At this meeting, the board members sat at long tables munching salad, and the public commenters sat on folding chairs looking grim. This is where important work in your city lives and happens, in these meeting rooms and among these normal-looking people. How can we decide the fate of such a crazy and vibrant den of sin and chicken strips in this well-lit, carpeted conference room? But that's how this stuff works.
For 10 minutes or so, four people spoke, pleading the Canterbury's case. A bartender named Jen called it her "second home," and asked the board to consider letting staff or the community "buy it and become a cooperative" or letting the current owners sell it and keep it intact. A man named Matt told the board that in an age of density, with tiny apartments crammed in a neighborhood like Capitol Hill, "people use public space as a living room... We need the kind of space that the Canterbury provides." Two other people spoke of the Canterbury as an essential part of the neighborhood, the kind of place we're running out of, a place for poorer and weirder folks and people who can't afford or don't want to go to the upscale places now dotting the hill. It's a "community gathering space" that just "happens to be a bar," said a self-identified community organizer named Christine.
The board members listened intently, smiling and nodding. They encouraged people who hadn't spoken to submit written comment, to follow up with the organization, to stay after and ask questions. It seems like the decision not to renew this lease isn't up for debate, but what this space becomes certainly is. If you're invested in the ol' knight-hole's future, you should engage with CHH. Their next meeting is in a month, and they always have public comment periods. I'm sure Save Our Canterbury will be doing the same.
By a 29-20 vote, the Republican-controlled/Seattle-hating state Senate passed ESB 5726 today, a bill intended to eviscerate Seattle's paid sick leave ordinance
Summary of Bill: A local government, including a city, town, code city, or county, cannot apply a paid sick leave or paid safe leave program to an employer whose principal place of business is outside the local government's limits. A local government cannot apply a paid sick leave or paid safe leave program to an employee whose principal place of employment is outside the local government's limits, even if the employer's principal place of business is within the local government's limits.
The impact of this bill would be twofold. First, any employer with a principal place of business outside of Seattle—that means most national and regional chains—would be exempt from Seattle's sick leave law, intentionally creating a competitive disadvantage for small businesses wholly located within city limits. Second, it's basically an incentive for Seattle companies to move their "principal place of business" outside of Seattle. Ha, ha, gotcha, Seattle! And so forth.
Personally, I think that Senators Bailey, Baumgartner, Becker, Benton, Braun, Brown, Carrell, Dammeier, Eide, Ericksen, Fain, Hargrove, Hatfield, Hewitt, Hill, Hobbs, Holmquist Newbry, Honeyford, King, Litzow, Padden, Parlette, Pearson, Rivers, Roach, Schoesler, Sheldon, Smith, and (of course) Tom can all go fuck themselves.
I just hope there's enough discipline in the Democratic caucus to keep this overtly anti-Seattle piece of legislation from passing the House. Because honestly, our paid sick leave ordinance is none of the rest of the state's business.
I am a happily married lady in a poly relationship.
My husband and I date other people and have had no problems with it. We have two rules about dating: 1) complete honesty and full disclosure; and 2) we only have unprotected sex with each other. I was on a date with a new partner last night and then we went back to his place to make out. We decided to have sex for the first time, talked about condoms and agreed that we were going to use them. He didn’t have lube and the condom got dry after a while, so he pulled out and we went back to making out. He suggested we not put one back on because he could pull out in time, and I said that it was out of the question and that we absolutely had to use a condom. (Seriously, throughout the evening I think I mentioned the condom rule a dozen times.) So we’re making out and waiting for me to get lubricated enough to go again. He pushes his dick against my pussy opening and I say, “No, we can’t do that.” And he replies, “Oh, don’t worry—I’ve got it.” Which I take to mean that he has put on another one. We have sex for a few minutes and then he pulls out and cums on my stomach. Fuck.
