‘Criminals and thugs have laid claim to downtown’: Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses and other Seattleites share their frustrations

I have worked on Third Avenue since 1996. During this time, I watched Third Avenue become an open-air market of drugs and stolen goods, and other criminal activities. I have witnessed shoplifting at nearly every store; stores close due to shoplifting; people defecate in the streets; people injecting heroin; and untreated addiction and mental illness cause heartbreaking misery. My suburban friends have stopped coming downtown.

Criminals and thugs have laid claim to downtown, and Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best have done little or nothing to thwart criminal activity that I, or any other brave Seattle citizen, can witness — night or day — by walking Third Avenue between Pike and Pine.

Letters to the Editor, Seattle Times

see also:
Downtown Seattle businesses and employees scared, frustrated after latest shooting

Yet some employees and managers said these new measures would do little to address the deeper problems that have made the several-block area between Pike Street and Denny Way — an area nicknamed “The Blade” — into a magnet for criminals and drug dealers as well as people struggling with homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues. Many described a sense of powerlessness in the face of a constant presence of petty criminals who often seem to operate with impunity.

Seattle Times

“Educated Fools” – Thomas Geoghegan, The New Republic

In fact, the college graduates who are now the base of the party have moved working people out of the old neighborhoods. I think here of my own city—Chicago—where the members of the City Council whom columnists from Ben Hecht to Mike Royko used to mock now have more degrees than reporters of Hecht’s generation had. Here’s the finding of a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago: In 1970, one half of Chicago by census tract was “middle-income”—that is to say, the people who made up the old working-class machine vote, most of them without four-year college degrees. Now that “middle-income” group is just 16 percent. The bungalows in those formerly middle-income neighborhoods teeming with high school graduates now belong to high-tech entrepreneurs and investors in hedge funds.

Thomas Geoghegan, New Republic

Village Voice – Photo Archive

VillagePhotosArchives

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Madonna, 1983 “The only direction I was given was to photograph anyone that made me turn my head,” Amy Arbus told the Voice in 2015 of her popular “On the Street” feature, which ran from 1980 to 1990. “The theory behind the whole ‘On the Street’ page for ten years was that these kids were inventing the styles that then were going to be borrowed by [designers such as] Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui.”

https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/09/22/the-village-in-41-photos/

You know it’s a good time to move when you get this email.

I’m out of here. 

January 19, 2020

Dear Residents:

We unfortunately must inform you of a troubling occurrence that took place in the community on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Certain unidentified youth gained access to the community’s clubhouse for an unauthorized gathering during which gunshots were fired and one or two individuals were injured. The __Denver Police Dept. are currently conducting an investigation and if you have any information that might assist in the investigation, please contact the ___Denver Police Dept.___ at [REDACTED].

Unfortunately, crime has no zip code and is a problem that affects all communities. Awareness is one major way of deterring crime so we ask that you immediately report any criminal or suspicious activity by calling your local law enforcement agency, or by dialing 911 IN AN EMERGENCY. It is imperative that you call the police before contacting the management office, as time spent contacting the management office will only delay police response time. Only after reporting a matter to the police should you notify the management office of any incident.

Debtors Prisons, Return of in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Corrections runs the modern-day debtors prisons it calls restitution centers. But not very well.

The agency doesn’t keep close track of how much people sentenced to the program earn and owe, according to dozens of current and former inmates interviewed by Mississippi Today. That makes it hard for them to figure out how long they need to work at mostly low-wage jobs to make enough money to earn their freedom.

Mississippi prohibits the workers from handling their own earnings and gives them little documentation of their debts. Where their money goes and whether it reaches the victims of their crimes remains a mystery to most inmates we talked to.

Anna Wolfe And Michelle Liu, ‘Something seems fishy’: Bad bookkeeping and poor oversight plague a Mississippi inmate labor program, Mississippi Today

47.2

A Dartmouth economist has pegged what he claims is the most miserable age: 47.2 years old. A new study by David Blanchflower, collecting data about well-being and age from 132 countries, suggests that for people in developed nations, the “happiness curve” reaches its perigee at precisely 47.2 years. Those are the doldrums of middle age.

