As expected, today a special city council committee advanced legislation that would leverage a citywide property tax to publicly fund city council races starting in 2015. The measure is expected to be passed at next Monday's full council meeting, which means it's all but destined to appear before voters as a referendum on the November ballot.
But as I reported earlier today, if voters also pass another city ballot measure—an initiative advocating for city council district seats, instead of our current at-large elections—it will make today's public campaign financing efforts all but worthless because the legislation only pertains to at-large council seats, not district-held seats.
Nick Licata and Mike O'Brien introduced an amendment to fix this huge problem via a district amendment.
But council members were skeptical of the fix:
Richard Conlin: "I don't know whether this really makes sense."
Tim Burgess: "It's premature to try and structure a district program until we see what the voters have to say on that subject."
Jean Godden: "It's going to be extremely hard to explain to voters."
If these two pieces of legislation pass this November, I think it's going to be even harder to explain why the city council needs to return to voters in a year to clarify the law when they could've easily taken care of it in committee now.
Faced with no support, Licata withdrew the amendment. His second amendment, aimed at reducing the total amount of public funds available to a candidate from $210,000 to $180,000, also failed in committee, while an amendment proposed by O'Brien (and tweaked in committee) to change the public financing filing deadline from 14 days to 21 days after the last day to file for city council, passed.
My wife of 10 years and I have a great relationship. We make each other laugh, love to go out together when work/parenting schedules allow and have a fun sex life which includes experimentation and fantasy. While we've talked in the past about swinging and threesomes, one of the fantasy subjects recently coming up, at my choosing, has been her being with another man alone. I've been encouraging her to tell me if she ever gets attention from another man and we've talked about when things have turned her on in the past. I've always been careful to let her know that she can feel comfortable telling me these things and not throw them up in her face afterwards.
A few weeks back while fooling around she told me that shortly after we were married, and prior to my bringing up her alone with another man, that she had grabbed her trainer's dick once for a split second and pretended it was an accident. She said he was very flirtatious and "hands-on" while showing which muscle groups were being worked and she just got hot and grabbed him. I was turned on and, surprisingly, not that bothered by it.
This past weekend during sex I told her that had really turned me on. She then haltingly revealed to me that she had not only grabbed him that time, but jerked him off over his shorts for five minutes or so until he came. While I was incredibly turned on while this was going on, I felt sick afterwards. I haven't said anything to her about it since that night but I feel betrayed and cheated on, and that she stepped way over the line. I love this woman and trusted her deeply, but this has really shaken me.
How Do I Make Sense Of This?
My response after the jump...
2. Meanwhile, at Elliott Bay Book Company, Tao Lin is reading. Lin, who is a Stranger contributor, has a lot riding on his new novel, Taipei. For a while there, he was everywhere, basically dictating a style to a whole new generation of novelists. That moment has passed, and everybody's been waiting and wondering what he's going to do next. Reviews of Taipei are either adoring or loathing. Which is funny, because I started reading it and got about seventy-five pages in and then I set it aside and I promptly forgot I was reading it. This never happens to me. I don't hate it, I don't love it. I just feel apathetic about it, or, as Lin might say, I read the book with a neutral expression. If you are going to this reading, you should know that it'll be starting a little late:
**BREAKING** Due to a flight delay, our event with Tao Lin tonight will begin at 8pm. http://t.co/yswbtxCS7R— Elliott Bay Book Co. (@ElliottBayBooks) June 17, 2013
3. So you have two completely different authors reading tonight. One is a crowd-pleasing bestseller. The other is a trendsetting modernist who the lit blogs can't stop writing about. Which reading will you attend? Your choice will say a whole lot about you.
4. Or, you could just go to Shannon Huffman Polson's reading at Third Place Books. Her memoir North of Hope is about how her parents were murdered by a grizzly bear, and what she did after that. This is just about the widest spectrum of author readings in a single evening that I can imagine.
