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Seattle's #1 Weekly Newspaper. Covering Seattle news, politics, music, film, and arts; plus movie times, club calendars, restaurant listings, forums, blogs, and Savage Love.



Published: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:00:01 -0700

Last Build Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:45:00 -0700

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The Blabbermouth Podcast: Al Franken Discusses the Shift from SNL to the Senate, and Congressional Balancing Tactics

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:17:48 -0700

by The Stranger

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Senator Al Franken: Fighting the system one numbskull at a time. COURTESY HACHETTE BOOK GROUP

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Al Franken is on Blabbermouth this week, talking with Eli Sanders about his journey from Saturday Night Live to the US Senate. The Senator also shares the best tactics for getting a member of congress to do what you want (like, say, not repeal Obamacare) and answers both an urgent “millennial” question from Rich Smith and a future-focused, “barely-a-boomer” question from Dan Savage.

Also: Dan, Rich, and Eli talk about the sad defeat of Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District and what it means for Democratic strategery going forward.

Plus...

Senator Al Franken: Fighting the system one numbskull at a time.


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RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: A Very Inspiring Finale During A Very Uninspiring Time

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:20:34 -0700

RuPaul's Drag Race ended on a high note... but did anyone watch? It's Pride! by Chase Burns YouTube Note: I wrote this last night and then went out to party for Pride. I left it for morning to make sure it's not a belligerent rant. It's pretty much a belligerent rant, but I'm okay with it, so here goes... It's over folks, and I have to be honest: I'm feeling uninspired writing this recap. RuPaul Andre Charles has given the show's small, smarmy group of recappers a unique challenge by presenting his finale during Pride weekend. Yes, season nine of RuPaul's Drag Race has come to a splashy end. It was stunning. But if you're a Seattleite reading this recap, you're probably doing so while scurrying between gigs, parties, or trade. As I type this from the Stranger's office, I'm watching half-naked hotties stretch on Cal Anderson Park's green turf as the Trans Pride March is just now kicking off. As Peppermint said tonight, "Trans women have always contributed to the wonderful art form of drag," but the trans women in front of me DGAF about this season's finale because there's a march happening, it's nice outside, and PRIDE COMMUNITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN RPDR. I want to enjoy Sasha Velour's crowning achievement tonight but I can't help but be consumed by Charleena Lyles and healthcare and how most of the commenters on these recaps felt it was A-OK for the queens to appropriate Native American culture for cheap, shitty laughs. Commenters who said, "Drag was so much more compelling before the PC Nazi's took it over." (Yes, I have a liberal arts degree, but I'm not a PC Nazi. I too think people overuse the word "problematic." And no, I'm not over that whole Village People mess. The Pride flag debacle happened right after that episode, and my faith in the G of LBTQIA+ continued to wane.) I had one friend wonder "if I really hated RuPaul's politics" then why do I keep watching? And they're right: I like RuPaul. I like RuPaul's Drag Race. I come back to watch even when it's a shitshow because somehow RPDR has become synonymous with Pride. And the show will hold precedence in my life even when so many other things deserve my attention and activism. Fuck. So here I am, watching RPDR instead of marching with the Trans Pride March. But you came here for a recap... SASHA VELOUR IS A GIFT YouTube Sasha Velour is one of the most spectacular winners in the herstory of RuPaul's Drag Race. So why did it take so long for the show's formula to show her off? Surely, if the show would have gone its normal route (sans lip sync finale), Shea would have won. Shea had the most challenge wins. Shea was beloved by the judges. Shea couldn't do wrong. But she didn't win. It's like RuPaul watched the American election go down and was like, "Oh honey, I'm gonna give them the biggest twist. They're gonna think Russia's sponsoring this show OH OH OH and I'm gonna make a half-hearted reference to Trump's ties to Russia AND make 'America' the theme for the season finale because THAT MAKES SENSE?" Sasha Velour didn't show off half her majesty this season and she won. At the very end, she was given a stage and an audience - a real audience, not a judging panel - and we were all left transformed. Truly, each of her lip syncs was among the best in all nine seasons of the show. I want to watch them over and over and over again. They are master classes in acting, drag, storytelling, gender... Ugh. But the show couldn't demonstrate Sasha's skills because the show is small and Sasha is big. Or rather, the world is small and Sasha is big. The world wants Sasha to wear a wig, and she comes bald. The world wants beauty, and she gives a unibrow. Sasha continuously showed us that in drag the highest beauty is not the illusion, but what inspires the illusion. It's not about the wig, but the imagination underneath. Other things: Kimora's dress is gorgeous. Charlie Hides can't stop reminding us that her name is Charlie. Eureka's an elephant? Oh[...]


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Officers Say They Feared for Safety Before Shooting Charleena Lyles, One Did Not Carry Taser Despite Department Policy

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:00:23 -0700

by Steven Hsieh Nate Gowdy In a Friday evening news dump, the Seattle Police Department released transcripts of interviews with the police officers who fatally shot Charleena Lyles, revealing the officers’ version of events in a case that has raised questions about racial bias, use-of-force, and mental health training among local cops. Two white Seattle police officers shot Lyles, a black mother of four, to death on Sunday in her Sand Point apartment. Officers Steven McNew, a crisis intervention specialist, and Jason Anderson have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. McNew said he feared for his life before firing the fatal shots, adding they he like they did not have any alternative to lethal force. Anderson said he also feared for McNew's life. Both officers also said they did not carry Tasers when the shooting happened. Anderson is a Taser-trained officer. He told interviewers that he had stopped carrying his Taser for a week and a half to two weeks because the battery had died. He hadn't contacted anyone about replacing the battery yet, he said, and had replaced the Taser with a baton and pepper spray—both "less lethal" options. Seattle Police Department policy requires that officers who are trained to carry Tasers must carry "less lethal tools," and that any officers trained to use a Taser must carry one as a less lethal option. In dash cam audio, McNew can be heard telling Anderson "tase her" seconds before the officers fired. Anderson responded that he didn't have one. Still, Anderson claimed, even if he had a Taser, he would not have used it. He claimed that the situation in Lyles' apartment amounted to a “lethal force encounter,” and that his training taught him to “rid of your Taser and go to your firearm” in such situations. Lyles' family has questioned why the officers did not use less lethal force in their encounter. A lawyer for Charleena Lyles’ family, James Bible, did not immediately respond to The Stranger’s request for comment. McNew’s testimony appears to corroborate parts of what happened in the minutes leading up to the shooting, as heard in previously-released dash cam audio of the encounter. The officers went into Lyles’ home to respond to a burglary call. She says that she is missing an Xbox. (According to the transcript, McNew said she also was missing a Playstation.) McNew described a calm conversation that took a turn when Lyles produced a knife. McNew said he couldn't remember what exactly he said after he saw the knife, but believed that he said “stop” several times. The officer continued to say he ducked behind a counter after determining that Lyles was carrying the knife overhand, appearing as if she was about to throw the weapon in his direction. "She draws her arm back and I’m thinking, shit, you know she’s about to throw this thing,” McNew said in the interview. McNew said he ducked, “expecting to feel this knife any second” before reemerging to see Lyles moving towards him. "I’m starting to think in my head, you know when she was on the other side, you know the question is, you know, do you run out?” McNew said. Ultimately, he told interviewers, he decided to stay out of concern for the children in the apartment. McNew said that Lyles moved to a position that he felt would block him from escaping the kitchen. "And at that point fearing for what was about to happen, what she would do to me um, being stuck in that spot, I fired my handgun,” he said. Officer Anderson, meanwhile, said that he felt like Lyles attempted to stab him. “I saw the knife coming and I sucked my body back and tried to kinda fold to avoid getting stabbed in the abdomen with the knife,” he said. He said he felt like there was no time to de-escalate the situation. “We verbalized her to get back and, um, but based on the, you know, the timing, how much time there was, there was a second or two is all," Anderson said. Ci[...]


