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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Guest Editorial: We Believe Families and Youth Need the New, Improved Justice Center

Posted by and on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 6:00 AM

The King County Juvenile Detention Center.
  • King County
  • The King County Juvenile Detention Center.

[Yesterday we ran a piece from opponents of the voter-approved plan to upgrade Seattle's juvenile detention center. They argued we don't need juvenile detention at all. —Eds]

As judges, and as people, we embrace the opportunity to work with others to continuously improve our practices until racial disparity is eliminated in the juvenile justice system. The new Children and Family Justice Center approved by voters will provide appropriate court, program, and detention space to accomplish this work.

Let’s be clear about one thing: State law requires the county to operate a juvenile detention center. This is simply not a subject of debate. Having said that, as judges, we strive to detain juveniles as rarely as possible.

As a result of this and efforts at every decision point in juvenile justice system, we’ve seen the incarceration rate of juveniles in the facility drop over the past decade from an average daily population peak of nearly 200 kids to the low 60s. King County now has one of the lowest juvenile incarceration rates of any large county in the nation.

Click to enlarge.
  • King County
  • Click to enlarge.

As the chart above shows, there is a clear connection between King County’s work to address disproportionality and a reduction in court involvement for youth of all races.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Seattle's Second Pot Store Opens Tuesday in the Central District

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 6:49 PM

TK TKT
  • Ansel Herz
  • The menu.

Another legal weed store is (finally) about to open in Seattle. And this time, unlike SODO's Cannabis City, it's a ten minute bike ride away from The Stranger's offices! Plus, it's got everything. Uncle Ike's opens Tuesday at noon at 23rd and Union—2310 E. Union St—offering kush, edibles, cookies, trail mix, pre-rolls, two brands of vape pens, and a second storefront full of colorful pipes and bongs.

Will be there a huge line tomorrow, like on the opening day for pot stores around Washington?

"The truth is we have no idea," says owner and local business magnate Ian Karl Eisenberg. (The name Ike comes from his initials, he's a resident of the neighborhood, and he also owns the nearby building that holds The Neighbor Lady.)

Either way, he says he has enough supply to "stay open forever, I think." He wouldn't be specific about quantities for security reasons, and later clarified that he meant that among the whole product line, he expected to have at least one item in stock at any given time.

AH_Phone_20140929_16_41_00_Pro__highres.jpg
  • Ansel Herz
  • The owner.

The main store is set back from street in a small building that looks like it's made from corrugated steel. Vintage posters from the 1968 film Mary Jane adorn the walls, menus flash on large monitors above the cashiers, and there's an ATM in the corner. Attention Congressman/professional concern troll Dave Reichert: Eisenberg says the state already made him set the cash machine so it doesn't work with welfare EBT cards.

Across the street at the historic barber shop Earl's Cuts and Styles, the barbers and patrons told me they welcomed the new pot shop on what some consider a "cursed" corner. "Get a little something, then get a haircut," said a barber named Stuart Reed. Three guys in Earl's said they hope, though, that Uncle Ike's hires some employees who are black and live in the Central District—and that so far, they hadn't seen any.

Continue reading »

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SL Letter of the Day: Foot Licker

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I'm 25, I'm virgin, and I find quite difficult to relate with girls. My main problem is I can't accept my sexuality and I have never had the chance to explore it. I'm into fetish SM. But it seems like there are two parts of me. The first part of me wants to lick women feet, likes humiliation, and longs to be being humiliated. The second part of me can't accept the first part and I just want to love and to be loved by the girl I am with.

I would say there was nothing wrong if I could just feet lick to get the relationship a bit more "spicy," but the problem is that I think I can't excite myself with the "traditional way." I had few girlfriends in the past and
when was the time to penetrate I got instantly limp.

I'm going to a therapist now. in my past there were issues with parents divorced in a very horrible way and a violent father who did physical and psychological violence. My therapist she said there is Oedipus complex in the air and I could be freed if we work on this. So this is why I hope going away from home things will get a little better. I want to have sons with my future loved woman and, finally, to have sex. Fetishists are considered perverted and mocked in the country where I live in, so it's really difficult to find girls interested in this stuffs to try and explore.

Thanks for your attention and your answer.

Fetishist Exposes Entire Troubles

My response after the jump...

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Facebook's 'Real Names' Threat and How We Should Respond If They Make Good on It

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Forget Spartacus—we are all Vaseline Dion, Della Catessen, Blanche Davidian, Talullah Bunkbed, Wilma Fingerfit, Iona Trailer, and every other hilarious drag name you can think of.
  • Forget Spartacus—we are all Vaseline Dion, Della Catessen, Blanche Davidian, Talullah Bunkbed, Wilma Fingerfit, Iona Trailer, and every other hilarious drag name you can think of.

Hello, everyone following the saga of Facebook's weird plan to erratically enforce its dangerous and discriminatory "real names" policy!

As I mentioned on Slog last week, Facebook has given drag and burlesque performers using "fake names" a grace period that extends until/through the day after tomorrow, after which Facebook has said all such profiles will be deleted. If and when Facebook makes good on this threat, Slog commenter Sevenwithoneblow has pitched an excellent idea for how to respond:

Since FB has made it so easy to shut down "fake name" accounts and will do it with just one report, everybody should just report EVERYBODY. Make it as uncomfortable as possible to make it a nightmare for FB. Say you suspect every name as fake.

Drag queens and activists and whomever else doesn't like this policy should make it EVERYONE'S problem. Report the grandma's and the house husbands and the everyone. If it's enough of a hassle for Joe Lunchpail, they'll have to revisit it. Until it's a mainstream problem, it won't change. And FB has made it easy to make it a mainstream problem.

