Rasmussen tried to highlight his eight years of council experience working for seniors, park lovers, and small business interests, as people nibbled on cups of chicken liver pate and tuna tartare in the hot room. He spoke of cleaning up dirty alleys, renewing the parks levy, and creating the transportation benefit district last year to raise $6 million annually to paint new crosswalks and fill potholes. But judging by applause (and an informal straw poll), the room seemed united behind Rasmussen because of one cause: pushing through the deep-bore tunnel.
"I'm here in support because we want to make sure that tunnel goes through," explained Russell Robinson, an attendee and representative with labor union Local 242. "That's definitely a priority."
"Tom is the chair of the council's transportation committee," explained Louise Chernin, Executive Director of the Greater Seattle Business Association, as she introduced Rasmussen. "Are we worried?" she asked, referring to the tunnel. "Yes!" the room shouted back. She then counseled everyone to give generously to Rasmussen's re-election campaign because he "stands up [for the tunnel] regardless of the consequences."
Donors have already given generously to Rasmussen's cause. The council member has $245,867.56 on hand to fund his re-election, as of April 30. His challenger, Sandy Cioffi, has raised $8,715.02 since announcing her candidacy in early April.
I read with thanks your promotion of donations to Planned Parenthood of Indiana in this week's "Savage Love." A friend and I have been promoting a similar idea, only we added an extra twist. At the Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) donation page, you can donate in honor of someone and have a notification sent to their snail mail address. Our idea was to suggest that people do the following:
1) Go to PPIN's donation page and fill out the donation form.
2) Answer "This gift is in honor of:" with "Mitch Daniels."
3) Answer "Please send acknowledgment of my gift to:" with "Governor Mitch Daniels, 200 W. Washington St., Rm. 206, Indianapolis, IN 46204"
4) Finish filling out the form so your donation is recorded.
Would you mind suggesting this to your readers? We've gotten a few dozen people to donate in honor of ol' Mitch, but it would be nice to have lots more.
Happy to do it, J.C.Y., and wish I'd thought of it. Thanks for writing.
That's the beginning of Dorothy Parvaz's written first-person account of her detention in Syria, just posted on Al Jazeera English.
It's even more chilling than the video account I posted earlier. For example:
Blindfolded, I was led to the first of my three cells - a tiny, sparse room, roughly three paces across and five length-wise. On the floor, on a ratty brown blanket, sat a young woman whose face was puffy from crying. She said she was 25 and from Damascus and indicated that she had been there for four days. She didn't know why she'd been picked up by the Mukhabarat, the Syrian intelligence service.
Too soon is never too soon for Hustler:
HUSTLER VIDEO ANNOUNCES BIN LADEN PARODY
(Canoga Park, CA) — May 18, 2011 — During this period of history where we seem to be in a state of perpetual war, nothing adds a little levity to a tense situation better than one of Hustler Video’s artfully crafted and expertly written parodies. With the recent death of one of the world’s most abhorred terrorist leaders behind us, Hustler Video is pleased to announce its next big political parody, This Ain’t Bin Laden XXX. “Oh yeah, we’re going there,” commented the Director of Operations for Hustler Video. “We’re pretty sure from what we’ve heard that Bin Laden was a big fan of Hustler. He was looking at porn, now porn is looking at him. See, it all comes full circle.”
This Ain’t Bin Laden XXX is coming to DVD this summer.
Entertainment Weekly has the first photos of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming Hunger Games adaptation. Here's the cover:
I know Katniss's race has been hotly debated, and I of course wish that the casting call had been more racially sensitive, but I must say that this is about what I pictured while reading about a post-apocalyptic Appalachian girl.
In case you haven't seen this week's gorgeous cover art—a portrait of Tom Skerritt, Patron Saint of SIFF and Seattle's Only Celebrity™, by artist Daniel Carrillo—have a look here:
Carrillo captured the image for us last Wednesday. Here's how:
The process is called wet collodion, discovered around 1848, and it is the same process that was used to make tintypes. Positives on clear glass are called ambrotypes. The image of Tom is an ambrotype and the exposure was f/4.5 for 10 seconds using studio lights. I used use a head brace to ensure a relatively sharp image.
In related news, THE SIFF GUIDE IS OUT. OH MY GOD, THE SIFF GUIDE IS OUT.
The festival opens tomorrow, and you can follow all of our constantly updated coverage—reviews, showtimes, interviews, recommendations, gossip—here. Here is my heartfelt intro. And if you don't know what you're looking for and just want to browse, you can peruse our take every single fucking thing in the festival right here.
I'll be yelling at you guys about SIFF almost constantly for the next month, so get used to it. Happy SIFF! Huzzah!
