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Archives for 05/06/2007 - 05/12/2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Intersection: First Hill at Madison and Minor

posted by on May 12 at 5:19 PM


Neighbors on First Hill are concerned about a new multi-use development planned for the former US Bank site at 1200 Madison. 5 years ago, Sound Transit had planned to use the site as a Light Rail stop when initial plans called for a line to connect to UW. According to Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray, the plan to stabilize the soil at the site - by injecting concrete 200 feet underground - was deemed too risky and plans for the site were scrapped in July 2005.
The current design plan includes 90 apartments, medical offices and retail space, with a massive, 403 vehicle, underground parking garage.


Standing in front of the 1200 Madison building, property owner Sam Robison tells me US Bank - who had occupied the building since 1957 - began looking for a new location when Sound Transit started talks to purchase the property. The 1200 Madison property - which has been home to gas stations, a hotel and the Tank and Tummy diner - is now drawing the ire of some neighborhood residents who are concerned about an increase in traffic in the area, as well as the size and scale of the project. Currently, the almost-was Light Rail stop is a pay lot, half filled by a giant dumpster.


First Hill Improvement Association Communications Chair Jim Erickson says that the Department of Planning and development “has done everything they can within the existing law to protect the [neighborhood]” but that FHIA is “concerned about pedestrian safety in the area.” Erickson adds that FHIA “[does] not oppose” the project, they are only “trying to influence the design to make the best compromise for the neighborhood.”

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 12 at 12:00 PM


Conceptions of Space

(BEAUTIFUL GEEKERY) Each drawing by Lun-Yi Tsai (a Seattle-based artist who has been a research fellow at MIT) is based on a mathematical theory. Dan Pollack’s Wormhole Construction refers to Pollack’s discovery of how to construct wormholes between any two points of an Einsteinian space while maintaining its structure (well, you have to maintain the structure). In a talk this afternoon, Dan Pollack will elaborate on his mathematical theories of space. Painter Margie Livingston will discuss her artistic theories of space. Other math-art events will rock the gallery on Saturdays until June 2. (Shift Studio, 306 S Washington St, 3 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES



Blue Scholars

(LOCAL HIPHOP) The current surge in local hiphop is primarily generated by Blue Scholars. There’s no doubt about that. The duo, Geologic and Sabzi, sell records, pack shows, rule the local airwaves, and are distributed by a Rawkus Records, the label that launched the hiphop underground in the late 1990s. Their latest CD, Bayani, makes one thing above all clear: Blue Scholars are getting better. Go to the show and see how Seattle does its own thing. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $15, all ages.) CHARLES MUDEDE

Where It’s Not Mandatory, It’s Extremely Popular

posted by on May 12 at 10:47 AM

When I interviewed vaccine researcher Laura Koutsky for this article about the rollout of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, I was surprised that she didn’t advocate making the vaccine mandatory.

[Social conservatives aren’t necessarily] going to inoculate their own children. As Koutsky pointed out, “Parents who are confident that their children are not going to have sex until they’re married may opt out of it.” Such opt-out provisions exist in all 50 states. But Koutsky is a savvy pragmatist: “The bottom line is that it usually tends to be a very small minority of parents who make that decision.” That’s a small price to pay for making a revolutionary cancer vaccine available to the rest of us.

Trying to make the vaccine mandatory has created a backlash in Texas. But a laidback approach (voluntary vaccinations, free to girls aged 11-18) has paid off in New Hampshire, where, according to today’s New York Times, physicians can’t keep the vaccine on the shelves.

Washington is one of two states cited in the article with progams that mimic New Hampshire’s.

RIP: Paul Raymond, Activist and Educator

posted by on May 12 at 9:43 AM


Paul was my teacher for a couple years. I recall him lecturing our class with a shimmer in his eyes, wildly gesticulating, as he described the fierce winds of the Russian winter or the rise and fall Europe’s feudal system. His lectures would often segue to vignettes about civil-rights protests, which would inevitably conclude with him getting arrested and doing time in jail completing crossword puzzles.

Paul Raymond, whose belief in “courtesy and common sense” in education became the touchstone principle of the Northwest School — a Seattle institution he co-founded nearly 30 years ago — died Thursday after a brief illness. He was 75.

Raymond developed his conscience and voice early on. Born in the Great Depression in Manhattan, Kan., he grew up Dust Bowl-poor and started working the wheat harvest at age 12.

He served in the Army during the Korean War, and it was there that some of his early passion for the civil rights movement crystallized, said those who knew him.

One of his closest friends during the war was an African American soldier, and Raymond was incensed that the two would return to very different worlds — if they survived.

Raymond did. His friend did not, and Raymond later dedicated his life to erasing racial divisions in society. He worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to register voters in the South, built programs for inner-city children and served more than one stint in jail for his activism through the years.

Thank you, Paul.

The Morning News

posted by on May 12 at 8:17 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

X-Rated: Smoking will now be factored into movie ratings.

Illegal: Renting to immigrants in this Texas town.

Outsourced: Local news now coming to you via Mumbai.

The Italian Family: Only for those who are married, according to protesters of a proposed bill in Rome.

The National Guard: Strained by the war in Iraq, according to this Retired General.

Graduation: At Virginia Tech.

Dissatisfied: Congress’ approval rating dips as low as the President’s.

Old is the New New: In Capitol Hill development.

Going to Hell: Drug dealers, according to the Pope.

10,000 Tourists a Day: No longer going to Catalina Island.

Agflation: The new word on everyone’s lips.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Sexual Revolutionary

posted by on May 11 at 6:08 PM

From the Guardian:

“My new book’s coming out in June,” Subcomandante Marcos announces with relish during the first interview he has given to a British paper in years. “There’s no politics in the text this time. Just sex. Pure pornography.”

Between the mask, the jungle machismo, and his tender-hearted rebel persona (did you know he travels with a deformed rooster “as a symbol of the various disenfranchised people he champions”?) Subcomandante has been a sex symbol for a long time.

Now even his erotic imagination has been harnessed to the Zapatista cause as a fundraiser. “I’m sure it will sell if we put a lot of Xs on the cover.”



Albrecht Deserved Much Worse

posted by on May 11 at 6:01 PM

Remember Chris Albrecht, the HBO executive who was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in a parking lot? He blamed the assault on the demon alcohol; media reports focused almost exclusively on what the impact of the assault would be on Albrecht and his employers—ignoring entirely the crime and the victim herself. (As I noted, in an alternate universe, one where we cared more about domestic-violence victims than abusive cable-TV executives, the headline might be something like this: “HBO Executive Assaults Girlfriend, Girlfriend Presses Charges.” Instead, we were told that his leave comes at “an inopportune time” for the network.)

Well, The Smoking Gun has his police report, and it’s a doozy. When cops apprehended him, Albrecht had his hands around the woman’s throat and was dragging her along the ground. Albrecht’s excuse at the time?“She had pissed me off,” according to the report. He then “informed [the officer] that he was the CEO of HBO.” Hmmm, wonder why he considered that relevant information? The woman had red marks on her neck, but refused medical attention.

And the flood of stories about what a jerk Albrecht is and how he deserves to be fired and dragged into court in three, two… Oh, wait. Right. There won’t be one.

UPDATE: Albrecht’s penalty? A $1,000 fine. And—of course the story was in the arts section. Beautiful.

Why I Really Hate Cars?

posted by on May 11 at 5:25 PM

A nice fellow who runs a blog called The Paper Noose went to the trouble of plugging my name into the Seattle Municipal Court’s public records search and found that I had 25 infractions on file since 2001. (I got rid of my car in January of last year.) He suggested that I only supported the surface/transit alternative for replacing the viaduct because I hate cars, and I hate cars because I got so many tickets.

Three things:

(1) Most of the car-related tickets were for letting my car sit too long. Seriously: If you don’t own or rent a private parking space, the city makes you move your car every 72 hours whether you want to drive or not, which sucks for (a) people with shitty cars that break down, especially people who can’t afford to fix them right away, and (b) people who only drive once every few weeks. Both describe me. Which is…

(2) … why I got rid of my car. I had left it parked out on the street in Capitol Hill for a week or so, and SPD had it towed away. I didn’t realize it had been towed for another week. By that time, tickets and towing fees and “storage” fees had added up to more than $500, and I decided enough was enough. Why should I pay for a car that I wasn’t using? So I let the city sell the clunker at auction. Problem solved: no more tickets, no more car.

(3) At least half of the tickets were for improperly parking my (also former) scooter—on the sidewalk, for example—or having expired scooter plates. They had nothing to do with my (former) car. One was a case in which I got hit by a car on my bike and was cited (in my hospital bed, no less) for “passing on the right.” That was later overturned and settled in my favor.

Also: Despite my reputation among certain colleagues as a “scary driver” and a “panicky passenger,” you’ll note that none of the tickets were for driving violations. Take that, backseat drivers!

Overheard in the Office

posted by on May 11 at 5:06 PM

Erica C. Barnett: “Better be nice to me or I’m gonna cook some fish!”

Arab Modernity

posted by on May 11 at 4:48 PM

If all goes well for Jean Nouvel, this:
detail1.jpg Will be the beautiful Arabic skin for this:

476726359.jpg A future office building in Doha in Qatar.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on May 11 at 4:42 PM

It’s been a juicy week for movie news.

First, Spider-Man 3 breaks all kinds of records.

After famously firing its book critic, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced it’s giving the boot to its film critic too. (Via Thompson on Hollywood.)

The U.S. Treasury Department is going after Michael Moore for a stunt (accompanying sick people to Cuba for free medical coverage) portrayed in his new movie Sicko.

Cigarettes smoked by adults may be enough to push a movie’s MPAA rating up a notch, according to new guidelines adopted yesterday.

Warner Bros. has cancelled their Canadian preview screenings of the new Harry Potter, Ocean’s Thirteen, and the rest of their 2007 slate, citing piracy concerns. (Via The IFC Blog.)

The complete version of Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain!—filmed in Seattle and produced by the formerly Seattle-based The Film Company—opened for a 14-show run in New York. (Greencine has the coverage.) It will not be showing in Seattle.

Opening this week in Seattle:

The long-awaited horse-fucker movie!


Zoo, by our very own Charles Mudede and director Robinson Devor, opens at the Varsity today. We’re obviously too fond of Charles to write an objective review, so please enjoy this spoof of THINKFilm’s marketing strategy, featuring haters and loony geniuses alike. (PS: in tiny white letters at the bottom, the text reads: “All quotations are real. Most are wildly misconstrued.”)

Christopher Frizzelle is impressed by Away from Her, the gentle directorial debut of Canadian indie actress Sarah Polley, adapted from an Alice Munro story.

And in On Screen this week: The inspirational doc The Hip Hop Project (“The process is the point,” says Lindy West); the inspirational movie Waitress (“massive, saccharine slices of earnest goo,” says Lindy West), directed by and starring the dead indie actress Adrienne Shelly; and the not-at-all-inspirational (I hope) zombie-disease sequel 28 Weeks Later (not nearly enough originality, Bradley Steinbacher says).

In Film Shorts this week, check out a little slice of anarchy history in Sacco and Vanzetti at the Grand Illusion; Iran’s answer to Bend It Like Beckham, Offside (by The Circle director Jafar Panahi), at the Varsity; the interesting Nouvelle Vague-meets-1968 Ireland doc Rocky Road to Dublin at Northwest Film Forum; and “The Idiosyncratic Cinema of Bruce Bickford” at Fantagraphics. And if you want to take your mom to the movies for Mother’s Day, you have two decidedly different choices: Mommie Dearest at Cinerama and Breakfast at Tiffany’s at both Big Picture locations.

Finally, the SIFF schedule is out, and it’s a monster: There are over 400 movies. Tickets go on sale to the general public Sunday at noon. Peruse your choices here, or wait for our comprehensive guide—out May 24 on the stands and earlier on the web—including at least 150 original reviews.

Get ’Em on the Court and They’re Trouble

posted by on May 11 at 4:34 PM


The Warriors are down two games to the Utah Jazz in the second round. Boozer and Deron Williams have been beasts and this is a highly entertaining series. What better way to start the weekend than by watching Game 3 from Oakland? It starts at 6:00 p.m. tonight on ESPN. I believe GSW can come back. I must believe, as the idea of a Warriors vs. Suns Western Conference Final absolutely thrills me.

Almost as much as this:
Pierogi Festival at Dom Polski tomorrow, noon to 5:00 p.m.

From the Dom Polski website:
“Several different kinds of pierogi available in copious amounts for your pleasure. This is an all you can eat deal with additional servings available while you talk leisurely, listen to Polish music and have a good time.”

Awww HELL yes.

Little Miss Booty

posted by on May 11 at 4:23 PM

This image is not safe for work!

A Warning To Our Elderly Readers

posted by on May 11 at 4:00 PM

Given the right proximity, an iPod can crash a pacemaker. Which gives Wonkette an idea…


No Bargains at the Post Office

posted by on May 11 at 3:45 PM

I just went to the post office and learned two things:

1) I learned that the price of a stamp is going up to 41 cents on Monday. If you’re still snail mailing, take note.

2) I also learned, courtesy of an older woman who was ahead of me in line, that it is unwise to try to bargain with the United States Postal Service. When it was her turn, this older woman walked up, carrying a big box headed for a foreign country, and said something very quietly. The postal clerk burst out laughing. He couldn’t stop. He stepped back from his register and scale and, when he’d stopped laughing enough to speak, told his coworker: “She wants to know what deals I have today! She wants to bargain with me!” He thanked the woman for making his afternoon. Then he charged her full price.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on May 11 at 3:40 PM

Dig Your Own Groove: Christopher Delaurenti on DIY Turntable Technology.

The Umbrella of Love: USE Extend a Hand to Eric Howk.

The Valley of Fire: Trent Moorman on Cinco De Mayo and Las Vegas.

Everclear and Cocaine: Megan and Ari Get Wasted, Talk About Music.

Drag Queens, Shit, and Blake Lewis: Ari Spool on Eurovision.

Pre-Fabulous: Details on the Pipettes in Seattle.

What Am I Gonna Do With All This Junk?: My Couch, R.I.P.

Put Your Hands Up For Detroit: A Lovely City for An Electronic Music Festival.

Break Your Neck: Tonight’s Broken Disco Will Bass You.

And now, the adorable Knifehandchop:


Clark and Rasmussen

posted by on May 11 at 3:30 PM

I spoke with Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen about the quick end to SOaP and the LGBT Community Center’s agreement to work together on sponsorships for both of Seattle pride parades.

“Everyone was pretending that everything was fine,” said Sally Clark about the meeting she brokered between SOaP and the LGBT Community Center. “But in one of her e-mails Shannon says something that hints at, ‘I’m in trouble with my board for cooperating with those guys.’ Shannon made commitments [at the meeting] that apparently her board was uncomfortable with. That’s unfortunate. You don’t want to waste people’s time and their credibility.”

Nevertheless Clark felt Cindy Baccetti’s decision not to work with Shannon or the LGBT Community Center seemed disproportionate.

“It’s definitely weird that Shannon moved the meeting without telling Cindy, but it seems that Cindy took that as an opportunity to say, ‘You can’t be trusted and I’m out.’”

“I’m sorry if anyone feels it was a disproportionate response,” said Baccetti, who is a professional corporate-sponsorship coordinator. “But these sponsor relationships are very fragile at this point, for reasons everyone knows. I take my commitment to my sponsors very seriously. And Shannon missing the meeting made me uncomfortable in what is an already fragile situation, and under the time pressures that exist. What if that had been a meeting with a sponsor?”

Baccetti says that she is, however, continuing to promote the LGBT Community Center’s events to potential sponsors.

“I sent e-mails out to all of my sponsors telling them about Shannon’s events on Saturday,” Baccetti said. “I’m still telling people about the events on the hill on Saturday, and I’m directing people to her website. I continue to try and sell the whole weekend.”

Baccetti says sponsorships for the downtown parade are going remarkably well, and an announcement is planned for Monday. According to SOaP the list of confirmed sponsors includes Macy’s, Bank of America, The Leavitt Companies, Naked Juice, Relay Ready Survey Company, Tylenol PM, Gilead Sciences, Hotel Deca, Hotel Monaco, Alexis Hotel, Hotel Vintage Park, MacKay Restaurant Group, Gameworks, Clean Scapes, Cruisy-T’s, and others.

For his part, Tom Rasmussen said that he is now concerned about other aspects of the agreement reached by SOaP and the LGBT Community Center at the meeting last Friday.

“Among the things agreed to was holding weekly meetings and having a communications person,” said Rasmussen. “I want an update on that.” Asked about the missed meeting that prompted Baccetti to back out—and Thomas’s odd explanation for missing the meeting—Rasmussen said, “It is what it is.”

The Country of South Africa

posted by on May 11 at 2:29 PM

This is what the CIA has to say about the wonderful geography of South Africa:

Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow
coastal plain.
Climate: subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights.
Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas.
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m.
Geography - note: South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland.

The Week in Geek

posted by on May 11 at 2:18 PM

I don’t know about your geek-week, but my geek-week was busy as hell, so please excuse the following frankly uninspired post.


“I like it the same as dipping hot Cheetos in ice cream.”

The science of emoticons - Japanese scholar discovers differences between American and Japanese emoticons, draws wild conclusions about difference between American and Japanese people. (^_^) != :-)

The number - Geeks of the world continue to find creative ways to point out how retarded it is to claim to own a particular number. These clever guys have decided that if the movie industry can own numbers, so can the rest of us.

Here’s how we do it. First, we generate a fresh pseudorandom integer, just for you. Then we use your integer to encrypt a copyrighted haiku, thereby transforming your integer into a circumvention device capable of decrypting the haiku without your permission. We then give you all of our rights to decrypt the haiku using your integer. The DMCA does the rest.

My integer is below. By looking at it, you have violated federal law. Isn’t this fun?

53 F1 F4 8C BB 14 07 B2 36 CC D0 F2 05 F8 7E 58

Are we safe yet? - The Transportation Safety Administration lost a hard drive containing social security numbers and bank account information on 100,000 employees.

iPods kill - High school student Jay Thaker holds iPods near old people, some die. Ok, not really. He did discover that the music players emit electromagnetic energy, which can interfere with pacemakers. This revolutionary finding proves at last that the iPod is, in fact, an electronic device. Thanks, Jay!

