Culture News: Get Your Lit Crawl On, Café Racer Closes, and Andrew Wyeth Retrospective Opens

Andrew Wyeth, Winter, 1946 will be part of SAMs Retrospective.
Andrew Wyeth, Winter, 1946 will be part of SAM's Retrospective.

Lit Crawl Is Tonight: It’s the biggest night of readings all year! To help counter your feelings of being overwhelmed and having major FOMO, Rich Smith has put together a handy-dandy guide to all the literary fun, with routes to follow in both Capitol Hill and First Hill.. Extra special shameless promotion: The Stranger's own Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Grover will be doing a live taping of their fantastic podcast about conspiracies, Trust Issues, and I’ve been told there will be “interactive elements."

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Feds Admit They Weren't Allowed to Spend Money Prosecuting Eastern Washington Medical Marijuana Growers

After raiding their house in 2012, federal authorities prosecuted the Kettle Falls Five for growing marijuana, even though medical marijuana was legal in Washington.
After raiding their house in 2012, federal authorities prosecuted the Kettle Falls Five for growing marijuana, even though medical marijuana was legal in Washington. DANIEL FISHEL

In an unexpected filing this week, the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledged that it did not have the authority to spend federal dollars going after a family of medical marijuana growers in eastern Washington.

We covered the case of the Kettle Falls Five back in 2015. The family of growers who lived about two hours from Spokane—Rhonda Firestack-Harvey and her husband Larry Harvey, along with Rhonda’s son Rolland Gregg, Rolland’s wife Michelle, and a family friend named Jason Zucker—was charged back in 2013 for growing and distributing cannabis and owning guns “in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.” The family argued they were following state medical marijuana laws; the feds argued there's no such thing as medical marijuana under federal law. Zucker cut a deal and testified against the others. Prosecutors dropped the charges against Larry as he was battling late-stage pancreatic cancer. In early 2015, the other three were found guilty of growing but acquitted on the other counts. Larry died in August 2015.

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PNB’s Dark November Mixed Bill: Crystal Pite, Twyla Tharp, Jessica Lang.

Three choreographic visionaries take the stage in PNB’s iconic November program. Audiences are anticipating the second Crystal Pite (Emergence) work to enter PNB’s repertory, Plot Point. Set to the music from Psycho, Plot Point mixes film noir and an insatiable need for story in one mesmerizing work. Twyla Tharp’s made-for-PNB Afternoon Ball returns, along with Jessica Lang’s ode to Georgia O’Keeffe, Her Door to the Sky. Buy tickets and save 20%!

Get Tickets HERE!

WA-8 Candidate Brayden Olson Really Wants People To Stop Calling Him "Seattle’s Christian Grey"

A millennial looking for a job.
A millennial looking for a government job. Brayden Olson Campaign

Thanks to an article in Business Insider, the internet knows Brayden Olson as "Seattle's Christian Grey," a fact that greatly depresses the 29-year-old business-owner currently running for Congress in Washington's 8th district.

Today I talked to him over the phone to discuss his bid for Congress, and also to clear up the Business Insider story, which he thinks was total bullshit.

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30 Movies Worth Watching in Seattle This Weekend: Oct 19-22, 2017

Alaska Is a Drag plays on Friday as part of TWIST.
Alaska Is a Drag plays on Friday as part of TWIST.

Seattle revels in horror movies this weekend, with really old classics like The Old Dark House and Halloween and recent films that infused the genre with fresh, unwholesome blood, like The Witch. Not into horror? Check out new releases like The Florida Project, and don't forget the film festivals. Follow the links below for complete showtimes and trailers for all of their picks, or, if you're looking for even more options, check out our complete movie times listings or our film events calendar.

Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play.

1. Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde isn’t subtle. On about the 89th shot of Charlize Theron walking coolly down a Berlin street wearing sunglasses to an 1980s new wave hit, I wondered if it wasn’t a little excessive. Yes, of course—it’s absolutely excessive. But also: great! Excess is great! Sunglasses and Charlize Theron and 1980s jams are all great. Theron plays a British spy (OR IS SHE?) trying to out-spy some other spies (OR ARE THEY?) who murdered this one other spy (HRRMMM??) and there’s also a mega-list of spies to track down (SPY SPY SPY!). Look, no one can explain the plot of a spy movie without sounding dumb or crazy or both, and the hallmark of a good one is giving up and saying, “Whatever, it’s fun!” (This is what I am doing here.) ELINOR JONES
Meridian 16

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Best Happy Hours for Gamers


Eastlake Zoo Tavern

2301 Eastlake Ave E, 206-329-3277

Plenty of places call themselves "dive bars," but the Zoo is a true old-Seattle dive, serving lots of beer and a little wine in a big room where all the chairs seem to have one leg shorter than the others. And while you might not guess it from the outside, the place also boasts an impressive array of games to get steadily worse at as you drink. Pool is the Zoo's specialty, but there's also ping-pong, skee-ball, pinball, and a selection of classic arcade games. In fact, games are so much a part of the Zoo that you can play some old eight-bit classics on the bar's website ( The fun, divey atmosphere of the physical location is enhanced by, among other things, a giant, lumpy dragon sculpture with beady red eyes that stares down at you, benignly judging you for your drunken shenanigans. Their happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and offers discounts on drafts, pitchers, and bottles—plus free pool. (They only take cash, but they also have an on-site ATM in case you forget to stock up beforehand.) This is not a place to find $15 artisanal small-batch cocktails—and we should treasure it all the more for that.

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Yes, Even Voters in Washington's Swing Districts Want More Gun Safety Laws

A gun store in Springville, Utah.
A gun store in Springville, Utah. George Frey/Getty

Several days after a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Washington State Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) described gun safety as "an issue in which the legislature is wildly, wildly out of step" with voters. In recent years, Washington state voters have approved gun safety measures by wide margins, expanding background checks and creating extreme risk protection orders. Meanwhile, state lawmakers has stalled or ignored virtually every gun safety proposal, including a ban on assault weapons.

A new poll funded by advocates for more gun safety measures backs up Jinkins' assessment.

In a telephone poll of 500 likely voters, 65 percent said they would support "new laws that heavily restrict access to semi-automatic firearms." Seventy-nine percent said they support a ban on bump stocks, 75 percent said they supported requiring firearm licenses, and 87 percent said they support required safety training before firearm purchases.

According to the polling memo from EMC Research, a majority of respondents in swing districts supported all four of those measures.

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Amazon Humiliates Downtown Macy's

Guess whos coming to this building?
Guess who's coming to this building? Charles Mudede

In 2015, the top four floors of the historic eight-story building at 300 Pine Street was sold by Macy's to an investment firm in Greenwich, Connecticut, for a cool $65 million. Not long after the deal was settled, the firm began transforming the retail spaces into office spaces. This June, it was reported by Puget Sound Business Journal that two more floors were sold to the investment firm, and the once magnificent department store had to squeeze its wares into the remaining two floors and the basement. Then on Monday, October 16, it was confirmed that Amazon was moving into the office spaces.

Yes, Amazon will be on top of a company whose downfall its success initiated, a company that's closing "approximately 100 stores in the next few years," a company that anchored many malls across the country. And malls, or course, are the center of the service economy that replaced the industrial economy of the Golden Age of Capitalism (1947 to 1973). All you need to do is walk into the Macy's building to see the world-historic transition from one form of capitalism to another—post-service capitalism—in action. There are not many places in America where the drama of such a convergence (architecture and economics) can seen, felt, and heard directly.

I visited Macy's to buy some pants for winter and to suss out what remains of the mall-era retail giant.

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Seattle Has The Highest Rate Of Property Crime In The Nation

Westend61/Getty Images
Seattle had the highest rate of property crime of any major U.S. city in 2016, according to data released by the FBI a few weeks ago. The property crime rate per 100,000 residents in Seattle is four times higher than in New York and 2.5 times higher than Boston or LA.

