Weekly Gossip and Bullshit and Stuff
• After two years of concerted pussyfooting, on October 1, the Seattle City Council passed a sweeping measure to regulate conditions for roughly 269,000 renters. The new legislation requires landlords to register every rental property with the city by 2017, pay a registration fee, and demonstrate that the properties meet basic health and safety requirements. On top of that, it allows the city to randomly inspect 10 percent of Seattle's rental stock annually for health and safety violations. And if renters lodge a complaint with the city—for things such as mold, infestations, and exposed electrical wiring—the city can inspect their unit. Landlords who fail these inspections must pay a fine of $150 to $500 for each day they don't bring units up to livable standards.
• Perhaps you've admired the guerrilla artwork of Grrrl Army, the troupe of activists plastering abandoned buildings around town with Pepto-pink murals about "Rape Culture," and wondered, "What the fuck?" SGA, the person who runs Grrrl Army, explains it this way: "This was inspired by vigilante girl gangs—girls taking guys out of bars and kicking dudes' asses for being rapists. So here's this giant-ass thing written on a fucking wall that talks to you and it says—DON'T RAPE WOMEN, but it also says more than that. We let people write what they want, like a manifesto. If you're tired of sexism, racism, homophobia, there aren't a lot of free public spaces for you to leave your thoughts. We create that space. This is a space for you."
• A new Facebook group is targeting the homeless youth in Westlake Park, calling them "urchins" and "drug dealers" while posting their photos without permission. The person who runs the group deletes comments—including one from The Stranger asking the group moderator to respond to criticisms that the page is harassing people. "It's dehumanizing them," laments Elaine Simons, who runs the homeless-youth service group Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets. She says the webpage is "borderline stalking" and she fears some nut who sees the page will assault the homeless kids in the park "thinking that they are something they are not. They really are pretty awesome kids and nobody gives them that chance."