Photo courtesy of SPD.
Like journalism, police work has a similar flavor: the feeling of danger and being privy to what’s happening. But there is also a power, an elevated assignment of control that is alluring to some.

Dirty 30 Dharma Bums

Insight after SPD ride-along

So as you’d have it, I recently turned 30.

Of course, with such a development, there were consequences: the all-night carousing has less appeal, the eyes have narrowed slightly, lines are appearing stubbornly in the my brow, my body is sore for days when I fall… I fart more, etcetera.

These things weigh heavily on a man’s heart. The Door’s Jim Morrison once told a crowd to meditate on their eventual end before a famous performance of the “The End.” I guess that’s the crux of it: a finish to this life. Meditate on it. Think about it.

If you think long enough certain questions arise between heart palpitations and flashes of white light, vast nothingness and being born again: Am I happy? Is what I’m doing worth it? Is there a value to how I’m occupying my time during this short visit to Earth? Do I like this bearded longhaired man in the mirror staring stark naked back at me at 6:31 a.m. on a Thursday morning?

“Keep doing what you’re doing, and the money will come. Follow your passion,” my woman-friend says to me.

More ›

Where Is our zoo’s public accountability?

By Nancy Farnam

Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) has, once again, shown contempt for public opinion by recently transferring legal ownership of its elephants to two other zoos. Sri was sent to the St. Louis Zoo in 2002 on a permanent breeding loan and Bamboo and Chai were sent on loan to the Oklahoma City Zoo last April. Although WPZ claims the elephant ‘donations’ were requested by the other zoos, the timing makes it far more likely that our zoo wanted to prevent a newly elected, more animal-friendly Seattle City Council from ordering the elephants to a sanctuary and wanted to make sure they would be permanently trapped in the zoo system. A public majority favored sanctuary placement where the elephants would have enjoyed vast natural space and freedom.

In its press release, Woodland Park Zoo claimed the elephants are all “thriving” at the other zoos. That is not true. Sri was impregnated in St. Louis, her calf died just before birth and she has been unable to expel the dead fetus for over 10 years. She stands in a small, overcrowded exhibit, with no quality of life – waiting to die.

More ›

Pat’s View: On the Move

By Patrick Cashman

I helped a friend and his wife load their stuff into a big U-Haul yesterday. It was like loading mackerel into a sardine can, but we managed.

The friends were moving to southern California. Some people think a move from this part of the world to that part is sort of like trading a gentle scalp massage for a whack on the head with a garden rake. But it is not that bad. A small shovel maybe.

The good news is that the loading of the furniture, appliances, clothing etc. went really well. Nothing was broken, scuffed, soiled, defaced, warped, squashed or wrinkled. Nobody either. The move went as smooth as shuffleboard. Mostly.

Sure, there may be a world of horrors awaiting that couple when they finally roll up that U-Haul door a thousand miles from now. But by then, I am not responsible. Like they say in the TV transmission business: “Everything looked fine when it left this end.” They also say that in the meat grinding business.

More ›