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Seattle's Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Proposed Charter Amendment on Homelessness

Whoever takes over at City Hall will have a big say on this potential amendment.
Whoever takes over at City Hall will have a big say on this potential amendment. LESTER BLACK

Seattle's next mayor will have a big say over how to enact the Compassion Seattle charter amendment, which voters will consider if the measure receives the roughly 30,000 signatures necessary to make it on the November ballot.

For instance, the amendment, which amounts to a series of policies that purport to "end the homeless crisis," lacks a funding mechanism to pay for those policies, but it ties 12% of the city's general fund to a new, dedicated "Human Services Fund." The next mayor will decide where to trim that money from existing budgets, or whether to pass new progressive revenue solutions.

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You Might Call Cap and Trade Progress, but You Can’t Call It Climate Justice

The Senate will likely hold a floor vote on cap and trade and on a low carbon fuel standard today.
The Senate will likely hold a floor vote on cap and trade and on a low carbon fuel standard today. Lester Black

After years of failed starts, the Washington state Senate is poised to pass transformative climate legislation that would cap carbon, clean up fuels, and rake in billions to invest in various green energy and carbon reduction projects.

To satisfy conservative Democrats this year, however, the chamber paired those massive proposals with an $18 billion dollar transportation package that would pour a lot of cement to widen highways, undermining the state's goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Sen. Marko Liias acknowledged the Legislature had "a lot of work to do" around where to invest those transportation dollars, and argued that the "centerpiece" of the transportation package shifted from expanding highway capacity to "maintenance and preservation of our existing system, and to electrifying our system," which represented an improvement on earlier versions of the proposal.

As I reported last week, the Senate is already working to move this "grand bargain" through the system. The transportation package, spearheaded by Sen. Steve Hobbs, had a hearing this week. The low-carbon fuel standard, sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, and the cap and trade bill, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle, could see a floor vote at any moment. Just this morning, a source said the Senate will vote on those latter two climate proposals today.

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25 Patios in Seattle to Check Out This Spring

Marination Ma Kai reopens its patio this Friday.
Marination Ma Kai reopens its patio this Friday. Marination Ma Kai

As Seattle thaws and enters spring, and as restaurants continue to offer socially distanced outdoor seating, there's never been a better time to dine al fresco. We've rounded up 25 patios in Seattle where you can soak up the sun, from the tropical vibes at Marination Ma Kai to rooftop margaritas and tacos at Patio Cielo. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Agua Verde Cafe
Sun yourself on this waterfront cafe's patio and take in the vista of Portage Bay while tucking into hearty Mexican food like quesabirria, carne asada plates, and nachos, as well as a cocktail menu from the Capitol Hill rum den Rumba.
University District

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Slog AM: Two Fires on Capitol Hill, Biden's Signin' More Executive Orders on Gun Violence, Go Preregister for the Vaccine

Bidens pen is back at it again.
Biden's pen is back at it again. PHOTO BY CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES
I really hate that nearly every week I have to come to you and tell you about another horrific mass shooting in this country: Yesterday, five people—including two children—were killed in a shootout at a Rock Hill, South Carolina home. A sixth victim was shot and has serious injuries, reports ABC News. Authorities say they found the suspect at a nearby home and have not released the name or the motive, but AP is reporting that it's former NFL player Phillips Adams who shot and killed himself after carrying out the shooting. The victims, however, have been identified: Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69; their grandkids, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5; and James Lewis, 39, who was working at the home at the time of the shooting.

In related news, politicians need to do more: As Congress stalls on passing any form of gun regulation with teeth, Ol' Joe will announce six tepid executive actions addressing gun violence today. According to The Guardian, Biden's new executive actions include: directing the DOJ to issue proposed regulations on "ghost guns" in the next month; also directing the DOJ to place restrictions on stabilizing braces that turn pistols into rifles; and asking agencies to "direct more resources to community violence prevention measures." Biden is also expected to announce the nomination of former federal agent and gun control advocate David Chipman to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (VERY American). They shouldn't stop until all the guns are melted.

