1:03 a.m.: An employee at Taco Bell, 2320 N. Tracy Blvd. told police that a man was on the ground next to a bicycle behind the trash cans and had been there since 4 p.m. Police checked him out and discovered that the man was sleeping, and the restaurant management said it was OK if he slept there for the rest of the night.
11:17 a.m.: A suspicious-looking man on a bicycle was looking into windows in the shopping center on the 2600 block of Pavilion Parkway. A police officer talked to the man, who told the officer that he was just checking his hair in the reflections in the windows.
2:57 p.m.: A 14-year-old girl was in a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man, according to one of the girl’s parents, who went to Tracy Police headquarters to report the matter. Police looked for the man at his house but he wasn’t there, and officers took a report as part of a statutory rape investigation.
11:22 p.m.: Sutter Tracy Community Hospital reported that a 16-year-old boy came in with injuries to his face and a head injury. It was related to an assault in Dr. Powers Park, 900 W. Lowell Ave., earlier in the evening, but the youth would not provide police with any information.
Ron Lovell reads at Seattle Mystery Bookshop today at noon. Murder in E-Flat Major is a mystery about music or something.
And Tatjana Soli reads at Elliott Bay Book Company this afternoon. The Lotus Eaters is a novel set in Vietnam. It takes place during the Vietnam War. I wish this book were not titled The Lotus Eaters. It feels like there have been ninety million books with that title published in the last year alone.
The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here. And if you're planning on staying in and you're looking for personalized book recommendations, feel free to tell me the books you like and ask me what to read next over at Questionland.
Secretary of State Sam Reed is out with his prediction for how many voters will participate in this year's Aug. 17 primary, based on turnout in similar years gone by and the vagaries of this particular election.
In sum: Reed predicts relatively high turnout for an even-year, non-presidential-election primary, but thinks the percentage of eligible voters who will cast ballots is likely to stay below 40 percent. Says Reed:
While a minority of our voters will be deciding our November finalists—and I really secretly hope that we’ll get into the 40s—I’ll predict a reasonably strong 38 percent and just hope it’s even better.
What's that in real numbers? Washington has 3.6 million registered voters (out of a total statewide population of about 6.7 million people). If 38 percent of those registered voters return their ballots, that's 1.4 million primary votes.
UPDATE: In King County, elections officials are predicting a higher turnout than is expected statewide. Elections spokesperson Kim van Ekstrom said her office believes 45 percent of King County's registered voters will return their primary ballots.
While I do not feel Schmacky's heterosexual panic at Schmader "gaying up the Slog" (and isn't "gaying up the Slog" like "wetting up the ocean?"), this seems like as good a time as any to link to The Things That Excite Me (link is NSFW in a Playboy kind of way, not a porny kind of way), a hot, hot Tumblr about hot, hot ladies. When I started my Tumblr, I started following TTTEM, and it is one of the reasons that I will not ever give up on Tumblr for Posterous.
Maybe Schmacky and Schmacky-minded individuals should bookmark TTTEM for those days when Slog gets all up in your business with the sexy mens.
Move over, Nick Reed—there's a new sizzling Seahawk distracting me from my dream of writing at least part of Last Days before the weekend for once, for fuck's sake: Max Unger, who I will refrain from labeling a bear because he's already a Seahawk and how many creatures can one guy be?
In continuing observance of people-losing-their-minds day here on Slog, please enjoy Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) flipping out on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives over Republicans blocking a bill that would help 9/11 rescuers who worked at Ground Zero and are now sick.
It'snotjust a Seattleissue. (Nor just an Intiman issue, though you'd be forgiven for thinking so based on these links. It's just that since David Esbjornson left the Rep, Intiman is the only place to hire an out-of-towner to lead it. Which tells you something—either that localism is taking over or that locals are cheaper to hire. Or both.)
There's no question that cities can and should look to their creative leaders to help shape and confirm their identities. On the one hand, a big out-of-town hire (such as the impending arrival of Riccardo Muti at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) can increase a city's clout and visibility. That Muti would turn down the New York Philharmonic and pick the Chicago Symphony instead was a shot in the arm to those sick of the cultural hegemony practiced on the East Coast. Such injections of high-profile talent have proven economic benefits to the lucky party.
But once the ink on the contract is dry, those leaders are expected to care about their new town, rather than merely concentrate on their international careers.
For what is a local, anyway? How many years do you need to qualify? There are people in New York or, say, Cleveland, who are more simpatico (or potentially simpatico) with the essence of culture in Chicago than some of the people who already live here. They have to be sought out. And recruited hard.
At the same time, an existing Chicago address should be no barrier, as so often is the case. Prestige doesn't apply just to out-of-towners. High-profile gypsies are dangerous. It's not necessarily good to want the same people as everyone else; overextended artists usually create mediocre art.
It's heartening to see this debate stretching out across the country, but I'm getting a little sick of it. (Though maybe my boredom is a sign that more than 10 people are starting to care.)
Local is good for cultivating cultural cohesion (which, by developing an artistic shorthand, promotes an aesthetic efficiency that keeps work moving and delving); parochialism is bad because it's stultifying. Balance in all things. Duh.
