Aug 9th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

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  • The warm weather’s speeding up the life cycle of the aphids spreading “zebra chip” disease to Washington’s potato crops, making the spuds unsalable.
  • Let’s raise a thousand guitar picks to the 10th anniversary of Seattle’s All Ages Dance Ordinance, and the repeal of the infamously restrictive “Teen Dance Ordinance” (which had banned almost all all-ages live music shows for nearly two decades). A lot of people worked a lot of years to make that happen. They can tell you that change doesn’t really happen any other way.
  • It began in ’10, took last year off due to funding problems, but is back this weekend. It’s Seattle Founders Days in Belltown, a weekend celebration of one of America’s liveliest neighborhoods, its spectacular past and its portentious future.
  • When truly affordable housing remains in short supply anywhere in Seattle, should the Seattle Housing Authority sell off huge chunks of Yesler Terrace to “market rate” developers?
  • RealNetworks, after many losses, turned a profit this past quarter. But it’s only because they sold a bunch of patents to Intel.
  • Now that the reservoirs are all lidded, your best chance for a peek at Seattle’s water supply comes with a “Tap Tour” to the Cedar River Watershed.
  • Romney outrage of the day (this will probably be a regular department for the next 90 days): Bain Capital’s original investors included figures tied to El Salvador’s murderous right-wing death squads.
  • One more reason why no state can afford a Republican one-party government: Louisiana’s set to dole out public education bucks to anti-science fundamentalist private schools.
  • The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced new national bosses, who might (just might, mind you) end the homophobia and Planned Parenthood-bashing of the group’s recent past. But it’ll probably remain an outfit less interested in health care than in big-bucks corporate sponsorships.
  • We here in BlueStateLand like to scoff at slimy voter suppression tactics elsewhere. But why aren’t Washington’s own majority-Hispanic pockets seeing more majority-Hispanic voting profiles?
  • You could live directly above the future U District light rail station, as soon as 2021.
Oct 12th, 2007 by Clark Humphrey

King County Executive Ron Sims has no official jurisdiction over the city-owned Seattle Center. That hasn’t stopped him from expressing his citizen’s right to suggest how he’d change the place.

Like most of the big plans about the Center floated lately by Mayor Greg Nickels, David Brewster, and others, Rice’s plan would raze the Fun Forest amusement park and High School Memorial Stadium.

Like some of these plans, Rice’s would raze KeyArena and the Northwest Court buildings, including the current Vera Project space. (Perhaps Rice hopes to bring the Sonics and Storm to a new suburban home.)

Like all of these plans, it would add lots more green park space and fancy landscaping, creating yet another New Seattle monument to world-class-osity. (Or, as Sims’s staff puts it, “a destination known worldwide.”)

Unlike the previous plans, Sims’s would add artist live-work spaces and a transit center. His office issued a “slide show” .pdf depicting old-fashioned trolley cars along Mercer Street.

I like the trolley idea. I’d like it better if Sims had said where these trolleys would go from and to.

My take on this, and all the other Center schemes: We don’t need another sculpture park. We don’t need another impeccably manicured cover scene for architectural magazines.

We need a homey, informal “back yard” serving, and welcome to, all ages and classes, for the widest possible variety of public uses.

So I want to keep high school football there.

I want to keep carny rides there.

I want to keep miniature-freakin’-golf there.

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