For someone like me who feels plenty of middle-aged misery but is not yet 47.2, this statistic is daunting! I’m not gonna see an upswing for another 2.14 years? I decided to talk to some actual 47.2-year-olds to find out what it is about 47.2-hood that’s so miserable, and how I can escape their horrible fate.

Dan Kois, Slate

Random Quiz

Someone who studies ants is a:
The original drummer for The Beatles was:
SQL stands for:
The author of the Foundation series:
Defenestrate means:

Literal Interpretation, example of

I was at a private school that had rules about the length of boys hair. One guy in particular always ignored the rule and the administration would tell him to get a hair cut every so often, but he never did. Eventually when his hair got about down to his shoulders the principal pulled him aside and told him his hair was twice the allowed length and by next week it needed to be shortened by half.

Monday rolls around and he comes in with half his head shaved, and the other side as long as ever. We were impressed by literal interpretation of the principal’s request, but it still ended up with him getting a suspension for a week and he had to shave the other side before he could come back.

What’s the best way you’ve seen someone rebel against school rules? from AskReddit

Tabulating Crime, Difficulties With

The first problem with understanding crime is that measuring it is harder than it sounds. The Department of Justice approaches the problem in two ways. The F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, or U.C.R., solicits data from about twenty thousand law-enforcement agencies around the country. Simultaneously, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, or N.C.V.S., interviews about a hundred and fifty thousand nationally representative citizens, asking them whether they have been victims of a crime.

Both datasets have problems. An obvious one is that there’s no consensus about what counts as criminal activity. In some jurisdictions, only offenses worthy of incarceration are considered crimes. In others, fined infractions also count. (Is speeding a crime? What about manspreading, for which one can be fined seventy-five dollars in Los Angeles?) Because the U.C.R. draws its data from investigators, and the N.C.V.S. relies on victims, they can present starkly different pictures of crime. According to the U.C.R., the incidence of rape nearly doubled from 1973 to 1990. The N.C.V.S., by contrast, shows that it declined by around forty per cent during the same period. Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked into the discrepancy; they found that the upward trend in the U.C.R. data correlated with upticks in the number of female police officers, and with the advent of rape crisis centers and reformed investigative styles. It could be, in short, that a modernized approach to the policing of rape drastically increased the frequency with which it was reported while reducing its incidence. But coherent stories like these only sometimes emerge from the conflicting data.

Matthew Hutson, New Yorker

Apartments for rent in Denver: What will $1,100 get you?

Listed at $1,005/month, this studio apartment is located at 1431 Humboldt St. South.

In the apartment, you can expect a dishwasher. Amenities offered in the building include a resident lounge and on-site laundry. Pet owners, take heed: This property is both dog-friendly and cat-friendly. There’s no leasing fee required for this rental.

Walk Score indicates that the surrounding area is a “walker’s paradise,” is convenient for biking and offers many nearby public transportation options.

hoodline

Your Favorite Internet Astrologer Wrote a Book

In March of this year, she told me, I will begin my Saturn return, an astrological period in a person’s life that initially occurs between the ages of 27 and 29, when Saturn returns to the planetary position it occupied when you were born, as measured in part through astrological charts.

Saturn returns have a reputation for being chaotic and messy, but they are, more accurately, a time of immense change, however disruptive. Still, every time I drop a glass or miss a bus, I think: this is it, the stars and planets have begun to test me.

My return is concentrated in the fourth house of my chart, Ms. Nicholas said, which is related to parents, home and foundations, and should last until this fall.

Inasmuch as astrology is a chicken-and-egg scenario — will I experience changes in my relationship with my parents and in my home because of Saturn or because I’m 28 and my lease is almost up, who is to say? — Ms. Nicholas’s words still covered me in a sheen of being known.

