Checking in on The Stranger

It's Time to Vote on a New Slogan for West Seattle

There are so many good ones, but this is my favorite—created by Noah Bell-Cruz.
There are so many good ones, but this is my favorite. Design by Noah Bell-Cruz

Okay, it's not actually a new slogan contest, it's the West Seattle Bridge T-Shirt contest, inspired by the crumbling West Seattle Bridge and the identity crisis that being cut off from the rest of the city has plunged West Seattle into.

Whatever else you want to say about the crumbling bridge, it is clearly cranking up the already over-the-top creativity of that neighborhood. There are so many amazing designs that I think one of these t-shirt concepts could really stick as West Seattle's new identity. I'm partial to Accidental Island ("great neighbors... terrible bridges!") because it makes coffee shoot out of my nose. But you know what else makes coffee shoot out of my nose? The t-shirt that rebrands the neighborhood as East Vashon. LOL.

Before all of West Seattle gets mad at me for posting about this on Slog, a blog the whole city reads, when this is really just a West Seattle thing, let me hasten to add: You should not vote if you do not live in West Seattle. But! There are so many eye-popping designs, I just had to make sure you see them. You can browse all the designs here without voting at all.

Also, it should be noted: some of the t-shirt designs don't have slogans at all.

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Canlis Gets a Crab Shack, Biscuit Bitch Returns, and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: July 10, 2020 Edition

The Pike Place and Belltown locations of the Southern-inspired, Lizzo-approved mini-chain Biscuit Bitch are now open for takeout and limited outdoor seating!
The Pike Place and Belltown locations of the Southern-inspired, Lizzo-approved mini-chain Biscuit Bitch are now open for takeout and limited outdoor seating! Biscuit Bitch

Until very recently, Seattle restaurant news revolved around takeout and delivery options as dining and drinking establishments switched up their game to accommodate the stay-home order. Things aren't back to normal just yet, but with the limited-capacity dining allowed in Phase 2 of the city's reopening, which in certain zones lets restaurants expand their seating into the sidewalk, you can now order food from some of the best restaurants in town without taking it back to your own kitchen table (although many places are continuing to offer takeout and delivery). Since Phase 2 (and Phase 1.5 before it) began almost a month ago, we’ve been keeping track of all the restaurants that have reopened for in-person dining here, but this week brings another round of noteworthy new openings. Read on for details on Canlis's soon-to-open Crab Shack (tickets go on sale today at 1 pm!), the return of the Central District's Barbeque Pit, the new Canon takeout emporium, and more. Oh, and be sure to wear a mask (duh)! For more ideas, check out our complete guide to Seattle farmers markets.


Ba Bar
The Capitol Hill location of this beloved Vietnamese mini-chain is back open for dine-in service for late-night crowds individuals and small groups. Stop by from 4-10 pm on Sunday-Thursday and 4-11 pm on Friday-Saturday, or continue ordering takeout.

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King County Health Department’s Latest COVID-19 Report: Things Are Bad


The Health Department held a briefing this morning on the latest coronavirus news and shared a lot of wonky details but it all pretty much boils down to: Things are bad; it’s going to get worse; and it’s going to be like this for a long time. As of today, King County’s closing in on 12,000 confirmed cases and just over 600 deaths, with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. We’re seeing around 132 new cases per day right now, compared to 40 per day a month ago.

“The disease is as severe as ever, and the risk isn’t going away in the foreseeable future,” says Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin. “We need to accept … long term behavior change and restructuring how we go about our lives.”

Well, shit.

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Dispensary Deals for Dab Day 2020 in Seattle

Steps 3 and 4 of Dabbing 101, as illustrated in Lester Blacks 2016 piece, What Is Dabbing? And Should You Do It?
Steps 3 and 4 of Dabbing 101, as illustrated in Lester Black's 2016 piece, "What Is Dabbing? And Should You Do It?" Andrew Roberts

Urban legend has it that a man by the name of Doctor Leopold von Dabowitz is to thank for the invention of dabbing (aka the act of consuming concentrated cannabis as opposed to flower or edibles) and that his birthday, July 10, is the reason for Dab Day, the second biggest weed holiday of the year behind 4/20. A more likely explanation? The number 710 spells "OIL" when you look at it upside down. Either way, Dab Day is this Friday! Below, we've listed a few dispensaries—all of which encourage online preorders—offering special deals for all your dabbing needs this weekend. For more options, check out our complete pot shop directory and our roundup of online preorder deals.

