Aug 4th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Early primary-election votes show several progressives leading, Tim Eyman losing; Durkan and Best don’t want any significant SPD cuts; is Microsoft getting too cozy with the White House?; were violent feds sent to Portland just to appear in campaign ads?; Pat O’Day RIP.

5/21/20: NO-SEE-FAIR
May 20th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Seafair’s major events axed for this year; record-high state unemployment rate; Portland OKs ‘tax the rich’ measure; what Washington’s big counties need to show before further reopening (and could nursing-home infection rates hold them back?).

Mar 30th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Short Run cartoonists depict their social-distanced lives; government relief package isn’t enough to save some small businesses; local used-records king RIP; it’s been a month already and it feels like a decade.

Aug 4th, 2019 by Clark Humphrey

The downtown ferry terminal will go bye-bye; pork farmers halted a big health probe; robots potentially threaten lots of jobs; a ‘hot, nasty summer election campaign’ is almost over.

Aug 1st, 2019 by Clark Humphrey

In another massive e-missive: Death Cab’s tribute to young pipeline-blast victims; charges in a different kind of cyber-theft; no more ‘dress-coding’ in Seattle schools; Amazon’s Dash gets ditched.

Aug 8th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Pearl Jam’s ‘Home Shows’ raise $11 mill; competing plans to ‘save’ the Showbox emerge; orca-rescue drive continues; an architect defends the stalled downtown streetcar project.

Aug 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s big, annual arts-travaganzas have come and gone, with subjects of identity and resistance scattered throughout. We touch upon that in Monday’s missive, as well as the sad decline of the hydros; alleged “shaming” harassment at an officially “inclusive” fandom convention; a phony Starbucks “meme” graphic; and how much Nikkita Oliver may have already changed local politics.

Jul 30th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Apparently very few Seattle voters have sent in their primary-election ballots. If any of you are among those, get to it, darn it! We also mention an attempt to trash the Northwest’s public-power heritage; the ever-hotter Eastside state-senate race; the vanishing sword ferns; and “Why I Don’t Hate Seafair” part XXVII.

6/7/17: THE LAST REEL?
Jun 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Wednesday’s MISCmedia MAIL doesn’t know any more than you about the sudden closure of the classic Guild 45th and Seven Gables cinemas. We do know a little about another police-brutality settlement; the International District’s “upzone” moving forward; what white liberals don’t “get” about the whole Evergreen State College to-do; and our big, boistrous birthday party (tomorrow, Thursday 6/8/17, at the tony Two Bells!).

Feb 13th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In my approaching dotage, I approach at least a slightly less snarky attitude toward Valentine’s Day. And I today discuss the economic clout of “sanctuary cities;” a victory for family-leave advocates; a potential new anti-fossil-fuel initiative; and Mercer Islanders’ sense of transportation privilege.

Aug 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

There was a lot on the water this weekend: The fast boats on Lake Washington, a beached whale at Fauntleroy, and especially the annual Hiroshima remembrance on Green Lake. Additional topics today include the Dead Baby bike spectacle; determining whether anyone’s to blame for the Oso landslide; dying trees statewide; anti-police window stickers; and the Mariners winning big on Griffey tribute weekend.

Aug 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The biggest weekend of the year is here for both art lovers and Seattle old-timers. We’ve got a link to a guy who explains just why the hydroplane races are still important. We’ve also got a guy who quit running for office but made it to the top-two general election anyway; the need for affordable housing in the ‘burbs; the threat of technological thought-reading; a nascent “co-op” nightclub; and dozens of event listings, art-related and otherwise.

Jul 26th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

dragon dance 1

Most of my hip art-world friends have long sneered at Seafair.

Too square.

Too hokey.

Too small-towny.

Too “Family” with a capital F.

Too unlike anything that would be done in NY/LA/SF.

clowns 2

pirates 1

As if those were somehow bad things.

hydro 2

But nowadays, this city needs all the legacy, all the history, and (yes) all the squareness it can keep out of the gentrifiers’ Rolex-wristed clutches.

