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Someone please run against Sally Clark? Is it too late?

Posted by bo | June 4, 2007 7:27 PM

Someone please run against Sally Clark. Is it too late?

Posted by bo | June 4, 2007 7:27 PM

Remember when ECB named names?

Weren't these rules the end of civilization as we know it?

The complaining crowd is there, Erica, and you're not playing to it.

Something's rotten in Savageville.

Posted by One award from the Muni League and she's gone soft | June 4, 2007 7:36 PM

efforts are on to get VENUS VELAZQUEZ to switch to run against Clark. Even some LGBT community leaders are supportive. Venus won't be the Mayor's lapdog on these issues like Clark is proving to be. Let's get rid of The Mayor's nanny and get someone on council with fresh solutions.

If you want to get Venus to switch to run against Sally, email her at and tell her you'd support her in a run against Clark.

Posted by tbf | June 4, 2007 8:22 PM

I was there too and listened to many of the speakers. Not surprisingly most of those opposed to legislation had a personal financial reason. Somehow a $300 license would destroy all music in Seattle for ever and ever etc.
The smoking ban wasn't the end of the world as many claimed but rather a definite improvement.
Licensing would strengthen and protect Nightlife by getting rid of the Mr. Lucky's of Seattle. Well run clubs have nothing to worry about.

Posted by Zander | June 4, 2007 9:02 PM

Sally Clark is proving to be among the most conservative members of the Council we've ever seen. Her cover as a member of the GLBT community gives the patina of a liberal Seattleite, but in reality, she seems to be a prude.

Strip clubs, night clubs, she's fighting them all.

Posted by Assualt on Nightlife | June 4, 2007 10:09 PM

OK, I was there. I have no idea what Sally Clark was thinking when this legislature was drafted, but she was patient enough to hear everybody out, and was the only one not navelgazing on the staff. She may just throw the transcripts in the garbage right after the meeting for all I know, but at least she seemed like she was paying attention.

The thing I'm surprised ECB did not note was the attorney who stood up and sited that the fifty foot rule is unconstitutional. Um, hello Slog people, why isn't that being talked about more? Or did you all leave before all the important points were made?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | June 4, 2007 11:00 PM

Liberal and prude are apples and oranges, but whatever. I don't buy that trying to find a way for downtown clubs and residents to live together in an urban space makes someone a "prude". (That's our environmental goal, right? eliminating sprawl?)

Posted by watcher | June 4, 2007 11:15 PM

I've been reading and commenting on this here and the PI...

Why doesn't anyone look into why all of a sudden this is front page news when we all know rowdy bars in CH, Fremont and Wallingford have been around for years?

It's a practice run for the mixed-use development social experiment that we're in the middle of. I predict more condos with air-conditioning and thicker windows with hip "signature" bars that have "speakeasy" entrances.

The news is focusing on the sleepy everyman in the formerly affordable neighborhoods complaining about the disco's that are "sneaking" in. It's likely that every new bar was on the border of some neighborhood at one time or another.


Posted by diad | June 5, 2007 12:13 AM

ECB, I was there for most of it too. Were you able to determine what establishment those people were talking about in Squire Park (the ones who played the boombox monologue of the tortured woman, driven out of the neighborhood by the noise)?

I just kept wondering what place are we talking about here?

I have to say that I'm a little confused by Sally too. She does seem to be committed to hearing everyone on this. But to what end I'm not sure. I was at the last committee meeting as well, and I was surprised with what they came up with given the tenor of what transpired there.

If noise is such an issue, I also wonder why there isn't more effort being put into developing strategies for mitigation and helping people accomplish that. The $145,000 they want to budget for two staffers would pay for a lot of mitigation (or apparently 3 more cops). Either of these would probably do more to fix the problem than another city staffer.

Obviously, venues are constantly turning over, but in any given year, how many of them are really going to need noise mitigation assistance?

A big problem for existing business owners is when people change the rules midstream. In this instance, a business owner may not be able to adjust their business model, so they can survive.

Why not provide grants to help existing business owners mitigate noise? Then change the building code so that new businesses have to include noise mitigation plans as a part of the building review process. Perhaps some tax credits could also be provided for new business owners.

If you are opening a new venue, you may not be psyched about the added cost of paying for noise mitigation, but at least it's something you can budget for on the front end. It becomes a start-up cost that get amortized over the life of the business. It's also probably easier to minimize the cost of mitigation when you're doing a build-out of a new business.

Could mitigation requirement for new businesses keep certain folks out of the business? I suppose. But I suspect that skyrocketing rents are a bigger barrier to entry.

Interesting meeting. Here's hoping they do the right thing, when all is said and done.

It's a lot easier to tear something down with one or two well placed blows, than it is to build it brick by brick from the ground up.

I guess that's what's so dispiriting about this whole thing. It seems like the music scene contributes so much to the cultural life and national reputation of the city. But still, where the rubber meets the road, it gets no respect.

