Please heed my Suggest about seeing CAConrad read this weekend. CAConrad is one of the best poets in the business today, and The Book of Frank is one of the best books I read last year. In addition to the reading I Suggested at Open Books, CAConrad reads and teaches at SPLAB this weekend, too.
If you're looking for something more fun and all-ages friendly, Phil and Kaja Foglio read at the lovely Ada's Technical Books just off Broadway this afternoon. Specifically, they're reading from their new young adult novel, Agatha H. and the Airship City, but I'm sure they'd also happily sign your copy of the Girl Genius comics collections, too. If you're looking for a fun sci-fi book with a strong female protagonist to get for a young person in your life, you should go and check out this reading.
And tomorrow night, David Sedaris reads at Benaroya Hall. He'll be introduced by some fucker named Paul Constant. Christ, I hate that guy.
by Dan Savage
on Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM
There was a line that stretched around the corner and all the way down the block to get into the new Forever 21 location that opened this morning at the site of the old Old Navy location on Pine Street in downtown Seattle. Employees of the new Forever 21 location were standing just inside the doors to the new Forever 21 location chanting "Forever 21!" as the kind of people who would line up in the rain early on a Saturday morning to secure the bragging rights of having been among the first to shop at Seattle's new Forever 21 location filed into Seattle's new Forever 21 location.
Awwww, don't cry now, normally-stodgy British news sources: BBC reports that around a million spectators showed up to watch Prince William drive off in a convertible yesterday, some after camping out for days.
...And, not to be outdone: The Guardian reports the scandalous news that Prince William kissed Kate Middletontwice yesterday, when they got married or something.
In response to Governor Chris Gregoire's decision to partly veto a medical-marijuana bill today: "I’ve received calls from people who are living in chronic pain," Democratic State Representative Jim Moeller, the bill sponsor in the state house, says in a statement. "They don’t want to take opioids to help fight that pain. Medical cannabis is a good and appropriate option for them. This partial veto perpetuates the discrimination against patients whose choices are limited by pharmacology or genetics," he continues. "Would we do this to any other patient? Indeed, it is ironic that we now, thankfully, regulate the final life-choices for terminal patients—and yet we still deny some folks this medicine they need to lessen their pain.”
Moeller—who is apparently fucking awesome—says he intends to help craft a new, weaker bill that the governor would approve.
by Dan Savage
on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM
I never thought I would have something interesting to write to you about. I had hoped that if I did, it would be about how I gave the best blow job ever thanks to a tip I learned from you, but it isn't. Oh, the drama.
I'm seperated from my husband and had been for a while before I started seeing someone else. My ex-husband and I managed to not drag each other through the mud during our divorce. We're not best friends, but we don't hate each other.
The issue: I slept with my ex-husband again shortly after I started sleeping with the new guy. It was a lapse in my judgement on my part but I didn't think too much of it at the time. Now that it's been a year with the new guy and we're looking a little more serious, my ex keeps hinting that he feels guilty for not letting the new guy know about our last time. He thinks it's his responsibility to tell the new guy because he would want to know if he was in his position. He is blackmailing me, right? I have a feeling this is his way controlling me even after our marriage is over.
I made a stupid, selfish choice, but I'm not entirely sure I want to pay the consequences on this one. What do you think?
by Dan Savage
on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM
There's Trouble tonight at Fred Wildlife Refuge—yes, it's my baby daddy's night—with resident DJs Kid Hops (KEXP - Expansions), F.I.T.S., and Dicso, aerialists Ticktock, and more amazing visuals by Lux Collective. More info here. Doors at 10 PM, $10. Tickets on sale here until 9 PM, after 9 PM tickets will be available at the door.
I understand that there will be dancing.
In other Trouble news... check out the poster for Trouble's upcoming gay pride event after the jump...
Nixing far more of a medical-marijuana bill than she had telegraphed that she would, Governor Chris Gregoire vetoed nearly every section of an omnibus bill today that was intended to clarify a messy tangle of ambiguities in a 13-year-old law for sick people and their care providers. Arrest protection for patients (who can currently be arrested and only raise a defense in court), cultivation licenses, and dispensaries were all scratched by the governor. In explaining her decision, Gregoire reiterated her concern that the bill's edict to license dispensaries would subject state Department of Health employees to federal prosecution. But, in addition to vetoing dispensaries, she ultimately removed a patient registry and its ensuing arrest protection because it "is intertwined with the other parts of the bill," she said in her Capitol Building office.
