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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seattle Human Rights Commission Calls for "Meaningful Reform of Our Local Police Departments"

Posted by on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 6:00 AM

At Saturdays march from Garfield High School to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.
  • Alex Garland
  • Protesters at a Saturday march that went from Garfield High School to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.

Yesterday, the Seattle Human Rights Commission weighed in on the recent protests, the non-indictment that followed Eric Garner's death, and police reform efforts here and around the country. It's worth a read:

The Seattle Human Rights Commission is saddened and outraged by the lack of accountability for police brutality demonstrated by the recent no-indictment verdict brought in the Eric Garner Case.

Continue reading »

Monday, December 15, 2014

Federal Monitor Praises Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole in Latest Report

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:58 PM

  • Alex Garland
  • According to a federal monitor's report released today, reforms are going well at the Seattle Police Department.
Wondering how those reforms are going over at the Seattle Police Department? Look no further than the second annual report of the reform process's federally appointed monitor, Merrick Bobb (no relation to Bobby Shmurda). It's hot off the presses, and stacks in at 113 pages (PDF).

But the hardworking stiffs of Seattle probably don't have time to read the whole thing. Neither do we, at the moment! So, to summarize it all-too-briefly, based on the report's executive summary:

  • The SPD is like a ship at sea, "approaching midpassage in its voyage to fully and effectively comply with many of the provisions," and therefore "the Monitor can say, for the first time, that SPD is likely to get the job done if it continues on the path it is now." Land ho!

  • Notably, new chief Kathleen O'Toole "appeared in person before federal
    District Judge Robart [who is judging the reform process]—which her two immediate predecessors had pointedly not done—to assure the Court that, under her direction, things would move quickly toward compliance."

  • The department's training section has experienced a "renaissance," according to the monitor, with all officers by the end of the year having received 32 hours of training on new use-of-force policies, as well as training on how to treat stops, detentions, bias, and crisis interventions for the mentally ill.

  • The department has, for the first time and thanks to O'Toole's decision-making, "collected a set of standardized [use of] force data for a continuous 6 month period (from April 1 through September 30)."

In the less-promising-news department:

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Bartender Crush: Karen at the Lookout

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

  • Brooklyn Benjestorf

Name: Karen.

Where: The Lookout.

Buy Her a Shot Of: Chilled Grey Goose.

Ask Her to Make You A: Mai tai.

What She’s Doing When She’s Not at the Bar: “Drinking chilled Grey Goose! No, I kid. Hanging out with my dog, hiking, camping. I’m a pretty mellow, down-to-earth girl.”

Words to Live By: “If you’re talking about me, you’re leaving some other poor bitch alone.”

What We Learned at Today’s Update on the Sinking Around the Downtown Tunnel Project

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:34 PM

A panel of WSDOT officials were met with skepticism from Council Members Mike OBrien and Kshama Sawant at todays tunnel update.
  • Heidi Groover
  • A panel of WSDOT officials were met with skepticism from Council Members Mike O'Brien and Kshama Sawant at today's tunnel update.

One of the most telling moments during today’s update on sinkage in downtown came in the form of silence.

Officials from the Washington State Department of Transportation were explaining to the Seattle City Council (all but Council Member Sally Clark, who was absent) how they’re monitoring the area in and around Pioneer Square to find out how much ground settling happened last month, why it happened, and whether it has stopped.

How much more data, how many of these points do we need to check?" asked Council Member Mike O’Brien. "What does that plan look like, and what is the time frame for getting that data so that there’s a level of confidence that we actually know what’s going on before someone makes a decision to do something"—like, say, keep on with the Bertha rescue effort—"that may adversely affect the viaduct or the buildings or the life [and] safety of people in this area?”

There was a pause as WSDOT administrators looked at each other and back at the council.

“That’s the big question,” project manager Todd Trepanier said before going back to talking about WSDOT’s ongoing monitoring.


The specific decision O’Brien is talking about there is whether Seattle Tunnel Partners, which has the contract to both design and build the underground tunnel meant to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct, should stop dewatering the soil around the Bertha rescue pit in order to make it safe to keep on digging. And if they do stop the dewatering, what becomes of the project?

Continue reading »

The Track of the Day Is R. Seiliog's "Constellation Drip"

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM

My work iTunes currently houses over 48,800 songs. Every day, publicists, labels, and artists send dozens of downloads my way. Sometimes (a lot of times) I forget I've downloaded something, and months or even years can pass until I realize I haven't played that thing. Such was the case with Welsh producer R. Seiliog's In Hz album (you can stream it here; by the way, Seiliog's real name is Robin Edwards, not to be confused with The Stranger freelancer). I uploaded it to iTunes October 28, but didn't get around to listening till December 14. When I did, it was astonishment at first hear.