Posted by j-lon | June 5, 2007 1:54 AM

will experts post some facts about the business side of all the good music and entertainment - it brings many millions into the city

bars, clubs, fees, taxes, tourist dollars, cruise tourists that overnight,

somehow it sounds like the conversation is like this is all an option for a small group of music freaks, rowdy trouble makers - not so at all, in the aggregate there is a giant employment base, many jobs, hundreds of millions in revenue - all taxed to the max several times - and just tons of good business

far more than a reputation or pleasure system for a small group that go to ten clubs in Belltown and twenty on C. Hill

some business stats to lobby the council - and then, who supports the clubs to keep them on board and amend this thing to death at vote time - or study it for ten more years

need Meinert

Posted by George | June 5, 2007 3:28 AM

"Were you able to determine what establishment those people were talking about in Squire Park (the ones who played the boombox monologue of the tortured woman, driven out of the neighborhood by the noise)?"

They're talking about Wade's on 12th and Jefferson. I drive by there all the time since it's near my house, and as far as nightclubs go, it's pretty damn mellow, so much so that I wonder how they stay in business (seriously, the place is usually dead).

Nothing about that situation justifies Clark's puritantical and draconian proposal. If Wade's get's shut down, the bustling bars in Cap Hill, Pioneer Square & Fremont don't have a prayer.

Venus, if you run against nanny Clark, you have my vote!

Posted by Sean | June 5, 2007 8:27 AM

According to a fairly recent economic impact study, the music business in Seattle accounts for $11 million in taxes to the City, and $1.2 billion in economic activity, making it among the top 6 or 7 industries in the city. It employs 15,000 people. This includes nightclubs with music, but does not include bars and restaurants without music. So that number is much larger with those included. Not of all this economic impact comes from music venues, but music venues are arguably the backbone of the local music business.

About Clark's ordinance - some things to keep in mind that the Council seems to forget. First, many residents are complaining about noise. Current rules exist for DPD to deal with this, but they are being told by the Mayor not to until his legislation passes. Second, at least some of the noise complaints are coming from residents who live in condos facing streets like 1st avenue in Belltown who must keep their windows open at night because their units were not built with air conditioning.

From what I have seen, Sally first came out publicly against a license, but was then pressured hard by the Mayor and Seattle Police to push for one as both are committed to a licensing scheme. Sally Caved, and then released a press release with Drago's name on it while Drago was out of town. Drago does not necessarily support Clark's proposal, as she stated last night. I think Sally made a rookie mistake and has proposed something with no backing from other council members. She's a good person, I personally like her a lot, but her proposal is garbage.

What we need to do is identify the two issues being discussed because they demand different solutions. First there is the problem of violence outside of a few clubs. Then there are the general issues around density and noise, street crime, etc.

When violence happens inside a venue, the venue should be responsible. When it happens outside the venue off the venue's property, because the venue operator CANNOT legally control the actions of people not on their property, they cannot be held responsible. Any licensing scheme holding a business responsible for the actions of those on public property is unacceptable. However, we shouldn't discount that the venue operator should have some direct responsibility in helping with the solution of problems their customers may bring to an area. We all know this, and the obvious solution is that nightclubs be allowed to use the same tool other events and businesses like festivals, the Mariners and Seahawks use to deal with this situation - hiring on duty or off-duty Police to patrol the impacted area. But because the Mayor, Council and Police Chief refuse to allow this, we are left with impractical and potentially unconstitutional legislation. We must deal with this issue to find a solution to the problem of activity around bars at night.

There is also the issue of the 'push out' that happens at 2am every morning. This would be solved by allowing flexible closing times or even 2 hour liquor licenses. It make sense, and would be yet another step in solving this problem.

Other than that we need more police deployed on the street at night. The Mayor has already proposed this and it looks as if it will happen. It's not an immediate thing, and will take a few years to put into place but it is on it's way.

On the issue of noise. There are three sides to this. First is noise coming from inside a venue, heard outside. There must be strict standards on this that are objective. Drago's proposal seems to get at this but the fines are too high and it is very one sided. But the city does need to have a tougher noise ordinance for all commercial businesses, not just nightclubs. However, this sort of noise is only a small part of the problem, tough it is getting all the attention. Most of the noise complaints are coming from noise made by people on the street at night. Some of this noise is just the normal noise of a vibrant 24-hour city. Unfortunately many people moving into the city don't like it. They are either used to the quiet city they remember from decades ago, or the suburbs. Seattle has grown, and we intentionally have a thriving nightlife scene. This is a great thing, but it brings with it noise from people at night. There is also noise from the idiot loud mouthed drunks at night. They are a nuisance. And their behavior is already illegal. But the City won't enforce the public drunkeness laws, the nuisance laws, the public urination laws, the litter laws that are all on the books to deal with these folks. The city instead wants to blame business owners because it means they don't need the police to do their jobs. We need to elect politicians that will make the police enforce these laws. On the flip side, as much as venues need to make sure noise does not blast out of their business, condo owners and builders need to make sure normal noise of the city cannot be heard inside of their residence. This requires good building standards. The city and state must enact and enforce these. If your condo faces the street and you don't have air conditioning, get it. Having a fund to help mitigate the costs of improvements from both the condo side and the venue side would be a wise use of city money.

