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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Avian Souls

posted by on October 30 at 8:59 AM


A very old flamingo was attacked by young humans:

Four Australian teenagers have been charged with an attack on an almost blind greater flamingo, thought to be one of the oldest of its kind alive.

Police and zoo officials said the flamingo's head and beak were injured and it was bleeding from an eye.

The bird, aged at least 75 years, is in a critical condition, zoo staff said.

The bird has been at the zoo for most of its life and, with its Chilean partner, has been one of Adelaide zoo's most popular exhibits.

The old bird has a Chilean partner. My heart just broke.

For reasons that are not easy to explain, the sad business recalled this passage in Swann's Way:

I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognised their voice the spell is broken.

The Morning News

posted by on October 30 at 8:45 AM

Just Like the End of Daddy’s Term: The gross domestic product shrank this summer, the Commerce Department reports, indicating the recession has already begun. It’s the first drop in consumer spending since George H.W. Bush screwed things up in 1991.

And the Winner Is: Exxon reports a record 58-percent jump in profits over the summer—while the rest of the country was tanking—thanks to inflated prices for oil and gasoline.

Orchestrated Uprising: Syria’s government stages massive protest of civilians and a family killed by the US. The US, of course, says they were militants.

Aerial Attack: Obama makes 30-minute television pitch to reassure voters that black men have equally stuffy offices as white men. Liberal analysis. Conservative analysis.

Maybe It Has Something to Do With Sending Those Guys to Senseless Deaths in Iraq? US army to spend $50 million studying why the suicide rate is rising among recruits.

Poll Position: Obama’s poll numbers gain in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina. He doubles lead in Colorado.

Deposition: Dino Rossi’s attorneys whine about being intimidated while blocking meaningful testimony about Rossi’s allegedly illegal campaign tactics.

Five Dollar Bus Fares, Here We Come: King County Metro considers cuts and raising fares—again—to make up for $83-million budget shortfall.

Same Story, Different Agency: Seattle school board agrees to close schools around the city due to $24-million budget shortfall and declining enrollment.

Oversharing: Obama hits back on charge that he’s a socialist: “By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten."

Back Door Intruders: Three gay-rights activists with the group Soulforce arrested in Texas for visiting the Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Baiting: Phony gay organization dispatches robo calls to South Carolina to instigate gay baiting and pro-life backlash against a Democratic candidate.

Tone Deaf: Rather than fixing our backward noise ordinance, reversing his anti-nightlife agenda, or blocking Tom Carr’s bullshit crusade of liquor raids that don‘t hold up in court, Greg Nickels vows to support Seattle’s music scene by holding a vacuous press conference about what a swell music scene we have. "Austin does such a great job of talking about their city as a live music capital, but they really don't have that much on us, except that they talk about it a lot," said Nickels. "So I think there's a lot we can learn from other cities.”

Retracting: ABC News withdraws Palin statement that she was looking beyond this election and toward a bid in 2012. “ABC issued a revised release after the McCain campaign clarified Palin's comment.”

Releasing: Kevin Smith’s "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" blows into theaters Friday.

Hump! The winners, those titillating sinners.

Now, Even Lazier: Netflix will begin streaming movies to some TiVo users by the end of the year.

Too Little too Late? Opponents of Tim Eyman’s I-985, which opens HOV lanes and shuffles transportation spending, release radio ad and leaflets.

Sweet Hoax: Times and PI are the innocent victims of a “publicity stunt” after receiving envelopes of anthrax that were, in fact, packets of sugar.

Tube of Terror: Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman!

What's That Definition of Insanity Again?

posted by on October 30 at 8:40 AM


The sharp decline in gasoline use earlier this year—with volume down nearly 10 percent in some weeks—suggested to many people, including the automobile companies, that a permanent change in American habits might be at hand. But with gasoline prices falling drastically in recent weeks, some American drivers are returning to their old ways.


With auto companies closing factories that produce sport utility vehicles in favor of smaller, gas-efficient cars, it may be hard to veer back to the gas-guzzling days very quickly. But Dan Lopez, business manager at the Ford dealership in the Louisiana town of Sulphur, near here, says he has already noticed a shift. Truck sales froze over the summer, he said, but now “some people are gradually getting back into the truck market. We’re used to the comforts, frills and whistles, and so if gasoline goes down to a reasonable level, people will not stay in a little boxy fuel-efficient car.”

Because, hey, if there's any lesson we can draw from current economic conditions—stock markets, currency markets, commodity markets—all the trends we're seeing are basically stable. It's not we've seen a lot of volatility out there, right? So now that gas prices are trending down it's a pretty much a sure thing that they'll keep heading south.

Heck, gas will be free by Christmas and the oil companies will be paying us to take the stuff off their hands by Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is UW Going Red?

posted by on October 29 at 10:41 PM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

I just spent most of my evening at a debate on-campus between representatives from the Young Democrats and from the College Republicans. It is no secret that being an unpaid intern at The Stranger leads directly to such red-carpet events. No one else, besides those also attending, can say that the highlight of their evening was hearing a suit-wearing College Republican debater say, in front of a lecture hall full of people, that "we have our own George Bush here in Washington and her name is Christine Gregoire." He was not joking.

I attended the debate to get some sense of the student reaction to The Daily's endorsement for Dino Rossi. The endorsement was not mentioned once, by either side, during a nearly two hour debate focusing on education and the budget in Washington. There were over 100 people in the audience. Somebody must have an opinion on the endorsement.

