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February 2009
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Sam’s Syrupy Show

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Amy’s Monkee Show

Young musicians “Monkee” around
(Steve Shay, 2 Feb 2009, West Seattle Herald)

Seattle’s Paul Green School of Rock, better known as “The School of Rock,” featured nearly 20 area musicians to perform 22 songs popularized by the popular 1960’s band, The Monkees, on stage at the West Seattle Admiral Theater Jan. 31.

The school, now a national phenom, was established in 1998, five years before the hit movie of the same name was released. The Seattle school’s music director, Benjamin Barnett, who himself sings and plays several instruments and records his own music, seemed as big a hit with his students and audience as the songs they performed.

It was a sell-out crowd, and many came to watch their kids, or neighbor’s kids, perform. But some attended just because they loved The Monkees and wanted to hear the 7 to 17 year olds take a whack at the old numbers.

And since I got a nice little handheld digital recorder thing for Christmas…

School of Rock Seattle plays “I’m a Believer”…

King County Director of Elections

I remembered way later than I should have, that there is an election going on right now… one where the deadline for submitting your ballots is just barely more than two hours from now. And it is already too late to mail the ballot, as is preferred, so instead I have to drive to the one drop box in my town. (About a 20 minute drive away.) Oops.

There is only one item on the ballot this time. Director of Election for King County. The candidates and their information are here.

This is a non-partisan office (good). Well, actually I think it should be an appointed office, but if it is going to be elected, at least it should be non-partisan. Whatever.

I’m going to go only by the stuff these people have on the voter’s pamphlet, and by what they have on their websites.

Here we go:

  • David Irons – Seems competent. Has some experience.
  • Sherrril Huff – The incumbent, although she has only been there a few years, so not a lifer. She seems to have done a decent job. Has the endorsement of the two newspapers and a bunch of other people.
  • Julie Kempf – No website. Fail. And yes, I see you gave your email address, but I’m not going to email you. And from your email, I see you did register a domain for yourself… you just didn’t put anything there. If you can’t make sure you have a website for your campaign, how am I supposed to think you can run an election? From your pamphlet statement, it actually looks like you have done so in the past. But a website is a minimum requirement for a real campaign these days. Sorry.
  • Bill Anderson – Repeat everything I said about websites for Ms. Kempf again here. Oh wait, you do have a website, it just isn’t listed in the normal place, but instead in the middle of your statement. It is here. OK… he’s a “semi-retired” banker who managed the handling of paper checks and the transition to electronic management of such things. He actually seems interesting.
  • Christopher Clifford – No website, come on. In his statement he seems to start attacking one of the other candidates… “There are actions I believe are unworthy of your vote. Filing a false declaration, lying about where you live, being accused of assaulting your mother, being arrested for forgery, and being arrested for attempting to run over a police officer. These are the actions of arrogance and dishonesty. These are not the actions we look for in individuals seeking your trust, your confidence, your vote.” Of course, I have no idea who he is talking about or why. Oh wait, it is about this. That site is just odd. WTF? And what does it have to do with the Director of Elections? That person isn’t running here. He doesn’t seem to have any real relevant experience here either.
  • Pam Roach – A State Senator, which means she comes from a partisan background. She does seem competant though. The most interesting thing here is she mentions that Huff (the incumbent) was in favor of keeping this an appointed position. Now, she was the incumbent, so, Duh, but it is good to have that additional info.

So, OK, thought process… I generally think this is the kind of position that should be appointed… or actually “hired” based only on qualifications and not on political grounds, and probably approved by the legislature or something to provide a level of protection against political hires or patronage and such. It sounds from some of the reading here (mainly Pam Roach’s site) that there is a bit of politics here unfortunately, and the incumbent may be part of that. So since this *is* now an elected position, I want to go with one of the candidates that is as detached as possible from people currently holding office or running for office, etc. Ya know, I think I’ll go for the banker. Looking at his site (which isn’t pretty or anything) it actually has some content on it regarding the elections process and some problems with it. And listening to the first few minutes of the interview he has on his site, he sounds reasonable. He’s talking about the crap technology used for the elections and how it needs to be replaced by something that is actually reliable, secure, etc. He talks about adding transparency to the process, etc. He seems to actually be THINKING about the elections process, rather than just talking in vague generalities.

You won my vote Bill.

My vote: Bill Anderson