In other iPod news: Apple files patent for fancy new iPod, Internet widely notes same.

And finally, to prepare you for the weekend, here are some handy tips for maximizing your survival time if you should fall into a black hole. Note: you’ll need a rocket. If you’re running round crossing event horizons without a rocket, you deserve all the spaghettification you get.

Command of the week: more savagelove

This Grandpa says “Fuck”

posted by on May 11 at 1:46 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

I went to see Robert Bly last night at the University of Washington’s annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading. Like a concert, a reading is a moment for the artist to communicate directly to their audience. The experience can either be transcendent (a band you never really heard of suddenly shows how quirky and wonderful they are in person) or banal (you might as well have stayed at home and hit ‘play’ on the stereo). Bly’s performance last night landed squarely in the transcendent.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Bly’s work— it often struck me as preachy about spirituality and somewhat simplistic in its imitation of others. I’ve always loved his translations, though, and his importance as an activist poet is what got me to the reading last night.

Bly began the night by reading from Roethke and it was immediately clear that he was not there simply to read. After the first stanza of the first poem, Bly stopped and asked “Can you feel that?” He went back and read the stanza again.

The entire evening was punctuated by such moments of emphasis. He read nearly every poem twice. He frequently stopped to ask “Am I saying anything to you?” “You hear me?” “Do you have anything to say about that?”

After reading some Roethke, he went on to read from James Wright. And though he did stop to tell personal stories, what Bly mostly did was dissect the poetry itself. The entire evening was not so much a reading as a lecture. A defense of poetry.

But it wasn’t a boring lecture. Bly was gruff and sarcastic and quite hilarious. He’s 81 years old and looks every bit of it. But he swore frequently, calling Johnson and Bush “assholes” and telling the whole audience we’ll be “fucked” if we sit around watching too much TV. He read a poem about that punky fragrance you get when your balls have been resting in your pajamas for too long. I haven’t laughed so hard in quite a while.

I’ve spent the morning going back through the two books of his poetry on my shelf— reading them again with new eyes. I could hear his gruff voice interrupting me– “Am I saying anything to you?”— and I read the stanza again.

I tried to note down some of his best quotes from last night:

When you’re beginning to write poetry, either you complain about your mother and father, or you don’t mention them— you just talk about the world and what a good time you had last night. There has to be something in between. A poem should dip down and find something deeper. It should be like you’re going to a therapist. Except you’re the therapist.
Your job as an audience is not to make the poet think well of himself, but to take away a bit of the loneliness of being up here on stage.
When you die, the question is going to be: “Where you conscious of what you were living through?” If the answer is “No, I wasn’t, I was watching to much TV,” well, then you’re going to Hell. We must feel the pain. We must take that sadness of the times into our bodies. But we must live through it to. That’s what poetry is for.

The Boer and the Vakuru

posted by on May 11 at 1:42 PM

South Africa!
15poster.jpg More on this in a minute.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on May 11 at 12:47 PM

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee: “I just ate a pound of burrito, and I think I’m going to die.”

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on May 11 at 12:42 PM

For nearly four years, a South Carolina man held his wife and two sons captive in a house infested with maggots and human waste, authorities said.

The boys slept on a bare mattress as their mother was kept in a drug-induced stupor in a house that was decrepit except for a tidy one-room illegal gambling parlor run by Danny William Dove, police said.

Police found maggots infesting the refrigerator. Human waste and used toilet paper littered the bathroom floor and the house smelled like a dead animal, according to police photographs and authorities who visited the home after Dove was arrested this week.

The living room was covered in trash and upturned furniture, the kitchen’s cabinets were falling apart and dirty clothing was piled in waist-high heaps…. The young boys, ages 4 and 8, didn’t go to school. Police say they rarely were allowed out of the house and that a video camera monitored their room and the doors to the home. The boys’ own grandmother says they’re hard to understand unless they’re cursing.

Pursuing Strip Clubs

posted by on May 11 at 12:39 PM

Last week, City Council public information officer George Howland (who used to work at The Stranger and the Weekly) sent out an addendum to the city’s weekly list of news clips, which is ordinarily distributed by a different city employee. The addendum read: “Everyone should take the time to read this story about adult-cabaret owner Frank Colacurcio that ran in Sunday’s Times and know that his representatives Tim Killian and Gil Levy are active in the current debate around adult-cabaret zoning.” The e-mail linked to a story about five murders that police have spent decades trying to link to strip-club magnate Colacurcio.

The story, in other words, had nothing whatsoever to do with the adult-cabaret zoning law that is the subject of Killian’s and Levy’s lobbying. The e-mail only served to call Killian’s and Levy’s character into question by linking them to an unrelated murder investigation.

I called Howland yesterday to ask him why he sent out the murder story. He responded, “Some of the council members got in trouble when they dealt with these people the last time”—a reference to the Strippergate scandal, in which city council members violated so-called “quasi-judicial” rules by discussing the expansion of the parking lot at Rick’s strip club with its owners. “I want them to be aware that last time they dealt with zoning issues and Mr. Colacurcio, they messed it up, and some of those that broke the rules are still here.”

Concern about quasi-judicial rules is certainly valid. But not in this case. Not only did the story have nothing to do with strip-club zoning, the zoning issue in front of the council at the moment has nothing to do with the quasi-judicial rules council members violated in the past. Because the new strip-club zoning proposal is citywide (it would bar strip clubs from opening less than 800 feet from schools, parks, day cares, and community centers) it is not subject to quasi-judicial rules, which only apply when the council is dealing with a specific property. In other words, Howland’s “warning” did not apply to the zoning case he was “warning” the council about.

In related news, check out the P-I’s story about vice cops who go too far in pursuing strippers who violate strip-club rules. One cop paid a stripper $100 for four lap dances in a row; another purchased 300 lap dances with city money over five years. The result of all this intensive “investigatory” work? Eight convictions in four years, five for prostitution. Oh, and it goes without saying that the cops aren’t pursuing the men who engage in illegal behavior in strip clubs (fondling dancers without consent, pressuring them for sex, etc.) The strippers are “criminals.” The men are invisible.

“I’d Like To Fuck That Bitch Dead.”

posted by on May 11 at 11:59 AM

Repeat after me: Rape is not funny.

(Transcript of XM Radio shock jocks “Opie and Anthony” talking with caller “Homeless Charlie” follows beneath the jump. Warning: Extremely violent and disturbing language.)


Continue reading ""I'd Like To Fuck That Bitch Dead."" »

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 11 at 11:35 AM


Broken Disco

(CLUB NIGHT) Last month’s debut of Broken Disco was a blast. But it was just a taste of what Seattle’s electronic scene—represented here by Decibel, Fourthcity, Shameless, and Sensory Effect—can pull off. Tonight, the bass and the BPMs will pump courtesy of booty-breakcore prodigy Knifehandchop and NYC’s low-end maestro Passions. With local support from SunTzu Sound in the main room and ndCv and Nordic Soul in the 21-plus “make-out room,” this month’s installment should be even more off-the-wall fun than last time. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm—4 am, $10/$6 after 2 am, 18+.) ERIC GRANDY

How Was It?

posted by on May 11 at 11:12 AM

Did we go to the Seattle Art Museum’s massive grand re-opening and talk to none other than one Mimi Gates? Yes, yes we did. Did we also discover that gay men are sneaking into the Lusty Lady, and writing the slogans for their ever-impressive and infamous marquee? Yes, yes we did that too.

Please enjoy. And congrats to the new SAM. I’ve never seen so many people so excited about an art museum in my entire life.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on May 11 at 11:08 AM


Chill Bill: UW passes advisory to equalize pot and alcohol penalties.

Ill Bill: Signed by Gregoire to strengthen medical marijuana law.

Ill Motives: Drug “safety” bill passes, and for all the wrong reasons.

Over Pees: State’s high court hears student drug-testing case.

Overseas: Euros are new gold standard for white powders.

Hard Heads: Viagra not as popular as anticip…ated.

Cheese Heads: Washburn and Two Rivers, Wisconsin decriminalize marijuana possession.

Dope Heads: Purdue Pharma and execs penalized over $600 million for over-marketing Oxycontin.

Cracked Heads: Moscow’s a scary place for marijuana marchers.

Dead Heads: Smokeless smokes less lethal than smoky smokes.

Did Clark and Rasmusen’s Pride Summit Accomplish Anything?

posted by on May 11 at 10:30 AM

The one concrete development that came out of last week’s Gay Pride Summit at City Hall quickly fell apart.

Council Members Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen asked Seattle Out and Proud and the LGBT Community Center to come downtown and come to some sort of agreement about the city’s competing pride festivities. Going into the meeting Rasmussen said that the goal of the meeting was to get both groups to agree to one parade. After the meeting it was announced that there would be two parades after all—in two different parts of town on two different days. SOaP would run a parade at 11 AM on Sunday, the traditional day of the Pride Parade, through downtown Seattle. The LGBT Community Center would be run a parade on Capitol Hill, the traditional location of the Pride Parade, the day before, at 11 AM on Saturday.

But the two groups pledged to work together—particularly in the important area of corporate sponsorships. Cindy Baccetti, a professional events and promotions manager that had been working with SOaP, was asked by Clark and Rasmussen to work with the LGBT Community Center as well. Baccetti agreed. At the meeting with Clark and Rasmussen Baccetti and Shannon Thomas, the head of the LGBT Community Center and leader of the effort to return all Pride Weekend activities to Capitol Hill, scheduled a meeting to discuss sponsorships for later that same day.

In conversations with me, Clark and Rasmussen both pointed to the deal on coordinating sponsorships, and Baccetti’s agreement to work with both groups, as an important development. On their blog, the Seattle Gay News also pointed to the agreement on sponsorships.

The two groups will work cooperatively to collect sponsorships. Cindy Baccetti, who has been consulting with SOAP on sponsorships for their event, will lead the effort.

The sponsorship agreement was the only thing that came out of the meeting that didn’t amount to a vague promise to work together. But the agreement fell apart before the end of the day. Shannon Thomas was a no-show for her meeting with Baccetti—a meeting she agreed to in front of Clark and Rasmussen.

In an email sent on Friday evening Bacetti informed Clark and Rasmussen that she could not work with the LGBT Community Center.

From: Cindy Baccetti Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 6:57 PM To:; Subject: Seattle Pride Sponsorship

Hello Tom and Sally,

I wanted to touch base regarding my involvement in assisting the LGBT festival re: sponsorships. After the meeting this morning Shannon and I agreed to meet this afternoon at 3pm at the LGBT Center. I moved another meeting back a bit to accommodate this meeting based on my commitment to her at this morning’s meeting and believing that it was important.

I showed up a few minutes early and called Shannon on her cell phone. I left her a message as the center was “closed.” After waiting 25 minutes, I left Shannon another VM and then a third. I then got in my car at 3:30 pm and left.

It is now 7:00pm and after being stood up, I still have not received even a call back from Shannon. Therefore, I have decided to reverse my earlier offer to assist the LGBT Center in any joint sponsorship opportunities. Additionally I received a VM from George Bakan at 12:50pm questioning my new role in soliciting sponsorships for the LGBT Center. George offered to send me leads and asked for me to call him right away. Although this was a nice offer, your official statement had not been released. I for one left the meeting this morning with the understanding that these types of conversations, leaks, whatever, were not helpful and were to be stopped by all parties. I thought we agreed to let you two announce what had transpired at the meeting, and that we all speak with one unified voice.

After many phone calls late this afternoon, 11 out of 12 sponsors that I have solicited this year are still hanging in there. They are all very excited at the resolution that resulted from the meeting earlier today. I take my commitment to these sponsors very seriously. My reputation and professional credibility are not something I am willing to risk. If I, someone who offered to assist Shannon in raising money for her events, am treated in such an unprofessional manner, I cannot in good faith solicit sponsors on her behalf. I also am a bit disturbed that I received that call from Mr. Bakan within hours of our meeting—well before what I perceived to be the “waiting period” for your official statement to be released.

I plan to move forward supporting all events over the Pride weekend, but will not directly manage any sponsorships for any Saturday events planned by the LGBT Center. I plan to tell Shannon this myself when or if she decides to return my calls.

I appreciate your understanding,

Cindy Baccetti

In email sent the next day, Shannon Thomas apologized to Clark and Rasmussen for missing the meeting, which she blamed on moving the meeting to another location—something she did without telling Baccetti.

I want to personally apologize to you all for the confusion over missing my meeting with Cindy. I had attempted to meet her in a more confidential location, and she and I completely missed one another. I own that it was my mistake to attempt a meeting elsewhere and not communicate it better to her. I had to get out of the office, as it is just not private here.

I have called her and emailed her privately to communicate my mistake, and hope to hear from her next week when she is back in town. But I wanted you all to know what happened, and that it was never my intent to miss her.

Blake Lewis! Sir Mix-A-Lot! JEAN GODDEN!!!

posted by on May 11 at 9:50 AM


Attention Seattleites: Q13 News reports that today at noon at Westlake Park, American Idol finalist Blake Lewis will give a “mini-concert.” (Is that a jab at his height?)

Also on the bill: Seattle royalty Sir Mix-A-Lot and Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden, who will officially proclaim today “Blake Lewis Day.”

If you’ve been longing to experience Blake’s hip-pop stylings (or just to ogle his award-worthy can) in person, here’s your chance. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing Jean Godden share a stage with Sir Mix-A-Lot, ditto. (I haven’t seen her from behind lately—does Godden “got back”?)

Good Morning

posted by on May 11 at 9:30 AM


“Mocha” is a dumb name, so I have renamed this little guy “Yummy McHungrypants.” It suits him well.

And for those of you who aren’t into watching cute little critters snacking on veggies, watch this much more badass (read: absolutely revolting) video of a bulimic snake changing his mind about his hippo tapir dinner.

(Thanks to my friend Patty, who shared both with me.)

On the Radio

posted by on May 11 at 8:00 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday this morning, starting at 10 a.m., to talk about the news of the week with other local journalists and take questions from listeners. Got something you think we should discuss? Put it in the comments and maybe we will.

Originally posted yesterday evening.

The Morning News

posted by on May 11 at 7:48 AM

Partial Iraq funding: Passed by the House.

Bush: Open—sort of—to Iraq benchmarks.

Gonzales: Still having memory problems, says “I think I may be aware of that.”

Toxic: FEMA trailers. FEMA’s solution? Open the window!

Bush administration: Complicit in attempt to cover up White House involvement in US attorney firings.

Rammed: Haitian migrant boat that later sank, according to survivors.

Oxycotin maker: Guilty of misrepresenting addictiveness of painkilling drug.

Stasi: Secrets to be revealed, thanks to pioneering German computer program.

“Extremely disturbing”: Iranian-American feminist scholar arrested and thrown into notorious Iranian prison.

Recipe of the Day:

So I was going to post a recipe from the amazing “Carol Cooks Keller” blog, in which a home cook replicates the entire French Laundry cookbook in her kitchen. (The blog, like its subject, is painstakingly detailed.) But then I realized that the recipes are too complicated to reproduce (actual first step for Strawberry Sorbet Shortcakes with Sweetened Crème Fraîche Sauce: hull and purée the strawberries, strain the purée three times, mix in honey and sugar, and add a pinch of salt. And there are about twenty steps after that). Plus she doesn’t actually print the recipes. Instead, since it’s Friday (and since Jonah, Ari and I spent last night almost literally drowning in frying grease), I give you:

Jalapeño Cheese Fries


Serves 4

2 pounds russet potatoes
2 1/2 cups peanut oil
2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 cup Chile con Queso* (Side note: Remember what I said about chips and queso? And for the record, I think my recipe’s better.)
1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices

1. Peel the potatoes; cut into 1/2-inch sticks. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet; add potatoes, packing them tight until the cold oil almost covers them.

2. Turn on heat to medium; cook potatoes, shaking pan to keep them from sticking, until they start to turn a pale golden color, about 10 minutes. Quit shaking pan; cook 8 to 10 minutes more. Sprinkle the jalapeños evenly over top of potatoes. Wait 3 minutes, then do the same with the sliced onion.

3. Raise heat to medium-high; start turning potatoes, constantly moving them around to promote even browning. Continue until potatoes are golden brown. Drain and place on a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Divide evenly among four bowls; drizzle each with desired amount of Chile con Queso. Garnish with pickled jalapeño slices, and serve immediately.

Chile con Queso
Makes about 2 cups

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes

Place Velveeta and Ro-tel in a slow cooker or double boiler, and cook until Velveeta is melted.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Food News

posted by on May 10 at 5:17 PM

1) This frightens me.

As my friends and coworkers know, I’m a little freaked about avian flu. “Obsessed” wouldn’t be too strong a word for it. At the moment, bird flu isn’t directly transmissible from person to person—most of the confirmed cases are in people who came into close contact with infected poultry. (If and when bird flu becomes easy to transmit between humans, it will likely become pandemic, because it would be an entirely new virus to which people have no immunity.) However, one way you can get avian flu is by eating improperly cooked poultry or undercooked eggs from infected birds, or by improperly handling dead birds that have been infected.

Which brings us to today’s news: The US Department of Agriculture wants to allow poultry imports from China. This is incredibly alarming on several fronts. First, there’s the avian flu issue outlined above. But then there’s also the more immediate problem of Chinese poultry farming practices: flooding produce with unapproved pesticides, pumping birds full of antibiotics that are banned in other countries, using human feces as fertilizer, and suspending chicken cages over fish ponds, using the chickens’ excrement as food for the fish.

The scariest part: Livestock does not have to be labeled by its country of origin. That means that unless you know where your chicken is coming from, it might be drugged, poisoned with pesticides, diseased, or worse.*

*Not that chicken farming practices in the US are much better, obviously. Organic chickens and chickens from small, known producers are the safest choice.

2) Chefs from across the nation are lobbying Congress to save wild Pacific Northwest salmon, which are threatened by dams along Northwest rivers. About 200 chefs from 33 states are asking Congress to pass laws to restore river habitats and tear down massive hydroelectric dams on the Lower Klamath and Snake Rivers that have blocked natural salmon migration and diverted as much as 95 percent of the summer flow of rivers. The proposal is controversial because the Pacific Northwest gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric plants on the dams.

One Week from Tonight!

posted by on May 10 at 5:12 PM


The book July will be reading from: Reviewed here.

The book’s awesome website: Here.