Sounds like a plan. Dear drag queens enjoying Facebook's grace period for "fake names": Please email me as soon as you learn anything about Facebook making good on their Wednesday deadline. Once we get proof of accounts being deleted, the Great Reportathon shall begin.

Track of the Day Is BADBADNOTGOOD's "You Made Me Realise"

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD—with help on guitar from Luan Phung—sink their jazz-college-trained teeth into My Bloody Valentine's most notorious song, "You Made Me Realise" (from BBNG2), and quicksilver sparks ensue. It begins in faithful replication of the original's hurricane-force momentum (sans vocals), but when time comes for the holocaustic noise bridge, BBNG tone it down to a spare, contemplative guitar spangle and piano/bass rumble. Perverse! They proceed to really apply their advanced jazz studies to breathtaking ends over the last two-plus minutes. Have to believe Kevin Shields would be impressed.

BADBADNOTGOOD play Neumos Tues. Oct. 14.

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A Hopefully Great New Home (in the Same Spot) for Hugo House

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 4:19 PM

If current plans work out, this building will be gone by the middle of 2016 and a new building will be under construction in its place.
  • If current plans work out, this building will be gone by the middle of 2016 and a new building will be under construction in its place.

Hugo House Executive Director Tree Swenson has not made a secret of the fact that the literary nonprofit is facing some big changes. Early this year, she floated the idea of expanding the House into a conglomeration of literary nonprofits, along the lines of Minnesota's Loft Literary Center. It was clear that she wanted to start a conversation about what the future of Hugo House will look like. Today, an important part of that future has become official: Hugo House announced that its property on 11th Avenue will be undergoing development in the very near future, and that once construction is done, the House will be located in the new building.

To understand the news, you need to understand the House's current relationship with its property. For two decades now, Hugo House hasn't paid any rent or facility costs to the owners of the property. As Capitol Hill development has exploded over the last decade, the House's future has been in doubt. "The ownership group is devoted to Hugo House, but trying to figure out a way to allow us to stay here has not been easy," Swenson says. Earlier this year, she was in conversation with the Office of Arts and Culture about Capitol Hill's recent designation as an Arts District. Swenson was delighted to be part of the discussion, she says, but "I didn’t know for sure we’d be here" on Capitol Hill over the next few years.

Real estate investment firm Meriwether Partners LLC is developing the project, which will include up to 15,000 square feet of commercial/retail space on the first floor and up to five stories of housing above. Joel Aslanian, a principal at Meriwether, confirms that an architect has yet to be chosen for the project, but the goal is to "have the entire design team on board prior to the end of the year." Once that happens, Aslanian says, "the public process, sort of the official city process, should begin in the first quarter of next year. if things progress as we expect, the project would be fully designed over the course of next year and ready to start production at the beginning of 2016."

Continue reading »

The Seahawks Didn't Play Football but Important Seattle Sports Still Happened

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM

One year down, nine to go, Robbie.
  • BEN VANHOUTEN/SEATTLE MARINERS
  • Notable non-Seahawk Robinson Cano just finished a moderately successful first year in Seattle.

Ah, the bye week. The one week of the year when we say bye to NFL football that we care about and say, “Hello, week without Seahawks football.” (I assume that's how bye weeks got their name, and I am uninterested in learning more on the subject.) A bye week for the players is a chance to rest their bodies. For the fans, a bye week should be a respite from feeling things about sports. No such luck this weekend in Seattle.

See, while the Seahawks were spending the last month setting out on their Insufferable Journey to Rewinnining the Super Bowl™, the Seattle Mariners went out and decided to make baseball things interesting by quietly hanging around the AL Wild Card race. You may not have noticed (I’ve seen the attendance numbers and TV ratings), but this year the Mariners put together a baseball team that can safely be described as “pretty good,” and more dangerously described as "a borderline contender."

Then, just when it looked like the team had Seattle Mariners’d hard enough to knock themselves out of the race, they went out and beat the league-leading Angels a couple times, setting up a Sunday afternoon game with real stakes. If they won that game, and the A’s lost their game against the Rangers, those two teams would have to play a one-game playoff for the right to play a one-game playoff with the Royals for the right to play in the baseball playoffs proper. And once you’re in the baseball playoffs, you’re just a five-game series, a seven-game series, and one more seven-game series away from being the World Series champions! (Baseball takes forever…)

Unfortunately, the A’s went out and won their game against the Rangers, short-circuiting the whole World Series hope moment I had allowed my frontal lobe to conjure up. The Mariners will again not play playoff baseball, as they have not played playoff baseball every year since 2001. The team does look much improved, and the advanced statistics show that the team’s improvement is meaningful and may well carry over into next year. This is in contrast to the last couple times when the Mariners showed some metaphorical green shoots, only to come out the following year and take off their metaphorical bandages to reveal those green shoots to be the early symptoms of a metaphorical organization-wide MRSA outbreak.

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Them Riffs! Little Barrie TONIGHT at the Rendezvous

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I dunno if y'all are turned onto Little Barrie, but if you ain't, IT'S ABOUT TIME!!


Holy shit what a single!! Them riffs!! Them fills!! Them shades of 1968!! Godamn. I dig that I can still be slightly shocked to hear a group like Little Barrie, a three-piece from London, properly blending a supreme rock 'n' roll Englishness with '60s garage. Like, they know Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera and the Remains. They're well connected too; they've backed Paul Weller, opened for Charles Bradely for his Spring, 2012 US tour, and (ahem) Steve Howe's son, Virgil Howe, plays drums!! Oh, also I suggest getting to the show early enough to check out local group, Killer Ghost, 'cause they lay out some proper '60s sounds.

