It's Always Election Season!

Slog AM: Surprise Sweeps, Meatloaf Dies, and How to Survive the Plague When the Government All But Abandons You

From Ballard Commons, a sweep that had much more forethought
From Ballard Commons, a sweep that had much more forethought HK

“Surprise” sweeps: Stop The Sweeps provides sweep support nearly every time this city decides to uproot a group of unhoused people. These folks never like sweeps, but this week they were especially unhappy. On Wednesday, the city swept Westlake Park with little notice. A spokesperson from Seattle Parks and Recreation said those residents got 24 hour notice. The evils of capitalism led to people blocking sidewalks with their homes, and — since the city loves pedestrians so much — of course it addressed this issue with urgency.

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Slog PM: Happy Two-Year COVIDversary; Warren Says She Won't Run for Prez; and Damn, We've Got Bagels?

Getty Images is like LOL, no such thing as Seattle bagels.
Getty Images is like "LOL, no such thing as Seattle bagels." Screenshot

A bold claim: "[Seattle's] best bagels are just as good as any in New York.”

That explosive quote comes from fresh Seattleite J. Kenji López-Alt: He told the Seattle Times' Tan Vinh that among his favorite local bagel places are Loxsmith Bagels and Zylberschtein’s Delicatessen & Bakery.

It's the two-year anniversary of the first reported case of COVID-19 in the United States: Congrats, Snohomish County, you'll always have the honor of being at the center of that anniversary.

It's also David Lynch's birthday: Those two dates are unrelated. I think. Lynch is 76.

What were you doing two years ago today? Since that day, there have been 69 million cases reported in the US and around 860,000 deaths. President Biden held a press conference yesterday where he admitted they should have ramped up testing sooner—but, hey, testing is getting better!!!! He says. We have not heard anecdotal reports that testing is getting better, but Bruce did announce these new testing spots so, hey, we're, uh, getting there... one day...

In Germany they have these little tents where you can (and have to!) get rapid tested before going to bars and clubs. They're not perfect, but look around—it's hard to complain when our approach is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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BIPOC-Led Cultural Organizations Got Tons of Funding in 2020—Then We Left Them High and Dry

The cultural sector took a huge hit during the pandemic.
The cultural sector took a huge hit during the pandemic. Courtesy of LANGSTON

Anecdotally, we knew COVID-19 hit the arts sector hard. Now, we have more data to back it up.

On Wednesday, ArtsFund released a massive report detailing the extensive impact the pandemic has had on arts organizations in Washington state. The Covid Cultural Impact Study quizzed 200 cultural nonprofits in the state across a wide range of disciplines, as well as another 1,500 individuals, on their experiences during the last 18 months. The study provides a snapshot of the state of the sector and gives recommendations on how to move forward.

From 2019 to 2020, ArtsFund found a $131.6 million drop in earned revenue at its surveyed organizations, with a $35.7 million jump in contributed revenue through things like grants and donations. That leaves the total staggering decrease in revenue at around 21%, or $95.9 million. And that's not including 2020-2021, which ArtsFund CEO Michael Greer says saw an additional 60% reduction in earned revenue. Damn, where's all the NFT money when you need it?

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Screenshot from Study

That financial upper-punch to the gut was not felt equally by all arts organizations. The study found that the bigger a cultural organization was, the more pandemic relief funding it had access to receive, like the federal Payroll Protection Program.

Interestingly, many smaller BIPOC-identifying organizations reported "significantly increased attention and funding" following the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020. The survey group saw a 29% increase in contributions between FY 2019 and 2020. But in FY 2021, the story changed significantly; ArtsFund reported that the contributed revenues for that year “are lower than their FY 2019 baseline,” dropping 50% from FY 2020 to 2021.

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Tickets Are on Sale This Week for Jawbreaker, Bastille, and More Newly Announced Seattle Events

‘90s post-hardcore trio Jawbreaker will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their genre-defining album Dear You at Showbox Sodo in March.
‘90s post-hardcore trio Jawbreaker will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their genre-defining album Dear You at Showbox Sodo in March.
Having steadily released a handful of new singles throughout 2021, British pop-rockers Bastille are poised to hit the road this year (with a Seattle stop in the spring) with their fourth album, Give Me the Future. Plus, Slipknot maggots (aka fans) have a new Knotfest Roadshow to look forward to, and Marymoor Park has added yet another show to their summer season—"Ballard-born" indie folk act The Head and the Heart. Read on for details on those and other newly announced events that you'll want to grab tickets for before they sell out.

