Feb 20th, 2023 by Clark Humphrey

The simple beauty of ‘soul chains;’ social-housing initiative passes, now what?; federal judge says Starbucks can’t fire union organizers; should Alaska chinook-salmon fishing be banned to save the orcas?

Jan 10th, 2022 by Clark Humphrey

Author Neal Stephenson defends utopian fiction; COVID-related staff shortages affect schools, bus service, and more; three more state senators test positive; two Cascade passes still closed.

5/6/21: THE NEXT ACT
May 5th, 2021 by Clark Humphrey

Annex Theatre’s double-miracle of survival; who gets the Gates mansion?; the ranch land of the ‘phantom cows’ is up for auction; a pitcher has a career milestone at an Ms’ game (alas, not our pitcher).

1/14/19: VIA-DONE
Jan 13th, 2019 by Clark Humphrey

The Viaduct’s end becomes a big cruisin’ scene; KIRO-FM ‘talk bros’ axed; the Legislature starts minus one embattled member; why the Bezos’ split was announced when it was; the Seattle music scene’s founding mother dies.

Nov 6th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Partial election returns for a night of partial victories; are two Amazon HQ2s good for Seattle?; was an immigrant deported for talking about his detention conditions?

11/6/18: THE LAST TILT
Nov 5th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

The original Shorty’s has held its last pinball tourney; Amazon may pick two ‘HQ2’s; the ‘Lid I-5’ drive gets some major support; one last (desperate) election plea.

Aug 2nd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

How Sub Pop triumphed; some places we wish weren’t demolished; Matt Manweller rants against #MeToo and ‘liberals’; David Meinert’s business world shrinks some more.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/13/16: THE HOT 100
Sep 12th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We begin with three lists totaling 100 all-time Northwest indie-rock records. We continue from there with (alas) false state-income-tax allegations; anti-Muslim bigotry hitting home; what the costly homelessness consultant didn’t directly look into; a former “Drunk of the Week” (or was she?) suing; and the Mariners’ streak continuing.

MISCmedia MAIl for 3/1/16
Feb 29th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Sooper Toosday finds us blathering about a racketeering suit against Mars Hill Church’s top brass; how to properly describe an alleged adult-woman/teenage-boy relationship; just how hard Russell Wilson’s “Good Man” clothes will be to find; and that ridiculously big container ship.

Feb 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Seattle artist Ellen Ziegler’s mom was a ballet dancer—and a onetime girlfriend of the great Mexican comic actor Cantinflas. Ziegler’s turning this story into a very-limited-edition art book.
  • In other news about local women and art and books and images of hotness, Charlotte Austin and Ciolo Thompson have created The Better Bombshell. In it, a variety of writers and artists of both genders contemplate that age-old issue of female role models and what they should be now.
  • Online “cyber-bullying” isn’t just for teens anymore. The disgraced now-former Snohomish County executive did it too.
  • The Oatmeal explains why “How to Suck at Your Religion.” (Essentially: if you preach brotherhood but practice bigotry, etc….)
  • The drive to preserve the Bauhaus coffeehouse’s building, by getting it named an official historic landmark: rejected.
  • The lawsuit challenging the Sonics arena scheme: rejected.
  • Even Republicans believe Tim Eyman’s “lying whore” comment against Gov. Inslee went too far.
  • PONCHO, granddaddy of Seattle arts fundraising groups (and inventor of the “charity auction”), is no more.
  • Can private tech colleges, charging $30,000 or more for degree programs, really solve Wash. state’s learning gap?
  • Eastern Washington, now with more radioactive sludge.
  • Life imitates Portlandia, at least 30 times.
  • Chuck Thompson at the New Republic derides microbrews, and the brewpubs who sell them, as icons of silly urban gentrificaiton. But they’re really, really tasty icons of silly urban gentrification.)
  • The sad tale of the “food critic on Food Stamps” finally has a happy ending. Ex-Tacoma News Tribune restaurant reviewer Ed Murrieta finally found a job, after spending years among the long-term unemployed. He now writes blurbs for Sacramento’s tourism board.
  • In Virginia, a white mom wants white kids not to have to read books about past racial violence.
  • I know I’m not the only one who still remembers LaserDiscs, those 12-inch analog video discs that were the best way to see movies at home in their day.
  • Here’s an artistic vision of a future car-free Manhattan, funded by (who else?) a car company.