This is not your run-of-the-mill tech-house release, of which I've heard too many in this lifetime. In Hz is that rare beast that infuses a surplus of euphoria into its tracks without emitting an iota of sappiness. Its seven tracks are animated by a sense of cosmic bliss that may sound familiar to fans of spacey, psychotropic German music from the '70s and '80s. Couple that element with Seiliog's propensity for smooth, cruiseworthy beats and you have a recipe for constant elevation. "Constellation Drip" is perhaps the peak of this style, although "Wow Signal" gives it a serious challenge. But really, anywhere you go on In Hz offers a surfeit of textural and rhythmic pleasure.

I nearly overlooked In Hz, perhaps forever. Instead, tragedy was averted and it's going into my 2014 top-10 list. Now if I can only figure out how to pronounce Seiliog...


SL Letter of the Day: Settle or Divorce?

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I've been reading your column for a few years and haven't seen this before, so I thought I should just ask.

I am a straight woman with sexual abuse in her past (at 4 by a step-grandfather, at 7 by a classmate). I lost my virginity at 15 to a married 30-year-old guy. I've been with a lot of guys, as I spent several years in the bar scene doing one-nighters with strangers. I've been married three times now, and my current marriage is happy but asexual. I'm close with my current husband. But I've never had sex with a person that I'm emotionally close to. I had little-to-no emotional connection with both of my previous husbands but very strong physical connections—especially my second husband. The best sex for me is a D/s situation where my husband wore lingerie or other female attire. I used to think I was a lesbian, but after some experimenting I found that not to be the case.

So now I'm not sure what to make of it all. Should I be trying to build a sexual relationship with my current husband? He won't wear lingerie—so now what? Why might it be that I don't have a full relationship with a man ever? Do I need yet more therapy? Help, please!

Woman On Number Three

My response after the jump...

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Twenty Holiday Style Tips from Homo for the Holidays 2014

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

1. Wear your brightest gold eyeshadow and put some holly in your hair
  • Kelly O
  • 1. Wear your brightest gold eye shadow and throw some holly in your hair.

You can never have too much tulle. NEVER.
  • Kelly O
  • 2. You can never have too much tulle. Never.

3. Why leave your tree at home, when you can wear it out?
  • Kelly O
  • 3. Why leave your tree at home when you can belt it and wear it out?

More photos after the jump! And get tickets to Homo for Holidays right here.

Continue reading »

Navy Wants Permission for Electromagnetic War Games Over Olympic National Park

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:57 PM

The skies above the Olympic National Forest, potential training site for electromagnetic warfare.
  • JamesChen/Shutterstock
  • The skies above the Olympic National Forest, potential training site for electromagnetic warfare.

From Truthout:

If the US Navy gets its way, it will begin flying Growler supersonic warplanes over Olympic National Forest and wilderness areas of the Western Olympic Peninsula next September in order to conduct electromagnetic warfare training exercises.

As Truthout previously reported, this would entail flying 36 jets down to 1,200 feet above ground in some areas, in 2,900 training exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day, 260 days per year, with the war-gaming going on indefinitely into the future. The Navy's plans also include having 15 mobile units on the ground with towers emitting electromagnetic radiation signals for the planes to locate as part of their exercises.

The navy says they've done an environmental study that turned up "no significant impacts," but Dr. Martin Pall, a professor emeritus at Washington State University, begs—almost literally—to differ:

Pall told Truthout that these claims by the Navy are "untrue," and provided reams of evidence, including his own scientific reports, that document, in detail, the extremely dangerous impacts of even very low levels of the microwave and electromagnetic radiation that the Navy would be emitting during their war games...

A 2013 paper published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, titled "Radiation from wireless technology impacts the blood, the heart and the autonomic nervous system," lists a series of 14 different pleas from multiple scientists who state the need for much more vigorous action on the health effects from microwave EMFs.

Nevertheless, the Navy and Forest Service maintain their position that there would be "no significant impact" from the electromagnetic war-gaming, despite reams of well-documented scientific evidence to the contrary.

Dean Millett, district ranger for the Pacific district of the Olympic National Forest, says he hasn't made a final decision yet, but his responses to reporters indicate that he's leaning in the navy's direction.


Weekend in Review: Face-Hurting Holiday Shows, Those Fucking Santas, and Squid Jigs

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:52 PM

  • An autographed Ben and a bowl full of Dina: Christmas shopping DONE.

• Kelly's weekend was filled with THEEEE'ATAH! She went to the 2014 Homo for the Holidays on Saturday and reported that it's more fun than ever! Everybody who needs their holiday-frown turned upside-down, should really hurry up and get tickets. After the show, the lovely BenDeLaCreme even signed an 8 x 10 photo for Kelly's 8-year-old niece back in Michigan (who is nothing short of OBSESSED with LaCeme since watching her on the teevee on Ru Paul's Drag Race).

