the afterparty, there was “no overt indication [in Huff’s] speech or manner that he was capable of this type of violence.”

Police also confirmed that they had seized potential evidence from the North Seattle apartment Kyle Huff shared with his twin brother, Kane, and had interviewed Kane Huff “extensively” about the crime. Kimerer said police did not seize any weapons from the apartment, but did take a computer and other evidence. (Reports that police found grenades in the apartment were inaccurate, Kimerer said.) From the interview with Kane Huff, police surmised that “there was no evidence that he had any knowledge of the activities of his brother… Obviously, while he was a key source of information to us, there was no indication he was connected with this crime.

Own a gun? Don’t own a gun?

posted by on March 27 at 1:39 PM

Anything we post about the Capitol Hill murders that touches on guns generates a ton of response. How many Stranger readers own guns, we’re wondering. We’re taking a poll right now in the Stranger Forums.

A Lengthy Premeditation?

posted by on March 27 at 1:12 PM

Slog commenter “IN.PRAXIS” found this creepy February post from “Kyle Huff” on a local rave web site:

Name: kyle

E-mail address:

Comments: hey, Ive never been to a rave in seattle and was wondering if anyone could tell me when one is coming up. Its the 1st of febuary 2006 right now.

Wednesday, February 1st 2006 - 02:29:54 PM

The Weapons

posted by on March 27 at 12:46 PM

At the SPD’s press conference this morning, CSI Detective Don Ledbetter uncovered several of the weapons found in Kyle Huff’s pickup truck after Saturday morning’s shooting. They included:

A 12-gauge Winchester Defender shotgun- not the actual murder weapon but an identical “exemplar” shotgun (the murder weapon is still undergoing forensic analysis; also visible in the photo are ammunition, a machete, and a baseball bat that were all found in the pickup):


A Bushmaster XM 15-E2S semiautomatic rifle with 30-round capacity, found on the floor of the truck, surrounded in this photo by three 30-round box magazines:


The pickup also contained a .40-caliber Ruger handgun. The “biohazard” sign visible in the background was put there, Ledbetter said, “because some of the items have blood on them.”

The Huff Brothers’ Schooling

posted by on March 27 at 12:20 PM

There’s been much confusion, in news reports and among those who knew them, about which Seattle higher education institutions were attended by Kyle and Kane Huff, and when.

Jen Graves and I checked it out this morning, and here’s the deal: Kane Huff, the twin brother of the shooter, attended North Seattle Community College from the fall of 2002 through the fall of 2003 and graduated with an associate of arts degree.

Kyle Huff, the shooter, led some people to believe that he was attending the Art Institute of Seattle, but the school’s spokeswoman, Kelly O’Neill, told us that Kyle Huff never attended the Art Institute. (His brother, Kane, never attended the Art Institute either.)

Correction: Total is seven

posted by on March 27 at 11:30 AM

It appears that the shooter killed just six people before killing himself. Initially, our information was that three victims were transported to Harborview and that one died soon after arriving and that another, with life-threatening injuries, died later that day. It appears now that this was the same person.

Harborview Medical Center is reporting that two victims remain in “satisfactory condition.”

Kyle Huff’s Weapons

posted by on March 27 at 11:04 AM

Kyle Huff spent much of his youth in Whitefish, Montana, a small town in a former logging valley that now caters to outdoor recreation. In 2000, as has been widely reported, Huff was involved in a strange incident in Whitefish: He shot up a fiberglass moose that had been placed on display in the town as part of a “Moose on the Loose” art project (similar in concept to Chicago’s “Cow Parade” or Seattle’s “Pigs on Parade”).

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial says that Huff used a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun to shoot the moose, and also had a Ruger 40-caliber handgun with him at the time. Using the serial numbers on the guns, Chief Dial says he and Seattle authorities have now determined that Huff used that same 12-gauge shotgun to kill six people at a Capitol Hill house party early Saturday morning, and also had the same Ruger 40-caliber handgun with him.

How did Huff get his guns back after the 2000 incident, which earned him a felony criminal mischief charge? Chief Dial says that by surrendering and agreeing to do community service, Huff was able to plea-bargain his felony down to a misdemeanor. That allowed him to get the guns backand keep buying more.

The Victims

posted by on March 27 at 10:15 AM

The shooter took six lives before taking his own.

Suzanne Thorne, 15
Justin “Sushi” Schwartz, 22
Christopher “Deacon” Williamson, 21
Jeremy Martin, 26
Jason Travers, 32
One unidenfied woman

One man is still in the hospital, in serious condition.