Little Barrie w/ the Knast, and Killer Ghost // The Rendezvous // 9pm

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Another Name in the Race for Seattle City Council's District 5: Pastor Sandy Brown

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Sanford Sandy Brown: Cares about gun-control, homelessness, and North Seattles sidewalk problem.
  • Courtesy of Sandy Brown
  • Sanford "Sandy" Brown: Cares about gun-control, homelessness, and North Seattle's sidewalk problem.
Rumors were certainly circulating, but last week he made it official: Licton Springs resident and Methodist pastor Sanford "Sandy" Brown will run for Seattle City Council in North Seattle's 5th District next year.

"My biggest personal issue is a citywide issue," says the former executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, "and that's the issue of homelessness, and finding ways to end the problem of street homelessness." First United Methodist Church, where he served as senior pastor until this spring, hosts a shelter with dozens of beds, and Brown was a founding member of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. He says there are a handful of specific problems with the city's approach to homelessness that could be addressed. Like getting other municipalities in the county to kick in more support, since it's a regional problem that Seattle is forced to fund disproportionately. Yes, the city should be spending more money, he thinks, but not too much more—"$4 to $5 million a year," in his estimation, to do things like focus on rapid re-housing and improving a broken shelter system by addressing barriers to shelter (like people with pets and families, or people who can't comply with clean-and-sober rules). He's a supporter of safe, legal encampments as an "interim survival mechanism" for people on the streets, though he sees encampments as more of a symbol that the shelter system isn't functioning as it should.

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Simpsons Couch Gag: "All Hail the Dark Lord of the Twin Moons"

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

For the premiere of the 26th season (JESUS CHRIST!) of The Simpsons, Oscar nominated and weirdly brilliant animator Don Hertzfeldt created last night's couch gag, in which he imagined what the show would be like in its 800th season. The answer? FREAKING WEIRDLY BRILLIANT.

Things Got a Little Bit Crazy at the Seattle Housing Authority's Most Recent Community Hearing

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Tonight, the Seattle Housing Authority will hold the last in a series of community hearings about its plan to raise rents by 500 percent over five years on more than a third of its tenants.

I wrote about a Sept. 17 hearing over here. It was intense—full of impassioned chanting and near-unanimous public comment against the so-called Stepping Forward plan, which would also link SHA tenants with job training. But another hearing, held on Sept. 23 at New Holly in Rainier Valley, was apparently even more heated.

Here's video of that meeting, recorded by an opponent of Stepping Forward:

After the first bit of recorded chaos dies down, the crowd then erupts for a second time when Kailyn Nicholson, a member of Socialist Alternative, tries to give her public comment time to Council Member Kshama Sawant. "SHA completely lost control of the meeting," says Nicholson. "I said I wanted to cede my time to Sawant, because it was clear that the tenants overwhelmingly wanted to hear her speak."

At that, a representative from SHA grabs the mic out of Nicholson's hands. After the moments captured by the video, she says, a group of police officers arrived. A spokesperson for SHA says the housing authority did not call the police.

The last public hearing on Stepping Forward is tonight at High Point Community Center in West Seattle at 6 p.m. Should be interesting!

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What Are You Doing Today? What Are You Doing Tonight?

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Haunted Horses Celebrate Their New EP at the Black Lodge: And by "celebrate" we mean "frown and play impressively mean and lean post-punk."

Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" Contained One of Rock's Last Great Guitar Solos: We're betting they'll play it tonight at the Triple Door.

Shoegaze is Indie Rock's Sexiest Subgenre: And Whirr, playing the Vera tonight, excel at it.

The Shrinking Middle Class: It's still shrinking. George Packer explains why at Town Hall tonight.

Or You Could Learn about Seattle Architecture: Also at Town Hall tonight. Jeffrey Ochsner's book Shaping Seattle Architecture, now in its second edition, is already a Northwest classic.

And For Dinner?: Pettirosso has BBQ, whiskey and beer pop-up.

This is about one tenth of one percent of what's actually happening tonight in Seattle. For our complete list of recommendations, check out today's calendar.

Superchef Marcus Samuelsson Is Coming to Seattle, Thanks to the Swedish Club

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 12:12 PM

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Way back in May, the Swedish Club threw a dinner party to try to convince Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised superstar chef Marcus Samuelsson to come visit on his Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home cookbook tour this fall. They made a four-course dinner of gourmet modern Swedish recipes from his book Aquavit, sang his praises, and everybody signed a big card begging him to come to Seattle. It worked: Samuelsson will be at the Swedish Club on Halloween, and those who want to cough up the ticket price ($75, with a copy of the book included) can meet the Swedish chef, eat Swedish canapés, get books signed, and toast him with a drink (one included with ticket price, more available, plenty of aquavit!). Here are all the details, and hurry; this will probably sell out.

The Swedish Club was founded in Seattle in 1892 (!), and it's devoted to "promoting a better understanding between the United States and the Scandinavian countries through learning about, practicing, and celebrating the culture and traditions of Scandinavia, with an emphasis on Sweden." It's located in an unstoppably excellent example of mid-century modern architecture—the lobby with open-air staircase is marvelous—which just so happens to have an unstoppably excellent view of Lake Union, particularly from the second-floor bar and lounge, which just so happens to have a balcony. Every Friday for happy hour, prospective members (that could be you) are invited to come and drink and enjoy it all, with smörgås sandwiches and other Swedish snacks available, plus live music. This Friday, October 3, the band Gigantor with Lynval Golding from the Specials plays at 7:30 p.m., and it's free. Skål!