I feel terrible about this for multiple reasons. And I am conflicted as to whether I’m responsible for this happening or not. I talked to him about it before I left that night and he said that I seemed like I had consented with my body language. In all honesty, I wanted to have unprotected sex the same way I think that everyone does. And I guess I had been rubbing up against him. But isn’t that what everyone does when they’re making out? Should I have been more explicit about condom usage? Could I have been?!? Should I have just stopped everything after he suggested that we not use one? I feel betrayed and dirty and sad and guilty. I’m all mixed up about who was responsible for what. I feel like I “cheated” on my husband.
Who's The Failure Here?
P.S. And FYI, I told my husband immediately after and he doesn’t feel that I did something wrong. Please help me figure this out, I’m don’t know how to understand what happened.
My response after the jump...
You remember Party Crasher—the World's Best Column™ in which various Stranger writers wrote about parties we crashed (except that we were actually invited by you lovely people)—don't you? There was the gay orgy. There was Lindy West looking for a wizard. There was Rager of the Lost Ark. There was the Drunk Oscars with Anna Minard. There was a Very Special Fistmas. And who could forget the Robot Valentine's Day Massacre? And, as they say, so much more.
Now we can't remember why we ever stopped, and we were thinking about reviving Party Crasher, and then we thought: WEDDING CRASHER! You know the gays can get hitched now here in Washington State too, which is sort of the impetus here, but we also just love weddings—gay, straight, man and goat, whatever. So, introducing Wedding Crasher: in which The Stranger comes to your wedding, drinks (only their fair share) of your booze, dances to your music (whatever it may be), and celebrates your love (ditto)!
Our pledge to you: Whichever one of us has the pleasure of attending* will bring a gift (maybe hers-and-hers Stranger t-shirts, but a gift). We will dress up. We will be nice (this is LOVE, after all!), both while we are there and in the writing-up afterward. We will dance. And your wedding will be memorialized in the timeless pages of The Stranger and the timeless pixels of the internet.**
The fine print: While we are honored if you choose to invite us, and we sincerely offer you the warmest best wishes on your impending nuptials, we regret that we cannot attend every wedding, so we will give preference to the especially weird- and/or wonderful-sounding ones. We further regret we cannot attend weddings outside Seattle (unless you would like to fly us to wherever it is happening, preferably Puerto Vallarta, and put us up in a hotel).
Would you like The Stranger to crash your wedding (by which we mean attend as a well-behaved invited guest)? Send your wedding invitation to email@example.com or to Wedding Crasher, 1535 11th Ave 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA, 98122.
* The magical and dapper Sarah Galvin will be the Wedding Crasher to start! She will be the best guest ever.
** Unless something goes weirdly awry, which of course it won't! LOVE!
In a statement released this afternoon, the Seattle Police Officer's Guild (SPOG) and Seattle Police Management Association state that a lawsuit filed today in superior court today to permanently block the city from making any changes to police officers' wages, hours, or working conditions as part of the city's police reform efforts "should not be construed in any manner as opposition to police reforms."
If you'll recall, the police reform plan is part of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, which found that Seattle police officers engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive force with suspects, among other things.
The unions argue that the lawsuit is about preserving the unions' collective bargaining agreements with the city:
Mayor Mike McGinn, City Attorney Pete Holmes, Public Safety Chairperson Bruce Harrell, and members of the City Labor Relations Unit have all indicated that they intend to bargain those issues which are called for under Washington State law. The Monitoring Team however has given indications that they do not intend to follow the bargaining process set forth in the State collective bargaining laws. Our organizations are troubled by this as it appears to violate State law and has ramifications that could affect our members collective bargaining rights as well as the bargaining rights of other unions in our region.
Today, we filed a Declaratory Judgment Action in King County Superior Court asking for a decision on the role of State collective bargaining laws as the City moves forward with changes to the Police Department. This is about the rights of workers and should not be construed in any manner as opposition to police reforms. Both SPOG and SPMA have cooperated with the DOJ investigation and with the efforts the Monitoring Team has already taken.