  • kelly o
  • For the Brutal Exterminator with everything.
• Also on Saturday, the new Punk Rock Flea Market was held in the old Central District Post Office building and had lines out the door. It's got us wondering what will be in the 24th and Union space in the future—it's now covered in custom graffitti and looks amazing inside! Kelly bought this light-switch cover from a crafty vendor. Because, duh, ZARDOZ.

No problems.
  • Amelia Bonow Rules
  • Speckled & Drake FTW.
• As for my Saturday, I lost track of time and found myself in the Pike/Pine zone right as the clock struck Party Garbage O'Clock and the godforsaken Santa-themed bar crawl oozed onto the street. Before I sprinted home, I was lucky enough to hear a Santa squawking outside Grim's: "OKAY, now we're going to Purr. We're going to the fuckin' gay bar. Ha ha ha we're going to go fuck in the gay bar! I think Purr is close to here, does anyone know? Okay, someone go see if Taylor and Autumn got their tabs."

• Kelly says: There's nothing ever better to do on a Sunday afternoon (or any of the remaining days until Chrisssshmas) than go see Dina Martina's ALL NEW holiday show. No spoilers, but there's a nod to a Laurie Anderson song this year that will BLOW YOUR FRICKIN' MIND and make your face hurt from laughing. Also, check out the merch table when (not if!) you go—you'll have a hard time deciding between the new coffee mug and the new official collector plate.

When life gives you squid jigs.
  • When life gives you squid jigs.
My super-exciting Sunday was spent wondering about squid jigs. Have you been to that tackle shop on Rainier? I walked past on Sunday morning, feeling kind of gross and under the weather, when I noticed that the #1 main focus and point of pride of the tackle store is their squid jigs. For some reason the words "SQUID JIGS" really cheered me up.

Two Numbers That Point to a Healthy Future for Books

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Seattle loves books enough to support smart, forward-thinking bookstores like Adas Technical Books, and theres a whole new generation of physical book-lovers coming of age.
  • Kelly O
  • Seattle loves books enough to support smart, forward-thinking bookstores like Ada's Technical Books, and there's a whole new generation of physical-book-lovers coming of age.
1. In case you missed it yesterday, I'd like to point out that the Sunday New York Times featured an infographic-laden story called "What People Buy Where." It was an exploration of which parts of the country buy more (and less) of various products including coffee, soda, bikes, and so on. The number I'm most interested in, of course, is books. And Seattle is at the top of the national book-buying charts by a very large percentage. Seattle spends 68 percent more than the national average on books annually. Considering the fact that we have a great, vibrant library system loaning out books for free all over the city, this is an especially striking number. The next-highest city on the chart is San Francisco, which spends 44 percent more than the national average. (New York City, which is supposedly the center of the literary universe, spends 28 percent less than the national average.)

2. In other good book news, Nielsen released survey results about teenagers and e-book use last week. They found that though "younger readers are open to e-books as a format, teens continue to express a preference for print that may seem to be at odds with their perceived digital know-how." They buy e-books, but they generally prefer print books, by a fairly large margin. This is yet another sign that e-book market dominance is a long way off, if it's coming at all. E-book adoption rate, which used to be stratospheric, is leveling out, and the next generation of book buyers don't seem to be in any rush to give up physical media in favor of files that they don't really own. Physical booksellers don't seem to be in the same kind of peril from e-books that record stores suffered from the rise of the mp3.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Clinton for the New York Times link.)

I Cured My Hangover with the Pozole at Monica Dimas’s Pop-Up Mexican Brunch

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

The pozole features perfectly tender pork and just the right amount of hominy. But the real highlight is the house-made chili oil. Id splash it on my toothbrush.
  • Tobias Coughlin-Bogue
  • The pozole features perfectly tender pork and just the right amount of hominy. But the real highlight is the house-made chili oil that comes with it. I'd splash it on my toothbrush.

When I got wind of Communion, Monica Dimas’s pop-up “Mexican Hangover Brunch” that’s running on weekends throughout the month of December, I knew two things: I had to go, and I had to get legitimately shitfaced the night prior in order to do it justice. I’ve worked with Dimas throughout the years, and her food has brought me back from the brink before many grueling brunch shifts. So I was eager to see if her first professional attempt at curative cooking would be a success.

But first, to achieve a hangover of true potency, I used a classic technique: ingesting the entire spectrum of booze. Three fancy beers were followed in short succession by a Negroni, a glass of red wine, three Rainiers, and an ounce of port I’d stashed away for just such an occasion. What followed was the type of massive hangover in which one can only sit up in bed with mouth agape. My girlfriend arrived with coffee only to find me in a coma on the couch, staring dully out from behind my tangled mane. After an hour or so of coaxing, she managed to drag me into the car, and we were off.

