Thursday, October 29, 2009 | 911 Log has a webmap of crime in Seattle, half an hour later, I thought I should post a link to it here. I am hooked.

Oh, ya, there is good reporting on crime and the police on this site, too.
Go there,, now.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

While filling out my voters' ballot I will be watching Burt Lancaster in "The Swimmer"

Ah, politics and each contest, like The Swimmer, series of swimming pools that greet you in different ways.

In the end, we make the best of each pool, believing and hoping the next pool will be more refreshing than the last.

If you make-believe hard enough, then it's true for you

In a key scene, he encounters a solitary boy playing a flute at a lemonade stand below a tree. The boy's parents are away somewhere. Merrill has no money but cajoles the boy into giving him a drink. He asks the boy if he can use his pool... but when they arrive at the pool, they find it empty. The boy says he can't swim very well. Undaunted, Merrill gives the boy a lesson, and they simulate different strokes across the floor of the dry pool. "If you make-believe hard enough, then it's true for you," Merrill tells him, and the boy is suddenly delighted by his apparent success in swimming an entire length.

But as Merrill departs, he hears a sinister reverberation... he turns, sees the boy bouncing on the spring-board above the deep end.... Yes, in this low tech but high concept film, symbolism is everything.
Film Court | copyright 2001 | Lawrence Russell

Here are my endorsements that I made a couple weeks ago, that I am still sticking with, some more tightly than others.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In-Kind "Media" Contribution of the Day

It is a tie. These two are actually from yesterday, but here they are:

Did Knute Berger celebrated's switch to a not-for-profit Journalist-ish media outlet with a little slander?

While pretending to be on the fence between the two Seattle mayoral candidates, Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn, Berger slung a little mud (emphasis mine).
If Mike McGinn is a conviction candidate — as contrasted with Mallahan, who seems to be an avatar (or is it shill?) of Seattle's power establishment — he's undercutting his main strength, which is to take bold, challenging stands against the conventional wisdom. You can say this is smart politics, and I suppose it would be if he were running as a conventional politician, but everything about his campaign's appeal — the low budget, the accessibility of the candidate, the insurgent tactics, even the beard — have pointed in a different direction. Are we going to discover that McGinn is now just a more rumpled, perhaps more articulate but also more lawyerly version of Joe Mallahan.
Berger, McGinn's tunnel cave,

Calling McGinn a rumpled lawyer is factually correct. Would it be a stretch to call Mike McGinn, and his development brokering company, a shill for local developers wanting to greenwash housing devepment?

Calling somebody a shill is a pretty serious charge. In some states it is against the law to be a shill. Berger should know this.

But I am not sure how Berger can call Mallahan a shill, as if he is he pretending to be someone that he is not in order to misslead people into buying into him?
So, I will just chalk this up to a political in-kind contribution from a non-profit media organization.

The other in-kind media contribution of the day was from's Erica C. Barnett, ironically from a column/report called Contribution of the Day. in this report Barnett lists who contributed money to which political campaign. But for Barnett the facts are not enough.
. . . conservative mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan.
Erica C. Barnett, Contribution of the Day,

This label prompted the first comment to the story to question the author:
1. Stacy, Stacey, Stacie says:

“Conservative mayor candidate Joe Mallahan?”

Are you even going to pretend to be a journalist Erica? Susan Hutchison yes, Joe Mallahan no. That tag is bullshit and you know it.

The answer is clearly no, Barnett is not even going to bother to pretend to be a journalist. And yes, it is "bullshit".
A conservative candidate for mayor, in Seattle, really?
It looks like's endorsement of Mike McGinn for Mayor does not stop with its editorial staff (whoever that is).

What is the monitary value of media bias? Should Mike McGinn have to claim these labels applied to his opponent as a contribution?
No, but the public should be aware that these two media entities are not newspapers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Will McGinn now vote for Mallahan?

On September 15th McGinn insisted, "it's not a done deal."
McGinn has ran on this, leading thousands to support him in his bid to be Mayor of Seattle.

Much of McGinn's battle with Joe Mallahan has centered on this issue. Mallahan has been saying that the issue has been decided, and he would use his project management skills to ensure that the project would complete on time and under budget. Now it appears Mike McGinn is taking Joe Mallahan's position.