Another victim identified.

posted by on March 27 at 8:55 AM

According to the Seattle Times story posted early Saturday morning, one young partygoer was still unaccounted for after the shootings.

Nancie Thorne, whose 15-year-old daughter, Suzanne, was in the house when the man opened fire said she learned about what happened when Suzanne’s 18-year-old boyfriend called her this morning.

“It’s the worst phone call a mom can get,” said Thorne, who went to the Capitol Hill home after getting the call.

She said she doesn’t know where Suzanne is now.

A source close to Suzanne has confirmed that she is dead.

One source smiled when she recalled seeing Suzane at the party. “She had a mohawk,” she said. “Her face was really pretty. I said, ‘That’s so cool, I think I want to shave my head now!’”

Re: Backlash?

posted by on March 27 at 8:28 AM

Wow. Gotta love the Seattle Times ed board. An evil nut with more guns and ammo than a sane person should have access to shoots a bunch of innocent people at a house party. The Seattle Times solution? Oh, don’t regulate guns. Don’t make sure the mental health system works. Establish “precautions or rules” to regulate “the late-night activities of young people.”

How about we establish and enforce rational gun control rules? And how about we regulate the late-night activities of nuts? If the Seattle Times is really interested in “[doing] what we can to prevent such a horrific incident from ever happening again,” the place to start is not house parties. It’s guns and mental health services.

Finally, let’s not lose our minds here. What happened this weekend was awful and shocking. But how many new rules and regulations do we need to make sure that something that has never happened before does not ever happen again?

The Seattle Times editorial is headlined “Soul-Searching After Capitol Hill Tragedy.” Is anyone shocked to discover that the old farts at the Seattle Times searched their creaky old souls and came up with the same old garbage? Young people are scary. Their parties are scary. Teenagers shouldn’t be out of the house after 10 PM. The city should do something about it.



posted by on March 27 at 8:20 AM

From this morning’s Seattle Times’ lead editorial:

teen dance rules in our city must be thoroughly reviewed to see if they go far enough to protect young people. One of the six victims was apparently a 15-year-old Bellevue girl. What precautions or rules could have helped her?

On Saturday night, I posted here on Slog that, “Once the editorials start piling up (‘all-ages dances lead to shootings, outlaw all-ages dances!’), Mayor Nickels is going to seize the law-and-order moment and send an ordinance to council cracking down on teen dance culture…Don’t take the bait, Greg. The fact is, if teen dances were prohibited, there’d be more opportunities for bad things to happen to teens, not fewer.”

Some readers commented that it was ill-advised for me to even broach the subject. But I think it’s important to get out in front of the reacationary backlash that looks to be brewing at the Seattle Times.

Thankfully, smart city leaders like Council President Nick Licata, are already trying to head off a short-sighted political reaction. In this morning’s PI, he’s quoted at length.

“I want the Police Department and the chief to clarify what apparently is not a connection,” he said. “This was a private party. You can call it a rave or whatever, but in the old days, it would have just been considered a house party.” Licata noted there did not appear to be any history of trouble with the venue or the promoter.

“The actual rave was at a legitimate place that has been operating for a long time, that had a particular kind of music,” Licata said. “When a tragic situation like this happens, we all begin searching for answers and try to connect the dots,” he said. “I don’t see any evidence that connects the dots to an individual who apparently, for lack of a better word, just snapped.”

Unconfirmed report: Capitol Hill shooting claims another life

posted by on March 27 at 2:33 AM

It won’t be official until the Harborview Medical Center confirms, but several sources close to the case told The Stranger that another person shot in the Capitol Hill rampage has died of his wounds. His name is Jason Travers, according to those sources. This would bring the number of dead to eight, including the shooter, now widely identified as Kyle Huff. One more survivor appears to still be at Harborview Medical Center, listed in serious condition.

During his press conference Saturday, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said that the shooter made a single statement during his rampage, but he refused to disclose it. Now, sources are telling The Stranger that Huff announced to his victims, “I have enough caps for all of you fools,” while he sprayed shotgun fire around the home.

Megan Seling and I conducted interviews late into the night and we will have a good deal more to report tomorrow morning.

Kyle Huff’s 2002 Washington State Driver’s License

posted by on March 27 at 2:20 AM


The picture of Kyle Huff that’s sure to be on the front page of both local papers this morning is a Montana booking photo from six years ago. On Sunday evening a source slipped me this more recent image of Huff, who Seattle police say shot six young people dead early Saturday morning before killing himself. It’s a photocopy of Huff’s 2002 Washington State Driver’s License.

