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Your place for all things Buslandia!

We're number one! We're number one! Room to improve!

Posted by Toby Crittenden at Jun 08, 2011 03:18 PM |

Number One Foam Finger

We've been saying it. We will continue to say it. And now we have validation: Washington State freaking rules.

For once it's not just the good food, eye-melting scenery and spookily attractive people that have earned the Evergreen State these honors. Rather, official Bus homies Rock the Vote just released their Voting System Scorecard, and it turns out that America's Washington ranks first (1st!) out of all fifty one states of America (we'll tell you about the "secret state" sometime soon).

This is grand news. It means that Washington is literally the best place in the country to be a voter. If you're a young person (and we suspect you are), that means you have the best access to voter registration, civics education and general voting prep, and access to the voting process.

Needless to say, we're super excited to be at the top of the pile, and we're glad that there are champions of voter access in and around Washington State government.

But with that said, it's clear that we still have a long way to go - we're in the lead overall, but there are a number of areas for improvement. We're an example for many states to emulate, but we will not and should not ever rest on our laurels. Rather, take a look at what some of our favorite state (cough Colorado cough Oregon cough Montana) have got going on, and start thinking about where we should be going.

Rock over Spokane. Rock on, Tacoma. Washington uber alles.

Council Kick-Off Tomorrow! And There are Prizes!

Posted by Alex Miller at Jun 08, 2011 01:20 PM |


It's happening! Tomorrow! The Bus, the Stranger, free drinks, and prizes!  Come meet the 2011 Seattle City Council Candidates Thursday eve with the chance to win the likes of:

  • Two tickets to Capitol Hill Block Party
  • Tickets to Northwest Film Forum
  • Stranger and Bus shirts
  • And the Alex Miller award for discovering which candidate HAS A SECRET FOOT

See you there!

Meet Your 2011 Summer Fellows: Part 2

Sequels: America's favorite past-time.

Just as we could scarcely comprehend the labyrinthine arc of the Fast and Furious franchise in a measly four films (until Fast 5, and its five year old screenwriter, finally brought the series' nebulous moral coda to startling clarity), so too the 2011 class of Summer Fellows require another installment to even begin to, at the very least, tell you who they all are.

That means, yes, more Summer Fellows! You've already met the stellar crew from our first installment, herein lies an equally stellar (and more numerous) cadre of brilliant young folks that will be plying the democracy trade with the Bus. Woo!

Abigail Doerr


I'm 22 years old from Spokane, WA and I just graduated from Willamette University with a major in Politics and minor in Spanish.  I love politics good music, traveling, art projects, board games (especially the Settlers of Catan), crossword puzzles, the outdoors, and fun times with good people.

Alec Stannard
My name is Alec. You may not recognize my name, but surely you are familiar with my reputation. The original Karate Kid, Braveheart, and the Indiana Jones Series were all based on my exploits. I spend most of my free time chopping wood and saving children from burning buildings. As a day job, I train with Chuck Norris.

Andreina Montes
I am a small town girl who is extremely infatuated with classical music.  I may naturally appear shy, but I am easy to get along with and fun!

Carlos Padilla
I'm an opportunity taker where I do what's in my reach to help and serve the community. I plan to receive my law degree and become a lawyer to fight for the rights of under represented communities. I'm a leader, a friend, and a great dancer and choreographer for the Latino Dance Club.

Danielle Kim
Three things I love: summer in Seattle, progressive thinking, and recycling.

David Weiland
I am currently a student at the University of Washington, Seattle, studying Political Science and Education Policy in the hopes of being an advocate for a more educated and critical society. In the meantime, I enjoy exploring new parts of the city, playing guitar, and reading about what's happening across the world.

Dominique Guess
Born and raised in Seattle and passionate about young people giving back to their communities.

Hannah Dean
My name is Hannah Dean and I'm from Spokane, although I attend school on the east coast where I usually have to explain, "I'm from Washington, yes, as in the actual state of Washington." I got my start in political organizing by interning with Planned Parenthood Votes, and I spend my spare time scouring the internet for the cutest cat videos.