"Going to a university, it feels like it's mostly against the general opinion," says Patrick, a College Republican attending the debate. "It feels like they thought about it. It's the right choice." Another College Republican standing with Patrick said that he supported Rossi because he has younger sisters. So do I. I don't support Rossi. Did I miss something?

Kat, an undergraduate double-majoring in Economics and Law, Societies, and Justice, says that she hadn't heard about the endorsement. A Young Democrat, Kat explained that she "didn't think people read The Daily for hard facts; just, you know, for sports." Well, I'm after hard facts. So, I went to the office of The Daily to get a sense of the general feedback the paper has been experiencing after their endorsement.

"It's been a challenging day," says The Daily's Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Jeglum. "It was a long decision [and] we talked about all the issues." When asked which, if any, specific issue was focused on the most, Jeglum responded that the editorial board "tried to focus on budget issues." The endorsement, which appeared in this morning's edition, can be read here.

Today's endorsement does not represent a tidal shift in campus politics. Jeglum writes in her letter from the editor:

As a newspaper, our job is to provide information that can aid informed decision-making, and like all endorsements, the editorial board’s decision was a reflection of the members of the board, not the entire Daily staff.

Jeglum emphasized during my interview that if The Daily's editorial board "had made a decision based on majority opinion [she] would not be proud."

It is interesting that the "majority opinion" is conventionally judged to be so palpably liberal on the University of Washington's campus. I admit I was surprised to read this morning's endorsement but should I have been? After all, The Seattle Times endorsed Rossi and they're a newspaper too. Are the political expectations of a student newspaper on a major college campus different than large, privately run newspapers?

King County Wants You To Take Up a Life of Crime

posted by on October 29 at 3:17 PM

If you've always dreamed of quitting your job to become a petty criminal or drug dealer but haven't yet gathered up the chutzpah to finally flip off your boss and walk out the door, now might be the time.

Because of a massive, sucking hole in King County's budget, a number of agencies have been asked to make drastic cuts to staff, work hours and services.
As Erica C. Barnett posted last week, domestic violence and public health programs are getting the axe, and agencies like the King County Prosecutor's office are completely revamping and rethinking how to prosecute crimes through the next budget cycle.

In August, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg sent a memo to law enforcement agencies laying out the county's plans for coping with with an 11% budget cut.

In the letter, Satterberg told police and prosecutors that a number of smaller property crimes and drug crimes valued under $1,000—such as theft, forgery, possession of stolen property, malicious mischief, insurance fraud, organized retail theft, burglary, identity theft and money laundering—would be kicked down to municipal courts around the county.

"It puts us in a difficult position but we’re going to do what we can," says City Attorney Tom Carr. "The mayor refused to budget for these additional cases. We’re kind if caught in the middle."

In 2003, KC decided to stop handling "trace drug paraphernalia" cases, and the city picked up the slack. Carr says that city prosecutors expected to receive about 150 drug cases in the first year, but ended up flooded with an additional 900.

The county has projected it will hand over about 1,200 petty theft cases to city courts this year, but with the economy in the shitter, there's always the chance that prosecutors could see a higher number of theft cases. "I’m very concerned about my staff and their ability to do their job," Carr says.

The budget has also forced the county to cut drug diversion and mental health court programs and under the new filing standards, you can get busted with up to 3 grams of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine, 20 ecstasy pills, 50 prescription pills, 100 grams of pot or 12 plants and walk away with a gross misdemeanor. Remember, kids: drug dealing is recession proof.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg says about 1,500 drug cases will end up in King County District Court. Is King County finally easing up on drug crime? "Those are decisions I get to make about what our priorities are," Satterberg says. "I think in any evaluation of the work that we do, those cases are going to come out toward the bottom of our priority list. We can achieve significant budget savings but I think it’s...a defensible public policy as well."

Defensible public policy? Sound like King County is giving permission to potheads to start their own grow-ops.

On the other hand, even if you do end up in court, there's still an off chance that KC could screw up and leave you in jail longer than they're allowed to.

The county will soon require employees to take 10-day furloughs (i.e., unpaid vacations), but the prosecutor's office is still going to have to maintain a skeleton crew.

"There’ll still be skeletal operations during the furlough days but that might be 5 percent of the office handling the rush file cases and to do the arraignment calendars and the juvenile stuff," Satterberg says.

"We’re feeling the pinch right now," Satterberg says. "We have taken a 27 [full-time employee] cut. You can’t do everything well when you’re cutting 11 percent out of your budget."

Seriously, America, We're Not the Enemy

posted by on October 29 at 10:06 AM

This NYT story about how the impact of the economic crisis on families in the small town of Manteca, California, pretty much broke my heart....

As the classified ads put it, everything must go. Socks. Christmas ornaments. Microwave ovens. Three-year-old Marita Duarte’s tricycle was sold by her mother, Beatriz, to a stranger for $3 even as her daughter was riding it.

On Mission Ridge Drive and other avenues, lanes and ways in this formerly booming community, even birthday celebrations must go. “It was no money, no birthday,” said Ms. Duarte, who lost her job as a floral designer two months ago. The family commemorated Marita’s third birthday without presents last week, the occasion marked by a small cake with Cinderella on the vanilla frosting....