RE: The Morning News — Biofuels

posted by on May 10 at 4:40 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

The recent UN Energy report warning about the dangers of pushing too strongly for biofuels is a much needed counterbalance to the growing ethanol frenzy. One thing the report mentions that hasn’t been picked up much in the press is that current biofuel fad is being driven mainly by large agricultural corporations and the biotech industry.

The only efficient way to make ethanol is from the cellulose in crop waste. The only way to do that is with genetically engineered microbes. Last month, thousands of corporate executives and scientists from all over the world gathered in Orlando, Fla. for an industry trade show specifically aimed at touting biotechnology’s so-called third wave: ethanol. Government agencies led by the the Department of Energy have awarded up to $385 million over four years to six biotechnology companies to develop ethanol.

And yet biotechnology is far from an agreed-upon science. Europe and Japan won’t import crops from the US that have been genetically modified. Consumers have consistently said they don’t want to buy GM foods. Of course genetically modified microbes are a whole different matter. Aren’t they?

On another note, the UN report wasn’t all negative about Biofuels.

Continue reading "RE: The Morning News — Biofuels" »

Land and Sea

posted by on May 10 at 4:36 PM

If I only had a camera:

When a car chase wasn’t enough to elude police this morning, a 29-year-old woman leapt into Lake Washington and tried to swim away.

What’s With the Justice Department These Days?

posted by on May 10 at 4:25 PM

No, I’m not talking about the firings, I’m talking about this:

On Tuesday, the sole prosecution brought by Washington against the Cuban-born Posada, an immigration fraud charge, was quashed by a federal judge in Texas, leaving a man branded by the U.S. Justice Department as “a dangerous criminal and an admitted mastermind of terrorist plots” free to roam a country he entered illegally and from which another court has ordered him deported.

His (alleged) dangerous crimes? Bombing hotels, which he’s bragged about. Blowing up a plane, killing almost 100 people.

Jesus Christ—wasn’t that the whole argument for passing the goddamned Patriot Act in the first place? And the center of gravity for the hysteria about illegal immigration? The fear of undocumented, mass-murdering criminals waltzing around the country?

National Security Archive project director Peter Kornbluh attributes the U.S. government’s failure to win a conviction against Posada to Washington’s apparent complicity in some of Posada’s alleged criminal acts. Prosecutors’ efforts to banish any mention of his CIA service from the immigration case were “a reflection of real concern about details of past operations that might get thrown into the trial,” said Kornbluh, who oversees the George Washington University-based project aimed at disclosing past CIA operations.


HUMPing Pandas!

posted by on May 10 at 4:15 PM

So this year’s SIFF poster is awesome. Artist Jason Green took a potentially cheesy theme (love, astrology) and turned it into a khaki green Chris Ware-style cross-section of a downtown Seattle building, whose residents are up to all sorts of no good.

Take these pandas:

Click here for the big version on Jason's site

If I’m not mistaken, that’s an actual baby panda making a furry porno starring two costumed humans. Is it for HUMP!, I wonder?

But never mind HUMP! You guys are all busy putting finishing touches on your 28 Seconds videos, right? The deadline is tomorrow. Complete rules are available here.

Today on Line Out

posted by on May 10 at 3:50 PM

Dance!: Eric Grandy on Chromeo’s “Fancy Footwork.”

Hiphop Mecca: Jonathan Zwickel saw Lifesavas at Chop Suey last night.

Justify Your Pod: Megan Seling vs. Andrew Harms edition.

A Night for Nerds: Writers read writing tonight at Sonic Boom. It’s free! And there’s beer!

‘Cuff ‘em: ESG drummer arrested.

Robot Talk: Praise for the vocoder.

And now, a pug in a bun!


Bossy Chocolate

posted by on May 10 at 3:20 PM

Today I filled the candy bucket on my desk with Dove chocolates. Each individually wrapped piece of “smooth milk chocolate” comes with a “Promises message”—a little piece of life advice—printed on the inside of the wrapper.

Here’s how Dove wants you to live:

Keep the promises you make to yourself.
Make “someday” today.
Listen to your heartbeat and dance.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Make your eyes twinkle.

And my personal favorite… Flirting is mandatory.

I want to get a job writing these. I have some ideas. Who do I contact? And am I allowed to say “pig fucker”?

Book Reviewers— Who Needs ’Em?

posted by on May 10 at 2:41 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

There’s a great hubbub going on in the book world these days over the recent firing of Teresa Weaver, the erstwhile book editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The decision comes as mainstream papers all across the country are slashing book sections and printing reviews generated by wire services or one of the larger papers (only four stand alone Sunday book review sections are left). The National Book Critics Circle is circulating a petition to re-instate Weaver, and their blog has posted a stream of entreaties from mid-list authors in favor of the petition. The New York Times, in an article last Tuesday, hinted that literary bloggers may be to blame. Blogs like Bookslut and The Elegant Variation, the logic goes, have become so popular with readers that there is no longer any market for the published book section. Others have speculated that the readers in question in fact no longer exist.

The death of the American Reader has been predicted and bemoaned for some time now. A survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found that only 47 percent of Americans can say they read a book for pleasure the previous year. Finger pointing is rampant. Jonathan Franzen blamed authors for writing high-minded literary bullshit. Ben Marcus shot back. So did Oprah. Then last month in Harper’s, Cynthia Ozick dissed everyone. In a brilliant and excoriating piece, she blamed all book critics everywhere for turning into that worst of useless creatures- the book reviewer. According to Ozick:

What separates reviewing from criticism—pragmatically—are the reductive limits of space; the end is always near. What separates reviewing—intrinsically—is that the critic must summon what the reviewer cannot: horizonless freedoms, multiple histories, multiple libraries, multiple metaphysics and intuitions. Reviewers are not merely critics of lesser degree, on the farther end of a spectrum. Critics belong to a wholly distinct phylum.

She also, in a Camille Paglia-esque turn, blames literary academics:

Their confining ideologies, heavily politicized and rendered in a kind of multi-syllabic pidgin, have for decades marinated literature in dogma.

James Wood, Ozick says, is the only book critic left in this country who writes about books with an aim towards making broader literary connections. I like James Wood, but I’m a long way from thinking he’s the only book critic worth reading out there. I would point her to this piece by Christopher Frizzelle. Or this one by Paul Constant.

Not to toot our own horn, but not every newspaper across the country is getting rid of their book section. It’s true that the newspaper industry is changing. And the publishing industry is changing even faster. Mainstream book sections for the most part have dropped the ball in keeping up with these changes. But there ARE reviewers out there who are thinking about books in bigger, more creative ways. There are plenty of independent papers and blogs and excited book geeks writing, and thinking, and even putting on events to champion authors they love. Before we bemoan the loss of American book culture, perhaps we ought to look a little bit harder at what’s actually out there.

SIFF Schedule Out Now

posted by on May 10 at 2:04 PM

Click here for the schedule and upbeat film synopses (our guide, with at least 150 original reviews, will be published in two weeks). Members can buy tickets now; nonmembers have to wait until Sunday at noon.

The opening night film, Sundance favorite Son of Rambow (here’s the Variety review), is an unusual but solid choice.

Son of Rambow

SIFF openers tend to be somewhat frumpy and aimed at the oldsters; last year’s The Illusionist is a good example, though Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know in 2005 was another exception. Son of Rambow is about a couple of mismatched kids who try to produce a homemade sequel to Rambo: First Blood. It won’t open in theaters until 2008, so this is a really early glimpse.

There are some odd choices in the lineup. What’s with Peter Boal choosing to introduce the “classic film” Ballets Russes, which opened theatrically two years ago? Or the mediocre La Vie Promise, which screened at SIFF 2004 and came out on DVD relatively recently? (Yes, La Vie en Rose, aka La Môme, is new and by the same director, but….)

There are a few notable omissions: No Chicago 10 from Sundance? Unless Bruno Dumont’s Flandres is indeed going to get a theatrical run here—starting August 3 at Northwest Film Forum—but that would have been a nice preview. And, of course, Guy Maddin’s filmed-in-Seattle Brand Upon the Brain, about which more later.

But there’s plenty of good stuff to chose from. A few highlights: For the Bible Tells Me So and The Devil Came on Horseback and Manufactured Landscapes and Protagonist, four excellent docs from Sundance and/or Toronto. Arthouse favorites Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsai Ming-Liang have Syndromes and a Century and I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (ps SIFF: Tsai is his last name). SXSW fave The Signal. Plus some delightful surprises: so far we’ve especially liked The Cloud, a nuclear teen romance; Running on Empty, about a German insurance salesman; Sweet Mud, an unusual Israeli coming-of-age story; Ghosts of Cité Soleil, a doc about pro-Aristide gangsters in Haiti’s largest slum; and Life in Loops, a remixed doc about the lives and aspirations of the working and underclasses around the world.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 10 at 1:51 PM


SuperHeroism: The Adventures of Transitman

(ART) Christian French was a simple artist-in-residence for Sound Transit when he was exposed to dangerous levels of bureaucratic radiation. Now he wanders Seattle city buses, on a mission to save the world from banality, wearing yellow Spandex. He catalogs his conquests and disappointments as a lone man in the business of salvation with photos, comics, even the Transitman costume itself. (SOIL, 112 Third Ave S, 264-8061. Noon—5 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES

The (Not Totally) Amazing Race

posted by on May 10 at 1:33 PM

Photo by Jimmy Clarke

Last weekend, Dan rounded up a few of us youngsters and promised a night of free drinks in exchange for testing out Seattle’s big three cab companies. We pitted Orange, Yellow, and Farwest against each other in a circuitous route around town—the short version is that Yellow was the most reliable and efficient. You can read about it here, or skip straight to the video, in which I am way more drunk than I ever like to be.

If you do read the print edition, please pull out your red pen and correct these three mistakes:

• Targy’s on Queen Anne is a tavern and doesn’t serve tequila. An editing error scrambled our various beverage orders; we drank only beer at Targy’s. Thanks is due to an avid reader for pointing that out.

• “I-99” doesn’t exist—it’s properly State Route 99.

• And “sombrero” is inexplicably capped at the bottom of page 19.

Were P-I Staffers Commenting Anonymously on the P-I’s Own Blogs?

posted by on May 10 at 1:17 PM

Reporters have gotten in serious trouble for this type of thing before. On Tuesday, according to a source in the local media world, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer sent this email reminder to its staff:

From: Nicolosi, Michelle

Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 11:48 PM

To: PiStaff

Subject: Staff comments on

Hi all,

Just a quick reminder: PI staff should not post comments to forums or soundoffs, and should not post photos to You should also not post comments on other reporters’ blogs.

In general, you should not post anything to that is not read first by your editor. You should not post as “anonymous” or under a pseudonym anywhere on the site. Please see me if you have any questions.

Thanks much!

It’s hard to tell exactly what precipitated this email. Were members of the P-I staff trying to drive up the P-I’s blog comments count by commenting anonymously (or under pseudonyms) on each others’ posts? Were P-I staffers sniping at each other in the comments under pseudonyms and causing morale problems? Were P-I staffers popping up as anonymous trolls on the blogs of non-P-I reporters? Did anyone get caught red handed?

It’s almost as intriguing as the whole lawn-pissing mystery — but, like the lawn-pissing mystery, I don’t expect this one to be solved any time soon. (Although I do have an email in to Michelle Nicolosi about this, and will update if I hear anything back.)

UPDATE: Michelle Nicolosi replies, via email:

Hi Eli,

I did send that policy note to staff. I send out policy reminders all the time.

More Cab Licenses!

posted by on May 10 at 1:16 PM

As this week’s awesome feature by Dan Savage, Amy Kate Horn, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, and Ari Spool showed, cab service in Seattle sucks. A nightlong trek from Ballard to Queen Anne to West Seattle to Georgetown to Sea-Tac Airport took the teams from 105 to 156 minutes, between a third and half of that in wait time. (Amy Kate, AKA Team Farwest*, cheated, takng Yellow cabs when Farwest cabs weren’t available.)

The P-I did a story a few weeks back about wait times in Seattle. Unsurprisingly, they’re going up: From an average 7.7 minutes in 2004 to nine and a half minutes today. (In general, the further south you are, the worse it gets: residents of Beacon Hill had to wait between 14 and 21 minutes, and Rainier Beach residents had the longest waits of all: 22 minutes.)

The obvious solution? More cabs. The problem is, the city froze the maximum number of cab licenses in the city in 1990—to 667 licenses, just 24 more than it has already issued. New York City, in contrast, has more than 13,000. The city could issue the rest by lottery, but the larger problem is that there simply aren’t enough licenses to meet the demand for taxis. (You may think there are more than enough taxis downtown, and there are, but try calling a cab to the Rainier Valley at 5 in the afternoon.) The city council could increase the number, but the cabbies don’t want them to—more licensees means more competition, which could mean lower profits for cab drivers. Which is why wait times will continue to rise, and cab service in Seattle will continue to suck, until people use cabs convince the council to take action.

*Actual quote from P-I story: “One Farwest manager, who asked that his name not be used, said on some days he has to turn down as many as 100 customers around the county, in part because so many cabs are devoted to customers with business accounts.”

Port Watch in King County Superior Court

posted by on May 10 at 1:07 PM

The hearing to determine wether or not citizens have cause to collect signatures (they’ll need about 140,000, I think) to put a measure on the King County ballot in November seeking a recall of Port Commissioner Pat Davis will be: Friday, May 18th at 1:30 in King County Superior Court in downtown Seattle. It’ll be in Judge Charles Mertel’s courtroom, room E-955.

Davis will supposedly be there to defend herself against the petition.

Justify Your Pod: Megan Seling vs. 107.7 the End’s Andrew Harms

posted by on May 10 at 1:03 PM

This is Andrew Harms:


He’s the night DJ over at 107.7 The End. He’s also a good friend of mine and very hilarious. I recently took his fancy little iPod hostage, and boy did I find some treasures. There was some Zebrahead (ew!), a lot of Motown (that one’s more surprising than embarrassing), some Carpenters Christmas tunes (wha?), and a lot of Led Zeppelin. A LOT of Led Zeppelin. I also make fun of his ankle socks and his inclination to go running while listening to ESPN podcasts.

Click here to listen.

Seriously. It’s funny.

Slog Readers Mall Sanjaya; Blake Re-Blondes!

posted by on May 10 at 12:59 PM

Yes, Slog readers went to—Oh My GOD!—-the mall, and, forgive me God, I sent them. A report!:

Dear Adrian, I went to the Federal Way Commons mall last night to see Sanjaya. I hate to report this, but he is not disappointing up close. Not at all. Ouch.

Betsy Wetsy

There you have it folks!: Sanjaya: Not disappointing up close! You heard it here first!

Thanks, Betsy!

In Other A.I. and Slightly Seattle Related Crap…

Blake Lewis: Brown? Blonde? I’d still ride his face!

It seems that Blake Lewis, a very probable big h’mo, is on the re-blonde after beaucoup bitching. (Hang in there.) Yes, Blake has re-blonded. He is a re-blonder. From TMZ or something:

Blake added blonde skunky streaks to his new brunette ‘do this week, and angry “A.I.” fans had a lot to do with it!

TMZ has learned that after the be-bopping boob revealed his darker shade last week, fans on blogs and websites (and Rosie on “The View”) had nothing but negative things to say, which made Lewis question his decision. Do blondes have more fun? A reader on TMZ left the following comment: “And please tell Blake that going dark didn’t work for Ashlee Simpson and it doesn’t work for him either!!” Talk about career-enders!

A well-placed source tells TMZ that while Blake wasn’t ready to go completely back to his dated frosted fiasco, he did add the blonde highlights as a compromise. A little dab’ll do ya! Vote for me!

“Do these streaks make me look fat and gay?” Yes!

Tonight at Sonic Boom in Fremont

posted by on May 10 at 12:29 PM

A bunch of wildly smart and attractive people are giving a free reading. These people include: Joan Hiller of Sub Pop, Josh Feit of The Stranger, Eric Fredericksen of Western Bridge, the DJ and promoter and prolific Slog commenter Kerri Harrop, and, uh, me.

Oh, and of course Sean Nelson, the evening’s host. It’s called Rock Crit’s Greatest Hits, but don’t worry, it’s not going to be all that rock-crit-y. Josh Feit is reading the Rolling Stone cover story about Patty Hearst from back in the day—he has the actual issue, yellowed with age. And I’ll be reading excerpts from The White Album by Joan Didion, including the stuff about what John and Michelle Phillips did in the limo on their way to the hospital for the birth of their daughter Chynna.

Did I mention it’s free? And that no one will ask you to buy anything? And that several of the readers are single? And that it will be homey and funny and you can sit on the floor if you want? And that it starts at 7 pm? And that the address is 3416 Fremont Avenue N? If you get lost: 206-633-BOOM.

UPDATE: And there will be beer.

Dept. of Corrections

posted by on May 10 at 11:43 AM

The tribute for Howard Bulson, Seattle’s loved and legendary piano accompanist, is still at Martin’s Off Madison but it’s tomorrow, Friday, May 11—not on Saturday, May 12, as was reported in the PI and on Slog.

From Josh Feit’s 2004 profile of Bulson:

Bulson won’t tolerate too much high-octane alcohol-induced crooning. His policy has always been to politely cut off the embarrassing drunks after one song. He explains, “It’s better to pay someone a compliment than a slur, but it’s a matter of respecting the audience.” Of course, he doesn’t mind if the audience itself is a bit out of hand. “People can be swinging from the chandeliers. I don’t give a damn. But the music is the music.”

I’ll see you tomorrow night, swinging from the chandeliers.


“We Made Brownies and I Think We’re Dead”

posted by on May 10 at 11:32 AM

The police academy doesn’t teach cadets how to make pot brownies, but maybe they should. The claim above was made by a Michigan cop on the phone to 911…

A police officer will avoid criminal charges despite admitting he took marijuana from criminal suspects and, with his wife, baked it into brownies.

The police department’s decision not to pursue a case against former Cpl. Edward Sanchez left a bad taste in the mouth of at least one city official, who vowed to investigate.

The department’s investigation began with a 911 call from Sanchez’s home on April 21, 2006 [that’s right, he thought he was going to die from eating a bunch of seized pot the day after 4/20]. On a 5-minute tape of the call, obtained by the Free Press, Sanchez told an emergency dispatcher he thought he and his wife were overdosing on marijuana.