I've read the proposed reform plan. It doesn't seem to indicate that Bobb or his counsel intend to ignore state law regarding bargaining agreements. What we do know for certain is that both unions have met with Bobb and his team. Moreover, both unions are represented on the city's newly formed, 13-member Community Police Commission, which was assembled earlier this year to support the police reform process—except instead of supporting reform, as they've been tasked, they're now blocking it.
And we know that Rich O'Neill, the lightning-rod leader of SPOG, was against appointing Bobb as court monitor and moreover, he was opposed to the entire Department of Justice investigation, so this highly diplomatic statement strikes me as a bit specious.
Full press release after the jump.
Well, at least what some of the Seattle Bike Expo looked like, this past Saturday afternoon. All photos by Molly Bauer. More after the jump...
Steven Lloyd Wilson provides a good analysis of the problem with Orson Scott Card, and he provides some interesting criticism of Ender's Game that suggests Card has been entertaining these ideas from the very beginning of his career. Go read the whole thing.
Clogged arteries are seen as the quintessential symptom of an unhealthy modern lifestyle. But the condition was common across the ancient world, even among active hunter–gatherers with no access to junk food, a study of mummies has found.You are thinking what I thought when reading this post: It's not that surprising because those in the ruling class, those who, like us, had lots of food and drink, where the ones who were mummified. But...
“There’s a belief that if we go back in time, everything’s going to be OK,” says cardiologist Greg Thomas of the University of California, Irvine, a senior member of the study team. “But these mummies still have coronary artery disease.” The paper is published in the current issue of The Lancet1.
The researchers say that they found a level of disease equivalent to that in modern populations — a result Thomas describes as “a shock”.
“[The scientists] scanned the common man and woman and they’ve got the same disease,” says Thomas. Rather than excess cholesterol, he suggests that high levels of inflammation — caused by smoke inhalation or chronic infection, for instance — may have triggered the disease in these individuals.There are two reason why I'm quick to side with these findings: one, if true, they will deal a considerable blow to the adaptive-lag hypothesis that's so popular in the evolutionary psychology world. (Those who agree with the ALH argue that our bodies were made for the wild and difficult Pleistocene environments and not, say, the comforts of the city, which are all new and alien to us.) And two, it might show that at least some of this talk about what is and is not healthy is mere moralizing, a kind of Christianity by other means.
Quartz reports that this year's big NRA convention will take place at the beginning of May in Houston. It looks to be a real fun time:
“Confirmed speakers include [Texas] Governor Rick Perry, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator Ted Cruz, former Senator Rick Santorum, and more.” Political commentator Glenn Beck will be the featured speaker at the “Stand and Fight” rally.
Bring Junior along. “The ever-popular air gun range is a top attraction – both for participants and observers. NRA offers diverse seminars throughout the three-day convention, including methods of concealed carry; hunting; Firearms Law; the Grassroots Workshop; and Refuse to Be a Victim®.”
Based on how many people were injured during Gun Appreciation Day back in January, I think we could be looking at a world's record for accidental shootings in Houston this year. So let's place our bets now:
Schmader dumped a couple Seattle Jewish Film Festival passes on my desk last week because I'm clearly the most Jewy person in the office. So Jewy, in fact, that even though I wasn't really interested in going, my daughter and I took in a free film Saturday night because hey, such a bargain!
Also, a very pleasant surprise. We saw Au cas ou je n'aurais pas la palme d'or, a French film about a struggling filmmaker—ten years since making his first (and last) feature film—who upon discovering that he may have a life-threatening illness embarks on a quest to make one last film (about a struggling filmmaker facing a life-threatening illness who embarks on a quest to make one last film). It's funny and sweet and totally absorbing in a quirky, mind-bending sorta way. Director Renaud Cohen, playing director Simon Cohen, surrounds himself with a supporting cast of family members playing his family members in a film within a film that constantly leaves the audience wondering where the autobiography stops and the fiction begins. We loved it. But then, I've always been into the Pirandello play-within-a-play sorta thing, so it was right up my alley.