That's where I first saw Jenny Heishman's winking mountain and belted paintings. It's where Stranger Genius winner Susan Robb recently hung an iPhone on the wall showing a desperately sad video of the ceiling of a drugstore, with a heart-shaped balloon, a ceiling fan, and the promise of drugs, set to a prayer-like soundtrack. (This was the second iPhone video wall display at Vignettes.)
And tomorrow night features Derek Erdman, Kyle Johnson, C.M. Ruiz, and Shannon Perry in a group show they're calling Obscure Characters of Television.
I talked to Stinson about being el capitan of El Capitan art.
Vignettes is my apartment-based, one-night-only exhibition space. (laughs) It’s only one night every—it’s become two weeks, and I’ve done 10 thus far. I started at the end of December.
Why are you doing this? You have to move all of your stuff out—
Yeah, it’s a studio. There are only four pieces of furniture in my apartment.
And you have to move all of them.
They’re all small. The hardest thing to move is the record collection. It’s a good way of rearranging and keeping the apartment clean on a biweekly basis.
I'll be moderating a panel discussion tonight at the 36th District Democrats monthly membership meeting, 8 PM at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue North. The topic of discussion is the not-quite-complete legislative session; joining me will Karen Deal Political Director from the Washington State Labor Council speaking on labor issues, John Knapp from Seattle Education Association speaking on education issues, and April Putney from Futurewise speaking on issues of transportation and the environment.
I'm guessing we won't generally have a lot of kind words to say.
South Lake Union workers, rejoice: A group of businesses have fronted $65,000 to fund another South Lake Union Trolley, which will run during peak commuting hours for the next year. The second line will cut wait times down from 15 minutes to 10 minutes between the hours of 4 pm and 6:30 pm.
"This is a one year demonstration using no public money," explained Mayor Mike McGinn at a press conference held jointly this afternoon with the businesses, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and Group Health. Whether the service would be extended beyond the next year is up for debate, as is who would pay for it. When pressed for an answer, both the mayor and business representatives said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
"We've made no commitment to extend [the experiment] past a year with public funds," McGinn added.
The popular perception is that the SLUT is nearly always empty, but business representatives say they approached the city with the proposal to fund another trolley service after noting that the SLUT was running at near capacity during peak commuting hours.
"This is a no-brainer," said Shelly DaRonche of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "We don't have enough parking and the parking we do have we'd like to reserve for patients."
The second trolley is expected to start running in a few weeks, once its approved by the city council. The $65,000 will primarily pay for staffing; the city already owns another trolley car.
The Hama Hama Oysterama is this Saturday. Do you have a mouth that you like to put things into? Some other functioning senses? You will enjoy the Hama Hama Oysterama very, very much.
The Hama Hama Company is a shellfish farm, located where the nearly unbearably scenic Hamma Hamma River meets Hood Canal (photos and a guide to life on the farm are over here). The Hama Hama Oysterama is a party on the beach with Hama Hama and Blue Pool oysters (on the half shell, bacon-wrapped, barbecued, and fried), steamed clams, pan-fried crab cakes, Hood Canal spot prawns, barbecued pork sliders from Union-based Smokin Mo’s Catering, salads (if you must), hand-dipped Olympic Mountain Ice Cream, and Grove Street Brewery Beer. Also, live music (by Sideways Reign), tideflat tours (educational but actually fun), and the Shuckathalon (!). Also, it benefits a local school.
Directions to the Oysterama are over here—there's the Beautiful Route: 2.5 hours, and the Fast Route: 2 hours.
You will need a ticket—and they are reportedly going fast—so get on it.
More Chow events!
A synopsis: the story involves a group of students who call themselves the "real rich boys crew," a racist joke-letter that popped out of their social circle and caused a campus ruckus, the administration's decision to not punish anyone for the letter, accusations that children of parents who write big donation checks are less likely to be punished for bad behavior than the children of less-wealthy parents, a former math teacher named Truman Buffett who first made these accusations public in an online video, the fact that donations and grants recently fell from $4 million to $2 million in a single year, and lots of other stuff.
The feedback has been... impassioned. Lots of anonymous comments, emails, and phone calls, many clearly from students, and many unhappy with Truman Buffett and me (and a few of them supportive). Here are a few samples, with background music...
You all know that old-time feeling Christian tune "Where We'll Never Grow Old." Jim Reeves loved to sing it:
That tune returned to my attention when I saw this:
I have heard of a land
On the faraway strand...
There we never shall die
This the land where we'll never grow old
Never grow old, never grow old...
Apparently, it's raining cats and dogs down at the Kent animal shelter:
Due to a flood of recent arrivals at the Kent shelter, Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is looking to find good homes for lots of great dogs. To help in this effort, RASKC will waive the adoption fee for adult dogs from now until May 31.