I would feel bad for the guy, except he’s a corrupt, hypocritical sack of shit. I mean, he spends his days busting folks for pot and stealing their stash, and at night he’s the dipshit tying up police resources but gets off scot-free? Jesus.

Anyhow, sweet brownie-lovin’ Sloggers, if you plan on making pot brownies, heed this warning: Adding too much hobbit leaf to the mix or cutting squares too large can turn a nice evening into a nauseating journey through the turbulent seas of hell, clutching the corners of your bed and wanting to die. Start with small pieces and be patient while it kicks in. And before you pre-heat that oven, consult these handy pot brownie recipes here, here, and here. Also, enjoy the Stranger’s primer for Alice B. Toklas wannabes, I Can’t Believe It’s Pot Butter.

Senators on Drugs

posted by on May 10 at 11:23 AM

Man, state Sen. Jeann Kohl-Welles probably wishes today’s front-page NYT article had hit during the legislative session.

As Slog readers know, I was keen on a bill Kohl-Welles was pushing this year that would have required drug companies to reveal—on a state database— the gifts they give healthcare providers. The intent was to let patients know that their doctor may not be making objective prescriptions and also to intimidate pharmaceutical companies out of this crass practice.

Crass and dangerous as it turns out.

The investigative piece by the NYT zoomed in on Minnesota, the only state that requires drug companies to do what Khol-Welles wanted them to do in Washington state. The information allowed the NYT to discover that the average number of prescriptions written for children patients from 2000 to 20005 by psychiatrists who received over $5000 from the drug maker was 223. Under $500? 67.

From the article:

A New York Times analysis of records in Minnesota, the only state that requires public reports of all drug company marketing payments to doctors, provides rare documentation of how financial relationships between doctors and drug makers correspond to the growing use of atypicals in children.

From 2000 to 2005, drug maker payments to Minnesota psychiatrists rose more than sixfold, to $1.6 million. During those same years, prescriptions of antipsychotics for children in Minnesota’s Medicaid program rose more than ninefold.

Those who took the most money from makers of atypicals tended to prescribe the drugs to children the most often, the data suggest. On average, Minnesota psychiatrists who received at least $5,000 from atypical makers from 2000 to 2005 appear to have written three times as many atypical prescriptions for children as psychiatrists who received less or no money.

The article also documents, in sad detail, the debilitating side effects that the drugs can have on youngsters. One young teen was prescribed Risperdal for an eating disorder by a psychiatrist who received more than $7,000 from Risperdal’s maker, Johnson & Johnson. The drug ended up wracking the teen with a nerve disorder.

The reason Sen. Khol-Welles should show up on the first day of session armed with this excellent article is this: During the debate, Khol-Welles’s Democratic Senate colleagues (never mind her GOP colleagues who seemed to me compromised by overwhelming donations from the pharmaceutical industry) said the bill took the wrong approach. Rather than focusing on gifts to doctors, they said, a better bill would ban advertising to the public.

The The NYT article makes it clear that gift disclosure is just as pressing. The Democrats should have passed Sen. Khol-Welles’s bill.

The Salon of Shame Solution

posted by on May 10 at 10:11 AM


In this week’s Stranger Suggests, I urge readers to attend the May 15 installment of the Salon of Shame, the shame-based reading series now housed at the Capitol Hill Arts Center:

Salon of Shame (Public Catharsis) After a legendary run at the Rendezvous, the Salon of Shame—the reading series featuring pros, amateurs, and diarists revisiting the most humiliating writing of their lives—moves to the Capitol Hill Arts Center. The last Salon I caught knocked me out with palpable pathos, deep hilarity, and the inimitable cadence of junior-high journal entries. These things sell out, advance tickets recommended. (Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 7:30 pm, $6 adv/$7 DOS, 21+.)

With the move to CHAC, the Salon more than doubled its seating capacity, and so I thought I might finally be able to suggest this perennial sell-out and have it be something other than a cruel joke. (“I totally suggest you get tickets to this totally sold-out event!”)

I was wrong. All tickets to the May 15 Salon of Shame at CHAC sold out in less than 24 hours, leaving countless shame-lovers ticketless and desperate.

Lucky for us, we live in America, where citizens have voices, kind of, and so I urge you to sign this petition urging the Capitol Hill Arts Center to move the May 15 Salon of Shame from CHAC’s charming but teensy lower space to the much larger upstairs space. (May 15 is a Tuesday, and it doesn’t look like they’ve got anything else scheduled that night for the mainspace.)

Truly, we Americans need all the shame we can get. Sign here.

(P.S. Photos by Ben Haley, and yes, that is Our Worst Enemy™ Cienna Madrid in the upper right corner.)

More Morning News

posted by on May 10 at 9:24 AM

Horsesass: Banned in China

The HPV Vaccine: Watch How Fast the Debate “Shifts”

posted by on May 10 at 8:31 AM

I can’t find the story on the PI’s website, but you gotta love the headline the editors at the PI gave the piece—which originated in the Houston Chronicle—in the print edition of their paper this morning.

HPV Factors in Throat Cancer: Study Could Shift Debate About Vaccine

You bet it will. Because up to now the vaccine, which has proven 100% effective, merely protects women from an aggressive strain of the HPV virus that causes upwards of 10,000 cases of cervical cancer in American women every year and 4,000 deaths. But the vaccine needs to be administered to girls before they become sexually active, i.e. in their very early teens. This is controversial, of course, because the religious nuts would rather see women die than do anything that might be construed as “approving” of pre-marital sex, something 95% of Americans engage in. In the culture wars women’s lives are expendable.

But now the HPV virus is a danger to men. So, yeah, I’m thinking that’s going to “shift the debate” pretty fast. Because it’s not just the lives of 4,000 American women that we’re going to be sacrificing, but the sex lives of 150 million American men.

Dr. Erich Sturgis, a University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center professor of head and neck surgery, called the study “very important” and said it provides the best proof to date of the risk oral sex poses for throat cancer.

“Partners of women who have abnormal Pap smears should be aware they’re at risk,” Sturgis said. “They should refrain from oral sex until the matter is resolved.”

Oh, and not just cunilingus that we need to refrain from, guys. Blowjobs are out too:

The study found people who had a prior infection with HPV were 32 times more likely to have throat cancer than those with no evidence of having the virus. Those who tested positive for a particularly aggressive strain, HPV-16, were 58 times more likely.

The virus was transmitted by both fellatio and cunnilingus. Most of the participants were married heterosexuals.

Remember this old line about abortion: “If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.” Well, we’re about to see the debate over the HPV vaccine shift—it’s going to be transformed from a controversial vaccine that undermines the religious right’s abstain-until-marriage message to a sacrament.

For men, at least.

The Morning News

posted by on May 10 at 7:45 AM

Tony Blair: “I did what I thought was right.” Leaving office in late June.

The world: Walking ten percent faster.

HPV: Increases the risk of throat cancer.

Here we go again: Bush says he would veto war funding bill because it includes spending limits.

Hispanics are lazy, blacks are greedy: According to Bush’s new nominee to head US Agency for International Development.

Giuliani: Coming out as pro-choice.

“Not moved”: Cheney, reacting to mortar explosion while in Iraq.

Nature: Rampaging across the country. Couldn’t have anything to do with climate change, could it? Naaah…

FDA: To get new powers over drug companies.

And just in time: Doctors paid by drug companies to prescribe antipsychotics to children.

Hasty switch to biofuels:
A bad idea, especially for transportation, according to a UN report.

Vegetarian food sales: Still growing, but at a declining rate.

“The dumbest argument in the history of argumentation”: Read all about it.

Desperately seeking new lawyers: Paris Hilton.

Surprise!: It’s an assault with a hammer! (Via apostropher).

Recipe of the Day:* Roasted Chicken


Serves 2 as an entrée

One 2- to 3-pound free-range chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
6 springs of marjoram
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 shallot, peeled and sliced

Brining the chicken: Combine the chicken and 1 cup salt in a large bowl. Add water to cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roasting the chicken: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Dry the chicken thoroughly, then season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the parsley, bay leaf, marjoram, lemon, and shallot in the chicken’s cavity. Truss the chicken (tie the legs together use string or skewers). Place the chicken on a rack set inside a roasting pan.

Roast the chicken, uncovered, until the skin begins to brown, about 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Cover and continue cooking the chicken until the thigh juices run clear, about 20 minutes more. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.

Recipe from Diane Forley’s Anatomy of a Dish; photo from Creative Commons.

* I know it’s not really the season for roasted chicken, but this particular recipe is so good I make it all year. I recommend roasting the chicken on a “rack” of slightly parboiled potatoes.

If You Stayed Up Past Your Bedtime…

posted by on May 10 at 12:07 AM

… to see if SIFF meant they’d post their schedule on the very minute the clock switched over to March 10th, well, it’s probably time to hit the sack. Nothing to see here.

Except that announcement of the lifetime achievement award for Anthony Hopkins. Vital information, there.

Important List

posted by on May 10 at 12:01 AM

As someone who wrote jive in a Slog post yesterday when I should have written jibe (thanks for fixing that, Nat), I am digging this long list of misused words, which includes basics like these:

Alibi: an alibi is the proven fact of being elsewhere, not a false explanation.

Convince: Don’t convince people to do something. In that context the word you want is persuade. The prime minister was persuaded to call a June election; he was convinced of the wisdom of doing so only after he had won.

Only: Put only as close as you can to the words it qualifies. Thus, These animals mate only in June. To say They only mate in June implies that in June they do nothing else.

Weirdly, I didn’t find “jive” and “jibe” on the list. I guess I’m the only one who botches that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Once Upon a Time…

posted by on May 9 at 6:38 PM

…only bad things came out of Oregon. Well, for queers at least. Lon Mabon, anti-gay rights initiatives, hate. Today Oregon leapt ahead of Washington state in the area of equal treatment for gays and lesbians.

Noting that it capped more than 30 years of work, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed legislation into law this morning that will recognize same-sex unions as domestic partnerships and ban discrimination against gays and lesbians….

More than 100 people watched and applauded as the governor signed the bills on the west steps of the Capitol, including former governor Barbara Roberts, many legislators and dozens of gay rights activists.

Nine other states and the District of Columbia have legally recognized same-sex unions by granting them at least some of the rights of marriage. In Oregon, a same-sex couple will register in their county to enter a domestic partnership contract that will give them all of the state benefits of marriage. It also gives them the responsibilities—including the possibility of having to pay child and partner support in the event of a dissolution.

Gore/Obama ‘08

posted by on May 9 at 6:18 PM

Things don’t look good for my dream Democratic ticket.

First, Gore.

At Ballyhooed Reunion Of Top Gore Aides, A Sense That Al Isn’t Running

Last night a bunch of longtime aides to Al Gore held a much-ballyhooed reunion dinner that had prompted speculation about a Gore run in 2008—but the gathering in fact turned out to be an at-times personal and emotional gathering suffused with an acceptance among many that Gore won’t run for President, a person who was there tells me.

“There was a consensus there that Al is not planning to run,” this attendee says. “I wouldn’t say that there are recriminations or that people are angry at him for not running. People are just accepting it. There was just an acceptance of the fact that they don’t think he’s going to run.”

Next, Obama.

President Obama? Not this time

Stop me if you’ve read this column before.

In 1999, I wrote a dreamy tribute to then presidential candidate Bill Bradley and commented: “I don’t believe that I will ever live in a country that elects Bill Bradley president. I’d like to live in that country, though.”

In 2002, 27 months before Howard Dean’s presidential campaign imploded, I wrote: “Howard Dean is the story we tell ourselves every four years; the Paul Tsongas story, the Bruce Babbitt story, the John Anderson story. It is a very diverting fable, this notion of the brilliant, worthy, and committed outsider who has a decent chance of becoming our next president.”

No stranger to self-plagiarism, I added: “I wouldn’t mind living in a country where Howard Dean was president, but somehow I don’t think that I will.”

Meet Barack Obama, the BradleyDeanBabbittTsongas of the 2008 election cycle.

Let me repeat: I wouldn’t mind living in a country where Barack Obama is president. Brains; candor; charisma; ambition hitched to a work ethic; I admire those qualities. But frankly, the people who’ve ponied up $4,600 for Obama in this election cycle might as well have piled the money on the kitchen table and set fire to it.


No Shame

posted by on May 9 at 5:48 PM

U.S. Catholic bishops are calling on parents to “ensure” their children’s chastity.

“Education for chastity is more than a call to abstinence,” says a draft document being studied by the U.S. Catholic bishops in preparation for a vote this fall…. “Education for chastity, sustained by parental example and prayer, is absolutely essential to develop authentic maturity, teach respect for the body and foster an understanding of the nuptial meaning of the body,” it says.

One way that Catholic parents can to “ensure” their children’s chastity—consider it absolutely essential—is to keep their kids far away from Catholic bishops.

Seattle Center Vs. Bumbershoot

posted by on May 9 at 4:15 PM

I’m psyched to report that Stranger theater critic Brendan Kiley has a story in this week’s news section.

A. Birch Steen pooh-poohs Kiley’s contribution: “ALSO: BRENDAN KILEY takes a leave from the fop beat to scribble—in crayon, presumably—about problems between Bumbershoot and Seattle Center…”

ABS is right in his own special, foppish when I think about it, way. But seriously, I wanted to call attention to Kiley’s piece.

His story—about proposals to remake Seattle Center without Memorial Stadium—is a cool little scoop on larger story (the new Seattle Center).

This issue is going to be getting a lot of ink from everybody over the next year-and-a-half.

Today on Line Out

posted by on May 9 at 3:45 PM

The Egg Is Already Gotten To: Trent Moorman’s Bottomless Pit.

A Little Spandex: Kelly O on RATT’s Assets.

Pizza Party: Jonathan Zwickel on Pagliacci’s Battle of the Bands.

Everybody Hurts: Megan Seling on Michael Stipe and Chris Carraba.

He’s Got a Secret: Christopher DeLaurenti on John Cage.

And now, more rats in spandex (thanks, Kelly O’s mom):


Field of Schemes

posted by on May 9 at 3:02 PM

I’ve got a story coming out in today’s paper that raises legal questions about the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Facilities District (PFD). This is the public and publicly funded entity, with a board appointed by the governor and KC Exec, that is charged with overseeing the tenant at Safeco Field—the Mariners.

Given the huge public investment in Safeco Field—a $520 million construction budget funded with public bonds that are being paid off with local taxes—it makes sense to have a public body monitoring the situation.

However, as today’s story points out, maybe somebody should be watchdogging the watchdogs. The Mariners PFD awarded a $100,000 lobbying contract to a local consultant (The Fearey Group) without an open, competitive bid process.

Typically—as with the state, city, county, and the Seahawks public watchdog— awarding contracts over $25,000 and/or around $40,000 depending on the agency, requires an open public bid.

The Mariners PFD told me they wrote their own rules and awarding the $100K contract without a bid (it happened in a week’s time) was kosher.

I’m not a lawyer, but according to state law governing PFDs, the contract actually seems inappropriate.

I say all this in my article, but I didn’t have the space to quote the state law.

God bless, Slog.

Here are the state rules governing PFDs.

Here is the cite within the PFD rules that directs you to the details regulating contracts.

And here and here are those details.

(Oh, and here, according to my managing editor, is something else you’ll need to make it through these rules and this post.)

Meanwhile, here are the Cliffs Notes: The only time you don’t have to do an open public bid—or as the state describes it, “formal sealed, electronic, or web-based competitive bidding”—is when there’s an “emergency” or when the purchase isn’t over $35,000.

As I said, the Mariners PFD assured me that awarding a $100,000 contract without a competitive bidding process jibed with the rules. So, my article is a bit of a he said/she said… or more accurately: a he said/state rules said.

Weirdly, I had to do a public-records request to actually take a look at the Mariners PFD procurement rules. One board member I talked to didn’t even know if there were any rules. (The city, state, and county happily directed me to their rules over the phone.)

Anyway, I’m supposed to be getting a look at the Mariners PFD rules today.

“The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion”

posted by on May 9 at 1:38 PM

“I have done several abortions on women who have regularly picketed my clinics, including a 16 year old schoolgirl who came back to picket the day after her abortion, about three years ago. During her whole stay at the clinic, we felt that she was not quite right, but there were no real warning bells. She insisted that the abortion was her idea and assured us that all was OK. She went through the procedure very smoothly and was discharged with no problems. A quite routine operation. Next morning she was with her mother and several school mates in front of the clinic with the usual anti posters and chants. It appears that she got the abortion she needed and still displayed the appropriate anti views expected of her by her parents, teachers, and peers.”

More tales of anti-choice women choosing to have abortions here.

Via Sullivan.

Tom Rasmussen’s Kickoff

posted by on May 9 at 1:12 PM

City Council member Tom Rasmussen held his campaign kickoff last night at the bizarrely retro Swedish Center on Dexter Avenue, a location untouched by time since 1962, complete with modish lanterns, massive mirrors, and an absurdly large padded piano bar wrapped around a cheap upright piano. (The Swedish Center newsletter says they’ve been doing some “renovations,” including moving the furniture around.)

The interlocking rooms were packed with dignitaries, candidates, music-industry professionals, senior citizens, and of course, the gays—one of Rasmussen’s key constituencies since his election in 2003.

While I expect to see the likes of City Council member Jan Drago, State Sen. Ed Murray, County Council President Larry Phillips and County Executive Ron Sims at campaign kickoffs, I was a bit surprised by the impressive bar- and music-industry turnout, which included several club owners (Marcus Charles, Jerry Everard), bar owners (Pete Hanning) and industry advocates (Dave Osgood, Tim Hatley, Dave Meinert) who don’t show their faces at many political fund-raisers—much less give money. Asked to explain the sudden show of strength for a man who’s fast asleep long before most of their patrons hit the streets, the industry folks responded that Rasmussen has staked out a position as one of their biggest supporters on the council.

Perhaps so, but he’s hardly made it one of his central issues. Rasmussen doesn’t even sit on the neighborhoods committee that will determine the fate of the mayor’s nightlife ordinance, and he’s far more closely identified with senior services and health-care issues than regulation of rock clubs. Still, his speech included an explicit (if somewhat awkward) shout-out to the music community. “Seattle does have an exciting music scene that other cities can only hope for,” Rasmussen said, “but the mayor wants to take our fun away, and I’m concerned about that.” That line, plus another about Seattle’s “strong and creative artistic and cultural scene,” won him loud applause.