When life’s daily trappings and keepsakes are laid out for sale on a collapsible table, sentiment is the first thing to go. “The cash helps a lot,” Constantino Gonzalez, Ms. Duarte’s neighbor, said of the family’s second sale in two weeks, in which he and his wife, Julia, were reluctantly selling their children’s inflatable bounce house for $650, with pump.

Since losing his construction job, Mr. Gonzalez, 43, has been economizing, disconnecting the family’s Internet and long-distance telephone service, and barely using his truck and the Jeep.... The inflatable bounce house is the children’s favorite toy, but the family’s $1,800 mortgage payment is coming.... “We need to eat,” Mr. Gonzalez tells his children about selling off their toys.

And then I got to this paragraph:

This is McCain-Palin placard country, where signs for the anti-gay-marriage state ballot measure, “Yes on 8,” pepper the landscape....

Okay, my heart still breaks for those kids in Manteca who're having their tricycles and bouncy houses sold out from under them by their desperate parents. And I shouldn't be surprised to learn, I suppose, that there's a lot of support for Prop 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, in some small town a million miles from anything. But that detail made me want to scream. The religious right goes on and on about the supposed "threat" that same-sex marriage poses to the family. They can never quite tell you precisely how families headed by married same-sex couples threaten the families headed by married opposite-sex couples. But these people fall for it. It's not predatory lending or lax regulations or weakened unions or loose nukes or an immoral health care "system" that functions by denying health care to those who need that keeps them up nights, or has them gathering signatures, writing checks, and passing out yard signs. Nope, it's these three that threaten the family:


Hello? Desperate and broke parents of Manteca, California? You're being played for fools. Same-sex marriage is not a threat to you or your families. The GOP—with its mania for deregulation, its never-ending assault on unions and living-wage jobs, its opposition to a national health care system—is a threat to you and your families.


The Morning News

posted by on October 29 at 8:32 AM

Poll Brother Number One: Surveys show Obama’s lead growing in Ohio and Florida. Another finds him leading with 12 points in Nevada.

Windows Cleaner: Microsoft plans to roll out Windows 7—an operating system less annoying, faster, and more like Mac OS.

Bench Press: Bush has stacked the federal appeals courts with Republican judges tenured for life, who have already made conservative rulings, including an anti-free-speech, anti-choice ruling in South Dakota. Those appeals courts make the final decisions on tens of thousands of cases each year that aren’t taken to the Supreme Court.

Last Gasp: Ted Stevens asks for investigation of the prosecutors in case that found him guilty.

More Like the Pied Piper: Republican Party sees Sarah Palin as its future leader.

Elephant in the Room: Republican Party urges voters to support Ted Stevens, while McCain and Palin urge him to withdraw. Stevens may be barred from voting for himself—because, after all, he's now a convicted felon.

Bullhorn: Obama’s 30-minute infomercial airs tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on three networks and four cable channels. It may preempt the World Series for 15 minutes. He will also appear on The Daily Show.

Rubble: Six-point-five magnitude earthquake in Pakistan kills over 150 people.

Like Two Fish and Five Loaves of Bread: The story of Amanda Knox continues, as she and her ex boyfriend are ordered to stand trial for a killing in Italy. An alleged accomplice was sentenced to 30 years for the same murder.

Tower of Glower: Breakaway South Lake Union group unveils plans for shorter development in the neighborhood.

Not Really an “Either” “Or” Question: Seattle Times pits buses versus light rail. Next week, food versus water.

Dow or Never: Stock exchanges jump 10 percent in anticipation of federal interest-rate cut.

Butts and Bats: Mooning leads to beating in Bellingham.

After leaving the store, all three allegedly broke the store's front window by pressing their bare buttocks against it, mooning the owner and two customers inside.

Two customers inside Access Comics at the time, a 42-year-old Bellingham man and a 19-year-old Blaine man, ran after them. One had grabbed a baseball bat from the trunk of his car, Felmley said.

They allegedly took turns beating two of the men with the baseball bat, Felmley said. The third man escaped unharmed.

Suicide: Man found in the Marion Apartments fire shot himself.

Florida Keys: Black voters in Florida fear their votes won’t be counted—again. “I don’t believe the machines work properly in general, and they really don’t work properly when they think you’re voting for Obama.”

Washington Absentees: One-quarter of Washington’s voters have already returned their ballots.

He’s Finally Lost It: Frank Chopp, the speaker of the state House, is still pushing a plan to replace the viaduct with a freeway that runs through the middle of a four-story shopping mall.

Tube of Terror: Slog makes it over the hump with the terrifying intro theme to Small Wonder. "She's fantastic... made of plastic."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Down

posted by on October 28 at 5:20 PM

A good chunk of Rudy Guede's life will be spent in prison (30 years to be exact--Rudy is the African who thinks he is African American). As for Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito, they will stand trial for the Kercher murder.

The judge at the court in Perugia also ruled that there was sufficient evidence available for Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito to stand full trial for Kercher's murder.

Knox, 21, a US student, and Sollecito, 24, an Italian IT graduate, were
accused of having killed Kercher in the course of a sex game that went wrong, alongside Rudy Hermann Guede, 21.

It's more and more looking like the year that Seattle sees the return of Amanda will be a year that's far in the future.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on October 28 at 5:08 PM


Detectives have arrested an Auburn woman accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill the father of her child, his wife and his parents by beating them to death with a piece of re-bar.

The motive, Auburn police believe, was the couple's custody dispute.