Cannabis City
Seattle's very first pot shop, just a hop or two from the Sodo Light Rail Station, counts 15% off live resin cartridges and Pax pens, $17 Sticky Budz wax, and a $40 bundle with a Cannabis City Migos pen and a one-gram cartridge among its plethora of Dab Day deals. Get your goods from July 10-12.

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Slog AM: Mayor Durkan Says We Either Have the Police or No Police, David Shields Not Happy With David Sedaris

So, you want to do business in Washington State, COVID-19?
"So, you want to do business in Washington State, COVID-19?" ArtistGNDphotography/

COVID-19 Deaths Are on the Rise in Washington State. Seattle Times: "For the past four days in a row, for the first time since May, Washington state reported double-digit numbers of COVID-19 deaths: 11 more deaths confirmed by the end of Sunday, 14 on Monday, 10 on Tuesday and 15 on Wednesday." What this means is reopening the state is not going to work out well. Expect the number of dead to go up and up. Economics and the virus are a lethal combination. There is no getting around this fact, even here in deep-blue Washington.

"Buffets, Salad Bars Reopen in Snohomish County." Translation: "Coronavirus to reopen in Snohomish County." We can expect COVID-19 to have excellent business at these locations. Indeed, if some thought is put into the biology of this virus (its spreading mechanisms), one will reach the conclusion that, in Darwinian terms, it chanced upon a genetic sequence that's perfect for overwhelming the subjects of American capitalist ideology. Without this kind of economic culture, which is driven by an insatiable drive for profits, COVID-19 wouldn't have much of a chance in the world.

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A Message to the City from Aaron Bagley

Aaron Bagley, on the left, is a painter and illustrator. His kid Baxter, on the right, is also an artist.
Aaron Bagley, on the left, is a painter and illustrator. His kid Baxter, on the right, is also an artist. Courtesy of Aaron Bagley

Good morning. It's Friday, July 10, and today we get to go inside the home of Aaron Bagley, a prolific and gifted artist. His work has appeared in The Stranger for many years, from the illustration that accompanied Eli Sanders's Pulitzer Prize-winning feature to half a dozen Stranger covers (scroll down to see them).

Aaron is married to the artist Jessixa Bagley, and they have a kid named Baxter, who is an artist, too. Baxter drew the art for this recording of "Elegy for George Floyd" by Silent Reading Party musician Paul Matthew Moore.

Aaron and Baxter have been making instructional art videos called "Drawn and Quarantined" and releasing them on Instagram to make social distancing more exciting. Here's their instructional video on drawing hands and feet.

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Slog PM: Trump's Hogwash, Seahawk's Refunds, SPD's Defunding

This won't be coming soon to a stadium near you.
Do you miss crowds? Getty images

More dadspeak from Gov. Inslee: Trump keeps bullying governors to reopen schools prematurely in the fall and Inslee thinks it's a bunch of "hogwash." Today at a presser, Inslee clarified that "decisions about school and how to have it, onsite or otherwise, will remain with the state of Washington." Is it just me, or does "hogwash" sound kinda hot? I'm probably only thinking this because I miss gay bars.

Come get your refunds: The Seahawks are offering season-ticket holders full refunds for the 2020 season. It's still unclear what will happen to this year's NFL season, although my bet is it's gonna look something like this:

Seattle made the front page of The Indepedent's homepage today, but not for reasons we should be proud of:

The top story on The Independents homepage this afternoon.
The top story on The Independent's homepage this afternoon.
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Currently Hanging: Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding a Balance" in Augmented Reality

Vermeer virtually.
Vermeer virtually. JK
I have not seen Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding a Balance" (1663) since I was 17. And even then, it was probably shrunken down to fit onto a page in a glossy, heavy textbook or briefly shown in an educational video put on in the last ten minutes of class. I do remember being entranced by it—how delicately the pregnant woman held the balance between her index finger and thumb; the glow of the jewelry on the table in the soft light of the window above; the Last Judgment just over her shoulder. It was so fucking domestic and, as far as vanitas goes, pretty on the nose.

It was weird when I "stumbled" upon that painting again, but this time in Augmented Reality (AR). Big Daddy Google launched a Pocket Gallery feature on their Arts and Culture app in late 2018, allowing viewers to scan their surroundings with a phone so a virtual exhibition can be dumped wherever they please with their phone acting as a kind of looking glass. Real Big Brother shit. And even though this virtual Vermeer exhibition with all 36 of his paintings from across the globe has been around since the feature launched, encountering it now is different—I'd been previously unable to see it because of distance and time; now a pandemic prevents everyone from seeing it.