Photo by Cienna Madrid
Gregoire: "I am accutely aware of how important this is for medical patients."
What's left is "window dressing," said Alison Holcomb, the drug policy director of the ACLU of Washington.
Gregoire added a twist to her familiar argument—that federal charges "would" be raised against state employees, an argument that has been roundly debunked—by saying, "The landscape is changing." She cited letters from federal prosecutors in Rhode Island, Colorado, and Oakland in recent months similar to one issued in Washington this month.
Gregoire was resolute. "We cannot assure protection to patients in a way that subjects another group to prosecutions," she said. "That is not acceptable to me." Asked three times if she had any example of a state employee being prosecuted for administering one of the many medical-marijuana licensing programs in the US, Gregoire said, "No, no, no."
Her position was immediately denounced. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes announced that Gregoire's argument was a "red herring at best" and added, “I am profoundly disappointed that at the 11th hour and 59th minute Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed the central operative sections of the medical cannabis legislation." Meanwhile, Mayor Mike McGinn said in a statement that the veto would "leave us with the same problems that we currently face: too many patients have to take unnecessary risks to obtain their medicine, confusion for law enforcement, a proliferation of dispensaries across Seattle, and an inability to regulate dispensaries properly."
For those in the comment threads upset at Kelly for posting a video of a real live goose doing its best rendition of a classic Looney Tunes gag, let me just point out that this particular bird at least lived and died with more dignity than your average chicken dinner. So lighten up... and bon appetit!
Dave Eggers is the author of a bunch of books and the co-founder of San Francisco's 826 Valencia, the model for similar writing centers around the country, including 826 Seattle. The family of Kim Ricketts has requested donations be made to 826 Seattle in remembrance of her.
The flag of the world of books is flying at half-mast right now, mourning the loss of Kim Ricketts. She was a pillar of the Seattle literary community, which means she was a pillar of the world literary community. She was tireless, she was funny, she loved books, and she loved celebrating everything associated with books.
She was also my kind of bookseller. When I was a younger guy, overthinking everything, I found it unacceptable to do a simple reading, with a book and a podium and a mic. I had to have dancers, or exercise routines, or panels of astronauts and FBI agents. One night at Kim’s store, I called ahead saying I’d need a screen, because I was bringing along a whale expert who would be showing slides, and talking about where and how to see the giant mammals off the Seattle coast. There were some bookstores that weren’t so thrilled with these kind of hijinks, but Kim seemed genuinely into departures from the everyday. She readily agreed, got the screen ready, the projector and everything. Kim and I had a blast together that night, sitting in the audience, watching the whale expert from the back row.
At a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores are fighting for their lives, we need the likes of Kim. We need those who are open to possibility, who are constantly enthusiastic and inspired, who know books, love books, believe in books. Who will fight for books.
So it’s no wonder that when 826 Seattle came to be, Kim became one of the biggest supporters of the center. That’s what pillars do. They hold up the roof, they hold up the sky. I know everyone at 826 Seattle misses Kim already, and though I didn’t know her as well as you lucky Seattleites, I miss her too.
Seattle Public Schools today confirmed that a student stole a teacher's password and changed his and other students' grades without authorization.
The Stranger broke the password theft story yesterday after receiving an anonymous tip. The district could not immediately confirm yesterday whether students had been involved. The grade tampering was discovered by a teacher at Ingraham High School at the end of spring break, which occurred from April 15 to 22.
The district's IT staff heard about the issue earlier this week and began investigating, along with security staff, district spokesperson Teresa Wippel says. According to a statement released by SPS today afternoon, the investigation reveled that a "student unlawfully gained access to a teacher's room by entering the room next door and then unlawfully tampered with the lock in order to gain access from the hallway into the room."
The student then used a key logger to get access to a teacher's password, entered into the Easy Grade Pro (EGP) teachers’ grading system, and changed his and other students’ grades.
"We have taken appropriate disciplinary action against the student," the statement from the district says."Due to privacy laws, we will not release what that action is, or the student’s name."
Based on the district's investigation, the district believes that the grade tampering was limited to Ingraham. The district plans to change all passwords at the school by Monday.
The district is also auditing grade book changes in all secondary schools—because that is where teachers use Easy Grade Pro—as a precaution and monitoring for unusual activity in its major systems.
Wippel says that Seattle Police have been notified and are investigating the case.