When I asked music promoter Dave Meinert why he was supporting Rasmussen, he responded: “Two words: Margaret Pageler.” Rasmussen defeated the notoriously anti-fun council member four years ago to huge accolades from the music community. “That was the equivalent of dropping a house on the Wicked Witch of the West,” Osgood chimed in. Industry lobbyist Tim Hatley added somewhat cagily that the nightlife lobby group, Seattle Music and Nightlife Association, has had “some good conversations” with Rasmussen lately. “He’s good with us on the nightlife issue.”

One place where Rasmussen’s kickoff left a lot to be desired was the food—gummy potstickers, over-garlicked hummus, a mysterious dip with alternating layers of cream cheese and strawberry jam (served with Sociables) and petit fours that one political consultant described candidly as “not very good.” The promised Swedish meatballs, meanwhile, were nowhere to be found. Consultant John Wyble told me the first rule of political kickoffs among consultants is “Skimp on the food.” (Rasmussen’s consultant Christian Sinderman agreed, saying, “You want people to be writing checks, not concentrating on what they’re eating.”) I know we can’t all have Tom Douglas as a personal friend, but people might write bigger checks if their stomachs were satisfied.

NAACP Calls for Resignation of Chief Kerlikowske, Termination of Two SPD Officers

posted by on May 9 at 12:59 PM

King County NAACP president James Bible called for the resignation of Seattle Police Chief Kelikowske and two officers at a press conference this morning in City Hall. Bible said Kerlikowske misrepresented the contents of a video the city used to investigate two officers who claimed they found crack cocaine on an African-American man’s lap during a bust in Belltown. The defendant countered that the officers planted the drugs, which triggered an internal investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability. The chief essentially exonerated the officers after the investigation, claiming they’d only omitted a minor detail from the police report.

However, an independent forensic expert examined the same video evidence of the scene, and in an affidavit he describes a different series of events than portrayed in the police report written by the arresting officers, Neubert and Tietjen. According to the Defender Association’s Sunil Abraham, if you looked at the police report, “you’d think you were watching the video tape of a different incident. They never recover anything from his lap.”

Are CHEEZ-IT Crackers Good Food?

posted by on May 9 at 12:50 PM


Several weeks ago, I bought a box of Cheez-It crackers on a whim. They sat on my desk for several days before co-workers began making these terrible sad puppy faces at me while pawing at the bright red box on the edge of my desk. In a matter of hours, all of the Cheez-Its had been eaten.

On a soul-stripping trip to Costco over the weekend, I purchased a 3 pound box of Cheez-Its to compete with Megan Seling’s bucket o’ candy. We’re now down to about a pound and a half. Josh and Brad have started to turn orange. Erica often glares at the box, mocks it, then takes a handful.

Moments ago, Josh came out of his office brandishing a four page essay he’d mysteriously found on his desk. Author Barry Fiegel’s “Are CHEEZ-IT Crackers Good Food?” is an absolutely atrocious, meandering mess. I thought I’d share it anyways.

The first page and a half sets up the authors background in nursing and nutrition, or something, before finally getting to the good stuff:

I like eatin’ CHEEZ-Its. Good snack, I think. But what is the (scientific) nutritional fact about CHEEZ-IT cracers? Good food; healthy food? Bad food; unhealthy food?

For that information, on every box of CHEEZ-ITs, there is an information box entitled, “Nutrition Facts.” That title might just as easily be “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CHEEZ-IT Baked Snack Crackers, But Were Afraid To Ask.”

The author goes on to quote “nutrition Professor Kay Stanfill, R.D., L.D.,” who states that

“the first thing a person should notice is that this food is a snack; it says so right on the box. Generally, a snack is not balanced nutrition: balanced means variety: a variety of nutrients, a variety of colors, a variety of textures, a variety of foods.”

Fiegel concludes that

“I would say that, overall, in a nutshell, these CHEEZ-IT crackers are perhaps surprisingly not bad food; perhaps surprisingly not bad nutrition.

The End.

Another one of life’s mysteries solved.



posted by on May 9 at 12:40 PM

Ah, the Seattle Weekly film section. This week, we have…

Scott Foundas of the LA Weekly on one movie. Ella Taylor, also of the LA Weekly, on two movies. Jessica Grose, a (New-York based?) VVM freelancer, on one movie. J. Hoberman, of the Village Voice, on two movies. Nathan Lee, of the Village Voice, on two movies.

Yet mysteriously, the Seattle Weekly failed to use the admiring, hilarious Village Voice review for Zoo, by Nathan Lee. No, Brian Miller had to step in and share his opinion, which is, apparently, that men who have sex with horses are GAY.

That’s right:

What do we call these men who shun women and obtain sexual gratification in the company of other men? Oh, that’s right, we call them “zoo” (their secretive, whispered contraction of zoophilia), a three-letter epithet that, we’r e instructed, must be redeemed, or at least understood. Because labeling would be wrong, and so would judgment. Devor and Mudede scrupulously avoid judging—or asking any hard questions—because Zoo is all about tolerance, don’t you see? Parallels must be drawn, and bigots refuted. (The easy-to-loathe, deviant-hating chorus includes Rush Limbaugh and state Sen. Pam Roach.)


Anyway, Zoo opens this Friday at the Varsity. Congratulations, Charles!

Today the Stranger Also Suggests

posted by on May 9 at 12:30 PM


Myla Goldberg, who is the author of the 2000 novel Bee Season (“portraying the breakdown of a family and the spiritual explorations of its two children amid a series of spelling bees“—Wikipedia) and is the subject of a pretty catchy Decemberists song (the one that starts: “Myla Goldberg sets a steady hand upon her brow”) will be interviewed at the Tractor Tavern by Stranger staff writer Eli Sanders. Sanders hasn’t said what he’ll ask, but the questions are sure to be good and Jewish: Sanders recently wrote about Jewish history in Washington State, both he and Goldberg grew up in Jewish households, the family in Bee Season is Jewish, and the event is produced by Nextbook, the Jewish literature organization. Tickets are $6—$8. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 9 at 12:00 PM


Drawing Space

(Art) They designed the hot new Lawrimore Project space. They won the Stranger Genius Award. Now, Lead Pencil Studio—Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, recent winners of this year’s Rome Prize—have their first solo show at Lawrimore. The preview photos promise one installation, Arrival at 2 am, 2007, that looks both minimal and objective, and as romantic as a remembered shadow. (Lawrimore Project, 831 Airport Way S, 501-1231. 10 am—5 pm, free.) Jen Graves

So, That Seven-Year Marriage Thing?

posted by on May 9 at 11:50 AM

The one Romney said he was “told” is ruining marriages in France?

Yeah. Well. Turns out it was from an Orson Scott Card science fiction novel.

About Mormons.

Set in outer space.

Glad we got that cleared up.

What 100 Random Japanese People Do For Fun!

posted by on May 9 at 11:40 AM

They mass together and scare the shit out of each other!

I’m so jealous that I didn’t think of it first. God damn Japanese.

Department of Hideous Similes

posted by on May 9 at 11:05 AM


I recently flew from Seattle to Florida and back on JetBlue, which means I was exposed to many hours of seat-back cable TV.

I saw many impressive things (I’d heard rumors that The Real World: Denver was composed entirely of alcoholic sex addicts, but holy shit!) but the thing that’s most stuck in my mind is a quote from City Confidential, A&E’s real-life mystery show devoted, in the episode I saw, to the murder of Mia Zapata.

Along with much lovely footage of the Comet Tavern and former Stranger/current Mercury news reporter Amy Jenniges, the episode featured this remarkable sentence, spoken by the narrator in voice-over:

“Finding Mia Zapata’s killer would prove to be as difficult as finding a needle in a mosh pit.”

I don’t know where to begin.

So I’ll start with the factual error: Finding a needle in a mosh pit—in early-’90s Seattle, at least—was not that hard.


Death and the Piano

posted by on May 9 at 11:02 AM

It’s been a morbid week for pianos. First, there was the lamentable passing of Howard Bulson.

Now this—the John Lennon Piano Peace Tour.

The piano on which John Lennon composed his classic hit “Imagine” [now owned by George Michael] is to tour global sites of past violence to promote peace.


So far, the upright has had its picture taken at Ford’s Theater, the hotel where Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis (up above), and the Grassy Knoll in Dallas. (Apparently, the piano sides with the conspiracy theorists.)

It sounds like an expensive, silly, vain idea—hundreds of pounds of wire and wood that used to belong to a famous person, carted around to the places where other famous people died, a kind of pr tour for assassinated celebrities. But then I read about this:

MAY 7—The famous piano on which John Lennon composed the song “Imagine” will be photographed at the home of Bill Clayton in Olympia, Washington. Bill was a young, vibrant 17 year old bi-sexual who was the victim of multiple assaults because of his sexual orientation that eventually led to his suicide in 1995.

Now the project doesn’t seem so silly. It just seems sad. Is that because suicides are sadder than assassinations? Because dead young not-so-famous people are sadder than dead not-so-young famous people? Because George Michael carting a piano to sites of celebrity death seems self-aggrandizing but carting it to a private home like Bill’s seems touching?

The Original

posted by on May 9 at 10:35 AM

We often forget that the spacing of words was not something that came naturally to us but had to be invented. Before spacing, and punctuation, this was how you read a text in Latin:

An excruciating thicket of thought and letters.

Okay. Now I’m Getting Rather Bored With This Shit.

posted by on May 9 at 10:08 AM


Or am I?

If you can’t show up to shake his hair at his appearance at Seattle Center on Friday, fret not!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sanjaya…at the mall…today!!!

Former Idol Contestant Set To Come Home.

The American Idol finalist from Federal Way who got more attention for his hair than his singing will appear at a local mall this week.

Sanjaya Malakar is supposed to sign autographs at The Commons at Federal Way Wednesday, May 9, 2007.

If the welcome home party goes as planned, Sanjaya will be at the mall at 4 in the afternoon greeting the public at Macy’s Courtyard.

From, sadly, QI3. Forgive me.

These Things Happen

posted by on May 9 at 9:36 AM

A passenger discovered numerous box cutters on a United Airlines jet about to take off from Denver this morning. Says the TSA…

When asked how the box cutters could have gotten on board, the TSA spokesman told 9NEWS he would not speculate. “Things like this do occasionally happen.”

They certainly do.


Re: There Will Be a Pride Celebration at Seattle Center After All

posted by on May 9 at 9:13 AM

We’ve known about Egan Orion’s plans to rent a portion of Seattle Center—much cheaper than renting out the whole place, which SOaP did last year—for a couple of weeks, but Orien didn’t want to break the news until all the contracts were signed and his deposit check was in Seattle Center’s hands. Knowing that there was going to be a party at Seattle Center after the downtown parade made it hard not to respond to comments like this one from an earlier post about Seattle’s dueling pride parades…

Has anyone eles thought that maybe the parade on sunday last year was more heavely attended because of its time and the fact that there was a big party at seattle center afterwards? If theres no party at seattle center afterwards are you confident that it will be as well attended this year?

I was confident that the parade downtown would be better attended with or without a post-parade party at Seattle Center. Still, it’s wonderful news that participants in Sunday’s downtown pride parade have a place to go, a place to wind up the day and have a beer, a place to party. It’s also great news that Seattle Center is going to welcome the homos back to the fountain, which for many was the highlight of last year’s Seattle Center celebration. From Eli’s piece… again, and emphasized…

There will be food vendors, a beer garden, booths for gay organizations and interest groups, and a number of big-name sponsors, he says. Egan hasn’t rented the Center’s fountain, which became a popular dance spot at last year’s post-parade celebration, but the fountain, which is right outside Fisher Pavilion, is open to the public. [Dave] Heurtel, the spokesman for the Center, confirmed that Pride celebrants would be allowed to enjoy the fountain again this year.

The Surreal Death

posted by on May 9 at 8:52 AM

Tammy Faye Baker is not long for this world. She posted this note on her website today…

The doctors have stopped trying to treat the cancer and so now it’s up to God and my faith. And that’s enough! But please continue to pray for the pain and sick stomach. My precious daughter, Tammy Sue, and her wonderful friends are staying with me while Roe builds churches. They don’t want me falling down the stairs. I am down weight wise to 65 pounds, and look like a scarecrow. I need God’s miracle to swallow. To those of you who are suffering as I…..”don’t give up”!! Make up your mind you’re going to LIVE !! That is NOT EASY! The path gets so long. I look at young people and wish with all my heart for just one day of ‘feeling great’. You see, God gives out his promises, they do not lie, they do not fail. We do not have to BEG him for them, they are FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, that sucks. I genuinely feel bad for Tammy Faye—which is remarkable.

When I was a young homo and Jim and Tammy Faye Baker were the country’s best known evangelical Christians—and, as it turned out, flock-fleecing charlatans—I hated them both, and with a passion. I hated them like I hated Ronald Reagan. But when Reagan finally got around to passing away… damned if he hadn’t outlived the anger I felt for him. Same with Tammy Faye. After her husband’s fall from grace (and felony convictions, and imprisonment), Tammy Faye became a bit more human.
Then she morphed into her camp phase and, well, she just an old goof in too much mascara. After she no longer had any real power, and no power to harm, I was able to recognize her as something close to human. Hating Tammy Faye became a waste of time and a misuse of my energy. She had outlived my anger, just like Reagan.

Gee… it makes me wonder if one day, when George W. Bush is out of office… no longer has the power to harm… on his deathbed… maybe… no. No way.


Via Towleroad.

There Will Be a Pride Celebration at Seattle Center After All

posted by on May 9 at 8:44 AM


In today’s Stranger, I have a story about Egan Orion, a local promoter who has quietly stepped in to try to do what past Pride organizers couldn’t do: Put on a successful, financially-sustainable celebration at the Seattle Center after the downtown Gay Pride parade.

Orion, backed by a group of investors that includes a former Microsoft vice president, is calling his event PrideFest. He’s just signed a contract with Seattle Center and he’s just launched this web site. Here’s an excerpt from my story:

Add one more reversal to this season of reversals regarding plans for Gay Pride celebrations in Seattle. First it was the downtown Pride Parade, which in recent weeks was off and then back on again after its organizers declared, and then un-declared, that they were filing for bankruptcy. Now the post-parade celebration at Seattle Center, which was cancelled after losing $100,000 last year and failing to come up with a workable business plan this year, is back on, but under new management.

On Wednesday, May 8, local promoter Egan Orion, 35, announced that he has secured the Center’s Fisher Pavilion, and adjacent lawns, for what he is calling PrideFest. Egan’s event will be a somewhat scaled-down version of last year’s celebration at the Center, which involved the non-profit group Seattle Out and Proud renting out the entire Center facility. Dave Heurtel, spokesman for Seattle Center, confirmed that Egan had entered into an agreement to use some of the Center’s grounds after the June 24 downtown Pride Parade, but he said the new event would be “completely different” from the money-losing event put on last year.

Orion agreed, and said he was inspired to step forward after plans for an event at the Center collapsed two weeks ago under the weight of Out and Proud’s debts.

“I’m not trying to be a hero here,” Orion told The Stranger. “But in the aftermath of the Out and Proud debacle at the Center, it was clear that there was no organization that was going to come in and pick up the pieces and throw an event after the parade at the Seattle Center. What was going to happen? A parade downtown with nothing at all at the Center? Pride Sunday is too important to the community to just leave it at that.”

Orion says he’s secured the Los Angeles D.J. Brian Pfeifer to play his event, which will run from noon to 6 p.m. He’s also working to add several “diva type” performers and political speakers. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, booths for gay organizations and interest groups, and a number of big-name sponsors, he says. Orion hasn’t rented the Center’s fountain, which became a popular dance spot at last year’s post-parade celebration, but the fountain, which is right outside Fisher Pavilion, is open to the public. Heurtel, the spokesman for the Center, confirmed that Pride celebrants would be allowed to use the fountain again this year.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on May 9 at 8:40 AM

A vegan couple was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.

Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.

The couple was found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.

Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.

I’m generally con-starving-infants-to-death, as everyone reading this I hope knows, but I have to say a life sentence seems… a bit harsh. I wasn’t on the jury; I didn’t hear the evidence. And these two had to be the dumbest fucking vegans on the planet—and that’s saying something. I’m sure they were traumatized by their own stupidity, and I can’t imagine they intended for the child to die—was it murder then? Or manslaughter? Maybe 20 years, but not life.

But, hey, the jury heard the evidence—and they said malice murder, felony murder, and involuntary manslaughter. So there must have been something else going on here, this must have been more than a case of stupid vegan parents and vengeful southern jury.

Port Reform

posted by on May 9 at 8:00 AM

Two weeks ago, Port Commissioner John Creighton acknowledged to me on record that the Port Commission’s executive sessions (the closed door meetings they reflexively hold before every public meeting) sometimes dealt with matters that belonged in public meetings.

In my column last week, I put the focus on the Commission’s exec sessions:

First of all, the scandal has focused my lens on the port commission’s penchant for executive sessions. Executive sessions by definition are closed to the public. According to Davis—but not according to fellow commissioners—Dinsmore’s retirement package was okayed in two executive sessions last year.

As someone who covered city hall, where executive sessions come up only for special circumstances such as confidential real-estate discussions, I thought the port’s practice of holding executive sessions before every public meeting seemed curious. Indeed, even Sound Transit has only held two executive sessions this year, while holding eight public board meetings.

Well, here’s a little encouraging news: The PI, which broke the great Port story, is reporting this morning that the Port Commission is going to review its use of executive sessions.

The Morning News

posted by on May 9 at 7:45 AM

The Demon Liquor: HBO CEO blames alcohol for his recent assault on his girlfriend.

Rice:We are not going to leave Iraq.” Charlie Rose: “Ever?” Rice: “We are not going to leave an Iraq that is not capable of defending itself and with a foundation for future reconciliation.” Uh-huh.

Really Unpopular: Bush’s decision to veto the Iraq funding bill because it includes a timeline for withdrawal.

Charged: Six would-be Islamic terrorists at Fort Dix.

Fire in L.A.: Rampaging on the second day of a 97-degree heat spell.

Surprisingly Popular: Impeachment.