And it wasn't really very Jewy. There were some Jewish themes, and maybe a handful of jokes that only a Jew could truly appreciate, but it was no more a "Jewish" film than your typical Woody Allen movie. It's more a film about filmmaking than anything else.
Unfortunately, the festival ended Sunday, so not much good this positive review will do for anybody. But next time the Seattle Jewish Film Festival rolls around, don't be put off by the ethnic focus. If Au cas ou je n'aurais pas la palme d'or is any example, it will be chock full of films with broader appeal.
Updated at 3pm with new information.
The conservative police union known as the Seattle Police Officers' Guild has just filed a suit seeking a declaratory judgment in King County Superior Court to block the police reform plan currently being proposed by Merrick Bobb, the independent court monitor hired to help the city rein in our excessively forceful police department. SPOG and its sister union (and co-plaintiff), the Seattle Police Management Association, argue that reforming the police department would violate union contracts with the city's 1,800 police officers. Both the City of Seattle and court monitor Merrick Bobb are named as defendants in the suit, according to a draft of the lawsuit I've seen.
The crux of the lawsuit argues that reforming the police department would violate the unions' collective bargaining agreements with the city. The lawsuit states that certain topics that have long been subjected to bargaining—including conditions for employment, the rights officers have while being investigated, and disciplinary procedures—could be severely curtailed by the city's proposed police reform plan.
That reform plan states, among other things, that the Seattle Police Department will be monitored to see "whether all use of force is reported... tracked, and properly classified, and thoroughly and objectively investigated and reviewed to a reasonable and unbiased conclusion" and "whether disciplinary results on founded complaints reflect the seriousness of the underlying event... with biased policing, excessive force, failure to report force, or dishonesty meriting appropriate discipline."
The lawsuit requests that a King County Superior Court judge permanently block the city and court monitor from making any changes to police officers' wages, hours, or working conditions.
Granted, I'm not a lawyer but it seems that this is the unions' (somewhat expected) attempt kneecap the city's plan to reform the Seattle Police Department, because without effective measures for instituting change—like changing how officers are investigated for alleged misconduct or punished for breaking the law—a reform plan is basically a collection of useless, unenforceable tips on how to be a more courteous officer. Reader's Digest style.
I'm still waiting for comment from the mayor's office, SPD, SPOG, and city attorney's office. Stay tuned!
Congratulations, commuters in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area! You are finally being recognized for your considerable trials in getting to work. Two recent studies place Seattle on the short list of shitty commutes. One study examines long-distance or supercommuters (defined relatively as people who commute from a county outside that of the central metropolitan area), while the other examines an advanced class of supercommuters known as megacommuters, who travel 50 or more miles and 90 or more minutes.
Seattle is the third-fastest growing city for long-distance commuters, according to the first study by the Wagner School at NYU, which used census data to map changes in commutes from 2002 to 2009. The total percentage of supercommuters in Seattle, at 6.8 percent, is a couple points higher than the national average. It breaks down to 71,000 people travelling from far outside city limits to get to work. Most people are coming from the surrounding counties: Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap. But two points stand out:
• 12,900 people are driving six hours-round trip from fucking Portland to Seattle, and
• Another 7,700 drive (or fly) from Spokane to Seattle, over a goddamn mountain range, to get to work.
On to the second study:
For a long time, the suit of armor that greets you upon entering the Canterbury had a sign hung around its neck that said "Seat Thyself." The Canterbury—going on four decades old—is the world's best ye-olde-English-pub-themed dive bar, complete with dark wood beams, a fireplace, pool tables, shuffleboard, cheap liquor, and fried foods (as well as delicious soups made by the amazing Janice of Calamity Jane’s in Georgetown). As Charles Mudede has pointed out, the Canterbury is perfectly situated, almost equidistant from Group Health hospital and the Volunteer Park cemetery; this is how we should spend the long, cold days between infancy and death—sitting by a fire, drinking.
We love the Canterbury.