“Because we don’t euthanize adoptable pets, space can sometimes get tight at the shelter,” said RASKC Manager Ken Nakatsu. “By temporarily waiving the adoption fee for adult dogs, we’re hoping to get more of them into loving, permanent homes. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for a new member of the family.”
Until May 31, the adoption fee for dogs over six months old will be waived. Residents can take home their new pet for just the cost of the license, a savings of $75 to $250. All pets from RASKC are spayed or neutered, vaccinated (including rabies vaccination), and have received a health exam. Available pets can be seen at the shelter, 21615 64th Ave. S. in Kent, or online at www.kingcounty.gov/pets.
Free dogs! The perfect "totally natural, organic control method" to deal with your pesky barn cat problem. Or, you know, if you're looking for a lovable canine companion.
FYI, RASKC is also seeking volunteers to provide temporary foster homes for both dogs and cats. It's a great program for animal lovers who are unwilling or unable to make a long term commitment, or who might even be looking for a little test run. And there's no cost: RASKC provides all your pet food, supplies, and medical care. Ninety-minute foster training sessions are coming up soon, so check it out.
Have you seen Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs yet? You should, and this weekend brings your final five chances.
But tonight Daisey's performing an earlier show of his—How Theater Failed America—with proceeds from the one-night-only performance going to all those creative lives effected by the abrupt cancellation of Intiman's season. The official word:
The proceeds will be distributed as grants administered by Artist Trust to artists who were expecting employment from Intiman Theatre this season, but were not yet contracted and received no severance upon cancellation of the season.
The show will be followed by a freewheeling roundtable discussion about life and art and theater involving assorted theater folks. Get your tickets here.
"Few details at the moment, but one of the few remaining dispensaries in Spokane, MHP, is being raided," writes Ben Livingston of the Cannabis Defense Coalition. When I called MHP a few minutes ago, nobody answered.
Last week we got a letter about someone driving home late at night and seeing "a really weird vessel being towed into Elliott Bay." The letter writer described it as having a "big white orb on top, probably at least 10 stories tall. It was on top of a platform being tugged by a half dozen tug boats. It looked like a... I don't know, but alien invaders definitely came to mind."
Today for lunch I went to Pike Place Market and saw the thing with my own two orbs.
When I got back to the office, I called the port to ask about it.
Patrick deWitt's latest novel, The Sisters Brothers, is like your favorite meal: full of unique yet familiar flavors, easily digestible but still filling. It evokes a time and place in your memory without being exactly of that time and place—a feeling you revel in the re-creation of even more than you would enjoy going back to the original experience at its source.
It's no surprise, then, that more comparisons have been drawn between The Sisters Brothers and the recent Coen brothers film adaptation of the novel True Grit by Charles Portis than between deWitt and Portis himself...(keep reading.)
(To find everything else that's going on tonight, including the latest entry in the very popular Breadline reading series at Vermillion, please visit the readings calendar.)
What the headline says. Honestly, I don't know. Though I'm willing to concede that it might be both.
Everyone's favorite professional initiative sponsor, Tim Eyman, has been making the rounds of the local media recently, pimping his latest for-profit venture, the 520-bridge-sinking/Sound-Transit-derailing I-1125, and I'm trying to figure out whether he really has the cash commitments to run a paid-signature drive, or whether he's just hustling contributions to pay himself back interest and principal on the $238,000 he "loaned" last year's campaign.
According to Eyman's latest C4 filing, by the end of April his Voters Want More Choices committee had raised only $58,000 while spending $21,000 on the year, leaving about $37,000 cash on hand and $188,000 in debt. Year-to-date Eyman had repaid himself nearly $52,000 in principal and interest, but had spent exactly zero dollars on paid signature gathering. By comparison, he'd spent $80,000 through April of 2010 collecting signatures for I-1053, and $560,000 total by the July deadline.
I've heard second hand confirmation of at least one sighting this week of an I-1125 petition, but with barely seven weeks remaining before the deadline that's hardly the makings of a successful signature drive. So unless Eyman's hauled in a half a million dollars in cash and pledges since the end of April, I-1125 doesn't have a snowball's chance of qualifying for the ballot... and Tim knows it.
So which is it? Is Eyman scamming donors for loan-payback money, but with no prospect of running a credible signature drive? Or has he been sitting on a pile of unreported pledges in order to lull his opponents into a false sense of security? Either way it strikes me as a bit of a scam, if not necessarily illegal.
But then, Eyman's whole career has been a bit of a scam, so why should this campaign be any different?
UPDATE: I called Tim and tried to ask him for a response, but he hung up on me.
If you are image-deprived on your internets, it reads: "Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can't. Deal. With. The. Blathering." It's bad enough that taking bullets is in the Secret Service job description, but being forced to watch Fox News goes above and beyond the call of duty.