A Review of the Weekend: Did You Notice All the Faeries and Juggalos Everywhere?

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:57 AM

• What'd you think of the Juggalo-family band Twizted at El Corazon last night? You didn't go? Well, Kelly O did. At least, she talked to some people who were were standing in line. Overheard: “What up, Fam? Whoop, whoooooop!”

TKTKTK
  • Kelly O
  • The most beautiful Juggalo couple El Corazon has ever seen.

People came from Alaska, Spokane, and Oregon just to be there.

Start young.
  • kelly o
  • Young Twizted fans.

• But before that, yesterday was the Seattle Faerie Festival at Volunteer Park, where we met the Seattle Garden Gnome who gave us a rock that, when cracked open, revealed a tiny plastic emerald. He told us, “If you plant the emerald in your garden, magical faeries will grow there." A skeptical Marcus Wilson from Pony mumbled, "I'm not sure that's how faerie procreation works."

Did you know the Seattle Garden Gnome is also Santa Claus?
  • kelly O
  • The Seattle Garden Gnome gave us his card and said, "I'm also Santa Claus."

Stayed in character until it became creepy.
  • Kelly O
  • Meanwhile, this one stayed firmly in character until it became creepy.

• On Saturday, I went to Ballard for Señor Moose brunch and rekindled my love for plantains. Unsure of what else to do in Ballard during the day (that's not eating), I walked down to the boat parking lot (dock?) to judge the boat names harshly. On the way, I peeped inside the newly renovated Sunset Tavernthey just reopened and it looks crazy different! Excited to catch a show there.

• On Saturday night, Lo-Fi hosted Bali Girls, the Gods Themselves, and the Intelligence. The Black Lodge hosted Lisa Prank, Childbirth, Deep Creep, and S. Everyone did their best to run back and forth between the venues, conveniently located next door to each other. I wasn't early enough to catch the first band of either show, but the Gods Themselves (the new project of Astra Elaine from Atomic Bride) put on a solid record-release show with much waaah waah swagger and a smoke machine—their hit "Last Chance for Love" is super B-52s with epic Shocking Blue-esque vocals (Elaine was also in a Shocking Blue cover band). The Intelligence were as sweaty and excellent as ever; same goes for the bands next door, though S, Jenn Ghetto's project, also celebrating a record release, was a different, more heartbroken kind of sweaty. Yes, actual tears were cried by adoring audience members.

• In other music news: Congrats to Dave Segal and Kyle Fleck for surviving Decibel Festival 2014—check their coverage here and here!

• Speaking of Decibel, we never got a firm answer on how all these people were able to stay awake all night.

• Hot graf tip:

Hot tip.
  • Kelly O
  • Sleepy sheeple.

brachs-smores-candy-corn.jpg
• By the way, I thought you might like to know I spent most of the workday on Friday eating Brach's S'mores Candy Corn, and they were pretty good. I enjoy things that taste like marshmallows, but I think the average tastebud might say "OMG too sweet." Lots of people in the office thought that. Either way, they're a step up from regular candy corn. [Editor's note: Emily is full of shit. They're fucking disgusting. Don't listen to a word she says.] If you can't hang with the actual candy, Jo-Ann's in Ballard has $1 candy-corn earrings!

• Okay, okay, fine, you want one more faerie pic?

Youll never guess who this is.

I, Anonymous: Good Luck, Psycho Skater

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM

ianon-570.jpg
  • STEVEN WEISSMAN

I was driving back to work in industrial Ballard just after dark when your figure, writhing on the ground, came into view. I skirted the telltale skateboard lying motionless in the street. A young woman stood looking, but seemingly frozen, from five yards away from you, but otherwise there was no one else around. Your moans and sobs were loud and beseeching. Out of my car now, I rushed toward you. The woman said she hadn't seen what happened and had kept her distance. I got up close, looking you over for obvious injuries without touching you. I asked some questions, but you were incoherent, until I said that I was going to call 911 and headed to get my phone from the car. You said, "No, don't...," but I couldn't very well leave you there...

KEEP READING >>

Chow Bio: The Craziest Thing at Cafe Barjot

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Maegan Rasmussen, chef at Cafe Barjot.
  • The Stranger
  • Maegan Rasmussen, chef at Cafe Barjot.

Capitol Hill's new Cafe Barjot is where Chico Madrid used to be, and the sleek little space looks much the same—which is a good thing (think movie-set-in-Paris sleek, not douche-new-condo sleek). "Barjot" is French slang for "crazy," and it's pronounced like "Joe Bar," but backward; the popular cafe by that name just a few blocks away is run by the same owner, Wylie Bush. Asked where Barjot falls on a scale of cafe to bar—they're open until 4 p.m. most days, but will have longer hours soon—chef Maegan Rasmussen says, "We'll have specialty cocktails. Any cafe in Europe provides the option of liquor. [Barjot] allows people to make adult decisions, but to be zany kids, too. Zany kids with drinks!" But the craziest thing at Barjot, Maegan says, is "my and Wylie's matching bunions" (not on the menu)…

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How Lauren Grossman Turned Glass into Ghostwriting

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM

This glass bubble with copper letters suspended inside it is a sculpture you turn with your hands so that you can read the text, which says, IT IS FINISHED. Those were the last words of Christ on the cross, and this piece, Double Done, was the last one Seattle artist Lauren Grossman made in the new series Ghost Variations, now at Platform Gallery.
  • JG
  • This glass bubble with copper letters suspended inside it is a sculpture you turn with your hands so that you can read the text, which says, "IT IS FINISHED." Those were the last words of Christ on the cross, and this piece, Double Done, was the last one Seattle artist Lauren Grossman made in the new series Ghost Variations, now at Platform Gallery.