We need our own homegrown racing sport, rooted in tinkerers building boats around surplus WWII airplane engines.

husky band 1

We need public education, and spectacles that celebrate it.

seattle utilities 2

We need honest shows of support for even the most basic of community functions.

poulsbo viking float

We need to remember the human groups that first made this place what it is.

duwamish tribe 1

We need to publicly honor all the peoples that make up this city and this region.

af am drill team

vietnam float

So don’t knock Seafair.

Love it.

(Except the Blue Angels. Feel free to bash them. They’re just too damn militaristic.)


Mar 17th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Classic P-I building from my book 'seattle's belltown;' museum of history and industry collection

I left the Missy James post up as this blog’s top item for a month, both to remember her and because I’ve been laser focused on finding paying work.

But it’s time for me to get back to the “writing” thang.

And there’s no more appropriate day to do so than on the fifth anniversary of the last printed Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The city lost a huge chunk of its soul and its collective memory when the Hearst Corp., awash in losses here and in its other print-media operations, pulled the plug on our town’s “second” yet superior daily paper.

There’s been a P-I sized hole in the local media-scape ever since.

Yeah, we’ve got the Seattle Times, albeit a shrunken one (though it’s apparently stopped shrinking any further, at least for now).

We’ve got the StrangerSeattle Weekly, CrosscutPublicola, and SportsPress NW.

We’ve got four local TV news stations (plus NorthWest Cable News), four local radio news stations, and all their respective websites.

We’ve got Seattle magazine, Seattle Met, and CityArts.

We’ve got the Daily Journal of Commerce, the Puget Sound Business Journal, and assorted tech-biz news sites.

We’ve got Horse’sAssSeattlishThe Seattle Star, and dozens of other (mostly volunteer-run) blogs covering local politics, sports, and arts.

And, oh yeah, we’ve got SeattlePI.com.

It’s still run by Hearst. It still has Joel Connelly’s acerbic political commentary, Josh Trujillo’s dramatic photojournalism, and the occasional excellent news story.

But its staff has shrunk to 14 reporters, photographers, and “producers,” down from the 20 it had at its stand-alone start in ’09. That, in turn, was a small fraction of the team the print P-I had.

That’s still a full-time payroll comparable to that of any newsroom in town, except those of the Times and the TV stations.

But it’s stretched thin by the requirement to post dozens of “click bait” and “listicle” stories every day.

Hearst is running PI.com according to the 2009 rules of a “content” web business.

Those rules, which nationally gave us the likes of BuzzFeed and Elite Daily, have proven profitable only among the most sensationalistic and most cheaply run operations that feed either on gossip, noise, or national niche audiences.

It’s no way to run a local general-news operation.

And it’s no way to pay for professional local journalism on a sustainable basis.

But neither Hearst nor any of America’s other old-media giants has figured out a better way.

So it’s become the job of us “street level” bloggers to find new rules, new concepts, to forge a new path beyond the ugly web pages stuff with worthless banner ads. To create the New-New News.

My personal bottom line:

I want a local news organization, staffed by folks who know what they’re doing and who are paid living wages.

I want it to attract an audience at least as loyal (and as willing to help support it) as KUOW’s audience.

I want it to be the first place this audience looks to to learn what’s been going on around here, in the last day or the last hour.

I want it to reach out across subcultures and social strata.

I have collected a few ideas in this regard, a few potential pieces of this puzzle.

And I’d love to hear some of yours.

Aug 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

kiro-tv via missy chow

Another Seafair Sunday, Seattle’s own civic holiday, has come and gone.

And this one was a beautiful one.

Everything went as expected. Oberto won the race; but not without some thrills (and thankfully, no spills) along the way.

The weather was beautiful and scorchy.

The original piston-powered thunderboats made a spectacular cameo.

The only thing missing was the Unlimited Light fleet of smaller race boats. The UL circuit folded after last summer, sadly. Taking their place, we had tiny “Formula One” boats brought in. Fun but just not the same.

Let’s try to bring back the ULs in ’13. Seafair itself has had to be fiscally “saved” several times. If local sponsorship could be found for the big boats, it ought to be available for the middle-sized boats.

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