Also please keep in mind that EHB 2113 just passed the Washington State House. In its determination as to whether to grant – or renew – a liquor license, EHB 2113 clarifies that the WSLCB should give “substantial weight” to any evidence local governments offer of “chronic illegal activity” associated with the applicant or current licensee. This is the exact tool the Mayor claims he didn't have so he had to create the nightlife premises license. Now that the City has this tool the nightlife license is redundant. Every business being discussed by the council has one thing in common, they all are already licensed by the State Liquor Control Board, and the LCB now has to take into consideration the request of the a city to pull that license from a venue. Mayor Nickels was rightly frustrated by this not being the case when he attempted to get the LCB to deal with Larry's and Mr. Lucky's. Both had many, many violations and the LCB would not pull their licenses. After a lot of work, arguably too much work on the part of the City of Seattle, the licenses were finally suspended. As a result the Mayor wanted a special license so this wouldn't have to happen again. But now that is not needed. The Council should recognize this and stop trying to make a redundant license.

Posted by Meinert | June 5, 2007 9:41 AM

Sally is not the problem. These issues have been around before her and will be after her unless the music/nightlife community broadens and deepens its advocacy beyond venue/bar owners, industry types, and the occasional employee. The people at last night's meeting did an outstanding job. They just need more of them and a wider variety of them. For example, there was one person of color at the meeting last night, the owner of Waid's.

Focus on solutions, not the satisfaction of ganging up on someone. That's not going to solve this. The nightlife community has to become such a force that no one would dare regulate them like this. Without that advocacy, we're nowhere.

Posted by focus | June 5, 2007 10:56 AM

venus is not running against clark, she is in a tight race against bruce for steinbruck's seat. she has pete's endorsement and she is not switching. dont waste your email. sally cant lose this time around, its too late for that, and remember all those goofy-its too noisy anti club people vote and clark knows it so she is kissing their butts. the only vulnerable candidate is david. judy nicastro's mom should run against her next time.

Posted by SeMe | June 5, 2007 11:18 AM

“What we don’t have is the policing model we need in this town to deal with large crowds of people late at night.”

Whatever happened to the 24 hour alcohol proposal? Or was I just dreaming that? Gah! Maybe one day Seattle will be a big city. Until then, I'll just keep on dreaming...

Posted by small town seattle | June 5, 2007 11:21 AM

I would have been there, but some fat woman broke the chair-lift on our bus. She tumbled out of her wheelchair and hit her head on the curb. Actually, I think my time was better well spent last night as another guy and I went with her to the emergency room

Posted by ricardo | June 5, 2007 11:24 AM

If a club attracts violent people, then YES, of course they are responsible. If the noise and violence WOULD NOT BE THERE if the club was not there, then the club IS responsible.

And the dollars you quote are grossly inflated -- that's not all from nightclubs, or even primarily from nightclubs. And the argument that goes "look how many dollars they bring in, oh my gosh, give them everything" doesn't fly when its sports teams, so why should it when it's nightclubs? Cruise passengers? Are you nuts?

A lot of businesses don't attract violence and noise, including a lot of bars. What is it about these relatively few clubs that needs protecting?

I dearly hope that the City Council doesn't make any decisions based on the freak show that is a public hearing. The vast majority of the people in this city are not represented by ANYONE who speaks at those things. The garbage is exactly where this transcript belongs.

Posted by Fnarf | June 5, 2007 11:33 AM

Fnarf - I specifically said those numbers are more than just nightclubs.

No one wants to protect the nightclubs that attract a violent crowd, we want solutions that deal with the violence and noise but don't punish all the other venues. This takes vision, hard work and some thinking. That's not happening.

The reason the economic numbers are important is that they help us understand what making laws that could lead to a collapse of this industry would mean to the city economically. Not to mention culturally.

Posted by Meinert | June 5, 2007 11:39 AM

fnarf, if the club or bar wasnt there, there wouldnt be drunk drivers coming away from the bar? should they be held responsible?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 11:57 AM

fnarf @ 18:

One of Meinert's question stands: How is it sound public policy, or even legal, to require a club owner, on pain of loss of license, to police a city street, public property, outside that club?

I intend to ask Sally Clark that question in front of a whole bunch of people, so I'd really like to know how you answer it.

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 11:58 AM

Excellent comment, Meinert.

Fnarf @18:
If someone leaves a club, goes down the street and starts making noise and punching people, the club is not responsible. The police are. The majority understands this.

Posted by Sean | June 5, 2007 12:06 PM

Bars are held accountable for drunk drivers who were served on their premises.

