Monthly Archives: May 2010

37% ‘real’ chance of the Big One hitting Pacific NW — that’s a quake as big as Chile’s

The Pacific Northwest has a 37 percent chance of being hit by an earthquake as big as Chile’s in the next 50 years, according to the news web site of the journal Nature. That more than doubles previous estimates of a 10 to 15 percent risk of a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake.

According to the article:

“The last earthquake on the subduction zone was on 27 January 1700… [T]he next earthquake is overdue, and there’s a 37% probability it will occur somewhere along the Cascadia fault in the next 50 years.

“Public officials should maybe look at the new numbers and think about this earthquake as a real possibility in the next 50 years, instead of just a remote possibility,” Goldfinger says.

Put another way:

“It’s time for communities from Northern California through Seattle to check their earthquake and tsunami plans and get busier than ever  retrofitting vulnerable buildings,” writes Andrew Revkin at his DotEarth blog at The New York Times’ web site.

Read the full Nature article here




 Engineer: Seattle, Pacific NW ‘most vulnerable to a mega-quake like Chile’s’

What if an 8.8 quake hit Seattle?

Earthquake in Chile shows what might happen in Seattle, Portland

Animated simulation of what a strong earthquake would do to the Alaskan Way viaduct

What to do in an earthquake

See recent Washington earthquakes with this earthquake tracker

How hazardous is your neighborhood? See this map

Seattle’s advice for protecting your home

Group is forming to make sure Capitol Hill stays safe in emergencies

Seattle protests Israel’s attack on humanitarian convoy

Local residents will stand in vigil today to protest illegal actions taken by Israel last night. 

In an international act of piracy and murder in international waters, the Israeli navy intercepted, boarded, and opened fire on humanitarian activists on a flotilla of ships attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip.  Activists are reported to have waved white flags.

Many Seattle residents have friends and colleagues aboard the flotilla.

According to news reports, Israeli commandos killed as many as 19 humanitarian activists on board one ship, and have abducted all 700 passengers on board the six boats composing the flotilla who are in the process of being sent against their will to Israel for arrest and/or deportation.

In July 2008, the United States signed a contract worth $1.9 billion to transfer the latest-generation of naval combat vessels to Israel at U.S. taxpayer expense.  Currently, Congress is in the process of appropriating a record $3.2 billion in military aid to Israel this budget year.

Seattle residents will stand in vigil at 1:00 PM today just outside of Folklife at Seattle Center near the corner of 5th and Broad.  The vigil is organized by local groups including Palestine Solidarity Committee, Voices of Palestine and the Save Gaza Campaign.

For more information, contact Amin Odeh 206 605 8448 or Ed Mast  206 633-1086.

Forget about nude beaches and pot, save the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Enjoy the bullshit way mainstream media looks at the world. On the mayor’s Ideas for Seattle list of hundreds of good ideas from people thinking about how to help the city, the headlines are about nude beaches and dope. We’d like to highlight the current #8 top-ranked idea — Keep the Conservatory at Volunteer Park Open :

So many of these ideas are about creating a better future. What about maintaining what is beautiful and good for this city? It’s a warm, quiet and beautiful place. We should maintain and preserve it for the future. Closing it would be shortsighted.

We know the Conservatory doesn’t necessarily involve public nudity, nor marijuana but maybe you can still stop by the site and add your vote to the tally.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Parks Department is expected to announce midyear budget cutbacks in the next week. At the end of April, Parks announced that 24 of its 27 wading pools could face closure this summer including the Cal Anderson pool. The Volunteer Park wading area is reportedly not being considered for cutbacks. Also on the most recent possible cut list — the Parks-run community centers like Miller. CHS also reported on the concerns from the group Friends of the Conservatory that says it fears the Volunteer Park landmark might face the budget axe as it approaches its 100-year anniversary in 2012.


Want free architectural advice? Performance architect wants to give it to five Seattleites

In a repeat of an event in Berlin titled Its Form Will Follow Your Performance, Alex Schweder is looking for five people in Seattle who want free architectural advice from a performance architect. Ideally, he says, the five will not be directly connected to the art world.  

Its Form Will Follow Your Performance (Seattle) runs at Lawrimore from June 9 – 16. Prospective clients can email their interest to:  with the subject line “Free Architectural Advice.”

