Announcing This Year's Winning Films—And a Call for Submissions for HUMP! 2016!

Watching porn the way your grandparents used to.
Watching porn the way your grandparents used to. KELLY O

The Pacific Northwest's biggest, best, and only amateur porn festival wrapped up its 11th annual run last weekend. And it was our biggest HUMP! yet: More than 20,000 people poured into theaters in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia over two long, wet weekends to watch porn the way their grandparents used to—sitting next to strangers in the dark.

We like to think HUMP! audiences have a better time than the audiences at those old dirty movie theaters. Actually, we know HUMP! audiences have a better time—audiences at those old dirty movie theaters didn't cheer for the performers and filmmakers after each film!

And what did audiences see at HUMP! this year? HUMP! audiences cheered live-action video games; transformative blowjobs (emphasis on trans); human lube dispensers; buckets of orca semen; bondage play for all ages, orientations, and gender identities; googly-eyed penis puppets; a climatic passage from Mike Huckabee's newest book—and so much more…

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What If the City Allowed Homeless Encampments in Residential Neighborhoods?

Imagine if homeless encampments were allowed in residential areas—you know, where the rest of us are allowed to live.
Imagine if homeless encampments were allowed in residential areas—you know, where the rest of us are allowed to live. Kelly O

Earlier this year, as the Seattle City Council found itself suddenly unanimously in favor of new city-sanctioned homeless encampments, there was one wrinkle that divided them: Should those encampments be allowed in residential areas?

Mayor Ed Murray didn't think so. In the encampment law he sent to the city council, the camps were only allowed in industrial and commercial parts of the city.

Council Member Kshama Sawant disagreed, so she introduced a plan to have the city study what it would look like if camps were allowed in residential areas. After some sneaky maneuvering from her colleagues, the study idea finally passed. New camps would only be allowed in commercial and industrial zones, but the city would study a possible future expansion.

Now that study is in. It shows 1,500 potential new locations for homeless encampments, but the mayor has no plans to change course.

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Gits Reunion Show Added to Benefit for James Atkins


HOLY WOW! Just announced today:

The Gits will perform first show in 20+ years with Visqueen singer Rachel Flotard. We’re excited to announce that Joe Spleen, Matt Dresdner and Steve Moriarty will reunite with longtime friend Rachel Flotard to perform a short set of Gits classics on 12/4/15 at Seattle’s Chop Suey. Their appearance is part of a benefit to raise money for fellow comrade James Atkins (Hammerbox) as he fights esophageal cancer.
This will be the first time they’ve performed these songs in 20+ years.

The Gits will play with 7 Year Bitch, Hammerbox, Alcohol Funnycar, and Coffin Break. This will truly be a once in a lifetime event.

Tickets can be purchased here. Get 'em fast, they are almost sold out. Friends of musician James Atkins can also donate to his cancer help fund here.

TMR: A Couple of Neighborhood Notes


Some lovely leaded glass uncovered on Pike Street, a reminder of a long-forgotten business.

Note to the all the Laptop Hobos at Little Oddfellows: Start doubling up and sharing tables or you're gonna get laptops banned. Three times recently I've dropped into Little Oddfellows with someone hoping to have lunch and turned around and left because every single table in the place was occupied by a lone person with a laptop and what looked like a two- or three-hour-old cup of coffee. Like being able to get some work done at Little Oddfellows? Me too! So start doubling up and sharing tables—and leaving some space for diners—or LO's owner (hi, Linda!) will have no choice but to ban all laptop users, considerate and inconsiderate alike. It's a cafe, FFS, not a library/wifi hotspot/your living room.

It's been three days since we've had a drive-by shooting within our two-block radius. Keep up the good not-shooting-people work, folks.

What It's Like to Be a Woman in the Writing Industry

Author Claire Vaye Watkins says shes lived a life of pandering to old white dudes.
Author Claire Vaye Watkins says she's lived a life of pandering to old white dudes. Heike Steinweg

The editors over at Tin House's generally excellent blog, Open Bar, have published a compelling, long-ish braided essay by Claire Vaye Watkins on her experience of being a woman in the writing industry. Watkins wrote the critically praised book of stories Battleborn. Her novel, Gold Fame Citrus, came out last month.