Finger Linking Good

posted by on October 28 at 4:51 PM

This story isn't about prostate exams, but a prostate-cancer-prevention supplement—one taken orally, not digitally. So what's with the illo?


The Morning News

posted by on October 28 at 8:28 AM

Delusional Asswipe: Joe the unlicensed, tax-evading plumber considers run for Congress.

One More Seat for the Dems: Convicted of seven felonies for ethics violations, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens vows to pursue his “rights" and continue running for reelection.

Sparked: Marion Apartments fire was set deliberately. Fire came from the first floor--where the only resident lived.

Squeaky Wheels: Boeing machinists reach tentative deal for 15-percent pay raise to end 53-day strike.

Circle Game: Some macho, overpaid coach leaves the UW in disgrace, to be replaced by another macho, overpaid coach who will also leave in disgrace.

Because Nothing Is More Threatening Than Villagers: US says air attack on Syrian village—killing civilians and a family—was intended “to clean up the global threat.”

Herbal Remedy: Canadian court opens up medical marijuana market to private producers.

Justice Is Blood: Amanda Knox verdict expected today.

Homes Cool: US home prices take record dive—16.6 percent from last year.

Crazy Fucker: Man playing dead on University Bridge tries to rape Good Samaritan.

When the woman approached, he "sprang up violently and attacked her, at one point pinning her to the roadway beside her car," according to court documents. Police say he threatened to kill the woman.

A man driving by told officers he saw the woman pinned with the man against her chest, his pants down. The attacker had a knife in his right front coat pocket, according to police.

It Had to Be Someone Else: Parents plead not guilty--saying they weren’t the ones who locked up their 14-year-old daughter and starved her until she was only 48 pounds.

Tube of Terror: Halloween week of freaky television themes rolls on with Punky Brewster.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 27 at 8:11 AM

Purged: Fifty-thousand Georgia voters flagged for removal from voter rolls due to computer error.

Burned: One dead after fire ravages a four-story apartment building on Capitol Hill. A neighborhood activist had recently delayed plans for a new building on the site by appealing the permit to the city.

Found: Body of a black boy, possibly Jennifer Hudson’s missing nephew, found in SUV on Chicago's West Side this morning.

Senior Moments: Long hours lead to McCain fumbles on the campaign trail.

October Surprise: Gas prices take record drop before record election.

November Prediction: Over 20 percent of voters says race is a factor in their vote.

Fatal Error: US agents kill eight civilians in Syria, including a family of five. Pentagon claims US was after "foreign fighters."

Abort, Retry, Fail: Microsoft discovers cloud computing—using lots of small computers collectively—like Google has been doing for years.

Clinging to Guns and Textbooks: Two shot dead at University of Central Arkansas.

Insignificant: Home sales up in short-term—still in the toilet in the long-term.

Mile High Point: Obama draws over 100,000 to rally in Denver.

Turtle Power: City council braces for theatrics at tonight’s public budget hearing.

Plane Jane: US replacing air strikes by commandos with aerial drones inside Pakistan. But the US says drones unable to weaken Al Qaeda.

No Wuss in Boots: More reasons to vote for the Democrat for Lands Commissioner.

Burb Bucks: Bellevue considers a $40 million parks levy. The biggest portion, $10 million, would buy lakefront property.

Shaved by the Bell: Facing a $24 million shortfall, Seattle school superintendent wants to close more schools by September.

Tube of Terror: Slog's Halloween week of terrifying television-show intros begins with All Creatures Great and Small:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Drums of Doom

posted by on October 26 at 8:06 PM

Due to financial stresses, the Seattle Rep is closing its Three Musketeers a week early, according to a source affiliated with the theater. The new close date is November 9.

This is the first in what will surely be a litany of closures, cancellations, and upheavals in Seattle theater for the next several years.

Just a few days ago, Rep managing director Ben Moore told me that by next year, the Rep would be a "different organization." He said he has been in the theater business for 40 years, and that "people who should be in the know" say this is the worst economic forecast they've ever seen.

He suggested that if the Rep could make changes to its organization and production schedule now, it would. But, being in the middle of a season, it has to make good on its commitments.

Looks like things have worsened in those few days.

Incidentally, Jane Zalutsky, the president of the Rep's board, is a vice-president at the newly bankrupt WaMu.

The Wanting of Beautiful Sex

posted by on October 26 at 10:40 AM

Let's return to Italy...
610x-2.jpg Amanda's prison cell:

Murder suspect Amanda Knox claims she is living in terror after female cellmates demanded sex with her in jail.

American-born Knox, 21 - accused of slitting British student Meredith Kercher's throat in Italy - says she has been repeatedly molested and propositioned during her year in custody awaiting trial.

In leaked tapes of conversations with her parents, she says she was sexually attacked by a burly cellmate called Rosa, serving a life sentence for murder.

Knox, nicknamed Foxy Knoxy, said: "They all want me because I'm beautiful. She asked me to have sex."

Sex is a force that can get to the core of any situation that Amanda is in. Even religion cannot stop this ancient and carnal power.

[I]t also emerged that Knox's feet had been washed and kissed by an archbishop as part of a local church festival.

The Morning News

posted by on October 26 at 8:46 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

US Supports Lebanon: Military resupplied.

Early Voting: Court rejects Republican challenge.

Building Delays: Over two dozen local projects put on hold.

Sick Politics: Iranian President exhausted.

