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Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

posted by on October 10 at 9:22 AM

Civil unions were not equal enough in the "Constitution State," according to its state constitution.

Connecticut became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage today in a 4-3 decision by the state Supreme Court.

In an 85-page decision issued at 11:30 a.m., the court ruled that the state had "failed to establish adequate reason to justify the statutory ban on same sex marriage."

The justices noted in the majority opinion that they recognized "as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health … that 'our decision marks a change in the history of our marriage law.'"

The case, Kerrigan v. the state Commissioner of Public Health, was brought by eight same-sex couples who were denied marriages licenses by the Madison town clerk. They argued that the state's civil union law was discriminatory and unconstitutional because it established a separate and therefore inherently unequal institution for a minority group. Citing the equal protection under the law, the state Supreme Court agreed.

"In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry," says the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Richard N. Palmer.

From the ruling (.pdf):

It is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment.’’ ...

Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection. Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice. To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.

I'm sure the court's logic will upset Ken "civil rights is not a theological debate" Hutcherson. But he's a bully with a book, not a bench with a gavel.

This is sure to come up at the next presidential debate, which focuses on domestic policy. Obama and McCain will, no doubt, condemn same-sex marriage. But it’s a moot point. The wall is crumbling. With three separate states allowing it—Massachusetts, California and now Connecticut—and the fabric of society remaining strong, the specter of gay marriage threatening straight marriage is soundly proven to be a canard. Which state will be next?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holy Crap

posted by on September 15 at 1:54 PM reports the Dow fell 500 (more) points today. Here's a photo of someone crying at the stock market [link updated].

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Camera Shy

posted by on August 31 at 2:03 PM

This photo is an detainable offense: Attorney Gena Berglund.

A Minneapolis-based attorney has asked Hennepin County district judge Mark Wenick to sign an emergency injunction to stop police from seizing video cameras and other recording equipment from journalists during the Republican National Convention.

Attorney Gena Berglund, of the National Lawyers Guild, says Judge Wernick claims to be "too busy with probable-cause hearings" to sign the injunction.

Police have been seizing video cameras and other recording equipment from video bloggers throughout the summer—seven affidavits of different instances—and in the past few days.

Just yesterday, say Bergland and a lefty organizer named Michelle Gross, police conducted a raid on a house and seized video equipment from a Eyewitness News, a New York-based video group. (Their footage from the RNC in New York in 2000 helped acquit 400 people who were arrested during protests.)

Berglund adds that right now, a team of videographers, who were on their way to this very press conference, are being detained by police on a streetcar just a few blocks from Minneapolis City Hall, where the conference is still underway.

(Sgt. William Palmer, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis police, says he hasn't heard anything about this.)

"The police just stopped the car on its tracks and have them trapped in there," Berglund says, her voice shaking. "I'm very angry and my clients are very angry," she said. "This has to stop."

(Maybe those photos I posted a couple of minutes ago could've landed me in more trouble than I'd thought.)

The delayed Anointment of McCain is becoming less interesting by the second.

What the hell's going on between the police and everybody else? Is this just saber-rattling in advance of the protests? Does the GOP not want to be filmed?

Are they not feeling pretty this week?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goats Eat Grass!

posted by on August 28 at 2:30 PM

It has come to my attention that a herd of goats is munching grass on a hillside overlooking I-5 on Pine.

Here is a picture:


Here is a recipe:


- 1 1/2 lb of goat (best when market fresh)
- 2 large onions
- 2 carrots
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tbs of butter
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp of cloves
- 1/8 of ginger
- 1 dash of cayenne
- salt and white pepper
- 1 tb freshly squeezed lemon juice (may use vinegar as substitute)
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 1 tb of peanut butter
- 2 tbs of flour

Thanks to Marvelous Matt Hickey for the pic

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twitter Now Officially Uncool

posted by on August 15 at 5:09 PM

Ah, Twitter. Because all your friends must know that you had Indian food, took a dump, and are ready for a nap. Ron Sims is in on the action. In the upper-right-hand corner of the King County Executive's home page, a helpful box informs us of Sims's fiber-rich breakfast of yogurt, berries, and chopped nuts.


Friday, August 1, 2008

New Executive Director at ACT

posted by on August 1 at 4:11 PM

In the venerable tradition of releasing potentially controversial news on Friday afternoons—in the eternal hope that journalists will already be too drunk to report it—ACT Theatre has announced that its old managing director, Kevin Hughes, is stepping down after nine months.

