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MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/9/17: GENERALLY STRIKING?
Feb 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

A hundred and two years back, Seattle had the nation’s first citywide general strike. Now some folks want to stage another one as the next big national protest. We speak as well of Chris Hansen’s latest arena-scheme revival; legal action against Five-Hour Energy; weird eyeglasses with built-in video cams; and Seattle’s last full-time newspaper art critic leaving.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/7/17: SNOW-VANA
Feb 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The city on Monday was a temporary paradise of whiteness and silence and joy, a sign that brighter spirits and brighter times are indeed still possible. We’ve also got the latest of our Washington’s righteous fight back against that Washington; potential good news for oil-train opponents; the Port of Seattle’s now ex-CEO defending his record; and the most epic version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” you’ll ever hear.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/10/17: ALL YESTERDAY’S TOMORROWS
Jan 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We finally have something to look forward to this year! (Two things, if you count the possibility of a little snow on Tuesday.) Additional topics include a local eco-activist’s part of a global effort to keep once-futuristic electronic gadgets out of dumps and landfills; the just-started and already deadlocked Legislature; how urban growth affects plant/animal evolution; and Teatro ZinZanni’s site getting sold off.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/17/16: UP ON THE FARM
Nov 16th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Instead of insulting and dismissing rural/suburban voters, I’ve got a better idea: reach out to them! Support the people there (and they ARE there) who’ve been struggling for freedom and equality, against entrenched social/political/economic machines. Back in newsier news, we’ve got a big-big solar farm for Eastern Washington; a one-day walkout by what we used to call “community” college faculty; and a Presidential medal for the Gateses.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 11/15/16: THE NEW ‘GREATEST GENERATION’?
Nov 14th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Teenagers from all over the area gathered to protest the potential coming of evil unleashed. Further subjects include another threatened grocery store; a horrid crime against one of the “Deadliest Catch” guys; a temporary victory for pipeline opponents; and a potential Port of Seattle “solar farm.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/2/16: POKEBALLS WITH A PURPOSE
Nov 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Mukilteo inventors have designed a sturdy, spherical refuge for humans in case of tsunami. Further subjects today include a really wide waterfront highway plan and its discontents; Paul Allen’s settlement over his mega-yacht’s coral-reef trashing; Amazon’s real-life bookstore quietly raising its prices (to non-“Prime” people); and an opera with only one man and one woman playing one role.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/26/16: A NEW GAME?
Oct 25th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Chris Hansen now says he can build a basketball and/or hockey arena without tax $$. Other stuff today:  Google assembles its own e-tail program; more landlords kick out Section 8 tenants; a lawyer turned slam poet; and the Old Spaghetti Factory will serve its last Spumoni in December.

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/28/16: GOIN’ SOUTH?
Jun 27th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Could Amazon be establishing a new techie beachhead in Portland? Besides that, we view the huge Tulalip fireworks bazaar; celebrations for the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling; more trouble for prosecutor Mark Lindquist; a bigger Panama Canal’s existential threat to our seaports; and a change of heart on the Viaduct park initiative.

MISCmedia MAIL for 5/9/16:
May 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A “slow news” weekend ends with the the Viaduct’s surprise early reopening (unless they’d secretly planned it this way all along). Also: Creamed Cornish?; Boeing’s greatest fiscal hits and misses; the potential start of another Wash. wildfire season; and how to sneak an arena proposal past today’s City Council.

MISCmedia MAIl for 3/3/16
Mar 2nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

For your perusal, we have we have bigger things made of wood than have been made before; an attempt to bring back nuclear power; Portland’s “toxic moss;” Foo Fighters’ non-breakup; and a tragic update to one of the Sonics’ movers.

MISCmedia MAIl for 3/1/16
Feb 29th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Sooper Toosday finds us blathering about a racketeering suit against Mars Hill Church’s top brass; how to properly describe an alleged adult-woman/teenage-boy relationship; just how hard Russell Wilson’s “Good Man” clothes will be to find; and that ridiculously big container ship.

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/25/16
Feb 24th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Warm and dry weather’s expected to end today, but MISCmedia MAIL keeps going with lobbyists who want to keep your “biometric” data; the big Alaskan Way midrise project’s off again; another unlikely industry for a female chief executive; Amazon’s going “fashion forward;” and remembering when right-wing kitsch was considered funny.

THE IN AND THE OUTED FOR SWEET ’16
Jan 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

new years 2016 z

Would you believe, this is the thirtieth MISCmedia In/Out List? Well, it is.

As we prepare to begin the pearl-anniversary year of this adventure in punditry, we present yet another edition of the most trusted (and only accurate) list of its kind in this and all other known media.

