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Archives for 06/17/2007 - 06/23/2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Urban League’s Double Standard

posted by on June 23 at 5:36 PM

James Kelly, president of Seattle’s Urban League, made a good point in today’s Seattle Times—too bad it makes him look hypocritical.

Kelly criticized calls for SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s resignation (coming from the NAACP) as premature. Kelly said he’s supporting the Chief until “all the facts” on the investigation into the Office of Professional Accountability, which investigates allegations of police misconduct, are in. (A recent report from the OPA watchdog, the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board, accused the chief of tampering in the OPA investigation of officers Greg Neubert and Michael Tietjen.)

Here’s Kelly in today’s Seattle Times: “I’ll be damned to allow any draft report, any incomplete investigation, to ruin the relationship [Kerlikowske and the Urban League] have.”

Certainly, it’s appropriate to reserve judgment until all the facts are in and the OPARB report is formally released.

Here’s the problem, though. Kerlikowske exonerated Neubert and Tietjen before the OPA was done with its investigation. If Kelly feels that it’s inappropriate to pass judgment until the OPARB investigation is complete, does he believe that Kerlikowske himself acted inappropriately by exonerating Neubert and Tietjen before the OPA had formally completed its work? Or does Kelly lower his standards when judging his friend the Chief?

Anyway, I’ll be discussing this issue and more on 710 KIRO tonight at 7pm.

I, Ex-Anonymous

posted by on June 23 at 1:55 PM

Someone submitted this item to our “I, Anonymous” column. Which means he or she wishes to remain anonymous, right? Maybe not.

Gay Kiss Blacked Out

posted by on June 23 at 12:45 PM

Andre Jackson, a high school student in New Jersey, paid $150 a special “tributes page” in his high school yearbook. When school administrators saw one of the photos he chose for his page—a picture of Andre kissing his boyfriendthey seized all the copies of East Side High’s yearbook and blacked out the photo.

Newark Superintendent of Schools Marion Bolden called the photograph “illicit” and ordered it blacked out of the $85 yearbook before it was distributed to students at a banquet for graduating seniors Thursday.

“It looked provocative,” she said. “If it was either heterosexual or gay, it should have been blacked out.”

Well I guess that’s alright—I mean, if East Side High has a policy against yearbook photos of students kissing, be they gay or straight, and this one photo of Andre kissing his boyfriend somehow slipped past the yearbooks editors, then I guess this isn’t a big deal. I mean, so long as everyone is being treated equally, right?

There are several photos of heterosexual couples kissing in the yearbook, but the superintendent said she didn’t review the entire yearbook and was presented only with Jackson’s page….

“I don’t understand,” said Jackson, 18. “There is no rule about no gay pictures, no guys kissing. Guys and girls kissing made it in.”

Oh man! I did not see that coming! Okay, let’s sue the bastards—hey, Andre? Need money for college? Get yourself a lawyer.

Here’s the offending image…


I don’t see any tongue, do you? So what’s so provocative about that picture? It’s not the kiss—there are other couples shown kissing in the yearbook—it’s the gays. Some people regard the mere existence of gays and lesbians as a provocation. The school administers in New Jersey were worried that the picture would be “upsetting to parents,” which seems a bit broad. Only a minority of parents would have been offended—a loud, bigoted minority of parents, the kind of parents who like to pretend that there’s no such thing as gays and lesbians. Gays on TV, gays on the news, gays in their kids’ high school yearbook—that sets ‘em off the bigots, so the school erred on the side of censorship and discrimination.

The school opted to accommodate the bigots—potentially imaginary bigots! What are the odds that no one would have complained? School officials are so terrified of anti-gay bigots that they don’t even wait for a complaint. And that’s the world the anti-gay bigots want to live in—a world in which public officials are so terrified of the loud, bigoted minority that public officials proactively discriminate against gays and lesbians in order to placate the bigots.

Let’s end with the heartening bit of the story. Someone at East Side High gets it:

Rules for publication of the [tribute] pages prohibited shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos, said Benilde Barroqueiro, an East Side senior graduating with Jackson.

“You know, it couldn’t be too provocative. No making out, no tongue,” she said.

Students were surprised when they opened their books and found Jackson’s picture had been covered with marker, Barroqueiro said. “He purchased the page and fell under the rules,” she said. “If they want to kiss, that’s their page. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”

UPDATE: Gay rights group makes some noise:

The gay-rights advocacy group Garden State Equality is demanding an apology from Newark School Superintendent Marion Bolden for ordering her staff to black out a picture of a gay couple kissing before distributing yearbooks to students at East Side High School.

Calling the directive both homophobic and unlawful, Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein said the school should also redistribute a new batch on uncensored yearbooks at the district’s expense.

“This action by the school district will have an unspeakably vile chilling effect on other gay and lesbian students coming out,” Goldstein said. “Her trying to erase a student and his boyfriend is a metaphor of her trying to erase the gay and lesbian community out of Newark and its school system. It’s wrong and it’s ridiculous.”

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 23 at 11:04 AM

The Wildrose Pride Bash (FREAKFEST) Seattle’s best and only lesbian bar continues its three-day indoor/outdoor Pride blowout with a day of inspired fuckery, hosted by the Pho Bang bitches Ursula Android and Jackie Hell and featuring the crowd-pleasing musical stylings of Ms. Led, the Charming Snakes, and the amazing Leslie & the Lys. (The Wildrose, 1021 E Pike St. 1 pm—2 am, $12.) DAVID SCHMADER

Doogie Howser He Ain’t

posted by on June 23 at 10:38 AM

Officials in southern India are probing allegations that a doctor couple let their teenage son perform surgery.

Reports said 15-year-old Dileepan Raj carried out a caesarean section to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s youngest surgeon.

Via BBC.

Morning News

posted by on June 23 at 8:44 AM

posted by Rebecca Tapscott

Phantom Thunder fails: Plans to increase security in Baghdad result in movement of insurgents and increased violence in Iraq.

Saving seats: President Vladimir Putin considers a third term in 2012.

EU unites: The European Union agreed today to negotiate a treaty within the year to replace the defunct constitution.

Welcome home: NASA’s space shuttle, Atlantis, landed safely in the Mojave Desert Friday, after a two-week mission.

Antioch closes: Antioch plans to close undergraduate college because of financial crisis, but faces protest from alumni.

Eldest children are smarter: Study concludes that, on average, first borns score three points higher on I.Q. tests than their closest sibling.

Civil rights groups enter local policing crisis: NAACP and Urban League chose opposing sides in the aftermath of the Patterson arrest.

Griffey’s back: Ken Griffey Jr. makes his long-awaited return to Safeco Field.

Fatal shooting in Belltown: A young man was shot in the face during an argument on Friday night.

Conflict on flag lowering: The nation debates whether lowering the flag often cheapens the action.

Man Killed on 2nd and Pine

posted by on June 23 at 12:48 AM

A man in his 20s was shot and killed in Belltown Friday night during an argument.

The man was walking with a woman on the sidewalk along Pine Street near 2nd Avenue about 10:45 p.m. when a man standing near a parked car made a comment to the woman that started an argument among the three, said Seattle police Capt. Richard Belshay.

During the argument, the man near the car opened his trunk, pulled out a rifle and fired several shots, striking the other man at least once in the face, Belshay said. The man was dead at the scene.

A witness to the argument, who ran as shots were fired, was about a block away before he realized he had been shot in the leg, Belshay said. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with a non-life-threatening wound.

Police found the suspected shooter hiding in a Dumpster about two blocks away and arrested him, Belshay said. The identities of those involved weren’t released late Friday.

This is the 3rd shooting today. More updates as they’re available.

Via Seattle Times

OPA’s Track Record

posted by on June 23 at 12:42 AM

The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) has been under attack for turning a blind eye to officer misconduct. Back in 2005, we wrote about Maikoyo Alley-Barnes’ brutal beating at the hands of Seattle Police Officers. OPA investigated the case, and it turns out that they actually sustained several excessive force charges.

Because the officers were not disciplined within a 180 days of the investigation, a clause in the police guild’s contract, the worst they got was a strongly worded letter from the assistant police chief.

The officers clearly escalated a minor incident. What started as an encounter between and officer and Barnes, who had littered on the street, quickly devolved into violence.

Officer Hunt tried to lead [Barnes] to his patrol car to handcuff him, but the subject pulled away. Hunt, who says he has had eight years of wrestling experience, decided he would put his arm under [Barnes], lifting him up. The he would take him to the ground for the purposes of handcuffing. Although Hunt had success with this technique in wrestling, it didn’t work on [Barnes]. The subject turned and faced Hunt, flailing his arms. Hunt grabbed the subject by his pants, and believes he may have also grabbed onto the head of [Barnes] penis, but this was not his intent.

The incident was captured on video, but according to the report it “shows little information.”

This time, it seems like OPA got things right and flagged the officers for their misconduct.

It just turned out to be an empty gesture.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Houseboat Fire on Lake Union

posted by on June 22 at 5:47 PM


Rudy Autio Dead

posted by on June 22 at 5:14 PM

Given the strength of the ceramics program at UW and Autio’s importance in establishing contemporary ceramics, I thought some of you might want to know.

Two of My Favorite Things

posted by on June 22 at 5:08 PM

Woody takes on opera. (I always thought Love and Death would make a great opera.)

(Thank you, ArtsJournal.)


Music Video of the Day

posted by on June 22 at 4:57 PM

Via Sullivan.

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 22 at 4:55 PM

Hometown Sounds: Terry Miller revisits Wishbone Ash’s Argus.

This Week’s Setlist: Win tickets to the Divorce shows.

A Capella Karaoke: For real? Yes. For real.

The Ultimate Fan: Who would you stalk?

There is No Excuse: For bad poster art.

Karizma’s Charisma: And Phil Collins remix.

Last Minute Show Announcement: Doug Haire plays tonight at the Good Shepherd Center.

Pop Art: Everything the Terrordactyls do is wonderful.


I Just Don’t Know Who to Believe

posted by on June 22 at 4:31 PM

Earlier today, I went to an NAACP press conference at the Urban League building on 14th and Yesler. NAACP president James Bible, again, called for the resignation of SPD chief Gil Kerlikowske and the firings of officers Gregory Neubert and Michael Tietjen. “We have a leadership problem in Seattle. A crisis of character,” he said.

An hour after the conference I got an email from the Urban League:

James Kelly, Current President of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and Carl Mack, former President of the Seattle NAACP, will hold a press conference to comment and voice their support of Police Chief Kerlikowske:

As a longtime ally who as has always been open and accessible to the Urban League, Chief Kerlikowske deserves to have all the facts brought to light during the Mayor’s review.”

The NAACP office is in the Urban League building.


Who’s Jake Gyllenhaal?

posted by on June 22 at 4:11 PM

One of my original childhood crushes is returning to the big screen next summer and I couldn’t be happier about it.


Welcome back, Indiana.

The Other LBJ

posted by on June 22 at 4:07 PM

The woman who made Texas beautiful…


…is in the hospital.

Godspeed, Lady Bird.

Abortion, the PATRIOT Act, and Your City Council

posted by on June 22 at 4:00 PM

The King County Democrats have posted this year’s candidate questionnaires on their web site, and along with the usual unanimous answers to the Dems’ yes/no questions (yes, everyone supports gay rights; no, they don’t want to ban abortion) are a few intriguing caveats (places on the questionnaire where a candidate’s “yes” or “no” is “qualified.”) The written answers are usually pretty useless, but they, too, offer a few insights.

Now, clearly, questions about things like abortion rights and the Davis-Bacon Act aren’t really directly relevant to city politics. However, where a candidate stands on issues like abortion can make a difference in how people vote; two years ago, when Richard McIver challenger Robert Rosencrantz gave a “qualified” answer to the question, “Do you support abortion rights?” it gave dyed-in-the-wool Democrats pause about supporting him.

On to the questions: When asked, “Do you support the PATRIOT Act?”, two candidates (of those who filled out questionnaires; not all the candidates running this year had filed yet) gave “qualified” responses. Those were Bruce Harrell, running for the open seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck, and Tim Burgess, running against incumbent David Della. In his questionnaire, Harrell says that although the PATRIOT Act is “overreaching,” he does “support the need for legislation designed to secure our country from terrorists and threats to our national security.” (Asked how he would work to improve the lives of the economically disadvantaged, Harrell suggests that it’s mostly a matter of improving their self-esteem.) Burgess says that although he doesn’t support the act’s limits on civil liberties, he does “support those provisions that allowed for the sharing of criminal intelligence and investigative facts between law enforcement and intelligence agencies to better protect public safety.”

The other thing that struck me while slogging through all that paper was how quickly ideas that were once on the fringe become conventional wisdom. I’m thinking, specifically, of the surface/transit option for the viaduct, which a majority of candidates for council now say they’re at least open to; and a ban on plastic bags, which several candidates support (and which the City Council is considering). It wasn’t so long ago that both ideas were considered the realm of the loony lefties.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on June 22 at 3:44 PM

Killer of Sheep, the movie with the highest Metacritic score so far in 2007, arrives in Seattle tonight. Since our competitor chose to review the Angelina Jolie vehicle A Mighty Heart twice instead of reprinting J. Hoberman’s review in full, I’ll take the liberty of pointing you to the Village Voice review. And for good measure, here’s Manohla Dargis in the New York Times and Jonathan Rosenbaum in the Chicago Reader.

Killer of Sheep

Charles Mudede reviews Killer of Sheep in an extra-long On Screen this week, alongside reviews of Evan Almighty (“Sorry,” says Lindy West, “but a movie is not going to trick me into believing in God—especially a movie in which God crushes an entire neighborhood because he prefers pretty trees to human progress”), Angel-A (“très boring,” concludes Jon Frosch, The Stranger’s Paris correspondent), A Mighty Heart (me: “Angelina Jolie’s character owes more to her own carefully cultivated image as a globalized matriarch than anything you’d recognize as a journalist’s persistent hunger or a wife’s panicky devotion”), La Vie en Rose (“stretches of the film, which traces Edith Piaf’s rise from Parisian poverty to international stardom, feel uncommonly—even thrillingly—intimate,” says Frosch), Day Watch (“At a time where most would-be magnum opuses can barely manage to rub two neurons together, director Timur Bekmambetov’s film is chockablock with neat ideas—so many, in fact, that they ultimately end up crowding each other out,” says Andrew Wright), Eagle vs. Shark (it is indeed “Napoleon Dynamite transposed to New Zealand, with misfit Kiwis in place of klutzy Mormons and real animals in place of ligers,” but it’s still funny, say I), and Golden Door (me again: “a generic immigrant’s tale that too often mistakes blankness for mystery”).


But that’s not all! Grand Illusion continues its mini-series on British director Lindsay Anderson with the sort-of-sequel to If…: the rock musical satire O Lucky Man!. Again Malcom McDowell stars as Mick Travis, a middle-class English Everyman with a, shall we wish, overactive fantasy life. I haven’t seen it yet, but you really can’t beat that title.

Meanwhile, at the Varsity, the SIFF holdover Red Road, a moody pseudo-thriller that joins The Lives of Others in the list of 2006 films about government surveillance.

Pride celebrants should check out the original Hairspray at Volunteer Park tomorrow at dusk, or, if you insist, the well intentioned but condescendingly constructed Inlaws & Outlaws, continuing at the Uptown for a second week. (For a passionate defense of the film—in full recognition of the suspicious aesthetics—check out Adam Sekuler’s post over at Northwest Film Forum’s blog.)

In Web Extras this week: Andrew Wright reviews 1408 (“Rather surprisingly, the inevitable movie adaptation doesn’t suck”) and I interview Taika Waititi, the director of Eagle vs. Shark (“Part of me still cringes, like, what? I just made a romantic comedy?”).

For all your Movie Times needs, see Get Out. Happy Pride.

John Edwards Makes Me Think of Dino Rossi for Some Reason

posted by on June 22 at 3:28 PM

There’s a pretty convincing hit piece on Dino Ros…. John Edwards in today’s NYT about how Dino Ross… Edwards has been campaigning under the guise of running a non-profit organization.

(Using a nonprofit, like this Dino Rossi non-profit, for political activity and partisan purposes would be against the rules.)

The New York Times article makes the case that Edwards pushed the boundaries, ending with this quote from the IRS:

I can’t say that what Mr. Edwards did was wrong,” Mr. Owens said. “But he was working right up to the line. Who knows whether he stepped or stumbled over it. But he was close enough that if a wind was blowing hard, he’d fall over it.”

Wanna Go to Mars?

posted by on June 22 at 2:52 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

The European Space Agency is looking for six people to spend a year and a half inside a small, simulated “spacecraft.” The volunteers will have to perform tasks and react to “emergencies” just as though they were real astronauts on a trip to mars. They will not be allowed out, and will only communicate with “Earth” via a time-delayed radio. This will help the agency figure out how people will react in a confined space for a long period of time. They have not, apparently, been watching Big Brother.

Sorry, only citizens of the European Union and Canada will be considered.

I Need Some Help

posted by on June 22 at 2:37 PM

When I was in high school (which was an anus-clenchingly short time ago, according to some of my older superiors), I lived in a wealthy suburb outside of Boston. Every year, we would go to the auditorium to watch something I always referred to as “The Pepsi Show,” because it was sponsored by Pepsi. I am trying to find these programs, because they were so weird, just a weird alternate universe of education, but I don’t know if they were shown to kids on the west coast at all, if they were even shown other places than my high school. I will describe the program to you, and maybe you can assist me with your collective consciousness.

