Here’s an amazing story mixed into the hell in Japan.
The life-long rice farmer lived alone in a house, now flooded, when the earthquake and tsunami hit. She told CNN:
“After the tsunami warning, I got on my bicycle, by myself, and rode away.”
Last year I put up my favorite poem by William Butler Yeats. I think a yearly Yeats is appropriate.
Because we love bare hills and stunted trees
And were the last to choose the settled ground,
Its boredom of the desk or of the spade, because
So many years companioned by a hound,
Our voices carry; and though slumber-bound,
Some few half wake and half renew their choice,
Give tongue, proclaim their hidden name — ‘hound voice.’
The women that I picked spoke sweet and low
And yet gave tongue. ‘Hound voices’ were they all.
We picked each other from afar and knew
What hour of terror comes to test the soul,
And in that terror’s name obeyed the call,
And understood, what none have understood,
Those images that waken in the blood.
Some day we shall get up before the dawn
And find our ancient hounds before the door,
And wide awake know that the hunt is on;
Stumbling upon the blood-dark track once more,
Then stumbling to the kill beside the shore;
Then cleaning out and bandaging of wounds,
And chants of victory amid the encircling hounds.
I don’t mean to suggest that all, or most, of the Seattle Police can’t handle a firearm. They’ve all had psychological screening and extensive training. Uniformly, I’ve only had good experiences with Seattle police. But all it took was one bad day for one officer to put a wood carver in the ground. The day would have been better for Williams and for Birk if Birk hadn’t been armed that day. We’re told that these sorts of incidents of police shooting people are inevitable, but if we disarm the sort of people who think “Ian Birk is a good young man” we’ll probably have fewer of those sorts of incidents.
And I know the region has had a spate of police officers murdered recently. There are people gunning for our officers, sadly literally. Still their weapons didn’t save them from those premeditated murders. And in the case of Clemmons, since he took an officer’s gun, he was more dangerous because the police were armed. Shootings of officers in Britain where the police on the street don’t carry weapons is fairly infrequent (obviously there are other reasons).
I’m not arguing there is no place for any police officer in any circumstance to have a weapon. But it should be the exceptional case, not the norm.
You may say, so what? I’ll either be somewhat inconvenienced or I’ll find another route. Yes, you would, but Stefan Sharkansky decided that a mode of transportation he doesn’t like not working perfectly occasionally means that it’s time to pack in this whole public transit experiment.
Because trains are more dependable than cars
“Sounder train between Everett and Seattle canceled for Monday”
If only there was a commuter bus you could take you from Everett to Seattle, this whole post would be a fucking waste of everybody’s time.
There seems to be a lot of that.
My God, occasionally trains get delayed or canceled. Traffic jams literally don’t exist, because otherwise this post is so stupid that you’ll lose fewer brain cells banging your head against a wall while drinking grain alcohol than you would reading it.
As the Sound Transit enthusiasts have been telling us for years, the Sounder is “a dependable, stress-free commute” and a “reliable service”
Compared to driving, it sure is. Seriously, how many traffic jams have there been on I-5 between Seattle and Everett since Sounder opened? Do scientists even know have numbers that reach that high?
The taxes we pay for it are a reliable and dependable outflow.
Roads are literally free.
Illinois has ended their death penalty, making them the 16th state to abolish it. And there’s no reason Washington can’t go next. It’s too late in the legislature this year, but the problems in Illinois are the problems in every state. And while we aren’t offing people at the rate of Texas or Florida, it’s still a stain on us that we do it at all.
So we have a chance to say we believe as a state that we are going to have more compassion, more humanity, more decency than the people on death row. We can say no to an irreversible punishment and yes to our humanity. It’s time to end the death penalty in Washington, and make ourselves number 17.
The Seattle School Board has let Maria Goodloe-Johnson go as superintendent in the wake of the auditor’s report. I don’t know anything about Susan Enfield, who the board chose as interim. I know nothing about the process to pick the next superintendent, but I have a suggestion.
Involve the teachers union as much as possible. They were right about her last year. They’ll be the ones on the ground when further cuts get made, and they’re the ones who will be able to spot any bullshit since it effects them directly. They will know what works best and what doesn’t for their students.