Oct 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


“Amidst the Everyday,” a project by photographers-artists Aaron Asis and Dan Hawkins, aims to reveal “elements of the unseen urban environment.” You go to places around town, scan QR codes (etched in wood!) at various buildings, and receive images of their hidden treasures. (Above, one of the unoccupied-for-decades upper floors of the Eitel Building at Second and Pike.)

  • I’m not disillusioned by the news of a potential sitcom that would carry the title Smells Like Teen Spirit. (The show concept sounds more like a ripoff of Family Ties, which is also something we don’t need.) However, I am at least a little disillusioned by the news of a potential Kurt and Courtney stage musical, which would be licensed by Courtney Love via Britney Spears’ estranged ex-manager.
  • Lester Smith, 1919-2012: The Mariners’ original principal owner had, in partnership with Hollywood star Danny Kaye, a number of business endeavors. They ranged from rock-concert promotion to direct-mail marketing. But Smith (or Kaye-Smith) will always be legendary for stewarding KJR-AM during its 1955-80 golden age as Seattle’s Top 40 (or “Fab 50”) powerhouse.
  • The Seattle Times‘ free ads for Rob McKenna caught the LA Times‘ attention; not to mention a less-than-kind portrayal in the SeaTimes‘ own “Truth Needle” department.
  • The next step up from bicycle lanes: physically separated “bike tracks.”
  • Knute Berger reiterates what I’ve been saying about the waterfront development scheme. Let’s not let it be “sanitized by good intentions.”
  • Dominic Holden would like you to know the biggest reason for legalizing pot. It isn’t for the stoners (and it sure ain’t to shut up the stoner evangelists, which had been my reason).
  • Joe Copeland takes up the continuing legacy of Floyd Schmoe, one of the greatest people I ever met, leader of Seattle’s Quakers and hands-on advocate for peace and reconciliation.
  • The next hurdle toward getting the NBA back in Seattle has been overcome. That hurdle is Commissioner David Stern, whose butt will be out of that particular chair by the end of next season.
  • A major casual-games convention may be leaving Seattle.
  • UK film blogger Petra Davis looks back admiringly at the still-underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 20 years old this year…
  • …and, with the winding down of the World’s Fair semi-centennial, our pal Jim Demetre has some kind words for the (mostly justifiably) forgotten It Happened at the World’s Fair.
  • In other film news, the Columbia City Cinema is being reopened (yay!). The new owner has repaired all the previous owner’s not-up-to-code “renovations.”
  • Note to Amazon Kindle users: Buy all your e-books while you’re physically in the same country, lest you be targeted as a Terms of Service violator.
  • Today’s dire-threat-to-America’s-youth story comes to you from a California high school where boys and girls alike are invited to join a “fantasy slut league.”
  • Penguin and Random House are in merger talks. This is bad news, since book publishing is one of those industries that’s too consolidated already.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of products marketed as “For Women” is brought to you by Fujitsu and its “Floral Kiss” brand laptop PC.
  • Among all the slimy, sociopathic, and bigoted things Republicans are saying and doing these days, add this overt racism by Sarah Palin.
  • Pseudonymous Daily Kos diarist “bayushisan” wishes gamer culture had fewer macho jerks in it. (The same, of course, can be said about athiests and “skeptics,” online comment threads, U.S. politics, and even atheists and “skeptics”.)
  • Paul Karr loathes the dot-commers’ worship of “disruption” as a sacred concept, and the Ayn Randian me-first-ism behind it.
  • The BBC notes that “creativity is often intertwined with mental illness“…
  • …and Simon Reynolds disses the “modern dismissal of genius” in today’s “age of the remix.”
  • Earthquakes can’t be predicted. That hasn’t stopped a court in Italy from convicting seven scientists who failed to do so.
  • Community organizer “B Loewe” believes you should not get into lefty causes to feel good about yourself, and you shouldn’t try to be your own, or your only, emotional “caregiver.” Instead, you’re to practice prosocial interdependence as both ideology and a way of life.
  • Someone says something nice about so-called “hipsters!” They’re credited with helping bring back Detroit (the place, not the car companies).
Jun 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

