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But They Have Stopped Wing Surfing

Ten minutes after taking off from Sea-Tac, pilots of a Los Angeles–bound Alaska Airlines flight had to return to Seattle when passengers heard screams coming from the cargo hold. Once on the ground, the crew opened the compartment and found baggage handler Willa Junior, who later explained to ABC News that it wasn’t uncommon for him and his coworkers to take naps in planes.

Cool! But Did You Consider Anonymous Surveys?

In an attempt to track marijuana usage since its legalization in Washington state, an assistant chemistry professor at the University of Puget Sound secured $120,000 in federal funding to sift through our sewage.

Thanks, Obama

A Seattle woman who thought she was on birth control sued Neighborcare Health after the clinic’s doctors informed her that she was pregnant. Rather than giving her an injection of Depo-Provera, they’d mistakenly administered a flu shot.

When Did Courtney Move to Southeast Asia?

For those who have always felt the best way to memorialize Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain is by wearing a T-shirt screen-printed with his suicide note, a Thailand-based retailer finally made that dream a reality, via Etsy and eBay.

One Skinny Latte with a Double Shot of White Privilege, Please

In mid-March Starbucks baristas were encouraged to write the words “Race Together” on customers’ cups before engaging them in conversation about racism. The Internet so mercilessly mocked the cringe-worthy idea, an Sbux PR exec deleted his Twitter account the same day. And after just one week the coffee chain ended the initiative—though CEO Howard Schultz insisted it was “always just a catalyst for a…longer-term conversation.”

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How’s That #RaceTogether Thing Working Out?

While checking out the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, an Asian American man visiting from California claims an employee twice accused him of trying to steal company secrets for use at a coffee shop in China. The customer in question works for a faith-based organization in the Bay Area.

“That Doesn’t Apply to Shabazz Palaces, Though. We Couldn’t Rein Them in If We Tried.”

Fans of Father John Misty who ordered the deluxe vinyl version of the ironically egotistical rocker’s second album, I Love You, Honeybear, were disappointed to find that the overly self-indulgent packaging—which included a popup diorama—had warped the record and made it unplayable. His label, Sub Pop, issued an apology and promised to be “less ambitious in the future.”

When Reached for Comment, David Lee Roth Threw Up

In an interview about her 10-year marriage to Vili Fualaau, the onetime student she was convicted of statutorily raping, former middle school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau told Barbara Walters that she’s working to get her name removed from the sex offender registry and hopes to one day return to teaching.

“And Definitely Don’t Buy Anything from Our Gift Shop”

Space Needle employees, whose last raise was 35 cents an hour and came four years ago, received advice from the attraction’s management on how to “live on less” that included tips like “Learn to cook gourmet, not pay gourmet,” “Learn when your local museums, parks, and other places of interest offer free or discount days,” and “Reuse and repurpose what you already have.” 

Now All New Hires Receive a DIY Catheter Kit

Reports surfaced this summer that Amazon’s Seattle offices are so overrun with dudes—63 percent of the company’s workforce is male—that employees have complained to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries that there aren’t enough bathroom stalls to accommodate them. And, as one employee told Vice, once they’ve made it through the long line to the commode, programmers often “sit on the toilet and write code.”

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That Said, Now It Has the Fresh Scent of Dryer Sheets

Seattle police officer Ernest Hall reported that his equipment bag—which held his gun, ammunition, and radio—had been stolen in October 2014. But nearly a year later he was fired after his superiors discovered that he’d actually lost it. As it turns out, the bag had been hiding under some clothes in Hall’s laundry room.

What the Truck.

This was a bad year to drive a semi near Seattle, because the stranger your load, the more likely you were to wreck.


SPD Promptly Asked If He’d Help Them Dust Off Their Drone Program

A 25-year-old woman was knocked unconscious at Seattle’s Pride parade when a two-pound drone hit a building, fell, and landed on her head. The operator, described by police as an “unshaven white man in his 20s,” later turned himself in.

Hollywood Will Try Anything to Reboot The Crow

What began as a sweet story published by the BBC about a Portage Bay eight-year-old gifted trinkets by the crows she feeds in her backyard devolved into a lawsuit filed by neighbors who claimed the birds shat on their homes, dug up their flowers, and raised a ruckus at all hours of the night.

And Then the 911 Operator Told Him to Call His Insurance Provider

After breaking his foot in February, army veteran and Kennewick resident Donald Siefken managed to drive himself to the Seattle VA hospital. While sitting in his car just outside the entrance, Siefken called the hospital and asked if someone could help him inside but was told that he needed to call 911. Hospital administrators initially stood by the decision, citing liability concerns but later apologized.

And Free Lollipops!

Administrators at Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center admitted in August that they had uncovered lapses in the hospital’s process for sterilizing surgical instruments that exposed 12,000 children to hepatitis B and C and HIV. They did offer free blood tests to those affected, though.