The source gave The Stranger other documents that we’re currently reviewing.

Meanwhile, if you knew Kyle or know his twin brother, Kane Huff, please send me an email:

For Amy Kate and Her Fellow Sisters of Mercy…

posted by on March 27 at 1:24 AM

An amusing piece of academic research from the U.K. that suggests that it isn’t merely the children, but well-educated goth children who are the future.

(This was posted at 7:26 pm on Monday, March 27th)

The Blue House at Republican and 22nd, the Buzzing Newsroom, Belle & Sebastian, etc.

posted by on March 27 at 1:20 AM

If you were in The Stranger’s office right now what you would see is a bunch of newswriters incredibly focused on the developing story gathering tips, making calls, digging into the web, getting what they know up on Slog as soon as they know it, all while writing the new content we’re preparing for this week’s paper and a lot of arts writers just trying to stay out of their way. (Then there’s Megan Seling, who’s somehow doing great reporting and putting out the music calendar.) Upstairs, art director Corianton Hale has been working all day on the cover. The Stranger has a history of iconic covers when big-time stuff happens. The post-election cover comes to mind. The 9/11 cover comes to mind. Will this week’s cover be angry? Beautiful? Abstract? Will it have words?

On Saturday, wanting to do something but aware that Tom Francis, Eli Sanders, Josh Feit, Megan Seling, Erica C. Barnett, and Dan Savage were all over it, I walked up to 22nd and Republican to visit the block where it all went down. It was about 1:30 pm. From behind the police tape, half a block away, you could see the door of the house standing open, men and women in puffy marshmallow suits moving in and out, a bunch of junk from inside the house out on the sidewalk. The house is blue. The sky was blue for miles. You could hear kids in the playground down the street. A reporter from Frontline was holding a notepad and a cigarette in the same hand as she interviewed a neighbor. A reporter from the Associated Press was dictating a news story into his cell phone. There was a KOMO 4 News van. There was a KIRO van. A neighbor asked me if I needed anything.

I went and sat in the park and called my little brother, who lives far away. Then I listened to my iPod. I listened to Belle & Sebastian, particularly their new, upbeat song “Sukie in the Graveyard,” about a girl who likes graveyards, runs away from home, and enters a world of young artists. Belle & Sebastian’s Seattle concert which I’ve been leading up to on Slog with BASFOTDs (Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day) was later that night. It was a fine concert, they did some incredible renditions from their old catalogue, but you know, seven music fans had been blasted away that morning, and it’s a small city, and it was hard to concentrate on the concert. The last installment of BASFOTD was supposed to appear on Saturday, but nothing seemed less important. Some quiet was in order.

[It is 6:02 p.m. As noted, we are manipulating the time stamp on all these non-breaking-news items so that news breaks show up on top.]

In The Land of Magic

posted by on March 27 at 1:02 AM

From the front page of the biggest newspaper in Zimababwe, The Herald :

Traditional healer stripped of powers

By Memory Gwiza

IT was all smiles, ululation and appreciative whistling among villagers after a prominent traditional healer was allegedly stripped of his harmful magical powers at a cleansing ceremony held by the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (Zinatha) in Zvimba yesterday.

Sekuru Saineti Kachuta, whose magical powers are suspected to be behind the mass hysteria that hit Mariga Secondary School affecting 32 pupils last week, was yesterday shaved of his dreadlocks and had his “surgery” emptied while his traditional medicine was burnt to ashes in public. Sekuru Kachuta who, last week had vehemently denied possessing the zvidhoma (goblins), was yesterday a different man very submissive, calm and subdued as the Zinatha crew cleansed his house in the full glare of the public…A gourd which was destroyed contained an assortment of seeds, a canine tooth, snake skins, animal nails and human hair, which Sekuru Kachuta professed ignorance of…Kachuta was [also] found in possession of lion and python skins and admitted that his traditional healer certificate was fake. At the close of the ceremony, a humbled and subdued Sekuru Kachuta said he wanted the situation at the school to normalise and that he would co-operate with Zinatha to solve the problem. “I support the crew if they have really found that my medicine was causing the hysteria to the students. Also if the law says they should burn these things, then I cannot stop it,” he said….

In Lighter News 2: The Illustrated Fik

posted by on March 27 at 12:08 AM

Perhaps you remember the story of Jakub Fik, the Chicago man arrested for assault and subjected to penis reattachment surgery after throwing a bunch of knivesas well as his severed wangat Chicago police officers last week.