ON SALE THURSDAY, JANUARY 20


Hanson
The Moore Theatre (Sat Aug 27) 

Read on EverOut »

Out Today: Dedicate Your Life to Taking Dog Pics in Pupperazzi

Oh, so you say you love dogs? Well PROVE IT by taking pictures of them. Lots and lots of pictures, of dogs bouncing around a beach, of dogs having a dance party, of dogs wearing hats, of dogs in space. Yes, you’re allowed to pet them too. In a world populated entirely by various breeds of pups, you are given assignments like “find me the dog with the freshest fashion” and set loose in a park with a camera. Wonderful. As you complete your assignments, you level up with fancy gear — a lens that allows you to slow down time, filters to get ~artsy~, and so on. I’m a sucker for any game that has a take-pictures mechanic, and in fact will usually abandon the main quest in favor of photography — so it’s a pleasure to see games in which photos ARE the main quest. What bliss. Now I want a sequel where you are a dog and you have to find photographers and pose for them.

Release date: Jan 20, 2022.

Platforms: Itch.io and Steam.

More games to peep this month:

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Sundance Comes Back to Seattle: Here's How to Watch

A version of this post was originally published on December 14, 2021.

Sundance is coming back to Seattle!
We love Keke. She's at Sundance this year. Courtesy of Sundance

Strap in movie nerds, Sundance is coming to Seattle again.

In what is now its second digital go-around, Robert Redford's little film fest will serve premieres of films that could set the tone for the next year of movie-going. Or they could suck. We don’t know. We haven’t seen them yet. Usually, people need to jet down to where Real Housewife Meredith Marks lives to see these movies, but one of the few positive things to come out of this pandemic is more accessible film fests, so we're getting another digital Sundance this year.

From January 20 to 30, Sundance 2022 showcases new U.S. and international features, documentaries, shorts, and special programming (which is very metaverse-y!). This year's fest initially planned to be hybrid, with a virtual fest and an in-person one in Utah, though Omicron dashed those plans. The show is indeed still going on, with tickets to virtual showings available through the festival website. For people around Seattle: Northwest Film Forum is again operating as a "Satellite Screen," which basically just means you'll get to see some of the films from Sundance in Seattle and in a theater. You can still get member passes and individual tickets through the NWFF website. That starts next weekend. We'll cover the movies playing at NWFF on Slog over the next week.

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Hello to All That

Didions essay taught me TK
The day after Didion passed, I realized something about "Goodbye to All That" that I'd never realized before. Kelly O

I’m leaving Seattle for New York City this fall, Joan Didion died two days before Christmas, and local curator Deborah Woodard invited me to contribute to a celebratory remote reading (that starts at 7 pm tonight) in honor of the late literary giant. When you really think about it, did I have any choice but to read “Goodbye to All That” obsessively for the last three weeks?

I do not believe I exaggerate when I say that essay added five years to my life. As we all did, I first read “Goodbye” moments after declaring poetry as my major in college. At that point, I’d also recently discovered the word “denouement” was not pronounced “dee-now-mint.” I didn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground. Then I read the essay and my life began to expand — once I actually started to understand it.

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After a Lackluster Response, Regional Homeless Authority Wants More Money to Shelter People During Bad Weather

King County Regional Homelessness Authority director Marc Dones said the agencys response went better than expected, but theres still room for improvement $$$.
King County Regional Homelessness Authority director Marc Dones said the agency's response went better than expected, but there's still room for improvement. SHITTY SCREENSHOT

During the 12 days of severe weather from late December to early January, the newly established King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) and the Seattle Human Service Department (HSD) only filled three-quarters of the emergency shelter system on their first try at co-managing a response to an extreme weather emergency.