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Uber Proves Itself Not Completely Evil By Offering Free Drag Shows On-Demand For Pride

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:27:52 -0700

Undelete, watch a sick drag queen show, then re-delete on Monday. by Amber Cortes Drag Queens on-Demand Stacey Starstruck, Amora Dior Black, and Robbie Turner. Photo courtesy of Uber This Saturday, Uber will be teaming up with Seattle Pride to offer Drag Queens on-Demand - if you’re in Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, or Downtown from 2 to 6 p.m. tomorrow, you can tap the “PRIDE” option and get an exclusive drag performance at the location of your choosing along with your ride. Uber will also be donating $1 to Country Doctor Community Health Centers (CDCHC) each time someone posts the hashtag #INDIVISIBLE (the theme of Seattle’s Pride March) on social media this weekend. This is undoubtedly, awesome. But wait! Isn’t Uber that ultra-evil company steeped in sexism, icky labor practices, and toxic masculinity that we’ve been writing about a lot lately? Well…yes. But. R Place regular Stacey Starstruck will be one of five queens performing for Drag Queens On-Demand tomorrow, along with Amora Dior Black, Lasaveona Hunt and RuPaul’s Drag Race queens Robbie Turner and Latrice Royale. “I know I've heard some backlash, a little bit, because of Uber and the current… political events,” she says. “However, I see absolutely none of that with what I am doing.” So far, Starstruck says, Uber has been “great to work with” and they “treat the people that they hire for events amazingly,” taking care of the queens with snacks during and after the four-hour performance, and paying “a very fair rate” – a full Pride price that’s double to triple the rate of what she would normally get paid for an evening at a regular venue. “What's going on, at the very top of the company doesn't always dictate what the people working under them are doing,” Starstruck says. “The current employees -like my driver, that people volunteering that are working, and then Corporate - some of the people who are putting this event on, they have a completely different point of view, then let's say like, the owners.” So, at least this weekend, you may want to undelete Uber, see a LIT drag performance from a talented local queen for a good cause, and then…delete it again when Monday comes around! src="https://giphy.com/embed/J0qq3thLkyBdS" width="480" height="271" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen> [ Comment on this story ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ] [...]Drag Queens on-Demand Stacey Starstruck, Amora Dior Black, and Robbie Turner.


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Charleena Lyles' Public Defender Raised Concerns About Police Treatment Two Weeks Before Officers Shot Her

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:32:29 -0700

by Sydney Brownstone Charleena Lyles Courtesy of Family Two weeks before two Seattle police officers fatally shot Charleena Lyles after she made a 911 call reporting an alleged burglary, a public defender criticized police in a Seattle courtroom for "pulling their guns" on Lyles during a domestic violence call she made on June 5, according to audio obtained from the hearing. At a bail hearing for harassment and obstruction charges against Lyles, public defender Ashwin Kumar pointed out that the charges filed against Lyles resulted from a 911 call she made for help. "[Police report] notes indicate this was an investigation where she is the victim of domestic violence," Kumar told the judge. "The response here is she calls for help and she gets arrested. That sounds like a big problem." Kumar specifically took issue with police "pulling their guns" on Lyles during the domestic violence call. He added that Lyles may have been experiencing a mental health crisis at the time.  "Perhaps we'd be seeing different allegations if there had been a domestic violence investigation into whoever was there and who had been called about, rather than just focusing on pulling their guns on Ms. Lyles who is evidently alleged to have been in crisis at the time," Kumar said. "That doesn't seem like a healthy response at all for someone who calls for help." While the incident on June 5 bears some similarities to Lyles' encounter with police two weeks later, they had wholly different results. In the police call earlier this month, an officer says he convinced Lyles to drop a pair of shears before arresting her. This Sunday, a police call to Lyles' home ended in her death. "In our society, we are often too quick to use firearms to address our issues and that includes police officers. Ultimately, what you see is the perpetuation of an archaic system of policing, when guns are what we resort to," said James Bible, an attorney representing Lyles' family, after reviewing excerpts from a transcription of the hearing. He also took note of he took note of comments from the judges saying the incident raised mental health issues and also the concerns from the defense attorney about "pulling out guns on someone who is mentally ill." A spokesman for the Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment. The police report of Lyles' June 5 arrest states that she allegedly threatened two police officers with “a pair of extra-long metal shears” while they responded to a domestic violence call she made at her home. The report, written by responding officer Davidson Lim, says both officers were "eight to ten" feet away from Lyles, who was sitting on a couch, and had their weapons drawn to the “low ready position” when he arrived. The suspect, allegedly a former partner of Lyles, according to her lawyer, had already fled. Lyles allegedly told the two officers that they would not be able to leave the room. At one point, her 4-year-old daughter climbed into her lap. During this time, Lyles allegedly made statements about turning into a wolf and cloning her daughter. Lim says he eventually convinced Lyles to drop the shears and called her family, who later arrived. He arrested her and took her to the King County jail. “After talking with Lyles' family, we learned that Lyles has experienced a recent sudden and rapid decline in her mental health,” Lim wrote. “When we explained to her family the behavior and statements Lyles made to us, they were surprised and informed us she has not had any behavior similar to this in the past.” At the bail hearing, Kumar asked the judge to release Lyles and divert her case to mental health court. Even though the judge agreed that the incident resembled a mental health crisis, she also said she had concerns about community safety and the presence of Lyles' 4-year-old child during the incident. Kumar resp[...]Charleena Lyles


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The Legend of Georgia McBride Is the Play to See This Pride

