Hella Bus Blog
This months issue of National Geographic features a study from the Rural Advancement Foundation International on our drastically declining biodiversity in the vegetable and fruit spheres. The below chart shows the cornucopia of species in 1903 versus the rather dismal amount by 1983. Beyond giving me an excuse to post an awesome chart, this study gives some background on why the human race is facing so many food issues right now, and in the coming decades.
Last week, I featured upcoming Los Angeles up and comer Baths (playing at 10:45 on the Vera Stage) in the CHBP artist previews. This week, I'm bringing it back to the cloudy Northwest, and giving you a little taste of local duo Beat Connection. Over the past year or so, Beat Connection have shared the stage with groups like Fresh Espresso, Phantogram, Toro Y Moi, and Holy Ghost!. They've played at house parties, on college campuses, and at major festivals from the cloudy Northwest to the romantic streets of Paris. I was lucky enough to see
Jordan Koplowitz and Reed Juenger perform at my school's annual music festival, and their relaxed melodies were one of the major hits of the two day festival. Beat Connection are slated to play at the Vera Stage at 9:30 on Saturday, as well as at Bumbershoot in September before embarking on another tour throughout the United States and Canada. While it may seem like the duo spend all their time on the road, they somehow found the time to record one of the best EP's of the year (Surf Noir released April 11). The EP is in the vein ofNorthwest mainstays like Starfucker and USF, but with a cleaner less dance-oriented sound. Surf Noir is perfect for your next BBQ, but also sounds great when they perform it live. Listen to Surf Noir at the groups Soundcloud page and be sure to hit up their set at Block Party. Just one week away!
When people think about Australia, images of stately kangaroos, the Sydney opera house, or Steve Irwin (too soon?) generally come to mind. What doesn't come to mind is a country with one of the highest obesity rates, and highest rates of greenhouse gas emissions per head in the whole world. Fortunately, Prime Minister Julia Gillard is taking steps toward solving one of those problems. Starting next July, Australia's 500 worst polluters will be taxed $23 (in Australian) for every ton of carbon they release. The carbon tax has been projected to cut Australia's carbon emissions by 5% by 2020, the equivalent of removing 45 million cars from the road. The tax should also create $10 billion in revenue, which will go towards a number of initiatives, including energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Here in the United State we have no such nationwide carbon tax, and continue to be one of the worlds worst polluters. A few municipalities (Boulder, Colorado was one of the first) have instituted similar taxes on carbon emissions, but a widespread effort to lower carbon emissions and promote renewable energy has not been made in a meaningful way on the state or federal levels. Hopefully, we will soon have more things in common with Australia beyond are weight and rough approximations of the English language.
The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) is hosting a sure to be awesome forum this weekend on strengthening the API community during this nasty recession of ours.
It's going down on Saturday, June 23rd from 10am-12pm at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service
(3639 MLK Jr. Way S.). More info and list of awesome panelists below:
-courtesy of Leah "Footnotes Turn Me On" Menzer
Great moldering Voldermorts friends and fiends, the hallow’d day appraocheth! Either you can pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, or you are finishing the dragon-whisker hand embroidery of your Dobby*-skin Greatcloak just in time for this glorious night. I’ve personally been brewing up bathtub mandrake tinctures all week to pass out in line so people will stop picking fights with me when I tell them what house I would be in.**
Now the point of all this gibberity-gab is that if you are going to the midnight showing at Cinerama Theatre tonight, the Summer Fellows will be there as well! If a raven with a pledge to vote card starts pecking at your shoe, don’t worry, it just means our polyjuice potions went as planned.
Sick of all these references to books we started reading in third grade? Or maybe you just thought I was making up words. Well, hot damn, there is more in store for you! The sumptuous Summer Fellows will also be taking a Scruff McGruff-sized bite out of (cyber) crime this Sunday.
Oh huh, I mean, Bite of Seattle***. Regale your senses with 60 restaurants worth of tongue-trouncing wares, $9 corndogs, and a free all you-can-eat-buffet of young, supple DEMOCRACY. At the Seattle Center Saturday and Sunday.
Start your jaw exercises now, mortals and muggles, see you there.
* Too soon?/ stop sending me threatening owl messages, SPEW, I’m never going to respond.
** Slytherin 4 life!!!!!!1!!!11
*** Whatever, same thing.
-courtesy of summer fellow Andy "Photographer to the Stars" Montes
For three epic years, Central Washington Progress has been changing the way the Yakima Valley does politics. And for those of you looking around in confusion, the Yakima Valley is located in the heart of Washington and is one of the most fruitful (ha!) apple producing areas in the world.