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Slog PM: Call Her By Her African Name, Thandiwe Newton; Seattle Is One of the Most Relaxed Cities in the US; British Columbia Getting Its Ass Kicked by Brazilian Covid Strain

Not illing, just chilling in chill Seattle.
"Not illing, just chilling in chill Seattle." BenGoode/

Seattle is chill? And so is Bellevue? This is what "a new report released Wednesday of the most relaxed cities in the country" says, believe it or not. But here is the interesting part: the top ten chill cities (chill because of "access to spas and wellness centers, low depression rate, percentage of adults with high blood pressure, and the average length of a workday"), are all in blue states. The bottom (most illing) ten cities are—save one, Detroit—in red states.

What's going on here? Seattle gives your book maybe the greatest review ever, and what do you (Zachary D. Carter) do to Seattle? Talk shit.

The 1990s sucked all around. Sorry you were fooled into thinking otherwise. Indeed, grunge music was only telling how much Seattle sucked. That was what all of those songs were about. Didn't you listen? How did you miss this obvious message? Nirvana: Seattle sucks. Alice in Chains: Seattle sucks. Soundgarden: Seattle sucks, dude.

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Mudede Is a Marxist Precisely Because Much of His Life Has Been Characterized by Privilege

How can I hate your success when I was born a success?
How can I hate your success when I was born a success? Amelia Bonow

Shout Your Abortion's Amelia Bonow found the sticker pictured above near Victrola Coffee on Beacon Ave. In other words, the artist claims my economic thinking has been shaped by a species of hate.

Now, recall the Waterboys tune "The Whole of the Moon." It's about a man who hates another man simply because he has always been very good at things. (The hater/singer has always been mediocre, one gathers.) This is not the species of hate represented by the sticker on Beacon Hill.

This other kind of hate concerns what many at the top understand as the real source of social grievances: envy. This view has been around since capitalism and its historically specific class structure emerged in the 17th century. The poor hate the rich because the rich have things that the poor do not have. This raw feeling of unfairness is identified as the root of class conflict, and the God of that feeling is none other than Karl Marx, whose defining work of political economy, Das Capital, is filled with lines and pages that express moral outrage at the terrible lot of the have-nots.

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This Week's Comics: Nuclear Dad, Disco Death, and an Adorable Cat Demon


I was around eight years old, rummaging through old comics that my cousin had left behind in a box, when I came across a ‘70s-era pulp retelling of The Monkey’s Paw illustrated in lurid neon with hysterical characters who constantly spoke in bolded italics!!!

In the story, a brilliant surgeon finds the dismembered hand and attempts the standard Faustian bargains — money, women, fame, talent — and each one brings him further ruin, culminating in the death of his beautiful wife. He wishes her back to life, but she’s already started to decompose, and upon her unnatural revivification screams in agony at her body’s liquescence. The surgeon tries to kill her again, slicing her head off with an axe, but thanks to his wish, she cannot die; she can only feel more pain. The comic ends with the doctor hiding her remains, hacked into tiny fragments that will wriggle and writhe in agony for the rest of time.

I was obsessed with the terror that this story produced, re-reading it several times every day for about a week and launching what would become a lifelong relationship with insomnia. Eventually my parents saw that I was turning into a little Howard Hughes and confiscated the book, but I knew that it was too late, that I was already cursed with the knowledge of the paw, and I developed a new obsession: Relating the story to everyone I could, in the hopes that this would free me from the terrible knowledge of desire. It didn’t work, but for a few days it certainly made life interesting for a sizable team of childcare experts.

Why am I telling you this horrible story? Because it relates, I promise, to a new comic out this week — The Silver Coin, a dark horror tale about craving something so much that it ruins you. Thanks as always to Phoenix Comics for reminding me of my childhood existential dread.

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Seattle Sticker Patrol: Ca$h for Your Warhol

Jess Stein

"Ca$h for Your Warhol"

Anyone who has been traumatized by Boston will recognize this area code.
Anyone who has been traumatized by Boston will recognize this area code. JK
Andy Warhol is on my mind recently. I just started Wayne Koestenbaum's fantastic biography of Warhol, and news of Alice Neel's giant show in New York has me thinking about her intimate portrait of him. This sticker advertises what used to be a fake storefront/real installation art piece by Geoff Hargadon in Boston, which mimics those CASH FOR GOLD stores. The concept runs strong even though the location is now closed. But the phone number? It still works! Request your stickers here.