Posted by Fnarf | June 5, 2007 12:16 PM

hell why stop there. lets hold qwest accountable and safeco field and key arena for all its drunk patrons. certainly more drunks are produced after a seahawks game than all the bars in belltown combined. i dont remember the council in 95 saying we should tax baseball after armies of drunks were unleashed on pioneer square after our Mariners beat the yankees.

Posted by SeMe | June 5, 2007 12:25 PM

Well, if a patron has a few beers at a Mariners game, then weaves his way down to a Pioneer Square bar but before makes it inside, gets into a fight, who is responsible? The stadium serves beer during the proposed hours (nigth game), will they be part of the regulation?

Fnarf, I used to like your enlightened commentary, but I don't think you are looking at this the correct way. This is bad legislation that does nothing to solve the problems outlined.

Posted by rubyred | June 5, 2007 12:28 PM

fnarf - your age is showing, bad day?

of course the money thing is important -- business is business is business -- and these are legal

many jobs, much tax revenue

oh, why does that matter - come on fnarf, America is ABOUT business

hint - some gay bar owners were at the hearing and getting a bit concerned - I think Sally may get a few calls in the next day or so

and, all you nitwits who think this issue will sink her political career are simply stupid

Posted by Essex | June 5, 2007 12:28 PM

to further clarify, under these proposed rules, the bar that is within 50ft of the fight would be responsible. Even though they did not serve the guy.

Posted by rubyred | June 5, 2007 12:30 PM

Well, I'm an enemy of these nightclubs, full stop. The places I go don't have bouncers and don't have people screaming and vomiting and fighting and shooting each other and falling over each other in the street. As far as I'm concerned, every club in Pioneer Square, for starters, should be shut permanently this afternoon; that whole milieu is just repulsive and always has been. It contributes nothing to the city except street cleaning costs. If the clubs were gone tomorrow the economic vitality of the area would greatly increase, not decrease.

If a club doesn't want to incur the wrath of the law, they need to seriously examine the kind of atmosphere they provide and the kind of patron they wish to attract. They are a public nuisance. the question of how much money their grubbing owners collect is immaterial.

Posted by Fnarf | June 5, 2007 12:36 PM

Fnarf - I started to write an impassioned response to your bullheaded comments, but it is clear that A: you wouldn't listen because you haven't so far, and B: what was left of your credibility just went down the toilet.

I think maybe one of those quarters has permanently lodged itself in your frontal lobe in an unintended lobotomy. I don't blame you, I blame the quarters.

Posted by rubyred | June 5, 2007 12:52 PM

Who cares about losing one's credibilty? The Stranger writers don't seem to mind.

Posted by burnout | June 5, 2007 1:00 PM

and they call you "burnout" why exactly?

Posted by wrecked | June 5, 2007 1:03 PM
Maybe one day Seattle will be a big city. Until then, I'll just keep on dreaming...

Dude, you do realize that Seattle's actual in-city population is only now struggling up to 600,000, right? That's a neighborhood in Los Angeles. There's a two-square mile area in Manhattan that has more than 1/3 the population of our 83 square mile city. So yeah, obviously Seattle isn't a real city. You can shut the fuck up about it now.

And, speaking of not being a real city:

Well, I'm an enemy of these nightclubs, full stop.

Fnarf, a certain amount of drinking, fighting and puking is just a fact of life in human society-- particularly a society with as much institutionalized inequity as ours has. My main problem with the Pioneer Square scene is that most of the people down there are rowdy fuckheads from the suburbs who treat my city like a fucking Mexican border town. But if it wasn’t frat boys from Auburn it’d be gangs from West Seattle or wherever. The kind of places you say you go to are fine for a very narrow cross-section of society. But most of the rest of the city likes to, at least, be loud, drunk and obnoxious. Look at the Pike/Pine strip: much less fighting, but plenty of drinking, puking and fucking. That’s just some people’s idea of a good time, and a city-- which is what I hope Seattle will become --has to make room for all sorts.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 1:09 PM

The 50 foot rule is insane. The Walgreens by my house has more violence and illegal activity happening within 50 feet of it than any of the few remaining clubs that feature live music in my neighborhood. Should they train Walgreens employees as peace keepers?

Of course there are exceptional, really problematic clubs that do need dealing with - but Seattle already has a ton of (some say unfair) leverage to deal with these clubs. Punishing the city's entire live music scene at the request of a few annoyed neighbors just doesn't make sense.

Also, under this proposal, are DJ's considered live music?

Posted by Dougsf | June 5, 2007 1:11 PM

Fnarf - you are seriously unhinged. Do some reading about the history of the recently FBI-investigated-for-corruption Seattle Police Department and their history of targetting minority and culturally on the fringe music venues. Empowering the Police with a sludgehammer to use with their full bias is a huge mistake. They need the right tools for sure, but those tools need to be limited to businesses that create real problems and refuse to change their policies. Nickel's and now Clark's proposals will be used the same way the Added Activities Ordinance was used. Ever since that ordinance was thrown out by the courts and the City lost cases over their use of drug abatement laws, the SPD has been on a mission to replace it with something as 'useful'. Clark is caving to their pressure. For a refresher, here's how that ordinance was used:

In the 90's Seattle passed a drug loitering law. The law gave broad powers to the police to pick up and arrest someone who is standing on a sidewalk even when there is no observable crime, based merely on "suspicion" that he/she has committed a drug-related crime. A year after the law goes into affect, ACLU data shows that 77 percent of those arrested were people of color and that few arrested were ever charged.