Pilchuck Glass School is a major institution in the world of glass art, a hippieish little gem hidden in the woods of the Northwest. But Pilchuck's function outside glass art is one of the best things about it: Pilchuck brings non-glass artists from around the world to do residencies here, during which they're introduced to the material of glass, and, being artists, they experiment like mad. It's one of the reasons glass has moved beyond fine craft in the last 40 years, creeping into museums alongside any other material rather than always contained in its own galleries, and it's also one of the ways the medium's potential has been tested and expanded. The all-star list of artists who've come through includes Maya Lin, Kiki Smith, Nick Cave, Ann Hamilton, Judy Chicago, Buster Simpson, Lynda Benglis, Xu Bing, Jim Hodges, Charles Le Dray, Tony Oursler, Miriam Schapiro, Lorna Simpson, and Fred Wilson, according to Pilchuck spokesman Carlos Esparza. He added that Pilchuck is opening an exhibition space in Pioneer Square starting this Thursday.

The latest non-glass resident to come out of Pilchuck with an inspired new body of work is Lauren Grossman, who spent three weeks in those woods in summer 2013. The master glassblowers assigned to work with her had to get used to the fact that she didn't want them to waste their breath making her blown pieces perfect, she told me. She wanted, instead, imperfect bubbles, lumps, and "snot balls." Like many artists, she not only accepted technical mistakes and failures, she cherished them. They became some of her best ghosts.

Grossman's lumpen glass idiosyncrasies are now on display at Platform Gallery in an exhibition called Ghost Variations. It's made up of 13 sculptures in glass and metal, and two series of intaglio prints made on glass plates, and these are among the oddest and most alluring things the Seattle artist has ever made. Grossman usually works in hard metal: iron, steel. She's forged sculptures—usually mixing the shapes of words, animals, and/or body parts—that light on fire (via gas jets with all their heavy equipment on display like an IV station next to a hospital bed), or that are attached to tubes or scaffoldings resembling torture devices or iron-lung-age life-support systems. Her work has always been plenty weird, but the new pieces are weirder and warmer.

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Republicans Are People!

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Steve Benen at Maddowblog:

Vinny Minchillo, a Republican campaign strategist based in Texas, isn’t the most famous GOP consultant in the country, but he did claim to have “reinvented political advertising” while working for Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign in 2012. But that was two years ago. In 2014, as Danny Vinik discovered, Minchillo is spearheading an entirely different kind of campaign. It’s called “Republicans Are People, Too.” ... It’s almost as if we’re seeing a promotional video put together by a group most Americans find repulsive, so its members put something together for YouTube in the hopes of appearing normal. Indeed, let’s make this plain: if you’re a member of a political party, and you find it necessary to remind the public that your party is capable of human emotion and routine human behavior, then your party may have a very serious problem.

Spend all your time attacking immigrants, gay people, people of color, women, the middle class, and the working poor—and some people are going to think you're an asshole. That's not something you can fix with a tattoo and some stock images.

Dave Reichert Tackles a Problem That Doesn't Exist: Welfare Recipients Buying Pot

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Hey, Dave? It’s already illegal to buy weed with welfare money.
  • JARED BOGGESS
  • Hey, Dave? It’s already illegal to buy weed with welfare money.

In the age of bank bailouts, global warming, Ebola, and new wars, there is a specter haunting America: welfare recipients purchasing legal pot. "Shockingly," blared Republican congressman Dave Reichert, who represents Washington's 8th District, "as a result of recent state laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado, and in my home state of Washington, we are seeing new abuses of these benefits."

He was speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives on September 16. He did not cite any specific cases of the "abuses" he's so shocked by. But the Republican-controlled House went ahead and passed Reichert's "Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act" anyway, by a voice vote. (Which is not a recorded vote, meaning it's harder than usual to pin down which way the rest of the Washington State delegation voted on this thing; the office of Democratic Seattle congressman Jim McDermott did not say by press time whether he voted for the measure.)

There are at least a few reasons why this bill is a huge fucking waste of everyone's time...

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The Incredible Disappearing Midterm Elections

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Did you know that the midterm elections are coming up in just a few weeks? And did you know that Republicans are seemingly on track to win control of the Senate? You wouldn't know any of this by watching the news. National media isn't interested in midterm elections because they're a collection of regional stories. Instead, CNN is interviewing an alleged Syrian member of ISIS, who is bragging that the US air strikes haven't affected ISIS at all, that they've "been ready for this for some time," and that United States intelligence agencies "don't know anything." The story, which CNN reports as an "exclusive," has absolutely no reporting on those statements; they just take their anonymous source at his word. For the sake of "balance," they interview a defector from ISIS. I'm all for taking a nuanced approach to coverage of US military action—I'm maybe one of the only people in America who appreciates President Obama's admission to 60 Minutes that the US "underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." This is a difficult situation, and it's best for all parties involved to admit what they don't know. But just taking the word of a soldier on the other side seems to cross over from questionable coverage of a morally gray situation into outright propaganda.

But maybe we should give CNN points for trying to cover a real news event, even if they did it ineptly? Domestic political coverage should be entirely focused on the midterms right now, as election day is just over a month away. But sites on the right and the left are obsessing over the birth of Chelsea Clinton's first child, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky. The first grandchild of Bill and Hillary Clinton is already a media star, and sites that should be focusing on close races around the country are instead treating this child's birth like it's a royal baby. How inane is the press being about this? Politico actually asked astrologers to predict baby Charlotte's future. The conservative New York Post published a photograph of Hillary and Bill Clinton cooing over their grandchild on the cover of the tabloid with the headline "PARTY POOPER: Another liberal crybaby for Dem Clintons."