“I never learned to swim, and I’m tired of holding my breath.” —“Monster in Montauk,” Hounds of the Wild Hunt
Several months ago I watched a woman end her life. Sort of. Maybe. It’s still unclear what exactly happened. See, back in October my husband and I were in New York City—visiting friends, eating everything on Momofuku Milk Bar's menu, and riding public transportation that isn't worthless—and one night we decided to take the Roosevelt Island Tramway over the East River to Roosevelt Island to gaze at the city’s skyline from across the water. It was a dark, chilly October night, the perfect fall night for a walk. It was just a few days before Halloween and, no fucking joke, we saw a person in a Grim Reaper costume walk past us and disappear down an escalator to get on the subway. The Grim Reaper had a scythe. It was spooky and funny at the time, but now it's just spooky.
While strolling down the sidewalk that follows along the river, a man who we didn't know was behind us, started yelling at us. He was shouting something about the police and a woman and the river. He ran towards us, he didn’t speak English very well, and kept insisting we call the police. After 15 seconds, maybe 30, I don't know, we realized what was happening.
Chairman of the House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican from South Carolina, appeared on a radio show and said that we should "go back and revisit some of these things because Americans have questions about not only the IRS scandal but also about the president’s validity." Meaning, he thinks President Obama was born in Kenya. Meaning he thinks over half of America is so stupid that they voted for an illegal immigrant in the last election.
Sure, it sounds like Duncan is kind of pressured into agreeing with the radio host about the birtherism, but if Duncan can't even stand up to a podunk radio host, what the hell is he doing in Congress?
I don't really expect the Phoenix Coyotes to move to Seattle before next season, because Glendale, Arizona has already thrown so much good money after bad that it's hard to see them turning down yet another awful (for taxpayers) arena deal. Exactly how awful...?
A local executive with intimate knowledge with the Coyotes situation said the city has a number of concerns about the Renaissance bid. That includes the group not having “enough skin in the game,” arena management payments being used for debt service on the purchase of the team and worries the group might have long-term plans to move the team to Seattle or another market.
Renaissance has reportedly sought a $15 million per year arena deal to manage city-owned Jobing.com Arena and help facilitate a sale.
To be clear, that's a $15 million a year taxpayer subsidy to the Coyotes in exchange for them staying in Glendale, money that the new owners would use for debt payment on their highly leveraged purchase of the team. The city had previously agreed to a $15 million a year 20-year deal with a previous potential ownership group. But Renaissance is reportedly seeking a lease of five years or less, so if the team is going to leave in a few years anyway, there's a strong argument for the city to cut its losses now.
There are certainly reasonable arguments for opposing a Sodo arena, but when critics decry it as a risky deal for taxpayers I just have to laugh, especially considering the truly irresponsible deals that so many other cities have accepted.
President Obama is going to be on Charlie Rose tonight, and BuzzFeed has released a partial transcript:
It is transparent. That’s why we set up the FISA court…. The whole point of my concern, before I was president — because some people say, “Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he’s, you know, Dick Cheney.” Dick Cheney sometimes says, “Yeah, you know? He took it all lock, stock, and barrel.” My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program, you’ve got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program. And you’ve got Congress overseeing the program, not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last reauthorization exactly how this program works.
Now, one last point I want to make, because what you’ll hear is people say, “Okay, we have no evidence that it has been abused so far.” And they say, “Let’s even grant that Obama’s not abusing it, that all these processes — DOJ is examining it. It’s being renewed periodically, et cetera — the very fact that there is all this data in bulk, it has the enormous potential for abuse,” because they’ll say, you know, “You can — when you start looking at metadata, even if you don’t know the names, you can match it up, if there’s a call to an oncologist, and there’s a call to a lawyer, and — you can pair that up and figure out maybe this person’s dying, and they’re writing their will, and you can yield all this information.” All of that is true. Except for the fact that for the government, under the program right now, to do that, it would be illegal. We would not be allowed to do that.
There's much more over at BuzzFeed. None of this is making me feel any better, but I'll definitely watch this interview.