We Must Make a Show of Strength or Risk Emboldening the Gophers

Among the central issues in this year’s race for mayor of Langley, on Whidbey Island: sustainable energy, economic development…and dealing with the army of bunnies that has laid siege to the town. Although neither candidate supported full-scale eradication, both agreed that something needed to be done about the long-eared scourge, which spent the year eating, burrowing, and pooping its way across town.

At Least They Aren’t Coding in the Bathroom

In January, Boeing fired a handful of employees who for nearly a year bought and sold oxycodone, morphine, and Adderall at its Everett plant. Dealers conducted transactions via the company’s internal instant messaging system and distributed the goods in the parking lot, locker room, bathroom, and even on the plant floor. 

“Would You Believe Me If I Said It Was an April Fool’s Joke?”

To cope with the city’s minimum wage increase, mega-restaurateur Tom Douglas announced in a March 31 blog post—which he would later admit was “snarky and snippy”—that all bills at his establishments would include a 2 percent “wage equality surcharge.” A day later, after public backlash, Douglas decided to raise prices instead.

But Realistically Not Until Late 2016

Originally the First Hill Streetcar was scheduled to begin running from Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square in early 2014. Then it was delayed to the third quarter of 2014. Then the first quarter of 2015. Then late summer 2015. And in September 2015, the city council had to admit the project had hit another snag and might not run until after the holidays.

I’m Extorting U LOL

Just weeks before the November election, Seattle City Council candidate Jon Grant revealed a series of text messages that suggested he was being blackmailed. Grant and the Tenants Union had sued developer Triad Capital Partners over a project it hoped to build near city hall in partnership with the city. Triad VP Brett Allen sent texts to Mike McGinn in mid-October, asking the former mayor to broker a deal in which Allen would call off an anti-Grant smear campaign if Grant would drop his suit. The only problem? McGinn was a Grant supporter and shared the texts with him, who shared them with The Seattle Times. And Mayor Murray subsequently cut ties with Triad.

Disorganized Crime
  • Nearly two dozen Seattle police officers worked to pull down a shirtless man who swung at them wildly with a hammer while hanging upside down from a basketball hoop in Cal Anderson Park.
  • More than 4,000 Shoreline residents lost power after a semiconscious woman drove her Volkswagen Beetle into a utility pole. She was also naked.
  • After a man crashed his car through a residential fence and into a utility pole in Tukwila at 45 miles per hour, he explained to police that he was chasing an owl.
  • A Vashon man who was pulled over for driving naked attempted to bribe the arresting officer and then relieved himself in the police cruiser’s back seat.
  • A pair of British Columbia residents were stopped at the Canadian border after stealing a $2,500 bronze sculpture of a bucking bronco–riding cowboy from a Seattle antique store.
  • A man who broke into the laundry room of a Pioneer Square apartment building got stuck in an air duct while trying to make his escape—and later told police he’d “never been so high before.”
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Anyone Know Where Bezos Was in April?

Toddlers at a University District preschool discovered in April that their Little Free Library—a birdhouse-shaped box holding books available to all—had been set ablaze. The arsonist and apparent hater of book sharing was never caught. 

To Be Fair, Lynch Refused to Say One Word of Dialogue

When the trailer for Family First: The Marshawn Lynch Story, a long-in-the-works Beast Mode biopic starring Lynch himself, unexpectedly dropped online in February, it looked bad: low production value, no clear narrative arc, and a series of WTF moments on par with the Seahawks’ decision to throw from the one-yard line at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. But apparently it was much worse than anyone thought, because Lynch’s agent told Rolling Stone in July that the movie had been shelved. “He did a terrible job,” the agent said of the film’s director, Mario Bobino. “The film will never be released.”

Then He Rode Off on His Razor Scooter

While Seattle fell from seventh to 13th on Redfin’s list of most bikeable cities, The Seattle Times found that one cop, Glen Mulkey, wrote a quarter of all bicycle-related citations from 2006 to 2014. When asked why he seemed to target cyclists, Mulkey declined to comment.

“But We Reserve the Right to Charge a $5 Reimbursement Fee”

Just two weeks after tolling began on Interstate 405, the Washington State Department of Transportation accidentally double-billed more than 3,300 drivers in one October weekend. To WSDOT’s credit, it did automatically reimburse those who were overcharged.

“I Mean, They Already Avoid Paying Property Taxes”

Burien business owner Darla Green took to Facebook last March to demand that panhandlers apply for a permit. But the proposal—which went nowhere—wasn’t an effort to criminalize homelessness, Green insisted. Instead it was a good-faith attempt to identify criminals—oh, and no longer allow panhandlers to skip the onerous processes that legitimate business owners have to endure. “How is that fair to me?” she asked KIRO.

The Times It Is a Changin'

The Seattle Times rolled out a redesigned website this year that looks okay—except when the obnoxiously large ads provide a new take on stories. And then it looks amazing.

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Who knows, in your first week on the job you could handle live hearts!

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So no black cod at Restaurant Week?

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And it got a great deal on lodging, thanks to Clipper Vacations.

 

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