As always, this list compiles what will become sizzling and soggy in the coming year, not necessarily what’s sizzling and soggy now. If you believe everything hot now will just keep getting hotter, I’ve got some Sears stock to sell you.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
ABC AMC
Saving KPLU Saving the Seattle Times
Turquoise Mauve
Spinach Kale
Hollow Earth Radio/KHUH KIRO-FM
“Black Lives Matter” Macho anarchists
Empathy Superiority
Gents Bros
Stopping Trumpism Treating Trump as a joke
Taking back Congress Merely keeping the White House
Ta-Nehisi Coates David Brooks
Storytelling “Branding”
Mismatched plaid separates Striped socks
High-speed rail Hoverboards
Fewer cars “Greener” cars
NHL NBA
Fiat (still) VW
We Bare Bears Teen Titans Go!
Juxtapoz Erotica Censored Playboy
Hillman City Ballard (alas)
Lalaloopsy Minions
Searching for solutions together “You figure that part out, I’m just sayin'”
Issa Rae Zooey Deschanel
Michael Fassbender Will Farrell
“Genderqueer” movement “Men’s rights activists”
Exciting machines Boring machines
Real virtue Virtual Reality
Granny shoes Skinny jeans
Justin Trudeau Justin Bieber (duh)
Sia Zac Brown
Light rail to Husky Stadium Parking downtown
Hydrox cookies comeback Crystal Pepsi comeback
Monkey Shoulder Wild Turkey
Milk stout Bud-owned microbrews
“Homey” “Artisinal”
Citizens “Stakeholders”
Uniqlo Gap
Bellingham Bellevue
Back-yard cottages “Tiny homes” in the far countryside
Millennials as defiant activists Millennials as selfish slackers
El Borracho Chipotle (duh)
Guy Maddin J.J. Abrams
Permanent progressive movements Only showing up in election years
Wisdom Data
“Snap!” “YOLO”
Moving the world forward “Taking America back”
MISCmedia MAIL for 12/11/15
Dec 10th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

Many, many weekend listings in Friday’s e-missive. Also: X-Treme weather woes continue; does the waterfront need eight lanes of traffic?; racism/fascism in local history; Group Health management vs. member democracy.

GOTTA HAVE THAT (PIKE PLACE) FUNK!
May 27th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

pike place market foundation

When KIRO-TV posted architectural drawings for a “new entrance” to the Pike Place Market in early March, a lot of social-media commenters were outraged. Why, they asked, would anyone rip out such an historic Seattle landmark?

“Why the hell are Seattle (and Tacoma) so hell bent on destroying their history and character?” one commenter wrote. “It is the most short sighted move imaginable.”

“I wish they’d just leave it alone” wrote another commenter. “Tourists can go see modern shopping malls in any town, but our Market is unique. Leave it alone!”

These commenters were at least partly mistaken.

The drawings KIRO showed on TV and posted on its social-media feeds didn’t depict a replacement to the current Market complex but an addition to it.

The Market everyone knows and loves, to the tune of 10 million visits a year, is staying put.

The new buildings will go to the west of the current Market buildings, between Western Avenue and the doomed Alaskan Way Viaduct. A surface parking lot is there now. (The last structure on that site, the Municipal Market Building, was demolished in 1974 following a fire.)

Besides new retail and commercial spaces, the project will also include a community center, 40 low-income-senior apartments, a 300-car parking garage (replacing parking spaces that will be lost when the viaduct’s removed), and a new pedestrian promenade, leading down to the new waterfront project that will eventually replace the viaduct.

Indeed, state money from the waterfront project is contributing $6 million of the estimated $74 million tab for the “MarketFront” expansion. City bonds will supply the biggest chunk of the project’s budget, $34 million.

The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, the Market’s management agency, also hopes to raise $6 million through “philanthropy.”

The affiliated Pike Place Market Foundation is selling little doodads with donors’ names on them, to be permanently built into the MarketFront structures. There are black metal discs called “Market Charms” for $180, to be installed along a chain-link fence. And there are bronze pig hoofprints (referencing Rachel, the Market’s beloved bronze piggy bank) for $5,000, to be placed along the Western Avenue sidewalk. Both are considerably higher-priced than the $35 donors paid for inscribed floor tiles during the Market renovations in 1985.

The foundation and the PDA believe Seattle now has enough people who have, and are willing to donate, that kind of money.

And the PDA and its architects also apparently believe the new addition should also look like something that fits in with this new-money Seattle.

The PDA held the usual public meetings and “input” sessions about the MarketFront buildings’ design and uses. The PDA says the public comments at these sessions helped to influence the MarketFront design, which now incorporates hard woods and other special cladding materials to add a little more “old Northwest” flavor, but in a slick retro-modern way.

And, unlike some of the first renderings for the waterfront project, the MarketFront drawings depict a few nonwhite people among the imagined sunny-day strollers.

But the overall look of the architects’ drawings still reflects a modern, “tasteful” look, with clean straight lines, light neutral colors, and open uncluttered spaces.

The original Market, of course, doesn’t look a thing like that.

It’s beautifully, lovably cluttered.

It contrasts World War I-era structures with buildings of 1970s-1980s vintage, which all somehow fit together.

It’s got weird angles, varying ceiling heights, and ramps and stairs and concourses of different widths.

It’s got garish signage, loud noises, boisterous crowds, and great smells.

It’s both utilitarian and archaic, businesslike and freewheeling. It’s a total sensual experience.

MarketFront might eventually become like that after it’s been “lived in” for a few years.

But that, if MarketFront is built according to the current design drawings, could take quite some time.

The PDA and the City want to start MarketFront construction this year, so it (and its parking garage) can be completed before the viaduct is removed. An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for late June.

But with the well-publicized delays in building the tunnel that would replace the viaduct, there’s a little more time before the elevated highway comes down.

There’s time to redo the MarketFront plans. Time to make the buildings and concourses messier, less McMansion-like, more cacophonous.

Time to give it something at least vaguely approaching that Pike Place funk.

(Cross-posted with City Living Seattle.)

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