The Greenwood neighborhood, which once straddled Seattle's old northern city limits, has long been an unpretentious, welcoming place. It's a place of real community. This community united in 2009 when a serial arsonist struck. It's united again in the face of a massive (but miraculously non-fatal) disaster.


Heavy rain, perhaps even lightning. Rain continues off and on through the weekend.

Winds were so strong at times Wednesday that Sea-Tac suspended take offs and landings for a while. (AP)



A gas pipe exploded in the heart of Greenwood's business district during the wee hours Wednesday morning. One retail/cafe building was destroyed; as many as 36 other businesses were seriously damaged. Nine firefighters got minor injuries (they'd already been investigating a reported gas leak at the time of the blast). (KIRO-TV) (image: Genna Martin, PI.com)

Residents and businesses assess what it'll take to get back to "normal." (KUOW)

Some ways you can help Greenwood rebuild. (Seattlish)



Among the bills dead in this Legislative session: one that would've let "lawful permanent residents" become police officers (PubliCola); two that would've given tax breaks to the state's fledgling private-spaceflight biz (GeekWire).

Passed by the House and headed for a final Senate vote: a charter-school financing plan. (Resolving public-school funding: delayed 'til next year.) (KCPQ)

House Democrats and Senate Republicans are far, far apart about spending to relieve homelessness. The latter only want to help homeless youth, and only on the cheap. (SeaTimes)

Does Washington even need a lieutenant governor anymore? (Knute Berger)


Mayor Murray nominated Ethiopian-born Sam Assefa as Seatlte's next planning director. (PS Biz Journal)


A small radical group at Western Washington U., the Student Assembly for Power and Liberation, issued a series of demands to college administrators, including an official degree program in liberation studies. The administrators turned the requests down, in a letter to the official student government. The latter fact hasn't stopped a blogger on the Daily Beast, who specializes in ranting against big bad PC police oppressing poor little free-speech racist bigots, from implying that the radicals' agenda was, or would soon be, an official part of WWU's programs. (PI.com)


Seattle Globalist has a handy quiz for white folk starting "nicer" shops in formerly diverse neighborhoods.


More LGBTQ folk are moving to (or outing themselves while already living in) smaller cities and the urban parts of "red" states. Dan Savage believes it could help tip the national political balance-O-power leftward. I believe the latter cause really requires a full-time progressive movement that actively reaches out in every state and every Congressional district (yes, even to people who own TV sets and don't read alt-weeklies!).

Now both "Matrix" director siblings are officially Trans. (HuffPo)


City People's Garden Store has less than a year at its Madison Valley site, which will become a 75-unit, "market rate" housing complex. The beloved plant store may move or it may shut down. (Capitol Hill Seattle)


Yep, Amazon's started its own air shipping operation. (USAT)

Amazon's not just building its own towers, but it's also leasing entire towers from other developers. (PS Biz Journal)

On behalf of his other company, private-spacecraft developer Blue Origin, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos posited a distant future where heavy industry would be segregated to other worlds, while Earth was reserved for "residential and light industrial" uses. Of course, that might just turn the rest of the solar system into a big garbage dump. (GeekWire)


Andrew Loomis, 46, dummed in Portland's legendary band Dead Moon, starting as a teen in 1987. He'd been struggling with lymphoma for more than a year. (Portland Mercury)


UW men's basketball opened the Pac 12 tourney by hammering Stanford 91-68. The Huskies play #1 seed Oregon at noon today in Las Vegas.

The spring training Mariners beat Kansas City 7-5. Cubs today.


Capitol Hill Art Walk, including "In the Story Room" cartoonists' group show (Dendroica); "35 Live: CoCA Members' Show" (Rubix Apartments); Whitney Ballen and Abigail Jean Swanson (Cairo); annual group show (Steve Gilbert photo studio); Salt/Water group show (Photo Center NW); Ban Gannon's "Plastic Beach" (SugarPill); "Love Machine" group show (True Love Art); Jazz Mom (Vermilion); Tessa Hulls' "In the Eye of the Storm" (Ghost).

Lecture by art-world observer Park McArthur. (UW Henry Gallery)

Susan Orlean, author of "The Orchard Thief," discusses the writing process with Chaire Dederer. (Hugo House)

"Trash-O-Rama" film series presents "She Freak" and "Girl on the Run." (Darrell's)

Esperanza Spalding. (Showbox)

Lori Goldston and friends. (Chapel Performance Space)

Theatre22 presents Sharr White's play "Annapurna." (12th Ave. Arts, thru Sun)

Seattle Symphony with guest pianist Boris Giltburg. (Benaroya Hall, thru Sun)

Takoma Records Guitar Masters. (Columbia CIty Theater)

Motor Records electronica showcase. (Kremwerk)

Overton Berry, Bruce Phares. (Royal Room)


(Sarah Ockler):

“Weeping is not the same thing as crying, It takes your whole body to weep, and when it’s over, you feel like you don’t have any bones left to hold you up.”


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