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:24:21 -0700

by Anthony Derrick It’s light and funny and it involves a straight guy (on the right, played by Adam Standley) learning to do drag from a queen who's seen it all (Timothy McCuen Piggee, on the left). Chris Bennion The Legend of Georgia McBride opens on Casey (Adam Standley) trying and failing to make it big as an Elvis impersonator, and struggling to provide for his wife Jo (Nastacia Guimont). We’re treated to a glimpse of their private lives, but as is often the case, things don’t really start getting interesting until the drag queens show up. Tracy Mills, played by Timothy McCuen Piggee in full face and drag, and Anorexia Nervosa, or Rexy for short (Charles Smith), come in to shake up the show at the club where Casey has been performing as Elvis, and end up costing Casey his gig. After a series of unfortunate, vodka-fueled mishaps, Casey, who has never dressed as a woman before, is stuck covering for Rexy. We are treated to a Rocky-style montage where the newly christened Georgia McBride gradually learns to dance in heels, lip-synch to Edith Piaf, and even throw shade. Just like a real drag queen. There’s some drama along the way in this play written by Matthew Lopez—Casey lies to his pregnant wife about where his substantial paychecks are suddenly coming from, and it predictably comes back to get him later—but it mostly takes a backseat to a string of musical performances and an increasingly fabulous series of dresses, designed by Pete Rush. That one on the right in the image above began as an Elvis outfit. I kept waiting for The Legend of Georgia McBride to ask its big, central question. As a play about a straight man abandoning his career as an Elvis impersonator in a small backwater bar on the Florida coast and finding success as a drag queen, it would surely have something big to say about identity politics—right? But it never really dwells on any of that. Instead, it's a show about entertainment, and even though it stays light, the cast all turn in wonderful performances, expertly paced and staged by director David Bennett. Standley strikes quite the figure in drag as Georgia McBride, and Piggee turns even everyday dialogue into genuinely funny lines. Late in the show it does hit on a poignant truth: Drag can be a powerful escapist experience that allows you to reinvent yourself on stage. To put on your rhinestone armor, and become someone braver and bolder and capable of doing things you never thought you could do. The Legend of Georgia McBride flirts with a few underlying questions—who gets to be a part of the drag community? Is drag something you do, or something you are?—but ultimately, it’s less interested in exploring those questions than it is joking about shoe size, tucking, and nailing that Lady Gaga dance number. And that’s just fine. [ Comment on this story ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ] [...]It’s light and funny and it involves a straight guy (on the right) learning to do drag.


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Don't Get Excited About Senator Dean Heller's Opposition to Trumpcare

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:21:14 -0700

by Rich Smith This guy needs to multiply by three. David Calvert / Getty Nevada's Dean Heller, one of two vulnerable Republican Senators up for reelection in 2018, has announced his opposition "in this form" to Trumpcare. Holding up a copy of the bill, he backed up his tentative position by citing his reluctance to support a bill that "takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans." Principled stance? Hardly. He's like every other Republican in his disdain for covering more children, more elderly, and more working poor. He's just scared he'll lose his seat in '18, a fate that former Trump campaign lackeys are hastening to secure. Per Politico, a pro-Trump group called America First Policies plans to slam Senator Heller with a series of attack ads for his offense to their king as early as Monday. This bit of reportage from that piece sent a shiver up my spine. "You do not want to mess with Donald Trump’s base in a primary, particularly in a place like Nevada,” said one America First official. “This kind of money in Nevada is real. … This is a beginning.” To explain this strategy, I turn to a representative from Saruman's army: width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R6PkDHuaXi8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> But don't get too excited: Heller's opposition is meaningless unless he is joined by two other Republicans. The four hyper-conservatives who came out against the bill yesterday are decoys. But there are three Republican Senators who seem at least a little hesitant: Alaska's Linda Murkowski, West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito, and Maine's Susan Collins. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is up for reelection in 2018, too, but right now he seems more worried about Johnny Depp than he does about his position on a bill that regulates 1/6 of the U.S. economy. If only Flake and Heller come out against the bill before the vote, which may happen next Thursday, the four ultra-conservatives will probably sign on and the bill will pass with a tie-breaker from Pence. But if Murkowski or Collins or Capito also comes out against the bill in the coming days, that would be...interesting. It would indicate that Mitch McConnell's grip on the so-called "moderates" is looser than it appears, and/or that he just really doesn't care if this bill lives or dies, as some have speculated. Anyhow, if you've got friends in those states, direct them to TrumpCareTen.org, where they will find plenty of tools to put what few screws they have to their Senators. [ Comment on this story ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ] [...]This guy needs to multiply by three.


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Spielberg Not Only Directed a Film With Black Female Leads, It's Also One of the Greatest Black American Films

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:15:56 -0700

by Charles Mudede

Here are best films made about black American worlds, and in this order:

To Sleep With Anger - Charles Burnett

Devil In A Blue Dress - Carl Franklin

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Moonlight - Barry Jenkins

Do The Right Thing - Spike Lee

The Color Purple - Steven Spielberg

Daughters of the Dust - Julia Dash

Killer of Sheep - Charles Burnett

She's Got to Have It - Spike Lee

Eve's Bayou - Kasi Lemmons

Fences - Denzel Washington

As you can see, there is only one white director in this list. It's Steven Spielberg. Elizabeth Banks apparently has never heard of his film The Color Purple, otherwise she would not have made the statement that Spielberg had never made a film with a female lead. Indeed, not only does the film have females in starring roles, it launched the career of a black woman, Whoopi Goldberg; claimed the best performance of an American (and black) icon, Oprah Winfrey; and is based on a book by one of the three black women writers (Alice Walker) who revolutionized black American literature in the 1970s (the other two being Toni Cade Bambara and Toni Morrison).

I will even go as far as to say that Steven Spielberg.'s adaptation is actually better than the book—which lacks the blues, the slow poetry, the pastoral beauty of the film. I will even go as far as to say that The Color Purple is (in terms of a work of art) Spielberg's best film. Banks' line of attack exposed her ignorance (and, according to The Root, privilege).


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Sad Sam Elliott: Growing Old with The Hero

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:37:00 -0700

by Erik Henriksen

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This week's entry into the illustrious genre of Indie Movies About Sad Old Men, The Hero follows Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott), a 71-year-old movie star who's keenly aware that he's about 40 years past his prime. Pros: Lee gets to hang out all day getting stoned and watching Buster Keaton movies with his buddy/pot dealer (Nick Offerman). Cons: Aside from shilling for barbecue sauce, he's not getting much work, and he's got a nearly nonexistent relationship with his daughter (Krysten Ritter, at her Krysten Ritteriest). So, you know: pretty old, pretty sad.


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I, Anonymous: Give Us Your Pride Stories!

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:25:40 -0700

The good, the bad, the queer AF. by Anonymous

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You know you want to.

Hey ya’ll, how’s PRIDE?

Want to tell us about it?

Now is your CHANCE to give us the dirt on all your Pride fun in the summer sun—the missed connections or sexual escapades with attractive strangers, the fabulous drag shows, the terrible heat and/or traffic, the annoying straight people, the Grindr adventures, how you danced until dawn (or even how you fell asleep watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and missed all the action). Or anything that’s on your mind, really!

Email your stories/rants/raves to:

ianonymous@thestranger.com

And remember, it is always and forever COMPLETELY anonymous…so your red state relatives will never know what you’ve been up to!

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You know you want to.


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Kshama Sawant's Petition For a 'Community-Based' Investigation of the Charleena Lyles Shooting

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:19:39 -0700

by Tess Riski

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Charleena Lyles Courtesy of Family

Following the death of Charleena Lyles, the pregnant mother of four who was shot and killed by two Seattle police officers on Sunday, Councilmember Kshama Sawant created a petition yesterday seeking an independent, community-based investigation of the incident.

The petition reads, “We, the undersigned, have no confidence that an internal police investigation will find justice for Charleena.” It demands the mayor and Seattle City Council appoint an independent, community-based committee with “full access to case evidence, witnesses, and department policies.”

The petition seeks to challenge the investigative process of officer involved shootings, which rarely lead to a conviction of the officer.

