Hella Bus Blog
Your place for all things Buslandia!
When celebrity advocates Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore told Piers Morgan that there are “between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today,” their numbers were probably wrong.
Village Voice Media (VVM) showed that much. In their report investigating that hundred-thousand figure- which the company published earlier this month in subsidiary publication The Seattle Weekly- VVM countered with some numbers of their own: about 827 child prostitution arrests are made per year throughout the entire country. The “100,000” actually comes from a study which lists the number of children “at risk” for child prostitution, including those who live near borders or have run away from home for more than an hour. Village Voice spent five pages and valuable front cover space attacking Kutcher and Moore for using misleading, misdirected statistics to further their own ends.
Predictably, VVM seems to be doing the same thing themselves. The evidence suggests that the media company is working to downplay the dangers of child prostitution, in part because they have a tremendous stake in the issue.
The Village Voice-owned classifieds website www.backpage.com has recently come under attack by various groups who claim the website accommodates child trafficking. Recently Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joined the fray, saying that VVM needs to introduce “safeguards against underage trafficking”. (Backpage.com does not require photo identification and age confirmation to post an escort listing, unlike other similar websites in the Seattle area such as Craigslist and The Stranger’s Lustlab.) Since January 2010, 22 children were advertised on the Seattle section of Backpage.com.
By framing the debate as one of numbers, Village Voice will win by default. The issue is certainly more complicated than a misinformed celebrity sound bite, but it is also more important than the way the number 827 is used. As we wrap ourselves up in averages and percentages, it becomes easy to forget what those facts and figures represent. Each of those 827 children arrested for child prostitution every year is a human being who does not get to make choices about their own body. Each of the 22 children that Backpage.com helped to sell over the last 18 months needs help, and Village Voice Media instead spends its time and ink working to defend its own actions. VVM and the Seattle Weekly should own up to the mistakes they have made and work to correct them - instead of asking “what did I do?”, it’s time to ask “what can I do now?”
Starting last Friday night, the busiest, most congested freeway in America was shut down for repairs. I-405, the notorious Los Angeles freeway was closed all weekend in an event dubbed "Carmageddon" by the media, and now we are seeing the catastrophic effects of the construction project. The LA Times was on top of the action on their website, but also started up an LACarmageddon Twitter handle to keep those informed who aren't into that whole website deal. Shockingly though, by the end of the weekend, and after dozens of articles predicting certain doom for the citizens of Southern California were put in print, Los Angeles is still there, and incredible the four oh five is still running. Southern California, you survived Carmageddon for now, but who knows what the future holds for you...
Check out summer fellow extraordinaire Mikeya Harper's personal blog post on how the Washington Bus has changed her outlook on voting. Mikeya “Keyabee” is a spoken word poet, hip hop emcee, educator, youth mentor, and student at Washington State.
A brief teaser of her post:
- courtesy of summer fellow Rosalie "Best Laugh Ever" Wilmot
My love affair with a little event called the Capitol Hill Block Party began the summer I first moved to the neighborhood. It seems like only moments ago I was in the back of a bicycle rickshaw, riding south down Broadway triumphantly as the sun dipped and the pastel sky glowed upon the sweaty shoulders of my bike riding escort. The evening was upon us and all that urged us onwards was the evening performers of 2008’s best up and coming artist, Vampire Weekend. Through crowds of Pike Streets we scrambled until the jubilance of the crowd consumed us and the cacophony of sound echoed into all echos of the hill. A year later I would find myself in nearly the same locale, squirreling through a bit larger crowd to dance wildly to the Gossip and Sonic Youth, and let me tell you, I’ll never be the same.
During the beautiful day three summers ago that marked my first Block Party, I ran into an organization called the Washington Bus (some of you may have heard of it). They gave me some super rad stickers and one really simple piece of paper to fill out: a voter registration. Hundreds of bands later, and a few ballots down, I am proud to say that I am no longer just a music enthusiast festival junkie, but also a part of this democratic wheel we are all spinning in. And from here, I can’t help but feel a great wave of excitement for 2011’s festivities too begin.
Come join TV on the Radio (or Baths, it’s a tough choice), Explosions in the Sky, The Head and the Heart, Thurston Moore (for all you wishin’ for reminders of Sonic Youth), Ghostland Observatory (can you say LAZER boogie down?!), The Cave Singers, Ra Ra Riot, Best Coast, Les Savy Fav and oh so many more for a weekend of neighborly excitement.
Whether you call the hill your home, or just want to get in on a whole lot of music love it’s time to put your rage face on and head out for what’s set to be the loudest weekend in the streets this summer!
For tickets (http://capitolhillblockparty.com/tickets/).
For the lineup (http://washingtonbus.org/blog/chbp-artist-series-beat-connection).
