Starbucks/15th Avenue Coffee and Tea: The Protesters

Comments

1
Uhhh... seattle IS a local company, so isn't this technically fail?
2


Time to consult the
"Oh snap!" diagram
.



3
I really don't get the outrage on this. It's not like Starbucks is hiding that this is a Starbucks. And frankly I LIKE Starbucks Coffee made in the old La Mazzarco (sp) machines.

4
i bet each one of these protesters is a barista from a magical local shop who gives me attitude and expects me to tip them 2 dollars for putting something into a cup
5
Seattle is such a magical place.
A magical place filled with magical people.
Magical people making a difference.
Yippee!!!
6
I'm not getting it either - If this is supposedly an affront to 15th Ave sensibility then were were the protests when it was an actual Starbucks??!
7
Um, yeah, this doesn't exactly seem like a spontaneous upwelling of grassroots outrage -- who organized it?
8
I normally am not one to defend chains, but Starbucks is pretty important to Seattle. I doubt the thousands of people who are employed by them would like to be unemployed. They do provide health care which is better than most. Their coffee sucks, though.
9
I think it's just a touch of performance art, but seriously people? Get some perspective and put your anger toward the health care debate.

Hip trends have always been hijacked, rendering them not hip.

What's hip now?

Making your own coffee.
10
What a bunch of pricks. I don't hear these assholes complaining about the jobs, wealth, prosperity, & tax revenue created by Starbucks.

Not one of the current, local coffee houses would exist today if it weren't for the coffee revolution that Starbucks helped create.

I'd run them over it weren't a crime.
11
@1 Yes. Fer Christ's sake, the corporate headquarters is on 1st Ave. Any Starbucks you buy is by definition local.
12
What a complete waste of energy. Go back to your blogging hippies!

I mean really, I would think there are bigger better issues out there right now... healthcare anyone?
13
@ 1 ends the debate. any way you package it, starbucks is a local company.

they look cute, tho, and i guess unemployed actors have to do something with their days.
14
If everyone has such a positive feelings towards Starbucks, why are they participating in this brand camouflage?

I don't take issue with them on the whole, but this rubs me the wrong way somehow.
15
That's the way to show 'em, hipsters!!!
16
These people need to be over at Cantwell's office instead.
17
Big corporations might be local to Seattle, but really, they might as well be headquartered in Mumbai for all the practical difference made. I guarantee that most of your local employees work in the shops, not on first avenue.

"Ends the debate" my ass.
18
I love this.

SBC and Starbucks get their idea for coffee chains from Peet's, get their start in Seattle, bring coffee culture here. They nurse it, raise it, let it fly away.

All these "local" shops (generally founded by non-locals-- we can spot eachother) copy the Starbucks and SBC model, but try to say "oh, but we're local" and whine whenever Starbucks moves too close to them.

To make themselves "special", they go back to where it all started and copy San Francisco's frontier chic from the 60s and 70s and add in that reclaimed wood paneling thing NYC did in that same time and say "oh, but we're unique". Starbucks copies them, they cry foul again.

So, lesson: If you're a successful Seattle-based and -founded company, you aren't local. You're multi-national. Even if you helped get coffee culture off the ground in the city. And even if you throw local chains a bone by popularizing certain aspects of the local coffee chain model.

Starbucks is the non-local local coffee giant. Oh, and they'll win. They have more money, and since they've been in Seattle FOR DECADES, they know the vast majority of the legal circuit in this region. They won't let unoriginal newcomers boss them around. They make the rules.
19
Hey, Susan B. Local, call me!
20
if you want to hate on a corporation, hate Boeing.
21
Hey matt from DENVER wtf do you know about it anyway??

Do you think all of the people are flown in to HQ from outside the pacific northwest?

please just go away.
22
Hey 21,

My Seattle credentials are way more than yours. Learn something before you cowardly post anonymously.
23
Corporations bad! (errr, except for our corporation, then it's not so bad...and those corporations that get us clothes, food, drugs, furniture...)

Yeah, you guys have an AWESOME perspective.
24
@14 what brand camouflage? Starbucks isn't hiding anything; there have been tons of reports on this; if anything Starbucks is starting some "micro brands", but isn't keeping it a secret that they're behind it.
25
What are your Seattle credentials, Matt?
26
I said this yesterday, but it bears repeating:
I don't get all you Starbucks haters. You whine that they are soul-less with the homogenized cookie cutter decor and charbroiled coffee. So they listen to that and come back with a new concept that individualizes the store to fit the neighborhood (and Linda *doesn't* have a patent on distressed wood, faux vintage decor) and allow the store managers to offer local coffee beans if they find something they think customers will like, and to top it off, hire artisan baristas that know how to do more than push buttons.