According to a 2016 study conducted by police accountability organization called Campaign Zero, “of at least 4,024 people killed by police since 2013, only 85 of these cases have led to an officer being charged with a crime. Only 6 cases have led to convictions – fewer than 0.2% of known police killings.”

Sawant didn’t respond to inquiries about the petition, which doesn’t address how many signatures are needed, the intended goal of the petition or its deadline.

SPD’s investigation into the killing of Charleena Lyles has already begun. Following an officer involved shooting in Seattle, the SPD Force Investigative Team (FIT) begins analyzing the incident and looking for officer noncompliance with SPD policies, such as biased policing, use-of-force and de-escalation polices.

This initial investigation can take approximately 60-90 days, depending on the complexity of the case. After that, FIT’s findings are passed to the Force Review Board (FRB) which then determines if there was officer misconduct. (A spokesperson was unable to specify the amount of time the decision sits in front of the board.)

If the board determines that there was officer misconduct, they then pass the investigation onto the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA). According to OPA administrative specialist Beverly Kikuta, OPA is an independent office within SPD, and its director, deputy director and auditor are all civilians.

If OPA determines the complaint is sustained, they then launch a 180-day investigation.

“It takes kind of a while and there are extensions that can always be granted,” Kikuta said.

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Charleena Lyles


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Manifesto is Full of Entertaining Dadaist Nonsense, Self-Righteous Conviction, and Cate Blanchett's Transformations

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:16:00 -0700

by Julia Raban

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Cate Blanchett plays more than 13 characters in Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto.

While watching Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto, a film that began as a 13-screen art installation, the audience is lectured at and berated for an hour-and-a-half—but the result is surprisingly entertaining. Rosefeldt describes the script as a series of "text collages," each of which is made up of one or many artistic/political manifestos. The words of Marx and Engel are presented alongside filmmaking rules by Lars von Trier; the result is a passionate hodgepodge of art, politics, and philosophy that doesn’t make any narrative sense but instead serves as an ode to expression and conviction.

A major draw of this movie is watching and hearing how Cate Blanchett can transform herself. She plays more than 13 characters and when she appears on screen in a different role, she has a new voice and face, made even more dramatic by expert hair and makeup alterations.

She falters slightly in her portrayal of a homeless man, which comes across as less polished and nuanced than her other personas. (It’s also her only male role.) But generally her performances are impressive, and she manages to retain a mixture of intellectual curiosity and close-minded certainty (the driving forces behind people who think they’ve figured out what truth is) throughout more than a dozen unique characters.

Wading through the references is fun, but even those unfamiliar with the quoted works will appreciate the thoughtful script that seems to recognize its own absurdity and pretentiousness. It’s hard to tell exactly how tongue-in-cheek this movie is, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter: it works. Some people will walk out of the theater invigorated, clinging to this version of the world in which every one of us is full of art, fury, and self-righteousness. And hopefully everyone will enjoy the deeply funny Dadaist nonsense sprinkled throughout.

Manifesto opens today at SIFF Film Center. For more information, see Movie Times.

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Cate Blanchett plays more than 13 characters in Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto.


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Trans Rights Activists, ACLU Ask Secretary of State to Investigate and Reject I-1552 Petitions

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:08:24 -0700

by Sydney Brownstone Seth Kirby, chair of trans rights group Washington Won't Discriminate, which is challenging Just Want Privacy petitions with the state. Washington Won't Discriminate Just Want Privacy, the group behind a proposed initiative that would repeal state human rights protections for transgender adults and students, has just two weeks to submit the petition signatures it needs to get I-1552 on the ballot. But trans rights and civil liberties activists fighting the initiative say Just Want Privacy's signature-gathering tactics have run afoul of the law and deserve a closer look. Today, Washington Won't Discriminate (the trans rights group), Legal Voice, and the ACLU submitted a letter to Secretary of State Kim Wyman asking the state to investigate Just Want Privacy's practices. The groups contend that Just Want Privacy has incorrectly stated the court-approved ballot title and summary on two of its petitions, as well as omitted the full text of the measure on the back of the sheets. The groups have asked that Wyman reject petitions with those flaws, and the same letter alleges that anti-trans activists have used false and misleading tactics to get people to sign their names in the first place. Just Want Privacy campaign chairman Joseph Backholm did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter sent to the Secretary of State claims that Just Want Privacy petitions use ballot title language different from the language approved in court. For example, instead of restricting transgender students' access to "some facilities" based on "sex at birth," the letter claims Just Want Privacy used "specific facilities" on its petitions. The letter also highlights the state law requiring initiative petitions to include the full text of the proposed initiative be included on the back of the petition sheets. "In light of the constitutional requirement that petition sheets must include the full text of a measure, we would expect the Secretary of State would reject any petitions that include the errors noted above in Sections 4(1)(c) and 4(1)(d) of the measure, or which otherwise fail to include the full text of I-1552," the letter reads. But one other thrust of the letter's argument deals with behavior that hasn't allegedly crossed the line of legality. In the letter, the trans rights groups say that Just Want Privacy has presented its argument as advocating for "Safe Spaces for Women and Children" and that it's claimed I-1552 would reject an "open-bathroom rule" from the state Human Rights Commission. "None of those assertions are true," the letter reads. "There is no so-called 'open-bathroom' rule in Washington, nor are businesses or schools prohibited under existing laws and rules from maintaining 'gender specific facilities.' As the ballot title itself correctly reflects, I-1552 seeks to 'override state/local protections against gender-identity discrimination in certain public-accommodation facilities.' Those anti-discrimination protections allow transgender people to use bathrooms and other facilities that are consistent with their gender identity." A fake human rights commission flier found at the Mariners stadium. Washington State Human Rights Commission The letter notes that the state Human Rights Commission also found copies of a false commission advisory that was distributed at a Mariners game. The flier claims that "all public restrooms and locker rooms must be mixed gender" and that "anyone made uncomfortable by the gender of another person in a restroom or locker room must leave the room." Backholm, of Just Want Privacy, did not respond to a request for comment on whether his group had anything to d[...]


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Issaquah to Its Young Drivers: Excessive Speeding Is Something to Yawn About

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:55:00 -0700

by Charles Mudede

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XXLPhoto/Getty

There are low-density ideologies and high-density ideologies. When the latter kind of ideology reaches a climax state, it generates its own problems and solutions. Private car ownership in the US is at the center of one of the densest ideologies history has ever known. And there is a good reason for this density, which is almost in a climax state: if car ideology were thin, then all of the absurdities of this mode of transportation would be too obvious.

American car ideology is reinforced by powerful private enterprises (advertising agencies, car manufactures, oil companies) but also by public institutions (transportation departments, and courts). An example of the former is found in this excellent Seattle Times' piece: "Issaquah student was doing 102 mph — and didn’t get a fine. Should fellow students be the judges?" The reporter, Lynn Thompson, explains that in Issuaquah and other parts of the Eastside, excessive speeding by young drivers is not considered a serious enough matter for adult courts. It's something that youth courts can deal with. If a young person is caught driving under the influence, then he/she will have to face a real judge. But if the young person is caught driving even 60 miles above the speed limit, that is a matter for the teens to judge and punish. And the punishments are considered to not even be a "slap on the wrist."

