It appears the city is still planning to cut its Crime Prevention Coordinator positions next year, and is apparently preparing to farm out some of their duties to police officers and neighbors.
As we’ve previously written, the CPCs at each of the five precincts work with neighbors to secure their homes using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and also help organize block watches and the yearly Night Out, among other things. However, due to budget issues, the CPCs will likely be out of a job next year.
Full story at SeattleCrime.com
And USAID Confused?
In brief, Bruckner’s complaint stems from a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) he made to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) asking for detailed descriptions of the budget and finances of ten NGOs active in U.S.-sponsored development projects in Georgia.
As a journalist who has had lots of frustrating experiences with FOIAs and trying to get answers from government agencies, I had to chuckle when reading Bruckner’s exasperated comments about waiting 14 months only to receive highly redacted copies of the information. I feel his pain.
Full story at Humanosphere…
There’s really not a lot to add to these charts. What they show is that under I-1098, Washington’s income taxes would be extremely low by national standards.
MORE ON 1098 FROM SIGHTLINE
Crosscut and the Wall Street Journal flunk math
Economists, researchers and advocates talk a lot about the economic return of good quality early learning, but few are as compelling and clear as University of Chicago professor James Heckman.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist explains the importance of putting returns of early learning efforts, such as teaching self-discipline and other soft skills, in the correct context, in a question-and-answer on the Washington Post’s “Economics and Domestic Policy, and lots of it” blog.
So what you’re learning is self-discipline, to stay on task, you’re learning social relationships, because you’re doing this assessment collectively, and you’re building a set of life skills that turn out to be important. So we looked at what the consequences were of these changes early in life for the child. And we see that those patterns are there...
Read full blog post at Birth to Thrive
The documentary photography exhibit, “Paradoxes of Living on Holy Land: Photographs from Jerusalem and West Bank,” opens at Seattle University’s Vachon & Kinsey Galleries September 20 and runs through December 3rd. Local photographer Rajiv Kapoor will speak about his work on October 8 at 6 p.m. in Wyckoff Auditorium on campus; a reception and viewing will immediately follow.
The exhibit showcases a series of photographs in two galleries, drawing visitors into a land of conflict and history. Kapoor’s images capture everyday life amid the constant reminders of territorial disputes.
A poster of a martyr hangs in a barbershop. A woman pushes a baby stroller past a checkpoint. In Jerusalem, a city dating back to the beginning of writing (4000 BC), Hasidic Jews can be seen everywhere among Muslims and Christians practicing their faith.
The old city of Jerusalem (0.35 square mile) is a walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem which is roughly divided into the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter.
In the West Bank, under Israeli occupation since 1967, the old mixes with the new. Once under Ottoman rule as a province of Syria, the West Bank shares borders with Israel on the west, north and south. Today, checkpoints, guarded soldiers, and barbed wires are part of the fabric of life along with spice bazaars, old alleyways, and much more.
While photographing the “costs” of occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Kapoor noted that paradoxes began to feel normal.
“I was intrigued by this place where passion could turn into a political hurricane at any time,” he said.
Alexander Mouton, Assistant Professor and Gallery Curator, says “Kapoor has gracefully addressed one of the more challenging topics of our times in a way that brings a much needed humanistic vision to all those involved in the territories surrounding Jerusalem.”
Rajiv Kapoor: Originally from Mumbai, India, Kapoor pursues photography while maintaining a corporate career in marketing. His work is mainly focused on sociopolitical issues and explores a stream of life amidst conflict.
His photographs from Jerusalem and West Bank opened at the Ver(a)rt Gallery in Seattle and were used in the 2010 Seattle Sabeel Conference, an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference, to inspire dialog.
Kai Bird, a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and author of Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978, said Kapoor’s “starkly beautiful” images bring into focus his memories of living in a divided Jerusalem. “They depict a city and a people still virtually separated by fear of the ‘other’… Kapoor’s photographs simultaneously evoke the power of photojournalism and the intimacy of art.”
A new legal analysis written for Washington Policy Center by respected former state Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge finds that, if passed by voters this November, Initiative 1098 would likely be ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.
Justice Talmadge was a state Supreme Court Justice from 1995-2001 and served as a Democratic member of the State Senate from 1979-1995, where he chaired the Judiciary and Health Care Committees.
According to Justice Talmadge, “Initiative 1098 is clearly unconstitutional on the basis of existing case law. Its enactment will only guarantee protracted litigation to determine if the initiative meets constitutional muster.”
