Photo of Colin O'Keefe

If you take Seattle’s Greenwood Avenue North almost all the way to its upper end, there’s a turn down towards the Puget Sound—its dark grey waters somewhat in the distance, out to the left. You take the turn and cruise past Shoreline Community College, then the expansive Shoreview Park before arriving at Hidden Lake, off to the right.

You can barely tell the lake’s there, past dense trees. That’s probably for good reason, as it’s pretty grody—Boeing Creek was artificially dammed there, and stormwater runoff and sediment fill the lakebed.

Anyway, off to the left is 166th Avenue NW. At the end is Innis Arden Beach Trail—as pleasant an urban trail as you will find.

It winds its way along the right side of the ravine carved by Boeing Creek, eons before it shared a name with the company that makes planes and bombs. The path is superbly well-maintained given the surroundings, naturally precluded to erosion, mud pits and various debris.

It winds it’s way down the ravine a little less than a mile before arriving at the most wonderful gateway to the shore of the sound. Boeing Creek trickles to the left, splitting a low railroad underpass with a walkway that, in a high tide, has saltwater waves lap their way up it.

Continue Reading On segregated neighborhoods, private parks and us all wanting the same thing

It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made. The sooner I can get to that point, the better. It usually doesn’t happen as early in real life, when some hapless stranger triggers an excitable 10-minute conversation because they asked me about my bike.

Eventually though, I get there.

It’s a little bit like writing this blog post. I meant to write it at 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and even 4,000 miles since I purchased mine in November of 2019—but even since the last figure I’ve clipped off another 600 miles. So instead of delaying further or making this any more complicated, I’m gonna riff.

Here’s owning an ebike.

Continue Reading Observations from 4,500 miles on an ebike—and why you should get one already

The Washington State Cougars replaced Mike Leach as head football coach and it appears the politics of the position may have gotten worse. Truly, that’s an incredible feat—made all the more impressive by it being the state’s highest-paid position.

Hand it to Nick Rolovich, who sucks.

As many are likely aware, Rolovich is against being vaccinated. We found that out when he had to stay home from Pac-12 media day, an event requiring attendees receive their shot.

Unlike with many other figures in sports, this controversy hasn’t gone away. And that’s because journalists covering Wazzu just keep kicking his ass for it.

And it’s great.

Continue Reading Every anti-vax public figure should be skewered like Nick Rolovich

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Of course. As with any big historic anniversary, there is media reminding us it has been a-number-divisible-by-five-years since it happened. The media, as it surely was in 2006, 2011 and 2016, is reflective of the year or years in which it was produced.

In 2021, this is among the crop of content:

It, well, it makes sense.

I’ll admit, I haven’t watched any of the September 11th content that has been produced. I know there are pieces that are surely outstanding, poignant, illuminating and heartfelt. It’s just, I can’t. I don’t really want to go back to then.

Because then, then was weird.

And looking at it through a 2021 lens can’t quite capture that.

Continue Reading The permanence of digital media is hitting us—and it is weird

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner won reelection last night. Well, he won his primary over a challenger backed heavily by the police union—but he will win reelection as a Democrat in a Democratic city. As far as the primary part, though, there was some question. Or so some thought.

Larry Krasner beat his primary opponent by a two-to-one margin. He smoked him. Trounced.

Continue Reading When will progressive perspectives be as mainstream in media as they are in real life?

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is not running for reelection. That’s for good reason. The big-money centrist conservative has been the executive progressives feared she would be and the Nextdoor commentorati who backed her will never be happy. So she would’ve lost.

And that’s a good thing. Because she’s pretty bad.

Seattleites are familiar with her handling of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, which included tear gassing the city’s most densely populated neighborhood and the Seattle Police Department abandoning their East Precinct, the epicenter of the protests.

What went into those decisions? Who made the call to abandon the precinct? We’ll never know because the mayor and many of the people around her committed the felony of deleting their text messages.

Continue Reading Jenny Durkan and public embarrassment’s diminishing returns

Nobody’s perfect, but when it comes to the types of radical policies that make urbanists drool, it almost always feels like they’re coming out of France. Well, we’ve got another one as France took a step towards incentivizing—in a major way—citizens to swap their vehicle for an electric bike.

From Streetsblog USA, via Reuters:

In a preliminary vote late last week, the French National Assembly voted to expand its cash-for-clunkers program to include pedal-assist bikes in addition to electric cars, offering erstwhile motorists a grant of €2,500 ($2,975) to buy an electric bicycle if they trade in a gas-powered vehicle at the same time. A spokesperson for the French Federation of Bicycle Users, Olivier Schneider, applauded the government body for actively investing in mobilité territoriales vertueuses —or “virtuous forms of transport,” as the French refer to sustainable transportation beyond electric cars — and for recognizing that “the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”

The article goes on to note we’re at least starting to see efforts like this here stateside, even if they are limited in scope.

Continue Reading Tax credits for ebikes make too much sense

I have seen a therapist on a consistent basis for more than five years. It’s awesome. It’s not the type of thing I’ve ever really shared online but anytime it comes up around trusted friends and family, I rave about it.

If you want to improve your life, talk to someone.

With today being the big #BellLetsTalk day on the social feeds, it is effectively De-Stigmatize Talking About Mental Health Day in North America and I figured I’d bring that aforementioned raving to a more visible place. Sidenote: hell of a sponsorship activation for the Canadian telecom giant.

Continue Reading Talk to someone