Study: ‘Gay-Friendly’ Cities Enjoy More Economic Prosperity | Raw Story…….

It seems like a no-brainer. Cities open to new ideas would produce an economic environment open to innovation.

Florida said he thinks it is the open mindedness of these cities that has allowed economically successful communities to emerge, rather than prior economic success attracting open minded people.

read more | digg story

KEXP 90.3 FM…….

"Nothing gives me greater pleasure as a professional garage futurist than to ponder some weird new mutant medium and wonder how this squawking little monster is going to wriggle its way into the interstices between human beings." -Bruce Sterling


Radio builds community, and few stations do it better than KEXP in Seattle.

Back in the day, college radio was the skunk-works of communication.  The stations were interesting and embraced new bands, but were kept in the low wattage sand box.  This way, college kids could pretend to be DJ’s and the community at large would not risk contamination with anything too challenging.

KEXP has bridged the digital and cultural gap.  Thanks to the web and Internet Radio, the little station that could is building a devoted following around the globe.

If you are ready for fresh ideas and the chance to hear new music, tune into KEXP’s streaming radio broadcast. 

The easiest way to hook-up is using a Slim Devices Squeezebox which offers KEXP as a pre-programed partner in the SqueezeNetwork  "Always-on" Internet Radio broadcast.

Take a chance.  This is your opportunity to connect with others who think that "music matters".

“Zero-energy” Homes Planned in Issaquah | The Seattle Times…….

Wow, it doesn’t take much to impress The Seattle Times.  I was shocked to find this article on the front page; the same day Al Gore was slated to testify before Congress on the urgency of global warming.

According to Washington’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Sources and Trends:

In 1960, transportation (excluding residual fuel) accounted for 41 percent of energy related CO2 emissions.  The percentage increased to 49 percent by 1980 and 57 percent by 1990.  Through the 1990s and early 2000s, transportation’s share of energy-related emissions has remained between 52-56 percent.  Of course, the transportation percentage share is also influenced by emission increases or decreased in the other sectors.  The total CO2 emissions are more than three times higher today than in 1960.

So, it was surprising to find this modest attempt at green building being sold as a viable attempt in the fighting against global warming.

Issaquah is ahead of most cities when it comes to building "green," environmental advocates say. In 2004, for instance, the city hosted tours and seminars on the Built Green Idea Home — a model home in the Highlands — to inspire people about eco-friendly choices.

"We’re trying to be responsive to climate change," said David Fujimoto, manager of Issaquah’s resource-conservation office. "Our goal is to really push the envelope and encourage new construction to achieve the highest level of environmental performance possible."

Since transportation accounts for between 52-56 percent of Washington State’s production of CO2, pushing the envelop would actually involve the aggressive development of a multi-tiered public transportation system to incorporate Seattle bedroom communities, like Issaquah, into a seamless region transportation system–not a meager attempt at feel-good suburban development which would contribute to more driving and sprawl.

Seattle Times: Officials Were Ignorant of Carbon Monoxide Danger in Outage, Report Says…….


According to the Times, eight people died and over 300 patients were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the December 2006 windstorm.

We can do better. 

Here is the lead from the Times piece:

The state’s emergency-management and public-health officials were largely unaware that sickness and death from carbon monoxide poisoning are common after destructive windstorms.

To read the whole article click here.

Note: The original title of the Seattle Times article stated that CO2 rather than carbon monoxide was the poisoning culprit.  This is factually incorrect.  I took the liberty to change the headline to carbon monoxide.  Sorry for the error.

Thursday’s Wind and Rain Storm…….

Here are some pictures from my Seattle neighborhood of the damage inflicted by the devastating storm which hit the Pacific Northwest. 

Here are a few articles about the storm.

Deadly wind, rain slam Seattle area., The P-I (12/15/06)

One man dead, dozens hospitalized for carbon-monoxide poisoning.,The Seattle Times (12/16/06)

Thousands bracing for fifth night without power.,The Seattle Times (12/18/06)

Four found dead of CO poisoning.,The P-I (12/18/06)

Mr. Yuk……

"The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself." -Mark Twain

mr yuk

What should I do for the rest of my life?

There are numerous books which promise to answer this question.  Sometimes, though, experience is the best teacher.

After 43 years, Dr. William Robertson is retiring as medical director of the Washington Poison Center.  He is literally an iconic figure in Seattle–having embodied the Mr. Yuk symbol, after licensing its use from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1973.

Dr. Robertson has built a career for himself that is highly successful, though somewhat unorthodox.  The Seattle P-I did a great piece on his retirement from the poison center.  Tucked in the article were a few paragraphs which I found particularly revealing:

"I’m not planning on retiring because there are too many interesting things going on," Robertson said.

Robertson, 81, actually has four part-time jobs he isn’t retiring from — teaching at the University of Washington Medical School, lobbying the Legislature on causes he believes in such as legible prescriptions, and writing for various medical newsletters.

So, what is the secret to a long, productive career? 

Do what you find interesting.  Passion is what makes a career, not some job description sanctioned by the department of labor.  There are no sure things in life, so why not spend you time pursuing something you love.

Walking Is Not a Blood-Sport…….

“Year after year Seattle wins awards for being a walkable city.  I want to make sure residents and visitors can walk throughout Seattle safely – that means increasing pedestrian and driver awareness.” -Mayor Greg Nickels

abbey road-the most famous cross walk

Walking makes sense for a number of reasons.  It is good exercise and builds strong community ties.  Most importantly, walking is one of the few zero-emissions transportation options.

Unfortunately, walking is also extremely dangerous.  Over the last year there have been a number of serious accidents involving pedestrians being struck by cars in Seattle.  In the last two days, three pedestrians have been hit while walking in cross walks.  Sadly, one of those injured did not survive.  Here is more from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer which quotes Debra Brown, a police spokeswoman.

Brown said the cases of pedestrians getting hit by vehicles are "incredibly sad and tragic." "Drivers just need to be fully focused on driving. They need to look for pedestrians," she said. "But pedestrians need to obey traffic laws. They need to make an effort to be seen, especially in the winter time when it gets dark early."

Here is the problem with that statement: if a car and human collide, the human being is always at the disadvantage, no exceptions.

With that being said, extra safety precautions need to be built into the transportation system to protect pedestrians against an impossible to overcome size and momentum problem.  Unfortunately, I do not believe "awareness" is enough to solve this difficult issue. 

Rat City Rollergirls…….

"Keep your noise between the ditches and the smokey outta your britches.-motto, Dixie Dragstrip of the Sockit Wenches


If you miss Halloween already, then it is time to get to know your local member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). 

A Rat City Rollergirls event is pure, exhilarating theater –the perfect blend of punk show, rockabilly shack shaker and Halloween. 

Professional athletics may try to rally their fans around exhausted themes, but the women of the Rollergirls live and breath their persona’s.  Check out the four teams which make up the league.  Each team’s persona is a superbly crafted fusion of art and tongue-in-cheek humor.  

Now it is time for the fans to give back some of the love which these rockin’ and rollin’ women have brought to Seattle.  Hanger 27, home to most RCRG bouts, is in danger.  The Seattle City Council is considering a proposal to let Arena Sports privatize this public space.

 Here is the kicker: public funds would  be used to renovate the space before it is handed over to Arena Sports.  So, the Rat City Rollergirls would lose their performance space and the tax-payers of Seattle get to fund a private, for-profit venture. 

Let the Seattle City Council know that this aggression will not stand!  Please contact the council and share how important the Rat City Rollergirls and Hanger 27 are to the city. Here is the phone number 206-684-8888.