Justice Talmadge’s analysis addresses the argument of Initiative 1098 supporters that the state Supreme Court would overturn its past rulings and today rule in favor of a graduated income tax. Justice Talmadge wrote:
“The proponents of a graduated net income tax in Washington have vociferously argued that these older cases are no longer viable, because they allegedly rely on United States Supreme Court precedent that no longer finds that income-based taxes constitute taxes on property. This argument finds full flower in a 1993 law review article [by law professor Hugh Spitzer]. The essence of the argument advanced by Mr. Spitzer is found in the Context section of Initiative 1098.
However, since 1993, the Washington Supreme Court has been confronted with cases in which the continuing validity of the ‘income as property’ cases was questioned and has rejected the argument articulated in the Spitzer law review article.
. . . Based upon this authority, it is likely the Washington Supreme Court would find the tax created by Initiative 1098 is a property, not an excise, tax.”
Justice Talmadge also found that Initiative 1098 may violate basic equal protection provisions of the U.S. and state constitutions, because of the large exemption before the income tax applies:
“Finally, a feature of Initiative 1098 that has not received substantive analysis is the large exemption contained in the measure before the income tax applies, essentially targeting certain income earners for the tax. The constitutionality of such a provision on equal protection grounds is questionable. Both the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 12 of the Washington Constitution provide that Washington citizens are entitled to equal treatment under the law . . .
Moreover, it is difficult to understand the rational basis for the initiative’s conclusion that the magical point at which a graduated net income tax should start to apply is $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples in our state. Seemingly, if a graduated net income tax is wise public policy for Washington’s tax structure, it should apply more broadly to all income earners.”
We asked for Justice Talmadge’s legal opinion to gain insight into how the state Supreme Court would treat the claims of I-1098’s supporters. Justice Talmadge’s tightly reasoned analysis convincingly eliminates any gray area that proponents have attempted to create, and confirms that the only legal way to impose a graduated income tax on Washingtonians is through a constitutional amendment.
Justice Talmadge’s I-1098 legal opinion
Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center. He serves on the Executive Committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News. Mercier also serves on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and was an adviser to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee.
Seattle Film Guide” Aug 27- Sept 2
Opening This Week
Animal Kingdom Bill White Reviews it for Seattle PostGlobe
Mesrine: Killer Instinct ”In this first serving of his two part profile on (French gangster/showman Jacques Mesrine) director Jean-Francoise Richet proves maddeningly loath to edit his material.” Nicolas Rapold, Seattle Weekly
The Last Exorcism ”a welcome twist to the demonic-possession movie” Nick Pinkerton, Seattle Weekly
Takers i don’t think there will be many, not for this one.
Bill White Reviews it for Seattle PostGlobe
Looking for Eric (NWFF, Aug 27-Sept 2) Bill White Reviews it for Seattle PostGlobe
Centurion (Varsity, Aug 27-Sept 2) ”An extended chase across snowy Scottish peaks and through misty forests (a literal fog of war). The genre? Lost platoon.” Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly
Compare to Disney (Grand Illusion, Aug 27-Sept 2) The second and final week of Dennis Nybeck’s Animation Festival includes A Toytown Tale (1931) Mickey Mouse spawned many imitators. This was the only one that resulted in a Disney lawsuit against. One More Time (1931) Warner’s best attempt at their own Mickey Mouse, a character called Foxy. Snow White (1933) Max Fleischer’s version done several years before Disney’s. This featured Betty Boop and the voice of Cab Calloway. Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas (1938) Long before Disney’s Pocahontas, Tex Avery did this version. Porky In Wackyland (1938) Disney had a flop in 1951 with Alice In Wonderland. This earlier version by Bob Clampett is much better. You Ought To Be In Pictures (1940) Friz Freleng combines live action and animation fifty years before Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit. A Corny Concerto (1943) Warner Brother’s wonderful parody of Fantasia. Written by Frank Tashlin, and directed by Bob Clampett. Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)Tex Avery makes fun of Disney’s approach to fairy tales with an adult version….and more!
