Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Humor me: MN blogger on Seattle

I've read a lot of food blogs because... well... I REALLY like food. No, REALLY like the stuff. My size reflects my passion. However, I think Minnesota blogger Melinda Feucht stands out in her posts about her recent visit to the city. Funny, descriptive and unpretentious.
The most unimaginable, abominable, atrocious thing happened to me my first day in Seattle - I lost my sense of taste. I lost my sense of taste. Something makes me think that the holiday goodies have gotten the best of me by weakening my immune system, another part of me blames the blasted -6 degree Minnesota winter I left with great anxiousness. And you'd think a foodie would know how to treat something like this. Ginger? Tried it. Pickled onions? Yup. Wasaabi? You betcha, alot of it. All with no avail.

If Seattle were a coffee shop, it would be the one that rarely advertises, has minimal store signage on its fa├žade, yet somehow manages to find a line of customers that extends its doors, where people wait ever-so-patiently for a simple croissant and drip, whose customers pride themselves in the quiet knowledge that they’ve found the best spot and wish to keep it a secret. Sorry Seattle, the secret’s out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Barack Obama

Today, we celebrate the first day in a new chapter of American history, a nation still burdened by the memory of slavery and segregation.

President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States, a position once held by slave owners.

The Obama family spent their first night in the White House, a home built by slaves.

It is a testament to the strength of our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the wisdom of our founding fathers that this day has finally come.

Now, as our world faces financial, environmental and political challenges we must put aside race and the ism's that separate one from another and strive to become one people in the United States and be good citizens of the global community.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

PI for sale, might close

For the past 146 years, the reporters, editors and production staff of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer have served the people of Seattle. Their contribution has been immense and immeasurable. Whatever happens 60 days from now, all who worked there should be proud of their role in this fine Seattle institution.

As a avid reader of the Seattle PI, I pledge to continue my financial support (.75 a day) until your last edition. If your last edition is just two months from now, I will cherish that final newspaper as an important keepsake and family heirloom. I will remember the Seattle PI and feel honored to have been the subject of several stories or having contributed to a couple more.

You have reflected the diversity of this city, writing more than most about the diverse minority communities and the issues and concerns that they faced. They were articles that were artfully crafted and showed a deep understanding of their subjects.

As a life-long local resident, I have found that the Seattle PI seems to be the more forward thinking newspaper in this town. This from a former Seattle Times newspaper boy and teen representative on the advisory board of the Seattle Times owned Mirror paper.

The staff of the Seattle PI have used technology to great affect. They host blogs from local Seattle voices and encourage feedback in the form of comment to their articles. The have broken the mold on numerous occasions with their design and outstanding editorial cartoons.

The Seattle Times, while full of top-notch journalists and excellent reporting, looks and feels like a dinosaur. Slowly, things are changing as they adapt to an Internet centric world. However, they are still playing catch-up.

Of course, as I opine about the Seattle PI, it is the Seattle Times who may be the last local newspaper giant standing. Clearly, it helps to be in control of the circulation, advertising and publishing aspects of the Joint Operating Agreement. Without the Seattle Times, the PI could not stand on its own.

So, while I would prefer a two newspaper town, the sad reality may be that this city cannot support it, especially with the current economic climate. What I am hoping for, should the Seattle PI close for good, is that the Seattle Times will look a little more like the PI and the alternative local weeklies will pick up the slack.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ZZzzz... Mayor to Propose Car Free Days in Seattle

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will announce today, during a press conference, his plans for car-free days throughout the city. The move is meant to help combat global warming. While it's a cool idea, I think it's full of hot air.

Imagine if all the streets around Alki Beach were shut down. What a fun pedestrian friendly place it would be. Well... that's part of the plan exactly.

On Sunday, September 7, from 12 to 6 p.m. cars will be banned from a section of Alki for one afternoon. Bicyclists will be allowed -- of course. Hopefully, bus traffic to the area will be increased.