All this effort to give you what you want and you still hate on them? Come on' people.

They are a locally headquartered global company that has done more for the economy and lives of thousands of Seattlites than all of the independent (god bless 'em!) coffee shops combined. The people that work at Starbucks (HQ and stores) are our friends and neighbors and are no more evil than the rest of you stone-casters.
27
@17 - And I guarantee you that the employee income taxed is greater on first ave than all the local stores.
28
I'm sure we'll see them protesting the other corporations on the block, like QFC and Walgreens. Hmm, it's entirely possible that Linda Derschang's empire is a corporation, too. Lots of things are corporations.
29
@24: They seem so similar to Smith... if they had copied Top Pot or Vivace it would seem less like an attempt at chameleon-like passing.

Like I said, I'm not super offended by this. I just think it's another example of corporate-infiltration. They realize some people are offended by multinationals, so they try to mute that in order to be more accepted by people with a "buy local" ethos. They wouldn't have had a sign saying "try your new neighborhood coffee shop" if this wasn't part of their plan. I'm not saying it's "wrong" just somewhat deceitful.

also, @25: Stop being a dick. Or register, so we know which easily offended native you are.
30
what, exactly, IS the debate here, 17? the set-up here seems to be "The only thing Starbucks can do right is close". That hardly sounds like a "debate" to me. More like a "religion".
31
Starbucks trying to pass itself off as local (which hey, it is) is no where near as lame as Chase's Seattle themed bill board campaign. If you've got to bash a huge mega-corporation, go for the banks.
32
@ 14: Different brands get more shelf space, duh. That's why Ford makes Lincoln, Toyota makes Lexus, etc. The outrage completely escapes me, too. You don't see protesters outside McDonalds or Chevron. This is classic left-eating-left behavior, while the true multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble (which owns Folgers) and Kraft Foods (a subsidiary of Altria f/k/a Philip Morris, which owns Maxwell House) laugh all the way to the bank, largely ignoring the concepts of "organic" or "shade-grown."
33
29 -- this is partially a local vs non-local debate, and I find it hilarious that Matt from Denver feels authoritative enough just chime in with lies.

I LIVE HERE. The burden is not on *me* to give credentials, the burden is on Mr. I'm From Denver and Know Everything about Seattle (even though he is wrong about the HQ vs store employee ratio)
34
I bet these guys protest Foie Gras too. Noting better to do eh?

Seriously, it's not like anyone in the neighboorhood is going to not know the place is a Starbucks. Who cares what it looks like?
35
Here we go again, with protester hate/I don't get it....shocking.

Why not protest something else, why not love and appreciate our very own giant corporation that's against workers even talking about unions, why not this why not that? Blah blah blah...yawn.

Why not just sit on a computer and post on Slog all day? That's really being super interesting.
36
Uh-uh, 25. You go dig for them yourself. I've posted my Seattle credentials many times, including within the week.

Besides, it has little to do with this debate anyway. I could talk about Qwest and whether they're really local since they're based in Denver or not, using the same arguments but substituting the name and place. I could also do that if I was speaking about Bank of America and Charlotte, NC, where I've never lived. My current location, and yours, is completely beside the point.

Now, if I was commenting on the Mayor's race (which I am qualified to do, as I have voted many times in Seattle elections), you might have more of a point - I'm not in Seattle now, so my opinion has almost no bearing on the outcome. But it still doesn't change the fact that you have to attack me for being from Denver - something you would never have known if I hadn't made it part of my screen name - because you can't answer my actual point. Sucks to be you.
37
Starbucks HQ generates a lot of income for people in Seattle. I have had many friends work there over the years, mostly doing temp work, but they got paid well. You would bitch even more if they left, just like Boeing and the Sonics.

The protesters are pretty funny though, I just think their "outrage" is misplaced. By the look on their faces they seem to know it. I like Smith but seriously that decor is far from original, and I am more appalled that Linda is complaining that they are stealing "her idea". I really don't like Starbucks coffee but I might just get coffee from there to spite the hipsters.