Along with helping the U.S. Census get a more accurate count of Yakima residents, C.W.P. has helped pass school bonds and is currently leading the fight to change the way that Yakima elects its city council members, which has long disadvantaged Latino members of the community.
Check out what C.W.P. has been up to lately in this fantastic article from the Yakima Herald, and look for a stunning guest appearance from Bus board member E.J. Juarez!
North Dakota may not be a real state. Constitutionally speaking.
Unlike the video I've posted above, this post is something that you wouldn't be uncomfortable talking about with your parents in an adult way. Consider the contrast between these two conversations:
Conversation 1: "Hey, mom, did you know that the Position 1 race is the most contested race for Seattle City Council this year?"
"No, [offspring], I didn't. Wow! You know so much about politics now."
Conversation 2: "Hey, mom, are you familiar with Salt 'n' Peppa's beloved 1991 hit, 'Let's Talk About Sex?'"
"No, [offspring], I'm not. Are you having sex?"
See? Conversation 2 is much more awkward.
Anyhow, it's true, what you just said to your parent about Position 1. That's one thrill-ride of a primary race. But, before we get into that, let's go big picture. Big picture: there are 5 races on the ballot this year. Speaking in large-scale generalizations, Seattleites seem reasonably content (tunnel business aside... but let's just not get into that) with their City Councilmembers. That means most challengers have a tough test to unseat the incumbents. We'll, of course, be pitting them in no-holds-barred matchups on July 27th at Candidate Survivor - but here's a primer.
The focus of this post is the race for Position 1, the seat currently held by multi-term incumbent and long-time public figure Jean Godden. Some Godden critics argue that she's too old and out of touch to be effective in office, which doesn't seem quite fair (doesn't seem much different than knocking someone for being too callow, but whatever), especially since most of her opponents have similar political positions. Anyway, this is what's up with each candidate:
Jean Godden (incumbent): Jean Godden is 79 years old; that's the main reason why the race for her seat is the most competitive local election this year. Before she was elected to the Council in 2004, Godden was a columnist for the P-I and the Times. On the Council, Godden is the Budget Committee chair. According to her campaign website, Godden "restored" funding for "community health clinics, domestic violence programs, and neighborhood programs". Godden supports the tunnel. Godden has chosen to emphasize the fact that she's the only woman running for the seat. She's not too different from her opponents, really, except she's already served time on the Council—and there's the age thing, too.
Maurice Classen: Maurice Classen is a deputy King County prosecutor (he works the domestic violence beat) and part-owner of two bars. Classen supports the tunnel. Classen's main criticism of Godden is that she responds to the mayor's agenda rather generating her own proposals. On his website, Classen spends a lot of time talking about technology. In that section, Classen declares his support for Seattle city government apps for his phone, because apps are cool, right? Classen has a number of public safety proposals, including stronger police performance reviews and changing SPD investigates the use of force by its officers (due to the John T. Williams shooting). He's a legitimate wonk/expert on the subject because of his prosecutorial background.
Bobby Forch: Forch is a longtime employee of various City agencies. This is his second race for Council; last time out, he ran against Mike O'Brien to replace Richard McIver. Forch has a few transportation proposals—he'd like to "[put] a city-wide transportation proposal on the ballot", according to his website, though he doesn't write what the proposal would entail. Forch has made police reform his central issue; it's the only issue on his website with a full plan, but their are many interesting and worthwhile proposals. Still, some have questioned whether Forch has realistic strategies to implement his proposals.
Michael Taylor-Judd: Taylor-Judd is a community activist from West Seattle. T-J ran for the Seattle Monorail Project's board and was elected as President of the supporter group - Friends of the Monorail. T-J is an active member of the 34th District Democrats—he's been elected to leadership positions in the group—but he didn't garner their endorsement for the primary. T-J is definitely the dark horse of the race. He's the only candidate for the seat who opposes the tunnel.*
So that's what's up with the City Council so far. Make sure you hit up Candidate Survivor on July 27 at Neumos—all of your favorite candidates will be there. They might get a little pugnacious.
*This post was edited to note that T-J ran, but was not elected to the Seattle Monorail Project Board and that he does have a campaign staff.
Extra-super-neato interactive map to see how often folks in your county talk to folks in other counties courtesy of MIT. Turns out King County and pretty much all of Montana never talk -
Side question - is this sort of thing what they do all day at MIT?
