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RICHARD SHERMAN + LLAMA = BEST ADS EVER????

"He’s won a superbowl. He only has two toes. But they are best friends!"

We could take or leave the actual product itself but this heartwarming series of advertisements for Richard Sherman’s line of sunglasses for Neff Headwear features the following:

  • A llama named Spartacus
  • A llama named Spartacus that is RICHARD SHERMAN’S BEST FRIEND
  • Richard Sherman talking to a llama
  • A llama judging Richard Sherman
  • Richard Sherman wearing a cupcake apron and halfassedly singing “Happy Birthday To Ya” to a llama, who is ignoring him
  • A LLAMA, ALSO IN AN APRON. (And sunglasses. Duh.)
  • A llama interrupting Richard Sherman during a press conference
  • Richard Sherman crouched down, pretending to be a llama

The capaign also features grip of photos of Richard and the llama just HANGIN’ OUT BEIN’ BESTIES

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WE CAN’T. WE ARE DYING. FOREVER.

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UPDATE: A source close to the campaign’s production has told us that “Sherm is a sweetheart,” but that “Llama was a diva.”

That Sounds Cool: Be My Girlfriend candidate Caitlin Doughty at University Bookstore TONIGHT!

Order of the Good Death founder and host of the YouTube series Ask a Mortician Caitlin Doughty is coming to University Book Store tonight to talk about her usual jams — death-positivity, creative funeral options, untangling the process of death from the American funeral industry — plus her new book, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

Seriously, she is one of the best people on the Internet. I still link to her super-personal blog entry on her cat’s death pretty often when I think it’ll be useful to someone losing a pet, and I pretty much lose it every time I read it. 

Also she answers the tough questions, like, can I bequeath my skull to a loved one upon my inevitable demise?

Brendon Kiley interviewed Caitlin in this week’s The Stranger if you want to hear more from her — or just go see her tonight (Thursday, September 18) at 7 p.m. at University Book Store.

Between 2010 and 2013, Seattle renters took a bigger hit to their pocketbooks than renters in any other large U.S. city. The gross median rent here — that is, rent plus utilities — spiked by $113, or nearly 11 percent. That’s the sharpest rise in rent among the nation’s 50 most-populous cities.

The next time someone tries to tell you that there isn’t an affordability crisis in Seattle, bust this little nugget out of your pocket and shut that shit down. 

BE MY BOYFRIEND: New SDOT Director Scott Kubly

Welcome to the rest of your life, Scott Kubly, new Director of SDOT. And welcome into our hearts. You’re officially a Be My Boyfriend candidate, due to your extremely rational, progressive, boyfriendly answers to some otherwise troll-baity questions from KIRO.

In an interview headlined “New SDOT head: ‘Absolutely no war on cars’" **heart flutter** you gave answers like these: 

There’s absolutely not a war on cars. What we have is a very big complicated city that has a lot of different needs. We have people that travel around the city a lot of different ways and they need choices how they get there.

Whoever has their modal preference is always going to argue that they are getting less than everybody else is getting and it really doesn’t matter which mode you pick. What we need to do is try to figure out how to give people as many choices as they can recognizing that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

I think the worst thing you can do as a leader is put something in and then say ‘You know what, we did this, it’s perfect, now there’s nothing we can do to improve it.’ So absolutely I want to be nimble.

I think a lot of those folks are going to be walking. It gets back to choices, creating choices. So we want to give folks ways to get around, whether it’s walking or biking or transit or driving.

Our goal is to give people choices. You may have to drive for whatever reason, but there’s a lot of people that don’t have to. I walk to work everyday because I can. By virtue of me walking into work I’m making it easier for somebody else that has to drive in to drive. The more choices we give people, the easier it is for everybody to get around.

Never leave us. You are literally our dream bureaucrat. 

**ATTENTION** Here’s an opportunity for broads

Set down your Male Tears mugs, my dears, and gather ‘round: the Seattle Women’s Commission is looking for new blood, and we’d love to pack the house with our kind of women i.e. progressive bad-asses like our readers.

The SWC advises the Mayor and City Council, which means you have the opportunity to bend the ear of the people who consistently make us groan with their inaction. 

Info is here. HOP TO IT. 

Only 6% of city-funded construction jobs go to actual Seattle residents

When I first moved to Seattle, someone told me that the more cranes on the skyline, the better, because it meant both progress and jobs. Which is only partially true; yes, construction does mean **some** local construction jobs, but a lot of big, city-funded projects actually send our money elsewhere.

According to a press release from the Office of the Mayor, “a recent city-commissioned study by the UCLA Labor Center found that just 6 percent of jobs on City funded construction projects went to Seattle residents and 25 percent to King County residents. African Americans received a meager 3 percent of work hours despite being 8 percent of Seattle’s population.”