The day after the midterm elections, the media is going to be bubbling over with headlines and thinkpieces and what-does-it-all-mean mincing about the results. Here's the truth of what it all means: Whatever happens, the real story should be that the media continually fails its country when it comes to elections.

In Praise of Kid-Friendly Proto-Divas; or, Happy Birthday, Madeline Kahn!

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 9:49 AM

It's a class of human known to many if not all American male homosexuals of a certain age: the kid-friendly proto-diva. Before we had an appreciation for drag queens and the Eternal Divas, before we even had identifiable erotic urges, many a pre-sexual young gay man got his first clue of what makes his psycho-sexual disposition distinct by forming deep and immediate emotional alliances with a certain type of female performer. These performers were all fascinating representations of womanhood, making the blonde-and-perfect Price Is Right models look like the dullards they were (or were at least required to be). But these spunky gay-boy-attracting proto-divas also seemed to be part Muppet, in a way that was endlessly attractive to a kid just learning of his own freakiness. Representative figures in this genre of human: Dolly Parton. Lily Tomlin. Nell Carter. Ruth Buzzi. Karen Carpenter. Cher. Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life. Endora from Bewitched.

And, of course, the late, great Madeline Kahn, whose birthday we commemorate today with this clip of her in all her full, Muppety, proto-diva glory, from that classic of training-wheels camp, Clue.

(And here she is brushing her hair while singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic.")

The Morning News: Mercer Island Residents No Longer Frantically Boiling Water

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Everyone on Mercer Island is boiling water right now.
  • Mercer Island/Shutterstock
  • But everyone on Mercer Island probably had to brush their teeth with bottled water before leaving for work today. Just a few minutes ago, the ban on tap water was lifted.

The E. Coli Scare Has Shut Down Mercer Island Schools Today: So that they can be boiled thoroughly. No word on whether schools will reopen tomorrow.

After a Weekend of Panic and Emptiness in Grocery Store Produce Aisles, Authorities Now Say Mercer Island's Water Is Safe: According to instructions, if you live on Mercer Island you're supposed to "flush pipes at home for five minutes by running the cold water tap in all faucets until it feels a lot colder. For homes with multiple levels, start at the top of the house." Over the weekend, more than 60 Mercer Island businesses were closed and "five Mercer Island residents... called in to report gastrointestinal problems"

Speaking of Good Uses for Water, Today Is International Coffee Day: Get yourself to a Caffe Vita and you can get "a free drink for a friend" if you "purchase a coffee drink in any one of our eleven cafes," according to the company. All these national chains are giving out free coffee too.

One person died and one person was injured in this plane crash at Lake Stevens over the weekend.
  • Snohomish County Sheriff's Office
  • One person died and one person was injured in this plane crash at Lake Stevens over the weekend.

God, Tiny Planes Like That Are So Terrifying: The 80-year-old man co-piloting the plane "was pronounced dead at the scene." The 66-year-old pilot is in serious condition at Harborview.

Renton Family of Four Escapes House Fire: The house wasn't so lucky.

Mariners: Eliminated.

Hey, Did You Hear What Happened to the Guy Wrongfully Imprisoned for 10 Years? I love this story.

This is Brandon Redtailhawk Olebar, whose conviction was based solely on eyewitness testimony.
  • Courtesy of Innocence Project Northwest
  • This is Brandon Redtailhawk Olebar, who was just awarded $496,712 by King County Superior Court, along with an "Oops, we're very, very sorry."

He Got $50,000 Per Year He Had to Sit There in Prison Knowing He Was Innocent: Yeah, okay, this was two days ago's news, but this story is amazing and it's possible some people haven't heard it yet. It's not like the justice system itself just one day realized they had the wrong guy and decided to make things right. Ha-ha-ha-ha, no. Two University of Washington law school students associated with Innocence Project Northwest looked into his case, found new evidence, got the people who actually committed the crime to admit to doing it, and then passed along those sworn statements to Innocence Project Northwest attorney Fernanda Torres, who took the new evidence to King County prosecutors. The 2013 legislation that made Olebar's financial compensation possible is also thanks largely to Innocence Project Northwest. That law was sponsored by Representative Tina Orwall, a Democrat from Normandy Park, and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee last year.

Not Every State Compensates People They've Wrongfully Incarcerated: Here's a map showing states that do, and how much they compensate. Meanwhile, 20 other states officially don't give a shit about the wrongfully convicted.

Here Is One More Photo of Olebar: Standing with the legal team that secured his exoneration and compensation. Also with him: his wife, in the black-and-white stripes, and his daughter, Creation Redmoonhawk Olebar, who was born nine months exactly after Olebar's release from prison.

Brandon Olebar surrounded by Innocence Project staff and volunteers, and his wife and newborn daughter.
  • Courtesy of Innocence Project Northwest
  • Awesome.

Speaking of Babies, Pediatricians Now Say Sexually Active Teen Girls Should Use IUDs: It's just a better method for keeping babies from happening. "Teens have to remember to use pills and condoms consistently. By contrast, IUDs typically work for three to 10 years after insertion, while implants typically last three years."

Two Skydivers Died Last Night in Massachusetts: During a tandem jump on Cape Cod, a pair of skydivers "landed on a building."

Meanwhile in Hong Kong: Police attempts to use tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters in the streets have backfired, "instead spurring more people to take to the streets, with numbers peaking in the tens of thousands."

They Still Haven't Found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: But in searching for it, they have discovered "remnants of volcanoes, towering ridges, and deep trenches" they didn't exactly know where there under the surface of the water. "The area in which the plane is thought to have gone down is remote and largely unexplored."