And being known, or at least, being treated as knowable and worth knowing, is the most comforting thing in the universe.

Jazmine Hughes, NYTIMES

Thousands of Google’s cafeteria workers have unionized

The workers who voted to unionize earn wages that start at around $35,000 a year, according to a source familiar with the matter. And they say they don’t receive all the same benefits such as retirement plans that are standard for full-time Google employees. Their move to organize represents a symbolic pushback against the status quo of growing economic inequality in Silicon Valley, where all but the top 10 percent of income earners have seen their wages decline from 1997 to 2017.

 

Shirin Ghaffary, vox

10 assorted things from the 2010s

2010
the iPad is released

iPad (/ˈaɪpæd/ EYE-pad) is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., which run the iOS and iPadOS mobile operating systems. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010.

wikipedia


2011
The budget deficit is an ongoing problem

April 18 – Standard & Poor’s downgrades its outlook on long-term sovereign debt of the United States to negative from stable for the first time in history, citing “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness” as for why it did so. A statement from Standard & Poor’s explained its reasoning; “We believe there is a material risk that U. S. policy-makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013; if an agreement is not reached…this would…render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than [its peers]”.

wikipedia


2012
Voters vote to make Marijuana Legal for Recreational Use

Colorado Amendment 64 was a successful popular initiative ballot measure to amend the Constitution of the State of Colorado, outlining a statewide drug policy for cannabis. The measure passed on November 6, 2012, and along with a similar measure in Washington state, marked “an electoral first not only for America but for the world.”

wikipedia


2013
NSA Shenanigans Exposed

June 9 – The Guardian and Washington Post disclose former Booz Allen contract employee Edward Snowden as their source for the intelligence related information recently published. Both published stories revealing the existence of PRISM, a program they say allows the NSA to extract the details of customer activities — including “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents” and other materials — from computers at Microsoft, Google, Apple and other internet companies.

CNN


2014
US stance regarding Cuba changes somewhat:

President Obama made a landmark announcement in mid-December declaring that the U.S. would begin restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba by re-opening an embassy in Havana and softening the travel restrictions on the long-banned country.

ABC News


2015
Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli jacks up drug price x 56

On September 17, 2015, Dave Muoio of Healio, an in-depth clinical information website for health care specialists, reported on a letter from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association to executives at Turing, questioning a new pricing for Daraprim. The price of a dose of the drug in the U.S. market increased from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill, overnight, a factor of 56.

wikipedia


2016
Prince and Bowie die
( see also: John Oliver – Fuck You 2016! )


2017
There is an eclipse

A total solar eclipse (nicknamed “The Great American Eclipse”) is visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States of America, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.

wikipedia


2018
Electric scooters become ubiquitous in Denver
Adios 2018


2019
Last season of Game of Thrones
See also sexposition:

In visual media such as television and film, sexposition is the technique of providing exposition against a backdrop of sex or nudity. The Financial Times defined sexposition as “keeping viewers hooked by combining complex plot exposition with explicit sexual goings-on”. Its purpose, according to James Poniewozik, is to divert the audience and give characters something to do while exposition is being delivered, which is what distinguishes sexposition from merely gratuitous titillation.

Mobile Phone Tracking – The Times Looks Into

The Times Privacy Project was given access to a data set with more than 50 billion location “pings” from the phones of more than 12 million Americans across several major cities. Each piece of information came down to a set of coordinates in time. The result is a tapestry of movement laid across a city grid — like the computer game SimCity, only real.

Americans would never consent to a government directive that all citizens carry a device that broadcast, in real time, their physical location and archived that information in repositories that could be shared among powerful, faceless institutions. Instead, Americans have been lulled into doing it voluntarily by misleading companies.

If a mobile phone is turned on, chances are its location is collected in a spreadsheet somewhere. What does it feel like to see that archive? We went to Pasadena to find out.

NYTIMES