All the hipsters go to Victrola or Ladro anyway. When I lived on 15th that Starbucks was mostly filled with Group Health employees, who probably didn't have time or patience to deal with the attitude of Victrola and their army of macbook using, snarky slogbot customers.
38
This is just silly. Everyone needs to stop acting like it's a big deal, because it's not. Half of you probably wouldn't care one way or the other if Linda hadn't gotten so worked up about it. Don't like Starbucks? Don't go there. It's as simple as that.

39
@ 30, ask @ 13; s/he declared it "ended."
40
@32: "while the true multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble (which owns Folgers) and Kraft Foods (a subsidiary of Altria f/k/a Philip Morris, which owns Maxwell House) laugh all the way to the bank, largely ignoring the concepts of "organic" or "shade-grown.""

Huh?

Kraft owns Boca and Back to Nature. Multinationals aren't ignoring the concepts of organic, they're buying up smaller companies that offer those items.
41
It's shit like this that makes me embarrassed to live in Seattle. What a bunch of ass-clowns. Maybe I'm just old and cranky, but I was brought up in a time when activism actually involved a cause. You want to change your world? Then volunteer your time to help the poor, sick or elderly. To rail against the world by standing in front of a Starbucks does no good for anyone and proves you to be nothing more than a pathetic waste.
42
I'm offended.

Starbucks Is Now the Official Joe of ‘Morning Joe’

NYTimes May 31, 2009

Starbucks is becoming a naming sponsor of “Morning Joe,” in what is the closest integration between an advertiser and a national news program in recent memory. Harkening back to the “Camel News Caravan,” an NBC news roundup sponsored by a cigarette manufacturer in the 1950s, graphics and voice-overs will tell viewers that “Morning Joe” is “brewed by Starbucks.”

Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said in an interview that the deal indicated that “the rules of engagement in marketing and advertising have changed quite significantly.” He called it an opportunity to “align ourselves with, in my view, one of the smartest morning shows that air on TV.”

One executive with knowledge of the deal said Starbucks would be paying more than $10 million to MSNBC. The executive spoke on the condition of anonymity because the companies would not comment on the deal’s terms.

Fuck Starbucks
43
This is just comedy, not protesting.

I'm more taken by the righteousness of people on the internets not protesting Cantwell or anything else that these 15th ave people should be protesting Cantwell or anything else.

ARMCHAIR PROSLETYZING IS A RACE
44
@32: Along those lines, a major company that can conceal their negative practices can reveal the negative practices of other companies. Or small local shops.

Which I'm soooooooooooooooo ready for. Best drama bomb to hit Cap Hill in years, I'm sure.
45
If all their benefits were all tey are cracked up to be then some of their workers would not be forming a union. Which they are and I wish them good luck.
http://www.starbucksunion.org/
46
42 - CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP! Mein Gott, next thing you know, they'll be sponsoring stadiums! And arenas!

47
Starbucks sold the Sonics to Satan Bennett.
48
Individualizing the stores is a good idea and I think makes the neighborhood more interesting. Is that what the protesters are complaining about - a more interesting neighborhood?
49
@ 48, check out the other thread about this. The debate about whether this is good or not is more focused and interesting there.
50
@1 @28 @41 and a bunch of others. Yes, yes, yes. A local corporation trying a re-branding strategy after struggling with their revenues is not a scandal. They were already in the neighborhood. It's a redesign, not an infiltration. Our city directly benefits from its success.

@17 I guarantee that most of your local employees work in the shops, not on first avenue.

So? Unemployment for all those employees is your preferred alternative? What is your golden vision here?
51
Well, at least now we know how to get Seattle really worked up and active and protesting. "Offend" locally. Make sure it's largely visual and "copies" over produced uses of "rustic" decor ... then you will get people off their asses and protesting!