The auditorium would be set up with three large projection screens, side by side, and the program came from three different projectors, although sometimes they were in sync. The point of the programs were to get us to not do drugs, commit suicide, cut ourselves, drive drunk, or any other out-of-proportion teen affliction. They were made with really mid-nineties iconography (I was class of ‘03, so this was already outdated), and they told us that we could be ourselves, even if that meant we were a total skateboarding rebel. They always had lots of mid-nineties songs like “Closing Time” by Semisonic and that song about doing heroin that goes, “I push the needle in/I pull it out…” But it wasn’t like other school programming because the stories, which were about teens that were purportedly going through the same things as us, were projected on these gigantic screens and the music was played really loud.

If you find a YouTube video of this, I will seriously mail you a box of cookies.

Free Dogs

posted by on June 22 at 2:08 PM

In honor of Gay Pride, the BottleNeck Lounge, on Madison east of 23rd, is serving free hot dogs (and veggie dogs) tomorrow and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. And there tonight at 10 p.m.: Sarah Rudinoff (certified Stranger Genius™) presides over a “Traditional Hot Dog Blessing.” The BottleNeck elaborates: “No cover. This will be a seriously good time.”


This Week on Drugs

posted by on June 22 at 2:04 PM

Dis vershun of TWOD bai teh lolrus!!!!!1!!one.


Supreem Cort: Cops not search U while ridin’ in teh car.

Marijuwanna: Ah makin’ U so vilent.

Farmur: DEA can’t haz mah hemp cropz.

Conviks: I can haz colidj munny agin?

FDA: We wantz Fiber-my-alja jrug.

Giuliani: Mah campain staffr chargd fer cokane cunspirsy.

Firefiterz: Gettin’ hi puttin’ out ur pot firez.

Catz Okay: Khat charges iz dropt.

The Kid Returns

posted by on June 22 at 1:52 PM

posted by Jeff Kirby

Tonight Ken Griffey, Jr. plays his first game in Seattle since being traded in 2000. He’s afraid of being booed, but that seems pretty unlikely. How can we forget all those homeruns and dazzling catches he gave us? We must never forget. Tonight is not for mourning his death as a Red, but for celebrating his life as a Mariner.


3 Weeks in Geek

posted by on June 22 at 1:32 PM


Welcome back to the Week in Geek. Apologies for the hiatus, but geeks are busy and don’t always get around to writing these dumb posts each week. Also, there was that whole Freaky Friday thing, and some kind of drinking conference in Portland.

Anyway, enough excuses. The past three weeks have been chock full of all kinds of geek news, so let’s get started.

Apple posts iPhone Guided Tour videos, e-mails with “Dooooooood” as subject line increase by 900%.

AT&T adds 2000 temporary store staff to handle the expected crush of people with $600 burning a hole in their pockets.

AT&T says rate plans will be announced before 6/29, assuring we’ll know how much to get on that payday loan next Thursday.

Should IT departments be wary of iPhones on their networks? Huh? This guy thinks so.

Apple announced last week that anyone can develop applications for the iPhone, as long as those applications aren’t, you know, applications. In response, Mac application developers freaked right the fuck out.

iPhone to sport a glass screen instead of original plastic, making it more scratch-resistant and less shatter-resistant.

iPhone now polling 4th in 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

iPhone expected to lead a revolution in touchy-touchy tech toys, ultimately leading to even more revolutionary devices like big ass tables.

New Apple phone also promises to revolutionize personal transportation and home entertainment.

AT&T and Apple stores have modified their hours for iPhone Day (formerly known as June 29th). Fuck yeah! Modified hours!

Man spots iPhone on a California train, snaps photo with his inferior piece of shit “cell phone.”

Apple announces iPhone battery life to be better than expected, stock goes up $4.

Wine Director at “prominent restaurant” describes first-hand iPhone experience. His restrained conclusion? “The Apple iPhone is a magical device that for the first time seemlessly blends art, architecture and electronics…,” and then something about Natalie Portman.

And that’s the news. Busy couple of weeks, no?

Watch this space next week for news from the front lines. Though really, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It looks like a pretty ordinary phone to me.



posted by on June 22 at 1:22 PM

I’m terribly sorry to have to tell you this. Sort of.

I was skipping gaily down good old Broadway, enjoying this fresh and sprightly All Gays Eve (and not thinking of slogging at all!) when suddenly! From out of the fucking nowhere almost! Pasted over the legitimate posts on the post board on the side of the empty old QFC! My relatively horrified eye was assaulted with the…um…something… sight of THIS:


The text, for those nearsighted bastards out there (damn you all!):

Drunken Old Hag Productions Presents MOM-ZILLA! The Drag Queen that Tried to Eat Seattle, One Big Lie at a Time! In Foul-O-Rama!

Lies! Lies! Lies!

I was in the Warhol Diaries!

I performed on Broadway!

I co-founded Gay Bingo!

I do have AIDS!

I don’t have AIDS!

I partied with George Clooney!

I am not a crook!

Lies, lies, lies? Indeed? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Well. This mean little thing was crafted by persons mysterious and unknown—but y’all will, for the record, probably recognize that top banner thingy in the second picture that features a line-up of gay serial killers, Michael Jackson, and “Mom” from last year’s Pride, as it was posted (again, by persons mysterious and unknown) somewhere in the vicinity of the Bus Stop and caused much controversy and fuss. Of course, this all seems to hearken back somewhat to an earlier argument, which I still have absolutely no comment upon. Ahem.

But still, I can’t help wondering. Are there t-shirts?

(Thanks to Matty Pants for the pictures!)

The New Laboratory?

posted by on June 22 at 12:57 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

The MacArthur Foundation is breaking new ground in philanthropy— they’ve given $550,000 to the Center on Public Diplomacy to stage events in Second Life, the online virtual world.

According to this morning’s New York Times article, the grant will sponsor events to stimulate discussions about how foundations can address real-world problems like immigration and poverty. It is also something of a testing ground for the foundation — they will offer grants and develop programs in the virtual world before rolling them out in the real one. Does this strike anyone else as somewhat creepy?

Granted, I’ve never visited Second Life and I don’t plan on having an avatar anytime soon. But couldn’t you find a better way to spend half a million, MacArthur Foundation? Is this virtual world really the new testing ground for sociologists and psychiatrists and advertising execs? Do people behave in a virtual world exactly as they do in the real one? And if so, what is the point?

Name Withheld Has Two Mommies

posted by on June 22 at 12:38 PM

I’ve filed lots of “Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father” posts, filed under “Hetero,” calling attention to spectacular examples of terrible heterosexual parents.

My sense of fairness compels me to post this extremely distressing item: An 11-year-old boy was found locked in a closet in Wisconsin. Tortured repeatedly, starved, and kept out of school, the boy is permanently disfigured. His mother’s lesbian lover has been arrested and charged, along with his sister and three other adults—yes, his own sister was a “full participant” in the torture, according to the police.

Oh, and his mother? Her body was found buried in the backyard.

Homicide, Torture Case Rocks Portage

PORTAGE, Wis. — A group of suspected identity thieves who prosecutors said killed one of their own and abused a child traveled to Wisconsin and rented a house in the quiet community of Portage simply because they wanted to see snow….

People have left flowers and candles on the front stoop of the rental house. A new bat and glove was left for the 11-year-old boy who authorities said was found locked in a closet, bloody, burned and tortured.

Investigators said his mother was strangled and buried in the back yard. Her 15-year-old daughter, two women and a man who lived at the house are in custody.
Prosecutors said the dead woman, Tammie Garlin, had a romantic relationship with another woman, Michaela Clerc, who lived in the house, and that Clerc thought Garlin had cheated on her.


posted by on June 22 at 12:28 PM


It’s Official: Lesbians Have Better Taste Than Straight Men

posted by on June 22 at 12:10 PM


Rightly disgusted over Maxim’s Hot 100 List—in which the shameless over-the-counter wank mag named Lindsay Lohan the “hottest woman in the world”—the can-do dykes at compiled their own list of the 100 hottest women in existence right now. True, the AfterEllen list skews as heavily toward L Word cast members as Maxim’s does toward starving starlets, but the results prove my subject line and then some.

See the full lists here (for AfterEllen) and here (for Maxim).

Absolutely Sean

posted by on June 22 at 12:08 PM

Go here to see production stills of Lynn Shelton’s next feature film, Seven Ways to Sunday. Indeed, Sean Nelson is the subject and star of her flick.

Portland’s Parade To-do

posted by on June 22 at 11:56 AM

While we are in the middle of our own discordant parade season, I heard about a fracas going on down in Portland.

The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade was June 9. There has been a long-running tradition of people going down ahead of time—sometimes days ahead—and taping off “reserved” spots along the parade route. Meaning people who show up on parade day are blocked from getting good places. Many people call bullshit on this practice.

The fight came to a head and tempers flared when The Portland Mercury’s Civic Clean-Up Squad announced it was going down the night before the parade to remove the markers for these “reserved” spots.


My Portland-residing sister-in-law told me it caused a HUGE uproar—both for its rejection of this local “tradition” as well as for the not-so-veiled insults directed at Greshamites.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 22 at 10:59 AM

Georgia’s (GREEK RESTAURANT) This small, family-run place in Greenwood serves huge helpings of beautifully executed Mediterranean favorites like tangy lamb kebabs and octopus sautéed in garlic. They know how to do octopus. And on Friday and Saturday nights, they somehow make room for a lively band and belly dancers. (Georgia’s Greek Restaurant, 783-1228, 323 NW 85th St. Daily 8 am—10 pm.) AMY KATE HORN

Just Odd

posted by on June 22 at 10:55 AM

The remarkable thing about the condominium under construction across the street from the Seattle Central Library is not that it’s striving for LEED-Gold certification, or that it’s the first of what in the future will be many “tall skinny” towers in the financial district, or that the price of the penthouses on its 24th floor range from $1,895,000 to $2,600,000. What’s remarkable is this:
d02446272208.jpg Designed by Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine, a firm that’s part of the ambitious Stadium West and East project, this colorfully tiled wall on the south facade articulates, according to floor plans, the area along which two elevators will service 5th and Madison when its completed in August. The big question is this: Why did the architects choose something that opposes, that works against, that almost undoes the modernistic sleekness of the tower? Most of 5th and Madison appears to be rational (the best type of architecture—or ecotecture), and this considerable confusion of tiles appears to be so whimsical. It’s not entirely bad, just remarkably odd.

Who’s the Dean of ‘08?

posted by on June 22 at 10:55 AM

Personally, I don’t think anyone is going to be the Dean of ‘08.

This is such a fundamentally different race than we saw in 2004, and such a settled field of contenders (even the undeclared wild-cards are known and being polled about), that looking for the Dean of ‘08 is a waste of time, a reliving of the past, a fighting of the last battle — take your pick of dismissive cliché.

But plenty of other people seems to be looking for a new Dean. Today Jeff Zeleny delivers the latest in this genre, exploring whether Obama could be the new Dean:

At this moment in the 2004 presidential race, the early hints of Mr. Dean’s rise were first being detected. His strong anti-war sentiment was appealing to Democratic activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and across the country. And through low-cost fundraising on the Internet, his contributions in the second quarter of 2003 nearly tripled from the first…

The Obama campaign, along with several of his rivals, is hoping to pick up where Mr. Dean’s presidential bid left off – at least where political creativity is concerned – by seizing on the power of the Internet to raise money, stir excitement and mobilize supporters across the country.

A Little Priest

posted by on June 22 at 10:20 AM

Rudy Giuliani is tough on crime—but soft on child rape.

Rep. Inslee (Who We Love) Endorses HRC (Who We ?)

posted by on June 22 at 9:35 AM

Serious enviro Inslee was also named co-chair of Clinton’s Energy and Environmental Task Force.

People think McDermott is our flaming liberal, but I urge you to check in on Rep. Inslee’s flaming record, especially on the environment where he’s been a leader. He’s also been firmly against the war from the beginning. Don’t know if his endorsement will quell Hillary’s Cantwell-style problem (the war!) here in Seattle, but Inslee’s endorsement can’t hurt.

Postman’s got some context.

And we’ve got an old Slog interview leading up to Blue Wave 2006. Listen to Inslee bash then-Majority leader Rep. John Boehner and feel his scorn for President Bush:

For You, Dan

posted by on June 22 at 9:08 AM

Keith Olbermann tasers your old nemesis Bill O’Reilly. It’s lovely viewing.

Thanks Think Progress.

Closing Gitmo

posted by on June 22 at 9:04 AM

Maybe not.

Sorry, false alarm.

A major meeting was to take place today amongst the president’s national security and legal advisers, the AP reported late yesterday; and the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention facility was on the table. And “for the first time, it appears a consensus is developing, senior administration officials said Thursday.”

That story broke around 6 PM last night. By 8 PM, the story had changed: there was no meeting, the White House said, and “no decisions on the future of Guantanamo Bay are imminent.”

What happened? The Washington Post reports this morning that there really was supposed to be such a meeting. But “two administration officials” say that once word broke about the subject, and the apparent “consensus” that had been developing towards closing the facility, Gitmo was pulled off the table.

And who pulled it off the table? Who do you think?


The Morning News

posted by on June 22 at 8:45 AM

Better mileage: The Senate (but not the House, yet) votes to require all new cars to get 35 mpg.

Cheney: Not part of the executive branch?

Skeletons in the CIA closet: To be detailed next week.

The President’s Crocs: Ill-considered, says the Post’s fashion critic.

Brain-controlled toys: Coming.

Closing Gitmo: A paper says Bush is near a decision to do so.

The Paris Hilton interview chase: A $1 million offer from NBC? The network says no.

A nation without a BlackBerry: France.

Who’s the mafioso?: Giuliani says it’s him.

Lake of Fire

posted by on June 22 at 8:39 AM

Did anyone catch the new documentary about abortion in American—Lake of Fire—at SIFF? Over at Kos, Frederick Clarkson worries that the film may alter the abortion debate in America—and not in favor of pro-choice candidates.

I have been following the film’s progress in part because I am in it (as a talking head), and in part because I believe the film is a wildcard in the politics of abortion as we go into the 2008 election season. The 2 1/2-hour films takes a stark look at all sides of the issue, and includes actual footage of abortion procedures that Tony Kaye, the director filmed himself, and jail house interviews with convicted murderers of doctors who have performed abortions — and much, much more….

One antiabortion leader is already freaked out about it, and I imagine that there will be people in all camps who will also be variously freaked-out, in part because control of the debate may slip away.

Did anyone see it at SIFF? Any thoughts?

Shooting Outside Tommy’s in U-District

posted by on June 22 at 7:04 AM


There was a shooting last night outside Tommy’s, a nightclub on the Ave. Slog tipper Damien lives across the street from Tommy’s. He writes…

At around 12:45 AM two dudes were kicked out of Tommy’s then returned shortly after and started a fight with the bouncers. After leaving, they then came back once again and one guy fired at least 3 shots into a group of people gathered at the door to Tommy’s. One man was shot and was later taken away by ambulance.

Damien shot this video of the fight that lead up to the shooting. Three minutes after the video ends, Damien says, the man in the white shirt in the video came back and opened fire.

Club promoter and political activist Dave Meinert says comments…

IF club owners were allowed to hire off duty SPD to work outside of nightclubs this shooting probably would not have happened. IF SPD were to arrest people who get into fights outside of nightclubs and prosecute them for assault on a regular basis, this may have been avoided. IF there was a nightlife advisory board that could have been working with Tommy’s to help them implement ‘best practices’ to deal with problem nights, this might have been avoided.

These are things the nightlife industry has been asking for for two years that the city has refused to adopt. Instead of putting programs into place to help deal with these things before they happen, the city wants to implement a new level of bureaucracy in the form of yet another business license for nightclubs (they already need several licenses to open) that is purely reactive and only serves to close a club like this after a series of bad events.

We don’t know all the facts in this case, but it seems like Tommy’s has been promoting a night that brings in a crowd with it a lot of problems. But this night they removed some of the problem folks. Those people then tried to fight the bouncers. If off duty police were working outside, these dudes would have been arrested. Instead one left, got a gun he probably had in his car, and came back. No nightclub license would have stopped this. Good policing could have, off duty cops could have, a nightlife advisory board working with Tommy’s to have better security, etc, might have helped.

Let’s hope now the council will pass the recommendations of the SNMA quickly.

Older and Wiser

posted by on June 22 at 6:31 AM

My older brother Billy—with his damn doctorate and everything—is going to be even more insufferable after he sees this morning’s New York Times.

Research Finds Firstborns Gain the Higher I.Q.

The eldest children in families tend to develop higher I.Q.’s than their siblings, researchers are reporting today, in a large study that could settle more than a half-century of scientific debate about the relationship between I.Q. and birth order.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 21 at 4:38 PM

Fat Cat: Slim Moon Hired as A&R by Rykodisc.

CDs Nut: Colby B’s Vinyl Mode.

Zoo, Not Zoo: Herbie Hancock Rocks Woodland Park Zoo.

One More Hippie: Dave Matthews’ New Boy.

Broken Glass: Iggy Pop and Glass Candy.

And now, Ida No of Glass Candy:


(Glass Candy play tonight at the Comet—It’s in the Stranger Suggests)

Accountability Schmacountability

posted by on June 21 at 4:07 PM

I just got a call from Pete Rogerson, the President of the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct Advisory Council. He wanted to talk about the “accuracy” of the media’s reporting of the Neubert/Tietjen/Kerlikowske debacle.

Rogerson and I got into an intense debate about the facts of the case, Kerlikowske’s role in the OPA investigation and OPARB’s recent lashing of the chief. Rogerson says the media isn’t giving the Department and Kerlikowske a fair shake. We’re ignoring the facts and glossing over details.

I asked him if he’d seen the video of Patterson’s arrest.

“Part of it,” he said.

Thanks for the call, dude.

Eyman: Saving I-200

posted by on June 21 at 4:02 PM

Earlier today I slogged that Eyman had some new initiatives lined up. One of them dealt with “discrimination.”

