Wednesday, March 31, 2010

IMAX is at the Alderwood Mall!

How on earth did I miss this? The mall is within walking distance of my home and I had no clue they were installing an IMAX theater there. Right on! Plus? Clash of the Titans comes out on Friday! In 3-D! On IMAX! Man, my week seems shorter already.

EDIT -- Okay, I was totally mistaken here. Clash of the Titans is NOT playing at the IMAX, it's across the street at the Alderwood 7. Dammit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Looking over these first few posts, I see that I've given a pretty bad first impression of Lynnwood. Lest you think this is one big ghetto, let me say that it's actually a fine place to live. Some neighborhoods are rougher around the edges than others, but by and large Lynnwood is quite nicely livable. There's no doubt we have more hoodlums than, say, Bellevue or Kirkland, but then again we more than make up for that with our relatively affordable housing and the consequent lack of pretentious yuppie millionaires and their bimboey trophy wives driving jewel-encrusted Hummers all over the place. Lynnwood's a nice, working class town with all the wonderful things, and the challenges that come with that and I'd sooner live here, in a modest, clean, unpresumptuous neighborhood.

It's precisely because I like this town so much that I began this blog, and given that its purpose is to hold up to the light of day some of the undesirable goings-on, it's inevitably going to have a negative slant. Still, the old saying is as true today as it ever was: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. My motive here is to avoid "doing nothing." One lone voice in the cyberwilderness may not be striking a historic blow for Truth! Justice! and the American Way! ... but it's something and we all do what we can.

In any event, there is a wonderful article about Lynnwood at that's well worth checking out if you'd like to learn a bit about our history. It's damn hard to believe that as recently as fifteen years ago parts of this town were downright rural in character. In recent years, it's seemed like there isn't a single blessed wooded patch in sight that doesn't have some developer's crosshairs leveled up against it. If there's been any good to come of this ailing economy, it's that it's slammed on the brakes to the wanton building up of trashy strip malls and cheap apartment complexes. Inevitably, Lynnwood is poorer for those trashy things in the long run. For every slip-shot, two-bit Krappy Kondo Komplex that goes up, for every chintzy, slapped-together strip mall and megaretailer and so on, we lose a little bit more of what makes this a nice place to live.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Guns Galore Gone

Well, more great news. Gun-related, natch. The Herald reports that something like a hundred firearms have been stolen from Lynnnwood Gun and Ammunition up on Highway 99. Coincidentally, this business is not very far from the shooting that took place a few days ago near the skating rink. And, as with that shooting, the police department has no suspects yet, owing in large part to the absence of security system footage.

I'm a pretty ardent supporter of our right to keep and bear arms and I dislike the general idea of over-regulating things in this department, but why on earth would you not have a security system in place at a gun shop of all places? That's just bananas. If it's not a requirement to have such a security system at this type of business, then it should be.

Here's hoping none of them make it into the hands of local hoods. The last thing this town needs is more of that.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


There are days I just want to throw in the towel and move to a cabin in Skykomish. Today would be one of those days. Today, not far at all from my home here in Lynnwood, two guys are walking down the street when a car pulls up somebody in it shoots one of them. In a separate event, a student at the local middle school got expelled for bringing a freaking gun to school.

I really don't know what to say, other than "WTF," for the bazillionth time, it seems. The frequency and magnitude of violent events in Snohomish county generally has been noteworthy for some time and seems only to be getting worse. Regrettably, I can't imagine what can be done about it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drama, Part Deux

Apparently the city's finance director has resigned in the wake of last week's brouhaha. Too bad, really. I mean, c'mon, everybody should be entitled to lose it once in a while and the poor guy did sound pretty beleaguered.

Anyway, the cold-hearted pragmatist in me will be curious whether they will back-fill the position or allow it to go unfilled in the interest of saving money until the economy, and tax revenues, pick back up. If my experience working in government is any indicator (and it is), promoting the next in line and not backfillling that vacancy will result in no diminishment in efficiency or productivity. Local governments are notoriously overstaffed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drama in the Council Chambers

The Herald reported yesterday that Lynnwood's Finance Director, John Moir, abruptly left the council chambers at a council meeting last Wednesday, apparently indignant at a question posed to him by Councilwoman Lonergan. I have to admit, my first reaction to the article was to laugh. The scene depicted struck me as pretty comic. Just reading the transcript, my take-away was that the councilwoman was trying to insinuate that he's fallen down on a committment he'd made to have financials available at that meeting, and was calling into question his professionalism and competency, whereupon he told her in so many words to go shove it and just got up and left in high dudgeon.

The difficulty or impossibility of indicating tone of voice in print reporting is something that's plagued print media forever, so kudos to The Herald for making the audio of that meeting available on their website. (It's also available on the city's website, here.) Having listened to it, I can no longer fault Lonergan, who seems to have mistakenly called Moir on something he never promised, whereupon she offered her apologies but he flew off the deep end anyway, and ran off in a huff.

But, whatever. Listen for yourself and draw your own conclusions. We could fill a warehouse with what we don't know about the backstory here. The more important issue is that the city's financial outlook is obviously just as grim as, or worse than we've been led to believe. Enough so that the pressure that electeds and their staffs are feeling is beginning to show in embarrassing, public ways like this little drama. It's no surprise that everybody will be seeking to cover their own asses while trying to deflect blame for the current state of affairs anywhere but upon them.

For my part, I find the situation to be pretty clear. The handwriting was on the wall that the economy was faltering for long enough that plenty of steps could have been taken to mitigate the inevitable impact on the city's tax revenues. Nevertheless, what have we seen? Taxpayer money being flushed down the crapper hand over fist for such frivolous non-essentials as refurbishing the city's recreation center and paying consultants to come up with a "brand" for the city, and a council frittering away it's time deciding how many inches long residents may allow their grass to grow before being fined by code enforcement.

The city needs to be taking one damn hard look at where cuts can be made. The $80,000 thrown away on the "brand" is gone for good, but suspending work on the rec center fiasco would be one possibility. Furlough days for city workers would be another, along with suspension of projects that are non-essential.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Welcome to Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle and one real gem of a whacky place. This is one resident's attempt to chronicle the goings-on here, sometimes humorous, other times outrageous, and frequently incomprehensible.

You may find Lynnwood fascinating for any number reasons. For example, the curious mix of capitalistic opportunism with Soviet-style surveillance in the form of red-light-trap "gotcha cams" on just about every other street corner. Or perhaps the fascinating decision by our esteemed city government to spend beaucoup taxpayer dollars giving a face-lift to a perfectly serviceable recreation center during the worst period of budgetary shortfalls in years. Or maybe our "Sexpresso" huts staffed by scantily clad buxom baristas will tickle your funny bone (ahem).

Whatever, take your pick; there's plenty o' reasons to find this place amazing.

Please comment, especially if you're a resident. This place is all about the free exchange of ideas. Try and keep it civil.