Watch This Video of a Giant Pacific Octopus Skulking Around Off the Shore of West Seattle Yesterday: "We spent almost 10 minutes with this amazing beautiful creature before we had to leave because of depth, time, and air constraints," Laura James, the diver who shot the video, tells West Seattle Blog.


Did You Ever Read Brendan Kiley's Amazing Piece on the Giant Pacific Octopus? Here, treat yourself. Representative sentence: "A giant Pacific octopus has sex only once, then loses its mind and dies."

Youth Pastor Watch: Strong Connections

Posted by on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 7:18 AM

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MICHIGAN: "A now former youth pastor is facing criminal sex charges for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl at his church.... Jeremiah Behrens was arraigned Monday on charges of second and fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. Grandville police say the incidents happened at Grandville Baptist Church. According to a police affidavit, the 15-year-old girl claimed Behrens touched her chest above her breast, on top of her clothing in January 2013. The inappropriate touching escalated in May 2013 when the girl was 16-years-old.... Behrens told investigators he and the girl began talking frequently in fall 2012 and they formed "a strong emotional connection."

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CALIFORNIA: "A Vincennes youth pastor has been arrested on sexual misconduct with a minor charges. 34-year old Derrick 'Duke' Hampsch, the former youth pastor at First Baptist Church, is accused of having improper sexual contact with a minor on multiple occasions dating back to 2010 in Vincennes. He's also accused of having committed sexual acts with a minor while outside of Vincennes city limits while working as a youth program administrator."

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COLORADO: "A Colorado court on Friday sentenced a former Henderson youth minister to 20 years to life on sexual abuse charges. John H. Brothers Jr., who also faces sexual abuse charges in Henderson, was convicted in Routt County, Colorado, in June on 16 counts of sexual assault on a child. Routt County District Attorney Brett Barkey told The Gleaner Friday that prosecutors were disappointed in the sentence. 'Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Karzen argued for a total sentence of 80 years to life in prison,' Barkey said. 'He noted that the evidence at trial demonstrated that Mr. Brothers was a serial child predator...'"

VIRGINIA: "A youth pastor at a Virginia church sent sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl, Prince William County police said. On August 20, a youth pastor at Park Valley Church located at 4500 Waverly Farm Drive used cell phone app KIK to send sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl, police said. The pastor has been identified as Vincent Gunnar Bowes, 22, of North Carolina."

Guest Editorial: We Believe Seattle Doesn't Need a Juvenile Detention Center at All

Posted by and on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM

The King County Youth Detention Center.
  • ES
  • The King County Juvenile Detention Center.

[Note: tomorrow we will be running a guest editorial from two King County judges who support the voter-approved plan to upgrade Seattle's juvenile detention center. They argue that facts about the project are "often misrepresented." —Eds]

On September 18th, over 120 community members packed into a Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee meeting of the Seattle City Council. On the agenda was a seemingly innocuous item: a proposed amendment to the land use sections of the Seattle Municipal Code that would reclassify the existing King County-run youth jail at 12th and Alder as a “youth services center.” This reclassification would allow King County to bypass many of the procedures the city government typically requires for new jail building projects. The hearing was one of the many hoops the county is attempting to jump through in its voter-approved quest to tear down Seattle's existing youth jail and courts and spend $210 million to build a new facility. The county faces steep opposition, as Thursday’s hearing made abundantly clear.

Dozens of Seattle residents, including young activists, faith leaders, environmental activists, health care professionals, educators, and parents testified at the hearing, urging the city council to reject the amendments to the land use code. The reasons to oppose the jail are as varied as this growing coalition to stop the county’s plans, and include the following:

We don’t need 154 jail cells for youth. The brief discussion that council members and specialists had prior to public comment demonstrated little more than a cursory acknowledgment of the shift in the municipal code and the potential impact this change will have on young people. However, all the proposed plans for the new jail indicate that approximately three times more beds will be built than are currently in use. At least one King County Council member has suggested these extra beds be used to house homeless young people. Regardless of the stated plan, we believe that if extra beds are built, the county will attempt to fill them with youth, one way or another.

Continue reading »

Sunday, September 28, 2014

More Decibel Festival Highlights, with Alessandro Cortini, Loscil, Lindstrom, and Hawtin

Posted by on Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

In a context vastly different from what he does in Nine Inch Nails, Buchla synth master Alessandro Cortini wowed the polite Nordstrom Recital Hall crowd Friday evening with a panoply of styles and moods from his instruments. Pieces ranged from almost cute electro pop à la Felix Kubin to oddly tuned ominous pulsations to introspective, alien ambience recalling Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II to a very stark, methodical strain of minimal techno, and then ending with an apocalyptic flourish. “Fucking amazing,” concluded Medical Records owner Troy Wadsworth, to which I agreed.

Alessandro Cortini made his Buchla speak in tongues.
  • Beth Crook
  • Alessandro Cortini made his Buchla speak in tongues.

Meanwhile at the Crocodile, Fleck was entranced by up-and-comer Eden Hagos, saying she "significantly funked up her exotic blend of downtempo atmospherics and detuned house. Hagos' set contained some of the more straight-forwardly gorgeous music of this year's Decibel. And it paid off big time: despite being one of the lesser known names, the crowd gave her lots of love throughout the evening."

Eden Hagos, just as entranced as we were.
  • Elizabeth Crook
  • Eden Hagos, just as entranced as we were.

Saturday at Triple Door's Optical showcase, Loscil did what he's always done best: Create pacific synth motifs laden with a heavy undertow of unease. The chronic tension between balm and menace in Loscil's poignant and dubby aquascapes made you sea the light.