The nearsightedness of this whole thing is rather embarrassing ... I am born and raised in Seattle ... I am sure that most of these "protesters" were not. It just amazes me that THIS is what pulls people out of bed for protest. Are you all bored? Or just not paying attention to things that happen outside of your 3 block radius??
52
these "protesters" are likely baristas or owners of local shops
53
@ 50, you miss my point. People are saying "starbucks is local!" That's technically correct but it's incorrect in the idea that they care more about Seattle and how they impact it. That's generally the connotation that "local" carries.
54
@26.

i suppose the problem may have been with starbuck hater's in the first place saying they didn't like the generic fast-food like atmosphere found in most starbucks. because, while that may be true, there is also more to it than that.

even this store looks pretty cookie-cutter to me. it's too perfect. it does look better though. and when starbucks' look better, i don't mind. i like the comfy atmosphere and the fireplace and the wifi.

that said, a real small business local store has more a soul. the chalk was written by an artist friend of the owner, because they cared about it. they choose each item of furniture based on what they want and what they can afford, or who they know. it's a community effort just to open the place. the employees seem to want to work there. and when you spend money there, you feel like you a supporting a neighbor.

i don't hate starbucks, and i don't hate them more for trying to make their store nicer. but i do dislike that it rings false to me, and i dislike that by making their location look more lik the other local shops they may be winning business from them. i'd that for that: to thing that as long as you have enough money for a redesign you can eventually beat out my neighbors.

let's face it, walmart is "local" somewhere. starbuck is miles ahead of walmart, but they still have additional burdens because of their size.
55
@31 Completely right. CHASE Manhattan trying to tell us they are "Washington's Bank" while inhabiting old WAMU shells is very unsettling. Like bodysnatchers.

That said, the "Corporations = Evil" argument is a popular one in these days, and certainly not without reason (see wall-mart who is resurging in this bargain-buy economy). Starbucks, however monstrous, and whether or not it is multi-national or local is allowed legally to adapt to a changing comsumer environment. A little gross in the way it's being done, but I honestly doubt that anyone is going to be fooled about whether or not this is a Starbucks, and those who would be fooled would probably choose to go to a Starbucks anyway. If anything, the fact that Starbucks is being forced to put a thin veil over it's familiar corporate face is a compelling sign that the local shops in Seattle are already winning whatever war is supposedly being fought here.

56
So funny - ten years ago, the culture warriors made fun of people who went to hoity-toity coffee shops like Starbucks to buy their "fair trade mochas" and such - and now culture warriors of the left are merely upset because their "independence" is being co-opted.

Cry me a river, hipsters - no one was really all that interested in your culture anyways.
57
@46: But corporate sponsorship of a news show... boundaries are being crossed. It's one thing for NBC comedies to have product placement "My Name is Earl: Klondike Bar; Chuck: Subway; 30 Rock: GE" it's another entirely to mix it in a news show.

It's a slippery slope argument, but a valid one.
58
Starbucks is ashamed of their brand.

That is the story here.

Fuck Starbucks!

59
57 - not really. If you think that the news coming out of Mornin' Joe is distorted by corporate sponsorship, then get your news elsewhere. No one's forcing you to turn on the television, and the internet certainly doesn't lack for alternative viewpoints.
60
There's also a level of the "no one is allowed to criticize Seattle, especially not outsiders" thing going on here, best evidenced by @51. I have never lived anywhere that circled the wagons as much as Seattle when they felt like a local institution was under attack.

If Starbucks was based in LA, I assume about 90% of these posts would be calling for us to burn the new shop to the ground.
61
@53 That's fine if that's the connotation it carries, I just think most of the people arguing the point in this thread are looking at it more from the perspective that Starbucks brings a lot of money and jobs into Seattle. Regardless of the corporation's intent. Aside from that, It absolutely played a part in the "coffee culture" that is associated with Seattle, which, along with our "tech culture," has helped shaped our city's economy. I'm not saying Starbucks can do no wrong, nor that it cares more about Seattle than its own succes. But without it, Seattle's economy would look very different than it does right now and I have a hard time believing it would be for the better.
62
Cross-posted from the other thread:

A really great book about this debate is Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, … by Anne Elizabeth Moore. The author doesn't attack the corporations as much as she does bemoan the steady erosion of any barrier between "authentic" and "indie-washing."
63
@ 61, good points.
64
53 Matt From Denver: you are simply wrong

Do you have any idea how much money Starbucks gives to the arts and other programs in Seattle? Are you callous enough to believe that the company that got its start here could give a fuck about us and the community from which it draws employees?

From the first cursory google search that I performed:

"Starbucks Makes $550,000 Donation to the Revitalization of Three Hometown Parks; Community..."

http://www.allbusiness.com/government/go…
65
@60 oh don't get me wrong, I am all for criticizing Seattle, be you from wherever, I support "Matt from Denver" protesting ... I just think that this particular "protest" is rather embarrassing.