Baby Number Seventeen: for Arkansas religious nuts. (Shakes says: “My uterus hurts just looking at that picture!”)

All Over the Map: Giuliani on abortion.

Weenie: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who says he’ll allow a ban on mandatory HPV vaccine to stand.

Recipe of the Day:


Fresh Corn Risotto with Basil, Tomato, and Lime

1 cup peeled, seeded and diced ripe tomatoes*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups corn kernels from 4 or 5 large ears (I used frozen corn once and it was still delicious)
2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
½ cup finely chopped scallions (white part only)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Purée 1 cup of the corn kernels in a food processor.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the foam subsides. Cook the scallions for about 5 minutes until translucent. Lower the heat if they begin to brown.
Add the rice and stir, coating the grains with butter.
Add the wine.
Cook and stir until the wine is absorbed.
Using a ladle, add 1 cup of stock to the rice. Stir over medium heat until the stock is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, ½ cup at a time, cooking and stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more.
Keep adding stock until the rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the puréed corn mixture with a little more stock and stir for another five or ten minutes, until rice is tender. Add the whole corn kernels and the fresh tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

*To peel and seed tomatoes, bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Plunge the tomatoes into the water until the skins split, about 20 seconds. Lift out with a ladle and let cool before slipping the skins off, cutting in half, spooning out the seeds, and dicing.

Recipe from The Joy of Cooking; photo from Fancy Toast.

Port Watch

posted by on May 9 at 7:31 AM

Good government activist Chris Clifford’s recall petition against Port Commissioner Pat Davis has been approved by the elections commission and is now live in KC Superior Court. A hearing where Davis must defend herself is required within the next 15 days.

If the Judge rules in favor of Clifford it means he can go forward and collect signatures to put a recall measure on the ballot. Clifford, my favorite Republican, needs to get 25% of the total votes cast in Davis’s last election. That means he’ll need about 106,000 signatures.


posted by on May 9 at 6:58 AM


Joining Woolworths and HMV, England’s biggest electronics retailer, Curry’s, will no longer sell cassettes.

And as this wisftul article in the Sun reports:

And beware, here are other devices we reckon could be on the way out next:

Answering machines
Fax machines
Portable CD players

Watches? Watches?? Aw shit, Jonah you were right.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Overheard in the Office

posted by on May 8 at 5:48 PM

“Don’t shake any hands! All those people do all day is burn off anal warts.”

Today in War

posted by on May 8 at 5:38 PM

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday that they will try to pass a new Iraq war-funding bill to keep combat operations running for the next two or three months while also forcing a troop withdrawal vote in July.


The Pentagon has notified more than 35,000 Army soldiers to be prepared to deploy to Iraq beginning this fall, a move that would allow commanders to maintain the ongoing buildup of troops through the end of the year if needed.

Finally, nobody wants to be the new war czar. I think it would look great on a résumé… or a hat.

Twenty-Year Director of the Henry Art Gallery to Step Down

posted by on May 8 at 5:01 PM

“Congratulations,” I told Richard Andrews this afternoon when I learned he was planning to leave his job in February.

“Thanks,” he said after a short pause, seemingly never at a loss for civil words even when the comment he’s responding to is slightly … off. “I mean, a couple of other people have said the same thing to me, and I guess that’s the right thing to say.”

“Yes, right,” I said. “I didn’t know quite what to say, actually. I guess it’s a good thing. You’re getting a break, and it has been quite a while, after all.”

“Well put,” he said, laughing now at my awkward attempts, thankfully, instead of taking offense.

I do mean them kindly. Andrews is the man who has been in charge of the Henry Art Gallery’s emergence as an innovative force in art in the Pacific Northwest—at times, it has seemed, the only institutional force for innovation in this city—and the only real contemporary art museum in the Pacific Northwest. The Henry’s trustees will do a national search for his replacement.

He says he’s leaving for personal and professional reasons. Personally, after 32 years in the workforce—leading a nationally acclaimed public art program in Seattle, then going to D.C. to head up the visual arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts (when it still existed), and then running the Henry for almost 20 years—he says he could use a break. As for his involvement with the Henry, he takes quite a selfless position.

“This was an unbelievably difficult decision because I am not at all short on interest, optimism and enthusiasm for the Henry,” he said in a phone interview just now. “But on the professional or institutional level I also believe that—particularly for a contemporary art institution—that an influx of new ideas that a shift in leadership can provide is a good and healthy thing. You don’t ever want to be hanging on so long that you become an impediment to innovation.”

It would be difficult to imagine Andrews as an impediment to innovation, considering his long record of it, from co-organizing the first Russian Constructivist show after the dissolution of the Soviet Union with the Walker Art Center to inviting Ann Hamilton’s installation of yellow canaries and rooms whose walls and floors were covered in smudge marks from burning candles to this year’s installations by Maya Lin. (I didn’t like Lin’s works, sure, but I love Andrews’s record and longstanding philosophy that the most important work a museum can do is to help artists realize new artworks.)

Andrews, 57, and his wife, artist Colleen Chartier, are staying in Seattle. “Who knows what I’ll do? Maybe become a zen monk. I don’t know. Seems less likely,” he said, in his characteristic way of throwing out something mildly surprising, and then responding to it almost academically.

Andrews recently became the president of the board of trustees for the foundation in charge of assisting James Turrell with his masterwork in the middle of the Arizona desert, Roden Crater. Turrell is turning the crater into a series of celestial observatories and art experiences, and has been working on the project more than 30 years—about as long as Andrews has been helping other artists get their work done. Andrews was an artist himself, a sculptor who earned his MFA at the University of Washington. He stopped making art while he was in D.C., when he had plenty else to do, including traveling for work and trying to be a good father for his young family.

Andrews really has been a force for other artists, including Turrell. The Henry commissioned a Turrell skyspace in 2002. Now, Turrell’s big project—which still needs well over $25 million to be completed, Andrews said—is in good hands.

Andrews describes Ann Hamilton’s installation experience as the ideal relationship between a museum and an artist. When she was high up in one of the museum’s skylights preparing her show (all the artificial lights were turned off for the duration of the show), she kept looking down and telling Andrews, “Richard, I can’t believe you’re letting me do this.”

Since Andrews’s arrival, the Henry has grown from a staff of 5 or 6 to more than 40. The operating budget has ramped up from under $300,000 a year to $3.4 million, and the endowment has raised from $100,000 to $10 million—plus the Henry has quadrupled in physical size, with the addition in 1997 of the expanded facility designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, in conjunction with LMN Architects.

Before he arrived, the mixed-repertory museum even flirted, in a series of late-19th century exhibitions, with becoming an American art museum. Andrews steered the museum toward contemporary work, and toward viewing historical work, such as the Russian Constructivism of the early 20th century, in a contemporary light.

“I hope one of the hallmarks of both my tenure here and what the Henry is, is this commitment to risk-taking and this commitment to commissioning art from artists,” he said.

I love his description of the museum’s sometimes-overlooked role as a university presence: “Part of our mission is to be a museum of closest approach to young people when their minds are opening up. What I hope for is that they would open the door to the Henry and. like an explorer, come in and find new vistas.”

At its best, that’s what the Richard Andrews Henry did for people of all ages.

My God, Nancy Drew Is Crazy Brilliant

posted by on May 8 at 4:59 PM

Here’s two more from ND’s guide to life:

“Don’t force your date to go to a ballet or another activity that may not be to his liking if he was knocked unconscious earlier in the day.” —The Double Jinx Mystery

“After receiving an electrical shock to the system, find as many men as possible to vigorously massage you.” —Mystery of the Glowing Eye

Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life

posted by on May 8 at 3:37 PM

Some Hollywood swag arrived in our office today—promo materials for the upcoming Nancy Drew movie.

Nancy’s been a longtime freelancer for The Stranger’s In Other News column, so we’re all thrilled for her here at the paper.

Just in the first few pages of Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life, which came with the swag, there’s some great advice:

“When bound and gagged, you can still tap out HELP in Morse code to attract attention.” —The Clue of the Tapping Heels

“Don’t let strangers lock up your house after you.” —The Witch Tree Symbol

“Loophole in moral code: It’s okay to steal car if it belongs to your kidnappers.”—The Whispering Statue

and some dating advice:

“If a guy keeps driving you around on his motorcycle so you can run pointless errands, he probably likes you.” —The Message in the Hollow Oak

“A young lady with some judo skills can take care of unwanted advances in short order.”—The Whispering Statue

The Best New Way to Pay For Libraries

posted by on May 8 at 3:31 PM

I can only imagine what this is going to do to The Stranger’s long distance bill:

Vienna’s City Hall has launched a “sex hotline” to raise money for the capital’s main public library.

Callers pay 39 euro cents (53 cents) a minute to listen to an actress read breathless passages from erotica dating to the Victorian era.

Anne Bennent, a famous Austrian stage and film star, reads passages from the Vienna library’s collection of 1,200 works of erotic fiction from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the library said.

Seriously though, just imagine how many public projects could get funding this way. I know I’d pay 50 cents a minute to call City Hall and hear Mayor Nickels breathlessly read municipal code to me.

Via AP

Today On Line Out.

posted by on May 8 at 3:30 PM

Disco Nouveau: Kelley Polar’s Chrysanthemum.

We Like The Stores, The Stores That Go Boom: Jason Hughes Announces Sonic Boom’s 10th Anniversary Party.

Contagious: Adult.’s Aesthetic Infects Client.

Sublime: The Field to Play Broken Disco.

Blow Your Mind: Megan Seling Gushes—Repeatedly—About Anthallo.

The Almighty Simon Joint: Seling Still Loves Paul Simon, Chevy Chase.

Retired Bickering Musician Turtles: Kelly O on The Turtles.

Get Well Soon: Eric Lashes Hospitalized After 12 Foot Fall.

And now, Party Dog:


Don’t Free Paris

posted by on May 8 at 3:29 PM


Earlier today, I slogged about Paris Hilton’s plans to beg Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her from her 45-day jail sentence, armed with the “Free Paris Hilton!” internet petition.

Thanks to Slog commenter Meh, I now know that concerned parties can make their voices heard by signing the “Don’t Free Paris Hilton” petition.

You know what to do.

You Read It Here First…

posted by on May 8 at 3:13 PM

Well, actually you read about it first over at HorsesAss, but we had something up on Slog too about food contaminated with melamine—that toxic crap from China? that crap that killed all those cats and dogs? remember that crap?—by HorsesAss’ own David Goldstein. From the Slog post David wrote for us last week…

And while it hasn’t been announced yet, I’d stay away from fish protein meal, farmed seafood, and beef.

Today David broke the news that melamine-contaminated fish meal made its way to Canadian and American fish farms.

During an ongoing media teleconference call, USDA/FDA officials have revealed that melamine-tainted “protein concentrate,” imported from China, contaminated fish meal manufactured in Canada. The tainted fish meal was then distributed to an unknown number of fish farms in the US and Canada.

David has a longer piece up on the expanding crisis posted at HorsesAss right now: The FDA: the “Faith-based Dining Administration.”

Obama’s Washington Campaign Kickoff

posted by on May 8 at 2:59 PM

Coming June 1, says Postman.

People Love Biking, Hate Long Commutes

posted by on May 8 at 1:57 PM

According to a new study by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, biking and walking are the most popular forms of commute—those most associated with the statement “I like my commute.” The study (via Grist) also found that commute satisfaction correlates directly with commute time, regardless of whether the commute is in a car or on transit.



People, in other words, don’t like long commutes, no matter what mode they’re commuting on. The solutions, at least for transit, are expensive but not particularly complex: Reduce the number of transfers required to get around by transit; reduce headways (the time between trains or buses) and improve reliability; make trains and buses easier to board and more comfortable; provide real-time information about when transit will be arriving; integrate fares between transit systems; make stations comfortable and dry. Each improvement reduces the perceived “cost” of taking transit, making transit more appealing relative to driving alone.

Mormonism Exposed!

posted by on May 8 at 1:11 PM

It’s the Chick pamphlet—“The Visitors”—Republican presidential hopeful Mitt “Underpants” Romney doesn’t want you to read!

When you’re done with “The Visitors” be sure to check out “Doom Town”, my favorite Chick pamphlet ever.

Via Sullivan.

Disaster? Blame a Democratic Governor!

posted by on May 8 at 1:05 PM

That appears to be Bush’s M.O. once again, as Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is discovering.

In the wake of the tornado that destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kansas, Sebelius noted that most of Kansas’ National Guard equipment has been sent to Iraq, slowing the pace of recovery.

In a spat reminiscent of White House finger-pointing at Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco after the federal government’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina, Snow rapped Sebelius for not following procedure to find gaps and then asking the federal government to fill them.

“If you don’t request it, you’re not going to get it,” he said.

Except, as the Carpetbagger Report notes, that’s not what happened.

As it turns out, Sebelius spent a year and a half “requesting” the replacement supplies and National Guard troops that have been redeployed from Kansas to Iraq, including trucks, Humvees and helicopters.

Sound familiar?

In Other Parenting Headlines…

posted by on May 8 at 12:47 PM

…a Canadian study found that same-sex parents—well, the lesbian ones, at least—are as good or better than straight parents.

A study prepared for the Canadian government shows children do as well, perhaps better, when reared by same-sex parents as they do by opposite-sex couples.

The study has just now become public even though it was commissioned by the government in 2003 leading to accusations that the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper attempted to bury the research.

Nothing in the research, unfortunately, on how much television same-sex parents allow their infants to watch compared to opposite-sex parents.

Obama’s MySpace Mistake

posted by on May 8 at 12:45 PM

Dissected very smartly here by two Politico bloggers, who also link to this handy periodic table of political maneuvers in order to suggest that Obama should have used the “bear hug” instead of the “jam.”


The Goofus & Gallant of DUI Criminals

posted by on May 8 at 12:42 PM

Facing a judge today over his DUI arrest, George Michael said:

“I am perfectly aware that I did something very wrong and got into my car when I was unfit to drive. I was not in my normal physical state and I’m perfectly prepared to accept the correct punishment for that and I would have accepted it a long time ago. It was fairly predictable considering how much work I had done that week.”

Sentenced to 45 days in jail for breaking probation after her DUI arrest, Paris Hilton plans to beg Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon, via a petition which reads in part:

We, the American public who support Paris, are shocked, dismayed and appalled by how Paris has been the person to be used as an example that Drunk Driving is wrong. We do not support drunk driving or DUI charges. Paris should have been sober. But she shouldn’t go to jail, either. She provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives.

Paris Hilton: Making George Michael Look Classy Since 2007™.

A Flower for Life

posted by on May 8 at 12:35 PM

Near the middle of the Morrison Bridge in Portland is this sign:
62510121c3be.jpg The simple drawing of a daffodil is supposed to make a suicidal person stop and think about the beauty of the known. He or she is on the brink and this flower makes them rethink the jump to the no-thing of the unknown. I can imagine certain people having the kind of mind that might look at this drawing and say “yes” to life, say “yes” to more of this world, this city of roses, this slow river which flows on to the largest ocean, and this bridge which is the largest machine in all of Oregon. But the more sensitive of us (too sensitive for this dumb world) will look at the drawing and see yet one more reason to end it all—bad art.

It’s in the PI

posted by on May 8 at 12:34 PM

Mireya Navarro’s piece on infidelity is in the PI today, was in the New York Times, where it originated, on Sunday, and my comments about it were on Slog yesterday.

Headline of the Day

posted by on May 8 at 12:28 PM

I’m filing this under “Hetero” because most babies’ parents are straight:

40 percent of babies watch TV, UW study finds

Babies are glued to television sets these days, with 40 percent of 3-month- olds and 90 percent of 2-year-olds regularly watching TV, according to a University of Washington study released Monday.

These tiny viewers are further proof that baby TV is a booming business in 2007. Today, infants have their own 24-hour network, Brainy Baby and Baby Einstein DVDs, and a growing list of other programs made just for them. Many also have sets in their bedrooms.

Math Prof Disappears in Nebraska…

posted by on May 8 at 12:13 PM

…and police in the ranching town of Chadron, Nebraska, don’t lift a finger, don’t search for the missing man, don’t launch an investigation, don’t do a damn thing. Seven months later the math prof’s body is found—burned to death a field. Steven Haataja died of “smoke and soot inhalation,” as well as thermal injuries. So he was burned alive.

“Hm,” say some in Chadron. “Maybe he committed suicide?”

Haataja was tied up when he died—bound and burned to death. Doesn’t sound like suicide, does it?

Others speculate that there might be a reason why Steven Haataja was murdered.

In the fervor, former City Councilman Morgan Muller and others said they worried that Haataja was the victim of a hate crime. Kelen Kahrs said he and other students wondered whether their professor was singled out because of his effeminate mannerisms.

You don’t have to be gay to be a victim of anti-gay violence, you only have to be perceived as gay. And Haataja stood out in Chadron for more than just his effeminate mannerisms.

Haataja, with his large frame and fedora hat, was more visible than most on Chadron’s wide, Western streets for a simple reason: He didn’t own a working car and he walked everywhere from his downtown apartment, including to the college a mile away.

Even if by some chance Haataja’s murder—which is going to be hard to investigate, considering the crime scene has been exposed to the elements for seven months now—wasn’t motivated by anti-gay bias, what do you suppose the odds are that the indifference of the police department in Chadron, Nebraska, was?

UW Votes to Smoke Marijuana Penalties

posted by on May 8 at 12:09 PM

UW sophomore Tim Kelly wants to send the message that students who get caught smoking pot on campus shouldn’t be penalized any more than kids who get caught drinking alcohol. As it stands right now, Kelly says the drinkers only risk having their hooch poured down the drain by mothering RAs. But pot smokers risk having the same RAs call the cops to search their dorm rooms, and then students risk further penalties from the school, such as suspension or expulsion.

That’s an unfair enforcement disparity, Kelly says, so he’s working on two measures on behalf of a student chapter of NORML and SSDP (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and Students for Sensible Drug Policy). The first is a ballot measure being voted on today by the UW student body – about 30,000 of them – which would advise the school to recognize that marijuana is safer than alcohol and that students should not be punished more by the school for the less harmful substance. The second is a student senate resolution.