Special Operations: US considers sending special ops to Afghanistan.

Extra Toppings: Marijuana served with taco.

Fake Accident: Reports of bicyclist faking an accident at University Bridge.

Seattle Basketball: NBA team by 2010.

Experimenting: New sex study in Britain.

Daily Palin: GOP VP candidate suggests Obama's tax policies will make Americans less free.

Downtown Shooting

posted by on October 26 at 1:23 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Shots were fired on the corner of Pine and 2nd around 8pm, last night. The dispute appeared to be over $40 dollars. Details come from Robert Foley III, witness on the scene: "I heard two men arguing over $40. I walked 20 feet past them and heard a shot fired."

Pedestrians in the vicinity scattered after the shot was fired. An African-American male involved in the dispute was seen chasing another African-American male through a parking lot on Pine and 2nd immediately after the shot was fired.

This is not the first incident this year to occur at this location.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 25 at 8:44 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Team Obama: Jinx?

"Refound Capitalism": Venezuela invites world governments.

China Satellite: The Star Wars we've been waiting for?

Ashley "B On My Cheek" Todd: $50,000 bail.

Palin Tension: She's now "relying on her own instincts."

Lieberman on Palin: "Let's hope she never has to be ready."

Traffic Problems: McCain's brother drops out of campaign after calling 911 to complain about traffic.

Feds Criticize I-985: Could cost state millions.

Mariners: Can Zduriencik make you care?

Alaskan Way Viaduct: Inspection declares Viaduct stable. Jonah reports on a piece getting knocked off earlier this week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This Week in the News

posted by on October 24 at 4:56 PM


In this week's paper: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee talked to a one-woman crusader against military recruiting at Seattle parks facilities; I busted a prominent Democratic consultant for doing work for Republicans on the side; Eli wrote about your election fears; and I took a closer look at the "nonpartisan research group" that's been blasting light rail (their board is made up exclusively of--surprise!--Republicans).

On Slog:

• I did an analysis of Metro's proposed cuts to bus service on Rainier Ave. S (which I also wrote about in detail here).

• Eli Sanders took a look at the college-degree-related accusations and counteraccusationsflying back and forth between the Burner and Reichert camps, and concluded that no one came away from the silly debate unscathed.

• Except maybe the Seattle Times, which I charged did everything it could to make Reichert look good and Burner look bad.

• I reported on the mismatched debate between Kemper Freeman and Greg Nickels over Proposition 1, the light-rail measure (and laughed at a campaign flyer that was probably only funny to me).

• Eli reported on some poll numbers that look good for Gregoire, bad for other Washington State Dems.

• Dominic Holden reported on the failure of the 37th District Democrats to endorse Prop. 1, which would fund new transit access in their district.

• I reported on some help Democratic candidate Reuven Carlyle's been getting from two big-business organizations.

• Dominic wrote about an innovative project by the developers who did the buildings housing Cafe Presse and Osteria La Spiga.

• Jonah Spangenthal-Lee reported on the death of a concrete ramp used by skaters at the Wall of Death, an art installation on the Burke-Gilman Trail.

• Dominic got all hot and bothered about the defacing of a historic downtown building, which could be replaced by yet another tower.

• Nudity: OK indoors, not OK in the great outdoors.

• Jonah wrote about some drunk dumbasses (or dumb drunkasses?) who played golf in the street and got arrested.

• I posed the timeless question, "What the hell is wrong with South Dakota?"

McCain Headquarters AWOL

posted by on October 24 at 3:13 PM

Posted By News Intern Aaron Pickus

I came across a revealing voice-mail message while investigating possible party plans. If you choose (for whatever subversive reason) to call the McCain/Palin campaign headquarters in Bellevue, you will be treated to this message:

The mailbox of the person you are calling is currently full and cannot accept new messages. Please try your call again later. Thank you.

Dial tone.

The Morning News

posted by on October 24 at 7:24 AM

Don't Call It a Comeback: For the first time in 30 years, companies looking to build new nuke plants.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to the Gas Station: OPEC may cut oil output.

But Will He Get the All-Important Weekly World News Endorsement? New York Times endorses Obama.

They Wouldn't Be In This Mess If She'd Just Worn Animal Pelts: McCain comments on Shoppinggate, prattles on about how Palin's clothes will be donated to charity.

This Can Only Be the Result of Abstinence Only Education: 50 students at Missouri high school may have contracted HIV.

Double Burn: Darcy Burner pushes ahead in the polls, Dave Reichert's resume now in question.

Ballin': City wants to divert hotel-tax money to attract a new NBA team.

Told You So: Rays tie things up, win game two of the World Series.

Watch this again. And weep.

Bonus: This one's for you, Cookie W. Monster

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fearless Vampires

posted by on October 23 at 11:07 AM

Entering this crime that involves an American (who has German blood), a Brit (who is part Indian), a Congolese gentleman (who is married to a Polish woman), a man from the Ivory Coast (who thinks he is black American), and another man from Southern Italy (who looks like he's from Northern Italy), and the king of Hades, Diavolo...
Amanda-Knox-460_999114cc.jpg the Japanese vampires enter:

A Japanese comic featuring vampires inspired a suspect in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, an Italian prosecutor has said...

An Italian court heard this week that Miss Kercher had 43 knife wounds...

...Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini claimed a "manga" magazine, featuring vampires and found in Mr Sollecito's house, inspired the murder.

