Thursday, November 30, 2006


i edit like a blind guy. i feel my way through a paragraph, listening to the sound of consonants, words, and ideas; the squawk of a renegade comma or miscreant phrase. i have a knack for this sort of thing. but a blind knack ain't always good enough. writers are notoriously protective of their work, and every so often they may challenge an edit. and when they do, it doesn't pay to say "oh, i play by ear--it just sounds better this way." therefore, i'm quickly learning to combine my instincts with science. i've become a bit of a grammar junkie. my drug of choice is fowler's modern english usage, but i've got all kinds dictionaries, websites, and stylebooks to keep me company.

thus, one day it came to pass that i was merrily editing a schizophrenia manuscript, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a because came flying onto the page. "what's this?" i asked. the because sat in the middle of the sentence, separated from the main clause by a big ghastly comma. as i moved to strike the comma, i wondered, "gosh, is there actually a reason to delete this comma?"

little did i know that such a simple question would lead to an avalanche of becauseness. indeed, if you scour the internet for because, you will probably find that i have compiled the most comprehensive online resource for this silly subordinating conjunction. because of its size, the because reference is being stored at the 17 point scale appendix. but to whet your interest, here's a table of contents:

because answers the questions why? and how?
because at the beginning of sentences
III. commas
IV. confusion with other words
because versus as and since
because versus for
because versus inasmuch as
because (of) versus due to
because (of) versus due to the fact that
V. the reason is … because (no!)
because and negatives
VII. references

andrew david. "misplaced modifier" shekinah, saskatchewan.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i would make a horrible wedding photographer

i'm proud to say that i have some fine photographs of mountains, lakes, sign posts, and grass. however, i'm not too handy with low light environments, sports events, or family portraits. i have a knack for seeing the world, but only if it's sitting silently in front of me. if a picture requires a flash or thoughtful consideration of f-stops and white balance, i'm screwed. and so, as you can see below, i don't make much of a wedding photographer (thus i'll try to hurry through these pics of danny's wedding), but i might make a great PI. that is, while i can't make people look good, i'm awfully talented at making them look goofy. in the end, that's fine though; even if my people pictures stink, they amuse me. take this series, for instance. it was supposed to be a romantic picture of danny and alison, but somehow that chap in the vest and violet ensemble steals the show. for some reason i just love how he progresses from thoughtful boredom to smiley, laughey, and, finally, clappy (sorry for the small thumbnails, you can either trust me on this one or open 'em up and check out zany violet man for yourself).

andrew david. "kissey, smiley, laughey, and clappy" shekinah ("the presence of God"--i just discovered this when i was googling to verify the town name; isn't that cool? danny and alison were married in the presence of God, saskatchewan.), saskatchewan.

Monday, November 27, 2006

little landmarks in the life of the blogger

(1) i've made $11 on! only $89 more and i'll actually be able to cash out.
(2) i've evaluated 4,182 mp3s. only 75 more and i'll have rated my entire itunes library.
(3) i've exchanged 4+ emails about editing a client's novel. only 1+ more and i might have a deal.
(4) i've posted 192 blog entries. only 8 more and i'll have exhausted all of my ideas for the 17 point scale. okay that's probably not true, but at the moment it certainly feels that way. and since it's always best to be prepared, i've found you a replacement site; it's a blog about reading, writing, and annie dillard. in the most recent post, the blogger (beth) talks of church, polar bears (well, they're actually dillard's polar bears, not beth's), and the beautiful agony that is writing (or more particularly, the troubling realization that visits nearly every young writer, the sad epiphany that some greater, more renowned author has somehow stolen your paper mache idea and given it wings, the elegant, nuanced wings of a monarch butterfly or a hoatzin). just imagine the coolness of my parenthetical thought multiplied by some really big number (maybe a number like 70. isn't that the really huge, seemingly infinite number that Christ offered the apostles when they asked how many times they should forgive their brother? i may be recalling this wrong, but if not, does that mean that jews and romans were really bad at math? or should i stop forgiving him later this year?), and you'll have a rough sense of how great this blog is. but there is one problem. you'll have to pay spu a few thousand dollars before you can read it. yep, it's that good. officially, the money that you'd spend to read the blog is considered tuition for spu's mfa in creative writing, but we all know that that's just lawyer talk, cause i'm telling you, it's a darn good blog.