Lynn Thompson writes:

The Issaquah High School student clocked doing 102 mph on Interstate 90 in December told the state trooper who pulled him over that he was trying to reach a friend stranded at Snoqualmie Pass.

Rather than pay a hefty fine and get the speeding citation on his driver’s record, the student elected to have his case heard in Issaquah Student Traffic Court in March. A jury of his peers — fellow high-school students — sentenced him to 36 hours of community service to be performed at a local nonprofit.

If he completes it, the case will be dismissed. The speeding ticket won’t go on his driving record and so likely won’t be reported to his insurance company. And he won’t have to pay a fine.


Thompson also mentions a case that was sent down to kids court, despite the fact the young man was caught driving 61 mph over the speed limit, driving without a driver's license and a learner's permit, and driving without any kind of instruction. More amazing still, the rationale for youth courts is that young people just do not listen to adults, they listen to their peers. But here is ideology doing its thing so perfectly. It makes driving 4000 pounds of industrial-grade materials at a speed that could wipe out a whole family the same as a teen coming home late or some such transgression.

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My First Time Being Sober in a Gay Bar

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:42:00 -0700

by Dave Wheeler

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KREMWERK

I'm painfully early and alone. Cucci's Critter Barn at Kremwerk, 7 p.m., the invite said. I should have known drag queens wouldn't start until at least 8:30. The room is empty, but sultry crimson and lavender LEDs keep me company. The music is a presence, but I don't have to shout when ordering a tonic and lime at the bar. As if not to offend, I add "for now," and the bartender laughs. "I like that. You'll get to the liquor eventually," she says, and tells me no charge. For a moment I'm flustered and feel conspicuous. I find a seat in a corner and wait.

Sobriety came to me first as an exercise in financial restraint. I had been spending roughly $200 a month on alcohol—not an outlandish amount, but it adds up. There were other reasons to experiment with being dry, too, like physical and mental health, but when it came to telling friends, frugality seemed like the simplest rationale.


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Rock Mockumentary I’m Not Fascinating Depicts the Ludicrous Plight of Icky Boyfriends

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:27:00 -0700

by Dave Segal

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Originally released in 1996, I’m Not Fascinating is the sort of cult film you’d expect from one of the founders of irreverent-to-the-max Detroit music zine Motorbooty. Director and cowriter Danny Plotnick parlays his caustic sense of humor and appetite for absurdity into a crude satire of the music industry starring hapless power(less) trio Icky Boyfriends, whose drummer Tony B. (aka Anthony Bedard) cowrote the screenplay. This band could be perceived as the male Shaggs; their janky grunt rock and cranky vocals makes Half Japanese sound like Yes. Yet through the songs’ murkiness, you can discern the poignancy of the chronic loser.


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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Straight Man Offended by Teen Boy Catcalling Him

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:04:25 -0700

by Dan Savage I'm a 35-year-old, straight, white male. Tonight, I was walking downtown in my city at about 8 PM and I thought I heard someone say something behind me. I turned to see a young Latino kid (my guess is he was 13-years-old). I asked him to repeat himself. He quietly said that I had a nice ass. Of course I'm not interested because I'm not gay and the kid is underage. I did not feel threatened. He wasn't aggressive and I'm significantly older than he is. I know from my friends who are men who are gay and just from my general experience that men who are gay are much more forward with each other when flirting. I still think about this in terms of my own experience though and know that I would never tell a random woman on the street that she has a nice ass. I know you wouldn't tell a woman that she should take a comment like that as a compliment. So what about me? Is this a situation in which the kid was in the wrong, but we should cut him some slack since he is so young and he didn't do anything threatening? Always See Sensitively A 13-year-old kid telling a grown ass man he has a nice ass isn't the same thing as a grown ass man telling a woman (or a girl) that she has a nice ass. What that kid did was inappropriate, it was creepy, and it makes you wonder what exactly is going on with that kid. (Abused and prematurely sexualized? No impulse control? Homeless and engaged in survival prostitution? Years older than he looked and a creep? Just fucking with you?) But it wasn't menacing. Now if you told a random woman on the street that she has a nice ass, ASS, it would be perceived as menacing. I'm reminded of the Guardian's catcalling experiment back in 2014, when Leah Green created a film where she catcalled men. People responded to the film, saying "that subjecting innocent men to sexually aggressive comments made [Green] no better than the men who do that," to which Green responded: The experiment proves that while, yes, women are sometimes sexually aggressive to men and, yes, men are sometimes objectified by women, it is simply false to say the issue is the same for both genders. When I asked men what sexual harassment they had encountered, the few that had something to offer spoke of "one time, with one woman, 10 years ago." My father, who is a rather handsome chap, only cited a drunk woman on the bus asking him to go home with her about 30 years ago. Women will often be able to give you an example from that week, that day even. Women are subjected to this kind of harassment constantly and the very real threat of sexual violence colors these interactions and makes women feel unsafe. You were unnerved by that kid's comments, ASS, not threatened. That said, ASS, it isn't your responsibility to scold this kid. And, really, what could you possibly say in response? Fuck you? Thank you? Run home now? Letting this slide—as icky and awkward as it was—seems the best choice. Because lecturing a kid on catcalling would require you to talk with a 13-year-old about your ass, which, well, could get a little strange/inappropriate/illegal—and might've given the kid what the kid wanted, which was your attention. (Negative attention, sure, but attention nonetheless.) But maybe I'm wrong, ASS. A poll: [ Comment on this story ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ] [...]


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Adrien Leavitt's Photography Basks in the Beauty of Queer Bodies

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:00:00 -0700

by Emily Pothast

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Right now, the walls of Vermillion are covered with photographs of bodies. Fat bodies and thin bodies. Brown bodies and white bodies. Bodies with tattoos and bodies with scars. Gender nonconforming bodies. Each one revealing a private, interior world of vulnerability and emotion typically reserved for our most intimate moments.

The bodies are part of Queer Feelings, an ongoing exploration by photographer Adrien Leavitt of queerness and the intimate, complex relationship that we have with our bodies. "As a trans person and a queer person, I often feel like I don't see representations of myself in media or art," Leavitt tells me. "When I finally found representations of queer and trans people that I could relate to—that looked like me or like my community—I felt tremendously moved. With that in mind, I started exploring self-portraiture as a way of reflecting on myself and my own identity, particularly as it relates to gender."