This weekend, I received a package from a trio of readers who, after reading about Fik in Last Days, were “so smitten” with the saga they were driven to illustrate the event “for [their] own processing of the story.”


Thanks to the most artsy trio of Kinoko, C. Rock, and Third Party Un-Named, whose illustrated empathy is even extended to the post-Fik cleanup crew:


(Posted at 3:25 pm)

My Date with Buck Owens

posted by on March 27 at 12:07 AM

With Buck Owens’s death this past Saturday morning, I feel I must share my own Buck Owens anecdote:

Three years ago, on the eve of my 23rd birthday, which I was celebrating in Bakersfield, California, at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace*, I slow-danced with Buck, up onstage, while his band played his hit “In the Palm of Your Hand.” Yes, it was dreamy.

* The Buck Owens Crystal Palace is not actually made of crystal. It is a large wooden building made to look something like a block in an old-west town. Inside there’s a restaurant with a stage and dance floor, where Buck played most every weekend night, and there’s a country-western museum featuring, among many other things, a suit jacket covered entirely in rhinestones.

(Posted at 10:27 a.m.)

In Much Lighter News: Duck Butter

posted by on March 27 at 12:04 AM

Last weekend, I avoided the psychic anguish of the third anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom by hiding out in Margo Jefferson’s book On Michael Jackson.

This past weekend I tried repeating the trick, attempting to temper the horrors of Saturday morning with another new Jacko book—Diane Dimond’s down-and-dirty Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case.

It didn’t really work—horrifying massacres in your own zip code are more difficult to ignore than tragedies in the middle east—but Be Careful Who You Love taught me at least one thing I’ll never forget, no matter how many curbs I bang my face against.

The revelation comes from a transcript of a therapy session with Jackson’s ‘93 accuser Jordan Chandler, who was 13 at the time. In addition to specifying the types of physical lovemaking Jacko allegedly exposed him to, Chandler also shared Jacko’s preferred euphemism for semen, which you may find in the subject line of this post.


P.S. If what Jordie Chandler told the therapist is true, Jackson was quite a fan of duck butter, allegedly ingesting it with gusto.

Blet times a million.

Dead Lem

posted by on March 27 at 12:03 AM

I had no idea that the great science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem was still alive until I learned that he died today in his native Poland. Lem was 84.

Do something life-affirming

posted by on March 27 at 12:02 AM

Obviously, this has been a terrible weekend. In addition to the tragedy on the Hill, the music world lost three icons: Bakersfield country legend Buck Owens, acclaimed songwriter Cindy Walker (feted on the superlative new Willie Nelson album, You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, and punk/indie raconteur and ex-Swell Maps leader Nikki Sudden.

In the midst of all this sadness, I received the following e-mail from a former Seattle denizen, musician Neko Case. As fans well know, Neko is a fierce advocate of animal rights. (She didn’t named her live album The Tigers Have Spoken randomly, kids.) So scan at the message below, and if you feel that sending the elephants of the Tuscon Zoo to a natural reserve (as many other zoos, including our neighbors in PDX have done) is a wise move, follow the links and take action to improve life for these noble beasts.

Hi, it’s Neko, addressing a bunch of you (don’t worry, I BCC’d everybody so you can all be secret!!! HA!) Anyway, here is a website with a petition to save some elephants at the Tucson zoo, they are very unhappy . The long and short of it is, a large elephant sanctuary in Tennessee has offered to take them free of charge from the city of Tucson. Of course , people want their children to see crazy, unhealthy elephants up close. Ahhh, the American dream. Please sign it if you want to, you might really help out old Connie and Shabba. And by all means, spread this around!

Thank you, love Neko

Thomas Kinkade, You’re Going Down

posted by on March 27 at 12:01 AM

The devoutly Christian “Painter of Light” has been called out for his artistic felonies for a long time, but now, according to a great story in the Guardian, he is also being outed as a man who swindles his own dealers, fondles women’s breasts at will, and gets drunk and does things like urinate in a public elevator and on a model of Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland. He also disrupted a performance of Siegfried and Roy by repeatedly yelling “Codpiece!”

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Killer

posted by on March 26 at 8:07 PM

The Seattle Times has this photo up:


This November 2000 booking photo released by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office in Montana shows Aaron Kyle Huff. Authorities on Sunday identified Huff as the man suspected of killing six young people at a house party before he turned the gun on himself Saturday morning.