Capitol Hill Housing owns the building housing the Canterbury and the Fredonia apartments. (In case you're unfamiliar with CHH, here's some information on its mission: "Founded in 1976 as an outgrowth of community action, CHH currently owns and operates 44 buildings, providing safe and affordable housing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Capitol Hill and nine other Seattle area neighborhoods... We are committed to creating equitable and sustainable communities in central Seattle... We envision a diverse community that includes housing for individuals and families across a broad range of incomes.")
The Canterbury's lease is up at the end of the year, and CHH is not renewing the lease. CHH does not comment on lease issues with tenants.
Asked why the Canterbury's lease is not being renewed, Canterbury owner Stefanie Roberge admitted that the business has been late with its rent for the last five months and that there is a "cash-flow problem." She said, "They [CHH] wanted me to sign something that they were not responsible for me breaking my arm, and I wouldn’t say that they weren’t responsible for that, so they refused to sign off on the line of credit that we had had previously from our bank. They refused to sign off on it." Asked about the broken arm, Roberge said that "They [CHH] let the sidewalk get to the point where there was a hole about three inches deep. I twisted my ankle and fell and broke my arm and got a concussion," about three years ago. She said that CHH has a $50,000 lien on her home from when she bought the business 13 years ago, and that when she refused to sign something indicating she would not hold CHH responsible for her medical bills from the broken arm, CHH "exacerbated" the business' cash-flow problem by "not allowing us to get that line of credit again." (UPDATE: CHH has no comment.)
Roberge said she was about to write a check for this month's rent today. "It’s just so convoluted," she said. "What I really want to do is retire at the end of the year and sell the business to somebody—I want to sell the Canterbury to somebody else who wants to open a restaurant. But they [CHH] won’t let me do that." Why? "Because they hate us."
While CHH will not comment on pending lease issues with tenants, Capitol Hill Housing Foundation executive director Michael Seiwerath will say that despite rumors to the contrary, CHH is not moving its offices into the Canterbury space—CHH's offices will be relocating into the new 12th Avenue Arts building upon its completion.
Regarding the Canterbury space, Seiwerath also said, "There's a possibility that it will remain a restaurant or bar space." The process for finding a replacement tenant will unfold later this year.
You can share your feelings on the topic at tonight's Capitol Hill Housing monthly board meeting at 6:00 p.m. at Seattle University, in room 500E on the fifth floor in Casey Commons. Public comment (on any topic) is limited to 6:05 to 6:20; the rest of the meeting (except one discussion of the price of a property) is open to the public, but the Canterbury/Fredonia lease situation is not on the agenda. A website apparently organized by Canterbury fans, Save Our Canterbury, is asking people to call CHH and lobby to have the lease renewed, but it appears that ship has fully sailed.
CHH indicated that there will be future forums for community discussion on the issue—we'll keep you posted. UPDATE: I may have inadvertently mischaracterized CHH's stance here; Seiwerath says, "It was not my intent to indicate that there will be future forum for community discussion. We are not planning any."
Convoluted, indeed. And too bad all around.
Bad news for Bloomberg's war on Big Soda's Big Sodas:
A judge has halted New York City’s ban on large sugary drinks just a day before it was to go into effect, handing a major victory to the American beverage industry, which had feared that soda bans could spread across the country.
The regulations imposed by New York are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” New York Supreme Court judge Milton Tingling wrote in his opinion today.
"Judge Milton Tingling" is one of the best names I've ever heard.
Since Ron Sims announced today that he's not running for mayor—he's going to climb a mountain with Ms Sims—it's time to reexamine the eight people who are running. To refresh your memory, they are:
1. Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess
2. Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell
3. David Ishii
4. Kate Martin
5. Mayor Mike McGinn
6. State senator Ed Murray
7. Charlie Staadecker
8. Former city council member Peter Steinbrueck
In our January Slog poll, Mayor McGinn held the lead (followed by Murray and Harrell). But so much has happened since then (February, mostly). Which brings us to our legally binding March Slog poll:
What are you currently catching?
