Friday, January 4, 2008
The Weekly (almost) Alternative
Once again, a roundup from the Cascadian alternative newspapers...
[The Georgia Straight]: The Straight chastised a move by the Non-Partisan Association, with the help of the Vancouver City council, to spend public money on a private business program. The Downtown Ambassador's, who have been privately funded in the past, will now receive $872,000 annually for expanded security for downtown businesses. While the vote was close, Mayor Sam Sullivan has been called-out for casting the sixth and final vote needed for the measure to pass.
In other news, a new survey by Britain's Independent ranks Vancouver as the 27th greatest city in the world (fyi: other surveys have given Vancouver more bragging rights) (fyi2: The survey put London as numero uno, hmmm, perhaps not as independent as they claim.)
[Monday Magazine]: A new report that came out in December 2007 shows that pink salmon in Queen Charlotte Strait's Broughton Archipeligo have declined by 80% over the last four years and without any assistance, could be extinct in another four. The problem is sea lice, which can winter-over in fish farms and then be released onto small wild salmon, who don't have scales for protection. Alexandra Morton, co-author of the report says that the solution is easy: self-contained fish farms. Unfortunately, British Columbian politics could prevent this solution from becoming reality.
[Cascadia Weekly]: A dispute has erupted over the use of the "Black Forest Steak House" name as Herb Niemann running the so-named restraunt in Everson has sued his brother Jack Niemann who recently opened up an establishment in Bellingham. The court is currently deciding the legality and ownership of the title. While British Columbia, the home of "Black Forest" Restaurants, operates dozens of places by this name, apparently Whatcom County is too small for more than one.
[Boise Weekly]: This generally red state has something new this election season, a loud and proud Obama presence. Like Ron Paul supporters throughout the rest of the country, Idaho has seen a huge presence of Obama supporters throughout the state, engaging and encouraging people to pick the young black candidate. While Idaho may not be a swing state, Obamania may be a cultural shift for the potato lovers.
[The Inlander]: The Spokane City Hall reopened with the Mayor's office and the City Councillors moved to the same floor. This symbolic act will hopefully make communication better and work more efficient for the eastside city. Affordable housing is one of the major issues for 2008 and Mayor Mary Verner is trying to recruit Gov. Gregoire for the task.
[Seattle Weekly]: Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, while only seperated by a mile of water, are increasingly divided. As Bainbridge becomes a rich suburb of Seattle, with consistent and fast ferry service, Bremerton remains distinctly blue collar, with a sparse and slow ferry to the metropolitan area. A bridge between the two areas could help solve differences but the idea has been constantly rejected and looks to have no chance in sight.
[The Stranger]: Charles Mudede finds blasphemy in the new Bellevue City Hall. Built by SRG Partnership, based in Portland, the building has recieved much admiration and recognition from the American Institute of Architects. At the same time, Seattle's City Hall was a flop. Bellevue, home of shopping malls and chain stores, should never best Seattle in any cultural competition, claims Mudede. Perhaps Bellevue is starting to form its own identity apart from the Emerald City.
[Portland Mercury]: Oregonian righties are trying to prevent a new gay rights bill from becoming law in the new year. The bill, which takes effect this week, will allow gay couples to recieve the same rights as married couples for a mere $60. But a conglomeration of anti-gay activists have petitioned the state to put the bill on the November 2008 ballot with 62,000 signatures. But the Secretary of State determined that only 55,063 of those signatures were valid, 116 shy of the necessary amount.
[Willamette Weekly]: Longtime Portland City Councilmen Eric Sten will resign midterm this year after 11 years of vigilant service. Sten is best known for his accomplishments in affordable housing and decreasing homelessness in the Rose City. Of course, he also had his losses. After many years of battling PGE he failed to acquire PGE for the city, even after it fleeced ratepayers of nearly $1 billion. He did get PGE to agree to two dam demolitions. The first one took place last fall and was the first dam to be demolished in Oregon in over 40 years. Sten has not announced any future plans.