The piece was going around the literary internet all day yesterday, and it's looking like it might go viral. In case the words "compelling, long-ish braided essay" and "viral" turn you off, here's a précis:

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Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do This Week

Star Wars-themed gingerbread houses, like this Death Star, will be on display at the Sheraton starting today.
Star Wars-themed gingerbread houses, like this Death Star, will be on display at the Sheraton starting today. IMGUR/SILLSTRYPARN PHOTO

We've got a strong lineup of strange and unusual events this week, including the Internet Cat Video Festival, the Seattle Bizarre Bazaar and a "ThanksKilling blood feast." Just in case you were sad you had to wait another 11 months until Halloween. As always, check out our Things To Do calendar for the rest of the best.

Internet Cat Video Festival
"A three-day celebration of the internet's greatest (and arguably only) contribution to the cultural life of this planet: short clips of humankind's second-cutest pets being cute as hail." -Sean Nelson

Star Wars Gingerbread Houses
Every year, Sheraton Seattle builds an amazing village of gingerbread houses and lets the public in for free. (Although you should really consider donating; all the money goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.) This year, they've outdone themselves with a Star Wars theme. Ignore the kinda lame title (May the Holidays Be With You), and just check out the craftsmanship and massive amount of sugar put into this theatrical re-creation.

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KPLU's Advisory Board Will Ask Pacific Lutheran University Not to Sell the Station

Dozens of people came out in the middle of the afternoon to protest the sale of KPLU, including one man who drove from Tacoma.
All these people came out in the middle of the afternoon to protest the sale of KPLU, including one man who drove up from Tacoma. Ansel Herz

In the middle of a Monday afternoon at the Westin Hotel, KPLU's community advisory board held an open meeting regarding Pacific Lutheran University's plans to sell the station to KUOW and the University of Washington. They were joined by dozens of KPLU listeners, who testified unanimously during a public comment session against the deal. Without any dissension, the 29-member board followed suit and voted to write a letter to urging the PLU regents not to go through with the sale.

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Lorena González, the First Latina Ever Elected to the Seattle City Council, Will Be Sworn In Today

Lorena González: Officially a city council member as of today at 5 p.m.
Lorena González: Officially a city council member as of today at 5 p.m. Courtesy of Lorena González

Lorena González, the civil rights attorney who won a landslide victory for citywide Position 9 on the Seattle City Council, will officially take her new post tonight at 5 p.m.

González is being sworn into office sooner than the other soon-to-be council members because she's replacing temporary Council Member John Okamoto. (Okamoto replaced Sally Clark, who resigned earlier this year to take a new job at the University of Washington. City rules stated that his term would last until the November 2015 election results were certified, which happens today.) Three more new council members will be sworn in in January.

González is a former civil rights attorney who also briefly worked as legal counsel to Mayor Ed Murray. During the campaign, she won support ranging from establishment business interests to labor unions and The Stranger. She will be the first Latina on the city council. She's hired former District 1 city council candidate and political organizer Brianna Thomas to work in her council office.

The swearing in is at 5 p.m. today at City Hall and González will host an open house in her new office tomorrow morning. The public is welcome at both.

Sludge-Rock Heavies godheadSilo Reschedule Comeback Show for Jan. 29 at Chop Suey


Olympia via North Dakota power duo godheadSilo have rescheduled their Seattle comeback gig at Chop Suey for January 29. Bassist Mike Kunka and drummer Dan Hough originally were slated to return to the live arena November 20 for their first local show since the late '90s, but they had to postpone due to a serious illness suffered by Hough's young son. Pioneers of the (godheadSi)lo-fi subsonic genre, Kunka and Hough released three albums and a handful of singles and EPs in the '90s that brought a new high in low-end havoc to heavy Northwestern rock. godheadSilo are also responsible for perhaps the gnarliest Phil Collins cover ever. [See clip after the jump.] While godheadSilo's recordings are great, they really thrive onstage, where the brute physicality of their music makes a much deeper impression. You can purchase tickets for the show here.