Mason Tvert, who coordinates a national campaign called SAFER (Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation), believes students weigh the risks of the penalties between alcohol and pot and choose the more dangerous of the two drugs – alcohol. Students who would otherwise be content to hit the bong and watch Invader Zim, instead get wasted and cause problems. “Alcohol and marijuana are the two most common drugs on campus,” Tvert said. “But alcohol is associated with date rape, overdoses, and property damage,” he says.“Students have no problem drinking in dorm rooms, and schools even encourage 18- and 19-year-olds to drink responsibly. But students are afraid they will be removed from student housing for having a gram of marijuana.”

Whether the UW will actually equalize penalties if the measures pass is as hazy as the issue. The University of New Hampshire completely equalized marijuana penalties after a similar measure passed, but the University of Maryland ignored their student resolution — which prompted multiple state delegates to send official discourse arguing that the student body followed university procedures, and if the school failed to adopt the policy, it could damage democracy in the eyes of the students.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 8 at 12:00 PM



(Music) Anathallo is a large group of young’uns from the Midwest who unite an orchestra of instruments into dynamic, fluid, and gorgeous music that doesn’t sound at all clunky and weird like Sufjan Stevens or depressed and contrived like Bright Eyes. The songs, loosely based on romantic Japanese folklore, are woven together with layers of piano, bells, percussion, hand clapping, foot stomping, flutes, horns, whistles, voices, cowbells, guitars, and strings. Seeing it live will blow your mind. (Atlas Clothing & Music, 1515 Broadway, 323-0960. 8 pm, $9, all ages.) Megan Seling

Stephan Colbert: Pro-Tolerance Crowd Intolerant of the Intolerant!

posted by on May 8 at 10:29 AM

Brand Upon the Brain!: No Love for the Locals

posted by on May 8 at 10:02 AM

I’ve bitched about this before , but this article by Dennis Lim in yesterday’s New York Times really rubbed salt into my tear ducts:

Two years ago Gregg Lachow, founder of the Film Company, a quixotic Seattle production outfit, invited him to make a film — any film — with the condition that he use a Seattle cast and crew. [Guy] Maddin and his writing partner George Toles dashed off a screenplay. The shoot lasted nine days. Within six weeks of the initial phone call he had a feature in the can.


(photo by Adam Weintraub)

The result was not just a film—it was an old-fashioned spectacle, a theatrical performance. As Lim describes it:

Conceived as a live spectacle without a pre-recorded soundtrack, it is also the closest he has come to a pure silent feature, not that purity is a pertinent concept in the case of the magpielike Mr. Maddin and his dense, crossbred melodramas.

With “Brand Upon the Brain!” he tries to reinvent the silent movie as theatrical event. The film had its premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival with an orchestra, a singer (billed as a castrato), an interlocutor (a tradition derived from the Japanese art of benshi) and sound effects by Foley artists in lab coats.

After a few successful stagings—“Brand” was also presented at festivals in New York and Berlin and named one of the best films of 2006 by Manohla Dargis in The New York Times—Mr. Maddin is now taking his show on the road across America.

Where’s this grand tour headed, you ask? Fifteen shows in New York (with guest narrators like John Ashbery and Laurie Anderson, not to mention Lou Reed and Justin “Kiki” Bond), four in Chicago, one in San Francisco…

… and not a single one in Seattle.

And please don’t tell me the pale imitation print with a stupid recorded soundtrack is coming to the Egyptian on July 8, because the stupid film was—let’s return to the tape—“conceived as a live spectacle without a pre-recorded soundtrack”.

I want my castrato! I want my foley artists! I want somebody to pony up the cash and get this thing here immediately. SIFF, you’ve failed me. SIFF Cinema, you’ve failed me. Landmark, Northwest Film Forum, Town Hall, On the Boards, you’ve failed everyone in Seattle. Surely somebody could have made this happen.

What the fuck is the point of making movies in Seattle, Gregg Lachow, if you won’t even show them here? Not everyone has the luxury of jetting off to the Toronto International Film Festival to see the products of their fair city. I am deeply disappointed.

Questions for Myla Goldberg?

posted by on May 8 at 8:30 AM


I’m going to be moderating an event tomorrow night at the Tractor Tavern with Myla Goldberg, novelist, essayist, inspiration for a song by the Decemberists, and member of the band The Walking Hellos (she plays accordion).

The evening, which I hear will also feature a local klezmer band, begins at 7:30 p.m. and is put on by Nextbook as part of its Jewish reading series. In this week’s Nightstand, Christopher Frizzelle promises Jew on Jew action, and I hope I don’t disappoint.

The thing is, I’ve never done an event like this before and I’m a little nervous. Perhaps you can help. What would you ask Myla Goldberg?

The Morning News

posted by on May 8 at 7:19 AM

In Iraq: 25 dead at roadside checkpoint; even heavier casualties are expected.

Also in Iraq: One in three soldiers stationed there says torture is just fine, thanks.

In trouble: World Bank head Paul Wolfowitz, who broke bank rules in arranging a pay package for his girlfriend and will likely resign.

In Oklahoma: Near-total abortion ban overturned.

In white tie: President Bush, hosting his first state dinner for Queen Elizabeth.

On Wall Street: Dow hits another record close.

In Tehran: Reformist student editor arrested for allegedly writing articles offensive to right-wing Muslims.

In Darfur: Amnesty International accuses Sudan of violating a UN arms embargo on war-torn region.

In la-la land: Mitt Romney, who criticized single people for failing to get married at an appearance before graduates at Pat Robertson’s Regent University yesterday. (He went on to blame porn, TV, and video games for the Virginia Tech shooting).

In space: The most massive stellar explosion ever.

On cable news: White men.

In France: They’re eating this…


Green Soup with an Avocado, Celery Root Tartine

2 thick slices of country bread
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoons fish sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
One celery root, grated
Pinch of paprika
Shaves of Manchego cheese, or any sheep cheese of this texture

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly chopped parsley

For the green soup:
1 yellow onion
3 medium zucchinis
2 parsnips
3.5 oz fava beans, shelled (frozen if not available fresh)
Salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro to taste
Olive oil
3 cups water
A few pink radishes
Crème fraîche

To prepare the soup, take a large thick-bottomed pot and cook the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for about three minutes.

Peel the parsnips and wash the zucchini. Coarsely dice all the vegetables .

Add the parsnips and zucchini to the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Cover with the water and continue to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

Add the fava beans and cook 5 more minutes.

Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Add the chopped cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a grated pink radish (and swirl in a dollop of cream if you like).

To prepare the tartines, start by mashing the avocado with a fork.

Add the cilantro, lime juice, chives, fish sauce and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and parsley.

Finely grate the celery root.

Mix together celery root and vineagrette.

Toast the slices of bread and top with the avocado cream.

Add the celery and cheese shavings. Finish with a pinch of paprika.

Photo and recipe from La Tartine Gormande.

The Second Week in May

posted by on May 8 at 3:00 AM


As the second week in May 1934 began, Bonnie and Clyde were making themselves at home in Bienville Parish. They met with Henry Methvin’s brothers and other kinfolks at out-of-the-way places in the woods for picnics and frequented their houses for meals. As for their own accommodations, they were sick and tired of living in their car, so they looked for a real house. About ten miles south of Gibsland, near Henry’s parents , was a house back in the woods that belonged to a man named Otis Cole. It was locally known as the “John Cole Place” for Otis’s father, who had built it. The house had been empty for several years but was still very livable. One evening, Ivy Methvin went to see Otis Cole at the small store he ran. They talked about the abandoned house, and then Methvin left. Some people say that Bonnie and Clyde actually made arrangements to buy the place, while others say they just moved in. Whatever the truth , Bonnie and Clyde began to be seen fairly regularly around the area, Clyde posing with Henry’s father and brother Terrell as a logger.

… Henry’s older brother Terrell and his wife Emma met with them regularly at the picnics in the woods and had Bonnie and Clyde in their home for dinner once. On this occasion the outlaws admired a small bed. Terrell and Emma had two young daughters, and their grandfather had made the girls their own bed out of native wood. Bonnie and Clyde lay down on the bed and told everybody that it was the first time they had slept in months.

There were several stories circulating about the new young couple in the old Cole House, but one the most interesting to the ladies was the story that Bonnie was pregnant. By this time, it was said to be common knowledge among the Methvin women and neighbor ladies that Bonnie was “expecting.” —From Ch. 36, Bonnie and Clyde a Twenty-First-Century Update, by James R. Knight


Monday, May 7, 2007

The Pro-Abortion Republican Front-Runner

posted by on May 7 at 8:24 PM

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the ’90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country’s leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.

It’s clear now that Rudy Giuliani has a forked tongue—and he’s out there campaigning with one prong up the religious right’s ass and the other up reality’s butt. I’m not a political pundit, but Rudy’s position on social issues seems like an unsustainable dual rim job to me.

Howard Bulson, 1935–2007

posted by on May 7 at 6:04 PM

Howard Bulson, the legendary piano player at Sorry Charlie’s, that sweet, beloved, patient man who accompanied all kinds of singers—from warbling amateurs to mellifluous pros—has left this life.


Howard is a huge figure in Seattle’s psyche, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find him mentioned in almost every section of the paper, multiple times, over the years:

Here is Howard Bulson in the Stranger Suggests from 2003 (see Tuesday). Here he is in a kind of proto-Suggests, called Diversions.

Here is Howard Bulson in one Bar Exam. And another.

Here he is in the news section.

Here he is in Drunk of the Week.

And here is Josh Feit’s profile of Howard from 2004.

There will be a tribute to Seattle’s piano man on May 12 at Martin’s Off Madison and May 23 at the Triple Door.

RIP, Mr. Bulson.

New Jesus vs. Old Jesus

posted by on May 7 at 5:35 PM

Jesus Christ is back and He’s holding rallies in Florida.

The followers of New Jesus—Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda—tattoo “666” on themselves, and New Jesus claims that His teachings replace those of Old Jesus, a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth.

Followers of Old Jesus—Christians without “666” tattoos—are showing up at New Jesus’ rallies to protest. Because they know New Jesus is a fraud. Unlike the Old Jesus. And this they know for, um… well, for the Bible tells them so, that’s how they know. But soon the followers of New Jesus will claim that they know Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda is the real Jesus for their bible tells them so. And who are the followers of Old Jesus to say that the evidence brought forward by followers of New Jesus is less reliable than the evidence they bring forward for Old Jesus?

Bibles is bibles is bibles—and any idiot can write a bible. And so long as people think they can win arguments by writing bibles, idiots are going to keep writing bibles.

Humanity is doomed.

NYC Pride Festival Denied Permit

posted by on May 7 at 5:21 PM

Looks like Seattle isn’t the only city with big drama over the location of its Gay Pride celebration this year.

Today in Line Out

posted by on May 7 at 4:54 PM

I Need a Cool Rider: Michelle Pfeiffer dry-humps a ladder.

Moody’s Market: Murder City/Triumph of Lethargy frontman sells dead people’s furniture.

Audio Archives: Grandy’s Portland souvenirs.

Make Ya Jump: Folk bands like jumping in the air with their instruments.

I’m a Real Boy!: Pinocchio and disco prog.

Bring Back Romo!: Kurt B. Reighley misses the New Wave.

Decibel Expands: The organization plans to open a new online music store.

Boom Boom Boom: !!!’s new video.

And now for something cute:
Via Gawker

Re: Community Development Roundtable

posted by on May 7 at 4:53 PM

I know everyone thinks that anything published here on Slog is dripping with sarcasm, but I want to say sincerely that I erred this morning by publishing the work phone numbers of all the Community Development Roundtable members.

I have amended the post so that the numbers (and work addresses too) are gone.

Say Goodbye

posted by on May 7 at 4:49 PM


This weekend, after going to see the shiny new Seattle Art Museum, I thought I’d bounce over the Pike Place Market to haggle with some flower vendors. I had to have a moment of silence in front of the old pawn shop. What happened? That block, right before the Market has changed so much. No more kitschy ’70s XXX-porn store, no more Liberty Loan. I realize neither business could have been an upstanding member of that downtown community, in fact, Liberty employed some downright bad dudes, but it still seems sad to see it go. That tiny stretch of sleaze, and their cool retro signs, always made it seem like Seattle was a bigger city… an East Coast city, with a mix of old and new. The porn store sign is already gone. Once this Liberty sign comes down, it seems like a bit of Seattle’s history will be lost.

For Immediate Release…Of My Bladder! SANJAYA!

posted by on May 7 at 4:47 PM

O crap o crap o crappity-crap-CRAP! WHAT am i going to WEAR!?

Oh, yeah. Nothing.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE EVENT: Sanjaya Malakar at Seattle Center!

DATE: Saturday, May 12th , 2007
TIME: 12:00pm

LOCATION: Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA. 98109

TICKETS: Free to the public


SEATTLE, WA – May 7th, 2007, / Protectomatic Music and Entertainment// Sanjaya will be back in his hometown of Seattle, Washington this Saturday at the Mural Amphitheatre in Seattle Center for a meet and greet with fans, friends and supporters.

Last October, Sanjaya Malakar waited in the rain and cold for hours on end to pursue a longtime dream of becoming an entertainer. Since that cold October day, Sanjaya has taken amazing strides in achieving international recognition for his singing, his style and yes, his hair.

In the past month alone, Sanjaya has appeared on numerous TV shows and radio programs as well as internet and print media all over the world. Sanjaya’s popularity crosses a spectrum of genres and mediums in the entertainment field. His fan base continues to grow and encompasses all ages, religions, races and political beliefs.

Sanjaya is currently preparing for a sixty plus date summer tour that will take him all over the country. Upon return from this amazing and hectic summer schedule, Sanjaya will be heading into the studio to begin work on his debut release.

Born in Seattle, Washington, The 17 year old has been putting on skits and talent shows for friends and family since he was a toddler. Born into a large musically oriented family, Sanjaya honed his skills through his exposure to an array of different sounds and styles of music. Sanjaya states, “I can’t wait to come back home to Seattle and spend time some time at home and one of my favorite places, the SeattleCenter”.

Hey! No WAY! Seattle Center is, like, SO one of MY favorite places, too!

It’s like he knows me. Like we share a brain, even.

Do you think he’ll be disappointing up close?


Heaven forbid!

(Thanks Dan, smooch Brendan.)

More Fun with Phonetics

posted by on May 7 at 3:17 PM

Regarding this post from way back in September on the proper pronunciation of Chief Sealth’s name, a linguist named Jim weighs in:

This is a really fascinating topic and the quote by Vi Hilbert is amazingly informative. It seems this thread was never really tied up and a number of confusions abound. Foremost, the transcription given by NW History Link has a typo. The ‘l’ character they use is the velarized ‘l’ or “dark l” that John refers to [in the comments on the original post]. But the sound Hilbert describes is a lateral fricative, which uses a very similar symbol where the line through the ‘l’ is not a wavy tilde, but rather more like a sash or a belt. You can check for yourself by looking at the Unicode points.

1) “dark l” is pt. 026B

2) the ‘l’ with a belt is 026C

This means the closest transcription of Chief Seattle’s name the way it is described in the NW History Link essay is slightly altered from how they present it on that site, with the “l with a belt” as the final character. (I only wish I could write it here, but font compatibility would undoubtedly conspire to make this useless.)

Now, what would this sound like? “Velarized l”? “Lateral fricative”? What the heck does any of this mean, you might ask. Well they are actually not as exotic as they sound. A lateral fricative (the correct last sound in Sealth’s name) is actually very similar to the pronunciation of ‘s’ by many people who have a lisp. The lateral part just means that only one side of the tongue is being used, so either the left or right side of the tongue makes contact with the roof of the mouth but large amounts of air pass over the other side. Many people who lisp have difficulty forming the grooved tongue shape required for ‘s’ and instead pronounce it in just this way.

‘Velarized l’ is not exotic at all. We use it all the time in English. Compare how you pronounce the ‘l’ in ‘lap’ to how you say it in ‘pall.’ In ‘lap’, it is word initial and made almost entirely in the front of the mouth. In ‘pall,’ your tongue pulls back, giving the ‘l’ a quality that phoneticians call ‘velarized’.

This leaves one thing still uncovered, and this is the most interesting in my opinion. The ‘glottalized’ sound that Vi Hilbert refers to as having once been used in the pronunciation. This was misinterpreted by some above to mean that somehow the back of the throat or tongue was used during this ‘l’ sound. Judging by Hilbert’s description of the sound as ‘an explosive sound’, this is definitely not the case. Rather, this glottalization is a forceful tightening and raising of the glottis (or larynx…) during pronunciation. This is what is called an ‘ejective’ sound and is usually marked with an apostrophe after the letter. Since Lushootsheed (the language we are speaking about here) makes use of a number of ejective sounds such as t’, k’, ch’, etc… it seems very reasonable to think that the lateral fricative at the end of Sealth’s name was also at one point an ejective sound. Many other Native American languages also use these sounds and they are also found in African languages, such as Amharic. If we like that version of the story (and I certainly do), then the best version of the Chief’s name we can transcribe would also have an apostrophe ’ after the “l with a belt.”

Thinking of the final sound in the Chief’s name, one can see how “lth” might be a better guide to pronunciation than ‘ttle.” Either is pretty poor though—the problem really though isn’t with either version (Seattle or Sealth) but with using English orthography for a very non-English language.


“The whites, too, shall pass—perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your own bed, and you might suffocate in your own waste.”—Chief Sealth

Hello Kitty

posted by on May 7 at 2:28 PM

One more look at the lovely Kittitian:

The Speculation Is Over! Let the Celebration Begin!

posted by on May 7 at 2:13 PM

Congressman Norm Dicks will be the commencement speaker next month at the University of Washington. Last week, the university announced it had no commencement speaker and that an unnamed person had backed out earlier due to a scheduling conflict. That left the school with just weeks to pick a new speaker.

Today’s announcement ended speculation about who the UW would pick to greet graduates at the ceremony June 9.

The Velveteen Touch of a Dandy Fop

posted by on May 7 at 1:58 PM

What the fuck is advertising talking about?

The Herbfarm: The Old and the New

posted by on May 7 at 1:40 PM

The chef at the Herbfarm, Jerry Traunfeld, is leaving to open a restaurant in Seattle sometime next year, exact location to be announced. (Also to be announced: who’ll take over in the kitchen at the Herbfarm.) Foodies* will be in paroxysms of anticipation meanwhile; the Herbfarm is the premier finest-of-the-fine dining experience hereabouts (Zagat’s most recent list of the top 10 American restaurants concurs).

