Happy Birthday to Me, Baby!

Slog PM: SPOG Drags Feet on Vax Mandate Negotiations, Centrist Dems Continue Tanking Biden's Agenda, the Haitian Asylum-Seekers Are Gone

Hes back. And hes not coming for your tabs.
He's back. And he's not coming for your tabs this time. HEIDI GROOVER

A bunch of unions reached a deal with Seattle on the vaccine mandate: The Seattle Police Officers Guild, however, remains a holdout. Paul Kiefer at Publicola said the cops are "pushing for an extended deadline and bonuses." People joked about the vaccine mandate as a way to inadvertently defund the police, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up funding the police quite nicely. Strange that our fearless protectors, the selfless public servants who think of nothing but ensuring the safety of every single Seattleite, still refuse to protect us from themselves.

In any event, according to a press release from the Mayor's office, "highlights" of the tentative agreement include a day off for workers who get the shot before the deadline, 10 days of "COVID-19 Supplementary Paid Leave," and use of "applicable leave" time for those who start the process by Oct 18 but who won't be fully vaccinated until afterward. Another contract gives city employees who worked in-person a "one-time payment of $1,750," and it also allows those who "choose to telework until January 19, 2022" much more time to get vaccinated.

All of this seems to compensate well beyond the "impact" of forcing workers to take the day to get a goddamned shot that will save their goddamned lives. That said, if we lived in a world with stronger unions, workers wouldn't need to take unsympathetic positions to get time off that they should already have. Frustrating situation all around.

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This Week in Seattle Food News: Oaky's Tex-Mex Opens, The Polish Home Returns, and Papa Changó Arrives in Ballard

The team behind Wood Shop BBQ has opened their highly anticipated restaurant Oakys Tex-Mex in the Central District.
The team behind Wood Shop BBQ has opened their highly anticipated restaurant Oaky's Tex-Mex in the Central District. Oaky's Tex-Mex

Mulling over your weekend plans? How about treating yourself to Miami-inspired pastries and coffee at Papá Changó Cafe or craft cocktails at Essex in Ballard, a parade of pierogi at The Polish Home on Capitol Hill, or Tex-Mex smoked meats at Oaky's Tex-Mex in the Central District? Read on for more details, plus events happening this weekend, like the C-ID Night Market 2021. For additional culinary inspiration, check out our guide to where to find fresh hop beers in Seattle and our food and drink guide.


This next-door cocktail bar sibling to Ballard's award-winning wood-fired pizzeria Delancey recently reopened and is slinging drinks once more.

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Art Mailbox: Drama Over New Interim ARTS Director, Immersive Van Gogh Installation Delayed, There's a New BLM Mural in Town

This is outside Seattle City Hall.
This is outside Seattle City Hall. Mayor's Office

On Tuesday, two co-chairs of the Seattle Arts Commission resigned over Mayor Jenny Durkan's sudden appointment of former Center on Contemporary Art executive director Royal Alley-Barnes to the position of interim director of the Office of Arts and Cultures (ARTS), reported Publicola. The position was vacated by Randy Engstrom earlier this year, with Calandra Childers stepping in as acting director until now. In an open letter announcing their resignations, Dr. Quinton Morris and Sarah Wilke of the commission criticized the mayor's "lack of process" without "any input or involvement from the Arts Commission or arts and cultural community members."

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Cheap & Easy Things to Do in Seattle This Weekend

Nosh on Asian delicacies at the Chinatown-International District Night Market while taking in performances ranging from taiko to wushu.
Nosh on Asian delicacies at the Chinatown-International District Night Market while taking in performances ranging from taiko to wushu.
We’ve officially entered into the fall season, and there’s a lot of fun stuff to check out both indoors and out without having to fork over a lot of cash. Celebrate Italian culture at The Italian Festival, catch the conclusion of the Local Sightings Film Festival, get down to Puyallup for the Washington State Fair’s last hurrah until next year, plus a whole lot more. Just make sure to always have your vax card and mask on hand as most of these events require both.