Agora What went wrong? Chilean born Alejandro Amenábar has been such a reliable director, with “Open Your Eyes” and “The Sea Inside” being two of the best Spanish pictures of the last decade. Even his first English language film, “The Others,” was distinguished, so we can’t blame the total failure of “Agora” on a language or cultural problem. Even discounting the total sham and shambles of a script that attributes the discovery of elliptical orbits to a woman who lived 12 centuries before Johannes Kepler set down the laws of planetary motion, “Agora” is a lousy picture, with Rachel Weisz’s Hypatia being the most ludicrous historical impersonation since John Wayne played Genghis Khan in “The Conqueror.” Everything in “Agora” is off the mark and over the top, from the thick black eyebrows that look like they were etched upon the actors with pieces of coal, to the soundtrack that sounds like it is signaling the end of the world every time something exciting is supposed to be happening. The story begins in 391 AD, with the Christians storming the library at Alexandria, and ends some years later with Cyril’s plan to exterminate the Alexandrian Jews. Spanning these two events is the love story between philosopher Hypatia and her admirer Orestes, who proclaims his love by sticking two flutes in his mouth and blowing them simultaneously like Roland Kirk. In truth, it was the relationship between these two that was blamed for Orestes’ resistance to Cyril’s way of running things in Alexandria, a situation that was barbarically resolved by Hypatia being ambushed and skinned alive. In the movie, she is stoned for witchcraft, apparently because she disputed the geometry through which it was believed God designed the universe.
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore ”the bloody race war between cats and dog reaches a temporary truce” Lindy West, The Stranger
Despicable Me “a silly antidote to Toy Story 3′s thoughtful heaviness” Robert Wilonsky, Seattle Weekly
Dinner For Schmucks ”francis veber’s original was fundamentally on the side of the idiots, Not so Dinner, which turns the original’s snobbish cruel editor into paul rudd” Dan Kois, The Weekly
Eat, Pray, Love All at the same time, or is there a protocol?
The Expendables ”i am not convinced that this is not a documentary about eric roberts’s actual life” Lindy West, The Stranger
The Extra Man ”twee comedy of lonely new york oddballs” Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly
The Girl who Played With Fire Bill White Reviews it for Seattle PostGlobe
I Am Love A silly taste of erotic tragedy posing as a grand sweeping melodrama.
Inception ”director nolan either can’t articulate or doesn’t believe in a distinction between living feelings and dreams” Nick Pinkerton, Seattle Weekly
The Kids Are All Right ”serious comedy, powered by an enthusiastic cast and full of good-natured innuendo” J. Hoberman, Seattle Weekly
The Last Airbender What is an airbender?
Lottery Ticket ”works best when it uses the housing project to orchestrate zany collisions of broad comic types “Dan Kois, Seattle Weekly
Mao’s Last Dancer ”nothing in driving miss daisy throws light on mao’s last summer – and the same holds true the other way around” Charles Mudede, The Stranger
The Other Guys ”somebody didn’t pack enough comedy for this long trip” Nick Pinkerton, Seattle Weekly
Patrik, Age 1.5 Here’s one for those who believe that the Swedes are more progressive than us. “Patrik, Age 1.5” is the kind of “gays are people too” soap opera that was popular in the states about 25 years ago, when liberal America was just getting used to the idea of same-sex couples as neighbors. From the reaction these guys get upon moving into their suburban palace, one might take them for Sweden’s first gay couple to come out of the closet. One difference is that they are legally married, and can therefore adopt a child, an issue still plaguing the childless, unmarried “partners” on these shores. The story, slight as it is, is predicated upon a clerical error. Patrik is not a one and a half years old toddler , but a fifteen year old, homophobic delinquent. For two cloying, predictable hours, we watch him transform into a sensitive, poetic youth who has a way with roses.
Peopli Live Bollywood. It’s in Queen Anne now. Watch out. Your neighborhood theater may be next.
Piranha 3D At least it’s not another Pixar film.
Salt ”the Spy Flick Rewritten for Angelina Jolie After Tom Cruise Dropped Out” Karina Longworth, Seattle Weekly
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World ”boy, does this movie have some merit” Paul Constant, The Stranger
Step Up 3D Step up to what?
The Switch ”(jennifer) aniston, looking every bit the the flawless yoga goddess with lush hair the same golden tone as her tanned skln” Karina Longworth, Seattle Weekly
Toy Story 3 I tried to watch the first one. It scares me when baby-brained nonsense like this tops the best ten lists at the end of the year. Doesn’t anybody remember the old adage from commercial television commercial breaks? Trix are for kids.
Vampires Suck They certainly do, but not nearly so much as certain vampire movies.
