Archive for the ‘memos’ Category

re-announcing : the january metblogs meetup, now with more focusing on journalism

Last week we told you about our January Meetup [mb]. To recap: it’s at Oddfellows on Thursday 15 January at 6:30 pm. In the intervening days, the agenda has been expanded from us gossiping about danceoffs and cocktails to have some actual focus. Namely, some people are interested in talking about the implications of the changing news landscape of the city. Business so serious that it even comes with a Facebook event page and a co-host of Mónica Guzmán:

Save the News?

Seattle is on the verge of losing one of its two daily papers. What does that mean for the city? For news readers? For local media and bloggers? Dylan Wilbanks of Seattle Metblogs had an idea that there should be an event in a month or so that gives people a space to talk about this. The objective of this meetup, other than to discuss these things ourselves, is to begin planning that larger event. [facebook]

Of course, if you just want to hang out and help us welcome a fresh crop of new Metbloggers, there will be plenty of time and space for that too. Plus, you should be aware that Oddfellows’s pastry case is home to peanut butter & jelly cupcakes and fruit-loop-enhanced rice krispie treats. You can get your tater tots at the Wildrose [slog] before or after.

Oddfellows Cafe // 1525 10th Ave (between Pike & Pine) // 15 January

Kudos to WSDOT

My plan for this weekend involved two friends flying into Seattle, and four more friends driving up from Portland for a weekend of revelry (well, as much revelry as one can have when two of the six guests are under six months old). Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for my weekend, and now my four friends in Oregon are not likely to be able to join the Seattle contingent.

As disappointing as this was, I’ve been extremely impressed with the communications and use of technology from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Between their blog, their Twitter feed, their Flickr photos, and their constantly updated maps, I’m feeling incredibly informed, and very happy that they’re so communicative.

If more governmental units were as open and helpful as WSDOT (who even replied to one of my Twitter questions about alternate routes), I think we’d benefit tremendously. Keep up the good work, guys!

help wanted : metblogs open casting call

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photo by danny ngan [flickr] via our group pool [#]

Was one your New Year’s resolutions to “‘blog more”? If so, you’re in luck. We’re looking for a few good Seattle-obsessed types to join the crew of Team Metblogs. The main requirement is that you have time and interest to volunteer to contribute to the site a few times per week about whatever Seattle-related things fascinate you. For more information, send a note to seattle.metblogs (at) gmail.com with a bit of information about yourself and the topics that you’d be interested in covering.

Metro Snow Reroutes


Snow Star by Smohundro via our group pool [#]

Due to the weather, many Seattle buses have been rerouted or cancelled today- a full list is up at the Metro homepage. Of course, not all the reroutes are entirely publicized. For instance, I usually take the 30 from Fremont to the U-District- this morning it never showed up at my stop, and I heard a rumor that it was either up on 45th or down on 35th, so I walked up hill. Of course, I never saw it along 45th, and wound up just walking in to work eventually. I checked the Adverse Weather Info for the route before I left, but it makes no sense to me- I suspect the same is true for many of the reroutes.

This afternoon, I went to my normal bus stop again, to take the 30. After several rounds of other buses, I started asking drivers if it hadn’t been rerouted. The first driver said no; the second said he thought it might have, so I should head down to the Campus Parkway hub. Fortunately, after doing so a #30 showed up within about ten minutes and took the normal route home. I was happily surprised that it wasn’t rerouted on the return trip. I asked the driver about getting to the U-District for tomorrow, and her response was that many of the drivers wouldn’t go up the (steep) hill on 40th, and she herself had been taking 45th instead. It sounded more like it was an individual driver decision, than a true reroute, but who knows?

It would be helpful if Metro would publish online maps of the adverse weather routes for their buses, though I’m sure that’s a lot of work for very few days of the year- though if the routes don’t change too much from year to year, it might be nice to do it for the major routes. Alternately, they could post adverse weather reroute information on the poles at the stops- that would certainly be more effective for many riders who may not have access to the Internet from the bus stop or from home, for that matter. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to have drivers be more informed about the rerouting for other buses along their routes, just in case, though that would take a lot more effort than posting notices on the poles.

Still, all things being said, I’m very grateful that the buses were even running this evening, and that I didn’t have to walk another two miles home. And all the bus drivers I spoke to were very cordial, which isn’t always the case when they’re being interrupted. For that matter, the passengers were a lot jollier too- people were chatting at the stops, and voluntarily sitting together, even cheering for others at their bus stop when the bus they were waiting for finally arrived. I hope everyone riding the buses is getting home safe and sound- if you have any Metro stories, feel free to leave them in the comments.

next week : blogsgiving!

pilgrim_myrpro.pngIn just one week, Seattle’s finest bloggers and the blog-lovers who love them will be getting together to celebrate the most beloved of all holidays: Blogsgiving. Set right in the middle of November, Blogsgiving is a completely made-up occasion (just like “nablopomo” and “thanksgiving”) for drinking seasonal beverages, coloring hand turkeys, and hanging out in art gallery bars.

If you’re among the millions afflicted with a weblog (or related pathologies: livejournal, tumblr, twitter, et c.) or just a curious onlooker, we hope that you’ll join us at Grey Gallery on 17 November starting at 5 pm.

We’ve teamed up with our pals at Capitol Hill Seattle, Neighborlogs, and Seattlest to organize this evening of certain revelry in the spirit of bringing lots of people together and raising some money for Northwest Harvest along the way. Happy hour lasts throughout and if you have $5 or a non-perishable food item to spare we encourage you to bring it to throw into the donation hat.