Loscil gave us some old-wave dub ambient.
  • Josh Bis
  • Loscil gave us some old-wave dub ambient.

Bearded and behatted, Norwegian prodoucer/DJ Lindstrøm brought his ultra-vivid party game Saturday night at Showbox at the Market—real hands-in-the-air, big-room business: brash house with electro-funk percussion; chugging, percolating disco; uptempo, New Order-esque juggernauts; sexy-ass, cosmic disco, and more. I wanted to ask the young guy in the CRASS T-shirt what he thought, but he walked out of the club before I got the chance.

Kyle Fleck adds that he was very pleasantly surprised by his discovery of Midnight Magic at the same show, saying: "Opening for spacy Italo-auteur Lindstrøm is no small task, but New York disco troupe Midnight Magic pulled it off with aplomb, with front woman Tiffany Roth pumping up the hipster crowd in no insignificant way. Definitely ones to keep your ears peeled for."

Lindstrøms smorgasbord of switched-on house and disco made a big room of people very happy.
  • Josh Bis
  • Lindstrøm's smorgasbord of switched-on house and disco made a big room of people very happy.

I could catch only the last 25 minutes of Richie Hawtin's Saturday EMP Sky Church set, and while it wasn't as heady as his '90s underground parties in Detroit, it explored some of the lysergic minimal-techno elements on which he built his lofty rep. If the tunes had matched the visuals' psychedelic splendor, Hawtin's slot would've been one of the greatest of the festival.

Fleck, who got there early enough to spend half of his time waiting in the beer garden, had this take: "Beefing up his stripped-down minimal techno to stadium proportions, Hawtin's set at the Sky Church lived up to the lofty expectations surrounding it. Much of the material played with ghostly diva vocals, Hawtin stretching them like taffy over unrelenting jackhammer 4/4 beats. Though my favorite moment of the night may have been waiting fifty minutes in the jam-packed "beer garden" only to realize it was cash only when I made it to the front (though cheers to the cute lady with the frizzy blonde hair who spotted me a drink anyway)."

Richie Hawtin, valiantly trying to keep up with the visuals.
  • Josh Bis
  • Richie Hawtin, valiantly trying to keep up with the visuals.

Rival Consoles performed six tracks at Triple Door's Erased Tapes showcase Sunday evening, and each one sounded different from the other and was gripping in its own way. So we got some serrated instrumental hiphop, like a noisier Flying Lotus; klanging, clattering IDM that recalled the Phthalo and Schematic labels' angular abrasiveness; jittery glitchwerk with urgent melodic filigree; melancholy, majestic techno; and more. Call it beneficial sonic schizophrenia... which, come to think of it, could be Decibel Festival's mission statement.

Rival Consoles was impressively chameleonic at the Erased Tapes showcase.
  • Josh Bis
  • Rival Consoles was impressively chameleonic at the Erased Tapes showcase.

The Notebook: Creepy Twins in a Time of War

Posted by on Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM

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Not at all a romantic film starring Ryan Gosling, The Notebook is something far uglier. Based on a novel by Hungarian author Agota Kristof, it’s
the tale of twin boys who, in the final days of World War II, decide to train themselves to withstand the cruelty of adults and the harshness of desperate
times. Throughout, there’s something vague being said about the moral tolls of war and genocide, but the moral is muddled—mostly, the film just ends up as
an odd, engaging, somewhat questionable folktale about creepy twins.

András and László Gyémánt play the nameless brothers (nobody, in fact, has a name here), who’re sent to live in the Hungarian countryside with their
alcoholic battle-ax of a grandmother. (Luckily, even without names, you can tell the twins apart, because one is a slightly worse actor.) Rather than an
emotional development...

KEEP READING >>

Local Sightings Continues at NWFF

Posted by on Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 11:15 AM

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Return of the River about the removal of the Elwha River dam plays Sunday, September 28, at 7 pm.

With the SIFF parade making landfall just a few blocks away at the beautiful Egyptian, I want to make doubly sure that this worthy showcase of regional filmmaking isn't lost behind a drift of teal confetti. If you're interested in keeping up with the world of art-house film, Northwest Film Forum needs to be on your beat, and if you haven't been in a while, then perfect, because you still have time to clear your schedule and be at Local Sightings…


KEEP READING>>

What Are You Doing Today? What Are You Doing Tonight?

Posted by on Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

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Mimosas With Mama: The venerable drag show/drunk bruncheon continues at the Narwhal, complete with "tableside Jell-O shot service."

Rockets from the Crypt Reunite: Catch their searing rock at Neumos.

The Sorta Awkwardly-Title Piketoberfest: Sounds delightful, with imported beer, sausages and charcuterie. Plus, the proceeds go to the Pike Place Market Foundation, which is also delightful.

"Are Dancers Crazier Than Other People?": That's the question A Chorus Line, now playing at 5th Avenue Theatre, will attempt to answer at today's 1:30 matinee.

Catch the Strange New Nick Cave Documentary 20,000 Days on Earth: At the Grand Illusion.

Hungry? Try Café Barjot: Because they've got "awesome pastries, brunch dishes, and sandwiches that sound great (like roast beef and Gruyère with pickled shallots, slaw, and horseradish cream on Essential Baking ciabatta)," so... do it.

Decibel Fest Wraps Up: With J. Alverez on a fuckin' boat and the Erased Tapes showcase at the Triple Door, featuring Douglas Dare and others (above). You should go. I don't think the Seahawks are even playing today.

And if you're not feeling any of that, there's still a metric ass-ton of stuff to do, so have fun!

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Badass Northwest Wines

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Friday, September 26, 2014

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