Although you can count me as a supporter, I didn’t make it down to the rally in Olympia for Wisconsin public employees on Saturday. I did manage to get to the walk for choice. And as I’ve done before, here are some of the slogans that were on the signs. As always this isn’t meant to be comprehensive, and if I missed your sign, sorry. Also, most of the signs were in all caps and while that works for signs, I’ve made capitalization, and less frequently punctuation choices for the blog that I hope still capture the meaning of the signs.
– $75 Million for 800 clinics/year = 4 Hours of war
– American freedom – freedom of choice
– Don’t take away my breast exams
– Don’t take away my cancer screenings
– Every child wanted every mother willing
– GOP Cares About:
union members immigrants women teachers fetuses
– Health, safety, & choice for all
– Hey GOP! Where are the jobs? Not in my uterus! Promise!
– I can’t believe I have to protest this
– I stand with Planned Parenthood
– If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention
– I’m a theist for choice
– Keep your laws off my body
– Keep your rosaries off of my ovaries
– My family stands with Planned Parenthood
– Planned Parenthood is the best parenthood
– Roe, Roe, Roe your vote
– Trust Women
– Walk for choice
– We are midwives for reproductive rights
– We have a choice
– We stand with Planned Parenthood
– Women’s rights are civil rights
PS, sorry this is so late.
If you can I’d encourage you to attend one of these rallies Saturday:
The Walk for Choice in Seattle. Noon to 3:00. At Broadway and Pine.
If you’re in or can make it down to Olympia, there’s a rally in solidarity with Wisconsin’s public employee unions. At the Tivoli Fountain. (updated originally had the wrong location, and updated again with a better website).
Patrick O’Callahan of the Tacoma News Tribune has an editorial about public sector unions. Because daily newspapers in this state exist mostly to serve the powerful, he doesn’t like them.
In Wisconsin, the backlash against government unions has taken the form of a GOP drive to repeal collective bargaining for most public-sector employees. Similar drives are happening in other states where Republicans recently won governorships and gained control over legislatures.
In Washington in 2 years it may take the form of Rob McKenna if we’re not vigilant. But of course these types of editorials serve as a test run for their pro McKenna propaganda. So here’s my test run of opposing that bullshit.
This would not be happening if the unions had the support of the public. Many of those unions have forfeited that support by clinging to lush compensation packages at a time when workers in the private sector – including union members – are enduring the toughest economy in generations. A time when public services are being scaled back ruthlessly while generous labor contracts have continued on autopilot.
Yes, if only teachers agreed to live in poverty for the privilege of long hours ensuring the next generation has the requisite skills to survive as adults. If only firefighters would pay for all of their own health care for the honor of saving your life and property. If only police and prosecutors would demand extra, uncompensated work because putting criminals away is just so inherently rewarding. If only doctors and nurses were demanding to pay for their own training. Then perhaps the editorial writers in this state would support them.
Too many examples are found in Pierce County. Although the cost of living has been flat, some union leaders have adamantly rejected pleas to reopen their contracts to reduce “cost-of-living” raises that considerably exceed the actual rate of inflation.
That’s how it’s supposed to work in a healthy economy. Wages are supposed to rise beyond inflation. What do you want all public employees to make, inflation adjusted, the same as they were making in the early days of the Oregon Territory? As if there shouldn’t have been any raise in the standard of living for public employees ever? Come on. That attitude is why we have public employee unions.
County workers saw their compensation increase by 23 percent between 2005 and 2009, when their private sectors saw 14 percent. They’re doing quite well. Yet their leaders last year refused a request to roll back another round of raises, though the rollback would have helped spare county services.
This is such bullshit. This editorial and the thousands of others we’ve read and will read about public sector unions in all the papers across the state never seem to have any suggestions to bump up those numbers for private sector employees. It’s always cited as fucking gospel that the private sector numbers are a fact of nature as immovable as a boulder in your path. But if you believe these numbers and want public and private employees making roughly the same, then you need to figure out how improve the pay of private sector employees. It seems to me that the numbers you’re throwing around are a pretty damn fine case for more and stronger private sector unions.
I can’t believe I’m talking about 2012, but Bob Ferguson threw his hat in the ring for AG so I guess now is as good a time as any. Mostly, I just want to say that there are going to be Democratic primaries in several races, and that’s a good thing. In a lot of executive positions, at least the governor and AG, we’ll probably have more than one Democrat. These primaries have a tendency to get heated.