'jseattle' at flickr, via capitohillseattle.com

Yes, it’s been nearly a week since I’ve posted any of these tender tidbits of randomosity. Since then, here’s some of what’s cropped up online and also in the allegedly “real” world:

  • There’s still no official hint on what the proposed Sonics Arena might look like. But the wannabe developers of East Pine Street’s “Bauhaus block” have released a drawing of their proposed mixed use development. At least in its idealized-drawing form, it’s not as monstrous looking as some other recent structures in the area.
  • In other preservation battles, Seattle’s people again rally around a thing about which the elites don’t give a darn. They’re striving to bring back the Waterfront Streetcar.
  • Meanwhile, a study claims if the viaduct-replacement tunnel charges tolls high enough to pay for it, drivers will clog the surface streets rather than pay those tolls.
  • Seattle Opera faces a $1 million shortfall, and will mount fewer new shows in future years. But don’t count ’em out yet, folks. It’s not over until, well, you know.
  • The late writer-director Nora Ephron had many major achievements. Sleepless in Seattle, let us all admit, is among the least of them.
  • Did you know there was a real hostelry in Fife called the “Norman Bates Motel“? Emphasis on the was.
  • America’s cities: they’re back! (Of course, some of us knew this for some time.)
  • In a pleasant surprise, one of the Supreme Court’s pro-one-percenter flank betrayed his masters and voted to uphold Obamacare. In response, some members of the Rabid Right’s noise machine claimed the great American Experiment was over and they’d hightail it to Canada (which, uh, has had universal health care in place for some time now).
  • If you’re on liberal/progressive websites at all these days, you’ll find a lot of comment threads hijacked by folk who claim to be lefties disgusted by Obama’s centrist tactics, so much that they won’t vote this November, and want you to not vote either. At least some of these comment trolls turn out to be paid employees of right-wing dirty tricks outfits.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s splitting his News Corp. into two companies. One will contain his print properties (including HarperCollins Books, The Wall St. Journal, the New York Post, and his besieged London tabloid operation), plus the iPad “newspaper” The Daily. The other will hold his “entertainment” properties. Yes, Fox “News” goes with the entertainment half.
  • Paul Krugman tells the PBS NewsHour all about his “cartoon physics” theory of the American economy.
  • Google’s putting out a tablet device with a 7-inch color screen, just like Amazon’s Kindle Fire. But the exciting part of this Wall St. Journal link is at the bottom, where they mention another forthcoming Google hardware product. It’s a streaming-media player that attaches to TV sets, and it’ll be made in the USA!
  • Ann Althouse looks at a famous parody of trashy sex novels, and asks rhetorically if those who make and read such parodies are really bashing the potboilers’ readers (i.e., women).
  • Nordstrom’s opening a branch in New York City. Make way for NYC media outlets to describe it as a brand new startup.
  • Headline: “The media covers Kardashians, not climate change.” Comment: The media covers the-media-not-covering-climate-change more than it covers climate change.
Oct 10th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

from 'fantomaster' at flickr.com

The first Washington governor of my lifetime could also be considered the state’s first “modern era” leader.

At a time of postwar complacency, just after the fading of “red scare” smear campaigns (yes, there were McCarthy-esque witch hunters here too), Rosellini enacted a bold progressive agenda.

He backed the Seattle World’s Fair.

He helped organize the cleanup of Lake Washington, once a mightily polluted body. He boosted college funding.