I miss being in a museum. I miss the contemplative quiet, the random artists sitting in the galleries trying to replicate an old master's paintings with charcoal, the flush of the bathrooms in the distance, the moment when an errant brushstroke or object you never noticed before captures your attention. But examining Vermeer's painting on my couch had its perks too. Namely in my appreciation of the way the Dutch artist rendered the light coming through the window as I gazed at the work on my screen, bathing in the cloudy gray brightness of Seattle that I imagine is not unlike the skies above 17th century Netherlands. All brought to you by a similarly shadowy, museum-like corporate intermediary.

The Best Movies to Stream this Weekend in Seattle: July 9-12, 2020

Mushroom hunting, frontiersman drama, and the gentle clip-clop of hoofed creatures abound in Kelly Reichardts First Cow. SIFFs virtual screenings, available as of Thursday evening, include a pre-taped Q&A with the director.
Mushroom hunting, frontiersman drama, and the gentle clip-clop of hoofed creatures abound in Kelly Reichardt's First Cow. SIFF's virtual screenings, available as of this evening, include a pre-taped Q&A with the director. SIFF

Whatever type of screen you're working with at home will be graced with two important film festivals this weekend: the Seattle Black Film Festival and the Seattle Deaf Film Festival. On top of that, you have Kelly Reichardt's frontier-era period piece First Cow, a compilation of fan-favorite HUMP! shorts, and Grace Glowick's directorial debut Tito. Read on below for all of our top picks streaming through local theaters and national platforms. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area.

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly
Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, who's known for his bold public criticisms of the Chinese government's stance on democracy and human rights, was a force behind the portrait exhibition @Large, which depicted images of prisoners from all over the world—from Nelson Mandela to Chelsea Manning—on the exterior of Alcatraz Island, and also featured an inmate letter-writing project. This documentary explores the exhibition's process from start to finish.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

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Joshua Freed "Only" Owns 25 Guns

I only have 25 guns, which is a starter kit according to most of my friends, is a fun sort of joke Joshua Freed has definitely not practiced in the mirror several times.
"I only have 25 guns, which is a starter-kit according to most of my friends," is a fun sort of joke Joshua Freed definitely does not practice in the mirror every morning. Screengrab

The "serious" Republican challengers to Governor Jay Inslee's seat include a bunch of freaky blowhards who so far have failed to crack double-digit support in recent polls, but the GOP establishment's pick increasingly appears to be former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed.

Freed helped lead the failed initiative campaign against safe injection sites, and he's currently working on a referendum of the state's comprehensive sexual health education law. On Tuesday he picked up an endorsement from the King County Republicans, and he's also gathered a few endorsements from Republican elected officials.

To increase his support, Freed will need to bridge the east-west divide that obtains even in Washington's Republican politics. At the Kittitas County Governor's Forum on Monday afternoon, Freed got that chance when someone in the crowd asked him if he stood behind former Rep. Matt Shea, who declined to run for re-election this year after an independent investigator concluded that he'd planned acts of domestic terrorism.

Freed's stance on the controversial topic of whether to support a guy who promoted training child soldiers for the holy war will not surprise you.

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So Anyway, Here’s Why Furries Are Going Nuts About “Socialist Teeth” Right Now

Chompy chompy.
Chompy chompy. Courtesy of @aqueerwolf on Twitter.

If you need any further evidence that Furry Twitter is the Best Twitter, feast your eyes on today’s discourse around “socialist teeth.” That’s right, you heard me, socialist teeth.

The facts as we know them are these: For the last few weeks, some furries have been posting profile pics of their fursonas chomping on “thin blue line” flags, as a form of protest against police violence, racism, and the various riots cops have incited over the last month. Meanwhile, a separate cohort of funny animals has been organizing Harvest Moon, a POC-led furry convention scheduled for fall of 2022 in Maryland if we are still alive at that point.

These two worlds collided, as such worlds so often do, in the alt-fur mentions of a weirdo with nothing better to do than complain on Twitter all day; and that individual took it upon themselves to make a particularly bold declaration.

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Shaina Shepherd Is Performing Live at Nectar This Weekend

And she has a new single that drops on July 17 from Freakout Records.
And she has a new single that drops on July 17 from Freakout Records. Photo by Jake Hanson/Courtesy of Shaina Shepherd

If you're looking at that face and you're wondering: How do I know her? It might be because of her amazing Message to the City a week ago. Or maybe you've seen her band BEARAXE. Or maybe you've seen her perform at Nectar in Fremont. "It's the first place I ever did a solo show in my whole life," she says.