Deep in the forest of Cowen Park on Saturday, an ensemble of musicians played for a small audience. There were only maybe twenty people, performers included, but in the cozy clearing surrounded by trees and fallen logs, with a stream trickling nearby and a footbridge suspended overhead, it was standing-room-only. In order to find this space, where bassist John Teske and saxophonist Neil Welch have performed for the past three years, audience members were directed via Teske’s website on a treasure hunt through the trees. “Take a left into the ravine,” we were instructed. “Enter the clearing; walk toward the wooden footbridge,” and so on.
After hiking for some time, passing staircases and hopping across creeks, we found musicians amid the foliage: two on saxophone, one with a trombone, another with a bass and a cello. As the crowd formed, Welch began a startling solo. It was an onslaught of rapid-fire notes, messy, manic, bubbling over and subsiding on repeat. Welch was absorbed, trance-like, in his sound, which first resembled the cry of an excited animal and soon dissolved into a loop of unapologetic shrieking. Finally, it petered into a slow succession of guttural blows. Though a repeating single note, the sound was not stagnant. It was set to the counterpoint of the audience slapping mosquitos against their skin, of dogs barking in response from far away, and of birds caw-cawing.
Thank you, Criterion Collection Twitter feed.
The newest Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese pairing has a trailer, and it looks like it's all about wretched excess:
Something weird to think about: Robert De Niro and Scorsese made eight films together. DiCaprio and Scorsese have now made five. I think Leo's going for the record.
This Wednesday Neumos is hosting our dream show—The Intelligence, La Luz, and Pony Time. We never shut up about these bands! Like, ever! For proof, see this week's music feature.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? We have some free tickets to give you! Two pairs, to be exact, to two lucky readers. It's our show, we can do what we want. To enter, just e-mail your first and last name to email@example.com with I wanna go to the dream show! in the subject line.
Wanna skip all this nonsense? Buy your own tickets right now! They're just $12 a pop.
The show is 21+, doors open at 8 pm, and it's gonna be great. Come!
The local rap legend Spec One...
UPDATE: I've been told that council members Mike O'Brien and Nick Licata plan on proposing an amendment this afternoon that would address citywide districts, were the initiative to pass. To qualify, a candidate in a district would need 200 contributions of at least $10, and would receive 50 percent of the funding of citywide candidates.
At 2:30 p.m. today, a special committee of the Seattle City Council will be hammer out—and likely vote on—on what publicly financed city council elections could look like in Seattle, legislation intended to diminish the influence of the same cast of wealthy donors at every goddamn political function.
As the legislation now stands, it looks like qualifying city council candidates—those who gathered 600 matching donations and signatures from registered Seattle voters—would qualify for up to $140,000 in public funding during the primary and $250,000 total (primary + general elections).
If council members vote the measure out of committee today, the legislation would be kicked to next Monday's full council meeting for a vote (which is little more than a formality, given the committee is comprised of the full council) before magically appearing before voters on November's ballot. From what I hear, the council seems to unanimously support the legislation.
But there's still one major hangup written into the legislation in the simplest of language: "This program is available only to candidates in Citywide Council elections," it reads.
This could be a huge problem if those pesky kids running Seattle Districts Now, the initiative to turn seven of Seattle's nine city council seats into district-held positions, passes this November. Basically, it would mean that if both measures passed, the months and months of laborious work that the council and Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission has done to craft a solid piece of legislation would only apply to two at-large council races in the city.
In other words, it would become practically useless.
So what's the council planning on doing about this? Sources at City Hall say the council's divided: Some members want to hammer through an amendment that would address how funds would be allocated if Seattle districts were approved. Others want to ignore the districting initiative for the time being and address the question when/if it becomes a reality.
Granted, it sounds pretty lazy for our city legislators to pull a "wait and see!" move, given that crafting working legislation is what we pay them to do. On the other hand, they have to pass the public finance legislation out of council by the end of the month if they hope to put it on November's ballot.
On the other, other hand, who didn't see this coming? Anyone???
(The author is a Seattle native who moved to Istanbul in January of 2006. This is his sixth posting; find all of his reports on his author page.)