He established a separate juvenile justice system, and improved horrendous conditions at adult prisons and mental hospitals.

He boosted economic development and infrastructure investment, including the SR 520 bridge that now bears his name.

And yeah, he also stayed lifelong allies with the likes of strip-club maven Frank Colacurcio Sr., which eventually led to the ex-governor’s last, less-than-positive headlines in the 1990s.

You can disapprove of the Colacurcio connection and still admire Rosellini’s steadfastness to longtime friendships.

And you can look at the whole of Rosellini’s works and see a man who did all he could for what he believed in, even if it cost him most of his political capital before his first gubernatorial term was up.

Would there were more like him today.

Music scene tie in: Gov. Rosellini’s press secretary was Calvin Johnson Sr., father of the K Records swami.

Jul 12th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

vintage 1940 trolley bus from seattletransitblog.com

  • Today is the day. Speak now or forever lose your ability to get anywhere in King County, with or without a car. That’s how big this is. Get thee to the King County Council Chambers, 516 Third Ave., 6-8 p.m. Speak out to save transit.
  • Is local weather really getting “wetter and warmer”? Cliff Mass says not necessarily.
  • After the state failed earlier this year, the city may strike out on its own to license and regulate medical marijuana establishments. The first regulations I’d want: no pot-leaf neon signs, no tie dyed scrubs, and no public display of the phrase “da kine.”
  • City Councilmember Tim Burgess wants the big public todo about child prostitution to become a little less about the rival grandstandings of celebs, politicians, and publishers, and a little more about the children themselves. At least that’s what I hope Burgess wants.
  • The Thunderbird Motel that became the Fremont Inn, one of the notorious drug-dealer-infused motels on Aurora shut down a year or two back? It could become Catholic-run low income housing.
  • The state’s sending up helicopters to test local radiation levels. But don’t panic, officials insist.
  • The old idea to put up a surplus 60 foot Lava Lamp in the tiny Eastern Wash. burg of Soap Lake? It’s on again.
  • You might not have heard of it yet, but there’s a longshoremen’s protest at a new grain terminal in Longview, where management has hired nonunion workers. A recent protest got 100 union dock workers and supporters arrested.
  • A Daily Kos diarist compares the continuing nonsense over the federal deficit to “worrying about the water bill when the house is on fire.”
  • Time claims Americans “distinguish toiler paper brands better than banks.” Insert snarky comments here.
  • What are the chances that l’affaire Murdoch could cause the decline and fall of the Fox “News” Channel? Not much, I believe; at least not directly or right away. Murdoch’s UK papers used grody methods to amass information about politicians, celebrities, the royal family, and even violent-crime victims. Fox “News” doesn’t give a damn about information; it just makes crap up.
Jun 30th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

  • Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said he’d like to be involved in an effort to bring men’s pro basketball back to Seattle. But, he claims, there’s a “real estate problem.” This problem can only be solved with a new arena, which would cost $300-500 million. KeyArena, Ballmer asserts, is too small; though it’s actually well in the range of NBA arena capacities. What it lacks are more luxury boxes and an NHL-friendly hockey configuration. Ballmer also apparently didn’t mention that as long as the City of Seattle owns KeyArena, it won’t subsidize a new building that would compete for concerts and other bookings. Even if the city had the money, which it doesn’t. (Question: Could KeyArena be expanded again without knocking down the nearby Northwest Court complex?)
  • For decades, University of Washington administrators have chafed at the presence of all those pesky college students walking around, diverting time and attention away from the world-class-research-institution stuff the administrators would much rather focus on. Now, the current UW bigwigs have come across a solution, in the form of a whoppin’ 20 percent in-state tuition hike. Students plan to protest.
  • The federal government has indeed sold the former Rick’s strip club building. And yes, the new owner will probably open another strip club there.
  • Howard S. Wright, the construction giant that built the Space Needle and Columbia Center, was sold off to a Texas company.
  • Could it really rain more at airports?
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