andrew david. "yes this is a rather plain wedding picture and yes i wore those sandals during the wedding and yes thats danny and alison at the bottom of the page and yes you can tell becky that ive finally read some wendell berry" saskatchewan, canada.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

all full of turkey and nowhere to go?

hi, everyone. i'm finally back from thanksgiving festivities in salem, portland, and poulsbo. during the lonely drive to and from oregon, i had several thoughts that might make it onto the 17 point scale, but most of the miles were spent contemplating song lyrics and the two books that i'm reading, blue like jazz and the road (collectively known as the blue road).

i'm glad to say that the blue road has propelled me back into my normal literary state of andrewdom. let me explain. i'm fairly laid-back about most things; i may grimace at a loathsome vegetable or blast the evil howard schultz, but generally speaking i don't really get passionate about particulars. and it's the same with books: i tend to enjoy most reads. in fact, for most of my life i have identified my favorite book as whatever novel i'm currently reading. i'm fickle; i love the latest fling. but during the last year i've fell prey to a snobby disdain and distance from most authors. david james duncan's the brothers k has remained my top dawg for more than a year, and (despite the fact that tbk is a masterpiece) this kind of embarrasses me. so, in celebration of some new favorites, i've decided to expand the rating links (look to your left) in a full-blown blog post.

however, my parents dial-up connection prohibited me from any kind of work on the blog-front. and then, upon arriving home, i discovered a strange white powder covering the ground outside my house. after deliberating with my roommate, i decided that the mysterious white required further attention. so, as usual, i'm not going to say much of anything tonight. still, perhaps i'll be back soon. perhaps the snow will shutdown the city, and on monday i'll have nothing to do but blog.

andrew david "2.2 inches, under my window" seattle, washington.
mark tomato "abnormally clad snow dancers" seattle, washington.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

happy thanksgiving!

may you be as happy as n-than oin-s both tonight and on thanksgiving day!

andrew david "smiley" saskatoon, saskatchewan.

Monday, November 20, 2006


does anyone reading this blog believe in purgatory? i was searching through my spu archives, looking for a 5 minute post, and i stumbled on something that i wrote for a faith and philosophy class, a paper that investigates the existence of purgatory. anyway, the primary source for the paper is an article by david brown titled "No Heaven Without Purgatory," and, as i recall, it makes a rather convincing argument for purgatorio. so if you happen to be interested in a proof for the refining fires of purgatory, dust of your 21st volume of religious studies and take a look (or check out my fawning 2001 summary of brown's position on the 17 point scale appendix).

beth broccoli. "driving through a purgatory of bugs" saskatchewan, canada.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

quotes from a music prof

in 2001 steve van selus and i took a course on the history of western music. it was part of a series for music majors, but somehow the philosopher and i conned the administration into believing that we had some kind of musical prowess. thus, we found ourselves studying at the feet of dr. v-rnon w-cker, a white-haired happy gentleman who serves as the top-dawg editor for hymnology annual. for some reason i was frequently amused by dr. wick-r's mannerisms, so amused that i compiled a list of ver-on wi-ker quotes:

“Oh, curses!” exclamation
“Come on, let’s not get gory here.” admonition
“I’m not promoting persecution, but….” odd
“I’m not throwing tomatoes or rocks at other profs on campus, but.....”
“I can’t think of any real christianly term for this.”
“I don’t think I’m a fanatic.”
“Music is math, just beautiful math.” music
“I love Billy Graham.” famous people
“Bach will be standing at the gates of heaven greeting us.”
“All hell is breaking loose.” current events

andrew david. "yellow field" saskatchewan, canada.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

an excuse for the lack of blogging

i've been really tired this week, too tired to post any blog entries. i don't feel sick, just tired. maybe i'm tired sick. well, i'm going to bed. good night, y'all.

andrew david. "painting the church" kyle, saskatchewan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

a 'real' poem

over the last year i've posted several mock heroic poems from the collection poems written in brady's UCORE notes at 3AMish ca 2001, but i haven't posted any serious attempts at poetry. i'm a bit surprised at this oversight. although i don't claim to be a poet, i'd hate for the world to remember me for three line lyrics about thumb bites and pizza boxes.