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Welcome to Braggsville Reveals the Dangers of Playing Fast-and-Loose with Cultural Appropriation In America

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:45:00 -0700

by Rich Smith These characters learn that history's personal. John Ulman God DAMN there have been so many incredible plays produced on Seattle stages already this summer. Lydia. Barbecue. The Realistic Joneses. These shows were all must-sees, and I said as much in my reviews of them. So I'm worried you'll accuse me of critical dilution or gone-softitude if I beam about the excellence and relevance and intelligence and general OMGness of Book-It's page-to-stage adaptation of T. Geronimo Johnson's highly praised novel, Welcome to Braggsville. But I cannot tell a lie. You have to see this play. You also have to go see Johnson in conversation with the play's adapters, Josh Aaseng and Daemond Arrindell, this Saturday. Believe me, you'll have plenty of questions. Here's the very strong premise: A diverse group of UC-Berkley college freshman decide to stage a lynching during a Civil War reenactment in Braggsville, Georgia. The idea, which was developed during a class about the history of activism, was to trigger a racist reaction among the small town Georgians in order to reveal to them how racist their annual ode to Dixie really is. When this theater of would-be civil rights activism meets the theater of America's racist past/present, everything goes horribly wrong. Here's the group: (L-R) Dimitri Woods plays Charlie, Zach Summers plays D'aron, Sylvie Davidson plays Candice. Up top is Justin Huertas, who turned in a dynamic, impressive performance as Louis. John Ulman Charlie is a closeted black guy from Chicago whose dad died when he was young. D'aron is a small-town boy who was called a fag by his fellow southerners for being relatively smart and having feelings. Candice is a well-meaning white feminist from Iowa who claims she's "1/8th" Native American. Louis is a wise-cracking Malaysian-American who's known for pushing the envelope. He says he wants to be the Lenny Bruce Lee of comedy. Here's what my face looked like when this group announced their plan to stage a lynching: My face pretty much stayed like this throughout the entire play. SELFIE As the plan develops and unspools horrifically, a narrator-figure called Poet, played by Naa Akua (who recently moved to Seattle from the Bronx), stops time to lyrically interrogate each of the characters. To stop the action, the Poet shouts "porque," a Spanish word that means both "why" and "because," a word that contains the question and the reason. The play's most intense, heart-wrenching scene occurs during one of these moments, when the Poet tries desperately to convince D'aron that white supremacy courses through him even though he doesn't seem to think it does. During their questioning, Akua just barely breaks character, blurring but holding the line between their role as the Poet and their self as a black person just walking around and trying to live without being shot by a cop who, in the words of Claudia Rankine, can't police his or her own imagination. Earlier in the play, the ensemble listed the names of the people whose tragedies were most recently in the news—including Philando Castile and Charleena Lyles— and Akua's exasperated performance in that moment brought the collective weight of their loss back into the room. Naa Akua's powerful and nuanced performance of the Poet is not to be missed. John Ulman The play is nearly three hours long, but I didn't feel a single second of it. Credit here due to fine acting (superb acting in the case of Huertas and Akua), but mostly to Aaseng's and Arrindell's [...]


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City Council Will Hold Hearing Tuesday on Death of Charleena Lyles

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:30:08 -0700

by Heidi Groover Hundreds rallied and marched Tuesday to demand justice for Charleena Lyles and her family. nate gowdy The Seattle City Council's public safety committee will hold a special hearing Tuesday evening on the death of Charleena Lyles. Two Seattle Police officers shot and killed Lyles on June 18 after she called to report a burglary at her home. Police say Lyles brandished a knife at officers after they arrived. The shooting has sparked outrage from Lyles' family, community members, and activists who wonder why police did not use non-deadly force to subdue Lyles. Police have released audio of the moments leading up to the shooting and footage from the hallway outside her apartment that shows no one entering or leaving her apartment in the 24 hours leading up to her 911 call. But what exactly happened in the moments before officers fired remains unclear. An investigation is underway. At a rally in support of Lyles' family Tuesday, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant called for a city council hearing on the case to give the public the chance to air concerns and questions. Sawant criticized her colleague Lorena González, who chairs the public safety committee, for not holding a public hearing after police shot Che Taylor last year. Soon after Sawant's comments, Council Member Lisa Herbold, who was also at the rally, pledged to hold a hearing in her own civil rights committee. (Herbold was careful in her politicking, reiterating that her committee doesn't oversee police issues—that's González—but that she could hold a hearing.) Today's announcement comes from González's office. Her committee will hold the hearing, but other council members will also be present. Members of the Community Police Commission will also be present at the hearing. The CPC, a civilian group that helps oversee the SPD, has recently called for more power in its oversight. A press release announcing the hearing does not say whether representatives from the Seattle Police Department will be present. The hearing will take place Tuesday at 6 pm at the University of Washington's Kane Hall (4069 Spokane Lane). [ Comment on this story ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ] [...]Hundreds rallied and marched Tuesday to demand justice for Charleena Lyles and her family.


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Signal Boost

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:25:35 -0700

by Dan Savage

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The Week in Weed: Mexico Makes Medical Legal, Seattle Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Weed, and More

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:15:00 -0700

The Week in Weed for June 23, 2017. by Amber Cortes President Enrique Peña Nieto at a National Debate on Marijuana Use in Mexico City in April.  ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES It’s high time medical marijuana was made legal throughout the land. Mexico has the right idea, but Vermont and Massachusetts are both having problems getting legal pot passed and properly taxed in their respective states. Plus, conflicting data comes out on whether the affects of weed cause more car accidents. Read on! ¡Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana! Wow! Big news for our south-of-the-border neighbors: Mexico has made medical marijuana legal. President Enrique Peña Nieto published the popular bill—which passed in April and received widespread support—this week. Nieto, who was once a staunch opponent to legalization, has since changed his mind and called for a shift in attitude towards global drug policies about cannabis-as-medicine. Regulations will start to roll out in about six months. With Sessions attacking medical here in the U.S., and the health care monstrosity that might get passed in Senate next week, we might want to high tail it over to Mexico before that fence gets built. ...But Vermont and Massachusetts Are Still Having Some Issues Vermont’s roller-coaster story of the little marijuana legalization bill that could ended with a “couldn’t”—the bill, vetoed by the governor last month, was blocked by House Republicans and now won’t be brought up again until 2018. Better luck next time around! Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the Senate passed a bill that calls for a major overhaul of the voter-approved recreational measure that passed in November. Legalization advocates are pissed because the bill raises taxes on cannabis products from 12 to 28 percent—which, they say, is so high that it will push weed back into the black market (for comparison’s sake, Colorado’s sales tax on cannabis is 10 percent, in addition to their state sales tax rate of 2.9 percent, and Washington state’s tax structure is a little different; there is no additional sales tax charged, but there is an excise tax of 37 percent for retailers and producers that they pass along to consumers). Do High Drivers Cause More Car Crashes? There seems to be conflicting reports on the role that pot plays in car crashes. A study by the American Journal of Public Health examining car accidents in Washington and Colorado found no significant increase in motor vehicle fatalities when compared to other states. But another study published by the Highway Loss Data Institute on Wednesday found a 3 percent increase in crashes in Washington, Colorado and Oregon, where weed is legal, compared to other states where it’s not (like Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada). The study used data from about 2.5 million insurance collision claims in these states from 2012 to 2016. Of course, it’s hard to directly compare two studies with two completely different data sets and sources. Also, we’re not sure from the insurance reports if drivers mixed weed with alcohol, which would have negatively impacted their driving ability even more. PNC Bank Closes the Marijuana Policy Project’s Account After 22 Years This was spurred by the fear that the Trump administration will start penalizing marijuana businesses in states where marijuana is legal. Uncertainty is in the air, and banks want to stay out of the messy[...]


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My First Time Posing Naked

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:00:00 -0700

by Manuel Betancourt

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ILLUSTRATION BY LOUISA BERTMAN

The shirt comes off easily. As do the pants. And the socks, I guess. I just pretend I'm in a locker room, about to hit the showers at the gym. But once I get down to the briefs, there is a moment of hesitation. A fluttering of anticipation. Once those are gone, there will be nothing left to hide. That small moment when I tug at my briefs and take them off, a moment I've always associated with either total privacy or total intimacy, suddenly feels all too new.

