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March 21, 2011

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Sarah is my better half (or more). She prods me to do things I might be too lazy to do otherwise.
Such as getting up at 6 am to go downtown and collect signatures on a petition to stop the tunnel.
(The arguably corrupt Seattle City Council is ramming through a project which the citizens
voted down a few years ago--a tunnel which pretty much connects nothing to nowhere. It's
pure boondoggle--risky, ineffective, and will cost $1 billion dollars more than an overall
greener, safer, and less disruptive option.) It's disheartening enough that a cadre of self-styled
progressives in a city which claims to embrace environmentalism could shove something this
wrong down our throats, but what was really depressing about this morning's excursion were
the people on the street. We stood outside the light rail station at 3rd and Seneca and never have
I seen such a surly, unsmiling, unbecoming, seething, and lost parade of wasted humanity. Yeah,
it was a drizzly Monday morning, but 95% of the people were just zombies. Our pitch wasn't pushy
or provocative: "Sign here to put the tunnel to a vote!" I don't think they were all pro-tunnel zealots;
they just seemed unhappy, embittered, and totally disengaged. I don't always have time or interest
for sidewalk canvassers, but I always see them as people and it doesn't hurt to make eye contact
or give a friendly nod. Hell, public interaction is the #1 benefit of city living. I'm
grateful for the decent 5%, but I said to Sarah, "Seattle will get what it deserves."