Manga comics are often associated with science fiction and fantasy, commonly with violent or explicitly sexual content.

The crime was committed on November 1, 2007, the day after Halloween, the day after Meredith Kercher (the murdered woman) was herself dressed like a vampire.

The Morning News

posted by on October 23 at 7:34 AM

“I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks": Sarah Palin's $150,000 mistake.

School's Out Forever: US missile strike hits school in Pakistan.

2,500: That's how many people are on the no-fly list.

Don't Worry, Rays Fans, the Curse Will Kick In Soon: Phillies take first game of World Series.

Mayor Nickels Hates Skateparks: Why else would he vote "no" on the parks levy?

Burn: Seattle Times claims Darcy Burner lied about her Harvard degree, Daily Kos calls bullshit.

Think of the Children: Seattle School District might close more schools.

Broken Axl: 17 years and $13 million dollars later, Guns n' Roses will (allegedly) release a new album next month.

I'm totally hanging out with this dude on Saturday:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 22 at 7:17 AM

Survey Says: Obama's got a 10-point lead on grampa.

Housing Market Mess: Will a foreclosure bailout work?.

I'm Voting for Scarlett Johannsen: WSU study says celebrities DO impact voting trends.

Fly Me to the Moon: India gets in to the space travel business.

Proposition K: Measure to "legalize" prostitution in San Francisco goes to voters next month.

"It's a Recipe for Disaster": King County Council Member Reagan Dunn warns budget cuts could cause a crime wave.

Want to Buy That Special Someone an Endangered Species for X-mas? Look no further than the internet.

Now here's a raccoon stealing a doormat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 21 at 7:39 AM

Detour: Obama cancels campaign events to visit ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

The Good, The Bad: Plummeting oil prices may disrupt Iran, Venezuela and Russia's plans for world domination. Oh, and that oil price slump is also hurting the alternative energy market.

Hot Terrorist Phone Sex: NSA investigating whether government eavesdropped on phone sex, intimate conversations between soldiers, aid workers, journalists.

But Did They Include A Deposit Slip? Five Chase banks receive threats, white powder in the mail.

Burst Bubble: Woman suffering from "environmental illness" ordered to leave her bubble house.

Maybe He's Setting Up A Vacation Home: Bush decides to keep Guantanamo open.

Best Heist Ever: Jamaican thieves steal a beach.

Get Ready For Another Dino Attack Ad: Gregoire's budget freeze could have an impact on state's universities.

The Replacements: Seattle U's basketball team to fill in for Sonics at Key Arena.

In Case You Hadn't Noticed: The Seahawks are fucking terrible this season. With 49er's coach Mike Nolan gone, could The Walrus be headed back to San Francisco? Internet speculation has already begun.

And because I'm tired of posting '08 videos, it's time for some cute animal clips!

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Last Week in the News

posted by on October 20 at 10:35 AM

(Due to a flu that knocked out damn near all the editorial staff, including me, this week's Week in the News is a Monday edition.)

Last week's print-edition news section was devoted entirely to election endorsements, including our handy, printable, set-it-next-to-your-ballot-when-you-vote cheat sheet. Elsewhere in the paper, Eli Sanders wrote about the distinct possibility that Washington State will elect Obama--and still send several Republicans to high state and federal offices.

Meanwhile, on Slog: I posted video of the Stranger Election Control Board's interview with Tim Eyman; Dominic Holden reported on a lawsuit filed by Magnolia NIMBYs to keep housing for the homeless out of Discovery Park; I wrote about yet another bizarre kerfuffle among the 36th District Democrats, this one about the language on the sample ballot; Dominic gave props to City Council Member Sally Clark for moving forward on two important housing bills; I reported on Bellevue land mogul Kemper Freeman's $100,000 contribution to the anti-mass-transit campaign (which has all of ten contributors); Dominic reported on layoffs at innovative architecture and development firm Pb Elemental; I wrote about King County Executive Ron Sims's announcement of major budget cuts and layoffs at the county; Dominic reported on efforts to preserve historic buildings in the Pike-Pine neighborhood; I gave a brief guide to some important, but low-profile, races on this year's ballot; and Eli went to Tacoma to cover Joe Biden's 12,000-person rally at Cheney Stadium.

Oh, and Jonah Spangenthal-Lee was on vacation.

The Morning News

posted by on October 20 at 7:52 AM

How Healthy Is Your Candidate? The NYT digs into McCain, Obama and Biden's medical records.

Colin Bomb: Colin Powell endorses Obama.

Some Serious Change: Obama raises record $150 million in September.

And You Think Waiting Room Lines Are Long Now: China plans to provide universal healthcare to 1.3 billion people by 2020.

Catch Me If You Can: FBI's white collar crime division reportedly undermanned, may not be equipped to investigate fraud linked to current economic clusterfuck.

Sorry, Joe, That Smell Doesn't Wash Off:
12,000 people flock to Joe Biden rally in Tacoma.

You Can Stop Hiding Your Money Under Your Mattress Now: Suspected serial bank robber turns himself in to Seattle police.

Sox Knocked Off: Tampa Bay Rays beat stupid, stupid Red Sox, head to World Series.

Now, here's footage of John McCain's brutal interrogation. By David Letterman.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

For Sale

posted by on October 19 at 6:30 PM

The Windermere listing of former WaMu chief Stephen Rotella’s Capitol Hill home doesn't include an address or a picture of the front of the $6.25 million house. But a Slogger teased out the address—1642 Federal Ave. E.—and so I rode over and took a picture. Nice place, lots of "curb appeal." Can't imagine why they didn't include a photo of the front of the place.