Update from the SPD

posted by on March 26 at 5:19 PM

The police department, as predicted, had little new information at today’s press conference. They did confirm that the person they interviewed (i.e. Kane Huff, the twin brother of alleged shooter Kyle Huff) was questioned and released, though SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb would not confirm any names, including the shooter’s or the victims’, until the medical examiner gives police a positive ID.

In other news, police said the alleged shooter’s truck contained a massive arsenal of ammunition and weapons, including several hundred rounds of rifle, shotgun and handgun ammo; several banana clips loaded with more rifle ammo; a rifle; and a machete. “The amount of ammo this suspect had, the arsenal of weaponry that he had, is cause for serious concern,” Whitcomb said.

“Everything the witnesses have told us indicates that this suspect walked into the house shooting and didn’t stop shooting,” Whitcomb continued. “We do know that there were a lot of people in this house who were very frightened and doing everything they could to flee. Could it have been worse? With the way this suspect was armed, the answer is yes.”

Press Conference happening now

posted by on March 26 at 4:30 PM

The Seattle Police Department was scheduled to have a 4 p.m. press conference at headquarters downtown. We sent Erica C. Barnett, and she’ll be reporting from there as soon as it’s over. It sounds as though the police are not going to be releasing much, if any, new information.

There is no answer at the phone number for Kane Huff. The people who are in the scene and with whom I’ve spoken say the name Kyle Huff is not familiar. Again, it appears he was not in the scene, that his appearance at the party was purely a reflection of the hosts’ willingness to open their home to everybody.

Please send any news tips to my email address:

Kane Huff released

posted by on March 26 at 3:38 PM

The Seattle Police Department is swamped with national and international media requests — let alone the regional reporters bombarding them. But a police source told me that Kane Huff, the man who appears to be the twin brother of the alleged shooter, Kyle Huff, was questioned and released. We don’t have official confirmation of that. When we do, we’ll post it.

The Teddy Bear Twins

posted by on March 26 at 2:10 PM

Kyle Huff lived with his brother, Kane Huff, at the Town & Country Apartments, a middle income, 83-unit complex of buildings in north Seattle.

Regina Gray, 61, helps her husband manage the apartment complex, and told me that the Huff brothers moved into their shared two-bedroom unit about four-and-a-half years ago, after moving to Seattle from Montana. They were identical twins, Gray said, “nice, big, husky guys,” each about 6 foot 4, each around 250 pounds, both often sporting closely-trimmed beards.

“We used to call them the teddy bear twins,” Gray said. “That was my nickname for them. They were just sweet guys. They would carry up groceries for tenants. If a car broke down they would try to help.”

The Huff brothers shared a black pickup truck just like the one found at the murder scene on Capitol Hill yesterday, Gray said, and they also shared a love of hunting.

“They talked about hunting and target practice back in Montana,” she told me.

Gray never saw the brothers with guns, but said her son-in-law did see one of the Huff twins carrying a crossbow once. The son-in-law asked about it, and was told the crossbow was “just for fun.”

Gray said the brothers looked so much alike that she had trouble telling them apart, even though she chatted with them repeatedly over the past four-and-a-half years. The twins, she said, would go to Capitol Hill from time to time to hang out, and one of them (she can’t remember which) recently worked as a delivery person for Pizza Hut. She said one of them (she also can’t remember which) attended North Seattle Community College, while the other attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

Around 10 a.m. yesterday, Gray said, Seattle Police officers arrived at the Town & Country apartments and asked to be let into the Huff brothers’ unit. She told me that her husband asked the police whether the request had anything to do with the shooting on Capitol Hill, and was told by police that it did.

According to Gray, there was an extended disagreement between her husband and the police over whether a proper warrant existed for the search. Gray told me the police never did produce a warrant, but began searching the apartment anyway around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. (The police have said they had a warrant.)

A SWAT team came in, Gray said, evacuated the floor that the Huff brothers’ unit was on, and after searching their apartment emerged with ammunition and guns. Then, she said, Kane Huff came home.

“He acted like he had no idea what was going on,” Gray told me. “I don’t think he knew his brother was dead. I don’t think he knew anything at all.”

The police then took Kane Huff away for questioning.

Kyle Huff

posted by on March 26 at 12:43 PM

That’s the name of the shooter, according to Seattle Weekly….and the Seattle Times.

In stark contrast…

posted by on March 26 at 12:40 PM

to our crime coverage, here are some love notes I found on our front gate this morning.


