Photo by Jess Mushroom.
Psilocybe cyanescens found in a Seattle park.

Fall brings a change in the climate of consciousness

Psilocybe mushroom picking in Seattle

Terence Mckenna, writer, psychonaut, conduit of the mushroom and frequent lecturer in Seattle, said, “Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

His words may offend some readers, but for others, his take on psychedelics and mushrooms in particular, pique an insatiable curiosity for consciousness exploration. Indeed, in the last few years new interest using psilocybe in psychological and neurological research has started to bud. This interest has spurred the Ballard News-Tribune to investigate an underground mushroom culture right here in the Puget Sound region.

Psilocin and psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) are the active psychedelic compounds in “magic mushrooms” that create the psychoactive effects. The compounds are similar to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in humans that affects mood and wakefulness among other things.

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At Large in Ballard: Debra dishes

By Peggy Sturdivant

“I love it here,” Debra Roberts tells me. “It’s the best view and the best patio in town. And I’m part of a big family.”

She’s talking about Anthony’s Homeport Shilshole. Roberts is like a cheerleader without the pom-poms about her place of work, one day after her 27th anniversary as a server there. “People always come back to Anthony’s,” she told me when we talked. In her case, she never left.

Like many others I know Debra Roberts from her presence at MJ’s yoga classes at Ballard Health Club. During promotions at Anthony’s she passes out $20 off certificates in class, creating a sub-group of club members who rediscover Anthony’s. What strikes me at the club proves to be true at her longtime place of work. Deb loves life and that includes her job, her place of work, her husband, garden, cats, yoga and even her commute. “I come down the Blue Ridge hill,” she said, as though apologizing for an indulgence.

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Kristin Chambers.

Ballard singer starts month-long fundraiser for breast cancer research

Ballard singer and songwriter, Kristin Chambers, performed her title track "Everything Woman" on King 5 TV's New Day Northwest last Oct. 22 to kick off a month-long fundraiser.

All music download sales from Chamber’s website,, are going to the Susan G. Komen Organization (SGKO).

After the performance Chambers shared her thoughts.

"The performance was fantastic. The people at New Day are so sweet and professional. I was really taken by what an amazing interviewer and host Margaret Larson is. She has an amazing ability to make people feel at home," said Chambers.

Chamber’s mother-in-law is a 21-year breast cancer survivor, and recently two of Chamber’s closest friends have finished treatment and are cancer free

"It feels really good -- the idea of turning music into awareness and healing. The outpouring of stories and sharing that has come back to me about struggles and survivors’ stories has been sort of overwhelming, and really cathartic for many. I am so happy to be involved in this awareness and hopefully a total cure for this disease that affects so many.”

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