Magic: Kylie Minogue Drag Show
This themed show will have an all-star lineup of Londyn Bradshaw, Cookie Couture, Jane Dont, Monday Mourning, Killer Bunny, and Rowan Ruthless performing to Australian icon Kylie Minogue's extensive discography.
Kremwerk, Downtown ($13-15)

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Climate Talk at the UN Is Empty Because the UN Is an Empty Institution

From North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcocks greatest work.
From North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock's greatest work. YouTube

There's no need to call a detective with "daring perspicacity" for this case. This corpse has been cold for a long time, and the cause of its death holds no mystery. We can easily see what happened here. The UN's demise began with the decline of the nation that structured the institution to promote that nation's form of capitalism in a postcolonial world, and also to challenge its main statal rival, the USSR. Case closed.

But if you need a better understanding of the link between the UN as an institution and US's post-war hegemony, you only need read the highly readable book, The Long Twentieth Century, by Giovanni Arrighi, an Italian economist and historian whose life ended in 2008.

He writes:

After the Second World War, every people, whether “Western” or “nonWestern,” was granted the right to self-determination, that is to say, to constitute itself into a national community and, once so constituted, to be accepted as a full member of the interstate system. In this respect, global “decolonization” and the formation of the United Nations, whose General Assembly brought together all nations on an equal footing, have been the most significant cant correlates of US hegemony.

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I, Anonymous Returns! Submit Your Rants and Raves Now!


Everyone's favorite Stranger column is coming back, baby! Starting later this October, The Stranger will publish your rants, your raves, your secrets and confessions longing to breathe free every Wednesday, complete with original illustrations from cartoonist Steven Weissman. Tell us about your obnoxious customers who refuse to wear masks, your unfortunate encounters with your landlord, your MAGA relatives in Florida, your loud neighbors, your irresponsible fellow drivers.

Dish about your nasty ex, your horrible boss, your friends, your enemies, your frenemies. Or, tell us tales about helpful strangers, kind-hearted gestures that redeem our faith in humanity, or new love and friendship blooming in unexpected places. Clandestine affairs, silent crushes, random luck, mysterious coincidences, missed connections, angry feuds, bitter regrets. Or just anything you find yourself compelled to sit down and write an email about.

We swear it’s therapeutic. And the best part is, nobody will ever have to know who you are!

Send to: ianonymous@thestranger.com. Please remember to change the names of the innocent and guilty.

Need some inspo? Then keep scrolling!

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“This Is Not Normal”—A Night of Audio-Visual Surrealism with Negativland and Blevin Blectum


Thursday night at Clock-Out Lounge, electronic musician Blevin Blectum helped us escape from reality while venerable culture jammers Negativland immersed us in it so deeply and disturbingly, we had to laugh to keep from crying... or possibly dying.

Blevin Blectum
Blevin Blectum Photo by Jeffrey Martin

Before a near-sellout crowd of mostly middle-aged folks, many of whom were attending their first show since the pandemic began, Blevin Blectum (Seattle's Bevin Kelley) made her computer generate sounds that were more fascinating than most of the millions of other people using the same tool to do so on planet Earth. A friend who'd never seen her perform said to me, “This is amazing. It's like Naked City, but with electronic music.” He was right. Like a John Zorn of the laptop, Blectum flitted from brilliant idea to WTF? idea to genius idea every 15 seconds with an anti-logic that tickled your brain's funny bone.

Blectum's set began with eerie, sci-fi-film drones then soon shifted into the otherworldly atmospheres and skittery rhythms that evoked Haruomi Hosono's Cochin Moon. We also got blessed with circus techno from Uranus, saccharine pre-rock pop songs glazed with pixelated angel dust, and a Meat Beat Manifesto-like electro-funk banger with a feminist woman's voice proclaiming, “Men are just desserts.” Like pioneering synth composer Suzanne Ciani on DMT, Blectum was seemingly trying to cram as much mad creativity into her 30-minute set as possible. (Here's a PSA: Blectum has a new, insanely idiosyncratic album titled Deep Bone out now with her musical partner Kevin Blechdom. It's their first release in 20 years and it's quite the comeback. You want loony escapism? Dig in.)