And a couple more: Note #2, Note #3

Police confirm serving warrant

posted by on March 26 at 11:31 AM

The Seattle Police Department has confirmed serving a search warrant at a residence in the 12300 block of Roosevelt Way NE in connection with the shootings yesterday morning in Capitol Hill. There was no arrest made. One person was questioned. The department will not be releasing more information on the search warrant today.

According to other media reports the person questioned appears to be the twin brother of the shooter.

Firsthand account

posted by on March 26 at 10:17 AM

A partygoer who wants to go by his rave name, Superman, just told me that he and his girlfriend hitched a ride to the after-party with another partier named Kian, whom he had only known about a week. Superman and his girlfriend left the party at 6:30 — a half-hour before the shooting began. Kian stayed at the party.

Kian was wearing blinking gloves, just like the ones described in at least one news account. It has been reported that one partygoer had been shot through the arm and in the side and had taken refuge at a neighbor’s house. He had asked the neighbors to help him take off his gloves. Superman believes that Kian is one of the two people still at Harborview Medical Center. Of course, Harborview has not confirmed this information, and until they do, nothing is certain.

If anyone has more information, please email me at We’ll post news when we get it.

Regulate This

posted by on March 26 at 9:20 AM

Josh is telling Mayor Greg Nickels not to use yesterday’s post-rave mass shooting on Capitol Hill as an excuse to crack down on teen dances.

He’s not the only person trying to re-direct the impulse to crack down on something in the wake of such a tragedy.

This morning I watched an online video of Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s press conference after the shooting, and heard a pretty clear call from the chief for a crackdown on something other than under-age dance parties. Kerlikowske, sensibly, seems to want a crackdown on the kind of weapons that enabled so many young people to be killed so efficiently.

Here’s how Kerlikowske described the arsenal the shooter brought to the Capitol Hill after-party where he killed six people and then himself:

He was carrying a 12-gauge pistol-grip shotgun. And of course as everyone knows, a pistol-grip shotgun is designed not for hunting purposes, but for hunting people. He also had a semi-automatic handgun, and he fired multiple rounds with both weapons.

That language “not for hunting purposes, but for hunting people” is commonly used by gun control advocates.

Filling out the image of an urban people-hunter armed with weapons that probably shouldn’t be so easily available, Kerlikowske also noted that the shooter, who has not yet been identified, was wearing bandoliers, which are ammunition belts that drape over the shoulder and across a person’s chest. Note the plural: bandoliers. When he burst into the house the shooter was wearing multiple bandoliers stuffed with shotgun shells, and had additional clips at the ready for his semi-automatic handgun. He fired dozens of rounds inside the house, Kerlikowske said at the press conference.

It’s not surprising that gun control was on Kerlikowske’s mind yesterday. As has been reported, less than 24 hours before the shooting Kerlikowske was given an award by Washington Ceasefire, this state’s major gun control group. The group’s web site doesn’t say exactly what the award was for, but I bet it was for his lobbying to close the “gun show loophole,” which allows people in Washington to buy fierarms at gun shows without background checks.

Seventeen other states have closed the gun show loophole. Not Washington. This year, two bills to close the loophole died in the state legislature.

“We’ve traced guns back that had been involved in crimes that were obtained at gun shows,” Kerlikowske told King 5 TV in December, in a report that’s posted on Washington Ceasefire’s web site.

I wonder: When they trace the weapons used in the Capitol Hill shooting back to their original source, will the original source be an under-regulated gun show?

To drive home the flimsiness of the current gun show regulations, here’s how a former local U.S. Attorney described Washington’s gun show loophole to King 5:

Osama Bin Laden could walk into a gun show in Washington state and purchase a semi-automatic easily changeable into a fully-automatic assault rifle no questions asked, no records run.

Latest on shooting

posted by on March 26 at 9:17 AM

There was an arrest in North Seattle last night that appears to be related to the Capitol Hill shooting. Here is a link to KOMO 4’s story.

The Seattle Police Department is still withholding the shooter’s identity, as well as those of the victims, although the Times has a story that names two victims — Christopher Williamson, 21; and Jeremy Martin, 26.

The SPD is not “100 percent” sure of the shooter’s identity, so the department is letting the King County Medical Examiner confirm. The office is unlikely to release that information till tomorrow.

There are no new updates on the medical conditions of the two victims taken to Harborview Medical Center. Again, one has life-threatening injuries and the other is conscious and has been interviewed by police.

Police locked the crime scene overnight and have returned this morning to finish processing it.

The police have established a tipline for people who can help in the investigation. (206) 233-2666 is that number.

For people who were in the scene and want to share what they know, please email me at

Any new information will be posted immediately on Slog.