Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hike, Bike and the Rest of It

Tuesday the weather finally cleared.  After many days of the onshore flow, it cleared.  There was still a fairly cool airmass, but there was sun!  Yay!  We rode out in Carnation Valley.  We’re seeing a distressing increase in the number of people passing bicycles on blind corners.  We were going in one direction, and an oncoming truck towing a trailer passed a bicycle on an inside corner.  He then saw us, jerked his steering wheel to the right, and almost hit the bike.  Could he had not waited 30 seconds so he could see around the corner and not endanger anyone’s life?  I can not tell you how much this annoys me.

Jubilee is a farmer’s co-op.  People bring stuff they’ve grown and trade it with other people who grew stuff. 


During the week, there was, of course, hiking.  One day we intended to do the Cable Line trail.  It was not always signed, but now it is.


We went up it for awhile.  Unlike all the other trails, it’s not switch backed.  It goes straight up Tiger Mountain to the summit.  After a bit we decided that we were not that enthralled with coming down such a steep grade on a slick muddy surface, so we bailed.  Next we tried the Tiger Mountain Trail.  It was supremely uninteresting, just another tunnel through the trees.  There were large swaths of these plants.


The UK Guardian wrote an excellent article asking if Amazon is holding Seattle hostage, which you can find here.  Since Amazon arrived, the population has increased by 40%.  If you look at a map of the area, Seattle is bordered by Puget Sound and Lake Washington.  There’s only so much dirt to build on. 
“It’s incredibly difficult to find housing in Seattle now,” said Nicole Keenan-Lai, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, a Seattle thinktank focused on low-income and minority communities. “Two years ago a study came out that said 35% of Seattle’s homeless population has some college or a college degree.”
John Burbank of the Economic Opportunity Institute said there is a a direct link between the surge in highly paid jobs and the numbers of people forced on to the street.
“There’s an incredible correlation between the increase in homelessness and the increase in the number of people who have incomes in excess of $250,000,” he said. “That has grown by almost 50% between 2011 and 2017. The population of homeless kids in the Seattle public schools has grown from 1,300 kids to 4,200.”
In other cities, rising salaries would be a boon to public coffers, but Seattle is burdened with one of the most regressive tax systems in the country.
With no income tax, the financing of public works falls more heavily on the less well off through sales and property taxes. “We have a tax system in which if you’re making less than $25,000, you’re paying about 18% of your income in state and local taxes. If you’re above $250,000 you’re paying about 4% of your income in state and local taxes,” said Burbank.
The Seattle City Council did pass a employee headcount tax for large companies, but they backed down and repealed it.  It’s a good article, that outlines the problems this area faces due to all of the tech company money.

I’ve been thinking about the blog and why I write it.  The reason I always come back to, is so that we can remember what we were doing at a given point in time.  We frequently discover fairly significant chunks of our history that we don’t recall.  If it hadn’t been written down, it would be gone.  Awhile ago I made an effort to quit talking about politics, and I think it was not a good decision.  There are some events that I want to remember after they fall out of the 24 hour news cycle.  I do know that some people quit reading me when I was so vociferous about my dismay over the current administration.  So, I’ve decided to keep it within reason, but there’s some stuff I need to remember.  So there you go.

Tuesday, the Attorney General announced that asylum seekers would no longer be able to work in the US.  Prior to this announcement, asylum seekers could get social security numbers and legally work while awaiting decisions on their requests.  These cases can take years.  Without an income, how are people supposed to live?  That article is here.

Most of the children separated from their parents at the border are still not returned.  The PBS News Hour reported Monday that in order for a mother to see her child again, she would have to buy a round trip airline ticket for an HHS employee to accompany the child back to her mother.  These people have no money!  The government took the children away for free, why don’t they return them?  This is infuriating.  The road blocks being thrown up by the government are just unbelievable.

Seven GOP congress people spent July 3 in Russia.  They had very cordial conversations about would Russia please stop hacking our elections.  They were assured that Russia would never do such a thing, that would be wrong.  The GOP also asked that Russia withdraw from Ukraine; there was limited enthusiasm for that on Russia’s part.  WAPO had an article about their trip, which can be found here.  Coincidentally, this meeting was the same day the the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee released their findings that Russia did interfere with the 2016 elections.

The sun is out, and the first rule of being in the GPNW is that when the sun is out, you must be out as well.


  1. Sunny days are oppressive to me for just that reason. They insist I go outside even when I don’t feel like it. I love rainy days. Interesting articles you’ve linked. It’s well nigh impossible to pretend that things aren’t a mess right now. I’m just waiting for the November elections to see whether we can continue to put faith in elections at all. You see to be on an adventure!

  2. You can write about politics all you want! This is your house, your blog, your thoughts, your life and as such, what you are thinking about concerning your country is every bit as important as anything else.
    Well, that's my two cents.

  3. These are horrible times in our history. More need to speak out.

  4. I for one appreciate your expressing your dismay over the state of the US at the moment and for posting such interesting and informative links. As Ms. Moon says, this is your blog, and if anyone doesn't like it, they don't have to read it. I will be staying. :)

  5. We enjoy your political commentary so keep it up.
    Your comment about the uninteresting tunnel through the trees is why we like the desert, if it just didn't get so hot!