Archive for News and Politics

Viaduct Rebuild = Monstrosity

Have a look at these great renderings of what the rebuilt viaduct will look like.

No way the good folks of Seattle will allow such a hideous monster to eat up the entire waterfront… that would be the height of insanity.

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Tanning in Sheboygan

Oh fun. You know the city you grew up in has hit the big time when it makes the national (blog) news… Here’s Slog’s take on the woman in Sheboygan who just had to go tanning for her vacation (leaving her young kids in the car unattended in way-below-freezing temperatures).

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Religion’s Role in America

Great op-ed piece in yesterday’s Seattle Times/PI Sunday paper: “God Help Us: Religion’s Role in America“.

Often when this sort of opinion piece shows up, I read through it and can quickly sense the bias (either toward or against religion)… a bias that tends to undermine the message. But I was impressed in this piece to sense a very well rounded perspective on what’s wrong (and what’s right) about religion in this country, and what we should, nee MUST, do about it.

Having recently finished the “Reading Lolita in Tehran” book, I was particularly interested to read the section on Turkey. One of the key messages of the Tehran book was that the oppressive regime had mandated certain behavior in the name of religion — in my opinion, quite undermining the actual practice of religious faith.

But the brief discussion of Istanbul, Turkey in the op-ed piece was used as a demonstration of how a society containing people of varying religious belief can get along nicely — allowing the very observant to be very observant, while allow the less observant or non-religious to be less observant or non-religious, respectively.

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Rep. Ellison to use Thomas Jefferson’s Koran

I love it! After the ridiculous uproar from Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Virginia — who, ironically, represents the district including Jefferson’s birthplace) last month, I’m glad to see Rep. Keith Ellison (incoming D-Minnesota) found a savvy way to use a Koran for his photo-op swearing in and make a great point at the same time.

Yes, that’s right. He’s going to place his hand on the Koran — his holy book — when he swears into office. Because the whole point of placing your hand on ANY book at that point is to indicate how seriously you’re taking your oath… not to indicate that you’re a Christian or whatever Rep Goode thinks it means.

I read an interesting comment somewhere recently that pointed out that if you’re going to swear an oath to (and with your hands on) any document, it should really be the Constitution that you are agreeing to uphold, not a religious document. Now that makes a lot more sense to me.

(source: Found the Jefferson’s Koran link at HorsesAss)

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3000 Dead in Iraq

… according to MSNBC, among others.

Happy New Year!

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September 2006 PCO election results

And the numbers are in! On October 4th, the PCO election results from the September 19th primary election were finalized. You may recall that I was running for this office in my precinct.

Well, somewhat as expected, I won the position thanks to 111 of my supportive friends and neighbors in the 37-1833 precinct!

See the whole spreadsheet of results here.

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Cantwell Rally

I thought I had posted about this when I put the photos up on the website, but I guess I didn’t. In any case, back in mid-September Jodi and I went to a Maria Cantwell rally over in Bellevue at which three of the women senators (Cantwell, Murray, and Boxer) were present. Also present was Darcy Burner, candidate for the 8th congressional district. Good times were had by all. See the pictures.

But what brought it back to my attention was the little 5 second snippet of video that showed up a week ago on Upfront with Robert Mak (as he went to commercial near the end of the show). You betcha, right there toward the front… Jodi and I. 🙂

See the short video:

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Evan in the running

In addition to it being “Talk like a Pirate Day” (earlier blog post), it’s also primary election day in King County.

What makes this election particularly special to me is that it’s my first time ever on the ballot.

What WHAT?!” you ask… You betcha. I’m on the primary ballot for the first time ever. Now, admittedly I’m running unopposed and admittedly I’m running for a not particularly glamorous position (Precinct Committee Officer), but it’s still a good first step and it will allow me to become more active in my local politics.

So, everybody in Washington State — VOTE TODAY! And if you live in my precinct, vote for me today too!

Evan_on_the_ballot

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President Clinton was in town

Proving that it’s never too late to blog about something cool that happened, here’s a timely blog post about how Jodi and I went to go see President Clinton last Monday. He was in town to stump for both Senator Maria Cantwell and also Congressman Jim McDermott. We saw the former president at the McDermott event (“We the People…”), and it was a great experience!

Things were (of course) running late, so we didn’t start until 40 mins after the scheduled time. But then there were several opening musical acts who were quite good: two combinations of Jazz from Garfield High, guitarist Stanley Jordan, and Children of the Revolution. I was particularly impressed by Stanley Jordan, who appeared to be playing a duet with himself on a single guitar (he employs a particularly effective “tap” style of playing on the fret-board).

In any event, after all this, our Emcee for the night (also a great pleasure to have Thom Hartmann up from Portland for the honors) introduced Jim McDermott who spoke for a few minutes about the reason for the event (he’s being sued by Congressman Boehner, a congressional first… read more about it here). Then he introduced President Clinton, who spoke for about 30 mins on a variety of topics. He’s a tremendous speaker, and it’s (as pointed out here) a darn shame he can’t run again in 2008. I suspect he’d win in a landslide.

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Four replies about Light Rail to the Eastside

A few weeks ago while various local politicos were debating light-rail to the east side, I sent some email to the lot of them through an easy form provided by TransportationChoices (form is now gone). The email went out to about 10–15 local politicians and board members, expressing both the “form letter” stuff about how important it was that we have light rail, along with my personal experiences and opinions on the topic.

Here’s the email I sent:

Please support light rail across I-90!

Form letter part:
Puget Sound has truly become a world-class region – one known for its innovation, beauty, and quality of life – and we need to have an equally world-class transit system!  Light rail is the right kind of investment for connecting the region; it’s fast and reliable, increases bus and rail ridership, encourages healthy communities, increases property value, and helps protect the environment.  I hope you will choose light rail as the preferred technology for the I-90 corridor and leave a legacy for generations to come.  Please support LIGHT RAIL NOW!

My additional part:
I get stuck in traffic every day on the way to and from work (from Seattle to Redmond). This is whether I drive alone, carpool, or ride the bus. There is no escape. Implementing light rail across I-90 to Bellevue and up to Redmond is absolutely a necessity to allow our region (with its strange reverse-commute and terrible traffic in both directions) to continue to grow successfully. Buses are ok, but they won’t get people out of their cars. Light rail is a far more effective and cost efficient way to solve this problem for the 21st century.

I was very pleased to hear back from five of the people I sent to (replies received in this order): Richard McIver (Seattle city council), Pete von Reichbauer (King County council), Julia Patterson (King County council), Dow Constantine (King County council), and Larry Phillips (Sound Transit board).

I didn’t hear back from the rest of the city/county/board that the form was sent to, although I suppose it’s par for the course if they didn’t agree with me. But it was still very good to hear back from these five, and it was even better to see the vote on light rail pass!

Updated later the same day – Whoops, evidently I can’t count. That’s FIVE responses, not four. 🙂

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