From Lawrimore Project, where the results will be exhibited:

These people need to be of limited means, and willing to have this process documented and agree to him exhibiting or publishing this documentation. He will then meet with these ‘clients’ for about an hour at Lawrimore Project and hear what is wrong with their apartments. He will then give them free advice about how to renovate their apartment. they will go home and ‘perform’ this renovation, document it and send it to him via email… (more)

UPDATE: 19 KILLED –Israelis gun down activists on boats carrying aid to Gaza

This report was updated at 10:53 a.m. on Monday


From Larry Johnson’s blog: Looking for Trouble.

(begin update)

As many as 19 people were killed on boats carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza were attacked tonight by Israeli forces while the flotilla was still in international water, according to activists on the ships and news reports.

The latest Al Jazeera report says that:

“Israeli commandos have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships off the coast of the Gaza Strip, killing up to 19 people on board.

Dozens of others were injured when troops raided the convoy of six ships, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla, early on Monday.


Israel said activists on board attacked its commandos as they boarded the ships, while the flotilla’s organisers (Free Gaza Movement) said the Israeli forces opened fire first, as soon as they stormed the convoy.”

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects.”

No one on the ships was armed.

(end update)

BBC reported that:

“The Israeli navy has stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, with reports of at least two people killed.

Armed forces boarded the vessels overnight, clashing with some of the 600 protesters on board.

The exact location of the interception is unclear. Israel had warned the ships not to enter its territorial waters.

The ships are carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to try to break an Israeli-led blockade.

Turkish TV pictures taken on board the Turkish ship leading the flotilla show Israeli soldiers fighting to control passengers.

The footage showed a number of people, apparently injured, lying on the ground. The sound of gunshots could be heard. It is not clear whether the fighting is continuing.”

An earlier statement on the website of the Free Gaza Movement said:

On May 24, 2010, the Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Gaza determined to, once again, challenge Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in an open-air prison. Under the coordination of the Free Gaza Movement, numerous human rights organizations, including the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), the Perdana Global Peace Organization from Malaysia, the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, and the Swedish and Greek Boat to Gaza initiatives will send three cargo ships loaded with reconstruction, medical and educational supplies. At least five passenger boats with over 600 people on board will accompany the cargo ships.

These passengers include members of Parliament from around the world, U.N., human rights and trade union activists, as well as journalists who will document the largest coordinated effort to directly confront Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and take in basic supplies.

The mission, according to the Free Gaza Movement site, is “to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.

“We have not and will not ask for Israel’s permission. It is our intent to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world.”

The group has stressed that they want to achieve their goals through nonviolence.

Drink to Dennis Hopper at the Hideout

Note from Greg Lundgren:

Dennis Hopper is dead.. At 74 years old, it’s kind of a miracle that he lived that long. For all of the crazy things he did in his life, for all the drugs he consumed with great enthusiasm, for the very address he resided at, it is amazing that something like cancer was what took him down.

Tomorrow most of us get the day off for Memorial Day. And I think Memorial Day should be broader than paying our respects to the military men who have protected our freedom for the past 234 years. There are those that defend our freedom with guns and uniforms. And there are those that defend our freedom through a life of art and action. We defend our constitution so crazy son of a bitches like Dennis Hopper can make films, take pictures, perform and generally test the limits of what freedom looks like. If our country was a jet plane, they would hire Dennis Hopper to stress test it. If our country was a piece of luggage, they would give it to Dennis Hopper to see if he could break it. What makes our country so great is that is permits people like Dennis Hopper to create and destroy and live in a way that most people don’t understand or endorse.

Come on down to the Hideout tonight and join us for a drink in honor of Dennis Hopper… (more)



more at Another Bouncing Ball

‘Drug Market Initiative’ setback: Neighbors say issues returning

It’s been almost a year since we got the scoop on the city’s Drug Market Initiative, which focused police resources and community involvement to clean up the open-air drug sales in the area around 23rd & Union. Dealers were identified, cases were built against them, and they were given a choice: get help and stop dealing, or go to jail for a long time. More than a dozen dealers took them up on their offer and left the streets.

For about six months afterward the comments from community members were glowing. Residents could walk to the post office without wading through crowds of users and dealers. Nearby streets that were once occupied at all hours were suddenly quiet. 

But things began to take a turn last month… (more) 


more here at Central District News

Home Alive shutting down; it had started in wake of singer Mia Zapata’s murder

A year ago, Capitol Hill nonprofit Home Alive was struggling and eventually made the hard choice to shut down its space to try to keep going as an advocacy group and trainers for women’s self-defense. This week, the group announced it was shutting its organization down with a celebration on June 12th to mark the group’s 17 years of work. Home Alive was created in 1993 following the rape and murder of local singer Mia Zapata.