The details about other car-free days and locations, to be held in August and September, have yet to be announced.

While I like the conscious-raising aspects of the events, I doubt random car free days around the city is going to make a dent in Seattle's carbon emissions. It sounds more like a publicity stunt to bolster the Mayor's image as a leader in the fight against global warming -- which I think is a real thing (you go Al Gore).

Whatever the true reason, car free days can't hurt but big talk and small actions don't solve big problems. We need a bold vision for our region and we need someone who can convince even the most glutinous among us to join the fight.

Source: King5.com

Parks Dept. responsible for Green Lake spikes

The news was shocking: 50 metal spikes had been discovered in the shallows of Green Lake, a popular park in Seattle. The Seattle Parks Department suggested it was a malicious act. Now...

The Parks Department now says... oops... we are to blame for the fear and hysteria the spikes have caused local residents. The newspapers and TV stations ran interview after interview of people saying they would be reluctant to swim or boat in the lake ever again.

Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter had said they suspected sabotage. I have had many dealings with her while working as a reporter for a local Seattle weekly and know here to be a true professional -- friendly, helpful, and reliable. So, you wonder where things went so horribly wrong.

However, unlike the long forgotten time capsule that occasionally creep up in the news, spikes in the shallow areas of the lake seem like something you may want to keep track of. Call me crazy... but a spike in the foot seems like a serious matter -- which is how these spikes were discovered in the first place.

The Parks Department says the spikes were placed in the lake more than 20 years ago in an effort to hold down plastic sheeting in an attempt to control water plants. Apparently, the spikes originally had curved tops that rusted off, leaving sharp points. Metal + water = rust. What a shock!

The Seattle Police spent man hours (ie. tax dollars) on their investigation. The Parks Department invested a lot of their own time and money as well. According to a July 25, 2008, press release, the Parks Department planned to hire professional divers to augment the volunteers already combing the depths of Green Lake. Let's hope the Parks Department puts a little more planning in their future improvements to our treasured local parks.

Source: The Seattle Times

Friday, July 25, 2008

No 'Reason' to Seattle's Mag Ranking

The libertarian magazine Reason ranked Seattle second only to Chicago on its list of American cities that limit personal behavior.

The magazine pointed to the city's ban on high-alcohol beers and fortified wines as one example of the city's ninny-nagging, finger-wagging ways.

The magazine says we have particularly restrictive laws in effect here in Seattle. It's hard to believe that the city -- the birth place of grunge rock -- would ever find itself on any such list.

While I've observed a shift in the 'tude of Seattlites, I think we are still fairly laid back folks. The flannel shirts and dirty jeans that once graced our closets are still a part of our collective culture.

I think the so called "restrictive laws" are just a part of the growing pains associated with an ever-expanding population in the region, a maturing of sorts. It's part of the reason why so many of those flannel shirts and jeans ended up in the bins at Goodwill.

Note to Fellow IKEA-philes

Hot off the PR News wire:
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 25, 2008 -- bCODE, a leading global provider of one-to-one mobile marketing solutions has teamed up with Valassis Interactive, the interactive arm of Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies (NYSE: VCI), to deliver a mobile-based loyalty program for the IKEA Seattle store.
Customers of the IKEA Seattle store can join the "IKEA Mobile" mobile loyalty program by simply sending a pre-selected keyword via text message to a shortcode (e.g. 12345). Members of the IKEA Mobile program receive personalized offers via SMS text messages to their mobile devices. These offers are then redeemed at the store using bCODE's innovate self-service mobile scanners.
Delivering offers via regular SMS text messages means that more than 98% of the population with a mobile device can instantly benefit from these personalized offers. Unlike other mobile marketing programs that require special software downloads, carrier subscription services, or special phones, bCODES simply work on virtually any device. The secure nature of scanned bCODE's means that high-value offers can be sent to program members increasing the overall attractiveness and value of the program.
Source links retracted as no longer working.