this poem, "going to a funeral", was previously published in the 2002-2003 edition of second essence:

he can’t feel his hands
as they creep up his chest.
like a pair of crippled spiders
hunched over a stiffened moth.
the long fingers fumble about the button.
twisting and turning, they peek
behind thin polyester.
nibbling at a thin disc they reappear
and press it through an invisible slot.
the blue-veined monsters climb.
up and up, they mount each button.
reaching the throat,
they pull his necktie taut,
like a noose.

andrew david. "yet another picture of saskatchewan" saskatchewan, canada.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the show

hey, does anyone have an opinion on the verb "show"?

i'm having trouble determining whether there's an actual grammatical or stylistic basis for my dislike of this word. for example, would you keep the verb "show" in these sentences or attempt to change it:

"Gross neuropathologic examination showed brain weighing 1230 g, mildatherosclerosis....

"The substantia nigra (SN) and locus ceruleus (LC) showed a moderate loss ofpigmented neurons....

"Initial laboratory studies showed normal thyroid tests, B12, chemistries....

the author uses "show" about a billion times. i think my problem is that it (a)sounds sloppy and vernacular--this may be personal taste--and (b) it isn't always literally accurate (the SN and LC don't actually do any showing). however, there's a chance that "show" might have special neuropathological meanings, but i haven't found anything of the sort, and it's unclear from the literature whether neuropathologists are using it techinically.

andrew david. "doh" saskatchewan, canada.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


alright, no more politics. for the next two years years i'll try to make this a politics-free zone. i may stray into the political realm if there's news about my beloved sonics, but otherwise, i'll clamp the lips and silence the keys until the exciting day when obama and mccain announce their presidential bids.

in other news, i was editing a grant recommendation letter today and it read "dr. raffinoogin is a well rounded clinician-scientist." so, like any good editor, i tossed a hyphen between well and rounded, but then i got a little confused. does well rounded mean well-rounded or, as i thought when i made the replacement, does it mean nicely fat? that is, does a hyphen really preclude us from thinking pretty and porky?

a rainbow, a storm, and some bright sunshine
andrew david. "a storm (R) or a rainbow (D), it's all a matter of perspective" saskatchewan, canada.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

ack! i'm moving to oklahoma city...or maybe kent

the election results are in. i-91 won an easy victory. i guess that we sports fans stayed home. i'd say that my least favorite person in washington is currently chris van dyk. his post-victory quotes make me want to pelt him with fish sticks.

what does this mean for sonics fans? well, if we're lucky, some rich investors and wise politicians will lure clay bennet and the sonics to the eastside. and if we're unlucky, the sonics will head south.

and what does this mean for the city of seattle? we can look forward to paying for an empty key arena. if we're particularly unlucky, nick licata will get his improvement project passed and we'll pay millions of dollars to have the sports-free seattle center area renovated. lots and lots of pretty trees and foot friendly promenades. i realllllly hope the sonics go to kirkland, kent, or somewhere on the eastside. it will be painfully delicious when the city gets burned by this. i'll smile darkly when businesses in lower queen anne shut down and kent becomes the new concert scene.

andrew david. "election night" saskatchewan, canada.

Monday, November 06, 2006

the 17 point scale cancels its no endorsement in i-937

the 17 point scale no longer chooses to offer an endorsement for initiative measure 937 (i-937). i'm confused. i don't even know what i'm voting for, so how can i offer an endorsement? however, we still urge you to vote NO on i-91!

earlier today i told my accountant (errr...that is, he's an accountant, and he was the first to show me the free online services that do all the tax work for me) that i was wavering on my no vote. jonathan attempted to encourage me in my no vote by citing this reasoning:

"...I think that corporations need to have the foresight to privately research on their own. I don’t think that this should be imposed on them by the government. If Matt and you are right that we are going to eventually run out of our naturally resources (which I disagree) than the corporations should be savvy enough to figure that on their own and not have sanctions imposed. I think I am really going to scare you, but have you thought about Nuclear Power?"

my friend the alternative energy engineer also commented on yesterday's blog. actually, it was more like a letter to the editor:


Though I’m studying sustainable energy, I don’t claim to have all the facts, especially about Washington State. That being said…

I disagree with your position.