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest Read Bill White’s Seattle PostGlobe Review
Winter’s Bone Read Bill White’s PostGlobe Review
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From the first scene, in which he awkwardly watches television while medics try to revive his heroin-overdosed mother, Joshua “J” Cody (James Frecheville) fits the classic mold of the passive protagonist. Building a story around a passive character can be a tricky business, especially in the movies, which demand endearing action figures on the prows of their storylines. When it fails, the audience is likely to drool off into a disengaged fugue state. When it works, the world of the movie is clarified by the individuation of its ensemble players, not dulled by their relative usefulness to the cause of an active protagonist.
In his first film role, Frecheville is a fascinating nobody. He never telegraphs his moves, perhaps because he has not yet learned such bad practices. His performance is naked. If he tried to dress it, he would probably button his shirt wrong and put his underwear on backwards. He is a living contradiction of the rule of “given circumstances.” Part of his charisma is our wish to know where he is, but he is never in anybody’s “given circumstances.” Were he in such straights, he would certainly run. Like that other passive protagonist, Prince Hamlet, he will eventually be forced to act, and it won’t be hard to anticipate his action, but there will be no sparing the audience form the when and how of its coming.
The situation of “Animal Kingdom” is as simple as a spider’s web. Before his mother is even buried in the ground, J is whisked off to live with his Grandma Smurf (Jacki Weaver) and her boys Pope, Darren, and Craig, armed robbers all, who a rogue police unit is murdering in cold blood, one at a time. When the Cody boys avenge the killing of one of their own by slaughtering two cops, the innocent J is brought in for questioning, and the rest of the family is afraid he will talk. The entire cast is excellent, but Weaver is particularly notable. Her portrait of a psychopathic matriarch is as original as Shelley Winters turn as Ma Barker in Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” was trite. Her face is a bad omen of what Emily Watson might look like twenty years from now, were she to take the Bette Davis route to aging.
Australian Writer/director David Michôd has done a brilliant job on all fronts. There are some minor problems, such as the dense first-person narration that makes the opening reel play like a lackluster imitation of “Goodfellas.” The narration is dropped as soon as the expository pontification dries up, and the movie starts to breathe. Like recent crime pictures “Red Riding” and “Gommorah,” the gray areas of the good and evil spectrum have turned to black. As J searches for the right action to take, he discovers there is no right or wrong left in the world any more, and that every person, no matter how peripheral, is involved in everything that happens.
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Grab your library DVDs now! Seattle public libraries are set to close Monday and remain shut until Tuesday, Sept. 7, due to library budget cuts totaling $3 million.
Here’s a list of the many things you can’t do during the closure, according to a library press release:
Most Library services will be unavailable during the one-week closure and will have the following impacts:
- No materials will be due and no fines will be accrued.
- The last day to check out Library items before the closure is Sunday, Aug. 29. The Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., will be open until 6 p.m. that day and another 11 branches will be open until 5 p.m. Visit www.spl.org or call 206-386-4636 for more information on Library locations and hours.
- No book drops will be open. The Central Library book drops will close at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29 and will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. Book drops at branches that are open on Sundays will close at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. The book drops will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. Book drops at branches that are closed on Sundays will close at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. The book drops will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.
- Limited access to the online catalog. Patrons will be able to search the catalog and check their Library record but will not be able to place holds on items. No staff will be working to process the thousands of books and materials that customers normally put on hold.
- Limited access to the website (www.spl.org). The online calendar, databases, downloadable books and media, digital special collections, podcasts, SPL Mobile app and blogs will be available, but other online information and features will not be available. No staff members will be working to maintain the site or troubleshoot problems.
- No Library computers will be available. Patrons will not be able to reserve a computer for the week the Library system is closed.
- No access to Wi-Fi.
- No book group kits will be sent, received or returned during the one-week closure. Kits will be sent to libraries as usual on the last Wednesday of the month, Aug. 25. Kits not available then will be sent as soon as possible after Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.
- No programs or events in Library meeting rooms.
- No TeleCirc, the Library’s telephone circulation service that provides patrons with information on their Library account.
- No Quick Information telephone service.
- No Text a Librarian, e-mail a librarian or chat with a librarian.
- No mail will be received during the closure. The Library will have the U.S. Post Office hold all mail until the Library reopens. There will not be staff available to accept deliveries.
- No Mobile Services.
- No parking in library garages. The Central Library, Capitol Hill Branch and Ballard Branch garages will be closed.
Neighborhood Service Centers located at the Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill branches will provide assistance by appointment only. The Lake City Neighborhood Service Center and parking garage will remain open. It is co-located with the Lake City Branch, but has a separate entrance.