Morning Fizz: Freedom You Can't Kill
Caffeinated News and Gossip.
1. Sam Bellomio—the "Stand Up America" activist who, along with fellow Stand Up Activist Alex Zimmerman (who holds up a shiny red poster board that includes a small American flag), offers off-point comments at every city council meeting—finally went too far for Parks committee chair Sally Bagshaw last Friday.
Bellomio, who was protesting the fact that committee meetings happen at City Hall and during the daytime, rather than in neighborhoods and at night, held up four signs he said spelled out an important acronym: "Freedom U Can't Kill," or "You can't fuck us."
Bagshaw, a prim figure in a white jacket with a blue flower on the lapel, responded calmly but firmly: "That's it, turn off the microphone. Sam, you are done. We are not going to be putting up with that kind of language. I am not putting up with this in a public hearing."
Bellomio feigned ignorance as security approached, yelling into the dead mike, "What language? I gave you my acronym. You are taking away our rights, stopping us from the ability to speak to you!"
"You don't have the right to be rude," Bagshaw retorted, before telling Bellomio—politely—that he was welcome to stay but not to speak.
Bellomio is running against Bagshaw in the November election. He has raised no money.
2. File this one under Jolt: Yesterday, KUOW (the local NPR affiliate) announced that it was eliminating three shows—Weekday, the Conversation, and KUOW Presents—and consolidating them a single new, two-hour midday show, The Record on KUOW, and reassigning the two hosts of Weekday and the host of The Conversation to rolling three-week-long shifts at the new program's helm. Each host will get two weeks off after their hosting shift to do interviews and reporting in the field.
The three hosts of The Record will be Marcie Sillman and Steve Scher of Weekday, and Ross Reynolds of The Conversation. The show will effectively condense four hours of daily local programming into two.
Arvid Hokanson, deputy program manager for KUOW, says the move is "definitely not a financial decision," and that the station will also be reassigning the eight producers who currently work on Weekday, The Conversation, and KUOW Presents to the new show.
"Essentially, we're raising the number of segments per hour," Hokanson says, in an attempt to keep up with the way audience surveys say people listen to radio—in short bursts, while they're making breakfast or in the car. "Our frequent listeners now are people who listen more times per day."
The new show starts at noon on September 3. Meanwhile, the "Week in Review" news panel that has been part of Weekday every week (and on which PubliCola is an occasional participant) will continue at 10am on Fridays.
3. At a press conference on the Metro bus shooting yesterday afternoon, King County Executive Dow Constantine took pains to say that riding Metro buses is safe. (Suspected gunman Martin Duckworth, who had a history of drug crimes, died after SPD officers shot him when he boarded another bus yesterday morning).
But that didn't stop reporters from asking whether King County was considering drastic measures, such as allowing drivers to carry concealed weapons (no); putting up bulletproof barriers between drivers and passengers (tried that already, and no); or adding more cops on buses (impractical and expensive, so, no).
"This was an isolated incident," Constantine said. "Our lives are only as safe as the community and society around us, and there are a lot of people out there with guns who shouldn't have them."
Duckworth shot driver Deloy Dupuis, 64, after refusing to pay his fare. A Metro spokesman told reporters Metro's policy is to ask for fare once; after that, they're supposed to avoid conflict with passengers.
4. In the wake of the Whole Foods controversy (Mayor Mike McGinn wants the council to deny the organic-foods behemoth a street vacation in West Seattle because they aren't unionized and, don't guarantee a "livable wage"), one brave candidate has written a $421 check to the controversial company: City Council member Richard Conlin, who spent that amount on supplies for a campaign fundraiser, according to elections disclosure reports.
Conlin is being opposed by socialist Kshama Sawant (who will not, presumably, be dropping any campaign cash on delicious tofu curry or seaweed salad from Whole Foods).