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Wait, Turkey and Gravy Potato Chips?

Live better with these authentic foods? I stood in Safeway for waaaaay too long staring at these last night. Should I have bought them? Would YOU eat turkey and gravy potato chips?

photo kelly o

Sources Say Paul Allen's Brand-New Art Venture Will Close in March

This is Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot Art + Culture, gregariously opening the door to the new space just a few weeks ago.
This is Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot Art + Culture, gregariously opening the door to the new space just a few weeks ago. JG

Pivot Art + Culture, Paul Allen's new nonprofit arts institution opening in 11 days in South Lake Union, will close in March and be used only occasionally as a gallery, sources close to Pivot say.

In other words, Pivot will not be an ongoing arts center after all.

After confirming with multiple sources, I called Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot, to ask him what's going on. I was hoping he would tell me it's all just a rumor. He didn't call me back.

Instead, the PR firm representing Vulcan emailed to say they were responding on behalf of Heywood.

"Responding to the questions you asked Ben — The exhibition will be on view from December 5 through February 28. The next show has not yet been determined," wrote Fitz. & Co. senior vice president Meg Blackburn.

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CDC: Marriage Rates Up in 2014, Divorce Rates Down

Remember how religious conservatives insisted that allowing same-sex couples to marry would destroy the institution of marriage? Yeah, no: The CDC says more Americans married in last year and fewer married couples divorced. The numbers are small—tiny uptick in the marriage rate (reversing a 15 year trend), tiny downtick in the divorce rate—and this CDC report covers 2014, the year before the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. But same-sex couples were already marrying in a majority of states in 2014.

And 2014 or 2015: If marriage rates were down a even a fraction of a tick and divorce rates were up even a fraction of a tick... Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz and that homicidal anti-gay preacher/terrorist they were pallin' around with would be howling about the evidence being in, holding up a single CDC report as proof that marriage equality was already laying waste to the super-sacred institution of marriage. Why, the third, fourth, and fifth marriages of Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh might be in danger! They'd be out there calling for the next president of these united states to spark a constitutional crisis by ignoring the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality.

Actually... Mike Huckabee is already promising us a constitutional crisis if he's our next president:

At Friday’s “Presidential Family Forum” hosted by the Iowa conservative group The Family Leader, Mike Huckabee doubled down on his pledge to “ignore the court” and “defy the court” as president by recriminalizing abortion and gay marriage through executive fiats. “I’m convinced the next president should ignore the unconstitutional and illegal rulings of the courts, including that of same-sex marriage, because it is not the law of the land,” Huckabee said.

Spoiler: Mike Huckabee is not going to be our next president.

In Pot News: Grower or a Shower? Liquor and Cannabis Board Gets a Tongue Lashing, and More

I stumbled upon this image of a grower in Sequim while looking through the WSLCBs records for this weeks feature on pot and pesticides.
I stumbled upon this image of a grower in Sequim while looking through the WSLCB's records for this week's feature on pot and pesticides. Courtesy of WSLCB

Of all the alarming things that inspectors of Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board might discover about a grow op, this one may top them all.

While inspecting the background of a grower in Sequim on November 20, 2014, inspectors discovered a complaint filed against the individual with the Clallam County Sheriff’s office. The owners of a rental property adjacent to the grow op allege that the grower had gotten all dressed up in his birthday suit and was “bending a metal fence post, squatting, and moving his body forward and backward,” in full view of a family of barbecuing vacationers. The sheriff’s report included a photo of said naked bearded man and noted that, according to the tenants, “the man appeared to be aware of the guests barbecuing on the deck.”

While the thought of an old, bearded hippie bringing an unwanted hot dog to a barbecue is certainly troubling, his email addressing the issue is infinitely more so. The smiley face really seals the deal:

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Apparently Ted Cruz Is the One We Need to Be Worrying About Now

Ted Cruz: Boring but deadly
Ted Cruz: Boring but deadly. Andrew Cline /

A good magic trick is all about distraction — whipping out some eye-catching bouquet of flowers or dazzling with jazz hands in order to keep anyone from noticing the card tucked in the sleeve.