Oh, and there's not a "For Sale" sign out front either.


posted by on October 19 at 11:43 AM

Entering this crime that involves an American (who has German blood), a Brit (who is part Indian), a Congolese gentleman (who is married to a Polish woman), a man from the Ivory Coast (who thinks he is black American), and another man from Southern Italy (who looks like he's from Northern Italy) is someone from the fiery depths of hell...Diavolo:

Italian prosecutors accused American student Amanda Knox, 21, on Saturday of fatally stabbing her British house mate in a Satanic rite and asked a court to put an alleged accomplice in prison for life, defense lawyers said.

What in the world?


posted by on October 19 at 11:01 AM


I'm not sure why the Seattle Times failed to include a link to the real estate listing for former WaMu chief Stephen Rotella's home in their story this morning about its sale. You can check out Rotella's former digs here.

The Morning News

posted by on October 19 at 8:09 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Powell Endorses Obama: It begins.

Obama Raises Record: $150 million in September.

McCain Alleges Scandal: GOP presidential nominee says there are a "lot of strange things going on in [Obama's] campaign."

Communist Obama: Florida Senator calls Obama a communist.

Senator Stevens Testifies: Ornery.

Voter Registration: Thousands incorrectly rejected from registration rolls. Double-check your registration here.

Ex-WaMu CEO Selling House: $6.25 million on Capitol Hill.

Nickelsville Must Move: City threatens U-District church.

Amanda Knox Claims Innocence: Closed-door hearing.

Prehistoric Glue-Sniffers: Trippin' in the Caribbean.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 18 at 7:55 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

The Power of Money: Obama outspends McCain nearly four to one on ads.

Pakistan Helps: US orders 1,000 Humvees from Pakistani company.

Murder Investigation: Six suspects detained in investigation of a Venezuelan opposition student leader.

Sovereign Nation: Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki suggests top US commander in Iraq has jeopardized his position.

WSU Power Scuffles: Provost credentials not independently verified.

Fake Robbery: Failed robbery at North Bend Burger King a fake.

Stabbing: Police search for West Seattle stabbing suspect.

WaMu Implosion/Explosion: Local causes (WaMu Family Fourth, anyone?) may take a hit.

Scientology Hacked: NJ teen charged.

Obama's Drugs: Cindy McCain's lawyer calls for an investigation.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Early Voting In Washington

posted by on October 17 at 3:34 PM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Yes, Washington is full of mail-in balloters, but physical polling sites are not a thing of the past. Not only that, but we also have early voting here in King County! (Who knew?)

Those wishing to vote early in the upcoming election can do so as of this past Wednesday. An entire room has been set aside at the King County Elections office in Renton for citizens who just cannot wait to have their (at least) 18-year-old voices heard. The early voting site is available to residents who are currently registered to vote in Washington State (including those already registered as absentee voters) or anyone who shows up to switch their registered state to Washington. King County Elections Media Coordinator Bobbie Egan encourages all those not already registered to vote, in Washington or otherwise, and those who are just plain impatient to come by the King County Elections office in Renton. The regular office hours are weekdays 8:30am - 4:30pm with extended hours this Saturday from 9:30am - 3:00pm. This Monday, the very very very last day that eligible citizens may register to vote, office hours will be extended from 8:30am - 6:00pm. Egan says that the majority of those voting early are people who came in to register and just couldn't wait to vote. Over 100 citizens have cast their ballots at the early voting site since it opened two days ago. See how exciting and intoxicating it is to participate in our democracy?

This totally free democratic elixir has already been made available in several states. Ben Smith, from, reports on early voting starting yesterday in North Carolina. It is possible that a third of the electorate, predicts Paul Gronke of the Early Voting Information Center, may vote early this election cycle.

The Morning News

posted by on October 17 at 7:20 AM

On Notice: Chicago Tribune drops AP after rate increase.

The children are our future: Anti-drug rally gets students fired up, chanting "Just Say No."

Outpaced: Burner gets more local donations than Reichert.

Censored: College students warned not to forward political commentary through email.

Reassessing: Saint Petraeus says Afghanistan will be "the longest campaign of the long war."

Down: Oil prices go below $70 a barrel.

Up, Down, Up: Dow closes up 400 points after plunging 380 during yesterday's trading.

No Charges: Secret Service says no one yelled "kill him" at Palin rally in Scranton.

Chicago Transit: The most expensive in the US, survey says.

Don't Mess With Mommy: Parents protest mandatory flu vaccinations in New Jersey

Dealing With the Economy: Yet another thing some study says women are doing wrong.

Sen. Stevens: Takes the stand.

Firing Back: Lobbyist sues Gregoire supporters for including him in anti-Rossi ad.

Heavy: Taken together, humans and our domestic animals now outweigh all other animals on earth.

Carnivorous, Leek-Free Recipe of the Day: Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew (Recipe and photo via We Are Never Full)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 16 at 9:48 AM

Mavericky: McCain calls Hillary Clinton for economic advice; gets decidedly cool reception.

Confused: Palin calls New Hampshire "part of the Great Northwest."

No Dice: Nickels can't ban guns in parks, state AG says.

It Could Be Worse: Median home price in Detroit down 57 percent, to $9,250 (!!!!).