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Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month 2021 in Seattle

Take in poetry with your ears and eyes at the Northwest Film Forums virtual Cadence Video Poetry Festival (April 16-25). Pictured: Thelma Tunyi and Shanley Fermins short film Delerium, which includes poetry by Tjawangwa Dema.
Take in poetry with your ears and eyes at the Northwest Film Forum's virtual Cadence Video Poetry Festival (April 16-25). Pictured: Thelma Tunyi and Shanley Fermin's short film "Delerium," which includes poetry by Tjawangwa Dema. Northwest Film Forum

April lost its title as the cruelest month when the Academy of American Poets got together in 1996 to dedicate it to the wordsmiths among us. Poetry is the perfect medium to turn to in these lonely and unstable times (and any other time!), so scroll down for upcoming virtual poetry events (like a Natalie Diaz reading and the Cadence Video Poetry Festival) and local journals and subscription services to check out (like bimonthly parcels from Elliott Bay and Open Books). 

Barbara Ras & Anne Marie Macari
Barbara Ras and Anne Marie Macari will log on from the East Coast to recite favorites from their respective books of celestial-themed poems, The Blues of Heaven and Heaven Beneath (the latter of which Ross Gay calls "a book of witness and gathering"). 
(Thurs April 8)

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New Savage Love: Concessions

Joe Newton
I’m a 29-year-old straight male. I’ve been with my 25-year-old partner for six years. I love her and think that we are perfect for each other. We have all the things that make existing with someone wonderful. But about two years into our relationship I had a two-week-long affair while I was out of the country. I fucked up. I came clean to my partner and we’ve done our best to work through this over the last four years, but it has obviously caused some trust issues between us. I’ve never cheated it again and I try every day to work through these issues I caused in our relationship.

There’s also been two recent instances of me breaking her trust. On a particularly stressful day I was caught sneaking a cigarette—the sneaking part is the issue—and on another occasion I did drugs in our communal back garden with a friend after she had gone to bed. I owned up to both straight away. I view both of these as being a symptom of the lockdown/pandemic prompting me to break with my “normal” behavior. But partner is no longer comfortable allowing me to have the freedom to go out with my friends and partake in drugs without her express permission, which she already said she’s unlikely to grant me. The other element to this is, we want kids in three years. We’ve agreed that I will fully abstain from all drugs after we become parents.

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What You Should See at the 2021 Seattle International Film Festival

COVID-19 might've kicked the annual Seattle International Film Festival to the curb last year, but this time around the sun the festival is back and more accessible than ever. You can screen each of the films in SIFF's line-up at home this year, and—!!!—you can screen them at your own pace. Nearly all of the films are available to watch at any time throughout the festival's run from April 8 to 18.

This year's fest brings over 90 films and 100 short films, and we're here to help you break down which ones are worth your time. (That said, there are many great options that we didn't have time or space to recommend, so please, check out everything SIFF has to offer.)

Continue refreshing Slog during the run of the fest, where we'll drop longer reviews of some of our favorites. Let's get into it!

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Slog AM: Gaetz Asked for a Pardon, Amazon Preys on Malls, a Fresh Cup of Loren Culp Coffee

Brew me up a mug of American Cop.
Brew me up a mug of American Cop. PHOTO BY KAREN DUCEY/GETTY IMAGES

Please, won't somebody think of the bridges? Only 37% of Washington's bridges are in good condition. The rest are deteriorating. They need help. Really, they need money. Washington will need to spend $14.8 billion just to keep our infrastructure in satisfactory condition, which translates to "not crumbling," according to the Seattle Times. Maybe some of that sweet, sweet Biden money will help us out?

Boeing sloughs off its real estate: The aerospace company just put its Commercial Airplanes headquarters in Renton up for sale. This is now the fifth Boeing property in the Puget Sound region on the market. Boeing executives say that this is simply a sign of reduced office space needs in the post-COVID world.