I think you hit the nail on the head that in you point ii response to Beth: “the intitiative doesn't say water is NOT renewable, it just doesn't include it. the supporters of 937 say that that's because we're already maxed out with hydro--we won't be building new dams anytime soon. i haven't heard fish mentioned, but wikipedia does include damage to fish runs as one of the negatives to hydro.”

From my understanding (based on a water management class I took last semester) we’ve pretty much reached the “balance” as far as industrial size hydro power in the US. In that, were we could build them, we pretty much did…everywhere in the continental US that is. And I would also guess that it is likely that any expansions, or small pockets of untouched potential hydro sites, are pretty much off limits because of the perception of what hydro power does to ecosystems (i.e., salmon).

So basically, I think your premise that hydros provide a good source of renewable energy is 100% correct. But I thinking voting against the proposition does a lot more harm, and no good. (Not living in Washington anymore, I haven’t even read this proposition, and completely base any knowledge of it off of your blog.)

Here’s a pretty bad analogy:

Little 10 year old Jimmy has cancer, not the kind that is instantly fatal, but in about 5 years he is going to die unless his cancer is treated. Jimmy also has strep throat as a result of his weekend immune system. Do we choose not to treat the strep throat because it won’t cure the cancer? Or do we tell little Jimmy, “sorry buddy, this strep throat is indirectly related to your terminal illness, but since treating it won’t directly cure your cancer, you’re just going to have to suffer the intense pain, sorry buddy.”

OK, so this analogy doesn’t apply on several levels, and is pretty extreme…but here’s my opinion: The US is horribly addicted to cheap energy derived from cheap oil. There are all sorts of sick geopolitical dimensions to this that go well beyond the scope of this blog (see the movie Syriana for a fictionalized representation …to get your mind going), but even ignoring that, something needs to be done. ANY move toward renewable energy is good.

I agree with you that hydro should have been included. But why does it matter that it wasn’t? Couldn’t another bill be added, or this be amended next year so that it is “more encompassing”? Why would you want to shutdown a good thing that wasn’t perfect but still good?

I don’t see how voting no will do anything except take a step in the wrong direction? Even if the bill only took half a step in the right direction, at least it was in the right direction.

Furthermore, look at your energy bill. What are you paying per kWhr? I bet 12 cents, right? In NYC I’m paying 20 cents, but frankly, even on a tiny student budget in one of the most expensive cities, my utility bill is still a very minor part of my overall expenses. The community I worked with in Africa had to pay closer to $2-3 per kWhr!!! This is only slightly higher than much of Africa. There are a lot of reasons for this disparity – the rich pay less while those that can’t afford it pay more – that again go beyond the scope of this conversation. Additionally the REAL climate change impacts that WE brought on with OUR addiction to cheap energy are being felt in the poorest places in the world, like Darfur for example.

We can afford to pay more for energy; we should pay more for energy. We need to stop requiring the rest of the world to foot the bill for our addiction. (I hate it when people talk about the US as a “super power” or “leader”, that being said…) The US should stop acting unilaterally on issues of Energy (both issues that include military action as well as R&D). The US needs to wake up, and look around and follow in the footsteps of other countries that are putting more efforts into finding sustainable energy solutions.

Hydros are good, and micro hydros should continue to be explored. But frankly, the technology is mature, and in the US, I’m pretty sure, we’ve pretty much tapped all the large scale locations we can at this point.

Our greatest hope for a sustainable energy future, I think, will come from solar power…(from a straight up physics type energy / matter balance perspective this is the biggest source of energy) not hydro, not biodiesel (even though biodiesel type fuels is ironically what I’m going to be doing my PhD on), not wind…but solar PV (photo voltaic) cells…eventually, not tomorrow, not in 10 years, but maybe in 50 years if we start today…. PV is still too expensive to be cost competitive with our addiction to cheap oil, but sooner or later it will come down. Let’s help get the price of PV solar down…maybe this initiative will lead to Pudget Sound energy funding research at UW, and maybe some great breakthroughs will happen…and maybe then we can have cheap, responsible energy, and even share the technology with the rest of the world…but even if that doesn’t happen, voting NO doesn’t seem to do anything except take a step in the opposite direction.