Grey Gallery is at 1512 11th Avenue (between Pike & Pine); RSVP at blogsgiving.org.

coming soon: blogsgiving

784px-The_First_Thanksgiving_Jean_Louis_Gerome_Ferris.jpg
“The First Thanksgiving”, painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris by way of the wikipedia. We will leave it to you to apply appropriate Seattle weblog labels to the link the depicted to their modern day counterparts.

Ahoy and good tidings Metblogs readers, friends, lovers, enemies: we’ve been conspiring in trilateral talks with the likes of Seattlest and Capitol Hill Seattle to hatch a plan for a big Seattle weblog get together in early November. Dates, times, and locations remain uncertain but are trending toward a weekday in mid-November. If you or someone who owes you a favor knows of a wonderful venue that might like to host this grand event, please direct your advice to me (josh at metblogs dot com) or the esteemed Mr. Van Baker (editor at seattlest dot com) so that we might advance this Blogsgiving Festivity most expeditiously.

The Stuff of Nightmares

If all the haunted houses and scary movies weren’t enough to frighten you this October, the P-I reports that some Pierce County wastewater treatment workers proved an urban legend true this week, finding a 4.5 foot long white corn snake in one of the water treatment facilities. (#)

Yes, kids, there are snakes in the sewers, so just be sure to check the toilet before you sit down. Eek!

ETA: If you want to see a photo of the sewer snake, go check out The Big Blog’s post.

Nickelsville moves to U-District


Need Housing? courtesy of Wesa [flickr] via our group pool [#]

Nickelsville, the tent city made up of homeless people, moved once more over the weekend to a parking lot owned by University Christian Church in the U-District, where residents hope they’ll be able to remain until year’s end.

Inside the encampment, residents, advocates and organizers gather and scatter, taking care of various tasks. Each resident has to contribute to the running of the camp, doing chores or working a security detail, according to one resident, Kailli.

“All people need is a chance… it makes a difference feeling like you’re part of something,” explained Aaron Colyer, a resident and unofficial spokesman for Nickelsville residents. Colyer himself was busy sorting food donations, cooking, and stabilizing the pavilion being used as a kitchen by the residents as he spoke about the programs offered at Nickelsville. Every Monday night, the residents have a Bible study, and organizers are working on setting up an AA meeting specifically for Nickelsville residents.

Some social service programs have come on site to offer assistance, something Colyer says seems like a wise idea- he believes it would save the city time and money by not sending the homeless to services located in different areas of the city, but instead bringing the services to a large group of homeless. Nickelsville had only 42 residents earlier this month, and is now up to 65. Colyer believes they will hit 100 in their current location, and he would prefer it if they could set up a permanent encampment large enough for 1,000.

Currently over 2,600 people sleep on the streets every night, according to figures from the One Night Count. Those numbers are up 15 percent from last year, and are unlikely to get smaller given the current economic situation. Many shelters only allow men or women, and there are very few shelters that allow families to stay together. Even when those shelters are found, Colyer says, many families will only stay for a few nights, rather than dealing with Child Protective Services. Additionally, the hours some shelters keep disallow residents from getting night-shift jobs.

The camp can still use tents, wooden pallets to put the tents on top of to keep the rain from soaking underneath them, blankets, clothing- particularly men’s clothing, sleeping bags and food donations are always accepted. Colyer said Big Five, the sporting goods store in the U-District would give a discount to those purchasing items for Nickelsville, but that has not been made official yet, so potential buyers may want to verify that information.

(more…)

SPL needs your help

I just received an urgent notice from a volunteer at Friends of the Seattle Public Library. It reads as follows:

The library’s collections budget has been severely cut in the Mayor’s most recent budget. There is a 2.2 million dollar shortfall – this in the face of registrations that are up and a growing city population. The library’s collection budget is still at less than 2002 levels.

The collections budget is what is used for putting materials on the shelves. When it takes six months to get a book that you are waiting for, the shortfall in the collections budget is the reason why!

The Friends are asking for support from the public to let City Council members know how important the library is. People can write letters, send emails, or best of all attend the Council meetings tomorrow between 4:30 and 5:30 (or call during the same time frame). We put out a call for support last year and it made a big difference.

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Here’s how you can help: 1) send a handwritten letter to your councilmembers: Jean Godden, Jan Drago, Nick Licata, Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess, Richard Conlin, Tom Rasmussen, Richard McIver, and Sally Clark at Seattle City Hall, Floor 2, POB 34025, Seattle Wa 98124-4025. Tell them what branch you use, how you use the library, and why the branch is important to you and/or your community. Thank them for past support and ask them to consider increasing the library’s collections budget. 2) Email council members. Their emails are in the form: firstname.lastname@seattle.gov Tell them your name, the branch you use, how you use the library and how it is important. Thank them for their past support and ask them to increase the library’s collections budget. 3) Call City Council between 4:30 and 5:30 on Oct 8 at 684-0481 or email in the same time frame to: council.live@seattle.gov messages received in that hour count as “official testimony” in the first public hearing on the mayor’s budget.

More information available on the Friends of Seattle Public Library blog.

McPhee’s Moving to Liquor Store Location


OH, Archie! by Seattle Daily Photo [flickr] via our group pool [#]

As reported by FremontUniverse this afternoon (#), Archie McPhee is moving to the no-man’s land between Wallingford and Fremont, right into the spot currently occupied by the state-controlled liquor store.

Since I walk past that store almost daily, I’m pretty excited that I’ll have something other than Not A Number to amuse me on my way home. However, I am minorly concerned about where I’m going to buy my liquor on the way home if Archie’s takes over that space.

On the other hand, the combination of liquor and Archie McPhee seems like a really excellent business plan.

So… if McPhee’s moves into the liquor store, do they just get to keep the liquor license?? They already have the cocktail supplies, so perhaps they could supply the cocktails as well? My walk home is looking better and better every day!

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