When we got to Nacho Borracho, the pop-up’s Saturday location (Sundays are at the Rhino Room), I thought for a moment they'd called it off. The bar was nearly empty and there was nothing on their sandwich board to indicate that it was a go. But lo, on every table there was a little card listing the four items available for “Communion Brunch.” Why is it called Communion? Dimas ended up in church on a Sunday, and was inspired to offer her own take on salvation, albeit with more pork. At the Rhino Room, one can even get a signature cocktail—Vita espresso, Kahlua, tequila, and cream—that arrives with a cute little communion wafer.

Unfortunately, this concoction wasn’t available at Nacho Borracho. But a great, simple michelada (a beer cocktail) was. I wasn’t in the mood for the hair of the dog so much as the whole hide, so I ordered one immediately. The bartender was remarkably patient with my bleary mumbling—obviously she's had some experience dealing with people in altered states of consciousness. Service is simple: Order at the bar, and if you need extra sauces or more water or cups of beer and spicy tomato juice, you get off your ass and ask the bartender.

Continue reading »


Michael Shrieve's Drums of Compassion, UW's Huge Harry Partch Coup

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Michael Shrieve
  • Michael Shrieve


Renowned Seattle-based musician Michael Shrieve—drummer for Latin-rock luminaries Santana during their best years and the youngest musician to play the 1969 Woodstock festival—had some uncomplimentary things to say about Whiplash, a new movie about a tumultuous relationship between a young jazz drummer and his instructor. You can read about that on Slog, The Stranger's blog. What also emerged in the interview is some new activity by Shrieve that deserves your attention. After playing with his jazz-rock band Spellbinder every Monday night for years at the Fremont club White Rabbit, Shrieve has taken a sabbatical. (Don't fret—they'll resume playing at some point.) He's been focusing on finishing an album for Spellbinder as well as nearing completion on a record called Drums of Compassion, which features contributions from some of the greatest drummers and percussionists of all time: Jack DeJohnette, Zakir Hussein, Airto Moreira, and the late Babatunde Olatunji. "I'm standing up playing a kit with 16 drums," Shrieve says. "Also, I did something with Amon Tobin that's on there, too." How did Shrieve get involved with the phenomenal and much younger Brazilian electronic-music producer? "I was into his first record [1997's Bricolage]," Shrieve says. "I listened to it for years, and I pursued him for a long time. I love the way he cuts, edits, and messes with drums. It's really respectful. He doesn't play an instrument, but what he does is so cool...


Parts of South Seattle I've Imprinted with Proust

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

  • Brian Weiss

One day while browsing audio books on Audible, I found a recording of The Captive, the fifth, and my favorite, book of Marcel Proust's very long novel Remembrance of Things Past. I checked to see if it was abridged—it wasn't. Good. I listened to a sample of the reader, Neville Jason, who is English, which is perfect. Reading Scott Moncrieff's translation with an American accent will never do. I bought the thing, watched my smartphone transform the information in the air into a file I could listen to, and soon began walking around inside Proust's novel while simultaneously walking around South Seattle. Words in most of the books I listen to leave me as soon as I hear them, but the ones in this recording attached themselves to buildings, street corners, and the leaves of trees. Parts of Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Leschi, and the Central District are now haunted by the clouds of words from my Proustian walks. Clearly something magical happened between the spoken poetry of the French novelist and the city I daily make my way in…


Our Critics' Picks for Monday

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 12:54 PM



Joyce Manor, Toys That Kill, and Guests @ Vera Project

Whoa! Toys That Kill are still a band! Formed from scraps of F.Y.P. and lead by Recess Records founder Todd Congelliere, San Pedro’s Toys That Kill have been making fun, sometimes-spazzy, sometimes-snotty punk/rock/pop since 1999. Do you like short songs with catchy hooks? Bands that kind of sound like Dillinger Four? Bopping around to sweaty three-chord merriment? Having a good time without thinking too hard about it? If any of those things sound like you, then this is your big mid-December excuse to leave your house and thaw the fuck out! EMILY NOKES



Andrew Hodges @ Town Hall

Boy, that Benedict Cumberbatch movie about Alan Turing, The Imitation Game, is bad. It's so boring and generic. But you shouldn't hold that against the author of Alan Turing: The Enigma, who wrote the extensive biography on which the film is based. The book has a lot more information than the movie, and you computer nerds should turn out for this reading to see what the movie left out. (Spoiler alert: everything. The movie left everything out.) PAUL CONSTANT

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Bongos Is a Relaxing Vacation on Aurora

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Deep-fried plantains: I’ll fight you if you tell me they’re not good.
  • The Stranger
  • Deep-fried plantains: I’ll fight you if you tell me they’re not good.