July 2nd, 1999, in a strongly worded opinion, a U.S. District Court Judge strikes down the State's "Added Activities Law" which forced businesses to obtain city permission before including dancing or live music at their establishments. Calling the law a blatant restriction on free speech and "prior restraint", the Judge harshly criticized the way in which this law was used to yank liquor licenses and deny licenses to others. (For several years, the majority of those affected by discriminatory enforcement were black owned businesses serving a black clientele). Two years later, the City pays $106,000 to settle a civil rights law suit brought by a former owner of a club that catered to young African-Americans. The suit said the City used the added activities law to shut her business down based solely on the fact that it catered to African-Americans.

In the late 90's data showed that 10 of 15 clubs shut down by the city over the last seven years under the drug abatement law were black owned or run. The McCoy's, owners of Oscar's restaurant, also gave examples of cases where police used paid informers to lure drug dealers into their establishments, then rewarding the informers with drugs after the police stormed the establishments. Police also worked with owners to encourage 911 calls, then used these calls to justify shutting them down. In the wake of these revelations, the U.S. Justice Department agrees to investigate these complaints. That same year, in a deposition brought against the City by an aggrieved owner, the Seattle City Attorney gave his justification for singling out black owned clubs. Quoting from his deposition, he said the relationship between "hip-hop, the clientele, and the violence is irrefutable" and went on to acknowledge that clientele in these establishments are primarily black. He goes on to say that arresting individual lawbreakers is not always effective, and says "You begin to think about draining the swamp instead of constantly chasing the alligators one by one".

In April 2000, the Washington State Court of Appeals struck down the city's drug abatement law. The three-judge panel used strong words in declaring that the city's application of the law to shut down Oscars - a black owned establishment - was unconstitutional. The ACLU hails the decision saying "Oscar (McCoy) was not dealing drugs. Someone on his property was dealing drugs…He was cooperating with police. We thought it was unfair that he should lose his business when he was cooperating with police." Dave Osgood, attorney for the McCoys, says the city's closure of Oscar's II was "shocking abuse of the statute by the Seattle Police Department and Seattle City Attorney. " The court says that the City's closure and confiscation of Oscar's "was an unconstitutional taking of the McCoy's property and a violation of their due process rights…. The record does not support a finding that the McCoys acquiesced in any illegal drug activity or turned a blind eye to it."

These are but a few of the tons of examples of the SPD abusing laws that are not narrowly focused. It's why we need to fight what Sally is proposing and why we feel the law will be used improperly. I experienced this first hand when I was told by the Lt of the East Precinct that if I wanted the Police to stop harassing the all ages shows we were putting on at the Odd Fellows Hall, we had to stop doing "Black" shows. Straight up.

Posted by Meinert | June 5, 2007 1:16 PM

The problem DougSF is that the council has yet to release what the definition of a nightlife premise is under their revised proposal (clever, eh?). Under the Mayor's proposal, it was any place that served alcohol from 6pm-2am, was at least 500 sq and had capacity for 1 person per 7 square feet. That encompasses more than places with live music or DJs, that covers pubs, wine bars, restaurants, hell, it encompasses stadiums.

Posted by rubyred | June 5, 2007 1:17 PM

"a city-- which is what I hope Seattle will become"

That's a FOUL dream in my book- btw, how do you get those blocks around your quote?
I call myself burnout because that's what Cobain wrote before signing off-

Posted by burnout | June 5, 2007 1:17 PM

so seattle is only for backwards cobain worshipping townies?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 1:21 PM

More of a Canadian comfortable living Neil Young admirer, but Cobain gets props for going out with class.

Posted by burnout | June 5, 2007 1:26 PM

#35 - thanks. Sounds like the city and SPD are tired of getting their draconian authority yanked by the courts and are going to keep introducing rearranged language until something that gives them carte blanche control over nightlife sticks.

And people, stop with the "real city" BS, it makes you sound even more backwater. Seattle is great for so many reasons, but there's no reason it needs to compare to NYC. Then again, if I had to choose sides, I'd rather Seattle stuggle with it's small city complex then let the powers that be turn it into fucking Bellevue.

Posted by Dougsf | June 5, 2007 1:46 PM

i agree with fnarf mostly. my problem is that the law doesn't seem to target the problems fnarf cites. it seems vague enough to target almost any club. so while a "bad" venue could be dealt with, one neighbor could complain to SPD about one of your "good" bars a few times to get them in trouble over their heads.

and that loitering law meinert references -- while it might not apply exactly -- was a ridiculous law. it upsets me just to think about it. an arrest? that was just wrong.