Rep. Matt Gaetz asked for a pre-emptive pardon from Trump: The New York Times is reporting that Gaetz asked then-President Donald Trump to provide him a blanket, pre-emptive pardon for any crimes he may have committed. He also asked Trump to pardon unnamed Congressional associates. Gaetz is currently in hot water for potentially violating sex trafficking laws during his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl. The Department of Justice was investigating Gaetz on those allegations around the time he asked for the pardon, but it's unclear how much Gaetz knew about the investigation.

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Slog PM: Bezos Gets Down with Corporate Tax Hikes, Caitlyn Jenner Considering CA Governor Run, Have You Seen Shiva Baby?

How much do you wanna bet this iguana paid more in corporate taxes last year than Amazon?
How much do you wanna bet this iguana paid more in corporate taxes last year than Amazon? EMILY DRISCOLL
As Rich mentioned in Slog AM: Biden officially announced that he was moving up the federal vaccine eligibility for all adults to April 19. In a speech today, he warned that "the pandemic remains dangerous," with cases going back up, variants spreading, and hospitalization remaining at a plateau. While this moved-up timeline doesn't at all mean that everyone will have their first dose by that day, it does mean that all adults can at least get in line for one. The president also announced that the U.S. has now administered 150 millions shots, well on the way to his goal of 200 million by the end of his first 100 days in office on April 30.

Ballard ArtWalk is back after a year absence: But it's taking a slightly different form. Instead of constricting itself to one frenzied night that inevitably ends way too early, galleries and business in the neighborhood will put up installations for viewers to come visit for the entire month of April. Locust Cider, Clover Toys, Annie's Art & Frame, and Kula Movement are among those participating—check out the rest here.

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Homeless Advocates Find Red Flags in Proposed Charter Amendment

Is this a convoluted way to bring back the sweeps?
Is this a convoluted way to bring back the sweeps for good? Nathalie Graham

A new coalition called Compassion Seattle, led by former short-term Mayor Tim Burgess, unveiled a charter amendment last week that carves into the city's constitution several policies designed to "end the homelessness crisis."

The amendment lays out broad goals for Seattle's response to homelessness, such as creating at least 2,000 units of emergency shelter or permanent supportive housing no later than one year after the measure's passage, funding behavioral health services, and creating a "behavioral health rapid-response" team.

Homelessness providers have called on the city to implement some of these polices for years. With a swift path toward more shelter and more services, the Chief Seattle Club, the Public Defender Association, Evergreen Treatment Services, United Way King County, and the Housing Development Consortium have already signaled their support of the amendment. They join backers like the Downtown Seattle Association, which already donated $15,000 to the cause.

But some other homelessness advocates aren't on board because of red flags they see in the language. The measure, for instance, mandates spending without naming a funding source, and one provision miiiight just codify encampment sweeps into the charter.

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This Week in Seattle Event News: The Seattle Asian Art Museum Will Reopen, Sounders Fans Can Return to Lumen Field, and More

Tickets for the Seattle Asian Art Museums May 28 reopening go on sale Thursday, April 29 (or even earlier if youre a SAM member).
Tickets for the Seattle Asian Art Museum's May 28 reopening go on sale Thursday, April 29 (or even earlier if you're a SAM member). Tim Griffith

Seattle's arts, culture, and entertainment spheres aren't back to their pre-COVID ways just yet, but a few major players have exciting announcements lined up this week regarding their virtual or otherwise socially distanced returns. Read on for details on ticket sales and other important info for the Seattle Asian Art Museum reopening, May cooking classes with the Pantry, and more. 

The Seattle Asian Art Museum will reopen. As Jasmyne Keimig reported last week, the Volunteer Park institution will return after a year of closure due to COVID, which is all the more exciting for those who didn't see the museum's impressive renovations during its brief blue-sky period before lockdown. You can book a timed visit (GA tickets go on sale Thursday, April 29, or Thursday, April 16 for SAM members) from 10 am-5 pm on Friday-Sunday starting Friday, May 28, or as early as Friday, May 7 if you're a member.

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