This weekend the situation in Istanbul changed dramatically.
Around 8:45pm on Saturday my wife called me to let me know that Gezi Park was being cleared by the police. I packed our breathing masks, goggles and bandanas, plus a pair of her tennis shoes and a permanent marker, in a backpack and headed out the door to meet her. She was in a bar on Nevizade Sokak, the famous bar street just off of Istiklal Caddesi, the main thoroughfare through Beyoglu. On the way to the bar, I was surprised at how many people continued to casually drink their beers, seemingly unaware or unconcerned with what was happening. Inside the bar, I watched a few minutes of news footage on the TV of bulldozers entering the park and then of police on foot systematically checking tents to see if anyone was left inside.
Later, I learned that many of the Gezi Park Occupiers fled to the Divan Hotel, just across the street from the park. The fleeing protesters were pursued into the hotel, where police (whose ID numbers had been whited out on their helmets), removed the protesters’ breathing masks and confiscated their mixtures of antacid and water, leaving them unprepared for the tear gas which would inevitably follow.
Don't mess with Texas [witches]. I love her husband Charles in this video when he says: ""She's my hero. I'll take her anywhere. I'll take her anywhere twice on Sunday..."
OHIO: "A woman who was sexually assaulted by a youth pastor when she was 15 years old has filed a lawsuit against the church that employed the pastor.... The victim and her father filed the lawsuit against Delaware Grace Brethren Church. The church is accused of hiring, and continuing to employ, Brian L. Williams as a youth pastor knowing he was an accused sexual aggressor... According to court documents, the juvenile victim was receiving counseling from Williams at Sunbury Grace Brethren Church on March 6, 2008. During the counseling, the teen says she was raped and forced to perform sexual acts with Williams."
GEORGIA: "Kevin Hickey, a Norcross man who was formerly employed as the director of Parish Outreach for Life Teen International in Atlanta, has been arrested on a federal complaint charging him with distributing and possessing child pornography. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office, Hickey shared the pornography during an online communication monitored by federal agents... [He] allegedly said that he was watching 'perving vids' and then shared a pornographic video depicting prepubescent males being sodomized by an adult male. 'Hickey further displayed photographs of children he took surreptitiously in public places and was heard gratifying himself sexually during the online conversation,' says the release."
KANSAS: "A former Topeka Church leader charged with child sex crimes is back in court Monday. A motions hearing for Hugh Cranford, 32, will get underway at 10 a.m. Monday morning. Cranford faces two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and lewd fondling. He was in training to be a pastor, and was a youth minister at Faith Lutheran Church at 17th and Gage in Topeka."
State budget writers are waiting for tomorrow's quarterly Economic & Revenue Forecast to come out before proceeding with budget negotiations, and a surefire way to get these negotiations over with quickly would be for Washington State Economic & Revenue Forecast Council executive director and chief economist Steve Lerch to simply lie. That'll do it. Tell lawmakers they have about a billion dollars or so more to spend than you think they'll likely have, and problem solved.
Sure, lying is wrong, and it would just kick the really tough decisions further down the road. But maybe further down the road the lawmakers in charge will be a bit more responsible and competent than the feckless douchebags like Rodney Tom who are currently running the show.
Just trying to offer some constructive criticism.
This Seattle police report, involving reported instances of domestic violence, gives me chills:
A DV assault suspect was arrested after he was found hiding in a sofa storage compartment. This morning, just shortly after 11:00 a.m., officers responded to a DV Assault at an apartment in the 8600 block of Delridge Way SW. The investigation showed that the victim had been assaulted and had attempted to report the incident to 9-1-1.
While the victim was on the line, making the report, the suspect grabbed the phone away and threw it into the trash can. The suspect fled before officers arrived. The victim reported at that time that the suspect had at least three firearms that he kept positioned at various points throughout the apartment. Two children, ages two and three, were present during the assault. Officers took a report and left the residence.
Two hours later in the day another 9-1-1 call was received from the apartment. The operator could hear small children then the line disconnected...