I assumed this was one of those convoluted reactionary things saying that gay rights discriminate against straights by creating “preferences” and that Eyman’s initiative would say something about “no preferences.”

I guess my head was in Queer land (it’s pride week), and so I jumped to the conclusion that Eyman was taking another swipe at our state’s gay civil rights bill.

Eyman writes in to say it’s not about the gays. It’s more about Seattle School’s racial tiebreaker policy (which is currently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.) Eyman wants to secure I-200. Here’s Eyman:

We’re exploring various potential initiative proposals. The one on ‘prohibiting discrimination’ relates to saving I-200, an initiative the voters approved in 1998 relating to race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin. Since its overwhelming passage, several governments have put loopholes in it and the courts have misinterpreted what “no preferential treatment” means when it comes to race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting. The 59% of the electorate who approved I-200 wanted state and local governments to simply treat everyone equally and wanted the government and the courts to respect its policies, not undermine them. Sexual orientation wasn’t included in I-200 and so it’s not included in this initiative.

Interestingly, there’s a U.S. Supreme Court case coming out soon which provides one example of what I’m referring to when it comes to I-200. The State Supreme Court said that Seattle’s “racial tiebreaker” school policy did not violate I-200. By any reasonable reading of the initiative, the State Supreme Court should have invalidated Seattle’s “racial tiebreaker.” Because they didn’t, it was appealed to the SCOTUS, and their upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which is due any day now, is widely expected to overturn this policy for Seattle schools and possibly schools throughout the nation. Again, this is just one example of Washington state’s courts and
the Legislature misinterpreting and undermining I-200.

P.s. In the Bush witch-hunt era (see Annie Wagner’s post), Eyman might want to add political persuasion into that mix of “no discrimination.”

“You Were a (Beep)in’ Bitch, Like a Little Girl!”

posted by on June 21 at 3:32 PM

So. Top Chef.


Howie and Joey got in a fight last night because they’re dramatic little boys. Howie called Joey a little girl and Joey pouted like a… uh… well, a little girl. And despite their unimpressive dishes and hissy fits, Sandee got kicked off? Because she “didn’t do a BBQ dish”? Whatever.

With 12 people, it’s still too hard to keep track of everyone and have any idea who’s who, since they’re not all getting in yelling matches. So other than the tantrum between the two New Yorkers, here’s what I remember of the rest of this season’s cast:

Sara and Micah are sissies, but they made good dishes (according to the judges). Hung is a conceited and spastic little bastard. Brian is from the Northwest. Tre is as conceited as Hung but less of a spaz, and the two seem to have a little extra competition happening between them. CJ is really, really tall, and Sandee has a Mohawk. Not that it matters, she’s gone now. I also remember wanting one of the huge artichokes they showed in the market. Steamed until tender with curry mayo. Yum.

Anyway, I already suspect to see Tre and/or Hung in the top three. That is if they don’t fuck up by, I dunno, attacking a castmate and holding him down while trying to shave his head or something. But no telling who the other slots might go to. Brian? He did win last night; he’s got some skill. Maybe Sissy Sarah? It’s too early to tell…

I want Sam back.

“What is with his SPELLING?!?”

posted by on June 21 at 3:13 PM

Poor Steve is having a very bad day. Can you help him find Iaian?

It’s amazing how quickly one can go from preparing for a big meeting to getting tackled by security.

My new hero.

One correction

posted by on June 21 at 2:51 PM

In my column this week, I claimed:

It is not clear that adult human cells can be reprogrammed; there is only one hint in all the scientific literature.

Uh, better make that two hints:

Previous efforts to obtain embryonic stem cells from cloned primate embryos have failed. Korean cloning scientist Woo Sook Hwang lost his job over fabricated successes using human eggs.

But Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Centre in the United States said he had succeeded using modified Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, or SCNT, in which an egg cell nucleus is removed and replaced with a donor nucleus.

The cell eventually forms an early embryo, or blastocyst, with DNA almost identical to the donor organism.

Mitalipov said he used skin cells from a 10-year-old male rhesus monkey and presented the conference with proof of his success using DNA evidence. He also showed slides of the embryonic cells changing into heart cells and neurons.

While it’s wise to wait for a peer reviewed scientific paper, if this holds up it is an exciting development indeed. Congratulations (in advance) to Dr. Mitalipov.

And You Thought the Firing of the US Attorneys Was Flagrant…

posted by on June 21 at 2:21 PM

Today’s Washington Post article about the truly egregious political discrimination happening in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, of all places, is a must read. It’s nitty-gritty reporting, and it’s nasty as hell.

Be sure to read the second page, otherwise you’ll miss the transfer of a seven-months-pregnant minority lawyer named Karen Stevens to a lower profile division to “make room for some good Americans” in the civil rights division. Holy shit.

The Meaning of Betty

posted by on June 21 at 2:18 PM

Betty is the name of a new restaurant on top of Queen Anne. (It’s owned by the same people who own Crow, on lower Queen Anne.) The name Betty may conjure up a number of things: someone’s great-aunt’s dessert, or Betty Boop/Betty-and-Veronica/Bettie Page/Bette Davis, or Betty as the term for a female snowboarder. But somebody (delicately) said it’s also slang for “a certain part of the female anatomy.” News to me.

South Seattle Dems Rescind Della Support

posted by on June 21 at 2:17 PM

The 11th District Democrats of far-South Seattle and Renton voted Tuesday night to endorse no one in the race between David Della and Tim Burgess. Della, the incumbent, got the 11th District’s endorsement four years in his race against then-incumbent Heidi Wills. According to one person who was at the meeting, Della failed to get the required two-thirds vote in large part because of his perceived “lack of leadership” on energy issues, the focus of his campaign against Wills. During that campaign, Della trashed Wills for her leadership at City Light (dubbing her “Rate Hike Heidi”); but when he was elected, he turned down the opportunity to chair the council’s City Light committee, opting instead for the much less controversial parks committee (which he still chairs). Even one of Della’s supporters in the 11th reportedly said that Della “hasn’t done that much” on the council, adding, “but he’s good on our issues.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Council Pushes Ambitious Recycling Plan

posted by on June 21 at 1:42 PM

In addition to rejecting Mayor Greg Nickels’s proposal to build a third trash transfer station in Georgetown, the city council outlined an ambitious plan (spearheaded by Richard Conlin) to get citizens and businesses to recycle 70 percent of the city’s solid waste by 2025, with an eventual goal of 100 percent recycling. One good thing about the plan is that it expands organics and solid-waste pickup service to multi-family buildings, whose occupants have previously had to throw compostable or recyclable food and yard waste in the trash. The proposal also includes plans to give companies incentives to recycle construction and demolition waste, and possible curbside pickups for recyclable electronics (like old TVs and computers). Also on the table: A possible ban of Styrofoam containers and non-compostable plastic bags, both of which I wholeheartedly applaud.

Darcy Burner

posted by on June 21 at 1:18 PM

Some people are still supporting Darcy Burner. Says Atrios:

One highlight of the Take Back America conference was an extended chat I had with Darcy Burner. I actually usually don’t like talking to political candidates and certainly don’t seek out opportunities to do so. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but the main one is that too many of them, as they’re in candidate mode, tend to talk down to you. They don’t realize they’re doing it, but they can’t get past that they’re the candidate and you’re the potential supporter so conversations end up being like sales pitches.

Burner isn’t like that. She’s actually capable of holding a normal conversation, and she has a lot of interesting ideas about campaigns and elections.

Anyway, she’s good people so if there some dollars eating a hole in your pocket consider helping out. She almost won last time.

Catapults, Puzzles, Village of the Damned

posted by on June 21 at 12:25 PM

Being laid up after hurting oneself doing something reckless is, it appears, the new black. Or pink. Or whatever.

Andy Dick is also couchbound for “doing a stupid stunt I was dared to do.” (But did you have surgery, Andy? To reconstruct your ankle using the bones of the dead? No? Then I win! In your FACE!)

Anyway, these nerdy videos by local yokel Bre Pettis [UPDATE: Sadly, he has left us for NYC.] help pass the time. I can’t make things more sophisticated than a house built of popsicle sticks and glue. I’m more of a construction voyeur.

Pettis records a vodcast for Make Magazine on things you can make in a weekend (catapult, one-speed bike, robots, a mind machine that will synch your brain to beta, alpha, theta, and delta brainwaves) and interviews with other people who make things.

(He also has a gamer photo-challenge site that seems designed to get video gamers out of the house—it’s seems like a kind of therapy or public service or something.)

Now please enjoy this interview with a man who makes weird 3-D puzzles and found his calling in the 1960 horror movie Village of the Damned.

On the Radio

posted by on June 21 at 12:22 PM

I’ve been delinquent in letting the world know that there’s now a Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO Radio with Goldy on Saturday from 7-8pm. They’ve even got a theme song for us!

I’ve been on a couple of times now (had a delightful spat with a caller about suburban sprawl last Saturday) as has ECB.

Sorry, I haven’t let Stranger/Slog readers know about this before (weirdly, even though I dig going on fancy stuff like KING 5, I’m a little bashful about radio).

Anyway, I promised Goldy I’d start pimping the spot on Slog. So, there you have it: Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO, 7pm on Saturdays.

This weekend, ECB will take the microphone. Good luck ECB!

Rodney Tom

posted by on June 21 at 12:05 PM

Postman’s got the scoop that Republican Rep turned Democratic Rep. Rodney Tom (D-48, Eastside Seattle Suburbs) may run against Darcy Burner for the Democratic nomination in the 8th Congressional District (Dave Reichert’s seat).

I gave Tom tons of coverage last year and this year as he switched parties, won, and hit the legislature where he led on things like the sex ed bill and gun control.

Weighing in on Smith

posted by on June 21 at 12:01 PM

Yesterday Savage gabbed up a small storm about Smith, the brand-new pub-with-grub on Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave. (Among the components praised by Savage: the wealth of decorative taxidermy, which Dan predicted would keep me, the Stranger’s resident hater of stuffed beast (especially in places where I’m eating) from enjoying Smith. However, Linda’s is also awash in dead heads, and I love their weekend brunch so much I just had to get over it.)

Anyway, feel free to share your opinion of Smith and any other local foodery in the Stranger’s reader review-powered Restaurant Listings

What You Didn’t See in the Stranger’s Queer Issue

posted by on June 21 at 11:52 AM


Specifically, dykes.

Of 26 writers in the Queer Issue on the street this week, only four are women.

Now, before you start telling me, “there just aren’t any prominent lesbian/bi female writers or public figures out there!”, allow me to name a few.

Seattle City Council member Sally Clark.

Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto.

Comedian Kate Clinton.

Former City Council member (and Lifelong AIDS Alliance director) Tina Podlodowski.

Lesbian mom Dana Rudolph.

Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend.

Rosie O’Donnell. (Hey, what else has she got to do these days?)

Ellen DeGeneres. (Ditto.)

Radical lesbo feminist blogger Twisty Faster.

Anyone at

Black lesbian journalist Jasmyne Cannick.

Susie Bright.

Any prominent gaydies I’ve missed? Put ‘em in the comments.

Just in Time for Gay Pride Week, Tim Eyman…

posted by on June 21 at 11:37 AM

filed four initiatives to the legislature yesterday (scroll down on the link.)

There’s no text yet, but the topics are: limiting property taxes, car pool lanes, limiting charges on vehicles and… prohibiting discrimination … which means of course, permitting discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Poor Tim Eyman.


posted by on June 21 at 11:35 AM

President Bush’s approval rating is now 26%, according to the latest Newsweek poll. That’s below Carter’s low, and just 3% above Harry Truman’s lowest rating during the Korean War.

When you dig into the poll, it gets even uglier:

Bush scores record or near record lows on every major issue: from the economy (34 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove) to health care (28 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove) to immigration (23 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove). And—in the worst news, perhaps, for the crowded field of Republicans hoping to succeed Bush in 2008—50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of terrorism and homeland security. Only 43 percent approve, on an issue that has been the GOP’s trump card in national elections since 9/11.

And the news ain’t pretty for the Democrats in Congress, either. Their approval rating: 25%.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 21 at 11:35 AM

How DId I Get Here? (ART) Cris Bruch is the kind of artist that other artists talk about, talk to, admire, and learn from. And yet he hasn’t had much of a presence at museums locally, or even steady gallery representation. All that changes now. Lawrimore Project is doing a museum’s job by presenting a 20-year retrospective of the artist’s sculptures and installations. Oh, and while he’s being “introduced”: Pronounce his last name “brew.” (Lawrimore Project, 831 Airport Way S, 501-1231. 6—10 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES
Glass Candy (MUSIC) Portland’s Glass Candy have recently transformed themselves from an attractive glam-punk trio into a white-hot Italo disco machine. Johnny Jewel lays down spare drum beats, strutting bass, fried guitar, glittering synths, and Moroder arpeggios while drop-dead vocalist Ida No whispers and wails through druggy echoes and reverbs. Their live shows have always been satisfying mixes of spectacle and substance (or substances). Once, at Yo-Yo a Go-Go, No’s pants were falling down for the entirety of their performance. (The Comet, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853, 9 pm, $7, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY

Café Presse: YES!

posted by on June 21 at 11:24 AM

Or OUI!, as the case may be.

Café Presse—the new place from the people of Le Pichet—is NOW OPEN on 12th just south of Madison. The simple French menu is so cheap, you can’t afford to eat anywhere else. (Or drink: good French wines, $3.50/glass.) They have a big clock, a bar, a newsstand, house-made pastries, a skylight that’s so clean it looks like it lacks glass altogether, a back room. Dinner last night was delicious. See you at lunch.


“Will u donate $ to my campaign?”

posted by on June 21 at 10:47 AM

The NYT imagines the new fundraising pitch by John Edwards, which is set to go out tonight to 13,000 supporters via text message.

Another Run?

posted by on June 21 at 10:40 AM

’08 is going to be messy:

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.

“You know the two parties are still converging — they don’t even debate the military budget anymore,” Nader said in a 30-minute interview. “I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties.”

Nader also has some nasty words for Hillary Clinton…

“She is a political coward,” Nader said. “She goes around pandering to powerful interest groups on the one hand and flattering general audiences on the other. She doesn’t even have the minimal political fortitude of her husband.

…which prompted this response:

Chris Lehane, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said of a possible Nader candidacy: “His entry into the race, even to those who voted for him in 2000, would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public. Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election.”

Life’s Great Difficulty

posted by on June 21 at 9:59 AM

The recent story about the woman who spent her first three days of death in a bathtub—a story that was first discovered by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee and later recycled in the PI by Robert L. Jamieson Jr (sans any mention of its source)—this sad story brought back to my mind a line in “Phinda Mzala (Whispers In The Deep),” a song by Stimela, a South African blues/jazz/jive band.

The line, sung by the band’s leader and founder, Ray Phiri, is this: “I’m the horse that ought not to be flogged/I’m as difficult as a dead man.” What the bathtub story offers is an excellent example of this type of difficulty—the difficulty of dead person, which is the dumb difficulty of their deadness. It’s not an existential difficulty—or at least it’s not initially—but one that is purely physical: the lifeless body itself, the absolute weight of the dead on the living.

From the police report:

Once they arrived at his apartment, the two of them smoked marijuana and engaged in sexual acts. At around 2200 hrs, the woman went into the bathroom to take a bath. He then left to the 7-11 up the street to buy beer. He returned to the apartment about 20 minutes later and noticed that the unknown woman had not come out of the bathroom… On opening the [bathroom] door, he saw the woman lying one her back on he bathroom floor. She appeared to be dead. He shook the unknown woman, slapped her face, and waited for a response but none appeared. He started to panic and began contemplating what to do next…

[He] went out of his apartment window and began digging a hole along the side of the apartment complex. He wanted to bury the unknown woman. But while digging the hole, he felt as if he was doing the wrong thing, so he refilled the hole, went back into the bathroom, turned on the cold water in the bathtub, and put the body in the cold water… He spent the next three days in his apartment drinking and contemplating what to do with the body.

Had the woman been alive when he opened the bathroom door, then how easy she would have been to him: she stands, towels herself, puts on clothes, and leaves the apartment. But the woman refused to leave. She was dead. She was being difficult.

Try This at Home

posted by on June 21 at 9:34 AM

Okay, so I knew the last episode of The Sopranos was broadcast last week. And I knew it was a big deal. And I know who Tony Soprano is. And I even knew the last episode had something to do with Tony Soprano going to a diner.

But, honestly, I don’t watch the Sopranos (and I don’t know the theme song) and I was pretty oblivious to the whole deal.

And so, whoooops, I watched the whole Hillary Clinton Sopranos spoof thinking, “This is one bizarre ad”—making up all sorts of interpretations of my own about what in the world she was doing or what in the hell was going on.

For example, the part when the big guy glares at her? I thought, she was spoofing all the Hillary haters.

Anyway, I was hanging out with a friend yesterday, and I said, “Have you seen the Hillary ad? It’s…” And my friend said: “Oh, you mean the one where she spoofs the Sopranos?” … LIGHTBULB!

Hmmm…. I liked it better my way.

Anyway, if you want a good laugh, watch the video pretending you don’t know anything about the Sopranos.

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on June 21 at 8:30 AM

sex crimes and gruesome homicides.

Reporting Donations

posted by on June 21 at 8:14 AM

MSNBC investigation highlights the Objectivity debate by revealing political contributions of reporters.

Whether you sample your news feed from ABC or CBS (or, yes, even NBC and MSNBC), whether you prefer Fox News Channel or National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker, some of the journalists feeding you are also feeding cash to politicians, parties or political action committees. identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans.

Full disclosure: In 1996, I gave $50 to Paul Wellstone!!!

I’m also a dues paying member of Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC)—which explains(?) why the Stranger news section has been trashing TCC’s position on RTID lately—and previously bashed their sell out position on Nickels’s tunnel.