There is a performed awkwardness to what follows. But John has done all of this before. I contacted him because I wanted to commission a piece for my boyfriend. Our three-year anniversary is coming up, and in my head a nude portrait is a playfully erotic wink of a gift. What is another bare ass, another (mostly) limp dick? His watercolor studies of well-sculpted naked men in everyday poses (lying in bed, sitting sideways, standing and staring), which I first saw online, have an alluring mix of raw sensuality and tender vulnerability. I was drawn to the pieces themselves for their own striking qualities, but was also intrigued by the scenarios they suggested, by the fabricated intimacy between a gay artist and a male model—too erotic to be utterly chaste, too demure to be outright sexual.


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Last-Minute Plans: 85 Cheap & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: June 23-25, 2017

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:43:11 -0700

by Stranger Things To Do Staff The Seattle Outdoor Cinema's 25th season begins on Saturday with a free, all-ages screening of Star Wars: Rogue One. Get there early—the rest of the summer's screenings are at least $5 and 21+ only, so this one is sure to have crowds. Seattle Outdoor Cinema Even if you aren't planning on participating in Pride festivities this weekend, there are still plenty of events that won't cost more than $10 and don't require (much) advance planning. We've rounded them all up below, ranging from the Around The World With KEXP Mash-Up Patio Party to the Spirit of Indigenous People festival, and from Urban Craft Uprising and the Beacon Hill Pop-Up Bazaar to the Dog Day Afternoon & Parade. See all of your options below, and check out even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar. Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. FRIDAYART1. Artist Talk: Qing QuThe annual DePoi artist exchange allows a Seattle artist to travel to Perugia, Italy, and brings a Perugia artist right to Pottery Northwest—this time, it's Qing Qu, who at this event will speak about her ceramic practice. (Seattle Center, free) The Seattle Outdoor Cinema's 25th season begins on Saturday with a free, all-ages screening of Star Wars: Rogue One. Get there early—the rest of the summer's screenings are at least $5 and 21+ only, so this one is sure to have crowds.[...]


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Inbox Jukebox: A Weekly Shortlist of Good New Music. Algiers, Hope Sandoval & Kurt Vile, Filthy Friends, and More

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:30:00 -0700

by Dave Segal Algiers: About to make everyone forget about TV on the Radio. Matador Records Algiers, “Cleveland” (Matador). For anyone lamenting the dearth of good, powerful protest songs, Algiers deliver the antidote. "Cleveland" is a chilling cry of rage condemning racist oppression. The song's an eventful agglomeration of anthemic rock, hiphop beats, and gospel backing vocals, elevated by the rousing, soul belting of Franklin James Fisher. Algiers' album, The Underside of Power, was produced by Portishead's Adrian Utley and Ali Chant, and mixed by recently departed Seattle engineer Randall Dunn. Mark my words: This insightful, inciting record is going to end up in many people's top 10s this year. width="500" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8xDDCxodgIs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Hope Sandoval & the Warm Persuasions feat. Kurt Vile, “Let Me Get There” (Tendril Tales). There hasn't been such a naturally copacetic woman/man duet scenario since Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood were sweetening and sweating up studios in the late '60s. Former Mazzy Star vocalist Hope Sandoval and current indie-rock slacker-dude prince Kurt Vile epitomize mellow, dulcet resignation in every utterance, and “Let Me Get There” plays to their strengths. It's basically a loping, glimmering ballad with a buoyant yacht-rock undertow, perfectly balancing pleasure and regret. Never have the words "It's all in the groove" sounded so righteously lackadaisical. (This is the lead single from Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions' third studio album, Until the Hunter. They play Neptune Theatre October 11.) width="500" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pyRJYnAndT0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Filthy Friends, "The Arrival" (Kill Rock Stars). Here's some good old meat-and-potatoes punk-informed rock, with a graduate degree in songwriting. Filthy Friends are a veteran all-star crew consisting of Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Full Toilets' Kurt Bloch, Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey, and King Crimson's Bill Rieflin. On "The Arrival," the guitars and bass are chunky and dense and Tucker is her usual riveting self—as defiant and tough as '70s-era Patti Smith. ("The Arrival" will appear on Filthy Friends' debut album, Invitation, out August 25. They play Bumbershoot September 1.) width="500" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p61MeOqojj0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Cornelius, "Sometime / Someplace" (Warner Music Japan). Turns out that Japanese producer Cornelius is still the master of weirdly charming electronic pop, 20 years after his emergence in the West with 1997's Fantasma. "Sometime / Someplace" abounds with Cornelius's prototypical sugary melodies and crazy rhythms, unexpectedly conjuring thoughts of a bizarro-world samba. Everything's coasting idyllically until two-and-a-half minutes in when a jagged freakout disrupts the peaceful, easy feeling. Yes! I've always thought Cornelius was Japan's Beck, albeit a more mercurial and interesting Beck. This song just strengthens that conviction. It comes from the album Mellow Waves (out June 28). Cross your fingers for a North American tour... width="500" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zi4yYCL2reU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> The Dream Syndicate, “How Did I Find Myself Here?[...]


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Post-Apocalypse Now: The Bad Batch Director Ana Lily Amirpour Discusses Her Narrative Extremes

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:20:00 -0700

by Sean Nelson

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The Bad Batch (screening now through next Thursday at Grand Illusion) is set in an arid, open-air prison colony separated from America by a chain-link fence.

The scariest thing I saw at the inaugural Overlook Film Festival, which features horror cinema from around the world, was a breathtakingly disturbing dystopian vision—all the more horrifying for its plausibility in the American present. The Bad Batch, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, creator of the ominous revisionist vampire western noir A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, is the first vision any artist has offered of what life might look like at the end of Donald Trump's second term.

Speaking by phone from San Francisco, Amirpour tells me that while she appreciates interest in the film, she often finds the process of discussing her work counterintuitive. "I'm good at interacting with the human race when there's a sensible way to do it," she says. "But making a film is that way for me. My work, as a filmmaker, is to make the film, which is already done. I think that's what I mean when I say counterintuitive. I might actually be good at it, too, sometimes. It's kind of like I'm just doing [interviews] to help—like in the world we live in—a very, very strange, unusual, off-the-beaten-path film."

The Bad Batch (screening now through next Thursday at Grand Illusion) is set in an arid, open-air prison colony separated from America by a chain-link fence.


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Seattle Police Ends Video Game Show Following Episode on Charleena Lyles

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:08:49 -0700

by Steven Hsieh

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SPD

Seattle Police will end a weekly show aired on a video game streaming service following backlash against an episode in which a department spokesman discussed the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles while casually playing a first-person shooter game.

Sgt. Sean Whitcomb launched the show, which consists of live streaming through Twitch.tv, in November 2016, and began recording regular episodes wherein he and other flacks played the game Destiny while chatting about police issues. The department billed the program, which had a small audience, as an innovative method of public outreach. Fuzzfeed206 received positive coverage from a host of local media outlets.

But yesterday's episode, number 24, struck a disrespectful tone that angered a lot of people.