Posted by infrequent | June 5, 2007 1:51 PM

most people dont want seattle to be like bellevue. some people want it to be more like SF, and thats not even within stones throw of NYC in terms of nightlife.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 1:55 PM

Fnarf @28:

Wow. I'm surprised you would post something so stupid. By your logic, Seattle would consist entirely of quaint neighborhood pubs serving microbrews to fat middle-aged white guys.

Posted by Sean | June 5, 2007 1:59 PM
but there's no reason it needs to compare to NYC

There are millions of reasons Seattle needs to compare to NYC. Most of them are technical. The low density of the Seattle metro area negatively impacts transportation planning, utility delivery, tax revenues, social services, environmental mitigation, and so on. If Seattle wasn’t located in the Pacific Northwest it wouldn’t even qualify as a “city”. There are scores of towns you’ve never heard of on the East Coast with populations much larger than ours. It’s not a question of whether we’re backwater. It’s a question of whether or not we can function, technically and socially, as anything other than a glorified suburb. So yeah, if you don’t want us to turn into Bellevue, then maybe you do need to start comparing us to NYC, at least when it comes to numbers.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 2:02 PM

Fnarf, weren't you performing at a loud, rowdy, drunken nightclub recently?

Here's the problem: the "cool" places that you (and probably I) frequent are getting lumped into the B&T pick-up, "meat market" joints. Unless the legislation applies only to people with "ladies nights", then it's too broad. That is the problem. "Your" clubs will be swept up in this, too.

Yeah, meat markets are stupid, but they have a right to exist.

Posted by what? | June 5, 2007 2:03 PM

Judah @ 43:

What the fuck are you talking about? Could you be any more fucking incoherent if you tried?

This is where we live, asshole. It's not some laboratory for your theories of public administration.

Who gives a shit if we compare to New York in *anything?*

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 2:28 PM

Sorry Ivan. I'll try not to use so many big words next time.

Go on back to your tire swing. I'll see if I can get Suzie to bring you some bananas.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 2:53 PM

Another smug little fucking poseur.

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 3:04 PM

Judah, people know about Seattle because its metropolitan population is fairly large--there aren't "scores of towns" in the country with metropolitan areas that are bigger. While I agree with you that Seattle would be wise to increase its density, part of the reason for its relatively low population is its small physical size--83 square miles of land vs., e.g., around 483 for Los Angeles. City boundaries can be somewhat artificial, and city populations aren't the best indicator of their area's relative importance as an economic, cultural center, etc.

Posted by dude | June 5, 2007 3:20 PM

ivan, this is where we all live which means we should try to make it into what we want it to be. new york!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 3:21 PM

I’m sorry Ivan, what am I supposed to be posing as? Someone who can read? Whatever, maynard. Eat your bananas.

And dude: yeah, okay, I’ll give you that there aren’t scores of cities bigger than Seattle. But the City of Seattle (not the metro area — that’s a whole other mess) has a comparatively small and diffuse population as in-city populations go. I mean, to contrast your point about LA, Union City NJ, with a population of about 65,000, has some of the highest population density in the country. I focus on this point because the in-city population in Seattle does illustrate how incredibly non-urban the so-called “city” of Seattle is. There are huge tracts of Seattle, inside the city limits, between 85th and 145th that don’t have sidewalks and use open ditches for drainage. There are roads in Crown Hill that are just tar covered in gravel; they’re not even asphalt. These aren't particularly poor neighborhoods, but they are rural as fuck and they present a lot of the same difficulties as rural areas when it comes to transit planning and utilities and such, which is what I was talking about earlier. And a lot of the city government's handling of things like clubs is informed by the basically rural/suburban outlook of those low-density fringe areas.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 3:44 PM

its even more awesome when you consider some parts of beacon hill still have dirt roads and it's not possibly more than 2 and a half miles from downtown.

we live in a suburban town and we are a joke to the rest of cities in the united states.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 3:58 PM

OK, a stab at an explanation. Now I understand what you're saying. It's still bullshit.

First, "Rural as fuck" is total bullshit. You don't know what rural is, if you can say something like that. Suburban-like, yes. Small-town-like, yes, in some ways. But it's not rural, or anything close. Lots of cities have areas like North Seattle.

Second, I don't see what makes transit planning or utility coverage any valid criteria for comparison between Seattle and any other city when the subject is regulation of clubs.

Third, what "things like clubs" do you mean? We're talking about clubs, not "things like clubs." What are you trying to say, that many people in the residential neighborhoods don't like noisy clubs anywhere? That's hardly a ground-breaking discovery around here.

You haven't demonstrated that you know what you're talking about. I give you props for trying.

People value their quiet. They like to hear themselves think. That's why there's sprawl. You want density, you want "vibrant," you get noisy clubs.

I'm the opposite of Fnarf, and I'm probably a lot older than he is. I'm for the clubs. I believe in whoopee. People don't like it, they should get the hell out of Dodge, or STFU. They can't have it both ways.