Indiana governor (and probable 2012 Republican presidential contender) Mitch Daniels has announced his intention to sign into law a bill that will cut funding to Planned Parenthood and ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
"I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position." Daniels said in a statement. "The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers."
You can consider this the kickoff for Daniels's presidential bid.
I've long been dubious about so-called "Bus Rapid Transit" as a cheaper alternative to light rail, because it so often amounts to little more than just a bus with the words "Rapid Transit" painted on the side, and for reasons Atrios perfectly sums up:
I've got nothing against BRT, and it certainly has the potential to have some of the benefits of rail at less cost, but the problem with BRT in practice is that there are always ways of doing it cheaper. So you start with the light rail line plan. That's too expensive. So, ok, you consider a full BRT plan with fully dedicated lanes, signal priority, etc. But then some politically connected people start complaining about the loss of a lane for automobiles in their neighborhood. Suddenly...you don't have dedicated lanes throughout the route. And, then, well, those electronic arrival signs get the axe due to more budget concerns. The point is, it's really easy to go from "cheaper version of light rail" to "just another bus system" as the process goes on.
Speaking of "politically connected people," this is exactly the sort of BRT system that Kemper Freeman Jr. envisions across the I-90 bridge instead of light rail... the kind that doesn't have its own dedicated lanes, and so isn't really rapid.
The special guests at next week's reading party are confirmed: Ellen Forney and Derek Erdman! Comix themed! Both of them are insanely prolific, both of them have been on the cover of The Stranger a bunch (here and here and here and here), and both of them will be there, sitting on couches or wingback chairs, reading whatever they feel like reading, just like you.
The special is a $4 Manhattan. Kyle O'Quin will be back on piano, playing Chopin and whatever else he feels like. Starts at 6 pm, takes place at Sorrento's Fireside Room, and it's free.
In a letter sent to state transportation officials today, Seattle transportation director Peter Hahn complains that the city is being frozen out of the process for reviewing potential environmental impacts of the deep bore tunnel.
"It appears," Hahn writes, "that the city has been transformed from a somewhat junior partner... to what amounts to a silent non-partner."
Theoretically, the city is supposed to be a "co-lead" in this process, and it wants its increasing concerns about the tunnel's feasibility incorporated into the environmental review. The state, Hahn says, is now simply ignoring Seattle's concerns.
"In my view," Hahn writes, "it is extremely unusual to exclude a co-lead agency from the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement."
An opening for yet another tunnel-related lawsuit?
Tunnel opponent Cary Moon tells me: "This is no longer the same tunnel project that Seattle leaders agreed to years ago. Because of that, it causes significant problems for the city, and obviously, as a co-lead on the project's environmental impact statement, the City of Seattle should be able to have those problems analyzed and solved. The City Council needs to back Hahn up on this."
Today, we've tipped over into anarchy! There's comment-thread rioting going on out there, people. And I can't stop reading these outraged teabagger comments. First, we go to Glenn Beck's long-forgotten Huffington Post ripoff, The Blaze:
I will never buy another Marvel comic again.
Superman has officially turned into Stupidman. I’m riding with Bizarro, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and Green Lantern with kryptonite manifestations.
From now on I am rooting for Lex Luther. Yes that is right, the American business man with a huge sum of money. Maybe that is why Lex kept trying to kill Superman, he saw this coming. The illegal alien turned UN patsy. Change his suite to the hammer and sickle.
God help us…..we have lost Superman…..it’s official we gone to hell in hand basket! Now you can even buy your kids a comic book. I bet the original creator of Superman is flipping in his gave!
Time to dip my bullets in Kryptonite seasoned pig fat :)
So, so much more (did you know that Stan Lee is a member of the Illuminati?) after the jump. Seriously, much more.
The announcement from Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes:
The City has reached a $1.5 million settlement of the claims brought by the Williams family concerning the death of the late John T. Williams, who was shot by Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk last August. Settlement was reached after a mediation involving representatives of the Williams Estate, Williams’ mother and the City.
According to the city attorney's office, "the Williams family expressed relief that the matter could be resolved early without extended litigation."
On last night's show, David Letterman wished his arch-nemesis Jay Leno a happy (?) birthday. From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Happy Birthday to Jay Leno. 61 years old today,” he said on his late night CBS show. “Jay, of course, being one of the few tyrants still alive. All of his friends got together and had a cake. Jay cut the cake with the same knife he stuck in Conan’s back.”