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The Most Misguided Musical Adaptation Since Cats, Dear Evan Hansen Is an Utter Disaster

The Stranger's sister publication, the Portland Mercury, originally posted this review on their blog, Blogtown. Follow them for Portland updates if you're into that sorta thing.

An image from the film, DEAR EVAN HANSEN.
An image from the film, DEAR EVAN HANSEN. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Editor’s Note: This review contains discussions and references to suicide. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

The most out of its depth movie you will see all year, Dear Evan Hansen proves that some adaptations of musicals should remain where they began: on the stage and as far away from the screen as possible.

To even attempt to fully explain the insulting faux sentimentality and thoroughly flip manner in which Dear Evan Hansen tries to tackle its themes would be to only scratch the surface of how misjudged it all is. The premise of the film is that Evan Hansen—played by Ben Platt, 27—is a high school student who is struggling with anxiety and depression. As a coping mechanism, he writes letters to himself that he signs simply “Me.” It echoes the device of director Stephen Chbosky's previous film and novel, 2012’s far superior The Perks of Being a Wallflower. However, here, the letters are merely a plot device, rather than also serving as a more well-rounded way to develop a character.

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Port Commissioner Steinbrueck Pisses Off Community Leader: "He Is not my BFF"

Hasegawa, Steinbrueck, and Veloria in three separate happier times.
Hasegawa, Steinbrueck, and Veloria in three separate happier times.

The name “Steinbrueck” is one of those that comes up in at least half of all local conversations about architecture and preservation.

In the 1960s and '70s, Victor Steinbrueck led the effort to preserve Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. Victor’s son, Peter Steinbrueck, has quite a few achievements under his belt as well, from serving on City Council in the 1990s and 2000s, to coming in third in the 2013 mayor’s race, to currently serving as a Seattle Port Commissioner, to reminding everyone who his dad is.

Over the course of Steinbrueck-the-Younger’s multi-decade career, there are plenty of accomplishments of which he can be proud — or, at the very least, unapologetic, which is the tone he struck in a Stranger Election Control Board meeting this week when confronted about a leaked email.

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New Music Friday: Seattle Singer Mia Day Shines in “Rosie”

Seattle singer Mia Day.
Seattle singer Mia Day. Courtesy Mia Day | Photo by Brinley Ribando

Mia Day dazzles in the new music video for her track "Rosie," released this morning. It exudes a Taylor Swift meets Twilight feel, featuring vibrant Pacific Northwest scenery in the background and Day singing her heart out in the foreground. The video pairs the Cascade Mountains against fun fashion—Day wears a fabulously poofy red, orange, and yellow two-piece designed by House of Aris, reminiscent of something Kate Bush would wear—to create a magical folk world in the heart of Washington.

"'Rosie' is a reverse perspective song," Day told me recently. "I wrote it from the perspective of the people who care about me. I thought by trying to see myself through their eyes, it would help me learn how to care about myself."

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Lorena González Announces Plan for Action on Homelessness in Her First 100 Days

González and frenz huddled in the (too short) shadow of the newly constructed affordable units across from Cal Anderson.
González and frenz huddled in the (too short) shadow of the newly constructed affordable units across from Cal Anderson. RS

On Thursday afternoon City Council President Lorena González and a group of supporters stood in the Station House plaza and laid out a broad, multifaceted approach to the city's homelessness crisis, which will close out its sixth year in November.

In her remarks González immediately lobbed a grenade drew a contrast with her opponent, former City Council President Bruce Harrell, before launching into the details of the plan she wants to initiate in the first 100 days of her administration.

"I am not here to point fingers at people in tents, or call for yet another study, dashboard, or app to study an issue that so many of us are already familiar with," she said. "Rather, I am starting now to bring all hands on deck to implement solutions for unhoused neighbors that start the moment I become mayor."