Now that you’ve saved the date and RSVP’d a resounding YES for the best night of the summer, here’s another date to save:
Tomorrow night is when Seattle’s poetry scene reaches its sizzling pinnacle. Tomorrow night is when you (yes, you!) will be able to see five of the PNW’s filthiest young poets spitting their freshest, most insanely impactful pieces. Tomorrow night is the official send-off party for the Seattle Youth Speaks slam team before they head off to San Francisco to national acclaim.
Culled from a field of 60 other young poets (full disclosure: one of them was me) during Youth Speaks Seattle’s Spring Poetry Slam Series, the valiant five stand ready to face stiff competition at the 2011 Brave New Voices festival. Tomorrow night, starting at 7:00pm, they will perform their poems one last time on home turf.
You can RSVP here, and for those who are going the Google+ route and don’t have a Facebook:
Seattle Youth Speaks
Thursday, July 14th
Piecora's Pizza Back Room - 1401 E. Madison St. (across from Chop Suey)
Suggested $5 donation and all ages
Every summer we see an onslaught of music festivals in the Northwest. They pop up out of the woodwork to grace our ears with buzz bands, jam bands, and of course silly bands (guess which one of those doesn't belong). Residents of the Northwest, from Squamish, BC to Portland, OR, have the opportunity to see artists from across the musical spectrum perform their work at world class venues. I watched the summer kick off at The Gorge over Memorial Day at Sasquatch, but that was only the first of dozens of festivals worth checking out. From Emrg+N+See, the experimental electronic music/art exhibition (live graffiti!), to Summer Meltdown, the local jam band oriented festival in the foothills of the Cascades, there is sure to be a festival that fits your musical tastes. Here is a far from comprehensive list of some of the summers best festivals, and who you should be sure to see if you are lucky enough to make it out to them.
Headliners: Tipper, Lunice, Daedelus
Who You Should See: Besides the headliners, Dillon Francis, NiT GriT, Janover
Headliners: TV On The Radio, Explosions In The Sky, Ghostland Observatory
Who You Should See: Baths, Fresh Espresso, Handsome Furs, Kung Foo Grip, Brothers From Another, Beat Connection
Headliners: The Maldives, Hey Marseille, Mad Rad, Black Mountain
Who You Should See: All the above
Headliners: Gym Class Heroes, Paramore, 3OH!3, Against Me!
Who You Should See: Yelawolf, Grieves and Budo
Headliners: Flowmotion, ALO, THe Everyone Orchestra
Who You Should See: Clinton Fearon & The Boogie Brown, Particle
Headliners: Metric, Weezer, John Butler Trio, Major Lazer
Who You Should See: Major Lazer, (my review of their set at Sasquatch here) Girl Talk, Dubtribe Soundsystem
Headliners: Wiz Khalifa, Hall & Oates, The Presidents Of The United States of America, Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs
Who You Should See: DåM-FunK + Master Blazter, Toro Y Moi, Phantogram, Shabazz Palaces, Com Truise, Dom, Beat Connection
Headliners: Kaskade, Rusko, Pretty Lights
Who You Should See: Besides the headliners, Nero, Chad Hugo, Holy Ghost!
Headliners: Band Of Horses, Butthole Surfers, Explosions In The Sky
Who You Should See: MSTRKRFT, The Gaslamp Killer, Blitzen Trapper, Twin Sister
Sunday morning I woke up to a call from my mother who immediately began to excitedly tell me every detail of the quarter final game in the women’s soccer World Cup between two of the favored teams and serial rivals, the United States and Brazil. Luckily for me, ESPN re-aired the game later that night and as an avid soccer spectator and longtime player, this was one of the most amazing games I have ever seen. As many of the players and commentators suggested, it felt like a match at the end of an inspirational sports movie. It was a close game that included a red card to the U.S., numerous fouls, a 30-minute overtime in which the U.S. scored a goal in the last two minutes, and a tense shoot out which resulted in the U.S. continuing on to the semi-final against France. Check out U.S. forward Abby Wambach’s amazing goal in the 122nd minute.
While this game gained reasonable media coverage for the women’s World Cup there has been very little coverage or discussion of the women’s tournament especially when thinking back to and comparing how much publicity the men’s World Cup received two years ago. These women are amazing athletes who deserve both support and media coverage, so watch their next game against France on Sunday at 9 AM!
