Capitol Hill Developer Ted Schroth Arrested on Suspicion of Poisoning 123 Trees Because They Compromised His View

Not an actual popular tree.
Stock photo of dead tree. Philip Lange/Shutterstock

Let's take a little trip in the wayback machine to 2007, back to when our lives were easy and carefree, the word "bro" was seldom heard, and ending every third sentence with " a thing" was not a thing.

Back then, Ted Schroth was a controversial landlord and—though many of us happy-go-lucky kids didn't realize it at the time—a harbinger of things to come for Capitol Hill. He and his partners bought the Oddfellows building and jacked up the rent on many of its tenants, effectively evicting a bunch of nonprofits, small businesses, and arts organizations, including Velocity Dance Center—which didn't make him a very popular guy.

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Savage Love: Sick and Easy

Joe Newton
I have been reading your column for years, Dan, and now I'm writing you for the first time to ask for a favor. I met this dude online in December and I felt like we had a good connection. He "dumped" me, though, because he was busy and was going through career shit and lived halfway across the country from me. I think a dude telling you he's too busy for you is bullshit—because boobs—so I encouraged him to tell me the truth. He insisted he wasn't shining me on: Busyness and career shit and distance were the truth, he said. Now it turns out that I will shortly be moving within easy dating distance of this dude. I still think about this guy a lot. I feel like I could connect with him emotionally and sexually in a really blissful way. He reads your column. Would you be a pal and tell this dude to date me already?

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Seattle Reacts to the FCC's Big Internet Freedom Decision

Sabrina Roach and Inye Wokoma hold up the spiffy logo for the new "Upgrade Seattle" campaign at a recent launch event. Upgrade Seattle

In the immortal words of former Republican Senator Ted Stevens, "the Internet is not a big truck." But the Internet is a public utility! WOOT! That's because the Federal Communications Commission voted to classify it as such this morning, enshrining net neutrality as a governing principle over the Internet, finally bowing to years of advocacy.

How is Seattle taking the news, besides celebrating?

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I'm the DJ, He's the Former Number-One Box-Office Star in the World: On Will Smith's Fall from Commercial Grace

Will Smith in Focus.
Will Smith in Focus.

Will Smith. Not too many years ago, that was the biggest name in Hollywood. It sold nearly $6 billion in tickets worldwide, and domestically, it represented the only actor to have eight consecutive films that made more than $100 million at the box office. To add even more amazement to these achievements, Will Smith is black. There was nothing like this kind of black success before him, and we may never see its like again. We can now safely see Smith as a thing of the past, as it's hard to believe that his new movie, Focus, which opens this weekend and concerns a middle-aged hustler who has a thing with a young and pretty fellow hustler, will return him to glory...

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We Have a New Baby Orca! It Looks Energetic!

This isnt a photo of the new baby orca, but imagine this lil calf with unique orangish color on the white areas.
This isn't a photo of the new baby orca, but imagine this lil' calf with "unique orangish color on the white areas." Monika Wieland/Shutterstock

Stop paying attention to those llamas. (Although, yes, we should all acknowledge this.) There's a new baby orca!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration caught a glimpse of a new, good-looking calf belonging to L pod off the Washington Coast yesterday, near Westport in Grays Harbor County. L94, the 20-year-old whale also known as Calypso, is believed to be the mother. Calypso also gave birth to one other calf called Cousteau (L133), who first showed up in 2009.

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It's Net Neutrality, Bitches


The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes. Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the F.C.C. was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers” and preserve the Internet’s role as a “core of free expression and democratic principles.” The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept.

Conservatives are unhappy because... and this was a party-line vote because... I have no idea. You would think the RWNJs wouldn't want their shitty websites packed with anti-Obama conspiracy theories to wind up in the slow lanes with the porn blogs and alternative weekly newspapers. But Obama was for it, so they gotta be against it. Because. Maybe we should rename oxygen "Obamagen" and see what happens?

And let's remember who we have to thank for net neutrality...

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The Macklash Is On: THEESatisfaction, Palaceer, and Raz Simone Take Aim at Seattle Hiphop’s Biggest Star

Black feminist sci-fi self-care.
Black feminist sci-fi self-care.