The Morning News

posted by on June 21 at 7:30 AM

The Blair Rehab Project: Middle East peace envoy.

Pass the Hamas: From Gaza to the West Bank.

Hillaryland: Where the advisers never change.

What it takes to be independent: Two years.

How long it takes not to fix New Orleans: Two years.

Sand: More dangerous than sharks.

Murdoch they wrote: Rumors of a big NYT story in the works.

Not drunk, just out of breath: The French president.

Obama wins: The Politico straw poll.

And for the birthday boy, who told me last night at Smith that my morning news posts would be better with a pretty picture:


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mayor Nickels Asks for Review of OPA Investigation

posted by on June 20 at 8:40 PM

Mayor Nickels has asked the Office of Professional Accountability’s (OPA) new civilian director, Kathryn Olson, to reexamine the George Patterson’s controversial OPA complaint and subsequent investigation. Olson will not be re-investigating the case but she will be reviewing what role Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske played in the investigation process.

Earlier this week, a leaked report by the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board charged that Kerlikowske repeatedly interfered in OPA’s initial investigation, directing officers to obtain testimony from an unreliable witness and publicly exonerating officers Gregory Neubert and Michael Tietjen, prior to OPA finalizing its investigation.

As we said In this week’s Stranger, this is exactly how the police oversight process is supposed to work. It’s been a messy, complicated, frustrating couple of months but we’re finally starting to see the those checks and balances work themselves out.

This is huge. As of yesterday, Nickels said he had absolute faith in Kerlikowske’s ability to lead the police department. It appears Nickel’s is softening his stance.

While Olson will be sending her review to Nickels, Kerlikowske is still her boss. That needs to change.

140th & 32nd Ave NE

posted by on June 20 at 5:40 PM


Lake City

The Seattle Police Department is on the hunt for a rock-throwing man after he nearly blinded an officer while she was on patrol in Lake City.

According to the police report, on May 10th around 11PM, the officer was on patrol on 32nd Ave Ne - just north of 140th street - when she heard a man yelling at her. A large rock flew through her driver’s side window, which was rolled down, and hit her in the face.

Police collected the rock and are checking it for fingerprints.

Officers canvassed the neighborhood but, according to the report, were unable to locate any suspects despite the fact that there were a lot of people around.


Stranger Queer Issue 2007

posted by on June 20 at 4:50 PM

I ended up editing The Stranger’s annual Queer Issue this year, with more than a lot of help from Dan Savage and others. The theme: What homos need to know about their history in order to keep from being, as the covers so delicately put it, “stupid faggots” or “dumb dykes.”


As usual, we have a ton of great gay writers from around the country weighing in with their perspectives. The list:

John Aravosis, Wayne Besson, Bruce Bawer, Chris Crocker, Kaley Davis, Amy Jenniges, Larry Kramer, Matt Foreman, Christopher Frizzelle, Ed Murray, Jamie Pedersen, Michael Petrelis, Tricia Ready, Adrian Ryan, Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, David Schmader, Michelangelo Signorile, Hank Steuver, Andrew Sullivan, Michelle Tea, Andrew Tobias, Sage Van Wing, Edmund White, Rex Wockner, Evan Wolfson

The conceit: Each writer takes a year, from 1969 to the present, and explains what gays need to know about it. Edmund White lays out how it was at the Stonewall Riots. Dan Savage writes about the arrival of A Chorus Line in Chicago in 1977. Kaley Davis explains how the “twinkie defense” entered the gay lexicon in 1978. Ed Murray tells you how it was in 1986, when Bowers v. Hardwick came down. Michelle Tea talks about how the lesbians kicked the trannies out of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in 1991. Andrew Sullivan writes about the “total, enervating, soul-destroying fear” than ended in 1996. Hank Stuever explores the significance of the New York Times same-sex wedding announcements that began in 2002. Jamie Pedersen writes about the legalization of sodomy in 2003. Matt Foreman looks at 2007 so far.

Why did we start with 1969? Why not go back further? All is explained (with a bonus ride through more than 100,000 years of gay pre-history and a video trip to the future with Chris Crocker).

The problem that all of our notable queer contributors are addressing, as I write in the intro this package, is as follows:

Gay people, since forever, have mostly been born into straight families.

Heterosexual procreation is great and all—thanks, mom and dad—but heterosexuals tend to be better at making gay babies than raising them. Even if a hetero couple is thrilled to have made a gay, they’re not likely to regale their son or daughter with tales of Stonewall, or what the baths in San Francisco used to be like before they were closed, or why the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is so important, or why Brandon Teena should be remembered.

Every queer person has to figure all of this out on his or her own.

We’re here to help.

Oh, and were you looking for (or waiting to hate on) that video that Chris Crocker made for this issue? Here it is:

E Howell St & 16th Ave

posted by on June 20 at 4:43 PM


Capitol Hill is well on its way to having a brand spankin’ new park. Today, the city council’s parks committee approved a plan to acquire a sizable chunk of land on 16th and Howell. The property owner’s original plans called for the development of 12 townhomes, on what is currently a Diamond parking lot. That didn’t happen when the city decided to go after the property.

According to Seattle Parks’ acquisitions manager, Donald Harris, the city had been looking for more park space on Capitol Hill for several years. The neighborhood suggested the Parks Department look into purchasing the site and the city took drastic measures to ensure it was able to purchase the lot. Harris says “[It] was being acquired under threat of condemnation. Technically, if we hadn’t got a deal, we could’ve moved to court to take the property.

Harris is excited about Parks’ plans: “It’s going to be a dynamite park. Generally our objective is to get 10,000 square feet [for a new park]. This is 17,000 square feet.”

City council will look at the parks proposal on Monday. The Parks Department hopes to rush to proposal through council and get the plan approved by the mayor in order to meet the property owner’s June 30th sale deadline.

New Column!

posted by on June 20 at 4:08 PM


Also, the humongous Pride Issue is now online.

Dept of Slog Tips About Kitchen Fires

posted by on June 20 at 4:02 PM

From hot tipper Dawn:

driving by Lloyd’s Rocket and saw two cooks trying to put out a smoky fire in their dumpster. where will all the hipsters feign integration if Lloyd’s burns down?

Dunno. The Szechuan Noodle Bowl? The Maharaja? The Kingfish Cafe?

Worse Than Hendrix

posted by on June 20 at 3:33 PM

Today I was forced to look at the ugliest piece of public art in Seattle:


This thing squats out in front of King 5 studios on Dexter Avenue.

I left King 5 this afternoon wondering if it would be possible to have a meeting with Jean Enerson and other King 5 executives so we could discuss this and other issues? My hope is that it would be possible to build a more positive relationship between pedestrians in Seattle and the sidewalk out in front of King 5.

Happy Hump Day

posted by on June 20 at 3:25 PM

It’s summer. Is Seattle finally heating up? Chad Hunt, gay porn star, best known for his exceptionally huge penis, ehm, reportedly measuring 11 inches long and 7 inches in circumference, will be at Club Z tonight at 10 pm, as part of a Lifelong AIDS alliance Safer Sex Event…

Ellen Forney has a beautiful new art show opening tonight at Liberty called “Big F’ckin’ Hands”…
And, shoo, we’ve got some footage from the weekend’s Fremont Summer Solstice Parade over on our VIDEO PAGE. 300+ people wearing only paint for clothes.

Summertime is funnertime.

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 20 at 3:15 PM

Big Girls Don’t Cry: Mika loves you.

More Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics: Featuring Architecture in Helsinki.

And the Nautical Theme Continues: New band, Ships, debuted last night.

Band of the Week: PWRFL POWER.

On Tour: Christopher Hong proves rockers can read.

Video Interview: With the Cave Singers.

You Gave Your Love To Me Softly: And I love the Angus soundtrack.

Liquid Crack: How do you stay up during late night tour drives?

Summer Jamz: One bitchin’ Camaro and Whitesnake.


Dear Matthew Dear: Asa Breed’s greatness sinks in.

Nuts are really fattening:



posted by on June 20 at 3:10 PM

For surgery on a freaking dog?

To all the Fremont residents who kicked in $2,300 to help pay for this, I can suggest a few good charities the next time you have a few hundred bucks just lying around.

Just One Small Gay Suggestion…

posted by on June 20 at 2:36 PM

Somewhere far, far below someone raised just a tiny squdge of contention regarding exactly whom should rightly represent “the community” (ahem) during the so-called Pride Parade festivities, now and forever hereon out. But the answer, my friends, has has been blowing us all in the face. Why have we been so blind?

Gaydies and gentlemenses, fellow sodomites: Our True Voice, Our Only Ambassadoress…


Who’s with me, now?

Up in the 43rd

posted by on June 20 at 2:30 PM

I spent the better part of yesterday’s golden after-work hours in a dusty room at the gorgeous University Heights Community Center (formerly an elementary school) listening to candidates for the Port Commission and City Council (sorry, school board candidates) talk about why they deserve the endorsement of the 43rd District Democrats. Here are some highlights from the most competitive race, the one for the open seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck.

• Most focused platform: Scott Feldman, who appears to be running on two issues, and two issues only. He supports a surface-transit solution for the viaduct, and he wants to keep the Sonics in Seattle. “We can keep the Sonics here with a public-private partnership to generate revenue for Seattle.” Hmm, subsidize the Sonics with public money-wonder why no one’s thought of that?

• Most quotable candidate: Oddball ex-professor Al Runte (who previously ran for mayor). On developers: “The most wealthy aren’t paying their fair share, and I’m going to go down to see those people in their offices downtown with billions of dollars in their pockets, and I’m going to make them pay their fair share. I’m a Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I believe in taking from the rich and giving to the poor. I really believe that.” On the viaduct: “Who here has seen the Golden Gate Bridge? Why didn’t we, the people of Seattle, go to the best designers in the world and say, build us the most beautiful [elevated] solution imaginable? The Seattle City Council has authorized another $8 million for a study by a bunch of corporate folks who will probably just come back with eight more plans.”

• Weirdest rhetorical tic: Bruce Harrell, who consistently referred to himself in the third person. “Six years ago, six women came to my office in tears. They said they weren’t being treated fairly, weren’t getting paid as much as men. They came to Bruce Harrell to help them. And I got them a $65 million settlement for all women across America in that situation. That’s what Bruce Harrell does. He gets things done.”

• Best ideas, most disappointingly phrased: Venus Velazquez, who voiced support for making Third Avenue bus-only through downtown 24 hours a day and making it easier for single-family homeowners to build cottage housing on their property. Unfortunately, Velazquez couched both ideas in terms appealing to anti-density, anti-transit sensibilities. “Not mass transit, bus rapid transit,” Velazquez said, then repeated “bus rapid transit” three times. “We can get people out of their cars slowly.” On cottage housing, Velazquez noted that it would serve “families and the elderly” and preserve single-family neighborhoods by “not building up”—code for “don’t worry, no apartments.” Both are good ideas—-buses run more smoothly when they have dedicated lanes, and cottage housing is a good way to add density to single-family neighborhoods—but I wish Velazquez was a little more unabashedly pro-density and pro-rapid transit; cottages and buses are interim solutions, not the solutions, to our housing and transit problems.

• Notable no-show: John Manning.

• Notable change: Three of four candidates present voiced at least tentative support for surface/transit (with Harrell’s support the shakiest; he wants to look at new tunnel-boring technologies), a marked change from the last council elections, when virtually every candidate supported digging a tunnel.

Two further things that occurred to me while sitting through this, my millionth council candidate forum:

“I grew up in Seattle” is not a legitimate reason to run for public office. You need to have ideas and an agenda beyond your “love for this beautiful city.” There are plenty of issues out there. Really. Go learn about some of them before you run.

• People should only be allowed to run for office in the city a certain number of times—say, five—before they have to start paying increasingly prohibitive fees. I’m not paying taxes so that you can work our your mental-health issues in public. If the people say no five times, let’s assume the people have spoken, shall we?

Fact: Saddam Had Weapons of Mass Destruction

posted by on June 20 at 2:29 PM

Over on his blog, Postman takes me to task for Slogging about rumors that Norm Maleng’s campaign fund was going to get funneled through the GOP to Dan Satterberg.

Fair enough, although, it was a minor footnote to a longer post about Maleng’s and Satterberg’s contribution histories. That footnote led to a Democratic Party press release—which I reported on … and followed up on this morning by having the GOP blast the Dems.

Anyway, I don’t have a problem with Dave getting mad about rumors going up on Slog. That’s his right. Slog is here to annoy Postman. But he must be really really annoyed at my lacking journalistick-ness because he even trots out his arch rival Neil Modie at the PI to show what real reporting is: Modie quotes Mike McKay (Maleng’s and now Satterberg’s treasurer) saying the money won’t be transferred.

This, however, is where I’m a little puzzled by Postman. He writes:

Here’s the fact, thanks to Neil Modie at the P-I:

“No money will be spent directly or indirectly to help (acting prosecutor) Dan Satterberg,” Seattle attorney Mike McKay said Tuesday. Judy Maleng, the late prosecutor’s wife, “has made that clear,” he said.

Here’s “the fact” ?? Postman? Is that you?

Postman knows as well as I do that quotes are quotes, not facts. If quotes were facts, the Iraq war would be legitimate because Saddam was linked to al Qaeda and he had weapons of mass destruction.

“Well, if we bomb the Iranians, like I hope and pray we will…”

posted by on June 20 at 1:44 PM

Neocon Norman Podhoretz makes the case for bombing Iran.

Via TPM.

Edwin, The Fearless Sidewalk Pecker!

posted by on June 20 at 1:37 PM

It is true that the wild kingdom, in its infinite versatility, has found clever ways to exist in the ever-encroaching face of humankind. I can’t think of any right now, except for maybe these South African monkeys that have learned to break into people’s houses and raid their refrigerators or something that I saw on the Discovery Channel (the species we encroach upon just die, mostly), but hang in there with me for a moment, for I am about to amaze you with the tale of Edwin! The Fearless Sidewalk Pecker!

Edwin (who I named myself, so shutthefuckup) is a marvel of evolution—-an urban dwelling badass birdy that has bested the advance of man. How you ask? Well. Edwin, commonly known as a “woodpecker”, has somehow, in a fit of genetic ingenuity or madness, learned to peck the sidewalks instead of the wood! Check it out:

Just yesterday, I was walking on Bellevue Ave. E., just about a block south from Top Pot, when I was startled by the sight of what was clearly a woodpecker. But this was clearly no ordinary woodpecker. (Oh, no!) This woodpecker was a woodpecker completely at odds with the laws of God and its own nature. Indeed, this little bird was remarkable for a few reasons. First, he was on the ground, not in a tree or in the sky, and he wasn’t afraid of me one tiny little bit. Indeed, all natural avian apprehension had vanished utterly—-and what’s more skittish than a bird? I ask you. I was roughly two feet away from the damned beaked thing, and instead of spazing out and taking to the sky as all natural-hearted birds are compelled to do, Edwin, the Sidewalk Pecker, just looked at me like I was a dork. Also, Edwin (so named by me on the spot, because, well, he just looked like an Edwin, trust me on this), pecked not wood, as you might have suspected, but sidewalk. Sidewalk! He found soft spots and crevices to peck his pecker at, and his shtick went something like this: Peck, peck peck! (Look at Adrian like he’s a dork.) Peck, peck, peck! (Look at Adrian like he’s a dork.) And soon, a small crowd had gathered—-seven people in all—-to marvel with me at little Edwin, the saucy fearless woodpecker who thinks I’m a dork and pecks the sidewalk instead.

Now what do you make of that crazy shit?


‘The Smart Alternative’

posted by on June 20 at 1:35 PM


32nd District …. Democrats?

posted by on June 20 at 1:32 PM

The rambunctious and iconoclastic 32nd District Democrats (Shoreline, Edmonds, Woodway, Lake Forest Park) seem to have shored up their iconoclastic cred.

I’ve got several calls out to confirm this with the folks from the 32nd, but last Friday, June 15, they reportedly endorsed Thom McCann in the crowded Port Commissioner race. (This is the race for incumbent Bob Edwards seat, also starring solid Democrat Gael Tarleton and long shoreman and Burien City Council Democrat Jack Block, Jr.)

Endorsing McCann would be a weird move given that McCann’s not a Democrat. (Neither is Edwards.) At least that’s what McCann told the 46th District Democrats at their May 19 candidate forum according to the official notes from that meeting. (I don’t know if the question was asked at the 32nd.)

McCann has also contributed $100 to GOP KC Council Member Reagan Dunn and $50 to conservative candidate Bruce Harrell in this year’s city council race to fill Peter Steinbrueck’s seat. McCann has also donated $100 to liberal KC Council Member Dow Constantine.

McCann is for eliminating the Port tax.

Tell Me Why

posted by on June 20 at 1:04 PM

I’m confused by this message:
4be7a2b37118-1.jpg Why would anyone go to a casino to be in a situation that’s identical to the one in the home they are leaving? A home means family life, family love, which is not really love at all but a flat self-reflection, a love for those who look and act like you. So this is what you want out of a casino? To be with yourself again? To leave home only to return to your home? If a casino is to be what it really is—a dangerous experience—it must be peopled by those who are not the same as you. By those who may not even like you like family.

But, really, what is the meaning of this bus sign? The meaning of a family man who wants to see his family everywhere he goes? The meaning of this desire for a smooth social space between the doors of the home and the doors of the casino? The family was once the site of resistance, as the Greek tragedies make clear; but since they were Christianized near the end of the first century, they have been reduced to an empty place for empty faces. The wildness of the family is long gone. It no longer has the power of birth and the power to bury its dead. It is this powerlessness that the man on the bus wants to feel at the casino. He wants it to be as tame as the home that was tamed by a thousand years of church work.

