In this week’s comics, subtlety is either for cowards or for overdosing on to the point of complete disorientation. A new series called Plush offers absolutely zero subtext, with characters furiously screaming their motivations, while another, called Hexware, is so ethereal and vague that it’s hard to know what’s going on. Where’s the happy middle? Perhaps in Rainbow Days, a sweet English adaptation of a popular manga that highlights the wholesomeness of nontoxic masculinity.

Also of interest this week is a new Justice Society of America, with the seeds of a new JSA storyline, and a Kal-El Returns anthology with a pleasantly upbeat vibe. Blue Beetle has a new book out from DC, and over on the Marvel side, the Avengers are entering a new time-travel arc and Spider-Man offers a cute story with Double Trouble. Readers who’ve been enjoying the Exterminators series, take note: Issue 3 of this popular “dazzler versus vampires” just hit shelves.

Thanks as always to Phoenix for sorting through the week’s new releases! 

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Elections 2022 Fri 1:17 PM

Seattle Progressives Have a Turnout Problem

They Don’t Show up in Odd Years

After Stranger-endorsed candidate for King County Prosecutor, Leesa Manion, swamped Seattle Times-endorsed Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell in November’s election, several local pundits spilled plenty of digital ink wondering how to square that result with last year’s rejection of abolitionist candidate for Seattle City Attorney, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. 

While some circumstantial factors explain some of the shift from last year’s election results, those pundits have missed the most important one: the change in the electorate itself. Voter turnout jumps significantly in even year elections, particularly among lower income voters and renters who tend to support progressive policies by significant margins. 

With the results from this year’s election certified and precinct-level data now available, we can see exactly where in Seattle turnout changes the most between odd and even year elections. Spoiler alert: the results really are not great for progressive candidates aiming to challenge incumbents on the Seattle City Council next year.

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Music Fri 10:31 AM

Your Heart Breaks Returns to the Stage

Singer Clyde Petersen on Signing to Kill Rock Stars and Playing His First Club Show in Nearly Three Years

It’s been almost three years since Clyde Petersen’s earnest-warm-fuzzies pop band, Your Heart Breaks, has played an indoor show. Because the singer is immunocompromised, he hasn’t felt comfortable performing in front of a room packed with people who’d likely be happily singing along while inadvertently filling the air with microscopic breath particles and spittle. It’s understandable.

But tonight at the Tractor, Your Heart Breaks finally returns to the club stage, opening for the Cave Singers. Petersen has been practicing singing with a mask on, and he’ll be joined by cellist Lori Goldston and guitarist Corey Brewer.

“We’re gonna play mostly new stuff,” he says. “I recorded a live set, sent it to Corey and Lori to write their parts, and we’re gonna get together on the stage and play it.”

“You haven’t rehearsed together?” I asked. 

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EverOut Fri 10:00 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Dec 2-4, 2022

Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, Ballard HolidayFest, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

This weekend is full of events that are holly and jolly and cheap and easy, from the 36th Annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition to Ballard HolidayFest and from Lusio Lights Renton to S.U.B.E. Children’s Book Day. Looking for more ideas for this weekend and beyond? Get a glance at the month ahead with our complete guide to December events.

FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Coffee Beer Week
What could be more quintessentially Seattle than a drink that combines craft beer and coffee? The Beer Junction will have nine such brews on tap at their annual Coffee Beer Week, which kicks off on Black Friday and includes offerings from Alesmith, Aslan, Bale Breaker, Fremont, Georgetown, Holy Mountain, and more. We're particularly intrigued by the "Stove-altine Maple and Coffee Milk Stout," a collaboration between Old Stove Brewing and Urban Family Brewing.
(The Beer Junction, Junction)

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News Fri 9:30 AM

Why You Should Care About Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan

You Don't Like Exorbitant Rents, Homelessness, or Sluggish Transit, Do You?

A day after approving a $7.4 billion two-year budget, on Wednesday the Seattle City Council heard a mildly wonky presentation from the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) about the City’s next comprehensive plan.