Leah Menzer
Legend has it that 21-years ago baby Leah emerged from the desolate crater of Mt St. Helens. Forged from the magma and highest evergreens of beautiful Washington State, she was fattened on the bountiful salmon and berries of her native land and raised by bears and wolves and eagles.  Her current whereabouts are unknown, but sitings and rumors indicate that she may be fond of short stories, Publicola and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

Rosalie Wilmot
I am approaching my senior year at the University of Denver which means the completion of my dual degrees in English Creative Writing and International studies. AND I am SO  excited to be in my home by the sea this summer where music and coffee will fuel my daily ventures.


Come meet them at the epic Summer Fellows Inauguration on June, 20th (we've spread heard rumors of pyrotechnics, fiddling, and an all-night screening of the hit television series Cheers)*:


*or none of those things. Except Cheers. That's confirmed.


Posted by at Jun 08, 2011 09:40 AM |



Here in Seattle, we share a great deal with our Portlandian neighbors to the south. Eco-friendliness, indie music scenes, politically-minded mass transportation vehicles - both our cities have a lot to be proud of.

But there's one thing I always want to stick in my pocket and take home with me every time I visit Portland. It's this:


Also,  this:


It's safe to say my pockets are a little slimy.

Both of these delicious food-stuffs, from Potato Champion and Sweet Pea's Brulee respectively, are the work of Portland food trucks. While Seattle has some pretty fantastic food trucks of its own (notably the incredibly tasty Pai's), they can be hard to find en masse.  In Portland, you can't turn around without stepping in food pods.

However, Seattle, your pod wait may be over. Every Saturday night, at the corner of Harvard and Pike, there is now a fantastic pod of trucks waiting for you from 9:00pm to 3:00am. The balsamic fries and ice-cream-cookie sandwich I devoured there last weekend were fantastic, so I encourage everyone to get in on the action. Drool-proof your keyboard, then check out your options here.


Sasquatch Addendum

Posted by Alex Miller at Jun 07, 2011 03:20 PM |

Quick addendum to our graceful, balletic Sasquatch recap - see the Bus hanging with security at the Beach House show:



A Good Website is Hard to Find (but here's one)

Every now and again - amidst all the online noise - you find a website that makes you fall in love with Al Gore and his tubular progeny (to mix bad internet jokes) all over again.  Thus, I submit to you: the National Film Board of Canada.

I'm tempted to gush about at least seven different things that I particularly enjoy about their website, but in the words of Lil Wayne, "what's the world without enigma?" (also: "swagga down pat, call my s*** Patricia).  In the spirit of Weezy, I'll direct you posthaste to my most favorite discovery thus far - BlaBla.


I'm downright giddy about this interactive filmmaking project that "explores the fundamentals of human communication."  I don't know about that, but I do know that clicking on a mole-ish bobblehead has never been more satisfying - and curiously poetic.  Something about the blend of sound, visuals, and the unique relationship between the viewer and the film feels even a little profound.

Check it out, and let it be your entry point into the phantasmagoric NFB website at large.


Right next to Hugh Hef.


Sasquatch Highlight Reel

Posted by at Jun 02, 2011 11:07 AM |

You've already seen the pretty pictures of our epic journey to Sasquatch. But our trip wasn't all fun (meeting rad people) and games (getting hundred of pledges to vote). Sometimes, we had to attend concerts. Rough.

A few concert highlights of the weekend, in order of appearance:


I'm not gonna lie - I'm a little obsessed with Robyn. But while she's great on CD, she's absolutely electric live. If the Bus hasn't already taught you that the dance-able can be political, let Robyn change your mind. She plays with gender in some highly entertaining ways, including wearing the West Point football jersey shown above, and pointedly eating a banana in the middle of her set. Awesome.


Sometimes, artists that make zen, beautiful recorded music can't bring that same gorgeous intensity to a live show. For Beach House, this is absolutely not the case. Lead singer Victoria Legrand's haunting voice filled the whole venue. I basically spent this show lying in the grass near the top of the amphitheater with my eyes closed in a state of bliss.