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 4:19 PM

First, "rural as fuck" isn't bullshit. My wife's from rural Appalachia and I hate to break it to you but most of those little settlements up in there look pretty much exactly like north Greenwood. They're not suburbs because there's no fucking URB for them to be SUB of. They're in the middle of nowhere, they're not incorporated towns, they're rural. 'Kay? Thank you.

Second, the transit planning and utility coverage thing was a digression viz someone's comment that Seattle isn't a "big city" yet, crossed over someone else's comment about how Seattle doesn't need to compare itself to New York. My point was simply that New York does a lot of things we'd like to do: mass transit, services, etc, by virtue of being denser (more "big city") than we are and that if we want to do those things (as many Stranger readers do) then yeah, we do need to look to New York and other megacities for answers. We don't have to copy everything they do, but there are lots of things they do better. My point around all that didn't have much to do with clubs, but I was responding to something someone else brougt up.

Third, the fact that people in residential neighborhoods don't like clubs-- and the fact so much of Seattle is given over to low-density residential neighborhoods --means that the fuck-ups who move to Seattle's mixed-use neighborhoods and start flipping out about the noise are taken seriously by politicians and cops because those politicians can expect support from the low-density semi-rural parts of the city where people barely even know we have clubs, much less understand why anyone would want to go to one.

And by "things like clubs" I mean things like dogs: the way people on Capitol Hill own these huge fucking dogs that they let shit all over every fucking square inch of one of Seattle's only completely urbanized neighborhoods. I mean police responses and their arrest and ticketing priorities. I mean the endless conflicts between people who live in the center of the city and act like they live in a city and the people who live on the friges and the center who think they live in fucking Yelm. The club situation is just one part of a larger problem with how Seattle is perceived and how it's marketed and developed.

None of which should've been that hard to follow, Captain Fucking Attention Span, but whatever.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 4:47 PM

"I dearly hope that the City Council doesn't make any decisions based on the freak show that is a public hearing."

FNARF: Just to clarify for the record: are you saying that the City Council shouldn't have public hearings anymore, or just that they should pay no attention to them?

Posted by wf | June 5, 2007 5:28 PM

First, I know bad writing when I see it. I edit bad writing into good for a living, and I am well paid for it. I have been doing it for longer than you have been alive.

Second, I agree about the people who move into mixed-use neighborhoods and complain about the noise. I hope I made that clear in my previous post, but given who I was responding to, who knows?

Third, as for the people who think they "live in fucking Yelm," tough shit. Too bad. They live here too. They're not like you, and they don't have to be. They don't have to tolerate what you tolerate. That's what "vibrant" means, punk. It means diverse. It doesn't mean just noisy and frenetic.

Fourth, as to "how Seattle is perceived, and how it's marketed and developed," just fucking bite me. I couldn't care less "how Seattle is perceived." I don't sell advertising, and I'm not here to support those who do with an enabling public policy.

Personally, I don't mind the clubs, and never have. I live where it's quiet, but if I want to go and boogie, I want a lot of clubs to do it in. I'm not into forcing other people to like them, if they're not inclined to, but I'll certainly call bullshit on this "50-foot rule.".

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 6:44 PM

For anyone who missed the meeting and wants to watch, is streaming the entire thing. Watch it to learn about how these issues will affect seattle's culture, nightlife, and music scene. Watch it to spot your friends so you can give them encouragement [or endless ribbing]. Then add your voice to local democracy by emailing your view to our elected officials.

Posted by roboto | June 5, 2007 7:06 PM
First, I know bad writing when I see it. I edit bad writing into good for a living, and I am well paid for it. I have been doing it for longer than you have been alive.

This is slog, fucko. You want my a-list material, you'd have to pay me-- and yes, I've made some good money off my writing. The stuff that shows up here is what I hammer out between doing other things at work.

That's what "vibrant" means, punk. It means diverse. It doesn't mean just noisy and frenetic.

That's cute.

It's not a question of what I like or don't like, it's a question of what will or won't work in the city. It's not any safer for a dog to take a shit on the sidewalk in a densely populated city urban area than it is for a person to do it. We have laws against both people and dogs shitting on the sidewalk, but dog owners seem to think their dogs get some kind of pass. Likewise, when the population gets to a certain density, it's just impossible for everyone to own and operate a car. It's not a question of whether I like cars or not. They just don't work. And so on. These are people who think they want "city" but insist on bringing all their stupid suburban bullshit onto Capitol Hill with them and it doesn't fucking work.

Fourth, as to "how Seattle is perceived, and how it's marketed and developed," just fucking bite me.

Whatever, slick. When you actually catch up with my argument, drop me an e-mail.

And Ivan, I get that you're old and I understand that you have to believe that counts for something but-- and I'm sure you hear this all the time --it doesn't. Sorry.