If the counter person at Bongos Cafe (6501 Aurora Ave N, 420-8548, is sick of answering questions about the closing of Paseo, he sure doesn't show it. In my visit, he fielded two separate volleys of Paseo-related questions from customers (yes, business at Bongos has increased since they closed; no, nobody's sure what happened with them, although there's a lot of gossip) with good cheer and understanding. But he's quick to bring your attention back to the menu, which is exactly where it belongs.

Bongos serves delicious Caribbean food with zero pretensions, and the restaurant, tucked into a triangular plot of land on Aurora, just off Green Lake, is practically a theme-park ride. It's a repurposed 76 station made into a Caribbean playground, with the help of a splash of colorful paint and a thorough reimagining of the space. The best part, obviously, is the sandpit where the gas pumps used to be; even on the dreariest Northwest winter day, the patio furniture and bright plastic shovels and buckets give the restaurant a playful, beachy vibe...


Battle of the Long-Awaited Comebacks: D'Angelo's "Sugah Daddy" vs. Modest Mouse's "Lampshades on Fire"

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Listen to "Lampshades on Fire" here, via The Current.

Two major singles hit the web over the last few days: D'Angelo's "Sugah Daddy" (off his first album in 14 years, Black Messiah, which RCA released via iTunes last night) and Modest Mouse's "Lampshades on Fire" (from their forthcoming full-length, Strangers to Ourselves, out March 3 on Epic; it's their first album since 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank).

I've always been apathetic/disdainful toward Modest Mouse, but "Lampshades" is pretty good, packing an unexpected Southern rock swagger and a mutedly celebratory melody that's somewhere between the White Stripes and Mercury Rev. The release of D'Angelo's Black Messiah exploded my Twitter feed yesterday. I haven't heard Black Messiah yet, but "Sugah Daddy" has pumped up expectations for it. The song reminds me of the output Sly Stone was releasing through his short-lived Stone Flower imprint, as well as Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On. The production's as lean and sinewy as D'Angelo's torso on the cover of Voodoo, and the music harks back to that landmark record, too. The only words I can decipher are "she needs a spanking," "my philosophy," and "yeah," but no matter*. The music economically speaks the seductive language of stripped-down soul and funk (a very sculpted funk), its every contour glistening with sensuality and kundalini. I give the edge here to D'Angelo, but what do you think? Vote in the poll below.

*Pitchfork has a screenshot of the lyrics here. Note the line "so I made the pussy fart"; your move, radio.

What You Need to Know About Police Body Cameras

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

When will Seattle police officers be wearing body cameras? A lot of protesters want the answer to be “now!” But it’s more like “soon.”
  • Alex Garland
  • When will Seattle police officers be wearing body cameras? A lot of protesters want the answer to be “now!” But it’s more like “soon.”

Lately, it's hard to find somebody who isn't talking about putting cameras on cops. Seattle City Council members, protesters, President Obama—they all want them, especially in the wake of the non-indictments of police officers who were involved in the deaths of Mike Brown (an unarmed 18-year-old shot at least six times by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri) and Eric Garner (dead after a New York City officer used a banned choke-hold maneuver on him).

There's good reason why the technology is getting a lot of talk. Not only do body-worn cameras offer a chance to re-watch events in which citizens and officers disagree about what happened—or a citizen is no longer alive to tell his or her side—but early research also shows that body cams can put everyone involved on their best behavior. That could mean fewer uses of force and fewer citizen complaints, which would be welcome by everyone.

Officers are already wearing body cameras, permanently or in temporary pilot programs, in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and cities across Washington...


When It Comes to Torture, Dick Cheney Speaks for Almost Half of All Americans

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I have seen the boogeyman and he is us.

Even most reasonable Republicans recognize that Dick Cheney is not an admirable figure. Some of them admit to a begrudging respect for the man, but there was very little agitation to run him for president in 2008, for example. The most positive words you'll get out of most Republicans is that Cheney was a hard-hearted man who rose to power at a time when America needed a hard-hearted man in charge. And in a puffball Meet the Press interview yesterday, Cheney let the world know that he hasn't changed one bit. “There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture," Cheney said. (Last week's 600-page report charges otherwise.) Cheney also said, "I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective," and he promised that he'd absolutely "do it again in a minute" if he had to.

Cheney is the living embodiment of post-9/11 America: When it comes to human rights, we talk a good game, but we don't like to be challenged, and if you make us think our safety is at stake, we'll do the worst things imaginable in the name of preserving our contentedness. When future generations look back on America's response to 9/11, they'll be horrified, the same way we're horrified when we look back on the Japanese internment camps. And we'll have no justification for them.