Taking his place (with the title "executive director"): Carlo Scandiuzzi, an excellent choice.

Mr. Scandiuzzi—a bright, energetic Swiss-Italian who grew up in Geneva—has been deeply involved in Seattle's arts scene since the early days at the Empty Space, when he was an actor. (His first production was The Return of Pinocchio, playing alongside ACT's current artistic director, Kurt Beattie.)

He was a concert promoter in the 1970s (bringing Devo, Nina Hagen, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, John Cale, and other to town). In the 1980s, he collaborated with local performance artists like Jesse Bernstein.

Scandiuzzi went on to produce films, founded IndieFlix and become a philanthropist, throwing money at theater, dance, and the Central Library downtown, which named a room after him.

His recent masterstroke was starting ACT's Central Heating Lab, profiled here:

People have been calling for the death of regional theater since it was born. The regionals are moribund for dozens of reasons: exhausted economies, overhead and union costs that keep tickets prices high, an old and dying subscriber base, their inability to adapt to a younger audience (viz., its preference for buying single tickets instead of subscriptions), and, of course, their failure to not bore the shit out of people.

But ACT, one of the feebler regionals (it nearly died of debt five years ago), is showing signs of renewed vigor with something called the Central Heating Lab, led by Carlo Scandiuzzi...

The Heating Lab promises something vital, something regional theaters have conspicuously lacked—a nimble, populist wing that can absorb the best local theater, dance, and literature, and put it onstage. Its genius has been to yank off the "events" blinders and start subtly programming a kind of counterseason for a whole other audience: the younger kind that likes to buy single tickets and doesn't think Alan Ayckbourn comedies about middle-aged couples having affairs are all that funny.

Coming in the next few months under the Lab's rubric: comedy by Black Daisy, Dart-Mondo, and Andy Haynes; music by "Awesome"; dance by Julie Tobiason (of Pacific Northwest Ballet); and The Adding Machine, the first production by New Century Theatre Company (the fledgling collective started by actor Paul Morgan Stetler, playwright Stephanie Timm, Stranger Genius Amy Thone, et al.).

When asked what the hell was wrong with the old managing director, ACT board president Brad Fowler was circumspect: "We were pleased with Kevin, he addressed the things we needed to focus on as we moved forward," and so on.

Fowler parried for several minutes: "But why did he step down?"

"He thought he could serve better as a consultant."

"So what was he doing that wasn't so great?"

"We were pleased with his performance."

A master of elision.

Anyway, congratulations Carlo. And congratulations ACT.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Curious Cat Gets Stuck in Mason Jar

posted by on July 23 at 3:28 PM

"Firefighters Lube Jar, Guide Cat's Head Out"


" remains a mystery how his head got in the jar."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Clowns Sue Seattle Rep

posted by on July 3 at 4:23 PM


Yuri and Dmitri Kuklachev are a father-son team of Russian clowns and proprietors of a cat circus called Moscow Cats Theater. They began training cats in 1977, were one of the first Soviet-era performers to tour the United States, and are famous in 80 countries. They've won awards, been commemorated on stamps, and are beloved by children, grandmas, and cat fanciers everywhere.

Last year, Yuri and Dmitri toured the United States and performed at the Seattle Rep.

Except they didn't.

The Russian clowns who performed at the Rep last April were, apparently, impostors. (Copycats, if you will. And you will.) According to a lawsuit filed by the real Yuri and Dmitri Kuklachev, the impostors stole the real Russian clowns' names, clothes, and hairstyles and toured the country as the Moscow Cats Theater.

The Russian clowns are pissed. They've filed a suit in New York against the impostors, the impostors' U.S. promoter (Mark Gelfman), and every theater where the impostors performed, including the Seattle Rep.

"We don't know anything about this," the Rep's communications director, Ilana Balint, said this afternoon. "We haven't been served any papers."

"Well, they're gonna get served papers today or Monday," said the Russian clowns' lawyer, Gary Tsirelman. "We're just beginning a lengthy process."

The Russian clowns have filed the suit in Brooklyn and are suing for: "federal and common-law trademark infringement, false endorsement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, dilution of a famous trademark, and violations of anti-cybersquatting law, rights of publicity and privacy, fraud, conversion, prima facie tort and unjust enrichment."

