Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. and Jeff Bezos’s Amazon are competing to impose their own redevelopment visions on Seattle. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, got started first with his very own, taxpayer funded football stadium south of downtown and his in-progress makeover of south Lake Union on the northern edge of downtown. Bezos is coming on strong, with his new Amazon headquarters taking over central downtown… unless the city tries to levy a new tax; then he’s outta there.
Seattle still has a few quirky attractions that residents are proud to show off to visitors. They demonstrate how hip and creative they are, and are serious evidence that they do not take themselves too seriously.
At a gathering of the World Health Assembly under the auspices of the United Nations, Ecuador was to introduce an innocuous resolution supporting breast feeding as a sensible alternative to manufactured baby formula. The resolution stated that research shows mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should discourage inaccurate or misleading marketing of non-breast milk alternatives. The United States would not have it. With the current administration firmly aligned with behemoth corporations, including the $70 billion baby-food market, American representatives wanted language removed that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding.” They also wanted removed a section that exhorted government policymakers to limit promotion of food products that many experts say can have harmful effects on young children. When Ecuador did not comply, the U.S. threatened trade sanctions and withdrawal of military aid. Ecuador gave in. In the end, Russia trumped the U.S. by formally introducing the resolution in lieu of Ecuador. The U.S. dropped its demand for alterations, and gave Russia the opportunity to be the good guy and declare it was a matter of principle. “We feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,” said a Russian delegate. Read the entire story in the failing New York Times.
D.B. Cooper is in the news again. New claims are being made about the identity of the man who was last seen Thanksgiving eve, 1971 aboard a Boeing 727 as it was flying over southwest Washington. He parachuted from the plane via its rear exit stairs, launching decades of debate about who he was and what was his fate.
Northwest Orient Airlines flight #305 began its itinerary in Washington D.C. on November 24, 1971. After stops in Minneapolis, Missoula, Great Falls and Spokane, the aircraft was boarding passengers in Portland for its final leg, a thirty-minute flight to Seattle.
Taking a seat near the rear was a middle-aged man conservatively dressed in a dark suit and tie under a white raincoat, carrying a black attaché case. He lit a cigarette and ordered a bourbon and soda. He had paid cash for his ticket at the Portland airport counter and, in those pre-TSA days, gave his name as Dan Cooper. Shortly after takeoff, he handed a note to a flight attendant that he had a bomb. He opened his attaché to show her red cylinders attached with wires to a battery.
John Adams declared that July 2, the date the Second Continental Congress voted to declare the thirteen colonies independent from Great Britain, would be celebrated “…with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” The written Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4. Continue reading “Celebrating Independence”