Modest Mouse closed out the main stage on Sunday night with a fantastic set heavy on their older (read: better) songs, perfect for long-time fans. Despite being exhausted from two long days of voter registration, I forgot all about my sore feet during this show and danced like a mad-woman for their entire set.

The Bus and the Stranger Present: Council Kick-Off!


Care about Seattle? Interested in free drinks? Exhausted from trying to locate those elusive Seattle City Council Candidates?

Pow! (that's the feeling of a kick-off to the face!)

Next Thursday - June, 9th - we'll be hanging out at Havana with the Stranger and the whole mess of Seattle City Council Candidates vying to represent all you Seattle folks.  We'll have some conversation starting questions on hand, but feel free to bring your own as well.

We'll be keeping things informal, no dress code here.  Searsucker suit? wear it.  Jorts and a cowboy hat? totes fine.  The event is 21+, but expect the rest of our city council events to be all ages!

Dear Sasquatch Music Festival,

Thank you.


The crew
Day 1 - before we started regretting that 90% of our food was carrots
It's go time.
Sunshine, pledge to vote, happiness
Hey, we like you.
Hari and camping - never again.
Everything that can be said about Sasquatch in one photo.
Backstage as Das Racist kills it.  Standing next to Bob Boilen! (for all you NPR nerds out there).

So much Bus
Good times
*no caption necessary*
Button town
Voter registrations, neon hats - just a day in the Bus life.
This did not end in disaster. Thanks Vera!
Blurry, but yes - this is a man dressed as Sasquatch communing with a bunny (alternate caption: Dinner).
TJ takes us home after a most excellent weekend.

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and the good people of Sasquatch, WA for a superb time! Doesn't get much better than beautiful vistas, good tunes, and hundreds upon hundreds of Registrations and Pledge to Vote cards!

Welcome Wagon

Posted by Alex Miller at May 26, 2011 02:55 PM |

The logo for Welcome Wagon.

Once a month - embrace the unique opportunity to get on the Welcome Wagon, a dinner, a party and grand overview of the work that we do at the Bus and how you can get involved. Bus stalwart? come hang, we miss you.  Never been to an event, but curious? this is the event to see what all the buzz is about. The next Welcome Wagon is August, 16th.

The Welcome Wagon marks the birth of a new era of leadership at the Bus, namely, yours. This is the easiest way to see what the Bus has cooking for the next year, and your first chance to reserve a front seat in the movement driving a more inclusive, engaging, and downright enjoyable generation of politics. If you can't tell, we're a wee bit excited.

There are two things the Bus loves above all else:

1) You.

2) You driving the Bus. (we won’t expect you to do donuts in the parking lot *)

There will be a party. There will be prizes (ranging from shirts to the intangible flush of foosball victory). There will be a chance to take leadership at the Bus. There will be amazing and brilliant people. But most importantly, there will be YOU.

Put it on your calendar - like right now would work well for us.

Help us make sure we have plenty of food and drink: RSVP by sending a fun fact about yourself to nicole (at) washingtonbus (dot) org or call us at the office at 206-325-1889!


Welcome Wagon
Monthly - The next one is August, 16th
6-7:30 pm
Bus HQ: 1100 E Union St, Suite 1E, Seattle, WA


To spell things out, at the Welcome Wagon any or all of this could be yours:

1) Food - yum.

2) Drinks - delectable.

3) Good company - party time, excellent.

4) Insanely sweet volunteer opportunities (perhaps at little old things like Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Candidate Survivor) - kaboom.

5) Hands-on training and networking opportunities - get it.

6) Foosball tournament - merciless.

7) An evening dedicated to empowering a new generation of leaders in our state - yes and yes.

8) For some reason, I like it when these lists end up on even numbers - illogical.

We're going to do a Welcome Wagon every single month, because we meet good folks every single day. All you have to do is show up - the rest is all smooth-like.

If you are asking yourself what the Bus can do for you (and what you can do for the Bus, natch), then you are psyched for Welcome Wagon!