I can't remember a recent time Time used their cover this way—to enter an ongoing debate (our involvement in Afghanistan) in such a forceful way (an image that totally and instantly recalibrates your attitude toward something). A glance at a couple recent covers confirms this: The images Time usually runs on its cover are bland, descriptive, and palatable to the point of being slightly cute; they aren't moving any real conversation forward; they aren't surprising. People come across Time magazine everywhere—when they're wasting time at an airport, when they're in line at the grocery store with their kids—which is why an arresting Time cover, like this one, is powerful.
Stupidly, Time hasn't made the whole article available online (as Sullivan notes), and the abridged version of the article (which you should read) begins and ends with Time encouraging you to read Time on your iPad. That's a little silly this week, considering, again, the power of seeing this printed image when you're not expecting it. An image on a screen has nothing on an image you encounter out in the world, an image you didn't ask to see and now suddenly can't get out of your head.
Time's managing editor wrote about his decision to run this image on the cover. He deserves credit for thinking it through and making the decision he did, which in a sense presents the counter-argument to the subtext of the Rolling Stone article on McChrystal, which basically painted the war in Afghanistan as futile and possibly worthless. As for what's happened to this woman in particular:
The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. Her in-laws treated her like a slave, Aisha pleaded. They beat her. If she hadn't run away, she would have died. Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved. Aisha's brother-in-law held her down while her husband pulled out a knife. First he sliced off her ears. Then he started on her nose.
This didn't happen 10 years ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. It happened last year. Now hidden in a secret women's shelter in Kabul, Aisha listens obsessively to the news. Talk that the Afghan government is considering some kind of political accommodation with the Taliban frightens her. "They are the people that did this to me," she says, touching her damaged face...
A Democratic congressional candidate has told police he was assaulted near downtown Spokane after making sexual advances to another man. David R. Fox, who moved to Spokane from Port Angeles recently to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, told police he wasn’t injured in Sunday's altercation. But he is pressing charges against the man.
Before whatever phase of history we're in, this candidate would've never drawn attention to a crime connected to his sexual interest in another man. In 2010, he's pressing charges, because—duh—making a sexual overture is not a get-out-of-assaulting-me free card.
In yesterday's Morning News, I wrote about a woman who survived a bear attack. Today, Today ran an interview with the survivor. It's really harrowing and if you've ever spent any amount of time wondering about bear attacks, you should watch this interview:
Jim C knew the answer almost right away: "Nope. That was The Family Guy." And he even had the photo evidence to prove it.
Now both Jim C and seattle firefly can watch The Family Guy while enjoying $25 worth of pizza from the Pagliacci Pizza location of their choice because Jim C's answer was chosen as this week's Answer of the Week! Anyone who can recall a specific frame of The Family Guy has earned some free food.
The best part* about last night's Streets for All Seattle kickoff fundraiser at Nectar was the massive 40-bike capacity rack parked out front. It was packed. Other bikes were chained to trees and smaller racks down the block.
"The rack was provided by Cascade Bicycle Club," said Craig Benjamin, spokesman for Streets for All Seattle. "It filled up faster than expected. We should have brought more."
It shouldn't be striking to see so many bikes chained in one public place, but it is. Benjamin says that will change if Streets for All Seattle meets its goal of raising $30 million annually in new, dedicated revenue to make roads more accessible to bike, pedestrian, and transit use.
McGinn, talking and gesturing
Mayor Mike McGinn, who spoke at last night's event, agrees with the need for change—and making people see that this change is vital for Seattle's growth. "People have a certain vision of what the future should be," he said, like a good job, access to parks, a nice place to live. He said comprehensive transportation system is key to this vision, but most people don't think of it as an means to an end. For example, he said, "Maybe you shouldn't have to buy a car to get a job."
City Council President Richard Conlin also rallied for change. "These are tough budgetary times," he said, but "they're also times of opportunity. Time to think about when people don't have much money, walking, biking, and transit are the modes the have to use."
This might be stating the obvious, but then obvious hasn't gotten get much funding. Which is why "we have to put our money on the table now," says Benjamin.
Streets for All Seattle hasn't yet counted the money raised at last night's event. The next step is to meet with residents and stakeholders over the next couple months and talk about future funding options for these projects because, in the end, "We're just a group of people who think that walking, biking, and riding should be the most important ways to get around Seattle," says Benjamin.
*The worst part was when City Council Member Tim Burgess refused to do shots of Jagermeister with me. He said he was too old and it tasted like shit. I agreed. He still wouldn't do it. Also, Jeopardy was entirely too sober. City Council Member Sally Clark ended up winning it all a T-shirt.
John Scalzi applies the Bechdel Test to science fiction movies, and finds the results to be appalling.
(The Bechdel Test, if you haven't heard, is a bit of genius from cartoonist Alison Bechdel that should be as ubiquitous on the internet as Godwin's Law. When you're watching a movie, you should ask yourself:
1. Are there at least two women characters in the film? 2. Who talk to each other? 3. About something other than a man?
You can find a website listing Bechdel Test results over here. Sadly, you can apply this test to some novels and it fails, too.)
...is that you can't understand a goddamn word they say! Take this toddler preacher, for example, who took the mike from his pastor father to lecture the church on how Jesus Christ bled to death for their sins, but didn't make a lick of sense because, duh, he's a toddler. (Not that Christianity makes sense anyway... but you get my point.) Happily for all followers of THE WORD, someone has taken this video and put subtitles on it, so now we can all experience the holy wisdom this toddler is dishing out.