Whitcomb controlled his Destiny avatar—who wears a cape and gun in a fantasy world filled with electrical orbs and space shuttles—while talking about details of the Lyles shooting, which included recounting the moments before the two white officers fired multiple shots at the pregnant mother of four. Outrage ensued, the video was taken down, and now, the department's public information office is ending the show.

Geekwire has the scoop:

“Any time there is a crisis in trust and damage to community relationships, that is the wrong time to shut down, but a time to engage and a time to listen,” Whitcomb told GeekWire Friday morning. “We’re certainly listening and hearing what people have said on other social platforms about this feed. So that is one reason why we are suspending it. Any good that can come of this would be neutralized by any additional pain it might cause.”

Whitcomb said the decision to stop using Twitch was made by his team and was not directed by SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole or Mayor Ed Murray’s office.

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Taste This, Seattle: A Sandwich, a Security Guard, and a Realization, #SeaHomeless Edition

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:55:00 -0700

This isn't about a rather simple sandwich from Pioneer Square's Grand Central Bakery, but about the homeless man I once bought the sandwich for—Jerry by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue Grand Central's current special, the Northern Italian, is currently available and looks extremely delicious. Grand Central Bakery Last year, in an effort to make coverage of our city's intractable homelessness crisis more urgent, pointed, and inspiring of action, Crosscut launched the Homeless in Seattle project, an "all-out blitz" of homelessness coverage. This year, it falls on June 28, and outlets around the city will be posting their stories on the ongoing homelessness crisis along with the hashtag #SeaHomeless. The timing of my column doesn't work out to join in on the day of, but I want to weigh in anyway. Thus, this week's column is about a rather simple sandwich, rather than some esoteric indulgence. Specifically, a pork sandwich from Pioneer Square's Grand Central Bakery. Normally, I eat the food item in question, enjoy it, and recommend it to you. But I didn't eat this sandwich and, as it was a seasonal special, it's not even currently on the menu. I have precious little to say about food this week. We can get back to $12 tartines next week, but this is important. This story is about the man who did eat the sandwich: Jerry. I met Jerry while working as a fill-in reporter for Real Change News last winter. One of the stories I was assigned was a walkthrough of the notorious Jungle. Jerry, a resident of the Jungle and a Real Change vendor, had generously volunteered to play tour guide. Just before I'd been hired, the city was rocked by a horrific triple murder there, and the walkthrough story was in response to a recent spate of very tough talk from local politicians about "cleaning up" the Jungle, as if the humans living there were so many pieces of garbage. At Real Change, we wanted to do what I still think Real Change does better than anyone: Talk to the actual homeless people involved, and tell their stories as honestly as possible. Jerry had also volunteered to tell his own tale, which is what brought us to the arcade outside of Grand Central and the pork sandwich. After a rather fruitless afternoon walking up and down the muddy tracks underneath the freeway, peering at empty tents, we'd decided to head back to Pioneer Square, where Jerry was hoping to link back up with some friends he'd lost earlier (every day is a phone-free day when you're living on the street). In hopes of finding a quiet spot by the office to record an interview, I offered to buy him lunch at Grand Central, thinking the arcade area would be mostly abandoned after the lunch rush. It was, and after securing a sandwich for Jerry and a coffee for me, we grabbed the end of one of the arcade's long communal tables. That bygone pork sandwich was no show pony—not in the way that some of Rain Shadow Meats' more outlandish creations are—but it was definitely a lunchtime workhorse, and watching Jerry eat it was a profound moment in and of itself. I realize how creepy this sounds, watching someone eat, but there wasn't much else to do, sitting there with my "You Might be a Doer" lunch. They say you can tell food is good when people are silent, and[...]


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Person of Interest: Adé A Cônnére, the Iconic Seattle Artist Fighting for LGBTQ+ Rights in Olympia

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:30:00 -0700

by Ana Sofia Knauf

(image)
Stanton Stephens

Adé A Cônnére is a familiar face in Seattle's queer community, "a staple of just about every gay Seattle thing worth doing," Adrian Ryan wrote in 2014. Most recently, the Denver, Colorado–born drag performer dipped their toes into a new medium: political activism.

In 2014, Cônnére—who is also an artist, thespian, and singer—was attacked after leaving a benefit show on Capitol Hill. Now they advocate for transgender and gender-nonconforming people in Olympia. With hate crimes on the rise and signatures gatherers working to put a new anti-trans bathroom bill, Initiative 1552, on the ballot, resilient voices like Cônnére's are more important than ever.


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Betsey Brock Is On the Boards' New Executive Director

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:24:01 -0700

by Sean Nelson Ladies and gentlemen, Betsey Brock! Chase Jarvis Heartfelt congratulations to the Stranger's dear friend and objectively excellent human being Betsey Brock, who has been named the new Executive Director of On the Boards. The former ED of OtB, Sarah Wilke (also df, also oehb), left in September of last year to take the job of Executive Director of SIFF. On the Boards is also in search of a new Artistic Director to replace Lane Czaplinski, who is moving to Ohio to work at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Congratulations to all. The full press release is below: SEATTLE, WA – On the Boards has appointed Betsey Brock as its Executive Director. Brock will work to galvanize board, sta , and community support leading into On the Boards’ 40th Anniversary Year. She will continue to lead On the Boards fundraising, marketing, communication, and community-building e orts.Betsey has a long history of engagement with Seattle’s arts and culture community, especially in adventurous contem- porary arts and culture. Most recently, as On the Boards Director of External A airs, Brock has regularly exceeded the organization’s goals for fundraising events, and shaped communications, marketing, and fundraising for On the Boards. Alongside her co-leader and colleague, Jessica Schroeder, On the Boards Director of Finance and Operations, Brock has steered the organization through a season of challenge and change. After 12 years, Managing Director Sarah Wilke became SIFF’s Executive Director in November 2016; and Lane Czaplinski, OtB’s Artistic Director of 15 years, joined the team at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus Ohio last May. Brock and Schroeder are looking forward to adding a third to their leadership team with the hire of a new Artistic Director next fall. (The public phase of that search launches next week!) As part of this transition, Beth Raas-Bergquist, who has served as On the Boards Director of Institutional Giving, has been promoted to the role of Director of Development.“This is an exciting time for On the Boards as we launch our 40th anniversary and add new artistic leadership. Having Betsey at the helm will make sure we don’t miss a beat during that transition,” said On the Boards Board President, Ruth Keating Lockwood, “She has earned the trust of her colleagues and the community, and her work ethic and knowledge of the eld are unparalleled. I’m excited to work alongside Betsey and Jessica as OtB steps into the next 40 years.”1 Matthew Richter, OtB Subscriber, alumni OtB artist, and Cultural Space Liaison for the O ce of Arts and Culture, Seattle said, “I love it when organizations use times of transition to really stretch themselves, to explore opportunity and em- brace change. On the Boards has always, through each of its many transitions, grown stronger, grown more adventurous, grown more strategic and more thoughtful. Creating an executive director seat, and lling that seat with the incomparable Betsey Brock, is the smartest thing they’ve done in a decade. Betsey has been a leader in the arts community since the moment she landed in town. When I say that Betsey is a leader, I mean that literally. WE ALL F[...]


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