Too Thin?*: Nancy Reagan breaks her pelvis.

Can't Get a Break: Jon Bon Jovi becomes at least the sixth artist to protest McCain campaign's use of his music.

War Is Peace: Palin claims "no abuse of power at all" found by report that found "abuse of power."

Tanking: Lousy economy hurts car sales.

*An office poll says that no one remembers what this is a reference to, but I'm including it anyway.

Recipe of the Day: Leek, Tomato, and Blue Cheese Mini Quiches (Recipe and photo via La Tartine Gourmande)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The List of Lovers

posted by on October 15 at 11:38 AM

The most fascinating piece of information in Radar's feature on Amanda Knox, "The Accused":

Another source close to the family says that Knox's first sexual experience came fairly late, while she was a university student, and that she was anything but a "man-eater." Knox wrote that list last winter, says Ciolino, the private investigator, because prison authorities told her on the evening of November 21, 2007, that she had tested positive for HIV and needed to find out who might have infected her. She made the list, says her father, on the advice of a man who identified himself as a prison doctor, because "she was scared out of her mind, and she didn't want to die." She was later told that her blood test had been a false positive, though sources close to the case have said that they believe this was one of Mignini's early tactics to try to find a male sexual partner of Knox's who could provide a link to Kercher's murder.
Giuliano Mignini, the Perugian chief prosecutor, is to Amanda Knox what Count Fosco was to Anne Catherick.

The Morning News

posted by on October 15 at 8:16 AM

Another Day: Another credulous pot bust story.

On Notice: 237 King County employees get layoff slips.

Near Zero: Odds that Hillary will run again.

Less Than Three Weeks to Go: Obama widens lead in four key states.

You Can Say That Again: Palin claims she has "nothing to lose," will keep attacking Obama.

A Sign of Something: National Review boots columnist Christopher Buckley for Obama endorsement.

Charming: Rossi supporter tells protesters who support minimum wage, "Your stupidity is harming my county."

Ah, Youth: Teen changes her name to to protest animal dissections at schools.

Last chance for McCain?: Previewing tonight's presidential debate.

The Company He Keeps: BIAW pumps another $4 million into Republican Dino Rossi's campaign.

Oh, Shut Up: And find some reasons to mock Sarah Palin that don't involve her makeup?

Recipe of the Day: Green Tomato and Zucchini Gratin with Feta Cheese and Oregano (Recipe via the Oregonian)

Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 14 at 8:02 AM

Waaaaah: Rossi claims efforts to make him testify about alleged illegal contributions are "political."

Hey, What About the SECB?: Goldy (credibly) accuses newspapers of favoring incumbents.

90 Percent: Nearly all US voters think the country is seriously off track

Hard Times: County Executive Ron Sims announces 400 job cuts--meaning as many as 250 county employees could lose their jobs.

Uh, Yay?: US to invest $250 billion directly in banks.

At Least Wall Street's Happy: Dow rises 936 points.

"J-O-B-S": Obama proposes a "rescue plan for the middle class."

No Progress: Talks between Boeing and machinists union break down.

Recipe of the Day: 83 East Bay Street Shrimp and Grits (Recipe from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook; photo via Rachel Is Coconut & Lime on Flickr)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 13 at 7:46 AM

Back Burner: Global warming takes a back seat to economic woes.

Up, Up, Up: Obama 10 points above McCain as Republican's favorability ratings fall.

Uh, Thanks?: McCain considers "middle-class" tax cuts on capital gains and dividends.

"A Little Bit": McCain's assessment of how much the economy has hurt his campaign.

Better Luck This Time?: US opts to partially nationalize banks in the wake of $700 billion bailout.

Liar, Liar: Palin makes "flatly false" assertions about Troopergate.

"This Is a Little Hussein": Palin's racist supporters remain racist.

Sexy, Sexy: Breast Cancer?

Hard Choices: King County prepares to announce drastic cuts.

We're Doomed: "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" is No. 1 movie in the US for the second straight weekend.

Recipe of the Day: West Texas Asado (Recipe and photo via Homesick Texan)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 12 at 8:23 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

100 More Days: The end times of President Bush.

Space Travel: US business success Richard Garriott flees crumbling financial institutions.

US and South America: Power play.

Needs of the Pentagon: Pentagon increases estimate of defense spending by $450 billion over next five years.

God Cares: Reverend warms up McCain crowd by praying that the Christian god beat all other gods.

French Intellectuals Defend Porn: "There's a new culture of pornography emerging."

Arctic Battle: Russia continues to expand in the far north.

Allowed to Fail: Seattle high-schoolers may fail for first time in seven years.

Guantanamo Prosecutor Quits: Has grave misgivings. No shit.

Smoking Ban is Real: Two Seattle bars in trouble.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 11 at 7:25 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Bush Tackles Crisis: He promises to fix us.

Portugal: No gay marriage.

Rossi's Rapists: Scared?

UW Police: UW accused of practicing something called "racial and sexual discrimination."

Nicklesville Moves: Homeless campers spruce up U-District.

US v. North Korea: North Korea is no longer a terrorist country.

US losing influence: America's decreased power around the Caspian Sea.

Poor Sports: Real reason for current global crisis is the status of sports in Seattle.

Iran Helps: Iran opens two health clinics in Bolivia.

Comrade Bush: Hugo Chavez welcomes President Bush to socialism.