This is not how the men and women of Pascal’s generation gambled. Indeed, Pascal’s entire religious faith was based on one cosmic bet. For him, the casino was exciting and dangerous, everything and nothing. It was far from home, from familiar, from the sleep of domestic rhythms.

A comment from Mr. Poe:

It’s marketing, Charles.

What would you prefer?

“Treats me like part of the Tribe!”

“Treats me like we’re ancestors!”

“Treats me like a stranger!”

“Treats me like a gambler!”


“Treats me like family!”

I would prefer: “Treats me like part of the Tribe!” A whole different meaning that one has to “Treats me like family.”

Best Thank-You Note Ever

posted by on June 20 at 1:00 PM

This is from a 19-year-old.

Dear Patrick and Jen,

It has been a while, and I do apologize for the delay in my writing. The hospitality you showed me by sharing your home was most appreciated. Likewise, your financial assistance in my shortcomings did not go unnoticed. I also doubt that I could have enjoyed Washington as I did without your help in showing and taking me around. Seattle underground showed me the literally deep history under Seattle, our dinner in town was an intimate look into the city’s nightlife, and your beer was excellent and enjoying it with food was excellent. Thank you again for giving me a contemporary look at Washington.

Full Name

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 20 at 12:54 PM

Dear Stranger Editor,

I’ve now spoken to several pastors whose congregations were featured as part of your “Month of Sundays” article. Most of the pastors are disappointed, some are hurt, others are angry. Would it be possible to have a meeting with Dan Savage and other Stranger executives so we could discuss this and other issues? My hope is that it would be possible to build a more positive relationship between congregations in Seattle and The Stranger newspaper, and I believe a meeting could help. It looks to me like we could gather ten or more pastors of the churches you covered and that a meeting might be very helpful to us all.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. I look forward to your response.

Rev. Sandy Brown
Executive Director
Church Council of Greater Seattle

My response:

Dear Sandy,

I don’t see the point of a meeting. Anyone upset by “Month of Sundays” is welcome to send a letter, which we will publish. But a sit-down to discuss “this and other issues”? Can you be more specific about what those “other issues” are? And how a meeting would be helpful to you? I certainly don’t see how it would be helpful to us.

The package stands on its own: some of the pieces were respectful, some were irreverent.

I’m frequently disappointed, hurt, and angered by things that are said by pastors in churches all over Seattle. I doubt very much that Seattle pastors would be willing to sit down with me once a week to “discuss” their most recent sermons simply because I was disappointed, hurt, or angry.

It wouldn’t occur to me to ask for such a meeting, however, because I recognize that Seattle pastors have a right to say whatever they like. I trust that Seattle pastors recognize that we have a right to publish whatever we like.


Dan Savage
The Stranger

LOLart Is Here

posted by on June 20 at 12:40 PM


Thanks, Eric F! (Check out more on Josh Azzarella’s blog.)

Checks and Balances

posted by on June 20 at 12:32 PM

City Council president Nick Licata sent a letter to SPD chief Gil Kerlikowske last May, voicing his concern over statements made by the Chief exonerating officers Gregory Neubert and Michael Tietjen of any wrong doing in George Patterson’s controversial arrest.

In your May 3 comments at the SPD promotional ceremony you say, “The officers were in the right; they were exonerated because of a thorough and timely investigation.”

The Patterson investigation was officially closed on May 14, 2007.

My question is why have you and other members in the Department made public determinations of the findings in this case nearly one month before they were certified by the OPA Acting Director?

Thank you in advance for your timely response.


Council President Nick Licata

A week later, Low fired back a defensive letter on Kerlikowske’s behalf.

The public statements made by the Department, seemingly in advance of the certification, were actually made after I spoke with the chief - in my official capacity as Acting Director, verbally certifying the findings.

On April 5th, I invited Auditor Kate Pflaumer to review the unredacted file in the OPA offices, which she did on Friday, April 6th.

It’s worth noting Pflaumer only spent 2 hours with the nearly 600 page file and 20 minute video of Patterson’s arrest.

Low continues:

I called the Chief and advised him I would be certifying the case, as discussed. Having said that, there is no requirement in the ordinance that the case be certified before the chief renders his decision.”

Low is right. The language in the ordinance doesn’t indicate that OPA reports need to be signed off before the Chief makes his call.

From the OPA director’s job description:

Direct the OPA investigative process, classify all complaints, certify completion and findings of all OPA cases, and make recommendations regarding disposition to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police remains the final Police Department decision maker in disciplinary actions.

Herein lies the problem.

The Chief needs to know someone’s looking over his shoulder and that he’s accountable too. Licata is pushing for city council to review the Chief’s position every four years. Nickels has come out against Licata’s proposal, which has also met with some resistance from members of the council.

Police oversight shouldn’t be this messy.

Meanwhile, In Texas…

posted by on June 20 at 12:20 PM

An angry crowd beat a man to death after a vehicle he was riding in struck a young girl boy. [UPDATE: Early reports had the child’s gender wrong.]

The man, David Rivas Morales, was getting out of the car (which, to emphasize, he was not driving) to help the girl when the crowd descended on him and beat him to death.

The girl, who was 3 or 4, was not seriously injured.

Slog: Good for Republicans Too!

posted by on June 20 at 12:14 PM

I’ve got an item coming out in today’s Stranger (similar to a Slog post I did yesterday) quoting the Washington State Democrats’ preemptive strike on the state GOP.

D State Party Chair Dwight Pelz warns the GOP not to funnel Norm Maleng’s campaign war chest to Republican KC Prosecutor candidate Dan Satterberg. (Satterberg was longtime KC Prosecutor Maleng’s chief of staff. Maleng died suddenly last month, leaving a $194,000 campaign fund.)

I couldn’t reach the GOP by deadline yesterday to get their response to Pelz’s attack in print, but wonders of technology and blogging: I can post it here.

So, to recap, here’s yesterday’s hit from the Democrats:

Under state law, it is illegal to transfer so-called “surplus” campaign funds – the money left over after retirement, loss, or death – from one candidate’s accounts directly to that of another candidate. It is, however, legal to donate to charity, or to a party organization — but if the funds do go to a political party, any quid pro quo understanding that the funds will then be donated to or spent in support a particular candidate would run afoul of Washington State’s campaign finance laws.

In the case of the prosecutor’s race, State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz says that if large amounts of cash from Maleng’s campaign coffers are funneled through the Republican Party back to the GOP nominee for the position, Republican Dan Satterberg – as some Satterberg backers have been whispering is likely – it would be tantamount to the sort of illegal and unethical political money laundering< that Republicans have become known for on the national level.

And here’s the response I just got from Michael Young, head of the KCGOP:

“You know, I was surprised at the tone and the tenor of Dwight’s statement. It was tacky and tawdry. Here it is just a few week’s after Norm has died and he makes this shot across the bow, a personal attack on Judy Maleng [Norm’s wife, who is in charge of the funds now] based on no evidence whatsoever.”

Young said he thinks Judy Maleng will give the money to charity and that “Dan Satterberg can certainly raise enough money himself to win in King County. But even if Judy wanted to do that [help Satterberg], that’s her decision, not Dwight’s. Is it typical of Dwight to come across as a total cad, to act like a jerk? Evidently Dwight needs to grow up. This is a state chair?”

I don’t think Judy Maleng can send the money to Satterberg even if she wanted to, but … god damn… that’s quite a response from Young.


Requiem For A Block

posted by on June 20 at 12:10 PM

Capitol Hill resident Vaun Raymond has put together a web site to preserve the memory of the seven businesses on Pine Street between Summit and Belmont, all of which will be bulldozed to make way for condos later this year.* The site, called “Requiem for a Block,” includes interviews with the owners and managers of Winners Circle, the Cha Cha, Bimbo’s Bitchin’ Burrito Kitchen, Harry’s convenience store, Man Ray, and Kincora. Check it out.

* For those inclined to comment that “The Stranger loves density, except when it hurts hipster bars like the Cha Cha,” please read my standard response below the jump BEFORE commenting.

Continue reading "Requiem For A Block" »

Attention Chris Crocker Fans (and Haters)

posted by on June 20 at 12:00 PM

Guess who made a new video exclusively for The Stranger’s annual Queer Issue, which hits the streets this afternoon?

That’s right, bitches.


Check back on Slog late this afternoon when I’ll be posting the new Crocker video, along with a whole mess ‘o other Stranger Queer Issue fabulousness.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 20 at 12:00 PM


Emily White
The former editor of this newspaper reads from her interesting, imperfect, celebrity-heavy exposé You Will Make Money in Your Sleep: The Story of Dana Giacchetto, Financial Adviser to the Stars. Subject of the exposé: a charming, shady financial advisor whose clients, in the mid-’90s, included Leonardo DiCaprio (Giacchetto handled his investments) and Sub Pop (Giacchetto brokered the $20 million deal with Warner Music). It ends with the scammer in the slammer. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600. 7:30 pm, free.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE


posted by on June 20 at 11:53 AM

So long expanded funding for human pluripotent stem cell research.

Using the thoughts of George W Bush as a jumping off point for a scientific discussion is like taking firearm safety advice from Dick Cheney.

Still, a handful of points:

The vast majority of embryonic stem cell research has nothing to do with creating new stem cell lines, or destroying embryos.

In vitro fertilization (test tube babies) is terribly inefficient, resulting in more human embryos than could ever be used to make babies. Most of these excess embryos are eventually bleached and sent down a drain. IVF is basically an unregulated industry in the United States.

The embryos used to make stem cell lines are stopped at the blastocyst stage, a pre-implantation stage that forms 3-5 days after fertilzation. These embryos only have about 150 cells and are significantly smaller than the head of a pin. If not placed in a uterus, they will die on their own after about 14 days total waiting in a dish.

No matter how hard scientists have tried, adult stem cells cannot do many things that embryonic stem cells can do. Want human heart cells (to replace those lost after a heart attack), insulin-producing cells (to replace those lost in diabetes), or dopamine-producing neurons (to replace those lost in Parkinsons)? Human embryonic stem cells are the only definitely established source for these cell types.

See, I told you I shouldn’t let Bush provoke me. For something a bit more fun, I present you surfing rats:

Tip of the hat to Tom Robey at Hope for Pandora.

Umm…No Comment.

posted by on June 20 at 11:53 AM

Photo Credit: Scott Aitken,

Random strangers cc me on the most peculiar shit sometimes…

To the organizers of Seattle Pride 2007:

Pride weekend in Seattle. It’s not of high importance on my list annual celebrations, though maybe it should be, and The Stranger’s awards this year surely will bring to life the tattered cultural significance of years past. I am a proponent of change and welcome the celebration to the so-called “heart” of this city.

My desire for progress and a relevant Pride celebration leaves me to wonder why SOAP, who also seem to want positive change, would choose to have Mark Finley host our parade again. Mark Finley is by far an inappropriate ambassador for and of, in his own words, “the Community.”

Last year I saw a rebroadcast of the parade. “Mom” Finley” could not control himself, appeared to be drunk, and to say it as clearly as possible: MADE A FUCKING FOOL OF HIMSELF AND ALL OF QUEERDOM IN A VERY PUBLIC AND HUMILIATING WAY—- declaring himself to be THE voice of gayness. Do you remember his incoherent and vulgar mumbling followed by bursts of screeching while gawking at young men on broadcast television? How he talked about his HIV medicine (“Mom’s meds”) and tried to dig through his bag to find it and had to be cut off? Can you recall how he told the world that all gay men call sailors “mattresses” (WTF?), and that all of the women in the parade (baring lesbians) were men? That’s right Mark! Way to reinforce those stereotypes! Fuck.

And the newscasters …You could see it in their eyes, their disgust with the blabbering fool. And it pained me to watch as they nervously had to manage all Mark’s inappropriate and wandering remarks and actions.

Please (SOAP)! Don’t do this to us again!

Yours truly,
Concerned Faggot

Well. Whatever. God knows I don’t have anything to say about that.


Now please to be experiencing this photographic montage of the life of Mark Finley that he, um, apparently created himself.


You Know, I’ve Always Thought of Dane Cook and Jessica Alba…

posted by on June 20 at 11:23 AM

as the John and Yoko of our age.


Thank you, Pink is the New Blog.

OJ Leaks!

posted by on June 20 at 11:18 AM

The three most evil people in the history of everything, in order, used to go like this: George Bush, Satan, Accuser of Man, and OJ Simpson. But this list has been revised, and now reads OJ Simpson, OJ Simpson, OJ Simpson.

I am sure that y’all recall that horrible book OJ wrote about the people he murdered and the night he murdered them. “If I Did It”, it was called. And you’ll recall what a sickening stir it caused, and that it was pulled before one single bloody lie-soaked copy ever reached a Barnes and Noble bookshelf. Well, that horrid manuscript has been LEAKED on the internet, and excerpts of it can be found sprouting like poisonous mushrooms all over the space that is cyber. published a few of these, and now they might even be held in contempt of court. Here is one of the excerpts that those bad kids over at TMZ exposed (gosh darn them!):

I’m going to tell you a story you’ve never heard before, because nobody knows this story the way I know it. It takes place on the night of June 12th, 1994, and it concerns the murder of my ex wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her young friend Ronald Goldman. I want you to forget everything you know about that night, because I know the facts better than anyone. I know the players. I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve heard the theories. And, of course, I’ve read the stories: That I did it. That I did it but I don’t know I did it. That I can no longer tell fact from fiction. That I wake up in the middle of the night, consumed with guilt, screaming.

Indeed. At least, I really, really hope he does.

Gag more, here. If you dare.

I’m Happy to Report…

posted by on June 20 at 10:13 AM

that, so far, my test group is pro the new Nancy Drew movie.


In a glowing review of the movie in last week’s paper, I nervously wondered:

it’s hard for me to tell whether this entertaining movie is ultimately too square for its tween audience. I hope not. In this age of loud CGI spectacles like Spider-Man and Harry Potter, this comparatively low-fi fare has the makings of a backlash hit.

Well, a friend of mine took their 13-year-old kid sister to see it last night at the Metro in the U. District and the word is kid sister loved it … and was scared too, during the creeping around in the underground hallway scene!

Better yet, my friend loved the movie too—reporting they grabbed their sister’s arm in fright when !SPOILER ALERT! Nancy discovers her cell phone wasn’t a gift from her dad after all, but rather, the bad guys sent it to her on the sly so they could track her whereabouts…which they do!

Brazilian Advertising: The Plump and the Skeletal

posted by on June 20 at 10:03 AM


This morning my beloved MetaFilter directed me to more information about advertising in Brazil that all my previous mornings combined.

The first batch of info comes from the charming feminist blog Hoyden About Town, which reports on the new series of Brazilian ads for Fit Light Yogurt, featuring classic vixens recast as fatties. (Of course that’s Sharon Stone up there, and here’s Marilyn and American Beauty-era Mena Suvari.) The tagline for each ad: “Forget about it. Men’s preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt.”

On the opposite end of the Brazilian advertising spectrum is photographer Tony de Marco’s series on the skeletal remains of advertising languishing throughout the city of Sao Paulo, where all outdoor advertising was banned last year. The results are lightly post-apocalyptic and strangely pretty. (And that stupid yogurt company’s Mena Suvari-of-size is flat-out gorgeous, and far less creepy than the underage original.)

Romney in Washington

posted by on June 20 at 9:19 AM

Republican Mitt Romney today becomes the latest presidential candidate to stop at the Washington State ATM.

The Democrats, not surprisingly, have fired up the press release machine, and are using the occasion to try and stick the “flip flopper” label to a Republican this time around. The release begins…

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney will visit Washington State today to bring in more Republican dollars to his campaign. The question is, which Mitt will land in the Evergreen State? Will it be the pro-choice Mitt or the anti-choice Mitt? On November 9, 2004, Mitt told a Harvard doctor that he had evolved into a pro-life position [Time Magazine, 5/21/07]. But just six months later at a press conference, Mitt claimed he would continue to maintain the status quo on abortion.

Here’s the now-classic Romney YouTube clip:

More Boooos for Hillary

posted by on June 20 at 8:46 AM

The question was: Would HRC get booooed at this year’s Take Back America conference in DC (a forum sponsored by liberal activists)? HRC was booed last year.

The answer: Of course..

Seattle Streetart Flickr Pool

posted by on June 20 at 8:33 AM

Yesterday, I posted a picture of a creepy bit of art I saw on a wall on my walk home from work.

And so, a Slog commenter sent me a flickr link to shots of streetart all around Seattle.

I wish there was more info about most of the shots (where they were taken?), but still fun to peruse.


The Morning News

posted by on June 20 at 7:30 AM

Independent minded: Michael Bloomberg.

Abandoning ship: The White House budget director.

Too busy for Iraq Study: Giuliani.

Cocaine blues: Giuliani’s South Carolina campaign manager is charged with distributing blow.

Heckled: Chris Matthews while interviewing Hillary Clinton about Scooter Libby.

Signing statements: Congress digs deeper.

Murdoch’s latest deal: MySpace for a quarter of Yahoo?

Google in D.C.: Hoping not to repeat MSFT’s mistakes.

YouTube: Now in French, Polish, and Japanese.

Grand Theft Auto IV: PS3 outmaneuvered by Xbox?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Smith’s Opening Night

posted by on June 19 at 10:09 PM


I don’t want muscle in on Bethany Clement’s turf—Clement writes the Stranger Bar Exam column, and Bethany could kill me with a whispered aside—but I stopped in at Smith, Linda Derschang’s new bar on Capitol Hill. Bethany was at Smith too, and she was taking notes, so odds are good that her column next week will detail Smith’s strengths and weaknesses.

Not that I detected any weaknesses. I think Linda may have successfully lifted the curse on the space, 332 15th Ave. E., which has been home to a string of failed bars, taverns, and smokehouses. Unlike the bars that came after whatever bar it was that came first, Linda started over. She gutted the space and built a completely new bar.