Here at the Bus, we're big fans of Planned Parenthood (video evidence here). Planned Parenthood is a great organization that ensures that as many people as possible—especially working women—have access to family planning, crisis counseling, birth control, and other reproductive health services. That's why we were really worried when federal funding for Planned Parenthood - 1/3 of the organization's budget - was in serious jeopardy during the seemingly endless budget deal this spring.
I'm in favor of maintaining Planned Parenthood's funding mostly because it is a social justice organization that does incredible things for lots of folks affordably. Many people rely on Planned Parenthood for access to prenatal care, birth control, and a bunch of other really important things.
Those programs were seriously at risk when the House voted to eliminate Planned Parenthood's funding in March. Much of the reasoning behind defunding PP was based around concerns over federal funding of abortion. This, however, ignored the fact that no federal money can be used to pay for an abortion procedure—a condition that Planned Parenthood observes scrupulously.
For many people, Planned Parenthood is one of the only places where you can get scientific information about all kinds of reproductive health and family planning issues. In fact, family planning is Planned Parenthood's main focus: only about 3% of Planned Parenthood's resources go towards abortions. The other 97% of services that Planned Parenthood provides are education and healthcare for folks who need it.
Despite Planned Parenthood's broad mission and studious compliance with funding rules, there are a lot of folks who associate Planned Parenthood with abortions, and abortions only. That segment of the Republican-controlled House made defunding Planned Parenthood one of their priorities for the Congressional session. What's remarkable, though, is that they managed to make their legislative priority one of the more prominent issues of a Congressional session: the anti-Planned Parenthood crowd was effective enough to make the attacks on Planned Parenthood come from the entire Republican party, not just the one wing.
The current House Republican caucus has many deeply conservative first-term representatives who don't have much regard for longtime consensus. This means many programs that have long received broad-based support now face intense challenges.
Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is safe for now—especially in Washington, where Planned Parenthood has effective advocates and highly-placed champions—but this dust-up is indicative of the current national political scene. With the deficit in mind, every major program that receives public funding is coming under increased scrutiny on the state and federal level.
In 2009, the Bus threw a little thing called Candidate Survivor, a Seattle City Council forum that just so happened to be the largest in the history of Washington State.
Well it's 2011, and HOLY CRAP. It's back. And it's better than ever.
Candidate Survivor takes the best parts of a city council candidate forum (smarts, people power, a smorgasbord of candidates) and adds that zesty brand of Bus flavor complete with a talent show, dance parties, and the outside chance of a candidate human pyramid.
It's young people (you + your friends!), in a club (Neumos!), wielding Real Ultimate Power. Yes, you read that right - that means you'll be voting, via the magic of text messaging (technology!) to decide which candidate will be the survivor in each race.
Yes it's free, yes it's all ages, and yes you're going to be there.
Candidate Survivor is your best opportunity to have Seattle City Council candidates meet you on your turf and speak to the issues you care about. Behold the facts below and RSVP today:
Wednesday July 27th
Doors at 7, program begins at 8pm
Neumos (925 E. Pike St.)
Free, all ages (bar with ID)
-Courtesy of 2011 summer fellow Leah "Neko Case is a Fox" Menzer
Class is in session.* Today we’re going to learn why we shouldn’t judge books by their covers/people by their exteriors/plays by their posters.
When you first see this poster you might think: “oh hey, is this a brother/sister-buddy-steamtrunk comedy from the people who brought us Marmaduke?” You might also read the title and think “oh gee willikers, this is really long and written in a 'fun' font and has at least one ethnic-ish name in it. I wonder if the play will deal with Muslim-American relations in a light-hearted yet impactful way!” (Now you might actually be thinking, "I’ve never actually thought about any poster that much and your poster obsession is making me uncomfortable.”)
Put Aside These Thoughts.**
Pilgrims Sheri and Musa in the New World is showing at the ACT Theatre downtown. Despite its preposterous*** problems, this is a play you want to see. I admit I would have never gone if The Stranger had not compared it to Annie Hall. It has awkward romantic entanglements, “adult language,” and sharpity-sharp dialogue. You will learn new snappy insults and you will find new sappy parts of your heart. You will even learn about Muslim-American relations, if by relations you mean relations. It is a world-premiere play, which is basically the same thing as seeing a hip band before your friends know about them. It will cost $5 if you are a teen, and $15 if you are a student. This is cheaper than seeing Cars 2 in 3-D again.
If this is not enough for you, I leave you with the immortal words of some lady I eavesdropped outside the theatre… “I am certain I saw some breasts.”