If you haven't been keeping tabs on the outrageous phone-hacking scandals that have embroiled Rupert Murdoch's UK tabloid News of the World - and spread scandal to the Metro police and the prime minister's office, then check out this timeline on the BBC.
The latest news opens up a new chapter in this increasingly enthralling saga. One of the prominent whistle-blower former reporters for News of the World, who was the first to allege that the phone-hacking was far more extensive than the paper had admitted, was found dead this morning.
From the police: "The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious."
Hmm. Sounds pretty damn suspicious to me.
Here's my theory: Mr. Hoare's death was part of an elaborately executed cover up job gone wrong and that one of his gorgeous former colleagues - accompanied by a churlish, but principled detective - are on the case as we speak (and in the throes of a budding romance), despite the police calling off the investigation. How do I know this? Because this is totally the kind of story that would appear IN NEWS OF THE WORLD.
This case just seems to go deeper and deeper. The richest irony being that the whole story has effectively fulfilled the public's desire for morbidly-fascinating storylines left in News of the World's absence.
Marilyn Strickland (AKA all-star mayor of Tacoma) was sighted at Tacoma Pride helping some awesome Tacomans Pledge to Vote at Pride. Heartwarming photos below!
Pledge to Vote is everywhere we look these days! More awesome events coming up on our events calendar. Check it out and come join us! And if you happen to be a celebrity, you are still welcome.
Coffee Strong is a coffeehouse/non-profit situated just 300 meters from the gates of Fort Lewis. It's location is particularly notable because it is owned and run by veterans who identify themselves as "Pro Soldier, Anti-War". The non-profit organization provides a space for both active soldiers and veterans to address and discuss the effects of war and offers numerous resources from internet access, to referrals for counseling, to post traumatic stress disorder assessment and treatment. They also put on movie nights and concerts and feature articles that address military related issues. Check out their website here.
It's not a cure - not even close to it - but new evidence shows that taking a daily regimen of antiretroviral drugs can significantly reduce rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. A series of simultaneously released studies, performed on heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected and one was healthy, showed between 63 and 73% effectiveness.
The regimen in question is a daily pill known as Truvada, a combination of two drugs called "Tenofovir" and "Emtricitabine". Both drugs work by blocking the virus' ability to produce an enzyme called "reverse transcriptase" which allows HIV to replicate itself in a human host.
This curly thing is a tangled polypeptide polymer. A reliable target in the fight against AIDS.
A study in Kenya and Uganda performed by the University of Washington was actually cancelled because it was deemed "unethical" to continue giving out the placebos instead of the real drugs.
However, it is important to consider that this level of efficacy is only shown when the drugs are taken every day. The regimen in the study was given to those people at extremely high risk for contracting the disease, and is not an efficient way to prevent HIV in the general population.
Still, major strides are being made. Although a 100% effective method of prevention is still quite a long way away, a vaccine tested in Thailand in 2009 showed an encouraging 30% reduction in infection rates. These recent developments have shown that feasible answers to one of the world's most gravely important problems do exist, and dedicated researchers are hard at work trying to fund them.
And if you haven't read it already, check out his story in the New York Times.
An Evening on a Boathouse, Memories for a Lifetime (and other potential titles for our upcoming soft-rock ballad)
Last night, the Bus family put on it's fancy pants and convened at a sold-out Chihuly Boathouse to celebrate good work and the good people who make it happen (you, perhaps?). Thanks so much to the generosity of Dale and Leslie, Billy O'Neill, the Boathouse staff, our awesome boards of directors, Rep. Eric Pettigrew, and, of course, the infamous 2am Posse for providing music for the night. Pics below!
2am Posse holding down the tunes.
Folks were greeted by these shining faces.
Carlos and Mikeya
The avant vote.
Baller, baller, and more baller.
Summer Fellows looking good!
Enter the Vortex.
Andy, Alma, Awesome.
There were many heartwarming moments.
Legends of their time.
A momentary glimpse into the future.
And good times were had.
What a beautiful night! Cheers to Caffe Vita, EJK Accounting, WinPower Strategies, Northwest Passage Consulting, Pacific Continental Bank for sponsoring! And, most of all, thanks to the boathouse full of rad people who came to support the Bus! We'll see y'all very soon.
Happy Bustille Day!
BREAKING NEWS... Minnesota has avoided the worst possible outcome of its government shutdown: the Gopher State will not run out of Coors (the Banquet Beer) as some analysts had predicted. Liquor licensing and permitting will continue as normal tomorrow. Thank goodness. I was pretty worried for them. What other beverage could Joe Mauer and Prince drink at their weekly Minnesotans of High Quality Banquet/Sunday pickup basketball game? Nothing, that's what.
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!