A few of nice touches: The place is darker, thanks to low lighting, a black ceiling, and new dark wood booths. The wainscoting on the walls, Linda told me, was salvaged from Garfield High School, which is currently being renovated, as were the doors to the bathrooms. There are taxidermied animals on the walls, lots of deer heads and stuffed birds, which means our resident taxidermy-phobe, Dave Schmader, won’t be drinking at Smith. The menu looks great, although I didn’t order anything—the place was packed, and I’ll come back and check out the food, which looked good, another night.

My favorite touch: Smith has two long tables, meant to be shared, which means people are going to have to crowd in with each other and interact—which is perfect for a bar in Seattle.

Laff Hole! Leaves CHAC

posted by on June 19 at 9:19 PM

As of a couple of hours ago, the The People’s Republic of Komedy (the four-man comedy kibbutz that produces Laff Hole!) is leaving the Capitol Hill Arts Center.

PROK member Kevin Hyder says negotiations to renew their contract have been difficult. (This week’s Theater News has a story about Annex Theatre, another CHAC tenant, which is looking for a new home for the same reason.)

PROK will take Laff Hole, which is becoming more popular despite its creepy name, to Chop Suey.

PROK was happy about its arrangement with CHAC: growing audiences, good press, their financial arrangement (basically a small weekly guarantee). Hyder said CHAC wanted to raise the ticket price from $5 to $7. PROK said no. Then the negotiations began: ticket prices, advances, cuts of ticket sales, and new fees (for, among other things, use of the air conditioner and the house projector).

PROK said fuck it, started talking with Chop Suey, and made a deal to move Laff Hole in July. (PROK will finish out its June commitments at CHAC.)

It’s a shame that the list of performers who’ve left CHAC (usually frustrated) keeps growing—Annex, PROK, Printer’s Devil, Pure Cirkus, etc. CHAC’s main stage, an old auto showroom, is beautiful. Their Lower Level bar is a little performance bar that feels like a clubhouse.

Other theaters keep closing (NWAS, Empty Space) or being taken off regular rental rotation (the Chamber after Velocity acquired it, the Hugo House after it announced its new resident companies).

CHAC should have Capitol Hill all sewn up, should be the place to put on a show.

But people keep walking away from the place.

6.9% of Seattleites Walk to and from Work. Here’s What We Get to See

posted by on June 19 at 8:30 PM


I came across this freaky bit of art on my walk home from work tonight. It’s on a wall across from Cal Anderson Park at Denny and Nagle Place in Capitol Hill.

The only worthy accompaniment is this Q&A with Satan from 1973:

Regan (Linda Blair): What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Damien Karras (Jason Miller): You’d like that?
Regan: Intensely
Damien: But wouldn’t that drive you out of Regan?
Regan: It would bring us together.
Damien: You and Regan?
Regan: You and us.

(The drawer on Regan’s nightstand slides open as if Regan had telekinetic powers)

Damien: (playfully) Did you do that?
Regan: aaaahhhhhh uhhhhnnnnnn

(Damien gently pushes the drawer shut)

Damien: (playfully) Do it again.
Regan: In time.
Damien: (still teasing) No, now.
Regan: In time! Mirabile dictu, don’t you agree?

Damien: You speak Latin? (Karras turns on the tape recorder)
Regan: Ego te absolvo
Damien: Quod nomen mihi est?
Regan: Bonjour

Grand Old Police Blotter

posted by on June 19 at 7:20 PM

Apologies to Atrios for swiping his blog post title… but it’s really the only thing that cover this bit of news:

The GOP official heading up Rudy Guiliani’s campaign in South Carolina has just been indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Crack cocaine.

The Kerlikowske Letters

posted by on June 19 at 6:35 PM

A week ago, I filed a public disclosure request to try and get a hold of any email communications between SPD chief Gil Kerlikowske OPA’s civilian auditor, Kate Pflaumer. Today, I got ‘em.

The first email, from Kerlikowske to Pflaumer, gives a little bit of insight into the OPA process:

A couple comments on the report but nothing worth changing.

The time line has been reduced and continues to come down. It is not a question of resources but of management and direction. The case you looked at Friday is a good example; it comes in on 1/5, no statement is taken until 1/18, no video is obtained until 1/29, no interview of officers until 2/15 and the second interview of the officers was not conducted until 3/28. Another example were cases that were put on hold when one sergeant took a 30 day vacation, the cases should either have not been assigned or reassigned in his absence.

A large delay was in the Director’s office for her review. I understand her strong desire to thoroughly review every case but, as the time lines show, this was clearly a bottleneck.

The other email, this time from Pflaumer to Kerlikowske sheds some light on her feelings about cavities and the catholic church:

Next week is a horror - including a four hour (!!!) meeting of the search committee for Ken Bounds’ replacement. Ugh. And I think a new cavity. Ugh, super ugh.

I am the tort claims reviewer for the Spokane Diocese Bankruptcy settlement - responsible for interviewing 160 pedophile priest victims and distributing an insufficent settlement pot. Ask me what I think about Easter and the Catholic Church, I dare you! Anyway - that’s why I am so booked up.

While the emails are pretty mundane, we’re hoping there’s still more out there. We’ll post them when we get them.

Happy Juneteenth!

posted by on June 19 at 5:22 PM

Don’t know what Juneteenth is? provides a little background:

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All or none of them could be true. For whatever the reason, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

Texas was the last state to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, but it was the first to make Juneteenth an official holiday, on January 1, 1980.

I couldn’t find any info about Seattle-area celebrations on the Juneteenth web site, but if you know of any, leave ‘em in the comments.

The Dirtiest Criminal Complaint Ever

posted by on June 19 at 5:00 PM

Federal prosecutors were shocked—shocked!—by the content of three porn movies that were distributed to a man in Utah, where porn is illegal. So shocked, in fact, that they had to watch—and describe in minute detail—every single second of it.

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 19 at 4:39 PM

Gangbang Suicide: Broken Social Scene and Kevin Drew.

The Magic Number: Is the Four-Band Bill Too Long?

Lifesavas in an Elevator: Four Dudes, 20 minutes, One Elevator… Not a Good Look.

Consolidated Works: Neumo’s to Book Chop Suey.

Coalesce Comes Back: With New Songs, Tour.

Dept of Fat Animals (word, Jonah):


Clinton’s Campaign Song

posted by on June 19 at 4:30 PM

People are cooing over the video the Hillary Clinton campaign released today announcing the pick of her campaign song.

After a process to pick the song that was basically viral-video meets American Idol, Clinton chose Celine Dion’s “You and I.”


But check out the funny Sopranos-based video she used to announce the pick, after weeks of online voting. As The New York Times says:

This video, by far, represents the best campaign spot we’ve seen this season - yes it is still early.

But it’s so good that the winning song becomes anticlimactic.

Everybody’s Doing It

posted by on June 19 at 4:27 PM

The other night I went to a friend’s birthday at the Buenos Aires Grill and sat next to a woman I didn’t know. She told me about these friends of hers who are getting married. They each have last names they don’t like; can’t remember what the names are, but they are similar to Wurp and Scrum. (Both one syllable, both with u’s.) So they are changing their last name to Pixel.

We agreed Pixel is a pretty great last name. “No one else has it,” she said. “And you remember it.”

I thought of McLeod Residence, the new Belltown bar/art space started by a couple friends who legally changed their names—to McLeod—together. One of them, who used to go by Erik, changed his name to Buster Butterfield McLeod. The judge laughed when it was announced in court.

I said to the woman, “I know these people who all started a bar together and changed their last names to McLeod.”

She said, “I’m a McLeod! I became a McLeod last week.”

Later that night, I was having drinks at a bar on Capitol Hill when I overheard a group of friends talking about a friend who’d just changed his name. The friend’s new name was Dayton. It was wondered why a person would change their name to that Dayton, it being “a douchebag name.” Could have been Clayton. I couldn’t hear very well.

Loudly, almost yelling, one of them said, “Why do people change their names?”

Another said, “Because they move to LA.”

Abandon Ship

posted by on June 19 at 4:11 PM

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leaving the GOP and will file as an independent. Let the speculation for a presidential run begin.

Kemper Gets Slapped

posted by on June 19 at 2:54 PM

How much does Kemper Freeman—last seen here comparing transit supporters to socialists and terrorists—hate transit? So much that he’s opposing the joint roads and transit package even though it would build light rail directly to the large residential development he plans to build in downtown Bellevue.

Well, it turns out that the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce isn’t on board with Kemper’s anti-transit vendetta: they voted overwhelmingly today to support the package, with 21 votes in favor and five against.

Considering that Freeman more or less built downtown Bellevue, that’s a pretty damning indictment.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 19 at 2:44 PM


‘Crazy Love’
The brilliantly skin-crawly SIFF smash leaps to regular screens for a feature run. Crazy Love concerns Burt Pugach and Linda Riss, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose 45-years-and-counting relationship begins with an illicit affair in the late 1950s. When Linda tries to move on, Burt goes nuts, commissioning a brutal attack that leaves Linda permanently disfigured and lands Burt behind bars. What happens next will blow your mind. A fucked-up love story for the ages. (See Movie Times.) DAVID SCHMADER

A Modest Proposal

posted by on June 19 at 2:42 PM

During my bicycle commute to work this morning, I was nearly crushed into a paste for stopping at a traffic light. “You didn’t signal you wanted to go straight through the intersection,” screeched the helpful driver. (What is the proper bicycle hand signal for wanting to go straight through an intersection? An extended middle finger?) The unfairness of the situation struck me: How long have the Seattle-area drivers been providing educational opportunities like these for pedestrians and cyclists? There really is no better teacher than a deadly weapon, like four thousand pounds of ineptly controlled steel rubber and glass. It’s the vehicular manslaughter of love, a little death threat to discourage any minor inconvenience to car commuters. How dare we deny drivers their own continuing education? Therefore, I propose that all pedestrians and cyclists in the city be required to carry a weapon. A nice handgun or perhaps an Omar Little-style shotgun. Like drivers running cyclists off the road for using part of a lane, cyclists should be required to threateningly wave their handgun at any driver talking on a cell phone while driving. Incompetent parallel parking on a busy street demands an earnest attempt to end a life, just like any cyclists experiences when daring to use Mercer Street to cross Aurora.

Remember, an armed society makes a polite society.

“Month of Sundays”—Now with Scientology!

posted by on June 19 at 2:37 PM

We neglected to include the Church of Scientology in our “Month of Sundays” feature package. Since we don’t want anyone—least of all the lawsuit-happy Church of Scientology—to get impression that L. Ron’s cult isn’t a “real” religion, we accepted a reader’s kind offer to attend a Church of Scientology service and write it up for us.

32. Church of Scientology

601 Aurora Avenue N.

Seattle, WA 98109

Tel: 206-284-0604

I blow past the little “reception” desk, hoping to look like I know where I’m going. Quickly busted, I’m soon on a guided tour of the place.

The church is small and better suited for a family dentist office. There’s the small reception area/bookstore. There’s a hallway with large glossy posters of the Church of Scientology’s new building, currently under renovation. The young woman showing me around tells me they’re very excited about the new digs and I can see why. It’s beautiful and it’s huge. A monumental step up from this place.

Before I know it, she’s led me into a small room with only a desk and an extra chair for a one-on-one conversation. Shit. I imagine that this is where everything is going to unravel. Either she’ll smell a rat and send me packing, or I’ll go home with the entire L. Ron Hubbard library. Neither occurs. She just wants to know a little more about me and if I have any questions. I ask if this is Mr. Hubbard here, pointing to a large, black and white photo above her desk. It is. Mr. Hubbard smiles at me intelligently, like he’s trying to figure me out. Thankfully, I’m saved from further questions because it’s time for Sunday Service.

The service room is extremely small, so any anonymity I’d hoped for is gone. As I enter the room I find myself repeating my lies to the minister, a young, handsome man with a fashionable mint green neck tie. He welcomes me and I take my seat.

The service itself basically consists of us reading aloud The Creed of the Church of Scientology and the Prayer for Total Freedom. I find both to be almost totally logical, even agreeable. At their core, both speak of recognizing and protecting basic human rights and liberties. A young man a few seats away nods and says “Awesome.”

The minister thanks us for coming and I’m left with two impressions: First, that it’s a shame about all the wacky aspects of Scientology (the origin of humans on Earth for one thing), because if it were a religion based solely on the simple fundamentals I’ve heard in this little Sunday session, I might actually be able to get behind it—and second, that if I were an actual believer, I’d feel pretty ripped off by such a short, elementary service. JACK HOLLENBACH

A Quick Thought

posted by on June 19 at 2:07 PM

What is it that makes Muslims more passionate than Christians? No book, or novel, that contradicted Christian beliefs or morality could inspire such anger, such outrage. Here is a theory. It possibly has to do with the fact that Christianity, born and developed in the Roman world, is all about the end, the last days, revelation, apocalypse. Jesus even hinted that the end was just around the corner, and the fame of many early Christian prophets was made on their fevered claims that the world, meaning Rome, was about to be obliterated. In short, Christianity is about waiting—waiting for something big to happen, waiting for God.

Now let’s look at Islam. One of its defining features is that it sees itself as the end of a spiritual development. Muslims are more Hegelian than even Hegel. God, the world spirit, first revealed himself to the Jews, then the Christians, and finally them, the Muslims. What this means: Islam is the end of history. Fukuyama thought history ended with fall of the Soviet Union and the final victory of liberal democracy. Hegel thought history ended with him, the mind (or spiritual reflection) of Napoleon. With Islam, it is itself the result of a world process: it’s a faith that’s completed and complete. This sense of completeness might be the source of its most heated passions. Christians cant be so passionate because all they are doing is waiting around for something big to happen. (Christian fundamentalism is essentially an effort to give Christians something to do in the world they are waiting in.) No waiting for Muslims. What happens now, what happens in this world, is finally happening.

The Coming Squirrel vs. Man War

posted by on June 19 at 2:02 PM

We’ve developed a super weapon. Victory will surely be ours.

(Thanks to tipster Andrew.)

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on June 19 at 2:00 PM

pastor’s unethical business practices.

pastor’s assault on his secretary.

pastor’s willingness to carve someone up with a butcher’s knife.

Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy

posted by on June 19 at 1:22 PM

Sure, being a hotshot wildlife photographer sounds like a great job in theory — cool jeep, being able to wear shorts 24/7, mandatory mustache — but few people think of the downside.

Behold one of the drawbacks.

Warning: possibly NSFW, maybe

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on June 19 at 12:46 PM

A 20-year-old Lake Stevens woman arrested in the death of her 4-month-old son told police that she had taped a pacifier to the infant’s face to keep it inside his mouth.

The woman, who is not being identified because she hasn’t been charged, called 911 around 11:30 a.m. Monday to report that the infant was unconscious, according to Lake Stevens police.

Paramedics went to the woman’s home, which she shares with her fiancé, in the 2600 block of Lake Drive Northeast. There, said Fire District 8 Deputy Chief David Lingenfelter, they found an infant who had been dead for several hours.

Workplace Safety

posted by on June 19 at 12:41 PM

From the PI

A worker at the South Seattle Seadrunar recycling plant was taken to Harborview Medical Center after being crushed by a machine Tuesday morning.

“What we have been told was this was one of the employees who was working on the hydraulic lift system for the Dumpsters,” Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said.

The man appears to have accidentally hit a switch while working on the lift just before 11a.m. The machinery crushed his head, Fitzpatrick said.

Cross-Base Highway Dead? Not According to John Ladenburg.

posted by on June 19 at 12:29 PM

Environmentalists, you may recall, signed on to the joint roads/Sound Transit package a few weeks ago despite the potential inclusion of the sprawl-feeding Cross Base Highway in Pierce County (and despite the fact that the package included hundreds of miles of new highway lanes, many of which would feed sprawl in places like Marysville and Monroe). Groups like the Transportation Choices Coalition justified their support for the massive $7 billion roads package because the cross-base highway will be subject to mediation, raising hopes that enviros will be able to kill the highway. (They also point out that the roads package is linked to Sound Transit expansion.)

Well, Ladenburg certainly doesn’t think Cross Base is dead; in fact, according to a widely distributed e-mail the Pierce County Executive sent out last Friday, he believes it’s in the package. According to Ladenburg’s-mail, “The cross-base highway is back in with a portion of the funding contingent on mediation with environmental representatives.”

So—according to the Pierce County Executive, anyway, who was in on the negotiations—environmental groups signed off on a highway that traverses the last remaining oak prairie in Western Washington (and parallels another highway just five miles away) in exchange for a little “mediation.” Awesome.

Mitt Romney says, “No Glove, No Fudge”

posted by on June 19 at 12:22 PM


If you can’t stand the santorum…

Via Queerty.

Funneling GOP Money

posted by on June 19 at 12:22 PM

Since I dissed on a State Democratic Party press release last week, let me praise one today.

Last week, I slogged about Norm Maleng’s $194K campaign war chest—asking if the GOP would funnel it to GOP candidate Dan Satterberg ….

Maleng left behind quite a campaign war chest of his own. The question is: What’s going to become of that war chest. There’s talk that it may go to the state GOP—and then get funneled back to Satterberg. Given Maleng’s history of donating, I think it oughta go to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, something I’m not sure Satterberg is.

Well, the Washington State Democrats picked up on that question today, sending out a press release to head off any GOP shenanigans. I’ve linked the whole thing below, but here’s the crux of it:

Under state law, it is illegal to transfer so-called “surplus” campaign funds – the money left over after retirement, loss, or death – from one candidate’s accounts directly to that of another candidate. It is, however, legal to donate to charity, or to a party organization — but if the funds do go to a political party, any quid pro quo understanding that the funds will then be donated to or spent in support a particular candidate would run afoul of Washington State’s campaign finance laws.

