kristen.russell's blog

Plastic Bag Ban Floated by Seattle City Council

plastic bag ban floated in Seattle

The Seattle City Council is trying again to do away with so-called single-use plastic bags--this time, from all retail outlets (not just grocery stores) and this time, with a twist: Paper bags would still be available, but we'd be charged five cents per (the retailer keeps the money). The idea here is to gently coerce us to get our lazy butts in gear and dig the reusable grocery bags out of deep storage (read: shoved under the back seat). Read more »


Waterfront Update: Ferris Wheel Approved for Pier 57

Didja know we need one of these?

Rising from the ashes of the s-l-o-w-l-y dying Viaduct, this here shiny new waterfront oddity. Good news or bad news? I leave it to you to decide. Read the story on our news partners, KING-TV's website.


Beer + Chocolate: Your DIY Pairing Guide

Here's something fun you can try at your holiday gatherings: As you're handing your brother-in-law a beer, hand him a chunk of chocolate to go with it. Strange but true: When chosen carefully, chocolate and beer taste great together, as I found out firsthand the other night in Fremont. Read more »


Viaduct for Dummies: Yes! You Missed the Only Exit! and Other News From the SoDo Coaster

Feeling a little cocky of late, now that everything's totally back to normal down here in SoDo (the new "slow normal," that is), so today I actually took a meeting in the office, inviting an uninitated reporter to drive southbound through the SoDo Coaster to our Viaduct-adjacent office.

That was mean.

Right about meeting time, I got an email, subject line: "Got Messed Up on the Viaduct." By which she meant "Am now being funnelled helplessly to West Seattle." Read more »


Viaduct for Dummies: When Will the Rest of That Thing Come Down?

SR99 Route into Seattle

Today's VFD update: A response to the random question from the back seat this morning as we weasled our way onto the Viaduct in SoDo. "I thought the Viaduct was coming down. So why are we still getting on it?"

Listen, Billy, it ain't that simple. Rebuilding Seattle's north-south access via SR 99 is going to take years...about four more, to be exact. And until it's all built, the Viaduct's not coming down.

Now that we're all getting so good at riding the SoDo Coaster, here's a look at some of the key timeline highlights, all just estimates, courtesy of WSDOT: Read more »


UPDATE: Viaduct for Dummies: Viaduct to Reopen Saturday, Ahead of Schedule

Alaskan Way Viaduct

Word just in that the WSDOT will reopen the Alaska Way Viaduct on Saturday morning, two days ahead of schedule. The SoDo southbound offramp will reopen on Monday.

Though north-south travel along the waterfront will once again be possible, it might be so annoyingly slow that some of us will revert to our Viaduct-pocolypse workarounds. Picture yourself and thousands of your friends squeezing onto a 4-lane roadway (two in each direction), weaving through SoDo before rejoining SR99. Picture yourself celebrating when you finally hit 25 miles an hour. Read more »

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What's in Store for the Seattle Waterfront? Get a Peek at Designs Thursday Night

Seattle's waterfront concept design

With the Viaduct lying in ruins around our ankles, seems a good time for a look ahead. Want to get a peek at what's cooking for the shiny new, re-imagined Seattle waterfront? There's a cool public event tonight, from 5-9 p.m. at Bell Harbor Conference Center on Pier 66. You'll see a presentation of design ideas from James Corner Field Operations, the guy who's been tasked with making our precious waterfront more stroll-worthy. Read more »

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Viaduct for Dummies: Now, With 25 Percent Less Whining!

So, the world didn't end this morning in Seattle—but we're not out of the woods, yet, according to the DOT. Just because this morning's commute was "a skate" for some of us (not me!), we should still expect serious traffic problems as the week progresses, as people lured into a false sense of security go back to their bad old ways. Don't do it!

But it was a pretty impressive effort this morning, in the rain, dodging apparently first-time bike commuters wobbling into traffic lanes. Attitude is everything, and mine was greatly helped by: Read more »


Behind the Scenes of Our November Issue: Influential Smackdown

Dan Savage

It's not called "Our Favorite People of 2011."

No, when we set out to build our "Most Influential People of 2011" list, we are looking for impact, plain and simple. Big impact, even of the negative kind, so there are sure to be a few people you wouldn't play beer pong with, even if they were buying. I give you Mayor McGinn.  Read more »

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Viaduct for Dummies: Friday's 'Inconvenient' Viaduct Shutdown

Viaduct

Oh, WSDOT, you almost had me thinking you cared about my gut-gnawing, borderline obsessive worrying about the impending "Viaduct-pocolypse." Then today, in a WSDOT press release, comes this little masterpiece of understatement, from someone who might know better:

“We know the closure is an inconvenience for drivers, but the demolition work is a vital step in building a safer SR 99 through Seattle,” said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. Read more »


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