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Slog AM: Biden Wins Arizona Again, Delta Air Lines Has Had Enough of the Crazies on the Plane, New Proposal Would Require Seattle Landlords to Give Tenants Six Months Notice of Rent Increases

Enough is enough!
I have had it with these motherfucking crazies on this motherfucking plane!" Jennifer May/gettyimages.com

Northwest Carpenters Union has suspended picketing because of: alleged "near-physical altercations" and alleged "threats of violence" and "illegal picketing activity" and alleged "harassment of union members". The strike, however, is not over. The carpenters still want to get paid.

While some leaders of the Northwest Carpenters Union strike may not like Kshama Sawant's support, most renters will certainly support her new proposal: "Want to raise the rent? Give [tenants] six months’ notice." Seattle Times reporters Heidi Groover and Daniel Beekman fill in the details here. In the words of that track that features K'naan and Riz MC: "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)".

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Slog PM: Sound Transit CEO Gets Boot and Silver Parachute, Statewide Eviction Moratorium Extended to Halloween, Horror and Bloodshed in Tennessee

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane (R) speaks with the media outside of a Kroger grocery store on September 23, 2021 in Collierville, Tennessee. The Kroger is where authorities said that a gunman had apparently killed himself after opening fire inside of the store killing one person and injuring 12 others.
Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane (R) speaks with the media outside of a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee. Photo by Brad Vest/Getty Images

Breaking this afternoon: A gunman entered a Kroger store in Collierville, Tennessee, and started shooting. The attacker shot one employee in the head, then shot a customer in the stomach. People hid in freezers and locked offices. The attack didn't end until the shooter decided it was over, reportedly shooting himself near the back of the store. Currently, authorities have confirmed one person is dead and at least 12 others are injured, with wounds that are “very serious," according to the city's police chief.

Six months ago, a shooter killed ten people in another Kroger-owned store in Colorado. What do we do?

As for the hornets:

When the state does the killing, it's "eradicating," when the hornet does the killing, it's "murdering." Personally, I think the hornets should sue us all for libel, but however you describe it, these bugs are dead dead dead.

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This Week in Seattle Event News: Lil Tecca, STRFKR, and More

From SoundCloud diss tracks to the Billboard charts, Lil Teccas star continues to rise.
From SoundCloud diss tracks to the Billboard charts, Lil Tecca's star continues to rise.
In this week's event news, tickets are going on sale for rap prodigy Lil Tecca, and Capitol Hill Block Party presents Portland-based indie rock faves STRFKR. Read on to get all the info on these events and more. 

Tickets go on sale at 10 am unless otherwise noted.


Ghost & Volbeat
Climate Pledge Arena (Thu Jan 27)

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What’s It Like to Be Killed by an Alien? We Asked Tom Skerritt

Tom Skerritt on a walk in EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS.
Tom Skerritt on a walk in EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS. Courtesy of Quiver Distribution

This piece contains discussions and references to suicide. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Tom Skerritt has acted in some of the most iconic films and television shows, from science fiction classics like the original Alien in 1979 to projects like M*A*S*H, Top Gun, and A River Runs Through It. The Seattle actor's newest film, which showed at this year's Seattle International Film Festival and is out this Friday, is different from all the rest.

In East of the Mountains, directed by local filmmaker S.J. Chiro and based on the novel of the same name by Bainbridge Island author David Guterson, Skerritt is the lead. He plays Ben Givens, a retired Seattle surgeon who struggles to cope with the loss of his wife and a terminal cancer diagnosis that he's kept to himself. Despite concern from his daughter Renee (Mira Sorvino), Ben sets out on a hunting trip with only his adorable pup Rex by his side. All he takes with him is a rifle, which he brings intending to use to take his own life.

A painful yet reflective film, East of the Mountains also serves as a late calling card for the beloved actor. It makes the most of actually shooting in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest where the film is set. It is understated, much like Skerritt himself who spoke to me about his career, his latest performance, and the future he sees for film production in the region.

We lightly edited this interview for length and clarity.

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