On a related note, have you read Anna Minard's excellent gut-punch of a feature on domestic violence in this week's paper? If not, you really should.
Last night, I published a rumor that the Landmark Theatres chain would be closing the Egyptian Theatre at the end of this month. As far as I can see, Landmark hasn't released any statement on the theater's closing, and they haven't gotten back to my requests for comment.
I just got off the phone with Janet Grimley, the interim director of communications for Seattle Central Community College, which bought the Egyptian building in 1992. Grimley confirms: "Landmark informed our person that handles those leases on May 1st that they were going to be out by the end of June." Grimley says she doesn't know why Landmark made that decision.
So what's going to happen to the building? "We own it, and we intend to keep it," Grimley says. She can't confirm that SCCC will definitely keep the space as a movie theater, saying that "we’re open to suggestions or ideas" for what to do with the space. So has anybody made overtures on the space? "Nothing has gotten serious," Grimley says, and then she clarifies, "nothing that I’m aware of."
UPDATE 12:39 PM: Just got an e-mail from Lauren Kleiman at Landmark Theatres. She confirms: "The theatre will be closing, with the last day of film set for Thursday, June 27."
Ivan & Alyosha had their van, trailer, and gear stolen while on tour. THAT SUCKS. Man, does that suck. I hate hearing stories of bands being ripped off like this, even when they're boring folk bands with ties to Mars Hill. And while I certainly understand asking fans to help cover the costs of the stolen gear, I also hope that every band everywhere has their shit insured. Here's a place to start, if you don't.
In Ivan & Alyosha's case, though, I was sent a professional press release about their Pledge Music campaign, to help replace the stolen gear. If you give 'em $50, you get a phone call from the band. In that press release, it states that:
* Rhapsody has donated $10,000
* Amazon had donated $5,000
* Noisetrade is donating ad space and fans can tip/donate when downloading the band's album for free
* From June 24-July 1, Dualtone Music Group will give 100% of the net proceeds from digital and physical retail to the band
And you're still asking fans for money? STILL? That's what insurance is for, right?
...courtesy of last Friday's Rachel Maddow Show.
Short version: The quietly but pervasively anti-gay GOP will very soon face a reckoning with an increasingly equality-friendly nation, and it's going to be something to see.
On a related note, I'm finding myself increasingly obsessed with the need for some sort of safe space/learning zone for those folks still working their way toward gay acceptance. It's tough, because once the "gay are just people!" light goes off in your brain, it's hard to imagine how you ever thought otherwise, and the urge to flex your new muscles by pointing at the less evolved and shouting "bigot!" is strong. But I've spent the past 20 years watching that light go off in people's brains (including my own), and it's not something that happens according to a timetable, or in response to demands. While we work to banish LGBTQI discrimination from the law of the land, we should leave some sort of welcome mat for those would-be "bigots" who are coming around to the idea of gay acceptance more slowly. Because no matter who you are, when it comes to homosexuality, your understanding of the issue is different today than what it was 10 or 20 years ago.
This is what was going on when I rolled up around 7:45 pm.
I'd heard there was an installation that started at 7:30 pm but I assumed that it was a static installation that lasted half an hour, before the 8 pm showing of Northwest New Works. I hadn't realized the installation was a performance. There were guys coated in saw dust, women with wooden cubes entirely concealing their heads (not pictured), and other elements I only dimly perceived because I got there late and at first couldn't separate the crowd and passersby from the performers—elements including a man on a street corner across from the theater losing his mind. Also, hoods:
I'm kicking myself for not getting there earlier. And there's nothing on the On the Boards blog about it—just posts about the works that started after 8 pm. Sorry to have to crowd source this, but… what did I miss?
You should read the whole thing at The Guardian, but this is my favorite response:
...it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.