As many have said, Starbucks is not hiding that this is in fact a "Starbucks" and as somebody else pointed out on one of these threads, growth and change in trends cause corporations to "re-brand" this is not a Starbucks inspired concept, it is the nature of marketing.

It all just seems like such a waste of energy to protest this re-branding. The simplest form of protest can sometimes be the most effective, don't like it? Don't patronize it!

If people were really anti-Starbucks and yadda yadda yadda they would have protested the Starbucks moving in in the first place, wouldn't they? It's still Starbucks ... the name is on the door ...

I just can't wrap my head around the anger ... that's all.
66
Whenever people ask me about Portland's fascination with PBR, I send them this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/magazi…

67
@ 60

oh and to my comment "I am born and raised in Seattle ... I am sure that most of these "protesters" were not" I simply meant to say that this nearsighted protesting and thinking is not necessarily a product of the Seattle native.
68
Honestly, where's the props for the creativity of this? Sure, they're not protesting for world peace, but they're pretty funny.
69
@ 64, all big corporations do this. It's a great way to itemize corporate income taxes. Why is it more special if it's happening in Seattle?

I didn't say (or mean to imply) that they do no good locally. But their profits don't all stay here, like the ones your local shop earns. And if they cared as much about the community as real local businesses do, they wouldn't try to reap even more share out of a market they already dominate, putting even more pressure on local businesses to stay afloat, if not putting them out of business.
70
Oh, another contribution to Seattle from Starbucks: making Top Pot suck less.
71
I'm aware that all corporations do this, however you are wrong (again) as to why: it is incredible PR.

If you want Starbucks and all of its jobs to go away, fine, fuck you, and please stay in Denver like someone else was hassling you about.
72
69 - I think it's weird you have such an affinity for local shops, given that they are routinely overpriced, with poor service.

And what are they supposed to do, just start writing checks to local shops that cannot compete?
73
What a bunch of fucking whiners! Get a life losers! Seriously, it's a fucking coffee shop. I hope McDonalds builds a new location next to Dick's on Broadway and makes it look exactly the same just to see the fun of the angry idiots that would cause.
74
@67: That's completely fair -- Seattle definitely draws a certain class of anti-corporate transplant.
75
@73 Holy Jesus that would be hilarious. Apocalyptic, but hilarious.
76
@72: Up until now I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Now I realize you're either trolling or a corporate apologist. Either way, not interested anymore.
77
What if these "protesters" are actually hired by Starbucks to bring attention to itself? Could it be that smart? Probably not. But it would be very savvy.
78
@66 Thank you for that link. Funny and insightful.
79
76 - sorry to hear that. the fact is, is that corporations, big or small, are generally forces for good, and it's a reflexive anti-corporate mentality that led to these airheaded protests.
80
I love that some commenters seem to seriously fear this whimsical stuff will lead Starbucks to relocate their headquarters. It's perfect Friday thinking.
81
@77: I assumed that's what it was.
82
@68: Thank you, sir. 78 comments and nobody else has pointed out that these protesters are hilarious? Whether or not you agree with the 15th Ave. Coffee concept, at least the protesters are making their point in a clever way.
83
eh. isn't victrola (3 stores + wholesale) owned by whidbey coffee (9 stores + wholesale) anyway? it's hilarioius that people care this much though.
84
Yah, stupid protesters out having a little fun at $tarbux expense - how totally stupid of them!

Geez, lighten up people - and maybe cut down on the caffeine for good measure; you-all seem way too tightly wound up about this - $BUX may be "local" in the sense that it started here, and still maintains its corporate HQ here, but is that all that's necessary for one to buy into that argument? Do you think people in Sand Bernardino still think of McDonald's as a "local" company? Do the citizens of Cincinnati still refer to Procter & Gamble as a "local" company? Do people in Vevey, Switzerland still consider Nestle a "local" company? At what point does a "local company" transcend its roots and become just another monolithic multi-national corporation?

And some of you need to brush up on your History of Coffee In Seattle 101. $BUX may be the most famous example of the exportation of "Seattle coffee culture" to the global marketplace, but they're certainly not even close to being the first, and most certainly far from the best we have to offer. For example, SBC (nee Stewart Brothers Coffee, now owned by $BUX), founded in 1969 predates $BUX by two full years. $BUX didn't really even begin its march toward world-domination until 1987 when Howard Schultz bought the operation from the original owners and changed the name of his own fledgling Il Giornale coffee shop to create the "second Starbucks" location.