Even if its not perfect, I think you should vote YES for this proposition, not against it.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

initiative measure 937 (i-937)

the 17 point scale endorses a no vote for initiative measure 937 (i-937)

what is i-937?
if passed, i-937 would impose new conservation guidelines on utilities in washington state. i-937 is a statewide initiative.

i-937 would encourage utilities to explore renewable energy sources like wind. more particularly, by 2012 three percent of all utility energy would have to be from renewable sources; by 2020, fifteen percent.

sounds good, right? why a no vote?

get this: "examples of eligible renewable
resources include wind farms, solar panels, and geothermal plants. with limited exceptions, use of fresh water by hydroelectric dams and plants is not included as an eligible renewable resource." now, according to the energy information administration (apparently the home of "official energy statistics from the US government"), water is a renewable resource--it's cheap, doesn't burn fossil fuels, doesn't create pollution, and, as far as i can tell, it doesn't usually dry up--so the exclusion of hydroelectricity seems strange.

the proponents of i-937 argue that similar methods have been successful in 20 other states. i'm happy for those states, but the comparison isn't apt. washington state is unique. for example, utilities in the united states provide the majority of their energy from coal (48%) and only 8% from hydroelectric sources; in contrast, puget sound energy (like other washington state utilities) provides the majority of its energy from hydroelectricity (42%; pse stats courtesy of earthshare of washington; other sources have said that more 60% of washington state energy comes from hydroelectricity). in other words, other states (a) at baseline are depending far more on non-renewable resources than washington state and (b) it seems that washington state has a huge advantage in the availability of a renewable resource. i think it would make more sense to play to our strengths.

anecdotally, i recently met a dude from portland. as i was teasing him about the shrinking size of his wallet due to higher rent in seattle, he said that it's all balanced out because of the utilities. "what?" i asked. "yeah, the utilities are half the cost--maybe a third--of portland utilities. it's cause of the hydroelectricity...."

in closing, i tend to agree with opponents of i-937: this initiative could result in the sale of our cheaper columbia river energy to california while we fulfill our needs with other more expensive foms of renewable energy. if they revamped this measure to include hydroelectricity i'd be all for it!

andrew david. "buy a honda; they're don't necessarily use renewable energy, but they get good gas mileage" blackfeet nation bison reserve, mt.

additional info for i-91:
i-91 is a seattle-only initiative. if you're voting yes on i-91, see thurday's blog. if you're still voting yes, don't do it because of the following two reasons: (a) the sonics gouge their fans; only middle to high income fans can afford games; or (b) the sonics suck; who cares if they leave?

(a) you obviously haven't gone to a game in a while. cheap sonics tickets (with a good view) cost the same as a movie. it's $10 to see a game at the key. now, if you try to eat at the key, that's a different story. but come on, that's what dicks is for.

(b) they may be 0-2 but as of 7:05pm it looks like they might start changing their losing ways. they're currently leading the lakers 45-38. but even if they lose (and keep losing), sports are cyclical. the mariners sucked for twenty years before 1995 and 2001. now they may stink for another twenty years. therefore, the value of a team to community should not be measured based on it's record.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

initiative 91 (i-91)

the 17 point scale endorses a no vote on initiative 91 (i-91)
isn't it odd that we still use the endorse verb when encouraging others to vote no?

what is i-91?

if passed, i-91 would require the city to receive "fair value" in any lease deals with for-profit sports organizations (fair value is approximately 4-5%).

before i explain why this well-meaning initiative is dangerous and baaaad, let me offer two less relevant bits of insight. first, please recognize that i'm a political squirrel. in other words, the political corner of my brain is small and rather undeveloped. moreover, i spend most of my time running around looking for peanuts (i.e., doing the deed of life), so i rarely pause to nurture what little understanding that i may have. therefore, don't expect a flawless, bullet-proof argument. second, despite my political naivete, i feel that most of the propaganda against i-91 takes the wrong approach. the standard i-91 polemic tends to stress the fact that a yes vote is a big blow to local area sports. although this is true, i think it's a shame that i-91 rebuttals don't do more to appeal to non-sports fans. yes, a no vote is essentially an angry kick in the colletive seattle sonic groin, but if someone is a sports fan, i presume that they're already voting no on this initiative. thus, it makes more sense to begin by addressing the issue asportically.