Wait, wait! Before your eyes start to glaze over, it’s important to note that the next 10-year growth plan could be just as influential as the biennial budget in shaping the future of the city–especially if we’re going to fix the racist, classist legacy of single-family zoning.

If you’re annoyed by Seattle’s expensive housing costs, disturbed about the ongoing homelessness crisis, or fed up about the Route 8 bus always being late, then you should know about a guy named Harland Bartholomew.

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Keep those mittens handy: The Seattle Times reports this pattern of light snow, melting, and refreezing will likely continue through the weekend. There's now a winter weather advisory in place from 10 am today through tomorrow morning, with two more inches of snow expected to accumulate. If you're out driving, take extra caution as officials warn the melting and refreezing snow could create "black ice" on the region's roads.

New idea to close the wealth gap: Washington state has some of the worst wealth inequality in the country, and state policymakers are rolling out a proposal to do something about it when the State Legislature convenes in the spring. The Washington Future Fund would invest $4,000 "baby bonds" on behalf of children born while on Apple Health, the state's Medicaid plan. Once eligible kids reach adulthood, they can use the money for a down payment on a home, to pay for higher education, or to start a small business. The program comes with a hefty price tag of $150 million annually, but it could garner bipartisan support due to the much higher percentage of kids born on Apple Health in rural and conservative areas.

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Temperatures are below average for this time of the year, reports Seattle Times. This makes perfect sense because we live in extreme times. It's either too warm or too cold. We're always breaking records because the old weather, the more human weather, is leaving us gone for good. Such is life in the anti-human Capitalocene. And what connects the changing climate with capitalism is this negativity to all that is naturally human. As the economist Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky pointed out over a century ago, the kind of economy we wake up in, live in, and are bound to die in is not about people. It's about machines. In this fact, we find the kind of anxiety that informs many Hollywood science fiction films.    

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EverOut Dec 1 3:38 PM

Ticket Alert: Metallica, Illenium, and More Seattle Events Going On Sale This Week

Plus, Bryce Vine and More Event Updates for December 2

Heavy metal masters Metallica will ride the lightning all the way to Seattle on their M72 world tour, supporting their forthcoming album, 72 Seasons. Melodic bass producer Illenium has announced a two-day EDM festival at the Gorge next summer. Plus, Billboard charting hip-hop artist Bryce Vine will stop by next spring on his Serotonin tour. Read on for details on those and other newly announced events, plus some news you can use.

ON SALE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2

MUSIC

Bryce Vine: Serotonin Tour
Showbox SoDo (March 4, 2023)

The Charlatans with Ride
The Showbox (Feb 14, 2023)

Mac Ayres: Comfortable Enough Tour
The Showbox (March 25, 2023)

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Visual Art Dec 1 1:32 PM

Fuck the Weather, See Some Art!

It's the Last First Thursday Art Walk of the Year—Do You Really Want to Miss It?

When the temperature starts to dip, I know it's appealing to simply clock off work, change into your comfy pants, and binge White Lotus from your plush, warm couch. However, I'm calling on all you readers to RESIST that urge and head out to Pioneer Square for their First Thursday Art Walk tonight. Though the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are seen as nothing more than filler to some, Seattle artists are still grinding and putting up some excellent shows this month. The least you could do is put on your wool socks and spend half an hour admiring their work. 

Today is the last day to catch Kelsey Fernkopf's playful neon show, BIG NEON Playground over at 4Culture Gallery. You might recognize Fernkopf's site-specific neon works from around town—last year he took over Method's funky basement gallery, this summer he showed work at XO Seattle, and last month he installed several works outside Pilchuck School of Glass' campus in Stanwood. BIG NEON Playground finds Fernkopf in a fantastical world of his own making, threading the theme of childhood fantasies together with glowing glass works. I've always believed that the Pacific Northwest is the perfect backdrop for neon art; our gray, overcast skies make bright colors pop.

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News Dec 1 1:26 PM

Council Votes to Take More Money from You but Not Amazon

Good Luck Picking Up the Working Class Vote Next Year, Everybody

After turning up their noses at Council Member Kshama Sawant’s proposal to tax corporations to fill the City’s budget hole, on Tuesday the Seattle City Council easily passed three regressive fee increases that would suck millions from everyday Seattleites during an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Sawant said the votes speak to council Democrats prioritizing the wealthy over the working class. 

