MISCmedia MAIL by Clark Humphrey — your Seattle morning news roundup
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2015

Basically, everyone here knew about local tech companies' aggressive work regimens all this time. It's only now, that NYC discovered it, that it's now a proverbial "thing." Go ahead and make your "designer grunge" comparisons now.

WEATHER

It's too hot, too hot baby. Got to run for shelter; got to ru-un for shade. Maybe not-so-hot Thursday.

Despite what the "Old Farmer's Almanac" said, here's a prediction for another warm, snowless NW winter. (Slate)

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TODAY AT MISCMEDIA.COM

Remembering artist, designer, promoter, and barkeep Rolon Bert Garner. (Photo by Garner's friend Arthur S. Aubry, who himself passed away earlier this year.)

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UP IN SMOKE

The central Washington wildfires are burning so hot, someone saw "apples baked on their trees;" while a huge apple warehouse in the area burned down. 75 homes and many other structuers also burned. Ash has "dropped like snow" throughout the Lake Chelan region. Several smaller fires have merged into one, named the "Chelan Complex Fire." The town of Conconully was ordered to evacuate. 450 homes remain "in the line of fire." (KPLU) (KIRO-TV)

The Wenatchee World's got some haunting fire photos. 

A fire at a Lewis County (southwest WA) food warehouse apparently caused vegetable oil to spill into a creek, killing all the fish for five miles downstream. (AP)

The Bremerton Motel 6 had a gas explosion. (KING)

Fire crews came Tuesday morning to Dante's, the 49-year-old U District bar and hangout. Damages are estimated at $450,000. (No "inferno" jokes here.) (PI.com)  

UP IN (OTHER) SMOKE

Before the City started trying to shut down hookah lounges, it had considered allowing "pot lounges." (PubliCola)

R.I.P.

Rob Thielke, 50, played "the Vern Fonk guy" in TV commercials for the Vern Fonk insurance agency since 1994. He was a manager of the agency's Everett office when he started writing and starring in the spots; in some of them his character was explicitly billed as "Vern Fonk." The ads helped the agency, now owned by a New York company, grow to 17 offices in three states. Thielke, who'd become the agency's president in 2013, died Sunday from cancer. (The real Fonk, the agency's founder, had died in 2007 at age 75). (Media Inc.) (KIRO-TV)

THE BIG A

In a case of either gallows humor or insensitive spite, some Amazonians created alum official Instragram page in which they're photographed "crying at their desks" (referring to an anonymous NYT interviewee who said she'd seen a lot of that). (PubliCola)

A survey by a local company says lots of workers in the tech biz feel stressed and burned out; not just folks at Amazon. (KING) And Annie Zaleski at Salon asserts that Amazon's corporate culture is merely an extreme example of a "burn and churn" philosophy that's "sucking American workers dry." But what did your mother tell you about "Just because all the other kids are doing it..."? 

US Reps. Susan DelBene and Nancy Pelosi and mayor Murray appeared at a previously-scheduled forum on the Amazon campus about GLBT protections. It brings to mind the old definition of "diversity" within the Seattle civic establishment: "Some of our upscale white people are gay." (KING)

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Local sex workers say they're NOT "victims;" and that decriminalizing their work would bring more safety and respect, and would make it easier to prosecute abusive pimps/customers. (KIRO-FM)

ECO SCARE OF THE DAY

Washington's one of 25 states that now have "super lice," highly resistant to normal treatments. (SeaTimes)

TODAY IN CRIME

The victim of early Sunday's East Pike Street shooting was identified as a young man whose father had been a victim of a gang-related shooting a few years back. (Capitol Hill Seattle)

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS

Only half the students in this past year's tougher standardized tests passed. But that figure counts everyone who refused the tests as a "zero" mark. (KPLU) 

NEWS FROM MEDICINE

The FDA approved that "female Viagra" drug (that doesn't work at all like Viagra). (Time)

SPORTS

Mariners beat the Rangers 3-2. Series ends today.

Sounders FC home tonight, in a CONCACAF Champions League match vs. CD Olimpia (Ecuador). 

A Snohomish team was accused of deliberately losing a game in the Little League Softball World Series, as a ploy to insure it would get into the next round under the event's complicated round-robin rules. As a result, the Snohomish girls had to play a special tiebreaker game, which they lost. (SeaTimes)

TODAY 

Worldcon, America's most prestigious science fiction convention, comes to Spokane this year, thru Sun.

TONIGHT

Black Ryder, Australian art-rockers. (Barboza)

INSIDE

Still want your suggestions about the top local music artists of the past 15 years, to clark (at) miscmedia (dot com). 

QUOTE-O-THE-DAY

(Charlotte Eriksson):

“I am a complicated person with a simple life.”

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