Netflix Streaming is the streaming video service ready to shoot several thousand movies onto your TV and/or computer screen. The film selection is a gloriously random array of "Hollywood hits!," beloved classics, and off-brand delights. Some folks resent the weird arbitrariness and limited selection of the Netflix Streaming library, but I love it. How else would I ever get around to watching Serpico or BET's American Gangster series? How else would numerous friends of mine all happen to watch/re-watch Reversal of Fortune the same month, enabling gratifying discussion of Klaus von Bulow?
I could go on. Instead, I'll introduce the first installment of the Slog Netflix Streaming Movie Club, wherein we all watch the same weird and arbitrary film on Netflix Streaming, then discuss it here on Slog.
Our first selection: Someone I Touched, a TV movie from 1975 exploring the impact of venereal disease on a handful of interconnected lives. Not only does it star Cloris Leachman, the theme song is sung by Cloris Leachman.
We will discuss this film on Slog one week from today.
I've got your good environmental news and your bad environmental news. Let's start with the bad:
An international team of 21 authors from 17 institutions in seven countries has just published a study in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that, as the cover of snow and ice in the northern latitudes has diminished in recent years, the temperature over the northern land mass has increased at different rates during the four seasons, causing a reduction in temperature and vegetation seasonality in this area. In other words, the temperature and vegetation at northern latitudes increasingly resembles those found several degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 30 years ago.
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), which received $465 million in U.S. Energy Department loans to develop and build electric cars, will repay the funds five years ahead of schedule in a plan approved by the government.
Conservatives have been predicting the death of Tesla and deriding the Obama Administration's investment in Tesla for years now, so this is some welcome news for an industry that needs to succeed if we're going to keep palm trees where they're supposed to be.
A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna. The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel. This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.
The proximity of so many priests to a big gay bathhouse is a lot of things—a whole lot of things—but "unlikely" ain't one of 'em.
Two weeks ago, I direct sowed peas, lettuce, and arugula, and it turned out to be perfect timing. Since then the weather has been relatively warm and wet, providing the ideal conditions for germination. I peeked under my floating row covers this weekend to find neat rows of arugula and lettuce sprouts, along with a bed full of snap and snow peas just starting to poke above the surface.
There's still plenty of time for things to wrong: a hard freeze, relentless pounding rains, malevolent pests and other wildlife. I found a largish slug in the pea bed with a trail of slime and destruction behind him. Our mild winter has virtually assured a nasty slug and snail problem this year. But there's a good chance that backyard gardeners who cast seeds early this year will likely be rewarded with an earlier than usual first harvest.
As for my overwintered crops, the surviving lettuce and collards look awfully ugly at the moment while the kale and mustard continue to produce. I'm guessing I'll be damn sick of kale in another month or so. But a small patch of broccoli raab is providing an unexpected late winter treat. I'd actually planted it as a fall crop, and got a disappointing harvest, but am getting a tender second crop from the surviving plants.
I know I should be angry about this poster, which basically argues that women's bodies—like the one I'm wearing now!—are public playgrounds. But it reads as if whoever designed it doesn't have a solid grasp of what words mean. (Which religion? Faith and reason, wha? How is "my body, my choice" contradicted by science???).
I see terms like "modern myth," and "contrary to both faith and reason," I feel both charmed and flattered. I'm a unicorn! All women capable of independent thought are unicorns! And the thing about unicorns is, only an idiot would be caught arguing with them.
From what I can deduce via the internets, the man who's slapping these up around Ballard is probably a security guard for Seattle Pacific University who says he graduated from "Life University." So, you know, no surprises there.
Thanks to slog tipper z.
Oh man, I love this guy. Go, Turtle, go!
EL James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, which started as Twilight fan fiction and which reads like James has never read a novel in her life outside of the Twilight books, is publishing a writing guide.
PETA is up to its attention-seeking antics again, offering to supply Redmond's Albert Einstein Elementary an all-vegan school lunch on March 14 for Albert Einstein's birthday, as "the perfect way to honor Einstein's vegetarian legacy."