And thank goodness. Primary elections are the best way we have to clarify what the party stands for. There may be different ideas or perhaps just different emphasis and style. But we’ll get to have a debate about where we want the party to go and how best to achieve it. And all of us who make phone calls or knock on doors or write blog posts and comments or do any of the thousands of things that regular people do in the course of a campaign can all be a part of it in a meaningful way.
Sure we have a platform to work out where we stand officially on issues. And the platform is important. But the truth is that outside of the platform committees at various levels of the state party, people don’t think of the platform very much. You won’t see a headline, “Democrats still support labor rights according to platform” because it’s hardly news.
But you will read plenty of articles about the various stances of candidates, especially for governor. You’ll get to see them debate on TV.
And that media, especially if there’s a legitimate question about who we’re going to nominate, is worth more than whatever the eventual nominee loses by having a negative campaign against them in the primary. The candidates will have time to craft their message on television, reporters will return their calls much earlier, they’ll do stories on them.
All this is to say, we don’t know everyone who will run for governor (although I can make an educated guess about some), but I hope the Democrats resist the urge to clear the deck and unite behind a candidate. We’ll have time to unite around whoever does win a primary, but let’s let the voters decide first.
If I’d told you that Joni Balter had a piece up about an election, would you think, maybe she’s going to write about the bond and levy elections that happened yesterday? Or perhaps the elections this November for Seattle City Council, King County Council, and various other municipalities around the state? 2012, and what the redistricting might do to state and Federal elections here in Washington? What will be the lines of the 10th district? Will she write about how Gregoire’s probable retirement means a reshuffling of the state’s executive branch? The president? No, stupid, none of those things, something that will happen after all of them. She’s writing about the mayor’s race.
It’s summer 2013: The southern half of the Alaskan Way Viaduct came down 10 months ago, creating dust, noise and predictable simmering feuds. But at least the project advanced before a feared earthquake. At Seattle City Hall, the ground rumbles in another way.
Construction projects never have any delays. True fact. Also, did the demolition create predictable simmering feuds, or am I diagramming that sentence wrong?
A humdinger of a mayor’s race is taking place, pitting the biggest foe of the tunnel, Mayor Mike McGinn, against City Councilmember Tim Burgess and state Sen. Ed Murray, two project supporters. As the city keeps growing, the public is comfortable that a tunnel is being built to keep traffic moving.
Remember that list of elections that happens before the one we’re talking about? I’m not sure Burgess wins it. If the cost over runs measure gets on the ballot (a big if), I think a few members lose.
Also, Balter is awful confident that there won’t be any more traffic than when the Viaduct was up. That nobody will feel any ill effects from the tunnel. To be clear, the 2013 tunnel is coming in on time, under budget, and not negatively effecting anyone in this fantasy of hers. Since construction on 1st is already fucking up my commute, I find that tough to believe.
Also, also, humdinger? There are mummies who don’t use that phrase because it’s too passe. Anyway, skipping past bullshit digs at McGinn, we get back to the Burgess.
Burgess skated to re-election to his council seat in 2011 and has been a leader on the viaduct, parking, education, police accountability, the sea wall. Voters lapped up that Families and Education levy he and the mayor worked on in 2011.
Since Burgess in 2011 punts on police accountability and the seawall, it’s tough to imagine why he’ll be taking the lead in 2013. Everyone thinking about running for anything in Seattle will support the Families and Education levy, so I’m not sure why that’s his. On parking he’s mostly modifying McGinn’s proposal, and it will be 3 years old by the time of the election. I’m not familiar with his education plank (or if it’s made up like some of the other things). So mostly that’s things McGinn has done better through 2011. But if you think the tunnel will be made of pixie farts, and not cause any problems then score one for Burgess.
Look, I’m probably McGinn’s biggest supporter among bloggers. I voted for him somewhat reluctantly in the primary, and volunteered for him in the general because I really didn’t like his anti-choice-corporate-bigwig-I’m-going-to-buy-the-election opposition. But I was skeptical that the Mike Bikes thing was real. I was skeptical that he’d pull for the city when things got tough. I was wrong, and he’s the rare breed of politician who has exceeded my expectations.