I guess the question I have for McGinn is: Will he be voting for Mallahan?
It does appear, by McGinn's change of positions, that Mallahan is right.

How many anti-tunnel folks will keep supporting McGinn?
How many undecided voters will view this announcement as an endorsement of Joe Mallahan?
How many people that would otherwise support McGinn, if not for his opposition to the tunnel?

Joe Mallahan released this statement this afternoon:

I am pleased the City Council reaffirmed its commitment to move forward on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. The worst thing we could do for our economy is undo a decision that took eight years to make. If we don't move forward on replacing the viaduct, our economy and our traffic will come to a screeching halt.

"My opponent has spent the last eight months campaigning on one issue - stopping the tunnel and our economy from moving forward.

"Now he's changing his position because he's seen the poll numbers and is fighting for his political life. My opponent has shown he is willing to say whatever voters want to hear. His flip-flopping clearly demonstrates that voters have a choice between a political opportunist or a principled leader and effective manager, like myself, to lead this city and our economy forward."

So, the Washington State Governor and Legislature, the current Mayor and City Council of Seattle, have committed to the agreement to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bore tunnel. For eight months Mike McGinn has said that he will fight the project, until today.
McGinn's entire statement:.

Today, the City Council authorized Mayor Greg Nickels to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the State of Washington committing Seattle to the tunnel plan.

I disagree with the decision. I disagree with the timing.
But the reality is Mayor Nickels and the Council have entered into an agreement, and the City is now committed to the tunnel plan.

If I'm elected Mayor, although I disagree with this decision, it will be my job to uphold and execute this agreement. It is not the Mayor's job to withhold the cooperation of city government in executing this agreement.

I will, however, continue to ask tough questions:

• We don't know how much it's actually going to cost.

• If it ends up costing more than the current budget allows, there is serious disagreement between Seattle and the State over who will pay the cost overruns.

• Where will the money come from, and who will bear the burden? Will we have to cut police, fire, library, or services for the poor?

I will not stop asking the tough questions nor will I ever stop standing up for Seattle's interests in this process.

I'm worried the people that want the tunnel have a champagne appetite and the City has a beer budget. The question is who will end up paying the tab.

There is a clear choice in this election.

My opponent has refused to ask any hard questions about the tunnel.

In fact, when asked about the Legislature passing the cost overrun amendment, he said:

"If I were mayor, rather than taking potshots at Democratic leadership who put that (amendment) on, I'd express disappointment and say, "OK, we can live with this."

Seattle cannot live with paying the cost overruns on the tunnel.
Mike McGinn says he would uphold the plans for a tunnel if elected, despite opposition

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sonicsgate Movie Premere, Tonight!

I will post a few pictures here from the event. I will likely live blog at

Sonicsgate Movie sent a message to the members of Sonicsgate Movie Premiere.

Subject: Sonicsgate Movie Premiere TONIGHT!!

Just a reminder that the Sonicsgate movie premieres tonight!

What: Sonicsgate -- Requiem For A Team
When: Friday, Oct. 9 at 8:00 PM
Where: SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street)

This screening is sold out, so hope you got your tickets!  Please note the movie starts at 8PM sharp, and SIFF does not allow late entries.

Join us at the Official Sonicsgate Afterparty at Spitfire (2219 4th Ave) after the movie!  Your ticket stub gets you in free!  Live performances by Neema, Wizdom, Lil Kriz and Spaceman!

Rock on Sonics faithful,

- Sonicsgate Crew

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 Group sues in federal court to stop Alaskan Way tunnel

The ran this story in its blog on September 15, 2009. The headline, Group sues in federal court to stop Alaskan Way tunnel, was not enough court action.
Today we have, Lawsuit Filed Against State Over Tunnel
Elizabeth Campbell and Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel have filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and WSDOT director Paula Hammond to stop the proposed waterfront Alaskan Way tunnel, arguing that WSDOT is “making a mockery of” the state environmental review process by moving forward with the $4.2 billion deep-bore tunnel without having completed a required environmental review. Campbell, an activist who supports rebuilding the viaduct, filed a similar but separate suit in US district court last month.