Posted by Judah | June 5, 2007 8:42 PM

Well, one thing I know for sure. One day I'll be dead and you'll be old, and stupid children will trash you.

If you have learned anything at all by then, they will be as inconsequential to you as you are to me.

Posted by ivan | June 5, 2007 10:50 PM

Rural is when you can open your car door, step out and take a piss and no one would care for miles. I did that last week when I was home about 30 miles outside of Durango, CO. Anyone that thinks that any part within the City of Seattle has any rural identity to it whatsoever needs a CAT Scan.

Posted by Dave Coffman | June 6, 2007 2:07 AM
Rural is when you can open your car door, step out and take a piss and no one would care for miles.

Yeah, well, people do that in Wedgwood and Lake City.

Anyone that thinks that any part within the City of Seattle has any rural identity to it whatsoever needs a CAT Scan.

Anyone who doesn't think parts of North Seattle have a rural identity needs to go to North Seattle. Trust me-- there are people up there who wear trucker caps with zero irony.

Posted by Judah | June 6, 2007 8:22 AM

its good to know that rural means being able to piss on things.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 8:56 AM

Been there Judah. If trucker caps make a place rural, then the Port must be the middle of nowhere.

Posted by Dave Coffman | June 6, 2007 9:55 AM

Yeah well, if pissing outside makes a place rural then Pioneer Square is the most rural part of the state.

Hey, this is fun.

Posted by Judah | June 6, 2007 10:37 AM

You forget the no one would care for miles factor. Any place you're in the city, they would care. So yeah, this is fun.

Posted by Dave Coffman | June 6, 2007 5:58 PM

You've obviously never spent any serious time in Pioneer Square. Trust me: nobody cares.

Posted by Judah | June 7, 2007 2:18 PM

You've obviously never spent any serious time in Pioneer Square. Trust me: nobody cares.

Posted by Judah | June 7, 2007 2:19 PM

with this new ordinace law, anyone who doesnt want a bar or club in their neighborhood has the power to shut it down. all they have to do is to call a few times for noise complaints. what is scary is that they dont even have to give their names, "no-contact calls". this is what ive been going through since ive opened waids. though there's absolutely no noise coming out of my establishment, a handfull of individuals are determined to see it closed by anymeans. the same thing that's happening to me can and will happen to someone else

Posted by waid sainvil | June 7, 2007 3:20 PM

with this new ordinace law, anyone who doesnt want a bar or club in their neighborhood has the power to shut it down. all they have to do is to call a few times for noise complaints. what is scary is that they dont even have to give their names, "no-contact calls". this is what ive been going through since ive opened waids. though there's absolutely no noise coming out of my establishment, a handfull of individuals are determined to see it closed by anymeans. the same thing that's happening to me can and will happen to someone else

Posted by waid sainvil | June 7, 2007 3:21 PM

with this new ordinace law, anyone who doesnt want a bar or club in their neighborhood has the power to shut it down. all they have to do is to call a few times for noise complaints. what is scary is that they dont even have to give their names, "no-contact calls". this is what ive been going through since ive opened waids. though there's absolutely no noise coming out of my establishment, a handfull of individuals are determined to see it closed by anymeans. the same thing that's happening to me can and will happen to someone else

Posted by waid sainvil | June 7, 2007 3:22 PM

with this new ordinace law, anyone who doesnt want a bar or club in their neighborhood has the power to shut it down. all they have to do is to call a few times for noise complaints. what is scary is that they dont even have to give their names, "no-contact calls". this is what ive been going through since ive opened waids. though there's absolutely no noise coming out of my establishment, a handfull of individuals are determined to see it closed by anymeans. the same thing that's happening to me can and will happen to someone else

Posted by waid sainvil | June 7, 2007 3:25 PM

Here here Waid!
In the few years I've lived in Seattle, I've never seen a city that is so full of seemingly progressive-minded people and a truly amazing music scene paired with a local government that seems hell-bent on dismanteling it every chance they get.
Here's the problem as I see it (and this ought to illicit some good responses) A major problem is that we have a mayor that just can't suck enough developers dicks. How the hell did we end up with this monster in office? (That's right, the stranger endorsed him way back, although if I remember correctly, the alternative was worse) Nickels should not be running a city, because he's running it like a suburb.
Another major problem, and this is propably closer to the real root of the problem, is that we have an extremly racist police force (for the record, I'm caucasian) that has consistantly pushed for legislation that would empower tham further to target specific groups or cultures they don't like. In fact I've noticed in my time living here that Seattle is a very segregated city in no small part due to the efforts of our police force and city government.
Solution: Vote! We have local elections coming up that you barely even hear about while we're inundated with endless coverage of Obama, or Clinton, or whatever other puppet they put up on stage (do the research, social issues aside, dems & repubs aren't very different when it comes down to real business)
There you are, I'm out of time. Have fun with that

Posted by Mr. Sunshine | June 7, 2007 7:50 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:09 PM


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Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:09 PM


Posted by Ryan_hg | June 17, 2007 1:28 PM

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