But I understand that our last 2 mayors lost primaries for reelection. And that not everybody likes his style. So, he could lose. I’d rather someone who loses by doing good for the city than the seat warmers we’ve had for the past 50 years or so.
Anyway the conceit of this piece after I read Balter’s column was to spin out things that could happen to those people that weren’t that much more unlikely. Burgess loses in November, Murray decides to run for governor. And that the Seattle Times folds in early 2013. But the way I wrote it, it’s mostly just Burgess bashing instead. Since I’ve lost the whole thread, I’ll just end here.
Several school and fire districts across the state are having levy and bond elections Tuesday. If you live somewhere holding an election, your ballot should have come in the mail a while ago. You can check what districts are holding elections for King County here. I couldn’t fine a statewide list, but will happily add one if someone knows about it.
Erica C. Barnett, News Editor at Publicola.net
Riz Rollins, DJ at KEXP
Sally Clark, Seattle City Councilmember
Lindy West, Writer for The Stranger
Name and a job title. Simple. But when it gets to Goldy:
David Goldstein, HorsesAss.org
I would have gone with writer. Or if whoever wrote that was feeling ambitious, publisher. But I guess not. Anyway, come on down and say hi to him and to me (I’ll be paying like the rest of you).
A few months ago, I wrote that Seattle should elect our city council by districts. Hey, maybe I’d know who represented me instead of it being everyone and no one. But as the legislative session started, I wondered why all of the Seattle legislators seem so willing to go along with the cost overruns provision of the tunnel. not to mention their support of this project that will increase traffic on surface streets downtown and eliminate the downtown exits (making my bus ride through the free ride area longer, as well as making it tougher to drive around). Surely the people who represent Downtown should join the mayor and should lead the effort to oppose the tunnel, or at least the cost overruns.
But if you look at the districts, it turns out nobody really represents downtown. The urban core is split into 3 districts. So the 36the represents the Northern part of Belltown, but its legislators represent Ballard, so it’s sort of understandable that they’d support the tunnel (even though I’m not sure it’s as good for Ballard as advertised; if people want to go from Ballard to Downtown, a tunnel sans exits doesn’t exactly help).
The 37th represents Pioneer square and SoDo, and while there’s no real reason for the legislators from the 37th to support the tunnel, their district sprawls pretty far South. So I can understand why they wouldn’t think of downtown issues as their issues.
The space between Belltown and Pioneer Square is represented by Capitol Hill legislators in the 43rd District. Those legislators should worry about what losing capacity on 99 will do to I-5 (I do too,and I’m a big supporter of Surface/Transit/I-5). If done right, S/T/I-5 could get significant numbers of people out of their cars. But if done wrong (basically not investing in transit or improvements to I-5), it could clog I-5, and push a lot of cars to the surface streets. And if we’re honest, the anti Seattle legislature could easily not do things right. I understand their pushing the extra cars on the surface to downtown as opposed to further East.
So I sort of get why no legislator has taken the lead in opposing the tunnel and the cost overruns provision. The most logical people to oppose them also represent neighborhoods with the most potential downside to the tunnel alternatives. And the other districts that will be hurt by a tunnel also represent a significant portion of non-downtown Seattle.
And while the tunnel is the most conspicuous issue, there are quite a few issues in the legislature that effect downtown residents, and where nobody really takes the lead. So there isn’t a legislator who’s taking the lead on the state parts of McGinn’s nightlife initiatives. And while we’ve got some good legislators on public transportation, density, and biking, it’s decidedly a mixed bag.
This could be improved by anchoring a district in the urban core. It seems to me that most of the people who live in the large chunk of blocks where you pay for parking (pdf), or at least most of the contiguous ones, share a common set of needs from the legislature that people in largely single family homes further from the urban core don’t.
And I know that any redistricting is going to make legislative seats that is cut some neighborhoods, or cities in strange ways; there are only so many ways to cut up the map. Still, there are 2 districts that represent Greenlake (43rd and 36th), and those same 2 districts also represent Belltown. So there is room for improvement. Combining the parts of the 36th, 43rd, and 37th districts that constitute the urban core would give downtown residents a voice in Olympia we don’t have now.
This post has been corrected because I mislabeled one of the districts.