King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor of Seattle Mike McGinn, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, and Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes have teamed up in a forceful letter sent today to Democratic and Republican party leaders in both houses of the state legislature to support a bill that would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.
"In the absence of new legislation, we at the local level will have to choose between closing down dispensaries and prosecuting the owners and workers, or allowing them to continue to multiply in an unclear regulatory environment," write the four elected officials. "We need a new law stating that non-profit patient cooperatives are not illegal and giving us regulatory authority at the local level."
Read the entire letter.
The last-minute bill entered into the dwindling special session that ends next week, sponsored by state senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36), attempts to fix a tangled mess of law left behind by Governor Chris Gregoire's partial veto of another medical marijuana bill earlier this year. But even with the support of city and county leaders, the bill remains controversial; medical marijuana activists say it would require them to file too much personal information with the state and ultimately ban dispensaries outside of Seattle.
The support of elected officials for the Kohl-Welles bill also seems to repudiate another medical-marijuana fixer bill filed last week by state representative Roger Goodman (D-45).
"I am thrilled to accept this commissioned painting of Bill and Melinda Gates into our collection," said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. "Jon Friedman created a compelling portrait that tells the story of their foundation’s work."
The slogan of the foundation, "All Lives Have Equal Value," appears on the flat-screen TV in the portrait, partly obscuring the faces of three anonymous dark-skinned girls and women. If all lives had equal value, the women and girls would be named on the painting's label, too, not just the couple.
What a compelling portrait!
I don't mean to boss you, but it's basically your duty as a human to watch the whole Al Jazeera interview so that as many people as possible can bear witness to what's happening in Syria—what happened to former Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Dorothy Parvaz, and what happened to the people imprisoned around her.
You really should watch this slideshow at Gizmodo titled Amazon: The Hidden Empire. I suspect you'll be surprised by how much of your internet life passes through Amazon's kingdom.
And I think that slideshow is a nice dispute to the rumor going around that Amazon is considering buying Borders. If they do so well at controlling customer experiences on the internet, why would they want to get into brick-and-mortar retailing at this late date? The variables are multitudinous, and Amazon has no experience with physical bookselling. (And with a failed company like Borders, Amazon would want to rethink the whole operation from the floor on up.) I think they're way more likely to choose to expand even further into our internet lives, especially with the upcoming Amazon tablet (that may actually be two Amazon tablets).
Ignite works like this: A speaker, usually some tech wizard, has five minutes to tell you about a thing—how to buy a new car, why to stop freaking out that the triceratops was renamed, how to manipulate Facebook to your liking, all sorts of stuff—and every 15 second a giant slide changes. The slogan is "Enlighten us, but make it quick."
Ignite talks have taken off around the world, but they started in Seattle and tonight is the 14th one.
Here's the lineup of smart people (plus me, an idiot who somehow slipped onto the lineup anyway—huzzah!) talking tonight. ($5 each. King Cat Theatre. Doors at 7:00 p.m.; talks begin at 8:00 p.m.; then at 9:00 p.m. they promise a SURPRISE. 21+ w/ID.)
THURSDAY: Back in February, reigning warlord of eco-friendly architecture James Corner asked Seattleites to remake our falling-into-Puget-Sound, fish-and-chip graveyard of a waterfront into a Utopian urban space that people want to use (and you can actually get to from downtown).
He and his
SpecOps field operations team made a thrilling discovery—we like the water and the views of the islands and goofy neighbor West Seattle, but we're not so big on Ye Olde Curiosity Shop(ppp?)e or eating a pound of beer-battered cod. Well, they listened (so validating!) and will reveal their preliminary new waterfront designs tomorrow.
Come! Look! Bitch! Toast! Comment!
Food trucks will be on hand to feed you, because nothing says civic engagement like snack time. RSVP here. (Bell Harbor Conference Center on the waterfront, 6:30 p.m.)
This week is National Police Appreciation Week, a time to honor the hundreds of decent cops doing great work in the city, instead of dwelling on the few trigger-happy, force-heavy, arguably racist ones who have dominated the last year's worth of headlines (because being good at your job is never breaking news). These are the stories of the cops we have loved.
When asked about Newt Gingrich's latest fuckup—I lose track of exactly which one—Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler responded with an e-mail that is a Tolkienesque epic involving conspiratorial, gun-firing sheep, tweet-dust, and a triumphant Gingrich rising again.
"The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding," Tyler wrote in an e-mail. "Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world."
He continued: "The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness.They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment's cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles."
As for Gingrich's role in this drama, Tyler cast him as a fantasy hero straight out of Arthurian legend.
"But surely they had killed him off," he wrote. "This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won't be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces."
I hope this is just a tiny portion of a 550-page epic that Tyler has been working on over the past four years; I would review the fuck out of that book.
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