January 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • All right, fans of glass buildings and obscure dangerous plants, you all have one year to figure out how to save the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
  • Update: That 83 year old activist Tacoma priest, who was on a hunger strike while in federal detention? He’s still detained, but off the hunger strike.
  • Another of those silly surveys claims Washington DC has surpassed Seattle as the nation’s “most literate” city.
  • A Republican state legislator introduced a bill to scuttle any enforcement of the feds’ prescribed remedies concerning excessive force by Seattle police, and shunt the matter over to “a bipartisan taskforce.” Where, presumably, Republican politicians would hold veto power on any policy changes.
  • In other legislative news, farmers and farm workers both back a bill to slow the local spread of “E-Verify,” the federal background-check program for immigrant workers.
  • The new Businessweek’s cover story discusses Amazon’s latest move into publishing its own e-books—the opening of an NYC office intended to issue bigtime books by bigtime authors. The headline (“Amazon Wants to Burn the Book Business”) and the cover image (yes, a burning book, straight outta Fahrenheit 451) depict the viewpoint of an NY publishing cartel both scared to pieces and smugly defensive of their old time business-as-usual, now threatened by this dot-com upstart. And just as you’d expect, the piece quotes the industry’s Big Six conglomerate-owned mega-publishers defending their wasteful, slow traditional practices by hyping their “role as nurturers of literary culture.” As if the commercial book biz had ever been about that.

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