But some council members could face more than public jabs from Sawant. After all, choosing regressive revenue over progressive revenue bucks the labor power and the anti-corporate sentiment that carried some of these milquetoast candidates through the 2019 election. 

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Music Dec 1 11:31 AM

Smashed Violins and Stage-Diving

My Five Favorite Moments from Friday's The Last Waltz Concert

For eight years now, Seattle's Tribute to the Last Waltz has celebrated the music of the Band—and the Band's iconic, all-star 1976 final performance—with a benefit concert the day after Thanksgiving. Instead of just rewatching the Martin Scorsese-directed concert film every year, as so many do, cofounders Jasen Samford and Michael Rognlie decided to produce their own celebration in 2014. That year, they rounded up a roster of talented musician friends to perform the now-famous setlist for one night only at the Tractor, with all proceeds going to charity.

Samford says they raised about $13,000 for Northwest Harvest at the Friday, November 25 show at the Neptune, bringing the grand total of charitable donations to more than $50,000 over the years.

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Economy Dec 1 11:03 AM

Seattle Is Back from the Brink of Dying?

Maybe What's Reviving Third and Pine Is Not Less Poverty

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat agrees with Mayor Bruce Harrell. The "crime wave" is finally breaking. And, as a consequence, new stores are opening in the downtown area, a Christmas star shines again on the facade of Macy's former building, the McDonald’s on Pine has "finally emerged from its hardened plywood shell." Westneat describes the criminal activity that dominated Third and Pine as "a scene from a medieval back alley, playing out in the heart of a modern city."

There was no need for Westneat to go back as far as the Dark Ages to find his nightmarish image of the criminal activity that ruled Third and Pine. He could have just gone back to Seattle's Depression-era Hooverville. Or could have just mentioned scenes from the 1984 documentary Streetwise. That said, Westneat's reading of the downtown situation is actually right.

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News Dec 1 10:48 AM

King County Sucks at Tackling Organized Retail Theft

We’ve Bagged Foot Soldiers but No Kingpins

This week, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he will ask the State Legislature for $1.5 million to create an Organized Retail Theft Unit, echoing claims from some in the retail industry that theft rings represent a $70 billion problem nationally. 

But according to other analysts in the retail industry, that $70 billion statistic vastly overestimates the amount of loss retailers suffer from organized retail theft. While retailers have reported an increase in this kind of crime, criminal legal reform advocates say they’re overstating their case as a way to convince law enforcement and the public to support a fresh crackdown on shoplifting more generally.

So, is Ferguson wasting his staff’s time and the public’s dollars on this latest effort? That depends on whether his office continues the approach that local prosecutors have taken, which focuses primarily on people caught in the act of stealing merch for resale, or whether he shifts the focus of enforcement to catching the ringleaders of these organized crime rings. 

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Obligatory snow update: Earlier birds caught the return of snowfall in some parts of Seattle this morning at around 5:30 am. According to Weather.com and a bunch of beloved weather nerds on Twitter, the snow should peter out by about 10 am, or maybe even earlier. I don’t know, look out a window, god dammit. It looks pretty clear from my place.

Here’s a visual:

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Quinault Indian Nation gets $25 million for relocation due to climate change: There are 660 residents in the Tahloah Village, which is located only seven feet above sea level where the Quinault River and the Pacific Ocean converge, leaving them vulnerable to rising seas and flooding, reports KING 5. The federal government funds will support the Quinault's plans to build homes a half-mile away from the beach on higher ground. 

Y'all really let Taylor top you: The good folks over at the Seattle Times managed to get their paws on Spotify Wrapped data for the entire city and Ms. Taylor Swift came out as the Seattle's top artist of 2022. Can't say I'm surprised! I'm not a Swiftie but I went to Neumos' Taylor Swift night once (kind of on accident) and was thoroughly impressed by everyone's enthusiasm. Drake, Kanye West, the Weeknd, and Bad Bunny rounded out the top 5. 

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