(Tsirelman was referred to the Russian clowns by a colleague. "They needed a vulture in court," Tsirelman said, "someone very vicious who does not take no for an answer. They said, 'find us the biggest a-hole out there.' And that was me.")

Some history: The Russian clowns have been doing their cat-circus act since 1977. Sometime in the 80s, an assistant stole the Russian clowns' act, names, costumes, and hairstyle, and tried to tour the USSR. Soviet police eventually shut them down.

Fast forward to December 2006: The real Russian clowns finished a real tour of the U.S. and returned to Russia, expecting to come back for another U.S. tour in 2007.

From the complaint: "Within days of Yuri Kuklachev's departure, his [U.S.] promoter, M. Gelfman... secretly filed a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the famous Kuklachev's 'Moscow Cats Theater' mark in his own name." He also bought

Then Gelfman (allegedly) trotted out the impostors, changed their names and dyed their hair, and sent them on the road.

The Russian clowns are currently seeking $10 million in damages, but that might grow—Tsirelman says he's still getting calls from across the country (and the world) from people who saw the ersatz Kuklachevs. "I hear their show was pretty bad," Tsirelman. "A lot of disappointed grandkids."

So why are the Russian clowns suing individual theaters, like the Rep, when the theaters were duped like everybody else?

"Trademark law does not require defendants to have knowledge or intent to deceive," Tsirelman said.

In short: Ignorance is no excuse.

Gelfman and his defense lawyers have not returned requests for comment.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Please Stand By

posted by on June 26 at 10:35 AM

A transformer explosion has disabled our internets. Paul Constant is reading poetry aloud and we may soon resort to cannibalism.

Slog will be slow for a while. Please make a note of it.

Update: We're back.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Water Colors

posted by on June 5 at 12:26 PM

Did you ever eat a bunch of beets, forgot you ate a bunch of beets, then took a piss and thought, "Oh my God, I'm dying—or having my first period! Or something else that's really, really bad!" It's happened to me. It just happened to me. It happens to me almost every time I eat beets. Must stop eating beets.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Seattle Police and FBI Raid Strip Club Offices

posted by on June 2 at 11:23 AM

The Seattle Police and FBI are conducting raids on multiple locations, which appear to be linked to the Colacurcio family.

Members of the Colacurcio family, who own and operate Rick's strip club in Lake City and the nearby Talents West, plead guilty earlier this year to conspiracy charges related strippergate.

The FBI will hold a press conference at the US Attorney's office later today.

More info as this develops.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Subject Line of the Day

posted by on May 6 at 1:27 PM

"Chipotle Launches Naturally Raised Chicken"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Slog T-Shirt Coming Soon

posted by on April 29 at 2:45 PM

Thanks to Jay for the suggestion...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Seahawk Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge

posted by on April 21 at 2:25 PM

Originally posted at 11:49 AM

Seattle Seahawk defensive tackle "Rocky" Bernard was booked into the King County Jail early this morning for a domestic violence related assault. Bernard—whose full name is Robert Eugene Bernard Jr.—was, according to sources, celebrating his birthday at the Ibiza nightclub on 2nd and Yesler.

The Seattle Seahawks have not yet responded to requests for comment.


UPDATE: According to the police report, Bernard got into an altercation with an ex-girlfriend—who is also the mother of his child—while at the club. The report say Bernard punched the 21-year old woman in the forehead, which sent her backwards into a glass divider.

The report says the woman ran out of the club with a friend, and into the friend's car. While the woman was inside the car, Bernard stood against the vehicle, pounding on the windows.

The woman drove to a "safe location" and called 911. Officers called Ibiza to locate Bernard, who was later arrested at the club.

No charges have been filed, but the City Attorney's office says the case should be forwarded to them tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Waterfront Trolley Dead

posted by on April 10 at 8:17 PM

Developer Greg Smith's plan to build a combo trolley maintenance barn/condo/commerical development in Occidental Park (off Pioneer Square) is dead, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis told me. The 130-foot-tall building was intended to serve a rebuild of the ID to Waterfront-Trolley.

Cies told me tonight that the waterfront trolley idea "no longer fit into the city's transportation plan."

He also cited the fact that plans to revamp the viaduct had thrown the waterfront trolley plans into limbo. Also: too expensive.

"It's not in our plans, and we're moving ahead," Ceis says, saying the new priorities were servicing the transportation grid around the viaduct and around light rail through Capitol Hill.