In the case of the prosecutor’s race, State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz says that if large amounts of cash from Maleng’s campaign coffers are funneled through the Republican Party back to the GOP nominee for the position, Republican Dan Satterberg – as some Satterberg backers have been whispering is likely – it would be tantamount to the sort of illegal and unethical political money laundering that Republicans have become known for on the national level.

p.s. The Mainstream Republicans of Washington called me yesterday to let me know they couldn’t take the money (rules prevent a PAC from taking surplus funds). They also let me know they endorsed Satterberg, who they consider a moderate.

Continue reading "Funneling GOP Money" »

Pony Up

posted by on June 19 at 12:06 PM

Can I just say that I’m extremely excited about the opening of Pony—which Eric covered in his column this week. It’s not because I approve of glory holes, mind you. But I love super sleazy gay bars, even if I like to think I’m not super sleazy myself. So I’m looking forward to drinking at Pony… even if… uh… I’ll be pissing at Linda’s.

Hutcherson’s Latest

posted by on June 19 at 12:05 PM


Hutch and others seem to be worried that the proposed new federal Hate Crimes legislation would prevent them from saying whatever they want about gays during their Sunday sermons.

The Gay Curmudgeon dissects this argument, pointing out that unless a minister is directing his or her flock to commit actual acts of violence, it’s highly unlikely that he or she would face any punishment.

Andrew Sullivan has been eloquently ambivalent about the issue of hate crimes legislation (he opposes all hate crimes laws) and is worth a read to get up to speed on this, the Christianists vs. Gays clash du jour.

The one truly incoherent position is that hate crimes laws are fine for all targeted groups except gays. Gays are among the most common victims of hate crimes, and straight people are also targeted for being gay even when they’re not. If you’re going to buy the whole concept of hate crimes, it makes no sense to exclude gays - none.

Speaking of Fictional Characters

posted by on June 19 at 11:35 AM

Republican Fred Thompson leads among GOP hopefuls in new poll.

The Case for Torture

posted by on June 19 at 11:21 AM

Wait a minute… didn’t US Supreme Court Justice Scalia lose his shit when some of his colleagues brought up European laws and constitutions during deliberations?

And now Scalia is citing Jack Bauer—a fictional character in a television show—to bolster his case in support of torture?

“Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. … He saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent’s rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

“Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?” Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. “Say that criminal law is against him? ‘You have the right to a jury trial?’ Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don’t think so. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes.”

Says Andrew Sullivan

Earth to Justice Scalia: Jack Bauer does not exist.

Thou Shalt Not Call ‘Shotgun’ Before Thou Can See The Automobile In Question

posted by on June 19 at 11:14 AM

And, lo, Pope Ratzi returned from the mountain with the ten commandments for drivers. And they were…nothing that you haven’t already heard in driver’s ed class. It’s nice to see the Catholic Church acknowledging the existence of cars, though. Maybe in forty years, they’ll finally accept that there’s such a thing as a latex condom.

The March of Reason

posted by on June 19 at 11:06 AM

Is this yet another indication that we are nearing the end of the terrible Bush era?

One day before five Seattle-area residents were to stand trial on charges that they took part in a conspiracy to import and distribute khat, a leafy plant chewed like tobacco in parts of eastern Africa, a federal judge dismissed all charges against them.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart dismissed the case Monday at the request of the same government prosecutors who initiated the prosecution nearly a year ago.

In the way that the Bush administration cooked up a link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda, Homeland Security cooked up a link between the small American khat market and international terrorism. Before November 7, 2006 (soon to be recognized as the most important day in this decade), this wholly imaginary link would have been sufficient to send a few of our local khat chewers to Guantanamo Bay. This seems no longer to be the case; some amount of reason has returned to the justice system. The absolute fantasies of Bush and his kind must now meet the resistance of hard reality. If Khat is something at all to worry about, then it is one of the least of our worries.

Hail to the Queen

posted by on June 19 at 10:46 AM

One of my first paid writing gigs was for’s then-fledgling video section, where I handled the lucrative Cynthia Rothrock (five time undefeated World Karate Champion in Forms & Weapons) beat, often watching up to 10 of her films per week.

My point is, I’ve seen good Rothrock, and bad Rothrock. This, my friends, is prime Rothrock.

Warning: Possibly NSFW, due to the thing with the eye.

Life’s Little Cruelties

posted by on June 19 at 9:48 AM

Attention! Are you a limbless crack whore covered in festering open sores? Are you living in gigantic pile of fresh human shit? Has your body cavity been infested with maggots? Spider eggs? Are you tubercular? On fire? Take heart! Things could be worse

Oh, so very much, much worse.

It’s in the PI

posted by on June 19 at 9:24 AM

after it’s in the Stranger.

More Morning News: The Shitstorm Hits

posted by on June 19 at 9:09 AM

The Seattle Times got a copy of the OPARB report that Jonah and Erica have been clamoring about.

OPARB is the civilian review board of SPD internal investigations.

Rape is Terrible…

posted by on June 19 at 9:08 AM

…but abortion is soooooo much worse.

Sen. Sam Brownback, campaigning for president on Saturday before the National Catholic Men’s Conference, questioned whether rape victims should get abortions.

“Rape is terrible. Rape is awful. Is it made any better by killing an innocent child? Does it solve the problem for the woman that’s been raped?” the Kansas Republican asked at the St. Joseph’s Covenant Keepers gathering.

“We need to protect innocent life. Period,” Brownback said, bringing the crowd of about 500 to its feet.

Brownback also talked about keeping marriage between a man and a woman, saying nations that have allowed same-sex marriages were engaging in bad social experiments, with bad results. He also encouraged married couples to stay together, saying studies have shown that if couples weather hard times for five years, their marriages tend to last. After five years, “people are happier than those who have had a divorce,” Brownback said.

It was not clear what research he was citing.

Hm. I wonder how Brownback would feel if one of his daughters were raped and forced to bear a rapist’s child?

The Morning News

posted by on June 19 at 8:32 AM

Millions: Unfrozen and headed from the U.S. to the Palestinian West Bank.

The big push: The surge is done surging, and now the new troops are in a major operation.

The notorious Cho: The federal government’s profile of him is underway.

Nothing a bikini couldn’t cure: Turning to Maxim to buff the Holy Land’s image among the 18-38 demographic.

Into electric cars too: Google pushes a 100 mpg vehicle.

In the gutter: The effort to kill Seattle mosquitoes.

Dead: Two more Fort Lewis soldiers, killed in Iraq.

Rudy Giuliani Spoke on Capitol Hill Last Week. Seattle’s Capitol Hill

posted by on June 19 at 8:22 AM

Who knew? GOP blogger Stefan Sharkansky did. And he filed a report from the private fundraiser where Giuliani pulls the same shit as Bush, conflating the war in Iraq with the war against al Qaeda.

Check it:

We had a succession of killings that went on, you could almost describe it as serial killings. Except we never identified the murderers as serial killers. Khobar Towers. Tanzania. Kenya. Bin Laden declared war on us, we didn’t pick it up. And then they killed our sailors on the U.S.S. Cole and we didn’t respond at all. That’s what I mean by being in denial. I’m not saying that to blame Bill Clinton. I really am not, because I think hindsight is very powerful. September 11 happened, everything I just said becomes much clearer. I do blame people after that though. I blame Harry Reid, for saying the war in Iraq is lost. I don’t know how you’re going to say a war is lost when you have 160,000 men and women in the field. And I’d like to know who wins if we lost. Al Qaeda wins and I can’t imagine why Harry Reid wants Al Qaeda to win.

Ted Nugent Vs. Paul McCartney (and Sanity)

posted by on June 19 at 8:13 AM


Sean Nelson isn’t the only one having trouble with Paul McCartney these days. In a recent editorial for The Waco Tribune, ’70s rock star/eternal far-right nut job Ted Nugent blasts McCartney for more than just aesthetic suckery. Writes the Nuge:

I have musical touring associates who have been fired from their jobs with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney for sneaking a hamburger. You heard that right. Fired for eating meat by an animal-rights maniac, hard-core vegan bass player.

Nugent goes on to reveal that “[t]he entire agenda of the gazillion-dollar-financed joke known as PETA literally is dedicated to outlawing meat,” then gets lost in his familiar anti-gun-control psychosis, decrying the “soulless condition of unarmed helplessness in ‘gun-free zones,’” before starting a new beef with—you guessed it—Danny Glover. (Juh?)

Read the whole thing here. (If you thought the man behind “Wango Tango” was a gifted lyricist, wait till you read his editorials…)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Muslim World Inflamed

posted by on June 18 at 6:08 PM

So what else is new?

Muslim world inflamed by Rushdie knighthood

Sir Salman Rushdie celebrates his 60th birthday today in familiar circumstances: he is once again the subject of death threats across the Islamic world.

Eighteen years after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill him, a government minister in Pakistan said yesterday that Rushdie’s recent knighthood justified suicide bombing.

The Organisation to Commemorate Martyrs of the Muslim World, a fringe hardline group, offered a reward of $150,000 (£75,000) to any successful assassin….

Effigies of Rushdie and the Queen were burnt in Pakistan.

The Truth is Out There

posted by on June 18 at 5:22 PM

Just got an e-mail from someone who wants to know “Why aren’t you reporting the facts about the 2008 election?”

Here, according to the complainant, are the facts:

Please verify with your own research. Everything here is fact.

All of these candidates are members of David Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a private group that is working toward a North American Union and One World Government —

Fred Thompson (R) (also a member of the pro-war American Enterprise Institute)
Rudy Giuliani (R)
John McCain (R)
Mitt Romney (R)
Jim Gilmore (R)
Newt Gingrich (R)
Hillary Clinton (D)
Barack Obama (D)
John Edwards (D)
Joe Biden (D)
Chris Dodd (D)
Bill Richardson (D)

David Rockefeller also owns controlling stakes in the ABC, CBS and NBC news media.

Dept. of Erections

posted by on June 18 at 4:51 PM

Penis enthusiasts, take notice:

According to a study by the National Health and Social Life Survey, the U.S. circumcision rate peaked at nearly 90 percent in the early 1960s but began dropping in the ’70s. By 2004, the most recent year for which government figures are available, about 57 percent of all male newborns delivered in hospitals were circumcised. In some states, the rate is well below 50 percent.

The best part of the article:

“I like the idea of him looking like his dad - that’s the most important thing for me,” said Denise Milito Stockwell, 40, an artist in Chicago who had her 15-month-old son, Harlan, circumcised. “It wasn’t traumatic for him in any way. He came back from the event sleeping.”

Via The PI

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 18 at 4:38 PM

PWR Play: PWRFL Power Wins Capitol Hill Block Party’s “Block Star” Competition.

Sonar, So Good: Matt Corwine on Barcelona’s Sonar Music Festival.

Tighty Whiteys: Megan Seling on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus and Pete Townsend’s Pants

No Dignity, No Doubt: Hilary Duff “Brings Dignity To Everett.”

Punked, pt 1: Punk Planet Goes Out of Business.

Punked, pt 2: Slim Moon Loses Job at Warner/Nonesuch.

Diseuse: Kurt B Reighley on Virna Lindt

More google image results for “fat animals”:


Be Boys

posted by on June 18 at 4:21 PM

I have just read a distressing police report. A father reported to the police that his 12-year-old son was being bullied at school. Boys of his age and size chase him around the playground and give him the occasional knuckle sandwich. The father wants the police to help him do something about this bullying. But, honestly, how can a father have such a low opinion of his son? A mother, yes. But a father? Intervening? Getting all wrapped up in his boy’s little world because his boy can’t sort out his tight little situations? How sorry, how sad. How I enjoyed the fights of my boyhood, and I lost every single one of them. Sometimes I’d return home with a red eye or a mouth full of blood. But my father stayed out of it, as well as my mother. They were only worried about my homework, my grades, my studies. The rest of it (swollen lips, bruised ribs, cracked teeth) was my business.

Re: Leaving Portland

posted by on June 18 at 4:13 PM

I agree with Dan that buses suck, but he’s apparently wrong when he argues that PDX has a more useful (user friendly?) transit system—at least according to the numbers.

A census study on transportation just came out last week, looking at how many people use transit in the top 50 cities (working population wise) in the U.S.

Seattle—with its sucky buses—ranked higher than PDX with its MAX and buses. Seattle was 8th (17 percent use public transit) and PDX was 10th (13.3% use public transit).

NYC was number 1 on the public transit score with 54.6% of the work force taking transit. 54.6%. Um. !!!!!

Here are all the numbers.

Tops in Biking to Work
1. Portland 3.5%
2. Minneapolis 2.4%
3. Seattle 2.3%
4. Tucson 2.2%
5. San Francisco 1.8%
6. Sacramento 1.8%
7. Washington, D.C. 1.7%
8. Oakland 1.5%
9. Honolulu 1.4%
10. Denver 1.4%

Tops in Working at Home
1. San Francisco 6.3%
2. Portland 5.3%
3. Seattle 5.1%
4. Austin 5.0%
5. Colorado Springs 4.9%
6. Atlanta 4.7%
7. Los Angeles 4.7%
8. Denver 4.7%
9. San Diego 4.6%
10. Washington, D.C. 4.4%

Tops in use of Public Transit
1. New York 54.6%
2. Washington, D.C. 37.7%
3. San Francisco 32.7%
4. Boston 31.7%
5. Philadelphia 25.9%
6. Chicago 25.3%
7. Baltimore 18.9%
8. Seattle 17.0%
9. Oakland 16.5%
10. Portland 13.3%

Tops in Walking to Work
1. Boston 12.5%
2. Washington, D.C. 10.0%
3. San Francisco 9.6%
4. New York 9.4%
5. Philadelphia 8.1%
6. Honolulu 6.9%
6. Seattle 6.9%
7. Minneapolis 5.8%
8. Chicago 5.5%
9. Baltimore 5.4%

Tops in Carpooling
1. Mesa, AZ 16.7%
2. Phoenix 16.2%
3. Sacramento 15.7%
4. Honolulu 15.6%
5. Fresno 15.1%
6. Dallas 14.6%
7. Tucson 14.3%
8. Houston 13.9%
9. Charlotte 13.6%
10 Fort Worth 13.5%

Denny’s Dying Breath

posted by on June 18 at 3:49 PM

Sad news for late night diners: the second-to-last Denny’s in Seattle-proper is closing.

From the Ballard News-Tribune:

A long tradition of comfort food and 24-hour service that has served generations will end by early 2008 as the wrecking ball comes crashing down on Denny’s restaurant to make way for a six-story condominium.

Rhapsody Partners purchased the property at 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street from the failed Seattle Monorail Project. They plan to build the 60,000 square foot, 250-unit Ballard Commons on the property.

When I was in high-school, the Ballard Denny’s was one of the few affordable places you could go and hang out at until 3am. Now, if kids want sampler platters and bottomless coffee in the middle of the night, they’ll have to drag their asses down to Beth’s, The Hurricane, or down to the south-end or Shoreline for a Denny’s.

Fucking condos.

100% False

posted by on June 18 at 3:28 PM

Just got a call from a friend in San Francisco wondering about the rumor that Dan Savage is opening a restaurant (there or here? Unclear).

The Prison-Industial Happiness

posted by on June 18 at 3:19 PM

An advertisement on the side of a bus:
89c575bb8426.jpg Beyond the issue of the mammy wearing purple, there is the issue of the smiling prison employees. They are happy because all of these locked up people in Washington are opening their little “doors to success.” The moment people are not getting locked up as much, then they will be unhappy prison employees (sad face on the mammy, a dark cloud over Mt Rainier). But something in them is confident that this decline in the number of criminals will never happen. This society will never be short on the closing doors that wonderfully open for them. Prison work is a secure way to make a living.

CBS & Fox Want You Knocked Up

posted by on June 18 at 3:04 PM

CBS and Fox are refusing to air an advertisement for Trojan condoms.

The—sigh—“controversial” ad shows a bunch of pigs in a bar trying to pick up women without success. The ad wasn’t rejected for being unrealistic (pigs successfully pick women up in bars all the time), but because after one of the pigs goes to the bathroom and purchases a condom he’s is magically transformed into a hot dude. That’s not the issue either—CBS and Fox put plenty of hot dudes on television. When the hot dude returns to the bar a woman that rejected his pig incarnation smiles at his hot dude incarnation. But wait, that’s not the problem either. The problem, it seem, is that something is missing from the tag line…

“Evolve. Use a condom every time.”

Use a condom every time—isn’t that the safe sex message we’ve all been hammering away at for the last twenty fucking years? Isn’t that what condoms are all about? Why would they reject the ad?

Because the tag line doesn’t mention disease prevention… and impressionable CBS and Fox viewers might get the impression that you can prevent something else by using a condom.

Says the NYT

[The pigs did not fly at two of the four networks where Trojan tried to place the ad.

Fox and CBS both rejected the commercial. Both had accepted Trojan’s previous campaign, which urged condom use because of the possibility that a partner might be H.I.V.-positive, perhaps unknowingly. A 2001 report about condom advertising by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, “Some networks draw a strong line between messages about disease prevention—which may be allowed—and those about pregnancy prevention, which may be considered controversial for religious and moral reasons.”

Representatives for both Fox and CBS confirmed that they had refused the ads, but declined to comment further.

In a written response to Trojan, though, Fox said that it had rejected the spot because, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.”

CBS and Fox ran a previous Trojan ad that emphasized the use of condoms with people whose health you might be unsure about, i.e. casual sex partners. Which means preventing disease with condoms is fine with CBS and Fox, and so is casual sex. If the hot dude returned to the bar and said, “I wanna fuck you, lady, but you might have the AIDS, so I bought myself some condoms,” that would have been fine. Or the tag line had read, “You’ve got a condom—because you never know what she’s got,” that would have been fine.