Specifically, the agencies opened six overnight shelters in Seattle with a capacity to host 374 people. HSD acting director Dr. Tanya Kim said they provided 2,116 total overnight stays during the emergency, referring to the number of occasions in which someone slept in a shelter bed during that time. With thousands more estimated living outside, the agencies could have gotten more people indoors.

In a presentation to the Seattle City Council’s Public Assets and Homelessness Committee, the KCRHA and HSD chalked up these poor numbers primarily to challenges in transportation and staffing.

The need to learn from mistakes made feels all the more urgent with climate change contributing to more intense weather.

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Slog AM: Washington Tests Robot Apple-Picker, New Bike Trail to the East Side, and How Bad Would a Tsunami Be for Washington?

Local crime lord makes swift getaway on new bike path.
Local crime lord makes swift getaway on new bike path. Aaron McCoy / Getty Images

Microsoft may begrudgingly allow you to fix your junk. Various tech companies including Tesla, Amazon, and T-Mobile are opposed to Washington’s proposed “right to repair” bill, which would allow consumers to repair devices rather than force them to throw them away and buy new ones. (Microsoft, which has been opposed in the past, is now neutral on the bill.) There’s still time to voice your support for the legislation — call your Olympia critter and tell them to say yes to HB 1810.

New grocery store! PCC Community Markets’ new store in Rainier Square opened this week, after looooong delays. Membership is $60.

Watch out for waves. A new study shows just how much damage an earthquake and tsunami would do to Washington’s coast. This study focuses on cities facing the ocean like Callam Bay and Port Angeles, but you can also see what would happen to areas further in along Puget Sound here.

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Slog PM: Lawsuit Alleges New Legislative Maps Screw Over Latino Voters, New Councilmember Claims She Has "Big Ears," and Emos Would Die for Paramore

Would you look at that? A map!
Would you look at that? A map!

Not the redistricting thing again: Remember the mess that was the redistricting committee? There’s a new development. A new federal lawsuit filed today alleges that Washington’s recently approved legislative district maps violate the federal Voting Rights Act because it limits the power of Latino voters in Central Washington. The Seattle Times can tell you more.

Dark days are over: The Seattle Weather Blog, who, as you know by now, is an avid supporter of all things rain, clouds, and gloom, tweeted this crucial notice that in one week, the sun will not set until 5 p.m. It is truly the little things, folks.

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A Night at the Seattle NFT Museum

I sucked down a joint immediately after leaving.
I sucked down a joint immediately after leaving. Courtesy of Seattle NFT Museum

"This is, like, the Matisse of NFTs."

Will, a tech worker and NFT collector, motioned toward a high-res screen. I took a good hard squint. He was talking about Larva Lab's "CryptoPunk #553," depicting a pixelated brown-skinned, fro'd figure wearing 3D glasses floating against an opaque background. This "CryptoPunk" is one of 10,000 CryptoPunk characters, which make up an apparently legendary NFT (non-fungible token) collection. It's currently on view at the new Seattle NFT Museum.

Some believers hail these CryptoPunks as being among the original NFTs, which allow people to buy or sell digital files on a blockchain. And these punks are hot commodities. "CryptoPunk #7523"—also known as "Covid Alien"—recently sold at Sotheby's for over $11 million.

Lacking any real resemblance to the florid and painterly compositions of Henri Matisse, I assumed Will was referencing the intrinsic value of CryptoPunk as being like the famed French artist. I could almost hear Matisse's old bones rattling around his grave.

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This Week’s Comics: World War I with Dragons, Trading Places With Alternate-Timeline You, and a Star Wars Bakeoff

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What do you think the parallel version of you, in another dimension, is doing right now? Do you think they had a good breakfast? Is their hair better than yours? Would they be proud of you?

I think about parallel-me a lot, probably more than is healthy for an imaginary entity that in all likelihood doesn’t exist or at least I will never meet. But for me, these daydreams have become a sort of compromise-alternative to comparing myself to real people, which is even more unhealthy. Oh, that real person was on a thirty-under-thirty list before they even graduated from college; oh that person looks so good at the beach; oh that person has so many friends — it’s a toxic preoccupation, fantasizing about how someone else stacks up against you. At least by comparing myself to a pretend version of me, I can daydream self-improvements I might actually make. And I won’t get all flustered when my secret comparison-person talks to me.