i think i'll begin with a quick history lesson. i-91 was designed by citizens for more important things (CAIT). the organization is the brain-child of nick licata, and although licata is a HUGE supporter of this initiative, he's since moved on to bigger and better things (another organization name?). he currently serves as the seattle city council president, where he was recently the only member to stand against the city's head-over-heels support of the costly underground option for the viaduct. licata's consistent: he's against spending money, period. and although i agree with his viaduct position, he's been an idiot when it comes to sports (several months ago, licata remarked that the sonics had "close to zero" cultural impact on seattle, a remark that i lambasted on the 17 point scale).

since licata's absence, CAIT has been managed by chris van dyk, a non-seattle resident that appears to have less marketing prowess than his predecessor. that is, while licata's legacy is one of creativity (give him credit, he dreamed up a rather clever and effective organization name), CAIT's website is currently an irritating mess of random fonts, colors, and blinking lights that resembles a do-it-yourself effort by some poor child with attention deficit disorder. in any case, after examining CAIT's actual contributions to the pacific northwest, it seems clear to me that their name isn't quite accurate. they really aren't for anything. although, they may hope that by slaying professional sports, money will be diverted to education, social services, and other "more important things," CAIT makes no contributions to this effort. with this in mind, i've decided to refer to them as citizens against important things (thus the CAIT; if you're a fan of their platform, you might prefer citizens against less important things or CALIT--either way, my acronyms sound a lot better than CFMIT).

but perhaps i'm remiss in substituting my own name for CAIT. the name CFMIT actually suggests one of the fundemental flaws of CAIT's position. (now remember, i'm a squirrel; i don't really understand how what i'm about to say relates to i-91.) often the money that's earmarked for sports teams is not even accessible to "more important things" like education and social services. in other words, when voting for initiatives that purport to save money on things like sports, it's important to realize that there is no a direct cause and effect at work--a vote for i-91 will not result in more money for first-grade teachers or potholes on 15th ave.

alright, now that i've discussed the players behind i-91, let's look at the issue from a non-sports fan viewpoint:

did you see that noun that i used? players? well, think about this. a yes vote on i-91 is a strike against language. by approving anti-sports legislation, we risk the slow decomposure of words like player and strike. with no seattle context for these words, their rich meaning would dissolve. in twenty years i'd be forced to say something vague like "the people behind i-91" why didn't they include this in the voter's pamphlet?

i-91 is a strongly anti-government initiative. i'm for small government, but it seems odd to have citizens legislate minor budget considerations. i-91 yanks the control of day-to-day financial decision-making out of the hands of our leadership and binds their hands in making deals with propspective tenants. i think the seattle pi says it best: "although the sentiment behind the restrictions is understandable, we tend to think voters elect councils and mayors to make the best decisions based on the facts at hand. attempting to legislate complex financial formulas will limit the city's flexibility and may discourage creativity" (9/06). our city council may suck, but let's not make them suck more by making their job impossible.

seattle owns the key arena. if i-91 passes and the sonics say "see ya'," this could be a whopper of a problem for our city. the restrictive business climate that will result from i-91 will make it difficult to fill the key with a long-term tenant. concerts and other events are sometimes held at the key, but they can hardly make the key profitable. and in addition to continued operating expenses, the city is still paying off the initial costs of key construction. so, without a tenant to help recoup these costs, that means a larger cut from andrew c taxpayer.

okay, let's say that you're frustrated with high ticket prices and player salaries (more on that later). i could say any number of positive things about the sonics and you'd still believe that professional sports are the scourge of humanity. screw the sonics, you say. fine. but what about the little guy? the lesser known thunderbirds, an amateur hockey team, currently rent space at the key arena, but under the i-91 restrictions they wouldn't be able to make enough money to satisfy the lease. let me quote from deputy mayor tim ceis: "besides being an absurd premise -- how do you create a lease based on a formula? -- if the initiative passes, we can't do a lease for the storm, the t-birds hockey team, or any other new venture, such as pro lacrosse, that lack a track record." listen to the deputy, do you want to see the end of professional lacrosse before it even begins?

professional sports teams like the sonics offer plenty of jobs to low-income workers. i-91 would remove those jobs. see the next section.