A smidge past a half-decade and a couple iterations back, you may recall that there was a group of acts dubiously lumped together as the "third wave" of Seattle hiphop. I remember the knowing half-joke among some of that wave's components held that "the girls"—who were also a part of the so-called "wave"—were going to "leave us all in the dust." The "girls" in question would be Stas and Cat, of course, Sub Pop recording artists THEESatisfaction. And yeah, there never was any doubt—not on my part at least—that they were going to do just that...

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BREAKING: OF COURSE They Caught the Black Llama First

And OF COURSE there are no stock photos of black llamas. stockphoto mania/Shutterstock

The internets went nuts today over two llamas that escaped from somewhere in Arizona, leading police on a chase that was broadcast live by a helicopter.

This happened:

Then this happened:

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More About the Architectural Gentrification of Seattle and How Afrocentric Design Principles Can Stop It

A model by UW architecture student Michelle Kang shows her view of Union Street’s much larger, interconnected African American families being dispersed by smaller, isolated newcomer families.
A model by UW architecture student Michelle Kang shows her view of Union Street’s much larger, interconnected African American families being dispersed by smaller, isolated newcomer families. Courtesy of Sharon Sutton

In my feature this week about a group of neighborhood activists who, in response to rapid gentrification in the Central District, are trying to buy a block at 23rd and Union, I interviewed UW architecture professor Sharon Sutton, whose students are helping their effort. What does architecture have to do with gentrification, exactly? According to Sutton, a lot.

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Auditor: Reforming the Seattle Police Department Remains an "Aspirational Goal"

Seattle police have new cars and uniforms, but meaningul reforms arent moving fast enough, says a department auditor.
Seattle police have new cars and uniforms, but 2014 was a missed opportunity to advance reforms, according to the department's accountability auditor. SPD

Anne Levinson is a former municipal judge who now audits the Seattle Police Department's accountability system. Her official title is "OPA Auditor"—meaning she's the person who keeps a critical eye on the Office of Professional Accountability (which itself is supposed to be keeping a critical eye on police behavior). Last year we wrote about a report from her that slammed the way SPD was handling misconduct cases. Now Levinson has another report out, this one assessing the department's progress on reforms over the latter half of 2014.

Once again, the news isn't positive: "As of the end of 2014," Levinson writes, "reform of the City’s police accountability system and related improvements largely remained an aspirational goal."

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Meet the Architect Behind "Born Again Bertha" (Who Once Designed a Bike Freeway Using Viaduct Parts)

The guy behind Born Again Bertha is local architect and cool dad John Kennedy, pictured here at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear held by Jon Stewart, one of Kennedys idols, in 2010.
The guy behind Born Again Bertha is local architect and cool dad John Kennedy, pictured here at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear held by Jon Stewart, one of Kennedy's idols, in 2010. Myra Lara

If you happened to walk through Pioneer Square on Tuesday, you may have noticed a 20-foot-long, official-looking (but highly unofficial) Bertha proposal propped up in the Occidental Mall. "Born Again Bertha" described a wild Plan B our current elected officials would never consider: filling the future, never-finished downtown tunnel with a K-8 school named after former mayor Mike McGinn, a rock climbing wall, an auditorium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a halfpipe for skating. The project also imagined some above-ground amenities, like monorail to downtown Seattle and a waterfront park. (Though, as far as we can tell, it somehow ignored Trent Moorman's "Giant Conveyor-Belt Sushi" proposal from last June.)

Neither the Born Again Bertha poster nor the snazzy website——revealed the project's creators. But The Stranger has learned that the brains behind "Born Again Bertha" belong to 50-year-old cool dad John Kennedy, a local architect who once drafted a plan to repurpose the Alaskan Way Viaduct into a bicycle freeway.

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THEE History: A Photographic Timeline of How THEESatisfaction Came to Be

Stasia “Stas” Irons is born in Tacoma! Catherine “Cat” Harris-White learns how to wink in Hawaii.
Stasia “Stas” Irons is born in Tacoma! Catherine “Cat” Harris-White learns how to wink in Hawaii.