Which is like, really pretty bullshit. So we’re pretty OK with Got Green’s proposal, which isn’t new, and wasn’t Murray’s idea, btw. It’s been going on for over a year (i.e. pre-Murray) but it’s been stuck in gridlock because of course it has / Seattle Process / committees — that is being presented this morning. 

The impetus was the 2012 Rainier Beach community center redevelopment, where only 10 of 348 workers were Seattle residents,” said Meg Matthews, of the Sierra Club, in an email. 

Unfortunately, there may be conflict with the unions; the proposal requires project labor agreements. However, in the City’s press release, this is directly addressed:

The legislation also directs the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services to execute a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for projects meeting the $5 million threshold for construction costs. PLAs provide a means for unions and union contractors to meet priority hire objectives. PLAs will also ensure that workers and contractors have access to dispute resolution resources and clear rules to help avoid the risk of labor stoppages and/or shortages.

The coalition to make this a reality meets this morning, and Murray will be trying to get City Council to move their asses and make this a thing. Fingers crossed they actually do it and don’t, you know, derp the fuck out like they always goddamn do. 

Bad is Bad. Transit is still fucked, no matter the severity.

Today is breaking news, several news outlets are keenly pointing out that 400,000 is less than 500,000.

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This bit of arithmetic wizardry comes to you by way of Metro, whose budget shortfall projections may in fact be less devastating than originally projected. The County revenues looks stronger than had been originally been anticipated (thanks, shoppers!) and so instead of being forced to rip out Metro’s still beating heart and shove it down it’s throat, it’ll just be ripped apart limb by limb. So hey, better, right?

Of course the folks over at a certain daily newspaper (the same rag who earlier this week admitted to not wanting to ride the bus due to overcrowding), claim that this is “better” and insinuate that this somehow “complicates” the decision voters will have to make to support Proposition 1 in November.

This actually doesn’t complicate anything. Reductions, deletions, and realignments of service due to budget shortfalls are not good, no matter the severity. And 400,000 hours of cuts is still really severe. These cuts must be mitigated by approval of Proposition 1. 

What maters isn’t the 100,000 hours less screwed we might be when Metro has to disassemble their system, it’s that based on ridership, Metro should be growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, Metro analysis shows they should be growing by the exact number of service hours they are shrinking by.

Seattle is the fastest growing city in the country, and Metro is well set to provide 120 million rides this year, outpacing their former ride record by over a million rides. Metro analysis shows they should be adding 500,000 hours to accommodate this growth.

So even if the optimistic 350,000 “only” number is correct, we are still actually short by 850,000 hours. So any cut to service, even a single hour, is a step in the wrong direction. 

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Things are still really bad for Metro. Things are still really bad for Seattleites who are dependent on transit or who like having viable transportation options. This is not good news. This is not even okay news. This is just a reminder that we are still in a bad way. 

PETS PETS PETS!!

Saturday, you can go get a little buddy all your own at the Seattle Animal Shelter, who are having their Cool City Pets event.

The event highlights “small animals looking for their forever homes. From 1-3 p.m., potential adopters can meet the many small animals available for adoption from the shelter, including: rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, birds, reptiles, ferrets, mice and more.”

Currently adoptable:

These hella cute guinea pigs!!!

This cold-ass chinchilla!!! 

This very-alert snake named Stewart who lives in a ~temple~!!!

These doves named BUBBLES AND PROMISE!!!

More info!

At heart, he said, it’s “just an engineering problem. Certainly things have occurred on other projects—not major catastrophes, but things that you think, now we’re dead in the water. But you always find a way to work through those things and complete the project.”

Harder than engineering, Dixon said, is managing human expectations. “There’s three things that are really critical on a major project in an urban environment in the U.S.: politics, the media, and the community. I’ve always just focused on controlling the things that I can control,” he said. “I’m known as having a very even temperament.”

He also has reason to remain calm. Bertha is still under warranty. And someone will eventually shoulder the (many) additional costs of the 16-month delay. The lawyers will sort it out, if it comes to that. “It’s to be determined,” Dixon said coyly, smiling.

Bertha is the subject of a longish form piece on Popular Mechanics that goes deep on the engineering front and doesn’t touch on the political debacle that lead to it at all. 

The piece does eventually get to the fact that if an earthquake hits (oh, btw, one hit Seabeck yesterday), we’ll all be boned, but Dixon, of the coy smile, “can’t think about all that now.”

For the next five months, possibly the most crucial period in the entire project, he can focus only on rescuing Bertha—getting her out of her purgatory and back to chewing her way under Seattle. ”

Of course, one **could** argue that the most important period was the one where we all knew there was the potential for a horrible delay like this, but sure. We can focus on moving forward.