Property crime includes theft, burglary, shoplifting, arson and more.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up


Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: What about #MeThough? What about shitty fingers? How do you ask your partner to let you fuck someone else without it damaging their self esteem? Also: last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

First, a follow-up from the LW regarding those shitty fingers of hers:

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Former Idiot President Looks Pretty Damn Great These Days

Hes baaaack!
He's baaaack! Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If the Trump presidency has been good for anyone, it's George W. Bush. Once assumed to be the dumbest person who could ever lose the popular vote and still take office, that honor was reassigned to one Donald J. Trump in January. And as Trump tweets and golfs through his presidency, Bush looks downright reasonable by comparison. Sure, he may have erroneously attacked Iraq over false reports of weapons of mass destruction (and oil) but at least he isn't Donald fucking Trump.

The differences between the last dumbfuck and the current dumbfuck were made all the more apparent Thursday during a speech Dubya gave at the Bush Institute.

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LA Weekly Is Being Sold to a "Mysterious New Company," and Employees Are Being Laid Off

A cover of the paper from 2014.
A cover of the paper from 2014.

While we are hearing cryptic information about the fate of Seattle Weekly comes news that LA Weekly is going through a strange transition of its own. LA Weekly is currently owned by the company that used to own Seattle Weekly.

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Band Math: Plastic Bertrand + David Bowie = Noel Gallagher's New Single

The long sight of the Noel.
The long sight of the Noel. Lawrence Watson

I confess that I came around to Noel Gallagher after despising him for the whole '90s because of his work on the old Russell Brand radio show that caused such a controversy in 2008, despite being perhaps the funniest thing I have ever compulsively listened to the same 100 hours of at least 10 times.

I have enough distance now to say it: Noel Gallagher is kind of good. But I still can't get behind his songs, mate. Aside from maybe three or four Oasis ones. MAYBE. I've reached a point now where I almost even want to like his solo stuff, but that's no help when the songs themselves aren't up to much. Anyway, I was as surprised as any yank to learn he had a new single out last week called "Holy Mountain." I kept seeing people saying it was his best in years, which means almost nothing to me because I didn't like his classics.

Then I heard it and remembered what the main thing about listening to a Noel Gallagher composition is: You hear the song, sure, but really you spend the whole three minutes trying to figure out which song or songs he ripped off to write the new one.

In this case, the recipe is pretty simple:

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Little Rock, Arkansas, Took Out a Full Page Ad in the Washington Post to "Break Up" with Amazon HQ2

Love in the time of late capitalism. (Reminder: Amazon is not your newly cheating lover, Seattle. Can we please put down this analogy?)

Can Seattle Bikeshares Survive Winter?

Casualties of the wind.
Casualties of the wind. KH

After the failure of Pronto, a municipal bikeshare system that cost the taxpayers $1.4 million, three privately owned startups have taken its place. They are hard to miss—orange, green, and yellow bikes parked on sidewalks, dumped in yards, abandonded in Puget Sound, and even mounted in trees for some reason (maybe art?).

LimeBike, Ofo, and Spin, the three newscomers, seem to have done well this summer. You cannot leave home without nearly getting plowed by a helmetless stranger speeding down a bike lane, at least when the sun is out. But how well are these bikeshares going to do now that Seattle's dark, gray, nine-month long winter has settled it? On my walk to work today, I saw a half dozen bikes either blown over during last night's storm or, perhaps, pushed over during last night's bar crawl.

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We're Killing Everything

I read this at The Guardian after NYMag's Jesse Singal tweeted it out last night—"We're so fucked"—and I re-read just now after anon1256 pinged it in The Morning News comment thread. The Guardian:

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for all landscapes dominated by agriculture, the researchers said. The cause of the huge decline is as yet unclear, although the destruction of wild areas and widespread use of pesticides are the most likely factors and climate change may play a role. The scientists were able to rule out weather and changes to landscape in the reserves as causes, but data on pesticide levels has not been collected.

Insects account for 2/3 of all life on earth and there's this whole food chain thing we're dependent on—in addition to the whole pollination thing—so, like Jesse said, we're pretty much fucked if insect populations keep trending downwards at a rate of 6% per year. So, yeah. We're killing everything and we're all going to die. The only outstanding question at this point is whether the planet is going to shrug us off before we manage to do ourselves in—ourselves and every other living thing on the planet.