Also included in PETA's offer, for the schoolchildren to have along with lunch: "free copies of [PETA's] colorful, kid-friendly Einstein leaflet," which includes this text as well as the image below (along with one of a pig in a cage and a muddy cow):
Albert Einstein... would be disgusted to hear that on factory farms today, animals live crowded together by the thousands in dark, filthy sheds and cages. Many chickens and turkeys have part of their beaks cut off with a hot blade when they are a few days old, and piglets have their tails and teeth chopped off—all without any painkillers. PETA has videos showing that animals are beaten, dragged, and thrown against walls in slaughterhouses across the country.
At Redmond's Einstein Elementary, PETA would have distributed this brochure to children as young as five years old, up to 11 or 12 years of age for the sixth-graders.
Einstein Elementary principal Melissa Pointer was with students this morning, but school secretary Bobbie Joe Connors said that PETA wanted to "bring food for all 460 students, which didn't seem very viable... we can't just have outside people bringing in food. There are a lot of different issues, and we can't really push those views."
Connors said she wasn't aware of PETA's intention to distribute the pamphlet, and said, "We absolutely would not do that."
PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews' comment: "At a time when school budgets and childhood obesity are hot topics, we're surprised that Einstein Elementary rejected an offer that would've saved the school money and introduced kids to healthy eating." And, you know, possible health-code violations and fresh nightmares.
PETA has also offered vegan lunch with, presumably, the same propaganda to Einstein Elementary in Oak Park, MI, and JHS 131 Albert Einstein in the Bronx, NY, but has yet to get a response.
On Saturday afternoon, I caught the tail end of Ed Wicklander's talk at Greg Kucera Gallery. "Back in Chicago, where I went to school, they really get objects," he said, in closing. "When I show there, they appreciate it."
Does Seattle just not get objects? How would we begin to measure that?
Wicklander's show is called More Objects, as if to underscore his point. While his work has never seemed to be fashionable, Kucera has been a steadfast supporter: This is Wicklander's 10th show at the gallery since 1985. He was born in 1952 in Puyallup—land on the edge of a million wood-carvers—and he now lives in Seattle.
I like the challenge that somehow objects are harder to fathom than images. (I have no real read on whether that's truer here in Seattle than anywhere else; my instinct tells me the opposite might actually be true, and that obdurate wood objects might actually make some sense here as opposed to in New York or LA. Then again, maybe Chicago has a specialty in objecthood. Chicagoans?)Dan Webb. For me, his works are uneven in their interestingness. When I look at his balloons made of steel, I feel like I've seen them before. I glaze over. His kittens? There's nothing else like them. They're hilarious and heartwarming, an almost impossible combination in contemporary art. They know about kitsch and they zoom happily by it traveling on the same road, another near-impossibility. So smart and so dumb at the very same time.
What do you make of Wicklander's world of objects? They're at Kucera through the 30th.
The number of Americans riding public transit in 2012 increased to the second highest level since 1957. And the growth in ridership would have been even stronger if not for the near total shutdown of services on the transit-heavy East Coast thanks to Superstorm Sandy.
Altogether, U.S. transit ridership rose 1.49 percent, with passengers taking 10.52 billion trips on trains, buses and commuter rail in 2012.
The increase was universal across the different modes of transit.
There were 1.42 percent more trips on heavy rail such as subways, 4.47 percent more on light rail, and 0.52 percent more on commuter rail than in 2011. Meanwhile, bus ridership grew 1.2 percent. Some of the light rail rise came from cities expanding or creating lines.
With 10.7 percent growth, Sound Transit was one of six light rail systems to see double-digit ridership increases last year.
The gradually recovering economy is of course creating demand for more commuter trips. But rising gas prices and crowded highways are no doubt the main factors driving more commuters to choose transit. And neither gas prices nor traffic are likely to get better in the future.
And to those devout drivers in the comment thread who scoff that riders should pay the full cost of transit—just imagine how much worse your commute would be with another 10.52 billion car trips crowding America's roads?