Here are some other examples of pre-$BUX Seattle coffee establishments: Torrefazione Italia, founded by SBC's Umberto Bizzari started in 1986; Uptown Espresso started in 1985; Monorail Espresso, for many years known as "Seattle's First Espresso Cart" started in 1980; B&O Espresso opened in 1976 I believe; Cafe Allegro in 1975. All of these well-known, still-running establishments far predate $BUX in its present form, and are the true foundations of the "Seattle coffee culture" that Schultz & Co. has attempted to re-write into its version of its own corporate mythology.
85
This is a great protest. More like this.

Starbucks may be decent to its domestic employees (that is, when they're not unionbusting) but they're otherwise the Wal-Mart of coffee: terrible to the third world, and steamrolling over local culture everywhere.

Everyone rushing to their defense should check out this video by Robert Greenwald, yr favorite lefty : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L58EKo9XY…

I recommend Ian Svenonius' essay on this topic, anthologized in his Psychic Soviet book.
86
#69, "Why is it more special if it's happening in Seattle?"

Wasn't that the point? Whether they're "local?"
87
I seriously cannot believe how fucked up Seattle hipsters are sometimes. In fact, I can see this coffee shop as the perfect critical counterpoint to the absurd search for "local" and "authentic" experiences that they seem to be obsessed with...
88
Trevor #77, you beat me to it. I think it's a clever "guerilla marketing" tactic that shows Starbucks understands "local" better than we thought.
89
At what point does a business become so successful that it goes from OK to evil? If Cupcake Royale opens 10 locations is that ok? What about a hundred?

Should this limit be self-imposed or should customers decide to no longer go at some random point?
90
@ 1 thru 88: How Seinfeldesque - wake me when pantyknots untie.
91
I am amazed to have read through over 80 comments, with not a single one discussing the quality of the products being delivered by the new store and its competitors.

If 15th Street Coffee/née Starbucks delivers a better product, I'll go there; if the others stores are better, I'll patronize them instead.

In this case, I define a good product by the quality of the food/beverage, the store environment, and the service. While each of us may weigh these factors differently (or find other factors important), I would hope that we all can agree that more competition for our dollars will lead to better products from all the stores.
92
@ 71, butthurt much? Do you work for them or something? PR is just as self-interested as tax write-offs, so spare me the tales of Starbucks' angelic good. Enron did plenty of good things for Houston, too.

@ 86, read Comte's comment.
93
@ 91, that subject was pretty well exhausted last week when SLOG first posted this story.
94
@89 it's not size, it's behavior. deceptiveness + bad labor practices + human rights violations.
95
Starbucks may not be "hiding" that this location is there's, but they're sure not marketing it. "Inspired by Starbucks"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean. Seems more like it should be "Starbucks: Inspired by *insert local cafe name here*". And I think THAT is the point of the protest. There's no question that the new CHASE Bank locations are a part of the larger Chase system and not some local small town bank.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don't read SLOG and may have missed the Times article. Would THEY understand what 15th Ave Coffee & Tea is all about?

And sure, there are a lot of things to protest in this world - but at least these people are motivated about SOMETHING. That's sure a step up from 95% of the population in Seattle who are too caught up in their apathy to take action, much less even notice what's going on in their neighborhood.
96
Speaking of which, whatever happened with that Jason guy and Jimmy John's?
97
@95

I hate the whole "participation" is good enough argument. At least they're doing "something", what ... exactly ... are they doing?

Ugh.

All this says is that "our coffee shops are more important to us than health care, education and civil rights" ...

hence the slight tingle of embarrassment I feel for our fair city ... because I do agree with you that our population seem rather apathetic to other plights of this town. It is embarrassing that THIS is what gets them off their asses.

"Think Locally, Fuck Globally" - Gogol Bordello.
98
@94 They pay better and offer more benefits than most local shops. They also buy a huge amount of fair trade coffee.

Not sure any individual Starbucks is worse than any other coffee shop when it comes to such thing. Probably a bit better.
99
@ 97, why does it mean that they care *more* about this than those issues? Do you know for a fact that none of them were protesting at Maria Cantwell's office? Or that they don't already write letters to Congress about those other issues, or donate money to those causes?
100
Matt, you troll the blog of a local paper of a city that you don't reside and apparently have no vested interest in day in and day out and .

Your argument is invalid, KTHX.