But we're certainly not there yet. A new CBS poll indicates that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans disagree with Cheney on waterboarding; they believe it is torture. Even so, almost half of all Americans think torture is justified in certain situations. The poll didn't ask which situations were justifiable to the average American, but I suspect the answer is a disheartening mix of "whenever someone tries to trample our freedoms"—whatever that means—and a completely fictional high-stakes situation like the ones you'll find in TV shows like 24. We lost our minds on 9/11 and turned into the worst version of ourselves. Over a decade later, we're still searching for our sanity. We've got a long way to go.

Seahawks Eliminate 49ers, Look Insufferably Good in the Process

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM

This Sunday saw the red-hot Seahawks defense play a merely adequate first half (in which they gave up a rushing touchdown for the first time since early November) before dominating the second half, powering Seattle to a 17-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The win clinches nothing for the Seahawks, who could theoretically still miss the playoffs, but it did make their chances look really, really good while eliminating San Francisco. Is it extra sweet, effectively ending Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as our rival team’s coach? No, because whoever replaces him will be less gifable. Once more for posterity, Jim, your thoughts?


So good. So much fun.

And we’ve been having fun all year on our Insufferable Journey to Rewinnining the Super Bowl. But you know what? That fun ends now. Things are now officially serious. If the Seahawks win their last two games, in which they will be 7+ point favorites, they will clinch a postseason bye and likely secure the number-one seed in the NFC. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The actual, metaphorical Super Bowl Rewinnining Avenue is being laid right now, just south of Pioneer Square (with notably more success than other current road-building projects in the area). No more fooling.

Let’s break down Sunday’s win and the team's road forward:

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Definition of a Lunatic: A Black Man Calling the Police for Help

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:29 AM

  • CM

I have one more confession to make. Not long ago, I came across a group of about five or so black boys on the sidewalk captured in this post's picture. The average age of these boys was around 12. It was dusk. The bells of the Link trains could be heard in the distance. The smell of East African food came from several directions. The dense forest on the base of Beacon Hill was growing darker. Stars in lower parts of the sky were growing brighter. After the lights of a car approached and passed, the boy who appeared to be the youngest in the group did something that disturbed me.

He was walking behind the tallest of the boys, he was loud, he was brash, he suddenly tossed a beer bottle high in the air and, after nearly hitting the head of the tall boy in front of him, it smashed into a thousand pieces on the concrete. All of the boys, save the tall one, burst into laughter. I was in a bit of shock because there was a moment when I thought the bottle was going to explode on the head of a young life. In my shock, I singled out and ordered the young boy who threw the bottle to clean up the mess he had made. The boys stopped laughing. The young boy stepped forward and said: "I ain't going to do shit, you dumb motherfucker." I did not back down. With more force in my voice, I ordered him to clean up the mess his recklessness had caused. He took another step toward me and said: "And if I don't, what are you going to do?"

Now, this was actually a very good question. I had no idea what I could do about this tense situation. My authority was limited to my age. I did not know the parents of the boys; they did not know my kids. I finally said something I regretted almost at the very moment of saying it. And it came out of my mouth because I had nothing else to push out of my mouth. I was in a void. The boy was in a void. I said, "I will call the police!" With that, all of the black boys freaked, bolted down the road, and disappeared around the corner. I was left alone in the dusk. The bell of the train rang in the distance. A light appeared in a window. I did not feel at all happy about this result, about the effect that one word had on the group. They feared nothing but the enforcers of the law—and with good reason. It also later occurred to me that the last thing they ever expected, and what might have truly rattled them to the core, was a black man turning to the police to resolve a situation. Before saying that one word, I was just some dumb adult; after saying it, I was the very definition of a lunatic: a black man calling the police for help.

The Seattle City Council Has Some More Questions About Bertha and Sinkage

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:28 AM

At this very moment, Seattle City Council member Mike OBrien and others are asking the Washington State Department of Transportation about our many, many tunnel problems.
  • Heidi Groover
  • At this very moment, Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien and others are asking the Washington State Department of Transportation about our many, many tunnel problems.

Holy shit has it been a bad couple weeks for the downtown tunnel project.

Last week, after the Seattle Times published a story about the Alaskan Way Viaduct sinking before some city council members had been informed about said sinking, the council called off a pre-planned presentation from the Washington State Department of Transportation and instead grilled WSDOT about what was going on. WSDOT officials acknowledged the sinking around the viaduct but promised the roadway was still totally safe. Then came the cracks. Residents and business owners near Pioneer Square said they worried the sinking may be worsening cracks in streets and buildings. WSDOT checked out a big crack on King Street but couldn't tell us whether it was actually getting worse.

Now WSDOT officials are in the council chambers to give an update on the settlement and, we hope, an update on what the plan is if the viaduct needs to be shut down.