So, why does this tunnel need to be stopped?
Seniors beware:  As we drive into the tunnel from the bright sun, and when Seattle is bright the light is strong, within 60 seconds you will be coming to a semi blind curve and if cars are stopped ahead, then accidents are going to happen. And remember, accidents in tunnels cause many times the magnitude of destruction and injury than when they occur on an above ground, open highway.

                 We cannot protect seniors or the taxpayers without your financial and moral support.  Each lawsuit will cost over $100,000 and it will likely take several lawsuits as the tunnel is a very complex project with lots of permits and lots of related government efforts going into trying to improvise [scat] on the facts; not to mention lots of special interests wanting to scat upon the public and its hard earned dollars for these special interests’ benefit.

So, Campbell, after her failed run for Mayor of Seattle, has filed this case in two courts. Why two court filings? I think she will file as many cases as people are willing to pay for. She is a lawyer, this is how she makes a living.

By the way, seniors, by SCAT's statement, we should have packed so many wrecked cars in the Battery Street Tunnel that the dangers of building a new tunnel would be common knowledge. That is some freaking stupid logic, lookout older people, the sun is bright, the NEW tunnel will be dark like cave, and you will die in a horrible car crash unless you give me money to SLAP as many lawsuits as possible.

SCAT (might be pronounced shat?) is Campbells stab at "activi$m", something that will keep her name in the public.  

Seniors beware:  As we drive into the tunnel from the bright sun, and when Seattle is bright the light is strong, within 60 seconds you will be coming to a semi blind curve and if cars are stopped ahead, then accidents are going to happen. And remember, accidents in tunnels cause many times the magnitude of destruction and injury than when they occur on an above ground, open highway.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, October 3, 2009 What would Jane Jacobs do about the Viaduct?

Crosscut's Knute Berger has written an interesting essay that effectively states the urbanist conflict within the race for Mayor of Seattle, between Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn.

Though I had not read Jane Jacobs, I think I understand her point of view. I will give her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a read. I will also read the book about her, Wrestling with Moses (2009), by Anthony Flint.

I have arrived at supporting the current tunnel solution as replacement for the viaduct in much the same way Seattle City Councilmember Tim Bergess did.
But Burgess worries that the surface option will be destructive at the street level, especially to the businesses that rely on Highway 99 and waterfront access. Both blue-collar industry and tourism would be heavily disrupted during the construction and street rewiring process. The fear of the damage that disruption could do is shared by many tunnel backers. That's partly how the deep-bore tunnel became the kind of have-our-cake-and-eat-it-too solution: We keep the cars and trucks rolling out of sight and underground, and still have a new, Viaductless waterfront to make pretty. Expensive, yes, but in the passing Greg Nickels era, it was often claimed that the money could be found. It's only a billion extra (if we're lucky).
Read the rest here, at, What would Jane Jacobs do about the Viaduct?

On another front, last Thursday the Seattle Times played host the mayoral candidates, Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn.
There was, at one point, actual debate between the two opponents. That is a bit of a rarity, though both men appeared comfortable engaging in discussion that helped to contrast their views on solutions to the Alanan Way Viaduct.

When the questions turned to the political reality of McGinn's surface solution he did not really have a good argument. It appears that he is prepared to fight the Governor, the State Legislature, King County, and the majority of the Seattle City Council. If he could stop the tunnel project over the next couple years how would he get those people he just battled to support his surface solution. He said that leaders would do the "right" thing and get to work on the surface solution.
That just seams so unlikely, if he can stop the tunnel project there is no good reason for any of those other politicians to support his solution. We are talking about a State highway. The state will support a solution that supports its requirements.
It took eight years for a solution to be agreed to by all levels of government.
Here is a link to the video.
Joe Mallahan was successful at painting Mike McGinn as a fighter. Having a fighter as a mayor sounds great until you think about Greg Nickels reputation as a bully and his relationship with othe levels of Washington State government.
Fighting for and about everything is not leadership, according to Joe Mallahan. Mike McGinn did not effectively argue that was not his style or that fighting was the best method of leading change.
He accepted that he would be fighting and pretty much said that everybody else would just get over it. That is just stupid.
I support the active solution, and, I guess, Joe Mallahan.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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