If you have no idea who THEESatisfaction are, then you must be very new to this town. But even if you are a recent inhabitant of the 206, Stasia "Stas" Irons and Catherine "Cat" Harris-White are by no means obscure or underground. They are, after all, signed to Seattle's most internationally recognized label, Sub Pop, are regularly reviewed on sites like Pitchfork, are soon to tour with veteran rock mavens Sleater-Kinney, and have worked very closely with Ishmael Butler, who, as a member of the Grammy-winning Digable Planets, secured a place in hiphop's canon in the early '90s. Had you come to Seattle five years ago, however, there was every good reason not to know the name THEESatisfaction; indeed, many who lived here were also in the dark about the duo. Stas and Cat's music was then known and cherished only by a few who were hip to the happenings at Hidmo, an Eritrean restaurant that served as a cultural center and hiphop hub and sadly closed its doors in 2010...

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Think the City Should Allow More Homeless Encampments? Go Tell 'Em Tonight!

Tent encampments help provide safety and reduce risk of harm, says the Human Rights Commission.
Tent encampments, the city's Human Rights Commission says, "help provide safety and reduce risk of harm." Kelly O

Homelessness is on the rise in Seattle. People are dying by falling from illegal encampments perched dangerously perched above freeways. There continues to be a shortage of rental assistance and permanent housing for low-income and homeless people in the city. With that picture in mind, here’s something we could do right now: Allow more regulated homeless encampments, where people who’d otherwise be sleeping on the streets can form a community and get access to services.

Led by Council Member Mike O’Brien, the city council is having a hearing tonight on this very idea. It starts at 5:30 pm in council chambers at City Hall, and will be live-streamed here.

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Another State Legislator Takes on Trans Urinators

Crooks and Liars:

Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle, a woman frighteningly over-concerned with your genitals, filed a bill in the Texas House that says...

...anyone over the age of 13 in a public facility of “a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender” should be convicted of a class-A misdemeanor, and spend up to one year in jail and be fined $4,000. Riddle’s proposed law carves out exemptions for custodians, those helping children, or those responding to a medical emergency.

Her goal is to keep transgendered people from peeing. Anywhere, anytime. And since it would be easier to teach a mermaid to do the splits than to identity a transgender person with their clothes on, I suspect some sort of nudity check would be involved at the bathroom door. I can guarantee you this: I am not showing Debbie Riddle my nudity. Debbie wants to use your DNA to confirm your gender. I do not know if this would require a DNA testing center outside of every bathroom or if you can just get a DNA ID card for bathroom privileges.

Perhaps trans folks in Texas should bottle their urine and mail it to Debbie Riddle—or drop bottles off at her office—so that Debbie can personally see to its safe disposal.

Debbie Riddle
District Office
17207 Kuykendahl, Suite 108
Spring, TX 77379

And remember...

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I Hope There Are More Threeways in Season Three of House of Cards; I Bet Kevin Spacey Does, Too

I hope there are more threeways this season. I bet Kevin Spacey does too.
I'm excited enough about season three I could almost strangle a dog. Jaguar PS /
Last night, I started rewatching the first season of House of Cards with a friend who had only seen the British version. I'd forgotten the American House of Cards begins with Kevin Spacey strangling a dog. We got about 20 minutes in when my friend couldn't take it anymore. "Could we please watch the British one? I want to show you the British one. It's so much better," she said. So we bailed on Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in favor of Ian Richardson and Diane Fletcher. I rather preferred it.

Obviously the British version is better. I've only seen an hour of it and its superiority is already clear. It's funny, unlike earnest, humorless America. The acting's better. The buildings are better. The central tension is better. Lacking all of the British version's wit, the central tension in the American version is: Is he a good guy or a bad guy? God, what a simple, ridiculous, Puritanical, stupid tension. That's the same tension as Breaking Bad, that's the same tension as The Lion King, that's the same tension as A Few Good Men, that's the same tension as Star Wars. It's the same tension as the fucking Bible! Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

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