Archive for January, 2009

Close The Schools, Dig The Tunnel Redux

As expected, the Seattle School Board rolled over last night and approved the District’s closure plan.  (Mary Bass, who voted against the closure plan and had proposed amendments to keep central cluster schools open, is my new hero.)  As I ranted about before, it is beyond belief that our wealthy, over-educated, politically progressive city continues to be […]

Those Who Opposed Landmark Status For The Ballard Denny’s, Accept Your Punishment

And you can include me among those whose deserve the punishment rendered above. Thank you sir, can I have another! Sweet Jesus, this is what Rhapsody Partners and Freiheit and Ho Architects have in mind to mark the gateway to Ballard on the northwest corner of 15th and Market (65mb design review pdf here).  A […]

Burning Man Jr.

The sea of asphalt, big box, and strip malls that sprawls northward from the historic downtown core of Burien is, in it’s own way, every bit as bleak as a dry lakebed in the Nevada desert, so the appearance of flame throwers synced with electronic music and 30-foot tall sculptures of scrap metal may not […]

Why The Tunnel Is So Wrong

Well, at least we decided, right?  Hooray, we’re Deciders! We’ve been debating the viaduct so long that deciding has become a glorious end in itself.  Wretched. What strikes me is how subdued the surface-option cartel has been about this so far.  Where’s the WTF?  Hey there Sightline, Worldchanging, Futurewise, Cascade Land Conservancy, Transportation Choices Coalition,  Seattle […]

Public Service Announcement

[ Courtesy of Darick Chamberlin Design, an affiliate of Noisetank, Inc.]


In what may be destined to become known as the aborted grand finale of the oil economy’s final blow off, work has been halted on Dubai’s Nakheel Harbour & Tower, which was to be the tallest structure ever built by humans. Meanwhile, construction continues on Dubai Metro, a 46-mile light rail line system with 47 […]

The Messiah And The Wide-eyed Naive Enviros

Advocates for affordable housing provide a much needed service in a growing city like Seattle, and I have no doubt that John Fox — one of the City’s stalwarts — has the best of intentions. But as his latest rant (co-authored by Carolee Colter) sadly illustrates, his zealotry is once again eclipsing his reason. Futurewise […]

Close The Schools, Dig The Tunnel!

Get ready for the next chapter in the viaduct debate: City of Seattle, King County, and WA State officials will announce tomorrow that they support a deep bore tunnel. It’s magic! We can now afford a tunnel!

On The Second Day of 2009

…near the northeast corner of Garfield High School, a memorial to Quincy Coleman, the 15-year-old boy murdered on Halloween 2008… …the 1901 Horace Mann School at 24th and Cherry, built in 1901 of old growth fir and cedar, back before we forgot that windows are a great source of free interior lighting, scheduled to be […]

Radical Retrenchment

[ Achtung: tediously brooding and self-absorbed blog post ahead. ] OK, so I read The Long Emergency and it’s been seriously messing with my fragile little head. It’s not like I never heard of peak oil before, but Kunstler makes the case like a sledge hammer. For me, it’s been that rare sort of book […]

More Portland Envy

These are the photovoltaic (PV) panels on top of Portland’s Casey Condominiums, the nation’s first residential building to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. It looks like a lot of PV, but it actually only expected to provide about 2.5% of the building’s total energy use. The 23 kW of panels cover roughly 2,300 square feet, […]

High-Rise Apartments Marching On

This proposed 400-foot tower at 2116 4th Ave in Belltown just had its design review recommendation meeting meeting December 16. Developed by HAL and designed by Weber Thompson, the 444,500 sf project will house 359 apartments, 2,700 sf of street-level retail, and 324 parking stalls. The parking ratio of 0.9 is relatively low for typical […]

“People Cannot Stand Too Much Reality”

[ The Long Emergency back cover photo ] James Howard Kunstler put that Carl Jung quote in the opening sentence of The Long Emergency, a copy of which I just bought on this first day of 2009. The book has gotten wide exposure since it was published in 2005, but in most “serious” intellectual circles, […]