She's performing at Nectar again on Saturday, on a bill with Navid Eliot (Planes on Paper), Matt Gervais (The Head and the Heart), and others.

The other question that might be on your mind is: What happened to Shaina's hair? "I just cut my hairs off, which everybody does during quarantine," Shaina says, laughing. "I used to have very long black lady hair. I dated that hair. I put that hair through college. But I cut it all off after George Floyd's murder, and in all the craziness and chaos in Seattle."

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For Portland Police, Indiscriminate Use of Tear Gas During Protests Is Unavoidable


This article was originally published on our sister publication The Portland Mercury's blog Blogtown. Follow them for ongoing coverage of the Portland uprising following the killing of George Floyd. —Eds. Note
Night after night, Portlanders participating in demonstrations against law enforcement have been met with stinging clouds of tear gas. This lingering gas forces people to run blindly down city streets, pulling off their face mask to wipe tears and snot from their face, bending the rules of the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve pain. More often than not, these people have not committed any crime.

According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), this is the safest way to stop criminal acts being committed by a few individuals in the crowd.

PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis explained officers’ reliance on tear gas, also known as CS gas, at a Wednesday press conference where he detailed PPB’s response to violence taking place during that past 40 days of protests.

"We don't want to use CS gas at all. I don't like it," said Davis. But, he explained, if members of a crowd are lighting fires near government buildings or throwing objects that put others' lives at risk—and peaceful protesters refuse to leave the area—officers don't see another option.

"It's a matter of us cooperating with each other," said Davis. "It's to be able to have people go out and express first amendment rights without coming to the point of risk of... an officer or a community member getting seriously injured, or killed. If it's the choice between using CS gas and a fatality....Well, I'd prefer that we weren't put in the position to make that choice."

But is it a necessary choice?

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What Dawit Kelete's Case Tells Us About American Culture

First responders on I-5 at approximately 1:45 am on July 4, 2020, after a driver plowed into two Black Femme March protesters, killing one and seriously injuring another.
First responders on I-5 at approximately 1:45 am on July 4, 2020, after a driver plowed into two Black Femme March protesters, killing one and seriously injuring another. PHOTO BY LARRY SUBRAMANIAN

On Wednesday, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Dawit Kelete with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving in a horrific crash that occurred on I-5 in the early hours of July 4. It killed a Black Lives Matter protester, Summer Taylor, and seriously injured another, Diaz Love.

On Monday a judge set Kelete's bail at $1.2 million. That day Attorney John Henry Browne, who is famous for representing the serial killer Ted Bundy in the 1970s and '80s, told the Associated Press that "Kelete is originally from Eritrea and is a U.S. citizen" and "lives with his family in Seattle." It's important to note, however, that the famous lawyer is not representing the defendant at this time. He is, according Seattle Times, hoping to be hired by Kelete's family. It is in the nature of a famous Lawyer to be drawn to a famous case.

The charging documents provide some information about the defendant. They mention "a criminal history that includes a minor intoxicated in a public place (3/3/2012) and a peace and order violation (8/29/2015). Both of these occurred in Pullman, WA when he was 19 years old and 22 years old respectfully." These incidents apparently happened when Kelete attended Washington State University. Kelete was also involved in two collisions with "no injuries." Furthermore, he "lives with his parents" and "works as a cashier at an Arco," and he "denied having any known mental health issues or being concerned about mental health issues," though he did say he "was struggling with an addiction to Percocet and 'had never received treatment.'"

Because Kelete’s family has so far "declined to comment on the case," this is all the public knows in hard terms about the defendant.

But the public, however, does have many opinions about Kelete, his motives, and the crash. An examination of three such opinions will tell us little about the case and defendant but a lot about our culture.

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Quarantunes: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Is the End of Musical Theater (For a Month)

The Dynasty reboot isnt going the way Alexis planned.
The Dynasty reboot isn't going the way Alexis planned. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The shows must go on, after a brief period in which the shows will not, in fact, be going on.

Since the start of quarantine, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s YouTube channel (through a complicated corporate partnership with Universal) has been posting various stage-to-screen musicals every weekend, and this Friday’s encore showing of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be the last before a month-ish long hiatus.

The series will return for a second season in August with… something? Hm, that’s vague. Well, for now, let’s do our best to enjoy Donny Osmond’s chest.

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