Watch for yourself here or check our Twitter feed for updates. In the meantime, check out this guest editorial from Cary Moon, who says it's time to pull the plug on this whole project.

The Morning News: Bainbridge Kayaker Found Dead, Leavenworth Shoplifter Drowns, but the Seahawks Are Doing Well

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 8:53 AM

A Bainbridge Island kayaker went missing yesterday afternoon.

His Wife Says He Left the Brownsville Marina Around 2 p.m. Yesterday and Was Supposed to Be Home by Dark: He was found by a Coast Guard helicopter around 11:15 p.m. last night. "It's unknown what went wrong."

SPD Is Having a Hackathon This Friday: "Seattle police are anxious to develop a fast—and inexpensive—way to go through a growing mountain of material and redact sensitive images. The issue has become even more acute as the department is just days away from equipping a small test group of officers with body cameras."

By the Way, Here Are the Rules for Officers Who Will Be Wearing Body Cams: Yes, as we've reported, some cops here will be wearing body cams soon. What at the rules for those? Heidi Groover breaks it down.

The Wenatchee River near Leavenworth, not the best place to hide.

A 28-Year-Old Shoplifting Suspect Jumped into the Wenatchee River: After allegedly stealing two bottles of liquor from a grocery store. He is said to be homeless and "has likely drowned."

A Bunch of Gun Nuts Gathered in Olympia Yesterday: To say they will not comply with the new laws mandating background checks on gun sales. Like, literally, that is their position. "This isn’t a protest. We are here to openly violate this law," said someone who ran for Congress this year in the 4th District.

Speaking of Gun Nuts, the Hostage Situation in Sydney, Australia, Has Just Ended: The gunman and hostage-taker was an "Iranian-born man in his 50s with a criminal record who called himself Sheikh Haron." At least two people are dead, "including the gunman."

The Seahawks did real good yesterday and now everyones like: Oh.

Let's Stop Talking About Guns, Let's Talk About Things That Don't Matter Like Sports: I don't know what the right words are, but everyone seems happy about what the Seahawks did yesterday. All the stories are saying things like "the Seahawks are right where they need to be to be" and "Sometimes you can lose something important that causes you to find something you didn’t know you had," which I'm pretty sure is also the plotline to Into the Woods. (See? Sports and musicals have lots in common.) Also being said: "It was a triumph that improved Seattle’s record to 10-4 and kept them on pace with 11-3 Arizona on the eve of a showdown with the Cardinals on Sunday on the road that figures to determine the NFC West title." I have no idea what any of those words mean, but congratulations, everyone. Stranger Seahawksologist Spike Friedman will be on Slog later this morning to eggsplain.

"Basically, in Cheney’s World, Nothing Americans Do Can Be Called Torture"" If you read nothing else about it, read Amy Davidson's analysis of Dick Cheney's appearance on Meet the Press yesterday. It was kind of a David Frost-ish interview.

The whole cast of A Christmas Story is awesome. Including Jessica Skerritt, second from left.

Can We Talk Theater for a Second? A Christmas Story at the 5th Avenue Theatre Is Totally Worth It: I saw the holiday musical—based on the holiday movie—yesterday and was kinda blown away by how excellent a production it is. Brandon Ivie directs, and all the principal performers are fantastic, including Jessica Skerritt as the mom, Dane Stokinger as the dad, and Mark Jeffrey James Weber as the kid who just wants a BB gun for Christmas. (He woulda loved that rally in Olympia yesterday.) I don't even like dogs and children, but the dogs and children in this show are insanely well trained and actually funny. I hate to say it, but A Christmas Story has more laughs than Homo for the Holidays (sorry, it's true!) and more stage magic than Mary Poppins (which is based on my favorite movie of all time). If you have family in town and you're not sure what to do with them, you're welcome.

17 Photos from This Weekend's Protests

Posted by on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM


  • Joshua Kelety

  • Joshua Kelety

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

I, Anonymous: Adopted and Anxious

Posted by on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

I was adopted. I'm working toward finding out who I am. The adoption law changed, and in turn, my world changed as well. When I tell you about it, I get praise as being courageous, because what I'm doing is such a big step. I sent twenty bucks and my adoptive parents' names to the Department of Health, it doesn't seem like much after decades of constant identity crises. I've spent most of my life struggling with what I'd been told about myself and my nagging doubts telling me that I need to know for sure. There is a stigma to being adopted, even if you don't see it. I feel it every time I have to admit that I need permission to find the faintest glimpse of what you've always known. The process to find out where I came from is bureaucratic...


New Trailer for The Americans

Posted by on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

For me, January is the new September when it comes to looking forward to returning shows. For example? The wholly excellent The Americans (returning January 28 to FX). This story about a family of embedded Russian spies during the Cold War is not only a great history lesson, but also a lesson in humanity, and it has some of the best scripts and acting you'll see on TV. Plus it has lots of hot sex. SO WATCH IT ALREADY! Here's the new trailer for season three which is a good exhibition of this show's sexy style.

