Seattle

In 1973, the San Francisco Socialist Coalition, with whom, as an Oakland socialist, I had a fraternal connection, ran Kayren Hudiburgh for the board of supervisors.

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Balancing the safety of NFL players and the quality of the game is not so simple.

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On October 31, a six-minute video titled “Chapel Chat with Evangelina Holy” appeared on YouTube. Despite the blurry footage and poor audio, the title character is a dead ringer for Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” character from “Saturday Night Live.” In Carvey’s voice, Holy reads a letter from a viewer worried about marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon.

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Washington state ain't no Canada or Amsterdam. In fact, as of yesterday, it's even more liberal.

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After Justin Bieber’s calumny against Tacoma this week, the Puget Sound could use some props. And here to deliver, of all things, is a public service announcement for transit and train safety in the form of a beautifully filmed music video by Seattle’s Blue Scholars for Sound Transit, the Puget Sound's regional transit agency.   Check it: 

In 1906, James McKeen Cattell of Columbia University assembled a list of the 1000 most eminent American scientists of his day and published an analysis of their geographic distribution in the journal Science, including the 40 cities with at least five top scientists. Those cities correspond to 30 metropolitan areas today. Those metropolitan areas were home to 26 percent of 1900 U.S. population but 78 percent of the nation’s top scientists. Today, these metropolitan areas account for 24 percent of the U.S. population and 42 percent of U.S.

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What explains the wide range of economic growth and prosperity across U.S. regions, and why is it so hard for struggling metro areas to reverse multi-decade trends? These are the questions that urban economist Enrico Moretti addresses in The New Geography of Jobs. In his vision, innovative workers and companies create prosperity that flows broadly, but these gains are mostly metropolitan in scale, meaning that geography substantially determines economic vitality. To start, the book offers a hopeful interpretation of technological change and globalization.

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Up in the Air

LATE ON THE MORNING of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart climbed into the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra airplane on a small grass runway in Lae, New Guinea. She was 22,000 flight miles into her daring attempt to fly around the world, a journey that had captivated Americans since she lifted off from Miami a month earlier. Now Earhart was facing the most dangerous leg of the trip: a 19-hour, 2,556-mile flight to a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean known as Howland Island. Earhart’s celebrity had grown formidable in the decade since her transatlantic flight, the first ever by a female pilot.

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The Renegade

Across the street from my home in Mount Rainier, Maryland, is a white three-story house with a wooden sign hanging next to its front door that reads, “NEW WAYS MINISTRY.” The house is among the quietest on the block, with its blinds drawn nearly all year round. Its residents are a couple of very friendly Catholic nuns and a quarrelsome pair of cats. I was put in mind of my neighbors last month, when the Vatican announced that it was effectively instituting a hostile takeover of the Leadership Council of Women Religious, a body that represents some 80 percent of American nuns.

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The Mob As Museum Piece

Wow, the Mob really is dead. For years we’ve heard that the decline of omertà, the disappearance of mom-and-pop retail, and the erosion of socially cohesive Italian-American neighborhoods were killing off the Mafia. It was the upside to the evisceration of community structures documented in books like Bowling Alone. My favorite illustration was the hilarious scene in the “Johnny Cakes” episode of The Sopranos in which Burt Gervasi and Pasquale “Patsy” Parisi try to shake down a Starbuck’s. More pitying than fearful, the barista explains: “I can’t authorize anything like that.

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