whoah, i just found this report. it reminds me a lot of my work at northwest research group. anyway, the report concludes that the key (i.e., the sonics) generates jobs and income for thousands of people locally, and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from outside the local economy. here are some numbers from 2005:

a. the key arena creates more than 3250 jobs in the queen anne area, including nearly 600 that work directly for the key. most of the key arena jobs are seasonal or part-time and benefit low-income service industry workers. together, these workers received somewhere between above $100 million in income. that's 100+ million taxable dollars.
b. the spending of KeyArena visitors and businesses creates $350 million in business activity; state and local governments receive $13.3 million in tax revenues as a result of this business activity at KeyArena.
c. 43% of key visitors come from outside King County and would not have made the trip if not for the key; this results in $165 million in business activity and $7 million in tax income.

there is a great deal of debate about the economic value of professional sports. i'm no economist, but my common sense reaction is that sports teams are extremely valuable to our city. wander down queen anne hill on a game night and you will detect a buzz of activity that is absent when the sonics aren't playing. that's the buzz of dollar signs. also, some of seattle sports players live locally; that means that at least some of their exhorbitant salaries are funneled back into the local economy, either through spending or taxes. finally, pro sports offer a lot of intangible monetary rewards that are hard to measure. for example, professional sports give our city national exposure that may draw new residents and businesses and thereby richen the cultural and economic viability of our city.

it may seem silly that a bunch of guys in baggy shorts or tight pants can create community, but, whether you like it or not, sports are the best kindling that we've got for passionate community. in an earlier post i said, "i have many fond memories of the sonics, especially as a kid; some fans have thirty years of memories" (including a national title--something that no other seattle franchise has attained), and every game represents another opportunity to build memories. but it gets better. sports offer an opportunity for us to build these memories together. remember the 1995 mariners? the 1996 sonics? the 2005 seahawks? these sports teams brought our city together. professional sports are unique in their ability to cut across social, political, economic, and age barriers. thus, a vote for i-91 could bring a serious blow to seattle community.

let me quote from art thiel of the pi: "as to the larger question of the importance of things, seattle has invested heavily in arts and culture with no shot at tangible economic returns. the city's contribution to benaroya hall is about $37 million. the mccaw hall tab was about $43 million. the dun for seattle art museum's new sculpture park opening in january is about $7 million....personally, i would prefer to live in a place that aspires to more than filling potholes and removing garbage, even if i never attended another sports event, art exhibition or music performance."

i'm worn out by this list. check out the sonics website. they have an entire section devoted to community service. when steve and i attended the seahawks game, the crowd raised more than $80,000 (i think) for the boys and girls club. sports radio kjr 950am raises more than $60,000 a year for literacy (and some other charity) from listeners and local sports figures. seattle sports and their fans play a key role in the community. so, let me close with an excerpt from jay holzman's letter to the seattle times (i had to modify the pronouns a bit, but it think it works now):

"like society, professional sports teams have their thugs. but the sonics and storm are overwhelmingly filled with good people who do more for their community than our inept city council, nick licata, and citizens for more important things will ever do, both directly and indirectly.

"how much equipment have they [the city council, nick licata, or CAIT] donated to schools? how many incentive programs and fundraising projects have they sponsored for kids? how many courts have they built in parks and schools around the northwest? when cleveland high school had uniforms stolen, did they buy them new ones? have they built an addition to the ronald mcdonald house? have they opened a health and fitness facility in minority areas of our city (donaldson fitness)? have they raised more than $10 million for cystic fibrosis in the past few years (Detlef Schrempf Foundation)? how many kids' lives have they made happier and better by visiting them in the hospital when they're sick, or just smiled and talked to them at just the right time? when a team is on a roll, can they get hundreds of thousands of strangers in a whole region and people of different races and ages to celebrate, unite, interact and feel connected? didn't think so."

vote no on i-91.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

my writing

this week image update published my sophomore attempt at a book recommendation. it's the one that begins "photographer james walker perry spent six years snapping necks on the mississippi delta preaching circuit...." also, while you're there, check out beth's review of carole graye's poems by denise levertov.

andrew david. "a tornado is sleeping in my shirt & an oreo is living in my yurt" blackfeet nation bison reserve, mt.