*although it could be arranged**

**It probably can't be arranged

Dansportation: Everything but the Tunnel

Posted by at May 26, 2011 12:16 PM |



HELLO people of the Bus-world, and also random internet passersby. I’m Dan. I’ll be your Hella Bus blogger writing about biking, bussing, transportation, and anything related to that bizness. Why? We all move ourselves around the area we live in every day. And how we do it is hella interesting and important.

First, a programming note: This interesting (also, mind-numbing), very-Seattle process is happening. This Hella Bus series will ignore it. There is enough noise already. And that’s my first and last word about the tunnel.

Fortunately, the tunnel isn’t the only thing happening in transportation. The city is putting roads on diets (no, not of the roadkill variety). Metro faces some possible major cuts in service and I'll be covering all the wrangling and ins and outs that entails. The governor just signed a vulnerable road users bill (yay!). And transit oriented developments around light rail stations are getting off the ground - or should I say UNDER IT (pow! This is the sort of rapier wit you can expect on a weekly basis).

I’m not a transportation expert—I have no fancy letters after my name, nor diplomas hanging on my wall. Rather, I am a user and observer of transportation. Cars are expensive, so, like a lot of young people, I commute by bike nearly everyday (Cap Hill to Wallingford—mad love to all the drivers on Eastlake who regularly refrain from hitting me). I also take the bus frequently. My favorite routes are the 14, the 49, and, of course, my OG bus route, the 72.

There will be posts digging into substantive issues soon. In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite recent pieces on bicycling--Jim Behrle comparing NYC cyclists to glistening gazelles on The Awl.

Going outdoors, made easy.


Like nature, but hate planning/maps/making decisions? Well, my indecisive friend, the Washington Trails Association has you covered with their handy-dandy Hike Finder tool.  It's hiking in Washington made easy including some crazy useful features allowing you to search for a hike by location, mileage, elevation, terrain, or even your preference of flora.  Check out the easy click map to prepare yourself for that (hopefully) impending day when summer rolls around and you can bask in the (mythical?) northwest summer!

Coal News

Posted by Alex Miller at May 23, 2011 02:24 PM |
Filed under: ,

Great event coming up in Bellingham re: a rather nasty proposal to use Washington as a shipping point for millions of tons of coal on it's way to China. Check out the event details below!



Bill McKibben: "Coal, Climate Change, and Activism"

What: Bill McKibben talks about how the biggest coal company in the world wants to build North America’s biggest coal terminal in our community!  Come learn more about what’s at stake, and what you can do to help.

When: Tuesday, May 31, 5p.m/ 7p.m.  Information fair and entertainment with Millie and the Mentshn 5-7. Bill McKibben speaks at 7

Where: Fairhaven Village Green, 1207  10th St. Bellingham, WA.

The event is free and open to the general public.

Mr. McKibben’s visit was catalyzed by the coal terminal debate raging in Washington.  In particular, plans to ship coal from Cherry Point in Ferndale, Washington which could negatively impact the County’s economic prospects, diminish quality of life, and destroy an already vulnerable food chain in addition to the national and global implications.

For questions or to RSVP for the event, contact Alyssa Fritz, or (360) 733-8307.

Get Down, Get Nerdy

Posted by at May 23, 2011 09:50 AM |

Gennablogginhead.jpgAttention nerds, geeks and assorted dorks of all stripes: The National Jukebox may well blow your mildly over-sized minds.

With a little bit of their library wizardry, the fine people of the National Library of Congress in Washington D.C. have posted thousands of recordings from 1900 - 1925, now available for streaming online at their website. While the majority of it is music, including some fantastic rag-time and big band recordings, you can also listen to old comedy routines and speeches.

In case you need proof of how far politics has come over the past 80+ years, check out this speech (seriously, give it a listen), designed to rally supporters for women's suffrage in 1914. If you have any idea what he's saying, you are really darn impressive - I think it's safe to say they spoke a little differently back then. But the tone hasn't really changed all that much.

And the nerd in me thinks that's REALLY COOL.


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