This week’s new comics teeter on the edge of parallel worlds, including a vision of World War I with dragons that I found particularly captivating. As always, visit your local comic shop to grab new issues — thanks to Phoenix, my favorite outlet — and consider picking up a title that parallel-you might enjoy.

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Questlove's "Black Woodstock" Doc Is Pure Gold

A year ago, we published this post on Questlove's award-winning documentary Summer of Soul, right after it premiered at the digital Sundance Film Festival. We loved it at Sundance, and we love it now, available on Hulu. If you want to see more premieres well before they hit streamers and theaters, poke around this year's digital Sundance Fest, happening in collaboration with Seattle's Northwest Film Forum. And add Summer of Soul to the top of your watchlist. It's almost Academy Awards time, and all the movie-gossips expect it to get nominated for a statue.

Sly in Harlem is no longer stuck in the basement...
Sly in Harlem is no longer stuck in the basement... Summer of Soul

Some footage is found in a basement. This footage contains a long forgotten event: the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. It featured a banging amount of black and brown talent. Nina Simone (the storm), Sly and the Family Stone (the radical racial and gender experiment), Stevie Wonder (the boy genius), B.B. King (the king), Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach (the black modernists), Gladys Knight and the Pips (the perfection of slick), the Staple Singers (the grund of soul), Mahalia Jackson (the queen of heaven), and Hugh Masekela (the shumba of black Africa). This is what black gold looks like. And a stunning 300,000 (mostly) black people attended the six-week concert. Yes, it ran for six weeks. And without a hitch.

The Harlem Cultural Festival was a great success. Even New York City's then-mayor, the Republican John Lindsay, showed up, gave a brief speech, and looked like he was really digging the scene. The documentary, Summer of Soul, informs us that the black voters of Harlem regarded Lindsay in a warm light. Republicans were a different breed back then.

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Proud Boy "Tiny" Toese Goes to Jail

The Stranger's sister site down south, The Portland Mercury, originally published this post on their blog, Blogtown.

Tusitala Tiny Toese aims a paintball gun at counter protesters on August 22, 2021 in Portland.
Tusitala "Tiny" Toese aims a paintball gun at counter protesters on August 22, 2021 in Portland. NATHAN HOWARD / GETTY IMAGES

Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, a member of the far-right group Proud Boys, has been arrested on a Multnomah County warrant for his actions during an August 22, 2021 protest in Portland, according to sources familiar with the case. Toese is facing a total of eleven criminal charges.

Toese was one of many members of the Proud Boys and other far-right organizations who showed up in Northeast Portland on Sunday, August 22 with paintball guns and bear mace, looking for a confrontation with antifascist Portlanders. The so-called "Summer of Love" rally marked the one-year anniversary of a similar right-wing demonstration in downtown Portland, which was defined by its lack of police response. The 2021 event, held in an abandoned Kmart parking lot in the Parkrose neighborhood, was no different. Right-wing activists violently clashed with antifascists that afternoon in a haze of smoke bombs and white paint with no police intervention. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said that officers were monitoring the situation from afar and would make arrests at a later date.

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I, Anonymous: What's the Fuss, Old Ass Bus?

Countless scooters and e-Bikes now litter our sidewalks and urban spaces! When can we see these share systems as their own kind of urban blight/hazard?

Recently at 7th and Olive, in front of the Federal Courthouse, Lime Scooters were set up spaced just one foot apart over half the block, over the entire bus drop-off and pick-up zone. Personally, as a bus driver in this city, I’ve had an ~ok~ experience with them, but what next? They were blocking all options of public transit. I was pissed.

My bus was in drop-off mode, and thankfully no one wanted to get on or off, but if someone there needed a bus ramp, there would have been nothing I could do. Except! Tossing over, even throwing, kicking those damned Lime Scooters out of the fucking way to allow people on or off of my bus. I radioed my dispatch of the blockage. Later on my PM shift, I found someone had removed all the scooters on the entire block. Nothing could have made me happier.

I am all for more urban mobility, but we need to properly regulate these fuckers! They cannot just be scattered about everywhere anymore!

Best,
Damn Right I Value E-scooter Regulations


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