Sunday, March 15, 2009

PI website down Sunday

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer website went down Sunday. The redirect url (http://disaster.seattlepi.nwsource.com/) included the term "disaster." Let's hope this is not a sign of what comes when the staff show up to their offices tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: The P-I website broke from its traditional web host, seattlepi.nwsource.com at midnight PST on Monday morning. The 146-year-old newspaper's URL is now simply, seattlepi.com. The move may signal Heart's intention to keep an online presence as they move to end the paper's print edition and Joint Operation Agreement with The Seattle Times.

Friday, March 13, 2009

PI globe speaks

I am glad I am not the only one telling corny stories... The Seattle Post-Intelligencer globe is now speaking for itself. Check out this new opinion piece written by the globe itself (seriously, I'm not making this up):
When I first started getting so much attention I thought I was going to be repaired. I thought, "Finally -- new neon. No more rust." When more and more people were coming up onto the roof I figured something was up. Maybe the president is on his way to see me, or U2 was going to do a rooftop concert in my shadow. Then I saw all the cameras, the posing and a few tears between hugs of condolence. I overheard snippets of conversation and questions wondering what was going to happen to the globe. 
I felt bad. I knew I wasn't the gleaming beauty I used to be. I assumed I was going to be dismantled and replaced by a brand-new modern symbol. Then I learned it wasn't about me, it was about the business. I went from feeling bad to worse. I wished I could break away somehow and roll through the streets with a rallying cry for help.
Now the globe has found a voice, I am glad to have its full support in my effort to keep the globe here in Seattle:
The company I've been a mascot for all these years is evolving, although nobody seems to know to what extent. In addition to the worry of job loss, there is also concern for my welfare. I truly do appreciate the attention, especially from the folks who have actually gone to the trouble to petition for my residency to remain in Seattle. 
I do so want to stay here. Seattle is my home. I was born here from an idea and created by people whose workmanship is in itself a lost art form.
The globe also supports my idea of moving itself to the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park or the Museum of History and Industry:
I wouldn't mind living on in a museum, and don't you think for one second that I haven't noticed that Olympic Sculpture Park -- I think I could serve some sort of visceral purpose there for sure. 
Please keep me here. I want to continue to be looked at and admired for the piece of artistic history that I am. Put me on display. What else am I going to do? I can't dance. I can't sing. I can't blog.
Read the globe's full impassioned plea. Click here!

Influence: Let's use it

Influence… That’s the name of the game in Washington, D.C. – who’s got it, who knows how to use it. Fortunately for us, we got three local politicians now in the Obama Administration who now has it:
  • Ron Sims, deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Gov. Gary Locke, secretary of Commerce
  • Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
I am not saying that it means they are going to consciously play favorites when it comes to the allocation of federal resources or the interests of Washingtonians. However, any honest observer knows that their appointments represent a great advantage to our state.

They know of projects here at home which are in need of federal funding. They are more likely to pick up a call if it’s from someone back home. They may pick other locals whom they know to work for them on their staff.

It happens all the time. It’s nothing malicious but it something that we should fully utilize for our benefit. I can assure you politicians in other states do it everyday. Let’s not allow Seattle’s nice and laid-back manner get in the way.

So, if you know them, call them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Petition to save PI globe

According to to an article on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (PI) website, the end of the newspaper's published edition seems to be approaching.

Oddly enough, I have to come to accept this. It is with a heavy heart that I have come to realize that this may be what is necessary to save Seattle's other daily newspaper, The Seattle Times.

Once a staunch supporter of a two newspaper town, the thought of a "no newspaper town" is far scarier to me than losing the PI. However, the real reason for this post is my concern over an important Seattle landmark.

The 30-foot steel globe atop the PI headquarters has come to symbolize more than a Seattle institution. I have heard reporters of the PI speak of the globe as a reminder to them about their journalistic ethics. The strong eagle figure being symbol of honesty, integrity, etc.

Personally, I view it as a important piece of local history, made even more significant by the potential closure of the 146-year-old paper. It's glorious glow can be seen far out into Eliot Bay and down the South slope of Queen Anne.

Until 1986, when the PI relocated, it was also perched atop the newspaper's building at Sixth Avenue and Wall Street near the Seattle Center. In a town where many historical landmarks have fallen to make way for condos and skyscrapers, this is one landmark I believe is worth saving.

A history of the globe can be found on the PI website. It includes example of how the globe reflects the life and times of Seattlites:
The globe, which uses about 38 kilowatts per hour when fully lit, has been turned off several times during power shortages.
The globe now rests on a pyramidal base conceived by Seattle artist Clair Colquitt, who felt the base should serve as an aesthetic transition between the modern office building and the whimsical neon symbol.
So, here's my plan. Admittedly, I should probably call the PI, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) or the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) first before putting this out there in cyberspace. However, I will have to pass that baton onto one of my dear readers. The best I can do is an online petition to the Hearst Corp.

Should the PI shutter its operations and close for good, I would like to see the globe donated to a local nonprofit capable of caring for it, such as MOHAI or the SAM.

SAM's Sculpture Park for example is just down the street from the globe's current location and if it was properly placed on a pillar or platform it would be a nice attraction.

Likewise, MOHAI would be a perfect custodian of this Seattle landmark. The goal of the organization is to preserve such artifacts. Their lack-luster nondescript building in the Montlake area could use a show-stopping stunner like the PI globe. At least people like myself could drive by from time to time to soak our wounds regarding the closure of the PI.

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.