When Greg Kucera casually walks in and asks how I'm doing, my hand just goes up to my heart. That's when he says, "Even people who don't know can feel it." We're standing in the corner of the back room of his gallery just before First Thursday starts. We're inside a modestly sized show by Seattle artist Mark Calderon. In the wall next to us, there is a small cavity shaped like a cloud. Another wall has three more cavities. Two are shaped, vaguely, like leaves. Between them is a hollow, shadowy baby. The baby's feet are crossed. Another pair of crossing feet, lifelike and cast in lead, lie on a pedestal. Near them, a small lead turtle on its back tries to right itself, craning its neck so the soft throat is exposed, twisting a tiny leg to push.
"It" is not a secret. Calderon is married to Chiyo Ishikawa, longtime Seattle Art Museum curator. Her son Nap had a bike accident on Pike and Boren on May 29, 2012. Days later, he died, just before what would have been his 19th birthday. Nap's father is Dick Cantwell, owner of Elysian Brewing. On the night of this opening, exactly a year later, Kucera is preparing to receive a gathering at the gallery of heavy-hearted art-world figures, brewers, and teenage skateboarders.
I really want to urge you to go to this exhibition before it closes June 29.
Happy Father's Day! A grandfather accidentally shot his grandson on Father's Day, because America!
Good morning, Megan! Multiple reports have the NHL moving the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle for the 2013-2014 season if the Glendale, Arizona city council doesn't come to terms on an arena subsidy deal by July 2.
Bad morning. A 16-year-old Victoria BC boy was killed in Snohomish County when he fell into oncoming traffic during a charity bike ride.
No doubt just a cultural misunderstanding. Russian President Vladimir Putin vehemently denies stealing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's Super Bowl ring. Other things Putin denies stealing: elections.
A blow to our freedom to deny brown people their freedom. The US Supreme Court has thrown out an Arizona law that required applicants to provide proof of citizenship before registering to vote via "motor voter" forms.
So help me God. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Christian man can sue the state of Oklahoma over the Native American artwork on the state’s license plate. Pastor Keith Cressman argues that his religious freedom has been violated because the plates "might imply his approval of contrary beliefs." Welcome to my world, Pastor Cressman.
In God we trust. Fifty years after the US Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools, our schools are more religious than ever.
Timber! In the third largest forestry acquisition in North America, Federal Way based Weyerhaeuser will acquire Longview Timber and its 645,000 acres of Washington and Oregon timberland for $2.65 billion.
Alki Seattle. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is following Seattle's lead in implementing a citywide food waste recycling program.
Don't do this. An Alaska man was mauled by a bear after feeding it barbecued meat at a church picnic. State Troopers say "he'd been drinking." Presumedly the man, not the bear. But this is Alaska, so who knows?
Worried about climate change yet? A fifth alligator has been sighted in Long Island's Peconic River.
And finally, Miss Utah explains why women are paid less than men:
The emperor writes:
"Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Or that this noble vintage is grape juice, and the purple robes are sheep wool dyed with shellfish blood. Or making love—something rubbing against your penis, a brief seizure and a little cloudy liquid.
Perceptions like that—latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That's what we need to do all the time—all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust—to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them."
The American sings:
How did I miss this story? A study found that 1 in 13 humans have chimpy feet...
Like chimps, humans have joints in the middle of our feet. But our ligaments are stiff, keeping our feet rigid. Our rigid midfoot likely acts as an efficient lever to propel us forward as we walk. Chimps have soft ligaments, making their feet more flexible for grasping objects and branches.The thinking is that these kinds of tree feet are popping up more and more in the human population because they do not present any disadvantages in our social, cultural, and natural environment. Efficient walking is no longer a matter of life death for humans.
In the new study, Boston University anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva and occupational therapist Simone Gill tested the midtarsal flexibility of 398 people, as they walked around barefoot at the Boston Museum of Science. They filmed the participants' feet up close and discovered that 32 of them (about 8 percent) had midfoot flexibility characteristic of a midtarsal break. These people also exhibited elevated pressures on the sides of their midfoot as they walked, and had significantly flatter feet than the people without the midtarsal break.
The owners of the chimp-like feet didn't know that there was anything different about their feet and didn't actually appear to walk differently. But the differences were obvious to the researchers when they looked at the close-ups of the feet as they unrolled while walking.