Here’s the e-mail we received from organizers announcing the decision — and the party:

Dear Capitol Hill & Home Alive Community,

The members of Home Alive’s Board of Directors, together with the
instructor collective, have decided to close as a 501(c)(3) organization
and to lay the Home Alive program dormant. We are throwing a party to
celebrate and commemorate our 17 years in the community, as well as to
look forward together to the ways we can carry on the work and spirit of
Home Alive. We hope you will be able to attend!

When: Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where: Hidmo, 2000 S Jackson St
Time: 7pm-midnight
What: Live music, food, a collaborative expressive arts opportunity, free
stuff! Please contribute to our celebration by showing up, listening and
sharing stories or memories about Home Alive. There will be open mic time
and we want to hear from you!
Who: YOU! Hidmo is ALL AGES until 11pm
(If you'd like to help out with the party, please contact us at the email
address below.)

As you may know, Home Alive closed our studio in the beginning of 2009 and
continued to operate at a very minimal capacity while we successfully paid
off our debt. On April 15, 2010, after weighing a variety of options over
the last several months, the instructors and board members of Home Alive

made the hard decision to discontinue operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
While this means dissolving our assets, we intend to make as much of our
organization's amazing history and curriculum available as possible to the
community (mostly via our website, A few instructors
will remain available on a limited basis for consultations and workshops.
They can be reached at

The awesome work and movement-building that Home Alive has been a part of
for many years continues to grow, and you can continue to support it!
Check out local and national organizations like the Northwest Network,

Creative Interventions, For Crying Out Loud, Feminist Karate Union, Seven
Star Women's Kung Fu, Generation 5, Chaya, Queer and Trans Jailstoppers,
Break the Silence, Communities Against Rape and Abuse, and Incite! Women
of Color Against Violence, among others. Also, Home Alive will be leading
a workshop at the US Social Forum in Detroit in late June.

We’re incredibly grateful for the support you've given us over the years.

Thank you for being a part of the Home Alive community, and we look
forward to seeing you on June 12!

Zapata’s July 7, 1993 murder was a mystery until the arrest of Jesus Mezquia in 2003. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison for the crime, had the conviction overturned on a technicality, and was re-sentenced again in 2009.


Capitol Hill’s Cobra Lounge still smoking as King County takes closer look at hookah bars

We haven’t checked in with the Cobra Lounge since the hookah club lit its first bowls of shisha at the intersection of Madison and Union back in late march. As we told you then, the Cobra was the second project from a group that figured out how to navigate the state and county bureaucracy surrounding tobacco-based businesses with its first club up in Bellingham.

Recently, another nearby club caught the attention of King County Health. Majles Cafe, on 12th Ave down across Madison, got dinged by inspectors last summer for various infractions including allowing non-members to smoke but, instead of packing it up and shutting down, Majles has re-opened in an even larger space:

Cobra owner Erin Cobb told us in March that he was setting up the Capitol Hill club differently than his Bellingham venture. In Bellingham, Cobra customers buy their shisha in one area and move to a separate club location nearby to smoke it and hang out. On Capitol Hill, Cobb said set up the lounge as one facility. But he’s also ready to convert the space to a layout he believes will put the lounge in compliance. Cobb told us this week that King County Health has been in touch but they gave him “no real word on what is happening with the other hookah lounges,” he said. Right now, it’s business as usual for the Cobra. The club also has an application for a liquor license posted so it’s possible that soon club goers will be able to enjoy a drink and a smoke. Meanwhile, according to KING 5, Majles has until July 15 to prove to County Health that it is complying with state laws.

Large funeral at St. Mark’s for Olympia bishop

With St. Mark’s, St. Joe’s and Lake View Cemetery, it’s not unusual to see a funeral procession through north Capitol Hill. It is not every day, however, when we know who the ceremonies are for and who has passed. Saturday at 1 PM, St. Mark’s Cathedral will be host to a service for the Rt. Rev. Robert Hume Cochrane, sixth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, who died earlier this month at the age of 85. Here’s some more about his life and ministry:

Cochrane, who said he “never expected to be in this position,” was the only bishop in the history of the Diocese of Olympia to be chosen from among its own clergy. Early on, he identified evangelism and mission as priorities of his episcopate.

“My vision in ministry is for evangelization so unashamed that it will produce strong congregations all over the diocese,” Cochrane said in his 1980 address to convention. During his episcopacy, 12 new congregations formed in the Diocese of Olympia. In 1982, he reminded the diocese of its commitment to evangelism and church growth.