Our Critics' Top Picks for Today

Posted by on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM



Homo for the Holidays @ Odd Fellows
Hear ye, hear ye! Now in its seventh season! The funniest, campiest, gay-pridey-est annual holiday spectacular is back to entertain even your bah-humbuggy-est, seasonally gloomy, frowny-faced friends! I promise anyone—after witnessing the triumph and hilarity of the all-star cast of local burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and musical luminaries like BenDeLaCreme (of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6), Cherdonna Shinatra, Kitten LaRue, Lou Henry Hoover, Faggedy Randy, and many more—YOUR FROWN WILL TURN UPSIDE DOWN. You cannot resist the pure joy of this hearty holiday fruitcake! It’s often a sellout, so get those tickets and get ’em fast! KELLY O



Average White Band @ Jazz Alley
Forty-two years after their formation, the Average White Band remain the finest funk-and-R&B band ever to hail from Dundee, Scotland. After dazzling the world with their honky-funk chops on the 1974 hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” AWB kept on plying their singular trade, swapping out members as the decades passed (with Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre the only original members still in the lineup) and becoming the type of music-biz lifers whose Wikipedia entry contains sentences like this: “Gorrie also overdosed, but Cher kept him conscious until medical help arrived.” Now it’s the 21st century, and AWB are still at it, but even if they’d stopped, they’d still be part of the culture, thanks to the prolific sampling of their work by the Beastie Boys, TLC, Too $hort, Ice Cube, Eric B. & Rakim, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest. Tonight the Average White Band begin the first of four nights at Jazz Alley. DAVID SCHMADER

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The Best of Slog: There's a Crack in Everything

Posted by on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

That's How the Light Gets In: The week started with City Council grilling WSDOT over the tunnel and the sinking Viaduct, even though it seems like the City Council can't do much to help. But the week ended with a gigantic crack forming in the middle of the street in Pioneer Square, right over where all the action is. The city and the state are still trying to form a coherent response to all this. (Also trying to formulate a good response? The Stranger's crack headline writing team.) Cary Moon wrote a guest editorial for us explaining exactly what the response needs to be. Everyone should listen to Cary Moon.

The Week in Protests: Last Saturday's march was peaceful, but there were still seven arrests. Charles Mudede explains his problem with the symbolism of the current protesters. Anarchists got involved. The city played the world's smallest violin over the cost of policing the protests. SPD is reviewing information they gathered during the protests thanks to Ansel Herz's great reporting. Meanwhile, someone actually complained that they had to cancel their reservation at P.F. Chang's because they were worried about protesters. But the downtown business association probably has no legal ground to call on a crackdown over the protests.

The Firefighter Trial Concludes: Here's report four, here's report five, and here's the part where they are found not guilty of assault or malicious harassment.

Movin' On Up: Could a Seattle trial against NSA data collection be the one that goes to the Supreme Court?

The Problem of Climate Change Is a Problem of Income Inequality: Read this guest editorial.

We Tortured So Many for So Long: The United State of America turns out to be just as monstrous as you've always suspected.

Headline of the Week: "Marky Mark Wants His Felony Assault Conviction Wipey Wiped"

Bad Change: Chop Suey is facing a big transformation.

Good Change: But not every transformation is bad! KEXP is getting a dedicated space, and Third Place Books is opening up a third store in Seward Park.

Shop Local: Local indie retailers tell you about their favorite stores.

"The Thing of 'Oh, I’m Fine, I’m Fine, I’m Fine' When You’re Not Fine" Here's an interview with the director of the excellent horror movie The Babadook.

Bird-on-Bird Violence: Seahawks beat Eagles.

Gun Fight: This week's Police Reports Illustrated is tense as fuck, man.

"A Weezer Fan is a Hopeful Fan" This interview with a diehard Weezer fan is fascinating stuff.

Santorum Running: I'm looking forward to at least two more years of shit puns.

Proof That Tattoo Removal Works... can be found in this review of last weekend. This is Slog's New Worst Tattoo Ever after one treatment:

You win, Emily Nokes! I cant come up with a better caption than Zophar, zogood.
  • You win, Emily Nokes! I can't come up with a better caption than "Zophar, zogood."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Poster of the Week

Posted by on Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM


Surely everyone reading this column has either been in a band or scrolled past their musician friends' posts about how hard it is to name a band. Why, when you happen upon a pretty decent name, would you poop on it with this crazy capitalization situation? Designer Chelsea Wirtz's poster is gorgeous as usual, though. See more of Chelsea's work at

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hOt dOgS wItH tUnE-yArDs

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Friday, December 12, 2014

















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