*Chris Onstad, maker of Achewood, hates the word “foodie” too, has written a cookbook sort of in response to the one from the French Laundry (“essentially useless…I thought: Well, fuck this”), and in this interview demonstrates a breathtaking disregard for his Achewood readers (“I do not and cannot care”). Also: One of the characters in Achewood started a pub called The Dude and Catastrophe, which reminded me of the following list compiled with a friend on a trip to the U.K. Those naming bars in Seattle: It’s time to leave the one-word name behind (how about even just a “The”?).

Names of British Public Houses: Real or Product of the Imagination?*

The Slug and Lettuce
The Cat and Blanket
The Stuffed Christmas Dog and Disappearing Cook
The Old Grouse
The Pint and Slippers
The Scrumpy Jack
…even more below!


Continue reading "The Herbfarm: The Old and the New" »

Bonita Suid-Afrika

posted by on May 7 at 1:16 PM

As for Southern Africa, this is what I miss the most:
teaser_135.jpg The beautiful veld. Looking at the picture makes me long for things I hardly noticed while living in the cities of Southern Africa—anthills, balancing rocks, and bush paths.

Letter of the Day

posted by on May 7 at 12:50 PM


DEAR EDITOR: Late last Thursday night, around 3: 00 am (the morning of May 4), I was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding my motorcycle at the intersection of 50th and University Ave. I have a broken arm and a bruised knee. Unfortunately, I broke my dominant arm and it’s pretty bad.

I’m looking for a dark green or blue (possibly black) sedan. It looked like a late 80s/early 90s 4-door Honda or Toyota, like a Civic or Camry. I hit it on the passenger side, near the rear of the vehicle.

I am willing to offer a reward for info leading to their arrest. Any help you could provide would be immensely appreciated. I would really like to find the perpetrator(s) and bring them to justice.

I would also very much like to thank the people who were able to help me after the accident: The young man who came to my aid first and called the ambulance, and the young woman who held my hand to keep me calm. I don’t recall their names, but would really like to thank them in person.


Karl Rove Is an Atheist

posted by on May 7 at 12:11 PM

It turns out that the man who courted Evangelicals in order to get Bush elected (twice) doesn’t believe in God. At least, not according to Christopher Hitchens.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 7 at 11:58 AM


In the Pit

(Film) While Seattle squabbled over a viaduct with a “blue-collar” view, Mexico City was building an 11-mile elevated freeway for the ease of its upper classes. This is a brilliant study of its construction and workers—their dangerous workplace, sexual taunting, and philosophical resignation to the fact that they will never own the cars their monument is intended to serve. A shrieking, noise-based score makes the mystical claim of some of the laborers—that for every bridge built, the devil takes one soul—seem almost persuasive. (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. See Movie Times, page 93, for details, $6.25—$9.25.) Annie Wagner

Two Different Takes on the Latest Seattle Housing Market Report

posted by on May 7 at 11:50 AM

There’s a new report out today on the Seattle-area housing market. What does the report mean?

From the Seattle Times:

King County home prices keep rising, bucking national trend

For the fourth month in a row, the price of King County houses has risen, reaching a median $465,000 in April, according to statistics released today by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Home prices remain steady

Western Washington home prices continue to hold up better than those in much of the country, but the latest numbers leave room for interpretation.

The number of closed home sales in King County last month was down 4.2 percent from April 2006, while pending sales, which can be a better indicator of the latest activity, were down 5.4 percent and the number of homes on the market was up 45.1 percent. This fits with a general trend of slower price increases, with increasing inventory and fewer sales, since last summer.

Child in Chief

posted by on May 7 at 11:39 AM

President Bush tripped over his words today in an appearance with Queen Elizabeth o England, saying that the queen had helped the United States “celebrate its bicentennial in 17 … .” He quickly corrected himself, saying “1976,” adding that the queen “gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.”

Or that an adult woman could give a complete idiot who’s just made a fucking fool of himself with a female world leader… again.


“In Positions Indicative of Intercourse or Other Sex Acts…”

posted by on May 7 at 10:43 AM

Let us go back to a more innocent time, when the idea of girly magazines on bookstore shelves was worthy of hysterical instructional films.

Hypocrisy at the PI: Elite Luncheons

posted by on May 7 at 10:41 AM

Kenneth Bunting, the associate publisher of the PI, wrote a lengthy editorial last week, “New York Times reasserts its principles,” applauding the New York Times for bowing out of the annual correspondents’ dinners at the White House.

Wrote Bunting:

Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, a columnist for the Kansas City Star, opined during the March discussion that the media’s chumminess with Washington power brokers at such black-tie and white-tie spectacles is wholly inappropriate and unbecoming. Perhaps Lokeman was right. Some journalists manage to transform themselves into Washington socialites at such events. Why should the public think they could be arms-length watchdogs, critics and uncompromised observers at other times? But more interesting will be whether any others among the nation’s media elite follow suit. In what we in Seattle call “the other Washington,” hobnobbing is a well-accepted way of life.

The other Washington? I’ve got three creepy words for you Mr. Bunting: Community Development Roundtable.

As you know, since you’re a member, the CDR is an elitist, private membership group of big business power players like Greg Johnson, President, Wright Runstad & Company; Ada Healey, Vice President, Real Estate, Vulcan Inc.; Stephanie Daley-Watson, VP, Secretary, Assoc. General Counsel, Safeco Corp; Jared Smith, Vice President, Area Manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Don Stark, Managing Partner, Gogerty Stark Marriott; and media leaders Mr. Michael Fancher, Editor-at-Large, The Seattle Times; Ms. Jill Mackie, Vice President, Public Affairs, The Seattle Times; Mr. Mark Trahant Editor, Editorial Page Seattle Post-Intelligencer; and Mr. Emory Thomas Publisher Puget Sound Business Journal, that meets for private lunches at the snooty Washington Athletic Center (WAC) on Mondays.

Its explicit purpose since its formation (by the Chamber of Commerce and the publishers of the dailies back in the 1930s) is to bring together the city’s media, political and business elite behind closed doors for off-the-record discussions and, not coincidentally, to cement the Establishment’s hold over civic affiars. It fosters a clubby atmosphere between the rich and powerful movers and shakers and the top editors and executives of Seattle’s newspapers.

Aren’t the power players on this list, the same people you’re supposed to be covering?

The question, Mr. Bunting, is not whether national media will follow the NYT’s example by pulling out of the once-a-year correspondents’ dinners, but if you will follow your own advice and pull out of the clubby weekly CDR.

I’ve linked the membership list below to give readers a real sense of who the media is hanging out with—I see former Port Commissioner Mic Dinsmore on there.

Continue reading "Hypocrisy at the PI: Elite Luncheons" »

You Gotta Love Those Guys

posted by on May 7 at 10:22 AM

Or not.

Julio Mateo was arraigned on assault charges and released on bail Sunday, about 36 hours after police say he punched, bit and choked his wife at the Mariners’ team hotel.

America’s Dumbest Gay People

posted by on May 7 at 10:16 AM

Surprise! They’re not running either of Seattle’s pride parades. They’re writing big checks to conservative Republicans

David Keeton, a small-business owner in Dallas, and his partner, Rob Schlein, said they supported Giuliani because of his record as New York mayor and his response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. “I’m an American first, then a Republican second, and gay falls in third or fourth,” said Keeton, who wore a Ronald Reagan pin on his lapel.

Both said they recently met former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a fundraiser and had their picture taken with him. They were offended when Romney told the crowd that he opposed gay marriage and civil unions.

“We’re part of the Republican Party, but he just alienated people who had paid $1,500 for a table,” Keeton said.

Says John Aravosis at Americablog..

You paid $1500 to help Mitt Romney’s presidential bid and you’re surprised that he’s anti-gay, like this was some big secret? Not to mention, I though being gay was, you know, like third or fourth for you, so what’s the problem if Romney hates you?

Vegas is Back, Baby!

posted by on May 7 at 9:55 AM

The Vegas of Michael Corleone

A device left in a casino parking garage exploded early Monday, killing a hotel employee who picked it up, authorities said. The man was removing the device from atop a car when it exploded shortly after 4 a.m. on the second floor of a parking behind the Luxor hotel-casino, said Officer Bill Cassell, a police spokesman…. Police said the blast was not a terrorist act but an apparent murder of a Luxor employee. No threat had been made against the Luxor, Cassell said.

“We believe the victim of this event was the intended target,” Cassell said. He said another hotel employee narrowly escaped injury when the device exploded.

Cheating Hearts

posted by on May 7 at 9:34 AM

There was a piece in the New York Times “Sunday Styles” section this weekend about the fallout from the Washington Madam scandal—particularly for Randall L. Tobias, the latest Bush administration official to be exposed for a lying sack of shit

Tobias, you’ll recall, was out there stumping for abstinence and insisting condoms don’t provide protection against sexually transmitted infections—and all the while he was visiting prostitutes for “massages.” Just another case of GOP’s sex-ed program, a.k.a. “Abstinence for thee, not for me.”

Anyway, the “Sunday Styles” piece is about what happens when a man gets caught cheating—Mr. Tobias, for example (and for the moment), is a married man. How do couples like Mr. and Mrs. Tobias survive infidelity? How do a husband and wife put the pieces back together after he strays?

The piece doesn’t go into female infidelity. Because as we all know—thanks to Oprah and Dr. Phil—that all cheaters have dicks, all wronged parties have uteruses. “Sunday Styles” queries a panel of female authors, shrinks, and guest experts. (There’s one guy, for window dressing, but he’s not allowed to say much.) The women dissect husbands and boyfriends who cheat and all agree that men suck, cheating is never okay, and nothing can justify it.

The anti-male, anti-sex bias is laid on pretty thick. Take, instance, this graph:

“They have a very healthy sense of denial,” [Norma Hotaling] said [of men that get caught with prostitutes]. “They blame the people they’re in relationships with. ‘My girlfriend won’t do this. My wife is a bitch.’”

Those statements could be rationalizations, sure. Maybe they are most of the time But are they always? Just as some husbands are thoughtless, selfish brutes, some wives are, well, bitches. Some wives aren’t very nice and there have been cases—go with me, Oprah—where men have stayed with women for their kids’ sake or for some other equally legit reason. In these cases, sex lives tend to wither and die and the guys may seek sex elsewhere. (And so may the girls.) Maybe we needed a quote to balance this graph out?

Likewise, some wives simply won’t do things that some husbands don’t merely enjoy, but view as central to their sexual expression. Does that excuse cheating? Well, not in all cases. I urge men into cross-dressing, bondage, feet, etc., who are burdened with non-GGG spouses to get permission to indulge their kinks discreetly—and with pros if the wife is threatened by outside emotional entanglements. There’s a reason why sex workers’ stories about married men confiding in them about the Wives Who Won’t are a cliche: They’re usually true.

Meanwhile in the same issue of the New York Times, Randy “The Ethicist” Cohen tackles a question that touches on issues I’ve been covering in Savage Love lately…

My wife of 30 years and I are in our 60s. A few years ago she asked that we no longer engage in sex. “It’s not such a big deal anymore,” she said. She would not see a doctor or consider other help. I began an affair with a widow. Recently my wife found out and went ballistic. If she can casually renounce sex, can’t I seek it elsewhere?

So the wife cuts the husband, because sex is “not a big deal anymore,” and goes ballistic when she discovers that her husband has gone elsewhere for some no big deals. Randy tells the man that he was at fault for being dishonest—he needed to tell the wife that he would be going elsewhere—but then comes down, appropriately, on the wife…

What your wife wants is not merely fidelity, of course, but the repudiation of what for many people is a profound and exultant part of life. So be it. People change, even about something so fundamental, even when they pledged, at least implicitly, through their conduct, to live in a particular way. Your wife may wish to live differently at 60 than she did at 30…. But she may not unilaterally impose on you the abnegation of erotic happiness.

And that gets to the meat of the matter.

If you expect fidelity then when you marry—or commit to someone for the long-term—then you must take responsibility for your partner’s sexual fulfillment, just as he or she must take responsibility for yours. Yes, there will be dry spells. No one can or must be sexually available at all times. “My wife has the flu” or “my husband threw his back out”—anything that sidelines a partner for a few days, weeks, or even months (like pregnancy, Charles)—is not a justification for adultery.

But being unilaterally cut off from sex, being trapped in a loveless and/or sexless marriage (there are loving, sexless marriages out there), or being denied a kind of sexual expression that’s central to your erotic fulfillment… these things are not “rationalizations” for infidelity.

They’re grounds.

Marching in Different Directions

posted by on May 7 at 9:30 AM

I wasn’t here for last Friday’s announcement that there will definitely be two Pride Parades this year, one on the morning of Saturday, June 23, on Capitol Hill, and the other on the morning of Sunday, June 24, in downtown.

But I wanted to say, a few days late though I may be: This is ridiculous.

The two gay Seattle City Councilmembers, Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark, called the competing parade organizers down to City Hall on Friday, with Rasmussen saying in advance of the meeting that one parade was preferable to two. Which is completely sensible. And yet the meeting ended with… two parades.


One of the things I meant to say in my Stranger piece on the future of Pride is that Seattle’s parade organizing mess is exactly the kind of community squabble that calls for intervention by the politicians who represent that community.

Kudos to Rasmussen and Clark for trying, but it doesn’t sound to me like they were ready to really play the heavies and tell the squabbling children what was going to happen. Instead, we have a solution designed to offend no one and annoy everyone. We have two parades (and, in a departure from last year, both of them will start at 11 a.m. on their respective days, making them even more similar) and we also have talk of creating yet another community organization to oversee Pride planning in the future.

When bickering community organizations are the problem, the last thing needed is another community organization. And, having two competing parades this year is not just silly, it’s a pain—for the organizers, the police, the confused parade-goers, and, not least, for the interest groups and politicians who have to decide which parade to attend.

It sounds like some gay politicians plan to march in both parades this year, and I guess it’s a lot to ask a politician to stay away from a parade, but here, again, is a missed opportunity for leadership from the elected gays who have huge sway in the gay community.

What gay politicians should do is pick a parade. And they should pick the downtown parade, which a majority of the community prefers. They should say to the Capitol Hill paraders: If you want to have your parade, fine, but we’re not marching in it.

If Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark (and also Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, who both represent Capitol Hill in the state legislature), all said they were sticking with one parade this year, in an effort to stop the annoying intra-gay competition and confusion and, in that favored phrase of politicians, “move forward,” people would listen. The community would listen. Other politicians (meaning, straight politicians) would listen. It would send a huge signal about which way Seattle’s Pride celebration is going.

The result would be very un-Seattle, but it would be very helpful. We would have leaders showing leadership, and we would know where to follow them: Downtown.

On the War: The Media Rewards Its Hawks

posted by on May 7 at 8:01 AM

Radar (?) did an interesting exercise. They looked at eight media pundits: Four who had hard-ons for the war in the run-up to shock and awe and four who stumped against it. Then they ask: Where are these pundits today?

The answer: the pro-war pundits, like David Brooks (who they also slyly note, once wrote a loud column on the importance of meritocracy), are media darlings, while the dissenters, like Robert Scheer, are currently as successful as, well, Radar magazine.

The piece is much stronger at documenting and criticizing the fact that the hawks have risen to the top than making the case that the antis became losers, but it’s worth checking out.

The Morning News

posted by on May 7 at 7:03 AM

“Fixed” New Orleans Levees: Already flawed, according to a prominent engineer.

Through the Roof: Gas prices reach record high.

Al-Qaeda’s Agenda: Keep the US in Iraq.

Right-Wing Victory: In France, where Socialist loses her bid to become the nation’s first female president.

A Modest Proposal: Raising the age of consent—for porn—from 18 to 21.

Gone: Greensburg, Kansas, after a “killer” F-5 tornado rampaged across the Plains.

Empowered: California, with the earliest primary election of 2008.

Deadly: Artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn.

Racist: Readers of, which had to disable comments on all Obama stories because of “the volume and persistence” of objectionable comments.

An All-Time Low: 28 percent for Bush in new Newsweek poll.

On the brink: Two million Americans with “subprime” mortgages, now facing the possible loss of their homes.

Recipe of the day:

Quick Salmon Soup
Serves two


7.5 oz canned or smoked salmon
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 or 2 red potatoes, diced
2 cups milk (can be low-fat)
salt & pepper
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until softened. Add the diced potato and most of the salmon. Cover with the milk, and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Add the rest of the salmon, add salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with parsley. Top with a pat of butter if desired.

Adapted from Cook & Eat. Photo from Cook & Eat.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Upset About Walter Reed?

posted by on May 6 at 6:41 PM

Let’s see you shed some tears about this:

As the U.S. military prepares for an eventual handover of security duties to Iraqi forces, more of Iraq’s 120,000 soldiers are advancing to the front lines of the war, and more are being wounded[….]

Though Iraqis fight alongside Americans, their destinies diverge upon injury. Wounded U.S. soldiers are typically flown within one day to a first-class military hospital in Germany and arrive within 72 hours at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where amputees receive extensive rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs at a cost to taxpayers of $58,000 to $157,000 per soldier, according to a 2006 study by the American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Institution.

Decent military hospitals existed under Saddam Hussein, but they were looted during the war and their doctors fled. So while some seriously injured Iraqi soldiers now receive initial treatment at sophisticated U.S. military facilities in Iraq, they must recover in public hospitals where medicines and highly trained staff are scarce. There is one military prosthetics clinic in the country, little in the way of mental health services and no burn center.

This is obviously a piggyback story, but it’s an important one, and Karin Bruillard deserves as much play as Dana Priest and Anne V. Hall got—if not, you know, a Pulitzer.

The Morning News

posted by on May 6 at 8:16 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Le Vote: France’s presidential elections begin today.

Not Scat Daddy: Street Sense wins the Kentucky Derby.

Missing: Downed Kenya Airways plane and 114 passengers.

Who now?: Only Turkish Presidential candidate steps down.

Now They Tell Us: USDA and FDA hold slaughter of 20 million chickens to check for tainted food.

Disagreement?: Gates seems to have a different agenda in Iraq.

Free Art: Ten more hours left to the Seattle Art Museum’s grand opening weekend.

Gay Art: Surprise! Some artists are gay.

Not on Their Own Anymore: Gregoire signs Foster Care bill.

Men and Women: both love Star Wars. Also Dirty Dancing.