More to the Point

By Josh Feit May 28, 2009


1. KUOW News Director Guy Nelson was doing a live phone interview with Jan Drago on Tuesday afternoon, right after Drago announced she was running for mayor. Drago fielded some softball questions from Nelson for a few minutes ("Why are you running for mayor?" "How much change are we going to see from you?" "How would you describe Greg Nickels style?" "What are things that Mayor Nickels has fallen short in?"), and then weirdly, Drago got disconnected when Nelson threw his first hard ball:

"Back in December, when we had the big snow storm and the City was shut down for several days—lot of streets didn't get plowed—and at first you seemed to think that things were okay and then later you changed your position apparently and you downgraded the City's performance to a 'D.' What changed for you over that time?"

(Nelson's question hinted at Drago's now-embarrassing Christmas Eve account in the PI, when, in the aftermath of the storm, she told the paper she was "getting around well in her four-wheel drive vehicle.")


"Jan Drago. You still there? ..."

Dial Tone. 

"Apparently not." 

Nelson improvised for an awkward two minutes ("Still trying to get Jan Drago back on the phone. Not having any luck right now...Let's uh, we'll take a break, and then we'll be right back to talk more about the mayor's race ..."  (Brian Eno-type-music interlude) ... "Still trying to get Jan Drago on the phone, and we're not having any luck... (banter about the KUOW website) "I guess we're not going to get Jan Drago back on the phone...We'll give up on that..."

2. In a recent fundraising letter, King County Council Member (and candidate for King County Executive), Dow Constantine, says: "I was the first leader in the region to demand a public vote on light rail expansion and helped craft the package that passed overwhelmingly last November."

King County Council Member (and candidate for King County Executive), Larry Phillips, also a big light rail supporter, begs to differ, correctly pointing out that while Constantine wrote an op/ed in the March 13, 2008 Seattle Times calling to put light rail expansion on the ballot, it was "well after" Mayor Greg Nickels came out for the initiative in November 2007.

Even more to the point: Larry Phillips was quoted coming out for the light rail measure a week earlier than Constantine's editorial was published. 

It's totally true. Phillips was quoted in an article that ran in the Stranger news section on March 4, 2008 that, actually, I assigned and edited. 

3. Meanwhile, the Constantine campaign is wondering about a curious (paranoid?) line in a recent Phillips fundraising letter. 

With the Primary Election less than 90 days away, our opponents have launched a series of attacks against Larry and our campaign.

They are making false claims about Larry’s record and accusing him of being unqualified. These are only the beginning of what is likely to be a very negative campaign against Larry.  

Oh my. I can't wait to hear these "false claims"—sounds scandalous. Whoever is behind the bruit, contact the Fizz!

4. Yesterday morning in Morning Fizz, we said we heard that former Port Commissioner Alec Fisken—ousted in 2007—was going to jump into the race for Lloyd Hara's seat on the Port Commission. (Hara announced earlier this week that he's running for King County Assessor.)

This morning, Morning Fizz says this: Alec Fisken—a wonky reformer who we feel was collateral damage in an anti-incumbent vote that was aimed at his tainted colleagues—will declare his candidacy today.

5. Close friends know I like to talk as if I'm in a 1950s teen exploitation movie, as in: "I'm making the scene," "I'm digging the scene," "I'm hip to the scene," "I'm checking out the scene." 

And so, I fell out of my chair with glee the other day when the Who's We're Not Gonna Take It (a late 1960s song actually) came on my iTunes, and I noticed—for the first time, unbelievably—the following lyric: "And pinball completes the scene."


This has become my favorite thing to say now, and I've been looking for an excuse to write it here on PubliCola. 

Well dig this dad, I got a press release yesterday about the 2009 Northwest Pinball and  Gameroom Show. I have linked the entire announcement below the fold. Dig it.

And Pinball completes the scene. (Thank You Dan Halligan.)

6. I've been tending to some excellent housekeeping stuff on the PubliCola biz side for the last 72 hours, and so I've totally missed some news in the mayor's race. Emily Heffter has the scoop at the Seattle Times: There's  a new candidate in the mayor's race and there's more fundraising news from T-Mobile exec-dad-as-mayoral candidate, Joe Mallahan. 

Seattle, WA, June 2009 -- Thousands of pinball and arcade game fans from across the U.S. will be attending the 2009 Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show this June at the Seattle Center. The show is the biggest of this type of event in the Northwest. The 2008 show featured over 100 games and drew 2,000 visitors. 2009 promises to be twice as big, with over 200 pinball and arcade games, the most ever seen in one place in the entire Northwest. Featuring games from the 1950s to today, attendees can play all the games for free with the price of admission. The event will also include tournaments, raffles, guest speakers and over a dozen top level players competing for new world record scores. 

On hand during the show will be many special guests from the arcade and pinball world, including: 

  • Steve Wiebe, star of the hit documentary “The King of Kong.” In the movie Wiebe waged an epic battle against Billy Mitchell for bragging rights to the world record high score on the game of Donkey Kong. Wiebe now holds the world high score for Donkey Kong Jr. and is working towards world records on both Donkey Kong and Popeye.

  • Bill Carlton, star of the award winning documentary “High Score,” which was released in March 2009. “High Score” follows Carlton’s attempt to beat the 20 year old world record on Missile Command.

  • Dennis Nordman, pinball designer of games including Elvira and the Party Monsters, White Water, Wheel of Fortune and Pirates of the Caribbean.

  • Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies and score keeper of the world’s gaming records, from ‘80s arcade games to modern Playstation 3 and XBOX games. Day is star of the documentary “Chasing Ghosts” and was the enthusiastic score keeper and classic game activist in the referee outfit in “The King of Kong.”

  • Greg Feres, pinball graphic artist and the man behind the artwork of Fathom, Medieval Madness, Revenge from Mars, Speakeasy, Scared Stiff, Strange Science, Dr. Dude, Star Trek: The Next Generation and many more.

  • Clay Harrell (AKA Shaggy), star of the hit pinball restoration series “This Old Pinball.”

  • Brian Schmidt, who has done the sounds and music for such pinball games as Apollo 13, Back to the Future, Batman Forever, The Simpsons, Frankenstein, Star Wars, The Who’s Tommy, The X Files, Black Knight 2000, Banzai Run, King Kong, Hook, Jurassic Park, Independence Day and Guns N’ Roses.

  • Todd MacCulloch, ex-pro basketball player (Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets) and local game collector who is now a nationally ranked pinball competitor. Ask MacCulloch what it was like playing against Shaq in the NBA playoffs while he kicks your butt in the pinball tournament!

There will be seminars and autograph sessions during the day on Saturday featuring many of the special guests. Saturday night, Walter Day of Twin Galaxies will publicly host the inaugural Video Game Hall of Fame awards ceremony. The ceremony will honor world record players from the past and present. 

The show will be held in the Northwest Rooms of the Seattle Center, located at 305 Harrison Street in downtown Seattle. For information about tickets, hours and what games will be at the show, go to: 

Feel free to contact us for more information, press passes, photos or interviews if you are interested in covering this event. Videos, press, photos and more can be found at:   

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