And while it's fun to laugh about Ben Carson's pyramid scheme or holler about Donald Trump's crazy-uncling, Ted Cruz is bouncing along to the nomination. There are still two months before the 2016 campaigns really take shape, but it's starting to look like he'll be the guy we need to worry about once election season really gets going.


Cruz is about even with Donald Trump in Iowa polling right now — 25% for Trump, 23% for Cruz. That's not bad for Cruz, considering Trump is the only person anyone's paying attention to. It's twice what Cruz was polling at last month.

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Morning News: Five Shot at Minneapolis Black Lives Matter Protest, SPD Increases Patrols After QFC Shooting

Too many shootings this week (and every week).
Too many shootings to include in Morning News today. This was taken after the QFC shooting on Broadway and Pike. Sam Osborne

Five People Were Shot at a Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis Last Night: Gunmen wounded five people at a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside a police station, where activists had gathered to protest the police shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark two Sundays ago. Police are looking for three white male suspects.

SPD Will Increase Night Patrols After Capitol Hill Drive-by Shooting: And three of the people shot outside the QFC on Pike and Broadway have been discharged from Harborview Medical Center. Five people in total were injured by gunshots or broken glass early Sunday morning.

The Seattle City Council Approved a 2016 Budget, But Killed 12-Week Paid Parental Leave: Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant lodged the one "no" vote against the entire budget. Heidi has more here.

The Council Also Killed a Municipal Broadband Pilot: But Upgrade Seattle is working on next steps to garner more public support.

Western Washington University Classes Are Canceled Today Because of Alleged Hate Speech Targeting Students of Color: "I need to be VERY clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too," WWU President Bruce Shepard wrote in a message to students and faculty. "No, this was hate speech. These are likely crimes in my view (and in the view of those in the criminal justice system we immediately involved)."

Which aisle for E. coli?
Which aisle for E. coli? a katz /

A Washington E. coli Case Has Been Linked to Costco Chicken: The Washington Department of Health has named "Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken" as the culprit.

Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett End Water Shortage Plans: "Heavy rains in late October and early November led the three cities to declare that water supply conditions were getting back to normal," the cities announced in a press release. "The state remains in a declared drought, but the recent rains on the west side of the Cascades have saturated the ground, filled reservoirs and generally reset the water supplies to normal conditions."

UW Study Finds Coal Trains in Columbia River Gorge Pollute Nearly Twice as Much as Regular Freight Trains: Which poses a problem for communities by the tracks if three new coal export terminals are permitted in Washington and Canada.

Microsoft's Latest Diversity Numbers Show a 2.2 Percent Drop in Women Employees: In a Monday blog post, Microsoft's general manager of diversity and inclusion wrote that the reduction in women employees had to do with layoffs in hardware facilities overseas. At the same time, Microsoft reported a doubling of black corporate vice presidents and increased female representation on its senior leadership team. The company remains 46 percent white and male. Only 18 of 155 executive positions are occupied by women.

South Lake Union Will Get High-Tech Traffic Lights Next Year to Cut Down on Congestion: Mike Lindblom at the Seattle Times reports that "adaptive signals" will assess traffic and signal green lights accordingly. Still, the lights "can’t cure the thickest 5 p.m. gridlock, when there are too many cars, pedestrians, trucks and streetcars to give everybody a clear path," Lindblom writes. The SLU signals will be funded by $13.1 million from the recently approved Move Seattle levy.

Where do crows roost at night? Hint: not a cemetery.
Where do the city's crows roost at night? Hint: not a cemetery. Charles Mudede

KUOW Investigates: Where Do Seattle Crows Go at Night? Reporter Ashley Ahearn went on a ride-along with University of Washington crow expert John Marzluff to track Seattle crows to their nighttime roosts.

Turkey Shot Down a Russian Warplane Near Syria: NATO is holding an emergency meeting today to discuss what happened. "The incident occurred as Russia and the West were slowly edging toward some manner of understanding to unite forces to confront the Islamic State in the wake of the bloody terrorist attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian charter flight over Egypt that together killed 354 people," the New York Times reports.