But because the ad is ambiguous about just what the guy might be using that condom for… it’s not okay. Because it might piss off the pope. Because preventing disease transmission during casual sex is fine, preventing pregnancy during casual sex is not.

Holy shit.

You know, Knocked Up is a cute movie, it was funny and all, but do we really want strangers knocking each other up? It seems to me that if you don’t wanna get HIV from a stranger you probably don’t wanna get KID from that person either.

And I’m sure the execs at CBS and Fox agree with me—I’m sure that they use condoms with their casual sex partners, and encourage their privileged children to do the same. This isn’t about the execs CBS and Fox believing condoms should never be used to prevent pregnancy, but CBS and Fox being terrified of the knuckle-dragging idiots on the religious right who think birth control is the moral equivalent of abortion.

Or maybe the problem was Trojans use of the word “evolve.” Right-wing religious idiots have a problem with that too.

Cryptozoology and You

posted by on June 18 at 2:09 PM

Planning a hike? Be sure and check in with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization beforehand.

Ok, I mainly posted that as an excuse to show the climactic scene from the most awesome Bigfoot movie ever made, 1980’s Night of the Demon. Gentle Giant of the Forest, my ass.

Warning: Extremely NSFW, due to intestine-whippin’ radness.

A Dissent

posted by on June 18 at 1:31 PM

I can’t decide who was more of a letdown: SuttonBeresCuller, or the audience that laughed at and cheered their shallow, dull, adolescent, clichéd, dim-witted, feeble new work at the Northwest New Works Festival last night.

The piece started with John Sutton, wearing old-man makeup and sitting at a desk, pushing paper like your typical sad sack. In a video projected behind him, he strokes a Playboy centerfold hidden in his papers. The audience laughed at this, but they had been laughing since the moment his face appeared on the screen. The audience knew the guys, or knew of them, and were there to cheer. With friends like these, artists don’t need enemies.

Soon enough, the old man hobbles home. (On the way, two young guys wielding basketballs mock him.) He climbs into bed, and begins to dream his life as a young man, from his gleeful heel-clicking days with a chipper wide-eyed wife to the moment when everything falls apart, the moment when the word “ejaculation” is written on a chalkboard by a teacher in a twee nostalgia video from the 1950s. (Twee nostalgia videos—those black-and-white 1950s ads and PSAs sure are fun!—run throughout, interspliced with video of the man’s life.)

The gleeful young man (played by Damien Luvara) is not so gleeful after the cells do their compulsory joining up on the video screen to make a baby. So he goes to a bar and gets drunk. He dances with a vixen and gets in a fight. Finally, he goes home to his wife, who isn’t lovey dovey anymore. Now, she’s a wildly gesticulating shrew. (Everything Is Keeping The Man Down!) She and everybody else who’s ever been onstage (bartender, vixen, coworker, the doctor who delivered their old-faced oversized baby, the whole band “Awesome”) chase him back to his work desk, where the doctor, now demented, begins sawing him in half as the mob chants and a red light falls on the scene.

A bell rings and the mob freezes. This is because the old man, who is dreaming the mob, gets up to pee. It is a comedically halting pee because, you know, he’s old. Then he gets back in bed and the mob resumes. Then another bell rings. Time for the old man to get up. The actors shake off their personas and hug and high five and walk off. Another day starts for the old man.

The real nightmare is that every cutesy scene coasts by without being funny, unsettling, or sympathetic. One of the three would do.

It seems obvious that the mania of this piece is a release valve for the anxiety of three thirtyish guys getting older. And since they’re only going to keep getting older, if this is their way of getting older as artists, then they’re in trouble. It’s like Neil Simon on a bad day, with a little sex and some mouth-foaming thrown in. Are their fears really this generic? Or is it supposed to be transgressive the way they’re puncturing high art with bad jokes?

If it were a hoax, if there were any hint that this was intended as audience torture, then maybe you could at least appreciate their admitted haplessness in the face of an empty stage and a mountain of expectations. After all, the three artists have the hottest dealer in town. They have a storm of fans, including Regina Hackett, the art critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, who, as quoted in the program notes, compares them to Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Morris Graves. Even typing the comparison makes me embarrassed. The point here is not that SBC are awful artists, it is that even when they make an awful work of art, nobody notices. When that happens, art in Seattle is in serious trouble.

Maybe the artists intended to pay tribute to strains in visual art, from the gory videos of Paul McCarthy to the costume dramas of Matthew Barney or the silly anarchy of dada theater. But the power of McCarthy’s work comes from his implicit aggression toward the audience; SBC’s piece was like a puppy alternating between licking the audience’s face and licking its own balls. There was one almost-success: the long-armed, boxing-gloved, foaming-at-the-mouth costume that Matt Richter wore as the main character’s tormentor. But the tormentor’s appearance at the moment of impregnation was so offensive that it was hard to care about his alluringly strange costume.

For those catching up: getting a girl pregnant is traumatic for boys.

But let’s put aside the retrograde politics, since they’re nauseating. Let’s just make a list of the clichés: Dream sequence device. Man in Gray Flannel Suit. Egg and sperm join on film. Married man flirts with vixen in a bar. Woman is at home waiting for her husband. Old men love Playboy. Old men’s bladders are funny. Jocks are bullies. Desk jobs are boring. Those are the first nine that come to mind.

Or maybe the references were in theater, film, and TV: David Lynch? Nihilist playwright Sarah Kane? Or even “There’s Something About Mary”? “Porky’s”? “Married With Children”? I’m trying here.

The truth is, despite all the cheering, nothing happened on that stage.

N 38th St & Sunnyside Ave N

posted by on June 18 at 1:26 PM



Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood has been plastered with urgent warnings to residents. After a series of brutal, late night attacks, Wallingfordians have asked the Seattle Police Department to help them protect…their gardens.

The warning begins:


Someone is defacing shrubs and flowers in the neighborhood. This person is randomly cutting at the trees, shrubs and flowers along our sidewalks. The cuttings are sometimes light trims but there has also been heavy, damaging pruning.

So far, the cutting area goes from Sunnyside to Wallingford and N. 40th to 37th [between] midnight and 6:30 AM.

Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Diane Horswill says the unauthorized pruning has been going on for the last two or three months. “It’s just sort of a creepy thing to do. Somebody is going around and clipping stuff. It doesn’t seem to be targeted at a person. We’ve been doing increased patrols around the area on a sporadic basis [and] the neighbors are trying to be more watchful.”

Horswill says that someone started using hand pruners, or a similar small and easily concealable tool, to snip off small pieces of plants and trees that bordered sidewalks.

Is this some right-of-way vigilante taking back the neighborhood from overgrown shrubbery gone wild? Horswill says “It may have started that way. It may have been somebody who was irritated and [has] gone overboard.”


Viral Messaging?

posted by on June 18 at 12:54 PM

Politico says people on the right are gearing up to tweak John Edwards for sneezing, wiping, and then shaking hands on the campaign trail.

Leaving Portland

posted by on June 18 at 12:02 PM

Yesterday I was in downtown Portland, Oregon, and had to get to the airport. I walked to a light rail stop, bought a $2 ticket, waited ten minutes, and then got on a train. Twenty minutes later I was at the airport—I got there so fast, in fact, that I managed to catch an earlier flight home.

Leaving Sea-Tac in cab, I looked longingly at the elevated light rail tracks going up near our airport—but I was really aching for our light rail line to open when I got handed my cab driver his $45 fare.

L.A., Aspen, Vancouver, Palo Alto, Toronto…

posted by on June 18 at 11:34 AM

Toronto is considering a ban on filthy two-stroke engines, including gas-powered leafblowers.

Mayor “Green” Nickels?

OPARB Update

posted by on June 18 at 10:27 AM

This morning, city council president Nick Licata gave his council colleagues copies of a report by the Office of Professional Accountability (OPARB) concerning the arrest by two Seattle Police Department officers of George Patterson, an African American man who has accused two SPD officers of roughing him up and planting drugs on him. SPD’s independent Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) looked into the allegations, but before they could complete their work, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske exonerated both officers, raising charges of interference by the police chief into the OPA’s work. At this morning’s council briefing, Licata told his colleagues that the OPARB documents “raise serious issues regarding the police chief and maintaining an independent Office of Professional Accountability.” He then suggested that it might be time to subject the police and fire chiefs, like all other department heads, to an annual council review, a move that would require voter approval in November.

An Interview About Interview

posted by on June 18 at 10:00 AM

I don’t like messages that much.
I prefer covering the war between a woman and a man.

Theo van Gogh (1957-2004)


Every time SIFF rolls around, there’s one director I’m more excited about meeting than any other. In 2005, it was Gregg Araki. In 2006, it was Michel Gondry. And in 2007, it was Steve Buscemi. While I got a generous 40 minutes with Araki—and I’m bummed his comedy Smiley Face wasn’t part of this year’s line-up—I got 25 minutes with Gondry. Alas, I only had 15 minutes to ask Buscemi 30 minutes worth of questions. Still, I’m glad I got the opportunity, and it was a pleasure to speak with him. (Back when I was a SIFF volunteer, my favorite guest was Bertrand Tavernier. What a charmer!)

As expected, Buscemi is down-to-earth in person and, yes, better looking than he appears on-screen. (In Interview, his hair is dyed brown, in Delirious, it’s dyed a particularly unflattering black; in reality, it’s more of a greyish-brown). Granted, I’ve never found him unattractive, but he’s often described as a character actor, which I tend to think of as shorthand for “not leading man material.” Eh, nothing wrong with that. Incidentally, I was watching The Big Lebowski as I transcribed this interview—hey, it happened to be
on TV at the time. Here are a few excerpts from our chat.

Continue reading "An Interview About Interview" »

Theater Obit

posted by on June 18 at 9:45 AM

Northwest Actors Studio: born in 1978, died 2007.

Phone’s disconnected, lease is up, the stuff’s almost all moved out.

The theater (probably best-known for Carlotta’s Late Night Wing-Ding) had been struggling for years and was seriously behind on its rent—more than just a few months, according to property manager Anne Michaelson, who has a long-term lease for the building (and owns significant properties in the Pike/Pine corridor, like the Wildrose and Sweat Box Yoga buildings).

Even Backstage Thrift, the second-hand store started to help save NWAS, has gone under.

Michaleson and the building owner are trying to find NWAS founder and director Ann Graham a little place to set up shop and keep up her acting school. But NWAS at 1100 East Pike Street is finished.

“In the spirit of our neighborhood culture, I’d like to get another theater in the second floor,” Michaelson said. She’s already talking to a few applicants including some (ahem) who might or might not be moving out of CHAC and who applied for, but didn’t get, one of the two two-year theater residencies Hugo House just handed out. (Those went to SiS, which does the Sex in Seattle serial soaps and NextStage, a new company.)

Hurrah to Michaelson and the building’s owner for having the (what’s the right word? guts? loyalty? temerity?) to try and get another theater in there.

Polling Place

posted by on June 18 at 9:18 AM

Latest USA Today-Gallup poll: Democrats: Clinton double digit lead over Obama. Republicans: Thompson overtakes McCain for 2nd, Giuliani still in first.

The Morning News

posted by on June 18 at 8:06 AM

Walter Reed: Failing in mental health, too.

Gaza: Looming humanitarian crisis.

McCain: Revenge of the big-money donors.

Edwards: Betting it all on Iowa.

Richardson: Betting it all on Nevada.

Voracious: An Australian apple moth is frightening California.

Seattle: Losing its tree canopy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Two State Solution …

posted by on June 17 at 8:09 PM


The Embarrassment of Metro

posted by on June 17 at 5:25 PM

A final word on SIFF by Alex Deleon, a film critic from the land of Hungry:


With over 250 films of every kind to choose from, (mostly new or very recent, but some archival oldies as well), the Seattle Int’l Film Festival might be described as an “embarrassment of riches”, mostly gold but, inevitably, some dross and Fool’s Gold mixed in with a treasure chest as large as this. The main problem for the would-be writer is not filtering out the nuggets from the crap, the promising from the obviously to be avoided, but trying to navigate the city bus system between the widely scattered venues so as not to miss beginnings of important films, or making tooth-gnashing choices between unmissable movies scheduled at the same time, over-lapping time slots — or simply, too far apart geographically to get to both. The result is that you grab what you can and hope the ones you missed will show up at a press screening or anotherr festival somewhere down the line. A further result is that you often find yourself viewing some incredibly incongruous concatenations of films, which, in “real life” (which is to say non-festival life) you would never ogle in such weird juxtaposings).

Continue reading "The Embarrassment of Metro" »

SIFF 2007: Jury Awards

posted by on June 17 at 1:55 PM

The complete list of awards is up at the SIFF website (thanks, stinkbug).

A few quick notes. The awards this year were made by Joey DeCamp of the Chihuly Studio, and they are hideous. I failed to bring a digital camera, but imagine a greenish phallus covered in bulging cysts.

The Grand Jury choices are all pretty solid—it looks like we starred all the winners that were screened in advance. The juries tapped Sons for the New Director Award (Charles Mudede really liked it); for New American Cinema, Shotgun Stories (which I quite liked, and mentioned in my introduction to this year’s SIFF Notes); for documentary, Out of Time (which I enjoyed, though I don’t know that I’d compliment the cinematography as profusely as the designated juror did).

The Special Jury prizes are a little more dubious, but not terrible, which is all you can ask.

SIFF 2007: Audience Awards

posted by on June 17 at 1:23 PM

I’ve always advocated the embarrassing/not embarrassing strategy for voting in the Golden Space Needle Awards: vote 5 on any movie you’d be OK with winning the audience award; vote 1 on any movie you couldn’t stand winning the audience award. Unfortunately, this strategy is difficult to stick to. Everyone wants to register his or her precise opinion, blind to the fact that any careful discernment is going to mashed into an indifferent mean.

Yet again, the Golden Space Needle Award winner is kind of embarrassing. This morning at the Skyline level of the Space Needle (where I, coincidentally, had my high school prom), SIFF announced that Outsourced—a fairly mediocre romantic comedy distinguished only by the fact that it’s locally produced—is this year’s top vote-getter. Thanks so much, Seattle, for demonstrating to the rest of the world that we’re a bunch of dopey partisans. Outsourced plays again at the Egyptian tonight at 9:30 pm.

The Golden Space Needle for best documentary is less embarrassing, though it probably proves mostly that Seattle is full of gays who like documentaries. For the Bible Tells Me So will play again tonight at the Harvard Exit at 6:30 pm.

SIFF 2007: Father’s Day Finale

posted by on June 17 at 10:08 AM

It’s the very last day of the festival, wherein awards are distributed (I’ll post an update once they’re announced), parties stretch long into the night, and I finally get some sleep. The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the film festival wrap up below. Check out if you don’t like scrolling down the Slog.


Neptune, 11 am. I apologize for saying Arctic Tale was too big for the film festival. This film, from the producers of March of the Penguins, seems like a cri de coeur at the way MoP was taken by social conservatives. Arctic Tale is insistent about the danger global warming poses to the adorable animals of the arctic.

Arctic Tale

It seems to include the not-so-cute walrus baby for two reasons: 1) to introduce kids to the delicate relationship between predator and prey that forms a backbone of any given ecosystem; and 2) to provide an example of alternative family structures that exist in nature. Walrus babies are apparently raised by their mothers and what Queen Latifah dubs an “auntie”—another big fat female walrus who bonds to and helps to guard the baby as though it were her own. Arctic Tale is not as beautifully filmed as March of the Penguins or as elegantly assembled, but it’s definitely worth seeing. Good for older kids, though they’ll make merciless fun of the music, if the tween crowd at the Neptune last night was any indication.

Pacific Place, 1:30 pm. The Bet Collector is deeply sobering, but has some of the best acting in the festival.

Late afternoon is a tough one. Should you see Cthuhlu so you can jump into the city-wide fight, siding with the “it’s innocent camp, which is the only camp—hooray!” crowd or the “oh my god, how embarrassing for all involved” crowd? Warning: the video projection may not be pretty. Or watch Sex and Death 101, the major-motion-picture debut of the Heathers screenwriter? (I didn’t catch this on Friday. Anybody?)

Harvard Exit, 6:30 pm. Skip the tedious closing-night movie and rejoice in the extra screening of For the Bible Tells Me So, a gays-versus-fundamentalism doc that David Schmader loved. First Run Features has picked up the film for distribution, so you should be able to see it in Seattle later this year or in 2008.

There’s not much worth seeing in the final slot of the festival. Sneak into the party or sneak off to bed.

The Grapes of Wrath

posted by on June 17 at 8:46 AM

A shadowy group in France has issued the French government with an unusual ultimatum: raise the price of wine or blood will flow.

They’re called Crav, they’re radicalized winemakers, and they’re pissed. Apparently, life is hard these days in the Languedoc. There are vinters on welfare, vinters killing themselves, and now a vinters’ terrorist organization.

From the BBC: “Already, several local supermarkets selling foreign wines have been attacked with small explosive devices, with others graffitied with the Crav’s initials.” In an article in Decanter, a French manager for Gallo says his sales staff keeps getting beaten up.

A still from their video threat to the president looks like something from Baghdad:


‘If Sarkozy does not support the interests of the wine industry, he will be entirely responsible for what happens,’ a spokesman in the video said. ‘We are at the point of no return.’

The Morning News

posted by on June 17 at 7:58 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Liar: Prosecutor in Duke Lacrosse case disbarred

Every Child..: Third Minnesota sextuplet dies

Trans Rights: New Jersey anti-discrimination law goes into effect.

Boring: As if watching your boyfriend play video games wasn’t dull enough, you can now watch professional gamers compete on TV.

Ageing Muff Divers: Now have an old folks home of their own.

Liar: Blair knew Bush had no exit strategy in Iraq.